Chapter 102: In Which Our Hero Runs Afoul Of The Law, Trains A Duck To Waltz And Finally Beds Lucy

…it was a very clever duck

What I did on my birthday

well, for starters, I got up at 6 AM in the morning in order to be ready for my 8 AM appointment with my Orthopedist. He had some X rays taken of my fucked up right wrist and determined that…

A: When I injured it in the accident back in 1982, a bone fragment broke off and reattached itself in the wrong spot, thus limiting the hands mobility. Nothing can be done to fix this, but I’m ok with that.

B: The actual pain in my wrist has been caused by a cyst that presses on the nerves & muscles of the wrist joint. This can be fixed after I get an MRI done on it. I’m very happy to hear that.

C: In the doctors considered opinion, the previous doctors who, over the past 26 years, have blown me off on this wrist problem, were “nitwits.

After that medical fun, I headed off to the dermatologist to get my regular UVB irradiation, then spent a few hours visiting thrift stores looking for cheap books. Alas, I found but two that interested me: “Redwall” and a Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Moriarty novel, “The Infernal Device”.

For my birthday lunch, I hit the Thai Cottage on Howe Avenue for some very hot & spicy beef Pa Nang and some of the best Thai iced tea I’ve ever had. All for only $11.00 including tip.

After lunch, with a nice volcanic warmth in my belly and my tongue seared to about medium well done, I stopped by a couple of game stores. Unfortunately, with money being tight and most RPG products being a bit pricey for my tastes (to say nothing of being stuff I would not play), I bought nothing. Even the used games didn’t tempt me.

Next, I went home and walked The Girls. They were glad to see me after having been away for forever (AKA more than an hour). I checked my email, gave my sweet hound dogs a bite to eat, then headed off to pick up Grace from work. On the way home, we stopped by Fry’s to check out computer games and such, but bought nothing. Then, it was home for dinner, cake and ice cream.

All in all, not a bad birthday.

And now, off to work. More blogging later.

A Study Of The Drinking Habits Of The California Free Range Celtic White Boy

…it’s all very scientific

Ok, so I’m pretty drunk right now. But what the fuck, it’ll be my birthday in less than an hour. Unless things change alot overnight, I’ll be eating Thai food for my Birthday Lunch. I have no idea what else I’ll do, aside from going to see a doctor about my fucked up right wrist at 8:00 AM and then going for my regular Tuesday session in Dr. Yen’s Psoriasis Zapping UVB Booth From Hell. I might scour a few thrift stores for cheap books or I might check out some of the many local game stores.

Well, the alcohol is now gone, so it’s time for me to stagger off to bed. Besides, Winker wants to sleep in this chair.

More bloggage tomorrow.

The Ten Blue Budgies Cook Mexican Food

…and go a bit heavy on the chiles

Free Website Design Critiques

Hey, y’all, My Sweet Angel, Grace, AKA _lythande is trying to establish a little sideline business reviewing folks website designs. To start out, and earn some street cred, she’ll be doing some for free. And she’ll do company websites, too. Anyway, click on the link above to read more.

Thanks!

Never Turn Your Back On A Wet Winkerdog

…lest she try to climb onto your lap

As you might guess from the above, The Girls are now freshly washed and about 90% dry. They smell like wet dogs and vanilla scented shampoo.

And now, because I’m bored, the 50 Things meme.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yep

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Smoked it? No, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never met anybody who smoked it. Most folks shoot it. I snorted it. I have smoked opium, which is the base stuff of heroin.

3. Do you own a gun? Yes, but it’s not here at my home

4. Your favorite song? I have too many to make that choice

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Nope

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Good ones are great cuisine. And putting ketchup on a hot dog is a horrible perversion.

7. Favorite Christmas song? Hell, I dunno…Jingle Bells?

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Tea

9. Can you do push ups? Nope

10. Favorite body part (on yourself)? Internally? My brain. Externally? My legs.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? The only one I have: My emerald ear stud that is my “wedding ring”

12. Favorite hobby? Sex

13. Do you put butter on your Movie popcorn? I don’t eat popcorn

14. Do you have A.D.D.? No, I just act like it because I’m a stubborn old fucker.

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? My temper

16. Middle Name: Travis

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I’m hungry…that dog is screwy…it’s getting dark out

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: paperback books, food, gas

19. Name 3 things you drink on a regular basis. Milk, water, tea

20. Current worry right now? As it often is, money

21. Current hate right now? The vast stupid herds of the human race

22. Favorite place to be? Somewhere where it is summer

23. How did you bring in the New Year? I drank a beer while watching tv

24. Where would you like to go? Australia

25. Name three people who will complete this: I have no idea

26. Do you own slippers? Nope

27. What shirt are you wearing? Bright yellow t-shirt

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope, too slippery

29. Can you whistle? Yes, but not like I could before I had dentures

30. Favorite color? Green

31. Would you be a pirate? No, I’d be THE pirate!

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Depends upon my mood. Today, it was “Crazy” by Willie Nelson

33. Favorite girl’s name? Poppy

34. Favorite boy’s name? Sam

35. What’s in your pocket right now? These gym shorts have no pockets

36. Last thing that made you laugh? The Girls

37. Best bed sheets as a child? That was 40+ years ago. I can’t remember.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Painwise? Racking my nuts in a 30 MPH dirtbike wreck.

39. Do you love where you live? No

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two

41. Who is your loudest friend? I’ve never measured their volume.

42. How many dogs do you have? Two

43. Does someone have a crush on you? Of course. Most likely, many people do. I’m lovable and sexy.

45. What is your favorite book? I cannot choose.

46. What is your favorite candy? M&Ms

47. Favorite Sports Team? Team Gryffendor

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I have a long list, but “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin is at the top

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Goofing off online

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? The same thing I think every morning: “Gotta pee”

 

Sneaking A Ride In a Truck Full Of Cattle

…from Barstow to San Diego, 1971

Doc Update

Yesterday was all about running hither and yon on errands with Grace. Part of our errands included stopping at a huge thrift store that has an equally huge book section. While there, I increased my paperback pulp collection with “Daughter of Fu Manchu” and “The Avenger #23: The Wilder Curse”. In a non-pulpy vein, I also picked up “Magical Beasts And Where To Find Them” and “Quidditch Through The Ages”. All of these were 50 cents each. My Sweet Angel bought a big bag of books, most of which relate to her further honing her computer technomancy skills.

Once the running about was done, we took The Girls to the now named “Jackrabbit Park”. It was fairly sunny and near 70 degrees, so it was good dog walking weather. While Grace strolled about with Winker, Daisy and I went in search of the wily hare that escaped us last time.

And, he escaped us this time, too. Primarily, this was done by him being about a quarter mile away from us when we finally spotted him. Despite my having Daisy on her 80′ long rope leash, she never even got close to her #2 Hated Enemy (#1 is still the insidious Baby Gate). When she was still 500 feet away from the longeared lout, he hauled ass into a thickly wooded creek area. Still, Daisy was not depressed by this turn of events, taking the advantage of her proximity to a pond to vigorously bark at several ducks.

We walked back to the car, vowing that we would return and be victorious in our efforts to give Ol’ Jack a serious ass whuppin’.

Last night was all about being lazy and watching movies of a magical bent. Said movies were “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Practical Magic”. Later (like, 2AM for me) there was sleeping.

So far today, after a rather massive breakfast at Hometown Buffet, there has been some laziness. However, Grace has just left to buy groceries and I’m soon up to do laundry, so we may actually shake off our sluggishness…just in time to bath these two stinky hound dogs. After that, we may dabble in the exciting world of dishwashing and dinner cooking. The fun, she never stops.

Non-Violet Oriented Poll

Ok, Most Honored Readers, it’s time for a poll. Ya see, Tuesday is my birthday (#54 in a series) and, since I have taken the day off, I need to decide where to have my Annual Birthday Lunch. This year, I’ve decided to let you choose my dining destination.

Return Of The Red Metal Baby Toy

…and all along we thought it was dead

Behold! At long last, another Violet episode!

On The Road With Violet: In Which A Stealthy Approach Is Used And A Pig Is Underestimated

Under cover of the night, our band of brave rescuers slips out of the marsh and onto the fairly well cleaned up outskirts of the village.

“Right then, we all know what to do”, whispers Violet, “so, let’s get on with it. Good luck.”

With that, Violet and Ranger (for that was the Irish Setter’s name) set out for the Mayor’s house. Meanwhile, Lavender and Verity set off to free the prisoners while Jake and Nick go to deal with the guards set up around the turtle.

The pirates, according to Lavender, were still mostly laying low outside of town. With any luck, Our Heroes hope to be in the turtle and creeping up on the pirate ship before dawn.

The Mayor’s house is dark as Violet and Ranger approach it. As they wind through the rather extensive garden, Violet notices a light coming from a basement window. Moving closer, they stop behind a small juniper bush and try to get a look inside. After a moment, they see the mayor and another man step into view. They seem to be carrying a large metal object between them.

“That’s it, Ranger”, she tells the dog in hushed tones.

“Woof, woof”, he quietly replies.

“I’ve no idea”, says Violet, “but it must be something worth working on in secret late at night. Considering what a wanker that mayor is, it could well be some infernal machine.”

Ranger thinks for a moment and then says, “Ruff, woof, grrr.”

Violet nods. “I can see your point, mate. I reckon they’re all infernal machines to you.”

In the basement, it looks as though the mayor and his companion are attaching cables to the device they were carrying. Suddenly, many lights of different colors come on all over the basement and a low hum fills the air.

Meanwhile, across the village, Verity and Lavender have reached the building where Sir Rupert, Nigel and Hercules are being held. Two large men armed with shotguns are guarding the front door.

“So, Lavender, it looks like you are on”, Verity says, nodding towards the guards.

“Grunt, oink, grunt.”

Verity, who does not speak Swinish as well as Violet does, is pretty sure that Lavender has just told her she will hit them with a melon. However, before she can ask for clarification, Lavender trots off towards the guards.

Seeing the pig coming towards them, the guards (who are, if the truth be known, bored silly) begin making comments about her.

“Oi, Denny, it’s that pig again, the one what’s been wandering around for the last week”, says the guard with the big nose.

Looking at the young porker, Denny says, “I’ve been wondering where she got off to. Didn’t see her about all day today. Probably went off to sleep in the mud.”

The big nosed guard (whose name is Alf) chuckles.

“I expect she did just that. Filthy creatures, pigs. Stupid, too.”

As they laugh, Lavender begins to run around in a circle. Soon, she is running very fast.

“Would ya look at that. Bloody thing has gone off it’s nut”, Alf says.

After a few seconds, Lavender stops running, falls over on her side and, after some dramatic squealing and thrashing about, stops moving.

“Well would ya look at that”, says Denny, “she’s done keeled over dead.”

Stepping forward, Denny bends down to get a closer look. After poking Lavender with his finger, he is about to pronounce her dead when, suddenly, the young sow leaps to her feet and bites him square in the crotch.

Giving forth a high pitched scream that would do any young girl proud, Denny drops his gun and begins trying to pry the pigs jaws loose. Behind him, Alf sets his gun aside and picks up a rock.

“Hang on there, Denny, I’ll get her off ya with…” His sentence is cut short as he falls face first to the ground.

“…a rock to the head?”, Verity says from behind him, hefting her own rock.

Seeing that Verity has done her part, Lavender lets go of Denny’s family jewels. Denny falls over on his side and curls into a fetal position, gasping for air and crying.

After taking the keys off Alf, Verity opens the door to the jail and within minutes, has the boys free of their confinement. A bit of introduction is done and then Hercules and Sir Rupert set off for the turtle, while Verity, Nigel and Lavender head out to lend Violet and Ranger a hand.

Dr. Tachyon Comes To Dinner

…once he returned from Takis, of course

Quick Stuff

Heath Ledger Is Dead: Looks as tho it was an accidental overdose. Tragic. He was a fine actor. His death will make watching The Dark Knight a bittersweet experience.

Life After People: Watched and very much enjoyed this show on History Channel. Folks, most of the manmade stuff we see around us will be lucky to last 300 years after we are gone. Hey, dogs, rats, mice & cockroaches: it will suck to be you for the first couple of years. You won’t die off, but you’ll never see your former glory. Cats & pigeons: You do ok. Farm & zoo animals (except, of course, pigs): You are probably severely screwed. Wild animals: The world is your oyster. I may write more about all this later, as the whole concept has many implications for post-apocalypse roleplaying.

The Weather: It is our cold & rainy season here in the Golden State. Have I mentioned lately that I hate cold & rain? Even worse, my annual fix of gardening porn (aka seed/nursery catalogs) is arriving daily (both in dead tree and digital forms) and my gardening lust is building up. Soon, when the weather warms and dries out a bit, I shall descend upon my garden armed with veggie transplants and (as Arlo Guthrie called them) implements of destruction. Soon, my pole beans shall tower into the sky…my tomatoes shall loom large on the horizon…my chiles shall rule the world….BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Err…sorry about that…got a bit caught up there…I think I’ll head off to work now.

Zero Cool Polar Bears

…are there any other kind?

Doc’s Weekend Update

Well, it was a pretty mellow weekend, all things considered. Saturday was pretty much all taking The Girls to the dog park, then me going to see “Cloverfield” (which Grace had no interest in seeing), and then some gardening…or rather, attempted gardening.

See, when I went out to the garden about 3 PM. I had some raking and cleaning up in mind. Instead, I spent most of two hours answering questions from passersby (our street being a popular one for dog/kid walking).

First up was a woman in her late 60’s who, along with her 30 something daughter, was walking a very nice looking Golden Retriever. As many folks walking by do, they complimented me on the garden. Then came the questions. Lots of questions. For about 20 minutes.

After they walked away, I raked for about 10 minutes before a young guy and his wife came by and got me started on the subjects of “No lawns” and “urban/suburban veggie gardening”. Now, I had met this young (late 20’s) couple about two years ago when they stopped by. I recalled as how the husband had been particularly into replacing their traditional lawn with a garden. Well, apparently, he did just that last year. In fact, as he told me with the fervor of the recently converted, he now had a dwarf fruit tree orchard in his side yard and a veggie garden/bee & bird garden in the front yard. His wife informed me that their back yard, tho being mostly reserved for their two dogs, was soon to be home to a small chicken coop that would house 3-4 hens. Pretty cool stuff and it ate up nearly 40 minutes of my gardening time.

Finally, a group of kids came by and wanted to know all sorts of things: when would my flowers bloom again, would I be growing more veggies, what kind of bush was that, etc, etc. And by then it was 5:00 and time to go inside and start cookin’ dinner.

Sunday was all about Game Day and the Grand Finale to our “The Return of Magic” series. Everything went well and all things magical are now slowly returning to the world. Next time, we’ll do a one off Paranoia session, then switchj over to boardgames for a month or two. What sort of RPGing we’ll be doing come May is still to be determined.

Oh, yeah, I also spent Saturday and Sunday nights watching all 12 episodes (234 minutes running time) of Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe, a bit of serial goodness from 1940. It was fun.

And now, I’m off to work. More blogging tonight.

The 47 Things You Should Never Touch With Your Tongue

…#5: Fire

Cloverfield Review

Just got back from seeing this new giant monster movie. It was not bad, but it was sure as hell not great. The first 10-15 minutes, which are used to establish various relationships between a bunch of 20 something New York urbanites, could easily have been cut to maybe 5 minutes. And speaking of those same 20 somethings, you never really find yourself giving a rat’s ass whether they live or die. I mean, the fuckers were too dumb to even grab a hunk of pipe to carry as a weapon.

The “story told from a video camera that was found by the government” style was interesting enough, tho it is not terribly original. The whole shakey cam effect was, while realistic, rather annoying. I can see why some folks would get motion sickness. Personally, my youthful propensity to get motion sick was burned out of me when I was stationed on a US Navy destroyer that chased a Russian sub into the stormy seas of the Gulf of Alaska.

The Monster was quite cool, as were it’s parasites. Naturally, you have to suspend several layers of disbelief (giant monsters are always WAY to damage resistant and those that rise up from the ocean depths never seem to suffer from explosive decompression), but if you are a giant monster fan, this is easy. Watching the Big Apple get trashed was also cool, but next time, let’s have a monster trash Miami or Chicago or Seattle or some other big city, ok?

Anyway, it was a pretty decent flick. I might watch it again when it hits DVD, since I’ll be able to fast forward past the pinheaded 20 somethings.

Bonus Micro Review

Jaded old fart that I am, the teaser trailer for Star Trek still made me break out in goosebumps. I can hardly wait for Xmas.

The Most Dangerous Baby Duck In The World

…but he’s sooooo cuuuute

Not much to report from Dr. Cross’ Luxury Spa For Spoiled Basset Hounds. I have, after far too long, gotten back into using the treadmill. So far, I’m up to two 15 minute sessions a day, but I add a minute or two every day, so by my birthday (the 29th) I should be pretty near a half hour per session. Of course, I still go an a 1-2 mile walk with Daisy every night, but what with us stopping every 15 feet for her to either sniff something or pee, it’s not exactly hardcore walking.

DunDraCon is about a month away, so once again I encourage any of you gamer types who might be considering some Presidents Day weekend con going to attend it. And if you do go, look me up and say hello.

Since we’ve had a full week of no rain, it’s looking like a dog park going/gardening/housecleaning kind of weekend here. With a couple of hours alotted for movie going, natch.

Gotta go. More bloggage later.

The Hot Dog Creatures From Planet Z

…in Technicolor

Here is the latest Violet post, with a new and improved style of chapter titling.

On The Road With Violet: In Which Our Heroine Does Some Thinking, A Fight Breaks Out And News Of The Village Arrives

Upon awakening quite early on the morning of her sixth day at the Ogre Brothers home, Violet (who is not at all hung over due to having not drunk nearly as much as she seemed to) decides to go outside and have herself a think. After spending nearly a week here, she has a fair bit to think about, so, finding a chair as far from the loudly snoring brothers as is possible, she starts to mentally go over what she knows.

First comes the fact that, while they are loud, boisterous, a bit crude and given to drinking and smoking and gambling, the Ogre Brothers are not evil. In fact, they are not even really Ogres. They are, in fact, a couple of “adventurous bums who can get by as musicians” from California. (It should be noted that hearing them talk about life in the Bear Flag Empire made Violet long to go there.) (After finding the City of Glass, of course) It seems that they use a potion developed by a friend of theirs (who may have been in some way connected to the late Dr. Henry Jekyll) to turn into Ogres, thus insuring that, as Jake said, “nobody messes with us”. Of course, even in their natural human form they were a couple of rough tough and scruffy looking fellows, so Violet doubts that many people messed with them anyway. So, they were never a threat to the village, although they may well have been a threat to the village’s liquor supply.

Secondly, Violet is concerned about her friends back in the village. They must be nearly done cleaning up and will be quite worried about her, especially Nigel. She has already decided to go back today, after getting Nick and Jake to promise to remain quiet for a day or two, until she and her friends are long gone. Well, assuming that Hercules and Sir Rupert could get the turtle moving again.

Third on her mind is Lavender. She is rather surprised that the pig had not come looking for her. Whatever could Lavender be up to? Violet supposes she might have met a nice gentleman pig, but she thinks it more likely that Lavender was plotting an escape for the boys. It just seems like the sort of thing a brave young sow might do. Exactly how she might do it, Violet has no idea, but she very much hopes that any escape would not take place until she has a chance to get back and convince the villagers that the Ogre Brothers have left the area.

Finally, Violet thinks of Verity. The younger lass had certainly proven herself able to carouse as well as anyone Violet has ever met. (and Violet’s family has it’s share of carousers, you can be sure) Even more important, Verity has shown a great deal of musical skill, both on the accordion and as a singer. She has the sort of voice that goesy well with singing blues and jazz songs. Additionally, Violet has a sneaking suspicion that Verity and Jake might have had a dalliance or two while Jake was in his human form. Violet thinks that it might not be a bad thing if Verity were to stay with the brothers, since they are considering doing a musical tour of Britain and Scotland, which is why they came here from California anyway.

“So, Violet,” she says to herself, “what is your plan? What next, old girl?”

After a few more minutes, she has decided that she will…

A: Convince the brothers to lay low for a couple of days

B: Tell Verity that she should stay on with the Ogres as a member of the band

C: Go back and rescue the boys, either by conning the villagers or assisting Lavender in some great escape.

D: Find the City of Glass, then go to California.

And she would have done all of those things in that order, if all hell had not broken loose a hour later while she was having breakfast with Verity.

It was then, you see, that Lavender, accompanied by a terribly dirty Irish Setter dog, came bursting out of the marsh with a group of five air pirates in hot pursuit. Squealing in terror, the panicked porker ran up onto Ogre Island and, still accompanied by the dog, dove underneath the cabin.

As the first pirate stepped onto the island, Violet did the only thing she could think of…she tossed her bowl of hot porridge into his face. Yowling like a banshee and clawing at his face, the pirate went down.

Verity was almost as quick as Violet, but instead of flinging porridge, she flung a large tea kettle. It hit the second pirate in the chest, knocking him down and scalding him from neck to kneecaps.

The remaining three pirates were trying to circle around the girls when they saw Nick and Jake coming at them from out of the cabin. All three pirates screamed and tried to run, but the Ogres were too fast for them. It didn’t take long before they were unconscious on the ground.

“Well I’ll be damned, little brother, looks like we caught some pirates.” Nick sounds amused as he says it. “I wonder if they’ve got any treasure?”

Jake chuckles. “Doesn’t look like it. Maybe we can get ’em to teach us that pirate lingo. Yarr, matey!”

While the brothers laugh and joke, Violet and Verity coax Lavender and the dog out of hiding. Once they are out in the open, Lavender began telling Violet everything that has happened since she left the village.

“Grunt, grunt, squeal, oink! Squeal, oink, oink, grunt, squeal!”

Violet is stunned by the news. “Oh my! You say that the Mayor is considering not letting the boys go unless they turn the turtle over to him? And that there is some strange device in the Mayor’s basement?”

Lavender nods. “Grunt, grunt, grunt, oink! Oink, squeal, grunt!”

“So you came up with an escape plan, but then found out that the air pirates had tracked us here?”

“Grunt, oink, grunt. Squeal, squeal, oink, oink!

“Hmm, yes, I see your point. We have no time to lose!”

Violet leaps to her feet and calls out to Verity, Jake, Nick and the dog.

“Look here, everyone, we need to get to the village, rescue my friends, scuttle the plans of those sky pirates, find out what that sod of a mayor is up to and put a stop to it. Are you with me?”

They all agree to help.

The Last Lap Dance Of Candy The Cat

…no, she wasn’t a real feline

Television Note

Next Monday, the History Channel is going to show a 2 hour program called “Life After Us”. The basic premise is what would happen to all of the human artifacts if we all disappeared from the planet. It looks to be a pretty fascinating show. I’m not sure, but I think the Discovery Channel might also show it.

Violet Note

Hopefully, I’ll have a rather lengthy Violet post up tonight. It’s looking to be 99% exposition and appears to be getting longer as I write it. Oh, and you’ll get to vote at the end of it, I promise.

Movie Note

Cloverfield hits movie screens this Friday and you can bet I’ll have my ass in a movie seat watching it on Saturday afternoon. I love giant monster movies.

Gaming Question

Every so often, when discussing D&D, someone says that if WOTC/D&D were to fold, the gaming hobby would be in huge trouble (and, often, it is implied that the whole adventure gaming industry would just dry up and blow away).

My question is: Why would anyone think this?

Did rock & roll implode after the Beatles broke up/Buddy Holly died/Elvis Died/The Ramones began dying? Nope. Did television collapse after (insert name of hugely popular series of your choice) went off the air? Nope. Did the deaths of any number of great actors and directors kill off motion pictures. Nope.

So why would the collapse of WOTC or the disappearence of D&D kill off adventure gaming? There would still be older versions of D&D, as well as the hundreds of other RPG’s out there. Gaming life would go on…and possibly for the better, tho that’s a topic for another day.

You may let fly your thoughts on this.

The Monkey Who Won The Lottery

…he bought like, $2,000,000.00 worth of bananas

Jeez, my writing impulses really got a beatdown by my S.A.D. these past couple of days. Getting a hefty beer buzz on Friday night didn’t help, either. Ah well, the sun came out today and I’m feeling pretty good.

Daisy and the Game that was Afoot

We took The Girls for a walk in a local park and, as I was walking along with Daisy, a big old jackrabbit jumped up and took off across the park…and so did Daisy! It’s a good thing I had a tight hold on her leash, because she was trying like hell to fullfill the duties of her ancient Basset Hound ancestry. She wanted that jackrabbit bad and I’m sure that if she’s gotten loose from me, she’d have followed that wily lagomorph into the jaws of hell.

As it was, I ran with her until I was about two steps away from a coronary event. At that point, I pulled her up short and, as she strained on the leash, tried to remember how to breath. Once I was pretty sure I wasn’t gonna die, I told her she was a good girl and she had sure shown that ol’ rabbit who was boss. That seemed to please her.

Then, Grace and Winker (who showed no sign that she had either seen or smelled the rabbit), caught up with us and we all walked to the car and drove home. Once we got back, we all rested. No doubt, Daisy dreamed of chasing that rabbit, unfettered by a fat old dad holding her leash.

More Gardening Adventures

I spent a couple of hours in the garden today, weeding and pruning. If the weather holds and we don’t get any heavy rain by next Saturday, I’ll be doing one of my all day gardening marathons. I’ve got to lay down black plastic to solarize out some of the weeds, divide up some perrenials (mostly, daylillies and cannas), dig up and transplant all the plants in the area that will become a dog yard (an area about 12X14 feet, right in front of our front window), do more pruning and haul about a ton of plant cuttings into the back yard so I can start Compost Pile Charlie Delta 7. By the end of the day, my ass will be kicked.

Time for walking my Canine American daughters. More bloggage later.

Mr. Porkwaffle Goes To The Disco

…and dances the night away

Damn…I got a shitty night’s sleep on Wednesday, so last night I was too tired and fuzzy minded to do another post. I’ll try to crank out another Violet post tonight.

Short Doc Oriented Lists

Ok, gang, here are a bunch of short lists about stuff concerning me. Feel free to use this idea for similar lists about you.

Five spices/herbs I love

garlic
cumin
basil
oregano
chiles

Three goofy things I do

speak in voices/accents other than my own
talk to animals
make my own vocal sound effects (or, as Grace calls them “danger noises”)

Seven relatives that don’t piss me off

mom
sister
brother
niece #1
niece #2
nephew #1
nephew #2

Five foods I cannot stand

broccoli
cauliflower
liver
fried chicken
coffee (ok, so it’s really a beverage)

Three favorite curse words

motherfucker
asshole
shit

Six favorite years

1965
1970
1978
1983
1995
2001

Four favorite candies

a bar of dark chocolate
plain m&m’s
chocolate covered raisins
buttered popcorn flavor jelly bellies

Three great things about being male

you can piss in more places
you can scratch any itch in public
no menstrual cycle

Six great things about being me

total madness
ability to make people gasp in shock or laugh out loud, with equal ease
nonstop imagination
unencumbered by the effects of organized (or even unorganized) religion
adaptable morality
ability to get along with women

The Thrilling Adventures Of Doctor Tempest And The Rocky Mountain Monster

…from the January, 1902 issue

On The Road With Violet: Making Marsh Music

For a moment, Violet and Verity just stare at the Ogre brothers. Then Violet says…

“No, I’m afraid I don’t play the saxophone. I do play the harmonica a bit.”

Jake nods and puffs his stogie. “Well, that’s something. We’ll have to get you to serenade us later. How about you?”, he says, looking towards Verity.

Looking a bit overwhelmed, Verity replies, “I don’t play sax either, sir, but I’ve been playing the accordion since I was a little girl. My father taught me.”

Nick Ogre chuckles a bit and opens a rather large chest. After pulling out several instruments (including a couple that neither Violet or Verity recognize), he finally retrieves an accordion.

“Here ya go, Miss…” He looks questioningly at Verity.

“Verity Blaine”, she says as she takes the accordion from him. After slinging its strap over her shoulder, she plays a rather fast and complex riff on it. Both of the Ogre Brothers applaud and praise her skill. Thus encouraged, Verity proceeds to play “Flight of the Bumblebee“. By the time she finishes, Violet and the Ogre Brothers are all cheering and applauding.

“And now it’s your turn, Miss…”, Jake says as he holds a box of harmonicas out to Violet.

Violet selects a small harmonica in the key of C. “Violet Thistledown”, she says. “And your names would be…?”

“Nicholas P. Osgrove”, says the older brother, as he gives a bow.

“Jacob T. Osgrove”, says the younger brother with a respectful nod.

“Well, gentlemen, we are quite pleased to make your acquaintance. I hope you’ll find this tune to your liking.”

Quick as can be, Violet launches into a slow bluesy piece. It quickly becomes apparent that she is making it up as she goes along. After a couple of minutes, she speeds things up until she is playing in a more boogie woogie style. After another three minutes or so, she finishes up. Again, everyone applauds and cheers.

Nick walks over and clasps a huge hand gently on Violet’s shoulder.

“That was damned good, Violet. Kinda reminded me of back home. Can we offer you ladies a drink? We can rustle up some tea, unless you’d prefer something stronger.”

The two young ladies exchange glances and Violet says, “I believe we’ll have what you are having, Nicholas.”

We shall leave off here, Dear Readers, to take a quick peek at what is going on with Sir Rupert and the boys (and Lavender)

Poor Nigel and Hercules have been put to work hauling buckets of swamp muck out of town. Sir Rupert, under close guard, is giving the Mayor and town elders a tour of the turtle. Lavender is wandering around town in a seemingly aimless manner. All of them are worried about Violet. Nigel, for his part, has made it quite clear that he will be very angry if anything happens to her. Hercules has sworn to cause great bodily harm to those responsible. Sir Rupert has indicated that he will bend his wealth and connections towards seeing the guilty punished.

Lavender has yet to weigh in on the issue.

Back in the swamp, music is being played, songs are being sung, stories are told and a very good Kentucky bourbon is being sipped. This goes on well into the night.

And into the next day.

And the next night.

And so on for 5 days. When not making music, the Ogre Brothers prove to be very good cooks, especially in the area of barbecuing. And lest you think that the brothers are taking advantage of the ladies, it should be noted that the ladies sleep inside the cabin (if you call passing out “sleeping”), while the brothers sleep outside.

Director’s Note: No voting this time, folks, but I think I’ll post anther entry tomorrow.

The Great Canadian Moose Ritual Coverup

…you won’t hear about it on Fox News

Assorted Stuff

Gamingwise: WOTC released their plan for the new D&D 4th edition OGL. Apparently, for 5 grand, some companies can get advanced access to the 4E rules books and start cranking out the inevitable tons of D&D supplements right away (well, ok, after August 1st). Everyone else can wait until the free OGL comes out, then start selling their stuff on Jan 1, 2009. I think the idea is to try and prevent another tsunami of shitty products for D&D. Yeah, good luck with that. The shitty products are inevitable. What might break the wave right away are the Average Gamer (who probably still has a ton of D&D3E crap) and the Surviving Game Stores (who, since they survived the big 3E collapse, have learned to be very wary nowadays).

Of courese, all of this means nothing to me, since I bought less than seven D&D 3E products (and that includes the 3 core books) and have no plans to buy anything 4E.

Dogwise: Our poor little Winker has an ear infection and is going to need to go to the vet for treatment. So far, it’s not hurting her too badly, so a quick vet visit should prevent further pain.

Violetwise: Looks like harmonica and accordion won. Expect a new Violet entry tonight. I’m going to try to get on an every Wednesday schedule in 2008.

Conventionwise: I looked at the Conquest Sac website, to see what Roleplaying Games might be on tap for the con. Lo and behold, they list none. This, along with the fact that other areas of the site (Special Guests, Special Events, Board Games, Collectible Minis) are also empty, does not fill me with hope that the con will be better than last year (which was, in my opinion, worse than the first year). Still, they have until the end of March to pull their shit together, so we shall see what transpires.

The Horticultural Whore Freezes To Death

…while sweating

Ok, so it wasn’t really freezing cold, but it was in the low 50’s and Grace and I spent 3-4 hours cleaning up storm debris and pruning the fuck out of plants that the Sacramento County Department of Too Much Time On Their Hands said were too tall for our corner lot near the street. Seems they thought it might obscure vision and create a traffic hazard. Hmmm…only took them eight fuckin’ years to notice. Pinheads.

Anyway, it was cold and between that and the choping and cutting and raking and other stuff, by the time we got back into the house, Grace took a long nap and I collapsed into my chair and let me bones ache.

I fucking hate winter.

Oven Baked Muskrats

…in a creamy cheese sauce

That Privilege Meme

Being the sort of person I am, I’m not going to bold or italicize my answers, but write them out.

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

1. Father went to college

My dad grew up during the Dust Bowl and the depression. He never even had the chance to go to high school. He did get his GED eventually. Most importantly, he was self taught on many things and had a skill list that was the equal to any 3 average men I’ve ever met.

2. Father finished college

See above

3. Mother went to college

No, mostly because she got married at age 16 to my dad. Like my dad, she got her GED and, also like him (but to an even higher level), she taught herself many things and was very well read. Also, between the two of them, they produced three genius level kids.

4. Mother finished college

See above

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

I have a cousin who is a lawyer.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.

I’d say we were all middle class most of the time.

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

Yep, including three sets of encyclopedias.

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

No…more like 200

9. Were read children’s books by a parent

Yes, which is why I could read before I was 4.

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18

If you mean by a formal tutor, no. If you mean lessons from my dad, mom, relatives or friends, then yes. Subjects would include horseback riding, hunting, fishing, target shooting, driving (both cars and motorcycles), cooking, animal husbandry (I grew up on a farm), camping/survival, basic tool use, art (my mom is a very talented painter), self defense (boxing/brawling), California history, Old West history, basic automotive repairs and how to understand women (thank you, Dad and Uncle Robert)

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18

Would that include all the sexual lessons I got from a variety of ladies?

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

Sometimes. I really don’t give a fuck one way or the other.

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18

I got my first credid card at age 45. I got rid of my last credit card at age 51 and will never own another. I do have two debit cards, which I use fairly often for gas and food and such.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs

HAHAHAHAHA! No. Uncle Sam paid for my college years, via the G.I. Bill.

16. Went to a private high school

Hell no.

17. Went to summer camp

I went to 4H camp one summer.

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18

Yes, but only for sex and other, less savory subjects:)

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels

Not exclusively, no. We did take a big vacation most years.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

Nope. Most of it, but not all.

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them

Are you shitting me? I bought my own first car for $100.00 from my uncle.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child

Yes, and it was all done by my mom.

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house

Yep, way out in the country.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home

Yep. A house on 21 acres of land.

25. You had your own room as a child

I did not have a room to myself until I was almost 24. I shared rooms with, in order: Sister, Brother, Shipmates (U.S. Navy), First Wife. After my divorce, I FINALLY got an apartment of my own. That I shared with a parrot, 3 hamsters, a dwarf rabbit, a guinea pig and 3 cockatiels.

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18

No, but my sister did.

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course

No, but I passed my SATs with flying colors anyway.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school

Nope

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16

No. My first commercial flight came at age 18, about 10 days after I graduated from high school

31. Went on a cruise with your family

I will give $1,000,000,000,000,000.00 to anybody who can get my mother on any boat that goes onto the ocean. So, no, we never cruised.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family

See above.

33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up

Museums, yes, many. Art galleries, a couple.

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

I was a kid. What kid is aware of that? Besides, when we lived on the farm, we had a wood fired furnace, so our heating costs were very very low.

Chapter 4: In Which Our Hero Saves A Virgin, Climbs The Stairway To Heaven And Battles The Evil Duke

saves the virgin? For later, maybe.

(Note on the above: I, personally, have always found virgins to be far more trouble than they are worth. Give me a woman with a bit of experience any day.)

Gaming Stuff

The fantasy series I’m running now is of the “the magic returns” sort of sub-genre. The players start out totally normal, but gradually find out more and more about how the world is fixing to change. They also begin manifesting magical powers and changing slowly into non-human races (elf, gnome, halfling). Of course, this is all done whilst they are on a mysterious journey of discovery and being pursued by an evil group that wants them dead dead DEAD.

I’ve been very pleased with how things have gone, including the fact that up until last session (when I did The Big Reveal), the players were pretty much clueless as to where things were going. This particularly surprised me in Grace’s case, since she reads more fantasy fiction in a week than I’ve read in the last 5 years.

The series is building towards an Action Packed Climax in about 2-3 more sessions. after that, we’ll be playing a session or two of Paranoia (the classic West End Games edition, not the new Mongoose Games version) and then we’ll see what our next series will be. In an informal poll last session, Pulp and more Fantasy polled well. We shall see what happens come March.

The Very Fast Paced, Yet Still Quite Richly Detailed, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Devil

…co-starring her pet lungfish, Fenwick

Great jumpin’ horny toads! I’ve been plowing away at my annual Subjectivity post for the last two days and I’m still not done. Maybe tonight.

For those of you who are new to this blog, having been drawn in by the adventures of Violet, allow me to explain about the above subjectivity stuff. See, way back in my early days as a blogger (over on Blogspot), I decided that the subject lines to my posts would seldom, if ever, have anything to do with the subject matter of the post.

After awhile, I began to get more and more creative (and, in some cases, weird) with these subject lines. In some cases, I revisited the same basic concept (as in today’s subject line) and in others, I just put in the first thing that bubbled up out of my cranial cauldron.

Then, a few years ago here on LJ, when the New Year rolled around, I decided to do a recap, with commentary, of the previous year’s subject lines. Thus was born the tradition and the legend.

And now, I must go and ready myself for an appointment with my doctor. More stuff later.