Daily Archives: March 12, 2013

All-Con 2013: The Aftermath – 2

Happy Customer

No matter the location in a particular venue, not everything is perfect. While the Triffid Ranch booth at All-Con 2013 was in otherwise a perfect location, right next to one of the main doors leading to the main hotel hallway, said hallway was lit by a huge east-facing window. Combine that with my miserable photographic skills, well, I had to adapt.

Tiffany of Roll2Play

As always, half of the fun of attending All-Con was making friends with new vendors and saying hello to old cohorts. This meant, of course, that Tiffany of Roll2Play came by to snag more plants for her store. You know, one of these days, I’m just going to make a huge Nepenthes tank conversion for said store, just so she can get a more intense carnivorous plant fix.

Happy Customer

And this gentleman? He was part of the crew immediately behind us, both showing off ear toggle jewelry and a new prototype 3-D printer, and word leaked out that Saturday was his 23rd birthday. Seeing as how my own 23rd year was one of the most intense in my life (among other things, I have to thank one guy I first met shortly before my birthday for introducing me to the Czarina several years later), how could I let him go without giving him his own spoonleaf sundew? Happy birthday, dude, and from a guy twice your age, I hope the next 23 years are as good as Saturday was.

All-Con 2013: The Aftermath – 1

All-Con Triffid Ranch booth

With the booth stripped down, the cover sheets washed to remove incriminating evidence, the plants put back to bed, and the show equipment all lying in a big pile in the living room to annoy the Czarina, All-Con 2013 ended as it began. Namely, with an immense sense of self-satisfaction. All-Con isn’t as big a Triffid Ranch show as, say, Texas Frightmare Weekend, but any show where the local fire marshal insists that no more people can fit into the hotel by any technique other than pureeing qualifies as a big one. The best endorsement of the shenanigans out here: as of this time next year, I have been attending science fiction and media conventions of all sorts for thirty years, as an attendee, a guest and lecturer, and as a vendor. Maybe it was due to the number of high school and college students getting an early start on Spring Break celebrations, but this had to have been the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve seen at a Dallas convention since 1985. And since that show involved, among others, a soon-to-be-defunct hotel where convention participants were firing model rockets armed with explosive warheads from a handmade rocket launcher into the swimming pool, I’m glad that this one was much less rambunctious.

Medusa Head 2

Since All-Con coincides with the bare stirrings of most temperate carnivorous plants from their winter dormancy, a lot of interesting species weren’t available this time around. To compensate were a lot of flytraps, purple pitcher plants (with a few Canadian attendees who could appreciate the provincial flower of Newfoundland and Labrador), and a few surprises. Of particular note was the popularity of my old friend Euphorbia flanaganii in a miniature garden arrangement. Yes, that Spartan can handle himself, but for how long?

Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata

Likewise, one of the best things about the wave of new attendees was being able to share very recent news about carnivorous plant physiology. Between sharing how Nepenthes ampullaria pitchers serve as frog nurseries and Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata pitchers as bat rookeries, nobody was bored.

Uncle Sam's On Mars 2

And then we had fun with succulents. A gigantic hand-fired guacamole bowl just begs for a miniature garden arrangement with Crassula muscosa, doesn’t it?

Uncle Sam's on Mars 2

More photos to follow: it was an interesting weekend.