furtech: (worgen)
blizzcon2013
Full Fickr Set Here
I made it to this year's Blizzcon thanks to Mr. Kaa! Every year I plan and look forward to costuming there...and every year (except one) I board the Fail Train. I have promised myself that I would have at least one costume made for this con next year, with wardrobe and props. Let's see if I can stick to that!

Man, armor has made HUGE strides in the last few years-- not in small part to new materials (like Wonderflex) and some fantastic online tutorials. I saw a ton of spfx-quality armor out there!

Lots of people having a ton of fun!

One complaint: too much smoke. Everywhere, all the time. Not smoking-smoke...fog-machine smoke. What-the-what!

Next year I've vowed to make at least one costume with gear. Let's see if I am good for my word!

Blink 182 was this year's band. Good show.
furtech: (Eurofurence)
Sunday is wind-down day: there are no panels, people are checking out...very quiet after the wildness of Saturday with the Pawpet Show, the big dance, Panels.

EF2013Sunday
EF2013Sunday

Sunday is also a great day to finally get a chance to slack out and talk with people. I love this low-key day. In previous years I've gone to the zoo, explored the city, visited Kaiserfest.

For the first time I joined the big expedition to the Schnitzel Temple! This is supposed to be the best schnitzel in town and a large group makes a trek there on Sunday for lunch. Schnitzel Temple serves a 1kg (2.2lbs) schnitzel that-- if you finishi it and the sides-- gets your picture on the wall. I was amused by the several dogs that were on the wall: did they eat an entire schnitzel to get this honor? Very amused.

The dead dog party was well-attended and, again, a fine time to sit back and catch up with friends.
furtech: (Eurofurence)
Saturday is the big day of the con: art show closes out; Pawpet Show; Big Dance (the one that goes strong until after dawn Sunday).

ef2013Sunday
Full Flickr Set Here

The Pawpet Show: End Tide
Once again this was a monumental effort resulting in a spectacular show. The guests of honor were suitably impressed by the result as well (which was much appreciated by the people behind the show, that's for sure!). As I've said, seeing one's creation brought to life by skilled puppeteering is the big moment for me. Congratulations to the cast and crew of End Tide!

[livejournal.com profile] tioh has a nice set of pictures of the actual show . End Tide was a story about the seas around Hawaii, industrial espionage and guns.  Oh, and exploding seaweed.

This was the most fully produced show yet, featuring an original soundtrack by Fox Amoore. The music was sweeping and beautiful. I highly recommend buying it (from the above link).

Saturday was also a day of many panels: I tried to go to every panel run by the GoH's, Andy Heath and Warrick Brownlow-Pike. They are two of the people behind the rauncy British comedy show, Mongrels. They were able to talk the BBC into letting them bring original puppets to the convention! I have long-admired the design and smooth mechanics of these characters and to see them up close-- let alone handle them-- was quite an experience. More on them in another post...


Saturday night after the Show is the best night of the con.  The con staff-- who is most of the Pawpetshow as well-- can let out a huge sigh of relief and finally relax a little.  People are at their goofiest.  Interesting conversations abound. The next time you check your watch, it's likely to be after 4am...

As before, I enjoyed hanging out and chatting with everyone well into the wee hours of Sunday. I barely managed to get to bed before the sunrise.
furtech: (Eurofurence)
On Friday the convention was in full-cry: people and costumes everywhere. Friday was the day of the International Snack Exchange: one of my favorite events of the con (and one that merits its own post).

ef2013friday
Full Flickr Set Here

We had dinner at a nearby Hungarian restaurant. I've noticed that ethnic restaurants evolve to fit their host countries. This Hungarian restaurant (which got good reviews) had a decidly Tuetonic styling to it. And the food was as good as the reviews (very).

Today was also the day of the fursuit parade. This year was less-organized than in past years where there was a distinct path, line of costumers and beginning/end. This route was longer and had cut-offs, so costumers were all over the place (and security scrambled admirably to do their work). Apparently the Mayor came out to meet the 'suiters and extol the city's love for the convention and the furries. The police even called out extra forces...to protect the costumers! So many citizens had turned out to see the spectacle that the police had to use crowd control to direct traffic and keep the parade on-track. As I said-- I'll miss Magdeburg!
furtech: (Eurofurence)
Wednesday was opening ceremonies: the con is official! Before that happened, though, I took a walk to the mall across the street and bought more stuff. Saw a beautiful English (Rough) Collie- her owner was quick to point out that English collies are smaller than their American counterparts. Very cute: almost mid-way between a Shetland Sheepdog and a (American) Rough Collie.

efweds
Full Flickr Set Here

Back at the hotel, things were gearing up and more people arrived. I hung out in the Pawpet Show backstage area and generally tried to stay out of the way as I watched the crew made silk out of sow's ears.

Opening Ceremony was fun: leis were generously handed out to all-comers. Some found creative ways to make use of the extras...

That night I watched an amazing spectacle: the last rehearsal for the Pawpet Show, "End Tide". As I've come to enjoy: I love watching things I've made be brought to life on-stage. Definitely a highlight of the convention for me.

I am in awe of this crew: on top of big convention duties (virtually all of them had committee-level positions), they do a last rehearsal on Wednesday night. This set a new record-- ending after 8am Thursday. Yes-- they rehearse all night, catch a quick nap and then they resume doing their convention duties. Such a Herculean effort!
furtech: (apache-r0ndo)
My flight from SFO to LHJ was blissfully uneventful. I had the Wool Omnibus on my kindle (along with other great books), an iPod filled with songs and audio books and a seat near the restrooms. I read two chapters of the Wool Omnibus, then promptly fell asleep for five hours.

Arriving in Frankfurt Airport was like a homecoming. Have I mentioned I love Germany? I'm still puzzled as to why so many people assume one only visits Germany for business...they were genuinely surprised to hear it was for a vacation...Fresh baked breads, pretzels, and so much efficiency.

EF 2013 SFO to LHJ collage

Full Flickr Set Here

I got to Magdeburg proper in no time at all and checked into the hotel. I got lucky again: a handicap room. Lucky because just before the trip I'd wrecked my leg, so these facilities were actually a boon for me.

It's a shame the convention is moving to Berlin. I have grown to like Magdeburg quite a lot: it's a beautiful city, on a river, with a decent zoo. The Ottokaiserfest is the best RenFaire I've ever gone to (open at night!) when it over-laps with the convention. Also, I know how to get there by rote. I will certainly miss the shopping mall and market that is right across the street: there is a giant toy store, electronics/dvd store, drug stores, travel stores and a very large market.
Having settled into the hotel, I marched across the street to get my supplies: German Meusili; Coke Lite; apples; Nic-Nacs and a few other things. Foreign countries are the few places I actually -enjoy- shopping: I like to see the different products, American foods (usually different in some way), foreign gadgets. Of the latter, the winner this year was the banana slicer: so precise-- very Deutsch.

Interesting finds: Sauerkraut juice (did not try).

Also, R0ndo brand coffee! (Bought a slab for the label. Very amused.)

Stopping in at the Pawpet room, I saw new and old friends in various states of disarray. Plus, all the hard-working team behind the show. Great to see everyone again!

PS: Yes, I know this picture (from an ad at the Frankfurt airport) has nothing to do with the convention-- but visually it's probably what most people think the airport looks like when a furry convention comes to town:
furry carousel

SDCC 2013

Jul. 22nd, 2013 10:23 pm
furtech: (SDCC-ComiCon International)
Another year, another Comic-Con gone by.

sdcc2013
Complete Flickr Set

I have to say that I'm non-plussed about the convention: crowds, lines to stand in to get into another line to get a ticket to stand in yet a third line. And this was just for a SDCC exclusive-- Hall H line-waiters started camping out the previous afternoon!

On the bright side, AGSMA had a fantastic masquerade skit and took Best Presentation in a year of strong presentations. I wasn't in the skit-- I just hung out and helped out backstage. If I come back for SDCC, it would be because I love my AGSMA crew and would be masquerading.

My big problem with the con now isn't just the crowds-- it's also that the media is taking unfair advantage of the crowds and publicity and sending shows there that really don't belong (but who would pass up all the publicity?). Honestly- "How I Met Your Mother"?!? WTF.

As usual it was the panoply of great costuming and lots of stuff to buy. I settled for a couple of books from Stuart Ng books and some Stan Sakai/Usagi collections.

Zombies were big again. They had two nights of Zombie Walks. There was also a big set of displays and food trucks across the street where the con had the "Interactive" area. I like the idea of off-site events like this: spreads the crowds and lets you experience exhibits with fewer crowds. Seeing the Smurfs with a big display right next to The Walking Dead was also pretty cool.
furtech: (Puget Dash Point)
I had given thought to hitting Norwescon this year, but it looks unlikely: just too busy.

However, Norwescon usually has -great- programming and I always find one or two panels to attend that are memorable. I perused the programming grid: this year I didn't see anything that piqued my interest...until this:

A Boy, His Dog, and Their Sheep
Sunday 12:00 PM Cascade 12
This presentation will include the past, present, and future of sheepherding with border collies, including a discussion of the personality, instinct, and training of the dogs. Featured panelist will be a border collie named Rodeo.
Jim Kling (M)


Um. Are they -trying- to entice me-- specifically?? Of all the program items I expected to see, this wasn't on any list. A panel with a live border collie? Sheepherding? Definitely a first for me to see at an sf con. -Almost- tempting!

Howl Con?

Sep. 19th, 2012 07:22 pm
furtech: (worgen)
Has anyone heard of Howl Con?
? Is anyone going?

HowlCon

I'm wary of werewolf-themed get-togethers. I remember reading about some of the early ones, where invariably they involved a lot of liquor and foolishness (usually a number of underagers getting dangerously drunk). One memorable moment at one of these was when one well-known member got stupid-drunk, then continued to leap over the bonfire until he finally tripped and fell in. Not my kind of fun.

At the other end of the spectrum are the hug-wolf cons: a bit too spiritual and poofy for my tastes.

Any info would be appreciated!

Howl Con?

Sep. 19th, 2012 07:22 pm
furtech: (worgen)
Has anyone heard of Howl Con?
? Is anyone going?

HowlCon

I'm wary of werewolf-themed get-togethers. I remember reading about some of the early ones, where invariably they involved a lot of liquor and foolishness (usually a number of underagers getting dangerously drunk). One memorable moment at one of these was when one well-known member got stupid-drunk, then continued to leap over the bonfire until he finally tripped and fell in. Not my kind of fun.

At the other end of the spectrum are the hug-wolf cons: a bit too spiritual and poofy for my tastes.

Any info would be appreciated!

Howl Con?

Sep. 19th, 2012 07:22 pm
furtech: (worgen)
Has anyone heard of Howl Con?
? Is anyone going?

HowlCon

I'm wary of werewolf-themed get-togethers. I remember reading about some of the early ones, where invariably they involved a lot of liquor and foolishness (usually a number of underagers getting dangerously drunk). One memorable moment at one of these was when one well-known member got stupid-drunk, then continued to leap over the bonfire until he finally tripped and fell in. Not my kind of fun.

At the other end of the spectrum are the hug-wolf cons: a bit too spiritual and poofy for my tastes.

Any info would be appreciated!
furtech: (Eurofurence)
EF2012

Complete Flickr Photoblog Set
[This is the picture set of the convention. I've separated out the costumes (mostly) and food pics again. Those will be in their own sets.]

The convention was fantastic. Every year it gets bigger and every year they manage to pull it off and run the most enjoyable convention I attend.

The charity this year was "Far From Fear", a German organization that does for the Spanish Galgos dog what Greyhound rescue does for greyhounds over in the US. I had never heard of the Galgos dog breed before: they are a Spanish sighthound that is actively used for hunting and coursing. After a few years, they are either killed or bred to death. This organization works with their Spanish colleagues to have "retired" dogs shipped to Germany, where they are found permanent homes. The dogs are very much like greyhounds or whippets in form and personality, but sized somewhere in-between those two breeds and with very long, slender tails. They had several at the convention: while a couple of them got uneasy at the noise and crowds, they were all very shy and (if you were gentle) friendly dogs.

The GoH was Peter S. Beagle! It was a pleasure listen to him speak about himself, his writing and his love for music. Small cons like this are ideal venues to hear your heroes speak: the panels are intimate and cozy. He was very approachable and enthusiastic about everything around him.

Best sign at the con:
sign
(On the door to the fire escape.)

Check out the photoblog to get a better idea of what the con was about.
furtech: (Eurofurence)
EF2012

Complete Flickr Photoblog Set
[This is the picture set of the convention. I've separated out the costumes (mostly) and food pics again. Those will be in their own sets.]

The convention was fantastic. Every year it gets bigger and every year they manage to pull it off and run the most enjoyable convention I attend.

The charity this year was "Far From Fear", a German organization that does for the Spanish Galgos dog what Greyhound rescue does for greyhounds over in the US. I had never heard of the Galgos dog breed before: they are a Spanish sighthound that is actively used for hunting and coursing. After a few years, they are either killed or bred to death. This organization works with their Spanish colleagues to have "retired" dogs shipped to Germany, where they are found permanent homes. The dogs are very much like greyhounds or whippets in form and personality, but sized somewhere in-between those two breeds and with very long, slender tails. They had several at the convention: while a couple of them got uneasy at the noise and crowds, they were all very shy and (if you were gentle) friendly dogs.

The GoH was Peter S. Beagle! It was a pleasure listen to him speak about himself, his writing and his love for music. Small cons like this are ideal venues to hear your heroes speak: the panels are intimate and cozy. He was very approachable and enthusiastic about everything around him.

Best sign at the con:
sign
(On the door to the fire escape.)

Check out the photoblog to get a better idea of what the con was about.
furtech: (Eurofurence)
EF2012

Complete Flickr Photoblog Set
[This is the picture set of the convention. I've separated out the costumes (mostly) and food pics again. Those will be in their own sets.]

The convention was fantastic. Every year it gets bigger and every year they manage to pull it off and run the most enjoyable convention I attend.

The charity this year was "Far From Fear", a German organization that does for the Spanish Galgos dog what Greyhound rescue does for greyhounds over in the US. I had never heard of the Galgos dog breed before: they are a Spanish sighthound that is actively used for hunting and coursing. After a few years, they are either killed or bred to death. This organization works with their Spanish colleagues to have "retired" dogs shipped to Germany, where they are found permanent homes. The dogs are very much like greyhounds or whippets in form and personality, but sized somewhere in-between those two breeds and with very long, slender tails. They had several at the convention: while a couple of them got uneasy at the noise and crowds, they were all very shy and (if you were gentle) friendly dogs.

The GoH was Peter S. Beagle! It was a pleasure listen to him speak about himself, his writing and his love for music. Small cons like this are ideal venues to hear your heroes speak: the panels are intimate and cozy. He was very approachable and enthusiastic about everything around him.

Best sign at the con:
sign
(On the door to the fire escape.)

Check out the photoblog to get a better idea of what the con was about.

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