(I'm still organizing the pics. I took only 170 or so, and some are blurry, but it may take a day or two to get them sorted and up. I will go back and insert them into the posts as I do so. Just a heads-up.)
I was originally hoping to be on the road by about 9 am on Wednesday morning. Indianapolis is about three and a half hours away, so I would be down there by lunchtime. That didn't happen. I wasn't out of town by ten, although it was close. I had to run a couple of minor errands on the way, and double back to pick up my camera. Doh!
The drive was uneventful. I arrived, parked for a brief period on the street, ran in, grabbed my badge and tickets from Will Call, and took my stuff to the auction room so that it could get checked in. I had to make two trips with the hand truck, but found someone to watch my stuff in the meantime. When you took stuff to the auction room, the first question was "How many items do you have?" If it was under 25, you got a green ticket. Over that, and it was red.
I had 33 items, so I got a red ticket, and stood in the line. And stood. And stood. The green line had a couple of people working it, and the red line had one. And the red line had people with just over 25 items, and people getting rid of hundreds of items. At ten or fifteen items per minute, going through 700 items takes about an hour.
An hour or so later, I left mt stuff in the auction room, under the watchful eyes of several other line-standees, and ran out, drove around to check out a long-term parking lot, got lost, found my way to the hotel, checked in, took my stuff up to the room, parked at the hotel, and went back to the auction room. I was gone for almost an hour, and not only had my number not come up, but the red line did not even more in that period.
I waited in the auction hall until it officially closed at 6. They hit the point of turning people away, and added more people to check in the red line. Some of us (meaning: me) were getting kind of testy, because they had switched things around, and now, green tickets went to anyone with up to 50 items. They did manage to fit me in, so that I did not have to try and come back (and miss events) Thursday morning in order to wait in line again. The good news that came out of all this is that I could tell that the auction and consignment store would likely be pretty good this year.
Anyway, once that was done, I headed over to the Ram, so I could meet some PGs and try the new beer that they had brewed for the year. I look for other PGs in the scrum, and must have looked especially lost and pathetic, because I got invited to a random table, by another press ganger (Don King). He grabbed a few other random people, and we talked for a while. Several staffers came over and talked to us, as well as other gamers. It was a great random and chaotic time, although I was a little brain-fried from having stood in that auction hall for so long.
Eventually, I headed left, but not before I picked up the mug and shirt. Met up with my friends back at the room, talked for some time, and went to sleep, waiting for the day that is, to a gamer, almost as big a deal as Christmas - opening day of GenCon.