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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

It’s pruning season, again. No, not for my roses or my fruit trees (that’s February); it’s the season to prune my Facebook friends list.

During the year, my list accretes new names—distant relations who pop up after an auntie mentioned a connection, or a friend of a friend who saw a comment I made or who remembers my name from school days—and some of them work out fine. Usually, though . . . not.

Thus, with each new year, along with cleaning out old utility bills from my filing cabinet, I now also review my friends list with an eye toward clearing out the dead wood. (more…)

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All Peopled Up

Welcome back, folks. I hope you missed me (or at least the words I put up here), and I hope as well that your year-end was festive and full of enjoyment.

My end-of-year breaks are usually a grab bag of have-tos and must-dos mixed with a large amount of cocooning at home, trying to avoid both. For the past five years or so, they’ve also been bittersweet, tinged with grief and drama over the losses of family and friends.

The end of 2018, however, was a radical departure from that.

I actually socialized.

On purpose.

Voluntarily.

Yeah, I know. That’s crazy talk!

(more…)

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Full disclosure: I am a Browncoat.

I wasn’t an early adopter, in that I never saw Firefly during its brief broadcast on FOX, but once a friend lent me his box set of DVDs, I knew I had found my all-time favorite science fiction television show.

That said, you might think I’m about to go all gosh and gee-willikers about Big Damn Hero, the first official Firefly novel.

And you’d be wrong. (more…)

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It’s November, which means a lot of the Kickstarter projects I backed are shipping. Kickstarter game projects are kind of a crap shoot: most are good, a few are bad, and a select few are excellent. Mostly, I’m attracted to games with new or unusual mechanisms of game-play, or with interesting thematic content.

First to arrive, this season, is Wu Wei: Journey of the Changing Path, from Gray Wolf Games.  It had both an interesting set of mechanisms and a deep thematic content. The fact that it’s also bloody gorgeous and of the highest production quality, well, that’s gravy. (more…)

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I’ve never been one for milestone birthdays, but this one is different. It feels like a milestone, and so a few days ago I decided to just go with it.

What I didn’t expect, though, was that this “go with it” approach has engendered a fair bit of introspection. I know. Shocker, right? Still, it doesn’t feel wrong to take a long look back in order to see the long view forward.

In a few short weeks, I’ll be sixty years old. Not bad for a kid who never thought he’d live past the age of twenty-six. I’m in good health, take no prescription meds, and sure, I’ve got a dodgy knee and could benefit from losing some of that IPA-paunch I’ve developed, but overall, I’m not in danger of punching my ticket any time soon.

So, I’m on the cusp of what feels like a new chapter. What have my previous chapters been? (more…)

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We keep it out
shunned
banished
beyond the electric glare
past heavy curtains
behind double-glazed panes

We fear
its cold
its dark
its unspoken secrets

I say
open the drapes
shut the lights
put flame to a candle’s wick
and let it in

Invite the night inside
forget its chill
forgive its inky mien
offer it a seat
and pour a wee dram

Enjoy its quiet
the stillness of its nature
and listen closely
as it whispers
of secrets
eager to be known

Let it in

—————-

k

Moon and Cedar

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Full disclosure: I am a white, male, middle-class, soon-to-be senior citizen with liberal tendencies.

That said, I’ll tell you that I simply do not understand racism.

Oh, I understand that we humans like to draw distinctions, define the “Other” in the face of conflict. Such dichotomies make it easier to argue, to fight, to hate, to kill. I get that. Not a fan, but I get it.

But why skin color?

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