Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Real Day One at the Con

Even though I registered, got my artist ribbon, & set up my photo exhibit yesterday, the real first day of the con was today. I thought there was a panel at 10 I wanted to go to, so around 9 I was outside looking around the back lot of the Atlantis for a breakfast place. Nothing. What few places there were did not open till 11. Back to the hotel, an entrance I had not tried before, an d there was the 24 hour cafe, the Purple parrot. Excellent pancake sandwich for <$10. Good service. But next time I'll insist on a table because the booth tables are too close to the benches to accommodate my tummy.

Re-read the program guide, and the first thing on the list was at noon, "Welcome to Reno". I kept falling asleep. Note to panelists: turning the mikes on and then pushing them as far away from you as they will go is not recommended procedure. I left to take a pit stop, even though the next event was in the same room. Plenty of rest rooms, plenty of water fountains in the CC.

John Scalzi's travelogue of his tour of the Creation Museum My first panel, and the first example of a room way too small for the obvious draw of the event. Scalzi delivered a fast-paced, hysterical description to go with his slides, all 100 or so of them, in 50 minutes. Basically her went so we don't have to.

Deigning Believable Physics was next, the draw for me was Gregory Benford, but instead of it being about designing believable physics into Sci-fi stories, it devolved into fairly technical discussion about how quantum mechanics touches everything in physics and nature. Ho Hum.

Then to the opening ceremony, which, although held in the largest hall, was too small a venue. The MC/con chair did an excellent job, but the stage set was embarrassingly last-minute and amateur, the AV folk utterly failed to use the big screen. The screen was only used twice, to show two clips recorded by the deceased GoH before he passed away. We only got a partial showing of the first clip, and after each clip they killed the feed when it (correctly) switched to show the MC. Dr. Demento was relegated to a spot behind a faux radio console which looked like it was drawn in magic marker by a 3rd grader, and he is a foot shorter than he needed to be to be seen. He also showed he has radio timing - he was halfway through each intro before the applause had died down. Tricky Pixy ended the session with their alligator song. AJA phoned it in - playing wood blocks.

I was going to hear Alex Boyd's concert, but got turned around and ended up touring the dealer's room and art show instead. While most of the art in the art show is world class, the setup is not. Panels are way too cramped for the ginormous space, Hugo nomine maurinestarkey's work was shoehorned into a single panel when there were at least eight panels a couple of feet away which are blank and unassigned.

Dealers' space is huge too, probably also under-utilized. I cut my tour short because my back was starting to hurt - the con had not sprung for carpeting, which the space shows signs of having had recently. Most convention centers rent it out in rectangles to fit the boot areas.

One good thing about the area is it has a concession stand - and there are several throughout the convention center.

Back to the events - "Ask Dr. Genius". The panelists had no idea what they were supposed to be doing, but the moderator made some good guesses, and there were two or three laughs.

It was now 6, I figured on catching the bus downtown, getting a weekly pass at the transit center, having dinner downtown and a banana split at the El Dorado which I enjoyed so much my last visit. But it took 45 minutes to drop my camera in the room and grab a hat,  find the bus stop,  find the bus stop for the right direction, and looking at the schedule I would just have time to get there, buy a pass, and come back if I was to make it to Mary Crowell's concert at 9. So I crossed the street and tried the Irish pub, but it was packed and noisy, so out the back door and through the lot to Outback, which seated me immediately. Service was fast, the food was great, price reasonable, they earned their 20% tip.

It was breezy and 75-ish, so I walked through the vast RSCC parking lot to the convention center instead of going through the hotel. Got to Mary's concert as they were doing their sound check. Excellent concert as usual, looking around the room it was like a who's who of filk. Very surprised to see hsifyppah standing after the concert. lemmozine was there for a birthday treat.

I peeked in at the filk jam after, but decided I was too tired and went back to the hotel, checked out the con suite (no real food but lots of chips and soft drinks) and the two party floors. Parties were way too small a space for the crowds, except for Texas, which booked a double suite and had what looked like a BBQ buffet in one quarter of the room.

Nothing planned for tomorrow before 11. Maybe I'll take the bus to town in the morning, get the bus pass & handle the Amtrak ticket.

Got my work start confirmation for the 22nd. Canceled my flight to Reno for Friday but need to go to Amtrak and turn in my ticket for the return trip Monday since I'll fly back Sunday.

Have almost finished a bag of longans which I'd brought on the train. The room has a fridge.

Too tired to proofread. nighty nite
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