Penguicon 2013 First Impressions

I believe that my comment over at the Zuckerberg experiment says it all:

"Holy Wow!"

As usual I left much latter than I had originally intended to. This was due in no small part to the fact that as I was exercising this morning I came across the movie
RED so I was forced to sit and watch the rest of the film.1

Then there were the few episodes of
Whose Line Is It Anyway that I did not have to watch but had on in the background which probably prevented me from being productive in any meaningful way.

Add the fact that I spent a lot of time looking for some paperwork that I had already packed.

Multiply this by the fact that it is just so hard for me to leave Tesla and Titus, especially knowing that I will not be seeing them again until next Sunday.

Anyhoo, I had planned on leaving somewhere around 12:00 noon. Instead I left more than ninety minutes later. Fortunately for me, traffic was moving super fast.

Speaking of fast, one of the reasons that I wanted to leave early was that I wanted to try and get a room as soon as possible. I requested an early check in when I first registered, but I am willing to bet that most people coming to the convention did that as well. In the past I have let the front desk know that I am here, then had them call me on my mobile when a room is ready. This is usually hours later.

No big deal. I understand that they have to wait until the rooms are cleaned out, turned over, whatever they call it in the hotel business.

Imagine my surprise when instead of estimating my wait or mentioning how many people were ahead of me, the person at the desk (who had a
Penguicon ribbon attached to her badge3) took my driver's license and credit card and handed me a room key.


From there I took a few steps to my right and walked right up to the pre-registration table. Normally the registration for convention goers does not open until 3:00 (and the line starts a lot longer than that). One of the benefits of being staff or a panelist (and I'm both) is that I get to pick up my stuff ahead of time. Bing, bang, boom, everything was where it was supposed to be and I was on my merry way with my envelope.

From there it was a short trip down the hall to Ops. Once again, no line and everything was found post haste. I had my presenter's packet (which has my schedule of where I am supposed to be when, my name card so other people know who I am, and a map so I can find may way around) as well as the package of this years ribbons (see footnote 4) in my hot little hands.

Ten minutes, tops, and I was in my room, wondering what I was going to do with all of the extra time I seemed to have on my hands.

There was a tentative knock on my door as I was unpacking the one bag which I had brought up. It was someone from the hotel asking if I had reserved a feather-free bed. I had. He apologized for the inconvenience, then checked to make sure that the bed sheets were in fact feather free. Unfortunately they were not. He whisked away. I barely had time to go to my car and fetch my other bags before he was back, new bedding in hand. We made small talk while he redid the bed with cotton and foam

Now I have a little under an hour before my first panel. I think I will plug everything in so it is nice and charged, then take a walk around the main floor so I have an idea of where everything is and where I am supposed to be.

If the rest of the convention goes as smoothly as everything has up to this point I am going to be a very happy camper.

RED is now officially one of those movies that I will sit and watch whenever it is on. It never fails to make me smile.

2 Which it turns out I didn't need anyway.

3 Badge ribbons are a uniquely mid-western convention thing, from what I have heard. Penguicon was the first place that I encountered them. For a small fee, presenters, panelists, workshop sponsors, staff, and anyone else who feels like paying for them, have small ribbons printed with pithy sayings. The convention goers then collect these ribbons, sticking them to their identification badges via the small strip of adhesive they arrive with. It is not surprising to find ribbon streams that are meters long by then end of the convention.

4 I have a few ribbons left over from past cons that I ordered and will be handing out as well as one I ordered this year. Previous ribbons have my website or the GLAHW tagline. This year's feature a quote from Ray Bradbury "You fail only if you stop writing."

5 My allergies say "damn!"