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Marilee J. Layman

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06:58 pm: Minicon 43 Friday
The first day of the real con and very busy. I got down to my area a bit before noon to find out I only had one table. It's always been crowded for the t-shirts on one table, and with volunteers, too, I'd asked for two, in an L. The hotel had, however, given Carol at registration and me comfortable (office desk) chairs. I accosted Keith who arranged a table (he asked if I cared if the drapes didn't match, and no, I didn't) and then he and Matt started carrying out boxes from secure storage. Old t-shirt boxes, new t-shirt boxes, and Kevin, who was Volunteers last year, brought a box of odd things for volunteer prizes, to which I added some items I'd brought. I'd also asked for an easel (or cardboard) to display a full t-shirt on, since people like to see the whole picture before they buy and I'm really bad at folding t-shirts back up neatly.

I was brought some foamcore, which worked quite well as an easel. Then Matt went looking for my signs -- I knew both were supposed to be done on Wednesday, but hadn't actually checked. The Con Sales sign turned out to be from the work party and Matt rounded up an older Volunteers sign. We clipped them to the drape with binder clips that Carol offered (and I ended up bringing home since she closes on Sunday just before I start). We'd priced all the t-shirt options at $5 increments, so Matt gave me change from his wallet. I didn't have a moneybox for some reason, so my left pocket became the moneybox for a while. Then I emptied my box of prize items and used that for the day. Later in the day I was able to give Matt his startup money back.

People were already wanting to buy as I was putting the t-shirts out, so I spent some time digging up the right t-shirts before I had a chance to lay them out nicely in size piles and set up my tracking form. I've learned to bring what I need for con sales -- quad paper (actually quint, I think), pens/pencils/markers, scissors, tape, etc. -- and brought a notebook set up for Volunteers. I also had some volunteers right away and sent the first three off to the con suite. When I talked to Beth on Sunday, she said she didn't know any came, so I'm not sure what happened.

It's always interesting to watch the people walk by, and to talk to them. We had several new congoers who were young men in casual business wear and I talked to all of them, telling them how things worked and where things were. I only saw one again later that night at the Languages panel.

I looked at the pocket program about 6:30 and realized that the dealer's room/art show/science room was open until 7pm (I usually stay open until they do, since once they're gone, nobody is looking to buy stuff) and Keith and Matt, who would be moving stuff back into secure storage, also had to be on the dais at Opening Ceremonies at 7pm. Matt had given me a list of important people's phone numbers and I was ready to call Keith and see what he wanted to do, when he came near the table and I called him over. We packed and he stored quickly. I skipped Opening Ceremonies and went to the bar to eat. As I was pulling out a chair, Laurel and Kevin waved me over. We had a small table, but we managed. There was a large group of non-congoers who were keeping the waitress busy. Usually it's just us.

I'd already offered to type for Peer's Friday night panel. He's deaf and we needed four people to type for panels and had three of us by the start of the con. Soon after, we acquired the fourth. So after dinner, I headed up to the Green Room where Peer wanted to meet and he and other panel members talked. I didn't see his laptop opened up until he'd helped me up the steps to the dais in the function room and woe was us, it had a touch pad (and I've never used a computer that had one) and the keys were about half again as big as my standard keyboard. I can type at speaking rate on this keyboard, but I was really lousy on his laptop. I felt awful. I kept inadvertantly touching the pad and making weird things happen, some of which I learned to recover from. He ended up leaning over to read lips. If I'd known I was going to use that kind of computer for this, I would have brought my own notebook. It's rather obsolete, but it would have been fine for the translation. That new young man came up to the dais afterwards and gave Peer his card and asked for an email with a batch of references Peer had written up, and then talked to Rachel to get the URLs she'd mentioned. She was just off the steps so I asked her to back up a bit and used her shoulder to stabilize stepping down.

After that, I headed up to my room and read some old WashPosts while my feet were up and went to bed.

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