Anthrocon is already turning into something of a blur. That's how it felt at the time, too. Either I was helping Sue run programming, I was in my room sleeping, or I was out chatting with friends that I hadn't seen in a year or more. The only time I ever really got to just sit was during Uncle Kage's Story Hour, which is usually the single biggest "panel" at the convention and hardly a respite from the hordes.

I finally got to meet Ben Goodridge in the flesh, which after seven years of knowing him is probably a good thing. Strangely, we hardly talked about writing at all, but we did at least get the chance to play a quick catch-up game before hastening off to go attend to other duties. I also got another chance to see LeDiva, which is always good. I wish she lived closer; she seems the sort of person around whom I could really enjoy spending a lot of time. Plus, the Lansdale area can always use more gamers.

The only thing I personally didn't like about how things went is that I found out after the fact that I was supposed to be running a panel. The annual reading of the Eye of Argon had been scheduled Friday night, but I had had to work that day and so when Sue asked me if I was going to make it, I said I hoped I would. She thought I had confirmed that I would run the panel. I only thought she wanted me to participate. So, an hour after the panel
started, she called me frantically on the radio asking me where I was and why I wasn't in the room running things! I'm still embarrassed about this one, frankly. Next year, though, I'll know better.

Hopefully, I'll also be able to get time off of work next year to attend. This year, I've been fighting the Project From Hell, a supposedly simple test exercise that has become my driving focus for the past six weeks and now has a hard deadline of Wednesday to deliver. If I thought getting it done before was a problem, now it's downright painful. I'm still not entirely happy with how the automated scripts are handling it, and I've got to run everything from scratch again. I started to do that over the weekend, but the array of hard drives at work ran out of space and so I couldn't get any work done over the time period I thought I would have to do raw processing. So, this is going to be a nightmare few days while I frantically try to get this cranked out to the customer by Thursday morning.

I'm glad I got the chance to attend. More importantly, I'm glad I got the chance to help make the con a better place to be.

Of course, the day after I get back from such an exhilirating weekend, the Cosmic 2x4 had to make its feelings known again. I got to test out my air bag today. The driver ahead of me sped up to pass a dump truck, then slammed on her brakes at the green light at the next intersection when the siren of an approaching ambulance sounded. Her brand-new 2004-model car jerked to a complete stop in about two feet, but my old 1990 brakes locked and I slid into her bumper.

I couldn't have been going more than about 10MPH when I hit, but it was enough for the sensor to detect potential driver damage and deploy the SRS—supplemental restraint system, for once—right in my face. I wasn't even going fast enough to hit the airbag. The seat belt caught me instead, and so I was treated to a faceful of scorched talc as the bag snapped out of its hidey-hole. The whole car stank until I rolled down the windows and let the car air out while the other driver ran around panicking that she was in her boss' car.

I don't think the insurance will get involved. Nobody got hurt, neither of the cars suffered worse than scratches unless you count my air bag, and the cop that arrived when the other driver's boss called ruled the accident as a no-faulter. Plus, the other driver's boss sent the other driver back to work by foot and then claimed himself as the driver of record on the accident, so I don't think he's going to try to file anything at this point.

I'll still be out a hefty chunk of change replacing the airbag, but even that's preferable to having to replace the car again.

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