A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Mezzanine > The Library Café

The Library Café Come in, relax, and get to know the other members of this site. Share your hobbies and interests, along with general news of your life.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Oct 23 2015, 07:36 AM   #3561
vyon
Senior Member
 
vyon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Gender: F
Fan of: Harper Hall
Default Re: What is happening

Happy birthday
vyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24 2015, 12:59 AM   #3562
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

Sitting in class, trying to stay awake because I've been up since 3 AM.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26 2015, 10:17 PM   #3563
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: What is happening

Hoping that this home heart testing thing Dan J. doing well shed some light on what going on with him.
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29 2015, 01:11 AM   #3564
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

I am hoping with you Ginny.

For those who don't read the Clan Fiend thread at the NKT, I am re-posting my update:


On a personal note, my father is continuing to decline. I am glad for the extra time with him, but the longer the hospice goes, the more depressed he becomes. He has always been the one to care for his family and this is so hard on him mentally. My request for those who can without it affecting their beliefs is that he go swiftly and soon. Thank you.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 29 2015, 11:14 PM   #3565
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: What is happening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlady View Post
I am hoping with you Ginny.

For those who don't read the Clan Fiend thread at the NKT, I am re-posting my update:


On a personal note, my father is continuing to decline. I am glad for the extra time with him, but the longer the hospice goes, the more depressed he becomes. He has always been the one to care for his family and this is so hard on him mentally. My request for those who can without it affecting their beliefs is that he go swiftly and soon. Thank you.
I follow its just knotted up in my e-mail https://bethfinke.wordpress.com/2015...e-read-emojis/ tag (_)? coffee image show a coffee cup or , via a friend, (__) is a bowl, and [__] is cake.
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31 2015, 12:42 PM   #3566
Priscilla
Super Stitcher
Craftmaster
 
Priscilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: No One Noticed The Cat
Default Re: What is happening

I have just ordered the latest book by Alexander McCall Smith for my Nook. It is titled "The Woman Who Walked In Sunshine". I look forward to a fun read!

Happy Halloween! One tv channel has been showing "Thriller" on a continuous loop.
__________________
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
Helen Keller

Last edited by Priscilla; Oct 31 2015 at 09:43 PM.
Priscilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31 2015, 11:18 PM   #3567
Allen
Senior Member
 
Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Last house on the left, across from the cemetery
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Series
Now Reading: Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing
Default Re: What is happening

I showed my first trial of this on the last page. Here's the improved pattern, on a plaque. Posted it over on the NKT and sent Maw a PM, but haven't heard from her. I'd like to sell some plaques, so if anybody sees anything they would like, let me know.
__________________
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31 2015, 11:23 PM   #3568
Allen
Senior Member
 
Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Last house on the left, across from the cemetery
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Series
Now Reading: Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing
Default Re: What is happening

I've also made a pattern for this, and could put it on a plaque for anybody who's interested.


Any other ideas?
__________________
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31 2015, 11:48 PM   #3569
Dragongirl
.:. Baroness von Imp .:.
Weyrling
 
Dragongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: I do not 'fan'. I obsess.
Now Reading: Lady Helen & The Dark Days Club - A.Goodman
Default Re: What is happening

Uh.

This is kind of Le Awkward. Because it's been ages. Most of you have me on Facebook or Skype anyway, so you get to see me in all my snarky, irrational glory.

But Lily asked what I've been up to the last couple of years. So.

Mostly this.



That's the first MEAO deployment. IT'S REALLY HOT OVER THERE, GUYS.

I'll be discharging soon, though. But that's not something with reasons I'm comfortable going in depth about publicly. I hope you're all well enough -- those I don't get to see elsewhere much, anyway.
__________________
Paired with Calenlily. Woo, I has a stalker! *heart*

Those who seek to create war are mongrels and fools, but the blood they spill as a result is never meaningless. - Lucrezia Noin

When someone is grieving for what they've lost, you can't really say you know how they feel, or how they should handle things. Because even if you've lost too, everyone grieves differently. Anyone who says otherwise are presumptuous idiots.-Hayley (My friend can be an astonishing wealth of wisdom)
Dragongirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1 2015, 12:21 AM   #3570
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: What is happening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragongirl View Post
Uh.

This is kind of Le Awkward. Because it's been ages. Most of you have me on Facebook or Skype anyway, so you get to see me in all my snarky, irrational glory.

But Lily asked what I've been up to the last couple of years. So.

Mostly this.



That's the first MEAO deployment. IT'S REALLY HOT OVER THERE, GUYS.

I'll be discharging soon, though. But that's not something with reasons I'm comfortable going in depth about publicly. I hope you're all well enough -- those I don't get to see elsewhere much, anyway.
Just like when that gift exchange over at our sister site? Its a work in progress, have a freind that willing to help.
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1 2015, 01:19 AM   #3571
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

Dragongirl, I don't know if we are connected on Facebook but I remember you. I wish you the best with everything and thank you for stopping by and saying "hi".
Dena
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1 2015, 07:19 PM   #3572
Kugai
Crazy Kiwi Shoujo-Ai Fan
 
Kugai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wellington NEW ZEALAND
Gender: M
Fan of: Tower and Hive Series
Now Reading: Whatever takes my fancy at the moment
Default Re: What is happening

__________________
JAMES THE
You can never have too much Coffee

Homepage
FreeBabylon5
FreeBabylon5 Website
Kugai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2 2015, 08:59 AM   #3573
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: What is happening

So, Dragongirl, what are you going to do when you get out?

I seem to remember a young girl wanting to do something Veterinary with horses?
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2 2015, 04:37 PM   #3574
Dragongirl
.:. Baroness von Imp .:.
Weyrling
 
Dragongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: I do not 'fan'. I obsess.
Now Reading: Lady Helen & The Dark Days Club - A.Goodman
Default Re: What is happening

I've just started studying through correspondence a Cert IV in Captive Animal Management and Conservation, Pa, with the intention of moving up to a degree once I've sorted my life out. And I mean the latter literally.

The horses are still a thing, as much as they can be. My mother sold most of them on me when I left home, but I've gotten one back and recently got my hands on another through something of a rescue effort.

(I remember you too, Moonlady, and I'm not entirely sure but think I maybe have seen you on Facebook.)
__________________
Paired with Calenlily. Woo, I has a stalker! *heart*

Those who seek to create war are mongrels and fools, but the blood they spill as a result is never meaningless. - Lucrezia Noin

When someone is grieving for what they've lost, you can't really say you know how they feel, or how they should handle things. Because even if you've lost too, everyone grieves differently. Anyone who says otherwise are presumptuous idiots.-Hayley (My friend can be an astonishing wealth of wisdom)
Dragongirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2 2015, 10:39 PM   #3575
Lily
Senior Member
 
Lily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wellywood, New Zealand
Gender: F
Default Re: What is happening

Oh, I'm so pleased to see that pic, Dragongirl. And I hate to think of how many years ago we were reading about your desire to join the navy and wishing you well. I hope it's been an enjoyable time for you, and that your future career is all you would wish

PS: You havent changed a bit from that portrait from Lady Maelin
__________________
Coffee: Chocolate: Men: Some things are just better rich
Lily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 3 2015, 03:30 PM   #3576
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: What is happening

Nice to see you again, Dragongirl!
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 3 2015, 09:21 PM   #3577
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragongirl View Post
I've just started studying through correspondence a Cert IV in Captive Animal Management and Conservation, Pa, with the intention of moving up to a degree once I've sorted my life out. And I mean the latter literally.

The horses are still a thing, as much as they can be. My mother sold most of them on me when I left home, but I've gotten one back and recently got my hands on another through something of a rescue effort.

(I remember you too, Moonlady, and I'm not entirely sure but think I maybe have seen you on Facebook.)
I know what it's like to have to literally sort out your life so my positive thoughts for wisdom and guidance will be with you.

You probably have seen me on Facebook. I'm Dena Joanne Guerry. Feel free to send me a friendship request if we are not already but didn't make the MoM connection.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18 2015, 05:56 PM   #3578
Zelandeth
Senior Member
Firestone
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

Goodness it's been a while since I was last on here hasn't it...

Not really had a huge amount to add lately really, just day to day life has been keeping me pretty busy but not given me anything really worthy of report.

I do have quite a report for the weekend of 6th-8th November, though that's going to have to wait until tomorrow to post as it's taking a lot longer to type up than I'd originally thought.

Suffice to say for now, it was a wonderful, and I'd go so far as to say for me probably life-changing in some ways, weekend. More on that tomorrow though when I've actually finished and made some sense out of the wall of text that I've ended up with!

Just because I'm me however, you're getting a brief taster...

There was one moment of the weekend where I realised that my brain had fully accepted that a very different set of rules were in play. It was a moment where I had taken a seat on one of the (very comfy actually) sofas in the open plan lounge/bar area in the hotel and was sipping on a lemonade, just letting my energy levels stabilise a bit, when a seven and a half foot tall wolf took a seat opposite me. I acknowledged his arrival with a friendly wave then went back to sipping my lemonade, having not on any level registered this as anything in any way unusual. Now, at this point you would be quite reasonable to ask whether I was either drunk or utterly stoned, but I can confirm that I was neither...even though I was a bit of a space cadet on account of just having embarked on a seven hour drive (thankfully as a passenger) having managed to grab only a couple of hours of poor sleep the night before. So, I hear you ask, what on earth was going on? You're just going to have to wait for the full report tomorrow as I need to go to bed now, and I have neither finished writing it, nor have I the time or energy to actually proof-read it right now!

On an utterly different note, week before last I finally managed to find time to start getting the odd little annexe off my bedroom which serves as my office set up. It's a very small room, but at least the space is now being used. Still more shelving to go up and such along with some actual decorative touches, but it's getting there.



Hoping that having more on the walls will help dampen sound a bit as it's quite an echo box at the moment which isn't great if I want to have music playing while I work, which I usually do.

Last edited by Zelandeth; Nov 18 2015 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Apparently I cannot use grammer to save my life...
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 19 2015, 01:04 PM   #3579
Zelandeth
Senior Member
Firestone
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

All right...having written, deleted, re-worded, edited, and generally failed to compact it any further, there's the gigantic wall of text I've spent the last far-too-many hours trying to get into a digestible format! I've forbidden myself from fiddling with it any more and have to just post the thing.

Weekend of the 6th-8th November 2015 was to me really quite a special experience. It was a weekend where normality went completely out of the window, and a totally different set of rules applied.

Most of the forums etc I frequent are very engineering/technology based, so I've not bothered mentioning anything of this there as I think it would generally go over their heads. Here though I know we've got much more of a creative bunch, so I think it's worthwhile because some of you I think might see where I'm coming from or at the very least find this an *interesting* read from someone stumbling into a world they knew a reasonable amount of, but had never really witnessed first hand.

I do apologise for what a horrendously huge wall of text this has turned into...and that's after I truncated it quite a lot...I guess I do just waffle too much.

So...What on earth was going on that weekend...

I think looking back at it, one of the best moments for realising that you've completely suspended a lot of the normal rules of life, the universe and everything was on the Saturday evening (I think), when I'd flopped for five minutes into one of the comfy sofas in the hotel lounge/bar area to grab some lemonade and to just let my energy levels stabilise a bit, when a couple of minutes later, a seven and a half foot tall wolf sat down opposite me, and other than a polite wave of acknowledgement, my brain didn't require any further action to be taken on my part and definitely didn't register this as odd.

Now, you may quite rightly ask yourself at this point whether I was either drunk or utterly stoned at the time, to which the answer is actually no. So what the heck is going on? Simple answer, I was at Scotiacon, Scotland's Furry Convention.

Now, I've been hovering around the periphery of the Furry Fandom for a long while (about 15 years in one way or another now that I think about it, that's slightly scary), but had generally save for the occasional commission of some art of my character (who is generally my avatar as far as the internet based world is concerned, you can see his face next to this post), had kept any actual real world interaction with the community as a whole pretty much at arm's length.

The idea of getting to one of the conventions had been discussed on a few occasions, but for a variety of reasons kept not happening, not least because a lack of time and an excess of real life kept getting in the way. This year though, we actually planned things out early enough, especially as one of my house mates was also interested in getting to the convention. So, we made the seven hour drive up to Livingston (just outside Edinburgh), setting out just after 6AM on the Friday morning so we could be there and organised for the opening ceremonies etc.

I have to confess that I wasn't entirely sure what I was expecting. I've been to three (or four?...Can't remember!) Filk conventions before (think what would happen if you crossed a folk music festival with a small sci-fi convention basically...I'm going to cheat here and link to the Wikipedia page on Filk music as it actually explains that quite well rather than try to explain what Filk is!), and unconsciously I guess I was expecting much the same sort of atmosphere, albeit with the events having more of an art and theatre lean towards them than music obviously.

I was wrong. That weekend up at Livingston has to be the time I have spent with the most friendly, relaxed and generally *happy* bunch of people I could ever have envisaged. You really did get the feeling that everyone who was there was there simply to have fun and to celebrate life itself.

There is a bit of explanation needed here I guess now, especially for those of you asking the obvious question of "what is a furry?" much less "what is a convention of them?" On this occasion I am not going to link to Wikipedia as the Wiki page really isn't great to be honest and it's an oft sensationalised topic. One of the few reasonably balanced articles I've found on the subject was published by the BBC News over here back in 2009.

Simply put, we're a bunch of folks who have created ourselves an animal based avatar, a persona (commonly referred to as a fursona) different to the face that we see in the mirror every day, and tend to create art, stories and role-play with these characters. So the short, short version is that we're role-players. It's really not all that different to someone who goes along to a sci-fi convention dressed in a Starfleet uniform taking on the character of a starship captain etc.

The convention is quite simply an excuse for a shed-load of artists, musicians etc from the community to all get together for a weekend in one place, socialise and generally have a good time. The biggest one in the world I believe is Anthrocon over in the US which I think brings in something like five thousand attendees every year. EuroFurence is the biggest one on our side of the pond which I think last time around had around two thousand attendees. Scotiacon is, shall we say, a little smaller. This year having 152 attendees through the door. Not bad though for an event relatively far north in a comparatively small country that's only in its fifth year.

Quite a few of us have gone one step further in bringing these characters to life by creating costumes, allowing them to literally, in the real world play the part of their characters. A lot of these costumes, or fursuits as they are usually referred are incredible pieces of moving art. You're talking about something which has taken in the order of hundreds of hours to create, and often cost thousands of pounds - this ain't a Halloween costume we're talking about here. Styles vary wildly from the very bright and toony to the incredibly realistic.

One thing I really hadn't realised and is quite hard to explain is the level of suspension of disbelief that is almost automatic around them. I at least found myself within a couple of minutes in a situation where I was no longer looking at and thinking of this as someone in a costume, but rather that I was simply interacting with that character. That really is something that I don't know how to explain, as it's not something I really appreciated until I was at the convention. There was at least two or three moments where I ended up talking to someone in the lounge area or in the lulls between events where it took me a good few minutes to realise, usually only when spotting their badges, that they were in fact that wolf that I saw half an hour ago attempting to balance a giant fabric cookie on the con-chair's head while he was trying to give a talk.

Being someone who has always been a little socially awkward, the phenomenon of putting a mask like that on is quite intriguing. There are a lot of things at a friendly gathering like that which you'd never generally get me to do to save my life. Examples including simple acts like giving a simple hug in greeting, dancing, singing (except in the car, on my own with all the windows closed!), doing anything which might draw attention to myself, or to be honest interacting any further than I absolutely have to for the sake of being polite with anyone I don't know well. I'd much rather usually slink off into the shadows and disappear. Seems that I'm far from the only one to feel like that, and sure enough a lot of the people there with suits when out of suit were just as reserved as I am. Put the mask on, and they immediately slip back into character and vanish off bounding around the hotel and generally just being delightfully silly.

A common misconception (why is that word so hard to type? Must have taken me three tries) seems to be that all furries have suits. That's very far from the truth, and as a very rough bit of reckoning I'd say that out of the 152 attendees at Scotiacon 2015, there were maybe 20 or so people in suit at most, and most of them only part of the time (which makes it even harder to get an accurate count). They're horrifically expensive bits of kit, and it takes quite a bit of commitment to wear. They are horrendously hot, cumbersome, usually difficult to get into, and you can barely see out of them. Not sure if presented with the opportunity if I'd even manage to walk in a straight line without falling over something, much less be able to bound about like some of this lot were...

So what actually went on over the weekend? Easiest approach there is probably to split it up into each of the events we went to. No guarantees that these are in the right order, but it doesn't really matter.

-> Opening ceremony.

Exactly what you'd expect at any sort of event this size. The host introduced themselves, their team, the Hotel staff, the nominated charity for which funds were raised this year and thanked everyone for attending. This was interjected with anecdotes from prior years which gave everyone a good giggle. Not least from the first year the mad dash to get everything set up when they broke down en route, and arrived at the hotel at something like 02:30 the day of the con, rather than mid afternoon the day before...somehow they still made it work. This year at least there were no such disasters, and everything was wonderfully well managed from square one...They even ran pretty much on time for most of the events!

-> My First Convention.

This followed immediately on from the opening ceremony, regular attendees to things like this having been dispatched to the bar, restaurant or to be tormented by staff and fursuiters armed with charity buckets with the sole target of extracting every piece of loose change from anyone in the hotel for the charity. Good job they did too, just shy of £2100 raised over the weekend.

It was as you'd expect from the title, just a brief introduction to how a con operates, giving the obvious advice on who to contact if things go wrong and such. One of the important messages relayed at many points being to remember to do obvious things like drinking (water!), eating, getting sleep etc. It's easy to get swept up in the atmosphere and try to get to absolutely everything, forgetting to do any of the above, then wonder why on earth come Sunday evening that you feel ill. As it was, not too dire a problem here as the convention was actually scheduled in such a way that there were quite obvious gaps in the program to allow for meal breaks, and *unlike* the filk cons I've been too, programming doesn't start at the crack of dawn every day. Think it was about 10:00 that things usually kicked off, so easy enough to get up for a 09:00 breakfast and to approach the morning in a pretty relaxed way.

A big part of this as well was a bit of an introduction into how to behave around folks who might be in suit, and the limitations and such that go along with that, especially in terms of vision and thermal management. A lot of it's just common sense stuff, but a good idea to make people actually think about it.

-> Failsuits/Frankensuits.

The best way I can describe this is a mini episode of Scrapheap Challenge (Junkyard Wars for those of you in the US) for fursuits. The challenge we were given was to create the best (worst!) possible suit to clad one of our team in, using nothing but a couple of boxes of scraps (the boxes were fair game too) and very limited tools, in 30 minutes. It then had to retain structural integrity long enough to walk from one side of the room to the other, which in previous years has been anything but a given.

The results were indeed disfigured objects that can only be described as nightmare fuel (which is expected), but it was a huge laugh. Also made me realise quite how awkward a thing to work with fabric is...especially when it's fluffy fabric and the only things you have to make it behave are sticky tape and a broken stapler. Our team lost the challenge at the end of the day, but I felt that we got a major amount of points for the fact that nothing fell off our effort until we started taking it apart to rescue our poor team member from it.

-> Guest of Honour Panel.

Generally these events will have a guest invited who is well known in the community in some way. Last year (or possibly the year before, I forget) was an accomplished musician known as Fox Amoore. You can find his Soundcloud Page and have a listen over here.

This year it was the turn of a well known UK fursuit maker, Kerijiano. Helpfully, several suiters were present who owned suits that she had created for them. This was an informal panel really where she showed some of the work she had done over the years and gave us a bit of an insight into the creative process involved in turning a character from something that only exists in someone's mind or maybe on paper, into a real physical being effectively.

Later in the convention she also hosted another panel on the repair and general maintenance of these suits which was really quite interesting for the engineer in me as it gave an interesting insight into how they are actually constructed in the first place.

-> Evening Dance.

Traditionally they hold a social dance event on the first evening of the convention. I'm not going to call it a disco or a rave as that's doing a vast disservice to the audio/lighting set up provided by the convention (who when not vibrating the light fixtures out of our hotel ceiling do other gig work under the name of Acoustic-Armageddon which still makes me smile) and their choice of music. All relatively modern and intended to be stuff that you can dance to, but there was a decent variety, and was bound to be something to appeal to anyone who was likely to have ventured anywhere near a room full of black lights, strobes and such.

Now, I am a complete wallflower at any event like that. I enjoy soaking up the atmosphere and the music, but getting me off my backside other than to occasionally grab something to drink or eat isn't generally going to happen. Last time I did anything resembling dancing I think I was about five years old.

However, the fun-loving, utterly non-judgemental attitude of everyone on the day clearly had rubbed off on me, and I was actually the first of our party to end up on my feet, and spent a good few hours bouncing around the dance floor like a complete loony. I still can't dance and have no sense of rhythm to save my life, but that really didn't matter to me or anyone else who was there, I was having fun. Goodness my legs hated me the morning after though I tell you that! No alcohol was even involved so I can't blame the disappearance of my usually impenetrable sense of self consciousness on that.

I don't *think* anyone snapped any photos of me bouncing around the dance floor that evening, but I wouldn't swear to it...Guess I'll just have to hide under the desk if they do appear.

Concurrent with that I believe there was another room dedicated to some more low-energy entertainment to the tune of various board games.

That was the end of Friday, and by that point I was pretty well convinced that this was going to be a good weekend.

Saturday morning dawned...well...windy, grey and rainy actually. About normal for Edinburgh in November then. I dragged myself out of bed in time to get breakfast and try to make myself look slightly less scruffy before moving on to the first event of the day.

-> Fursuit Charades.

Something needs to be made clear right now...I am *useless* at games like this, irrespective of whether I'm the one trying to guess or to give the clues. As it was the room was divided into two teams, each with a collection of people in suit to give the clues, and the rest of us were left to do the guessing.

As it was, we had someone on our team who is very, very good with words, and we also had someone who was very good at the rapid-fire, brute force brainstorming approach to the game. Between the two of them, we were pretty much unstoppable, and utterly destroyed the other team. We all had a laugh though which was the sole purpose of the exercise. The guy in charge of the word list though was utterly evil, throwing in things like "Painting the Forth Bridge" among other things...That was I think the only one I actually managed to guess, though precisely how I can't remember. I think we'd managed to guess the number four, and then painting was being mimed and my brain managed to join the dots.

-> Saturday Concert.

In contrast to the jumping, shouting, flailing and general madness of the charades, this was a nice slow down. Just a little 30 minute concert given by a gentleman with what was described as a "synth guitar" - Though my basic description would be a 21st century imagining of the classic key-tar that was doing the rounds 20 or so years back. Whatever you call it, it utterly fascinated me, and I now want one. I would have absolutely no idea how to play the thing...but I want one.

We took a break after there to go and get dinner.

-> Art Auction.

This is where a good chunk of the charity money gets made every year. A lot of people submit items, whether they be drawn art, commission slots, music, sculptures etc for auction, with either a portion or often all of the proceeds going to the nominated charity.

This spends roughly 50% of the time working like a serious auction, and the other 50% of the time with antics going on such as the events co-ordinator discovering that his phone has been confiscated and it's up to him to bid on it in the auction to get it back. All of the staff are generally considered viable targets it seems. Especially if they're trapped in the corner of the room behind the sound desk so can't escape.

-> Karaoke.

A word that you'll usually see me running full tilt in the opposite direction away from. However one of the party I was with is actually a pretty decent singer, and generally will jump at any opportunity to actually perform in front of people. As it was, we ended up with a pretty cosy bunch of probably ten people or so in there at the end, most of whom actually weren't half bad. The guy running the whole show was one of the people who joined us, which was quite fun. I was rather astonished when our musically talented house mate picked out the song One Week by the Barenaked Ladies...and actually managed to get through it. Seriously? I can't *think* that fast, never mind sing it...A bit later in the evening he got even more ambitious and belted out Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams - and absolutely nailed it (including the Key Change of Death towards the end) to a standing ovation from everyone in the room. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't have my camera rolling at the time as that was definitely one worth having, far better than I've heard from many pub bands and cover artists.

It was such a good natured bunch that to be honest, even I would have been tempted to give it a shot - if I had a voice anyway. I however was struggling to shake off the last vestiges of a cold I'd had about a month previous that was leaving me with a persistent cough and as I described it at the time, a critical voice failure. Meant I really should have been in the charades given that a significant portion of my communication of the weekend was done with hand signals!

I actually ran out of energy that evening before they were closing up, so some folks were still up there when I fell into bed.

Sunday contained quite a varied program, which I've really run out of energy to list out in detail here...but included the most utterly eeeeeevil "pub quiz" that I think I have ever encountered, and a moment where we realised that we temporarily needed to suspend a couple of the laws of geometry to try to get the group photo (it's quite hard to get 150 odd people in frame indoors it turns out!). A couple of panels were run through the day as well, one on advise on how to progress with your art for those who draw/paint etc, another on advice, tips and tricks for performing in suit for those new to it or considering going down that road. Quite a bit of good info in there which I've filed away for future reference.

The last programmed item before the closing ceremony itself was a feedback session attended by the entire event committee. This was a bit of a revelation for me (having been to similar programmed items at other conventions, which were often deeply uncomfortable), in how positive it was. Yes, a few points were brought up, which a couple of people were quite passionate about, but even then it was still done politely and with respect. The respective staff members all took the suggested points on board and the whole thing was just one big, useful discussion and it felt that nobody came away from it feeling that their points had been glossed over, felt like it was half an hour well spent that will benefit the event next time.

All too soon though the closing ceremony was complete, thanks were given (especially to the fantastic hotel staff who really seem to enjoy having us around), and things generally started to wind down. They did continue having music running through the evening to which people were welcome to come along and just enjoy, to sing along with or to dance as they saw fit. We were stubbornly determined at that point that we were sticking around to the bitter end, and did so.

That was quite a special moment for all of us I think, must have been nearly midnight, there were two or three of the con staff, myself, my husband and house mate and three or four suiters still there. There's a tradition among the staff apparently that the last song before everyone goes their separate ways is, appropriately, "Over the Hills and Far Away" by Gary Moore. Those of us who were left ended up arms linked, all swaying along with the music (we were all too knackered by that point to actually dance!), and belted out the words to the song together (well...I mouthed it as best I could with no voice!). After that, goodbyes were said and we retired to our room while the tech guys set about pulling apart what was left of the stage.

Next morning, it was just a matter of checking out of the hotel and starting the long drive home in the rain. It felt an awful lot longer a drive home than it did the other way I can assure you.

So this is that thing I've heard people refer to as "Post Con Depression" feels like then...It's astonishing how grey, boring and unforgiving a place the world seems after a weekend in an environment like that.

I wasn't sure if we were making the right decision when we actually registered for this convention, but now we've been once can safely say that the minute registration for next year's one opens up we'll be signing up.

If you couldn't guess already, yes the initial scribbles towards creating a version of Zel's character that could enter the real world in costume form have already started. No idea when or even if that will actually happen (I certainly can't justify going and dropping a couple of grand on something that would get used maybe two or three times a year!), but the idea is now there. This is an idea to which my mind has come up with two responses at the same time. There's the bit going "Oooh, that's an interesting engineering challenge..." and the other bit that's going "Oh god...what have you got yourself into this time?..." in pretty equal measure.

...Will be interesting to find out though.
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 19 2015, 01:30 PM   #3580
Priscilla
Super Stitcher
Craftmaster
 
Priscilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: No One Noticed The Cat
Default Re: What is happening

My "Heart Son" (no actual physical relation) is a furry and I love him dearly. My opinion for what it's worth (which is very little) - nothing wrong with it and if it gives you contentment/happiness/fun I say ENJOY!
__________________
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
Helen Keller
Priscilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 19 2015, 06:33 PM   #3581
Zelandeth
Senior Member
Firestone
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

One thing which really rang true for me about the whole weekend could be summed up by the wording in an Xkcd comic...

"Because we're grown ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means."

With a bit of luck (posting links from my phone is a real pain), the actual comic should be over here.

The general description I gave our waitress, who hadn't been there before (this is the second year the con has been at this hotel) was that we're all a little bit crazy, but mostly harmless.

Last edited by Zelandeth; Nov 19 2015 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Fixed formatting around the link...
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20 2015, 12:49 PM   #3582
mara
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noord Brabant in the Netherlands
Gender: F
Fan of: the pern serie's
Now Reading: acorna's children second wave
Default Re: What is happening

:d:d:d:d great!!!
mara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20 2015, 02:05 PM   #3583
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: What is happening

Although long indeed it was an enjoyable read, Zelandeth! ��
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20 2015, 08:02 PM   #3584
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: What is happening

Sorry for not updating, its hard to find the technical words needed to explain the problem with my other half.

Both chambers are miss firing, making him tired, lose his breath, etc. finger-crossed that the medication works if not they are going to do sugary to stop the it.

His memories are being effected. Sometime his able to understand to do something new.

X-Post NKT
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20 2015, 10:12 PM   #3585
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

I am happy for Zelandeth. It is wonderful when you find a place of acceptance, understanding, and joy. Enjoy your journey and thank you for sharing.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21 2015, 08:16 AM   #3586
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: What is happening

Today it's four years ago that Anne McCaffrey died. She was unique in the world science fictionand fantasy. Marjon and I visited her that year for her 85th birthday and I'm immensely glad we did. The photo was taken at the famous Kitchen Table in Dragonhold-Underhill, in county Wicklow, Ireland. She is reading the folder I made, with the wishes from so many of her fans from MoM.

Here's a photo I haven't shared before and which I posted on my facebook page today.

__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21 2015, 08:51 AM   #3587
Priscilla
Super Stitcher
Craftmaster
 
Priscilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: No One Noticed The Cat
Default Re: What is happening

What a lovely photo. Thank you!
__________________
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
Helen Keller
Priscilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21 2015, 11:45 AM   #3588
mara
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noord Brabant in the Netherlands
Gender: F
Fan of: the pern serie's
Now Reading: acorna's children second wave
Default Re: What is happening

Thank you Hans. Great pic!!
mara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22 2015, 01:46 AM   #3589
Allen
Senior Member
 
Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Last house on the left, across from the cemetery
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Series
Now Reading: Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing
Default Re: What is happening

Great photo Hans.

Here's a plaque I just completed Thursday.


Michael Whelan cover art for Dragonflight. Quotes from same.
__________________
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22 2015, 11:05 AM   #3590
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: What is happening

Looks great Allen.
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22 2015, 02:19 PM   #3591
Zelandeth
Senior Member
Firestone
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

That's really good work!
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 22 2015, 06:56 PM   #3592
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

Thank you Hans for your lovely tribute for a wonderful lady.

Beautiful work, Allen.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25 2015, 02:18 AM   #3593
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: What is happening

Zen hugs if we could reach you we would, a twist on Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey Ship Who Searched , I'm going home for a week, without internet, my phone don't care for the rock around my dad's place. it Wild Rose WI, and it remind me of a something from The Skies of Pern, the communicate devices don't work in deep valleys.
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25 2015, 06:24 AM   #3594
Dragongirl
.:. Baroness von Imp .:.
Weyrling
 
Dragongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Gender: F
Fan of: I do not 'fan'. I obsess.
Now Reading: Lady Helen & The Dark Days Club - A.Goodman
Default Re: What is happening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post
Great photo Hans.

Here's a plaque I just completed Thursday.


Michael Whelan cover art for Dragonflight. Quotes from same.
I think my inner fangirl just hyperventilated.
__________________
Paired with Calenlily. Woo, I has a stalker! *heart*

Those who seek to create war are mongrels and fools, but the blood they spill as a result is never meaningless. - Lucrezia Noin

When someone is grieving for what they've lost, you can't really say you know how they feel, or how they should handle things. Because even if you've lost too, everyone grieves differently. Anyone who says otherwise are presumptuous idiots.-Hayley (My friend can be an astonishing wealth of wisdom)
Dragongirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25 2015, 12:39 PM   #3595
Allen
Senior Member
 
Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Last house on the left, across from the cemetery
Gender: M
Fan of: The Pern Series
Now Reading: Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing
Default Re: What is happening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragongirl View Post
I think my inner fangirl just hyperventilated.
You realize of course that I make these plaques and so on to sell.......
__________________
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25 2015, 11:07 PM   #3596
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

It's paper writing time for my grad class and I'm having a hard time starting. I just need to write this one paper and I'm done for this semester.

Wishing everyone a productive end of the week and a joyful weekend.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 26 2015, 05:38 AM   #3597
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: What is happening

I've got two to do in the next couple of weeks: the role of religion on today's society; and St Paul's attitude(s) to women (his attitudes vary widely according to which of his writings you look at).
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 26 2015, 11:39 AM   #3598
mara
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noord Brabant in the Netherlands
Gender: F
Fan of: the pern serie's
Now Reading: acorna's children second wave
Default Re: What is happening

Come on Moonlady and P'ter you can do it!!!!!
mara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 28 2015, 09:02 PM   #3599
Moonlady
Triumping over Hell
 
Moonlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In Controlled Chaos
Gender: F
Fan of: Crystal Singer series
Now Reading: Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Default Re: What is happening

Thanks Mara... I must admit this paper is going slow.
__________________
"In dreams your spirit visits higher realms and watches over the shaping of this reality. That is why dreams have power and why sometimes they show the future."
The Secret Sky by Jeanine Berry
Moonlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 29 2015, 07:23 PM   #3600
Zelandeth
Senior Member
Firestone
 
Zelandeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
Now Reading: Working my way through the whole Pern series
Default Re: What is happening

I knew the last couple of weeks had been too quiet...

Got a phone call from my father yesterday informing him that he's been offered a transfer from his current house to another one that's slightly closer to civilisation. Fine, good, when are you moving then, I ask. January? February?

"Oh, I've got to hand the keys to this place back by December 9th."

Now, that means that he needs to have all of his stuff moved, thinned out (moving from a reasonably sized 2 bedroom house to a very small one bedroom house), and needs to strip the place out of virtually everything, including the carpets. In a couple of days over two weeks.

Turns out he found out about this nearly a fortnight ago, and never bothered to tell me because he "didn't want to worry me." I won't repeat what I said on the phone at that point.

So, dog is booked in for day care, I've panic booked flights and van hire etc and will be legging it up there on Wednesday to shift as much of his stuff as I can (he's apparently managed to pack a couple of boxes of books so far), and rescue what's left of mine.

In all, this has cost me over GBP600 already (About USD900 at current rates), and I've not even touched packing materials, diesel for the van, boarding costs for the dog, or boarding for me while I'm up there...Suffice to say, not amused.

EDIT: I should clarify that I don't have any problem with going up there to help him move house, we all knew that would be happening at some point in the reasonably near future...It's just that I could really have done with getting this news at least a couple of weeks back, rather than now.
Zelandeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

A Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.