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FC2004 - Final Newsletter & Report

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The tiger looked at the fox, as the sun rose behind them. "It's over."

"You just now realized that?" the fox answered, with a slight smile on his face.

"I mean, it's really over. We did it. We survived."

The fox chuckled a bit. "Of all the things I worried about, survival
wasn't on the list. I kind of took that as a given."

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"Hmmm," the tiger replied, noncommittally. "Yeah, I suppose. So,
what's next?"

"I think we both get to relax for a while. At least that's what I
plan to do."

The tiger nodded. "And it's about time we part ways, as well. We
traveled well together, but we've each got our futures. I appreciate
your help, you know. I couldn't have done this alone."

"Look behind you," the fox answered. "It's not just me. There are
over a hundred others who helped. You can't forget them."

"No, I can't. And I don't. Nor the nearly 1500 who made it out to
visit. It's just..." The tiger paused, voice somewhat breaking. "I
just can't believe it's actually over."

The fox just nodded in silence, as the two made the last of their
journey before their paths parted ways. Off in the distance,
something was seen approaching from the air.

"Is that what I think it is?" the fox asked, breaking the silence.

"It looks like a dragon, with an otter riding on its back." As the
unlikely pair passed overhead, the tiger looked up and hailed, "Best
of luck my friends! Best of luck to you!" As the path split, and the
fox walked off toward the north, the tiger looked back to his friend.
"And best of luck to you, as well."

The fox nodded, bowed in thanks to his friends, and the two began the final journey towards their homes.

***

Wow. It's been just over two months now, since the end of the
Further Confusion, and while I *still* can't believe it's over, I also
can't believe two whole months have gone by since the end. We did
well, and I think we can declare the event a success. The final
membership count was 1411, which was more than we actually expected this year, and I have to again thank the IT and Registration staff for a wonderful job in designing and running a completely new registration system. An early form of the system was used last year, but countless changes were made this year, and it was nearly flawless. We're open-sourcing the software which made the whole system work, and I feel proud to have worked with the group who created such a fine system, not only for ourself, but the rest of the community.

The artshow made over $55,000 this year, with a highest selling piece of $10,000, much to everyone's surprise. The artshow checks have been mailed to the artists, so if you are expecting a check, you should have it by the time you get this. Make sure to let us know if you don't have it yet, so we can track down the mail. Yes, we were a bit later with the checks this year than we would have liked, and all we can do is apologize. There were three or four unrelated things which conspired against us on getting the checks out, and between them, that lead to a delay we, ourselves consider unacceptable. I know next year's chair is concerned over this issue, so am certain he will be working to make sure they get out faster.

We're still working on closing our books, but between the charity
auction and money the convention donates directly to the charities, we expect to donate in excess of $2000 to each of our two charities. We're proud of our record in what we donate to our charities, both from the auction proceeds as well as donations out of the con's budget, and are pleased we were able to continue that task this year.

Finally, our programming simply rocked this year. We had nearly 150 events at the convention, including five dances and four live
concerts. Heather Alexander, managed to give me one of the best
surprises I have ever had. Sunday morning, when I happened to run
into her over breakfast, she admitted that even though she had come down with a flu, she'd stayed up late into the night to write a song inspired by the convention itself. If you made it to the Sunday
concert, you heard her perform this song for the first time ever. If
not, you'll have to wait for her next album, which she promises to try to get the song onto. And I'll tell you now, it's everything you
would hope for in a song inspired by a furry convention.

Finally, to all of those of you who made it out to the convention, I
must thank you as well. Further Confusion rotates its chairman every year, so it was a new experience for me; a new, terrifying experience. Wednesday morning, when I checked into my hotel room, I was alternately terrified that nobody at all would show up and that we'd have twice as many people as we could possibly handle. I was worried guests of honor wouldn't show up, or that the registration system would crash and burn. Pretty much anything you can imagine going wrong crossed my mind that day.

And, by and in large, none of them came to be. It was a wonderful
convention, and I can't thank my executives, the staff, and the
attendees enough. Running Further Confusion was, by no means, an easy task, but you all made it worthwhile.

Thank you all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Michael "Aetobatus" Sawyer
Chairman, Further Confusion 2004.

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