Sunday, May 29, 2022

Convention packing list time!

Conventions are gearing up again and since I'll be at ConCarolinas next weekend (June 3-5, 2022), I'm thinking about what to bring with me. Things have changed since 2020, to say the least, so here's my convention bag packing list (not a full packing list--you pack for a convention hotel stay basically like any other trip). Unlike some lists out there, it's not too complicated and won't weigh you down.

First, your bag. I'm still carrying my ThinkGeek Bag of Holding, despite its drawbacks (primarily that the shoulder strap is too long and the part that's supposed to pad your shoulder never stays in place). A lot of people like those mini backpacks and that should be fine depending on how much you bring with you. If you bring a full-sized backpack, be careful you don't hit people with it. Also, a full-sized backpack makes it tempting to overpack. The last thing you want at a convention is aching shoulders or back.

In your con bag you should bring:

Phone charger cables, battery bank.

Spare lanyard for your badge.

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination status.

The best masks you can afford/find, at least one per day of the convention (preferably two per day so you can change it out if you get too sweaty or grubby).

Hand sanitizer/hand wipes.

Small notebook/journal and something to write with.

Business cards--even if you don't have an actual business, these are cheap to have printed and it's a nice way to give your contact info to a new friend.

Handheld fan (a lifesaver at Dragon Con in particular).

Water bottle! Stay hydrated! Keep it refilled.

Healthy snacks, including bananas, apples, trail mix, power bars. These aren't a substitute for meals but they'll keep you going until you have time to grab real food.

Cash, hidden securely in an inside (preferably zippable) pocket.

A small packet of tissues, mostly in case you didn't notice the bathroom stall was out of paper until it was too late.

A small first aid kit--see below.

Your first aid kit needs the following items:

Any medications you need.

Over-the-counter painkillers.

Emergen-C or other multivitamin drink mix, but make sure it contains electrolytes. If you're feeling run-down, hungover, headachey, or overheated, mix a packet into your water bottle and take frequent sips (don't chug it). This will help and works much better than plain water for dehydration.

Bandages of various kinds.

Contact solution, rewetting drops, contact holders, spare contacts, your glasses as a backup. I wear daily contacts now, but when I wore the monthly kind I would have to take them out and clean them at least once a day during Dragon Con, because otherwise my eyes felt awful and would get all gross and gummy by the time I went back to my hotel at 2am.

Treatment for blisters/blister preventative. Dr. Scholl's sells a not-cheap-but-worth-it package of individually wrapped blister bandages and I highly recommend bringing the whole thing with you. If you feel even slightly that you're getting a blister, slap one of these on. It can make the difference between a good day and a thoroughly miserable one. It's also good to carry these for friends and be generous about giving them out.


Body Glide or something similar if you're wearing shorts or a skirt. After a little while of running around and sweating, you can quickly develop painful heat rash where your thighs rub together. This has happened to me and it was utter misery.

Menstrual products, just in case. Maybe throw some condoms in there too.

Have fun! Be safe! Stay hydrated!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Dig Site

I've seen other people post pictures of dig sites of various kinds and I wanted to make one too. I didn't have a lot of space to work with but I did what I could.

Villager update: I cannot get anyone to leave.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Building a Kick-Butt Animal Crossing Stage

Forget KK Slider. I want Ghost to play my island.

I'm still tinkering with this but I think it's looking pretty good.

Update: I think I'm finished. Also, I couldn't get the Ghost logo to look right but I did a pretty good King Diamond logo so that's what I'm going with.

Older pictures:

Previous versions and various details as I worked on it:

Friday, May 8, 2020

Rain Daisy Island

Forget about selling stuff I find in the back of a drawer. There's a pandemic raging. I've been at home for almost two months now, doing my part to keep the 'rona from spreading. I signed up for wifi, which I dropped a bit over three years ago to save money and keep myself from sitting at the computer all evening when I got home from work. Then I bought a Switch Lite and one game. Guess which one.

This is an Animal Crossing account now.

I'm working on getting my island a five-star rating, which means decorating all over the place. Here are some of the areas I've been developing:

My own basement, which I have turned into a hip little coffee house called The Wasp Head. Karaoke on Fridays, poetry slams every other Monday. Curlos and that other ugly sheep whose name I can't remember aren't invited.

The small open-air Turtle Cafe. Croissants and coffee available all day, wine in the evenings. No sheep allowed.

The Turtle Cafe is named after the nearby snapping turtle habitat. Come on in and pet the friendly tortles!

And finally (for now), my secret campsite. No one but me is allowed in. Here I can get away from the stupid villagers I'm trying to make leave.

All my plans for this year are being canceled one by one and thousands of people are dying, so I will live in this sunny happy game world where the worst thing that can happen is a scorpion sting.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Stuff for sale

Oh, you thought I forgot? I sort of did, but not forever. Also, I got my numbers mixed up last time so I have to go back and fill in the gap.

Item #21 - A tiny key. I don't know what this goes to. It says Life Gear and I'm pretty sure it's a key that unlocks something that's not terribly secure. One side is more worn than the other.

Item #22 - A lot of micro-USB phone cords. I think there are five or six of these. Guess who just upgraded her phone! Sold as a lot only.

Item #23 - Metal Church pin. I bought this in approximately 1989, which makes it vintage and me old. I have never been a hardcore Metal Church fan but they're okay. Space on my conbag is at a premium, though, and I have too many pins. Chapstick for scale.

I'll add more in a day or two - watch this space! Or not, whatever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Yet more junk for sale

Oh, you thought I'd lose interest this soon? No way. Check here and here for previous items and how to make an offer.

Item #31 - small empty box. This box may be antique or it may just be cheap tat from the 80s. I should probably mention that my grandmother was an antique dealer, which is why I have so much weird stuff in my house that I don't know where it came from. This feels like lacquered cardboard or something similar. There is a sticker on the bottom that says "Made in Kashmir INDIA" and the lid comes off to show it's empty. (pencil for scale)


Item #32 - outrageously expensive tape. I bought this roll of decorative tape at Target along with a whole bunch of other school supplies. It was in a big bin with no price label, but when I got home and checked the receipt I noticed I had spent FOUR DOLLARS for this stupid tape. Never used. Get it way cheaper than four f*%$# dollars. Decorated with bicycles. (pencil for scale)

Item #33 - rice press for adults. Another bento box purchase that I have only used once. It works just fine to press rice into a shape, but it also works just fine to smush the rice into a shape with wet hands and my hands are easier to wash. Imported from Japan.

Item #34 - rice press for children. Ditto above, although I can't smush rice into a teddy bear shape with my hands. But you know what? I don't want to. I put these back in the package but it has been opened, although I don't know that I actually used any of these. Imported from Japan at enormous expense.

Item #35 - plastic shot glasses. I bought these because they're pretty. I don't do shots.

Item #36 - mystery yarn thing with bag. I don't know what this is. Some kind of craft project. There are three different colors of ugly yarn and some sticks with holes in them. Comes in a leather bag that would work well as the biggest dice bag ever. I forgot to put in a pencil for scale but the bag would hold a small grapefruit probably.

Item #37 - plastic crow glass. Bought at Target one Halloween, used maybe once. I'll wash it for you.

Item #38 - Royal Doulton china. Set for 8, as long as one of the 8 doesn't want a salad.

Item #39 - too many bookmarks. I have way too many bookmarks. Receive the ones pictured and probably some more. Sold as a lot only. Hint: one of those bookmarks is for a book I wrote.

Item #40 - cards. I got both of these decks in different Kickstarters. Offer for one or both. The steampunk deck is unopened, still in plastic; I think there's a second deck I have opened somewhere. Let me know if you want it and I'll take a look around for it. The other deck is a Professor Elemental-themed game called Pairs that looks like a whole lot of fun, but I've never played it because I have no friends.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

More junk for sale

Oh yeah, I was going to add more. See yesterday's post for what I'm doing and how to make an offer.

Here we go.

Item #11 - various food picks. I got into bento boxes a few years ago and ordered all kinds of stuff I thought I'd need to keep my interest up, but it turns out that just having a cute lunchbox to cram leftovers in is all I need. Some of these picks have never even been opened; most have never been used. You can offer on one pick, several picks, one pack, more than one pack, or the whole damn thing. They're all imported from Japan except the ones from Target, but I no longer remember which is which.

Item #12 - boiled egg skull mold. Used once. It sort of works but is a lot of effort for a boiled egg, although I admit it is a bit of a novelty to eat a salted boiled egg skull. Comes with directions that sort of make sense. Imported from Japan.

Item #13 - tire gauge. I don't know if this is for a bike tire or a car tire. Probably a car tire, but I'm afraid if I try it out on my car tire I will somehow deflate it and will have to call a tow truck. Buyer beware.

Item #14 - A probably perfectly good camera with 8GB memory card. I bought this in 2012 for a trip to Alaska. It hasn't been used since as far as I remember. The memory card probably still has pictures of Alaska on it. There's a shallow scratch on the back but it looks okay other than that. I took the batteries out at some point. It is not a great camera but it's not terrible.

Item #15 - multitool with case. This is in great shape because I have used it exactly zero times. When I took it out of its case to take pictures, I cut myself. It contains many tools and blades, all of them sharp and/or pinchy. Please take it away from me before I hurt myself again.

Item #16 - small fake Swiss Army knife. This is not actually a Swiss Army knife but it wants you to think it is. It contains everything you need to survive in the wilderness: a small blade, a metal emory board for filing your fingernails or digging crud out of your pipe, a tiny pair of scissors to cut down a mighty oak for firewood, a pair of tweezers, and a plastic toothpick.

Item #17 - So You Want to Show Draft Horses booklet. Did you ever want to show draft horses? I did. I bought this with actual money once, knowing in my heart of hearts that I would never own a horse, much less a magnificent show-quality draft horse. My failure could be your pathway to success.

Item #18 - Grooming Your Horse booklet. See above, with the exception that instead of paying cash money for this booklet I paid $1.50 in trade credit at a used book store. I still don't have a horse.

Item #19 - some food cups. More bento box stuff. Again, some are imported from Japan, some are from Target. Some are actually silicone cupcake liners. They all work to hold food. Offer for one, several, or all.

Item #20 - Cement (Oklahoma) Garden Club yearbook, 1967. I do actually know why I have this, a thing that was produced before I was born in a state I have never visited. My great-grandmother lived in Cement, OK and my mom had fond memories of a city named CEMENT. Whether this was my great-grandmother's or just something my mom found in an antique shop, I don't know.


More tomorrow if I remember to take some pictures.