Wyrdwend

The Filidhic Literary Blog of Jack Günter

WHAT I NOW DO ON THE WEEKENDS

WHAT I NOW DO ON THE WEEKENDS

How and Why My Weekends Are Now Totally Different

I used to save my weekends for my entertainments. Watching TV and occasionally (very occasionally) playing video games, or just sitting around and relaxing. Because I don’t do these things during the week. Occasionally I’d also go somewhere, like to a movie. Or a bookstore, or library, or I’d work on one of my novels or books. The idea being that I used my weekends for relaxation and entertainment.

Now I have a totally different weekend routine and schedule.

Why?

Because I realized that my weekends were not advancing me. At all. As a matter of fact they often allowed me to regress in my progress so that come Monday I often had to intensify my efforts to make up for lost productivity or advancement on the weekends.

I used to think my weekends were for entertainment and relaxation.

Now, instead, I think of my weekends (and conduct my weekends) as an opportunity for recreation, fun, and enjoyment.

I take pleasure and enjoyment now in different kinds of things, some very different from my prior weekend schedule, some subtly but still noticeably different from my previous weekend activities.

So let me now sketch out some of the activities I currently engage in during the weekends:

1. I continue my physical training from the week before. Not as hard, but in a relaxed form. Often this involves things that stretch me out, enhance my flexibility and my reflexes (very helpful considering my prior injuries), or allow me to recover from weight lifting and hiking in heavy packs. Things such as boxing, sword fighting, working on stealth, climbing, throwing the discus, hitting baseball, yoga, tai chi, etc.

2. I am teaching myself to play the guitar and to play far more complex chords on the piano than I normally do.

3. I spend time with my wife and kids and pets

4. I have gone back to drawing and sketching and architectural design

5. I learn new languages or improve my mastery of languages I already know

6. I practice and study Theurgy

7. I continue listening to the lectures I had been listening to during the week

8. I play games (board, role play, wargames) either with family and friends or by myself

9. I walk in the forest, explore, or Vad

10. I listen to my scanner or radios or monitor other communications (HAM, shortwave, etc.)

11. I study mathematics and physics (and other sciences, such as epigenetics, chemistry, biology, etc. as the mood strikes me)

12. I read for pleasure ( have returned to genre reading, such as sci-fi, detective, mystery, horror, fantasy, historical fiction, children’s literature, etc. – basically the same kinds of things I write)

13. I write a poem or song (if I’m in the mood)

14. I make notes in my notebooks to prepare for the upcoming week

15. I listen to music with a special emphasis on discovering music that is new to me

16. I work on my wood-craft and soon I plan to buy a small forge and master some of the arts of metalcraft (knife and sword and axe-head making)

17. I am taking up working with drones and 3-D printers and small robots

18. I try to come up with a new business idea or review our investments

19. I invent, build, or repair something, or renovate the house

20. I travel locally, throughout the state, or into nearby states

Now I’m not able to do all of these things every weekend, of course, except spend time with my family (assuming they are not somewhere else), teach myself guitar, and every weekend I try to study and practice Theurgy and explore or spend time in the woods.

But the point is that my weekends are far more active, enjoyable, productive, profitable, and refreshing (they are now Recreationally- oriented) than they are entertainment-oriented. And usually by Monday I am far more energized and ready for the new week than was previously the case.

My advice to you, and I know we live in an entertainment driven culture (movies, video-games, sports, etc.) that promotes entertainment above all else (in many cases), is to skip or put aside the entertainments as much as possible and focus instead on Recreation and more Beneficial Activities.

Personal activities, physical ones, social ones, educational ones, acting on your true goals and objectives, on your hobbies and avocations – focus on the things that bring you the greatest pleasure and fulfillment rather than upon those things that merely distract and entertain you.

For mere entertainment is a time-consuming and life-wasting trap. And more often than not it is a profit-wasting venture rather than an enriching one. And I mean that in both the financial sense (think of how much money you piss-away on bad films, group sports – where you don’t even play, you just sit on your asses watching others play, and mediocre video games) and in the general sense concerning the fact that you are wasting your perishable time and life-span on essentially useless activities.

Now before anyone thinks that I will say that I am not against all video games, or films, or even spectator and group sports. I am merely saying that far too much time is uselessly and profitlessly expended on the pursuit of these things as mere distractions and entertainments from actually living and accomplishing truly worthwhile endeavors and enterprises. Hell, even just a casual weekend hobby – such as rocketry, flying drones, exploring, , reading for pleasure, etc. is likely to be far better for your mind, body, and soul than merely sitting for hours upon your ass passively consuming (for the most part) films, television shows, spectator sports, and video games.

Finally, and not to be overlooked, by being more active on the weekends your sex drive increases. So, more sex with the wife. Sometimes a lot more.

And that never hurts a man…

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DREAM OF THE MOUNTAIN

I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning. Old habits are hard to break.

But right before waking this morning I had a great little dream.

I was at this huge outdoor conference right after sunrise. Apparently it was some kind of business conference. There were thousands of people milling about and many had brought their kids with them.

Suddenly a guy walks up to me (I know the guy in real life, and like me he owns his own company) and says, “Jack, let me show you something!”

Then he shows me this (what is to me anyway) small and barely visible spot of oil and dirt on the back of the collar of his wife’s dress. Actually it was mostly on the tag on her dress with just a small smudge on her collar. Then he begins to bitch and complain and fuss about how all the kids running around are mucking everything up and that no one (dry-cleaners for instance) can get or keep anything clean or nice. He’s going to be giving a speech today and he’s really ticked off about others seeing a spot on his gal’s dress that unless I had come up behind is wife and examined her dress closely I doubt I’d have ever seen (and I’m pretty observant – just by nature). Assuming I could have seen it past her hair. Not that I’d have cared if I’d have seen it anyway. It’s was just a little oil and dirt. I’d have just thought that maybe someone had spilled something on her or that more likely maybe her make-up or hair was too oily.

He then asks my opinion on the matter and I tell him, “Well, that kinda thing happens in real life ya know. I mean that’s the way it works, ain’t it?” And I walk off to head back to wherever I’m supposed to be going.

On the way this whole gaggle of little kids (I’d say they were between 7 and 10 years old and mostly boys but some little girls too) run up to me and encircle me. So I stop. One little towheaded boy says to me, “Hey mister, where ya going and what are you doing today?”

So I tell em, “Well, I gotta go to a buncha seminars and talks and lectures and I’ve gotta teach a class later today too.”

They all look at each other kinda disappointed like and the towhead goes, “Ohh…”

So I say, “Why? What are you guys doing worthwhile today?

And they say that they are going to go “hiking and shoot the bow and play and explore and swim in the lake and that there is a mountain they wanna climb.”

So I think on it for about a half-second and say to them, “Well, screw all this then! Let me go get in my play clothes and I’m coming with you guys. You seem like you actually know what you’re doing.”

And all the kids screamed, “Yay!”

Then I went and got in my jeans and grabbed my gear and booted up like a boss and right before I woke up I was headed with them towards that mountain they wanted to climb.

It was a nice dream, sure enough.

By the way, anyone who really knows me knows that that is exactly what I’d be most likely to do…

 

 

HALCYON EVENINGS

Sitting in the living room listening to a series of old radio plays from the 40s and 50s broadcast by a local radio station every Sunday evening. So far I’ve listened to The Third Man (I also recently recorded Welles Third Man film and I look forward to rewatching it),  The Adventures of Superman (he was breaking up a gang of real estate racketeers attempting to bomb the Daily Planet for bad publicity), and some old cereal commercials and old radio commercials for the Navy. Absolutely delightful.

Radio plays are to me a far better exercise for the mind and the imagination than television, for you have to reconstruct the action and scenery for yourself from rather shallow and quick narrative descriptions and scant dialogue. It’s a shame TV has killed all of that for the vast majority of people. Though I’m a throwback I guess because I still listen to old radio plays, to shortwave radio, to CB channels, and to HAM radio. And I still regularly scan the police and emergency and air and military bands as well. Of course.

But evenings like this, with beautiful, clear weather, and crisp, uninterrupted broadcasts remind me of being a kid and hanging around my great uncle as he worked the communication bands at the rescue squad or monitored his police channels for calls or listened to old radio plays or the HAM radio.

And to top it all off since we have a beautifully bright Hunter’s Moon I think that as soon as these broadcasts finish up I’ll take my telescope outside and watch the moon awhile.

Good night folks.

Have a great evening.

THE GLORY AND THE DREAM

Ethan, I see our Lord…”

Damn. The finale of Penny Dreadful was incredibly good. Like a Greek Tragedy.

And once again Dorian Gray was declaimed, by himself, the most depraved and degenerate character of them all (and he always has been), and John Clare (Frankenstein’s Monster) proven the most humane and human of them all. By far.

Though finally Frankenstein himself, and Chandler, both came close…

I hope this is not the end of that show (the world needs more of that kind of thing), but if it is, it could have concluded no better.

So goodnight my friends, and I leave you with Wordsworth, and with an ode on the Imitations of Immortality. 

(By the way, we also need more poetry of this calibre. Far more.)

Our world is far too much with modern and superficial self-indulgence.

 

 

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream. 5
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes, 10
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair; 15
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound 20
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; 25
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea 30
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy 35
Shepherd-boy!

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival, 40
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning, 45
And the children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:— 50
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet 55
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, 60
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come 65
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 70
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended; 75
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother’s mind, 80
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came. 85

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes! 90
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral; 95
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long 100
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, 105
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul’s immensity; 110
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
Mighty prophet! Seer blest! 115
On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a master o’er a slave, 120
A presence which is not to be put by;
To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight
Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie; 125
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? 130
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live, 135
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest— 140
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise; 145
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized, 150
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may, 155
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, 160
To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy! 165
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither, 170
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound! 175
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright 180
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind; 185
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death, 190
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight 195
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet; 200
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live, 205
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

ONE DAY I’LL ESCAPE

ONE DAY I’LL ESCAPE

I kinda wish the internet did not so much exist
And then I wouldn’t Work on it or in its ranks enlist
But it does, oh how it does, and so I plod along
Wasting all this Living time with silly, versey songs

I wait and wait the web to thread its way to where I go
So I can make it larger still, these spiders all aglow
I often wonder where it ends – I know it’s pointless though
To kick so hard against these pricks – just dinner and a show

These monkeys screeching, slinging shit, getting nothing else
Yet if you sling it back at them whatever does it help?
The cages rattle, shake, and roll, and still what does it change?
A sinking ship’s a sinking ship, the deck chairs rearranged,

Oh look, it’s here, the site I seek, aren’t I a lucky lad?
Now I go to Work on this, I guess I should be glad!
Though it’s not real, I know that see, the world outside awaits
Then why am I, still at this place, just to cut my bait?

I don’t know, we’ve made this world, now getting out’s too late
But still I dream of better things and one day I’ll escape,
And come that day, that brilliant day, the dead webs all dispersed
I’ll be free to Live again and roam the wand’ring Earth…

WHY?

The other day, after she completed her homeschooling studies, my youngest daughter walked into my office and said, “Dad, why doesn’t everyone use the Oxford Comma?”

I laughed out loud.

“I have no idea,” I replied.

“Well they should. It would make what they say and write so much easier to understand,” she said emphatically.

“I couldn’t agree more, my dear.”

Then she left.

LOL.

IF YOU LIKE…

If you like Wyrdwend then you might also like my other blogs:

Launch Port my business, career, capital, investment, and inventions blog

The Missal – my personal blog

Tome and Tomb – my gaming and hobbies blog

THE ENTITLED TRIBUTARY TALES

These two posts, The Tributary Tales, and Conan, Baba Yaga, and Tôl Karuţha will explain what I mean by the Tributary Tales.

Suffice it to say that over the holidays (in my spare time between Thanksgiving and Christmas)  I made basic, and sometimes quite complicated, plot and character sketches of the Tributary Tales I wish to write.

Below is the new and expanded list of the Tributary Tales I will write and the titles for each story. I’ll post plot and character sketches and the stories themselves as I write them. I’ve made good progress on Tôl Karuţha and on My Battered Heart already, with the second being a graphic novel script, not a short story. The Godzilla story, Rising Son, will actually be a film script not a short story. But most all of the others will be short stories or short novellas.

I will work on these stories and scripts in my spare time, they will not interfere with my business, novel, or non-fiction work.

So, here is my list of entitled Tributary Tales:

THE TRIBUTARY TALES

Tales of the Fictional (or partially fictional) and Mythical Characters that had the most influence on me growing up or that in later life most appealed to me

AeneasThe Flight from Knossos
BatmanMy Battered Heart
BeowulfThe Good King Comes But Once
Cole and HitchThe Ravine Near Ridgewater
ConanThe Vengeance of Tôl Karuţha
DaredevilBlack and Blood Red
Doc SavageSavage Is as Savage Does
GalahadGalahad and the Golden Stag
GodzillaRising Son: The Eternal Ocean is my Womb
HephaestusThe Forging of the Titan’s Chain
Horatio HornblowerThe Jib’s Complaint
Jack AubreyThe American Problem
John CarterThe City Never Seen
John GaltFree is a Four Letter Word
Kirk and Spock (Star Trek original series) – The Battleship Remission
Lone RangerThe Cold Wind at Sunrise

Lovecraftian  – The Secret Grave of Harrow Hill

Merlin The Bones of Old Stone
Nathaniel Bumppo (Hawkeye) and ChingachgookBlood Feather
OrpheusNo Music May Soothe, or perhaps, Tears of Iron
ParsifalThe Sorcerer’s Swan
Philip MarloweThe Crooked Dane
Robin the HoodThe Fletcher and the Fulmen
RolandThe Menhir and the Moor
Sherlock HolmesThe Case of the 12 Septembers
SiegfriedThe Rhine-Wine (of the Black Elf)
Solomon KaneWith Evil Intent
SpenserHigh Roll Her
Taliesin (Taliesin Ben Beirdd) – Sweetly Sang yet Rarely Ventured
TarzanThe Ruins of Khumbar and the Slave Girl
Túrin TarambarThe Piercing of Melkor’s Doom

TOME AND TOMB

I’ve got some really good and interesting stuff up on my Gaming Blog today, including a Greek animated reproduction of the Tomb at Amphipolis.

Tome and Tomb

THE SECRET PLANET KILLER AND THE INVERSIS

In the past couple of days I’ve had two excellent ideas for science fiction stories/possible novels/novel technology components.

1. Last night, while soaking in a hot bath, I had a great idea for a science fiction story involving a planetary kinetic kill weapon employed by an alien species. I haven’t worked out all of the details yet but the weapon is so effective because it is first projected at the planetary (or planetoid or moon, etc.) target as a near massless object at near light speeds and only within reaching a certain distance from its target does it decelerate rapidly regaining its original mass.

At this “transformational point,” or “weaponizing kenesis point” (kenesis being a term incorporating both kinetic energy and genesis or transformation point) the near massless projection becomes massive again (reabsorbing its original mass which it had been projecting ahead of itself as a gravitational anomaly) and it slows by conversion to about half its original speed, but because it transforms near the target and is still traveling at such tremendous velocity (which increases as it moves into the gravitational field of the target) it is almost impossible to defend against.

The only way to detect it is in energy form as a near massless projection and as a gravitational anomaly traveling in a tightly constricted area immediately preceding the projection. But neither of those would be able to be detected by the target until the projection reconverts to a massive state near/at the target site.

To detect it you would have to both understand what you are perceiving and it would have to pass through or by an early detection system, such as a DEW Line. In effect it would be a secret or stealthy planet killer and kinetic kill weapon which could be projected from almost any direction/angle against a target and unless detected by a pre-existed warming system it would literally impact against a target before the target was even aware of its’ presence.

Needless to say this weapon would be terrifying to anyone against whom it is employed and extremely difficult to successfully defend against.

I have a couple of ideas about how others might defend against such an attack but I’m only just now sketching them out.

I also have an idea of how the weapon itself might work, but that is all entirely theoretical of course.

2. This afternoon, while walking through our woods with my children and my dog Sam I had another idea for a piece of very advanced technology. What the device would do is disrupt the gravitational field around smaller volume massive objects, like White Dwarf stars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, etc. causing the gravitational fields they produce to rapidly oscillate and fluctuate.

The point of such a device is to create fluctuations so intense that many of the higher level energies (x-rays, microwaves, etc.) and exotic particles being produced or ejected or radiated or compressed by the lower order observational event horizons in and around such objects can be freed for practical use. The same or a secondary device is then used to harvest, contain, and utilize these gathered energies, including the associated gravitational waves produced by the initial fluctuations.

At this point I’m calling this device the Inversis. Or that is what humans will call it. It is basically a very advanced exotic energy and particle harvester that operates by creating intense gravitational fluctuations in massive stellar bodies.

Theoretically the same device could be used to create temporary fluctuations in the outer gravitational field (near the outer edge of the event horizon) of a black hole as well.

In real life such a device would require so much energy to operate, even when concentrated upon a relatively small area of the overall target that I cannot in all reality say that it would actually produce and harvest more energy than it consumed.

But at this point it is only a sci-fi story idea anyway. So I don’t have to worry about real energy costs or anything like that right now.

At this point I plan to incorporate both of these ideas as working models for technologies to be included in my Curae series of science fiction novels.

In any case it has been a nice weekend for good ideas.

THE VADDER’S IMPERATIVE

I must Vad these places one day and I don’t even have any interest in going to New York.

http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/5-abandoned-stations-of-the-new-york-subway-system/1

CHERNOBYL BY DRONE

Explore Chernobyl like never before, courtesy of a drone

Prepare to see Pripyat, home of the Soviet-era Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, like never before. A British man has used a drone to offer entirely new angle on the abandoned Soviet city, which became famous for the Chernobyl meltdown on April 26, 1986.

British videographer Danny Cooke made “Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl” in his spare time while filming a segment for CBS News. His aerial footage, recorded using a DJI Phantom 2 drone and a Canon 7D camera, provides a fascinating look at the iconic shots that have come to define a city that has been empty for decades: Decaying ferris wheels, neglected Soviet monuments, heavily-wooded city square.

“Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been,” Cooke wrote on Vimeo. “The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had and effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. I can’t imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of locals who evacuated.””There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place,” he added. “Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”

Photo via Danny Cooke/Vimeo

THREE PINTS OF MUSTARD

Now you’re probably wonderin why I’d do something like that. Well, let me tell you a little story.

See, long about wintertime, when the sun gets short and the shadows get long, a mocking bird drops by my place and screeches real loud. Up pops the handyman and asks what it’s all about but nobody but me can tell that kind of thing from a hole in the ground. So while the mock is high mocking and the handyman handy I thought it might be a very good occasion. For you know, doing what needs to be done.

Well after getting a flight from the bird and right around nightfall it all got too dark to follow. So I decided to lead. Now where should my lead wander than out by the old stump which is better than beating a dead horse to the barn. And iffin I listened I thought I could hear em but no such luck floated where I searched the town. So for about thirty minutes or so I just sat there and waited, but the good part of that is about twenty or less.

Which brings up a point about something I’ll mention when passing is better than going along. When covering old ground, which is like swimming up river, don’t ever be surprised by what you will find. For finding is easy but difficult hardly if you happen upon losing without even a thought. Can you see where I’m going – just imagine it’s real dark, then re-imagine it all done and illumined by tricks. Now personally I like that kinda thing, but don’t try to rub it in, cause that only works in real life with people around.

So let’s get back to the story. I’m three steps ahead but seven or eight sideways which still puts me eighteen or thereabouts behind where I am. That may seem somewhat simple but believe me it might be if not for the fact that simple is three red shades of green. I just threw that in there for some background color. I figured since this story is all black and white so far, what most people need is some shade of the truth. And blood is the new black.

But don’t let that throw you or even hold it against me cause what I’m saying to ya is don’t be that way. Any old cusser can sway with the best men but it takes a real kinda courage to admit that you know.

Anywho, the man that I’m tracking has led me to a place by the rathole which can smell kinda funny when covered with cheese. Now that’s pretty rotten if you cotton to cotton but cloth gets expensive when sold by the foot. He’s rolling a bedroll but who can believe him when all that he’s told me has been up and up? That’s a question for felony fellas and if never comes never then it’s better than nothing and silly that way. As for my take of this all, well, my cut is free. And you can’t beat that for keeping your costs low.

But I’ve still got a big job and with no one left hanging why can’t we just say that when talking is pass time for what we left out? I got nothing but egghead while he roams with the birdbrains and so what can I figure but he likes it that way? You see as most people age they start to wonder what it’s really all about. And by that I mean all the things they don’t when they’re not trying to know any better. I guess that’s why when they ask me about something they nod when I’m silent and talk when they’re not. I feel bad when that happens and keep trying to tell them but semaphore signals don’t sell well these days. I guess this guy is just one a them, which means that while he ain’t looking to see me I’m still tuning away. Go figure, but try all your fingers, cause multiples breed plenty when push comes to shove. And there tain’t a adding machine for that kinda racket.

So with all cards on the table and money a swilling round the slop buckets that’s my call sign to action, and springing up backwards, I turn to my left. He sees what I’m doing and feigns right of center but nobody’s judging cause the court date ain’t set. Which is fine by me, you never know when a judgment might lead to a fashion and fools just love fashion when the runaway is lit. You know the old saying, “a fool is soon separated from his Mahoney.” Once that happens some Mick’s bound to start squealing, then backstabs are a flying like jigs in the air.

I laugh when I see that, but watch through my binocs, cause Micks in a nightfight make holes in the wall. They’re not very good marksmen and that’s bad when you’re close up, but best when you’re downtown a’ biding your time. It all happened kinda fast after that but the upshot of the downside is that a man is soon done by the company he keeps. Especially if he’s worn out his welcome by going outside of the inside he’s made. It’s a shame when your bridge is burnt under but that happens quite often when the tide rolls back out. If you take my advice you’ll avoid that kinda thing or at least prepare for the fact that your skull might just crack. Better safe than Charlie.

So if you ever come across three pints of mustard where you ought to find mayonnaise, then drop what you’re doing, and toss what you find. That’s what I did, the same day it happened, and look where it got me so who can complain?

Now you know the rest of the story.

Spread it around…

THE OLD AND UNSEEN THINGS…

Fascinating! And yes, I remember analog computers.

36 Rarely Seen Photos From History.

1. Moving a 7600 ton apartment building to create a boulevard in Alba Iulia, Romania, 1987

1. Moving a 7600 ton apartment building to create a boulevard in Alba Iulia, Rom...

2. Black officer protecting KKK member from protesters, 1983

2. Black officer protecting KKK member from protesters, 1983...

3. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a young gentleman, 1986

3. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a young gentleman, 1986...

4. Hannah Stilley, born 1746, photographed in 1840. Probably the earliest born individual captured on film

4. Hannah Stilley, born 1746, photographed in 1840. Probably the earliest born i...

THE WOLF MOON

I don’t know if you guys saw what Sam and I saw last night, but it was awfully beautiful. Sam and I went out after nightfall last night and the full moon was rising in the nor’east.

But because it was rising on the horizon through a light cloud cover and it was still picking up a faint trace of sunlight from the already but only recently set sun the light was very ethereal and diffused, creating a very, very dark orange coloring. It was a late harvest moon.

It looked almost like a blood moon, just a shade lighter. The first thing I thought of was, “this is a wolf moon!”

Most impressive.

Sam and I both looked at it and then I threw back my head and howled as loud as I could, and then Sam howled. It was immensely enjoyable, and invigorating. And somewhere a deer trembled and a rabbit ran.

A SUPERB METHOD OF VISUAL ENCODING

Again, another superb effort and a great methodology of graphic encoding. This would have also made a very nice espionage technique. With the pictures being both unnoticeable to most and even when apparent the visual images themselves could have passed encoded information for messaging. And what better way to pass those messages than steganographically? As a matter of fact the very uniqueness of the encoding of the graphic images would have probably deflected attention away from their subliminal use as an espionage technique.

The discoverer would probably immediate concentrate upon (or be channeled to concentrate upon) the mastery and skill required to create the artistic images rather than assume those same images possessed encoded messages – without an extremely good reason to be suspicious. Hence double camouflage.

These techniques are definitely going into my research files for my New Media Project.

Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.

When I realized the book Theisen shared was only one of a series about the seasons, I got in touch and she agreed to photograph the other three so we could share them with you here. Above are photos of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter which were donated to the University of Iowa by Charlotte Smith. How much fun are these? Keep an eye on the University of Iowa’s special collections Tumblr as they unearth more artificats from the archives.

Update: Because this post is getting so much attention, here are some more amazing fore-edge paintings found on YouTube.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Aside from the writing I’ve already done today I’m taking the rest of the day and evening off and reading. Yesterday at the library I got the Castle of Otranto, Vathek, and the Vampyre.

I know I’m not going to finish writing either The Vengeance of Tôl Karuţha, or Scarecrow before the end of today. So I’m not going to worry the issue. Both have simply become far too involved compared to my initial concepts and plots. But I have made good progress on both.

After I read this afternoon my oldest daughter and I will spend the rest of the evening and night watching horror films together. (My wife and youngest daughter are horror-wimps.) Halloween being one of my three favorite holidays.

So Happy Halloween Everyone.

And everybody – man, woman, and child – stay safe out there.

THE MAN OF BRONZE AND THE MAN OF STEEL

Today, when my wife and I went out I got a new Doc Savage novel (Phantom Lagoon) and the Doc Savage Man of Bronze film (which I had seen before, but still…)

So, BOO-YAH!!!

“A wise man once observed that trouble has walked around in skirts since the beginning of things.
This particular wise man did not proclaim such a thing in so many words, but every man knows it to be true…”
Phantom Lagoon

When a novel opens that way you know it’s going to be good.

Also, I got the soundtrack to Man of Steel. My Wife and I both agree that soundtrack is some of Hans Zimmer’s very best wok, and he has done some excellent work. If you ask me composers for film are some of the very best composers working in the world right now.

I’m not absolutely sure why that is (I mean aside from the obvious, it is an excellent and profitable music market), but I’m beginning to think that’s it because the music being composed is associated so directly with powerful visual images (in this case derived from film). That seems to me a very logical conclusion.

One normally thinks of music and the composition of music as a more or less strictly auditory (or perhaps even mental experience), but suppose modern film composers are so good because they are intentionally (or perhaps even subconsciously) directly associating powerful visual images with the musical ideas they are composing and expressing? (This technique could be both self-limiting and self-liberating depending upon how it is employed.)

That might very well alter the underlying compositional patterns and techniques these composers are employing. It is a logical chain of reasoning but I’m not sure how many are considering that it could be very well greatly altering their innate composing habits.

Anyway, thinking on these matters and having deduced a probable cause I’m going to try some experiments of my own in attempting to compose music “visually,” rather than auditorially, or to fit word and phrasing patterns (lyrical composition or song composing), or as a purely mental exercise.

See where that leads me. I’ll let you know what my experiments yield.

ALL DONNE UP

ALL DONNE UP – an extremely short Metaphysical Elegy to John Donne

Done up you’re Donne round, and done over you’re Donne down
Donne well you’re under-Donne, but Donne down you’re overrun
Yet every way you’re said to say the same thing you’ve just begun
That being not is not the way to know when you’ve just gone astray
Simple is as simple does and all else is not because
You’ve found that you have never been without which except within
Another man by limits made has found his God to slow abrade
Metaphysic in your need, see then, you did accede!
For dun-brown or florid green I think you know the very thing
That Donne right you’re sinister, for minister in verse you were
That perished like the passing spring to recreate the withered thing…

MY HOMETOWN

My hometown city. And there is excellent reason to be extremely proud of it. It is a superb place for Business, Art, Music, and Beauty.

It is an wonderful thing to live in the South.

And as a friend said this is but the tip of the iceberg…

Edwin McCain shows off his favorite places in Greenville

BABY FINGERS (The Secret Song of Lord Petyr Baelish)

BABY FINGERS

(The Secret Song of Lord Petyr Baelish)

Well, I’ve got baby fingers
They are a lot of fun
All the ladies tell me
I need much more than one

They’re tiny and expensive
I count them every day
I keep them well adorned you know
So that they always pay

Merchants try to watch them
Lords they try to weigh
Yet every dawn they’re different
I’m keeping it that way

“Why have baby-fingers?”
I am often asked
Why tiny baby fingers
Are the best for all my tasks

“Why not Little-Finger?”
That is what you’re called;
Maybe that is true for you
To me that name appalls

You see my baby-fingers?
I use them every one
Baby fingers hide those deeds
That I would never shun

For such baby fingers
My grasp is dreadful long
They hold to all my secrets
Which I’ll sell you for a song

Well see my baby fingers?
I’ve got them on my hands
They redraw all the borders
To map out all the lands

All the women tell me,
“Child, you are so small…”
Yet it never matters
They come when fingers call

My crafty baby fingers
Are slick and full of guile
With such baby fingers
I often will defile

Watch these baby fingers
Build castles in the mud
Sometimes when they’re idle
They like to play in blood

They sometimes smell peculiar
Pay that never mind
They’re not your baby fingers
That odor’s likely mine

My cunning baby fingers
Know their poisons and their knives
Garrotes they weave aplenty
Oh so many lives!

My creeping baby fingers
The gentlemen know not
Their wives are playing with them
Like hangmen with their knots

So I’ll just keep them working
You’re too slow for all my tricks
I thought someone would notice
But my fingers never prick

So my restless baby fingers
Will just crawl up to the top
You never gave them leave to pause
Nor reason yet to stop…

DEATH AS AN EXERCISE – a writing exercise

I thought this was an interesting writing exercise and a short time ago I actually did undergo a somewhat moderately difficult health problem which led to me devising a Cure Plan and revising my normal Cure Protocols. Whereas I am not fully cured (I am only half-way through my Cure Period) I’m pretty darn close.

So this was an interesting writing exercise to me, and some of you readers may very well wish to try it for yourself.

As to the more general point about Death: as far as I am personally concerned Death is an old friend to me and has often been very good for my writings (as well as my other Work). For one thing he reminds me constantly that I am mortal and but a man, and he also reminds me that in this world at least I have far less than an infinite amount of time to accomplish everything I need to achieve before I die.

Death is a good friend to me. And an excellent impetus to Work.

By the way, we all have at best only a few years upon this Earth before we slip our mortal coil. I learned that as a kid and am shocked I have lived this long. But I’m under no illusions I am in any way special. No one is, so don’t fool yourself. Do, or do not, but either way, your time is very limited.

If you delude yourself otherwise then you do so to your immense personal disadvantage.

Wanted: Grim Reaper As Writing Coach

The Grim Reaper - geograph.org.uk - 522625

The Grim Reaper by Trish Steel [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Last month, through pure serendipity, I stumbled across an intellectual exercise which I’d like to recommend to all my fellow writers.  I believe it will be of particular benefit to those of you who  a) are overwhelmed with life and yearn for a reset button b) wish to clear away the cobwebs of smugness and complacency, or c) like me, write genre fiction that others might call “quiet” or, in a cruel moment, “escapist schlock”.

The procedure is as follows:

WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING: SEPTEMBER, 2014

FICTION

The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma

The Dark Between the Stars

The King’s Marauder

Shadow of the Alchemist

 

NON-FICTION

The Making of Middle Earth

West of the Revolution

The Wrong War (Bing West)

Anglo-Saxon Art

 

LECTURE

The Norsemen – by Michael Drout

 

BOOKS ON CD

The Hangman’s Revolution

 

PERIODICALS

Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Forbes
Popular Mechanics
Popular Science

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Arkham Unhinged

 

SELF-WORKS (Books I have written I am preparing for Publication)

The Book of Intelligence Designs

I… FEEL… LIKE…

After getting all of my morning work done, having a good work-out, taking a one mile run, drinking a lot of water, eating a Taste-Buddy (a new sandwich my daughter invented), taking my supplements, having a hot and then cold shower… I… FEEL… LIKE… FREAKING… HERCULES!!!

No, seriously, I feel like Hercules!

HER WISE IMPERFECTIONS

I know the Queen’s Own Good English. I almost never use it.
I’m like Shakespeare – not only is perfect English perfectly boring as hell, but no-one will ever remember a word of it except in textbooks. And nobody ever remembers textbooks.
There is no poetry in perfect English. I love the English language, but not for her odd perfections, it is her constant and willful imperfections that make her beautiful, witty, and wise.

DO YOU KNOW ENGLISH?

MY BATTERED HEART – A BATMAN SCRIPT AND WRITING CHALLENGE

Several years ago I started writing a Batman script for either a multi-issue storyline, a graphic novel, or possibly as a filmscript treatment. I am not representing this as either a completed work or any kind of official DC script as I never tried to sell it and I’ve rewritten sections of it about 3 times now. I also started it before the NEW 52 events.
This is entirely my own work and it began as an experiment to give me practice at writing both Graphic Novel scripts and screenplay scripts.
I won’t go into any great detail about the overall plot as I still intend to finish it and pitch it, as either a graphic novel script or a screenplay script. If you’d like to take this up as a writing challenge then show us your own Batman script.
Since today is Batman’s Anniversary I thought I’d post it today. Let me know what you think of it as if you liked it. Keep in mind that it’s only the introduction:

 

MY BATTERED HEART

DETECTIVE COMICS / NO 21 MY BATTERED HEART

07/31/11 JOHN GUNTER 1

John Gunter DC: 21 My Battered Heart 1

PAGE ONE, PANEL ONE:

Shot opens with Batman squatting over a body which is partially concealed by shadows and in which no face or personally distinguishing features can be seen. It is raining heavily and Batman is seen from behind while the steam from his breath snakes overhead.

NO COPY

PAGE ONE, PANEL TWO:

A loud grunt is heard and a crash and an explosion is noticed to the left of a wide-angle shot, form above, of the scene where Batman examines the corpse. The force of wind form the blast blows Batman’s cape and knocks him over but he is not caught directly in the blast but in the periphery.

This panel is a three-part split panel. The first shows the grunt and Batman cocking his head at an angle in reaction.

SFX: grunt

Second part of the panel displays the crash with Batman half turned in the direction of the crash.

SFX: Kreesh

Third part of the panel shows expanding explosion and Batman three quarters turned to the blast as it hits him, blows his cape, and knocks him backwards.

PAGE ONE, PANEL THREE:

CAPTION: (at top of panel) HE WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT HE KNOWS WHAT JUST HAPPENED AND WHY, BUT HE DOUBTS HIS FIRST INSTINCT IS RIGHT

JG    DC: 21    My Battered Heart 2

Batman stands in a crouched position, his head turned towards the explosion and with his head partially leaning downwards towards the ground as if to avoid flying objects. Debris is seen still floating by and there is a sensation of light and heat from the area of the explosion. Batman is seen touching his cell phone on his utility belt.

This panel is a split panel. In the first section Batman is in crouch position, touches his communications earpiece in his cowl, which makes a beeping sound and shows a bright green light on his utility belt.

SFX: deet

1 BATMAN: (Thought Balloon) This couldn’t be what I think it is, and yet…
2 BATMAN: Oracle, can you alert the fire department and EMS workers to the waterfront on 1515 Hudson Road. There’s been an explosion. A Big One.
3. ORACLE: On the way. Anyone hurt?
4. BATMAN: Don’t know yet, it just happened. I’m going to investigate, but tell them to be cautious. The scene could be rigged with follow-on explosives to try and lure in additional victims. The area should be swept first as a precaution.

The second part of this panel shows Batman moving cautiously towards the area of the explosion with his cell phone still open.

5 BATMAN: (Thought Balloon) Good Lord, this can’t be what I think it is…
6 ORACLE: Alright. Then should I also notify the police directly?
7 BATMAN: Give me two or three minutes, though the fire department will probably cover it, or the police will pick it up from their dispatch. Though there is something… not… (Batman’s voice trails off into a whisper)

PAGE ONE, PANEL FOUR:

Batman creeps along the scene moving nearer to the explosion though the heat and light are dissipating, and the heavy rain is suppressing the fire. Rain beats heavily on his head and body and the shadows are returning.

NO COPY

PAGE ONE, PANEL FIVE:

Batman reaches the outer edge of the fire and notices a bright red, stationary light in the distance. It contrasts with the dying yellow light and thick black smoke of the fire. Batman reaches for his night vision binoculars.

NO COPY

JG    DC: 21     My Battered Heart 3

PAGE TWO, PANEL ONE: HALF PAGE PANEL, TOP OF PAGE

Shot is seen through the green light of the night vision binocs. The image is grainy and somewhat distorted by the rain. But a figure can be seen chained to partially exposed scaffolding about 90 or 100 yards away, along the top of a two-story building, and beside a red light attached to a pole. The figure seems to be struggling desperately against the bonds, seems to have a heavy, encumbering jacket or vest across their body, is hooded, and with their face turned upwards. Rain beats the figure.

NO COPY

PAGE TWO, PANEL TWO: SLIM PANEL IN CENTER OF PAGE

Shot still seen through binoculars as figure detonates violently from explosive vest wrapped around chest. Shot seems shaky. [Thinness of panel seems to help compress explosive force upwards and downwards as if explosion is shaped charge.]

SFX: BAAA-WHOOOMMM

1 BATMAN: (Thought Balloon) God… Da…

PAGE TWO, PANEL THREE: HALF PAGE PANEL, BOTTOM OF PAGE

Shot seen from behind Batman as slim center panel partially splits top and bottom panels.
To the left we can see Batman lowering his binoculars and touching his earpiece again. At the right we can see the explosion and part of the wall and building collapse from the force of the blast.

2 ORACLE: Batman! Batman! Are you okay?
3 BATMAN: (very grimly, almost whispered) Send everyone. And send them now.

PAGE THREE, PANEL ONE, FULL PAGE, SPLASH, TITLE PAGE

Batman is seen backing slowly back into the shadows while debris rains down and a thick cloud of dust shoots skywards, as three or four more bright red lights can now be noticed to have appeared in the distance.

SWEAR TO ME!!!

Today is Batman’s Birthday. Since he is by far my favorite Comic Book Character I thought I’d post this nice little article on him today. See the article title for the link and additional materials.

Birthday for Batman: The Dark Knight turns 75

Check out a photo gallery of Batman comic book covers throughout the years, including the Dark Knight’s first appearance 75 years ago.


Thousands of characters, many long forgotten, were introduced to readers who plunked down dimes to buy comic books during the dawn of the industry.

Chin Lung?

Speed Saunders?

Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise?

They all appeared in a comic book series titled Detective Comics in the 1930s.

Batman first appeared in the 27th issue of Detective Comics, published in 1939. His exploits have been published continually ever since. Though the Dark Knight possesses no “real” super powers, he does have staying power…

NEW WORK METHOD AND THE TRAINING OF OUR ANCESTORS

Lately I have been rebuilding myself into good shape after a series of injuries side-lined me for about a month.

For some number of years now I’ve been training in the Fartlek style when hiking or running or cycling. But today it occurred to me, “Why can’t I just do all of my training using this method?”

So I set my computer alarm to work for 30 to 45 minute intervals, then during my fifteen minute work-breaks I would simply do one exercise set from my overall Training Routine. At lunch I did my core work, but the rest of the time, during most of my breaks, I did one set from my routines.

By dinner most of my Training had been done. Three immediate advantages I noticed were these: 1) because I was only doing one set at a time I could do that exercise with great intensity and focus – I did not have to reserve energy for a full program, 2) it helped with my back a lot as I was only at my desk or various work-stations for 30 to 45 minutes at a time and the exercise break was very good for my back and for avoiding being sedentary too long, and 3) during my exercise breaks I could do things like hike or run for fifteen minutes or so which allowed my mind time to process and think on the work I had just done.

Also I suspect that it makes me more productive overall – the work-exercise, work-exercise, work-break then snack cycle.

It was also easy to rehydrate after each small exercise set.

This is a method similar to that I think our more ancient ancestors would have followed. Not the kind of cycle we moderns follow, that being long periods of sedentary work followed by short to moderate periods of intense exercise.

This is more work-exercise-break, work-exercise-break. Much closer to what our ancestors would have engaged in during their daily activities as farmers and hunter-gatherers.

Right before lunch I also took my hike cycle. I hiked in a 30 pound pack plus I carried 20 pound weights in both hands. I hiked one mile carrying the weights and one mile without the weights. No real bother at all, even on my back, except I had to bend over and stretch occasionally when carrying the weights. Actually it was easier on my back than if all the weight had been in the pack. Following this new method I expect to see a natural increase in my grip strength.

Also I could from time to time do a few rows, overhead presses, and curls as I paused in my hike. I didn’t put the weights down though until I completed the mile. I also ran uphill at one point with the dumbbells.

My hike track was as normal – open fields, hills, woods, and a short area (about ¼ of a mile) along roads.

This week I am back to my Paramilitary Training Routine. I was able to do it all in my work-break periods except the boxing and the chases. I did five pull ups and five chin ups and it did not hurt either my back or shoulder, so I think my injuries are now completely healed. The intensity was good in all of my exercises because of the short-burst (speed-play) nature of the sets.

DAY ONE
Warm-Up – Jumping Jacks, Running in Place
Stretching – arms, torso, legs
Balance/Counterbalance
Bat/Club Fighting
Boxing
Stretching – arms, torso, legs
Broad Jump
Chases
Chin Ups
Climbing
Stretching – arms, torso, legs
Cool Down – Walking
Recovery Meal and 2 Recovery Drinks

I am now down to 175 pounds and staying there. I am also gaining more muscle mass each week or at least every two weeks. I’m also getting more rest each day/night.

Tonight my wife and kids and I made wild brown rice, salad, mixed vegetables cooked in olive oil, and flounder. For beverages I had coffee and green tea. For desert I had yogurt and fresh strawberries from the farm. Plus I took my supplements and metaergogenics.

Finally I have been doing quite a bit of research on how to reduce swollen lymph nodes. I’ve had a swollen lymph node for about a year now, actually a couple of weeks more than a year. Probably due to a tick bite.

Well I took a bunch of research regarding treating lymph nodes and created a node-reduction treatment and exercise program. I’ve been working it for a few days now and overall the swelling in my lymph node has been reduced ¼ inches overall. I suspect that within 15 to 21 days it will be finally again be reduced to normal size.

Overall a very good day.

THE OTHER GUY

Here is a writing challenge I got today from my friend and author Kira Peikoff:

“Want to try a fun (and hard!) creative challenge? Write a 55-word story starting with a line of ten words, then nine words, etc. down to one.”

So this is my story:

THE OTHER GUY

I met the informant behind the abandoned industrial curing plant. Only he wasn’t the man I expected to meet. He nodded at me, but I didn’t respond.

So we both studied each other suspiciously.

He pulled his gun and fired. He missed because I anticipated.

I pulled my revolver. Then I fired.

He fell.

Deadman.

______________________________________________

Give it a try. See what you come up with.

WORLD CUP

My prediction for the World Cup game today:

If Argentina wins then it will be 2-1.

If Germany wins it will be 4-1.

If it goes to a shoot out then all bets are off.

Godspeed gentlemen, give us an excellent and exciting game, and here is to no one being seriously injured (like having their back broken).

ARGENTINA – GERMANY

I am really, really, really looking forward to the Argentina-Germany World Cup game.

It is almost always a great game when Argentina and Germany play. I’ll be pulling for Argentina as Argentina is an American team, and the one I typically pull for in the World Cup, and I really like Messi.

However I am the first to admit that Germany is a Monster: an Uncanny Monster.

This will be an uphill slog for Argentina.

UP AND AWAY

My three new blogs are now fully up and running:

 

WYRDWEND – My Literary, Art, and Writing blog, covering my fiction and non-fiction writings, my poetry, my songwriting, and my art: https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/

 

LAUNCH PORT – My Business, Capital, and Invention blog and the blog of OPEN DOOR COMMUNICATIONS: http://launchport.wordpress.com/

 

and,

 

TOME AND TOMB – My Gaming and Game Design blog: http://tomeandtomb.wordpress.com/

 

You are most welcome to visit all three. They will also soon all be cross-linked. I hope you enjoy the content and there is much more to come. This is just the beginning.

 

Thanks,

 

Jack.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE TOTALLY USELESS…

Novelist? Novelist…

And here I thought I was maybe a real artist and all I got was bloody novelist…

What Kind Of Artist Are You?

http://quizsocial.com/what-kind-of-artist-are-you/your-result-1/

…ephemeral beauty, eh? Lol.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

I’m gonna have a ball this weekend. First of all my wife and I (and maybe my oldest daughter) are gonna have our Idea Sabbath together tomorrow as well as enjoying our Fourth of July. It’s also my wife’s birthday so we’ll have a real throwdown.

Later this weekend my wife and daughters are leaving for their annual summer camp. Meaning I will have part of the weekend and most of next week entirely to myself. I plan to spend that time cutting brush, clearing land, hauling dirt, exercising, talking with God and writing my novel (the Basilegate), on which I expect to make great progress.

I also plan to spend at least an hour or two each day relaxing and entertaining myself. I have some films to watch, a new Batman graphic novel, and several new fiction books to read, including The Pagan Lord (Cornwell), an interesting looking new science-fiction book called The Dark Between the Stars (Anderson), and the Western Ragtime Cowboys (Estelman).

I also picked up a new copy of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (my favorite symphony by Schubert), Blood on the Tracks (Dylan), True Believers (Rucker), and the Best of the Doobie Brothers as CDs to listen to as I work.

I’ll finish up my lecture on mathematics by Bloch of Wheaton College, and listen to some more of Mythology by Edith Hamilton on CD. I haven’t read Mythology since college and it’s very interesting to listen to it instead of read it. Listening to it gives me different idea sets than reading it.

Of course I’ll also watch any Cup games being played.

Then finally I was able to download and print out the new version of the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Game (which is free) and once I put those papers in a notebook I’ll read over it this weekend. I’ve only made a cursory examination so far but the game looks very, very good to me. Simple to play, logical, efficient, and interesting Old School goodness.

When my wife and girls return I’ll have an adventure already made up to play. If it works as good as it looks then we should all enjoy it.

By the way you can find the download link the the Basic Game on my new Gaming Blog, Tome and Tomb. Just hit Tome and Tomb here and you’ll find the link. My gaming blog doesn’t have much content yet but I’ll be building it up soon.

If I don’t get back here until after the Fourth then have a Great Independence Day folks.

Enjoy yourselves, stay safe, don’t forget our military friends and family still in service, and be very grateful for your liberties.

See ya,

Jack.

THE SINS OF SKYFALL

If you ask me Skyfall is the best James Bond film I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all, even the painful Roger Moore films. When I first saw Skyfall and saw the message mentioned in the author’s article that was my immediate conclusion as well. Though I did not consider the message an anagram, but rather a message conveying a personal code that M would instantly understand.

What gave me the most vital clue about the M-Silva relationship was how Silva kept calling her, “Mommy,” and how often M remarked upon the relationship with her agents in a far more than merely professional sense.

What I think the author did in his article however was a superb job of both detective work and of cryptoanalysis (of the clue and plot point) and I agree with his conclusions. Though of course it’s not really cryptoanalysis, even with the missing key, it is more a personal coding (M should understand the personal code immediately because their shared experience is the key – it would be an unknown code to others but a private shared code to her) or as the author states, an anagram encoding. If the editors intentionally downplayed the clue then in my opinion they did so because they didn’t want to diretcly explain or talk down to the audience about the possible implications. I think the film-makers were more than happy to let the audience draw their own conclusions, and rightfully so.

(I had drawn the same conclusion as the author of this piece, though for different reasons – and I think the Daniel Craig Bond is far more sophisticated and tries to be far more like a real field agent than the previous and mostly cartoon incarnations of the Bond intelligence agent – though he is still far too much a “superhero” than a real man or an actual agent. Though the Timothy Dalton Bond was usually a very good Bond as well.)

Anyway, kudos to Mr. Carter. A sharp piece of detective work and plot clue analysis. I recommend his article.

“The key anagram is the cryptic message Silva sends to M shortly before all mayhem breaks loose: “THINK ON YOUR SINS.” The language is so highly stylized that I was certain, from the time the words appeared on the screen of M’s laptop, that there was a message hidden within. In the car on the way home after the film ended, I was already scribbling anagrams on a piece of paper. But I couldn’t solve it, even with the help of the Internet Anagram Server, until I remembered three bizarre aspects of the movie. (Here are the spoilers.) ”

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-11-11/the-secret-james-bond-missed-in-skyfall-

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