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Mongologue Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Chiaroscuro Lyle Themyst" journal:

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July 19th, 2016
03:08 am

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Anthrocon 2016 and the Friends Of Anthrocon project!
So it all started with a convention I didn't go to.

The Hyatt O'Hare, hotel of Midwest Furfest for 2015, wanted to join in the fun of a furry convention, and did so by putting a fox kigurumi in their lobby. Unfortunately, more of the reactions to it I saw on twitter were "Enh." 'Sad." "Creepy." But there was the germ of a good idea involved in this.. and I pondered a lot.

And at Anthro New England, I pounced on Mary "Moth Monarch" Capaldi with the idea: to give Anthrocon's partner hotels each a fursona of their own, printed on a carboard standee. As Mary had just been made Anthrocon staff, this was the perfect task for her artistic talents.. and we set to work. Board approval was quickly given, and we contacted Kristen Turner at VisitPittsburgh to help contact Anthrocon's eight partner hotels. Seven of them signed on, and we were off!

Each hotel selected a species, and in some cases the name, of their fursona. Mary and I worked to give them each a unique identity and personailty: Westie (Westin) was an West Highland Terrier as a friendly everyman, while Dub (Doubletree) was a DJ squirrel in Tripp pants. We worked hard to balance gender and body types to make sure it was a diverse crew, much like Anthrocon is.

She made the sketches and handled the main design work, I gave feedback, on the nature of "Make his watch a smartwatch, that'll be hipper."  We sent each sketch to the hotel for feedback and color requests. One nice thing about working with massive hotel chains: you don't get "Deep Red" for a color. You get Pantone 1795C. After final colors and approvals, we were ready to send them to be printed off. Two companies fit the potential bill, and after one got us the test print of Westie eight days quicker than the other, we had our match. Both Westies rode in with me, and the remainder of the standees were delivered to VisitPittsburgh, then the various hotels. (The spare Westie ended up behind Mary's table in the Dealers Room for a while!)

And fortuitously on Tuesday night, Sam "Uncle Kage" Conway, the chairman of Anthrocon, just happened to be in the lobby as I was bringing Westie in...

And the social media explosion we were hoping for began. People taking pictures of and with the standees, and posting them to Twitter and Instagram. They kept discussing which the best ones were, groaning at the punny name of "Mary Otter" for the Marriott, and fan art of Dub appeared during the convention. The hotels themselves enjoyed having them-- at one meeting with the hotel reps, the Doubletree rep said "We love her. I would fight for Dub." And when the Wyndham Grand rep asked where their standee was, and were told 'Your hotel was asked, but declined to participate.." The "oooooh!" of shame in the room was delicious. They're on board for next year, now!

There were subtler effects, too. Hotel damage reports were lessened, and the overall interactions with Anthrocon attendees and hotels were positive- they recognized this project as local support, somethign Pittsburgh has given to our Anthrocon like no other city has done for a furry convention. It's another way that Anthrocon and Pittsburgh support and appreciate one another.

I managed to get my picture with all seven of the standees, which made me most happy. Pictures follow:









I'm justifiably proud of how this project went. My thanks to Kristen Turner of Visit Pittsburgh for help with the hotel co-ordination. our partner hotels for joining us in this, Karl "Xydexx" Jorgenson for co-ordinating with the printer, lifesizecustomcutouts.com for doing the printing and cutting, and most especially Mary Capaldi for her hours and days of work on the art and design.. She's the one who was able to take this project from wacky idea to amazing reality, and she completely earned her staff badge in the process. Read her post about it, and see the all seven characters, here.

So whenever you doubt your ability to accomplish things, whenever a project seems impossible, just remember: there's a hotel in Pittsburgh that six presidents have stayed the night in, and a buffet cook and self-employed artist convinced them having a 6-foot-tall anthropomorphic penguin in their lobby was a good idea. It's possible.

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May 22nd, 2016
12:57 pm

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Oh yeah. I still have a Livejournal. Updates time!
So, there's a lot of updates to cover in the past.. uhm.. while. *cracks knuckles* You all know I have a Twitter at @chefmongoose, right?

As most friends know, I've been a cyborg since February 2015. After some heart issues were discovered, and a good 9 months living with a strap-on emergency defibrillator and medication helping moderately but still concerns.. I had a surgically implanted defibrillator (ICD) put in. It's manage to alert once but not yet shock me. and I've gotten used to it. The first two weeks shen I couldn;t lift my arms above my head were.. a challenge.

Meefer the Escort finally bit the dust, also in February of 2015; a bad axle and a dying clutch and other issues were costly enough to fix it was finally time. 229,000 miles on that car, 15+ years of solid service. I was very content with that car, and now and then i still miss it; taking the curves of Lantern Hill Road at well above the speed limit in neutral was a grand time and I can't quite do that and feel comfortable yet in---

Tug, the (still fairly new) Chevy Cruze! Managed for exceptionally low price with family discount from my Uncle, and a NFCU rebate for the loan, and a USAA rebate for the insurance, and Mom's GM card points, and buying a 2014 model during president's day weekend, etc, etc. It's nice to have things like power windows, USB ports, aux-in for the ipod.. and.. oh yeah.. AIR CONDITIONING. 20,000 miles in on it and very happy.

In late 2014, Gary Benson- my friend since high school- and his wfe separated. He needed money to pay mortgage, I and my roommate Kevin needed cheaper rent. This has been a very good thing for all involved,a nd stayed so when witchiebunny moved in.

Oh, so yeah. witchiebunny . We've been dating since late 2014, after she moved to connecticut. It's been a good time. Lots of complications, lots of mutual concerns and patience.. but fun, laughter, warmth, and love. And I've decided that she's definitely someone I want to keep in my life, and in a thoroughly special way.

So, last Tuesday we went to Block Island, a scenic li'l island off the coast of Rhode Island. A lovely day, from ferry ride to driving about to tasty lunch to the Alpaca farm. And while up at Settlers Rock on the north coast, she looked at the water, and the rock-strewn beach, and said: "I wonder if I should take a rock home as a souvenir."

Luckily, I had a perfect one handy.



So, that's the news. Still the same-ish: Working at VulpineForest, Board of Directors for Anthrocon, Staff Manager for Brand New Conference. Still pretending to be a mongoose on the internet. :)

--Chi

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July 16th, 2014
06:58 pm

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Snik is dead, time for a new computer!
After over seven years, several upgrades, a few reinstalls, and other fun-- it looks as if Snik, my main computer, has finally bit the big one. The BIOS isn't even coming up. I am on a nicely functional laptop until such point as I can get a new computer, which basically means I have until the end of July before I get *really* twitchy.

So, internet, here's the mission. There are two core options:

#1 I buy a complete computer.
#2 Someone sends me a computer.

#3 would have been "I buy pieces and put a computer together", but after the occasionally interesting trouble I had with that last time, I'm not going that route again. If someone else is willing and interested in building me a new computer, or sending me their old one for $, let's talk, and talk promptly.

Needs:
Desktop system, preferably a tower, with room for at least 2 full-sized hard drives, one DVD-Rom drive (Though Blu-ray would be nice).
Buncha USB ports. Ethernet port. The stuff I really expect all computers have nowadays.
Windows (8.1 at this point, might as well leap) is good, Ubuntu is possible, Mac is acceptable if probably too pricey for a desktop.
I have a nice video card (GTX 560) that can go in the system if there's an open PCI x16 slot. There probably should be an open PCI x16 slot, as Dual-monitor capability is a must.
4 gig minimum of RAM. 8 is probably better.

Cost: $700 is a maximum. $500-600 is more the goal.

I will take recommendations of "Buy this" and offers of "I'll build it" or "Want this?" for a few days, and I plan to come to a decision by July 20th. If you have opinions, recommends, or an itch to build and send me a computer, let me know!

--Chi

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October 4th, 2013
02:08 pm

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Another infrequent update.
More for myself than for others, but: September was pretty good and busy a month. October should be pretty nice as well.

Starting off with http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnewconference/ earlier in the month. Thursday drivin' and then trainin' into the city, then stops at Big Booty Bread Co, Two Boots Pizza, the High Line. Convention prepwork including folding T-shirts and stuffing con bags. After that, Korean hotpot with Eapa, followed by shopping and late errand. then crashing in the AirBNB-booked spot only a 5-minute walk from the conference. Friday, Brand New Conference went off as manic but as smooth for attendees as usual. Good times. Nice to have returning crew: this is year four, and the first year of returning volunteers who aren't me. Best after-party thus far, bouncy but not NOISY.

Then a few days later, warphammer came for a quick visit as part of his work travels. Some mellow hanging about; Lazizah bakery where he got to meet Karannia, a visit to Fall River, MA to Battleship Cove; Mongolian grill at Fire & Ice, Clyde's Cider Mill. Always a pleasure when Warp visits, and I hope I'll be able to make it back out to visit him and others in CA sometime, if budget permits.

And then Faire! For the first time since 2008, made it to one: Specifically http://ctfaire.com/ . Pleasantly located this year about 15 minutes from my home and about 30 from my job, so I was able to squeeze in a visit before work. Quite glad to go with Karannia, some of her friends, and for my roommate Kevin to be able to tag along to his first-ever Faire.

Wrapped up the month by being able to go hang with sympolarbear and Thesius for a night at their new pad. This is the first time in the 10+ years I've known Sym that we've got to hang out anywhere that's not Work, Anthrocon, or Sarge's Comics. Should do that more.

October's started with helping Karannia pack some things for her move, then there'll be a They Might Be Giants concert in Providence at Lupo's, and wrapping up the month with cbrenton visiting for a week, including FurFright as a major part of his visit. And lots of overtime at VulpineForest[*1] to fill in the spare time, plus work on Anthrocon stuffs.

--Chi

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February 9th, 2013
12:28 pm

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Snow.
I don't need to post pictures; they're the same as everyone else's. beautifully white-balanced.

This is the first time, in 20 years of driving, in 13.7 years of owning the same car, in dwelling in New England that I have been snowbound. I could make it to the end of the driveway after fervent shovelling, and the roads were impassible yesterday, and I like on a mid-level road for the Rose City.

Kevin, my housemate, was stuck at work overnight. I'm shovelling my car and the driveway free to try and go rescue him. roads are looking better.

..and the landlady wont; stop talking about the Blizzard of '78.

--Chi

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October 10th, 2012
11:41 pm

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Coupla' things I did recently, in regards to the Furry Fandom
http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/node/22290

http://www.ct.com/news/advocates/latest-news/nm-ht40ncfurries-20120925,0,1733951.story

I think i did better in the Advocate article. A bit radio-flustered, eh.

..as i haven't updated here in a long time (I'm a lot more Twitter-focused of late, catch me at @chefmongoose): Meefer the Escort is at 198,500 miles and still driving. I'm back at VulpineForest for work; going to the gym about 2-3 times a week, still living in Norwich, still a smidgen broke but getting by.

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June 1st, 2012
10:59 am

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The last day to Pre-Register for Anthrocon is TODAY, June 1st!
Today is the last day to pre-register for Anthrocon 2012!  Pre-Registration offers several advantages:

* There are shorter and faster-moving lines for all pre-registered attendees. You'll be on your way in, on average, a third of the time.

* It's $10 cheaper for Attending and Sponsor members- $50 versus $60, and $100 verus $110!

*Only Pre-registered Supersponsors get an invitation to the Supersponsor luncheon, with our Guests of Honor!

* One less purchase to worry about at the convention- you'll get to relax and know it's taken care of!

http://www.anthrocon.org/registration is the direct URL, and it's definitely time to get your registration in. Read the standards of conduct, ready your Mastercard, Visa, or Discover card, and register today! Do tell your friends- especially those first-time attendees who may not know how long the lines will get. There are over 3500 people that have Pre-registered already- join them!

Remember, that's http://www.anthrocon.org/registration !

--Chi

Also follow @AnthroconReg on Twitter for Registration updates!

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May 25th, 2012
11:40 pm

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Anthrocon Pre-reg closing June 1st!
AC! Last week of registration
AC! Last week of registration

Registration time, come on! (Get Registered)
Registration time, come on! (Get Registered)


Anthrocon is getting oh so near
A convention, that's only once a year
so bring your sketchbooks, and a fursuit too
And please Pre-register by the first of June

Come on now

Registration
Let's Pre-register and have a short line
Registration
We'll Pre-register and have a short line


It's time to join the furries
You know the page, so please hurry
Everyone Pre-reg for Anthrocon!

AC! Last week of registration
AC!

Registration time, come on!
Join the furry nation
Registration time, come on!
Pre-register

All these furries coming to Pittsburgh
And Supersponsors, will get great swag I heard
So bring your badges, and some glowsticks too
But please Pre-register by the first of June

Registration
Let's Pre-register and have a short line
Registration
We'll Pre-register and have a short line


On-site lines last forever
You can avoid them if you're clever
Everyone Pre-reg for Anthrocon!

Yahoo! Last week of registration
Yahoo!

Registration time, come on!
Join the furry nation , come on now
Registration time, come on!
Pre-register

Mastercard or Visa tonight
Pre-register, it's all right
Check or Money Order tonight
Pre-register, it's all right

Furries...

Attending or Sponsor tonight
Pre-Register, it's all right
Even Supersponsor tonight
Pre-register, it's all right

Registration time, come on!

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November 22nd, 2011
02:57 am

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Gaming Meet: December 11th!
Howdy folks! Since spotweld is still taking time off from gaming meets while he and his main squeeze get properly settled in their home, I'm taking it upon myself to host a gaming meet.

When: Sunday Dec 11th, Noon until midnight.

Where: Norwich, CT (note, this is NOT at Spotweld's home, though the same crowd is expected); a short distance off of I-395 and CT-2. Restaurants aplenty are a short drive away, if we wish to break for dinner.
The address is:
70 Mckinley Avenue
Norwich, CT 06360

Note: The driveway must remain clear for the landlady's use. Ample, free parking is available on the street.

Who: Everyone who wishes to attend.

What to bring: Yourself!
Any game of your own that you want to play.
Any munchies you wish. It's a good time to practice your holiday baking.
Alcoholic beverages.
ESPECIALLY DESIRED: Folding tables. There's plenty of folding chairs on hand, but table space is modest .

What will be there: Games! We do have a modest range here.
Soda, coffee, and assorted munchies!
Crash space is quite available Sunday evening. Saturday evening as well, but that requires advanced planning due to my work; contact me and I'll see what can be done.
Wi-fi!

Please Email to chefmongoose@gmail.com, reply to this post, or reply to @chefmongoose on Twitter if you plan to attend; we'd appreciate a count.

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October 27th, 2011
05:19 am

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The California trip, part two!
Saturday, September 17th: Lunch at Adamson's French Dip (Tasty but overpriced), a fast drop of some Brand New Conference documents off at FedEx, and then off to Alameda for the Pacific Pinball Museum with arokh, [info]warphammer, [info]kreggan, and [info]archai. Lovely pinball place, a little less impressive than the Silverball Museum in New Jersey, but with a machine that quickly made its way into my top 3: "The Party Zone". Wonderfully wacky pinball, similar to Addams Family but with its own stylish touches. Also Xenon, a late-70's Superman, Hurricane, and a few other nifty machines. We wandered out front, shot the breeze, went back in for another hour.
   Followed that up with good solid BBQ at Emmitt Jones's, and then all back to DragonHaus. Internet while racing was vaguely watched and commented upon.

Sunday: A moderately late start, and lunch at the Sonoma Chicken Co-Op (Rather forgettable, honestly) after which Warp, Kreggan, Archai and I hit Starbucks. I had more Starbucks this trip than in the year preceding. After that, Kreggan headed off to grocery shop, the rest of us to the Computer History Museum! Warp's last-minute membership purchase worked without complication. The museum's full of just wonderful stuff. Archai learned about Abacuses - "No, they're not base 5. You never had one as a kid?",  and we all had a lot of oohing and ahhing. Only managed the first half of the museum at that due to a late start.
  Then, back to the DragonHaus, where I observed and professionally commented on Kreggan's Bolognaise-ish sauce, cleaned out their fridge, and I did up a side dish of peas, onions, and bacon. It might've been more successful had the onions not been cocktail onions, but you work with what's in the pantry some days. A quiet evening with TV and internet.

Monday: Lunch for Kreggan, Warp and I ate at California Sourdough, delicious and wicked cheap. Warp and I continued to Fry's Electronics, which was largely me doing a wander-and-enjoy and Warp being bemused at me barely buying anything . It'd been 7 years since I was at a Fry's, I needed wander-through-one time. I did pick up a laptop sleeve, much needed.
  Then grocery shopping for the night's dinner- I made a salad with feta and soupy[*1] crumbles, couscous, and some beer-and-lemon marinated chicken. Lemons picked fresh from the tree outside DragonHaus. Oh man. So good. So. Good. Then a mellow evening of Venture Brothers season IV and internet. (Sensing a trend? Good. It was a quiet vacation, and TV whilst using a borrowed netbook was exactly the right sort of thing to do.) And Warp zipped out to get me an It's-It. Yummy. :9

Tuesday: Korean BBQ Buffet for lunch. On Eapa's recommendation, though minus her presence. Tasty enough, with a grill-your-own-meats on a little table-center barbecue. Followed by BevMo, which is a.. truly vast liquor and sodas store. Fox-themed Cider and some Sprecher were my grabs, and an enjoyable walk aroudn the store, amused and taking a photo or two of silly beer brands, being enthused to see Vernor's and Cheerwine in the same store. Fiddling with the laptop (MacBook Pro, as yet unnamed) that Warp had given me to replace Lappet, which was lost/stolen at Anthrocon. :P
  This was followed by the logistical nightmare of getting Warp, Archai, Kreggan and terraluna_bat to Indian dinner, while waiting for Astolpho to drop by just to grab something, while bigtig , suerankin , khromat , and Ken were zooming there ahead of schedule, and weren't about to be rerouted to DragonHaus. The lesson is: '7ish is a dangerous time to ish'. Thankfully.. it all worked out okay, though I sort of ate with two tables of people in shifts. All my fautl anyway. Later that night, finished off Venture Bros, said goodbyes to Arc and Kreg, and then to bed.

Wednesday: Up early with Warp for Hobee's in the morning. (Delicious blueberry coffee cake), and then to the airport. Sad final goodbye, and waiting for my flight a long while (Tried to get on an ealrier one on standby. no luck.) Through DFW again, this time with just snack foods, and into Bradley quite late at night. Travelling eastbound added the hours. Kasi Frost was kind enough to grab me from the airport, and with a bribe of Denny's breakfast, delivered me safely home to heavily kerthud to bed, and rather wish I was still in California.

And that was the trip.

[*1] Sorpresatta, that is.

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