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FKO Friday - Phil's Rambling Rants
March 29th, 2007
09:59 pm

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FKO Friday
I might as well get started writing a bit of a conrep while I can still remember some of what happened.

The drive to Lansing Thursday was uneventful.  We got on the road reasonably early Friday, and all was fine until we hit the border.  The guy in the booth quizzed me for 5 minutes, and then said he couldn't talk to me any longer so we had to go in to the building and talk to the immigration desk.  They were polite (except for the part where the immigration lady talking to us took a phone call and left us twiddling our thumbs for several minutes), but from the way they reacted you'd think I'd said we were coming to Canada for a grizzlesnorf festival.  It took twenty minutes to persuade them that this was (a) harmless, (b) strictly a hobby, and (c) you can go about your business.  Still, we made it to the hotel, IIRC, around 3:30.  We met andpuff in the lobby and agreed to have dinner, and then I actually sat in the bar for a while (I love non-smoking bars).  I got to chat with unkbar about his trip to Africa and the awesome photos he'd posted.  Badges were picked up and many people were greeted.  I talked to the_gwenzilliad and she confirmed that she did still want to go out for sushi (which we referred to as our "super secret plan" for the weekend -- we didn't want to talk about it very openly for fear that other people would attach themselves to our party; we did not want the kind of dinner party that billroper immortalized in song).  Sunday dinner was the time that would work for her, which was great because it was also the time that would work for me.  We tried to invike folkmew to join us but it turned out she wasn't free on Sunday.  But while we thought that she could join us (because she thought we were asking about a different time), I did ask trektone if he could join us, but he was also booked for that time.

bider2, andpuff, and I went to Kelsey's for dinner, where we had our own table in the con section -- at least three other tables in that part of the restaurant had FKO folks.  Since it's 500 feet from the hotel, it's not really a shocker.  It was nice to spend time in andpuff's company, but I'm afraid I don't remember much of what we talked about.

The convention officially opened with a ritual singing of "Take It Back" by kbeader, followed by a mini-concert by phillip2637 (which he handled very well, both the actual songs and the stage presence), a set by sexybass which was bittersweet because it had been scheduled as a Dandelion Wine set but decadentdave couldn't be there because of a death in the family, but which had the unexpected bonus of a surprise guest star appearance by Sam Baardman, and then we got our first taste of the Main Event, nMC.  I have a copy of the nMC CD Voices Going West, and I didn't remember being all that impressed.  But hearing them live was a totally different thing -- they were amazing.

Unfortunately, by the time the concerts ended, I was really wiped.  I went to my room to exchange my camera for a guitar and decided I didn't have the energy to deal with bringing a guitar down at all.  I brought just my book, thinking I might do a couple of spoken pieces, but I never got up the energy to try to fit in a song.  I enjoyed hearing the songs at the Dorsai Pajama Party, but I was too fried from a long day and a long week and I just went to bed midnightish, without having signed up for a juried one-shot or planned on any other morning activities.

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From:mvt
Date:March 30th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
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Next time just tell them you are visiting friends.I cross the border alot and they never get the convention thing.
you are lucky they only held you twenty minutes it could have been a lot worse.
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From:tigertoy
Date:March 30th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
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I've crossed the border at Sarnia about 10 times, and the only other time I've had any trouble other than the wait in line to get to the agent in the drive through booth was the one time I didn't say I was going to a convention.

I suspect Canada is making the border crossing more annoying on purpose in retaliation for how annoying the US has made it for Canadians to come the other way. I assume they've always popped a small percentage of cars for extra questioning at random, and further that the percentage is up today over what it was a few years ago. Unfortunately, telling the border guard "Don't blame me, I voted for the Democrats" isn't going to help.
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From:phillip2637
Date:March 30th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Not saying you're wrong, but you are the first person I've ever observed trying to apply logic to the actions of Canadian border guards.
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From:tigertoy
Date:March 30th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
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I have to try to apply logic to everything. And become annoyed if it doesn't work. Just what I am.
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From:mvt
Date:March 31st, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
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I cross the border all the time at least twice a month and mostly never have trouble going into the US. Just answer what they ask and never volunteer information.All of them US and Canada get pretty much the same training. Sarnia usually an easy place to cross. Marah and I have had the car searched and sniffed by bomb and drug dogs. I remind myself that they are trying to keep both countries safe even before 9/11. Most european countries have had stricter rules for a long time . I remember my Mom's stories about crossing into the former soviet union in the 70's. I still have trouble with the racial profiling in the training ( I had a friend who worked for Canada Customs). I grew up in Quebec
and was exposed to terroism in my front yard
so safety at the border appeals to me.
Sorry for the rant. Hopefully when you come up for Wedding FKO next year it will be easier.
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