The Rare And Beautiful Red Spotted Toad Eater Of Potawango Island

…they eat toads

 

Patreon Backer Shoutout!

Carol Robinson, Mark A Schmidt, Loyd Blankenship and Derek Pearcy have all backed this blog. Thank you all!

If YOU would like to back me on this blog, just go here…

Support this blog on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

 

 

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

Advertisements

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.

Gnome Or Mister Nice Guy

…see what I did there?

 

Dog Con 7

Day 11: In which we hike in a rain forest, view an interesting collection, see the coolest Giant Jesus yet and have a birthday party.

11:30 pm

We went up to the island of Kauai today and took just a hell of a hike up the Grand Canyon of the Pacific into the rain forest that happens to be the most rainy place on Earth. Almost no rain fell on us. It was crazy humid and very warm.

(Flash: Holy crap, it was hot! I felt like I was drowning.)

Daisy: Auntie Avy said much the same thing.)

(Jazz: Try having long fur in that heat!)

The hike was fun, but tiring and slow because some in our merry band are not as young and slim as we once were. Still, the frequent stops to breath and/or have mild heart attacks did allow us to see many beautiful tropical plants and birds. At the spot where we ended our hike, there was a cool and refreshing pool in the stream that we all took a dip in.

(Leon: I’m not much for swimming, but that pool was great!)

(Flash: Damn right! I dove right in that sucker.)

(Sasha: Me too! It was nice in there.)

(Sliky: Unfortunately, we couldn’t get fully dry until we were back on the bus.)

(Sadie: Yeah, that kinda sucked.)

The hike downhill was much faster and easier, if no cooler than the hike up was. Once we were back at the bus, there was eating and resting to be done, along with cool drinks and the blessed air conditioning.

(Roxy: Oh yeah, air conditioning for the win!)

Once we were all revived, we went to see “Mister Hokana’s Flotsam & Jetsam Collection”. The venerable and very funny Mr. Hokana started this crazy collection of stuff he has found on Hawaiian beaches when he happened upon a stretch of beach covered in frisbees one day. Later, he found a beach covered with sneakers. From there on, he began taking an example from each bunch of stuff he found washed up after cargo containers were lost at sea. He’s got 24,000+ items by now, which he stores and shows off in an old coconut packing shed. His strangest item is a 12 foot tall wooden rooster that was supposed to go to a fried chicken joint in Oregon.

(Sasha: Man, he had tons of cool stuff in there!)

(Sadie: And it all smelled strange.)

He only charges a buck to tour the place and it’s worth ten times that just to hear an 80 year old Japanese Hawaiian guy crack jokes about the stuff in his collection. We bought t-shirts, fridge magnets and bumper stickers that said “I saw Mister Hokana’s Giant Cock on Kauai”.

(Flash: Heeheehee!)

From there, we went to Maui to see the “World Famous Giant Jesus Of The Pacific”, which was totally cool because…

A: He was 100 feet tall

B: You could take an elevator to the top of him
C: He was depicted as being Hawaiian

D: There was Hawaiian music blasting from him.

(Daisy: This guy Jesus must have been on tv or something.)

(Roxy: Must have been during the 1960’s, because he’s obviously a hippie.)

The view from his head was great and there was a 7 foot tall version of him you could pose with for pictures. I put one of my bandanas on his head when I posed with him.

(Flash: Us cats all climber up on top of him for our pics.)

(Daisy: We dogs posed like we were sniffing his butt or crotch. Hahaha.)

Our day ended with a big birthday party for Grace. We had fresh fish for dinner, then cake and ice cream, then games and more games. The critters all sang her a birthday song that Daisy wrote to the tune of “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” by Meatloaf.

(Silky: Daisy did a good job on that song.)


And now I’m gonna walk all the critters before bed. Tomorrow we’ll be back in California and heading to Texas while having the bachelor/bachelorette parties.

(Sasha: Tomorrow, those parties are going to be SO hella cool!)

Destination Sign when we started: Ringworld


Destination Sign when we stopped: Skull Island

Music: Country & Western Music from 1935-1960

Deep In The Lonely Nights, He Remembered The Dancing Elks

…and then he would smile and take another drink.

 

Day 7 (Con Day 3): In which we eat a big breakfast, do some shopping, then hit the spa before getting back to gaming and Old Time Radio.

We all got together and ate a big breakfast at the aptly named “Big Breakfast”. It was great, but we all agreed we needed to walk off the calories, so we decided to hit some shops.

(Sasha: I may have added a couple of pounds at breakfast.)

(Flash: Me too.)

Sasha: Dude, you only weigh 6 pounds to start with. Two more pounds and you’d be a furry bowling ball.)

(Abby: You should have eaten fruit, Flash. Much less fattening.)

(Sasha: Not the way you chow down on it.)

(Abby: Hush, puppy.)

(Lucy: Mmmm…hushpuppies.)

Among the shops we visited were book stores, a magic shop, a hat shop, an art gallery that features paintings & sculptures of pets and a t-shirt shop.

After we had walked around for a couple of hours, it was everybody off to the People & Pooches Spa (which does all pets, not just dogs. While we humans soaked in hot mineral mud before having massages, the critters were washed up and made pretty.

(Flash: Once again, I was washed in soapy water, then assaulted with a blow dryer, then massaged. I was mortified. Well, ok, the massage was nice.)

(Leon: Thanks for warning me, Flash. I just gave up trying to fight when that big mofo named Gary stuck me in the water. It was…degrading. Except for the massage.)

(Sadie: HA! Both of you mouse-eaters fell asleep during your massages. You were purring like kittens.)

(Lucy: I love going to the spa. They were very gentle with me and I felt better than I have in weeks.)

(Bea: Me too, Lucy. They cleaned up Abby & I and even polished our hooves!)

(Abby: I think this ribbon sets off my eyes.)

(Sasha: I needed a good bath, to get the smell of…stuff off of my fur.)

(Sadie: Yeah, same here.)

A couple of hours later, clean, relaxed and smelling all fragrant, everybody headed off for games or amusement parks or whatever. Spike & I mostly toured the Dealer’s Room again.

At 2:00 pm, most of us got together for a run through of this year’s Old Time Radio performance “Tales Of The Wild West”. This one hour program featured about 14 players, a 7 piece band, 3 sound effects guys and a live studio audience. The story was “The Phantom Lawman” and had elements of both steampunk and pulp heroes. Besides the main story, there were commercials for real products and businesses in Critter City, a first for this event. Everything was done to sound like radio in the late 1930s and the whole shebang was broadcast on the local radio station KRTR, which means folks up to 50 miles away could hear it. Pretty cool.

(Lucy: That show was very good. Dad did a fine job as both “Your Host, The Old Cowboy” and “Deputy Hank Wilson”.)

(Sadie: My dad was great as “Old Doc Milburn” and “Mr. Olson”)

(Sasha: And don’t forget Auntie Avy as “Mrs. Biggs”.)

(Leon: I was sure that Milo, the stable boy, was the Phantom Lawman.)

(Bea: So was I! But he was just sneaking out at night to court Julie Biggs.)

(Flash: Me too, right up until he was revealed to be Mr. Tuttle, the undertaker. Who knew?)

(Abby: I like that Sheriff Cates decided not to arrest him or reveal his secret identity. The Phantom Lawman can continue to ride the range, bringing in bad desperadoes!)

The show went off with only a couple of minor hitches, then we all went to dinner at India Underground, which is indeed an Indian restaurant in the new and expanding underground mall. The food was excellent.

At 9:00, the “Bigass Saturday Party” started up and after that it was all about us humans dancing and partying and such until the wee hours.

(Sasha: Meanwhile, we critters all watched movies with Lauren and some other little girls.)

(Lucy: With Arcadia keeping an eye on all of us.)

(Leon: Ya know, I woke up at about 3:00 and didn’t see you or Sadie or Bea in the room.)

(Sadie: We were there, silly. We were just sleeping behind the couch.)

Tomorrow is the last day of the con and I’m part of two seminars, “Ask A GM ANYTHING!” and the ever popular “We Hates it/We Loves It!”. After those and some games, it’s hit the Dealer’s Room, say goodbye to folks, then eat pie at the After Party. And then we’re on the bus and heading home.

More bloggage later.

My Life Among The Laid Back Tomato Vines

…in my garden

CatCon4: Day 7 We wake up to the sound of music…breakfast riots occur…swag is gotten and plots hatched…dogs & cats race together…more food is eaten, sans rioting…a fine party is attended

Since this entire town is wired up for every sort of electronic communication you can imagine, the ConCom woke damn near everybody in town up by playing the Star Trek Next Generation theme song as done by meowing cats. It drifted in through our slightly open (so pets can use the small balcony yard to do their biz) balcony door at 8 AM. Since Grace and I were both hungry, we got up and got ready for breakfast. Once calls were made to various and sundry friends, we and the critters headed out to “Waffles From Outer Space”, which we really enjoyed last year, not the least because it has Bacon & Butter Flavored Syrup.

Well, it would seem that a whole lot of people liked it, because the place now has about 4 times the seating it had last year, including pet seating and a kids play area. It was the pets and kids that started the riot just about the time I was digging into my country fried steak, gravy, two scrambled eggs and 2 huge eggnog waffles.

One moment, everything was cool, the next, kids and dogs and cats and goats and pigs and birds and ducks and a whole menagerie of other animals were running hither and yon and screaming and barking and meowing and such. There did not appear to be any violence, fear or animosity involved, it was just some sort of instant happiness explosion that lasted about 5 minutes and pretty much left the place in great disarray. Unlike some of the folks, I had no trouble rounding up my pets. A simple “Fooooooddddd Fooooorrrr Doooooggggssss!!!! in a booming voice did the trick.

(Flash: It was really cool! We were just all going nuts!)
(Winker: It’s called a “flash” mob, which is a pretty appropriate name for sudden unthinking mayhem, if you ask me.)
(Flash: Say what?)

After breakfast was over and everyone was stuffed, we strolled over to the convention center to grab our badges & swag. Badges this year looked like police badges (except for the pet badges, which looked like Old West sheriff stars on a day glo collar) and the con book looked like a “true crime” pulp magazine. Swag in the bag included…

A t-shirt…a convention only comic book featuring the adventures of Cat Boy and Dog Girl…a commemorative D20…a coupon book for dealers at the con and various businesses around town…a fist full of game company fliers…a pair of miniatures from the new wargame “World War IV”…a countdown poster for DogCon 5 and a hologram postcard. If you were a pet, your bag held treats, treats, more treats and a brush.

I must speed this post up, because I’m heading out to the Pre-Con Party in a few minutes, so here are the highlights.

1: While in the fast moving badge/swag line, chatted with a great many friends. Made plans for several get togethers and games.

2: Entered Flash & Lucy in the big Charity Dog & Cat Race. This had the cats riding the dogs, which flash & Lucy do pretty often anyway. Bets are placed and all proceeds go to local animal shelters. The winners get food prizes and a free deluxe grooming. The race is an obstacle course 500 winding feet long. The dog chases a fake rabbit over, under and though obstacles. The cat hangs on and tries not to fall off.

Since Luck is only part basset hound, but is much more some longer legged sort of hound…and Flash is the smallest adult cat you’ll ever see…they were heavily favored in the odds. When the gun went off, they were in third place pretty quickly…BUT, the lead dog lost his cat about ¼ of the way through when he went through a long tube.

(Flash: Yeah, he scraped that snotty little American Shorthair right off!)

By the halfway point. Lucy and a smallish pitbull were neck in neck. Then they hit the pond and the pitbull ran into it while Lucy took a flying dive and pulled ahead by 6 feet.

(Flash: Yeah, that pond…not fun!)

After that, it was Team Cross all the way. We were all very proud of Flash & Lucy. Later, they ate more food than your average lion.

(Lucy: Beef stew…for dogs!)
(Flash: Tuna cakes! TUNA CAKES!)

3: Lunch was Chinese, dinner was barbecue pizza. In between, there were various baked goods and ice cream consumed. We also found out that starting right after the con ends this year, the whole town of Critter City is going to be covered in a huge dome, which will be finished by the start of next years con. Cool!

4: The theme of the Pre-Con Party is “Me and My Sock Puppet”. Everybody is going to get a sock puppet that they must wear AND converse part of the time through. In my opinion, this beats the Playing Doctor theme from a past party.

And now I’m off to said party, accompanied by many of my traveling companions. More bloggage will surely occur sometime soon.

Junior Muskrat Wins A New Car

…with leather interior

DogCon 1, Day 3

The deal with being a “Featured GM” at this con (and if I didn’t mention it before, I am one of 24 “Featured GM’s”) is that you run at least 16 hours of games over 3 days and participate in one of 3 seminars. You get some pretty nice perks for it, including a snazzy looking badge, 10% off your hotel bill and the invitation to attend the big ol’ Texas style party complete with dinner, drinks (FREE DRINKS!) and not 1, not 2, but 3 different bands.

Which all goes to explain why I ran a 2 hour TOON game from 9:00 am until 11:00 am, then ran an 8 hour BRP Fantasy game from 11:30-7:30. Well, ok, I also didn’t want to run any games on Sunday. Both games went well and as soon as the fantasy game was over (at 7:10, actually), I hauled ass to the hotel, showered, changed clothes and took My Sweet Angel to the big shindig. The Girls, by the way, were attending a sort of LARP for dogs called “Doggie Dungeon”. I’m not sure what it involves, but it takes up something like 8 acres of land just outside of town.

Anyway, the eating and drinking have started and the partying will commence soon. Assuming I don’t wake up in the local jail tomorrow, I’ll give my final days con report as well as tell the Super Secret Origin of DogCon.

Oh, look, a big tray full of chile rellenos. Gotta go.