Glasgow - Thursday, August 24, 1995

Well, the first day of events here at Intersection. It was quite a busy day.

The breakfast they provide me for staying here at the University dormitories was, as per normal around here for B & Bs, exceptional. Though it was a bit tough getting that extra cup of orange juice… Gee, you sit down and they come to you to serve you, forget the “serve yourself” stuff, this is the REAL thing. I talked to someone from Australia and we were talking about some of the Scottisms such as those having to do with driving and also those having to do with talking. He was quite nice and we had a fairly long talk, though I had to run before they towed my car, it will be nice on the weekend as I will not have to worry about parking as the limits do not apply on the weekend.

I had a tour of Glasgow this morning, wouldn't you know it, it was raining but that is fine by me, they need the rain and it did not effect the tour (other than the occasional snide remark, oh no, not me though!). It was quite interesting to get around town, to see all of the cathedrals and parks. We were also taken to a museum which houses a collection from a local gentlemen who willed it to the city, quite interesting. The tour operator said that he was not wealthy but he left a LOT of wealthy things, tapestries, paintings, sculptures, etc. I know that my mother would REALLY appreciate a lot of this, I like going to such places with her as we have much the same taste in art (that is, the RIGHT taste in art).

Also travelled under the river (as it can be called) here and that was interesting, typical of the English/Scottish to work around what Mother Nature put in the way…

I figure that the cars here are small because they are mainly used for quickly getting around cities or going from place to place within the United Kingdom (which is NOT that large), whereas, in North America, the distances are much more extreme and, as we are delicate in the nether regions, we need softer seats, bigger cars (preferably with the letters “Corvette” spelled across the front). It was another fun day driving but, I digress…

The conference itself is quite large, occupying the whole convention centre and the neighbouring hotel (all of its conference rooms on the first and second floors). I went to a few talks today, one on Satellite Communications and another on the Geography of Space I: Earth and it's Atmosphere and another one on the Clementine Project (to take pictures of the moon and an asteroid that took place in 1994). All were quite interesting and I noticed that I really miss those types of talks from University. I remember that when I attended those types of lectures I was not so much concentrating on listening because of the exam I knew I would have to take, actually, I worried about the exams about 3 weeks before they occured, at least specifically worried about them, I was more interested in understanding the material as I was intrigued by what was discussed. I did not have many of those courses, which I regret, especially later in my University days, but perhaps I could go back to get some more of that type of energy I received.

After those talks I went over and took a look around the Dealer's Room, that is, a place where you can buy things from various companies. A lot more booksellers than were in Winnipeg last year (where the convention was held) so I took a fair amount of time to work my way through. I still have to pick up a book I saw but stumbled on the price (hardcovers are VERY expensive, but they are worth it to read, my sister says it is awkward but I find that I don't have to worry about breaking the binding and having the book fall apart on me and I can concentrate more on what is REALLY important – the contents. That said, I also see the price difference and normally go for the paperback unless it is a REALLY special book). I will be back to that area over the next little while as I only covered about half of it in the two hours I was there (or, I didn't really time it but it was at least an hour and a half).

They have an Internet connection here so I had a couple of chances to get onto Blue Sky and see that there were not as many messages as I thought. I took care of a few but a lot I will leave until I have some time, it is difficult to deal with fairly sensitive issues in front of about 10 other people who are waiting to use the system. It strikes me that here they are so culturally advanced compared to our newer society that they are no where near the level of technical sophistication that I notice even in Winnipeg. Even with this Internet connection, they have ONLY three computers (with a LOT of people using them ALL the time) accessing using a single phone line using the latest, consumer grade speed modem (device to talk over the phone to other computers). This is ridiculous, if I were doing it, why I would….But I am not. It is just interesting to note that they are not quite as technically sophisticated as we are, not that they do not have the equipment, they are just not as quickly to adapt to it as we are in NA. But perhaps that is just it – we are so young that we can adapt and use change to our advantage much more quickly then here where change is a matter of overcoming old obstacles (despite what the younger people here say).

Anyway, saw that Karin says there is a leak in the roof of my house and that she is talking to mother to get it resolved (financially, etc.). Sounds like she has it well under control so I will leave it to her (besides, what would I say if I called “Fine. Go ahead.”?) It has to be fixed so she is doing fine. Perhaps I will call her on the weekend to re-assure her. Weird, it seems like a whole other world over there…it is, I suppose.

Watched a movie that I still cannot understand after seeing it about 4-5 times. They were showing it for free at the convention so I figured I would have another shot at it. I think I am getting the essentials now though…VERY violent, good story though (yet complicated).

Have not yet seen the press but I think they will be here tomorrow and on Saturday. Hoping to stay at a place in Wales on, oh, let's see, Monday night. My luck, they actually had brochures for the very place I want to say at another video that I watched with others today, it is Science Fiction in nature, in that it was featured in an older British Science Fiction series, very interesting place, hope to get some pictures while I am there.

Wonder what tomorrow brings…

⇒ Continue to Glasgow - Friday, August 25, 1995