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[photos] Sauce for the goose, stuffing for the gander

Several of you observed in a recent blog post of mine that this photo of a Cape Barren goose looked as if it had been taxidermied:

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This is a taxidermied Cape Barren goose:

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Everybody sing: ♫ “One of these things is not like the other…” ♫

Photos © 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[travel] The hop across the Big Pond, some notes on security

calendula_witch describes our trip home, at least thus far. One leg to go.

I will comment that international security is a bit ridiculous. You go through security to get on the plane. You go through security when you get off the plane and transfer. You’ve been inside a sterile area the entire time. Unless duty free shops are rife with terrorist agents or something. In Auckland, we cleared transfer security (complete with screaming children and the usual flying-with-amateurs types), only to clear US-destination security 100 yards later. Because so much might have happened to us to walking down that hall, I guess.

It was revealing that as we were going through the second Auckland security check, the guards discovered the scanning portal had not been turned on when used for the passengers who’d proceeded before us. They consulted briefly, decided it was too much trouble to make everyone come back up, and kept the line going.

So what was the purpose of this checkpoint if the scanners not being on didn’t matter? Really, Barclay. The magic of security theatre, inconveniencing travelers everywhere to preserve governmental deniability.

Anyway, home beckons and brain is frazzle. Watch for photo essays on the trip over the next few days. Y’all play nice in the mean time.

[travel] Clicking my heels and thinking of home

Yesterday was quite nice. Now we leave for the airport in 20 minutes, here at oh:dark:stupid, to begin the 40-hour (door-to-door) journey home. Expect little to no blogging until Friday, or possibly Thursday evening, Pacific time.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this image from yesterday’s excellent walking tour of Melbourne:

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Photo © 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[travel] Day tripping in Victoria

Yesterday jackwilliambell, yuki_onna and I day tripped down to the Great Ocean Road. (Sadly, calendula_witch stayed in the hotel room with the con crud.)

We stopped first at the Werribee Open Range Zoo. That’s primarily an African-themed wildlife park, but we took the walking trail through the Australian section. There we saw emus, kangaroos, a wallaby, Cape Barren geese, and various other Australian birds and wildlife.

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A Cape Barren goose

The kangaroos were being lazy and unphotogenic. The emus were everywhere.

From there we stopped at an airplane hangar where an RAAF B-24 Liberator is being restored. We got a tour from an elderly gentleman who’d served aboard that type aircraft during WWII. Their example is an airframe rescued from being used as a backyard shed, with wings and tail sections from a crash in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, and other parts from the United States.

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Outside, we saw what appeared to be Phil Dick’s BMW.

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From Werribee, we drove to Geelong, then Anglesea, where we stopped for an enormous Aussie lunch. Humongous burgers (and a chicken sandwich for me) covered with an egg, a beet, chili sauce, avocado, et cetera.

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Note the french fries. They are on practically every menu in Australia, even in white tablecloth places serving ethnic cuisine.

After Anglesea, we drove down the Great Ocean Road to Lorne. Saw some beautiful, and odd, things.

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The George Jetson beach house

From Lorne we turned inland to Deans Marsh, then Winchelsea. Beautiful farming country. jackwilliambell wanted to head up into the Grampians, but I was quite tired, so we drove back to Melbourne from there.

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I don’t think for a moment that I saw Australia yesterday. Just one little corner of this vast, beautiful country. But it was pretty, and fun, and I’m glad we did it. I just wish calendula_witch could have made it.

Today we tour Melbourne laneways with several folks and a local guide. Tomorrow, the long flight home.

Photos © 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[travel] Visiting Greater Batmania

Closed out the con yesterday. Exhausting. I am off today with and to tour the countryside in search of wildlife. isn’t feeling her best, so she is staying in Melbourne. Tight schedule this morning, but watch for photos here later.

[conventions] AussieCon 4, Day Four

Yesterday was great good fun. Had a panel on post-steampunk, spent time at BarCon, and, of course the Hugos. Even with a nap, I spent the pre-reception largely sitting down. and I did the Campbell presentation to the lovely and talented . I even managed an hour or so of the loser’s party. W00t.

A combination of short sleep and morning commitments mean the usual blogging is deferred. I’m off in a bit for an interview, a kaffeeklatsch, and an informal signing. Then more BarCon, followed by Dead Dogging. Tourism tomorrow and Wednesday, after that we’re back home across the Big Water.

[conventions] AussieCon 4, Day Three

Another good day yesterday. Had a panel on steampunk that went well, then a signing next to George R.R. Martin. See this hilarious photo. I have no idea what was actually going on in that moment, but I look like I’m in extreme pain.

Nice lunch with dave_gallaher and dinogrl, then back to the hotel for my usual nap. (Sigh.) We hied off to the bar, then to a rather curious dinner in good company, including several Not Usual suspects (seanan_mcguire, Hugo (and Nebula) nominee Will McIntosh, carolryles and A.A.A.). Strange stories were told concerning long pig franchises, carnival junk yards and fatal pornography fires, among other thing, Moreton Bay bugs were eaten (though not by me!), I had an odd food reaction that featured undulating floors and a vanishing South Asian gentleman, then danjite got the entire meal comped.

Back at the bar things turned into something of a who’s who of speculative fiction, but I turned into a pumpkin and headed for a long night’s sleep, leaving calendula_witch to hold down our partying responsibilities.

Today a panel on what comes after steampunk, then the Hugos with all they entail. Will be a difficult but fun evening for me, methinks.

[conventions] AussieCon 4, Day Two

Good day yesterday. I had a panel on pacing with Peter Brett, Howard Tayler and Carrie Vaughn. That was a fun group to work with in front of an audience. And quite the large audience, as well. See here and here for audience reports. Later on I did a reading, attended by 12 or 15 people, including a very buff-and-cool looking andyhat.

Otherwise the day was lunch with Carrie Vaugh, a kangaroo steak dinner with calendula_witch, danjite and khaybee, and of course BarCon in the Hilton with the usual suspects. Very nice conversations with Carol Ryles and Paul Haines there.

Mostly, though, I was tired. I did manage to stay up until 9. Today, a panel on steampunk (real soon now), and then a signing wherein I will be sharing a table with George R.R. Martin. That ought to be interesting. Otherwise, catch me in the Hilton bar.

[conventions] AussieCon 4, Day One

Had a great time yesterday here in Melbourne, albeit running very much up against the limits of my energy. Spoon management, indeed.

I overslept amazingly. Hence yesterday’s paucity of blogging. Then I grabbed some breakfast and walked across the plaza to the convention center with danjite and khaybee. Saw about a zillion folks I know over there in the process of collecting badges, pro packet, etc. Eschewed programming in favor of laying fairly low for the day.

calendula_witch and I did go to lunch with John Scalzi over at the Crowne Plaza to check out the bar. (It was a bust.) Ran into gaaneden and Mr. Gaaneden there, along with several other friends both old and new. We then spent the afternoon loitering in the Hilton bar (despite my announcement of yesterday), followed by dinner with Diana Gill, John Scalzi, danjite and khaybee at the casino nearby. Pretty good Italian food.

Post-dinner, I went back to the room and collapsed while everyone else partied late in the Hilton bar.

Today I have a panel at noon and a reading at 4:30. Otherwise I’ll either be napping or in the Hilton bar again. (Detect a theme here?) Trying to manage energy and spoons so I can power through the evening parts of the Con. (Ahem, Hugos.) Ten or eleven weeks after chemo, this is still damned tough. Having a good time trying, though.

See some, all or none of you around the joint today.

[conventions] Where to find Jay at AussieCon 4

I will generally be in the Crowne Plaza bar, I believe, when not on programming or otherwise engaged. If you know me well enough to have my American cell phone number, I can be texted via that number. (Please don’t call except in emergencies.)

Programming:

Friday

12:00 noon – Room 211 – Keeping Pace: Maintaining Momentum in Fiction
4:30 pm – Room 207 – Reading (30 minutes)

Saturday

10:00 am – Room 213 – The Steampunk Playground
12:00 noon – Room 201 – Signing

Sunday

11:00 am – Room 219 – Anachronistic Fiction: Successors to Steampunk
2:00 pm – P2 – Hugo Rehearsal
7:00 pm – P2 – Hugo Awards

Monday

12:00 noon – Room 201 – Kaffeeklatsch

See some, all or none of you here!