Monthly Archives: November 2007

Need Contact Information!

As I mentioned in my long con report (the one that was so long, you probably didn’t read it 😉 on Sunday afternoon my phone (Sprint Motorola Q) ate its own head and crashed completely (Mmmm, taste the power of Windows Mobile. Or something). This means that all of my phone numbers were blown away. This coincides neatly with our decision to send out holiday cards this year, so if you would like to be in my phone book and receive a card, please respond with your name, address, and phone number. Replies will be screened, and if you already replied to Takaza‘s post you don’t need to reply here. Thanks!

Midwest FurFest 2007: Personal Observations

There’s not going to be a lot of order to this, but hey, bear with me.

  • I said it before but I want to say it again: I had the support of the most amazing group of people at Registration this year. They worked hard, and every single one of them deserves high praise: Neowolf2, rustitobuck, Rolliebear, CobaltFox, Little_Wolf, DaveQat, Ramalion, chsck83, Shy_Matsi, mutantur, Moiracoon, Woodychitwn, Bullethc, Chanur2000, Drew2u, Fordshepherd, Kellicjtiger, Street22, and Tozier_wah. Great job, folks!
  • I will freely admit I had some concerns about sabotlours and carol_kitty running Con Suite, mainly due to the complexities of running something as logistically complicated as Con Suite from Albuquerque. I am delighted to say that not only were my concerns completely unjustified, but also that they totally rocked the place, bringing foods heretofore unseen in MFF’s Con Suite (sushi! stir fry!). And I am very, very glad that they are returning to staff next year in the same role.
  • It is with mixed emotions that I leave Registration behind and move into the Chairman role. I’ve been running Registration for seven years (the first MFF, damnbear did a great job at it) and it’s time for a change. I’m a logistics guy, not a programmer, and it always bothered me that the Registration system was pretty much a black box to me (of necessity – I wasn’t expecting anyone to teach me to program, after all!). I’m glad that Neowolf will be taking it over; he will hopefully bring new life and new ideas to the department. As for being chairman: Wow. Daunting doesn’t begin to cover it. I have some ideas for the coming year, and I still need to talk to many of the convention staff to see what their plans are for 2008. We’ve got a terrific group of people on staff and my job will be to stay out of their way and let them do what they do best.
  • I get to sleep in next year! Well, at least until 8 AM. Sometimes it sucks to be a morning person.
  • Speaking of waking up early, props to crim_ferret and the other Security folks for having fresh coffee each morning. Thanks!
  • There will be another Fine Potables Party at Anthrocon, and at Midwest FurFest 2008 (“Chairman’s Reception”? 🙂 Those are far too entertaining to let fall by the wayside.
  • So we had three elevators in a four-story hotel and we managed to kill one of them. The Westin has four elevators for 16 floors. Well – this will be fun to manage.

The Midwest FurFest Website has been updated, and has not only the video that we showed at Closing Ceremonies to introduce the Westin but also links to reserve your hotel room and register for MFF 2008! Yay!

So, now there’s nothing to worry about until next year. Oh, except for Wuffmeet. And Anthrocon (and creating an entirely new point of sale system for that). Yeah, no worries whatsoever…

Coming Up For Air

Well, it’s been almost a week since Midwest FurFest, and I’m finally able to sum it all up: DAMN. And I mean that in a good way 🙂

Let’s see if I can condense this down to something readable. I do want to preface this by saying that if I don’t mention your name it’s because it was all a blur – please don’t think any slight is intended.

Wednesday

New Midwest FurFest Website and Video Now Available!

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We’re all still slowly recuperating from a great convention, but I did want to let folks know that a brief summary of 2007 and a preview for 2008 (including a copy of the video that was shown at Closing Ceremonies and a link for hotel reservations!) is available from our website, http://www.furfest.org. Enjoy!

Home. Ow.

Takaza and I are home.

My cell phone is out of commission; it crashed and had to be mailed to Sprint for service. If I’m lucky I’ll have it back my Wednesday; if not, I assume it’ll be sometime next July or something.

I slipped off the truck as we were loading it and not only seriously whacked my knee but twisted my back and my ankle. Consequently I haven’t been much use in moving the massive amounts of stuff that require both Dan and my cars to get home. Oh, and Dan’s sciatica flared up again last night.

Whining aside, the con went well. No major problems, and a lot of very pleasant surprises. I’ll have a Registration Report sometime in the next few weeks and perhaps a personal report when I can. Now, I’m going to go collapse.

It’s That Time of Year!

Here’s a way to get that festive Midwest FurFest spirit before Midwest FurFest is even here!

We will holding the 8th Annual Midwest FurFest Bag Stuffing on Wednesday, November 14, at 7:30 PM in the Rolling Meadows/Arlington Heights rooms of the Hyatt Regency Woodfield. There is sure to be much laughing and merriment as well as bag stuffage and, if we can wrap up early enough, dinner with friends! Everyone is welcome because we’ve got 2,000 bags to stuff – many hands make light work, and all that.

Hope to see you there!

The Things We Do For Fun

Wow, a week since I last posted. As you might guess, my life is sort of exploding at the moment. Last week was a flurry of last-minute preparations, and everything seems to be falling into place nicely. There’s just a few loose ends to wrap up this week (including printing sponsor coupons and temporary badges for the evenings) and we should be good to go. At this point, we’d better be in place or, well, tough luck!

And in the midst of all of this, we worked Windycon. Now, this may seem like madness, but there is a method to it: the idea was to have a weekend where we didn’t deal with MFF stuff at all, and we could just act as drones and do what we’re told. Yeah, that was the theory anyway.

See, here’s the problem: This was the 34th Windycon. And it showed, badly. They have too many people who are in a rut, who are pretty much down to taking the approach of “let’s just do everything like we did it last year, and the year before, and the year before that.” Please don’t get me wrong – in most cases the folks who run the convention are lovely people, and I wouldn’t mind spending time around them. But even the best of us gets jaded. The other problem is that over the years, turf wars have erupted. His clique hates her clique, and that person doesn’t play well with that other person. The entire thing is grossly dysfunctional, and communications have broken down. A couple of examples: 1. There was an information desk near the Dealers Room. They were serving much the same purpose of Operations (where we were working). There was zero communication between the Information Desk and Operations. 2. Registration didn’t open at all on Sunday, due to too few memberships typically being sold. Instead, attendees were supposed to go to Operations to buy badges. We knew that we were selling badges overnight, but when people started coming in to register at 8:30 AM, we told them that maybe Reg opened at 9 AM. Then 10 AM. Then 11 AM. At 11:30 AM we finally found out that Registration wouldn’t be opening at all that day but never communicated that fact to Operations.

We have helped in Windycon Operations for the last few years as a favor to unclevlad, but he’s moving on to another position next year, and we’re done. The convention holds no interest to us. So we’re done – no more Windycon after this. If nothing else, though, it served as a nice reminder that Midwest FurFest is amazingly well-organized and functional. Also, the Dorsai were helping out with Security Adult Supervision, so we got a chance to talk with Rene a bit, which is always a pleasure. It would be crazy, but we’re giving serious consideration to helping out the Dorsai with Magfest this year. We’ll see what happens after MFF, though…

Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well at all all weekend, so I’m dragging a bit today even after last night’s sound sleep. That makes life fun, eh?

The Downward Spiral

And so we enter the last few weeks before Midwest FurFest. Saturday was spent doing a good bit of preparation for Midwest FurFest 2008, the fruits of which I hope will be evident at this year’s Closing Ceremonies. After takaza and I met mirkowuff for lunch, Dan headed home to work on Publications stuff (yes, still). Mirko and I worked on The Super Secret Project, then drove into Chicago. We had some time to kill so we tried a couple of nicer restaurants around Lincoln Square, but either their menus were unexciting or they were completely booked for the evening. Man, I hate trying to eat out on Saturday nights. We wound up settling for a small taqueria at Lincoln and Montrose that was actually amazingly good, and cost about a fifth of what dinner at any of the other places would have run. Great horchata, too! Afterwards, we headed over to an impromptu party that woodychitwn was hosting. I’m sure descriptions of who was there and that accompanying embarrassing pictures will show up in his journal soon, but suffice to say that I had a good time and it was fun to meet his other friends. Alas, Mirko and I had to head home on the early side (i.e. before midnight), so we missed the various eating-of-cake-off-body-parts, etc. Ah well.

Sunday brought he final planning meeting for Midwest FurFest 2007. It was pretty much the shortest meeting we’ve had all year (36 minutes!) because really, if you don’t have your act together this late in the game, you’re pretty much screwed anyway. Fortunately, every appears to be on their game and we’re in for an excellent convention, I think. For my part, pretty much everything that needs to ordered is in, with the exception of badge blanks and at the door registration forms, which will hopefully be sent to dexcat tonight. Our numbers are looking good, with not only our total attendance following past normal growth patterns, but our sponsorship numbers are matching last year’s as well. The latter is a nice confirmation that we’re doing something right.

After the meeting broke up, roho, genet, and linnaeus joined us back at our place, and we were shortly joined by steviemaxwell and magicpaw. Pizza was ordered, tasty cheese and crackers (and wine) was enjoyed, and we had a good time watching the season premiere of The Amazing Race 12. I was quite pleased with the outcome of the first leg, and I see several teams in there that I will really be cheering for this time around.

The rest of this week will be helping Dan with the last bits of Publications, including a really nice innovation he came up with last week: a small pamphlet for staffers that has all of the information they’ll need, from telephone extensions to emergency procedures to quick schedules, and a lot more. With luck, that will be wrapped up tonight or tomorrow and we’ll get a night or two to relax. On Friday we’re going to Windycon in Rosemont, where we will be working on Operations staff and in our spare time maybe helping out the Dorsai. It should be a fun weekend, and it’s a nice change of pace since neither of us is actually in charge or anything 🙂