Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Capricon was this weekend. A new one for us and a chance to try out our new Garmin Nuvi 760 GPS. We've had a GPS for several years (we call it "The Oracle") and it has some nice features like a huge touchscreen. But the girl was showing her age. So we handed it over to our new Minion and made the plunge on a new one. The 760 was on sale and had most of the features I wanted.

First and most uselessly- it has several different voices. We have settled on "Daniel". I was perfectly happy with the default "Helen" since men are by nature trained to obey a commanding female voices, but Rossana likes "Daniel" even though he uses the work "Slip road" instead of "Exit".

The unit took us to Chicago and then promptly told us to get off the highway and travel through Chinatown. It apparently receives traffic updates from a spirit guide and was trying to keep us out of danger. All in all I give it a B+ for the trip out.

For some reason setup took forever. What made it worse was the total lack of any moisture in the hotel or its environs. It was seriously uncomfortable. Our throats were parched despite glass after glass of water, our lips started to chap, the skin on our hands peeled. I've spent time in the actual Sahara and this was by far more uncomfortable. We did okay sales but Rossana was saddled with a lerger than normal number of annoying people. I mean REALLY annoying people. We deal with people all the time, so imagine what it takes to get under our skin. But there were some cool people as well. People who were getting into steampunk. Enthusiastic people. We were begged to come to WindyCon in November and we agreed.

We had to stay an extra day in the windy (and sub-zero) city so that we could stop by the Turkish consulate to get our travel visas. There is a company that does this for you for a fee, but it involves mailing your passwort to them, and Rossana just could not let her passport go somewhere without her. Daniel got us to the area and we quickly learned that Chicago was raped and beaten by a white van as a child. That's the only explanation I can think of for the way our vehicle was treated at the local parking garages. $35 an HOUR??? We found parking on the street and entered the consular offices, which look very much like any other office except you have to go through a metal detector first. This search wasn't quite a thorough as it could have been. They checked my messerger bag and Rossana's purse but they did not search my large jacket, whoch could have held and UZI and a vest bomb for all they knew.

We handed over our passports and application along with $45 each and were told to come back after 2:30. With nothing else to do I consulted Daniel (who can operate on battery power) and found the Chicago Art Institute not far away. After a bit of culture we picked up our passports and tried to go home. Alas, Daniel seemed to have suffered some kind of annyurism and couldn't find satalite signal for a while, then told us to get off 90 only to have us get right back on again. I hive Daniel a C for the trip home.

Today was errands and paperwork. We leave for Florida tomorrow where I pray there is some moisture. So.... dry...

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