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Posts posted by Dr.Bedlam

  1. 2 hours ago, Aerowiz130 said:

    And the fire is followed by the first significant snowfall for Boulder County.


    The whole metro area.

    Trying hard not to think about how several hundred people got served up a whole lot of suck right after Christmas... followed by a snowfall a day late to do them any good.

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  2. Boulder is on fire. Other than that, I'm pretty good...

    EDIT: Actually, Boulder's not too bad. Several communities between Boulder and Denver proper are utterly devastated. Between hundred mile an hour winds and wildfires, a great many people had to scramble for their lives.

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  3. 2 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:


    Maybe Reaper will give you a rebate if you ask nicely.  

    Stranger things have happened at this time of year...


    I'm already kind of ahead of the game. Each year at Reapercon, I make a point of obtaining several out of the Boneyard while I'm there.

    I'm out now, though.

    Beware. I must return to Texas...

  4. The story of the Santa Mouse began some thirty years back.

    Wife and I were, of course, poor as church mice while we Worked To Better Ourselves and finish up our Bachelors, get our certifications, and, y'know, have money and food and things.


    That was, of course, the Christmas that our little girl wanted the Advent Calendar, this thingy where each day before Christmas, you'd open a little door and there'd be a little treat behind it, as a buildup for Christmas. And, of course, as many of you who have been parents will know, Christmas is a heckuva time for parenting, because the kids have to have the Christmas magic, and yet the rest of the world wants PAYING for it, a thing which, at the time, I was not well equipped to do. There was a tree, there were presents, there was a dinner -- we had the basics covered -- but durned if this advent calendar thing didn't throw me for a loop, because it wasn't inexpensive, and I had no budget for it, and why they stick that stuff out there to tantalize the kids AFTER all the budgeting is done?


    And lacking funds, I fell back on ingenuity, and had her write a letter to the Santa Mouse.


    My darling little girl cocked a cynical eye at me and said, "Santa Mouse?"


    "Yeah, write a letter to the Santa Mouse."


    "And this Santa Mouse is distinct from Santa Claus? In what way? Elucidate," she said.


    I might mention that while my little girl was a sweet little toddle-darlin' with stars in her beautiful big brown eyes, she might have been a bit precocious.


    "Well, sweetie," I began in the proper dadly way, "You know Santa Claus. He's the Big Guy, with the big job of manufacturing toys, as well as brokering deals with major toy companies for specific high demand items, and operating mass delivery systems via reindeer, UPS, Amazon, and the post office, and the like. But like any big corporate deal, he has subcontractors."


    "Right..." said my little moppet.


    "And that's where the Santa Mouse comes in," I said. "Bein' a mouse, he is ill equipped to bring bicycles or Barbie's Malibu Dream House to your stoop; that's not his job. What Santa Mouse does, now, is he handles the small stuff, spaced out daily from Christmas, and then on Christmas Eve, he rides with Santa to deliver the last small item, and assist with cookie eatin' duties and suchlike."

    "Small stuff, spaced out daily," said my little girl, having immediately locked onto the salient facts in the narrative. "So, basically, chocolates, small toys, and suchlike?"


    "Yups," I said.


    "So Santa Mouse serves the same function as an Advent Calendar?"


    "Pretty much," I said. "But he's not the mass operation that Santa is. You have to contact him directly, and contract for the services."


    "And what criteria are in the contract?"


    "You have to write him a letter, care of Santa Claus, and ask. You have to give mommy and daddy a kiss before bed, and you have to be good, as per Section C of your Santa contract. And you have to leave the Santa Mouse his own cookie (or a piece of cheese) on Christmas Eve before you go to bed, to conclude the contract."


    "That doesn't sound particularly tough."


    "I leave it to you, my little darling."


    And so she wrote Santa Mouse and asked if he wouldn't please include our home in his daily routine, and gave me the letter to mail, because even though she was far from stupid, she WAS still a child, and certain observances had to be met. And so, the next day, I informed her that Santa Mouse had faxed me his response (it was the eighties, gimme a break,) and that daily services would depend on her ability to locate the Santa Mouse icon that he had provided me; he would be hiding it every night, somewhere in the living room, and it was HER job to FIND the thing and lay claim to the provided goodies what would accompany it.


    "Was this included in the contract?" she said doubtfully, examining the fax.


    "I assumed you were agreeing to the terms when I signed off on it as your proxy," I said. "Don't you remember our conversation about contract negotiations? If you didn't want to authorize me as your proxy, you shooda said so." And she sorrowfully agreed that one should always read the fine print before signing anything, sure. It's never too early to start on certain life lessons, you know?


    "So what do I need to do?" she asked.


    "Just leave the little Santa Mouse figurine in front of the TV," I said. "Each night. If it's there, he'll pick it up and hide it somewhere, and in the morning, you can hunt for it and see if he left you anything." And my little girl dutifully did just that, and upon searching the living room the next morning, found that the Santa Mouse figure was over on the bookshelf with a Fun Size Snickers bar, a thing she found quite acceptable...


    …and our rather odd December commenced.


    Now, at this point, the reader is no doubt wondering what the heck is going on. This is because I haven't explained it yet. Y'see, a while back, Reaper Miniatures began the manufacturer of these lovely little Santa Mouse pewter figurines, right? And as a collector, I bought and painted one, and this is what Little Darlin' was putting in front of the TV every night, and her mother and I would hide it in the living room along with whatever candy or goody I could scavenge from someone's candy dish at work, or whatever was in the bottom of her mother's purse, or whatever I could get out of a gumball machine with the coins I could find in the couch cushions. I make no apologies. Any poor person will tell you it's easier to come up with thirty bucks gradually on a daily basis than it is to do so all at once for a dumb overpriced advent calendar.


    Each day, she’d clamber out of bed and begin an examination of the living room until she found the little red Santa Mouse sitting atop a Fun Size M&Ms bag, or a pack of gum, or whatever. I did have a bit of a skid one day, when Santa Mouse was sitting atop a Happy Meal toy from McDonalds; I’d grabbed a quick bite there the previous day and had saved the toy for just this purpose.

    “It seems curious that Santa Mouse would reutilize secondhand merchandise,” my daughter mused.

    “The little plastic bag was still sealed,” I replied. “It was new merch, purchased from McDonalds, no doubt; even mice have to eat. McDonalds is, after all, the number one toy distributor on the planet. And when one is benefiting from a localized magical phenomenon, it is unwise to question the mojo, yes?”


    She had to agree with that, and the matter was dropped.

    As December went on, she did ask about Santa Mouse’s methods of operation. Did he use a sleigh? Perhaps he used Santa’s transport and tackle, to warm it up for Christmas? How does a mouse manage a full sized sleigh?

    I replied that he did not, that he instead used a gold plated roller skate, repurposed as a mouse sized sleigh, and pulled by a friendly enchanted pair of skunks, who could not only fly, but keep predators at bay while Santa Mouse did his job, as no sane predator would mess with skunks.

    “And how does he manage all the candy and toys on one roller skate?”

    “Same as Santa Claus does: magic bag.”

    “What are the skunks’ names?”

    “Barney... and, um, Clyde,” I said, thinking fast. Fortunately, she did not question this, and the conversation turned to other topics.

    By the time Christmas rolled around, Wife and I were pleased to note that we had spent under ten bucks on Santa Mouse, less than a third of what they wanted for the advent calendar, while providing hours of amusement and fascination for the child. And we were greatly touched when on Christmas Eve, she insisted on making a special little sandwich for Santa Mouse (Squeezy Cheez and Swiss on Ritz Cracker, with parsley sprig) to fulfill her contract with this strange and magical entity.

    I WAS just gonna eat the thing, but Wife insisted that I uphold the magic, and therefore I ate about half of it, and then made a great many little mouse sized bites out of the remainder with a hole punch, which I later had to clean the Squeezy Cheez out of, to my slight irritation. But it galvanized the Sproglet the next morning to see that Santa Mouse did indeed take tiny bites, as opposed to what Santa’s daddy-sized dentition took out of the Oreos.

    And thus a tradition was born.

    Years later, in college, she got around to asking me, “That first year with Santa Mouse?”

    “Eeeeyes?” I replied over my book.

    “Santa Mouse was all over the living room, hiding candy and toys?”

    “It would seem so.”

    “How many cats did we have at that time? Five?” she said, eyeing me for a reaction.

    “As I recall, Santa Mouse has a posse,” I replied smoothly. “Barney and Clyde, the magical skunks, specifically to keep cats at bay.”

    “What about Mr. Magoo?” she asked, referring to a cat we had had at the time. “Magoo was dumb enough to think he could make friends with a pit bull,  and was in love with one of your socks. You think a couple of skunks would have slowed him down?”

    “Well,” I said, “what was the second lesson we took away from our experience with Santa Mouse?”

    The Kid frowned at me, and recited: “Always read the fine print?”

    “The SECOND lesson,” I said.

    She frowned  again. “When one is benefiting from a localized magical phenomenon, it is unwise to question the mojo.”

    “She remembers,” I said with a smile. “Plainly, I have fulfilled my purpose as a parent.”

    And I guess I did.

    Funny thing about this story? It's largely hooey. Anyone who knows me can check the dates, and say, "Dude, when your little girl was a little girl, Reaper Miniatures didn't exist yet. And by the time Santa Mouseling was in production, she was in college already." And this is true.

    But one year at work, I gave out hand painted Santa Mouselings, and they went over quite well, until someone wanted to know the STORY behind them. And, durnit, I can't turn down a request for a story, just because there actually isn't one, particularly when I'm already three cups into the spiked eggnog. So the first version of this tale was born. And now, every year at work, the Old Hands watch me like a hawk to make sure the new hires, at Christmas time, get their little Santa Mouseling and a printout of the story; it's a tradition now.

    And durn, I sure wish they'd start making Santa Mouseling in Bones...




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  5. ONE I'VE NEVER TRIED: Generally, the weirder ones that involve extensive preparation. The Seven-Layer Pousse-Cafe, for example; I've tried that, and it looks more impressive than it tastes. I've never tried an Alien Brain Hemmorhage.

    USUALLY ORDER: Rum. Picked up a taste for it from my parents, eventually got to like Captain Morgan's, and nowadays, I'm a Kraken fan.

    WILL NEVER ORDER: Tequila. I realize it makes no sense, physiologically or chemically, but I cannot hold my tequila. I can drink half a bottle of rum and be drunk, and I don't black out, and don't even have much of a hangover... but a single shot of tequila affects me the way a full moon affects a werewolf. Sort of. In the sense that I wake up in an unfamiliar place, don't know where my car or shoes are, and I wind up in a number of awkward and/or embarrassing conversations about what I did that night...

    And no, not a SINGLE shot. But for some reason, that first shot always seems to want four or five more to come keep it company...

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  6. We're not QUITE as bad as we were this time last year... schools were still at full inclusion last week, but the dratted board voted to make masks optional TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS at the request of certain parent groups, so, yeah, it's been dicey. Businesses are requiring masks again. Vaccinations and boosters are encouraged, and the loud people continue to be loud in opposition to it all.


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  7. 26 minutes ago, Corsair said:

    You missed the easy way to deal with dragons. Get a laser pointer and shine the red dot on it. The cat will do the rest.


    Waaal, yer right, of course, but when the bugger jammed his snoot under there real GOOD, and I saw the DECK suddenly jack up a good six inches, I will admit I might notta been THINKIN' too clear, y'know?

    • Haha 6
  8. Waaaal, there was that one time 'at dragon got into the back yard because the neighbor won't stop leaving meat scraps in the damn garbage, and then he climbed the fence and saw the cat, miracle he didn't crush the fence, and he decides he's goin' after the cat, and I hear the caterwauling and I run outside and the cat's run under the deck, and the damn dragon's got his head and neck under the damn deck and I run up and I kick him in the butt to make him leave the damn cat alone, and then he wallops me with his tail, he was just a little one, thank ghod, can't breathe fire or nothin', but he still took me off my feet with that tail, and then he commences to goin' after the cat again, and I knew damn good and well that he's going to tear the damn deck apart before Animal Control can get here, so I had to take a shovel to the damn dragon, beat the hell out of him, and he COULD have got away, but no, he's all invested in the damn cat, and by now he's knocked the corner of the deck off the pier and it's all cattywompus, and 'a stupid dragon got his HEAD stuck now, 'cause the deck's pinning him down and I can hear the cat, up between them joists, howlin' away, and I had to beat the poor dumb thing to death with a shovel.

    The dragon, not the cat. Cat was fine, but his tail was all poofed up like a bottlebrush, rest of the day. Took the rest of the afternoon to get the deck back on the pier, though.

    Damn dragon.

    Still got his skull in the rumpus room.

    By the way? Don't try to make jerky out of a dragon. It don't work.




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  9. I miss open gaming.

    Schools are reopening for full in-presence classes in a few days. I feel that this is a mistake, but my input was not requested; at least the school district paid for my vaccinations.

    But the game shops are not the same. I'm grateful that none of them have shut DOWN (yet,) but there is a ghostliness to them this past year; the tables have the chairs removed, and are now used to display product, instead of full of people floppin' cards, chuckin' dice, focused on laptops, and so on. And I am growing to hate that. 

    Used to be, I could stop by one shop in particular on the way home from work and grab a coffee and just stand there and soak up the energy of it all.

    Now there is no energy. It's just a retail joint. Shelves and stock and clerks who ask, "Can we help you find anything?"

    And between that and being too paranoid to go out for a sitdown restaurant meal, I find the cracks in my shell starting to widen a little.

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  10. Over on Facebook, I posted the Out Of Context Quote: "What color should an ogre's thong be?"

    This, as you can imagine, kicked up a bit of consternation.

    The context: I had an ogre I'd picked up on Etsy, a three dee print of an ogress in a cheesecake position. And truth is, her sole garment was more of a Speedo. I did get a number of useful suggestions. Pictures were demanded, and posted.

    And the question was asked, "Her hair is braided. Where does an ogre go to get her hair done?"

    The question stuck in my head. A day later, the story was written...

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  11. Ada was an educated woman, so she knew how to pronounce the word “boudoir.” But because she was not excessively educated, she didn’t know exactly what it MEANT.

    When she encountered the word in a novel in her youth, Ada assumed, reading for context, that a “boudoir” was a sort of pleasant, informal place where women lounged around with their hair down and gossiped about things. And so, in her middle age, when she’d leased the downtown building to start her hairstyling business, one of her first investments had been a large, yet stylish sign that read ADA’S BOUDOIR.

    It said something about the town of Refuge that even ten years later, no one had corrected her. In fact, only one other person in miles knew the actual meaning of the word, and he saw little reason to stick his nose into other people’s business.

    Mornings began early at Ada’s Boudoir, unlike most other boudoirs. Ada would open up, and her assistants, Mildred and young Nessie would set to work, building the fire, heating the water in the tank, and beginning the processes of the day.

    They had it down to a fine routine. And among Mildred's tasks was, when the salon was presentable, opening the drapes at the big front window that was lettered ADA'S BOUDOIR. She did this every day. She delighted in the surprise that the drapes would reveal; sometimes there was a customer or two standing out front, awaiting the opening.

    This morning did indeed reveal a surprise, a most unique and unprecedented one: an ogre sitting outside on the boardwalk.

    When the drapes were pulled back, it caught the creature's attention; plainly, it was waiting for just this event, and it promptly leaned forward to see through the window.

    Mildred shrieked, jumped back, staggered, and fell on her butt.

    The ogre didn't notice. The creature goggled to see what was visible through the window, gawking in wonder at the chairs, fittings and decor of Ada's Boudoir.

    Ada and Nessie spun to face the front upon hearing Mildred's shriek. Both froze upon seeing the ogre peering in the window. The creature was apparently sitting on the ground outside the storefront; all they could see was the creature's great head and bare shoulders, its great orangy moon face, mass of black hair, and great tusks, protruding from its mouth, each tusk somewhat larger than a big man's index finger. The ogre leaned further forward and tapped experimentally at the window with a sausage sized finger.

    And Ada blanched. The window, a sheet of glass five feet by five feet, was the most expensive thing in the building. "STOP that!" cried Ada, before she realized what she was doing. "DON'T BREAK MY WINDOW!"

    The ogre paused, and suddenly withdrew its finger, guiltily.

    And for a moment, the ogre and the three women regarded each other through the window. 

    After a moment, the ogre made a face. The effect, with its great tusks, was not reassuring. Was the creature trying to smile? But it did nothing else. Finally, Ada strode to the front door and unlocked it, and opened it a few inches. "Can... I help you with something?" she said lamely. Looking through the door at the creature, she was able to see all of it for the first time, and came to two realizations: first, the creature was nearly naked, wearing only a scanty nether garment around its hips. The second, judging from the creature's substantial bustline and broad hips... was that it was female.

    The ogre looked back at Ada and tried to smile again. It reached up and fluffed its great mop of black hair. "Hair?" it asked, in a deep bass voice.

    Ada stared at the creature. Great gods above, was it asking to have its hair done? Ada glanced at her employees. Mildred still sat on the floor near the window, her mouth opening and closing like a beached fish. Nessie looked out the window at the ogre, and back at Ada, helplessly.

    Ada looked back out the door at the ogre. "You ... want us to do your hair?" she asked.

    The ogre reacted immediately. "Yes!" it said, with some excitement. And yes, it was indeed trying to smile, albeit in a distinctly ogrish way. "You do my hair. Make my hair pretty. I have money. I can pay." At the word money, Ada blinked twice. She looked up at the creature's great mane of tangled black hair. 

    And then she opened the door all the way and stepped outside. The ogre sat crosslegged on the ground. It made no hostile moves. Ada walked slowly around the great creature, who, even sitting on the ground, was still almost as tall as Ada was. And then, Ada strode briskly to the door. "We have a customer," she said purposefully. "Mildred, do get up. Nessie, did you light the fire under the cistern? Good girl, now go and get the big tub from the back, and bring it out front. And the cleaning buckets, I think; I believe we're going to want to clear the decks for this one."


    When the washing began on the boardwalk out front of Ada’s Boudoir, a crowd did not gather to gawk at the near-naked ogre getting her hair washed. Not that they didn't WANT to, but no one wanted to be too close. The crowd settled for standing on the far side of the street, lined up in front of Galorn's Tavern and Megga's Bakery, observing the process from a safe distance.

    Half an hour later, the three women stood out front of the storefront, combing the ogre's hair. Ada had been surprised to find that the monster's hair was cleaner than she had expected, but still quite tangled; apparently, despite popular conceit, ogres did bathe, but the concept of combs was not a thing among them. Its hair was considerably coarser than human hair, more like a horse's tail. Still, hair was hair and a customer was a customer.

    After the washing and shampoo, Ada was pleased to see that the creature's great mop was considerably more tractable, and the three women carefully picked and combed and brushed the tangles free, though Mildred in particular was going rather slowly; she seemed to be terrified of pulling the creature's hair, or annoying it in any way. The ogre seemed to be trying to put her at ease by smiling at her, and occasionally complimenting her on her "pretty dress,” and “pretty hair," which didn't seem to be helping Mildred's composure.

    Ada, on the other hand, was surprised but not displeased to notice the monster's patience with the combing and untangling process; she'd worked with five year olds who were far less patient or well behaved. And before long, they had the monster's mane combed out smooth and flowing, and it cascaded over its shoulders in a glossy black avalanche.

    "That's better," said Ada, with satisfaction. "And now that we've got that done... what style? Mildred, go get the big hand mirror; she'll want to see." Mildred, grateful for the excuse, scuttled away and back into the store, returning later with a hand mirror the size of a frying pan and handed it to Ada, who turned it to face the creature.

    The ogre, upon observing herself in the mirror, looked stunned. She promptly brought her hands to her hair, ran her fingers through it, and turned her head left and right, looking at herself, and then looked at Ada, openmouthed.

    Ada smiled. "Now that it's clean and brushed out," she said, "what style were you thinking about?""

    The ogre managed to look crestfallen. She looked at Ada, and back in the mirror, and back at Ada. "I... don't know. I... it never looked like this before. No tangles. It’s… all laying DOWN. So smooth...SHINY..."

    "Braids," said Nessie.

    Ada, Mildred, and the ogre all turned to look at Nessie.

    "Braids," she repeated. "Medusa style. Her hair is long; it'd be perfect. We can even build it up on top, wrap it, give her a nice 'do. It'll show off the hair to best advantage, and it's low maintenance, and it won't let the hair get tangled again! It's PERFECT!"

    The three women looked back to the ogre. "Braids?" the ogre asked. 

    Nessie stepped forward and took a length of the ogre's long black hair. "Like this," she said, and deftly braided the length, tripartite, and held it up for the ogre to see.

    "Oh," said the ogre. "Okay. Like that. M'doosa style."

    The three women looked at each other. This was a thing they knew how to do. "Mildred," said Ada, "run get that roll of red ribbon, and some scissors. And while you're in there, get the eye violet. And a kohl stick."

    "Cosmetics?" asked Mildred, surprised.

    "In for a penny, in for a mark," said Ada. "She's paying for it, after all. And as the Magician says, anything worth doing is worth overdoing"

    Mildred nodded, and vanished into the store. And as one, Ada and Nessie stepped forward, and began mapping out areas of the ogre's scalp...



    An hour later, Ada looked over their handiwork.

    The ogre still sat on the boardwalk in front of Ada's Boudoir. Its hair was plaited into dozens of thick black braids; Ada hoped that the ogre's big fingers would be able to manage the ribbons better than standard hair ties. Four of the thick braids, two on each side, had been left to hang free over her shoulders; the rest were bound in a crown, atop her head, to spray outward and off the back of her head. In addition, Nessie had lined the ogre's eyes with a kohl stick and had brushed lavender shadow across her eyelids and above her eyes; for good measure, she'd got some radoberry juice and had brushed it liberally over the ogre's lips to stain them red, being careful to avoid the large white tusks that protruded upward from her lower lip. 

    Things  were as good as they were apt to get. And the truth was, the ogre actually didn't look bad. The eye cosmetics, in particular, really brought out the creature's large brown eyes to her advantage, and the hairstyle, while a bit primitive, was certainly an improvement over what they'd started with. The three women stood back and examined the ogre... and Ada took up the hand mirror, to show the creature its new look.

    The crowd across the street held its breath.

    Ada presented the mirror, and the ogre peered into it. And its eyes grew wide, and its mouth dropped open wide.

    The crowd gasped.

    Mildred's eyes clenched shut, her facial expression indicating that she expected nothing more than a sudden, messy death.

    "Oh," said the ogress, in its deep, bass, and yet distinctly female voice. "Oh. Oh! OH!"

    The crowd across the street held its breath. A few of them braced to run for the hills.

    The ogress stared at herself in the mirror.

    "PRETTY!" she roared.

    Ada flinched. Mildred collapsed in a dead faint. Two goblins in the crowd of townsfolk across the street bolted for cover.

    The ogress lifted her hands to her great crown of hair, stroked the braids cascading down her front, touched her lips, stared in the mirror wonderingly. "I'm BEAUTIFUL!" she boomed again, loudly enough that Ada could hear the glass rattle in the nearby windowframe. Oblivious to any of this, the ogre stared wonderingly in the mirror.

    Suddenly, she broke eye contact and looked at Ada. "Pay now?" she asked.

    "Um... yes," said Ada. "If you're satisfied."

    "Satisfied, YES!" burbled the ogress, hugging herself gleefully. Suddenly, with a sense of purpose, her thick fingers went prospecting at her hip, in the strap of her little garment, and fished out a leather pouch; opening it, she poked two fingers in and scraped out several gold coins, no larger than sequins against the ogre's great fingers. "One for YOU," she said, handing one to Ada. "One for YOU," she said again, handing one to Nessie. Turning to the unconscious Mildred, stretched out cold in the dirt, she seemed nonplussed for a moment, then shrugged, and gently placed a third gold coin on Mildred's middle. "And one for YOU!"

    Nessie looked at the gold coin in her hand, and looked bewildered at Ada, who looked back at her. Normally, a wash and style cost five silver bits, perhaps with a tip of a few coppers. Neither woman had ever been paid in gold in her life; any of the three coins was as much as Ada's entire trade was likely to make in a week.

    The ogress shuffled to her feet and her full height, towering well over nine feet, counting her new crown of braids. She straightened her legs and shook out her hair. And other things; her well-upholstered physique jiggled, hither, thither and yon, as she rose and stretched her limbs. And then she looked down at Ada and Nessie. "Is good?"

    There was a pause.

    "That's just fine, dear," said Ada with a smile. "As long as you're happy. We don't often get customers where it takes all three of us."

    "Just fine," repeated the ogress with an enormous toothy smile. "Beautiful!" And with that, she tucked the pouch back into her girdle, and turned and sauntered away, with considerable sway to her substantial hips; plainly she was feeling rather attractive, and felt no need to downplay it. Ogres, as a rule, aren't a subtle bunch. Across the street, the crowd -- or at least the male members of it -- watched, fascinated, as the ogress sashayed her way down the street and out of the village.

    Ada and Nessie stood there holding their coins. Mildred remained stretched out in the dirt. After a moment, Nessie dropped to her knees and began trying to bring Mildred around. Across the street, the crowd watched the ogress' great round swaying behind fade into the distance, and slowly began to disperse.


    Ada glanced at the coin. After a moment, she slipped it into her pocket. Mildred opened her eyes and sat up, and noticed her own coin for the first time. "Well," said Ada. "That was a new one. And I thought the first goblin customer was a surprise."

    "The goblins didn't bother me all that much," muttered Mildred. "It was the fact that they were mainly men."

    "I don't know that this will end up all that well, though," said Nessie, rising to her feet. Mildred struggled upright next to her.

    "How do you figure?" said Ada. "She didn't do us any harm, she's happy, we're paid, and I'll reckon you never got a tip like THAT before!"

    "Well," said Nessie, "think about it. What's the first thing a woman does when she's really happy about a makeover?"

    Ada thought for a moment, and her face fell. "She... usually... goes looking for someone to show off for..."

    "And there you go," said Nessie. "She’ll go looking for someone to show off for. And then she’ll likely tell them where she had it done. What do we do when all the OTHER ogresses show up?"

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  12. 12 hours ago, 72moonglum said:

    I'd like to say I'd left some miniatures in their blisters, but for good or for ill, with 98% of my miniatures, as soon as I get a pack of miniatures, I tear them open...


    And man, way back then, we just didn't have EBay.....


    NOW I leave the buggers in the blisters until I'm ready to paint them.

    Dark Horse did a BUNCH of licensed minis, as well as some weirdities; I still have a blister with three toddler skeletons on tricycles brandishing revolvers. They are still in the blister because even now, thirty years later, I have no idea what I am going to do with them.

    • Like 2
  13. A real blast from the past, there, with a FINE paint job. I've got this guy, but your paint job is better.

    Somewhere in the hobby room, I have the four-set of Groo, Chakaal, Minstrel and Sage from Dark Horse miniatures. Bought them years ago. Opened the blister, stashed the figs, forgot about them for a decade.

    Now I wish I'd left them in the blister.

    The moral of the story: always snag the licensed minis FAST, because licenses expire, and then they'll cost a fortune on eBay....

    • Like 4
  14. I'm far enough that I'm not in danger, but a few days ago, the wind shifted, and my whole neighborhood smelled like an ashtray. The air was thick enough that it looked like fog. Gave us some bad moments before we determined that it was literally just smoke from the forest fires.

    Best wishes to everyone who has to deal with worse.

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  15. 2 hours ago, haldir said:


    The Decipher one?? If so, I'll have to look that up as I have every card from every set in that one. Thou I may be missing a few of the last sets but I doubt it.


    I've never seen the card in question, but the trivia's from Wookieepedia. Supposedly, Zahn needed hair extensions to complete the look....

    • Like 1
  16. Author Timothy Zahn, creator of Admiral Thrawn (one of the greatest Star Wars villains) tells a story about how, when he was a young author hot off a few early successes, he was engaged to write some Star Wars Expanded Universe novels.

    Zahn freely admitted that while he had seen the movies, he wasn't really a massive fanboy, and did they have a story bible or something?

    Lucasfilm sent him a box of West End Games Star Wars D6 sourcebooks.

    And Zahn read them, and that's what he used for background when he wrote his books. Zahn's books are generally credited with kicking off the whole Expanded Universe literature boom, and Admiral Thrawn eventually made his way into modern canon by appearing in the animated Star Wars Rebels show.

    Unrelated note: The SW collectible card game included his character Talon Karrde, the rakish rogue and criminal. Zahn was the model for the illustration.

    • Like 7
  17. I'm a big fan of the Dresden Files novels, so when the RPG came out, I was certainly interested. But I didn't want to pay $100 for two hardback books for a system I might never play.

    Yesterday, I went to 2nd and Charles, a local used bookstore. They have a "Free Bin" out front; anything they don't think they can sell goes in that bin. It's usually old automotive manuals, ancient college textbooks, and so forth. Still, I like to dig through it; you do find treasures on occasion.

    And yesterday, I found:

    *Both Dresden Files RPG core books
    *Pathfinder's "Hook Mountain" adventure
    *Pathfinder's "Skull and Shackles" map pack

    For free. Slight water damage, which was enough to make the store think, "Ehh, no one will want this," and they tossed it in the free bin.

    Whoever you are out there who had a slight flood in his house? Thank you.

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