The Fursuit Parade on Saturday was an hour earlier than usual. This would discombobulate us, as anything moving earlier in the day does. But we got organized, got across the street to the convention hotel, and bunny_hugger took her fursuit bag into the main ballroom where suiters were gathering for the parade. I went off to the hallway, to record the parade. I avoided my usual corner, since I figured I always took pictures from there, and went to a different corner that turned out to be colonized by people who didn't understand that my camera would not work through their heads. I try to hold my camera high anyway, so that I can stand in back of a crowd, but that is tiring. Also while waiting I noticed one of the plastic Easter eggs sitting out in plain sight and grabbed my first of the day.
The parade ran about eight minutes, and bunny_hugger was about seven minutes in, so her strategy of hanging around until nearly everyone had left worked well once more. There seemed to be more raccoons in the parade than in past years, also gratifying. Also someone had made this chain-mail dragon suit that was brilliant and dazzling and clanked with each step. It looked fantastic and like it must weigh 4,000 pounds and heat the wearer up to 200 degrees Celsius. But wow does it look great.
After the group photo outside and some milling around the common areas for smaller photographs we went back to the ballroom, to gather bunny_hugger's bag and clothes. The ballroom was closed, locked up as the con re-set the area. I knocked on the door. Nobody answered. I knocked again. With steady persistance. Not just for bunny_hugger; Twitchers had similarly figured he could stow his bag in there and recover it after the parade, and here it was locked off. Finally someone opened the door and we could run in for our stuff. Nobody said anything explicitly scolding. One of the tech guys did say ``that's why that's not a good idea'' when bunny_hugger bumped into a chair someone had just set in her path, but that (to me) is ambiguous about whether that meant stowing bags in the room was a bad idea or putting chairs in the path of fursuiters walking was a bad idea.
They were resetting the room for the Animal Magic show. This was the charity again this year. And, as two years ago, I don't know of anything specifically wrong with Animal Magic. I just don't feel comfortable with the group is all. So this year we would avoid their events, fun as showing off animals and hearing dubiously believable stories about living with them is. We didn't see anything except for one of the Animal Magic people getting stuck at an elevator jam, radioing people that the elevator had not stopped on that floor for 25 minutes and would not stop just as the elevator stopped. He then began radioing people that OK, the elevator would stop if someone inside had selected that floor but it wasn't responding to calls from the lobby. So, you know, furry convention elevators.
The Dealers Den had mostly the usual stuff, prints and fursuit accessories and kigurumis that are all too small for me. One unusual thing is that Mary Mouse's representatives had the Certified Coatimundi badge. That Certified! badge is new; one of the other coatis in the fandom --- and whom I've gotten to know slightly through our secret communications network --- commissioned it over the past year, beating out my thoughts of maybe commissioning one. I haven't gotten a new badge proper in years --- and was wearing the wintertime Austin badge, with snow-rabbit in the background, since April was a frigid month in Michigan --- but this was a nice bit of filler.
Lunch, I think, was Taco Bell again, this time staying in the dining room and learning that in fact they don't have any problem skipping the beef on any of their options. Or swapping beef out for beans or rice or something. Potent knowledge. Yes, every actual vegetarian has known this for years, but I'm always afraid of asking too much from the fast-food cashier, even if all I ask is that they change fries to onion rings and make that a diet soda instead. Good to have reassurance.
Trivia: At the 1884 International Meridian Conference, establishing Greenwich as the prime meridian, the nation of Colombia was represented by Commodore S R Franklin of the United States Navy. Source: Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel.
Currently Reading: Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet, Robert G Strom, Ann L Sprague. The book's written 2003 which makes its repeated defensive assertions that we're just rank fools to mistake Pluto for a planet stand out.
PS: And now to the second amusement park we went to that Bowcraft day!.
Entry arch for Keansburg Amusement Park, or at least the parking lot. From the boring side you see as you exit. We'll come back to this.
Best day ever? So claims the back of the coupons sheet. Coupons given out at the gate to Keansburg Amusement Park, on the Jersey Shore, on the edge of the Lower New York Bay.
And the promise of fun! The Sea Serpent kiddie roller coaster going over a hill as seen from our rental car. Notice some more kiddie rides, like the balloons wheel, in the background.