Notacon was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. Top that off with stuff going on in the personal life of both my wife and I, and you end up with one huge ball of stress. That said, everything else about this weekend was fantastic. Absolutely, positively fantastic. I sit here now trying to churn out a write-up for all of you so you can get a better idea of what my experiences were. It's tough, though, because as I contemplate all that I did, all that I thought about and all that I wished I could have done better, I feel my stomach churn because the weight and reality of what transpired begins to finally sink in. Until this moment I really have not allowed myself the opportunity to think and analyze, only to work on instinct and perform. Anyway, I will attempt to do my best. Notacon the event started for me on Tuesday 20th, almost one week ago from this writing. I honestly can't even remember what I did or what I was trying to do, but I know from that day onward it was non-stop work. Things ramped up Thursday when I began doing last-minute packing, picked Laurence Gartel up from the airport and began to load in equipment and materials to the venue. At around 7:30 PM or so, many staff and volunteers began converging into the hotel. We quickly tore apart the network room they lovingly and logically prepared for us and immediately began to rearrange the stage, tables and chairs. We quickly realized, I believe, that we were putting way too much effort into making some quirky old hubs work and generally over-analyzing the topology of the network room. It was good we simplified as we did, considering how little use the room actually received during Notacon. Anyway, most of the machines on the backend were kind of working at that point, but some serious work was still needed that KaosPunk managed to work out with Jeff. After set-up Thursday night, and stressing about everything that needed to get done, I began entrusting tasks and work to the minions working Notacon. I couldn't' get much sleep for various reasons Thursday night, but finally managed to crash with Jodie at around 5 AM. Friday morning started off quick and furious as we set up LCD projectors and other crap. talks began to happen, problems cropped up; together as a team we solved them. *sigh* I can't go on. it's hard to keep a timeline of what happened when one is doing about a million and ten things at once. I will hence wrap-up this crappy write-up with some of the highlights and lowlights of Notacon: Lowlights: - Having physical assault threatened upon me by a uniformed airline pilot. - Being unable to sleep because, for various reasons, I was unable to do so next to my wife - Not eating - Looking at the post-con debt - Realizing it's one more year until I can do it again Highlights: - The speakers were some of the finest batch I could have ever hoped to have scheduled, let alone at a first year event. Every presenter receives my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for spending their time and money to participate - The game shows rocked. People loved them. - The TCP/IP over audio stuff during the talent show was some of the funniest shit I've ever heard. It *made* that event. - Computo, Gadi, RobB and the slew of other Boston musicians that came out absolutely tore shit up. They didn't get the audience they deserved, that's for damn sure. However, I can say to them that even though people weren't in the room, they still heard and EVERYONE told me how much they liked it - Everyone not only behaved themselves, but also had a really good time. I can't ask for more than that. - My staff gelled and came together in a way I didn't think was possible. I didn't have to give orders. I simply had to direct the flow of events every now and then. All of my staff seemed to "get" what this was about and looked for things to do, then proceeded to do them without being told. Job responsibilities quickly broke down as everyone pitched in to help in everyone else's jobs. Things happened for the most part without Brandon, Jodie or I having to get on the horn. - IrKdub brought down some excellent bakery There's so much more I'd like to highlight and so much more I'd like to say, but I can't. Just know that I am happy things went down as they did and your confidence and participation in Notacon is the only reason I'm going to do it again next year. I know my staff and I are going to be working hard to fix some of the issues that came up this year and find new ways to make this event even more fun and relevant. Thanks again to everyone that showed up. If you didn't make it out for Notacon, keep April open for NotAnotherCon. Be there. You won't want to miss it.