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Day 0

Chris and Hades prepare to head to Atlanta from Seattle.

Hades attempts to hack in to the plane. But fails.
ChrisReid: Hades and I both bought laptops for the convention this year and they were really useful.

Chris is still smiling despite takeoff being delayed.
Frosty: :D

The sign that you've entered the south.. Chick-fil-A!

After arriving at the airport at 6am, Chris and Hades kill time before heading to the hotel.
Hades: Sleeping on planes is fairly impossible. I really am as tired as I look. Which makes me hate Chris for not looking rough.
ChrisReid: I'm pretty tired, I just can't stop smiling.

We could repeat last year's grammar joke here. But it isn't worth it.
ChrisReid: It's hard to get across the atmosphere here from just the pictures. The south is a lot more hot and humid than Seattle.
Tye: For those interested, summertime in Atlanta is from early April until November. It's quite common to have 70 degree days in late December. The 100+ degree, 100% humitidy summer days suck, but I never have to shovel a driveway.

The Atlanta Marriott is pretty high. Try and count the floors. There's about 50.

Being the first ones to arrive, Chris and Hades check in with people in #Wingnut.
ChrisReid: Hades and I had a neat setup. We paid for one wired connection and turned one of the laptops into a wireless access point. And The Mobile CIC HQ was born! In 2004 we'll have a full fledged router and bank of computers.

ace and Blonde arrive at the hotel. After a few minutes, Chris and Hades work out which is ace and which is Blonde.
ChrisReid: The pictures don't convey the sense of time here. Hades and I passed out from exhaustion in the hotel room for a few hours and made ace and Blonde wait in the lobby until one of us came to.
ace: I fell asleep too, which is why I look stupid.

The advantage of being among the first to arrive is being able to claim territory in the hotel rooms.
Hades: The rooms are pretty much identical, but there are a few key differences. Like having to walk two feet less to get to the door.

Chris seems pretty happy at this point.
ChrisReid: And it only got better from here on out.

A lunchtime break for food. Eating what else, but Chick-fil-A. Meanwhile workers continue to build the hotel in the background.

ace gets to play Prophecy Advance while waiting for others to arrive.
Frosty: ace needs to buy a GBA. I have 3, therefore Frosty > ace. ego++
Tye: On the other hand, Frosty has 0 women, and ace has 1. Your 3 GameBoys look pretty limp, huh Frosty.

Hades wishes he had brought his GBA from the hotel room.
Frosty: REBEL! RAR!!!

Blonde also wants to play, but ace isn't letting go.

Back in the hotel room, Blonde finally gets hold of the Gameboy. But nobody else has turned up yet.

More people! LOAF, Frosty, and Death report to CIC HQ. Elsewhere, Silas and Alex attempt to park their car. Death offered to help but.. well, remember the story from last year?
Frosty: Yeah, yeah, I'm popular, what can I say. Wanna hit me up on the cell? 867-5309

There must be something interesting behind the camera. Death grabbed his own camera and Frosty is glaring at something.

Hades attempts to repair LOAF's broken PCMCIA network card. Sadly the lack of a hammer thwarts the attempt. No Internet for you, LOAF.
Frosty: They got irritated with me when I tried to help. That's why I broke his PCMCIA slot with my voodoo.
Hades: I wonder how LOAF managed to bust up his laptop and card so badly.

ace lingers in the doorway while Blonde secretly orders room service on his credit card.

An almost top-down view of Hotel Room #1. Not pictured: Chris falling off the stool after taking the photo. Hotel Room #1 was claimed by Chris, Hades, ace and Blonde. Room #2 was left for LOAF, Death, Frosty, Silas and Alex.

Chris reports to the registration line. Those who pre-registered got a short queue for collecting badges.
Frosty: Some of us, however, got annoyingly long lines. Twice.
Hades: The lesson here is to always pre-register. That way you get cooler badges. Which apparently aren't so easy to lose.
Tye: The pre-registration line isn't always short. I had to wait about an hour when I ran down there.
ChrisReid: Lesson #2 is to come to the convention early. If you wait until Friday, the official start of the convention, you'll be waiting in long lines either way. The registration secretly opens Thursday however.

This photo was taken from the back of the line. Those who registered on-site got a much longer line.

Having got our badges, it was time to go outside.. for no reason! Then it rained.
ChrisReid: But don't forget that it's Atlanta, so it was a warm muggy rain.
Tye: All three years that we've been there so far, it's rained, yet the area has a 6 inch rain deficit. We clearly need a year-long Dragoncon.

At this point, only Tye and Monee hadn't turned up. Much time was killed by watching very old videos which used to be on ace's Happy Homepage.
ChrisReid: I packed a lot of goodies on my laptop just in case.
ace: It turns out that people actually thought I was funny. 1996 me would be very proud.

Alex puts in an appearance while Frosty is seemingly unaware.
Frosty: This photo strikes fear into the core of me.

Having finished the AHH videos, we listened to old ace's Happy Month wavs which were made by us four or five years ago.

Dragon*Con provided a great opportunity for watching some WCA episodes.
Tye: Keep in mind, folks, that this is still the day before the convention. Atlanta without a convention is boring like you wouldn't believe.
Hades: Boring? With the Black Lesbians convention just before and the Black Baptists convention straight after?
ChrisReid: Good thing we radiate fun out from our bodies. Atlanta can be bored, we don't need to go outside.

Tye and Monee arrived.. with flight suits! Monee did a really great job on the suits.
Tye: Those suits were pretty damn heavy, and we had to lug them about a mile from my car to the hotel. Some of the local panhandlers offered to help, but we struggled on, secure in the knowledge that if one of us passed out, the other could make sure we didn't get looted.

Blonde can't wait to wear her suit.
ChrisReid: Who can? I don't know if I left the room without the suit on after that point.

Tye and Monee kindly stored our CIC banner. This is one half of it...

...and the other half. It's pretty big.

Rolling the banner back up is a delicate process. Fortunately it shouldn't tear easily.

Hades is happy with his suit too. Though this one was probably too big. Also note the sacrifices waiting on the cabinet.

Proof that Tye and Monee had arrived. Silas was still curiously absent.
Tye: Damn, I look like I've got a bald spot there. It makes me glad that I'm tall enough that most people won't notice.

ace and Blonde are amused by.. something.
ace: We just got two great flight suits, who wouldn’t be amused?

With unpacking out of the way, time to sit and chat.
Frosty: Because this is something we never do.
Tye: Frosty's right, how often to we chat on IRC with clothes on? Uhm... I mean... it's a joke. Eh heh.

LOAF's attempts to scare Blonde with a tiger mask fails miserably.

There's a perfectly good chair in the corner, but everyone is too scared to use it.

Death tries on a real WC helmet. Standard Confed procedure says not to wear shades under the helmet though.
Frosty: Hey, look at me not look at the camera. Again.

Silas makes his first appearance in style.. in a flight suit!
Frosty: Alex's aviator shades really complete the look for him.
Tye: Silas proclaimed his goal for the weekend to cause other con attendees to mutter things like 'oh no, it's those Wing Commander assholes again.' He may or may not have succeeded, but he sure put a hell of a lot of effort in.

Sadly the helmet doesn't look so go with the flight suits due to the lack of a rubber neck piece.

Food in Atlanta's #1 non-Chick-fil-A food establishment.. Champions! Monee, Tye and Blonde browse the menu.
Tye: Champions: Because it's there. Aside from the relatively heavy smoke in there, it's actually pretty cool what with all the sports going on.
Hades: Remember that this is before the con starts. Once everyone else arrives, they all get the same idea and it's impossible to get seated there.

LOAF suggests doing evil things to Death while he sleeps.
ChrisReid: Which ends up being unnecessary, as Death sets himself up completely on his own.

At this point, Hades has developed a sixth sense for when Chris is about to take a photo.

Sadly Frosty has yet to develop this ability.
Frosty: Seriously, what's wrong with me? Maybe I thought if I didn't look at the camera, it couldn't see me.
Tye: There's no sixth sense to it at all. Just assume that at every moment Chris is about to take a picture, and at least eight times a minute you'll be right.
ChrisReid: Yup.

Chicken.. in memory of WildWeasel!
Tye: That'd be chicken FINGERS in memory of WildWeasel. But yes, the tradition shall go on. Champions = chicken fingers.

Everyone digs in pretty quickly...

...except LOAF. What the hell is that?
ChrisReid: Fortunately we left before it ate through the plate.
Frosty: This can only be consideredn divine retribution for deviation from the chicken pact.
Tye: I think I see bacon. Anything with bacon can't be bad.

Nobody could wait to check out the pictures that were taken all week long.

Group shot!
Frosty: And guess who should've left his hat on!

Frosty attempts to look innocent while sneaking up on an unsuspecting brunette using the ATM.
Frosty: Those chicks were there for about a million years. Or something.

Everyone watches from afar, waiting for Frosty to make his move.

Waiting times for the elevator get progressively longer as the con progresses.
Frosty: Soon, they became an event in and of themselves.

There's still work to do for Chris and Hades who begin updating the CIC. The mobile CIC HQ served us all well.
Hades: Notice the makeshift sign. Maybe next year we'll have a proper one.

The CIC HQ outgrew it's desk, forcing one laptop to move to another part of the.. office.

Frosty examines Hobbes' helmet. It's pretty big.

With updating complete, it's time for some more Gameboying before sleep. But the fun begins tomorrow, as the con gets started.
Frosty: Hades was really psyched about his Lost Vikings game.
Hades: Yeah, it's a pretty great game. I think I've lost it though. :(

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