…now with vitamin C!
Dog Con 7
Day 0: In which we gather together friends and party before departing.
Well folks, it’s that time of year when we bring the Magic Bus out of the garage, pack it full of friends, family & critters, and head off to Critter City Texas for another DogCon.
Now, in the past we have had dogs die and gotten new dogs and I have acknowledged that, but this year is just a bit different. On the deceased canine front, we did indeed lose our sweet girl Lucy to lymphoma last August. However, those of you who read this blog know that just about ten days before Lucy died, Sasha transferred her intellect into an artificial brain and then into a cyborg body. Eventually, Lucy’s new brain ended up in a fully robotic (and damned near indestructible) body. Now, along the way, some of Lucy’s memories got lost (like, the first 5 years of her life) and there were some personality changes. We all decided that she was not quite Lucy anymore, but since her name was Lucy Louise, we’d just shorten it to Lulu.
Lulu has adapted remarkably well to her new robotic status. Mind you, the rest of the world has a ways to go, but Lulu is doing great.
(Lulu: Really, folks, being a robot is GREAT! I highly recommend it, if you get the chance.)
We did get a new basset hound girl, Daisy, in August, not long after Lucy died.
(Daisy: Hello, folks! Live long and prosper.)
She is about to turn 3 and is just as sweet as a bowl full of sugar. She is also an uber-geek and is really excited to be going to the con.
(Daisy: I want to play in some LARPs and maybe GM an AD&D game.)
And then, just over a month ago, we adopted an 8 year old female basset hound named Silky. She has somewhat longer hair than bassets usually do and she is also a big old sweetie pie.
(Silky: Hello everybody! Glad to be here.)
We are also joined this year by Jasmine (Jazz for short), a long haired Dwarf Portuguese Jungle Cat who is the fiancee to our boy cat, Flash. Like Flash, she is totally imaginary and small (6.5 pounds). She is also an aficionado of the blues in general and Janis Joplin in particular. She’s a total sweetheart.
(Jazz: Hi, everybody! I’m really excited to be here.)
This year, our human contingent includes myself, my sweet wife Grace, our friends and longtime DogCon buddies Spike, Mary, Miranda, Brian, Caroline, Lauren and the duplicate of our good buddy, Avis. A new face this year is Ginie, an old friend of Avis and someone I have known through A&E, Facebook, etc for years.
Not with us this year are my nephew Zach or our longtime pet sitter, Sharon. Sharon had to bow out due to an illness in the family and we hope that gets better fast.
(Sasha: We miss you, Sharon!)
Taking Sharon’s place as our Critter Wrangler is our former assistant convention Critter Sitter, Dr. Arcadia Dale. She was a veterinary student when she started, but is now a full on vet. She also has one of the master controls that can teleport critters to the Meadow Room on the bus.
(Flash: I hate that damned thing!)
(Lulu: Me too!)
(Sasha: Me three!)
(Daisy: Yeah, not a fan of the teleporter.)
(Silky: It makes me dizzy.)
On the critter front, we have Sasha, Daisy, Silky, Lulu, Flash, Jazz, Sadie (dog of Brian, Caroline & Lauren), Leon (boy cat of Avis) and Roxy (girl cat of Ginie)
(Roxy: Hi there!)
I’ll also point out that we are expecting about 450 guests at Jazz & Flash’s wedding, to be held the day before the con starts. We have added about 50 extra bedrooms & bathrooms to the bus, as well as expanding the Living Room, Dining room, Meadow Room, Shoe Room, Theater, Game Room, Library and Slide Room (which now includes waterslide capability). In addition, we now have a 1 square mile Forest Room right across from the Meadow room. We have also added 20 new SmartBots to clean and serve.
(Daisy: And Lulu can’t hurt ’em cos they can mess with her robotic subroutines.)
(Sasha: That’s because they were upgraded in December and got non-interference circuitry. They can also emit a sonic pulse that will knock Flash out, even in his Iron Cat armor.)
(Flash: WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?)
(Leon: Damn, homes, they’ve got your number.)
(Lulu: This is bullshit!)
(Silky: I kinda like the SmartBots.)
(Roxy: I’ll have to see them in action.)
Our route this year will require some messing with the old spacey wacey & timey wimey, because we will go to two states we have not previously visited: Alaska & Hawaii. We will also start the trip by crossing Canada. We’ll actually cross the Great White North in either a day or a week, depending upon if you are off or on the bus.
We have several roadside attraction stops planned, including several Giant Jesus statues, one of them animated.
(Daisy: I want to see that one.)
(Silky: Me too! Oh my, this trip will be so cool!)
(Roxy: Is this going to be one of those long strange trips?)
(Daisy: Pretty much, yeah.)
(Sadie: Some trips are longer and stranger than others.)
(Lulu: You think this one is strange, you ought to hear about the trip with the giant toilet paper rolls.)
(Flash: I wonder if those old guys ever got that all cleaned up.)
Well, time for the grilling and chilling and gaming before we leave at midnight. More trip reportage soon.