On Death

May 20, 2009

Death is a strange thing. I mean obviously it’s not terribly random; our cells are programmed to terminate at some point so we know it’s going to happen… But we never actually think about it happening, do we? It always seems so sudden — Yes I am aware that on occasion it is sudden, but I’m not talking about a car accident or a drive by or something that is not generally considered natural — and yet… it really should not be all that unexpected. People get old, and people die. This is a natural course of life and one you would think we’d be used to by now. But that’s not really how we work is it? We fight to prolong life constantly. Anti-aging cream, Bo-tox, vitamin supplements, artificial organs, heart lung machines… We refuse to accept the inevitable.

But that’s really not what I’m trying to go for here… I apologize, I tend to get side tracked.

What I’m trying to talk about is how we are always surprised by someone’s passing. It’s always a shock, like it never actually crossed our minds they could die, that they wouldn’t be there anymore. When my great grandmother died I felt… well a mix of a lot of things really. There was a lot of anger at my Mother who did not tell me my great grandmother was in the hospital, and maybe I’d like to say my last good-byes as her condition had been deteriorating rapidly. I wasn’t asked to help spread her ashes, nor was I ever really invited to the funeral. I found out by accident and confronted them. Amazing how that goes :P.

And now I put my anger aside.

For the past several years my Great Grandmother had not been in a good way. Despite being Jehova’s witness she never failed to send me $50 on my Birthday, and $50 at Christmas. NEVER. And still hadn’t forgotten to mail her cheques right up until she passed… however Birthday money had started to come three or four times a year (no, I didn’t cash the cheques) and she had forgotten my name almost completely. When I talked to her some times there was just this vague understanding that she knew who I was. I saw her at my cousin’s wedding — A good day for her praise the Lord — and while she looked beautiful in her white dress and her pearl necklace… I could see she was getting frail… But it never once crossed my mind that she’d die.

I mean, I knew she was getting older, I knew her diabetes was going to shorten her life and that her passing would probably be soon… I knew the players, I knew what was coming but it never crossed my mind it would happen.

I found out today that a friend, a mentor, and my first customer as a self employed business person passed away about a month ago. The last I had heard from him and his wife, they were in Mexico, enjoying their snowbird home and finally managing to get a real honest to goodness Internet connection set up. Also the cell phone company ripped them off again, could I help them sort that out?

They were — are — both amazing people. They were instrumental in getting my business off the ground through the encouragement they offered and the advice they gave. I was relatively shocked to receive the phone call this morning from his wife because I was under the impression they wouldn’t be back until late June early July. The news was jolting. She didn’t want to go into details over the phone, and even if she had I’m not sure if I’d feel terribly comfortable discussing what happened here. That’s not to say I don’t love and adore all 12 of my anonymous IP addresses, but there are some things I think it better not to discuss.

What I will ask is that you pray for his wife who survives him, and their newly engaged son. Pray that God would send down angels and have a hand on them during this time. For now I offer my own.

May God send a fleet of Angels on gilded wings to see you home safely.

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“Oh my God, that’s it!” Justin is hurled out of his dream and into the office he had fallen asleep in. His crew looks at him after catching their breath, startled by the sudden outburst.
“What is it?” Derek asks sounding on edge, probably also in need of a few hours of shut eye.
“The reason the Kaldel want Madison so badly… Of course!”
“What? How?” Steve asks incredulously, “You just figured this out while you were napping?”
Justin bolts up out of his chair and runs out of his office, through the cargo bay, and onto the bridge, “What were we doing three years ago?”
“Three years ago?… The Vergan Temple incident?” Derek asks.
“The Vergan were dying, some virus or another implanted itself in to their technology and it was killing them slowly, they needed some way to purge the virus.” Steve clarifies.
“Yeah… yeah, I think… I think I remember,” Madison chimes, also following Justin, Derek, Steve, and Jay onto the bridge. A few images, black and white and blurry like before flash in her mind… a giant temple built from strange metal… lights everywhere. “I was there, right?”
“You were, practically everyone was.” Justin continues as he sits at the ship’s helm cycling up the Telthan’s systems, “The Vergan were the architects of most of the technology that ran EDF in it’s hay-day, and still the backbone for most of the computer systems that run our ships at present.”
“So… What? The Kaldel are pissed that she helped save them? Doesn’t make any sense, why not go after all of us? Besides, what do they care about the Vergan?” Steve is also cycling up the systems as he takes a seat in front of the secondary flight panel.
“They don’t care about the Vergan.”
“What do they care about then?” Derek asks impatiently.
Justin sighs after completing the launch prep, “The USS Adriatic was given to me after I saved the Vergan home planet from getting blown to kingdom come…”
“Oh no…” Madison mutters quietly putting her hand over her mouth.
“…but part in parcel with that ship was it’s unanticipated AI, call sign Adriana.” Justin swivels his chair to look at everyone, “They didn’t want to kill Madison because she might be important to me… They wanted her dead because she was the only one in the comms room when Adriana helped purge the system three years ago while she was still hiding in the depths of space.”
Derek slumps down into the Captain’s chair his hand over his eyes, “She was looking at the star map when Adriana made contact.”
“Madison would have seen where we were receiving the transmission from. She’s the only one who knows where the Adriatic is, and they want Madison out of the way so we can’t find her.”


This one came to me a few days ago and I’ve finally fleshed out this section. EDF stands for Earth Defense Forces. It was this sci-fi adventure thing I cooked up with I was in grade 10 or so. My life was relatively boring so I used to imagine I went on these missions for this clandestine organization that helped protect the earth from countless armies all over the universe. Lots of fun.

Anyways, bed time now.

So my ex-girlfriend has become hooked on Pokemon like it’s crack. She has my DS and has already caught her first six, with her first being at level 14 and the rest being at a range of 6 – 8… Translation for those who know nothing about Pokemon: She spent like all Gorramn afternoon yesterday playing Pokémon! As such I now have to a get a new Pokémon game for myself because she has become so attached to the ones she has caught :P. But don’t worry, once I get my Chimchar, Shinx, and Starley leveled up… I’ll put her in her place.

I wanna hear a Hoo-Ha Sargent!

Things have been going well. A minor hick-up with my billing through one of my clients has me borrowing some money to make sure bills are paid but… beyond that I’ve got my head above water. Always positive.

I have to leave now. I realize this is abrupt and short but I just remembered I have some Student Loans paperwork to fill out.

/Beware The Bear

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!!

May 7, 2009

So you may or may not have noticed the side bar on the side titled “Things I’m Into”. I’ve always liked the idea of websites having something like that about their authors, kind of connects you with them and gives you an insight into their lives.

Writing has been great. I have three projects that I’m active into which helps me when I get writer’s block. I’m back doing “A Detective’s Story” A modern day crime story narrated in the first person. “Heroes” a fantasy adventure I’m re-writing for one of my sisters (I have several you know). “In Harm’s Way” which is the name given to the ship my RP group flies in.

Writer’s block is the primary reason I never finish any of my works. I have this tendency to have this grand image of where I want the story to go and plenty of the stuff I want to happen… and then I just have no idea how I want to get there. So have three projects that I’m invested in really helps that because a block is inevitable, so I just switch over to something else until the block fades, but I never STOP writing. Which helps in my opinion.

Your opinion might be different though, and I would like to take this moment to acknowledge your opinion, and let you know how much it means to me.

I’m back to doing a Role Play again, DM of course, and this time we’re dipping into the world of Firefly/Serenity.  I’ve really enjoyed building the campaign and setting the stage for the long term story. Of course, it helps that I am totally IN LOVE with the Firefly/Serenity universe so I’m finally able to get this desire to write some fan fiction out of my system. I’ve got a few classic players gaming with me and a few new ones. It’s pretty fun. It’s nice to have the creative juices flowing again.

… Apparently that’s all I have to say… I was going to say more but I’ve failed.

I love music. I am a HUGE lover of music. There is always a new mixed CD in my Van, I always have some new music on my mp3 player, I sing to myself, I dance to the music in my head and in my ear, and I’m a sub-par singer.

As  far as genres go, I was baptised in the waters of Country Music, 80s Pop, and 70s/80s Rock and Roll, but I’ve grown to love almost all genres over my time. In fact I love music so much, that despite being a member of the “Napster” generation, I own over 80% of the music on my computer. the other 20% or so is pirated, yes, but that’s because I can’t find the CDs or the downloadable versions.

So today I’ve been hunting around for some music on YouTube since I can’t afford to buy anything. Shiny Toy Guns does a great song called “Transmission to Major Tom” which you might recognize from the Lincoln TV commercials. This song is also a free download from their site an has subsequently gotten me hooked on David Bowie and his song Space Oddity.  I’ve been trying to find Cat Power‘s cover of the song, but with no success. I’m not sure how, but this also led me to a great Vs song by Greenday and Oasis (note: I HATE Oasis, so calculate that as I tell you I love this song) a combination of Beaulivard and Wonderwall.

So for now I leave you with these artists you should check out, and a musical list that may or may not explain a lot about me.

Favorite Musical artist: Garth Brooks
Favorite Band: AC/DC
Favorite CD: The Longest Road
Favorite Genre: 80s Pop
Notable Artists:
Big & Rich
Eminem
Nickleback
Def Leppard
Aerosmith
Black Eyed Peas
Spirit of the West
Kid Rock
Dr. Dre
Anything from “Grease”
Quietdrive
Disney Show Tunes.

Woah… Just… woah!

April 26, 2009

For those of you who manage your way here, I need you to detour to this website. This comic is written  by a friend of mine who, and I didn’t know this, is a VERY talented writer. As most of you know, or should know if you’ve been paying attention, I am a huge comic book nerd. THIS is note worthy. THIS could stand up against any dozen of works I’ve ever read.

You should also leave a comment if you head over there and read it, it would really help her and her creative team, even if it’s just as simple as “This comic are good”.

Though I’m sure grammar would be appreciated

Being Broke Sucks

April 7, 2009

So I tried to change my blog layout today only to discover that my subscription to the layout… thing expired and I’m not really in a position to renew. WordPress has many advantages and is really a great blogging tool with it’s easy to use interface, large web storage for media on the site… but it does have a semi major flaw in that I cannot actually edit the website unless I pay. However, if I pay to edit the website I actually can’t change the main components, just the RSS (colours of links, colours of the background, text size, etc.).

That was something I really enjoyed with my prior blog actually and I’m relatively perturbed that I can’t do it here. It was a great creative outlet for me. Being a programmer by trade I just really enjoyed the opportunity to put my skills to use, and when I have opportunities to integrate design with function… well that’s a big old Nerd-gasm for me.

Anyways, back to being broke.

I’m not entirely broke. Looks like I’ll have enough money to make bills this month, it’s just that I don’t have a lot of breathing room on that accord. Business has been picking up steadily but what I need to do is take some money and put some advertising in the paper… just… can’t afford to do that right now. It’s a conundrum to say the least. I’m not a particular fan of being broke (or close to it) as I am generous in nature, or so most people would note of me. And in all honesty, after spending most of last year in financial crisis, it was starting to feel good to be doing more than just treading water.

Guess that’s not God’s plan though.

That’s actually been a bit of a struggle for me. I think I’m just a little warn down from last year and the year before– Buying the van a month before losing my high paying tech job, being kicked out of my home, again, struggling to get my schooling done and to make enough money to pay my bills– when I got the job at the pizza place things started to look up. I kind of figured I’d be okay… but in all honesty I got comfortable. The thought had grazed the surface of consciousness once or twice, “Where is this all going?”, and then God came down and forced me to make a decision.

It does suck being broke, and it’s scary as all hell… But I’m ready. I’m ready to struggle, I’m ready to do this thing and to ride it out to the end.

I’m ready.

The Long Hard Road

April 2, 2009

So I got fired from my job recently. A less than thrilling ordeal that mostly involved being stabbed in the back. A couple months ago I tried to host a staff meeting so that way we could come up with ideas that might help turn the business around. Now the reason I was trying to host this staff meeting was the owner and manager (owner’s son) had no interest whatsoever in hosting a staff meeting; they simply didn’t want to pay for it. Fine.

At the end of the day I wasn’t sure if I should invite management, and then was advised by one of the assistant managers that it might mean more to the owner if it just came from staff. The staff initially sounded really stoked about the idea, but within a few days voices of decent arose; people were coming up with premptive excuses not to go, blah blah blah… So I called it off.

Well somehow the manager found out, and decided that I needed to be fired. Somebody squawked and he managed to find enough people to go along with him, ignoring other voices of decent. It happens.

So now I’m unemployed. I’m looking for work but of course the economy mostly dictates I’m not going to find it, or if I do it won’t likely have the hours I’ll need. So I’m relying mostly on my home business to see me through at this point. Not sure how that’s going to go, but there it is.

I’ve had to rely on faith a lot lately, which is a lot harder for me in desperate times than it is in good time oddly enough. It’s scary. I am scared. I don’t know what’s going to come of this, and I have no expectations. Just prayer. That’s all I have right now.

Of course, I know now that’s all I need. I was in Calgary the last few days and I got to see my sister, which was so great. On my way to her house I really screwed up my knee and it hurt like a son of a gun. I nearly fell two more times so I started praying that God would help me stay on my feet, and keep me safe. And God left me with a feeling of safety. There was this rush, an overwhelming feeling of safety, of something that was saying “I’m not going to let you fall. I will always be here. Wait on me.” and it was…. I needed it. I really needed it.

When I got home I was having trouble sleeping, as always, so I watched some TV and for the first time I really listened to that Honey Nut Cheerios commercial featuring “I Try” a Macy Grey cover by Ben Taylor. I downloaded the song and I’ve been listening to it almost non stop. I don’t know why, this has resonated with my relationship with God. I’ve felt closer, and it’s just reminded me more and more that God is by my side, and he has not, nor will he ever leave…

It feels good.

Anyway, not much else to say right now so I’m going to leave it as is.

I’ll catch you later.

The Once and Legendary…

March 12, 2009

Note: There’s something I need to explain before you read this so you can begin to understand what is going on. As a writer, as much as someone like me is or ever will be a writer, I very rarely create my characters. In fact, more often then not I don’t really create any of it. Things just show up there. I mean I have put things there, but I can always tell when re reading my works that I put it there. If any of my work is decent it shows up there all on it’s own. I will watch a character walk into something, I will see how he reacts, and where he goes next and I will write this down. I know this sounds ridiculous but for me to say that I thought out every inch of everything good I’ve ever written, would be a complete and utter lie. (moo).

There something else interesting that has come along with this, and if the last part made you think I was a little crazy, this next part will definitely bring you to call the men from the padded house… I occasionally converse with these characters. I have conversations with them and I don’t really have any control over what they’re going to say… I just… write down what they’re telling me.

I know it sounds silly so I’m going to stop explaining it at risk of bringing myself to call the happy house and just post this conversation that I had with one of my oldest characters. Keep in mind that he and I have some understandings, we know what the subject is so we don’t have to explain it but that goes along with little things as well. He knows what I mean when I talk about “but that almost always works out for the better” and the like because most times I don’t have to explain it to him.

Also for readability’s sake I’ve bolded him… Not that he would normally do that… He doesn’t shout.

 

I never thought I’d see you here.

You had to know I’d come. You wrote the motto.

I did, but I had not thought it would bring you from beyond the veil.

Well you helped. You couldn’t possibly expect that in the process of re-writing me I wouldn’t sneak into your head again.

…I’m lost.

This is new for you.

Yes.

Your workings are generally simple, a machine of hopeless romantics and ideals, and pragmatism.

I know.

You’ve never had trouble consulting this before, what seems to be the problem now?

There’s something else there.

The heart.

Exactly.

It’s a puzzle to be sure.

On the one hand I have the simple engine that tells me exactly what I should do and why. It has very rarely misguided and even then that almost always works out for the better.

Because of the hidden gear.

Ka.

Ka.

But then there’s this other thing that has begun to whisper. Partially honor, but I think even that is involved in this well of emotion.

You cannot be guided by emotion-

I know that.

-it would undoubtedly lead to-

Hey! I know, alright?

Then why are we here?

Because it’s not as simple as all that.

How so?

You leaped to save a little girl from plummeting to her doom. Your engine is just as simple as mine and it would have told you that had the girl died, while tragic, it would have solved a lot of immediate problems. And it wasn’t even the hidden gear that told you to jump either… it was emotion.

It was.

Why are you here?

Because you called for me.

Yes well… Normally you have answers for me.

In this case I think the answer is the question.

… Explain.

The question is which engine do you consult? That simple hopeless romantic/pragmatic box that normally runs you? The emotional box that brings us to do great, and sometimes terrible things?

I suppose you’re-

Or.

Or?

Or, do you wait for an answer from the hidden gear?

… What if it’s an answer I don’t like?

Does that matter?

You know when that hidden gear turns, you can tell when it’s the thing that brings about your answers from your simple machine. Be patient. Have faith. Wait for it’s gears to turn. And when you have your answer thank that gear and go about it’s work.

… Thank you.