So I am, as we speak, at the Nevada County Fair on my employer's dime. We've got a booth sandwiched in between the music stage and the carnival rides. It is (he said with a small measure of understatement) noisy.
The vendor directly across from us is selling dragon statues. They're pretty large, dramatic, and surprisingly cheap. The only thing stopping me from picking one up right away is that all of the dragons are standing on, holding or otherwise prominently displaying human skulls. Not my thing.
We don't have a good view of the fair itself -- we can see a few other shop stalls, and off to one side, the back side of the carnival rides -- but it's a decent place for people-watching. There have been a higher-than-expected number of teenagers walking by with halfhearted mohawks; maybe it's coming back into halfhearted style.
The fair also has some sort of weird, occasionally glitchy wireless access maintained by one of our competitors. I logged in and tried to check e-mail by typing 'gmail' into my browser ... and it redirected to some sort of configuration page with fields for "Name," "Message" and a button named "Schema Lock!" I typed in a message to the account of "If you're reading this and trying to figure out why your wireless access point is broken, you might want to keep 'gmail' from redirecting to your schema lock page," and clicked away.
They fixed the redirect glitch less than an hour later, so I must have broken something important enough to get their notice. ;-)
p.s.: While I'm here tonight, Friday and Sunday, I'll try to be on AIM as baxildragon. I may not respond quickly - talking with passersby or boss takes priority -- but it'll be a nice break from the people-watching.
Update, 8:05 p.m.: With the sun starting to go down, the entire look of the place is changing. The carnie rides in the background are lighting up like Vegas. John had the foresight to buy some professional-looking lamps, and our well-lit booth is standing out like an anti-sore thumb against the darkened tents of everyone else in the row. The only other vendor to have any lighting is the one directly across from us (with the dragon statues), but even they only have a bunch of random hanging bulbs. If we were in an anime, this is about where we would be striking ninja poses with giant radiating lines springing up in the background and the voiceover is shouting Ultra professional! as the camera zooms in for a three-part close-up.
8:09 p.m.: And John returns with lemonade. Just in time for me to think, "Wait a second, I'm liveblogging the county fair. What the hell."
8:10 p.m.: Yay, my first IM from someone who noticed my aside! Hi, jacarath!
8:20 p.m.: Over the course of the day so far, I've met someone from my gaming group, someone from Go club, someone from the pagan community, and a co-worker from two different jobs. Apparently Nevada County is in that sweet spot in between "too big to find anyone" and "too provincial to draw a broad range of residents".
8:45 p.m.: The band on the music stage behind us has switched from rock loud enough to be heard from the farthest corner of the parking lot to a lengthy blues-inspired riff. Even John acknowledges that they're good. I hope this lasts.
8:53 p.m.: The fashion winner of the evening (in my humble and probably completely lopsided opinion) has to be the teenage girl who just walked by for the second time. She's got a modest top and a bright red miniskirt, along with black leggings that have been cut out in large semi-triangular stripes and replaced with fishnet, producing something like a zebra leg effect. Also: More mohawks. The mohawks can't be more than a fraction of a percent of attendees, but they are pretty distinctive. Sadly, no colored mohawks. I guess that's a bit too edgy for our rural tastes.
9:04 p.m.: Aw, nuts, the great blues guys stopped. It's now been a minute or two of silence so this clearly isn't a stop between songs.
9:06 p.m.: Kid with lightsaber!
9:08 p.m.: It's now been at least half an hour since anyone's stopped by.
9:11 p.m.: John (looking over my shoulder): "You need Twitter." Me: "Bah. Twitter is just liveblogging for people who can't blog."
9:14 p.m.: Hi, Laura! Another random person-I-know sighting. And since she's the only person who's dropped by our booth lately (and I had to wave to her to catch her attention), John and I have decided it's time to start slowly packing down.