We got a lovely reception when we arrived to register at Etcon on Tuesday morning. The lady with the badges was very pleased to see us and Ben was all excited when handed his badge and bag of goodies. But when she realised Gavin and I weren’t speaking at the event she sent us to the ordinary punters’ registration room. Where a glum woman told us we couldn’t register for another four hours and, no, we couldn’t have lunch. That would have been really annoying if we’d travelled all the way from where we were staying just to get registered or something.
So, leaving Ben to schmooze over a free lunch we got a ride downtown and enjoyed some welcome healthy food in the sun. We strolled round, had a tour of the cathedral by a nice man called Bob who looked a little like a less worried Harold Bishop. Much of the cathedral is fake, by the way. The cute gold angels are papier maché and the hefty stone columns out front are wood covered in metal. Then a wander round the art museum to see lots of so-so modern art. I’m becoming such a philistine in my old age.
Later in the afternoon we managed a rendezvous at Fry’s with several cars-worth of EtCon attendees to buy geek goodies. For some reason it seems increasingly unsettling to be in California with so many familiar London faces. Pleasant and friendly, but unsettling. Then, a ride back to EtCon so I could register, only to be deserted by everyone I knew. Luckily, Webb appeared with Mr Machinelake and we went to eat more Korean self-barbecue meat than I’m ever likely to see again. Finally, it was back via the adventures of late-night light rail to find more tents had sprung up containing some welcome familiar faces.