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Hijinks Ensue

Concussion report 1 - Wednesday

I finished building Rampaging Roger, Beyond Cyberdrome 2006's Houseboat Robot, this afternoon. Well, apart from a little tweaking (one of the motors goes faster than the other at the moment). This evening I spent several hours packing my Dad's Renault Laguna Estate up to the roof with stuff to take up to Glasgow. There's still a few things left to shoe-horn in tomorrow morning (like, for example, MY CLOTHES!). Most of the time was spent deciding which things to take (trying to err on the side of bringing too much rather than leaving that One Essential Tool behind), and sticking little purple stickers on everything that I want to make sure I bring back with me. There's so much stuff that I'm convinced I must have forgotten to pack something vitally important. I nearly forgot the speed controllers: after building them I put them on a high shelf for safekeeping, and I only spotted them as I was about to walk out of the door.

Here are a few things I need to remember to do differently next year:

  • Source everything we need in plenty of time instead of rushing around at the last minute and failing to find some important stuff (this year we haven't got enough expanded polystyrene).

  • Make a checklist with everything on it so I can make sure I don't forget to pack anything.

  • Get hold of enough plastic carry boxes and toolboxes for everything in advance, instead of running out after I'd packed less than half of the stuff and having to make do with piles of randomly sized used cardboard boxes.

  • Pack the boxes several days before, so all I have to do the night before the trip is to put the boxes in the car (the flaw in this plan is that if I'm still working on a robot up to the last minute I'll need a lot of the things that are going into the boxes).

  • Put big flat sheets of plywood on the bottom instead of remembering them after you've packed everything else and having to fit them in on top of all the boxes (duh).

  • Try not to collect some stuff at home and some stuff at work, because the packing gets confusing if I do (this would have been easier to accomplish if I had a car I could have transported the stuff to work in).

I would like to file regular reports from the con itself, but it all depends on the Internet access situation. If it proves impossibly expensive, I'll just do one big update after I get back instead.

Next instalment...


Hmm. I've just seen an offer of nine binliners of expanded poly and bobble wrap, but as it's ex-packing material I don't know how much use it would be to you.

Plus, it's in Derby and, it's only a day and a half until the con....
Thanks, but it's probably too late to do anything about it now as I'll be setting off to Glasgow in the morning. We do have some polystyrene, just not as much as I would have liked. We also have some alternative hull-making techniques figured out (it turns out that large Tupperware style food containers make pretty good hulls, as do some kinds of seedling tray lid).
> file regular reports from the con

Dont tell anyone else but try to find me in the newsletter room. If we arent busy then we might call it a newsletter activity...

PS I am bringing up some polystyrene which is large bits of packing material from my telly.
If you don't mind using my computer, you can file from my room.
Pre-packing, it has to be said, is a seniority skill learnt whilst at Uni ...only someone who took all their junk to uni, then had to store it in-between moving off campus, visiting the folks, then moving into a mates flat before returning to Uni for the following term, learns the benfits of pre-packing to ensure enough time for a last minute bender, then ensuring said junk is stored before catching the train... From your list of 'things to do differently', I think you have now joined said seniority: welcome ;-)
If the Eastercon is anything like Interaction, the only clothes you need to pack are clean knickers. Wear the jeans that you arrive in and buy souvenir tops to wear during your stay.

Whoa, I just noticed your comment Alex - I take it youre on your way now? Or perhaps arrived already? Goodluck, and have a brilient time :-)) Hope everything goes to plan with few hiccups. Happy Easter!