mbernardi: (Default)
Thursday morning up at 7:00 off to Tim Hortons for my last breakfast in Canada (at least this year). A breakfast sandwich, with sausage pattie, egg and cheese, with coffee and toasted bagel with cream cheese.

I then went looking for the taxi rank, which I found so I can get a taxi to the airport, i find it very strnge that there are no train or bus links from the airport to the city.

Finished packing and stripped bed.

I'll be leaving in the next hour or so, and so this will be my last post until I get back to the UK!
mbernardi: (Default)
Thursday morning up at 7:00 off to Tim Hortons for my last breakfast in Canada (at least this year). A breakfast sandwich, with sausage pattie, egg and cheese, with coffee and toasted bagel with cream cheese.

I then went looking for the taxi rank, which I found so I can get a taxi to the airport, i find it very strnge that there are no train or bus links from the airport to the city.

Finished packing and stripped bed.

I'll be leaving in the next hour or so, and so this will be my last post until I get back to the UK!

Wednesday

Aug. 13th, 2009 08:59 am
mbernardi: (Default)
Followed one of the walks in the Official Tourist Guide around west Old Montreal, passing eggspectations for breakfast.I again had 4 pancakes with maple syrup, and 3 cups of coffee. It took about an hour from arrival to leaving. I also stopped at Victoria Square to buy stamps and to send some postcards home. I then went on with the walking tour till I got back to the docks.

The science centre was full of kids, but I got a self portraight, bought via webcam. I then started for Mount Royal, via Victoria Square again, where I had lunch, hot dog and fries with a can of 7up. finally got to the bottom of "the Mountain" at 14:30. Updated notes in the shade under some trees.

Walked up to Chalet du Mount Royal, took photos of Downtown, where the trees didn't obscure the view. Met Dave C and Henri (organised CSA visit). Then walked up to the Cross atop Mount Royal, unfortunately due to excessive tree growth you can't see anything BUT the Cross.

Walked back down to the same entrance I arrived at, at the top of Rue Peel, leaving at 16:30. I then walked down hill, past many McGill University buildings, until I got to the Peel Metro station. Bought a bottle of fruit drink, then got a single ticket for 2.75$, changed at Berri-UQAM and got off at Champ-de-Mars, the closest to my hostel taking less than 20 minutes instead of the hours I took when walking! The Metro is different in one major way to the tube (but not the DLR) in the the trains are next to each other. ie the train traveling north east goes through the same tunnel as the one going south west.

Caught up on LJ and email, D indicated the bathroom had been repaired (but had cost overruns). Looking forward to getting home. Must start packing!

Off for food after a couple of hours on-line. Had Italienne Poutine (a traditional quebecoise meal), comprising well fried French fries, covered in mozerella cheese. The Italienne being a beef tomato sauce. added to this was a pint of Sleeman Brewery Lager adding tip this came to 20.00$ I then had an ice cream cone for 3.00$ then back to my netbook.

Bed around 22:00, but singing outside (the heat and scratching) kept me waking up every hour until nearly three, when I slept through to 7:00.

Wednesday

Aug. 13th, 2009 08:59 am
mbernardi: (Default)
Followed one of the walks in the Official Tourist Guide around west Old Montreal, passing eggspectations for breakfast.I again had 4 pancakes with maple syrup, and 3 cups of coffee. It took about an hour from arrival to leaving. I also stopped at Victoria Square to buy stamps and to send some postcards home. I then went on with the walking tour till I got back to the docks.

The science centre was full of kids, but I got a self portraight, bought via webcam. I then started for Mount Royal, via Victoria Square again, where I had lunch, hot dog and fries with a can of 7up. finally got to the bottom of "the Mountain" at 14:30. Updated notes in the shade under some trees.

Walked up to Chalet du Mount Royal, took photos of Downtown, where the trees didn't obscure the view. Met Dave C and Henri (organised CSA visit). Then walked up to the Cross atop Mount Royal, unfortunately due to excessive tree growth you can't see anything BUT the Cross.

Walked back down to the same entrance I arrived at, at the top of Rue Peel, leaving at 16:30. I then walked down hill, past many McGill University buildings, until I got to the Peel Metro station. Bought a bottle of fruit drink, then got a single ticket for 2.75$, changed at Berri-UQAM and got off at Champ-de-Mars, the closest to my hostel taking less than 20 minutes instead of the hours I took when walking! The Metro is different in one major way to the tube (but not the DLR) in the the trains are next to each other. ie the train traveling north east goes through the same tunnel as the one going south west.

Caught up on LJ and email, D indicated the bathroom had been repaired (but had cost overruns). Looking forward to getting home. Must start packing!

Off for food after a couple of hours on-line. Had Italienne Poutine (a traditional quebecoise meal), comprising well fried French fries, covered in mozerella cheese. The Italienne being a beef tomato sauce. added to this was a pint of Sleeman Brewery Lager adding tip this came to 20.00$ I then had an ice cream cone for 3.00$ then back to my netbook.

Bed around 22:00, but singing outside (the heat and scratching) kept me waking up every hour until nearly three, when I slept through to 7:00.
mbernardi: (Default)
The Con-suite opened at 18:45 but I finished off with netbook before queuing for a smoked meat sandwich and a beer, stayed and chatted for an hour then went down to the basement for the filking, did some browsing (filk lyrics) using the Sugar OS, on my eeepc, even joined in some choruses (especially with Keris).

About 21:30 decided to go up to the con-suite on the 5th floor for the dead dog (le chein mort) party just to get a bite and a drink. Arrived just as the last of the Baen goodies had been given out. I got a CD-Rom vol 20, all the books had gone. (They had finally arrived 2 days late). Ruth B had got a Fledgling ARC as had Elisabeth C. Ian T was also there, I got bit more food and another beer. We propped up one of the corridor wall for the next hour or so and were joined by Larry who tried to con people into trying Stroh/Austrian Rum. AKA rocket fuel/paint striper from his hip flask. Dave C came along later with a more palatable hip flask content. I finally left at 23:15 and got back to the hostel 23:40 bed ten minutes later. didn't get back to the filk ;-(

Up on Tuesday at 6:55, tried to get a WiFi signal via Sugar and was successful, though the lack of Flash is a bit of a problem. Left 7:45 for breakfast at Tim Hortons, aging breakfast combo with coffee and bagel with cream cheese. Got the the Delta Hotel 8:15 then had a half hour wait before any action occurred. but since I didn't want to miss something I couldn't start reading.

Eventually all 46 people arrived for the journey to the Canadian Space Agency / Agence spatiale canadienne. Unfortunately the bus was too big to fit under the hotel porch, and it was raining. I got wet, but mostly due to running through a puddle, and having to wait to board the bus. We left only 5 minutes late at 9:05. The journey, which was very grey and wet took 30 minutes, and was faster than expected. The CSA is a working science centre, and isn't normally open to the public, but tours can be arranged. The group was split in two and our guide normally worked on the Webb telescope due to launch in 2014, and she had been working on it for the last 10+ years!

Canada (like the UK) doesn't have it's own launch capacity and has become expert in small satellites, and the robotic systems of the ISS. We saw models and live links with the ISS. One and a half hours went by very quickly and we had to leave at 11:35, getting back to the Delta hotel by just after 12:00 Some goodies (stickers, pamphlets etc) where available after leaving the bus. The weather had taken a turn for the better and it was now sunny!

Walked back to the convention centre via Victoria Square to have lunch at Tom Hortons, backed beans and a roll, with a donut and coffee. Then typed up notes to date.

Went toward the docks and ended up at Pointe-à-Callière where Montreal was founded in 1642. For 14$ I got to view the ruins, have a one hour guided tour and meet Stellan ,before going to the Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters exhibition, left at 17:45 just be fore it closed got an ice cream and then paid 32$ for the Amphi Tour of Old Montréal and the St Lawrence River taking one hour ten minutes (I need to use up my Canadian dollars!).

Usually it's bilingual, but everyone was Anglophone so it was all in English. Leaving from outside the Science Museum at 18:40, we had a interesting tour, out guide Charles didn't have English as his first language but was very fluent, only a few word usages indication his birth tongue.
When we got back I walked along one of the Quays and then along Rue de la Commune to the Place Jacques Cartier where I bought a maple syrup crepe and lemonade Snapple. Then watched the end of a comedy juggling act which finished with the juggling of 2 knives and what appears to be a heavy and possibly sharp axe. Give the performance 1$ (since I didn't see the beginning. Then back to the hostel for just after 21:00. Updated notes, but may go out for some more food.

Did go to Tom Hortons, just down the road for coffee and donuts. Also bought postcards at the Pointe-à-Callière gift shop and will try to send them off on Wednesday.

Up about 7:00 on Wednesday morning, lots of bites all over my body, and had to apply cream to stop me scratching. Went searching on iGoogle for addresses so I could send off postcards, filled out all addresses. Checked on email and LJ.

Now off for breakfast
mbernardi: (Default)
The Con-suite opened at 18:45 but I finished off with netbook before queuing for a smoked meat sandwich and a beer, stayed and chatted for an hour then went down to the basement for the filking, did some browsing (filk lyrics) using the Sugar OS, on my eeepc, even joined in some choruses (especially with Keris).

About 21:30 decided to go up to the con-suite on the 5th floor for the dead dog (le chein mort) party just to get a bite and a drink. Arrived just as the last of the Baen goodies had been given out. I got a CD-Rom vol 20, all the books had gone. (They had finally arrived 2 days late). Ruth B had got a Fledgling ARC as had Elisabeth C. Ian T was also there, I got bit more food and another beer. We propped up one of the corridor wall for the next hour or so and were joined by Larry who tried to con people into trying Stroh/Austrian Rum. AKA rocket fuel/paint striper from his hip flask. Dave C came along later with a more palatable hip flask content. I finally left at 23:15 and got back to the hostel 23:40 bed ten minutes later. didn't get back to the filk ;-(

Up on Tuesday at 6:55, tried to get a WiFi signal via Sugar and was successful, though the lack of Flash is a bit of a problem. Left 7:45 for breakfast at Tim Hortons, aging breakfast combo with coffee and bagel with cream cheese. Got the the Delta Hotel 8:15 then had a half hour wait before any action occurred. but since I didn't want to miss something I couldn't start reading.

Eventually all 46 people arrived for the journey to the Canadian Space Agency / Agence spatiale canadienne. Unfortunately the bus was too big to fit under the hotel porch, and it was raining. I got wet, but mostly due to running through a puddle, and having to wait to board the bus. We left only 5 minutes late at 9:05. The journey, which was very grey and wet took 30 minutes, and was faster than expected. The CSA is a working science centre, and isn't normally open to the public, but tours can be arranged. The group was split in two and our guide normally worked on the Webb telescope due to launch in 2014, and she had been working on it for the last 10+ years!

Canada (like the UK) doesn't have it's own launch capacity and has become expert in small satellites, and the robotic systems of the ISS. We saw models and live links with the ISS. One and a half hours went by very quickly and we had to leave at 11:35, getting back to the Delta hotel by just after 12:00 Some goodies (stickers, pamphlets etc) where available after leaving the bus. The weather had taken a turn for the better and it was now sunny!

Walked back to the convention centre via Victoria Square to have lunch at Tom Hortons, backed beans and a roll, with a donut and coffee. Then typed up notes to date.

Went toward the docks and ended up at Pointe-à-Callière where Montreal was founded in 1642. For 14$ I got to view the ruins, have a one hour guided tour and meet Stellan ,before going to the Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters exhibition, left at 17:45 just be fore it closed got an ice cream and then paid 32$ for the Amphi Tour of Old Montréal and the St Lawrence River taking one hour ten minutes (I need to use up my Canadian dollars!).

Usually it's bilingual, but everyone was Anglophone so it was all in English. Leaving from outside the Science Museum at 18:40, we had a interesting tour, out guide Charles didn't have English as his first language but was very fluent, only a few word usages indication his birth tongue.
When we got back I walked along one of the Quays and then along Rue de la Commune to the Place Jacques Cartier where I bought a maple syrup crepe and lemonade Snapple. Then watched the end of a comedy juggling act which finished with the juggling of 2 knives and what appears to be a heavy and possibly sharp axe. Give the performance 1$ (since I didn't see the beginning. Then back to the hostel for just after 21:00. Updated notes, but may go out for some more food.

Did go to Tom Hortons, just down the road for coffee and donuts. Also bought postcards at the Pointe-à-Callière gift shop and will try to send them off on Wednesday.

Up about 7:00 on Wednesday morning, lots of bites all over my body, and had to apply cream to stop me scratching. Went searching on iGoogle for addresses so I could send off postcards, filled out all addresses. Checked on email and LJ.

Now off for breakfast

Monday

Aug. 10th, 2009 07:07 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Yesterday got a number of comments on my Vogon T-Shirt (more than all my others put together)

Got up Monday morning at 6:30 and showered, I haven't mentioned the showers before but I feel I have to at least one. They are cubicals and only have a single tap. The water temperature is dependant on what it was set by the staff, and isn't user controllable. It ranges from tepid to near boiling!

After this I caught up on LJ and email and at around 7:00 it rained. Finished just after 8:00 and in the light drizzle went to the Tom Hortons near by, and got my usual "scone/biscuit" with egg and sausage, coffee and added bagel and cream cheese all for under 5.00$

Air still damp as I finished walking to the con.

Added to my notes, collected spoof newsletter. A really good panel on How Much History does an SF Writer Need to Know? In which Connie Willis noted all idiocy is caused by gettin' likker'd up!

Then to How to Use you XO in the teen program which was a hands on session with the Sugar OS bootable from USB stick, I was able to successfully use my EEEPC as a OLPC. I also got one of my SD cards formatted to boot from the Sugar OS. Need to check out Sugar labs as the current beta appears to allow peer to peer networking (as the XO does) BUT without extra hardware.

Back to the exhibition hall, to prove the WiFi use of Sugar. I also was able to look at, photo and handle the current Hugo award sample.

Then broke down a bought a book from Chapters.ca "The Edge of Reason" by Melinda Snodgrass, signed. Also got "Lifelode" by Jo Walton from Nesfa.

Then to Tom Hortons for a egg and salad sandwich, vegetable soup and a coffee for 6.37$ inc tax. Typed up notes out side the filk room, where first Rhodri J then Jordin K were singing.

David Hartwell's Sartorial Splendor Scramble including a fashion show by those members of the audience who had dressed up for the occasion.

Met Ruth and Alayne again at George RR Martin reading, dozed off half way through, as I hadn't read the earlier books in the series.

Then to the closing ceremony where 3 of the guests had already disappeared!

Was able to say good bye to FilkerDave

Wandered the convention centre looking for the underground route to the Delta, and finally found it. There was actually a food court under the Delta. When I exited James, Marna and Lorraine were waiting outside of the Delta, so we chatted for a bit then I went into reception where I met a few filkers and due to my 6of33.com shirt discussed Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Then up to the 5th floor to discover the con suite was closed until 19:00 so sat an updated my notes and managed to connect to Delta's WiFi. Ruth B turned up as theconsuite opened.

Monday

Aug. 10th, 2009 07:07 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Yesterday got a number of comments on my Vogon T-Shirt (more than all my others put together)

Got up Monday morning at 6:30 and showered, I haven't mentioned the showers before but I feel I have to at least one. They are cubicals and only have a single tap. The water temperature is dependant on what it was set by the staff, and isn't user controllable. It ranges from tepid to near boiling!

After this I caught up on LJ and email and at around 7:00 it rained. Finished just after 8:00 and in the light drizzle went to the Tom Hortons near by, and got my usual "scone/biscuit" with egg and sausage, coffee and added bagel and cream cheese all for under 5.00$

Air still damp as I finished walking to the con.

Added to my notes, collected spoof newsletter. A really good panel on How Much History does an SF Writer Need to Know? In which Connie Willis noted all idiocy is caused by gettin' likker'd up!

Then to How to Use you XO in the teen program which was a hands on session with the Sugar OS bootable from USB stick, I was able to successfully use my EEEPC as a OLPC. I also got one of my SD cards formatted to boot from the Sugar OS. Need to check out Sugar labs as the current beta appears to allow peer to peer networking (as the XO does) BUT without extra hardware.

Back to the exhibition hall, to prove the WiFi use of Sugar. I also was able to look at, photo and handle the current Hugo award sample.

Then broke down a bought a book from Chapters.ca "The Edge of Reason" by Melinda Snodgrass, signed. Also got "Lifelode" by Jo Walton from Nesfa.

Then to Tom Hortons for a egg and salad sandwich, vegetable soup and a coffee for 6.37$ inc tax. Typed up notes out side the filk room, where first Rhodri J then Jordin K were singing.

David Hartwell's Sartorial Splendor Scramble including a fashion show by those members of the audience who had dressed up for the occasion.

Met Ruth and Alayne again at George RR Martin reading, dozed off half way through, as I hadn't read the earlier books in the series.

Then to the closing ceremony where 3 of the guests had already disappeared!

Was able to say good bye to FilkerDave

Wandered the convention centre looking for the underground route to the Delta, and finally found it. There was actually a food court under the Delta. When I exited James, Marna and Lorraine were waiting outside of the Delta, so we chatted for a bit then I went into reception where I met a few filkers and due to my 6of33.com shirt discussed Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Then up to the 5th floor to discover the con suite was closed until 19:00 so sat an updated my notes and managed to connect to Delta's WiFi. Ruth B turned up as theconsuite opened.

Sunday

Aug. 10th, 2009 08:10 am
mbernardi: (Default)
As I was cleaning my teeth last night, someone noticed my badge and indicated he was at the con too. Bed 23:30. I seem to be getting used to the air mattress, I'm only waking up once a night!

PS The convention newsletter (generated by the Plotka Cabal who are mostly English) can be seen at www.anticipationsf.ca/English/Newsletter/ for a more rounded view of the con.

Up on Sunday 7:30 attempted to check email but failed. Had to leave just after 8:00 for the Friends of Liad breakfast. Got to eggspectation at 8:20, waited til 8:30 when Ruth B arrived, and we went in, to discover a long table of LoFs! We started an overflow and had a good chat and breakfast. I had 4 pancakes with Maple Syrup, the obligatory 3 slices of fruit, and coffee. Finally left just before 10:00!

Went to the Art Show to have a look at the Best in Show, by a first time convention attendee, and finally broke down and bought a print of "Parrots of the Caribbean" by Charlene Taylor D'Alessio for 16.93$ inc Tax.

Got to a panel discussion cataloging sites, LiibraryThing and GoodReads

This was followed by an author reading by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Margaret Ronald, Seanan McGuire and laura Anne Gillman (the last two were the authors I'd heard off, Seanan as a filker, as her first novel is out in September Rosemary and Rue.

Went for lunch at Tim Hortons, had asparagus soup and BLT roll, with coffee for 7.50$

I missed the first 15 minutes of the Invention of the Canon, which in this case was for the SF field, ie what changed the field, not necessarily the best but the most influential.

Caught the last half of Seanan McGuire's filk set (I must buy her CDs) then spent half an hour with the use of replicators, but found it so uninteresting I had to leave (no-one had actually used one!)

Updated my notes then went to the Baen Books Traveling Slideshow, which unfortunately didn't have much in the way of give always due to the delivery person not arriving! Met Ruth B there, again! Some cool looking books that some of the authors were there to talk about, and I made a note to look for.

Went looking for food and ate a beef pita at Basha, sat with ckd ex listie and chatted then sat intending to update my notes but there were 2 Bujold fans and I got in a discussion. After 15 minutes we were leaving and I couldn't find my bag ! again! back to the food court and found it under my chair. This is not good!

As it was between panel start time I decided to see what was happening in the filk room, which was at one end of the convention hall, but luckily not far from the big hall, where the Hugos started at 20:00. F rank K directed listies to a block seating, Sat next to Frank and Elizabeth. The results have been published elsewhere so i won't duplicate them. A few (including Neil Gaiman) were surprised at winning and didn't have anything prepared. Frank Wu was the most enthusiastic, and flew his rocketship around the stage!

After the awards I spotted James demoing his ebook reader, then went to the Delta , the first evening I'd managed this. I found myself queuing with Lillian Stewart Carl and Paul Carl (and commiserated on loosing the Hugo), and we rode up to the 28th floor together. I popped in to the Baen party but didn't stop, instead to the consuite on the 5th floor, for spaghetti and meat sauce which was very good, met Stellan again and Janet B ex-listie and artist. Had a soda and caught the lift down to the ground, and shared it with Lillian and Paul again!

Back to bed for my latest night 23:00!

Sunday

Aug. 10th, 2009 08:10 am
mbernardi: (Default)
As I was cleaning my teeth last night, someone noticed my badge and indicated he was at the con too. Bed 23:30. I seem to be getting used to the air mattress, I'm only waking up once a night!

PS The convention newsletter (generated by the Plotka Cabal who are mostly English) can be seen at www.anticipationsf.ca/English/Newsletter/ for a more rounded view of the con.

Up on Sunday 7:30 attempted to check email but failed. Had to leave just after 8:00 for the Friends of Liad breakfast. Got to eggspectation at 8:20, waited til 8:30 when Ruth B arrived, and we went in, to discover a long table of LoFs! We started an overflow and had a good chat and breakfast. I had 4 pancakes with Maple Syrup, the obligatory 3 slices of fruit, and coffee. Finally left just before 10:00!

Went to the Art Show to have a look at the Best in Show, by a first time convention attendee, and finally broke down and bought a print of "Parrots of the Caribbean" by Charlene Taylor D'Alessio for 16.93$ inc Tax.

Got to a panel discussion cataloging sites, LiibraryThing and GoodReads

This was followed by an author reading by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Margaret Ronald, Seanan McGuire and laura Anne Gillman (the last two were the authors I'd heard off, Seanan as a filker, as her first novel is out in September Rosemary and Rue.

Went for lunch at Tim Hortons, had asparagus soup and BLT roll, with coffee for 7.50$

I missed the first 15 minutes of the Invention of the Canon, which in this case was for the SF field, ie what changed the field, not necessarily the best but the most influential.

Caught the last half of Seanan McGuire's filk set (I must buy her CDs) then spent half an hour with the use of replicators, but found it so uninteresting I had to leave (no-one had actually used one!)

Updated my notes then went to the Baen Books Traveling Slideshow, which unfortunately didn't have much in the way of give always due to the delivery person not arriving! Met Ruth B there, again! Some cool looking books that some of the authors were there to talk about, and I made a note to look for.

Went looking for food and ate a beef pita at Basha, sat with ckd ex listie and chatted then sat intending to update my notes but there were 2 Bujold fans and I got in a discussion. After 15 minutes we were leaving and I couldn't find my bag ! again! back to the food court and found it under my chair. This is not good!

As it was between panel start time I decided to see what was happening in the filk room, which was at one end of the convention hall, but luckily not far from the big hall, where the Hugos started at 20:00. F rank K directed listies to a block seating, Sat next to Frank and Elizabeth. The results have been published elsewhere so i won't duplicate them. A few (including Neil Gaiman) were surprised at winning and didn't have anything prepared. Frank Wu was the most enthusiastic, and flew his rocketship around the stage!

After the awards I spotted James demoing his ebook reader, then went to the Delta , the first evening I'd managed this. I found myself queuing with Lillian Stewart Carl and Paul Carl (and commiserated on loosing the Hugo), and we rode up to the 28th floor together. I popped in to the Baen party but didn't stop, instead to the consuite on the 5th floor, for spaghetti and meat sauce which was very good, met Stellan again and Janet B ex-listie and artist. Had a soda and caught the lift down to the ground, and shared it with Lillian and Paul again!

Back to bed for my latest night 23:00!

Saturday

Aug. 8th, 2009 10:46 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Saturday morning I was up early hoping to use the wireless access at the hostel, but still failing ;-(. Then suddenly after 15 minutes trying all started working! Others are frying breakfast and I'm starting to feel peckish!

So I walked to the convention centre stopping at Tim Hortons where I had the same breakfast as previously, but with bacon not sausage. Discovered eggspectations where the Friends of Liad are meeting on Sunday morning.

I sat a read for a bit first thing then went to a discussion of Alternative Power, real world not SF. As I was leaving I discovered I hadn't got my bag! Deja vu from last year. I hurried back to where I'd been reading, and it was still there!

There was then a presentation of Tor's new hard and trade covers, though it took a while for a projector to appear. I then disappeared o eggspectations for lunch. I had an omelette with mushrooms and shallots, with fried potatoes, with a side order of melon and pineapple, and peanut butter and strawberry jam on toast with a cup of coffee, all for 12.40$ The service for delivery of food was OK but it took forever to get the bill!

I got back to the convention centre and caught the last half hour of the SRM Publishing panel. I was then going to go to the Neil Gaimen reading, but as I passed by it was standing room only so went to the dealers room (met Dave W on the escalator and had a quick chat)

Found a spot in the exhibition hall where the free wifi worked and updated my notes. At 15:20 I trekked to the far end of the convention centre, passing James, Cat and Marna and getting a hug from the latter. Arrived at the CSA presentation on Mars, to find there was a problem connecting the Apple laptop to the projector. A solution was found, but it took a while. When everything worked (mostly) it was an interesting history and projection into the future.

This was followed by Aunts in Space a discussion on the minority of stories with space going Aunts, and a growing trend in older protagonists, and supporting characters. Write what you know being the mantra for all authors, and there is a growing number of older female authors ;-) Where the definition of older is left to the reader.

I then went looking for food and got an ice cream cookie bar to tide me over while I queued at Tim Hortons hoping for soup but it had all gone, so I had to make do with a raisin bagle and a yogurt and berries cup.

Did a bit of reading before Panel in the Pool which discussed the likelihood of aquatic intelligence, especially that of dolphins and octopi.

And then it was time for the Masquerade, over twenty entries and a packed auditorium. There were many excellent costumes and a few groneworthy ones. It finished 15 minutes earlier than programmed and so I went to the roof to see if I could see the firework display that started at 22:00 to the east of the con. Since it was chilly, and the fireworks were in the direction of the hostel I decided to return, and possibly watch from there. Stopping for donuts and coffee at the Tim Hortons I discovered the door key code had changed and I needed to get the new one from reception. The fireworks weren't visible either.

Saturday

Aug. 8th, 2009 10:46 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Saturday morning I was up early hoping to use the wireless access at the hostel, but still failing ;-(. Then suddenly after 15 minutes trying all started working! Others are frying breakfast and I'm starting to feel peckish!

So I walked to the convention centre stopping at Tim Hortons where I had the same breakfast as previously, but with bacon not sausage. Discovered eggspectations where the Friends of Liad are meeting on Sunday morning.

I sat a read for a bit first thing then went to a discussion of Alternative Power, real world not SF. As I was leaving I discovered I hadn't got my bag! Deja vu from last year. I hurried back to where I'd been reading, and it was still there!

There was then a presentation of Tor's new hard and trade covers, though it took a while for a projector to appear. I then disappeared o eggspectations for lunch. I had an omelette with mushrooms and shallots, with fried potatoes, with a side order of melon and pineapple, and peanut butter and strawberry jam on toast with a cup of coffee, all for 12.40$ The service for delivery of food was OK but it took forever to get the bill!

I got back to the convention centre and caught the last half hour of the SRM Publishing panel. I was then going to go to the Neil Gaimen reading, but as I passed by it was standing room only so went to the dealers room (met Dave W on the escalator and had a quick chat)

Found a spot in the exhibition hall where the free wifi worked and updated my notes. At 15:20 I trekked to the far end of the convention centre, passing James, Cat and Marna and getting a hug from the latter. Arrived at the CSA presentation on Mars, to find there was a problem connecting the Apple laptop to the projector. A solution was found, but it took a while. When everything worked (mostly) it was an interesting history and projection into the future.

This was followed by Aunts in Space a discussion on the minority of stories with space going Aunts, and a growing trend in older protagonists, and supporting characters. Write what you know being the mantra for all authors, and there is a growing number of older female authors ;-) Where the definition of older is left to the reader.

I then went looking for food and got an ice cream cookie bar to tide me over while I queued at Tim Hortons hoping for soup but it had all gone, so I had to make do with a raisin bagle and a yogurt and berries cup.

Did a bit of reading before Panel in the Pool which discussed the likelihood of aquatic intelligence, especially that of dolphins and octopi.

And then it was time for the Masquerade, over twenty entries and a packed auditorium. There were many excellent costumes and a few groneworthy ones. It finished 15 minutes earlier than programmed and so I went to the roof to see if I could see the firework display that started at 22:00 to the east of the con. Since it was chilly, and the fireworks were in the direction of the hostel I decided to return, and possibly watch from there. Stopping for donuts and coffee at the Tim Hortons I discovered the door key code had changed and I needed to get the new one from reception. The fireworks weren't visible either.

Friday

Aug. 8th, 2009 07:09 am
mbernardi: (Default)
To bed at around 23:00, music finished fifteen minutes later.

Woke up Friday morning at 7:50 out by 8:05 walked to the convention center and discovered the Tom Hortons there was a queue around the block! So went to Subway instead and had a breakfast wrap, with egg bacon and salad. The bacon wasn't as crispy as that found further south!


I spent the morning at different readings, first thing Daniel Dern read very short stories and limericks from his Dern Grimm Bedtime Tales, Sharon Lee then read from Carousel Tides, and Steve Miller finished with a snippet from Fledgling.

I then went to Lillian Stuart Carl's reading, only to find myself the only member of the audience, for the first half of the reading. i had a chance to chat and walked with her to the green room after.

GoH Elisabeth Vonarburg then read a couple of short stories from her new collection Blood Out of a Stone, and then two snippet from a novella therein. I'm going to have to try an buy this later. Met Ruth B out side of the dealers rooms and had a chat about our morning, Then got in a bit of typing.

Had a brief chat with Elizabeth C and Ian T before going to the Non Fiction Hugo reading, as I promised Lillian. It was a bit of a curates egg, good in parts. Paul Kincaid really went on too long, as the original one hour program had to expand to 90min to allow all participants to finish. Lillian's early Lois story, and John Scalzi's rant on Star Wars were wonderful though.

I then wended my way to Tom Hortons for chicken noodle soup and roll, coffee, and a donut. Then to the exhibition hall to update my blog and TRY to get online with no luck.

There followed a Open Office presentation, using an eeepc by Tom Easton, on the subject of 3d printing from commercial machines costing tens of thousands of dollars to open source machines costing less than a thousand dollars. The Obligatory Stargate panel followed which I left after an hour to go looking for somewhere to get toothpaste, and cream for insect bites. Then to Basha in the convention centre for chicken / rice / potatoes and salad for dinner, Ian and Elizabeth were eating there and gave it a thumbs up. I went the take out route, rather than the sit down menu as I needed to get to the Faking Paper: ebook panel at 19:00, with James B, Kathryn Sullivan, Alon Ziv and Karen Wester Newton.

I then finally spent an hour in the filk track, getting a Bon Filk! ribbon and listening to songs From the Earth to the Moon. space sons from Sputnik to the shuttle, when I left, as I wanted to hear the live audio performance of a play by James Patrick Kelly. This was a horror story with hints of fantasy, with all the parts by played by 6 "actors" with sound effects. Very good, even if I'd have preferred a more SyFy story line!

And once again I left early for my bed, I timed my walking time without stopping and it was only 7 minutes. Tried to get online at the hostel but failed. Will try in the morning.

Friday

Aug. 8th, 2009 07:09 am
mbernardi: (Default)
To bed at around 23:00, music finished fifteen minutes later.

Woke up Friday morning at 7:50 out by 8:05 walked to the convention center and discovered the Tom Hortons there was a queue around the block! So went to Subway instead and had a breakfast wrap, with egg bacon and salad. The bacon wasn't as crispy as that found further south!


I spent the morning at different readings, first thing Daniel Dern read very short stories and limericks from his Dern Grimm Bedtime Tales, Sharon Lee then read from Carousel Tides, and Steve Miller finished with a snippet from Fledgling.

I then went to Lillian Stuart Carl's reading, only to find myself the only member of the audience, for the first half of the reading. i had a chance to chat and walked with her to the green room after.

GoH Elisabeth Vonarburg then read a couple of short stories from her new collection Blood Out of a Stone, and then two snippet from a novella therein. I'm going to have to try an buy this later. Met Ruth B out side of the dealers rooms and had a chat about our morning, Then got in a bit of typing.

Had a brief chat with Elizabeth C and Ian T before going to the Non Fiction Hugo reading, as I promised Lillian. It was a bit of a curates egg, good in parts. Paul Kincaid really went on too long, as the original one hour program had to expand to 90min to allow all participants to finish. Lillian's early Lois story, and John Scalzi's rant on Star Wars were wonderful though.

I then wended my way to Tom Hortons for chicken noodle soup and roll, coffee, and a donut. Then to the exhibition hall to update my blog and TRY to get online with no luck.

There followed a Open Office presentation, using an eeepc by Tom Easton, on the subject of 3d printing from commercial machines costing tens of thousands of dollars to open source machines costing less than a thousand dollars. The Obligatory Stargate panel followed which I left after an hour to go looking for somewhere to get toothpaste, and cream for insect bites. Then to Basha in the convention centre for chicken / rice / potatoes and salad for dinner, Ian and Elizabeth were eating there and gave it a thumbs up. I went the take out route, rather than the sit down menu as I needed to get to the Faking Paper: ebook panel at 19:00, with James B, Kathryn Sullivan, Alon Ziv and Karen Wester Newton.

I then finally spent an hour in the filk track, getting a Bon Filk! ribbon and listening to songs From the Earth to the Moon. space sons from Sputnik to the shuttle, when I left, as I wanted to hear the live audio performance of a play by James Patrick Kelly. This was a horror story with hints of fantasy, with all the parts by played by 6 "actors" with sound effects. Very good, even if I'd have preferred a more SyFy story line!

And once again I left early for my bed, I timed my walking time without stopping and it was only 7 minutes. Tried to get online at the hostel but failed. Will try in the morning.
mbernardi: (Default)
Spent about and hour catching up on LJ and email. washed up and then to bed just after 10:30 when everything goes quiet. Slept better, but still woke up at 6:30 out by 7:05 and stopped of at the near by Tom Hortons, for the breakfast combo, scrambled egg and sausage pattie in a scone/biscuit with a hash brown cookie/biscuit and coffee for 5.06$. Then wandered to the convention, and spotted Vojay (3rd in the limo) at breakfast.

I then bought some gum and had a very weird conversation with the cashier. Everything was spoken in French and then repeated in English! Very odd, but bring home the bilingual nature of Montreal like nothing else.

Read some of the Program books, then shared a power socket with Annette B, withe her Mac. A listie face I recognised, but the name escapes me, [Frank K] passed by and we had a short talk, James has something organised for later....

Wrote up notes to date.

Started making a list of everyone I spoke to. Met Lillian Stuart Carl, and her husband Paul, congratulated her on her Hugo nomination.

Wandered around on the 5th floor and sat and chatted to Ruth B for a while Elizabeth C turned up from Glasgow, and I just spotted James B as he hurried away, he's hosting a tea party later today apparently for listies.

The first program item was on Open Science, and interesting discussion occurred between participants and audience.

I then went hunting lunch, and had beef and barley soup with a roll at tom Hortons for 2.89$

There was less interest generated by Ebooks from the reader's and writer's perspective. Probably because a one hour panel was stretched to 90 minutes.

Then decided to visit the exhibition hall,. Saw Taral (GoH) at home, a photographic representation of two rooms. Then wandered the Dealers area (must buy Jo Walton's book from Nesfa), and site selection.

Found seat and table near the fan lounge to update and will go next to the Art Show.
[Later- 22:00]

So I went around the art show, only to discover that it was 17:20 and the James B hosted tea party was due to start, so I hot-footed to the Delta to near the top floor, where I got hugged by Marna, and chatted to more people than I can remember. I ate a ginger scone with cream and strawberry jam, scone with chocolate chips, and fruit salad, with tea. And time passed and then I had to leave if I wanted to get to the Opening ceremony at 20:00. From the top floor of the Delta hotel to room Palais des congres 517 took 20 minutes, and so I was 10 minutes late.

Fortunately everything was being translated into French so effectively I was only 5 minutes late! The first Canadian astronaught gave the first speech (and since he appeared to be MP for the area we got a scifi two for one). there followed an unexpected contortionist act then the guests were introduced.

I decided to buy myself a torch, an LED one for 9.99$+Tax, since I always seemed to get in after lights out! Then had a bagel and chocolate for supper (having mostly filled up on scones!) Then back to the hostel, only to find a live musical performance taking place in the court yard.
mbernardi: (Default)
Spent about and hour catching up on LJ and email. washed up and then to bed just after 10:30 when everything goes quiet. Slept better, but still woke up at 6:30 out by 7:05 and stopped of at the near by Tom Hortons, for the breakfast combo, scrambled egg and sausage pattie in a scone/biscuit with a hash brown cookie/biscuit and coffee for 5.06$. Then wandered to the convention, and spotted Vojay (3rd in the limo) at breakfast.

I then bought some gum and had a very weird conversation with the cashier. Everything was spoken in French and then repeated in English! Very odd, but bring home the bilingual nature of Montreal like nothing else.

Read some of the Program books, then shared a power socket with Annette B, withe her Mac. A listie face I recognised, but the name escapes me, [Frank K] passed by and we had a short talk, James has something organised for later....

Wrote up notes to date.

Started making a list of everyone I spoke to. Met Lillian Stuart Carl, and her husband Paul, congratulated her on her Hugo nomination.

Wandered around on the 5th floor and sat and chatted to Ruth B for a while Elizabeth C turned up from Glasgow, and I just spotted James B as he hurried away, he's hosting a tea party later today apparently for listies.

The first program item was on Open Science, and interesting discussion occurred between participants and audience.

I then went hunting lunch, and had beef and barley soup with a roll at tom Hortons for 2.89$

There was less interest generated by Ebooks from the reader's and writer's perspective. Probably because a one hour panel was stretched to 90 minutes.

Then decided to visit the exhibition hall,. Saw Taral (GoH) at home, a photographic representation of two rooms. Then wandered the Dealers area (must buy Jo Walton's book from Nesfa), and site selection.

Found seat and table near the fan lounge to update and will go next to the Art Show.
[Later- 22:00]

So I went around the art show, only to discover that it was 17:20 and the James B hosted tea party was due to start, so I hot-footed to the Delta to near the top floor, where I got hugged by Marna, and chatted to more people than I can remember. I ate a ginger scone with cream and strawberry jam, scone with chocolate chips, and fruit salad, with tea. And time passed and then I had to leave if I wanted to get to the Opening ceremony at 20:00. From the top floor of the Delta hotel to room Palais des congres 517 took 20 minutes, and so I was 10 minutes late.

Fortunately everything was being translated into French so effectively I was only 5 minutes late! The first Canadian astronaught gave the first speech (and since he appeared to be MP for the area we got a scifi two for one). there followed an unexpected contortionist act then the guests were introduced.

I decided to buy myself a torch, an LED one for 9.99$+Tax, since I always seemed to get in after lights out! Then had a bagel and chocolate for supper (having mostly filled up on scones!) Then back to the hostel, only to find a live musical performance taking place in the court yard.
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.

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