The Rare And Beautiful Red Spotted Toad Eater Of Potawango Island

…they eat toads

 

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CritterCon 10

Day Eleven, Con Day Four


Quick recap again, folks, because we are zipping down the interstate at roughly 175 miles per hour, avoiding both accidents and cops due to very small outside size (a Smart Car), a cloaking device, off road capability and ultra tech computer navigation. And we are all sitting around chatting.

After breakfast at Mistress Diana’s Dungeon Diner, I ran my last Toon game (The House That Jerks Built), then ran one of four final battles in the 24/7 D&D game, went to lunch at the recently opened Killerburger and then met Grace and the Fabulous four to have one last go ’round of the Dealer’s room.

After buying a few things, I left to be on the “We Loves It/We Hates It” panel. As always, it was equal parts geek hate and geek love. No sooner was it over than I ran down the hall to hear what had been decided after reviewing last year’s big questionnaire.

Unsurprisingly, the #1 request was taken care of this year: Not being on the same days as GenCon. We were told that next year, the con will be two weeks before GenCon.

Other requests were not so major: more activities for kids, expansion of the waterpark, earlier starts to some of the big parties, try to get a couple more donut shops, etc.

One big request that they are still mulling over is to add a movie room next to the anime room and to have not just Old Time Radio, but CritterCon exclusive television shows. We’ll know how this shakes out sometime in October.

Once that was over, our band of merry pranksters just hung out and chatted with the great number of other folks waiting the last few minutes of the con out, then the 30 minute gap until the Post Con Cool Down/Pie Feed.

Stuffed with several types of delicious pie, we left the con and Critter City about 7:15. At our current rate of speed, we will be in Baltimore to drop off Spike and Mary in the early morning, then in New Hampshire to drop off Avis, Ginie and the cats a few hours later. From there, we’ll go airborne and kick the bus up to about Mach 4 to get Gabriel home in Los Angeles. After that, out little family will be home about 30 minutes later.

All told, this was the usual swell fictional convention and trip. I know I could have written more, but I’m not the young 53 year old I was when we went to DogCon 1.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with us again this year.

 


CritterCon 10

is over.


But we will all be back next year for…

CritterCon 11

And The Beef Goes On

…wait, wrong lyrics

 

OOPS! Forgot to post this last night. I blame the partying.

CritterCon 10

Day Ten, Con Day Three


My day so far…

1: Woke up…no hangover…ate breakfast at Pancakeville.

2: 9 am panel on Pulp Games with 5 other folks, one of whom was Brian Misiaszek…went very well, lots of good questions.

3: Went for our annual spa session at Spa La La…soaked in hot mud, then washed off and got a great massage…might have fallen asleep and drooled during massage.

4: Lunch at Pizza My Heart, which has a killer lunch buffet now.

5: Ran my second 3 hour Toon game (The Perilous Predicament of Petey Penguin) for 10 players…Everybody had big fun, including the wife who played Psycho Petey and her husband who played Sweetie Petey and their 12 year old daughter who played Neaty Petey.

6: Just finished a 90 minute session of running the 24/7 D&D game. Spike took over from me…all the players during my time were human females, female dogs and a female goat…they kicked ass on a Goblin horde.

7: Next up is a seminar on What’s New In Gaming, then a quick dinner, then putting on two Old Time Radio shows back to back: The Adventures of Doc Mystery and Life With Bucky & Squint.

8: Starting at 9:00 is the Bigass Party, which features 5 bands, an open bar and geekery as far as the eye can see.

More bloggage tomorrow.

Make Big Money Printing Big Money!

…you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before

 

CritterCon 10

Day Seven, Con Day Zero

I have to make today’s entry fast & dirty, so here are some of today’s highlights.

1: We stopped the Bus at a beef jerky factory. Very fun and they gave out free samples. The Fearless Four did not want to leave.

2: Avis took Ginie into the Library and the two of them got to walking and looking at books and ended up a two miles from the entrance. Fortunately, the Librarian summoned the trolley car for them to ride back.

3: We arrived at Critter City about 10:30 in the morning and checked into the hotel. The critters are all back in their regular bodies and the hotel staff was delighted to see them.

4: We picked up our con books, swag and badges, then went to Ed’s Big Weenie for lunch. The con book looks like a early 1960’s Montgomery Ward’s Christmas Catalog. Pretty cool.

5: Con swag this year includes: a really snazzy black t-shirt with a parody of the movie poster for Big Trouble In Little China, but with humans and critters instead.

A real silver 10th anniversary commemorative coin.

A d6 with cats, dogs, parrots, bunnies, pigs and goats in place of the pips.

A card game called “CritterCon: The Card Game. Several of us (Me, Spike, Sasha, Daisy, Max) are on cards.

A mini board game called “Save Critter City”.

Coupons for discounts on all sorts of stuff.

A small box of edible goodies.

6: We saw many folks who came here this year due to it being a week ahead of GenCon. Quite a few of them will be joining us for dinner at Mistress Diana’s Dungeon Diner, which has been redecorated and expanded in size.

7: Saw a new Cajun restaurant had opened. The name? Stand Bayou.

8: Got advanced notice that this year’s Friday night party is “Drag’n Age”, and that means everybody attending has to be dressed in drag to get in. I’m glad the Wardrobe Room on the bus has plus sized dresses. I will not, however, be wearing high heels.

Well, folks, we humans are about to head out to the aforementioned dinner and then to the Ice Cream Social/Bourbonfest. The Critters are all going to dinner at an NHT only place, then will head to the social. I hope I see some of you at the con tomorrow.

More bloggage soon.

Destination Sign When We Started: Jungleland
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Discworld

QM Radio Station: KRTR FM, Critter City, Texas

Chapter 200: In Which Our Hero, Washed Up On The Shores Of An Island, Begins A Friendship With An Ape

…rum might have been involved

 

CritterCon 10

Day Five

We spent last night in Yuma, Arizona and the Bus left town at 7 this morning. We all were up by 8 and had a terrific breakfast of waffles and assorted meats.

(Silky: Folks, if you ever get a chance to eat a breakfast prepared by an android version of Julia Child, I suggest you take it.)

(Luke: Oh man, those sausages were delicious.)

(Leon: I needed a nap after that breakfast.)

(Sasha: You’re a cat. You need a nap after a long fart.)

Our only stops today were not terrible long or impressive. Giants of the Desert, located just south of Tombstone, turned out to be big clay and sandstone sculptures made to look like they had been made thousands of years ago by some “lost tribe” of Native Americans. In fact, they were made in the early 1920s by some guy that would bring folks out to see them, then con them out of money for either “research” or to find some lost treasure. The tour took 20 minutes, the cost was $3.00 each and the gift shop was okay.

(Sasha: I considered telling one of the folks running the place that the biggest statue was covering up a crashed Yonarian space probe, but then I thought better of it. That probe has been there 900 years. Another couple of centuries won’t hurt it.)


The Junk House, near Douglas, was considerably more interesting. This is a large old house, about half of which is home to all sorts of stuff that Herman and Delores Arthur have found in the desert over the last 60 years. Everything here has a story, from the rubber baby doll that the found way the hell up a mountain, to the gold tooth that they found imbedded in an old fence post way up near Flagstaff. To be honest, most of the stories get kind of repetitive, but there are enough interesting or funny ones to make it well worth your $2.50 admission price.

(Daisy: The story about finding those old booze bottles after getting chased by an angry raccoon was pretty hilarious.)

(Max: “Ever time we’d think we outrun him, here’d come that goddamn raccoon!” Hahaha!)


We stopped near the Arizona/New Mexico border for a short walk in the desert. And by “we” I mean me, Spike, Gabriel and the critters. It was 114 degrees out. And by “short walk”, I mean about 500 feet and maybe 15 minutes. We didn’t see any wildlife.

(Roxy: That’s because all the wildlife was too smart to go walking around in the 114 degree heat!)

(Silky: Thank goodness for our android bodies.)

We ate lunch on the bus as we headed for I-10, then we played a few boardgames (Terraforming Mars, Kill Doctor Lucky) and the critters, now back in their own bodies, frolicked in the Shoe Room and Meadow Room.

When we got to Las Cruces, we stopped for the night and had some great Southwest chow for dinner, then had another movie night. Tonight’s double feature was “The Shadow in San Francisco” (Earth 1-C, 1940) and “The Shadow Knows” (Earth 1-C, 1942). Both were very good.

I’m about to go have a beer with Gabriel and show him the Warehouse Room. After that, it’s bedtime. Tomorrow we cross New Mexico and half of Texas to end up near Critter City and the con.

Destination Sign When We Started: Oz
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Sin City

QM Radio Station: All Surf Music!

Mr. Porkwaffle Tries To Climb A Tree

…with very humorous results

 

CritterCon 10

Day Two

So last night, after watching two movies from Earth 1-D (Fall of a Jedi Knight: A Star Wars Story and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar), most of us sat around talking until just after one in the morning. This explains why we all slept in until about 8 this morning and didn’t finish breakfast until 10.

(Silky: I crashed about 11:30. I’m getting too old for staying up late.)

(Sasha: I had to go check on some experiments and damned if I didn’t fall asleep in the lab.)

We had been north of Santa Cruz and only had to drive about three miles to the Hippie Museum, which, while not advertised as World Famous, damn well should be. Also, there is no force on Earth that could have kept Spike and Mary out of there.

(Daisy: I can’t think of a better roadside attraction for Auntie Mary & Uncle Spike. Or Silky and Daddy, for that matter.)


The entry fee to this hippie owned and operated establishment is either whatever cash you want to donate or canned food for the local food bank. Since our pantry is roughly the size of a WalMart, we donated a literal ton of food. Not only did this get us into the museum, it got us free t-shirts, free bumper stickers and hugs from the staff.

(Roxy: I thought those people were gonna poop!)

(Leon: They offered Uncle Doc & Uncle Spike some weed, too.)

The museum is chock full of photos, film, videos, writings, posters, clothing and other memorabilia of the late 60s to mid 70s. It was a real blast from the past, even for our younger members.

(Max: Man, I thought humans dressed strangely nowadays, but that’s nothing compared to the hippie attire.)

We spent over two hours there, and liked it so much we gave them another ton of food and bought a bunch more t-shirts and 9 bandanas.

(Leon: One of the ladies tried to give Uncle Doc a plate full of brownies, but he begged off citing a mass diet.)

Santa Cruz being what it is, our next stop was a mere mile away and the Human Roadside Zoo. Part theater, part fundraiser, this is another place that asks only for donations. When we got out of the bus, we saw several right wing groups protesting the place, so we knew we were going to like it, being a big old bus load of liberals. Confrontation was inevitable, I suppose.

(Daisy: Oh, Daddy, you live for shit like this.)

It seems the righties didn’t like how some of their ilk were being portrayed inside. They also didn’t like the big security guards inside, so that’s why the 15 or so of them were out on the sidewalk.

(Silky: So much for the courage of their convictions.)
(Leon: I’d say most of them had convictions for DUI.)

One dickhead in a MAGA hat and NRA t-shirt tried to stand in Grace’s way. This did not sit well with Daisy and when they guy started yelling at Grace about “UnAmerican Liberals”, Daisy told him to shut the fuck up and get out of the way. He turned toward her and poked her in the chest with his finger. He managed to get the words “Listen, little girl” out before 5’2” Daisy jumped up and kicked him square in the face, stretching him out on the pavement. Some woman, probably his wife, came at Daisy from behind and got an elbow in her plentiful stomach before getting slapped about 6 times.

(Roxy: Daisy is my hero!)

(Daisy: Do NOT mess with me or my family.)

Some young guy in neo-nazi attire looked like he might be going for a gun, so I sorta punched him in the throat. Twice. Turns out he was just going for a cell phone, probably to record the nasty old antifa hippies. My bad. I tossed his phone under the tire of a truck driving by.

(Sasha: You just know Daddy wanted to curbstomp that asshole, but the cops were coming.)

To avoid explaining things to the cops, Sasha neuralized the righties to start fighting each other. I reckon all of them got arrested.

(Sasha: Yeah, and I had every one of them assault a cop, too, for extra charges.)


The Human Zoo itself was interesting, with all of the stereotypes represented. You could see how the Trumpistas would have not liked many of them. We donated $50.00 as we were leaving. Outside, all the cops & protesters were gone.

By now it was after 1:30, so we all chowed down at a hotdog place, then wandered around downtown Santa Cruz for about an hour. Around 3:30, we got on the bus and drove about 10 miles to the Giant Jesus of The Coast.

(Luke: Dad was so excited!)

(Silky: Auntie Mary was pretty excited, too. I think Dad has got her hooked on Giant Jesuses.)

On the D. Cross Giant Jesus Rating Scale, this one rated as follows.

Size: 3 It was about 80 feet tall.

Climbability: 3, since you could only go up an outside stairway to a small deck encircling his waist.

Appearance: 8 Very lifelike looking, but with a bit of paint chipping due to the salt air.

Pose: 5 Pretty much your standard arms outspread to embrace the faithful pose

(Luke: I think Dad would faint if he found a Giant Jesus playing air guitar.)

Religiosity: 10 There was a small bible store at the base and about a dozen religious folks milling about there and up on the deck, ready to save souls.

All told, not a bad Giant Jesus, but not the best by along shot.

(Max: But he still took 35 pictures of it.)

It now being near 5 pm, we decided to take the bus to a campground down by Castroville, where we had a fine dinner prepared by Julia, then rested a bit before going to the Slide Room and trying out the new Slide Racing option. It was big fun, but after about an hour, everyone was pretty much tuckered out.

(Daisy: You’d be surprised how tied you get sliding around on your ass in the water at speeds up to 75 mph.)

So now it’s 11:00 and I’m heading to bed. More trip reportage tomorrow.

 

Destination Sign When We Started: Westeros
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Toad Hall

QM Radio Station: Alt. Country Meets Alt. Rock

The Mystery Of The Five Golden Frogs

… featuring that inscrutable detective, Chanley Charles

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Day For Geeking Out

As I post this, Roscoe, Ben and I are on the train to San Francisco for QuestCon. Once we hit the City, we’ll meet up with our friend Spike, with whom we’ll be sharing a suite. Gigi, Lily & Grace will drop into the virtual con later today and many of my East Coast & Midwest friends are at the live con in Chicago. Many more friends are at live QuestCons around the world. Many more will be at the virtual con.

As with previous years, both Roscoe and I will be on live panels that will be carried on the net as they happen. In addition, Roscoe will be giving the keynote speech at the Quest Designer’s Conference. That’s my son right there!

Spike, who is relatively new to the design side of QuestWorld, will be on a couple of panels, too.

Our panels, speeches, etc are as follows…

Roscoe: Keynote speech, “Tips & Tricks for WorldMaker 5”, “My Favorite Quest”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “Quests For Non-Humanoids”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design” and the ever popular “QuestWorld Year In Review”

Me: “Pulp Era Quest Design”, “…And That’s When It All Went South On Us”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Spike: “Print Editors Turn QuestWorld Troubleshooters”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Speaking of the just barely announced third upgrade of QuestWorld, it’s due in about 6 months. Roscoe has been asked to be on the design team, but beyond that, it’s non-disclosure city. The hot rumor about QW3 (as of a day ago) is that it will allow for longer and more complex quests in larger areas. That seems pretty logical. The rumor of single world quest clusters is more of a maybe.

I’ll post more from the con later.

You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tune A Matamata Turtle

…you thought I’d say “tuna fish”, right?

The Doclopedia #730

What’s That Sound?: Squeee…squeee…squeee…squeee…KLONK!

This is, of course, the sound of one of the new Clockwork Executioners limbering up, then administering the blow that severs head from body. Invented in Bavaria by the possibly mad, but undeniably brilliant, clocksmith Rudolf Gortmann around 1730, these Executioners proved to be very popular. They require no pay, last at least a couple of lifetimes and never miss the mark.

.

.

The Doclopedia #731

What’s That Sound?: Chuggachuggachuggachugga…beedeloopbeedeloopbeeddleee

Well, sir, that there is the sound of the TransMartian Express chugging along and emitting a sonic warning to any Sand Cows that might get too near the track. Doesn’t happen too often nowadays, but when I was a kid and the line was new, they’d hit one of those squishy bugs every few miles. Didn’t hurt the train, but Holy Moley, what a stink! Didn’t look too good having your shiny new locomotive all covered in guts, either. But then they figured out the right sounds to send out and the problem pretty much went away.

.

.

.

DogCon 5, Con Day 4

Recap of the rest of Saturday: The radio show went very well indeed and I’ve heard that the writers might film the episode later this year so they can show it next year.

The street party was a blast and a half, with lots of free beer and at least 5 bands. Several of us did a sort of rolling nosh from one restaurant to another while checking the party out. I think I ate at least 6 different cuisines. I know I didn’t hit the bed until about 2:30 AM.

Sunday: I did two seminars, one of which was the ever popular “I Hate…” bitchfest. The other was the Con sponsored “Tell us how to improve the con” deal. Surprisingly little got said there, because the con is so damned good to begin with.

The rest of the day was spent saying goodbye to folks and buying games. We bought many games, including several new games designed just for pets. I have no idea how you play them, butthey seem to like them.

Once the con was over, we went to the Post Con Pie Party and, as always, ate way too much delicious pie. I had a pineapple cream pie that was just crazy good. Later, I had some blueberry pie just to clear my palate…for a big slice of coconut cream pie!

Filled with pie, we all climbed on the bus and left Critter City, another DogCon in the history books.

Now: We started out of town with the plan to do a spatial jump to Maryland to drop off the Joneses, followed by jumps to Canada and Washington state to drop of the Mystery family and Sharon the World’s Greatest Petsitter, respectively. Once we were about 30 miles out from Critter City and in the middle of nowhere, I fired up the spatial gizmo and

next thing ya know, we’re in Maryland. After that, things went according to plan and everyone got home safe & sound.

 

Grace, Avis and I decided to drive back to Sacramento from Washington, which was fun. I just put the bus onto Interstate 5 and had Data drive and we watched movies and ate and played games most of the way. Avis popped back to her universe just as we got to Redding, but our Avis called to thank us for a wonderful time. That dual memory stuff must be kinda freaky.

 

So, we’ll be home in a couple of hours and I’ll write the final entry then. Right now, I’m getting a nap in.

 

More bloggage later.