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NoBrandCon 2004
& DHT World Tour 2004

When: March 12-14, 2004
Where: Eau Claire, WI
What: Eau Claire's third annual anime extravaganza and the Annual get together of the members of the non-performing band "Dead Ham(p)ster Tuesday" tossed in as well.

I know, I never wrote up NoBrandCon 2003, but... I don't care.  It's been too long to remember enough anyways. Rather than the crappy photo reports I used to do, I've decided to write up a full entry, detailing most of the major events.  You'll also notice that there is a new comment format, since I've done away with TRHMessenger.  It's the one I've been using on a lot of the rest of the site.  At the end of each day of the report, you will be able to comment on it... hopefully this will work out well.


Okay, so Thursday was the easy day... why?  Because it involved me not doing much.  I was waiting mostly for Derek to show up.  Derek was staying with me, while Chris and Heather were staying at Heather's friend Kristen's apartment.   I was expecting Derek at 8pm, so I rushed at got my homework done...

...and then called Chris, and found out they weren't going to get there until midnight.  So, I sat around for a few hours and did nothing, until Derek got there.  We then went to sleep.


[ ]


Friday started bright and early, as I had an 8:00am class.  Derek came down the hill with me, and sat in Davies with me, which is my usual morning ritual.   Exciting.  Between my classes, at some point Chris showed up with the IBS stock, and we partially set up the booth at about 12:30pm or so.  The following ass-shot of Derek wasn't intentional (I was trying to take a photo of Chris and Derek at the un-setup booth, but Derek bent over at an inoportune moment), but the way Chris looks like he's standing proudly over it makes me laugh.  I got out of my last class at about 2:00pm, and went and helped Derek set up the rest of the booth.  The Dealer room opened at 4:30, and our part of the convention.  Not that much later, Chris came back with Heather in tow (she was getting a new tatoo), and the Ina Bel Shuhadaku vendor team was assembled.

At some point in there, I finally met Becca, who I've been randomly talking to for the last few weeks online, through YIM when I'm bored in class, which was cool..  Over the entirety of the weekend I would have many such moments, where I met people in person who I've been talking to online.  I'll only mention Becca, because she was the first to holler "TRAE!" at me, and if I spent the time to list EVERY person who I met who I knew from online... well, I'd be writing a friggin' novel, so I won't.

Opening ceremonies happened at 7:00pm, right outside the dealer room, so I was able to watch from the doorway.  It was neat, as they performed the funeral for Duct Tape Boy... who, of course, turned out to not be dead.  Big surprise there... *grin*.

Afterwards, Chris conducted the Friday night tournament at the IBS booth, and I went off to host Hanzo the Razor.  Hanzo was... well it was Hanzo.  If you don't understand Hanzo the Razor, or why it's such a great movie... then, well, you suck.

Derek also sold about a third of his stock that night too.

Anywho, afterwards Derek and I were both pretty wiped, so rather than go to any hotel located activities, he and I chose to just crash and go to bed.

[ ]


Saturday began bright and early, at 7:00am, for Derek and myself.  It also involved a rather interesting encounter in the bathroom. I'll leave you with what I wrote that morning rather than reiterate it though. We rolled down the hill to the convention at about 8:00am.  Derek worked on custom pieces he'd taken orders on, while I... ummm... I sat and wrote the blog entry I just linked to.

Saturday was significantly busier for us than Friday people wise, but while we sold more than Friday, it wasn't significantly more.  But that was perfectly fine, because that was still a huge chunk of the foam swords (and we sold more on Friday than expected).  Derek also didn't mind, because he hit profit too.

 Chris ran the first tournament, without much problem... and this is where stress begins.  I wish I hadn't left the IBS booth, but... effectively I had to... to go host Hanzo the Razor 2: The Snare (You know, the film I scarred Kawaii Gemini with at last year's NoBrandCon), and Derek pretty much got shafted by it.  I still feel guilty about it, but... grr... this is why, if I work for Derek next year, I'm not going to host anything past the first Hanzo film.  If I'm working for the con, like I was back in 2002 and 2003, I'll host the second and third movies, but no more of this half assed garbage.  The con either gets all of my time, or only the two hours for Hanzo 1.  That's it.

Afterwards, the booth died down, as the Costume contest started.  Derek walked around, working on his custom piece, I got all angsty, and not a whole lot happened for a while.   The dealer room closed at 8:30, and I talked with Terence up until the Dance...

Chris started the final tournament for IBS at 9pm, and I went to the Dance.  The dance was awesome.   I pretty much made an ass out of myself for the entire time... and had a lot of fun.  I also was a yucky sweaty mess by the end.

When I got out of the Dance, the tournament was still going.  The second place winner from last year's Sunday tournament took first, and got the nifty black hilted custom as a prize.  I have a photo of most of the winners from the tourneys that I took soon after.

I stopped by the dorms, took a quick shower, and changed my clothes, to become less yucky.

Afterwards, Chris, Derek, Heather and I all went to the hotel, and promptly split up... I unfortunately lost track of Derek, which ended up with me wandering around the hotel several times looking for him, worried.  Mostly because he couldn't get into my dorm room without me (in theory).  Luckily, everything worked out for the best (as he eventually got in), but I still felt really guilty.

I ended up in a room rather full of people, which involved lots of talking, playing Soul Calibur 2, and watching random crap until 5:30 am...

...I got to the dorms at about 6:00am.  I fell asleep at 7:00am...

[ ]


...I woke up to go back to the con at 7:30am.  That's right, I only got about 30 minutes of sleep that night.  Woot.

I went to go run Hanzo 3, at 8:00am.  To which no one showed up to until 8:45, and I was able to pawn it off on someone else (Namely Brandon/Wizardree).  I was really tired, and spent the time before the dealer room opened talking with Steve and Befu.  Befu made me feel better by letting me play with her plush "Kick the Cheat: The Cheat!" that Steve had given her.  Thank you Befu, that made my morning.

I also got to mess with Damien's (of Genesis Mindworks) head, as he was still a little drunk from the night before.  I'm really too mean to the guy... but it was still funny.  And, apparently, a day at NBC2004 can't start without my encountering someone who's drunk.

I ended up in the variety show at several times, including me dancing around with Gojira, in a bizarre, yet hilarious improvised moment, and screaming Feliz Navidad at the top of my lungs with Steve.   Verssen Werks / Kawaii Gemini / Joe Grisaffi / Monica Rial put on a bizarre skit together, for which I have some extremely out of focus images of in the image gallery for this (too many to just link to).  The skit was hilarious though, even if not rehearsed that much.

The vendor room was slow, but we moved almost all of Derek's swords.  This is all of the swords (besides the throwing weapons) that Derek had to actually bring home.  All and all, a successful year for him.  I do also want to point out that Julie had the best "Gir" outfit ever.  It just needed a mention.

The Vendor room closed at 4:30, and Derek and Chris hit the road not that long after (Heather was heading back monday, but I still didn't see her again before she left, so it only sort of counts as he having stayed longer).  I went to closing ceremonies, and the con shut down for the night... except for Warhammer 40k, which I'm told ran until 10pm Sunday night.

Andy apparently won that. 

[ ]

So, that's the entirety of my NoBrandCon report... hope to see you all next year!

Trae Dorn
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