A peek at the first geek-meet
This weekend's Kawaii Kon anime convention may find itself short a few attendees on Sunday, costumed or otherwise, as longtime Oahu online-community-builder Ryan Ozawa and friends stage an all-geek potluck entitled, "Hawaii Geek Meet."
The geek aggregators have obtained a permit for Picnic Area 40 at Magic Island from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A map is linked at www.hawaiigeek. com, as are the Web sites of several organizations planning to meet, greet and share the offbeat replete with eats.
The Kon-flict came to organizers' attention after the picnic's wheels were set in motion. "A bummer," Ozawa said. Still, there could be "cosplay fanatics (in anime costumes) mixing it up with programmers. What a mix!"
If the word "geek" is narrowly defined in your mind, Geek Meet is not just for IT types who work on and around computers.
Ham radio operators, photographers, new media makers, geocachers, model rocketeers, anyone "with a special passion to share," including non-aligned geeks, are welcome, he said.
It is a bring-your-own-pocket-protector affair. Sorry Ryan, couldn't resist.
It will be a colorful gathering.
Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism have been invited. They're the folks dressed in medieval apparel, including some battling in armor, at Kailua's Pohakupu Park on Sunday afternoons.
The Darth Vader and Storm Trooper group has also been invited, though they will also be at Kon in force -- or "the Force," if you prefer.
Picnic organizers attend meetings of various interest groups and hear comments such as, "'I wish there were more people like us around,'" Ozawa said.
There are -- they just tend to stay in geek cliques. But, he said, "whenever they accidentally get peanut butter in our chocolate, good things happen."
Ozawa is a big fan of getting people with divergent skills, passions and views together, but some people are just not "joiners," or maybe monthly meetings "sound too much like work," he observed.
He is looking forward to seeing the amateur radio operators' set-ups and hopes others who attend will "bump into somebody who's into something you've been curious about but have never really looked into."
Many groups' gatherings can be difficult for cubicle dwellers to attend during the day or for parents to go to at pau-hana time, when there are kids to be picked up, dinner to be prepared, and the like.
The geek aggregators' goal is to gather a gaggle of groups, with their families, in a non-work environment, to share passions and potluck, to network, "and to get out of doors," he said. Sunblock is also a BYO item.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org