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Saturday

Up way early, forced myself to stay in bed till 7:30. Low-ish Hgl. Have I mentioned how much I hate the whole bathroom is the shower thing? There is a tiny shower section with a hinged door that can enclose it, but taking a shower in that space would only be possible for small children and snakes. I have learned to stand with my back to the opened clamshell, so it catches the water instead of it going all over the sink counter and my meds.

The morning was for finding the tall ships, so after another "I ate too much" breakfast I took the #2 to the stop which Google suggested, which was one past the one I wanted. It landed me near one of the cruise ship docks. Helsinki has about 6 of those.

Walked back towards the other side of the harbor, took some photos of the naked lady and sea lions fountain, and suddenly breakfast for the last 3 days informed me in no uncertain terms it was done being digested and needed to complete its journey now!

Across the street was a sign "WC 100 m" pointing into the park. I didn't see one, but there was a restaurant closer than that and they let me use theirs. I thought I'd made it in time but turned out to be not quite. So, back to the hotel to shower & change & take 2 more Immodium.

Then back on #2 and continue where I left off. Took lots of photos, rode the Skywheel. The ride is right on the shore, facing out to sea, and the view in the other direction is of a short piece of the peninsula, so it's not much of a view. It is a nice new piece of equipment, and the ride was long with stops at the quarter marks. I think it was 3 times around. Could have been 4. 12€ was a reasonable price.

Toured the farmer's market, bought 20 post cards and stamps. The produce looked great, especially the berries, but my tummy said no.

Found the tall ships after crossing two bridges with love locks. There were about 6 ships in all, two were hosting tour groups, one was docked for a private party. There is also a row of derelict ships, a history lesson of sorts.

I spent a lot of time just sitting in the sun and watching people go by. So many pretty women in sexy attire. Long legs are the norm here. So is bra-less for those of average or less endowments.

Eventually went back to the hotel, grabbed my badge ribbons stash, and took #9 to the con. But first, a trip downstairs to the Finland shop for a pen, and R-Kioski for chocolate bars.

At the con, headed for the fan lounge, chatted with some friends along the way, then sat down and cranked out 20 cards, labeled and stamped. The stamps are individual peel and stick, and they peel from the wrong side. ;-)

As I was leaving, a fan pointed up and out the transom - raging thunderstorm! So I went to the front doors and took videos from the outbound "airlock". One brave soul ran outside to the entry (about 10 feet from the exit) where there was an awning. I followed. The waterproofing on my Giants jacket worked.

It was 5 minutes to 6, all the dinner places close at 6. Stupidity. The hotel restaurant and the open cafe were crowded. I wasn't hungry anyhow. The plan was to park outside the Masq entry and people watch/costume watch, but the crowd was mostly inside. Huge venue, people staying away because of the crowds left one whole section empty. I got a seat in the front row, which should have been but was not reserved for wheelchair access.

The masq was a major FAIL in everything except the costumes. The vast majority of costumes were local, novice or open categories. I don't remember any journeyman or master entries, but after #20 I stopped paying attention. There were only one or two iffy costumes, most were very well done, and several novices would have held their own in a master class competition.

BUT

The lighting sucked. Very low lumens, red filtered. Horrible for non-flash photography and did not show off the colors well. The 2nd contestant didn't come out for about 5 minutes. The MC had no headset, so did not know WTF was happening, and kept ad libbing, calling for #3 or whomever, causing more confusion. Finally a backstage person yelled that #2 was waiting for the music to start. Audio was bass-loaded and generally too loud. MC had a horrible time with the Scandinavian names (contestants and characters) and really should have been a local costumer.

After all the costumes were shown, it was time to hit the fan photo room which I'd seen on the way in. I parked myself by the door in the front row, and waited. Contestants dribbled in, and John from the panel decided it was his personal photo shoot until some guy with a cheap camera strapped to his chest started organizing things. I'm pretty sure he was official.

Suddenly all the photographers, tablet and cell phone owners converged on the front of the room, blocking me out. And the C came in with her strident voice and took charge, which completely ruined it for me, so I bailed. The room was a FAIL. No backdrop, no lights, no space and a total free for all. Chest camera guy did one good thing, he overrode C's penchant to have everyone pose in numerical order, and got the people in the hot costumes done first.
 
Back to the hotel, different trams were running by now. Eerie to have what looks like dusk at 10 pm. #9 finally showed up, back to the plaza behind the hotel. Memphis again for dinner. Ribs were excellent. Banana chocolate cake not so much. Pineapple mohito made me drowsy. Very slow service this time. DJ was showing a lot of skill with his nice sequencer, but all he did was keep a backbeat and throw in short sound bites. No actual music. It would have been great for dancing, but nobody was.

Hotel, checked email and FB.and went to bed.

Plans for tomorrow depend on the weather, but include a lighter breakfast,writing this, and updating Quicken.
Need 12 more postcards & stamps

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