Saturday, September 02, 2006

I always forget. Every time I load up my shop and head out on the road to a show I forget. I forget that I can never seem to make time to actually sit down an re-tell the tales of the day. I make mental notes as things occur, things that I think you all would enjoy, then when I do find a quite moment to write, I’m too wiped out to remember much more than that I am wiped out.

So here I am in Austin, the clock on my laptop says … 4:40 am, however the local time reads something like 6:40. They will be opening up registration and the vendor areas soon and I need to be here. Dancer is still asleep upstairs. Knowing that I’ll need her to keep me propped up later, I’m giving her the morning off.

Dancer, as you may know this is her first event working as a vendor with me. One of the reasons I agreed to take her to this event was the locals. We have a great customer base in Austin. Not so much customers really, more like great friends that I was looking forward to her meeting. No sooner were we off the plane and into the warm Texas night were we scooped up by these great folks. Shuttled here and there, fed amazing food (more on that later) and generally treated like returning family.

Friday was a mixed bag. Of the 400 pounds of gear and stock that we shipped ahead, only 8 of the 9 crates made it to the site. Once crate, the crate holding 1/3 of my rope stock, went missing. Now this would have spelled disaster for most. However most folks do not have a portable brain like my Nerdygirl. When we loaded out for the show, Nerdy saw to it that on single case carried ALL the stock. Rather spreading it out between the 3 giant cases of rope. Nor do they over prepare like I do. So rather than 3 times the amount of stock needed, we only have twice as much. Annoying, yes. A showstopper? Not on your life.

Now in between calls to Nerdy as we tried to track down the location of the wayward crate, we were treated to the most amazing BBQ ever. Dancer and I love the BBQ and find ourselves drawn to the smoky smell of our favorite Belltown BBQ joint often. However nothing would prepare us for the sheer orgy of slowly cooked meat that our Austin friends had in store for us. Wow, just wow.

Returning quite full and a little drunk on all the protein we just consumed, we set about to get ready for the show. The wayward case never found its way to our hotel. Somewhere in the Dallas UPS center there sits a large container of rope. It will eventually find its way home to the Abbey. If not, well it was insured for a LOT of money.

My only complaint so far with the event is the size of the actual event space. A large room with a partition will be our new home for the next 2.5 days. A bit crowded when you think of all the bodies, vendors, rope and activity that will occur in the small space. Staking out a corner and setting to it, again the locals (and friends) made what should have been a 2 hour job happen in like 30 minutes. Have I mentioned how much I love the locals here? Love ‘em.

Of the actual event, Friday’s highlight would have been Graydancer’s keynote address. I cannot begin to do the man justice, suffice to say that he has set a new standard. A speech that will be talked about for years. The speech (and photos, you gotta see the photos) will be featured as part of his upcoming podcast. Trust me, you will want to hear this. While I have always been proud to be his sponsor, I’m even more so now.

Oh and sales? Awesome. No sooner did we have our rope out and we were accosted. I tried to warn Dancer that this would happen, but I did not think she was quite prepared for the onslaught of eager rope fans looking for what new treats I had for them. And what treats indeed.

More on that later, they are opening up the vendor area I need to go setup.