The Day The Newts Attacked Austin

…it barely made the nightly news


Dog Con 7


Day 15, Con Day 2: In which there is gaming, seminars, mud, more gaming, food and a haunted house

10:30 pm

The steampunk party last night was great, with a wonderful bunch of evil bastards present and fine music, food and drinks.

Now for a quick recap of my day at the con.

Up at 8:00 for a 9:00 start on a game of Traveller. I played a scientist sent with a team to investigate a possible discovery of an ancient alien city on a frontier planet. Turns out, it was there alright, but not very ancient. Action & adventure ensued.

I had 5 minutes to get from that game to a seminar on “Kids In Gaming”. It went very well and it was good to have actual kids in the audience.

I caught half of another seminar, “Running Spy Games”, but had to bolt so as to get to a Toon game that I was, for once, not running.

The young lady running the game chose to use one of my adventures from Toon Tales, “The House That Jerks Built”. It’s a madcap adventure wherein the characters try to build a house. I have never heard of any group even getting a framework up. We all had tons of fun.

At 1:00 pm, gaming stopped for our band of travelers so we could all enjoy a spa day. Said spa day consisted of being immersed in warm mud, then bathed, them massaged. It’s very nice and relaxing. I’ll note that the critters had a spa day, too, minus the mud.

(Jazz: That was great! Even the bath was not bad.)

(Daisy: I even liked the ear cleaning!)

Once we were all clean and relaxed (and fed. They give you yummy sandwiches), we were back at the con, where Brian, Avis and I partook of a Savage Worlds adventure titled “Zeppelins vs Monsters”. It was a real rip snorter and, as the Brits say, a damned close run affair. Tragically, both Avis and I died when we decided to crash out fighter planes into opposite sides of a kaiju’s head. We did kill the kaiju.

Back at the hotel, pre-dinner, we all just mostly sat around discussing our day. Grace told us that she came in second in the “Settlers of Mars” tournament. Leon won the “Dogs Against Humanity” card game he played in. Mary got into some filksinging for several hours.

Our choice for dinner was Indian and it was just crazy good. We ate like starving wolverines. After dinner, we had a nice stroll around town.

From 8 pm until 11 pm, many of us were in the People & Pets LARP “The Old House On The Hill”, a haunted house adventure. It has been running all through the con and teams explore and try to solve the mystery of the very large three story (plus attic and basement) “V. Price Home for the Criminally Insane”. Our intrepid players were:

Sasha & I

Sadie & Brian
Leon & Avis
Roxy & Ginie
Flash & Spike
Daisy & Mary

Jazz & Caroline
Silky & Miranda

Grace, Lulu & Lauren sat out the game, but watched us on one of the big screens.

The whole thing was very realistic and half of our number was dead by the halfway point.

(Leon: Mom & I got taken out by the room full of snakes. I may have pooped a bit.)

(Silky: The psycho ghost with the ax got Miranda & I.)

(Sadie: Dad & I avoided the ghostly dogs, but got caught in the crushing corridor.)

(Jazz: Caroline & I went into the basement, like we had never seen any horror movies. Met the machete maniac.)

Sasha and I got to the attic and found the diary that would stop the ghosts if read aloud in the main parlor. Unfortunately, we also found the trap door that dropped us all the way to the basement.

(Sasha: That was not fun.)

After that, Ginie and Roxy died when the kitchen utensils came to life.

(Roxy: Done in by cheese graters!)

And Flash & Spike bough the farm in the greenhouse.

(Flash: I will NEVER trust a grapevine again.)

But mere moments from death by all out ghost attack, Mary & Daisy read the diary aloud and cleansed the house of ghosts.

(Daisy: We were hella scared!)

Now, with the critters and most everybody else asleep or nearly so, Spike and I are gonna go hang out with fellow gamers and shoot the breeze.

More true life tales of gaming tomorrow.

Chapter 499: In Which Our Hero Sails To The North Pole In Search Of The Legendary Snow Frogs

…he brought them a gift of port and sausages


Day 5 (Con Day 1): In which I condense the Cross family day and night.

After waking up and eating brekky at Baconville, the family did this…

Grace: Cruised the Dealer’s Room, played board & card games, went to watch Abby & Bea in the first “Goatapalooza” LARP (which had 45 pet goats in it), did some shopping, played in a Blue Rose RPG game.

Critters: Besides the above mentioned LARP, there were trips to pet amusement parks, Round One of an all dog LARP, walkies all around town (Sharon was assisted by our long time con petsitter, Arcadia) and plenty of food & snacks.

Doc: Cruised Dealer’s Room, chatted with many folks, robbed a diamond exchange in a very cool LARP (Spike, Caroline and Avis also played in this), ate chili dogs, playtested a new card game/RPG, went to the “Cast “CatCon 6: The Motion Picture” seminar, ate pizza, played in a “steampulp” game with Brian, Avis, Mary and Grace, went to bed at midnight, got up to pee and checked critters, saw no glowing dots on any heads, noticed that both Sasha and Bea smelled of chemicals, made note to schedule a trip to Critter Wash.

Chapter 92: In Which Our Hero, Whilst Infiltrating The Coronation Of The French King, Is Afflicted With Flatulence Most Foul

…I hate when that happens

Yo, internet homies, today I’m starting a hopefully pretty regular series where I cover various topics about things I like. Later, I’ll start a similar series about things that piss me off. First up today: food!

Great Things To Eat: Part One

Curry: There are all sorts of curries out there, from mild & subtle to big, bold and hotter than hell. All of them are delicious. Don’t think you like vegetarian dishes? Try any of the 8 zillion veggie curries. Love seafood? You’re covered. Better yet, get yourself a good Indian or Thai cookbook and cook up one of your own! And don’t forget the rice and Thai Iced Tea. Best curry I’ve ever eaten? Any of the ones at The King And I in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fish Tacos: How good are fish tacos? Well, I’ve had sexual encounters that weren’t as good as a couple great fish tacos and a cold cerveza. Doesn’t matter if the fish is battered and crunchy or unbattered and moist. And by “fish”, I also mean shrimp, crab and whatever else comes from the sea. It’s all yummy, especially after you dress it up with your choice of salsas, cremas and cheese. Best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten? The crunchy fish taco and the Dungeness crab taco I had off of a Mexican food truck in San Jose back in 1984.

Steel Cut Oats: Easy to cook, tasty as hell and good for you. What’s not to love about that? I like to cook them with a handful of raisins, then add some dark brown sugar and milk. Yum Yum! Oats are also very filling, so your breakfast will stick with you a long while, thus cutting down on between meal snacks and helping you lose weight. Best steel cut oats I’ve ever eaten? The bowl I just had a couple of hours ago.

Well, I think that went well. Now how about a nice serving of Doclopedia, hmmm?

The Doclopedia #390

Look What I Found!: 1930’s Universal Horror Edition

Look here, Carol, isn’t it beautiful? It’s the necklace that your father and I found on that statue of Bast today. Four thousand years old, but it still looks brand new. The inscription in the tomb told of a curse, one that would turn any woman who wore this into a Daughter of Bast. Why is it that every object anybody finds in an Egyptian tomb always seems to be cursed? Pretty silly if you ask me.

Oh, yes, well, a Daughter of Bast was supposedly a young woman who would transform into a catlike creature to do the bidding of the Priests of Bast. Sort of an Egyptian version of a werewolf. Your father knows more about it than me. I daresay that old soothsayer in the village knows more about it that I do. I’m just a humble reader of hieroglyphics.

Say, you look lovely in this moonlight. You know I’m crazy about you, don’t you? When this dig is finished and we’re back in London, I’ve got something to ask you. I hope…what’s that? Sounds like those fool diggers are on about something again. I’ll be right back, darling.

Oh, excuse me, Miss Benning, I did not mean to startle you. I have only come to view the lovely necklace that is spoken of in the village. I am very old and have waited many years to see such a wonder. How beautiful it is, much like yourself. You should try it on. Yes, yes, just like that. Beautiful. Dizzy? It shall pass, Miss Benning, it shall pass.

There, you see, you feel much better now, don’t you. Now you are a Daughter of Bast, part of a line that stretches back into the mists of history. Listen to me now, for there are things you must do, both here and back in England. There are those who need to be punished for what they have done. Listen and obey, Miss Benning.

The Migration Of The Dancing Elks

…it’s a 200,000 elk conga line

Stuff…IN 3D!!!

1: Grace and I both had to work on our anniversary yesterday, but when I got home, I whipped up a dinner of pork chops, mashed potatos, gravy, spinach and tapioca pudding for dinner. It was very filling and delicious.

2: Your Humble Narrator has been working on content for the new website. I’ve polished and expanded characters from my “365 Days, 365 Characters/Locations” pieces on LJ back in 2006. I’ve written outlines for about 4 short stories, including one featuring Sherlock Holmes. I’ve gone through a couple of world settings that need expansion and rewriting. And finally, I’ve been expanding and rewriting “On the Road With Violet”, which is looking pretty good for the serial fiction category.

3: In canine news, every month finds Lucy becoming more adapted to our household. She is much more tolerant and less afraid of Winker now. As for Grace and I, well, we are her favorite Mom & Dad in the whole universe and she is always ready for love and tummy rubs. We still need to get her better socialized with other humans and animals, but on the whole, Lucy is way better than when we first brought her home.

4: Going to apply for a job in a couple of hours. More on that if it pans out.

Now, breakfast and shower. More blog-o-rama later.

Harry Potter And The Ghosts Of Baker Street

…from the post-Hogwarts days

Stuff: The Musical!

1: It was 10 years ago today that escrow closed on stately Cross Manor. Still 12 days away from the official move in date, tho.

2: Today is the start of yet another Mystery Shopping Death March. Grace is out doing hers right now, and I will head out in a couple of hours.

3: I have retouched and/or expanded about 30 characters that appeared in this LJ back in 2006, during my “365 days, 365 Characters” experiment. Only 100+ characters to go.

4: I’m re-reading “The Hobbit” and really enjoying it. I had forgotten how much lighter and more child oriented it is in comparison to LOTR.

5: We are too poor to hand out candy, so last night Grace, The Girls and I, just ate cookies and watched the comedy/horror flick “Black Sheep”. For a movie about mutant killer carnivorous sheep (and the were-sheep they create via biting) it had few laughs and not that many more scares. It did have several gross out moments, including a shot were a sheep bites a guys dick off. Filmed in New Zealand. Not really worth your time.

6: Every year, Grace and I have an Unturkey Day Thanksgiving dinner, at which we have none of the traditional food items. Over the years, we have had lasagna, curries, fish, tacos, pork roast, a big table full of buffet stuff, spaghetti and many other things. This year, in defiance of our poverty, we will be eating steak, baked potatos and salad.

More blogging later…much later…tonight.

Doc Tempest VS The Zombies Of Broadway

…from the November, 1955 issue

Screwy weather here today. It’s overcast outside, yet we are supposed to have temps near 100. WTF?

Took Lucy out to pee a few minutes ago and damned near got hit in the face by a hummingbird. That’s like the 15th time that has happened since we moved here. I’m glad they love the garden but…damn!

I think barbecue will be on the menu this weekend. Something in the pork family…chops or loin, maybe.

More bloggage later.

Sixth Floor…Lingerie…Ladieswear…Shoes

…Oh, Mr. Cross. Going…down?

Ok, ok, so I ripped off Aerosmith.

(Note: This con/trip report is dedicated to Daisy ann Cross, who left us far too soon, but is always with us in our hearts. Fuck cancer!)

(Note: Comments by our dogs, Lucy & Winker, are presented in italics)

The Trip To CatCon2: Day Zero, In which we get a bus & a mechanic.

Your Humble Narrator has gotten literally thousands of imaginary emails asking if we ever bought a bus or van like we mentioned at the end of last year’s fake Con Report. The answer is yes, so I’d like to tell you about what we have come to call The Magic Bus, as well as our mechanic, Joe.

In early October of 2008, I bought a bus from a former co-worker at the pizza place I used to work for. It was an average sized school bus, built in 1970 and pretty much exactly like the ones I had ridden to school as a lad. I paid him $1,200.00, 90 pounds of salt pork, two albino budgerigars (both male), a bottle of Yukon Jack and a photograph of Prince Charles dressed up as a cheerleader. He’s a strange kind of fellow, but I could hardly pass up the deal. I do kinda regret that I didn’t talk him down to one budgie.

The bus was in very good shape, but lacking a motor and a transmission. Oddly, this did not prevent me from driving it home, but after that it refused to run any more. It was painted a rather garish shade of purple and my neighbors hated it. This pleased me greatly, so I left it sitting on my side yard for all to see. I even installed lights so it was visible after dark.

The next morning after I bought it…and by “morning” I mean 3:12 AM…there was a knock on our door. Being almost 10% awake, I answered it, hoping that it was not some vampire Jehovah’s Witness or zombie Mormon missionaries, and saw that it was a burly looking fellow in coveralls. His name tag said “Joe” and he cheerily informed me that he “came with the bus” and asked if it was ok if he took it to the shop to put in a new engine & transmission. Ever wary of strange mechanics showing up in the wee hours to screw me out of money on auto repairs, I asked how much it would cost. He told me all repairs were $24.95. “Per hour?”, I asked, hoping he would explain things and go away, because I had to pee. He replied no, that was the total price for all ordinary repairs. I told him to go ahead and fix it up and also give me an estimate on turning the bus into an RV. He winked and said “You betcha, Doc!” and walked off toward the bus. I could not recall telling him my name, but as I mentioned, I was 90% asleep. Then I went and peed before returning to bed, which is always the best order in which to do those two things.

I slept for another 5 hours and when I woke up, the bus was gone and my neighbors were having an impromptu party in the street. Some hours later, I left for work, mildly regretting that I had not gotten a phone number from Joe. Still, if you can’t trust the mechanic that comes with your bus, who can you trust?

The bus was still gone when I got home, but it was there when I woke up the following morning. Grace gleefully pointed out to me that if you listened, you could hear the neighbors sobbing. Joe showed up a few minutes later with a bill for $24.95 and an estimate of $302.73 for the RV conversion…$309.11 if we wanted hardwood floors. Grace and I agreed that this was way more than fair and opted for the hardwood floor version. Joe also suggested that we might want to “snazzy it up” with a digital destination display and wireless internet access. We told him to go crazy on it and send us the bill. We offered him breakfast, but he politely declined saying that “Earth food gave him heartburn”. Joe’s a strange kind of fellow.

A week later, Joe and the bus were back. It was looking really sweet, with a paint job depicting famous wizards from film & literature, plus four different colored tires and tinted windows. Inside, we had a drivers chair made out of a Laz-E-Boy recliner, a small kitchen area, a fold out sleeper couch, a tiny toilet area, another recliner, a big screen tv and a king sized bed. There was also a great stereo system and plenty of bookshelves. And the aforementioned hardwood floor, which was solid walnut.

We took her out for a spin and she ran like a champ. When we got home, Joe told me he would put the bus in storage until we needed it. The rest, as they like to say to shorten things up, is history.

Our trip will start in a few hours, once I am rested up and ready to drive. More blogging soon.


CatCon2: The Trip There, Day 1

(NOTE: The following is all fictional.)

Well, more like Day .35 to be exact.

So, having gotten everything packed and ready yesterday, I slept in the house from 1pm until midnight. Everyone except me went to bed in the Magic Bus about 11 pm. At the Witching Hour, I got up, showered, ate a bowl of Shreddies and, after a quick once over, boarded the bus and started off down the road to the musical tones of snoring women (our dogsitter, Sharon, is travelling with us this year) and dogs. After about a minute of snores, I activated the music program and settled into some Tom Waits.

Our route this year will be avoiding SoCal, Arizona and New Mexico in favor of going across Nevada, Utah, Colorado, a bit of the Oklahoma panhandle and then into wildest Texas for the con itself.

We stopped in Busted Flush, Nevada for breakfast and dog walkies. The diner we ate at, The Cowboy Chowhouse, was a nice place with good food in large portions. The Girls got our leftovers and are now in a food coma. Grace and Sharon are watching “Harry Potter and the Hound of the Baskervilles”, that great Holmes/Potter crossover movie.

Wildlife spotted so far: 3 hawks, a snake and two jackrabbits.

More bloggage later.

Friends With Benefits And Pie

…it doesn’t get any better than that

Fresh 100% Organic Stuff

1: Just in case anyone was in doubt, Sarah Palin is still Conservative America’s Halfwitted Hillbilly Sweetheart…now with added mental problems.

2: My Sweet Little Parasauralophus Of Sweetness and I had a fine little 4th of July dinner last night: lamb breast (actually lamb ribs…the butcher had no idea why they call it a breast), barbecue roasted potatoes, salad and chocolate eclairs. MmmmmMmmmm, good!

3: It is with no little shame that I admit to enjoying “So You Think You Can Dance”…with the exception of listening to that screeching idiot, Judge Mary. I’d pay good money to see the requisite snotty British Judge pimpslap her.

4: Understanding that the whole thing this year is one big experiment, my “square foot garden in boxes” is not doing very well. Could be overheating…could be inadequate fertilizer. I shall be tackling the problem today.

5: As much as I enjoyed the flawed and cancelled too soon Dresden Files tv series, I’d really like to see a Dresden Files movie. But who would play Harry? The actor would need to be at least 6’2″ or better and capable of being funny and serious in equal doses. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if he could do his own stunts.

6: Is it possible to remain pissed off about anything after listening to a few minutes of reggae? I think not.

7: Speaking of the music of Jamaica, mon, I love this collection of musical doodads: Dub Selector

More blogotronic goodness later.

Poultry In Motion

…bad Doc! Bad, bad Doc!

Stuff, served hot with a nice mug of porter

1: Most of the weekends, and some weekdays, in May are already filled with mystery shopping duties (in a hope to get caught up on bills), so I will not be able to do any gaming until Sunday the 24th.

2: I made some killer pork for tacos last night. It was the major yum.

3: The Dungeon Delve will resume tonight or tomorrow morning.

4: The month of May can go ahead and warm up any day now, so I can finish planting my garden.

5: Everyone here is healthy, despite my fast fading leg infection.

Gotta go to work now. More bloggage later.

Spicy Bongo Stories

…for spicy bongos, one assumes

Weekend Recap

1: Monsters VS Aliens was big fun. Lots of nuggets for fans of sci fi and the 3D FX were very well done.

2: In N Out Burger was, as always, great. Man, I’m so glad I don’t have to drive to L.A. for my Double Double Monster fix.

3: Winker is clean and huggable now. Well, she was huggable before, but now you can hug her and not get all dog stinky.

4: Susanne, the Worlds Greatest Neighbor, gave us a ziploc bag full of barbecued ribs! They will be dinner tonight.

5: I waged war with the weeds in my garden. The weedy infidels died in droves, but my holy task is far from done.

6: Grace did much stuff on the computer. Some of it involved cursing. I declined to inquire.

7: I bought and started more seeds for the garden. Corn seedlings in da house, y’all!

8: It was discovered that Winker likes whole wheat bagels.

9: The spaghetti sauce was, as always, darned good…and plentiful. I shall be freezing several quarts of it for later consumption.

10: Went to IHOP for dinner last night (cos we were getting a 50% discount) and let me tell you, the new “Big” country fried steak & eggs is no exaggeration. I was stuffed by the time I was done.

More bloggage later.

The Art And Science Of Dog Bathing

…basset hound edition

Just got done giving Winker her monthly bath. I’m glad she likes to get baths, cos Daisy hated them and Roscoe would look like he was getting tortured.

More Foods I’ve Eaten

This can be added to yesterdays meme. Just put an X by the things you’ve eaten, etc, etc.

Elk Jerky
Huckleberry Jam
Chile Rellenos
Cuban Sandwich
Adobo (chicken or pork)
Duck Confit
Memphis Barbecue
Kansas City Barbecue
Kiwi (the fruit, not the bird or the New Zealand native)
Carne Asada
Tacos al Pastor
Country Fried Steak
Biscuits & Gravy
Redeye Gravy
Fruit Bat/Flying Fox
Smoked Herring
Pickled Herring
Oyster Po’Boy
Fried Okra
Scotch Eggs
Turtle Soup
Birds Nest Soup
Pine Nuts/Pignolas
Pickled Pigs Feet
Fish Sauce
Lutefisk (one of the nastier things I’ve ever eaten)
Chicarrones/Pork Rinds
Red Velvet Cake
Ham Hocks & Beans
Red Beans & Rice
Arroz con Pollo
Pecan Pie
Duck Sausage
Fried Ravioli
Loco Moco
Spam Sushi

Pixies Come To Deathtown

…originally, the other way ’round, but this is funnier


1) Create a new note and copy this list, including these instructions.
2) X all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (Hah! As if.)

(x) 1. Venison
(x) 2. Nettle tea
(x) 3. Huevos rancheros
(x) 4. Steak tartare
( ) 5. Crocodile
( ) 6. Black pudding
(x) 7. Cheese fondue
(x) 8. Carp
(x) 9. Borscht
(x) 10. Baba ghanoush
(x) 11. Calamari
(x) 12. Pho
(x) 13. PB&J sandwich
( ) 14. Aloo gobi
(x) 15. Hot dog from a street cart
( ) 16. Epoisses
(x) 17. Black truffle
(x) 18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
(x) 19. Steamed pork buns
(x) 20. Pistachio ice cream
(x) 21. Heirloom tomatoes
(x) 22. Fresh wild berries
(x) 23. Foie gras
(x) 24. Rice and beans
(x) 25. Brawn, or head cheese
(x) 26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
(x) 27. Dulce de leche
(x) 28. Oysters
(x) 29. Baklava
( ) 30. Bagna cauda
(x) 31. Wasabi peas
(x) 32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
( ) 33. Salted lassi
(x) 34. Sauerkraut
(x) 35. Root beer float
(x) 36. Cognac (bonus if with a fat cigar)
( ) 37. Clotted cream tea
(x) 38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
(x) 39. Gumbo
(x) 40. Oxtail
(x) 41. Curried goat
(x) 42. Whole insects
( ) 43. Phaal
(x) 44. Goat’s milk
(x) 45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
( ) 46. Fugu
(x) 47. Chicken tikka masala
(x) 48. Eel
(x) 49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
(x) 50. Sea urchin
(x) 51. Prickly pear
(x) 52. Umeboshi
(x) 53. Abalone
(x) 54. Paneer
(x) 55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
(x) 56. Spaetzle
(x) 57. Dirty gin martini
(x) 58. Beer above 8% ABV
( ) 59. Poutine
(x) 60. Carob chips
(x) 61. S’mores
(x) 62. Sweetbreads
( ) 63. Kaolin
( ) 64. Currywurst
(x) 65. Durian
(x) 66. Frogs’ legs
(x) 67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
( ) 68. Haggis
(x) 69. Fried plantain
(x) 70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
(x) 71. Gazpacho
(x) 72. Caviar and blini
( ) 73. Louche absinthe
( ) 74. Gjetost, or brunost
( ) 75. Roadkill
( ) 76. Baijiu
(x) 77. Hostess Fruit Pie
(x) 78. Snail
(x) 79. Lapsang souchong
( ) 80. Bellini
(x) 81. Tom yum
(x) 82. Eggs Benedict
(x) 83. Pocky
( ) 84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
(x) 85. Kobe beef
(x) 86. Hare
(x) 87. Goulash
(x) 88. Edible_flowers
( ) 89. Horse
( ) 90. Criollo chocolate
(x) 91. Spam
(x) 92. Soft shell crab
( ) 93. Rose harissa
(x) 94. Catfish
(x) 95. Mole poblano
(x) 96. Bagel and lox
(x) 97. Lobster Thermidor
(x) 98. Polenta
( ) 99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
(x) 100. Snake

How Many Times Does 1 Go Into 2? 5…Twice With The Blonde, Three Times With The Redhead

…not based upon any recent real life events

Well, My Gentle Readers, today was one of the more productive days of my unemployment (Soon To Begin It’s Fourth Smash Month!), since I pretty much evenly divided it between writing and grocery shopping. As always, there was plenty of dishwashing, dog walking, laundry doing, psoriasis fighting sunlight sitting and dinner cooking in between. Below, a list of stuff I did from the two primary categories.

1: Wrote 400 words on the Secret RPG Project that I will most likely not be able to send samples out to some of you until next week.

2: Put down rather copious notes about the world and characters in the Doc Tempest universe. My stack of reference books include GURPS Who’s Who 1&2, GURPS Timeline, GURPS Swashbucklers, Rand McNally Road Atlas, Map of San Francisco and a big pile of Castle Falkenstien books. On the interwebs side, I was all over Wikipedia and Google.

3: Went to SaveMart and bought a bunch of canned foods, milk and dry staples like pasta and stuff.

4: Finished the four main characters for the Fall Fantasy series. Will do two more (for the prospective new players) this weekend.

5: Hit the bakery thrift store and bought bread, a cake and strawberry preserves.

6: Wrote up 4 ideas for a TOON article for Pyramid, but I’m wondering if my heart is still in wrting Toon stuff.

7: Went to Smart & Final and bought large, yet modestly priced, amounts of meat, plus bigass sizes of everything from peanut butter to Chipotle Tabasco Sauce.

Not necessarily in that order.

Oh, and while laying out in the sun for 45 minutes around noon, I read more of Sidhe Devil, the sequel to Aaron Allston’s very enjoyable Doc Sidhe.

And now, to bed for me.

How To Repair Your Transdimensional Gateway Generator For $5,000,000.00 Or Less

…3rd Edition

Grace and I went to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army today. We both liked it a whole bunch and thought it was even better than the first one. My only criticism: that fucking Barry Manilow song is stuck in my head!

BTW: I think that, once he finishes The Hobbit, Guillermo Del Toro should really do some sort of steampunk & sorcery movie. He has the right eye for it.

In the inevitable Other News this roast is smelling way to damned good.

The Adventure Of The Grubby Gardener

…as reported by John H. Watson, MD

Yesterday’s excursion in the garden was satisfying…if, by “satisfying” we mean exhausting, filthy, hot, sweaty and punctuated by neighbors taking their children indoors when I would cry out “Die, weeds! Die die die! Hahahahahahaha!”

All of which helps explain why we had breakfast sandwiches for dinner, rather than the roast I had planned. I was too tired for complex cookery. Said roast will get cooked today, after Grace and I return from seeing Hellboy II.

In other news, it is looking more and more like I will use some variation of either the Basic Role-Playing system or True20 for the Fall Fantasy game. I shall take a look at both over the next few days, altho, not being in a position to buy the new BRP book, I shall make due with the 1980’s version, along with CoC and Runequest.

Tomorrow, I’ll dive once again into the job search maelstrom. This time out, I’ll lower my standards and hopefully find some work to pay the bills until I find a better job or win the lottery, whichever comes first.

I had two very odd dreams last night. One was terribly frustrating and one was lots of fun.

The frustrating dream had myself and several other gamers getting ready to go to DunDraCon. We were going there in a large U-Haul truck being driven by a former gaming friend of mine who is a total asshole now. The truck was parked outside a large hotel and a block of rather rundown apartments. Everyone was in a hurry to leave, since the con was starting in an hour or so. Just before getting in the truck< I realized I had no extra clothes packed, so I ran into the hotel, which was strangely deserted.

After running around the hotel looking for a way out, I finally got to my apartment only to find that my clothes were all filthy, torn up or missing. Getting more panicked by the minute, I finally grabbed up a bunch of dirty clothes and ran back out to the street, only to find that my friends had left without me.

The much more pleasant dream featured me, Clint Eastwood and a couple of reporters doing an interview. We all chatted about a myriad of things while drinking beer and playing golf. (Note: I have never played golf in my life, but in the dream I was doing pretty well, especially in my short game) At one point, Clint and I got on a roll about how great California is, as befits two Native Sons. This seemed to piss off one of the reporters, who was from New York. Oh well, it serves him right for being from the wrong coast.

And now, I must drink my tea so as to jumpstart most of my internal organs. More blog-o-rama later.

Chapter 55: In Which Our Hero Tricks The Evil Duke Into Crossdressing, Then Runs Off With Mary

…who envies the duke’s fashion sense

Stuff, Damned Stuff

Went to a Job Fair yesterday. 17 companies, most of which wanted salespeople (not my area of expertise), some of which were telemarketing/work at home scamsters and none of which offered anything for this poor jobless lad.

The wind is blowing and the air quality is pretty darned good. We can has blue skies!

Today, I do more of the Secret Stuff, then return home for the thrill of housecleaning and freezing more squash and green beans.

At Game Day on Sunday, we all agreed to put the Modern Weird shit series on hold so we can gear up for the Fall Fantasy series. Another layer was added to character creation, meaning that the next and more time consuming layer is now in my hands. Also, there is still a fair amount of mapping for me to do.

If you are going to GenCon, which I most definitely am not, let me know and we can exchange phone numbers. This will allow me to call you, or vice verse, and let me have some sort of vicarious con experience.

Gotta go shower and make myself look somewhat human. More bloggage later, unless I forget.

The Rare And Beautiful Firebreathing Monkfish Of Potawango Island

…they cook their own prey

Man, the smoke in the air was the worst yet today. I was outside a couple of times doing stuff and after 15 minutes or so, I had a sore throat and a headache. I can only imagine how this air is hammering people with respiratory trouble.

Just as an example of how goofy I can be, every night as I fix The Girls their hot dinner, I’ve taken to acting it out in the style of different Food Network chefs. Tonights chef was Mario Batale. Last night was Emeril, complete with a BAM!. Can Alton Brown or Paula Deen be far off? By the way, both hounds seem to enjoy my efforts…as long as dinner doesn’t take too long to get in their bowls.

Soon…like, after dinner, I need to find a good refrigerator pickle recipe. The cucumber vine is doing it’s best to win some sort of productivity prize.

An idea just struck me for an RPG in which the typical hack & slash Monty Haul dungeon world is taken to it’s logical conclusion. Which, unfortunately, I shall not be discussing here at this time. I do, however, look forward to y’all giving forth with wildass guesses about what I have in mind:)

Gotta go out and brave the crappy air, due to Daisy refusing to learn to use the toilet. More blogski later.

The Spectacular Adventures Of Doctor Tempest And The Volcano Master

…from the September, 1901 issue

The Central Valley is still full of smoke from hundreds of fires. The air quality is unhealthy. Grace had to use the car for work, so The Girls and I will be housebound today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST PAL, avylou! Have fun, kiddo!

Spaghetti for dinner tonight! Yum Yum!

More bloggage later.

Giant Baby Bunnies

…hippity hopping through your town, destroying it


1: The wildfires burning all over Northern California really have our air full of smoke. Not good to be out in, especially if you have respiratory problems.

2: I made a big batch of “Dog Rice” for The Girls. Ingredients include brown rice, split peas, sweet potatoes, zuchinni, beef, chicken and assorted herbs & spices. It was very well received, with much nom nom nomming and enthusiastic tail wagging.

3: I have an idea how we might bring new gamers into the RPG Hobby: Put older gaming guys out to stud. Hey, it works for horses! In addition to increasing the number of gamers, it could also provide a nice supplemental income to often cash strapped gamer households…once our wives stop laughing at the idea.

Gotta go look for honest work. More bloggage later.

Doc Tempest And The Killing Mist

…from the March, 1929 issue

Stuff, 4th Edition

1: Apparently, D&D 4E is selling well. Does that really surprise anyone?

2: I’m working on the Fall Fantasy Series for my Alpha gaming group. It takes place on the same world they last played in, about 150 years after magic has returned. To start with, they be playing in a pretty rural area that I’ve mapped out using Campaign Cartographer 3. Very low magic, medium adventure setting…as will befit a bunch of young teen noob adventurers.

3: Worked 6 hours in the garden yesterday with no shirt on. Got a mild sunburn. I also got to talk with several people who stopped by to admire the garden. That’s always fun.

4: Later today, I’m going to FINALLY organize my vast collection of Alarums & Excursions issues. That should keep me busy for several hours.

5: While cleaning out our freezer on Friday, I found a container of my “Hell In Your Mouth” chili. Yesterday, I ate it. Later today or tomorrow, I’ll regret that:)

6: In the garden, my spaghetti squash plant is working overtime. There are at least 8 squash on it right now, ranging from just smaller than a football to peanut sized. Soon, there will be good eatin’ from them.

And now I must go and do various Sunday things. More bloggage later.

The Journal Of Roleplaying Gamer Sexuality

…it’s a small, strange publication

Assorted Stream Of Conciousness Stuff

1: Hugeass slices of sourdough bread + turkey breast + avocado + mayo & mustard = The Yum!

3: Plant Sale…My Driveway…This Saturday…8AM to 2PM…All Plants $1.00

5: Overheard in my kitchen: “You know, for a runty little one eyed dog, you’re pretty pushy!”

7: With my newfound free time, this house is starting to look really tidy and clean.

9: Gotta go. Must take pushy, depth perception challenged dog and her CAP (Canine American Princess) sister to the nearby park.

A Loose Goose Named Bruce Stuck In A Caboose With An Obtuse Juiced Moose

…writing that one kinda hurt my brain


1: Tomorrow night is Curryfest with our friend, Sharon. We haven’t seen her in dog’s age, ever since she abandoned Sacramento to go live with her son and daughter in law in the wilds of Seattle. Should be fun and good eatin’.

2: Speaking of good eatin’, due to the high price of nearly everything, but especially good (as in not deadly poisonous China based) dog food, I cooked up a huge pot of “dog rice” for The Girls. Besides rice, it contains potatos, carrots, zuchinni, sweet potatos, chicken livers, chicken giblets and just enough herbs to make it Puperrific and Dogalicious. The Girls have been eating it with great enthusiasm.

3: Apparently, D&D 4th Edition has gone on sale at some online outlets a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, as well as popping up in downloadable PDF for out on the internet. This has gotta be pissing Hasbro/WOTC off a bit and REALLY pissing off brick & mortar game stores. It is an indication of how little I care about 4E that I won’t even bother downloading it for free.

4: Should be a pretty busy weekend for we residents of stately Cross Manor. Curryfest on Friday, SPCA Doggie Dash on Saturday and my mom’s 80th birthday on Sunday. I foresee some serious sleeping on Sunday night.

The Rare And Beautiful Flying Mudworms Of Potawango Island

…they glow in the dark

Oh, my little friends, today was an unexpectedly relaxed day…except for the bleeding.

What was supposed to be Game Day was rendered “Doc & Arn Play Empire Earth On The Laptop Day” due to Sam & Paul not showing up. While that was a bit annoying, it took a distant second place to my succession of nosebleeds. Outta the blue, it started bleeding right around noon. After awhile, it stopped, but then would start up every time I bent over. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. I’ve never been prone to nose bleeds. It was damned annoying.

Anyway, after a few hours of conquering the world, Arn left and I just pretty much acted like big old lazy hippie…except for the sanguinary nasal episodes.

In other news, My Sweet Angel, despite being slapped around by her constant work/schoolwork schedule, still makes an exceptionally tasty savory breakfast bread pudding with maple syrup flavored sausages. Yumski yumski!

More blogging…and Violet…tomorrow.

Sacred Lizard

…with glowing eyes

When The SugarMan Makes Bread Pudding, The Girls Just Flat Out Orgasm!

Oh yeah, just call me the Kitchen God and bow down before me, puny humans. Eating this bread pudding isn’t just putting something tasty in your mouth, it is a trancendental experience, baby! I’d share the recipe, but y’all just ain’t evolved enough top be trusted with it:)