Stopped by home to pick up a few more last minute items and then drove down to the Sheraton Edison. A little under 50 miles. Took care of the hotel check-in and the con pre-registration check-in. Found out then that I'd forgotten my toothbrush so I had to get one at the Hess gas station convenience store down Rt 514 when I went out for dinner.
Photo: Fox plushie in backpack ready for the ride
Anyway, once again, I got a room on the Club Level at no extra cost. Don't know how that happened. Maybe the con always gets that block of rooms and I reserved early. It's on a special floor where you have to insert your keycard into the card reader in the elevator before pushing the floor button. I doubt that's more secure though because can't someone just go to the floor below and walk upstairs? Just makes one feel special. :) Nice room though.
Dinner: Stewart's Diner. (Amboy Avenue, Edison)
The thing to do Friday evening was to go to the Jersey Devil panel. The discussion was different this year and touched upon the other stories and lost towns in the Pine Barrens. I'm going to have to go to Leeds Point one day to get a photo of the Jersey Devil sign. The one the locals don't talk about. :)
Photo: Dragon puppet
Breakfast: Stewart's Diner (Amboy Avenue, Edison)
First of the day was the panel by Clifford Pickover. A fascinating presentation on visualizing the fourth and higher dimensions.
Next was Bob Skir's panel. He played an episode of the Godzilla cartoon he wrote for and then talked about working on the series.
Then I watched some Fruits Basket in the anime room upstairs before heading out to lunch. That's a bit of a furry anime as some of the characters turn into animals. (when hugged by a non-clan member of the opposite sex... not that anyone asked. :) )
Lunch: Cheng's Cafe (Rt 514 and Amboy Avenue, Edison)
Took a look at the dealer's room for a bit and then went to the Iron Artist event. The secret ingredient was frogs.
Went back to the anime room and watched Godzilla vs Megagilas. Not subbed or dubbed so someone translated the dialog. Of course, no translation is needed once you get to part where the giant lizard has to fight the giant dragonfly. (!)
Dinner: Mie Thai (Rt 514 in Woodbridge)
One addition to the hotel that I noticed was an information kiosk listing some local restaurants, stores and services. I checked the restaurant listings and there's a Thai restaurant only 4 miles East on Rt 514. Of course, the listing didn't say that Rt 514 has two turns in it before reaching the business area in Woodbridge. On the way there, I saw a dumpling restaurant that I might try next year if I remember. I think I took the menu too seriously when it said that Thai food is spicy and "mild" really was moderately spicy. I ordered the "mild" and found that it was indeed very mild. :) Nevertheless, I thought the pad thai here was a bit better than at some other Thai restaurants I've been to that just make everything peanut-flavored.
When I got back, I noticed someone had set up a photo studio in the Gaming Room. So I had this photo taken:
Took a look at the art show for a bit. Then went to see the dance. That looked like a medieval square dance. Went upstairs to take a look at some of the room parties but those were held in regular-sized hotel rooms and so were very crowded. Settled for schmoozing a bit in the con suite and watching This is Otakudom (fanvideo) in the anime room before bedtime.
Breakfast: Stewart's Diner
First panel of the day was "Using Real Places As Fantasy Settings". One thing I learnt here is New Hope PA is a very unusual town. And all this while, I thought it was merely horrendously annoying to drive through on PA-32. The other thing I learnt is the oddest freaks (yes, stranger than sci-fi con attendees) hang out at singles dances... but I'm not sure anyone wanted to know that. :)
Then I took care of the hotel check-out and the con pre-reg for next year before the "Polygeeks: Combining Your Passions" panel. I have yet to combine furry and geocaching, however. :)
Stayed for the "Bad Anime, BAD!" panel, with video clips of some really horrible anime. And finally, went to the "The Web: Empowerment and Oppression" panel. Unfortunately, the oppression panelist couldn't make it so there were only the three empowerment people. :)
Then it was time for some geocaching.
Park'd Cars (New Jersey)
Victor Crowell Park in Middlesex. Stinky swampy area near a stream and a playground. Good thing the cache wasn't too far in.
Chimney Rock (2003) (New Jersey)
Chimney Rock Park in Martinsville. Parked in the upper parking area so it was an easy, short walk to the cache site. After that, I went to the observation platform to take a picture of Chimney Rock. It appears to have less graffiti today.
Eagle's Nest (New Jersey)
Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. Easy walk and an easy find. Also, access is not as difficult as the terrain rating suggests. Not sure it will last long though as it is quite visible and near a popular fishing area.
Magoo's (maybe muddy) Meander (New Jersey)
D&R Canal State Park in Millstone. Easy walk on the towpath, followed by a slightly messy bushwhack to the cache location. Not too bad today though as the mud had dried up somewhat.
Dinner: Arby's (Route 22 in Watchung)