Just like the last few years, the con is at the Philadelphia Mariott in Center City, next to the Reading Terminal Market. This evening, I tried to make a reservation using the hotel's online reservation system and the convention's group code. First I tried to reserve a room for Dec 8 to 12. The website said that the group rate is not available for those dates. Then I tried Dec 9 to 12. Still no go. Eventually, I found out that you can reserve a room for Dec 8 to 9 and you can reserve a room for Dec 9 to 11, but you can't reserve a room for Dec 8 to 11. What?? So I ended up calling the hotel to get the reservation done correctly. In any case, Dec 11 to 12 seems to be unavailable, so I'll be staying for 3 nights instead of 4. Oh well. No big deal.
This afternoon I went to the Ramsey post office to get a money order for the Philcon prereg. After that, I went to Quizno's to use the third coupon of the month. I got the Honey Bourbon Chicken and the Chicken Carbonara. The toasting was a bit overdone so there was carbon on the Carbonara.
Anyway, an executive-type guy came into the restaurant and started a conversation with the Quizno's manager (who's always there) and the whole room. He deals with food poisoning studies and travels a lot apparently, and I got a few tips from him on dining around the country. For instance, according to him, if you're in a strange place and you're unsure about the quality of the food, the last thing you should eat is hamburger. He explained that grinding up the beef to make hamburger increases the surface area of the meat many times over, boosting the potential for contamination. He said steak is better and so is meat that is sliced at the restaurant instead of getting shipped to the restaurant pre-sliced. He also noted that most restaurant chains try to maintain a consistent level of quality across the entire chain. Of course, all of that makes Quizno's look pretty good so I hope he wasn't a plant sent by Quizno's HQ.
Of course, I'll probably end up eating at some dubious places anyway when I travel.