Saturday, September 3, 2016

A few DragonCon Saturday snippets

Toured the art show today.  Multiple pieces tempted me, but I'm not sure any will end up going home with me.  Tomorrow will tell that tale.

Ate a reasonably healthy Mediterranean lunch at the nearby Aviva by Kameel.  Long lines, but that's true everywhere near the con hotels.

Attended the Baen Traveling Road Show.  It's always fun, and it was today.  I learned there that my friend, David Drake, had won Baen's readers' award for the best military SF story for "Save What You Can," his Hammer's Slammers story in Onward, Drake!  As the one who commissioned that story, I was quite happy to hear the news.  Well done, Dave!

Dinner took me back to Gunshow for another excellent meal, with dessert afterward at a nearby Jeni's.  Great food all around.

Tonight's people-watching was both the best and the most intense yet.  The Hyatt lobby was tough to navigate and full of spectacle.

The Marriott lobby was even more crowded than last night and featured an amazing assortment of people in costumes--as well as hundreds and hundreds just socializing and looking.

Tomorrow, a publisher brunch, a signing, and time in the art show and dealers' rooms!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Barbecue and dealers and sushi, oh my

I suppose I should consider it a sign of age or failure that one of the good things about this con is that I'm sleeping at least eight hours a night, but I don't see it that way.  I normally sleep so little that I'm quite happy whenever I get to catch up on my rest.

I should also consider it a failure that I'm working multiple hours each day when I had planned to be offline, but again, I don't see it that way.  I'm working way less than usual, and I'm choosing to do the work, so I'm mostly okay with it.

For lunch today, I headed to a local barbecue institution, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.  I enjoyed everything I tried, but honesty compels me to report that the brisket wasn't even in the vicinity of Texas brisket, and the pulled pork simply wasn't up to North Carolina standards.  The food was tasty, but it didn't meet those benchmarks.

The most fun dish I sampled was the Frito pie, which they served the traditional way:  in the Frito bag.

Click an image to see a larger version.

The chili was a little too heavy with tomatoes and a bit too sweet for my taste, but it was still quite good.

After lunch and some work, I wandered through the first of the multiple floors of dealers' rooms.  The sheer variety of merchandise on offer is stunning.  Books are definitely a minority, but you can find them, as well as comics, clothing, anime, posters, weapons--you name it, and if it's related to science fiction or fantasy, it's here.

Dinner was a delicious mix of sushi and an amazing piece of Kobe ribeye steak at Tomo.

Every single bite I tasted was at least very good, and many were better than that.  I recommend this one and wish I could make it back for their omakase menu; alas, I cannot.

The people watching tonight predictably was the best yet.  The Hyatt's lobby was hopping.

The Marriott's was, as always, even busier and more full of amazing costumes of more types than I could count.

The energy and enthusiasm of the fans here is so much greater than what I experience at more traditional SF cons that the cons I normally attend look almost dead by comparison.  I do not worry about the future of our genre, but I do fear for the end of the cons I grew up loving.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

DragonCon starts roaring

The con really doesn't crank up until tomorrow, but you couldn't have told that from the crowds tonight in the lobby of the Hyatt

and the Marriott.

The costumes here make for wonderful people watching.  I love that all the folks I've encountered are completely accepting of the many and varied passions of the people around them.

Cakes & Ale has topped a few past "best of" lists for Atlanta, and it's almost always in the top ten of such lists, so I had to give it a try.  I'm sorry to say that the food was underwhelming given all the praise the place has garnered.  The dishes I sampled were tasty but never excellent; the worst dish from last night's Gunshow dinner was better than the best one I tried tonight.  Cakes & Ales is a good enough place to visit, but for my taste it is nowhere near Gunshow.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DragonCon warm-up

The drive to Atlanta proceeded largely uneventfully, for which I was grateful.  The only exception was the usual terrible traffic that hit about ten miles from the hotel, but I've come to expect that.

Dinner was another wonderful meal at Kevin Gillespie's great restaurant, Gunshow.  All the dishes we shared were very good, but two were particularly delicious.  The first combined housemade pasta they infused with saffron and lemon, a sauce made from fish stock and uni, and both heirloom tomatoes and local butter beans.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Wow, was it good (and way smaller than the picture makes it appear: almost all the dishes are the size of traditional appetizers).

The other standout was a dish that mixed Thai peanut sauces and various vegetables and peppers with Kobe beef tartare.

The peanut sauce base meshed perfectly with the meat.  I was amazed at how good the combination was.

I took a late-evening stroll from my hotel down to the Hyatt and Marriott.  Though the con hasn't officially started yet, hundreds of people were already filling the Marriott lobby, chatting and modeling their costumes and having a great time.

The most popular costume by my count was, to no one's surprise, Harley Quinn.

Tomorrow, I expect a much bigger crowd.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I'm heading in the morning to DragonCon

Entirely too early tomorrow morning--in the single digits, in point of fact--I will get in a car bound for Atlanta and DragonCon, the biggest con I regularly attend.  I'm hoping to chat with a lot of folks, see some cool stuff, and have some fun--and some great food in Atlanta.

If you're going to be at the con, the easiest way to find me is to come to the Baen Traveling Road Show on Saturday.

I'm hoping for hotel bandwidth good enough to let me upload pics, but with a con this large, you never know.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Check out the last of the Women Coding for Change videos

PT produced these videos, and I'm quite proud of them.  I've blogged previously about a few of the entries.  The whole series is now up, including this final one.

Check them out, and think about what you can do to help with this worthy cause.

We all win from having more diverse voices--in tech, and everywhere.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nope, I won't apologize

for liking this song.  Yes, I know it's pure pop, the video is sugary, and the song gained prominence in a kid's movie, but I just don't care.  For whatever reason, it works for me.



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