It's a Rule, apparently, for all attendees to do a pre-Auto Assembly video. Well, not a Rule, perhaps more a Tradition, or... a Thing. Yes, it's a Thing some people do before going to AA; telling people of their hopes for the event and giving out a few tips to newbies (which essentially boil down to 'wear deodorant').
Since a) my camera is currently 100 miles away, and b) no one really wants to look at my face or listen to my droning voice, I'll do it in the medium of text.
So firstly here are a few things I learnt from attending AA last year: don't get there too early; the NEC doesn't close at night so you don't need to time how long it takes to walk all the way round (for train purposes); and no matter how cool a toy is, you don't necessarily need to buy it.
I'm still working on that last one.
This year, to liven things up a little, my lovely wife will be coming along. I'm not quite sure why, but it may have something to do with her not wanting to spend another weekend all on her own (a la last weekend). This has its advantages since I'll no longer look like a Billy No Mates and thus won't have to attempt to join in conversations with complete strangers. On the other hand, purchases are now going to be closely monitored. No more 'it only cost a fiver!' excuses. I'll also have to, annoyingly, spend some of my (our?) budget on food instead of figuring meals are an easy expense I can skip when scrounging money for my next plastic fix.
Quite what Mrs J is going to think of the whole affair, I do not know. I should probably get her to write a review afterwards which you, the humble reader, can have fun compare and contrasting with mine.
Last year I went along to AA with a list of essential purchases. I bought hardly any of them. Instead I bought a load of GoBots and New Adventures of He-Man stuff. Which were pretty awesome, though isn't everything? This year I also have a list, though it's rather extensive and there isn't a hope in hell I'll be able to get even a fraction of it. Plus, you know, The Wife.
My biggest hope for this year is that the Saturday evening event doesn't suffer a Cable Crisis similar to last year, which meant a lot of time spent sitting about waiting and constantly checking the ol' watch to ensure I didn't miss the last train home.
AA is this weekend in Birmingham. If you like Transformers and have nothing better to do, it's well worth popping along. And of course if you don't like giant robots, there's always Quilt Con in the NEC.