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Monday, March 19, 2012

What comes to mind is the question "When does a hotel restaurant cease to even care?". The Ramada Inn which was the location of our convention this weekend had a little restaurant, and when Loen and I rolled out of bed Friday morning after a whopping 4-hour nap, we were an hungred, and went to eat at Justin's Place.

And here I thought it was the gym....

Himself was not in evidence, but had he been so, I would have asked Justin a few things. I ordered coffee, juice, and two eggs over-light, bacon, toast and hash browns.

These are hash browns:

Hash browns are a mass of innumerate shreds of potato fried until crispy. They are what String Theory would be if it worked at Waffle House.
OTOH, these are home fries:

The potatoes I got looked like pan-dried one-inch cubes of potato, fried and dry, which appeared to have been counted onto the plate, rather than spooned. They wept for emollient Heinz ketchup. Or just salt.

They got the eggs right, and the mass of bacon was a treat, but the quantity was likely because the strips just wouldn't come apart. The toast was toast. Cold toast.

There were perhaps five tables being served, with two "servers" being in evidence. At the beginning, my coffee was a long time coming. When it arrived, I waited ten minutes for a spoon to stir it. Mmmmmmm...lukewarm hotel coffee.

(Let me interject here that I am not That Guy. I do not have unreasonable expectations, and I do not consider myself to be a pwecious snowflake for whom the planet revolves. I have been a waiter several times in my life, and know what is involved. I expect servers to be trained to Do Their Job. Hmmmm...mebbe I am That Guy.)

Bottom line: it took too long for the service cycle to complete. Part of the food was not as advertised. Loen commented about his breakfast, being amazed at how hard it appeared to be to toast a bagel.

We did not eat there again.

Here was an inn with a restaurant, which is usually the center of the public face of the hotel, and yet this seemed an afterthought. The hotel was well-worn at the heels, in a truly troubled part of town (the hotel across the street looked neat, but had the reputation of having hot and cold running hookers.) The standout business in the neighborhood was a Dollar General Store. This old Ramada is likely not long for this world, which will be sad. The hotel staff were helpful and polite. The room was clean, so it was not a visit to El Rancho Roacho. The restaurant was just not what the place needed, though it is probably what would be expected.


Another thing I note is the devolution of fannish things. Pop-culture convention-goers are ceasing to be members of Fan-dom, but rather to be members of Con-dom. The Con is the thing, not so much the anime, the sci fi, or the gaming. It may be a function of Weekend Party Culture. I merely observe this. Anime cons are decreasingly about teh anime, and cross-fandom is rampant. Doctor Who shirts are an important part of our con mix, f'rinstance. Every con is becoming a multi-fandom media con rather than hewing to Trufandom, that is to say, the con-goers are increasingly polymath, less focused on a particular show or genre. (I will regret this) Many costumed kids (cosplayers) are appearing as characters from a bizarre webcomic, Homestuck.  Anime cons seem to be the most convivial, being friendly places for Who, Homestuck, anime, steampunk, and Pony fandom to congregate friendlily. Ecumenical fandom. But con-culture as a whole is becoming mixed, blended, frapped. More volume, less substance.

Cons are now Popular.

Everybody's doing it.

I think that this does not bode well.


Michael W said...

The "Con-dom" people are ruining the San Diego Comics Con (if it hasn't been irreparably damaged by now). The larger a con (or the bigger the chance it'll be covered by the media), the greater the risk for attracting non-fannish bottom feeders.

Not so much a hotel restaurant, but I'll never eat at Denny's again. Denise dragged me to one some years ago and I ordered the sausage links. What I got was an Oscar Meyer hot dog cut lengthwise and broiled. That is NOT a sausage link!

Michael W said...

And, while I've still got a rant left in me, let's discuss people posing as SF fans. The sort of people of whom I'll ask: "Are you a science fiction fan?". And they answer: "Sure! I've seen every STAR WARS movie."

Wrong answer, bitch.

For one thing, don't tell me what you've seen, tell me what you've Read. Have you been through Asimov's Foundation trilogy, or Herbert's Dune, or Clarke's Childhood's End? Even the contemporary stuff, like Card's Ender series, or Bujold's Vorkosigan books? Do you know the difference between FIAWOL and FIJAGH? What's a Hugo? What's a Nebula?

And let's talk about what you've seen. What does UNCLE and NIMR stand for? Who was Number One? Name the actors who've played Doctor Who . . . in order! Which version of The War Of The Worlds do you prefer? Who's Ray Harryhausen? Who was Paul Blaisdell or Chesley Bonestell or Jack Pierce? What was THX-1138, or C-57D? Have you seen the restored version of Lang's Metropolis, or Aelita? For that matter, have you ever seen X The Unknown, or Devil Girl From Mars?

You call yourself a SF fan? Not in my Marine Corps, maggot. Now drop and give me fifty!

The Aardvark said...

And how did KRONOS achieve forward locomotion?

Huh? HUH??!

(Didja ever hear Card's "Secular Humanist Revival"?)

Michael W said...

Denise does more Card reading than I do. I'll ask her.

Regards to KRONOS (one of my faves): I suspect the center column somehow supplied the forward momentum. Notice how it seemed to glow and whirl around, while the outer columns went up and down (continually adjusting balance?). KRONOS might have been better described as the Duncan Top From Hell!

The Aardvark said...

Duncan tops! Yes, you are right. You left out a key part of hard SF in your rantlet: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Oh, and the answer is FIJAGH!

Which version of War of the Worlds? The good one. (although, have you seen the one released at the time of that Spielberg excretion? It was set at le tournant du si├Ęcle, and is surprisingly not bad. Would have benefited by Jeff Wayne score, though. (I could never give Wayne a pass on his meddling with the story, and the "Spirit of Man" song is just embarrassing. I will say nothing of the Parson's theology, less of his need for counseling and meds.)