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October 19th, 2009

Furfright 2009 report

I got back from FurFright yesterday at around 11 PM. We left at around 4:30, which was earlier than I had really wanted to, but honestly there wasn't a whole lot to do until closing ceremonies at 6, and although I did want to go to the parties and such last night, we had a 5+ hour drive ahead of us to factor in. Luckily, the drive home was actually only about 5.5 hours, unlike the 7.5-8 hours (IIRC) for the drive in, through mondo rain and actual snow. And like 20 bucks in road tolls. I must've eaten 10 pounds of beef jerky, YooHoo, Frankenberry cereal, Slim Jims, and Chili dogs on the ride in. It was comical.

We got in at night (9ish?) Thursday and chilled out for a few, then farted around for awhile in the lobby. I can't remember if we went to the dance, probably so. The dances at FF are far superior to the ones at AC. The music isn't all 'clubby' and techno, it was actual music with actual words. I underestimated how much my recent sickness wore out my endurance, because I was almost passing out from the strain of dancing in a suit. Luckily they have the headless lounge right next door to the main (dance) room, which is an excellent idea. Cougar found himself a new friend to dance with the whole con since I was captain redface McEmphysema and sucked water like a first-time scubadiver.

The parade was also very good, with much quicker 'organization', getting everyone together outside where it was nice and cool, and then marching us all around the atrium walkway and back around to outside for some pictures. The picture line-up could've been better as I'm sure I was hidden behind the people in front of me. But it was cool outside and I got to hang out with my fellow FF skunks, Jouva and Tyco, for a bit. Also I got to briefly meet Tilt Longtail the cheetah and Scape the goat, both cool dudes. I usually don't meet up with people I don't already know at AC so it was rather nice to do so. I don't like to be the dork that makes a point of dropping names but I enjoyed meeting them all. And I enjoyed the little fursuit-making panel that Tilt the cheetah and his buddy Foxwell(?) did although as always I wish it had lasted longer as I am a slow learner.

Programming was sparse at this con compared to others as I understand it, certainly compared to AC but the people who run FF are much more pleasant. I actually enjoyed opening ceremonies as well as the masquerade and the little game shows they ran on Friday. I give most of the credit there to the guy who (I assume) is in charge, Belic the bear. That guy really puts on a good show and unlike some con emcees, actually knows how to work a mic without rupturing eardrums.

I dug the layout of the con, as it was (almost) on one level only, and the bar was well-positioned and the beer was good, good enough for me to take my head off and drink one before the dance. The restaurant was..okay but at least the location was good, and some of the rooms opened to the atrium although ours didn't. Elevators were quick, and best of all, there were a distinct lack of creeeeeeeepy weirdos milling about waiting to pounce upon fursuiters like child molesters (well actually I did get a few creepos but less than I will get at any AC).

I had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions pop up, the worst being somehow getting a big wad of bubblegum on my fursuit which I'm going to have to perform surgery to remove. Also my fursuit head has some kind of splash of coffee or somesuch on the eye I've got to clean, and the feet need some tightening and repair. Also I have GOT to get a harness for this tail as making the belt tight enough to mount correctly just about cuts my torso in half. I need to trim the sleeves a bit too.

Overall this was mostly a 180 from Anthrocon, partially because it's still relatively small and partially because they have somehow slipped quaaludes into the water supply and mellowed everyone out about 3 notches from the word go. I plan on going back next year if possible. This makes now 10 'furry' cons I've been to.

Touchy

I had some problems with getting a quote on some ex vivo cell line establishment service from one of the companies that does other things for our lab, including transfection products, some time back, and they sent me a survey form, which I filled out truthfully and in which I referenced our not getting the quote.

I got a phone call today from the rep which came and did the transfection products and who relayed the cell business to the other people who would've gone forward with it, saying that my response in the survey caused a big problem and how she's sorry I was so seriously dissatisfied, and that the comment will go to the VP of the company, who will himself be personally calling me to rectify the situation, and by the sound of it, end this rep's career.

I told her I didn't think it was her fault that the cell people of the company dropped the ball, and to have the VP call me and I'd tell him not to blame the rep for what was a failure of the cell guys. I'm going to go see the rep personally tomorrow at the vendor show to reassure her that I didn't mean to stab her in the back. She seemed to be motivated, although obviously with little science background. It was clear to me that the cell guys weren't interested in making a new customer.

I've had bad dealings with this company before (or at least, the original Xfection company before it was bought out by the company I'm dealing with now) in terms of strange tech failures and asshole CS managers, but how strange that one bad review on a survey can cause such a stir.. Biotech sure is a touchy business. Maybe I shouldn't ever consider going that route, no matter how annoying it is where I am.

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