Handsome Joe Goes Camping

…lots of things to sniff in the woods!

My Advice To Young Men

Young nerdy men often approach me and ask, “Mr. Cross, how can I become a shining example of male coolness like you?” Of course, other young men, much less nerdy than the first group, approach me and ask, “Can I see some ID? What is your business here?”, but this piece is not about them.

For the former group, I offer up a few suggestions that can really boost your coolness factor, especially among women.

1: Listen to what women have to say.

Oh, sure, you won’t understand some of it and other parts might cause your eyes to glaze over, but keep listening. Sometimes, you’ll learn things you might not want to know. Much of this will revolve around the menstrual cycle. Other times, you’ll learn valuable info, such as sexual preferences and who has geeky leanings.

WARNING: Don’t be too good of a listener or you’ll run the risk of moving into “You are SUCH a good friend!” territory, at which point you might as well be her gay shopping buddy.

2: Go easy on the geekery.

Look, buddy, I’m one of your tribe, a roleplaying gamer/Whovian/Star Trek loving techie fanboy, but even I don’t want to hear about your friggin’ 15th level Barbarian War Mage and his +5 Sword of Headlopping. A little geekiness goes a long way and too much will hang the “Too Geeky To Get Laid” sign around your neck.

Fortunately, geeks are way cooler than back in my day and there are plenty of geek girls out there. Still, ixnay on the nerdy rants.

3: Don’t dress like a trendoid, but don’t be a slob.

Trendoids all look the same and slobby geeks all smell the same and both are pretty damned disgusting. Find a look you like that isn’t too strange, go with it and practice proper hygene.

4: For sexual success with women, learn about the female body.

Find a woman (older is better) who will let you explore, show you what is where and tell you how to do things. If this requires that money changes hands, so be it. It’s money well spent, my droogies.

I do have a few tips on this subject…

First off, Caress, Don’t Grope. Try to control your enthusiam. Her body isn’t going to suddenly disappear.

Secondly, Learn To Give Good Oral Sex. Really, cunnilingus is your friend.

Third, except when it gets to extremes on either end of the scale, Size Does Not Matter. Odds are, you have a perfectly good johnson, so stop worrying about shit you can’t change.

5: Learn to cook.

Yes, women love a man who can put them on the express train to Orgasm City, but they really love a guy who can feed them a great home cooked meal before hand. Actually, if you do the latter, it often leads to you getting a crack at the former. On a related note, if the only things you ever learn to do around the house are clean a toilet and wash dishes, you’ll still fall into the “Worth Keeping” category, all things being equal.

6: Shut the hell up and let her pick the movie once in a while.

Yeah, I know, “Iron Man 5” is coming out on Friday and you want to go see it more than anything. Well, brother, if she wants to go see “Weepy Chick Flick 3”, you’ll score big points by manning up and taking her to see it. Preferably at an early screening, so that after a nice home cooked dinner and some hot sex, she won’t mind if you go out and see “Iron Man 5”.

Ok, enough of this lecturing. I must go call my geeky, sexy, chick flick hating, home cooking loving wife. More bloggage later


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin And The Family

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina, my hometown and birthplace. I’m here until Wednesday morning, then it’s a quick Wizard Portal home for Babe and I.

I’ve got to say that my parents and family are just great to hang out with. So unlike the old days when most of my family was all wrapped up in what the neighbors thought and keeping up our family name. Now that most of them are gnomes, Christmas is a bunch of fun. To be honest though, I’m still a bit dazed to see my dad laughing and joking and happy all the time. Seeing my mom actually cooking food was pretty brain frying, too. Ok, so it was also pretty strange seeing my oldest sister, Scarlett, behave like a normal person and not a candidate for sainthood while my brother, Brendan, never once mentioned money or conservative politics and my other older sister, Thomasina, seemed actually interested in other people besides herself. Val told me it might take a few years for it all to seem normal, and she should know.

Of course, the important part of Christmas, now that religion has faded into the background for most folks, is presents, and I scored some good ones. Mom and dad actually got me a gorgeous fur trimmed silk robe that looks like it might have been worn by Jean Harlow back in the day. I actually wept when I opened it, since it was the very first time my parents had ever acknowledged my alternative lifestyle.

Scarlett got me an actual flying carpet (kind of slow and with a limited range, but way cool anyway), Thomasina got me some slippers that not only change color, but stay warm on cold days and cool on hot ones. Brendan gave me two gifts. The first was a picture he painted of the beach near our grandparents house, which I loved to visit. The second gift was a bottle of 20 year old scotch. We drank half of that one.

Valentine, after decades of bemoaning the fact that I “looked lopsided” having only the one tattoo on my right shoulder (the same one that Doc, Avis and our friend Candy have, it shows a globe and the words “1972-1973 Looking For Trouble World Tour”) gave me a gift certificate to get one on my left shoulder at Voodoo Tattoo in San Francisco. I love my little sister.

During this stay, I’ve met a ton of relatives I hadn’t seen since 20 years before I died, plus my 16 nephews and nieces (Val is not yet married, but the others are, with big gnomish families). There were Mayhews and Tanners and Jacobs and Penningtons galore, plus a whole slew of other surnames I can’t recall.

So, I’ll be showing Babe around town (most folks here have never met a Smart Rabbit), enjoying real Southern cooking (with the exception of Mrs. Cross, most Yankees just can’t properly do Southern food) and taking a break from painting other people’s stuff. I’ll blog again once I get home, maybe with a Q&A blog. If y’all have any questions, let me know.

Chapter 92: In Which Our Hero, Whilst Infiltrating The Coronation Of The French King, Is Afflicted With Flatulence Most Foul

…I hate when that happens

Yo, internet homies, today I’m starting a hopefully pretty regular series where I cover various topics about things I like. Later, I’ll start a similar series about things that piss me off. First up today: food!

Great Things To Eat: Part One

Curry: There are all sorts of curries out there, from mild & subtle to big, bold and hotter than hell. All of them are delicious. Don’t think you like vegetarian dishes? Try any of the 8 zillion veggie curries. Love seafood? You’re covered. Better yet, get yourself a good Indian or Thai cookbook and cook up one of your own! And don’t forget the rice and Thai Iced Tea. Best curry I’ve ever eaten? Any of the ones at The King And I in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fish Tacos: How good are fish tacos? Well, I’ve had sexual encounters that weren’t as good as a couple great fish tacos and a cold cerveza. Doesn’t matter if the fish is battered and crunchy or unbattered and moist. And by “fish”, I also mean shrimp, crab and whatever else comes from the sea. It’s all yummy, especially after you dress it up with your choice of salsas, cremas and cheese. Best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten? The crunchy fish taco and the Dungeness crab taco I had off of a Mexican food truck in San Jose back in 1984.

Steel Cut Oats: Easy to cook, tasty as hell and good for you. What’s not to love about that? I like to cook them with a handful of raisins, then add some dark brown sugar and milk. Yum Yum! Oats are also very filling, so your breakfast will stick with you a long while, thus cutting down on between meal snacks and helping you lose weight. Best steel cut oats I’ve ever eaten? The bowl I just had a couple of hours ago.

Well, I think that went well. Now how about a nice serving of Doclopedia, hmmm?

The Doclopedia #390

Look What I Found!: 1930’s Universal Horror Edition

Look here, Carol, isn’t it beautiful? It’s the necklace that your father and I found on that statue of Bast today. Four thousand years old, but it still looks brand new. The inscription in the tomb told of a curse, one that would turn any woman who wore this into a Daughter of Bast. Why is it that every object anybody finds in an Egyptian tomb always seems to be cursed? Pretty silly if you ask me.

Oh, yes, well, a Daughter of Bast was supposedly a young woman who would transform into a catlike creature to do the bidding of the Priests of Bast. Sort of an Egyptian version of a werewolf. Your father knows more about it than me. I daresay that old soothsayer in the village knows more about it that I do. I’m just a humble reader of hieroglyphics.

Say, you look lovely in this moonlight. You know I’m crazy about you, don’t you? When this dig is finished and we’re back in London, I’ve got something to ask you. I hope…what’s that? Sounds like those fool diggers are on about something again. I’ll be right back, darling.

Oh, excuse me, Miss Benning, I did not mean to startle you. I have only come to view the lovely necklace that is spoken of in the village. I am very old and have waited many years to see such a wonder. How beautiful it is, much like yourself. You should try it on. Yes, yes, just like that. Beautiful. Dizzy? It shall pass, Miss Benning, it shall pass.

There, you see, you feel much better now, don’t you. Now you are a Daughter of Bast, part of a line that stretches back into the mists of history. Listen to me now, for there are things you must do, both here and back in England. There are those who need to be punished for what they have done. Listen and obey, Miss Benning.

The 34 Things You Should Never Put On Your Butt

…#12 is molten lava

Well, my little woodland friends, the fates were decidedly against Uncle Doc doing any gardening today. No sooner had I finished my morning tea than my gastrointestinal system demanded that I spend some quality time with the bathroom. Several times. Until about noon.

After that, I had other chores to do, so my assault on the garden will have to wait until tomorrow…or maybe Saturday.

In gaming related news, I’m thinking of doing a seminar at Dundracon about deconstructing the typical fantasy RPG world. It could prove to be a bunch of fun.

In cooking news, my pork colorado tacos tonight were very good, despite my having to ratchet the spiciness level down to allow for My Sweet Angel’s sensitive tummy.

In cute hound dog news, my dogs are indeed cute and hounds.

And I’m outta here for tonight.

We Still Like Monkeys

…as long as they don’t fling poo


1: It seems that Wizards of the Coast is gonna shut down the official D&D social networking site, the awfully named Gleemax. I’m thinking this was partly based on bean counting and partly on the fact that there are roughly 47 zillion ways for gamers to socially network via the interwebs.

2: Our sweet and rowdy little Winkerdog is feeling much better after a visit to the vet for her latest bout of ear infection. She is on Prednisone for the inflammation, then, starting tomorrow, she’ll get twice daily treatments with Otamax to get rid of that nasty old yeast.

3: The pork chops in wine and herbs that I made last night were so good, Grace and I did the Happy food Dance.

4: Speaking of dancing, a Secret Reader of this LJ has asked if there is a FOOOOD FOORRR DOOGGGGGSSSS! dance to accompany the song that I posted here some time ago. Yes, there is. No, you’ll never get to see it.

5: I informed The Lady Of The House that we will be going to GenCon in 2010, since that will mark the 20th anniversary of me meeting most of my best gaming friends. I fully plan on bustin’ out big time that year with my pals. Let Indianapolis be forewarned:)

6: As for GenCon 2009, right now, I’d say it’s 80% no go. That could change if I get a job, win the lotto or decide to start robbing from the rich and keeping it for myself.

7: Usually, by this time, I’m gettin’ sick of the presidential race. However, this time, my optimism about Mr. Obama and my cackling laughter at the McCain Clusterfuck Express have combined to make all this political horseshit much more tolerable. I expect this will change by September.

And now, I’m off to do about 248 chores. More blogging later.

The Adventure Of The Grubby Gardener

…as reported by John H. Watson, MD

Yesterday’s excursion in the garden was satisfying…if, by “satisfying” we mean exhausting, filthy, hot, sweaty and punctuated by neighbors taking their children indoors when I would cry out “Die, weeds! Die die die! Hahahahahahaha!”

All of which helps explain why we had breakfast sandwiches for dinner, rather than the roast I had planned. I was too tired for complex cookery. Said roast will get cooked today, after Grace and I return from seeing Hellboy II.

In other news, it is looking more and more like I will use some variation of either the Basic Role-Playing system or True20 for the Fall Fantasy game. I shall take a look at both over the next few days, altho, not being in a position to buy the new BRP book, I shall make due with the 1980’s version, along with CoC and Runequest.

Tomorrow, I’ll dive once again into the job search maelstrom. This time out, I’ll lower my standards and hopefully find some work to pay the bills until I find a better job or win the lottery, whichever comes first.

I had two very odd dreams last night. One was terribly frustrating and one was lots of fun.

The frustrating dream had myself and several other gamers getting ready to go to DunDraCon. We were going there in a large U-Haul truck being driven by a former gaming friend of mine who is a total asshole now. The truck was parked outside a large hotel and a block of rather rundown apartments. Everyone was in a hurry to leave, since the con was starting in an hour or so. Just before getting in the truck< I realized I had no extra clothes packed, so I ran into the hotel, which was strangely deserted.

After running around the hotel looking for a way out, I finally got to my apartment only to find that my clothes were all filthy, torn up or missing. Getting more panicked by the minute, I finally grabbed up a bunch of dirty clothes and ran back out to the street, only to find that my friends had left without me.

The much more pleasant dream featured me, Clint Eastwood and a couple of reporters doing an interview. We all chatted about a myriad of things while drinking beer and playing golf. (Note: I have never played golf in my life, but in the dream I was doing pretty well, especially in my short game) At one point, Clint and I got on a roll about how great California is, as befits two Native Sons. This seemed to piss off one of the reporters, who was from New York. Oh well, it serves him right for being from the wrong coast.

And now, I must drink my tea so as to jumpstart most of my internal organs. More blog-o-rama later.

Sacred Lizard

…with glowing eyes

When The SugarMan Makes Bread Pudding, The Girls Just Flat Out Orgasm!

Oh yeah, just call me the Kitchen God and bow down before me, puny humans. Eating this bread pudding isn’t just putting something tasty in your mouth, it is a trancendental experience, baby! I’d share the recipe, but y’all just ain’t evolved enough top be trusted with it:)

Songs For Good Dogs

…and even naughty dogs

Last night I tried my hand at baking dog biscuits for the girls. I had a bunch of partial packets of various hot whole grain cereals, so I dumped ’em in a big bowl with whole wheat flour, a couple of eggs, a bit of brown sugar, some oil and beef stock. I then poured it out on a sheet pan and baked it for about 45 minutes at 325 degrees. The resulting product smelled pretty good, but still had too high of a moisture content, so I dried it in the oven for another 90 minutes. Once cooled, I fed a bit to Winker & Daisy and they gave it their tail wags of approval. I suspect I shall do more baking for hounds soon.

Fantasy World Building Poll: Part Four

Ok, so now it is time to start describing the countries and cultures of the various human and non-human races. This will end up being a rather long and multi-part poll, so we’ll do 2-3 cultures per session. But first, let’s review…

The two non-human races are: Intelligent Slimes/Oozes/Jellies and Teddy Bearlike beings.

The seven human cultures most resemble (in order of popularity): Pirates, Imperial Romans, Aztecs, Imperial Chinese, Vikings, Arthurian British, Victorian British

We’ll start off with the non-human races.

And now, I must work. More bloggage and polls later.