I was going to scoot upstairs to Jerry Pournelle's talk on Inventing The Future, but, since it was open, got in line to buy a 2007 membership. The line was short, but it still took 20 minutes for them to process the three people ahead of me. farmount was a couple of people behind me, and may have reached the desk by lunchtime. Maybe.
Did get to the tail end of Pournelle's talk, which was well worth catching. He's done a lot of interesting things in his life besides write books and break computers. One of those was to help invent the future - which is now the past.
He went from there (as did I) down the hall to the panel on Prospects for Interstellar Travel in the 21st Century. Jay Freeman, Larry Niven, Michael Flynn and John McGowan were on that panel too. Here it was Monday, and they still had not set up the Cedar room! Truly disgusting - no audio, no dais, the panelists and the audience strained to hear and see amongst the chaos.
Cedar is the first two photos, the third is next door at the Pine room, which was set up correctly (except it didn't have decent audio either).
But I did manage to slide in near the front and get some good pix of the panelists.
Pournelle - Niven - Flynn
When it was clear that I wasn't going to be able to hear much of the discussion, I left and found James Currie's second molding/casting session, this one on how to cast props. He was working on three things at once - an alien hieroglyph tablet, a saber tooth, and the skull of the tiger it belongs to. Again things took longer than scheduled, so the finale was held in the foyer, where it was our turn to disturb a panel in progress. But we were stuck, as there were no rooms free in that time slot. And seeing the end result was worth it.
Next stop on the panel tour was Original Intent of the Founding Fathers: The Bill of Rights. Andrew Clark, David Friedman, Ed Green, Mike Sarkisian and Pournelle each had something to say about it. Turns out that Pournelle and Friedman have both taught college law courses, though neither is a lawyer. Strange. This was another panel which was difficult to moderate, because the audience members all had fires lit under them on the subject. Amazing but true, the panelists proved to be much more knowledgeable than the audience members, and I was glad the moderator (Clark) kept the discussion mostly between panel members with occasional forays into the audience for questions, comments and ignorant rants.
Finally, my plan was to follow the panel next door to the closing ceremonies, but next door, as it turned out, was the notorious Cedar Room, which was as chaotic as ever, and not set up for any kind of event, much less a closing ceremony. They should have used the big Fir/Oak room, which had audio, a stage big enough for all the guests, and proper seating.
I heaved a sigh of disgust and went home.