September 26th, 2005

Garrett in disguise

Finally decided on my Halloween costume

Lately, I've been considering dressing up as something besides my black-furred fox character, mainly because nobody can tell what it's supposed to be. People see the black and white and automatically think "skunk". My cartoon character just happens to have black fur. Also, I've been wanting to create a whole new mask this year because this one's falling apart and I know I can do better now. It's simply time for a 2.0 version... or something completely new.
For that something completely new, I've been thinking for the past few weeks to a month on what I'll actually be. I have no other characters that would be worth having a costume of, so for the past week I've been considering a lion. But I haven't really felt that excited about that species for some reason. The only reason I'm considering a lion is because my beard looks like a lion's mane. Just today, I realised that before I thought it looked like a mane, everybody thought it made me look AMISH! That sounds excellent! However, I had a few doubts about that too, especially the fact that people would likely just think I'm a real Amish guy and the costume would be useless. I've been wanting an Amish hat ever since I grew this beard this summer, though, heh. So I now had two very tempting choices: A lion, or an Amish. Very hard to decide. Both would be very fun. Both.......
So, I came to the realization that an Amish lion would be VERY cool to dress up as.

The face
I want to create a face that uses my natural beard to look like a lion, and maybe my hair, but a wig is still possible, as my hair is barely even shoulder-length. If I grew it out more, it would just curl in the back a lot. How would hair extensions look on a curly beard and back of my head? For the face, I'm currently planning on a prosthetic lion nose, and I might have a prosthetic lower lip to help complete the look. Not sure if I'll buy it pre-made or make it myself. If you know of good places to get a prosthetic lion nose, let me know. I've seen a lion mask at Hobby Lobby(I work there) that might work, which covers just the top of the face(between the eyes) and the nose.
I'll try to color my hair a slightly more golden color(it's too dark to get any more than "slightly"), and I think I'll use makeup for the rest of my face so my beard fades into my face more naturally. I might buy a hair straightener to neaten up my beard. I suppose that would work.

previewCLICK HERE FOR HEADSHOTS so you know what I'm talking about with my beard and what I have to work with.

The ears
I'm considering making fuzzy ears that attach to my real ears somehow. Either clipping to them(might hurt) or hanging on them like sunglasses(I might use some headphones that clip onto the ear for the base, if they still make them). If I clip(or spirit gum!) them directly onto my ears, I'd even be able to wiggle them a little! That would be awesome. I also like the idea of having headphones that look like lion ears. Real lions have their ears perched on top of their heads, while humans have them placed midway up, so that MIGHT look weird, I'll have to think that one out, maybe even play with Photoshop to determine how it would look.

The paws
I'll probably use cloth gloves like with my fox costume, although I really don't know yet. What I DO know is that it would be cool to have retractable claws like a real lion! I've wanted retractable claws for about a year, although that surgery would be very expensive(there'd have to be research involved, since it's likely never been done before) and no sane insurance company would even consider helping out with that. If I can figure out a good way to have retractable claws on my lion paws, that would ROCK! Has it ever been done before? I don't know how I'd retract them, though it's possible I could have a string run the length of my finger(x10 fingers) which attaches to a strap(or tight leather glove, possibly fingerless) around the base of my fingers(anchor) and runs to a pulley the claw is teetering on. When I curve my fingers, it would tense up the string and lift the claw out. I THINK this would work, although implementation is another thing. I'll likely use thimbles or rubber fingertips(cashiers use them for extra grip) as a solid base for the pulleys. In fact, the flexibility of the rubber might allow me to stick the claw right through the tip of it, or glue(with very strong E-6000 glue or hot glue) the claw to a pivot point on the tip. I know this sounds severe, but I also want the claws to actually be able to cut things. What might be a good, sharp, SKINNY material or item which I could use to cut boxes or someone in a dark alley?
Come to think of it, if I made a fist, this method would bring the claws out and dig into my palm. However, I rarely make fists, and the glove might give protection.

The feet
My sister thinks she has some lion house slippers she could give me. If not, I might be able to find some easily.

The rest
In case you forgot after all that, the character is Amish. Therefore, the shirt and pants will cover up anything else.

Oh yeah, the tail
I don't know what I'll do with the tail. It didn't even occur to me. Is there a good method that has no seams showing? I have a nice, springy core already. I like my marabou boa technique, but that's only for very fuzzy tails. I might be able to use hairspray to lay the thin feathers down to make a thinner tail, however. It's hard to get scrap boas to test this on, though.


So, if you have any thoughts on this idea, do comment. Things I'm specifically wanting to know are underlined.
Red Suit Default

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Fursuit PSA...

Awhile back there was a discussion I was involved in about power supplies and the use of rechargable batteries for powering fans and electronics in fursuits. One thread discussed the use of battery packs inside the head, and another involved my concern that some types of batteries may actually explode.

At the time, I was told I was imagining things, and I should be quiet. Well, seems that there is new light on the old subject from another quarter from one of my other interests, photography.

Full story at --> http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000080060527/
and ---> http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/336/C4733/

The article is quoted as saying, "According to a Nikon service center, they have recently seen several instances of knockoff batteries causing D70 cameras to explode inside the user’s bag."

It seems that some "knock off" high capacity rechargable batteries used in some Nikon digital cameras and cell phones have actually exploded. That's right... with enough force in the case of digital cameras to break their camera battery compartments. These typically are high amperage battery packs with Li-Ion type batteries, and yes - similar issues have recently occured with some cell phone "knock off" batteries. These are not batteries that are in use, or even being recharged... but simply sitting in storage, with perhaps a small resistive drain on them. While it's unlikely to happen with brand name or high quality batteries that have correct safety features, I had heard some fursuiters consider using various other battery types.

So, my suggestion is that anyone "looking for a sweet deal" and not being careful of their power supply, or those having batteries inside their fursuit head - reconsider. It may actually end up risking a limb (or eye) if the cheapo batteries you used to save a buck... happen to blow during usage.
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Olav's castle trip to Savonlinna in Finland

Went to Savonlinna with Furfinn for the weekend to see Olav's castle. I had heard that it's the most preserved castle that is in Finland and since my visit to castle of Turku last year i was expecting bit more this time.

Furfinn became Berni and we went to take few pictures of the castle. Mostly outside in the surroundings. To the pics.

If you want to see the whole story and some background information, see my journal ~.O
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Sociology paper

I'm not sure if this belongs here, but I mentioned when I completed my suit a few weeks ago that I would be wearing it around for a research paper for school. Well, that paper is complete.

http://superwailingbonus.com/school/soci170-norms/SOCI170%20-%20norms%20-%20final.doc (1.1 MB Word file)

The basis of the paper was "norm violations", and studying how people break when you violate norms that they take for granted. As you probably guessed, I wandered around campus and various other places in suit. The paper details the various reactions I got, and my theories on why those reactions what they were.

All of my pictures from the various campus sighting can be found here.

I really wish I had more on-topic things to post about, but I really don't have much time or motivation to do anything other than write effin' papers here at school.