February 25, 2004
Poppers unite...

I'm way overdue for an update - nope, didn't die or anything, just been either busy or lazy.

Well, Katsucon was, well, Katsucon, just not as fun as last year. As bad as getting stuck in the hotel due to the blizzard was, it created quite a bit of fun for us too...

Naturally, on the morning we were to leave, I was running late getting out to Kevin's, so when I finally got there, I parked my car in the back of his driveway for the weekend, and set out with him to the Holiday Inn. His cousin followed us in his car. Naturally, the trip isn't very long - just a few minutes down I-66 and we were pretty much there. Kevin checks us in, and once we get the keys, we go back to the garage (which is very poorly designed...) to get some luggage. After a quick trip back to the front desk to retrieve the item of luggage Kevin left there by accident, we went up to our room on the 6th floor. This hotel has EVERY floor aside from the parking levels keycarded, so you have to insert your room key just to get to our floor. That was pretty annoying.

When we got to our room, we found that they had not honored Kevin's request for two double beds (and the room was REALLY small and had a brace on the TV's input), so after a call down to the front desk, we are relocated across the hall to accomodate us. The new room not only has the two beds he asked for, but is twice as large. And the TV didn't have one of the braces on. Good thing, since there was no wall jack to unscrew (the cable came in from under the carpet) and I wasn't sure if hooking the cable in where the switchbox was would work... after getting the rest of the luggage up to the room, we headed to the con.

As I had neglected to preregister, I had to register at the door. This actually took all of 5 minutes, as they had a lone desk sitting next to the escalator taking credit card registrations only. Hey, it definitely beat standing in line. Saw Mary for a quick second there while I was filling out the paperwork. After both Kevin and I were regged, we walked over to the game room, where we're told that we can't bring any bags in - including the con bag that had just been given to me that had the schedule and stuff in it. This ludicrous procedure also applied to the dealers' room - any bags larger than a purse that were not transparent could not enter, and they did not provide a place to check them in (they didn't want the liability). I've been to many cons, and I can see why they did it, but still, that was DUMBASSED. They caused far more problems than they prevented that way, especially for those of us that couldn't just run to the hotel room real quick to drop the bags off. We had to leave the bags with one of the nearby desk people.

In the game room, we ran into Billy and a few others. We also find out Christina and Josh are waiting outside to get into the room too, and Jeff comes with us out of having nothing better to do. While standing outside, Meridell shows up in car and I greet her briefly as she drives by... then Patty and the others show up also. It was amazing how quickly I met up with everyone right then and there. o.O

Eventually, we end up carrying my PS2 and our IIDX controllers down to the game room (naturally, the bags we use to carry them get checked in...) and set up there to play some 4th Style. We gathered small crowds like the tide for a while, until more people started showing up... Ish came and set up pop'n music 8 with a really bad attempt at a homemade ASC - it was about 2/3 scale and used pushbuttons... suffice it to say, it didn't work well. I eventually went back to the hotel room to pick up my pop'n ASC. I also ended up taking Shiene's crutches back to her. On the way back to the con, some amusing comments were made from people that were also walking that direction - since I carry my pop'n ASC in a RedOctane bag, they made a comment that a DDR player with crutches was kinda an oxymoron. ^^;;

My PS2 ran 4th Style and Ish's PS2 ran pop'n with my ASC until 6pm when the game room shut down temporarily. We end up going back to the hotel, then getting dinner at the hotel diner. Okay-ish food, but I kept falling asleep. I ended up going back to the hotel room and crashing while everyone else went to the con, and woke up when they came back. ^^; We played pop'n Best Hits right there for a while before going to sleep. (David also discovers first-hand that pop'n ASCs don't make for very good pillows. ^^; ) Josh and I also did some experimenting with long exposure night photography with our digicams.

Saturday morning, I end up going with Kevin, David, and Josh to the Bandai panel. Kevin and David stay through the Bandai panel, but leave to go to the game room when it was over while Josh and I stayed for the ADV panel. Answered a trivia question which earned me Azumanga Daioh vol.3 (which I already had, so I just gave it to Josh). After the panel, I believe I ended up returning to the game room. Same thing as last time - there were more DDR setups (including a certain person's Stepmania hack), an Eyetoy setup (which I later learn is Eric [Krelly]'s), and Adam's pop'n ASC. They eventually switch out for IIDX, though. Found Chris and Alison in the game room, and end up wandering with them through the dealers' room, then taking them back to the hotel room. More people get back, and we end up going to McDonalds for dinner after not being able to decide where to go. Ran into Eric there (both of them, actually...) and end up eating a bit before going to the hotel to sleep early again. While once again just about everyone else went back to the con.

When I wake up hours later, somehow Ki is in the room. ^^;

We ended up putting on some of my PV dvds (I brought my Hysteric Blue and move DVDs), then putting on the first Princess Tutu DVD+R I had. Much later, we end up trying to call in for Chinese food, just to find out the place that takes the delivery orders can't get food from any of the restaurants except the pizza place. Ki wanted shumai, too...

After I put on Wangan Midnight (been while since I had played that...), I checked the menu, I find that there was more than one page to the pizza place's section, and that we could order subs. We do just that. Subs were pretty good, actually... too bad I don't remember the place we ordered from, this information would come in handy next year. We pretty much turn in after getting the food. I stay up a bit later playing more Metroid Zero Mission (I did this quite often at various points during the weekend) since I got so much sleep before.

Sunday morning, we find that we can check out a little later, so we do... while contemplating food, Chris and Bounma show up with a very large amount of spaghetti. Good timing. ^^; We finished getting all the luggage out, despite having our keycards deactivated a little too early, and needing them reactivated to get back to the room for the 2nd batch of luggage. Once we were all finished, we headed to the con for the last time...

We were told on the way that the lobby level of the con hotel had been evacuated and everyone was being made to stand outside. Indeed, this was the case. We waited around a bit until they let us in, but they didn't give us any concrete information on what was going on. I'm still not quite sure what happened, either - I've heard everything from white powder being found to people collapsing to contaminated water from the previous night's rave....

After a last trip to the dealers' room, we leave to go home. Kevin takes Christina home, then we end up back at his house. Shortly after getting there, Kevin goes out to dinner while I leave to get back home.

And that was Katsucon. And I never even visited the bottom floor of the con hotel... If you didn't notice by now, I've had the pictures I took up in my gallery for a while, so you can browse those at your leisure.

Not much else happened after that... more of the items I won on eBay came in. Turns out the Street Fighter III 3rd Strike that I won is completely unusable - the DC recognizes it as a game, but can't boot it. The seller isn't responding to my requests to get it refunded. Going to have to seek reimbursement through eBay. In the meantime, GameStop.com informed me that they had obtained a copy online, and I ended up ordering that. Naturally, something was screwed up with their credit card acceptance, so I had to sign up for some online check payment service just to complete the order. They shipped it a few days ago, so it should be here tomorrow or the day after...

I also got Soul Calibur in. Just as the auction says, it's scratched but playable... but the game messes up badly when it tries to load the arcade endings. Music and text were badly corrupt when I got the ending after beating the game - and the game simply hung when I tried to load it from the character profile. I may need to seek a new copy of that too.

The only other major event the past few weeks - this morning, about 12 hours ago, pop'n music 9 arrived. Guess what I've been doing all day? ^^;

Posted at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2004
I like the hair...

Yeah, I had played it before its release, and when I actually got the cart this afternoon, decided to try for a speed run (you need to clear the game in under 2 hours in Normal difficulty to get that pic). Only collected energy/missiles that happened to be on the way - I even ended up not getting Screw Attack (damn that was a pain at the end)...

So, now I'm getting ready to go to Katsucon tomorrow... will be out the whole weekend, naturally. I'll get some more of those ending pictures while in lines and stuff, too =P (There are 8 ending pictures in all... including a speed run in Hard difficulty, and completing the game with under 15% of items...)

(Yeah, I copied this from LJ again... not that anything else is happening aside from the con starting in a few hours...)

Posted at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2004
My fox is on fire!...

Well, we were expecting a new version of Firebird, but instead, we got a new Mozilla Firefox. That marks the 3rd time the product has changed names. Had some issues getting it to work, but this version is nice... I like the new download manager, definitely clutters up my taskbar less. =P

eBay updates... I did finally get that 3rd Strike... unfortunately, I got it for the 2nd highest price I've seen it go, at $70. Urgh. It's only a little above the average I saw, though. I also ended up picking up Soul Calibur for $14.55, and I did a buy it now on a PCI Wireless-G adapter (yeah, completely unrelated to the other two, but I got a new factory-sealed package for significantly less than retail). So, out of the 4 auctions I've won, I've spent $140 on eBay. HALF of that was 3rd Strike. Argh.

Taxes suck, by the way. As I suspected, I don't have enough money to pay the taxes I owe. Big oversight. --;; Going to need to rely on my mom to cover it until I can pay the whole thing myself. I really hate doing that.

Nothing else worth noting, once again... but there will be soon. Katsucon is this weekend, and I hardly even noticed. I think I'm set with hotel arrangements with Kevin... this really couldn't come at a worse time considering the aforementioned taxes I owe, but it's the beginning of con season, and I wouldn't miss it for anything.

And hey, pop'n music 9 is coming out next week. ^^

Posted at 09:19 AM | Comments (5)

February 02, 2004
Numb hands...

Yeah, I spent a little too much time outside just now, since the people were here doing work on our garage doors. Finally, the botched installation that was done back in mid-November is fixed now, and it looks a lot better.

I did win that Gunbird 2, but ended up with my max bid pushed up way higher than it should have been. I bid a little too early and someone tried to outbid me twice, bumping the price up an extra $10. To add further insult, the other auction for Gunbird 2 closed at, well, $10 less. Maybe I should have just waited.

I also lost 3rd Strike, twice. Both times I bid, eBay reported the auction had ended - but the 2nd time, I could have sworn I had another 10 seconds... I would have had it too most likely - no other snipers were on it, so the only thing in my way was the leader's max bid, which of course I'll never know. Found and watching 3 more auctions, and hopefully I can bring it in for less money. Too bad one of those auctions ends during the time I'm supposed to be commuting for class. Maybe I'll bid on it from the computer lab =P

While I was waiting for the garage door people to come this morning, I finally made some headway through the gargantuan piles of manga that have been accumulating. Made it through Hanadan 3, need 4th volume now... also made it through the two volumes of Alice 19th that are currently out. I Googled for it trying to figure out how many volumes it was and if it was still running, but before I found that information (it concluded at 7 volumes in Japan last April), I found two sites with one accusing the other of stealing their entire layout, and even forcing the other site to take their layout down from all the flames generated. Is nothing safe from stupid pointless drama? >.>

Didn't do very much worth commenting on, as usual... I've been home pretty much every day, thanks in part to all this snow that's still here. I was going to go out yesterday to Dave's, but I got up later than usual and didn't feel like driving all the way out there just to spend 20 minutes watching the Super Bowl (which I don't care about one bit).

Now, I need to defrost a little more...

Posted at 03:17 PM | Comments (3)