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It's so quiet.....

Not sure I can really call this a con report since I only made it to two panels, but here goes.

Left early Friday afternoon, purchased a Birthday present for oneleggedman, checked in to the Duckon hotel, went downstairs to hang out, then remembered we didn't have any cake for Barry, went out in search of cake, thought that perhaps cupcakes would be a better idea, no serving implements or plates required. Plus the cupcakes had better decorations than the cakes, with more variation, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Harry Potter, Mumble of "Happy Feet", and butterflies. After that was done it was time to go to my RSVP Build a Blinkie Badge session, where I successfully soldered again! After building a blinkie I always have the urge to keep soldering, there must something else (relatively) easy to make that involves soldering. Aside from more blinkies, because they're fun, but there's really only so many one person can wear. Then, it was time to start setting up for the Capricon 28 party. We were a little bit late opening but had many guests and people seemed to enjoy the punch. I know I did. Checked out other parties as well but none were as cool as ours, yaaar!
Got up too early (and yet not early enough) to have breakfast and read a little before shilling at the Capricon 28 table. Met one of the proprietors of Celtic Home and Hearth whose name I wrote down but escapes me now, he was wearing a truly stunning Pirate Pimp hat and told me his name was Captain Doctor Jack (but I'm pretty sure he was making that up). He was a veritable fount of knowledge of medieval history, battles and weaponry, I kind of felt like I'd been to a panel just listening to him talk, very interesting.
At the table right next to ours were the folks from the World Bird Sanctuary, who had two of their owls at the table with them, Twig a teeny little sparrow-sized Eastern Screech Owl, and Xena, a two-foot long Eurasian Eagle Owl (the largest species of owl). They both sat on their perches calmly, the large numbers of people milling around didn't seem to bother them, although Twig seemed a little focused on watching Xena. Xena, for her part just sat there looking gorgeous while her keepers answered peoples' questions. I also learned quite a bit listening to them.
After that it was time for my first panel of the weekend (!), "Minorities in SF & Fantasy", with Nnedi Okorafor, Alan Dean Foster, and Lee Darrow. The panel was interesting because of the different viewpoints and we came to the conclusion the lack of minority representation in SF is something of a vicious circle: publishers think the SF audience is only interested in reading about white males as main characters so that's what they publish. When they have a main character of color they disguise that fact on the cover (in many cases). One example of this was Nnedi's next novel, The Shadow Speaker has a Sub-Saharan African girl as it's protagonist. But the ghostly image on the cover of the book is clearly the ghostly image of a white girl. That irritated me, I can hardly imagine how Nnedi felt when she first saw the cover. So publishers don't put people of color on the covers of books, generally, so anyone looking for a book with a main protagonist who's not white has trouble finding what they'd like to read, leading to lower sales for those books. It has to be extremely frustrating.
After the panel spot and I went out to find some geocaches in the area. When we got back it was time for dinner at Sushi House where the sushi was very good and very well-presented. Then there was a walk of several blocks through downtown Naperville on a Saturday night. I'm used to it but forgot how it might affect anyone who wasn't immune.
We made it back to the hotel just in time to catch the demo of not one, not two, but THREE tesla coils. Not all at once, obviously, but still, they were extremely cool. This year they also had them hooked up so they seemed to play music! That was really cool! From what I understand, the music was actually playing the Tesla coils, I think the theme from Super Mario and Tetris. At some point I'll figure out how to put the video of it up here so y'all can see it too.
After that it was time to drink up the rest of the rum from the night before while admiring everyone's outfits. I left a little early as I was tired from the lack of sleep the night before. The hotel ha promised me a roll-away bed the week before and when I checked in but apparently ran out so it was a good thing I brought my sleeping bag and air mattress (there were only four of us in our huge room, so it wasn't really a fannish barracks situation).
Sunday morning I had a nice breakfast with rmjwell and a member of Duck's concom. We talked Art Show for a while which was good, as I'm running Cap's next year.

That's it for now, except to say that I finally got to spend a bunch of time with erikvolson throughout the weekend and that was lots of fun all by itself.

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Elephants That Are on FIRE

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