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Tuesday, last morning in Glasgow, first night in Inverness.

More people I saw and photographed on Monday, but left out of yesterday's list: Erik V. Olson and various others who were milling about the Fan Lounge/Real Ale Bar.

Fans we saw and photographed on Tuesday included: Jonathan Cain, Marianne Cain, Steven Cain ([livejournal.com profile] malwen), Chip Hitchcock, [livejournal.com profile] bohemiancoast, and Davey Snyder.

Tuesday morning we went to Sandyford Surgery and were immediately referred to the Western Infirmary... )

I'd actually been considering going down to The Goat for a little lunch before heading out to Queen Street Station, using my folding trolley to get our stuff there, but there was the taxi waiting outside. We headed to Queen St. Sta., and as we approached Buchanan Street I asked if Buchanan Galleries was nearby. We had the cabbie drop us off at John Lewis, where I didn't find any 10-spoke umbrellas.They had full-size 8-spoke umbrellas, and some of good quality, but I didn't want to deal with bringing home an umbrella when my old one hadn't quite given up the ghost. One of the spokes is a little bent, but it still operates. [livejournal.com profile] library_lynn's umbrella was broken, but we were still carting it along; didn't want two unpackable items to carry.

At John Lewis we did find some wild ties, very colourful. I couldn't really tell any qualitative differences between the pink and purple ones on clearance and the ones still on sale for 65 pounds. When I get my pictures uploaded, Jim Murray will be jealous. We had all of the luggage loaded on the trolley, and I pulled it around the block (mostly downhill) to Queen Street Station. In the square across from the station, the Piping Festival was in full swing; we could have sat right there for three or four more days of live music. We had a bit of a wait before our train, so we got some lunch at the pub in the station. While we were in the station, we ran into the Cain Four. [livejournal.com profile] bohemiancoast and [livejournal.com profile] malwen seemed to have their hands full wrangling Jonathan and Marianne, so we didn't stop and chat for long. Then after we got onto our train to Inverness we ran across Chip Hitchcock and Davey Snyder in the carriage; they were heading to Inverness, where they'd rent a car and continue further north.

Neither Glasgow Queen Street nor Invernesss stations had a West Cornwall Pasty Company. )

Mokoia House has two labrador dogs -- a black lab named Jess, who's young and rambunctious, and a chocolate lab named Molly who graces the front page of their website. In fact, that was one of the overriding reasons we chose them: [livejournal.com profile] library_lynn fell in love with the doggy.
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Monday, last day of the convention, part 1 of 2.

My left foot started swelling up again by Monday. We went back to taping it up with the compression bandage. On my way to the Exhibition Centre I saw an official red van go by. It wasn't fire, or ambulance; it was marked Royal Mail.

People I saw and photographed on Monday included: Justin Ackroyd, Fatima Ahad, Alison Barton... )

I took a bottle of Whalers Rum over to the Fan Lounge for the Plokta Cabal. Mike Scott accepted it on behalf of the group; [livejournal.com profile] miramon and Giulia de Cesare drove up, so they'll be the ones to take it back. It's my "bottle of comment" and should keep me on the mailing list for a while even if I wasn't pubbing A BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN. I pointed out to Mike that it wasn't a dark brown bottle, the glass itself is clear -- the rum itself is so dark that you can't see through the bottle.

While in the Fan Lounge, I saw they'd put up a sign... )

Sandra Coleman from Elastic Press wants her own set of fuzzy ears. I got her e-mail address, and told her I'd talk to the Yaoi-Con people about ears that might match her strawberry blonde/red hair.

When I got to the NESFA Press table, Seth Breidbart came up to me, and just kind of breathed heavily. Not even a full-strength sigh. I said to him, "Scratch asked you to talk to me, didn't he" and Seth said, "I didn't say anything, did I?" He neither confirmed nor denied my guess. But it did seem like an expressive sigh to me.
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We're selling two Westercon memberships ("Due North") on ebay. No minimum, no reserve -- does anyone want them? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6542104764 Calgary's a lovely place to visit, I wish we could make it there ourselves.

[The photography panel] ConQuesT 36 pictures from Sunday and Monday are online now. Also pictures from the IE Forums Picnic on 12-Jun-2005. "Infinitely Excellent Forums" is a message board populated by a bunch of animé fans, most of them in California.

Tip for all of my friends still looking for the Star Wars Dark Chocolate M&M's: they were shipped to two kinds of stores, the kind that sells M&M's and the kind that sells Star Wars stuff. Go look at Toys-R-Us, some of them (at least out in this neck of the woods) still have them... (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] colleency's darling husband Shawn for the tip. Should have remembered I had an expert on all things Star Wars before...)

Continuing my Saturday at ConQuesT: So upstairs I went, to find the parties...

At "Roomcon" (a convention held within a room, similar to the 24-Hour Arisia at Noreascon), they had guests of honor, a program book, a dealers room (a shoe gizmo full of books and dvds hanging from the door), an art show, and even a room party: Yard Dog Press hosted a room party inside Roomcon, where Selina Rosen was mixing up coconut-and-rum "Hurling Monkeys." I decided, wotthehell, and accepted a cup with a very small amount, and carefully wrote HURLING MONKEYS on the side of the cup.

I went across the way to where Fencon had a party -- Russ and Tim Miller remembered me from when I stopped by the Fencon party last year at Armadillocon. Their first year, they got over 300 people, and their second convention will be the last full weekend of September in Dallas. Not a bad start, and there's now a new Texas convention on the scene. They were serving Shiner Bock (possibly the only halfway decent bheer brewed in Texas?), so I talked someone into opening one up, and giving me a little in my rinsed-out cup. (And I wrote SHINER BOCK on the side.)

At some point I spoke to someone (Tim or Russ?) about Worldcon site selection, and the potential for a future Texas Worldcon. The 500-mile rule means that Dallas would be ineligible for a site voted in Kansas City; that's the point of the rule, to eliminate the "zip code advantage." They don't want to get in the way of the Australian bid for 2010, so a vote in 2008 wouldn't work for them... They also acknowledge they lost a lot of credibility with the vaporware Dallas in 2006 bid. I told them that from where I stand, Texas looks like one large metropolitan region, and they should get the other Texas fans (read: Austin) on board if they want to try a Texas bid. (And Dallas might not be the best venue, depending on function space/hotel availability.)

They should also be sure that they can call it "Lonestarcon 3" if they win; if the Lonestarcon 2 people won't let them use the name, that'll reflect badly on their united appearance. (Would it sink the bid? I don't know. But it could influence the vote, and give the appearance of a Boston-like schism. Cf the 1998/2001 races, "If it's not Boston in 2001 it won't be Noreascon.") I told them they should make sure that people "from Texas" are going to Worldcons, working and learning the ropes, and they should come up with a "hook" -- some theme ideas. Lone Stars. Armadillos. Cowboys. Astronauts. Something... They should ask Harvia and Rotsler and Sherlock for art. Et cetera. And they should go to Smofcon and start networking. They can't and shouldn't commit to any year until after the 2009 site selection in two years.

Next door to Fencon was the Conestoga/Tulsa party. Unfortunately I thought it was just another room to the Fencon party -- they had the connecting door open -- so I missed catching up with all my Tulsa fans and never knew why!

[livejournal.com profile] smofbabe was at the convention, and so was her brother (Jerry Gelb). Jerry Gelb's big in the VA scene in L.A., so I took his "Ear Whacks" card for possible [livejournal.com profile] animelosangeles live programming. Janice allowed me to take her picture Saturday night, so I didn't have to settle for the back of her head or shoulder. She told us the story of Noreascon, when she was working perimeter duty at the Hugo Losers' Party, and James Bacon walked up and pointed out the pawprint sticker on her shoulderblade. He asked if she wanted him to take care of removing it. She was startled speechless when he licked it off.

The "Brothers without Banners" group had a banner. Ironic, that. They were celebrating George R.R. Martin's recent completion of his new book.

More later. I've been sick all week. Oh, a health update -- remember I was at 21 stone, and doc wanted me down to 18? I went in to find out if I had a virus or an infection (answer: it's been a week, here are some antibiotics) and weighed in while I was there. I'm down to 20 stone. Also, re: the feet and the MRI, apart from my symptoms I'm in great health. That is, whatever made my toes stop feeling is probably a one-off problem - a pinched nerve, or arthritis of the foot, or something - and not the first stages of, say, MS. Hooray!

And Maria's off to India; if you've been following [livejournal.com profile] library_lynn's notes, you'll know that she made it to Hong Kong, spent a day there, made it into Delhi, bought and lost a cell phone, and had some trouble withdrawing money from the ATM because her bank didn't fully understand that she'd be out of the country. And this weekend she's due to go to Missouri to learn Hindi. (Well, it's some town at the base of the Himalayas that's pronounced either Missouri or Misery, not sure which. Lynn will have more on what she learned from the guidebook.)
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Just uploaded pictures from Yard-Warming Party at Polar Den (14-May-2005) hosted by [livejournal.com profile] darrelx and [livejournal.com profile] glittercat13. Captions are incomplete -- I've misplaced my caption notebook from that weekend. (I think it's at the office.)

I managed to go a few miles out of my way, because I thought Lemon Grove was off of I-8. (It's not.) When I wasn't seeing anything familiar, and the fwy narrowed down to 2 lanes in each direction, I called for help. I missed the chance to get the shot from the new fwy that runs behind the house, though; next time I go down that way, I want to get a shot of the place from the highway. The two green barns should be easy enough to spot from the road.

The party was nice, it was good to see "Two-Sheds" Exline's yard is now big enough to have a picnic on. Interesting highlight of the party: someone recognized my name (Marci Brett, I think her name was; gotta check my notes) because the ice chest says "BADEN" on the side, and asked if I'd worked at San Onofre. Startled, I said, yes, in the 80's... she remembered that adventure when we waited in line for Return of the Jedi. (And, now that I think about it, it means that she stayed in contact with my crowd, because I wasn't working at San Onofre yet in '83. Hmmmm.) She left the party before I could get her contact info; I want to invite her to my next St. Patrick's Day party. She works for a non-commercial tv station in San Diego, and there can't be too many of those, so I might just research the San Diego tv market to figure out where she is if she doesn't turn up elsewise. ([livejournal.com profile] caprine, can you keep an eye out for her at the San Diego science fiction meetpoints, please?)

I hit the road not long after they lit up the fire pit; I was all set to make it to Richie's American Diner in Temecula before they closed, and they close early on Sunday nights. I made it. The chili's tasty there, and if you finish off your bowl they'll bring you a second one if you like. And it turns out my waitress used to live in Anaheim, and had moved to Temecula with her family. Small world... (It's my usual dinner stop on the NB run on I-15; when they're closed, I go further up the line to In-N-Out or Tommy's in Corona. Remind me to write up the "Hamburger Tour of Southern California"...)

And a week later, I left the ice chest outside to dry while I went to dinner with [livejournal.com profile] colleency and Maria, and some lowlife vanished off with it. Grrrr. It was just about the right size, too.

For those of you following my medical adventures, [livejournal.com profile] library_lynn and I successfully made it to the Open MRI place and I survived the procedure. A little sedative helped a little; having Lynn there helped, as did finding a screw on the underside of the unit that I could focus on.

Chaz
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Trying to get caught up on my pictures. (I'm due to leave for Kansas City for another convention, so it's time to catch up with my backlog.)

Our last dinner with Steffnee (Mar-2004); Beth Visits California (Feb/Mar-2005); Shopping for Fabric in L.A. with Lynn and Maria (06-Mar-2005); Cowboy and Ledoux - Bill and Lori's dogs (02-Apr-2005); Babyvision: Liam and Amiri Massoglia (02-Apr-2005); Colleen, a cart, her dress form, and her hoop skirt (Jan/Feb/Apr-2005); LASFS Aftermeetings part 236: Coral Cafe (07-Apr-2005); Dim Sum and a visit to the costumes at FIDM (09-Apr-2005); Working on Maria's Civil War Clothes (Feb/Apr-2005).

I'll be posting the [livejournal.com profile] laconiv meeting pictures next...

Boring stuff about my health )

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