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Rod's DaveCon2008 Trip Report: Part One

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Rod Fernandez

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Jun 24, 2008, 7:11:28 PM6/24/08
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DaveCon2008 Trip Report: Part One, Getting There

You know, time files when you are having fun. I’m not sure of exactly
when I first came upon alt.fan.letterman, but I’d guess about 1997. The
credit goes to my lovely wife Alyssa. She was involved in the X-Files
fan newsgroup about that time and suggested there might be a Letterman
fan newsgroup I’d find interesting. I lurked for a time and posted as
“Alyssa and/or Rod” rather than set up my own account. It was the era
of the limo ladies. Even though this was my first DaveCon, I’ve been on
afl since before there was even such an animal. I remember a meet up of
afl folks which took place in San Francisco. It included Marilyn,
Laura/Maybeso, Steve Timko, and Monica Bay.

I’ve been invited to a DaveCon in the past but I couldn’t make it
happen. I do get a fair amount of vacation time, but it was hard for me
to get specific time off without lots of advanced notice. So I
regrettably declined in the past. But I didn’t take it personally if I
weren’t asked to the DaveCons. I think we (afl) are fortunate to get
more than a handful of tickets, and I realize that I can’t be expected
to be one of those invited.

I was hoping this year might finally be the year for me. I know that Tom
W. from Pittsburgh, 90 miles south of me, had been to the DaveCon in the
past. He wrote in a previous trip report that he’d driven to a motel in
NJ and made it to the city from there. So I asked him at the risk of
being presumptuous that if he and I got invited I’d be willing to share
a hotel room at a more convenient location closer to the Ed. Well, some
people who had previously attended must have sent in regrets because I
got the official invite! There is a beautiful young lady at work, let’s
call her Jaclyn, who is in charge of the operating room schedule. I had
asked her to make sure that one room in the OR was blocked off to make
sure I could attend the DaveCon. Coincidentally, she was on vacation
last week, going to LA. Jaclyn is such a sweetheart not to mention a
fabulous babe, and her work has been increasingly stressful. She was
really looking forward to her trip as well and getting a much-needed
break. She was also going to attend a talk show taping, Chelsea Lately.
She said she’d rather see that over Leno.

About two weeks previously I had a hotel stay in Pittsburgh for a legal
proceeding, specifically mediation. I was named in a lawsuit and at the
end of the stressful day it was settled. Fortunately, I didn’t have to
contribute financially to the settlement. However, the circumstances of
the case were tragic so I really didn’t feel like celebrating when it
was settled. But it was a nice sense of relief to have the case behind
me before my NYC trip.

I made reservations to leave Pittsburgh Wednesday evening. My work
schedule is unpredictable and I try to plan for the worst-case scenario.
I didn’t want to miss the flight due to me being stuck work, then
having to drive 90 miles to the airport. I looked to see what hotels
were around the theater and considered lots of options. It worked a
little cheaper if I made air and hotel by Travelocity rather than
separately. I also got airport transport reservations though Travelocity
by Golden Touch tours. In the future I will never use Golden Touch. So I
made my online reservations and emailed Tom W. the details. He was going
to arrive earlier in the day, so I made sure the hotel had his name for
check in.

I was on call Tuesday, that way I could be the first person out on
Wednesday. I didn’t get to leave until 3 PM, so I was glad I didn’t have
a 5 PM plane to catch. However, when I drove to Pittsburgh the exit I
usually take was completely closed and there was a detour. Thank
goodness for the GPS. I parked my car at the long term parking lot, and
just happed upon the car of the very sweet OR scheduler, Jaclyn! I left
her a note on a scrap of paper and put it under her windshield wiper. It
said “Hi Jaclyn J”. If she’s unable to read my handwriting, she’ll know
it was from me.

At the airport they told me the plane would be delayed by about an hour
and a half. So I’m sitting in the Pittsburgh airport worried that Tom W.
in a worst-case scenario wold not be able to check in if the hotel
didn’t get his name. I made the reservations with Travelocity, not the
hotel. When I called the hotel to make sure they had his name, they said
I had to do it via Travelocity. Tom mentioned that he was going to eat
dinner with Traci & Helen on Wednesday night and the ladies were going
to see a Broadway show. I had Traci’s cell number but I didn’t want to
interrupt the show so I decided I would send her a text message. I’ve
sent maybe two text messages before in my life, so it took me a long
time to ask Traci to let Tom know my plane would be late. I had plenty
of time waiting in Pittsburgh. During my wait I bought and started to
read the latest David Sedaris book. I also had a nice chat with a woman
who was going to meet her daughter in NY. The daughter is a law student
in Michigan and was going to NY for a job interview. They were planning
on doing some shopping. She owns a bridal store in New Castle, PA. When
we boarded the plane, I was delighted to discover that I was going to
sit next to her. If I had a need for bridal stuff, I’d be sure to look
her store up. Before the plane took off I got a call from Tom. He
assured me that he check into the hotel and he would probably just be
watching the Late Show when I got in.

Instead of arriving in LaGuarida at 10 PM I got into town at midnight.
As instructed on my voucher, I called the Golden Touch toll free number
to find out where they would pick me up. I dialed the number and the
extension it told me to call after 8 PM, which was an inaccurate. They
transferred my to the correct extension, and a lady with a thick Indian
accent informed me that I was supposed to arrive at 9:59 PM, and it was
now midnight. She put me on hold. Then she told me to find the ground
transportation desk and she again put me on hold. I found a young man at
the desk and he got on his direct line to Golden Touch and he told me
that I didn’t need to stay on hold. It was around that time I got a text
message from Traci asking if I had landed yet. I thought about texting
back, but with my limited texting skills I decided just to call her on
the phone. She reassured me that if the transport service didn’t work
out, I could take a taxi or consider other options. She told me that she
had a nice dinner with Tom, Helen, Bill, and enjoyed a delicious
cheesecake. I told her I had a cup of aged coffee form McDonalds in the
Pittsburgh airport. Then the ground transport desk guy than told me that
the Golden Touch b*tch hung up on him, and how he wished he had her
givl-ing name. I knew I was in New York all right. He tried to call her
again. He was more p-o’ed than I was. I redialed the Golden Touch line
on my cell and eventually got the Indian woman who told me it would be
about 45 minutes before they could get me a ride. Fortunately, the man
at ground transportation found another shuttle driver who was able to
use my voucher and deliver me to the hotel, along with a load of other
passengers from other terminals. The ride was less than relaxing. I felt
every bump, the seat belt didn’t work, and nobody said a word to each
other on the ride. I got to the hotel around 1:20 AM to rudely awaken
Tom W. I reassured him that I was indeed Rod and I would catch up with
him in the morning.

I didn’t think I’d ever get to the room, I was all but certain that
tomorrow was going to be a better day.

Kath

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Jun 25, 2008, 2:55:44 AM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 9:11 am, Rod Fernandez <ro...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> DaveCon2008 Trip Report: Part One, Getting There

>


> I’ve been invited to a DaveCon in the past but I couldn’t make it
> happen. I do get a fair amount of vacation time, but it was hard for me
> to get specific time off without lots of advanced notice. So I
> regrettably declined in the past. But I didn’t take it personally if I
> weren’t asked to the DaveCons. I think we (afl) are fortunate to get
> more than a handful of tickets, and I realize that I can’t be expected
> to be one of those invited.
>

I was debating whether I should put a response to this because it
wasn't directly directed to me, but maybe just your own hapstance
response to your future circumstance. But I decided it was veiled
comment to me and others not invited. Otherwise the comment is
completely out of context and unnecessary to your trip report, which
is fun to read by the way, thank you for posting it.

I was uncomfortable to be left out, and was so about Foxy B-day videos
which I found out about way after her birthday, so I made a joke at
myself and my situation. But I frankly I realise the distance is too
great (Ken about $3000 round trip to LA), and the group meeting would
probably be mostly awkward so I do not expect to be invited, not now
or in the future. But I can poke fun about it to shake off the bitter
sweet and try to keep having fun in this group and with you, which is
what I would like to do.

Kath

Traci

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Jun 25, 2008, 7:44:04 AM6/25/08
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Kath says...

> I was uncomfortable to be left out, and was so about Foxy B-day videos
> which I found out about way after her birthday, so I made a joke at
> myself and my situation. But I frankly I realise the distance is too
> great (Ken about $3000 round trip to LA), and the group meeting would
> probably be mostly awkward so I do not expect to be invited, not now
> or in the future. But I can poke fun about it to shake off the bitter
> sweet and try to keep having fun in this group and with you, which is
> what I would like to do.
>
> Kath
>

Kath, tried to email you several times with two different addresses I
had for you. Both bounced several times.

Traci

--
"Not only do I want an *elite* president. I want someone who is
embarrassingly superior to me. Somebody who speaks 16 languages and
sleeps two hours a night hanging upside down in a chamber they
themselves designed."
--Jon Stewart, TDS

Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot

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Jun 25, 2008, 12:21:47 PM6/25/08
to


Kath, I totally understand how you feel.
For a group that claims it's not a clique,
it's a very underhanded thing to organize a trip to the LS where only a
select chosen few are included and the rest are not privy.
The event is kept super-top-secret until after it occurs, at which point
the board is swamped with reports of how much fun it was.
How is that supposed to make those who *weren't* included feel?
I know I would never be invited in a million years,
but the attitude does harken back to the quote in my signature.

--
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"Did you ever once show me any kind of friendship?
Ask my help with a personal problem?
Include me in one of your little bull sessions?
Can you imagine what it feels like to walk by this tent
and hear you laughing and know... that I'm not welcome?
Did you ever once offer me a lousy cup of coffee?"
-- Major Margaret Houlihan "M*A*S*H" ("The Nurses")
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alan Page

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Jun 25, 2008, 12:30:24 PM6/25/08
to

"CB" wrote...

> it's a very underhanded thing to organize a trip to the LS where only a
> select chosen few are included and the rest are not privy.

Again, you fail to know the history here.

> The event is kept super-top-secret until after it occurs, at which point
> the board is swamped with reports of how much fun it was.

Not "super-top-secret"...I knew about it.

There are limited seats available and the invites are sent out and
RSVP'd and open spots are filled.
I'm not an organizer, but I have been invited, yet, never attended a
DaveCon.

> How is that supposed to make those who *weren't* included feel?

That's totally up to you. Don't blame anyone else for how you feel.

--


Alan

www.best-page.us

~WWWWW~
What a Wonderful Web We Weave


Helen Read

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Jun 25, 2008, 1:29:19 PM6/25/08
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Rod Fernandez wrote:
> DaveCon2008 Trip Report: Part One, Getting There
>
> You know, time files when you are having fun. I’m not sure of exactly
> when I first came upon alt.fan.letterman, but I’d guess about 1997. The
> credit goes to my lovely wife Alyssa. She was involved in the X-Files
> fan newsgroup about that time and suggested there might be a Letterman
> fan newsgroup I’d find interesting. I lurked for a time and posted as
> “Alyssa and/or Rod” rather than set up my own account.

I remember the "Alyssa and/or Rod" screen name, which was a little
confusing.

> I also got airport transport reservations though Travelocity
> by Golden Touch tours. In the future I will never use Golden Touch.

Next time you might consider just taking a cab to and from the airport.
Couldn't be easier.

> Tom mentioned that he was going to eat
> dinner with Traci & Helen on Wednesday night and the ladies were going
> to see a Broadway show. I had Traci’s cell number but I didn’t want to
> interrupt the show so I decided I would send her a text message. I’ve
> sent maybe two text messages before in my life, so it took me a long
> time to ask Traci to let Tom know my plane would be late.

There's always voicemail, Rod :-)

--
HPR

http://homepages.together.net/~hpr/daveorama/

katycren

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Jun 25, 2008, 2:36:46 PM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 12:21 pm, Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot


I know I lurked here for a few months then began posting very
tentatively. When the first DaveCon trip reports were posted during my
initial year here, I was very surprised since I hadn't picked up on
the vague DaveCon references that were swapped amongst the would-be
attendees. I've always considered DaveCon a "private party," the
details of which I'm privy to only because AFL'ers enjoy reading trip
reports, especially when we can't be in the audience very often, and
the DaveCon-ers are generous in sharing their Late Show experiences. I
have friends who've attended a Presidential inauguration or a
political fundraiser to which I wasn't invited, but I still enjoyed
listening to their description of the event without any bitterness. I
think of DaveCon in much the same way.

I don't know all the details, but I've gleaned a bit through the
years about how invitations are issued. While I don't recall exactly,
I *may* have sent an email to Traci just to let her know that I'd love
to be invited "some day" and that I had a sister in NY with whom I
could stay. Then I waited several years -- knowing that only a certain
number of tickets are available each year and that first consideration
is given to past attendees. It's not a lottery and it's not a
rotation. The person who has the LS connection was kind enough to get
a block of tickets in the beginning and share the good fortune with
the AFL'ers she knew best, and, thus, decided on the selection
procedure. Meanwhile, in the newsgroup as in real life, I've made
mistakes and said all kinds of dumb, boring stuff, but people here
treat you with respect as long as you return the courtesy. Online, as
in real life, I am usually well-mannered, though I'm not aware of that
quality being a criteria for a DaveCon ticket. I'm also persevering,
and I think longevity helps in this case. I realize that only a
couple of tickets are available for newcomers each year. Through the
years I've gotten to know the regulars a little, their online personas
and their personal lives as well, but I was still completely shocked
and delighted when I received my first DaveCon invitation 3 yeas ago.
I was a replacement for someone who had to cancel at the last minute,
so it was part luck and part patience that I was asked. If an email
invitation was issued to someone and that email bounced back, maybe I
owe that person a debt of gratitude. Thank you -- to everyone
involved. I'm very grateful.


Kate -- who is working on her FIRST trip report

Rod Fernandez

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Jun 25, 2008, 5:09:57 PM6/25/08
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My comments were not directed at you specifically or any one person in
particular but to any who feel slighted by not being included. I was
going to write this in my trip report even before I set out. I wanted to
give my perspective. Rationally I understand that I shouldn't expected
to be invited at all, just as I shouldn't realistically be expected to
be called upon by Dave pre-show with a question. But after being on the
group for years and only hearing about the DaveCon after the events, I
would often feel "did they even look at my audition tape?". I offered my
comments not only to give my perspective but to also offer an
understanding of how any valued but uninvited person may inevitably
feel, because I know the feeling.

BTW, Kath, you are invited to visit my neck of the woods anytime. I'd
buy dinner and provide shelter, too.

Rod

Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot

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Jun 25, 2008, 5:19:46 PM6/25/08
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The whole thing is horribly exclusionary, isn't it?
Of course the people who are invited aren't going to think so,
and why should they?

If there's only a small block of tickets, then there should be a contest
or a lottery system. A mere mortal playing God with who goes and who
doesn't is absurd.

Donz5

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Jun 25, 2008, 5:38:32 PM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 5:19 pm, Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot

Your suggestion will be considered with the merit it deserves.

You have utterly no idea of the history, and for you to so feel so
left out after being in this newsgroup for mere months bespeaks an
inferiority complex that should be looked at.

Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot

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Jun 25, 2008, 5:41:33 PM6/25/08
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Must be nice to get so much personal validation from being "King" of a
Usenet group -- right, Don? Or are you still busy eating crow from your
previous little "identity" mistake?

Donz5

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Jun 25, 2008, 5:48:11 PM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 5:41 pm, Crash 'Strawman' Bandicoot

Longevity has its benefits.

> Or are you still busy eating crow from your
> previous little "identity" mistake?

Looks like you're thread-hopping. Shouldn't this be OT?

Alan Page

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Jun 25, 2008, 7:18:52 PM6/25/08
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"CB" wrote...

> If there's only a small block of tickets, then there should be a contest
> or a lottery system. A mere mortal playing God with who goes and who
> doesn't is absurd.

There is such a system...complain to the owners...but you'd have to
properly identify your true identity.

http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/show_info/tickets/

Kath

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Jun 25, 2008, 8:40:44 PM6/25/08
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On Jun 25, 9:44 pm, Traci <hoosiergir...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Kath says...
>
> > I was uncomfortable to be left out, and was so about Foxy B-day videos
> > which I found out about way after her birthday, so I made a joke at
> > myself and my situation. But I frankly I realise the distance is too
> > great (Ken about $3000 round trip to LA), and the group meeting would
> > probably be mostly awkward so I do not expect to be invited, not now
> > or in the future. But I can poke fun about it to shake off the bitter
> > sweet and try to keep having fun in this group and with you, which is
> > what I would like to do.
>
> > Kath
>
> Kath, tried to email you several times with two different addresses I
> had for you. Both bounced several times.
>
> Traci

Thanks Traci, I really appreciate that you tried to reach me it makes
me feel 200% better.

I can't expect people to let me know things if they can't reach me.

Kath

Kath

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Jun 25, 2008, 8:41:55 PM6/25/08
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With *your* kitchen it would be heaven.

Kath

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