Monthly Archives: July 2007

Great Grilling, and “Oh Yeah, That’s Why I Don’t Go There…”

So besides the weekend’s technological trials and tribulations, what else happened?

On Saturday we decided that since roho, genet, and colliedoc were coming over, a tasty grilled dinner would be in order. We laid out where we needed to go, but the circle slowly got wider. See, we needed some really good corn on the cob, and while Garden Fresh Market’s isn’t bad, I think the best corn around is from Stade’s Farm Market, so a detour to McHenry was added. And heck, as long as we were going that way, if we want really good steaks, we were going to need to go to our favorite butcher at Antioch Packing House. The farm stand was delightful, as expected, and we picked up some fresh peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, and some delicious apple-cinnamon bread along with the corn. And Antioch Packing House always has good ground beef and bacon, so we had to get some of those while we got the 1.5″ thick New York strip steaks. Stopping by Garden Fresh, I got some asparagus and some other goodies. Once the Tivo was up and running, I fired up the grill and I grilled the asparagus with a garlic-rosemary-lemon vinaigrette that was divine. The steaks cooked up perfectly, and the rest of the meal (as well as the company) was excellent!

On Sunday we unfortunately had to bow out from magicpaw‘s birthday shindig (we’ll make it up to you, we promise!). While we were out picking up the networking gadgets we needed, I wanted a quick and cheap lunch. Hey, there’s a White Castle! I haven’t been to one of those in over a decade. And after having eaten there, I can safely say it’ll be at least another decade, because that was just plain nasty. Once we got everything up and running, the rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around relaxing, and scheduling our Tivo to fill up with weird, random programming.

And now it’s Monday. It should be a quiet week, though it looks like Dan will be working late on Thursday and Friday. Hmm, maybe I’ll actually get around to start that Harry Potter book this week (sorry Roho! 🙂

TGIF? Yeah, Close Enough

Man, am I tired. That has something to do with last night’s late bedtime, but it was worth it!

Last night was takaza monthly Game Night. We were joined by Dan’s mom, todd_riverden, serinthia, rustitobuck, steviemaxwell, roho, linnaeus, and genet. Pizza was ordered, and we got in not only several entertaining rounds of Wits and Wagers, but also a couple of rounds of Lupus in Tabula, which is always entertaining (and also, apparently, our sofa breeds werewolves. Who knew?). Wits and Wagers is a fun game, though I think once we involve more people, to the point where we have teams, it will be much more fun – a bit more chaotic, too, which makes it all the more entertaining. Keep an eye on Dan’s LJ for the announcement for next month’s Game Night!

In other news, we got the audiobook for Harry Potter and the Giant Wads of Cash (that Amazon had originally promised to deliver on Saturday, then said, “Oops, did we say Saturday? We meant Wednesday”). Even better, Genet was kind enough to lend me her copy of the hardcover last night (even before giving it to her husband! What a great friend 🙂 so my work for the next few days is cut out for me.

A bit of bad news: last night after everyone left we noticed a high-pitched humming sound, like a computer working in overdrive. We traced it down to our TiVo, and after a bit of checking found out that it was in an endless rebooting loop. Well, hell. That’s no good at all, particularly since we have 16 episodes of Doctor Who on there waiting to be watched. Reading through the online communities, it appears there’s typically three possible culprits: bad guide data (though that typically only causes a single reboot, or occasional reboot), bad hard drive, or bad power supply. Dan and Roho are going to try swapping out the hard drive (and while they’re at it, up the drive capacity to 500 Gb or so), but I’m not sure what the timeline is on that – hopefully by the end of the weekend, though. If we lose data, I refuse to get upset. It’s only TV, and if I really want something, there are ways to get it 🙂 Besides, I seem to have a book to keep me occupied while we’re offline…

As for the coming weekend, we have nothing planned for Saturday, and I hope that we keep it that way. We’re overdue for a “cat weekend” after Anthrocon, and the idea of sleeping in (as much as I can, anyway) and lounging around at home sounds deliciously decadent. As for Sunday we hope to make it to a birthday gathering, though a lot depends on how early we can get out of bed and get moving. We’ll be in touch about that when we can.

I’m going in search of caffeine now…

Conventions, Hobbies, and Saying “No”

First off, since I have been somewhat remiss, I want to thank everyone for their congratulations and well-wishes from Sunday’s journal entry. Make no mistake, I am honored and gratified to have been chosen for the 2008 chairman position. If there’s any tremor in my voice, it’s due to the realization of how big the scope of the position is and of the challenges that lie before me in the coming year and a half (or so).

There is one thing that I wanted to touch on, though. Many of you have heard me say this before over the last fifteen (!) years, but it certainly bears repeating.

Furry conventions, and indeed any fannish-run convention (or SCA event, or what have you), are part of our hobbies. To my mind, a hobby is something that you do for fun, to take you away from the humdrum of the everyday world. To that end I think that it is extremely important that while we are engaged in hobbies, we are enjoying ourselves and having a good time. Because in the end, if a hobby isn’t fun, why are you doing it? And to be honest, if you’re not having fun, it shows. It drags down those around you. And it puts you on the fast track to burnout, where anything associated with your hobby fails to bring you happiness. That, to me, is the worst of all possible outcomes.

I never want someone to work with me at a convention because they feel guilty, or because they have a feeling of obligation. That isn’t what conventions are about. Sure, the immediate task may not be that exciting, but overall the opportunity to give something back to the community, to meet new people, to work side by side with your friends, to enjoy the challenge of bringing order out of chaos – that is what I would hope people get out of the experience.

The corollary to this applies to those who aren’t working the convention. I would never think less of someone who isn’t interested in volunteering or who says, “I need a break.” If it’s not fun, if it’s not enjoyable, then don’t do it. Don’t let working take the fun out of your hobby.

Now, I hope I’m not cutting my own throat here, but what I want to say is that if someone feels that they are not enjoying working for a convention, I would hope that they would be willing to say so. I would consider them no less a friend for their decision, because hey – I want to see my friends enjoy themselves too! And for those who work the conventions and find joy in the work they do, you should know that your efforts are deeply appreciated, not only by the other staff of the convention but by all of the attendees as well.

Something to consider for those who have not worked at conventions: there are always opportunities to help others, and to see the convention (or event) from a different angle. As people take a break from helping out, new blood is needed to keep the convention going. And hey, you can usually get a nifty T-shirt or membership out of the deal, too! 🙂