Sunday, April 29, 2012

The BotCon 2012 Update Part 3

Current song stuck in my head: The Humbling River by Puscifer.

So today is Sunday, which means the 'Con is over. Am I sad? Yes. But it isn't as bad as it has been in previous years. I'll get to that later. Right now, it's time to sum things up.

April 28, 2012 Saturday

We got up and headed out at a time that we thought was early enough to beat some of the 'Con traffic, but it appears we were wrong. When we got to the parking lot at the Hyatt, the attendants were placing a large 'Lot Full' sign at the entrance. Thankfully, we were able to scoot in and park.

Prime, DA and I headed to the panel room to take in the first panel of the day: Dan Gilvezan and Buster Jones. You know damn well there was no way I was missing a panel with Dan. He’s just too awesome to miss.

It was a great panel and a lot of fun. Dan was hilarious as always and Buster was a good sport about everything. I think Buster was a little surprised at how much we as fans love him and his work. So if you missed the panel, you really missed out.

After that, I hit the club store to buy another BotCon convention comic and hit the line for the noon autographs. That session was for Dan, Buster and Simon Furman. Now, I’d already gotten Mr. Furman’s signature on a pair of comic books but I had a third that needed to be signed and I also wanted a sig from him along with Buster and Dan on my extra Con program. I think that may be a bit of a tradition now: grab an extra program, get a whole slagload of sigs on the cover. Hey, it’s easy to carry and isn’t expensive so why not? (^.^)

I got autographs from all three: Simon was gracious as always and Dan was just a huge sweetheart. I mean that. He is perhaps the sweetest, most charming and funniest guy you will ever meet. A true class act. As to how he puts up with crazy fangirls like me, I can’t even begin to fathom, but he does and I appreciate that. Buster was also wonderful: I thanked him for his work on Transformers as well as that on The Real Ghostbusters. He said he remembered his work on Ghostbusters and thanked me for my kindness. He was truly sweet.

After the autographs, I went back to the panel room and sat in for the Transformers Club roundtable and the Hasbro panel. Epic reveals in each, but they’re all over the net by now so there’s no point in mentioning them. Once those two panels were finished, Prime, DA and I stuck around for one of the most popular guest panels at BotCon:

Peter Cullen.

Before you ask, yes, I have met him and he is amazing. When he greeted us in the panel room, the man nearly brought me to tears: as he looked at the crowd, he said he saw so many familiar faces and we were one. We were family.

I admit it, my eyes were misting over at that point. To hear him, the voice of Optimus Prime, proclaim us as family…all I can say about it is ‘wow’. It’s truly overwhelming.

Once Mr. Cullen’s panel drew to a close, the three of us got ready for the Cocktail Reception, Dinner, Hall of Fame Ceremony and Casino night. Prime and I didn’t hit the alcohol all that much and neither one of us did so well at gambling (well, I stuck to bingo) but that wasn’t the biggest surprise of the night. No, the big surprise of the night was the fan’s choice Hall of Fame inductee. The choices were Arcee, Sky-Byte, Beast Wars Megatron, Rodimus and Wheeljack. The winner?

Wheeljack. I was more than a little surprised.

After the festivities were over (and DA, Prime and myself got tired of looking at scantily dressed girls attending a dance), we headed back to the hotel and crashed.

April 30, 2012 Sunday

The crowds weren’t as thick today; it was as if the Con’s ending was hovering like some vast, predatory bird on the fringes of the day. The three of us didn’t have to deal with the parking issue today and the lot didn’t seem quite as full. After parking, we headed to the panel rooms for the live script reading of Bee in the City 2.

If you missed it, you may be in luck—Pete Sinclair has said that it will be posted to YouTube. When it is, I will link it as you have to watch it to enjoy it. But it was a hoot!

Once that was done, I dashed to the Dealer Room to get the autographs of David Kaye and Garry Chalk. But we also had Abby Collins there as well and I got her signature too.

When I got out of the line for that, I loitered around a bit and waited for the last autograph session, another one with Dan Gilvezan and Buster Jones. You know how you’re at a function and you see that one person at the head of the line and you kinda hate them a little? Yeah, I was that person! I was first in line for that autograph session! I got Dan to sign my name badge and had him sign an ornament for a friend of mine who was volunteering at the show. (Hey, I owed her big time!) I also got Buster to sign it too. Happy? Oh yeah, I was.

I caught up with DA afterward and we talked; eventually we ran into Prime and we made our way to the Activision booth to see a demo of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. The game looks amazing, but pardon me a moment, for I must rant.

mini rant
Alright people, signs are posted for a damn good reason. I don’t care if you think your kid hanging off a statue isn’t going to hurt the statue--if it says don’t touch, then your kid shouldn’t be climbing on it. Seriously, do you let your kid play in the middle of the damned street thinking, "Hey, little junior dumbass is smart enough to get outta all them there cars’s way. Kid’ll be fine."? Sure he will…then the little dipshit gets hurt and YOU feel the need to sue someone because YOU are a fucking moron. If you are that damned stupid, do us all a favor and adopt a damn goldfish. Or better yet, raise a Chia plant. If either one of those get hurt or die because of your own idiocy, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. And for the love of Primus, remain a shut-in and stay out of the public eye. We’re tired of dealing with you.
/end mini rant

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, better.

Anyway, after that, we all got posters. A raffle or two later and the Dealer Room was shutting down, as was the Con. Prime, DA and I wandered around, found Asuza-san’s table and took a look. Asuza let me have a Bumblebee toy for free and we bought a pair of Japanese Happy Meal toys from him. Awesome!

After chatting with some of our friends, the three of us headed outside and to my shock there’s Dan Gilvezan just outside the hotel. So I took the opportunity to hug both him and his wonderful wife and tell them goodbye. He said we’d see each other again, as I’m not getting rid of him that easily. Oh, yeah, huge grin on my face!

We got back to the hotel, chatted and around 7:15, took DA to the airport. We said our farewells, I hugged him good-bye and it looked as though some tears may fall. Well, until Prime yelled, "Stop crying!" We all had a good laugh at that one.

I’ve had dinner and now I’m going to bed. Yeah, I am sad that the Con is over, but not as badly as I have been in past years. As of right now, I’m wondering where our next reunion will be held. I can’t wait to see the rest of the family again.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The BotCon 2012 Update Part 2

So here we are again, with a second day of action at BotCon 2012!

Okay, we got up at 7:30 or so, got dressed and ready and were out the hotel by 9:20. After fueling up, we got to the Hyatt and hit the MSTF panel. Although we were only able to catch the end of the panel, it was still pretty fun. Afterwards, we stayed for the Transformers Filmfest, which had some pretty good entries. We all voted and in the end, the winning entry was one called "Starting Them Young". It was super-cute, trust me. After that, I decided to go ahead and head to the Autograph line. Prime thought I was slightly cracked, but I thought it was a good idea.

Turned out I was right. The line for the Autograph session was combined with the line for the private Dealer Room experience. By the time I got there, it was pretty blasted long. But I hung out, DA dropped by bearing Starbucks (Mocha Frappuccino!) and we chatted while watching bits and pieces of Transformers: Dark of the Moon on his iPad. Prime caught up to us and the fun began a little bit later: the doors to the Dealer Room were opened!

Prime completed our door prize forms and I went directly to the Autograph line. It wasn't a long wait and I got two comics signed by Simon Furman. I didn't get Garry Chalk or David Kaye's autographs yet, but there's still time. Afterwards, I wandered the Dealer room and spotted a table were none other than Dan Gilvezan was seated; he was selling signed copies of his book Bumblebee and Me. Did I buy one? You bet! Did I chat with him? Better believe it! Did I giggle like a crazed fan girl? Well, it's me. Of course I did! XD

After that, I walked around the Dealer room with Prime and we bought little plastic robots and other awesome things. So much fun it hurt. But at five o'clock, the Dealer room closed so Prime, DA, Stogie and I headed out, met up with Shawn and spent the rest of the evening hanging out until we broke it up around 10.

It's been fun. A lot of fun. And this is why I come to the convention every year--it's not about the toys, it's about the people. Seeing my friends and hanging out with them makes it worth it.

Don't expect an update tomorrow night. We have a truly long day ahead and I probably won't be getting back here until about 1 or so in the morning. There will be an update on Sunday, though.

Until then, this has been

--Weasel, signing off for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The BotCon 2012 Update

(Bear with me, as I am completely exhausted. It's been a tiring few days. But it's also been loads of fun!)

I'm now currently in the great state of Texas, on vacation and ready to party at BotCon 2012. It's been quite an interesting few days, as you will see.

April 22, 2012 Sunday

Prime and I left a bit later than we would have liked; we had some last-minute packing (that I still unintentionally screwed up, in the end) and got a bit held up. But once we had that squared away, we loaded up Scamper and were on our way.

The drive itself was uneventful--we spent most of it listening to the Brewers game on 620 WTMJ-AM, the Brewers Radio Network flagship. They have a great signal, too. It wasn't until we were driving through the southern region of Illinois that the signal got bad enough to make us listen to something else, and by that time, we had already listened to the Crew lose to the Rockies (DAMMIT!) and heard Brewers Extra Innings in its entirety. Not fun, the losing part, but what are you going to do?

The rest of the trip again, was completely uneventful--although when we hit Saint Louis, the exit we took ran right next to Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals, whom I do not like. At all. But the rest of the drive through Missouri was pretty decent and we got to our halfway point--Eureka--without incident. Prime and I checked into our hotel, hit a Walmart for the heck of it then came back to our room, ate and after buying tickets to the Texas Rangers game in Arlington, crashed. All in all, not a bad first day for a two-day road trip.

April 23, 2012 Monday

Prime had decided the night before that if we really wanted to hit the Rangers game, we'd have to leave a bit early. So we were packed, out the door and checked out of the hotel by 7:25. We got sidetracked and had to stop at another Walmart to grab a few things (mainly the dry goods foods, which somehow I had ALSO forgotten; Prime, however, had veered off to toys and returned with a couple of new electronic Bumblebee greeting cards, the Transformers Bot Shots series 2 Super-Bot, Bumblebee, and a Transformers Prime Arcee, then found a Bumblebee T-shirt I didn't already have, on clearance--he certainly can work a store), then get back on the road proper.

This time the drive was a bit more difficult--when we hit Oklahoma we were stuck on a US highway and not an interstate. So we'd cruise along at decent speed, have to drop down to 35 or 40 miles per hour when coming upon a town, and then ramp back up once past the town line. Just kind of annoying. Once we arrived in Texas, we could actually use an interstate highway, but that may not have been such a great thing.

People in Texas drive like idiots. I mean that. If they don't try and sideswipe you while merging into traffic, they will try and tailgate you. Or worse. I have never seen such Primus-awful behavior before. So if you ever come down to Texas, do not drive if you can help it. I do not kid.

After going through the traffic from hell, Prime and I arrived at our hotel and tried to check-in. Notice how I said "tried".

We were left standing at the front desk for about twenty minutes. There was no one there. There was absolutely no one in the lobby. Prime was getting irritated, I was getting irritated, it was not a pretty situation in the least. But finally someone came up and checked us in. Prime then asked where the hotel's business center was located, as we had to print off the tickets to the Rangers game.

This hotel doesn't have one. The blasted website wasn't truthful, it would seem.

Thankfully, the man running the desk had a printer and printed them off for us, so we grabbed them and dove back into the wonderful world of Texas road apathy.

We finally got to the ballpark at Arlington, but between the accepted horrible ballpark day-of-event traffic jam and their parking situation, we didn't get to our seats until the fourth inning. Once we grabbed some food and found our section, we headed to our seats. I had no problem sitting down, while Prime ran into a snag.

Someone was sitting in his chair. So Prime asked the guy to move. Here's where it gets ridiculous: the guy refused. He didn't want to get up and wanted to stay sitting in Prime's seat. Prime pointed out that he had the ticket to that seat and the guy still wouldn't move. But Prime was persistent and finally got to sit down.

I'm still in shock over this little incident: we've had people at Miller Park sit in other seats, but when the occupant returns/arrives, they will get up and go to their assigned seat. How difficult is this for someone to grasp? News flash: it isn't. So, yes, by now I have figured that Texas may have an abnormally high population of impolite jerks.

As for the game, it certainly was different--this was an American League game so we had a Designated Hitter for both teams. Also, they'll sing "Deep In the Heart of Texas" between the fifth and sixth inning and have an Ozarka Water "Dot race". Um, Arlington? Milwaukee does it waaaaaaaay better. The Sausages in the Miller Park Sausage Race can actually run and not shuffle. Just sayin'.

As for the game, the stupid Yankees won. And Mariano Rivera got another save, which I had no desire to see. (Trevor Hoffman is the all-time saves leader in my book!)

Once the game was over, Prime and I headed back to Scamper, hit a gas station to refuel and came back to the hotel where we crashed. All in all, a pretty decent day.

April 24, 2012 Tuesday

I slept until 11:30, I was that exhausted. But once I was up, I ate breakfast while Prime worked around online a bit. Prime got up with our friends Shawn (he likes fried chicken) and Stogie, and we headed out to shoot the slag with them for a while. We got to the Hyatt, met Ravyn, hung out for a while and then headed up to the room set aside for the Customization Class to help set it all up. After we got everything ready, we hung out with Shawn for a little longer--I got a bit tipsy on some Manischewitz Shawn brought--then we all broke it up for the night and went to our respective hotel rooms.

April 25, 2012 Wednesday

Here's where Prime and I split ways, so to speak: he's help with the Customization Class this year; I had a tour to take. While Prime helped people put together their toy--Shattered Glass Longarm, or, with a little bit of custom part addition, Classics Shockwave--I was wandering through Rangers Ballpark and seeing the immense Cowboys Stadium. I tried not to go too overboard on the souvenirs, but I ended up spending $33 on pins! Four came from the Ballpark at Arlington: a Texas Rangers logo pin, a 40th anniversary pin, a Nolan Ryan pin and a series pin for the Yankees/Rangers games. At Cowboys Stadium, I simply grabbed a Cowboys logo pin, which was clearance priced for $2. Talk about fun.

When I got back to the Hyatt, Prime was still helping out with the class. It seems that things were going a bit slower than everyone had thought, so I hung around with Prime and tried to be helpful. Once 7PM rolled around, Prime suggested I head down to pick up our pre-registration items, so I headed downstairs, hung out and got in line.

The wait was longer than the pick up. Usually, the pre-reg pick up starts pretty late but this time it was ahead of schedule and I was done pretty quickly. Prime came downstairs alongside the other class staffers to chat with me and we saw Karl Hartman. We chatted, I hugged Karl and had fun, as always.

Once I had our stuff, we all headed back to the classroom, helped clean up and set up for tomorrow, then went out for a quick bite of dinner. While we were out, DA called and said he was on his way. He met up with us, I hugged him, and we all sat around talking and goofing off until midnight. But all good things come to an end, so we headed back to our rooms and turned in for the night.

April 26, 2012 Thursday (Today)

Since there was nothing on my schedule, I had a chance to actually sleep in again, which I did. I got up around 11:30, got dressed and called Prime about an hour or so later. Seems he was on a food run for the class staff, so I asked if he could pick me up and drag my tail to the hotel. Today was the first day of sales at the Club Store and I didn't want anything to sell out before Prime had finished with today's project. You don't want to recommend getting between Stogie and his food (he's not himself when he's hungry, and Snickers doesn't satisfy like everyone thinks it does), but I wore him down on it, so I was taken to the Hyatt. We met up with DA and I spent a long time chatting with him, blowing time until I would have to stand in line again.

At around 4PM, I ran upstairs to the classroom, got a list from Prime and the necessary cash, then went downstairs to get in line for the store. I made pretty good time and was the fourth person in the cash line so I thought that things would go off without a hitch tonight.

Not so.

About thirty minutes before the doors opened, I got to take a glance at the sales sheet. It seems that the sales of the Souvenir sets were limited to one per person. That was a problem, as we needed a second one of the sets for a friend in the UK. So I called Prime, told him about it and he said he'd be down to help. At around 5:55 he showed up, we chatted, he filled out my sheet and I tried to hunt down another order form to no avail. It didn't really matter, though. We didn't get into the store until around 6:25. Once inside, Prime got an order form and filled it out while we waited to be helped.

Getting the toys didn't take too long and we were done in about ten minutes. Once that was finished, we headed back to the classroom, I helped clean and pick up any useful items and we broke it up for the night.

Tomorrow the convention actually starts and I can barely wait. I'll be getting autographs, buying toys, acting like a fool, hanging with my friends, you name it. It'll be great, as always. So until tomorrow's post, good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night!

--Weasel, having too much fun as it is

Saturday, April 07, 2012


(Don't worry: the title is a joke. Even though what happened on Thursday was pretty slagging epic.)

Thursday morning I head into work about a half an hour early--Prime had to go in early, which meant I had extra time to spend in the breakroom. So what do I do in my spare time? The same thing I do every time I stuck in the breakroom--I start hatching Golett eggs. Since I'm hovering at 2,780 hatched, I decide to do a run of twenty and call it for a day. That'll even everything out to 2,800 until I pick up the game again. Besides, I think, if I do a shorter run I'll have time to go through and do some EV training via the Elite Four. So I gather my eggs and begin the process of hatching.

It takes a bit, but it's nearly 10:15 and I've hatched 19 out of twenty. So when I hear the shell cracking on number twenty, I grab my pen and scribble down a few numbers in my memo book. I'm not really paying attention to the game; the sounds of the Golett's cry and the fanfare that plays afterwards barely catches my attention. I'm too busy writing down my brand new hatch total: 2,800. Once I'm done, I turn to my DS and take a look at the brand new hatching. What I see causes my jaw to drop in shock.

Eyes: yellowish-green, not light yellow. Body: grey and black, not two differing shades of blue. This Golett is oddly colored.

A shiny. I finally hatched my shiny. So much for taking the Elite Four challenge that morning.

I managed to tap out the chosen name for my brand new shiny--Guardian--then promptly hit save. Once my game is saved, I take a look at Guardian's stats. I'm quite pleased at what I see.

Nature: Brave
Ability: Iron Fist

I couldn't have asked for a better shiny, really. The little guy is perfect. Or at the very least, he is to me. So after four months and 2,800 eggs, I've finally gotten my "baby", if you will.

I'm taking a slight break from the hunt right now. I've been hatching eggs for so long that yeah, I need the time off. But I have a Japanese Sawk and an Adamant Natured Japanese Ditto in Day Care; I'll be starting the hunt for a shiny Sawk in May. The rest of April will simply be too busy for me, with BotCon and all. But once the 'con is done, I'll start hatching more eggs. Why? A shiny hunter's job is never done--there's always another shiny Pokémon to hunt, either by resetting or breeding. Yes, I'm insane, I know. Wish me luck anyway.

--Weasel, "It's a wonderful madness, truly. Nothing I enjoy more than a shiny hunt."