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, who left us far too soon, but is always with us in our hearts.)

(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.