Birthday fit for a King!

I had another birthday not too long ago and it was a fun day.*  My family made me a sort of rectangular cake.  I was pretty impressed that it was five layers and it is always lovely to have a birthday cake that is handmade instead of something from the grocery store or bakery.  The candy bits were good too.  I don’t eat much in the way of candy these days so it was a welcome treat and I spent the evening and most of the next day dancing on the frosting edge of gluttony-induced sickness, like the Masque.

Birthday Cake June 2020
It was tasty too:  yellow cake with white frosting is my favorite.

Received some fun presents too.  On the hobby front, my husband, after classified consultations, duplicitous deceits, nebulous negotiations, and perplexing pacts, within and without the Dark Mechanicum, presented me with a Chaos Knight and a pair of baby knights!**

We spent a little time before the party doing a Social Distanced Birthday Hike.  We saw this fine, serpentine personage when we were crossing some railroad tracks.  It isn’t every day that you meet a talking snake so I dug out my cell phone, snapped this picture and went on our way as directed.***

I had never seen this species of snake before, but it didn’t look like the coral snakes I had encountered in the ’80’s when I lived in Texas.  (We’re living in the hills outside of Santa Cruz, California now.)  Once I got home and investigated the matter a little more, I learned that my loquacious friend was a California Mountain Kingsnake.****

California mountain kingsnake June 2020 talking
Not very friendly, really.

For next time I hope to post a work-in-progress picture of Frank’s Pig Demon that I’m trying to complete for the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge, which ends on July 3rd.  So far the challenge seems to be shaping up nicely with completed offerings by Azazel’s Bitz Box, Convert or Die, Dreadaxe Games, Just Needs Varnish!, and Scent of a Gamer.

Until next time, I hope everyone is well.

Balloon Clip Art 125 wide

* It is amazing how fast the years go by now.  I suspect it all is some sort of unasked for boon/blessing from Tzeentch or something in return for painting a bunch of lesser horrors back in 2017.

** I suspect that that my husband might have made plans within plans within some sort of overall master plan birthday present-wise.  I have been making vague, periodic noises, which probably won’t ever amount to anything, about “nurgling up” an imperial knight that has been sitting in his office closet for like five years now.  He has always grumbled about this being a grave insult to both (his beloved) Ultramarines and Questor Imperialis House Wycoff.  So maybe he’s trying to redirect and outsmart me?  If so, color me outsmarted and happily so!

*** I don’t like to stress out wild animals by lingering around them or picking them up, so we moved on fairly quickly.

**** I received a post about “Degenerate Serpentfolk” right in the middle of typing up this little spiel about my friend the kingsnake.  I wonder if this is some sort of cryptic message from the Ruinous Powers that I need to include some more snakes (other than just this lone representative) in my coterie?



45 responses to “Birthday fit for a King!”

  1. Happy birthday, Ann!
    I hate snakes generally – but then all of the ones in the state where I live are venomous and rather nasty, so I have good reason.
    The knights look lovely, as does the cake – if you’re into that sort of thing! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Azazel. Yeah, I can see where one might not like venomous snakes. I somewhat like snakes, which started when I was introduced to an enormous boa constrictor at a pet shop at maybe age six. I let it wrap around me though my little friend at the time chickened out. I like the venomous ones too but I give them a healthy bit of distance when I can.

      My first encounter with a wild, poisonous snake was not an auspicious one and happened in the early ’80’s on a day march. The sergeant blew a whistle so that was the signal we were supposed to get off the road as if we were being fired at and take cover. So I did and ended up accidentally rolling down a steep bank. Well, I rolled right over a enormous western diamondback rattler and it tried to bite me but instead bit into the shoulder harness on my web gear and got stuck there. So I jumped up screaming with this snake still attached to my web gear and thrashing around. In my panic I started trying to hit it with the butt of my M-16, despite having a big, old honking survival knife, complete with compass, and mini-survival kit in the handle. Oh well. Finally it let go or got loose and slithered off into the underbrush. I emptied a 30 round magazine of blanks after it and that was the last I saw of the thing.

      The sergeant came down the hill and asked me “what the hell is going on?” and I told him about the snake. He laughed and said he regretted that I didn’t kill it because he would have liked to have made a hat band out of the skin. I told him, “It went that way,” and pointed off into the brush. He said, “Maybe next time,” and told me to get back up the hill, which I did with alacrity.

      I took some ribbing over the snake for a couple of weeks from some of the other privates. One of them had a little “snake dance” down that he did really well, even though he didn’t see any of it happen. Fortunately for me, someone else did something silly and the heat was off me….


    • That sounds like an extraordinarily unpleasant experience! 😮

      My last encounter with a venemous snake was at the end of last year at work when I had a Brown Snake in front of me as I left a room via an external door. It saw me before I saw it, and it was rather agressive. I had to make a call since it was moving towards some rooms with quite a lot of people in them, but we (luckily) got it sorted out in the end safely.

      The eastern brown snake is considered the second-most venomous terrestrial snake in the world, behind only the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) of central east Australia.[57] Responsible for more deaths from snakebite in Australia than any other species,[58] it is the most commonly encountered dangerous snake in Adelaide, and is also found in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane.[35] As a genus, brown snakes were responsible for 41% of identified snakebite victims in Australia between 2005 and 2015, and for 15 of the 19 deaths during this period.[59] Within the genus, the eastern brown snake is the species most commonly implicated.[55]

      So… yeah. I’m with Indy on snakes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it was pretty gnarly at the time, though I get a lot of pleasure telling the story several decades later. Glad you were able to sort out things with the brown snake.

        Have seen a few more snakes since the King Snake, though they have been small, non-venomous snakes as far as I can tell.


  2. Happy Birthday Ann! I guess you must have turned 25, 5 years per layer, right?! That’s a cool cake, regardless of the math.

    My first thought was that was a coral snake, brightly colored for sure. I’ve had my adrenaline filled moments with wildlife. Probably the worst was a dog who came running out of someone’s property and growled and barked at us as we slowly walked a half mile back to home. Thought for sure we were going to get bit that time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Many thanks, Faust. Yeah, something like that, lol, though age is truly just a number to an immortal Chaos Lady such as myself who has every expectation of living a long and fruitful unlife. So far so good. Perhaps next year it’ll be six layers? I was very happy to get such a lovely cake; it was certainly unexpected.

      Yeah, that was my first thought too until I got a look at it and saw it didn’t have any yellow on it. Then my second thought was, “Is this some sort of weird, yellowless coral snake I’ve never heard of?” Then it started acting like it all aggressive and poisonous and my husband looked at it and said, “You big faker, I bet you are a kingsnake!” though neither of us had ever seen a CMKS. In any case, poisonous or not, I didn’t want to stress the beastie out so I kept my distance and snapped a quick picture with my phone.

      I’m glad that while you’ve had “adrenaline filled moments with wildlife” you haven’t gotten hurt (at least I hope not). You definitely have to be careful of other peoples’ dogs. I have a friend who likes to say when people say, “Oh my dog is friendly,” and he always retorts, “Yeah, I’m sure he is, TO YOU.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • The same here, pretty much. I’ve had a few close calls in life with other peoples’ dogs, but the most damage that has ever been done to me by an animal directly was as a kid I got bit rather badly in the hand by my pet gerbil. (I still carry the scar from i!) The second worst was when I was a teenager I caught an enormous pickerel, the veritable Queen of the Bog, and I was trying to get her off the hook to toss her back when she slipped free and bit me on the same hand as the gerbil and rather savagely at that. (This was how I discovered that pickerel have substantial teeth.)

          The odd thing was I was planning on throwing it back, since I was only keeping white perch that day, but the silly fish manage to flop out of my hands and landed five feet up behind me on the bank. I was pretty angry, having to wrap a bandanna around my hand since I was bleeding all over the place. I discovered later that night that pickerel, as it turned out, are delicious pan fried and rolled in cornmeal. Not as good as white perch though.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday Ann. Amazes me how different King Snakes are all over the United States. Ours in Arkansas is black with tiny white dots all over it. In Arizona where I use to live the King Snake looked just like the rattlesnake minus rattles on its tail.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha, you know, oddly enough I was did not. I’m fortunate in that I can be stone cold sober and still have conversations with talking snakes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was a very nice day, thank you, Pete. TBH, I didn’t expected something a bit more low key for a celebration, though I don’t know why, because every year that is what I expect and every year my husband makes a big deal about my birthday. The funny thing is it is the same with his birthday. He never seems to expect much of a celebration and I have a lot of fun making a good day of it.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. A Happy Birthday to you! Glad you got some really great stuff, edible and non-edible.

    Cool snake, too. Never seen one in the wild but did find some (empty) snake eggs just last week. Randomly, I remember a rhyme about the order of the colour bands of these kind of snakes – “red and black – poison lack; red and yellow – kill a fellow”.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks, Marvin. Yes, it was a great day and we had a lot of fun. That is pretty neat you found some empty snake eggs. Funny you should bring that rhyme up. I remember my parents telling it to me when I was little and my thinking, “There aren’t any poisonous snakes in Maine!” Then in the ’80’s I ran into coral snakes (and also rattlers and especially copperheads) a few times in Texas and then I’m looking down at a coral snake trying to remember the rhyme. Flash forward a few decades and I’m standing there looking down at this kingsnake trying to remember that rhyme yet again. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Belated Happy Birthday Ann, looks to have been a good one, and your husband obviously did a great cover job on what he was getting for you. Everytime I visit the USA am always awed by all the local wildlife there is, not seen a snake yet, but hopefully will at least once on my travels

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Dave. I had no idea of my husband’s plans and I was pleasantly surprised. His birthday is in a few weeks. He probably won’t want a cake but I do have some presents, that I think he’ll like, squirreled away in my office waiting to be wrapped with that same roll of wrapping paper I bought maybe three or four years ago and keep forgetting about it because it is stuck in the back of my office closet. I only remembered it this time because I happened to reorganize my closet a couple of weeks ago. I remember as a child that my parents would wrap birthday presents in the color funnies, which I always liked. I haven’t gotten the physical paper for years; I wonder if newspapers still do them or not?

      Yes, there is quite a bit of wildlife up here in the hills around Santa Cruz. A lot of small lizards and snakes. Haven’t seen a rattler yet, though I know we have them up here. Mostly have just seen little brown and green snakes. Our kingsnake friend is without a doubt the most colorful reptile I’ve seen in the wild in California so far.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Hehe, thanks. I pretty much only have cake myself maybe two or three times a year so I certainly made the most of it. Kind of paid for it a bit the next day though with a bit of a sugar hangover, but it was worth it.

      Liked by 3 people

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