Chapter 305: In Which Our Hero Herds Sheep And Drinks Overly Sweet Wine While Eluding An Angry Scotsman

…although once the Scotsman saw the sheep, he calmed right down

 

TWO blog posts in one day? Thank Sasha for this one.

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi there, folks! For this entry, I thought that I might FINALLY get around to posting some answers to some of my voluminous reader mail, so here we go.

In an email, Ms. A. C. writes: “Just how big is the inside of the Magic Bus?”

A great question, but one that is not easily answered. See, certain of the rooms adjust their size depending upon how many people are on the bus. The living room is particularly adept at that. Then we have the problem of new rooms (like the Forest Room and the infamous Dungeon) popping in from time to time. And that damned Warehouse just will NOT allow you to get an accurate measurement!

The best ballpark figure I can give you (which does not include the area under the main living areas) is about 3 square miles.

A personal message from Robin asks: “How can you justify creating a nearly indestructible dog with such destructive tendencies, then giving an equally crazed cat a suit of power armor? Have you no morals? No conscience?”

Since that is actually a three part question, I shall answer each part in turn. A: I’m a Mad Scientist. We do not justify what we do, we do it because we can. Also, my sister was dying. B: Being mad means having a more “adaptable moral structure”, to quote my Dad. C: Nope, nope. Not a whole hell of a lot of conscience to speak of.

I hope that cleared things up.

Ms. Bonnie, from Seattle, asks: “Why are so many humans so fucked up?”

Man, talk about a question that could fill several books. Anyway, Bonnie, I think it mostly comes down to religion. When you have an idea that promotes one species above all others as special, then give that species one of the premiere creative brains on the planet, you are asking for trouble. It also doesn’t help that humans, like chimps, are a violent species. When you toss in politics (at least, human politics) and the damned near universal mammalian habit of males thinking with their dicks, you end up with some really bad hairless apes. We can only hope they wise up fast or, barring that, die off in droves.

An email from Justin asks: “Can you tell us about some alternate world Canadas?”

Sure, Justin! I’ll tell you a bit about three of them.

In the first Canada, there is no poutine or hockey. Neither one ever really caught on for some reason. It is a sad place to visit, although the sport of Bear Teasing is kind of fascinating to watch. By the way, 80 years into it, the score is Bears: 39,753 Humans: 0.

In the next Canada, the entire population of the UK and much of Ireland moved there when the British Isles sank into the ocean in 1835 thanks to the machinations of Professor Demonicus. Canada became the jewel of the British Empire, at least until the Empire exploded. Even today, it is the #2 superpower in the world, after the United States. Both nations work together to make sure that never changes.

The third Canada was invaded by Martians in 1950, but these Martians were only 3 feet tall and very friendly. There were only 278,000 of them and the were allowed to settle in the northern parts of Alberta and parts of the southern Northwest Territory. They soon fitted right in and became valued members of Canadian society. It didn’t hurt that their poop contains large quantities of precious metals and rare earths.

Well, folks, that’s all for now.

Until my next rant,


Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

 

Advertisements

Chapter 45: In Which Our Hero Slaps A Bishop, Outruns The King’s Men, Aids A Duck In Peril And Sails Off To Portugal

…the duck was most grateful

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 6: In which we proceed north at a rapid pace, certain dogs and cats wage war on squirrels, we eat great burgers and have another fun game night.

11:45 pm

We had an interesting and fun day today. The bus was going along at about 150 mph (with stealth tech switched on full blast and antigrav lift engaged so we were about 24 feet above the road) and those of us inside enjoys the Slide Room, Shoe Room, Gym and reading in the Greenhouse. Much talking and petting of dogs 7 cats as done and we had delicious salads for lunch.

(Daisy: The humans had salads. We all had beef stew.)

(Sadie: And plenty of it!)


Speaking of those dogs & cats, they once again got into a bunch of trouble. See, the antigrav units get hot after a couple of hours, so we have to stop to let them cool. That takes about an hour. We had stopped in the rather large town of Queenville, thinking to get some fresh air and walk the critters. There is a nice big park smack in the center of town, so we headed in. Being a fenced park, we only had to station guards at the three entrances, then let our furry pals off their leashes.

For a couple of minutes, it was OK. Then the squirrels up in the trees started chucking pine cones down on them.

(Flash: Damned little tree rats hit me on the tail!)
(Sasha: I caught one in the ribs!)

(Jazz: And they were sticky with pitch!)

No doubt the squirrels thought they were safe, but they had not reckoned with Lulu & Sasha. Using, respectively, adamantium claws and 6 foot long tentacles, those two girls were up in the trees so fast the squirrels didn’t know what hit ’em. In seconds, it was raining squirrels down toward the waiting dogs & cats.

(Daisy: It was SO cool! Sasha was whipping through those trees like some giant spider!)

(Roxy: Lulu just ran right up that tree! Squirrels were diving out of her way.)

(Silky: They were scaring the poop outta those squirrels!)

(Leon: I got a squirrel by the tail and then we got to fighting!)

(Flash: Man, I was pimpslapping me some squirrels around!)

(Jazz: I rubbed pitch all over one. Quid pro quo, bitch!)

(Sadie: I showed those little gits some Dog Fu.)

Eventually, the fighting stopped as the squirrels all fled the park. We brought the critters back onto the bus and then drove away before the stunned locals could call the cops.

(Sasha: Not the first time we’ve done that.)

The rest of the day was pretty chill and when we stopped for the night in the Yukon Territory, we had Docburgers. Brian asked if there would be bacon on them and I told him “on them, under them and IN them”. He nearly wept with joy.

The burgers were a mix of ground beef and ground goat with cooked bacon added to the mix. There were 16 kinds of cheese available, plus all the standard veggie toppings. We also had fries and onion rings. Everyone, including the critters, had a full tummy by the time dinner was over.

For game night, we ran Basic D&D games. Spike, Brian and I GMed for the women & critters. Three groups in three parts of the game room playing the exact same adventure, “Lost Dungeon of the Golden Idol”. All three groups made it in and out, but all three also suffered some losses.

(Sadie: Miranda & I got killed by a mummy.)

(Leon: I bought the farm when I tripped a poison dart trap.)

(Silky: Mom & I fell into the acid lake.)

(Lulu: I was polymorphed into a cockroach.)

(Sasha: That’s because you just HAD to drink that friggin’ potion!)

Now, the games are done and pretty much everyone is sacked out. Tomorrow: ALASKA!

Destination Sign when we started: The House On Haunted Hill


Destination Sign when we stopped: Village Of Hommlet

Music: Klingon Jazz

The Hugely Important, Yet Totally Silly, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Robot Fish

…co-starring her cousin Myrtle, who only has 8 toes

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 1: In which we start off in Canada, learn more about snowshoes than we thought possible, have free food & beer and have a Humans vs Critters gaming throwdown.

5:30 am

It is just after sun up and we are finished up with breakfast. Our trip starts in the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, Canada. Why here, you say? Partly because we had to start somewhere and partly because they have a Snowshoe Museum.

(Flash: My excitement knows no bounds. Snowshoes? Really?)

(Sadie: Humans are pretty damned odd.)

(Sasha: Could be worse. Could be an underwear museum.)

(Daisy: Hush! You might give Dad ideas.)

But since the museum doesn’t open for a bit, we’re all going for a walk in the newly opened Forest Room here on the bus. More blogging soon.

4:00 pm

The walk in the Forest Room was fun, especially for the critters, because there are squirrels in there. We pretty much had to drag Lulu & Flash out of their.

(Lulu: Drag? You overrode my systems and walked me out against my will! And why am I just normal dog powered in that room?)

(Sasha: Same reason you are normal powered all over the bus, genius, TO KEEP YOU FROM DESTROYING THINGS!)

(Flash: There must have been a hundred squirrels in there!)

(Leon: Chipmunks, too! They laughed at us!)

(Daisy: Those bushy tailed little bastards!)

(Sadie: I’ll bet they are still laughing!)

(Silky: Are they always like this about rodents?)

(Jazz: Yeah, pretty much.)

(Roxy: Jeez, it’s not like it was mice.)

We left the critters on the bus when we went to the museum.

(Sadie: We played board games.)

(Flash: I unleashed my mad skillz at “Kill Doctor Lucky”.)

Folks, being a guy from California, I never knew there were so many types of snowshoes. Hell, even those among us from colder climates (Everybody but Grace & I) were amazed by the variety. The old guy who lead us through the museum had a pretty complete knowledge of the history of the snowshoe and his dad founded the museum in 1916. He told us he gets thousands of visitors every year. The latest snowshoes were some high tech things that could actually convert into sorta kinda skis.

They did not sell fridge magnets, but they did have bumper stickers and t-shirts, so we got those. Of course, our actual bumpers have not been visible since 2011, so we now just put the bumper stickers on the back of the bus. We figure in about 2 years, we’ll have to think of where else to start putting them.

After the Great Snowshoe Adventure, we wandered around town for a bit, then got back on the bus and started heading south into Quebec. As I drove along, I chatted with Brian, Mary and Avis about the great scenery and what was up in our lives. Mary & Spike are the parents of a newly minted adult who also graduated from high school, so there were stories there. Brian had some stories from being a doctor. Avis talked about a con she went to not long ago. Me, I have no shortage of strange stories, given my household.

We were barely over the border into Quebec when we entered the small town of St. Fromage and saw a sign saying “Annual Beer Festival” (translated for me by our French speaking contingent). If you placed a bet that I’d pass up a beer fest, you do not know me. We pulled over and found out that the townsfolk were throwing a hell of a shindig which included music, games and free beer and food!

(Sasha: If you ever want to lure Daddy into a death trap, put up a sign saying “Free beer & food”)

(Lulu: “Free games” would work for Dad and Spike and Brian, too.)

(Leon: The free food or games might work on most anybody.)

Well, folks, we spent about two hours there, eating food, drinking beer (those of us who do drink beer), playing games, getting petted & tummy rubbed (those of us with more than 2 legs), singing songs in French (or faking it) and generally having a fine old time. I was somewhat impaired for driving, so we had Data (our autopilot) take the wheel when we left.

(Daisy: That was some tasty chow!)

(Roxy: Mmm…gravy!)

(Silky: Those folks were very nice.)

(Sadie: We Canadians are known for being nice. Well, except for some of our politicians. Of course, the Native People have a different viewpoint.)

(Lulu: Native People everywhere have a different point of view.)

(Jazz: Well, they certainly knew how to treat a cat. My tummy is full of salmon.)

After an hour of napping, during which the SmartBots sprayed those of us who had consumed alcohol with some stuff Sasha created…

(Sasha: Sobervix aerosol. I buy it on GalacticAmazon.)

…that completely sobered us up, we decided to do some gaming. We got out a shitload of board & card games and also fired up the X Boxes. Then it was Critters vs Humans.

On the video game front, Brian & I played Civilization 9: Cats vs Dogs against Leon & Flash. We set the timer for two hours and it was intense. I played a Doberman culture and Brian played the more scientific Border Collie culture.

(Sasha: The Dobies are a good race to play. Fast, smart and military.)

Flash played a Northern Cat culture and Leon chose the Jungle Cat culture. For most of the game, we just expanded our territories. In the last 25 minutes, it was time for war. Things got intense.

(Flash: We cats were doing well in battle, grabbing up cities & stuff. Then those damned Border Collies developed airplanes & tanks and we were screwed.)

(Leon: Yeah, we had fuck all for air defense.)

While we waged war, Grace, Ginie, & Avis played “Ticket to Ride: Middle Earth” vs Jazz, Sadie & Daisy. In the end, Daisy barely won.

Mary, Caroline & Lauren went up against Sasha, Roxy & Lulu in the card game “Love Letters”. After many hands, the humans triumphed by 3 wins.

(Lulu: That’s a nice card game.)

(Roxy: These mechanical hands are kind of cool.)

(Sasha: I like Otto better. He has tactile receptors and much better dexterity.)

Lacking enough critters to go around, Spike & Miranda played “Super Dario: Deathmatch” on another X Box. I believe Miranda won that one, since she was dancing about calling her dad a loser.


We are now pulling into a campground for the night. After dinner, it’s Movie Night. Our new “Double Feature Select-O-Mat” program will choose the two flicks we watch. More blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Underdark


Destination Sign when we stopped: Toad Hall

Music: Heavy Metal Swing