Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finished Pouch, More ACen Prep Patter

Last night I finished one of the two custom pouches I got orders for at CodCon. Here's a picture, with my iPhone for size:

This pouch is for a smartphone. A really big smartphone. Or maybe its a very small tablet. IIRC a newer member of the Samsung Galaxy family. 

The customer asked for the paired latches, and I decided not to try to do lacing between them. He's had problems with belt loop failure on other phone cases, so I made the belt loops fairly thick, and they're held on with both rivets and hand-stitching.

The sides are laced up, like the other square-cornered soft-ish pouches I make. It's also only about an inch or so thick, so doing the lacing was entertaining, especially down at the bottom (started there, worked up to the top). My knuckles aren't raw, but I was wondering. 

The other custom pouch is kind of in a holding pattern, I need Ron to wax the front before I can go much farther (I have a couple quick bits of machine-sewing I can do before that, and then I'm definitely on hold). It didn't get done last night because he was at work late, because of being sucked into meetings. Tonight he's going to be late-ish again, but hopefully it will get done. 

Ron's been working on Perl scripts to take the data from RingItUp from both our iPads, do voodoo, and give me data that will, hopefully, make doing the books simpler - more cutting and pasting and less typing. 

If I can get the custom pouch done tonight, I'm hoping to get the CodCon sales recorded tomorrow night, so we can start poking at the inventory spreadsheet to import items into RingItUp. 

The lag of several days between steps that ACen seems to have for exhibitors is frustrating me again. I don't plan on ordering booth furnishings, amenities, or even electricity from the convention center (this year...), but I wanted to be able to log in and make sure the information on-line matched the PDF documents ACen has. Except the convention center services company website said there was no booth number 620 for ACen. Fortunately, the nice lady who answered the phone at the services company took my information and got me access. 

Also, the ACen information for exhibitors seems to assume that you've done this song and dance before, and is kinda scant in several areas. Today's discovery is that when Ron arrives in Rosemont two weeks (!) from today with the truck and trailer, he does not go to the convention center, he goes to a marshalling yard some distance away. The information on the ACen website blithely states that exhibitors can pull their vehicle into the hall and park in front of their booth for setup. Fortunately, I wondered just how that was going to work, especially in terms of traffic control, and did some digging. I understand the need/want not to duplicate data and effort, but if you that means they need better pointers to where information *is*.

Leather and hardware arrived yesterday. When I looked this morning, tails were out for delivery. I let Robin know, so he could keep an eye on the box or put it out of dog-reach. I think a taped-up-for-shipping box is probably sufficient to keep Pippin out, but I'm not certain.


  1. It sounds like only having to deal with a fan table at Wondercon - and having someone else do much of the pre-convention paperwork - saved me from some hassle.

    When it came to dealing with the convention services people for the Anaheim Convention Center (and/or Comic-Con International), Freeman, at the convention they made my job mostly easier. On setup, they hauled everything from my car to the table, and on cleanup the only glitch was that they wanted me to use the rolls of giant saran wrap (which likes me only marginally better than the home version) to wrap our collection of mismatched boxes and bags onto the palette before taking it to my car.

    And they were pretty nice to us since we were one of the few fan groups that were obeying the rules and not just hauling everything out ourselves (often using the verboten carts).

    Now, you'd be in a bit of a different situation if you were showing at (a magically transported to the Chicago area, but still in the Anaheim convention center) Wondercon since much of your load comes in rolling carts. I suspect that they'd have either loaded them onto paletts or just found a way to move them with their lifts and carts and drop them in your place.

    If Rosemont is like Anaheim (and, 99% of the other convention centers), without setting up (and possibly paying) through them, you'll get a chunk of bare concrete floor - possibly with some pipe-and-drape separating you from your neighbors. Everything that comes for free in most hotels (carpet, tables, etc.) come from the decorator or services company at a cost.

    On the other hand, this is probably not too different from most indoor SCA events, except possibly for a union that thinks that nobody else should be doing their job.'

    1. Replied, below, hit the wrong button so it isn't nested/sending you a notification.

  2. The conventions services person I've talked to was very helpful, and their website where I found the information about going to the marshaling yard. its ACen's information/website/procedures that was pushing my buttons.

    That said, If convention services people tried to put Thing 1, Thing 2, and The Grinch on pallets instead of just pushing them to where they go, I'd be giving them a piece of my mind. All the casters on the Things are swivels with no locks, so without strapping them down, there's no way to keep them on a pallet, and the Grinch would be an unstable load, with its fairly narrow wheelbase. I haven't measured a pallet lately, but I think each one would need its own pallet. And then there's weight - each one weighs a good hundred pounds empty, and they're far from empty, so a forklift would be needed. A good forklift operator might be able to get the teeth of the lift into the slots on the Things without hitting the bolts for the wheels, but I wouldn't trust just anybody to do it. Pushing the Things and The Grinch to where they go would really be the fastest and simplest way to go.

    Yes, I realize that the provided amenities are minimal - pipe-and-drape, one table (un-skirted), and two chairs. That's laid out fairly clearly in the convention services documents, and one thing ACen does manage to convey. I was also looking at the convention services documents to make one last check for anything I might actually want to rent from them, as opposed to bringing myself. Which, fortunately, ACen has negotiated to allow exhibitors to do, along with doing our own material handling and booth setup. So, yes, very much like an SCA event.

    Although the decision to do ACen was fairly sudden, a year or so ago I looked at dealer/exhibitor policies for ACen, Midwest FurFest, and Chicon.