Once upon a long time ago we were in the midst of a D&D campaign, one of the players was famous for losing characters. To be fair to him, they were all his fault. In this campaign he was going through characters pretty quickly, he’d rolled up six or so and the last one we pillaged a crypt and he’d pulled a necklace off of a remarkably well-preserved corpse. We were a ways down the hall when he said he wanted to go put it back because he felt like taking it would jinx him. We allowed as how we weren’t going to go back with him, but we’d wait a couple of minutes. We hear the crypt stone slid aside, then screams and the sounds of something being devoured. So, being good companions, we shrugged and moved on. Now he was without a character left to play. So, we let him play the pet pig from one of his characters. That pig was amazing, racking up the battle glories as we fought our way out. We were a week out of the closes town, too busted up to hunt, when we ran out of rations…and then he really was out of characters.
Once upon a very long time ago (I was 14 or so) I was playing with a fairly new DM that let my character amass entirely too much power and swag. To counter this, he told me when I hit my next level he was going to take my character and retire it to demi-god status. I was a bit heartbroken, it was incredibly overpowered and badassed and what kid that age wouldn’t want a character like that. I was dodging fights and still gaining XP and coming closer to that dreaded time of surrendering the character. I think I was within 25 points when a random encounter roll put me in the same room as a succubus. He looked at me in horror and asked if I was going to kiss it to lose a level and hold on to the character a while longer. Kiss her? Hell no, I’m going to sleep with her! was my enthusiastic reply. Yes, I lost about 3/4 of my levels, but I still had all the swag and gear, so he still had to put up with me. He never got the character, I moved first, and nobody else would let that sucker in their games, but I made the most of the time I had him, and gloried in the stress I caused that poor rookie DM as he tried to find ways to kill it off.
Once upon a very long time ago my best friend and I made a road trip to what was either a small convention or a large RPG/Gamer meet. Take your pick. We were pretty early so we watched the Axis & Allies games for a bit. We saw a new game coming out called Star Frontiers. Checked out some Tunnels and Trolls, Boot Hill, Star Trek, Chainmail and who know what else. We also heard some rumors about something called ElfQuest. Around noon, the DM we were waiting for showed up.
This was comfortably into the 1ed edition AD&D days, but by now everyone had their own homebrew tweaks to the game. So, we say at the table with the DM and she started in on a bag of Whataburger, she’d had a long and hungry ride to get there. So Buck and I got out books and dice and snacks together and the mandatory 2-liters of Mountain Dew and the backups ready and sat back to relax while she scarfed.
About this time, two guys wandered up. We’ll call them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumbass. Dee was a pretty quiet sort, Dumbass wasn’t. He looked over the table, dropped his bag next to Buck’s spot with a loud crash and looked down at the feasting lady at the head of the table. “That’s a player’s chair, sweetheart,” he said, “You’ll have to stand behind your boyfriend and watch when we start.”
She rolled her eyes and replied that she was the DM.
He called bullshit and I replied with my best sunday-go-to-meetin’ manners. “Dickhead, she’s here to run the game at this table, so yeah, she’s the DM.”
He looked over at me, at this time I was around 17 and skinny as hell. I mean, tease your hair to keep your pants up skinny I’ve gotten better since, obviously.
He proceeded to make a bunch of noise about wasting a table on a chick game, so I got up, grabbed his bag and carried it to another table and dropped it off. My buddy Buck stood up when he started to say something to me and since Buck was 6’4” and of the muscular persuasion he decided to keep it quiet, since he was a weedy-looking sort with muscle tone like a canned ham and a quarter of his body weight was zits. So, Dee and Dumbass wandered off and the gaming commenced, and it was EPIC! Fights so hard we were rolling dice with sweaty palms and dripping brows But, we kept hearing him making crappy little comments all through the game. Finally, they made a break for the bathrooms and Buck and I called for a break.
Sadly, Dee wound up stuffed in a tall metal trashcan headfirst and somebody beat on the sides of the can for a while. Dumbass went headfirst into the toilet. We never did find out who would do such a thing, and I’m still not sure to this day why my shoes were soaked so bad I had to run out and change into cowboy boots before we could finish the session, I must have really been sweating those dice rolls.
One upon a long time ago, I was on a deployment and we were playing D&D one night to have a little fun and kill some time while we waited for the aircraft to return. I’m DMing and running an NPC in a wizard duel with a player, I go to throw the spell and brain-locked on the game. Finally I yelled out “Meteor Bukkake!” At least one double-nostril spray of mountain dew and I had a few minutes to kick start my brain while everyone is laughing. I still can’t think about a meteor swarm without a chuckle.
A safety tip for city folk: Cow-tipping isn’t a thing. Seriously. If you run across a field to build up enough momentum and somehow manage to surprise a cow (good luck, they are more attentive than you’d think) when you hit the side of the large, heavy animal, you will bounce off of it and it won’t feel good. Then you have several hundred pounds of ambulatory beef and leather’s full attention. By the way, cattle can run.
Believe it or not there have been scientific studies on the subject, and from these come estimates that it would take about six full-grown males hitting a cow broadside to possibly stand a chance. To do that you’re have to find a very inattentive and solitary cow, because they tend to group up, herd mentality at it’s purest, just to watch out for things like predators and drunk humans looking to knock them on their asses.
No, I’ve never tried to tip a cow, watched a few try it. Didn’t go well for them. Especially the guys that found out bulls can be territorial as all hell and chased them back across a fence before they got halfway to the cows. I’ve been in cow pens for various legitimate reasons, and on one occasion I had a cow stand on my foot while I was reading numbers on ear tags to find one that needed to be tested for something or another. Pushing said critter did not shift it an inch, it just turned and looked at me and made a loud protesting call that wouldn’t be confused with the traditional ‘moo.’ I managed to get my foot out but my foot hurt like hell for a few days.
I have managed to jump on a couple for very short rides, two ran away and I came off, nothing to hold on to, the third, a young-ish bull, chased my young dumb ass all the way to the nearest fence and butted me over the fence just as I was starting a jump to hurdle it. I cleared the fence and landed in an undignified lump a good 15′ or so on the other side. Alcohol may have been involved >.>
So, no cow-tipping. Doesn’t work, you want to play with beef, get some hamburger and make patties.
So, driving into Boise this morning and a car load of ladies is passing me, I ease up on the gas because it’s snowing and the road isn’t all that it could be, and then I notice that there’s a truck right on the car’s ass. She gets barely past me and his front bumper is even with my side mirror. That right there is a dick move, a lot of people do it, get up on somebody and try to intimidate them into getting out of their way. It’s a dick move, especially under these conditions, but it worked. There wasn’t much clearance as she merged into my lane, so I got off the gas entirely.
“What an asshole!” Says Id, looking at the truck.
“Something isn’t right,” Says Ego.
“We’re seeing an awful lot of the side of that car,” says Super-Ego.
Yeah, she’s sideways now and the idiot in the truck keeps me boxed in, now he’s suddenly not interested in passing anymore, it seems safer to him to leave me boxed in.
By this time my three observers are paying more attention to the car and its three occupants.
“Ladies!” Says Id.
“Their eyes are the size of pie plates,” says Ego.
“They’re getting really close,” Says Super-Ego. “And they’re more like pizza pans now.”
“STOP” Says Id.
“Better tap the brakes,” says Ego.
“Its going to suck,” says Super-Ego.
So, I tap the brakes and the back-end starts to swing toward the ditch and by this point I noticed that the passenger in the front seat of the car was wearing hoop earrings and had a bit of dental work. Her mouth was open that wide. We both left the road at this point, not a huge deal because this was a nice flat area with barely any drop-off. She’s got some spin going and I’m just following my rear bumper.
“Whee!” Says Id.
“This is like Sherlock deciding to fall forwards or backwards,” says Ego.
“Is this really the time to think about Sherlock?” Chides Super-Ego.
Since there’s now distance between us I use some brakes and stop fairly soon. Back to park, get it started again. Okay, so far so good.
“AGAIN!” Says Id.
“Damage report!” Says Ego.
Super-Ego was quiet, except for swatting Id with a rolled up newspaper.
So, I hop out and look over at the other car and motion for the driver to roll down her window. The lady in back did instead. “Everyone Okay?” I ask.
“We’re fine,” she replies then eyes my cane. “You?”
“Oh yeah, I already had this with me.” I reply as I check tires and all the various dangly bits under the truck.
“She’s not really sure about winter driving yet,” the back-seater said as I finished my walk-around. She was doing the same and the driver was sliding into the back seat, hiding her face.
I nod at that. “Well, that wasn’t it,” I allow, but I was laughing so she took it like I meant it.
So, back on the road and not far after that spot the road was completely clear. Cool, sped up to the speed limit, checking how the truck drove and noticing it wasn’t pulling to the right like it normally does. Have to check that out later. Anyway, I passed everyone that watched me hit the ditch and now drove about 20 under. I passed a few semis and as I passed the lead semi I saw a white pickup between the two big diesels find the only patch of ice for miles and make its own ditch run.
Odds are everyone thought it was me again.
See what happens when I forget my coffee? If I’d have pulled back into the driveway and run in for it I’d have been a mile or two behind where I was and we could have avoided the whole thing.
Eleanor Boothby, 90, of Correctionville, passed away Thursday morning, Dec. 9, 2010 in the Correctionville Nursing & Rehab Center.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church in Correctionville. Rev. Sheryl Ashley will officiate. Burial will be in the Correctionville Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. today with the family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church in Correctionville, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. The Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee is in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.
Eleanor was born on Dec. 14, 1919 at Battle Creek, to Roy and Mary (Henderson) Beers. She attended Correctionville Public School and graduated in 1938. She was united in marriage to Arlin “Slim” Boothby on Dec. 24, 1938 at the Washta Methodist Church. She worked at the Correctionville Nursing Home as a cook and retired in the fall of 1982. She was a member of the United Methodist Women. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, gardening, cooking and baking, photo albums, and spending time with her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Arlin on April 11, 2009, a brother Melvin Beers, sisters Dorothy Brown and Esther (Fogelman) Barrett.
She is survived by four children: Jim Boothby of Temple, Texas; Cheryl Volkert of Moville; Alan Boothby and his wife Alexandra of Camp Douglas, Wis.; Marc Boothby and his wife Lorrie of Moville; 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and three great great-grandchildren.
Being the center of someone’s universe isn’t as hard as it sounds.
I was looking through my sent emails the other day trying to find something I’d recommended to a friend so I could pass the same recommendation on to another one and wound up spending half a day just perusing some of the things I say. I have found that there’s a slight case to be made for the argument that I’m grumpy.
Having a set of testicles doesn’t make you a man any more than standing in a library makes you intelligent.
Sitting on your ass and bitching about the rottenness of the world is fairly pointless. First of all it violates my Third Law, to wit: the right to bitch is reserved for those willing to make a difference. Besides, a world that has kitties to nom your toes while you type has a lot of hope left if you’re not too blinded by perspective to see it.
First you whine about my chili, and now you want some, fine you can suck out any that’s left in my beard. Ingrate!
Lefty? Righty? Blow Me! I’m neither left nor right wing, neither Republican nor Democrat because I have room for more than one thought in my head at a time.
“The unusual thing about soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen is that they look back to the worst times and can pick out the good from them. That’s why old GIs always seem to find each other, they need to share their stories with somebody else that knows how to laugh and cry at the same time.
Doubts about Darwin? Actually I think Darwin pretty much has the right idea, but every time I have to click spam for a message about Viagra on a website I sponsor that has lesbian right in the title I’m plagued by a small, lingering doubt.
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND BROADS.” Well Sparky, I think they understand you.
I appreciate the Honor Harrington series of books for three reasons. First because its basically Horatio Hornblower in space, Forrester was such a good writer that he even made being in the navy sound appealing. Secondly, its good science fiction with lots of nerdy tech mixed with well-developed characters. Third, is has a female lead and I really get tired of the testosterone-laden tomes centered around men. By and large the people that think women have no place in combat haven’t served with women, and I really recommend these books to them, it’ll start to drag them into the modern century.
Nobody ever wins a fight, even if you come out of it unmarked you’re still an idiot for having gone to blows in the first place. This from an expert, I’ve been an idiot several times, I just have the self-awareness to admit it.
Speaking as someone who’d been a ‘beneficiary’ of government healthcare since 1984, and is now disabled, I’m saying that its neither a great nor terrible thing, just that your mileage may vary. By the way, never make the mistake of saying it’s free, they deduct my monthly payment right out of my retirement and disability every month. Somebody is paying, always. You don’t think that the pharmaceutical industry pumped $100 million into backing the current Healthcare plan because they thought it was the right thing to do, do you? That’s spending roughly $2.50 a person for a whole new client base that can afford their stuff now.
It’s only my perspective? Of course its perspective, if we all saw things the same way we’d only have one political party. Wait, we have two but since they both vote for how the money flows there is a case that their perspective binds them together.
I have no philosophical problems with the concept of a God, I just don’t want to listen to people preach at me for or against the existence of one.
Some think it was callous, but when the doctor told me that “today is probably the best you’ll feel for the rest of your life,” I didn’t take that as grim news, it was her way of telling me what was ahead and that I’d better prepare myself for it.
Water is good for you? Water has killed more people than wars. Parasites and diseases, breeding ground for mosquitoes, drowning, hell it’ll even make a car rust. You need water to live but I like mine boiled and sanitized with either coffee or tea, or barley and hops.
“The Air Force sleeps in hard billets where their sheets are changed for them every day?” Are you a USAF recruiter? I’ve slept in cots no wider than my shoulders with the same sheets I stuffed into my A-bag for months at a time, sometimes I even got to wash them. By the way, I shared those tents, not hard billets, with 20-30 other guys, it was the dainty waft of dirty socks and guys that snored like woodchippers.
Opinion is thinking a politician is an idiot, annoying is your long email telling me why.
All I need to do to restore my faith in the world is sit on my back porch on a chilly fall morning with a cup of hot coffee and listen to the birds thank me for filling the feeders.
I’ll give you the same advice I’ve given to my daughter and every female friend I have. “There are two kinds of men in the world, married men and pigs, and half of the married men are pigs; and, until proven otherwise they all have Gynosyphiherpeles.”
Even when they’re gone you still have the good times
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my dog, and the world would be a better place if people took the time to make a dog part of their family, especially those that leave them chained in the back yard their whole lives. There’s a difference between having a dog, and having a dog in the family, even if the family is just a person and their dog. Want to know what complete love and adoration is? Come home to your Fido after a long shitty day and return to your natural place as the center of someone’s universe. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a kitten purring in my ear like an untimed chainsaw and so I’m off to be the center of another universe.
So there I sat at the computer and contemplated how far behind I was in everything, I owe an review of an independent movie made about the youth of Aragorn, son of Arathorn called Born of Hope to my fantasy Guild, I owe two articles about world building to my gamer’s site, and I’m horrendously far behind on my Good News Wednesday articles. Since I can look in the mirror and tell my editor on the other two sites to kiss off I put them on the back burner. Good News Wednesday and pieces about fibromyalgia are pretty much the only guaranteed enjoyment I have left at Newsvine, so I’d feel like a real ass if I didn’t support those endeavors. The FM piece is in the books, so that leaves my GNW thoughts.
But, the silly screen stayed blank. I hate it when that happens. So I did what I always do when I need to let my mind free-form ramble to look for inspiration. The Insane Clown Posse didn’t do anything for me, Abney Park gave me an idea for a Stem Punk Article, Celtic Woman gave me a few thoughts for a poem but nothing that fleshed all the way out. Then a tune performed by Asleep at the Wheel hit the shuffle, Big Balls in Cowtown, and a memory danced before my caffeine-deprived eyes, so I cranked the volume and dashed to the kitchen to toss some coffee together in the French press. Speaking of which, I need more, so here’s my inspiration for you to contemplate while I java up.
Returning again to the early 80s we find me in a football game against the neighboring town and a good friend of mine played across from me in the same two basic positions, cornerback on defense and wide receiver for offense. At the time I was under 5’6” and the program listed me at 100 pounds because to put my weight in the 90s would throw the column alignment off. He was a tall sumbitch, about 6’1” and around 180. Luck would have it he lined up across from me on both sides of the ball and he was working my last nerve on long passes because he could get over me and break them up. I was working his last nerve because his quarterback got flushed out of the pocket and I picked off a low pass. He drilled me hard that play and we shared a few friendly smart-assed comments, and since he was ruining my deep game I was getting crossing patterns, which is the perfect place to have your limbs rearranged. Sure enough, I caught one and had two linebackers right in front of me, so I spun and started to reverse my direction and my own old buddy old pal clothes-lined me.
That really hurt, it was right before the half and when I decided to answer nature’s call I was passing blood when I peed. Before anyone panics, it was nothing really, just a bruised kidney; but, it hurt and brought out my more evil impulses as the trainer strapped extra padding over my lower back and told me to try not to get hit there again.
Easy for him to say!
So, a few plays into the second half his QB lobbed one deep, high and into traffic and seeing my old buddy old pal stretched way up for the ball I ran full steam into his legs, wrapped him up tight and spun his ass into the turf. It was a beautiful hit, I heard the air rush out of him and things rattle and pop. I came back to my feet and saw his eyes rolled back in his head and thought for a moment that I’d killed him, which worried me. First of all that might cause at least a game ejection, it would make his sister not want to go out with me anymore, and he was a pretty nice guy off the field and I didn’t want to see him dead. Pain was fine though, give him character. So, they stuck smelling salts under his nose and finally got him to his feet and he saw two of me and flipped both of us off and called us dickheads and missed a game or two with a concussion.
We continued to hang out and I swung by to see how he (and his sister) were doing to find him getting ready for rodeo. He rode bulls and I thought that was the silliest thing ever, I don’t think its good manners to play with your food and as far as I’ve ever been concerned cows are good for nothing but beef. Well, leather too, gotta have boots and belts. He was explaining the process to me, and demonstrating how you jerk your curved arm back over your head and I mentioned it looks suspiciously close to ballet.
“I ain’t never seen no bally-reenie last no eight seconds on the cyclone deck!” He scoffed with a broadly exaggerated accent that I can still hear in my head, he was selling it though, visions of revenge dancing in his head.
It shames me to admit that he convinced me to try it for myself. Well, not too much shame, I’d actually always wanted to try it just once. I’ve always been like that, I like to try things that scare the crap out of me, and I like to try everything (within reason) at least once. So I was tied in, the rope wrapped tightly around my hand and turning down the cowboy hat. I rarely wore them, in fact the only picture of me as a teenager wearing a cowboy hat is not publishable. Well, in these days it might be, but I ain’t a-gonna do it, nope, nope, nope.
So, arm curled like a prima ballerina over my head I gave the nod for them to open the gate, the gate flew open and this big bold bull trotted out like a horse at a canter. I was here to ride a bull but dammit man, this was embarrassing! So, he whistled to his sister and pantomimed tossing a dirt clod, and she used her softball pitching eye to boresight a shot that screamed along at major league speed to connect with the bull’s hangie-downs. It was a fine shot that rang his bells and he went from zero to insanely pissed off instantaneously.
First we recall that I weighted about a hundred pounds, I’ll give myself a little credit and guess the bull weighed ten times more than I did, and so when he performed some psychotic bucking-spinning-hyper-twist motion I wound up stretched from the rope that didn’t give a bit, up across his shoulders for a horn to graze my butt cheek as I draped over his face. This irked him and he tossed his head back and I landed sort of on his back and he spun again and I have no idea what I was going, I was spinning and changing directions so many times I couldn’t identify which was my head and which was my ass with any certainty. But after several bounces I felt something large and solid make a firm, make that completely solid impact with my very personal region. Apparently I came around to the side as the bull turned again to charge the fence and his foot was the irresistible force that connected with my very movable objects.
Fortunately they got my hand free at that point, and all of the bone in my body had transformed to over-boiled spaghetti and I was an oozing mass that tried to will myself to flow to the fence and out of this silly place, but that wasn’t to happen. First things first, my boys were expanding at a shocking rate, but lucky me, his dad had this happen to him a few times so he knew what to do. Yes, I said a few times, apparently bull riders aren’t the sharpest axes in the shed. Also working in my favor was the presence of a vet, he was out treating horses and hustled over and between all of them they managed to cut off my jeans and free my poor purple buddies from their crushing confinement.
Ah the memories, his mom looking them over and deciding I needed to see the doctor, riding in the back of a pickup down gravel roads, bare-assed with my head in his sister’s lap and his mom holding a big ice bag over my overstretched minions or mirth. Then the blessed painkillers, the anti-inflammitories and not being able remember any of the procedures that were involved in putting things back into come semblance of order. I do remember waking up back at his house and his mom presenting me a little cup with a lid on it and telling me that in a few days, when I was up to it, I needed to put a sample in the cup and take it in so they could make sure my tadpoles still swam. I think that was a little revenge on her part for suspicions she had about me and her daughter.
Yeah, that’s as good of a place as any to wrap this up, purple parts and a mother’s evil cackle, but if its any comfort to you, gentle reader, everything did return to normal, and I did much better on my second and last ride.
Wayne H. Means passed away on January 26, 2010 at his home in Warrensburg, Missouri of natural causes.
Wayne was born in Ricketts, Iowa, the son of Roy and Jean Means, on October 26, 1922. Growing up in Sioux City, Iowa he left with the Iowa national guard in 1941 for camp Claiborne, La. He went overseas in 1942 and was assigned to camps in Ireland, England, France and Scotland. He met Margaret “Peggy” Blackadder in Scotland, and in April of 1944 they were married in Bristol, England.
He had a little Rock Hudson look happening, didn't he?
Landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, he participated in the Battle of Normandy and subsequent operations across France, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. He was reported missing in action in October, 1944, survived a “Death March” and held in a POW camp in Germany until his return to military control in May of 1945. After hospitalization and award of the Purple Heart he received an honorable discharge and returned to the U.S. to reunite with his family in Sioux City. After his capture his new wife Margaret gave birth to a son, Kenneth Wayne, whom he met upon their arrival on the SS Uruguay in April, 19, 1946.
The family grew by three daughters in Sioux City until moving to the wilderness of British Columbia, Canada in 1960. Wayne built a log cabin for his family and worked as a logger, sometimes helping to build roads and fight fires.
The family returned to Iowa where he owned a business as a paint contractor and later a gas station and garage together with his son “Kenny“. Kenneth was killed in a car accident June 30, 1965 and Wayne went to work in civil service for the Air Force as a paint contractor. In 1969, with the base closure in Sioux City, he took a job at Whiteman AFB, Mo where he worked until his retirement.
He was involved with Peggy’s business of 40 years in downtown Warrensburg, The Teehaus, where was known by many of his admirers as “Pierre.” In retirement he opened the “Wood-N-Saw Shop”, offering saw sharpening services and working as a locksmith. As a skilled woodworker, he created beautiful one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture and art pieces, many of which he sold in the Teehaus.
Wayne was an avid and talented golfer, known on the course for his quiet wit, with two hole-in-one shots to his credit. He also enjoyed league bowling, horseshoes and poker. Wayne was a voracious reader, a book a day most of his life, leaving a huge library to his family.
Survivors include three daughters and their husbands, Pamela and Gerald Jacobs, Patricia and Raymond Cook and Sandra and Mark Irle, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Kenneth and his wife Peggy.
Wayne was always kind and patient, funny and accepting, talented, strong and sweet. He is greatly missed.
From the Top: Army Crest, Combat Infantry Badge and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin, WWII. Medals in order (L-R) Bronze Star, Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern campaign medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars and World War II Victory Medal, ribbons correspond to metals. Picture shown smaller than the full size, right click to download the full-sized image
(Obituary by my aunt, Sandy Irle)
(Note from Me: growing up I had Grandpa & Grandma Boothby and Papa & Grandma Means, Grandpa was always Grandpa, Papa was always Papa, to this day people get confused by the fact that Papa isn’t a term for my Dad, which is just silly, Dad is Dad and Papa is Papa. How easy is that?)