Crazed Paramecium Tickled My Rotifer

…those of you who didn’t major in biology can look it up

Life On The Magic Bus

Chapter: REDACTED due to being out of temporal order


Winker’s final bow
Things go cattywonkers

Winker Sue Clay was a month past her 18th birthday and knew her time was up. 18 was old for any dog and especially old for a basset hound that had been through the adventures she had been through. Now, her life was near it’s end and that was ok. One of the good things about being a dog, and there were many, was that you knew when your life was coming to an end from old age or illness. You felt the weight of it, your appetite decreased and you found that your energy was seriously diminished. You looked forward to the Long Sleep, as some humans called it. But unlike humans, you did not fear it, even if, like Winker, you were as smart as a human. One of the advantages of never having invented religion.

She had spent that morning saying goodbye to Sasha & Daisy, who, like all dogs, were sad to see her go, but would not grieve overly much. Daddy, by contrast, had cried and said goodbye at length. You’d think that a man who had terminated several humans as part of his spy job would have been more pragmatic about death.

Well, actually, he was pragmatic about humans dying, just not about animals. To this day, he felt bad about the time he had to kill a huge killer guard dog in a Chinese secret chemical plant. Later, he found the man who trained the dog to be so vicious and dropped him into a tank of acid after telling him “this is for the dog”.

Anyway, once she had finished with Daddy, Winker got in the car with Mom for a drive way out into the boonies. She had told everyone that she wanted to die in the old way, alone and out where nature could return her to the earth. So now, she and Mom stood beside a trail that was about half a mile from where the car was parked on an old logging road. It was a pretty area to do this thing in. She sat down and looked up at Grace.

“I can feel the Energital wearing off. Won’t be more than a couple minutes now.”

Grace looked at her, sorrow and something else showing on her face.

“This reminds me of Roscoe, when he left us after 22 years. I can’t help feeling sad.”

Winker nodded.

“I just wish it wasn’t so damned hard on Daddy. He stayed drunk for a week after Roscoe went.”

Grace petted her and said, “Well, I don’t think he’ll do that this time. He’d had Roscoe with him since he was 17. He’s older now.”

“And wiser?”

“Hey, let’s not go all crazy here.”

They both laughed at that.

A few seconds later, Winker laid down on her side. Her breathing became shallow.

“Here we go, Mom. I love you.”

A tear rolled down Grace’s cheek as she said, “I love you too, sweetie.”

Five seconds later, Winker stopped breathing. Grace took a deep breath, then looked at her watch. It was 11:38 and 40 seconds in the morning. She looked back down at her girl and started counting off seconds.

18 seconds later, Winker started to glow. Within a few seconds, she was glowing so brightly that Grace had to look away.

It took a minute longer for the glow to fade so Grace could look back, much longer than it had taken with Roscoe. What she saw caused her to gasp, then giggle. Oh, this was going to be fun to watch.

The creature formerly known as Winker opened it’s eyes and blinked twice.

“That took way too long. Why are you smiling? I feel smaller? Collar is WAY too large. Am I a chihuahua? No…feel fluffier. A Pomeranian? I’ve wondered about breed switching. Sex switching was bad enough, even if bitches are superior. Wait…is that cat I smell? No! Kitten! Did you bring a kitten here?”

Jumping up, there was a quick visual and nasal inspection.

“I’m a fucking CAT! A CAT! No, not even a cat yet…a kitten. Oh shit! It must have been those gene samples Sasha and I spilled. Well, could be worse. Could have been an echidna or an opossum. Don’t think I could stand being an opossum. Uglyass fuckers. Hey, look Mom, I have testicles and a penis again! Welcome back, boys! I knd of missed you. Ooh, look, retractable claws. Handy!”

By this time, Grace was laughing pretty hard. The kitten kept talking.

“Nice colors…not a ginger, but I look like a little tiger. Short hair, too. I’ve never much liked long hair. Sense of smell is moderately crappy. So is hearing. Oh well, maybe the improved night vision will make up for it. Wait, I’m going to have to learn to use a cat box, aren’t I? That sucks.”

Grace picked up the kitten. She had thought to bring several sized collars with her. She chose a small and rather butch looking one and put it on him.

“So, sweetie, cat body aside, how do you feel?”

He looked thoughtful for a minute, then said, “Less sciencey, more adventurey. Rather badass, actually. Probably turn out more narcissistic because I’m a cat. Feeling pretty male again, which is kind of like going home. I suppose the rest will gel over a few days or a week. How old do I look?”

Grace studied him. “I’d say 10 weeks or so. Old enough to be on your own. So how do we play this?”

He thought for a minute. This was the tricky part. Grace had shown up two weeks after Roscoe had “died” with a 9 week old basset puppy that she told Doc she had seen in the local shelter. She had said the pup was due to be euthanized. In reality,Winker had been hiding out in a neighbor’s barn. Despite it being so soon after Roscoe, Doc had taken to the puppy immediately.

“I think I need to test this body out for a bit. How about if I meet up with you all in Milwaukee during GenCon next month? You can find me in the alley next to The King and I. Sneak me out some softshell crab.”

That seemed like a good idea to Grace. This whole regeneration thing always seemed to require a shakedown cruise. She had no doubt that this time it would take the next five weeks.

“Ok, sweetie. We’ll see you at the con. Take care of yourself. Make sure you lose that multiversal translator before then.”

She hugged the kitten, then set him down on the path and started to walk to the car as he went in the other direction. After about 5 steps, she turned and called out, “Hey, pick out a nice new name, okay?”

The kitten turned back to her and said, “I already have. Call me Flash.”

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R.I.P. Winker Sue Cross

…our sweet little Winkerdog

Yesterday, February 23, 2012, at 9:30 pm we said goodbye to Winker. After pulling through from congestive heart failure brought on by her enlarged heart almost exactly a year ago, she had a relapse that we could do nothing about. She died at home, on the floor next to Grace’s chair, not long after Grace had petted and talked to her.

Even though, from the very day we adopted her 5+ years ago, we knew this day would come, it still came way to soon.

The best veterinarians in the world, at UC Davis, had looked Winker over back then so the Yolo County SPCA could put her up for adoption. They determined that she had a pretty severe heart murmur, which besides precluding ever putting her under anesthesia also meant that she had slim odds of living the average Basset Hound lifespan of 10-12 years. Besides all of that, she had slightly deformed front legs and her skull was not up to Basset standards. Also, she had lost one eye as a puppy. A pretty hard life for a dog who was barely 3 years old.

But when Grace and I saw her picture online, we knew we had to give this sweet little girl a loving home. We adopted her knowing that she was living on borrowed time.

Winker turned out to be one of the sweetest tempered, friendliest and most loving dogs I’ve ever known. She liked everyone and was always wanting to say hello to people, animals, whatever. She did not have a mean bone in her body. Everybody liked her.

She was our little comedian, our rowdy little wrassler, our little sneak thief and our baby.

She was our Winkerdog and we will always love her and miss her.

Goodbye, Winker. You were a very good girl.

The Mysterious and Tense, Yet Somewhat Psychedelic, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Meatloaf Of The Damned

…co-starring her best buddy, Orville Sweetcracker

Doc Update

Time for an update about life here at the D&G Cross Home For Wayward Basset Bitches. I haven’t been doing these as regularly as I used to, so maybe this will be the start of renewed personal updatage. Or not.

Healthwise, I’m now taking blood pressure meds due to my previously excellent BP going a bit high recently. I’m only taking half a pill a day, so I guess I’m not in danger of keeling over any time soon. I’ve also been told that my blood sugar is “nearly into the pre-diabetic range”, which pretty much means “lose some weight, fat boy!”.

Grace’s low level diabetes has cranked up a notch, so she is taking pills now and keeping a much closer eye on her numbers with twice daily tests. She has lost something like 75 pounds over the last year or so, but will keep on losing until things improve.

Winker is still taking her blood thinner and her diuretic, so she is doing pretty darned well for a dog who was so close to death just about a year ago.

Lucy and Sasha are as healthy as can be. In fact, our efforts to fatten Sasha up just a bit (she was very skinny when we adopted her) have not been as successful as we hoped. Being a “sporty” basset, she just burns off calories at a hell of a rate. Still, we have gotten her to a point where you can’t see her ribs.

Jobwise, things are still the same, which means we will be on our Adventure In Poverty until we either get fat raises or win the lottery.

One speed bump in our financial road will come when I am off work after my shoulder operation in March. That will be about 6 weeks, depending upon how well my physical therapy goes. Things will be very tight on the money front for awhile.

Gardenwise, I don’t know if we’ll have a veggie garden this year. Between the goofy ass weather (as in NO WINTER!) and my surgery/recovery, we’ll probably just have a couple of tomato plants and maybe some green beans.

In gaming news, I’m looking forward to my annual trek to Dundracon. It will be good to be immersed in geekdom and hang out with my tribe for a few days. Beyond that, I’m planning on getting my gaming group together in late April for some regular roleplaying again. I’m not sure what genre we’ll play in, but some sort of Pulp Era game sounds good.

Hark! I hear certain hounds telling me that it is time for walkies. More bloggage soon!

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After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin On Horseback

Once again, I haven’t written in a week. This time, the reason is that Doc and I have been drafted by several Wizards to go off on some cockamamie road trip looking for, as they put it “signs of something troubling”. Did they know what the signs would be? No. Did they know what the troubling thing might be? No. Did they know who the hell was behind these signs of troubling crap that Wizards didn’t know anything about? Hell no! They just told us to head northeast from Sacramento starting at noon on Tuesday, which we did. On horseback. Well, actually, muleback, since Doc prefers mules to horses.

Not that these are just any mules, don’t you know. Sirroco (Rocky) and Bellflower (Belle) are, Smart Mules, born of the first Smart Horse and Smart Donkey. Unlike many brothers and sisters, they get along very well. Unlike most mules, they are both fertile, so one day if they find mates, they could produce more Smart Mules.

So far, our trip has taken us way up into the Sierras, where besides freezing our asses off, we happened upon the remains of an abandoned lakeside village that had burned to the ground some months ago. After a bit of sleuthing, we determined that it had been torched on purpose, almost certainly by magical fire.. Doc, ever the Nature Boy, also noted that there was a very faint trail leading west. We followed it down into the foothills, passing areas that might have been camps last summer. At one of these camps, I found some large footprints in what had been mud, but was now nearly hard as rock due to our dry winter.

The footprints were nearly as large as Doc’s feet (which means long and very wide) and whoever made them probably weighed in excess of 200 pounds and wore soft leather footwear. Doc looked at those footprints a long while, then went to a pond about half a mile away. When he came back, all he would say is that his spider sense was tingling and we needed to pick up the pace.

That was yesterday and this morning we lost the trail after coming to an intersection of two paved roads. After thinking a bit, Doc decided to turn north for a bit, which is why tonight we are staying at a small hotel in Chico. I am so glad to have a hot shower and a real bed to sleep in. Unlike Old Yellow Eyes, I’m a city boy. Camping out is fun about once or twice a year…in the summer. This winter camping and riding all day is nuts. My poor ass feels like it has been hit by a truck after six days in the saddle. I’m also not too happy to have to dress all butch for a week or more.

Unfortunately, my complaints would fall on deaf ears even if I could find a Wizard to bitch at. Doc understands that this isn’t my preferred lifestyle, but we appear to be onto something big and he’s all in thinking mode, so it would be wrong to bother him. I guess I’ll just slip into the nice warm bed and sleep until the inevitable too fucking early o’clock wake up call.

More bloggage soon.

The Way Funny, Yet Also Deeply Insightful, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Giant Popcorn Ball

…co-starring her pet jerboa, Dennis

Holy Crap, Batman, An Actual Blog Post!

Hopefully, this will get me back to regular posting. First up…

New fiction up over on the fiction blog! It’s the Second Series of After The Change Came and it’s not written by the alternate Doc Cross who did the first one. Of course, anybody who hasn’t read the first series might get all confused, so that one will be available in it’s entirety on the Dociverse web site (http://www.thedociverse.com/#axzz1fDhhS3mH) in just a few days.

Healthwise, the injection of steroids that the Orthopedist gave me a week ago seems to finally have taken effect, since my arm/shoulder is much better now. Still not 100% and I had to postpone an MRI today due to a panic attack, but I will be back at work as soon as this work restriction is over on Tuesday. A good thing, too, because cabin fever was making me crazy.

In other health news, Grace has fully recovered from her broken arm and Winker is feeling better after a rather debilitating session of being in heat. Lucy is, as always, physically healthy while mentally she is our little Neurotic Nelly.

I am on Twitter as DocCross now, so you can follow me and stuff

I may well be on track to run two official games at Dundracon this year. I’ll know more in late January. If you come to the con, try to get in one of them.

Gotta go hit the sack now. More bloggage soon, my little hamsters.

The Secret War Between Refrigerators & Ovens

…it’s a very slow war, but full of vicious taunts

Still playing catch up on the Doclopedia posts. I think these two bring me current or maybe one ahead.

Winker is still hanging in there and mostly sleeping and mostly not eating on her own.

The Doclopedia #209

Lawmen: Deputy Mark Lindale

Deputy Lindale has been a sheriff’s deputy for 7 years, but he has been a mutant since puberty. He’s way faster, stronger and tougher than any normal human. As you might imagine, this has sometimes come in very handy on the job.

Even though he has been tempted to become a masked vigilante, Mark has resisted. He figures living one life is enough of a pain in the ass. Besides, masked vigilantes have a terrible benefits package and the job often ends in death.

Mark is 32 years old, single and ruggedly handsome. He doesn’t have any one steady girl, a fact his mother reminds him of frequently. His dad just gives him a thumbs up. When he’s not driving a police cruiser, Mark is riding his Triumph motorcycle through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Mark has met exactly one other mutant in his life, the world famous serial killer Buddy Ray Cutter. Buddy Ray has the power to move at three times normal speed, which helped him elude the police and butcher people in record time. What it didn’t do is protect him from one of Mark’s punches. Now Buddy Ray is in prison…until he figures out how to escape. Mark knows this and has pretty much decided that if Buddy Ray does escape, he might have to go vigilante after all.

 

The Doclopedia #210

Lawmen: Chief Constable Wilfred Tilden

Wilf Tilden is the head cop in the small village of Bogsby. Located “a good two day’s walk from anywhere interesting”, Bogsby is the center for weirdness in Great Britain. Strange shit happens there with great regularity. Ghosts, aliens, strange animals, werewolves, mad scientists, monsters…sooner or later, they all visit Bogsby.

Fortunately for the locals, Wilf will have none of this supernatural carrying on disrupting things on his watch. With the aid of his 2 junior constables, Viv and Peter, he investigates things straightaway and sorts them out. In some cases, this can be as simple as helping an alien gas up their spacecraft with liquefied sheep dung. Other times, a foul creature from the nether regions must be captured or destroyed. All in a days work for C.C. Tilden.

When he first took this assignment, 20 years ago, Wilf would file reports to Scotland Yard, but after a few years, they asked him to stop. It seems they didn’t want to know what was going on if it involved anything paranormal. On the other hand, Wilf has struck up a very active email friendship with a U.S. FBI agent.

Wilfred Tilden is a man of average looks, standing 6′ 2″ tall and weighing 190 pounds. He has light brown hair, brown eyes and wears wireframe glasses. He is married and has 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren. In his spare time, he likes fishing and gardening.

It should be noted that Wilf, while not completely fearless, is very hard to scare. Additionally, after 20 years at this job, absolutely nothing surprises him anymore.

 

Mashed Potato Birthday Cake

…with yummies inside

Today is Winker’s 6th Birthday! She will be getting the above mentioned cake for dinner, plus lots of love and bellyrubs.

Thanks to everyone who took the last poll. I’m shooting for the end of January as a launch date for the E-zine.

Grace is off to Oakland to do mystery shops today. I’ll be off to the UVB Barbecue for Middle Aged Gamers later, then to work.

I’m halfway through watching Season One of Sanctuary. It’s a pretty good show, for s Sci Fi Channel series. (note that I do not call it Syfy, mostly because that is an idiotic name)

I’m also within 10 pages of finishing The Two Towers. I’m glad I decided to re-read LOTR.

Ok…time for the Mug O’ Tea. More bloggage later.