Frank The Duck Comes Home To Stay

…on top of the telly

Note: Frank is in fact a Beanie Baby mallard duck that I bought last month at a garage sale for a quarter. He joins the ranks of several select stuffed animals that live here in Chez Cross.

Just got word that my latest Pro Writing Job has been accepted and I’ll be getting a check soon. This means that, barring Fate taking a big dump on us, Grace and I will be at GenCon SoCal in November!

And now I must go walk off my huge dinner salad before the premiere of “Night Stalker”.

The Basset Hound Of The Baskervilles

…terror and bellyrubs in the night

Well I’ll be darned if I didn’t oversleep by an hour today. I almost never oversleep. However, since I get up 3 1/2 hours before I have to be at work, I still have plenty of time to do my morning thing.

HEY, AUCTION WINNERS! I haven’t forgotten you. As they say, shit happens and the happening of it has slowed my attempts to get all of your gaming stuff packed up and get YOU the final $$ amount. This will be taken care of by Sunday, with stuff going out next week, as I get your $$. sorry for the delay.

On Saturday, our car, Little CuRVy (our 2000 Honda CRV) will go into the shop for his 122,000 mile check up. If we get him outta the shop in time, Grace and I will go see “The Corpse Bride”. If not, we’ll go get into some other kind of trouble:)

I’m going to my mom’s house this Sunday, to take her some flower seeds and get some raspberry vines and other plants. It’ll be good to see her and her little dog, Charlie, again. I’ll also stop by to see my sister, Rosie, and her husband, Mike.

And now, I’m off to get fully dressed and then to work. More bloggage soon!

Red Hot Kisses And Ice Cold Steel

…a recipe for fun

It was a lazy weekend here at the House of Cross. Well, ok, I did thrash about in the garden and walk some miles…and errands were run…and I worked on answering peoples turns in the Kingdom Building Game…and…well I’ll be damned, maybe it wasn’t such a lazy weekend after all:)

Speaking of the game, turns will be heading back to my players starting in a day or two. So far, there is alot going on in the new world. Explorers are exploring, builders are building and, in some cases, mages are up to their usual magely tricks. This is going to be tons o’ fun.

It’s raining pretty steady here in the Big Tomato, after a late afternoon and early evening full of lightning strikes. It was in the mid 80’s and way humid today, and considering it may get near 90 in the next couple of days, this rain is gonna keep it humid.

And now off to bed….more blog later.

Killer Fluffy Bunnies

…and other stories

Ok, here’s a meme. Only folks I’ve actually met in person should answer it.

1. Reply with your name and I will write something random about you
2. I will then tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I will pick a flavor of jello to wrestle with you in.
4. I will say something that only makes sense to you and me.
5. I will tell you my first memory of you (or at least a prominent one).
6. I will tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I’ll then ask you something that I’ve always wondered about you.
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your LJ.

Slippery As A Greased Weasel

…and twice as much fun.

Had my fortnightly weigh in yesterday and I am down to 286 pounds, a total of 15 pounds lost since I began dieting & exercising about 6 weeks ago. Not bad. I’m walking an average of 2.75 miles a day, but have not yet added any situps or weight lifting yet. I’ll have to get going with that phase of things.

Well, I’ve watched all three of the new “invasion” series on tv and here are my opinions based on the premiere episode of each.

THRESHOLD: Has the most interesting characters, but the whole concept and plotline looks like Brannon Braga (the producer, late of various “Star Trek” series) watched all of the X-Files mythology episodes, tossed in a bit of Trek technobabble and baked it until done.

SURFACE: None of the characters grabbed me, but it has the most unique and interesting premise of the three. This looks like it could produce a few new twists on the genre.

INVASION: Has about a 50/50 split between characters that are interesting and those that you’d like to see meet a face hugger. The premise is pretty run of the mill so far and the post-hurricane setting will get old fast if they don’t change it.

I’ll give all of these my standard 3 episode chance. If, by the conclusion of episode 3 I’m not really looking forward to episode 4, they are off my viewing list.

LOST had it’s second season premiere last night and it was good, but the ending had my suspension of disbelief stretched to about half a micron thick. Hopefully, the writers were just hungover or something when they thought it up.

One more television note: I’m liking SUPERNATURAL. I’m hoping NIGHT STALKER will be as good or better. It’s interesting that my tastes in genre tv series have shifted away from sci-fi and towards horror. I couldn’t stomach the last two Trek series…couldn’t get into STARGATE SG-1, FARSCAPE, BABYLON 5, or ANDROMEDA…thought FIREFLY sucked…have yet to get up the energy to look at BATTLESTAR GALACTICA…but I’ll give any series with monsters in it my full attention. I’d give a Fantasy tv series a chance, but there aren’t any. Ah well, must just be my tastes changing with age.

Doc Tempest And The Night Giant

…from the May, 1970 issue

It’s meme time, kids…

LJ Interests meme results

  1. basset hounds:
    While I love all dogs, the noble basset hound is my favorite. They are good natured, loyal, friendly, stubbon, laid back (but capable of great bursts of energy when needed), funny and just plain sweethearted. Like me:)
  2. cooking:
    I’ve been cooking since I was a very small child and my mom would let me help mix cake mixes and biscuits. I’ve cooked professionally in the Navy and at a wide variety of restaurants. Nowadays, I most like cooking for friends and family.
  3. food:
    I love to make food and I love to eat it. I have very few food predjudices and will try just about anything. My very favorite foods are Asian and Mexican…but you really have to go some to beat good old American Barbecue (in all it’s myriad forms).
  4. heirloom vegetables:
    I started growing heirloom veggies (mostly tomatos)a few years ago. If you’ve never tasted an heirloom tomato, you have missed something delicious. You’ll never again be satisfied with the bland hybrid types you get in the supermarket. Yeah, heirlooms can be ugly looking and they might not be as disease resistant, but they more than make up for it with flavor.
  5. led zeppelin:
    Altho I love a wide variety of musical genres, I am above all a rocker…and the best fuckin’ rock and roll band ever was Led Zeppelin.
  6. organic farming:
    I garden organically for a couple of big reasons: First, I don’t like the idea of spraying toxic chemicals all over the place, and second, I like seeing all the bugs, butterflies, birds and other critters that come to my garden. Yeah, I’ve got a few weeds and my plants might look a bit rough at times, but hey, I’ve counted 7 types of bees and about 10 types of butterflies and two species of hummingbirds!
  7. pigs:
    Pigs are smart, interesting, tough, survival oriented and damn tasty. What more could one ask of an animal?
  8. rock & roll:
    I was born in 1954, the year rock & roll began catching fire among white kids in the U.S. When I was 10 years old, the British Invasion hit when the Beatles came to America. About the time I hit puberty, the Summer of Love was starting. I’ve grown up with rock & roll. With any luck, I’ll grow old with it.
  9. sex:
    My favorite indoor/outdoor sport:) I think I’ll just leave it at that, except to say that if people spent more time fucking and less time fighting and praying, the world would be a much happier (and mopre relaxed) place.
  10. they might be giants:
    One of the most interesting and creative musical groups (tho it’s really just a duo) around. “Flood” was by far their best album.

Enter your LJ user name, and 10 interests will be selected from your interest list.

Mars Needs Pickled Herring!

…in sour cream.

Another weekend bites the dust. I busted ass in the garden on Saturday and paid for it with a sore back today. Still, Sunday wasn’t a total loss, as I got a bunch of pruning done and FINALLY started my Fall spinach and lettuce seeds.

In gaming news, I now have two players turns in on the Kingdom Building Game, which means I’m awaiting the remaining four. That means you, Grace, Peter, Sharon & Kirt. So far, the players are making interesting choices and I’m thinking that as time goes by there will be some wild times ahead:)

And now I’m off to bed.

The Barefoot Bear Flag Outlaw Returns

…if only to give respect to The Man

Just got reminded that today is the day Our Emperor, Joshua Norton, set us all free from the tyranny of the two party system. Too bad everybody outside San Francisco paid him no mind.

I shall drink a smoothie in your honor, Emperor Norton.

The Kitty Cats Build a Suitcase Nuke

…watch out, Dogville!

The Great Game Auction Results

And the winners are…

C.L.O.W.N. Organization book for Champions $3.00 C.Underkoffler

Viper Sourcebook (1993 ed.) for Champions $4.00 C.Underkoffler

Shadowrun 1st edition $5.00 M.Kinney

Nyambe African Adventures $8.00 M.Kinney

Ars Magica 1st edition $4.00 S.Ehrbar

Kobolds Ate My Baby Bundle (all 1st ed stuff, 5 booklets) $5.00 G.Gentile

Stuper Powers (second edition) $5.00 G.Gentile

Tales Of The Floating Vagabond Bundle (main book + Adventure With No Name + Where’s George?) $6.00 G.Gentile

Ghostbusters International Boxed set + ApoKERMIS Now! adventure $6.00 G.Gentile

Tobin’s Spirit Guide (for Ghostbusters International) $7.00 G.Gentile

Star Wars (West End version, 1st edition) $6.00 G.Gentile

Atlas of the Young Kingdoms Volume 1: The Northern Continent (for Elric! By Chaosium) $4.00 M.Stevens

King of the Sandbox (schoolyard fighting game) $6.00 M.Stevens

D&D3e Player’s Handbook $8.00 M.Stevens

Big Robots, Cool Starships (for 1st edition BESM) $2.00 B.Portnell

Big Eyes, Small Mouth (1st edition) $2.00 B.Portnell

Lands of Adventure (by Lee Gold) $3.00 R.Iorio

Cyberpunk Boxed set 1st ed. $3.00 R.Iorio

Western Hero (HERO system) $10.00 R.Iorio

James Bond 007 Bundle (Basic Set, Gamemaster’s Pack, Octopussy adventure) $15.00 P.Hildreth

I shall begin figuring out the shipping costs on Monday. Thank you for buying my stuff, gents.

The Smell Of Crushed Roses, The Sound Of The Waves

…San Francisco, near the windmills, 1981

Random Ramblings

Managed to write a zine for A&E and send it off to Lee. Two zines in three months! I must be on a roll:)

The Great Game Auction ends tomorrow night, kiddies! Still time for buying Xmas gifts or sniping on the stuff already bid upon.

Got the first turn in the Kingdom Building Game today from one of my players. Soon the worldbuilding will start and Doc will be a somewhat busier boy.

The diet and exercise go well. I’m finding that my pants aren’t fitting properly due to weight loss and me not having much of an ass to begin with. No, really, I barely have an ass…it’s more like some gluteus maximus just holding my legs on and making sure I don’t sit directly on my pelvic bone:)

I fucking hate being poor. Being poor means not getting to drink GOOD tea…it means I’m gonna miss the Fall Plant Sale for the first time in 5 years…it means not being able to take my Sweet Angel out for dinner and a movie. It sucketh great amounts of ass.

That’s all for now…more bloggo later.

Tales From Potawango Island

…home of the Potawango Island Waltzing Pheasant

Grace and I watched the premieres of a couple of new tv series tonight. First up was “Bones”, which I missed most of due to my nightly walk. It seemed pretty good, in a sorta “CSI” way. Grace liked it. Next was “Supernatural”, which is sort of a “monster of the week” series, like “X-Files” or “The Night Stalker” (which returns from the grave in a week or so). It was a pretty good show, with some genuinely spooky moments. We’ll check them both out again next week.

Hit The Fish With a Hammer

…or a pair of vise grips

Sweet Mother Of All Basset Hounds, I did it again! 4 straight hours of work in the garden in the hot sun and I was wiped out. I got a fair bit done, but not nearly as much as I wanted to. Oh well, there’ll be other times.

I sent out turn sheets for my Kingdom Building Game, so things should get hopping soon. So far, my players have been pretty creative in setting up their basic cultures.

The Great Game Auction will soon end. No new bids have come in, so I think I’ll wrap it up at the end of this week.

More bloggage later.

Doc Tempest And The Tunguska Terror

…title of the April, 1956 issue

Hoo boy, was yesterday ever an ass kicker! I got zero gardening done, but decided to walk back from the nursery where Grace and I went to buy spinach and lettuce seeds. It turned out to be a 3.7 mile walk up and down hills on curvy suburban streets…all at my masochisticly rapid nonstop pace. By the time I got home (at 2:00 pm, a bit over 90 minutes after I started) I was out of action for the rest of the day. My feet were threatening mutiny, my right ankle wanted a divorce (the left ankle just wanted a beer), my thighs were talking smack about my mama and my hips and lower back were sobbing quietly. Aside from some writing, the rest of the day was a write off.

Today, however, I’m rested, refreshed and ready to embark on the beginning of my Fall Garden Jihad! Fear me, weedish infidels! Prepare to be transplanted, you plants that have strayed from the True Path! Let my aim be true with my pruning clippers, hedge trimmers and hoe! Let my chopping and digging bring forth a garden of wonders! Lo, let me FINALLY get the fuckin’ fall greens planted! Aiiii yi yi yi yi!

Ok…time for tea, then toiling in the soil.

A Million Flying Razors

…and no way to deflect them

My Three Reasons To Be Cheerful

1. WEBCOMICS: From Dork Tower to Narbonic to Girl Genius to You Damn Kid! to Something Positive, I get a good chuckle every day from these.

2. I’M NOT DEAD: Given my Wild & Misspent Youth and all of the ways I have abused my body over these 51 years, I’m pretty fucking luck to still be on top of the dirt.

3. WOMEN: Regardless of whether it’s a female friend, my wife, a female relative or just some babe on the street, women are one of my favorite things.

Wild Times In The Treehouse Of Doom

…unless you fall out

Well, children, it would appear that all of my walking and dieting has paid off. When I started, I was at a record 301 pounds. Today, I weighed in at 290. I’m pretty proud of myself. Next week, I’m adding nightly situps and some weight lifting to the program. My target weight, you ask? Well, it depends upon muscle mass and such, but I’m thinking 200 pounds. If I can reach that in a year or so, maybe I’ll try for 190.

Warm Fuzzy Mindbending Nightmares

…the kind that make you scream AND smile

Doc Update

Just got back from a 3 mile walk. My usual nightly walks are about 2 miles, but tonight I was thinking about stuff and kinda got carried away:) Last week, my total walking mileage was 16.5 miles over 7 days. And that’s fast and non-stop every night, folks.

Like the lantana shrubs in my garden, the Kingdom Building Game just keeps on growing and looking better. All the players are getting their info to me and I’m expanding the setting a bit. This should be a damn fun game. I’ll be writing about it here and in A&E, for those of you who are interested.

I heard back from my editor on the Pro Writing Job, but only to tell me he had gotten the first draft and would get back to me in a week or so.

The Game Auction is unchanged from last time, so everyone who had a high bid is still high bidder. The auction will end in about a week or so. Still time to buy Uncle Doc’s games, kiddies.

When I started my present diet/exercise regime, I swore to myself I’d not drink a beer until I’d lost 20 pounds. I’ll be weighing myself tomorrow and I’ll be surprised if I’ve lost even 10 pounds…but DAMN, I really want a beer:)

Dogs Driving Cars, Cats Painting Houses

…my, what industrious pets!

My, what a busy Sunday your Uncle Doc had. I gardened for 2 hours, I walked 3 miles, I wrote a whole bunch of words on 4 different projects…and I hung out with My Sweet Little Mountain Bluebird Of Passion.

And speaking of my Sweet Angel, Sunday marked 10 years since we met at a Labor Day picnic put on by a Sacramento Area computer bbs (remember those?) Naturally, I swept her off her feet and 14 months later we got married.

Grace, you are the best, baby!

The Mental Sausage Grinder

…grind, grind, grind

When I sometimes read the forums on RPGnet, it is often with a “watching a train wreck” sort of morbid fascination. Very rarely, I’ll comment on something. Usually, I find 99% of the topics there to be either bitchy, brainless or just plain boring.

However, last night I stumbled on this: which happens to be about both Alarums & Excursions and Gaming In The “Good Old Days”.

Now, it does eventually descend into a typical RPGnet catfight and it is full of young gamers talking pretentiously out their asses on subjects they know nothing about, but there are some good nuggets in it.

Great White Hunter In The Human Jungle

…stalking his prey, hoping to not get eaten.

Auction Update

There is no auction update today, due to no new bids.


Grace and I will, despite being hip deep in our Adventure In Poverty, be heading out to see “The Brothers Grimm” in a bit. Being a Terry Gilliam film, it should be fun.

Ya just have to admire the Sci Fi Channel’s movies. They crank them out at a near Cormanesque rate and the cheese factor is set on overload. Yes, most of them suck, but it’s a fun sort of suckage…and it’s Basic Cable:) (or, in my case, Basic Dish) The recent epic “Pterodactyl” was a prime example of a bad sci fi movie. It’s a pity MST3K isn’t around anymore to give these flicks the attention they deserve.

The above aside, I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing “The Man With The Screaming Brain”, directed by and starring Bruce Campbell.

I didn’t remember it last month, but August marked 15 years since I first attended GenCon and 15 years since I first met many of my gaming friends (Spike, Avis, Peter…I’m talkin’ about you).

And now, we have Movie Sign! More bloggage later.