I particularly liked this couple, and I'm really sorry that I took only this one photo and that it didn't turn out very well. These two were just so cute it was scary.
With many Westercon staff on hand today, we all had time to go look at the convention and attend panels if we liked. One I attended and really enjoyed was an interview with Kaja Foglio that I understand will be podcast somewhere, but I forgot to find out where! If I learn where it ends up, I'll post a link to it.
Chris Garcia gave the keynote address: "The State of the Steampunk," working from a text published in issue 16 of Exhibition Hall. (That issue isn't yet published on eFanzines as I write this, but presumably will be later.) But those of us who came to the speech got a lot more animated talk than the plain text will suggest. At one point, Chris was talking about Worldcon and admonished me to not to argue with him. He went on to talk about how Worldcon is, at its best, a "big tent" event. I asked him after why he scolded me, because I agreed with everything he'd said!
When the table closed at 7 PM, I found that I was very tired and very hungry, having not felt like having lunch and subsisting on food bars all day. So I'm afraid I blew off the entire evening social scene and headed off to my hotel, the Milpitas Crowne Plaza, had dinner thereafter, and turned in to work on getting these photos posted and getting some other maintenance done on the Westercon web site that came up during today's activities at the convention.
I wasn't as last year's iteration of this event at the Emeryville Hilton Garden Inn, but the Santa Clara Hyatt (current home of BayCon) is a much better site than that HGI possibly could have been. Having stayed at that HGI once (the night before my train trip to Montreal in 2009), I can't see how they possibly made it work in that hotel. But it's still not ideal. In particular, they effectively had to split the dealers room between two rooms on two levels, plus the mezzanine, and even then I think they have the aisles uncomfortably narrow.
But complaints about this and about the much-too-small type on the name portion of the membership badges aside, I really must praise this event for the high energy and enthusiasm level of the attendees. It's fun. I may have more to say about this after I get home tomorrow evening, but for now I need to get some sleep.