So the first thing I had to do was get up freakishly early to be part of a thing they have here called “Strolling with the Stars”. This is where they let people know that assorted artists and writers will be perambulating along the Riverwalk for an hour or so in the morning, so come on out and get some exercise, you spuds. There were about a hundred people there this morning, and everyone had a fine old time stomping about. The Riverwalk is a network of walkways adjacent to a canal system that threads through downtown San Antonio. It’s beautiful and one of the nicest urban features I have ever seen in any city anywhere. There are restaurants and clubs that abut it, and at night it’s all lit up and festive. It reminds me of parts of Amsterdam, with bits of what I think Venice might be like without the assassins.
Then I went to the convention center and got all the settin’ up stuff done. Getting our badges. Unpacking boxes and arranging our dealers table. Hanging art in the art show and grinding through the paperwork. Tedious, but it only has to be done the once, so tomorrow will be much more laid back. I didn’t really get a chance to wander the dealer’s room much, but I happen to be right across from Scott Bieser’s ‘Big Head Press’. Scott does a wonderfully complex hard science–fiction webcomic called Quantum Vibe (http://www.quantumvibe.com/). It updates every day (damn him) and I was pleased to see that the first collection is finally out, so I had my reading material for the day.
Business was a bit lax, but it was a Thursday. Experiment # 1 spent a lot of his day assisting Steve Jackson, who is overseeing the ongoing construction of a Chaos Machine. Anybody who wants to try adding some bits to it are welcome to mosey on over (It’s free, though it you’d like to contribute something, they could use more marbles. People keep designing parts that cause the ones they have to shoot off somewhere, melt, or shift into another dimension). He also rode a mechanical bull the convention has set up. Nobody who rides the mechanical bull can expect to retain any shred of their dignity, and thus all look equally pathetic, but I’ll still save the video I took and show it to any inappropriate girls he’s trying to impress a few years from now.
After the show closed, we went out to dinner at a place called Texas de Brazil (texasdebrazil.com), which is a Brazilian steakhouse. I was unfamiliar with, which just goes to show you that wonderful things lie unsuspected all around you. Their gimmick is that they bring you skewers of grilled meat. Easily several dozen different types of grilled meat, and you slice off bits of the ones you want to try. They keep bringing these around until you beg for mercy, and then they laugh cruelly and finish you off with dessert. Apparently it’s a chain.
Over dinner, Steve talked about his own recent Kickstarter, which was for the latest iteration of O.G.R.E., which is an awesome game built around giant monster tanks that crush everything. This is appropriate, since the Kickstarter was wildly successful, and they kept adding extra stuff. According to a rather wild–eyed Steve, the resulting game box will be close to 2 by 3 feet in dimension, and weigh around 28 pounds. I’m going to buy one just so I can make a coffee table out of it.