No Lungfish Allowed!

…regular type fish only!

 

The Doclopedia #615

Wait…What?: Dixie The Dog

Dixie is the pet of the Selwin family of Hobart, Tasmania. She is a medium sized dog of indeterminate breed, with long brown fur and a big waggy tail. The Selwins adopted her when she just showed up on their doorstep on day five years ago. She is a very friendly dog and loves the four Selwin kids and their other dog, Max, a yellow lab. Dixie and Max spend most of the day playing in the yard just waiting for the kids to get home from school. At night, they sleep on their dog beds in the living room.

Dixie is a very good hunting dog, mostly because once she gets out of human sight, she can resume her natural form as a Tasmanian Tiger. Max, also a good hunting dog, does not seem to mind this.

It Was Wrong To Trust The Skinny Redhead

…but you can always trust a chubby redhead

The Doclopedia #612

Wait…What?: Little Annie Oliver

Little Annie Oliver was an American child movie star of the 1930’s. She began her acting career in 1931 at the age of 3 in the short film “Talented Tots” and within a year began starring in the “Sweetie Pie” series of films. In these films, she played Sweetie Pie, a cute and talented little girls who always helped solve the big problems with singing, dancing and love. Some of the films in the series are “Sweetie Pie On The Farm”, Sweetie Pie In The Army”, “Princess Sweetie Pie” and “Detective Sweetie Pie”. At the age of 7, she won a special Academy Award. She was hailed the world over as “America’s Little Cutie”. Then, at the age of 12, the alien spider eggs that had been laid in her brain years before hatched and the world was plunged into a living hell.

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The Doclopedia #613

Wait…What?: Akbar al Batar

Akbar is a poor 26 year old cab driver in Cairo. He works for his uncle, a man who has never parted with a coin he did not have to. Akbar dreams of someday leaving Egypt for the United States, where his cousin owns a thriving automobile repair shop in Jersey City. Akbar’s wife, Jina, works part time as a hairdresser. The couple has no children due to their love of eating them. They do have 2 cats. On their one day off each week, they enjoy watching American movies, shopping in the market and visiting local playgrounds.

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The Doclopedia #614

Wait…What?: Yirox The Incredible

If there is a more versatile Wizard than Yirox in the Known Lands, we have never heard of them. This young (a mere 200 years old!) wizard, has learned more types of magic than many Wizards twice her age. She attributes this to her amazing natural memory and at least 12 hours of intense studying on most days. This has given her knowledge of such spells as “Petrify Dragon”, “Open Demonic Portal”, “Cause Genital Explosion”, “Mindblank” and “Rain of Deadly Flowers”. Yirox is in great demand with adventuring teams who want to go into the deadliest dungeons. She is a 5’4” tall human with black hair, green eyes and dark skin. She lives in the Red Castle.

Apes In Toyland

…did I mishear that?

 

CatCon4: Day 11 (Con Day 4) Last day of the con…mucho merch is bought… games are played…seminars are attended…pie is eaten…we head home via the old spacey wacey/timey wimey

This being the last day of the con, our merry band of travelers hit the Dealer’s Room early and hard. There are a whole bunch of sellers who are going to sleep well tonight after counting the $$$ we spent.

At 10 AM, it was time for Spike and I to hit the “What We Hate!” seminar, which was packed and lots of fun. It lasted until 12, at which point we had an hour for lunch and then went on to the last seminar of the day “What We Did At CatCon 4”. As you might imagine, this was a best/most funny/most awesome/strangest con memories thing and it was often screamingly funny.

Once that was over, at 2 PM, Grace (who had been doing even more shopping) joined Sharon, Avis and I for the Charity Pet Walk (or, in Winker’s case, the “get towed by Dad in a wagon”). People once again ponied up big bucks for local animal charities.

At 3 PM, it was one last sweep of the Dealer’s Room. At 4:00, the dealer’s room closed and we all went back to the hotel for packing up.

At 4:30, we all went to Pizza My Heart for some chow, but left plenty of room for the deliciosity that is the “Post Con Cool Down Party” where pie is the star attraction.

When 6 PM rolled around, we went to the party and just ate the hell outta pie. There was much chatting and goodbye saying and at 7:00, we headed out, got on the Magic Bus and bid adieu to Critter City and CatCon 4.

About an hour after we left, and fortunately after she had told us all goodbye, our duplicate Avis popped out of existence. Two minutes later, my cell phone rang and it was the original Avis calling from GenCon to say what fun she had at both cons. I’m not quite sure how she keeps so many memories of the same days straight.

Fifteen minutes later, Joe flipped switches and turned dials and we popped up in the middle of London, circa 1972. We had not been moving, so when we popped out of nowhere, it was a real crowd stopper. Joe said we had to wait 5 minutes before we could hop again, so I gave in to a mad urge. After running to one of the closets, I hurriedly threw on a rather gaudy outfit, complete with a top hat and cane. Then I left the bus, where a couple of hundred people stood looking at it in slackjawed wonder and traffic was backing up badly.

I walked up to a largish group and said “Hello, I’m the Doctor. Can any of you tell me how to get to California in 2011?” Jaws REALLY dropped then, plus three people fainted and one guy dropped his bag of groceries.

I then got on the bus and, while the Doctor Who theme played through the external speakers, we hopped. Joe informs me that we most likely created the trigger event for spinning off an alternate reality. Cool!

We popped into Toronto, at which point we then drove the Mystery family home. Next stop was Dundalk, Maryland, where the Joneses said goodbye. From there, it was home, sweet home, California.

That was an hour ago. Grace is snoozing, Sharon is gone, Zach is driving home, The Girls are asleep, Flash is in his imaginary cat tree, Abby is in her fictional pygmy goat house and I am drinking a glass of iced tea.

Next year, as always, we hope to get to GenCon. If we don’t, there will still be DogCon 5.

Of course, even if we do make it to GenCon, there’s still that “tempro-spatially replicated” thing that duplicated Avis. It’s a big bathroom…big enough to hold several people, plus critters.

Hmmmm…

Winker: Oh, Daddy, you’ll never learn, will you?

CatCon 4 is over, but the Cross Family and Friends will return in…

DogCon 5

 

The Rare And Beautiful And Highly Carnivorous Giant Pink Gophers Of Potawango Island

…they’re like huge pink underground sharks!

 

The Doclopedia #610

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Wanted

Power Armor: I am a girl looking for Diana class power armor. I do not care if it is made by the Ryoshi Company or Mitsuhara Industries. There are aliens and robots to fight, so help me out! Contact Mishu at: warriorgirl/neotokyo.com

Sword Of Robot Dinosaur Slaying: I really need one of these ASAP. Can pay up to $5,000.00 and if it does added damage versus a Red Rex, I’ll toss in two horses and a virgin. Send message via Pixie Express to: Waltar Cybereye in New Billings, Montana Sector.

Acme Rocket Skates: In good working order, size 12 EE. Could also use an Acme High Volume Glue Gun. Contact: W. Coyote, second cave on the left, Southwest Desert, USA.

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 The Doclopedia #611

 Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Announcements

Be it known that I, The Atomic Clown, will start terrorizing Los Angeles on or about July 6th, 1997 at around 11 am. When you see me and my gang, run and hide, kiddies, or risk getting a face full of Clown Gas.

Cap’n MacDougal, aka Black Mac, is a scurvy goat buggering son of a trollop and his crew is a bilge load of sissyboys who couldn’t take a merchant ship if it were run aground and guarded only by French cheesemakers. So says I, Cap’n James Slaughter aka The Shark.

Looking for information leading to the arrest of the clever criminals who stole my robot. They are undoubtedly skilled pros, since there was no evidence that they were even in my lab when my loyal robot, Isaac, went missing. Big reward upon their arrest! Professor Ellison, 1290 Lucas Road.

Caution: Contents May Include Strangeness

…heh heh…”may”…heh heh

 

CatCon4: Day 10 (Con Day 3) An even quicker recap

Grace: Spent very nearly the entire day in several board game tournaments, two of which she won (Bean Trader and a giant sized live action version of Kill Doctor Lucky)

The Critters: Played in two LARPS (as a team) and went to an Old West pet park.

Flash: You can call me The California Flash now, pardner.

Winker: And I’m Kid Winky, fastest woof in the West!

Lucy: You outlaws better vamoose, because Judge Lucy is in a hangin’ mood.

Abby: And Marshall Abigail will hunt ya down!

Doc: Once again tried to kill himself with the following schedule…

9-10 AM: Seminar titled “How to Be Funny”

10-11 AM: Seminar titled “How To Write Stuff”

11-11:30 AM: Ate world class chili dogs for lunch

11:30 AM-12 PM: Got ready for the annual “Old Time Radio” broadcast…but this year, the whole damned show was improv, including the music by a local swing band.

12-2 PM: Did the above mentioned show with a cast of 16, a live audience of 300 and live streaming to the whole fuckin’ world via the internet. We managed to squeeze out a detective drama, a variety show, a newscast and a comedy show reminiscent of the Jack Benny Program. All more than slightly skewed from the normal due to the improve aspect. Doc Mystery and I each played at least 7 roles. Mary played 8 or 9.

2-3 PM: Caught my breath, used the bathroom, drank iced tea

3-5 PM: played in “The World’s Biggest Superhero Steel Cage Match” where 48 players had their characters slugging it out with, basically, anybody in the cage that came near them. My character, a kind of Metamorpho knockoff) lasted 1 hour, 22 minutes before a teenage girl had her character use molecular manipulation to turn Morpho into glass, at which point a Hulk like fellow shattered him.

5-6 PM: Seminar titled “Everything I’ve Learned, I Learned from Bad Movies”

6-8 PM: Smooched wife, loved pets, showered, dinner at a great Indian place

8 PM until-3AM: Played in a Savage Worlds game, “Attack Of The Zombie Ninjas”, which was actually a lot more serious that the title implies. Avis played in this one with me and her crack shot, hard drinking, two fisted adventuress saved the bacon of my absent minded and somewhat mad biology professor (as well as most of the rest of our group.

More bloggage after a few hours of sleep.

 

Lucy In The Sky With Dogtoys

…she likes the Squeaky Snake

 

CatCon4: Day 9 (Con Day 2) Again, a quick rundown, but with added critter comments

Grace: Took a tour (with Mary and Miranda) of a local herb garden…bought several books at a local used book store…went with no less than 15 other gamers folks and several pets to the mud baths and spa, where we all first lounged about in warm mineral mud, then got cleaned and massaged to within an inch of our lives (lunch was also included)…went to watch our now wonderfully clean canine children participate in an all dog LARP…took a nap…entered Abby and Flash in the Pet Costume Contest as Donkey and Puss in Boots from Shrek (they took third place)…played in the Killer Bunnies tournament…ate dinner…went to the Couples Only Dungeon LARP with Your Humble Narrator.

The Critters: Spent the morning at the Pet Jungle, which is a really cool jungle themed park…

Flash: They have fake alligators in a pond! I nearly pissed myself when one swam toward where I was standing!

Abby: They had a fun “Jungle Pyramid” that I climbed with a bunch of other goats and several cats & dogs.

Lucy: I ran all over the jungle with a bunch of other dogs chasing a mechanical monkey.

Winker: I played with two little girls and their dog. He was a Cocker Spaniel named Boo.

…went to the spa with us…

All Critters: We love the spa! They cleaned us and combed us and massaged us and gave us lots of treats!

…played in LARPs…

Winker & Lucy: We were the McWoof Sisters in the dog LARP “The Haunted Doghouse”

…wore costumes…

Flash: I made a pretty dashing Puss in Boots, if I do say so.

Abby: I looked good as Donkey, but the contest winner was a pig named Louie dressed up as Iron Ham.

…had long naps in our suite…ate a great dinner and watched movies with Arcadia (Sharon was playing in a game of some sort)

Doc: Toured the Dealer’s room…took part (with Spike) in the annual “Ask A GM Anything!” Q&A. This year, one of the questions was “Can you do a few lines from one of your favorite movies?”, so I did a few from the original “King Kong”…did the spa party thing…watched about half of The Girls doggie LARP…ran an OTE game titled “The Revenge Of The Dead”…sat in on a seminar whose panel included Spike and Christina Stiles. Subject was freelancing…ran yet another Toon game, “The House That Jerks Built”…played a card game about war in the barnyard…ate Mexican food for dinner…went with my spouse, Mr. & Mrs. Jones, Doc & Mrs. Mystery and my nephew Zach & Avis Crane to the Couples Only LARP. Obviously, it is not just for married folk, or even folks in a relationship. You just had to be two people that were a team. It was a Murder Mystery with Fantasy and Steampunk elements (and drinks & eats). The object was not just to solve the murder and expose the killer, but keep from getting killed AND expose the vile bastards behind it all. Both Spike and I got killed, while Mary nearly drank poison. Players were dropping like flies for a while, but we all got to come back as zombies (some good, some evil). It was big fun and ran from 9 PM until 2 in the morning.

After that, we were very glad to see our beds, you betcha.

 

The Sasha Jane Adventures

… which mostly involve walking and trying to eat stuff she shouldn’t.

The Doclopedia #607

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Personal

Single Male: Superhero 39 y.o., 6’6”, 235 lbs, in great physical shape and financially independent. Want to meet woman 30-40 y.o. who loves adventure, justice and tight body armor. Cat lovers need not apply, but bat lovers are preferred. Email dknight@batnet.org

Are You An Explorer?: Scientist, age 53, seeks stouthearted fellows who want to explore those parts of the world not fully mapped out as of yet. Travel on my newly finished Sea/Land Shipmobile, which is fully stocked for all manner of scientific research as well as being a comfortable living space. Fully crewed, I need only a scientific team to start exploring. There is also an opening for a reporter, who will have full access to the latest in wireless communication. Apply at: 2109 Wickingham Road between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm.

Interested In Gleebing: I am a hurk of the third zuzzing who has developed an interest in gleebing. I seek an older (fourth or fifth zuzzing) yook who knows how it is done and can insure safety. I own some gleebing equipment, including a relrek and a blurn. If you are interested, contact me at 206-572-111-995-008

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The Doclopedia #608

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Vehicles

1903 Breschotti Racer: Came in 5th in the 19 04 San Francisco to Miami Great Race. In excellent shape with new tires, new upholstery and a new automated coal dust injector. 80 miles per hour top speed on paved road. Asking $2,500.00 or will trade for two seated light airship. For more information, call: ARGyle-465

Short Range Shuttlecraft: Excellent shape, but has seating for only 3. Extra seating space was converted to cargo space, but can easily be refitted. AI has the rare “Zetan Female” personality unit. Asking 245,000 UC, but would also trade straight across for a type IV fighting mecha in good shape. Contact me at XIW/808-21219944

Riding Cats: I have several young riding cats in sized suitable for rats, squirrels and Folk of that size. Most are very gentle, and so good for children and the ladies, but a few are spirited toms that would be great for you fellas that like a challenge. Assorted colors. Prices negotiable. Contact Squire Owensby at Owensby Hall.

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The Doclopedia #609

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Homes For Sale

Fixer Upper Castle: Have you dreamed of owning your own castle? Well, this large (24 rooms, two towers) fixer upper (some slight troll & griffon damage) has a great view of Lake Peril and the Ripclaw Mountains. Includes several hundred acres of the Haunted Woods. Seller is motivated, so get in on this now! Stop by Arklemar Realty in Five Roads village.

Cave: Logak have cave him not use. Him move to bigger cave with Goola. Logak sell cave for 2 stone knife down, 4 rabbit skin per month for 3 years. You come see Logak.

Home On An Island: Nice 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath home on 25 acre island in Lake Kansas. Large established garden plots & livestock areas. Barn, outbuildings and House Elf residence included. Only 5 miles from Baum City and your nearest neighbor is Wizard Happy Slappy. Asking 50,000 credits. Vmail us at: willowislandfarm.kis.400

The 8 Things That You Should Do Before Attacking That Fully Operational Death Star

…Ask Admiral Ackbar what he thinks of the idea.

Oh man, that is so geeky.

 

The Doclopedia #605

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: Help Wanted

People with swords. Looking to hire 5-6 good swordsmen/women for an easy week of work in the Hellfire Mountains area rescuing a princess. Good pay and free medical benefits. All equipment provided. Experience in fighting dragons and giants a plus. Orphans preferred. Contact: Prince Studly at the castle.

Medical Guinea Pigs: Would you like to get payed for helping to advance medical science and perhaps conquer death itself? If so, join us in the exciting field of brain transplantation! Guinea Pigs must be healthy young humans of either sex and have at least 4 days free for the experiment. Aftercare given, if needed, in out spacious dungeon. Meals provided and full pay given at end of experiment. Contact: victorf@madsci.com

Human Walkers: We are a fast growing Human Walking & Sitting service that needs responsible human loving dogs & cats to serve our customers. Must be physically able to handle up to 6 humans of various sizes & breeds and be able to walk 4-5 miles per day. Pay starts at $7.00 an hour, but raises and bonuses are regular for great walkers & sitters. Apply in person at Best Buddies Human Hotel.

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The Doclopedia #606

Classified Ads From Around The Multiverse: For Sale

Computer: Two year old 1932 Babbage-Edison Mk III Calcutron. Runs great and comes with three cases of paper tape, a telephone connector and a Frigidare cooling unit. Entire setup measures only 30′ X 10′ X 10′. $5,000.00 or will trade for a TeslaPod 2. Call Westbrook-396 and ask for Vern.

Old Shoes: I have several old sets of shoes from the late 1740’s and early 1750’s. Most are in very good shape with all three shoes in a set, although a few only have the right and center shoe. Have both male & female styles. Collectors, you want to check these out! Call Nerb Queed at 009-323-777, after 27:30.

Movie Posters: We have over 300 movie posters that need to go. These range from the 1930’s (The Marx Brothers in “Blazing Saddles”) to 2000 (Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry vs Terminator”). All are in Very Good to Mint shape. Prices vary. Email: posterguy@moviestuff.film

George Washington Did Not Sleep Here

…but he and Martha did knock off a quickie in the woodshed

 

CatCon4: Day 8 (Con Day 1) A quick rundown of what transpired

The Pre-Con Party on Wednesday night: Rocked, plain and simple. Everyone had loads of fun and at one point, we had a group of sock puppets doing various Monty Python sketches.

On Thursday, the con officially opened and…

Grace: Toured the Dealers room (which features not just gamer stuff, but pet stuff…went to a couple of seminars…took a virtual stroll through the computer generated Village of Hemdale (which she said was totally cool)…played some board and card games…joined Sharon, our hired pet co-nanny Arcadia and our critters at a water park…and took a nap.

The Critters: Went to the above mentioned water park…went to another pet park…took naps…ate treats….played in the pets only LARP “Lost In The Dungeon”…ate more food.

Lucy: The LARP was fun, but not very challenging. Funniest moment: a very chubby beagle named Tug got stuck in the cat door leading to the Hall of Zombies.

Doc: Toured the Dealer’s Room…participated in the panel discussion on “Why Vampires Suck!”…went from there straight to a seminar on “How To Scare Your Players And Their Characters” (which was SRO and full of sick and twisted GM advice)…ate lunch at Gonzoburger with the above mentioned sick & twisted seminar panel…ran “Kill The Wabbit!” a 2 hour Toon game that had 14 players…played a couple of card games…got a massage in the Relaxation Room…ran another 2 hour long Toon game entitled “Night Of The Living Bread”, this time for convention GMs only…stood in the Dealer’s Room chatting with several gaming industry folks…ate dinner with Grace, Avis, Sharon, Zach, the Joneses and about 15 other folks…talked, drank and played a traitor to the Reich in the awesome pulp adventure “Sky Raiders vs The Airship of Satan” (players included Avis, Spike and Doc Mystery). Big fun was had…hung out with other GMs at a dive bar until closing time.

More bloggage later. Friday looks to be even busier for everyone!

 

The Funky Chickens Buy A Hot Rod

…and go off on another wacky road trip.

 

The Doclopedia #603

A New Breed Of Dog: Northern Squirrel Dog

In many parts of Canada, hunting squirrels is a popular pastime with rural folks. That’s why, sometime around 1890, a group of hunters started looking for a way to breed a type of dog that could climbe trees and flush the squirrels into the open. Needing a small and energetic dog, they started with Chihuahuas. Soon, they incorporated some Terriers and before long, they had their dog. Slightly longer in body than a Chihuahua and with a longer tail and broader feet, the Northern Squirrel Dog has strong legs and long sharp claws. These claws and legs, along with a weight of no more than 4 pounds, allow the dogs to run up most trees almost as fast as squirrels do. Once up in the tree, the dogs bark constantly while leaping from limb to limb. They are trained to chase the squirrels to the end of a limb, but stay at least 3 feet back, so as to avoid getting shot.

The medium length coat of Northern Squirrel Dogs is always black, for visibility, especially during times of early snow. When not hunting, these little dogs are very happy to be lap dogs.

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The Doclopedia #604

A New Breed Of Dog: Panda Pup

The Panda Pup is an wildly popular lap dog that was bred up from various small dogs to have a fluffy black and white coat that, when properly cut, makes them look like a tiny panda. They were not developed in China, but in Southern California.

Weighing in at around 8 pounds, the Panda Pup has a playful and friendly personality. They love to play and do best when they have children or other animals to play with. Most owners describe them as “clowns” and “always up to something”. Their park is deeper than you might expect and has a soft “woof” sound.

They have a fairly high intelligence and are very easy to train. They also seem to prefer a litter box for a bathroom, therefore making them one of the easier breeds to clean up after.

Greedy Moose Infuriated My Albino Lungfish

…we had to pour him a stiff drink

 

CatCon4: Day 7 We wake up to the sound of music…breakfast riots occur…swag is gotten and plots hatched…dogs & cats race together…more food is eaten, sans rioting…a fine party is attended

Since this entire town is wired up for every sort of electronic communication you can imagine, the ConCom woke up damn near everybody in town up by playing the Star Trek Next Generation theme song as done by meowing cats.

Flash: On the one paw, that was cool, but on the other hand, I nearly fell off of Mom’s chest when it started up.

Lucy: I woke up thinking that the Cat Uprising had begun!

Winker: I thought the room was full of Space Kitties!

Abby: I slept through it.

It drifted in through our slightly open (so pets can use the small balcony yard to do their biz) balcony door at 8 AM. Since Grace and I were both hungry, we got up and got ready for breakfast. Once calls were made to various and sundry friends, we and the critters headed out to “Waffles From Outer Space”, which we really enjoyed last year, not the least because it has Bacon & Butter Flavored Syrup.

Flash: Also, they make Fish Pancakes (catfish, in this case) for cats!

Lucy & Winker: They make beef stew for dogs!

Abby: For non-carnivores, they make cornbread with veggies in it, placed on a kudzu salad.

Well, it would seem that a whole lot of people liked it, because the place now has about 4 times the seating it had last year, including pet seating and a kids play area. It was the pets and kids that started the riot just about the time I was digging into my country fried steak, gravy, two scrambled eggs and 2 huge eggnog waffles.

One moment, everything was cool, but the next thing we knew, kids and dogs and cats and goats and pigs and birds and ducks and a whole menagerie of other animals were running hither and yon and screaming and barking and meowing and such. There did not appear to be any violence, fear or animosity involved, it was just some sort of instant happiness explosion that lasted about 5 minutes and pretty much left the place in great disarray. Unlike some of the folks, I had no trouble rounding up my pets. A simple “Fooooooddddd Fooooorrrr Doooooggggssss!!!! in a booming voice did the trick.

Flash: It was really cool! We were just all going nuts!

Lucy: We were having fun!

Winker: It’s called a flash mob, which is a pretty appropriate name for sudden unthinking mayhem, if you ask me. Of course, this one was truly spontaneous, since none of us had cell phones.

Flash: Say what?

Abby: Sometimes Winky is a bit strange.

Lucy: You get used to it.

After breakfast was over and everyone was stuffed, we strolled over to the convention center to grab our badges & swag. Badges this year looked like police badges (except for the pet badges, which looked like Old West sheriff stars on a day glo collar) and the con book looked like a “true crime” pulp magazine. Swag in the bag included…

A t-shirt…a convention only comic book featuring the adventures of Cat Boy and Dog Girl…a commemorative D20 (each side had a number and a critter)…a coupon book for dealers at the con and various businesses around town…a fist full of game company fliers…a pair of miniatures from the new war game “World War IV”…a countdown poster for DogCon 5 and a hologram postcard. If you were a pet, your bag held treats, treats, more treats and a brush.

Flash: Mmmm…they have excellent treats here.

Lucy: Yeah, I love those dog brownies.

Abby: We herbivores get alfalfa cubes and dried fruit.

Winker: And after we eat all of our stuff, we can get brushed so we look beautiful. Except Flash, who will always look like a little scalawag.

Flash: That’s MISTER Scalawag!

I must speed this post up, because I’m heading out to the Pre-Con Party in a few minutes, so here are the highlights.

1: While in the fast moving badge/swag line, we chatted with a great many friends. Made plans for several get togethers and games. We also met plenty of pets.

Winker: Yay! Nibbler is here!

2: Entered Flash & Lucy in the big Charity Dog & Cat Race. This had the cats riding the dogs, which Flash & Lucy do pretty often anyway. Bets are placed and all proceeds go to local animal shelters. The winners get food prizes and a free deluxe grooming. The race is an obstacle course 500 winding feet long. The dog chases a fake rabbit over, under and though obstacles. The cat hangs on and tries not to fall off.

Since Lucy is only part basset hound, but is much more some longer legged sort of hound…and Flash is the smallest adult cat you’ll ever see…they were heavily favored in the odds. When the gun went off, they were in third place pretty quickly…BUT, the lead dog lost his cat about ¼ of the way through when he went through a long tube.

Flash: Yeah, he scraped that snotty little American Shorthair right off! Hahaha!

By the halfway point. Lucy and a smallish pitbull were neck in neck. Then they hit the pond and the pitbull ran into it while Lucy took a flying dive and pulled ahead by 6 feet.

Flash: Yeah, that pond…not fun!

Lucy: Damn, that pitbull was fast!

After that, it was Team Cross all the way. We were all very proud of Flash & Lucy. Later, they ate more food than your average lion.

Lucy: Beef stew…for dogs!

Flash: Tuna cakes! TUNA CAKES!!!

3: Lunch was Chinese, dinner was barbecue pizza. In between, there were various baked goods and ice cream consumed. We also found out that starting right after the con ends this year, the whole town of Critter City is going to be covered in a huge dome, which will be finished by the start of next years con. Cool!

Abby: If by “cool” you mean no more humid Texas heat, I’m for it.

Flash: Yeah, I’m down with that.

4: The theme of the Pre-Con Party is “Me and My Sock Puppet”. Everybody is going to get a sock puppet that they must wear AND converse part of the time through. In my opinion, this beats the Playing Doctor theme from a past party.

And now I’m off to said party, accompanied by many of my traveling companions. More bloggage will surely occur sometime soon.

Flash: Meanwhile, we critters will just hang out in the Pet Lounge and play Dungeons & Dogs.

 

Mr. Porkwaffle Goes To The Barber

…and is aghast when he finds out it’s a woman

 

The Doclopedia #601

 A New Breed Of Dog: Teleporting Terrier

On Earth 83, many creatures have strange powers and the friendly little Teleporting Terrier is one of them. Weighing in at only 15 pounds and standing just 8 inches tall, these wire haired little dogs can teleport themselves up to 20 feet in whatever direction they are looking. This makes them both a very sought after hunting dog and a very challenging pet.

With their little upright ears, happy faces and light brown coats, these dogs are bound to capture people’s hearts. However, prospective owners should know that all that natural terrier energy, plus the teleporting power, can lead to many problems unless the dog is well trained at a young age. Fortunately, this is easy to do.

Contrary to popular belief, they cannot teleport through windows or into closed rooms or refrigerators. They can only teleport in a clear and unobstructed line of sight. Usually, this line of sight puts them on a human lap or near a piece of food. If left alone and unsupervised, it can put them on shelves or counters or large appliances, all places where they can get up to no good.

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The Doclopedia #602

A New Breed Of Dog: Kobold Riding Dog

On several fantasy worlds, Kobolds are a race with distinct canine features. On some of these worlds, the Kobolds have bred large dogs as riding animals.

Kobold Riding Dogs have a wolfish appearance, but are longer legged and lighter framed than wolves. They can run full speed for well over an hour and require only a short rest and some food & water before starting out again. At a trot, they can go for as long as three hours.

The Kobolds love their dogs and the dogs, though large, live in their homes with them. They are generally gentle, although some Kobold kingdoms do breed War Dogs, which are very wolf like. Riding Dogs are not suited for most battle situations, but they are used for the Messenger Corps.

Kobold Riding Dogs come in white, black and all shades in between.

 

Gnomes Reading Tomes In Their Homes Made Of Domes

 

…would have been longer, but I’ve yet to have my tea

Hey! Stay tuned after the CatCon 4 report for my 600th Doclopedia post!

CatCon4: Day 6 A short entry

Our trip report for Tuesday goes like this…

8 AM: Wake up, eat, hit the road

Abby: Mom and Mary took me on a walk and I got to eat my fill of kudzu.

Winker: Dad gave Lucy and I Dog Rice with Canned Dog Food Gravy. Yummy yum!

Flash: I got a can of sardines. Dad rules!

10 AM: Short stop (15 minutes) at “The House Of Blue Glass”. Small house, but really made entirely of thick slabs of blue glass. The man and wife who live there are more than a little strange. We bought…aw, hell, you know the drill.

Noon: Stop for barbecue and chili because we are in TEXAS, damn it!

Flash: Never feed chili to dogs. Just sayin’.

2:30 PM: After fully securing all pets, especially those named Flash and Lucy, we go watch the 20 minute show at “Big Mel’s Trained Rat Theater”. They show was pretty good and the rats were smart and well trained, but I was too paranoid to really enjoy it after last year’s unfortunate incident at “Uncle Ferdie’s Trained Squirrel Review”.

Flash & Lucy: Even once you’ve paid your debt to society, you are forever branded.

Abby & Winker: You two spent the whole time we were locked down trying to escape so you could “chase us some rats”!

By the way, for those of you interested, it seems that Uncle Ferdie has put his theater and show back together and will reopen in summer of 2012. He has apparently moved the pet waiting room to a large steel building with good security.

Flash & Lucy: Well, that sucks!

4:30 PM: We arrived in Wilted Springs, which has officially changed the town name to Critter City. We checked in at the Hyatt and napped before dinner at “Pizza My Heart” and then a strolled around town, meeting gamers and pets every few yards.

All Critters: We LOVE this place!

And then we slept.

No Music

No Destination Sign

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.

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The Doclopedia #600

A New Breed Of Dog: Giant Basset Hound

Earth 58 is a fantasy based world with plentiful magical energy. On it, the islands that make up Great Britain and Ireland are considerably larger and known as Gargantia, home of the giants. Everything there is about 10 times larger than normal. It is on Gargantia that the humans bred those lovable, but somewhat dangerous dogs known to the rest of the world as Giant Basset hounds.

Their description is simple: just imagine an average 60 pound, 12 to 15 inch tall, 2.5oot long (not including the tail) Basset Hound, then make him ten times as big. You now have a sweet tempered, loving pet that stands at least 10 feet tall, is 25 feet long, weighs about a ton and has ears that are up to 11 feet long and 4 feet wide.

The giant humans use these hounds for hunting and as pets. Like all Basset Hounds, they can run and play or hunt for long hours, but then collapse into a big pile of loose skinned sleepiness for a few more hours. As we said, nothing about these dogs has changed from their smaller relatives.

The danger of these huge hounds comes from them accidentally laying down on a normal sized human…or knocking them over with their big waggy tails…or slobbering on them…or just trying to play with them. The dogs don’t realize how big they are.

Adventure Module K-3: Lair Of The Giant Vole

…compatible with Dungeons & Rodents 4th edition

The Doclopedia #597

A New Breed Of Dog: Japanese Ghost Dog

No, these are not ghostly dogs, but instead are small dogs trained to sense the presence of ghosts and other spirits and then bark to both wake the family and scare the ghosts away.

The average Ghost Dog stands ten inches tall and weighs 20 pounds. Their coats are long and always a mix of white and red. They have upright ears, large bright eyes and an overall foxy appearance, not unlike the Shiba Inu, but with a straight tail. Their bark is very loud for their size.

Ghost Dogs are not lap dogs and don’t sit still for too long at a time. They have good dispositions to most humans and dogs, but they never like cats. Ghost Fogs are very fast on their feet and will chase a fleeing ghost for over a mile. They are very light sleepers

The Japanese used Ghost Dogs when they bred the much larger and more famous Kaiju Hounds that patrol the Japanese coastline.

The Doclopedia #598

A New Breed Of Dog: German Kinderhund

In the mid 1800’s, several enterprising German dog breeders got together to develop a breed of dog that could herd children. No more would parents have to walk their kids to or from school or watch them when they played outside. The dogs would do it for them!

The German Kinderhund was developed using the German Shepherd Dog, the Doberman and the Border Collie. The resulting dog was large, medium coated and very smart. The natural herding instinct of the Shepherd and the Border Collie made them easy to train and the no nonsense attitude of the Doberman made them able to handle even they most hyperactive kid. Kinderhunds work very well as teams and four of them can easily herd 50 kids.

On average, Kinderhunds weigh about 100 pounds and have a lean and muscular body. Their eyes, which are often blue, but can be brown or green, are very intense. You can see the dog thinking in those eyes.

The ears are semi upright and the tail is long and carried straight. Most Kinderhunds stand about 3 feet tall. Coat color is black, brown and white. Both males and females are equally good as herders, although males are usually larger.

When not herding children, Kinderhunds are loving family dogs with an excellent protective instinct. They get along well with most other animals, but tend to get a bit annoyed by little yappy dogs.

The Doclopedia #599

A New Breed Of Dog: California Dog

When His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I assumed rulership of California, Nevada, Arizona and most of Western Mexico in 1836, one of his first Imperial Proclamations was that “the Empire should have as it’s mascot a breed of dog that exemplifies all that is great about it”. Twenty years later (during which time the Empire had expanded to include Oregon, Washington and Idaho), the first California Dog was presented to him.

California dogs are roughly the size and build of a Labrador Retriever, but have a somewhat longer double coat that only comes in a beautiful golden color. This coat can protect them from both cold and heat, due to it’s insulating properties.

Their eyes are likewise golden and their ears are semi upright. They generally weigh between 100 and 130 pounds and are quite intelligent. They are friendly and brave and are used for everything from hunting to guiding the blind. They love children and get along will all other animals.

Killing or abusing any dog in the Empire is an Imperial Offense and will get you 20 years of hard labor. If the dog is a California Dog, the sentence is doubled.

Iceboxing

…it’s a polar bear martial art

 

CatCon 4: Day 5 A lazy day…Critters Assemble!…we view two houses made of stuff

Our Monday got off to a later than usual start. This can be blamed on: adults going out for adult beverages and fun the previous night…and everybody being tired from walking around the city streets yesterday…and it being a vacation…and it’s friggin’ New Orleans!

So after rising at the crack of 10:00 AM, we humans went down the street for a hearty breakfast and left the critters on the bus with a movie playing on the big screen tv.

Flash: It was “The Incredible Journey”. I love that movie!

Abby: It would have been better with a few goats.

Unfortunately, in my muzzy headed and hungry state, I neglected to activate the security system, so when we came back 45 minutes later, we found the front door open and heard all hell braking loose inside.

I hurried in just in time to see Abby head butt some young street punk in the ass while he tried to simultaneously remove Flash from his neck, Lucy from his pants leg and Winker from his arm.

Flash: Just walk in to our house, will he? I think not!

Lucy: Little punkass hoodlum!

Abby: Have some Goat Fu, you little punk!

Winker: He tried to hurt Lucy, so I bit a piece outta his arm!

He wasn’t doing very well, as was indicated by his pleas to me to call them off and his profuse bleeding. Being a kindly sort, I only let them fuck him up for another minute before I called them off. He thanked me as he sat cowering. When he saw everyone else enter the bus, he began the street punk chant about “just messing around” and “didn’t mean any harm”. He was still saying that when I tossed him off the bus face first into a parked car.

Then I raided the pantry and fridge for rewards for the Animal Avengers.

Lucy: A whole pot roast! Oh yeah, baby!

Abby: Man, that was a lot of apples and grapes. *BURP*

Winker: Pizza! Delicious all meat pizza!

Flash: Smoked salmon and raw shrimp! I’m gonna go pass out for a day or two.

Minutes later we were back on the road and hauling ass for Texas. We made good time and were coming up on Lake Charles when Avis, who has been sitting in the co-pilot/dog chair, pointed out a sign that said “World Famous Manure Mansion: 20 miles” and had an arrow pointing north. A quick vote said that no damned way could we pass up that bit of roadside greatness, so we made the turn. In less than 20 minutes, there we were, in front of a huge mansion made of (as the big sign out front said) cow manure mixed with concrete.

Flash: A house made out of cow crap? And they get upset if we pee on the floor?

Lucy: Humans are the only mammals who would build something like that.

But it looked pretty damned ordinary to us, because it was painted white and styled like pretty much every southern plantation house ever made. The sign went on to explain how the owners brother ran a cattle feed lot in Texas and had lots of manure, so blah, blah, blah! It was a big disappointment. We were expecting stacked cow patties or a house shaped like a giant turd or something. What a ripoff.

Abby: Dad thinks not getting to see a house more obviously made of shit is a ripoff? WTF, Dad?

We were, however, more than repaid for that bitter disappointment by what we found just over the Texas state line near Beaumont: “The World Famous Gator House”.

Winker: They all got excited about that one, because humans = crazy.

Friends and neighbors, this place is not only right off the highway, it’s cheap ($3.00 a head), has a guided tour and is by God alligator fuckin’ central! The house itself is 120 feet long, two stories high and looks like a very realistic alligator. But wait, there’s more! The entrance arch over the long driveway? Made of 4 big concrete gators! The pond in the middle of the front yard? Fenced and full of live gators! All of the furniture, appliances, artwork, rugs, etc? Looks like gators or is covered in gator hides! Hell yeah!

They had FIVE different t-shirts…about a dozen kinds of fridge magnets…scads of postcards and a bunch of other gator related stuff. I may need to have Joe create a new room to hold everything we bought.

All Critters: ALLIGATORS! BIG HUNGRY FUCKIN’ ALLIGATORS! We all hid in the shoe room!

And then we drove on to Plum Grove Texas and our stopping point for the night.

More late ass blogging later.

Music: The Zombie Jazz Quartet “Brain Music”

Destination Sign: Downtown Atlantis

 

Doc Tempest And The Castle Of Dr. Loveless

…from the  March, 1913 issue

 

CatCon 4: Day 4 We perform musically for Yazoo City, Mississippi, then make a quick escape…Clowns are viewed…We enter New Orleans

If you are going to do “The Time Warp” in full costume with pre-recorded musical backup, where and when better to do it than in Yazoo City, Mississippi on a Sunday morning in an intersection where there is a church on every corner just letting out after services?

Abby: Dad’s logic makes a pretzel look like Interstate 5 cutting straight down California.

Flash: Dad? Logic? Hahahahahahaha!

In fact, it was two flavors of Baptist, one Methodist and a Catholic church. There were a couple of other churches within earshot. There were pickups with gun racks everywhere. We had a big old hippie bus disgorging a bunch of made up people and animals. Our Destination Sign read “Transexual, Transylvania”. Loud rock & roll music was playing out of 10 speakers. What could possibly go wrong?

Lucy: Let me count the ways…

Abby: Actually, almost every human on the bus except Dad & Mary counted the ways. I think they got up in the high three digits.

Actually, for most of the song, not a whole lot went wrong. I was singing the Riff Raff part, Mary was Magenta and her daughter Miranda did the Columbia part (with tap dancing!). Everybody else was a Transylvanian. There was plenty of pelvic thrusting, which seemed to render the good churchgoers of Yazoo City speechless. It went well until the end, when silence fell, the audience began an ominous murmuring and we heard police sirens getting closer and louder.

Flash: Fortunately, cops seldom arrest cute kitties.

Abby: Yeah, with a rap sheet like yours, they’d just shoot you.

Flash: D’OH!

At that point it was time to quickly get back on the bus and out of town with just a short dimensional hop via someplace that was on top of a high desert mesa and had three moons. We popped back into our dimension 15 miles outside of town and only 2 minutes ahead of when we hopped. I commend Joe on his skill with the quantum whatevers.

Winker: That was fun! I’m sure that Mom is wrong and we will someday be able to visit Mississippi again. They wouldn’t really lynch Dad.

About two hours later, in the small town of Wesson, we saw a sign reading “Clownland! Only 3 Miles ahead! Bring the kids!”. Since we were all still hyped up and full of adrenaline from our little musical production, we decided to give it a look.

Lucy: Clowns! Why’d it have to be clowns?

What you find in Clownland are clowns in a clowny looking village. Scarecrowy clowns,

Lucy: Because, you know, regular clowns aren’t fucking creepy enough!

big fiberglass clowns, carved wooden clowns, garden gnome sized clowns and about 50 real live clowns.

Abby: The real live clowns are the creepiest.

Flash: Yeah, and they don’t smell all that great, either.

Winker: No kidding! They smelled like booze and pee and sweat. Ewww!

Lucy: Have I mentioned how fucking creepy clowns are?

The deal is, the founder of this little village, Hobart Franks, was a retired circus clown who had inherited the land. He started inviting other old clowns to move there and they started building the clown town. Soon, younger clowns began coming here for vacations or during the off season (who knew clowns had an off season?). By 1987, Clownland covered 45 acres of land and, if our Sunday visit is any indication, gets a fair stream of visitors.

The entrance fee is $4.00 and to tell the truth, the whole affair has a pretty high creep factor

Lucy: PRETTY high? Off the scale is more like it!

due to A: Clowns are creepy anyway and B: Old (and by the smell, alcoholic) clowns are even creepier. We stayed about 30 minutes. They had t-shirts, postcards & fridge magnets, so…well, you know. Also, it appears that Lucy, a nervous dog at the best of times, finds clown particularly scarey.

Lucy: I need a drink and a long nap. My nerves are shot.

At 4:00 PM we rolled into New Orleans and began trying to eat the town clean of food while also seeing as much as we could, all to a soundtrack of jazz music.

Winker: Love that ‘Nawlins jazz!

Tomorrow, we begin the long haul to the con, with at least 4 roadside stops along the way. More bloggage later.

Music: N’awlins Jazz!

Destination Sign: Barad Dur

 

Never Talk Smack To A Water Buffalo

…trust me on this one

 

The Doclopedia #595

A New Breed Of Dog: Martian Greyhound

When humans settled Mars in the early 1980s, they took dogs with them. Over the generations, the humans slowly changed to adapt to the lower gravity and other environmental forces and so did the dogs. One of the best examples of this is the Martian Greyhound. Below is the Breed Description from the Martian Kennel Club as of 2095.

The Martian Greyhound looks like a larger and leaner version of the classic Terran Greyhound to the casual observer, but closer observation will reveal the many adaptations that have been made for life on Mars.”

First among these is the short, but doubled coat that the breed needs for dealing with the cooler Martian climate. This coat can come in white or white and gray. Next you’ll notice the large and thickly padded feet, that aid in running on the often rocky surface that is often still found inside the domes. The nostrils are larger, to allow more air into the lungs. Finally, the breed has larger eyes in order to see better in the dimmer Martian light.”

Martian Greyhounds are friendly and loving dogs who enjoy being around people and generally get along well with other dogs. Their desire to chase is very strong and as such they are often the bane of any cat they see. Their ability to run for miles makes them very popular as bicycling companions”

The Doclopedia #596

A New Breed Of Dog: Greenwood Terrier

Among the Elves of the Greenwood, perhaps the most common breed of dog is the Greenwood Terrier, a breed adapted from various other terriers, but altered by the Elves to suit their needs. The Greenwood Terrier, unlike other terriers, does not hunt animals that live in burrows. It does, however, use it’s natural digging power to hunt various tubers, roots and subsurface fungi that the Elves use for food and medicine.

These terriers generally stand no more than 15 inches tall at the shoulders and seldom weigh more than 40 pounds. They have medium sized upright ears, blue eyes and a long nose. Their front paws are larger than the hind paws and have long heavy nails, all the better for digging. The coat is wiry and runs from light gray to dark brown. The tail is long, thick and carried upright.

Greenwood Terriers are very smart dogs and can easily learn and remember 100 commands. They are very loyal to their families, but a bit standoffish with strangers. Relations with other dogs are cordial most of the time.

 

Soggy Sock Tricks

…not as much fun as you might think

 

CatCon 4: Day 3 Your Humble Narrator plays catch up…we again encounter Jesus…an Iron Chef competition happens

Having fallen behind by a day, I shall now make an earnest attempt to catch up by compressing Saturday into a “highlights reel”.

8:00 AM: Our company begins waking up. I and the critters have been up for an hour. Breakfast is eaten, including tasty Paannncaaakessss Foooorrrr Peeeettttssss! By 9:30, we are on the road.

All Critters: Those were great pancakes! Our Dad Rules!

11:00 AM: We stop at the Toy Soldier Museum in the tiny village of Tyler. The museum is in the largest building in town, a converted warehouse that at one time held cotton. Now, it holds 190,000 toy soldiers and military miniatures, some of them nearly 200 years old. While civil war figures are most prominent, you can find soldiers from every war since Alexander the Great went out & about. Before then, actually, since there is one battlefield set up to show Neanderthals fighting Homo Erectus. All of the scenes are impressive and Spike informed me that the War of 1812 scenes were very accurate. Best of all, the whole place can be toured for $3.00 a head. T-shirts were $15.00.

1:00 PM: We stopped to eat at Mother Smith’s Kitchen in Greensboro and Mother Smith was so impressed with our bus and our critters, she made them plates of food. The critters, not the bus. We ate all manner of fine chow and were soon back on the road to adventure.

Flash: She gave us fried catfish and hush puppies! What a wonderful human being!

Winker: I got some pudding, too!

Lucy: I had a sausage and some gravy!

Abby: My salad had apples in it. It was delicious!

Flash: Afterward, back on the bus, we played Dance Dance Revolution. Abby won. Girl can dance, you bet.

2:15 PM: The road to adventure was short, because just on the other side of Greensboro, we encountered another Giant Jesus! This Colossal Christ was 90 feet tall and you can go up inside him via stairs, then look out through his eyes. Many of our party wisely opted out of the climb, but Spike, Mary, Miranda, Doc Mystery and his daughter Lauren decided to give it a try with me. As you might expect, the teenager and the kid reached the top way before the rest of us, but we all did make it. After sucking most of the oxygen out of JC’s head we finally looked out the windows. It was a hell of a view. As we were leaving, a group of church type folks entered the room and asked if we felt the presence of The Lord. My reply was “Not unless it feels like a heart attack and the need to fall down”. They did not see the humor.

Flash: You could hear them all wheezing and gasping for air, and the echo from inside the statue made it sound like Jesus was having an asthma attack. It was pretty cool.

Once back on the ground, we climbed back on the bus and loaded up on pain meds for our backs and legs, then started out for the next stop.

4:30 PM: Did you know that just outside Meridian, Mississippi is the “World’s Longest Outhouse”? It’s right next to the “Truck ‘Em In” truck stop and it can seat 100 people. No charge to look at it, but the doors are nailed shut and there is no odor, so the whole thing is a fake. That was kind of a letdown, as most of us could imagine 100 Ku Klux Klan members in there after a big cross burning.

Lucy: What is it with humans building elaborate rooms to poop in?

Winker: Beats me, sis.

Flash: They could save lots of money by just using a litter box.

Abby: They should just pee and poop outside.

Winker: Well, Dad does pee outside pretty often, usually on Compost Pile F/65, code name Fuzzy Bullet.

5:30 PM: We pulled into the KOA outside the tiny hamlet of Wiggins. It was decided that we would have an Iron Chef Battle for our dinner entertainment. I was to be the Iron Chef. My nephew Zach was to be the challenger. Three dishes each using the three mystery ingredients selected from our extensive pantry/fridge by our youngest (Lauren) and oldest (Sharon, since I was Iron Chef) audience members. The secret ingredients were: Ground turkey, fresh carrots and duck eggs. Judges were all of the womenfolk and commentary was by Spike & Doc Mystery. The results were…

Appetizer: I won with tiny omelets filled with assorted cheeses and panchetta. Zach did well with his carrot crackers with spicy ground turkey and cream cheese.

Main Course: I won by a single point with my Savory Turkey Burger and Carrot Loaf. Zach’s Turkey Sausage Pizza with Carrot & Tomato Sauce was very tasty.

Dessert: Zach won with a very delicious Duck Egg Custard with Caramel Carrot Sauce, handily defeating my Chocolate Chip Carrot Ice Cream.

All Critters: Also, they dropped lotsa stuff on the kitchen floor for us to eat!

After dinner, there was rehearsal for our version of “The Time Warp”. It went pretty well. More than that I shall not say.

And then it was time to go to bed, so we did.

Music: QM Station “Janis”, playing music from her 60 year long career.

Destination Sign: Over There

 

It’s All Fun & Games Until Somebody Causes A Temporal Anomaly That Traps Your Starship In A Causality Loop

…I hate when that happens!

 

WOOHOO! CatCon post AND Doclopedia entry in the same blog entry!

 

CatCon 4: Day 2, Part 2 We venture into the wilds of Alabama…Project Applesauce revealed!…Cornbread is eaten and sat upon…battling attractions for the WIN!

Now that I’m sitting in my comfy recliner, enjoying a cold beer and watching my dog (Lucy) chase imaginary squirrels in her sleep, I’ll reveal the facts about Project Applesauce.

It’s pretty simple, really: we decided that instead of cutting across the tiny portion of Alabama and the slightly larger portion of Mississippi that Interstate 10 runs through, we’d drive on up a ways into Alabama, then cut across both states until we hit Louisiana, then haul ass to New Orleans and I-10 again.

Naturally, we wanted to hit as many tourist attractions as possible, but the ever creative and slightly nutty Mary Jones and I had an ulterior motive beyond that of our traveling companions: empowered by our rousing rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” for a a herd of cattle last year, we are determined to get all on board the bus to join us in performing “The Time Warp” for an unsuspecting herd of Southerners.

Flash: Oh yeah, nothing could go wrong with that.

Lucy: I predict a rapid getaway from angry rednecks.

Abby: How does Dad come up with these crazy ideas? And why does Mary help him?

Winker: Well, the technical reason is that they are both crazy.

Oddly, some in our group did not see the wonder, splendor and genius of our plan (which, I’ll point out, includes make up and costumes) when we announced it shortly after crossing into Alabama today. Still, we remain sure that they’ll come around.

So once we entered the “Heart of Dixie”, we began heading northeast along state routes and county roads, heading for the Montgomery area where we’ll turn west. Imagine our delight when we entered the town of Lottie and found it was right in the middle of the annual Cornbread Festival. Folks, there are food festivals all across this great nation of ours and I try to stop at every one I see, so when Gerry & Bill’s baby boy sees a whole town doing a tribute to one of the great foods of the South, he stops.

Flash: Dad and Food are old friends.

Winker: Plus, Dad will eat just about anything that is edible.

Abby: What’s wrong with that?

We ate cornbread of all sorts and flavors. We had it dripping with butter & honey, topped with jam, dipped in chocolate, filled with chunks of hot peppers and deep fried with gravy as a dipping sauce (Fun Fact: if it weren’t for deep frying and gravy, many southern folk would starve to death). I did my southern ancestors proud. Several of our party did their ancestors proud, too, including those whose ancestors were Canadian,

Abby: I love cornbread and apparently many southern children think feeding a goat on a leash chunks of it is great fun. Who am I to say otherwise?

Winker: Those same children also love tummy rubbing and petting chubby little one eyed Basset Hounds.

And just because you’ve got to do something screwy with your chosen festival food (I’m looking at you, Gilroy, CA and your garlic ice cream), the good people of Lottie baked up a humongous slab of cornbread that measures 18 feet across and is done to a hardness that allows you to sit on it, which we all did and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

And lest you think otherwise, we hit the t-shirt/commemorative beer glass/bumper sticker booth hard. They also had doggie bandanas, which all of the critters are now wearing.

Lucy: We are looking very cute!

Flash: I look like an idiot.

Abby & Winker: Well…

Flash: SHUT IT!

Once we left the cornbread filled streets of Lottie behind, it was mostly pleasant driving through small country towns until we reached the tiny town of Old Texas, where we found that much sought after thing that roadside attraction aficionados lust after: dueling attractions.

If you recall from last year, we encountered the two “World’s Largest” toilet paper rolls, which was totally cool and ended in the destruction of both of them by the same nuttyass old guys who made them.

Follow up note on that: I got an email from the wife of one of the old guys and it seems that in their mad rush to see whose toilet paper roll really was the longest, they incurred littering citations in 146 counties in 7 states. Both were also held for psychiatric evaluation in their final stop, Tuscon, Arizona.

This year, the dueling attractions were…I shit you not…the World’s Largest Dinosaur Built Entirely Out Of Toothpicks. On one side of the road, you’ve got a twice life size Tyrannosaur. Across the way, you’ve got a humongous Brachiosaur. T-Rex is taller, the sauropod is longer and heavier. Both of them are pretty impressive and a glowing testament to what human beings can do when they have lots of free time, a assload of toothpicks and most likely plenty of corn liquor.

Flash: I wanted SO badly to sharpen my nails on those toothpicks!

Lucy: I was almost overcome by the urge to start attacking them.

Abby: You two are completely mental.

Winker: That’s why dad locked us in the bus.

We took pictures and bought all of the usual tchotchke subjects. Grace and Spike spoke with a local fellow who told them that the two fellows that built the dinosaurs were twin brothers. It took them 32 years to finish their monuments to prehistory, during which time they had many fistfights, yelling matches and the odd bit of small arms fire. By the time they were done, they were 77 years old and both of them died within 6 months.

And I thought my family was cracked. Well, ok, they are, but nobody has built a toothpick dinosaur. Yet.

Winker: And if someone does, my money is on Dad, maybe with help from Uncle Kelly.

After that little stop, we drove an uneventful drive to the South Montgomery KOA. Once there, we did the eating and relaxing thing. It is 11 PM now, everybody but me is asleep and as soon as this beer is done, I’m hitting the sack.

Music: Assorted Artists “Best of Doo Wop”

Destination Sign: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

The Doclopedia #594

WaRPed Characters: Missy Ng

18 year old Vietnamese American girl, 5’6′, 120 pounds, short black hair, brown eyes, glasses.

Missy lives in a heavily Vietnamese area of Los Angeles. Her parents are both lawyers and Missy, the youngest in her family, is expected to become either a doctor or a lawyer. Arguing about this is not allowed.

Sadly, Missy will be disappointing her parents, since she has a career as a City Explorer all planned out. You see, all Secret Cities link to at least a couple of other Secret Cities, but about 1 in 7 links take you through what are called “the Other Secret Cities”, places that are not found on our planet. Well, maybe not on our planet. Nobody is really sure.

Anyway, Missy was first taken into Secret L.A. By her Auntie Kay and her Uncle Vanh when she was only 4. They were salespeople who dealt in products the Secret City can’t make and they knew Missy was special. Missy loved the place and was soon going there on a regular basis with her aunt & uncle.

Missy has an exceptional sense of direction and memory for places. She has visited two of the Other Secret Cities and is eager to explore more. She has a small team of friends that will be helping her, once she graduates from high school.

In her spare time, Missy likes running, boxing, watching adventure movies and checking out cute guys.

Traits

Sense of Place (3 dice) Missy has many attributes that prevent her from ever getting lost. She can retrace her steps for several days, if need be. (never gets lost)

Tough (3 dice) Missy is young and very healthy. She has very good musculature and seldom get sick. (tanned, buff and fit)

Good Hearing (2 dice) Her hearing is very good and has saved her ass more than once. (often says “did you hear that?”)

Flaws

Nearsighted (3 dice) Without her glasses or contacts, Missy has very blurry vision past about the end of her nose. (carries extra pair of glasses and contact lenses)

 

500 Miles To Crazyville

…my home town

 

The Doclopedia #592

WaRPed Characters: The Head Hunter

Cannibal Mutant Serial Killer

Human mutant. Beyond that, everything about him/her is subject to change, including blood type and DNA.

The mutant known as the Head Hunter can bite off, swallow whole and almost instantly digest a human head. Once he does that, he turns into an exact physical duplicate of the person whose head he ate, while their body changes into his old (now headless) body. He is very tough, fast and strong. It is also believed that when it assumes a new body, any wounds will stay with the old body.

Not that while we refer to the Head Hunter as “he”, it’s actual sex will be that of whatever victim’s head it last ate.

Nobody knows who the Head Hunter is, but he has killed at least 200 people in the last 12 years. The FBI has a dedicated task force set up just to track him, but they are always at least several hours behind him. The investigation is hampered by the need to keep the Head Hunter’s mutant nature a secret.

Although he prefers to take heads in non-public areas free of witnesses, he has been seen doing it by witnesses in broad daylight at least twice. Most of those witnesses needed lots of counseling afterward.

The Head Hunter seems to favor the Southwest and Northeast United States, but has killed in all 50 states and 5 Canadian Provinces, 6 states in Mexico and once in Jamaica. As far as heads go, he’ll take them young or old, male or female, any race…but never anyone who has not yet reached puberty or is any sort of mutant. If he takes the head of a mystic, he does not gain their powers. So far as is known, he has never taken the head of a supernatural creature.

Based on his FBI file, it seems that the Head Hunter seldom commits any crime other than murder.

Traits

Mutant (3 dice) This gives him his power and his increased physical abilities. (very fit looking, regardless of the body he has)

Quick Witted (3 dice) One does not stay ahead of the FBI for years while biting off heads without being smart. (constantly visually examining everything around him)

Flaws

Mutant (3 dice) Even though his overall DNA changes when he does, it always contains the same Mutant markers. Additionally, he can always be smelled by specially trained dogs. (avoids dogs)

Insane (3 dice) The Head Hunter is insane and cannot stop his killing. It’s estimated he must kill every couple of weeks. (about twice a month, he begins to act really odd)

The Doclopedia #593

WaRPed Characters: Adam “Monster Man” Benson

Caucasian/Latino male,36 years old, 6 ft 2 in tall, 250 lbs, muscular, rugged good looks, brown hair, brown eyes, nose has been broken repeatedly.

Adam “Monster Man” Benson is a monster movie historian, former stuntman and actor. He is also a mutant who can assume the shape of any movie monster he has ever seen, which is pretty much all of them. He has starred in several remakes of popular monster/sci fi movies, playing everything from Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi version) to The Blob to Godzilla (a 6′, 2″ Godzilla, but much more realistic than a guy in a rubber suit). He is in big demand at science fiction, horror and gaming conventions, where he always appears before a packed house.

He can remain in monster form for up to 3 hours. He does NOT gain any supernatural/extranormal powers when in monster form, but he can scare the crap out of people and once did so to stop a convenience store robbery.

Adam is divorced and has two sons that live with him. Both are preteens who think their dad is incredibly cool.

Traits

Mutant (3 dice) He can assume monster form. (likes to show off for kids and monster fans)

Movie Monster Knowledge (3 dice) Adam has a vast knowledge of monster, horror and other genre movies. (always rattling off movie facts)

Stuntman (2 dice) He hasn’t done too many big stunt gags in recent years, but he still has all the skills. (can pop right up after a fall or easily dodge a punch)

Flaws

Relationship Wary (2 dice) His divorce, which was sudden and unexpected, left Adam somewhat shy of establishing a new relationship with a woman. (seldom dates the same woman more than a few times.

Cliff Diving For The Complete Idiot

…the title answers the question “who would do that?”

CatCon 4: Day 2 I accept a cereal eating throwdown…we stop to see a really big gator…Flash & Lucy raise hell

The KOA has a free pancake breakfast, so at 8 AM we all got in line for it. After a couple of minutes, Mary noted that there was a sign for a cereal eating contest at the same time. A $50.00 prize would go to the winner. Now, anyone who knows me well will tell you I can eat a lot of cereal, so I decided to accept the challenge.

Flash: Watching Dad eat cereal is truly inspirational to those of us who like to eat.

There were maybe 20 people ready to scarf up cereal, some of them kids and a few women, but mostly big guys who looked like they could pack away some groceries. I remained undaunted and told the contest attendants that I’d start off with Rice Krispies, no sugar, low fat milk. Most of the other folks were going for the sugary stuff, except for one big guy who was starting off with Wheaties.

 No time limit, eat until you can’t eat any more. The host said “GO!” and we hit it.

 I won (barely), with 7 big bowls eaten. Why? Rice Krispies are mostly air and sugar will upset your stomach after a while. I did let fly with some record braking belches, but I had room for a lot of cereal. The big Wheaties guy quit about three spoonfuls before I did. I waddled back to the bus with $50 in my pocket. I didn’t eat until dinner time.

 Flash: Hey, dad, how about entering me in a tuna eating contest?

 Lucy: Or me in a Foooddd Foooorrr Doooggggssss eating contest?

 Abby: I could win a salad eating contest!

 Winker: Put me in a cookie eating contest! I wouldn’t care if I won.

Just before we passed over the Alabama border, we saw a sign announcing “See the World’s Largest Alligator”. In searching out roadside attractions, “World’s Largest” is very nearly as good as “World Famous”, so in we went.

We kind of expected a stuffed alligator, or maybe one made of something not living, but nope, it was a live gator. A humongous live gator.

His name is Dewey and he’s really big…the biggest recorded alligator ever, in fact. 21 feet 4 inches long and just shy of 1,900 pounds. He’s also 66 years old and eats a dozen large chickens, a couple of large carp and 5 pound slab of beef at every meal, which he gets about once a week. Dewey has also fathered many children, although now he’s so big that the only female he can mate with is petite little Lulu, who is a mere 16 feet long and only 50 years old.

Flash: Holy shit! That was one enormous reptile! He looked like he walked straight out of a Sci Fi Channel movie.

Abby: Yeah, I kept expecting Megasnake to start a fight with him.

Lucy: If he had made a fast move, I think everybody would have pooped!

Winker: I’m glad we were locked on the bus.

Ol’ Dewey doesn’t do much, but when your that fuckin’ big, you don’t need to. The owner of the place said we could have our picture taken sitting on him, but I was the only one to take him up on it. I will say that my friends yelling and pleading, coupled with my wife asking if my life insurance was paid up and could I leave the bus keys with her first, rather detracted from the moment. For his part, Dewey didn’t twitch. I figure if I’d just eaten a dozen chickens and all that other stuff, I wouldn’t twitch either.

All Critters: Our Dad Unit is insane!

After that, we bought our share of souvenirs and headed back to the bus and hit the road. Or would have, if the bus had not been littered with shoes.

When I stepped through the front door, there was Flash dragging a high heeled shoe downstairs to a big pile of assorted footwear.

Flash: Oops! Busted!

I could hear Lucy barking her happy bark as shoes rained down through the holes in the ceiling where the fireman’s pole goes. When I reached the third floor, there she was, digging with wild abandon into the humongous pile nearest the Shoe Room door, with shoes flying out behind her and most of them falling down the hole.

Lucy: But Daaad! Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, dogs gotta dig!

Flash: Yeah, and cats gotta…umm…drag shoes around!

I’ll note that Abby and Winker were in the shoe room, but playing peacefully way back in the corner.

Abby: Some critters are good girls!

Winker: Really? Who?

Abby: Shhh!

To be fair, I had left the door to the room open, so as to let the critters get some exercise. Still, naughty is naughty and Lucy and Flash went into a 1 hour lockdown and lost their video gaming privileges for two days.

Flash & Lucy: It was a fair cop.

We humans spent the next half hour picking up shoes. Several of us did find some nice ones, including the silver and green Converse high tops I’m wearing right now and a pair of loafers for Doc Mystery.

We are now about to pass into wildest Alabama, at which point we divert from our previous direct course and initiate Project Applesauce.

Abby: Oh noes! Dad has another secret project!

Winker: I hope he feeds us before he starts it.

By the way, My framed picture of me laying on Dewey’s back (which is not very comfy) is now hanging on the living room wall.

More bloggage later. 

Music: The Ink & Paint Big Band, featuring Jessica Rabbit: Hot Night In Toontown

Destination Sign: Cimmeria

Half The Price, Twice The Fun

…we’re losing money, but who cares?

 

The Doclopedia #591

WaRPed Characters: Nicodemus Splatch

New York City Bicycle Messenger

Young man of indeterminate ethnicity and national origin, age 26, 170 pounds, 5’11″ tall, good looking, short black hair, brown eyes, small scar under left eye.

Nico, as his friends call him, is a good natured young fellow who works for the Bikes Away Messenger Service. Well liked by just about everyone, Nico is known all over town, since his job takes him to just about every corner of the city.

When he’s not working, Nico picks up extra cash by repairing and customizing bicycles. He lives with his girlfriend, Rita, and at least 3 cats.

In his spare time, Nico enjoys going out to the clubs, dancing, watching soccer matches and playing video games.

What Nico doesn’t know is that he was raised in a laboratory until he was 7 years old. He is the product of extensive genetic engineering to create a new type of human being that can survive in a more polluted world. Thus, Nico is very close to immune from most common pollutants, especially those that are carcinogens. He is under close observation be scientists and has blood samples drawn while he sleeps by Rita, whom the government has informed about Nico’s real status.

Traits

World Class Bicyclist (3 dice) It wouldn’t take too much effort for Nico to become either a bicycle racer or a stunt biker. (great endurance and reflexes)

Very Healthy (3 dice) All that biking around keeps him in great condition. So does his resistance to pollution (very fit and lean)

Limited Precognition (2 dice) Sometimes, Nico gets “feelings” that can cause him to change his near term plans. The scientists who made him know nothing of this. (known to be a lucky guy)

Flaws

Fear of Heights (3 dice) Nico has a definite fear of high places and will avoid them as much as possible. (gets nervous above the second floor)

Distrust of Doctors (2 dice) For reasons he cannot explain, Nico does not trust or like doctors, scientists or anybody wearing a lab coat. (hasn’t seen a doctor or dentist in years)

The Doclopedia #591

WaRPed Characters: Maryellen Baxter

Mystical Craftsperson

Caucasian woman, age 30, 145 pounds, 5’5″, average looks, short brown hair, brown eyes.

Maryellen is a native San Franciscan who lives with her husband, David, and their three children in a large Victorian home in the Marina District. Although she once worked as a bank teller, she now stays home in order to keep house and raise the kids. Maryellen enjoys a variety of crafts, from scrapbooking to beading to her favorite, making masks out of polymer modeling compound.

Oddly enough, these masks can confer strange abilities to those who wear them. X ray vision, limited mind control, a sonic shout attack…all of these and more have been attributed to her masks. Naturally enough, this has made Maryellen very popular with the denizens of Secret San Francisco.

Once a month, Maryellen has coffee with her craft shop owning friend, Maxine, and gives her a half dozen or so masks on consignment. Maxine usually sells all of them in a matter of days, often for as much as $1,000.00 per mask. Oddly, Maryellen is immune to the effects of her masks as well as any other mystical artifact.

Maryellen is aware of her masks powers and of the existence of Secret San Francisco, but she doesn’t let either affect her duties as a mom and wife. She does sometimes go into the City to look for ideas for masks or to visit her cousin Audrey, who is a mutant.

The money she makes off her masks goes straight into the kids “college money account”. She figures that she is about five years away from starting a “retire and travel account”. David is very much a supporter of this idea.

In her spare time, Maryellen enjoys shopping at thrift stores, watching Animal Planet, sewing and playing “Cheerleader and Football Player” with her husband.

Traits

Mystical Crafting Powers (3 dice) She can craft beautiful masks with strange powers. (falls into a light trance when mask making)

Citywise (2 dice) She can find entrances to places within or leading into Secret San Francisco. (has a small Y shaped scar on her left thumb)

Mystically Immune (2 dice) Maryellen cannot use, or be affected by, most mystical things, including her own masks. (Never has anything “really strange” happen to her)

Flaws

Diabetic (3 dice) She has diabetes and uses insulin to control it. (always carries her monitor with her and uses it regularly)

Chipmunks For A Better America

…one without predators, but with more peanuts

CatCon 4: Day 1, Part 2 We eat and watch movies.

We ate a good dinner at a Cuban restaurant last night, then watched a couple of alternate Earth movies. The first one was “Escape From Toronto”, directed by John Carpenter, starring Kurt Russell and William Shatner, with running commentary by former Toronto resident Spike Y Jones. The movie was better than “Escape From L.A,”, but nowhere near as good as “Escape From Miami”.

Our second feature was “Invasion Of The Slime Apes”, which had surprisingly good SFX for a movie that probably cost $29.95 to make. The acting was ok, in a very polished high school acting class way. A fun flick.

As often happens, I was the last one to go to bed, since it is my job to let the critters into the meadow room to do their late night business. It took a while, since Winker and Abby decided to get rowdy and Flash & Lucy joined in.

Winker: It was fun, Dad! We were chasing each other and barkin’ and stuff!

Flash: I also managed to catch a couple of mice as snacks.

Abby: I love getting rowdy!

Lucy: Nothing like some crazy running & woofing before bedtime.

Once the frolicking was done, we were all off to bed.

Destination Sign: Freedonia

Music: Lots of snoring.

The Rare And Beautiful Balloon Squirrels Of Potawango Island

…they float gently on the wind, then drop nuts on your head

 

CatCon 4 Trip: Day 1, Part 1 We see turtles galore…barbecue is eaten…a house of driftwood is toured…we encounter Driftwood Jesus

Finally in the proper place and time, we rolled out of Orlando heading due west. The plan was to drive up the eastern side of the state to Pensacola, then go north to Interstate 10 and take that pretty much all the way to CatCon in Texas. Along the way, we would be stopping at various strange and/or interesting tourist traps & roadside attractions, most of which are “World Famous”. In fact, if you ever come to a roadside attraction that isn’t World Famous, you might want to think twice about paying to see it.

Winker: That’s right, folks, always look for the World Famous label before going to see strange stuff!

Flash: Our house ought to have the World Famous label!

Lucy & Abby: True dat!

So, about halfway to the coast, we see a sign for “Big Ed’s World Famous World of Turtles”. Now, even if I wasn’t a sucker for anything to do with turtles, I’d have stopped here anyway because it’s a World Famous Roadside Attraction, and that’s how we roll on this bus, baby!

The entry fee to Big Ed’s chelonian wonderland is a mere $5.00, so we all ponied up our money and went on in. The first thing you see is a really nicely made and planted pond full of ducks, geese and about a dozen species of North American turtles, mostly from the southern states. There were sliders and painted turtles galore, plus a few mud turtles, musk turtles and map turtles. A bit farther down the path, there’s a really nice habitat for box turtles, then another for desert tortoises, which is enclosed to reduce humidity.

Flash: Mmmm…tasty waterfowl!

Abby: Oh, Flash, you know those big geese would have handed you your ass.

The enclosure for the really big South American river turtles was quite impressive, since it also had exotic fish, birds and even monkeys in it. Our tour guide, Ed’s daughter Mandy, told us that it was the second most expensive exhibit in the whole place. The most expensive exhibit was the next one we saw, because it held a whole bunch of 100 gallon aquariums that housed 38 different species of land and water turtles from around the world. It was very cool to see that many species in such a well maintained setup.

Lucy: I’m not sure, but I think those monkeys were making rude gestures at us.

Winker: At least they weren’t flinging shit.

The final stop on the tour is the reality check for the whole place. See, for Ed to be able to afford to house and breed the more endangered turtles, he raises thousands of a much more common species (Chicken Turtles) to be exported as food to various Asian countries. The turtle farm has been there since Ed’s grandfather built it in 1933 to breed turtles for the pet trade. But in the 1970s, when the FDA banned the selling of baby turtles, Ed’s dad switched over to raising them for food.

Flash: Hmmm…I’ve never eaten turtle. I wonder if Mom would buy me some?

As long time readers of these con reports have already guessed, there was a gift shop and we dutifully bought t-shirts, postcards, fridge magnets, hats and toy turtles. Ed made a fist full of bucks off of us.

Leaving the land of turtles behind, we continued our drive to the coast, then turned north and began heading to the Florida panhandle. By now it was pushing 1 PM and we were all getting hungry. We were about 5 minutes into discussing what we all wanted to eat when the heavenly smell of barbecue wafted in the windows and up ahead we saw “Bubba Chuck’s Barbecue”. The discussion ended right then.

Winker, Lucy & Flash: BARBECUE!

Abby: BREAD, MAC & CHEESE AND MACARONI SALAD!

Bubba Chuck’s is an authentic barbecue shack sitting all alone by the side of a busy highway. There were about a dozen cars, as many motorcycles, 3 motorhomes, 4 big rigs and two police cruisers parked next to it. That’s a damned good sign that it’s serving some fine ‘cue.

We (including critters, because all seating is outside) descended on the place like hungry locusts and ordered up about two hogs worth of ribs, pulled pork, plus chicken and side dishes. It was absolutely delicious and we left a pile of bones that, if buried for a few million years, would be a paleontologists wet dream.

Lucy: Rib bones! Sweet Mother of Dog, everyone was tossing us rib bones! It was like some beautiful dream!

Winker: Oh wow, was that every a Yum-A-Thon! I thought my tummy would pop! 

Flash: Chicken! Pork! Macaroni & Cheese! I may not eat until tonight.

Abby: Mac & cheese is yummy, but so was the bread and the macaroni salad and the beans and the rosebushes and the kudzu!

Full of slow cooked & smoked meat goodness, we continued on our way. I drove and chatted with Doc Mystery and Spike for awhile. Flash was snoozing on the dashboard, Abby was snoozing on the floor behind my seat and The Girls were snoozing in their doggy beds. In fact, most of the women folk decided to snooze, too. It was a full belly snoozy afternoon.

Around about 4 PM, I saw a sign up ahead that read…World Famous Driftwood House and Giant Driftwood Jesus”

Hell yes we stopped!

The Driftwood House is a 3 bedroom two bath ranch style place and it is built entirely of driftwood and concrete. What’s really impressive is that since it was built in 1964, it has withstood 7 hurricanes. After the third hurricane, the owner/builder, Mr. Henry Norton, built a 60 foot tall statue of Jesus right behind the house. It has withstood the next 4 hurricanes.

The statue is pretty well done and old JC looks a lot more happy and relaxed than most statues depict him. We bought postcards and t-shirts, since that’s all they had for sale, then got back on the bus.

Flash: All of that driftwood stuff was cool and all, but once us critters were back on the bus, it was time for walking through the warehouse room with Miranda and Lauren.

Winker: We saw lots of boxes of stuff and an old tractor.

Abby: What about the 57 bicycles, all in different colors?

Lucy: And don’t forget all of those bags of old clothes!

We’ll be pulling in to the Pensacola KOA in a bit and spending the night there. Decisions might be made about altering our route a bit, since we still have 5 days before we need to be in Wilted Springs. Whatever we do, more reporting will follow.

Music: The Vulcan Science Academy Orchestra: T’vol Symphony #5

Destination Sign: Where You Least Expect Us

Standing On The Edge Of A Damned Bad Mistake

…and about to step off

Big post here, kids, as I kick off a new theme dedicated to characters for the WaRP roleplaying system.

 

Note: All of these WaRPed Characters were made using the Wanton Role Playing (WaRP) rules system, which was originally designed for the groundbreaking RPG “Over The Edge” from Atlas Games, but has now been released for use under the Open Gaming License (OGL).

 

The Doclopedia #587

WaRPed Characters: Lucy Skye Diamond

Trippy Hippie Psychic Healer

Female Irish American, 26 years old, long red hair, multicolored kaleidoscopic eyes eyes, 5’2″ tall, 90 pounds, petite build, usually wears tie dyed clothes.

Lucy is one of the most well known mutants in Secret San Francisco. From her apartment near the corner of Haight and Ashbury, she runs a “psychic healing” business. The name is deceptive, however, since she does not heal physical problems, but emotional ones. Lucy’s mutant power is to see a person’s problems and emotional baggage as holographic images. She is able to interact with these holograms, some of whom can be a bit quarrelsome, and then fix her subjects problems. Of course, new emotional problems do arise, so Lucy gets a lot of repeat customers.

She has been known to work with the police department on a few cases. This often involves calming crime victims or witnesses down so that they can better give information. Sometimes it involves helping a cop get his head straight when things get rough. This has given her many cop friends, who turn a blind eye to her recreational habits.

In her spare time, Lucy enjoys rock concerts, organic foods, musicians (especially bass players) and controlled substances.

Traits

Psychic Vision (4 dice) She can see what’s bugging you… (She has these strange kaleidoscope eyes)

Psychic Manipulation (3 dice) …and then fix it by moving it around, tossing it away or reducing it’s size. (Often manipulates things others can’t see)

Hard To Faze (3 dice) Lucy has seen some pretty strange shit, so it’s hard to bust her cool (largely unimpressed by weirdness)

Flaws

Weirdness Magnet (2 dice) A side effect of Lucy’s powers makes her a beacon for mutants, supernatural creatures, aliens…anyone who is very strange (has extremely odd friends)

Often Stoned (2 dice) Lucy likes a joint now and then (red eyes and a relaxed attitude)

The Doclopedia #588

WaRPed Characters: David Yan

Kung Fu Fighter

Male Asian American, 25 years old, 6′ tall, 190 pounds, black hair, green eyes, excellent build, several small scars all over his body, dragon tattoo on his chest, eagle tattoo on his back.

David Yan is the latest in a long line of martial arts masters. His family uses their talents to fight evil wherever they find it. David has come to Secret New York in search of his old enemy, “The Tiger”. When he finds him, he means to kill him. The search for his enemy occupies most, but not all of his time. He has not really thought ahead to what he’ll do after he kills him.

Being a good looking young man, David seldom lacks for feminine companionship. These companions change frequently, since David doesn’t want to be tied down.

If he needs money, he will work as anything from a bodyguard to a bouncer to a prize fighter. Presently, he’s working as a security guard for a rich businessman who may or may not have criminal ties.

In his spare time, David enjoys working out, meditating, eating Italian food and reading,

Traits

Master of Kung Fu (4 dice) If he needs to, David can seriously kick ass using his body as a weapon. If he has a weapon, he can kick even more ass. (Very buff with catlike grace)

Intense Mental Discipline (3 dice) His mental training allows him to ignore pain & distractions and concentrate on whatever he needs to. (Often comes off as very intense)

Technologically Inept (2 dice) David has spent so much time working out and searching for “The Tiger”, he’s never had much time for keeping up with high tech. Because of that, he has trouble using the latest goodies. (his computer is years out of date)

Flaws

Obsessed (3 dice) David is driven to find and kill “The Tiger”. This causes him to do and not do things a clearer mind would think twice about. (does/doesn’t do things he regrets later)

Women (2 dice) Dave’s big weakness is the fair sex. Many a woman has used him for something, then walked away. (often dates “bad” girls)

The Doclopedia #589

WaRPed Characters: The Crime Master

Totally Strange Criminal Mastermind

Part one is a cybernetically and genetically enhanced octopus, weighing about 60 pounds. Part two is a 33 year old brunette female geneticist, weighing about 175 pounds and standing 5’10″ tall. Together, they are a mysterious and deadly criminal.

In the mid-nineties, in a top secret U.S. government lab, a project went horribly awry. The exact details are forever lost and only two creatures survived: a woman and a mutant octopus, both quite insane. Linked mentally and physically, they formed a strange being that became fascinated by crime and criminals. Soon, the creature began calling itself The Crime Master and plotting spectacular crimes.

Somewhere along the way to it’s first crime, The Crime Master found out about the Secret Cities and set up shop in Secret New Orleans. What better place to pull off a first heist than one of the strangest, most corrupt and dangerous places on earth? The heist (the theft of a prized necklace) went off perfectly and caused an uproar that had the city and the City in chaos for days. Over the next two months, The Crime Master pulled off 4 more spectacular and lucrative jobs. It also found out that other Secret Cities existed around the world and so started a “World Tour of Crime”.

Since then, The Crime Master and it’s crew (none of whom know what “the boss” really looks like) have pulled off crimes in Cities from Shanghai to Toronto. Anyone who gets in The Crime Master’s way dies in some particularly gruesome manner, often marked by missing body parts and very little blood.

In it’s spare time, The Crime Master enjoys planning even more spectacular thefts, immersion in cool sea water and eating live crabs.

Traits

Just Too Damned Weird (4 dice) Well then, it’s a combination of mutant cephalopod, ultra tech cybernetics and human female, isn’t it? Anyone who sees it out of it’s disguise (full head mask, dark suit, cloak, bowler hat) will almost certainly go insane. (has a definite Chtulhoid look)

Mentally Complex (3 dice) It’s strange mind works in a way that makes it almost totally immune to psychic attacks or even normal psychological tricks. (gives off strange vibes when it speaks)

Mad Genius (3 dice) The Crime Master’s IQ is off the scale. (most folks cannot follow it’s complex explanations)

Flaws

Needs High Humidity (3 dice) The octopus portion of the duo needs to be kept damp or even wet at all times. (avoids dry environments)

Getting Weirder All The Time (2 dice…for now) Unknown even to itself, the Crime Master is evolving into some even more bizarre life form. It is gradually becoming less easy to be around for most humans and, in turn, it is starting to have problems understanding human concepts. (says and does totally off the wall shit)

The Doclopedia #590

WaRPed Characters: His Imperial Highness, Joshua Norton I

The Big Man in The City By The Bay

Tall, distinguished looking Caucasian man, looks about 45, 6’4″ tall, 200 pounds, well built, medium length dark hair, golden colored eyes, usually wears a well tailored black suit

When most people (and by people, we mean humans) die, they stay dead. Legends, on the other hand, never die. In the case of Joshua Norton, this proved to be truer than anyone might imagine. It was during his much publicized and much attended funeral that the spirit of California’s only emperor found that it could not proceed on into the Great Hearafter. No, over the course of the next few days days it instead began getting more and more solid, until Joshua was once again fully flesh and blood. Of course, he wasn’t flesh and blood like we are, but the soul of the city and the City made human.

The first thing Joshua realized was that he didn’t look exactly as he had at the time of his death. He was younger, fitter and much better looking. The next thing he realized was that there was another San Francisco overlaying the one most people could see and interact with. There were homes, shops and even an Imperial Palace. The population of this other city was only a couple of hundred people, but that would change. He liked this new place very much and soon found that the Secret Citizens of San Francisco had been waiting for him to show up.

Over the decades, the spirits of many native San Franciscans have been reborn into Secret San Francisco, including a big surge in population after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Most of them live only in the City, but some, like his Imperial Highness, can walk in both worlds. There are even some ordinary humans who can enter the Secret City and interact with the Secret Citizens, because that’s how both San Franciscos roll. Even some non-San Franciscans can do it. Even some non-Californians! Emperor Norton tolerates this at his pleasure, but once in awhile he is forced to banish someone. Often, this is for calling The City by that foulest of epithets, “Frisco”.

His Imperial Highness exerts a powerful protective presence over the city and the City, but oddly tolerates quite a bit of crime because “we must have the salty with the sweet”. 

In his spare time, Emperor Norton enjoys the symphony, walking around the city/City, Giants games, eating various ethnic foods, buying candy to hand out to children and giving the poor, the homeless and stray dogs a helping hand.

Traits

Immortal (4 dice) As long as San Francisco exists, so will His Highness. (Eternally young)

Citywise (4 dice) He can enter and leave the City at will, find any place in it and even invite or banish people (prominent Y shaped scars on both thumbs)

Charming (3 dice) As befits an emperor and the spirit of San Francisco, he is totally charming and easy to like. (has a totally winning smile)

Flaws

Spirit of the City (3 dice) Being tied to the city has its downside. When the city hurts, so does he. Earthquakes are especially painful. (looks ill when there are large fires or other disasters) 

The Doclopedia #590

WaRPed Characters: Special Agent Roscoe, FBI

FBI Agent & Paranormal Investigator

Medium sized mutant Basset Hound/Beagle mix, 7 years old, 50 pounds, reddish brown & white coat, brown eyes, long ears (right one has a small bullet hole in it), does not wear a collar

Agent Roscoe is one of two non-human agents assigned to the Special X Unit of the FBI, working out of the San Francisco office. His duties usually involve reconnaissance, tracking and surveillance, but he also has extensive knowledge in the fields of cryptozoology and animal behavior. He became an FBI agent at age 18 months and joined the X Unit shortly after his second birthday. He loves his job and has been decorated twice for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Although he has some telekinetic power, Roscoe only uses it in times of great peril, since the use of it leaves him very tired. Lacking opposable thumbs, Roscoe does not carry a gun. However, if needs be, he can administer a very painful bite thanks to his very sharp teeth. Like other mutant canines, Roscoe can talk. In fact, besides English and Canine, he is fluent in Spanish, Cat, French, Russian, Rodent and Japanese.

While not fearless, Agent Roscoe is very brave. He also has a very strong sense of loyalty and a hatred of those who oppress the weak. He’s also not very fond of vampires.

Yes, he has full color vision, just like a human.

In his spare time, Agent Roscoe enjoys Asian food, chasing bitches, reggae music, reading pulp magazine reprints and napping.

Traits

Incredible Senses (4 dice) Roscoe has superior senses of smell, taste and hearing. (He’s a dog)

Inconspicuous (3 dice) Roscoe can go many places where a human would be noticed right away. (He’s a dog)

Stamina (3 dice) Both bassets and beagles have great stamina when tracking their prey. Roscoe has even more because he’s a mutant, too (He’s a dog)

Flaws

Non-humanoid Form (3 dice) While being a dog has many advantages, it does have some severe drawbacks. The most notable would be no hands/thumbs. (He’s a dog)