Apocalypse Now

The Rock DetoNates

Part III

Saturday, Februrary 16

I woke up.

It was something hideously early, like 9am or so. Shaun scheduled the Internet Fan Gathering in the morning again. So an hour later, Lee and I head out for the gathering, just in time. On the way over there, we run into Pete, also on his way over, and we all head in. I met quite a few DWCers, most of them I'd already seen the previous nights, but there were a few new faces.

After the internet fan gathering, I went back to my room to sit back and relax. I had spent entirely too much time on my feet over the last 2 days, and they were starting to hurt. So I decided to sit down and get on IRC for a while. It was around 1pm, so I went to one of my usual hangouts, the chat room for Andy Graham's show, and chatted there for a bit.

After a bit, I decided to go for a walk. I have no recollection of what happened afterwards, but judging from my IRC logs, I was at the LAN party for a while. I chatted and talked for a bit.

At 4pm, I went back downstairs to attend the Fan Video panel. It was basically a 1-hour how-to Q and A session. Pete was on the panel, along with several other people that had been involved in fanvideos. After the panel, I go and hang out in the lobby with people.

All of a sudden, Random walks into the lobby and drops a laptop in my lap. It takes me a few minutes before I realize: This is my new laptop. The laptop Random bought for me for work I did last year. My hyper level suddenly went up threefold.

I raced up to the 272. I plugged in the laptop and got online to gloat. More chatting ensues.

After a bit, everyone leaves to go to the mall, leaving me in the room alone with Dave Stone, who eventually wanders out. Rich joins me shortly thereafter, followed by Jeff.

After an hour or so, Ryss, Tom, Ash and Mossy come back from the mall with a microwave in tow. "What the fuck?" I said on IRC, "They just came in with a microwave and shit."

Shortly thereafter, I go to the corner 7-Eleven for food, not having eaten anything that day except for some donuts at the fan gathering. Half an hour later, I return. I am promptly abandoned by the rest of the group, who go off to the cabaret, again leaving me alone in the room with Dave Stone, except this time he's asleep.

15 minutes later, people trickle back in. Once everyone is there, it suddenly occurs to me to try to shoutcast the impromptu LAN party to the world... or at least to DWC. On a whim, Mossy and I head out driving all over town looking for a Walmart or something where we can buy a Mic for my laptop, but end up coming back emptyhanded. Well, not emptyhanded.

We decided to stop at the Krispy Kreme again for more donuts to bring back to the room, and for the 'official' room party tomorrow night. It was at this point where I discovered that the donuts at the internet fan gathering were, in fact, Krispy Kremes. I only know the place by repute, and I'm blown away to discover that, without even realizing it, I'd had a chance to sample them.

As I go in, I get to see the almost Rube Goldbergesque machinery that makes the donuts. It's like a big automated assembly line, with the donuts rolling along on conveyer belts. At the start, dough is dropped onto the belt, is shaped into a donut, rolls into a deep fryer, is ejected back out onto the conveyer belt, and through a machine that applies glaze to it.

Not sure what to get, the woman behind the counter offers both of us a sample of ordinary glazed donuts. Except there's nothing ordinary about them. They're fresh out of the oven and still warm, and probably the lightest and trastiest donuts I've ever eaten. We decide to order 2 dozen of them, and another dozen of assorted flavours.

Finally, Mossy and I stop off at the Food4Less. He picks up some alcohol (his entire reason for going) while I take this opportunity to look for some cheap food. I notice some Red Baron pastery pockets on sale (their answer to Hot Pockets), and, combining the knowledge that Mossy has a fridge in 272, and has just gotten a microwave, pick up several boxes.

Finally, we head back to the hotel, and back to the LAN party. Being a good little geek, I wasn't about to give up shoutcasting tonight so easily. So, Mossy and I try to find a shoutcasting app for Mossy's mac. After scewing around a bit, we find one, but when we try to use it, we discover that something is screwy with Mossy's mac... any sound we try to broadcast is overlaid with a constant clicking sound. So we commandeer Ash's iBook and try again. And lo and behold, we get a decent stream. In fact, we get a pretty good stream! I play it back on Zanak (the name for my new laptop) on headphones, and all are surprised at the quality of the stream.

At this point, my hyper level has hit its peak. Naturally, we announce the stream URL to DWC and people start listening in on the conversation. People start actually talking to DWC, and people in the room read responses back. The whole setup would seem utterly absurd (probably rightly so) to an outsider, but we're (thumps chest) Geeks! The lag time inherent in shoutcast streaming only makes the situation even sillier as people start responding to things they themselves said 30 seconds ago.

Finally, Ash comes in after not having slept for something like 24 hours and kicks us out of his room. Rich and I leave, followed shortly by Jeff. After a bit I give up waiting for Dave, and go up to the room to go to bed.

<-- To Part II To Part IV -->

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