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Thread: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

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    Cherry (Level 1) TNTPLUST's Avatar
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    Default The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

    So after day one what can you say you liked and what can you say you didn't? This is my Third year and I wasn't sure about the move to San Jose. I liked it in Las Vegas. That being said...

    The Good:

    Much nicer digs this year. The San Jose Convention Center is way better the the Plaza in LV.

    Wow lots of speakers this year!

    Hotel is better too. The Plaza is about as nice as a worn Motel 6. The Hilton and the Marriot are gorgeous. I'm staying in the Hilton and it is very nice.

    The Home Videogame station free play was really nice. Almost every console was represented. The 70's Couch area was real cool.

    I was leary of the new Swap format but it turned out real good. I like the 1 hour format and the rentable tables.


    The Bad:

    WTF up with the Coin-OP free play? There are less of them this year and half of them are broken! No Demolition Derby...argggh!

    The Ugly:

    Hey! No TI-994/a in the Museum! (No TRS-80 either but I can understand that). Geesh if you need one I can supply it!


    Overall This has been excellent I must say. Good job to the CGE staff!
    Aha! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

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    Great Puma (Level 12)
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    Good:

    Lots of vendors and a great selection of merchandise.
    The new games by songbird were awsome. I should have bought a copy of Crystal Mines II with the extra levels, but I didn't have enough dough.
    GREAT deals at the swap meets.
    Awsome museum. I thought that was the highlight of the show. In my opinion, the museum alone was worth the $20 admission. I took most of my pics in there, and I should have taken more.
    Decent amount ot free stuff for cheapies like me.
    The consoles available for play was great.
    If you were in the market for Lynx games, CGE was the place to be...

    I can't really comment on the location because I dont have a basis for comparison to previous years, but I thought the place was really nice.

    Bad:

    The people selling the thingies for you to put on your atari joystick as "art"...I didn't really get that.
    The new wireless NES and SNES controllers arent all that great. The NES acclaim infrared controller is better as long as the line-of-sight thing doesn't get on your nerves.
    I didn't know Wozniak wasn't speaking until Sunday. (That isnt a criticism of the show, I just wasnt paying attention I guess.)
    I didn't really like most of the music. I wish the Minibosses had come this year...
    I wish there had been more exhibitors. It was pretty much all vendors just there to charge you eBay prices for their wares. I mean, the guy from songbird was of course there selling stuff, but he was also cool to talk to because he made that loops game and added those levels to crystal mines, etc. More of that would have been cool.

    Ugly:

    I hate to say anything was "ugly" because I don't want to come off as a complainer, but the coin-op arcade games set to free play was not as cool as I had hoped. Like half of them were off or not working, some were on but I couldnt figure out how put some credits into the game. Someone should have been there acting as an attendant, or at least someone could have walked over there every now and then and made sure that the games were all working. It's just a shame that people went to the trouble of hauling those big ass games in there just so they could sit there and not be played. I was looking forward to getting in some arcade gaming time when I got there, so it was a dissapointment.

    AND THIS IS FOR THE PEOPLE CHARGING 25 BUCKS FOR SMS SPORTS TITLES:

    Chris

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    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) Raedon's Avatar
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    I've never gone to CGE for commons or even for systems/vendors. I went to meet and trade with the REAL people. If I wanted to collect at Ebay prices I'd go to Ebay.

    Now I wasn't there this year but last year was one of the best CONs i have been to.

    I hope there was someone speaking every hour to explain the lack of people I saw on the cam.
    Fear your thoughts because they become your words
    Fear your words because they become your actions
    Fear your actions because they become your habits
    Fear your habits because they become your character
    Fear your character because it becomes your destiny

    Therefore: Thinking and nurturing positive thoughts, at any point in your life, can change your destiny.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    This will be coming from a CGE n0oB, as the only regular conventions/shows I've done in the past were for sportscards or comics.

    But here goes:

    The Good
    • - Got to meet some members from here and NG.com in person! After years of dealing with maxlords I finally have a face to go with the (screen)name! Nate, you're even a cooler guy in person. Met sisko too (if you're reading this before I see you again Sunday, I have good news about your Duo ) and finally met Joe.
      - The museum was cool. Liked the proto/dev Atari stuff, "Puppy Pong", and all the flavors of Atari consoles.
      - The main room had some nice booths set up with new goodies for the oldies which makes me happy.
      - Location: only 30 minutes from my home, so very convenient. And the facility was really nice
      - Good list of speakers, but didn't really take advantage of that.
      - The Swap Meet was fun for a lot of folks I think. Did pretty well at my table


    The Bad
    • - Where the hell was all the Turbo Grafx/PC Engine stuff?!##$%@ And I think the prices for some of it that was there was a bit nutty ($100 for a boxed TG16?). If the Genesis and NES had that many games present, where was the Turbo?
      - Where the hell was the SNK/Neo-Geo presence? They were show sponsors after all! Nothing. Ugh.
      - For my tastes, too much Atari 2600 gear. WAY too much.
      - MAME booths? Much of my being can't agree with promoting emulation as such at a video game show, but too each his own.
      - For CGE veterans: Was attendance better or worse at Las Vegas? Didn't seem like a very big turnout to me.
      - Swap meet size and organization. To me, the best part of the show in many respects. Room was a bit cramped and the schedule seemed a bit off. But the guys running it did all they could and were really cool.


    The Ugly- "Ugly" is such a strong word. As such it only really applies to one thing about the CGE:

    • San Jose

  5. #5
    Cherry (Level 1)
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    The good: I really liked seeing everybody come together in the spirit of classic gaming. Seemed like there was a really positive vibe at the con this year and I enjoyed myself a lot.

    The bad: I wish I had gotten a table, because it turns out a lot of the schwag was gone Friday night. I can't fault OlderGames for snagging a working TurboDuo for $150, I just wish I had the chance to myself! Lots of 7's and up were gone before Saturday morning too.

    The ugly: San Jose after 2 in the morning. Downtown turns into a living hell with people acting like they're in "Girls Gone Wild" minus the girls and full of drunken stupidity. Cops at every corner block all the good roads OUT and you have to detour constantly.

    I had a great time, got to see some old friends AND make some new ones, and I'm already looking forward to 2005! My only regret is that we bailed on the DP/DE party when someone in the elevator at the hotel told us there was no alcohol (at around 12:30) when we came back from Original Joe's. Instead we went up to hhwolfman's suite to drink Coors Light and Tecate. Next year though I'll try to party with e'rybody!

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    Banana (Level 7)
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    • The Good:
    • The museum was fantastic! So much cool stuff.
    • Good layout in the main room. It seemed busy enough to me, with the speakers that were on when I was there talking to a full house.
    • Lots of variety in the booths
    • Some good deals floating around
    • The new Gradius game in the Konami booth. Wow was that fantastic, although the Konami marketing flacks were less than enthusiastic.
    • The facilities were very nice.

      The Bad:
    • Vendor prices were rather high, and I felt ripped off after getting home to open up my boxed NES (that was advertised "complete")
    • The speaking schedule wasn't published ahead of time, meaning I arrived too late and missed shaking the hand of David Crane, which was one of the big reasons I wanted to go (okay, okay, so I was hoping to get my mint/complete Boy & His Blob signed in a few places, too)
    • no SNK?

      The Ugly:
    • San Jose. It's like the entire city was built in the 70s. I'm local, but I tend to stay north of the San Mateo bridge whenever possible. That I made the trip down to the land of strip malls & tract housing to see the show speaks volumes.

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    Key (Level 9)
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    The Good
    -finding Donkey Kong Jr. Math CIB for 20 bucks
    -the new advanced guide
    -watching port drop 131 bucks on a beer with a lime
    -meeting tons of excellent board and non board members (Drexel, Dave, Sisko and the misses (glad you ended up with the e-reader cards and not me ), Nate and the misses, Darth Vader, Ian, Frank (TRE), Toby, Billy Galaxy, Captain Yash, PapaStu, Marty, Racoon Lad, swlovinst and my new good buddy Steve From San Fran who doesn't post here but keeps his stuff in incredibly nice condition)
    - One Name... Kevin Gifford... enough said
    -The sponsered DP Party
    *John Hardie at the party (hey a nice little ryhme)
    *The Pac-Man Shots and the DP shot glasses
    * and everything else at the party
    -The swap meet (err... should I say sell since I didn't end up swapping anything)
    -Bringing home only half a box of stuff compared to three boxes (sorry dave, I couldn't find you and had to leave early then expected on sunday , hope you get everything shipped back home okay)
    -Selling Ian my two dedicated pong systems (thank god i didn't have to take those home)

    The Bad
    -missing the keynotes (my fault )
    -walking back to the marroit after the party
    -overpriced complete NES games
    -the water in San Jose
    -no good food

    The Ugly
    -me, back in my room after the party.

    and that's it!

    -Josh

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    The Good
    -- Local, 10 minute drive for me
    -- Roomy, could hear the key speakers without arcade noise coming through the wall
    -- Got a nice thong shot (better not go into detail)
    -- The auction as always
    -- The way Janice looks out of place when surrounded by geeks
    -- No Vegas heat

    The Bad
    -- No Vegas decadence either
    -- Woz's ten minute ramble on his hidden tv interference generators. Just didn't seem funny to me. This valley's full of better stories than that.
    -- The outer doorman. You couldn't slip in free Sunday just for a presentation, aka the Nolan maneuver
    -- So many arcade machines down or free play not working

    The Ugly
    Some of the vendor pricing. I almost got rid of my boxed ROB NES because of all the room it took. Now a certain dealer says it's worth $250. Will you buy mine for half that?

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    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
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    Good
    -Getting to meet at least a few really nice board members and non-board retrogamers: Dreams (& her boyfirend whose name escapes me), ianoid, Altairboy, and of course digitalpress and CX2K themselves . Let's not also forget the fine folks from atari2600.com. I was also happy to see Adrian again, as I hadn't seen him since 2002.

    -Bigger better show as promised. I was one of the last "We can't leave Las Vegas" holdouts but I think CGE has found a better new home in SJ.

    -"The living room" with the 4-switch woodgrain 2600 and the big-honkin console TV on the floor. For me this was like stepping back into 1982 (although my record collection wasn't as good as the one on display). This was a great idea and ought to become a regular staple of the event.

    -Transportation between the airport and SJCC was a freaking snap! $1.50 each way and pretty much plane-to-door in 30 minutes.

    -New museum stuff was phenomenal. The NES stuff was really great, and laid out in a way that didn't make me feel like it was going to encroach on all the pre-NES goodies. I'm not ready to give give the NES its retro-props yet, but ask me next year and I'll probably have changed my mind.

    -New vendors like 4Jays and a couple others added something I thought was missing from the last couple shows. Namely, a decent supply of common 8-bit carts - boxed and unboxed - at reasonable prices. I suddenly needed a 2600 Pac-Man cart so I could get Todd Frye to autograph it. No problem, found one for $1. Two years ago (my last CGE) I don't think that would have been possible.

    Bad
    -For some reason I didn't see as many people sporting their DP badges as I expected. But maybe that was just me...

    -Were there any door prizes this year? I don't think so. If there were it seemed pretty low-key. Some sort of door prizes or a big-prize drawing of some sort would have been nice.

    -Downtown SJ and the Convention Center seemed to be lacking somewhat in quickly accessible amenities. Restaurants were hard to find and something also of a walk from the Marriott/SJCC area. There was virtually no fast food as far as I could tell. Granted, I only explored the area north of SJCC but it seemed lacking. Does the SJCC have a catering option? Somebody ought to explore this for 2005. At the Plaza in Vegas you could at least get those hot dogs and nachos. It was nasty food, but it was convenient if you didn't want to leave the show.

    FUGLY
    At the Intellivision booth (i.e. - Right by the main entrance) there was this video constantly playing of what must have been a past CGE. On the video some ditsy plastic blonde 20-something stripper-turned-reporter was making all of these derogatory remarks about retrogaming staples such as Pong ("I can't believe people would find this entertaining") or Apple ][ ("How do you download porn onto it?"). I don't know what that video was or who was responsible for showing it but I thought it was sending the wrong message out to we who came to celebrate this old stuff, not to lampoon it. If we never see that garbage again at CGE it will be just fine with me.

    Overall I had a grat time and am eagerly awaiting 2K5.

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    Bell (Level 8) 98PaceCar's Avatar
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    The good:
    The wall of consoles was awesome! Would have liked to have seen some more uncommon systems, but it was a very fun mix.

    The guest speakers were phenominal! I don't know how they are going to top this year's list, but I sure can't wait to see them try!

    The convention center and hotels were nicer than vegas. Having extra space made the conference a bit more breatheable and having a quiet spot for the keynotes was much better than hearing the arcades like last year.

    Nice to see the DP people face to face again.

    The swap meet was a great idea! Could have been a bit bigger, but it still worked out really well and there were some good deals to be had there.

    Winning a set of the Messiah wireless NES controllers! I just wish I hadn't been at the airport waiting on my plane when the did the drawing. Just have to wait for them to arrive!

    Most importantly, the inclusion of events and auction items that helped fund special olympics. I applaud everybody that was involved in making this happen, the people that donated items for the auction, and everybody that bid on and won the items for auction! This was a very classy move on the part of the organizers and I hope it's a tradition that continues.

    The bad:
    Vendor prices. A couple of the vendors were charging over ebay prices for stuff. Granted, they did have some very nice stuff and I know that DP has nothing to do with the prices, but it was disappointing to have to pass on things I had planned on buying since I knew I could get them cheaper on ebay (how often can you say that??). Along the same lines, one of the vendors acted like I was inconveniencing them by asking prices on things that were not marked. This was only at one vendor though, the rest went out of their way to be nice and talk about the things they have and love.

    Organization of the DP party. I knew something was going on, but had no idea of when or where. I even scanned the forums on sat night looking for info, but none was to be found.

    San Jose.... It may have been a nicer facility and hotel. May have been cheaper too, I'm not sure. But after walking around on friday night just looking for someplace to eat seeing how little there is in downtown San Jose, I have to say that it's not a good place to be if you want to do things other than the normal conference activities. Plus, there is no draw for bringing family that isn't interested in classic gaming. At least in Vegas there's other things to do.

    The ugly:
    WTF was up with the arcades? I collect arcades more than consoles so I know that they are a pain to keep running when you move them around and that they are just overall tempermental. But if you're going to make the effort to move them into a major show for people to see and enjoy, at least make sure they work! I can't count how many of the machines never worked during the entire show. I appreciate that someone would take the time and effort to move their collection for the enjoyment of others, but at least let someone work on them to keep them running. If I had known who's games they were, I'd have volunteered to work on them myself. Move the show to Dallas and I'll bring my collection. I'll make sure that everything works. Can't promise that nothing will fail, but I'll sure be on top of things if they do!

    Overall I had a great time and even though I have a few minor complaints, I will be back next year for my third round!

    98PaceCar

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    Starman (Level 23) punkoffgirl's Avatar
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    PaceCar: Details on the party were around, although *I* didn't even have the room number myself until Thursday night at 10pm.
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28940 A whole thread there

    Raedon: Actually, there WERE pretty much keynotes going on every hour. Plus the whole place was a LOT huger than the Plaza space was. And people were constantly in the museum, which was ALSO a lot huger than before. I don't know actual attendance numbers, but I heard there was quite a bit of walk in traffic (ie people paying for one day passes, as opposed to pre-registers).

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    Bell (Level 8) 98PaceCar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkoffgirl
    PaceCar: Details on the party were around, although *I* didn't even have the room number myself until Thursday night at 10pm.
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28940 A whole thread there
    That was the thread I was checking from my room saturday night, but unless I'm just missing it, there's no real indication of when or where the party was. It's no biggie now, but a little bit more communication would have been nice. I was actually approached by a group of guys in the lobby that were wondering the same thing I was, so I don't think it was just me. Maybe even some posting or something at the DP booth would have been good.

    But, not going to the party did give me a chance to check out the Dave and Buster's which was a lot of fun!

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    Jibbajaba,

    What did you not like about the Messiah wireless controllers? I already ordered one SNES controller. I don't like the fact that they went with such a non-standard D-pad and select/start buttons. My ideal SNES controller would be in every way like the official SNES controller, but 2.4GHz wireless.

    It looks like the Atari 2600 joystick that they are working on is far more faithful to the original. In my opinion, this is what retro gamers want: the same with only improvements. I would love to see wireless paddles for the 2600. It would be far easier to hold Warlords parties

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagasian
    Jibbajaba,

    What did you not like about the Messiah wireless controllers? I already ordered one SNES controller. I don't like the fact that they went with such a non-standard D-pad and select/start buttons. My ideal SNES controller would be in every way like the official SNES controller, but 2.4GHz wireless.

    It looks like the Atari 2600 joystick that they are working on is far more faithful to the original. In my opinion, this is what retro gamers want: the same with only improvements. I would love to see wireless paddles for the 2600. It would be far easier to hold Warlords parties
    Pretty much everything you just said is exactly how I feel. I use the Acclaim wireless controller for my nes, because it has the exact same feel as a first party controller, except that it is thicker to accomodate the batteries. I didn't like messiah's D-pads, and picking them up I just thought that they had a cheap feel to them. I am definitely looking forward to seeing thier wireless Atari controller, since the standard atari joystick has such a short cord, but I dont have my hopes up. Didn't someone make a wireless Atari joystick already, anyway?

    Chris

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    Pear (Level 6) ApolloBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jibbajaba
    Didn't someone make a wireless Atari joystick already, anyway?
    Yeah, Atari themselves sold them, however they aren't exactly all that great...

    Anyway, I did kinda like Messiah's wireless NES & SNES controllers. They were OK, but I wish the Select and Start buttons were actually real buttons, not touch-sensitive pads...
    Quote Originally Posted by starsoldier1 View Post
    GUY WAS SUPPOSE TO PLAYABLE IN THE GAME
    My collection

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    to the dealers, i don't care what you charge, thats all up to you. But when you don't put prices on things, i going to bug the hell out of you every 2 mins.

    And to the ones who actually had books, nice try, but one book and 20 people waiting, others snag the book when you put a cart down or whatever.....forget it, I'm done, I'll pass.
    My life and perception has changed, but my principals are the same.

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    Good:
    * guest lineup in general, outstanding. had the wanted effect of having a lot more alumni available because of the location
    * Meeting Ray Kaestner (Intellivision Burgertime)
    * Atari Coin Op panel in particular was amazing - many wacky new facts learned, like the fact that I, Robot started out as a racing game.
    * Meeting & getting pic with Woz (19 years after father got to do so at an apple world expo)
    * putting faces to names like punkoffgirl, ubersaurus and others
    * museum was great as usual

    Bad:
    * Bob Smith (atari/imagic) going down with a case of bad sushi. evil fish!
    * Don Daglow and Matt Hubbard no-shows
    *Arcade Games - yes i'll ring in as well. I was pretty disappointed in the result (though i was happy to get to play Tapper on the real deal cab), apparentlly according to Joe, a good chunk of their suppliers who were 'tentative' ended up as 'no shows'. so i guess more needs to be done to get new sources.

    *Not enough variety in homebrew offerings. Packrat games table was good, but didn't represent enough of the 2600/etc homebrew community. (wanted that 5200 redemption controller hardware ^^). And darnit, enough with *only* offering homebrews as 'boxed complete' for $40-50, do like everyone else and offer a $20-25 cart & manual only option :P. i'd have definitely picked up Stonix,Looping,Rush Hour, and others had they been priced like that.

    * some scheduling issues in the panels. can't be helped i know to some point, but try to help out the expected 'probably will be less attended' panels better.

    * attendance seemed like was relatively light compared to expectations, compared to 2002 and expected growth (my only reference). most likely need a much better and longer grass roots area publicity. The sunday morning paper article was nice, but doubt it did much to help attendance being so late in the game.

    * no info on the DP party. like others i heard vague rumors but only of the 'something at the hilton' variety.

    Ugly:
    * San Jose airport is still podunk 12 years after the last time i flew into there for anime expo...hopefully they are building/redoing the thing soon ^^. for a place supposedly growing and trying to gain a rep, fixing that will definitely help


    gavv
    [/b]

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    Great Puma (Level 12) sisko's Avatar
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    The good:

    We met LOTS of cool people there, Nate (thanks for the cards!), Cheryl, Joe, John, Sean, Steve, Dean (thanks for the repair and the hard to find games!), Dave, Dave, Zach (thanks for the Goemon!), Jim, Jamie, Adrienne, Kristine, Nick, Mat, Betty, Chris, Janice, Dustin, the other Karl, John (thanks for the sword!), Danny, the other Steve, Sharen, Jeff, Kevin, Carrie, Brad, the other Kevin, and probably a few other people that I can't recall right now. We got to talk to a few more than others, but all of you were very nice!

    I was also impressed by some of the exhibitors. Getting the free game at the Midway booths, finally getting to try Gradius V and the new Messiah controllers, finally getting the new book, and a whole lot more.

    We also found lots of stuff that we needed for our collection, all at a good price.

    Also, the $132.50 beer was great

    The bad?

    Half the coin ops weren't working, but I did enjoy the other half.

    The ugly?

    The stupid lady who doubled the price of the DC 4x mem cards when we wanted to buy them.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Drexel923's Avatar
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    The Good:
    Everything about the show The people, exhibitors, swap meet, auction, museum, party, etc. were all a step up from last year.

    The Bad:
    Spending all of my money

    The Ugly:
    My back and legs after pulling a cart full of 15 tables and three grown adults across the convention hall.

  20. #20
    Starman (Level 23) punkoffgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drexel923
    The Good:
    Everything about the show The people, exhibitors, swap meet, auction, museum, party, etc. were all a step up from last year.

    The Bad:
    Spending all of my money

    The Ugly:
    My back and legs after pulling a cart full of 15 tables and three grown adults across the convention hall.
    Pfft. Wimp

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