Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

May 6th, 2009:

Bichonicon, Day 1

We got here last night seven-ish, and had time to lay on our backs on the bed and just decompress after the 330-mile blast down I-55. Carol washed QBit earlier this morning, and is now “tipping” him (snipping off the small “tips” of his hair that stick out beyond the general contours of his coat) just for practice. Aero’s up next, as he will be in the ring both Friday and Saturday and needs to be at his absolute best.

The hotel is about what we expected. Hotels willing to host dog breed specialties have certain common characteristics: They’re older, somewhat careworn, and ripe for large-scale rehab. The occasional piddle spot is acceptable, given a four-day full house at what I consider premium rates for an ever-so-slightly crufty property like this.

The faux-Swiss Sheraton Westport Chalet actually isn’t bad. We love the standard Sherton beds, and our room-service breakfast was nicely done, arriving hot and right on time. The Wi-Fi, though; aggghh! It’s $10/day, four days for $30…and it drops the connection every five or ten minutes. I have 48%-60% signal strength, which should be more than enough to maintain a connection. I can generally restore the connection by breaking and remaking association with the access point, which is a nuisance, but it’s better than nothing. It’s notable that I’ve had Wi-Fi problems at other Sheratons, especially in Des Moines, where I could never get the damned thing to work at all. (I got my money back.)

While we were walking QBit and Aero around the hotel earlier today, we passed a restaurant that ferdam looked like a Panera–except that it was called the St. Louis Bread Company. Once I had a connection again, I discovered that that was what Panera was called when it was created here in St. Louis in 1993. Restaurants in the St. Louis area still bear that name.

As for the show itself, things are still being set up. The opening banquet is tonight (dogs do not attend, which in one sense is a shame) and for the rest of the afternoon everybody’s likely to be in their rooms or out on the lawn grooming the contestants. We’ve already run into most of the people we know in the bichon metaverse, though alas, neither QBit’s nor Aero’s breeders will be attending.

One final unrelated item: Several people have sent me notes about the announced sale of Borland to Micro Focus. What this means for Delphi is absolutely nothing, since Borland sold off all of its programming language products to Embarcadero Systems in 2008. Most of what Borland still sells is StarTeam, a revision control system, which is evidently what Micro Focus wants.

It’s a quiet day. I’m helping Carol as needed, and when not needed, I’m quietly thinking about how I think about the things that I think about when I’m thinking. Being free means knowing your own mind, and making sure that no one and nothing receives your unquestioning obedience. If you can’t do that, you are not free.