WordCamp Boston 2011

As one might surmise by the badge above, I attended WordCamp Boston this year. It was held right down the street at Boston University. I had only found out that a WordCamp was being held in Boston about a week and a half beforehand. When I saw where it would be, I leaped at the opportunity. Registration was only US$40, which is incredibly reasonable for a technical conference.

Read on to hear more about some of the panels I attended.
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Botcon 2010

I have finally gotten around to posting the gallery for Botcon 2010 on Orlando, Florida. Maybe sometime I’ll get to doing the gallery for 2009. Above you can see the obligatory group photo. Unfortunately, it was done very impromptu as Ernie and Rubin were trying to leave, so we couldn’t find Sam nor Robert in time to be in the photo.

There was lots to see this year. I took plenty of pictures of the display cases for upcoming product, the Transformers Hall of Fame and some random rare items found at various dealer booths. The image above is me holding one of the rarest items that was released at retail exclusively in Japan. That one, in particular, was on sale for US$1,000. Most of you don’t care about that though, so here is a picture of Sam ironing his shirt.

Next year will be back in Pasadena. Hopefully it won’t be quite so humid out.

Halloween 2009

Yesterday marks one of my favorite times of year. Halloween.

Its one of those instances where I really like to go all out. Normally I keep my costume a big a secret and work on it for months ahead of time. Now that Brenna is here, I figured we should do a group/couples costume and I already had an idea that I had been percolating for the past couple months. Figuring that we were both pretty obstinate people and that we would be stepping on each others’ shoes if we worked on the same parts of the costume, I divided the task up. Brenna took the costumes and I took the ‘accessories’. The costumes themselves are fairly simplistic, though, I admit, I underestimated how much attention to detail she was going to pay. The accessories were incredibly ambitious and I wanted the challenge of learning a new skill. As far as I’m concerned, unlearned skills are obstacles waiting to be overcome.

In case you haven’t guessed by the post banner image at the top, we decided to go as two of the Voltron pilots. I went as Keith, pilot of the black lion and Brenna went as Lance, pilot of the red lion. The accessories that I was to work on were plushie versions of our respective lions. The project turned out to be so ambitious that I only completed the black lion. I say completed, but it didn’t have any hind legs. I just ran out of time, so I referred to him as a sea lion the entire night.

More on the lion another day.

Back from Otakon 2008

I am back in Boston and exhausted from my long weekend in Baltimore. Otakon 2008 was a blast. I really had a good time. It was great to meet up with everyone and see all the costumes, panels, anime and stuff to buy this year. I’ll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. No promises on timing for a write up of the weekend. I am home, but now the race is on to pack and get ready for the big move on September 1st.

It should also be noted that as I was walking out the door on Thursday to leave, Davidson convinced me to bring the tube despite the extra baggage fees. As it turned out, Joaquin ended up taking his luggage as a carry on and checking in my tube.

Airline Fee'd

Today we leave for Baltimore. Peg, Joaquin, Brendan, and myself will be flying down and meeting up with aDam and Janine (the Canadians) and Brenna, Ruth, and Mas (the upstate New York contingent) and will be attending Otakon tomorrow. Otakon is the largest anime convention on the east coast. Approximately 23,000 attendees each year. Quite large.

I don’t leave for about another hour and ten minutes, though. Naturally I’m spending that time furiously packing my luggage since didn’t do enough of that last night. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is and the gas prices the way they are, it was brought to my attention this week that airlines (even more of them now) are still charging for checked in baggage. We’ll be flying AirTran. I had Joaquin look up what the policy is and he found this website, airfarewatchdog.com.

Airline Fee\'d

AirTran is charging US$20 for a second piece of luggage to check in. Thats US$40 for both ways. This means I’m not bringing a second piece of luggage. This also means that I can’t bring the wooden sword that is part of my costume since the tube I carry it in is too large to be a carry on and would be considered a second checked item. The sword is the most recognizable part of my costume and is really what other people see and immediately associate with my character. I would categorize this as ‘sucking big time’.

The sad thing is, looking at that chart, AirTran appears to charge the least of any of the carriers, while American Airlines makes no misconceptions as they tell you to grab your ankles and think of Christmas.

Botcon 2008 approaches

Today, I work from home.

Tonight, I go to the Celtics playoff game.

Tomorrow, I go to Botcon.

Its going to be a long haul until I’m finally there, but the excitement is building.

Tomorrow, I will be meeting Brendan at the airport and we will fly to Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, we will meet Sam and drive for 9 hours to arrive at Botcon in Cincinnati, OH. Its going to be a very long day, but I’m pretty excited for it.

Sam and I did something similar two years ago when the convention was in Lexington, Kentucky. I flew to Chicago and we drove down together. It was actually a longer drive, but it was fun and it gave him some company on the way down. Last year, he flew here and we all drove down to Providence, Rhode Island, stopping at every store with a toy aisle along the way.

I already have a small list of things I’m looking for, but I’m sure its incomplete and I’ll only find two or three of the listed items. Weighing much heavier on my mind, are all things I need to do before I leave. Laundry. Packing. Determining what toys to bring to sell and making sure I leave enough room to bring toys back. Withdrawing some money. Getting all the video equipment together. You get the idea. Not a lot of time for so much to do. I better get started!

AnimeBoston Line of Despair Apology

The AnimeBoston forums is currently featuring an apology post from the chairperson of registration.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we waited in the registration line for 4 hours on Friday, even after we preregistered months in advance. We had it easy though. Those who did not preregister were in line for anywhere from 5 to 10 hours that day. Paul met up with us on Saturday after the registration staff took drastic measures to try and fix many of the issues they had the day before. He got there at 8AM and still stood in line for 3 hours.

My favorite quote:

I promise you all that I will take what I have learned from this disaster and do everything in my power to make sure this does not happen again.


AnimeBoston 2008

Another year, another variation of the costume.

Time Jump Sasuke

AnimeBoston came early this year. March 21-23.

Brenna came to town again for the con. Friday, the first day of the con was her 23rd birthday. Naturally, we celebrated, but one thing at a time. I have posted a not so brief summary of the week/weekend after the jump, but if you are only interested in seeing the pictures, you can check out the gallery here.
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A return to nomadic conventioning

This year will be the …fourth? year I will be attending AnimeBoston.

The first one was a fluke. Brendan texted me there was a convention in town and to meet him at Boylston station. I had nothing better to do, so I met him and a friend of his named Thanh. A fateful first meeting to be sure. All that aside, not realizing we needed to register and pay to get into the dealer room, we went in anyway. It was cool to be sure, but it was only the dealer room. The convention was spread across multiple venues in the city so we stayed in the building with the dealer room. We wandered up and down aisles for hours looking at all the cool schwag. That was the first time I had seen a Naruto headband. Two weeks, 52 episodes, and over a hundred chapters of manga later, I was all caught up and hooked on the series. Certainly not my first anime series obsession, just my latest. All in all it was a good time.

The second convention was significantly better since it was entirely encapsulated within the Hynes Convention Center in the middle of the city. I was actually dressed up for this one. We walked around the dealer room for what seemed like the entire day on Saturday and once that closed, I went panel hopping while Brendan and Thanh decided they had a more urgent need to go bowling. I sat in for a few amusing panels which I enjoyed until they returned for the highlight of the evening, Dick and Buster’s Live Hentai Dubbing Extravaganza. Basically audience members are selected and brought to the front to do live voiceovers for animated japanese porn. Good times. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but we saw most of it. I was exhausted and had a terrible headache.

Last year, Brendan, Thanh and I went again with the extra company of Brenna and a brief cameo of Paul. The prior year, Brendan had won a prize in the charity auction. He got first pick of any table in the artists’ alley. It turned out to be a great idea. We were right against a wall next to the door of the hall. I gave out over 100 business cards for PowetTV, Brenna sold some art, Thanh sold all of his ribbon origami fishy things and Brendan sold 2 shirts. Not only that, but it gave us a base of operations. We could put down all of our stuff at the table and take turns going to panels and the dealer room, while the others sat down to relax and mind the table. It was by far the best plan of action we had yet and we all vowed to do the same next year. Brendan decided not to bid in the charity auction though and to sign up for a table the normal way through registration on the site.

AnimeBoston this year will be in March. For months, we all have been eagerly monitoring the AnimeBoston front page for updates on when the artist alley registration would open. Unfortunately, that update never came. It was posted on the Artist Alley page of the site only. Thus we missed registration 2 weeks ago and didn’t find out until today.

Brendan and I are following up a couple of unlikely leads, but its looking as though we will be returning to a nomadic approach to this convention. It is not a prospect we look forward to.

The charity auction will be a top priority this year.