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A Tank of Weak Coffee

and a bouquet of cilantro

First good con in a long time - RMFC '13
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Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2013

I stopped by the hotel on Thursday to confirm my pre-registration and get my con badge, then I went back home. On Friday after work, I came back for festivities. Over the past several cons, things have happened between friends and I, and I generally had a bummer of a weekend. And while this time, there was still remnants of my recent bastardism, I didn't let that ruin my con via depression or shame; and I gave people space I'm sure they needed. I kind of feel bad about dinner on the last day, I feel like me being there caused others to skip out on it. :/ There were plenty of other friends there to socialize with, plenty of other people to meet. The first table I ran into in the Dealer's Den was Blacklight Fusion.  Bones and Stray were helping Lawnface (autocorrect inside joke) with her table, and I talked with the two of them. Bones was watching Digimon on Netflix, neat. I gave the African wild dog plush from Kail to Stray, then I gave the pink hyena purse to Laken. I didn't get the reaction I expected, I guess that's good. She stayed professional. At first she looked confused, almost -trying- to be angry, but then she laughed and wore a sincere smile. So that threw me off. She took it, and I walked away. I half expected her to sell it, but I heard she gave it to one of her friends. Hmm. I met up with a few other artists I knew, like Franki and Spikes, and caught up with them before heading elsewhere around the con.

I attended a lot of panels, truth, but I left early from pretty much all of them. Furoticon Basics, Poi Fundamentals, Therian Meet, Feline Meet*, the Improv Group, the Boffer LARP group, the Saturday night dance, the fursuit parade, Casino Night, the Voice Auction. I wanted to hit up the Parkour Meet, 2 Gryphon's comedy routine, and Kyell Gold's writing and editing panels, but I missed them due to food or socializing. I found a tail for Bones, who was stuck behind a dealer's table all weekend, and she was excited. I talked with some furs I haven't seen in such a long time, like Leon, from Arizona, Coda and Shorty from Lakewood, I think, Megan, and Connor, among others! Wolf introduced me to Bri, aka Magpie Bones. She is neat. I brought my Nintendo 3DS, which has a function in sleep mode, it will tag other local 3DS' that you walk past and swap system and game information. So now, after the con, in Animal Crossing, I am checking out a lot of their houses, and trading puzzle pieces in the Mii Plaza. Pretty neat. Kail showed up a few times at the con, though he wasn't attending, and we met up and smoked a few times and talked. Wolf and I got some grub in the hotel restaurant. I ordered a tomato and arugula flatbread, which was megatasty, and Wolf ordered a Mediterranean pita plate. I ran into Jam a few times around the con, both in and out of her sloth fursuit. She was so entertaining in suit, and she made me smile so much.

(*Ah, the feline meet. There was so much exaggerated energy. I felt so out of place.)

At one point during the weekend, I walked to a Goodwill a few blocks away. Kail and I were in there earlier that week, and I ran into a cute employee. I didn't get his number, though, and I was kinda bummed about that. But I walked there over the con, and ran into him on his lunch break, and we decided to get lunch the next day. But it didn't happen, so we planned on dinner, and that didn't happen. So, famished as I was from skipping meals, Wolf and Spikes and I went to get barbecue after the con on Sunday. Well, on my way back from Goodwill, there was a heavy rainstorm, and I got soaked. My hoody was drenched, so Led let me borrow one he brought. It is small and purple, but it fit my chest and shoulders right. It was only short in the sleeves, so I rolled them up. I liked it.

I didn't get many things there. I donated some money to the charity we sponsored, and got a few ribbons for that, for my conbadge. I bought a book of short stories, a deck of neat playing cards, some glow sticks at the dance. I also ordered a wide leather bracelet from Lagarto; it will have those Xs all across it, just like the ones in all those lion pictures. My main money sink this weekend went to the charity auction. All auction pieces started out in a silent auction, but once they hit 5 bids, they went to a voice auction held on the last day of the con. The piece I bid on went to voice auction, so. I bought it at a high price. This is what I bought, actually: Mata Emas, by Idess. It's in a beautiful matte and frame, too; I will post a pictograph once it's hung on the wall.

For dinner on Saturday, I picked up some fast food at Sonic, and washed it down with an energy drink. Immediately afterwards, I went to the dance with Led, where all the bouncing and jumping and shuffling and dancing and waving churned all the goodness in my stomach, and made me sick. So after a while, I left the dance to cool off and not be sick anymore, when I heard drums down the hall. I walked toward the sound, and found three people with different kinds of drums sitting against the wall in the secondary lobby. I sat across from them, and lost myself in the beat. There was something beautiful in the earthy percussion. Up to this point, this whole weekend, I was mostly p. shifted, but now, completely relaxed, full mental and p. shift in the meditation. It was beautiful, such a long drought beforehand, ended by a trio of drummers.

I met a girl there in the lobby and in the Therianthropy panel, and who sat down with us and the drummers, who I wanted to talk to more. The whole reason I went to the panel was to meet more therians, but I never did get her contact info. She goes by Taiga. Can't seem to find her online.

Anyway, overall I had a fantastic time! Sure there were downers ("All the other furries are stealing my extremely common name! WAAAH!" and "OMFG This place is like totally such a total bore. There's totally like no energy vibe like in all the like clubs like around and HAVE I TOTALLY TOLD YOU IM LIKE SODRUNK RIHGTN OW?!") But I stood and walked away from them midconversation before they could saturate my good times with their drama. I met new people, talked with old friends, got some shiny new things and stuff, gave so many gifts, and made so many memories! I am excited to go net year! :D

All About Seattle
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We left Denver on Friday, July 5, and arrived in Seattle late the next day. The land is much more forested than Colorado, and there is so much lush vegetation, the landscape is so beautiful!

July 7
We drove onto the ferry that would float us across the sound to Bainsbridge Island. The sky was dreary, the wind outside the passenger decks was fierce. I shoved my hat into my pocket to keep it from blowing away. Half an hour later, we were on the island. There is a liquor distillery, a winery, and a brewery on the island, and we had tastings from all. They were fantastic. I now know the differences between wines, which ones I like better than others. I found a trail beside one of the roads, and followed it quite a ways. We went to the Harbour Public House. Their fish and chips are excellent! Then for dinner we met up with Jaiko back in town for delicious Indian food at Kanishka. I had leftovers which fed me for a couple smaller meals, later.

July 8
We met up with Jai again, and enjoyed our day at the Woodland Park Zoo. The exhibits there are extremely well built! We all then went to a store called Uwajimaya, then parted ways. Later in the evening, I went to Dash Point State Park and waded into the sound. Here I learned that I don't like water as much as I thought I did. I blame leeches and seaweed.

July 9
This morning, I took my car to a repair shop and had them analyze some issues she has been having. I didn't have them fix anything, but I did ask for an oil change. Aaron and I drove up to Sea-Tac airport to meet his friend Twister. We went downtown to Pagliacci's Pizza, and their food was delicious. We walked around town for a few more hours. At the Pike Place Market, I stopped at a shop front to buy us all sesame seed balls. They were hot and mega tasty. We drove to Mercer Island, upstream from the sound, and found a neat park with a secluded stone beach, where we skipped rocks, talked, and saw a bald eagle fly just over us.

July 10
This day was a wind-down day for me. I didn't stray far from the hotel, because I was tired of driving. I bought a Nintendo 3DS, and some games, New Leaf, and Ocarina of Time. We packed our things into the car this night, so by morning, we could simply leave.

July 11
We left Seattle early this morning, and found ourselves in Winston, Oregon, by mid-day. I bought tickets for Wildlife Safari, which is a wildlife sanctuary that you drive through, kinda like Jurassic Park. What made this park worth driving the extra 350 miles off our route, was that this is where Tsavo and Enzi, the lion cubs who we hosted at the Denver Zoo, now live. We drove through the whole park, but when we passed by the lion exhibits, I could barely see them. There were several yards between the fence and the car, and the cubs were all the way in the back, laying in the shade. I could only see them when they moved, which was rarely. So. But I went to the information desk and got the adoption paperwork all sorted out. I am now a Protector-level Sponsor for Enzi! We kept driving so we could make it to Bend, Oregon, before dinner. We drove through a neat forest, Umpqua Natn'l Forest. The road was a fast, windy path between the forest and the river. It was such a pretty drive. But we made it to Bend in time, and we met Crash and his roommates, Soft, Mara, and Pix. We went out to grab some food at McMenamins, and Crash showed us downtown, and I watched the stars when we all got back to his place. We played a few card games, then I showered and went to bed.

July 12
We went out to breakfast with Crash, then to a park where we talked and drew before he had to work. We followed him to his shop, where we said our goodbyes. We then drove off for Denver.

July 13
Serenity broke down. Although, I knew what the trouble was, from the analysis on July 9th and a phone call to Jack. The problem was, we were in the middle of nowhere. Amazingly enough, from the time we broke down, to the time we left the mechanic, it was only 3 hours! We arrived in Denver in a rainstorm.
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Despite not being able to play with Enzi, and that he didn't even know I was there, the day I got to see him again was still my favorite day of the trip. I got the sponsorship paperwork all settled, and although I couldn't schedule a private lion feeding for when I was in town, the opportunity will still be here for a while, I think. Another thing that made this day so much better was meeting Crash. I wish I could have stayed in Bend longer. That short time I was there I enjoyed myself much more than the five days in Seattle.

I'm kind of sick of my roommate Aaron now. :P

Lion Cubs at Denver Zoo
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Since the lion cubs made their way to Denver from Qatar, I have decided that I would spend as much time with them as I could. I've been visiting a few times a week for about a month now, spending about 2 hours with them each visit. I would always lay on the bench across from their window, I thought maybe, cos nobody visits the zoo to lay on benches, maybe they'd recognize me if I did that every time. I've played with them through the glass, sneaking and pouncing, batting our paws against the glass and nuzzling through it. Then, when they all were done playing, they'd all lay down together to rest.

Today, they weren't in Pahali Ya Mwana, the nursery yard, but they were in the main area, Predator Ridge, instead. I lay at the base of the viewing windows, actually right next to Ya Mwana, kind of out of the way of sight and foot traffic, and I watched the two males, Tsavo and Enzi, and the female, Sabi, just resting. I lay there for a while, and every so often, Tsavo, who was always the most playful with me, would look over at me, and I'd look back. I got really tired, and started to nod off. In between nods, I noticed Tsavo and Sabi playing; then, after another blink, Tsavo had come over to rest right beside me, and Enzi followed; like always, they lay in a group, but I felt a part of it. Had there been no glass there, I could have rested my arm across Tsavo.

It was beautiful. I have heard stories of man befriending beast, and I can only wonder if this is what it is like... or a similarity, for what bond there may be is separated by glass. I nodded off again.

I woke to a crowd of parents with strollers, taking pictures of their children against the window, with the resting lions in the background. Surely they had noticed I was asleep there- it felt weird, a strange kid sleeping next to their children in their family vacation photos. So I stood and pushed through to the back of the crowd. I turned around; Tsavo and Enzi had stood as well, and were wandering off.

Quite memorable, wot wot.

New Icon
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I shall use this icon when I am pleased with how I have dealt with a person.  ;D
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No Spoilers.
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I went over to Mann's Chinese Theater with Friend Aaron to watch Inception, and I love it.  I'm gonna have to see it again, to see if what I think is foreshadowing is really foreshadowing, and to what depth.  Also, I want to see it again 'cos it was excellent! :D

I picked up my ex-coworkers full-time schedule; he got himself terminated by not showing up to work in a week.  He probably got another job in that new grocery store, SmartCo, that has opened up.  Hopefully I'll be able to start saving for things, now, like a car, and the necessary transportation to Pennsylvania for Pam's wedding. 
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Back from California
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I have not posted in a long time.  I shall update as best I can, before I have to leave for work.  :P

Timber, Nick, and I left for California on May 14th.  We drove down to Albuquerque, NM, and crashed at their brother's place. We drove west the next morning, arriving at the Grand Canyon just before the sun decided to set. It was nice. We stayed in Flagstaff for the night, then drove south to Out of Africa Wildlife Park.  This park was really tight. It was difficult to get good pictures here, though, as all the predators were behind chain-link fences.

We drove further west to San Diego, arriving late at night.  We checked out Mission Beach with a few of Nick's friends, the San Diego Zoo, and LegoLand.  We also walked downtown and along the bay, which was pleasant.

Then we drove up along the coast ( That was fun. :D ), and camped at a KOA and a redwood forest for the remainder of the trip.

All in all, it was most excellent!  Somewhat insightful, too.  I think I figured out why I haven't shifted in, eh, far too long.  Working on that.

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And, wow, I finally finished LOST Season 6!  It was epic and ... confusing.  Go figure.

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Timber showed me how to change oil and rotate tires.  I learned how to fix the air compressor nozzle when you lose the little ball bearings that hold the attachments in place.  x.x  I was changing the tube in my rear tire, because it exploded.  It took a while to get everything off, and replaced, then back on again.  I went to inflate it with the compressor, and it filled up the tube too fast and popped it.    I should have known better.  :P  Eh, well, I have another tube, and I will likely have it changed twice as fast next time.

I'm tight on cash at the moment.  Interest on student loans can go do itself.
I leave you all on that pleasant note.   :p

Shout-Out
Lion
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I rather enjoy spending time with Pat and Nick. I feel like a brother to them.. sometimes like a younger brother; annoying, but wanting to learn from them. Sometimes like an older brother; sarcastic and rough, but wanting to help them out.  They've allowed me into their home and helped me out in a good number of ways.  I regard them as family and value their company.

You guys mean the world to me!
I'm glad that we were all able to make it to this road trip.
:D

Cog
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Large ImageCollapse )Does anyone know what this cog goes to? Timber thinks it's part of a driveshaft or gear selector, or something, but I can't find it online. It has a total diameter of 2.5".

I finally found a good place for the cog. It fits very snugly around the neck of my oil lamp:
My cog's new home:Collapse )
(Thanks for the photo, Ti!)

Money
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Hmmm... I think I have a problem.
I critically evaluate other people's splurge habits.  I think it's rooted in a jealousy of financial income, planning, and/or stability.
I do splurge, at times, like buying up that Zork CD at Goodwill or eating several meals at restaurants, but they come at the expense of something else, like my road trip budget (the only thing I have a budget for, really).

So, do y'all have budgets? Do you follow them?  How do you prepare for splurge buys?
I gotta get off my butt and do something so I can manage my money better.

Why, yes! I WOULD like to help myself to another quesadilla, thank you.
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I've been scheduled a short work week, but I'm picking up random hours here and there. I filled out a credit card application at Core First, and Nate (my mega-cool banker buddy) gave me a heads-up as soon as he found out I was approved. So, yay! That'll take care of the emergency fund in the road-trip budget, so I'm good to go. :D

Timber and I have been training recently for Parkour; just twice, so far: DDR and a run down the street. It's alright, I suppose. I need to get myself into a more strict training schedule. It's good running (and 'dancing') with friends, though, 'cos it becomes more fun than internet and Banjo Kazooie. :P So it actually gets done that way.

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