…June 1, 1928 – August 10, 2012
My mother, Geraldine Blades, passed away today after a long illness. I left this day’s page blank because I knew I would come back and do it when I was ready. Now, 2.5 days later, I’m ready.
Someday I’ll write a long piece about Mom, but for now I’ll just say that she was always proud of my ability to tell a tale or write a story. She had all of my books on the shelf in her living room and would point them out to people.
Mom, this post is for you. I love you and miss you.
The Doclopedia #706
We Haz MORE Technobabble!: Anomalous Dark Matter Collection Grid
So there you are, cleaning up your little hunk of space and you notice bits of dark matter floating around. Even worse, it’s that crappy anomalous dark matter that you can’t even recycle.
Well, get yourself one of these grids and hook it up to your space tractor, then go to town on cleaning up that stuff! When you’re done, just toss the disposable grid into the nearest black hole and you’re done. It’s as easy as 1…2…3!
The Doclopedia #707
We Haz MORE Technobabble!: Z-Ray Powered Robotic Assassins
Do you want your Robotic Assassins to be powered by old fashioned fusion energy? No way! No, the young hip bleeding edge maker of robot death machines wants plenty of power, the kind of power you only get from Z-Rays! With that kind of power, your ‘bots will leave a wide trail of death behind them and still have plenty of power to spare. These robots are the droids you’re looking for!
The Doclopedia #708
We Haz MORE Technobabble!: Trans-Species Fertility Serum
Remember a few years back when all of those half human/half sheep creatures started showing up in New Zealand? Remember all of those sheep ranchers getting their DNA tested? Heh heh heh…so do we, which is why we found the very rare flowers those sheep had been eating and synthesized a serum that allows cross fertility between Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish!
So buy this and create an army of deadly chimeras to destroy the world. Or maybe just use it to come up with new creatures to make cheap Science Fiction Channel movies about.
DogCon 5, Trip Day 7, Part 1
It is a fact of life that men of a certain age, say, MY age, sometimes find themselves getting up in the middle of the night to pee despite the fact that they take pills to alleviate that problem. Actually, in my case, this is caused by pills that treat something else entirely. So it was that I stumbled into the bathroom just off of our rather huge bedroom at 3:12 this morning. Imagine my bleary eyed and glasses free surprise to find that our bathroom had been replaced by a temperate forest. After a moment of surprised goggling and a softly spoken “What the fuck?” I peed on a mighty oak, then went back into the bedroom for my specs, slippers and gym shorts, the better to have a look around.
I walked about 100 yards and saw many birds, several squirrels, a couple of rabbits and a deer. The weather was very mild and it looked to be around mid morning. When I came to a good sized creek, I turned back. A call to Joe was in order before Grace woke up.
Unfortunately, as I approached the door, she stepped through it. She was not pleased to find the bathroom gone, since she also had to pee. My suggestion that the she just go over by a bush was greeted by the kind of stony glare that only women seem to be capable of. I quickly told her I’d call Joe and she could just use the bathroom down the hall.
Joe arrived a few minutes later and rattled off a bunch of technobabble that flew right over my head. He said he could replace the bathroom easy enough, but the forest was going to be part of out rolling abode for “quite awhile”. Grace told him to relocate the forest near the Meadow Room and then clear out so she could go back to sleep.
Joe was done in record time, again proving that his survival sense is excellent.
Now we fast forward to a few hours later when the forest is the topic of much breakfast conversation. It was agreed by all that since our first roadside attraction of the day was about 90 minutes up the road, we’d all take a little hike in the woods to see what it was like.
Flash: Oh yeah, I’ve been smelling squirrels and stuff all morning! It is so on like King Kong!
Lucy: Is that rabbits I smell on the other side of that door? Why, yes it is! Rabbits that I shall chase!
Sasha: Ok, I’m ready for the hunt! Rabbits, squirrels, foxes, what the hell ever! Girls is gonna get her hound on!
Bea: Oooh! I smell grapevines and ferns and…sniff, sniff…is that watergrass? Freakin’ Goat Buffet, here I come!
Abby: Oh yes, this is all going to end well.
Once all the critters were suitably harnessed and leashed…
Flash: Motherfucker! I can’t catch a break!
Sasha: This really blows!
Bea: WTF? Goat’s gotta eat!
Abby: I could be wrong about this, but we shall see.
…we started off down a trail after I put a SmartBot on guard duty at the door.
Flash: I’m looking at you, robot!
Lucy: Yeah, robot, we’ll see you again!
We followed the trail to the creek, then down a sloping hill into a little valley. The forest is not very dense, but it is just packed full of life. We saw all sorts of birds and animals. Spike thinks he saw an elk on a hill off to the north and we found signs of otters near the creek. As you might imagine, the critters were a handful, what with the goats (especially Bea) wanting to eat half the plants we saw and Flash & The Girls wanting to chase after every animal we saw.
Lucy: Holy Crap! There were rodents and rabbits and stuff everywhere! Curse this damned harness and Dad holding my leash!
Flash: Mom had me on a short leash and kept telling me to calm down. Calm down? The rodents were taunting me! TAUNTING ME!
We were about halfway across the valley when two things happened: We smelled meat cooking and Sasha pulled the leash out of Avis’ hand. She was off like a shot after a rabbit and heading towards the smoke we could now see. I handed Lucy over to Sharon and took off after Sasha.
I was right behind her…she had lost the rabbit at a small creek…
Sasha: Well, actually, that cookin’ meat smelled better than that damned fast bunny.
…when she stopped. I nearly ran over her before I stopped and then we both saw the camp, the fire, the meat…and the elves.
That would be your Tolkien style elves. Tall, good looking and pointy eared.
We looked at them. They looked at us. They blinked. I blinked.
Then Sasha, tail just a waggin’, walked up to the lady elf cooking the meat and started whining for a piece.
Well, from there it was introductions all around (the rest of the gang had caught up with me) and an explanation of how we came to be here and stuff. The elves looked rather dubious, which is understandable, but they were nice and asked us to join them for lunch, which we did even though we had just had breakfast an hour earlier.
Turns out our forest is just part of a much larger world straight out of a fantasy roleplayer’s dream. Elves, Dwarves, Humans, “Small Folk”, Dragons…the whole deal. I could see various reactions in our group, from some who had that “Oh yeah, I could so spend some time here” look to others who were checking the skies for dragons and looking into the woods for trolls or orcs or whatever.
The food was good…
Lucy & Sasha: Venison for the win!
Flash: Mmmm…fried squirrel. You hear me, you bushy tailed bastards? FRIED SQUIRREL!
Bea & Abby: Greenery….mmmm!
…but after about 45 minutes, Data sent me a text that we had arrived at the World Famous Living House, so we had to bid our Elven hosts goodbye.
Which, as it turns out was probably a good idea, since discussion on the way back revealed that, to those of us at or beyond puberty, those elves smelled really sexy. I mean nipple hardening, undie dampening, petrified woody inducing sexy. There was some mild discussion of going to see the roadside attraction in an hour or so, but how could we tell our single unaffected little girl that Mommy & Daddy & everybody else would be in their bunks? So, somewhat frustratedly, we went to see the Living House.
Flash: After locking us all in the Meadow Room and posting a really big SmartBot to guard the even more securely locked Forest Room.
The World Famous Living House, which you will pay $5.00 per person to see, unless some of you are under 10, is very large house built so as to incorporate as many natural and living materials as possibly. As our guide, Amber, explained, about 50% of the house is alive and growing. This includes big pine trees that act as pillars, mosses that act as both inner and outer insulation, big rocks for furniture, thick walls of logs & clay, a small creek running through the middle of it and a moss carpet for the entire first floor. The place is four stories tall and has lots of south and west facing windows. No sense putting windows on the north or east sides because there is dense forest there.
18 people live in the Living House, along with a great deal of animal life, mostly insects, reptiles and amphibians. 10 of those people are permanent residents and the other 8 are university students who stay for 6 months at a time.
It’s a pretty cool place and is all green energy and stuff, but we all agreed, as we bought the usual suspects, that it’s just a tad too green for us.
Our next stop was Astoria, Oregon and we spent about 4 hours there seeing the sights, eating lunch and generally being all touristy. The critters met many other critters, as it seemed that everybody was out walking their pets.
Flash: Oh yes, the lady cats all want some of my lovin’!
Lucy: There was this hot looking Rhodesian Ridgeback who was…oh my. Mama like!
Sasha: Did you see the ears on those two hunky young Basset Hound brothers? Talk about hung!
Bea: When we walked past that urban farm with those other pygmy goats, the smell of those three young bucks was just crazy hot!
Abby: Amen, Bea, amen! Whew!
Our next stop, and the last one for the day, is at Aberdeen, Washington. Not only will we be camping here, but we will soon be walking just down the road to see the World Famous Giant Roadside Attraction Museum, the home of giant sized Paul Bunyans, cowboys, Muffler Men and lots of other bigass statuary designed to attract customers to various businesses or towns. Just the thought is making me squee a bit.
More bloggage soon!
Radio Station: “Punk Rockers Go To War!”
Destination Sign: Gasoline Alley
DogCon 5, Trip Day 7, Part 2
We arrived at the Cozy Camp campgrounds at about 4:30 and were assured by the managers that we had plenty of time to walk down to the World Famous Giant Roadside Attraction Museum and still get back in time for the free hamburger & hotdog cookout.
The walk between the two spots is about ¾ of a mile and we got there pretty quickly. The critters came with us, with me walking Lucy and her frequent rider, Flash.
Lucy: He ain’t heavy, he’s me brother.
Avis had Sasha’s leash and Grace and Mary each had a goat. I can only imagine how we looked to the cars that drove past us on the highway.
Sasha: Auntie Avis has been taking lessons from Dad & Mom, because she kept me on a short leash when a rabbit ran by.
Once we got to the collection of roadside coolness, we ponied up a couple of bucks each (critters got in for free) and gazed upon the wonder of it all. Words sort of fail me…
Flash: Ahhahahahahaha! That’ll be the day!
Lucy: My money is on Dad still talking 3 days after he’s dead.
Sasha: Yeah, Verbosity is Dad. And Uncle Spike, for that matter.
Bea: Auntie Mary says they suck up most of the oxygen in a room once they start talking.
Abby: Mom says there is only one thing Dad likes more than talking. She never said what it was.
…so I’ll just list what we saw.
7 Giant Paul Bunyans. 5 were painted, 2 were unpainted, but carved from huge logs. Three of them were accompanied by Giant Babe the Blue Ox.
6 Giant Muffler Men. These 12-18 foot guys used to stand outside muffler shops holding giant mufflers. 4 of these still do.
9 Giant Chickens. 7 roosters, 2 hens. The hens advertised places selling farm fresh eggs. The roosters advertised fried chicken joints.
3 Giant Cowboys. One of these was on a giant horse.
4 Giant Native Americans. All of these came from places selling native made stuff in New Mexico, Arizona & Oklahoma.
2 Giant Jackrabbits. Both from places in Texas.
2 Giant Crabs. One from Maryland, one from Oregon. Both came from restaurants.
1 Giant Rattlesnake. From a Texas roadside reptile exhibit.
7 Giant Gorillas. These ranged from 7 feet to 24 feet tall and advertised all sorts of places.
1 Giant Skunk. The museum owners have no idea what this originally advertised, but the bought it from a farmer in Ohio.
2 Giant Pirates. Both came from amusement parks.
6 Giant Dogs. Including a 12 foot tall Basset Hound!
5 Giant Women. 2 waitresses, 2 hula girls and two cowgirls.
16 Giant Dinosaurs. These varied from very realistic to something you might see if you were going through the DTs.
1 Giant Porcupine. Which had advertised a town in Michigan.
1 Giant Sea Serpent. Origins unknown, but it was 70 feet long.
3 Giant Astronauts. Used to advertise motels in Texas and Florida.
3 Giant Goldminers. 2 with burros, all from California.
2 Giant President Lincolns. Both from Illinois, neither killing vampires.
4 Giant Dragons. A couple of these need to be on top of my house.
Flash: Yeah, Dad, I’m sure Mom is on board with that idea.
It was a really cool place to visit and they even boxed up and mailed home the 30 kazillion things Grace & I bought at the gift shop.
After that, we walked back to the campgrounds and chowed down on burgers & hotdogs & all the fixin’s. Later, we watched some alternate world Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, then went off to our respective beds.
Tomorrow, we descend upon the unsuspecting geek populace of Seattle with our annual Outlaw Musical Number. I predict that many jaws will drop and drop hard.
Radio Station: “Geek Talk Radio”
Destination Sign: Talislanta