Trapped in the Umagi sands I was, breath scraping out in short gasps as my respirator hose hung limp from it's broken mount... I could see the council of the elders gathering in the distance, but could not force the strength to call out, to cry out, to scream "I'm coming!!!" and then, all went black. Hahahahaha...........
Well, after how many years (?) I finally managed to make one, I did. I was determined this year to get there somehow, some way. Not only that, but just a week before I actually also managed to make it to Doc Atomic's place (!) where I was bombarded with awesome goodness. Doc has a great collection (his interests kind of remind me of when I was younger, as I was very similar. I got the sci-fi bug when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old.) and as always his passion and enthusiasm shined. That's why I like Doc; he's like me, he doesn't just like stuff, he LOVES it! He's also the one who encouraged me to try Facebook (again) for ToyMemories stuff (thanks again, Doc!) to kind of share a bunch of misc. with whoever's interested (no fun if you can't share) and I'm having fun with it. (check it out if you like misc. stuff of my type, the link's below) He kindly agreed to bring my stuff to Botstock for the Rex Mars target display, as I still wasn't sure I would be able to make it, and I wanted it to be safe. I left him telling him "I'll try..."
Anyway, even up to the day before we left, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get there (always too much crap going on!). But, again, I was determined... who knows when Joe would host again? In the end, I would be able to get there hopefully before the dinner, and stick around until that night. It was close, we pulled into the parking lot around 6PM at what used to be Zinn's Diner (a favorite place from when I was a kid, but now sadly not Zinn's anymore, and no giant Amish guy... bah!) Special thanks to my dear wife for getting me there.
On the way, I remembered the raffle, and hoped that since junior was with us we would be in time for it. He is my heart, and I thought it would be wonderful if maybe he would get to win SOMETHING... ANYTHING... he gets excited about stuff like that. So, we walked in, and *bam*, it was cool... seeing lots of faces I remembered seeing in pictures posted from previous Botstocks (all that I had wished I could make also), but here and now, live in person. It was surreal . I got to say hi and talk with a few of the guys a little, like John Rigg (finally met the master!), Joe K. (we sat next to him), Joe (ER&S, finally!), Andy, Steve and Brian. Well, we did make it in time for the raffle, and junior was thrilled to put his tickets in for all the cool stuff he liked (I gave him my tickets, as he's not YET an Alphadrome member, haha). Then dinner, and after, the excitement of the draw... Okay, you guys that were there, I'm sorry! I had no idea it would happen... The little guy was thrilled, every number called he'd ask "did I have that one, Mom?" and there were lots of "no, not that one"s, but then there were a bunch of "yep, that's you" too! The raffle really made the day (and trip) for him, and I sincerely thank everyone who donated to it (I believe some came from Robocopy). I was so afraid he wouldn't win anything and he'd be heartbroken, but apparently the boy is lucky. He came away with 2 water guns, 2 battery-op rayguns (thanks to Perry who gave him the 2nd one!), wind-up walking mini robots, mini spaceships, a vinyl robot in a spaceship (anyone know his name?), a vintage red space car, UK science museum RC micro-bot, a robot audio splitter, a swag cardboard robot and a cool Botstock bag. (thanks to Mr. Rigg for the super-cool AlphaBot ramp walker and ramp which is beautiful, and much appreciated! Jr. asked if that was his too, but that one I told him was Dad's, though maybe he could try it, haha) Oh, seeing him so excited then, and the next couple days made me so happy... he wanted to bring the guns into anywhere we went, and he used the water guns in the hotel pool (made me get them from the car at around 2AM so he'd have them in the morning). As I say, being a winner made him so happy, and again, I thank everyone for their generosity. Anyone wants to rub his head for luck next time we see you, he owes you that much . On the way to the hotel that night, he asked me to show him robots on Alphadrome, so he may be knocking on the door before you know it. I asked him "so, who was your favorite person there today? Was it Joe K. (we visited Joe a few years ago, he likes Joe)? He replied "no, it was Bob." I said "Bob?" and his reply "geez, didn't you see the guy sitting across from us who I was talking to? Bob!" So Bob, looks like you have a new friend
After that, we stopped back at Joe's to see the display briefly (mom and jr. played pinball) and got to talk to Joe M. (ER&S) a little more, and saw his fantastic creations. I know he's good, but to see his creations in person is impressive. Thanks again Joe K. (from me and jr.) for the elusive Casey the Kinderbot cartridges, so now jr.'s Casey can live again! The displays were really neat, nice job to all involved!
Then the wife dropped me off by the Black Horse for the gathering there, and I got to talk to Brian, Robert, Tinman and others a little while. It was a pleasure, guys (and thanks to anyone who bought mini-Roberts, it's appreciated!). It ended too soon, but I'm so glad I managed to make it. I wish I had been able to talk with more of the guys. I appreciate the warm welcome (I'm not one for crowds and generally on the shy side, for example last year I went to NYCC for the first time and almost expired on the spot when I saw the masses! But it really was like seeing a bunch of old friends and family at Botstock.) Please forgive me anyone I may have missed (or if I seemed a little slow or out of it that day) as I only had about 3 hours sleep before the 4 hour ride.
So, finally, I made one... *whew* and anyone who has not yet made it, do your best to go! You won't regret it. Thanks again, everyone. You made my, and a little kid's day... I'll try and post a pic or two soon.
I left the council weary, blistered, and bleary-eyed... the sharp sand crystals still biting into my inner cheek. Yet now I was whole, complete and at peace; my gear repaired, I adjusted my thermal goggles, and began the long trek home...