Even though I’m bear-ly in my 40s 😀 I joined an online group for older furries recently. After a while, my Spidey-Sense began to tell me that most of other folks in the group have at least a decade or two on me:
- “Attachment unavailable”
- Vertical videos
- “I hate that thing that’s popular with the young people!”
- Black and white pictures
- Scans of actual Polaroid pictures
- Pictures rotated the wrong way
- Five-year old memes
- “Why is this [meme] funny? It makes no sense!”
- When people say ‘back in the day’ they REALLY mean it
- And of course: “Get off my lawn!”
My trusty CR-V (the “Excelsior,” because I name my cars after spaceships) recently got dinged in the back. The damage isn’t too terrible but it’s in a lousy spot. Thus, I had to deal with my insurance company (Progressive) and rent a car. Along the way, I noticed a few things:
#5. *Angry Bear Noises*
The lady that hit me seemed to be pretty impatient while I got Progressive on the phone. MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T CAUSE AN ACCIDENT IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY, LADY.
- I didn’t even think about calling the police. This was a low speed accident and not worth their time.
- She eventually gave me her info and drove off in a huff because “I have kids in the car.” I don’t know about y’all but I tend to drive extra-careful whenever I have passengers…just saying.
- Insurance company Ding #1: To be fair, I was getting impatient with Progressive too. Pick up the phone, guys!
- It wasn’t a bad dent, but in just the right spot for water to get into the hatch.
- I’ll get a call back in 24 hours. Cool.
- Ding #2: The claims rep was supposed to call me ‘within 24 hours.’ 2 days later and still no call.
- I posted an angry tweet about that lack of communication and got a response within a few hours. Modern times and all that.
- Lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility (as well they should) Woo-hoo!
- Stuffed a plastic bag into the hole to keep water out. Lucky it hasn’t been raining lately.
- I was initially going to pick a shop to take it, but decided to punt and the insurance guys handle it. I have other things to worry about.
- Ding #3: The last time this happened, I got to pick a rental. This go-round they threw me into a Toyota Corolla.
- I got everything I needed from the CR-V…except for the garage door opener. >.<
- The heck with giving me both car keys on a key ring that I can’t remove them from?
- It’s a little bit of an adjustment going from a small SUV to a car, but I’m (mostly) handling it. Lucky for me I don’t have any long trips coming up.
- When did car air conditioners get so complicated?
15. Me in the rental
This is a newer vehicle, yet the backup camera looks terrible compared to my 2012 CR-V.
- Having an in-car touch screen does not work very well. At the risk of getting technical: The user interface is poop.
- Ding #4: The repair guy was supposed to call me ‘tomorrow’ Didn’t happen.
- Yeah, it’s probably time to start looking for a new insurance company.
- Thing I miss most about my CR-V? Legroom.
- I’ve given up on getting any calls from my insurance company at this point, just going to check their website every so often.
- If you are going to tell somebody you are going to call them and you don’t, that is rude and unprofessional.
- Unless you’re a recruiter, then it’s par for the course. (obligatory job-related item)
- Auto headlights should NEVER turn on the high beams…just sayin’
- Had a funny moment when it rained and I tried to turn on the rear wiper that wasn’t there.
- Also, the ‘beep’ it makes when I turn on the alarm can barely be heard.
- The day before the repair is due to be completed, the app says “2 days left until repaired.” Huh?
- (Finally) Got a call that afternoon saying it will be ready when scheduled, woo-hoo!
- 4pm and the app now says ‘Repairs complete.’ Maybe I’ll get lucky and get my ride back a day early?’
- Ding #5: Of course they call me 15 minutes before they close (and I’m already at home from work) to schedule the pickup the next day, grr.
- Since the lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility, this little adventure isn’t going to cost me any money, just a little time and aggravation.
- I also got a blog post out of the deal, too 😀
35. Looking good!
- Ding #6: Scheduled the appointment for 1230, get there at 1231 and I have to wait 😛
- Holy cats, the Excelsior looks good when it’s cleaned up.
- Feels good to be in my own vehicle again. I had to re-learn some habits, like having cruise control settings on my steering wheel instead of on a stick thingie.
- Time to shop for new car insurance!
Texas’ biggest furry convention moved to a new hotel this year, which introduced a few new issues. Overall, though, it was a lot of fun. As always, I noticed a few things:
- BEFORE/DRIVE UP-I’m a little bummed over missing the conbook deadline but that’s what my website is for.
#31 PUT SOME CLOTHES ON YOUNG LADY
- I’m guessing I’m going to see a lot of Alices and Mad Hatters. Hopefully, the cartoon versions.
- Seriously, I thought the 2010 version was ‘The Mad Hatter Movie”
- I will openly admit to being jealous of all my friends that will be there on Thursday
- I swear work gets tougher the last few days before a vacation…it’s like THEY KNOW
- Okay, I wussed out and told my cowokers I was going to a ‘comiccon’
- Does loading Disney soundtracks onto a USB stick for the drive qualify someone as ‘furry trash?’ Asking for a friend.
- Thing I forgot: Cologne. Given the female-to-male ratio it’s just as well!
- I’ve lost about 30 pounds since last TFF. I bought a pair of slim fit jeans so I gotta keep the weight off now!
- Honestly, I-35 keeps getting better and better each year…Temple notwithstanding
- The Czech stop was definitely worth the 200-mile wait!
- Parking seems to be one of the big issues early on; I was furtunate to get a spot fairly close by.
- I feel like a tourist lugging my bags around the hotel before check-in.
- It wasn’t too long before I started running into friends, YAY FRIENDS!
- I had forgotten about the placeholder name I had placed on the reservation beforehand, which made for a funny moment: “So that will be two keys: One for you, and another for Roger Rabbit?”
- “Can I get the lowest room available? I have a thing with heights.”
- New hotel is very nice, though the open elevators are a little scary for me. (see above)
- FRIDAY-Noticed a few folks kvetching about the lack of con suite this year. Hopefully they bring the snacks back because playing ‘bartender’ there was great fun.
- The Presidential Suite is open to Super-Sponsors, though.
- Forgot to print out my reg sheet for the first time ever. *hangs head in shame*
- Their reg was so fast it didn’t matter.
- The Hyatt Regency feels so wide open compared to the other hotels.
- Taking five fights of stairs to the room (if I don’t want to wait for the elevator) is definitely a workout
- The hotel room has an Ethernet port, and me without a cable *argh*
#28: It’s Furry Pat!
- New camera has been great, but the battery went dry after only 75 pictures! So glad I got a spare…that I had to retrieve from my room. *pant* *gasp* *wheeze*
- It’s awesome that the con T-shirts aren’t black this year.
- I’m usually pretty careful about catching autocorrects before I hit Send, but finally had one slip through the net 😀
- There’s a fursuiter named Sherbert who has you try to guess their gender. I went with ‘male’ because if I can’t figure someone’s gender in 3 seconds at a con, I just assume it’s a guy.
- I am seriously considering buying a Lemonbrat partial fursuit.
- Overall, the bigger hotel is pretty nice with plenty of space to work with BUT the elevator situation is pretty bad and it is a (understandably) a mite warm inside.
- That moment when you realize the fursuiter you’ve seen in a partial for months now has a fullsuit which means SHE’S NAKED NOW OMG
- It’s 6pm, send in the normies!
- There are places to eat downtown if you don’t mind a little walk. Cool.
- Elevator situation is pretty awful, I wonder if the top-floor con suite is a contributing factor.
- Random young lady: “Are you Eduardo Soliz?”
Me: “The one and only!” *peers at person* “Do I know you?”
Her: “No but I love your YouTube channel!”
UPDATE: Found her on Twitter!
- Maybe I’m not done with “Con Talk” after all…
- I really really need to get cracking on making some panels for next year’s Furry Fiesta. People want them!
- SATURDAY-630AM and I don’t want to be up, but I guess I’m up, bleh.
- Might be early enough to hit Waffle House without losing my parking, hmm
- Upon further review I decided not to risk losing my spot.
- A little disappointed in the scheduling app; it shows the full schedule without hiding events that have already passed.
- Oh, I have to manually refresh it. Derp.
- Nope, still didn’t do it. Boo.
- For some reason I have Matthew Ebel’s “Merry Christmas from Cell Block 2” in my head
- Are the microphones in the panel rooms even on?
- New addition to the fursuit parade: Concerned parents
- Dunno what the deal was with the peanut gallery continually yelling “Spring Break” during the parade but it was annoying to the point where I might put music over the parade audio. UPDATE: I didn’t.
- Nothing like 40-degree weather to make you want a fursuit.
- Freezing my face off was totally worth it for the Cuban sandwich, though
- If you’re running audio you should be professional enough to know to not talk while a presentation is going on. Fuzzing amateurs
- Another great Furry Psychology talk from Nuka. I was getting a little sleepy near the end, and not because of the content, just to be clear!
- I learned that some of the FurScience folks went to San Japan last year. I invited them to attend “Furry 101” this year. COME ON GUYS, I WENT TO YOUR PANEL AND I DID MY HOMEWORK 😀
- The partial suit I was thinking about buying was sold. Oh well.
- A friend bought Lemonbrat’s ‘Tide Pod Fox’ and got very popular very quickly.
#54 He looks good enough to eat!
- Knees starting to feel it by afternoon, likely due to all the stair-climbing bought on by not wanting to wait for the elevators…or I’m just getting old.
- Halfway down the stairs to go to dinner, I realized I still had my bear tail on. Screw it.
- Nothing like walking 2/3 of a mile to go to Spaghetti Warehouse in 30-degree weather.
- Totally worth it, though. Chicken parm you taste so good.
- I was disappointed to find karaoke was full up; I wanted to sing ‘Why Should I Worry’ by Billy Joel from ‘Oliver and Company.’ The canines would have loved it!
- Nice lobby-wide howl on Saturday night, by the way.
- I wanted to be all supportive and stuff for Padunk’s first panel, but it was completely packed! I guess that was a sign it went well! (link warning: some naughty bits)
- Drunk normies + fursuiters = hilarity
- I swear the ‘Two women: One embarrassingly drunk and the other trying to get them to stop being embarrassing’ bit is a trope.
- SUNDAY/TRIP HOME-Breakfast was weird: After we got seated, the hostess kept fussing over our table being dirty (it wasn’t) The table is fine lady, I WANT FOOD
- Mom never made ‘fingerling potatoes’ for breakfast, just sayin. That said, they were tasty.
- No salsa on the breakfast buffet? What is this, NEW YORK CITY?
- The longer the con goes, the harder it gets to not take multiple pictures of the same fursuiters. Oh well!
- Me to friend: “I was thinking about buying a partial”
Her: “I have a bear head base I haven’t started yet.”
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
- So yeah, I may be getting a fursuit made.
- Left the con at probably the earliest time I’ve ever left. Continually going up and down four flights of stairs took more out of me than I thought.
- To the jackass who parked their Honda CRX in the middle of the end of the parking lot: YOU SUCK.
- I am very glad I only make two trips that involve I-35 a year
- Didn’t stop at Buc-ees on the way home, the Wendy’s across the freeway was too tempting. I may have sinned against Texas.
- Big thank you to the solider who fished a soda out of the machine for me at the Bell rest stop. Enjoy the freebie!
- Note to self: Lay off the caffeine on the day when you are making a long drive unless you want to make restroom stops every 50 miles or so >.<
#71 YOU SUCK
- AFTERWARDS-I will openly admit to being jealous of my friends that are still at the con on Monday.
- I think the reason I don’t get post-con depression is that afterwards I go over pictures, post the fursuit parade video, work on this list, prepare for and record a podcast, so the show isn’t really over for me for several days.
- There is apparently an underground tunnel leading from near Union Station to the hotel. I may consider taking a train ride for next year.
- Remember how I said “Con Talk” was over a few months ago? I was never very good at lying. 😉
- “Roll Fur Initiative” for next year’s theme? I guess Creativity failed her saving throw! Hey, I tried!
It has been a while since my last solo adventure at Guadalupe State Park. I had spent a night with friends in freezing temperatures back in December, but that’s neither here nor there. As always, I noticed a few things…
#1 Needs Improvement
- I wrote this list down on paper and thought about posting scans of the pages. I looked at my terrible handwriting and thought better of it.
- I think I like taking Blanco Road up to the park instead of 281, fewer lights and a more relaxed drive.
- Also more jackasses tailgating you on the slower parts, but what can you do?
- Had to take a site with electricity due to the water-only campsites being worked on, oh well.
- Nothing like that OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T BREAK feeling when putting up tent poles.
- Of course the sun comes out after I set up the tent and go hiking.
- Sound that I don’t miss: Vehicles.
- Yes, I have my phone on me, for pictures. With the ringer muted and my smartwatch on, I don’t have to worry about missing calls.
- There aren’t many people here, which is nice.
- Since I don’t go outdoors as often as I should, I find myself constantly wondering what all the noises are.
- Lots of butterflies about, even managed to photograph a few.
- More work in the park being done near the river, not sure what’s going on there.
- Beginning of hike: Feels good! One hour later: Whew! Nearing camp on the hike back: OMG ARE WE THERE YET?
- Got spooked by a large bird taking off from the branches above me, nothing like that WOOSH of big wings flapping.
- As I neared camp, I wondered if maybe I should have packed sandwiches instead of canned food.
- Surprised I haven’t burned off my eyebrows from lighting my camp stove yet.
- It’s nice to have camping cooking equipment instead of borrowing from the kitchen.
- Upon further review, hot food for lunch hit the spot!
- Slightly disappointed that I still have a cell signal, but at the same time it’s good to know it’s there.
- I’d been going nuts trying to find one of my flashlights only to find I had left it in my tent when I folded it up back in April.
- Note to self: Take the picture first before trying to move in closer. Armadillos spook easily.
- Also: Don’t only pack food things that contribute to heartburn. Off to H-E-B.
- Yes, I always have to say ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ whenever I light my lantern.
- Had a story idea pop in my head mid-afternnon. It had an unfortunate ending until a more optimistic one came to me during dinner. Don’t write when hangry if you want happy endings.
- If you like them, they’re ‘critters,’ if you don’t, they’re ‘varmints.’
- They had better not be any awoo-ing while I’m trying to sleep tonight.
- Heard a bunch of what I hope were fireworks at around 8:24pm.
- This being Texas, gunfire isn’t necessarily unusual, though.
- Shop towels aren’t bad for washing dishes.
- Always gotta find that one dark spot in camp for, how can I put it, ‘taking care of business’ without having to walk to the men’s room 😀
- Got spooked by a pair of raccoons fighting in a nearby tree.
- I had put up my food and know to not feed the wildlife, so to the victor, go no spoils.
- I’m not saying I’m paranoid about raccoons, but I’m making damn sure the Excelsior (my Honda CR-v) is locked whenever I’m not nearby.
- Almost fell into temptation during the trip to H-E-B, but avoided stopping at the Whataburger across the street for dinner.
- Thing I forgot: Radio.
- Idea: Replace the ‘nut-buster’ tripod chair I use in the tent with a small beanbag.
- Nice to know the animal I’ve been hearing for the last half hour was just an armadillo
- Armadillos are noisy!
#17 A perfect fit!
- My battery pack can charge my phone all the way…now that I have a smaller phone!
- The overnight weather was perfect, cool without being too cold.
- I chose poorly at breakfast; sometimes a McDonald’s McGriddle isn’t worth the lousy service.
- Going to pass by my old office on the drive home, going to be hard to not flip the bird at the building as I pass.
iOS 11 just happened to drop on the same day I bought a new 32 GB iPhone SE in order to replace my 16 GB iPhone 6 and switch over to a prepaid plan. The 6 was running low on storage space and the SE was on sale, so why the heck not upgrade my OS and my phone on the same day!
- First things first: Upgrade my iPhone 6 to iOS 11. Maybe I can use that as a selling point after I move to the SE.
- I can’t help but cackle at glee at how many problems iOS 11 is likely causing for customers at my old job. Jerks.
- Yes, I am saying my former customers and my former employer are jerks.
- Free space on 16GB iPhone 6 before upgrade: 900 MB. Free space after: 4.9 GB. WTF?
- When I hit the Wireless or Bluetooth buttons in the Control Center I expect them TO TURN OFF, not just disconnect. No bueno. iOS!
- Is a Location on/off button in the Control Center too much to ask for? Android has had one in their Notification Area for years. Don’t you want to be cool like Android, iOS?
- On a related note, the fact that Apple constantly wants to know where you are is mildly creepy.
- Why would I want to turn off the cellular part by itself? Isn’t that what Airplane Mode is for?
- The “Do Not Disturb While Driving” thing is pretty cool.
- The Pebble smartwatch app is still standing; it’ll be a sad day when it or my watch stops working. Stupid FitBit.
- From the ‘what took Apple so long’ department: Files. Yeah.
- Only four app updates to install…so far!
- All in all, iOS 11 is pretty nice, with a few annoyances I can live with. On to the new phone!
- Why not Android? Let’s see: For $200 I can get a questionable phone with a lousy camera and maybe one OS update or a really good phone with an awesome camera that will get updates for a few years.
- Despite the smaller screen, I consider the SE an upgrade. Better CPU, twice the storage, and a better camera.
- Yeah, yeah. I shouldn’t have bought the 16GB model two years ago, but here we are.
- The SE is small enough to fit in my pocket and not be constantly clipped to my belt looking like it’s there for something important.
- I’m sort-of trying to not be tied to my phone so much. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’m trying!
- Funny how my old phone is nearly as big as the box my new one came in.
- Shopping for a case was a little annoying because the iPhone SE section at Ye Olde Electronics Store was cleaned out. It must have been one heck of a sale, or maybe the SE has become the ‘poor man’s iPhone.’
- Found an OtterBox case on the cheap at Wally Martinez (Wal-Mart) so maybe there’s something to that.
- Yay, another set of EarPods and Apple stickers I’ll never use.
- I can never put screen protectors on right.
Out with the old, in with the small!
- The gal at the activation line has an interesting accent. I wonder if she’s in the Philippines…FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON.
- Accidentally hung up on her once during the activation process. Oops.
- Apparently the dweebie at the Best Buy warehouse didn’t scan my new phone so it wasn’t technically ‘purchased.’ That led to WHY IS IT NOT WORKING ANYMORE ten minutes after activating it, which led to another phone call to Whereveritis-istan.
- Realization: I’m going to have to be super-careful to not drop this thing in the toilet.
- It took me a half day before I realized I hadn’t set up my ringtone.
- Apple productivity apps are useless to me without OneDrive support. Buh-bye.
- Garage Band, iMovie and TV apps on a 4-inch screen? Um, no. Gone.
- Free space: 22 GB That’s more like it!
- What the hell is up with not letting me use my phone as a hotspot, cellular prepaid people? Crazy idea: If people use up all their data tethering, THEY HAVE TO BUY MORE DATA WHICH MEANS YOU MAKE MORE MONEY. Idiots.
- Tethering seems to work just fine via USB, so neener-neener, prepaid cell phone weenies!
- Going to take a little adjusting to having a smaller phone, but I think the SE is going to work. Hopefully my new provider works out, too!
- I’m just waiting for that one friend (you know who you are) to see my new SE and say “OH MY GOD, IT’S A BABY PHONE!”
I’m being laid off from my job next month, so I thought about what I will and won’t miss from it.
I won’t miss:
- Idiot coworkers
- Idiot customers
- Incompetent manager
- Jerkface department head
- Idiot temporary employees trashing the place
- Carl (there’s always a ‘Carl’)
- That guy that tries to justify the crappy things the company does
- Our crappy software
- Our crappy websites
- Our crappy apps
- Our crappy phone system
- Having to tell customer our crappy software doesn’t work because it was made in 1999.
- Having to tell customers our crappy websites, apps and phone system are down…again
- Having to tell idiot workers to do their jobs
- Telling idiot workers how to do the job they have been doing for years
- Workforce (mis)Management
- Waking up early
- Lousy parking
- Half-hour lunch
- Lousy places to eat in the area
- 2% raises…when there ARE raises
- Shagnasty coffee
- Overpriced vending
- Having to bring my own coffee
- Insulting ‘contests’ from management
Things I will miss:
- The nice gal from Legal
- The ‘office mom’ (there’s always one!)
- The metalhead guy (there’s always one!)
- Money, but most importantly…
- Health Insurance!