Poll of a Billion Monkeys

Saturday, December 29, 2007

SAR: Please Help

The Exchange - SAR: Please Help

On Sunday, Dec. 23rd we sold a puppy to her new owner, who lives in the Port Wentworth area, near Savannah, Ga.
On Monday, Dec. 24th the new owner tried to put her new puppy on a leash in her yard, and apparently frightened, and it being her first day in the new area, the puppy ran away.

We would very much like to assist in finding this puppy and in helping the new owner recover her puppy, because we bred and helped raise it, and because she had bought it as a Christmas present for her children. But we live some distance from her and cannot directly assist in the physical search.

If anyone living in that area, or any nearby area in Georgia, South Carolina, or Florida should come across this puppy then we, and the new owners, would very much appreciate your help in recovering this puppy. We take great personal pride in the puppies we breed and raise, try our best to assure their welfare, and we do not wish to see any of them lost, or harmed in any way. We want them to thrive, and to be placed in good and loving homes where they belong. Furthermore I never leave anyone or anything behind, be that man, woman, child, or even animal companion. I am doing everything I can think of to help find her safe and sound and to return her to her new owners, but I know that my readers and anyone else who sees this on the internet will greatly multiply our chances of success that she will be found and recovered. I consider this a search and rescue operation, and although I know that at this time of year many other matters are pressing for your attention, and that many greater matters of import are occurring in the world, still I leave no one behind and feel I must do all I can in this case.

Help if you can, and it will be greatly appreciated, by me, and by everyone else involved.

The puppy is four months old, large, weighs about 50 pounds at last sighting, mantle, with brown eyes, of very gentle disposition, a Great Dane-Saint Bernard mix. Her name is Tabitha. She is a good and valuable animal and pet, and very intelligent. Above you will see a recent photograph of her, taken right before she was sold.

Once again, thank you immensely for your help.

Should you find her you may contact me at: occu77@netzero.com

God bless you and Happy New Year.



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Links of the Week 12/29/07

The Exchange - Best Links of the Week 12/29/07

Recently I've had very little time, or inclination, to do any blogging. Work, the holidays, life, and many other factors have thankfully conspired to bring my time usage ever more and more back to the real world. And not this virtual world, that to be perfectly honest, is often little else than a wasteful consumption of time best spent in other ways.

However, there are times when the internet is very useful. Such as with the hunt for Tabitha (above), as a means of communication with those who cannot easily be communicated with through any other means, and as both a research tool and a research method.

To that end I am going, in the next year, to post links once a week which previously I had been posting every day, divided by subject matter.

I am avoiding with this post any mention of events in Pakistan. The internet is already, rightfully so, a'fire with such articles. At this time I imagine I can contribute little else of value to that story. Ah hell, why not...

My Best Links of the Past Week

Crave New World

Machine Ghost in the Man

The Pirate Drone - Man, I've really been looking forward to this boat getting underway.

Majidi's Gap

A Cheerful Giver

The Renaissance Warrior

Doubting Mary

Common Word?

The Religion of God - Personally I think this article makes a very good point. And to me it is this. Religion is both a science, and an art. It is an art in developing certain ideals and modes and "characteristics of God" within yourself and your own nature, through grace, through training, through discipline, through faith, through emulation, and by other means. And that is an extraordinary, and extraordinarily beneficial task. And yet a competing, and equally beneficial task, is the science of religion. Which questions what may or may not be real in our expression of that art. That doubt and skepticism serves men and women well at arriving at the real truth, God's truth, and not just those things we assume to be God's truth or want to be God's truth. That is to say, there is a way things really are, and what man can know about that, limited as we are both as individuals and as a species. Anyway I've been reading a book lately which basically deals with the same issues, Reaching for the Invisible God. I've enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it.

Fragilus Expungus?

Renaissance Courseware

The New Muties

Oh, what a tangled Web to weave

Open Source: Yes-No?


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Monday, December 24, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Road to the Past

The Exchange - The Road to the Past is Paved in the Mind

Tonight, while the wife and kids were away caroling for the shut-ins, and I was waiting on a call bout a case I sat and listened to Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, and then cuts off of Abbey Road and the White Album. Listening like this made me realize some things. 1. If not overplayed, then some rock music is downright artistic. Like in High Art. 2. Some music is seasonal. That is to say, for some reason some music in my mind is associated with certain times of the year. I don't know if it is because the first time I heard a particular piece of music it was a particular time of year, and it stuck in my kraw that way, or if the music really does have a kind of "set" or sound, which psychologically associates itself with a particular time of year. Parsifal is like that to me. Everytime I hear that opera I think of the winter, it is winter music to me. Tonight is one of the first truly cold nights we've had all season, and it is rainy, and although Abbey Road is my favorite album by the Beatles I had a hard time listening to it because to me it is summer music, late in the evening, near sundown kinda music. No. 3, what I like best about some rock music is the sense of melancholy it can engender in me. To me melancholy is one of the most pleasant emotions I can feel, and it doesn't make me pessimistic, but rather wistful about my past, grateful for my present, and sort of anticipatory towards my future. It also makes me feel inspired, in a poetic sense. It reminds me of something I read Keats say once, about being melancholy. "That melancholy is the drug of the muses." I suspect he was right. And 4. I sure do miss vinyl. Records had scratches and pops and features that added character to a recording. It was almost like another shade or layer of the music. Near perfect reproduction and resolution of music sort of reminds me of a supermodel. A little imperfection goes a long way in making a real woman more beautiful, and a good song more truly sweet.

After that, and doing some work I went and watched Bishop Fulton Sheen on EWTN. He gave an absolutely brilliant expositionary talk and analogical comparison between Superman and Christ. The similarities and the differences. Now I have thought long and hard on this subject myself, even writing an extended essay on the Three Supermen of the Twentieth Century, the Nazi Ubermensch, the Stalin (Man of Steel - Communist superman), and the fictional American Superman, who is really a sort of Everyman American analogue of Christ. Our Superman, and our super-power is the only one which has survived by the way, because our Superman is the servant, also analogous to Christ, that is to say, our superman is not a conqueror who feels destined to use his abilities to subjugate others, nor is he a self-absorbed political power reducing everything to his planned and mechanical will, rather he is Truth, Justice, and the American Way. His powers obligate him to serve and his superiority lies not in his strength, but in his willingness to serve others. He is but a secular Christ figure, and by extension, what is best about Christianity gave birth to the American ideal of citizenship; equality, brotherhood, and liberty.

But Sheen in his exposition said some things that I suspect will really make me rewrite that essay, at least in part. He gave a fascinating comparison of Superman moving from weakness in Clark Kent to power in Superman, and of Christ moving from divine power to weakness and humility in the incarnation. But the best thing he said was in comparing superman as an immigrant from another world, to Christ "breaking through time" into our world. that is Superman broke through from his world to ours, but Christ broke through "time" into our world. And of Superman saving the "outer man," and of Christ saving the "inner man." It was a brilliant set of analogies.

When I was much younger I used to love watching Sheen talk (his books were fanatic too), I always thought he was miles ahead of most priests. Seeing him talk again tonight made me remember why I wanted to be a priest when younger, and why I want to be one after I retire. He was more like one of the Saints of old, like a Francis or Patrick than most modern priests. He reminded me a lot of John Paul too in some ways. The Catholic church, and Christianity in general could use a lot more like him. Hell, the whole world could use a lot more like him.

On good thing about modern technology, especially God technology, is this: with it we can sometimes break through time too.
The past can catch us again, if we'll let it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankfulness, Repentance, and the Reconnaissance of God

The Exchange - Thankfulness, Repentance, and the Reconnaissance of God

In examining what I should, and am, thankful for this year it has occurred to me that perhaps any recounting would be insufficient. After all I have too many things to be thankful for this past year.

The year before this past one, (2006 AD) was a personally dark one for me. Death all around me, the near dissolution of my marriage, failures great and small, any number of personal and family and professional and even national woes. But this past year (2007 AD) has been a year of an entirely different character. It has been one of the most productive and pleasing, not to mention rich in achievement and purpose, years of my entire adult life. Much of this change in my fortunes and the fortunes of my family is due of course to the fact that I (and we) radically changed our approach to life (from one of constant complaint and discouragement when things went against us to one of thankfulness for the opportunities and solutions offered us in overcoming our problems and once again prospering), repented of (not just admitted and confessed, but actively repented of) some sins which were interfering with our happiness. Our main problem and chief defect, as I look back upon those events and that situation with the passage of another years is that we were absorbed in the confluence of our problems and not concentrated upon the achievements of our important objectives. In short, our woes outweighed our wisdom, and our ungratefulness outweighed our humility, at least within the circuit of our own minds, and hearts. But thankfully, we had an Ally. One who was not so much concerned with our distrust and fears, as with our potential, one who was determined upon his steady and unflinching duty, while we were absorbed with the seeming solidity of our doubt.

While during my dark night of the soul I was spending my time bitching and braying and barking at the moon about the injustice of how things were drifting south into a Sargasso Sea of sterile stagnation, God was out scouting a clear path through, charting a course of movement towards salvation and safety, in short reconnoitering in our favor. Then He came and got us, and steered us clear. Because we let him of course, but nevertheless while we weathered the storm, he scouted the path, he navigated us to clear port. And so I take from all of our troubles in the year proceeding, and all of our successes in the year just passing, that I can be very thankful that while I am sometimes lost in the thorny path, caught in the storm, lashed at sea on the slim and creaking bark, there is a Navigator, a Scout, a patient Guide who finds the way and then returns to lead me, and those around me, to the safer land, the better port, along the road less taken, or at least along the road less purposely chosen. In short I am thankful that when I decided that I had run a’ground there was another who would take the wheel, who could master helm, thankful that when I was lost and wandering in the trackless wilderness of my own confusion that there was another who would scout ahead and lead me beyond the desert of my own despair, beyond the limits of myself.

Christ I am grateful for your assistance, and for what I have learned from you (and re-learned, as being a man I must on occasion be reminded of those things which are obvious, and yet nevertheless ignorantly ignored when I am in every way consumed with nothing but myself and my own interests), God I am grateful for all I have been given and enjoy, and great and Holy Ghost I am thankful that you have reminded me yet again there is a better way. And that a Ghost really does walk the earth, silent, watching, guiding, aware, waiting to turn men aside from the path of self-absorption to the trail leading through to that Undiscovered Country where all things real exceed all things imagined.

And now remembering that there is a better way, mindful of what can be done with the proper attitude and position towards all we experience, and grateful for the fresher manner in which it seems all things have been again reborn, I thank you God, that I am but a man, and yet that I am but your man. Which says not so much about me of course, but it does say this as a matter of course, where you lead I will follow. So, lead on. I’ll follow as my limitations allow. But I will follow.

For there is no better path to roam.
Or surer.

© JWG, Jr. 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Gaming Imperative

Humours of Idleness - The Gaming Imperative

For those of you interested in gaming and games, visit this site all this week:

Free Role Playing Games and Support Materials

look for the links to the free materials.


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Sunday, November 04, 2007

American Superior Pups

The Exchange - American Superior Pups

For an article on the American Superior please see this link: The American Superior

Also see - SAR: Please Help

All puppies have been sold.

We have decided to have one last litter since so many people have requested an American Superior puppy, but the litter to be born sometime between March and April 2008 will be the last litter from our female.

I have decided to post pictures of all of the puppies except the one we are keeping, Sam, because out of curiosity several of the new owners have asked to view pictures of all of the pups of this litter, and I am more than happy to do that. Therefore I am re-posting pictures of all of the pups, even the ones already sold or already on deposit. If they have been sold or are on deposit then this will be noted next to their name and the information about them.

This time the litter developed from thirteen pups.

This litter has produced two varieties, mantle (black furred with white chest), tending towards short haired, and brindled (tiger-stripe) who tend towards having fur of medium length. Most appear as if they will be Saint Dane in body shape, with a couple who will apparently be Great Bernards.

Below are pictures of the litter for the readers of this blog, and for those who have already purchased one of the puppies.

They are already weaned and eating both semi-solid and solid food.

All of the pups are extremely intelligent.
They will all be large dogs and will make excellent family pets, and/or guard, watch, hunting, and work dogs. All pups are one-quarter Saint Bernard and three-quarters Great Dane.

The father is a trained guard-dog. Our pups have been kept as family pets, work dogs, police dogs, and watch/guard dogs.
They are very protective of children and very affectionate.

If you would like to own one of these puppies then please contact me by email: occu77@netzero.com

Marcus - male, brindle, very exploratory and playful (Already Sold)

Achilles - male, black, largest of the black males, most physically powerful of entire litter, extremely protective and already good watchdog, extremely calm and affectionate (Already Sold)

Goddard - male, black, most affectionate male, also very playful, good kid dog (Already Sold)

Echo - female, brindle, very pretty and playful (Already Sold)

Ivana - female, black, largest and most powerful female of entire litter (Already Sold)

Mina - female, black, smaller female who is very affectionate (Already Sold)

Regina - female, black, very independent and inquisitive (Already Sold)

Tabitha- female, black, independent and very protective (Already Sold)

Jake - largest of the brindles, heaviest dog of entire litter (Already Sold)

Sasha - first sold, smallest of brindles, very fiesty and spirited (Already Sold)

Bart - father, Great Bernard (one-half Saint Bernard, one-half Great Dane)

Noal - mother, black (mantle), full blooded Great Dane


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

The American Superior

The American Superior - The Creation, Development, and Training of a Brilliant New Breed of Dog

Please see also - SAR: Please Help

Update: We will be producing one more litter probably around March or April, 2008.

After that we will have out female spayed and we will not breed another litter for four or five years, when the puppy we kept from this litter is fully grown and ready to mate.

Our method in the past has always been to breed one or two litters when our males reached four or five years of age, then keep one puppy, selling and finding good homes for the rest.

We have made an exception this time and will breed one extra litter because the breed has become very popular, it possessing the best work, sociability, and personality traits of both parent breeds, and generally speaking exhibiting greater size, strength, and health than the parent breeds. Of course that depends a great deal upon the way they are treated, as with anything else that lives. Generally speaking however the assets of the breed become quickly apparent to almost all new owners, and we regularly receive pictures and reports from the owners (most of whom maintain contact with us) extolling the strength, size, work capabilities, gentleness, protectiveness, intelligence and affection they have for their new dogs.

When I began this experiment, many years ago, with the intention of helping to establish this breed through the intentional cross breeding of what I consider to be the very best precursor breeds of dogs currently in existence I wanted to create a dog which was healthier, more intelligent, more flexible and capable, and larger and stronger than most other dogs, and I wanted the new breed to retain the gentleness and manner of the parent breeds.

To that end I feel I have most definitely succeeded.

I never though intended to become a "stock breeder," that is to breed in large numbers for various clients.
I really just intended to produce a Superior Dog and to carry on the parent's bloodline by breeding a new pup for us to retain every time the previous generation reached maturity and proper breeding age.

We now have the fourth generation from the same parent stock (that is the pup we now have can trace his lineage back through the sire through to the great grandmother), though we have bred more litters than that, and been at this for many years of experimentation. So we do not breed constantly, but rather until we have the pup we want from any particular generation, then we neuter and spay the parents, retaining them as our pets and watchdogs and work dogs, and raising the pup as our pet also until he is ready to breed. By the time we breed our new pup his sire and bitch will be older and then we will find a new bitch for our pup when he is grown with whom he can mate. So we breed, then let sit fallow for four to five years until such time as our new pup becomes fully mature and ready to breed.

So we very much appreciate all of those who have contacted us, and continue to do so regarding these dogs. But we have no intention of becoming full time, year after year breeders. We will produce one last litter because of all of the requests, and we will honor those requests, but we have no intention of breeding full time, and all of the time.

Our dogs are very important to us, and have proven themselves time and again as highly intelligent, devoted and protective, excellent watch and guard dogs, good workers, and extremely affectionate. And we intentionally bred them to be this way. But we have neither the time nor the inclination to be full time breeders. That is, to turn this enterprise into a job. This was an experiment, a highly effective and successful one, but it is not a business enterprise for us. It has two real intentions, produce a Superior Dog, and carry on the bloodline of our original female, who was also half Great Dane and half Saint Bernard. And the best of both breeds.

I can recommend intentionally breeding these dogs to those who are so interested.
The cross breed produces an extremely good and useful and valuable animal.

But like all animals I cannot recommend breeding them just to breed them, that is just for purposes of selling them and for no other use.
They make incredible pets, are gentle with children, and protective, smart, and powerful. They make superb watch and guard dogs, and good work dogs. But in my opinion they should be bred for these purposes, and for other useful purposes, and not just as a collectible commodity. And of course always take care of your dog and he or she will be your faithful companion and friend. They are your responsibility as well.

So if you want an incredibly good dog, the best of the best in my opinion, the American Superior (the cross bred Great Dane-Saint Bernard) is something you should carefully consider. But after this litter it will be another four or five years in all probability before we breed again.

Thank you and I hope this information has been of value to you, and I hope we have done our part to establish this excellent breed in the minds of those who desire such a dog.
But after the next litter in 2008 we will be spaying our bitch and out of the game of producing this breed until our new pup grows to adulthood.

Unfortunately I personally don't know of anyone else in the country who intentionally produces this breed, but maybe you can find someone else who does.
If so then good luck and Godspeed and drop us a line sometime and we can talk about the virtues of our dogs.

Which are many.



In developing a new breed of dog one naturally seeks to assure the ordinary expression of certain qualities or traits common to either, or both, precursor breeds but in certain cases to also enhance or augment desirable innate biological traits in order to produce a superior animal. To this then I have produced a superior breed of dog that I call the American Superior. Although, doubtless not the first to produce this breed, I am the only person of whom I am aware that has made a conscious effort to continue intentionally producing this breed, and furthermore because of this I have, through several generations of intentional breeding, and through the production of numerous litters come to have much understanding of this breed. I understand the inherent potential of the breed, and the obvious and instantly recognizable numerous advantages displayed by the breed, and how these various advantages factor together and work in concert to create a dog that doubtless yields a very valuable asset in the ownership of such an animal.

First of all let me quickly review the process whereby “pure-breed dogs” have been created in the past. All so called pure-breeds are the result of selective cross breeding by humans in order to produce a breed of dog which exhibited certain desirable characteristics, and/or which showed a tendency to be able to successfully execute certain functions. Those aware of genetic and breeding matters in relation to dogs know that the huge and useful variety of modern canine breeds is the result of selective cross breeding of various precursor breeds and sub-breeds by humans in order to ultimately produce the most useful and desirable “breeds” of dog. Once a particular breed is more or less established by these selective cross breeding processes, and a particular breed becomes popular with those who wish to own a particular breed, and enough of a particular breed can be produced to solidify desirable traits then the selection process is further narrowed by seeking to eliminate, or at least control, future cross breeding. So experiments are conducted in which various cross breeding is performed in order to produce a dog with the most desirable and popular traits at which point the cross breeding process becomes effectively frozen by breeding the desired dog with dogs of only the same set of trait lines and characteristics. A new breed is first created by cross breeding and then stabilized through the future selective breeding with other animals who only share the same types of traits, characteristics, and genetic breed profile. But in order to create the specialized breed numerous cross breeding experiments must first be conducted, as has been the case in the past. The end result is the production of a breed that people feel it is desirable to continue through further selective exclusionary (breeding only within the same “breed” or profile) breeding. However like all breeding experiments too much selective exclusionary breeding (seeking to exclude all but the selectively bred genetic traits which make the breed desirable) can lead to a declining or weakened genetic strain over time. Therefore over the passage of time it is a beneficial thing (in any given species) to introduce new genetic characteristics in order to produce greater variation and to reinforce those good genetic traits originally exposed and amplified through exclusionary breeding. In other words too much selective and exclusionary in-breeding in any species will result in lessened variation and eventually to lessened capability within that genetic (breed) strain. Because of that, and because I desired to mix the desirable traits of what are in my opinion the two very best breeds of dogs, I began my cross breeding experiments to produce the American Superior.

The various advantages of the American Superior as I have come to observe and understand them by breeding this dog are many. Physical advantages include gracefulness of appearance, great strength, speed, the breed seems less prone to hip and bone diseases, they’re well balanced, and well proportioned, they are hardy and seem generally resistant to most canine diseases. They have excellent hearing and a superb sense of smell, as well as sharp eyesight.

In other respects the breed also displays a great number of additional advantages. The breed is very intelligent (generally the most intelligent breed of dog I have ever observed), independent, easy to train, obedient, gentle with children and gets along well with other animals, loyal, very protective of their owner and their owners property, and they are at all times keen and alert. They make good outside dogs as well as excellent inside dogs. They make good work, police, and military dogs. They make excellent guard and watchdogs, hunters (see A Very Short History of the Great Dane below), excellent tracker and rescue dogs (see A Very Short History of the Saint Bernard below), and excellent individual and family companions and pets. Because of the beautiful and well-proportioned appearance they would also make good show dogs.

The American Superior has two main variants, or sub breeds, the Great Bernard (a rarer variant occurring about 30% of the time), and the Saint Dane. The Great Bernard has a long snout, the heavier set body type of the Saint Bernard, a coat ranging from short fur to luxuriant, long hair and with eyes of various colors. The Saint Dane has a long snout, the thinner body type of the Great Dane, a coat that is usually short to medium in length, with eyes that are usually dark, although some dogs have blue, gray, brown, or golden colored eyes. The Saint Dane also has very long, graceful legs. Both variants produce large, powerful animals ranging in size from between 120 to 200 pounds, plus. The Great Bernard tends to be the heavier variant. In coloring either variant may tend to appear to be marked like a Saint Bernard, or will be mantle, brindle, fawn, blue or harlequin in appearance like the Great Dane.

For more information on litters and the physical appearance of the American Superior see: American Superior Pups and Around the Homestead and New Pictures of Puppies and Dogs

If you would like to own an American Superior pup then please visit this link: Pups

A Very Short History of the Saint Bernard - The Saint Bernard is descended from large mastiffs of mixed blood. They were originally used as guide, search, rescue, and guard dogs for the Hospice and monastery of the great Saint Bernard, in the Swiss Alps, along the Italian-Swiss border. Eventually the original Saint Bernards were crossbred with the Newfoundland to produce the modern, longhaired Saint Bernard.

A Very Short History of the Great Dane - The Great Dane was originally a German dog (Deutsche Dogge) descended from English mastiffs crossbred with the Irish Wolfhound. Known as courageous and skillful hunters the dog is also fast, graceful, and tall. They were originally bred as war dogs and to hunt boar. The Great Dane is often called the Apollo of dogs.


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Friday, October 05, 2007

Hidden Linkages

The Exchange - Hidden Linkages

Fanum Voltumnae?

I found This particularly interesting, both for what it means and for what it implies

UAVs won't Fly

No Bedside manner

Ridden out on a Rail

Won't Grow Up - It struck me that this may very well provide a vital clue in how to tame Cancer. And I suspect it does. So I'm gonna pursue it.


Processus contra Templarios

KGBeed - I continue to follow the Litvinenko Case, for personal reasons. I found this little article about Felshtinski interesting.

Role Play Game Theory

Syria - 1913



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Friday, September 28, 2007

BOLO, the Ogre, Science, and Memories of the Boy

Humours of Idleness - BOLO, the Ogre, Science, and Memories of the Boy

Back when I was in high school I took a lot of advanced science classes. Just about every one that the school offered. Between 8th and 9th grade, I think it was, I was also nominated in my state to go take an advanced science class held at a local high school but which was given by a college professor and most of the students attending were in college studying stuff like biochemistry, physics, chemistry, (hard sciences) etc. I passed the class, but barely as the math was way over my head at the time because it was much more advanced than any thing I had ever been previously exposed to, and I especially had trouble with working out the problems concerning chemical formulations and some of the math for some of the more advanced physics problems.

But to me the best thing about it was that all summer I got to hang out with college and university kids and do what they did for entertainment. We'd work at early versions of the university internet, I learned to vad (this was before either nerds or geeks, just brainiacs, and brainiacs tended to be quite exploratory and even liked to engage in petty vandalism, such as breaking and entering computer labs to get at MUDS and making explosive chemical mixtures to blow up miniature rockets or create tennis ball can bazookas and so forth - it was a different and much better time - you can't be a real boy anymore because if you try it then somebody thinks you're a terrorist, thanks a lot for the help again and go straight to hell Osama), we'd read, talk egghead stuff, design and invent things, stuff like that. We'd also often take field trips, such as geological expeditions or jaunts to observatories and so forth and at those times I'd play chess and other games with the guys (there was only one girl in the whole shebang, and I felt sorry for her in one way because she had more trouble with the math than me, but all the boys did pretty much whatever she asked when she batted her eyes and so I guess it worked out pretty good in the end for her). Well we played a number of interesting games when bored, or when we couldn't do anything else, such as en route from one place to another in the van.

I remembered at that time seeing a couple of the guys playing a game, which I never at that time played, but watched with real interest. It was based, or so I was told, on a book called BOLO, which one of the guys gave to me to read and which I later got my own copy of for my personal library. At that time I read a lot of fiction, especially science fiction, and it became one of my favorite books of the entire genre.

Later on, in the 10th grade I believe, my buddies and I would often skip our lunch and stay in whatever class we had just finished before lunch (unless we went outside to play Rocker, a version of soccer we played using a rock - not because we lacked soccer balls, most all of us either played soccer, ran track, played football, or all of those things - we played with a rock because we wanted to see who was toughest and could take the most pain - so we played rocker and also played "contact soccer, which was like ghetto black-court basketball with elbows to the head and knees to the groin, only soccer), which was usually advanced biology, or some such class, and play chess or other games. Most of my buddies brought bag lunches because we couldn't stand to eat that crap they dished out at the school cafeteria. Instead we would throw that food and our left over bagged lunches on the outer walls of the school to create "food art." Well, the school administrators didn't like that mostly, except the vice principal, who was really cool and would often laugh at our designs, or give us advice on what condiment to sling next to make it look better.

Well, one day a buddy of mine brings in a new game at lunchtime (we did that from time to time to playtest new stuff - it was sort of a competition to see who could find or invent the bets new game) and we start playing. He explains it and we barely start to play when I suddenly realize the game must have been based upon BOLO. It was called Ogre. It was a great deal of fun, probably the most fun I remember of any of the lunch time wargames we ever played. I later bought my own copy of the game, then lent it to somebody and they lost it. My buddies and I went on to start playing Star Fleet Battles, the original SFB wargame with the plum lines for firing arcs, and the little figures, and so forth, and I forgot about Ogre.

I had always wanted to take that game (Orge) and improve on it though, to make a modified and personal version of the game that was more like the book, and the real BOLO. To turn it into not only a tactical wargame but a role playing game as well (like I did with SFB) with the BOLO being the character you role play. (For those of you who don't know the BOLO was an Artificially Intelligent Supertank, a stand-alone, heavily armored and fiercely armed weapons and war platform. Later models operated independently because it was completely self-sufficient and artificially intelligent.) So a few months back I run into something on the internet which reminds me of BOLO, and that leads to an old memory of playing Ogre. So I get on the internet and start looking for references to Ogre (not expecting much luck since this was so long ago, I thought the game would have long ago been oblivion) and what do I find but a link to Steve Jackson Games, the guy who invented the game. (I used to play some other Steve Jackson games but over time had forgotten about that, and had even forgotten that Steve Jackson had invented the game Ogre.) So I discover the game still exists. And I've ordered a copy and when I get it I'm gonna alter it with the modifications which I already have in mind to create a role playing wargame for me and my nephews and buddies to play. I'm looking forward to it.

It's strange where your memory can lead with an examination and exploration of memories you really haven't considered for some period of time. But my memories led me back in time to one of the absolutely most outright fun periods of my life (my middle and high school career). This is one of the few things the public internet is actually good for, but I gotta say, I'm glad it is good for this kinda thing.


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Friday, August 31, 2007

On the Efficiency, Efficacy, and Edification of Being Alone

Humours of Idleness - On the Efficiency, Efficacy, and Edification of Being Alone

This past week has been the last vacation for the family and I this summer. My wife wanted to take my kids and go visit an old friend of hers (who is kinda like an aunt to my children) and so I told them to go. By all means go ahead and have fun. Which means that for a good part of this week I have been home alone (without anybody but my dogs and pups) and so I decided to use the time as productively as I could, getting a bunch of old catch-up work finished up, or at least making progress on it. At first it seemed like I was working as normal but as the time went by and I realized that I had no-one asking me to do anything other than what I wished, my attitude, and the feel of what I was doing totally changed. I became a kid again, setting my own hours, deciding what I would work on, or not work on, for how long, when, and in what way.

No one was making any request of me; there were no deadline or timeline demands, nothing to really control either my work schedule or my entertainment or recreation. I was completely in command of my own time, alone, and steeped in solitude. It had been so long since I had really been by myself that I had almost entirely forgotten what it was like to be in solitude, how different it is than having others around you, and how utterly beneficial it is from time to time to be alone. Completely alone and without the company of other people.

It took me awhile to adjust, but once I began to remember what solitude was like, and how much I could do (or not do as the case might be) I took as much advantage out of the situation as I possibly could. I think the best thing about solitude, in my case anyway, is that since I live so far out in the country, and since so much open land surrounds my home and estate, that aside from the occasional dog-bark, I could by simply killing the power to any form of distraction make it entirely silent. With children, clients calling me, the television, stereo, computer and video games running constantly, the piano being played - although I’m sure it is much more quiet and pleasant here than living in any city - my home can still be filled with noise and activity, despite the relative geographic isolation. But with everyone gone I could reduce my home to complete silence, could surround myself in silence. Could suppress the din until I could hear nothing but the wind, nothing but my own breathing and heartbeat, nothing but the crickets at night, or the thunder on the approaching storm. It is almost indescribable how good it is to be able to enforce silence whenever you wish.

But because I was alone I also got to do all kinds of other things, and I got to do them undisturbed and uninterrupted.

I made some scientific observations, worked on an experiment, I drew in my sketchbook, I took photographs, took a hike in the woods, played with my dogs, tended to my puppies, lifted weights, threw the discus, did some repair work and maintenance to the home, cleaned the gutters, went to the Home Depot and got some tools, saw a couple of movies, read a couple of books, listened to a lecture, worked a case and did some night surveillance, practiced the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, read in the Yoga Sutras, took care of a legal matter, meditated, prayed, wrote some new prayers, worked on a Mission’s Project, played my new piano, composed some music, worked on an invention, worked on my writing and art portfolios, went to the comic book store and got some comic books (Justice League and New Avengers), went to the airport and hung around the pilots, went to the new park, went to the book store and read some magazines, did some target shooting with my pistols and shotguns, went to the library and the art museum, went up to the Science Center and the old Naval telescope (but it was rainy and so got to view nothing), went out to eat and ate whatever I wanted, drank coffee and beer a’ lot, did some research for some books I’m writing, outlined part of a novel, got a story out to a publisher, listened to music, played some video and computer games, updated some computer and paper files, wrote some poetry, worked in my notebooks, worked on my newsletters, worked on my websites, reworked and redrew part of an old architectural sketch, cruised the internet, washed my car, cleaned my tackle box and went fishing for a few hours, read some intelligence reports and papers, thought about a business plan/venture I’m considering, worked on a series of essays I intend to write, watched Who Wants to be a Superhero, washed clothes, slept, and rested.

About the only thing I haven’t done is go Vadding, and camping, and if I could have found a new place to explore, and didn’t have to tend my litter of pups I certainly would have.

In short for the past few days I’ve been enjoying the hell outta myself.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my family, more than mere words can express, and enjoy their company; again more than speaking will tell. I have important obligations as both a husband and a father that I take very seriously and I would not exchange those obligations, that company, or that part of my life for any other gain. My family is important, in a way that other things wouldn’t be, not nearly so much, if I didn’t have my family to enhance them. My work is my legacy, but my family is my Living Legacy. They will carry on into the future long after this body is dust, and I am far away and the cares, concerns, and duties of this world mean nothing to me anymore.

That being said however it has been so many years since I was completely separated from them, that is, when no member of my family has been around me, and so many years since I have been in total solitude that I had almost forgotten what it was to be entirely by myself. Alone. And I had forgotten how good it is to be alone, how refreshing, how much one can achieve with no one else around and no distractions of any kind to interfere with whatever one wishes to do. I have remembered over the past few days why so many monks and hermits have sought solitude like a treasure-hoard and have spoken of it as a rare and precious gift of God, which is to be pursued when possible. It makes one efficient, relaxed, calm, and peaceful. It makes one unhurried and appreciative of life, it allows one to recreate, to organize one’s thoughts, to master the mind, attend the body, and to physic the soul. It reminds you that today is today, that hours can be long and fulfilling when not consumed with countless diversionary tasks and pointless distractions, that solitude helps to unmeasure the measure which compresses and shortens our lives by flooding them with minutiae.

Now next week I shall return to my normal schedule of activities and work, my family shall return from their trip and their absence will be remedied. And I shall be glad for that, for by that time I shall be missing their presence. It shall be good to have them home.

But this vacation, with them away and me here alone has reminded me of many valuable things which I had forgotten over the course of my marriage and my experiences as a father. God has made me remember, by arranging this time for me to be alone, truly alone, that time alone is good for a man, and for the first time in many, many years, that time alone is time very well spent. That there is much value, and much weal, in solitude well spent and in isolation well employed.

Solitude is a kind of leisure for the soul, and adds a peculiar and yet very wealthy kind of benefit to the man who can and does enjoy it, when he can. When I was young I could be alone whenever I wished, and often sought to be so, but as I aged and became consumed in so many worldly affairs I forgot that dream of dreamless deep which comes when men are best alone, and best at peace.

So in the future I intend to re-devote a certain period of my life, a certain time each year maybe, or even each month if it is possible - to solitude, to real and true and absolute solitude, and in that time alone to enjoy those timeless and eternal things of forgotten worth which make human life so much the better in all other ages and in all other circumstances.

This is my 300th post to this blog by the way. So I guess it’s some kinda marker or something.

Anyway, Happy Labor Day everyone.
Enjoy it peacefully.

© JWG, Jr. 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Three Days Ago

Allele - Three Days Ago

Three days ago I was visited by a Wanderer in the desert, who being asked his name replied, "What is spoken is not what is known, and what is known is not the question that you would know of me.

Nevertheless if you answer me what I would not ask of you then I will tell you who I am."S

So I asked him how he might best be known when all he is as nothing.

"Now I will tell you who I am, and after that, we will sit together and stare into the sky."

So I listened, and hearing nothing, sat down to wait.

The watch was long, and quiet...

But I am patient.
And I can wait...

Experimentis Multiplicitus

Part the First: The Globe

“Post equitem sedet atra Cura”

Upon the table where I lay the object of desire
I came upon an ancient thing, a thing I could admire

A telescope of ages past, a compass lost to read
An experiment alone by which forsaken I accede

A glass that mirrored back my soul
A branching from the bole,
A secret whispered back from God
That guile could not enroll,

Upon the table where I lay the object of desire
I came upon an arcane thing, a thing I could acquire

A ruler steep, an astrolabe
For shooting at the sun
A promise long that I did crave
No matter when begun

And machinations, they did turn
Where assemblies did adjourn
Along the casement of facade
For by this did I learn,

No man has ever grown so tall
He ever stooped the sky,
Then when he topples, what a fall
That cracks the globe nearby

Upon the table where I lay the object of desire
I came upon an obscure thing, a thing which did conspire

For reaching up upon the mast, as tall as masts will grow
I found what I was searching for, then lost it down below,

The moral of this versive tale, this song of last repent
Is that desire never sleeps, and never does relent

So if you come upon that thing which lingers in your heart
Be very careful what you take before you do depart…

For gaining we have caught it all, and grasping we will hold
Seceding we cannot let off, our end is thus foretold.

© JG 2007


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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Times they are A'Changing

The Exchange - The Times they are A'Changin

I've made a few upgrades and changes to the site.

I've also updated my Favored and Approved lists along the bottom of the side-bar, and put up a new poll on Global Warming.

I've also updated my Recommendations links. I'm recommending both Likelihood of Success, and Rome Reborn as worth taking a gander.

I'll be making a few other improvements and updates as time goes along. I'm in no hurry and I'm in no way back to everyday blogging as to be honest, I don't really think of blogging as that important in the big scheme of things, or very important at all, and truth be told I've got a helluvah lot more important things to do with my time. Especially right now.

But I'm gonna get things done here as quick as I can and I'm also revising many of my other sites as well, my blogs, my portfolios, and my webpages. My newsletters will probably come last.

When I got something big coming up to post then I'll probably let you know ahead of time.

Well, I got other stuff to keep me busy tonight so I'll see ya later.
Hope you're all well.


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday Religious Assessment 8/8/07

Wednesday Religious Assessment

Coming and Going

The Illusion of Jihad?

The Adult Stem cell - What most everyone keeps missing is that if you take adult stem cells directly from the host (the person to be treated) and employ those then you have none of the potential problems of tissue or cellular rejection (not to mention either acute or chronic immune reactions) you would find by employing cells from any other donor. More than a century of basic understanding about tissue rejection and when stem cell research first develops it's right back to the drawing board (as if nothing were previously known about bio-medicine), ignoring the most basic ideas and understanding regarding the most fundamental aspects of biology. To be so capable in so many ways modern science is so ridiculous and juvenile in so many other ways. Modern science often makes me laugh.

The Pope and the Patriarch - Interesting after his recent visit to Turkey and the Eastern Orthodox churches.

Suffer the Children

A bit of Commentary and Analysis

The Orthodox Chrisitian Network

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday Science and Technology Abstract 8/7/07

Tuesday Science and Technology Abstract

Casimir Effect

The Balsa Planet


The Evil Vomit Light - I have always enjoyed working on, with, and developing new non-lethal weaponry. I like where this is going because combined with other types of wave-based NLWs, including sub-sonic I believe this could lead to something very like a phaser (not as a stunning weapon, but as a sensory and orientation incapacitator). The trick now will be to adapt the same basic principles to sonic and tactile weapons so that this type of weapon can incapacitate almost instantly and by use of light, sound, and by producing feeling within the body of the target. You would want it to be multi functional and be able to incapacitate in a number of different ways in order to be most effective and so it could not be easily defended against.

Advanced Concept Nuclear Shield - But I like Bruce Willis

Global Bugging

Going Under to Go Off - when I was younger and contemplated becoming an astronaut I have to admit that at the same time I was simultaneously captivated by the thought of deep sea exploration. Best of both worlds here.

What the Ruskies Have

Good Luck - Hope you do better with this than you do with your food industry.


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