Your humble scribe has successfully embedded himself in the London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City, AZ where this entry is currently being prepared.

The flight from PDX to LAS was better than uneventful as I was able to snag a first class upgrade, although there was a substantial amount of luck involved - when the gate agent announced that there were 2 upgrades available, I was about as far away from the desk as you could get without being at a different gate, plus I had my laptop out. Fortunately, there were only 3 people interested in paying for the upgrade and even with having to close the laptop and grab my carry-on bags (laptop and camcorder), I was Number Two.

The result was free drinks, hot roasted nuts, and more seat/leg room for the flight. It’s always a risk that a seat upgrade won’t be available but I’d rather take the chance and only pay $50 USD than pay the hundreds more that it would cost when I first book my flight.

Side note: the noise-cancelling earbuds again proved their worth; I estimate they cut the ambient noise level by about 50%.

I didn’t time how long I had to wait before my suitcase dropped onto the baggage carousel, but it wasn’t longer than 30-45 minutes and although I was one of many with a black suitcase, I was able to easily identify it from the lime-green luggage tags I’d used.

Car rental was straightforward, although I had a few extra spots on the rental agreement to initial because I waived the extra insurance - I’m covered through my own car insurance (I even have a nifty little card that I can show uppity rental clerks if needed, although it wasn’t this time). I used my Air Miles points for the rental so even though there are certain charges, fees and taxes that I have to pay it’ll still be less than I’d be paying normally.

We rented a Chevrolet HHR; it’s a pretty nice car with a decent amount of room, although it took me a while to stop whacking my right knee against the centre console when I got in. The trip to Havasu was uneventful (NV to AZ with a section that passes through CA),check-in was easy and our suite is nice - it has a decent kitchenette with toaster, toaster oven, 2-burner stovetop, blender, coffeemaker, microwave, sink, dishwasher and fridge. We made a trip to the grocery store for supplies, then settled in for a nap before heading out to SARA Park for WWB registration.

After registration (and ritual attachment of the plain orange wristband) we attended the mandatory safety seminar (mandatory in the sense that if you want to buy and shoot any product you have to listen to some very basic information); at the end our plain orange wristbands were removed and replaced with shiny silver bands with holographic stars.

The Class C vendor’s tent was still being set up so I didn’t take any pictures; I’ll do that later and post the results in another entry. Before we left the park, we signed up for some line safety duty (for thump junkies on a budget this is a great way to get your pyro fix without spending any of your own money on fireworks).

As there was nothing else to do after that - the main part of the convention starts on Friday - we returned to the hotel with a quick stop on the way to get some dinner munchies: deep-fried chicken livers, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and olives with garlic. We returned to the room and watched Les Miserables while ensuring we followed the First Rule of Garlic:

Everybody in the group must consume garlic in order to maintain social stability.

We washed down our casual repast with a bottle of Blue Monkey Zinfandel (we agreed that a red wine would go well with our meal, and this wine was selected - not by me - because of the “cute label”) which was quite good; I’m not normally a big fan of reds but this is one that I’d buy again.

I’m participating in a Safety Q&A seminar this morning and there was supposed to be a breakfast meeting with the other participants to discuss the seminar…unfortunately, I forgot to bring the cell # of the person running it. I sent her an e-mail and I’m hoping she gets in touch with me but if not, I’ll show up at the seminar and play it by ear.

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