Thursday, September 6, 2012

You Have to PAX

I will open one of my six mouths, and I will sing the song that ends the Earth. - Jerry Holkins (Gabe)
After five long years of being out of the country for Labor Day weekend, I finally made it to PAX. My friends have been going for, basically five years. Whereas I have been busy going to Turkey, England, India, Korea, etc. But this year? This year I went to PAX !
Since my friends have been going year-after-year they have built up a set of traditions. Things which must be done. During Gabe and Tycho's Q&A session after the keynote and kid (12?) went up to the mic and started with, "This is my first PAX..." and Tycho immediately responded, "if it's your first PAX, then you have to PAX!" In case you did not immediately recognize that, it's from Fight Club. Rule #8 - If this is your first fight club, you have to fight. So this became the theme of the weekend. When a tradition was mentioned that I or Mrs.Chaos (did I mention she was there?) didn't want to engage in, the response was always the same: "You have to PAX!"
Going to Acquisitions Incorporated? You have to PAX! Going to see music night with JoCo? You have to PAX! Playing board games (Zombicide) until 4am in the morning? You have to PAX! Playing card games at Tap House during dinner? You have to PAX! So it went. To be fair, these are time honors traditions created in the before time; in the long ago (1-5 years).
So what did I love? The most awesome thing? NASA/JPL did a panel about the Curiosity rover. To start with, I have this speechless amazement that humanity has put a ROBOT ON MARS! I amazed how mundane this is. I wasn't alive for the moon landing, but I image the entire world was speechless for the moments when they took a giant leap for mankind. Today? Today people think, "well, we put another robot on Mars." Are you kidding me? WE PUT A ROBOT ON MARS!!!! In fact, we had a robot in orbit around Mars take pictures of the new robot landing on Mars! The fact that people consider this... common place? No big deal? This blows my mind almost as much as the fact that humans are currently controlling a ROBOT ON MARS!
Beyond that? The Q&A sessions with Gabe and Tycho are pretty impressive. The questions range from excellent ("What are you working on in your free time?") to interesting to horribly awkward ("let me explain in explicit detail the way my girlfriend dumped me... and by the way, PAX is cool."). They handle the riff with grace and hilarity. I approve.
The concerts were fun as well. Mrs.Chaos enjoyed Video Game Orchestra (cause who wouldn't?) and Paul and Storm. I was sad that she didn't get much from Jonathan Coulten, who is clearly the most successful of the bunch. Yet, JoCo's performance was tough to get. If you weren't part of the JoCo cult, it wasn't very good. On the otherhand, most people at PAX are part of the JoCo cult.
Cards against Humanity (a mature audience-only version of Apples to Apples) was a big hit. They gave out T-Shirts for questions and answers and if you were wearing one, random people would ask to take photos of the two of your together. It happened to all of us.

We ended up commuting with Gabe (Jerry) twice and Darkhawk did his best to invite him to play games with us at Blarney Stone. It never worked out
Did I mention there is a pinball arcade in the backroom of a bar? The pinball is awesome. That is all.