Hello all! Well, Da Hawt Gay Geek has decided to hit up TFCon once again and will be (hopefully) documenting all his fun adventures here for all to read daily (though excessive partying made delay said updates ) Wednesday night: --------------- Trip started with a minor snag when I tore a small section off of the top of my finger while trying to load a bag but the flight attendant (who for some reason did not have a band-aid) provided me a moist towelette to tie around it, gee thanks. The plus side is that I did arrive in Toronto way earlier thanks to an awesome boss and flights that went on time and with open seats (flying standby as an airline employee can get REAL stressful, but it's FREE!) Arrived in Toronto and my friend Enragedcoconut was there to meet me. She presented me with a gift baggie full of Canadia memorabilia (Maple leaf napkins, Maple syrup in a maple leaf-shaped glass container, etc...) and I loved it! I gave her a birthday / "thank-you-for-putting-me-up-for-five-days" gift in the form of the big Kre-O Prime. The drive to her house was relaxing (they live fairly far out. We, of course, had to make a Wal-mart run (nothing new) and I, having a constant major sweet tooth, picked up several new candies I've never seen before). Her new house is AMAZING! Her hubby's gameroom is WAY more expansive than his previous one and I got to check out all the new pinball machines he's gotten since last year. EC made a delicious dinner while we chilled at the TV watching Team America (F**K YEAH!), and some South Park episodes. I then made the mistake of showing her that I had Transformers DotM on my laptop and she freaked (the line of the night was "I can't believe you've been in my house 2 hours and didn't tell me you had this!!"). So we watched that till time to go to bed. Thursday: -------- We woke up and started planning our trip to Niagara Falls (it helps to have a plan for this as there is a TON of stuff to do!). We bought tickets for an Adventure Pass and headed out the door. It's a 2 hours drive there so we had lots of time to talk. I got to experience the full force of the ENRAGEDcoconut with the other drivers on the road, and it was FUN!! We got to the Falls and did our first event the Niagara's Fury. Started with a cute, Pixar quality, movie with a chipmuck and an owl showing how the Falls were formed over the years. We then donned our event-provided disposable raincoats as we were shuffled into the next room where we were treated to a 360 degree panorama of the creation of the Falls beginning with the Ice Age (there was real snow and cold wind blowing at us), leading up to the erosion and cliff-destroying event that formed the Whirlpool. The room shook violently and water sprayed out regularly. We got a LITTLE moist. : The next event we did was the Journey Under the Falls. This is REALLY cool. You go down these tunnels and you can see from behind the Falls and there is an area you can go that comes out just to the side of the base of the Falls. It was hard to take pics because of all the spray, but I think we got some decent shots. The next thing we did was called Maid in the Mist. It's a 20 minute boat ride that takes you to the base of the Falls (and I mean like REALLY close). I was playing Ninja Camera to get any good shots, but it was a really cool experience seeing the power of the Falls from that close. After all that we decided (well our stomachs decided) WE NEED FOOD!!! So we went to this really fancy restaurant that sits at the top of Skylon tower. EC had this great sirloin steak and I had this dish called the Chicked Cordon Rouge. SO GOOD! (For $125 it BETTER BE : ) The best part was that the restaurant rotated so I got some great shots of the city and the Falls from high up. Next we hit up Clifton Street, which is like this really touristy fun-stuff-to-do-all-in-one-area kind of place. The coolest site was the Dinoland Golf course. We did the Mystery Maze where you have to find 3 towers and a sword and then make it out of the maze. Then we went to the Crystal Cave which is a maze of mirrors that we got sort of lost in : . We also did the Nightmares, which EC kept chanting and singing "It's Fake! It's Fake! "It's Fake" over and over again to psyche herself up for it. There was a sign there saying that over 110,000 people to date have chickened out midway through it. It was pretty scary and it's like 15 minutes long so it is a lot to endure. We were proud of our "You Survived" stickers we got for making it through. : We ended the day at the Fudge Factory (there's my sweet tooth again : ) where I picked up a bunch of new candies I've never had (maple chews, maple hard candy, and some Icewine hard candy), and something called a Nanaimo bar (flaky crust base, buttercream with coconut in the middle and a dark chocolate topping). My a$$ is going to be hitting the gym HARDCORE when I get home : The ride back home was WAY longer than it should have been due to lots of road closings and constructions and 1-lane highways. I was floored cause it's like nidnight in the middle of the week. WHY ARE THERE THIS MANY PEOPLE OUT ON THE ROADS!?!?!? EC jokes saying that Canada only has 2 seasons: Winter and Construction : Had to stop off at Wal-Mart, of course, cause I forgot to pack PJ's and I really wanted some Neosporin (Polysporin here) for my finger. Different Wal-mart since we already checked the other one (no new toys again). The lady in the toy department said something interesting though. She told us that toy companies are no longer allowed to package the toys in plastic (like the plastic on all TF deluxes). I don't know if this is just a Canada thing or not, but it made me wonder what that means for the toys coming out in the later waves of DotM and Generations. EC says in the past that Canada didnt get certain toys if there was a running change requirement to the packaging (like having to print multiple languages after the initial packaging was already done). Let's hope that doesn't happen to them here. Home... dressed wound... eyes heavy... bed... THE END... (of day 2) Friday: ------- Today was event filled. Woke up this morning to a loud crashing sound. Thought about waking up but thought better of it and went back to sleep for a little bit longer. Turns out there was a storm that knocked a tree down in back yard and killed the power for a couple hours. Once we got the power deal resolved we were on our way to TFCon2011… YAY!!!! Traffic sucked… AGAIN! Took much longer than it should have. We stopped at this cute little Asian strip for soup dumplings and Jelly Tea, and then hit up the local Toys R Us to see if there were any MP Roddys. No such luck but EC did get 4 Kre-Os she didn’t have before which made her thrilled. We got to the hotel where we saw my friend Raven talking with Paul Eiding’s wife. She was a lovely lady to talk to and get to know. Then I saw my new friends from Botcon Mike and his Dad, Mark. We all went to line up for the pre-reg so we could make sure we got one of the exclusive Toxin figures and/or the Night Effects Camera. Since we were about 2 hours early, EC broke out her new Kre-O Ratchet and we proceeded to put it together. We made a good team, though I think I stressed her out cause she thought I was rushing her by having all the pieces ready for the next step while she was putting it together. : I played the social butterfly talking to everyone in line, all while secretly keeping an eye on the people breaking in line at the front to make sure we still made the first 50. (You know who you jerks are!). Once pre-reg opened, we got our figures, comics, shirts, etc… and then made plans to get some muchage. While we were waiting for Mike and Mark to put stuff upstairs we ran into another friend, Debbie. We all ended up at this great little restaurant called Drake and Ferkin. Our waitress was really cool but I think she migh have been a little drunk. : I got to know more about Mike and Mark and totally expect them to be part of our Botcon group from now on. We headed back to the Convention for the parts party that had just started. There were a lot of people there but it’s not really like it has been in the past. There were way too many people trying to sell things at Dealer’s prices ($30 for a Gen Warparth? Really? And who really expected to sell AFA Figures here?). I did get a lot of good custom fodder. Today’s haul I got: 6 Strongholds, 6 comics, 3 Toxins, Energon Fire Hot Shot and Roadblock, 2 Energon Bruticus limbs, Cybertron Demolishor and Brimstone, Legends Warpath, RotF Skystalker, and a TON of PCC bodies, limbs and Minicons including a loose Skyhammer. We broke to check out the panel room. On one side there this guy was basically teaching a class on how to collect Transformers. I thought about sitting in on it till I saw the powerpoint state that it was for people in Canada. Yeah I don’t need to know how to collect toys in Canada. Come to think of it, I have over 3000 of the things, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of collecting. : I did however glance over from time to time to read some of the stuff he had on the powerpoint and agreed that almost all of it was great advice for newbies. We did the Pictionary game which was really confusing primarily because it was not being played correctly. You’re supposed to have 1 person doing the drawing at a time and let their team try to guess the picture and time it. Then have the next team do theirs and see if they can beat the time of the first team. Instead, they had people from each team trying to draw the same thing on 2 boards and each side is screaming out random Transformers names. This led to confusion because on more than a few occasions our side screamed the word first and no one said a word till the other side screamed it. Another good rule for this game, since all the words are Transformers related, most being Transformers names, would be to prevent people from drawing the character itself and actually make people try to get their team to guess the names using other means, which, to me, falls more in the spirit of the game. We checked out the hotel bar for a bit, then left shortly afterward and headed home. EC checked the traffic report immediately to determine the best route to get home and it worked. Getting home went off without a hitch! We rocked out to Stan Bush’s latest CD. I’ll say one thing for that man, even in 2011 he can make some great 80’s inspirational tunes! Now it’s time for bed. We need to get to bed early cause the Dealer Room opens at 9. EC lives an hour away and she wants Denny’s for Breakfast. Night all and I’ll bring you more details of my exciting trip tomorrow night! Saturday: ----------- We hit the road early this morning (not as early as we planned, but early enough). No bad traffics, YAY! We did breakfast as Denny's (you gotta love a place that has a dish called Moons Over My-Hammy), and then off to the Dealer's room! It was about what I expected, there were lots of dealers with great stuff. Some of it was WAY overpriced, some was fair. Though the weaker US dollar made me balk at some of the prices people wanted ($200 for a MP Movie Bunblebee... seriously? And $30 CAD for a Generations figure ends up being $33 USD. No thanks ya crooks! : ). I didn't really have a plan this time like I normally do at Botcons, so I was really just wandering. The only thing I really had in my mind was the later wave PCC 2-packs, some Aveo Swerves, and, thanks to the TFCon comic, a junker Chromedome body to custimize into Toxin's body. I did spend a great deal more than I thought I would buying various and sundry things. I wandered and wandered and wandered as I always do making all sorts of implulse buys. I'm still debating getting this MP Movie Starscream. Before I could not have cared less about it, but seeing it in person and just how beautiful it is, I really want it, but the price is a little more than I want to spend so I am waiting till tomorrow and see if they will drop it a little. My total haul for today was 6 PCC 2-packs (2 Skyhammers, 2 Heavytreads, and 2 Undertows), a Universe Leo Prime, an Aveo Swerve, a Classics Legends Bumblebee, a TM-11 Tigatron, a junker Chromedome body and gun, an RTS Windcharger back card and instructions (they were free), a custom Aligatorcon, a TFCon Nightbird (just cause it was only $20), the third-party Nightbird and Blaiff from the Quitesson peoples, the transforming Spike and Daniel in exo-suits, a couple Universe Sunstreakers, the exclusive Optimus Kreon Hasbro was giving out, and autographed scripts for Simon Furman's unreleased War Within numbers 4 and 5, the 1 page treatment for number 6, and the treatment for Issue 80 (that dude ROCKS!) All-in-all I think it was a good haul. Now I got to figure out how I am going to get all this home! (><; ) EC and I decided to take a trip to Zellers (think of Canada's version of Target only a LOT more disorganized... OMG!) cause her phone charger was acting ******ed. It was connected to a mall so we decided to do a little store-hopping. EC bought this HUGE Angry Birds plushie for $80 (crazy woman!), and then she showed me this place called Laura Secourd. She called it Canadian chocolate so I was, of course, all over it! I then got treated to a little history lesson about things I had NO clue. Apparently Linda was an American who, during the Canadian-American War (I had no clue this ever existed), told Canada all these secrets the Americans were doing. I guess their way of saying "Thank You" was to name a chocolates and ice cream store chain after her. : We headed back to the convention for the script reading where we ran back into Mike and Mark. Mike appparently went to bed for a nap at 1030a and didnt wake up for 5 hours... LAME! : I was only interested in trying out for 2 roles, neither of which I got. My voice was gone anyway so I couldn't get any range, so I wasn't mad at all. I didn't really want to do it since I was Blackarachnia last year, and wanted others to have a shot at it. For the most part, it was a great reading. A couple of the people who won roles seemed to have lost the voice they used to win the audition, which was kind of distracting, but others, like the roles of Tarantulas and Waspinator, were AMAZING!. The story was really well done and the author deserves major props for writing a really well thought out way to incorporate both Gary Chalk and Paul Eiding's characters. I salute you good sir. I do have a complaint which is the same complaint I had last year, the female role got really shafted as far as speaking lines, even some of the "side" characters that were voiced by the writer (Inferno really should have been an auditioned role), had more lines than Airrazor. Not cool in my book. But anywho... Afterwards a few of us decide to go back to EC's for some BBQ grill action and drunken DDR! As I mentioned before, EC has a Dance Dance Revolution machine IN HER HOUSE! Some of us played with her husbands pinball and arcade games, while EC and I went nut on the DDR machine and downed 2-3 bottles of wine in the process. I was a drunken sweaty mess at the end of the night. : Finally started getting ready for bed about 1am... OMG! I have to figure out how I'm going to get my haul home tomorrow night... BLEH! Made a mini plan but was so tired and so drunk that I'm just gonna wait till tomorrow to finish it all off. Sunday: ---------- Okay. After last night's drunken DDR night till 1am, we ended up getting up a LIIIIITLE later than we wanted. We were kinda rushing cause we wanted to make sure we were not late for the custom class. We were kinda bytching a little that the dealer room opened at the same time that the class started... (grrr...) but such is the life of a convention goer. I made sure all my stuff was packed and ready to go since I was catching a plane at 6:25p. Having been in the class before, and having already been told what the custom figure mold and character was was going to be, I had a little bit of an idea of what to expect. At first I was kinda sketchy on the idea of Classics Downshift from Universe Prowl (I mean, a white car from a... white car?), but when I saw it in person I was really excited! I was surprised that Duncan wasn't teaching the class and that Stu and Otis were running the show. I never did find out why he wasn't there, but Stu and Otis did a great job all the same. I came away from the class whith a whole new slew of knowledge about modifying heads, using different kinds of putty for various things, how to essentially MacGuyver certain aspects of customizing when you dont have the ideal set up. The only thing I didnt like about it was the use of the white paint. I HATE painting with white paint... but that's just a personal thing and in no way detracts from the fun I had thanks to the instructors. The class ran longer than I thought it would, and I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to finish before I had to leave for my flight, let alone no time to go check out the dealer room. I decided to take a look at my flight on my phone and turns out the flight was already showing massively overbooked, and since it was the last light of the night, I asked EC if she was cool with me staying another night. She jumped at the chance for another night of Drunken DDR! : The class took a break, and since I still had time to kill for my paint to dry I decided to hit up the dealer room. I was still pining and pondering over that MP Movie Starscream. It was showing marked down another $10, but in my head I kept saying "I don't have any way to get it home, I'm FULL!!!" I walked back into the room and EC asked about my sulking. I said I wanted that figure but couldn't get it home. She said she'd be glad to hold it for me till Slagacon when she could bring it to me. Back to the dealer room I went. I asked the guy if he'd take $90. He wanted to balk a little, but I told him it was all I had left (yes... I lied.. sue me), and it was 15 mins before the dealer room closed. He agreed, and I am now the proud owner of a BEAUTIFUL Starscream mold! After the class, I said my goodbyes to everyone, tried to convince Raven to come to Slagacon this year, and then headed for home! Stopped by Tim Horton's (LOVE THAT PLACE!) on the way back so I could try some Doughnuts flavors I never tried before (a$$...gym...tomorrow...FUH-SHO!). EC took me on a tour of her new property including 2 bridges, cherry trees, a pear tree (yes, I did ask about the partridge), and some apple trees. She rummaged through her "garden" and got excited about a 4.5 pound zucchini that had grown. Grabbed some peppers for dinner and headed back to the house. Had an amazing dinner while her husband and I watched Southpark episodes, a LOT of Southpark episodes : . Poor EC crashed on the couch so no Drunken DDR, but we did watch the all new Thundercats (GREAT show btw) before heading to bed. EC drove me to the airport, we said our "see ya laters!" and I luckily made it on my flights by the skin of my teeth. Even got home earlier than expected. I had another great year at TFCon and look forward to many more!