July 12th, 2014

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Anthrocon 2014

For the 4th of July weekend, I went to Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. Like previous years, I roomed with Marauder and Gatorman in the Westin. The fursuits I brought this time were Rakket Raccoon and Chestnut Husky. Rakket was not originally my character so I had no idea how to play him, so I went around pretend-bumping into people, did a lot of miming and mimicry, danced around, and engaged in other such tomfoolery. Some folks told me afterwards that I did pretty well but someone thought I was German?! Just like last year, there were two groups filming fursuit music videos at the convention center. I only found out at the last minute but I went to both and the choreography was interesting; the second one more so because there were multiple scenes to act out. I also went to both the "recess" and team fursuit games, and the 80s and main dances.

The food selection in Pittsburgh has gotten more interesting. As always, I had lots of Primanti Brothers, but I also tried Argentinian food, which is either new this year or something I only just noticed. In addition, Bombay Gyros / Deli across from the hotel had curry lunch boxes for takeout some days, which was rather convenient and not bad at all, even if it wasn't the spiciest. I just wish more restaurants were open on July 4th, but it's a Federal holiday so what can one do?

I didn't have very many geocaches on the way to Pittsburgh this time, at least until I got to Greensburg, which has a power trail along the bike path running between that town and Youngwood. I was finally able to visit "Names have been changed to protect the RichFather", a puzzle cache that I solved a bit too late for the Anthrocon 2013 trip. In Pittsburgh, I took Marauder and Gatorman on a walk around the downtown triangle for three geocaches after our Wednesday night dinner. When I went out on my own Thursday morning, I hit the caches along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, across the bridge from the hotel. "Allegheny Telecache" was the most difficult one but it was interesting. At the first stage, there's a horizontal pipe you look through to see where the final stage is, on the other side of the river. That's by no means accurate, so there was still some guesswork. The sign mentioned in the hint was no longer in the correct spot, so that added to the vagueness. And getting to the cache container was itself challenging because I had to climb down the river bank slope. But I'm happy to have finally completed this one after years of seeing it in the cache listings.

The only problem I heard this year was on Sunday afternoon, there was a crazy guy yelling at and chasing fursuiters near the Westin block. I didn't see this firsthand, only heard it from another fursuiter that night, so I cannot confirm the incident. However, we should remember that Pittsburgh is a city with the usual city problems, and observe the same precautions as we would walking around downtown in any other city. I did fursuit outside the hotel a bit too but not far from the hotel and only when lots of us were out there at the time, so there was some measure of safety.

The caches...Collapse )