sparr: (cellular automata)
While living on the east coast I heard great things about the Dark Odyssey events. They host some camping and hotel kink/sex events each year near DC. I never made it to them due to a mix of travel distance, timing, and cost. This year I happened to be in the bay area when their sole west coast event, Surrender, was taking place. Between volunteering and continuing with my RV lifestyle, attending was extremely affordable, so I decided to check it out.

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Overall, the event was quite enjoyable. I would certainly go again to a Dark Odyssey event, if I am ever again in the right part of the country at the right time and can do it again on a <$100 budget rather than the $500+ budget that seems more typical (travel, ticket, hotel).
sparr: (Default)
Four days ago I joined the modern era by buying a smartphone. I was an early adopter in the PDA market, with a Palm in the 90s, then again with an HP iPaq and Asus MyPal in the early 00s, but at some point in the last three years the revolution happened. I can thank Apple, however grudgingly, for that. Without the iPhone we would not have Android, and without either of them we would not have the thriving and growing ecosystem of mobile applications today that dwarfs the market for RIM/Palm/Symbian/Zaurus apps in the past. This post chronicles my joys and woes in the first half-week of use.

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Overall I am greatly enjoying the experience, despite the hurdles, most of which were at least somewhat expected. I think that having an internet connected phone will make my life more productive and efficient, and only slightly more distracted. Having one device to take the place of a media player, PDA, phone, and pocket camera[3] is great, but everyone who has one already knew that. I'm looking forward to starting to develop apps. I have some great ideas, and my Java skills are decent but rusty, so maybe I can even make a little money.

footnotes )

Arisia

Jan. 21st, 2010 09:50 am
sparr: (Default)
The Awesome:
Got to spend time with [livejournal.com profile] kdsorceress
A con suite to rival the best I've seen
A con-suite-like green room, open to panelists and GMs

The Good:
Got to spend more time with [livejournal.com profile] kdsorceress :)
Very active gaming room
Wide variety of panels and people, from classic fen to modern fandom to alt lifestyles
Got to tie up a few pretty girls, pictures of which you can find in less public locations if you know my online habits well enough.
Learned how to make Rocket Fuel

The Meh:
Didn't get to spend enough time with [livejournal.com profile] kdsorceress :(
Room parties ran from weak to below average
I didn't have a chance to see more of Boston

No Bad.

No Ugly.

I plan to go back. $200 for round trip airfare was not bank-breakingly bad, but I would rather carpool next year. That means I have 11 months to convince some of you slackers to spend 16 hours in a van with me. Six of us can do it for $30 each in gas (round trip). Drive through Thursday night (in shifts), have breakfast somewhere around DC, arrive at the con around Friday noon. Depending on who goes, maybe we could show these folks how a real con party works :)

In closing, after spending the better part of a week in Boston, Chattacon will be a walk in the park (temperature-wise). I've got half a bed to spare there, if anyone is still looking.
sparr: (Default)
So, I finally got to sit down at the home theater of a Microsoft fanatic, hoping to finally see the good in their media experience...

10 minutes later I had figured out that there is no way to stretch SD television to fill the screen, and that the software is somehow magically able to produce thumbnails for videos that it claims not to have the codec required to play (which, btw, was 80% of the videos I tried to play, in various containers and formats, from his own network file server).

There was maybe a 80 chance I was not going to try an X-Box 360, or a Windows MCE machine, as my home theater machine. Now it is 100%. That leaves plenty of alternatives... Boxee and MythTV here I come!
sparr: (Default)
I went, I saw, I evaluated.

The location is OK.  It is part of a building in the Armour Dr industrial area.  The neighbors are bands who practice at all hours and got along OK with us in the shared smoking area.  Access to the building is more public than elsewhere, but not nearly as much so as Spring 4th.

As to the space itself, I liked it.  The first room felt about 400 square feet, for socializing, eating, etc.  Some seats, some art, the front desk, a small stage/platform.  The second room is the play space, about 350 square feet.  A good variety of furniture (cross, large cage, electric-like chair, adjustable spanking bench, wall manacles, electric winch, etc) spaced around the perimeter and a couple of places in the center.  I would say room for 8 compact scenes, or 4 with plenty of space to spread out and swing your toys.

The crowd tended more to the younger side than I have ever seen at a dungeon.  A cross between Whippersnappers and Phobia, in terms of demographics (and actual folks, to be honest).  This is a trend likely to continue, due in no small part to the lower age limit (18+) than most places.

They are planning to host educational events on the third Saturday of each month, in the early evening (3-8 was mentioned, I think).  I did not hear of any other scheduled events yet.  The space is also available for members to rent for private functions, at a rate of $50/hr or $400/12hrs.  This fills a good niche for party space, a deal that a number of people that I know will be taking advantage of.

I expect to be spending time here in the future.  I wish them well in the endeavor, and think it will succeed.

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