|Convention Gallery - Saturday, September 2, 2006
ChrisReid: This is gross. I'm eating right now. I shouldn't even put this in the gallery. We walked a lot that week.
ChrisReid: Rise and shine! The annual DragonCon Parade is Saturday morning, so suit up and ship out!
LOAF: I wonder if I'm supposed to go for the hotel sprinkler in-joke or ifI'm supposed to say something offensive about abortion.
ChrisReid: That box has traveled more than twelve thousand miles to get the CIC banner to Atlanta for each DragonCon Parade that we've marched in.
LOAF: That's nearly one hundred times the distance from Earth to the Moon (and fifty times the distance to Band of Brothers).
ChrisReid: LOAF's got his Shades and his sun glasses.
LOAF: You can't own a pers... oh, wait, the South.
ChrisReid: This mob of people are just a slice of the crowd assembled for the parade. Several hundred Star Wars people were off to the right, and there was an equal sized group behind us.
LOAF: Here's the thing -- the group in back of us were Witchblade fans. Who even know that there were such a thing as that? I just assumed Witchblade was something a weirdo comic book company invented so they could draw scantily clad women before they bought the Tomb Raider license. But no, there's actually a serious group of *women* are are apparently Witchblade fans.
Witchblade met Tomb Raider once... and then like six other times.
ChrisReid: We held up this sign to attract any Wing Commander costumed people who might not know us.
LOAF: Kreg?! What are you doing here?!
ChrisReid: The anticipation builds as we count down to step-off.
LOAF: In this picture you can see the group of people who thought buying a labcoat at the medical supply store was a good costume.
ChrisReid: And then disaster struck! As we unrolled the banner, we found out it didn't hang flat like it used to. Frosty came up with the bright idea to roll it in reverse and hold on tight until it was our turn to walk.
LOAF: Because Frosty is especially experienced with rolling things, if you know what I mean, wink wink (Frosty is Sisyphus' grandson).
ChrisReid: Here's our group photo. Some guy went around photographing all the groups and handing out his business card. He sells the photos from his website. We made him take a picture of us with my camera.
LOAF: It's okay, he was probably a FreeSpace fan. There's what, a six hundred in eight billion chance of that, right?
ChrisReid: Here's the Klingons.
LOAF: Oh, good, motorcycles. So you know they're cool. Whoever invented this particular weirdo fandom offshoot is an idiot.
ChrisReid: Frosty's banner trick worked, and we were in good shape as our number got called.
LOAF: If there's one thing Frosty can do, it's turn tricks. Note that I say if.
ChrisReid: Look at the millions of people cheering us on.
LOAF: In England, a million means a billion, or vice versa... or something. Trillions fit in somehow.
ChrisReid: The crowd was bigger and louder than ever this year.
LOAF: Those are protesters. They want the troops brought home immediately, and then sent somewhere good (this is the deep south).
LOAF: The tube between the buildings looks just like the one between the two old Origin offices. Of course, by the time I visited the second building had been rented to HP for developing more awkward printer drivers... oh, but there was a time, friends, when Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts dreamed of needing two giant office buildings for developing Ultimas and Wing Commanders. Gather around and I'll tell you about those days.
ChrisReid: And it's over. Even though it wasn't that hot this year, Wing Commandering makes you thirsty.
LOAF: Does this glowing purple skull make me look like I'm holding a glowing purple skull? No? That's kind of a surprise.
ChrisReid: Up on the good old 22nd floor.
LOAF: I lived on the 22nd floor of a 22 story dorm once. It was not fun.
ChrisReid: Sharp observers will notice some similarities between this picture and the suiting-up shots earlier.
LOAF: It's still down there, right?!
ChrisReid: After the parade we went to see Tasha Yar.
LOAF: You dumbass, Tasha Yar is dead. That's Sela.
ChrisReid: Then we went to hear the new person in charge of Baen talk. There's a great assortment of CIC merchandise in this picture.
LOAF: Baen has its own weirdo fan culture. And they refused to say anything about a new Honor Harrington novel. Boo, boooo! Also, when a new Honor Harrington novel comes out: boo, booooo!
ChrisReid: This is the new Baen lady. LOAF talked to her about Wing Commander after the panel was over.
LOAF: She said Wing Commander was profitable for Baen and that they would be open to continuing the series if EA were interested.
ChrisReid: Frosty got a tattoo for the next Baen novel.
LOAF: Destiny's Forge is a Man-Kzin Wars spinoff novel, which may actually interest Wing Commander fans.
ChrisReid: Back in the hotel room, Silas' gang comes in to hang out.
LOAF: Their gang color is bright yellow. Frosty, who's wearing light yellow, is just a poser.
ChrisReid: Lunch time. This is a pretty amazing example of mustard on bread.
LOAF: To simulate mustard for this picture, we put a slice of American cheese food on the brad.
ChrisReid: A few of us went down to the food court for lunch. ace and Frosty went to the super overpriced Japanese place. All this cost $13. Frosty had this plus a piece of brocolli and his came to $18.
LOAF: You can't spell brocolli without "e-coli". Except without the e, and an extra l. Also, after this, spinach killed a bunch of people.
ChrisReid: This is probably the only picture we had of the pirate ships. You bought these little card packs and assembled boats out of the punch outs in the cards. I don't think anybody played, but they were neat.
LOAF: How I wish I was in Saybrook now.
ChrisReid: Early in the evening we went looking around for things to do. They have tables set out with millions of advertisement flyers.
LOAF: They're all the same, though: ATLANTA SEXCON SEEKS DOMINATRIX! / ANIME SOUTH SEEKS DOMINATRIX! / DOMINATIX CONVENTION SEEKS DOMINATRIX!
ChrisReid: I don't really know what's going on here. I just snapped the picture and kept walking.
LOAF: Well, that's a bunch of Slave Leia's... and I think Boba Fett is in the picture... but where?
ChrisReid: This is kind of a neat picture of the lobby. I'm on the upper level taking a photo of the mid level, and you can see the lower level beneath under the elevator well.
LOAF: Great, another useless mid-level manager.
ChrisReid: LEGO guy!
LOAF: The technical term is "minifig". Really. I went to a LEGO convention once. Also, the plural of LEGO is LEGO. They're very specific about this.
ChrisReid: I'm not sure what these guys were from, but I think they were popular.
LOAF: I believe those are HALO robots.
ChrisReid: I hear this is some anime thing.
LOAF: This is from the mirror universe Gilmore Girls. That's evil Rory, and she's standing under the satanic version of the hoopa Luke made for Lorelai in the first season.
ChrisReid: At this point Goku is buzzing my cell phone and telling me something weird is going on up in the hotel room. We headed up to investigate. LOAF looks really happy.
LOAF: I really don't want to be one of those dicks who brags about how much he drank for the internet. And yet, here we are.
ChrisReid: The room was full of empty alcohol containers.
LOAF: Somewhere a Freshman college girl who is really proud of her MySpace profile picture is silently weeping.
ChrisReid: ace, Blonde and I brought LOAF down to the lobby to get some air and walk things off.
LOAF: I'm really sorry.
ChrisReid: Unfortunately, Hades and Frosty had trouble getting Halman out until it was too late.
LOAF: I'm sorry.
ChrisReid: They called Silas to come and help.
ChrisReid: Silas took everyone down to the lobby, and Frosty, ace and I cleaned up the hotel room.
ChrisReid: And cleaned up all the food that was ruined.
ChrisReid: And cleaned up the floors and everything. The maid service had to make three trips to dispose of all the messy blankets, towels and so on.
LOAF: I'm sorry.
ChrisReid: Once the place was in somewhat decent shape, we went down to check on everyone in the lobby.
ChrisReid: It took a while to air the room out, so we took a breather outside.
LOAF: I'm very, very sorry.
ChrisReid: And then we finally went to bed.
LOAF: Let me be serious for a moment, in so far as I can be. General Sherman, who had a similar effect on Atlanta, once said: "I stood by Grant when he was drunk and he stood by me when I was crazy. Now we stand by each other always." You have all done both for me many times over the years and I am grateful for it. I am truly sorry for any trouble caused that night -- especially to blonde, who took very good care of me. You are all good friends.
Continue to Day Three