Simple Salamanders

…great starter amphibians

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CritterCon 10

Day Eight, Con Day One

Quick recap of last night: Dungeon Diner for dinner. Great food, spanky leather ambiance, about 40 people in our group.

The ice cream social was great. Delicious ice cream, plenty of folks there. Then those damned Texans brought out about 50 kinds of bourbon and next thing you know I’m being tucked into bed at 1:30 in the morning by Grace & Silky.

Okay, on to today’s action packed schedule.

Breakfast: I skipped it to sleep in an extra 45 minutes before heading off to the Dealer’s Room. Later, just before my Toon game, I ate a large carne asada breakfast burrito.

Games: Hoo boy! Ran a Toon game (A Foogleproof Plan) for 8 people, played in a game of GURPS Reign of Steel, ran a very short (20 minutes) portion of the D&D 5E game that is running 24/7 during the con and played a game of Pirate Fluxx.

Lunch: Same taco truck. Fish tacos.

Seminars: Participated in the Building A Village seminar. Ended up with a pretty good village.

Dinner: Meatloaf at Chez Mom’s with a bunch of folks.

The Drag’n Age Party: While there were indeed several men who looked good in drag, the vast majority of us did not. Maybe it was all the facial/body hair. On the other hand, almost all of the women present looked good in drag, be they wearing tuxedos or workingman clothes.

In all other ways, the party was great. The band played covers of music from the 50’s through the 2000’s. And yes, they were in drag too. The party ended at 2 am. I was back in the room asleep by 2:15.

CritterCon 10

Day Nine, Con Day Two


It was a LARPy day for most of us. All the critters, plus Grace, Mary, Avis, Ginie & I were in the Star Trek LARP. Max & I played Klingons, Sasha and our friend Brian Misiaszek played Romulans and in the end the Klingon Empire gained control of the planet we were all fighting over. Qap maH!

After that LARP ended, Daisy, Max & Roxy headed off to a Critters Only D&D LARP, Avis & Ginie went to play in a steampunk LARP, everbody else ran off to play other games and I went to join Spike in the “Forgotten Games” panel.

After that panel, we grabbed lunch at Waffles From Outer Space! (BACON AND BUTTER FLAVORED SYRUP, Y’ALL!), then went to our next seminar, “Yes, Tell Us About Your Character…In Three Minutes”. Some folks had great characters to talk about, but many others made us glad for the three minute limit.

At that point, Spike and I parted ways and I was off to a “Dads & Daughters” game of Mutants & Masterminds with Silky. The plot of the game had father & daughter super heroes trying to stop Captain Calamity and his daughter Miss Chaotic from taking over Bigge City. It was a hell of a knock down/drag out fight with some hilarious moments.

My character was a speedster named Warpspeed and Silky was my daughter, Tsunami. She got her name because beside having my speed, she had inherited the ability to control water from her mother. She would basically run fast at her target while pushing a couple thousand gallons of water in front of her.

There were ten players in the game and the only other Human/NHT pair was a fellow from Tulsa and his four year old pit/coonhound mix, Belle.

Around then, it was dinner time and we all gathered with many of our friends to eat at Thai One On. Much Thai curry was consumed.

There was no one big party tonight, but there were about two dozen smaller ones, so several of us made the rounds. By about one in the morning, we were all back in our rooms.

Tomorrow’s high points wil be our annual Mud Spa Day and, later on, our annual Old Time Radio broadcast.

More blogging later.

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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

Under The Onion Tree

…and other stories

 

 

CritterCon 10

Day Three

Having planned this trip out carefully, I decided that between Castroville and Santa Barbara, there were no roadside attractions worth stopping at, or, if there were, they were ones we had already been to. With that in mind, the Bus started heading down the highway about 3 in the morning so that when we all woke up at 7, we were not only in the Santa Barbara area, but in the parking lot of Lugo Makes Breakfast!, a very tasty place to eat.

I had eaten here before, so I knew the drill, but did not fill anyone in when we all filed inside at 8:00. See, Lugo only makes one kind of breakfast: bacon, eggs, hash browns, a biscuit and whatever you choose to drink, as long as you drink coffee, tea, milk or water. There is no menu and all you get to choose is how your two eggs are cooked. That’s it, baby. $7.00 a pop and if you dawdle over brekky, the waitresses start saying rude things about you. So we ate and got the hell out.

(Silky: Dad neglected to say that you get four slices of bacon, the hash browns are seasoned wonderfully and that big ass biscuit is fluffy and delicious.)

Our only other stop in Santa Barbara was the Bird House, which is a pretty standard 1960’s ranch style home set smack in the middle of an aviary the size of a football field. Said aviary is home to 97 species of birds, from tiny wrens to ostriches. The tour takes about 45 minutes and costs $5.00. Many of the birds are not afraid of humans and will land right on you.

(Roxy: That’s cool when the bird is a little finch, but alarming when the bird is a hyacinth macaw.)

(Leon: AUGH! My cat instincts were at odds with being in a humanoid body.)

Upon leaving the Bird House, we all relaxed on the bus as we made our way to San Diego. Gabriel and I got to doing a comedy bit where he played Rocco, a Chicago mobster, and I played Maxie, his dim bulb of a right hand man. It was mostly Rocco asking about how the latest plan went and Maxie telling how he and the boys screwed it up. An example…

Rocco: So, Maxie, I told ya to go corner the market on D&D. How’d it go?

Maxie: Oh, boss, the first night was so tiring. My feet hurt from all that dancing.

Rocco: Dancing? What the hell?

Maxie: Yeah, D&D, Dames & Dancing. Them gals was cute, though. This one blonde…

Rocco: MAXIE! D&D is not about dames and dancing! It’s…

Maxie: Oh, we figured it out, boss. It was Ducks & Drinking. Lemme tell ya, them ducks cannot hold their liquor.

And so on. We had everybody laughing.

Around 11:30, down in Los Angeles, we stopped at our next attraction, the World Famous Murder Mansion. I mean, who wouldn’t want to tour a seaside mansion that has been the site of 14 murders, starting in 1924 with the last one in 1998?

This place is huge and sits on 10 acres of land. After you pay your twenty bucks per person, you enter the mansion and see the scene of the first murder, where silent movie actress Dondra Durban shot her cheating husband and his mistress six times each (she reloaded her revolver, drank a bottle of wine and shot them again).

(Silky: She was plenty pissed off.)
(
Daisy: Ya think?)

From there, you go to…

The 1930 mob hit on Frankie “Box Office” Tanetelli in the front driveway. No convictions on this one.

The 1941 unsolved decapitations of the twin Onslow brothers in their separate bedrooms.

The 1947 murder by strangulation of actress Jenny Robbins, committed by her ex manager in the pool house.

(Silky: I remember hearing about this one on the radio.)


The 1959 triple homicide (shooting, stabbing & beating) in the dining room of Mr & Mrs Waldefski by their business partner, Ed Niddle, who was the one shot by the dying Mrs Waldefski.

(Leon: That was one hell of a business disagreement.)

The 1970 poisoning of record producer Buddy Leaper and his girlfriend. They ate poisoned cookies in the master bathroom while bathing. Girlfriend’s mother was convicted.

The 1979 death by bomb in the car of B movie director Sam Sterling. Bomb planted by his ex-lover, B movie star Trent Nash.

(Daisy: Hey, he made “Teenage Lizard Girls From Outer Space”!)
(
Max: And “Surf Of Death”. That one with the deadly kelp!)


The 1988 dismemberment and partial cannibalization of Richard Milligan, a gardener, by his employer, millionaire Alex Rader. The bodies of 11 other people were found at Rader’s ranch near Santa Maria.

(Roxy: EWWWWWW!)


And finally, the 1998 murder of Mr. Harry Culbertson by his wife. In the Kitchen. With a Frying Pan. On a Saturday. Because he was an Insufferable Asshole.

(Silky: She died on Death Row in 2009.)

The whole tour takes over 90 minutes and yes, folks, they do have a gift shop. Oddly, when we got back on the Bus, several folks didn’t want to eat.

We rolled into San Diego at 5:00 and rested up before dinner. After dinner, we played two sessions of D&D 5th edition. I ran one game and Daisy ran the other at the same time. Everyone had fun.

(Daisy: Daddy ran them through a dungeon and I ran my group through the Forest of the Doomed. It was pretty fun to scare the crap out of them with Ghost Trolls, Night Slimes and Fungus Orcs.)


It’s time for bed now. Tomorrow, we’re off across the desert, with one of our stops being

Destination Sign When We Started: Lair of the White Worm
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Townsville

QM Radio Station: Dog Punk 101

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 Heartpounding Adventures Of Doctor Tempest And The Steam Devil

…from the January, 1887 issue

DogCon 3: Day 2, Part 1

Ok, here is my day so far…

Breakfast was at “Waffles From Outer Space”. Once again: BACON & BUTTER SYRUP!

10:00 – 11:00: Seminar (panel): “Son Of Ask A GM Anything”
This was the return of the infamous seminar from last year in which our then pregnant with twins moderator got the rest of us to sing Bohemian Rhapsody. This year, we had a packed house and answered many great and sometimes strange questions, about half of which actually pertained to gaming/RPGs. Unsurprisingly, our moderator again brought her karaoke machine. This time, the whole bunch of us sang The Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite from Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’m told that you could hear that final “Let’s do the time warp again” on the other side of the convention center.

11:00 – 12:00: Cam Slave Booth visiting friends at GenCon
Ok, so I’m known for using some hyperbole from time to time, but…but…THIS WAS THE MOST AWESOME EXPERIENCE SINCE THE INVENTION OF THE ORGASM! Holy shit, I mean, I’m seeing GenCon and talking with my friends from New Hampshire and strolling the dealer’s room and meeting folks I know at booths and…WOW! Worth every penny I spent on it.

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch
Was at a hot dog joint called “Dogville”. My chili dogs were so good, I almost wept.

Now it’s off to get the muddy spa treatment with Grace, The Girls and about 10 friends.

Giant Sized Pancakes

…for giant sized appetites

DogCon 1, Day 1

It’s midnight and I’m a wee bit tipsy. Or maybe drunk. Whatever. Anyway, I’m typing this from the bigass bar on top of the Hyatt, which has free inter-fuckin’-net access. And Guinness on tap at a very reasonable price.

So, here is my day by the numbers.

1:Ran my Over The Edge game “Young Cut Ups In Love” for 8 players, only 3 of whom had ever played OTE. Still, everyone got into it and love flourished (after some wanton destruction of private property, an illicit drug buy, a couple of fist fights and no less than four kidnappings) in Al Amarja by the time we were done.

2: The seminar I attended was titled “So you think you can be a GM?” and was actually pretty damned funny. See, the guys on the panel chose some newbie/wannabe gamemaster from the audience, then hit them with all of the sort of goofball stuff that players are forever doing to GM’s. My fave was the one about “well, it says on page 231 of the second edition guide to troll archers that an arrow CAN go through an inch of iron if you roll a critical hit and you have a Ring of Hitting Shit”.

3: Arriving back at the hotel (about 20 minutes late, due to getting drawn into a conversation about D&D back in the day), I found Grace and both dogs asleep on the bed and Sharon konked out in a chair. I woke up Grace and gave The Girls bellyrubs while she got ready to go to dinner. We then went to dinner at an excellent little Vietnamese place. We were joined by about 14 other people and the good times did roll. Also, we ate a whole bunch.

4: After our ride on the Food Coma Express, Grace went off to play lifesize Kill Doctor Lucky and I went to open gaming where doc_mystery was going to run a Pulp Era game. And boy howdy, was it fun! The plot was part murder mystery, part occult investigation and part globe trotting adventure. As in Montreal to Arizona to the Yukon to Shanghai and back to Montreal on a gigantic airship. Which kinda crashed once due to a certain crusading reporter trying to get the goods on a certain undercover G-man. There were thrills, spills, deathtraps and more than a few laughs. A great game.

5: Several of us went to the big bar after the game, where we are as I write this. Tomorrow promises new gaming fun, a trip to a dog/owner spa and, unless I’m very lucky, a hangover. Yes, definitely a hangover, since delazan just bought me another pint of Guinness. Lovely lass, she.