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Friday April 21, 2006
Penguicon, Day 0
My flight to Detroit was very educational. I talked at length with the guy sitting next to me, who packed a Harley bag, and wore a Harley hat and a Harley shirt. We discussed Subchapter S incorporation, tax-sheltered retirement funding, and profit margins.
I thought my margins were pretty good. This guy buys industrial components from dismantled power plants at pennies on the dollar, refurbishes them with the help of his team of 20 or so machinists and engineers, and then sells them at about a 20% discount under new parts. Since they're every bit as good as new, he does a bang-up business... for mega-dollar values of "bang-up."
The best part, though, was how his attire totally skews any impression people get of him. He's worth 8 figures, and he looks like a biker. Very down-to-earth.
I got to the hotel and it took a little while to get squared away in a room. While I waited the truck with the pop showed up... and the cargo pallet of pop had broken free of its saran wrap and was canted sharply to one side in the truck. I jumped outside to help, and took charge of staging the pop from the pile, such that it wouldn't tip any further.
This was not selfless. One of my incomplete tasks for the day was "excercise." After slinging flats of pop around I was confident that could be checked off.
I met Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, Guests of Honor, and rode with them over to the Ground Round for the pre-convention dinner. It was very typically loud. I sat at the table with Steve, Sharon, Chris DiBona (the Tech Guest of Honor), The Ferret (blogger extraordinaire and webcomic writer), and several other interesting people. The party of 25 or so was squirreled away in a private room, and we had a great time.
My fajita platter was delicious. I'd neglected to eat anything beyond a bagel that day, so I had no trouble cleaning the plate. And then Aaron Thul, the Con Chair, went ahead and picked up my tab. Maybe he was saying thank you for my help with the pop. Maybe he's just that kind of guy. Regardless, I ate well and am thankful.
Back at the hotel I hit the hot tub, and met a couple of guys who were at Penguicon last year. We talked, got thrown out of the pool area when it closed at 10:00pm, went to the dry sauna and talked some more, and then headed our separate ways when we realized we had all turned into steamed prunes.
And that was it for Thursday. I'm told that the Chaos Machine is sitting in secure storage awaiting my ministrations this morning... but first, breakfast, and maybe a nap. I'm going to need all the sleep I can get.