Sunday, September 02, 2007

Farewell to David, Karen & Tal - and my penknife

I've just returned from three days in gloriously sunny Brisbane. I flew up on Friday afternoon - feeling very chuffed at having selected my own plane seat and printed out my own boarding pass at home the day being leaving! Yes, it's now possible to get on a plane without speaking to any human beings at the airport! Bizarre!

Alas, my poor penknife. Travelling with only carry-on luggage as I was, I suddenly realised I had nowhere to put my trusty ol' little penknife, which has been attached to my keyring for about twenty years! No sharps permitted in airline cabins these days so, not wanting to risk a $100,000 fine, into a garbage bin it went. Sob.

Saturday was a quick trip to the local mall for a haircut, and then into the city with my friend Maria and her new(ish) baby, Benjamin, who was born a few weeks after my last trip to Brisbane, last year. We dashed around all my favourite haunts: Ace Comics, Egg (second hand collectibles - I actually completed my "Herculoids" action figure collection!), Comics Etc (where I located an elusive Star Trek comic art cover), Mr Toys' Toyworld and Daily Planet. I think I managed to find something very cool and/or well-priced in all locations! Ben was very considerate and sat looking very cute and patient in his stroller.

You should have seen me, a few hours later, frantically freeing all my toy purchases from their little plastic sarcophagi to squeeze them into my cabin baggage allowance. Even though Maria and Peter had offered me the use of a large suitcase, I had to know well in advance if I needed it or not - before printing off my return journey's boarding pass on their computer! Seeing I don't have photo ID (I'm a permanent pedestrian), it was in my best interest not to have to try to prove who I was with two credit cards (and a current bill in my name with my domestic address printed on it).

Saturday night was spent with my old conQuest buddies at author Natalie Jane Prior's house, sitting on the balcony munching on Thai food and overlooking the annual River Festival fireworks. Most congenial!

Sunday was the Sci-Nut Star Trek Convention, with guests Jack Donner ("Tal" the Romulan), Star Trek novelist David R George III and his wife Karen. I'd been lucky enough to meet them the week before at a Sydney celebratory brunch, but this time my fellow Star Trek Meet-up and TrekBBS denizen, Rosalind, was also able to make the trek up from Sydney to meet David, and we both found it such a buzz that David was as excited about meeting us as we were to get to know him. What a pity so many local Brisbane fans overlooked this weekend's event. I don't think I saw one poster for the con in a bookshop, but Quest members had been made aware of the day, but they were rather thin on the ground. Oh well, their loss.

David & IanTal & Ian
David R George III (left) and Ian McLean. Jack Donner and Ian McLean.

The small, intimate affair that was this convention granted attendees unprecedented access to these most generous and entertaining celebs! At lunchtime, the convention doors were locked and the entire party moved to the nearby Shingle Inn for lunch, and then wandered back for more hobnobbing. Thanks for a great time at the convention, and have a safe trip back to the US on Tuesday, Jack, David and Karen! Hope to see you again soon.

Ian, Karen & David
Ian McLean with Karen and David R George III
at Sci-Nut Convention, Brisbane, 2007.

In a moment, I shall weigh myself and see what damage all this feasting and hobnobbing has done to my dieting efforts...

Sunday's magic number: 95.0 - drat! Musta been those damned "Krispy Kreme" donuts Maria made me buy for her at Sydney airport on Friday night. (Or Saturday's lemon cheesecake, or Saturday night's chocolate Bavarian, or Sunday's carrot cake...) Sigh. Back to the old drawing board...

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