Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gen Con Indy 2011 - Avoiding Con Crud

Con Crud - Slang term for that illness you always come home from a con with. It is inevitable when you pack lots of people into a small space with a recirculating air system such as a plane, cruise ship or convention center. People have many different ways of trying to minimize their risk of getting it.

1) Hand sanitizer. Some people bring this and use it constantly. Personally I don't believe in this one. Like too many antibiotics, it just leads to resistant strains. Also I think that most versions of Con Crud are airborne.

2) Eat well. Take time at the con to eat real meals. Consuming nothing but junk food will lower your resistance to getting sick.

3) Sleep. Yes you can power through the con on energy drinks. It will weaken your body and make it easier for you to get sick.

4) Increase your vitamin intake. Gen Con officially starts one week from today, so today I started my vitamin regimen. Extra everything from today until the day after I get home. It works for me. Before I started doing it I came home from every con sick. I no longer do.

Good luck and good gaming.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palm Bay

Packing for Gen Con - 911, the economy and technology.

Packing for Gen Con is an adventure all by itself. The first time is the hardest. You are going to want to do everything, see everything and pack everything. Don't! Trust me. It is possible to spend hundreds in the dealer hall and still come back with only one checked bag and your carry on.

1) Clothes - The con itself is four days. Most people fly in sometime Wednesday. Those who can afford the extra night in the hotel and the extra day off work fly home on Monday. That is five days of clothes to pack. If you are driving add to this accordingly. Larping? Cosplaying? Entering the Costume Contest? Add even more clothing, and possibly props and makeup. You might be tempted to pack less and re-wear some things. Don't! Trust me. No one likes a smelly gamer. ( There is a way to pack less and not be hated, more on this later. )

2) Gamer Gear - Books for all the game systems you intend to play. Dice, lots of them. Giant binder containing every character you have made since junior high. Your Warmachine army. Every Magic card you own. Don't! Trust me. Your back, airport security and your wallet will thank you for it later.

3) Electronics - Your a gamer geek. You own more electronic gadgets than the US military. They must be useful at the con. You must bring the all. Don't! Trust me. Your back, airport security and your wallet will thank you for it later.

So let us revisit the topic above. What should you pack in this post 911 ( unpacking and then repacking your laptop at every security checkpoint is no fun ) age, with a poor economy that has caused the airlines to limit how much you can bring on the plane without them charging you excessive overage fees? Let us start with...

1) That clothing we talked about earlier. You need that. You will sweat and get stinky. There is a way to skimp on the way out though, and it may save you money on the way back. If you are planning on buying the obligatory con shirt anyway, and stopping by Off World Designs, do it the first day. Leave the shirts out of your suitcase. Pick up your Gen Con shirt Wednesday when you get in to wear Thursday. Thursday morning hit the dealer hall and purchase your shirts for the rest of the Con. You have room in your luggage for them, because you saved that space on the way out. This will save you having to take back an extra bag, and being charged for it by your airline.

2) Your gear. If you are playing your favorite system you probably know it well enough to leave the books at home. Playing RPGA events? Plan what character you are going to play ahead of time, bring it and leave the giant binder at home. Dice. You know you are going to stop by the Chessex booth and buy more. Leave the old ones at home and do it Thursday morning while you are clothes shopping. If you are in a miniatures or card tournament bring your army list or deck with sideboard. Leave the rest at home. Want to get into a pickup game of Magic, buy a pack of cards at the dealer hall. You are going to anyway. Pickup game of your favorite miniatures? Don't!

3) All those fancy electronic gadgets. They really are a must have, and can reduce the amount of game gear you bring. However, you don't need them all. Be selective. In years past I brought all that gear listed above, plus my cell phone, camera, video camera, MacBook and windows netbook for That program. You know the one. This year I am taking less. My iPad2 is going to replace my rulebooks, character sheets and MacBook. My iPhone has a 5 megapixel camera in it. I will probably leave one or both of the other cameras at home. As for needing That program, my games are planned such that none of my characters will level during the Con.

So, with a little pre-planning you can have room for that costume you always wanted to take, as well as space for those souvenirs you will buy. It will save you taking that extra bag that the airline charges for, or stopping at Fedex to ship your stuff home.

Have fun and good gaming.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palm Bay

Monday, July 18, 2011

BlogPress app test.

So I have obtained the BlogPress app. It is supposed to allow posting to Blogger via your iPad or iPhone. If this works I will be able to post from Indy, including pictures, without having to take my computer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palm Bay,United States

Prelude to Gen Con Indy 2011

It is that time of year again. Time to prep for The Best Four Days In Gaming! I wanted to be able to share the experience with my friends and family who are not going this year. But I don't want to lug tons of stuff around Indy for five days.

So I gave the matter some thought. I have an iPhone and an iPad, but I can't update my website from them. Hmm... After a little research I found that there are apps that will allow you to update Blogger sites from those devices. This is the result. Now if only it works as advertised.