Dark Secrets Of The Dog Park

…mostly, they’re about eating poop
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After The Change Came

Series 4

A Day For Books And Walking


Greetings, Dear Readers. I’m back for another entry in the blog. Today, I’ll be telling you about my action packed yesterday. Well, action packed if you call a 24 mile walk to a used book store “action packed”. In point of fact, it was a pretty mellow day.

My favorite used book store here in the Sacramento area is Booktown Used Books, which is just about 12 miles from here, near downtown. It has been in that location since 1928. Arliss Brantner owns it and he is the 4th generation of his family to do so. It’s the largest bookstore in Northern California. The fantasy/science fiction section alone is twice the size our our living room, and our living room is big.

So, with the kids in school and Grace puttering around the house, I set off walking to Booktown. The weather has been great lately, with the spring rains mostly behind us and the summer heat a few weeks away. As I’ve said before, after the Change, downtown Sacramento was moved away from the rivers (American & Sacramento) to a spot 6 miles northeast and now high enough to never flood. As with all cities, towns & villages in the world, we have a Ring Road running in a perfect circle around town. It is located exactly 15 miles out from Sacramento’s Central Tower, where our City Dragon lives.

30 roads and streets run out from city center to the Ring Road. Grace and I live on Greenback Lane, one of the main roads. It meanders like a river toward downtown. Lots of curves, up and down hill, passing through our many greenbelts and farms and residential areas. It’s a nice walk.

Actually, almost all roads in Sacramento meander. There are very few that run straight for more than a mile or two. I probably ought to also point out that you’ll see very few cars on the road. People walk, ride bikes or horses or other animals, roller skate/skateboard, ride flying carpets (Mahmoud’s Enchanted Carpets has, like, 9 locations), or take the anibuses, which run every 15 minutes.

So there I am, at 8:00 in the morning, walking along, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine. Birds are singing in the trees, bunnies & squirrels and other wildlife are out doing their thing. I see neighbors tending their gardens or livestock. A few are just sitting on their porches, drinking their morning beverage. Other folks are walking along, including one young couple who are going on a picnic outside the city limits.

I’ve mentioned in the past that Ring Roads also double as city boundaries. They are enchanted to keep dangerous creatures or sapients out, and to a lesser extent mitigate really bad weather, wildfires and earthquakes. That’s why San Francisco will never again have a really terrible earthquake.

I tend to walk a bit faster than most non-mutant humans, so even pausing frequently to look at things or talk to folks or buy a peach milkshake at Bonnie’s Burgers, I’m doing 5 miles an hour. As with any city or town, the closer you get to downtown, the more urban things get. Now, that does not mean houses crammed right next too each other, since by law every home in California has to sit on at least half an acre of land and all urban areas must have extensive greenbelts. That latter is why you often see deer or even elk strolling through our downtown.

At just about the 2.5 hour mark, I reach Booktown. This may well be my 1,000th time there, since I’ve been going there for decades. My first visit was in 1970, a couple of months after I got my driver’s license. It was while I was on Easter break from Hobart’s School for Young Ladies & Gentlemen and on that visit, I bought about 30 books to take back with me, mostly pulp reprints.

Arliss and his wife, Olive, gave me a hearty greeting and advised me that they had gotten in about 5,000 books a week earlier that were now on the shelves. I grabbed a complimentary cup of tea and started looking around. Arliss had British Invasion rock & roll playing and coconut incense burning. Despite being born in 1985, Arliss and Olive are a couple of hippies.

90 minutes later I had a stack of 40 books and magazines, including the British mag “QuestWorld Spectator”, issues 1-4. I paid for them, said goodbye to the Brantners and left the shop to go grab some lunch. On my way to a great Indian buffet, I put the books on Ralph, a dogbus that runs up Fair Oaks Blvd to the Ring Road. He transferred them to Fancy, a bunnybus who transferred them to Waldo, another dogbus. Waldo dropped them off at our front gate and Ben, our main House Elf, transported them to our library.

After a wonderful lunch of Indian food and a mug of pale ale, I began my walk home. I decided to use the footpaths found in the greenbelts and had a great time birdwatching, looking at and talking to various animals, and generally grooving on nature. The walk home took 3.5 hours and when I arrived at the old homestead, I was greeted by the twins and their friends. They were making up a game that I won’t even try to explain, but for about 10 minutes, I was a moving goal post.

Once I got into the house and sat down, Ben showed up with a cold iced tea. After I finished the tea, I was considering a short nap. This plan was abandoned when my green skinned hottie of a wife came and sat on my lap and whispered saucy suggestions in my ear. Later, we ate dinner with the kids and then played some dice games.

All in all, a pretty damned great day.

More bloggage later.

Doc

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Milk For The Mongoose

…for his cornflakes

The Doclopedia #1,168

Murder By…: Books

Yes, YES, I killed her! I admit it and I’m glad I did she’s dead! It was always “I’m reading blah blah blah” or “So and so is doing a book signing” or “I’ve preordered such and such titles”. All she ever talked about were friggin’ books! 24/7 it was books, books BOOKS! It drove me mad, I tell you! MAD! Hahahahaha!

But I fixed her, yes I did! It was genius! I knew she’d be looking for the next book in her latest series soon, so I used it as the bait in my clever trap. She had thousands of books in that spare room, all stacked up from floor to ceiling. It took me three days to get them all stacked just exactly right. I made sure to put the largest and heaviest on top. Oh, it was a work of art, my trap!

Once it was set, all she had to do was pull out that one book and the rest would collapse on top of her! Even if she didn’t die instantly, she’d be covered up and crushed. Meanwhile, the day before she finished the book, I went out of town on a “business trip”. I was 300 miles away when she died! When I found out she was killed instantly, I was a bit disappointed. But I was FREE! Free of her constant yammering on about books! Hahahahaha!

But I didn’t know she had installed micro cameras all over the house because she was afraid of book thieves. Who the hell worries about book thieves? Oh, of course, SHE DID!

Crazy Dogs, Criminal Cats, Dancing Goats And Befuddled Humans

…on the Magic Bus

 

The Doclopedia #1,118

A Child’s Book Of…: Necromancy

From the introduction: “Hello, child! If you have found this book, it means that you are VERY SPECIAL. Do you know what makes you special? Why, it’s your ability to do MAGIC! You are not like other people, oh no. You are MUCH BETTER than they are!

This book was especially written for somebody like you. If you study it, you will learn how to do some VERY SPECIAL things, like bring dead pets and friends back to life or make bad people die and become your ZOMBIE SLAVES. Wouldn’t that be fun?

This book will teach you how to do many interesting spells. You’ll learn RITUALS, POTION MAKING and ENCHANTMENT. This will let you do things that your friends and family will think are AMAZING. By the time you have studied the first twelve chapters, you will be a POWERFUL NECROMANCER.

The thirteenth chapter is called THE RITUAL OF RECALLING A LICH and you will use it to recall me, Dranill Woxinon, from a terrible place called the OUTER DARKNESS. After that, we will be the best of FRIENDS! Won’t that be nice?

Now, you must remember to hide this book from your family and friends. They would become jealous of you and try to take it away. Hide the book well, and soon we will start teaching you your first spell, ANIMATE SKELETON.”

Doomraiders Of The Purple Planet!

…a new Republic serial

The Doclopedia #1,117

A Child’s Book Of…: SCIENCE!

This wonderful book will introduce boys and girls age 6 and up to the wonders of our Modern Age. Newly revised for 1910, it now covers the great inventions powered by steam, internal combustion, electricity, chemistry and the newly discovered etheric energy of the cosmos. Children will learn about airships, automatons, computing engines and a host of other discoveries. The text is written in such a way as to appeal to both children and adults. Many line drawings and photographs are included, as are schematics for building simple devices. A new section on discoveries in biology will allow children to understand the wonders of nature and how Man has improved on some of them. 250 pages. Price: $1.10

Doc Tempest VS The Princess Of Death

…from the December, 1955 issue

 

The Doclopedia #1,110

The Alphabet: T is for…

 

Trout Pudding…

…(with or without herring sauce) has been a very popular dessert dish on CatEarth for over 300 years. Basically a vanilla pudding with finely chopped raw trout and a mix of small rodent parts, most humans would find it revolting, but most dogs would scarf it right down.

There are countless variations of Trout Pudding, with most families changing the recipe as they see fit. One of the more popular variations adds very tiny live frogs. Another calls for various insects to be sprinkled on top just before serving.

The Doclopedia #1,111

The Alphabet: U is for…

Uxonger & Sons…

…are the premiere booksellers of Adelaide, Australia. Their store is huge, roughly the size of an American Wal Mart, and packed with books, magazines, maps, photographs, pamphlets, comic books and newspapers. In addition to the main store, they also maintain two warehouses a few miles away. These are just as packed as the store is.

Alfred Uxonger prides himself on the fact that not only does his store have rare books found nowhere else, but everything in the store is listed by subject to a minute degree of detail. If you need a book on albino Red Tailed Hawks found in the Fresno, California, area between the years 1923-1933, it will be prominently listed on the shelf. Fortunately, Mr. Uxonger has a very up to date listing of every book in the story, cross referenced in about 100 ways or more. Naturally, book buyers are crazy about this.

Once in a while, you can find a book, etc, that does not come from the same reality that Uxonger & Sons inhabits. These books can range from amusing (Jeeves and the Batman) to very strange (An Anatomists Illustrated Book Of Trolls) to world changing (Do It Yourself Fusion Power). Bibliophiles often spend weeks searching for one of these strange texts.

Uxonger & Sons are open from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm Sunday through Saturday and from 8:00 am until midnight Friday & Saturday.

Mashed Potato Birthday Cake

…with yummies inside

Today is Winker’s 6th Birthday! She will be getting the above mentioned cake for dinner, plus lots of love and bellyrubs.

Thanks to everyone who took the last poll. I’m shooting for the end of January as a launch date for the E-zine.

Grace is off to Oakland to do mystery shops today. I’ll be off to the UVB Barbecue for Middle Aged Gamers later, then to work.

I’m halfway through watching Season One of Sanctuary. It’s a pretty good show, for s Sci Fi Channel series. (note that I do not call it Syfy, mostly because that is an idiotic name)

I’m also within 10 pages of finishing The Two Towers. I’m glad I decided to re-read LOTR.

Ok…time for the Mug O’ Tea. More bloggage later.

The Girl With The Green Nipples Strikes Back

…with body paint

Stuff

1: Halfway through the newest Harry Dresden novel Turn Coat and it’s more solid goodness featuring Chicago’s only wizard for hire.

2: I am really truly sick to death of hearing about that fucking freak, Michael Jackson.

3: Congratulations to Ken Hite for winning an Origins Award for his book, Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales.

4: Hey, remember Walter, whom you voted about super powering? Well, tomorrow, I’ll tell you why the power that won actually gave him more than one power.

More blogging soon.