Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I'm off to Norwescon.
In about four hours I'll be heading out to Seattle for Norwescon. It's the first con I've ever recieved a pro-invite to, and the first con I've attended as a professional.

I'm sure it's going to be fun. I'm on a few panels, and I REALLY enjoy being on panels talking about writing. I'm also doing a couple signings and and a radio interview. Cool stuff.

But I hate getting ready for these things, packing and making the travel arrangements. And I hate to fly.

I'm not afraid of flying. Well, okay I am, mildly. Any sensible person is. But the real reason I hate to fly is because security always identifies me as requiring some sort of special attention. They scan me, pat me down, toss my luggage. Every. Single. Time.

I don't know why. Maybe it's my trenchcoat. Maybe it's my beard. Maybe it's because whenever I fly it's at the ass crack of morning, so I have to wake up seven hours earlier than I like to, ane I look like a zombie or a meth addict.

So this time around, I'm planning on beating the system. First, I'm not going to go to sleep at all tonight, I'm going to stay up until 4:30 in the morning, then drive to the airport.

Second, I decided to toss my backpack and travelsack to remove anything suspicious that might draw attention from the Man.

It's been a while since I cleaned these out, so I discover:

Laser pointer should stay at home. I could... I dunno... blind someone with it. I'm not being twitchy here. Last time I went through security, they pulled a rock out of my bag and asked me what it was.

"A rock," I said. "It's a cool rock."

The woman gave me a look, then took the rock to show her supervisor. The real reason I wanted to keep the rock is because the rock had a line all he way through it, and I had a suspicion that it would protect me from fairies. Maybe they would have been less suspicious if I'd given them the full explaination.....

So yeah. If a rock throws up a red flag, I'm guessing that a laser is probably right out.

I pulled they keys out of my bag too. I have a vague suspicion this isn't something a normal person carries. I can imagine a conversation similar to the one with the rock. "What are these?" "They're cool old keys." Why do you have them?" "In case I find a cool old door I want to try to open."

Fine. Keys stay home too. If I find any cool old doors out in Seattle, I'm going to be pissed.

My Incredible Hulk valentines. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought these, but they certainly don't fit into the well-ballanced persona I'm hoping to convey.

Same for the garden gnome and the jar of cloves. I honestly can't remember why I thought it was a good idea to have cloves with me.

Yeah. This thing is right out. I don't even want to think about what it would look like in that x-ray machine. (It's a backrub tool I got as a gift. Honest.)

Damn. I'd completely forgotten that I had my ninja stars in the bottom of my bag. I took them over to a friend's house a couple weeks ago and then spaced out about them. I guess this pre-flight bag search has just paid for itself. Especially considering the last thing I found....

Like everything else here, this is innocent, it just looks criminal. It's a vial of caffiene. But I'm guessing the security people aren't going to be real interested in giving me the benefit of the doubt.

Alright folks. I'm off to re-pack my bags. I'm going to be out of contact for a couple days, but early next week I'll be back, hopefully with some interesting stories from the con.


posted by Pat at


Anonymous Steven Ford said...

Good to see some things never change.

Have fun in Seattle, I miss it there, wish I could get back there soon for a visit. At least this answers whether I'd be able to catch you by phone tonight... I keep missing you.

Talk to you soon... I'll keep checking my mail... /cough S-t-e-v-e-n F-o-r-d /cough


April 4, 2007 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Bo said...

Ha! I wish I had such fun stuff in my bag when traveling. Whether you get stopped by security or not, at least you'd have an amusing story to tell later on. I can relate to buying things on a whim though. I mean, if something is interesting, who cares how weird it is? It could be the last time you see it! Especially if it's a pack of Hulk Valentines. (I've been wondering for years how the heck I could take my katana with me to show far off relatives, save for driving. I don't think they'll be letting it through customs, for obvious reasons...)

Dang, in Seattle already. I wish I'd found your site earlier; I live in WA. Ah well, by the time your next novel is published I should be adequately prepared. Have fun!

April 4, 2007 11:44 PM  
Blogger Tycho said...

What channel is the radio interview on? I live in Seattle and I want to listen :D

April 5, 2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

Where'd you pick up all that stuff? You have cool things! :)

Good luck with your flight!

April 5, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

It's an interview with Radio services for the blind. A guy who does a weekly show about sci-fi fantasy writers got in contact with me.

Unfortunately, I don't think non-blind people can listen to the show. That sounds like a joke, but it's not. They broadcast it on some sort of special frequency, or something. I think.

I might be abel to get a copy of it and post it up here as a podcast... maybe....


April 5, 2007 5:41 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Wait. Hold on. Tycho?

Not to get all superlative on you, but are you *The* Tycho?

April 5, 2007 5:44 PM  
Blogger Tycho said...

No, but I get that a lot. If I didn't live in Seattle I'd probably get it less.

April 6, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

Hey, Good luck with your flight.
I think its the trench coat that gives you the look of being criminal. Next time you should wear your Halloween costume from last one would suspect a garden gnome of criminal activity.
Good Luck

April 6, 2007 8:42 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

This blog entry, along with The AV Club's glowing review, is what convinced me to pick up your book. What a hilarious accumulation.

April 7, 2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

Thank you for your help this weekend, Pat. It is much appreciated! I hope you had a great time at Norwescon—I could have went but decided to relax this weekend with your writing advice and my book.

April 8, 2007 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Stefie said...

Hahahahahahaha! rotfl! Yea I have never flown before but I hear you can get into trouble for the stupidest $h*t. I used to collect old keys too. But my mom found them on one of her spring cleaning benges (in late fall) and tossed them. You shold have taken the nome ya know said it was the Travle Nome from the comersials. I love that guy. And yea sure that is a back massager. I just don't want to know what all you massaged with it. As to the stars and caffine yea you would have gotten strip serched by some big harry man named buddie and he would have offered to strip with you.
Well I hope you have fun and the con and if you get a recording of the radio interview post it so We all can hear.

Lots of Luck and Love

April 8, 2007 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Stefanie said...

To bo
You could always fedex it to your katana to your family when you go to visit, the fedex it home when you return. Might cost you a bit but hey if it works. it works

Lots of Luck and love

April 8, 2007 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of hiking a 14,000 ft. mountain in Colorado a few years ago. The crowning moment of the entire trip was being greeted by a garden gnome who resides at the summit of Mr. Shavanoh. Gnomes truly do travel places, I suppose.

Good luck with your signing!!

Sarah (ShadowKorin)

April 11, 2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I just remembered why I had the jar of cloves in my bag. It's in case I was ever at a party and wanted to make a cloven fruit.

I'll let you look it up if you're really curious....

April 18, 2007 3:19 AM  
Blogger Johann said...

I was flagged for a rock once, that I lost in my bag. It was in a midwest airport. The rock had safely gone on several other trips. I was happy they found it, not so happy I was flagged. The rock was a gift for a friend from Mainz.

November 6, 2009 3:07 PM  

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