Tuesday, July 9, 2019

site visit

Just back from San Diego, on a site visit for Mythcon. I'm programming; also present were chair, art show, and dealer's. Two I know well, but the last I'd never previously personally met; it's a good idea to know your fellow committee members by sight before the con. Also between 2-5 representatives of the site at various parts of the meetings.

Site had recently unexpectedly switched dorms on us, as someone had decided to renovate the ones we were having. Problem 1: how to fit reservations designed for one configuration into sets of rooms in different configurations. Problem 2: Compiling all the specific regulations, like "no untoward noise after 10 pm" and "no moving furniture from the bedrooms to the common area." Problem 3: Where are our members going to park temporarily to unload their bags, because hauling them over from where they park long-term is not going to work, not on that sidewalk. Problem 4: Which place should we hand out the pre-paid parking permits. Problem 5: How to explain all this clearly to members who've never been here before and aren't going to intuitively absorb any of it, including how to find the dorm in the first place.

Additional long and gritty meeting in one of the programming rooms to discuss the time allocations that we're renting them for. On getting home this evening, find that the site's chief allocater actually kept her promise to e-mail us the tabular results of the discussion. Problem: With our slowly growing membership numbers, are we still going to fit in our original rooms, or should we switch to some larger but more awkwardly located ones? Everyone looked at me. I swallowed and said, "Hold." I know we're going to have overflow situations, but I'm not convinced the larger rooms would entirely prevent that, and it would disintegrate the geographic integrity of the conference.

We're not using the dorm cafeteria for lunch, so an update of last year's visit to nearby restaurants was vital. I tromped around to all 30 of them. Problem is that many are keeping summer hours which are different from their posted hours. Sometimes the summer hours are also posted, sometimes not. Often the summer hours involve being closed on weekends, which is when we most need them. Site people promise to try to convince the on-campus eateries that there will be over a hundred conferees looking for lunch that Saturday and Sunday; maybe they should consider being open?

In the midst of this, my cell phone ceased working. Had a signal and everything, but would neither take nor receive calls. Eventually remembered how the phone store guy had fixed Famous Fan Writer's apparently terminally fried phone, when I'd taken it in after Worldcon while FFW was in the hospital. Tried it on my own phone. It worked. The secret? Open up the back. Remove the battery. Blow on the connectors. Replace.

All of this framed by the closest the current world offers to the shuttle-bus plane flights of yore.

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