Rob Vincent dot net

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February 12, 2009

New Shmoo Revue

Rob @ 1:20 PM

Shmoocon was lots of fun! I learned a lot, caught up with old friends, made new friends, spent some quality girlfriend time with Nicky, gained fame and fortune by way of French scifi, and more.

Rather than do a detailed writeup I shall haphazardly list some personal highlights.

  • Seeing so many of my old friends finally and/or again. The trouble with an international hacker community is however tight-knit you get, you still tend to live miles apart from one another. Cons like this are a great chance to add some rare RL shenanigans to the mix. I met a bunch of my pals in-person for the first time, and caught up with others I've met before but still don't see nearly enough.
  • Spending quality girlfriend time with my beloved Nicky.
  • The pre-con dinner for the Hackerspaces community, hosted by the extraordinary humans at HacDC. It's in a church!
  • The party the next night, also at HacDC. Did I mention it's in a church? You haven't lived until you've danced the night away with your significant other and friends in front of rows of pews, while a DJ does his thing in a pulpit and laser graffiti shines around a hanging crucifix. If everything else in Christian church were like this, I'd consider converting.
  • Meeting Nicky's friends from Chicago 2600, and attending their presentation about repeatedly owning each other.
  • Seeing professional government freeloader Matthew Lesko hanging out in a hotel bar. Yes, he was wearing That Suit.
  • Exploring the depths of the hotel with Phone Losers of America alumni
  • Searching for a rumored hotel room party with Nicky, Cableflame, Bernie S, Tiffany Rad, and others; in the process having our own elevator party and stumbling onto various hidden goodies around the Hotel.
  • Eating lunch at an outdoor cafe in warm, sunny weather in February. WTF?
  • PLA stickers and post-its everywhere.
  • Winning the "crowd favorite" category in the Barcode Shmarcode contest. My entry was a Multi Pass inspired by The Fifth Element which I made from scratch.
  • Attending a Cuong Nhu-inspired self defense workshop with Nicky, during which we were encouraged to practice on one another. OMG DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! All I want is my name...
  • Taking back most of the snarky things I've said to Grey about ShmooCon over the years, while still maintaining that their ticketing scheme is unnecessarily exclusive and batshit insane.
  • Witnessing the various brilliant fake ShmooCon badges, from Openfly and NYC Resistor's laser-cut replicas of varying accuracy to Altalp's ingenius low-budget ID-sleeve-and-sharpie creation (which worked all con!)
  • Offering the Doctor a jelly baby.
  • Playing a round in a Halo tournament against Nicky, and having her move onto the next level with 0 kills because I managed to kill myself twice.
  • Cableflame taking me on a detour to the National Portrait Gallery on the way to my bus home, and showing me a whole lot of really neat art.
  • Getting a head start on looking forward to next year. See you then!

I didn't use my camera much at the con, because Nicky's camera is smaller and better and contains a much more well-behaved imp. So, enjoy these photos and con reports from her and others..

7 Responses to “New Shmoo Revue”

  1. Brad Carter says:

    Now you need to visit Defcon, who doesn't have a batshit insane ticketing policy, not to mention cheaper tickets. Was nice seeing you again! Not sure if I'll ever go to another Shmoo, but maybe I'll finally try to make it to Hope next year.

  2. 3ricj says:

    Thanks for the nifty writeup on shmoocon. Ticket sales are a pain; we have selected not to use the defcon model for ticket sales (sell as many as you can: even if that means half of your attendees can't fit into the room where talks are given) and have selected to limit the attendee count.

    Based on that basic requirement: "Limit attendee count", I would welcome any ideas you have for how to sell tickets for our event which are more inclusive and not at all elitist.

    I posted the general idea of our current price model in 2006:

    And continue to solicit ideas and feedback. You can contact me on members page if you have any ideas, flames or brainstorms.


  3. nicky says:

    i don't think i've ever said the phrase, "you have a pass, asswipe" so much in one weekend. :D

  4. Sidepocket says:

    Cool beans, that party sounds boss. Why am I speaking in the 80s?

    I had an equal amount of fun, if you want to read half of that fun it's here:

  5. c4bl3fl4m3 says:

    Yeah, don't get me started on how much the ticket process blows.

    The truth is, yeah, they might want to keep the con attendance within the room limits, which is indeed admirable, but if they actually CARED about as many people being able to go to the con as possible (instead of making it some elitist thing), they'd just GET LARGER ROOMS FOR THE CON. More people = more ticket sales = more money coming in, which can be put towards larger con space, which will fit more people.

    My personal thought? Let previous attendees have first picks on the tickets. "But that's more elitist!" you may cry. Perhaps, but it keeps us long term attendees from having to worry if we can actually get in legally this year or have to h4x0r my way into the con. (I've been to every Shmoocon so far. I have 4 badges from Shmoocon. YOU do the math.)

  6. c4bl3fl4m3 says:

    So will you come back to DC more often now? I'll show you more awesome art, and I'll even take you to good places to eat. (Chinatown's full of them.)

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