Mon May 30, 2016, 1:52 AM
- Listening to: Michelle & Gabe's Getting Stronger album
- Reading: Tweets and Facebook posts
- Watching: Mundane Matt
- Drinking: Dr. Pepper
And another MWBF is in the books. This will go down as the best (and slightly troubled) one in the books. Here's my rundown of my trip.
Normally I would've worked on that day (and Friday), but I took it off to prepare for the con. I got the "Flutter" level sponsor badge, which meant extras, and going to the meet and greet with the VA's.
Spent it trying to finish my Flash Sentry cosplay and packing stuff up, while keeping an eye on the weather. It was a big severe weather day in this part of Kansas, and it struck Kansas City too. At one point a tornado warning was issued for the area including the Expo center and KCI itself, forcing everyone setting up to take shelter. A tornado did in fact touch down just a few miles south of it near Weatherby Lake.
And that wasn't the first weather trouble for the con. Meanwhile in Denver it was also storming, and the flights with VA's Peter New, Tabitha, Kelly Sheridan, Kelly Metzger, and Ashleigh Ball, all got diverted and thanks to the airline (Delta) they were stuck there from Thursday to Friday night, which threw off a few things.
And that wasn't the end of it. After the severe storms it was rain, rain, and more rain. By midnight pretty much all of NE Kansas and NW Missouri was under flash flood and flood warnings. My neck of the woods got around 6 inches. It showed no signs of stopping either which worried me because I'd have to drive up there in it, and my car's ignition system doesn't like heavy rain. Plus my route would take me through flood prone areas, which might mean road closures. I went to bed around 2AM after giving up on my attempt at finishing my Flash Sentry jacket (had to come up with a contingency plan that I would finish while at the con), but couldn't get to sleep no matter what I tried, and I only got in an hour before having to get up at 6:30AM.
Music for this portion:
I awoke to find the creek a quarter mile south of my house out of it's banks, and delaying both of the Amtrak trains that go through here because it tripped the high water detector on the bridge. But the good news was the rain was gone, and there were no road closures. I put on most of my 80's Shining Armor cosplay and packed the last of my stuff. I wanted to get out of here at 8AM, but I didn't until over a half hour later (had to dry out my car's ignition system and make a stop to get some PVC pipe fittings for a banner pole I was making).
The trip up was pretty smooth. I planned on taking I-35 to I-435 at Olathe, then that to the con, but they're still working on the new interchange (for 2-3 years now) so I had to find a second way to I-435. I plotted an I-35 - 119thst - Renner blvd - I-670 - I 435 - MO 152 - I-29 route (I-35 - I-635 - I-29 was more direct, but I wasn't about to try going that route on a weekday morning because of the number of exits you had to take that heavy traffic would make you miss). Got to the Renner/670 interchange, and it was closed . So I had to go up to Southwest blvd and get to I-435. I didn't think I'd make it before the start of the con at 10:30, but I did. I put on the wig and a couple other items for my Shining Armor cosplay and went in.
And then it didn't matter as the opening ceremonies got bumped to 11. The VA's who were there pulled up the others on their phones briefly during it:
Ran into some friends, and found out the custom lanyards sponsors were supposed to get got incinerated in a Fedex warehouse fire in Oklahoma. Plus some of the swag for sponsors wasn't there yet (again because of the Fedex idiots), so that plus over half of the VA's not there, and a big Legends of Equestria game setup that was supposed to be there MIA, Friday was a pretty off day. Nicole Oliver, Anneli Heed, Big Jim, and the Crebers made it in though so the VA panel continued, although late, and they were able to Skype with Peter, Ashleigh, Kelly and Starlight (which is what I'll use for Kelly Sheridan so I don't confuse them ). Around this time the weather started acting up again (we just can't have a MWBF without rain ), which caused a flash flood warning. Noted when someone's phone kept going off with the emergency alert system.
I tracked down my friend who's a chairman for the con and gave him my auction items, then browsed the vendor hall. The first autograph session was pretty dead with only a few VA's and staff there. Got 2 of 5 I planned to get with Nicole signing my Solar Empire SU-27 model, which she liked. Also got a photo with her (and I'm an NLR backer ). Also had Anneli sign a Spitfire comic. Went to a few panels, and scoped out the video game area. Before they had 3 or 4 newer consoles for people to play. This time there was around TWENTY consoles from the Intellivision to the Xbox and everything in between. I tried out an Atari 7800 for the first time since the 80's (my family had one back then, but after it and a replacement screwed up we got an NES, and yes there were a couple of those up there along with the other Nintendo consoles). There were even some mini Smash Bros. tournaments.
They finally called sponsors over to pick up their bags of con swag, which they had (and were still) working furiously to finish. It was then I realized I forgot about my custom con badge of my ponysona that I would get for my sponsor level. Went to the front desk and they had it. Pretty nice.
Scoped out Ponyville FM's little concert before heading to my hotel room. While there, my friend was going over with the others about what to put in place of the Legends of Equestria game. He has a Minecraft server, so they decided to jump on it and set it up instead. About that time the LoE group showed up and got to work.
After that I headed to my hotel room. For the first time I picked the hotel next to the con (Holiday Inn) so I could come and go anytime I wanted, which was nice. Just before then the news was out the rest of the VA's were on a plane to the con.
I then worked on finishing my Flash Sentry jacket. I had bought one I was going to try and repaint with fabric spray paint to look like his, but it failed miserably (glad it was a Goodwill item). Instead I had a black jacket I got from my employer earlier this year for perfect attendance for the year. I painted a couple of strips of white fabric with a red stripe and sewed them on the arms, then printed out a Canterlot Wondercolts logo on self adhesive paper to cover up the company logo.
Music for this portion:
No rain, just clouds this time. Woke up, got into my Flash Sentry cosplay, got breakfast downstairs at the cafe in the hotel, and headed in for day 2. The first thing was a stream of the new episode at 10:30. It started out quiet, but as soon as everyone saw this: derpicdn.net/img/2016/5/28/116… , the room exploded with laughter Overall it was an awesome episode. Rainbow Dash was busted, and Applejack is confirmed for Engineer.
All of the VA's were there now so it was time for Tabitha's VA panel. Everyone figured it was going to be crazy, and it was. The first thing the con announced was no pictures or video could be taken of the panel, after which a short time later Tabitha overrode that statement and told everyone they could for the quick Q&A they had before the reading (the con guy wasn't there when she said that so he came back in after he saw camera flashes, at which point she told him). The panel was a gut busting "fanfic" read.
Then it was time for autograph session #2. And it was PACKED. Especially Ashleigh and Tabitha's lines, which at one point had a "feeder" line to both that if laid out, would've been over half the length of the con. Was going to get theirs and Starlight's signatures, but by the time I got to Tabitha everyone but Ashleigh and Nicole had already left for the VIP BBQ. My thing for Tabitha to sign? My Luna Trucking Semi. I connected it and hit the lights, and both her and her agent(?) loved it. Enough to where she wanted to get a picture of it, and me.
And she Tweeted it.
This is it folks. The first time you get to see my ugly mug on the internet (well unless you know where to look):
Needless to say the con was made for me at that point. Outside I literally was , while on the inside I was . It was worth the $180 ticket and $225 hotel.
Then I went to Ashleigh's line, which was still pretty big, but everyone got in before they left for the BBQ. I had her sign my Rainbow Dash Corvette model, which she thought was cool. Got my photo taken with her too (sorry AJ and RD fans. Flash stole your waifu ). Starlight had already left so I'd have to get her's the next day.
Managed to catch part of ElectricalEnginerd's Tesla coil display before going to sign up and stage for the cosplay competition. I ran back to my room beforehand to get my "Bag O' Waifus" (my MWBF 2015 messenger bag stuffed with plushies). Needless to say I got the reactions I wanted (in addition to putting letters on the bag, I glued "U mad bro?" to the back of my jacket) . I also had my MP3 player with me to play the Beastie Boys Rhymin' and Stealin' while up there. Unfortunately I don't think anyone heard it though thanks to one of the speaker wires being broken which cut down the sound). This time I didn't win anything (different form of judging this year), but it was still fun. The winner was an impressive Chrysalis. Second place would've been my choice for first: A girl cosplaying . She was COMPLETELY in character before, during, and after the contest, talking only with pbbbt's and gasps (which sounded exactly the same as on the animations). She even got excited when I took my talking Chrysalis out of my bag.
After that I realized I missed the Apple Family panel (Michelle, Peter, Tabitha, and Ashleigh) which sucked (it was supposed to happen Friday). Tried to find a place to set up my HO scale train before Louder, but there was no place convenient. Managed to get it set up and running for a short time.
I also tried my hand at a bit of Legends of Equestria. Surprisingly they had my ponysona's cutie mark. The controls are pretty awkward, and after a short time I wasn't able to talk to other NPC ponies. Plus missions that went in the journal were missing. Only tried it for about an hour.
I then scoped out Louder for an hour before going back to my hotel room for a bit, then went back for another couple hours. Glad I did because around 11 Gabe and Michelle showed up with Bassik for a few songs, then for a bit jumped right into it and started a dance off that got the already slowing down crowd going full bore again. I don't dance, but I might jump to the beat a little. During it someone gave me a small blue glow stick, so I put it around my Luna plushie's neck . twitter.com/Graywolf_71/status…;
About the same time someone brought in a couple of balls to bounce around: A small one and a big one, and soon they were getting kicked and bounced all over the place. The small one got stuck in one of the bowl shaped chandeliers in the ceiling, while the big one successfully knocked 5 or 6 ceiling tiles loose, and managed to strike another chandelier a few times, making it rock pretty good.
The Crebers set up a little booth during the rave too, and I got their Getting Stronger album (complete with autographs). I finally left for my room a little after midnight, got on the computer for a bit (I have a laptop, but it's pretty dated), and went to bed.
Music for this portion:
It just went by too quick. I got into my NLRAF pilot costume, settled up with the hotel, and took most of my luggage to the car except for what I needed at the con. Wasn't anything interesting going on for the first couple of hours, so I set up my NLRAF recruitment station . Caught the end half of a who's line is it panel (I think that's what it was) with Gabe, Michelle, Peter, Bassik, and a couple others which was hilarious because needless to say shots were fired all over the place , including a couple of Irish drinking songs.
Then it was time for the final autograph session. I was first in line for Starlight. My item to sign? A Gun sniper Leena Special Zoids model. She recognized it immediately and talked about how she liked working on that Zoids series (New Century Zero).
Got some lunch (the Expo center has their own cafe), then waited for the tea time meet and greet sign up at 2. It was an event where the VA's mingled with the guests while drinking tea and eating cookies (or biscuits by Brit terms). I had some Earl Grey tea, which tasted pretty good (the only tea I drink is brown instant) I bet there was over 50 sponsors who bought the Flutter level or higher tickets. So much the check in took longer than it should have, and by the time everyone was ready Tabitha already had to leave, and the rest of the VA's not long afterwards so not everyone got to talk to all of the VA's, though my table did get to talk to Anneli, Ashleigh (who liked my pilot costume), and Michelle (who also liked it).
It was then time for the final event: The charity auction. Had some pretty good stuff up for grabs, including my 4 items, 2 of which were now autographed (the mini version of my Luna truck by Tabitha, and the Solar Empire Typhoon by Nicole).
The auction had a few guests though. First was Anneli who brought out a bag of pepper drops (sweetened peppers) from Sweden to auction them off, with the condition the winner get on stage and try one XD. It went for $40, and the guy complied, then passed some out to a few people.
Then up for grabs a short time later was a brass Celestia hour glass from Silver Slinger, signed by Nicole. And on que she came out to assist with the auction, and it turned into a riot as she ran back and forth sitting on the lap of everyone who bid. It went for $500.
Then it was time for my truck, which was paired with a custom Nightmare Moon Ambio. That combo fetched $300!
Then Michelle and Gabe came out for a bit. At which point they tried to sell Bassik's camcorder XD.
Then another guest auctioneer: Jen Blake. And whoever was the high bidder on the item would get a kiss from her. And so the guy who won the item went up there and got a kiss. Not on the cheek, a long one on the mouth ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) which got a perfect live studio audience style "woooooo" from the crowd.
Then my planes came up. They decided to group them together. They didn't know what they were though so they asked if someone knew, and of course I stood up and I got onstage to give the rundown. They went for $160
The 5 o' clock hour, and the end of the con was fast approaching, and there was a rush to get the rest of the items auctioned off. It was clear they weren't going to make it, and the expo crews started taking the stage down as the auction was still continuing. Finally they ended it without a closing ceremony, and the items that weren't sold they just put on a table and took offers. I got a Rainbow Dash mouse pad and a Rarity pin for $6.
I went into the bathroom to take my flight suit off, said my goodbyes to my friends, and left.
For the trip back I decided to take the I-29-I-635, and I-35 routing since traffic was light,and it was faster than the other way (it was also easier than going up that route because all you had to do was keep right, and it took me over BNSF's Argentine yard ). 2 hours later I was back to the boring life.
Overall for me it was the best one yet. Had a lot of fun, and hopefully it'll be back next year. There were some issues with scheduling that probably could've been prevented, but considering the rocky start the con had thanks to 3 of the 4 elements (wind, water, and fire), they pulled it off. And all of the VA's had a good time.
Now I have nothing to look forward to for the rest of the year (unless a chance for Bronycon or Nightmare Nights comes up).
Oh and you know what surprised me? Not once did I hear someone call Nicole Sunbutt.
Con swag pic's: