austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

People tell me there ain't no use in trying

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. 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. 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 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. 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 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.

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