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 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 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.
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 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.