Keycon 25, where to start? I did end up taking a few more pictures than last year, though that can be attributed to a better camera, I've finally given up on film. I arrived with Diana on Friday at 3:00, only to discover that I had forgotten my Visa and had to pay for the room with my debit now. Friday was the usual set up day, with the WAC room all perfectly set up by the time I made it to the 15th, around 7:30 or so. I went to the ice cream social first, after a quick dip in the pool, and actually made it in time to get some cake, the carrot being the best one from what I could tell (managed to steal a few bites from Diana's carrot cake while I got stuck with the chocolate). Diana went back to the room shortly after another pool dip, and had the light fixture fall on her, she's okay don't worry. We went down to the lobby to complain and they fixed it up right away for us.
The blender room was a huge success handing out some great free drinks, I bought a goblet for myself and a pitcher for Diana. The blender room was in fact so successful there was a huge line up the entire time they were serving drinks, even after they brought in a second blender. There was actually a free room at the end of the hallway, which I have never seen (or recall seeing at least) in my years at the con, it was a dark sign of things to come. The mars room was fairly boring, but some interesting discussions of the potential colonization of mars were had, depending who was in the room at the time. The ninja room didn't even open up until 1:00AM or so, though the "No Ninja Here" signs were amusing. The stir fry was good, sadly there was too few of it. There were a few good movies shown, but sadly the room was closed too often on Saturday, though Sunday I did volunteer some of my time so they could all go swimming, room was pretty much deserted the entire time. It was their first year running a ConSuite, I hope things will go better for them next year.
The WAC room looked amazing with the slots they had set up. They were able to set up fairly quickly with all the work that must of gone into it. Sadly the programming this year was on a downward slope, as most of their programming seemed to cater to the members, rather than attracting new members. Though on Sunday got some Power Rangers, which was totally awesome. The Inconceivable Inn was another place I spent a great deal of my time, their samosa's were great, chicken being my favourite. The Sleeping Dragon, another great room, their dragon gumbo was to die for, spicy but not too spicy with that perfect blend of flavours, which is probably why they ran out of it so quickly. I won a Worf box set, which will go to Diana's friend, since she is such a major Trekkie. The Keyhole was great as the hospitality suite, though it was sad to see them close down for a while Saturday night. Sunday they had free pizza, which was gone so fast it put into question the limits of the speed of light (yes the pizza was literally gone that fast, I believe 12 boxes in 8 minutes at 5:00 when I was there). Finally the Video Room, sadly it was also closed Saturday night, due to illness, but the times it was open was great with them giving out random prizes all weekend. I managed to win a skeleton raft blow thing. The cartoon breakfast was great fun like always, with a surprisingly huge amount of Futurama. The Buffy sing along, and all the others, were fun to participate in, oh Spike, how you smolder in your love/hate with Buffy so.
All the panels I ended up attending were deserted, there seemed to be too many panels open at once, and everyone was too spread out amongst them. The panels I did make it to were quite fun, and the panel did their best of the situation and kept a rather lively discussion going. Saturday on the 15th was pretty horrible, with the Keyhole closed for some unknown reason, and the video room closed due to illness. The WAC Room and Ninja Room also had their doors closed due to adult content, leaving only the Sleeping Dragon and the Blender Room open into the night. Another let down was the lack of a LAN room, in fact the lack of computer games this con was appalling, even if the Winnipeg Gamers weren't here this year it would of been nice to see some people at least get together some computer or console gaming, the Guitar Hero was nice in the Ninja Room, however the TV was much too small.
The masquerades were tons of fun, with the general masquerade being one long parade of great costumes, and you could tell people put a lot of work into them this year (if not in the costume then in the actual masquerading). The aliens from Sesame Street were amazing, putting on the best show out of everyone. The queen won, though I think there were better, her costume was very detailed. The children's masquerade was adorable, with the little pirate girl being the most adorable of all. Those of us able to go to the adult masquerade were put up to quite a spectacle as we were moved around, due to the overwhelming popularity of the event. The one who stole the show for me was the queen, in her undergarments, those of us lucky enough to attend both masquerades were really let in on the joke, and I think it was the perfect follow-up. The slave auction went well, though the bids seemed to be quite tame compared to last year's bidding. Sadly I didn't leave with any art this year, as everyone seemed to be willing to spend their money there, and I was not, at least this year. Sunday night was however quite fun, becoming the unofficial dead dog. Guitar Hero was played all night long in the Ninja Room, while lots of other good games were played throughout the con. I left Monday at noon, as there was no longer a point in staying, rooms were shutting down already and people were leaving who had to work Tuesday morning, or just couldn't stay another day. I hope the dead dog went well.
All in all this year was not as fun as previous years, it seemed to be stretched out a little too much, and a lot of people I remember from last few years weren't here this year. A valiant effort was made, but I think the con was better minus a day, it would be a little easier on the wallet, easier for those of us that work Tuesday morning, and things wouldn't have felt as stretched out.