[personal profile] kpram
We went to a LEGO convention. I gave a mildly successful talk, but did not lead a workshop. My GBCs worked fairly well.

We left by 11ish Thursday morning. I had a couple of phone calls in the morning, but they finished and we got straight to loading the car. Happily, we had plenty of room. The weather was poor for the drive, constant rain and foolish drivers on the road. We checked into the hotel (Inn at the Convention Center), and started setting up our MOCs. We only had a few things this year- S had a castle, I had GBCs, and we both had Wacky Racers.
GBC setup wasn't bad. The tablecloth Rick (theme coordinator) had provided was thinner than the felt we brought, but we used it anyway. We built the wall out of 1x6x6 trans with 2x6 plates, and that seemed to work well. The meet and greet had a big pizza dinner, and we managed to meet a couple of people, although I admit I am mostly spacing on them now.
I also discovered my phone was full, and had to borrow S's to get video of the setup. I converted to iCloud, so now I need to deal with that sometime.
Friday I poked at my GBC, and we played a few games. I did the "Mixel Mashup", which was cool. Three mixel bags, build for 15 minutes. Then leave the brick behind, and move to the seat to the left. I had Bill Ward coming behind me, and he is a strong builder, but I like to think I managed some things in my own respect. I made an OK crane, a bulldozer (with ball-n-socket smoke rising) and a bee. We won, too! So that was cool.
We also did the pair blind build. It took us over an hour to finish, but we did finish without cheating, and had fun.
We listened to Paul give a talk, and he really wasn't a comfortable speaker. He eventually shifted to Q&A, and there his passion really shone through, so that was good. He also gave me a bunch of high quality prints of his famous works, so that was very exciting.
My talk went OK. I had some good new slides, but hadn't actually rehearsed all the way through, so I didn't notice I was missing slides until it was all over. I was supposed to lead a workshop on building, but the parts didn't arrive, so that didn't happen.
S had packed picnics for us, so we went back to the room for dinner, but ended up meeting John Sherman and his wife Kristi for dessert at Red Robin after the keynote. S chose some bulk-brick for her door prize.
The Keynote speaker was a LEGO train guy (John had heard of him) and his talk (about the connections LEGO fosters) was pretty cool.

Saturday was public hours. My train gave me some trouble, as the batteries got weaker and the train went slower and slower. S had a couple of troublesome modules, and my sideways conveyor had an issue with balls getting into the works after they failed to drop out on the end. There was a family from Idaho there as first time convention attendees with some cool modules. Thomas Mueller also was there with a module that he didn't get running at a low enough spill rate to feel save about leaving on all day while he was out. The new people were nice, though, Matt and Stephanie and 9-year old Petra. I hope to see them at BrickCon.

We had picnic dinner again before the awards, finding a local grocery store nearby (Zebra Express on Multnomah or something to the East). I won a set (but sent the trophy with Bill) for the Mashup, and that was it. I chose a large (800+part) town set as my door prize. Afterwards, we went to the hotel bar for a beer, and ended up chatting with Alexander and Paul and (Dave? from Seattle) until close to midnight when we called it.

Sunday was more of the same. Most of the kinks were done with my contraption, so I could just sit there and occasionally nudge the train. S made a trip to the bulk LEGO dump sale, and got some good colors. We packed up fairly quickly, stayed for closing ceremonies (LA, SF, Vancouver and Seattle conventions all made a pitch), then were out of there fairly quickly. We forgot to make/bring sig-figs, so we didn't stay for that photo op.
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