Manic Ramblings, Delirous Ranting, and Full Color Photographs
re: OTFCC 2003

Sunday morning I had the lovely idea that'd I'd run down to Aldi's and pick up some cereal bars and bananas and deliver them to the #wiigii! contingent waiting in line; that plan, however, was foiled when Aldi's turned out to be closed (maybe for good? That place didn't look too hoppin'. In fact the whole area is kind of a low-grade suburban slum, outside the fancy hotels by the airport and the nice big Forest Preserve park.) I swung by the nearby Walgreens... and to my surprise, found HOC Soundwave. What're the odds? You'd think the entire area would have been swept clean of everything by that point. HOC wave 3 was nowhere to be seen in the dealer room, either, which makes Soundwave a rare commodity. Oh well, my gain, I suppose. Turns out the dealer room was open long before I got back anyway.

The magic of the dealer room wore off quickly by mid-morning, so I joined a cluster of folks out in the lobby to just hang out and chat.

It turned out that Scavenger, unable to restart last year's Mindless Drone recruitment drive, had instead been busy chatting up my junker Retraxes, and had marshalled them into what he referred to as "an invincible, unstoppable fighting force to reshape the universe in Megatron's name!" Uh, yeah, sure, Scav.

A horde of us were hungering for lunch, while Susp and a few others wanted to hang around for the Allspark panel. I took one look and figured, nuh-uh.

So 3 carloads of folks departed for Denny's.... which, it being 12:30 on a Sunday, was overrun with church crowds. We decended upon the hapless Wendy's instead:

Wang's handiwork of the previous evening had come along with us, and got passed around to the delight of one and all. Notice also the lovely surroundings of the Wendy's:

Me, Brax, Forky and Windy went for a short TF hunt afterwards, for Brax to snag the HOC Grimlock that was also at Walgreens, and for Windy to hopefully find a Jetfire at a "nearby" Target which turned out to be way the hell over on the other side of O'Hare. Oh well, at least we tried for a good cause.

Things were winding down by the time we got back. The dealer room was coming apart and starting to look empty and sad:

There was still some fun to be had, though, as Wang tried to dispose of his Megatron costume:

I took Kilby to the bus station, and returned just as a huge crowd was departing for Denny's. I stuck with a small remainder of folks who were waiting in the now-empty hall for Scylla and Quez.

Turned out to be a decent decision. We walked (well, I drove Scylla Quez and Swift, since Scylla's recovering from a rather nasty bout of illness) over to the pizzaria nearby, and had a perfectly lovely sitdown dinner with some very tasty pizza.

After dinner, the entire amoeba reformed in the atrium for storytime part 2.

Scavenger, meanwhile, had not been idle, but instead had been training his newfound Army of Retrax to do his bidding:

I am sorry to report that shortly after these photos were taken the "army" turned on him and tore him to bits. He's since been put back together mostly, and swears up and down that it's a minor setback at best. But alas, he won't be writing his own report anytime soon.

And that's pretty much it. I sacked out when I just felt too tired to keep going. The next morning was about as lackluster as lackluster could be. Dal and I left a huge mass of discarded packaging on the floor, as there just wasn't enough trash can to go around. Sam and I headed out around 10am; I hardly even got to say goodbye to anybody. Made good time getting home once we managed to find a way onto the highway (we zigged and zagged around it at least 3 times without finding an on ramp); only one snarl held us up, which strangely enough was a huge tie-up at the exit for Six Flags. Bizarre. By noon I was back at work, yippee.

Overall, it was a damn fine time. I felt like I actually talked in a meaningful fashion to a lot of folks, which remedied something that really bugged me last year. I found time to get on the soap box once or twice, which also felt good ("Rob, we already have ONE Hooper around here," somebody advised me as I concluded some infuriated rant about something or other.) #wiigii! may sometimes be a loudmouthed, obnoxious, ego-inflated buncha know-it-alls, but they's good people. I met a few new faces, though I regret hardly getting to say more than "hi and bye" to Dusty and Fangwing. And Alan, Jackpot, Bobbi, and some other notables were absent... but that's always gonna be the case.

Back to the Pile of Ramblings.