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Jer_'s Summer World Tour
Give or take some of the “world” part…

As the heavy part of my summer schedule winds down, it is time that I turn my eye to the relaxing and enjoyment part of the season; or Jer_'s World Tour (now with 99% less world, more like Jer_'s Very Local Tour). Here is where I will be this summer, and by extension, where YOU should be this summer.

  • MPCon
    • July 9 - 11
    • Eastern Michigan University Student Center, Ypsilanti, MI

    Michigan's largest LAN party is preparing to tear it up for the 25th time with a 350 person LAN with tons of tournaments, prizes, giveaways, exciting sponsors, and a LOT going on. I'm not much of a gamer, and I love this event anyways. This year, ConFusion is sponsoring one of the tournaments, Penguicon is bringing back Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, and we are planning on bringing an extensive gaming library for some table-top gaming too, so even if you're not into PC gaming, come out and play some Puerto Rico, Dominion, MTG, or whatever else you're into with us!

    • Price: $27 in advance/$30 at the door (price includes the whole weekend, and pizza dinner on Saturday)
    • More info: or email info *at* mpcon -dot- org

  • Stilyagi Picnic
    • July 17th, noon-5pm
    • Veteran's Park, Ann Arbor, MI

    I know we all hung out in January, but we miss you already! Come hang out with fellow fannish-type-folk and consume food from the grill, drink beers (there's rumor of a keg of Woodchuck making an appearance), and visit. Also, vote on some AASFA/Stilyagi business and maybe even attend the ConFusion ConCom meeting to be held on-site!.

    • Price: Free. And yes, you're invited!
    • More info: Email me.

  • Maker Faire: Detroit
    • July 31 10am-8pm & Aug 1 10am-5pm
    • The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI

    I bet you didn't know Detroit even had a maker community, did you? What's a maker? WHY ARE YOU EVEN READING MY BLOG!?! Detroit has a huge community of hardware hackers and freaks like i3 Detroit that work on cool, do-it-yourself projects (click the link to see a nerf automated sentry gun and other cool hacks), arduino-driven carnival games (the skee ball game was a blast), and other things that you probably didn't even know you could do yourself.

    Maker Faires put a bunch of them together in one place, and let you interact, play, learn, and explore. If you have a child and you don't bring him or her…well, I'm pretty sure that is child abuse in this state (don't quote me on that, I could be wrong). Penguicon will be bringing LN2 Ice Cream and (time allowing) some fun LN2 hacks. AASFA has financed the moving of a motion-capture display for the weekend. Other fun things include Beatfly (a glowing, arduino-based blimp), perfboard prototyping demos, learn-how-to-solder sessions, rep-rap machines, and tons more. To quote Make Online:

    Void your warranty, violate a user agreement, fry a circuit, blow a fuse, poke an eye out. Make: The risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things...
    I am excited about this in a way that I haven't been excited about an event in a long time.

    • Price:
      • One-Day…Adult: $25 ($28 after Jul 15), Child 5-12: $16 ($19 after July 15)
      • Weekend…Adult: $44 ($50 after Jul 15), Child 5-12: $29 ($35 after July 15)
    • More info:
  • ConStruct
    • August 13 - 15
    • Radisson Hotel, Livonia, MI

    We are back for year two. Join 50 - 75 of your closes friends in hanging out for the weekend. Most of us spend considerable time all year throwing these events, then when the event comes, we're so busy we don't have time to hang out with our friends. ConStruct is the con where we open the doors and let you do with the space what you will. Last year included puppet making demos, concerts, game playing, lots of swimming, crafting, a dance, a newly invented drink, a newly invented game. We are bringing back most of those things and hopefully you will add more!

    • Price: $35 including full hospitality suite access (meals!) Rooms at $70/night
    • More info:
All Summer Long
  • ConStruct Wednesday Gatherings
    • Most Thursdays in July and August
    • Various homes, typically in Livonia, MI

    If you haven't gotten a sense of the theme of most of the events we organize yet, it is pretty simple: we really like hanging out with all of you. We go out of our way to find excuses to hang out. Last summer, it was in the form of a weekly gathering termed—at various times—“Woo-hoo Wednesdays”, “Wednesdays at the Castle”, “Wednesday Gatherings“, and “That Wednesday thing at Randy and Sheryl's place”. No matter what you called it, it was a collection of anywhere from 10 to 30 people who didn't want to wait until the weekend to see each other sharing food, games, stories, fun, and a not-insignificant amount of Rock Band.

    This year's incarnation is held, for varying reasons, on Thursdays…which has in no way caused us to change the name, merely the calendar settings. So our Wednesday Gatherings happen to take place on Thursdays, often at the Castle Bradaki, although there has been talk about having some weekends take place at other homes. Crazy talk, I know.

No doubt, there's a lot missing…and I'm sure to add more to this as time goes on. So what am I missing? What should I be attending that I haven't listed? Where are YOU going to be this summer, and how can we make some time to get together?