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Halloween Party and Boo at the Zoo 2010

Saturday, I was invited to a party at Steve's house, a costume party. I really didn't have a costume ready to go, so with the help of Oryx I got my old swordfighting, motorcycle, and paintball gear together, and made a passable riot policeman. I lent my nicest renaissance costume to m4 to wear with his new hyena fursuit, along with my custom type XIV sword in matching custom scabbard w/belt (very swank) and had a bit of a time getting it on him, but that's the price you pay for all those laces on everything. Oryx wore a football uniform he just bought. The party was mostly older people we didn't really know, so we just talked mostly to each other all night. Still, it was fun.. I always like to dress up, no matter what it's as.

Yesterday I went to the Boo at the Zoo at the National Zoological Park in Washington D.C. with Drakien, Kellogg, m4fox, CarribeanJag, Loki, Scooter Squirrel, WhitePaw, Blueberry Badger, and Seiko (and maybe someone else?). Traffic was a bit heavy near the zoo as it was a big event. Many hundreds of people there, lots of kids in costumes. But only 5 good animal costumes - a squirrel, hyena, dragon, collie, and skunk. We walked the length of the zoo a few times, so we probably walked more than 3 miles in our suits all said and done, with no taking off the heads, only a brief rest to cram a bottle of water in there for a drink. We got absolutely mobbed the whole time with kids coming in for pictures every time we stopped for a second. We did a few poses at the little Halloween setups they had, and hopefully got some decent pictures for it. It was dark, so lots of flashes in our faces. I soaked my suit through and through, and it got DIRTY. Way dirtier than I thought it would. Those kids had some filthy hands, I guess. I put it all on driers overnight, but today I'm going to double-wash my body before FurFright. It was a blast though, I always love to do fursuiting with groups of people. Hope we do it again next year.

My boss is out of town until Friday this week, so I can leave work a bit early to get ready for FurFright, which I desperately need to do. These past few weeks have been insane.

Playa del Fuego Fall 2010

I finally got back from PDF about 30 minutes ago, just in time to be a bit late for work. I booked it around 8 this morning, before anyone else in Camp Furry got up. I hate to bug out before I can help break up camp, but I really had no time.

Thursday night was rather mellow, and it took awhile to find my way there, and was quite worried since I didn't have my ticket. But Agri was working the door then, so he could call over M4 to hook me up. I set up my tent and was ready within 10 minutes due to the pop-up tent, and always packing rather light. It was low-key since only some of us were there, and I zonked probably before 2.

Friday I bugged out early for work and left around 3PM, but still didn't get there until about 8PM, due to going home to pick up the bike, and getting stuck in godAWFUL traffic across the bay bridge (Ocean City traffic, I guess). On a Harley, that is NOT FUN. Oh, my hands. Riding at night is also not something I love to do. But I had my big fursuit bag stuffed with 2 suits, strapped vertically just behind me, which I've always wanted to try (no problemo!), and my new full-face helmet and chaps really made the cool wind more tolerable. When I arrived, I pulled the bike down in there to drop off, and holy canoli was Camp Furry in full swing. To be SFW I won't describe the attire or lack thereof going on, but me in full biker leathers (which I look very nice in, tyvm) was a bit overdressed, but I fixed it. I haven't had so much sugar in months, from what I got just from the liqueurs we were shooting all night. It was a fucking HOOT. Fun times.

I woke up Saturday and puked up some colorful contents. I found out later that some random guy had slept in an inflatable mattress right next to my tent, and I damn near puked on him, but..his fault in my book. I planned to go to work that morning, but was too hungover. We chilled out in camp and just were mellow. Made a store run and chilled out until night, when we set up the camp bar. We had hundreds of Jaeger-bomb shotglasses, with vodka in the middle and apple cider-cinnamon on the outside, free for anyone who came by, and they were flying off the table for awhile. We set up some jugs of liquor-punch through tubing and into some stuffed animals, like they were peeing the mixed drinks. 2 flavors, both gone by the end of the night. We put on our suits and dozens of glow-sticks and EL wire and went to the big burn, which was impressive, if a bit difficult to see with a suit head on. Afterwards we suiters wandered around, jumping on trampolines and doing ice-luge shots and having a nice laid-back time.

Sunday night was quite mellow. I left early and rode my bike Southward to home (and accidentally got lost ending up in DC :( ) but after work I got the truck and made the Northward trip (to the turnpike), which was about the same time-wise but way easier. I got in maybe 5PM and we just chilled for a bit, and then set up the mini-pony we made (a scaled-up version of one of those balsa-wood puzzle animals, done about 3 feet high in 3/4" plywood) for burning. We had a few drinks and dinner, and then 3 of us put our suits on and headed over for the burns. Oryx and Drakien lit it on fire with some accelerant, and the crowd seemed to really like it. We had people coming up to our camp and to the sculpture pre-burn and taking lots of photos, and telling us how much they loved it. The vets Really loved it, even asked to commission us to make them a big puzzle-eagle for permanent display at the campground, which was nice. After the burn we went back to camp and drank more, and played porno-Guesstures until about 3 AM.

I really enjoyed riding my bike on those roads, but I think next year I'll keep with the truck just to save the headache. Also, go the north route. And bring more things.. Still, though, great times even as they were; Excellent for my mental health.
I finally got packed up to go to Playa Del Fuego this week. I drove down there last night after work, and it took around 2.5 hours. Would've been easier but it was the first time I've driven in Delaware, and it was dark, and I was riding dirty. I bought a pop-up tent, which you just throw and it lands as a tent. Nice stuff. I had to wake up at 6:45 to get to work for 9:30, since my boss told me yesterday that he wanted to talk Friday morning instead of the usual Thursday....which sucks because I had to get up 4AM Thursday in expectation of getting it over with, allowing me to get to work around 10:30. Oh well. I'm going to try to sneak out of here around 4 to drive all the way back before dark. Also I need to get some food because I was Starving last night, eating a frozen burrito in my tent.

I'm going to sneak out of here and go home..and get my Harley. I want to make that ride while I can (farms and open road)..sweetness. To bad I still have to go to work again tomorrow morning.


Finally, finally, finally (that's 3 "Finally"s for 3 rounds of review), the manuscript for my primary project has been accepted for publication! I had 3 reviewers for this one, and while the first two were rather easy to please and had the same comments, and were satisfied early on, the third was quite loquacious and stubborn, and was the cause of the 3rd round. His diction and syntax were such that I feel fairly certain I know who it was (one of my boss' competitors in the area of my project), so that can at least partially explain the desire to delay publicaton.

Interestingly enough, during the quite long (many, many months) review process, another paper was published from a lab whose PI has interestingly similar diction, whose scope is interestingly similar to mine, and whose results are interestingly a bit different. But that's Scientia, after all. Flawed as the monster of academic publishing is, it's better than the alternative.

The journal is one of the Nature group's fairly well-known ones for my field (factor a bit above 7), which is par for this lab's output. During the review, because things were taking so long, we were tempted to publish in a newer, less prestigious journal (although still pretty good - impact factor above 5), but my boss let me decide and after all the work I put in I wasn't about to settle for a notch lower than I knew it could go to. Thankfully I was right, and now this will help justify to whoever my next employer is why I went so long without anything on my CV besides a couple of conference posters.

Of course, I'm not leaving here until I can publish the two other manuscripts I'm currently writing, one of which is waiting on a patent and the other whose wet work is only 25% done.

Lab meeting this afternoon and Boss meeting tomorrow morning. So much to do today..



Finally I registered my bike this morning, after just missing the closing times due to so much work lately. I'm in the middle of trying to push 3 papers to completion right now. I just found out that there's a tag&title joint like half a mile from my apt, and it opens at 8:30, so I went right to it....but I had to park in another lot and walk 100 yds there, since this morning was back-to school at Howard CC and the traffic was insane. Only 250 bucks, no muss and no fuss. I'm gonna pick up the bike this week and park it back on my lot to save Cougar needless wear and tear on his Better Homes & Gardens-approved lawn.

A few weeks ago I went to do a charity thing with the Critters For A Cause group here in the Dirty B area. This is the group that wanted me to join and fill their token black (&white) skunk quota (affirmative action?). Anyway, we went out in the road near the bowling alley in costumes and solicited cash for the MDA as the cars stopped at the light. Noontime August sunlight on black synthetic fur zipped all the way up to your throat does not make for a frosty experience, but it was still fun. You can see some pictures of that event here.

I'm also going to be going to Playa del Fuego this year in October since it's really close to my work. I can camp there and go back & forth to work w/o having to go home first if I am lucky. We'll see.

Also I'm putting together a costume for FurFright (a costume to be worn by my fursuit -- Yo dawg we heard you like costumes so we put a costume in yo costume so you can sweat while you sweat). Yup a bit meta maybe but at the cost (prolly end up at 700 buckers but it's reusable) it better get a few smiles and photos. I'll post after FF.

Oh and in case I didn't post it before, I received another suit this past weekend:

It's a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, made by JavaChicken. I used to own Cardigan Welsh Corgis growing up and this is as close as will likely ever be made to that. This suit is enormous due to internal padding. It's like walking around in a stuffed animal (well, moreso than with typical animal costumes, anyway). Very hot, but I'm also going to be looking to get a liquid cooling vest soon, since my air-cooling vest just ain't cutting it no more.

Also, the Louisiana Dept of Revenue recently screwed me out of $4000 in imaginary back-taxes, because they think I lived there in 2005 (when I was in TX) and I don't have any old bills to prove I lived somewhere else. It's been a rather expensive month for me.. maybe I should play the ponies or something..

Random facts

This is a catch-all entry containing 'random facts' which I found as a meme on FA a long time ago. They had only a few facts, but I'll be adding and adding here and there to eventually end up with many dozens. I'll be posting them on Tweener as their numbers are called out to me, and then I'll post them here as well. You could always check back to this entry if you like, and there will probably be more put up here.

(This is culled from a Google Doc, so the * is next to any entry I've posted already. It just copied over with the entries when I pulled them into LJ)

* 1. I have 3 tattoos and 0 piercings. I’ve had dozens and dozens of piercings over the years but they’re all gone now, just little scar-holes left.
* 4. I have only had 1 real job in my life, not counting working for fast-food and working where I went to school.
* 6. I used to collect knives and keychains, but I lost most of them or had them taken away over the years (boo). The only collections I got now are locked away so the cleaning ladies don’t find them.
* 10. I was a cheerleader in middle school. I still have the uniform and no, I don’t fit into it anymore!
* 13. I’ve been circumsized twice. (I guess they didn’t butcher me well enough the first time :( ) I have rather strong anti-circ views.
* 22. I used to host furry porno on my personal BBS in the mid-1990s. It was called “The Industrial Revolution”. I took it down b/c I couldn’t compete w/ internet furry porn.
* 24. I am really really fond of water.
* 37. It often seems like I don’t want to talk to people on IM because I never initiate IM conversations, only respond to them. In actuality I’m almost always hoping that one of my friends will start a conversation, even when I’m not really available (well, some more than others of course). I never initiate IM conversations because I’m very worried that I’ll be bothering them if I do, and one of my biggest fears in life is to be a bother.
* 40. If I have to be dry then the most relaxing scenario for me is to be in an intensely hot, dark room, with machinery running and very low overhead lighting, like a photography darkroom. I found out about darkrooms in college and I use one almost every day at work, and If I’m feeling very down or stressed at work I often sneak in to decompress.
* 41. I used to have plans that if I weren’t married by age 35, I’d adopt a kid. But I think that may not be the best scenario for me since I really hate young children and I don’t have a lot of free time. Oh well.
* 42. I have a pretty strong hatred of police officers because of how they treated me as a kid. I used to want to be one though, after finding out how much shit they get away with doing.
* 48. I used to be big into Celtic pride and kilt-wearing and all that shit, used to camp out at Celtic festival and do volunteer work, but eventually I got over it. I don’t care about that anymore (or any other kind of pride, actually).
* 49. I never got to meet my grandfather on my father’s side. He had bad ulcers and had dozens of surgeries to remove pieces of his stomach, and eventually he couldn’t take it anymore and blew his brains out while my grandmother was making dinner.
* 57. I really like blue-jeans, especially thick, dark denim ones with a boot cut, high seat, and narrow legs (i.e. biker jeans/cowboy jeans). I probably don’t look good in them but I do like to wear them.
* 66. I used to do a LOT of drunk driving in highschool and college, and grad school, so I used to practice walking a line with my eyes closed andsaying the alphabet backwards as quickly as I could, when I was drinking at home, in case I ever got asked to by a copper. Luckily I eventually quit driving drunk before I ever had to test myself out.
* 69. Of all my exes, I am only even remotely friendly with one (and it’s really just a pleasantries-based acquaintanceship anyway). Pretty sure the rest don’t like me too much.
* 72. I’m thinking of getting some plastic surgery in the next year or two if I can swing the time off of work. Liposuction for my beer-gut, and getting my deviated septum broken back into place.
* 96. I listen to about 5 podcasts regularly, and the rest of the time I’m at work I play music on headphones. I can’t tolerate being at work for more than a few minutes without something playing, preferably music.



So last weekend I got help from FJAA CougYena to move my motorcycle out of my apartment, after several months of sitting there, crushing carpet pile and not even being fun to play on since I never put the seat back on it. At least it didn't leak. It took both of us to roll it out of the patio door and down the fire-lane onto my trailer. It almost crushed me, but only once.

Every time I transport that bike I lose another piece. I need a few new cotter pins this time and the strap-downs could use some loving too. But it arrived at Casa Coug fine and I replaced the battery (more than a hundred bucks thanks to it having a Bar and Shield printed on it), the plugs, the oil, and (unintentionally) the gear-lube. Hold on. Let me say that one again... Gear-Lube. Okay.

Anyway, I was completely expecting that the carb would have to come off and get the bowl de-varnished, but after a bit of coaxing, BB started up and almost had a heart-attack (the throttle is sticky). But I put the seat on and took her for a spin down and around the Marriotsville hills, and quickly found out that the brakes are rusty and rust doesn't stop bikes. Also I caught a mammoth-sized butterfly right in my eye going about 50, but only pussies blink.

We tarped it and stored it next to his garage until I can get it inspected, which will hopefully be this Thursday (and possibly today). Next step after the inspection is to go immediately to the tag&title place and get some plates.


USB Bluetooth handset photo-review

So another thing I got in my order from ThinkGeek is one of those Bluetooth handsets that people can use on their cellphones, or computers I guess, for looking extra-dorky when making a phonecall. Personally I hate the way people look when using a modern cellphone handset, pressed up against their heads and giving themselves brain tumors a bad case of phone-ear. Anyway here's the review:

Photo-HEAVY below the cutCollapse )

Okay, looks like I'll have to finish this review sometime later..


Blood Test photo-review

I also bought a Blood typing kit from ThinkGeek, because I honestly have gone my whole life and never known my real blood-type. Rather sad, I must admit. But let's see how I can find out my real blood-type, shall we?

Picture-HEAVY below this cut. Also, there's pictures of real-life BLOOD under here! :O Collapse )

So there you go folks! Hope you enjoyed it and aren't craving some smack right about now...


CyberClean review

So one of the things I got in from ThinkGeek was a goo called CyberClean. Its very much like that goopy stuff they used to market for the He-Man castle of Greyskull, which when you played with it, collected all the dust and crap your mom didn't sweep up, and rendered it a useless biohazard within about half an hour.

I needed to order some things from ThinkGeek anyway though, so I tossed a few interesting things in there for the ride, which is really why I got this. Here's a photo-review beneath the cut.

Picture-HEAVY below the cutCollapse )

I'm a fan of this stuff already. It says you can re-use it for a number of keyboards until it gets saturated with gross. I'm going to put that to the test for sure. I already tried it on my mouse, and it did a decent job there as well.

If your keyboard is filthy and don't want to toss it, give this a try.