I'm not super active here. I peak in every two to three days only. I'm more active over on that "other site" that goes by two initials (linked further below).
Happily Mated/Married to a non-furry (unless former alt.devilbunnies writers count as "furry").
"Closet Furry"--you won't find this timid squirrel at any conventions. I'm here to appreciate the art, not to meet up with anyone.
Fursona: normal-looking (aka "feral") Eastern Gray Squirrel. I have no reference sheet. Who needs a reference sheet when there are plenty of photos of this species out there on the net? Be forewarned, as Aldin tends to come out a lot in the comments left for others. If you want to know a little move about Aldin, he did post a journal entry about one of those Get to Know you Memes.
Squirrel-at-heart as long as I can remember. How long? Well, there's a 4 part series of journal entries on that too, starting here thanks to a question in a chat session. Yes, I can be very long worded. I'm sure it's that writer in me. (gigglechitter)
Active Scout Leader and avid scout patch/badge/crest collector (many of which are furry-themed, though most scouts probably don't realize it). Five filled blankets with patch/badges/crests from around the world and working on two others. Eagle Scout, OA Vigil Honor member and Silver Beaver recipient. Yes, that active a scout leader.
Spent a year lurking here before getting an account 'cause I tend to scout things out a while. That and I was already active on FA. (Hey, I lurked there for at least 5 years before getting an official account.) I remain over there Aldin Busheytail and simply got this to keep up with some folks who moved here.
If you count my time with alt.devibunnies (not all view them as furry), I've dabbled in this furry thing on the edges now since 1989 or so, way back when "alt.fan.furry" was the furry "social network" (long before that term was coined) of choice.
Moxie fanatic. Don't know what it is? It's one of the oldest continuously bottled soft drinks in the USA. Do a net search for more info.
That's probably enough for now.
A little late and a little lengthy...
First some background. At the end of last year’s Pine Fur Con (PFC) a member of the registration staff, Spangler, asked me if I’d be willing to join staff for the 2019 con. I said I’d need to think about it. I have many irons in the fire. I’m a volunteer scout leader providing support to roughly 90 Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops and Venture Crews across five counties here in Maine, covering an area roughly equal to the state of New Hampshire. In addition, I serve on the board of directors of the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage located on the Union Fairgrounds. Oh, and I occasionally see my wife, who works mostly overnight shifts on the spiritual care staff at Maine Medical Center.
Our district volunteer recognition banquet normally falls on the first weekend in April, the scheduled weekend for PFC 2019. Go figure. Amazingly, the scout banquet got scheduled early for 2019 in March. So, one obstacle out-of-the-way. However, after much thought, I decided, no, I couldn’t join staff. There’s no way I could commit the time needed. So, at last summer’s Maine Fur meet-up at the laser tag place practically in my backyard (it’s a mile down the road), I met-up with Spangler and let her know to pass on to whoever at Pine Fur Con (PFC) that I couldn’t commit to being on staff, but would be happy to volunteer again. I told her first as she was the one who asked me about joining.
Fast forward a couple weeks to Union Fair. At my first shift at the museum during fair week, I learned that Union Fair was hosting the Annual Northeast Region Fair and Exhibition Convention the following April the week after PFC. While most of the convention schedule would take place at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, part of that con involves the attendees visiting the grounds of the host fair. Which means the museum needed to plan to “unmothball” the exhibits about 6 weeks early in 2019. Normally, we start uncovering things in mid-May as we’re open by appointment in June and then Wed-Sat. in July & August. Word was we’d probably be in the museum at the end of March to start uncovering things. In November, the museum board voted to start uncovering things two weekends prior to fair con, 1 week prior to PFC with PFC weekend as the back-up plan if the weather was bad on the original planned weekend. Then, our board president must have forgotten this discussion for he put the word out in our March newsletter to show-up at the museum PFC weekend to uncover things. So, good thing I only agreed to volunteer at PFC.
Meanwhile, I keep registration director, Rukario (who I didn’t get to meet last year as something came up preventing him from attending), informed on my availability—I can help Thurs evening and Fri morn only, for I’d be needed at the museum Saturday. I cancel my Sat. night hotel room. If I was going to be at the museum most of Saturday and my home is on the way between the museum and the hotel, I might as well save $120 (plus tax) and stay in my own bed Saturday night. I could drive back down to the con on Sunday for the day.
Thursday morning of PFC weekend, I receive an email from the museum president: We won’t need you to come to the museum on Saturday. Other museum members who live nearby have already been in and uncovered everything. Great! Just wish those members had said this earlier. Well, toss an extra change of clothes in my bag and hope for the best. I arrive at the hotel mid-afternoon and I get lucky. They were able to add back on Saturday night for me. Woot. Settle into my room, then duck downstairs to peak into registration. I see how crazy it is as they’re still setting-up (well before they open, of course) mention I’d be back at the time I was asked to come back, duck out to my car, peak back into registration and drop-off my office supply box which included a much needed stapler. Before the weekend is over, all the pens would also be put to use and they’d go through all the staples I brought (much like last year).
I head back up to my room, eat an early dinner as I packed a sandwich and salad in anticipation of not having a lot of time to go get something to eat. Return to Registration at 6pm and after some discussion, it was agreed to put me on door duty again this year. AKA, gatekeeping/line wrangler, letting in people one at a time as a registration person was free. So, basically, if you pre-registered, we met each other whether or not I remember you or vice versa. There was a second fur, whose name I have forgotten (I’m terrible with names, sorry!) who volunteered to help line wrangle (lion fursana if I recall correctly). He did an excellent job getting the sponsors (groovy) and super sponsors (superfly) to line-up in a separate line as one of their beneifts was to skip to the head of registration. As intimidating as the line may have looked to some, all in line got through registration within an hour. I was just as impressed with this as I had been last year. Rukario’s crew knows their stuff. People kept trickling in right up to closing at 11pm, which seemed to come quickly.
Thursday night was a short one for me. With earplugs and a black t-shirt improvised as a blindfold, I slept from 11:30pm to barely 5am, my normal wake-up time. Watched way too many emergency vehicles fly by northbound on the Turnpike at sunrise and then no northbound traffic. What was up? Turns out a truck had overturned about a mile north of the hotel. They rerouted traffic off the Turnpike and onto I-295. So, there was my pre-con entertainment for the morning. Report back to Registration for 9am. And noted there was a very short line waiting to check-in. As we were ready by 9:30, we opened up, 30 minutes early. There was never much of a line all morning, unlike last year. Things go smoothly again. At some point Fox Amoore, Pepper Coyote and Tonya show-up to check-in as they’re playing the con that evening. Tonya was excited to see me as we’ve met before, and quickly gave me a bear hug. I fight back the pain in my upper back. Not her fault, I didn’t have time to warn her to be gentle.
Why? Two weeks prior to PFC, I had elective surgery to remove two benign cysts from my upper back. The other appointment time I was offered for the procedure was Friday of PFC weekend. Thus, why I did it two weeks before. Alas, the follow-up was scheduled for after the con. The incisions/stitches were still sore at the con. There were others of you who asked/gestured for hugs during the con. Now you know why I asked you to be please be gentle.
After my Friday shift at Registration, hunger won-out and I got lunch alone (I tend to be a loner) at Olive Garden: soup, salad, & breadsticks, all you-can-eat. I made a glutton of myself and was able to skip dinner (had a snack, but not a full dinner). I got back in time to catch the tail-end of Running Red’s therian panel. As I walked in on it, I apologized for being so late. What little I caught was interesting. I’ve only heard of the term recently, but it does describe how I feel at times in relation to squirrels. Afterward, I peaked in on the very end of the Furry Match Game, which ran semi-concurrently with the previous panel. Alas, at that point, all that food and little sleep caught up with me. I went back to my room for a quick nap. Alas, I slept a bit longer than planned and missed half of Erin’s concert. I enjoyed what I did get to see. There was a brief break and then the Furry Im-Purr-ov, which was moved to the ballroom this year. I participated a little, but wasn’t good at it. Oh well. Good time, overall.
Another break and then watched Fox & Peppers (& Tonya)’s concert. That was great. Then stood in Pineapple Fox’s Monster Movie Mash. Standing room only watching old 8mm films. I wind-up as light control person until about 10:15 or so at which point, I thank Pineapple Fox and crew and head to my room as I could feel my body was ready to shut down as it was well past this old squirrel’s normal (9pm) bedtime.
Saturday morning I ate in the hotel’s restaurant partaking of they’re poorly advertised breakfast buffet after a Twitter tip from Grandpaw. With tax and tip, it was about $15. Might sound steep compared to other breakfast options until you look at what is offered: waffles, scrambled eggs, pancakes or French toast (they vary this option each morning), sausage, bacon, potatoes, assorted cut fruit, yogurt, various toppings for the yogurt, granola, oatmeal, cereal, toast, English muffins, assorted pastries, juice, milk, and coffee. Oh, and it’s all you-can-eat. I made a glutton of myself. On the plus-side, this meant I didn’t have to think about lunch.
I looked at the Saturday schedule and there was little I was interested in doing prior to the fur suit parade. So, basically, if the other museum members hadn’t uncovered things early, I’d have missed little if I had still needed to run up to Union that day. So, I wander around and I just happened to be walking by registration when they opened. I asked if they needed help. I quickly took my place at the door again as there was quite a line that morning. It looked like Friday from last year. Then it occurred to me. I think last year PFC’s timing was end of April school vacation week. Not the case this year. So all the furry youth with their parents/chaperons arrived on Saturday. Registration had some computer problems, but everyone was patient and the issues were resolved for the most part. I have read so much on social media sites about furs whose parents are not supportive of them being in the furry community or that they keep it secret for fear of what their parents would say/do. It’s wonderful to see that wasn’t the case here on Saturday with all these supportive parents with their furry kids.
Registration shut down at 12:30 so that staff members who planned to participate in the parade would have time to change in suit. I caught-up with Betsy Beaver and Tonya in the lobby area outside the ballroom and chat for a while. Watch the parade and I lost count, but come-up with roughly 170 participants. The official count was something like 179, so I wasn’t too far off. After the parade, I had some free time, so I went for a walk at the way too crowded (crowded for me) mall. Had an early dinner at the hotel restaurant (good burger), and then watched the dance competition. After that, back to my room and bed at a “normal” time (9:15 or so).
Sunday, make a glutton of myself again at the breakfast buffet. I peak into Registration briefly at 9am, not to offer them any time this time, but to grab the “I’m the tail end of the line sign” to hand to the line that was already forming outside. I think they were surprised in Registration that there was already a line. I had made the suggestion during the feedback panel last year that Registration should open earlier than 10 am, especially when the days’ events start at 9am.
I then made my way to Running Red’s and Benny G’s panel, “Children of the 70’s.” What a trip down memory lane for this greymuzzle. Checked out of my hotel room, load the car, and then sat in on Casper’s character design workshop. After going over character design basics, the attendees collaborated on creating a character, which Casper drew on the spot. It wound-up being a bunny-griffin with spring colors similar to the Trans-flag, given the name Charity, and was auctioned off after the con with the proceeds going to Shortfolks for Hope (the con charity). I believe Charity sold for $70.
After Casper’s panel, I watched Furry Feud, which was just as fun as last year. One question was: “Name something you’ll eat or drink this weekend at the con.” I was dumbstruck by two answers missing from the mix. I’m amazed that no one polled said, water or coffee. Don’t we emphasize to drink plenty of water? Also, everywhere you look someone’s got a coffee cup in hand/paw. (shrug) After that, unfortunately, I had things to get done back home before returning to work on Monday. So, I dropped by registration to retrieve my office supply box and headed home.
I did find time to try and watch the livestream of the closing ceremonies. I only got to see part of it as something went wrong with the camera feed. The camera slowly panned down from facing the front of the room to facing the floor and then quit all together. Audio still worked through to the end. Attendance was announced as 573. That’s roughly a 42% increase from last year. Personally, I had hoped for 600, but figured we weren’t going to reach it based on the lack of line on Friday morning at registration. Also, over $8K for the charity. Wow!
In total, I gave about 11-5 hours of volunteer time to Registration. Just a quick shout-out to those I bumped into/caught-up with that I know either well or at least by name who have not already mentioned and forgive me if I forget someone as I’m terrible with names: Caption Myra (I’m sure my niece will love the earrings), Syntain (finally got a face to match to the gryphon/bird lady), Vibi Wuff (keep up those videos), Jellybean (thanks to listening to me), Morsel, Betsy Beaver (it was great seeing you there on Saturday), Other Rick Fox (always great to talk too), Calib (basically waving from across the room, which is fine), and Cyan Glaciertooth.
Hopefully when announced, next year’s dates don’t conflict with my other volunteer duties (chuckle). So hopefully, I’ll see you at “Lobstahcon 2020” or so, the push by attendees have been to name it. Personally, I think it should be a birthday theme as 2020 is Maine’s bicentennial as a state. We’ll see.
Joined 20 January 2014