I'm a yellow toller (Nova Scotia Duck-tolling Retriever, if you want the full name of the breed) from Toronto.

I draw stuff, take photos and spot at fursuit events around town, including the local convention Furnal Equinox. My pictures are available on Picasa; feel free to borrow them if you want to post to your account (so long as you credit me for taking them).

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Winter Con Report: ANE and FE 2019

on 23 March 2019 at 19:48:01 MDT

I'm alive! Forgot to give a con report after returning from Boston, and a meme for my home con that wrapped up this past Sunday!

What can I say? It's been a busy month and change, with two cons, a furmeet, and a heckuva lot of fun. Suffice it to say, I had a blast.

Anthro New England

My trip began early Wednesday morning with a trip to YYZ to clear customs and catch my flight to Boston. This wasn't my first time there; I last went to ANE three years ago at their old hotel in Cambridge. Obviously the directions to the hotel were different, but weren't hard to figure out once I identified the closest stop.


After an uneventful flight, half an hour on a bus in mixed traffic, and a pair of subway rides, I arrived at the Boston Park Plaza at 11:20 am. Gorgeous hotel as I stepped into the lobby, and they already had a room available, so I checked in and dropped off my luggage before heading back out.

I made a couple of stops on foot before I found a CharlieCard, topped it up with a pass, and made it down to Fenway Park a half hour before my scheduled tour. Never been to that old stadium before, but figured the extra time I was spending in Boston could be used to be a tourist. The tour went off without a hitch, and I grabbed lunch before heading back to the hotel.

With my one planned trip out of the way, I relaxed in my room, but noticed an issue with the TV. Eventually, front desk moved me to a room with a working system two floors higher (and slightly bigger), and I after settling in again, I made another walk, this time through the Boston Common. A little people-watching, finding some other early furs and grabbing some later supper, and I was ready to hit the sack.


The next day, I woke up, grabbed my camera, and found breakfast. The morning plan: walk the freedom trail before furries start to show up. As I walked, I would occasionally pull out my phone and livetweet the route with a few jokes (a few followers caught on). After taking the subway back, I returned to the hotel, grabbed lunch, and watched more furries arrive in the lobby.

That evening, after grabbing my badge, a bunch of us made the trip to the local cinema to catch an advance screening of HTTYD 3. Ostensibly, it was in 2D, but after discovering it was a 3D copy, management gave us all glasses and vouchers. It was a fun evening, albeit late, so I slept until the next morning.


With the con underway, I made my way down to the event floor for opening ceremonies and a walk through the dealer's den. After picking up the con shirt, it was time to suit up. Unfortunately, the hotel was still warm, so I spent most of my suiting time in headless before putting everything away until the evening to grab photos. Except for a bried fursuit excursion to the public garden to grab some photos while it was less crowded.

There weren't any panels that afternoon that caught my attention, so after an early supper, I got back in suit and went downstairs for the fursuit games. Our team won in a competition that included a relay race, charades, TP mummification, and musical chairs. After the games, the remainder of my evening was spent out of suit.


Sleeping in and making it down for the sponsor brunch, I was delighted that the temperature seemed to be lower in the hotel, and soon after got back in suit for the day. Following the group photo, we all went outside for a walk through the public garden and common before returning to the hotel. I checked out the concert downstairs, berfore de-suiting to watch the dance competition and grab supper (my one trip that weekend to the South Street Diner, which was offering a discount. Really good food).


Sunday's highlight was the fursuit recess games event, which was a blast (if somehow more physical than the competitive games) and I found I needed a second shower immediately after. I decided to follow that up with the talent show, and eventually caught closing ceremonies before grabbing supper at another recommended joint. I was planning to suit back up once I returned to the hotel, but the headless lounge was already disassembled.


With my planned flight not until the evening, I used my last day in Boston to walk along the greenway, before returning to the hotel to check out. After lunch, I went to the cinema to use my vouchers for one more movie, before collecting everything and heading down to the airport.

As I arrived, I already noticed some issues and delays, and shortly after checking in I discovered my flight was cancelled. I got re-booked on the only remaining flight, and proceeded to the waiting room to watch that flight get delayed too. Eventually I returned to Toronto, but not until much later.


ANE was still a blast after skipping two years; even with a few hiccups. I had also forgotten how expensive everything was in Boston; food seemed to come with a 30% premium that matched the exchange rate when I got my cash for the trip.

Furnal Equinox

FE was my home con, so I didn't bother with a hotel room. I might change this next year as the con grew in leaps and bounds for 2019.


With weather turning sour for Friday, I spent part of thursday emailing programming back and forth to get my panel (Tour De Fur) rescheduled, and by the time I left work, it had been moved to Saturday. That evening, I went down to grab my badge, a quick supper, and return home to show a movie to a friend.


With the con officially underway, I went down for opening ceremonies and a walk through dealers den before grabbing my con shirt. Once everything was done, I did a bit of suiting, and made my way over to the Tea Social for "lunch" (tea and plenty of snacks). That afternoon saw me checking out two concerts before grabbing supper and suiting up for the fursuit games. After an intense pair of "hockey" games, some dodgeball and a relay race, we finished second, and after cooling down, I made a last trip through the con space before heading home for the night.


With all my anticipation, it was hard to get proper sleep before returning Saturday morning, and after a last-minute stop to grab some supplies, I started to get ready for the resceduled Tour De Fur. To my surprise, we had drawn a huge crowd - 133 fursuiters going outside!

The fursuit walk was amazing, if a bit beyond my capability to keep organized. I had help, but it was still hard to run, even with the extra volunteers and security. Setting up the group photo was a mess, but I kept continuing on. Things were simpler by the time we reached the final stop, as half of the attendees had used an early turnoff rather than keep walking the full route, and we finished 90 minutes after we started. Somehow, I was still full of energy, so I made my way over to Renard's train walk to help run that one along mostly the same route; we arrived back just in time for the FE group photo.

The gathering felt a lot better organized this year, and with the addition of a shoot for "partials" I had more reasons to stay until the end. By the time I got out of suit after six hours without breaking a sweat (it was cool out, and the convention space was kept cold all weekend, but I still felt that lack of moistness was an issue), I grabbed supper with the rest of the supersponsors and went down to watch the masquerade. Which was amazing this year.

As my energy level was dropping I hit up one final event, furry improv (it's still fun after all these years) before arriving home early Sunday morning.


We arrived early enough for a quick breakfast and Scani's "10 Years" panel; it was quite a blast from the past, including speeches from the original con chairs, and many stories were shared and tears were shed. After that panel and a light lunch, I did my last bit of suiting before the dance comp (another good show). A bunch of us went out grab supper and we returned for closing ceremonies and our final goodbyes before returning home.


I'll be honest: I don't ever get PCD, but this was the closest I ever got to experiencing that for the first time. As my home con, FE always feels close to me in more ways than one, and this was one of the best ever. Almost no issues, huge growth, double the space, and a chance to run into so many old and new friends. To say nothing of the TDF attendance tripling from last year (not sure how much of that was due to running Saturday).

That said, I'm guessing it'll make more sense to get a hotel room for next year; FE is too big to get away with leaving my suit in the headless lounge all day, and there's enough late-night events that I want to check out that commuting is no longer making sense.

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