Gnome Or Mister Nice Guy

…see what I did there?

 

Dog Con 7

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

11:30 pm

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

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

Daisy: Auntie Avy said much the same thing.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Sadie: Yeah, that kinda sucked.)

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

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

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

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

(Sadie: And it all smelled strange.)

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

(Flash: Heeheehee!)

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

A: He was 100 feet tall

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

D: There was Hawaiian music blasting from him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Destination Sign when we started: Ringworld


Destination Sign when we stopped: Skull Island

Music: Country & Western Music from 1935-1960

Eating Your Way Across America!

… start with a fish taco in San Diego

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 10: In which we depart for warmer climes, view many pineapples, stand on an erupting volcano and enjoy a night on the beach.

12:45 am

At 10:00 yesterday (Sunday) morning, after yet another bigass breakfast, we messed about with space and time and appeared on the big island of Hawaii only 3 minutes after we left. We were just outside Kona, so we drove into town and then walked around town for a while. It was pretty warm, so after a bit we had some Hawaiian shave ice, which is like the best damned snow cone you’ll ever eat.

(Sasha: Who knew that they had barbecue beef flavor shave ice?)

We then drove around for a few hours (stopping for lunch at a place that makes great loco mokos) seeing the sights. At one point, we drove past a pineapple plantation and saw acres and acres of the tasty fruit. I pointed out that even that large a field was but a small fraction of the pineapple plantations of yore.

(Sadie: Man, those loco mokos were great!)

(Roxy: Brown gravy, yum!)

One place we stopped at that was really impressive was on the slopes of Kilauea volcano. There was a river of lava flowing about a hundred yards from where we were parked in the bus. Everyone thought it was very impressive. Later, we discussed lava flows we had encountered in roleplaying games.

(Flash: Except those of us who thought it was FUCKING INSANE!)

(Daisy: Oh, Flash, don’t be such a wimp. Daddy wouldn’t let anything happen to us!)

Later in the day, we found a nice camping spot near the beach way down near the southern tip of the island. We swam, hiked, built a fire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and drank many beverages with varying degrees of alcohol content. Many stories were swapped and some of our group did the hula. It was fun

Time for bed now. More bloggage tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Ministry of Magic

Destination Sign when we stopped: Caprona

Music: Heavy Metal Dog Music

Blue Moon Eclipse

…bark at the moon

Hawaii in the 1920’s & 30’s

The following is based on some reading and alot of hearing about the history of the various islands, especially Hawai’i and Kaua’i. I may be wrong about certain things, but I reckon I’m close enough for RPG stuff.

1: Much of the arable land on all the islands was given over to plantations/ranches raising everything from pineapples to coconuts to sugar cane to cattle.

2: Honolulu was and still is the largest town in Hawaii. As of this year, it has a population of just under 372,000. The next largest town is Hilo with less than 47,000 people. Back in 1920, both towns would have been significantly smaller. You can figure most towns probably had less than 5,000 people.

3: The United States had a sizeable military presence on Oahu, with far less of a presence on the other islands.

4: Despite the fact that less than half of the population was caucasian, they were in charge and racism was the order of the day.

5: The native Hawaiian population was probably less than 7% of the total population. Much of the non-caucasian population was Asian, mostly Japanese and Chinese. Other ethnic groups included Filipino, Portuguese, Mexican and various Pacific Islanders.

6: On the Big Island (Hawaii) there was and still is a huge cattle ranching presence centered mostly around the Parker Ranch, which is the biggest cattle ranch in the United States. These cattle ranches and the towns that formed around them were surprisingly like their counterparts on the US mainland.

7: As today, the islands were a hot spot for tourists, especially wealthy ones. In the finer hotels, the nightlife was no doubt swingin’. I’m not sure if Prohibition was in effect in Hawaii, but even if it was, it was no doubt roundly ignored as it was in the US.

8: Being centrally located in the Pacific, the islands were a major stopping point for ships of all kinds.

9: The more remote areas of the islands were even nore remote than they are today. It’s probably a safe bet that illegal activities took place there.

10: Most towns were not unlike small towns the world over…there were churches, shops, saloons, brothels, schools, etc. Architechturally, most buildings were built of wood with corrugated steel roofing.

11: Remember that Hawaii had and still has a much more limited variety of mammalian and reptilian life that most other places. There are no snakes, no lizards other than geckos, very few toads & frogs and few small or large mammals.

12: Hawaii was exotic and different. As such, it surely attracted adventurous sorts of folks looking for excitment and thrills (to say nothing of fortune & glory).

Big Ol’ Crazy Monsters

…with googly eyes

Before we get on to the final Joe of Average Joe Week, here are…

Several Lessons We Learned On Vacation

1: On the Big Island, hotels charge an arm and a leg for phone calls. A cell phone would have helped immensely. Oh, and internet access is just crazy expensive, assuming you can find it.

2: Everything is much more expensive…like gas being $1.10 more than it was here in California.

3: The roads, for the most part are two lane and have lower speed limits than on the mainland…and most people drive the speed limit.

4: Just for you geeks: There are NO game stores on the Big Island or Kaua’i. There is ONE comic book store on the Big Island and two on Kaua’i.

5: Both the hotels we stayed at had extra firm mattresses. We hated them.

6: Some places on the islands have screwy open/closed days. We should have called every single place we planned on visiting. Using a cell phone.

7: The fish that the Hawaiians call ONO is damned delicious.

8: Pineapple pancakes + coconut syrup = pina colada breakfast!

9: If you buy a bunch of stuff, mail/ship it home. The less you take through the fucking paranoid security checkpoints, the better.

10: Radio reception on most of Kaua’i sucks.

And now, the end of Average Joe Week.  Starting tomorrow: Spy Week

The Doclopedia #64

Average Joes:  Joe Bosley, Streetsweeper

 

Like I was saying, this is a hell of a town for garbage in the streets. Last week, it was the Brotherhood of Airshippers parade, then a few days after that it was the National Mad Scientists convention. Damn, them scientists sure can party…when they aren’t trying to kill each other. The city will be patching up from that for months.

Of course, even that big blowout was nothing compared to the Martian Werewolf Invasion of 1996. Man, we racked up the overtime cleaning up after that. Heck, I even found enough Martian bits & pieces to sell on eBay for big bucks.

The Dungeon Of Icky Things

…and by the 3rd level, they were really icky

Paint me white and call me Snowy, I’ve finally got all the plants in the ground that I bought yesterday! Now I’m all set up, landscapefully speaking, until after we get back from our vacation…at which point I’ll need to stick about a truckload of bulbs in the ground and transplant about 5,000,000 other plants. All of this being done while Grace and I “Bassetize” the house and do boring stuff like work. Yeah, it’s a veritable Carnival O’ Fun here at Chateau Cross.

Lately, mostly after reading the LJ of bruceb , I’ve been getting nostalgic to run a good old fashioned AD&D dungeon crawl. Actually, I get this urge every couple of years, but often either fight it down or see it voted down by my players. Now, however, I’m conjuring up a super duper bigass dungeoncrawl/underground world series idea and I think I’m gonna run it for my players starting in January. I’ll write bits about it before then, but since some of my players read this LJ, I won’t offer up the really juicy parts.

My Sweet Little Orange Creamsicle Of Love has been organizing our itinerary for the Hawaii trip. She does this partly because she is a detailed trip organizing kind of person and partly because I’m a “let’s just wing it” kinda guy. Usually, we end up doing a bit of winging it, but it’s nothing like the old days where hearing the words “Doc took care of all the trip details” would cause women to faint and drive strong men to tears. Those were the good old days, altho I do feel kinda bad about that trip in 1983 when some of our group ended up spending the night camped out in a cemetary in Bend, Oregon. Anyway, this should be a pretty well organized and event filled trip…even if I won’t be able to get Grace to go too near a (as she refers to it) “fucking ERUPTING volcano”. Also, I’m told there will be NO swimming with sharks or stingrays, no wandering around in the untamed jungle and no “other crazy shit”.  SIGH…a victim of my own reputation.

And now, the latest installment of…

365 Days, 365 Characters

About this character:  Today, Toon gets represented.

#47: Delbert Dogge & Conrad Catt

Main Trait (Delbert): Dogged Determination

Main Trait (Conrad): 9 Lives

Delbert is a rather obese Basset Hound. Conrad is a raggedy looking Siamese cat. They are both the pets of Granny Goodpickle and they hate each other. There is a constant war going on between them to get one another blamed for doing bad things, kicked out of the house and sent to the pound. So far, Granny has been oblivious to their ongoing war. Both of them have Incredilble Luck and Cosmic Shift as Shticks and they both own Bags of Many Things. It’s a wonder the house is still standing.