Saturday, September 30, 2017

Strange Loop

Somehow I finagled entry into a $800 per person tech conference in downtown St. Louis called Strange Loop.

I paid my way in with a little volunteering. One of our tasks was actually pretty fun: distributing the conference's free t-shirts.

Much of the festival was held at the Peabody Opera House.

Some smaller parts of it were at Union Station.

The preparty, which I also worked at, was held at the City Museum, and the t-shirt featured an element from that.

There were lots of cool giveaways. Stickers have a special place in nerds' hearts, as they display them on their laptops.

Meals and snacks were included. This one was on-topic: Strange Donuts.

Adam Savage of MythBusters fame gave the keynote address. His intro was a mashup video of explosions.

He had a couple of tool bags that he put stilts on so he wouldn't have to bend over to get a tool. When the tools got so heavy that the bags failed he remade them out of metal.

He did work as a model maker for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and The Matrix Reloaded.

My favorite part of his talk was when he spoke about his own depression and imposter syndrome. Like no matter how successful you become you always have a voice inside saying that you aren't good enough. It was nice to hear someone as big of a deal as Adam say that.

I made friends with a guy at the conference who was from Texas and I showed him around a little. It was fun.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Illinois: The State so Nice it State Fairs Twice

I was at my parent's house in Springfield, the capital of the great state of Illinois, and I cracked open the ol' newspaper to read about the local goings on. Inevitably there's some state budget crap in there so I continued to read on with a sigh. The article mentioned that Illinois was having issues paying for the upkeep of its two state fairs. And I was like:

Who knew we had another state fair?! Why has this been kept from me? Is there another state capitol? Another dashing John Milito? Once I calmed down I vowed I would seek out this imposter fair to ensure that it was not as good as the one true Illinois State Fair!

I knew we would need provisions on the long journey to Du Quoin, Illinois, den of lies. I had a little something on hand from Australia for my parents to try so it worked out.

My understanding is that some dude decided to make his own private fair. It went on for a while but then couldn't support itself, so some genius decided the state needed another smaller state fair.

Parking included a tractor ride to the fair entrance.

I would describe it as a pretty solid county fair sort of place.

There were only a few permanent buildings on the grounds but they were magnificent retro art deco buildings.

The grandstand was really cool. I wanted to go inside just to take a look at the architecture.

The capybara is the largest living rodent in the world. And the DuQuoin State Fair is the largest scandalous imposter Illinois state fair in the world.

It was a nice trip but we all know that this imposter fair has got to go. There can only be one!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The Train to Wine Town

I've always wanted to take the train to Hermann, Missouri wine country. Today my dream came true.

A winery trolley was waiting to pick us up from the train station. So convenient.

It was only a little bit more expensive to take Amtrak's business class on the way back to St. Louis so we sprang for it. It was totally worth it. The lower volume level alone was fantastic.