A fair number of my online friends are at Libertycon right now, and I’m missing them and it. My facebook feed is so much quieter without them.
The main reason I’m not there is… well, there’s more than one main reason, and they all combined to make it not an option.
To start with, I’d have to fly there, since I’d be looking at a long two-day drive each way otherwise. And flying has become an ordeal over the last sixteen or so years, between ever decreasing seat space and ever more obnoxious security theater which does nothing but shift the biggest, most tempting targets into a more easily accessed space. So that’s one strike. I don’t fly to conventions unless I’ve got a damn good reason for it, and even then it’s one a year because it takes me longer to recover from a con I’ve flown to than one that’s local.
Then… the one and only Libertycon I went to, I got to witness attempted murder via obscene programming. And no, I’m not exaggerating. Much. What would you call scheduling someone for every session when that person has recently had major surgery? Particularly when the venue requires lots of walking outside in temperatures that routinely cracked triple digits. I’m honestly surprised nobody was dead after that, although I sure as hell wished I was. But that’s because I caught con crud from hell, not because I was the victim of murderous programming. I just attached myself as deputy handler to said victim to make sure she got where she needed to be and got to eat and rest a bit.
The hotel absolutely failed to impress. The Choo Choo has the makings of a damned awesome hotel, but what it is, is run-down, unsanitary (come on, when several people in the same bloody hallway have malfunctioning showers in their rooms you are not maintaining the thing properly), smells musty, and frankly should be shut down. I’m quite sure the ripe crop of black shit smearing out from the air conditioning duct had more than a little to do with the con crud from hell, particularly since it hit the second day of the con. And that’s not considering that despite a check-in time of 4, the rooms weren’t ready. They’ve been hosting this con for years, and they still can’t managed to staff for it? That’s just incompetence.
No, I don’t ask for fancy, and I don’t ask to be waited on hand and foot. I do expect a clean room that’s ready by the check-in time and has functional plumbing that doesn’t require a degree to get water at any temperature other than scalding. And directions to the nearest place I can get food that isn’t carb-laden crap. It’s kind of important that I avoid that stuff. A place that manages to fail to provide any of these is not a place I wish to return to.
So, even though I’d love to meet up face to face with my friends, I shall have to remain at home and hope they enjoy Libertycon, at least until the con ups its game enough to entice me down there.