Saturday started off with another breakfast in the hotel restaurant. More biscuit and gravy goodness, yum. The costume still wasn't finished, so I got nervous and spent lots of time in my room working on it. I worked a bit, went off to check mail, worked some more, peeked out in the lobby at the Chaos machine, worked some more...
After a few cycles of this, it was time to go shoot. I was one of the listed panelists for Geeks With Guns, an event Eric Raymond organizes at every Linux convention he can. I volunteered to help with this one because I'd done it before and was comfortable with helping folks new to shooting, a major focus of the event. I drove to the range, and got there after making only one wrong turn. Red's Indoor Range is a clean, well-run, well-lighted facility that's a great place to go shoot. We had a ball. I ran 100 rounds through my newly repaired Para-Ordnance P15-40, and only had a couple of failures, likely due to a weak magazine spring.
We finished and returned in time for me to attend Wil Wheaton and Tamara Gorski's panel on That Whole Hollywood Thing. This panel was deliberately vague, but the resulting leeway gave the attendees a very good overview of what it was like to live and work in Hollywood. I got a lot of good advice from both Wil and Tamara about turning my current work with Jimmy Kimmel Live into a real career. (Two main bits of advice: Develop and keep an effective web presence, and look into doing voice work. My voice is apparently distinctive enough that it could be a real asset.)
I escorted Tamara to the next panel in the con suite, since we were both on it. Hacking Food was mainly an excuse for Howard Tayler to make chupaquesos, but we covered some ohter ground, too. Tamara started out handing out basic nutrition advice and ended up making chupaquesos as fast as she could turn them out. We had problems with the electric skillets they provided until we realized that it was an electrical supply problem. Moving the second skillet to another circuit cured that, and we really cranked 'em out. The crowd loved them.
I wanted to go to Howard's How to Draw panel, but I still needed to work on the costume, so back to my room I went. On the way, I ran into the Masquerade director. I pointed out I had a panel till 6:30, and did I have to be at the muster right at 7? She agreed to let me slide till 7:30 if I needed it. I got it mostly finished in time to grab a quick bite of barbecue in the green room and rush off to my next panel. Part of this was shaving my head to look like male pattern baldness, and shaving off my mustache.
The next panel was with Cathy Raymond, a lawyer, good friend, and Masquerade judge. She was wearing a pirate's costume, since she was hoping to play in Evil Stevie's Pirate Game. (Arrrr.) She didn't have time, but left the costume on. I was surprised she didn't notice my modified hair style or lack of mustache. The panel was on open source licensing, an arcane, controversial, and vital topic, and one that I get passionate about. The discussion was spirited, but informative. Cathy drew her cutlass once to get me to back off. (Avast!)
I rushed back to my room to put the finishing touches on the costume, put it on, and write the speech I wanted to give. I got to the muster at 7:30, laptop in hand. The costume got approving remarks, and Cathy was complimentary as she judged it. I sat back down and studied the speech some more while waiting to go out on stage.
Finally, my turn came. The MC didn't do my introduction as I expected, and that caused some confusion; then he said something I didn't expect, and that did it. I got out the first line of the speech, and then drew a total blank. I paused for about 5 seconds, though it seemed like an eternity, then mentally said "fuck it!" and cut straight to the part I could remember. That was two sentences from the end. Damn damn damn. My planned 45-second speech wound up being 20 seconds, with an awkward pause in the middle. So much for winning best in show.
The judges went off to judge, and I wandered around waiting for results. I watched Eric Raymond play the pirate game a while. (Arrrrr.) Finally, I heard that the results would be announced at 10, right at the same time as my next panel. Eric and I stopped to listen to the results. I picked up two awards, one for workmanship in accessory design and construction and one for "most daring escape from a 2-dimensional art form". They considered also giving me an award for "best attempt to make a judge recuse himself", but decided not to. (You'll see why in my next entry, where I'll describe the costume.)
Eric and I headed over to the next panel, Coping With Fame 101. There were a couple more people than I was expecting on the panel (it had been originally suggested as me and Eric), but it worked out well. Eric moderated on the spur of the moment. Best story of the con: I was still in the Masquerade costume. I was describing how I don't get recognized out of the TRON costume. I didn't say which it was until late in the answer, and when I did, a guy in the back of the room said, "You're the TRON Guy!" Everyone broke out laughing, and I looked at the ceiling and said, "See what I mean about not being recognized?" It was a fun panel.
I went back to the green room and talked to Howard and his minions about Coping With Fame. He allowed as to how he wished he could have been there. We all went over to the panel his minions presented on hosting a webcomic. That went on for a while (very informatively), and then I went off to bed.
If you're looking for information on the costume, see the next entry. I'll even include a picture or two.