I've had a bit of a sore throat the last couple of days and felt generally tired so I think I've caught a bit of a virus. As a result, I drove to work the last few days rather than ride.
During the drive to work last night, I was struck with a great longing. A large shipping truck from Ryder truck rentals sat in front of my buddy Bob's store. I was surprised, for while I was aware that Gen Con, the big gaming convention, was going on this week, Bob typically takes the truck to Milwaukee on Wednesday morning.
This surprise segued smoothly into nostalgia for the trip. Three or four gamer geeks in various vehicles, storming across the wilds of Wisconsin on our annual hajj. (Gen Con, you see was held for years in the Milwaukee Exposition Convention Center Arena, or MECCA.) Stopping for the breakfast buffet at Shoney's. Dinner Wednesday night at Toy's. Setting up the booth while simultaneously reacquainting one's self with the convention center and old friends. Seeing where everyone else's booth is so you can swing by during off hours. Un-boxing the the latest product and working up your sales spiel. Discovering the "thing" for this year's convention.
And then there's all the non-show socializing. Drinking with friends into the wee hours. Poker with people who have come to spend a lot of money. Trying out war games with Bob. Maybe even getting in an RPG or two if one is lucky and so inclined.
It sucks not being able to go, but as a reward I'll a) get paid by my job and b) get to do all the other fun things going on this weekend.
There's the Irish Fair going on. Attended last year and had a fun time. The MNStf picnic on Saturday that sounds like it could be fun. And the usual movies and such available as well. I'll make do, I'm sure.