Friday, October 3, 2014

On the road again: CONtraflow, New Orleans, day 1

The con didn't officially start until the afternoon, so I devoted the morning to work, as usual.  From then on, though, the day became more about the con and the city, and less about work (though I managed to keep current on work).

I first registered for the con.  To my pleasant surprise, they had waiting for me a bag full of considerate gifts

Click an image to see a larger version.

and one gift too big to fit in the bag

Why, you might reasonably ask, would a convention committee present me with a collapsible bowl?

The answer awaited me on the other side of the package.

My very own ice bucket!  Clearly, these folks had kept up enough with my blog to have read about my frustrations about getting ice in hotels (here and also here), and they had also read my entries on the Cone Man (and even had the picture of me wearing the cone).

I laughed a lot, but I was also genuinely touched.  The fine folks of CONtraflow have always been exceptionally nice to me, but this was a step above and beyond.  Thank you, all who made this happen.

While driving around a bit last night, I had spotted one of the several locations of a small local chain, Dot's Diner

With that name and this menu, I had to try it, so I headed there for lunch.  After sampling a hot (as in spicy) sausage po boy and a side salad, I'm happy to report that the food was quite tasty, and the place was very much a diner in the old tradition.  I would definitely eat there again.

On the way back, I stopped at a local shop, a Buttermilk Drop Bakery, and picked up two dozen donuts for the fine folks working the con.  I figured that with all they had done for me, it was the least I could do for them.

My first official con activity of the day was one I greatly enjoyed:  I moderated a Q&A session with (and provided the initial questions for) a local FBI Special Agent.  She answered all queries with grace and intelligence, and I learned from listening to her.

After the panel, I had a half an hour to prepare for the Opening Ceremonies, which I moderated.  I enjoyed introducing the main guests, including Guest of Honor Gregory Benford, talking with the crowd, and kicking off the con.

With a few free hours before the next event, I headed into the city for what proved to be a delicious meal at a place built around a concept I've never seen before, Noodle & Pie. The notion of pairing ramen with pie may sound weird, but it really works.  I definitely recommend this restaurant.

After finishing dinner and catching up again on work, I spent a few hours at the con's cocktail party talking to various folks.

I had a very good first day at a fun con. 


Michelle said...

You now have a product from one of the women on The Real Housewives of NYC, Alex McCord. You have just joined the world of reality tv. lol

It is thoughtful, however and shows they do their homework. Nice.

Mark said...

Despite that reality TV tie, I appreciate their tought and consideration in giving it to me.

Deb said...

Shall have to try the "Noodle & Pie" on your recommendation. And glad the extra gave you a smile. =)


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