February 20, 2006

Tropical Wolf Observations

This weekend saw another very successful blogmeet, this one put together by Laughing Wolf, and dubbed "The Howl on the Prowl." Of course, despite my incredibly busy schedule, I was able to take time off from my non-existent job and attend. Here's some of what you missed...

Friday: I had my gear packed and ready, waiting for Tammi and another blogger and their spouse. I got a phone call. It was very loud, signal breaking, and unintelligible. I was straining both to hear, and to hold the phone away from me at the same time. Whoever it was, was in agony, at least from what I could hear. Amid the choked off screams, I hear what sounded to me like "vasectomy!" I assured them that no one by that name lived here, and promptly hung up the phone.

About five minutes after the mysterious phone call, Bloodspite and his wife pulled up. My ride was finally here! Watching Bloodspite waddle towards the door, I suddenly had a revelation of who may have been behind the call...

Greetings were made, hands shook, and the sob story told. Seemed that even though Bloodspite and his lovely wife had lived in the North a while ago, their time down South has made them forget just what sub-tropic temperatures felt like. * twitch* When they had stopped for fuel in a small town just east of here, Bloodspite had reportedly lost his 'nads to a polar bear, or a blast of cold air, depending on whom you are questioning. Either way, he wasn't ready for our current heat wave... it had definitely been him shrieking over the phone.

Tammi arrived shortly after, and we loaded up the vehicle and set off in our bermudas and tropical shirts.

The drive down to LW's was fairly uneventful, though I did take a little bit of heat for my navigational techniques. Seems that some folks have a hard time putting their faith in someone who tells them that "we just take this road until it looks good, then turn right." *twitch* Oh, they of little faith! Needless to say, we made it there in a safe and timely manner, much to the suprise of the faithless. Heheh... I even heard, "I can't believe it! He's right!" coming from the heathens in back. Of course I was right... it's a fairly common thing.

We arrived at LW's to find Contagion, Ktreva, and LW in the company of two very beautiful women, both of whom looked familiar, but I could only place a name to one... Oddybobo. First time meeting her, but I knew her right away. I got a big hug from her, in the name of Christina, and cast a sidelong glance at the other. I couldn't place her, and being kinda quiet myself (which I don't think she'll ever believe...), I waited until I got outside to ask who she was. *twitch* As soon as I was told, I felt like an idiot, and walked right back into the house and yelled at poor Machelle. I did get a hug from her, so I couldn't have scared her too badly... unless it was just one of those "just play along... he'll go away" type things. Unfortunately, Contagion, not wanting to share the company of the ladies with us latecomers, dragged them all away after a few minutes of visiting.

Bloodspite and I brought out the guitars, and he played and sang, while I beat on the instrument like a cross-eyed chimp. After keeping LW awake for too long, we called it a night.

Saturday: Got up bright and early feeling a tad bit tired. The wind was blowing pretty decent all night, and rattled the door a few times. I'd been sleeping in LW's sanitarium solarium, right next to the door. *twitch* LW had had some problems with folks prowling around, and the first time that door rattled, I was up and behind the door, ready to clock someone, before I foolishly realized that it was only the wind.

I had a brief moment of panic when my nose started to trickle blood. Flashbacks to October's incident in Tennessee had me picturing future blogmeets... "Hey, don't forget that each blogmeet needs a free bleeder! Let's get T1G!!!" (Hey, at least I'd be a regular invitee!) Thankfully, all was well...

We ate an excellent breakfast and headed out to meet the others at the Tippecanoe Battlefield. I met Wes, of Bohdran (Drum) Roll, Please, and his wife, WOW (wife of Wes). Bloodspite, Wes, and their wives, along with LW and myself, took a walk around the battlefield, while the others went inside to escape the blistering heat. About the time that we finished up, Harvey and TNT arrived, so once Tammi took them on a walk and out of sight, we sprinted for the vehicles and left, leaving them to find Wolf Park on their own.

Unfortunately, Harvey managed to find us, and we all went on a tour of the park, with LW guiding the tour. He did very well, and almost sounded like he knew what he was talking about! We got to watch some human/wolf interaction as LW and some others went into the main pack's enclosure. *twitch* As can be seen below, in the upper right of the pic, Harvey proved to be much slower than the others...

Click to Swell

While I'm tossing up pictures, check out this prank photo that we took, just for Bou, who seemed to think that it would be too cold for her to attempt a trip up to join us. (This one, you can't embiggen... protecting the innocent, and those who would pretend to be. *wink*) We were all sweating to death in these winter clothes, just for a joke...
(Left to right: Bloodspite, Wife of Bloodpite, Wes, Machelle, WOW, Tammi, Harvey, Contagion, Oddybobo, TNT, LW, and hidden behind him, Ktreva.)

LW had hooked us up with an incredible snack tray from a local Russian deli, along with some borsch, but after having the blazing sun blasting on us for so long, we needed to head for some shelter and an actual meal, so LW guided us to a small establishment, TC's, for some kickass grub and some much needed Guinness. *twitch* The place reminded me of Fritz's, in that it really didn't look like much more than a cozy neighbourhood bar, but it had excellent food. Hell, I'd rate the chow right up there with the Wooden Nickel's, though, I still have to give an edge to Fritz's staff... and that's saying nothing bad at all of TC's. Their service was excellent, and they were very patient, even when it seemed that no one liked to keep their drinks inside of their glasses...

While the food and drink were excellent, this is about the time the conversations started to really get out of hand. Worst of it was, Pat and Gale, from Wolf Park, had joined us for dinner. I'm not sure that they were there yet when Wes and WOW started talking about loins, and hand breading them, but they had to have heard part of it... it was a very intense conversation, and Ktreva was really into it. I mean, she was right there. "Oooh, look! Butter!!!"

Next thing you know, Ktreva and Wes are discussing what makes soft tails soft, and which ones are spongy. Oddybobo must have really liked what she was hearing, because the next thing I knew, Ktreva had her all wet... least, that's what I heard. I don't know. But she was kinda embarassed...

It was about this time that I decided to try and sneak a pic in against Contagion's wishes. Folks, he and I have been drinkin' together, and he's been called "the Devil" by some of the locals. And I've seen photos of him taken by his "friends"... they all look fine. Especially this one. *twitch* I thought his hesitation was just because of his hair being mussed, but I discovered that it was just that he didn't want ME taking his pic. Me... Jeebus. That's right... when a saintly man, such as myself, takes a picture of a devil, such as my friend, his true visage is exposed. Behold, my fellow patrons, the demon friend, Contagion...

El Contagiono.jpg
Mind you, there was absolutely no photoshopping of this hideous image.

After we finished our orgy dinner, we headed back to the park for Howl Night. Now I will say that by this time, the temperature had declined to a fairly cool temp. *twitch* (I had to put on a long sleeve t-shirt.) We were discussing sitting in the bleachers piled on top of each other, a mass of humanity huddled together for warmth, with Contagion sitting to one side barking "Don't touch me," at anyone who got too close. (He's strange about that... he's always trying to hug on folks, but wigs out if they touch him.) After the dinner conversations, we decided that perhaps it would not be a very wise thing. Fun, maybe, but definitely not wise.

Pat and a fella named John gave us presentations, explaining about the different howls, and what they meant. When they might be used. *twitch* We howled, and the wolves howled back.

If you ever get a chance to go to something like this, you've got to do it. I've heard them howl before, back in December, but it still raises goosebumps on the arms. And it's not from fear... it's... it's... a feeling of being a part of a much larger thing than you can imagine. I know, it's a lame description, but I doubt anyone there will say anything otherwise...

After howling, we went to Lafayette Brewing Company to kill defenseless beers and shoot the bovine fecal matter. *twitch* We also met up with Jerry, of Back Home Again, who had been unable to attend the previous festivities, but definitely wanted to get in on some of them. Monty Sloan, a nature photographer, joined us as well.

LBC has some pretty good beer. I've had the Black Angus Oatmeal Stout before, and loved it. *twitch* It was still pretty good, but tasted a little different, this time. The East Side Bitter is very good, as was the special edition Poor Richard's Ale, commemorating the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth. The Emancipation Dopplebock was incredible... unfortunately, it was only sold in halves. Their pale ale? Um... well, if you like chewing on orange peels, you'll be in heaven drinking this!

Once the beer drinking got rolling, things declined quickly. Oddybobo, who is by no means shy, does quiet down a bit when drinking. However, that did not stop her from sticking her tongue in a cigar store Indian's ear. I missed the actual act, but I did get a pic of her and the statue both smiling. "The wood is good," said she.

Harvey and TNT sat down on the far end from me, so I couldn't hear exactly what was going on, but I'm pretty sure it was sneaky, as most of their plotting is. I could tell it was of the interrogation type of sneaky, as they had Bloodspite tied to a chair, and everytime he didn't answer one of Harvey's questions, TNT would pummel the everloving piss out of him. No lie. There was a puddle under his chair.

Wes and WOW were still breading loins, and ended up leaving well before everyone else, thus ruining the chance for any of us to tell them to get a room. Heheheheh....

Jerry was probably wondering what the hell he had gotten into, listening to all of the conversations. What with the beavers gnawing on each other, and other strange topics. But I know he couldn't have been clueless... he's been reading some of the family members since finding these two posts. I give the guy props... he walked right in, and up to the right group of folks, without knowing a one of us. LW and Monty were talking with him, as the rest of the table went to hell. Thank gott for quiet and responsible souls, such as Machelle, the Bloodspouse, and myself.

We had Tammi announce that the last time she did it, she got stuck, and it was ugly. *twitch* No one had asked, it just got thrown out there. We also had Bloodspite finally escape and make his way away from Harvey, only to have him and Tammi show us their impression of two beavers gnawing on each other. Meanwhile, Contagion, inspired by Brokeback Mountain, was feeling the love.

I'm thinking that the folks at LBC were more than happy to see us leave.

Aside from finishing up the evening playing guitars at LW's place, our meet was over.

Sunday: There were no doubts about my navigational powers, and I managed to guide the Bloodvehicle safely back home, while impressing the fellow passengers with my meditation. Well, that is until I started snoring....

End result of this meeting? It was an absolute success. I got to meet four new bloggers, and get together with others that I feel totally comfortable around. (Except maybe Harvey...)

Quick hits on each attendee...

Contagion: I really don't like this guy. If it weren't for his wife being a hottie, I wouldn't really speak to him. Okay... I lied. He's a good dude, despite wishing to be otherwise.

Ktreva: A sweetheart that likes to threaten people with kicks to the dick. Really. And she hugged me!

Tammi: Everyone's favorite chatterbox. I can not imagine what one of these meets would be without her! And she hugged me!

Machelle: Quiet... more than me. I heard that she does the same thing I do, sniping conversation, but she's much better at it than I'll ever be. A hottie, too! And she hugged me!

Oddybobo: Just as you'd picture her from her blog, or emails. Also, she likes to drink good beer. And she hugged me!

TNT: Gotta like anybody that can tolerate Harvey. She's either a saint, or a whacko. And she hugged me!

Wes: I'm sorry I hadn't met him sooner, especially since I've had the chances. Good dude who lives too close to Contagion. It shows, somewhat.

WOW: I thought it very cool to watch people, and she was one that I noticed was deeply interested in everyting we saw, both at the battlefield, and at Wolf Park. Very cool. Plus, she and her hubby kept yelling at each other to take their hands off of their loins. Entertaining... but she didn't hug me.

Bloodspite: The guy doesn't live far enough away. Er... I mean, he doesn't live close enough. Yeah. Very good to see him again.

Bloodyspouse: I don't really know why, but she seems to like giving me crap, and lots of it. Which is kinda cool... kinda. Another sweetheart, and while she didn't this time, she hugged me!

Jerry: 'Twas very cool to see someone that would subject themselves to this kind of exposure, without really knowing any of the others. Again, that took big 'nads. Part of blogging is stepping outside of your circles that you are comfortable with... he embodied it this weekend!

Harvey: I never really say much good about the bastard. So I won't this time, either. Nah, really, he's a damn good guy who will pay you big dollars to say that very thing. My blogfather... and he hugged me!

Laughing Wolf: Impressive man. He did an incredible job setting everything up, and was a most gracious host. Went above the call of duty to make sure everything was fine for everybody, without considering it going out of his way. Thanks again, LW.

I know I've said before that if you get the chance to go to one of these events, you should hop on it, so I won't say it again. Oooops... too late.

Posted by That 1 Guy at February 20, 2006 07:18 PM

*twitch*, I'd give you a hug, but you're probably huggy bruised by now. And, that huggin' stuff 'tween us would be gay. Right Harvey?

I'll shake your paw, and buy you a beer next time we meet T1G. Maybe a quick slap on the back, and a close handshake, but no ass grabbin', and don't hug me either. I'll think your weird if you ain't my daddy, and I know you ain't my daddy.

Posted by: RedNeck at February 20, 2006 08:37 PM

Well, I would have hugged you too had I been able to go....

Glad you all had a good time and nobody froze into a blogsickle. :)

Posted by: Richmond at February 20, 2006 09:21 PM

Bloodvehicle....I like it...and I don't get sued for it being called the Blood Mobile either!

Posted by: BloodSpite at February 20, 2006 09:42 PM

Okay Mr. Brokeback Wisdom, it was you trying to hug on me all night. Constantly trying to put your arm around my shoulders, inviting me into the bathroom with you. Don't you go putting that shit on me!

Posted by: Contagion at February 20, 2006 10:44 PM

Sorry I missed the Howl on the Prowl. But it was good to meet you and all the gang. I'm glad you put pictures out there too. That was a lot of names and blogs to try to remember in a short time span. Let me know when the next meeting / hug-fest is. That was fun.

Posted by: Jerry at February 20, 2006 10:50 PM

Your such a sweetie, and next time I will remember to hug you more!

Posted by: Machelle at February 21, 2006 07:18 AM

If I'd known you liked hugs so much I'd have hugged you more too! I do like a good beer but have to agree, the pale ale was ick! See ya at the next one hopefully!

Posted by: Oddybobo at February 21, 2006 08:26 AM

I know you like the weather faaarrr colder... I hope you didn't overheat with all that tropical air being so oppressive. *twitch*

Posted by: Teresa at February 21, 2006 11:45 AM

"We arrived at LW's to find Contagion, Ktreva, and LW in the company of two very beautiful women"

Gee thanks! Nice to know I'm not in the beautiful category! *twitch*

Posted by: ktreva at February 21, 2006 07:23 PM

LOL! Pity about Harvey, but at least you got a good picture for posterity. *twitch* And as for the comment Ktreva made, it was nice knowing you...

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at February 21, 2006 08:21 PM

Jeebus, You killed Harvey! You Bastard!

Can't believe I didn't think to go South Park on you (and Harvey) sooner...

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at February 22, 2006 07:15 PM

Fortunately, I managed to salvage one arm and half a leg.

All I need now is an eyepatch & a parrot... YARRRR!

Posted by: Harvey at February 26, 2006 10:42 AM