Bonfire Musings

The waves the cosmos above me

I can understand why the past thought the lights were gods.

The fire whistles at me. Light, eons old, comes to rest. Only a tiny, tiny fraction is seen; after millions of years of travel, only a minute portion of photons stimulate visual receptors. All of the rest, they fall into a ground which gives no damn.

One star is a planet; it gives the context to the nothing, defines the amount of space between stars by showing how much nothing there is nearby.

Entropy or void.

The challenge, the question, is: what do you do when confronted with that idea.

One approach is to succumb to the cold and empty. Or another, giving in to the chaotic. After all, isn’t that what you see when you look up into a clear night sky?

It has to be phrased that way. The obvious third choice is so common that, without context, it fades into the background. The opposition is so pervasive that it must be shown, amplified, examined.

The third choice, the one we all make every day, is to be who we are, as much as we are, and to take up as much space as we possibly can. We don’t rage against the dying of the light; we rage to occupy as much of the darkness as we’re able to reach.

Science as Pronunciation

Every once in a while, out of nowhere – okay, usually from somewhere, but not a predictable source – I’ll come up with on analogy that I really like but currently and, perhaps, never will have a use for.

This is one of those situations. If you are ever in an instance where you are trying to explain how science progresses to someone who just doesn’t get it,  here’s a potential source of enlightenment.

When you read a word aloud, and find out you’ve been pronouncing it wrong, that doesn’t mean every word you said before then was also wrong.
In the same way, new discoveries in science doesn’t destroy all the knowledge that came before it. Einstein didn’t kill the notion of gravity – he refined it, using what had come before.

Ta-da. I have written down wisdom. I’m allowed to be stupid for the rest of the day.

3 o’clock; Lego Lord of the rings.

3 AM: fuck it. Throw the dwarf at them.
305: Frodo is worthless. He always has been.
307: Rohan house! Fuck yeah!
I think my horse just did an Ollie.
309: why do I want to see Patrick Stewart and Gandalf merge into one super awesome character?
If you must have a frustratingly slow section in your game, add an Easter egg allowing you to set NPCs on fire.
310: bat signal versus eye of Sauron: go!
The orcs have very pretty hair.
311: I don’t care if it’s Legos physics; get your damn horse off my head.
316: who plants a flower on a stone wall??
I just bought an orc. Is that slavery or affirmative action?
320: the question of the day is: why hasn’t Darwin noticed you yet?
325: is there such a thing as an elf cowboy?
329: game writers need to learn the difference between a character and an annoyance.
331: tutorial advice is often useful. That being said, stop telling me to use someone that I do not have access to right now! I can’t use legolas, he’s not part of the story now! I have no arrows! I have a gardener and a worthless hobbit!
333: after complaints and a soda break, I realize there is an archer in the group. My point still stands though; don’t ask for a character by name if he’s not available!
337: if the world was built like videogames, no one would ever make it in to work. The elevator would require three key cards and a rubber chicken head to go up. And a crystal vase in the shape of Wisconsin to go down.
339: I would like back all the time that I have spent in this game, backtracking, because Sam is the only available character who can do anything except for deal with darkness. Just let Frodo borrow the rope!
341: the downside? Human Rangers are too stupid to actually shoot unless explicitly told to. The upside? Barrels will randomly explode if human ranger stand next to them.
344: after one and a half books, Sam finally got a sword!… And it was demonstrated that, however good the ancients were at gates, they were crap at walls.
345: I am with Gollum; now is the time for pantslessness and animal flesh. Let’s cook some chicken.
347: dinner/breakfast en route.
348: can you imagine hitting someone, and having them explode into their component limbs? how much would you freak out? I probably would all the freak. However much is available. The first time, anyway.
354: while, in theory, I understand the minor time killing elements of the game… Why fishing?? Why???
356: should I ever gain access to multiple giant flying death lizards, rest assured I will teach them to actually hunt people, not just hover menacingly.
358: why would you ever drop a sword in the middle of a battle? Sam you gardening dill hole.
359: holy crap walls hate me.
4 AM: let’s tree slap somebody.
403:… And then a tree threw a building at the aqueduct. True story.
407: not to criticize, evil hordes, but you would get a lot more done if you didn’t build quite so much useless scaffolding.
Imagine the smell of a squished goblin.
412: walking ominously is all well and good; however, one aspect of ominous is slow and methodical… Right now the emphasis is on slow.
417: Pippin has crabs.
423: two books down, one to go. I might save the last one for tomorrow. Today. Whatever.
Wait the hell…? City of the dead? Wasn’t that Aragorn?
426: I have to quit. Frodo was already a load; now that they have introduced a game mechanic where he will actively wander off and take damage? My rage needs to dissipate. Otherwise I will actively engage in destroying my own “protagonist”. With a vengeance. And a spade. Maybe even a Mithril spade.

Defensive examination

All prefaced with “I think, based on observation of myself, at the least.”

Defensiveness is the flip side of the urge to do good. Faced with something horrible, we want to fix it. Right the wrong. Thwart the villain.

When the villain is us – or rather, a group we are part of – and there’s nothing proactive to be done, that urge gets stymied. (‘Proactive’ meaning ‘reasonable’. As opposed to, say ‘becoming Batman’.) The rush of brain chemicals is there, waiting to pounce… And is left to circle, a frustrated wolf in a cage.

Defensiveness becomes an outlet: “I still feel pumped but can do nothing. If the pump is not to attack, it must be to defend!”

I advocate self examination when you realize you’re being defensive. It can lead to interesting thoughts and conversations. Maybe even a new perspective.

Or maybe you’ll just wind up feeling better after a blog post like me.

Where to Begin

I don’t believe that the world is black and white.
Or shades of gray.
Or colors.
Flat lines, two dimensions, multiform – none of these.

The world, life, it’s all a bunch of everything, with so many ways to define it.
Everyone defines their own set of coordinates.
Simultaneously meaningful and subjective.
So long as you understand their origin.

And always changing.
The lovely ballet of chaos in order in chaos.

Posted 1997.

A wooded path divided was;
 Both routes had been seen.
So I honed my tools and wits –
 I carved a path between.

I wanted that recorded; it’s been with me for years.
Dichotemy and artificial lines just lead to tears.
We have a nature: “Is”, “Is not”.
The safe word ‘neither’ is… Is what?
An option that we all forgot.


Not kidding; that first bit has knocked ’round my head for years. Never written – just thought.
I hate every… okay, I hate most things which are either/or. Sometimes, yes, okay, binary works. But.
Often, though, we succumb to pure logic: “not A” is defined as “B”, then “not B” becomes “A”, and we all have taken positions before anyone has the chance to yell that “not A” could also be “C”.

On the entertaining side, contemplate this: what is the difference between a game and a sport? Is rodeo a sport? Horseshoes? Cornhole? (For the sake of argument, let’s exclude races along the nature of horses and Nascar.)