Coconut Cream Chicken Pot Pie

…yum yum, it’s two dishes in one

On The Road With Violet: Turtle Raiders

As the turtle pitches about, everyone grabs hold of something to hold on to. Lavender, squealing in fear and anger, wedges herself under a chair.

Hercules, now fighting to retain control of the turtle, shouts, “We’re under attack! Looks like road pirates, Perfesser!”

“Bloody Hell!,” Sir Rupert exclaims as he begins heading down the hallway of the turtles neck. “Trembly, man the turret. Violet, come with me to the tail gun.”

Following Sir Rupert, Violet heads for the after section of the turtle, doing her best not to be thrown to her knees by the increasingly violent rocking. After a few minutes, they reach a strange looking sort of chair. It has hand grips, foot pedals and an odd looking helmet thing attached to it.

Quickly helping Violet into the chair, Sir Rupert begins fastening a restraining belt across her waist as he explains how to operate the tail gun.

“Right grip controls up and down. Left controls side to side. Pump your foot on the left pedal a few times to pressurize the gun, then push the right pedal down to fire. You’ll be able to see the entire rear area through the viewer. Good luck!”

With that, he runs back towards the front of the turtle, barking orders to Nigel and Hercules.

Pulling the helmet onto her head, Violet can now see the rear portion of of the turtle, including its 6 foot long tail. There are half a dozen men, all dressed in black, clinging to the turtles lower shell. They seem to be armed with large pistols of a type Violet has never seen before.

Violet begins to use the controls to manipulate the tail gun. As she does this, she pumps the left pedal until it will no longer move. Once the gun is pointing directly at one of the men, she stomps down on the right pedal.

“Oh my!,” Violet cries out as a gout of flame shoots from the turtle tail and turns the road pirate into a fireball. “That will show them!” Soon, she is flaming pirates right and left. After a couple of minutes, she has cleared off all of them.

Cats Who Rob Banks Never Leave A Clue

…except for the odd hairball

Well, well, well…once again, I had to cast the tie breaking (and randomly determined) vote on the latest Violet poll. That was quite the 3 way race y’all had going there. Anyway, new Violet entry up tonight.

All goes well here at Basset Hound Manor, with Grace in her usual frenzy about her latest computer class (Dreamweaver, I think). She’ll ace the class, of course, just as she always does, but you’ll never convince her of that until she sees the final grades.

I’m doing ok, despite a motherfucker of a headache caused by sleeping with my neck at a bad angle.

Winker is…well, just sweet and pupperiffic. As always.

Daisy got freaked out by some thunder last night, but is ok today, which is good cos she has another vet visit in about 45 minutes.

More bloggage later.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Your Face Explodes

…and we all know how much that hurts.

The Weekend That Was

Saturday was another “Doc throws himself headlong into gardening until he is exhausted” day. I made a great many weeds my bitch, did some pruning, swept/raked up tons of cuttings/clippings, hauled same to a new bigass compost pile (on the driveway, near the herb bed) and generally spent 7 hours trying to kill myself in my annual Fall horticultural cleaning orgy.

Once that was all done and I was a mass of aching muscles, I showered, collapsed into my chair and allowed my Sweet Angel to shove food, drink (stout! mmmmmm!) and pain meds into easy arms reach. Then, later, I slept the sleep of the back spasm plagued dead.

Sunday was all about going over to help my pal patricks do some work on his late father’s house. We ripped up some carpet, moved some furniture, tore down some old paneling, sorted through many household items and ate pizza. By 3:45, I was home.

Soon, I shall advance cook a mess o’ red beans and rice for tomorrow nights dinner, then help Grace cook dinner for tonight. Then, later (once Grace has gone to bed), I shall watch Carnival of Souls, a wonderfully creepy low budget flick from the 1960’s.

The Flying Spanaducci Sisters

…Stella, Frieda, Maxine and Hortense

(Directors Note: Since the City of Glass tied with Earth As Seen From Space, I flipped a coin to determine the winner)

On The Road With Violet: Picture This

Upon seeing the photograph of the City of Glass, Violet leaps to her feet so that she may examine it closely. The picture is a bit out of focus, but it does indeed show the legendary city. It appears to have been taken from some distance away and at a rather high altitude.

Violet quickly turns to Sir Rupert. “Professor, is this the City of Glass? Did you take this photograph?”

Sir Rupert is a bit taken aback by Violet’s excitement, but he answers her. “Why, yes, that is the City of Glass, but I’m afraid I did not take the photo. It was taken by my Uncle William, who was an explorer of some note. I believe he took that one while on his expedition to the Short Forest of Calderoon.”

“Oh,” says Violet, “I don’t suppose he is still around, is he? I would very much like directions to the City of Glass from somebody who has actually been there.”

“No, my dear, my uncle lost along with all hands in a shipwreck 20 years ago.”

A bit bummed out, Violet returns to her chair. “Ah well,” she sighs, “I guess I’ll just keep looking. Sooner or later I’m just bound to find directions that will take me there.”

After a moments thought, Nigel speaks up. “Professor, weren’t all of your uncle’s journals and other papers donated to the Explorer’s Club after his death? Might Violet not find something useful among them?

Slapping his knee, Sir Rupert exclaims, “By George, Trembly, you’ve got a point there! Why, we’ll just send the Head Librarian a message saying that he should help Violet look through the notes. Violet, I’m thinking it won’t be too much longer before you have your directions!”

But before Violet can thank them, a terribly loud racket surprises them all and the turtle begins to rock back and forth rather alarmingly. Tea is spilled, things are knocked off of shelves and Lavender begins squealing.

The Robot Pirates Versus The Ninja Zombies On A Zeppelin In Dinosaur Land

…somewhere, gamers heads are exploding

Well, my little porkchops, due to computer glitches and a couple of unavoidable errands, my plans to submit a zine to A&E got buggered. still, I’m way ahead of the NEXT deadline:)

And now, garden pix!

First, one of my Giant Hawaiian Gourds. That baby is as big as a basketball.

Next, red and yellow Mums, blue Asters and some multicolored Gazanias

More eyepopping Mums

A Small Glass Of Fruitwater

…with a big slice of fun

Ok, so every time I think I’m feeling better (and I’m not like, on death’s door or anything…just feeling drained, mostly), I sort of slip back. I suspect this weekend will find me sleeping and resting. Anyway, despite feeling like a mere shadow of my usual manly self, here’s the latest installment of Violets travels.

On The Road With Violet: Girl Talk

Violet thinks for a moment before replying. “That’s very kind of you, Professor. Give me a moment to discuss it with Lavender, please.”

Kneeling down and speaking in a low voice, Violet asks Lavender what she thinks of the idea.

“Grunt, grunt, squeal, squeal?”, says Lavender.

“Oh, no, I’m quite sure they wouldn’t have pork on the menu”, replies Violet.

“Oink, oink, grunt, oink?”

“Yes, I agree, a hot bath would be very nice.”

“Grunt, grunt, oink, squeal.”

“Oh, of course we would share a room.”

“Grunt, oink, grunt, grunt, oink, oink.”

“Right…fresh milk with potatoes in the morning…no alcohol…a hot water bottle in the bed. Anything else?”

“Oink, oink, grunt.”

“Just a moment and I’ll ask.” Violet turns toward Sir Rupert. “Excuse me, Professor, but do you by chance have any pigs on your estate?”

Sir Rupert nods.

“Well, Lavender, there you go. You can have a nice chat with some other lady pigs.”

“Squeal, grunt, squeal!”

“What? Gentleman pigs? But why…”

“Grunt, grunt, grunt, squeal!”

Violet blushes quite deeply. “Oh my, Lavender, aren’t you the saucy lass!”

“Squeal!”

Giggling (Violet) and squealing (Lavender), the two young friends rise and start walking towards Nelly, the Travel Terrapin.

“Professor”, Violet says, “we would be most happy to join you for dinner.”

Sir Rupert claps his hands together. “Excellent! right this way, ladies!”

After escorting them up into the turtle head/control room/sitting room, Sir Rupert gestures to Hercules and gives him the command to head for home.

Slowly, the turtles mouth closes and the whole machine begins to move with a rolling gait somewhat like a large slow moving draft horse. A few moments later, Nigel joins them, taking a seat opposite Violet. For the next few minutes, they chat and drink tea that Sir Rupert pours from a thermos into rather expensive looking teacups.

After about 10 minutes, Violet notices several pictures on the wall. Most of them show a much younger Sir Rupert in a variety of exotic looking places, but one shows something very surprising.

Braiding Snakes

…not as easy as you might think

Blah. BLAH!, I say!

Not in a good mood. It’s dreary and overcast outside, so my S.A.D. is activating. Got a low level earache. Not getting enough sleep (my fault). Feeling generally like crap.

Will try to write more on Violet tonight.

Bucky & Squint Enter The Amazon

…and the amazon quite enjoyed it

Naughty Doc! Bad boy!

Ok, so I fell asleep last night and didn’t post any Dociverse or Violet stuff. I shall try to make up for it tonight.

On The Road With Violet: Woah, Nelly!

It would not at all be overstating things to say that both Violet and Lavender star goggle eyed and slack jawed at what they see approaching them.

It’s a turtle as big as a house and all made up of steel, brass, copper and aluminium. Its huge feet are carrying it along at a brisk 10 miles an hour and its head, as large as a gypsy wagon, bobs gently up and down. All in all, it is a very impressive piece of work.

Returning to her senses, Lavender let’s out a loud squeal and runs off to hide behind Nigel.

Returning to her senses, Violet can only say, “Oh my. Am I to assume that is Nelly?”

Rocking back and forth on his heels and smiling like a proud father, Sir Rupert nods.

“Yes indeed, my dear, that is Nelly. She’s the first of what I like to call ‘Travel Terrapins’ and it was Trembly who came up with the original idea”

Nigel blushes a bit and nods.

“Oh, don’t be so humble, lad. It was a bleeding great idea, and one that I’ll wager will make us both rich.” He chuckles a bit at that statement and gives Violet a wink. “We inventors tend to go through money at rather an alarming rate, or so my accountant tells me.”

As Nelly gets even closer, Nigel once again plays a short unmelodic tune and the huge turtle takes a few more slow steps, then stops and lowers its head. As soon as the head touches the ground, the mouth opens, revealing a short set of steps leading into a very comfy looking combination sitting room/pilot house. A very small, very hairy man is seated at the controls.

“G’day, Perfesser!” He says in a surprisingly deep voice.

“Good day, Hercules! Trembly and I will have things loaded up no time.” With that, Sir Rupert and Nigel grab opposite ends of the fying suit and carry it up the turtle’s mouth, through its head and down its hallway sized throat. After a couple of minutes, Sir Rupert returns and walks up to Violet.

“Violet, it would be my very great pleasure to invite you and Lavender to dinner at my home. I can promise you a lovely dinner and no hanky panky from any of us stodgy old bachelors. What say you?”

Squeaky Clean Evil Gamemasters

…as opposed to the dirty stinky kind

On The Road With Violet: On The Air

“The conquest of the air? Why, I thought the great airships had conquered the air.”, Violet says in reply to Sir Rupert’s little speech. She can’t help noticing that both Sir Rupert and Nigel are quite good looking men, each in his own way. Both are tall, with Sir Rupert being a bit taller. His curly blonde hair is quite unruly and his blue eyes sparkle with both humor and that mildly mad dedication all scientists seem to possess. His mouth looks like it was made for smiling and talking at great length. All told, he reminds Violet very much of somebody’s uncle who is great fun at parties.

Nigel, on the other hand, is very much the picture of a Serious Young Man. A somewhat nervous Serious Young Man…with very nice dark hair that hangs to his shoulders…and deep brown eyes…and a mouth that looks like it would be very kissable.

At that thought, Violet blushes a bit.

“The great airships? The great bleeding airships?” Sir Rupert looks positively scandalized. “My dear Violet, while it is true that the invention of the airship allowed mankind to voyage into the air, saying that those great wallowing gasbags conquered the air is poppycock!”

Nigel steps next to Violet and whispers, “Oh, now you’ve set him off.”

Sir Rupert begins pacing back and forth, in a way that reminds Violet of her old teacher, Mr. Friddle. He stops for a moment and looks Violet in the eye.

“Have you ever watched birds flying about?” Before Violet can answer, he answers for her. “Of course you have! We all have! Since prehistoric times, man has envied birds and their ability to fly. Not float along on the wind like some great soap bubble, but fly, with all the freedom in the world! Well, my flying suit will allow we humans to share that same freedom.”

Violet has to admit, Sir Rupert is a stirring speaker.

“Oh, it sounds quite wonderful, sir. I would very much like to be able to fly like a bird.”, Violet exclaims.

Sir Rupert leans over and gives Violet a big smile. “Well, once I get the suit perfected, I’ll let you give it a try. Now, Trembly, if you’d be so good as to blow the whistle and summon Nelly, we’ll load up the suit and head back to the workshop.”

“Straightaway, Professor!”, Nigel replies as he pulls what looks like a small flute from his pocket. He blows a short and not very melodic tune from it, then goes to help Sir Rupert carry the flying suit to the roadside.

About two minutes later, Violet hears something coming down the road.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Somebody Gets Covered In Cold Fondue

…I hate when that happens

So, here we are with no Violet post. How might that have happened? Read on.

How My Sunday Plans Got Royally Fucked

Oh, my droogies, I had such plans for yesterday. Some weed whacking, some housework, some writing, some reading of “White Night”, the Harry Dresden novel that came out last spring.

And then I went into my backyard and saw a limb splitting off from a tree.

A bigass limb that hangs over our roof. Every time the wind would move it, it would make scary cracking noises. I had to do something fast.

So, I went to Home Depot, bought an extendable pole saw (a manual pole saw, not a powered one) and spent over two hours on top of my house, in the heat of the day, sawing branches off of the limb so as to lighten it so it wouldn’t sway so much in the wind. Eventually, after about 47 heart attacks and muscle cramps in every part of my body, I had cut off enough of the damn thing so that, even if it does fall, it won’t fuck up the house.

Then I dragged my totally exhausted ass into the house, swilled down Ibuprofen and water, collapsed into my recliner and recuperated.

Nothing else got done the rest of the day. Dog bless my Sweet Angel of a wife for going and buying me beer and cooking dinner.

Violet’s adventures will continue tonight, I promise.

The Fruit Train Is On Schedule

…all aboard

Zounds! My brain is so full of deep fried creative goodness that my head may well explode in a beautiful (albeit bloody and brain mattery) fountain of gamerish/writerish/fanboyish geekgasm. Or I may just lock myself in my writing room, have Grace shove food and drink thru the door every few hours, and go into a fevered writing frenzy.

Undead Jackalopes Frightened My Donkey

…it was all very traumatic

On The Road With Violet: Director’s Diary

The story continues to go well and the pig (whose real name is Antigone) is one of the more talented animals I’ve ever worked with.

In an earlier entry, I completely forgot to point out that Violet’s Granny Ingrid is being played by Olivia DeHavilland.

Soon, we will depart the river location for indoor shooting. This will please everyone, since it is apparently the height of the mosquito season.

I eagerly await casting of the Professor and Nigel. The studio wanted me to use Ian McKellen and Sean Astin for “a sort of Lord of the Rings tie in”, but they are doomed to disappontment.

The Great High Speed Downhill No Brakes Disintegrating Wagon Ride

…which I survived, tho not unscathed

On The Road With Violet: Fly By Knight

Violet is walking down the road, trying to guess the name of her new traveling companion.

“Katrina?”

The pig gives an negative grunt.

“Kelly? Kim? Lily? Lucy?”

Grunt, grunt, grunt, grunt.

“Well, am I at least close to the right letter?”

The little pig gives an affirmative squeal.

“Hmmm…alright…Lana? Lois? Laverne?”

The pig grunts twice, then makes a sort of strange semi-squeal.

“Ah ha!”, says Violet in a rather triumphant manner, “Does it sound like Laverne?”

The pig squeals and nods.

“Hmmm…how about Lavender?”

Immediately, the pig begins squealing in joy and jumping about.

“Well, Miss Lavender, I’m quite glad to finally know your name. Now, what do you say to having a sit down and a bite to eat by the river’s edge?”

Lavender nods enthusiastically and follows Violet to a spot by the riverside, under a small oak tree. From out of her bag, Violet produces some bread, cheese, jam and a bottle of blueberry soda. Soon, the two friends are snacking away and cooling off from the rising daytime temperature.

As they are finishing up their meal and discussing the merits of a short nap, they hear a man coming up the road, yelling at the top of his lungs.

“Aim for the riverside, Professor! I’ll be there straightaway!”

They then hear a second voice, coming from the sky.

“Righto, Trembly! Do have the first aid kit ready. This looks to be a bit of a rough one!”

Violet and Lavender first look down the road, where they see a young man running for all he is worth in their direction. Then, looking up, they see what looks like a man with huge flapping wings spiraling downward towards a spot near their tree.

Lavender grunts a very puzzled grunt.

“I agree”, Violet replies, “This is most strange. But rather exciting, too, don’t you think?”

Lavender oinks in a way that says she’s not sure how exciting it is, but is certainly is strange.”

Within moments, the flying man crashes to earth. Seconds later, the young man reaches him and helps him out of what looks like some sort of clockwork powered flying suit. He then begins applying ointment and bandages to the older man’s injuries. All the while, the not too badly damaged fellow is speaking enthusiastically about what the view was like and how well things went.

Overcome with curiosity, Violet, followed closely by Lavender, walks over to speak with them.

“Good day, sirs. My name is Violet Thistledown and this is my friend, Lavender. May we ask what it is you’re doing?”

Leaping to his feet, the older man bows and introduces himself.

“My dear young lady, I am Sir Rupert Poppington, Professor of Clockwork Technology. This young fellow is my assistant, Nigel Trembly. As to what we are doing, well, that is nothing more nor less than the conquest of the air!”

The Heartwarming, Yet Politically Incorrect, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Happy Kitten

…co-starring her pet emu, Yvette

Mr. Cross Goes Mad

Well, really, that’s pretty old news. What I really mean is that, due to reading vast amounts of Narbonic recently (in order to have read the entire 5 years worth of strips), as well as reading that Atlas Games has THIS coming out, I’ve been thinking about madness quite a bit.

Now, by madness, I mean the fun mad scientist type of madness, not the real world types of madness that affect crazy people and the religious righties and neocons and people like Paris Hilton. No, I’m talking about world conquering, brain switching, giant robot building, insanely laughing, GETTING REVENGE UPON THOSE FOOLS AT THE INSTITUTE WHO LAUGHED AT ME! type of madness.

And I’m thinking of putting an adventure together about it.

More on this as it develops.

Oh, while I have y’all here, if you haven’t voted in the most recent storytelling poll, please go do so. I’ll be writing up the next scene for Violet tomorrow.

Antimatter Just Like Mom Used To Make

…homebaked goodness for your warp drive

On The Road With Violet: Pig Out

For a few minutes Violet walks along as if nothing is amiss. Then, suddenly, she spins around to face whoever is following her.

There, in the grass at the side of the road, she sees a small red pig. Both she and the young swine are caught by surprise for a moment. For Violet’s part, well, one seldom finds oneself being followed by pigs. The pig, on the other hand, has come to learn that when humans suddenly turn to face you, it can mean a long chase and a quick return to the pig pen…or worse.

After a moment’s silence, Violet speaks up.

“Well, hello there. I’m sorry if I startled you, but you were giving me a bit of the creeps, following me all stealthily like that. My name is Violet and I’m pleased to meet you.”

Now, it may well seem odd to most of us to strike up a conversation with a pig. After all, it’s not the sort of thing that most people (pig farmers excepted, of course) would do. However, Violet is determined not to be bound by conventionality, so chatting up a pig is not all that strange for her.

The pig steps out of the grass and Violet can see that it is a young female, weighing around 50 pounds. After approaching to within 5 feet of Violet, the pig gives forth with a few grunts and a subdued squeal, then curtsies. Violet, who was taught good manners by her Granny Ingrid, curtsies back.

“My, what a well mannered young lady you are”, she says to the pig. “Would you like to travel along with me? I’d enjoy someone to talk to, and we girls probably shouldn’t travel alone.”

The pig nods and then she and Violet set off down the road. After a minute or so, Violet says “So, Miss Pig, what is your name? I suppose I’ll have to guess, since I don’t speak Swinish. Is it Alice?”

The pig shakes her head.

“Ann?”

Another shake.