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Megafest 6.0 (part 1)

Started: 2007-05-28 14:52:43

Submitted: 2007-05-28 16:44:02

Visibility: World-readable

Kiesa and I are now west-bound on I-80 around milepost 371, heading home after Megafest 6.0. The trip odometer tells me we are 43 miles from Yanthor and Anya's residence. For the duration of this changelog, I will generally indicate events that happened after midnight under the heading for the previous day, using the sleep cycle to indicate the end of days.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

I worked from home so I wouldn't have to spend as much time in transit before leaving in the afternoon, which worked fairly well, although I tried to use one of the spare monitors in the basement but seemed to have trouble getting it to power on. (This may be one more piece of hazardous material electronics that I need to take to the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials in Boulder.) I decided to take all of my computers; these days, I tend to use each of my computers for what it can do best: Ziyal is the master repository for all of my web videos (I wanted to clean up her hard drive, which has tens of gigabytes of raw dv for videos I've completed); Darnassus is my primary workstation; Illyria is small and portable; and Sasami runs iTunes and Quicktime. I also brought my Wii and my GameCube games, and a random selection of DVDs. Kiesa brought some large number of books, only two computers, and no game consoles.

We left at 1320 MDT and headed east. Kiesa took the first driving shift so I could drive and navigate the confusing streets of Lincoln. (I printed out a map of Yanthor's section of town, but I think I managed to leave the printout on the dining room table.) We stopped for gas and food in North Platte and I took the helm. We arrived at the Republic of Haven (as Yanthor has dubbed his residence; it's unclear whether Anya has vetoed the name yet) at 2140 CDT, for about seven hours of driving time and half an hour in North Platte.

We got help unloading Yoda and claimed space in set out for us in the basement. Present were Yanthor, Anya, Humblik, and Linknoid, although Humblik headed home to sleep because he worked on Thursday. (Signalman showed up at some point; I believe he was also there on Wednesday night.) I plugged my Wii into the TV and convinced Yanthor to join me in the party games in Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, which were amusing but not deeply compelling.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Although we essentially abandoned the idea of vast Fest Projects long ago (probably around the same time most of us got day jobs that involved writing code), I did take the opportunity to undertake two mini-projects: I finished the Nautilus plug-in script I use to keep track of which photos I have cropped and which photos I've ignored, and added a master index of changelog years to the index page. (This way, when I want to find a changelog I wrote in, say, 2003, I don't have to click "Index" and click "Previous" until I get from 2007 to 2003; I can click "Index" and then click "2003". I need to add the same feature to my photo archive, but that will be harder because I don't store my dates the same way.)

At some point early in the Megafest, someone suggested resurrecting Kohan: Ahriman's Gift, which first appeared at Megafest 2.0 and occupied much of our time until Megafest 3.0. Within the past week, I had uninstalled it from Ziyal to save disk space (my /usr partition was full), but I still had the installation Debian packages handy. Linknoid and Yanthor rescued their respective installations and we played a three-player game on the map I built which features three players in the east, west, and south corners with a three-way choke point in the middle and some significant treasures in the top. Yanthor played the Council slot in the west and managed to destroy Linknoid and I.

Kiesa and I headed to Hyvee for groceries for supper; the consensus was that we should wait for Nemo to arrive that evening to join the official fortifications run. On the way back, we swung by Best Buy, where I failed to locate a KVM to plug both Ziyal and Sasami into my keyboard, monitor, and mouse (their website implied that none were in stock) but did find Wii Play (bundled with a Wii remote for US$50; their website said that none of these were available either) and Children of Men. Back at Haven, I launched Wii Play; for a US$10 game (assuming that one was already going to spend US$40 to buy the remote it was bundled with), I wasn't expecting much. Without much expectation, the game did pretty well; Laser Hockey was amusing, and Tanks was the most-played game of the Megafest. We played most of the games two-player; I convinced the Festors to create their own Miis, which were recognizable at a glance. (Humblik's Mii's most distinctive feature was a massive toothy grin.)

Kiesa cloned Tokyo Joe's Boulder Veggie Bowl for supper, which featured Tokyo Joe's own sauces and our own veggies. I made sushi, which was interesting; Kiesa convinced me to make a bigger roll than I would have guessed, which ended up too big. I quickly got the hang of spreading the rice and veggies on the nori and rolling them all together. We didn't have soy sauce, which would have improved the total sushi experience, but I'm still going to call my first attempt at making sushi a qualified success.

I convinced the group to figure out who was going to cook what meal (which involved sitting on the stairs half-way between the main level and the basement so I could address everyone at once and cajoling everyone into cooking something, although I managed to exempt myself because I helped with the sushi and did the cajoling). Nemo called from the road with an estimated time of arrival at 2300 CDT, which seemed a bit late to start a fortifications run, so we headed to Super Saver to spend lots of money on groceries for the Megafest. Nemo arrived right as we returned.

There may have been some games of Tanks before I entered my next regeneration cycle.

Friday, 25 May 2007

At some point during the Megafest, Signalman brought his classic 8-bit NES and plugged it into the tv. He amused himself by playing Metroid and Super Mario Bros. while the rest of us watched, fascinated. (The thought crossed my mind to search for the games on my Wii's Virtual Console, but I wasn't ambitious enough to type Yanthor's lengthy WEP key to get an Internet connection.

Amid our games of Kohan, Wii Tanks, and Star Munchkin (and watching others play World of Warcraft and try to get a chest dropped in a specific arena every three hours; the inelastic timing occasionally proved interesting while trying to play other games), we managed to get out of the house long enough to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, about which a blog I read wrote:

Because, really, can you have too much of Johnny Depp swaggering and pontificating in eyeliner? I think not.

That pretty much summed up the movie, although one should probably mention something about how visually impressive it was.

Kiesa sent me to Hyvee for garlic, which she somehow missed and couldn't make her World's Greatest Garlic Bread without. (Through some process I missed, she managed to sign herself up for three consecutive meals: Thursday supper, Friday breakfast, and Friday supper.)

We followed the practice established at the last Megafest and voted on movies for that night only. (Since some attendees opted out of voting since it was Friday night and therefore Sabbath, voting only for that night's movie worked fairly well.) We ended up watching Jet Li's Fearless, which had compelling wire-fu scenes but seemed somehow lacking; I may have reacted negatively to the morally-ambiguous nature of the movie's protagonist.

(Watching Fearless on Time Warner Cable on-demand gave me an opportunity to see a cable set-top-box up close and personal, which I haven't had much chance to do. I intended to take a few minutes to play with it and get a better feeling for its behavior, but I didn't remember in time.)