Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Yesterday, my parents were in Florida to watch the final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, which was a long-time dream of my fathers (to see a launch live).
I still vividly recall when I was much younger, we were standing on the beach watching the countdown to Challenger, which had aboard it a schoolteacher. I was inspired, I was in awe, and I was quivering in anticipation. That tingly-feeling I talk about now from time to time to describe a deeply religious experience. Awe-some.
Sadly, when we were visiting Florida so long ago, the launch got delayed and I had to return home to the northeast. Doubly-sadly, that very next attempt had infamously bad results, and all aboard were lost in a fiery explosion. I’m almost glad I wasn’t there…
Still, I watched the launch today, sharing Virtually the experience that my parents were living Live, and still felt the catch in my breath, the profound piloerection (goose bumps), and the empowering Awe of a great event. It brought me back to my teenage years, and beyond, when the world was somehow less complicated, and the innocent optimism of youth was not quite as jaded as my adult mind is now.
I had even more words to say, about how even amidst our problems, and the cynical response to “wasting” such resources in today’s downward-spiraling economy… but I think Will Wheaton says it best:
We humans are a flawed species, to put it mildly, and I think we could do a much better job taking care of our planet and each other … but when I see what we’re capable of doing, it gives me hope that the future I pretended to live in twenty years ago will actually arrive some day.
I hope Hrafnkell Haraldsson does not mind me cross-linking his blog, but it is a wonderful read.
One of my own favorite parts of my studies to become a minister of my Lutheran church, was the deeper bible-studies through a scholarly lens, rather than the somewhat more important Religious lens. I was lucky enough that my mentors wereopen minded, and understood the bible could betaken as fact, or as Myth, and challenged us to find our own perspective on it.
This, coincidentally, is what eventually led me away from direct adherence to a Lutheran themed Christianity, to a more polytheistic framework of spirituality. To me, God exists, in all His glory, just like Allah and Kali, and the artist formerly known as Prince. ;P
So, it is without insult to the Good Book, that I enjoy these more intellectual trips down cross-reference lane. It’s only be seeing the work honestly, that we can draw inspiration, or revulsion, or any deeper Meaning and Emotion to it. I personally see the stories in the Bible as historical Myth. There’s plenty of good life-lessons included if you don’t take things too literally. Others may disagree. I’m fine with that, and welcome your comments!
First, a comparison of Paul and certain details found in the book of Acts.
Tuesday the sprogling reached a milestone in educational excellence, graduating Kindergarden!
We had some issues in the morning because of some related issues surrounding the graduation event. (Namely, one of his school psychologists told him a month ago that he needs to move to his own room and own bed when he graduates and he agreed half-heartedly. Thus resulted in recent nightmares and a unexpectedly profound fear of abandonment as the date approached. He apparently is now convinced that since he was graduated, if he does something wrong he’ll have to leave, and won’t be our son anymore. Yesterday was not a fun day, full of crying and lots of cuddle-time. EEK!)
The actual ceremony was nice. My wife and two other parents put in about $50 each to get flowers, balloons and party-decorations, and the cafeteria where it was hep looked festive. Green and white are the school colours, and the mascot is the “Bulldogs”. Each kid had a white or green laminated card-stock mortarboard with the clipart/logo, school name, date, and such, plus a real tassle on top.
They all filed onto a stage to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance“ tune, by class (there were 4 classes of around 15-18 students each). Then, each class took their turn standing up front as a group and singing a song. This was followed by the entire group singing a “kindergarden song” as shown on this video. (linked videos are not his group, our camera takes video that apparently are too big to compress to YouTube).
After this, the kids all lined up in groups as they read their names and got their diplomas. Following this, the kids were allowed to go sit with their families, and they showed a very touching slideshow set to music showing photos taken all throughout the year and set to music. There were quite a few sniffles and such for this neat presentation.
After this, everyone broke up and had cookies and punch in the kindergarden classrooms, and eventually went home for the day.
I’ll be posting pictures and a short video or two if I can figure out how to split the epic video-length that we recorded, and/or compress the photos to web-appropriate sizes.
Over on Nettle’s Blog, a friend of mine Meme asked a few questions about her Definition of Magic. Here’s my thoughts, with his permission. These answers were written up without reading Nettle’s answers, though there does appear to be a good deal of similarity. Great minds, and all that, perhaps… I will use the term Magick, with a K, to mean what seems to be the implied concept of esoteric alteration of the universe through directed willpower, which is what Meme appears to be asking about. This differs slightly from my own definition, so my answers may reflect that difference.
Sorry for getting this post up so late. We went camping and I was off work a few days, so was online less than usual to do bloggy-type stuff lately. Most of this was written in notebook and later transcribed to e-format here.
1) Do you believe in chance? Does the fundamental nature of the universe include chaos and randomness? If so, how do you distinguish between answers to “prayer” and random occurrences?
I do believe in chance, and the answer of discerning the difference between prayer and chance boils down to awareness and internalized perception. Since Magick to me is not so much the action and result-based fulfillment of prayer, and is more the personal awareness of potentials, even random chance holds magick, like how one of those magic-eye images appear jumbled, but if looked at differently, may contain a hidden image/message. Chaos in it’s truest form IS the magick; that unbounded potential for anything to happen. Thus, as Einstein has been quoted, “Everything is a miracle, or nothing is”, and I prefer to choose the inclusive side of things.
2) What, if anything, makes your version of magick different than a christian who prays to god? Is it only a difference in who you’re supplicating? Would you say that Christians everywhere are practicing magick then?
My magick is not so much spellcasting or energy manipulation, and haven’t gotten a good definition of THAT type of working myself yet. however, I understand many people ascribe such workings as “Magick”. In that regard, I do think that most devout christians (my younger self included) practice a form of magick if defined as seeking change from a Higher Authority in their lives. Myself, I do not count that as magic, and prayer is a completely different beast than the more esoteric concept of my Magick. Not saying prayer serves no purpose, of course. Creating a pot-roast on the stove, and slapping cold meat between bread both make food to sustain our lives, but are not “cooking”, if that analogy helps, yet both provide foodstuffs in different ways.
3) If magick consists of praying or asking for intercession, why then all the other trappings? Why the ceremonies and meetings and dress and altars? Is it to put you in a state of mind to ask properly? Is it to put the intercessionary being in the proper mood? If so, why do you think you need to approach your higher power in a certain mindset or vice-versa?
Going with the definition of magic as a ritual, I ask why catholic Mass, or other liturgical trappings are useful? I think (personally) the whole showmanship aspect is more important to get your own mind “in the zone”, but are ultimately for the public. Such rituals if done in a group help to unify the group dynamics, and if done in a solitary manner simply help the ‘performer’ concentrate on the task at hand and direcct energy in a more efficient manner. For such circle-work, having the tools and trappings is simply more efficient, such as using a hammer instead of a rock to drive nails. Additionally, it shows a certain level of respect and commitment to the Otherbeing, if you use things they might like, similar to me visiting a friend to ask a favor, and bringing a bottle of wine or a freshly baked cake. The cake is not so much a “bribe” as it is a gesture of good-will or ‘bartering of energies‘, if that makes sense.
4) In your experience and estimation: Can magick produce any reproducible result? Is there any working or spell or prayer that always results in the same effect?
This one is tough, but my first instinct would be to say “no”. Magick as it seems defined here is a personal change or perception. Casting a healing spell may help the person get better, though no one can say with Absolute Authority that they might have gotten well without the prayer, or that knowing others were praying caused a “placebo effect”.
The hang-up here is that the “reproducable effects” are mainly internal/personal. If I meditate every day, I may lower my levels of stress and lead a generally healthier lifestyle as a result. My own health has nothing to do with an outside observer. Likewise, a “Healing magick” may improve the health of the sick person OR if they get more ill and die, the effort involved may allow the people praying for healing to accept the larger picture that this person is now at peace.
Either way, the effect is not directly reproducible in the same way that a chemistry experiment is reproducible. It’s more probability-based or personal-driven, which is hard to quantify except in the large-scale. Each situation is different, and only aggragate results show a hint of “reproducible results” to outside observers. You can’t measure a single prayer or spell and extrapolate to include all prayers or spells. The nature of the thing being measured makes such an attempt invalid, like using a metric ruler to guage your favorite shade of green. Green can be measured, in some other form, usually by comparing other types of green, but not by itself.
5) If the answer to 4 is no, then how do you personally determine whether something happening was caused by Magickal intervention or pure chance? I’m sure you are familiar with experiments on human pattern matching. Why do you think what you experience is magick and not chance or luck that anyone could have? Why do you think that some people get what they desire/need/want without prayer or intercession?
This is a tough one, mainly since I define magick differently from the assumed topic being questioned here. However, I would answer that I simply do not determine the difference between chance and magickal intervention. If I pray, or enchant some trinket to get a result and it happens, then I do not automatically assume it was purely because of my efforts. I merely assume that I MAY have helped that outcome by my efforts. The converse of that still fits my worldview, and if everything is random, then our own personal mission in life is to make sense from the cards we are dealt. Some folks try to play the cards one way, some folks just play them as they are dealt, and neither is “correct” in the larger scheme of things. For the individual, though, I feel it means more if you try to be smart about which card is played next, but there’s nothing stopping others from simply letting them fall. Also with this view, I may not get the ace of spades, and you might, which fots the analogy of why some folks get lucky or unlucky, even with their [lack of] efforts.
6) Does magick demand faith? If so why?
Absolutely, though again, it seems Meme’s questions include a definition of magick=Prayer. However, faith, being a belief in some higher power, or a certain aspect of Reality, would be a type of magic in my definition, in that it allows the forming of a relationship with something Outside our own selves. Creating that bond is the magick, just like that indescribable feeling when you meet a new friend. Wether that Otherthing be a god, a spirit, or science, the fact that is exists beyond our humble human bodies, is the important magical part.
I read somewhere, “If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck.” Having faith in something means you act according to that faith. If magick exists, then you have faith that is does. You could be deluding yourself, of course, but Faith in and of itself, is a type of magick, so exists for me and is esssential for the thing itself. Sorry if that makes no sense. Even if your magick is the fact that invisible electrons flow through metal and make sparks, you have faith that each time electrons flow, you get a spark somewhere. Faith in electricity does not exclude faith in hydrodynamics, or esoteric Faeries in the woods. Apples and oranges, they are. The Magick in my worldview is that you have absolute Faith in something, and it works for you. The details are merely details.
7) Would you agree with the statement “Magick is whatever you want it to be.” ?
I would have to disagree with this statement, but not quite sure why as it seems like an invalid question. I think my issue is a difference in semantics with our concept of “magick”, but am unsure how to answer this properly. I defined my magic elsewhere, and in defining it, automatically negates your question or answes it in the negative.
That said, I think you were asking something deeper here, but can’t wrap my head around what it could be…. sorry.
8) If any type of prayer to any being/force/power is magick, would you say that everyone has access to magick to the exact same depth as everyone else? Do some people have more? if so why?
Again, slightly differing definition I use, but appealing to an Otherbeing is possible by anyone equally, at first. I say at first, because it is absolutely permissible to try and establish a relationship with that person. Like any random peson you meet on the street, though, some folks you’ll get along with better than others. It is the same with Faeries, Gods, Goddesses, or spirits. You can ALWAYS say hello, but some folks will always have a different rapport with certain ones and shy away from others.
I suppose it’s like our jobs. Anyone could try to learn program-code, but not everyone has the natural aptitude or mindset to get really into machine-language, and stops are learning BASIC or C++. With effort, anyone probably could program in PASCAL, but not everyone will ‘want’ to.
This means, while anyone can potentially have deep relationships with a certain deity or Otherbeing, it takes work, (and a bit of Faith that it works.. see what I did there?!) and a natrual inclination to persue that to begin with.
And lastly 9) So my question is, do you apply your skeptical thoughts to your own experiences or do you accept them as they are? Was there a point when you did critically examine whether they could be something other than magick, whether pyscological, neurological, pysiological, etc?
This question was more specific to Nettle, but I understand where it’s coming from. For myself, I am skeptical of everything I do, to a point. More specifically, I ask myself at times “Does this work for me?” and if the answer in my head is affirmative, then I act accordingly.
Your second point, I can answer better. In my youth, I was an assistant minister. I felt the communal energy at church, how the gathering of people there for worship made me feel somewhat in awe or at least ‘different’ than when I sat at home and tried to pray to God. I figured, if I noticed the power of my congregation affecting me on some physiological level, then there must me soemthing to this God/prayer thing. It felt more “Real” in church than alone at home, so I started studying ministry on my own and eventually got to read lessons and hand out communion wafers.
Yet, the more I read about the bible, Koran, and other sacred texts (since I was taught a bit about other monotheistic religions so I could argue my own better with ‘non-believer’ skeptics) the more I started to notice that there were inconsistancies, or flaws in the ‘logic’ of my church. I understood that the church congregation itself was a useful SOCIAL construct, for everyone to gather together, but my core Faiths were starting to be shaky. I started to essentially phycho-analyze my relationship with God, and about this time discovered neopagan concepts.
I didn’t entirely believe them either, but it was the first non monotheistic faith-based lifestyle I stumbled across, and as such, allowed me a borader framework to critically examine my beliefs, and restructure my own thoughts into something resembling my current Spiritual Outlook. I still believe in God, but added a few other concepts to that belief, magick being the biggest one.
Even today, any new thing that I come across, be it Qaballah, Hindu, Jewish, or any other spiritual practice, I am willing to do a bit of reading and see if anything sounds logical. Mainly, it doesn’t. But as you probably guess from the last two years of blog-posting, I periodically still question things and turn a critical eye on what I’ve been believing, which will never stop. Questioning myself (or ones-self) is an important part of any spiritual practice, so you can tell if it’s not working right.
Unfortunately, such critical navel-gazing doesn’t lead you to a better path, but at least lets you know you may need to step off the current one.
Hope that helped you get a different viewpoint.
PS: I do also enjoy philosophical debates on the nature of spirituality. (See God’s Debris, which is a cool little read that I dont’ agree totally with, but does have nuggets of Truth-for-Maebius inside it’s pages) My wife will also tell you how much I banter and scripture-quote with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I do it not out of spite, but to show them I’ve thought of their message and can not bring myself to join it. Knowledge is power, and all that.
I am enjoying a little discussion going on currently on the AODA mailing list, regarding “Definition of Magic” and only after-wards realized I made a similar comment about Alan Moore’s definition post back in October. At the very least, this shows I have not changed my position on the topic too much!
I’ll toss out my own definition, as best I can. (also with Nettle’s excellent “Merely my opinion” caveat)
Magic is Creation. Period.
*cackles* To broaden the analogy a bit, I see magic as the unnamed force, power, and unknowable spark of divinity that happens when we make something happen. In this regard, calling the quarters, casting a circle of power, and summoning spiritual/aetheric entities is magic, which is directed towards a goal. Ritual magic, in a sense. We change ourselves and adjust our probabilities towards a desired result.
Also, talking to faeries and plant spirits, building up a relationship, and joining those energies with ours to a goal (protection, healing, et al) I also describe as “working magic”. However, in my paradigm, the actual ‘magick’ is not so much the direction of energies, it’s that immensely-hard-to-put-in-words concept of forging the connection with the spirits themselves. The working part is the goal/intent and maintaining the relationship through proper honoring and respect for those entities, but the Magic itself is when that bond formed where it had not been before. Shaking hands with the nearby angelica-fae sparks that magic, but is not the magic itself. Re-affirming the connection is re-making the magic too.
Again, same words, different meanings, and I love the architects analogy. Give each of us an identical bowl of sticks and flowers and tell us to make a festive wreath, they will each look different, using the same materials. The magic itself is the formative process that converts the Will (idea) into manifested Stuff. That primal creativity that allows you to see a pile of sticks and envision a wreath. To watch the sunrise and sense a new day is dawning full of untapped potential. To just watch a baby exploring hte world for the first time. It’s Creation, in its many-faceted glory and awesomeness.
We “work magic” by taking those potentials and manifesting them somehow. “Change according to Will” fits the definition, but I always read that phrase with a more immediate and ego-filled connotation, seeing the results rather than the source. (Ego as in self-aware, not self-ish, and not insulting at all.)
Yet, as always, english words don’t quite capture the sublety of the concept., which is why each person seems to wrap it in analogy and poetic prose. Putting the wordless into words, which is pretty magical too.
To be intentionally vague and scientifically geeky, the box Schrödinger put a cat in was full of magic when it was closed.
Paradoxically, this definition of mine also sees magic in destruction, if you take “creation” literally. Allowing something to die off, stepping back, and other non-actions can be magic, as they create open possibilities for the universe just as much as forging your ideas into reality. Compost is jsut as important as sproutlings, and I’ll feed worms someday.
Heck, This email itself started as a blank white field. Look what it turned into when you read it!
Back when I was younger, one of my more fond memories was hanging out with my dad (and sometimes uncle) and coming up with all manner of philosophical discussions on the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything. (yes, also inspired by that book).
One of our more persistant ‘theories’ from back in… I don’t even know how long ago, but think it was around 1990-ish..was that of Dark Suckers. While going through the attic to clean out some stuff, my father found this ancient manuscript, reproduced here for your amusement!
For years it has been believed that electric bulbs emitted light. However, recent information has proven otherwise. Electric bulbs don’t emit light,…….they suck Dark. Thus we should call these bulbs Dark suckers. The dark sucker theory proves the existence of Dark, that Dark has mass heavier than light, and that Dark is faster than light.
The basis of the Dark sucker theory is that electric bulbs suck Dark. Take for example, the Dark suckers in the room where you are. There is much less Dark right next to them than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark sucker, the greater it’s ability to suck Dark. Dark suckers in a parking lot have a much greater capacity than the ones in this room. As with all things, Dark suckers don’t last forever. Once they are full of Dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the black spot[s] on a full Dark sucker. A candle is a primitive Dark sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the Dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black because it got in the way of the Dark flowing into the candle. Unfortunately, these primitive Dark suckers have a very limited range. There are also portable Dark suckers. The bulbs in these can’t handle all the Dark by themselves, and must be aided to a Dark storage unit [batteries]. When the Dark storage unit is full, it must be replaced before the portable Dark sucker can operate again.
Dark has mass. When Dark goes into a Dark sucker, friction from this mass generates heat. Thus it is not wise to touch an operating Dark sucker. Candles represent a special problem, as the Dark must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat, thus it can be very dangerous to touch an operating candle. Dark is also heavier than light. If you swim just below the surface of a lake, you see a lot of light. If you slowly swim deeper and deeper, you notice it getting darker and darker. When you reach a depth of about 50 feet, you are in total darkness. This is because the heavier Dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats to the top. The immense power Dark can be utilized to man’s advantage. The deeper the body of water, the more Dark is stored, and the more potential can be derived from it. We can collect the Dark that has settled to the bottom of lakes and push it through a turbine, which generates electricity and helps move the Dark to the ocean, where it can be safely stored. Prior to turbines, it was much more difficult to get the Dark from the rivers and lakes to the ocean.
The Indians recognized this problem and tried to solve it, as they were well-attuned with the natural world. When on a river, in a canoe, traveling in the same direction as the flow of Dark, they paddled slowly, so as not to stop the flow of Dark. When they traveled against the flow of Dark, they paddled quickly, so as to help push the Dark along it’s way.
Finally we must prove that Dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in an illuminated room in front of a closed Dark closet, then slowly open the closet door, you will see the light slowly enter the closet. But, since Dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the Dark leave the closet.
In conclusion, I would like to say that Dark suckers make all our lives much easier. So the next time you look at an electric bulb, remember that it is indeed a Dark sucker.
Continued from the epic tale of The Warrior Brothers…
In the southern lands of Lititz, Pennsylvania, the sprogling named Gatorade played happily with his cousin. The pretense of names had been dropped since last weekend, as kids tend to do, but there was still great adventures in the backyard of my parents place, involving zombie squirrels and bat-men attacks.
When we were all hanging around outside, my father asked about the Crystal Dino Bone, and if the kid was still talking about it. I asked the sprogling, and was told that the kids were now after a LightSword shaped like a crystal bone. Fair enough, I figured….
Unbeknownst to me, my father took the the original Warrior Brother story to heart, and had located “an ancient bottle” buried in the yard while he was digging his garden, many many years ago. Inside this bottle was a rolled up scrap of parchment (click image for details) that appeared to be some sort of map!
The young cousins unrolled the map, and quickly realized it showed the very backyard they were playing in, with a great mysterious X near the creek at the corner of the property.
Collecting the grown ups (who, other than my father had no clue that this adventure was pre-planned) we traced out the steps of the map.
From the porch, around the small shed, then turning sharply to circle dangerously close to the water behind the large forsythia bushes. After navigating the treacherous muddy cliffs, we returned to the center of the yard, made a loop, and began our walk towards the little side fence-row garden. Zig-Zagging next to the maple tree, we then stepped sideways around a small lilac transplanted here from Everthorn Farms. Once this was done, we were mere paces away from the final destination marked on this aging scroll.
The ground around the X was overgrown with high weeds and dusty overflow-debris from the creek. At first, it appeared we might need a shovel, but the young adventurers bravely picked through the grasses until a glint of sunlight was spotted through the weeds.
Dinosaur Bone LightSword had been found at last!
One of the boys, made the quote of the day in an almost breathless awe: “It really does exist!” after what was initially just an imaginary play-prop.
It was a fun adventure, and the finding of an actual “crystal bone” (Plexiglass) made this geek-dad smile. My father, or should I say “Pap Da Dad”, is so cool!
The rest of the day, my sprogling and his cousin carried that sword around, having quests too numerous to recount here. The LightSword gained powers in the sun, lost energy in the dirt, and had edges SO SHARP they could cut through anything that was not specially enchanted to be “lightsword proof”.
So far, I myself am not lightsword proof, so am unable to even touch the treasure. Only my wife, the sprogling, and my oldest nephew are able to do so. And even then, they must recharge their lightsword proof ability every morning after breakfast, but the details of this process are a secret to those uninitiated.
And so, the Lightsword sits now, in a special location in the kid’s play area. The map has been discarded (I pulled it back out of the trash after the kid tossed it) now that the treasure was found. He got it out this morning before school, to defeat some creature in the bathroom where I took the picture posted above.
The adventure awaiting us on next trip to Lititz? Only time will tell….
This weekend, we visited some friends of ours (and did taxes, of course). A really fun little situation-game presented itself while myself, the kid, my friend, and his 3yr old son were out at the local park running off some energy before “nap time”.
The Sprogling’s been very into making up stories recently, and games where he has an alter-ego. In the past, he’s said he was some character, but still was himself, and merely seemed to change his name. Now, he is developing entire characters, with special abilities and actual limitations,as opposed to his prior make-up-new-power-for-every-obstacle play. Of course, me as proud GeekDad is tending to encourage this RPG appreciation. We even started playing with a big 20-sided die plus some regular 6-siders in various strategic wargames. It won’t be long now until he’s ready to tabletop some classic pen-and-paper games! MwaHaHahaHa
Lately though, he is developing a world of “Warrior Brothers”. In this world of pseudo-native-american meets high-fantasy, giant rocks become monsters, trees (known as Windgazers) are spirit allies, and us human males are all a tribe of Warrior Brothers, equipped with either spell-like powers, or fun tool/weapons to use in defeating the rock-monsters. Only boys are able to be Warrior Brothers, and girls (like mom) must either stay home and be safe, or sometimes are powerful ‘sorcerer princesses’ that can defeat anything with their magic, though this changes on a minute-by-minute basis it seems.
I am actually in the process of writing these ideas down in a complete LARP-style handbook, since the setting is becoming quite involved, and remains coherent across over two full weeks of playing this game when we go outside. Sticks are either wands, clubs, or ‘power staffs’ [sic]. Pinecones are bombs of various powers, depending on size. Snow and ice are harmful environmental effects that either trap you or drain your power. Patches of grass or composting piles of leaves become lava (which can heal some types of Warrior Brother), or random landscapes (ie: one particular bare spot in the yard is a pool of poison). Of particular note, oniongrass, or ‘yard chives‘ are useful as healing snacks or poison attacks depending on the target. When our mint starts to sprout in the garden, he already knows that can be brewed into a strong tea to put enemies to sleep, or “to help WindGazers grow after they are cut down”.
All details provided below are as described by my kid. We each named ourselves in a whim, and he crafted full character biographies and the list of powers and limitations each person had. He acted as DM and leader of this rag-tag band of adventurers, while we offered suggestions to how we reacted against our enemies.
(It was actually kinda neat seeing how empowering him to compromise on certain situations we refused to be railroaded into, could be used to develop social skills in the real world. Good mental note to help him work through some school-play issues.. Hmm…)
My kid is ‘Gatorade‘, who never gets thirsty, and uses a stick like a magic wand to heal, or to shoot fire. He can also use a longer walking staff as a weapon to crack open the ground and make lava explode on impact.
I am ‘IvyLeague‘, a scientist Warrior Brother with the power to control poison ivy and other plants. I can shoot vines from my hands to wrap up enemies, and use poison thorn-attacks from my own [raspberry-branch] wand. Otherwise, I’m kinda weak and rely on Gatorade for those times when big-guns are needed. (He’s so cute!)
Our friend Nate, down in PA, is known now as ‘Cheerio‘, (yes, like the cereal), who can make lightning strikes, and is able to walk on snow without getting trapped. No known weaknesses, other than being afraid of bombs, and doesn’t like Chives or mint (see above).
The 3yr old son of Cheerio, apparently keeps changing his name. It’s either Ted-Fu, or Teddi-Go-Cha, or lately, Tedichi (ted-EE-chee). He is invincible, but can’t attack anyone because he’s too small.
Our latest adventure, in the large fitness park, was to defeat a series of 4 giant rock monsters (those landscaping rocks that have little flower-gardens and mulch encircling them in a field). The first was a bomb monster, so our pinecones healed it. Eventually, it was defeated by the pine-tree windgazer nearby dropping ‘a tillion‘ needles on the monster, which pinned it to the ground so it could be smacked with Gatorade’s Staff.
Next was a poison monster surrounded by lava, so I could not use my own powers against it. This was defeated by throwing a snowball at the lava to freeze it, and once again, got smacked by Gatorade’s Staff.
Thirdly, was an ice-monster who was immune to Gatorade’s Staff, and needed to be struck by Lightning and Poison thorns at the exact same time, or it would regenerate instantly. This one took quite a few tries to defeat.
Lastly, was a giagantic dragon rock (mostly submerged, so all we saw was the fin on his back sticking up from the ground). He was immune or otherwise unaffected by all our attacks, but eventually defeated when we used a handful of crab-grass and a pidgeon feather to tickle it. This weakened it enough that Gatorade was able to find a small 2lb rock nearby that was charged with SunGazer energy (small friendly river-rocks are SunGazers). We put the small rock on top of the giant rock back, which drained all his power and turned it to inert stone. Whew, just in time too, since then it was time to leave and return home, so the Warrior Brothers could get hot cocoa.
We took the feather home, and Tedichi got to keep it in his treasure box. All in all, a really fun adventure, and one that I hope my friend completely enjoyed.
PS: This coming weekend, The Warrior Brothers are traveling to the far-away land of Lititz, where I grew up, in search of a fabled Crystal Dinosaur Bone. Not sure how into this my nephews will be, but if such an adventure takes place, I’ll be sure to blog about it here…. I can’t wait!
(Just a silly little poem that I was inspired to write after a horrid Monday morning, which suddenly got un-busy after lunch. I’ve seen this little critter a LOt lately, almost every day last week, and this morning one landed on my knee as I sat doing my daily business. It’s cute, and always makes me smile for some reason. Perhaps it’s a Fae-fly of some sort, since I’ve asked some other guys at work and they think I’m crazy, and never admit to any sort of fly, much less a friendly one in the men’s room at work.)
At work I sit and ponder life upon ceramic throne,
and most of the time I stop to think, I sit here quite alone.
But once a week, or sometimes two, I sense a spying eye
who watches me, through facet-face: it is the bathroom fly.
No mere house-fly, this insect friend, ’tis smaller than those kin,
his wings enlarged, his body hid, found nowhere else he’d been,
Except at work, amidst the sinks, and hidden on the walls.
This little creature pokes about, his home is in the stalls.
I smile each time I see his company, by some thought unclean,
and chuckle how this sterile work, still holds nature generally unseen.
Thus lately I seek to learn of this friend, his habits and his food,
Since even in a corporate bathroom, he brings a smiling mood.
I turned to google, and the net, to find this wing-ed being,
but “fly” is common as a search, endless results it’s seeming.
Then randomly, I typed a search, not thinking answers got a,
and discovered it’s name IS Bathroom Fly, Clogmia albipunctata.
When I took out the puppy for her nightly 1am potty break, I noticed the air was crisp and very cold. a Lovely wintery chill in the air and racing clouds against the moon. There was a light hint of frost on everything, not quite enough to sparkle properly, but enough to give everything a light hazy-grey tint.
This morning, there was snow!
A good -3 inches here, with the radio reporting some lake-effect areas getting 6 inches.
As the first official snowfall for the season (we had wet flakes earlier, but nothing stuck and had melted by the time I woke up) it was nice to see. The kind of snow that is dry and powdery, so that preparing the car to drive meant simply slamming the door closed and watching everything *poof* off onto the driveway.
I wish my camera worked, since the drive to work was lovely. I do enjoy winter for mornings like this where there is not a blizzard of risky driving, or cold enough to freeze your lungs instantly. Just a nice, white-blanket across the landscape, and mostly sunny weather to make it glisten.
First snowfall means I get to stand outside as long as tolerable barefoot tonight once the kid and wife go to sleep, (I last usually all of 30 seconds) and scoop up a handful of snow to sprinkle on my head. It’s my winter tradition to “embrace the season”.
Hope folks reading this are enjoying lovely weather too.
(and I hope things dried out in Rio by now)