June 1st, 2016

krazy koati

Judgement Day was everyday and witches burning everywhere

My panel wasn't quite the first event of Anthrohio. That would've been a Mystery Science Theater 3000 event the night before. And it wasn't even the first on Friday; there was some fursuit event or something going on starting at noon. But it was early. When I volunteered to run the panel I hadn't thought there was any particular limit on when we could do things. I had the idea we'd drive down the Thursday night before which, according to our records, we've done maybe once. So besides the laptop fiasco there was that bit of sloppiness on my part.

My too-early panel was some awkwardly named thing about mucking and IRC and the other kinds of text-based ways to have a furry character. That was a chance to talk about the glory days of mucking and all that. And I managed to be slightly more organized than usual for this. I'd made a photocopied sheet of addresses for mucks that are still thriving, as far as I can tell, since there's only two I know of that are actually doing anything. I also put together a list of some of the common commands. I don't know that this has caused anyone new to try anything, though. I'd been inspired to making the flyer by seeing Sociopolitical Ramifications flyering at Motor City Fur[ry] Con, so that made my list. On the list I mentioned I had no idea it was still around but saw it had flyers at Furry Connection North. So, another bit of sloppiness on my part.

Besides having something to pass out at my panel I had another bit of activity to do. On Sunday I'd be running the Raccoons and Procyonids SIG, and I had an inspired idea to do something fun and awareness-raising before the convention. So you know that Reddit-inspired thing about giving animals new ``accurate'' names, like ``danger noodle'' for snakes and ``spiky floof'' for porcupines ``giraffe sheep'' for llamas? Well, the most popular of that, as far as I can make out, is ``trash panda'' for raccoons.

So I decided to hold a vote of the Anthrohio attendees, and made up a simple ballot. It read, ``Trash Panda'', with yes or no options, and a spot to mark off if you regarded yourself as a raccoon. (Or coati, kinkajou, et cetera, anything in the family.) At the mucking panel I started taking ballots and found people were confused by what the flipping heck I was even talking about. Apparently, while I haven't been able to avoid hearing ``trash panda'', other people are not. I had to keep explaining what the reference was. (And just after this, T Lewis and Michael Fry's Over The Hedge would do a sequence inspired by the name.)

And I had to keep explaining the question ``Trash Panda: Yes or No'', which I had initially thought was so obvious and comically meaningless that there's no follow-up questions to ask about it. In fact, it turns out, the more obviously silly a survey question is, the more people want to know exactly and precisely what it means before they'll cast an anonymous and consequence-free ballot. I had to reword the sign I taped to my ballot box --- one of the trash bins to be filled with candy and tipped over at the Raccoons and Procyondis SIG --- to make things less somehow confusing. Yet another bit of sloppiness on my part.

bunny_hugger warned me the vote would be a blow-out in favor of ``trash panda''. And that I was just making it a more popular name by telling everyone about it. I was willing to risk it. The truth must be known! And, of course, I told people that the results would be announced at the Raccoons SIG, and so got in two days of hyping up my panel to people who might not have realized there were species SIGs at the con still.

But you may notice sloppiness was the motif of my Anthrohio Friday experience. Some bits of it would not be my sloppiness, I swear.

Trivia: The time between the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox is on average 93.6 days. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Ann Arbor Railroad Fifty Years Ago: Recollections of an Old Engineer of the Early Days of the Property and of the Reconstruction during the Receivership, Henry E Riggs. Published by the Ann Arbor Railroad Company, which I know mostly from one signed railroad bridge up by the university where bunny_hugger teaches.

PS: How Interesting Is A Low-Scoring Game?, as somehow I don't run out of things to write about in information-theory sports stuff.