Some San Antonio furries (including me) were filmed for a segment on the KENS-5 news!
- PREP/THURSDAY Taking a 14″ grill along, which is adding a layer of ‘fun’ to prepping for the trip
- Not having many Con Talk listeners means I’m not too worried about a resident of Wilburton, Oklahoma hearing me and WolfBoy talk noise about their town.
- Always have to make one last trip to the store!
- Good idea: Use Telegram to communicate. Bad idea: Virtually no cell service at convention.
- Leaving my rings at home. Not wearing them only bothers me when I walk out of the restroom.
- Thing I left at home: condiments and tortillas >.<
- When they say chicken strip dinner at Braum’s, they ain’t joking!
- What’s with the pudding cup, though?
- Picked up tortillas and BBQ sauce at the Waxahachie HEB, crisis averted!
- We drove 400+ miles across Texas to eat at Pizza Hut in Oklahoma on Thursday night. 😀
- Gas lantern providing light. AM/FM radio providing weather and entertainment. Hooray for old technology!
- Super-bright LED lanterns should come with deflectors.
- If you’re setting up a tent at 1AM with a super-bright LED lantern, you suck.
- FRIDAY I’m genuinely a little disappointed that I can get a cell signal out here, but that’s what airplane mode is for.
- It’s driving me nuts that I get notifications on my phone, but I can’t actually SEE the thing I’m being notified about.
- Glad to get snapshots of a few fursuiters…a shame my friend whose fursuit fan I fixed wasn’t one of them.
- The criteria for being a guest at a furcon now seems to be: Be somewhat popular!
- People playing Nintendo Switch in the mess hall…REALLY?
- Hearing hacking and coughing throughout the camp, glad we’re outside
- Electrical cords running into tents make me sad.
- McDonald’s for breakfast on Friday, we’re really roughing it!
- They seem to be a little behind in getting situated, no crafting/panel tents were set up until Friday afternoon.
- We went hiking and everybody stopped when cell service resumed.
- Nothing like BBQ hamburgers for lunch and dinner!
- Fancy people have to melt the chocolate and the marshmallow for fancy s’mores.
- Maybe too fancy: I don’t think graham crackers should have grill marks.
- WolfBoy does not care how much your beef jerky costs.
- Nothing like being overprepared for the storm Friday night.
- The campfire area was closed off on Friday night. Aw.
- On the plus side: NO MIDNIGHT AWOO.
- SATURDAY Storm didn’t come until early today, but we were ready for it!
- There is a special place in hell for people that have a crowing rooster as their alarm…and abandon their phones
- We don’t care for quiche so it was off to Mickey D’s again.
- Are there really that many people wanting quiche and crepes for breakfast at a camping trip??
- PROTIP: If you haven’t figured this out already about Wild Nights: Bring food.
- I’d forgotten how polite small town grocery store people can be. NO, I DON’T NEED HELP WITH…oh
- My hometown doesn’t even have a grocery store anymore, so yeah.
- I ran a stop light in town. Sorry.
- “Your poncho is pink.” “It was red when it was folded up.”
- Not to be mean to the artists, but once the rain starts, maybe rearrange the tables so people can sit in the mess hall and eat
- Random conversation I could have done without: “What is your name?” “Eduardo Soliz.” *long pause* “WHY?” “You look like some Asian guy.” HUH?
- Nothing says ‘oblivious to my surroundings’ quite like people blocking the whole sidewalk that is SURROUNDED BY MUD. MOVE IT.
- LOL at the weather radio saying ‘Arkansaa.’
- Waiting in the bathroom for the storm to pass.
- About to storm like crazy but DAMMIT WE BOUGHT FAJITAS AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FAJITAS.
- And s’mores, of course
- “Okay, guys, here’s the plan to get in the car, we’re going to…” *BOOM* RUN LIKE CRAZY!
- What do you do when the camping con gets rained out? Sleep in a bunkhouse!
- SUNDAY Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold.
- I know it annoyed some people, but the 90s car alarm repeatedly going off in the morning was hilarious to me.
- Note to self: Buy a cheap shower head for the small bathroom shower.
- And maybe some soap holders.
- I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that hardly any of this has to do with the con itself.
- PROTIP: Get your heads out of your phones or you might miss something cool like a truck doing a Dukes of Hazzard over a hill in the opposite lane.
- I think they meant to do that.
- The business that gave us the Fudge Cheese Butter sign appears to be no more, aww
- AFTERWARDS/CASINO Funny that ‘Try Everything’ comes on over the PA as we’re entering the casino. THEY KNOW.
- I had to at least try the slots that had bears on them…no better luck, though.
- We had to eat ‘Krispy Krunchy Chicken’ after seeing the name. Tasty!
- Parrot Beach Bar and Grill at the Choctaw Casino Resort was good, shame it’s going to become Just Another Mexican Restaurant in a month or so.
- No luck at the casino, guess it’s back to work on Tuesday.
- If you’re dropping money into the slots at 9AM you might need help.
- Yes, that includes me.
- I wonder which table at breakfast is ours…OH, it’s the one with the T-Rex hand puppet.
- When you have a hand puppet on your table, some rando will inevitably ask why it is there.
- After the fact, I have a box of hot cocoa and two things of Jiffy Pop left. Stupid weather.
- While the con itself wasn’t much to speak of, we had a great time!
Another year, another Texas Furry Fiesta. As much as I like San Japan, TFF is my favorite convention bar none. Sadly, this is the last year in the Dallas InterContinental, but it went out with a bang!
- BEFORE-I wanted to start this list two weeks before the show, but that would have been a bit much. Two days it is, then.
- I put more effort into picking T-shirts for conventions than I do into dressing for my job
- The same goes for shaving: I’ll regularly have a 5 o’clock shadow at work but usually shave whenever I’m going to be with friends.
- Had to resist the urge to put “Skills: Striking fear into the hearts of men” on my volunteer application.
- Should have mentioned my ‘command voice,’ though.
- Seeing Facebook keep going ‘REMEMBER ALL THE FUN YOU WERE HAVING 2/3/4 YEARS AGO’ these last few weeks has been maddening
- Went over last year’s list that I apparently DID start two weeks prior, guess I’m getting more patient as I get older.
- Planning on using my point-and-shoot for pictures instead of my iPhone, too many dark pictures last year.
- Still using my iPad mini to record the parade, though, just need free up lots of memory beforehand!
- Sing just came out on video, I wonder if there will be anyone cosplaying? (there wasn’t that I could tell anyway)
- Bluetooth speakers at cons SUCK. I have bad taste in music too, but I keep it to myself.
- Lucky for me Riverdale is not showing this week. I don’t mind waiting for the next Powerless, BUT I MUST KNOW WHO KILLED JASON BLOSSOM
- THURSDAY-Passenger: You better be ready to go at 9. Me at 930 on Thursday: Still waiting for him
- I pity people that have been to Whataburger without having a Breakfast on a Bun. THAT’S NO WAY TO LIVE
- Siri turned my friend’s last name into ‘Command’ so that is his last name now
- Took a shortcut down some caliche roads to bypass a big accident on I-35 North.
- Yeah maybe I shouldn’t have washed he car yesterday
- Made it past the accident okay, though!
- Not liking Braums is a crime, apparently
- Thursday and the hotel parking lot is already full, oh boy
- Friend as we’re going to the room: “This hallway smells like B.O.”
- Funny that I’m going to spend part of my vacation working (as a volunteer) yet I don’t mind
- Volunteering: Started off helping unload some stuff, kinda wish I’d showed up earlier to help more.
- Furst World Problem: Being swatted by someone’s tail.
- Volunteering: It was fun helping at Kempi’s, I am going to totally miss the Disco Dungeon!
- Weird moment (for me, anyway) “Didn’t that guy have the prettiest eyes?” “Sorry, but I’m straight.”
- I ended up splitting a room in a single instead of a double, we used a pillow as the ‘border.’
- FRIDAY-Surprised at how unorganized the volunteering seems to be early on, (it got better)
- Idea (that may not work): E-mail verified volunteers blanks of the tracking sheets.
- Volunteering: Spent a couple hours in the con suite playing barkeep at the snack bar some more in the morning
- Mary Mouse is just too busy, I need my Certified badge!
- The panelist didn’t show up to the first panel I went to…I have yet to miss one of mine…just sayin’
- These guys really need to purchase a legit scheduling app. The ‘purchase’ part means it likely won’t happen, though
- Kept getting asked: “Are you doing a panel?” I think it’s safe to say me doing panels is a thing now.
- My apologies to my friends when I don’t recognize them in or out of fursuit: I have enough trouble remembering people that only have ONE name and face!
- Decided to belt out Be Prepared at Kempi’s during karaoke and loved it. I kicked into my vocal ‘fifth gear’ that I very seldom use.
- Ten buck special at Boston Market = good eatin’ Going to miss all the close places to eat next year
- Finally figured out to hold my camera by its sides when showing pictures to fursuiters so it doesn’t flip back to camera mode when I’m showing them pictures
- Probably just need to invest in a new camera already.
- SATURDAY – I want to go to panels but keep bailing on them to have fun with friends!
- Or getting double-booked and leaving a panel early to go to another one
- If you’re asking for questions fifteen minutes into your panel, you might need more material, but it worked out.
- Having an intro written to start your panel isn’t a Bad Thing per se, but it depends on the type of panel
- Lobby ATM machine barfed on me multiple times throughout he weekend, argh
- Fursuit parade seemed to go quicker this year
- Someone swatted me with their tail! How wude!
- Love to upload the video while I’m here, but the 3.1 GB file ain’t uploading over hotel wifi anytime soon, maybe overnight.
- I’m learning that sitting is weird when you have a tail, even if it is just a nub!
- The pictures from my point and shoot are coming out so much better than the ones from my iPhone last year
- Note to self: Get fursuiter pictures when you have the chance, because that StarFox suiter was way cool, but I missed him!
- I was working, though /shrug
- Volunteering: Checking for badges gets a little weird when people have them on their waist/belt
- Okay, so I’m a prude.
- Bought a voodoo-themed print and now I have the Dr. Facliler song from ‘The Princess and the Frog’ in my head
- SUNDAY-Left my laptop on all night to upload the Fursuit parade video and it worked!
- Likely have to retire my iPad mini after this year, 16GB just ain’t enough!
- It’s always funny being functional at 8AM while the party animals slowly lurch to life
- Walked away from my backpack by accident Guess I need coffee!
- Woofle House to the rescue!
- Not trying very hard to sell anything in Artist’s Alley, which is good because I didn’t *le sigh*
- I swear I am the only seller in Artist Alley that is standing up.
- To be fair, they’re all drawing
- And sold more than me 😛
- I gave away three books, so there’s that.
- New rule: No more using my iPad as an attention grabber, people just watch the videos and block the table
- You’re welcome for the name, Kawaii-pool!
- Why are there two kinds of Steak N’ Shakes? The ones where you get seated SUCK sometimes.
- Elevator conversation:
Me: “You draw the fluffiest furries I’ve ever seen!”
Tirrell: “That’s how they’re supposed to look.”
Me: “Right, but nobody draws them like that.”
- None of the pictures I took during Closing Ceremonies came out. Insert joke about Path here.
- When someone brings bubble wrap for pick-up to the art show you know they buy a lot of art 0_0
- Got plenty of exercise helping tear down the Art show, and earned enough time for a free registration next year!
- I had originally planned to stay till Monday, but I have too much adulting to do, so I hit I-35 at 10PM
- It was hard for me to leave ‘early’ though MUST PHOTOGRAPH ALL THE FURSUITERS
- If you are a fursuiter and I didn’t take your picture, I AM SO SORRY
- My friends and I got ‘furtobombed’ by Zig-Zag at the end!
- Didn’t run into any of the storms on the drive home but saw lots of scary lightning!
- Had a scary moment on a patch of flooded construction, too
- Finally got home at 3AM,. I’m tired, but the good kind of tired
- Another great show, and I even helped (a little)!
And one late one:
80. At least we only have 11 months to wait until TFF 2018!
In celebration of Furry Fiesta: Mad Science taking place this weekend, here are a few of my favorite science fiction stories!
This super-short story was inspired by the good-natured ribbing I received from a friend when he heard I was going to a furry convention (Furry Fiesta 2012). I took his sass, made it a little more meaner and had a little fun with it.
From “Ten Tiny Tales,” a collection of early stories.
I love soda. For me, there’s nothing like the simple pleasure of an ice cold soda: The little cloud of gas you see when you first open up a bottle, the sizzling sound the fizz makes, the taste, and the feel of the fizz as it goes down your throat are all wonderful. Even the aftermath, in the form of a good belch, carries a certain appeal. Okay, so I’m a guy. Sue me.
I received a gift card from a friend for Christmas a few weeks ago and pondered over what to purchase with it. My friend had gifted me a card from an electronics store, which was cool, but I wasn’t really wanting for a video game or computer equipment or a new tablet, or really, anything related to technology. What to do, what to do. Then it hit me. I excitedly checked their website and was delighted to find the store sold SodaStream machines.
I was less than delighted to discover that they were not in stock at any nearby stores. No biggie, I could wait a week or two.
I have thought about getting a SodaStream for a while. The idea of concocting my own soda flavors at home is very enticing. Producing less waste is also nice, though I do recycle my cans. The up-front cost of a machine kept me away, though, but thanks to my friend’s gift, I would pay less than half the cost of a SodaStream Fizzi.
I received my Fizzi, excitedly opened the package and removed the contents. It came with the unit, a CO2 bottle rated for 60 liters of soda, a one-liter carbonation bottle, what I presumed was an instruction booklet, and a coupon of some sort.
The SodaStream Fizzi stands at just over 16 inches tall, so it just fits under my kitchen cabinets. I have to pull it out so I can press the carbonation button, but that’s a minor inconvenience. The Fizzi doesn’t need electricity so there is no power cord to get in the way.
The carbonation bottle has a little bit of heft to it. The fill line and expiration dates are clearly marked and the opening is fairly wide, allowing for fairly easy filling and cleaning. Interesting note: While the bottles are marketed as being 1L bottles, filling it up to the appropriate level takes less than a liter of water.
I was perturbed to find the booklet included with the device was full of legalese and warnings. No instructions. I get that SodaStream machines are supposed to be easy to use, but some guidance would have been nice. All I got was a paper foldout with pictures that was stuck to the back of the unit. No words, just pictures. Okay, I guess it is that easy. I quickly glanced at the pictures and concluded that there wasn’t much to it.
Also disappointing was the lack of any syrup. I wondered if it was a trade-off in exchange for receiving a full bottle of CO2. My understanding is that SodaStream machines originally came with a very small CO2 bottle that didn’t last very long and made people unhappy. That said, I was aware of that shortcoming coming in, so I took the liberty of purchasing a bottle of SodaStream’s Diet Cola flavor as well as a bottle of water enhancer.
The first step was to install the CO2 canister, which was simple enough. First, I removed the seal and the plastic cap from the canister. Then, I removed the back panel of the Fizzi, screwed the canister into the the machine, and replaced the panel. So far, so good!
I rinsed out the carbonation bottle, filled it with the appropriate amount of water, and snapped it into the machine. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to screw it in or what, but it appeared to stay in place so I figured it was okay. I then held my breath, firmly pressed the big carbonation button at the top of the unit, and water sprayed everywhere.
Remember that quick glance from a few paragraphs ago? I neglected to notice the correct method of inserting the bottle, which is to pull out a plastic backrest at an angle and then insert the bottle. At this point, I was a little gunshy after getting water all over my countertop and gingerly added a second shot of fizz without spilling any more water. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure how much to fizz the water at that point, so my first bottle ended up not quire as fizzy as I would have liked. I’ve read online that screwing up your first bottle is a common occurrence, so it seems I’m just as silly as everyone else.
Future bottles went off without a hitch. The Diet Cola flavor I purchased tasted okay but adding water enhancer was much tastier. I have yet to try my hand at making my own flavors but will likely look online for some recipes before I get too adventurous.
Even after making a few bottles, I’m still not quite completely sure when I’ve fizzed the water enough. A sticker on the top of the unit says to fizz until you hear three puffs, but I don’t always hear them. I have yet to under-fizz another bottle, though, so I’m apparently doing it enough…or maybe too much? Time will tell how many bottles I get out of that 60L container.
After getting over the initial (messy) learning curve, I’m enjoying my SodaStream Fizzi. I’ve already purchased another pair of 1-liter bottles and look forward to eventually mixing up my own fizzy waters. With a start-up cost of $100 for the Fizzi and a pair of extra carbonation bottles; SodaStream isn’t exactly the most cost-effective solution compared to buying off-the-shelf, and as anyone who has tasted a Dr. Pepper knock-off will attest, their flavors won’t quite match up to the originals. The value of a SodaStream to you will depend on how much you enjoy soda. Would I have bought one without that gift card? Probably not, but as a fan of fizz, I’m glad I did.
“Snoopy’s Christmas,” The Royal Guardsmen, 1967
The Royal Guardsmen recorded a few songs featuring the coolest cartoon dog to ever grace a comic strip, including this Christmas tune. The song is often erroneously referred to as ‘Snoopy and the Red Baron,’ which was actually the Guardsmen’s first Snoopy song.
TRIVIA: The song may have been inspired by the real-life World War I “Christmas truce” that took place in 1919 on the Western front.
That’s the list for this year! Thanks for reading, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!