I spent the last weekend in Chicago, working at the 15,000 person convention known as Anime Central, or ACen for shirt. I worked on their Incident Response Team (IRT) during the night shift, which involved many duties similar to security at other conventions, but much more structured because of the size of the convention and the number of people working IRT.
For example, we divided up the hotel into areas known as "beats". When you went on roving duty, you were assigned to a specific beat, which you had to walk on a regular basis. Oh yes, there was lots and lots of walking at this con. We all worked with partners as well, which was a great way for folks on IRT to get to know each other, and pairing up more experienced ops with less experienced ops provided a great learning opportunity for the less experienced person.
ACen did something else I've never before seen at a convention: they had a dispatch room. If you were on duty with a radio and you needed to call something in, you usually didn't call your superior, but instead called Dispatch. Dispatch then logged the call and made the decision on what to do
There were also a surprising number of furries and proto-furries who attended the convention. I didn't think there would be as much overlap between furry and Anime as there was.
Somewhere in there, Duncan da Husky, Takaza, and Linnaeus came by and we did lunch. All I remember was getting off of night shift and going to sleep around 7 AM, and being woken up by a 2:30 PM phonecall from Duncan telling me they were there.
Everyone on IRT was loaned a black vest to wear. This had the benefit of being highly visible, plus it gave us pockets to carry around water and food in so we could stay hydrated and fed while on our beat.
Did I mention how cool the people working IRT were? There were many dedicated ops who worked long hours in what was essentially a volunteer position. That really made the convention an enjoyable experience for me, and I think I'll be going back next year.
Oh, you wanted to see the rest of my pictures? Sure! They're on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157618360496216/
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 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 Chillymouse 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 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!
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.
[Edit: Some folks have set up a successor to the list at http://spammers.dontlike.us/ (SDLU). I have no current involvement with that list, but I encourage folks to check it out!]
Paul Russel posted this to the SPAM-L mailing list earlier today:
Recurring incidents involving animosity between list members have taken their
toll. The SPAM-L list will be shut down on Monday, 11 May 2009. The list
archives will remain online and searchable by subscribers for approximately 30
days after the list is shut down, however, requests for list-owner assistance
will be ignored.
I joined this list in 1996 and have been a co-owner, with Doug Muth and Pete
Weiss, since 1998. Pete has already posted his farewell. Doug and I want to
thank those whose positive contributions made this list a useful resource for
so many people for so many years, however, we believe that the list has outlived
its usefulness. Anyone with a web browser can find a plethora of anti-spam
resources that did not exist when the list was created in August 1995.
It's a shame that we can't keep the list going, but speaking for myself, I just don't have the spare time to handle running the list anymore. I'm sure that if the community is motivated, a successor to the list will be created to fill the gaps.
Years with links are where I have photos online. Italicized years are where I worked staff.
Furry conventions: 41
Non-furry conventions: 28
Conventions I was staff at: 53
Total conventions: 69
For the whole list of staffing I've done at those conventions, there's now a separate blog post for that.
Moon Mochi organized a fursuit bowling get together last night. About 24 people showed up and we bowled for 2 hours. I had lots of fun hanging out, bowling, and socializing.
The full archive of my pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmuth/sets/72157616297814941/. Enjoy!
Pretty much what the subject says. I called AT&T around 10 AM this morning, gave them my temp phone number, main phone number, and Verizon account number, and they started the porting process. The rep then said, and I quote, "Verizon said that the porting will be complete by 10:19 AM". Not 10:20, but 10:19. These people are detail-oriented!
Sure enough, at 10:19, I got this text message:
Yes, the background is what you think it is.
I also picked up this battery pack the other day:
It's handy, because I can keep my phone (or iPod) charged while I'm traveling. Since using the net via 3G on the iPhone eats up the battery, this has proven to be a good investment. The battery pack may be small, but since it's one giant battery (as opposed to a fraction of the iPhone's value being a battery), I estimate I can get about 3 iPhone charges out of this. Not bad!
I've been really into Twitter lately. Moreso than LiveJournal, in fact. One of the reasons why I have been all over Twitter is because the clients for reading it are all stream-oriented. But that, it makes it very easy to go through a large number of Tweets, and I can click on a specific Tweet for more info about its author. LiveJournal really needs something like that.
So, does anybody know if any such software exists? No, an RSS reader probably won't cut it. The ones I've used so far require you to click on a link to read any part of an LJ entry, and wouldn't scale too well past 1,000 entries. (I'll hit that in a month) I'd probably need software that was written just with LJ in mind.
I first met Furp back in 2003 or so, when Uncle Kage felt that he would be a good addition to Con Ops. That totally turned out to be the case. He worked hard, and partied harder when the work was done.
Furp didn't just work Anthrocon, he worked other cons, and not always in an official capacity either. Furp was an EMT, and if there was ever a crisis situation, he would attend to it. I know more than once he spent the night in an emergency room with a convention attendee who had fallen ill, whether that person was a stranger or not.
Furp was also one of the most relaxed and good natured guys I know. I guess it comes with the territory when you're an EMT. Having worked my share of security incidents with him over the years, he was usually the calmest person in the room.
Believe it or not, I didn't initially hear of Furp's passing from furries, but from the other Dorsai Irregulars. Furp was loved by the DI, in fact some of our folks referred to working with Furp as a "highlight of Anthrocon". While Furp was never inducted into the DI, he is definitely "one of us", and I believe his induction was only a matter of time. Sadly, that will never happen now.
Con Ops won't be the same without you, Furp.
One of the things I like to do is save my spare change in a container, and every few years go count the change and see how much money I end up with. So I drafted Uncle Kage to help, and we went to counting...
8,420 coins and $350 or so later... and this is what we came up with:
I figure this should be spending money for Furry Connection North when I go in 3 months.
Oh, and what happened to all of the coins? I sold them to Grandma Kage. I did NOT inquire what plans she had for them.
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.
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:
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:
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:
Yes, I know. I used to be such a big fanboy of PhillyCarShare. But, things changed over the last few months in a very negative way. Rates went up. And now with the sudden and unannounced closing of the Ardmore pod, there are no longer any pods within walking distance of my home.
Rather than reproduce the entire post here, I'll just point folks to where it lives on the Save Ardmore Coalition website:
It's also been pointed out to me that local real estate developers in Ardmore were selling the town as being "walkable", and how car ownership was not required. Apparently the PhillyCarShare pod was cited as an example of such. Said developers might not be too happy at hearing of PCS's quiet departure. Whoops.