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

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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

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!

It Was The Kazoos That Pissed Off The Bull

…he was not a music lover

 

Day Two will go up tonight.

 

 

CritterCon 10

Day One, Part Two

After leaving Half Moon Bay, we only had to drive 4 miles down the highway to reach our next roadside attraction, the Wooden Presidents.

(Silky: As opposed to just the wooden headed presidents.)


Penny Gudermann started doing chainsaw sculptures as a young teenager with her dad. Eventually, they opened a shop selling their carvings and that shop is still open.

About 12 years ago, Penny started carving a statue of Thomas Jefferson. It turned out really well, so she moved on to Washington, then Kennedy, then all of the others. Once she had them all, up to Obama, she opened up the lot of them for public viewing.

(Luke: At $2.00 a head, but children under 10 are free.)


All of the statues are carved from native California oak and the detail is incredible. During the tour, Penny told plenty of stories about working on each president, as well as her ongoing work on the First Ladies and a few of the Founding Fathers. All told, we spent nearly an hour and a half there.

And yes, there is a small selection of bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc.

(Daisy: We have a very large wall covered in bumper stickers from these trips. Uncle Gabriel was very impressed. He has not seen all the fridge magnets yet.)

By now it was nearing 4:00, but we figured we had enough time to visit our next attraction, the First Church of the True World History, located just outside of Santa Cruz. It only opened a couple of months ago and I had heard a bit about it. As you are about to find out, it elicits quite a bit of interest from us here at Casa Cross.

(Silky: That is Daddy making with the understatement of nearly British proportions.)


The church charges nothing to visit it, so the bunch of us (the critters in their android bodies) went in. We were met by Pastors Oscar and Tanya Mendina, the founders of the church. They explained that they started the church after finding evidence that world history was being manipulated by a strange group of humans and dogs of the hound variety, at least one of which was some sort of tentacled mutant. It is a testimony to our self control that none of us laughed or looked shocked, although both Grace and Avis did give Sasha & I the “SEE? We told you you’d get caught!” look.

(Leon: BUSTED, Uncle Doc!)
(Sasha: I need to make us some sort of cloaking device.)
(Roxy: Or you could just stop messing with history.)

(Sasha: Honey, we are MAKING history.)


Pastor Oscar then showed us around the church museum and damned if they didn’t have a pretty impressive collection of written accounts and even a few photographs. Fortunately, we always subtly change how we look, so the photos of Sasha show a black & white basset and photos of me show a younger clean shaven guy with short hair.

(Silky: Dad actually looks kind of dashing in the photo of him with Lawrence of Arabia.)
(Max: On the other hand, that 14th century Chinese painting of Sasha looked like something from Creature Features.)


Both pastors related stories of how these strange dogs & humans (Spike has gone with me a few times and one of the stories is how Grace accidentally caused a pre-teen Martin Luther to start thinking the way he did) have been around for at least 7,000 years, and maybe longer. Obviously, he told us, they are immortal and could be sent by God or Satan, the jury still being out. He also related how Men In Black and government agents have stopped by the church to question them several times.

When the tour and stuff was done, we bought a couple of t-shirts, then left, chuckling all the way to the bus. As soon as we were on board, Grace went into lecture mode and Sasha and I had to swear to be more careful when we went through time to ensure that history comes out correctly.

By then it was almost 6 and time for dinner, which we have just finished eating. Tonight is movie night, with some conversation after. Tomorrow we are off down the coast for more adventures.

Destination Sign When We Started: Invidia
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Alpha Complex

QM Radio Station: One Hit Wonders, 1925-2015

 

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Chapter 704: In Which Our Hero, Being Without Funds, Cons A Pig Farmer Into Giving Him A Five Pound Note

 

…and a rasher of bacon.

 

DogCon 9

Day Six: In which I  update this report throughout the day, just to be different.

8:00 am: We started our day with a delicious breakfast at Pancakeville. That place never skimps on the portions. I highly recommend the cheesecake pancakes.

9:00 am: While most of our traveling band went off to play various games, Sasha and I did a seminar entitled “Mad Science In Your Game”. It was well attended and the audience had many thoughtful and borderline disturbing questions.

10:15 am: With Sasha off to address meeting of the Central Texas Non-Human Terran Association, I got into a game of Lords of Waterdeep. I am not winning, but it’s fun and it should be done in time for me to meet Grace & The Girls for lunch.

 

12:00 pm: We had lunch at Curry On Eating!, a damn fine new Indian buffet. We were joined by Avis and Ginie. There is some small possibility that we all crossed the line into “Ate Too Much” territory, but damn, fresh warm naan and goat curry!

 

1:00 pm: We met up with the rest of our party and some other folks for a rehearsal of tonight’s Old Time Radio broadcast of “The Adventures of Doc Mystery: The Laughter of Death!”. It will be an hour long and run from 8:00 to 9:00.

2:30 pm: Spike, myself and 4 other gamers over 50 did a panel  called “You Kids Get Outta My Dungeon!”, which for being a bunch of old farts talking about gaming pre-1990, was well attended and full of laughs.

4:00 pm: I ran another Toon game, this time for 24 players, including Grace, Silky, Sadie, Lauren, Mary and Max. It ran for 2 hours and we probably had 50-60 spectators at any one time. I was knackered when it was done.

6:30 pm: We had dinner at Chez Mom’s. I ate a chicken fried steak the size of a large frisbee.

7:45 pm: We are all in the Green Room at station KRTR awaiting the start of our show. More bloggage later before yet another party.

9:15 pm: Radio show finished. Some of us (Grace, Mary, Silky, Lauren, Sadie) went back to the hotel to relax and sleep. The rest of us are heading to the Costume Party, This year the theme is Zombie Robots, costumes will be provided.

 

2:30 am: Tipsy, but not drunk, Sasha and I are back from eating chili after the party. It was another very fun party, considering everybody was made up to look like badly rusted robots. We shall sleep now.

 

 

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

Mr. Porkwaffle Brews Beer

…a fine brew it is, the aardvark incident notwithstanding.

DogCon 5, End Of The Line

Well, we’re all home now and , it’s good to see the old homestead. The bus is parked, the critters are in their proper places, Grace is in bed and I’m about to join her. I hope you all had fun reading about our antics and I’m looking forward to doing it again next summer.

Until then, I’ll see y’all online.  Doc out.

Flash: Folks, we critters are adding this into this last post as an edit just seconds after Dad posted it. We all just wanted to say goodbye to you all. I hope I get to talk to you next year. Bye for now and remember: Be kind to cats!

Abby: Thanks for reading all of this, folks! We like telling you about the trip. See y’all next year.

Bea: I hope I did a good job with my comments. Bye until next year and eat more goat cheese!

Sasha: This was a pretty great trip.  I’ll be back next year, so I’ll see ya then!

Lucy: Goodbye for now, folks. I hope you enjoyed reading our comments. Hug your dog!

 

DogCon 5

is over.

But the Cross Family & Friends will return in…

CatCon 6