TJam 01. Wednesday, Day -2

part of Balloon fun : Bork at TJam 01

The Day Of Travel

The actual travel to Austin was pretty cut-and-dried. Drive the hour and a half to the airport (only making one wrong turn), fly from Pittsburg to Detroit to Houston to Austin. The Detroit -> Houston flight was jammed packed and running late. We got to the gate about 10 minutes beore the connecting flight to Austin was supposed to take off. After imagining doing the pre-bloody-glove OJ Simpson thing through the airport, I discovered the airport gods were smiling upon me today. The Houston flight landed at gate 31. The Austin one was at gate 30.

After arriving at Austin and calling the hotel shuttle, I went outside to wait. There was a guy wearing a "Eurojam" T-Shirt with a logo of a balloon dog on the front. "Hmmmm, this guy is probably here for T-Jam." Turns out he was Rick Mohr, who does balloons for a living and will be heading to the Netherlands to teach classes in the near future. We chatted on the shuttle over to the hotel. Pulling into the parking lot he waved to a guy going to his car. Turns out it was John Holmes (not that John Holmes, you perverts), the balloon guy well known for his spectacular Christ on the Cross sculpture, which has to be seen to be believed. (here's a picture if you're interested)

Got my hotel room, unpacked some stuff, and went downstairs to see some folks "jamming" in the lobby of the hotel. (For those unfamiliar with the balloon twisting world, a jam is just a group of folks playing with balloons together, usually with techniques and ideas shared) There I met John Holmes and his son Benji, as well as Fred Harshberger (the two bears with one balloon guy), Patrick Brown , the award winner from the last TJam in 99, Sheree from Long Island, and Lynn (who came from Australia!) and her little sprog Kurt.

After an hour or two of playing around, a small caravan took a road trip to a local supermarket for longer-term supplies. The hotel room had a small refrigerator for storing perishables, which made healthy eating almost possible on this trip.

Enough of my rambling, it's time for

The Pictures

Kurt with a big round clear balloon with a bouncy-ball inside.
Generally Jamming. From Left to right is Sheree, John Holmes, Benji Holmes, Fred Harshberger, and Lynn, with "Captain" Kurt in the middle.
A Harley Davidson by John Holmes
Sheree constructing a giant clown.
A 6-shooter by John Holmes
One of our lovely hotel staff, taking home a happy face and a balloon bazooka for her son.
A little balloon bear trapped in another clear balloon. After the TJam I made one of these for the DC office of ArsDigita. One of the visitors to the office asked "what's that fetus thing on the front desk". Oh well.
Little balloon pooch by Patrick.
Giant clown being assembled
The giant clown complete, along with Sheree Brown-Rosner, its creator.
Larry Hirsch.
Mark Verge and a cool sword.
The daughter is the twister in the family (she's got a restaurant gig that pays > $30/hour!).
Raul Gonzolas (from Mexico) and his balloon apron.
Hans and his TwistEmUp apron.
Mark and a fish-like-being made out of latex gloves made by HyGloss.
And Hans making one of those fish-like-beings.
Detail of a bee based on a little design Hans was wearing, made from a round happy-face balloon and a 160 or a 260.
Yet another Hans creation. It's like a smaller version of the WAY-Cool gang's hat. The pattern for this can be found on Hans' CD
Kurt wearing the WAY-Cool cockroach hat.
I'm not sure what this guy is supposed to be
But here he/she/it is.
And here's T Myers, the "T" of "TJam"
Hmmm... looks like a small clown exploded here.
This amused me - taking pictures of the meep meep bird I did (which actually is pretty basic compared to much of the stuff I was seeing)

Other random notes

I was jotting things down in my notebook. Here is some stuff in no particular order. They probably don't mean much except to me, but oh well.

nite nite

The travel finally caught up to me around 11 pm. The rest of the crew was going strong (and joined by a number of others) when I gave up.