Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Norwescon Move-in

I had an uneventful flight to Sea-Tac, made nicer by the middle seat not filling on the Alaska 737 -- an equipment type I don't see anymore ever since they started exclusively using CRJ-700s on the Portland-Bay Area flights. I took the hotel shuttle to the Doubletree, checked in fairly quickly, then walked around the corner and found Lisa sitting at the table that will be SJ2011/Anticipation's on Friday. No problems.

Our room is down on wing 5B, around 500 steps from the lobby by my pedometer. That's because the parties are banished to the Outer Limits to minimize the noise and fuss for the other hotel guests. As we neared our room, I smacked my head and said, "I left my computer backpack on the shuttle bus!" But I kept heading toward the room, because I wanted to get what luggage I did have into the room first.

Lisa marveled at my equanimity at this setback and how unruffled I sounded. When I said, "We need to go back to the lobby so I can wait for the next time the shuttle comes around from the airport," she said, "Oh, you meant the shuttle here! I thought you meant the bus down at Oakland!"

The bus runs every twenty minutes, and of course we'd just missed his latest departure when we arrived in the lobby, so we wandered around a bit. When we came back, the bus arrived, and my backpack was just where I had left it in the overhead rack. No harm done, just an hour wasted.

Then we had to wait for a cart to become available so we could move the large amount of gear that Lisa had brought for the convention. That ended up taking more than an hour, and three big cart-loads of stuff once we had a cart. Lisa said, "Remind me to never agree to do both Match Game and a party at the same convention ever again."

Once we returned the cart, we had to go get dinner, as we were both fading. Fortunately, there's a Denny's across the street. We felt much better after eating. After dinner, we went back to the room, where I learned that internet access from the room costs $12.95/day, which I do not want to pay. Lisa confirmed that she can feed the video of our slide show into the TV in our hotel room, and that the new gadget she's built for Match Game works. (More about the gadget later.)

Then it was time to head out and post fliers for Match Game SF and the SJ2011 party. Lisa strapped on her rocket pack with the compartment for Kuma Bear. She's added more to the pack so it actually can produce a slight amount of thrust, although the fuel canisters do not last very long. This was only a test run without any fuel to see how well the straps fit when walking around. As usual, Kuma Bear riding in his compartment got lots of attention.

After posting fliers, we went back to the room -- Lisa having left her badge there -- and she decided to actually load some fuel and batteries into the pack. The fuel contains 1,1,1,2 Tetrafluoroethane -- it's primarily used for dusting off printed circuit boards. Unfortunately, the cans don't last long in the best of circumstances, and in this case a leak in a fuel line meant that it had all bled off before we got back to the lobby!

I then went hunting for wi-fi, and initially found a slow signal in the upstairs lobby. Eventually, I tried downstairs at our bid table, and lo and behold, there's a strong, free, Hilton signal here! So I'll be able to check mail a bit while I'm at the table, but not from the comfort of my room.

There do not seem to be any parties tonight, and I had to stay clear of the casino -- I'd initially wanted to volunteer to deal blackjack -- because the noise bleed from the dance next door was too much for me. We'll turn in relatively early because we have two rather energetic and late nights ahead of us.

Unfortunately, poor Lisa's tinnitus is as bad as ever, and it really prevents her from getting decent sleep. I can wear my CPAP machine to sleep soundly, but we have no solutions that work that well for her. She has rigged a white-noise generator, but it's not always effective. I wish there was more that I could do for her.
Tags: kuma bear, lisa, match game, norwescon, travel

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