A Collection of Musings

The last last two weeks have been pretty crazy, and it hasn’t left me a lot of time to put my thoughts together in anything approaching a satisfying way.  So, here is the reader’s digest of what has been going on lately.  Since we’re covering a lot of ground here, this is a little longer than usual.  Apologies in advance.


Once Again, I have not much when it comes to “on-topic” visual aids.  I do, however, have T. Roosevelt taking on a bigfoot like the bad ass he is.  You’re welcome.  (Artist:  Jason Heuser),

The hospital my wife stayed at during her labor had the foresight to have a coffee bar located within.  Not just a coffee bar; a 22-hour coffee bar.  This refueling station gave me the energy to stay up and keep an eyeball on her while she made some desperate attempts at sleep during the laboriously slow* induction process.  It also gave me an excuse to explore the place a little from time to time.  I didn’t get too terribly adventurous; I didn’t want to be too far away from my wife, and I certainly didn’t want to get in anyone’s way.  During my limited explorations, however,I did stumble across an inter-faith chapel.

It was a bizarre little nook, that was at once underwhelming and interesting.  The space was a bit cramped, suggesting that it may have been earmarked as a janitor’s closet at one time.  I was pleasantly surprised that some vestigial attempt at honoring multiple faiths was made (the Bible, Torah, and Koran were all in attendance, as well as a compass pointing to Mecca).  The most vexing part was that it felt very sterile, and that’s not some hospital pun.  It was a spiritual place that lacked spirituality; it just also lacked anything that would have gotten in it’s way.

There were no Heathen touches within, which didn’t surprise me.  It did made me ponder, for a moment, what it would be like to be a Heathen  staying at such a hospital.  What it would be like to desire spiritual support, yet have had no means to acquire it.  While our faith has nothing equivalent of last rites or anything similiar, we do have things that are sacred to us.  There would be no one there to share stories with anyone there, nor to pass on such a person’s last thought if they were in their final moments.  No one to knock on some doors and ensure proper hospitality was being given by the hospital.  No galdring for health.  No devotions to Eir.  Nothing.   It was a sad realization, I’ve been thinking on it ever since.

It’s moments like these were I consider looking into what it would take to be a Gothi.

Peanut was born almost five weeks premature.  While she ended up staying in the NICU for only eight days (the doctors projected at least two weeks), it still meant that I ended up taking my wife home almost a week ahead of our newborn daughter.  That really took a toll on my wife, so she mitigated the stress by trying to live in the NICU as much as possible.  While the facility in question was staffed with what I can only describe as an all-star team, they weren’t her parents and that was what mattered most to me and my wife.  While she normally waited until after Munchkin went to bed so she count attend the night feeding, she ran herself ragged one day and asked me to take up the duty.  So out I went, to see if I could help by youngest daughter throw back a few.

After it was all said and done, and I sat there with a little comatose heap of milk filled infant, I think I really connected with the Heathen sense of family for the first time.  It’s not that I didn’t grasp it in an academic sense it; I just couldn’t personally relate.  While I held my daughter in my arms and hummed to her a few old songs my from my childhood to help her relax**, things came into focus  While Munchkin is my daughter in all ways that count, I wasn’t there from birth.  While my six year old taught me about the stakes of being a dependable father, Peanut seems to be teaching me more about what it feels like for a man to become a father.  The fact that I was a father before this is, largely, irrelevant.

As always, I go through life lessons completely backwards.  Makes for interesting stories, however.

I used to say that I wasn’t a Lokean.  More recent events have caused me to question that stance, though I’m still inclined to say that I don’t identify with the term.  This isn’t out of lack of connection with the Trickster of Asgard, but rather because I have no damn clue over what the

term actually means.  So rather that trying to decipher some other misused word, I decided to just see how I felt about the issue and go from there.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

LokiI worship Loki because he is the one who has looked after me.  I wouldn’t call him a patron or a fulltrui, because that would put a projection of an obligation that I don’t feel comfortable with.  I hold him in great respect, and feel that the route of much of American Heathery’s problem with him stems mostly from the American culture, conversion issues, and UPG….all of which I’m fine with, so long as they don’t tell feel the need to proselytize such feelings and treat anyone who disagrees with them as a lesser being.

For some time now, every article I’ve written has been a devotional act.  I said a silent prayer to Loki in the moments before I released one article in particular, saying that it was for his honor that I wrote it and put it out there.  Than, the article absolutely exploded and got me an incredible amount of exposure.  I felt blessed, but I also felt like it would be easy to abuse devotional work for my own popularity and ego…and that was something that made me incredibly uncomfortable.  At the same time, I find the idea of not giving proper credit where it is due even more distasteful.

I am not a Lokean, but only because I think the definition of the term is an absolute cluster fuck.  I don’t put a title on my devotional work because I don’t need one, and it’s really not anyone’s business by his and mine anyway.

lgofygygI didn’t mention it at the time, but I’ve had devotional work published on two separate occasions.  Both occasions were in the same e-magazine; the AFA’s “Rune Pebble”, which is a periodical for Heathen kids.

I have been critical of the AFA’s public stances, and my criticism isn’t going anywhere.  It is a mistake, however, to miss the forest for the trees.  Many AFA members have racist stances, which they decorate with semantics and apologetics to cloud the issue.  On the other hand, many actually believe those stances, and honestly believe that what they say is a valid platform***.  Others remain because they see Heathenry as being more important than the politics, and still others stay to fight those exact forces and bring forth change from within.  Do I agree with all of those stances?  Some I can get behind, and others I can’t.  To pretend that the entirety of the Asatru Folk Assembly is nothing by white supremacists and fascists, however, is folly.

The moment I stop making those distinctions for my own convenience is the moment I become just as bad as the extremists I oppose.

Here is a little storyThe other day, I published a blog post that started some criticism on the work of Joseph Bloch****.  I made it pretty clear that I was just scratching the surface, and that there was more to come.  I probably would have already published it, were such writing not so emotionally draining.

I was quite surprised when Mr. Bloch has something to say to me…which was that I had gotten his name wrong; I had originally attributed his work to Jon Upsal, which was a name in the title of his blog.  It turned out to be a reference to Odin from Danish folk lore.  I politely apologized for the mistake, and made the correction.  He thanked me, congratulated me on the birth of my daughter, and eluded to his one of his own children’s stays in the NICU.  That was it.

Make no mistake, I still have criticisms to make.  I remain unmoved by his stance, and I think it’s a discussion that the Heathen community needs to be having.   He will, however, be treated respectfully.  His diplomacy is something I will honor, even though his opinion is something I cannot.

There is no place where frith and grith do not enter; the internet is no excuse for bad manners.

*Pun intended.

** Piranha Plant’s Lullaby for Super Mario 64, Home Sweet Home from Final Fantasy V, and Celes’ Aria from Final Fantasy VI for the curious.  By the by, I never realized how AMAZINGLY good old video game music was for babies.

*** I don’t accept the racialization of Heathenry regardless of anyone’s intent, but someone who believes such a stance is a far different animal from one who puts forward an argument that they don’t believe for no other reason than to deflect criticism.

**** That criticism stands, by the way.  I do think that the article I wrote it in represents some of my poorest work however, as I was trying to per-emptively strike down potential criticism.  What I actually achieved, however, was recklessly confusing people with my own projections.

Check me out, over at Patreon!  I have a constantly updated feed, which displays all of my work.  It also post material that didn’t make the final version there, general updates, and the like.


Serious Putty, ADD, and Sloppier then Fiction

Comic is from XKCD, by the brilliant Randall Monroe

I suck…suck at taking myself seriously.

I’ve talked about this before, though I think I was just really trying to just get the “I’m really frustrated and GRRRAHHGFRAKRA…fuck this” out into the open so I could pick it apart and examine it.  You know, out into the open where I could actually get a look at it in decent light and figure out what the heck this mess was made of.

Then hit it with a hammer.  A lot.

Also from XKCD by Randall Monroe.

In either case, I realized that I probably end up blaming my attention span for the issue more then it deserves.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; that is also a problem.  My attention span and I have, what you might call, an adversarial relationship.  The thing is that I’ve managed to, more or less, fine tune this problem into an additional tool set.  I still really can’t have the TV on at the same time that I intend to do anything but watch TV, but I’ve also managed to find ways to make it work to my benefit.  It’s still pretty damn tricky, and I remain capable of buggering it up from time to time.

It’s not the problem it once was however, and it seriously isn’t holding me back like I thought.  No, the problem is my almost religious devotion to not taking myself seriously.  Ever.

As I grew up, whenever people around me were pretentious?  It hurt me.  It still does, more often then not.  It hurt me worst when I displayed it, and I think I naturally just gravitated towards humility as a result of patten recognition.  I’m happy with that too, as humility is much more prone to self-discovery and growth then walking around thinking that you’re perfect.  Most of the presumption and cockiness I have is a sort of private joke.  Look at me, says the joke, I am a parody of arrogance!  Look all this stuff that is nothing more then ego insulation for the insecure douchebags of the world!

XKCD again… 😉

Which is all fine, and good, and very useful at dealing with said bags of douche.  Try to create something more interesting then a D&D character however, and suddenly that incredible lens of pretension penetration backfires.  That internal dialogue is now picking apart everything I try to do…because who am I to take anything  seriously?  I mean, isn’t there someone more qualified for this?

I’ve been trying to keep the message of a particular video I found in my head lately.  It was posted by one of my favorite Youtube personalities, Levni Yilmaz.  While all of his Tales of Mere Existence are solid gold, the follow strikes a nerve in a profound way.

I always love Lev’s work, because there is an amount of underlying self-awareness with everything he does.  It’s like he doesn’t quite get why anything he does resonates with anybody, and that he takes it too damn seriously, but he’ll be buggered before he lets something stop him from creating.  I strongly suspect this, due to this other video he posted which seems somewhat related to the preceding one.  I’m not going to pin it here since this post is sort of bloated as is, but I strongly advise you to watch it if the first one entertained you at all.  Seriously, the guy does great work.

So really, it’s about pushing forward.  I haven’t yet figured out the shape that it will take.  It’s going to be interesting to say the least.  It’s also probably going to be really difficult, but mostly I find myself looking forward to it in spite of this.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this has the potential to be a lot of fun.

Perspective, or “We’ve always been assholes.”

I feel like I ended up coming of age in one of the worst political and economic climates the entire world has ever seen, and that after I came of age it only got worse.  If you listen to any news service, it seems the United  States is in a nose dive of petty political infighting, the likes of which have never before been seen.  It’s always someone’s fault, but no one seems to agree on who that is.  One thing is certain: we’re all screwed and it has never been worse.

Then I remind myself that this statement is bullshit.

In 1798, President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts.  These were a group of four acts that, if you’ll allow the short version of things, gave the government the power to silence and imprison critics.  That’s right, criticism was a freaking crime…a crime 11 were tried for and 10 actually served time for.  This wasn’t some modern thing.  This was something that happened in the first 10 years of our country’s existence, and during the second president’s tenure.  This was at the dawn of our political existence, and it didn’t bode well for us.

I have no illusions about how bad things are.  I have no illusions about how much gun control, economic warfare, taxation, gender politics, military politics, politics politics, freed of speach, freedom of religion, bipartisanism, bisexuals, infighting, out there fighting, and every other topic under the sun are effecting our country’s well being.  I get it.  I understand this.  However, to listen to the news?  We are on the brink as we have never been before.  It’s the end of times….

…because that is what sells.  Fear.  Anger.  Hate.

I think back to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, and Jon Stewart’s moment of sincerity…

..the above clip cuts off one of my favorite parts unfortunately…which I have found a transcript of.

Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution and racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day.  The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals, or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do, often something they do not want to do. But they do it, impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make. -Jon Stewert

I wonder why CBS (the people who posted the youtube clip)  cut that part of his speech out.  Sort of a poignant omission, don’t ya think?

We’ve done stupid things…and we’re going to do stupid things again.  Same as always.  Same as everyone else.  I’m not going to make excuses for the foolish things our leaders do….but I’m not going to fall into the trap that does nothing but give money and attention to fearmongering tactics.

I’m better then that.  We all are.

Topic Buffet: Airborne Mongols, Kotex Terrorism, and 50 Shades of Dorks

"Influenza, bitches!"

“Influenza, bitches!”

Dear gods, do I love Airborne!  I was initially dubious of a product that seemed to be the fucked up, radiation baby between alka-seltzer and hippie vitamins.  Then both the lady pet and SH ended up with ebola of the throat, so I felt that the seven dollar risk was worth safeguarding against the potential loss of 10~20 pay hours.

Holy fuck nuggets, it actually worked.  My immune system has, thus far, kept the mongol horde at bay.  I feel like I just found a buff item out of an MMO.  These things are fantastic.

So it seems the Pentagon (which, as a shape, can kick the ass out of a rhombus), has lifted the ban on women in combat.

If you menstruate?  The terrorists win.

If you menstruate? The terrorists win.

While there are some very interesting, very worthwhile, and very poignant discussions to be had on this topic?  I’m most looking forward to watching conservative outlets try to explain why this is bad thing while trying to do so without being so misogynistic that they get pitchfork wielding mobs.  My guess is they’ll try and make a connection with the period, menstruation, and logistical concerns therein.

Seriously, I’m willing to bet money within the next year that some jack ass blames military spending on tampons, tissues, and Midol provisions.  This sort of stupidity writes itself.

By the way, special thanks to David Demar, the Amateur Professional, for bringing this issue to my attention.

Women in Politics = Patriotic High Heels? Dafuq?

Women in Politics = Patriotic High Heels? Dafuq?

While we’re talking about gender politics, I feel bad for women when it comes to voting.  The leading Democrat and Republican female politicians are both trope-tastic meme fuel.

The Republicans have Sarah Palin, and holy shit…she acts like “Hunter Hick Barbie”, with a public speaking ability granted via her inexplicable ability to read a teleprompter.  Then there is Hilary Clinton…aka Lady Macbeth.  I am fully convinced that the only reason she conceded the Democrat’s nominati0n in 2008 was because she was also vying to be the Witch-Queen of Narnia, and she could only reasonably manage one.

At this point, I hope Oprah does run someday; it would be nice to see a woman vying for President of Vice-President that doesn’t make me cringe.

Pictured: A place that doesn't understand a county isn't a state.

Pictured: A place that doesn’t understand a county isn’t a state.

So apparently, Franklin County in Indiana has declared that any Federal modifications to the second amendment don’t count and are invalid.  In other news, awwww….isn’t that cute?  Bumblefuck-Nowhere, Indiana thinks it’s a sovereign nation!  How adorable!

On a related note, I’ve noticed a disturbing correlation.  There seems to be a tendency amongst those to view the Right to Bare Arms as sacrosanct and unable to be modified due to the obvious intent of the founding fathers.  So….why don’t these same people have the same view about separation of church and state?

No one does literary criticism like Gaston...

No one does literary criticism like Gaston…

I have mixed feelings about the whole “Shades of Grey” trilogy.

Not as a book; gods no.  I wouldn’t even let the rats use it as cage liner.  BDSM-esque Trilight fan-fic?  No. no. no.  What I am curious about is what is might end up doing to fetish sub-culture.

World of Warcraft was the last catalyst needed to push nerd and gamer cultures out of its own niche, and bring it into the broader pop culture audience.  It wasn’t the first blow either.  Now, this brought about a lot of changes.  Did it start off as a wave of sub par, pseudo-geek  crap that pandered to the worst stereotypes and frat boys? Well, yes.  It also got us an Avenger’s movie directed by Joss Whedon, the ability to buy packs of Magic at 3:17am at a Wal-Mart, ushered in conventions like PAX, and you can probably also thank it for the rise of YouTube serials and Kickstarter backed creativity.

It sucked at first, but it also started a Dorkish Renaissance….and some of what that has yielded as been amazing.

I wonder if the Greys won’t do the same things for the fetish and BDSM; draw in the masses, and leave the already curious

.....just make sure they can remember it....

…..just make sure they can remember it….

hungry for the real meat and potatoes.  It’s hardly the first push, it’s hardly the last shove…but it was a big one, and I’msort of cautiously eager to see where this leads….and the changes are already visible.  Some of them are hilarious.We now live in a world where grannies can and have purchased main stream fetish porn in a supermarket.

It’s  a brave new world….which, by the way, makes a good phrase to use as a safeword.

Feeding the Kindle

Dear gods, I need to stop buying books for my Kindle.

No...not that Andy Williams....

Turns out Andy Williams knows a ton about search engine optimization…

Over the last month I have purchased Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle,  Guards! Guards! by Terry Prattchet, Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, SEO 2013 & Beyond by Andy Williams, Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson, Honoring Sigyn by Galina Krasskova, and The Culture of the Teutons by Vilhelm Gronbech.  I am alternating, in more or less an active fashion, four of them.  I have actually finished one.

I might have a problem.

Truth be told, that’s really more bragging then complaint or cry for help.  I really do love my e-reader.  It’s been getting pretty consistently fed, and I’m planning on feeding it more still.  Aside of that horde I mentioned I have twice as many

Magic: because having fun should be fucking complicated

Magic: because having fun should be fucking complicated

books I’ve already purchased, two PDFs with some of Sis’s stories…and probably her thesis once I remember to download it, the complete rules for Magic the Gathering, a copy of  a tender and sweet promise the lady pet and I have made to each other, some of Mark Stinson’s work, and a dictionary.  This device, for all that, weighs in at less then a pound.

I have heard some complaints about the fall of libraries, and that’s a pretty legitimate concearn; I’m not really fond ot if either.  However it’s hard to argue with the perks.  I have approximately 1,450 pages of Pratchett with me, and I can make that number double pretty damn easily.  I can reference Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince,  and Sun Tzu’s Art of War.  I can keep doing this as long as I remember to charge the battery once a century and as long as we’re not currently victims of an EMP pulse.

I’ve heard grumbling from bibliophiles that e-readers are no replacement for libraries…and while I

See, now if the local library had been more like this...

See, now if the local library had been more like this…

get their point, I wonder if they’re not missing a different one.  I never really was engaged by any of my local public libraries; they were filled with stuff I didn’t care about.  I grew up in subrubia, and the library wasn’t filled with treasures; it was filled with books that I could have gone to any bookstore and picked up for (in most case) five bucks.  I’m sure people with different tastes or with more established libraries has every reason to fall in love…but that wasn’t my case.

I have gotten from my kindle everything that people say they get from libraries…and my library goes where ever I do.  Growing up, I played games where items like mystical spell books where everywhere.  An ereader isn’t quite a spell book, but the technology feels a lot like magic sometimes.

Topic Buffet: Saint Gygax, Gargoyles, and Hylian Trampstamps

A SUNDRY of  TOPICS appeared!
It was knot vary effectiv.


I don’t always run dungeons… but when I do?  I go left.

* I really wish I could still be excited about the stuff WotC makes; products by Wizards of the Coast and the companies they’ve purchased have been some of my favorites.  It goes beyond D&D and Magic; they’ve also had ownership of Legend of the Five Rings, put out campaign settings like Planescape and Spelljammer, and even tried to make collectable dice games.  These guys are like, part of my childhood.  All the same, these people are all business now…and part of the magic has gone because of it

*I keep going back and forth on my political affiliation.  Not between Republican and Democrat….pft….GODS no.  I mean I COULD…I could also headbutt a brick over and over again.  No, I switch between Democrat and Libertarian.  I like the Democrats…until I realize that all the good intention in the world doesn’t give you enough motivation to do something about them.  I like the Libertarians….but laize faire economics scare me to the point where I can’t think about it to long without finding somewhere to lay down for a bit and weep.



*Hey Disney.  Okay.  Buying Marvel?  I was scared.  Not gonna lie, I was VERY scared.  Then you pumped out Avengers and some of the movies that preceded it.  They not only went off without a hitch, you nailed the landing.  Now you’ve Star Wars.  Okay, I’m down; I think you turn that puppy around.   You know what we need now?  GARGOYLES.  Come on.  You’re starting to kick ass again; double down on it.


What a fake; how can I tell if she has a timeline theory with her showing off that tattoo….freaking attention whore….

*So, the internet is angry at fake nerd-girls.  This surprises me since Disney purchased Star Wars, and Star Wars is the alpha topic for dorks of all stripes to get pissed about.   Still it has held on for some reason, and I find it laughable.  A lot of places and people have cited misogynous peter-pan assholeism, but I think the reason is actually more pathetic then that.

Short version: If you’re a dork and you get rejected by a girl who is also a dork?  Who gets all those nerdy things you love, loves them just as much as you, and STILL doesn’t want anything to do with you?  Where you don’t have the token excuse of “she doesn’t understand me or my passion and is a superficial bitch; I am the lone, misunderstood gentleman” to hide behind.  You’d have to accept that you are a desperate, ill-manner, jackass and that the only one to blame for your loneliness is yourself.  That it’s not about you being weird; it’s about you being unlikeable.

Fuck that…blame the geeky girls.  They’re obviously frauds, right?

The SUNDRY was defeated!
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