The day opened with a well thought out opening ceremony. That is to say: short, funny, and covering all the necessary bases. :)
I've mentioned previously that I was going to do something different at the auction this year. At the opening ceremony I announced that my hair and beard were up for auction to be shaved or dyed, with proceeds to cancer research.
A little while later I did the Welcome to your First Con panel with callistra and one other whose name escapes me (sorry!). There may even have been two first timers in the audience.
Lunch at the Lido was intended to be an extension of that panel but turned into a generic fan lunch in good company.
I spent the afternoon getting some gaming in - one game of Dominion, one of Dixit. Dixit is an weird storytelling game with some surreal artwork. It is a beautifully presented game and one I would like to play more.
Dinner was at the Mela with rdmasters, leecetheartist, kremmen, kbpenguin, Steveg and Mark. A very pleasant evening with good food, good friends, and empty threats to buy me dinner sometime. :)
The auction was a slightly different experience this year. I think the arrangement of the lots and the slips was a good idea and helped to get through the lots quickly. However the tone was perhaps a touch too formal and this dampened the entertainment value of the auction. Overall I think fred_mouse and the team did a great job, and many of the innovations should be kept for future auctions.
The hair auction turned into a pass the hat exercise since the room was insistent on raising as much money as possible. I believe that the total was close to $300 and I'm very gratified as a result.
I'll find out on Saturday what is going to happen. And, yes, there will be pictures - I'm hoping to get a few user icons out of this if nothing else.