First, the pix w/commentary:

It all started innocently enough...

A few months back Pseudo_Intellectual /msg'ed me to ask, 'There's a noder gathering in Seattle coming up, wanna go?'. Sure! sez I, bookmarked the gathering node, and noted the date I thought he messaged me, Sept. 4th. Diligently I checked the node and followed the progress of the planning, I arranged for someone to watch the store, and eagerly awaited the coming of September.

Fast forward to *August 4th*...

Having a moment at work I was browsing E2 and saw WonkoDSane's writeup describing the tribulations he had on the way to Seattle. Hmm... I wonder why he is in Seattle when the gathering isn't until September? Let's go check the gathering node and see how the planning is going....

Then the awful truth hit me... The gathering was *today* and I was missing it!

First response, call Chez Weasel and leave a message on flamingweasel 's answering machine and a /msg on E2 asking him to call me at home and let me know when the noders returned, planning on catching the next ferry after that to Seattle and proceeding to Chez Weasel. Since I didn't have Weasel's cell phone number, this was the best I thought I could do.

After a few minutes of planning along these lines, and letting my wife know (Honey, massive change in plans, I'm going to Seattle tonight, I'll probably be back late), an even *better* plan occurred to me;

*Damm the torpedos, Full Speed Ahead!*

If I waited for his call it would take about two hours to get to Chez Weasel, I'd miss an even larger chunk of the gathering. The new plan was to run home, shower, pack, and catch the six thirty ferry to Seattle. The downside to this plan was that I had no way of knowing if the plans had been changed, and no certainty that they were returning to Chez Weasel at any reasonable (or unreasonable) hour. O well, at least I hoped to garner some style points for boldness. Not knowing when, if, or where I'd sleep, I put this plan into action.
Sidebar: When my neighbor asked me where I was off to, I replied: To stay with people I'd never met, in a place I'd never been, and I didn't know what I'd be doing once I got there. He accepted this stoically, having become accustomed to me over the years.
And so I departed.

After the ferry trip, and thoroughly awful Seattle traffic downtown, I arrived at Chez Weasel. (Which was no mean feat, outside of a few places I regularly visit, much of Seattle is terra incognita to me. Also, being the only noder not coming from the north, south, or inside Seattle itself, I had to fudge his directions a bit.) There I made the first pleasant discovery of the evening, flamingweasel had left his cell phone number taped to his door. Huzzah! This just might work out! I called him and discovered that they were nearly finished with dinner and would return shortly. After a brief adventure in finding dinner for myself, I returned and awaited the other noders.

When they arrived, and after brief introductions, the party settled into three main groups, their membership not fixed, but fluid and interchangeable;
  • The Noders in the Webcam Room.

    Someone set up a web cam and two computers. Much merriment was had entertaining those who were there and those who wished they were there.

  • The Noders in the Living Room.

    Attempting to watch movies and carry on a conversation at the same time results in some *serious* decibel levels. (The movies were played on CD drive in a computer attached to the TV. A brief moment of panic occurred when the screen saver kicked in and the screen blanked out.)

  • The Noders who were Bent on Coating Their Lungs with Soot.

    I'm certainly glad that the walkway outside of the apartment was not a highly trafficked area... The noders gathered there, (Mainly prole, WonkoDSane, Pyrogenic, unless and myself), quite blocked it while generating vast amounts of smoke and conversation.
I must add the seeing The Princess Bride done Rocky Horror was one of the more interesting experiences of my life... Part way into the movie, the expedition for the Fremont Troll departed. After walking for a few blocks qousqous caught up with us and asked the fateful question of the night: Where is ideath? With you we answered, but she left before *me* he answered... This resulted in the traveling group becoming subdivided....
  • Noders whizzing about in automobiles

    flamingweasel ran back to the house with Wonko and began searching the neighborhood.

  • Noders standing about on street corners.

    Being along the logical line of travel, we awaited where we were. qousqous, Joyquality, dwyn and myself.

  • Noders wandering in the darkness.

    WonkoDSane, Pyrogenic, unless and prole set off to seek the troll, with results described elsewhere.

  • A noder innocently picking blackberries.

    ideath realized she'd taken a wrong turn. At some point in her travels she found a blackberry bush, picked a mess of them and quietly returned home. She was eventually located there by flamingweasel, who then fetched those of us still waiting quietly on the corner.

More Later...