Penguicon 3.0 was held over the weekend of April 22-24, 2005, at the Sheraton Detroit Novi in Novi, Michigan, one of the suburbs of Detroit. Penguicon is a combination of science fiction convention and Linux expo, and is always great fun.
This year we weren't even sure if we'd make it, since we'd had a constant series of mechanical troubles with our van, including a problem the previous Sunday. Fortunately, the shop was able to get it fixed in time, and we got to go.
Since we have family in Fort Wayne, we stayed with them on Thursday night to get a head start on the trip up to Detroit. Thus we were able to arrive at a reasonable time and get our personal belongings into the neighboring cheap motel where we were staying, before going over to the main hotel to get our stuff into the dealers' room. Things went fairly well, once we switched from a less desirable setup to some tables in a corner that would give us plenty of backspace to store extra merchandise.
Once we got in and set up, we settled in for sales. They were slow but fairly steady, although I still had time to write in between them. When the dealers' room closed for the night, we did go up to the Conclave party to touch base. Then we went back to our sleeping room and ate supper. Because it was late, we decided not to drive back over to the main hotel for the rest of the parties, especially since it didn't look like there would be that many of them.
Saturday we got up early to get breakfast. Then we headed over to the main hotel and visited the con suite for munchies before going to the dealers' room to open our tables.
Sales were lukewarm, and we talked about whether we wanted to continue attending Penguicon. Sometime in the afternoon, the light rain actually turned into snow, not exactly what we wanted to see. So we decided not to bother with the parties, because we didn't want to have to drive back and forth on possibly slick streets. We just went back to our sleeping room and ate supper, then sat around until time for bed.
On Sunday we got up and had breakfast. I was trying to catch some news coverage of the Papal Inauguration Mass for Benedict XVI, but somehow that was always the next item up, or the item they'd just covered. We got our stuff out of the sleeping room and headed over to the main hotel to open our dealers' tables for business.
I also headed up to the con suite to grab some munchies and hot cocoa, and saw a couple coffee pots marked "Provided courtesy of His Holiness the Pope of Coffee." One of the con suite staff had actually worked up a fairly good copy of the papal vestments, complete with a miter that bore a stylized representation of the caffine molecule. Whether this character was simply a spoof on Benedict XVI's installation, or will become a permanent fixture of Penguicon, remains to be seen. (I do know it puts me in mind of a time when we had a toga day as part of our high school Homecoming week celebrations, and somebody said to me in a rather sneering voice that I looked like the pope. I responded with all the dignity that I could muster that since John Paul II was a good man, I would take it as a compliment -- and I think that if someone today made that comment over a costume I was wearing, I'd have the same thing to say about Benedict).
Sales were a little better, and we actually seemed to have broken even, although not by much (and staying in the cheaper place helped). We packed up and loaded out through the slushy snow, and hit the road in a reasonable time. Thankfully we ran out of the snow not too far south of Detroit, and were able to run on good highways the rest of the way home.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.