* Early on he was walking around carrying a stuffed Cthulhu which was wearing a knitted Cthulhu ski mask.
The crankiness stemmed from the fact that the Motel 6 that I stayed at last year refurbished all of their rooms and jacked the room rate up by $25. The hotel had exactly two things going for it last year—it was cheap, and it was right across the street from the Braintree Red Line station. The rooms were shabby, but I wasn't planning on spending much time there. Since then, the shabby furniture was removed and replaced by shelves. The table is now a shelf, the closet was replaced by a shelf with some hooks, and the bed stands were replaced by shelves. Even the bed sits on what is essentially a shelf. The only piece of free standing furniture left in the room is one uncomfortable wooden chair for the table. The other seat for the table is a shelf with some vinyl cover pillows on it. There used to be a credenza with drawers and plenty of surface area for piling stuff. The TV also sat on it. Now the TV has been booted up onto yet another shelf, about 5' up the wall, so you have to crane your neck to watch it. And all the shelves have rounded corners, as though it was designed by one of Larry Niven's puppeteers leafing through an IKEA catalog. The took out the indoor/outdoor carpeting, and replaced it with vinyl flooring, which is freezing cold in this weather. All the lams were removed and replaced by indirect fixtures. They even removed the alarm clock. The old rooms may have been shabby, but at least they were somewhat comfortable. The new ones are just bizarre, and way overpriced.
There was one thing that made me less cranky. I seem to have developed a knack for stumbling across good barbecue joints while at SF cons. It may not be much of a super power, but it'll do. This time it found a place called Tennessee's BBQ just up the street from the hotel. Very tasty.
While at the con, I finished Stross's The Jennifer Morgue which is part of his Laundry series of Lovecraftian spy thrillers. It's a very funny book, and I liked it quite a bit.