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So at 4:13 am according to the EASY TO READ clock by the bedroom TV, my Hgl was 69 or thereabouts, and I dosed it with a glass of chocolate milk, which didn't do much, and my last mint Klondike bar.

Back to bed in 20 minutes, Spook was miffed that I'd left her in the BnB. Imstead of curling up in it, she has taken to splaying across it with her tail out one side and her paws extended out the other.

Managed to get some useful sleep before the 7:30 alarms. I changed the TV to wake to KQED-5, which is one of the stations one can only get off the air, it isn't on cable to the best of my knowledge. It's a lot quieter than Good Morons America.

I would have been on the road by 8:30 but my tummy said no, which is one of the side effects of an insulin reaction, and also of lactose without taking the antidote. The chocolate milk was made from lactose free milk, but the Klondike bar is not.

It was an easy commute, got to work 10 minutes to 9, grabbed a banana, HB egg, Kind bar and Diet Coke from the break room. Boss changed our sync meetings from Monday & Wednesday 9:30 to Tuesday and Thursday 10:30/11, which suits us both a lot better. But I did message with her about Helsinki, and she said go for it.

So I spent a lot of time online trying to figure out flights and hotels and hotels and flights. I took lemmozine's advice and looked for travel agents, starting on bbb.org and then Yelp. Only three agencies had an A+ BBB rating, but from their Yelp reviews, they and all the agents in my neck of the woods are either Disney specialists (you would not believe how many of my friends from theater spend so much time at Disneyland that tourists mistake them for staff. They tend to go in costume) or they are focused on luxury vacations. Or they specialize in cheap flights to India.

The place the Worldcon bidders picked in Helsinki is not such a good choice. Most of the hotels are half an hour away, the one attached to the convention site has been booked for months, the next nearest one is for people with mobility issues, which is a very large proportion of sci-fi fans compared to the general population, and the next nearest one has been sold out for a while too. To add to the fun, my first choice hotel had expired the con rate and was unaffordable at the regular rate. This made me switch gears and do what I did for London, which was to go for something downtown near tram and train lines. I found one at the con rate, which is a little steep but 5 days was about a week's take-home, so I was okay with that.

Expedia and the like kept showing me reasonable round trip rates from SJC, but when I tried to book, the corresponding return flight was $400 more. After a lot of frustration I gave up.  Lunch was tuna noodle Stouffer's, agar treats and a couple of thin mints.

The bug I was waiting for them to fix so I could run the complete set of tests on the prototype came back with a suggested fix. I tried it, it didn't work. I experimented and found they left out a step - had to change a setting, reboot, change another setting, and change the first setting back again. From then on both settings stuck, and that worked around the bug. Still a bug, though.

So I moved the prototype back to my main desk and set the other TV aside.

Break time, ate some longans, started a new book on the tablet. A group of Japanese high school students came through, tour guide appeared to be an Asian-American, he spoke Japanese. One of the chaperons was a really cute woman, she peeked into the break room as they passed. I smiled at her, she smiled back, and then she held back a little to smile again.

Got in about an hour of testing on the proto, then home. Traffic was okay again, I didn't use a whole battery charge round trip today.

Nothing in the mailbox again. The park's monthly magazine was in the park mail slot. Nothing in it about new clubhouse times.

Heated the chicken soup cauldron to boil for a bit, need to let it cool and pour it into freezer containers. Odd, it is darker than I expected. Smells great, though.

Got online, and discovered an article on one of the travel sites that Finnair was starting a direct flight a day from SFO to Helsinki. After a lot of time on their site, I booked my flights, but to get a reasonable price I had to stay longer. Original plan was leave on Monday, arrive Tuesday, then leave the Sunday of the last con day. Now I'm leaving on Sunday, arrive Monday and stay till the Tuesday after the con closes. I went back to the hotel site, there was no way to change the reservation online, just a way to cancel. So I canceled, and had to go back to the worldcon site and click on the hotel's booking link to get the con rate, and made a new reservation.

The good news is I'll have time to be a tourist. Maybe I can even take the ferry to Estonia. Before I settled on the direct flight, I looked into layovers in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, and even Chicago, but the connection times never worked.

Glad that's taken care of. Next step is to volunteer to be on panels. I'd love to display photos in the art show, but shipping is probably prohibitive.

Dinner was Marie C slow cooked beef and watery mashed potatoes. Chocolate cake a la mode for dessert.

Got a note from Kaiser that I'm due for a fasting blood test. Maybe Wednesday morning. I don't know when the lab opens, and their web site is down.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sync with Boss


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2017 07:21 am (UTC)
The layovers thing was what that agent did for me in 2010. When I priced it out online the layovers made the trip way more expensive. She got me a flight to Melbourne with layovers in Honolulu, Auckland, and Tahiti on the way back, for less than what I could find on Expedia for a RT to Melbourne with no stops.
Mar. 29th, 2017 01:36 am (UTC)
I hear you. But once I saw that direct flight, I was hooked.
Mar. 28th, 2017 07:30 pm (UTC)
We looked at the landscape and booked a hotel right near the downtown train station; most of the time we'll be travelling to the convention is during the every-5-minutes schedule. We don't really expect it to take half-an-hour to get there (and, to be honest, it took nearly that to get to the convention center in Denver and a number of other recent Worldcons). It also puts us in the middle of food, shopping, and transit.

We were clued in to the 3-times a week nonstop on Norwegian Air from Oakland to Stockholm on their Dreamliner. It's only a $52 hop from Stockholm to Helsinki (although we're taking the cruiseliner over before the convention.)
I wish I'd realized you were having trouble finding routing; the Norwegian Air option is actually a very good price and apparently reasonably pleasant even in the cheap seats.
Mar. 29th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)
Thanks Kevin. I've been following your posts with great interest, and looked into the Oakland-Stockholm deal, but that daily Finnair direct flight from SFO to HEL rang all my bells. And those extra days in Helsinki add so many options, including the ferry/cruise thing to Stockholm & back, though after I noticed it, Estonia as a ferry day trip looks attractive too.
Mar. 29th, 2017 01:53 am (UTC)
When we priced the Finnair flight it was significantly more expensive than the Dreamliner, where we were able to upgrade to Premium seats (19" wide, 46" pitch) for less an the economy seats on FA. That makes a huge difference, especially for Andy.
And this puts us in Stockholm for the end of their Pride Celebration; the parade should go right past our hotel on Saturday. We're looking forward to poking about the area with friends.
We did delay our Helsinki departure so we have 3 days to explore there, too. I want to get out to the museums in Espoo where they have a fully restored Futuro house.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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