The Horticultural Whore Adds It Up

…and then faints

While Grace and I were cleaning out the garage, I finally decided to get rid of the many dozens of plastic plant containers that I’ve accumulated over the past 8 years. On a whim, I decided to add up the money I’ve spent on herbs, shrubs, flowers, trees, etc. over the years. Here is the total…

42 six packs: Avg. $1.50 each = $63.00
85 four inch pots: Avg. $2.00 each = $170.00
37 six inch pots: Avg. $4.00 each = $148.00
14 gallon pots: Avg. $7.50 each = $105.00
11 assorted other pots: Avg. $5.00 = $55.00
8 flats: Avg. $12.00 = $96.00

Total: Approx. $637.00

But wait, there’s more…

Figure $200.00 spent on seeds
Figure $1,500.00 spent on bags/cubic yards of soil/compost/manure
Figure $500.00 spent on organic fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides
Figure $400.00 spent on garden tools

Total: $2,600.00

Grand Total: $3,237.00
And I’m probably a few hundred bucks low on this. Still, WHEW! When I dive into a hobby, I don’t fuck around.

The Tender Little Brunette Wore Thigh High Boots

…and really wasn’t all that tender

I’ll start this post with a confession (and you have no idea how rare that is:) and admit that I did not buy Hobby Games: The Top 100 at GenCon. My budget was just too tight. Still, at some point I will buy it.

Anyway, at the con I looked through the book…mostly to make sure Toon was represented…and noticed at least one missing game: Over The Edge.

Now, I’m not knocking the 100 chosen games or any of the folks involved in the choosing, but I might have put OTE on the list in place of one of the many wargames or even one of the CCG’s. It just seems to me that the game that was “indie” before indie was cool should’ve rated a shout out.

I’ll now prep myself for any smackdowns that might be coming my way:)

The Winkerdog Strikes Back

…at a pillow that apparently offended her

It’s been awhile since I did a meme, so here is that Hobby Games: The 100 Best thing.

Boldface if “I own this game”.
Italics is “I have played this game”.
Italic and Bold are “I both own and have played this game”

Bruce C. Shelley on Acquire (played once)
Nicole Lindroos on Amber Diceless
Ian Livingstone on Amun-Re
Stewart Wieck on Ars Magica (played once)
Thomas M. Reid on Axis & Allies (played once)
Tracy Hickman on Battle Cry
Philip Reed on BattleTech
Justin Achilli on Blood Bowl
Mike Selinker on Bohnanza
Tom Dalgliesh on Britannia
Greg Stolze on Button Men
Monte Cook on Call of Cthulhu
Steven E. Schend on Carcassonne
Jeff Tidball on Car Wars
Bill Bridges on Champions
Stan! on Circus Maximus
Tom Jolly on Citadels
Steven Savile on Civilization
Bruno Faidutti on Cosmic Encounter
Andrew Looney on Cosmic Wimpout
Skip Williams on Dawn Patrol
Alan R. Moon on Descent
Larry Harris on Diplomacy
Richard Garfield on Dungeons & Dragons
William W. Connors on Dynasty League Baseball
Christian T. Petersen on El Grande
Alessio Cavatore on Empires in Arms
Timothy Brown on Empires of the Middle Ages
Allen Varney on The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Phil Yates on Fire and Fury
William Jones on Flames of War
Rick Loomis on Fluxx
John Kovalic on Formula Dé
Anthony J. Gallela on The Fury of Dracula
Jesse Scoble on A Game of Thrones
Lou Zocchi on Gettysburg
James Wallis on Ghostbusters
James M. Ward on The Great Khan Game
Gav Thorpe on Hammer of the Scots
Uli Blennemann on Here I Stand
S. Craig Taylor, Jr. on A House Divided
Scott Haring on Illuminati
Dana Lombardy on Johnny Reb
Darren Watts on Junta
Greg Stafford on Kingmaker
Lester Smith on Kremlin
Wolfgang Baur on Legend of the Five Rings
Marc W. Miller on Lensman
Ted S. Raicer on London’s Burning
Teeuwynn Woodruff on Lord of the Rings
Mike Breault on Machiavelli
Jordan Weisman on Magic: The Gathering (played once)
Steve Kenson on Marvel Super Heroes
Gary Gygax on Metamorphosis Alpha
Greg Costikyan on My Life with Master
John D. Rateliff on Mythos
Chris “Gerry” Klug on Napoleon’s Last Battles
John Scott Tynes on Naval War
Erick Wujcik on Ogre
Marc Gascoigne on Once Upon a Time (played once)
Mike Bennighof on PanzerBlitz
Steve Jackson on Paranoia
Shannon Appelcline on Pendragon
JD Wiker on Pirate’s Cove
Richard H. Berg on Plague!
Martin Wallace on Power Grid
Tom Wham on Puerto Rico
Joseph Miranda on Renaissance of Infantry
James Ernest on RoboRally
Paul Jaquays on RuneQuest
Richard Dansky on The Settlers of Catan
Ken St. Andre on Shadowfist
Steven S. Long on Shadowrun (played once)
Peter Corless on Shadows over Camelot
Dale Donovan on Silent Death: The Next Millennium
Matt Forbeck on Space Hulk
Ray Winninger on Squad Leader (played once)
Lewis Pulsipher on Stalingrad
Bruce Nesmith on Star Fleet Battles
Steve Winter on The Sword and the Flame
Jeff Grubb on Tales of the Arabian Nights
Shane Lacy Hensley on Talisman
Douglas Niles on Terrible Swift Sword
Ed Greenwood on Thurn and Taxis
Mike Fitzgerald on Ticket to Ride
Thomas Lehmann on Tigris & Euphrates
Warren Spector on Tikal
David “Zeb” Cook on Toon
Mike Pondsmith on Traveller
Zev Shlasinger on Twilight Struggle
Kenneth Hite on Unknown Armies
Sandy Petersen on Up Front
R. Hyrum Savage on Vampire: The Eternal Struggle
George Vasilakos on Vampire: The Masquerade
Kevin Wilson on Vinci
R.A. Salvatore on War and Peace
Jack Emmert on Warhammer 40,000
Chris Pramas on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Steve Jackson on The Warlord
John Wick on Wiz-War

Played: 36
Own: 28
I credit my weak showing to my dislike of war/minis games and CCG’s.

Zany Wharf Rats

…not those other kind

Doc’s Day

Hoo Boy, my little friends, today was a busy action filled fun ride. First, it was all about Grace & Doc finishing the garage cleaning I started yesterday. Hard work, but now you could actually park a car in it.

After the cleaning of the garage, it was shower time for me, then off to a rousing game of zombie bashing courtesy of the Cannibal Pygmy gaming group (as opposed to the group I GM, the Aslin Way Adventurers). We wasted zombies (and outlaw bikers) real good, ate excellent chow and had many laughs. Next time we play, we’ll be doing a pirate adventure. Yarr!

Once I got home, there was a bit of gardening, a touch of garage straightening up, then dinner. Now, I’m blogging and vegging.

More bloggage soon.

Naked Coed Hot Tub Roleplaying Sessions With The California Kid

…with wine, Guinness and gourmet munchies

Man, those were the days:)

Saturday Madness

Due to getting out of bed later than we expected, My Sweet Little Apricot Pie of Love and I decided to do the “large trash pickup day” garage cleaning tomorrow. This still leaves plenty of action and excitement for today tho. Within minutes, I’ll start watering the garden, walking dogs, cleaning house and other homey stuff. Meanwhile, Grace is at school using (or possibly fighting with) the computers at the computer lab. Around noon, it’s off to get my paycheck, do some banking, then make the mad dash up to Marysville to have lunch with my mom, brother and sister in law. THEN, we set a new land speed record getting back home to take Daisy to the vet so he can look at a cyst on her eyelid. WHEW!

And then, tonight, I must start some writing AND some book reading for reviews. Oh, and do another LJ entry about the 21st Century Dociverse Update.

I’m gonna need another vacation soon.

Gaming Stuff

Got Campaign Cartographer 3 (with Symbol Set 1) loaded on the laptop and it is WAY cool. Unfortunately, I cannot get Dungeon Designer 3 to load. The disk drive just spins and nothing happens. I’ll go online tonight and see if ProFantasy tech support can help me out.

While I’m running hither and yon today, my trusty laptop will be down loading the iTabletop beta version of it’s online gaming software. Hopefully, some of my LJ pals will do likewise and we can give it a try with an online gaming session, altho I haven’t got a webcam to use.

My primary gaming group will be getting back together in mid/late September and while I was going to run a fantasy version of Heroes, I’m rethinking that. I’m now leaning towards a pulp series, possibly with an episodic monster hunters lean. That sort of game really does fit my group better than epic campaigning. As far as a rules set goes, I’m thinking FUDGE, since it’s easy and it’s been awhile since we used it.

And now, I must go. Let the mad running about begin!

The 10 Blue Budgies Come Home

…and they’re lookning for trouble

Cool Stuff

Here’s a link to a very cool looking online tabletop gaming system that I just might try using to game with my far flung roleplaying buddies.


Other Stuff

I’ll have some sort of review up for each of the products I got at GenCon (most of which were written by Robin Laws), but probably not before Monday.

This Saturday I’ll be girding my loins and doing at least a partial cleaning out of my garage. The reason (other than my garage being full to overflowing with junk and stuff)is that next Tuesday is the semiannual “large trash pick up” and I always take advantage of this chance to pile up and dispose of crap I no longer need.

Sunday will be Game Day with my other gaming group…the one where I get to be just a player, not the GM. I’m looking forward to some zombie stomping action or, failing that, some running away while screaming.

I’ve loaded Campaign Cartographer 3 onto my laptop. It is very cool and a big step up from the also very cool CC Pro. Full review to come soon, after I make a few maps while giggling like a schoolgirl.

After a couple of years of saying I’d do it “next month”, I sent in a zine to Alarums & Excursions. It’s just a rewriting of the GenCon reports I did here, but what the hell, at least I sent in a zine.

More bloggage later. Now is the time for dog walking, then working.

The 75 Ways To Avoid Becoming A Zombie

…if, ya know, you don’t want to be one

The Big GenCon Wrap Up

So, GenCon was fun. Seeing my friends is what the whole going to GenCon thing is about for me and I certainly got to see them. Some more than others, true, but still there was the visiting and the going out to eat and the playing of games and the goofing off. It was all good.

But, as I mentioned earlier, there was a pretty pronounced feeling of disconnection from the actual con itself. It was kinda like I had broken my GenCon going stride…which I had. Let’s see how that happened…

2002: I go to the last GenCon in Milwaukee and, as in the previous decades worth of GenCons, I had a blast.
2003: No GenCon trip due to no money
2004: I go to GenCon, but due to a leg infection I miss 99% of the con. Also, Indianapolis, with it’s foul smelling air and swampy tasting water, fails to impress me.
2005: No GenCon trip because I’m still feeling crappy about the previous trip, Indy and the gaming scene in general. Also, we are flat broke.
2006: No GenCon trip, despite having the money, because I had sworn not to go until 2007

So, as you can see, I basically missed 5 years of GenCon. thus was my stride broken. But wait, there’s more. Part of the disconnect had to do with the con itself.

See, GenCon has gotten humongous. Enormously, giganticly, con that ate Indy humongous. It has filled the convention center (which is pretty friggin’ huge) and spilled out into about 6 hotels. Hell, it’s Indy’s third largest convention…and Indy hosts a bunch of conventions.

And there’s the deal. In 5 years, GenCon has morphed into a con I didn’t really recognize. True, alot of the con (card games, wargames, computer games, RPGA, LARPs) has never held much appeal to me, but now there’s more of everything and it’s all bigger then ever. Shit, it took 2 days for me to really see all of the Dealer’s Room.

Plus there is the fact that I’m scarcely a year out of nearly 5 years of gaming malaise and still not easily excited by most RPG products.

And going there without Grace…and not having my pal Spike there for the first time ever…and staying alone in a hotel for the first time at a con…all added to things.

Anyway, it all just sort of blindsided me this time around. In some ways, it was like losing my big con virginity all over again.

So, you ask after reading this whinefest, will it be better next year? Well, I doubt it, because barring a lottery win, I doubt I’ll be going next year. 2009 should be a go, but in 2008 I’ll most likely be reading your con reports about it.

And that was my GenCon 2007.

Next con: DunDraCon in February, where I’ll run my 19th annual TOON game.


NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: So yeah, a big lack of money, plus other things, added up to me not hitting GenCon until 2019, and even then, it was mostly on somebody else’s nickle. Pretty much everything I said above, plus allergies and a fucked up tooth extraction, made 2019 my second suckiest GenCon. On the other hand, I still oves me some DunDraCon.

On The Subject Of Golden Haired Faeries

…and their wild ways

GenCon 2007: Another One Bites The Dust

Went to a couple of writers seminars.

Bought the new version of Og, which rocks.

Bought some dice for My Sweet Little Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel Of Cuteness.

Cruised most of the con area within the convention center (which is by no means all of the con area, since shit goes on in several hotels, too) and took some pix.

Said goodbye to several of my gaming buds…until next year or DunDraCon, whichever comes first.

Ran a game of Og tonight, to much acclaim and laughter. Not quite as frenetic as other Og games I’ve been part of, but a loopy fun game nonetheless.

Finally saw the end (and special features) of Call of Cthulu, due to my best pal Avis buying the DVD, which we watched on her laptop.

My flight out tomorrow is not until nearly noon. I’ll be back in Casa del Basset Hound by 5:00 pm. Possibly more bloggage then, but more likely on Tuesday morning.

NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Not a bad con, really, but what with my headspace at the time and impending 9 month unemployment less than a year away, I wouldn’t return to GenCon for 12 more years.

Kill All Of The Evil Penguins

…and just slap around the good ones

GenCon Reportage

Ate again at Buca de Beppo and emerged fully stuffed

Attempted (joined by my pal Avis Crane) to watch the most excellent silent film Call of Cthulhu, but the dvd player being used by the con staff crapped out 3/4 of the way thru the movie.

Cruised the dealer’s room yet again and met Gabriel Gentile and my old pal Tony Lee, who gave me a bit o’ the old swaggeroo to review.

Am convinced that not having really attended GenCon since 2002, I am suffering a bit of a disconnect. It’s like having your stride broken repeatedly on a long hike. More on this later.

The ever gamemasterly Peter Hildreth ran a Man From U.N.C.L.E. adventure using the Savage Worlds rules. It was great fun and pretty hilarious. Tomorrow night, I’ll be running another adventure for the gang. Expect a report on Monday or Tuesday.

D&D4E is coming next year. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

More bloggage at some point.

NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Yeah, D&D 4e was pretty much a big fat shit sandwich for most folks.

The Fantastic Adventure Of Doctor Tempest Versus The Dragon Sorceror

…from the August, 1897 issue

Quick GenCon Stuff

Flight to Indy went ok, tho lack of sleep kicked my ass.

Checked into Sheraton hotel, rested, then visited with friends.

Went into Dealer’s Room today, came out $200.00 poorer, but bearing cool goodies.

Said Dealer’s Room is roughly the size of Ecuador. Feet and legs nearly worn out by closing time.

Saw many old gaming pals while in the above humongous Dealer’s Room.

Played in a Savage World’s game here in my friend’s room. Action packed and mucho fun.

Tomorrow: visit the zoo, take in more of the con (including seminars), run one of my patented cool freeform games, maybe drink beer, definitely eat a good meal.

I miss Grace and The Girls, but they are doing fine at home, so I’m not worrying.

More convention updatage possible tomorrow.

NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: This was not a sucky GenCon, but there was that feeling of disconnect that would loom Vastly larger in 2019.

The Rare And Beautiful Farting Marmoset Of Potawango Island

…beautiful, but very flatulent

I got up at 5:30 this morning, in hopes that I’ll be so tired when my flight to GenCon leaves that I’ll be able to snooze during the trip. And that includes catnapping during my 2 hour layover in Texas.

Will my plan work? Stay tuned…oh, wait…I won’t be blogging from the con, since I’m leaving my trusty laptop at home. Well then, tune in next Monday night:)

I Was There When Billy Shot The Sun

…and then we did a fade

Mini Review: Stardust

Simply put, this movie is made out of fun. It doesn’t hit a single bad note in it’s telling of a good old adventure filled tale of magic, action, evil and love. If you don’t go see it in the theater, you’ll regret it.

Pre-GenCon Update

With a bit over 50 hours before I need to be at the airport for my redeye to Indy, I’m washing clothes, choosing bandanas (no easy task, since I’m only taking 7 bandanas out of 300+), assembling assorted necessities and trying to pack it all into a single backpack. Yow!

More bloggage later.

All Hail The Queen Of Aslin Way!

…and the greatest dog mom in the galaxy

The girls and I love you, cutie.

A quick review of the Sci Fi Channel’s new Flash Gordon series
It sucks! It sucks like a $2.00 whore during Fleet Week. Black holes at the center of galaxies suck less than this steaming pile of updated re-imagined poorly acted cheapass shit. If you look up shit in dictionary, you see images from this series. They cancelled “The Dresden Files”, but spent money to make this unholy mess. Even for Sci Fi Channel, this is insane.

Doc buys cell phone, world to end soon
Yeah, I went to Best Buy and picked up a $19.99 pay as you go Cingular cell phone and an extra $25.00 card for more minutes. After GenCon, I am sure it will gather dust on a shelf.

And now, I’m out to the garden. More blog-O-rama later.

NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: Well, I was wrong as fuck about a cell phone gathering dust, wasn’t I?

The Second To Last Supper

…when Jesus ate the last biscuit, Paul drank one to many martinis and Judas stiffed the waiter

These dreams…

So, last night I had a dream that I was driving along a highway way up on the Sierras. The only passenger in the car was Daisy and she was about twice her normal size. She also seemed to understand spoken english very well and answered my questions/comments with a bark for “yes” and a woof for “no”.

Anyway, we stopped at a little cafe/gas station for gas and some orange soda. The inside of the cafe was much larger than the outside and there were lots of creepy looking rednecks playing pool, drinking and generally raising hell.
One of the rednecks tried to kick Daisy and she ripped his leg off with one bite! I yelled “Holy Shit!” and then the rednecks turned into werewolves and started coming after us.

In a blink, we were back in the car, which could apparently drive itself, and I was shooting werewolves while Daisy was dropping some kind of hand grenades out the back window. Them werewolves was blowin’ up real good.

Then the dream shifted and we were back in Sacramento. After that, I segued into another dream that I can’t remember much of, except that someone was baking bread.

More blogstuff later.

Bats Wearing Hats And Rats Wearing Spats Shooting Gats At Cats

…and that’s that

Stuff (GenCon Edition)

Due mostly to the hassles of flying/airport security. I’ve decided to pack lightly for this years GenCon. No laptop, few clothes, the bare minimum of toiletries,a couple of books, my trusty & battered digital camera. Maybe an el cheapo prepaid cell phone. Oh, and only 6-8 bandanas. Should all fit nicely in my backpack.

It occurred to me last night that this will be the first ever con I’ve ever attended where I’ve stayed in a room all by myself. I expect I’ll have trouble falling asleep.

As far as buying stuff at the con goes, the only things I’m sure to buy are: Campaign Cartographer 3, The Esoterrorists (by Supreme RPG Fu Master Robin Laws) and more dice I don’t need. I may well buy some stuff from other folks (Green Ronin, I’m lookin’ at you), but those are the only things I’m sure I want. Grace wants me to check out board games, so no doubt some of my $$ will go that way. One thing I keep in mind at cons is that my FLGS gives a 10% discount on all purchases, so a con discount has to beat that.

I have few hard and fast plans for the con: playing in a “room game” or two, running a room game or two and having a wee drink or twelve with me gaming buddies. If anybody wants to entice me into doing something of a fun nature, feel free to hit me up with your idea.

And now, it’s dog feeding time. More bloggishness later.

The Fourteen Secrets For Becoming Comfortably Numb

…with apologies to Pink Floyd

Watched Feasting On Asphalt: The River Run last night. As expected, it was good and seeing Alton and his crew chowing down across Louisianna only reinforced my desire to some day visit that state for a few days of culinary excess.

As some of you may or may not know, I change my bio here on LJ every few months. Well, I’ve done it yet again and, for your viewing pleasure, I’ve put both the previous bio (which, I believe was my 6th bio) and the new one behind this cut

Naughty Canary Songs

…sung by naughty little birds

New Alton Brown Goodness!

For those of you not aware of it, Alton Brown has a new “Feasting On Asphalt” series starting up tomorrow, Saturday, August 4, on Food Network. This one is six episodes long and finds Alton and his band of motorcycling muchachos heading up the mighty Mississippi River, from New Orleans to Minnesota and chowing down on local grub the whole way.

The Profoundly Silly Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Dalek Invasion Of Willows, California

…co-starring her new neighbor Bartholemew Cork and his pet wombat, Dennis

Still alive!

Just a quickie to let y’all know that despite my lack of activity here in the blogosphere, I’m not dead or sick or under arrest or anything. Mostly, I’ve just been Thinking Deep Thoughts, Goofing Off, Being Lazy and Dabbling In Things That You Are Not Cleared To Know About. With any luck, I’ll be blogging again very soon.