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Penguicon

Penguicon Smithee 21 Write-uppery.

Sadly, YFNPN is a lazy YFNPN so the illustrations are lagging. Still, here is the Penguicon Write up for this year. Yay? YAY!

[Insert hand drawn penguin suffering from PICTURE SHINY!]
Ahhh Penguicon, Penguicon, Penguicon. Your Open Source-y ness and geek flair makes you one of the oddest conventions with the strangest bizarre happenings. I got a new iPhone shortly before the trip (mostly because the Guru couldn't take a half day off and would be meeting us later) plus I took my camera as usual and do you know how many photos I took? One. It was, as I later found out, that one photo everyone takes who goes to the Dearborn Hyatt. Much like that one photo everyone takes when they visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. How sad am I that I distinctly lack originality, but you must admit, it's a cool shot

[Insert lights thing photo I took]
*points to the ubiquitous photo*

[iPhone maps app]
Instead, as I remember all the things I should have taken a picture of, I will hand draw them since They say a picture is worth a thousand words. First off, Hooray for new iPhone! On the way to the hotel we discovered that our exit was shut down and MapQuest printed out directions weren't really all that for "Well crap, what's an alternate way there?" I highly suggest the Maps app, it's awesome because it shows you where you are going (Right over there! ARGH! I can see it but can't get to it!!!) plus a little blue pulsing dot which is where you currently are. And also the roads which is a key factor. So we made it to the hotel with very little lost in Dearborn fuss.

The hotel was...well it had plusses and minuses. For a Penguicon con space it was overall superior to the past two hotels we have seen the con at. The Hyatt is massively HUGE so there are rooms for all sorts of things. There are also lots of meeting rooms and a nice open area for pick-up games and whatnot. It had a bank of the coolest glass elevators which ZOOMED up and down at ludicrously fun speeds. Nobody was flattened (permanently) but they were quick. Lastly, at the terminus ends of the lazy horseshoe that is the shape of the hotel, there are suites which are begging to host room parties in a properly fun fashion. Nice.

Not so nice was the extra charge for the internets (hooray for iPhone part II, AT&T connection meant that I could get to teh internets without the fee, although the hotel was offering it half price for con goers). Plus the $12 breakfast buffet which HAD NO PANCAKES (this was not our particular concern since they had plenty of bacon, coffee, decent eggs, breakfast potatoes and some pastry things and one could always grab a couple of bottles of juice to go if one had a messenger bag to conceal them in) and the ludicrously priced hotel restaurant and bar. Hrmmmm. Also, the Hyatt has seen better days. It must have been THE place 20 years gone but now she's a little threadbare and worn.

I'd still rather return here than the other two places solely because the space fit much better.

[drawing of penguin scheduling events]
The first rule of Penguicon is: Check your schedule for Penguicon. We were originally scheduled for a nice comfy 5 hours of panel time from 7 to midnight. Then three days later we lost an hour at the back end so I e-mailed the program coordinator to say that we were going to need that hour because the show runs 4.5 hours on a hustle. We got our hour back but the start time was bumped to 6pm exactly one week before the con. Then when we got to the hotel, 3 out of 4 source materials for panel times agreed on when we had the room and they all said it was 6-11 EXCEPT the green sheet which had dropped an hour off the back end. Again. This would not have been a problem if the people scheduled after us had used any of the 3 corrected schedules and not relied on the green sheet. And had been a little more understanding of the mysterious ways of Penguicon scheduling but every Con has its special snowflake moments and this is Penguicon's. Come Origins I'm sure we'll have badge tales yet again. It happens.

Friday we did things and stuff and handed out many buttons and got many badge ribbons in return. Penguicon is a very ribbon oriented convention. Saturday proceeded pretty much the same except we attended some panels and cruised through the dealer room and had our fortunes read via Dominion cards. Apparently I need to exercise or to be creative but not both. I think I know which one *I* am going to pick! Long about THAT TIME we hauled our gear to the room space and quick scooted in to set up.

[drawing of a dinosaur projector next to our projector]
We ditched the projector from Edison's era and used our fancy new fella. Not that we wanted to hurt the dinosaur's feelings but as Scott H. put it, "This thing would look better steam punked out. It would probably work better too come to think on it." In record time we had set up and were rolling with Smithee 21: Show 3 - Penguicon.

[drawing of audience cthulhu and frankenfurter]
Our high was 48 (compared to 44 and 45 of past years), our low was 36 (compared to 25 and 20 of the past years) and our total brain touches was 101 which was way higher than last years 63 by a whole lotta brains. The audeince wasn't as concerned with off category science as shows 1 and 2 were, but they seemed to appreciate inverse coding and Cool Whip a lot more. This I rather expected on both accounts. I did not expect to be hosting both Cthulhu and Dr. Frankenfurter at the same time though. That was...odd.

Our room wasn't as primely located as it has been in years past but we did manage to draw attention with our raucous laughter and the judicial use of drumming up people to come watch movies. You would not believe how many waffling people you can hook with "Watch a clip or two while you wait". Once they come in and sit down they are gone, hook line and sinker. MUAHAHAHAHA! We didn't have the time we wanted for Q&A on account of the schedule confusion but I have to say that the look on the next group's faces as we took away our fancy tiny projector and re-installed the dinosaur one was priceless. They had a sad.

[drawing of pirates]
Afterwards we milled about discussing booz when we were hailed by two pirates. Two pirates which turned out to be two sad pirates when they learned that we had already done the Smithee awards. We have pirate followers! The pirates invited us to their pirate room party for free rum (of course) so off we went: Booz issue solved. The pirates had kick ass music and keen pirate ambiance. We also ducked into the room party across the hall (Barfleet) which had the shiny! in spades and was serving "yellow" "red" "blue" and "green". I hear yellow was pretty strong.


All in all a decent con and a great audience for showing Smithee 21, show three.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Still Lazy with the Pictures Ninja
JQ

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