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Before everyone meets in Atlanta for DragonCon, several CIC staff members and Wing Commander fans traditionally meet in advance to prepare for the events.

PreCon Events - August 2004

Monday, August 23, 2004: Lt-Rance stopped by Seattle to visit ChrisReid.

ChrisReid: I took a big chunk of the PreCon pictures, so I stuck a shot of myself right here in the beginning so people didn't forget about me.

Hades rounded out the Seattle PreCon crew.
Hades: If I look dazed it's because I had been travelling for the previous 24 hours. Wait, I always looks like that.

ChrisReid: These are all different flavors of bubble tea at a nice juice bar near my house.

ChrisReid: I bring my cousin places because she's much better at entertaining people than I am.
Hades: Chris' cousin is the only person who cares enough to listen to me rattle on about England a lot. Sadly she was only around that one night so I shut up after that.
ChrisReid: Yeah, she's always traveling, so it's lucky we caught up with her just the one night even.

ChrisReid: The juice bar doesn't close until midnight on Mondays.

Rance promptly fell asleep after a busy day on the go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004: A new day dawns on Seattle.
Hades: Everyone loves omelettes, right?
ChrisReid: This is more of a scrambled eggs town, but omelette this one slide since you're from England.

Hades: Catching up in #Wingnut.

Hades gets into some heavy Rance-killing in Halo.

ChrisReid: More games could use a "Postgame Carnage Report."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004:
ChrisReid: For a minute there it didn't look like we'd get Hades onto the Dance Dance mat. Justin got it all on tape.

Hades: At least I was braver than Justin, who just stood to one side laughing.

Thursday, August 26, 2004:
ChrisReid: Just a portion of the prizes people won at the CIC Sixth Birthday Party.

Hades: Giving out prizes would be so much easier if they boxed, addressed and sent themselves.
ChrisReid: Or if people would stop claiming them after the party.

ChrisReid: This was the second of four or five trips to the post office.

Friday, August 27, 2004:
Hades: Having lousy eye sight does not help my aim.
ChrisReid: You really have to calibrate those light guns dead on.

Saturday, August 28, 2004: Watching movies with ace and Blonde over irc.
Hades: Cat!
ChrisReid: I was going to say that.

Sunday, August 29, 2004: The 2004 Penny Arcade Expo.
ChrisReid: We went on the second day, Sunday. They were already out of programs and Halo 2 slots.

ChrisReid: When we were making this gallery, I had to cut out a lot of pictures of people sleeping in the convention center. At DragonCon they kick you out if you don't have a room. Apparently PAX was different.
Hades: PAX went on all night so people sleeping in random places had probably been playing Halo all night or something.

ChrisReid: It's me!
Hades: Some guy very kindly waited for Chris to take this photo before walking past, despite the camera being pointed the other way.

ChrisReid: Hades and I could beat these guys.
Hades: I feel better about being really bad at DDR after watching people for a while.

ChrisReid: The convention was across three main levels. This is from the top looking down.

ChrisReid: I had to snap a picture of the City Name, Sports Team shirt guy.

ChrisReid: These guys were setting up for the Warhammer 40,000 competition later.
Hades: These people take their terrain very seriously. It's nowhere near as good as the terrain Dragoncon people have though.

ChrisReid: Splinter Cell 3 has some really killer cooperative stuff in store. This was the first time I'd seen the game running on the XBox, and it looked a bit choppy.
Hades: The problem with Splinter Cell games is that you have to restart if someone notices you. I think I'd rather just shoot a lot.

ChrisReid: Ghost Recon 2, on the other hand, was slick and smooth. I can't wait for this one.
Hades: This is better. A game which lets you hold down the trigger without setting off some kind of alarm.

ChrisReid: The Frag Dolls were hosting a Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow tournament.
Hades: Beat the Frag Dolls at Black Arrow, and win a copy of.. Black Arrow! Either they're really bad, or you've already played enough Black Arrow to be good enough to win. So you don't need another copy.

ChrisReid: We attended a panel on breaking into the games industry.
Hades: I think the general consensus was that you don't need to go to college and you should just spend your time making demos instead.

ChrisReid: Tycho hosted the event.
Hades: He translated what people in the audience were shouting out in to intelligent questions.

ChrisReid: This is Forza Motorsport running on a triple monitor setup.
Hades: This looked really neat, though I don't think many people will have three TVs handy for them to hook up to their xbox.

ChrisReid: NCSoft is the company publishing Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Hades: If it ever gets finished. Meanwhile, you can play NCSoft's other online game, Lineage.

ChrisReid: Brady Games was giving away stacks of free Soul Calibur 2 guides.
Hades: I was going to ask the guy if they had any of their WC guides left but decided against it.

ChrisReid: If you ranked in a tournament, you got tickets to redeem for prizes in this area.

ChrisReid: Hey, there's a lot of these California Pizza Kitchen places in California.

ChrisReid: Justin's wearing a Phantom shirt.
Hades: I Believe! (That's what the shirt said.)

ChrisReid: People were scalping tickets for Halo 2 slots. This guy was a buyer.
Hades: Chances are he never managed to get one. Halo 2 was a really popular game there.

ChrisReid: We were going to buy Frosty a fruit guy t-shirt, but they were all sold out of his size.
Hades: They didn't have any baseball caps either. Frosty will have to make do with his AMD cap.

ChrisReid: That was a pretty great RS3BA poster along the back wall.

ChrisReid: Standard convention food was available to purchase.
Hades: Strange Japanese imports always do well. The guys running this table must have done really well since they didn't have any competition.

ChrisReid: This is the other PA guy, Gabe.

ChrisReid: They had a video game marathon tournament that went throughout the weekend. The winning Omeganaut received the Omega Prize.
Hades: I forget how much all that stuff was supposed to be worth, but I think it was more than $10,000. That's pretty crazy.

Monday, August 30, 2004:
Hades: We went to an all you can eat Chinese food place near where Chris lives, which was neat. I'd never actually had Chinese food before.
ChrisReid: I made him get octopus tentacles and other great stuff.

ChrisReid: This was my plate. Yum.

Hades: Chris bought a new GPS toy for his laptop so I waved it around trying to get a signal. Sadly you can't really make out the cool blue glow.
ChrisReid: It's pretty great. It tracks where you are, your speed, elevation and stuff like that. You can plot directions to anywhere, and if you take a wrong turn, it recalculates your route for you.

Hades: We decided to take the GPS out for a test run, but where could we go? Well, we're playing with GPS on the day that we head to a sci-fi convention.. could we get any more nerdy? Yes! With a trip to the sci-fi museum.

Hades: The neat Captain Picard borg head implant and arm, as used in the show.

To be a science fiction fan is to be part of a remarkable community - people of every age and background, joined by a passion for the ideas expressed in science fiction books, stories, art, movies, games, and television programs.
ChrisReid: There was a similar plaque on the Science Fiction Convention that was equally neat, but I didn't get a picture of it.

Hades: Robots! Everyone loves robots, right? I can't decide which looks cooler.. Robocop or Terminator.
ChrisReid: Always RoboCop.

ChrisReid: Watch out, it's a face hugger!

Hades: Chris really didn't want to face packing his bags, so we went to the Museum of Flight. This, I believe, is a Harrier.

ChrisReid: The Museum of Flight has the Concorde that last flew a commercial flight.

Hades: Coming out the other side of Concorde. I can now claim to have been on Concorde. I don't have to mention that it never actually took off.

Hades: It's the president's Air Force One chair! I stood and glanced briefly at the video.. I'm pretty sure that VCR wasn't a fixture there in 1959.

Hades: There are buttons everywhere in the cockpit, even on the ceiling well behind the pilot's chair.

The original Air Force One.

Hades in an F/A-18 cockpit.

Hades: I think this is the cooler fake cockpit. The other one had a better seat though.
ChrisReid: This one's an SR-71 Blackbird.

Hades: Moon buggy!

Hades: For some reason, people decided to try and take all of this junk on planes, so it got confiscated. There were even multiple sets of handcuffs in there and a complete set of knives.

Continue to Day Zero

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