I've had a few busy days... Friday night, I loaned Leila some miscellaneous music from our collection, and volunteered to take some Conestoga flyers to Demicon, since it seemed nobody else was going to Demicon from Tulsa. She had about 20. There was a phone number on the flyer, I called it to see if they had more. Randy Farran - the mandolin-playing artist I was trying to find - answered the phone. I met him at Metro Diner, got another dozen flyers from him, learned the name of the penguin: "Okie the Penguin" (apparently when OKcon was a going concern, they tried to determine the most alien creature they could think of, and decided that for Tulsa in the summer, a penguin with antennae would fit the bill), and I asked him if I could have some art, please, for L.A.con IV. We'll see how that goes... That night, the auto-update for L.A.con IV's web page
worked -- Terrie Smith's art went live, w/o any human intervention. Yippee.
And then I drove to Des Moines.
Well, not non-stop; I stopped from time to time, when I got tired, and pulled my big heavy chinese wool blanket over myself and slept for a while. Eventually I had to wake up to find another restroom, at which point I drove some more... While driving through Missouri, I discovered the wonders of an all-automatic hand-washing station: a motion sensor starts the mechanism, which squirts a little soap on your hands, then warm water, and then hot air to dry 'em off. My only complaint would be that the whole thing's a little slow.
At one of my stops, when I pulled over to a side-road in Iowa, I slept until daylight, when an Amish horse-drawn wagon with farmworkers passing by woke me up... And eventually I made it to the Fort Des Moines Hotel, put on my teddy bear ears, bought my membership, and went upstairs to knock on TMI's door. While we were talking, Ann and Raven came to chat; while TMI and those two talked, I ducked into the bathroom to take my shower.
Remind me to lock the door the next time I do that.
I heard some door-opening noises, but didn't see anything when I looked around; later I found out what those noises were. Because my big beach towel, the hotel towels, the soaking wet towels on the floor, the washcloths, my clean clothes, and my dirty clothes were all gone. Yikes! What to do? Well, there was only one thing to do. Two, actually. I put my ears back on -- to preserve the mystique, you know -- poked my head out, and asked if I could please have my towel back.
After a successful conclusion to that affair, I enjoyed the rest of the convention. Some highlights: The "Shake Hands Fan" ribbons that TMI requested were a huge hit. TMI had asked for 30. I happened to have another 75 with me, and distributed them to Tadao, Ann, and TMI to hand out. Some of the other ribbons I brought proved to be popular -- including "Jailbait" and "Silly Ribbon." At the end of the con, Tadao asked me to give him a bunch of different ribbons to adorn Rusty's badge, so we gave him "It's Not A Fetish, It's An Interest" and some of the others I'd brought.
They had a "Music Room" at Demicon - a room at the other end of the hall from Gaming and the Con Suite, where musicians performed concerts. I stopped in during the "Mother Beat" set. They're a percussion group - lots of drums. Lucy (NLN) aka Nasira showed up and she danced during some of the drumming. The Music Room apparently was a huge success, judging by comments I heard at Closing Ceremonies.
Dinner Saturday was at "Raccoon River Brewing Company" next to the hotel, w/ TMI and Dina & George Krause. George ordered a cream soda -- and it was blue. Blue? I've seen amber and pink, but this was the first blue cream soda in my experience. TMI smoffed w/ Dina re the Chicago bid, the 2-year WSFS amendment, and the relationship or lack thereof between the two. George and I gazed deep into his cream soda.
The Con Suite had about eight kinds of soda pop on tap, and a larger variety of hard liquor at the bar. Also some ordinary bheer - like Bud or something. (Next door to a brewpub, and they have ordinary bheer? That seemed odd.)