Terror Of The Giant Duckasaur!

…1958, starring John Agar, Richard Denning and Zelda the trained duck

Sasha Explains It All

Sanctuaries: Part 2

Hi, folks. This is the second part of my discussion on the various sanctuaries that the NHTA has established around the world. Last time I told you about the main sanctuaries in North America, so this time we’ll cover some of the big, and in most cases huge, ones that you’ll find on other continents.

I should also mention that there are a lot of smaller facilities around the planet, some of them only a few acres in size. They all are a place for both sapient and non-sapient NHT to be safe and free from human foolishness.

The first, and the oldest, sanctuary of all is Gorilla City. Yes, the name was taken directly from “The Flash” comic books, because Silky and Gomba (the great gorilla leader), both loved their little jokes and because, well, it was a city mostly inhabited by gorillas.

Gorilla City, unlike the big Sanctuaries in North America, does not exist in the past. Instead, the entire city and the surroundings for about 55 miles out are located in a spatial sub-layer. Okay, you can call it a pocket dimension if you really want to. It is built upon two mountains in Burundi and on the three level, 1 mile wide and 3.25 long bridges between them.

If you can imagine a city that looks like a cross between a landlocked tropical San Francisco and the Emerald City of Oz, but with both set in about the Star Trek 23rd century, you’d be close to Gorilla City. It is clean, crime free and full in equal parts of Art & Science.

The NHTA Council is housed there, as are all of its various ministries and such. Gomba University, home to 3,000 students and both the Silky Dawn Cross College of Trans Species Relations and the Sasha Jane Cross College of Mad Science, are located there. You’ll also find many farms spread around both inside and outside town.

There are 32,507 gorillas living in the city, along with 12,000 individuals from other species. About 52 of those are humans. Gorilla City is a shining monument to what we NHT can do if we put our minds to it.

Staying on the African Continent, we have Ngorongoro Crater. Yes, the same Ngorongoro Crater that exists in Tanzania right now. The difference is, the NHT living there are 11,000 years in the past and the sanctuary encompasses both the crater and a 7 mile wide zone around it. Most of the NHT live in compounds outside the actual crater. As sanctuaries go, it’s a fairly natural place. The majority of the NHT population are African species, in particular lions, elephants and hippos. It is a favorite vacation spot for many NHT.

Heading over to India, the big sanctuary there is Tiger Cavern. It’s a huge cavern about a mile under the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. When I say huge, I’m not shitting around, folks. Tiger Cavern is 80 miles long and 10 miles wide. From floor to ceiling it is 450 feet high. It contains forests, fields, rivers, streams, small hills, lakes, and a swamp.

The whole place is maintained by an AI and nanotech and it’s pretty amazing. It’s also very dangerous, on a par with Wolf Island. Like wolves, most tigers prefer the old ways. There are very few amenities here and most outsiders are encouraged to do their business and get the fuck out. Humans will be killed and eaten on sight.

The largest of all the NHT sanctuaries is Grand Lake, located smack in the middle of Australia, way out in the desert. It covers parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Why? Because it measures 300 miles across! Like Gorilla City, it’s in a pocket dimension.

This sanctuary is perfectly round, with the equally round Grand Lake at its center. To the north are hills and mountains, while to the south are forests. East and west of the lake are vast fields dotted with light woods. The average temperature year round is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There is one town, Kakora, on the western shore of the lake. Five villages are dotted around the rest of the lake.

Grand Lake is the only NHT sanctuary governed by birds, in this case Cockatoos and other parrots. Now, their style of governing is a bit more chaotic than most NHT, but they are still WAY more efficient and fight less than humans. Like other NHT governing bodies, they realize they are there to serve and protect, not get all up in folk’s shit. All told, Grand Lake is a noisy, but nice place to live or visit.

Well, folks, I have once again failed to talk about all the sanctuaries, so I guess I’ll be doing a Part Three sometime in the near future.

Thanks for reading, and until my next rant, I am…

Sasha Jane Cross, PhD X 8

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The 3rd of Juney, Sockerooni, Looney Toony, Big Full Moony Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And Irwin, The Farty Kitty.

…co-starring her arch-nemesis, Rather Red Rita

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Sasha Explains It All

Thoughts On Motherhood

As many of you may knows, a bit over a year ago, I decided to make a baby. No, that is not a euphemism for fucking, or even getting pregnant. First off, I hate cutesy euphemisms for anything, and second of all, I’ve been spayed since I was 6 months old. The baby train will not be stopping in my abdomen. Well, not in this life. Next time, who knows?

No, I decided to go into my lab and create a baby using my DNA as well as the DNA of other species. Not wanting my child to be a canine who would be compared to an incomparable bitch like me, I opted to make her mostly a gorilla. But not all gorilla. I added my DNA to upgrade both her hearing and her sense of smell. My DNA also helped move her from herbivore to true omnivore. I added a bit of human DNA (Thank you, Steve Rogers) to give her a more upright way of walking and a larger brain. Finally, I used some homemade DNA to make her fur and eyes bright yellow.

I put the fertilized egg into the incubator and 6 months later, on June 1st, 2018, Cupcake Waterfall Cross was born. She was tiny and beautiful and I cried when I first held her. She was perfect and I was a mother at age 9 ½. My family loves her, but they also wonder if I lost my mind. To be honest, sometimes I wonder, too.

Cupcake was a very good infant. She ate well, slept a lot and was, of course, very healthy. But we non-humans mature much quicker than Homo sapiens do, so infancy lasted about 3 months. After that, I had a full on toddler. Those of you with kids know that the moment that baby starts walking, life get much busier and more exciting. Now imaging that your baby can also climb and can use her feet almost as well as she uses her hands. Being an active and curious baby, Cupcake was soon into everything. All of us were constantly on guard.

At 6 months, Cupcake started to talk and I have to admit, her vocabulary grew even faster than mine did. So did her ability to talk nonstop and to ask a zillion questions a day. It is both a wonderful and tiring thing. She also was there when her little brother was born. She found the baby fascinating and was very gentle with him. That lasted about 3 months.

By 9 months, she was ready for Mixed Pre-School with other NHT kids and human kids. She really likes school. It is a bit sad that she and the other NHT will pull way ahead of their human friends, but that’s how biology goes.

Now, at 1 year old and after a few adjustments in the Genetic Manipulation Chamber, Cupcake is about where a 6 year old would be mentally and physically. A year from now she’ll be a tween and about 6 months after that she will hit puberty, which thankfully will only take about 2-3 months to get through.

Brownie was born on January 29th, 2019. That was Dad’s 65th birthday and I figured a grandson was a hell of a gift.

Brownie is a genetic mix of raccoon, lemur, dog and human. If you think of Rocket Raccoon with a slightly longer snout, a bit larger eyes, slightly longer arms & legs and a longer, fully prehensile tail, but in light and dark blue fur, you’ve got my boy.

Brownie was a bit more active as a baby and, being a boy, able to pee in my face from a longer distance away when I was changing his diapers. It also meant he was a climber much earlier. By 6 weeks old he was climbing all over and I had several more white hairs on my head.

Brownie was talking at 2 months and was aggravating his sister soon thereafter. Hardly a day goes by without him getting chased around by Cupcake, who threatens him with all manner of mayhem. As with most brothers, he learned quickly how to push his sister’s buttons.

Being a smaller NHT, Brownie will mature even faster than his sister. By his second birthday, he’ll be a full on teenager. I’ll be 12 years old by then and probably a heavy drinker.

Despite my humor, my kids are pretty normal and good children. They were made to be smart, caring and unique. I love them more than anything or anyone else in the world. Given another chance, would I have jumped into motherhood sooner? Oh, hell yes. Probably around 5 or 6 years old. Would I have taken a mate so they had a father? Nope. No need to, when they have wonderful uncles and a singular grandfather.

One last thing, a question that I have been asked more than once: What about the fact that I, realistically, have probably only 4-7 years left to live?

Well, the kids will be adults and on their own in 3 years or so, so I’ll be about 14 ½ then. It won’t be like if I go tits up then, they’ll be children. They will be able to deal with it.

But, of course, when this body dies, it won’t be the last of me. Hell, right now I’m out there as a human female and another breed of dog, having put my katra into both those bodies 4 years ago. When this iteration of me dies, another iteration will wake up a few minutes later in a secure lab somewhere. The new me, who may or may not be a basset hound or even a dog, will go visit the kids/grandkids/siblings, etc. and then start a new life. Death is for people who don’t plan ahead.

Anyway, having kids is the Best Thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t change a thing that’s happened since Cupcake was born.

I could stand to hear less of the word “Poophead” though.

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X8)

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The Cupcake Gnomes Meet The Pie Pixies

…it was a sweet meeting
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This blog is in part made possibly by my wonderful patrons on Patreon. If you would like to join them in helping me out, go to https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

 

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Sasha Explains It All

Sanctuaries

Hi, folks! In this edition, I’d like to talk about the many Sanctuary areas that the Non-Human Terran Alliance has set up around the world. Some of them are set up just to give NHT a place to live other than small enclaves out in the wild, while others are set up to allow endangered or even extinct species a place to survive. All of them were set up with the use of very advanced technology. I know, because I provided it.

Our first sanctuary, Dog Mountain, was started on January 4th, 1979 and finished 6 months later. This was done using very large robots and lots of nanotech. It was also done 2,000 years ago right here in California, down north of San Diego, where Camp Pendleton is now.

Dog Mountain is really more of a big hill. It’s about 3.5 miles across at the base and rises up 900 feet at the center. It is honeycombed with tunnels and open areas and places for dogs and other species to live. The majority of the outside is very park-like. 200,000 NHT live there, 90% being dogs. I own a rather large home in Dog Mountain. It is a great place.

Our second sanctuary opened a month after Dog Mountain and is located 4,000 years ago in Lake Superior. Wolf Island is actually a chain of three large islands that float just on the surface of the lake. The largest island is 50 miles wide and 80 miles long, the next largest is 90 miles long and 35 miles wide, and the smallest is 45 miles long and 22 miles across. The bridges that connect them are all 5 miles wide and from 11 to 29 miles long. The bridges are heavily planted and hardscaped, so you never really know you are on a bridges.

Due to wolves being, well, wolves, there are only 3,000 on the island, which, like dog island, has tunnels running through the hills for them to live in. There is a very small area at the southernmost point of the southernmost island for visitors of other NHT species. Humans are never allowed on Wolf Island. Given the millennia of mistreatment humans gave wolves, their attitude is understood.

Game, from mice to moose, is plentiful on the island and the wolves manage things very well. NHT wolves live one of the most traditional lifestyles of all NHT species, so they hunt their prey just as their ancestors did. Wolf Island has very little technology.

When the wolf population exceeds 3,000, the excess are given the choice of going into our time to live, or making a journey overland to Wolf Valley, 300 miles away in Canada. Most go there, but a very few decide to go live in the present, usually in another NHT Sanctuary. About half of the young wolves who do this adjust well to the NHT lifestyle. The rest go back to Wolf Valley.

Traveling again to the San Diego region, and then 2,500 years into the past, you come to Rabbit Valley. Set with one end right at the coastline and the other 30 miles to the northeast, this valley is actually protected by mindscreens that keep predators (including humans) out, with the exception of 10 north/south passages that are about a half mile wide. These passages offer easy travel, the better to get predators past the valley.

The valley is designed with wide meadows, many small streams, a few ponds, shady trees and…technology.

Of all the sapients on earth, only rabbits come close to humans in their love of tech. Rabbit valley has electricity (solar & wind), radio & tv stations, a subway (that’s how they get across those predator trails), telephones, theaters, internet…just about everything a modern city might have, except for guns and crime.

Here’s another jaw dropper: Rabbits are the financial wizards of the NHT world. Every NHT company, including my own, has bunnies keeping the books. My own CFO is a rabbit, Sundew Thumper, and I would be lost without her. The NHTA is worth about 5 trillion dollars and rabbits are the reason why.

I should note here that since the creation of the Ottopus, many young rabbits have moved away from finance to study the sciences. These young bucks & does are doing great in their chosen fields.

Of course, every once in a very great while, a young bun decides to completely rebel and go off on a different course. A couple of prime examples are my sister Daisy’s boyfriend, Max, and his best friend, Ollie.

One more note: No other NHT species has as complex a family setup or genealogy as rabbits. We dogs probably come closest, but are still a distant second.

Okay, it looks like I’ve written a lot here, but I also have two kids about to come home from a day out with Uncle Luke and Auntie Misty, so I need to get ready to hear how much fun they had. I’ll continue this piece in the next edition and discuss Sanctuaries outside North America.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (x6)

Oil Up Another Watermelon, Lester!

…don’t ask

Sasha Explains It All

Everybody Can’t Be Smart

If there is one thing people ask me all the time, besides “How can you look so young and beautiful?”, it’s “Which animals are Smart and why aren’t ALL animals Smart?”

Here’s the answer to that question and we’ll start right off with the #1 most asked about species, the chimpanzee.

There are, in fact, about 120 Smart female chimps in the world. All of them live in Gorilla City in Africa. They are teachers and engineers and scientists and nurses and chefs. All of them are sterile, mostly due to birth defects or some other natural cause. They are all very good people and very likely will not be replaced by chimps when they die.

You see, chimps are just too much like humans to allow them to become sapient. The males especially are vicious, cunning, violent assholes. So are a good share of the females. Sound familiar, humans?

If chimps were sapient, they would band together and start killing humans, probably with human weapons. They’d also probably come ofter us NHT, which would be the end of the chimp species, or nearly so.

To prevent this ever happening, every single chimp on earth, except the gals in Gorilla City, has been dosed with nanites that shield their brains from us NHT, who tend to Smarten up creatures we hang with for very long. So, no Smart chimps.

Next up come farm animals like cattle, sheep, goats & pigs. Like chimps, there are some of those that have become sapient, but the majority are kept dumb. The reason is obvious: they are going to be eaten or kept for some other purpose. Freedom and a long life is not in the cards for them, so making them aware would be monstrous cruelty.

Horses, mules and donkeys, for some reason we haven’t figured out yet, are very resistant to sapience. Only about one in 50,000 can ever become sapient and when they do, they immediately ask to go live in an NHT Sanctuary Zone. Without fail, all of the sapient domesticated horses & asses are very nice folks.

Small mammals don’t deal with becoming Smart very well. They tend to freak out and eventually go catatonic. That’s understandable given their very short lifespans and place on so many creatures menus. With the exception of domesticated rabbits (and even then, mostly the ones who escaped to live in the great Sanctuary warrens), most of the smaller sapients are creatures like skunks, opossums, otters, wallabies, etc.

The NHTA is very careful about making monkeys smart. They almost always turn out to be troublemakers with a chip on their shoulders. There are some Smart baboons and larger monkey species, but again, they are in Sanctuaries where they can be monitored.

There are no Sapient wolverines, honey badgers, or Tasmanian Devils because that would just be fucking insane. It was tried in the 1990s and it did not go well at all.

You may have noticed that so far I have only mentioned mammalian species. That’s because almost everything else just can’t become sapient, despite decades of trying. There are exceptions, however.

Parrots: The larger macaws, cockatoos and Amazon parrots, along with the African Gray, can become sapient. They tend to gravitate towards jobs in security, espionage (yes, we do it too. And much better than you humans.), aerial mapping, and show business.

Ravens & Crows: These corvids attain sapience by becoming part of a hivemind. Take a single crow far away from any other crows or ravens and he is still sapient, but not very intelligent. On the other hand, a flock of 20 crows creates 20 damned smart birds.

Ducks: These folks are a class A enigma. They should not be able to become sapient, but they do. Now, none of them will ever be a rocket scientist, but they have a decent average intelligence.

Raptors: Only the very largest birds of prey become sapient, and even then it’s only about 1 in 1,000.

After birds, almost nothing else can become Smart, with three exceptions.

Giant Tortoises: They are almost all sapient, but not geniuses. They are also incredibly thoughtful and slow in conversation. It’s almost as bad as talking to an Ent.

Octopuses: Octopuses CAN become sapient, but don’t seem to WANT to. Which is probably good, because the one or two who have become sapient were weird motherfuckers.

Domestic Honeybees: Don’t ask how because NHT scientist, myself included, do not have the slightest clue. That said, bee swarms are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet and have a great sense of humor.

So there is the answer to your question, folks. Oh, one other thing. Cetaceans have ALWAYS been sapient. Silky and Roscoe arriving on our earth had nothing to do with it. Cetaceans are swell people, but to us land based lifeforms, they might as well be aliens. I probably need to do a rant on them sometime.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X3)

The Early October, But Still Planning The Halloween Party, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Farting Cow

…co-starring her pet chipmunk, Penelope

 

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi, folks! I’m back with another edition of Reader Mail, mostly because I’ve been too busy to think up a proper rant. I asked for serious questions this time and here is what I got.

Carol Robinson asks: “Given that human Terrans have not been acceptable stewards of the planet we share, what is the Non-Human Terran Alliance doing to counteract the destruction?”

Great question, Carol! The first thing you have to understand is that the NHTA has to work in secret, because if the human governments (to say nothing of the vast human herd) ever found out about us and our ultra-tech, they would wage war on us and things would go to shit really fast. Note that I’m not saying humans would win.

Anyway, we have teams out neuralizing humans who see anything suspicious, so we are pretty okay vis a vis security.

What the NHTA is doing, mostly, is making sure that as many species as possible are going to survive. We do this by setting up preserves and such in the one place that humans won’t find us anytime soon: the past. 1,000 BCE, to be exact. We have enclosed preserves that are miles across and placed all over North & South America. They are fully automated, but we keep a staff on hand just in case. We transport species there using the bus, which has a cargo bay large enough for 6 Galaxy Class starships, to use a Star Trek reference.

The preserves have full breeding populations of many species, including the ones who have gone extinct over the last century or so. We also have a preserve for humans that we stocked with missing people from all over the world. This was not a unanimously loved decision, since some species have a really good reason to have you humans die off. Still, we dogs, especially Silky and I, have control of the NHTA and we love you guys, so about 3 million of your species (a good diverse breeding population) will be safe when things go to hell.

And they WILL go to hell. Earth has passed the climate tipping point and while we could use technology to mitigate much of it, study of alternate Earths that went through the same thing tells us that you hairless apes only really learn the hard way. Sad, but true.

So while the downside is pretty bleak, the upside it that the Earth will survive, along with the vast majority of species on it, including humans.

Cupcake Walters, a Doberman Pinscher from Austin, Texas, asks: “Why Mad Science?”

An excellent question, brother! Sorry about your name. Humans are just nutty sometimes.

To answer, I need to explain why there even are Mad Scientists on the so called “hard science” worlds like ours. Please bear with me.

As we have hopefully described over the last few years, there are other universes out there where the laws of physics and other sciences are not the same as ours, the classics being those where the speed of light is faster or slower and those where gravity can vary wildly on a single planet.

After that, you get into worlds where only a few “laws” of science can be broken or, on the other end of the spectrum, the laws of science go right out the window because magic or superheroes exist. There are even universes where the laws of physics change with astounding regularity. You never want to visit one of those.

Despite all of these varied universes, one rules guides them all: Clarke’s Third Law. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Yes, even the Potterverses and, even more amazingly, the various fantasy realities, are using an advanced form of science. Now, it is VERY rare for folks on these world’s to realize or understand that, but somewhere in their past, somebody found a loophole in physics and exploited it. Same with superhero worlds, horror worlds, etc. Yes, even fucking Cthulhu and his gang are the result of somebody (not necessarily a human) fucking around with highly advanced science.

Now, I need to mention here that by “science”, I also mean certain philosophical and religious disciplines. For more info on that, I suggest you contact Stephen Strange, a wonderful man whose elaborations on the roots of magic make my eyes cross.

Note: Every time I have explained this to hard scientists, they have gone a bit goofy in the head and required neuralization. Carl Sagan was the exception, but he died a few days later. I’m not entirely convinced Carl wasn’t a bit Mad himself. By the way, if you think scientists go goofy from that, you ought to see how truly religious believers react when you show them what the real universe is like. Again, you’ve gotta neuralize the shit out of them.

So, having taken up WAY too many words on that, let me sum up how one becomes a mad scientist like me.

1: Universes have weak spots and sometimes a bit of one leaks into another.

2: Receptive brains like mine tap into this leaking, never consciously.

3: Said brains are usually, but not always, possessed of a very high intellect and a rather fluid moral outlook.

4: Affected being can tap into a bit of hyperscience. (for Victor Frankenstein, it was of a biological bent.)

5: Mad Scientist, baby!

As with the case of Victor, the bit of hyperscience is often pretty limited. In some cases, it might include another branch of science (See: The Invisible Man). In my case, due to dimension hopping with my family along with my getting sapient, it pretty much meant I tapped into most branches of science, although biology/genetics and physics/engineering are my strong suits.

As to “Why Mad Science?”, the answer is always the same: Because I can. Because it is fun. Because it made me a fucking billionaire, allows me to travel through space & time & realities with my family, gave me my pet giant spider, allows millions of non-humans to be sapient, allows them to speak to damned near anyone in any language, and because it will one day ALLOW ME TO CONQUER THE WORLD! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry. Got carried away there. Anyway, thanks for the questions!

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X3)

Doc Tempest VS The Demons Of Dr. Loveless

…from the September 1961 issue

 

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi, folks! Sorry this took so long but I’ve been busy doing science stuff and helping Santa during Xmas Eve. Here is some reader mail from the past few months.

My Auntie Rosie Kirkland asks “Do they (meaning aliens) have dogs? If so, what do they call them?”

Well, Auntie Rosie, it turns out that a great many sentient species have beloved animal companions. The Gliinod on Tarsus 4 have lizardy looking creatures they call Yeens. Yeens grow to about the size of a German Shepherd and will eat damned near anything they can catch, not unlike cats.

The Rasultans, who are about 85% human based, love their Jungtaws, who are about 85% dog based. The other 15% for both is a symbiotic algae. I gotta say, green dogs are pretty fucking strange looking.

The Elves on Earth 378-C domesticated Tree Dragonets, which are small wingless dragons that live in trees out in the wild. The don’t breath fire and their farts smell kind of like wood smoke.

Anyway, there are tons of dog analogs out there.

A Mr. Watson wrote to ask if we have the Ark of the Covenant in the Museum Room on the Bus.

Actually, Mr. Watson, we do have it. Well, we have A version, if not the one from our universe. It looks pretty much just like the one shown in the movies, except it has a not taped too it saying “Do NOT open this! I’m not screwing around!” and it’s signed “God”. Mom and Dad said that was good enough for them, so we coated the whole thing with Eternocrete and put a Class 9 self regenerating force field around it. Should be safe for about the next 10.75 billion years.

Finally, a text from sweetbaby900 asks if there is any version of The Crazy Game that humans can play.

You already play two versions. They’re called Politics and Religion. You suck at both.

That’s all for now, folks!

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

 

 

 

The Doclopedia #1,323

Spells Gone Wild: Detect Evil

So there we were, just about to step into the Crypt of Count Kragmore, up there in the Blackwood, and Urlin says to old Methaxis, “Cast Detect Evil on the area”. Well, the old fart was half asleep, which you can understand, what with him being 315 years old, and he gives a start and starts casting the spell.

It’s kind of sad that we took him with us, but Frandelius was sick as a dog and we had a tight schedule to keep, so we brought the old boy along. Anyway, it takes him about three minutes to cast the damn spell and when it goes off, we all start looking around for that blue glow that indicates something or somebody that’s evil.

Then we see the backpack of Gilda, our henchman, glowing to beat hell. Naturally, she gets out of it fast and we open it up to see if some bastard slipped in a cursed item. After dumping it out, we see one small bag glowing. We dump it out real careful like, and it’s just full of flour…flour with little bugs in it.

While the rest of us were laughing ourselves sick, Urlin is telling Methaxis “Damn you, deaf old fool, I said EVIL, not WEEVILS!”

Just let me drink some ale and then I’ll tell you about what happened when he was supposed to cast Feather Fall.”

The Terrible Oyster Gun

…WTF?

 

Sasha Explains It All

News Of My Death Will Be Greatly Exaggerated

Death. It happens to all of us. Happens to ecosystems, both local and global. Happens to planets, stars, galaxies and some folks believe, the universe itself.

You are gonna die. Everybody you know is gonna die. We are ALL going to die.

The trick, of course, is putting it off as long as you possibly can. Now, we’ll limit this discussion to we Terran lifeforms, because that’s who you folks know and besides, once you get into other lifeforms on other worlds, life and death become kind of subjective.

So anyway, this rant is about me dying. No, I’m okay. Healthy as a bitch can be, in fact. I am, however, almost 8 years old and that could well be half or more of my lifespan, so my thoughts do turn toward eventual old age and shuffling off this mortal coil. It’s a common thing among true sentients.

So, for all of you who just thought “Well, Sasha old girl, you’ve still got lots of years left before your turn in the checkout line”, I say “Yo, motherfuckers, I’d be a pretty piss poor Mad Scientist if I couldn’t conquer death, now wouldn’t I?”

I mean, dude, I put my dying sister’s katra (well, OK, about 80% of it) into a fucking indestructible robotic body and now she’s running all over the galaxy in CatEarth 6 and, barring some really gynormous all out assault by a couple of really up on their destructive shit space fleets or maybe a run in with a supermassive black hole, Lulu will be raising hell for a minimum of 7,500 years.

And then there was the time that I created a living man out of dead body parts using old school 1818 mad science straight out of Victor Frankenstein’s own book! Mr. Perkins is doing just fine, thank you very much, and his scars have all faded. He’ll be driving that RV of his around for another hundred years or more.

Let’s not forget that I have also built android bodies for my sibs and non-human friends to use. Okay, so those bodies were kits, but still, I tricked ’em out in my shop.

And finally, you are talking to the Queen Mad Scientist Bitch when it comes to genetic manipulation. If you don’t believe me, just ask my ottopus…or my flying monkeys…or my assorted dinosaurs…or my altered pig lab assistants.

So no, despite the fact that one day Mom & Dad and whatever siblings I have will lay my lifeless body to rest somewhere, I will not be dead. Body dead? Yes. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X3) dead? Nope.

I’ll be in a cloned dog body or an android body or maybe some other species or, more likely, I’ll be walking around in a human body with a few genetic upgrades. But I will go on. And on. And on.

Will I want to live a million years? Doubtful. Will I live a few centuries? Count on it.

So when the day comes that Daddy & Mom announce my death, feel free to cry over the passing of the sweetest and smartest and most lovable dog you ever knew. But don’t EVEN think the world has seen the last of me.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (x4)

The Really Odd, Yet Quite Touching, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Ferengi Outcast

…co-starring her Uncle Zeek Zebrahide

Sasha Explains It All
All The Time In The World

I love time travel movies. I love time travel TV shows, novels, short stories, plays, heck, I love ’em all.

In spite of the fact that almost none of them, especially movies and tv shows, get anywhere near how it really is. They introduce paradox and going back to tell yourself stuff and changing history willy nilly or NOT being able to change history at all or Time being some quasi intelligent entity or any of a hundred other weirdass things. From a purely entertainment aspect, I enjoy this creativity, but as a seasoned time traveler, it either makes me laugh or groan.

Mind you, this also extends to all of the current science you humans have concerning time travel. Which is why I’m writing this, to set you all straight. Let’s do this by the numbers.

1: It’s the Many Worlds theory all the way.

Whenever you travel in time, regardless of if it is your own reality or another, if you fuck with the timeline, you spin off new break points and create new timelines/realities, but the old one STAYS THE SAME. If you are in the current Absolute Now in a given reality, you simple create a new one that starts then (with the unfucked with past being the same in both timelines). It’s like dumping a big bucket of water down your driveway. At first, there is one big stream, but then little offshoots form and then more and more for as the hit deformities in the concrete, pebbles, chunks mud, etc. Time is like that.

Let me explain even better, based upon a story (indeed, the OLDEST story) I heard from the Guardians of the Multiverse. See, when the Big Bang (as you call it) happened, it happened in 9 other quanta at the same time. Almost immediately, these quanta developed differing laws of quantum physics and, while VERY similar in most ways, were just a tiny bit different. The most noticeable of these were the two where magic eventually arose.

At some point, some sentient race in each reality got the bright idea to travel through time and they spun off countless new realities. This happened a shitload of times over the eons so that now there are a near infinite number of realities that get stranger and stranger as you go out farther because at some point they touch and blend with other realities to form new realities. Trust me folks, it will make your head spin to think about it for too long.

2: There is no such thing as paradox.

If you read the above, you should understand why. Go back in time and kill your grandfather? Sure you can! But you’ll find yourself back at your Absolute Now with no change in history. Meanwhile, some other you has just pulled off a hell of a murder/suicide. Or he gets a new, different grandfather. Or both, in TWO new timelines.

3: You can MAKE history, but not change it.

Example: My dad went back in time to stop Ronald Reagan from ever entering politics, or, in a few instance, get him to remain a liberal Democrat. He succeeded every time, but, not in our timeline. In OUR timeline, his repeated appearances, even though he was well disguised, convinced Nancy Reagan that some force (possibly connected to astrology, but who the hell knows) wanted Ronnie to become a conservative and run for governor of California. Which he did, of course, much to Daddy’s eternal disgust.

Another example: We are back in the past on holiday in England in 1870 and Lulu is in a flashy looking robot body that I had made to look like a big black dog. While romping in a meadow, she is talking to Mom about various things and a man hears her. This man, who was on the bleeding edge of insanity anyway, thinks he is hearing the Devil in canine form (the legendary Black Dog) and next thing you know, he’s killing hookers in Whitechapel. Note: I didn’t figure this out until I was bored one rainy day and thought, “hey, I’ll go find out who Jack the Ripper was”. Sadly I can’t tell you who he was because I neuralized myself to forget his name.

 

4: Actually, you CAN have your historical cake and eat it, too.

So, suppose one night at a big gaming con a bunch of gamers, game designers and generally smart and geeky folks got to talking about temporal paradox and time travel and changing history (believe me, this is perhaps the LEAST strange thing they discussed) and they formulated the idea of going back to save Lincoln by replacing him with a clone or Life Model Decoy or something just before Booth fires the bullet. They turned the subject every which way but loose before going on to discuss vampires shaving or some shit.

And then the very next day, Daddy and Uncle Spike asked if I could whip up a clone of Abraham Lincoln. I have DNA samples from many famous people, so using temporal folding and speed cloning (during which the clone ages at about 300 times the normal rate, until you hit it with Olzaxoril, which will make it age normally for a short time) I had them a clone ready in only a couple of hours.

Then, using a Katra Replicator (that Daddy should have had no idea how to use but used it perfectly anyway!), Daddy & Uncle Spike went back in time, duplicated Lincoln’s katra the night before the assassination, put the katra into the clone and swapped him out for the original just before President and Mrs L left for the theater. Then they brought the real Lincoln here to (at the time 2014) our house. Well, it was actually the Bus. but you get the idea.

They explained to old Abe how things were and to his credit, Abe accepted his fate pretty quickly. Of course, they had shot him up with a very mild sedative first. Then, after some hours of discussion, it was decided that Mr. Lincoln would be treated with Rejuvinol to take him back to about 30 years old, given a bit of cosmetic surgery, cured of his depression, and taken to the year 1955 where he would find work as a history teacher and a Lincoln impersonator. He loved both jobs and died a happy man in 2015.

Having succeeded once. Daddy and Uncle Spike pulled the old switcheroo many more times. Some of those people are teenagers today and will no doubt have some effect on the future.

 

5: You can’t go into the future, but the future can come back to you.


Okay, this is kind of a mindfucker. Time travel is one way except for you returning to your Absolute Now. You cannot go into the future because it is just a zillion possibilities. But, just as we can into the past, so can folks from the future. And, just like us, they cannot change their past which is our present. It’s all rather strange, so time travelers from different eras try to just avoid one another.

That being said, you can quite easily travel into other timelines that are ahead of ours. Just last week, Mom and Silky popped over to an Earth that is several decades ahead of us to get some groceries cheap because due to global climate change, that Earth does all their farming in tower farms and has wonderful organic food available all year. Of course, they also have to feed only 4.25 billion people, down from 5 billion a couple of years ago. Climate change is driving millions off planet and killing millions more. But damn, the fruits & veggies are great.

6: You can’t go back and talk to yourself.

The upshot of even being too near your past self is that you get a blinding headache. You need to be at least 150 feet away to not get what Mom calls “brainstabbed”. This is why Dad, Mom Auntie Mary and Uncle Spike have to stay in different areas each time they go back to Woodstock in our timeline. In other timelines, like the one where Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin played, they are ok to stand right next to the other versions of themselves.

So yeah, you’re thinking how you could call yourself or write a letter telling you to how to make millions or not marry that cheating son of a bitch or get free of that goddamn yard you share with those two stupid fucking lab mixes. Well, you can do that, but as we’ve stated all along here, it just spins off a new timeline or causes you to do what future you was trying to prevent.

7: On the other hand, time travel is easier than you think.


Provided, of course, you have all the right equipment. The dead easiest way to time travel is by sending your consciousness back in time to an earlier version of yourself or even another person entirely. Actually, this happens to some people spontaneously and it drives them insane. More than a few of the mentally ill folks you see out on the street are bouncing back and forth in time. Of course, others are mutants or aliens or even messed up androids, but that’s for another rant.

The big myth about time travel is that it takes enormous power to accomplish. I mean, there are physicists who say it would take all the energy in the universe. Well, their asses are sucking swamp water, because I’ve met time travelers who powered their machines with everything from fusion power plants to D cell batteries (admittedly, 560 of them, but still…) to methane gas. They all worked just fine and no universes were hurt. So go ahead, build your time machine! Odds are, it won’t work, but then again, it might.

8: Stepping on a goddamned butterfly will only affect the butterfly.

Sorry, Mr. Bradbury and all you chaos theorists, but that shit just doesn’t happen. Plenty of butterflies and bugs and shit out there.

Well, folks, I could go on at length here, but a bitch needs her beauty sleep. At least now you can relax knowing that no matter what we do as we travel around in the Bus, we can’t fuck up the past.

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

Fig Soup

…hot or cold

Sasha Explains It All

MALES!!!

What the hell is it with males? Does having a penis shut off half of the brain? I don’t include testicles here, because when you’re a dog, they are often missing on your male partners. But they all have a dick and half the time it’s all they think with and the rest of the time they barely think at all! I am reliably told by most of the female humans I know that this is why civilization is so fucked up.

Okay, so here is what prompted this rant. As some of you might know, I have two main DWBs (Dogs With Benefits), Buster and Moose. Buster is my age, 6, and Moose is 4. Much of the time, either or both (Don’t you dare act shocked, humans. Most of you have probably done a threesome at least once) of them are up for some sex, even if it’s just a quicky. But other times, it’s all “sorry, baby, but me and the guys are gonna chase rabbits or go pee on stuff or bark at birds or roll in a dead squished possum”. I mean, there is hot coochie ready for lovin’ and they’ve got to go chase a damned jackrabbit? WTF? They can’t wait 10 minutes? Odds are they won’t catch the rabbit anyway.

So that happened today. Buster, Moose, my good old backup pal Darby, even that hyperactive fox terrier on the next block, all going off to do male stuff. No love for Sasha (or Silky, but she’s mellower about it) today. “Maybe this evening”, Buster said. “How about tomorrow”, Moose asked.

Well to hell with those guys! The vagina train has left the station, boys, and you weren’t on it! 90 day Bad Dog timeout for you! I’m going to go check out that little pit bull/spaniel mix over on the next block. Or maybe that young husky 3 blocks west of here. Or maybe I’ll just build a male dog android! You wouldn’t find him passing up a good time just so he can go roll in a dead possum!

(Note: I have nothing against rolling in road kill and in fact enjoy it, but mama has been working hard in her lab and was looking for a bit of the old in & out, ya know?)

Now, don’t go writing and telling me that all males aren’t dumbfucks. I know they aren’t. Well, at least not all the time. But damn, they can be pretty fucking obtuse.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my sexually frustration based rant. I’m sure I’ll be fine after I go call on that young good looking husky.

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

Chapter 305: In Which Our Hero Herds Sheep And Drinks Overly Sweet Wine While Eluding An Angry Scotsman

…although once the Scotsman saw the sheep, he calmed right down

 

TWO blog posts in one day? Thank Sasha for this one.

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi there, folks! For this entry, I thought that I might FINALLY get around to posting some answers to some of my voluminous reader mail, so here we go.

In an email, Ms. A. C. writes: “Just how big is the inside of the Magic Bus?”

A great question, but one that is not easily answered. See, certain of the rooms adjust their size depending upon how many people are on the bus. The living room is particularly adept at that. Then we have the problem of new rooms (like the Forest Room and the infamous Dungeon) popping in from time to time. And that damned Warehouse just will NOT allow you to get an accurate measurement!

The best ballpark figure I can give you (which does not include the area under the main living areas) is about 3 square miles.

A personal message from Robin asks: “How can you justify creating a nearly indestructible dog with such destructive tendencies, then giving an equally crazed cat a suit of power armor? Have you no morals? No conscience?”

Since that is actually a three part question, I shall answer each part in turn. A: I’m a Mad Scientist. We do not justify what we do, we do it because we can. Also, my sister was dying. B: Being mad means having a more “adaptable moral structure”, to quote my Dad. C: Nope, nope. Not a whole hell of a lot of conscience to speak of.

I hope that cleared things up.

Ms. Bonnie, from Seattle, asks: “Why are so many humans so fucked up?”

Man, talk about a question that could fill several books. Anyway, Bonnie, I think it mostly comes down to religion. When you have an idea that promotes one species above all others as special, then give that species one of the premiere creative brains on the planet, you are asking for trouble. It also doesn’t help that humans, like chimps, are a violent species. When you toss in politics (at least, human politics) and the damned near universal mammalian habit of males thinking with their dicks, you end up with some really bad hairless apes. We can only hope they wise up fast or, barring that, die off in droves.

An email from Justin asks: “Can you tell us about some alternate world Canadas?”

Sure, Justin! I’ll tell you a bit about three of them.

In the first Canada, there is no poutine or hockey. Neither one ever really caught on for some reason. It is a sad place to visit, although the sport of Bear Teasing is kind of fascinating to watch. By the way, 80 years into it, the score is Bears: 39,753 Humans: 0.

In the next Canada, the entire population of the UK and much of Ireland moved there when the British Isles sank into the ocean in 1835 thanks to the machinations of Professor Demonicus. Canada became the jewel of the British Empire, at least until the Empire exploded. Even today, it is the #2 superpower in the world, after the United States. Both nations work together to make sure that never changes.

The third Canada was invaded by Martians in 1950, but these Martians were only 3 feet tall and very friendly. There were only 278,000 of them and the were allowed to settle in the northern parts of Alberta and parts of the southern Northwest Territory. They soon fitted right in and became valued members of Canadian society. It didn’t hurt that their poop contains large quantities of precious metals and rare earths.

Well, folks, that’s all for now.

Until my next rant,


Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

 

Please Don’t Feed The Kraken

…and for goodness sake, do NOT unleash him

 

Sasha Explains It All

You Are Not Alone, Or Even Unique

One of the things that makes humans and a whole bunch of other races interesting and also kind of delusional is this whole idea of you each being totally unique. This belief is a cherished one, especially by self help gurus and fashion designers. And pretty much every consumer product company. Oh, and advertisers. Can’t forget them.

Now, while is is ultimately true that each living thing is unique due to the influences of it’s own life path, outside effects & such, you humans are not so unique as you think. Not even close, really.

Before I go any further with my puncturing of your egos, let me just say that we dogs aren’t exactly bastions of uniqueness either. Just look at a bunch of black labs or bichons or scotties, for goodness sake. They really DO all look alike! Hell, even dogs with some variety of coat colors/patterns look pretty damned similar unless we’ve had some accident. We bassets all have the big snout, long ears, short legs, etc. Same for every breed, really, as well as cats, rabbits, etc.

Now, we DO have other things to help individualize ourselves, including smells, but we aren’t that much more unique than you guys.

So back to why you aren’t unique. In a word: multiverse. See, on average, most folks here on Earth have between 190 and 400 pretty damned near exact duplicates out there on other world’s. These are the ones who aren’t radically different from the Prime. Go out a few more quanta and you can easily quintuple that number and still not be in the really exotic realms.

As an example, let’s take a look at my Auntie Avis. Now, she is a sweet hearted lady who is single (long time divorced), a geek, level headed, over 60, pretty healthy and has worked at her job for over 20 years. She lives in a city in a New England state and has a cat named Leon.

I can show you at least 67 just like her on other worlds. Now, in some she works a different job and in some she has a dog named Leon and in some she was married longer or shorter lengths of time and in some she lives in another city in the same state but fundamentally, she is the same person each time. A great person, but not unique.

Now, there are worlds where Auntie Avis is WAY different, like the one where she is 6 inches taller, has tattoos and is part of a roller derby team when she isn’t working as a police officer. Or the world where she is, essentially, Batman. Or the world where she’s a zombie killing asskicking grandmother. But in the near quanta, she is the wonderful auntie who gives us dogs bellyrubs and sort of balances out Daddy in each universe.

So, like I said, you aren’t really unique. While that might kind of deflate and depress some of you, I think it ought to make you feel good. After all, you are not alone in the multiverse. There are plenty of you.

Except for my human dad. Now, there are tons of him out there, and in the near quanta they are pretty much ordinary guys. Farmers, game designers, writers, cooks, etc. Almost all of them live in California, except a couple who live in Hawaii and one who lives in Seattle. They are all married to some version of Mom, although she does sometimes have different hair color.

The problem is, there are none like the man sitting 15 feet from me right now humming the theme to The Wild Wild West while eating a pb&j and reading a web comic. None driving Magic Buses with mentally jumped up dogs & cats & robot dogs. None who can use a BilTokian gravity glove with ease, but not be able to tell you how and where he learned how to use it.

Maybe there are others like him in the outer quanta, but it’s still a mystery to me how he could be the Prime to so many ordinary dudes. And while I’m at it, there’s something subtly odd about Mom, too, but I’m damned if I can pin it down.

Anyhow, my parents aside, none of us are unique, so get over it.

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

My Life Among The Wild Writers

…which is actually most of them.

 

Below, Sasha’s latest rant.

Sasha Explains It All

Why You Can Never Really Talk To Your Dog

I know, I know. The first thing you humans say to that is “well, they don’t understand <insert your local language here> anyway”. Typical human arrogance. Look, dogs have been hooked up with humans for maybe 30,000 years and for sure for 25,000 years. We learned your languages as they developed, folks. When we met you, your vocabulary was maybe 300 words. Not real hard to master, ya know?

Now, to be fair, 99% of dogs do not have enormous vocabularies, but we all understand your languages at at least the conversational level. Of course, most dogs only understand the human languages they were raised with, but we understand them. And we pick up new languages pretty fast. Survival skill, don’t ya know.

The above also applies to cats, pigs (have I mentioned how smart pigs are?), apes and several other species that are either in contact with humans a lot or related to you. None of them are quite as good at understanding humans as dogs, but they DO understand you.

So, back to why you and your dog can never really understand one another. It’s pretty simple, really: humans lack tails, scent glands and really moveable ears.

Now, you lot have figured out that tail/ear positions indicate some general emotional stuff, but you have only scratched the surface and you can’t differentiate smells worth a damn, if at all. Let me set you straight.

Suppose I meet my friend Moose, a 4 year old male basset hound. You see Moose and I wagging our tails, ears perked up as much as we can perk up our floppy ears and we are sniffing each others butts. You figure that are greeting each other in a friendly manner. You are right, but only partly.

What you don’t know or notice is that Moose is wagging his tail in a clockwise rotation. He is also emitting a very slight fear odor and his ears go back a couple of times, just for a second. This means that he is glad to see me, but he is a bit nervous about something. We exchange woofs and a sub-vocalization or two and I learn that he is going to the vet later and is worried. Given that the vet once removed his testicles, it’s easy to understand his nervousness. This is very common among most male dogs & cats.

So now, I give him a few reassuring woofs and hold my tail a bit lower, wagging slower. My ears are relaxed and I emit a bit of female scent. You know what I’m talking about. Just a whiff that says “You’re gonna be ok, you hot hunk of dog.” His tail wags faster and then we are on our way with our humans.

Two humans meet like that and all you’ve got is facial expressions, hand moves and body stance and emotional inflections in your voice. We dogs have all of that (except hand movements), plus the tails, ears & scent. Hell, sometimes we say things just with scent alone, which is why we mark territories and sniff each others marks.

But wait, you say, what about dogs & cats who lose their tails or have them docked way short or were born without them? Or have tiny ears or have lost an ear? Well, truth is, those critters speak to us the way a person with a speech impediment or maybe a mental problem speaks to you. We understand them, but it’s a bit more difficult and requires some patience. While I’m on the subject: STOP DOCKING EARS & TAILS, YOU FUCKING HAIRLESS APES!

Sorry for the outburst, but it’s a touchy subject.


Of course, there are also certain concepts that all species have that are unique to that species. Dogs have things like
griff and warrooo, which I can’t even begin to explain to humans, although oddly, my human father has a fair understanding of griff. But then, he’s special. Cats have things like mrrowk and hssht going on and they won’t even try to explain them to non-cats. Among you humans, the concept of religious and political fervor are a couple of the many emotional states we animals can never hope to understand.

So there you have it. We can understand each other, but not completely. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing or just a thing. Regardless, we all seem to deal with it.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross

Handsome Joe Goes To The Petting Zoo

…and meets some goats

 

Sasha Explains It All

My Family: An Adventure In High Strangeness

I know what you’re thinking, folks. Everybody has a strange family, right? You’ve got that crazy aunt or that strange brother or the funny uncle or whomever. Every family has at least one strange member and many families have several.

Well, I’ve got you beat. Right off the bat, what you’re reading right now was written by a not quite 6 year old dog using the tentacles of the symbiotic air breathing octopus that she created in her ultra advanced genetics laboratory. You’re grandmother who drives in off road races can’t touch that.

At first, I was going to do this piece rating my family from least strange to most, but I’ll be damned if I can choose who is strangest. I do know that my human mom is the least strange, but after that, it pretty much comes down to fractions. Instead, I decided to go from youngest to oldest, so here you go.

Daisy, Age 3, Basset Hound: Daisy has been my sister for just over a year and is sweet, goofy (a term that applies to all of the Cross family) and as big a nerd as you’ll ever meet. No, really. I’ve seen her argue for hours about the best Star Trek series, the best Doctor or why a certain set of roleplaying rules sucks. She is into cosplay, filksinging and pretty much anything to do with fantasy or science fiction. On top of all that, she is also a brown collar in Drunken Fox style Dog Fu. I have seen her kick the ass of a brutish 120 pound mixed breed male, folks. She’s not cocky about her martial abilities and mostly comes off as a loveable & mildly hyperactive geek.

Her best pals and gaming/geek partners include humans, cats, dogs, pigs, rabbits and a skunk. (Janet, the same skunk that Flash had a drunken interlude with) They get together to play AD&D, watch Doctor Who or Star Trek or anime and do the Mystery Science Theater thing with bad old movies.

Daisy also enjoys painting (surrealist style), helping Dad cook and chasing squirrels.


Jazz, Age 4, Dwarf Longhair Portuguese Jungle Cat: There is mounting evidence that Jazz might be either a reincarnation of Janis Joplin or quantum psi linked to an existing Janis in some other reality. We’ll know more when my friend Stephen (whom I met via my friends Tony & Bruce) examines her.

Anyway, Jazz is the wife of my brother, Flash, and she is a top notch blues/R&B singer. She can really belt ’em out, but is also great at the slower tempo songs. Jazz also writes songs and, using an Ottopus (our name for the symbiont octopi) is learning to play guitar. She also likes boardgames (she’ll kill you at Settlers of Catan) and LARPs.

Jazz has only been married to Flash about a month, but we’ve all known her most of a year and she has known Flash for two years. Her early days are almost as much a mystery as Silky’s are. We do know she was born into a small family in Texas, but spent a couple of years “on the road”. At one point, she lived on Willie Nelson’s bus, but left because she got tired of being high all the time.

Jazz is a big fan of fish, both raw and cooked. She is also pretty fond of bacon, but then, who isn’t? She does not like Mexican food much.

Jazz also enjoys reading mystery novels, trying to convince Flash to start a family and chasing squirrels.

Flash, Age 5, Dwarf Shorthair Portuguese Jungle Cat: My brother, Flash Alexander Cross, was adopted into the family at 5 months old. He was born into a very large family (litter of 10!) but left home at 10 weeks old. Mostly, he just hung around with lounge singers, comedians & showgirls in Las Vegas until joining Mom, Dad, Lucy & Winker just before the trip to DogCon 3. He and Lucy became especially close, mostly because they were both prone to violence, property damage and other bad behaviors. However, contrary to some rumors, neither Flash, nor Lulu is a psychopath. They are just rowdy amoral goofballs with a profound lack of trust or respect for authority figures. See also: Daddy.

Flash is a HUGE fan of Frank Sinatra, but really enjoys many styles of music (he’s also a big fan of Warren Zevon, Pink and Bob Marley). He’s a pretty good singer, too. He also loves action and superhero movies. Despite only weighing 8 pounds, Flash is a 100% alpha male. He is known to have fathered at least 4 litters, back in his younger days.

Flash pretends to not like geeky things, but he really does. He’s a big Star Wars fan and his Wars vs Trek arguments with Daisy are legendary. He also loves LARPing at DogCon and playing video games.

Earlier this year, Joe and I built Flash a suit of Tony Stark style power armor so that he and Lulu could go to an alternate reality and kick ass on Nazis. When he wears it, he calls himself “Iron Cat”. Mom has still not completely forgiven me for making that suit. Fortunately, Mom & Dad make us keep the armor under Level 5 security most of the time.

When Lucy died in 2013, Flash just fell apart and started using catnip pretty heavily. When we revealed Lulu to him, he cried and cried and didn’t leave her side for days. Despite the way he talks all macho, like Daddy, he is a big old marshmallow inside.

Flash enjoys record collecting, fishing, trying not to become a father (which he will ultimately fail at because he likes sex) and chasing squirrels.

Me, Age 5.75, Basset Hound: I was born into a family of 5 puppies, a mom and a dad back on Jan. 2, 2009. I was adopted by a nice older man when I was 11 weeks old, but by the time I was 1.5 years old, he could no longer care for me properly and gave me to his daughter and son in law. They mostly kept me in their back yard or garage with two bigger dogs who were, to say the least, thick headed idiots. When Mom & Dad came to adopt me after the young couple had a baby and could no longer really care for any dogs, I was nervous, but glad to be gone. Little did I know that exposure to our bus (AKA The Magic Bus), would change me forever. But that’s for another rant.

My first love is working on machines and I am a pretty skilled mechanic, both on the ordinary and ultra tech levels. I have a pretty good knowledge of transtemporal/spatial theory and quantum foam vibration effect (the thing that keeps the realities apart). I’m also about at the PhD level for ordinary physics, chemistry and engineering. Gotta love being mentally connected to an Ottopus and a T-Control Computer.

About a year ago I undertook and passed a course on Mad Genetics from the Narbon Institute. It was loads of fun, gerbilsnake/gerbilspider/gerbilwolverine escapes notwithstanding. I later took the advanced course, which allowed me to create both my Ottopus symbiont, Otto, and my pet giant garden spider, Joyce. Genetics will always be fun, but will always take a backseat to mechanics for me. Nothing like getting grease on your tentacles.


I’m a pretty big geek, with a decided leaning towards RPGs, anything steampunk and superhero/kaiju/science fiction movies. I can play the piano well and my idols are Elton John and Fats Waller. My favorite food is an In N Out cheeseburger with bacon added. I’m also a really big fan of sex, which is why my FWB Buster and I hang out together. (Note to humans: No, ordinary spayed female dogs do not have a sex drive, but I’m not ordinary, am I?)

Although it is a subject of a future rant, I do feel obliged to say that, like Daddy, I am Mad. Not insane, really, but Mad. You might even say I’m barking Mad. Heeheehee.

Other things I enjoy include reading parts catalogs and quantum mechanical journals, rebuilding my 1959 Cadillac and chasing squirrels.

 

Silky, Age 8, Basset Hound: Silky has only been with us since Father’s Day of this year (2014), but she has fit into the family very well. Much like Mom, she lends an air (a thin air) of normality to things. It’s actually kind of amazing how quickly she got used to all our strangeness.

On the other paw, normal is relative and Silky has more than her share of strangeness. First off, she seems to channel the memories of somebody, canine or human, who lived through the 1960’s. Not all the time, but in flashes that last about a minute. This could explain why she is such a big fan of the Grateful Dead and other Bay Area groups. She and Jazz have some pretty interesting conversations.

Secondly, Silky does not speak about her first three years of life. If you ask, she just says “I was out and about and had some adventures.” Daisy thinks she was hanging with bikers and Flash thinks she was a spy. Whatever the case, those years might explain why she can speak fluent French, Owl, Hedgehog, German, Bear & Spanish AND how she knows so much about computers, security systems and baking.

Shortly after her third birthday, Silky was “sold into bondage” to an older Hispanic lady and her family and was used as a breeding bitch by the old ladies son & daughter in law. They bred her once a year for the next four years, then moved away. About a year later, the old lady gave her up for adoption and she came to live with us. She was VERY happy about that.

Silky likes boardgames and is getting into card games and RPGs. She really likes old school computer games and plays the hell out of Tetris. When it comes to food, she likes most types, but doesn’t eat broccoli or carrots. Her favorite television shows are CSI, Grimm and Downton Abbey. Musicwise, she likes soft rock and old country music.

Other things Silky enjoys include reading spy novels, writing her memoirs and chasing squirrels.

Lulu, Age 11.5, Robot Dog: Lulu was born Lucy and we know next to nothing about her early years except that some foul human woman kept her in a crate most of the day because the woman’s little dogs did not get along with her. That set the tone for the next 5.5 years of Lucy’s life until a couple rescued her. A few months later, Mom & Dad adopted her.

Lucy had many mental problems due to her terrible upbringing. She took years to get even partially better. Then, in early spring of 2013, she was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma. She died peacefully at the vet’s office on August 14th of that year.

Well, her body died. Her katra (a Vulcan word for intellect/life force/soul) had been transferred into a silicon brain by me a few days earlier. To make room for the best parts of her, I wiped most of her memories before she came to live here. I put in a vague memory of being a puppy, but everything after that and before Mom & Dad is a blank. We also gave her the new name of Lulu

Lulu’s original body was a cyborg deal that I kind of cobbled together quickly to get her new brain into. Later, she got a snazzy new body with an adamantium skeleton and a vibranium outer shell. She is damned near indestructible by anything here on Earth. She is powered by a mini sized Mr. Fusion, which is why she sometimes eats organic matter. She also sometimes eats inorganic matter that her nanotech innards use to repair her. If she needs to, Lulu can mount up to three weapon pods on her sides & back.

Lulu loves kaiju movies, robot movies, westerns and Marx Brothers comedies. In stark contrast to her appetite for destruction, Lulu likes to paint landscapes to relax. Her favorite food is carne asada tacos with a sprinkling of copper and titanium.

One little note here: That evil woman who mistreated Lucy? I used the bus to go back to the day after Lucy left her and gave her several crippling mental disabilities, chief among them agoraphobia, to keep her a prisoner in her own house. She also has a severe phobia of dogs. She will have these for the next 20 years or so. Fuck with my sister, fuck with me, bitch!

Other things Lulu enjoys are playing computer games, having cybersex with military grade autonomous robots and chasing squirrels and/or velociraptors.

Mom, Age 56, Human: Despite being mother to all of us and having been married to Dad for almost 18 years, my mom is a beacon of sanity & reason in our family. Well, most of the time. Sometimes even Mom has her moments.

There is less to say about Mom’s strangeness than there is to say about her acceptance of strangeness in others. Which, if you think about it, is pretty strange in itself. And kind of recursive.

Mom is the eldest of 4 children born into a Catholic family. Fortunately, she got better. She is also a veteran of the United States Army.


Anyway, Mom takes most of our shit in stride, but when she slams down the law, we all are quick to step & fetch & straighten up. She has “The Mom Look” down to a fine degree. She has been known to stop Dad, Flash & Lulu dead in their tracks.

Mom very much enjoys going to school and learning things. She usually has a 4.0 average, which boggles Daddy, whose philosophy in school was “if it ain’t an F, it’s ok by me”. When she retires, Mom plans on taking classes for the rest of her life.

Activities Mom enjoys are reading, doing stuff on computers and taking naps. So far as I know, she has never chased a squirrel.

Dad, Age 60, Human: My three favorite things about Daddy are that he loves animals, is very funny and, like me, he’s mad as a March Hare. Really, if you don’t think Daddy has paid in full the toll that madness takes, go read the Doclopedia. Actually, I’ve found that a great many creative types are Mad.

My least favorite thing about Daddy is that explaining anything more technological to him than a hammer is pointless. What really makes it frustrating is that he uses ultra-tech with no problem. I’ve seen him pick up a Thovian Cellular Knitter and use it to heal a cut as though he were taught to do it from birth. But if I try to tell him how it works, his eyes glaze over and he starts thinking about beer or something. He does that when Mom tries to explain computer stuff, too. Sometimes you want to just hit him on the head.

Daddy is the eldest of three children and was raised way out in the country on a farm. Actually, Grandma used to say he and his sibs were less “raised” than they were “prevented from getting killed”. She also said that Daddy resisted becoming fully civilized until he was in his 30’s. Most of us think the jury is still out on his civilized status.

Mom says she and Daddy met on a computer BBS back around 1994. Daddy says they met when she pulled a thorn out of his paw. Whatever the case, they got married in 1996 and are coming up on 18 years of wedded bliss, even though there are days when I expect Mom to use the bus to go back and marry a nice sane guy.

Daddy is a dedicated roleplaying gamer and an avid boardgamer. He’s also a first class cook, has a good singing voice and is, so I’m told, that rare human male that will willingly clean a toilet at home.

Daddy has many hobbies and interests, including Sherlock Holmes, collecting books, writing, traveling, collecting little plastic figures of all kinds, gardening, basset hounds, wildlife, being deliberately goofy and eating insanely hot & spicy foods. Rumor has it that he has chased more than his share of squirrels.

So there is my family. Strange as all hell, but I love them.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross

The Dog With A Blog

…my girl, Sasha.

 

Gentle Readers,

For today, I turn the blog over to my basset hound, Sasha. This will be the first of her rants about various things. we both hope you enjoy it.

Doc

 

Sasha Explains It All

The Word of Dog

Right off the bat here, let’s make it clear that Dog is not some sort of canine deity. Animals do not have religion like you humans do. We have never had religion, because we never lost touch with the natural world and how things really work. Death is part of life for us. For you humans, death is feared and you created religion to help you believe that you’d live on after your body dies. Well, that and religion also helps sooth your consciences when you do terrible shit to the planet and each other.

So, Dog is absolutely NOT the Christian God or any other god.

What Dog was, in all probability, was a mutation. Every once in awhile evolution does shit like that. It’s pretty cool. It’s why you humans are here.

Dog lived about 25,000 years, give or take a few thousand years. He was like other dogs, except smarter. A whole lot smarter. At least pig level smart, which means he was pretty much the Stephen Hawking of those old school dogs.

Oh, wait a minute…I need to explain to you about where dogs came from. You folks get it completely wrong. We are NOT descended from wolves!

Here’s how it goes: Breed wolves in captivity for 10 generations. Do they get tamer? Yep. Do they start displaying doglike behavior. Yep. Do they alter their coloration, size, tail shape, etc? No, they still look like wolves.

Now, do the same thing to foxes. They undergo all of the changes that wolves do, plus they alter physically to look more like dogs. And they do it in only a few generations.

So, what does this mean? It means that we dogs are descended from a creature that was a sort of halfway step between wolves and foxes. And no, I do not mean the freakin’ coyotes. We were and are a distinct species, leaning more toward the wolf, but not wolves. This is pretty important to us and it kind of pisses us off how you humans don’t get it. Of course, you don’t get a lot of things, but that’s a whole other essay.

So, Dog was a genius level canine back in the ancient days and he was born into a pack that lived very near a human tribe. From puppyhood, he would watch these humans and compare how they lived with how dogs lived. He saw that it was very similar, but with some differences.

First off, humans could do all sorts of things dogs did, but they had very weak senses and were not nearly so good at hunting. Secondly, they had figured out how to control fire, which was a pretty damned big deal. Finally, with their tools, they could kill huge creatures, then cook the meat over fire! The smell of this cooked meat just made dogs crazy.

By the time he reached adulthood and took over his pack, Dog had decided that humans and dogs should hook up. He figured that we could help each other. So, when the humans were out hunting without much success, Dog and a couple of his homeboys drove some deer their way. After the humans killed the deer, Dog and pals just looked at them, wagging their tails. The humans, who were a bit slow, ignored them. Fortunately, Dog was patient.

After a few times of helping the humans hunt, Dog and his pack were accepted as being useful and friendly. The humans started leaving them delicious animal guts and bones and even slices of cooked meat. Pretty soon, Dog moved the pack near to the humans and they followed the humans around. Eventually, the humans started liking them, especially the puppies.

When he was very old, Dog got a bunch of young dogs & bitches together and told them this, which is, by the way, the most important thing any dog knows. And yes, almost every dog knows this. We are taught it from puppyhood. It’s in our DNA.

Young ones, you see how our life is so much better with humans in it. You see that their lives are better, too. We are all living longer and safer lives. They protect us and we protect them. We hunt together and eat together. Life is very good.

Now you must go out in pairs and find new human packs to help. You must do with them as we have done here. Without each other, humans and dogs would have rough lives. Together, we will grow and thrive.

Go, find your humans. Get other dogs to join with you. Teach your puppies and send the best and brightest among them out to do as you have done. Teach them to love the humans and live among them. It is for the best of both species.”

And that is just what those dogs did! After about 1,000-1,500 years, they had spread the Word all over the planet and the human/dog partnership was a done deal.

Folks, that right up there explains EVERYTHING! It is why we stick with you despite your cruelty and arrogance and outright stupidity. You need us and we need you. We complete each other in ways you folks might never understand and it’s been that way for tens of thousands of years.

While I’m on this subject, here are a few more points.

There was never a cat equivalent to Dog. Cats were told the Word pretty early on, but since they are different creatures from dogs & humans, they kind of rewrote things to suit them. Call them the Reform Church, if you will.

Every thousand years or so, the DNA of Dog himself gets back in the mix (it is most likely some double recessive thing) and we get a new really smart dog or two. They don’t really alter the Word, but they have added some insights. The one about “someday, humans might kill themselves off, so be prepared” is pretty recent, but very wise.

Very few other species give the Word of Dog any thought. Wolves will outright laugh at you if you try to tell them about it. Given what humans have done to them, I can see their point. Many other species are just not smart enough to grasp the concepts. No, really. Try telling all of this to a sheep.

Anyway, that’s it, the story of the Word of Dog. Think about it.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross

Update From May 24th, 2020: Yesterday, the combined (and expanded) autobiographies of Roscoe and Silky, “The Damndest Story You’ve Ever Heard”, went live. In it, Roscoe reveals how he lead LOTS of lives across tens of thousands of years. I mean, like 20 of them.

He also revealed that in most of his lives, he had visits from a time traveler known as “Jane”. That was me, same as I helped Silky. What dropped my jaw personally, was that for 5 of his journeys, the time traveler helping him was a male blue raccoon called “Captain Blue”. Even more jaw dropping, this blue rascal took him back 35,000 years to interbreed with primitive bitches and spread his genes AND TAKE THE NAME DOG! Yes, Roscoe was Dog.

The dog community is having assorted meltdowns about this. My son has only replied to my questions with “Had to be done, Mom.”

I can’t even.