lance_sibley: (Schedule - by whitetomb)
I just walked in the door from a weekend in Montreal at Con*Cept. It was a weekend full of Anticipation-related meetings and tours, some Gaylaxicon discussion with Montreal folks (and at least two attempts to have some discussion with Montreal folks which failed because I could never find them), and a few panels. (I now have a fuller appreciation of the comments people sometimes make about how hard it is to get a word in edgewise when one is on a panel with Dr. David Stephenson - throw David Brin into the mix, and it was nearly impossible. Fortunately I'm persistent. :) )

Naming everyone I spent time with this weekend would take far too long, but suffice to say that I had a great time, and it was nice to see some folks whom I don't get to see nearly often enough, including [livejournal.com profile] noeltheone, [livejournal.com profile] con_girl, [livejournal.com profile] foms and [livejournal.com profile] northbard. I also got to spend some time with Liana K., who is taking on the job of running the Aurora Awards at Anticipation, so I'll be spending more time with her over the next few months (and making all the straight guys jealous, no doubt). And, of course, there were several people whom I see regularly in Toronto, but it's nice to be able to actually socialize with them without one of us having to look at the time every five minutes and say, "Oops, I have to be elsewhere now."

It was also nice to have a couple of (albeit brief) phone conversations with Eric over the course of the weekend. :)

I think this was my last convention for 2008. I say "I think" because I need to double-check the schedule of Anticipation meetings, but I think the next one might be in February, in Boston.

It might be nice to get caught up on laundry and housework for a change. :)
lance_sibley: (Hmm  - by little_icons)
[livejournal.com profile] hico is picking me up around noon to head off to Montreal for Con*Cept for the weekend, so I really should be packing. Not to mention doing laundry. But I got home around 10:30 and had to return a phone call, then make dinner. Normally I might have tried to get home earlier, but I was trying to finish up something at work and so didn't leave the office until about 9 - I almost got all seven reports finished, but I'm having a bit of trouble tweaking the SQL for the last one and so I left it for Monday.

It's funny how things work out - I hadn't booked a room in the con hotel because, like with everything else, I left it until the last minute and the hotel ran out of rooms. (There's a Canadiens game Saturday night, plus a lot of people are coming for Anticipation meetings who wouldn't normally attend Con*Cept.) The phone call I had to return was from someone with whom I often share rooms at out-of-town cons, who had called this evening to ask if I'd like to share this weekend. So that's a bit of luck. :)

I didn't go for lunch until about 3:30 today, and on the way back decided to stop off at the store where Zak and I were working during the summer. Roman had said that I could have a router that he no longer needed, so I finally got around to picking it up and getting the instructions on how to set it up from Brian, who is the service department there (not just the service manager, he's the entire department). Once I get that set up, I'll be able to surf the Web from the comfort of my couch. :) (Well, I also need to get something to allow me to plug the three-pronged plug of my laptop into the two-pronged outlet in the wall behind the couch. Details, details.)

Of course, this also means that the plans Eric and I have made to watch the upcoming season of BSG together while chatting in IM will actually work. :) (Though I have to finish watching the rest of the series first... I'm currently on 1x12, "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Pt. 1". I still have a couple of months to get caught up, though. )

I'm sure everyone has already seen the new photos from the Trek movie. For the few of you who haven't:

Make with the clicky-clicky... )

I just don't know. The bridge looks completely different from what I was expecting or hoped for, and the uniforms look more like soccer jerseys. Karl Urban seems to have De Kelley's body language down to a "T", though.

There are more pictures online, here, here and here. (There are duplications between the sites, but some of them might be in higher resolution.)

And [livejournal.com profile] bovil posted this the other day, which I thought I would share. Toronto people, note the name of the artist. :)



(For non-Toronto people, Lar deSouza is a regular at Polaris, and this year did a two-hour workshop on digital art. He also participates every year in our origami workshop.)

So, let's see, at this rate I should be starting to pack for the weekend around, what, 2 o'clock? :)
lance_sibley: (Schedule - by whitetomb)
This past weekend was Con*Cept, Montreal's annual con, and so I headed up Friday afternoon with Lloyd and Yvonne Penney. I was supposed to put in some time working from home, but they arrived after I'd only been logged on for about two hours and was in the middle of modifying some French translations for the site (which I was subsequently told not to bother with, today).

Warning: I'm sure I have some of the details wrong, as for some reason some of the weekend is a bit fuzzy in my mind. Considering that I only drank one shot of Southern Comfort, four Smirnoff Ice and one margarita all weekend, that's quite surprising...

We arrived around 7:30 or so and checked into our room. [livejournal.com profile] kaijugal and her bf were going to be sharing the room with us, so with two couples in the room, I was given an air mattress and some blankets to sleep on. I'm not sure that I knew that was the arrangement before we arrived, though I did know that [livejournal.com profile] kaijugal and her bf were supposed to be travelling with us (a plan that was changed). It wasn't uncomfortable, though, and it was handy to be able to come in at 4 or 5 in the morning each night and not have to worry about waking someone up when I crawled into bed...

I was supposed to be going on a tour of the Palais de Congres with other people who are working on the 2009 Worldcon, but our arrival was about half an hour too late. I'm blanking on where we went for dinner that night beyond the fact that I had a very nice - and very LARGE - smoked meat sandwich, but I do remember talking at one point to Terry Fong after he returned from the Palais de Congres; Terry's been pressuring me to work on the con, and he told me that my name had come up in connection with a job other than the one he'd previously suggested to me. I told him that I wasn't comfortable with committing to anything, as I want to talk to some people here first, and I haven't had the opportunity.

Later, at 10, I was a panelist on a Torchwood panel. I hadn't had the time to re-watch the first season before going to the con, so I was worried that I wouldn't have much to contribute, but most of the audience didn't really want to talk too much about specifics, as they've been watching the show on CBC and it only premiered a few weeks ago. For those moments when we did discuss specifics, thankfully [livejournal.com profile] assetic, [livejournal.com profile] briankit and the fourth panelist were very well-versed and it enabled me to remember enough to contribute. I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Polaris folk.

Saturday, I mostly hung around and went to a few panels. In the afternoon, I was on a Doctor Who panel, with the same three co-panelists as the Torchwood panel. Following that panel, I made my way to the second half of the Anticipation information session.

I then went for a late lunch/early dinner with [livejournal.com profile] elizard100, [livejournal.com profile] assetic, [livejournal.com profile] briankit and [livejournal.com profile] dx4 at Reuben's, where I had a mango/strawberry margarita and linguine alfredo with chicken and avocado (yeah, with a name like Reuben's, I was expecting another deli too, but it's a Mexican restaurant) and watched [livejournal.com profile] dx4 drool over our very cute waiter, Patrick.

Later Saturday night, I was on a panel called "Sex And Technology". Going in, none of us really knew what we wanted to discuss, but we still got a pretty good conversation going about toys, virtual sex/relationships and whether or not the latter are going to lead to the elimination of human contact. Apparently I disappointed [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark, Garth and Declan by failing to live up to my reputation as the Queen Of TMI by not being fully forthcoming when the topic of fetishes came up. (Sorry. :P )

Following the panel, starting around midnight, was a Polaris room party, hosted by [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark and Declan. They had originally been placed on a non-party floor by mistake, so [livejournal.com profile] dx4 offered to switch rooms with them. I happened to come by while the swap was in progress, so I carried a few items and then spent the rest of the night drinking Smirnoff Ice and generally talking people's heads off. Larry Stewart joined us for a bit, which was nice - we usually work him so hard at Polaris that he doesn't get to just hang out much with us. After the party shut down, I spent about 15 more minutes with [livejournal.com profile] kairi_kiss and her friend Christopher, and then crawled into bed around 5.

Sunday, Lloyd and Yvonne wanted to leave around noon, but I had two more panels still - "What Makes Good Reviews, From The Fan's Perspective?" and "Books Vs. Film", the latter with [livejournal.com profile] andpuff as one of my co-panelists. [livejournal.com profile] gurudata had graciously said that he would give me a ride home, so I bade Lloyd and Yvonne a safe trip home.

The panel on reviews was an interesting one, as many of the panelists had different perspectives. I generally want to know if I'll be entertained by a book, while a couple of the others look for something deeper, and one of them said he actually wants to see a point-by-point plot synopsis. I felt a little out of place, admittedly, since my usual sources for book reviews are my LJ friendslist and the Globe and Mail (which, admittedly, doesn't review a lot of SF), whereas the others on the panel generally use sources like Locus and the New York Times Review Of Science Fiction.

The books-versus-film panel was a lot of fun, too. [livejournal.com profile] andpuff answered several questions about working on Blood Ties, naturally, and the example of the Lord of the Rings movies came up a few times, as one might expect.

After my last panel, I ended up hanging around in the second floor hallway near Registration (which is a traditional hangout area) with Andre Lieven until most of the Toronto group remaining gathered to leave. Terry came up at one point to apply more pressure. (Had I had a chance to talk to the people here I want to talk to? No, of course not. But that didn't stop him...) He didn't really seem to understand - but then again, he's the guy who made me pull an all-nighter the night before Torcon to do the work he should have done several months earlier, and which I'd already done twice and which he'd ignored both times... leading to my near-drowning in a Royal York Hotel bathtub on the morning of the first day of the con when I fell asleep while taking a bath. (And he wonders why I'm reluctant to work with him again?)

Following the bitch panel, the Toronto group gathered, and [livejournal.com profile] gurudata determined that my suitcase (I'd finally gotten it back Thursday afternoon, just in time to repack it) was going to be a problem as he had a pretty full trunk (as [livejournal.com profile] kanecool had earlier warned me). Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] dx4, who was going to be driving [livejournal.com profile] neoengel and [livejournal.com profile] elizard100, had room and offered to take it in his trunk. We hung around a while longer chatting with [livejournal.com profile] wookiemart, [livejournal.com profile] assetic and [livejournal.com profile] briankit before saying goodbye around 6. [livejournal.com profile] wookiemart was greatly amused by my and [livejournal.com profile] briankit's goodbye - we have a ritual of grabbing each other's asses at any opportunity (even though he's straight - though perhaps that makes it more fun *grin*), and we managed to time it so that we grabbed each other simultaneously while we were hugging goodbye. :) With stops for gas, Wendy's and Tim Horton's, we arrived at my place a little after midnight. I said goodnight and came in, checked my email, and went to bed around 1, exhausted despite having dozed for a bit in the car. That was actually kind of amusing - apparently my head was doing that drop-forward-jerk-back thing, so Garth moved my cooler bag that was between us, patted his shoulder, and said, "Sleep. I'm tired of seeing your head bobbing." (Cue the innuendo. Three, two, one...)

So overall, it was a fun weekend. I'm grateful for any opportunity I have to hang out with friends for more than three minutes without one of us having to run off to do something, and Con*Cept is always good for providing that. And lest anyone wonder, yes, that includes the friends whom I didn't explicitly mention in the above paragraphs. :)

Other stuff that happened: I told some people about the Gaylaxicon 2010 idea, and three or four folks are interested in helping out, though Rene Walling warned me that a year after co-chairing a Worldcon, he might not be up to doing a whole lot pre-con. (No kidding.) He did give me some advice about some possible hotels, though - but I do want someone who's actually in Montreal to be our Hotel Liaison. If we actually go ahead with the bid. ;)

And apparently I'm mentioned in [livejournal.com profile] andpuff's new book. For those who weren't aware, I'm a character in The Better Part Of Valor, the second book in the Confederacy series. I don't appear in the third book, but my name is mentioned. Cool. So go out and buy it when it hits the shelves. :)

And finally - I think I'm getting too old to stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning at cons. :(
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
I didn't get home until 9 tonight, just as House was starting, and then, of course, was Boston Legal, and I have three or four hours of weekend viewing on the VCR waiting for me, and I had about 240 posts on my friendslist to read (much less than I expected, but still a lot), so my Gaylaxicon report will have to wait until tomorrow night.

I will say two things, though:


  1. Still no luggage. I hope it's not gone forever, as I usually take my unique/difficult to replace t-shirts to wear at cons.

  2. My mouth is still bothering me. I hope it heals before Con*Cept this weekend. Eating has been a chore.


Speaking of Con*Cept, I got my schedule today:

Fri 2200: Torchwood
Sat 1300: Doctor Who
Sat 2200: Sex And Technology
Sun 1200: What Makes Good Reviews From The Fan Perspective?
Sun 1300: Books Vs. Film

I had asked to be on a planned panel discussing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but it didn't make the final schedule. :(

I wanted to be able to get up early tomorrow morning to go and vote before going to work, but I suspect I'm going to have to do it on the way home instead.

In the meantime, here's an amusing video making fun of Senator Larry "Tappy McWidestance" Craig for you to enjoy.
lance_sibley: (Coffee Addict - by xnickstax)
Catching up after a weekend away...

Con*Cept was a lot of fun. I know that there was a lot going on behind the scenes that I wasn't fully aware of, as there is with any con (though probably moreso with this one, given the extremely small size of the concom), but from what I could see, things went relatively well and there were lots of people there whom I don't recall seeing at past Con*Cepts, which is a good thing.

I understand that [livejournal.com profile] assetic and [livejournal.com profile] gurudata won Best In Show at the Masquerade for their Doctor/Rose/Dalek body swap - congratulations! (Though there isn't enough brain soap in the world to scrub the image of [livejournal.com profile] gurudata with Dalek bumps out of my memory. :P )

Declan picked me up around 12:30 and we made our way out to the east end to pick up [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark. The trip out was uneventful, and upon arriving, we met up with [livejournal.com profile] gurudata, [livejournal.com profile] kanecool, [livejournal.com profile] troystar and Chris, and some other folks (I know there were a couple of others, but my memory is failing me) to grab a quick bite at the Faubourg, which is a mall on Ste. Catherine Street. We went to the SAQ (liquor store) afterwards to try to pick up the ingredients for Tequila Mockingbirds - a drink that we created when I turned to Declan after a TT meeting one day and said, "Hey, something's bothering me, and you've worked as a bartender - how come there's no drink called a Tequila Mockingbird?" Well, there is now. However, they didn't have any Tequila Rose at that SAQ, so we had to put off the great experiment until Saturday, and we were actually in bed at a decent hour Friday night. (For "decent," read "two in the morning.")

Saturday I had a noon panel, so I got up and made my way up the street to find a Tim Horton's so that I could have some solid food in my stomach to take my antibiotics (this was a recurring theme during the weekend) and then got back to the hotel just before my panel was to start. My first panel was called "Fanzines Vs. Blogs" - and while I'm not a huge fanzine person, I think I know a thing or two about blogging. ;)

I was on a total of four panels during the weekend, all of them on Saturday; in addition to the fanzines-vs.-blogs panel, I was on "Star Trek 40th Anniversary", "Clash Of The Titans" (about whether "literary" and "genre" are natural enemies) and "Sex And The Believable Alien".

That last panel was on opposite the beginning of the dance (with DJs [livejournal.com profile] troystar and [livejournal.com profile] gurudata), so I had to miss the first hour, but I made my way there after the panel ended. I was talking to Chris when [livejournal.com profile] troystar put on a PSB song, so of course, I had to dance. ;) I ended up staying out on the dance floor for most of the evening until it ended around 2 or so. [livejournal.com profile] foms wandered in as it was ending and remarked that it was the first time in a long time that the dance was still going after he had shut down his room party.

Following the dance, I returned to our room, followed shortly thereafter by [livejournal.com profile] iangurudata and his entourage. Declan had been able to find some Tequila Rose at some point on Saturday, so we were able to try our inaugural Tequila Mockingbirds. I know I shouldn't have been drinking because of the antibiotics, but [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark (whose mother is a nurse) assured me that one wouldn't kill me. And may I say... they're brilliant. The recipe is simplicity itself: equal amounts of Tequila Rose and Southern Comfort. (Well, it had to be something Southern; "To Kill A Mockingbird" takes place in the American South, after all.)

Mind you, while one drink didn't kill me, having to stop at one meant that the evening wasn't nearly as much fun as it could have been. Don't get me wrong - I don't have to drink to have a good time - but when you're the only one in the room not drinking, and everyone else is doing so to excess, conversations and events that would make perfect sense if you were able to join in seem shallow, pointless, and not nearly as funny as they seem when you've had a few.

Though that didn't stop me from becoming the butt of one of Declan's jokes. He was keeping track of everyone I'd flirted with and writing their names on my discarded styrofoam cup. I'm pretty sure I wasn't that flirty, though hilarity did ensue at one point when our new friend Brian was in the bathroom and yelled something like "Blow me!" through the door. (That wasn't exactly it, but that was the sentiment.) So I stood outside the door until he came out, at which point I said, "Was that a request?" He grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me into the bathroom and slammed the door shut for a few seconds, long enough for everyone to realize what had just happened. (However, it was all a joke - he was straight, though he did grab my ass while hugging me goodnight when he left.)

Sunday was relaxing despite [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark's particular approach to waking me up. (She's discovered that singing Good Morning from Singin' In The Rain to me at high volume when I've only gotten five hours of sleep provides a humourous response involving a particular finger.) I went to [livejournal.com profile] gurudata's panel on the remastered TOS; I haven't seen any of it because I don't get any CW channels on my cable system. I was impressed with the changes to "The Naked Time," but I think that the matte painting of the mining facility in the teaser of "The Devil In The Dark" was already a classic and didn't need to be replaced with a CGI background.

Declan and [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark had decided to stay over Sunday night as well, but since I had a class tonight I decided that I didn't want to stay. [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark was able to ascertain for me that [livejournal.com profile] gurudata and [livejournal.com profile] kanecool had space for a passenger, so they drove me home. For some reason I was having trouble staying awake - I blame the extremely smooth ride that the Andrewmobile provides. I probably dozed off about ten times for five minutes each time.

When I got home, there were three days' worth of newspapers piled up and so I decided to stay up and read them, and so I didn't actually get to bed until 5. I got up around 1:30 today, which meant that I didn't have time to do much before leaving for tonight's class.

Speaking of which, tonight was the first class in the Internet Scripting Languages course. The instructor arrived 15 minutes late and then couldn't get the projector to work, but eventually he got things started. I didn't really learn much that I didn't already know, since tonight was taken up with a discussion of HTML. About the only thing discussed that I had never worked with before was frames. The instructor said up front that nobody uses frames any more, or (perhaps more accurately) that nobody should use frames, but the cirriculum requires him to teach them. Argh. And as a result of the late start, he kicked us all out before we'd had time to finish the exercises, so when I got home (after watching Doctor Who), I completed them and uploaded the pages to my webspace for now (to make sure that I had done them correctly). One of the exercises involved style sheets, but he didn't get that far in the lecture (and it's an area that I'm not comfortable with yet, so I need to read the text - and yes, the text for this one was mandatory, and $160 - ouch - before I can do that part of the exercise).

And no, I'm not giving you a link to the pages that I created. Frames are ugly.

Oh, and I officially hate the CBC - on most normal channels, when I set my VCR to start recording at one minute to the hour and stop at three minutes after the hour, I get the entire show. I got too much of the end of Royal Canadian Air Farce and missed the last few minutes of tonight's Doctor Who episode. *headdesk* Fortunately I didn't miss any of the climax - just a bit of the denouement. I see that the running mentions of Torchwood are well under way.

Anyhow, I have about 300 friendslist entries to read now... I may not make it to TrekBBS for a few more days.

Brrrrrrrr.

Oct. 12th, 2006 09:42 pm
lance_sibley: (Schedule - by whitetomb)
It's chilly out there tonight. *shiver*

I just got home from the second class in the Introduction to C# course. We covered data types, casting, mathematical operators, the if/else statement and the switch statement. Quite a lot, actually. I had a slight hiccup with the second exercise (an extraneous semicolon), but managed to get through them both fairly easily otherwise. [livejournal.com profile] carynb was the only one to finish faster, in fact. :) She waited for me and gave me a lift home, which I appreciated. Time for the winter coat, methinks.

I was a bit rushed getting to class this evening because I had to bowl off this afternoon as I'm leaving tomorrow for Montreal. Randy was going to come with me, presumably either to pace me or just to keep me company, but it turned out he'd forgotten that he had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and had to cancel. So I got to the bowling alley around 2:30, was finished by 3:30, was home by 4:30 and had an hour to make and eat dinner. Naturally, my cell phone rang just as I got in the door, but by the time I dug it out I had missed the call. I noticed that I had missed a call as well (probably while I was on the subway), and it was [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark calling to discuss the schedule for tomorrow. So I called her back, and while I was on the phone with her I got another call from a headhunter in Chicago. As I was checking the voicemail, the land line rang (ARGH!) - it was the headhunter trying that number. So I took the call - it was regarding a six-month contract in Raleigh, which again, I can't take because I'm stuck here (and don't want to relocate for a short-term contract anyway).

Once I got off the phone, I went to make dinner - and just as I was taking it off the stove, the phone rang again (ARRRGGGGGHHHHHH! Never rains but it pours - or, in the case of today, snows - and always when I'm in a hurry). This time it was Declan, though, calling about tomorrow's schedule. He was going to call [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark to confirm timing and then email me, but I haven't seen anything from him yet.

Oh, and bowling? 160, 157, 168. It doesn't get much more consistent than that.

Now to do laundry...

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