I arrived at the hotel Thursday evening. After dinner with Panzer, I had the whole evening before the con began, which was a chance to bring out some of the fursuits I brought. First, I debuted Minsi the meerkat. (who used to be Wildfox's Mio) Then later at night, Chestnut Husky, with the addition of blue tinsel hair, lei and Hawaiian shirt, became the Accidental Tourist.
On Friday, after getting my con badge, I went to the Opening Ceremony in fursuit. After that, I went to the "So This Is Your First Furry Con" and "First Time Fursuiting / Being A Handler" panels and helped out a little as a fursuiting demo. I thought it was funny to go to these panels when I've been to over 30 cons already. Later, I went to Icepaws' Fursuit Cooling panel, where he talked about his fan and blower devices, and the electronic components it took to build those. Icepaws is the guy who attends lots of local events and cools off fursuiters with his portable blowers. In the evening, I went to Majik's "Sew a Taco" panel. I've been to her previous panels at other cons, where I sewed a cupcake and a large squeaky toy, and those were fun to do. I think a souvenir that I actually made while at the con is a rather neat way to remember the con. Later, JBadger and I joined a Cards Against Humanity game. We also went to the Fantastic Mr. Fox pajama party. Unfortunately, they were having technical issues with the projector, so we left. However, they did get it to work eventually and I returned a bit later to watch part of the movie.
Saturday started in a weird way. I got into fursuit with the intention of joining a fursuit music video shoot in the lobby. Then I noticed there was a fire alarm, so I evacuated the hotel in fursuit. Going down the stairs from the 11th floor was not easy in fursuit but at least I made it. The fire department cleared the alarm in about 20 minutes and I got into the weird part of the video shoot where the camera panned over to reveal that Khord Kitty was chewing on my arm. I'm not sure if they were actually going to use that footage, although it was funny. Then there was a second fire alarm and I evacuated in fursuit again, although it was easier this time because I was already in the lobby. The fire department gave an all clear soon after and preparations for the fursuit parade could begin. What's nice is they got the group shot done in the ballroom before the parade began. Anthrocon has been doing the same thing the last couple of years so that fursuiters can rest immediately after the parade instead of standing around for the picture. The parade route was a loop on the lobby level starting from and ending at the ballroom, and the fursuiter count was 180.
After the parade, I changed out of fursuit and went with JBadger to Bombay Tandoor for an Indian lunch buffet. That same building complex also houses Thai, Japanese and Mediterranean restaurants, After lunch, we took a walk to ALLH #20- Ash Grove Mansion, a geocache in a gated community just behind the hotel. I thought it was funny that access to a public park area would be through a gated community but perhaps there were other approaches. Back at the hotel, I watched the Pepper Coyote concert for a bit before going to the "Juggling 101" panel. When it comes to juggling, I still have two left hands but one year, I'll get it. One year. Then I went to the "How to make a tail and handpaws" panel by Jackalope Jess.
Sunday wqs the day of Furlympics, the fursuit games event. We were split up into two teams. The first game was a balloon popping game. It was a bit different from the way it was done at other fursuit games though. Instead of popping the other team's balloons, we had to pop our own balloons. The way it works is we were paired off, one fursuiter with a balloon tied to his back and another with no balloon. The one without had to pop his partner's balloon without using hands. I had an idea though. I asked my partner to lie on her side. Then I stomped on the balloon. So that took not even one second! The second game was "Find The Yeti". A yeti plush toy was placed in the center and each round, two fursuiters, one from each team, had to race to see who could grab the yeti and bring it back to the team. When it was my turn, I actually wasn't able to grab the yeti first but my challenger and I landed on the floor in such a way that the yeti was actually on my side and I was able to twist around and pluck it out of his hands. The last game was "Red Light Green Light", where you had to go when the announcer said "green light" and stop when the announcer said "red light". I understood the rules but some on my team were confused because they thought they didn't need to walk any more once they had completed one round and were thus needlessly out of the game. The other team saw what had happened so they had an advantage and avoided making the same mistake.
After lunch with Panzer, I went to "Fursuit Building 101" by ArtSlave. I actually didn't learn much in this panel because frankly, covering the entirety of this topic within 90 minutes is not going to happen, but she sure was a funny panelist! Imagine a stand-up comedian explaining how to build fursuit, with witty observations about people and about the craft itself, and with the appropriate amount of swearing. That's the panel for pretty much the entire alloted time. After that, I went to the charity auction and then the closing ceremony. The charity auction took a long time because of the number of items they had to auction. The closing ceremony took even longer. It was past 8pm by the time the closing ceremony ended and the joke going around was that the Fur The 'More closing ceremony will be held at Anthrocon. The problem was in part caused by an innovation introduced at this con. They had a projector screen showing the a Twitter stream of tweets containing the "#furmore15" hashtag. It's quite an amusement because attendees could tweet with the hashtag and see their tweets show up on the screen. The problem is this screen was in the ballroom during the closing ceremony and the audience was reacting to the screen enough to distract the con chair from getting on with the ceremony. I thought the simplest solution was to simply not have this Twitter stream projectorin the ballroom, although others have suggested that the con chair work on his speech pacing and not be so easily distracted.
For Sunday dinner, I took a short walk out with JBadger, Panzer, and Danruk to Shori Sushi. We ordered two sushi platters to split between the four of us. That was actually 3 plates of sushi because the "premium platter" was itself 2 plates big! We devised a method of splitting up the sushi fairly. We took turns by moving a token, in this case a soy sauce bottle, anti-clockwise around the table. The person who had the soy sauce bottle was the one whose turn it was to pick a piece of sushi. (like a sushi version of the talking stick) We called it the Soy Sauce of Picking. :) After dinner, we relaxed in the room for a bit before going down to the Dead Dog Party in the hotel lobby. I danced to a few songs in fursuit before calling it a night.
Overall, I thought Fur The 'More 2015 was an enjoyable convention and I plan to be there again next year. There were some issues here and there, but I don't expect perfection and I'm sure the con and the hotel will eventually fix those. What I like about this con is their willingness to add new ideas to the mix every year. This will ensure that it doesn't stagnate.