All seven CSM8 members that are attending the summits in person are now present and accounted for:
- Ali Aras;
- James Arget;
- Mike Azariah;
- Trebor Daehdoow; and,
We arrived at the hotel to find that our rooms weren't ready for us, so I asked if there was a place we could toss our bags for a few hours (a wish easily granted) and then I took my group of four over to The Laundromat so we could have breakfast and chat. Conversation throughout this day was very casual: we added little to the plans about the summit that we haven't already made during Skype chats. Instead, talk was personal matters, alliance matters, spaceship matters. I noted that the Iceland trip saved me from likely participating in some of Rote Kapelle's capital fleet being introduced to a Black Legion hot-drop (the BR is a bit scrambled and is double-showing all our losses).
After that, I took my group on a quick walking tour of Reyk highlights (Harpa, location of the major bars and restaurants, quick pointer in the direction of CCP, pointing out a pharmacy and a market). Then we headed back to the hotel and we woke up Trebor and confirmed that there were no formal plans for the rest of the day. He confirmed that the arrival day was mostly intended to let us acclimate to the new time zone. We met Ali and Korvin about this time and made plans for lunch.
After that, it was little groups of two or three CSM members meeting in odd places for the rest of the morning. One big difference about Reyk when Fanfest isn't going on is how much sleepier and smaller it seems. There are many fewer people walking the streets, even fewer than you would expect from a city of 100,000 people. It being a work day and the weather (on and off sprinkles) no doubt contributed somewhat. One interesting thing: about half the city seems to be under construction, something that surprised me. Another interesting thing: Islenski Barinn has been slightly remodeled and is under new management and has been renamed Nora's! This gave me a brief flash of unreality because I came around the corner expecting to find it and instead was confronted by a couple of big leather couches I didn't expect to see on the sidewalk. I found out later that evening the new managers have reinstated the CCP corporate discount that was apparently not in effect earlier in the year.
Lunch was at Nonni's (which I somehow missed trying at Fanfest) and this was where we first started meeting CCP people, a half-dozen of whom made the walk over to share sandwiches and such. One CSM member noted that he felt Nonni's was over-rated. As far as I'm concerned, he was proven wrong by an absolutely delightful lamb sub. Again, the conversations were very low key; even those CCP employees that are presenting later in the week felt inclined to save what they wanted to talk about in-session for the sessions and we were content to let them. Instead it was more general conversations; I had a long informal chat with CCP Rise about what ship classes he was thinking about re-balancing over the next 18 months or so, for instance.
After lunch, much of CSM8 adjourned back to the hotel. I gently sweet-talked the desk manager to let those of us not in our rooms yet into our rooms and a number of CSM members decided on a mid-afternoon nap to get our clocks completely reset. That included me, so I missed a CCP office tour for those who haven't yet seen the place where the magic happens.
We met again as a group for dinner at the Grillhouse, this time with a somewhat different group of CCP employees, then on to Nora's where we were met by a full dozen or so. Being so far north of the equator I was expecting daylight to persist a lot longer than it did. Nope, it was full dark by 9:30pm. I got to meet a half-dozen new CCP faces who I've chatted with extensively on Skype but had not yet met in person, notably CCP Stillman the new EVE security guy. I am sad to report that even Nora's previous poor imitation stout is off the menu, replaced by something called Black Death (too sweet for my taste, though agreeably high in alcohol content).
Again though, the chat was very casual. At dinner, Ali amused all of us by describing a concern one of her corp-mates has about DUST mercenaries: there is apparently a lot of hip/butt sway that I've never noticed in how Carbon avatars walk that her corp-mate finds distracting when the hip/butt in question is encased in power armor. The amusing bit was Ali describing and somewhat pantomiming the hip and knee movements that were necessary to generate the amount of sway shown on screen. I joked that all the CSM members would be headed back to the hotel that evening to visually confirm her description. At Nora's, Rise and I chatted about personal stuff. I'd noticed him on a bicycle earlier in the day, for instance, and was curious if it was a U.S. import that he had brought into the country with him (he confirmed this). Other conversations around the table were about the same. I describe this mostly to assure you that I didn't notice any secret CCP-CSM deals being made in the after-hours session. Maybe tomorrow. ;-)
By 10:30pm or so, many of CSM8 were flagging pretty hard. CCP Dolan called last round and I headed out into the night soon after. I was asleep less than 10 minutes after walking out the door at Nora's. Day One starts in a few minutes, with breakfast at the hotel followed by the first session about two hours from when I'm writing this. More tonight or tomorrow!
EDIT (28/Aug/2013): It's reported to me that a couple of CSM8 die-hards managed to last until midnight, so maybe there were some secret CCP-CSM deals penned... ;-)