Saturday, June 28, 2008

long day and lots of walking

I arrived at York about 45 minutes before my shift was to begin. I worked the registration desk for a couple of hours. There were a lot of "special case" situations we tried to sort out.

An intriguing point was raised by a participant regarding the Sunday afternoon activities. He explained that he was interesting in going to the Ontario Science Centre but not the dinner. He was curious about travel arrangements. If he took the chartered bus to the OSC, he'd have to figure out a way to get back to the campus. Given that the bus was taking people to the restaurant and only after dinner getting delegates back to the university. He did reveal that he had a rental car so he could use it. But it emerged that he was just trying to point out that this was not very clear in the program. This piece of information I think got lost.

The conversation shifted to the afternoon program and its cost. Katrina (and a Hamilton member present) explained that it was a single, combined unit, and it had a charge associated with it. This raised a new matter. If people assumed the OSC portion was included in their daily fee, they might be surprised at having to pay another $50. Again, there seemed to be a lot of confusion around this. I tried to support the participant's point. I explained that I too assumed the OSC event was included in my Sunday conference fee.

David made an executive decision and said that people could pay $20 to go to the OSC only. That seemed OK. Later, it was decided to remove any fees for the OSC piece. And this in turn meant if you wanted to go to the Sunday banquet, there will be $50 charge. For me, that killed the deal. I'll drive to the OSC and then drive home.

After the "hockeyball" game, some helpers offered to stay back at registration so to let the bulk of us make an appearance for the group photo. Rajesh shot us from across the pit.

At that time, I was introduced to Richard from London Centre. Leslie was trying to help him with ride arrangements to and from a friend's house in Roncesvalles. I offered to be bus. This evening and for Sunday and Monday, if necessary. He bought me a beer! Nice! Tony also needed a ride home.

Denis was running around like a headless chicken. I returned to the registration area in search of a long video cable and splitter. I found those items and sent them west. Then I located the door prizes and evening sponsor signage. I carried these items personally.

Once more I returned to registration. And enjoyed some dinner. I had brought some pasta, kolbassa, carrots, hummus, cookies, and drinks.

It was pretty quiet so I fired up a game of euchre. Katrina and David had never played so Isaac and I taught them. Leslie brought us some warm beer and starting chatting. All of a sudden, it was after 9. So we closed down registration and returned to the Olga Cirak Common room. The national members's night presentations were going strong but I slid into the next tour of the York telescopes.

Tatiana lead us to the lawn north of the dual observatories and explained that the 4-storey structure was independent of the main building for increased stability. Then we headed inside to view the 60cm and 40cm 'scopes. The 60 was a dinosaur. I jotted down some of the specs:

type number: 46.02
model number: 23-3203 HA
serial number: S5
date: December 1968
manufactured by: D.C. Brown

It weighs about 4 tons.

They used to send the mirror to the DDO for reconditioning. Now they're going to have to find someone else...

I caught up with Richard and escorted him back to the Olga Cirak room. They were still doing presentations! After Tony's on the CAO, I fetched my car and tried to get as close to Richard as I could so he'd not have to go far with his walker. While I could not get past the locked gate with the car, he and Tony were able to walk up the ramp.

Dropped Richard off at his friend's near the park. Hop, skip, and a jump to Tony's. Then home. It all worked out good. Although it was very late. It's going be tough tomorrow morning!


Huh. York has an astronomy night every Wednesday...

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