Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Coming on Midnight in Helsinki, 2 pm in Sunnyvale

Slept like a rock last night. Just one pit stop. Good Hgl numbers. Up with the alarm at 7, dropped off laundry on the way to breakfast at about 8:30. This time I found the real scrambled eggs - saw that what I'd taken yesterday was "egg butter". Their mini croissants are the same kind they have at Google, nice & crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.

#9 tram to the con, got there a little after 10. Once again, all the events were full. The con facebook page claims that since there are more events happening at the same time, there is plenty of space for everyone, but they ignore the fact that more members are arriving each day. The masquerade room holds 4,000. There are more than 8,000 members. It is not going to be pretty.

I don't do crowds or camping out in line. The Finns love to.

There is some good news here. One is that the Worldcon SMOFs were afraid Finland did not have the fan base to support a world con. But 35% of attendees are local, which is shockingly good. Also, there are many more children than usual, so so much for the "graying of fandom". A particular perk for me is as a country overrun by Vikings, there a lots of natural born redheads. Lots. Like maybe 25%. And probably fewer than average redheads-by-choice. Platinum is the "by choice" color here. I saw more natural platinum blondes in Astoria, Oregon's Finnish community than I'm seeing here.

I checked out the digital art show, it was running, people were watching. Both of them. As I passed the art bidding table, I saw "howeird" printed large on a page - obviously meant to be a label for a panel of physical art work. I asked about it, the they said they printed out all the artist names, and that stack were the ones not exhibiting hang-able works. I asked for and received an Artist ribbon.

I spent a lot of time in the Green Room processing images from the last few days and uploading them to Flickr. First the ghost walk, since I'd promised the arranger, whom I know from BASFA.

Bird-in-hand is worth..um...nevermind.

The house that the Moomins live in, across the street from the author's apartment, the late Tove Jansson.

Next was the part of the nuclear reactor trip which was on the grounds of the site.

OCD test

Long long walk into the bedrock tunnel.

And then the photos from the bus ride there and back, which the GPS info on Flickr says is about halfway across the country

Went for lunch at a Hessburger stand. Cheeseburger was about the same meat as McD's, but the cheese wasn't melted. And no condiments except ketchup. Fries were okay until they got cold.

Back to the Green Room after again not getting into a panel talk. About an hour before our panelists were going to meet there. I asked two people at a table for 4 if I could commandeer some space for my laptop, and one of the people was on my panel. That worked well. At 10 minutes till meeting time, I went to the WC, when I returned the moderator had her name card set up at a table in front, we moved her to join us. Eventually two more arrived, and we had a great chat about what we might talk about. Then we headed for the panel room, took our seats, and with about 3 seconds to spare another member joined us. It was that Hugo nominated author whose book I kicked to the curb as being too pretentious. She was a bit like that in person, but it was a panel with daunting talent, so we all contributed evenly, except for the one Finnish playwright, who had some great ideas in the Green Room but took a while to chime in on the panel.

It was a hoot, a very fast 45 minutes. The audience was very good, not quite a full house, but we were given one of the huge double rooms. We only had about 4 people bail before the end, all but one looked to be beating the mad rush.

After the panel I was button-holed by a woman who does shows at Seattle's 5th Ave theater. Which made me not get in to a panel a bunch of my friends were on, crammed into a room which holds 20.

Grabbed a croissant and a piece of cheesecake at the Helsinki Café downstairs.

Back to the main hall to consider my options. A woman who had been near the front of the musicals panel chatted me up, she is working on Baltimore's 2018 con, and suggested if I showed up, she would like to get me on the program. Something to think about.

The line for the rock band was all the way around the hallways clear back to the entrance lobby, 45 minutes before time. I people-watched for a while. The filk concert was 2 hours away, the parties an hour after that (and they have been panned on FB). So I went back to the hotel, dropped off my laptop,grabbed my jacket, hat and tablet and took the elevator to the bottom floor, and was surprised that I'd guessed right, it let out onto the plaza.

Lots of pubs open, didn't want to eat at the same place twice, so ended up around the back of the plaza at a place called Restaurant Empire Plaza, which has a Chinese ambiance. Ordered the seafood casserole, and it was awful. Unchewable mussels, only three small shrimp, imitation crab sticks, lots of veggies, bean noodles in one big lump, all in a sauce somewhere between sweet & sour and beef stock. The sign on the door said they were open till 11, but they closed at 10. So no dessert.

Back to the hotel, slowly because that plaza is a constant flow of eye candy. Stopped in at the RKioski and bought some local candy bars and had one for desert. Will have another any minute now. The doors I'd come in through had closed half an hour before. Had to hike around and uphill, not fun on a full stomach.

Looked up Thai massage places, may try for one on Saturday.

Oh, and a news flash on the con FB page - the railway drivers are going on strike Monday afternoon for a day, which means I'll have to get to my flight Tuesday by bus. No big deal, the Finnair shuttle leaves from the station 3 blocks down the hill. But my Monday plans to take the ferry to Estonia will need to be re-researched. There actually are as many buses (maybe more) than trams.

Plans for tomorrow:
Photo workshop at 2pm aka 1400
Tags: #9

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