DenFur ’21 Review!

Hello fuzzbutts!

I had a few days to stew and relax since DenFur. I wanted to think over some of the things that happened, what was offered, the con space, all that good stuff. So now it’s time to run through it.

The Hotel:

The convention took place at the downtown Sheraton in Denver, CO. It was about 40 minutes away from the airport. The rooms were comfortably sized since I had a single king bed and friends had double-queen bedrooms. The room could have benefitted from a dresser to organize things rather than a single drawer in the room. Still, they provided water, coffee, and all the standards for a hotel. The bathroom was lovely but used a sliding door without any lock. So if you want privacy from your roommates, it might be a thing. The hotel did have a pool on the 5th floor and the view was alright from my spot on the 6th floor. That being said, the hotel is in the downtown area and Denver seems to be suffering from a rather significant homeless problem in the area even around the hotel. The hotel has no food with room service but the street level did have 2 great restaurants and bars which were reasonably priced, especially given the fact it was in a hotel.

The Con Size:

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this convention. This is one of the first furry conventions since the end of the COVID lockdowns so I felt furries might still be staying away or might be stir crazy to get out and see old friends (like me). Also I never heard of DenFur being an especially large con and only chose to go because I had friends going as well. The con attendance was a bit under 2700 furries so it was pretty darn big. The convention floor was just below the lobby and had plenty of space. There were numerous panel rooms and the nightly dances had plenty of space for everyone to have fun.

The Con Setup:

So, being one of the first furry cons since the pandemic, the management at DenFur took extra care. Despite the county stating that masks were only required indoors if unvaccinated, the con required attendants to wear masks in the con space. If you were in the hotel, you didn’t have to. On top of the masks, DenFur required all attendees to verify their vaccination status through official channels like the state registries or by having the actual cards with you. There was a very unfortunate trade-off by requiring this extra layer of verification, however. The registration lines were absolutely horrendous! I arrived the night before the con and got into line at 8PM and didn’t get my registration until 11PM. It was even worse for those who showed up on Friday, the first day of the con. Posts on Twitter revealed complaints of people waiting anywhere from 4.5-6.5 hours in the single registration line! I assume some of this is due to people reaching the front of the line and not having the correct paperwork but when I had gotten to the front, I had everything immediately ready. I’ll err a little generously and say it only took 2 minutes once I reached the volunteer at the front desk. With five desks open, that’s 5 people every 2 minutes if everything is smooth. With 2700 people in total, that’s 540 minutes or a total of 9 hours IF EVERYONE HAS EVERYTHING IN ORDER. I could easily see a single attendee taking longer than 10 minutes if they didn’t have the proper record (i.e. copies or pictures of it were not allowed). If any other conventions are going to be performing these screenings, I hope they learn from the errors made here as there was plenty of talk about people missing panels on the first day because they couldn’t get through registration.

The Con Stuff:

They did provide free printed face masks which was a really nice touch. I did notice the con space did seem to be colder than the rest of the hotel and that made it much easier to fursuit around and have fun! I’m already not much of furry who goes to panels but the selection that was being offered didn’t really interest me at all. Every night, it was nice to try out the variety of DJs playing sets in the dance hall. The main con space is an open area which has an artist alley. The tables in the alley were mostly open and it didn’t seem terribly convenient. I would have preferred tighter spacing for the artist alley but I understand why they spaced them out. The dealer’s den wasn’t particularly huge but it did have a lot of vendors. If you’re interested in the 18+ area, it was only 3 tables in a small room so it took all of 2 minutes to browse the wares.

Overall:

I enjoyed DenFur. Tons of fursuits and quality time with friends in a lovely hotel. It was nice to get out and about and the convention space was great for a convention of this size. That being said, I would be singing a different tune if I had waited until Friday to get my registration because 6 hours in line is absolutely insane. If it wasn’t for that, I think a lot more furries would have much more positive things to say about the convention but I saw plenty who ended up spending the entire first day grumbling and irritated. I’m hopeful the screening next year will be lighter so I’m willing to be more forgiving and assume this was a one-time thing. I’m leaning toward going again next year!

Off at DenFur!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Having a great time right now at DenFur. Fancy hotel and meeting with lots of friends I haven’t seen since the lockdown!

There’s a good chance, if you’re new here, that you found one of my business cards to this site! I update occasionally with productivity and lifestyle tips that help me and I hope will also help you! Feel free to say hi if you spot me suiting around.

I tell you, this con and just getting away from the usual daily grind has me motivated to do more again. I’ll have to come up with a plan and some ideas and I’ll be sure to share them here with you!

Have fun fuzzbutts!

Friends will keep you moving!

Good morning!

It’s been about 3 weeks now since adopting a new workout routine and it’s been awesome to be doing it with friends again. For those who don’t know (which might be all of you), I used to follow a strict and rigorous workout routine with my best friend. We’d meet up at 6AM at the gym, Monday thru Friday, and crank out a muscle group for an hour with a bit of cardio to begin with. I gained about 30 pounds over a year and I was in the best shape ever. However, he eventually moved out of state and I suddenly found it much harder to get to the gym and keep it up. You’d think doing it for a couple of years would’ve locked it in as a habit! The best I could do was light maintenance just so I dont fall apart. However, like plenty of others for other types of tasks, I sometimes need that extra motivator of having a friend handy to boost me further.

Friends motivate each other by keeping each other accountable! You all decide to work out? Great! One of you doesn’t feel like it one day? Those other two will get you into the gym! Plus, nobody wants to look like the flake so you’ll keep yourself moving in order to keep from being the weak link. On top of that, your friends know how you’ve been doing lately so they’ll also keep you from taking things too easy. You probably aren’t going to get away with doing a session of light stretching when your friends are right there hitting the weights and panting up a storm!

It’s not just the gym. Develop an art jam schedule with friends and show up to draw or write or whatever. As long as your group, whether it’s 2 people or 4 (I’ll explain that a little further down), contains a person or two who is feeling dedicated that day, you stand a greater chance of continuing and succeeding. At the very least, it gets you to show up and spend the time on the topic, skill, or whatever it is you need to work on.

So why do I mention 2 or 4 people? Well, unless you’re leading the group and they’re all depending on you, it will become easy to fade into the background with a larger group. You stop showing up and the group carries on without you and, because they may not miss you as much, any guilt about the situation is reduced and the entire point of you joining the group fades away. Sometimes a fuzzbutt requires a little more intimacy rather than just feeling like a face in a crowd.

I’ll end with how my new workout habit is performed with friends who live as far as Europe! Does not apply to everyone but we have VR! We log into VRChat together, find a certain place called the Squat Gym, and do a bunch of squats togethers! It’s gamified and I spend a little time coaching my friends! They’re so eager to get into better shape that I can’t get away with taking a day off. The squats have expanded to other calisthenics (since working with weights in VR is hard) like pushups or sit-ups and we drive each other to perform better. Reminders in the morning on our workout days also mentally prepare us to get together! It’s just fun and we spend time lounging and chilling out afterward, getting in some good social time after the workout. I hope to keep this going longer and I hope you can find a way to get your friends together and motivate each other to develop yourself!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Resuming the work

Good morning!

It’s been a while and I’ve been neglecting this. You’d think I’d be stronger since I open up my blog every single time I open up my web browser (which is a lot). The reason I started this blog is to perform research and learn more about productivity habits and lifestyles to build a better life for myself. My life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to and I knew I had to make a change. I started going through the work, putting together this project, and things have been on a steady, if not rapid, increase ever since. I’d say this year has been the best for my art than it has ever been. Since starting the work, I’ve moved way further in my career, got my own place and have been leading a life I enjoy much more.

Regarding here, I do feel like it’s important to pick this back up and resume writing. Four months is too long not to write and keep this going. I do see people still liking and following this blog so I know it’s still providing value out there. I also do enjoy writing and just because it’s been a long while, I shouldn’t feel weird about starting up again if it’s something positive for me and others. There are some new things I’ve been learning and plenty more left to learn.

I already know the next post which involves friends and keeping each other accountable. I’ll be keeping this going again soon. I’m going to be duplicating a lot of this work on substack at

https://productivewuff.substack.com/p/coming-soon

Glad I could check in with you fuzzbutts. Keep an eye out as I get the ball rolling again!

The TAIL Principle

Hello fuzzbutts!

We’re well into February now and I hope you’ve all been able to keep up with your SMART goals! Now would be a great time to check in on your progress and review how you’re doing! If you’re not accomplishing or at least making progress on the things you set out to do, you need to look at the reasons why. Is it your fault? Is it something else? Did somebody else do something? I have good and bad news for you. The bad news is that you’re ultimately responsible for how you end up. The good news is you can fix it! You can fix it by adopting the TAIL principle.

TAIL stands for Taking Accountability In Life. That makes taking on the mindset that you are ultimately the one who is responsible for what you want. If your life isn’t where you want it, you have the power to adjust and choose what to do with it. The pandemic throw off your plans last year which is why you didn’t do anything? Well if you make yourself accountable for your own life, there’s probably all sorts of ways to adapt your plans or pivot into something that would be more productive rather than locking yourself down with nothing to do but catch up on your game library or Netflix queue.

Unfortunately, this mindset isn’t easy. “Well I would study but my roommate makes too much noise! I was going to exercise but I can’t go outside now. I just don’t have time.” are all thoughts that make it easy for us to stop doing anything. You can overcome these issues but you have to find the solutions by sitting down and thinking about it. Solutions like “I’ll wear headphones and listen to something helpful while I study. I’ll look up some indoor exercises just so I can get a workout in. I should look at what I do after work and see if there’s anything I can cut so I can work on my goal.”

This doesn’t just apply to your goals, this applies to everything in life. Are you going to be in charge of how you feel or are you going to let others affect your mood? Something big happens that ruins the goal you were trying to accomplish like an accident or health issue. Are you going to suddenly stagnate or are you going to find a new way to live? Is there more you can do at work to avoid the obvious problems you can see coming down the line?

You’ll notice your life feels much more in control when you increase your responsibility for yourself and become accountable for your actions and how you’re leading your life. Start with small things and you’ll soon find yourself taking ownership of larger things within your control. You can’t control everything outside but you can control how you respond to those things.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

New Year Again!

Hello fuzzbutts!

After some amazing time from Thanksgiving thru the new year, it’s time to get back to work. It’s a new year and everyone is talking about resolutions again. Isn’t it amusing to hear all of these grand goals by others, inwardly knowing that they’re not going to accomplish them? Those who’ve been following along here or have gone through the old posts know the secrets to reaching our goals. To begin, we start with setting good goals. That means SMART goals!

First, it’s Specific. It must be Measurable so you can track progress or when you’ve actually accomplished the goal. It must be Attainable which means you can actually reach the goal. The goal must actually be Relevant to your life. Finally, it must be Time-based to keep the pressure on you and keep you moving.

Once you have your SMART goals, it helps to break them down into smaller and smaller goals which are each steps toward your big goal. If you wanted to learn a language by the end of the year at a conversational level, you’d probably want to finish an early, beginner course by the end of the first quarter. Even that, finishing that early course could get broken down into smaller goals. You don’t have to be crazy about designing all these sub-goals but keep them in mind.

So you have your SMART goals and the smaller goals. Now, it’s time to assess yourself. When do you work best? Is it in the morning before work? Is it after work? Late hours before bed? Middle of the day when you have a good break? If you don’t know, experiment with this and find out and try to find your peak hours. For me, I do best in the morning so I get up at 5AM and work for about an hour before getting ready for work.

From that point on, it’s about keeping yourself accountable for your work, remaining adaptable in case you need to change anything, and grinding away at your goals. Remember to pace yourself, keep an appropriate schedule, and continue to work toward being the fuzzbutt you really want to be!

Love you and good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Life is a Team game

Hello fuzzbutts,

I’ve been seeing a lot of lonely people lately. I’ve also seen others who have friends but apparently don’t even like them. Always complaining or being exhausted by relentless drama. Especially given the current atmosphere lately and how many people seem to be losing “friendships” due to differences of beliefs, it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated. So there’s people playing the game of life solo and others are playing with a bunch of toxic randos.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact we need others. Yes, it’s important to be able to be on your own and satisfied with your own company. Absolutely. On the other hand, it’s also important to be around those who will help you grow and motivate you to do better!

So today’s post is to have you evaluate your relationships or what you’re doing right now and start exploring some more. It doesn’t even have to be in this fandom! Try to find a community interested in the same things as you that also motivates you to be a better you. I met an artist recently and suddenly I found myself way more motivated to do even more art practice. I also dipped back from some relationships that were draining me. Is there anyone you know who inspires and motivates you? Is there an interest you have and a community around that will get you more active?

Look for the qualities you want in your own life and look around for those who are already there or interested in doing the same thing! Your path to growth will be accelerated by having others help keep you going!

Working with Passion

Hello fuzzbutts!

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain

It’s a nice sentiment and something a lot of people I’ve met are looking for. They have a specific thing they want to do with their lives. If you can just find that one job, everything will be smooth sailing and you’ll wake up every morning with the joy of going to work and no stress. Young minds can’t help but think about the eventual day they don’t have to deal with work

Unfortunately, life rarely works out like that for anyone. Work is work, and fun is fun. You can work in an industry that has meaning and purpose related to your goals, but your activities at work may not be anything you hoped for. Worse, some people convert their passion into their job, like art, and it ends up becoming a dreary existence as well. So how do you navigate this? Well, like the rest of life’s choices, you have to strike a balance or separate the two entirely.

Your job is just something you have a skill in and can make money from (science, accounting, art, organization, whatever). If you can’t find a way to get a job more related to your passion, then it’s time to work hard and play hard. Take the job and do it well. After work, it’s time to get moving on your passions. Like animals? Spend off-work hours volunteering at the humane society or donating to a conservation cause you care the most about. What about art? Fund your life with your job and work on your art at home. Want to travel? Save up those vacation days and pack those bags.

It’s hard sometimes when people try to work their passion and it ends up failing on them in an identity-crushing way. All that effort for their passion and the work turned out to be WORK! Work will always be work. I enjoy science but it’s not like I enjoy washing glassware half the day or seeing bad data pop out of the instrumentation. So I just do the job and do it well. After that, I can take time at the Food Bank to volunteer and help the less fortunate. I use some of my income and put it toward veterans too. Those are things that would be harder to accomplish if I was always looking around for a better job or some mysterious position somewhere in the universe where I’m incredibly fulfilled by a job that also doesn’t stress me out.

My advice for all fuzzbutts is: Take the check from whatever job you have, lousy or not, and use the other 72 hours (168hrs in a week, minus 40 for work and 56 for sleep) for your passion and things that help you experience purpose and meaning in your life.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Actually Picking the Goals

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today, we’ll go over goals. I’ve gone over SMART goals and how to design them. However, you can’t set a SMART goal if you don’t even know what it even is that you should work toward. So here are some steps to follow to give yourself some direction.

First, jot down a list of things you would like to do. Write ALL of it down, regardless of any hindering thoughts that come up. We’re going to refine this list. So try to get anything from 5-10 things you’d like to do. No judgements here.

Once you have your list, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things that really stick out from the rest. Think it over and consider the options on your paper. Now you have a couple of goals to set up.

Don’t know where to start? Google it! There’s tons of resources out there to give you an idea of what you have to start with. From there, it’s time to design a SMART goal around that. Want to start a garden? Design where it will go, what you want to grow, and what you need to buy to make it happen. Want to learn Blender? Find a tutorial and then proceed to make a goal around that (The Donut Challenge). Follow SMART principles and you’ll reach those goals.

If you fall out of love with your idea, you still have your big list of interests from the first step to review and try something else!

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Expectations vs You

Hello Fuzzbutts,

Hope you’re all doing well! Feeling good? Keeping yourself grounded? Maybe you’re a little stressed out because of everything around you or maybe your goals aren’t coming to fruition. It might be your expectations are off and the difference between expectation and reality is what’s driving you crazy.

Say you wanted to lose 100 lbs in a year. That’s almost 10 lbs a month. If you’ve never lost more than 4 pounds so far, is it reasonable to expect yourself to double that? Maybe. Maybe not. However, if you’re halfway through the year and you’ve lost maybe 20 lbs, you’re going to find yourself very frustrated that you’re not on track. You’ve made great progress, just not at the timetable you’re expecting. If you had been better about your expectations though and said 50 pounds, you’d still feel pretty good halfway through the year if you lost the same 20 lbs.

I also see a lot of people putting expectations on others or even the entire world. They expect others to behave a certain way or think a certain way. If it doesn’t happen, it really ends up bothering them. It would be like me saying “I expect everyone to be productive” and then getting angrier every time I see somebody wasting away all their time (there’s a lot of them). It doesn’t do me any good to put those expectations on others and it only results in feeling bad. There are certain behaviors that should be expected like not expecting a stranger to randomly run up to you screaming, sure. However, we have to be reasonable in what we expect of ourselves and others. Often times, it just means lowering expectations.

I hope you start to analyze your own expectations of yourself and others. Are your goals and responsibilities actually reasonable or are you expecting too much (or too little!). Are you putting expectations on others and becoming frustrated when they don’t live up to them? Reassess how you think when it comes to things like this and hopefully you’ll find the peace of mind you need when everything around you seems to be failing.