Glasgow - Sunday, August 27, 1995

Got up fairly late today, I just could not pull myself out of bed at 7:15 as normal so I slept in until 8:15 or so, I did not have to worry about the car as it was Sunday so that was fine.

Breakfast was, as normal, quite good. The first day I was here I walked into the eating area and was taken at the size of the place, it could seat about 150 people. Many people were walking about with food and such so I walked around a screen where they were coming from, under the impression that breakfast was cafeteria-style but I was politely (and repeatedly, had trouble with the accent) told to sit down and they would SERVE me. This is quite a novel idea and I was quite happy to do so. The tables are fairly large so more often then not I am able to talk with those seated around me, though the conversation is a bit slow at that time of the morning (or is it just me?).

Got to the convention a bit later (thank goodness) and wandered around (again, as normal). There were a few good talks today, most notably the talk about the various “Space Planes” that are planned in the near (NEAR) future (they had some footage of test flights that were VERY impressive). That talk was very popular and must have had about 150 people in the audience (crammed into a SMALL room, it seems that the organizers of these types of conventions have difficulty, as is to be expected, figuring out what size of room to have for the various talks, either it is a huge room with 10 people or a small room with 100).

I finally got a few autographs that I wanted. One of the authors has been my favourite for a little while now, actually, my smarter cousin from Detroit introduced me, indirectly (I looked at his book shelves), to him. I am quite sure that Blake would have liked to meet him.

I did attend a few “fluff” discussions today, such as the future of the “Star Wars” movies (what will come next, etc.). It was interesting, especially considering that all of the panellists were authors of “Star Wars” books.

It was interesting to note that there was an article in the Scottish paper today tearing apart the convention, calling it a “Rip-Off” (the daily cost, if you pay that way, is 30 pounds, I paid the equivalent of 50 pounds a year ago for all the convention days) and ripping into it, calling attendees “weirdos” and the like. I found this amusing as they were obviously not discussing the discussions on Nanotechnology, Computer Science and (the other day) Quantum Mechanics. The thing about these types of conferences is that you need to get involved, you cannot just wander around and look at the displays and look at the various…individuals…dressed up (NO, NOT me! Unless you count the jeans and the backpack…). You need to talk to people, go to some of the discussions, watch a few movies, etc., etc. Just…do stuff, don't expect to be entertained, you have to entertain yourself in your choice of activities. Another point which disturbed me is that they had a complaint from a mother who brought her kids thinking that it was a Star Trek Convention and “they were bored within minutes of being there” (not quite a quote). Well, no wonder! I would not bring my kids here, this is for older, more mature individuals who have a fanatic love of the subject of Science Fiction, this is NOT a Science Fiction movie or attraction. Just my thoughts, it really upsets not only me but the entire group of attendees the way we are always misinterpreted by the media, sure, some of us dress up in costumes (not ME!), that is THEIR choice and who is to tell them otherwise? It makes them happy, gives them pleasure, that is what the whole gathering is about. As a side note, there was a sign- up sheet underneath where this newspaper article was posted for those wishing to bomb the offices of the newspaper (in jest, of course, but funny nonetheless).

I left a little earlier tonight and I hoped to get some “authentic” Scottish food but the place I went to (recommended by the organizers of the convention) was closed, so I had a drink of pineapple juice and left, grabbing something later at a local (just down the street from the residence) East Indian place (EXCEPTIONAL food, don't know why it is better here, perhaps we are just closer and the food is more authentic because the people have just arrived or what, I don't know). The guys there had a great deal of fun with me after finding out I was from Canada. It was fun and entertaining. If I come back I will have to drop in again, the same goes for the Chinese food shop across the way that also served excellent food. I do feel a little guilty for not having anything authentic, perhaps tomorrow night…

I have not yet decided what I will do tomorrow, either I will be going to Edinburgh (which does not really appeal to me as I was under the impression that it would be very hard to find a place to stay with the festival on, but I think that the festival is over so, maybe not…I could always stay just down the coast, we will see) or I will be going to Liverpool (which does NOT appeal to me also since I would be travelling later in the day and may not see as much as I would driving in the day…maybe not, it will be about 8:00 pm when I get to Liverpool, maybe too late for a B & B though…). I guess I will have to decide tomorrow, I will give it some more thought. I am not really looking forward to having to find places to stay “on the fly” again, next time I come I will have to pre-book, saves me a lot of trouble.

Well, I REALLY want to get to one of the books that I got today before it is tomorrow…

⇒ Continue to Glasgow - Monday, August 28, 1995