Friday, May 27, 2011

On the road again: Balticon, day 2

The degree to which this hotel's bandwidth sucks is hard to overstate. I ran a quick test and was not able to sustain a whole 5KBps--about a fifth of last night's horrible performance. I suspect the deluge of e-dependent fans has pushed the place's Internet connection to the brink, over the edge, and down to the ground in a fiery mass.

I actually managed to get six hours of sleep last night, which left me feeling rather refreshed for most of the day. I hope to get even more tonight.

On the drive downtown for lunch, we noticed some firefighters on an overpass and then an empty stretch of interstate--something you never see in Baltimore. A bit further along, we saw a long stretch of police cars by the side of the road, each pointed out, a policeperson in front of it. They were all there, it turns out, for the funeral of a fellow officer who was killed in the line of duty. I found it a sobering and moving sight.

My friend, Griffin, is a cop in San Francisco. He and all his fellow officers in cities and towns around America do a job that is rough, that few want to do, and that is sure to scar them. That job also kills some of them, as this funeral reminded me. We don't appreciate them enough.

Lunch was at Cafe Hon, a local institution with standard, tasty diner fare. After enjoying an egg salad sandwich there, I strolled down to one of my favorite quirky bookshops, Atomic Books. Its slogan, "Literary Finds for Mutated Minds," sums it up nicely. I didn't intend to buy anything, but I found one book I had to have, and from there it was all downhill. Suffice to say the car will be riding lower on the drive home.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a local ice cream shop, Uncle Wiggly's (love the name), for some locally made Taharka Brothers ice cream. It was excellent, definitely some of the better flavors I've sampled anywhere. Who knew Baltimore had national-caliber ice cream?

After several hours dedicated to registering, roaming the con a bit, working, and running into and talking with some friends, we headed to dinner at Pazo, one of Chef Cindy Wolf's restaurants. The food, mostly Spanish, mostly small plates, was delicious and flavorful--as always.

We've now put up posters all over the hotel for the two charity events I'm doing (the Liars Panel and the Mr. Poor Choices comedy show), and I'm headed back to work. A full day.

1 comment:

J. Griffin Barber said...

Always sad to hear of the loss, and thank you for your thoughts.


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