Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ACen Report

tl;dr version: ACen was good. Am tired, fall down go boom now.

Let's see if I can produce a coherent report:

Thursday's Adventures in Plumbing:

Getting the septic tank pumped didn't fix the plumbing issues; had to get the plumber back out to rod the main line out to the tank. But the cost was lower, as he was able to work from the tank back toward the house instead of draining the pipes and working from the house out.

The minimum charge for Servicemaster to clean up anything water-related is $450. I declined to pay that much for cleaning a half-bath and small area of the basement and cleaned up myself. Cost: a bottle of bleach (which I had on-hand and didn't use up anyway), a basin for bleach water (because it'll probably go out to the curb tomorrow), water, a couple small rags, a half-hour or hour of my time, and hot water and soap for my shower after.  I also threw out the mat from the bathroom and the "dog towels" used to contain the mess, which I told the Servicemaster estimator was the plan.

Our plumbing issues can be blamed on simple old age. The house is in the neighborhood of 75 years old. The lastest crisis (and a good honest plumbing company - ABC) led to diagnosis of another, larger, related issue we can now take steps to fix before it gets to crisis mode. -

Thursday ACen Setup:

Ron stayed long enough to get the trailer unloaded and the gridwall set up, then had to get the truck and trailer out of the exhibition hall. 

In 20/20 hindsight, we should have made a couple-few fewer pouches and taken an afternoon weekend (as in the weekend before ACen) to re-tag all, or at least most, of the existing merchandise. It took longer than hoped for Xap and the three Minions to do that job.  

It was a really good thing that I had come up with a layout last week, since I wasn't there to figure it out on the fly. There was still some flailing, Xap says, but very little of it was of the "where does this go" variety (because I did forget a couple things). 

I think Xap and the Minions got back to hour house about 7 pm?  By that time the plumbing mess was cleaned up, and so was I. I had held off on making dinner until after that, because eww. Fortunately, we'd gotten pre-made chili from GFS, so I could heat it on the stovetop (as opposed to wanting to have it cook all day in a crock pot). 

Bodies! Everwhere!

There were bodies everywhere Thursday and Friday nights - Three Winsauer humans plus two Winsauer dogs, three Eslers, and Marmaduke.  Fortunately, Robin's room was clean enough to accomadate a cot, so Wash could sleep in a less doggy room, and up off the floor (allergies, and aversion to Robin's loft).  Saturday night was a smidge less crowded, since Marmaduke had a room at a hotel.

In the evenings I pretty much got home, ate dinner, and went to bed. In the mornings I took refuge in the dining room. 


The mostly-GFS food plan worked out pretty well. We got breakfast casserole-ish things, which were decent; sausage, cheese, crackers, granola bars and pistaschios for lunches and snacks, plus lots of bottled water; and various things for dinner. There was a small problem with the wet burritos Robin tried to cook Friday night not being hot when we got home, so in disgust he gave up on it and fried pierogis instead. Yum yum. Saturday night was lasagna, galic toast, and chips and guacamole (we'd stopped for more OJ on the way home and the guacamole jumped out at me...). 


Friday morning I took Wash and Marmaduke and went down early-ish. Which was mostly unnecessary, as I only made one change to the layout, condensing all the fiber-ish things to one corner instead of two.  Ron and Xap followed up with the other Xaplet, with a stop at the bank for what turned out to be Stupid Amounts of change/bills for the cashbox. Which was fine, I'd rather have more than necessary than to run short. 

It was busy. It was noisy. I wanted to kill whoever was in the same location as us, but one aisle over and playing the music TOO DAMN LOUD for us to hear the customers, or even each other when right next to each other. So ACen staff had a talk or three with them over the course of the weekend, since Xap and I asking politely (at two different times Friday and Saturday) didn't help. 

As noted in previous posts, I expected being next to Blonde Swan to be dangerous, and it was. Ron got two new hats, a steampunk-ish one with a pair of goggles, and a fez; I got one - a "Kraken" topper, which is black with dark silvery grey tentacles. 

Pouch #1000 didn't even make it through one day. We did get a picture Friday morning. 


Saturday we squashed all 6 of us (Robin stayed home, as per the plan) into the truck. I wore my silver and black corset over a black chemise and skirt, and am told it looked very good with my new hat.  Ron's new vest looked very spiffy. We kept forgetting (all weekend) to put the Minions/Booth Babes in the green vests. 

Saturday afternoon Xap re-arranged The Grinch contents between The Grinch and Max. 

It was busy again. A bit more sales than Friday.


The original plan was for Ron to stay home Sunday, until time to bring the truck and trailer down with Robin. We'd been busy enough we changed the plan, and we took two cars down, with Ron. Good thing, we needed him. Sunday's sales were a bit below Friday's, but not hugely. 

Ron left about 3, by which time things were calming down. The hall closed at 4, and by 5:20 we were on the road/hiking to the parking deck. I have no idea where/how most of the merchandise got packed, only what I dealt with myself. 

Got home, parked the trailer, saw the Eslers off, dropped Marmaduke off at his house, dinner at Toreo (more guacamole, and meat, red meat), got home, and went to bed.  After the dogs celebrated having room in the house by a rousing game of Rip Your Throat Out at the end of Ron's bed. 

And that, I think, is enough for now.    Pictures to follow.  Also analysis of the weekend.

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