Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

OryCon Day 1

I cut things a little bit fine getting to Oakland Airport this morning. My train out of Centerville was on time, but was held up waiting for a freight train to cross in front of it, and consequently I got to Oakland later than I would have liked. Fortunately there weren't too many people flying this morning, I breezed through Terrorization, and got to the gate about ten minutes before boarding. Unfortunately, this didn't give me enough time for breakfast at the airport, so I had to settle for a food bar on the flight up.

The trip was on a Horizon Air Q400 turboprop. (I thought Horizon was using exclusively CRJ700 jets on this route, but maybe they've managed to flog off some of the CRJs onto other carriers as part of their intended phase-out of the 70-passenger regional jet.) While I'd never call a Q400 "roomy," I note that it has a higher cabin ceiling than the CRJ (I don't bump my head), and that the seat pitch seemed better than United's 767s in Economy (I don't bump my knees on the seat in front of me).

As we flew over northern California, the pilot announced, "In just a few minutes, on your right, you'll see Mount Shasta. You'll see a smaller peak just to the northwest; that's Diet Shasta." I laughed at that one.

Horizon's luggage handling at PDX was superb. Even though I was one of the first people off the plane, being seated in row 6, my bag was waiting for me by the time I got to baggage claim. I bought a ticket for the MAX light rail and was on my way out of the airport less than 30 minutes after arriving, which seems like an accomplishment to me.

The ride on MAX was uneventful; the only thing unusual to me was riding to Lloyd Center instead of getting off at Parkrose/Sumner, which is where Lisa normally collects me when we're heading to Mehama. I rolled in to the hotel and checked in pretty quickly, dropped the Westercon sales bag with Glenn Glazer at the Westercon 64 table, and headed up to my room.

This is a somewhat older hotel, and the rooms are not the typical Doubletree-Ex-Red-Lion spacious layouts; indeed, I'm tempted to call this a "contractual obligation room." Worse, it doesn't have a bathtub; only a shower. Lisa really doesn't like showers and much prefers baths. I tried to get the room changed, but my Gold status isn't enough to make it happen. I did get breakfast coupons and I do get free wi-fi with the Gold, though.

After getting registered with the convention, I tried to get Lisa's badge, but they couldn't find it. They got another one printed, only to find the original, which had indeed been printed and should have been filed with my programming guest-of-guest material, but had instead been filed with that of program participant Frank Hayes. Oh, well, we got it worked out eventually.

I popped over to Lloyd Center Mall's food court for some take-out food and brought it back to the table. While I was eating, Lisa arrived with the posters for Westercon (and Match Game). There was a bit of drama that doesn't bear repeating here, but eventually we got it sorted out and we got the Westercon posters and the Match Game SF fliers posted where they belonged.

We had no commitments this evening and went out to dinner after the Westercon table closed and I dealt with some business with the Hugo Awards web site. (Fortunately, there's also free wi-fi in the lobby areas.) After dinner we moved the heaviest piece of the Match Game kit up to our room and Lisa took stock of what she'd brought. She was a bit annoyed to find that one of the computers she brought was the wrong one. (To load the heavy box into the van, Lisa has to partially unpack it, move the box to the van, then move stuff back to the box. Some of what she'd unloaded were the Panasonic Toughbooks that drive the sound effects. While doing the packing two-step, she picked up the wrong computer, and thus has only one working Toughbook, not two.) She spent some time improvising how to make one machine do the work of two. She also set that machine to recharging.

Then we went out to the parties, where we spent most of our time in the Texas in 2013 bid party. (We also helped them post their banner on the wall, which was easy enough since we'd been posting banners and fliers much of the day anyway. travelswithkuma got to show off his DangerMouse costume.

As I've been up since 5 AM and Lisa isn't much better off, we called it a relatively early night; however, we wanted some snacks other than what was on offer at the parties. (Among other things, I found no diet sodas at any of the parties.) So we walked over to Safeway and got some supplies. Alas, this is a high-end hotel, not something nice like a Holiday Inn Express, so we have no refrigerator in the room and thus can't get any perishables.

Saturday, things get a bit more serious, as I have panels at 1 and 3 PM and we do want to bring the rest of our kit up to the room for "staging," so to speak. We were a little reluctant to bring it all in tonight because the room is so small. I said to Lisa when we arrived, "Unlike many of the rooms in which we've stayed, this room is smaller than the trailer in Mehama; unfortunately, it's not as efficiently arranged." Still, aside from the fact that our free-breakfast coupons are only good until 10 AM, we're not rushed tomorrow morning. Sunday will be less fun. I may have to try to get to bed early on Saturday night at a convention, which is an odd thing for me to do.
Tags: lisa, orycon, travel
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