September 25th, 2004

Friday.

I should be in Dallas, but I'm not. I leave tomorrow morning (after doing laundry).

So Linucon is having a room party at Fencon, and our room parties usually have liquid nitrogen ice cream. So Mark and I ran around all morning trying to get the University of Texas to sell us liquid nitrogen. In the process of this, we wantered through (by my count) seven different university buildings, including asus, taylor, welch, the high powered rifle tower, the building next to that, the building with the office of supervised projects or whatever that was, the chesterfield or chesterbrook building which is a historic site nobody is allowed in to (we spent about 20 minutes in it, waiting to be told where to go next, whcih turned out to be the chesterthingy _carriage house_. Aaah. Another building.) We eventually found the office of something or other development where we finally got someone who was willing to let us turn actual money into university money with which liquid nitrogen can be purchased. This sort of involves giving ourselves a grant, although it's really a "research gift", which means we don't have to submit a budget for how we plan to spend it. (Mark can keep all this straight. It's his gift. We are trying to donate money to ourselves, via the physics department, so we can buy liquid nitrogen from the University of Texas for 20-something cents a liter instead of the $3/liter that airgas would charge. We've been getting the _container_ from them all along, but that doesn't take money, we just have to sign for it. Filling it up from the big tank 20 feet from wher ethe container is stored, that takes money. And not cash check or credit card money, but a university account that already has money in it. Getting money into the system in the first place is just... Complicated. Apparently, it's not something that's done often. They go asking YOU for money, to pay tuition and such. You trying to give THEM money confuses them greatly. At least amounts less than $20,000 or so. Too small for them to focus on, I expect...)

And as far as we can tell, we have about an 80% chance of making all this work. On monday. Fencon is this weekend. So our room party must be without liquid nitrogen. (By the time we got through dueling with the bureaucracy, it was too late even to go get the tank and fill it at airgas, even if we'd wanted to pay more for liquid nitrogen than the hotel room. We did that for AnimeFest and AKon, but both of those had several thousand attendees, as opposed to several hundred. This time, we made it a quest to get it from UT, because it's there. And we will. Someday...)

And so, this evening, I was still here, and rather than doing laundry (which I really should since I'm out of actual clothing and all), I instead went down to see the Mr. Sinus super secret movie. Whoever you are, go see this. Fly to Austin to see it. Keep in mind the one they show you the first five minutes of is not the real movie, then then stop that and start the real one. The real movie is never something in a million years I thought they'd parody, and they do a REALLY good job of it... :)

Yes, it was sold out, no I didn't have a ticket, yes I bought a ticket, no I didn't pay a scalper. I just showed up an hour and change before the movie started to put my name at the start of the list for cancellations. (There are always a few, and not necessarily enough people willing to wait for a couple hours to be first in line to take advantage of them.) The sad part is that there was an empty seat next to me, so I COULD have dragged Fade along, if she'd been willing to wait two hours without knowing whether or not we'd actually get to see the movie (I do this kind of thing all the time, but try not to inflict it upon other people). And of course spend the evening generally not packing, which she's very insistent about...

So I should ahve headed up to Dallas already, but without liquid nitrogen I'm only going to do one night of room party (saturday), and I'd like to hit the Dr. Pepper museum (to get both dublin dr. pepper and some dr. pepper syrup to make LN2 ice cream with at Linucon), which requires passing through there earlier in the day than I'd have been able to leaving tonight...

Plus, no shortage of convention stuff to do on my laptop...
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