Hello from Lake Tahoe, NV!

Made it! This is my first time in Lake Tahoe (in this case, I’m in South Tahoe, for those who know the area). What a fascinating place.
I do admit that going from Tampa, FL (Hot. Humid. Flat), to the Sierra Nevadas (Cool. Dry. Mountainy) was a bit drastic. Someone probably should have mentioned ot me that Lake Tahoe is at 6100ft, (and my hotel room is on the 11th floor, so I’m up around 6300ft). Nothing like running up the escalator and having to stop and gasp for 2 minutes before continuing.
On the important front, all my gear got here in one piece, it’s all set up and running. Gnomedex will go on as planned! Minor twitches that are the norm for any event, but the show shall go on!
One interesting tidbit. Lake Tahoe straddles the Nevada / California border. Since Nevada allows casinos, and california does not, all the casinos are -right- against the border (as in, crossing a street in town has a sign “Welcome to California”. ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ll try and keep things up to date here, but the wireless for the event hasn’t gotten set up yet (and what’s with Harrah’s not having broadband access? It’s a mighty nice hotel, but no net access? Sheesh!

Hurricane update – 1:57pm Monday

What fun! The hotel lost power last night around 7pm. This wouldn’t be so bad except that the backup generators they said they had could only run emergency lighting. Not, say, the plumbing or the kitchens. Apparently a huge chunk of Tampa is without power – we’re guessing that a station got damaged badly. THe power came on at 2:30am for about 30 seconds, flickered, and went out. Probably Something Bad [tm] happened at that point, and the poor guys in the power company are rebuilding things from scratch.
The hotel stuck it out until noon today (I just went to bed early) and then they gave up the ghost and kicked everyone out. (It wasn’t much more pleasant than that, really). Through some fantastic help from Cat, we got the Fedex shipping arranged for my equipment, and I wrangled a room at a nearby place.
Arrived here, got the room, and lo! Power! Air conditioning! Running water! FOOD! Internet connectivity! (Yes, ranked that one last, it was getting that desperate). This is a ‘Chase Suites’ which is… shall we say, a step up from the Doubletree. This is a full studio apartment. Complete with kitchen. Really. Dishwasher, stove, over/under refridgerator, and microwave. Paradise!
Net connection is established, so I’m good there, now I’m gonna go scrounge some food.

Hurricane update – Sun, 9:10am

Well, now I’m seeing a hurricane kicking along at full speed. Jeanne is down to a Cat 2 hurricane, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. I’m probably less than 50 miles from the eye now, it’ll past to the northeast of me, but the ‘turn’ all the meteorologists were hoping for didn’t happen, and it looks like the eye-wall will pass pretty close to me. The picture is from the tropical section of Weather Underground which has always been my favorite weather site. The X is where I am.
I’m really tired of “on the spot” interviews and pictures on TV (right now the TV has a big colorful graphic “JEANNE’S FURY!!!!”. Dude, it’s a storm. Don’t anthropomorphize it. It doesn’t like that. They keep replaying this interview with some idjit newscaster who got blown over last night. He was on the shoreline where a category 3 hurricane was coming ashore, and he got blown backwards about 40′ by the wind. I suppose no one mentioned to him that it’s pretty hard to stand upright in 120mph winds.
I woke up to the sound of whistling wind outside my room – this room looks onto the courtyard where there’s a swimming pool and other hangout spaces. They took all the lounge chairs (metal frames and plastic seating spacestuff) and just tossed them into the pool. That actually makes sense – they won’t fly around and smash into the rooms.
Power and internet is working (yay!) and I think I’m going to make my way down to the restaurant and get some breakfast. I saw some families coming in last night with blankets and supplies and stuff to take shelter for the day.
I don’t think we’ll sell many registrations today ๐Ÿ™‚

Hurricane update – 11:13pm

The eye of the storm is about 110 miles east, south-east of me, on the other side of the state. THe eye is just making landfall, just north of West Palm Beach.
Here it’s just ‘windy’. I just went out on top of the parking garage to check things out – we’re not seeing any rain at all, but the clouds are _SCREAMING_ overhead. Not very windy as far as hurricanes go – at least here. Winds are around 20-25mph, gusting up to 40 or so. CNN just said that Tampa is expecting 2.7″ of rain, as opposed to Orlando (about 100 miles north east of me) which is expecting 7 1/2″.
Things may change in the next hour or two, but we’ll see – it’s supposed to turn north just as it hits land, but if it doens’t, it’s gonna get uglier here ๐Ÿ™‚
The coolest part was standing on the roof, chatting on the phone with arora, listening to wind whistle on the phjone – looking up through the -really- thin layer of clouds that was screaming south, and seeing stars and the moon shining through. Neat.
There’s a lot of chatter on the news about the surfers, who are having a field day.


Ah be here! Arrived on Monday, and have been pretty busy since, so just wanted to drop a few lines to let folks know I’m still kicking about. Having all sorts of network technology problems though. Many of my preparations for road travel didn’t pan out, while others did.
My Kyocera 7135 cell is not doing what it’s supposed to. I think a call to Verizon is in order, but I can’t dial up at -all- with it. So I can’t run my ssh client or my web browser on it. Text messages seem to work, but no data services. The 1X light is on, so it’s -supposed- to work.
I still can’t get my dialup via that phone to work either, but I haven’t been trying too hard. Just no time. Maybe out in Reno at Gnomedex i’ll have a high enough geek quotient to handle it.
I’m gonna go flop into bed – we need to have reg open by 9am tomorrow, which means I need to be moving equipment by 7:45 or so. Whee.

Hittin da road.

In the next 1/2 hour or so I’m hitting the road on a 2 week business trip that’ll take me to Florida, then to Nevada, then back here to boston. This is the busiest time I’ve had for work on Stonekeep stuff, and while I’m excited and pleased that things are busy, I realize it’s going to be an intense trip. Really busy, aggressive, exciting times mixed with times of boredom. Sort of sounds like military service, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚
I’m going to dig around for a Blog client for my Palm phone so maybe I can make blog entries from the road, but otherwise ya’ll may have to wait until I get back in service range.
I will, btw, have message capability on the phone, drop me some mail for the address, and I can chitchat while hanging out in the airports.
Tally ho!

It’s ’80’s movies no one would ever watch’ week here!

I’m having fun sitting down and going through some of the “old bad” 80’s movies I have in the collection (about 400 titles right now), and I’m dusting off some of the oldies but goodies that it would take a true SF / Fantasy nut to sit down and purposefully put on the DVD or LD player to watch.
2 days ago when I was sick in bed, it was The Sword and the Sorcerer circa 1982, with Lee Horsley, the stud that he is, as the avenging warrior. Good stuff. Demons, big goofy swords, tons of palace guards to slice through, and a couple hottie peasant chicks and princesses. Mmm, good stuff.
Tonight, it was The Keep, Michael Mann’s 1983… err… SF? story about an imprisoned demon in a Romanian fortress. Apparently the book this movie is based on is outstanding, I’ll have to dig it up, but the movie is beautifully shot, and ranks up there in ‘my guilty 80’s movies pleasures’.
Aaand, what’s this? The Keep has some trailers at the end of the laserdisc. A trailer for The War of the Worlds (fantastic movie), and… Barbarella?!? Weird.

What a day.

I’m totally exhausted, but I have to just say I have an amazing group of friends and SO’s and just cool folks around me. For those not in the know, today was the culmination of Cat’s scheming and planning that resulted in a surprise birthday party for me on the Schooner Fame out of Salem. Although I had a few hints along the way, I had no reason to suspect the beauty of the boat, the 40 or so folks who showed up to yell SURPRISE!, and the lovely get together at homeport afterwards. There was food, a cake, family and friends all around.
Special thanks to Rosa for being wonderful company and apparent distractor leading up to the event, and of course to Cat for planning and executing a great party. Thanks to everyone involved for making it a very special day. Ya’ll are great.
There’ll be plenty more on this later, but for now I’m just too pooped.