62 Things I Noticed at San Japan 009

San Japan (totally not Cyborg) 009 happened last weekend.  Amidst the new venue and new date, I noticed some things.  If I took your picture (I was the dude with bear ears, see below) you can find it here!

  1. It's YUUUGE!
    #16: You are…somewhere?

    THURSDAY NIGHT – Went in the old entrance of the Gonzalez Convention Center out of habit…oops

  2. New space is YUUUGE
  3. My fursuiter friends are already complaining about all the walking they’re going to be doing over the weekend.
  4. Artist alley is HUMONGOUS
  5. Dealer’s room is INSANE
  6. They ARE going to turn on the escalators in the Dealer’s room, right?
  7. Autograph area setup looks like what I see set up at comic-cons, hmm
  8. Located in the back corner, milk and eggs and all that
  9. If Labor Day does take a bite out of attendance, we’ll really see it on Friday, IMO
  10. Me gusta bigger panel room for Furry 101! About fuzzing time!
  11. The halls remind me of PAX South Year 1 but with the lights on
  12. Seriously, the HBG felt like a cavern back then with all the lights turned down
  13. Spiffy new booths for registration, ooh
  14. Badges are less nice this year, a little more papery.  Hope they hold up.  Compared them to last year’s badges after the fact and they’re the same.
  15. Press badges get the same art as volunteer ones? BOO!
  16. The YUUUGE maps were just a bit confusing.
  17. Didn’t help that they put teensy ‘You Are Here’ stickers that were near-impossible to find.  Maybe some gold stars or Pokeball stickers next time, guys?
  18. FRIDAY-This is my free day: No panels and my freaks aren’t showing up until late in the afternoon
  19. Arrived at 11 and easily found parking at the Houston street lot, wonder if that’s a sign
  20. Random person also walking to San Japan asked if the tin of Altoids rattling in my pocket were dice. OH HELL NO

    20160902_185752655_ios
    #28: Overestimate much?
  21. Walked into the Henry B. via the main entrance this time. Is niiice!
  22. Finally found someone pickier than Alvin Von Devious to try and help with their fursuit. Came close to (metaphorically) flipping the table.
  23. Customer service tip: Just answer my question without the lame jokes, please.
  24. So who gets to be the under/sideboob/cheek checker?
  25. Escalators in the dealer’s room are shut off, no bueno.
  26. One dealer’s display had ALL THE BOOBS.
  27. But that’s okay because they’re just cartoons…right?
  28. “History of Anime in the US” got the biggest panel room and about 50 people showed up. Yes, I counted.
  29. Good panel, but come on, I had that many the first time I did Furry 101 three years ago at RealmsCon.
  30. Do they even check to see how many people actually show up at panels?  Seriously.
  31. I kept waiting to hear one word at History of Anime but it never turned up: “Japanimation” That’s what we called it in the 80’s, kids!
  32. Friend and I did our good deed for the day getting a friend out of a jam.
  33. It took me a half hour but I had to claim the top spot on the Time Pilot game in the game room. EDS is on top where it belongs. *flex*
  34. Somehow I got pegged as the guy ‘running’ the furry meetup and some folks freaked when I showed up late.  THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS, GUYS
  35. SATURDAY-Easy parking on Houston St again, which has me slightly worried
  36. Saw displays made out of free Priority Mail boxes in the dealer’s room.  Classy.

    Clearly there is underboob here.
    #26: Under….side…ALL THE BOOBS
  37. Only the first 100 people get an autograph? Interesting.
  38. “It is up to the artist whether 101+ get an autograph” There has to be a better way to say that without making the artist look like a complete tool.
  39. The Taito Groove Coaster video game calls the Space Invaders alien a ‘crab’ IT’S AN ALIEN GUYS
  40. I keep thinking ‘Spock ears’ whenever I see pointy ears
  41. An anime con is one of the few places where you can lose a fursuiter
  42. Need to mark the lanes in Artist Alley, which one is ‘Row 5’ again?
  43. Arrived too late to the Bitforce concert to take advantage of my press badge, pbbt
  44. Wonder if they had technical problems; we could see the lead guitarist was shredding his fingers off but could barely hear him.  Otherwise, good show!
  45. Except for the game room, the air conditioning seems to be holding up well.
  46. Good thing too, because I was soaking after the occasional three-block walk to my car.
  47. The paleta man is back, woo!

    #X: Hello, old friend!
    #47: Hello, old friend!
  48. Nearly filled up our medium-sized panel room for Furry 101, w00t.
  49. 45 minute time limit threw me off, though, may have to reorganize things for next time.
  50. I only have two cosplays (Professor Utonium and Soos). I didn’t wear either, and saw the perfect people to take pictures with (The Powerpuff Girls and Giffany)! ARGH
  51. 18+ maid cafe was fun!
  52. Tipsy elevator normies were…interesting.
  53. Tipsy normie asked: “WHY YOU WEARING MOUSE EARS?” I’m not going to debate with someone holding a drink in public, they won’t remember anyway.
  54. SUNDAY-Less parking at the lot, but still no problem finding a spot; be interesting to see the attendance this year (It was down 12%)
  55. Been seeing a lot of ‘robot guts’ shirts around, guess they’re a hit.
  56. Hey panel door guy, the door opens when I say so, capisce?
  57. Noticed a lot of Judy Hopps cosplayers, bunny ears, Nick Wildes, and even an Assistant Mayor Bellweather. YAY ZOOTOPIA!
  58. Overwatch was also popular. I don’t even play the game, but for my friends it’s always HIIIGH NOOOON.
  59. Left early because the show just isn’t as fun without my friends!
  60. Mizuumi-Con is now “Otaku Fair” That’s good.
  61. Otaku Fair decided to not make any further announcements about their new event at THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE CITY FOR POTENTIAL ATTENDEES. That’s not good.
  62. Observation:  Labor Day weekend works great for older folks like myself. For the youngn’s, though, not so much.

In Defense of Gordon Ramsay

1I had a ‘conversation’ the other day with The Boss about how I address people at work.  I am a blunt, no-nonsense person there and I do not suffer fools gladly (think Zootopia’s Chief Bogo).  I had made a simple request to some new folks we had hired.  Two hours later, I had not received any replies from them.

I walked over and made my request in person, only to be met with a blank stare in response.  Not exactly the best way to endear yourself to leadership.  I then got a little short with folks, which ultimately led to the ‘conversation.’

On to Ramsay, then.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching a few of his shows on the breakroom television at work.  Like many of you, I wonder why he famously gets so angry at the people on his shows.  I did a bit of soul-searching during lunch and realized something:  I got upset for the same reason he does.

Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but like Ramsay, I have high expectations for people.  I like to think that the people that The Boss hires are good techs.  Given my recent experience, I’m reconsidering that, but that’s a conversation for another time.  Now, I am realistic: I don’t expect people to be kicking tail and taking names off the bat, but I should at least get competence.  Most of the folks on Ramsay’s shows (and on my team) should be professionals, and when they don’t work or do things the way professionals do, it is very aggravating, hence Ramsay’s wrath.

Mediocrity has become the accepted norm at my workplace.  While leadership seems to be okay with this, I have not lowered my standards or adjusted my thinking along those lines.  God help me, but I want to work with people that are great at their jobs.  If they aren’t there yet, I would like to help them get there, but if I can’t trust people to perform a simple task, I don’t know that I can trust them to do more complicated things.  Because of this, work is incredibly frustrating for me.

While I can’t explode in anger like Gordon Ramsey does, the next time I see him on the breakroom TV, I will certainly relate.

33 Things I Noticed During Jury Duty

1
#11 Too cool fur school!
  1. Despite what you are going to read, I am happy to do my civic duty.
  2. Indeed, I’ve been tagged multiple times in my life already
  3. Weirdly enough, working on a short story about a trial right now, go figure.
  4. Took a wrong turn, got stuck waiting for a train. Thank you, San Antonio.
  5. Not late, but there was a line for parking.
  6. Just realized I forgot to take my Vitamin C this morning, it would suck to have survived Comicpalooza only to catch ‘jury duty crud.’
  7. Dude behind me in line at the courthouse is standing just bit too close. Can I get a little personal space here?
  8. Forgot to take the change out of my pocket, officer got snippy at me in Spanish. THAT’S PROFILING MAN
  9. At least I don’t have to hear coworkers brag or whine about how Golden State blew it
  10. This beats work any day, fewer stupid people
  11. Felt cool to pin a white ‘juror’ button to my shirt.
  12. Can we  get a nice ‘register to vote’ sign to put in front of the bench? The one there is made from poster board and looks like some kid made it.
  13. That said, if the judge’s kid DID make it, I rescind my previous statement.
  14. Cell phone ringers going off should incur a fine or at least a kick to the shin
  15. Court cafeteria tacos ain’t bad.
  16. Lack of coffee started to kick in at about 10AM, took the first opportunity to grab a cup soon after
  17. Court cafeteria coffee ain’t bad either
  18. One panel called for an Eduardo (not me) and an Edward. THAT’S GOING TO BE CONFUSING, PEOPLE
  19. It wasn’t until 1045 that I got bored enough to start playing Fallout Shelter on my Android tablet.
  20. Or not, back to the jury room!
  21. Got called to a panel!
  22. I’m sorry, but wearing a baseball cap with a suit is THE DORKIEST  thing I will ever see.
  23. Gal that cut my hair a few weeks ago was on the same panel, small world!
  24. A two hour lunch break…thaaaanks.
  25. TVs are tuned to judge shows BECAUSE IT’S A COURTHOUSE GET IT HA HA HA
  26. Grilled ham n’ cheese hit the spot for lunch
  27. Okay, now I can play Fallout Shelter
  28. $1.35 for a 20 oz. soda? I may have to take one for the road!
  29. Back to the jury room, here we go.
  30. Waiting for a while after lunch, hopefully it’s a good sign
  31. Sent home at 2 o’clock, woo-hoo!
  32. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO GIVE BACK MY JUROR BUTTON?
  33. Now to go wait some more while the oil in my car is changed! 😂

Some Neat Stuff I Saw at HavenCon 2016

havenconstuff
Con loot!

Instead of my usual ‘things I noticed’ list, I’m going to take a different approach with this post-convention blog post. At every convention, I see lots of neat artwork from independent artists. Sometimes there are independent game studios showing their wares, and they will often have some pretty cool demos to check out.

This past weekend I attended HavenCon in Austin, Texas. HavenCon bills itself as “the first geek and gaming convention in Texas to focus on the LGBTQIA and Ally communities,” and indeed there was a variety of things to see and do.

So without any further ado:

I purchased some nice X Files-themed prints from Megan Kluck featuring artwork similar to this.  Her art can be found at tasteslikekeys.tumblr.com

This print from Robby Cook will be hanging in my home soon.  His wonderful artwork and mash-ups can be found at robbycook.com

I bought a zine from Bis Thornton (bisthebox.com) and E. S. Mahoney named “Singularity: Contraption” that contained some neat stories about robotics.

“Redemption,” a comic written and drawn by Veronica Kathryn, is the story of a girl who’s trying to make up for the fact that she ENDED THE WORLD.  Oops.  It can be read at redemption.smackjeeves.com and her artwork can be found at bobo-kitty.deviantart.com

There were a few indie game developers there with some neat games, such as Black Ice, a funky Tron-inspired first person shooter with RPG elements by Garrett Cooper.  Finji knocked my socks off with a turn-based survival game called Overland, which is currently in development.

I had an enjoyable weekend at HavenCon, made even more so by these folks and their wonderful work!  I hope you check them out, and thanks for reading!

It’s the Apps, Stupid!

windowsAfter months of learning to live with Windows 8 on the desktop, I picked up an ASUS VivoTab 8 tablet back in early 2015.  Finally, I would get to experience Windows 8 with a touchscreen, just like God Microsoft had intended!

As much as I like to think that I ‘got’ Windows 8 before, using it with a touch screen was wonderful.  No more fumbling with sides and screen corners!  The stupid charms on the right side of the screen finally made sense and I could bring them up by swiping in from the right side instead of madly fumbling around for for the magic spot with my mouse!  Life was great!

That euphoria lasted for about five minutes until I tried to pull up the News app and it crashed.  I checked for app updates in the Store, and there were none to be had.  So much for that.

I am totally on board with the idea that there should be desktop apps Just like the ones we have on our phones and tablets.  I shouldn’t have to go back to my web browser to do things.  Indeed, I would love nothing better than pick up my Windows 8 tablet and left-swipe from app to app to get things done instead of having to go back to Ye Olde Desktop unless I want to.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s apps suck.  Everywhere.  They sucked on Windows Phone, sucked on Windows 8 and continue to suck on Windows 10.  Until they stop sucking, I’ll find myself going back to my desktop and my browser or using my iPhone or iPad.  Don’t like it, Microsoft?  THEN MAKE YOUR APPS STOP SUCKING!

21 Things I Noticed after getting an iPhone

technology2After hemming and hawing about getting an iPhone, I finally broke down and got an iPhone 6 to replace my poor old Nokia Lumia 530.  During the buying process, and over the first few months of ownership, I noticed a few things:

  1. I usually don’t buy cases for my phones but I am DEFINITELY getting one this time.
  2. I think the sales guy forgot to take off the plastic they put over the screen, gonna have to figure out how to take apart the case now >.<
  3. Speaking of the sales guy, he was starting to push just a little too hard to get me to buy another on-contract device.  Grr.
  4. First order of business: upgrade to iOS 9!
  5. Make that the second order or business, had to charge it fully first.
  6. Weird thing: My Apple purchases have been three years apart:  iMac in 2009, iPad mini in 2012 and now an iPhone. I guess I’ll be getting a new iThingie in 2018
  7. Picked up an OtterBox Defender case, which turned the slim, sleek, sexy iPhone into a big chunky thing. I may have gone overboard on the whole ‘protection’ thing.
  8. Then again, I like having a little heft to my devices, so it’s just as well
  9. There is something weirdly satisfying about snapping my phone into its OtterBox belt clip.
  10. It’s just as well that I traded in my Windows Phone, I don’t even think I could get few magic beans for it at this point.
  11. Speaking of which, I keep going OMG I CAN ACTUALLY GET THAT APP NOW instead of “Aww, no Windows Phone version.”
  12. iPhone is Coke. Android is Pepsi. Windows Phone is that godawful ‘Cola’ they have at the dollar store.
  13. I nearly talked myself out of an iPhone while waiting in the store.  I started thinking: “Well, maybe an Android…” but then remembered my past experiences with them.
  14. When did Android phones get more expensive than iPhones?
  15. Sign of the times: I didn’t realize I hadn’t set up my voicemail until I got a phone call the next day.
  16. I thought I’d have to charge my iPhone once it hit 10% but it took a while for it to get really low.
  17. Not sure what I’m going to do with the earbuds that came with it: 99% of earbuds don’t fit my ears so I’m not even going to try them on.
  18. I’m having to get used to having a good camera on my phone.  The iPhone has all but replaced my point-and-shoot Sony camera.
  19. That said, it was almost a full week before I took a picture, and it wasn’t even a selfie.
  20. Time since last charge: 51.5 hours standby, 7.5 hours usage 😀
  21. I already miss Cortana!