Random High School Memories.

Last weekend i took DS1 to go see To Save a Life.  I thought it was really good.  It made me think about how i relate to others, and how i relate to God as well.  In the movie the main character, Jake Taylor, has his eyes opened to a "new" 'caste' of kids at school.  Kids that are routinely ignored and belittled.  The story follows Jake as he struggles with the suicide of a friend from his youth and trying to make sense of it.  What he might have done different.  In many ways the movie brought back a ton of memories from when i was in school.

I was definitely not one of the 'cool' kids, but by God's grace a made a few good friends early on, and i am still friends with most of them.  At the last High School i attended the first friend i made was VAMP.  He reached out to me pretty much the first week of school my first year there.  Even though we are no longer 'tight', we are still friends.  The next guy was TYNIE.  He had it pretty rough as well.  His father had died in a house fire, and lived in the house that was rebuilt over the same place.  We used to do an annual New Years Eve movie party.  I've not spoken with him in years.  Next was ORK.  His mother had passed away (from cancer i think).  ORK was sort of the organizer of our little band.  He is a dedicated man to his father and brother who still live with him.  Then there was DDD.  He is actually a '3rd' having been named after his Father and Grand Father.  We joined the Guard a week apart.  He got married and we drifted apart, but have recently renewed the friendship via Facebook of all things. Last, but by far not least was RAM.  He reached out to a lonely kid and invited him over to his house the second to last year of school (for me).  RAM and i are still really good friends.  His wife and my Beloved went to college together, and she was instrumental in my Beloved becoming a believer in Christ.  Our kids play together all the time and are really good friends.  Their son and my DS2 almost look like twins (even having people asking us if they are) and are only a month a part in age.

School was drudgery for me.  Something to be survived.  I did have a handful of teachers that really made a difference in my life.  The first one was an elementary school teacher.  I don't even remember his name, but i remember him have a bulletin board off to one side of the class.  He put a challenge to his students.  On the board were the numbers 0 to 100.  The challenge was to create a math problem that solved to each of those numbers.  The catch... you could only use four 4's.  The first few were solved quickly and easily. 4+4+4+4=16, etc.  Others took a little longer like 4/4 x 4 +4 = 8.  Eventually the trickle subsided and he introduced new functions... the square root, to the power, etc.  I ate it up.  By the time most of the other kids had given up i was messing with all kinds of math functions and working on manipulating those fours like nobody's business.  When it dried up so bad he gave us an incentive that he would buy an ice cream for each problem solved.  I turned in three the next day, but he only gave me one ice cream cone.  From then on i only turned in one a day. 8)  He opened up a new world for me.  To this day i still love do math problems, but i've lost some of the skills i learned to lack of use.  Three teachers in High School i also remember.  One was my 10th grade English teacher.  I can't remember her name either, but she taught me about communication.  If the person wishing to convey a message to the listener, it has to be understood in the same manner in which it was intended, or communication is breaking down.  The other two were Mr. Pine my History teacher, and Mr. Blecher my industrial studies teacher.  Both of those men taught me that i had value as a person.  I was not just another problem child moving through their classes.  Both men took personal interest in me, even if i did not return the favor or appreciate what they were doing at the time.

For me, i hope my faith in God is real, and apparent to the world around me.  Not to beat those who do not believe over the head with my Bible, but to just be honest with who i am and what i believe.  And that if they are interested i am available for questions, and not to "judge" them, but to present the gospel and show that i am not a perfect human being either.  I know i still struggle with my own selfishness and pride, and i am definitely NOT a master of communication, but i hope that while i walk out my sanctification, i become a better presenter and sharer of the gospel.


Music Monday - 20100125

What a rough couple of days/week.  Whatever it is that has been waking me up in the middle of the night seems to have gone in to hyperdrive. When i am really trying to sleep, even when my body/mind does not want me to, i sleep on my stomach, but this is causing me to have pretty bad neck pain and headaches.  So, it is either wake up several times in the night, or deal with neck pain.  I'd rather not sleep to be honest with you.

Well, as a result of being tired all of the time and grouchy as a result i have been feeling... well, depressed is probably the most accurate.  If any of my handful of readers have ever felt depressed i am sure you can relate when i say that you feel totally unworthy of approaching God.  Completely inadequate to do anything for, or with, God.  So, on my way to work i heard this song on the radio, and while this resonated with me as a future desire, it can also be taken as my current state - whether i feel it or not.

Sweet Sweet Sound
Sarah Reeves

I am an instrument of the living God
My life a melody to His name
More than the songs I sing
Worship is everything
I live to glorify my King

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

Through all the mire and clay
You're washing me with grace
You carry me, oh Lord, through it all
So I will testify even in the fire
I live to praise my Savior

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

Let everything that has breath
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
And all creation will sing Hallelujah

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high

Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

While i may not be a perfect vassal in that i am still walking through this world and i am not home with the Lord yet, He has seen me.  He knows my past, my present, and my future.  What an awesome God that while he saw me in this state (in all three tenses), He still sent His Son, my Lord Jesus Christ to die on the Christ to pay the penalty for my sin.  That i might be born again.  And then on the third day He rose from the grave to defeat death once and for all.  Praise God in the highest!

Yesterday i too DS1 to see the movie To Save a Life.  What a powerful movie.  It is about a High School senior dealing with the suicide death of his boyhood friend.  I will not post spoilers here, but there are a lot of issues that many Christians have to deal with - and not just High School 'kids'.  I highly recommend going to see this movie.  My Beloved had to encourage me to go (to spend time with DS1), but i am very grateful that she did.  I would not mind seeing it again that's for sure.


Is there no end to the Rambling?

My life is one of ebbs and flows.  I can have a ton of things to blog about, but then no time to actually get the fingers on the keyboard to enter them in.  I have had as many three unpublished blog entries in various states of completion.  Other days i just want to take an easy road.  Such as today.  So, i am borrowing the Random Dozen from the 2nd Cup of Coffee blog fame.

1. If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why? ~~~ For me the late 30's were the best (so far). I was still reasonably able to get myself ready for the Army Physical Fitness Test, and i was not all that much over weight.  I am enjoying my early 40's though... stay tuned for possible changes to this answer. ;-)

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?) ~~~ I am not much of a cook. Mostly because i prefer quick and easy. I mean... i just ate lunch and now i have to start preparing dinner?!? I am blessed that my Beloved loves to feed people (is this a match made in heaven or what!). Having said all that, i do occasionally make something that is not out of a box, bag, or can. My Beloved loves when i make tilapia and i've been told that my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are pretty good (i add an extra cup of flour and an extra tablespoon of vanilla).

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal? ~~~ For me, when i am actually aware that i am feeling down, i prefer to throw myself into some sort of project. Either cleaning the house, or writing a story. It will almost always include listening to music.

4. When was the last time you danced in public? ~~~ *snicker* Not sure exactly the time and place, but i am VERY sure it was to embarrass my children. 8)  I like to be goofy like that sometimes.

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer? ~~~ A realist, but i totally respect the dreamers out there.  I just can't do it.  One of the things that frustrate my Beloved is that i will rarely be definitive in any statement i make.  (My Beloved; "So, do you think you will get that promotion?"  /  Me: "Well, i have a pretty good chance." - even if i am the only one who has applied for the job).  For me one thing i learned growing up... nothing is guaranteed and why get your hopes up?  You do your best.  Sometimes good things happen as a reward, but just as often good is rewarded to either no effort or as a surprise, or bad things happen.  Life is neither fair nor predictable.  So for me... i just keep my head down, set up an goal (perhaps that's a dreamer), and head towards it with no expectation of anyone result.

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well? ~~~ The jury is still out on this one, and the pollsters have not done their job of late.  I hope it is that i have given my kids the ability to try things and fail.  If they have a desire to try something i try to encourage them and congratulate them no matter the outcome.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the doer of deeds might have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends him/herself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his/her place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.  ~ Theodore Roosevelt, April 1910

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show? ~~~ Hmm, it's been a while since i watched the show... if memory serves i really liked Goober.  I know he was "simple", but he was always happy and always wanted to help people.  "He's a good soul", to quote a line from the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol.

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? ~~~ To my shame it is more like a 2 or 3.  He was indeed a great man.  Although i think his message sometimes gets distorted for personal or agenda purposes (on both sides of the aisle). 

9. What is your #1 driving pet peeve? ~~~ That HAS to be people not driving the speed limit.  I live in a fairly rural region and there is a ten mile stretch of a two lane road where the posted speed limit is 55, and yet i constantly find people driving 45 or 40.  It's one thing when i get stuck behind a tractor where the farmer needs to fuel up, or move to a different field, etc.  The same goes for the highway.  If you are driving at the speed limit, OR UNDER, your place is not in the left lanes people.

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate? ~~~ Your asking the color question?  Really?  The majority of your readers are obviously women... LOL.  Umm... i have no clue.  I am feeling a little tired... so is that gray?  Brown?  My mood is upbeat (currently)... so... is that yellow?  So my color would be a greyish yellow?

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?  ~~~ Ah, that's easy.  A cat.  There is something graceful and a want to please, and yet she can remain detached if she wants to.  (Man, i hope she's not reading this!  LOL). There's a lot more... but i think i shouldn't post it in such a public forum. 8)

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day? ~~~ Typing.  Either writing e-mails, or notes.  I LOVE to write stories.  Thus my preferred means of communication with others is via e-mail.  I feel akward on the phone or in person for some reason.  Ideas and thoughtful communication flows much more easily when i have time to type it out.

And now for brief ramblings, well... because that's what i do. 8)  Yesterday the Facebook Flair application was misbehaving.  I could not add flair, or look at my own flair, etc.  It was rough!  but it's back on-line today and i am fine again. 8)

Yesterday i got into a good discussion with a cousin regarding a brief YouTube video from John Piper, "Sickened by the the Ugliness of Sinfulness".  My cousin made some great points about how Jesus has completely cleansed, completely forgiven us of our sin.  That we should not in essence perform a "self condemnation".  While i completely agree with him, i was trying to point out that that is not was Mr. Piper was trying to do.  Although Mr. Piper talks about "owning" ones sin, he is not saying (at least i don't think he is) that we take it, we own it, that we are responsible for it after we have accepted Christ.  What Mr. Piper is trying to say (from what i understand) is that we need to take hold and understand just how offensive our sin is.  Until we are reborn and stand before the throne, we still struggle and fight and sin.  For me a verse in Luke sums it fairly well: "Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." (Luke 7:47, ESV)

God has really been working on my heart to really work at sitting at His feet.  To work on my own personal discipline in regards to my walk with Him.  This is not in contribution to my salvation, but in response to it.  While i am utterly disappointed with my results thus far, i am pushing on.  Praise be to God.


The Ramblin' Roamer has Returned

About ten days ago now i learned that my last Grand Parent had passed away.  She was 82.  Last Friday was her funeral.  With the gracious support of my coworkers and my beloved i took off Thursday and Friday and made the nearly 1,000 mile round trip in my little 2000 Toyota Echo.  When i looked up the route via Mapquest and Yahoo Maps, i had three alternatives.  The first two took me via Pittsburgh and the Northern PanHandle of West Virginia, the last one took me through the heart of WV.  I've taken each of these paths at various points in my life and i opted for the more scenic - the latter.  Because the driving time was so long (in the end i had spent almost 20 hours - just driving) i purchased a copy of "The Lord of the Rings" on CD.  As i drove through the wooded hilly terrain i came to realize just how beautiful West Virginia is.  It made me think that both the Elves and Dwarves of Tolkien lore could live there in harmony because there would be something for both of them.  Sure, the Appalachian Mountain range is not as "grand" as the Rockies, but they are rugged in their own right.  Legolas and Gimli could live there.  One word though... make sure your tank is full, and you have snacks a plenty if you are choosy where you fill up and eat at.  While there are still quite a few options for either, the stretch between I-79 and Parkersburg was a little sparsely populated.  I am too used to seeing what is available from the highway when i am thinking about exiting. 8)

When i got back home on Saturday i was able to hang out at home with the family before heading back out to meet up with a bunch of friends for a "Guys night" that had been previously arranged.  (I had to miss the Redleg reunion breakfast that morning - also previously arranged. 8( ).  After a quick bite at Ruby Teusday's we went over to the theater to watch The Book of Eli. I was really impressed with this movie overall.  No human expression or witness will ever be perfect, but i feel that Denzel Washington did a very good job through this mainstream movie release.  There are some things i did not like in regards to my faith in Christ, and somethings i was really glad to see in there.  If you don't mind 'hard' movies, and you are a Christian, i highly recommend this movie.  I want to see it in the theater again, and i would like very much to pick this up on DVD when it comes out.

Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti last week, people have been incredibly generous to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  This was the first time i heard of being able to make a donation via a text through your cellphone.  You can donate $10 to the Red Cross simply by typing "Haiti" and sending it to 90999.  But the one that is closer to my heart is the ability to donate $10 via the same method to Habitat for Humanity.  To donate to Habitat type "Habitat" and text it to 25383.  The Red Cross does an outstanding job getting into places and helping people through the initial shock of such disasters, but Habitat for Humanity will help those who survive recover and get back to "normal" over the long haul.  Please prayerfully consider a donation today.

Lastly i would like to share a really cool video i first saw over at my fellow ADHD blogger's site, Monkeys are Funny.  While i do not think the "H" (Hyper) part really applies to me, i definitely have trouble paying attention.  When i saw this video i was like "THAT"S IT!" This young lady really explains what it's like having ADHD.

I used to dread being "labeled", which is why i have probably never tried to seek official diagnosis.  But the more i learn about what i (and others like me) go through, the more i see it as a blessing from God.  One outlet for me is writing - which i have already gone over before - and a cousin also explained it to me that it is an expression, or a display, or my Creator's gifts in me.  He has made me to be able to 'delve' if you will, to express things, to 'dissect' things visually with my mind.  I may lack in other areas (empathy with others for one), but God has shared a 'piece of Himself' if you will.  And in that i will rejoice.


Random Dozen

Because i am having to rub the sleepies from my eyes, and i am having a hard time focusing on any one thing i thought i would go with a blogging friend's "Random Dozen" for today:

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave? ~~~ The last time i craved anything was my Beloved's homemade Pumpkin Pie.  While she uses the Libby's pie filling she has a way of making this incredible pie crust!  While i had to be patient and wait for her to make it over the holidays, you better believe i caved just as soon as the opportunity presented itself. ;-)

2. M & M's or Skittles? ~~~ Please, there is no comparison. M&M's!  There is just something about chocolate and nuts, especially dark chocolate!  When M&M's puts out their bags of dark chocolate M&M's we get several bags and pace ourselves. ;-)

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through? ~~~ I can honestly say yes, but only once.  It was while i was on deployment for the Guard and did not have as many outside "distractions".  To my shame i have not done it before or since.  Although i am seriously considering getting a copy of a reading plan and just start plugging away at it, ignoring any dates for such and such reading.  If i miss a day, just picking up where i left off.  Only, i don't like jumping back and forth between books, etc.  For example the plans that have you read some from the Old Testament, some from the New Testament, and a Psalm or Proverb.  I don't mind reading a book from the New, then a book from the old, then say a chapter from Psalms or Proverbs... but i want to complete a book/chapter before i move on to the next from a different section.  For some reason that bugs me.  And i want to start on the New Testament this time... even if that means having to read a book from the New Testament a couple of times as i finish the Old.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?  ~~~ Oh i AM a morning person!  8)I will wake up with the alarm without using the snooze, although i have been known to use it - but when i do it actually makes me feel more tired.  I can usually go from being asleep to fully cognizant in 5 minutes or less, and i can usually be fully prepared for my civilian job in less than 15 minutes - to include shower - if i have to.  I am pretty sure it has something to do with my time in the military.  In basic we used to joke that we could hear the tendon in the Drill Sergeant's finger as he turned on the lights and could have two of three digits on our locker combination done before the lights were fully on. *chuckle*

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to? ~~~ I have been on one for my honeymoon.  We had a great time and would love to do another one.

6. Who is your favorite actress? ~~~ I like Sandra Bullock.  She is a very driven and talented woman, and i am not just saying that because of "The Blindside" - which i loved by the way.  I have enjoyed pretty much every movie she has ever been in.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand. ~~~ Wow, that is a loaded question!  And one with not just one answer.  Of course the first answer that came to my mind was "women". 8)  But in reality that was too easy.  I am not saying that women can be understood (by men), but that there really is a lot more that i will just never understand. For example, how does God's sovereignty and man's ability to choose work out?  I have an idea in my head, but as C.J. Mahaney would say, "you are in the deep end of the theological pool" when you think about such things.  But this is life.  We get to turn such things over and over in our minds like Rubik's Cubes.  Not only are there things that i will never think/believe i understand, but when i stand before the Throne of God, i am quite sure there are going to be a lot of things that i thought i did understand... only to be corrected on.

8. How much of a technology junkie are you? ~~~ Ooh... not nearly as much as i would like to be sometimes.  I am really intrigued by the new tablet readers like Kindles.  The iPhone is completely incredible.  I love what they are doing with cybernetics of late... incredible.  Hybrid cars fascinate me to no end.  Hi-Def TV's and Bluray players - WOW.  But at the same time, i do not kill myself to keep up with all of the latest and greatest gadgets.  I can't afford to. Nor do i have the time to keep up by reading about all of the latest devices.  I have a hard enough time keeping up with all of the trends going on within my own job (which has been in a non-stop "transition" since i joined this contract almost seven years ago), plus keeping up with what is going on in my children's lives.  As an example, my Beloved gave me my first iPod for my birthday several months back.  Until last night i was pretty clueless on how to delete files from it.  I had to sit down with my 14 year old last night, who showed me - and he has only had his since Christmas.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you? ~~~ I have never really been a sentimental type of person.  And to be honest, never really good with the "have to" part of etiquette.However, my Beloved has really helped me get better in this regard - even when my own bad attitude gets in my way.  She "stamps" and makes some of the best cards i have ever seen.  I love it when she makes up our Christmas cards every year.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?  ~~~ September 1986.  That was when i shipped off for basic training and was given my new hair style.  "Just a touch off the sides and top please!"  NOT!  I love my "style" currently though.  If i can grab it in between my fingers it is too long.  Before basic training i could pull my hair down over my face and tuck it under my chin - if you can imagine.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?  ~~~ Not much.  If i have to spend more than ten minutes looking it up on-line i get irked.  I will do comparison shopping, just i do it on-line.  And i am very grateful that God has given me a wife that enjoys shopping every bit as much as i do. 8)

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house? ~~~ Keys, wallet, phone.

(Some notes since i am having trouble figuring out how to annotate source images... the clock image is from a collector's item from Fallout 3).


Rambling Rogues and Rangers

With nothing better coming to mind about what to blog about, i thought i would bore you all with some descriptions of the characters that just won't leave me alone. ;-)  The one thing you might need to know is that all of my stories are based in the Games-Workshop setting known as Necromunda.  Mostly because i just don't have that kind of creativity.  Necromunda is referred to as a "Hive World".  Basically humans have industrialized the planet to such a degree that most people dwell within massive cities, miles across at there base, and extending miles into the sky.  Whenever they need to expand they continue to add on "domes" or "spires" one upon the other.  All of the planet's natural resources have been depleted to such an extent that everything must be imported from off-world so that the industries can continue to churn out their wares that they produce.  The waste materials, solid/liquid/gases, are indiscriminately discarded out into what are known as the wastes. 

Within the "Hives" billions of people can inhabit a single city, and there are hundreds of cities around the globe.  Only the wealthiest live in the ever reaching spires of the hives.  These reach above the toxic clouds the cover their world.  To posses a single window is a sign of extravagant wealth.  Below them, and behind "The Wall" is "Hive City".  This is where over 95% of the population lives.  It is teeming with factories, hab-domes, commercial hubs, and people.  Below Hive City is the "Under Hive"  This region is occupied by the discarded remnants of society and industry above.  Abandoned factories and Habs, large swaths of toxic wastelands.  All slowly being crushed by the miles of construction above. Those who live here eek out a living by scavenging up what was left behind to resell or reuse for their own devices.  Many who cannot stand the cramped conditions of Hive City work their way here to get out from under the thumb of their oppressors.  There is yet one more layer known simply as "The Sump".  All of the runoff from the effluent above winds up here.  The dregs of society that could not hack it, or are simply not wanted , even in the Under Hive , dwell here.  Untold things, abominations, that have evolved after milennia upon milennia of exposure to the toxins of the factories above.  When mothers want to scare their children into submission they talk of the things of the Sump.  And yet, these are not the least hospitable places on Necromunda.

Beyond the walls of the hives are "The Wastes".  For untold years the industrial wastes from the factories of Necromunda have been discarded here.  Where once lavish forests and oceans teamed with life, now there are only shifting dunes of resins and dust.  The very air is hard to breath and the clouds, six miles above, rain down acid that form sludge runoffs and seas that disappear almost as quickly as they arrived.  Often leaving behind fragile crust shells that swallow up the unwary.

That is but a brief description of the background "character" known as Necromunda.  It plays an important backdrop, as would any 'world' or environment a story occupies.

My oldest recurring character is Ian.  As with most of the characters i write about i began his story when he was "wet behind the ears".  Ian was a spoiled middle class citizen of Hive City, his parents were managers in one of the rare "high tech" labs within a sub-group known as Van Saar.  When the dull routine of working in the lab day in and day out he bolted for the Under Hive.  He eventually joined up with a gang known as the "Steel Spiders" where he has been earning his keep and the 'tinkerer' and medic for the group.  His story line i have used to explore the "behind the scenes" aspect of the table top wargame, or what might be considered the pre and post "battle" sequence of events of the game itself.  While i also use the games i play from time to time to form a flowing "battle report" in story form, i have enjoyed just letting my imagination flow on how the people of the under hive eek out a living.  I have over twenty five chapters for this one character alone.  Each chapter is anywhere from 1,000 to over 3,000 words in length.  He is also the only character (so far) to have a "relationship" of any kind.

My next oldest continuing character is Logan.  He was the bastard child of a union between members of rival factions.  This union caused his mother to be an outcast from her House, and he an unwanted addition to his father's House.  When his mother is killed defending he is mostly disgarded dispite his father's best efforts.  Eventually Ian and his father are forced from there homes and take up to scrounging out a living in the tunnels in a long forgotten dome.  I have a lot of notes on where his "path" is going to go from here and it will continue to be unsettled to put it nicely.

The next guy comes from a story line that i've been working on for about eighteen months now.  I have about 4,500 words done along a parralel path with Ian above where Ian rescues this guy.  Eventually Jakob will have his own stand alone story line.  Jakob comes from a similar background as Ian, perhaps slightly higher up the food chain than Ian.  Instead of seeking to escape from the doldrums of day to day life in Hive City Jakob is in search of... something.  He has come believe that the distant Emporer is not the savior of mankind he is made out to be, and that the Machine Spirit is also a hoax.  But, there is something out there... and he is following the promptings of something calling itself "Ijam".  However, his adventures thus far have been nothing but misfortune having fallen into the hands of House Cawdor and having to be rescued (by the Steel Spiders).  While he was in captivity he had experienced a prolonged exposure to some highly toxic and active chemicals and has begun a transformation of sorts.  I already have a lengthy outline of where he is going from here, and his personal fortunes will not get better for some time.  But in the end he will find what he is looking for.

So far all of the characters have had some overlap.  Even Ian and Logan had a (very) brief exchange way back when.  The next character does not have any interaction with the others whatsoever.  Well, at least not that i have worked out in my notes... and it will most likely not change.  Harley is a brand new gang leader who has visions of deadly dancers based losely on a hazy pict seen on a grainy picture tube of the Eldar Harlequins.  Of all my characters she is the least developed thus far.  She was "born" out of my desire to break away from my usual mode of play when playing Necromunda.  Out of my own personal history my style of play tends to be more of the ranged, fire teams of mutual fire support based off of my days in the Infantry.  With Haley i break my own mold and will be pushing forward to get into the mix with hand to hand and close quarters battle, and since i like to write why not start up yet another story line. 8)

Last, but by far not the least, is Elrain Luinon Râdîr.  This character was originally based on an even older character than Ian.  A Nomad who made his living out in the wastes of Necromunda.  But when i saw a picture of an Eldar Ranger out on the web for a different Games Workshop game called Inquisitor, that all changed.  With my affinity for all things Elvish i had longed for a way to weave such a story line such as an Eldar Ranger team patrolling the wastes or hives of Necromunda.  With this motivation i promptly rewrote about two thirds of the outline i had already worked out, almost starting over, just so that i could interweave this new character.  Because the Eldar are so foreign to the world of Necromunda and the relevant "fluff", something i am already very familiar with, i have spent the most amount of time "researching" all things Eldarish for Warhammer 40,000.  Specifially the second edition of the rules since that is what the game Necromunda is based on.  His story line actuallu has not started yet, but i already have notes equally as long as Jakob's.  Râdîr and Jakob ultimately have paralleled paths.

I have a pretty descent mental picture of all of these characters, their personalities, their preferred clothing and weapon styles, and how they interact with the world around them.  I realized as i was "dressing" this blog that i've not fully collected images to help me... this will be the next step to help me keep them consistant.  For me the writing process is the most enjoyable aspect of the game.  Recently a cousin, who i had assumed would not enjoy such a genre, expressed an appreciation for my stories and i was surprised.  She explained that some people reflect a creative aspect of the Creator, and others an appreciation for the creations.  I pray that somehow God is glorified and approves of my scribbles, then it is my desire to write well enough for others to enjoy too.

(Note:  I am still learning how to link pictures back to their source, or to the owner of particular images... the image of a Hive belongs to Games Workshop.   The image i used for Ian i am unsure of who owns it, but i searched for a "Cyber Punk guy" and found several sources for this one.  The harlequin image was a "fan pic" that i found at "Deviant Art DOT net".)


Ever see the train derailment scene in "The Fugitive"?

That is kind of how my thoughts feel this morning, so sit down and hold on.  This is going to be a rambling ride! 8)

Well, to start things off... i do not have a Music Monday offering this week.   I've just not had my head wrapped around worship songs of late.  I still love music, especially music that extols the Lord, but i've just not "been there" so to speak.  Hopefully i will have one for next Monday.

My Beloved and i actually got out on a date Saturday night.  I know, we couldn't believe it either.  We "cashed in" some points to get movie tickets and went to see Up in the Air.  Over all we liked the movie, but we were not overly happy with the story line (specifically the ending).  What we did like was the changes George Clooney's character made in his thinking and life.  In many ways it can challenge you to think about your over all life choices, and that can be a good thing.

Yesterday, overall, was nice and relaxing.  I got the kids all up for church (me beloved has been sick of late) and when we got home, DD went over to a friend's house for the afternoon, DS1 was taken to the movies by his mom (my Beloved of course ), so it was just me a DS2.  He had some homework to do so while he was doing that i watched some NFL playoffs, and during his breaks we played some Mario Cart.  Later we watched Merry Madagascar and played a little bit more.  Then when he went off to play more Mario Cart by himself i started up a fire in the fireplace, kicked back and watched yet more NFL football, and scribbled notes in my notebook about short story ideas.  The Cardinals and Packers game was fun to watch as i am not a particular fan of either team (i enjoyed the Panthers x2 overtime win against the Rams more, but i am prejudice in that regard ), although i was rooting for Kurt Warner.  Next week i am cheering for the Saints, the Ravens, The Chargers, and the Vikings.

Last week my Paternal Step-Grandmother (i never really knew my "natural" one) passed away a little unexpectedly.  She was in her 80's so it is not a complete surprise, but no one really knew she was sick (it was a respiratory thing).  Every year she would make up this Lemon Bark... YUM!  Everyone we shared it with really likes it too.  This year she also sent my beloved and i a crocheted blanket.  It's so soft and warm!  When i told my beloved she was heartbroken and was despondent about not having sent her a thank you card yet.  It's at times like this that i REALLY feel disconnected from the world.  I didn't feel sad... i still don't.  Confused maybe.  But to be honest i really am not sure how to feel.  I wanted to react like my beloved did, but just can't.  I went back and forth about going to her funeral later this week.  Mostly because of the cost, but my beloved has really encouraged me to go.  it will be three days overall.  About eight hours out, then the next day the memorial and funeral, then about eight hours driving back home.  She was the last of my Grand Parents to pass away.

The subject of "being all things to all people" first came up last week at a fellow "Elf Blogger's" web site (Thoughts of a Wood Elf), and seems to have been a recurring theme in my life of late.  The scripture reference is 1 Corinthians 9, specifically verses 19-23.  I am "chewing" on what Paul was meaning, as well as the verses of not being a stumbling block to others.

In closing God has taught me a lesson this weekend... well, i hope i have learned it.  You see... i can tend to get obsessed over some things.  I've noticed this trend in myself, and sometimes i am able to discipline myself to refrain until the urge passes, but on Friday this was not one of those times.
Recently i was doing some "research" in regards to one of the characters i am writing about.  In desiring to know more about the background of this particular "profession" (for lack of a better word coming to mind) i began to Google my query.Eventually i learned that Games Workshop had indeed written an article about the particular subject i so desired.  And since it is their "world" afterall, i REALLY wanted to get my hands on that particular article.  So, in my haste i did the following things, 1) I went to a Fansite and posted on their message board what i was looking for, 2) i then found it on eBay and placed a bid for the magazine.  3) Later i happened to mention to "Tulip" that i was searching for something and how i wished i had her amazing WWW searching skills.  Later she comes back and tells me about this Gaming store on-line that had the exact issue i was looking for.  In my haste i bought the magazine from the store.  Then, later on in the evening someone responds from the Fansite and tells me that he is willing to ship it to me FREE!  So, because i am not patient i will now have three copies of the magazine that i would like to have.  If i had been patient i would not have had to pay ANYTHING for this article.  As it stands i have paid for it once so far, i am on the hook for the eBay auction should i win it (which is pretty likely).  Sometimes God just lets us running face first into the walls when we are really not seeking Him first.