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May 4th, 2011

Penguicon 2011


Penguicon 2011 was a bit different for me compared to other years and I can't quite place what happened or why, exactly. A couple things are obvious, and I am not blaming the con staff (who worked their butts off putting on the event) for any of it.

I seemed to get a late start on anything ACME, which didn't help, and there wasn't all that much of that, which was both good and bad. It's easy to (try to) do too much but it's nice to be able to more than just a couple outings. It became rather painfully obvious that I lost proper control of my weight and it's like it's January 2006 for me again. This is Not Good. It is being worked on. Again. It also became obvious that one 100-count box of Cow Tales (per flavor) is plenty. It's also probably most cost effective and reliable to order the 100-count boxes rather than deal with the supply the way(s) I have been. And I should probably rule out late night deliveries - I end up preparing for them rather than doing anything else and, hey, I'd like to see/do some of the convention too. For various reasons, the BarFleet party is best avoided: too dark, too loud, too many people who seem to lack clue sober, and they aren't.

Sal Sanfratello was not there (evidently he was not feeling well) and thus the usual Sunday evening gathering didn't happen. On the good side, I had time for a much needed nap and I saw the post-Penguicon stuff I usually don't. On the bad side, I didn't do the stuff or see the people I usually did each year.

Even with the limited ACME/Orvan outings I still only really made one panel if it can be called that. I had too much of a headache to deal with the loudness of a Tom Smith performance, but I could handle the slightly quieter Frank Hayes.

I didn't hear anything of badge ribbons before Penguicon this year, but then I didn't go out of my way to ask either. Perhaps I need to be on some mailing list I'm not on. I don't know. Just as well, I doubt I'd have ordered any more anyway. I had plenty of leftover ribbons from last year. The most popular or sought after (or at least the one that I heard "Ooh, I was looking for this one!" about) was the 'NOT WIL WHEATON' ribbon. I suspect I will not be able to stop doing that one whether I want to or not. I will need to order more ribbons (and not just the Wil Wheaton one) for 2012, but there's time for that.

It was good to see Howard Tayler, Eric & Cathy Raymond, and a bunch of PenguiPeople I see only about once a year. It also was amusing to hear Eric tell about a rare instance of pulling geek rank before he posted about it.

Other than the obvious less time as Orvan and no Sunday evening gathering I can't really point to anything that made this Penguicon seem sort of... well, "almost" compared to the last few years. That doesn't mean it wasn't good. An "almost" Penguicon is still quite good.

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SEALs Bring Home the Bacon


Worthless Gristle Dumped Overboard

I've seen a few praises for Obama on this, and some is deserved, though it's more like Truman with the A-bomb: He couldn't not give the order. To not do so would be, an eventual, political liability. Consider how Obama normally dithers on any decision of import, it's pretty clear that this was something that had to be done or else.

One aspect of things recently hasn't been connected, that I've seen. The "long form birth certificate" was released just before this. It may be coincidence, but isn't that a grand distraction to keep the so-called "news" folks occupied with unimportant fluff while getting on with something significant? Obama isn't politically stupid. I still think he's an economic ignoramus at best and needs to be soundly defeated on economic issues before he and his do irreparable damage.

Will the issue unite America? Of course not. Everyone agreed on something they already agreed on. There was agreement on the issue of ridding the world of Osama bin Laden in 2001, and there is agreement on it now. But that's it. The budget is still heading us for either hyperinflation or default, and neither destination is any good. Is this a victory? Yes, if a late one. I'd have rather had it happen many, many years ago - and that's not (just) about who's butt is sitting in the oval office. A swifter result sends a stronger message. By now, it's almost purely symbolic rather than having a significant panicking effect on those who damn well ought to be panicked.

Was I dancing in the street? No. But I don't have a great problem with those who were, either. I recall dancing in the street on 11 September 2001. If anyone was objecting to the celebration of some good news a few days ago, well, that's just too damn bad. They don't want people in the US celebrating the death of one of theirs, they can not give reason for such celebrations. As far as I am concerned, Osama bin Laden just committed suicide by US military is all. I also won't be shedding any tears for the rest of Al Qaeda and I hope they they get the same treatment: no quarter. If anyone overlooked deserves some sympathy it's the people of Pakistan who are likely to pay for the idiocy, incompetence, or outright evil of their government.

Some seriously hard questions need to be asked of and about Pakistan - and if they find them embarrassing, they should.

Does the sea burial lead to conspiracy theories? Yes, but so would anything else. It certainly makes sense: Now there's no set single place for "protesters", "pilgrims" or other idiots to gather. Then, if they gather on the bottom of the ocean, I'll not be upset by that.

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