Did a day at Orycon yesterday -- had panels and signings and all, started around eleven a.m. and ran until five p.m. They've been running these for thirty-two years, and I've made to all of them but one -- that year we were living in Washington state and got snowed in.
We don't drive in the snow. Rain, I can do; snow, in my little cars? Nope. No weight, no chains, no skill ...
But I was at the original SF Symposium the folks who run Orycon put on at the local U the year before the first con.
The hotel was crowded, the fans and writers and editors and costumers and singers and all. I visited with a few folks -- had lunch with Rory. Chatted a bit with Irene. Had a beer afterward with my daughter and my son-in-law -- he's just gotten a job as a tattoo artist, after doing his training. I introduced a young martial artist I know to Rory, and probably helped him sell a couple books from that.
At one point, looking for a place to sit quietly, I went to the filking room and listened to a woman sing some Irish songs, accompanied by a guy playing something that looked like a cross between a guitar, a lute, and a harp. Never seen an instrument quite like it -- I've seen harp guitars, but this didn't look like those. I didn't get the singer or player's names, but it was a pleasant interlude.
Fine time, though I have to say, if you are at the Doubletree at Lloyd Center, stay away from the lunch buffet. The restaurant was busy, and we opted for that instead of ordering from the menu -- we had panels and getting our lunches and eating wasn't going to happen in time.
Food that's been sitting in a steam tray for a couple hours? Edible, some of it, but the seafood paella? It had mussels you could use for the soles of running shoes. I was tempted to throw one and see how high it would bounce.
Anybody know what the instrument in the photo is? It's got several strings that are fretted, and then a bunch that are pre-tuned, like a harp's.