Jul. 5th, 2015

scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
I arrived at the hotel just barely in time for the early panel I wanted to attend but was disappointed in its presentation and after a while pretended to get a text and ducked out early. Only hours later did I realize that the reason the presenter seemed to be dithering around and not getting to the point wasn't just that she was badly focused but because I had gone to the wrong room and wasn't at the right panel at all.

Naturally I made up for this by missing the next panel altogether.

On the subject of panels, it seemed wise to show up for a friend's presentation even if the topic was questionable, as she'd lost the other panelist at the last minute and was suddenly flying solo; also, at starting time I was half the audience. It got better later.

The pre-Enigma encryption panel was a lot of fun, and I say this as a guy nerdy enough to find manual encryption techiques interesting.

Outside panels the people are friendly and the dealers room still interesting. I'm likely to spend too much money at a certain one...eventually. I eventually discovered the art show. (Note for smofs: you should mention to others that there is an art show.) Not all of the art is of higher quality than can be found on hall costumes, just larger and harder to carry around all day.

Once again I spent valuable convention time in the swimming pool.

Dressing afterward I discovered that pulling everything plausibly steampunk-genre-looking out of my closet and wearing it at one go leaves me looking surprisingly respectable. I'd blend in with the businessmen downtown if I weren't in a kilt. More costume pieces seem in order.

Many people are interested in learning about Westercon, which is great. Pretty much every dealer seems to want assurance that Westercon will accomodate GearCon dealers; I'm confident that will happen but a little embarrased that we don't yet actually have a dealers liason on the committee. I've gotten to explain several times that we will almost certainly have them out in the exibit hall across the driveway, as Orycon does, with much more space than GearCon provides. Folks seem reassured when I anticipate "as much GearCon as we have this year plus maybe a thousand science fiction fans." Let's hope I'm right.

As a side note, there are an awful lot of dogs in the hotel. Aside from the one in a really cool steampunk costume, their humans don't seem to be here for GearCon. Is there a canine event nearby?

I'd heard earlier, from someone, that we were holding a Westercon room party; after as many conventions I've attended in this hotel I have no excuse for not realizing beforehand that the room number given does not not actually exist. *facepalm*

I have seen a girl in a pink wig who I remember from previous GearCons. She was around a lot the last time I helped out in the con suite; it was like sharing a hotel with Fluttershy, except this girl isn't as loud or assertive...

Guy Letourneu showed videos late in the evening, as is his habit, and I was pleased to see that GearCon attendees were interested in seeing a 1950s era film about the telegraph system. It was impressive technology in its day and is no less cool just because the state of the art has moved on.

Quotations out of context:
"You can't push me when I'm not wearing my goggles!"
"We have a velociraptor." "...We DO have a velociraptor."
"It's hard to crack butt -- um..."
"I like knees."
"You just spotted me by my plaid!"
"How much of him is pretzels?"
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
One of the nice things about Sunday is free street parking. Side note: when orgainizing a convention, find out what the venue charges for parking; attendees will ask about this.

The dealers room sold me a Sam Browne belt for what I admit is a reasonable price for handmade leather gear designed to last many years. Since I've felt the lack of a baldric or similar item for years I couldn't really resist when I had both opportunity and money; this also lets me dress up in a more appropriate style - the local aesthetic is suited to a poofy hemp shirt and gratuitous leather strap.

Incidentally, being hit on by a seventy year old woman in a corset and bustle is...unexpected? Flattering, certainly. Yet I feel awkward.

Having well grounded panelists is a fine thing. Generally. When doing a tesla coil demonstration...better safe than sorry.

Costuming continues to be awesome. I did a double take when I saw Storm, Ororo Munroe, in the hotel bar.

The Westercon panel was a thing I'd been waiting for and it went very nicely with good turnout. (The room had been used for combat demos so the table was across a large open space from the audience. We rearranged before starting.) Ruth Sachter and Patty Wells were our visiting experts on Westercon, and Ruth had more old Westercon swag where it could be found than I did. People liked the idea that Gearcon 2016 would still have an art show, a dealers room, and the usual things they're used to. The person asking about role playing games had no idea what GameStorm brings to a convention and is in for a wonderful surprise.

Afterward the combat demo fellows lingered and talked; we may get some really cool physical activities at Westercon 69.

A final protip for convention runners: Onions & Orchids, or whatever you call your event's feedback event, should actually occur when and where it's listed in the program. Overachievers might create that program more than three days before the convention.

Quotes without context:
"Furries against fur?"
"I'll just awkward away now."
"Steampunks are very serious." "Really?"
"Steampunk does not have to be brown."
"We just make it up." "You can do that?"
"One of the kittens from the box!"
"All hail our overlord square."
"Who are you?" "We don't need to get into that."
"Teeth are unnecessary. I have a Leatherman."
"Someone should carry something in their pouches." "Yeah, we're not Rob Liefeld here."
"Hello. I'll be right back." [From the con chair!]


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