mortonfox: (selfie gif)
This past weekend was my trip to Pittsburgh for Anthrocon. As usual though, I went a day early and drove overnight Tuesday/Wednesday to do some geocaching along the way. However, other than a few around Breezewood, Bedford and Donegal, most of the caches I got were around Greensburg, where I saw giant flowers and Roadside Giants. The area is rather hilly, which makes for some nice views from even as mundane a location as a Walmart parking lot.

Finally got to Pittsburgh in the afternoon. The first change I noticed was Penn Avenue had become one-way to make room for bike lanes. That screwed me up a bit because I didn't know about that beforehand and had to take a detour around several blocks to get to the Grant Street Transportation Center red garage entrance, my usual parking location. The second change I saw was the new Westin lobby. It does look a lot more up-to-date, with modern fixtures, a green wall (with live plants) running way up, and a new lounge/office area. (They moved the Westin gift shop towards the back to make room for that.)

And finally, I saw the new smart elevators. These turn the notion of requesting a floor on its head. Instead of waiting until you get into the elevator before pushing a floor button, you have to tell it the floor you want and then it assigns you an elevator. There are no floor buttons inside the elevator. One obvious plus is this puts an end to that old prank of pushing every button in an elevator. The system can also optimize elevator assignments by putting people going to the same floor on the same elevator so it makes fewer stops. The downside is it isn't completely foolproof. People can make mistakes requesting the wrong floor or requesting the same floor multiple times because they forgot the elevator assignment or thought it wasn't coming. There is no way to undo a request, so that could end up calling more elevators unnecessarily. Also, the elevator assumes a certain number of people can fit, which could be way off if one or more have luggage carts. (A Westin bellhop told me about this problem.)

More... )

The caches... )
mortonfox: (selfie gif)
So this weekend, I attended Fur the 'More 2015. (I think I've had the apostrophe in the wrong place before but I checked the website this time!) It is strange that a convention whose name is a play on Baltimore was held in Tysons Corner, Virginia, this year, but I was assured that it was due to circumstances beyond their control and they're still looking to return to Baltimore eventually. However, I thought the new location was excellent! The Sheraton is right next to two building complexes with lots of restaurants and a Walmart. Because of the variety of food choices, both fast casual and sit-down, within walking distance, I didn't need to drive out anywhere the entire weekend. (although I heard that one group went out for tacos 20 miles away, which, for that much driving, had better be some pretty amazing tacos!) The hotel itself isn't so amazing though. Air conditioning was a tad weak for the lobby area, the layout was weird, and the elevator button panel on my floor was loose and ready to fall off if I looked at it wrong. This time, I shared a room with Panzer the cat and JBadger. (who joined us on Friday)

Wall of text! )

Overall, I thought Fur The 'More 2015 was an enjoyable convention and I plan to be there again next year. There were some issues here and there, but I don't expect perfection and I'm sure the con and the hotel will eventually fix those. What I like about this con is their willingness to add new ideas to the mix every year. This will ensure that it doesn't stagnate.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (rakket)
On Saturday, I only went for geocaches around Newark, Hockessin, and Cecil County because I was planning to attend DE Furbowl 55 that evening. Actually, there were quite a number of local geocaches by this time because I hadn't been going geocaching on weekdays after work because of the earlier sunsets. I also noticed that some new geocachers have been busy placing caches around North East and Rising Sun, which is good because it keeps the Cecil County area fresh.

In the evening, I had an early dinner and then went to AMF Prices Corner for Furbowl. The place was busy! It'd been 11 months since my last Furbowl and my understanding is attendance is regularly in the triple digits now. I wore the Rakket Raccoon fursuit this time. It was a fun time, although I didn't stay all the way to the end because I had to prepare for the next day.

On Sunday, my first destination was Uwchlan to get more of the "13 Superstitions" series. It was a bummer though that the final 13th cache was under repair, but at least I got the required codes from the first 12 of those. There were some rather creative caches in this series, among them, the black cat and the clump of clover. Thank goodness the latter wasn't too deep in the bush or it may have been tough to find! After that, I went farther north to Nantmeal and Douglassville. Monocacy Hill was surprisingly packed. I wasn't able to get a proper parking space in the main area so I only got the two closest geocaches that I could access from roadside parking near a side entrance. And finally, I went way north to Bally for the "Stove Road" series of caches. The "road" here is an old woods road that's rocky, somewhat overgrown, and barely discernible in some spots, but the 4 caches were pretty good and worth negotiating the terrain to get to.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (rakket)
I frequently have event conflicts. For example, this weekend, I could either have gone to a geocaching event on Long Beach Island and stayed the weekend or to Delaware Furbowl 50. In the end, there were more reasons to go to Furbowl. Firstly, the 50th Furbowl is quite a big milestone, drawing some visitors from far away. (Fibre Kitty from Massachusetts, Nbowa from Iowa) Also, I was told that Furbowls will be held less frequently in 2014, so it'll be two months until the next one. What tipped the scale though was the weather forecast. Snow was forecasted for Sunday (which turned out to be correct), so if I stayed overnight by the Jersey Shore, driving home on Sunday would be difficult.

Anyway, since I was going to Furbowl, I didn't go geocaching too far from home. I got two geocaches in Delaware and then 11 more in Havertown, Upper Darby, and West Philadelphia. West Philly wasn't that great for geocaching because of the scarcity of parking spaces. Nevertheless, I parallel-parked as expertly as I could and got a few caches there anyway. I stopped geocaching a bit early to come home for a change of clothing. (pants were muddy) Then I went to dinner and then to the bowling alley for Furbowl.

I've been to a bunch of Furbowls over the years but #50 was the best one I've been to in quite a while. It actually didn't feel too crowded despite the number of people attending, and I got to meet up with my friends again. Also, the fursuit lounge seemed more well-constructed than before, probably a result of incremental improvements over many months. It's amazing how much piping, curtains, and racks go up and then get taken down again at the end of the night. It's like a traveling stage show. This Furbowl, I took the opportunity to debut Rakket Raccoon, another new old fursuit (old, but new to me and perhaps new to folks around here) I recently acquired. Because of the season, I put the springy Santa hat, which Wildwolf had included in the shipment, on Rakket's head and that turned out to be a hit! Endless zany fun. It was also fun to mess with people who didn't know yet who was in the fursuit. Really kept them guessing since I often don't speak in fursuit.

Sunday was the day of the forecasted snow. It was only cloudy in the morning, so I thought I would dash out after breakfast for a few geocaches and head home once the snow started. There was already some snow when I got to Upper Providence, so I stopped after the third cache and headed home. Well, the snowstorm had taken Delaware County by surprise so they hadn't salted the roads. I was still able to drive home on the snowy roads at around 15mph with minimal traction problems. The funny thing was I noticed the salt truck was following me for a few miles, so I got no benefit from that. Also, it would be funny if my car was on Channel 6 news since the news van was following me too. Anyway, I got home safely even though the highway was a snow field littered with spun-out cars.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
This weekend, I went to FA United 6 at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, NJ. From the outset, I didn't expect to do much at this con since the programming looked a bit skimpy but I went to the dances, the fursuit games, and the pool party, and I got to hang out with some friends from New Jersey and nearby. I think that was enough to make the trip worthwhile. There wasn't a con suite this year and I missed that, but on the plus side, I enjoyed the pool party on Saturday evening. I was told that Megaplex also has pool parties but I've never been to a con with a pool party, so this is novel to me.

The downside was some friction we had with the wedding party. I noticed that a few of them were harrassing con attendees. My handler and I (when I was in fursuit) too were on the receiving end of some impolite questions but we brushed those off. Then at around 3:45am on Saturday, there was a fire alarm. We found out later that there was a fight among the wedding party guests and someone pulled the fire alarm. Police had to intervene. I wasn't in the hotel lobby at the time, so that is what I heard from others. I hope FA United grows big enough to fill the hotel so we won't have to share with other groups who may be disruptive but that might take a while.

As usual, I went geocaching in that area both before and after the con. I also did a few during the con with my roommate [ profile] jbadger. Northern NJ has some good geocaches at scenic locations like Boonton Falls. However, in making my rounds, I was reminded of a reason why I moved away from that area. On Thursday, I went for "Lemonade" in the Bridgewater area and saw that the cache container was trashed. If that wasn't bad enough, there was an unfriendly sign at the cache site telling us to go away. I'm sure that most people around there are nice but in my experience, a few mean ones can ruin things for everyone else and I seem to come across them far too often.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut husky)
I was at Fur 'the More in Hunt Valley, MD, this weekend. It's a first-year con so I'll hold the criticism, unless they really want to hear it. I do enjoy a small (473 attendees) con and it should not be in a hurry to grow. There were no lines at any time and none of the con events were filled to capacity. It's nice to still be able to find a seat even if one is a few minutes late to a panel or show. The fursuit parade (with only 94 suiters) was short and sweet. Even the Furlympics (fursuit games) benefitted from not having too large a crowd. With only around 20 participants, musical chairs and the limbo contest were pretty quick, and we soon got to the fun balloon-popping part of the games. As for the dances, I liked the Sock Hop on Saturday. This has been done at other cons before but it was really neat to have it at Frankie & Vinnie's, a 50s-style diner in the lower level of the hotel.

The hotel is in a rather good location because it's across the road from Hunt Valley Towne Center, a big strip mall with a variety of stores and restaurants. I had quite a number of meals from the Wegmans food court over there, although my roommate, [ profile] jbadger, and I did venture out once for crab cakes at a local fish fry store. Unfortunately, it may not be a safe area. There was an armed robbery at the Hunt Valley McDonald's during the con and a few con attendees witnessed that. Be careful!

I didn't do too many geocaches Thursday on the way there. My main goal that day was to do "Tiger Tracks", a webcam cache in the vicinity of the Towson University tiger sculpture. I enjoyed a walk on the North Central Rail trail afterwards. Monday, on the way out of Hunt Valley, I geocached in scenic Oregon Ridge Park and took another long hike by the Loch Raven Reservoir. I should've stopped there but I ventured too close to Baltimore afterwards and encountered much dog poop, junk on the streets, and dangerous open manholes. Good thing I didn't fall into one of those!

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
On Saturday, I headed downstate for the Mid-Summer's Cache Luncheon, a geocaching event at Rudy's Diner in Harrington. I thought it was a good event for meeting up with fellow geocachers from around the state, but we may have seriously underestimated attendance because the party room was packed! I had a pork roll & cheese sandwich. After that, we headed out to do all the new geocaches that had been placed for the event. Even though it was a rainy afternoon, we had a lot of fun dashing around the town. I did some of the geocaches with the group and some on my own. In the evening, I went back to Wilmington for DE Furbowl 38. I was a bit late to the event, so I didn't bowl this time. However, I still fursuited a bit, talked to friends, joined the group photo, and had a good time overall.

I wasn't sure if it was going to rain on Sunday, so I decided not to travel too far from home. I did some geocaches around West Chester, Exton, and Downingtown that I'd been saving for just such a day. Actually, a number of those geocaches were from a recent event that I didn't attend. In the end, it didn't rain and so the best part of the day was a hike in Marsh Creek State Park to finally visit the two geocaches on the west side of the lake. This hike would've been better in the fall (for temperature and scenery) but I can never tell when I'll be back.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut husky)
I was at the Hanover Marriott in Northern New Jersey from Friday to Monday for FA United 5. Shared a hotel room with [ profile] jbadger again, just like last year. Now because I've heard a few complaints about this con, I have to say that we ought to set our expectations a bit lower since it's a smaller con than Anthrocon and Furfright and it has less programming. Given that, I thought I had a pretty good time overall. Not every con needs to be a rush of activity and I liked having the time to do what I wanted to do, to talk to people, and to let spontaneous things happen. It was slow at times but never actually dull.

The new hotel had more than enough space for our group. The common areas never seemed packed or congested at any time during the con, so it could probably accommodate a con two or three times the size. The only space that seemed a bit small was the con suite (especially at dinner time, when the line spilled out into the hallway) but the room is the size it is, so I don't think we can do much about that. Housekeeping was probably a bit understaffed that weekend; I noticed they weren't done with the rooms until the evening on Saturday.

As I mentioned earlier, there wasn't a lot of programming but I enjoyed the events that I did attend. The Sock Hop (oldies music dance) on Friday evening was fun and actually quite danceable in fursuit. The Miracle Fruit Tasting Party was the most unusual panel I've ever been to. Miracle fruit is a berry containing a chemical that makes sour foods taste sweet. So in this panel, we ate miracle fruit in pill form and then tried various kinds of food and juices. That was certainly a different experience! On Saturday night, we made our own spontaneous event, tearing around the lobby doing various funny stuff in fursuit. (Hope we didn't annoy the hotel folks too much!)

The day after the con, I returned to Bridgewater for the Triple Tuesday Pints & Patties - 2012 geocaching event. This monthly Central Jersey geocaching event has been going on for quite a number of years. It's the third Tuesday of every month. It used to be in New Brunswick but switched around to a few other places and then moved to Fuddruckers in Bridgewater after the New Brunswick Fuddruckers went out of business. I can't attend as often as I used to because I'm now further away but I figured I might as well extend my vacation by one day and do it this month. It was a comparatively small gathering this time, but I got to meet up with some of the regulars plus a few folks I haven't seen before. I noticed that the next Third Tuesday falls on my birthday, which makes attending this event again a tempting proposition if I take that day off from work.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
From the outset, I decided that I wasn't going to do as much this year at Anthrocon and that I was going to take it easy. Well, it never actually worked out that way. Although I wasn't in the Masquerade this time around, I was in the fursuit games, which I missed last year. And the rest of the time, I took part in the continuous string of events every day from morning to night. It was a load of fun.

Public Fursuiting: It seems lots of Pittsburgh locals know about Anthrocon now and there was a crowd of people on Friday and Saturday night hanging out in the Westin lobby, outside the Westin, and at the corner by Tonic, chatting with the furries and getting pictures with fursuiters. I thought that was amusing so instead of going to the dance, I fursuited out on the sidewalk in front of the Westin. It was a good, fun crowd. It reminded me of mascot gigs I've done, except this time, the adults rather than the kids were the excited ones.

There's one in every crowd: On Friday night, I was approached by a young lad who said he was not a furry but wanted to know about diaper fetish within the furry community. I wasn't even sure how to address that or if I should even say anything, so I told him that there may be some furries into that but I personally had nothing to tell him about it. Thankfully, that ended the conversation.

Tag Drama: For a number of years now, Anthrocon has issued special plastic tags to fursuiters. The design on the tag is different every year and it's a neat memento of the con. On Friday, I started hearing rumors that they weren't handing out tags to those wearing partial fursuits. One fursuiter actually started complaining to me about it, as if I had anything to do with that decision. Anyway, I took a look at who wasn't getting the tag and it was someone who wore street clothes and sneakers with just a fursuit head and gloves. Geez, if you're going to do that, at least try to have clothes that could be part of a costume instead of just the ordinary. However, I don't envy anyone who has to decide what is and isn't a fursuit. No matter where you draw the line, there'll always be borderline cases and judgment calls.

Slapband Story: We need to come up with better ways to secure con badges to our person. Three times this Anthrocon, I found a badge on the ground and returned it to its owner. On one of those occasions, the dorsai asked me to step aside. I was wondering what was up because he was writing down my badge number and name in his notebook. Then he put the band on my arm. (I was in fursuit at the time.) The "Dorsai Approved" slapband is apparently this year's version of the fursuiter ear tag. In previous years, the dorsai put ear tags on fursuiters, pretending to track them. (just like researchers tagging wild animals) Because there was only a limited run of tags, those became collectors' items. This year, the dorsai used numbered slap bracelets instead. From what I've heard, they didn't just give those out to any fursuiter. Some begged, some performed tricks, some were exceptionally cute, and one had to pee. (I'm not sure I even understood that story!) So the trick I performed, apparently, was to return a con badge. :)

Read more... )

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut husky)
Cloudy, 48°F. I planned on attending Delaware Furbowl 35 in the evening, which meant I wouldn't be geocaching all the way up to dusk. But I figured that was still plenty of time to shoot down to Kent County to do some of the recently-placed geocaches. Then I found that I actually had time to do some older geocaches as well in the Blairs Pond area near Milford. After a quick dinner of chicken enchiladas and taco at Hardee's in Middletown, I returned home to prepare for the evening's event.

This time, I skipped the dinner portion of DE Furbowl and went directly to the bowling alley. This month's theme is "The 80s". I visited a thrift store a few days ago to look for vintage 80s clothing for the theme. The only thing I found was a Hawaiian shirt that happened to be large enough to wear over my fursuit, so that's what I used. My bowling was rusty from not having gone to Furbowl in a few months, not that it was ever really unrusty. :) I used my right hand in the first game and my left hand in the second. My left hand did a bit better, which is strange because I'm right-handed. Anyway, I had a good time and got to talk to a few folks I haven't seen in a while. (because I hadn't been going to Furbowls, partly :) )

I noticed a few improvements since the last time I was at Furbowl. The fursuit changing area is quite a bit bigger and the curtains have been rearranged so entrance no longer faces the general area, for better privacy. Also, there is now blue tape on the floor so we know where to stand to be within camera view for the group photo. That's what I like about this event. They keep making improvements and solving problems, even problems that I'd never think of mentioning.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (coyote3)
Started Sunday with an omelet breakfast at Hanlon's. Then I returned to convention space in the Westin to do the geocaching panel with [ profile] jbadger. It was a lightly-attended panel. We were hampered by the lack of a sound system but we used the projector in the room to play some geocaching videos with my netbook. Also talked about a few geocaching topics. My schedule was open after that, so I finally had a chance to browse the art show and the dealer's room.

Had a quick Santa Fe steak taco wrap lunch at Fernando's. Then I returned to the Westin and got into the husky fursuit. Headed down to the fursuit games. Even though I was early for the event, I found out that, alas, sign-up was an hour prior and they had run out of room. No matter. I took a walk around convention center space in fursuit. Then I used the sidewalk route to return to the hotel. I got stopped a dozen times for photos just going from the Convention Center to the Westin! I guess with recent press coverage, all the Pittsburgh locals know by now to hang out there to photograph fursuiters. :)

Back at the Westin, I attended what remained of Dr. Gerbasi's furry research panel. Got out of fursuit and then went to the closing ceremony. Later in the evening, I joined Mizuhiro Neko for dinner at Hanlon's. I had a pulled pork sandwich and a slice of apple pie. I didn't see anything going on at the hotel but I got into the coyote fursuit again later on and went down to roam around, and saw that there was a Dead Dog dance taking place. I did mention earlier that the coyote fursuit is not good for dancing but I figured I should start learning to cope. And that I did. I was there until the dance closed at 2am. And that finally marked the end of Anthrocon 2011 for me! Hope to be back next year.
mortonfox: (chestnut husky)
There wasn't much going on yet Thursday morning so after a breakfast at Hanlon's (the diner that took the place of Big Mama's, which took the place of Steel City Diner), I crossed the yellow bridge over to the north side to do two geocaches, Cache of the Month Challenge: April and Everybody Loves Blue 26. The former is a challenge cache requiring that I have already found caches on every day of April before I can log that cache. Not a problem since I already have all 366 days filled in my geocaching stats calendar. I was having trouble with the latter until I discovered that my phone GPS did a lot better in the city than the automotive GPS. It's usually worse. Go figure.

Registration opened up while I was out walking so I just headed to the convention center and picked up my badge. Got into the coyote fursuit again. I solved the air flow problem. It was a silly way to do it but it works. I have one of those squeaky dog toys from Big Lots that looks like a large candy. I put that in the mouth of the costume head and that props it open just enough to breathe. So now it's a coyote holding a pink thing in its mouth. However, I did remove it for some photoshoots. That evening, I went out for dinner with [ profile] jbadger and friends to August Henry's. I had sweet potato chicken. Then the rest of the party returned to the hotel and the two of us took a walk in downtown Pittsburgh for some geocaches: Yes! We have no bananas and Market Square Nano. We also walked to two others that I'd already done.

Went to the dance that night. I was out in the coyote fursuit again for a bit but returned to my room to change to the husky fursuit because that one is better for dancing. All together, it was 3 hours at the dance and I was there until the end. It's funny because I didn't go to the main ballroom dance much last year but this year, I became some kind of dance fiend.

Friday and Saturday )
mortonfox: (coyote3)
After a light dinner on Tuesday, I finished packing for Anthrocon and loaded everything into the car. Started out at around 8pm so I had plenty of time to geocache along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and still arrive in Pittsburgh the next morning. I actually only had 8 geocaches to do on the PA Turnpike westbound so I supplemented that by stopping in Monroeville for more geocaches. There were quite a number of geocaches in that area. However, it is a very hilly area and it suffers from the problem where roads at different altitudes are often not well connected. So you can have two geocaches that are only half a mile apart but to go from one to the other, you have to wind your way through town just to get to the correct level on the hill. I decided to forgo some geocaches that seemed isolated in that way but the ones that I did do were still an interesting bunch. I also briefly visited the Monroeville Mall, which I was told was where Dawn of the Dead was filmed.

Got a little carried away, so by the time I reached Pittsburgh, it was late in the morning. I drove directly to Primanti Brothers in the Strip District since they have their own parking lot. I had a colossal fish sandwich. After that, I went to the hotel to check in but was told that they won't have the room available until 3pm. However, [ profile] joeygatorman had arrived, so we went out for a walk in downtown Pittsburgh and did two geocaches. Then [ profile] marauderosu arrived. By then, the room was ready. After I was done moving my stuff into the room, we went out for an early dinner at Golden Palace Buffet. I had beef in curry sauce over rice.

In the evening, I decided to fursuit a bit using the coyote fursuit I acquired from [ profile] wildfox34 recently. Since the con hadn't begun, we didn't have name badges. So I wrote "Kinzer II" on an index card and put that in my badge holder. I didn't tell anyone who I really was, so what everyone saw was a mysterious new coyote fursuiter roaming the hotel common area. I was wondering if anyone would think I was [ profile] wildfox34 but that didn't seem to happen. Also, this fursuit got more attention than I expected. I guess it is kind of cute. I still have to figure out a way to fix the breathing / air flow issue though.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
I went to Lawrenceville, NJ, this morning to do a mascot gig at the Lawrenceville Jubilee. I was the first Hi-4 member to arrive at the event this time. ([ profile] jbadger and [ profile] rapidtrabbit were held up by NYC traffic.) So I changed into the husky fursuit a bit before noon and went out to the street fair area exactly when the event began. I wasn't the only mascot there though. I saw a purple dragon in the crowd. However, I didn't know which group he (or she) was from and he didn't use the Lawrenceville Main Street office as his changing area, so I didn't get to ask him out of costume. Also, I only saw the purple dragon in the first hour of the event. I guess the Hi-4 crew are the crazy ones for doing the gig for over 4 hours. :)

After that, we went to do a few geocaches before dinner since the gig ended at 5pm. I got two finds. [ profile] jbadger got four because two of the caches at Village Park in Lawrenceville were ones that I found previously when I did last year's Jubilee. Dinner was at Penang Malaysian restaurant in Princeton. I had curry mee and roti canai. After that, we did two more geocaches, "Noah's Evil Nano" and "Noah's Gazebo", since both of those were at the same strip mall as Penang. Parted ways afterwards.

I didn't stop geocaching though. I noticed that there were 3 easy geocaches around the Quaker Bridge Mall, so I went for those even though it was already night. The mall was already closed by that time and the complete absence of traffic made it easy to dash around the mall parking areas. I thought I had enough by then but I still picked up another cache, "The Rejected One", because it was only a short walk from behind the Wawa store in Florence-Roebling where I stopped to buy the Sunday newspaper. Anyway, it was a full and fun day. Hope to do the Lawrenceville gig again next year.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (otter)
My router, a Linksys WRT54GC, is getting a little outdated and I was interested in getting a newer model that can run the DD-WRT firmware. It's something I'd wanted to do for a while and reading this Coding Horror blog entry reminded me about it. CompUSA has a special on the E2000 this week, so while I was out today to get a few things, I made a stop there to check it out. As always, I used one of the internet terminals in CompUSA to read Amazon reviews. As I've mentioned before, CompUSA's providing access to Amazon is a double-edged sword, not because it's cheaper at Amazon but because customer reviews often reveal product flaws. It appears that this router has potential overheating problems. It's a low-profile device with insufficient air circulation. My WRT54GC, on the other hand, is positioned vertically, like a book standing on its edge, so that was never a problem. So the search continues.

The last few days were rainy, so I stayed home except for supply runs and breakfast coupon usage. I took the opportunity to work on a fursuit that I recently acquired inexpensively. No Name the Otter was built for someone taller (but not that much wider) than I so the arms and legs are a little long. One big plus: the head is roomy enough for me to wear glasses inside, which is useful. On Sunday, I made some measurements and hemmed the arms and legs to more appropriate lengths. It was pretty simple: fold, pin, and sew. It took pretty much all night because I was handstitching but the end result doesn't look as messy as I thought it would.

That wasn't not the only problem though. I noticed that the fursuit feet are indoor-only (felt and fur soles) and probably won't survive much wear. So on Monday, I made fursuit sandals. I got the anti-fatigue flooring from Lowe's and the nylon straps and buckles from Jo-Ann Fabrics, and got to work that evening. This too took all night until 4:30am because I was unpracticed. Knowing what I know now, there are definitely some things I would do differently or in a different order. Anyway, he should be ready. I'll do a few more wear tests at home to check for problems and see if there's a chance to debut him soon.

And finally, all the rain from the last few days is helping the grass seed patches. The first patch, which germinated mid-September, now looks much thicker. The second patch, which was slow in germinating, did spring up at last. So they join the other half-dozen or so species of grass in the backyard land grab. Personally, I'm rooting for the grass species that looks like tufts of hair, the biggest clump of which is growing out from under the heating oil tank. Not sure exactly what type it is, so I'll call it hair fescue.
mortonfox: (raccoon)
Sunny, 75-80°F. I went to Paoli Memorial Hospital this afternoon to participate in a fursuit gig organized by [ profile] snow_kitty. The hospital was having a special event to unveil their new logo and requested a few fursuiters to appear. It was a pretty short gig in the hospital courtyard. We rehearsed. Then they gave a few speeches. And finally, we came out onto the courtyard dancing to "Staying Alive". Hung around a bit afterwards for photos and that was it. Short and sweet, but not bad for the group's first time at this hospital. Hopefully, this will lead to more hospital gigs.

After that, we went to On The Border in Exton. I got a "create your own combo" and had ground beef taco, chicken enchilada, and beef empanada. While I was eating, the server brought me a second empanada because the first one was deficient in some way? I love getting extra food. :) At the end of the meal, I ordered a brownie sundae because I had a birthday coupon for a free one of those. Then the server told me I'd be getting one anyway because birthday folks get free brownie sundaes at that restaurant, which means a second brownie sundae! (Again with the extra food! :) ) I gave the second one to [ profile] kitt3ns.

And finally... some geocaching, of course! I only planned on doing an easy one that's within a mile of the restaurant but somehow ended up adding two more geocaches after that since I had time and those sounded intriguingly challenging. "FNP#2: Pine Creek" turned out to be the bigger challenge of the two. I got to a point where I was within feet of the cache horizontally but 10 feet above it vertically and it wasn't safe to jump. So I had to go a bit further to find a better place to climb down the wall.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (raccoon)
I received two more Columbia Fair Fund settlement checks in the mail. Now see, this is why I don't think mutual funds are the bee's knees. Although you receive reports now and then, there is no disclosure of day-to-day trading or whatever side deals they have with brokerages. (Think about who benefits from excessive trading.) They do things that undermine your investment value and you won't even know about it until years later if it even comes to light. Those weren't big checks but I deposited them today and they are enough to pay for this evening, which is...

... Delaware Furbowl 16. Just like the previous month, it's a dinner at East King Buffet in Wilmington followed by bowling at AMF Price Lanes. Had a good time talking to [ profile] vidantiger, [ profile] shy_matsi, [ profile] tjcoyote, and [ profile] chiono_kun at the buffet. This time, I started with a Pile of Sushi. I wanted to see how much sushi I can heap on a plate. It still wasn't enough for the whole meal, although I admit I was more than halfway full by the time I finished that! Oh, this (photo by TJCoyote) is what the sushi table looked like after I was done. Well okay, it's not all my doing as I was merely the last one in a long line of sushi pickers. Then I tried the Mongolian BBQ, which I'd been ignoring all those trips to East King Buffet. It's not bad, although not terribly special either. The novelty is you get to pick the ingredients and sauces and watch them cook. And finally, I had dessert. Can't leave without a healthy dose of cake, ice cream, and peanuts. :)

Then the whole group went to AMF Price Lanes just up the road. I wore the raccoon fursuit again for fursuit bowling. This time, the bumpers were up on my bowling lane so I didn't get any gutter balls. It's also an opportunity to try some trick shots, like picking up spares by bouncing the bowling ball off the bumpers to get a better angle. As always, we stopped in the middle of the game for a group photo. My bowling lane was fast though. We were almost done with the second game when they called everyone over for the photoshoot. One nice thing is we're now getting a discount at the bowling alley because of the size of the group. (more than 50 bowlers usually) Too bad we can't get a discount at the buffet too, although I guess I should be glad they're not charging more for wiping out the sushi table. :)
mortonfox: (raccoon)
DE Furbowl 13 Attended Delaware Furbowl 13 this evening. This is becoming quite a big event. The final attendee count was 102. There were people from as far away as a 3-hour drive and at least 5 states. As usual we started with dinner at Charcoal Pit in Wilmington. We filled up the party room at the restaurant and then some. Just like last month, I had nachos but with chicken instead of beef this time. One thing that worked very well this time was [ profile] kitt3ns' idea of stopping food orders at 7:45pm to allow the restaurant enough time to prepare separate checks for everyone before we had to leave at 8:30pm to get to the bowling alley.

At the bowling alley, we took 12 lanes! (Lanes 1-12) We hung around for a little while until the whole group got there. Then we paid up and started the game. I wore the raccoon fursuit this time. My lane was rather fast this time. We were already well into the second game when the halftime photoshoot was called. After the photoshoot, we finished the game. I hung around a little while before changing out of fursuit, packing up, and going home. This event goes on until midnight usually, so it's great that I live only 10 minutes away and won't get home too late. In summary, this is the best DE Furbowl I've been to yet. No snow or rain this evening and everything went smoothly. I look forward to DE Furbowl 14 next month.
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
It snowed today but by my estimation, the snowfall was less than 3 inches around here. So I brushed the snow off the car, shoveled the driveway, and headed out to Delaware Furbowl 12.5. I was rather scatterbrained this evening but somehow, everything worked out okay. While driving up the snow-covered Route 141, I realized that I'd forgotten to pack a pair of shorts. What to do? Turn around? Well, no, I just picked up a pair at the Walmart on Centerville Rd. By chance, the kind that I use was on clearance too. Better remember to pack these the next time though. I was under the impression that I could remember everything without a packing list but I'm older now and little things slip my mind with greater frequency now.

Arrived at Charcoal Pit more or less on time. The group was early this time and had already set themselves up in the restaurant's party room. Someone else (Zepher?) ordered the pit supreme nachos and I saw that it was big enough to eat as an entree, so that's what I ordered too. It's so good that I may just have to get it again next month. Due to some problems with the split checks, we were a bit delayed after dinner but finally, we all made it to AMF Price Lanes for the bowling part of the meet.

There, we got to a bit of a late start so we didn't actually finish the two sets. I bowled in fursuit. (husky fursuit this time. The raccoon was already at bowling meet in October, so I figured I'd bring a different suit this time.) Lousily, as usual. I seemed to hit either most of the pins or nothing at all. Got a strike once, although I think it was by chance. Important thing is it was fun. In between games, we stopped for a photoshoot. Then we continued into the second game until the bowling alley closed for the night. By that time, the snow had stopped. The roads weren't so bad. Route 141 was merely wet, not snow-covered.
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
On Sunday, our Hi-4 group went to Jones Beach on Long Island to do a mascot gig at the 2009 Walk Now for Autism Long Island. There are some troublesome issues with Autism Speaks' stance on vaccinations but it's my last year doing this gig, so I won't worry too much about it. In costume this time were [ profile] jbadger, [ profile] rukario71, [ profile] rapidtrabbit, and I.

I thought this was a good event. Few events we do have attendance in the 5 figures and this is one of them. (27,000 people) Event volunteers were helpful in providing transport from parking to changing area (a tent at the end of the field behind the stage), providing water and snacks, and checking on us every now and then. I did 3 sets, a long one at the start, a medium one, and a short one at the end. Posed for photos dozens of times. Also met the GEICO gecko, MetLife Snoopy, and Elmo. (the guy playing the latter had been introduced to our group)

After the gig, we had lunch at East Bay Diner in Wantagh. Then [ profile] rukario71, [ profile] jbadger, and I went and did a bunch of geocaches around Levittown, Massapequa, and Smithtown. We didn't have much time before sunset so it was good that there were a few that were close together. In the evening, we went to Flushing Chinatown for soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. These are dumplings with a bit of soup inside. There is some novelty to these soup dumplings, but I wasn't impressed with the service. We went there just for the soup dumplings and although we did order two steamers of dumplings, the servers kept coming back and asking if that was really all we were ordering. Quite annoying. Also, they add an automatic 15% gratuity to the bill, a practice I deplore. And that's all they got.

The caches... )


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Morton Fox

September 2017

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