Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gary Con Day 0: Driving Here, Paying Tolls, And BEEP BEEP BEEP

Well, here I am at -- what did Michael call it? Oh yes -- "The Gaming Motherland." That's as good a nickname as any for Lake Geneva amongst us gamers. It's about 3 p.m. and I'm unpacked and unwound after a 7+ hour road trip. As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what's going on each day. Since the con really hasn't gotten underway yet, most of today's content is about the trip here and initial reactions (although there is a pre-con gathering at 5 p.m. I'm planning on attending). Here we go:

  • About 5 miles into a 450-mile road trip is a helluva time to discover your cruise control is on the fritz. My freakin' foot is killing me. (Heel spur in formation.)
  • According to the disembodied GPS voice, Toledo is pronounced "Toll-dah."
  • I passed the RV/Mobile Home Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN, on the way here. If I had extra time, I'd totally stop by to see what that's all about.
  • From the interstate, I saw a 3-story-tall piece of graffiti on the side of an abandoned building. It simply said "D30." Wished I had thought to try to grab a picture.
  • I forgot all about the friggin' tollroads again this year. From Mansfield, Ohio, to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I paid exactly $22.60 in tolls! Holy hell, I gotta find another route home.
  • Speaking of taking another route, the two things that really frighten me IRL are heights and driving in big-city traffic. So taking the Chicago Skyway into the city just as the lunchtime rush hour hit gave me 11 separate heart attacks within a 20-minute period.
  • When I BEEP got to my BEEP room at the Lodge, BEEP I discovered the BEEP fire alarm battery BEEP was nearly dead. BEEP Took maintenance BEEP about an hour BEEP to get a BEEP replacement put in BEEP so I wasn't BEEP able to grab BEEP a nap before BEEP heading out tonight. (Taking the battery out wasn't a solution either. BEEP)
  • Went to the lodge bar to have m'self a Spotted Cow (the official beer of Gary Con) and I ran into Michael Curtis, he of The Dungeon Alphabet, Stonehell Dungeon, an adventure or two for Dungeon Crawl Classics, and other gaming works. He and I sat around and talked of All Things Gaming, including Things Yet To Come. (Ooh! Spoilers!) I also harangued him yet again for his act of cowardice a year ago, until he reminded me I was already dead by the time he screwed over everyone and that I had no reason to be annoyed about it. Huh, he's right.
  • The pre-con Gathering is taking place in the bar. Stopped by for free food and free beer (more Spotted cow!). I ask you, how many other conventions put on a free spread for the attendees?
And here are a few environmental shots while all is quiet:

Registration seems quiet...for now.

I love the Gary Con banner over the registration desk.
In one of the hallways, they mounted posters with the illustrations that marked each previous Gary Con. This lizard man was the icon for Gary Con I.

This stoic knight represented Gary Con II.

The wizard was the icon for Gary Con III, but he's become so prevalent that he could be considered the "official" icon.

 The red dragon battle scene represented Gary Con IV.

And this year's iconic imagery is a fight against a purple worm. Here's the Gary Con V icon!

1 comment:

  1. Hope you have a great time. Looking forward to the updates!