The Happy Go Lucky, But Still Somewhat Creepy, Story of Mostly Purple Patty And The Road Trip To Saugus To Visit Uncle Ferd.

…co-starring her little brother, Very Green Gary

 

Random Stuff

1: Besides being hotter than 14 motherfuckers here in Northern California, the air is totally shitty with smoke from several fires.

2: The heat waves we have had off and on played hell with my garden. The squash and watermelons would not set fruit and my green bean vines just burnt to a crisp. Half of my tomato plants shut down, altho the cherry tomatoes slowly set fruit and 3-4 ripen each week. I’ll try again, next year with more afternoon shade.

3: I am considering going to Origins next year. GenCon is both too expensive and too much of a hotel room clusterfuck. Origins would not be cheap and I would not see as many friends, but it might be doable.

5: Alternatively, I could hit as many as 5 NorCal cons for the price of going to Origins. The two Sacramento Conquest cons cost me pretty much nothing, since I run games and they are about 4 miles from my house. KublaCon is getting big and is a great con I have not been to in years. DunDraCon, of course, is a given after 30+ years. Big Bad Con is also one I’d like to hit up.

6: Going further afield, but still on the West Coast, OrcaCon is another I’d like to get to.

7: Finally, it has been 13 years since Grace & I took a long driving trip. While having 4 dogs does make such a trip problematic (we do not board our dogs and we need to REALLY REALLY trust a dog/housesitter), it does not entirely rule it out, especially since we will have another car by next spring, something much larger than our current tiny Mazda 3.

That’s it for now. More bloggage soon!

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Dye Hard

…a little shout out to tie dyers

DogCon 9

Day Seven: In which we spend our last day at the con and finish it off with plans for next year.

This will be short and sweet, folks, since it is almost 1:00 am and the bus is rocketing across our great country at just under 150 miles per hour. Fortunately, we are cloaked and using back roads.

We had our final Critter City breakfast at Waffles From Outer Space, after which the day was all about playing games, buying games & other geekery, attending seminars and giving seminars. Spike, Daisy and I were all on the “Ask A GM Anything” seminar and then Spike and I were on a panel with two other folks for the “We Loves It/We Hates It” seminar. Both of those were the same great fun as every year.

The Post Con Cool Down party was quite different this year. Oh, there was still a huge variety of pies to try and much chatting and goodbye saying, but there was also a six page questionnaire about what we would like to see at the con next year, for the tenth anniversary. Over 1,600 people filled them out, plus in a few days it will be available to fill out online. Folks, there were many great ideas floated, let me tell you.

We left Critter City at 7:30, headed to Baltimore to drop off Spike & Mary, then New Hampshire to drop off Avis, Ginie, Leon & Roxie. After that we will make a beeline for home.

At some point in the not too distant future, I’ll expand this year’s report and add in missing critter comments, but for now, bedtime beckons. Until next year, this is Doc signing off.

DogCon 9

is over.
But we will all be back next year for…

CritterCon 10

(even if some of us go to GenCon)

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Introducing Luke Skywalker Cross

…8/6/16

And now we are six.

Doc, Grace, Silky, Sasha & Daisy Cross are very happy to introduce our newest family member, Mr. Luke Skywalker Cross. Luke is a Basset Hound/Standard Poodle mix, 8 years old and has had a very rough last few months. His owners died, he looks to have been a stray for a while and he got pretty badly hurt when he was hit by a car. He has healed up from the injuries, but being an older dog, was getting passed over at the shelter.

Cross family to the rescue!

Adopted today, we will get him cleaned and groomed, then put a few pounds on his underweight body. Luke is a gentle fellow who is fascinated by The Girls and eager to sniff out his new home. For their part, The Girls seem to have accepted him pretty quickly, as is the manner of Bassets and other hounds traditionally kept in packs.

He will be going onto the Magic Bus soon, so as to get up to mental speed with The Girls and Grace & I. Being half poodle, I’m thinking he will be smart. Being surrounded by three sisters, he will probably be smart to not bug them too much.

Pix coming after his grooming session.

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Hot Damn! It’s The Dancing Elks!

…and they’re wearing tuxedos

DogCon 9

Day Five: In which we reach Critter City, meet up with lots of friends and prepare to party.

Having spent the night less than an hour from Critter City, we all got up late today, around 9:30. After a fairly light breakfast, we got on the road and rolled under the big dome at 11:45.

After parking in the Hyatt underground and then getting all of our stuff into our suites, we went to meet assorted friends and then get our con badges and swag bags. Among the first dozen friends we met were Brian Misiaszek, his wife & daughter & dog. The Misiaszek family and Sadie have traveled to this con with us before several times and Brian is always involved in a couple of the old time radio productions we do, to say nothing of panels and games.

The swag bags at DogCon are always good and this year was no exception.Our bags included…

A t-shirt depicting a movie starring ConDog, the lovable mutt mascot of the con as “Dogtor Strange” and looking sort of Cumberbatchy.

Three six sided dice (mine were electric blue) with the 6 replaced by the DogCon 9 logo.

A poster for a low budget, Kickstarted movie called “It Came From Under Space”, which looks to feature a giant mole.

A super yummy (and safe for critters) lemon cookie the size of a tea saucer.

A book of discount coupons for favorite eateries like Chez Mom’s, Thai One On, Ed’s Big Weenie, Pizza My Heart, Waffles From Outer Space! (BACON & BUTTER FLAVORED SYRUP!) and Mistress Diana’s Breakfast Dungeon, plus a few free drink coupons.

A mini board game called “Carp Wars”

The con book, which this year is done up to look like a steampunk Journal Of SCIENCE!

Having gotten our swag, we all made our way to Ed’s Big Weenie to eat delicious hotdogs and look through the con book.

Since I have your attention, I will note that besides the seminars, panels and games that Spike, Brian, Peter, Sasha, Daisy and I run, this year will see Grace & Mary as part of a 6 person panel with the title “I Married A Gamer”. I am told it has already been moved twice to larger rooms.

And now we are back from dinner at Thai One On and are letting our tummies rest before heading out to the pre-con party and alcohol fest. This years theme is “Marvel VS DC” and costumes are provided. Oh, yeah, this year, there is also a critters only party sponsored by Non-Human Terrans of Texas. The theme for that party is “Summer of Love”.

More blogging tomorrow.

 

RAISING KOBOLDS FOR FUN AND PROFIT

…of course, you do have to feed them a baby or two

DogCon 9

Day Three: In which we do not have the most interesting of days, but still manage to spin off a new timeline or two.

It was hot in New Mexico today, averaging 103 most of our way across the state. Our East Coast contingent does not deal well with hot dry weather, so that plus a surprising lack of places we wanted to stop made the trip a mostly driving one.

Travel Tip: You cannot go all the way across New Mexico on I-10 because after Las Cruces (about a third of the way across the state) it dives down into Texas. Thus, we split off to Route 70 when we left Las Cruces, took that to Alomogordo, then took Route 82 the rest of the way to the Texas border.

Aside from stopping for lunch at a swell Mexican Restaurant in Alamogordo for lunch before going to learn all about how the USA learned to blow shit up atomically at White Sands Visitor Center, we stopped at two other places.

First was “The Strange Spot”, a place a few miles off I-10 near Deming where the desert rocks are set up in such a way as to cause multiple echoes and strange sounds from the wind in a sort of maze-like 50 acre area. You ride through it in golf carts and stop every few minutes to yell, then listen, then take pictures. The whole tour takes about 45 minutes and I’m pretty sure that without the small personal cooling units Sasha provided, Avis and Ginie would have melted away. But it was worth the buck fifty each and we did get t-shirts, bumper stickers and other stuff.

The next place was in the town of Artesia, where we came across the “New Mexico Youth Talent Show” being held in a rather large high school gymnasium. Now, at first, we were going to just pass it by, but when Daisy saw the sign saying “Free Admission” and “Everyone under the age of 18 free to perform” she told me to stop, then gathered the other critters and went off to the Meadow Room for a meeting.

About 45 minutes later, after the rest of us had played a couple of rounds of “Love Letter” and “Murder of Crows”, they came and said we needed to take the bus back in time to just before the event started at 10:00 am (it being by then about 2:45). We did so and they went to the Clothes Closet (which is about the size of a large Wal Mart) and came out wearing very nice suits (for Max and Leon) and skirts (for Daisy, Sasha, Silky and Roxie). The clothes were vintage early 60s lounge act looking.

Going into the gym, we noted that there were maybe 50 other acts and about 600 spectators. The critters signed up as the “Smooth Tones” from Taos. We humans got our seats and began a quiet conversation about what the hell was up. We didn’t worry about changing history, but we did wonder if this might cause some sort of temporary local disturbance that might see us making a hasty retreat to the bus.

The Smooth Tones were the fifteenth act on, coming after singers, dancers, magicians, two trained dog acts (one very good) a poetry reading and a couple of young men with excellent juggling skills. As the critters (in their teenage android bodies, I remind you) came out, the stage lights dimmed and they began an slow and loungy a cappella version of “Video Killed The Radio Star”, no doubt spurred by today being the 35th anniversary of the launching of MTV. They were terrific, as you might imagine from sentients with perfect pitch due to android bodies. The crowd, never having heard the song, was dead silent. Spike leaned over to me and asked my odds on this spinning off a new timeline, seeing as it was 5 years before the song would be released in England and 6 years before MTV would debut. I put it at about 85%.

When the song was done (including lead singer Max pointing right at a local TV camera as he sang “Put the blame on VTR!”) the crowd went wild. The critters came up to join us, followed by several young folks and a guy who gave them his card and said he was a talent agent from Dallas.

We watched another two hours of acts, including a young lady who sang a hymn with a voice that indeed sounded like that of an angel. The crowd loved her.

After all 50 acts had done their thing, the entire crowd got to vote. Angel Voice came in First, the Jugglers came in Second and the Smooth Tones came in Third. They won $100.00. They also signed a shitload of autographs, which I reckon raised the new timeline spinoff to 100%. Then we took out leave back to our proper time.

Note: The hundred bucks was donated to a local charity.

Having spun off an alternate timeline where, in a few years folks would say, “Hey, the Buggles ripped off that song!”, we drove the rest of the way to Highway 18, then down to Hobbs, where we are stopped for the night. We have all praised the Smooth Tones, in particular Max, and they will get their favorite meals for dinner, lovingly prepared by ChefBots Alton, Julia & Jacques. The rest of us will be eating Indian fare, also prepared by the ChefBots.

Entertainment tonight will be six half hour episodes of “Doc Savage: The Animated Adventures”, which make up the story arc “Devil Doctor”, featuring Doc vs Fu Manchu.

Tomorrow, it’s Texas and 1986! More blogging soon.

Jollyfish

…MUCH happier than Jellyfish

It is that time of year again, folks…

DogCon 9

Day Zero: In which I once again set things up for the actual con report.

Greetings once again from the Magic Bus, currently parked in the driveway of the D&G Cross Home For Not At All Normal Basset Hounds. It is just past 10:30 at night and with the exception of myself and Sasha (Sasha: Had to pee, then eat a snack.), everyone else is asleep after a busy day of hanging out at the Meadow Room, Slide Room, Warehouse, Living Room and then eating too much barbecue for dinner.

Our con going contingent this year consists of myself, Grace, The Girls (Silky, Sasha & Daisy), our friend Avis (the original, this year. Her double from Earth 2 will be staying at her house running errands and reading books) and her cat Leon, our friend Ginie and her cat Roxy & Spike & Mary Jones. We will meet up with other old friends when we get to the con.

Our route this year is, from a driving standpoint, pretty straightforward: head south until we almost reach Mexico, then hang a left and head to central Texas. On the other hand, from a temporal standpoint, the route gets much stranger. Just as we leave home, we will time travel to 1954 (the year of my, Avis and Ginie’s birth) and do our first day’s driving then. The second day, we’ll be in 1968. Third day, 1975. Fourth and final day, 1986. On Monday morning, when we awaken about 45 minutes outside Critter City, we’ll be back in 2016. I’m quite sure everything will go smoothly.

(Sasha: Ha! We can’t change the past, but I reckon we’ll be spinning off alternate realities the way a cat sheds fur.)

Anyway, Sasha and I are heading off to bed, so I’ll continue this report tomorrow. Tune in then!

Spanking The Monk

…WAY different than spanking the monkey

The Doclopedia # 1,237

The Crazy Game: Variation #300

Number of players: 6 to 21

Uniforms: Necktie (bow ties are okay), human ladies undies

Playing field: Any 3 average suburban front yards, without fancy landscaping.

Minimum equipment: 33 old unmatched socks, 1 empty (but clean) soup can, 5 sticks of varying length, a golf ball, a rawhide chew toy that isn’t too messed up and a dead squirrel.

The Rules:

1: Each team gets an equal number of socks, with any extra sock being placed in the center of the middle yard. Once play starts, teams can steal other teams socks for valuable Sock Points (2 points per sock), except if it is really cloudy, in which case you only get Sock Points for the socks you have when the game ends.

2: The game will last 1 hour, 11 minutes.

3: Anybody who drops the golf ball into the soup can is then the Coolest Player and gets 25 points for their team, except on weekends, when they get 34 points but must do a little dance first.

4: Bodyslamming is okay, as it nudging, headbutting and scrowfing (for dogs).

5: You get 5 points for carrying the rawhide chew toy from Yard 1 to Yard 3.

6: 10 points will be awarded to any player that leaps over the dead squirrel but does not stop to sniff it or roll in it. Peeing on it loses your team 47 points!

7: No flopping is allowed in this game.

8: Stealing all the sticks from the Stick Zone is worth 10 points, even in the rain.

9: The Referee will create 2 Secret Zones that deduct 1 point for each critter in them.