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September 2017

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Monday morning after Morphicon/AnthrOhio we traditionally sit a little in our room, moping about the end of the convention and the long drive home which will be tempered only by getting lunch somewhere (we never do the burrito place on the way home, oddly) and stopping at Coon's Candy about an hour north of Columbus. It's a fine spot, lots of homemade candy, and just far enough away that organizing a side trip at the convention would be ludicrous. We varied that after we got our room cleared out and checked and re-checked.

This was, as you'd figure, to walk around the hotel and take our last photographs of it in the daylight. I thought there were more people at the con for the day-after stuff than usual but that might be a false impression. We wouldn't usually go up to the front desk to turn in our keys, just leaving them in the hotel room instead. But who wouldn't expect the day after to have more lingering people photographing stuff than usual?

The extra time treated us well. The previous day [profile] bunny_hugger had mentioned she didn't know what PunkCat looked like out of his raccoon fursuit. I said I'd point him out to her when we loaded the car, since it seems like I always run into him when loading the car. And I hadn't seen him when loading up the car this time. But with the time we spent prowling the hotel taking farewell photographs we were in the right place and time to run into him again. As expected, she did know the guy from appearances, she just hadn't connected him with the suit. I hope the tradition of running into him at checking-out transfers to the new hotel. We need our certainties in life.

We didn't go somewhere to eat. We had a new prospect open. There used to be a small amusement park, Wyandot Lake, adjacent to the Columbus Zoo. In 2006 the Zoo bought the then-110-year-old park and divided it into a water park with separate admission and an amusement area dubbed Jungle Jack's Landing. We had wanted to get there since, besides the remnants of the old park, they had a wooden roller coaster named the Sea Dragon. It had always been something that opened in mid-May, too late for Morphicon/AnthrOhio in its traditional weekend. But now that it's moved to Memorial Day weekend we could go! The amusement park area would be open and the roller coaster running. We could try that out, and could also see their antique carousel.

It was a bright, sunny Memorial Day. We figured we'd only have a couple hours there, as we needed to get to [profile] bunny_hugger's parents at a reasonable evening hour. But that should be enough for a short visit to a couple of rides. And it might be crowded; we had no way to guess what the zoo and amusement park crowd would be like this early in the summer season, on a weekday, but a holiday weekday. We had heard we could buy admission tickets from the AAA, or possibly from the Kroger. We decided not to, though, trusting that while the tickets would be a little more expensive we'd be better off not taking the time to divert away from the Columbus Zoo.

This was as completely wrong a decision as we could possibly have made.

Trivia: Nicaragua's 1902 postage stamps, including the one depicting the Momotombo volcano which would help sway the United States away from a Nicaraguan and to a Panamanian canal location, were printed by the American Bank Note Company of New York City. Source: Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Stephen Kinzer.

Currently Reading: Sky Island, L Frank Baum.

We took another round of walking the hotel because we could never get enough of that, and then it was time for closing ceremonies. We couldn't miss that. It hit all the traditional points. There was some continuing heartbreak as we kept being reminded that this was the last time Morphicon/AnthrOhio would be in the Holiday Inn Worthington. [profile] bunny_hugger's spent more than a month of her life prowling around its rooms. I've spent nearly a month of mine there. It's the hotel we know best. I suppose the hotel for Further Connection North/Motor City Fur[ry] Con will soon overtake that.

The tradition of one of the guests of honor having to leave before closing ceremonies continued. I think every convention we go to has one of those. In this case, it was the Guest of Honor who'd improved our lives by not being in them, so, hey, unexpected bonus. And the rabbit rescue charity got a nice sum, including some last-minute donations that kept up the tradition of the charity liaison being about to burst into tears at the donations. And they did some tossing out of t-shirts. One of the guests of honor this year had done tie-die versions of t-shirts or something like that, and they tossed out unused and past-year shirts. And [profile] bunny_hugger snagged one of the past-year shirts. I think it was from 2008, the year she started attending conventions. Not sure. She'll say.

And then, with the announcement of the theme for next year --- Barks and Recreation so I'm looking forward to all the Furry Leslie Knope art that's surely in the works --- the convention was over.

We did a little walking around trying to see people before they were all gone, but really took the chance to go back to Hot Head Burrito for our second visit there the weekend. Also to discover that somehow we had another loyalty-card reward knocking a dollar or so off of our purchase. Remember that we had gotten a couple dollars off our purchase Thursday when we bought two (2) burritos there. So granted they're doing a great job encouraging us to go there but, guys, we're only in Columbus like once a year. We might make it twice if we started going to Midwest Bun Fest. But that's pretty far for burritos. Open something in mid-Michigan, gang, then we'd be along. There was also, it transpired, some value meal thing for Sundays that left the dinner cheaper than Thursday's were.

They had karaoke going again Sunday night. The convention had always sort of packed up and blown out of town after closing ceremonies with the exception of the Atomic Battle of Doom/Foam-Flinging Frenzy. This time, they had the Foam-Flinging Frenzy, but it seemed less busy than usual. Maybe we just passed during more of the setup and intermission moments than usual. There's luck in all of this.

But still: karaoke. [profile] bunny_hugger got up and sang a little. I didn't. I was feeling a bit off and it turns out I was suffering a cold so what tiny vocal control I had was totally obliterated. I'd go through the cold fairly quickly, but then [profile] bunny_hugger would pick one up ... about a week later. The same one I had? Or one that she got from a friend we'd seen in the interim? Can't tell.

We left the karaoke when someone went and called up ``Cat's In The Cradle'' because if the night's getting that mawkish, and on the last night of the convention in its last night of the hotel? Far too dangerous to stick around.

There was also supposed to be a Dead Dog Dance, over in the room that had been Hospitality until a few hours earlier. But there was almost nobody there, probably a combination of the remoteness of the room and the crowd melting away. After a little while of me and [profile] bunny_hugger trying to dance (her) or lurch around (me) the DJ asked if, hey, what the heck, would we want to see how his system worked? ... Sure, why not?

So that's how I ended up standing behind a turntable setup, watching nervously some strings of impossibly complicated waveforms and completely missing the beat when I was supposed to hit a button and set a secondary track going. I hate to sound too stereotypical and, frankly, square about my understanding of electronic dance music but I couldn't really tell the difference in any of the buttons I pressed or the dials I turned, some of which adjusted the tempo of the recordings. But --- at least eventually --- the guy running it thought I was getting better. Mostly I learned to recognize some patterns of things in the waveforms and moved based on that AND NOTHING ELSE. So apparently determined following of a couple rules can overcome an inability to understand what the heck I was really supposed to be doing.

I was the first volunteer, but eventually a couple other people, [profile] bunny_hugger included, gave short tries. With my example none of them had the same long string of fumbling mistakes that I did, like pressing one of the few buttons given a clear-to-anyone label of '3', a white button, when I was supposed to hit the green button '2'. One of the other people to visit and maybe even try things out was that woman we'd met the day before, the one who was weeping and described herself as so empathetic.

We would make our excuses to go find something to drink --- it was a little warm, especially with my incipient cold --- and confirmed that karaoke was still going on and getting deep into sentimentality. So we walked around on a little photo tour of the rest of the hotel, including the wing that Morphicon/AnthrOhio never occupies. The big exploration point there was a strange, oversized desk and cabinet set that had very many drawers, not a single one of which had anything in it. It occupied an alcove that would logically have been a door, except that it was the wall outside the exercise room and so no door was needed. We also discovered something astounding about that end of that leg of the hotel. It had a sign claiming there was an elevator there; there wasn't. The only hotel in the whole building was the one near our room, on the far end of the other leg of the hotel.

In our last twelve hours of a familiar old place there were still secrets to learn.

Trivia: The 29 May 1848 vote in Lombardy on fusion with the Piedmont government was passed 56,000 to 681. Source: 1848: The Revolutionary Tide in Europe, Peter N Stearns.

Currently Reading: Sky Island, L Frank Baum.

PS: Reading the Comics, July 1, 2017: Deluge Edition, Part 2, finish off comic strips from last week and saving some for next week.


So a thing about AnthrOhio's web form for submitting panel ideas: this year's didin't send back an automatic e-mail saying your proposal was received and would be considered. I didn't think anything about this when I put in my proposals and I only discovered this when I went through my mail archive in the week before the con, trying to work out a problem. The trouble was that [profile] bunny_hugger's panels were not on the schedule. She always runs the Bunnies SIG. She has at AnthrOhio and before that Morphicon since she started going to Morphicon. But a few days before the con she mentioned she hadn't heard when her panel was, and I said they'd sent out the panel schedules a couple weeks before, and she hadn't heard anything.

We can't be sure what happened. It might be that they lost her Bunnies and Pinball SIG proposals. It might be that they declined the panels and didn't tell her, but that's incredibly weird. I could imagine the Pinball SIG being rejected as too marginally on-topic for a furry convention, but a chance for bunnies and bunny fans to talk to each other? ... or it might be that [profile] bunny_hugger didn't actually submit the panel. She'd been told the first time she e-mailed that she should wait for the web form to open up, and maybe she mistakenly thought she'd submitted to AnthrOhio and Motor City Fur[ry] Con at the same time? Maybe she did submit and her form submission got garbled or lost? But there was no way to know and, more importantly, no Bunnies SIG on the schedule.

[profile] bunny_hugger started prodding the con's scheduling people, and they said if she found a time and place for them they'd add them to the schedule. There were obvious times, immediately before and after my Raccoons and Procyonids SIG. And obvious location, the same room. She proposed that and got ... no response until after we got on the road. She despaired that her streak of being Queen of the Morphicon/AnthrOhio Bunnies was broken just shy of ten years, and that there wouldn't be a Bunnies gathering. But then, at Opening Ceremonies, the Events Chair mentioned as additions to the schedule her Bunnies and her Pinball panels. (Which, I suppose, means Guest of Honor that has enriched our lives by not being in them was aware of her presence at the con after all, if Guest of Honor can hear names that aren't Big Name Furry Artist's or Guest of Honor's own.)

So the good part: Bunnies SIG was on the schedule! The bad part: at 1 pm Sunday, which is not the worst possible hour (that'd be 10:30 am Sunday), but still an hour people could be expected to be barely awake or eating if they were. And it never did get added to the official online schedule, although it was written in to the poster-sized schedules at Hospitality and the main passageway in the hotel. And while I rallied votes for my Raccoons and Procyonids ``Trash Panda'' ballot I mentioned the panel to everyone I met. But we were still expecting a dismal outcome.

So the turnout was small, but that also makes it intimate and meant talking with a couple people who were really into bunnies. If I remember right it even included someone who hadn't yet read this Watership Down thing. That there are rabbit-inclined furries who haven't read it, or at least watched the movie, never ceases to amaze me, but it does mean there's always someone among the day's lucky 10,000 at the con.

This fed right into the Raccoons and Procyonids SIG, which I'd got attention for and drawn in some mere curious onlookers by going around Friday and Saturday with my little trash bin promising candy and the results of the ``Trash Panda: Yes or No'' ballot. There were even a couple of people with raccoon characters, or who at least considered raccoons at some point. The strange thing about raccoons in furry fandom is they've always been seen as more popular than they actually are, probably because they're so easy to spot in a crowd. Well, we did get a visit from PunkCat in his raccoon costume and I got to find out why he has a raccoon fursuit given his name suggests he ought to be a punk suiter instead. ``Yes'' won the Trash Panda vote as of course it would. I didn't have as high a vote turnout as at Motor City Fur[ry] Con, but I had spent less time gathering votes too. And we scattered candy, lots of candy, so much candy to the table.

And that fed right into the Pinball SIG and [profile] bunny_hugger talking to a couple of people about mostly the art and aesthetics of pinball machines. Many of them had set-in-the-future themes and motifs and we regretted again that there wasn't any practical way for us to bring our Tri-Zone to the con. She also got to talk a good bit about her second-favorite pinball artist, Gordon Morison, who's got this ``smiling people in space'' motif that's distinctive and so future-friendly. It was a triumph to have the panels happen, although the last-minute panic and work needed to get them scheduled dampened a lot of the fun.

Trivia: Michigan Agricultural College's Botany Professor Alfred N Prentiss would sometimes play on the students' baseball team. According to the MAC Record Prentiss was ``so awkward that most of us preferred that he should play on the side of our opponents''. Source: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris. (The Record's comment was published in 1916. Morris's account is unclear about just when he played and makes it sound Prentiss was faculty then, but he was an undergraduate in the 1850s. He was teaching at MAC through the 1860s, as late as the Pioneer Era goes. Yeah, we know the place better now as Michigan State University, but they still have a street named MAC that doesn't go through campus because who goes through campus if they can avoid it?)

Currently Reading: The Gem Collector, PG Wodehouse.


[profile] bunny_hugger has a couple of sketchbooks that she's taken to conventions, sometimes adding a picture of herself or a picture of the both of us together. She'd not gotten so many recently, but decided this time to get sketches in both. So we did a careful prowl of the dealer's den, and found people for both. I believe one of them she'd already had a sketch from years ago, and another artist we always see and is always sure she's done a sketch for [profile] bunny_hugger. Well, both were done and are gorgeous and you should come over sometime and see them. She also spotted, from the stand selling all the clip-on tails, a black-and-white bunny tail that's much like her own but not so worn out from overuse. The vendor also pointed out how in the new-model bunny tails there's a seam to open the thing up and clean and replace the padding, and also to more easily clean the tail proper. They're getting quite good about the design of all this.

I think we ended up making a lunch out of what was left over in Hospitality from their sandwiches. As ever, they provided more meat and not quite enough cheese, surely on the theory that people who aren't vegetarian will load up on bologna and whatnot. Which is true, but they also load up on the American cheese and whatnot. But put enough lettuce on and add potato salad and you can do well enough. For dinner we went to the little shopping mall across the main street, to the Mediterranean place we had discovered last year. We also worked out why it was [profile] bunny_hugger didn't remember the mall being there her first Morphicon. The mall had been present, but it was quietly failing, and was massively renovated after her first con in the area. The massive renovation opened up most of the shops to the outside, giving it the style of that Town Center-style contemporary mall that people like because apparently they forgot they live somewhere that gets winter. But it left the interior in place, which explains why there was an inside to the mall, and also why the mall was kind of tiny: it originally dated back to the 70s and so met then-contemporary standards for size.

Anyway, that was all prelude to the mucking panel. Which was in the same room as a panel run by the Guest of Honor we couldn't stand; I was much more glad for the half-hour break between panels. I passed out the informational flyers that were so exciting to the person who'd wanted to make them, so, good for that. We had a pretty decent crowd, too, something like a dozen people there. Some were old-time muckers. Some were people just curious what it was like in the before-times.

It was all going quite nicely and then one of the people mentioned that he'd been on SpinDizzy way, way back in the day. Which was great. And he mentioned that he had been friends with Findra. Before I could think we'd blurted out that she had died, unexpectedly, years ago. And tried to apologize but then realized, Findra's death was something we had grieved, and accepted, and gotten used to, long ago, and now here was someone who had fallen out of touch and then was getting this all at once. But, gosh, why wasn't I thinking a little bit faster?

The mucking panel was in the evening, and then we took a little not-quite-dinner break in Hospitality. There we had a slightly odd conversation with a woman who was weeping a little, the sort of thing that's prelude to a major cry. But she explained she wasn't that upset on her own, she was tearing up because she's extremely empathic and had just come from a table where another woman was upset. That other woman seemed to be getting attention from the people at that table, so we focused on ... well, talking this person back into calmness. She was soon in pretty stable emotional shape, it seemed, and talking about how she was going to draw for us and the like. (We didn't expect her to and couldn't think of any reason she ought.) We would see her a couple of times the rest of the night and on Sunday, mostly in passing, but she did remember our encounter.

After the break there was another Text Adventures panel. By this time we were hooked on the things. This one promised to be an ``After Dark'' session, by which I meant Draggor was going to be more lax about cussing. This one was themed to the protagonist being a delivery person trying to drop something off at a house which turned out to be ... if not haunted, at least creeeeeeepy. And, like, haunted by a werewolf and vampires and the like.

I didn't manage any great saves of the party this game, although a save I did order turned out to be at a pretty convenient spot when we got promptly killed. There was a woman a couple players before me who wanted to make dirty jokes --- mostly about stripping naked --- and guide everyone else to doing that. We carried on. Also [profile] bunny_hugger and I successfully refrained from using our growing genre-awareness to just order people to doing what seemed right to us. The party did take one chance to plummet down the trap door that [profile] bunny_hugger saw coming from the room's items list. ... Well, we won, although there were a couple of bits that seemed like stuff we failed to use or collect or deploy.

We retreated back to our room, to rest a little, and to get dressed for the dance. And more than dressed. [profile] bunny_hugger had got some face paint, including ultraviolet dyes, that we could use to be a little more in style. Unfortunately the dance floor, in the ballroom that was also serving as the main event space, was not that dark, and didn't have the black lights that would make the ultraviolet markers show.

So we'd have to fall back on just going, and dancing, and enjoying it as it was. Which we can totally do. We stuck it out the rest of the night, with a break or two to get to Hospitality and get something to drink, or to walk around and be there for the last event night of AnthrOhio at this hotel. And we were there through the end of the dance and to walk slowly back to our room. [profile] bunny_hugger had noticed this tray of room service that had been left outside one room all day. It was there each time we went past that room. It was still there when we went to our room. No idea what its little poignant short story was.

And that closed out Saturday at AnthrOhio.

Trivia: On its opening in October 1662 users of the Center for Torch and Lantern Bearers of Paris would pay three sols, slightly moer than the cost of a cup of coffee, for each quarter-hour of accompaniment by torchbearer. For five sols a quarter-hour the torchbearer would sit on the carriage, serving as headlights. (A quarter-hour was advertised as enough time to get anywhere in the City.) Source: The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: The Gem Collector, PG Wodehouse.


I signed up to run three panels at the convention and the first one turned out to be at an awful hour. It was the one potentially most fun and for which I was least qualified to run, too, the Puppeteering panel. It was set for Saturday at 10:30 am. It turns out the convention was running pretty near maximum capacity for its panel space, if you consider the half-hour break between events in the same room as necessary. (It's at least somewhat necessary. Maybe 15 minutes would be possible, but I wouldn't want to tell someone they're running an event at 10:15.) But the Puppeteering panel at Motor City Fur[ry] Con went surprisingly well considering, and what might be different here?

Well, a smaller crowd, which was surely the fault of the hour. Also, and terrifying: some real actual competent puppeteers showed up. They were a pair who had been part of some local puppeteering workshop that did shows at schools and camps in their area, and they'd inherited the workshop stock when the group dissolved. So I did my best to just ask them questions about the stuff they did. To our delight they brought a bunch of their puppets, some of them quite fun and novel, and let us play with them. The most exciting: a couple of foam-rubber wireframe figures that you could just look at and see the slightly-exotic High Art or Deep Weird segment Jim Henson would have done with them on The Muppet Show. I could take being outclassed by such as those. They had to leave early and that sort of broke up the panel, although it staggered on a while with me trying to be a gracious enough host. As an event of my acting organized, it was lesser than Motor City Fur[ry] Con. As a chance to see some great puppets, it was better.

AnthrOhio's con charity this year, as last, was the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. We're happy with this, especially since they brought in a string of rabbits to show off on the hotel patio. (Pets weren't allowed inside, even for the con charity, and yes, everyone who hears about this snickers.) We would stop outside now and then to see what rabbits were there, and to pet their heads if they were willing, and to mention the Bunnies SIG set for Sunday afternoon.

And then the big event, the centerpiece of every convention's Saturday: the Fursuit Parade! And the last one at the Holiday Inn Worthington, barring a major change of plans. I thought long about where to set my camera up and figured the same place as I always go, although that was foiled. The plant I'd hidden behind last year --- letting me not be in anybody's way --- was gone. Also they changed the route a little, removing the march through the Dealer's Den and what this year was Hospitality, and also removing the bit where I could have photographed the parade from two stages.

[profile] bunny_hugger's plans to rest in the back of the group, there to spend less time milling around waiting for the group photo to be taken, was also foiled. She got put in the middle of the pack and just behind someone with a loudspeaker that drew attention and left her invisible. Plus the parade route, this year, took people out a side of the hotel they've never used before, and the directing of fursuiters to the group photo location wasn't so clear. She ultimately gave up on waiting and went got un-suited, never knowing that the group photos were done in the parking lot in back of the hotel rather than by the patio between the hotel's two wings, their traditional location. So she fumed, a while, about missing the last group photo at the spot.

Meanwhile at the photo PunkCat, in his loudmouth raccoon costume, noticed the hotel's dumpster, which was almost empty but did have some of the many, many empty pizza boxes in it. So he dove into his part and didn't do much to elevate the reputation of raccoons. Made for some funny moments, though.

Trivia: In the first ten months after the 1956 Interstate act became law the federal Bureau of Public Roads allocated $321 million to the states for real estate acquisition. Something like 750,000 properties would be needed for the first stage. Source: The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionairies, and Trailbazers who Created the American Superhighways, Earl Swift.

Currently Reading: The Emerald City of Oz, L Frank Baum.


Friday dinner was to be provided by the con, and was to be pizza. They traditionally have one night that's pizza for everyone. This time they started setting it up about 5 pm, at the same time as the Cake Decorating Contest, and in the same anteroom to Hospitality that we were using for cake decorating. The appointed hour for dinner was 6 pm, but the food was brought in ridiculously early. After some deliberation the head of Hospitality decided that we in the cake-decorating contest could eat first, as otherwise we'd have to wait until after the masses had swarmed the pizza and there'd be nothing left. Also, they'd have to let the masses lining up eat because it was ridiculous to leave the pizza hanging around a half-hour.

So we got to eat early, and decorate cakes and try pull more people into the contest. People were curious but kept supposing there's a much greater level of skill needed for these things than they actually would have. And it turned out there was no shortage of pizza. The con organizers had way overestimated how much pizza they needed, even for as much as AnthrOhio had grown over last year. Maybe a third of the pizza was left over after supper, and there'd be a good number of pizzas available, including vegetarian ones, for hours to come. So in the evening we were able to have the delight of pizza that's cooled to room temperature, which is the next-best thing to cold pizza. There were even a couple slices left over the next day. I forecast a cutback in the pizza budget next year unless preregistrations are way up. It was great having a cornucopia machine producing the food, though.

So, a little behind-the-scenes stuff. The idea got floated on SpinDizzy muck a few weeks before the convention that we should advertise at conventions more. I agreed to try it, since, what the heck. It's not like it costs anything but the expense of printing out a couple flyers and maybe some interesting people will join up. It's kind of what I organized a panel on mucks, IRC, and other old-school text-based furry social media to cover. One person on SpinDizzy created a flyer for it, with really rather tiny tear-off strips with the place's address. Another person worked really hard at making a flyer for my mucking panel, trying to provide information about basic mucking commands. The mucking-panel flyer person was especially eager about having all this put together and ready for presentation and I think was getting starry-eyed dreams about how big it would be. But I set out the flyers advertising the muck and checked a couple times to see how they were received, and was relieved when people actually started tearing off strips. (I didn't do the seeding trick of tearing off a couple myself. If [profile] bunny_hugger tore any off so as to make me feel better, she gave me no hints.) Over the weekend I suppose maybe a third to a half of the tear-off strips were taken. I'm not sure if anyone actually joined the muck from them, but they at least gave it consideration. The how-to-muck flyer I had to find some way to print out, as I only got the final draft after getting to Columbus and of course my USB stick wasn't read by their computers. But I worked out a way, and that was that. Then [profile] bunny_hugger noticed some weird formatting glitches in it and I decided to just roll with it. I hate to sound cool to something another person was enthusiastic about. I just got a lot of fuss and excitement about the thing leading up to the con, and it seemed out of proportion to what I expected to see go on. There's something wrong with me, that I'll start looking skeptically at something people around me are getting enthusiastic about.

In the board game room we just missed the chance to play a five-person game of Betrayal at the House on the Hill. By minutes. We saw them setting up and getting ready but by the time we got out of the card game we were playing they had a full house and we couldn't have the experience of playing with more than three of us.

The game we were playing was Joking Hazard, based on the web comic characters of Cyanide and Happiness. It's a deck with a bunch of random web comic-style panels, which get shuffled out and dealt. The judge of the round lays down two and it's up to everyone to drop a final card, finishing the strip. The judge picks the best result. There's also a slightly complicated extra round where the judge lays down the last card of a three-panel strip and everyone lays down the first two. The big gimmick is that it's an ``offensive'' game, with a lot of the cards being about brutality, cruelty, or Tom Batiuk-ish misery porn. Yes, there's an ``I Have Cancer'' card. As a card game based on, often, pornographic jokes or profanity you would fairly expect that I couldn't play this thing. I could barely even sit at the table.

So, yeah, I won. Well, we only started scoring partway through the rounds, but if I have the scoring scheme understood right either [profile] bunny_hugger or I won the most rounds. And it was by your classic approach: we did our level best to find cards that gave the best punch line. Yeah, the panels were drawn at random but if you were clever enough you could weave some narrative there and thus could form jokes instead of laying down the most outrageous panel. My best win --- one in that bonus round where the judge puts down the last card and everyone else the first two --- even created a legitimate complicated joke. First panel: first guy says, ``I'm you from the future.'' Second panel: second guy says, ``I knew this day would come.'' The punch line panel, laid down by the judge: second guy kills first guy. That's something that would get a fair response as a web comic.

The folks at the table insisted that the judge read out the panels for each round. This would present problems for me because I just don't use many of the words presented there. So, I didn't read any of them, and just flipped over the cards with as much stage presence as I could muster. As a tall, bearded man with the ability to act self-confident, I could get away with this. If anyone noticed I was breaking the rule, they didn't say anything.

Once the Joking Hazard group broke up we dressed for and went to the dance. After the con dances had come dangerously near extinction they were back in force this weekend, with things set for each night. There was a slender group for Friday night, but it included a lot of people in costume, including some costumes, like the steer, I wouldn't have thought it possible to dance in. [profile] bunny_hugger and I went in kigurumis; she's got this summer-weight red dragon suit she'd wanted to show off, and did, so nicely. We didn't quite see the dance to its end, because we had to get up early, but we did our best.

Trivia: The Basque custom of couvade had the father go to bed during the birth of his child and simulate the symptoms of childbirth, pretending to undergo labor, while the mother does. Source: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs.

Currently Reading: The Emerald City of Oz, L Frank Baum.

PS: , Why Stuff Can Orbit, Part 10: Where Time Comes From And How It Changes Things, with a bit about finding stuff while it's in space.


Our first real activity Friday, besides Opening Ceremonies and popping over to Panera's for lunch, was the Text Adventures panel, run by Draggor unless that changed between the schedule and the reality. This is done by going around the table, each person in the room giving one instruction in the hopes of guiding our protagonist through a Text Adventures/Interactive Fiction-style puzzle. [profile] bunny_hugger and I have been to a couple of these, and at the risk of bragging, we're getting pretty good because we've learned some pretty good skills at identifying nouns and spotting possible catastrophes early and not bossing around the other players so that silly stuff can unfold as it will. In the game played this time, based loosely on the murderer-at-a-campground theme of Friday the 13th movies, we had a couple slick moments. I know for a fact I saved the day twice, once by looking in the backseat of a car (had the protagonist not looked, the game's mechanic said the murderer would have been in there) and once by saving just as the gang was ready to go off into the woods (where we were instantly killed; my save meant we could restart with almost no loss of time). I suspect but don't know for sure that I also saved the group by putting the gunpowder in the waterproof sack, but it seems plausibly so. Anyway, I got feeling all like a master text adventure-player, which is pretty funny considering when actual text adventures were a thing, back in the day, I don't believe I ever once got out of the starting room, ever. Not to brag about all this, mind. Just I'm still giggling over how well it worked out.

Our next real activity was the Morphicon/AnthrOhio tradition of the cake-decorating contest. This was tucked off an an anteroom to the con suite, and next to the tables being set up to hold the pizza being provided free to all AnthrOhio guests that day. We've only ever missed the cake-decorating contest once, that time because the posted schedule had the hour of it wrong, and we weren't going to miss this without really good cause. This time they had one more cake than they had entrants; last year many people had to double up on a shared cake. We realized we'd failed to bring our icing tips, which is all right, as we learned last year that the frosting they get for these uses some custom nonstandardized tips because corporations are awful, awful things.

The convention theme this year was Furries of Tomorrow or something like that. We got the idea it was retro-future anyway. So we went with it. [profile] bunny_hugger took inspiration from her second-favorite pinball backglass artist, Gordon Morison, and drew best as she could in icing a bunny in space waving at a starship. I drew something loosely kind of like a pulp magazine cover, with a flying saucer zapping a kangaroo (because a kangaroo is easy to render in silhouette so it reads like a kangaroo), with an unidentifiable figure in the foreground watching. Other folks drew, like, a guy in a jetpack, a mecha-Godzilla, the aftermath of a meteor strike (done on a cake that had collapsed in the baking).

Mecha-Godzilla won. But my pulp-magazine cover took second place, and with it, a copy of Tomorrowland, a movie we always kind of meant to see, we guess, but never got around to and didn't even hear about on the bad-movie or flopped-movie podcasts. And [profile] bunny_hugger broke her recent shutout streak, taking third place and getting a plush version of those cube things from the Portal games, source of that comment about the truthfulness of cakes that everybody in geek circles makes whenever cakes are under discussion. Every. Single. Time.

The cakes, having been judged, were taken over to the main room of con suite where some were eaten instantly. Others went untouched. [profile] bunny_hugger's and mine, particularly, seemed to cast some spell that kept people shy about slicing into them. Later in the night we came back and saw they were still untouched, but then we looked away and back a few minutes later and [profile] bunny_hugger's was gone. Soon after, so was mine. Such to all glories.

Trivia: The Clyde Rivet Company, of Glasgow, provided the 4200 tons of rivets required to build the Firth of Forth Bridge. Source: Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: The Emerald City of Oz, L Frank Baum.


It's not that we expected catastrophe at this AnthrOhio. But we were on edge. For one, the convention had moved its weekend, from the start to the end of May. This was actually a good thing for us. It meant the convention would not be part of the end-of-term rush for [profile] bunny_hugger. It also meant that the Columbus Zoo would have its amusement park sideline open. They have an antique carousel and a wooden roller coaster we'd never been able to ride because it was too early in the year to run every previous trip.

But it's still a change in the weekend, the sort of thing that can mess up a convention's tone. And it came a year after the convention changed its name for reasons we are not really clear about, and change of some uncertain number of the core organizational people. Even some of the traditions that had been kept were mutated too; things like the Atomic Battle of Doom were renamed something less spectacularly fun, something like the Foam-Flinging Frenzy. That's probably as good a name to describe what it is, a bunch of people shooting Nerf darts at each other, but I know the name we encountered first. It's given the convention the last couple years this ominous sense of possibly imminent doom.

The official notice of doom came at opening ceremonies, and the revelation that this would be the last AnthrOhio at the Holiday Inn Worthington. They promised the new location would be great, all the better, but this would be the con's farewell to a hotel that's gotten very familiar. I've spent at least three weeks of my life at it. [profile] bunny_hugger's spent over a month of hers. It feels very much like home. The convention didn't officially announce why they were leaving, but the answer's in the newspapers. The hotel's being demolished, to be torn down and replaced with ... two hotels. And some shopping space. The new hotels won't have convention space, though, so AnthrOhio has to move on to a place that turns out to be like a mile south and east. It'll still be almost the same drive. We'll be able to go to the same burrito place, really. Just we'll drive past the spot that used to be this little bit of home.

And then there was a potentially truly awful situation. One of the guests of honor was a person we knew from online. And did not like, because the Guest of Honor had been consistently, quietly nasty toward my wife. I've had to deal with different grades of nastiness toward my wife, so I should say this was a low-key sort of nasty, the sort of person who conspicuously shuts you down when you want to talk about, you know, yourself in a circle that includes mutual friends. The person was mutual friends with the Big Name Furry Artist whom I called out on some of her bull a few years ago, at the loss of our mutual friends. There's much that makes me sad about this. One thing that does not is the loss of Guest of Honor from my online life. It's honestly been nice not to have to overlook Guest of Honor's little jabs at how my wife should stop wasting the group's time with her needs. (My needs never rated discussion in the group, by the way.)

Well, Guest of Honor has talents, I'd be lying to deny or minimize, and used those along with induced fame from the link to Big Name Furry Artist to get invited as one of the Guests of Honor to AnthrOhio, and deserves that as much as any one could. (Why do furry cons even have guest of honor, by the way? Really can't think of one that's ever made the difference in whether I'd attend one, and they seem to affect the programming and tone of the con even less than the con theme does. Maybe that's just a coincidence from every con I've ever been to.) Well, Guest of Honor didn't recognize us and probably had no idea we were there. And we had no reason to go speak to Guest of Honor. But, at the Opening Ceremonies, they did give Guest of Honor some attention and this was used to stand up and wave and absolutely shock me and [profile] bunny_hugger. The impression we got from a few seconds in person was that the person was exactly what we imagined from online. Some people are warmer, more pleasant in person than online; some are harder and less likeable; some are just weirder. Guest of Honor was exactly the person we imagined. It's uncanny. We were talking over it while reading over Guest of Honor's self-written con book bio and snickering at how much of it was ``Guest of Honor has this totally special special relationship with Big Name Furry Artist that Guest of Honor knows you're sooooo jealous over and gets to be the most special person in Big Name Furry Artist's life!''. Petty? So it's petty. Guest of Honor (and Big Name Furry Artist) chose to hurt us; we can snark in our rooms.

But all that set the broad parameters for the con: it would be our final tour of this hotel. Our last weekend with a place that'd given us so many memories. Also, somewhere, there was a table in the dealer's den whom we'd not stop to talk to because we had ample reason not to like the person running it. This is the setting. Now ... we go!

Trivia: The Milton Bradley Company's 1872 catalogue lists zoetrope strips for sale, explaining the ``simple figures printed on strips of paper become animated so that the movements of life are imitated in the most natural manner''. Source: Wondrous Contrivances: Technology at the Threshold, Merritt Ierley.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman, Volume 3 Editors Dan DiDio, Mort Weisinger. You know, Lois Lane not working out that Clark Kent was Superman makes sense when you see some of the stunts Supes pulled that would demonstrate to any reasonable person that he and Clark Kent were separate people. It makes her out to be kind of a conspiracy theorist, really. ``How do I know that Clark Kent wasn't Superman wearing his shirt backwards and with a rubber mask concealing his face so that when I took a clipping of hair from the right side of his body it was really his left side, which I knew had lost its invulnerability due to exposure to red kryptonite? Huh?''


When I got us lost in Ohio I imagined that it wouldn't be any great trouble to get back on course. It was entirely my fault. We were driving to AnthrOhio, at its traditional Holiday Inn in Worthington, just outside Columbus. Conceptually it is incredibly easy to get there. From [profile] bunny_hugger's parents' house take I-94 east to US 23 South. Follow US 23 south into Ohio, there to divert to I-75 south in order to save some time. Then when 23 South crosses I-75 again, get back on that. The Holiday Inn is a right off of 23, in Worthington. This is not a complicated drive and after making it something like five times I felt sure about my directions. I didn't even turn on the satellite navigator since, heck, what's to navigate?

The answer is that the turnoff from I-75 to US 23 South is pretty abrupt, actually, with less warnings and fewer turn lanes than I was expecting. And at a turnoff just a tiny bit more complicated than I imagined would be. I blasted right past it while wondering, should I be in that lane instead? And by the time I knew I should have been it was too late to do anything about it.

Off to the glove compartment to grab the thing. I imagined the embarrassing result would be to turn at the next exit and retrace our steps. There wasn't any next exit for a good while, maybe something like 17 miles. The satellite navigator's advice was keep going on I-75 and then cut onto a series of ever-smaller state and county roads instead. We were amazed such a small misstep could change our path so dramatically. But also amazing: it didn't really set us behind schedule. We had to go through a lot of small Ohio towns with speed limits dropping to 25. But that's all right. We saw a lot of small Ohio towns looking in far better shape than the whole universe of Funky Winkerbean, many of them with sidewalk theaters showing Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Also many of them with drive-through beer stores. And lots of parks that looked like natural habitations for letterboxes, if we had our letterboxing gear (we didn't) or any clues (none) or the time to stop (debatable).

So, for once, we approached Worthington and the Holiday Inn from the wrong direction. We wouldn't see the Creepiest House in Worthington on the way in, nor would we see the Other Creepiest House in Worthington. We'd come in ultimately from the west, on an Interstate we know only because of the traffic jam it produces just before the Holiday Inn. It was a weird, unsettling approach to a convention that had always been our favorite, and that had weird, ominous portents going in.

We checked in, with the concierge over-explaining how to get to our room --- number 299, at the far end of the main hall, past one of the fire doors and across the hallway from the elevator --- and after getting our badges went to the burrito place that's become our traditional conveniently easy place to find a meal. We get there once, maybe twice a year, when we're in Columbus for Morphicon/AnthrOhio. Somehow our loyalty card had enough reward points on it we got one or two dollars off.

And we came back to the hotel, put on our ears and tail, and went to see the karaoke night, the one real event scheduled for Thursday night. Karaoke's come and gone at the convention and we're so glad to have it. They didn't have a proper karaoke machine, just a laptop with a video projector running stuff off of YouTube, frustrating my literal-minded desire to have a catalogue of acceptable songs in the hopes of finding one that's within my singing range. I have no singing range. [profile] bunny_hugger does, and she represents the family. It's a good bunch, though, particularly with a large pair of guys capable of singing harmony and everything. I'm best off just sitting quietly and not being worried about missing the chance to perform.

We were at AnthrOhio.

Trivia: Czechoslovakia's first loans for rebuilding after World War I came from Germany. Source: A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930 - 1941, Paul N Hehn.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman, Volume 3 Editors Dan DiDio, Mort Weisinger. Allow me to quote: ``Since I, too, as a CHAMELEON MAN from the thirtieth century, can disguise myself as anything human or non-human, I'll turn myself into a scraggly TREE!'' Where can I get this sort of wonderfully natural, unforcedly awkward dialogue in a modern comic book?

PS: Why Shouldn't We Talk About Mathematics In The Deli Line?, a popular social-media mystery solved!


That was my mathematics blog this past week. After I mention the RSS feed, I'll share the last round of pictures from AnthrOhio's Sunday closing:


The convention dissolves into a mass of people wearing tails and carrying Faygo. Faygo isn't the official con drink, the way it is at Motor City Fur[ry] Con, but it's there, if you're watching. It's there.


[ profile] bunny_hugger striding past one of the trees used to let fursuits air out. This was in the room adjacent to closing ceremonies and I'm not sure why; there wasn't the mechanism to force air through the pipes and into hung suits. Maybe it had been taken out for people who needed a few moment's rest.


Don't judge me.


This says it all. AnthrOhio really shuts down Sunday nights, with only a massive Nerf battle going on at the hotel. It's almost spooky how fast it can evaporate.


Is the scene three hours after the end of the convention, or three hours after the furry rapture? You make the call.

Trivia: Before Muhammad, the desert Arabs used a lunisolar calendar, the keeping of which was the responsibility of the Kinana tribe. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Sea Fairies, L Frank Baum.

So here we are back to Humor Blog Awareness Day! Did you know? I've got one with a working RSS feed too. Plase consider reading it for sooner access to humor products like:

Now here's some more of the close of AnthrOhio's Sunday. There'll be one more of these and then I get into more recent stuff. Promise.


Folks gathering for AnthrOhio closing ceremonies. The figure on the right is the box-head owl, one of the results of the FrankenFursuiting event. The owl-head costume was put into the charity auction and snapped up for a tidy sum, reflecting how it just captured that perfect weird vibe of the event. It's off-putting but not actually ugly, if that makes sense. Should be famous.


FloppyBelly (left) and ... I'm not sure, actually, as closing ceremonies get ready to start and the convention enters its last minutes. They're gathering up and counting coins from the guild competition thing.


The big moment! Or part of it anyway. Clearing away space for people to gather at closing ceremonies and questions-and-answers and all that. The academic guild, the University of Fowl-osophy, would win handily, to my surprise. Just on the artwork alone I expected the actors guild, with that pair of ferrets doing the masks-of-tragedy-and-comedy pose, to win.


FloppyBelly passes out rewards to everyone who was in the winning guild: little bas of candy. I hope the moment looks fun; it was.


The message board disassembled and the cards stacked up into piles. I don't know what happens to them. I'd like to think someone with the convention keeps them as a weird little archival piece.

Trivia: In 1875 Sir Frederick Evans began eliminating mistaken islands from British Admiralty Charts which he believed to be the results of mistaken positions, mistaken reports, or self-aggrandizing discoverers making up the islands. He struck 123 islands in total, three of them by mistake. Source: On The Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration Of THe Way The World Looks, Simon Garfield.

Currently Reading: The World Within War: America's Combat Experience in World War II, Gerald F Linderman.

PS: Theorem Thursday: Tutte's Theorem, Magic, And Happy Endings, in which I try explaining a graph theory thing that's honestly a bit over my head.

The mathematics blog is getting back to normal stuff, in time to appear on your RSS feed and all that. If you missed it, here's what you could be reading:

And some more of AnthrOhio closing down. There'll be another week of this, don't worry, but in the meantime you can enjoy:


Squirrel King and a couple of other folks hanging around the tables not yet packed away in Con Suite. The suite was disassembled from the food side first, and this was the far side, where the cake-decorating had gone on the day before.


Well, if they're offering. The con had signs by most of the event spaces saying whether people could assume they had permission to photograph what was going on, assume they did not have permission, or had to go on a case-by-case basis. I don't remember seeing this in earlier cons but agree it's a good idea.


So apparently the con had Masons? Which was interesting because right about the same time as the con I learned someone on SpinDizzy Muck had just joined the Masons, despite not being, you know, a 56-year-old early-retiree or a character of eccentric but well-intended big ideas in a 19th century novel. Coincidence, I'm sure.


I get all arty about the empty Factory Square public space, outside the dealer's den and all that. [ profile] bunny_hugger is the brilliant spot of cheerful color in the picture, much as she is in my life.


Spoiler: I didn't ask about this one. But the con was basically over by then so does their ``please'' still count for anything? Yes, it does. There wasn't anything in registration though.

Trivia: 38 officers of the Royal Navy were members of Parliament in 1708. The institution controlled at least ten parliamentary boroughs. Source: To Rule The Waves: How The British Navy Shaped The Modern World, Arthur Herman.

Currently Reading: The World Within War: America's Combat Experience in World War II, Gerald F Linderman.

All this and earlier-written stuff on my humor blog, or on its RSS feed, near you. And now on to pictures from AnthrOhio Sunday, which will be fewer and more about the sadness of things ending:


Sunday at AnthrOhio and the last of the rabbits we'd see from the Ohio Rabbit Rescue Society. We had to go inside after this to attend the Rabbits SIG, and while we could get a view of the patio where the rabbits were bunnying about it would't be this close a view.


Meanwhile, the rabbit followed the custom of her people and got on top of the box, as if making ready to escape. So far as I know none did.


Con suite! [ profile] bunny_hugger and her ostrich Agathon hanging around the dwindling crowd and even more rapidly dwindling food supply. I love shots where the two aren't looking anywhere near the same direction.


The charity auction on the last day of the convention. I figure the whole auction looked more or less like this, but I didn't actually stick around for it all. The posters in front with the glass jars were where people put the coins they got somehow into the treasure troves for their respective guilds to achieve some goal I didn't quite get straight.


Someone swiped con suite! When they get to packing up the food supplies they really get packing.

Trivia: In 1875 John Bates employed a large fan and ice to ship ten cattle carcases from the United States to Britain, successfully. By 1877 one shipping outfit sent three million pounds of American beef to Britain every month. Source: Down To Earth: Nature's Role in American History, Ted Steinberg.

Currently Reading: The World Within War: America's Combat Experience in World War II, Gerald F Linderman.

PS: Theorem Thursday: Kuratowski's Reduction Theorem and Playing With Gas Pipelines, one of those subjects that encourages a lot of play.

Mathematics blogging: it's on your Friends page. Or it's in your RSS feed. Or it's here. Run the past, slightly less busy than normal, week:

And how did AnthrOhio's Saturday wrap up? Dancing, hanging around, karaoke, that sort of thing. Proof? I can give you proof.


The message board: what we did before Twitter. Also, since it's a way of people announcing they're here and showing pictures to draw attention to themselves, it's still what we do with Twitter.


Quiet moment at the Saturday night dance. I didn't get any good pictures of mobs of fursuiters dancing.


The crowd gathered in the anteroom outside the dance. The room arrangements allowed this and that was good in giving a convenient spot to retreat if you needed a little rest.


Karaoke, successful! With some of the less-inspired lyrics on the screen. (``Uh Yeah Uh'')


[ profile] bunny_hugger performing her traditional karaoke night piece, Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street.

Trivia: Technically, the last major league game forfeited because a team failed to show up was on 17 July 1902 when the Baltimore (Orioles) failed to field a team against the Saint Louis (Browns). Source: The Rules of Baseball: An Anecdotal Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came To Be, David Nemec. (The team had only five players available, the result of a contract battle you would probably be amazed to learn about. Also, don't take baseball team names from that era too seriously.)

Currently Reading: The Camera Does The Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography, Peter Buse.

My humor blog from the past week looked like this. Please enjoy:

After the AnthrOhio Live show we got to decorate cakes. Everyone likes cakes, right? Sure, and here's why.


Cakes! Here's the famous 'Here Be Dragons' cake we made. The sea serpent tuned out pretty well. Trying to draw the shore didn't go so well, but that's just because I constructed a river system that seems geologically dubious.


This is what a cake-decorating contest looks like: lots of people puttering around and not really sure they have the right anything.


Some of the other cakes. The one on the far left is meant to be some complicated dungeon/battle scene.


Our 'Here Be Dragons' cake and the technically impressive but way-off-theme sunset cake that took second place.


On the left, a cake based on an Internet Famous medieval drawing of a knight battling a giant snail. On the right, the cake that won, a three-dimensional dragon battling something or other.

Trivia: Germany's Second Naval Law, passed in 1900, provided for building thirty battleships, eight heavy cruisers, and 24 light cruisers. Furthermore, eight heavy cruisers and 24 light cruisers were to be obtained for overseas service. Source: The Vulnerability of Empire, Charles A Kupchan.

Currently Reading: Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography, Arthur C Clarke.

PS: Theorem Thursday: The Five-Color Map Theorem, a monster of a post proving something you didn't ever actually doubt.

Mathematics blogging: it's on your Friends page. Or it's in your RSS feed. Or it's here. Run the past week:

After the AnthrOhio rehearsal what was there to do but see the show? Here's some of that.


Someone fursuiting as a minifox, which you can do if you have the right cell phone props.


From Anthrohio Live: performers not perfectly sure what they're doing. I don't believe she's being handed script pages there.


Puppets! Can you identify which one is [ profile] bunny_hugger and which one is the other person who was promoted to puppeteer on the basis of having a hand?


From the rousing final song, a song about shapeshifters that I'm going to go ahead and suppose was Jonathan Coulton because it seems like it would be. Chitter's the squirrel on the left.


[ profile] bunny_hugger caught in the cast thanks, after the show, and in what might be her best candid since our wedding.

Trivia: The 19,000 acres of land near Ogdensbug, New Jersey, which Thomas Edison owned or leased, had --- he estimated --- over two hundred million tons of low-grade iron ore, enough for the United States's needs for seventy years, if his electric extraction technology could be made to work. (It couldn't.) Source: Edison: A Biography, Matthew Josephson.

Currently Reading: Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight, Paul Hoffman.

My humor blog: what was it doing the past week? This stuf:

Some more AnthrOhio Saturday. While [ profile] bunny_hugger was hard at work at AnthrOhio Live I puttered around and peeked in on, among other things, the FrankenFursuit event. You might not want to see some of this stuff.


The bin I used to collect votes (and, later, dispense candy). Here, with the slightly revised text that makes clearer what the question ``Trash Panda: Yes Or No'' might mean.


The FrankenFursuit Competition! Here, people grabbed scraps of things and built scrappy figures.


So, you know, for building a bat costume out of scraps in under two hours this lands safely in Five Nights At Freddy's territory.


The end of FrankenFursuiting! And, really, given the constraints, this is not the most nightmarish Sid and Marty Krofft program ever made.


And then someone goes and spoils the whole FrankenFursuit spirit by putting in way more time and budget and everything. I hadn't meant to photograph them, but I touched my camera while two were nearby and they started posing, and then a third joined and at that point it was easier to photograph them than not. I wouldn't want to be rude.

Trivia: Abigail Adams brought the seven-year-old John Quincy Adams to witness the Battle of Bunker Hill. Source: Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, David S Reynolds.

Currently Reading: The John McPhee Reader, Editor William L Howarth.

PS: Theorem Thursday: The Jordan Curve Theorem, a bit of mathematics that's obvious and easy, except if you do it right, in which case it's too hard. Isn't that always the way?

It's Sunday or something just as good, so, here's what my mathematics blog was up to the past week. It might seem like a lot of comics talk. So it was. There were a lot of comics to talk about and they're easier posts to write than the Theorem Thursdays centerpieces. I need some easy stuff to do.

Back to AnthrOhio Saturday pictures. This bunch is focused on the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue folks and their cousin to our own pet rabbit. She was underfed, a mere fourteen pounds, but already had a new home before being put on show.


One of Saturday's bunnies: a Flemish Giant who here expresses the emotion, ``No''.


Later, the Flemish Giant has built up to ``Mmmmmmmaybe?''


The Flemish Giant figuring out whether it's worth hopping up on top of stuff. She'd already been adopted by the time she was put on the AnthrOhio patio.


And now the Flemish Giant has gotten to ``Yes'' and is eating. Look quick: her tongue's out!


There was this adorable white bunny in a stroller at the same time as the Flemish giant's appearance, but the stroller mesh was kept up. So, no good photos, I'm afraid.

Trivia: Margaret E Knight, born 1838, received in 1871 a patent for improving paper-bag-making machines, with a mechanism producing essentially the rectangular shape and flat bottom of modern paper shopping bags. She would also receive patents for a shoe-sole cutting machine and improvements in automobile engines. Source: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales, Walt Kelly, Maybe Editor Clizia Gussoni.

Humor blog: on your friends page. Or maybe in your RSS feed. Or just here. Here:

Back to the fun and so-photogenic AnthrOhio Saturday events:


Aftermath of the Fursuit Parade. Train-engineer skunk that I suppose isn't Toledo or he'd have said something. Watermelon fruit bat. Couple of other folks. The usual gang.


Rainbow bunny who's noticed me taking photographs and, honestly, posed for a better picture than my candid was. This happens.


After the parade fursuiters were encouraged to line up for proper respectable portraits that I think went up on their web site, or were maybe supposed to. Here, [ profile] bunny_hugger waits unsurely for her moment.


[ profile] bunny_hugger reassuring the real photographer that she's satisfied with how the photograph came out, incidentally giving us a pretty good photograph as it is.


And [ profile] bunny_hugger charms the merch table for the Ohio Rabbit Rescue Society folks. The indoor stand couldn't have any actual rabbits there; on the patio, where the parade aftermath photos were taken, they were already setting up with some more bunnies.

Trivia: The ancient Egyptians recognized three seasons to the year: innundation, fertility, and harvest. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales, Walt Kelly, Editor Clizia Gussoni I think?

PS: Theorem Thursday: Liouville's Approximation Theorem And How To Make Your Own Transcendental Number, a bit of mathematics that'll let you invent something neat.

That's what you saw on your Friends page if you added my mathematics blog there, or saw on your RSS reader. Or you see them now. In any case, now you can go from there to more AnthrOhio Fursuit Parade pictures:


Fursuit Parade gathering on the patio outside, where nobody's likely to get drizzled on. Also possibly the best shot I could hope to get of [ profile] bunny_hugger in the midst of the crowd.


Just a mass of people gathered around the Fursuit Parade group photo. Yeah, raccoon in the background.


And a slightly less crowded picture of the crowd for the group photo. Is anyone normal-colored anymore?


The famous crane fursuiter! You can see how this could be something that's body-supporting and yet also allow the suiter to completely disappear within it.


[ profile] bunny_hugger is totally not rubbing her paws while scheming against the people who haven't left the group photo yet.

Trivia: The first definite appearance in the historical record of a maritime chart dates to the 2nd of July, 1270, when King Louis IX of France's expedition for the Eighth Crusade got lost at sea in heavy weather, and the crew provided a map showing they were not far from Cagliari, a town on the coast of Sardinia. Source: The Fourth Part Of The World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name, Toby Lester.

Currently Reading: He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe: Minicomic Collection, Editor ... um, I can't tell. There's like thirteen people on the credits page and it isn't obvious any of them are in charge. Publisher Mike Richardson, does that help any?