giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
FurFright went well for me this year.

I don't have much specifically to say, because other than working security, socializing with old friends (and making a few new ones), and catching up on my sleep, I didn't do much else. But that's the kind of convention experience that I'm okay with.

Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade Fursuiter

Fursuit Parade Fursuiters Fursuiter

Nyan Cat

Wanna see the rest of my pictures? They're over here.

Next con for me is Midwest FurFest, which is just around the corner. I'll be working in Operations there (huge surprise, I know). See ya soon!
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)
So as folks may have read, I did in fact fursuit for the first time at FurFright.

Saturday night while [livejournal.com profile] pkitty1, myself, and some other folks were having a few drinks, the topic of myself and fursuiting came up. I somehow was persuaded by Captain Morgan other folks in the room to put on the head and paws of Manik's cheetah fursuit and then walked around con space for about half an hour. The partial actually went pretty well with the black overcoat I wore with it, and it gave me the opportunity to "flash" my conbadges to folks that I knew. (and in many cases surprise them, as was the case with [livejournal.com profile] protocollie!)

Here's the proof:



Sweating inside the partial wasn't too bad, but I definitely couldn't wear the suit for an excessive amount of time. I unfortunately had issues with the paws, since they were basically giant slippers, I couldn't easily put my orthotic shoe inserts in them, and that did a number on my feet. (maybe I should shuffle more next time?)

Visibility was also very poor inside the fursuit head. Specifically, I was told that visibility in that head was particularly bad compared to other suits. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with other fursuits to compare that against. :-P

I'll have to see if it's feasible for a fursuit maker to "build" a set of paws around a spare pair of shoes when I commission should I decide to commission a leopard cheetah cheopard fursuit at some point.

If anyone can recommend any good fursuit builders, BTW, feel free to do so in the comments.
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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 cheopard.com. Be afraid.

Minecraft mob Fursuit Parade Peacebonding Raptor Red Kojac

On Saturday night, I dropped by the Gun Furs panel, hosted by [livejournal.com 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. [livejournal.com profile] shortwave81, [livejournal.com profile] ferian, and others bought me drinks at the bar, an acceptable birthday present! [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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)
I'll be working security at FurFright again this year with the other Dorsai Irregulars (and cadre). Here's my duty schedule:

Friday: Noon to 4 PM
Saturday: 4 AM to 8 AM, 8 PM to Midnight
Sunday: Noon to 4 PM

Other than the fact that I'll be out of commission on Saturday morning as I catch up on my sleep, I'll be up for meeting with folks for food/drinks/whatever outside of those hours.

Sunday the 31st is my birthday (the first time I've ever celebrated a birthday at a convention), so I intend to reserve the serious partying for 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)
Had a pleasant experience at FurFright the other weekend. While there were 979 attendees in total, the con didn't feel like there was nearly a thousand people present. This was probably due to the overflow hotel being some distance away and people heading off site for food, as well as furs going to the attached water park.

Once again, I worked security with the Dorsai Irregulars. Things were pretty quiet there, too. The attendees were well behaved, and the room parties were quiet. As for that crazy GM at the hotel, we did the best that we could under the circumstance. The rest of the hotel staff (especially the bartenders) seemed pretty cool and seemed to enjoy us.

I got to direct fursuiters during the first fursuit parade, and was in a location where I could take a bunch of pictures:

Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade

Yeah, that's a furry Pinhead. That is a very nice box he's holding. I need to find one like it.


Cakecon did their thing again this year:

Cakecon Ad Cakecon

I wish I had more pictures from the party, but other than checking on them when I was on duty, I didn't get off duty until 1 AM, at which point all I wanted to do was sit down and have my first (and only) beer of the evening. :-P

Of course, we also had our share of weird and silly this year:

Fursuiters at the bar Duncan the Dog and... Duncan!? TPed fursuiter

Fursuiters Fursuit Photo Shoot Fursuit Photo Shoot

The whole archive of pictures is in the usual spot on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157622567912403/

Other than that, I spent most of the con relaxing, chatting with friends, and generally having a good time. I think I'll return next year.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I'll be driving up to FurFright tonight with [livejournal.com profile] desteredra and departing on Monday.

It looks like I'll be working security with the Dorsai Irregulars again this con, so here's my schedule:

Friday: 1 PM to 7 PM
Saturday: 7 PM to 1 AM
Sunday: 1 PM to 7 PM

Been pretty busy with work and life lately. Tweaking the registration system for Anthrocon (adding multi-year support) and getting ready to deploy it for Furry Connection North as well.

The other weekend I was up in Detroit, and visited [livejournal.com profile] girtygrin and [livejournal.com profile] nikvulper. We stopped by a Middle Eastern restaurant, and I tried Turkish Coffee for the first time:

Trying Turkish Coffee

Strong stuff, I'll tell ya. I must have it again.

[Edit: Forgot to talk about the waiter, too. The restaurant actually swapped out our waiter in the middle of the meal and offered us free desserts. The poor fellow seemed a bit out of it, and kept spilling various liquids. It was scary and awesome all at the same time.]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Well, FurFright 2008 has come and gone, and what a blast it was!

Farraptor, Kojac, and Finnish Fox

From a socializing standpoint, this convention was a success. The hotel had an atrium in the center which made for a great gathering point, and since the security desk was also there, I got to bump into a great many people even while on duty. This made the con much more enjoyable as "work" was less like "work".

Random people I chatted with (and some I met for the first time at the con): [livejournal.com profile] shortwave81 (Thanks for the glowsticks!), [livejournal.com profile] horny_oryx, Gray Wolf, [livejournal.com profile] brothervega (sorry about having a mouth full of Oreos), [livejournal.com profile] petercat, [livejournal.com profile] unclekage, Grandma Kage, Grandpa Kage, [livejournal.com profile] finnishfox, [livejournal.com profile] therustyhusky, [livejournal.com profile] denimwizard, [livejournal.com profile] midori8, [livejournal.com profile] creatureshock, [livejournal.com profile] davinwarter, [livejournal.com profile] farraptor (It's not every day when I meet someone for the first time when they're in fursuit), and [livejournal.com profile] tilt_longtail (it was nice meeting you OUT of fursuit!).

[livejournal.com profile] keapano, Raff, and Tamen, it was a pleasure meeting you folks for the first time. I hope you'll be able to make it out to more furry cons.

Fennecus Kitsune, it was also cool meeting you for the first time.

[livejournal.com profile] boixboi, it was good seeing you again for the first time in what, 3 years? :-)


Keapano in the Fursuit Parade The Bride and Duncan the Dog Loki, Farraptor, Kojac, and Amalthea

Wallaby, Bleis, and Red XIII Loki drives the batmobile Loki on his Motorcycle

As I was working security with the Dorsai Irregulars, I got to see some familiar faces there, both DI and non-DI. [livejournal.com profile] scs11, Renegade, and Carol Gobeyn were all present, as were [livejournal.com profile] drzarron, Xander, Kasi Frost, [livejournal.com profile] evil_dwagon, [livejournal.com profile] mrianti, [livejournal.com profile] toracub, and the rest of you.

Mrianti and Sgt. Steve


[livejournal.com profile] athauglas and [livejournal.com profile] cliff_husky, you guys completely cracked me up at Cakecon. Yes, Cakecon. It was a real life party with cake. Lots of cake.

Cake Con flier Cake Con Cake Con


If you made it this far, then you're probably looking for my full dump of pictures. They can be found on Flickr at http://flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157608249142588/.

For a final photo, this is [livejournal.com profile] tilt_longtail and Grandma Kage, reenacting a famous picture:

Tilt Longtail kisses Grandma Kage

My head asplode.

So anyway, I'm looking forward to next year's FurFright.

I'm also looking forward to Midwest Fur Fest next month. I hope to see everyone there!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Duncan the Dog and the bride from one of the wedding parties at the Holiday Inn:



Did I mention that this was HER idea?
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
And now, [livejournal.com profile] joshvon riding a motorcycle in fursuit:




I'm still going through all the pics I took. Watch for a full report soon!
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 ([livejournal.com profile] toracub, [livejournal.com profile] evil_dwagon, [livejournal.com profile] unclekage, [livejournal.com profile] mrianti, and others) helping out this year. Thanks guys!

[Edit: Oh yeah, you too, [livejournal.com profile] creatureshock!]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
This was the first weekend I spent at home in uh, awhile!

I took things pretty easy and mostly caught up on tasks I had been meaning to do in for some time:

- Got caught up on laundry

- Began packing for FurFright

- Did a final back up of, and then decommissioned an old server

- Did some fine tuning on Anthrocon's registration system. (Wanna help test it out and register early? Email/IM me!)

- Weighed myself at the gym and saw that my weight is down to 180 pounds. That's a low since I started keeping track 6 months ago.

- Watched a cheesy foreign movie:


Earlier this morning I went to visit my physician ("Dr. K") to discuss some outstanding medical issues I've been having. Nothing serious, but I've procrastinated long enough in having them treated, and I figured it was time I fixed that. So, I'm hopeful that things will improve over the next couple of months. (Not that they're bad now or anything!)

As mentioned above, my next con is FurFright which is this weekend! I hope I'll see folks there!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
It looks like I MAY need some room space for FurFright after all, due to a change in plans.

I arrive Thursday evening and leave on Monday.

I don't smoke, and any drinking that I do will not be in the room.

The only potential issue is me coming and going at strange hours based on what schedule I have for security. (We have 24 hour coverage)

I'll bring my sleeping bag, so I can just spread it out on top of one half of a bed. (or cot)

If you think you can help, please reply or drop me a line. Thanks!

[Edit: All taken care of. Thanks to those who offered!]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I had a blast at FurFright 2007 last weekend. As far as cons go, it was a little different for me, because it was the first furry con where I worked security. So I didn't have the opportunity to visit much programming at the convention. I did however, have plenty of time to hang out with folks that I knew, as well as meeting a few new people.

One fun thing about working security is that this guy had to work for me:

Uncle Kage is ready to work security!

I made sure to remind him of this often. :-)


Uncle Kage's parents were also in attendance:

Davin, Grandma Kage, and Grandpa Kage
Both Grandma Kage and Grandpa Kage got to work security, and it was great to see them again.


Freddy Krueger made an appearance. Sort of:

Freddy Krueger cheetah


We also had our usual amount of prey animals present. The fact that their upper hooves were bound made it much easier to get a meal:

Oryx in a straightjacket


We also had at least one warrior fox present:

Finnish Fox blowing his horn

This was the first con that I used PhillyCarShare to drive to and back. That worked out rather nicely. Since PCS does rentals by the hour (with a daily rate), I was able to get a car from 6 PM on Thursday to 9 PM on Monday, and not have to pay the ridiculous hourly charges that AVIS would have hit me with. The total cost of renting the car was about $250, which included mileage. That was comparable to what I would have paid for a rental from AVIS. [1] For GPS, instead of renting one from AVIS for $9.95/day, I instead used the GPS on my new phone. That worked out just as well. So I'd say that using PhillyCarShare to get to the con and back was a success!

Finally, if anyone wants to see my entire archive of pictures, they can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157602708286153/

Enjoy!


[1] Keeping in mind that I would have had to purchase ALI (Additional Liability Insurance) from AVIS, since I discontinued my car insurance after selling my car. That is $12.95 a day. With PhillyCarShare, they provide insurance -- a $1 Million policy, for all drivers.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Hey, CNN can do iReports, so can I. :-P

Anyway, this has a rather busy working con for me. As previously mentioned, I am working for the Dorsai Irregulars who are providing security services at this con. The way the schedule was laid out, there are two other sergeants, and one sergeant is on duty at all times. With 6 hour shifts, this means that I work 6 hours and have 12 off. And I have to sleep and eat in there too.

So, I've spent most of this con working, sleeping, and socializing with some friends. I really haven't had a chance to hit any panels or events. The only event I have seen so far is the Fursuit Parade, and that's because I was on duty doing crowd control. :-P

I also got to act on a noise complaint about [livejournal.com profile] ferian's room party. Busting your friends is fun. :-)

Here is a list of out of context quotes that I have gotten so far:

"My mouth is a third hand."

"I don't like bumps on chests"

"Your pacifier is hurting me"

"I like to crack a cold beer in a hot shower"

"If I stop gambling, the children will attack me"

Finally, we got this great video of Takala the zebra on a Razor Scooter, being chased by a lion:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEZKVBaiGi0
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 http://www.conclavesf.org/. 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 [livejournal.com profile] golum, [livejournal.com profile] toracub, [livejournal.com profile] unclekage, and myself among them. Their website is at http://www.furfright.org/ 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:

DSC04143.JPG


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

DSC04162.JPG


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

DSC04172.JPG


One of the function rooms:

DSC04221.JPG


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

DSC04217.JPG

If anyone is interested, my entire set of site visit pictures can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157600212430270/ Enjoy!

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giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012

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