May 19th, 2018

krazy koati

Caught in a landslide

Friday evening, I believe it was, we had gathered for the Live Text Adventures panel only to find it cancelled. This has hit Text Adventures before and it's always disappointing. We've gotten quite into the round-robin attempts to work through some text-adventure-based scenario. But there was another scheduled for 11 am Sunday, and it was still on the schedule late Saturday. So we woke up early for this, and checked out of the Holiday Inn, and got to the panel late. Just a few minutes late, not bad considering. And the important thing is it was going on, just as we'd hoped.

The adventure, which I believe was composed just for Motor City Furry Con and its reputation as a drinking convention, was about getting your character the fortitude and heavenly blessings sufficient to beat a village's drinking contest. All right. After the first quick go-round that went wrong early and got the protagonist locked in jail we had a far better go-round. The comic high point of this was after the protagonist had snuck into a goblin cave, surrounded by the hung-over monsters, prowling up on the treasure chest. The turn came around to an attendee who, I believe, was someone else's mother not really sure what any of this was. She had the protagonist wave to the goblins and say, ``Hi!'', sending the plot far off any known or suspected rails. And into good directions, since we were then able to trade for the goblin treasure instead of stealing it or fighting the goblins for it or something. The host was also impressed that, for what he thought was the first time at one of these things, the party did not at any point try murdering the non-player-characters. We just succeeded, very neatly.

After lunch, and I forget what we did for lunch besides have it, we poked back in the game room. We got particularly to playing some game that the room's chaperones described as the friendship-wrecker. The theme of the game is that this endless stream of mice is pouring out of four wells; you have to set a couple of directional tiles to guide them into your rocket. But keep away menacing cats who come in and carry off your mice. And use your directional tiles to steal mice from other rockets. This was a fun game that moved about 10 percent too fast for me to keep up with. Our relationship survived. I'd be up for playing it again, but it's easy to say that without facing the reality of it.

Then we went to one of those panels that seemed crafted to my interests. This would be ``Furries In Space'', a panel all about why it's important people go to space. I had never been to one of these panels before but it was every one of these panels you ever see. You know what I mean. For example, it's important to have a person on Mars because then if something goes wrong he can fix it. And it's true that un-peopled space probes often have something break that could be easily fixed by a person there with a hammer. The Galileo probe to Jupiter, for example, had it been launched on a space shuttle as the pre-Challenger plan had it, would surely have had its stuck main antenna fixed before leaving Earth orbit. But to look at, say, any of the Mars rovers that go running for years and say this would have been better done by three astronauts spending a month on the planet surface? At ten times the expense? That's a hard sell to this astronaut skeptic.

But it went like that, explanations of how much good there was to come from people in space, those explanations themselves coming as if untouched by time from the founding of the L5 society in Like 1974. They seriously pulled out the explanation that you could grow incredibly perfect crystals in space, which are good for ... something. And that are so much better than the tolerably-perfect crystals you could grow on the ground, where it's a lot easier to build facilities and get workers and recover product. Who are all these people that Man In Space enthusiasts meet who want space-grown crystals? bunny_hugger described the experience as feeling like some kind of religious, millennialist attitude and I can't dispute that. I do think there's good stuff to be done by people in space. But the reasons to have them there need to be better than this.

After all this we went back downstairs to one of the game show events. There were a bunch of them at the convention and this was a great development. This panel was done as Super Password Plus, causing me to realize I'd somehow forgotten the finer points of how Super Password Plus is played. When bunny_hugger asked me, the game-show fan, about what clues were allowed and prohibited I had to stumble through and concentrate to get it all straight and I'm not sure I was right. Or possibly they were playing the rules a little loose too, since this was just a bunch of furries trying to get the others to name ``Monty Python''. Maybe not, though; in the postmortem of one round the host pointed out why one clue had to be this instead of that in order to avoid there being an alternate and legitimate solution. It was well-spotted. Also at one point Alkali, of course one of the celebrity panelists, was horrified to learn that something or other came from a Bud Light ad. People had been saying it around him all weekend. I have no idea what it was and I think I've even seen Bud Light ads since then. I'm just out of touch with ... everything, really.

Trivia: Middle C has a wavelength of 134 centimeters, roughly five feet long. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond the Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: Beetle Bailey: The First Years, 1950 - 1952, Mort Walker. Editor Alf Thorsjö. I'd never read more than the occasional early-era strip before. It's made me realize (a) there really aren't any syndicated newspaper comic strips set at a college (though many of the Luann knuckleheads are in college) and (b) oh yeah, maybe there aren't all that many good jokes just set at a college. Also a lot of the college humor is from back when the separate class years hazed each other in ways that now read as crazy and abusive and not at all fun, so, glad we've chased that off to just the fraternities.

PS: How's Keansburg Amusement Park looking?

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The Chance Carousel, which is inside one of the arcades. It did not run the day we were there. Despite this I can attest my certainty that it is not, as the park map says, a ``thrill ride''. If it were running at a decent six rpm, it would be, but I've never seen a Chance carousel running that fast.


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A ... squirrel ride that's ... 50 cents ... per ... play? One of several rides like this and done in that folksy airbrushed style.


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Exterior of the Game Room, showing off some of the artwork.