Thursday, February 22, 2007

Things and junk

Well the girls did well on the first day of their lenten sacrifice.
Scout almost used a spoon today to stir her coffee, and she ate her breakfast cereal with a fork and then drank the milk afterward.

MacKenzie is reading instead of playing Club Penguin on the computer, and seems happy about it.

I am hoping to be able to get into the beta version of Joost (Skype product) but for the time being I will satisfy my curiousity by messing about with YouTube.
I would like to post Blake and Andrew's Videos (aka Blandrew-mations) there.
The whole crew is trooping off to Mitchell Oregon (aka "Wanna-Be-Ghost-Town") this summer for a two week shoot of some script they have been collaborating on for a couple of months.
It is good to see them put some real planning into a project and have a proper crew assembled.
I think they are hoping for another SHS Film Festival contender for Spring 2008.

Not much goes on around here today.
Snow came down and was pretty. I am glad because I am not ready for winter to be finished.
I haven't added my latest recipe to Eating Plebian and am feeling a bit remiss (sorry Blue).
I have been editing some of the MP Flying Circus episodes so that they are "kid friendly, " so that my youngest can enjoy the glory that is Python at an early age.
Give 'em a good start I always say!
Although I am sure people at the church and the Christian school would argue that our family is already butt-weird enough.
On the contrary, I think that the majority of them are far too "cookie-cutter" for my tastes.

Good thing I am not God.
Good thing they aren't either.
I suppose its a good thing that None of us is God.
And I am glad He is good.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Normaly I associate giving up food, when it comes to sacrificing something at Lent.
But usual the girls come up with other things.
MacKenzie and her freind have decided that they are giving up The Computer and ice cream for Lent.
And then there is Scout who has decided to pick something simple and meanignful.

She has decided to give up spoons.

This should be an interesting Season.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Moving and Spelling

So Scout has now got the bug to move to Wales.
I said, "Good Scout. You want to talk about spelling bee difficulties? You don't get any vowels there! Try that out." She answered with, "yeah but I can learn Welsh in any local pub!"

Thats my girl! Always finding the positive.

And all the while MacKenzie is wailing, "no no, I don't want to move. WE live in a puny and pathetic town and I like it that way. All my friends are here and I will never see them again."

"So", says I, "you'll make lots of new ones. You're good at making friends, and besides, that the UK is the soccer capital of the world."

She remained unimpressed.

Oh well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Valentines Family Dinner

So we had a nice Valentines Dinner as a family (of course Scout was down with a hideous case of the Flu and Blake was battling the onset of the same).

We had a traditional "red" food, in this case, lasagna and finished off the meal with card opening and truffle eating - except that Scout and Blake could not eat their lasagna nor the truffles, so it was a subdued evening to be sure.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Evolution of a Virtual World by Lehsa

As requested by Mih, I've reposted my article here:

Many people today are familiar with online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft (WoW), the Sims, or Second Life. In many ways these games become a new reality for many of the users who frequent these virtual worlds.

Myst is a game that started out as a stand alone game. The aim of Myst is vague to those who enjoy the more in your face interaction of the first person shooter (FPS) or other action type video game. For me, Myst was the perfect escape from reality when I needed a little vacation from studies and work. The music was soothing, the scenery though static was calming and almost dreamlike, and the puzzles were incorporated into each world or "age" in a way that kept me interested and actively involved. The storyline of Myst was one I could understand... almost a parable of sorts. You as the explorer must figure out what you needed to do and who to trust.

While looking information up on Myst, I discovered a large underground community of fans interested in this surreal adventure game that up till I randomly bought it I had never heard of. Through this group I came to know the ins and outs of interacting online. I found a community of liked-minded people who enjoyed quiet pursuits of reading and writing... archeology and the art of discovering new worlds aswell as creating our own worlds through the inspiration of Myst's ethereal imagery. I also made strong friendships that have lasted the test of time, distance and some face to face interaction.

Myst to me was a world all it's own. A place I could escape to on my own and be alone. I didn't mind the character interactions with Atrus, his sons: Achenar and Sirrus or those of other characters in the various incarnations of Myst, Riven, Exile and the other sequels. I was happiest when I found a place in each game to turn my attentions to and feel the happy solace of peace and quiet. In Myst it was the singing stones in Selentic... in Riven the forest and docks of the Rivenese Village... The places were peaceful and I could feel like I was really there. No people to bother me and few interruptions. It was a nice escape.

Then I heard about URU. The community was abuzz with questions and curiosity about actually seeing D'ni, the ancient city never seen but only read of in the three books Rand Miller and his brothers at Cyanworlds had written. To see the cleft of Atrus' youth or the towering mass of K'Veer would just be a dream come true! Everyone including myself was agog with this news. There was also mention of an online version of the game. Initially, I did not see any use in playing with people in URU anymore than I had felt the need to play with others in the previous games. The idea of Myst had come to mean to many in the community, not just myself, to be a personal experience. It didn't seem right to some fans that it would be disrupted by having people other than your own avatar exploring the city. As much as I liked the idea of playing with my friends, it wasn't what I really thought would work with this kind of game.

When Uru Prologue was release as a public beta in 2002 / 2003 I didn't immediately jump into the fray to get in. I didn't try hard to get into Beta as I had dialup and figured it wasn't worth the effort if my connection was slow. I was content figuring things out in the offline version on my own or using the occasional hint or spoiler from the guidebook or online forum. My interaction with others in URU wasn't important to me. I wanted to experience this game as I had the other games... alone. I had little experience with Multiplayer Role Playing Games (MPRPGs). I didn't think having people exploring with me ingame would benefit my experience with Uru... of course... anyone can be wrong.

I didn't expect to get stuck in URU as much as I did. I did what I could but in the end I asked a friend for help. He told me "get online and I'll show you." I couldn't fathom how this was going to work out but I joined the URU site and connected my game to the net. Dialup was slow and cumbersome and yet I felt a kind of excitement I hadn't felt before. I had never played any sort of real "online" community game at that time and didn't know what to expect. Once the game loaded and I created my avatar and finally loaded Uru Live, my ideas of playing alone soon ended. I finished the initial puzzle, made it to my home age (Relto) and linked where I was told to get the communicator (the KI) so my friend could help me with the game.

From the beginning of this little adventure in URU I was bowled over with excitement. I couldn't wait to see everything that I could in this online world and when I knew my friends were coming to meet me I got more excited. My ideas of exploration alone versus exploring with friends changed in a heartbeat. I didn't see myself playing URU offline as much as I had expected. I did nearly everything related to the game on Prologue with my friends new and old. It was the best experience I'd ever had with any kind of game. I felt like I had it all, till the day Uru went away.

I missed the last day of Uru Prologue... I was saddened as was the online Myst community. People began to write stories, create art, make images through photoshop showing their friends and themselves still exploring URU together although they were now apart. Going into URU offline was now depressing to me. Where I initially thought I would dislike people joining me in this online world, I now missed the interaction with my friends. It was a sad day for the Myst community. As a gift, Cyanworlds gave the fans the first expansion pack To Dni free to replace the world we had lost. With this new expansion pack fans were finally able to explore the city of Aegura and wander through places we'd only read of. Soon Cyanworlds was selling a new expansion pack called Path of the Shell in which we were given far more content to explore.

Yet this was not the end of the dream... A new gift was on the horizon as new sequels to Myst were being released. This gift was called Until Uru. This was a user run version of Uru. It was the same content found in Uru Prologue but now fans were able to control the game in ways we hadn't been able to in the past. Many fans created their own servers called "Shards" where other fans could link in and join URU online as if Prologue had returned. Some shards were faster than others while some had more options than others. It all depended on the skills of the person maintaining the shard. People could once again run through the city of Aegura and join their friends in games of hide and go seek in the forests of Kadish. It was a miracle for those of us who had lost an online world and to those who had never seen Prologue.

Until Uru was not a true replacement for URU Live / Prologue. It was never meant to be more than a temporary solace to those of us who missed the online interactions with friends. As a temporary world it was never meant to last forever. In just the last 2 weeks, Until Uru was closed down. Apparently I was one of the last people to roam it's silent halls. I had no clue that it was to be shut down that very night, but I ran around a random shard and played in the silent city. There wasn't anything new but it felt like home. I wanted to see things that people did with this world created by two brothers. I wanted to see how people had made it a home by making this world their own.

Still, this is not the ending. It has yet to be written by fans or Cyanworlds. Myst Online is the newest incarnation of Uru Live. It has been given a new life to breath and live in the hearts of fans old and new. It has been given a new lease on life and a new chance to enchant those who have explored the depths of D'ni and those who are only beginning to gain an inkling as to what these worlds are. It will begin slowly like a seed in the earth. The seed will grow... the roots will take shape... a tree will grow and soon it will emerge.

If you feel the need to follow the call, you need only journey as far as the desert bird which flies over head.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

POCCNR Valentines

These little cards came home from Siberia with Stu last year.
They were created in Russia - hence the un-readable sentiments...

This kitty is my particular favorite because, if you have a cat of your own, you know how amusing it is to twirl things in the air above them and watch their little heads go round-and-round-and round, which is what I imagine this kitty to be doing with all the words looping around it.

And now it is time to revisit our old friends, the "Anti-Valentines":

I thought that I could love no other
Until, that is, I met your brother.-----

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead,
the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.-----

Of loving beauty you float with grace
If only you could hide your face.-----

Kind, intelligent, loving and hot
This describes everything you are not.-----

I want to feel your sweet embrace
But don't take that paper bag off of your face.-----

I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Dang, I'm good at telling lies!-----

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you screwed up my life.-----

I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.-----

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?-----

My feelings for you no words can tell
Except for maybe "go to hell."-----

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Monday, February 12, 2007

No Offense But...

There is a phrase that people use as a door mat.

"No offense But..."

The majority of the time, people use this phrase in order to say something offensive without being held accountable for it.

They don't even couch the offending comment(s) in nice language, which is a dead give-away to their true intent.
I mean, if they TRULY were concerned with sparing the feelings of the other person it would show in their language through out the exchange.

My kids even do this right before they berate one another...well they did. I mean I call them out on the carpet for this because the intent of the heart is what matters.

People need to be accountable for what they say.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Changing Earth

The Earth Changes.
It is our only true constant - well, that and God.
I do not deny that there is concern among people regarding the possibilities of global warming.
I just want more proof than a clamoring society and a few media puppet experts.

I don't regurgitate everything I hear on the evening news or the Today show.
Just because something sounds possible, doesn't mean it is fact just because the media trots forward their selected "Expert," or if the general population thinks a thing is right or wrong - even as a majority doesn't make it so.

The Earth changes.
Man "CAN " affect it, but more importantly, Man is small and arrogant in nature.
Fortunately God has provided Himself with a way to erase His vision of our behaviour, and attitudes, and see us the way He originally designed us to be.

He owes us nothing, but because He is good and loving by nature, He reaches out, where religion is only Mankind reaching up.
That is the difference between God and man.
Our reach is stunted.
He has to be the one to do the reaching and fortunately for us, He has achieved that.
Unfortunately, alot of humans want to slap that Reaching Hand away for the sake of their pride.

Having a relationship wtih the One True God, The ALmighty Creator of the Universe is not necessarily religion, although religious organizations can serve Him in various ways, God is God, and Man is not.

Good for us.

Anyway, this is an interesting video clip sent to me by a friend with regards to the ever changing and remarkable weather patters we see.

I love the weather.
I love the sky and its violent changes and storms.
Enjoy the clip.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

When Genius Strikes...

...does it beat you over the head until you are unconscious, and leave you with no recollection of it's presence when you awaken?

Ok, while Scout was re-watching this, I realised that, at this years Mysterium we need to gather as a huge clot and sing and do this dance together.

Tape it and upload it.
Wouldn't it be horrific?
Wouldn't it be dreadful?
Wouldn't it be stupefyingly wonderful? (in a painful sort of way?)
Let's DO THIS!!!!

This is SOOOO for Lehsa

I KNOW how you love this song!
I KNOW this becasue you have said as much in the past.
This is for you, dear.

Monday, February 5, 2007

"Global Warming" my Gi-normous hiney!!!

Hey! isn't it crazy?
The cold spell that happens every few years.

Human are worried that our emissions have created this huge global warming issue and that may well be.

How ever, I don't hear anybody stating the obvious opposite:

Humans! You are arrogant!
You IMAGINE that your presence makes a difference to the cycles that this planet has been in for eons?

You are small (crunchy and good with ketchup according to "certain beings") and it is very likely that you have not so great an imapct on this planet as you might think. And you ARE very wont to think so highly of your own magnificence. ( BTW, isn't that what got Satan/Lucifer cast out? He fell in love wiht his own beauty until he couldn't see past it and became ugly and vile etc? Soemthing to think about...) ANY---Waaaaaaay...

Humans, it is just as likely that you don't make any difference and our globe is doing what it does the way that God designed it.

Get over yourselves humanity.

Your only value is what God assesses to each individual, and to Him you value as a person is priceless... but as far as afecting such a grand and global change - - - well, get over yourself humanity.

Such things are counter to what people want to hear.

but its my blog and I can say what I want.

People don't have to read....unless they have signed up for an RSS feed and then they have to delete it asap, after the begin to get offended, but oh well, what can I do about that?

It has gone beyond all reason or control

I am a hapless, helpless victim...
I hear it while I am trying to sleep.
I eventually drift off into sleep and upon waking, it is the first sound I hear reverberating within the confines of my cranium.
Some body help me or offer advice to combat the insipid, redundant Song.

I kid you not.
I am hearing it and singing it all the live long freaky day.

My head is particularly stuck in the revolutions of "I was once a treehouse, I lived in a cake, but I never saw the way the orange slayed the rake..."

In the name of all that is holy PLEASE (*on knees, beseechingly*) PLEEEEEEZE make it STOP!
Stop the madness!!


Saturday, February 3, 2007

movie worth watching

Lady in the Water!

Ok sure its gotten some crappy reviews but if you child is between the ages of 11 and above and has seen LotR without flippin gout due to the scariness then I would say Lady in the Water is a great movie! If youa re a person who can easily suspend disbelief, (not to say that it was unbelievable) but it is based upon myth. If you are a believer in the values of myth and the joys of fantastical beings...if you are a person who believes that even the smallest creature can change the course of the future, then THIS is a movie for you!

For your edification:

Now this is deep and meaningful.