giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Having missed last year's FCN due to injury, I had to use this con to make up for 2 years' worth of FCN and well, it worked! Here's how I felt:

Happy Wasabi

I had an enormous amount of fun at this year's FCN. Highlights include:

- Making lots of sushi (sushi-grade fish was ordered for this)

- Watching the "Will It Blend" panel, wherein the presenters proceeded to both blend and freeze various items

- Making sushi for the second day in a row

- Getting to see/socialize with people I don't normally get to talk to because we're both busy at other cons

- Working security again, and doing badge check in higher traffic areas, so I got to chat with people who came by

Fursuiters Fizz shows us liquid nitrogen Gigantic glow stick!
Fizz shows us fish Making sushi DSC_4299

What else was there to like? Ah yes, the bartenders! They absolutely loved us this year, and one of them even remembered me from 2 years ago. (and gave me grief about not making it last year, haha)

Alien88 and ToraCub Legos Beer Kegs
The end of the fursuit parade Hanging off of a pole Yes, Costello?

I have many more pictures that I can't post here, so instead I'll give the link, as usual:

Next con for me is Anthrocon! I'll see you all there. Stay safe.
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)
Who is going to FCN? Post here if you are!

When are you arriving?

What is your favorite color?
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Sadly, it looks like I won't be able to make Furry Connection North his year.

For folks who don't know me that well, I suffer from an interesting condition known to medical science as "chondromalacia", or "runner's knee". Essentially what happens is that for some individuals who are active (I normally exercise 5 days a week), the cartilage under the kneecap becomes inflamed. This in turn causes the kneecap to "wobble" more than it normally should, and pisses off all of the muscles around it, both above and below.

I've had flareups before, but this one is particularly severe. Attempting to climb steps causes a horrible stabbing pain just under my left kneecap. Trying to lug bags though an airport on Wednesday and then being away from home for 6 days just has "bad idea" written all over it.

Of course, I'm treating it. I have the usual knee braces that one would wear, a prescription of Piroxicam, and just started physical therapy today. I got a full evaluation, which includes a list of exercises I need to do each day, and a list of things NOT to do.

So I have a roadmap of what I need to do to get better. I just don't see myself making enough of a recovery by Wednesday to make it to FCN. Sorry, guys.

I guess there are some upsides to this, though:

- I'm not burning 3 vacation days

- I'm not spending $400+ on a hotel room (didn't think to find roommates in time. My fault, I know.)

- I don't have to worry about my condition getting worse while I'm away from home. I can rest and take it easy *at* home instead.

- Since I run the FCN website, I can easily update it during the con.

I hope those of you who are going have fun. Feel free to send texts, pics, and Tweets.

I'll see you all at the next furry con which, for me, will be Anthrocon.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I know this is a bit last minute, but I've currently got a room to myself at FCN.

It's a double room (two beds), and I arrive Thursday and leave Monday.

If anyone is interested in a piece of that room, please follow up with me either here, or privately.


[Edit: Uh, nevermind. :-P ]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
This year's Furry Connection North was another heck of a convention! With 727 attendees, the convention's attendance nearly doubled over last year! Clearly, the current state of the economy did not hurt this year's event.

I did something a little different this convention. A few months back, I made it a point to start saving all of my $5 bills when getting change. By the time FCN rolled around, I have a few hundred dollars in $5s. Aside from the strange looks I got from my bank teller when turning all of those $5s into larger bills, this provided me with a convenient way to set aside some spending money for the convention. Even though my total amount of money did not change, being able to set aside cash meant that I actually spent more on artwork and books at this convention. That's a win-win for everybody!

The one downside about this convention for me was that I didn't get to see as much of the convention as I would have liked to, due to some of the shifts I worked on security (provided by the Dorsai Irregulars this time around). I worked 2 shifts that were from midnight to 6 AM, and 1 shift from 6 AM to Noon. This left me sleeping during the mornings and early afternoons so I didn't get to see as much of the con or my friends as I would have liked (sorry [ profile] cliff_husky!). I did get to make up for this on Sunday though, by attending closing ceremonies, the live Method 1 show, and Gir's dance, which totally rocked.

This new hotel was also full of win. The staff loved us. One of the bartenders decided on Saturday afternoon that she just had to have a tail to wear, so I ended up loaning her one of mine. I am told that this boosted the amount she received in tips. :-)

Other things that made FCN cool:

- All the food places within walking distance.

- The "I'm on a boat" song.

- Everytime someone said the word "asshole" and [ profile] film2edit was in hearing distance, she would pipe up with "100% asshole?"

- The few noise complaints I handled, the occupants of the rooms were very nice and very apologetic. That made the con that much more enjoyable to work.

- The bar having $8 Long Island Iced Teas.

- A reasonably priced lunch/dinner menu at the hotel's restaurant.

- Cardboard cutouts of Obama and George Bush. They made for nice party items.

- Getting to chat with [ profile] duncan_the_dog, who swung by Con Ops in the middle of an otherwise boring late night security shift.

Oh, you wanted to see some pictures? Sure!

Chillymouse Duncan the Dog and friends Duncan the Dog Whitefeet and George Bush... sort of

Moving the giant freezer A fursuiter gets a massage Lasers at the dance

Duncan the Dog gets a beer Fizz and crew Ciaphas, Eddidiums, and Dark Tigger

The full set, as always, can be found on Flickr:

My next non-furry con will be Anime Central, which I will be working security at. And I leave for that, uh... tomorrow morning! My next actual furry con after that will be Anthrocon.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Myself holding [ profile] film2edit:

...which incidentally, is about the closest I will come to picking up women at furry conventions. :-)

I'm still writing my con report and tagging my pictures. I'll post 'em here when I'm all done.

Other than recovering from the con, I've been busy catching up with other things, like writing some more unit and function tests for the Anthrocon Reg system. Earlier today, I got a nice "critical mass" of tests written, so that I can start adding features and fixing bugs, yet be fairly confident that I haven't broken anything. We'll see how that works out!
giza: (Dorsai Irregulars Beret)
First off, go to Google right now, and type in "me". (iGoogle users please log out first) This will give you the chance to create your personal profile and "claim" your name on Google, so that people will more easily be able to find you. Here's my profile:

I also got this new icon, courtesy of [ profile] finnishfox. It's the very first character art that has my DI beret on it.

I catch my flight out to Furry Connection North tonight. The plan is to drink heavily crash at [ profile] girtygrin's place tonight, and arrive on site tomorrow morning to help out with setup.

I've had a bit of a headache for the last week or so. At first I thought it was sinus-related, as I got over a cold the week before that, but now I'm not so sure. I have no history of migraines or cluster headaches, but maybe I'm in the process of getting history. :-) The good news is that 800 mg of ibuprofen helps a lot. The bad news is that I may have to be very careful about alcohol intake at the con. We'll see.

I'll be working security at the con with the Dorsai Irregulars. I haven't seen the schedule yet, but I believe the plan was to have me working nights. This means I'll have weird hours at the con, which can be good or bad.

Google now has an "apps status" dashboard, which is kinda nifty when Gmail goes down:

That's all for now. Gotta finish up work and catch my flight. I hope I'll see all of you at FCN!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I can't believe I forgot to write more details about my trip to Furry Connection North!

For the impatient, my full archive of pictures can be found on Flickr:

I flew in on Wednesday night, so I could help out with setup on Thursday. For those of you reading this who have never been to a furry convention before, people tend to arrive early and stay late. So we did setup on Thursday morning to prepare for folks arriving as early as Thursday evening:

Food for the Sponsor Lounge Drinks for the Sponsor lounge Conbadges

As the con started to fill up on Thursday and into Friday, we got the con suite and the "Pimp Suite" up and running. There were plenty of things to munch on, with beer for those over the age of 21:

Slushie machine Beer kegs are ready to go Soda cooler

The layout of the hotel consisted of an atrium with a large central area where attendees could congregate, similar to The Zoo at Anthrocon:

View from the second floor Convention space Convention space

Registration was at the set of long tables that were off to the side of the area. And for those of you were who in that area and saw a wireless network with the SSID of Cheetahs Are Chewtoys? That was my doing. You're welcome.

Let's talk about the dances for a minute. The dances absolutely rocked. With laser lights and fog, they were lots of fun:

Green Reaper at the rave Lasers at the rave Lasers at the rave

I was working on security at this convention, so I didn't get to drop in on as many panels or performances as I would have liked, but I made a few, including Branwyn's performance, and the "Science and Pseudoscience" panel. I didn't get to make all of Uncle Kage's Story Hour, but I did get to "buzz" the Story Hour halfway through with some of the other Dorsai Irregulars. 5 of us just walked in the back, single file, and stood there. This was enough to derail his train of thought and cause him to blurt out, "OMG it's the Dorsai Irregulars!"

On Sunday afternoon, there were fursuit games, held in the open area in the atrium. There was a turnout of 20 or so fursuiters:

Fursuit games Fursuit games Fursuit games

One of the things that I liked about working this convention was that the folks running it had the attitude of, "Get the hard work done, THEN party". So when Sunday evening came around, partying was something we did:

Pacman pizza Ms. Pacman pizza Interacting with The Lion King

Overall, the con went great! The hotel staff were awesome, as were the convention staff. Everyone had a job to do, and they went about doing it. No attitudes, no infighting, just hard work all around. And that's how a successful con happens.

The final attendance of the convention was 372 attendees. This is a record for a first year furry convention held in a new city, and is something that we can all be proud of.

If there's one thing that could be improved on, it would be the temperature of some of the hotel rooms. That was pretty much the only significant complaint we had. And it will be addressed for next year's Furry Connection North. :-)

Our Guest of Honor (Latin Vixen) seemed to enjoy the convention too:

Latin Vixen and friend
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I just registered for Furry Connection North, and you should too!

Sponsorships (aka "pimp"-level memberships) are only $50, and regular memberships for the entire convention are only $25. I would recommend a Pimp Membership though, because where else can you find a sponsor lounge that has beer?

The hotel (the Ann Arbor Best Western Executive Plaza) is very affordable, too. King rooms are available at the low price of $67/night and Double rooms are $75/night. Plus, the hotel is quite lovely. I know, I've been there before. Last year's Dorsai Thing was held there.

So how about getting there? The nearest airport is Detroit's airport (DTW). I can't speak for the rest of the country, but flying there from Philly is incredibly cheap. Like, $200 cheap if you order your tickets well in advance. Plus, since that route (PHL-DTW) isn't too popular, that means there is space in the first class cabin if you want to upgrade. I've upgraded every single time I've flown to Detroit for only $50.

tl;dr: inexpensive membership, inexpensive hotel, and an inexpensive trip. What reason is there NOT to attend Furry Connection North?

I'll see you there. :-)
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Since Furry Connection North is a first year con, they've been relying on the generosity of staff to loan the convention money. They'd like to repay them ASAP, but furs generally don't register until the month before a convention actually happens. They're getting some registrations, but to encourage more, they've organized a promotion.

The first 25 people to register will be put into a raffle to be given a free upgrade to Pimp status! (If the winner registered as a Pimp, they'll get a $25 refund.) This includes cash, check and credit card registrations, so however you register you can participate. So go to and register with your credit card, get the form to mail in a check, or give [ profile] nikvulper or [ profile] girtygrin cash and a printed out form at a furmeet.

Good luck, and I'll see you at the con!


giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012



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