The Early October, But Still Planning The Halloween Party, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Farting Cow

…co-starring her pet chipmunk, Penelope

 

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi, folks! I’m back with another edition of Reader Mail, mostly because I’ve been too busy to think up a proper rant. I asked for serious questions this time and here is what I got.

Carol Robinson asks: “Given that human Terrans have not been acceptable stewards of the planet we share, what is the Non-Human Terran Alliance doing to counteract the destruction?”

Great question, Carol! The first thing you have to understand is that the NHTA has to work in secret, because if the human governments (to say nothing of the vast human herd) ever found out about us and our ultra-tech, they would wage war on us and things would go to shit really fast. Note that I’m not saying humans would win.

Anyway, we have teams out neuralizing humans who see anything suspicious, so we are pretty okay vis a vis security.

What the NHTA is doing, mostly, is making sure that as many species as possible are going to survive. We do this by setting up preserves and such in the one place that humans won’t find us anytime soon: the past. 1,000 BCE, to be exact. We have enclosed preserves that are miles across and placed all over North & South America. They are fully automated, but we keep a staff on hand just in case. We transport species there using the bus, which has a cargo bay large enough for 6 Galaxy Class starships, to use a Star Trek reference.

The preserves have full breeding populations of many species, including the ones who have gone extinct over the last century or so. We also have a preserve for humans that we stocked with missing people from all over the world. This was not a unanimously loved decision, since some species have a really good reason to have you humans die off. Still, we dogs, especially Silky and I, have control of the NHTA and we love you guys, so about 3 million of your species (a good diverse breeding population) will be safe when things go to hell.

And they WILL go to hell. Earth has passed the climate tipping point and while we could use technology to mitigate much of it, study of alternate Earths that went through the same thing tells us that you hairless apes only really learn the hard way. Sad, but true.

So while the downside is pretty bleak, the upside it that the Earth will survive, along with the vast majority of species on it, including humans.

Cupcake Walters, a Doberman Pinscher from Austin, Texas, asks: “Why Mad Science?”

An excellent question, brother! Sorry about your name. Humans are just nutty sometimes.

To answer, I need to explain why there even are Mad Scientists on the so called “hard science” worlds like ours. Please bear with me.

As we have hopefully described over the last few years, there are other universes out there where the laws of physics and other sciences are not the same as ours, the classics being those where the speed of light is faster or slower and those where gravity can vary wildly on a single planet.

After that, you get into worlds where only a few “laws” of science can be broken or, on the other end of the spectrum, the laws of science go right out the window because magic or superheroes exist. There are even universes where the laws of physics change with astounding regularity. You never want to visit one of those.

Despite all of these varied universes, one rules guides them all: Clarke’s Third Law. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Yes, even the Potterverses and, even more amazingly, the various fantasy realities, are using an advanced form of science. Now, it is VERY rare for folks on these world’s to realize or understand that, but somewhere in their past, somebody found a loophole in physics and exploited it. Same with superhero worlds, horror worlds, etc. Yes, even fucking Cthulhu and his gang are the result of somebody (not necessarily a human) fucking around with highly advanced science.

Now, I need to mention here that by “science”, I also mean certain philosophical and religious disciplines. For more info on that, I suggest you contact Stephen Strange, a wonderful man whose elaborations on the roots of magic make my eyes cross.

Note: Every time I have explained this to hard scientists, they have gone a bit goofy in the head and required neuralization. Carl Sagan was the exception, but he died a few days later. I’m not entirely convinced Carl wasn’t a bit Mad himself. By the way, if you think scientists go goofy from that, you ought to see how truly religious believers react when you show them what the real universe is like. Again, you’ve gotta neuralize the shit out of them.

So, having taken up WAY too many words on that, let me sum up how one becomes a mad scientist like me.

1: Universes have weak spots and sometimes a bit of one leaks into another.

2: Receptive brains like mine tap into this leaking, never consciously.

3: Said brains are usually, but not always, possessed of a very high intellect and a rather fluid moral outlook.

4: Affected being can tap into a bit of hyperscience. (for Victor Frankenstein, it was of a biological bent.)

5: Mad Scientist, baby!

As with the case of Victor, the bit of hyperscience is often pretty limited. In some cases, it might include another branch of science (See: The Invisible Man). In my case, due to dimension hopping with my family along with my getting sapient, it pretty much meant I tapped into most branches of science, although biology/genetics and physics/engineering are my strong suits.

As to “Why Mad Science?”, the answer is always the same: Because I can. Because it is fun. Because it made me a fucking billionaire, allows me to travel through space & time & realities with my family, gave me my pet giant spider, allows millions of non-humans to be sapient, allows them to speak to damned near anyone in any language, and because it will one day ALLOW ME TO CONQUER THE WORLD! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry. Got carried away there. Anyway, thanks for the questions!

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X3)

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The Happy Go Lucky, But Still Somewhat Creepy, Story of Mostly Purple Patty And The Road Trip To Saugus To Visit Uncle Ferd.

…co-starring her little brother, Very Green Gary

 

Random Stuff

1: Besides being hotter than 14 motherfuckers here in Northern California, the air is totally shitty with smoke from several fires.

2: The heat waves we have had off and on played hell with my garden. The squash and watermelons would not set fruit and my green bean vines just burnt to a crisp. Half of my tomato plants shut down, altho the cherry tomatoes slowly set fruit and 3-4 ripen each week. I’ll try again, next year with more afternoon shade.

3: I am considering going to Origins next year. GenCon is both too expensive and too much of a hotel room clusterfuck. Origins would not be cheap and I would not see as many friends, but it might be doable.

5: Alternatively, I could hit as many as 5 NorCal cons for the price of going to Origins. The two Sacramento Conquest cons cost me pretty much nothing, since I run games and they are about 4 miles from my house. KublaCon is getting big and is a great con I have not been to in years. DunDraCon, of course, is a given after 30+ years. Big Bad Con is also one I’d like to hit up.

6: Going further afield, but still on the West Coast, OrcaCon is another I’d like to get to.

7: Finally, it has been 13 years since Grace & I took a long driving trip. While having 4 dogs does make such a trip problematic (we do not board our dogs and we need to REALLY REALLY trust a dog/housesitter), it does not entirely rule it out, especially since we will have another car by next spring, something much larger than our current tiny Mazda 3.

That’s it for now. More bloggage soon!

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The Rare And Beautiful Red Spotted Toad Eater Of Potawango Island

…they eat toads

 

Patreon Backer Shoutout!

Carol Robinson, Mark A Schmidt, Loyd Blankenship and Derek Pearcy have all backed this blog. Thank you all!

If YOU would like to back me on this blog, just go here…

Support this blog on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

 

 

CritterCon 10

Day Eleven, Con Day Four


Quick recap again, folks, because we are zipping down the interstate at roughly 175 miles per hour, avoiding both accidents and cops due to very small outside size (a Smart Car), a cloaking device, off road capability and ultra tech computer navigation. And we are all sitting around chatting.

After breakfast at Mistress Diana’s Dungeon Diner, I ran my last Toon game (The House That Jerks Built), then ran one of four final battles in the 24/7 D&D game, went to lunch at the recently opened Killerburger and then met Grace and the Fabulous four to have one last go ’round of the Dealer’s room.

After buying a few things, I left to be on the “We Loves It/We Hates It” panel. As always, it was equal parts geek hate and geek love. No sooner was it over than I ran down the hall to hear what had been decided after reviewing last year’s big questionnaire.

Unsurprisingly, the #1 request was taken care of this year: Not being on the same days as GenCon. We were told that next year, the con will be two weeks before GenCon.

Other requests were not so major: more activities for kids, expansion of the waterpark, earlier starts to some of the big parties, try to get a couple more donut shops, etc.

One big request that they are still mulling over is to add a movie room next to the anime room and to have not just Old Time Radio, but CritterCon exclusive television shows. We’ll know how this shakes out sometime in October.

Once that was over, our band of merry pranksters just hung out and chatted with the great number of other folks waiting the last few minutes of the con out, then the 30 minute gap until the Post Con Cool Down/Pie Feed.

Stuffed with several types of delicious pie, we left the con and Critter City about 7:15. At our current rate of speed, we will be in Baltimore to drop off Spike and Mary in the early morning, then in New Hampshire to drop off Avis, Ginie and the cats a few hours later. From there, we’ll go airborne and kick the bus up to about Mach 4 to get Gabriel home in Los Angeles. After that, out little family will be home about 30 minutes later.

All told, this was the usual swell fictional convention and trip. I know I could have written more, but I’m not the young 53 year old I was when we went to DogCon 1.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with us again this year.

 


CritterCon 10

is over.


But we will all be back next year for…

CritterCon 11

And The Beef Goes On

…wait, wrong lyrics

 

OOPS! Forgot to post this last night. I blame the partying.

CritterCon 10

Day Ten, Con Day Three


My day so far…

1: Woke up…no hangover…ate breakfast at Pancakeville.

2: 9 am panel on Pulp Games with 5 other folks, one of whom was Brian Misiaszek…went very well, lots of good questions.

3: Went for our annual spa session at Spa La La…soaked in hot mud, then washed off and got a great massage…might have fallen asleep and drooled during massage.

4: Lunch at Pizza My Heart, which has a killer lunch buffet now.

5: Ran my second 3 hour Toon game (The Perilous Predicament of Petey Penguin) for 10 players…Everybody had big fun, including the wife who played Psycho Petey and her husband who played Sweetie Petey and their 12 year old daughter who played Neaty Petey.

6: Just finished a 90 minute session of running the 24/7 D&D game. Spike took over from me…all the players during my time were human females, female dogs and a female goat…they kicked ass on a Goblin horde.

7: Next up is a seminar on What’s New In Gaming, then a quick dinner, then putting on two Old Time Radio shows back to back: The Adventures of Doc Mystery and Life With Bucky & Squint.

8: Starting at 9:00 is the Bigass Party, which features 5 bands, an open bar and geekery as far as the eye can see.

More bloggage tomorrow.

Simple Salamanders

…great starter amphibians

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CritterCon 10

Day Eight, Con Day One

Quick recap of last night: Dungeon Diner for dinner. Great food, spanky leather ambiance, about 40 people in our group.

The ice cream social was great. Delicious ice cream, plenty of folks there. Then those damned Texans brought out about 50 kinds of bourbon and next thing you know I’m being tucked into bed at 1:30 in the morning by Grace & Silky.

Okay, on to today’s action packed schedule.

Breakfast: I skipped it to sleep in an extra 45 minutes before heading off to the Dealer’s Room. Later, just before my Toon game, I ate a large carne asada breakfast burrito.

Games: Hoo boy! Ran a Toon game (A Foogleproof Plan) for 8 people, played in a game of GURPS Reign of Steel, ran a very short (20 minutes) portion of the D&D 5E game that is running 24/7 during the con and played a game of Pirate Fluxx.

Lunch: Same taco truck. Fish tacos.

Seminars: Participated in the Building A Village seminar. Ended up with a pretty good village.

Dinner: Meatloaf at Chez Mom’s with a bunch of folks.

The Drag’n Age Party: While there were indeed several men who looked good in drag, the vast majority of us did not. Maybe it was all the facial/body hair. On the other hand, almost all of the women present looked good in drag, be they wearing tuxedos or workingman clothes.

In all other ways, the party was great. The band played covers of music from the 50’s through the 2000’s. And yes, they were in drag too. The party ended at 2 am. I was back in the room asleep by 2:15.

CritterCon 10

Day Nine, Con Day Two


It was a LARPy day for most of us. All the critters, plus Grace, Mary, Avis, Ginie & I were in the Star Trek LARP. Max & I played Klingons, Sasha and our friend Brian Misiaszek played Romulans and in the end the Klingon Empire gained control of the planet we were all fighting over. Qap maH!

After that LARP ended, Daisy, Max & Roxy headed off to a Critters Only D&D LARP, Avis & Ginie went to play in a steampunk LARP, everbody else ran off to play other games and I went to join Spike in the “Forgotten Games” panel.

After that panel, we grabbed lunch at Waffles From Outer Space! (BACON AND BUTTER FLAVORED SYRUP, Y’ALL!), then went to our next seminar, “Yes, Tell Us About Your Character…In Three Minutes”. Some folks had great characters to talk about, but many others made us glad for the three minute limit.

At that point, Spike and I parted ways and I was off to a “Dads & Daughters” game of Mutants & Masterminds with Silky. The plot of the game had father & daughter super heroes trying to stop Captain Calamity and his daughter Miss Chaotic from taking over Bigge City. It was a hell of a knock down/drag out fight with some hilarious moments.

My character was a speedster named Warpspeed and Silky was my daughter, Tsunami. She got her name because beside having my speed, she had inherited the ability to control water from her mother. She would basically run fast at her target while pushing a couple thousand gallons of water in front of her.

There were ten players in the game and the only other Human/NHT pair was a fellow from Tulsa and his four year old pit/coonhound mix, Belle.

Around then, it was dinner time and we all gathered with many of our friends to eat at Thai One On. Much Thai curry was consumed.

There was no one big party tonight, but there were about two dozen smaller ones, so several of us made the rounds. By about one in the morning, we were all back in our rooms.

Tomorrow’s high points wil be our annual Mud Spa Day and, later on, our annual Old Time Radio broadcast.

More blogging later.

Make Big Money Printing Big Money!

…you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before

 

CritterCon 10

Day Seven, Con Day Zero

I have to make today’s entry fast & dirty, so here are some of today’s highlights.

1: We stopped the Bus at a beef jerky factory. Very fun and they gave out free samples. The Fearless Four did not want to leave.

2: Avis took Ginie into the Library and the two of them got to walking and looking at books and ended up a two miles from the entrance. Fortunately, the Librarian summoned the trolley car for them to ride back.

3: We arrived at Critter City about 10:30 in the morning and checked into the hotel. The critters are all back in their regular bodies and the hotel staff was delighted to see them.

4: We picked up our con books, swag and badges, then went to Ed’s Big Weenie for lunch. The con book looks like a early 1960’s Montgomery Ward’s Christmas Catalog. Pretty cool.

5: Con swag this year includes: a really snazzy black t-shirt with a parody of the movie poster for Big Trouble In Little China, but with humans and critters instead.

A real silver 10th anniversary commemorative coin.

A d6 with cats, dogs, parrots, bunnies, pigs and goats in place of the pips.

A card game called “CritterCon: The Card Game. Several of us (Me, Spike, Sasha, Daisy, Max) are on cards.

A mini board game called “Save Critter City”.

Coupons for discounts on all sorts of stuff.

A small box of edible goodies.

6: We saw many folks who came here this year due to it being a week ahead of GenCon. Quite a few of them will be joining us for dinner at Mistress Diana’s Dungeon Diner, which has been redecorated and expanded in size.

7: Saw a new Cajun restaurant had opened. The name? Stand Bayou.

8: Got advanced notice that this year’s Friday night party is “Drag’n Age”, and that means everybody attending has to be dressed in drag to get in. I’m glad the Wardrobe Room on the bus has plus sized dresses. I will not, however, be wearing high heels.

Well, folks, we humans are about to head out to the aforementioned dinner and then to the Ice Cream Social/Bourbonfest. The Critters are all going to dinner at an NHT only place, then will head to the social. I hope I see some of you at the con tomorrow.

More bloggage soon.

Destination Sign When We Started: Jungleland
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Discworld

QM Radio Station: KRTR FM, Critter City, Texas

Chapter 200: In Which Our Hero, Washed Up On The Shores Of An Island, Begins A Friendship With An Ape

…rum might have been involved

 

CritterCon 10

Day Five

We spent last night in Yuma, Arizona and the Bus left town at 7 this morning. We all were up by 8 and had a terrific breakfast of waffles and assorted meats.

(Silky: Folks, if you ever get a chance to eat a breakfast prepared by an android version of Julia Child, I suggest you take it.)

(Luke: Oh man, those sausages were delicious.)

(Leon: I needed a nap after that breakfast.)

(Sasha: You’re a cat. You need a nap after a long fart.)

Our only stops today were not terrible long or impressive. Giants of the Desert, located just south of Tombstone, turned out to be big clay and sandstone sculptures made to look like they had been made thousands of years ago by some “lost tribe” of Native Americans. In fact, they were made in the early 1920s by some guy that would bring folks out to see them, then con them out of money for either “research” or to find some lost treasure. The tour took 20 minutes, the cost was $3.00 each and the gift shop was okay.

(Sasha: I considered telling one of the folks running the place that the biggest statue was covering up a crashed Yonarian space probe, but then I thought better of it. That probe has been there 900 years. Another couple of centuries won’t hurt it.)


The Junk House, near Douglas, was considerably more interesting. This is a large old house, about half of which is home to all sorts of stuff that Herman and Delores Arthur have found in the desert over the last 60 years. Everything here has a story, from the rubber baby doll that the found way the hell up a mountain, to the gold tooth that they found imbedded in an old fence post way up near Flagstaff. To be honest, most of the stories get kind of repetitive, but there are enough interesting or funny ones to make it well worth your $2.50 admission price.

(Daisy: The story about finding those old booze bottles after getting chased by an angry raccoon was pretty hilarious.)

(Max: “Ever time we’d think we outrun him, here’d come that goddamn raccoon!” Hahaha!)


We stopped near the Arizona/New Mexico border for a short walk in the desert. And by “we” I mean me, Spike, Gabriel and the critters. It was 114 degrees out. And by “short walk”, I mean about 500 feet and maybe 15 minutes. We didn’t see any wildlife.

(Roxy: That’s because all the wildlife was too smart to go walking around in the 114 degree heat!)

(Silky: Thank goodness for our android bodies.)

We ate lunch on the bus as we headed for I-10, then we played a few boardgames (Terraforming Mars, Kill Doctor Lucky) and the critters, now back in their own bodies, frolicked in the Shoe Room and Meadow Room.

When we got to Las Cruces, we stopped for the night and had some great Southwest chow for dinner, then had another movie night. Tonight’s double feature was “The Shadow in San Francisco” (Earth 1-C, 1940) and “The Shadow Knows” (Earth 1-C, 1942). Both were very good.

I’m about to go have a beer with Gabriel and show him the Warehouse Room. After that, it’s bedtime. Tomorrow we cross New Mexico and half of Texas to end up near Critter City and the con.

Destination Sign When We Started: Oz
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Sin City

QM Radio Station: All Surf Music!