The Girl Who Lost The Bet

…but still managed to come out the big winner

Not A Real Timeline Of My Life: Part 4

August 1, 1965: Doc is accepted into The Hobart International School for Young People. This thrills his parents. Doc is less than thrilled, especially when he learns that his first year at Hobarts will be at the New York City campus.

September 15th, 1965: Arrives in New York City. Within minutes of stepping off the bus, he meets avylou, thus beginning a friendship that endures to this day. Doc’s parents say she had a “civilizing influence” on him. Her parents say he “certainly made her more of a risk taker”. Both children meet other students from the U.S.A, Canada, the Bear Flag Empire, Canada, the 100 Nations, Quebec and The Republic of Texas.

September 19th: Called to headmasters office after getting in a fight with four older boys. Given 5 days detention…after he explains to the headmaster how he won the fight singlehandedly.

September 27th: More detention, this time for “Leaving the campus at night and running wild in Central Park”. His excuse: “It’s the only place in this town that comes close to being a forest.”

October 16th: Convinces avylou and two other students to help him find out what their biology teacher is doing sneaking around the campus late at night. Turns out the biology teacher is having a late night affair with an english teacher…and a math teacher…and the school nurse. The other three children are shocked, but Doc merely remarks “Wow…not bad for a short bald guy.”

To be continued…

In Blog We Trust

…yeah, right.

Guitar Auction

Grace has put my father’s 1942 Martin O-15 guitar up for sale on ebay. The auction/sale/whatever (I’m ebay clueless, I’m just relaying what she left me on a note this morning) number is 7419089195. If you know any guitar collectors, point them towards it.

No Timeline in this entry…gotta leave early for a visit with my dermatologist.

Doc Tempest And The Green Eye Of Doom

…from the September 1963 issue

Review: X Men: the Last Stand

Altho I have read several anguished fanboy reviews that declare this movie to be everything from merely flawed to the precursor to the Apocalypse, I gotta tell ya, I liked it.

Is it the best of the three? No, not at all.
Does it have too many characters? Probably.
Does it have plot holes? Yes, but then, most superhero flicks do.
Is it action packed? Yep, you betcha.
Does Kelsey Grammar rock as Beast/Hank McCoy? Oh, hell yes!
Are there some surprises? Yep.
Do I suggest you go see it? Yep
Will there be a fourth movie in the series? Bet the farm on it, but don’t expect it for a few years.

And to all the anguished fanboys out there…better luck with Spider-Man 3, Iron Man and the totally unimpressive looking Superman Returns.

Not A Real Timeline Of My Life: Part 3

Late May, 1960 to Late August, 1960: Spends summer with his grandparents, travelling around the 100 Nations (AKA most of North America between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River). Greatly influenced by Native American culture.

December, 1960: On vacation with family in New York City. This is his first trip to the United States. Somehow manages to free the giant ape, Kong, from his enclosure in the Bronx Zoo. Parents are not amused. Kong evades capture and, altho he is tracked as far as northern Argentina, is never recaptured.

May, 1961: Birth of brother. Robert (now nicknamed “Doc” for reasons that are never made clear) once again spends the summer in the 100 Nations.

October, 1961: Family relocates to the Imperial Territory of Seattle (western Washington state to us) for 6 months while the Imperial Rangers track a smuggling ring. Young Doc begins taking Kung Fu lessons.

April, 1961: While his mother and siblings return to Northern California, Doc accompanies his father and some Rangers north to Alaska Territory on a fishing trip. While there, he gets a chance to live among the Inuits for a month.

June, 1961 to August 1965: School years in Northern California, Summer vacations in the 100 Nations, with various holidays in Australia, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia.

To Be Continued…

Purple Dogs, Yellow Cats, Green Guinea Pigs

…welcome to the psychedelic pet shop

Not A Real Timeline Of My Life: Part 2

July, 1957: After many adventures, the Cross family arrives in Shanghai, China. All records of what happened over the next 3 months were sealed by both the Imperial Chinese Government and the Bear Flag Empire.

Late October, 1957: Arrive home in Marysville, Northern California. Father joins the Imperial Rangers (like the Texas Rangers, only tougher) and Mother takes a job as a teacher at Emperor Norton University (Marysville Campus).

September, 1959: 5 year old Robert begins his most challenging adventure to date…kindergarten. Having been raised by adventurers and spent much time around Imperial rangers, university professors, Native Americans (his paternal grandmother and her kin), cowboys (at the family ranch) and other colorful folk (both related to him and not), Robert is described by his teachers as “a very challenging child”.

To Be Continued…

Curious George Pees On An Electric Fence

…after that, he wasn’t so friggin’ curious

Not A Real Timeline Of My Life

January, 1954: Born in a small village on the island of Madagascar, to an American father and a Eurasian mother. Father was an adventurer/pilot, Mother was a biochemist/spy.

March, 1954-July, 1954: Travels throughout Asia with parents

July 3, 1954: Arrived in San Francisco, capital of the Bear Flag Empire.

July, 1954-August, 1956: At home (in Northern California) with parents.

September, 1954: Leave for England with parents.

November, 1956: In London, with parents. Kidnapped by the nefarious Dr. Wu while his mother is giving birth to his sister. Rescued 3 hours later by an unnamed British Secret Service agent.

May, 1957: Leave England on the Imperial Airship Mark Twain, bound for China, with stops in France, Turkey, Africa, India and Tibet.

To Be Continued…

Two Ducks Guard The Television

…and their names are Frank and Hank.

Well, yesterday was a pretty good day, in as far as I was spared any sad thoughts about Roscoe. This was entirely due to my muse having set up housekeeping inside my head, thus causing my Rampant Imagination (Gaming Division) to kick into high gear.

Now, even on a slow day, I get more ideas about roleplaying games than I can ever do anything about, but yesterday…Ooh Baby! I got ideas for settings, adventures, characters, convention games, rules tweaks, gamer t shirts…you name it. I thought up new stuff, revisions to old stuff, run of the mill hack & slash stuff and even some pornographic gaming stuff. Some of these ideas (NOT the porno stuff, you naughty horndogs) will find their way into my Kingdom Building Game, while others will pop up at GenCon 2007 and still others will be included in the face to face roleplaying sessions I hope to start up in July.

And then, about the time I got off work at 5, my imagination shifted from Gaming to Gardening.

But that’s another posting:)

The Sun Is The Same, In A Relative Way

…but you’re older

Tomorrow will mark one year since Roscoe died. I had kinda considered staying home from work with a bottle of tequila, but several things changed my mind. Can’t afford to lose a day of work, can’t drink like I used to, don’t want to upset Grace and Roscoe never did like tequila anyway, being a confirmed scotch drinker. So instead I’ll just go about my daily biz and know that now, once the one year mark has passed, the painful memories will truly begin to fade into the past.

I miss you, buddy. You were a helluva dog.

Stop Making Those Danger Noises

…said the Sweet Angel to the Old Scoundrel

Yesterday, Grace and I went up to Marysville and took my mom out to lunch. It was a belated Mothers Day present for Mom, since she was gone on a gambling (and winning) trip with my aunt & uncle last weekend. We had a nice lunch and a fun chat, then headed home.

Bought some more tomato plants yesterday and planted them and the rest of my bush beans. The veggie garden so far is bush beans, pole beans, tomatos and squash. Chiles will be bought and planted this week, you betcha. Melons and zuchinni will go in the ground next weekend. Herbs are growing merrily and I forsee much pesto sauce in our future. Strawberries are producing a few small berries, but they are really sweet.

Work on both the Pro Writing Project Outlines and the Kingdom Building Game 2.0 are both coming along nicely. My hope is to have the KBG up and running again by mid July. The main holdup is that I’m waiting to see if Campaign Cartographer 3 comes out by about late June. If it doesn’t, I’ll start the KBG in early July.

I’m pretty darned impressed by the True20 corebook. The rules are pretty sweet, altho it will come as no surprise that a hardcore minimalist like me finds it to have too many rules for my taste. Still, for most folks who like a lighter rules set, it would be a really good choice. I haven’t really read the Blue Rose books yet, since Grace has spirited them away for her own reading pleasure.

By the way, I am looking for a few new players in the Kingdom Building Game…well, actually, it’s more of a Village Building/Local Exploration Game now. I reckon I could handle 3 or 4 more players, since this part of the game is going to be a lot simpler and less intense than the first part was.

And now, I must get ready for visitors and some possible boardgaming. More blog-o-rama later.

Pangolins On Parade

…look it up:)

Just a quick update before I go off to work. Got the True20 Corebook and the 3 Blue Rose books in the mail yesterday. Oh baby, is this good stuff. Grace is very impressed weith Blue Rose, as I knew she would be (my baby, she loves the romantic fantasy). I’m liking it alot, too. As for True20, it looks really good. I’ll give my impressions of all of these books (plus Savage Worlds, which I got a few months ago) in a few days.

Now, I’m off to be a good little wage slave. At least I get to eat free pizza.

The Kitty Cats Go Down Under

…so throw a few mice on the barbee!

Doc Update

READING: assorted gardening books
WRITING: the outline for the Next Pro Writing Project
EATING: Cream of Wheat for brekky
LISTENING: assorted oldies from the 1950s
PLANNING: how to save up the $$$ for the Hawaii trip in October
ANTICIPATING: arrival of the True20 corebook and the Blue Rose books
PLANTING: bush beans and assorted perennials
BUILDING: garden bed X-22A, ON THE DRIVEWAY, for veggies and flowers
COOKING: about 2.5 gallons of basic spaghetti sauce
REJOICING: in the wonderfulness of having finally PAID OFF THE CAR!

More bloggage soon.

Flying Mecha Pig Squad #47

…protecting Neo-Tokyo

Och, I canna keep up wit’ me Cannas!

Well, actually, Scottish accents aside, I can keep up with them, but it ain’t easy.

Ya see, 4 years ago, I planted five Dwarf Pink Cannas. Beautiful pink flowers, compact 2-3 foot size, hardy as all hell, long blooming season…and fucking incredibly prolific. Those 5 cannas have spread to at least 50. I’ve been digging up canna tubers for two day (so I can move them to a better spot where they won’t crowd out/shade other plants) and I’ve got a whole garden cart full of them. I’m gonna replant them in several different spots around the property…might even try them in a pot or two.

And then I have a couple dozen larger species of cannas to move! I get all the fun:)

Veggiewise, I’ve got beans, tomatos & squash growing pretty well now. Later today, I’ll start a bunch more seeds of various types. Herbwise, I’m looking good, with the exceptions of french tarragon, which hasn’t shown up in the nurseries yet.

With any luck, by next Sunday, I’ll have a 4′ X 16′ veggie & flower bed taking up just shy of half of my driveway. With only one car, it’s pretty much wasted space, and I’ve got a dozen more bush beans sprouting and zinnias, cosmos and geraniums on the way. Besides, it’ll make our Nosey Old Neighbor Lady wonder what the hell we’ll do next:)

In Other News

Grace is sleeping in this morning, as is her hard earned Mother’s Day right. Later, I shall cook her a yummy dinner.

I’ve decided to dive into the Pro Game Writing pool yet again. I won’t reveal which of my countless ideas I’m working on, but odds are very good it’ll be sold in the popular PDF format beloved by so many of today’s hip young gaming geeks. Most of my ideas are just a tad too short or a tad too niche to be worth killing trees over. Besides, with PDFs, the author generally gets a bigger piece of the action and I am a dedicated fan of money.

My knee is feeling much better, altho it does ache rather often and both knees make a sqeam inducing noise when I bend them. Yeah baby, I’ll be first in line when they start offering cyborg bodies.

And now, I must finish my tea and return to my crazed horticultural endeavors.

Wall Of Ice Cream

…either Phish Food or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

To all of my friends who are mothers…


You have the most important job on earth. Bless every one of you.

A Little Larceny, A Little Champagne

…and a little dancing on a big pile of money

The Paranoia Meme

This one is simple: say something about 10 people on your friends list…but don’t say who you are talking about.

1: A kind hearted young lass
2: He’s got a hell of a mind…a bit bent, but awesome
3: She fights the good fight
4: Quite the sexy chick
5: Much funnier than you might think
6: A bit of an excitable boy
7: He’s fine upstanding fellow, tho he’ll deny it
8: There’s an action movie hero trapped inside him
9: This person just might be the AntiDoc
10: Writes one of my favorite LiveJournals

Power Armored Dwarf Hamsters

…and they can FLY!

Assorted Gaming Stuff

Oh, baby, in the 4th quarter of 2006 (and probably the first two quarters of 2007, at least) I’ll be all about this: SPORE!

Recently, I’ve thought up several short gaming product ideas that would be TOO short to bother with offering to a game company to be printed and sold in the traditional manner. PDF sales might be the way to go…or I could collect everything into a sort of “Roleplaying Grab Bag” and self publish it (the likelyhood of this being virtually nil)…or see if a game company would be interested in such a beast. This would mostly be pure generic setting stuff, with everything from places to creatures to characters…it would cover Pulp, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Modern, Horror…there would also be a setting that is most definitely a meta-game place…sort of a nexus point for taking characters from one genre/world to another. The PDF route would make my life WAY easier…assuming I found a company that would partner up on it, since I’m thinking I would not sell the rights outright. Any suggestions?

I’m itching to start running a face to face game again, but I have no gaming group. I’ve got 1…maybe 2…players, but that’s it. I’m gonna have to see what I can do to fix that.

After some long thought, I’ve decided that the new section of my Kingdom Building Game has a big flaw…I can’t run both a “Village Sim” and an “Adventuring Party Sim” at the same time. The time differential is too great, since Village Sim is 1 turn = 6 months and the Adventure Party Sim would be 1 turn = 1 day. My thought is to either choose one mode and run with it or let each player choose which mode they prefer, then run it for them. Also, I may be recruiting more players…2 or 3…but I have until mid-July to decide. Decisions, decisions.

Within days, I should be getting the True20 Corebook and all three Blue Rose books. This will be the most gaming stuff I’ve bought at one time in the last 3 years. I’m really looking forward to checking these books out.

And now, off to toil in the pizza mines.

Mrs. Wangdoodle Goes Outlaw

…biker, that is

Howdy, boys and girls! Your Uncle Doc has been slightly cranky lately, mostly because my left knee has been hurting and I’ve had to sit and rest it. That means no nightly walks and no gardening…hence the crankiness. However, due to the resting and the 4,931 assorted vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements and other pills Grace has me taking twice a day, my poor old knee is feeling a bit better. I may even attempt a short walk tonight.

In other news, round 2 of the tomato planting seems to be doing better that round 1 did. The new plants all seem to be healthy. My bush beans and squash look ok…my basil, dill and other herbs are growing like mad…and I have several pole bean plants sprouting up from beans that hit the ground LAST year. This weekend, I’m gonna get things ready to plant melons and zucchini. Chiles will also get planted.

Florally, I’ve got blooms all over the place, with lots more on the way. Unfortunately, my venerable old Liontail shrub seems to be dying. This sucks, but it will still serve as a place for my clematis to climb in and around this spring/summer. I have another Liontail and it is doing great, but my old one was one of my first foundation plants and I’ll miss it’s hordes of orange blooms.

Saturday will see Grace and I attending the WHOLE EARTH FESTIVAL at U.C. Davis. We go almost every year and it is tons of hippie dippy-alternative energy-world music-artsy craftsy tye dyed fun. I expect I’ll buy a couple more tye dyed bandanas this year:)

And now, I’m off to work. More blogzilla later.

The Famous California Hunting Pig

…he was a pretty good retriever

Mr.Cross Takes Another Step On The Road To Hell

Scene: Mr. Cross is walking down the street. Ahead are some young people handing out PETA literature. Mr. Cross has a wicked grin on his face.

Earnest Young Lady (as she tries to hand Mr. Cross a flyer): “Did you know that meat is murder?”

Mr. Cross (smiling broadly, with a twinkle in his eyes): “Actually, you have that backwards, but do go on.”

Earnest Young Lady (with a slight puzzled look on her face): “Huh? Well, anyway, meat IS murder.”

Mr. Cross (looking more happy and slightly maniacal as he speaks): “Yes, it is…and it’s SO much fun! Especially after the first few cuts…when they scream and beg for mercy and…some of them even pray…fat lot of good that does them…oh, wait…you’re talking about ANIMALS getting killed. Oh, well, yes, that’s terrible.”

Mr. Cross walks away, noting that the young woman has more or less frozen in place and one of her male compatriots has doubled over in laughter.

Yes, I’m bad:)

WWMND? What Would Mr. Natural Do?

…I mean, besides annoy Flakey Foont?

A big NO-PRIZE to any of you who can identify those thwo characters:)

I overslept by an hour today, so I’m a bit rushed. Normally, I like to wake up 3 hours before I need to be at work. Today, I only got 2 hours.

Supernatural had its season finale last night and it was pretty good. The ending was a cliffhanger, natch, but had the advantage of being a surprise. It will be interesting to see what happens on next seasons premiere.

Ok, so my blog has been pretty gardening/gaming heavy lately. I’ll try to throw a few more subjects into the mix. Hmmm…maybe some travel thoughts or something to do with cooking.

Hey, here’s one…What Do Doc & Grace Regularly Watch On TV? In no particular order…

All three of the CSI shows
The Unit
Criminal Minds
Doctor Who
Gardening By The Yard
Iron Chef America
Good Eats
Food 911
Molto Mario
$40 A Day
30 Minute Meals
The Dog Whisperer
Fresh From The Garden
Fresh From The Orchard
This Old House Hour
Storm Stories
The Most Extreme
Austin City Limits

You’ll note no reality shows or sitcoms. That would be because they pretty much all suck ass. You’ll also note very few Sci-Fi or Fantasy series. That’s because we just haven’t gotten into most of them. Maybe we’ll give them a look on DVD.

Gotta go to work…blog ya later.

The Horticultural Whore Bangs His Head Against The Wall

…repeatedly and with much growling

My tomato seedlings (and my spinach seedlings)…which I sprouted from seed and carefully tended on a table here in front of the living room window…then took outside to harden off…then planted in the veggie garden plot…ARE DYING! Those fuckers are dropping faster than Bushes approval rating. SIGH! I’m not sure if it’s the really warm sun (not likely), not enough hardening off time (doubtful), some soil fungus (maybe), insect predators (could be) or something else. About half of them are deader than shit right now and some of the rest are looking pretty wimpy. Well, I’ve still got some seedlings waiting in reserve, so I’ll replace the corpses and see what happens. I will note that the seedlings I bought at the nursery are doing ok, so this weekend will find me hitting Capitol Nursery again.

On the other hand, my Purple bush beans, strawberries, peas and herbs are growing like crazy. Tonight, the Patty Pan Squash and Acorn Squash go into the ground. This weekend, I’ll plant a few chilis and start some zuchinni and melon seeds/plants…as well as various groundcovers and perennial plants. My New Zealand Spinach hasn’t sprouted, so I’ll try planting a few seeds both indoors and out and we’ll see what happens. Gotta get my carrot seedlings in the ground tonight.

In gaming related news, the next phase of the Kingdom Building game is on pause until I can create a list of questions for the players to answer. Then, based upon those answers…and a few die rolls…and the leaning of the overarching metaplot…I’ll know more about what the world will be like when they start playing again in a couple of months.

Back on the gardening front, here are a few plants I’d recommend for any gardener just starting out…

DIANTHUS AKA Sweet Williams, Clove Pinks, Cottage Pinks & Carnations. Pretty, hardy, very easy to grow, lots of colors/combinations of colors and they come as perennials or re-seeding annuals.

ZINNIAS Come in an incredible range of colors and patterns. Easy to grow, great looking and birds love their seeds.

SEDUMS Dead easy to grow, even in crappy soil. Nearly carefree and you can find them in a wide array of forms. An excellent groundcover.

SNAP BEANS No matter if they are bush type (fewer beans, but easier to pick and they all mature pretty much at once) or pole type (more beans, much larger plant that needs support, beans mature over a 2-3 month period), these are probably the easiest veggy to grow (with zuchinni being a damned close second).

LAVENDER Pretty, very hardy, smells great, comes in many varieties, attracts bees and butterflies…what’s not to love?

Time for work…more bloggage tonight after the garden slaps me around.

The Dame Was Nothing But Trouble

…MY kind of trouble

The “H” List Continues

HERBS are among my favorite plants to grow. That’s because they are inexpensive to buy, very hardy, do well in crappy soil, many are perennial and you can use lots of them in cooking.

HOUNDS, Basset, are one of my favorite dog breeds. While they can be stubborn and a challenge to train, they are not nearly as lazy or dumb or sad as most people believe.

HORTICULTURE is the mistress that pushed Roleplaying Games to third place on my Favorite Pastimes List (SEX is and always will be Number 1). While I will never be as green fingered as my mother (who, I swear, could get a telephone pole to bloom if she planted it in her garden), I do pretty well in making the world a bit greener.

HAWAII is one of my favorite places and the only other state outside California where I could live for more than a year or so. I prefer the Big Island (Hawaii) to the others, but they are all nice.

And now I’m off to work.

Maximum Chicken Damage

…don’t ask

The Letter Meme

HAIR, long, is near and dear to me. I have long hair and so does my Sweet Angel. Altho my hair is rapidly replacing the red with the grey, I do still HAVE my hair…which is more than I can say for my younger brother, most of my male cousins and a goodly few of my male friends.

HALLOWEEN is my favorite holiday, partly because it has nothing to do with Christianity (and in fact, pisses the Fundy’s off), but mostly because it’s a cool dress up strange holiday with candy.

HORROR, in movies or books, is a favorite of mine…IF it deals with monsters and not demonic possession or psychological horror or other wacky shit. Give me a good werewolf or giant lizard or formless blob of protoplasm any day.

Oh fuck! Time for work! I’ll finish this later.