67 Things I Noticed During San Japan X

#13 It’s YUUUGE!

The tenth San Japan came and went like a lion.  I had three panels to do and my compatriot WolfBoy had furry things to do.  As always, I noticed a few things…

  1. BEFORE-Okay San Japan people, I’ll do a third panel I’ve never done before and have to prepare in three days because you asked so nicely. Just spell my name right in the schedule this time, mmmkay?
  2. Time to retire my 2009 iMac from recording duties, it derped out on me when recording the pre-game podcast and ate some audio >.<
  3. I asked a friend if he was going to San Japan and he said he was more of an ‘indie rock’ guy versus ‘arena rock’ so I had to try to convince him that San Japan wasn’t just another ‘autograph-con’
  4. Holy cats, did we get salty during the pre-game podcast.
  5. I’ll be wearing my smartwatch for the first time since I got laid off because I HAVE IMPORTANT ANIME CON THINGS TO DO.
  6. I also won’t be wearing my rings. I’ve lost enough weight to where they’re starting to slip off my fingers now; a good problem to have.
  7. PROTIP: You can read the Chili’s lunch special menu through the window if you want to be weird
  8. Walking through the mall, WolfBoy and I decided to stop and take a seat…in front of the Victoria’s Secret. YEAH, NOT CREEPY AT ALL
  9. It says something that I can get 12 Streetpasses in my hotel room on Thursday night
  10. I finally remembered my Nintendo 3DS this time!
  11. As I get the presentation together for the third panel, I’m really looking forward to putting it on!
  12. Seems folks are taking a bit longer than usual to get set up, either that or were just really early
  13. I asked for a bigger panel room and I got it…boy, did I get it 0_0
  14. THURSDAY NIGHT-530pm No Japanese arcade machines set up. WolfBoy: “WORST CON EVAR!”
    1000pm Initial D cabinet set up. WolfBoy: “BEST CON EVAR!”
  15. Idiots asking “Is San Japan not happening because of Hurricane Harvey or gas shortages?” should be charged double for their badges.
  16. Concerning: Nobody was watching the entrances Thursday night
  17. Also concerning: The way too wide open aisles behind the artists with nothing to keep people from walking down them.  Hope there aren’t any thefts.
  18. At the risk of sounding like a shill, Verizon service has been pretty awesomesauce. A little slow at times, but ‘slow’ is better than ‘none.’

    #17 Maybe too much space, guys?
  19. FRIDAY-First the signs weren’t big enough, and now they aren’t spelled right. This is why Dave is already grey, people!
  20. Charger box things at the Henry B are almost a good idea, the flaw is that most folks can’t bear to be away from their phones
  21. Dear Guidebook: If I only have one event downloaded PLEASE OPEN THE FREAKING EVENT WHEN I LAUNCH THE APP, K?
  22. Also: TOO MANY SCHEDULE FILTER OPTIONS
  23. Artist friends: Don’t just say “I’m in artist alley, find me.” There are over 100 artists. I NEED DETAILS!
  24. Sure, WolfBoy, it’s only 90 degrees outside and you’re wearing a partial fursuit with a dark business suit LETS GO
  25. Always adorable to see little girls taking pictures with Wonder Woman cosplayers
  26. Not sure why, but they kicked up the difficulty on the Time Pilot game in the game room.  I spent longer than usual getting the high score.
  27. Got inadvertently put to work in Registration directing traffic for ten minutes. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT THEY PULL ME BACK IN
  28. Almost lost my badge before Furry 101, yipes!
  29. As I saw people walk away from the convention center for dinner, I had a feeling attendance was going to be down for Furry 101.
  30. Dear former coworker: If I didn’t want to talk to you at work, what makes you think I’m going to want to talk to you outside of work?
  31. I apparently can’t give a panel if I can’t read my presentation, the rear projection screens at Furry 101 completely threw me off >.<
  32. Just as well, I don’t like presenting while standing over people on a stage.
  33. We had 150-200 people at the panel, I guess that justifies the biggest room at the con. 😛
  34. Annoying thing: People that use Q&A time to make dumb jokes.  Get a life.

    #58 Batteries not required!
  35. REALLY annoying thing: People that try to answer questions during the Q&A part of my panel. GET YOUR OWN PANEL
  36. The A/V guy was very complimentary after Furry 101, though.  Thanks man!
  37. The only time I get a ton of steps is at cons and after 20,000 today, my dogs were barking.
  38. By ‘dogs’ I mean feet, not like actual dogs or furry costumed dogs.
  39. SATURDAY-When you’re up at 6am on Saturday morning, you’re up, what can I say
  40. If you aren’t willing to make your own waffle at the hotel breakfast, YOU DON’T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
  41. There is another event happening at the Henry B, which answers the question of why there was a higher-than usual number of older Mexican women around downtown San Antonio in the morning.
  42. Weirdest thing I’ve heard so far: “Dad, doesn’t she have nice boobs?”
  43. There seem to be quite a few empty tables even in the Dealer’s room; an effect of Harvey, perhaps?
  44. The number of people donating blood is pretty awesome
  45. Peeked in on the panel that took my spot from the beta schedule and they had just as many people as I had the night before…maybe less.
  46. To be fair, they’re a major sponsor and I’m just a guy with a microphone, an attitude, and weird friends.
  47. I kinda want a Steven Universe T-shirt (think I got a little resemblance to Steven there) but I kinda don’t want to pay thirt bucks for one
  48. To the harpy working A/V before my audio panel: If you don’t want attitude thrown back at you, don’t fire first. I’ve done tech support too, but I treated my people and customers with respect until they gave me a reason not to.
  49. “Really Basic Auido Recording” was easily the worst panel I’ve done in a while; next time I’ll just say no…or hold another ‘hide Dave for an hour podcast’ panel.
  50. That said, the few people that did hang around had really good questions!
  51. Bad idea: Dragging a boom mic (and it’s heavy base) to the panel.  I think I’ll use a Rock Band mic next time to make a point.
  52. Heard an ambulance and thought ‘Oh boy, it’s a party now,’ but it didn’t stop at the con
  53. SUNDAY-Other artist booths : Out to lunch  Friend’s booth: Out Fursuiting

    IMG_2360
    #19 Someone needs to be fyred
  54. To the people playing Bee Gees and Michael Jackson on their Bluetooth speakers: THANK YOU FOR PLAYING GOOD MUSIC
  55. That said, can we just ban those damn things from cons already?
  56. Had to defend my honor by retaking the top spot on the Time Pilot game (see #26).  I doubled the score that had topped mine.  BEAT THAT, AAA!
  57. Parking lot guy: “Twenty bucks”
    Me: “Pass”
    “Ten bucks!”
    “Pass.”
    I parked at the city lot across from the Hyatt for $11 so NEENER NEENER PARKING LOT GUY
  58. Old hotness: Mind-reading robot cat ears
    New hotness: Ballcaps with words
  59. Thing to remember for next year: Fursuit straws!
  60. I think I’m finally over being weirded out by crossplay…mostly.
  61. Funniest question of the weekend: “Are you a Mawg?”
  62. E-book panel went awesomely; lots of people with good questions and I had JUST enough handouts!
  63. Two out of three good panels ain’t bad!
  64. Highly disappointed in the other ‘How to publish books’ panel; I spent 25 minutes hearing the guest blab on about herself and walked out.  I think I had a bigger audience, too.
  65. I’m going to be that old guy (because I am) and mention that too many products and displays in Artist Alley/Dealer Room had swear words on them.  There seemed to be less nudity than in years past, though
  66. AFTER- Might be time to retire my digital camera, too many ‘ghost spots’ >.<
  67. Step count: Thursday 19627, Friday 20797, Saturday 23268, Sunday 14284  I swear cons are the only place I get a lot of exercise, I should go to more!
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44 Things I Noticed at Furry Siesta 2017

#10-BECAUSE FURRIES

Furry Siesta is a summer event held by the happy shiny fuzzy people that host Furry Fiesta; it offers an opportunity for furry fun in the middle of the insanely hot Texas summer.  I have always wanted to go but kept missing the opportunity until this year.

  1. This isn’t a con, but I’m going to blab about it anyway.
  2. This will be my last nerd thing before my forced vacation layoff on the 18th.
  3. Pre-game podcast turned into Furry Crossfire, one for, one against, and me in the middle.
  4. Since this is the summer and it’s hot as balls, it’s a lot easier to pack for than Furry Fiesta.
  5. Going to hit up The National Videogame Museum in Frisco, they’re supposed to have an 80’s arcade, looking forward to seeing how authentic it is.
  6. Nearly forgot to post my Fursuit Friday picture on Twitter, luckily my passengers were running late.
  7. Of course they showed up just after I typed that.
  8. Drive up wasn’t bad, typical downtown Dallas traffic notwithstanding.
  9. The National Videogame Museum is awesome! They have loads of cool stuff to look at, the arcade is legit, and they even have their own tokens!  I kept one and got a T-shirt.
  10. Left a high score on their Mappy machine BECAUSE FURRIES.
  11. Some guy at Hooters left their H3 window open in the rain and didn’t realize it until WAY too late despite the waitresses asking if it was his vehicle.  D’oh!
  12. Holy cats, getting around the DFW Airport was bonkers.
  13. We’re sharing the hotel with a Freemasons gathering, this should be fun.
  14. I love it when my hotel room has a refrigerator, time for a trip to the store for soda!
  15. Printed out my preregistration only to discover that it wasn’t necessary. PLANET KILLERS!
  16. Furry Siesta is exactly what it says on the tin: A furmeet in a big hotel room.
  17. The Hyatt Regency DFW seems to be embracing the fun.
  18. Maybe not too much, though, there is no signage to be found in the lobby.
  19. No mention of Siesta on the schedule boards, either, so disregard #17 after all.
  20. There were dog bowls put under the water coolers spigots as spill guards.  What I want to know is: Did they already have dog bowls and why?
  21. Megaplex was also taking place the same weekend, leading some folks to refer to Siesta as: “I can’t afford to go to Megaplex”-con.
  22. Put all relevant info on the website, guys. I know updating it is a pain, but not everyone uses social media or has access to it during your event.
  23. Portable Bluetooth speakers, how I hate you. I have bad taste in music too, but I keep it to myself.
  24. Overall, it was a pleasant place to hang out, though a few more tables might have been nice.
  25. It also got a little warm in there but not terribly so as I’ve been told happened in years past.
  26. Note to self: When on the road and you have to choose between “North” and “South” ALWAYS PICK NORTH.
  27. Dear friends that use the word ‘ghetto’ to describe locations you think are unpleasant: I have now been to a truly ‘ghetto’ place and y’all need to calm the fluff down.
  28. Wow this hotel is nice, think I’ll plug my lappy into the TV so I can watch a mov…Oh. It doesn’t have a HDMI port. >.<
  29. I forgot my HDMI cable so it’s just as well.

    #30-Ribbit!
  30. I need to stop trying to guess what species people are.  Luckily, the lizard frog was very understanding.
  31. Wrote down two story outlines on Saturday morning, so the trip is now TOTALLY WORTH IT.
  32. Found Maskimals at a local Wal-Mart and was disappointed to find they had no brown bear heads…at least not one I’d want to wear.
  33. Nothing says furries like seeing “Disney mixes” on the music schedule.
  34. Except for a few fuzzies on the dance floor, the party was over at 830…in the main room, anyway 😉
  35. It cost nearly $30 to fill up my CR-V for the trip home. 0_0
  36. The party came back to life later in the evening, though.
  37. Can you get PCD if isn’t really a con? Guess we’ll see.
  38. Sunday morning and the party’s over, not a single fuzzer to be found.
  39. Waiter at Waffle House sees my San Antonio Spurs hat, proceeds to say “I used to live there and I hate San Antonio.” Way to endear yourself to your customers.
  40. Given that he screwed up our (and other folks’) orders, didn’t ask if I wanted cream, didn’t refill my coffee, screwed up our checks, and pretty much sucked at his job, DFW can have him.
  41. If you are wearing a fursuit maker’s shirt be sure to have a prepared answer for the inevitable “what is that?” question.
  42. Stopped at the Buc-ee’s near Temple on the way down, and it was NUTS.
  43. Fursuit tails apparently make good travelling pillows.
  44. WE WENT TO YOUR THINGS DALLAS FURS, NOW YOU HAVE TO COME TO OURS!  That’s Alamo City Furry Invasion on October 6-8 at the El Tropicano Hotel in San Antonio!  See you there!

300 Seconds #79: Job Separation Anxiety

Click here to listen to this episode!

You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 79, “Job Separation Anxiety,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!

I’ve had a feeling of impending doom at work for a few weeks now.  During this time of year, we usually start getting ready for our ‘busy season’ by preparing training materials and hiring new people so that they’ll (hopefully) be ready for the onslaught of customers in the fall. While there has been plenty of training prep going on, our boss hadn’t scheduled a single interview.  Suspicious, to say the least.

Finally, for the first time since I have worked at the company, every person in our department was called into a meeting.  The meeting began with a sad-faced girl from Human Resources going into a spiel about restructuring, company challenges, new directions, blah blah blah.  Yup, here it comes.

She then threw the hammer down: The thirty people in the room (including myself) were all going to be laid off after a few weeks.  The department was being scaled back, so if we wanted to hang around, we would have to apply for one of the new positions.  After some questions and one wire-acre comment from yours truly, we were each given a packet of documents and allowed to go home to digest the news, if we wanted to.  Needless to say, everybody called it a day.  I didn’t envy the Human Resources gals their jobs, but at least they would still have jobs in a few weeks.

In my so-you’re-about-to-be-canned document packet was a fun corporate-double-speak letter that referred to my last day on the job as the ‘job separation date.’  Yeah, I’ll be certain to file that letter next to the ‘thirteen dollar bonus’ one from a few years ago.  Yeah, that’s right.  Thirteen dollars.  And people wonder why I hate my job.

I chuckled at their choice of words: “Job Separation.”  I guess it beats ‘Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya,” though.  This being Texas, I’m genuinely surprised they didn’t just toss us out right then and there.

In a sense, I’m a little disappointed in myself; I’ve seen the writing on the wall at other employers in the past, and I’ve been lucky enough to get out of Dodge while the getting was good.

I guess I’ll have to start paying attention to those updates from Monster and LinkedIn now!

This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after my update my resume.  I am Eduardo Soliz, and if you’re looking for a software developer, help desk analyst, tech support lead, creative writer, copy editor, or maybe even a voice guy, shoot me an email at edsoliz@yahoo.com.  Whether you’re hiring or not, check out Eduardo Soliz dot com for more podcasts and short stories, and as always, I thank you for listening!

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.

RANDOM REVIEW: 2012

2012 was an interesting year for me.  I got into my first car accident, purchased a new vehicle, and started going camping again.  Needless to say, ‘interesting’ doesn’t always mean ‘good.’

After a year of experimenting with e-publishing my first e-book: “One Sheet Stories.”  I finally completed “The Rules of Tech Support.”  It has been doing fairly well.  I have also published “Seven Super-Short Sci-Fi Stories” and “Con Fluff 1” since then, so things are coming along nicely on the writing front.  Curiously enough, I am now moving from the digital realm to the physical one: 2013 will see me showing up at conventions to sell paper copies of my books and hand out business cards and flyers to get the word out about my writing.  In all honesty, I’m looking forward to going out and talking to people, pressing some flesh, and then reaching for the hand sanitizer. 🙂

In February, I went to Furry Fiesta to see what the whole ‘furry’ thing was about.  There, I discovered a bunch of cool creative people and decided to venture further down the rabbit hole (ba-doom, tissh) when I got back.  I went to some local meets, made some friends, and even went to a second furcon, Oklacon, in October.  While Oklacon wasn’t quite as knock-my-socks-off as Furry Fiesta was, I still had a good time.  In addition, furry conventions have provided me with a plethora of themes to write for, culminating in my first furry e-book: “Con Fluff.”

Somewhere around August, I got the feeling that my ‘side projects’ were getting in the way of my own.  Being the drummer in a band, the editor for a video game website and helping out with a new convention that was starting up in town was just taking up too much of my time, so I quit everything.  Indeed, as the last few hours of 2012 tick away and 2013 approaches, I am now just a writer of stories, podcasts and blogs.

I’m looking forward to 2013, it should be a fun year full of conventions, stories, new people to meet and of course, furries!

Happy New Year, y’all!

Some of my favorite posts from 2012:

“I am a furry”

“You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and you don’t bring human art to a furry con.”

“This reminds me of an episode of My Little Pony!”

“There’s just something about seeing your name on paper.”

“I think Dust has restored some of my faith in gaming.”

“I know darn well there’s no signal, but I keep checking my phone. I may have a problem.”

This one is from Dec. 2011, but its too good to not revist: ‘and then came the fishnets’