We got to the Concourse and checked in about 11:30am, which gave us plenty of time to get moved in before setup for the Gathering. We were pleased to have a room on the fourth floor, which was quite handy to all the function spaces. We had agreed to staff the "Custom Button" table and were happy to find out that our co-staffer was very skilled with the button maker. We got off to a slow start as initially people were attracted to the more glamourous activities such as Tarot readings by Suzy McKee Charnas and balloon squids from Pat Murphy, but we fairly quickly attracted a line of our own and had a decent assembly line set up for cutting paper and assembling buttons, while Georgie consulted with customers about desired designs and slogans. The Gathering seemed to be a really popular event so far as we could see. I bought several buttons myself, and also a packet of REALLY powerful Sri Lankan Curry Powder from Marianne Mohanraj.
After chasing off the last button customer at 5:30, we ran out to our usual Friday night dinner spot, the Radical Rye, for quick sandwiches before the opening ceremonies. We hooked up with "Uncle Don" Helley, who was helping us with the opening Skit while there. Then back to the Hotel to change, get set up, and rehearse the skit.
"Real Stories of the Information Highway Patrol," was written by myself, Lee Schneider, and Georgie a few years ago for a small con that had very little overlap with WisCon, and it updated quite well. (I need to upload the script to the Milwaukeesfs.com website--) Kudos to Madisonians Jim Hudson (the Slowpoke), Bill Bodden (the Kid), Tracy Benton (the Surfer), Don Helley (the Hacker) and George Bass (the Spammer). The audience seemed to enjoyed it and laughed at most of the jokes, so I judge the performance a success. We got several good comments on it after, and Georgie was also complimented on her very sharp announcer suit.
My first panel was later that night, on "The Genius Child." Elise Matthesen did a good job moderating, and the discussion was quite lively and informative. After that, we only had energy enough to hit a couple of parties briefly (OddCon, premiering the fourth in the series of T-shirt and logo designs by Georgie)and went to bed about 1:00am.