R.I.P. Winker Sue Cross (2004-2012)

…our sweet little Winkerdog

Yesterday, February 23, 2012, at 9:30 pm we said goodbye to Winker. After pulling through from congestive heart failure brought on by her enlarged heart almost exactly a year ago, she had a relapse that we could do nothing about. She died at home, on the floor next to Grace’s chair, not long after Grace had petted and talked to her.

Even though, from the very day we adopted her 5+ years ago, we knew this day would come, it still came way to soon.

The best veterinarians in the world, at UC Davis, had looked Winker over back then so the Yolo County SPCA could put her up for adoption. They determined that she had a pretty severe heart murmur, which besides precluding ever putting her under anesthesia also meant that she had slim odds of living the average Basset Hound lifespan of 10-12 years. Besides all of that, she had slightly deformed front legs and her skull was not up to Basset standards. Also, she had lost one eye as a puppy. A pretty hard life for a dog who was barely 3 years old.

But when Grace and I saw her picture online, we knew we had to give this sweet little girl a loving home. We adopted her knowing that she was living on borrowed time.

Winker turned out to be one of the sweetest tempered, friendliest and most loving dogs I’ve ever known. She liked everyone and was always wanting to say hello to people, animals, whatever. She did not have a mean bone in her body. Everybody liked her.

She was our little comedian, our rowdy little wrassler, our little sneak thief and our baby.

She was our Winkerdog and we will always love her and miss her.

Goodbye, Winker. You were a very good girl.

It Was Time For Hot Chocolate And Bourbon

…together in a large mug

Doc Update

1: Dundracon was great. Was going to write a report here, but…

…2: Winker is not feeling well at all. It’s her heart acting up again.

3: Healthwise, I’m doing ok, but I’m back on the Diet Train.

4: I’ll do Doclopedia entries tonight or tomorrow.

More blogging later.

The Journal Of The Royal Society Of Stuffy Old Gents

…harrumph! I say!

The Doclopedia #413

The Alphabet, Again: G is for…Guys Wearing Floppy Hats

Guys Wearing Floppy Hats (GWFH) was one of the hottest musical groups of the 1980’s. They had a string of hits beginning with “You Can Wear My Hat” and peaking with “Big & Floppy”. They deftly combined swing, disco & polka music with a rowdy and energetic stage show. During their 1985 “Hats On Fire” tour, they filled the biggest stadiums to capacity and played 300 dates in 365 days.

Sadly, the group totally lost their audience when psychedelic classical rap music started appearing. Their last performance was in 1990 at the Tequila-A-Go-Go in Ojai, California. Since then, most of the band has gone into accounting, except Jimmy “Ed” Cobalt, who became a used car salesman.


Please Deposit $100,000.00 For This Post

…even if only a couple of you do it, I’m debt free

YOW! I’m not fully packed up for Dundracon yet, plus there are about 35 gazillion things to do here at The D&G Home for Spoiled Hounds. See, this is why I have to take blood pressure pills.

At any rate, I found time to do a Doclopedia post, because I live only to see your smiles, Gentle Readers.

The Doclopedia #412

The Alphabet, Again: G is for… Gold Rock Kid

In March of 1851, the young masked outlaw known as the Gold Rock Kid committed his first known crime by robbing the gold shipment heading out from Gold Rock, California, to San Francisco. He and his gang of four other masked men got away with just shy of $50,000 worth of gold bars. When the stage coach driver asked him his name, he said “just call me the Gold Rock Kid”.

Over the next 5 years, the Gold Rock Kid and his gang robbed 12 gold shipments on stage coaches and 4 more on trains. Crack shots every one, the gang almost never had to kill anyone, instead being satisfied with shooting the guns from the hands of the guards. The only two times they ever killed anyone were when Flatface Jordan, a stage driver much given to drink, let his hot temper get the better of him and when Matt Cannon, noted gun for hire, told the Kid to throw down. In general, most of the guards & drivers involved in the robberies said that the Kid and his gang were pretty polite and respectful. Rumors that the gang tossed a few bars of gold to their victims were never proven, but widely suspected.

The Gold Rock Kid was last seen riding away from the Mother Lode Special after robbing the train, the owner of the railroad and several other prominent businessmen of every penny he could find. Also on the train was the beautiful daughter of the owner of the largest bank in the United States. Although it was reported that the Kid kidnapped her, it is pretty well known that kidnap victims do not laugh and kiss their kidnappers before jumping into the saddle of an extra horse and riding away.

No member of the gang or the young lady were ever seen again.

However, in 1928, 95 year old Gilbert Pattson, a prominent businessman and four time mayor of Yuma, Arizona, told reporters that he had been a member of the Gold Rock Gang and that the Kid and his bride had assumed new identities and traveled the world for several years before returning to the United States and raising a family. He did not disclose their names or any other information about them before he died a month later.

Perky Twits

…everybody hates them

The Doclopedia #411

The Alphabet, Again: F is for…Feline Telekinesis Syndrome

What is Feline Telekinesis Syndrome?: Although not fully understood by the scientific and medical establishment, it appears that FTS causes cats to manifest the ability to move things merely by thinking of it. In most cases, the afflicted cat can only move things weighing a few ounces and can only move them a few inches. In a very few cases, certain cats have shown much more powerful abilities, such as the Maine Coon cat that belonged to a family in San Ysidro, California. On two occasions, this cat held the families Yorkshire terrier a full 18 inches above the floor for a full minute and a half.

FTS usually pops up in about 1 cat in 1,000, most often in either very old or very young cats. It seldom lasts for more than six months. No breed of cat is more likely than another to develop it. Sex makes no difference, although it does appear to afflict females more than males. It only affects pet cats who spend most of their time indoors.

Is FTS dangerous to my cat?: No, it is not, nor is it generally dangerous to anyone else. Most cats seem to only it to pull food off of counters or to steal toys from other pets.

Is there a way to protect my cat from getting it?: Not at this time.

Is FTS related to Canine Teleportation Syndrome?: There is some evidence that it might be, since you often find pets with both syndromes in the same house, bu so far, nobody knows for sure.

The 13 Things You Never Want Have In Your Pants

…#6: Weasels!

A Call For Suggestions

Gentle Readers,

I need your help with the Doclopedia. In a couple of months, I want to do between 30 and 60 posts on the theme of “Subject Line Madness”, in which each entry will expand upon some of the nearly 2,000 (actually, by then, over 2,000) subject lines/titles I’ve used on my blogs over the last 8 years. Back on Live Journal (before it went down the tubes) I used to do annual Subject Line recaps every January.

Here is where you can find them in the archives…

2004 Subject Lines: Jan 8 & 9, 2005

2005 Subject Lines: Jan 1, 2006

2006 Subject Lines: Jan 4-8, 2007

2007 Subject Lines: Jan 5, 2008

2008 Subject Lines: Jan 22nd, 24th & 26th, 2009

2009 Subject Lines: Jan, 1-3, 2010

I didn’t do recaps for 2010 or 2011, so you can either search by month, wait for the list for those years or say screw it and just look through the lists above. Do note that these recaps contain my comments on the subject lines, so you might get caught up reading them.

Any suggestions I choose to use will get the name of the suggester prominently displayed on the post.

Thanks a bunch, folks.

Your Humble Author


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin And So Long For Now

Ok, my friends, it’s time to bring this blog to an end for now. I’ve got about fifty million things to do before my month in Wizard time and I’ll be lucky to get half of them finished in time. Beyond the Wizard painting gig, Uncle Sin has been invited to accompany a lady friend on an extended European tour, so that will eat up another 6 months or so. Of course, I’ll pop back from Europe for the wedding of Avis & Daniel, but there won’t be any more blogging from me until maybe next winter.

Just to update everybody, Grace and the twins are doing great. Doc wanders around with a goofyass grin on his face all the time and Lily has gone into “OMG, the twins are SO cute!” mode. Actually, so have Roscoe & GiGi and most of the rest of the family & friends.

Speaking of Roscoe, he has made vague reference to doing some blogging of his own, so you may see him taking up the duties here after the puppies are a few months older. Right now, he has his paws full just keeping them from running Gigi ragged.

Well, it has been great fun blogging at you all and I hope to do more somewhere down the line, Until we meet again, good luck and keep your stockings straight.


Talking Business With Mom

Around 11:30 this morning, just after returning from breakfast out with Grace, the phone rang and it was my mom calling. In typical fashion for my mother when she wants to talk about something serious, she was very vague, saying only that she needed me to come up to her house in Marysville to discuss “business”. Since we are not actually involved in a business, I knew that it at least in part meant money.

So a couple hours later, I drove up there and got the scoop.

First she told me that she was going to sign her car, which we are buying from her since last june, over to us. I pretty much expected that.

Then she told me that a couple of months ago, she found a lump on her breast. Now, if there is one thing my mom knows about, it’s cancer. Her mother and her mother’s twin sister both died of it. one of my mom’s own sister’s died of it. My dad and stepdad both died of it. And in the early 1960’s, my mom herself fought it and survived it.

So she went a week or so ago to see my sister’s no nonsense doctor, who told her it was almost certainly cancer. But there were no tests done yet.

And there won’t be too many done next week when Mom goes in again. A few blood tests and an x-ray is all that will be done.

Why? Because that is all Mom wants done. She firmly told the doctor that there would be no big needles, no cutting open, no painful tests. Should it prove to be a malignant tumor, there will be no chemotherapy, no surgery, no radiation…in short, no treatment. Pain meds when the pain gets bad, but that is it.

Also no hospice or hospitals.

As Mom told me, she’s nearly 84 and not inclined to suffer all of those tests and treatments only to find out they didn’t work or if they did, just to “hang around a few more years all weak with parts missing”.

Now, I could have argued with her (amazingly, neither of my siblings did) and, given that I have all the legal powers over her that she could give me a few years ago, I could force her to get treatment, but that ain’t gonna happen.

Mom has made her choice and, were I in her place, it would probably be the one I would make. She is opting to go forward on her terms, knowing full well what the end will be. It’s her choice to make.

Some people might think this is crazy and ask why she would not fight for every extra secondminutehourdayweekmonthyear she could get. I’m not sure they would understand, but here’s my (and Grace’s take on it.

Life is not about the destination, because we all end up at the same place in the end. Life is about the journey.

And my mom has had a long, extremely eventful journey full of all those things humans experience. Maybe more than many experience. She’s lived though the Great Depression, many wars, social upheaval, love, childbirth, pain, happiness, loss…everything that happened to her between 1928 and the present.

But the last few years have been a pretty lonely stretch of the journey. Two husbands and all of her siblings gone, along with just about every friend her own age and several who were younger…children and grandchildren all grown up…health pretty good, but a touch less every year…less and less desire to go places she’s been to a million times. Life has become more of a burden and I think Mom is tired of carrying it.

She’s winding down. We all do it sooner or later, but for some people it’s just easier to do. If you know that sort of person, it’s easier to see. I’ve seen it happening to Mom over the past 3-4 years.

Does this bother me? No, not at all. Everybody should be able to check out of this life whenever they truly want to. My mom is no exception. As I said before, it’s her choice

Now, Mom told me that she will stick around as long as she can, and she may well last a good long while. Hell, the lump in her breast could be benign. She’s in a remarkably calm and fatalistic mood about all this and her sense of humor is still sharp.

But being of Irish stock, we’ll go into this thinking Death is just outside waiting in his car, ready to come ring the doorbell anywhere from tomorrow to years from now. We’ll assume Mom is dying. After all the cancer related deaths in our family, it’s how we roll.

I love my mother and when she is gone, I’ll miss her very much, but until then, I’ll play this out by Mom’s rules.

Thanks for listening.

Is That A Mark III Thermo Unit In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

…oh my, it’s armed!

The Doclopedia #409

The Alphabet, Again: F is for… Fingers Of Hell

The Fingers of Hell first appeared on one of the magic based Earths just after a great war had begun. Extending up out of the ground, they were five 1 mile long writing columns of what looked like smoke and magma. From these fingers poured hundreds of man sized demons that proceeded to wreak havoc on all of the armies fighting in the war.

The destruction was terrible and just seeing it drove many soldiers mad. To this day, 300 years later, the written reports on the atrocities committed that day are sealed and locked away to protect anyone from reading them.

Since their initial appearance, the Fingers of Hell have been seen a dozen or so times around the world, almost always at sites of armed conflict. One of the few non-conflict related times was the day the wicked and cruel city of Drohar was reduced to rubble in a matter of hours. Not a single person in the city survived and now, almost nobody will go within 5 miles of the ruins. Among those who do dare to go closer, sightings of huge “things” in the area are commonplace, as are the regularly heard sound of screams.

Scholars and Wizards have many theories about the Fingers of Hell, but perhaps not surprisingly, none of these theories have ever been tested.

The Doclopedia #410

The Alphabet, Again: F is for… Filby, The Happy Marmot

With a name like Filby, The Happy Marmot, you’d think this was some kid oriented series of books. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Filby books, while set in a world of talking animals, are gritty thrillers full of suspense, sex, violence and intrigue. Filby has an average kill rate of 21.5 victims per novel. He has sex, often of the more kinky variety, 4.75 times per book.

There have been 14 novels so far and 5 of them have been made into movies. Rather than try to train real animals, the movies use CGI placed into real locations. All of these movies are rated R.

After The Change Came: Series 2


Sin And The Freakin’ Heart Attack!

OMG! OMG! OM FREAKIN’ G! Grace had the twins early! On purpose! There were injuries and near heart attacks and I broke a nail! O. M. G.!!!

Let me backtrack here and tell you that about 4 months ago, Grace gave all of their family and friends an enchantment on our right hand that would, when labor began, announce that the babies were coming. It also gave us a one way Wizard Portal to their house. Great, fine, the babies were supposed to be born on Valentines Day, so we all figured the hand thing was pretty redundant. We all knew February 14th was the big day.

Which will explain why, when my hand began saying “Sin, wake up, the babies are on the way” in my own voice at 3:15 this morning, I flew out of bed yelling “what the fuck?”. Babe was equally excited and we both sort of ran about aimlessly for a minute of two before I grabbed my robe, picked up Babe, summoned the Portal and stepped trough to Chez Cross.

A fair number of other folks were there already. Avis was in her jammies and telling Daniel to hold an ice pack to the eye that she had elbowed when she came flying up out of a sound sleep. Roscoe, never one for waking up early or suddenly, was limping on a sore paw he got from stepping on a puppy toy. Spike and Mary had bumps where they had banged foreheads. Outside, Doc’s sister Rosie, who is a Giant, had some bruises from tripping over a boulder. Lily looked like she might jump out of her skin, which was covered with a bad case of bed hair.

In less than five minutes, the house and yards were full of people. There were also 9,999 Green women standing in circles around the house, chanting something in what Grace calls Gaiaspeak. The Green Ladies seemed to be the only ones not asking what the hell was going on. Well, that’s not true. The two grandmothers weren’t, having been trough the birth thing many times before.

Doc came out of the birthing room/greenhouse to give us all the straight skinny, which was pretty nice of him what with that black eye, cut lip and sprained ankle he had. Also, Doc right after a sudden and near coronary inducing wake up? Not a pretty sight, my friends.

It turns out that the day before, Grace had decided that the whole planned delivery thing just wasn’t right. Not traditional enough, she figured, so she went into labor at fuck all early in the morning instead.

I love Grace like a sister, but…shit!

Anyway, Ben and Annie, the greatest house elves on earth, appeared with coffee, tea and other beverages that we all gulped down. Then came pastries and other goodies that were suitable for about a dozen races and twenty species. We ate and waited.

After about ten minutes, a few of us were asked to go into the birthing room. The greenhouse is big enough for largish trees, and there in the middle of three of them was Grace on a hammock chair sort of thing looking radiant. No, really, she was glowing green like a 500 watt bulb. She thanked us (Doc, Avis, the grandparents, Lily, Roscoe, a young Green Lady In Waiting and I) and then said “ok, let’s do this!”.

Fastest. Birth. Ever! 4 minutes, 19 seconds from start to finish. The GLIW basically caught the babies and the grandma’s cleaned ’em up and handed them to Doc & Grace.

They are beautiful. BEAUTIFUL! Everyone was crying and congratulating Grace and Doc and looking at the babies and, well, all the usual stuff.

The girl is a Green Lady In Waiting and the boy, like his papa, is a mutant. Purple eyes, sky blue hair and perhaps just a babyish touch of blue skin.

Some minutes of oohing & awwing later, Grace said it was naming time and she called forth the Naming Officials. The male half of the team was Wizard Robotix, no real surprise there, since Grace and Doc have known him for near half a century.

The female half? Oh, she wasn’t A surprise, she was THE surprise. As in, an hour later there was damned little else discussed on the internet here on Earth or out in space.

It was the Faerie Queen! The heretofore never seen, pretty much believed to be mythical FAERIE QUEEN! She was all of 6 inches tall and quite beautiful. She was glowing as brightly as Grace, but in a rainbow manner. You could feel the waves of Faerie magic coming off of her. It was pretty damned cool.

Except for Grace and the Wizard, everybody else was stunned into jaw dropped to the floor silence. Silence that was finally broken by Doc saying “Well slap my ass and call me Spanky”.

SIGH…Doc, you can dress him up, but you can’t take him out.

Greetings were given and then both the Wizard and the FQ gave a short speech, after which names were bestowed.

The boy? William Avy Cross. Yes, middle name from Avis.

The girl? Ginger Sindell Cross. This is me, blubbering like a child.

Then the Wizard and the FQ took Avis and I aside and gave us the twins True Names, which only apply to Wizards, Faeries and the Blessed. Which is what happened next. Wizard blessings, by the way, are pretty funny and a bit goofy, as befits Wizards. Faerie blessings are more majestic and magical and somber.

Once it was all over, there were congratulations, handshakes and Wizard Robotix said “Now let’s party!”

So I’m writing this from some humongous party dome in Wizard Time. There have to be three or four thousand people here, including every Wizard there is. Also hundreds of animals, most, but not all, Smart. And a gazillion Faeries. The viewing/greeting line for the babies is about 300 feet long. Everybody is half tanked and all of our wounds are healed. When this is over, I’m going to sleep for a week. Maybe two.

Welcome to this crazy world, Will and Gin.

Linguine With Clem Sauce

…umm, no thanks, Clem

The Doclopedia #407

The Alphabet, Again: E is for…Elephants, Pink

In the Tooniverse, Pink Elephants appear whenever a character gets drunk or is having a case of the DTs. Sometimes they just hang around, but often there will be a bunch of them doing a musical number, usually about the evils of drink. Sometimes they will actively mess with the drunk, playing pranks or changing shape. Whatever the case, the drunken character is usually scared into swearing off booze, at least for a short while.

Pink Elephants can range in size from mouse sized (often with wings so they can fly) to enormous. They can all change shape, color and size. Many of them can speak, often in a spooky voice. When not messing with drunks, most Pink Elephants live pretty normal lives by toon standards. An important thing to note is that no Pink Elephant ever actually drinks alcohol, since it is a phenomenally potent laxative for them and nobody wants to clean up pink poop.

The Doclopedia #408

The Alphabet, Again: E is for…Elks, Dancing

“The Dancing Elks? Hell yes I remember them! Look, I was running five theaters in New England that were on the Orpheum circuit back when vaudeville was at the top of the entertainment heap. I met all the greats…Hope, Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, Al Jolson…you name ’em, I knew ’em, but those elks, they blew everybody else off the stage!”

Max Maxwell, theater owner

“Oh sure, I knew them. They were really big stars when I was just starting out. Not being human meant they could play the Negro vaudeville circuit, too. And man, did they ever! They always topped the show, but afterwards, they would go out to the lobby and put their hoofprints on photos for folks. I heard somewhere that those photos go for two or three thousand dollars each now. Anyway, they were really sweet and when they made that movie “Dancing Through Canada”, they got me a part where I sang a number while Olaf and Hilda danced to it. That role launched my film career.”

Patsy Samuels, singer & actress

“There were six of them. Olaf, Hilda, Greg, Monty, Evie and Phyllis. Came outta Canada back in 1921 and headed straight to Broadway in New York. Started dancing up and down the street, really cutting a rug. Drew a helluva crowd and snarled traffic for two hours. By that evening, they were signed up with old Jake Sherman and he was getting them primed for hitting the circuit. After that, the story is pretty well documented. Vaudeville, movies, world tours, USO tours, early tv appearances…hell, they were everywhere. Then, in 1952, they just walked away from it all. Nobody knows why, but they were last seen heading back to Canada. Maybe they had to migrate or breed or something, I dunno, but I do know that we’ll never see their like again.”

Oscar Olowicz, entertainment historian

Doc Tempest: The City Dies At Dawn

…from the 1999 graphic novel

The Doclopedia #405

The Alphabet, Again: D is for…Dragontooth

Dragontooth is a legendary sword made from, you guessed it, a real dragon tooth. After being taken from the mouth of a recently slain dragon, the tooth had many sorcerous spell laid upon it. It was then given to skilled Gnomish craftsmen who fashioned it into a truly amazing sword loaded with special powers.

The person using Dragontooth is nearly invincible and can withstand all extremes of temperature. They age very slowly and remain young looking throughout their lives. The sword itself is unbreakable and sharp enough to cut through steel.

Once a day, the sword can be made to teleport itself and the owner to a place of safety at least 100 miles from where they were. Once a month, it can be used to summon and control a fully grown dragon.

The Doclopedia #406

The Alphabet, Again: E is for…EK387-B

EK387-B, or Ek for short, is a Helperdroid on the “Boron” space colony that is now leaving the orbit of Saturn on it’s journey to a planet orbiting the star Aloron.

His jobs is primarily the care and wrangling of the stations cattle, which has earned him the nickname “Cowboy Ek”. Playing along with this, Ek uses a vocal matrix based on a combination of Sam Elliot and Gary Cooper. This often gets a laugh, because Ek is built along the lines of an octopus/spider love child. Ek is cool with that and just doffs his ten gallon hat and says “Y’all have a right nice day.”

When he’s not roaming the 200 square miles of pasture that the beef cattle live on, Ek will be in some nearby town doing odd jobs or getting his quarterly tune up. He’ll also spend a little time telling the children exciting tales of the Old West.

True Tails Of The Winkerdog

…co-starring her sisters, Neurotic Nelly and Speedy McBarksalot

In Which I Prepare To Jump Into The Fire

As I’ve mentioned a few times over the interwebs, I’m going to have outpatient surgery on my fucked up left shoulder on March 7th. This will put me out of work for about 6 weeks, assuming I heal with my usual alacrity. I’d rather not miss the bulk of 6 weeks pay, but I also don’t want the fucked up shoulder, so there ya go.

Now, in the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve felt a slow unrest building. Not the “dump the wife for a sports car and 20 year old hottie” kind of unrest, which I couldn’t afford anyway, but a creative unrest coupled with a growing desire to open yet another chapter of my not lacking in chapters life.

In addition to all that, I recently turned 58 years old. That most likely puts me in the last third of my lifespan, barring some really cool technological advances. I figure with only 30 or so years left, I might as well jump. And this is what I want to do…

I want to do other things to make a living. I want to get away, if only partially, from hourly wage slavery. I want to let my inner artist, who works mostly with words but has in the past worked in clay and other materials, go loose in the world. He has some ideas which may or may not make much money, but would allow for having more fun and maybe make some people happy. Preferably in exchange for cash.

I’ve got a pretty bitchin’, yet not overly complex, idea for a novel told using mostly photographs.

I have an opening to do some game writing for pay, which I haven’t done in a while due to not liking most of the game systems out there.

I’m working out ways to pair some of my writing with some sculpting. This has some pretty good “make my fellow geeks and many women go SQUEE!” potential.

I think I’ve finally cracked how a guy with negative talent at drawing can do a pretty cool webcomic.

I have a shitload of glass jars just begging to be painted up and sold cheap to people who like knickknack.

I’ve got a fuckin’ green thumb that won’t quit and people just love buying fresh herbs.

To name but a few ideas in my head.

This is all pretty risky on several levels. I absolutely cannot risk much cash, but then, I don’t think I’ll need much to start out. I might also be risking a big upheaval of my normal routine, but that’s a risk that almost certainly has a 90% upside.

I may risk some interpersonal things, because when the creative madness grabs hold, I tend to get a bit odd to deal with. No, really, I mean odder than usual. Not surly or mean or anything, just not quite operating totally in this reality. My mind starts racing and I’m not thinking of the sorts of things ordinary humans think of.

The biggest risk is to my ego, which is Godzilla sized. Failure would be pretty damned unpleasant. On the other hand, it’s not like failure and I haven’t taken long hot showers together in the past, so I reckon I’ll just have to dive in and to hell with the outcome.

Anyway, once the first week or two of my post op is past, I’ll be a two armed tool user again and have a few weeks to give this all a shot. Also, the thought of not having to watch daytime television for 6 weeks is pretty fucking motivating if you want to start a new chapter in your life.

There it is, Gentle Readers, a bit of the old opening up. Thank you for indulging me as I got all of that out of my head and into the light of day.

I’ll do a Doclopedia post ASAP as a thank you gift:)


After The Change Came: Series 2


Sin Is Where You Find Him

And today, that means you’ll find me at home being a total lazybones. Babe and I are just hanging out, eating whatever and watching all manner of things on the big screen monitor. Right now, that means the new steampunk series from the BBC “Solomon & Darke”, which is pretty damned great. I am loving those outfits on the Royal Air Service flygirls. Must look into getting one. Outfit, not flygirl. Well, okay, I’d take the flygirl, too.

After the steampunk, I think we’ll watch “Big Trouble In Middle Earth”, which is possibly the funniest movie I’ve ever seen aside from “Blazing Saddles”. Knowing that many of my gaming & fandom pals had bit parts in this low budget cinematic mashup makes it that much funnier.

Dinner tonight will be at Roscoe and GiGi’s house. Their house elf, Koko, is an excellent cook, so I’m looking forward to chowing down on his Jamaican specialties. Of course, playing with the puppies will also be big fun.

Late tonight, it’s going to be Creature Features time. Babe has never seen “Attack of the Mushroom People”, so this should be fun.

Oooh…look, a big bag of cookies! More blogging later.

Was That A Mouse Over There?

…or was it a tiny flesh devouring alien?

The Doclopedia #404

The Alphabet, Again: D is for…Dimm Street

In the city of Toronto, Canada, there is a very short street called Dimm Street. It’s very old, narrow, dark most of the day (it runs east to west between very tall buildings) and is just two blocks long. The entire two blocks are lined with 30 small shops selling everything from herbs & spices to shoes to comic books. There are also three restaurants and a bar. The whole street looks very quaint and neighborly. Tourists & locals just love it.

But, and you knew there would be a “but” in this piece of writing, Dimm Street is not quite what it seems to be. The truth is, every business on the street straddles the intersection of Public Toronto and Secret Toronto. It’s not the only portal to the Secret City, but it is by far the most popular and easiest to find. That’s good, because the only Secret City more popular with the Other People than Toronto is Secret San Francisco. Some estimates say that up to a quarter million visitors pass through Dimm Street each month during the spring and summer.

A full guidebook to both Dimm Street and Secret Toronto can be purchased at Secret Empire Comics if you quietly ask for a copy of “Super Secret City #1”. After that, you can use the back door of the shop to get into “Lost Games”, the game store that sells games and versions of games that never existed in the Public World.

If you are clued into the Secret World and go into the Green Rose Tea Room, don’t be surprised if you see several mutants. Miss Maxine, who runs the place, sells a variety of teas and snacks that appeal to those of a newer genetic code. Her Lavender Green Tea with Curare is pretty popular with some mutants.

Over at Hassad’s Spice Shop, you can use the restroom to get into the secret subway, but you’ve gotta buy some spices first. Old man Hassad is a cranky old fart, even more so than when he was alive. His son in law and daughter will let you through for free.

Dimm Street connects directly to the Secret Cities in Warsaw, Lagos and Valparaiso.

Mr. Porkwaffle Sets Loose The Kraken

…no, really, it was his pet kraken, Oliver

TWO Doclopedia posts here, my little gyring & gimboling slithy toves! Might do two more later this evening!

The Doclopedia #402

The Alphabet, Again: C is for…Corn Man

Some superheroes are just not cut out for the big time. Corn Man is a prime example of this, since his very limited super powers only function when he is within a mile or so of large quantities of corn. This not only limits him to the American Midwest, it means that for part of the year, he is pretty well powerless unless he’s near a silo or maybe the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Even when he’s at full power, Corn Man can only do things like shoot dried corn kernels from his fingers, animate cornstalks and spit large globs of high fructose corn syrup. That last always ranks high on the list of Grossest Super Powers.

In addition to his limits in range and seasons, Corn Man is just plain goofy looking. His costume consists of a green and white spandex suit and a yellow mask/helmet that looks like an ear of corn. We won’t even get into describing the Cornmobile, which looks an awful lot like a heavily modified 1998 Honda Accord.

Despite his general of any real superhero mojo, Corn Man is very popular in the Midwest, especially at county and state fairs.

The Doclopedia #403

The Alphabet, Again: D is for…Dave Finlooper

I don’t know how it is on your world, but here on Earth 14, we love Dave Finlooper! I mean, come on, he’s the guy that invented the yPhone, wrote the “A Game of Barstools” series, taught an entire generation how to cook and enjoy duckburgers and founded the International Flooning League, to name but a few of his many accomplishments. My God, the man is nearly a saint!

He was born David Boris Finlooper to Andy and Iris Finlooper of Hackysack Falls, Minnesota on April 23rd, 1951. Dave was the fourth of 7 children and even as a small child, loved inventing and creating things. His first grade painting “A Dog In A Car”, recently sold for 6.5 million dollars at auction. His third grade English paper, “What I Did Over Christmas Break”, won a Pulitzer prize and has been made into a movie three times.

After graduating from college at age 12, Dave went into his home laboratory and did not come out for 3 weeks, at which point he had invented Glue On Hair, the supersonic bicycle and a cure for Itchy Butt Disease. Dave was on his way to billionaire status and multiple Nobel Prizes.

Wherever Dave goes, people cheer him and women offer him their bodies for his pleasure. He has not paid for a restaurant meal in 48 years and has not paid for a drink in 39 years. The United States government stopped taking his tax money in 1977. He gets free cable tv.

Yes indeed, Dave Finlooper is without a doubt the most famous and beloved man in the world.


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin And The Blast From The Past

Several things to report, sweeties. Uncle Sin has been a busy lad.

1: Doc’s birthday party was a hell of a good time and the Pellucidar game afterwards was probably among the top 5 roleplaying experiences of our lives, which is really saying something. I’d also like to say that Doc’s cousin Wendy brews up the tastiest Dream Draught I’ve ever had. Most of the time, Dream Draught tastes like a glass of mildly lemony spit, but Wendy knocked out something with a definite pina colada vibe. Yum!

2: My new hairdo looks great and I was so hot looking in my Michu dress that after the party and game, two young women were moved to bed me with extreme prejudice, bless their hearts.

3: I’ve gotten a commission to do portraits of several Wizards. This means big money, which will more than compensate for spending the bulk of March in Wizard Time.

4: When I get back from Wizard Time, I’ll be moving to a real house! It’s a cute little treehouse in one of the giant oaks that grow near the Ring Road not too far from where Doc & Grace live. Babe and I are very excited about it.

5: That blast from the past in the title? That would be my childhood friend Luke, who is out here on some business. We’re going out tonight for steaks, beer and reminiscing.

And now, I must go. More blogging soon!

A Poem About Dancing Elk

…because they deserve it

The Doclopedia #401

The Alphabet, Again
: C is for…Czinnlik

Czinnlik is a planet orbiting the binary star system Yarvax 9. Due to the two suns being rather small and not too hot, there is a rather large zone where planets can support life. Czinnlik is one of three planets in this zone and is by far the largest, measuring approximately 1.25 times the size of Earth.

Czinnlik has a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere and is covered over 70% of its surface by shallow seas and swamps. Humans have settled near these swamps in order to grow and harvest giant swamp tulips, from which they make a powder called Oomroo Dust. This substance is then used to flavor a wide variety of foodstuffs on hundreds of worlds.

The next largest industry on Czinnlik is mining, which can only be done in the few ancient mountain ranges near the poles. The main elements mined are copper, silver and diamonds. The diamonds generally run large, 100 to 300 carats each.

The greatest hazard to human life on the planet has got to be the annual hatching of Giant Mudhoppers. Weighing in at around 1,500 each pounds at hatching, you do not want to be outside the domed cities when the hundreds of thousands of hatchlings migrate to the swamps from their dry land birthplace. Add in the fact that enormous flying Lizardbats eat the Giant Mudhoppers and you can see why humans stay in the domes for three weeks every spring.


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin On The Run

Just another quick post before I run out to start getting things ready for Doc’s birthday bash on Saturday (his actual birthday is on Sunday, the 29th). It will be a double whammy this year, with an afternoon foodfest attended by at least 90 people, then a most likely long evening of playing in an exclusive beta test of the new “Pellucidar” MMORPG. Doc and the rest of us are all cranked up about that because it’s a game that actually requires Dream Draught to enjoy, so it will be hyper-realistic. Oooh, just thinking about that upward curving horizon and all of those dinosaurs and primitive races makes me all goose pimply! Edgar Rice Burroughs was The Man!

In other news, I’m going to a new stylist tomorrow to get my hair cut, colored and styled. I’m told she’s very good. I’ve been a blond long enough. Time to be a sexy redhead for awhile! Not sure if I’ll get my nails done there or go to Rene, my usual nail lady. In clothing news, I’ll be wearing one of my new Michu outfits at the party on Sunday, so if you see me, you may want to stand way back, because I’ll be white hot, baby. I won’t be bringing a date, so it’s first come, first served, ladies

Must go now. More posts soon.

Drugged Up Kakapos Bitchslapped My Dormouse

…he was traumatized by it

400th Doclopedia post below. Commentary below it.

The Doclopedia #400

The Alphabet, Again: C is for…Chocolate Trees

On no less that 15 alternate Earths, chocolate…processed, ready to eat chocolate…actually grows on trees. These trees grow best in temperate zones, which means that the vast bulk of the world’s chocolate comes from North America. The best dark chocolate comes from Canada, while the United states produces semi-dark and milk chocolate.

The trees strongly resemble pines, but are not evergreen or conifers. They grow to a maximum height of 30 feet and have a maximum limb spread of 20 feet. They prefer slightly acidic and well drained soil. They do not benefit from heavy fertilization. Many people have a chocolate tree ot two in their yards.

The chocolate is produced inside hard shelled pods about the size of coconuts. When fully ripe, these pods drop to the ground and are ready to harvest. After harvest, it is a simple matter to crack the pod, melt and recast the chocolate, wrap it up and ship it off to chocolate lovers everywhere.

400 Posts?

Wow! That right there is milestone alright. just over a year ago, I was doubting that I’d even reach 300. Of course, 400 is less than halfway to my 12 month goal of reaching post 893, but it’s a good marker. It’s also proof that I do in fact possess at least a tiny bit of discipline where writing is concerned.

Anyway, onward to post #500, sometime in May!

Cherry Flavored Fun In a Box

…just as good as the chocolate kind

The Doclopedia #399

The Alphabet, Again: C is for…Cogs

On Earth 52, where they just love to screw around with recombinant DNA, somebody decided to mix canine and feline genetic material. The result were cogs, part cat, part dog and all lovable…and infuriating…and goofy…and funny.

Cogs have all the needy pack oriented traits of dogs, but also the lonerish independent nature of cats. Basically, this gives them personalities not unlike the average human teenager. They have the unquenchable appetites of dogs, but the pickiness of cats, so their humans must buy large bags of several kinds of cog food.

Cogs really want to come when you call them, but they will only do it in a nonchalant “well, I was heading that way anyway” manner. They aren’t very good at climbing trees, but they are hell on catching everything from mice to wild goats, which they will then partially eat before leaving the corpse somewhere in your house.

Most cogs are about the size of a medium sized dog, but some get as large as Russian Wolfhounds. You need a really large litter box for them.



After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin And Sin Again

Have any of you played in the new Dungeon Bash realm of Larkonia? There are at least four dungeons there and easily three times as many wilderness quests. Babe, Roscoe, Peter, Avis, Grace and I have formed a party and are way deep into the Forest Realm of the Octopus Men. It has been creepy and brutal so far. Thank goodness we have two druids with third circle healing spells, or we’d have been toast early on. Hopefully, our friends Spike and Miranda will be joining us soon.

Ok, Babe and I are heading out the door to go help bake bread and cookies at Chez Cross. More from blogland later.

The Rare And Butt Ugly Big Faced Mink Of Potawango Island

…they tend to mate in the dark

The Doclopedia #398

The Alphabet, Again: B is for…Breezy Gap

The tiny town of Breezy Gap, Kentucky, is notable for exactly one reason: Not only has nothing strange ever happened there, nothing strange can happen there. In a world where superheroes fight giant monsters, supervillains and alien invaders on a regular basis, none of these fights have ever passed within a mile of Breezy Gap. When the dead rose up as zombies back in 1973, there was one place in the U.S. that never even saw one: Breezy Gap. The Vampire Chipmunk incident of 1946? Wiped out nearby Gomerville, but folks in the Gap didn’t hear about it until much later. The famous Rain of Guppies that circled the planet three times in a month? Breezy Gap remained dry and guppy free.

Nobody can explain why the town is immune from strangeness, but that hasn’t stopped the U.S. Department of Weird Shit from putting it’s headquarters there. Meanwhile, the folks who live in Breezy Gap think everybody else is just a little too nervous and maybe a tad crazy.

Mashed Potato Volcano

…it erupts gravy


NOTE FROM 2019: Due to a numbering error, I am off by 3 on the numbering of posts. This post SHOULD be #400, but I’m too damned lazy to renumber 1,800 fucking posts just now. So no, you are not going crazy. Numbering is off and I may have it fixed by 2021. or not.


The Doclopedia #397

The Alphabet, Again
: B is for…Blue Reggie

On Steampunk Earth #6, a dangerous new drug has become popular among the citizens of England and, to a lesser degree, Europe. Going by the slang name of “Blue Reggie”, it unlocks the psychic centers of the brain and produces a euphoric state. The effects of the drug, which must be injected, last 2 to 3 hours. During this time, the user is incapable of moving due to muscle relaxation.

While under the effect of Blue Reggie, the user will unknowingly activate psychic powers. Most common among these are mind reading, telepathy and telekinesis. Telepathy and telekinesis have caused many problems, as exemplified by the Great Shared Nightmare that took place in York and the Flying Cobblestones incident in London on Christmas Day, 1882.

It is unknown where Blue Reggie originated, but it is almost certainly a product of Mad Science.


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin And Old Yellow Eyes VS The Great Weerloo Army

Dear Readers, I meant to post this yesterday (Tuesday) but we got teleported just before I finished writing, as you’ll see by the abrupt ending. Enjoy it and know that the four of us are now clean, refreshed, well fed and at home.

Holy shit! HOLY SHIT! We just defeated 500 Weerloos in a heated battle! And some of them were a crazy Weerloo/Mountain Troll hybrid! My God, it was terrifying and exhilarating and I’m surprised that I don’t need to change my undies. I’m covered in blood and gore and I want to get really drunk, after I bathe for an hour or two.

So here’s the fast version of the story.

Monday morning, 2:00 am: Doc leaps out of bed and tells me that we need to get ready to leave RIGHT NOW! Although I use foul language in my response, a near lifetime of hanging out with him tells me to do as he says.

Monday morning, 2:30 am: While Doc & Rocky gallop off south of town, I arrange for a truck to haul the four of us to Interstate 5, which is 45 miles to the west of Chico. I then drink two cups of strong coffee and eat a sweet roll.

Monday morning, 3:30 am: Doc & Rocky return, winded and looking pissed off. After grabbing the 36 ounce mug of crazy strong oolong tea, Doc says “It’s Weerloos and something new and Weerlooish. Get in the truck.”

Monday morning, 4:30 am: Having paid the truck driver, we are all off of the truck and heading into the foothills of the Coast Range. We are following the very obvious trail of of Weerloos and the same big creatures that we found the tracks of earlier in our trip. They head straight west to where Doc tells me Long Valley lies. There is a lake there, no human habitation and a long flat valley just made for parking an army.

Monday morning, 8:00 am: We reach the top of the hills at the eastern edge of Long Valley. From our vantage point in the bushes, we see about 450 Weerloos, about 50 creatures that look like Weerloos if Weerloos were 7 feet tall and one human. He’s obviously a Mage and he’s obviously in charge. Doc and Rocky both growl. I cannot overstate how eerie and scary it is to hear a mule growl.

Monday morning, 10:00 am: We have retreated downhill to a well concealed spot in some trees. Doc has reached into his Bag of Expanded Capacity and pulled out a real Crystal Ball. In moments, he is in a trance, which means that he’s communicating with at least one Wizard. He’ll be like that for the next two hours,

The rest of Monday: We rest, eat and take turns watching the Weerloos. Sure enough, they are training just like an organized army. Doc identifies 9 different Clans, which makes this the largest Weerloo army ever. We both note that the big UberWeerloos must be part troll. I’m not feeling good about all this.

Today, just after sunrise: We are back on the hill overlooking the army. Doc takes a bunch of stuff out of his bag and gives each of us a small beeswax capsule filed with a blue liquid. One we have them in out mouths, he tells us not to bite them until he says to.

After that, he picks up an egg sized figurine of a wizard, then walks about 100 yards down the hill and yells “Hey, you scaly motherfuckers, listen up!”

Every eye in that army is looking at him. The conversation went like this…

Doc: “Under direction of the Council of Wizards, the United Nations, the North American Union, the United States of America, the State of California and me, the Taker of Tails & Teeth, you will all surrender right fucking now or get killed. Personally, I hope you don’t surrender.”

Mage (who is now only about 100 feet away from Doc): After a hearty laugh, says “I don’t think we’ll surrender. In fact, I think I’ll just fry you and your three friends where you stand.” He begins casting a spell.

Doc: “Not today, you little prick!” Doc then crushes the wizard figurine in his hand. Mage screams, falls down and you can actually see the power exit his body. Looking at the army, Doc asks “No more Mage for you. He’ll be powerless for the next week. Will you surrender, Eaters of Other People’s Fish?”

The response is to scream war cries and come rushing towards us.

Doc (to us): “Bite that wax and get ready to rock & roll!”

Like most magical potions, the liquid inside the wax capsules tasted like whatever it is nasty thinks tastes nasty. Thankfully, the taste only lasted a second and then we all started to change. We got bigger, more muscular and our clothing pretty much ripped apart. It was like turning into the Incredible Hulk, if he were some huge barbarian warrior. Or a Demon Mule from Hell, because Rocky and Belle were now bigger than Clydesdale horses and snorting smoke & fire. And there was bloodlust, oh yes there was! I wanted to lay waste to my enemies, to stand knee deep in their corpses and show them that Sindell the Barbarian was somebody to fear!

Just before the first giant Weerloo/Trolls arrived, Doc pulled a sword and a big ax out of his bag and tossed the sword to me. After that, shit was ON baby!

I won’t go into details, except to say that the Weerloo/Trolls were tough, many Weerloos tried unsuccessfully to run and you never ever want to have a Demon Mule from Hell after you. In the end, we left exactly one member of each Weerloo clan alive. All of them were too scared to move as Doc told them to return to their clans, tell them to expect visits from the Taker of Tails & Teeth and to never even think of grouping up with other clans or working with a human Mage, because if they did, well, Doc got very detailed about what would happen and it’s pretty gross. They all swore they would do as he said, then took off running like the devil was on their trail.

We went back to where the Mage was still passed out and Doc put a small coin on his forehead. In a blink, the Mage was gone, teleported to Wizard Central for punishment.

It took another 15 minutes before we all returned to normal, at which point, we all collapsed from exhaustion until Doc produced some Energy Elixir that revived us enough to start back to the freeway, where we would call for another truck that would take us back to Chico and civilized amenities.

We’re almost back to the freeway now and I must say that this has been a hell of an experience. Not one I ever want to repeat, but still, pretty singular. And now I want a bath, a bed and maybe a few stiff drinks.