I'm writing this on Friday morning and I've just bought 24 hours of Internet access: my credit card is smoking. Unfortunately the Wifi is provided by Eurospot, who are highly skilled at the art of ripping off businessmen on all-expenses-paid junkets, but not so good at reducing their prices to something remotely reasonable for skint SF fans.
The drive up was pretty uneventful. There was one traffic jam caused by repairs to the central reservation crash barrier, a slow-down caused by a contraflow system around a bridge repair, and a couple of short periods of rain so heavy I could barely see through the windscreen with the wipers on the fastest setting. The trickiest part to negotiate was the last couple of miles in Glasgow itself along the very busy M8.
I arrived at the hotel around lunchtime. I couldn't find anybody I knew, and the committee had all disappeared (to lunch I presume), so I decided to just get on with bringing all the stuff up and piling it outside the (locked) Chaos room. I had to pay £2 to get my car back out of the car park and bring it round to the front (I suspect if I'd checked in first I could have opened the barrier with my room key?), then a gale force wind suddenly sprang up and attempted to blow everything away. It turns out that a model boat hull makes a surprisingly effective lifting body, and the least said about the polystyrene and plywood sheets the better.
I eventually got everything into the room and set it all up nicely with newspaper on the tables and everything:
It isn't that tidy any more.
Jamie Scott brought a van full of Chaos stuff carried over from Interaction, and I helped bring it upstairs. Part way through lugging the huge boxes upstairs, Barbara (from Chaos Costume) pointed out that some of them were full of YAFA toys that aren't really of much use for building either robots or costumes, and I ended up taking them back down to the van. Chaos Costume haven't fully set up yet, but looking at the huge pile of bags full of cloth I suspect things are going to get a little bit crowded in here soon. I think the plan is for as many people as possible to work out on the mezzanine outside, and move everything back into the room before we lock up at night.
I've met lots of new people, too many to list. I spent a few hours chatting to John Wilson, the Orbital 2008 hotel liaison. No sign of SMS yet, but James Bacon arrived while I was writing this, and suddenly the Chaos Room began to live up to its name. We haven't even started making any robots or costumes yet, and there are people and junk flying around all over the place.
My bedroom is surprisingly large; I got a twin room even though I only paid for a single. The bed is a bit too soft for me (I woke up with a sore neck), and the heating system seems to be broken, but I've stayed in worse. The buffet meal last night wasn't too bad, and the breakfast this morning was fine. The view from high up in the hotel is very impressive.
People keep telling me how impressed they are at the job I did setting up the Chaos Robotics area. Apparently it's never been this well organised before.
The weather is highly changeable so far- I've seen hot sun with blue skies, gale force winds, and heavy rain within the space of an hour. Hopefully the BC event itself will catch a good period.