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July 6th, 2013

Three panels, GPS foo and one Big Mistake

Got up earlier than usual, had breakfast in the hotel, went to the Zin room for the 10 am Where's My Tricorder? but it was full, so I had to bail.

I was on a panel at 11:15, Storytelling the Old-Fashioned Way for which I was mostly comic relief, and I am kicking myself because I was going to tell Mooseturd Pie, but totally got derailed and told a boring story about running into a long-lost friend, told poorly.

From there to Page 119 - Is The Book Any Good? which was a lot of fun. Four of us read page 119 from three books each, rotating around the table. We didn't show the books until the audience had voted on whether or not they would buy the book, and tell us why. My last book was Nancie McDermott's cookbook, Southern Pies which I had not looked at in advance so I expected to be reading a recipe, but 119 is the intro to chocolate pies, and is so well written almost everyone in the audience said they would buy it, and wanted to hear more about the characters. :-)

Lots of time for lunch before my final panel, so I told the GPS to find me a grill, and it found me the Sacramento Brewing Co. when I got to the point where it said my destination was on my right, what was on my right was a green mesh fence with a huge pile of dirt. Circumnavigating the Town & Country Center, it was clear that the remodeling had started with bulldozing the Sacramento Brewing Co.
 
So I let it try again, and it found a place called something like Flaming grill, but on the way I saw the Thai Chef's House, a medium sized place, basically a diner, with a decent crowd for after 2 pm. The waitress had no problem with my Thai, but was too busy to ask me about it. I ordered the BBQ chicken, which was a FAIL on two levels. First, it was served with a knife on the plate. That's an insult in Thailand, and the chicken should be chopped small enough to not need to be cut by the customer. Second, I don't know what BBQ sauce was on it/in the cup, but it wasn't the Thai honey/pepper sauce I was expecting. The chicken was very tender and moist, which is also not ethnic but I'll take it. For dessert I had the sticky rice with mango, and that was perfect. So was the Thai iced tea.

Back to the con, my final panel I was the moderator, I know not why. Finding Your Muse had three authors, and they managed to keep things moving while I provided puns and some Standard Questions. I think it was a little dull, but the writers in the audience didn't.

The plan was to wait till 7 and have dinner in the hotel grill, but it was jam packed, so I just had a couple of candy bars. Then it was time for the masquerade, but there were many more people than there were chairs, even after the hotel brought in many more chairs. I had a great place to take photos, but tall people decided to stand in front of me, so I ended up shooting from the side. Boosted my ISO to 3200 when they said there was to be no flash photography. Good thing I has the 1.1 lens. They said there would be a fan photo session after the presentations, but the person they said was in charge of that shoot is someone who was a major FAIL the last time I saw him do this. And sure enough, it was a mob scene three deep, I didn't even try to get into that mess.

And then my Big Mistake. I kept hanging around the Atrium for the Match Game R-Rated version, but they took down the masq stuff and nobody was staying in the room except hotel staff, so I thought I'd missed the announcement that it was canceled. After an hour I went up to my room, packed for my early check-out tomorrow, got undressed and looked on the computer for The Memo. I'd forgotten they were doing the Game in another room. Argh.

Plans for tomorrow:
Breakfast downstairs
Check out by 10:30 (nice to have my car here to put things in)
11:15 moderate Is Theater Dead? panel
Maybe catch the noon art auction (there is one piece I am high bidder on)
Pick up any art I'm high bidder on. 

1:45 Hugh Daniel memorial - if they do a Destructo bit I have things to donate
3:00 closing ceremonies
Drive home. BART strike being over may make it slightly less of a mess, but maybe not.

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