Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gallifrey 2010 - Days One and Two

This year I'm going to do something a tad different in regards to the travelogue of my adventures to the annual Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles. I'm going to use the less offensive tweets from the affair and fill in the gaps along with lovely photos taken on Jocelyn, my new Blackberry. In advance I'd like to say with much pride that for once I didn't manage to injure myself in a fantastic manner. Which is a good sign since it would've been hard to top the eye paper cutting bit in Chicago and mysterious gashes on my leg from past adventures.

Once again I did the roadtrip thing to Gally. It's not that I don't like flying, but there's no way I could bring these babies on board the plane with me.

Mmm....Shiner.... I do have a reputation to maintain you know.

Anyway, we headed out around 10am Wednesday morning with me at the wheel. We hit my favorite gas station in the world a little before noon and posted the following tweet:

Buc-ee's! Been on the road for 2 hours now.

As I tweeted shortly after, Buc-ee's is apparently the center of Tweetverse as it took me no time at all to upload either photos or regular tweets from Jocelyn to the web. For those of you that don't have the pleasure of Buc-ee's it's a gas station chain in Texas with a beaver as its mascot. The restrooms are insanely clean, the coffee cheap yet tasty, and they've got Beaver Nuggets!

We stayed long enough to stretch and get some grub before heading back on the road.

Barely made it to Sonora. Coasted in on fumes. Oddly enough same place we stopped last year. Have switched drivers.

I misjudged how much gas I had as my now recalled Chevy Cobalt stops telling you how many miles you have left around the 48 mile countdown. Next thing you know the needle drops like a hammer and you're touching red. And that part of Texas between San Antonio and El Paso is pretty, but desolate in terms of civilization. Those were the hardest 20 miles of my life as I reduced speed to just over 55 miles per hours to nurse the gas to get me to the station. At the same time I was eyeing my On-Star system wondering if I was finally going to have make use of it if we ran out of gas. Luckily we didn't and then realized we stopped at the same station that we did in that area last year. As my reward I got to stop driving and just relax for a tad.

Have officially crossed into the mountain time zone. On course to be out of Texas by 9pm right now.

Thanks to the speed limit for this portion of the drive being 80 miles an hour we were making insane time. To give you an indication of just how big Texas is you cross timezones in the state going westward. We ended up stopping outside of El Pase to gas up the car and switch back to me driving. I blew through El Paso with the latest album from La Roux blasting in the car. Nothing finer than speeding to those tunes. A quick stop at an immigration checkpoint in New Mexico and we just kept making insane time. At one point I was projecting us getting in to Los Angeles sometime between 8 and 9 in the morning. Then those plans went off the rails.

At near stand still outside of Deming, NM. Apparently massive accident on highway.

*sigh* And we'd been making such good time. We got nestled between semi-trucks on all sides and once we saw them power down we did the same. It was pitch black so I didn't get a good look at what was going on until we started moving an hour later but it appears a semi turned over and lost its load of what looked like AC units. Either way we were hanging out in a parking lot and slowly moving as other cars and trucks drove through the grass to go back in the opposite direction. Took the break to check email and whatnot until we started moving again.

Stopped for gas outside of Phoenix at 4:30 local time. Should hit California in a couple of hour.

At some point between Deming and Phoenix we had switched drivers. This meant I did not lose my shit in Tuscon as I had last year because I was in nappy land. Changed back to me when we got this bit of gas in Phoenix and I had intended to push on to Los Angeles myself but my body had other ideas.

Right leg trying to go to sleep. Had to switch of again 40 miles outside of California. Should be in LA in 4 hours.

I was miserable to put it mildly. For some reason my right leg just wanted to go to sleep so it started to go in to that pins and needles state. I couldn't get comfortable and I was scared I'd lose feel for the car if I continued on much longer. We made our way into California and survived another immigration checkpoint.

Stopped for a bit and discovered a General Patton museum. Sadly not open this early in the morning. Bastards.

It's an out of the way place, just tucked near a gas station and trailer park. Tried to take photos but the rising sun made it kind of hard to tell much, but here's a shot of Patton and his dog.

Where's my welcome committee for I am here!

We rolled in to the hotel right around 10am and I felt like the last person to show up to the Real World house with my back over my shoulder and my rockin' new Booze Leprechaun chapeau on my head. Sadly though people did not fall to the ground and weep at the sight of me walking in to the hotel. John though was hanging out in the lobby so I didn't have to track him down to get a key to the room. And this year we lucked out with the hotel room. Check out this view.

The balcony was awesome and when we weren't doing nerdy things we'd chill like villians. Must find way to get same room again.

Grabbed a shower so I could be a respectable member of society. Speaking of which, let's do an afterschool special moment here. We need to have a little chat about hygiene as clearly some of my fellow convention goers have issues. Let me point you to this film regarding keeping yourself clean and therefore someone we want to get near. Not that you have to go that far, but please, let water and soap touch your body at least once a day if not more if you're a sweaty bastard. Gally had over 1500 people this year and you can imagine the mass of humanity in some of the rooms. I work in a funeral home and I'd rather spend all day smelling the contents of a broken cooler than some of you nasty bastards.

The hotel even helps you out for god's sake! They will give you supplies daily if you ask along with clean towels and sheets! I know I'm being mean, but clearly some tough love is needed in this area as there were moments I nearly threw up because the smell was so vile. Just think of your fellow nerd, that's all I'm saying.

Now with that public service announcement out of the way...

All clean and presentable John and I went to Ralph's, a local grocery store, to load up on some basic supplies foodwise to keep from spending any more money than we had to in the hotel restaurant. We were grabbing so much that we needed a cart. There's way only one cart I could lay my hands on though.

Isn't it so cute? John definitely thought so.

We goofed around with the cart, contemplated stealing it, and after picking up some pizzas from Pizza Hut went back to the hotel. Then the real fun started.

Gally has officially begun!

Started getting the beer on ice in the Magical Bucket of Booze and then made our way back to the lobby as more of our friends started showing up.

Handsome Timmy D is in the house! NOW Gally has officially started!

Because it's not a Gally until the Mayor of Gally shows up to welcome all new people. Handsome Timmy D makes all newbies feel welcomed and loved. As we were chillin' in the lobby Paul Cornell showed up and after exchanging pleasantries having not seen him in over six months we started chatting and catching up.

Geeks run as if they're in a marathon when the bar opens.

We were still talking with Paul when we noticed the lobby was emptying because the hotel restaurant was open and everyone needed their booze fix. You'd have thought David Tennant was in there the way some of us ran for our first drop of beer for the day. We continued chatting with Paul until dinner time rolled around when we had to part company since we couldn't dine where he was dining. (Which I make sound way more ominous than it really is for the record.)

For a Thursday night Lobbycon is insane.

It was. Normally Thursday is the slower of the nights as people are still showing up. That was not the case this year as the place was packed. It was cool though as we made new friends and did our best Handsome Timmy D impersonations welcoming the newbies to the con. Also had a moment of fail where I was afraid I'd have to turn my Booze Leprechaun status back in as I had forgotten Sam Adams beer bottles do not have twist caps and I lacked a bottle opener. Handsome Timmy D to the rescue as he bought me one in the hotel gift shop. All became right with the world as later in the evening when Tony Lee switched in to his waistcoat. I went to bed early, sometime shortly after midnight as I hadn't had much sleep during the roadtrip portion and non since getting to the hotel.

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