Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Touching Base

What I'm reading: Skinny Dipping, by Connie Brockway; Pursuit, by Elizabeth Jennings

After a wonderful, if exhausting, week in San Francisco at the RWA National Conference, I'm enjoying some decompression time in Oregon. The guys are off doing manly stuff, and I'm totally content to stay in the house with the bird and cats. The weather is marvelous compared to Florida, and I have plenty of reading material. Plus, of course, a WIP in need of attention.

The Kiss of Death tour was an interesting look behind the scenes at Customs. We watched them X-ray cargo containers, and saw how every vehicle entering the port of Oakland goes through radiation scanners. I wonder if everyone on the tour decided it was too complicated to contrive a plot based on smuggling anything into the country – and out's not that much easier. Our delightful leader (with a perfect romance heroine name – Roxanne Hercules) answered our questions, but had no qualms about saying, "I can't tell you that."

Our tour ended at the San Francisco airport's International terminal where we watched Duffy the agriculture inspection beagle in action and had a chance to see how incoming passengers are screened.

They use beagles for this kind of work because they're in high passenger traffic areas and aren't likely to be seen as the kind of threat the larger, aggressive dogs would be. The German Shepherd types are used in the cargo areas, and are usually sniffing out drugs, not apples and sausage. Duffy's handler said Duffy is just about the most laid-back dog he's ever worked with -- and I think Michelle Gagnon proved his point.

Allison Brennan spoke at the annual dinner, and it's always nice to hear a Big Author admit that they've run into situation where they've had to rip apart huge chunks of a book and start over.

Wednesday was a 'free day' and my husband and I played tourist, walking from the hotel to Fisherman's Wharf. We opted for the scenic route. Our route took us t through Chinatown and North Beach.

A walk of under 2 ½ miles isn't all that much, but the San Francisco hills made it something we'd remember for the next few days.

I'll post more as I find time.

1 comment:

Dara Edmondson said...

Sounds like a good time. I love SF - beautiful city.