The Secret War Between Glasses And Cups

…civil wars are the worst

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The Doclopedia #1,672

Random Character Creation (Horror): What Do You Do?

1: I’m a truck driver

2: I’m a geologist

3: I’m a department store clerk

4: I’m a soldier

5: I’m a college student

6: I’m an accountant

7: I’m a farmer

8: I’m a pilot

9: I’m a auto mechanic

10: I’m a theoretical physicist

11: I’m a police officer

12: I’m an actor

13: I’m a doctor

14: I’m an antique dealer

15: I’m a sailor

16: I’m a housewife

17: I’m a biologist

18: I’m a nun

19: I’m a welder

20: I’m a jewel thief

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The Doclopedia #1,673

Random Character Creation (Horror): Who Do you Know?

1: Senator Radley

2: Professor Karloff

3: Agent Gold

4: Ram Singh

5: Donna Sanderson

6: “Icepick Nick” Falloni

7: Captain Eastwood

8: Mrs. Perkins

9: Professor Lorre

10: Helena Ospensky

11: Luke Taylor

12: Sir Gerard Kingsley

13: Danny the Duke

14: Misty Carlyle

15: Yen Sing

16: Inspector Menard

17: Tammy Lomax

18: Goodman Okula

19: The Queen

20: Max Lebowski

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The Doclopedia #1,671

Random Character Creation (Horror): What Do You Have On You?

1: pocket knife, keys, letter from Professor Holman, my lucky dime

2: hip flask of rum, $200.00, really old ring, handkerchief, pistol

3: hunting knife, picture of something strange, candy bar, camera

4: car keys, Dr. Parks hat, magnifying glass, whistle, dog treats

5: holy relic, shotgun, bubble gum, make up case, ham sandwich

6: hammer, pliers, book of poetry, a black diamond, $5.00 in change

7: Ancient scroll, vial of liquid, letter from Desmond, box of donuts

8: extra pair of shoes, dagger, bag of potatoes, $18.35, airship ticket

9: 100′ of manila rope, very strange figurine, pocket knife, cheese

10: .38 pistol, brass knuckles, Book of the Awakened, cigar, lighter

11: mummified hand, bottle of strange liquid, pair of socks, gloves

12: thieves tools, $73.00, Egyptian amulet, wool hat, bag of candy

13: small box of soil, 3 apples, bottle of beer, green bandana, gum

14: gold coin, katana, pine cone, picture of a strange cat, small sack

15: bottle of wine, old book written in Persian, candle, hacksaw

16: Book of the Vampire, silver hammer, fox fur, small cheese pizza

17: tommy gun, head in a jar, eyeglasses, vial of mercury, large sack

18: Jar of honey, 6 pearls, shark’s teeth, top hat, .44 automatic

19: stink bomb, Eye of Horus, roast beef on rye, live snake, 2 rocks

20: expensive perfume, Book of the Strange, crayons, brick, roses

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Gooby, The Musk Ox Who Thought She Was A Dog, Goes To The Fair

…where she ate 17 different deep fried foods

My Gaming Life Is Shifting Into A Higher Gear

So far this year, my gaming life, both boardgames and RPGs, has looked like this…

Run a D&D 5E game, play in a D&D 5E game, run a game or two at cons, run & play in games about once a month at Your Turn! events.

A nice, steady situation where I played something once or twice a week. Now let’s look at what lies ahead starting in September.

Every other Saturday: I run D&D 5E
Every other Sunday: I play D&D5E
Every other Monday: I run boardgames at Game Kastle
Every other Tuesday: I run RPGs that are NOT D&D 5E at Game Kastle
Once a month: Games at a Your Turn! event.

So, gaming twice, maybe three times, a week, every week. Still not up to the amount of gaming I did in the 80’s, but close.

Now, this holds true until late November, when I can add in running a couple of games at the local fall game con. December will no doubt see a few games less due to the holidays.

Then we get to January. Now, the D&D games and the Game Kastle games will stay the same, but at Your Turn!, we’d like to ramp up to at least two events a month. On top of that, I plan on hitting up as many as 5 NorCal/Nevada gaming cons in 2020, which would be a new record for me.

Of course, the Your Turn! ramp up totally depends upon getting more dedicated volunteers to show up, which is a big problem, but we hope to lure in a few at various events. And as always, my exact con attendance depends upon money being available and our dear old car not dying.

So it looks like I’ll be doing a bunch of gaming in the next year. I’m not complaining, but damn, I’m going to really have to stay on my toes to keep up.

NOTE: Should any of you reading this think you might like to join us at Your Turn! Community Game Events, just pop on over to: yourturnevents.org and fill out the Volunteer form.

The Girl With Green Nipples Spends A Week In The Woods

…naked, for the most part

Doc Update

As I have mentioned a time or two before, I’m on the board of directors of Your Turn! Community Game Events. We are a non-profit dedicated to hosting free inclusive and fun events where people of all ages can learn and play board, card, dice and roleplaying games.

So far in 2019, we have hosted several game days at local Sacramento area libraries and a few events at festivals and the like. The word is slowly getting out about us, which is good, because as you’ll see below, we are ramping up to do a lot more in 2020.

For starters, as of September 2nd, which is Labor Day, we will be doing Board Game Night every other Monday at the Game Kastle here in Sacramento. We will have a couple of dozen games with us and and will be ready to teach and play any of them. It will run from 6 pm until 9 pm and, as always, will be free of charge.

On the alternate weeks, on Tuesdays, we’ll be running RPG Night. This will be the same hours, but there will only be 1 or 2 games set up and they’ll be different each week. Also, we will not be running D&D 5th Edition or Pathfinder. There are many places to learn and play those games, so we will be focusing on older or less well known games. Some of the games we have planned are Toon, Mutants & Masterminds, Over The Edge, Call of Cthulhu, Dungeon Fantasy, Dread, Paranoia, Heroquest and Hillfolk.

In 2020, we plan on putting in appearances at some of the Northern California game conventions and possibly RageCon in Reno. So far, we know that we will be at DunDraCon in February.

We are also looking to increase our library game days as well as having a presence at some of the local festivals. Dates and places to be announced.

So, as you can see, the gaming scene in Sacramento is about to get a shot in the arm. We are looking forward to getting out there, meeting new people and teaching them some games.



The Very Late, But Still Damned Scrappy, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Seven Dancing Ferrets

…co-starring her pet duck, Randolph

 

 

The Gaming Is Afoot!

 

The past few months have seen me hit something of an all high mark in my gaming life. Not since the mid 1980s have I been doing so much roleplaying and boardgaming on a weekly basis.

Now, to be sure, I am still a long way from the 14-16 hours a week I did back then. Those were the days when my four players and I would do a 4 hour session on Wednesday nights and a 10-12 hour session all day on Saturdays. We were all around 27 years old and it was hella fun, but now, at 65, I am pretty sure that exact situation would kill me :)

Now, I play in a D&D group twice a month, 4 hours per session, usually on Sunday evenings. We just celebrated our 4th year together.

On alternate weeks, I run a D&D game for 5 players on Saturday afternoons, again, for 4 hours per session. We have been getting together for just shy of 2 years.

And then, adding to the gaming goodness, is the fact that I run both RPGs and boardgames at various events for the non-profit Your Turn Community Game Events. I am also a board member.

Your Turn was thought up by one of my Saturday players, Cathy Ford, who does the Our Turn! Gaming For Everyone podcast over at https://ourturnpodcast.com/.

The actual genesis of Your Turn is not something I’m going to get into now, but suffice to say it was put into action by Cathy and a bunch of gaming geeks, Your Humble Narrator included. We run games at libraries and community events. So far, we have had a lot of success and are getting invited to more events all the time. We may be hooking up with a local game store to run games on a weekly basis soon.

Part of that weekly scenario may have myself and other RPG GMs running games on alternate weeks or something. Details are still hazy.

And, on top of all of the above, I’m 13 days out from going to GenCon, which I have not attended since 2007. I am awash on gaming goodness.

About the only thing I’m not doing, gamingwise, is writing for publication. Now, I do write gaming useful stuff, but not for any company. I do it for my wonderful Patrons over on Patreon. So far, there are several items up for Patrons only, and I will have more coming soon.

Note: A more crass individual than I might suggest you go over to https://www.patreon.com/DocCross and sign up for as little as $1.00 a month. Fortunately, I am not given to such acts.

I am going to try to remember to do some regular gaming posts here on the blog, in addition to the other regular stuff.

And speaking of that regular stuff, here’s a bit of what to expect in the next few weeks.

GenCon reporting will start on the 30th of this month when I fly to Kansas to join my friend, Peter Hildreth, for the trip to the con. I may do these reports on video, if I can get video to work on here.

The annual Trip To CritterCon, everyone’s favorite fictional convention, will start Friday after I return from GenCon and will cover about 12 days.

After a 4 month absence, the Doclopedia will be back starting September 1st. I am not sure, but I may do another “500 Entries In 365 Days” bit of madness. Stay tuned.

I am also entertaining the idea of doing interviews with gaming folks. Not sure yet.

Well there you have it, a gamealicious post about my gaming situation. I hope you liked it.

See you next time.

 

The Wildly Comedic, Yet Somewhat Restrained, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And Auntie Rosie’s Birthday

…featuring Auntie Rosie, of course!

Some Thoughts On Favorite Roleplaying Genres

So I was recently thinking about the fact that I am both playing in and GMing D&D 5E fantasy games. I’m enjoying them both immensely, but I did realize that, outside of the odd game at conventions, I have not GMed anything but fantasy for several years.

This can, of course, be explained by the fact that D&D style fantasy games are by far the most popular and common types of rpgs out there. If you don’t believe me, check out the D&D Adventurers League or the Pathfinder Society.

Anyway, I was thinking about the genres of games that I have run since becoming a GM about just about 40 years ago. They cover a whole lot of ground and many rules systems, so I thought I’d do up a list. My memory not being what it used to be, I’m sure I left a couple out, but here are the ones I remember, along with the rules systems I used.

Fantasy

Around 500 individual sessions spread out among 7-8 lengthy campaigns and many short ones & one shots, mostly using D&D/AD&D, but with sidetrips into Tunnels & Trolls, Runequest, GURPS Fantasy, Talislanta, and a few homebrew systems.

Science Fiction, mostly Space Opera

Around 50 sessions, mostly in 3 campaigns. Traveller, GURPS Space and a modification of D&D (for a short Star Trek campaign) were the systems of choice.

Horror

Around 60 sessions, pretty much evenly split between Ravenloft for AD&D and straight up Call of Cthulhu.

Hero/Weird Menace Pulp

Around 150 sessions, including 4 campaigns. I used the Justice Inc. rules for Hero System at first, but then moved to Chaosiums Basic Roleplaying, GURPS Cliffhangers, D&D, Fudge and Over The Edge.

Modern Strangeness

At least 60 sessions, almost all using Over The Edge, but a few using Fudge.

 

Old West

Only about 10 sessions, with 6 of those using Boot Hill and the remainder using Basic Roleplaying.

Comedy

200 sessions, mostly using Toon, but with a good bit of Paranoia and a couple of others I can’t recall.

 

Time Travel/Dimension Hopping

About 10 sessions, all using Fudge

 

Historical

Only 2 sessions, since I am nobody’s historian. Used Call of Cthulhu rules.

Modern Espionage

About 5 sessions, using the James Bond rules.

Science Fiction, Post Apocalypse

Around a dozen sessions, mostly using GURPS mixed with Car Wars, but a few using Over The Edge.

Science Fiction, Other

Around 8 sessions. Includes everything from a robot uprising to 1950’s giant bugs. Call of Cthulhu rules and Over The Edge.

 

Steampunk

2 sessions, using Basic Roleplaying.


Assorted Other Genres

10 sessions. Everything from Bunnies & Burrows to Planet of the Apes, using a bunch of systems.

Hmm, that works out to 1,069 gaming sessions. Let’s round it up to 1,700. That comes to a bit over 42 sessions a year over 40 years. Considering that in 1982 and 1983 I ran 2 sessions of AD&D a week for about 48 weeks each year, that takes care of 192. Add in a few one shots and we’ll call that 200. Still comes to an average of 39.4 sessions a year, although several of those years had over 50 sessions a year and some had less than a dozen.

Next time, I might write about genres I’d like to GM more often.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Your Face Gets Stuck That Way

…your mother WARNED you, didn’t she?

 

 

The Doclopedia #1,270

The Alphabet: Q is for…

Quill Beast…, also known as a Spiny Terror. Imagine a 7 foot tall cross between an Ogre and a porcupine and you are not far off as to what a Quill Beast looks like. They are big, dumb, easy to piss off and covered with 6 inch long barbed quills that release an acidic toxin when they sink into flesh. It is said that the pain will make a barbarian berserker fall down screaming and crying.

With their own kind, Quill Beasts are friendly and gentle. They live in small family groups and if they meet another family, they never fight. This does not apply to them meeting and other species larger than a fox.

Quill Beasts are most often found in mixed woodland. They sometimes live in evergreen forest on mountains. They are almost never seen in praries.

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The Doclopedia #1,271

The Alphabet: Q is for…

Queelgah City…is the largest city on the island of Guodra, with a population of 395,015 humans, Kloavians, m’Ret and Tunjunku. Due to frequent releases of poison gas from Mount Remkar, the entire city is under a dome.

Queelgah City was first established by m’Ret merchants and explorers in Month 9 of Galactic Year 78,002. Many other races arrived over the next 4 millenia, with the humans arriving a scant 300 years ago.

Besides the sale of tros, winlaa and skameel, all of which are abundant on Guodra, the city is known for fine dining, excellent museums and the Royal m’Ret Theater.

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.

 

 

Radical Lorikeets Angered My Skinks

…you do not want to deal with angry skinks

DogCon 9

Day Seven: In which, while we humans eat an expensive dinner prior to yet another party, the critters discuss their day at the con.

Sasha: I started the day playing in the live critters only dungeon with Silky, Roxie and Sadie.

Sadie: It was lots of fun! I played a thief.

Roxie: I was a wizard of the School of Fire. I fried several zombies and a bugbear,

Silky: I was the cleric of the party, Sister Orella. I had my work cut out for me between healing Sasha & Sadie and smiting unbelievers.


Sasha: I was a barbarian with a bigass sword. We kicked ass.

Daisy: Max and I played board games until I had to do my panel on GMing.

Max: Yeah, I really liked “Mars Explorer”. It’s a competitive, but you also get points for helping other players out of jams.

Leon: I got into a minis war game at 8:00 am that lasted 6 hours. It was United Planetary Marines versus Martian Warbots on Mars. It was a pretty fast moving game considering there were 10 players.

Max: After Daisy went off to do her panel, I played a game of Paranoia with Sasha and Sadie. That was some funny shit.

Sadie: Yeah, we blew through about 4 clones each before we even got out of the briefing room.

Sasha: And another 3 down in R&D!

Roxie: Silky and I went to watch some anime. The first few episodes were Magic Girl stuff, which is fine, but then they started showing some goofy high school romance comedy that was just too goofy.

Silky: Yeah, the Japanese have a different sense of humor, for sure.

Leon: When my game finished, I went to the all cat play area. It was fun for a couple of hours. Then I went to the Dealers Room and bought some minis.

Sasha: Yeah, the three of us hit the Dealer’s Room, then went to the arcade to play the hell out of Pac Man and the like.

Max: I rule at Venture!

Sadie: I set a new personal record for Centipede.

Roxie: Sounds like we all had a fun day. So, who wants to order room service before we meet the humans at the party?

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No Man’s Lamb

…those sheep belong to Little Bo Peep!

DogCon 9

Day Six: In which I do a very cursory bit of reportage on my day, with critter commentary.

The Summer of Love party last night was great, especially for those of us who actually grew up in the 60’s. However, as often happens when one dances the night away and consumes alcohol, today was a rather slow starting day.
(Daisy: Max and I danced all night at our party and we were fine today.)
(Silky: That’s because you’re 5. I think I wore out 3 of my legs.)

(Sasha: I’m beginning to think that 7.5 years old is too old for the mosh pit. Even my ears hurt this morning.)

Breakfast: We ate at Waffles From Outer Space, where they made some special veggie waffles for Max and fish topped waffles for the cats.

(Max: Oh man, those waffles were the shit! Yum!)

(Leon: Waffles topped with tuna are my new love.)


Seminars: I gave one entitled “Time, The Multiverse & You” and it had a full house. I went to one Spike was on called “Editors: Threat Or Menace?”. That one was full, too.
(Max: Mr. C. was in rare form at his seminar. It was funny as hell. )


Games: I ran a Toon game. It was “The House That Jerks Built” scenario. As usual, it went very well. I played in a short session of Feng Shui, in which I was a Scrappy Kid. After lunch and a long stroll through the dealer’s room, I joined Spike and Grace in a life sized game of “Kill Dr. Lucky”.

Other Fun: I bought an hour hookup to a robot at GenCon and went around saying hi to my friends up there.

(Sasha: I did the same thing an hour before my longass X-Files game.)


Lunch: Partaken of at Taco The Town. I won a tamale eating contest.

Purchases: Too much to list.

(Sadie: My dad did the same thing, and this after he went hog wild at that pulp show.)

Dinner: Ate with a big group at Big Slabs O’ Meat .

(Daisy: MEAT COMA!)

Leaving now for tonight’s party. No theme, just lots more partying.

More blog-o-rama tomorrow.

Hot Damn! It’s The Dancing Elks!

…and they’re wearing tuxedos

DogCon 9

Day Five: In which we reach Critter City, meet up with lots of friends and prepare to party.

Having spent the night less than an hour from Critter City, we all got up late today, around 9:30. After a fairly light breakfast, we got on the road and rolled under the big dome at 11:45.

After parking in the Hyatt underground and then getting all of our stuff into our suites, we went to meet assorted friends and then get our con badges and swag bags. Among the first dozen friends we met were Brian Misiaszek, his wife & daughter & dog. The Misiaszek family and Sadie have traveled to this con with us before several times and Brian is always involved in a couple of the old time radio productions we do, to say nothing of panels and games.

The swag bags at DogCon are always good and this year was no exception.Our bags included…

A t-shirt depicting a movie starring ConDog, the lovable mutt mascot of the con as “Dogtor Strange” and looking sort of Cumberbatchy.

Three six sided dice (mine were electric blue) with the 6 replaced by the DogCon 9 logo.

A poster for a low budget, Kickstarted movie called “It Came From Under Space”, which looks to feature a giant mole.

A super yummy (and safe for critters) lemon cookie the size of a tea saucer.

A book of discount coupons for favorite eateries like Chez Mom’s, Thai One On, Ed’s Big Weenie, Pizza My Heart, Waffles From Outer Space! (BACON & BUTTER FLAVORED SYRUP!) and Mistress Diana’s Breakfast Dungeon, plus a few free drink coupons.

A mini board game called “Carp Wars”

The con book, which this year is done up to look like a steampunk Journal Of SCIENCE!

Having gotten our swag, we all made our way to Ed’s Big Weenie to eat delicious hotdogs and look through the con book.

Since I have your attention, I will note that besides the seminars, panels and games that Spike, Brian, Peter, Sasha, Daisy and I run, this year will see Grace & Mary as part of a 6 person panel with the title “I Married A Gamer”. I am told it has already been moved twice to larger rooms.

And now we are back from dinner at Thai One On and are letting our tummies rest before heading out to the pre-con party and alcohol fest. This years theme is “Marvel VS DC” and costumes are provided. Oh, yeah, this year, there is also a critters only party sponsored by Non-Human Terrans of Texas. The theme for that party is “Summer of Love”.

More blogging tomorrow.

 

RAISING KOBOLDS FOR FUN AND PROFIT

…of course, you do have to feed them a baby or two

DogCon 9

Day Three: In which we do not have the most interesting of days, but still manage to spin off a new timeline or two.

It was hot in New Mexico today, averaging 103 most of our way across the state. Our East Coast contingent does not deal well with hot dry weather, so that plus a surprising lack of places we wanted to stop made the trip a mostly driving one.

Travel Tip: You cannot go all the way across New Mexico on I-10 because after Las Cruces (about a third of the way across the state) it dives down into Texas. Thus, we split off to Route 70 when we left Las Cruces, took that to Alomogordo, then took Route 82 the rest of the way to the Texas border.

Aside from stopping for lunch at a swell Mexican Restaurant in Alamogordo for lunch before going to learn all about how the USA learned to blow shit up atomically at White Sands Visitor Center, we stopped at two other places.

First was “The Strange Spot”, a place a few miles off I-10 near Deming where the desert rocks are set up in such a way as to cause multiple echoes and strange sounds from the wind in a sort of maze-like 50 acre area. You ride through it in golf carts and stop every few minutes to yell, then listen, then take pictures. The whole tour takes about 45 minutes and I’m pretty sure that without the small personal cooling units Sasha provided, Avis and Ginie would have melted away. But it was worth the buck fifty each and we did get t-shirts, bumper stickers and other stuff.

The next place was in the town of Artesia, where we came across the “New Mexico Youth Talent Show” being held in a rather large high school gymnasium. Now, at first, we were going to just pass it by, but when Daisy saw the sign saying “Free Admission” and “Everyone under the age of 18 free to perform” she told me to stop, then gathered the other critters and went off to the Meadow Room for a meeting.

About 45 minutes later, after the rest of us had played a couple of rounds of “Love Letter” and “Murder of Crows”, they came and said we needed to take the bus back in time to just before the event started at 10:00 am (it being by then about 2:45). We did so and they went to the Clothes Closet (which is about the size of a large Wal Mart) and came out wearing very nice suits (for Max and Leon) and skirts (for Daisy, Sasha, Silky and Roxie). The clothes were vintage early 60s lounge act looking.

Going into the gym, we noted that there were maybe 50 other acts and about 600 spectators. The critters signed up as the “Smooth Tones” from Taos. We humans got our seats and began a quiet conversation about what the hell was up. We didn’t worry about changing history, but we did wonder if this might cause some sort of temporary local disturbance that might see us making a hasty retreat to the bus.

The Smooth Tones were the fifteenth act on, coming after singers, dancers, magicians, two trained dog acts (one very good) a poetry reading and a couple of young men with excellent juggling skills. As the critters (in their teenage android bodies, I remind you) came out, the stage lights dimmed and they began an slow and loungy a cappella version of “Video Killed The Radio Star”, no doubt spurred by today being the 35th anniversary of the launching of MTV. They were terrific, as you might imagine from sentients with perfect pitch due to android bodies. The crowd, never having heard the song, was dead silent. Spike leaned over to me and asked my odds on this spinning off a new timeline, seeing as it was 5 years before the song would be released in England and 6 years before MTV would debut. I put it at about 85%.

When the song was done (including lead singer Max pointing right at a local TV camera as he sang “Put the blame on VTR!”) the crowd went wild. The critters came up to join us, followed by several young folks and a guy who gave them his card and said he was a talent agent from Dallas.

We watched another two hours of acts, including a young lady who sang a hymn with a voice that indeed sounded like that of an angel. The crowd loved her.

After all 50 acts had done their thing, the entire crowd got to vote. Angel Voice came in First, the Jugglers came in Second and the Smooth Tones came in Third. They won $100.00. They also signed a shitload of autographs, which I reckon raised the new timeline spinoff to 100%. Then we took out leave back to our proper time.

Note: The hundred bucks was donated to a local charity.

Having spun off an alternate timeline where, in a few years folks would say, “Hey, the Buggles ripped off that song!”, we drove the rest of the way to Highway 18, then down to Hobbs, where we are stopped for the night. We have all praised the Smooth Tones, in particular Max, and they will get their favorite meals for dinner, lovingly prepared by ChefBots Alton, Julia & Jacques. The rest of us will be eating Indian fare, also prepared by the ChefBots.

Entertainment tonight will be six half hour episodes of “Doc Savage: The Animated Adventures”, which make up the story arc “Devil Doctor”, featuring Doc vs Fu Manchu.

Tomorrow, it’s Texas and 1986! More blogging soon.

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 Sausage Fairies Come Out At Night

…which is good, because they’re kinda strange

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 14, Con Day 1: In which we review the wedding & party, everybody just plays the hell out of games, then parties like it’s 1889

8:30 pm

The wedding went off perfectly, with Morris the Cat officiating. For cats, having Morris do the duty was like Jesus marrying two humans. When he walked out, every cat and dog in the placed gasped.

(Jazz: It was an incredible surprise and an honor.)

(Flash: He was great! A god among cats!)
(Leon: I got a tear in my eye when I saw him.)

(Roxy: I wept like a kitten.)

There were hundreds of sentients at the wedding and the whole town of Critter City watched on big screens all over town.

(Jazz: The Girls were beautiful in their peach colored collars, ribbons and the diamond earrings.)
(Flash: And Lulu, my Best Bitch, was snazzy in her new tuxedo paint job.)

Once the wedding was over, there were a zillion pictures and then the crazy big buffet dinner. After that were toasts and speeches. Sasha went completely sappy when she gave hers.

(Jazz: It was so sweet! She was crying and telling Flash what a great brother he was and how she loved him and was proud of him. He cried, too.)

(Flash: It was allergies.)

(Leon: Dude, you were sobbing like a baby! You used a whole box of tissue.)

Once all that was done, it was time to party! We had at least 500 sentients there. Rather than give a blow by blow, I figure I’ll just let the critters comment on stuff.

(Sasha: It was very sweet watching Flash & Jazz dance while Frank Sinatra sang to them.)

(Daisy: OMG! I got to meet Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy and Mr. Sulu and Lt. Uhura and…)

(Silky: I loved seeing Bob Hope and Errol Flynn and John Wayne.)

(Lulu: I got to meet K-9. He’s pretty smart, but his speech software blows.)

(Daisy: …and ALL the Doctors and Captain Picard and Tony Stark and Lt. Commander Data and four James Bonds and some Klingons and…)

(Leon: You know, horses are pretty nice folks. I hung out with a few of them.)

(Roxy: The otters were a hoot. Who knew they could play jazz?)

(Sadie: Dean Martin and Johnny Carson were funny.)

(Jazz: Dad does a pretty good Louis Prima impression. Even Louis was impressed.)

(Sasha: You should have been there later on when he did his Tom Waits impression and sang “Open Invitation To The Blues”)

(Flash: Yeah, well, after Jazz sang “Why Don’t You Do Right” in the Jessica Rabbit style to me, it was honeymoon time.)

(Daisy: …and hobbits and Gandalf and HARRY GODDAMN POTTER and Hermione and Ron and Dobby and Dr. Banner and Mrs. Peel and Mr. Steed and…)

(Sadie: It was pretty cool how, after Flash & Jazz left, everything changed from the Sands Hotel in Vegas, 1962 to the Fillmore West, San Francisco, 1969)

(Roxy: Kind of mixed with a rave and a battle of the bands. It was VERY cool how those “Matrix Bracelets” let us learn how to play any instrument AND know the words to any song.)

(Daisy: …and Mal Reynolds and Clark Savage Jr. and Monk Mayfair and Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle and Captain Jack Harkness and…)

(Sasha: It was pretty cool watching Mom, in those leather pants & jacket, sing “I Love Rock & Roll”, then see Dad & Uncle Spike do “Layla”. They were tearin’ it up!)

(Sadie: Lots of people went off to those holosuites. What was up with that?)

(Daisy: …and Groot and Rocket and Steve Rogers and Miss Romanov and Dr. Crusher and Jadzia Dax and Sarah Jane Smith and…)

Lulu: Yeah, it was a night to remember all right.)

After the party was over, we left and were back on the bus just 5 minutes after we left, but dog tired, so we all hit the sack for a good 10 hour nap. (Note: between the wedding, dinner and party, we were in folded time for 12 hours)

The Rejuvenox wore off while we were asleep, so we all woke up in our old physical forms. Better than being dead, I guess.

(Silky: Goodbye, taut tummy and firm boobs!)

Our first convention day started with a bang up breakfast at Chez Mom’s and then we all scattered to thr four winds for gaming. It broke down kind of like this…

The critters (accompanied by Arcadia) went off to play in some LARPs, with the old hands showing the newbies the ropes.

(Daisy: Wow! That Dungeons & Dogs LARP was hella fun!)

(Silky: It sure was! I got to play a fighter and I kicked ass!)

(Jazz: We cats played in the Cats & Caverns adventure. I was a mage and Roxy was a thief.)

(Roxy: We killed a Greater Mummy!)

Grace & Mary & Caroline & Ginie went into the Hall O’ Boardgames and were there most of the day.

Miranda and Lauren mostly played video games.

Spike, Brian, Avis and I did a tour of the Dealer’s room and then played in several RPG sessions, including the new D&D, Traveller and Over The Edge.

For dinner, we all went to Big Slabs O’ Meat for lots ODF, well, meat and other, lesser foodstuffs. Filled up from that, we waddled back to our rooms to get ready for the Con Party.

(Sasha: I LOVE that place! I almost overdosed on meat.)

Now, normally, this big shindig is held on Wednesday night, but this year they moved it to Thursday night because half the con was at the wedding party. Very cool of them to do it.

The theme for this year’s party is “Steampunk Villainy” so we will all be going as various Evil Geniuses, Masterminds, Mad Scientists and Vile Criminals. They have three bands playing, including Abney Park. Should be a fun Victorian time.

The critters and Lauren and Arcadia will all be here in our room watching old “Aircat” and “Bark Savage” serials. There will be a mountain of snacks.

(Leon: AIRCAT! Fuck yeah!)

More blogstuff tomorrow.

My Life Among The Tentacled Dogs

…they picked my pocket!

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 3: In which we see trained cats, visit a house on stilts, prevent a bear from getting in trouble and watch monster movies.

9:00 am

We played Car Wars and other games until the wee hours last night, which explains why only a couple of us (me & Brian) are up even now. Mostly this has to do with walking dogs.

(Sasha: Well excuse us for having to pee!)

(Sadie: And poop!)

(Daisy: It was a nice walk.)

(Silky: We saw chipmunks and birds.)

The Car Wars session took place on a flat figure eight racetrack. While there were no collisions at the intersection, there was a whole lot of combat damage. The teams were Brian & Sadie, Spike & Daisy, Lauren & Sasha and Me & Silky. It was human drivers, dog gunners. The win would only go to the team that completed three laps. We all lasted longer than I would have thought, with Brian & Sadie going out at lap 2.25, Me & Silky going out at lap 2.33 and Spike & Daisy getting taken out at lap 2.75. Having miraculously kept 3 tires intact to the end (but no driver’s door, windshield or forward facing weaponry), Lauren & Sasha did a victory lap at 20 miles an hour.

(Sasha: It was superior driving & gunning all the way!)
(Daisy: You got lucky with that flaming oil.)

(Sadie: We were hosed when Doc & Silky forced us into the wall. Twice!)

(Silky: Yeah, but then we rolled our car and lost our gun turret.)

Once we all hit the sack, the bus drove up into the boondocks of western Ontario, a hundred odd miles north of the US border. We are near a lake, because in this part of Canada you can’t swing a dead beaver without hitting a lake. There is plenty of forest and it’s all really nice and I’m glad the bus knows where we are because I’m lost as hell. If a bunch of cavemen came by questing for fire, I would not be surprised.

Now it’s time to rouse our sleeping travel mates with the promise of a hearty breakfast. More bloggage soon.

11:30 am

Amazingly, despite appearing to be in the ass end of nowhere, we were in fact only 10 miles from a major highway and about 30 minutes from a small town with a great roadside attraction: a trained cat show. Note to self: jokes about well trained pussies are NOT well received by the women on this bus.

We arrived in the town of Burchord at 10:30, after breakfasting and looking at chipmunks.

(Flash: They were everywhere! Breakfast on the hoof, and me harnessed and leashed!)

(Lulu: And me restraining bolted!)

(Leon: It just ain’t right to hold a cat back!)

(Lulu: Or a robot dog!)

(Leon: Yeah!)

(Jazz: Why waste all that energy chasing rodents? Mom has about 15 kinds of cat food, plus fresh fish.)

(Roxy: I like chasing rodents for a couple of minutes, in a house or yard. But out there in the wilderness? No way!)

(Jazz: I know, right? There are wolves and coyotes and stuff out there, not to mention all the things that can get stuck in fur.)

The trained cats do their thing in the window of Burchord Hardware (established in 1890) and those cats are very well trained indeed. The walked a tightrope, ran an agility course, played soccer (we all wondered why it wasn’t hockey, but I guess the cats had trouble with the sticks) and did things like roll over, shake hands and dance. It was a great show and free. They do it at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and it lasts about 20 minutes. T-shirts are only ten bucks.

(Sasha: Those were very talented cats, you bet.)

(Sadie: And very pretty, too.)

(Daisy: But not as pretty as Jazz!)


Our kitty contingent was, of course, unimpressed by the show. They pointed out that those cats couldn’t sing the blues (Jazz), write poetry (Roxy), use power armor (Flash) or steal a car (Leon). I suspect Leon & Avis will discuss that last confession.

(Flash: Aw, who hasn’t boosted a car or two?)
(Roxy: Not me!)

(Jazz: Oh, look, fresh cat food!)

(Leon: Well, apparently my mom hasn’t. She was upset with me.)

(Flash: Our mom has never stolen a car either. Dad, on the other paw…)

We are now back on the bus and will soon be collapsing the old timey wimey to get to Saskatchewan to see the World Famous Prairie House on Stilts. The folks at Roadside Canada Quarterly give it three out of four stars. More bloggage soon.


1:00 pm

OK, so about that house on stilts: it’s really high up on stilts! Like, 40 feet up. Of course, they are very stout concrete and steel stilts, one of which contains a big roomy elevator, but still, 40 FUCKIN’ FEET!

(Sadie: I got a kink in my neck looking up at it!)

The McAdams family (Ron, Jill and 3 cats) charge five bucks per person to tour the 3 bedroom, two bath house, which is very spacious and has a large deck with a great view of the surrounding prairie/farmland. The garage, naturally, is down on ground level. It’s a pretty remarkable place and best of all, Ron built it because “why not?”. A man after my own heart.

(Daisy: “Why not?” Translation: Because I’m crazy!)

By the way, your five buck admission gets you either a free bumper sticker or a fridge magnet. SCORE! Of course, the t-shirts are $10.00 each.

Right now, we are way up in northern Saskatchewan enjoying some trees and nature and stuff. A few minutes ago, we helped a young bear avoid some big trouble. It went like this…

Bear is walking along, minding his own business. We are 100 yards upwind and being quiet. He does not notice us.

We see that he is heading towards Mama Skunk and her four young ones.

Daisy says “Uh oh!”, then yells something in Bruin. Bear looks up at us, then starts loping away, toward the skunks.

Lulu takes off running and yelling in bruin. Bear gets scared, starts running. Skunks look up. Skunks start doing warning dance.

Bear is oblivious. Probably has never met a skunk.

Lulu grabs 300 pound bear by the scruff of the neck and drags him about 100 feet. Bear is frightened and yelling.

Lulu releases bear and, in Bruin, reads him the riot act. Bear runs off at top speed. Skunks also run off.

Lulu returns and we all thank her for helping the now in need of therapy bear.

Never a dull moment for us. And now, a bit more nature appreciation, then back on the road.

11:30 pm

We are now in Sasksatoon, where we will spend the night. After dinner, the whole bunch of us took a walk around this part of town, which is mostly a residential area. One old guy saw us all coming out of the bus (which from the outside is only 18 feet long) and asked if we weren’t awfully crowded in there. I let him take a peek inside, after which he seemed to want to get back inside his house really quickly.

After the walk, it was movie time in the Theater Room, where we watched a couple of alternate reality low budget monster movies. First up was “The Monster of Millville” (Goodwin Films, 1959), which looked a lot like a student film with maybe a $300 budget. The titular monster was a “mutation” caused by “atomic Z radiation”. It looked kind of like what you’d get if a gorilla, a duck and a frog has crazy irradiated sex, then had a baby. Best line of dialogue: “There’s an eight foot tall mutant somewhere in Millville and I’ll find it if it takes a year!”

The second feature was higher up on the budget scale, but not that high. It was “Torbo” (International United, 1963) and it was about a giant robotic lizard that trashed a town “somewhere in Arizona”. It also trashed a bunch of guys dressed up as Army personnel. The stop motion for Torbo was actually pretty good and the acting was better than expected. Best line of dialogue: “It’s not just a giant lizard. It’s a robot giant lizard.”

And now it’s time for the snoozing. More blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Forbidden Forest


Destination Sign when we stopped: Rock & Roll High School

Music: Bow Wow Blues: Music for Dogs

Fly Fishing In The Stream Of Conciousness

…and not catching anything

 

OOPS! Forgot to post the Monday entry for After The Change Came. Here it is and I promise the Wednesday entry will go up on time.

 

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Night For Gaming And Parenting

Well, folks, tonight was Game Night at the old hacienda and we had a pretty big crowd. Besides Grace, myself, Lily and the twins, we had Roscoe, Gigi & the pups, Sin & Babe, Lily’s best friend Cassie, Lily’s “he’s NOT my boyfriend, Dad” friend Marty, Avis & Daniel and our very good neighbor, Linda. Boardgames were the order of the night and we had the big gaming table set up.

The pups and twins were put into a magical sort of playpen that is, like a TARDIS, larger on the inside than on the outside. It is also safer than safe, but that didn’t stop out House Elf, Annie, from popping in “just to check on the wee ones” every 10 minutes or so. Even so, at one point Will figured out that he could push toys into a pile near the stable end of the playpen, climb on top of the pile and then help puppies escape. He was helped in figuring this out by May, who among the pups is the one most likely to have “adventures”. Puppy escapes were fruitless, since both Gigi and Grace were sitting nearby. They just put the escapees right back into the pen, then had Daniel cast a spell to put a magical cover on it. Lockdown!

Rather than recount boring play by play of the games, I’ve opted to list some quotes from throughout the evening, many without context.

Grace to Gigi: “You have a degree in Early Childhood Education, another in Child Psychology, you are extremely patient and you have a highly developed herding instinct. Of course you’re a good mother.”

Marty: “I swear these dice did not suck when I used them last time”

Avis to Me: “Yeah, right. We should live so long as to see you get sick of Chinese food.”

Lily to Cassie: “Lucky you. Takes me half an hour to shampoo my hair. And try shampooing a tail!”

Gigi to Roscoe: “You do realize that the object of this game is to win, right?”

Me to Daniel: “If you build a guest house, you should make it look like a milkshake.”

Linda to Grace: “I love my wife, even when she goes to Bitchytown.”

Roscoe to Babe: “One of these days, we’ll run through the streets with you chasing me. That will get us some looks.”

Avis to Lily: “Always remember that your father kept us searching for him for 3 days because he wanted to hang out with gorillas.”

Sin to Marty: “Yes, the whole growth spurt thing is a pain in the ass. When I was your age, I was growing out of dresses in a month’s time.”

Me to Sin: “It surprises nobody here that you get wood for sheep.”

Grace to Lily: “Of course high school sucks, sweetie. It’s full of teenagers.”

Sin: “If I ever did build a railroad, it would have way classier cars than you usually see.”

Me to Roscoe: “When you were a year old you ate half a pound of butter. You had to wear a diaper for a week.”

Avis: “I don’t like those dice. They look creepy.”

Lily to Marty: “Of course females are smarter than males. If they weren’t, we’d still be living in caves.”

It was a fun night. Now I have to go tuck in two sleepy toddlers, then hit the sack. Off to China tomorrow. More blogging later.

 

Floggy, The S&M Cat

…NOT a story for children

 

Doc Update

1: A few weeks ago, I straightened up the game room and turned it into a game room/writing room. This weekend, my madness is forcing me to re-do the library so you can actually walk through it and use the treadmill.

2: If you are going to Dundracon in February and want to play in my TOON game, drop by the game and ask about playing. There will be 10 official places in the game, but I might go as high as 14 players total. Preference given to women and folks who have never played before.

3: Healthwise, everybody here at The D&G Cross Home For Wayward Basset Hounds is in goods health, relatively speaking.

4:  Realized last night that this will be the first Xmas in my life without my mother alive. A sad thing, but Mom wouldn’t want anyone “moping around” about it.

5:  Got no writing done last weekend, so I’ll be trying to get a bunch done this weekend.

6:  Only a few days until The Hobbit hits theaters. I may go to a late showing on Saturday night.

Warogobogo

…relax, it’s just a nonsense word

Doc Update!

1: As announced earlier elsewhere, the doctor took the stitches out of my shoulder and told me I’ll be cleared to go back to work as soon as I feel up to it. Given that my arm is a bit weak from lack of use and still has a tiny bit of pain in the shoulder, I reckon I’ll be off work at least another week or two.

2: I finished reading “I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows”, the fourth Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley. It was, as they all have been, a darned good read and a good mystery.

3: I’ve also finished Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent. It’s a pretty interesting read and look back at how radio scripts were written. Considering that pretty much each episode was a self contained story presented in 15 minutes, they are pretty good tales. It would be great if somebody could produce them again, probably for internet radio.

4: My Sweet Little Pork Tamale Of Love, Grace, is doing very well in her battle against diabetes. She has lowered her numbers significantly in the last month or so. GO GRACE!

5: Lucy and Sasha, AKA The Girls, are fit as canine fiddles and living the good life. Whoever thought that saying “a dog’s life” or “treated like a dog” was a bad thing?

6: I am still about 10 1/2 months and 364 entries away from my goal of 500 Doclopedia entries, but I’m chipping away at it. I’m more than halfway through my repat tackling of the alphabet and I have an idea of what the next couple of themes will be.

7: On another writing front, also mentioned elsewhere, I’m going along nicely on my rewrites of the previous four DogCon/CatCon fictional convention reports. The first one was rather short, so it’s getting some serious beefing up. The second and fourth are getting a smaller dose of love and the third, massive one, is getting only a minor polishing. Seeing as how those four will make up about 90 entries…AND I need to start the fifth one (which I’m writing in advance) by the end of July…I’ll start reposting them on the fiction blog about the end of March.

8:My veggie garden plans are not firmed up yet, but I’m just waiting for the rainy season to pass and then it’s on, baby!

And now, I have chores to to before writing, or my wife and dogs will beat me about the head and shoulders.

The Mysterious and Tense, Yet Somewhat Psychedelic, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Meatloaf Of The Damned

…co-starring her best buddy, Orville Sweetcracker

Doc Update

Time for an update about life here at the D&G Cross Home For Wayward Basset Bitches. I haven’t been doing these as regularly as I used to, so maybe this will be the start of renewed personal updatage. Or not.

Healthwise, I’m now taking blood pressure meds due to my previously excellent BP going a bit high recently. I’m only taking half a pill a day, so I guess I’m not in danger of keeling over any time soon. I’ve also been told that my blood sugar is “nearly into the pre-diabetic range”, which pretty much means “lose some weight, fat boy!”.

Grace’s low level diabetes has cranked up a notch, so she is taking pills now and keeping a much closer eye on her numbers with twice daily tests. She has lost something like 75 pounds over the last year or so, but will keep on losing until things improve.

Winker is still taking her blood thinner and her diuretic, so she is doing pretty darned well for a dog who was so close to death just about a year ago.

Lucy and Sasha are as healthy as can be. In fact, our efforts to fatten Sasha up just a bit (she was very skinny when we adopted her) have not been as successful as we hoped. Being a “sporty” basset, she just burns off calories at a hell of a rate. Still, we have gotten her to a point where you can’t see her ribs.

Jobwise, things are still the same, which means we will be on our Adventure In Poverty until we either get fat raises or win the lottery.

One speed bump in our financial road will come when I am off work after my shoulder operation in March. That will be about 6 weeks, depending upon how well my physical therapy goes. Things will be very tight on the money front for awhile.

Gardenwise, I don’t know if we’ll have a veggie garden this year. Between the goofy ass weather (as in NO WINTER!) and my surgery/recovery, we’ll probably just have a couple of tomato plants and maybe some green beans.

In gaming news, I’m looking forward to my annual trek to Dundracon. It will be good to be immersed in geekdom and hang out with my tribe for a few days. Beyond that, I’m planning on getting my gaming group together in late April for some regular roleplaying again. I’m not sure what genre we’ll play in, but some sort of Pulp Era game sounds good.

Hark! I hear certain hounds telling me that it is time for walkies. More bloggage soon!

.

After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin On Horseback

Once again, I haven’t written in a week. This time, the reason is that Doc and I have been drafted by several Wizards to go off on some cockamamie road trip looking for, as they put it “signs of something troubling”. Did they know what the signs would be? No. Did they know what the troubling thing might be? No. Did they know who the hell was behind these signs of troubling crap that Wizards didn’t know anything about? Hell no! They just told us to head northeast from Sacramento starting at noon on Tuesday, which we did. On horseback. Well, actually, muleback, since Doc prefers mules to horses.

Not that these are just any mules, don’t you know. Sirroco (Rocky) and Bellflower (Belle) are, Smart Mules, born of the first Smart Horse and Smart Donkey. Unlike many brothers and sisters, they get along very well. Unlike most mules, they are both fertile, so one day if they find mates, they could produce more Smart Mules.

So far, our trip has taken us way up into the Sierras, where besides freezing our asses off, we happened upon the remains of an abandoned lakeside village that had burned to the ground some months ago. After a bit of sleuthing, we determined that it had been torched on purpose, almost certainly by magical fire.. Doc, ever the Nature Boy, also noted that there was a very faint trail leading west. We followed it down into the foothills, passing areas that might have been camps last summer. At one of these camps, I found some large footprints in what had been mud, but was now nearly hard as rock due to our dry winter.

The footprints were nearly as large as Doc’s feet (which means long and very wide) and whoever made them probably weighed in excess of 200 pounds and wore soft leather footwear. Doc looked at those footprints a long while, then went to a pond about half a mile away. When he came back, all he would say is that his spider sense was tingling and we needed to pick up the pace.

That was yesterday and this morning we lost the trail after coming to an intersection of two paved roads. After thinking a bit, Doc decided to turn north for a bit, which is why tonight we are staying at a small hotel in Chico. I am so glad to have a hot shower and a real bed to sleep in. Unlike Old Yellow Eyes, I’m a city boy. Camping out is fun about once or twice a year…in the summer. This winter camping and riding all day is nuts. My poor ass feels like it has been hit by a truck after six days in the saddle. I’m also not too happy to have to dress all butch for a week or more.

Unfortunately, my complaints would fall on deaf ears even if I could find a Wizard to bitch at. Doc understands that this isn’t my preferred lifestyle, but we appear to be onto something big and he’s all in thinking mode, so it would be wrong to bother him. I guess I’ll just slip into the nice warm bed and sleep until the inevitable too fucking early o’clock wake up call.

More bloggage soon.

Sunflower Soup

…I’m pretty sure it’s not real

Hey, let’s take a break from 365 posts and read some STUFF!

1: Happy Birthday to Robin D. Laws!

2: My dogs are clean, sweet smelling and huggable after baths last night. They will stay this way for about 3-4 days, then will get less sweet smelling and huggable, although we will still hug them.

3: Aside from the aches & pains that come with our ages, the four of us are in pretty good health.

4: We are eating large amounts of tomatoes from the garden, thanks to late season temps in the 80s & 90s. Of course, this has stopped my fall veggies from growing until it cools down, but hey ORGANIC HEIRLOOM TOMATOES!

5: If I can, via some sort of miracle, come up with the $$, I’ll be going to GenCon next summer. I will need at least 1 room mate and I’m hoping airfare drops or I’ll need to drive with at least one other person.

6: I’m reading “Pirate Latitudes”, the last novel by Michael Crichton. So far, it’s pretty darned good.

7: It has been nearly a year since my gaming group has been able to get together, so I have nothing to report on that front.

8: California state employees are finally going to get off the nearly 2 year long furlough Fridays that our dipshit governor forced on them. They will not get any of the pay back that they lost. I hope that asshole Schwarzenegger gets hit by a truck.

9: Once the weather cools off a bit, I’ll begin digging up plants I want to keep and killing off the rest as a prelude to The Great Garden Redesign of 2011. I intend to photo document this gardening madness on Facebook.

10: Remember my reference up above to needing $$ for GenCon? Well, as part of the plan to raise those $$, I’ll be making up a PDF of expanded and all new 365 People, Places & Things entries. I’m thinking about 42 entries, plus other fun stuff. More info on this around January.

And now I must do huosehusbandry and Dog daddery before heading off to work.

The Mystical, Yet Rather Screwball Comedic, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Portuguese Prince

…co-starring her new boyfriend, Swanky McDuff

Ok, it’s official: Facebook is devouring the time I used to spend here. February saw only 6 posts by me. My shame is great.

Anyway, in Doc news, we have…

1: I’m about to start up a Pirate series for my regular RPG group. Still undecided as to what rules we’ll use, although Basic Roleplaying is the front runner just now. It’s pretty much a sandbox game, since despite the HUGE ocean area being full of islands and continents, almost nothing is detailed. I was gonna start the game up in the middle of March, but am now looking at mid to late April because…

2:…two of my players are getting MARRIED! Congratulations to Samantha & Paul! This has never happened in a gaming group of mine before, although I have had two already married players have a baby (not during a game session) and a couple of players hook up for sex.

3: Grace & I are still neck deep in our Adventure In Poverty and now we have no working car! Said auto, which we have had for 9 years and have put nearly 160,000 miles on, stopped working and demanded a valve job. So now, our beloved Honda CRV has a motor in pieces in our garage until my brother finishes the repairs.

4: Work on the e-zine has slowed way down since I am working nights and fighting off bill collectors all day.

Hopefully, more bloggage later.

Never Tell Your Mom That You’ve Been In A Mud Fight

…mothers tend to get a bit over emotional about such things

So, I’m back from DunDraCon. Actually, I got back Sunday afternoon. The con was fun, despite my developing a knack for not getting into any games other than my own. This took the form of games filling up, me misreading times, me falling asleep and the ever popular “no games I want to play during this time slot”.

Still, I had fun. My TOON game went well and my seminar was pretty well attended. I got to chew the fat with my pal Nicole, her husband Chris and several other gaming folks. I watched some anime, tho I was kinda disappointed that most of it did not hit the high nuttiness that the Japanese are known for. I watched several games being played, saw lots of gamers with babies and, after a few tours of the Dealer’s Room, realized that there are no more cheap games. In fact, all I bought was a few dice for Grace (who no longer goes to the con). Oh, and I attended a couple of seminars that were pretty darned swell. One was on serious games that turn funny and the other was on alternate histories.

Anyway, in recent years, DDC has been my only con (I’ve gone to Conquest Sac, but it has a very high suck factor) and I don’t expect that to change this year unless I strike gold in the garden. GenCon 2011 is a possibility, if I start saving my pennies tonight and use freight trains to get there.

In other gaming news, I realized that running a Harry Potter/Hogwarts style RPG for my group would be full of problems, so instead, I’m gonna set them up as pirates and let them go hog wild. With luck, that’ll start in a few weeks.

And now, dog walking. More bloggage later.

The Moderately Evil Plan Of Professor Breem

…he’s trying to work up to unspeakably evil

Doc Update

1: Everyone here at the homestead is healthy, altho My Sweet Angel is wearing out after a year and a half of working her job AND doing mystery shops.

2: I appear to be getting a major boost in hours at work, which is good and will help take some of the mystery shopping weight off of Grace and I. Unfortunately, the nes route I’ll be driving means that Grace & I will only see each other early in the morning (if I wake up) and on weekends. Still, we desperately need the $$, sob we’ll dealn with it.

3: Once me new hours kick in (next Monday), I’ll be alerting my regular gaming group about a restart to our roleplaying.

4: Both my game proposal and my seminar proposal were accepted for DunDraCon. If you plan on being at the con, stop by.

More bogging later!

In The Elevator To Hell With The Skull Faced Woman

…taken from a dream I had last night

Stuff On The Half Shell

1: Content for the E-zine’s first 3 issues is accruing at a nice rate. Still no title for the damned thing yet and I’m trying to figure out a cover style for it. Pulp or dime novel? Played straight or go for humor? A bit of art or all text. Also, fake ads or not? Decisions, decisions.

2: As a rare change of pace from the Biblical deluge of ever mounting debt, it seems that I may be getting a few more hours at work. Still only a part time gig, but better than the pitiful hours I get now.

3: Still cold here. My garden is not getting bitchslapped as bad as it did in the great freeze of a few years ago, but it’s not coming thru unscathed, either. Might lose some of the lemon grass, which is ok, since I need to transplant most of it in the spring.

4: I have submitted a seminar proposal to DunDraCon. It’s a bitch/love fest idea called “We Loves It/We Hates It”. We shall see if it gets the nod.

Time to go earn the almighty dollar. More bloggage later.

Looney Tunas and Merry Maladies

…I really need a vacation

Gaming Stuff

1: I am 75% done with my CC3 map of Hogwarts and the surrounding countryside. It is very much like the official version, but with a few minor adjustments. I think my players will have fun exploring it.

2: I realy need to play in more games at DunDraCon this year. Most years, I play in maybe 1 RPG, but I’m really jonesing to be get out from under the GM hat for awhile. Looking over the submitted games on the DDC website, I see a few that appeal to me, so I’m hopeful that I can get 3 or 4 in while I’m at the con in February.

3: After hearing that Google Wave has online gaming potential, I got an invitation and I’m gonna check it out. On a similar interwebs gaming theme, I’m thinking that my website idea may well mutate into a lot more than just a single website. I can see a linking of LJ/website/Facebook/Dog knows what else. Gotta keep up with the New Hotness, ya know.

And now, chamomile tea. More blogging later.