August 15th, 2004

Conning the Armadillo.

And thus I return from Armadillocon. The Linucon room party there was a success. Ten new registrations (plus a few more to come, I think), and everybody had fun, and all the ice cream flavors worked. (Heck, grape was the _least_ successful, and that's Mark's favorite flavor. Of course by that point everybody was pretty full from the irst half-dozen flavors, but they still found room for the lime at the end, which was made with twice as much cream and half as much milk as the other batches, so it was pretty darn heart-stopping. Considering that ice _milk_ made with liquid nitrogen (and whole milk) is almost as good as normal ice cream made with cream. You see, nitrogen's a gas, so when liquid nitrogen mixes with the liquid ice cream ingredients, it foams as it freezes, so the texture's the same as if you stirred the heck out of normal ice cream. The stirring of the liquid nitrogen ice cream is just to get it to freeze somewhat evenly.) The new flavor we tried this time was Maple. Quite good. I think next time I'll cut the sugar back by half a cup and up the maple syrup to a full half-bottle, just to see how that works out. And the "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and oreo" ice cream was modified to use a package of chocolate instant putting mix instead of

At one point we had three of the most beautiful and photogenic women at the convention in a row, sitting on the corner of the bed and two of them pouring liquid nitrogen into the ice cream. And nobody in the room had a camera! (We checked.) I later found out that the tall thin woman woman with the long red hair who looks like a supermodel is only 14. Her father does not seem to have had a nervous breakdown yet (he was at the party too), but give him about another year. (Luckily, I have a girlfriend, so I didn't make too much of a fool of myself before finding this out...)

A good example of the greying of fandom is me having to explain what Pocky was to half the people in the room, by the way. (They grokked the caffienated jello, although I don't make jello very well it seems. We'll do better at the con, really.) Linucon's average attendee age is probably around 50 (admittedly one of the reasons the three women at our party stood out as much as they did). Maggie (the beautiful redhead jailbait girl) would look right at home in an Anime convention. If you ever wonder why the attendance at traditional science fiction conventions is dwindling, notice that Armadillocon's age range is entirely typical for an event of its type, and yet project A-kon in dallas had TWELVE THOUSAND attendees this year, with an average age range is somewhere in the late teens. (And that includes averaging in the parents who brought their kids, the dealers, and the staff. Again, typical for an anime con. Uishicon had three thousand attendees in its third year, same general age range...)

Linucon's anime track is in good shape, by the way. We've recruited members of both Ushicon and AnimeFest's concom to help us run it. (Getting it right is a priority for me, even though I personally am only marginally clueful in this area.) We're not just doing crossover between geeks and fen, we're trying to recruit the next generation into wider fandom.

I didn't actually get to see much of the rest of this year's Armadillocon, despite being there friday and sunday as well. I hit the dealer's room friday (where despite my intention of not buying anything, beause I was spending so much money on the room party, I bought the british edition of Terry Pratchett's new book "Hatful of Sky". Which I have had in my posession for two full days now, and haven't read yet. That's how busy I've been. Yes, I have hundreds of unread books up in my room, some of which I've had for five years, but this is a Discworld book. They jump to the head of the queue and cause me to loose sleep.) But I was already pretty sleep deprived on friday. (And sunday I wandered around a bit, but was too tired to do more than sit in the con suite with some caffiene. Besides, I had registration forms burning a hole in my laptop bag, and needed to get home to internet access to type 'em in.)

This is why Linucon's having its panels recorded, by the way... (Although if I hadn't been exhausted coming into it on friday, I'd have had a better chance of catching some panels on saturday and sunday. The down side of getting older is caffeine doesn't make everything better for days at a time anymore, no matter what shape I start out in. Probably this means i need stronger doses of caffeine...)

Saturday, I got to see Victory (the artist) in a nice panel on protecting your intellectual property online. I think she's agreed to be a panelist at Linucon, and if so we should have that panel. There are at least three other potential panelists from 'dillo I need to contact about being panelists at Linucon, too.

Busy weekend. I got flyers (the second flyer design, updated with white-out and a pen) printed up on friday, and managed to drop a stack Trianon (it turns out they have a flyer table) saturday morning. I also dropped some off at the IEEE engineering conference at the hotel in the arboretum, but I doubt anybody saw them. (Their flyer table's way in the back corner of their registration room, and I had to ask five convention staff before any of them could direct me to it...)

Now I feel like doing a day of non-linucon stuff. I feel I've earned it. :)
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