Dark Secrets Of The Dog Park

…mostly, they’re about eating poop


After The Change Came

Series 4

A Day For Books And Walking

Greetings, Dear Readers. I’m back for another entry in the blog. Today, I’ll be telling you about my action packed yesterday. Well, action packed if you call a 24 mile walk to a used book store “action packed”. In point of fact, it was a pretty mellow day.

My favorite used book store here in the Sacramento area is Booktown Used Books, which is just about 12 miles from here, near downtown. It has been in that location since 1928. Arliss Brantner owns it and he is the 4th generation of his family to do so. It’s the largest bookstore in Northern California. The fantasy/science fiction section alone is twice the size our our living room, and our living room is big.

So, with the kids in school and Grace puttering around the house, I set off walking to Booktown. The weather has been great lately, with the spring rains mostly behind us and the summer heat a few weeks away. As I’ve said before, after the Change, downtown Sacramento was moved away from the rivers (American & Sacramento) to a spot 6 miles northeast and now high enough to never flood. As with all cities, towns & villages in the world, we have a Ring Road running in a perfect circle around town. It is located exactly 15 miles out from Sacramento’s Central Tower, where our City Dragon lives.

30 roads and streets run out from city center to the Ring Road. Grace and I live on Greenback Lane, one of the main roads. It meanders like a river toward downtown. Lots of curves, up and down hill, passing through our many greenbelts and farms and residential areas. It’s a nice walk.

Actually, almost all roads in Sacramento meander. There are very few that run straight for more than a mile or two. I probably ought to also point out that you’ll see very few cars on the road. People walk, ride bikes or horses or other animals, roller skate/skateboard, ride flying carpets (Mahmoud’s Enchanted Carpets has, like, 9 locations), or take the anibuses, which run every 15 minutes.

So there I am, at 8:00 in the morning, walking along, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine. Birds are singing in the trees, bunnies & squirrels and other wildlife are out doing their thing. I see neighbors tending their gardens or livestock. A few are just sitting on their porches, drinking their morning beverage. Other folks are walking along, including one young couple who are going on a picnic outside the city limits.

I’ve mentioned in the past that Ring Roads also double as city boundaries. They are enchanted to keep dangerous creatures or sapients out, and to a lesser extent mitigate really bad weather, wildfires and earthquakes. That’s why San Francisco will never again have a really terrible earthquake.

I tend to walk a bit faster than most non-mutant humans, so even pausing frequently to look at things or talk to folks or buy a peach milkshake at Bonnie’s Burgers, I’m doing 5 miles an hour. As with any city or town, the closer you get to downtown, the more urban things get. Now, that does not mean houses crammed right next too each other, since by law every home in California has to sit on at least half an acre of land and all urban areas must have extensive greenbelts. That latter is why you often see deer or even elk strolling through our downtown.

At just about the 2.5 hour mark, I reach Booktown. This may well be my 1,000th time there, since I’ve been going there for decades. My first visit was in 1970, a couple of months after I got my driver’s license. It was while I was on Easter break from Hobart’s School for Young Ladies & Gentlemen and on that visit, I bought about 30 books to take back with me, mostly pulp reprints.

Arliss and his wife, Olive, gave me a hearty greeting and advised me that they had gotten in about 5,000 books a week earlier that were now on the shelves. I grabbed a complimentary cup of tea and started looking around. Arliss had British Invasion rock & roll playing and coconut incense burning. Despite being born in 1985, Arliss and Olive are a couple of hippies.

90 minutes later I had a stack of 40 books and magazines, including the British mag “QuestWorld Spectator”, issues 1-4. I paid for them, said goodbye to the Brantners and left the shop to go grab some lunch. On my way to a great Indian buffet, I put the books on Ralph, a dogbus that runs up Fair Oaks Blvd to the Ring Road. He transferred them to Fancy, a bunnybus who transferred them to Waldo, another dogbus. Waldo dropped them off at our front gate and Ben, our main House Elf, transported them to our library.

After a wonderful lunch of Indian food and a mug of pale ale, I began my walk home. I decided to use the footpaths found in the greenbelts and had a great time birdwatching, looking at and talking to various animals, and generally grooving on nature. The walk home took 3.5 hours and when I arrived at the old homestead, I was greeted by the twins and their friends. They were making up a game that I won’t even try to explain, but for about 10 minutes, I was a moving goal post.

Once I got into the house and sat down, Ben showed up with a cold iced tea. After I finished the tea, I was considering a short nap. This plan was abandoned when my green skinned hottie of a wife came and sat on my lap and whispered saucy suggestions in my ear. Later, we ate dinner with the kids and then played some dice games.

All in all, a pretty damned great day.

More bloggage later.


Flaming Watermelon Death

…from above!

The 6.2 mile walk went pretty quickly, then I got home and turned into a thirsty & sweaty semi-invalid with a top speed of about .005 miles an hour.

But now, I’m rested, refreshed & up to maybe .5 miles an hour:)

It matters not, though, for my next set of errands shall be done by car.

More bloggage, primarily about The Blade That Controls, later.

Thrilling Moose Stories

…it’s a big seller in Canada

So far, my Saturday has been all about walking and waiting. drive car to dealers for a brake job/check up…walk the mile home…wait a couple hours for bank to open…walk the 1/2 mile to bus stop…get to bank, deposit check, then wait while they try to figure out why our online bill pay is acting goofy…wait for bus…walk another 1/2 mile home…wait for dealer to call telling me car is ready, then I’ll have to walk the mile to the dealer again.

Curse this exciting, fast paced life I lead!

A Golden Girl, A Box Full Of Trouble And A Very Inventive Guy

…in The City

My oh my, it would seem that we might want to name Our Village “Testosteroneville”, since the first 10 (of 16) villagers are male. Well, at least they are a racially diverse lot:)

In other news, I walked 5.3 miles yesterday, at a pretty brisk pace and without sitting down once during the entire 2 hours and 16 minutes of the trip (which includes a 30 minute stop at a local nursery to check out new plant ideas. I was rather whipped by the time I got home, but I’m planning a similar journey for today. I’m thinking that if I can’t find work, I should at least find some fitness.

Oh, yeah…all you villagers who have yet to fill out the second poll, GO DO IT!.

And now I’m outta here to walk dogs, clean house and then walk to a thrift store.

Robotic Pirates From The Earth’s Core

…Pellucidarian plunderers

So, tonight, I go to turn on the oven to cook a roast and there’s a flash of light, a loud BZZZZZTTTT! sound and lotsa smoke. After a moment’s surprise, I turned it off. so much for oven cookery in the Cross household for…well, until I get a job and mounting bills are paid off. Oh well, I’ve got my trusty Weber grill, so if need be, I can slow cook stuff on it.

I only walked a couple of miles today, but I also worked an hour in the garden, so I figure that was worth 2-3 miles, if sweat is any indication.

I’m gonna be up late tonight writing. I have about 4 projects to work on, so I reckon I’ll do pieces of them all. But first, I need a big mug of cocoa/tea.

More blog-o-rama later.

The Kitty Cats VS Gojira And Mothra

…my money is on the cats

Today was a warm and sunny day, so I did a bit of gardening. Nothing like pulling weeds, cleaning up piles of previously pulled weeds and watering everything to make a fella tired.

But not so tired that I couldn’t walk 2 of the 4.5 miles home from the dog park and than walk another mile with Daisy.

Tomorrow we’ll be doing some domestic stuff and maybe go to the movies.

And here’s a garden pic for y’all.

Blue Irises

Doc Tempest And The Comet Creatures

…from the December 1952 issue

El Stuffo

Spring is certainly not acting like a lady hereabouts. Low temps, high winds, lotsa clouds…all things that impede the joyful progress of my veggie garden.

I read last night that Dragon and Dungeon magazines will be shutting down. While I almost never read Dragon during it’s recent “all D20, all the time” phase, I did read it regularly back when it was more of a general gaming mag. More importantly, it was a part of the RPG hobby that was always there. It’s a bit sad to see it go.

I was going to start back up on the treadmill this week, but then realized that my walking shoes were trashed due to me wearing them to work (to say nothing of my incredibly shoe trashing foot misalignements). So, tomorrow I’ll buy new walking shoes, then restart on the treadmill on Monday.

Not that I haven’t been getting in some walking anyway. Daisy has alot of energy to burn off in the evenings, so she and I have been knocking out a mile or so every night. The pace is a compromise between her rapid “don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve gotta get there fast” pace and my “slow down, you crazy hound, yer killin’ me” pace.

Winker, on the other hand, almost never goes faster than a mosey and seldome walks more that a hundred yards from the house.

Grace’s jobquest among many state agencies continues. She had an interview the other day that went very well. I’m hoping that she finds a good place to work, with fewer goofballs to deal with than her present job.

I’m beginning to feel the first stirrings of “Trip To GenCon” fever.

My herb garden is growing by leaps and bounds. I tell ya, there is nothing like being able to clip a few fresh herbs for your cooking. Last night, it was fresh French Tarragon for our scrambled eggs. Yum Yum!

Gaming Day this Sunday after a multi week hiatus from the AD&D game. Should be fun, since the PC’s are at the halfway point in the Training Dungeon Of Doom.

Time to go. More blogging later.

Fried Seaweed Sandwich

…with extra mayo

Miles Walked On Thursday: None, due to a sore ankle and the garden needing my attention.

Note to the Players in the World Building Game: If you have not answered the Mayor questionaire, please do it by Monday. Failure to do so will result in a severe beating:)

BTW, the Adventurer questionaire will go up about Wednesday.

Ok, so yesterday I mentioned 365 Days, 365 Characters. Allow me to expand upon this…

My plan is to start creating a rules systemless character a day, every day, for a year. I’ll start in August, exactly one year before Grace and I intend to start our driving trip to GenCon 2007, and I’ll post the last character the night before we leave. I will take reasonable requests for character types…and they don’t have to be archetypal RPG characters, either. I already have ideas for (among others): a working mom who has a single superpower…an animal cop (as in, he’s a rabbit)…the only sentient robot on Earth…a guy who runs a hotdog cart in a city full of superheroes/villains…and a bunch more. As I said yesterday, we’ll see if I can do this for a whole year. Oh, yeah…you will almost certainly see some characters who are based on (and have the same name as) real life people…including my family, friends and me. Well, assuming they give me their OK,

In gardening news, I am finally seeing an orange/red blush on some tomatoes! YAY! Soon, the BLTs and tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes will be a daily joy here at Castle Cross.

And now, off to work for me.

Here’s Lookin’ At You, Helen B. Narbon

…go read Narbonic

Miles Walked On Tuesday: 1 in 18 minutes
Miles Walked On Wednesday: 3.7 in 1 hour, 5 minutes

Not sure if I’m losing weight yet, but my leg muscles are getting steel hard, baby!

I hope those of you on my FL who are at Origins are having a great time.

And now, I must drink my tea and eat my brekky. More blogging later.

Chasing Down The Worst Nightmares

…and killing them

Miles Walked Tonight: 1.7 miles in 25 minutes


Aaargh! I meant to have the first email for the World Building Game out today, but it’s not ready yet. Soon tho, very soon.

I know many people are really looking forward to Superman Returns, but I’m not one of them. I’ve seen the trailers and read stuff about it and it just does not seem to push my fanboy buttons.

On the other hand, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest, is right at the top of my summer movie list.

Hearing my gaming industry/hobby friends talking about going to Origins is making me REEEEEEALLY want to go to a gaming con. Alas, this will not happen until next February and DunDraCon, mostly due to lack of $$ now and the Hawaiian Anniversary Vacation (which, I’ve been reminded, will actually be our 10 years delayed honeymoon) in October.

Damn…here it is, nearly 11:30 at night and I’m jonesing bad for enchiladas. Cheese enchiladas…altho chicken or pork would be fine, too. *SIGH* I guess I’ll just drink a glass of milk instead.

Time for milk drinking, then bed. More blogblog tomorrow.

Squid And Strawberry Pie

…that’s just wrong

Miles Walked On Saturday: 1.1 in 16 minutes
Miles Walked On Sunday: 1.3 in 21 minutes (I was a a bit tired from gardening)

We didn’t do much of an exciting nature this weekend, unless you call changing a flat tire exciting…and if you do, that’s just fuckin’ sad. Mostly, it was business as usual here at the House of Cross…garden, cook, shop a bit, eat, watch some tv, sweat like a pig whenever we went outside (which in my case was often and in Grace’s case was seldom) and generally be middle class suburbanites (or as close to that as we can ever come…which really isn’t all that close).

And now, I must leave early for work, due to having missions both mundane and fantastic before I hit the pizza mines.

Face Eating Zombie Goats

…run away!

Miles Walked Last Night: 1.8 miles (didn’t time it)
Miles Walked Tonight: 2.5 miles in 45 minutes (that last half mile uphill was a motherfucker)

Movie Stuff

Watched another 6 episodes of The Slayers last night and it was more good fun with that wacky Lena Inverse and her pals. I have 2 more discs to go in the series, then I believe I have some Doctor Who coming up.

Tonight, we watched Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which is not only pretty funny and full of gunplay, but will absolutely put any arguments you’ve ever had with your spouse into a whole new light. And yes, there IS make up sex…but after what they go thru, I don’t see how they could manage it.

And now I’m off to bed.

Here…Hold This Anvil

…while I grease up the bowling balls

Miles Walked Tonight: 1.9 miles in 32 minutes

One of the good things about Netflix is that we can catch up on movies we never went to see in the theatres (like Madagascar, which we saw tonight) or anime we never got to see all of at cons (like tomorrow nights viewing of The Slayers) or old movies that we haven’t seen in ages (in my case, that will be an upcoming viewing of the Joe Cocker rockumentary Mad Dogs & Englishmen). Still, I only have about 32 titles on my queue, while Grace has almost 350 on hers. I reckon I’ll have to try harder.

By the way, Madagascar was not bad. Not great, but not shitty.

And now, Gentle Reader, I am off to bed. To sleep, perchance to dream…

Bucky & Squint Buy A Duck

…but he doesn’t say “AFLACK”

Miles Walked Last Night: 1 mile in 15 minutes (cos I stopped to watch a skunk eat cat food on a porch)

Total Miles Walked Last Week: 7.8 miles over 5 days

So, as you can see, the walking goes well. Hopefully, once I get some new walking shoes, I can get back up to 3-5 miles per day (well, night, actually).

In other news, the prep for the World Building Game is about 75% done and I have 4 players now. I can still use a couple more players. The game will start in mid-July.

Prep for my face to face game, The Adventures of Zora, are about 50% completed. I need to connect with my players and find out what kind of characters they want to play. This is gonna be a slambang swashbuckling pulp fantasy adventure with a breakneck pace and…every session will end with a cliffhanger! Bot Howdy, this one is gonna be fun.

And yes, I’ll be writing reports on the face to face game here in my little LJ:)

In health news, Grace and I are doing well. She has been losing some weight and her mineral/diet/herbal treatment of her diabetes seems to be working. (Note: Grace is a Type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetic) As foe me,  I’m almost done with my yearly course of UVB treatment for my psoriasis. Other than that and the odd allergic reaction to various stuff in the air, I’m pretty fuckin’ healthy.

As for the weather hereabouts, it’ll hit about 98 today and then go triple digits tomorrow, getting up in the 104-105 area by Friday. Summer is here, baby!

And now, I’m off to work.

The Rare And Beautiful Potawango Island Singing Crab

…mostly, they sing Sinatra tunes

Walked Today: 1.4 miles in 24 minutes

My plans to get up early and work in the garden didn’t exactly go off properly. I got up at 6 am, but didn’t get out to the garden until 8:30. After spraying some nastyass herbicide on the hated Bermuda Grass, the rest of the day turned into tv watching, reading, cooking French Toast Alton Brown style, making a giant lasagna for dinner and generally goofing off.

And now I’m too tired to write any more.

The Horticultural Whore Is Flame Broiled

…to a delicious medium rare

Miles Walked Today: 1 mile in 15 minutes

Miles Walked Yesterday: None, cos I was just to fuckin’ tired after an asskicking workday

Got a late start on the gardening today…about 11 am…by which time it was around 90 degrees outside. After about 3 hours of doing various chores (which did not include planting the dwarf pomegranite I bought yesterday), I came inside and relaxed for a few hours. About 5, I went out and did a couple more hours, most of which involved cutting down weeds and dead flowers and then raking them up into piles that will eventually be used to cushion my watermelons and cantalopes from the hard surface of the driveway.

And then, I walked a mile. Now, it is Beer Time.

More bloggage later.

Tales Of Martian Science

…now with full color photographs

Walked Tonight: 1.9 miles in 22 minutes

So, two little boys are sitting dining room table one morning and their mother asks them what they want for breakfast.

Little Boy #1 says, “Just gimme some of those fucking corn flakes”

Wham! His mother slaps him across the face, knocking him out of the chair. She turns to the other boy and says, “What do YOU want for breakfast?”

Little Boy #2 says, “I dunno, but it sure as shit ain’t them fucking cornflakes”

Badum Boom!

More bloggage, less jokes, later.

Butterfly Knife Ballet

…with bright red highlights

Walked Last Night: 1.7 miles in 21 minutes

Some More Info On The World Building Game

I’ve finally decided that each player, in addition to running a village, will also create and run an explorer character who is part of a multinational team. In actual fact, I’ll be running the actual adventures the team goes on as sort of a solo adventure…BUT, my choices (and some random events) will be very heavily influenced by both the choices the players make when designing their characters and the input they give me each turn. It should be fun for all of us…or at least an interesting experiment in roleplaying.

And since I’m on the subject…


I’m looking for 3 or 4 new players. You’ll be playing the mayor of a small village (this part is basically a Sim City type game) AND an adventurer/explorer in the above mentioned RPG. I’d love to say we’ll have 2 turns per month, but most likely it will be 1 turn per month. Right now, I’m thinking 1 turn = 1 month of game time, but that could change.

And yes, this IS a Play By Email Game. If you are interested in playing, let me know.

More bloggishness later.

The Effects Of Naked Women On The Criminal Mind

…distracting, to say the least

Walked Today: 1.6 miles in 35 minutes (including 15 minutes getting chow at Subway)

We got our Netflix discs today. Just got done watching “The Triplets of Bellville” (which I highly recommend) and now Grace is watching (and I’m half watching) “Aeon Flux”. At least Charlize Theron looks hot in skintight catsuits:) Tomorrow, Grace will watch “Earthsea”, but since I saw it on Sci Fi Channel, I’ll pass.

More blogstuff in the near future.

Throw Another Wimp On The Barbee, Mate

…them’s good eatin’

Walked Today: 1.7 miles in 21 minutes

I’ll be keeping track of my walking program here, so get used to it:)

In other news, Grace and I signed up for Netflix and should get our first flix any time now. She has about 200 movies in her queue…I have 9. Most of mine are animated movies, both western style and anime. No doubt I’ll add a few more to my list, but looking thru their “hot 100”, I saw no reason to choose anything I didn’t want to go see in the theater. Hmmm…maybe I’ll see what’s in their martial arts section.

More stuff later.