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Penguicon 5.0!

Robin and I enjoyed Penguicon 5.0 last weekend. We went for the first time last year and we knew had to go again this year (and next year and the year after that and…).

In case you don’t know, Penguicon is a Linux geek, Sci-Fi fen, Anime aficionado, and filk listener convention. As one of the founders described it, it’s a “You have peanut butter in my chocolate” type of mashup that works just great.

We were introduced to Penguicon by Rob Landley who was one of the founders along with Tracy Worcester. A couple of web memes were created last year, like Tron Guy, and the Liquid Nitrogen in the Swimming Pool. Who knows what memes will come out of this year’s con.

Firing Range gun

A friend, Garrett, did an impromptu Geeks with Guns last year. This year he planned it all out and we had a good time and a good turn out. We went to Firing Line gun range. Robin liked it because they had a good selection of firearms to choose from.

A regular activity at Penguicon is making liquid nitrogen ice-cream. Always fun and very tasty. Howard Tayler usually makes some chupaquesos, a delicious combination of cheese, cheese and more cheese fried on a griddle. Yum.


This year Robin and I painted a mini both turned out pretty well. I also started sculpting a mini of my own, with the help of Andy Barlow. I think I’ll try sculpting some more. I went and got some of the bits I didn’t have already.

Robin and I attended the wedding of two friends, Rob Landley and Fade the Cat, which they squeezed in as a private panel between events they both wanted to go to. It was very nice and very unique. Steve Jackson officiated the ceremony and we swapped entertaining stories about the newlyweds.

Robin and I finally saw a piece pack in person and played a game called The Colonists of Natick. Ron Hale-Evans (author of Mind Performance Hacks) was nice enough to run us through most of a game using his copy of the Blue Panther pretty plastic tile version of the piece pack.

I finally saw Randy Milholland, the creator of Something Positive. I was disappointed that he didn’t look like any of his characters, like Davan or Choo-Choo Bear. He gave me a badge ribbon that said “Ask me to show you where R. Milholland touched me.” That drew a few puzzled expressions. (He shook my hand, in case you wondered.)

I saw Tom Smith and Robin bought one of every CD he had that we didn’t already have. We also saw Frank Hayes and finally bought a copy of Never Set the Cat on Fire, which is both entertaining and good advice.

We also attended the Aegis Consulting self defense class with Sal Sanfratello. Garrett had mentioned him, but it didn’t prepare me for meeting him. He is a force of nature unto himself. The class itself was awesome and I lost my voice yelling. We’re thinking about going to their swordcamp later this year.

Sal was nice enough to invite us to his house for a good old fashion cookout with a bunch of others, including Howard Tayler (who was way tired), Rob Landley and his new wife Fade, Eric and Cathy Raymond, Tracy Worcester, and some others who I need to get their info again so I can track them down again next year (or sooner).

Unfortunately, the mosquitoes loved me and I’m still itching from them. But it didn’t ruin the evening. It didn’t stop me, Garrett and some others from firing of a bunch of interesting firearms that Sal had on hand. He had a firing range set up in his back yard and Garrett was the range master. Sal made some delicious Cajun fish which was excellent and I roasted marshmallows. It’s been a while since I roasted marshmallows.

It was fun, and tiring. Now that I had a few days to recover, I need to find out about the Pittsburgh Comicon this weekend…


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The personal blog of Christian Höltje.
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