[Vfw-times] Cloudchaser's anthrocon report-includes photos and origional artwork

Rufinoform at aol.com Rufinoform at aol.com
Wed Jul 23 15:19:27 CDT 2003

Hello everyone!  Hope you're OK!

If any of you are awaiting a e-mail reply from me, I will get to that soon!  
As some of you already know, I didn't have much time to check my mail over the 
weekend and even less after I got back.  As soon as I send this, I will start 
working on clearing the backup :-)

Sending this to tell about my going to Anthrocon this year :-)  I don't mean 
to brag, especially to those who wanted to go but didn't get to, I just like 
telling about it :-)  Photos and artwork are at the end.  The short version is 
that AC03 was a great con and I will most definitely be going back next year!  
Now for the long version :-)

Considering that the con theme was Creatures of the Night, I was a bit 
surprised there was no mention/use of the Kiss song of the same name the whole 

Leaving at 22:30 on Thursday, The trip up there was uneventful as usual.  The 
biggest problem I had was minor trouble with the "road hypnosis" effect.  If 
I hadn't got a good sleep before leaving, road hypnosis would have most 
certainly resulted in me falling asleep at the wheel.  This effect is why it's so 
important to have a good rest before driving long distances.

Arriving at 8:30 Friday morning, I discovered I was able to check in early 
without paying extra, so I did just that because I had cokes and chocolate in my 
car.  Hot cokes at a party, bad.  Chocolate in a hot car, worse.  After 
getting my stuff arranged, I went down to registration, which opened about the time 
I checked in.  Usually mostly blank, the con badges this year had this really 
neat battle scene picturing Samuri Cat, a popular character created by one of 
this year's special guests.

As always, I was at the door of the dealer's room when it first opened on 
Friday just so I could snag any good plushies I liked before anyone else got 'em. 
 I ended up adding 2 wolf plush and my first ferret and fennec fox plush to 
my collection.  The plush I wanted most, unfortunately, wasn't for sale.  
Popular furry artist Shawntae Howard had this very well done lifesize plush of his 
famous Artica character sitting his table.  I also had the good blessing of 
getting a Cassie sketch from Shawntae and a sketch of myself and my Vixina 
character from Ken Singshow.

The meet and get to know each other gathering at noon of members of the 
Christian furry Yahoo groups list, Unicorn and Gryphon at Appleby's, a restaurant 
in the hotel went well, with about 25 of us showing up :-)  Many of us had 
never met in real life before, at a con or otherwise.  We also happened to have an 
small, unplanned gathering in the lobby of the hotel where a few of us 
happened to sit down and started catching the attention of others who walked by.  
That was where I met Griz/Underwater Tiger, Razz, Stoker and another U&Ger or 
two for the first time :-)

After that, I went on to my next planned stop, meeting Big Bad Wolf 
(FurNation.com/Big_Bad_Wolf) at his room for fitting and fine tuning MY FIRST FURSUIT!  
WOO HOO!  A fursuit is something I have wanted for 9 years, before I ever 
knew there was a furry community.  Mine cost $1,000, uses fur from Monterey 
Mills, has real leather pawpads on both the feet and hands, a jaw that moves when I 
speak, teeth & tongue that looks as real as not real can get, taxidermy nose, 
mesh eyes that don't fog up & allow good ventilation and a fan in the muzzle &
 the back of the head, which helps because it is hot in there!  It even sheds 
(which is normral for faux fur)

The suit can be seen at
It's full body, just that my character wears shorts, so I chose to wear 
shorts over the suit.  It was a success, with me getting skritches just by wearing 
it and other congoers asking me if they could take photos :-)

Sometime that afternoon, the 4 elevators, which were working well (and were 
quite fast) when fur started showing up earlier in the week, went down.  No, 
not that way.  I mean they broke :-P  Thankfully, it didn't take long to get 'em 
up and running again.  But this time with a rule that no more than 10 people 
could be on any elevator (which was close to what they could hold anyway).  
"If I find more than 10 people on an elevator, the Dorsai are authorized to 
machine gun you all." (Kage, closing ceremonies)  The Dorsai Irregulars are a 
volunteer group that provides volunteer serxices at sci-fi ad other cons, in our 
case providing security.

Us U&Gers had a second gathering just for fun in the large room designated as 
The Zoo, a general purpose gathering point & hangout for the whole con.  
About as many showed up there with list creator/leader/moderator Heavy Horse (a 
real life Bretheren of Christ preacher) providing Ginger Beer and Birch Beer 
(both non-alcoholic), Jarrell providing all types of Oreos, me providing Mini 
Resses & bubblegum flavored soda and who knows providing what else.

Jarrell and Griz were both in fursuit with Jarrell telling me that he and 
Griz had agreed that neither would pop their head until the other popped their 
head :-)  I don't know who won.  Camstone was in his scottish fox suit and I was 
in my suit.  If you haven't tried it, the ginger in ginger beer causes a 
burning sensation.  Heavy Horse likes to say "It's not good ginger beer unless it 
makes you scream going down."  More than once, someone would attempt to chug a 
whole bottle.  The most popular attempt was a contest between Camstone and 
another whose name I can't remember to see who could finish first.  Camstone 
used a straw aince he was still in his suit and the other fur won.

The U&G meeting at Applebys and in the Zoo were both fun events that I'm 
guessing will definitely be repeated next year :-)

The rest of my evening was spent doing the usual getting before finally going 
to bed at 2:30.

On Saturday, waking up at 12 noon (I was worn out-welcome to Anthrocon or any 
furcon for that matter) I suited up went straight to the dealer's room to 
leave a couple sketchbooks with Spunky (a very nice lady, BTW) who did one of 
Cassie, one of me and one of my Vixina character and I.  I really like how in 
addition to being a great artist, she draws characters with a happy, bright eyed 
look :-)  After that, I went down to the Denny's next door for breakfast.

On the way, A mundane lady in the parking lot asked me "Are you the Big Bad 
Wolf?" :-)  I said exactly what I'd been thinking I would say if someone asked 
that.  "No, but he did build my fursuit." :-)  Inside, a family waiting for a 
table was smiling at and commenting about me, the father telling his young son 
(about 4) to "go shake his hand."  I hold out my handpaw, the kid held out 
his then pulled it back saying "Whoah!  He's got claws!" :-)

That evening, Uncle Kage's Story Hour was it's usual popular success with 
Kage telling many funny stories that had the large audience rolling in the aisles 
:-)  Immediately following was the fursuit masquerade, also a popular success 
with the funny tiger SK1 MCing as usual and several good acts, such as my 
fav, Neko, the Bellydancing Kitty (I'm a single, hetero male.  Whaddaya expect?)

The charity auction raised about 7,200 for Support Out Shelters 
(supportourshelters.org), an organization that helps fund ferret rescue shelters.

That night, I got sketches until about 3, before I went to get ready for bed.

Sunday, the ever popular Fursuit Parade was a huge success, with 140 suits 
participating led through the hotel by Yappy Slyfox beating on a small drum.  
That evening, it was announced at the closing ceremonies that 1,949 had 
registered.  That's about 200 more than last year, which has been the usual amount of 
growth for the con.

That night, I went to bed early so I could get a good rest before getting up 
at 2:30 for the drive home.  Passing through the lobby, I observed that even 
at that late hour on the night before many would head home, there were still 
many fur wide awake and active.  Again, welcome to Anthrocon.

Driving down I-76 East, my engine seemed to be acting funny, like something 
wasn't firing right.  I said "Please Lord!  Don't let my car tear up or at 
least let me get home before it does!"  Literally within seconds, it smoothed out 
and gave no trouble for the rest of the trip.  The power of prayer :-)

Shortly after arriving back in town, I stopped at a gas station and used 
their restroom to suit up.  I went on to make planned stops at Wal-Mart for needed 
items, the Burger King where I used to work for food and the hotel where I 
work now for my paycheck.  At all places, customers and employees were amused, 
which was my intention, so I'm happy :-)  Arriving home, the cats weren't 
fooled.  They knew it was me right away.

When my Dad arived home, he was quite amused, commenting at one point "I 
don't know which is stranger.  Furries or Star Trek." :-)  When my Mom arrived 
home I had the opportunity to come up behind her unheard and tap her on the 
shoulder.  She turned around.  I wonder how much higher she would have jumped if I 
had done more than just stand there? :-)  She seemed almost fascinated with 
the suit, examining the handpaws and looking inside the head to see how it was 

Photos.  I got 54 photos in all.  Too many URL's to put here, so I'll direct 
you to
and tell you to scroll down a bit and click on the Anthrocon 2003 link.  I 
have checked the links before sending this message, so they should all work.

Sketches.  19 in all, by artist such as Razz, Kranos, Ken Singshow, etc.  
Grouped by character.  Artist name in filename.

CASSIE (all pix and stories at http://www.cassietherockvixen.furtopia.org)

VIXINA (all pix and stories at http://cloudchaser.esmartweb.com/Vixina07.htm)

VIXINA AND CLOUDCHASER (all pix and stories at 

CLOUDCHASER (all pix and stories at 

Take care!  Hope to hear from you soon!  Wuff!

Cloudchaser Benjamin Shaconage, a chocolate & peanut butter lovin' Red Wolf 
RL Red Wolf photos & facts:http://www.thewildones.org/Animals/redWolf.html
My Furry Portrait (collection of images and stories-bio available)
Cloudchaser's Homepage: (see link at top of "My Furry Portrait")
esmartweb.com htm filenames must have uppercase letter or you'll get "file 
not found"
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