Thursday
feeling heady anticipation
memories flash by
the color of the carpet
the composition of the crowd

"Made it past security however the penguin suit almost didn't..."
playing with my new smart phone, laughing at Jaku's tweets
it feels halfway between a natural, nerdy extension
and like I'm trying to pose as a douche bag
writing on my clipboard feels more natural
like an anthropologist's pacifier that marks me as an outsider
the frat-boy lookin' dude sitting next to me has the same ipod as me
there's a gruff bass voice and a rapid drum beat it says "Fuck you tonight"
he has a baby blue polo and khaki shorts and I pulled mine out of a fanny pack
I wonder how much I can predict given the aspects of his phenotype I can observe
trying to spot other Def Con attendees
there's sunglasses and a scraggly gray beard in a green t-shirt with yellow writing,
but it doesn't say Def Con like I thought; it says something else
and there's a yellow shirt with many colors – OMGWTFBBQ?
someone from the Kansas crew? Oh, no it's just a rainbow and GLBTA

pilot lands the plane and announces "We got you here early so you could begin your partying"
A quick cab ride up paradise to the Riviera – it's too early for a line this long
good thing my brother arrived last night and already has my badge
we check in and go out for supplies – Kraken Coke
"I like my women like I like my whiskey"

hesitate getting on the elevator – there are two big guys in there, one wearing a security uniform
"We're not going to kidnap you – you're all like 'whoa, there's this big black guy'"
stopping at our floor the elevator says it's on 48 and 49
1210 we find Jaku and he enters me into his phone as "kindred spirit"
we follow him to DefCon 101, he's on the trail for clues to Lost Mystery Challenge
the room starts to fill up and we're trying to unlock the mysteries of the badge
secure net is secure – like long cat is long
the media is Nambla and you are a little boy
3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower
don't be a d-bag or a fucktard
good advice

Ryan cuts his hand cleaning the ravioli can so we can jerry-rig a heater for the ramen
we wrap it up with duct tape

in a track room we find Mobile Disco and there's some hardcore chit-chat goin' on
"Cats that look like Hitler"
"Raiders of the lost dub"
dead baby jokes

trying to find Get Lamp, it's purported to be in 3 tracks and at as many times
at 1840 I find pedo bear (holding a cricket bat) from Nashville
"that's what you get when you have someone else design your badge
and a Texan - something like no10y – I forget both names and handles
they've got absinthe in a flask – talking about the good shit in Prague
No, I didn't have a plan – I was just following you guys
rumor is that someone is trying to find a PS3
and then we see Jason Scott – the curmudgeon in the cowboy hat. "I am the panel"
he did a documentary on BBSes and I nostalgia so hard for 9600 baud
We hear the "bing" so we know the audio is working, but no video
"They'll only follow me once – they're not some nomadic tribe"

Friday
at 4am I check my pulse, check the time, then check the Internet (it's still there)
after some water I feel human again
lay down and sleep two more hours

head downstairs to sit by some folks in the Hallway
a noisy girl walks up "Good Morning Dias; happy to be here"
asking who you are, where you're from and what you do
she's drinking Orange Juice and Vodka and Amp
and last night married some Dutch Guy
who "probably has a wife and kids back in Denmark"
a gentleman mentions that the Dutch are from Holland. I'm just sayin'

guy asks "Where is Track 3?" he's sitting under a sign that says track 3
my brother asks me "Why are we up this early?"
my calendar screwed my over by assuming I entered everything in Vegas time
and it won't believe me when I try to tell it that I'm still back home
User interface designers take note: don't present it as an option if there is only one choice.

hit the contest area and the vendors
I buy some Foosh mints and get Ding the XL t-shirt he requested
checking out the super soaker cantenna. Guy says "Lovely, isn't she"

1300 and zombie apocalypse "because the humans needed to die"
1400 UAV and Renderman opens with AC/DC thunderstruck
it runs Linux – penguins do fly
there's a shot of Bolshevik Vodka "tastes like revolution"

it's too crowded to get into Track 2 "Tales from the crypto"
the Con has become a little city in its own right
goons maintaining order in the hallway
I manage to make it to the Q&A

Head up to hang with the Mobile Disco
Kiefer Sutherland aka Billy Idol is on water soluble paper
we're takin' sips of holy water and eating bacon flavored mints
Fucking magnets, how do they fucking work? It's a miracle
the LED is on fire, "the tubes are totally fucked"

at 2000 I wander down and loiter by the goon band
check out Hacker Jeopardy; smack around the beach balls
We wind up following someone up the elevator to the penthouse
a big guy yells about "invite or elevator" so we head back down

wandering back and forth like an indeterminate progress bar
until we find a group with which we have collusion
show some ID to enter the room that has a suitcase full of booze
and find Fish Flakes on the balcony, the girl married to a Danish
"I haven't slept since I saw you last"
"Wasn't that this morning?"
"Yeah"

Jaku has won the title of World's No.1 Hacker
In a penguin suit with a magenta sash, PCB crown, LED/laser scepter
Faku explains how the penguin suit got him pushed up to the front of the HackerPimps party
the stripper laughed her ass off and then proceeded to do what it is that strippers do
it seems as though he has thusly obtained his first taste of boobage

We find Fish Flakes in the hall
she asks me my name and I shake my head
Jaku says "he's shy" and she asks if I speak English. I continue to shake my head. No.
and there's a look of dawning realization – oh, it makes sense now

Saturday
A column of people, faces turned to phones
two Thundercat shirts in quick succession
and a 10am talk on facial recognition
"I do not discriminate; I only make fun of"

I ask the ladies for some hot water at Jitters, the coffee kiosk
they laugh, confer and pour - "we'll do this just one time – don't come back to another shift"
we head to Jokes in Commit statements and eat it in victory – with a little hot sauce
Just like a blinking LED is the "Hello world" of hardware hacking
Asking politely is the "Hello world" of social engineering
talking elevators is the "Hello world" of phreaking?

In line for lunch at the Indian place I watch Claudus' ninja fight
Andre is on duty and has tired eyes, no time to talk
I eat Vindaloo in my room, trying to recollect my wits

I worry sometimes that my interaction is too shallow,
but depth may be an emergent rather than intrinsic property – like finding the smart in a neuron
there are lots of laughs and the luxury of being anonymous and considered normal
I can be as me as I want to be without getting disapproving looks

the hallway is a clusterfuck then I find 36 stratagems filled to capacity,
some one approaches my table in the chillout room "I see you taking notes"
I answer and he walks off with "Well, I guess I'll let you get back to it"
and I fear that I failed him, another missed opportunity to start a conversation
my first Def Con changed my life and it's been diminishing returns from there
I need to change tactics, give the finger to fickle fate, and get more involved

Ryan works with Mobile Disco on the Lost challenge
as I head to Pirate Battles and hang around for Hacker Jeopardy
Vinyl Vanna achieves an advanced state of undress despite the idiocy of the teams
by the end of it I have a headache, feeling as though I've missed an oil change
something I ate or failed to eat might have disagreed with me, some vomiting did occur
there isn't enough caffeine in my fanny pack to jump start me so I head to bed relatively early

Sunday
it's pretty lively for a 7am; Def Con never sleeps
I buy some apple juice trying to get an even keel
a couple of guys are practicing martial arts and a head bumps the concrete "he's drunk"
there's a patch of grass just a few feet from you. shush, I want to see blood
I'm chatting about GPU programming – combining MRI modeling with a 3D printer

too awake to fall asleep, too tired to function
left leg is stiff and sore and tingling
my foot is the only thing that has received sufficient sleep around here
I'm starting to forget to write stuff down

a large goon walks by, swinging a saber
It's not enough, where's the lead shot
see – it hardly hurts when I hit you
No sword fighting, don't cross the streams

"Web services we don't need"
they lost their slides so they host a fireside chat
the first few rows are considered a splash zone
starting with a story of the hacked meat smoker
"I didn't mean for this to be dirty"
"What could possibly go wrong"
"But wait, there's more"

We chill with Jaku in the room for a little while before closing ceremonies
he uses the freshly jail broken iphone as a controller for the emulator on the ipad
while I play Contra on my Android
turns out I've been putting an extra "B A" in my Konami code all these years

Monday
a morning conversation with Kevin on genetics cinched it for me – this was a good Def Con

killing time with Ryan until departure
we keep saying the same thing in our down time
sassafrass. I'm a banana
yup, that's a cow alright / I'm no milkmaid / I'm not thirsty
wander, stop at the pool. wander, stop at the pub
chat with a Goon over a pint – it's been a quiet year
he fills us in a little about the Rio – I'm already getting excited for next year

the arcade is looking sad
no error in gun.exe this year, but rather a pink message; something is disconnected
DDR makes noise, but nothing shows on the screen

I send a text message to Jaku asking "are you around?"
it offers to autocorrect the last word to "aroused"

chatting with the valet – they're gonna miss us
"Can you recommend a good anti-virus?"
we hole up in a corner with an outlet

At the airport I see a machine with the Start Menu up – Administrator logged in
another that just recovered from a fatal error "The hourglass and I are friends"
and I have to wonder if it's Def Con fallout
but it's more likely just the usual computer fail