austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I'll hold the world in my hand

In the down time during Morphicon we sought out places near the convention to play pinball. There was a bar only a couple miles away that claimed to have eight machines on free play, which sounded awfully interesting, but the last Yelp reviews from it were in February and the web site was dead; perhaps it's gone to that great hipster bar in the sky. There was another spot, a barcade, farther away, but looking awfully interesting --- among other things their web site claimed to have a Baby Pac-Man, that pinball/video-game fusion we hadn't seen since before the Great Video Game Crash --- and figured if we might go there if there wasn't much happening Sunday night, as there often isn't, or maybe Monday before heading back home.

Among the miscellaneous attractions at the con was a guy taking pictures of everyone in fursuit and actually printing them out on photo paper, like they did in the olden days. He explained he really loved the photography, since furries in costume are almost automatically fascinating subjects, and the light and the corner of the hotel used as backdrop just framed folks extremely well. Besides bunny_hugger in suit he also took pictures of my guinea pig puppet, although I realized later I wasn't showing off the plastic ring/bracelet to best effect. Well, the pictures were fantastic anyway.

At Closing Ceremonies there were the usual normal announcements --- the amount raised for the ferret-rescue society charity, people joking about who was supposed to have the microphone, the announcement of next year's themes (8-bit video games, possibly the most delightful theme we've heard this year) --- and then the open floor for comments. The virtual conbook was not liked, and the comments about it threatened to turn into an avalanche that almost made me sorry for the concept. The greyness and blurriness of the pocket schedule also came in for a lot of criticism, possibly because the staff didn't seem to see why people said it looked grey and blurry. Apparently it was a production glitch when the image of the schedule was shrunk for printing, which is a satisfactory answer until you wonder why they'd use an image of a table of text for printing. I'd think this could be done in CSS, and might just for the mental exercise.

And with that, Morphicon was officially finished, with the rooms closing up and people dissipating. bunny_hugger and I made a few sweeps around to try seeing people, and mostly didn't, and then went to dinner.

We went to one of our traditional Morphicon dining establishments, the Frisch's Big Boy, where --- just as last year, when the con was a different weekend, somehow --- we learned we'd missed by one day the Dress Like Big Boy day. Apparently if you go to a Big Boy while dressed as Big Boy on the right Saturday of May, you get a free meal; if you go in partial outfit, you get a discount or a free dessert or something like that. Last year we remarked that it was odd nobody at Morphicon seemed aware of this, since I'd imagine the con could put together whole fleets of Big Boys using just the Fursuit Emergency Repair Kits, and it was odd that nobody seemed aware of this this year either.

We went back to the con, to wander around its remnants and see if we could meet up with anybody, possibly even to arrange a group expedition to the barcade. The biggest group we found --- beside those assembling the Atomic Battle of Doom or whatever exactly it's called, a massive LARP-y fight in the ballroom that we're too cowardly even to watch, really, and didn't seem to be up to anything --- was in the gaming room, left open till reasonably late, and featuring someone who'd brought about 800,000 tabletop games to play. He was surprised to learn that bunny_hugger had brought her copy of Betrayal at the House on the Hill, which we'd never found a group to play with, as several people had asked about it and if he'd known there was one upstairs, they could have played and we could have joined in.

But he did suggest we might try a good half-hour game name of Castle Dice, and we even roped in another guy who was just browsing at the right moment. We probably should have suspected this wouldn't be a half-hour game when he started explaining the rules, and the rule list just kept sprawling out longer and longer, and I felt myself falling into that despairing set when any board game has more than about twelve things to remember at once. bunny_hugger and I tend more toward the kinds of game explanations where you just get a little exposition at a time, and by seeing the experienced players at play, but our good host was determined to give us all 256 rules at once. After a couple turns we started to get the hang of the game, although since it's a seven-turn game that did mean we were coming from behind and didn't quite catch up. (We finished third and fourth.)

Now, we had a fun time, and the host had brought snacks from an Asian grocery so they were spicy and none too sweet and hard to resist. But that roughly-half-hour game took us about three hours to play (!), and we worried that the guy who'd been roped in had lost the rest of his party, although he seemed happy enough with the experience. Our host had to pack up now, alas; he had to leave for work in about eight hours and goodness knows how he was going to sleep. We were worn out, too, at the end of the convention. We weren't going to be able to go the barcade. Maybe Monday.

Maybe not: bunny_hugger found it only opens at 4 pm. We weren't going to hang around Columbus that long, alas.

Trivia: In Spring 1887 the Edison Electric Light Company put forth a bid for a Minneapolis central station to power 21,700 lights, which they estimated would require 254,000 pounds of copper for the feeder lines and 51,680 pounds for the main. At 17 cents per pound copper alone would cost $51,965. Source: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes.

Currently Reading: Roadshow! The Fall Of Film Musicals In The 1960s, Matthew Kennedy. ``As a singer, [Peter O'Toole] is no Rex Harrison.'' Wow. Also this is the first university press-published book I've seen to refer to anything as a ``big pile of meh''.

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