Thursday, October 31, 2013

Schedule Stuff


Still waiting for the next step (payment and accepting the dealer contract), sigh. 

Other Events

Last week I looked through various websites looking for other events to do, looking for months where we don't already have something scheduled, and looking mostly at weekend-long events - setup has gotten big enough (although we're still not sloths) that I'm questioning how many one-day events we want to keep doing.  The ones I looked at:

Con-Alt-Delete, 13-15 December, Lisle, IL
Anime Apocolypse, 27-29 December, Rockford, IL
Anime Milwaukee, 14-16 February, Milwaukee, WI
Kitsune Kon, 21-23 March, Appleton, WI
Chi-Fi, 27-30 March, Chicago (downtown), IL
No Brand Con, 25-27 April, Eau Claire, WI
Up in the Aether, mid-late May, Detroit, MI
Cog County Faire, 30 May - 1 June, Monticello, WI
Anime Midwest, 4-6 July, Rosemont, IL
Wausabi Con, mid-July?, Wausau, WI
Daisho Con, 22-24 July, Wisconsin Dells
Geek Kon, 22-24 August, Madison, WI
TeslaCon, Halloween-ish, Madison, WI
Con-Alt-Delete? Mid-December? Lisle?

And the rundown of reasons for/against

Con-Alt-Delete: Anime, 1st year, but appears to be by Anime Midwest staff, had a name change issue, wasn't sure when my surgery was going to be. Sold out now. If they run again next year I'll probably consider them. 

Anime Apocolypse: Sold out. Oops, probably would have been in the running. 

Anime Milwaukee: Too close to Military History Fest and Capricon (where we'll all be busy in the Cafe).

Kitsune Kon: Anime. Full with wait-list. I really need to keep on top of these things better. Also, a week before Chi-Fi, if they were both in the running.

Chi-Fi:  SF/Geek. Conflicted. Prices not unreasonable. Downtown Chicago does not thrill us for getting the trailer there (much less parking - would probably haul it back home), or getting there ourselves. 1st year, wondering what attendance they'll get. Xap pointed out that they have some good musicians coming, though. Currently leaning away.

No Brand Con: Anime. Seem to have their act together, prices decent, but 5 hours away.

Up in the Aether: Steampunk. Err...Detroit. Not exactly a thriving metropolis, or at least it has the reputation as an empty hulk of a once-proud city. And rather a haul. OTOH, there just isn't a lot Steampunk going on nearby, and lots of people say we should do more Steampunk stuff.  On the gripping hand, there's no information available yet for 2014.

Cog County Faire: Steampunk. Oh, how I wish it didn't start out with two strikes against it, which are being only 2 weeks after ACen, and outdoors. Right now we only have the EZ-Ups, which are only 10x10. IIRC we have no complete 10x20 garage tents any more, which are better/sturdier. The resort its at does have rooms for rent (real beds! power for CPaP/BiPaps and re-charging electronics), and the prices were decent (for the 2013 season, and I expect them to remain similar for 2014). Waffling hard on this one.

Anime Midwest: Just filled out the on-line application. It falls in the tail end of getting the MuseCon book out, but most of MuseCon's programming is lined up early enough that it shouldn't be a problem. 

Wausabi Con and Daisho Con: Anime. Too close to MuseCon.

Geek Kon: Anime, SF, and Gaming: Would we be sufficiently recovered from MuseCon? Xap's heard good things about this one . . . somewhere. Waffling, probably should decide sooner rather than later.
TeslaCon: Steampunk. Definite "YES" for 2014. Must keep an eye on their website and/or e-mail them in a week or two to ask them to let us know when vendor information for next year is ready. Will have to get to work on costuming. We'd heard of it before, but hadn't looked at it until Maneki Neko Con, and wisdom said that sandwiching it between my surgery and Windycon was a Bad Idea (if there was vendor space available, which may not have been the case).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

Windycon Publications

Wednesday I was very tired, so I stayed home. Programming Ops had let me know that the programming schedule was ready to go, so I finished up the pocket program. Which I then revised slightly on Thursday, and then uploaded to the printer. Got the program book Friday, which has already been returned for the press and bindery staff. 


Friday I intended to send off our registrations for Boar's Head and Military History Fest, but I forgot that I didn't have stamps with me. So those went out Saturday morning. Also e-mailed about a couple conventions next year, have to let Ron and Xap know what I found out.

At some stupidly early hour Saturday morning I chose our spaces for ACen next year. Suffice it to say their process continues to annoy me (although the stupidly early hour part wasn't their fault).


Finding stamps led to cleaning a bunch of Otter-ish purchase receipts from my wallet, which I scanned Friday night. And then Saturday morning I had Robin fetch me the big pile of paperwork that needs to be recorded/dealt with, and found all the receipts to scan in that were in that mess. 

That, in turn, led to sorting said paperwork. 


Saturday morning I went to The Leather Factory, and indulged myself in some (slightly pricey) leather I've been admiring for a while. My plans for it are a new map case, with a different and hopefully better design that the first one, a saddle valise/portmanteau (cylindrical/oval-ish hand/saddle luggage), and a music roll/portfolio/satchel.

After I got home and messed about with paperwork, I did some on-line shopping: I got thinnish walled PVC for the new map case, and some plastic bottles - a taller (also possibly larger diameter) cobalt blue bottle (8 oz), and a clear oval with round shoulders (12 oz):

For reference, the small cobalt blue glass bottles I have are 2 ounce, and the glass bottles are 7-8 ounce. 

Actually Making Stuff?

Nope. Didn't get that far. But I did look at/find pictures and some old patents for reference. Hoping to come the weekend (although I also have some outdoor work around the house in the plans, too).

Still need to get Ron or Robin to make me a mold for the bottom of the small glass bottles.

Also need to talk to Modelmaker about a fancy rod for this style of music (or whatever) satchel:

It occurs to me now that there's no reason that the bar-over-handle closure has to be just for a music portfolio. Now I'm thinking tablet bag. 

I think the new map case and valise/portmanteau will be probably be black. I like brown for steampunky things, but black will probably sell faster. The music case(s) will be brown, though, dammit.

Which reminds me, I need to get some striped ticking material to line the valise. An excuse for fabric shopping!  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Windycon Publications Death March

I finished the Windycon program book Sunday and uploaded it to the printer. 

I think it was on Friday that I got half of the pocket program done. I did not do the second half, which is the programming grid, as I realized that I had/have another whole week to do it - I'll finish it up this coming weekend. And there was great rejoicing.

Back to the day-job yesterday. Ready for bed by the time I got home (and that was early), don't expect to be much better today. 

Naptime yet?

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm Back

Survived surgery. More about that here.

Started getting edits to the Windycon program book made yesterday, need to do some more today and make the pocket program by the end of the weekend (do-able).

And that's about it for now. Wouldn't mind a nap, but not too bad, and if I nap now I suspect I wouldn't sleep tonight.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

(Insert Maniacal Laughter Here)

I spent large chunks of time last week (except for Thursday night, which I took off), and the weekend on a long, ugly slog through the Windycon program book, declaring it "mostly done and ready to be proofread, dammit" on Sunday night at about 6:00.  At which point I adjourned to a hot bath.

One advantage of subsisting mainly on protein shakes is that meal breaks don't take much time out of the slog.
 There are a few things left to do that I will probably wantonly ignore until next week, several of which are tasks involving my Graphics Minion (Ron).  

Wantonly ignoring the book for a week is standard operating procedure, I proofread better after ignoring things for a while. This is why I try to leave two weeks between declaring a book "mostly done" and getting it to the printer. And to give other proofreaders time to do their thing, and to process their input. So really, the whole surgery thing is rather nicely timed, in that it falls right into that wantonly ignoring chunk of time.

On a not-completely-unrelated note, I seem to have a herd of hissy cows wandering around the living room...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Catching Up

Maneki Neko Con could have been better, sale-wise. We're not sure if there were fewer people there, or if they were off doing more than hanging around the building atrium, or what. Friday night sales were better than I expected, but Saturday only equalled Friday because of one last sale (of an item that really needed to find a new home, so that's another plus). 
Numerically I think we sold more test tubes than tails, but I'd say tails were the must successful type of thing. We also sold two potion bottles with lots more looking. So we got proof of concept for potion bottles and test tubes (especially since I didn't have any holders for the test tubes, was just selling the tubes).
They're working on moving Maneki Neko Con to a hotel next year (the one we spent Friday night at, as it happens), I'm thinking we'll probably give at least one more go. 

One of our Klingon customers (they had a fan table) suggested that we'd do well at TeslaCon (Madison, WI), and one of the local costumers agreed. But not this year, as its between now and Windycon, and only a couple weeks after surgery. Xap was investigating their website with an eye toward next year.

Setup was, once again, made of flail. We had a triangular space, and all the new gridwall to play with. We really really need to sit down and draw up some layout ideas. Packing up was fast, we were out in about an hour, thanks in part to help from Pen, and the logistics crew who took all the gridwall out on their big cart and pushed the Things and the Grinch. Yay for Pen, and Taz and his Logistics crew!

Working on the Windycon book. The goal is to get it done except for final proofreading by the end of this weekend, as I have surgery a week from tomorrow. 

Which meant that I did Maneki Neko Con on days 2 and 3 of icky protein shake starvation diet. Ron and Xap did most of the customer interaction, because low blood sugar is not good for my attitude. And I succeeded in staying nice for the customers. 

But I digressed. The Windycon book is being the Windycon book. Tuesday night I realized I was pretty much at page count, with about 10 pages of material to add. Ron suggested I e-mail the chair and co-chair. After sleeping on it, I did. The solutions were, in retrospect, fairly obvious, and mostly carried out last night (change to a couple more space-saving fonts, do additional compressional things, blah blah blah). Apparently I just needed someone else to make the suggestions to me this time around.  

Need to get our registration in for Boar's Head, which is the next event I expect we'll be at.