And I Shall Name This Blackberry Bush…Ed!

…and his sister shall be known as Wendy

This Whole Swine Flu Thing

Ok, so they are saying that we have another “killer flu” on our hands. Just like Bird Flu and the other Swine Flu and a whole load of flu varieties that have popped up and not become pandemics over the past 30 years. 100 dead in Mexico? Several times that many people will be murdered in Mexico by the end of this week. Less than two dozen cases in the US? Yeah, let’s get all worried and panic…cos out of 300,000,000 people, 15 or 20 is an epidemic.

Wake me up when people are dropping by the hundreds daily. I refuse to panic about it or get my hopes up that this flu will really thin the herd.

Pelicans On The Freeway

…they might be hitching a ride

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 9 “doors to the right of us, doors to the left”

After bundling up the assorted loot (the dwarven armor was no better that what Knute already has), you continue down the corridor. It gets much drier and less mossy after 50 feet or so. A steady, warm, slightly moist air current wafts over you as you walk along.

Erasmus gives his opinion that there might be hot springs deeper down. Periwinkle says that she hopes nothing lives in those hot springs. Pretty much everyone else agrees with her.

After walking another 100 yards or so, the corridor levels out and you see 2 doors ahead, one on either side of the passageway. Both are ordinary looking wooden doors, with no locks. Both are shut. Periwinkle looks and listens at both of them, then tells you….

“I hear something behind the one on the right…sort of a scrabbling around noise. Doesn’t sound like anything big. No sound at all behind the other door. Neither door appears to be trapped.”

The Story Of The Good Cop And The Bad Politician

…with a happy ending: the politician goes crazy

The ABC Meme

Cos I’m feeling lazy.

A – Age: 55
B – Bed size: Queen size
C – Chore you hate: washing dishes
D – Dog’s name: Winker Sue Cross
E – Essential start your day item: Tea: strong, black & unsweetened
F – Favorite color: Green
G – Gold or Silver: Silver
H – Height: 5’10” or so
I – Instruments you play(ed): Drums (but not anymore)
J – Job title: Courier
K – Kid(s): Almost certainly none
L – Living arrangements: Me, wife, dog
M – Mom’s name: Gerry
N – Nicknames: Doc, Bo,
O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: appendectomy in December, 1970
P – Pet Peeve: TV shows that run slightly over the hour mark, thereby fucking with mt recording setup
Q – Quote from a movie:”I’ll get you, Dorothy, and your little dog, too!”
R – Right or left handed: Right
S – Siblings: 2
T – Time you wake up: 7 am, plus or minus 15 minutes
U- Underwear: Boxers, briefs or commando. I’m versatile that way.
V – Vegetable you dislike: broccoli, cauliflower, beets
W – Ways you run late: I tend to goof off until after the last second
X – X-rays you’ve had: Every part of my body, at one time or another
Y – Yummy food you make: All of it. I’m a better cook than your momma.
Z – Zoo favorite: Gibbons, parrots, otters and young MILFs in sun dresses.

Rock & Roll Preschool

…I just want to get get a cookie…I’m to young to know about nookie

The Ramones may rise from their graves to get me for that one. Or not.

STUFF

1: Missed the A&E deadline again. Damn!

2: Everyone here at the Cross Luxury Hotel For Spoiled Basset Hounds is as healthy as can be expected. Let us hope this trend continues.

3: Having read two posts recently by LJ friends who ranted about some of their fucked up family members, I was tempted to call my sibs and thank them for not being total assholes. Then I thought “fuck it, let them call me first”. Hey, it’s how my family rolls:)

4: Tonight’s Netflix Double Feature at Uncle Doc’s Video Lounge: “Tarantula” and “The Mole People”. WOOHOO!

5: This weekend’s festivities: Gardening on Saturday, Game Day on Sunday!

6: I have recently gone quite mad for the whole Old School Gaming (read: OD&D/First Edition AD&D) thing. Well, I was always kind of an Old School Gamer, but the madness comes in the form of rampant downloads of every free Old School PDF I can find. All of this relates to my ongoing “Return Of Magic” home RPG series, so I cannot discuss details…except to say that Spring/Summer of 2010 will be The Year Of The Dungeon, baby!

And now for something not at all different…

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 8 “loot, glorious loot”

With the sole exception of Knute and Amalia, who stand guard, everyone else probes around in the muck & goo to search for treasure. Here is what they find…

132 gold pieces, some quite old and valuable
210 silver pieces
473 copper pieces
2 large shields
2 broadswords
1 battleaxe
7 daggers
4 skeletons, 2 wearing chainmail, 1 wearing ring mail, 1 wearing rotten robes
3 rings, one of which proves to be magical (via a Detect Magic spell)
3 sealed flasks of oil
2 sealed flasks of some pinkish liquid
1 sealed scroll case, containing a scroll with 2 spells (Sleep and Turn Undead)
Assorted remains of backpacks, blankets, torches, ropes, etc…all ruined by the much.

All the weapons and armor are in surprisingly good shape beyond a bit of rust. Unfortunately, the armor was obviously made for dwarves. The skeletons show many broken and cracked bones, as though they were hit mighty blows with blunt instruments.

Erasmus declares that the pinkish liquids are “almost certainly” healing potions. He then slips the magic ring on the middle finger of his right hand.

And since I have not mentioned it yet, Erasmus normally has 12 Power Points per day and all of his spells are first level, which cost one point each time he casts them.

Doc Tempest VS The King Of Crime

…from the August, 1958 issue

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 7 “biff, bam, thank you, ma’am!”

Round 1

Fergus aims a mighty axe blow at the shambler’s midsection and hits hard, but his axe becomes caught in the tough fibers that make up the creature’s “skeleton”. Unfortunately, the shambler manages to deal him a hard whack to the ribs with its arm.

Duncan, seeing the creature is swinging an arm to hit him, slashes at the arm with his sword. A good chunk of goo is knocked off and the arm is deflected. Duncan takes no damage.

Amalia stands off to the left and fires an arrow into the shambler’s upper arm. It seems to have no effect.

Periwinkle keeps behind the two fighters. She is wondering if a backstab attempt is worth trying.

Knute guards Erasmus, but he wishes that he was in the thick of things.

Erasmus moves to the right and casts a Magic Missile spell. The missile hits the shambler in the leg, blasting off a small chunk of goo.

The Shambler gurgles and keeps on fighting.

Round 2

Fergus, his ribs aching from the creature’s blow, shouts a curse and rips his axe free.

Duncan slashes at the shamblers arm, but misses.

Amalia aims for the head of the beast and scores a hit. The arrow pierces one of the eyes, but the shambler barely seems to notice.

Periwinkle decides to try a backstab and moves around behind the shambler.

Knute shouts encouragement to the fighters.

Erasmus sends off another Magic Missile, hitting the shambler in the chest. It blows a large amount of muck from the creature.

The Shambler swings both arms at Fergus but misses him.

Round 3

Fergus again swings for the midsection and scores a critical hit! Large amounts of grey-green goo begin to ooze from the wound. The shambler thrashes about wildly.

Duncan plunges his sword clean through the beasts upper arm.

Amaila fires another arrow, but misses.

Periwinkle backstabs the creatures midsection and it thrashes even more that before.

Knute gives forth with a triumphant shout.

Erasmus nods approvingly.

The Shambling Mound thrashes, but does not attack.

After a few more attacks by the party, the shambler collapses into what looks like a wet compost pile.

Fergus has some bruised ribs, which Erasmus mostly heals with a Cure Light Wounds spell. Everyone else is just fine, tho a bit winded. After a few minutes rest, you continue down the passageway. Not far along, you come to a wet mucky area that was probably the lair of the shambler.

Quetzalcoatl Is My Co-Pilot

…and the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t mind

The Cross Family Has A Big Day Out

Well, a fairly long day out, anyway. See, today was Picnic Day at UC Davis, so Grace, Winker and I went to it. Now, this day is pretty big festive deal at the university and there were tons of things to see and do and thousands of people seeing and doing them.

However, due to having our loving, but not really built for walking in the heat (due to both being mostly a house dog and having somewhat deformed legs) Winkerdog with us, Grace and I opted to just go check out the Big Gathering Of Dog Rescues.

There were LOTS of dog rescues there! Old English Sheepdogs…Rat Terriers…Golden Retrievers…Weimeraners…German Shepherds…Newfoundlands…Brittany Spaniels…Mixed Breeds…and Bassets. And those are just some of the rescue operations that were there!

Golden Gate Basset Rescue had some fine hounds there, all needing a loving home. If Grace and I were living on a farm, we’d have adopted them all.

Anyway, after meeting about a zillion other dogs and being told what a cutie she was by a zillion humans, Miss Winker was plumb tuckered out and ready to return to a Basset Hound’s natural habitat…an house with central heating & air and a nice comfy recliner.

I took some pix and will try to have them posted tomorrow.

All in all, a fun day.

Postholes For Sale

…I cut them up from a dry oil well shaft

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 6 “down and dirty fighting”

After a short delay, during which Periwinkle, Erasmus and Knute lit up some torches, you head off down the left hand tunnel. The marching order is the same as earlier.

As you move down the passage, the earthy smell in the air gets stronger. Everyone has a weapon at the ready and Fergus is muttering “Damn…I know that smell…”. The passage walls are still pretty clean and definitely built by humanoids, but now you see small areas of ground water leakage and molds/algae/slime on the walls.

And then two things happen…

Fergus says “I’ve got it! Shambling Mound! That’s the smell!”

3 seconds later, a 7 foot tall vaguely humanoid shape steps out of the darkness in front of you. It looks to be made of soil, compost, leaves, twigs and moss. It makes a sort of gurgling squishy sound. It has big red pupiless eyes. It’s moving with surprising speed.

It’s a Shambling Mound alright, and it seems to be upset by your presence.

Shit’s on now, mates!

The 11 Things That Cats Talk About

…the first 5 are about food and the next 3 are about naps

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 5 “Perhaps we could just knock?”

While Erasmus studies the friezes carved into the cave entrance (and declares them to be “common boastful warrior art”), Periwinkle first checks the door for traps. Finding none, she then peeks through the crack while illuminating things with a torch.

She can see nothing but more tunnel on the other side.

So, with Knute, Amalia, Periwinkle and Erasmus ready to deal with anything on the other side of the doors, Duncan and Fergus pull them open. This reveals…

…nothing except more tunnel.

Which, about 30 feet further on splits into a Y. One tunnel goes off to the left at a rather gradual descent and the other goes off to the right at a somewhat steeper angle. Both of them are remarkably free of dust and detritus. A light, slightly warm breeze is coming up the left hand tunnel, while there might be the sound of running water coming from the one on the right. It’s a very faint sound. There is a somewhat earthy, though not unpleasant, smell in the air.

Suspicious Looking Kangaroos

…they’re up to something, I tell ya

A Quick Message For Some Of My Friends

Due to AT&T not winning the Cross Family Bill Pay Lotto recently, our landline phone has been cut off. This is not as great a hardship as you might think, since 99% of the calls we get on that phone are bill collectors or phone spammers. So, altho it looks to be a couple of months before we get the landline turned back on, we aren’t worried.

So, if you want to call us, call either my or Grace’s cell phone. Don’t have those numbers? Drop me an email and I’ll give them to ya. Oh, and if I don’t have your number, better put it in the email, since my phone gives the Ringtone of Death to any number I don’t have stored on it.

More bloggage later.

Chapter 121: In Which Our Hero, Fresh Out Of The Bath, Discovers A Moose In His Sitting Room

…and being Canadian, the moose was eating donuts while reading the hockey scores

Ask Me Anything!

Ok, Gentle Readers, here’s your chance…ask me anything about myself. Boring questions will be ignored. Interesting questions will be answered honestly.

Nuclear Love Monkey

…he’s a hot one

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 4 “Down you go”

After prepping yourselves and your equipment (and stashing any non-necessary valuables), you enter the dungeon entrance that Erasmus thinks might be the safest one. Of course, he has based this on a cursory reading of a third hand story in a 200 year old history book, but what the hell, eh? A nod is as good as a wink and all that.

The cave is quite large…fully 15 feet wide and nearly that tall…which makes sense if a mounted mercenary army was going to be riding in and out of it.

Of course, it could also easily allow a dragon to enter, too.

Anyway, you enter in the following order…

Duncan & Fergus in the lead
Erasmus & Periwinkle in the middle
Amalia & Knute bringing up the rear

After walking down the gently sloping cave, you come to a huge set of doors that are almost completely shut. The are open maybe half an inch. They look to be iron doors and have no adornments or decorations on them. The door handles and hinges look rather plain. There is no exterior lock or keyhole.

The cave so far has been quite free of rubble and such. There is nothing on the floor outside the doors. No light is coming through the crack in the doors.

It’s All Fun and Games Until The Voices In Your Head Start Singing Barbershop Quartet Style

…even if they have excellent harmony

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 3 “Into the dungeon”

Ok, my little dungeonheads, here’s how the last two polls shake out…

There are a total of three adventuring parties going into the dungeon:

Erasmus’ Eradicators
Horatio’s Hardcases
Lord Arturo’s Asskickers

Horatio’s group is the largest (8 members)
Lord Arturo’s is the smallest (5 members)

Given your responses to Poll #2, y’all will play the following characters when answering polls…

skjam & bobmungovan : Duncan

smalley_smoot & jbru : Fergus

em_gumby & megdeon : Amalia

casidhe36 & mrteapot : Periwinkle

reverancepavane & raconteurx : Erasmus

cappadocius & mnemex : Knute

I will choose the poll answers that seem most logical or best move things along or amuse me. And so…

Big Green Gophers

…from Mars? Ooooeeeeoooo!

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 1 “A bit of backstory”

Erasmus is a second level M.U. on the verge of hitting third level. He is, as most young mages are, dirt poor and full of ambition. About a month ago, his loyal servant, Knute, met a drunken old woodsman down at the local pub. Shortly before passing out, the woodsman told Knute about a cave he had found down south, on the slopes of Mt. Greenstone. There were many carvings of warriors in action near the cave mouth and the whole cave itself looked as though it had been worked on to enlarge the first 30 feet or so. Being a cautious fellow, the woodsman did not enter it and continued along with his regular woodsmanly tasks.

Until he found the next cave. And the next. And the next and the next, until he had found a total of 5 entrances, all looking like the very first. At that point, the woodsman got spooked and decided to head for civilization.

Naturally, Knute told Erasmus about this strange tale. Unsurprisingly (since Knute knew his master well), Erasmus got quite excited at the prospect of exploring a dungeon complex. He became really excited when a bit of research showed that this might be the legendary lair of the Brotherhood of the Bloody Sword, a mercenary army of old, known for their vicious efficiency at dispatching the enemy.

200 years ago, the Brotherhood had poured forth from their secret lair to join in the Goblin Wars. During the final battle, in the fields near Ekarris, the entire Brotherhood was killed in the suicide attack of the Great Green Dragon. With them died the location of their treasure filled hideout…until now.

Erasmus sent Knute to hire a team of veteran adventurers who would accompany the mage into the dungeon. Unfortunately, the dwarf returned with bad news. Apparently, the woodsmans conversation had been overheard by others, including Erasmus’ rival, Horatio. There were no seasoned adventurers left to be hired. The best Knute was able to do was…

Duncan & Fergus: Two strapping young brothers with a few months of caravan guard duty under their belts.

Amalia: A young elf lass who had formerly worked as security for the wealthy, but lecherous, elf mercant Boraddin.

Periwinkle: A halfling who tried to steal Knute’s money pouch…twice.

Erasmus was not at all happy with this turn of events, but also knew that he had no time to look for better helpers. A contract was drawn up…equal shares for all, with Erasmus getting first choice of anything magical…supplies were purchased and they hit the road towards Mt. Greenstone.

More bloggage later.

Drunken Vulcans Are Way Funny

…as they try to logically explain why they peed in your aquarium

Delving In The Dungeon: Part 1 “Not D&D…exactly”

These are the characters. The whole thing will be play by poll.

Duncan, Level 1 human fighter

STR: 17 DEX: 12 CON: 15 INT: 9 WIS: 10 AGI: 12 CHA: 8

Hit Points: 31 Weapons: 2 handed sword, hand axe

Armor: Chainmail

Fergus, Level 1 human fighter

STR: 14 DEX: 13 CON: 17 INT: 10 WIS: 11 AGI: 11 CHA: 14

Hit Points: 35 Weapons: Battleaxe, shortsword

Armor: Chainmail

Amalia, Level 1 elven fighter

STR: 12 DEX: 16 CON: 13 INT: 12 WIS: 8 AGI: 12 CHA: 11

Hit Points: 27 Weapons: broadsword, shortbow

Armor: Studded leather

Periwinkle, Level 1 halfling thief

STR: 10 DEX: 17 CON: 11 INT: 13 WIS: 10 AGI: 15 CHA: 12

Hit Points: 23 Weapons: dagger, club

Armor: leather

Erasmus, Level 2 half elven magic user

STR: 9 DEX: 11 CON: 12 INT: 17 WIS: 15 AGI: 13 CHA: 10

Hit Points: 27 Weapons: Ironwood staff, dagger

Armor: street clothes, cape

Spells: Read Magic, Detect Magic, Magic Missile, Cure Light Wounds, Light, Shocking Grasp

Knute, Level 1 dwarven fighter and personal servant/bodyguard to Erasmus

STR: 14 DEX: 12 CON: 16 INT: 10 WIS: 8 AGI: 10 CHA: 8

Hit Points: 31 Weapons: war hammer, hand axe

Armor: Chainmail

More to come…

Spicy Bongo Stories

…for spicy bongos, one assumes

Weekend Recap

1: Monsters VS Aliens was big fun. Lots of nuggets for fans of sci fi and the 3D FX were very well done.

2: In N Out Burger was, as always, great. Man, I’m so glad I don’t have to drive to L.A. for my Double Double Monster fix.

3: Winker is clean and huggable now. Well, she was huggable before, but now you can hug her and not get all dog stinky.

4: Susanne, the Worlds Greatest Neighbor, gave us a ziploc bag full of barbecued ribs! They will be dinner tonight.

5: I waged war with the weeds in my garden. The weedy infidels died in droves, but my holy task is far from done.

6: Grace did much stuff on the computer. Some of it involved cursing. I declined to inquire.

7: I bought and started more seeds for the garden. Corn seedlings in da house, y’all!

8: It was discovered that Winker likes whole wheat bagels.

9: The spaghetti sauce was, as always, darned good…and plentiful. I shall be freezing several quarts of it for later consumption.

10: Went to IHOP for dinner last night (cos we were getting a 50% discount) and let me tell you, the new “Big” country fried steak & eggs is no exaggeration. I was stuffed by the time I was done.

More bloggage later.

The Rare And Beautiful Orange Winged Bats Of Potawango Island

…during the day, they hum cowboy tunes

Well shit (pronounced “whale shit” by some of the Texans in my family), it’s been pretty sparse posting…by which I mean NO posting…from the Cross Family Secret HQ and Hound Hotel these past few days. To remedy that, here is a steaming hot plate of Stuff.

1: My Sweet Little Coconut Ice Cream Scoop Of Love and I will be going to see Monsters VS Aliens today.

2: There will also be lunch at In N Out Burger.

3: For like, the 7th year in a row, my daffodils bloomed beautifully and I forgot to take any pix of them. SIGH! Maybe next year. What really sucks is that each year, there are more of them than the year before. My original 24 are now about 80.

4: After movies & burgers, it will be tax work (for Grace) and garden work (for me). Winker has a full schedule of snacking, napping and getting love.

5: Oh, yeah, there will also be spaghetti sauce making on my schedule.

6: Tonight’s exciting line up includes more tax stuff, seed starting, recorded tv program watching, spaghetti eating and dog wrasslin’ and dog bathing.

7: I have no idea what’s up for Sunday.

More bloggage later.