The Utterly Too Cool For School, Yet Very Peppy, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Battle Of Blackberry Hill

…co-starring her rival in all things, Very Pink Penelope.

Thoughts On Gen Con 2019

First off , before I get to anything else, I want to thank my very dear and wonderful friends, Peter Hildreth and Avis Crane for paying my way to the con, putting me up in Peter’s room, buying my meals and everything else they did. Just seeing and hanging out with the two of them after a 12 year gap would have been more than enough for me. I love you guys, Peter and Avis!

As to the con itself and my reactions to it, I can do the basic sum up like this: I was sick and/or in some amount of pain most of the time, and, after not going for 12 years, was completely out of the Gen Con mental flow.

Now, that is not anyone’s fault, including mine. I had to have a tooth removed by oral surgery on the 25th of July which left my jaw very tender, bruised and swollen. The tenderness and pain were gone by GenCon Sunday, but the bruise is just now faded on Tuesday after the con. Again, not much I could have done to speed things up, but it made eating pretty damned challenging.

Indianapolis, or maybe just the whole Midwest, triggered an allergic reaction in me, so you know that was the opposite of fun. Allergies hit when they hit and you recover as fast as your body allows. In my case, that seems to be today, nearly a day after the con. Dog bless Calye Lacefield and Avis Crane for having allergy meds on hand. As of Tuesday (today) I am about 95% okay, with the exception of some excess snot production probably triggered by something here in the Sacramento Valley.

Being out of the Gen Con mental flow is a whole other thing. Again, it’s not anyone’s fault. When you don’t do something for that long, you stop thinking about it with the excitement you had when you were doing it every year. Even the gap from when I went in 2007, after skipping 2005 & 2006, had me feeling a bit lost when I got there.

I don’t know, maybe age has something to do with it, too, but I really think I just have not exercised my “Gen Con muscles” in so long that it was a bit much for me.

Moving on to other things that affected my enjoyment of the con, and no, this whole piece is NOT going to be a pity party of me bitching, the fact that I was old & out of shape and the con is spread out all over downtown Indianapolis did not help. All that walking with fucked up knees and hips was not pleasant, so there were events and things I didn’t go to. My own fault, really. I had 7 months to work out on the treadmill and I could have packed my superduper ibuprofen.

Now on to the good stuff.

Seeing old friends again after many years was just fucking excellent! Of course, for some unexplained reason we all looked older, but they were still the same fine folks they’ve always been. Sadly, there were a few folks who did not make it to the con this year. I’m not going to name names, because shit happens. Still, it was wonderful seeing the folks I did.

And then there were all of the people I’ve talked to online that I met for the first time! I’m not going to try naming them all, because I know I’ll forget somebody, but rest assured that they are all fine folks. Curiously, about 70% of them were women in the gaming industry, which of itself is a great thing.

One thing that kind of sucks, and not just for me, is the fact that the con is so big and busy, especially for folks in the industry, that you only get to see each other for very short periods of time, if at all. Not much to be done about that, I’m afraid. Maybe someday those folks will get their long dreamed of Relaxicon for industry folks only.


Before moving on to other things, let me say that I have never gotten so many hugs in so short a period of time, outside of a family reunion. I don’t know when hugging hello and goodbye became a thing at cons, but I heartily approve of it.

I hugged straight cis men, gay men, straight cis women, trans women, lesbians, bisexuals, old farts, a couple of ladies young enough to be my granddaughters (a damned sobering thought, since both were over 18), and 2 dogs. I may have hugged a couple of aliens, but it is impolite to ask. Anyway, this hugging thing is a very good idea. Go out and hug some people.

Everyone always asks two questions when you return from Gen Con. Let me address those now.

1: “What games did you play?”

I played in 2 official at Gen Con in 1991, my first time at the con. I had purchased a few tickets, despite not liking the idea of paying to get into games at cons, so I used them. That was the last time I ever played in an official game at Gen Con, although for several years I ran official games and ran demo games for Steve Jackson Games.

Most years, any RPG I play in is either a “room game”, wherein myself or a friend runs a game, or, in rarer instances, a quick game in a bar or empty con room.

This year, there were 3 room games. They were all great fun, including the one I ran for Peter and Avis which, from rules to dice to plotline was completely done on the fly. What can I say, I have mad GM skillz.

And no, I did not play any board games. I was too druggy or sore or tired most of the time.


2: “What games did you buy?”

My game & dice buying this year were not only dictated by my limited funds, but by my limited baggage area. I do not do checked baggage on plane trips. This is due to my inherent distrust of my fellow humans and the fact that I have had baggage arrive days late due to airline fuckups.

So I bought the following: Wizard, Melee and the combined solo Deathtests 1&2. That was it for games. I also bought some interlocking dry erase map boards from Gaming Paper. Aside from that, I bought dice for both my gaming groups, dice for my dice collecting wife and dice for me. I will never go to a game con and not buy dice. It’s an addiction.

Now that we have my gaming purchases summed up, let me say that I saw tons of stuff I may buy in the future. Mostly that falls into the smaller boardgames category, but there were some RPG books that tempted me despite the fact that I have drastically reduced my RPG buying over the last few years.

One thing I did not do at Gen Con, and this is amazingly common for me, is take many pictures and I took NO pictures of friends. I took a few pix of stuff in the Dealer’s Room and other areas of the con, and I took several short videos around various places, but no pix of people I knew. I didn’t even take any selfies. Pathetic.

So, let’s wrap things up. I had a good, but not great time at the con. It would have been much better if I had not been sick. I got to meet lots of folks, which is always good. All in all, a good, but maybe a bit of a strange return to Gen Con.

Will I go to Gen Con again? Well, I never say never, but unless Grace and I start traveling around the country after she retires…or unless I get a job that pays pretty well…and unless Indianapolis get a bunch more hotel rooms downtown, I kind of doubt it. The con has morphed into something altogether different than the con that used to excite me so much. That’s not a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just a thing.

I think if I travel that far from home again to go to a con, it will probably be to go to Origins. It’s been ages since I went to an Origins. And then there are all the West Coast conventions I don’t get to. Finally, there is the fact that I’m a board member of Your Turn Community Game Events and we put on lots of game days. At some point, we’ll put on a gaming weekend and if we aren’t real careful, that could well turn into a con of our own.

Which would pretty much mean I’d be working at a con and not playing at it. Just like my game industry friends. I’m sure there is some sort of Circle of Life, analogy there, but I need to finish this up.

So there you have it, friends, my trip to Gen Con 2019. It was fun and I suggest you go if you’ve never been before.

Doc Cross, signing out.

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It’s All Fun And Games Until Your Cousin Turns Into A Weretiger And Goes On A Rampage

…man, did that birthday party suck

It’s supposed to hit 105 today and it’s gotta be 100 or better out right now. Normally, this would not stop me from doing yard work and other outside stuff (except for dog walking, because The Girls feel the heat and do their business as fast as possible so as to get back into the air conditioned house), but today, there is something in the air that is seriously fucking with my allergies. After maybe 10 minutes out (this morning, when it was barely 80) I had a motherfucker of a sinus headache that took a fistful of aspirin and an hour indoors to get rid of.

Stupid allergies!

In other news, starting Monday I’ll be applying for jobs I’d really rather not do, but am now too poor and overcome by cabin fever to turn down. Should I get one of them, expect me to turn into a miserable son of a bitch after about the first month. By the end of the second month, I’ll be stomping Tokyo into a smoldering ruin. After that, look for me with a gun on a high tower near you.

Ok, enough bitching. I’m off to surf the net for information on the high paying world of running ones own religion. Or maybe robbing from the rich and keeping it. Or selling ones soul…wait, did that one back in 1972. Shit.

Dorsey The Fence Makes A Bad Business Decision

…and ends up on the run

Hi there! My allergies have lessened up on their assault, but I’m still Mr. Sneezy. So, instead of writing an entry for this morning, I’ve let Daisy and Winker do it.

Daisy: Woof! Wiff, wuff, bark, bark. Bark, ruff, ruff, woof? Whine, bow wow, wuff, wuff! Woof, woof, bow wow, wuff. Bark, bark!

Winker: Wiff, wiff, woof! Woof, woof, whine, bark. Wuff! Bow wow, bow wow, ruff. Woof, woof? Rrrrrowf!

More bloggage later today.

Pirate Chipmunks Go Wild

…carousing, looting, eating out of bird feeders

You know what? Allergies SUCK! My nose is runny, I get sneezing fits and every so often, my left eye (never the right eye. what the hell’s up with that?) itches like crazy. Blahhh! I feel like stomping Tokyo into fiery ruins.

The 9 Things You Never Want To Say To A Rabid Mink

…of course, if you speak mink, there are 14 more

Despite being brought to a state of near death by allergies, I shall still attempt to entertain you via the following IM exchange made earlier tonight.

DocCross [7:05 P.M.]: I, on the other hand, am being skullfucked by a dedicated team of allergy goblins.
DocCross [7:06 P.M.]: If I felt like shit, it would be a step up.
Avylou [7:06 P.M.]: Sorry to hear it.
Avvylou [7:07 P.M.]: Millie got the ice cream carton stuck on her head for a second earlier.
DocCross [7:07 P.M.]: my head explodes regularly, my nose has become Victoria Falls, I cough about every 3 seconds and my body, already screwed by only a few hours of sleep last night, aches.
DocCross [7:07 P.M.]: A lesser man would be dead by now.
Avylou [7:08 P.M.]: how long will your allergy season last?
DocCross [7:09 P.M.]: On the infintesimal bright side, my shiny new Ear Nose and Throat doctor said I have only minimal throat damage from reflux and in all other respects my sinuses and throat are fine.
DocCross [7:09 P.M.]: Allergies this time of year could last 2 weeks.
Avylou [7:10 P.M.]: That’s an encouraging report from the doc. She/he give you any good meds for the allergies?
DocCross [7:10 P.M.]: The early summer head exploding sinus headache allergy season will last 1-3 days.
DocCross [7:11 P.M.]: During which time, I will vacillate between pitiful wimp and surly S.O.B.
DocCross [7:11 P.M.]: Yes, he gave me meds. Just took the first pill a bit ago.
Avylou [7:11 P.M.]: what are you taking?
DocCross [7:12 P.M.]: Jeez, I just read all of the above stuff I wrote. I’m a rather verbose motherfucker, ain’t I?
Avylou [7:13 P.M.]: yep, that you are
Avylou [7:13 P.M.]: :-)
DocCross [7:13 P.M.]: I’m taking Pantoprazole, which sounds like an Italian dish.
Avylou [7:13 P.M.]: for your sinuses? that sounds more like a reflux medicine…
Avylou [7:14 P.M.]: yep, that’s what it is (just googled it) –
DocCross [7:14 P.M.]: I have asked Grace to please shoot me, but alas, we do not own a gun. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I shall ask her to poison me.
Avylou [7:14 P.M.]: proton pump inhibitor
DocCross [7:16 P.M.]: I feel vaguely uneasy about having my proton pumps, or indeed, any of my pumps, inhibited.

More bloggage later.