GenCon 2010–Part 1–the Journey   1 comment

Least expensive airline may be least comfortable too.

I used my longest vacation of the year to go to GenCon in Indianapolis. Rick Loomis and I left Phoenix early Tuesday morning on August 3 and arrived in Indiana about 4 p.m.  The flight east was about as pleasant as riding in air steerage can be.  As I entered the plane, I looked for an aisle seat–I am a big guy, not huge, but big enough to feel crowded in the usual air seat, so if I sit on the aisle I can at least lean away from my seat mate. There was a man sitting by the window in the row I chose, a twenties-something American Indian. I introduced myself as Ken and learned his name was Steve, and then I said we would save the seat between us for someone young and beautiful, or at least, thin. He laughed and agreed to that. 

Many more people shuffled onto the plane, including a whole platoon of U.S. Army servicemen (44 men in that platoon–I asked, and 43 of them on the plane). As the seats in the back half of the  plane filled up, along came a beautiful, dark-haired young woman in a low-cut black dress.  She had big hoop earrings, and a beautiful pendant around her ncck. I smiled at her as she approached and told her that we were saving this seat just for her. She looked a bit surprised, then smiled and sat down with us.

Now, if that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is!

Rick Loomis had the aisle seat just behind me.  He leaned forward and said, “Lucky.” I leaned back and told him “No luck involved.” 

I’m sure you all know how airplane flights go. Mostly you sit there and read, and try not to bother anyone. I chatted with her a little bit, learned her first name was Nicky, and she was returning from a modeling tryout in Los Angeles. I could believe it.  She was a perfect ten.  But she told me she was only 5 feet tall–too short for the real glamor assignments.  I told her she looked dead solid perfect to me.

A couple of hours into the flight, Nicky pulled out her cellphone and started gaming. But she grew bored with that fairly soon. I told her she looked bored, and asked if she’d like to play cards. I just happened to have a couple decks of the Flying Buffalo poker deck in my carry-on bag. She said she only knew how to play Uno. I offered to teach her blackjack. There was no betting–a friendly game–we played for points. If you beat the dealer, you got a point. If the dealer won, he got the point.  Steve, Nicky, and I played blackjack for half an hour and had a good time.  When that palled, I asked if they would like to try a new game that I created called Ogreocre. I told them it was short and funny.  They agreed to try it.


I had to teach the rules without the book.
We played a round of Ogreocre. The lead shifted several times, and when the last magic (face card) had been played Nicky was the winner. The plane intercom interrupted to say we were starting our descent to Indianapolis, and that made me put the cards away. Steve said he liked my game because it was short. Heh! Less is more, eh?
I told Nicky and Steve they’d be in my blog, and they are. I wish I had pictures of them, but it’s hard to get a camera out and take pictures inside a jet.  We landed and went our separate ways.  It was a pleasure flying with them, and I wish them well.
After gathering our luggage, Rick and I headed off to get our rental car. On the way out we passed through this rather futuristic bridge between airport and parking garage. I had to take a picture of it, and although the Indianapolis airport is a beautiful place this is my only image of it.
Just follow the blinking lights.
I do not intend to bore you all with the squalor of our out-of-town hotel. We had a place to stay outside the city and it sufficed. After leaving our luggage we went into the city to find the convention hall and where our booth might be.  It is a very big place. It was quiet and mostly empty. The dealer’s hall was like some big old dungeon cavern, but it was hot inside. Hot and dark!


We dropped some boxes off here and then hiked a quarter of a mile to the closest Steak ‘n Shake–the gamer’s favorite restaurant. Good food, great shakes, reasonable prices.

Steak n Shake Counter and Logo

After a delicious and uncrowded meal, Rick and I went back to the hotel and got some rest. On Wednesday we would return to the dark cavern shown above–the Indianapolis sauna–and melt away any overeating we may have done just setting up the booth. Flying Buffalo had one of the smallest booths in the show, about 100 square feet.  It wound up looking something like this:

This is where I spent at least half of the week.

Next time, I’ll show you some people and talk about actually getting to play Tunnels and Trolls a couple of times.

(to be continued)

Posted August 11, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

One response to “GenCon 2010–Part 1–the Journey

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  1. Hi Ken – great report! Looking forward to the rest. Debora Kerr

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