Julie Frost, SFF writer (agilebrit) wrote,
Julie Frost, SFF writer

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I aten't dead. (Alternately, "Adventures in Ambulance Hauling")

Only half.

So. Wednesday, we leave home to pick up the Ariel Ambulance in Vegas, a small matter of an 800-mile round trip. Get to Vegas all right, check in to the Excalibur, eat (the buffet was meh; I liked it okay, but the Hubby didn't--and the weird thing is that he's not as picky as I am), wander around, find the Shark Bay at Mandalay Bay (which is WELL worth the price), yadda yadda. Not too bad coming down. We did have to stop in St. George and get the tires on the Willys balanced, because something happened and the poor thing was wobbling all over the place. Hubby wonders if the tires are out of round. He may be right.

Also, rain. Not in Vegas, but during the trip. Rain is BAD for driving the Willys in. The wiper on the driver's side is *cough* unreliable, and the defroster sucks. Also, the windshield leaks.

Next morning, we head over to Cameron's house to pick up the Ambulance and only get lost once. Naturally, it wasn't ready to go when we got there, and we futzed around for about an hour and a half getting the tail section loaded and stuff. Vegas apparently has a dearth of dedicated Browncoats, and only one other person was there to help. Cameron threw his back out, poor guy, but managed to be all right by the time we left.

He wasn't planning on coming down with the Ambulance because of money issues, but we offered him our spare bedroom, and he eagerly accepted. He would follow us later that night. In his Delorean. How cool is that???

On our way out of Vegas, we got stopped in a massive traffic jam. Ten miles ahead of where we stopped, there was a fatal accident in which an eighteen-wheeler burned to the ground. This delayed us another hour-and-a-half, possibly two hours. Dude.

The Ambulance actually hauls pretty well. It's aerodynamic enough, and the Willys was actually quieter coming up to Salt Lake than going down to Vegas because of the better airflow. However, by the time we got into mid-Utah, it was getting dark and starting to rain. Yeah, remember what I said about driving the Willys in the rain? It's worse in the dark. The air shocks are kind of iffy anymore, so when we're hauling a load, the headlights point UP instead of at the road. We decided that discretion was the better part of valor and stopped in Payson for the night.

We got on the road at sunup the next morning. Cameron had managed to find us at the hotel and was parked behind the Ambulance when we got up; he followed us into town. In the rain. Yayness.

The Con, there at the start, was extremely disorganized. Apparently, they had several last-minute cancellations, and so they had to re-do the entire schedule. My panel was still scheduled for noon (one of the first ones of the day, whee!), and it went well. I did actually manage to get through my entire presentation--and I met a couple of people who want to put together a local writer's group.

I also got to meet a couple of local authors, really nice guys, who can actually write. One of them, Ken Rand, writes fantasy westerns(!) that are really awesome, and the other Eric James Stone, has actually won a Writers of the Future ... thing. Yeah. He read us a short story about time-travel where he had two competing timelines--one of which was a timeline where Lincoln didn't get assassinated. Cool stuff.

Oh, there were celebs, too. Richard Hatch, Walter Koenig, and Craig Richard Nelson were all there. I didn't really interact with any of them except to smile and say hi, except for Walter, who came over to the author's table and talked dogs with us for a bit. *grin* He has a Puli.

There were the requisite people in costumes. Star Trek, Star Wars, and BSG, for the most part, but there was also a family in "Incredibles" regalia, which the mom in the family made herself. THAT was made of awesome. Cameron had a Ghostbusters outfit made by the actual guy who designed the costumes for the movie.

I sat at the Ambulance table most of the time, chatting with people about Firefly and the Ambulance, but I also got to chat with Ken quite a bit, and I scored some swag. After a rough beginning, I felt that the Con went pretty well. Cameron went back to Vegas, and the Ambulance is sitting in my driveway; we're going to (probably, weather permitting) take it back on Thursday.

I also finished (well, almost finished; I still have to incorporate some of the Hubby's suggestions) the friend_fic. It even has a title.

And, since I know everyone's dying to see what the Ambulance looks like behind the Willys, there's a pic:

Tags: conventions, firefly, mountaincon
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Sounds like quite a trip - I can actually see what you mean, about the headlights pointing upwards when you are hauling a load, in the picture.
Wow. You're a dedicated fan! That is a cool picture.
Dude, I *so* owe the Hubby a HUGE one for this. I don't think my post really got across what a mostly unmitigated nightmare the trip down was.
Imagine having no idea what you're talking about.

Then going on the internet, and finding out. Congratulations! I'm tempted to watch Hunt for Red October just to see it in action.

The 21st century does have its plus points, I will admit.
Or you could, you know, pick up the Firefly DVD set and watch the actual "Ariel" ep. Check your local library if you don't want to spend the money (under $30 at DeepDiscountDVD) on the set.

They're hoping to have it completely restored in about six months.

Or you could, you know, pick up the Firefly DVD set and watch the actual "Ariel" ep

Yah, I could - and indeed, I shall, here at some point. But I already have HfRO, and it's always amusing to see the earlier - or later - incarnations of things. That was one of the clever elements of the original Star Trek - they had to watch every penny, and things were adapted and re-used ruthlessly.

Except, oddly enough, for the phaser rifle from the second pilot. In all these years, I have never learned why such a cool, time-and-labor-expensive prop disappeared, never to be used or even seen again...

The people who found and are restoring the Rocky Jones Silvercup Rocket might be worth talking to.

Silvercup Rocket

Congrats on your panel going well. Cool about meeting authors.
Terribly cool! I seriously admire your dedication.
As the Chair of Mountain-Con, I wanted to say Thank You. There are a few things I'm a little upset about (the hotel pushing the ambulance all the way in an area where there was NO traffic) but I very much appreciate the efforts that have gone into this. I just wish that more Browncoats could have seen it.

The title of the fan-fic panel came from another panelists that was planning to be on the panel with you. Two similar ideas had been combined into one panel. And you were correct, with the last minute cancellations, it did add a TON of stress and re-scheduling for everything.

I'm looking forward to Mountain-Con Episode III in a new hotel (larger and much nicer). Again thank you.
I'm looking forward to MountainCon III next year as well. :) And if you want someone for a fanfic panel or three, I'm in.

At WriterCon, we spent an entire three-day weekend with panels on writing, both fanfic and profic, but mainly fanfic. There's definitely more subjects to be covered than what Scott and I did...and if you wanted to have a "writing track," that would totally rock.