OFF TOPIC FORUM
Tagged: STAR WARS
October 16, 2015 at 11:09 pm #1250
Talk about anything you feel like here…
October 16, 2015 at 11:34 pm #1252
Cheese. I have to say that one of my favorite snack foods is cheese. I don’t have the dedication to it that you see in the Wallace and Grommit movies, and I have not tasted most of the exotic or specialized cheeses you find in England or France. However, I had my fair share of cheeses in Germany when I lived there for five years. I love simple sharp cheddar on my grilled cheese sandwiches. I love swiss on almost anything. I love feta on my Gyros or Donar Kabbobs. I can eat cottage cheese right out of the container for lunch all by itself. I love cheese! I love it as an evening snack and as a gift.
One of my good friends who is now the editor of a major newspaper. used to recite this goofy poem when giving us advice about dating girls.
“On a moonlit stroll, there’s nothing better, than to warm her heart, with a slab of cheddar. If you love her – give her cheese.
My favorite I guess would be Dutch smoked Gouda and Danish Havarti. Yum!!!
This also reminds me of an old song one of my scout masters taught us when I was a boyscout 35+ years ago. Do you remember the old nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice”? Well this is the scientifically correct classification song version of the famous old nursery rhyme.
“Three Rodents with Impaired Vision, three rodents with impaired vision,
Observe how they perambulate, observe how they perambulate,
They all perambulated after the agricultural spouse, Who amputated their gludius maximae with a carving utensil,
Have you ever observed such a spectacle in all of your existence, as Three Rodents with Impaired Vision.”
Can’t think of anything more OFF TOPIC than THAT! LMAO
January 5, 2016 at 3:55 am #1662
So I went and saw the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” the other night. This movie has been getting rave reviews and was hyped up to the extreme. I thought for sure I was gonna love it – but I didn’t.
So to give you some background… I love Star Wars and most SciFi. I was not only into sailing ships growing up but space ships as well. I was reading Bradbury when I was in the 2nd Grade. When the 1st Star Wars movie came out “A New Hope”, I rode downtown on my BMX bicycle to the old Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I was 10 years old. I was there before anyone else and waited in line for hours before the movie started. About an hour after I got there a few other kids showed up and two hours later quite a few more people got in line. By the time the movie theater opened up to allow patrons in, the line to see the movie was three blocks long and went around the next block.
The local news people arrived from KIFI Channel 8 and interviewed me. Before the summer was over, I had seen the movie 27 times and had paid for entry with my paper route money. I would spend entire weekends at the theater and was on a first name basis with the theater manager and employees. I quite literally memorized the movie and to this day can still recite every line – a fringe benefit of my Aspergers. I was interviewed again and was dubbed “The Star Wars Kid”. That name stuck with me for the remainder of Elementary School. I’ve always been fond of Star Wars my entire life and have a very valuable collection of comic books to spaceship models still in their original boxes.
When the prequels came out I was overjoyed. I loved all of them. The third one not so much because I thought lucas tried to fit too much into one movie. I was also very disappointed in both Count Dooku’s and General Grievous’s demise. The cartoon series had really pumped them up as some tough villains and so it was a let down to see them die so easily.
I couldn’t believe that the prequels were the object of so much hate from the fans. The back story was excellent. A greedy Trade Federation (not unlike the Dutch or English East India Companies) was imposing its will upon weak worlds it wanted to exploit and bribing the weakening and corrupt Republic into turning a blind eye. In many was I saw the inefficient corrupt bureaucracy of the Senate and the government on Corusant as a social commentary on our own decaying Constitutional Republic that for all intensive purposes is really a corporate and bank owned oligarchy with appropriate window dressing to make the masses believe they are still represented.
The costumes, the settings/backdrops and technology were all brilliant and had a feel as if they were from a slightly earlier time than “A New Hope”. The beautiful Naboo space craft with their silver hulls and the yellow star fighters with their beautiful graceful curves reminded me of retro aircraft from WWII or cars built in the 1930’s and 40’s. I could even stomach Jar Jar Binks. This was very original cinema and I expected nothing less from George Lucas.
So with all of that said, I can’t help but be extremely disappointed in this new movie. I was expecting so much more. I was expecting maybe some vestiges of plot lines and characters I had come to appreciate in the comic book series or novelettes. I did love the fact that the art and CGI was so spectacular. The battles were excellent and I would expect nothing less. I have in my possession an original signed set of Ralph McQuarrie prints from 1977. http://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/stunning-star-wars-concept-art-ralph-mcquarrie#.rvyl0Vydm I really feel this movie did a good job in many ways of being more pure to the original McQuarrie concept art vision. The X-Wings are dead on and I think they look way better.
However, all of the beautiful effects, battles, explosions, etc aside, a movie is a story and it should fit into the firmament already in place – and fit well in the case of a franchise as HUGE as Star Wars. I do not want to spoil this for those who may not have seen the movie yet so I am not going to talk about specific things I didn’t like – YET. However, I will simply give a brief synopsis of WHY I don’t like this movie. Orphan with special exceptional powers, villain with black helmet, superweapon that destroys entire planets…..where have we seen this before? I felt like this was simple repackaging for a new generation of fans with little originality or a intent to fit into the already existing Star Wars ethos. I was and am….very disappointed.
Please feel free to respond and give me your thoughts.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by modernknight1.
January 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm #1667
I didnt watch the movie simply because I was never a fan of it, I read the spoiler and understood that its not my type of genre.
I like medieval-fantasy type films, and films that play in the carribean in the ERAS timeline. Never was a fan of films that are of the future.
I like to quote a modern time philosopher on a matter, that is describing explicit why I disdain science fiction:
“All our greed, egoism and centralized self obsession is pathetic when you take a look at the bigger picture.”
The universe is so vast, so beautiful and unexplored. There are countless stars, planets and solarsystems all across the universe.
What happens on this tiny piece of rock is so irrelevant and yet we fight wars and destroy the tiny rock we all habitate, enslave eachother for the sake of ourselves. The rich got rich by enslaving the poor in the first place. Now they get richer by dictating the terms of “democracy”, even in science fiction we centralize ourselves in order to better relate to the film. There are sounds and colours our minds can not even think to grasp, areas we might not even think to explore and analyze. As a fitness trainer and nutrition advisor I can tell you from experience that we know less things about our body than we know about the ocean. And we know little to nothing about it as it current stands.
If we look at our past, at the millenias that are documented, we see how little we learned and how ideas and ideals are over and over abused by the same people in charge.
Whenever there came a time when people rose and tried to be democratic (antique greece) or free (Pirates), the people in charge tried to put them down by force, adapted their methods where necessary to please the common folk. If we look at our democracy today, it is all but a fassade.
I feel it is not before long the people in charge manage to conquer the internet, they certainly are attempting that at every hour, but its sheer vastness is what makes it so tricky to cover.
Btw I modified a mod to my liking from Mount and Blade Warbanfd, the newest version of Prophecy of Pendor, if you would allow it I would like to share it with members of Buccaneers reef, so as long as it remains hidden from the main creators of the mod. They dont take too kindly to “occult meddlers”, as they use to call whoever adjusts the mod and puts in elements of their own choice.
January 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm #1682
Well with Star Wars its supposed to be LONG AGO. Indeed I have always found that interesting. I remember growing up hearing old guys talking about how we were technologically advanced before Noah’s Great Flood. I agree with you completely about human arrogance. Pride has always been the downfall of so many great civilizations and endeavors. It’s interesting too that people do not like to talk about the unexplainable because it makes them uncomfortable. People prefer the comfort of black and white set boundaries and simple explanations that fit neatly into a box. This is why so many blindly follow the establishment and slop up what they are fed by the lame-stream media like gravy and fully believe it.
I remember years ago a friend of mine found a book published in the 1960s that was concerned with documenting rare and arcane artifacts that couldn’t be explained. There was thousands of photos and the author’s in the introduction explained that they were disturbed by the fact that many of these artifacts were being deliberately filed away deep in museum vaults or disappearing. (Think the crate in Indiana Jones at the end of the first movie). The pictures and narratives were very revealing. There were human skeletons and skulls that were several times larger than modern humans. There were also miniature skeletons, and hundreds of tiny spears, arrowheads, tools, etc for tiny people no taller than a common dog or cat. There were the standard crystal skulls but there were also metal artifacts. I remember a “Damascus steel type blade that had been dated to thousands of years before Christ but this technology was not supposed to have existed then. Then came all manner of tools made from both stone and metal that were dated thousands of years ago. These tools had many shapes and sizes. Many looked like modern bearings in machinery but were still perfectly polished. I saw one of these little ring bearings myself once made of stone and polished. It was a perfect circle. The artifact was at the University of Idaho and the curator allowed my father to examine it. They had “miked” it and it was perfect to thousandths of an inch dimensionally from every possible angle. It was found in the high desert of Idaho along the old Shoshone migration route.
My father is an interesting man because he does not believe in ghosts. I myself have had several supernatural encounters. That still does not sway his opinion. Yet he believes in psychic power because he possesses that ability himself. Many in our family do. He can tell you what page in a book you are reading even if he is on the other side of the room. He noticed he would already know what page they were going to be told to turn to in a textbook in the class room as a young student in school. We know the police regularly use psychics to solve murders and find bodies. We also know that governments have been using them for years in study. I could scare you if I said more about what I personally know about this but I’m not. My father swears he saw a sea serpent/monster. He was in the Navy in the late 1950’s and they were tying up his ship to the dock in Norfolk Virgina. My Dad was on the large hawser line down by the dock securing some small lead lines and the rat barriers when one of the sailors up on the ship above commented, “holy Sh*t what is that down there?”. My father thought they were simply messing with his head and joking around, but then his friends chimed in saying, “He’s not kidding, there is something down there in the water looking right up at you.” My father looked down into the water and right there below the smooth calm surface was a giant snake head looking up at him. My father scrambled down off that rope as fast as he could and all the men stood there staring at the thing for around five more minutes before it lowered itself downward out of view. The men all agreed they were not going to tell anyone because people would think they were crazy.
My father described the creature as having the wide triangular head of a venomous snake and shiny coal black eyes. The color was a brownish purple and the large scales were clearly visible. I dismissed this as a story he told us kids when we were little for years, but he swears to this day he saw it. A few years ago I found an awesome book “Superstitions of the Sea” by James Clary (1994) ISBN 0-916637-00-X. In this book he describes a sea monster that fit’s the description my father gave that has been seen off the coasts of Norfolk down to Virginia Beach for over 200 years by numerous people. Then a couple years later I was out on the boardwalk at Virgina beach with a good friend and overheard some fisherman talking about a sea monster. I inserted myself into the conversation and wanted to know more. They told me that this “Virginia Beach Sea Serpent” was fairly common knowledge among local fishermen. I was flabbergasted. I called my father that evening and told him what I had heard.
This modern generation wishes to worship science and wishes to discount anything that cannot be explained or witnessed to by our poor senses to lunacy or superstition. Its a sad state even though science itself is beginning to break some boundaries in these areas that could explain a great many things. I often challenge those that are anti-religion to consider mystics and seers like Nostradamus. Those that poke fun here are also the same that have not actually studied his prophecies(quatrains). His accuracy is UNBELIEVABLE and beyond scientific explanation. My favorite is his prediction of King Henry II of France’s death. His vision was exact. He said he would die in a tournament from a fragment of splintered lance that would penetrate the eye slit of his helmet into his eye. He gave the exact date. When a tourney came on the date people were already amazed. Henry’s courtiers begged him not to joust. He laughed it off as superstition. He was killed exactly in the way that Nostradamus predicted.
The developments in Physics research in just the last few years since 2009 are producing some amazing results. The theories that have been put forth have brought many scientists in the atheist camp over to the intelligent design camp. The string theorists surmise in their continuing algorithmic equations that the outcomes are set – the conclusions are that we must believe in a kind of smart naturally occurring multiverse or a deliberate intelligent design. Its just too perfect. In addition Harvard researchers are expanding their look at the 4th spatial dimension (not time) of dark matter using the continuing observations of shadow (shadow theories). They not only believe there is another spatial dimension beyond ours but that it exists in tandem with our space and time and that it has its own unique biology.
There is a theory now that the unexplained phenomena of rock varnishes in the New Mexico desert canyons are from microbes not from our own dimension. This pronouncement has made other scientist pose the very real possibility that there could be other intelligent beings existing in our own same space but that we (usually) cannot perceive – however they can perceive us. This is HUGE. Here we have science now postulating explanations for what so many for so long have said was hogwash regarding supernatural encounters, apparitions, etc. that our human culture is rich with in both its literature and history – but was put down for so long as “hallucination, mental illness, or lying”. What pathetic stuff. What will those same skeptics say when these scientists blow the lid off this thing with continuing research. Will it also be swept aside or the research pigeon holed into some back room vault?
All this to say that I have always been a skeptic of everything I hear and have always had to look into everything I believe with deep meticulous research. SciFi was always compelling to me. Imagine traveling into the stars and encountering other worlds. It would be wonderful. I love history and the medieval era through the Age of Reason timeframe more as an area of study, but I have so enjoyed Star Trek and Star Wars, Firefly, and other SciFi for years as a wonderful diversion. It’s just good fun entertainment. In the case of Star Trek, there is definitely some of that vein, arrogant pride in humanity coming through, but also a noble goal oriented higher morality of treating people fairly. Poverty no longer exists in that universe and the challenge as Jean Luc Picard always says is “bettering oneself”. I just like that. It runs so opposite to the reality that is the world of now – which seems to be degrading rather than improving in the areas of fairness, justice, equality, economic prosperity, etc. When I was a kid there were series like SPACE 1999 where a moon base had been constructed and we had successfully colonized the moon. I remember reading a book published in the mod 1970s called “The next 50 years in outer space”, it had all of the far reaching predictions. Sadly none of that exciting stuff has happened. We never went back to the moon and we’ve never been to Mars. Our space station is a small sad little cylinder compared to the large milti-ringed and sphered models we were told would be up there now. The US space program lacks the money to even get our own payloads into space and relies on commercial and foreign platforms. Its so funny to me that a country that would impose sanctions on another for business in its own backyard would still rely on its spacecraft to get its payloads into space. Funny!
More later…. but I still want to hear what other people have to say about the new Star Wars movie.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by modernknight1.
January 7, 2016 at 10:46 pm #1717
@Dennis, Oh I almost forgot. Yeah I have no problems with you posting your mods for other games here. I am going to create a new forum topic for it. My favorite Warband mod is A New Dawn because of all of the new factions, troop trees and all of the Floris mod material included. I never could get into Prophecy of Pendor. It seemed too fantasy to me and less medievalistically realistic. I love the new locations. Love the Venetian feel of some areas and courts. Love all of the cool old ruins. I hate the new voice-overs and I hate how lances can kill swung slightly from the side rather than purely from the thrust.
Here’s the new forum:
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by modernknight1.
January 9, 2016 at 6:02 pm #1782
Star Wars saga and the new release…just recently glanced at this thread and noted the paraphrased, “I didn’t love it.” I will now have to read through the entirety for the details, but prepare for response 🙂
December 22, 2016 at 12:17 am #3410
Star Wars – The Farce awakens, Jar Jar Abrahams, shameless regurgitation, etc…
I was not particularly enamoured with it, to put it mildly 😉
What perplexes me though is coming to terms with the “death of independant journalism” in the last few years. You COULD NOT find a negative review of that film for love nor money when it came out. They’re all bought out! Even Red Letter Media, that did those hilarous yet absolutely critically correct reviews of the prequels, were appeased (or bought-?). I found myself facepalming from around the 25 minute mark of the film…and not in a positive way! So many things took me “out” of the movie (including hearing a “scottish” accent in the SW universe – that and darth Emo’s tantrums. And the complete regurgitation of A New Hope). Well, not very gentlemanly of me but I’m glad the girlfriend payed for that one! ( I payed for “Fury” – which she hated! Now we’re even!)
This, of course, is only my humble opinion (- it actually felt good typing that out fully!) and hope that jaded and cynical old me hasn’t upset anyone with my cinematic snobbery. For what it’s worth, “Rhymes for Young Ghouls” was my favourite film of 2016, with honourable runner up going to “Mad Max – Fury road” (because it may appear to be dumb on the surface – but it’s actually quite clever under the hood. JJ Abrams – please take note!)
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Schiavonna.
December 23, 2016 at 5:46 am #3422
Wow! This is great that people are commenting on the off topic forum!
So two things up front.
1) On this forum there is no such thing as a necro posts or any kind of bad juju associated with commenting on an old post as in so many other forums. Useless etiquette interferes with honest communication IMO.
2) I HATE political correctness! It is useless blathering pandering bunk and it is nearly impossible on this forum to ruffle any feathers for merely stating your honest opinion…. Unlike some other forums I can name that have lost the majority of the members because of this useless way of limiting and censoring expression in the name of subjectively sparing someones weak way of rolling or action/thinking.
As long as we are civil and don’t drop a dozen F bombs, if it’s your honest real opinion, you wont be chastised or talked down to here. Again – unlike some other forums I can name that require rigid forum rules to justify their nazi-esque censorship practices and treatment of good intentioned members.
To begin with – I HATE JJ. Just puttin it out there – HATE! What he did to Star Trek to try to gain a new youthful following – borders on murder. He slaughtered the entire franchise and alienated generations of hardcore fans that have now taken it upon themselves to make fan films due to CBS/Paramount’s failure to give long standing fans what they want and have come to expect forever. IMHO the Star Trek universe is almost utopian. It has eliminated poverty, class and greed and replaced them with limitless opportunity with the new challenge being “TO IMPROVE ONESELF”. I am no commie and I believe in hard work but I love the Star Trek ideal.
This is all gone now in JJ’s universe. His is a cludge of sci fi and neocon globalism combined. He’s a tool of the modern corporate propaganda machine and doing his part. He cares nothing for what Roddenbury took decades to cultivate. That vision is gone along with the entire planet Vulcan. Are the Vulcans now the Narns with no homeworld to call their own. We should call JJs universe Marvel Babylon Star Talmud 5 Wars Trekkkkaaah Yah boooyeez
Couldn’t agree more on the corporate journalism comment. Our Fourth Estate is embalmed and 6 feet under. The current lame stream news IS FAKE NEWS. It is hilarious how desperate they are to try to snuf out web based grass roots news sources or foreign news services that are actually providing truthful news going on in the world – by labeling them “fake news”. I am so glad that most people seem to be seeing right through all this smoke and mirrors.
Tomorrow night I am going out to see the new Rogue One Star Wars movie with several family members. From the trailers I am just so darn excited. This one looks GOOD and I am hoping it is.
Oh yeah and I am no fan of Nazis. I had many relatives who fought and several who died in WWII. One of our great family stories is that I had an uncle who actually found another uncle in a prisoner of war camp and was literally the one who opened the cell and rescued him. Now how often does something like that happen? This is not fiction or out of a novel. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!! My family is full of war heroes for generations and I did my part as well. I am no fan of Mussolini, Hitler, or Hirohito.
However, just because this is my website and I can do whatever I want: HITLER HITLER HITLER HITLER HITLER HITLER
For those who don’t know why I just did that you should know I was banned for saying that word on another forum LOL…
January 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm #3463
So I am in the middle of doing a massive site update and its taking longer than I thought. I am taking a break and writing some posts.
So I did go and see STAR WARS Rogue I right before Christmas with my whole family. If some of you still haven’t seen it then spoiler alert…
All I can say is – THAT WAS MY STAR WARS! YES!!! There were several scenes where I became emotional – even teared up.
This movie is incredible with awesome characters a realistic war story which fits perfectly into the framework of the original larger story and universe. The movie somewhat reminded me of old war movies like Guns of Navaronne, A Bridge Too Far, or The Eagle Has Landed where by the end of the movie most of the cast is dead – but they either achieve their final objective or just fall short. Everyone in the primary cast of this movie dies. In that way it is a real tragedy but it shows how noble self sacrifice is when fighting great evil.
This movie tells the rest of the story which begins in A New Hope with the Rebel Alliance desperately trying to get the stolen data tapes of the Death Star plans to people that can exploit the superweapon’s weaknesses.
In the climax and final scenes of the movie I was petrified in my seat. We see a truly evil malevolent Darth Vader come out of the blackness killing everyone around him. I was like HOLY SH*T!!! Poor rebels being levitated and cut in half and playing hot potato with the data tapes trying to get them onto the rebel ship.
This movie was incredible and is what Star Wars is all about. It brought me back to one of my very favorite video games of all time DARK FORCES. There was a really great mod done for this game a few years ago but they only got to level 6 I think (the Imperial Prison level). I may have to dust off that old PS console and give it a play. I plan to go see the movie again. I already would have but since the holidays got over I have been spending almost every spare minute I have trying to get the next awesome version of our favorite game mod finished!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
February 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm #3564
February 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm #3565
I have to say I was always a Star Trek fan by heart. The idea that we once will loose the “need” for things, simply because we can holographically and materialisticly recreate everything and everyone on a realistic level.
Yet the idea for “want” of power was never properly adressed in Star Trek. One can tell me that with all the benefits of not needing “anything” because everything one would want is provided, creates a problem in the human design.
In a society where there is no currency or “influence”, how does one progress with his own agenda? If we pretend that property is not a thing anymore and an item has no value, dont we abolish any sort of trade progress with it? I can understand if we go so far as to overthrow currency or commodities we all agree that they are worth something like gold. But then how does one go about to achieve his own goals. Lets say I want to become a pirate who preys on the weak & foreign on outer space. Not because I want the things they have, but because I have the malice idea to do so, and Im not satisfied to replicate this in a realistic simulation. Since property and ownership is nonexistant, I wont be able to have a ship of my own. Sure I can find a same minded crew, but how do I construct a commodity that seemingly is VERY scarce and not easily replicable.
The Flagships like the Enterprise and Voyager while purposely build for more than a thousand crewmen, were never easily build and I doubt everyone would have the right to just order a ship to be build for him/her.
Or maybe that idea was only functional on a smaller global scale in a closed eco system where everyone played by the rules. And the Federation had to make sure with its “volunteer crewmen” that the bubble would expand from planet to planet, with the same idea in mind. Gathering information and technology to improve all allied races, yet never having inner civil war like conflicts, seems too much Utopian. I find the Borg way more realistic than the Federation and its idea it stands for. Maybe if 100s of generations lived that way the idea could have worked because the mindset would have completely changed, but in the yer 2400, we will be far from setting out to other stars or using hyperspeed drive. More likely we will be exploiting the surrounding planets to fuel our wasteful ideas and wishes, while being stuck in selfcreated systems we cannot escape.
February 27, 2017 at 8:37 am #3716
Well I am making videos and putting together the pictures and models segment for tomorrow – but wanted to take a little break. I can breathe easy again after so many all-nighters trying to get this latest version of the mod finished.
I want to personally thank Jeffrey for all of the stuff he took from our long list of desired improvements and managed to cram a few more into this latest version. He and I have both had a lot of long nights of testing and getting this thing done. Lots of emails and phone calls have occurred to bring you all of the goodness that is the latest GOF ERAS 2.6.0 version of the mod.
So back to the conversation here: Dennis I somewhat agree with what you are saying, but the Star Trek universe is so full of exceptions. Credits are still used in so many places. Janeway in Voyager is always making trades and bartering for new parts or technology for the ship. Look at the Ferengi and their obsession with Latinum which is used as a measure of currency in Quarks bar on Deep Space Nine – A Federation outpost.
Consider all of the independent traders and characters with their own ships that they’ve run into since the old series. Harry Mudd was always one of my favorites. I think for someone who wants to live within the boundaries of the safe society that the Federation offers, then they can always continue to improve themselves as I stated before. Holy crap, just look at replicator technology. People can basically make whatever items they wish.
For those who want more as you say, they could venture out into areas which are inhabited by other races and encounter other challenges. They would certainly have to use currency, and for someone who was ambitious, intelligent and industrious – I am certain a warship could be within their grasp.
Maybe one of the reasons why I love the Golden Age so much and the personalities of the time, is because of that dangerous freedom that abounded then. Certainly there was a lot of risk and the unknown was thick in that time. However, for those adventurous and brave enough for the challenge, the world offered only opportunity.
Look at Kortenauer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egbert_Bartholomeusz_Kortenaer This guy started as a peasant of the lowest class and became one of the greatest Dutch Admirals in history. He has always reminded me of one of my favorites: Bertrand du Guesclin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_du_Guesclin another guy who started out as a lowly peasant and ended up as the Marshall of France. The King had to order the nobility to bow to him. He also was such a compassionate soldier. One of my favorite quotes is from him: “Remember men, that the women and children are not your enemies.”
DeRuyter himself started as a merchant captain in the 1640s/50s in his own privately owned merchant warship the Salamander. He became famous for brokering and negotiating deals with the Barbary Pirates for the exchange and release of Christian slaves – European crews taken by the pirates from ships in the Mediterranean. There are statues and streets named for DeRuyter in other countries because of this record. He was so successful and had become wealthy enough that he planned to retire in the 1650s when the Anglo-Dutch wars broke out and he was called upon to become a naval commander (Schout-bij-Nacht) which equals a Commodore. I talk about this a little in the article I posted this week: A Most Murderous Monument.
I am certain that if I could somehow be transported into the Star Trek universe I would end up the master of my own starship. It’s fun to dream – no? I am and will always be “A glass half-full person”.
March 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm #3766
March 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm #3769
Ah Star Trek games – me loves them! I remember when I was going to college, there was an old Star Trek arcade game in the Student Union building in the corridor out. This was the old 1980s one that displayed the connected polygons in bright colors like Asteroids and Battlezone. Spock narrated the game telling you what sector you were in. The sound effects were right out of the movies which at that time were only Star Trek I,II,III, and IV. You could sit down in this arcade game and it almost surrounded you. The arcade games seem so simple and obsolete now, but at the time they were just SO COOL!
I was late for class a few times playing in that thing and I was always angry with myself because I would have spent my lunch money on it and then some in quarters. LOL
Ah to be young again. Those were the days. Since then I have played most of the newer Star Trek games except the new ones for phones. I don’t play phone games – they are too small for me to handle.
March 4, 2017 at 1:35 pm #3771
NEW DISCUSSION: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS and REVISIONISM
Yesterday I learned that the NWO liberal leftist political movement to ensure that NO ONE on the planet is offended by anything they encounter has moved into Europe and is infecting its people.
I was very aware of this movement in the US. It has destroyed the major premises of both philosophy and debate. It sets the stage for a world of drones to simply sit idly by and allow Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984 to tell them what they should think and do.
Philosophy and debate by their very base nature require a discussion of ideas. Part of what we as people consider to be “freedom” and “our rights” is free thinking. A major part of free thought is an ability to discuss ideas – even IF these ideas might be offensive or unreasonable or opposed by a different school of thought. This does not mean that we simply give way to the so called “aggrieved party” immediately so that their feelings can be spared. This is madness folks!
A debate and discussion in a free forum where no one has to fear what they believe must be allowed before decisions are arbitrarily made to pull down statues which have stood for hundreds of years or rename streets that received those names when cities were first built. If we as people surrender this right to debate and discuss the problem or the focus of angst, then we are resigning our rights – to think, to learn, and to speak – away forever.
A major part of the problem here is that people have become timid – they are too afraid to speak up. In addition, people have become sheeple, which means that they don’t care about any of this any longer at all. As long as they have a place to live and food to eat, booze to drink, and entertainment to divert them from care and occupy their time – why should they have to think any longer? If this trend continues then in a few generations we will have the Orwellian world that he predicted. This is why I love the Star Trek world we talk about above because the idea is TO BETTER ONESELF.
It is better to put oneself into a regimen of constant learning each day than to become a potted plant or a thoughtless mushroom. When I was 10 years old I had a paper route and I mowed peoples lawns in my neighborhood for extra money. What did I buy with that money? BOOKS! I became a member of TIME-LIFE and ordered their Seafarers series https://www.librarything.com/series/Time-Life%3A+The+Seafarers
You can still get the complete set BTW: https://www.amazon.com/Time-Life-Books-Seafarers-Set/dp/B000MCATUW
I would get one book a month. If I didn’t like it I could send it back. I kept every one. I still have them. Some of them became so beat up because I had read them so many times that I had to order new ones.
I joined the History Book Club. They would also send a book each month and you got options to pick free books with every purchase you made. The beginnings of the immense and impressive library I enjoy now was started with these acquisitions.
At age 14 I learned about the Brittanica series GREAT BOOKS OF WESTERN WORLD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Books_of_the_Western_World I could never afford them then and I don’t think you could order them either. I found a set in an old Baptist church and began borrowing them one by one from the minister. By the time I was 17 I had read a third of the collection. Then I was off to college and then the military. When I was in Downs Barracks in Fulda Germany in 1992 an American AAFES salesman showed up in our PX (Post Exchange: think military Mall) selling the new reprinted release of the Great Books. Now at Age 25 and an Army Lieutenant I had more than enough money to buy the whole set.
I was elated, but two were missing from the new set. Luther, Erasmus and Calvin were not there. The salesman was able to get me these volumes from the old set for just a little extra. I finished the entire set by the time I was 30. Let me tell you that some of this was not fun or light reading. I hated both Plutarch and Galen – Galen was nothing but obsolete medicine in Roman times. Dry is an under-statement, but I had set myself the goal and because I made it a reality I am a well rounded scholar beyond most university educated Doctors who are usually experts in their one discipline or scholarly area only. You don’t know how many times I was able to get opportunities or considered for special jobs or promotions because I could debate and discuss ideas and impress the people above me with my knowledge.
Even if you only devote 20 or 30 minutes to reading in the evenings, you must stick to this. This sort of mindset of continuing to learn and discuss and debate ideas, MUST be the paradigm that is instilled within our youth.
The New World Order (NWO)/Neocons/Trilateral Commission, etc. – (whatever other names you want to call them) composed of the super elites are doing everything in their power to undermine western society. The war in the Mid-East for the last decade and a half was manufactured. The refugee crisis which has emerged as a result is just what they wanted to happen. They want to change those societies and dilute and water them down. They want to cause deliberate upheaval and unrest. These people have been at work a long time. Look into the power structure which started the Bolsheviks to see their hand in action. Look at the advent of FIAT currency and privately owned central banks like the FED and IMF – who do you suppose owns them and who do you suppose loans money at interest to the worlds governments that they print from nothing causing more and more out of control debt and “austerity measures”.
They want to eventually destroy our borders (Efforts and discussions to dissolve the boundaries between France and Germany have been common in the last decade). They want to destroy loyalty to any nationality/flag and they want to destroy the old tenants of a western education which at one time taught history and philosophy. Anything which would cause critical thinking must be eliminated. They have chosen to focus people inwards upon themselves into a sort of self worship. Look at me – how great I am – look at all of my “selfies” – look at all of the things I like to do and the music I like to listen to – I am so great – look at all of my friends and all of the likes I get from the things that I say. WOW – I call this “Self Licking Ice Cream Cone Culture” It does not create or improve itself. Our so-called celebrities do nothing but promote this kind of behavior as well – like buffalo running off of a cliff expecting everyone from behind to follow them – and the scary thing is that most people are doing just that. We must fight them and the best way to do that is to educate yourself and share your thoughts and ideas with others in discussion and debate! THAT my friends is what freedom IS!!!
I see our website here as a teeny tiny corner/place where we can learn and discuss and play our games in an environment where that sort of debate and discussion of ideas – and an environment of learning and enrichment can happen within our small oasis.
Please don’t be timid here. Your thoughts and ideas won’t be censored. Who would like to add to the discussion? What statues, paintings, buildings, streets, works of art that you know of are being removed from public view or being changed all in the name of political correctness?
March 15, 2017 at 8:42 pm #3864
A whole bunch of you have e-mailed me and I am truly sorry I have not responded yet. I promise I will answer all of your e-mails shortly. I am just a little off center right now but will be OK in a couple more days.
I had to bury and say good-bye to my very good friend yesterday. I’ve had to go through this before, but it never gets easier. She was a great dog and died way too young of liver cancer. She was 8 years old. She was born at home because we’ve always had a half dozen beagles around us. I named her Rectangle (more as a joke) because she was born with a perfect rectangle shape on her forehead. My family thought it was funny but didn’t really like it that much, so the name was changed to Tangles which was both cute and fitting. She lived and died at her home. She had an awesome life on a large multi-acreage homestead with her loving pack – both human and canine. Rest in peace Tangles. MK
August 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm #4627
EDIT: I moved this over to the Introductions and Off-topic forum but I wanted it to have its own new status separately from the main thread. Still not getting the hang all of the clunky word press tools.
I have been to the show at Treasure Island in Las Vegas twice. The first time was years ago when they first opened the place. It was incredible. I went to Vegas for two reasons only that trip – 1) to see Star Trek: The Experience and 2) to see the show at Treasure Island. The ship actually sinks in the little harbor set in from of the hotel! I was impressed with the show and really enjoyed it.
I returned to see the show after I retired from the Army a few years ago and was really disappointed. They have totally changed the show up. They are not getting the draw and crowds they used to. The show basically SUCKED! They had all of this Mermaid Fairy crap woven into a totally fantasy story-line. Gone was the pirate hunters after pirates motif.
November 2, 2017 at 10:57 am #4977
MY FRIEND IS GONE
My friend is gone. No good-bye or farewell – he’s just gone. About a year and a half ago I came home to my house in Louisiana from a long trip to Idaho to find a surprise. I have been traveling and going back and forth between the two states a lot the last several years – living many months at a time in both locations. Idaho is my childhood home where a lot of my family are located and Louisiana is the location of a home I purchased when I was still in the Army serving at Fort Polk and JRTC. We have been attempting to get back to Idaho and I’ve been spending a lot of time there helping relatives and trying to find a new home – and slowing moving a lifetime worth of possessions northward.
This surprise came in the form of an English foxhound. We already have a bunch of dogs and my family regularly takes in rescues as we have a huge well fenced in yard. At one time we had a total of fourteen dogs! Yikes! However, we had never had a foxhound before.
He was messed up – emaciated and mistrustful of humans – Big open gashes and wounds were still healing and he was not sociable at all. It was apparent that this poor dog had been abused.
He was curious about me when I got home and I petted him and let him know I was a friend. The family had named him “Banana” and my daughter-in-law called him “Banana Tom”. I soon learned that it was because his favorite snack was a piece of your banana. I thought this name was silly and didn’t fit. He was far too graceful and dignified for such a goofy name even though I have been known to give goofy names to dogs in the past.
Although full grown, he was really just a puppy and probably less than a year old. Some guy found him wandering a road and heard we took in dogs.
So began a long friendship where an unexpected new bond was made. I haven’t been really close to a dog in a long time. I was very close to a childhood dog and I had allowed that sort of relationship to happen again with a big red American standard 16/17 inch Beagle/Harrier with searing amber eyes we named Cu Chullain – or just “Cu” for short. Cu and I did everything together. When I had an interesting Army assignment at a National Guard post in South Dakota (Fort Meade), Cu went to work with me and had a place in my office. He would run with me in the woods around the old fort in the Black Hills. He was the only Beagle I ever had who would really obey and would stay with you. He was especially smart.
He got a strange sickness that the vet could not explain and his back legs started to go numb on him like he was paralyzed. He was only seven years old when he passed away one night. I was grief stricken and not right again for months. I sat in the dark and quietly sobbed wondering if I would see my friend again in the next life.
I started to form that kind of bond once again with a dog we named Luke – a dark red beagle with piercing light green eyes – I had bought him in Kentucky about a year after Cu’s passing. I was starting to work with him and he was obeying commands and walking with me with no leash. Everything was fine until one day one of the stupid rescues we had brought in jumped the fence and tore off after a scent. My dog ran after him and I never saw him again. That was eight years ago and I have never allowed myself to get really close with a dog since.
However, the foxhound began to show his personality slowly and surely. As his wounds healed and we treated him with kindness and respect, he came out of his shell and began to let his guard down. Unconditional love has a way of wiping out old mistrusts and betrayal. He loved to play in the yard and I would go out onto the porch and sit in my rocking chair and watch him. He would dash around the yard like a thoroughbred horse. His form was perfect. No longer emaciated, he could jump more than his body length in the air while gracefully spinning. These running jumps were attempts to catch the many blue, green and turquoise dragon flies that flitter about the yard – often some really big ones as well.
He would bark exuberantly as he gave chase to the dragon-flies and they would deliberately tease and play with him. It became a daily game and as I watched fascinated I realized that dragon-flies were actually very intelligent creatures who seemed to enjoy the game as much as the dog. I realized that his reindeer like reflexes and agility – his leaping and running about must determine his true name – I decided to call him Dasher – in tribute to the one in Santa’s line-up.
Dasher and I became more and more bonded over time. It was really unexpected, but when he began to follow me all of the time and wanted to be where I was – laying close by (often near my feet) when I was watching TV or writing or working on/playing video games, you just couldn’t help but love the creature back who seemed to love you more than anything. When he wanted my undivided attention he would talk to me in a high pitched yowly whine. When I was working on the computer often he would walk up and slip his long fine head below my hand on the mouse and flip my hand up on the top of his head. About 95 percent of the time I would stop working on what I was doing and shift all of my attentions upon Dasher – and he loved every minute of it.
The leash was foreign to him and at first he did not like it. He was even afraid of it. After a while though, he loved the little walks we would take outside of the gate in the yard out to the mailbox down our long driveway (about a tenth of a mile). He even started to give me little licks (kisses) in just the last couple of months. Not sloppy kisses like other dogs do – just tiny little single licks – a sign of pure affection and love. Everything had come full circle. He was no longer mistrustful and anti-social. He would take his place in the begging line with the rest of the pack close to meal times (although with more dignity to the rear). No longer afraid to look you in the eye or shudder in fear when you reached your hand out, he had fully learned to trust again – and how to love and be loved. Truly he had become an incredibly great friend – and I didn’t even fully realize just how close he had become until he was gone.
THE CURSED FEATHER TICK
About a week ago, my Mom came into my den to alert me that something was wrong with one of the dogs. I went into her bedroom to find my smallest dog “Dotty” stiff as a board. Dotty was another rescue. She had a broken leg and was emaciated beyond comprehension. It was her last day alive in the shelter before she was gonna be put down and we just couldn’t let that happen. We brought her home and no one liked her. She seemed strange like death itself. My youngest son called her “Alien Dog”. However, with love and time she blossomed into an adorable gorgeous little dog that everyone loves now. She is as cute as they come. However, she has seizures.
This particular seizure was especially bad and she had voided her bowels and belly out of her mouth and backside onto my Mom’s feather tick. It was a mess. My Mom is especially fond of her and she spends a lot of time up on her bed. I took her to a quiet spot where she could recover. Usually the seizures last no more than 20 minutes. She usually has convulsions. This one was different in that she was just frozen. She is often scared and upset when she comes out of them and needs lots of love and attention.
I immediately volunteered to wash out the tick and take care of the mess, but my elderly but very active mother wouldn’t hear of it and was already well on her way to having it all cleaned up by the time little Dotty came out of her seizure. I told her it would fit into the washer by itself and she could throw it in. So she did.
That night while I was hard at work on video game content, I smelled a bad burning smell. My mother had transferred the tick into the dryer for hours and it had exploded in there. When I opened the dryer door there were feathers everywhere. It took me days to clean all of the feathers up and take the dryer apart and get everything out of it with a shop-vac. The smell was atrocious and I had to air out the house and burn scented candles for days.
I told my Mom that I would buy her a new one, but the frugal person she is she wanted to attempt fixing it. All of the feathers were in plastic bags and a box. That morning I had thought about taking it out to the fence and throwing it over to see how bad the damage was – maybe make an attempt at fixing it myself. However I was beat. I had pulled all-nighters the last two nights in a row trying to finish up a long awaited and ever-growing HUGE addition of video game content to a Pirate themed and age of sail video game I develop regularly. I needed a nap. I would tend to the tick later. How I wish I had not been so tired or just pushed through and performed that one additional task before I lay down.
About three hours later, I awoke to my Mother saying my name next to my bed. She never comes into my room. It was a shock. She said the dogs had got out and that Sterling (my brother) had gone into the woods to look for them. How I wish she had told me a little more. My military mode kicking in – my greatest and first concern was to secure the location – ensuring that the remaining dogs didn’t get out as well. So I spent the next fifteen or twenty minutes looking for a hole in the fence that they must’ve got out of. But I couldn’t find one. Only then did my Mother tell me that they had left the gate open taking the feather tick out of the yard to try to repair it. The dogs had escaped through the open gate. If I had been able to jet straight out – I might have caught them – but with twenty minutes now wasted, there was little chance – as rugged as those woods are.
I dashed to my four wheeler and headed into the forest. I was actually very distraught and concerned for numerous reasons. First, my brother is handicapped and I provide for him. He was born with “club feet” and can’t stay on his feet but for about a half hour at a time. The condition has been degrading and getting worse the older he gets. We tried to get him on state SSI disability, but the corrupt system thwarts all attempts for someone that truly needs the help. I was worried my brother would hurt himself, get lost or get shot. I have about ten acres myself and there are hundreds of acres of heavily forested land back there behind my own two acres of wooded area – both private and public.
Second, there were gun shots in the distance. People have a lot of guns in the country (Louisiana), but its deer season right now and there are more than usual. You could hear my dogs in the distance on a scent, yowling their heads off in exuberance. The gun shots were more rapid than usual and I was terrified my dogs were gonna get shot because of mad hunters losing their chances at a deer run off by my pack. The pack leader – named “Blue” because he had one blue eye – was the son of Luke who had ran away eight years ago. Blue was born that same year. Blue was a good dog – very good looking, muscular and fit like his daddy – but we had just never bonded. I knew Dasher and the others were simply following him – and he was fast!
I used to hunt with my dogs years ago in Oklahoma and South Dakota. We would hunt for game birds and rabbits. However, after Cu died I never hunted again. This group of dogs were younger and had never been trained to hunt – so they would for sure run any trash scent trail they came upon – including deer. I remember the most gun shy – and worst hunting dog I ever had (Phoebe was her name), who was a runt – getting loose in an Oklahoma wildlife refuge one time and going after a huge herd of several dozen well developed – very large mule deer. She ran them into a full stampede and it was hilarious to see those dozens of huge beasts terrified of this little runt of a yapping dog that we affectionately nicknamed “cartoon Dog” because of her huge bug eyes and over-sized ears. She was one of Cu’s puppies but didn’t turn out right like all the others had. That’s why we kept her. We knew she shouldn’t be bred.
Well, before you know it I had to have my entire family take cover behind a large clump of oak trees because she ran that herd into a big circle back around towards us – and they were coming right at us at a full clip! That’s how Beagles run game – in circles – it’s just instinct. We caught her and she never got away again. She lived to a ripe old age of 16 years and has been dead seven years now.
Third, these woods are treacherous! The loggers come in and log out certain portions from time to time and leave almost unpassable masses of junky “abatis” scrub timber in their wake. Roads that at one time might have been usable will often be nearly destroyed after they come through. Jagged stake like poles of smaller trees too small to be of use to them will be dead and sticking out of the ground at all angles – these open areas remind me of wasteland or a battlefield. Other places go swampy with intermittent creeks and heavy rooted mangrove or cedar type trees growing in standing water.
There are pits and holes of water back there and there are snakes – Timber Rattlers, Copperheads, and Water Moccasins!
In the past when I’ve headed out there, I’ve even pulled out a set of medieval replica greaves to wear around my legs below the knees. I have found strage things back in those woods. Once I came upon an old school prohibition or depression era whiskey/moon-shine still complete with coiled pipes and an old barrel style washing machine for the mash. Next to it was a truck with mud over half-way up its wheels – the woods reclaiming the old flatbed. It was a late thirties or early forties vintage. I was shocked to find it. Years past – a few other dogs got out and disappeared into that wilderness and never come home – and I found myself trudging through the wilderness looking for signs of them after I would come home from work. I was in good shape then – still in the service. A decade later and one tour served at the Pentagon and I sport a poochy belly, a grey beard and ride the four wheeler now.
I have been in wilderness areas in many different places around the world. What always strikes me so strange about Louisiana is how the woods can be so beautiful and so ugly at the same time. One grove might be stunningly beautiful and the field beyond an ugly muddy patch of gnarled timber with thickets of thorny vines and standing brackish water. It is just strange. My own home state of Idaho is so different with the soil itself seeming so clean and fresh, and every valley more beautiful than the one before — vast open tracts of grassland and high desert combined with endless deep breathtaking forests, mountains, gorges, canyons and moving fresh living waters. The places couldn’t be more different.
After one run through the woods circling around in a wide swath and trying to find my brother more than my dogs, I could barely hear them now and the gun shots continued to ring in the distance. The newly logged out areas alone took me twenty minutes or more to cross.
I came back home and there was my Mother looking extremely worried. My brother had not yet come home. The sun was sinking and I needed to find him above all else. I had visions of calling the Sheriff’s office and a full search being conducted. Off I went again. This time I headed further north and used more roads and trails to cover more ground. I would stop every so often and turn off the engine and just listen. I couldn’t hear the dogs at all now. Every now and then one distant bay might be heard. The gun fire had gone silent. I would yell my brothers name loudly over and over again. “STERLING!!!”
I found myself in places and on roads I hadn’t been before. On one old road that was washed out I knew it was gonna be hard going. The four wheeler wouldn’t take it and rolled over on top of me. I was able to get out of its way. With all of my strength I righted it and managed to pull it out of the hole without me on it. I was thankful I hadn’t seen even one snake.
This is the time of year they sometimes venture onto my own property. On more than one occasion I’ve had to kill them on my back patio where they come to find some heat and sun. Last year my youngest son ran into a big black cotton-mouth on the patio when he heard the dogs all going nuts with alert barking. Thankfully none of them were bit although even when they do get bit it never kills them. They get sick and go lay in a corner looking all disheveled for a few days and then they always come out of it. My son ran inside and grabbed a big, long handled medieval battle axe off of the wall. He swacked off its head with it and I was proud of him. I was away in Idaho and named him Stephen the Snake Slayer.
It was getting dark now and I was trying not to panic. I now knew that my number one priority was to get my own body home before I became a statistic myself. I have an excellent sense of direction – always have. Getting lost is an utter rarity for me. When I got home my Mom was so relieved. My brother had made it home OK – it was a miracle! He was soaking in a hot bath-tub trying to recover.
He had also managed to hobble back to utter exhaustion with two recovered dogs on leashes which he had taken with him. He caught up with and snagged Duke (my largest beagle – so big, that people mistake him for a large Bassett Hound) and Dotty (the smallest). Another dog had come home on his own – Trapper who is a strange Harrier throw-back and looks like he’s right out of an old German medieval woodcut with a strange shark like muzzle and underdeveloped teeth. He has a huge over-bite and an excellent nose. He could hunt for truffles. He always runs out of steam before the others and I was glad to see him back. The other girls had never got out.
Only Dasher and Blue were unaccounted for at this point. I am certain Dasher was simply following Blue.
I was worried sick for days. We got our first frost and cold nights. Days and nights went by and no sign of them. After searches by truck and adds online – inquiries with locals and at the shelters, rescues, etc… my dogs were clearly gone for good.
Its been a week now. None of my dogs have ever come home after a week’s time. I believe hunters shot my dogs that first night. So now here I am again with this empty hollow sick place in the pit of my stomach asking all kinds of questions about all kinds of unknowable things. My friend is gone – and I don’t think I will ever see him or his like ever again.
I now find myself once again in that dark place sobbing quietly alone late at night – hoping he is in a better place and knowing that if he had no value to those who brought about his end, he will always have value to me in the deepest center recesses and core of my heart. It wasn’t his fault either. Our fence is excellent. I made it myself to hold my dear friends within for their own safety. He escaped out of an open gate following the others – and one can go through the “if I’d have only just…,” way of thinking to death – and I won’t do that after my initial analysis of the whole episode.
My Mother feels terrible and feels responsible – but I have told her it is just a causal set of happenings and not to blame herself. It won’t help anything. All I know is that I’ve never cried at a funeral. That may seem cold, but I occasionally cry for people close to me – after the fact privately – grieving knowing I would not see them again – and also upset with myself for not having been a better nephew, uncle, friend, etc… to my relatives and friends.
However, the loss of those few canine friends I hold most dear is always even more upsetting to me than the loss of human acquaintances. Most people would think that there is something very wrong with me for holding such a viewpoint or feeling – but I am not most people. I am on the autism spectrum and “neuro-typicals” will never understand how my mind and thought process works. I don’t make friends easily – and with one of my canine friends that I truly bond with, the closeness, sharing and pure love is beyond what I can have with a human friend – who will always fail me at some point or another.
So good-bye my wonderful Dasher. I love you and I will always miss you – just as I miss my other true friends. I am so sorry I failed to keep you safe as your master.
If you are a hunter and you read this, please hold your fire if you see someone’s dog – even if it has scared away what you are after. That dog is way more like your children or your siblings in the way it thinks and feels and loves than the quarry you are hunting. It is very probably someone’s friend. If you believe in Karma at all, beware! The pain you thoughtlessly inflict on others through your stupid act – may just come back to visit you ten-fold someday in this life or the next.
I know to some this may seem so whiny and spoiled sounding. I realize there are people dying in Syria right now – and in many of the other 30 plus conflicts going on across the world. I realize that many of those people are struggling to survive – probably largely as a result of my own nation’s policies and aggression. I realize there are homeless people and people with nothing – all over the world – including right here at home within my own country. At least I realize it – unlike most of my countrymen who are completely blind and unaware of it – and don’t care and wouldn’t care even if they were aware. At least I do care and stay informed.
I realize I come off sounding like a spoiled entitled American. I am sorry, and you are right – but I am what I am. I am an American and I do enjoy the good things in my life and feel very blessed and privileged to own land and fine animals – and that I am able to travel and do the things I love and want to do. I love my freedom. But I won’t apologize for my feelings for my good friends that have passed on – both canine and human. I am alive and they are not.
MY youngest son believes that everyone is a hypocrite to some degree or another. I guess I have to agree. I am a hypocrite as well – but a hypocrite who will never stop loving or missing those I hold dearest.
It rained today. It is so much quieter around here now without those two boys around. The dragon-flies are fluttering about in the sun-light with the rain passed over and distant. They are all over – flying around my place today hovering about the lawn. They seem to be looking for their friend who used to chase them and play with them. But he is no longer here.
My friend is gone – and there will never be another one like him. I will be fortunate if I ever have another relationship similar to this one again. But I did have it and what a precious wonderful gift it was! What is the old saying…. “tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. I am better off for being his friend and am thankful that I came to know him and love him and spend time with him – and be loved by him – what could be better than that. Isn’t that really what all of us want – to love and be loved?
Aaron R. Shields
Lt Colonel, US Army (Retired) A.K.A. MK
August 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm #4616
Yeah, I convinced my family to go on an outing to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah, as an early birthday present. We attended the play Treasure Island just yesterday afternoon, and it was very fun – really pumped up my piratey enthusiasm.
Of course, this doen’t have a thing to do with GOF (besides giving me a bit of inspiration for a future quest idea to write up), but I wanted to share my experience with everybody after having so much fun seeing something like that.
August 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm #4619
Hey, we have a great, annual Shakespeare Festival in my state, too. Quite a trip for where I live, though…way south of us so I think I’ve only gone once and that was a long time ago.
Glad the rest of your family catered to your idea…but Treasure Island is considered a classic story, so maybe helped make it easier for you to convince 🙂
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