It Was The Kazoos That Pissed Off The Bull

…he was not a music lover

 

Day Two will go up tonight.

 

 

CritterCon 10

Day One, Part Two

After leaving Half Moon Bay, we only had to drive 4 miles down the highway to reach our next roadside attraction, the Wooden Presidents.

(Silky: As opposed to just the wooden headed presidents.)


Penny Gudermann started doing chainsaw sculptures as a young teenager with her dad. Eventually, they opened a shop selling their carvings and that shop is still open.

About 12 years ago, Penny started carving a statue of Thomas Jefferson. It turned out really well, so she moved on to Washington, then Kennedy, then all of the others. Once she had them all, up to Obama, she opened up the lot of them for public viewing.

(Luke: At $2.00 a head, but children under 10 are free.)


All of the statues are carved from native California oak and the detail is incredible. During the tour, Penny told plenty of stories about working on each president, as well as her ongoing work on the First Ladies and a few of the Founding Fathers. All told, we spent nearly an hour and a half there.

And yes, there is a small selection of bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc.

(Daisy: We have a very large wall covered in bumper stickers from these trips. Uncle Gabriel was very impressed. He has not seen all the fridge magnets yet.)

By now it was nearing 4:00, but we figured we had enough time to visit our next attraction, the First Church of the True World History, located just outside of Santa Cruz. It only opened a couple of months ago and I had heard a bit about it. As you are about to find out, it elicits quite a bit of interest from us here at Casa Cross.

(Silky: That is Daddy making with the understatement of nearly British proportions.)


The church charges nothing to visit it, so the bunch of us (the critters in their android bodies) went in. We were met by Pastors Oscar and Tanya Mendina, the founders of the church. They explained that they started the church after finding evidence that world history was being manipulated by a strange group of humans and dogs of the hound variety, at least one of which was some sort of tentacled mutant. It is a testimony to our self control that none of us laughed or looked shocked, although both Grace and Avis did give Sasha & I the “SEE? We told you you’d get caught!” look.

(Leon: BUSTED, Uncle Doc!)
(Sasha: I need to make us some sort of cloaking device.)
(Roxy: Or you could just stop messing with history.)

(Sasha: Honey, we are MAKING history.)


Pastor Oscar then showed us around the church museum and damned if they didn’t have a pretty impressive collection of written accounts and even a few photographs. Fortunately, we always subtly change how we look, so the photos of Sasha show a black & white basset and photos of me show a younger clean shaven guy with short hair.

(Silky: Dad actually looks kind of dashing in the photo of him with Lawrence of Arabia.)
(Max: On the other hand, that 14th century Chinese painting of Sasha looked like something from Creature Features.)


Both pastors related stories of how these strange dogs & humans (Spike has gone with me a few times and one of the stories is how Grace accidentally caused a pre-teen Martin Luther to start thinking the way he did) have been around for at least 7,000 years, and maybe longer. Obviously, he told us, they are immortal and could be sent by God or Satan, the jury still being out. He also related how Men In Black and government agents have stopped by the church to question them several times.

When the tour and stuff was done, we bought a couple of t-shirts, then left, chuckling all the way to the bus. As soon as we were on board, Grace went into lecture mode and Sasha and I had to swear to be more careful when we went through time to ensure that history comes out correctly.

By then it was almost 6 and time for dinner, which we have just finished eating. Tonight is movie night, with some conversation after. Tomorrow we are off down the coast for more adventures.

Destination Sign When We Started: Invidia
Destination Sign When We Stopped: Alpha Complex

QM Radio Station: One Hit Wonders, 1925-2015

 

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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

Weinerdogs In The Haunted House

…it was hella scary!

 

The Doclopedia #954

Things You Should Not Do: Travel Back In Time

It seemed like a good idea at the time, you know. Just use Professor Manjitars time machine to go back and prevent the Great Plague of 1799, thus allowing my country to become the greatest power on Earth by the late 1880s. All we had to do was go back to about 1797 and vaccinate all of the villagers where the plague first occurred. Easy peasy, right?

Well, no. See, we didn’t realize that the first version of the plague was substantially different on the genetic level from the samples we had from 1804. Our vaccine not only didn’t stop it, it made it even more resistant to treatment in the mid-late 20th century, when it popped up again in Nigeria. It had also mutated to an airborne form with a survivability of up to 72 hours outside the human body.

The upshot was that we returned to 2056 to find a world of primitive tribes, cities with nearly a century of decay on them and no functioning technology above the bow and arrow.

So, if you are someone in the future reading this after humans have gotten civilized again, don’t even think about time traveling.”

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The Doclopedia #955

Things You Should Not Do: Thaw A Monster Out Of The Ice

Really, how many movies were made about thawing something out of the ice only to have it go on a killing rampage? From Frankensteins Monster to The Thing to any number of Kaiju and Dinosaurs, it never friggin’ works out well for humanity.

So what the hell did those dumb bastards from the US Geological Survey do when they found a humanoid frozen in a glacier in Montana? Chip it free and take it to a lab to look at it, AFTER IT WAS PARTIALLY THAWED OUT!

They had it to just about 40 F when two things happened. First, one of the team said “Hey, that thing looks kinda like a Troll from D&D”. The second thing? It woke up about 5 minutes later and killed and ate the five team members, after which it nearly tripled in size!

Naturally, the facility was locked down and the cops were called and when the Troll broke through a wall, the cops shot the crap out of it. That really pissed it off and it it killed cops and civilians and destroyed property until some smart cop tosses a grenade at it and blows it into about a dozen pieces.

You know what happens to a piece of Troll that doesn’t get burned up by fire? It grows damned quickly into a complete Troll! Small, but still a troll. When the cops saw a dozen new trolls, all of whom were eating dead humans and growing larger, they called in the military.

After about three days, the military had managed to round up the now 36 trolls and contain them in a cold storage warehouse where they all got frozen again. Everybody was patting themselves on the backs when one scientist asked how such a creature could exist, since it violated so many laws of biology & physics. The answer, of course, was magic.

And then people and animals bitten or clawed, but not killed, by the Trolls began to mutate into magical beings or creatures. Since each creature was “leaking magical energy”, they caused more mutations in the living things around them. Shit was ON, my friend.

Now, five years later, magic has taken over all of the wild lands on Earth and about half of the developed lands. Cities tend to be magic free zones, but that won’t last more than another decade. After that, our planet becomes a gaming geeks wet dream. And it’s all because they just had to thaw out that damned troll.”

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Rabbi Bob Goes On A Road Trip With A Turtle

…and two strippers from North Beach

 

The Doclopedia #948

Pie!: Chicken Pot Pie

Ah yes, a most delicious chicken pot pie, don’t you agree? Branwell, please convey our pleasure with dinner to Mrs. Zelogny. And ask Walton to set out the reserve brandy.

Now, my friends, let us adjourn to my workshop where I shall fulfill my promise for this evening by showing you my Temporal Conveyance Engine. Using it, we shall open a passage between our own year of 1891 AD and the year 1056 BC. I believe you will find it most enlightening.

Why of course, Nigel, I can have Mrs. Zelogny pack up a pot pie for my bachelor brother! Now, as for why the year 1056 BC was chosen, it all has to do with certain temporal weaknesses inherent to these grounds…”

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The Doclopedia #949

Pie!: Ollywox Pie

Today on Cooking For Gorvoons we’ll be making Ollywox Pie, a worldwide favorite that originated in the Zarinar Republic several centuries ago and quickly spread during the Jarib Uprising. The big secret to making a great Ollywox Pie is a light flaky crust and very ripe ollywox fruits. By very ripe, we mean extremely soft and squishy. The best way to insure this level of ripeness is to purchase the fruits green, then put them in a warm dark place for a couple of moon phases. Now, as for the crust, you’ll want to use good flour and cold cubes of Tarfu Lard…”

A Slacker Yak named Zack Hung His Pack On A Rack And Climbed A Stack Of Wax To Eat A Snack

…so jump back, Jack

The Doclopedia #464

The Alphabet, Again: X is for…X Dogs

On DogEarth 8, some dogs are mutants with superhuman powers. These dogs are shunned and feared by ordinary dogs, so they tend to live either in the shadows or hidden among the populace. A few mutants have been gathered together by Professor Xrovier, a mutant with very powerful telepathic powers, and they fight crime and evil mutants. They are based out of Professor Xrovier’s School for Gifted Pooches on Long Island, New Bark.

A few of these “X Dogs” are…

Stormy, an Afghan Hound who can control the weather
Beastly, a Terrier Mix who looks more like a bear or ape than a dog and has great strength & agility
Ice Hound, a Whippet who can create things out of ice
Cypups, a Beagle who can shoot powerful energy beams from his eyes
Woofarine, Labrador Retriever who has incredible reflexes, healing ability and senses, plus adamantium clad bones and long retractable adamantium claws.

The X Dogs sworn enemies are the League of Evil Mutant Mutts, lead by Magnetico, who has enormous magnetic powers.

The Doclopedia #465

The Alphabet, Again: Y is for…Yesterday Gate

Created at least 2,500 years ago by an unknown sorcerer, The Yesterday Gate resembles an ornate door frame that floats about 3 inches above the ground. It appears at random intervals, sometimes as long as a century and sometimes as short as a week, and at different places around the world. It stays in that spot for exactly 24 hours from the time anyone steps through it.

As the Yesterday Gate will inform anyone who sees it, it allows a person to go back in time exactly 24 hours. During that time, they can go anywhere they like and do whatever they want. When the 24 hours is up, they will find themselves at the spot where they entered the Gate, but 24 hours later. Depending upon what they did, history may or may not have been changed.

Only one person may enter the gate and after they do, it will disappear from sight, although it is still in the same spot. Amazingly, 98.5% of the people who have stepped through the Yesterday Gate have actually changed history. Of the 1.5% who have changed history, only two have changed it in a significant way.

Harry Potter And The Sexy Spirit

…in which Moaning Myrtle is moaning for a whole different reason:)

And that’s as close to HP slashfic as I’ll ever get:)

More on the Time Travel theme

After having received a couple of thoughtful comments on my time travel post, I’m in a mood to write a bit more on the idea. Timewise, let’s say this all starts just about the time World War II ends. As for the date I’d be leaving, well, let’s say 2020.

After a bit of thought on the subject, I’m thinking that the way to start the whole history changing ball rolling would be to sow worldwide chaos and panic via the use of bioweapons, economic tampering and just generally scary messing around. This would do two things right off: badly disrupt the flow of Business As Usual and create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia that would leave much of the human race ripe for manipulating.

The bioweapon use is pretty much self explanatory. I reckon I’d start it in Russia (making sure I wiped out their atomic program early on) and China, but in fact, all countries would get a dose. Of course, I’d immunize a bunch of people beforehand, either because they would need to live to further the cause or (mostly) in case the bioweapons worked a bit too well.

Economic chaos would pretty much naturally follow the above, but I’d give it a helping hand. A crop failure here, some really bad stock tips there, the odd factory closing due to sabotage…pretty soon, the greedheads wouldn’t know what to do.

As for the generally scary messing around, well, you could go with a few “alien encounters” in small towns. Given the ability to use technology and 21st century makeup effects, you could put on a pretty good show. In a similar vein, why not make use of the superstitions held by many religious people and stage a few sightings/encounters with “demons” and “devils”? Mix into that a few monster sightings and unexplainable events and you could really stir things up.

After things were good and chaotic, you would want to start placing your loyal minions (AKA people firmly under your control via any number of means) into positions that allowed them to control certain things. Politicians, military personnel, fundamentalist preachers (this one being especially good for mass mind control), business leaders, scientists (easily lead about once you gave them the merest glimpse of knowledge from 2020), people in the entertainment industry (easily controlled given their vanity and generally low intelligence) and people in the news media…all of them would be doing their subtle or not so subtle bit to aid the cause.

I’ll write more on this later, but to clear up one question, let me say this: I would never let anyone see my real face…I would reward loyalty generously and punish disloyalty severely (and make sure all other minions knew about it)…I’d use my technology and skills to always be in several places at once…after initially contacting people and getting them on my side, they would never see me in person again. Effectively, I’d be The Shadow:)

Now, showering, eating and working.

Morning Madness And The Magic Teapot

…without that teapot, the madness would reign

Thoughts on Creative History Reconstruction
Lately, I’ve been thinking about time travel in general and changing history in particular. Recent history, to be exact. Say…oh, the last 50 years or so. Not just my personal history, tho that would of necessity change, but world history. I’m assuming that I could travel back to about the mid 1950’s armed with a few laptop computers, all the necessary peripherals, several terabytes worth of information on stuff that has happened in the last 50 years, a bunch of cool spy gear/tech toys and some advanced weaponry (including biological based goodies).

Rather than try to change history via the “kill all the right people” route (although, of course, there would no doubt be some unavoidable wetwork that I would most likely have to contract out), I’d go for both the “long con” method and the “warning in advance/guide the good guys” method.

Let’s face it, running a long term scam on the evil greedheads/racists/religious nuts/warmongers would be dead easy once you convinced them you were in fact from the future bearing valuable information. Once you showed them some photoshopped “news archives”, gave them a couple of great stock tips/Superbowl winners and predicted a few big news events, the greedy powermongers would hang on your every word. Then would come the lying and the false archives and the misguidance. In short order, you would have them doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. By the time the axe fell on their voluntarily extended necks, they’d be so deluded that there would be a crafty smile on their faces as their heads fell into the basket. That’s how the long con works.

At the same time, you would be feeding all sorts of good info to the people who wore the white hats…and they’d wear those white hats because you made sure they deserved them. There would also be a few tech advancements doled out here and there (alternative power, computers, medicine, etc), just to get things on the right track a bit faster.

Some world events would go on as in the original timeline, some would be expanded and many would never happen. Needless to say, a shitload of new events (some “good”, some “bad”) would need to happen. This is where some of that wetwork would come in, as well as the saving of some lives.

In the end, the world of 2006 v.2.0 would not be perfect (because, after all, there would still be humans in it), but it would be a damned sight better, cleaner and less crowded. And the colonies on the Moon and Mars would be way cool:)

Oh, and in case you were wondering how I’d change my own life….well…here are a few bits.

I’d meet Grace about 20 years earlier
Children
Financial solvency
No dead father
I’d write/publish D&D, but base it on storytelling, not wargaming
No enlisting in the Navy
Better physical health (as in, not fat)
I’d meet most of my good friends earlier

So, feel free to discuss this, ask questions, tell me I’m crazy, whatever.

And now, off to work!