I park in the back, a cove off the main lot
in the shelter waiting for the shuttle
a moment of quiet meditation

This driver is more high strung than the last (Seattle)
rapid jerky movements shakes his head
rolls his eyes as the lady looking like Ms. Landingham
struggles with her bag, says that she's still waking and "unfolding my body"
"Aww, poor thing. We'll be your friend, if only for the bus ride."
Then she reads my shirt to her drowsy, confused companion.

through the metal detector "Hello David" security says
reading my boarding pass.
"Just Another... Sad Robot... With no friends"
reading my shirt
"Aww, that's sad."

waiting with two hours to go.
two kids sit next to me, watching planes take off
"There's one in the sky!" their enthusiasm is infectious
"A big one" I turn and see it through his eyes and smile
the father comes over. I offer my seat, he declines
"There are many states in the United States"
I'm reading Gravity's Rainbow.
the line "hostile to bananas" fills me with joy.
A man on the phone:
"Give me 'til the end of next week
and we'll decide who we can keep and who we can let go.
I understand (x10) Give me to the end of next week."
Developers on the chopping block. Sad.

arrive in Vegas, take a cab to hotel.
Phone my brother from the registration line (long and stagnant)
H20 & Snowman are just ahead, they call me over.
quickly catching up. new hair, new job?
Cenobyte and Cygnus still at large
line moves, we get badges.
Check in to the hotel.
the norms still hold court here so we walk the strip a little
Duck into some casinos, pick up some supplies
Red Bull (do you think a 12 pack will be enough?)
and Booze (SoCo, plum sake)
back to the Riviera for some Quiznos
the hacker crowd is starting to congeal
congregate, milling about
the norms envy us our badges
asking what they're about
(Some kind of Star Wars thing?)

some rain so they close the pool
(don't want people outside, getting wet)

Rammstein playing, a stage being set up
Security hassles some guys for laptoping

we head to the bar, listening to people like astcell
Brother talks consoles with Squidly1 and beer backpack
some goons. kicking up a ruckus. gotta love it.
left me holding a match
goons makes you feel loved
in that creepy uncle type of way
he offers to rape my ear

"You need a handle. We'll call you Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum"
"I got a computer for Christmas"
"I still use a typewriter"
we're killing time, racking up interaction skill points
guy decides he's a pimp. five dollars for her, ten for him
"They aren't going to pay ten dollars for you,
I don't know why you came over here"
Speakers making strange noise. "Do you think that's us?" "Yeah"

around the corner H20&SnowMan are talking about business
taking it to the next level

walk the circuit again. past the pool
Red Dwarf t-shirt wearer sitting on a balcony
words are fuzzing, ability to speak: fading
we head to the Pepper Mill in pursuit of food.

we check out the sky boxes (they are supposed to be open by now)
sitting by a group with a guy that looks like Wes from 3 Dead Trolls
talking about operating systems, working for phone companies
"My Shit's on default" has too many letters for the badge
get caught in a crowd downstairs.

first talk. Joe Grand on the DefCon Badge
I'm surrounded by freaks, phreaks, hackers
"This is how hardware guys code" on a United napkin

stick around for Q&A with Bruce Schneier
"breaking NSA is like breaking Alien tech"
Even if the cryptography sucks, something else sucks more

Hit the Vendor area. Drool over some hardware.
buy some caffeinated mints

to the skyboxes. check out lockpick village
soak up some knowledge
I've played with picks before, but I lack dexterity
"you look starry-eyed" she says to me
I'm looking at the enigma emulator
in progress, schematics

browse through contest area, check out the dunk tank
robots with guns. Monty Python movies.
damn this place has it all.

watching the vids in the capture the flag area
(my favorite is "le grand content")
splitting a "Hello My Name is Fuck You" sticker
to cover up the components on the back of the badge
"Do you want a fuck or a you?"

Information. Like a gas it fills the space
We're pondering the trade-off between privacy and the social benefits of data mining
I'm in a sweet spot of lucid and drunk
where everything I think is faux-eloquent

We meet a man with the last name of Hacker.
He pulls out his ID to show us.
Had a drink maybe too many. Leaves his glass behind.
This culture of crazy is spoiling me...

To a Johnny Long talk. No Tech Hacking.
"It's not like they just go missing"

Security in the elevator asks us "Are you the good guys?"
We say "yeah" and laugh

watching Infest Wisely. mini vikings, saving the world.
put together with 700 dollars and love.

popping into the rave/ball. seems a little repetitive
Nice energy, pretty lights (but I prefer a nice mosh pit)
Up to the sky boxes. Ushered in to
"Why do I know you? I never forget a face."

noise, noise and glow.
waiting for the muse, the amusing
we get to drinking.
So far, the curve of the plot of fun has the shape of log(t)
an large initial increase in fun, but rapidly approaching an asymptote
caffeine provides a scalar increase in magnitude along the y-axis,
but does not affect the slope of the plot
alcohol represents an inflection point
fun is now experiencing polynomial growth
the tone of our conversations change.

we head back to the long bar.
chatting with the filmmakers of Infest Wisely
writer, sci-fi. text games (like Zork) punk points, right on.
'Zine scene. Berlin, CCC. loving to see cities in decay
they're shooting machine guns tomorrow

dropping more stimulants to keep sensation alive
a shotgun filled with fun is aimed at my face
but I'm getting too old for this.
asleep around 2.

up at various times. four, five.
left leg paralyzed, get some ice.
final up at 7 crack a window, write a little
reminiscing on the recent past,
pressing rewind while it's still (crescent) fresh
trying to capture the past, aware of the present, shaping the future

Def Con Vibe: Hack it all. A liberation so rare.
I miss it already and I'm still here

to a talk on Hacking the Brain with Video Games
waiting for it to start we're killing zombies on the PSP with a green Elvis
Beatles playing on the PA
pink dread locks on stage (definitely in the top ten of best hair)
The demo machine is with Customs since
heart rate monitor equals terrorism

Spend the day in talks and wandering
tcp/ip drinking game. these are some astoundingly smart guys

Hacker Jeopardy, lots of fun
they're missing some easy questions
we have to heckle these guys for not knowing Ohm's law
then we're let loose to wander some more.
find Aestetix and hang out an the prototype hacker space
wii hax0r avatar wearing black
and we fail to crash the Ninja party
to the penthouse where security issues a vaguely veiled threat
I guess they don't want us this high after last year's incident

Up near 7, wobbly and weak
fuel spent, damage bent
while I get hash browns and apple juice
fragments of memory here are written in water
sluice through my head
to the skybox to catch the HackADay t-shirts

I'm so tired my eyes have lag
I turn my head and the scene catches up at leisure

Closing ceremonies.
Tkes and norms shift in, geeks shift out
night falls
to circus circus "Is this not a reasonable place to park?"
Brother's work calls. Their internet is down.
"DefCon broke the internet"
every casino is the same. Machines, stores, crass consumerism
we are readjusting to seeing normal people
and unhacked terminals
walking down the strip
Tahiti employee punk rocks to the safety pin in my ear

at the plaza with the big screens
we bump into the Canadian filmmakers.
They're making their way to Fremont street.
They recommend the Venetian
and so we head there

In comments we rehash our favorite talks
squeezing past the crowded TI scene
(calculator jokes, how nerdy can you get?)
we're describing the holdup in networking terms
severe lag, DOS the sidewalk, timeouts, TTL
towards the end of the crowd someone has vomited

The city has quite the panache, but so superficial.
We make it to Paris and start to head back
Elvis says to me "I like your style"

in the morning I'm making more notes on my plan for code copulation
checkout and head to the Hilton, Star Trek experience
(which earlier I had described as faux geek)
head north some, searching for food.

walk to the airport.
past desert, cactus near a deadly fence
dozens of cut-up credit cards, failed dreams
heck of a trek, but we made it.
crazy early. killing zombies and time

we're a bit worried our circuits will be considered contraband
they rescan my bag, a lump in my throat
what spooked them turned out to be the book
(to be fair there's a picture of a bomb on the cover)
my flight is delayed, some people dismayed. I'm dozing
suit sitting next to me trying to sync his device
"If only I could find a geek..."
"The guy next to you is smiling. Maybe you should ask him"

arrive home ~3am
don't want to go to work today
it should be a DefCon play day
but it turns out alright
nice to be back in the saddle, programming. mental guns ablaze