I Was There When The Hogs Ran Wild

…of course, I was an innocent bystsander

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 18: In which we deliver our friends home and then possibly initiate the end of civilization (not our world, but…) before getting back to Casa Cross.

2:30 pm

We all woke up for breakfast when the bus was still 2 hours out of Toronto. After a leisurely meal and some talking, we dropped Brian, Caroline, Lauren & Sadie off, then headed to New Hampshire to take Avis, Ginie, Leon & Roxy home. Avis still had about 12 hours before she would pop out of existence in our world, so she said she was going to clean house before then.

Note: Dr. Arcadia flew home from Critter City.

After bidding them goodbye, we headed to Baltimore to drop off the Jones gang. Along the way, one of our spatial jumps went a bit awry and we had to spend 3 hours on an Earth where the Religious Right took over the entire planet in 1994. It was a hellish place, so we remained hidden in a forest. It wasn’t until we got back to Spike & Mary’s house on our Earth that Sasha and I remembered that we might have left Lulu & Flash (with his Iron Cat armor) on that world. We swore that we’d get them back here ASAP, which Sasha thinks could take a week or so. Everybody was pretty cool with that.

(Sasha: Yeah, send Falwell’s Army off to fight Lulu the Destroyer and Iron Cat, you right wing nutcase motherfuckers. HAHAHAHA!)

We spent a bit of time with the Joneses, then ported back home to a big pile of mail and home sweet home. Within 15 minutes of arriving, the Magic Bus was in the DocCave for another year and everyone but me was heading to Nap City.

We had a great time again this year and will soon be looking forward to next year’s con.

Doc out.

Destination Sign when we started: The Island Of Lost Souls


Destination Sign when we stopped: Home

Music: Cartoon Classics

DogCon 7 is over,
but we will all be back next year for…

CatCon 8

(even if Doc goes to GenCon)

Harry Potter And The Horny Hungarian Horntail

…NOT a book for kids

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 17, Con Day 4: In which critters strut their stuff, games are purchased, games get played, seminars are attended, Daisy has a birthday, critters strut their stuff and pie gets eaten.

8:00 pm

We are all on the bus and getting ready to leave Critter City. As usual, a quick recap of the day.

Breakfast at Pancake-A-Go-Go, a new place in town. Great food, but kind of slow service due to a big Sunday crowd.

We bought the hell out of games! Grace bought several cubic feet of boardgames, Daisy bought, well, she bought all sorts of things.

(Daisy: Phasers! Sonic screwdrivers! D&D stuff! A sword!)

I bought mostly games and t-shirts. Sasha and Silky bought dice and other stuff.

(Silky: I bought some Buffy DVDs.)
(Sasha: I bought a bunch of comics and some steampunk clothes.)

I’m not sure what Flash & Jazz bought, but I know Lulu bought a bunch of swords & knives.

(Lulu: A girl can never be too well armed!)

(Leon: But you’re indestructible, right?)
(Lulu: What’s your point?)


While our group was buying stuff and playing games,. Spike and I once again took part in the panel for “Ask A GM ANYTHING!”. As with every year, it got crazy. Spike balanced a jar of maple syrup on his head, I explained how to kill a werewolf with a butterknife and our moderator (a mother of young twins) sang an impromptu song about dancing through the dungeon. It was a fun time for all.

At noon, many people and critters besides our gang assembled in one of the smaller halls for a celebration of Daisy’s third birthday. There was cake and dog biscuits and ice cream for all.

(All The Other Critters: Happy Birthday, Daisy!)

Immediately following that was the big charity “Pets On Parade” event. It raises money for many rescues and shelters and costs $5.00 per critter to enter it. There were about 6,000 animals in it this year.

(Roxy: That was a whole lot of critters!)

(Jazz: I was surprised to see so many pigs.)


Finally, the big voice in the sky said the con was over, which meant that it was only 30 minutes until the Post Con Cool Down Party & Pie Fest. My goodness, they come up with more new kinds of pies each year. We all ate too much while saying goodbye to folks we won’t see until next year.

Now it’s time to fire this bus up and head to Canada, where we’ll drop off Brian, Caroline, Lauren & Sadie in the morning. More bloggage later.

Destination Sign: The Hundred Acre Wood


Music: 24th Century Classical

We Put The Art In Fart!

…but nobody appreciates us

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 16, Con Day 3: In which we see an all goat musical review, indulge in more gaming, eat more food, do more LARPing and perform our annual Old Time Radio show.

11:45 pm

Another quick update of our day.

Breakfast at Waffles From Outer Space.

Saw Abigail & Beatrice, our two dwarf Nigerian goats, in the Critter City All Goat Review matinee show. They were great, as were all of the other 50 or so goats who were part of the show. They danced their caprine hearts out to tunes from Broadway, Disney films, 1950’s rock & roll and more. We were all very proud of our girls.

(Daisy: They were beautiful in their costumes.)
(Sasha: And they danced so wonderfully!)

(Silky: It was great to finally meet them.)

(Flash: Those were my sisters up there!)

(Lulu: If I could have cried, I would have. I remember when they were just babies.)

After the show, we all went off to do more gaming and/or Dealer’s Room cruising. I played a couple of rounds of a card game called Dungeon Poker, which is kind of like regular poker, only you bet attacks and defenses against the other players. If you get killed, you’re outta the game. It was pretty fun.

(Flash: Us critters went to the Animal Amusement Park.)

(Jazz: That was lots of fun. I liked the merry go round.)


Lunch was footlong hotdogs off The Weenie Cart. Pretty damned tasty, they were.

Avis, Grace, Spike and I played in a timed LARP event where tou have exactly 60 minutes to explore a pretty extensive dungeon. We got through 6 rooms, killed 8 monsters, found 5 treasures and none of us died, although spike and I only had 2 hitpoints each left at the end.

At about 4:30 we all went to the DogCon Radio Theater room to get ready for the annual Old Time Radio presentation. We practiced for about an hour and a half, snacking on the delicious spread they always put out.

At 6:00, we started things up. This year’s broadcast was an episode of Max Mystery, Occult Detective. I played Lt. Danby (a cop) and Nigel (a sinister, yet cowardly, butler). Others of our group who acted in the piece were Brian, Caroline, Mary and Ginie. It was a well written and creepy mystery, with a bit of a Lovecraftian flavor.

(Sasha: We were back in our suite by then, so we listened to it. It was really good.)

Right now, I’m taking a short break from a humongous dungeon adventure. The guys running it built this great miniature dungeon and every half hour, they remove a piece of it. It started out 30 feet by 30 feet and it has lost three 3X3 pieces so far. In another hour, they’ll start removing them every 15 minutes. If your character is in a square when it goes, you’re dead. Naturally, this has the 30 remaining players pretty jumpy.

More blogging tomorrow, as we finish off the con.

The Day The Newts Attacked Austin

…it barely made the nightly news

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 15, Con Day 2: In which there is gaming, seminars, mud, more gaming, food and a haunted house

10:30 pm

The steampunk party last night was great, with a wonderful bunch of evil bastards present and fine music, food and drinks.

Now for a quick recap of my day at the con.

Up at 8:00 for a 9:00 start on a game of Traveller. I played a scientist sent with a team to investigate a possible discovery of an ancient alien city on a frontier planet. Turns out, it was there alright, but not very ancient. Action & adventure ensued.

I had 5 minutes to get from that game to a seminar on “Kids In Gaming”. It went very well and it was good to have actual kids in the audience.

I caught half of another seminar, “Running Spy Games”, but had to bolt so as to get to a Toon game that I was, for once, not running.

The young lady running the game chose to use one of my adventures from Toon Tales, “The House That Jerks Built”. It’s a madcap adventure wherein the characters try to build a house. I have never heard of any group even getting a framework up. We all had tons of fun.

At 1:00 pm, gaming stopped for our band of travelers so we could all enjoy a spa day. Said spa day consisted of being immersed in warm mud, then bathed, them massaged. It’s very nice and relaxing. I’ll note that the critters had a spa day, too, minus the mud.

(Jazz: That was great! Even the bath was not bad.)

(Daisy: I even liked the ear cleaning!)

Once we were all clean and relaxed (and fed. They give you yummy sandwiches), we were back at the con, where Brian, Avis and I partook of a Savage Worlds adventure titled “Zeppelins vs Monsters”. It was a real rip snorter and, as the Brits say, a damned close run affair. Tragically, both Avis and I died when we decided to crash out fighter planes into opposite sides of a kaiju’s head. We did kill the kaiju.

Back at the hotel, pre-dinner, we all just mostly sat around discussing our day. Grace told us that she came in second in the “Settlers of Mars” tournament. Leon won the “Dogs Against Humanity” card game he played in. Mary got into some filksinging for several hours.

Our choice for dinner was Indian and it was just crazy good. We ate like starving wolverines. After dinner, we had a nice stroll around town.

From 8 pm until 11 pm, many of us were in the People & Pets LARP “The Old House On The Hill”, a haunted house adventure. It has been running all through the con and teams explore and try to solve the mystery of the very large three story (plus attic and basement) “V. Price Home for the Criminally Insane”. Our intrepid players were:

Sasha & I

Sadie & Brian
Leon & Avis
Roxy & Ginie
Flash & Spike
Daisy & Mary

Jazz & Caroline
Silky & Miranda

Grace, Lulu & Lauren sat out the game, but watched us on one of the big screens.

The whole thing was very realistic and half of our number was dead by the halfway point.

(Leon: Mom & I got taken out by the room full of snakes. I may have pooped a bit.)

(Silky: The psycho ghost with the ax got Miranda & I.)

(Sadie: Dad & I avoided the ghostly dogs, but got caught in the crushing corridor.)

(Jazz: Caroline & I went into the basement, like we had never seen any horror movies. Met the machete maniac.)

Sasha and I got to the attic and found the diary that would stop the ghosts if read aloud in the main parlor. Unfortunately, we also found the trap door that dropped us all the way to the basement.

(Sasha: That was not fun.)

After that, Ginie and Roxy died when the kitchen utensils came to life.

(Roxy: Done in by cheese graters!)

And Flash & Spike bough the farm in the greenhouse.

(Flash: I will NEVER trust a grapevine again.)

But mere moments from death by all out ghost attack, Mary & Daisy read the diary aloud and cleansed the house of ghosts.

(Daisy: We were hella scared!)

Now, with the critters and most everybody else asleep or nearly so, Spike and I are gonna go hang out with fellow gamers and shoot the breeze.

More true life tales of gaming tomorrow.

The Sausage Fairies Come Out At Night

…which is good, because they’re kinda strange

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 14, Con Day 1: In which we review the wedding & party, everybody just plays the hell out of games, then parties like it’s 1889

8:30 pm

The wedding went off perfectly, with Morris the Cat officiating. For cats, having Morris do the duty was like Jesus marrying two humans. When he walked out, every cat and dog in the placed gasped.

(Jazz: It was an incredible surprise and an honor.)

(Flash: He was great! A god among cats!)
(Leon: I got a tear in my eye when I saw him.)

(Roxy: I wept like a kitten.)

There were hundreds of sentients at the wedding and the whole town of Critter City watched on big screens all over town.

(Jazz: The Girls were beautiful in their peach colored collars, ribbons and the diamond earrings.)
(Flash: And Lulu, my Best Bitch, was snazzy in her new tuxedo paint job.)

Once the wedding was over, there were a zillion pictures and then the crazy big buffet dinner. After that were toasts and speeches. Sasha went completely sappy when she gave hers.

(Jazz: It was so sweet! She was crying and telling Flash what a great brother he was and how she loved him and was proud of him. He cried, too.)

(Flash: It was allergies.)

(Leon: Dude, you were sobbing like a baby! You used a whole box of tissue.)

Once all that was done, it was time to party! We had at least 500 sentients there. Rather than give a blow by blow, I figure I’ll just let the critters comment on stuff.

(Sasha: It was very sweet watching Flash & Jazz dance while Frank Sinatra sang to them.)

(Daisy: OMG! I got to meet Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy and Mr. Sulu and Lt. Uhura and…)

(Silky: I loved seeing Bob Hope and Errol Flynn and John Wayne.)

(Lulu: I got to meet K-9. He’s pretty smart, but his speech software blows.)

(Daisy: …and ALL the Doctors and Captain Picard and Tony Stark and Lt. Commander Data and four James Bonds and some Klingons and…)

(Leon: You know, horses are pretty nice folks. I hung out with a few of them.)

(Roxy: The otters were a hoot. Who knew they could play jazz?)

(Sadie: Dean Martin and Johnny Carson were funny.)

(Jazz: Dad does a pretty good Louis Prima impression. Even Louis was impressed.)

(Sasha: You should have been there later on when he did his Tom Waits impression and sang “Open Invitation To The Blues”)

(Flash: Yeah, well, after Jazz sang “Why Don’t You Do Right” in the Jessica Rabbit style to me, it was honeymoon time.)

(Daisy: …and hobbits and Gandalf and HARRY GODDAMN POTTER and Hermione and Ron and Dobby and Dr. Banner and Mrs. Peel and Mr. Steed and…)

(Sadie: It was pretty cool how, after Flash & Jazz left, everything changed from the Sands Hotel in Vegas, 1962 to the Fillmore West, San Francisco, 1969)

(Roxy: Kind of mixed with a rave and a battle of the bands. It was VERY cool how those “Matrix Bracelets” let us learn how to play any instrument AND know the words to any song.)

(Daisy: …and Mal Reynolds and Clark Savage Jr. and Monk Mayfair and Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle and Captain Jack Harkness and…)

(Sasha: It was pretty cool watching Mom, in those leather pants & jacket, sing “I Love Rock & Roll”, then see Dad & Uncle Spike do “Layla”. They were tearin’ it up!)

(Sadie: Lots of people went off to those holosuites. What was up with that?)

(Daisy: …and Groot and Rocket and Steve Rogers and Miss Romanov and Dr. Crusher and Jadzia Dax and Sarah Jane Smith and…)

Lulu: Yeah, it was a night to remember all right.)

After the party was over, we left and were back on the bus just 5 minutes after we left, but dog tired, so we all hit the sack for a good 10 hour nap. (Note: between the wedding, dinner and party, we were in folded time for 12 hours)

The Rejuvenox wore off while we were asleep, so we all woke up in our old physical forms. Better than being dead, I guess.

(Silky: Goodbye, taut tummy and firm boobs!)

Our first convention day started with a bang up breakfast at Chez Mom’s and then we all scattered to thr four winds for gaming. It broke down kind of like this…

The critters (accompanied by Arcadia) went off to play in some LARPs, with the old hands showing the newbies the ropes.

(Daisy: Wow! That Dungeons & Dogs LARP was hella fun!)

(Silky: It sure was! I got to play a fighter and I kicked ass!)

(Jazz: We cats played in the Cats & Caverns adventure. I was a mage and Roxy was a thief.)

(Roxy: We killed a Greater Mummy!)

Grace & Mary & Caroline & Ginie went into the Hall O’ Boardgames and were there most of the day.

Miranda and Lauren mostly played video games.

Spike, Brian, Avis and I did a tour of the Dealer’s room and then played in several RPG sessions, including the new D&D, Traveller and Over The Edge.

For dinner, we all went to Big Slabs O’ Meat for lots ODF, well, meat and other, lesser foodstuffs. Filled up from that, we waddled back to our rooms to get ready for the Con Party.

(Sasha: I LOVE that place! I almost overdosed on meat.)

Now, normally, this big shindig is held on Wednesday night, but this year they moved it to Thursday night because half the con was at the wedding party. Very cool of them to do it.

The theme for this year’s party is “Steampunk Villainy” so we will all be going as various Evil Geniuses, Masterminds, Mad Scientists and Vile Criminals. They have three bands playing, including Abney Park. Should be a fun Victorian time.

The critters and Lauren and Arcadia will all be here in our room watching old “Aircat” and “Bark Savage” serials. There will be a mountain of snacks.

(Leon: AIRCAT! Fuck yeah!)

More blogstuff tomorrow.

Ground Control To Major Mom

…wait, what?

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 13: In which we review the bachelor party, wake up in Critter City, grab con stuff and then take part in the best wedding of two imaginary cats that you will ever hear about.

11:00 pm

Lulu here again, folks, with a rather too short bachelor party report, because although my power source is still running just fine, my poor silicon brain is overheating from all that has gone on these last couple of days. I need to enter sleep cycle.

Bachelor party highlights…

We were decked out in steampunkish clothing and carrying many strange steampunk Victorian era weapons.

After drinking some hooch, we lit out to rob a train carrying twenty tons of gold.

After we got the train stopped, Dr. Miguelito Loveless and his gang hauled up in a humongous airship and stole all but one brick of gold.

Later, we were caught with the brick and most of us were tossed in jail. The Sheriff looked like John Wayne.

Train owner wanted us hanged, mine owner wanted the gold back. Mine owner said he’d hire us to get it back.

Late at might: JAILBREAK! Uncle Mike and Uncle Peter to the rescue!

We stole an airship belonging to the railroad. Started chasing Loveless.

Lost Loveless, so we went into Denver to make plans. Barroom brawl ensued. Uncle Spike tossed a guy through a window. Daddy used a gas gun on two guys. Chris and Willie took out three more. Flash & Leon were all over the biggest guy. I used my tail laser to cut us an escape route.

Back on the trail of Loveless. Had to ditch US Army airship first. Uncle Mike was driving.

Caught up to Loveless! Uncle Spike, Chris & Cosmo lobbed grenades! Dad, Uncle Peter, Uncle Brian and Uncle Gabriel all jumped off our ship (we were 300 feet above Loveless) with bungee cord tied to their legs. They took Flash, Leon, Dex and Clancy with them! I used my laser to cut slits in that airship’s covering, which they fell through. Then they turned loose the cats & Clancy! THEN, they tied off the ropes and Uncle Mike started winching us down. THEN, we started boarding!

Big fight! Gunfire! Stun grenades! Psycho cats! A badass pig & Scotty dog! Humans kicking ass and not giving a fuck about names! FIRE! Loveless escapes! We haul ass outta there! Big hydrogen explosion! Twenty tons of gold melts into one big chunk and falls 6,000 feet into the Nevada desert! BIG crater!

We land and grab a shitload of gold, maybe 2 tons, then split before the Army arrives.

PARTY IN SAN FRANCISCO!

Whew! It was a fun few days, that.

Once we were all tucked in on the bus, it drove/warped us to Critter City. Man, do I love this place.

OK, back to letting Daddy write this.

Thank you, Lulu. Well, after a solid eight hours of sleep, we all ate breakfast at Waffles From Outer Space, because Bacon & Butter Flavored Syrup! Then we checked into our rooms at the Hilton. Once that was done, we got our con badges and goodie bags. Some great stuff this year, the best of which were the “DogCon 7: The Wedding Of Flash & Jazz” t-shirts. Flash got so choked up he couldn’t speak.

(Sasha: Me and Lulu set that up. Pretty much the whole con will be at the wedding, or watching it on the big screens all over town.)

(Silky: Holy moley, this place is SO cool! We are under a dome! There are animals everywhere!)

(Daisy: I’ve been hearing about this place for a year! I’m having a nerdgasm!)

(Roxy: Wow! Just…wow!)

Other goodies included “Kings of Dragon Underpass” ball caps, a couple of free D&D adventures, a mini boardgame called “Herding Cats”, a shitload of flyers and discount coupons for all sorts of stuff.

We spent about the next three hours making con plans and welcoming a near endless string of con-goers and wedding guests, including four elephants.

(Daisy: Mama Florence and her daughters are way cool.)

Abigail and Beatrice (our dwarf Nigerian goats) stopped by and there were hugs all around. We’ll see them at the wedding and also at the con AND at their stage show on Friday.

Around 1:00, we went for lunch at Pizza My Heart.

(Daisy: They make pizzas especially for us critters! OMG!)

And now, I’m signing off because it’s time to start getting ready for the wedding. More bloggage AND the wedding report tomorrow.

(Jazz: Wedding time. AAIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!)

Destination Sign when we started: Duckburg


Destination Sign when we stopped: Greyhawk

Music: The Girl Group Channel

Mr. Porkwaffle Has A Problem with Mice

…so he tries to build a better mouse trap

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 12: In which we leave Hawaii, get back to the Southern Californian mainland, Spike & I get mocked & laughed at and we have the wildest bachelor & bachelorette parties EVER!

11:45 pm

Lulu here, folks. I’ll be your reporters for this entry and the next, because Daddy is just too tired after the bachelor party. I was there, so I know. Hijacking an airship full of gold takes a lot out of a biological person.

I’ll also be reporting on the bachelorette party, since Sasha & Joe installed micro-cameras on all of the females. I edited the raw footage down into something comprehensible and I’ll give you highlights from it. Trust me, the girls all had a heck of a fun time as wizarding world pirates.

Oh, and no critter comments here today. They are all totally shagged out.

So, we left Hawaii in the morning, after a big breakfast that featured pineapple pancakes and the ever beloved bacon. Yes, despite being a robot, I can still taste things. Best taste modules credits can buy right here, folks.

We arrived in Southern California safely. Dad found a nice camping spot very near the beach and we took a walk for an hour or so. It was very pleasant.

Back on the bus, we all made Dad & Uncle Spike put on their tuxedos. They both protested that, since they’d be young and thin and probably taller, they didn’t need to wear tuxedos in their normal old farty forms. This was quickly vetoed by EVERYBODY, so they went and put them on.

I’m pretty sure that we all took about 500 pics of them all dressed up, since we’ll probably never see that again. There was much laughter and mocking. Miranda said they looked like two old fat bearded penguins. Flash said they stood out like a couple of whores in church. After about 15 minutes, they went back in and changed into their normal jeans & t-shirts.

About an hour later, other party goers arrived and all the guys went in one room and all the girls went in another, so as to get shot up with Rejuvenox. Not needing it, I played some World of Dogcraft while I waited.

An hour later, the ladies all emerged. By the standards of all their species, they were smoking hot young lasses. The party consisted of…

Mom, Auntie Avy, Auntie Ginie, Auntie Mary, Auntie Caroline, Auntie Rosie, Auntie Holly Hildreth, Cousin Molly (daughter of Rosie & Mike), Sasha, Daisy, Silky, Jazz, Roxy, Calli (Auntie Rosie’s boxer), Midnight (cat friend of Jazz) and Penny (pig friend of Daisy).

My sisters were totally rocking their 1 year old bodies, Silky kept saying, “I have firm boobs again!” Actually, most of the Aunties and Mom also said that. Many comments were made about legs, butts and tummies, too.

BTW, everyone who normally wears clothes was wearing a bikini.

Then the door opened on the guys and yes, they were smoking hot, too. The humans were mostly wearing tight jeans and no shirts. The human females seemed to approve of this. They male party consisted of…

Dad, Uncle Spike, Uncle Brian, Uncle Peter Hildreth, Uncle Mike (Rosie’s husband), Uncle Gabriel Gentile, Cousin Chris (son of Rosie & Mike), Flash, Leon, Cosmo (Calli’s brother boxer), Adolph (cat buddy of Flash), Buster (basset hound and Sasha’s friend with benefits), Dex (another cat buddy), Willie (our pig friend and boyfriend of Penny, Clancy (our Scottish terrier buddy), and me.

Yes, I know that I technically identify as female, but I don’t really have lady parts anymore and besides, I wanted to be an outlaw in the Steampunk Old West.

Some of you might be saying “But what about Miranda and Lauren?”. Well, Lauren is way to young for this pirating stuff and Miranda volunteered to babysit her, so we shot Miranda up with Rejuvenox, which made her physically 10 years old again, then we sent them both off on a Pokemon adventure. They had fun and ate lots of good food when they weren’t fighting Team Rocket.

As I said, all the guys looked great and Dad exited the room last, because like Auntie Rosie said, if his ego was any bigger, he could ride it.

He came out of the room not in jeans, but in a loincloth. He was tall and tanned and had a sort of swimmer/runner’s build and he had no facial hair and his hair was long & red. He looked kinda like Tarzan. Mom asked how much time we had before the parties and was disappointed when Sasha said 5 minutes. Dad said “Later, you young hottie.”

Before those of us with no hands went off to get dressed, Sasha set us all up with land octopi (well, in my case, a mechanical version) and bada bing bada boom, we had manipulative appendages! Then it was into our respective rooms to get dressed for the parties, then we were off on an adventure.

So here are excerpts from the bachelorette party, which started with the lassies on their ship, the “Red Queen” (which, by the way, was huge and mostly crewed by House Elves). They were in port in that wretched hive of scum & villainy, Honolulu, August 12, 1650. Hey, things were different in that world.

In short order, they drank some butterbeer (no alcohol), Captain Jasmine gave a rousing speech about raiding the British and Spanish merchant fleets and then they were underway.

Some highlights were…

During the first attack on a Spanish ship, Mom and Auntie Rosie swung over onto it from ropes on the yardarm, with Jazz & Roxie on their shoulders waving their wands and shooting out hexes right and left.

Auntie Avy and Auntie Ginie casting Patronus spells to hold off the Spanish attacks, while Sasha jumped from ship to ship while wielding a wand and a cutlass.

Calli and Penny tripping Spaniards so Daisy could hex them or, failing that, crack ’em on the head with a belaying pin.

Later, back in Honolulu Auntie Rosie started a barroom brawl because it “seemed like time for one”. Well, she is Daddy’s sister, after all.

During that fight, Auntie Mary did a backflip and kicked two scurvy dogs in the faces.

Auntie Avy cast Expelliarmus on the bar and sent beer mugs flying at a big old broad who was gonna sucker punch Auntie Holly.

Molly and Silky swinging from chandeliers to land in the middle if the fight.

Later, during another raid, Roxy & Daisy & Midnight swam over to an unsuspecting British Man O’ War and used spells to cut holes in the hull.

Once the Man O’ War was in trouble, the Red Queen dropped it’s cloaking spell and attacked the ship the Man O’ War was guarding.

Auntie Caroline and Auntie Ginie cast Infrigia spells that froze big chunks of ice to the merchant’s hull.

Captain Jazz swings on board, cutlass and wand in hand and the merchant captain faints.

Later, there were parties back in Honolulu involving butterbear and wizard rum and singing bawdy songs and yes, another barroom brawl.

The gals returned from the party (which lasted a subjective five days) all laughing and singing and sporting magical tattoos that faded away after a couple of hours. They all agreed it was big fun.

I’ll post the bachelor party highlights tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: Highway To Hell


Destination Sign when we stopped: Road To Nowhere

Music: Pirate Punk

Eating Your Way Across America!

… start with a fish taco in San Diego

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 10: In which we depart for warmer climes, view many pineapples, stand on an erupting volcano and enjoy a night on the beach.

12:45 am

At 10:00 yesterday (Sunday) morning, after yet another bigass breakfast, we messed about with space and time and appeared on the big island of Hawaii only 3 minutes after we left. We were just outside Kona, so we drove into town and then walked around town for a while. It was pretty warm, so after a bit we had some Hawaiian shave ice, which is like the best damned snow cone you’ll ever eat.

(Sasha: Who knew that they had barbecue beef flavor shave ice?)

We then drove around for a few hours (stopping for lunch at a place that makes great loco mokos) seeing the sights. At one point, we drove past a pineapple plantation and saw acres and acres of the tasty fruit. I pointed out that even that large a field was but a small fraction of the pineapple plantations of yore.

(Sadie: Man, those loco mokos were great!)

(Roxy: Brown gravy, yum!)

One place we stopped at that was really impressive was on the slopes of Kilauea volcano. There was a river of lava flowing about a hundred yards from where we were parked in the bus. Everyone thought it was very impressive. Later, we discussed lava flows we had encountered in roleplaying games.

(Flash: Except those of us who thought it was FUCKING INSANE!)

(Daisy: Oh, Flash, don’t be such a wimp. Daddy wouldn’t let anything happen to us!)

Later in the day, we found a nice camping spot near the beach way down near the southern tip of the island. We swam, hiked, built a fire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and drank many beverages with varying degrees of alcohol content. Many stories were swapped and some of our group did the hula. It was fun

Time for bed now. More bloggage tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Ministry of Magic

Destination Sign when we stopped: Caprona

Music: Heavy Metal Dog Music

Blue Ink Node

…nope, no clue

 

Dog Con 7

Day 9: In which we finally see that animated Giant Jesus, Silky wins a prize, many of our party spend too much time in a book store and we visit a gold museum.

Very tired after a very long day in Fairbanks, Alaska. Quick capsule reviews of the days events follow.

OK, so that animated Giant Jesus? It was ok, even though it was only 40 feet tall and the animation consisted of him raising his arms and face to the heavens above. When you go into the gift shop, you get bombarded by radio preachers coming out of about a dozen speakers. High point of the visit? When Sasha and Silky started to tell the people about the Word of Dog. They got so freaked they told us to get out and forgot to charge us for the stuff we were gonna buy. SCORE!

(Lulu: Bless her heart, Auntie Avy didn’t realize that until 11:45 tonight. She wants to go back and pay, but when she called the place, they told her to keep the stuff because we were the spawn of Satan.)

(Sasha: I never even got to tell those twits how Dog told us to watch over humans.)

Next up was a pet parade and carnival. Naturally, we took the critters in and everybody had fun. Best of all, Silky won “Best Howl” in a howling contest. She got a ribbon and a big back of all natural Elk jerky treats.

(Flash: As pet events go, it was pretty nice.)

(Daisy: Those jerky treats were pretty nice, too!)

Sadie: Yeah! Two of them and my tummy was full.)

Our walk around Fairbanks kind of came to a stop when we saw a used book store. The science fiction area was very well stocked with books and there were also several boxes of games. We spent about 90 minutes in there before leaving for a nice lunch of mooseburgers, which were darned tasty.

(Flash: Honest, folks, you ever want to lure bibliophiles to a bloody doom, put a sign saying “All books on sale half price!” in the window of a deathtrap that looks like a used book store.)

(Sasha: By the way, mooseburgers are the FUCKIN’ BOMB!)

The Fairbanks Gold Museum has plenty of gold in it, you bet, including a couple of nuggets the size of my fist. We bought t-shirts, but were a bit too poor for the gold jewelry.

(Leon: That place was infested with mice.)

(Jazz: Oh lordy yes! I could smell them everywhere!)

Speaking of money, we racked up a cool grand selling chocolate and Ice cream to a local ice cream shop.

(Daisy: Dad never passes up a chance to make a buck.)

We also visited an animal shelter, a couple of thrift stores and a seller of fine smoked meat products. After a pretty full day that included miles of walking, we all got back on the bus and went to the Slide Room for an hour or so before eating pizza for dinner. After that, it was mostly just goofing off until bedtime.

(Silky: That was a pretty nice animal shelter, for Alaska.)

Tomorrow, we leave for Hawaii. More bloggage soon.

Destination Sign when we started: Io


Destination Sign when we stopped: Westeros

Music: Old Time Radio shows

Don’t Forget To Feed Grandpa!

…but please, no raw meat

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 8: In which we meet even more real bears, Flash & Leon insult an otter, we visit a museum dedicated to booze, we see a Giant Salmon and it’s a females vs males game night.

10:45 am

Last night’s movies were alternate Earth comedies. We saw the Marx Brothers reunion movie, “Summer Camp”, which was from 1959. It had Groucho, Chico & Harpo working at an elite summer camp. The plot was tissue thin and involved commie spies. Very funny, but not up to classic Marx.

The next one was “Abbott & Costello Meet The Living Dead”. It was surprisingly funny, considering it was made in 1965 and both Bud & Lou were showing some age.

We are currently stopped at a place called “Alaska Bear Rehabilitation”, where orphaned cubs and injured adults are prepared for life back in the wild. As you have no doubt guessed, Flash and Leon will not be on this excursion.

(Flash: HELL no!)
(Leon: We’ll be on the X-Box playing “Grand Theft Auto 7”, which y’all won’t get for a decade or more.)

More bloggage after the bears.

2:30 pm

Well, the bear rehab place was really interesting. Those folks are doing great work. We got pictures taken with both cubs and their mascot, a humongous female grizzly named “Peaches”. Peaches can never go back into the wild, being blind in one eye and having a a gimpy hind leg. She is, as I said, very large, but also very sweet tempered and she loves people, dogs and cats. We took many pictures and also bought the ever popular t-shirts, bumper stickers, fridge magnets, etc.

A bit later, we pulled over next to a river for lunch. Lulu once again committed mosquito genocide and we ate sandwiches and chips. At one point, a couple of otters came up the riverbank and we gave them some fish from the pantry. Unfortunately, Flash and Leon were a bit rude to them, causing the male otter to kick their asses all over the riverbank.

(Sasha: He made them his bitches! Hahahaha!)

(Sadie: Serves them right for asking if he was part fish.)

(Daisy: Those boys will never learn.)

(Flash: Hey! We had him on the ropes!)

(Leon: We could have taken him!)

(Lulu: Really? Was that before or after he tossed you both into the river, then threw you back out into that thorn bush?)

11:45 pm

The rest of our day included…

The Alaska Museum of Strong Drink, which has a truly amazing selection of booze bottles from the early days of Alaska. In a place where winters are long and cold, the amusement options were limited and women were in short supply, strong liquor was a basic necessity.

(Silky: Apparently, early Alaska was one big AA meeting waiting to happen.)


The Giant Salmon at the FreshCo Salmon Company. How giant is it? Try 150 feet long and about 20 feet long and high. You can walk inside it, where you will find a cafe, bar and gift shop, all of which we indulged in.

(Jazz: Oh my goodness. All those fresh salmon scraps!)

(Roxy: I need a nap.)

(Daisy: Oh my, a cat needing a nap. Alert the media!)

Just before dinner, the critters all got to try on the land octopi that Sasha bred for the bachelor & bachelorette parties and weddings. To say they were a hit would be an understatement of a cosmic level.

(Flash: Coolest. Thing. EVER! I can actually hold a gun now!)

(Leon: And swords!)

(Jazz: I can brush my own hair now!)

(Daisy: OMG! So freaking cool!)

Our game night was Females versus Males, with myself, Spike, Brian, Flash & Leon going up against Grace, Mary, Caroline, Sasha & Roxy in an X-Box 5 game called “Puzzle Dungeon Of Death”. Said dungeon was filled with puzzles, traps, monsters and treasure. After three hours of playing, the ladies won.

(Sasha: Meaning we handed them their asses, beating them by 30,000 points.)

Bedtime soon, after a bowl of cereal. More of the blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: Avengers Mansion


Destination Sign when we stopped: Al Qadim

Music: The Filksong Channel

The Rare And Beautiful Wandering Muskrats Of Potawango Island

…they wander about doing good deeds

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 7: In which we reach Alaska, a moose gets rescued and we have an amazingly mosquito free marshmallow roast.

8:00 pm

We rolled across the border of Canada and into Alaska about 10 am this morning. Another state I can cross off my list!

We were only about 50 miles into Alaska when we spied a young moose who seemed to have gotten her foot stuck in between some logs. We sent Lulu out to move the logs and the moose was soon free. She thanked Lulu and then posed for pictures before ambling off into the forest.

(Lulu: Her name was Gertie. She was only 2 years old. She was very polite.)

(Jazz: Wow, they grow ’em big up here.)

One thing you learn really fast about the North is that it is full of mosquitoes that travel in huge swarms and love to attack travelers, be they two legged or four. Commercial repellant works for about 5 minutes, then apparently turns into barbecue sauce.

(Daisy: Mom must be prime rib for mosquitoes. They loved her.)

(Sadie: They love dogs, too!)

(Flash: A fucking mosquito bit me on my nutsack!)

(Leon: Fortunately, I lack that problem area.)

(Silky: I got bitten twice on the nose!)

Because of this, most of our excursions outside the bus to look at nature were very short for everyone but Lulu, Sasha & I. Lulu is, naturally, impervious to mosquitoes and Sasha has handled so many strange chemicals that she may not even smell organic to mosquitoes. As for me, mosquitoes just don’t seem to think I’m tasty. My traveling companions have come up with many borderline funny reasons why this might be.

(Daisy: Auntie Avis suggested that they didn’t like the taste of Portuguese.)

(Lulu: Mom suggested that they didn’t like the taste of old farts, but then auntie Mary pointed out that they bite Uncle Spike.)

(Jazz: I think Dad is just too spicy for them because of all the hot sauce he eats.)


Anyway, we wanted to have a marshmallow roast in the small campground we found, but the mosquitoes were looking to make it a no go. Finally, Sasha grabbed a jar and told Lulu to go get some mosquitoes in it. Once that was done and Lulu was back inside with the jar, she told Lulu to “run program D-999-Gamma”.

(Lulu: I didn’t even know I could do that!)

(Sasha: You can do a lot of things you don’t know about.)

(Lulu: What the fuck?????)


Lulu scanned the mosquitoes with some sort of eye beam, then stood really still for a moment before emitting a high pitched pulse of energy.

Every mosquito in that jar exploded. Then Sasha told us that every mosquito for FIVE MILES had suffered a similar fate. She then explained what happened, but I sorta tuned it out after “sympathetic vibrations”.

(Sasha: It works on cruise missiles, too.)

So we then toasted marshmallows of various flavors, drank cocoa and sang songs, all in a mosquito free environment. I love my dogs.

(Silky: Tummy…full…of marshmallows. Must sleep now.)

(Roxy: Yes…must nap.)

(Sasha: Good times.)

Now, we watch movies. Tomorrow, we invade Alaska for real!

Destination Sign when we started: Jokertown


Destination Sign when we stopped: Under Your Bed

Music: All Jethro Tull, All The Time

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 Journal Of Applied Applications

…about appliances

Dog Con 7

 

Day 5: In which we see more (teddy) bears, Flash goes flying and we visit the Giant Jesus of the North

3:30 pm

Today was fun, starting at around 10:30 when Sasha woke Flash and Leon out of a deep sleep by yelling “BEARS!” There was much laughing on the part of the other critters and maybe some humans. I did make Sasha clean up the boys poop.

(Flash: Fuck you guys! That was just not right!)

(Leon: I was dreaming about bears! I almost had a heart attack!)

(Daisy: The best part was when they both ran headfirst into that SmartBot.)

(Lulu: And it teleported them into the Meadow Room. Heeheehee.)

(Sasha: That was payback for the time you two wankers told me the cold fusion plant was heating up.)

Our first stop did involve bears, but of the teddy nature, not the cat devouring type. It was the World Famous Canadian Teddy Bear Museum and yep, it’s full of teddy bears.

250,000 of them.

There are teeny tiny bears, very old bears, humongous big bears (9+ meters tall!), ordinary bears, strange bears…pretty much every kind of teddy bear you can imagine, plus many more you can’t imagine (Vulcan & Klingon bears, Lovecraftian bears). The displays are very nice and you can pose with many of the larger bears. Brian, Lauren, Mary and I all posed with our heads inside various bear mouths. Avis posed with a James Bond bear. Daisy posed with all 13 Doctor bears and all of the Trek bears.

We bought t-shirts, bumper stickers, fridge magnets, the Teddy Bear Museum book and, yes, teddy bears.

After that stop, we ate lunch next to a beaver pond.

(Leon: OK, so they aren’t giant prehistoric mice.)

(Flash: They looked tasty, but man, those teeth.)

(Silky: I wish I could swim that well.)

After lunch, we traveled for a couple of hours, letting the bus drive itself. Most of us spent the time reading magazines from alternate Earths that we found in the Warehouse. The issues of Time and Newsweek were pretty fascinating, especially the ones about the Zombie Wars and the mass human die off (caused by comet dust) and the Beatles reunion in 1976.

Around about 2:00, the critters all went off to the Shoe Room to play. At some point, Flash got the bright idea to leap off a big pile of shoes onto a very large sneaker and then surf to the bottom of the pile. Unfortunately, about halfway down, the toe of the sneaker hit a buried boot and Flash went flying through the air. Just before he would have smacked headfirst into into the door, Grace opened it to ask if they wanted to come over to the Forest Room to see some deer.

Flash flew over her head, across the hall, through the Forest Room door and right onto the back of a big old buck. They both went racing off into the forest at high speed. About ten minutes later, Flash came staggering back, saying “Whoa! That was SO cool!”. He then went to the living room for a nap

(Daisy: Jazz, you might want to rethink the whole having kittens thing.)

(Sadie: Maybe Sasha & Joe can build you some robot kittens.)

We are now in the far north of British Columbia and only minutes from the Giant Jesus of the North, which we CAN ALREADY SEE! That sucker must be huge. More blogging later.

5:00 pm

We are stopped for the night in the town of Gruntly. Not a very large town, but the campground is very nice.

The Giant Jesus of the North was indeed huge. 300 feet tall and perched on top of a tall hill, you can see it from ten or more miles away. It was build and is maintained by the First Church Of Our Lord Jesus In Canada, the founder of which is a multimillionaire.

Old J is made of concrete, steel, marble and glass. He stands with his arms outstretched, as most giant Jesuses do. Thankfully, there are elevators that take you up to his head, from which you get an incredible view. The inside of the head is also just chock full of scripture and stuff.

Down at the inevitable gift shop, we bought the usual suspects. We did pass up the Deluxe Giant Jesus Bibles.

Right now, we’re getting ready to start dinner (TACOS!) and then have a night of alternate world television. Around 2:00 am, the bus will leave Gruntly and head north toward the Yukon and then Alaska.

Destination Sign when we started: Castle Dracula


Destination Sign when we stopped: The Vulgar Unicorn

Music: 1968: Music from the first Summer of Love

Today Is The Day The Deadly Bears Have Their Picnic

…which, it would seem, will be mostly cats.

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 4: In which we cross the middle of Canada the same way we cross the Midwest of the USA (fast), see a big Tiny City, are chased by sheep and see a hobbit house.

9:00 am

We are about to tuck into yet another big breakfast before taking a walk in the Forest Room. By the time we are done with that, we will have crossed the all the way over to Banff National Park, right near the border to British Columbia. We have a couple of interesting things to see once we get into B.C., but first we will spend some time seeing the scenic wonders of Banff. And now, bacon and other foods.

12:30 pm

Wow! Banff National Park is some kind of beautiful! We’ve been here a couple of hours and we’ll probably spend a few more. The scenery here will knock you for a loop, folks. Lots of wildlife, too, some of ir big enough to keep even Flash from wanting to go into the dense woods.

(Flash: Bears! BEARS!)

(Leon: Wolves, too!)

(Sasha: Pretty sure I smelled a mountain lion or two.)

(Silky: Yep, I’ll just stick really close to the humans.)

Once we leave here, we’ll be stopping at our next roadside attraction, Tiny City. Now, time for a hike in the woods.

(Flash: WTF???)

3:45 pm

Having had out fill of scenic wonders and nature…

(Leon: We saw a HUGE prehistoric mouse!)

(Roxy: That was a beaver, you dummy!)

…we got back aboard our home on wheels for some snacks and a quick trip to the town of Darby Creek for a look at the biggest Tiny City you are likely to find anywhere.

For a cost of only $3.00, Jim & Joe Yakspill (and their lovely wives) will show you Tiny City, a vast metropolis built on an area 90 feet wide and 270 feet long. The buildings are so small, you get a bigass magnifying glass to look at the ones around the edge of town. The detail would make my miniatures wargaming friends weep with joy.

(Lulu: It would make most folks weep from eyestrain.)

The tallest buildings in town are the downtown skyscrapers, the tallest of which is still only about 4 feet tall. To see the detail on most of the city, Jim & Joe have rigged up cameras on wires sort of like the way the do for football and other arena events. You sit in some comfy chairs and watch the tour on a big screen.

The whole city has landscaping and tiny people and all sorts of cool stuff. A great deal for only three bucks a head. Of course, there were about 100 other folks there with us and the eventual t-shirts were $20.00 a pop, but still worth every cent.

On the outskirts of Darby Creek, we stopped for a group video next to an unfenced field full of beautiful sheep.

(Sasha: Or as I call them, mutton curry on the hoof.)

(Sadie: Mmmm…curry!)

(Silky: Can’t eat curry. Gives me terrible gas.)

(Daisy: It gives Dad gas too, but that doesn’t slow him down.)

The resulting video will no doubt become a beloved classic, since it shows all of us but Lulu running for our lives when 300 fucking insane sheep decided to chase us. Much running was done and many bad words were said in a variety of languages. Eventually, after some of us turned and fought, the sheep backed off and we got back on the bus. We all agreed that our next big dinner would include lamb.

(Daisy: Holy shit! Those sheep were vicious!)

(Sadie: I was so scared, I peed!)

(Flash: I did NOT need that shit after the bears!)

(Sasha: I’m glad I can run on these tentacles.)

(Roxy: What the hell was that all about?)

(Leon: What the hell do they feed those wooly bastards?)

(Silky: I’m glad I was able to hide under the bus.)

(Jazz: I was right there with ya, Silky!)

(Lulu: HAHAHAHAHA! You all were so funny!)

More blogging once my heart rate drops below Near Coronary.

7:30 pm

We are just back from a lovely dinner in Kamloops, B.C., and yes, we all had lamb. Fuck you, killer sheep! We will be spending the night here and we are about to go do some exploring in the Warehouse before watching some movies.

First, however, I need to tell you about the hobbit house we saw. It was way out in the middle of nowhere in a small mountain valley that the Trans Canada Highway passes through. There was a small wooden sign that said “Hobbit House, 2 kilometers”, so we stopped to take a look when we reached it. Sure enough, it looked just like something out of the Lord Of The Rings movies. A family of six lives there and they showed us around the inside. It’s a really big house with 5 bedroom, three bathrooms and a heated indoor pool. We were all really impressed. Then we showed the family the inside of the bus and they were REALLY impressed.

It was a pretty cool looking house.

(Daisy: Sadly, there were no actual hobbits or dwarves or wizards.)

More blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: Barsoom


Destination Sign when we stopped: Vulcan

Music: Psychedelic Swing & Big Band Favorites

My Life Among The Tentacled Dogs

…they picked my pocket!

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 3: In which we see trained cats, visit a house on stilts, prevent a bear from getting in trouble and watch monster movies.

9:00 am

We played Car Wars and other games until the wee hours last night, which explains why only a couple of us (me & Brian) are up even now. Mostly this has to do with walking dogs.

(Sasha: Well excuse us for having to pee!)

(Sadie: And poop!)

(Daisy: It was a nice walk.)

(Silky: We saw chipmunks and birds.)

The Car Wars session took place on a flat figure eight racetrack. While there were no collisions at the intersection, there was a whole lot of combat damage. The teams were Brian & Sadie, Spike & Daisy, Lauren & Sasha and Me & Silky. It was human drivers, dog gunners. The win would only go to the team that completed three laps. We all lasted longer than I would have thought, with Brian & Sadie going out at lap 2.25, Me & Silky going out at lap 2.33 and Spike & Daisy getting taken out at lap 2.75. Having miraculously kept 3 tires intact to the end (but no driver’s door, windshield or forward facing weaponry), Lauren & Sasha did a victory lap at 20 miles an hour.

(Sasha: It was superior driving & gunning all the way!)
(Daisy: You got lucky with that flaming oil.)

(Sadie: We were hosed when Doc & Silky forced us into the wall. Twice!)

(Silky: Yeah, but then we rolled our car and lost our gun turret.)

Once we all hit the sack, the bus drove up into the boondocks of western Ontario, a hundred odd miles north of the US border. We are near a lake, because in this part of Canada you can’t swing a dead beaver without hitting a lake. There is plenty of forest and it’s all really nice and I’m glad the bus knows where we are because I’m lost as hell. If a bunch of cavemen came by questing for fire, I would not be surprised.

Now it’s time to rouse our sleeping travel mates with the promise of a hearty breakfast. More bloggage soon.

11:30 am

Amazingly, despite appearing to be in the ass end of nowhere, we were in fact only 10 miles from a major highway and about 30 minutes from a small town with a great roadside attraction: a trained cat show. Note to self: jokes about well trained pussies are NOT well received by the women on this bus.

We arrived in the town of Burchord at 10:30, after breakfasting and looking at chipmunks.

(Flash: They were everywhere! Breakfast on the hoof, and me harnessed and leashed!)

(Lulu: And me restraining bolted!)

(Leon: It just ain’t right to hold a cat back!)

(Lulu: Or a robot dog!)

(Leon: Yeah!)

(Jazz: Why waste all that energy chasing rodents? Mom has about 15 kinds of cat food, plus fresh fish.)

(Roxy: I like chasing rodents for a couple of minutes, in a house or yard. But out there in the wilderness? No way!)

(Jazz: I know, right? There are wolves and coyotes and stuff out there, not to mention all the things that can get stuck in fur.)

The trained cats do their thing in the window of Burchord Hardware (established in 1890) and those cats are very well trained indeed. The walked a tightrope, ran an agility course, played soccer (we all wondered why it wasn’t hockey, but I guess the cats had trouble with the sticks) and did things like roll over, shake hands and dance. It was a great show and free. They do it at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and it lasts about 20 minutes. T-shirts are only ten bucks.

(Sasha: Those were very talented cats, you bet.)

(Sadie: And very pretty, too.)

(Daisy: But not as pretty as Jazz!)


Our kitty contingent was, of course, unimpressed by the show. They pointed out that those cats couldn’t sing the blues (Jazz), write poetry (Roxy), use power armor (Flash) or steal a car (Leon). I suspect Leon & Avis will discuss that last confession.

(Flash: Aw, who hasn’t boosted a car or two?)
(Roxy: Not me!)

(Jazz: Oh, look, fresh cat food!)

(Leon: Well, apparently my mom hasn’t. She was upset with me.)

(Flash: Our mom has never stolen a car either. Dad, on the other paw…)

We are now back on the bus and will soon be collapsing the old timey wimey to get to Saskatchewan to see the World Famous Prairie House on Stilts. The folks at Roadside Canada Quarterly give it three out of four stars. More bloggage soon.


1:00 pm

OK, so about that house on stilts: it’s really high up on stilts! Like, 40 feet up. Of course, they are very stout concrete and steel stilts, one of which contains a big roomy elevator, but still, 40 FUCKIN’ FEET!

(Sadie: I got a kink in my neck looking up at it!)

The McAdams family (Ron, Jill and 3 cats) charge five bucks per person to tour the 3 bedroom, two bath house, which is very spacious and has a large deck with a great view of the surrounding prairie/farmland. The garage, naturally, is down on ground level. It’s a pretty remarkable place and best of all, Ron built it because “why not?”. A man after my own heart.

(Daisy: “Why not?” Translation: Because I’m crazy!)

By the way, your five buck admission gets you either a free bumper sticker or a fridge magnet. SCORE! Of course, the t-shirts are $10.00 each.

Right now, we are way up in northern Saskatchewan enjoying some trees and nature and stuff. A few minutes ago, we helped a young bear avoid some big trouble. It went like this…

Bear is walking along, minding his own business. We are 100 yards upwind and being quiet. He does not notice us.

We see that he is heading towards Mama Skunk and her four young ones.

Daisy says “Uh oh!”, then yells something in Bruin. Bear looks up at us, then starts loping away, toward the skunks.

Lulu takes off running and yelling in bruin. Bear gets scared, starts running. Skunks look up. Skunks start doing warning dance.

Bear is oblivious. Probably has never met a skunk.

Lulu grabs 300 pound bear by the scruff of the neck and drags him about 100 feet. Bear is frightened and yelling.

Lulu releases bear and, in Bruin, reads him the riot act. Bear runs off at top speed. Skunks also run off.

Lulu returns and we all thank her for helping the now in need of therapy bear.

Never a dull moment for us. And now, a bit more nature appreciation, then back on the road.

11:30 pm

We are now in Sasksatoon, where we will spend the night. After dinner, the whole bunch of us took a walk around this part of town, which is mostly a residential area. One old guy saw us all coming out of the bus (which from the outside is only 18 feet long) and asked if we weren’t awfully crowded in there. I let him take a peek inside, after which he seemed to want to get back inside his house really quickly.

After the walk, it was movie time in the Theater Room, where we watched a couple of alternate reality low budget monster movies. First up was “The Monster of Millville” (Goodwin Films, 1959), which looked a lot like a student film with maybe a $300 budget. The titular monster was a “mutation” caused by “atomic Z radiation”. It looked kind of like what you’d get if a gorilla, a duck and a frog has crazy irradiated sex, then had a baby. Best line of dialogue: “There’s an eight foot tall mutant somewhere in Millville and I’ll find it if it takes a year!”

The second feature was higher up on the budget scale, but not that high. It was “Torbo” (International United, 1963) and it was about a giant robotic lizard that trashed a town “somewhere in Arizona”. It also trashed a bunch of guys dressed up as Army personnel. The stop motion for Torbo was actually pretty good and the acting was better than expected. Best line of dialogue: “It’s not just a giant lizard. It’s a robot giant lizard.”

And now it’s time for the snoozing. More blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Forbidden Forest


Destination Sign when we stopped: Rock & Roll High School

Music: Bow Wow Blues: Music for Dogs

Rude Cormorants Pestered My Warblers

…until I chucked a brick at them

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 2: In which some of us do not speak French, we visit a very lonely grave, see lots of mold, cause a small riot and see our first Giant Jesus.

9:00 am

Hey, if y’all ever want to see a fun and mindblowing double feature of movies, you’ll do great watching “Attack of the Giant Lemurs” followed by “El Santo & The Blue Demon Meet The Space Zombies”. Cute giant primates and luchadors! How can you lose?

(Leon: That giant lemur flick was funny as hell.)

(Daisy: They were actually kind of cute.)
(Flash: Yeah, even as they trashed the city.)

(Lulu: And you can’t go wrong with Santo!)

(Silky: Nope, he is always fun to watch.)

(Roxy: How come you never see movies about giant cats destroying cities?)

Our morning started with a nice big breakfast, then we hit the road. Up until a few minutes ago, I was driving and making up filk songs with Mary (including a rather bawdy one to the tune of “Only You”), but now Data has the wheel and I’m getting ready to go get some chocolate.

 

11:30 am

After nearly 3 hours of driving, and several games of Settlers Of Catan, we are at one of the most seldom visited spots in all of Canada: the grave of the last politician from Quebec who gave a damn about the rest of Canada. It’s a lonely grave way out at the end of a poorly maintained dirt road way out in the country. The headstone has had the name chipped away, but you see that he died in 1935. There are many old broken wine bottles here, too. My guess is that we are the first humans to set foot here in at least 20 years. An old weathered sign on a nearby tree say (in French) “Here lies a traitor to Quebec!”. None of our Canadian contingent knows who the hell this guy was.

12:45 pm

We just finished lunch in Montreal and boy, am I glad we have plenty of French speakers here. Ginie was really a great help when she translated “Listen up, you snotty little punk. Bring us our order right now or I’ll stomp a mudhole in your ass and then kick it dry” for me. It really improved the service when our waiter got a bit uppity.

(Sasha: That’s my dad! Always a model of subtlety.)

(Sadie: I think him pointing to his really big feet also helped.)

Now that we are all really well fed and rested up a bit, we are on our way to the Museum of Molds & Fungi. It’s not far, so we’ll be walking.

2:30 pm

Folks here in Montreal are a bit jumpy when they see a basset hound with a land octopus on her back walking down the street. A few of them even jumped off the sidewalk into traffic. Strange.

(Sasha: And I wasn’t even doing anything, just holding Mary’s hand as we walked.)

Anyway, the Museum of Molds & Fungi was pretty darned interesting, despite smelling a bit odd.

(Daisy: Parts of it smelled like stinky feet!)

(Jazz: And all of it smelled musty.)
(Silky: That one exhibit smelled like broccoli farts.)

(Sadie: It sure did! PHEW!)


We saw maybe 2,000 living examples of molds & fungi, including the yeasts that help make bread & beer, Dog bless them. Thankfully, our guide was a British fellow with a pretty funny way of explaining what we were seeing. He was quite taken with the critters, whom he described as “very well behaved”. Thank goodness for the threat of teleportation to the Meadow Room.

We bought not only t-shirts, bumper stickers & fridge magnets, but several plush molds & fungi.

(Daisy: I’m gonna put my Brewer’s Yeast plushie next to my Klingon bat’leth!)

When we left the museum, we started back to the bus via a small park at which some sort of festival was going on. Unfortunately, between the critters starting up a rousing version of “Mercedes Benz”…

(Jazz: My idea.)

…and Sasha deciding to juggle about 16 different small objects…

(Sasha: Gotta maintain tentacular dexterity!)

(Leon: Sasha is a wicked good juggler!)

…we seem to have started a small riot.

(Lulu: Have we ever taken a trip where we DIDN’T start a riot?)

(Flash: Not after I came on the scene.)

(Sasha: That explains SO much.)

So, with people running around and screaming in French, English and a couple other languages, we quickly headed back to the bus, where we are now. Next stop: our first Giant Jesus!

6:00 pm

Well, that first Giant Jesus was just a few minutes outside Montreal (where, according to our police scanner, that riot lasted for two hours). As Giant Sons of God go, this one was the best looking so far, even if it wasn’t the tallest. At only about 30 feet tall, it was pretty easy to climb up to the top and look out through the eye windows.

(Daisy: “Pretty easy” meaning that we only stopped about 4 times for breathing sessions. For the humans, not us critters.)

(Leon: When we got down, Mom & Doc were swearing that they needed to get some bionic knees ASAP.)

(Daisy: Well, they are like, really old.)

The Giant Jesus of Quebec gift shop was pretty nice and we not only got bumper stickers, t-shirts and hats, but a Giant Jesus bobblehead for the dashboard. I stuck him on facing my bobblehead rabbi and bobblehead Buddah.

We are now at a campground outside some small town, but only long enough to cook up dinner, eat and walk the critters. After that, we’re back on the road and heading west. Tonight will be another fun night of games and stuff.

(Flash: I’m hoping we get to play Car Wars.)

Destination Sign when we started: Metropolis


Destination Sign when we stopped: Ego, The Living Planet

Music: The Dr. Demento Show, 1979-1984

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

The All New Same Old Stuff!

…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)

(Sadie: Hi!)

(Leon: Hello!)

(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.

(Flash: WTF???)

(Lulu: NO!!!)

(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.