"However i will say i went to Heatsync, and i sat in a cover for over an hour, and not a single person questioned why i was even there.... hardware in hand....
I was very disappointed being a new person to walk in the door, and tons of people instead and not one even said hello...."
I see not much has changed. I went to a few HeatSync gatherings before they went south, and it was very much the same thing. It wasn't until I showed up with some lock picks and started picking away that I got anyone to say much at all. They had no process for getting people acquainted, and no one seemed interested in helping out newbies. Seemed very cliquish.
Now I'm sure some of that is just basic geek social ineptitude, but if you're going to have a social gathering then common sense says you have to take some initiative and get people introduced and up to speed.
You really do have quite some trip, but if you ever get up this way, stop by an AZ Hackers meeting: http://azhackers.com
. 1st Monday of each month. And we'll be sure to make you feel welcome!