Monday, December 31, 2007

Fast Eddy and the Four Shots (or a New Years that only I might Remember)


It's 10.58 as I start this post on this New Year's Eve, and let me tell ya, the fun has already happened and is now being put to bed.

You see, I made the mistake of inviting my good friend Eddy, a young fellow PCT at my hospital who has a knack for making people like him simply by being so damn frigging likable, over to the hold to meet The Evil Twin on his way home from work. I should have known he'd bring a bottle of Jose Quervo with him, and it all went downhill from there.

Three, no, make that four, I think, shots later (I only had one because I don't do straight hard liquor but was bullied into it by the others, and I have to admit it DID go down alot smoother than I anticipated), Eddy said his good-nights, seeing that he, like myself, have to work tomorrow, and besides, his wife and kids were probably wondering where he was by then. It was shortly after Mr. instigator left that the full effect of the tequila began to make itself known by the increasingly strange behavior of my Soul Mate and my Offspring, Goddess bless them both.

The wife began a non-stop cacophony of laughter whilst sitting on her ass while the daughter struck up an online conversation with a girl friend she had left back in Arizona, who was obviously much more sober than this crowd and was enjoying the spectacle, via webcam, of my two drunk relations, while I, THE very much sober and ever-responsible Man of the Manor looked on and shook his head.

It is yet another hour before 2008 sashays its way into our time zone, and already the Daughter has emptied her stomach on our porch and THE Wife, Bob bless her, has passed out cold in the bed room, in the bed I somehow managed to get her into before she lost consciousness. My only regret is that the battery in our camcorder hasn't been recharged, robbing me of the opportunity to gather mucho blackmail material in living color.

As I type this and get ready for the New Year, THE Daughter is still upchucking in her bathroom quite loudly, and I am almost tempted to feel sorry for her. I won't, tho, because I am sure the fun she had tonight was worth every heave she is now experiencing. Would any of us in our heyday give back the experiences we enjoyed that led to our worshiping at the porcelain Goddess? I think not.

If this blog had been an enterprise that measured it's success by the numbers of faithful readers or some amount of money it might have garnered, you know and I know it would have been a roaring failure of utter proportions. Since you nor I have measured this vessel by visitations to ports of such kind of worth, I am proud to say that in such case this blog has been a success beyond measure, in that it has allowed me to vent my inner demons, tell a few tales, and share what makes me THE Michael with folks like YOU, my few and faithful readers who have stuck with me through thick and thin and allowed me to think of all of you as some sort of brother, sister, drinking buddy, or fellow sojourner, and I want to thank all of you for the pleasure of your company.

So, go forth and welcome in one more year, a year we are becoming fortunate to experience, as each one that now comes along might very well be our last as a species. Go forth and do what you can to somehow hold onto what made this planet the oasis in space that it has been for millennia, and still can be with a bit more careful stewardship. And last but certainly not least, may you all be blessed by whatever department in this universe has been handed the unenviable job of even considering such a thankless task. Blessed Be!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not ANOTHER Blog......sheesh!

Hi guys, if you would all (three of you) glance over at the links, you will notice a new addition, "The Perfectly Proper Pagan". Now, if you put two and two together, you might arrive at the suspicion that I have produced yet another blog bound to meet the same sad fate as all the other literary experiments I have engaged in, and you would be right, at least concerning the existence, however brief that might be, of another blog. There, you will be greeted by an examination of my experiences with Wicca, the path I have chosen to take me towards my own personal fluffy cloud complete with optional stereo harp, endless supply of fat free cream cheese spread, and genuine faux leather lazy boy. If anything I say there makes you angry or want to riot in the street, please move to Pakistan where rioting in the street is common and perhaps even encouraged.

Oh, and remember, the views and opinions expressed within the hallowed pages of The Perfectly Proper Pagan are strictly those of The Perfectly Proper Pagan, and have nothing whatsoever to do with These Thoughts Escape Me, the management of Blogger, or the United States Department of the Interior. Void where prohibited. Opinions may differ in Alaska or Hawaii. Read with care as contents may be hot and pose a scalding hazard.

See you there!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yes, yes, I know, you don't have to tell me (and, incidentally, nobody did) that it's been more than a few days since I posted last. Well, c'mon, I was injured, and my life is sooooo exciting that I've been spending so much time living it that I haven't had time blogging about it. Would you believe I was too busy reading YOUR blogs to post to my own? Would you........oh, never mind.

Fine then, I'll post. I'll tell you that the evil twin is returning from her aborted adventures in internet romance and will be nesting here for awhile, all to the tune of "we told you so", which really pisses her off when she hears it more than once in the same day from the same person. I don't blame her, though. She's not the first person whose fallen for the soul-mate-on-the-other-side-of-the-monitor, and she won't be the last, and if I was her age (or younger) and alone I probably would have taken the same chance. That's life. And we ALL get to live it.

Back here, our new baby goat Pepper is settling in and learning how to outrun Billy, who's being a jealous bastard and trying to butt the poor little thing every chance he gets, just to show the little guy who's boss, who's got the horns, and who outweighs everybody else by about a hundred pounds. One day, Billy, one day......

THE Witch, also known as THE Wife, is spending all week preparing for our Winter Solstice/Yule celebration. There's this one part of the ceremony I have to memorize because mainly it will be done in the dark with no light to read by. I HATE memorizing anything these days because one, my brain is old and shriveled, and two, I thought I didn't have to study anymore. Then I married a Witch. Sigh......

The workman's comp quack has put me on conditional full duty, allowing me to return to work and still get in my last visit to the physical terrorpist. I really do not like being on light duty, since all they allow you to do is baby sit crazy or old and senile patients, and sitting on your butt for 12 straight hours staring at a TV is not all it's cracked up to be, let me tell you! Now, if I can just avoid another back injury this year........

The good folks in Ireland have named one of my favorite libations after none other than me, THE Michael. Yes, folks, you can now purchase "Michael's Celtic Irish Cream" at your local liqueur store and spirit emporium! You'll love it, or my name isn't.......ah........wasitsnameagin.....ah, YES.....THE Michael!

I am so jealous of THE Wife, though. This new job of hers is just fantastic. The two Eye doctors who own this place hold a Christmas party every year for all the employees and it is one fine shindig. It's a formal party so of course all the men folk (just about all the employees are female, so they get to drag their other halves to the party with them) wore suits, except me and a couple of others, because I, THE Michael, wears ties for NO ONE. I DID wear a corduroy sport jacket, though, so I wasn't a total slob. There were games, a really nice buffet, a gift exchange, and something I thought went the wayside of employers who actually gave a damn, a Christmas bonus check! Wow! This party was held in the Doctor's mansion down by the river, by the way. However, what really impressed me the most was the champaign toast he gave to all the employees. He really made them feel as though he credited THEM with all his success. MY Job? I get to keep my job.

We here at Pendragon Hold, being Pagans, do not celebrate Christmas, however, we do wish the best tidings of the year to all of you who do, and truly hope the new year approaches your hearths, holds, and homes with good fortune and bright blessings. May YOUR Deities smile upon you all, and may your path towards whatever nirvana you strive to find be smooth and worth every step you take towards it. For myself, THE Wife, and all our family, HAPPY YULE, and BLESSED BE YOU ALL!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dying in the Winner's Circle

I doubt very many people, if any, are going to like me very much after they read this post. There is always a great big downside to complete honesty, which is why I suppose we tend not to practice it very often. Admit it, the way your husband snores at night makes you want to choke the life out of him, but he makes up for it in the waking hours which makes you grin and bear it. And you don't share your homicidal fantasies with him, now do you? The feeling could be mutual and you really don't have time for a petty war, not with the kid's soccer and the holidays coming up.......

Apparently, the human race could never function under a cloud of brutal honesty; never has and never will. Governments all over the world throughout history have done things to their own citizens, as well as those of others, and then have attempted to cover up the fact these things ever happened, hoping that no one will have to deal with the painful, ugly truth until such time everybody would just as soon let sleeping dogs lie, much like the Turkish Massacre of Armenians that has strangely shared very little of the the spotlight the jews enjoyed for THEIR genocide. How many people know that the United States conducted over 300 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests before we quit doing it? Have any idea how much radioactive contamination that poured into our biosphere? Do you really care these days, since your children aren't glowing at night? I didn't think so.

Previous administrations here in the good old U.S. of A. have kept their dirty secrets close to the vest lest those uncomfortable truths resulted in some serious head bowling. Usually our heads of state are dead before the records are unsealed and we find out how close we came to Armageddon or why half our families came down with strange cancers. So, can anybody tell me why state secrets ARE state secrets? You, in the back, shut up. No one cares.

And that's the crux of the matter, really. Nobody cares. Not really. This administration has lied through it's teeth to us for two terms now and we KNOW they've been lying to us. Sure, we like to think that so much of this bullshit has been overlooked because we WANT to believe the fantasies the Bush administration has been weaving for us, or because we've been afraid, or because most of us HAS ours and we could care less about those who don't. We eat our young, and we spoil our own nests like there's no tomorrow, and guess what.....there really might NOT be, thanks to our rampant consumption of everything we can get our mitts on to sell to someone else so that we can drive our expeditions and live in McMansions and wear lots of bling because frankly we seem to have so little else to do with our empty lives.

I would give us all the benefit of the doubt if the nature of intelligence was such that it's really not all it's cracked up to be, but for Bob's sake, I have seen the paintings and sculptures, I have heard the music, I have read the poetry and that crap Shakespeare wrote and I have had the pleasure of owning an Apple computer, and to me all that adds up to so much wonderment..........

So why do we do what we do? Why has it turned out that evolving into sentience has become our very own frankenstein moment? How is it possible that we can commit the atrocities we do and witness what we do and not be driven instantly insane? Or ARE we insane, only we are too smart to realize it?

I have been watching that show Heroes on NBC about a motley group of misfit genetically advanced human beings who are attempting to not draw unwanted attention while at the same time either trying to do evil things or save the world, who wants to do which not always being clear. As the season finale draws to a close, we find out who wants to release a killer virus which promises to wipe out the human race, and why. He's been alive for over 400 years and has become fed up with watching the human race continue year after year avoiding it's potential while dragging the rest of the world down with it. Now, you're usual response to such a person is that he's the bad guy and we have to rid ourselves of him, this evil judas creature out to destroy mankind.

Why?

Tell me exactly what makes him wrong, about what he's trying to do, and why?

Why DO we deserve some special consideration?

The dinosaurs were pretty damn successful for their time and certainly weren't doing anything in particular to deserve the world getting whacked with a big rock and ending THEIR reign.

So what makes US so special, especially considering the fact that we can build and detonate nuclear weapons, change the very climate of the world, and poison the rest of it with all manners of chemicals and waste products? We can create the Sidney Opera House, the Statue of Liberty, Michaelangelo's David, A River Runs Through it, etc.........Big deal. We can allow one tribe in Africa to wipe out another tribe and not raise a finger to stop it because, DUH, they don't have oil. Feeling sick yet? Not in the slightest? Well, there you have it.

Fifty two years; that's how long I've had to grow and learn and experience and fail and succeed and fail again and observe and laugh and cry and somehow get to where I am now which is somewhere between the Buckingham Palace and the Shanty towns of South Africa. I am well fed yet maybe a couple of paychecks above abject poverty. How I got here has as much to do with my own efforts as much as the conditions I grew up in. It is what it is.

And I am so angry, so disillusioned, so fed up with what this species has done with it's potential that I have lost that basic species specific loyalty everybody takes for granted. The aliens invade, we stand together and fight back.........right?

Maybe not. Maybe some of us think we are on the losing side no matter who wins.

Because, after all, winning is everything, right?

Yea..........right.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Introducing PEPPER, THE Wonder Kid!



You are now free to ohhhhhhh and ahhhhhhhhh.

Thank you and Blessed Be!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Little Pepper, Please.........

How long's it been since my last post? I lose track. It has been an interesting week here at Pendragon Hold. Lessee.....where to start.

Trying to be a nice guy and help even out the schedule at work, I moved my days around to help fill in the short ones and get out of the overstaffed days, only to find afterwards that I had scheduled myself for four shifts straight. Uh-oh....... Big deal, you think, a lot of people work more days in a row then that. Well, these are four TWELVE (12) (XII) (One Dozen) hour shifts, friends, and even though I thought it wouldn't really be so bad, I changed my mind about that by the morning after that fourth shift. The morning I woke up with shoulders and neck so sore I seriously thought I might have contracted meningitis from a patient. Well, no, I didn't pick up some deadly bug; it's just that I'm not the spring chicken I used to be and that four day stretch was something I wasn't used to. It's even rare that I find myself ever working three shifts in a row; I usually work only two with a few days off till the next run. I think I learned my lesson. No more mister nice guy.

The good twin and hubby came up to visit, and they got us a nice gift we had been lusting after for some time.......one of those metal fireplaces. It is painted black with moons and stars cut into the side, which is PERFECT for our shade garden/magik circle. We love it!

The Focus (our car, not a visual exercise) had been acting up electrically, so after a few episodes of having to beg for jumps after listening to the radio while parked, I bit the bullet and got a new battery. Five years plus is not bad for a battery, I suppose. The eighty bucks I had to pay for that new one kinda hurt, though.

The Wife has been after me to check into getting some stud service for our pygmy goats, the ones we affectionately refer to as "the twins". No, not THOSE twins......
Anyway, I was asking around at the feed store, then a local Veterinarian, and was directed to a dog grooming store which JUST HAPPENED to have a note advertising baby pygmy goats for a very reasonable price. I called the lady selling them and we'll be heading out to look at them when THE Wife gets off of work. I'll stop this post long enough to report back later as to what transpired.

Speaking of THE Wife and her work........I knew from the git-go that anyone who wanted an excellent employee would be very happy with this woman of mine. Her employer has become so impressed with her in the relatively short time she's been with them that they already want her to train hard to be promoted. One of the Doctors spoke to her of "being the future of the business....". Wow! Pretty heavy compliment! I'm so proud of her!

These Thoughts Escape Me almost disappeared from the netscape this week when Yours Truly, in an attempt to remove duplicate files and extra stuff from his hard drive, wiped out almost everything including passwords, preferences, photo's, a ton of music, etc. At the same time our backup hard drive decided to go on the blink, leaving me with an emasculated iMac.

So, after figuring out that the power supply to the hard drive was the real culprit, I invested in a couple of hard drive enclosures, and was able to get at all that data held hostage by these drives back into the computer, and now everything is exactly as it should be, including a much smarter, wiser THE Michael who has learned not to throw away things without much MUCH more careful consideration. I only know enough about computers to be dangerous. If I wasn't so math challenged I WOULD be a geek.

We Wiccans do NOT celebrate Christmas.......however.....we DO celebrate Yule, and the Winter Solstice, and this has given THE Wife an aggravating excuse to drag out all these Christmas ornaments and decorate the whole interior of the house with them...grrrrrrr. Yes, we used to do the Christmas thing, but long before I embraced my inner pagan, I was getting fed up with "tis the season to spend spend spend...". She has lot's of secular christmas stuff like snowmen and claims the Santa ornaments are actually the Holly King....sigh.......as long as she doesn't have me up on the roof stringing lights, I guess I can grin and bear it. If only it would snow..........

OK, this is all I can think of for now, so hang loose till I get back with THE Wife, and I'll let you know if we adopted any more babies.

Time passes....................

I'm back. There's tilapia baking in the oven, while Prairie Home Companion is playing on the radio. I went and got the Wife and took her to go hunt down this metaphysical shop we had learned about. What a find! This place has everything and then some, and the prices are very reasonable. So THE Wife acquires a new silver plated chalice for the alter and a new tarot deck. On the way back to the part of town we live in I called the lady with the goats and got her answering machine. Darn! I think we were running late so perhaps she had left. Then, after we got home we tried again and it turned out she was waiting on my call with her cellphone while I had her home phone number. Minor mixup, but we ended up at her place and boy was it a ZOO! On top of having a decent HERD of goats, mostly pygmies, she had geese and chickens and turkeys and donkeys and.......well.....who knows what else.

So, now we have a new member of the family here at Pendragon hold. We brought home a tiny, cute as hell little guy whom we've named Pepper. I would show you guys a picture but it was getting dark as we got him home and the camera battery died on me. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be the future Poppa of our herd. Sorry, Billy, but I guess you are regulated to big bad protector.

Yes, it's been an interesting week here at Pendragon Hold. Thanks for stopping by. Blessed be!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black, Black Friday


I used to be one of them, more or less. Perhaps I was a lower form of life, due to evolve should I live long enough and actually think to look around and question my existence and how I fit into it. Yes, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I was young once, and I was a CONSUMER.




Yes, I know, you could argue that technically, I am still very much a consumer, no more innocent than those hordes of mutant capitalists descending upon the malls and Walmarts in search of commercial prey. Yet, I can smugly insist that one, I do not have the disposable income these creatures seem to have at their disposal, money they apparently have above and beyond what is necessary to live a comfortable life here in America. No, most of my moohlah goes towards food, shelter, and clo.......well, maybe SOME clothing, but I am still wearing apparel I bought 20 years ago and believe it or not, folks, some of this stuff really does last. Second, I would like to think that should I happen by some miracle be inundated by bushels of cash, that I could find something much more useful to do with it than running to malls and throwing it at retailers in return for tons of stuff that will not make me any happier than I was without it. There ARE still people starving that need not be. Or maybe we could use a pharmaceutical company that actually develops CURES for things instead of stuff that only manages symptoms, when fed with lots of greenbacks. And third, for Bob's sake, I would like to think I have a higher purpose in this universe than shopping and consuming STUFF for lack of anything else to do.

Yes, there are things I lust after, such as a better computer or a larger television or even maybe a nicer car. But sometimes you get to that point where good enough really is good enough and the bells and whistles aren't worth the extra money. Also, I truly believe that despite the fact that we can't actually rid ourselves entirely of commerce, we CAN spend our money much more intelligently than we do now, especially those of us who DO spend lots of it and can influence what gets manufactured and how. There is a really idiotic demand for plastic garbage that certainly could be directed in other directions. We could be driving low and no emission cars right now, relatively cheaply, if consumers had only shunned the gas-guzzling monsters Detroit has been giving the public, an entitled public that has insisted on the biggest, fastest, least ecologically friendly conveyances you could give them. We would have solar panels on pretty much every roof in America had Americans demanded we invest in the infrastructure that could deliver most of our electrical demand from the sun, the wind, or whatever other method not requiring the burning of fossil fuels, which will run out on us if it doesn't kill us first.

So, black Friday to me means just that, BLACK Friday, a day of mourning, a day of horrid realization of just how cheap and empty our values have become. So get out there, America, and shop till you drop. Isn't that what Jesus would do?*



*Or rather, what would Jesus HAVE done. He is, after all, dead, and has been, for a very, very long time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You don't HAVE to read this, you know.........

While searching for something witty, clever, and/or interesting to write today, I decided to simply call up textedit and start writing until such time that something witty, clever, and/or interesting happened to come out of my ass. Not that all things that I write that happen to fit this criteria makes it's way onto these pages via my ass, mind you, but today seems like as good an ass day as any. I know alot of you feel that you have to stop and wonder what the fuck I am talking about right now, but I assure you that that is not necessary, for the meaning of these words will gang up on you and beat their meaning into you very shortly.

Really.

In no time at all.

Just have a little patience.

While I'm waiting for whatever it is I promised up there in the proceeding (or is that preceding) paragraph to occur, I want to mention that this post was semi-inspired by a new blog I discovered via comments. I'm listening to a semi-awesome (sorry, but flat out awesome to me is Pink Floyd) video by a band (I assume it's a band, since it's three guys with musical instruments dressed in space suits playing said instruments) called SpaceShip One, either that, or the album they are recording, I don't know, I'm not paying attention, I'm trying to write here, OK?!

So go check out this guy at http://theessentialshot.blogspot.com/ and see what you think. I think he's worth a bookmark. Do you have any idea what it takes to make it onto my, THE Michael's, bookmark folder? You don't want to know.

So, back to the point of this post, which is that there IS no point to this post. I have just merrily wasted a good minute at least of your valuable time and I do not in the least feel guilty about it. Now, THE Michael, why would you do such a horrible thing to all those people who love you so? WHY? Because this is EXACTLY the kind of insanity my good friends expect from me, THE Michael, and I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to let them down! Nosirree, I am if nothing one dependable chap when it comes to less-than-steller expectations and sorta-surprises.

You may now return to your favorite sit-com.

Unless you want to stick around and maybe join us by a nice fire tonight.

Bring your own beer.

And an extra six of Corona for me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What HE said........

A recent visitation upon sweet Ms Cellania's realm hath indeed inspired me, to articulate this post in familiar fashion, to that of one dead bard, a cad indeed who did upon his employment do great damage to a language and the lives of students who would by any other name, be something other than a slave to an understanding of an oafs laments, such that most of us would have laid upon the definition of this foul persons' influence upon literature and our very lives.

Yet, you doth find me here, laboring upon key after key in such fashion that joined together, their labors dare add up and amount to such an array of ideas, and fashions, and travesties that assault one's eyes and understandings that a minority of thee should stare at this and think me insane if not an idiot, whilst those of you more cultured for some ungodly reason might think this a snippet of refinement, an attempt to lull the Gods of Muse to sleep and refresh them in their slumbers, but alas, tis only an exercise in finding a precise moment to insert a necessary period, thus ending this seemingly everlasting paragraph that would serve so many of us in much better stead as an abbreviation, rather than this abomination it has become.

I dare would attempt to impart SOME fashion of understanding during this exercise, which indeed it is, for even now my readers beg of me some resolution to this practice of a language never meant to be tortured so, yet, I would soldier on in some vain if not foolhardy attempt to instruct thee, brave observer, in some knowledge that would serve thee, if not me, in some fashion most charitable and of some snippet of value. Alas, what could one possible say here upon this page amongst this jumble of mumble that would impart to thee that I even now am aware of a waft of aroma that ventures from that room made famous by repast, and sustenance, that speaks of Italy, of tomatoes and sausages and pasta and a blending of gastronomic alchemistry.........ah, it would indeed drive thee mad and induce thee to reach forth thru your conveyance to this place and capture for thyself some example of this nirvana I do prepare whilst I toil upon this keyboard.

Escape, you foul interloper, and do not think to acquire this meal that shall greet my spouse as she returns from labors that bring to this stead the bacon we subside upon. Remove thyself, for thou shalt NOT dip into the treasure of the pleasure that I create with the fruit of our Earth. No, this night no invitation has been forwarded, not to this table, for you art far removed and would dare seek to find this a cold, cold plate upon which to gorge yourself, and thus your appetite would not be so well served.

However, I WOULD prepare such a feast, my dear visitor, such that you might never encounter in all your travels, not tainted with the fame of some able chef of consequence, but of my humble efforts, of my humble supplies, and my humble desire that it be pleasing to both your palette and your stomach. Thus, invite thyself to this table, ask of what travels ye might avail thyself of to find this place, and put upon yourself the task to come here and know fellowship, kindness, and what little I might offer one who would call themselves friend, even upon the most harrowing of moments and circumstance. It is warm, and tasty, and real.

Merry meet.

Merry part,

And Merry meet again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trickle Down Blogging

With change comes challenge, such as the adaption pains I am experiencing breaking in this new Operating System on my computer. I have had a few hiccups trying to get all my old system preferences, passwords, etc re-integrated into the new one, which was complicated due to my upgrading the iMac's internal hard drive from an 80 to a comparative monster 500 gigs of storage capacity. Now the external firewire hard drive I had been running on trying to get things copacetic on the main drive has decided to go south on me, forcing me to go with the internal drive "as is". The problems I am experiencing are by no means the fault of the computer, since I did not use a straight-forward upgrade strategy as I have usually been able to do in the past when I did not have to juggle hard drives in the middle of an Operating System upgrade.

I find myself yearning for the glory days when this blog had a fan base that almost exceeded a baker's dozen. I know, I never have had a comment box that could run almost a hundred comments on a regular basis like the Buffalo or HE or Ms Celenia, but it WAS a heady feeling when I could count on at least 6 at a time on average. Sigh.......already I feel like Ricky Nelson on an oldies tour. Well, that's what happens when the content of your blog tends to be somewhat Chinese......you know......read a post and still feel hungry. My life wouldn't measure up against one episode of Gun smoke or the Andy Griffin Show, and my rants and raves have yet to solve any of the world's problems, thus you have a blog deserving of it's following, or lack of one, rather.

But some of you actually stick with me.

Masochism or simple pity, I don't care, I am so very appreciative of you that have stuck with me.

Glancing at my own list of blogs that I try and follow, I am surprised how narrow it is and how very few of them are new. Seems I know what I like and have found very few new reads that give me consistent pleasure as you guys have.

I'm listening to Austin City limits to yet another band/singer never heard of before but seems to already have at least a cult following. Some of these groups seem to by sliding by on being different, rather than on any real talent. Well, more power to them, the world needs such distractions, doncha think?



The wife is still having troubling avoiding things that cause an allergic reaction, and the Ford is having battery issues. I ripped up MOST of the carpet in the master bedroom, but don't have enough spare laminate planks to finish the floor off. I'll have to keep my eye out for wood on sale to finish it off with, and we aren't to picky about the color, as long as snap together properly. No one's gonna see it but us, and we won't be having Martha Stewart over any time soon.

I AM beginning to worry about how the economy is effecting us here at Pendragon Hold lately. Gas is now over $3 a gallon, and I've seen the prices at the supermarket creeping up steadily. Our income isn't going up anywhere near the rate our expenses are, and I'm sure this is effecting almost all of us whose incomes are almost fixed. Perhaps some of the billions of cash that the Bush gang has fed Haliburton will somehow trickle down to us. Oh......wait.......wrong Republican.

That was Reagan. I'm STILL waiting for HIS trickle down.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank Them

Today we are going to pay lip service to honoring a class of American that is one of the most abused, glorified, misunderstood, ignored, and "celebrated" groups ever to earn a classification. These are the guys and gals who raised their hands, swore to defend the constitution of the United States of America, against ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, and survived that promise, not always in one piece or of sound mental condition.

No, not all of them necessarily took that oath out of patriotism or by choice. Many, if not most, embarked upon that great adventure with visions of heroism, of wearing the white hat and taking on the bad guys, of coming home to the adoring swoons of the girls they went to high school with who might now give them a second glance, now that they had proven their manhood. Most if not all of them went with the barest shades of possibility on their minds that they might return with missing limbs or not at all. The young are invincible, and only cold, stark reality can ever prove them wrong.

These men and women saved our collective bacon more than once, over the span of decades that promised to teach us lessons we refuse to learn. The wars to end all wars didn't, and short of a major alteration in the nature of man, never will. We are an aggressive species, and we thrive on banging the drum and proving dominance one way or another, up to and including the utter extinction of our enemies. These men and women did not participate in sterile wars where everybody obeyed the rules and no one bled when shot. These men and women witnessed and participating in things we do not talk about. We cannot talk about. We are, after all, civilized.

During the worst of this situation many of us still refer to as a war, the Pentagon bragged about how easily they were filling their ranks with fresh, eager, patriotic bodies. Today I am hearing how the recruiters are having to lower their standards drastically in order to fill these uniforms, even allowing the enlistment of those with felony criminal records. I'd be surprised if the lack of a high school education is considered much of a barrier to enlistment these days. It doesn't take an associates in science degree to get ripped apart by an IED.

Go tell the Spartans that the mighty have fallen. Go tell those who love us that now more than ever we need their love. Go tell those who once feared and respected us that for eight years, we lost our collective mind. And go tell a veteran you're sorry for the sacrifice you required him/her to make so that you could stuff your SUV with junk from China, where we will be sending them next to die for another really good cause.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's Evening in American..........

The news as of late has been rather overwhelming. Pakistan is in a higher state of turmoil than usual, with Bush's military lap-dog/dictator suspending the Pakistani constitution and jailing every lawyer in case one of them might want to practice law. While Musharraf is packing the jails with protestors (mostly lawyers), the Taliban is brazenly taking over one end of the country, apparently not the least bit concerned that the Pakistani army will use any of the new hardware we are buying them to take back that territory. Meanwhile, there are nuclear weapons sitting in a supposedly safe place within easy reach of Bin Laden if he really, really wanted them.

The economy is getting real stupid. Having given free reign to the capitalists, we are now reaping the benefits of a free market, which has freely been losing money down a deep, dark hole called the sub-prime mortgage market. What is this, you ask? Well, what you do is you go after people who are barely getting by as it is, loan them a ton of money they could never hope to repay, especially since you conned them into signing for a mortgage that starts out with a nice little interest rate which balloons into an outrageous rate guaranteed to put the borrower into default. Of course, a whole phalanx of middle men get nice commissions to generate these deals which in any other world would be recognized as the blatantly predatory deals that they really are and never allowed by law in the first place. Then, when the shit hits the fan and the chickens come home to roost, you report huge loses and shrug your shoulders and lay people off, grab yourself a nice golden parachute and retire to the Bahamas. Isn't that what the American dream is all about?

Add to that this strange mechanism we have which allows people to buy huge chucks of oil supplies, jack up the price on said supplies, and sell them BACK to the oil companies far in excesses of their true value, using such excuses as "the President of Iran cut a fart at the negotiating table; that's worth at least $1.50 a barrel....." The Republicans like to remind us how good they are at national security issues, while they conveniently overlook how their friends are threatening our security by artificially inflating energy and commodity prices simply to line their own pockets while we common folk wonder how we are going to afford to get to work or pay for that tomato that trucker is paying a hefty ransom to get to the supermarket.

Don't even get me started on the insurance companies, the ones who will soon begin denying claims filed by all those white, semi-rich Californians who got burnt out of house and home this summer. Or, maybe not, since DUBYA assured them that we Americans really, really care about them, as opposed to poor, black Americans in Southern Louisiana.

I honestly am beginning to believe that this administration has caused more harm to this nation than Richard Nixon could have ever hoped to. I truly believe that the entire Bush Administration and all his neo-con taskmasters should be brought up on charges, convicted by a jury of their peers, and sent to prison WITHOUT the benefit of any kind of pardon. No golden parachutes for Dick Cheney. No bronze statues of Donald Rumsfield outside the Pentagon. No pension for Karl Rove and his merry band of election riggers. If we cannot hold THIS band of crooks accountable for the mess they made of our government, then we might as well give up on this idea of America and what it always stood for, at least to those of us who truly loved her.


And let's give our wounded veterans first dibs on the firing squads.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Attack of the Peanut Butter Sandwich

Well, just as things ratchet down to a quiet roar here at the Hold, something rears it's ugly head to casually mention that the Universe is one chaotic SOB. The wife has been having problems with rashes and stopped-up ears, so we take her to an allergist to get tested, and sure enough, "test it and it will BE!"

Now we know why she broke out in a bright red rash on her chest when she had that peanut butter sandwich. She's allergic, to some extent, to both peanuts and wheat. She is also sensitive to dust mites, as well as just about every weed that grows like, well, weeds, here at Pendragon Hold.

Poor thing. Her arms look like a masochists' idea of a pin cushion and they are still sore. Part of her daily repertoire now is taking allergy medicines like claritan and benedril to tamp down the symptoms. We are waiting to find out if the insurance is going to cover allergy shots or not. And I get to tear up the carpet in the bedroom now. I get to do that today. My knees are arranging a coup even as I type this.

We had a nice little Samhain (that's All-Hallows' Eve, or Halloween for you monotheistic types) celebration, despite the ever present threat of rain, made possible by the brainstorm I had concerning stringing up a tarp between the trees over the alter area in the shade garden. For some reason, the forecast will predict great weather unless we are planning something like a ceremony outdoors, in which case monsoon rains will suddenly appear. The tarp solves that problem.

The twins (not the human offspring, but the pigmy fainting goats, Sorcha and Sanya) have been escaping the yard by lifting up the bottom of the wire fence that they have bowed severely outward by rubbing up against it. My neighbors are sooooo understanding, coming to get me to let me know the goats are on the loose. Well, I solved THAT little problem, at least for now. The fence is in such bad shape I really need to replace it with the woven type rather than the cheaper welded kind I have strung now. The two major problems with that right now is that a 330 foot roll of the good stuff goes for about $130 and is really quite heavy. Even if I can manage to get a roll of it into the car, I will still need THE Wife's help moving it around the property and stretching it out.

So instead I purchased an electric fence set up for half the price which was very easy to string up and seems to solve the problem. One wire stretched across the bottom of the fence on the inside and the twins are discouraged with extreme prejudice NOT to stick their heads under the wire.

One of my favorite bands has come out with a new album, and it proves that old rockers don't fade away, they can still pull off that magic, even if they MIGHT have to take some ibuprofen before a recording session. The Eagles are selling a double disk album out of Walmart for only around $11, and I dare say it's worth a lot more than that. They are all new songs and would be getting heavy airplay right now if only there remained a radio station that played that kind of music anymore. The oldies stations won't be playing it because, well, it's not OLD, and the new "rock" stations don't play what we old farts would call rock and roll anymore. No, nowadays its noise from whiny nerds complaining about their girlfriends doing their best friends, or some dark irrelevant crap that isn't meant to improve one's mood. I'm sure a lot of people would consider most of this music to be Country, but I would have to disagree with them, if only because I wouldn't listen to anything considered country unless it was the kind of music The Eagles perform. You gotta love a band that doesn't once question people's patriotism in order to come across as genuinely American.

Also, I performed some rather scary surgery on the iMac, upgrading the hard drive to a 500 gig monster and the OS to the latest, OSX 10.5 Leopard. I am happy to report that the computer did NOT explode, meltdown, or try to break into NORAD all on its own. It HAS been acting a little odd, however, insisting on being connected to what it claims is its counterpart somewhere in Russia, and insists that I call it COLOSSUS. Silly machine............

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Wacky Wiccan Ways

After much contemplation, I feel I have to come clean about something. I am a "religious" person. This is not so much an admission as an affirmation, or perhaps a more narrowly defined definition of what my "belief" system amounts to. Now, I am being rather ironic with the term "belief", considering the fact that I rely very little on faith and much more on facts as I discover them. Facts are tricky things. Sometimes they can self-destruct on you, depending on where they originated in the first place. Take female hormones for example. Once, it was a "fact" that hormone replacement therapy could solve a whole host of problems that cropped up when a woman entered menopause. Later, low and behold, it was discovered that those same hormones could cause a whole host of new problems. The once touted "fact" that women should take hormones and avoid those hot flashes now became a hotly debated controversy that kinda ruined the value of any "fact" that was arrived at without all the necessary data to make such an assertion a "fact" to begin with. Thus, science, the new religion that promised to send superstition the way of the Dodo bird, has come under scrutiny for it's own faulty dogmas that make religion the mess that it is.

So, have I abandoned science like I abandoned Catholicism? Not hardly. Most of what science has given us has stood the test of time and scrutiny and cannot be contested by any new system of belief or discovery. Rock solid facts, one example being that granite is solid and will hurt you badly if you fall on it or run into it hard enough, have not nor will not ever be disputed by sane sentient beings. Yes, we will always be plagued by theories and assumptions based on math and physics as we understand them, leaving us vulnerable to challenge from the wackos who are determined to bow down to invisible men and point at demons whenever things go wrong, but that need not mean that we surrender to one extreme or the other. No, I will not give up the comfort of knowledge in exchange for the warm fuzzies of monotheism. However, I will not abandon my belief that via the spiritual I can know the science and vice versa. I "believe" the two coexist hand in hand, as long as one is not used to suppress the value of the other.

I could have claimed that as a Wiccan, one that does not believe in a invisible white male supreme being with a bad habit of staying out of sight and never taking responsibility for his works, I do not practice a religion. However, when it gets right down to it, even atheism is a religion. Atheists are as rabid about their facts and disbelief in ANY thing as any fundamentalist Baptists are about their Jesus. Perhaps the ONLY humans you could accuse of not being religious are those that are so self-centered and disinterested in their surroundings that the idea of believing in anything in particular is really beyond their comprehension, period. You can usually spot these people by the dead eyes in their blank faces.

So, does this "religion" of mine allow for good and evil? Well, yes, but not in the way a Christian would harness such concepts. Evil, in my opinion, is the controlled application of suffering and bad things by humans, nothing more, nothing less. Bad things happen in this world, be they accidents, storms, fires, drought, or anything that hurts and saddens us. But bad things happening are not by design nor are they personal. No one or no thing, God or Devil, wished these things upon us nor did they perpetrate them with malice and forethought. Bad things DO happen to us at the behest of our fellow man, however, that IS brought upon us with malice or malignant neglect. THAT, my fellow man, is evil. Bad behaviors that are perpetuated by bad people need not be attributed to some sort of demon or devil, for we need no assistance in that regard. Hitler was simply good at spreading the hate, and his followers were more than primed to revel in it. No, the devil did NOT make them do it. There IS no devil. Who the hell needs one?

The Church does. Not long after the word spread about the guy who got nailed to a cross and whose body came up missing, a mystical story was constructed about hope and transcendence that attracted a population long oppressed and bereft of any good feelings about life, the universe, or anything. Then came those who saw this as a way to control people through superstition and fear, and ran with it. Now the profession that paved the way to glory was the priesthood, and judeo-christianity was the perfect vehicle to control the masses without necessarily perfecting the police state. All you had to do was associate whatever behaviors you wished to control or eliminate with Evil, an evil specifically spawned by the opponent of God himself, the Devil, and you had whatever justification you needed to stamp it out, be it with the threat of excommunication, or burning at the stake, if need be. Of course, it never occurred to most people that the behaviors of those seeking to destroy evil reeked of evil itself, but as always, one man's evil was another man's seeking salvation.

Until rationality and the ability to question authority was made possibly by such atmospheres as the renaissance and democratic governments, the ability to think freely without the taint of religious dogma was fraught with danger, and was best done in the shadows. Thus, such pagan respect for nature and "the gods" that influenced human behaviors continued on out of sight of mainstream discussion, and is only now being brought out where it can be compared to what has bedeviled mankind for centuries. And, just like any religion which started out however innocently and with the best of intentions, many pagan belief systems have devolved into dogmas that challenge Christianity or any of the other "mainstream" world religions for a spot in the silly top ten. Wicca, as is practiced by myself and many others, is practiced carefully and with as much respect for the rational as is possible when one seeks to play with the forces of the universe. When we invoke "the gods", we do so with metaphysical tongue in cheek, for we are in fact addressing, thru metaphor and tools of focus, those processes in nature which have an impact on our lives. Some of us, like my wife, claim to have the sensitivity to detect and interact with other plains of existence (such as our dearly departed in the afterlife), while others, like myself, make no such claims, but have a measured respect for those that do. An atheist would "excommunicate" me for even suggesting that my wife might possibly be able to sense these things, which is why I consider him to be as much a fundamentalist as Jerry Falwell. I merely entertain the possibilities when enough anecdotal evidence exists to give such things the benefit of the doubt. Even now I still think UFO's might exist, despite the fact that I have yet to spot one. Yet, the only miracle I have ever witnessed is the fact that we haven't already killed each other off, so good at genocide as we are.

As a fictional character once quipped, "Nothing is impossible, only highly improbable." So, according to probability, I have no real fear of ending up in eternal damnation for daring to suggest the Pope go fuck himself. Likewise, chances are good that I can live a good life if I don't waste hours of it in church listening to fairy tales so I can go out and judge other people.

"Evil is as Evil does", and DUBYA, by that measure, you are downright fucking EVIL, no thanks to Satan. Same goes for you, Donald, Dick, and Carl. So where are the inquisitors when you need them?

That's MY religion and I'm sticking to it. Blessed be!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One Last Wish


To see the stars before I die.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deep Impact

I don't understand this but it's the way it is. I have very few friends out here in the real world that I am close to enough to miss very much when out of their presence. Perhaps it's my stellar social skills at work, who knows. All I know is that for some reason, I DO happen to have some very close friends, or at least people I am very fond of, thanks to the internet. Now, I do want to assure you that I do not claim that these "relationships" are mutual; simply suffice it to say that there are people out there in the universe whom I never would have met otherwise that bring great pleasure to my life simply being who they are, even though I have never laid eyes upon them. Yes, I know it sounds like someone with issues....so sue me.

I and the love of my life have lived on the edge of lower-middle class, one bad day away from dirt poor, and yet I can honestly say that perhaps I might prefer it here in this rarified atmosphere than in the fast lane where people loose themselves and all perspective. I think perhaps it is because I know people like Buffalo Brown, a comrade-in-arms who understands many of the foibles of patriotism versus common sense and how nary the two seem to meet. Or Don Coppins, the "Homo-escapiens", a most brilliant "observationist" who has entertained myself and legions of fans all across the globe. Then there's the Whitesnake, a crusty old Aussie with the pure touch of the common man who tells it like it is and can still laugh about it. One man who serves my soul most deeply is Paul, whose "Wondering" fills me with wonder and makes me thirst to meet him and share an evening in the desert beneath the stars untainted by the glow of excess electricity.
One sweet woman we know of as "Kindness" is the sister we all wish we had. And as a Pagan, I know of no one who has provided me with a better grounding in seeking answers than Deo (of Deo's Shadow), a fellow pagan who like me dares not assume to know the mind of Gods.

Many of you, especially my fellow bloggers whom I visit on a regular basis, will come and go thru the corridors of my life, and I dare suggest that my life will have been richer for you having done so. Some of you have pissed me off and I have let you go, but nonetheless, you effected me in your own way and for even that I am grateful. Some of you have walked away of your own accord and I do not say goodbye to you, but wish you well till we meet again, even if it be on some other plain of existence, like a Grateful Dead Concert. And until we part ways in whatever fashion the fates deem appropriate, I will consider all of you, my "virtual" friends, a most vital and rewarding part of my life.

That's my view of a life somewhat well lived and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Leopard on the Loose.......

(Due to Blogger's Technical difficulties this night, the pic I had hoped to include with this post will not be posted. Thank you for your understanding. Please feel free to riot in the streets.)

Life has reached a sort of equilibrium here at Pendragon Hold; no looming disasters, no impending overwhelmingly good fortune. Life simply is......good.

I do have to admit to a certain restlessness when things have gotten rather static. Like any rational human, I am rather allergic to problems that crop up and threaten the stability of my world, but I also suffer somewhat when I have nothing really good to look forward to, such as some kind of monetary windfall or trip I get to take to somewhere I haven't yet been. Well, there is no money headed this way and as usual I am pretty much nailed down to the homestead here, but I DO have ONE thing I am looking forward to which is a rather narrow pleasure that only a select few get to enjoy.

I am a Mac Addict and OSX 10.5, Code Name 'LEOPARD" is about to be released and I pre-ordered a copy. If you are not a computer geek and/or you have the misfortune of being stuck in the Windows world, you probably have no earthly idea what I just said, but suffice it to say, the anticipation I am experiencing is somewhat akin to digital nirvana. OSX is the operating system of the premiere personal computer system ever devised, the Apple Mac (which comprises the Power Macs, the iMacs, the Mac Mini's, and the Apple notebooks). Any Microsoft Windows PC devotee who would have a bad word to say about this computer only is able to due to not having owned and used one, especially within the last five years. The company that Michael Dell once suggested should fold and return all it's money to it's investors now far surpasses Dell AND Gateway in yearly earnings and continues to grow in leaps and bounds thanks to the iPhone, the iPod, AND, yes, the desktop computers it is most famous (or) infamous for. Now, I realize that most of you, my otherwise wonderful and intelligent readers, happen to somehow find your way through the internet on a PC, but I don't hold it against you. As long as you can get your beige box to avoid a bug, virus, or "windows has encountered a FATAL error and must close now" long enough to read my post, I'm happy.

In the meantime, I have a three day stretch of shifts to work and then I am off for the week of Samhain, known to you gentiles as Halloween. THE Wife and I shall be making our pilgrimage to Cassadega, the Spiritualist town halfway down the Florida peninsula that hosts a pretty cool halloween walk. We'll be meeting the offspring there for the day. THE Wife is hoping to conduct a circle behind this one shop whose owner happens to practice the craft. I will be sending good thoughts out to all my blogging friends while the others connect with our dead ancestors and loved ones. Me, I am still somewhat unable to make that connection, but if the others REALLY can, then more power to them.

Tonight, we are taking advantage of a rain-free sky to sit out in the shade garden next to a nice fire and listening to nature and some music, the glow of a half-moon upon our shoulders. We will break out a bottle of red that is made in St Augustine, sweet enough to suit my palette, restrained enough to suit THE Wife's. We have this fold-out love seat that was given us as a housewarming gift way back in 2000 when we bought this place that still gives us great pleasure, and hopefully will for many a year to come. Aside from the fact that we can't afford much entertainment wise anyway, we really do have simple tastes, and enjoying a fire is one of them.

OK, we are back from the fire, and bedtime looms. I want to thank those few hardy souls who for whatever reason continue to follow the exploits of myself and those who call this acre of sand home. I know I don't have much to offer in the line of entertainment, but you can be rest assured that what you DO read here is the genuine article; 100% unadulterated life as we know it, without the fillers or the fluff.
We could jazz it up, but that would be sooooooooo Paris Hilton, now wouldn't it?

Blessed be.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back to Blogging and All That Entails.......

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing........AFTER they've tried everything else. A nice quote to start out my post with............


In order to handle the legal stuff and get our floor laid, I had taken the last week off of work, and tomorrow it's back to the grind. For almost the entire time off, it's been more like Bombay around here than Jacksonville. It has rained so hard and so steady that several times different places throughout the area have been flooded out, and several times I was worried about making it out of my own dirt road. All this water has really messed this dirt road up, putting deep ruts and potholes in it which make driving on it a real pain. It sure would be nice if the county would once and for all PAVE this damn road......sigh.

Once again the house looks like something habitable rather than the aftermath of a disaster. We are getting used to walking around on this new surface, and we do NOT miss that old moldy carpet in the least. We still have the carpet in the bedrooms, but they never suffered the outrages the carpet in the main room did, so it is in much better shape. All in all we are very happy with our make-over. I just wish our central air hadn't crapped out on us.

Since Shiloh, THE Dog, doesn't have the soft carpet to sleep and rub his hair off on, THE Wife made him a nice bed to sleep on. Shiloh has long nails that he prefers to chew on himself, so you can hear him "click-click-click" across the floor, and it's funny to see him try to get some traction on the new slick surface when he gets startled or tries to run in the house. The outside cat got startled once and I swear he was burning paws in one place for a full 5 seconds before he finally got moving!

It has actually begun to start cooling down a bit around here, especially with all the rain we've been having. I think we might actually see something resembling a Fall show up eventually, although the jury is out on wether or not Winter will really show up. As long as my cooling bill is driven down, I'm happy.

I'm watching a segment on World News Tonight about volunteers who are picking up the trash and garbage that tourists have been leaving, in of all places, Yosemite National Park. HUH? What in the FUCK are you people thinking, bringing your crap into this beautiful work of nature's art? You pack it in, you can damn well pack it back out again! I don't get it; when I hiked thru Denali National Park back in the 70's and 80's, the rules required that you bring back out anything you packed in. Anyway, I salute you folks who have given your time to help clean back up the mess that only humans seem able to commit. The world is indeed better for you having been here.

OK, but as of this paragraph it is the next day and obviously I have not posted yet. I worked yesterday and have today and tomorrow off before having to return for a three day marathon. I dread that. I bought a new pair of jeans today with an extra inch in the waist (sigh) and it fits, at least until such time that they might shrink in the wash. I am hoping that my expanded waist does not require any more surrender from me on this point....sheesh.

The wife is at work for a half day (she has to work 6 days a week but gets two of them as "half-days". Me, I'm just recovering from the "milk-maids" knees that I acquired from laying down this laminate flooring. I'm just fine walking around, but if I put ANY weight on my knees right now, I get a searing pain. A Doc at work assures me that it's a kind of tendonitis that should resolve itself with time.

I'm now out of stuff to cram into this post so I shall now go ahead and submit it for your approval. Blessed Be!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Return of House Pendragon (or Zen and the Art of Septic System Maintenance)

"Where should I start?", I ask myself, and sure enough, I reply, "How about at the beginning....."

Asshole.....

Lessee........"It was a dark and stormy night........."

Naw......


It all began I suppose with the letter from the collection agency informing us we were being sued for some ungodly amount of money that had built up over time, years upon years of time, and lots of interest charges and fees and who knows what. Once I had honest debt, honest debt that I was managing quite well, thank you very much, but it was that kind of debt that is only managed during the good times, not during those times when income suddenly gets bitch-slapped by unexpected expenses. Hell, it's been so long now I can't even remember what exactly precipitated our downfall, whether it was the well pump going out or the car breaking down or whatever, all I know is that I went from paying WAY more than the minimum monthly due on each card to trying to figure out which Peter to rob for the benefit of which Paul, until it all fell to far behind to matter. My attempts to get some sort of cooperation from the credit card companies was, of course, if you've ever had to deal with these bozos, met with stern "pay it all and pay it now" rebuffs, until it got to the point that I no longer answered the phone. No, I wasn't going to sell an organ or borrow money from grandchildren I don't even have in order to pay the increasing mounting interest and penalty charges. I asked to work it out; it wasn't until collection agency number 57 bought the debt that any deal was offered, and even that demanded HUGE hunks of change. FUCK ME? FUCK YOU!!!!

So, I grab the phone book, and while looking for a lawyer I knew I couldn't afford, I came across CREDIT COUNSELING. The promise is to work out payment deals with your creditors so that some day in the next mellenia your descendants can somehow pay off your debt and you can scrub your horrible credit squeaky clean. We got an appointment, we went, he looked at what we had coming in, going out, and laughed. You could never hope to pay all this off, he says, and tells us our only real alternative is bankruptcy. I was surprised, assuming that our fine legislatures in congress had made it all but impossible for the working man to declare bankruptcy anymore, but he assured us that even under the new guidelines we were a basket case and could easily qualify to get a fresh start. So...........

Around that time, THE Wife finally, FINALLY, found a way out of her retail job from hell, having been offered a job at an opticians shop, an offer that initially had been given to another younger (uh-huh) and more "experienced" girl who lasted all of a few days before disappearing. He agreed to her wage demand and more or less BEGGED her to accept the job....hehe. Let me tell you, THE Wife's tenure at her last job, selling shoes, was more like a sentence for crimes against humanity than any way to make a living. So, anyway, this segways into how we suddenly came upon the funds necessary to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy.........

Of course, the wife conducts a circle under a full moon and casts a spell to somehow come up with the money we'd need for a lawyer...........

THE Wife had been at the department store long enough to be fully vested in her pension and 401K. According to the rules, since the amount vested in her pension fund exceeding $5 grand, she was required to receive the money in monthly payments, which only amount to just over $100 a month, so THAT wasn't going to be the financial windfall we really needed right now. HOWEVER........we didn't even think about the 401K, which was a different animal altogether, and when we found out she HAD one and that we COULD access the funds instead of rolling them over (just pay the taxes and penalties and it's yours), well, thank the Gods, we had the money we needed for the lawyer AND taking care of some festering wounds here at the hold, namely our broken down septic system and an old carpet that was promising to incubate the next deadly plague.

So, finally, at long last, we are getting a major monkey off our backs, and although this will not make us financially independent, at least the threat to our home and hearth has been overcome. This has sworn us off of any kind of credit cards forever, and the only borrowing we ever do again is for transportation. If we don't have the cash, we simply will have to do without. I would have much preferred to pay ALL these bills off, but they never attempted to work with us, instead inflating the amount we owed to the point we NEVER could have caught up with it. The cost of living continues to go up, but our wages barely advance at all, so now we are in subsistence mode, and the idea of having credit cards to deal with......forget about it!

In addition to the lawyer fees and infrastructure repairs, we also managed to have enough left over to purchase the laminate flooring we have wanted so badly to replace this awful carpet that's been growing how knows what beneath our feet. It took me almost a week moving furniture, ripping out cat-urine stained carpet and pad and pulling staples, but I managed to get the floor installed and now all I have remaining is to install the quarter rounds and transitions all around the perimeter of the room. This house looked like a hurricane passed through it, but it was worth the mess to get this done. It looks so WONDERFUL, don't you agree?

Of course, the universe demands balance in all things, so of COURSE, the central air conditioner decided to just crap out for good. The stopgap recharge of freon leaked right back out within a few weeks of putting it in so that's that. SO, in addition to all the other expenses we've incurred, I had to go out and grab as many window air conditioners as I could afford and put them in before the humidity destroyed everything inside the house. No, we didn't have the 5 to 7 big ones they wanted for a new system. The FIRST time the air conditioner crapped out the laminate on the countertops started to peel off. Humidity is the great killer of all things wood and electronic in a house, so it has nothing to do so much with comfort as for simply trying to keep things dry. Luckily, it's getting towards Fall now so the air conditioners were all on sale, so I got some really great deals. The caveat to all this is that I am dreading my next electric bill, as these window units do seem to be running all the time trying to keep up with the cooling load. I have every finger I have crossed three times over. If you all could spare a few fingers to cross for us I would certainly appreciate it.

I haven't had a cigarette since I quit a few months ago.

ANYWAY......THE Wife's new job has proven to be fantastic. Already she has commanded immense respect for her personality and work ethic. The ONE thing we DID fear was when and if her employers and the coworkers were going to discover that she was a witch, and how they might react to it. THIS is what happened..........

Her office manager pulls her to the side. Wife thinks, uh-oh, what did she do wrong? Office manager asks her if anyone had been giving her any trouble concerning her religion. Wife says no, not that she had noticed. Manager says "good, because you don't have to put up with any of that, and if anybody says anything to you, you come tell me!"

Wow.

THE Wife, unlike SOME people we've known, does not prosteletyze (even spell-check is having trouble with this word, so don't laugh if it's badly misspelled) her practice of Wicca, for we don't do that. If you are curious, just ask, but we have no interest in "converting" people. You can either check it out and accept it if it suits you or not, no skin off our ass. So, a few of the girls make minor little inquiries about it but the Christians give her a wide birth and don't give her any grief about it. In return, the wife doesn't cast any spells to turn them into goats or frogs or anything. He he. Just kidding. We don't, and couldn't do that, either.

No cats, dogs, goats, or lizards were harmed or sacrificed in the magik cast to get through all this.

While we have been dealing with heaps of issues here on the home front, out there in blogville two of my favorite bloggers (one of whom I consider a brother) decided they didn't want to blog anymore. Yes, folks, they DARED deprive me of the salve my soul has relied on to keep me sane while the fates were fating all over me. I'm sure they have their reasons, but I'm sorry, but once you achieve the heights of fame and glory these two have amongst us commoners out here in the real world, you can't just drop us cold turkey like that. We will hunt you down. We will kiss you on the lips or seek some other fashion of revenge. Because we miss you. Merry met, Gentlemen, Merry met indeed. We await your encore.

LIfe at Pendragon Hold has always been interesting, to say the least. It's always been two steps forward, one step back, but lately we managed to leap just a few steps ahead for once. The stress has been immense and how I managed NOT to seek solace in a fresh carton of cigarettes is beyond me, but I've stayed clean. We have gotten used to the fact that life is going to throw us curve after curve, and the best we can hope for is to stay ahead of it.....the curve, that is. Thankfully, I have a witch for a wife who is a natural at working some powerful magic. But, the most important thing is that despite everything, this witch still loves me. What more could a pagan ask for?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cosmic Pie Filling

This is soooooo wrong. You could have been an amazement in my life; instead, you are far removed and I do not really know you. I never will know you. But aside from that, I am not the amazement I perceived myself to be this year, as seen from a yesteryear. Back then I was excited at the prospect of having that Dick Tracy wristwatch on my wrist, but instead, I have a casio nerd watch which simply tells the world that I am no slave to fashion, a fact that does not shame me in the least. What DOES shame me is that $12 an hour is now a subsistence wage and that's what it seems I will be making from here on out. How I am affording my existence is beyond me.

So, instead of you, I have her, and she is damn glad to have me, for reasons I have yet to fully understand. Anybody could have done much better than being in my presence or even knowing me as opposed to knowing someone much more interesting or perhaps famous for having been important for some worthless reason. If ever I were to become famous I can promise the cosmos it would be for a NOBLE reason. Otherwise it isn't worth the hassle. Yes, as far as I can see, fame is nothing BUT a hassle. I'd rather be dead than be Brittany. Or Dubya.

I'm rather good at writing crap like this. I would much rather be good at writing profitable things so that I don't have to get up at 6 AM for a twelve hour shift smelling other people's shit but there you have it. Would you pay to read what I just wrote? I didn't think so. You'd pay John Grishom or Stephen King handsomely to read exactly what I have just said, which is similar to the fact that people pay a premium to carry around a designer handbag which if truth be told is flat out ugly. But what I write is either too ugly or not ugly enough to the right people so I give you this for free, and you will value it accordingly. No, you will not be telling that guy who knows that guy at Random House of this brilliant unpublished author that needs to be corralled before someone else nails him; no, you will read this, knowing full well in the back of your mind you'd have paid dearly to read this as long as it was sitting there under the New York Times Best Seller LIst at Barnes and Noble. Instead you found it here at the better than bargain rack in Blogville.
You get what you pay for.

On that note, I am going to cease and desist. This has been THE Michael talking to you. Because you're special.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Extinction Level Events

Within the span of a month, two of the best bloggers ever to put font to phosphor have retired from blogging, apparently forever, leaving a shocked and bereaved audience in their wake. I am not one of those bloggers.

I personally have taken a minor sabbatical in order to concentrate on getting through a major "circumstance" here at Pendragon Hold, but I intend to report on what has transpired as soon as I have the time and energy to devote to it in a manner befitting such a post. But I am NOT riding off into the sunset, at least not yet. When someone who does not like us has set off an electromagnetic pulse high in the atmosphere over this nation of ours and burned out all ability to blog, I MIGHT consider retiring, but until that time comes, I shall continue to allow these thoughts to escape me for your consideration.

Yes, I fully realize that life consists of more than blogging about it, and yes, I realize that sometimes blogging cuts into living life to it's utmost, but I personally have plenty enough room around the edges of the life I lead to write about it, perhaps because it has slowed down to a crawl compared to the hectic and otherwise action packed lives others appear to be leading. Besides reporting on the sleep inspiring drama that makes life so interesting here, I DO have ideas and opinions that I care to share on occasion. If nothing else, it's the one way I know to shout to the universe that I, THE Michael, was HERE! Whether or not anyone actually cares about that is, well, up to them.

Don the Homoesapian and Buffalo the literate biker extrordinaire have been a very important part of my universe since I met them so long ago, and they will be leaving a mighty big hole in my psyche as they go forth to do their own things and not share it with the rest of us. That is their prerogative. I wish them both the best in their retirement. I would indeed die a much better death if only I could share at least one beer with each of them before my time comes.

Stay tuned. I can't afford to retire, so you're all stuck with me. You have my condolences.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Listen...........

Incredible things have been happening here at Pendragon Hold. I know most of you have given us up for dead or turned Republican, but believe me, we are still alive and well and ready soon to reveal what has transpired here on our humble little acre of sand. Stayed tuned, I should be able to somehow discribe our adventures before the month is out. Till then........


BLESSED BE!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Excuse me while I go puke............

All hail the "Hip-Hop Culture"! Yes, that glorious, hip, cool, fly, whatever the hell you want to call it, lifestyle that certain people like to promote, mostly people who make money off of it. It usually has something to do with rap music, which isn't (music, that is) and being gangsters....oh, I'm sorry, that's "gangSTA's", which is the same as saying it's cool to commit crime with rhyme.


It is bad enough that one of the favorite pastimes these upstanding citizens seem to enjoy, the drive-by shooting (why, because they are too cool to get the fuck out of the car to murder someone?), tends to result in the deaths of 7 year old girls out skipping rope, but now we have a whole new low in depravity to lump in with this mindset. Dog fighting. Yep. Dog fighting. Once the purview of the redneck elite, that bloody, cruel sport that pits cruelly manipulated pit bull terriers (or any large, ferocious canine that can inflict alot of damage before it bleeds to death from it's wounds) against each other for fun and profit, this "sport" has been embraced by "the brothers" who thinks it's "fly" to let animals torture each other while they rest up from trying to off each other.

Now let's segway this sick cultural FUBAR into the NFL, the bastion of college educated, primo athletic young men who represent the best in sports in this country. Really? Well, I'm sorry, but if this is the best WE have to offer, perhaps we need to stop offering it!

We recruit these young "warriors" out of the "hood", and the culture of the hood has migrated into the culture of the NFL, and this is what we get. More and more players being arrested for various crimes you'd normally attribute to violent criminals who never had anything to do with higher education, unless that higher education happens to be in pharmaceuticals. Ever listen to your average NBA or NFL player being interviewed? Ever understand much of what they say? Yes, believe it or not, it's English, or some really terrible version of it. I don't think any of these guys have been tested for IQ because frankly I don't think they can fashion a test that can detect a negative number. It's not their fault, however, because they are NOT there because of their mental acuity. It takes braun, not brains, to get that pigskin down that field, past other hunks of hardened flesh. This idea of them being in college is simply a scam and always has been. These schools need the television money more than they need to educate these guys, which they don't. The only players that come out of this mess with genuine college degrees got them because of their mothers, not the school or their coaches.

So now we have have achieved a new low in the chase for athletic glory and lots of green. Unless the NFL or NBA chooses to or is made to clean up their act, I think sports as an institution belongs in the same category as the Jerry Springer show, and about as entertaining.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bitch and Moan, Bitch and Moan.........

The Catholics made up this place they called purgatory, a sort of half-way house to hell where sinners who really fucked up but could be judged as salvageable could do their time and perhaps make it into heaven after all. I've forgotten exactly what sins would qualify you for this place, probably something like masturbation in front of a nun or spiking a priest's sacramental wine with LSD or something fun but disrespectful like that. Or maybe a wife who killed her abusive husband.......naw.....Catholics were never THAT charitable. ANYway........have you ever felt you were already doing your time in purgatory? I know that so many totally unfortunate people have already spent time in hell right here on Earth; Africa, the Balkans, Iraq, and other fun vacation destinations, and to think THAT didn't pay their way right into this mythical nirvana the religious types call heaven.....well, that would just suck, on a cosmic scale. Since I don't believe in heaven OR hell, I feel kinda bad there's no payback for these poor souls, but if we are all really lucky and reincarnation happens to be real, THEN perhaps they earn bonus points towards a really nice life next time around. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. The universe doesn't create fairy tales just for our benefit. I'd be surprised if "the" universe even notices us.

Anyway, speaking of purgatory, I think I might be experiencing a mild version of it. Things have really gotten dicey on the financial front here at Pendragon Hold and although I am valiantly rallying the troops and flooding the moat and all that good rot in an effort to confront our demons, so far the demons are advancing steadily and our remaining defenses are weakening fast. I'd call on reinforcements from my allies or institute a draft, but the only citizens living here other than THE Wife and I are three goats, one dog, and two cats, and I don't think they are draft material. I know the cats aren't. Cat's by their very nature don't give a shit.

I wish I could be more specific, but we are already approaching the TMI area of blogging and I do not ever want to be accused of gathering sympathy for my plights when there are people who would die to have my plights. Bob, I hate plights!

So, if you happened to notice (yes, I realize that one must have had to have been motivated to even show up at this blog to ever have noticed) that my posting frequency has become somewhat infrequent, well, now you have some idea why. So if any of you were holding your breath, you can safely let it out. No one is dying of cancer, we haven't lost another animal (so far) OR relative, nor has anything combustible combusted. The hurricane season is taunting us by not having any storms show up when we most expect them, we are not in an earthquake zone, and tornadoes seem not to notice us. We ARE getting alot of rain, but not enough to flood us out, and that's only because we pissed Mother nature off by complaining about the drought we were suffering from. I know damn well that things could be worse; my only worry is that they might.

So, that's my rant. I know, I was supposed to expose the outrageous treachery of Walmart's funding of Red China's takeover of our country with our own money, wondering why republicans are even bothering running for office this time around, and predicting the end of an affordable way to get to work in this country, but believe me, I am fully aware of all these piddling, unimportant things going on all around me, so if you want me to worry about those things right now, send me lots of money to get me out of MY personal purgatory and I'l get right onto it, I promise.

Other than that, I think life is like a box of chocolates.........sweet!

P.S. I haven't had a ciggarette in over two months!

P.S.S. I've gained almost ten pounds.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wow!

Generally, I really don't care much for "classical" music, but sooooooooometimes..............

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blue Man Group Stop Global Warming

I know, if you just happen to be deaf, dumb, and blind, and don't believe we have anything to worry about as far as global warming is concerned, this cute video won't change your mind.......but it sure does get the message across!