giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Wow, it's been awhile since I've written to my LJ.

I want to update here more, but it seems like people are using LJ less and less. While I like Twitter, it's really difficult to post anything meaningful there, such as schedules. Oh well.

Anyway, here are the hours I'll be on duty at FurFright this weekend:

Friday: 4 PM to 8 PM
Saturday: 8 AM to Noon, 2:30 PM to 4 PM
Sunday: 12 AM to 4 AM, 4 PM to 8 PM

My position is "sergeant", which means I'll be based at the security desk, but walking around a fair bit, checking with people who are working at the various badge checkpoints in case they need to take a bathroom break, doing an occasional rove through the guest floors, etc.

Essentially, if I'm wearing my beret, it means I'm working.

Since someone asked me awhile back, the closest thing we have to "ranks" in the Dorsai Irregulars is for individual contracts that are worked. We have at least one "Duty Officer" (or DO for short) who is on duty at a all times. They're the person who is "in charge", who usually makes log entries (yes, we keep event logs at all contracts), and who usually interacts with the hotel's security people. For larger contracts (such as Anthrocon), it is a position that rotates between more than one individual every 6-8 hours.

Next in line, we have 1 or more "Sergeants" each shift. Sgts usually work at the security desk, but they are also tasked with doing the occasional rove, as well as periodically visiting each of the badge check points and checking in with the person working said point, seeing if they need a bathroom break, or if they're coming to the end of their shift and need a replacement, etc. This is a position I frequently work at conventions.

After that, we have "regular security people". In addition to manning the badge checkpoints, they also do "roves", which constitute walking though the guest floors and public areas of the hotel, making sure that there aren't any excessively noisy parties, nor is there anyone intoxicated to the point of needing assistance. Most hotels really like this function of security, because if we deal with a noisy party before any complaints come in to the hotel, the hotel has less work to do. :-)

Finally, at some contracts we also have "medics". These are people with formal medical training (EMTs, etc.) who respond to any medical situations that may arise. Whether we have medics on a given contract is based on a variety of factors, including: the size of the convention, who on the contract has medical training, and state liability laws.

An interesting note is that membership in the DI is not a requirement for any of the previously mentioned roles. I've worked Sgt positions before being a member of the DI, and I've worked badge checkpoints and done roves while as a member of the DI. It comes down to experience, and what roles need to be filled.

It's also worth pointing out that people who work Dorsai contracts either wear the Dorsai logo (seen on the right) somewhere on their person in the form of a beret or armband, or wear a highly-visible t-shirt that says "(event name) security" on it. I only mention this, because in recent years I've noticed people at furry conventions wearing black berets as part of their costume, and I don't want there to be any confusion... :-P
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Thu: 3-6 PM, 9-Midnight

Fri: 1-3 PM, 9-Midnight

Sat: 12:30-2:30 PM, 3-6 PM

Mon: 3-6 AM (ugh)

I guess the good news is having all of Sunday off, but partying on Sunday night will be at a minimum, since I'll be working the late late shift that night.

The 9-Midnight "primetime" hours on Thursday and Friday should be interesting, too.

When not on duty, I'll be wearing something else that will be uh, distinctive. Especially if you're into video games.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I was down in Orlando for Dorsai Thing last weekend. It was a nice break from my rather busy day job, and gave me the chance to visit and socialize with friends. It was also my first time to Florida!

Orlando DSC_4206 KP's Dogs

It was fun, but short, for I arrived with [ profile] unclekage late Friday evening, and left on Sunday morning. The highlight was dinner on Saturday evening. Aside from socializing with folks and shooting Nerf guns at Colin to see who would go first, I am pleased to announce that two new members of the Dorsai Irregulars were inducted, one of whom was our own [ profile] toracub:

ToraCub, D.I.

The setup for the "beanieing" was fairly straightforward. At dinner, [ profile] unclekage called Tora up front to present him with a bottle of fine tequila that he had purchased earlier in the day, as a gift for all of Tora's hard work at Anthrocon and other conventions. I approached both of them, under the pretense of taking a picture. When that was done, I moved to the side, out of Tora's field of vision, and behind him. After Kage distracted him for a few more seconds, I snuck up from behind him and dropped my own beret on his head, as the rest of the room erupted in cheers and applause. It's fun to be sneaky like that. :-)

As the youngest DI, we get to call him the "baby DI", at least until the next sucker person is inducted. :-)

After that, it was back to the consuite for more socializing and fine beverages!

Steve and Shep DSC_4271 Margarita Man Delivers!

On the way back home the following morning, I took a few pictures from the shuttle at Orlando Airport:

Orlando Airport Orlando Airport Orlando Airport

If anyone wants the full archive of my Dorsai Thing 36 photos, they can be found here.

Thanks for reading, and my next convention will be Furry Connection North, just next weekend! I hope to see everyone there!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
FurFright was a fun convention this year! It started off with a bang in my first security shift on Friday afternoon. I got a call for "first aid in the parking lot", which [ profile] cliff_husky and I responded to. Turned out that "first aid" was an understatement. We arrived on the scene of an MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) at the entrance of the parking lot, with one person injured pretty badly. We attended to him, with Cliff taking his vitals and history and me holding his neck in the c-spine position for a good 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived and EMTs relieved us.

That was the first ever auto accident that I worked. Was a little nervous afterward, but not nearly as shaken up as I thought I'd be. And what did I learn from this? Get first aid training. You never know when you'll need it.

The rest of the shift was uneventful, other than trying to figure out the hotel's weird layout. Apparently it was added onto twice, and had been rebuilt after a fire at least once, so the layout was very... unplanned. Hallways that had multiple ramps on them, stairways that only went up 1 floor or even skipped a floor, and ramps that went in circles. It was like M.C. Escher himself designed the hotel!

Raff Foxcoon Got coffee? FUNNY ASS SHIRT

Saturday afternoon had me killing time with P-Kitty and other folks, and somewhere along the line it was suggested that I borrow a fur named Manik's fursuit. He was cool with this, so I put on the head, paws, and my overcoat, and walked around the con for about half an hour. I went up to several folks I knew in personal and said hi. Poor [ profile] protocollie... I think I broke his brain!

That's right: it was the first time I ever fursuited. And in a cheetah fursuit, at that. Draw your own conclusions.

On a related note, I went and registered the domain Be afraid.

Minecraft mob Fursuit Parade Peacebonding Raptor Red Kojac

On Saturday night, I dropped by the Gun Furs panel, hosted by [ profile] cliff_husky. It was pretty informative, and I learned quite a bit about all the different details that surround guns, and the legal aspects of them.

On Friday and Saturday nights, I went to the dances, and played around with the ISO and shutter speed settings on my camera. I got some pretty interesting pictures:

Clementine twirls glowsticks Clementine twirls glowsticks Clementine twirls glowsticks Clementine twirls glowsticks

FurFright 2010 Dance FurFright 2010 Dance FurFright 2010 Dance

The whole set of dance photos can be found here.

My birthday was also on Halloween, and the first time I celebrated it. [ profile] shortwave81, [ profile] ferian, and others bought me drinks at the bar, an acceptable birthday present! [ profile] chefmongoose also got me a bottle of cider called "Lucky Lion", that I hope to enjoy with some friends soon.

As the con came to a close, I realized what an awesome time I had. Between the health issues I've had the last several months, and some other personal issues I had to deal with over the summer (which I now call "the lost summer"), I'd say that FurFright was a high point over the last 6 months or so. And I hope that this uphill trend in my mood and life in general continues.

Extra special thanks to [ profile] athauglas for the repeated doses of coffee. The stuff I had at 2:30 on Saturday morning was a huge help. It kept me up through 8 AM when my shift ended.

Tzup, ???, and Kai Origami art Shortwave pulls... everyone!

Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade Doing' the Stanky Leg November and Nbowa

For the rest of my pictures, they can be found here.

Total attendance for the con was 1,284 attendees, as announced at closing ceremonies. The count for fursuiters in the parade was 287 coming out the ballroom, though the official count of fursuiters who actually made it to the end of the parade was about 40 lower. (don't have that number handy)

Finally, there were a few folks I was hoping to get contact info for:

- P-Kitty (Nevermind, he's [ profile] pkitty1)
- The guy I did first aid on (anyone know if he was okay?)
- Manik (the gentleman who let me borrow his fursuit)
- Clementine (Nevermind, she's [ profile] mixed_kitten)

If anyone knows of online contact info for these people, please let me know in the comments!

Next con for me will be Midwest FurFest. See you all then.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
So, you're going to FurFright? Well, you'll have to make it to the end of this post to read about the room share. Because just like the stores, I put the cheap merchandise in the back and force you to wade through all the stuff you don't want. :-)

So, my health has... actually gotten a bit better. I've had 5 sessions of physical therapy over the last 2 and a half weeks, and the most interesting thing about this sort of injury is that it's treated mostly by doing stretches and applying heat to relax the muscles. And the affected area does respond very well to heat! I also learned during the initial evaluation that the muscles which move my feet along the z-axis are a bit week, so I was given exercises to strengthen them. Otherwise, I'm at a higher risk of twisting my ankle (exactly what happened to my father when he was my age), and I could totally do without that.

Onto my knees, 2 weeks ago I decided to try a little experiment: I'd try going without my knee braces and see what happens. Well, it's been 2 weeks and I've had some minor aches and pains, but nothing severe. This is a step forward, because it reduces the chances of me becoming dependent on the knee braces. I still intend to see a knee specialist when my feet get straightened out, of course.

Dreams! I actually haven't had any nightmares in the last few weeks. I've had a few dreams which I would describe as "intense", but not unpleasant. I've still been having trouble falling asleep, so I created a spreadsheet of just how much sleep I'm getting each night and how I feel the following morning. Hopefully I can get some useful data from this and see just how much sleep I need to get at night to not feel awful the next morning.

And now, the part you probably wanted to read: the FurFright room share! I currently have a 2-bed room in the primary hotel (Crown Plaza Cromwell) from the evening of Thursday the 28th to Monday the 1st. Right now, I have just myself in the room. If you're interested in sharing the room and splitting costs (half of the room for one roommate, a quarter each for 2 roommates), please contact me or leave a comment on this post.

I've screened comments to this post so that people may inquire about the room in private.

I'll be working security at FurFright once again with The Dorsai Irregulars. I don't yet know what my hours are, but I'll post 'em when I find out.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Lions Head beer in a glas with a Lion's headFirst, I had no idea that my last post would generate so many replies. I glad that folks like the pictures, though. So I decided to include another picture with this post, shown on the right. It was from last night, when [ profile] davinwarter was visiting. I finally managed to find some Lions Head beer, and drank it from a glass that had a lion's head on it. I'm so clever! :-P

Otherwise, my weekend went pretty well. Davin and I bummed around town, I showed him the "blighted" section of Ardmore, I forced him to play Legends of Wrestling after he had a few drinks (it's horrific!), looking through the windows of the Apple Store, and then we watched Shaolin Soccer.

My feet seem to be doing better. I'm still having these cycles of feeling better for a few days and then feeling worse for a few days, but the worse days aren't all that bad. I seem to be on a definite uphill trend. With a little luck, I'll have my orthotics at the end of next week.

Late Friday night, I beat Half Life 2 for the first time. I was rather underwhelmed by the ending, unfortunately. But folks have already suggested that I pick things up in HL2: Episode One, which is said to be much better.

Next weekend is IndyFurCon. While I decided not to attend to my past/ongoing health reasons, I'm still a little stressed out over the convention. Awhile back the convention decided to use the services of The Dorsai Irregulars to provide convention security. One thing led to another, and I wound up as the "Contract Officer (CO)" for that specific contract, meaning that I got to negotiate things with the convention regarding what our responsibilities would be, what the duty posts would be, etc. It's the first time I've done this, so it was a bit of an experience for me.

I had another dream last night that involved wearing a fursuit at a con again. That was a wee bit strange.

Looking at my schedule and my finances, it looks like I missed enough conventions (FCN, Anime Central, and IFC) to save a substantial number of vacation days and money. When my feet and knees improve again, I think I'm going to go on some kind of trip, but where? Right now, the big thing that I'm thinking of is maybe a road trip for a week or more sometime in October. Either I would drive north and visit folks in the New York/Connecticut area, or perhaps drive west as far as Chicago. At this point I'm still kicking around ideas and considering different options. I think it's something I'd like to do though, since I've never done a serious road trip before. (vacation with my parents as a kid does NOT count)


Mar. 5th, 2009 05:00 pm
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I went to Furp's funeral last weekend -- the first funeral I've attended in close to 15 years. I felt very sad, but that's to be expected for a funeral. On the upside, there was an amazing showing from the furry community. I'm pretty sure there were more furries there than anybody else, and even heard the comment uttered, "I had no idea he knew so many people". His family seemed like pretty decent folks, and I can see where he got his sense of humor from. As his sister put it during the eulogy, "dysfunctionally functional".

The viewing and funeral themselves were pretty touching. The type of viewings and funerals I grew up with in NE PA were fairly formal and rigid. This one was a little more informal. Various items from Furp's life, including photos, were set up on tables around the room. One table had pictures of him, another had his medical gear, and another had a container of Tang. No, really! There was an easel that had a sweatshirt from his Boy Scout days, covered in patches of everything he did. Now I am also an Eagle Scout, but I was shocked at all of the things he had done while in the Boy Scouts. Mile Swim, various high adventure camps, hiking, etc. I thought I was active, but I did maybe a third of things he did. Amazing.

Somehow, a Dorasi lapel pin made it onto Furp's collar. I swear it wasn't my doing.

After the funeral, there was a reception within stumbling distance up the road from my host, [ profile] bluedeer's place. I got to see Furp's 4-year old nephew in action, and yeah, he's definitely cut from the same cloth that Furp was.

After the reception, [ profile] bluedeer, [ profile] film2edit, and myself drove over to the place [ profile] justincheetah rented where we celebrated Furp's memory in our own little way: by making and then consuming significant amounts of Slurm, toasting Furp more than once. That was fun, and helped take our mind off of things. Later in the evening, we exchanged some interesting text messages with the rest of the Anthrocon folks, who were in Pittsburgh for the weekend.

I went to the gym last night, for the first time in over a week. Between all this, and the cold I got over, I am trying to get back into my normal rhythm.

I'll be heading off to Indianapolis for Dorsai Thing this weekend. It'll be nice to see many of the DI again. I have the feeling there are going to be record amounts of scotch consumption tasting this weekend.

And in completely random news, I found out that Dolph The Fascist Hippo made a cameo in the game Hitman: Blood Money. After the level "Curtains Down", the newspaper is shown, and Dolph is in one of the articles. Here's a screen shot:

The text is French, and the translation is something like: "Blue Hippopotamus is invisible, nobody can see him. He Leaves stealthy like a Japanese ninja. You are all 100% assholes! Yes Sir!"
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Just uploaded my pictures from MagFest, which I worked on the first weekend of January. It was a contract with the Dorsai Irregulars, so we were working security and badge check for the con.

Video Arcade The Dealers Area Gaming Room

One of the more memorable things about this year's MagFest was that we had a staff suite, complete with an actual chef, who cooked breakfast and dinner. Getting real cooked food without having to go offsite or order out was a really nice perk at this year's MagFest. I hope they continue it next year.

There was also a contest of the game Nibbler, which was held at MagFest during the weekend:

Nibbler Contest

Unfortunately, according to Retro Thing, Dwayne Richard's machine froze just shy of half a billion points, forcing him to abort his attempt.

Also, the Chairman of MagFest dressed up as a Wiimote:

Brendan Dressed up as a Wiimote

The Dorsai Irregulars also won an award at the MagFest awards ceremony. It was for "Best Hats". No, really!

If anyone is interested, my full set of pictures can be found here:

giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Here's my schedule for MagFest this weekend:

Friday: 6 AM - Noon

Saturday: 12 AM - 6 AM, 6 PM - Midnight

Sunday: 12 PM - 4 PM

I won't be wearing a tail, but I'll be wearing a black DI beret, so I should be easy to spot.

I hope I'll see folks in the Virgina area there!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Here's my duty schedule at this year's FurFright:

Friday: 1 PM to 7 PM - On-call Sgt.

Saturday: 7 PM to 1 AM - On-call Sgt.

Sunday: 1 PM to 7 PM - On-call Sgt.

What "on-call" means is that I'll have a radio and be on duty (meaning I must be sober during that time), but I will not be assigned to any specific area. Instead, I'll get to do the occasional rove, stand in for badge checkers who might need to use the restroom, help with random crowd control, etc.

This schedule isn't nearly as insane as last year's since we have more furries ([ profile] toracub, [ profile] evil_dwagon, [ profile] unclekage, [ profile] mrianti, and others) helping out this year. Thanks guys!

[Edit: Oh yeah, you too, [ profile] creatureshock!]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Sad news... Bob Asprin passed away yesterday, at the age of 62. (Source) In addition to being a popular science fiction writer, and well known in the SCA, he was also the man responsible behind the creation of the Dorsai Irregulars. To say that he touched the lives of many would be an understatement.

He was also to be the Guest of Honor here at Marcon this weekend. Oops.

There will be a wake (or something similar to one) starting at around 10 PM this evening in the open filking area at MarCon. If you attend, it might not be a bad idea to bring something with a sharp smell, if you know what I mean.

I bought a bottle of Glenlivet 15 and a flask.

[Edit: While going through emails about Bob, I decided to put on something light. So I set my iPod to shuffle through the Monty Python Instant Record Collection. What's the first song? You guessed it, The Dead Parrot Sketch. And the second song? Bring Out Your Dead. Why does God Dog hate me?]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
For the impatient, my entire dump of images from Dorsai Thing 33 can be found over on Flickr.

This year's Dorsai Thing was held in Marina Del Rey, just outside of Los Angeles. The temperature was a lovely 70-75 degrees most of the time, so I didn't spend as much of this Thing in the consuite, but rather on Venice Beach, which was a short walk away. Here's what I got to see in the morning:



I got some pics of town itself, too:

Weird tree

And finally, we had a few really loud Hawaiian shirts:

Loud shirts

I believe that Dave and Diana Stein actually won prizes for those shirts. Scary.

Also, this year's Thing had not 1, not 2, but 3 new members inducted to the Dorsai Irregulars. The funny thing about Dorsai Membership is that prospective members are not told that they are under consideration. This means that their induction usually comes as a complete surprise to them. It also makes for some interesting pics of the weekend's inductions:

Induction #1, at the barbecue
Induction #2, at dinner
Induction #3, at the end of dinner

Overall, I had an awesome weekend and can't wait until I see some of the other DI and folk at the next con. And according to my calendar, that would be... Furry Connection North from April 11 to 13 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I'll see you there.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I'm back from this year's Dorsai Thing (held in LA) and mostly over my jet lag. Taking a "red eye" flight on Sunday night and then heading right into work yesterday morning probably wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had. :-P

I still have to post my pics and con report. I'll do that later this week.

In other local news, anyone remember Ken Davis? Ken was one of the jackass commissioners in Lower Merion Township who was behind the whole Eminent Domain thing in Ardmore, PA a few years back. He wanted to take away peoples' property so that they could build bigger things. When citizens complained to him, he rebuffed them by telling them that they were wrong and insisted that taking away peoples' businesses was really a good thing.

Well, it seems that Ken is having a bit of a meltdown. He's decided to leave politics entirely, and is blasting those horrible bloggers and the Internet as the reason for this. Apparently we are all "anonymous ignorant cowards" and "know nothings" who have nothing better to do than criticize him. If that's how you handle criticism as an elected official, Ken, then I say good riddance to you.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Since I decided to stay at my place tonight to work on (yet another) website migration to Drupal, I figured I would invite over a few friends:

Talisker Gift Set
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
MagFest went okay. I worked 3 shifts there and got to deal with a few problems, but not nearly as many as we had last year. This was probably due to them borrowing language from Anthrocon's Standards of Conduct. :-)

I personally got to deal with the aftermath of one assault, one alcohol-related issue, and my very first medical situation. The medical situation had to do with an individual cutting his finger while trying to use a knife to open a bottle of wine. Good idea, bad execution.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I tried commuting from [ profile] davinwarter's place over the weekend. That seemed like a good idea in theory, but didn't work out too well in practice. There ended up being a fair amount of time spent traveling to and from the convention site, and we had to deal with the suck that is Washington, DC traffic.

Overall, my impression of the con was positive, and I hope that they'll be back at this hotel again next year.

I took a few pictures from the con, but haven't yet had a chance to post them. Also, just an FYI, I do not announce every single set of pictures I post on Flickr. So folks who actually care about what I photograph may want to consider subscribing to my Flickr RSS feed, found here.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Here are my hours for working MagFest this weekend:

Saturday: 6 AM to 10 AM, 10 PM to 2 AM
Sunday: 2 PM to 4 PM

I will be commuting from [ profile] davinwarter's place, so that means I very likely will NOT be onsite when I am off duty. If you're coming to the con and would like to get together, please let me know.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Courtesy of co-worker M:

Or maybe they're just trying to increase their revenue. You be the judge!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
So, who's going to ConClave and FurFright this year? Both cons are just around the corner!

The first con, ConClave, is a science fiction/furry/goth convention held in Detroit, Michigan from October 12th to the 14th. It is considered the "home convention" of the Dorsai Irregulars, many of whom live in that area and will be in attendance. Many of the Michigan area furries will also be attending. Their website is at The few pictures I took last year can be found here.

The next con, FurFright, is a Halloween-themed furry convention held in Connecticut from the 19th to the 21st. This will be their fifth year as a convention. Some of the Dorsai Irregulars will be attending this convention too, as they will be providing convention security services for FurFright this coming year. Of course, since the convention is purely a furry convention, the security roster will consist mostly of furries, with [ profile] golum, [ profile] toracub, [ profile] unclekage, and myself among them. Their website is at and pictures from last year's FurFright can be found here.

Finally, since this will be FurFright's first year at its new venue, I figured I would include some pictures of the place from a site visit we made last spring:

The front entrance of the hotel:


The bar area just off the main entrance. This will be registration and Con Ops:


The atrium inside the center of the hotel. A nice place for gathering and hanging out:


One of the function rooms:


Another one of the function rooms in the process of being cleared out:


If anyone is interested, my entire set of site visit pictures can be found at: Enjoy!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
A couple of weekends ago, I made a drive back out to Pittsburgh to attend Confluence, a science fiction convention with a emphasis on writing. As that suggests it wasn't nearly as "visual" as a furry convention or even as other science fiction conventions go. It was mostly about books, writing, and writing books. :-P

The Dorsai Irregulars were providing security for that convention, and I was asked if I would be willing to work a shift for them while I was out there. I ended up working what turned out to be a very easy shift -- it took place while the convention put on its annual play. Nearly everything else was closed, so the majority of attendees were watching the play. So I ended up walking all 6 stories of the hotel (stopping by the con suite for coffee, of course!) a few times during that shift and otherwise spent it doing door duty with [ profile] renegade_di. (It kinda balanced out the shifts I worked at MagFest, in a Zen sotra way.)

Like I said, this was a largely literary convention. Case in point, this was the Dealers Room:
Dealers' Room

I also went to a few room parties:
Carol Gobeyn, Rene Gobeyn, and T'Chall

And witnessed some origami porn:
Origami Porn

The rest of my Confluence pictures can be found here. Enjoy!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Some folks may be aware of the 6-2-1 Rule at furry conventions, which states:

- 6 hours of sleep per day
- 2 meals per day
- 1 shower per day

It is believed that following those rules will help reduce the chances of you being exhausted, catching con crud, or having an "aura" about you that may offend other attendees.

At the most recent Anthrocon, it was explained to me by one DI that their very own Dr. Bob Passovoy has now proposed the following version of the 6-2-1 rule for Anthrocon:

- 6 miles walked per day
- 2 snacks per day
- 1 nap per day

If you are not a member of the DI, do not attempt to follow the new rules. :-)


giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012



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