And while I've been to SBI before, this one blew it out of the water.
As they were charging $25 for a weekend pass, I could afford to go on both Friday and Saturday (normally I attend just one day of a con).
Not only did my lovely wife go with me on both days, but my children came ALL DAY on Saturday.
I, of course, went as a Klingon.
It was actually my first convention in full Klingon gear.
It was also Ireland and Scotland first cons ever.
My brother-in-law, Harrison, and his female companion, Steph, went with us for the free flick.
They abandoned us after the film as they hadn't registered.
We showed up a bit late, so I missed the beginning, but it was still a great film.
Before we actually entered the hotel, we ran into qurgh and his female companion.
After the movie, Dalyn and I managed to score some uniform accessories. Pretty sweet.
We atteneded a really lame prop making panel. While the guys seem to know what they're doing, and they seem to have been doing it for a while, they don't seem to know how to be interesting.
I took mental notes as I was co-hosting a Klingon Language Panel in the morning.
More Klingons showed up throughout the day, and by the time the Klingon Language Pit opened up, there was a fair amount.
Klingon Language Pit:
I got to meet several people in real life that I only knew thought the internet before. Even played a bit of Klingon scrabble (turns out it doesn't work too well on a Klin Zha board...)
As we had left the children at home all day, we left before the Klingon party really got started.
As we had gone to bed late on Friday, it was a chore to wake up early on Saturday.
But as I mentioned, I was co-hosting a panel.
Scotland wore clothes.
Klingon Language Panel:
I arrived a bit late, but not too late.
The Klingon Language Panel was tons of fun.
An entire crowd of people were there to listen to us talk about Klingon.
People that were actually interested. Wow.
As qurgh and I didn't actually plan anything together, I just followed his lead.
I have no idea how much of his plan was actually followed.
I even got to see a hardbound copy of ghIlgameS.
The day moved on with no formal structure.
I'm sure things were happening, just nothing I cared about.
I played some Klingon scrabble with qurgh and Twisty, lots of fun.
Ireland and Scotland took turns wanting to be held, walk, and ride in the stroller.
I spent most of the day with a child in my arms, when I woke up on Sunday I was sore. Very sore. It had been a long day.
That evening, they had masquerade. Some people did skits, some people just showed off their costumes. They were all impressive.
But even more impressive were the Klingons who showed up right before it started.
As I was standing outside of the main room, an entire family of Klingons came in.
It was a grand entrance indeed.
I didn't know it at the time, but it was Chancellor Krahl and his family.
I think he had five or six children around him--all Klingon. (Okay, the youngest didn't wear a prosthetic, but that's understandable.)
The younger ones were passing out flyers for The Empire (TE).
I think Ireland was overwhelmed. I remember her saying that we had "enough Klingons".
Things moved slowly after that, and I eventually took my family home.
But I returned in search of my fellow warriors.
I eventually caught on that Krahl was the Chancellor, and was even promoted to Lieutenant in TE.
Once again, this was my first time to actually hang out with other Klingons. A very nice experience indeed.
I posed for a lot of pictures.
Like I mentioned, this was my first time as a full Klingon. I'm not used to random people requesting pictures.
And more pictures. Really.
Smaller than previous years, the dealer room is always a fun place to check out.
Sadly, we didn't really have any money.
Luckily, I had won a contest before the con and won several $10 coupons.
There wasn't a whole lot that I was interested, but there were a few things.
I obviously had to leave the $90 Bird-of-Prey on the shelf.
The two "big items" I found were a knife, and a Klingon communicator pin.
I think I probably spent an hour and a half over the two days talking to the knife dealer. Interesting fellow.
I approached most merchants with the question, "What do you have for a Klingon?"
Sometimes they had stuff, sometimes they didn't.
The knife dealer approached me.
(I'll let my wife brag about her deals if she wishes.)
As I walked the con wearing a uniform that my wife and mother-in-law spent lots of time on, and a latex forehead that my father-in-law and wife had worked on, and makeup that lots of people had worked on, I took a look at other people's costumes.
You could tell who spent some time. And you could tell who had gotten their shirt out of a cereal box.
While I realize that a lot of people enjoy being Humans, and being Starfleet officers, it seemed rather easy. (An exception goes out to Gary "Spock", his uniforms obviously took some time and money. Keep up the good work.)
I was very impressed with the Klingon uniforms that I saw. Some of them were very nice.
She had even more latex pieces than the Klingons did. And she painted all visible skin grey. A very even, natural shade of grey. Very nice indeed. Rumor has it that it took two hours to put on. (For what it's worth, I saw plenty of uneven and unmatched makeup. Makes the good jobs stand out.)
And then there was this Borg.
I don't even know what to say. He even sounded like a Borg. Impressive.
I know I'm leaving something important out. There was just too much to keep track of.
Excellent weekend. Can't wait for next year.