Want to join in? Respond to our weekly writing prompts, open to everyone.

from thePhilBritton.

Been a while... ::blows dust off blog:: I've been working on other stuff, but it's time to come back around to writing here. Shooting for a post a month in 2020.

I've been following the work of Peter Rollins for several years now, and lately he's been talking a lot about the philosopher Hegel. Specifically his idea that we, at our core, are a contradiction, and in fact reality itself as we experience it has contradiction at a fundamental level. It's fascinating stuff, and there's no way I could do it justice if I tried to explain it. I mean people have struggled with understanding Hegel for over a century! But I'm less interested in the theory aspect and more about how it functions in real life.

One way this plays out is in our “frenetic pursuit of wholeness and satisfaction,” as Peter phrases it. We're always seeking out that thing (especially this time of year!) that will make us whole and satisfied, or at least more whole and satisfied. It's usually preceded by “if only” or “someday, when,” like “if only I did _____ more” or “someday, when I'm _____.” We fantasize about what life will be like when we're stronger/thinner/richer/married/disciplined/freer/productive/etc., but the problem is if we actually do get to that point, it doesn't satisfy. A recent Kurzgesagt video explores this. This negatively plays out if we consider how scapegoating works. We find this contradiction in ourselves and externalize it on something or someone else. It's really easy to see this in the state of our politics, we have deep-rooted problems in our system, but we externalize those onto the “other.” If only the Democrats win the next election, or if only we can get that wall built. It gets ugly real quick.

The religious solution is to postpone that wholeness and satisfaction to the future. C.S. Lewis took this approach when he said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” But I think the Christmas story cuts against that notion, and I also think it can be pulled out of a religious context and offer insights into the human experience, areligiously.

The idea of God becoming human is a contradiction. God, the name we slap on the transcendent, the beyond, the fundamentally other, the ultimate wholeness that we so desperately seek. Whether you think of this as a being or hyper-being or the universe or nirvana or the noumenal or whatever, that takes on finite, poor, oppressed, non-exciting human flesh. That is 180 degrees in the opposite direction of our desire. We strive to escape our circumstances, move beyond them, get to the next better stage, experience some better way of being, get to our best life, but the Christmas story teaches us the complete opposite. It gets glamorized, with angels and wise men and hymns and so on, but think about it – you're talking about a scandalized teenager giving birth in an overcrowded stable full of animals and shit and bugs. The way we glamorize it is evidence that this contradiction brings us nearer to our own, so we gloss it over to cover up our anxiety.

We strive to escape our circumstances, move beyond them, get to the next better stage, experience some better way of being, get to our best life, but the Christmas story teaches us the complete opposite.

It doesn't matter if this literally happened or not, the lesson is that what frees us from the never-ending pursuit of wholeness and satisfaction, our pursuit of “God,” so to speak, is in turning around and gazing at where we are today. Accepting that contradiction is what makes us who we are. In doing so, it frees us to fully embrace the world, and work to make it better without needing to create a scapegoat, make it better by emptying ourselves into it. Merry Christmas.

Peace and tenacity,



from inquiry

I've long enjoyed both the content and – perhaps especially – the timing of egoecho posts in these parts. Grant it, I'm relying on translation. But maybe that's part of what makes said content so fun?

What a beautiful day!

I mean, it's chilly.. but the exhilarating kind – at least for me in these latter, seemingly more inflammation-tending days.

But I be also getting house schtuff accomplished. And writing about it somehow feels like the best possible breather.

> Behold! I, Juan Mirieth Auriel, declare the minimum age > for the establishment of marital courtship to be 21 years.

Well then, Juan, do expound!

> Also behold! The minimum age for performing the immaculate > sexual magic with your spouse, known as the Arcanum A.Z.F., > is 21 years. Anyone who is under 21 years is too young to > establish marital courtship with your spouse and even under > 21 years is too young to perform the sacred Arcanum A.Z.F.

And from the bowels of what self-obsessed mind-accretionatory-self emergeth said arbitrary age?

> Anyone who is under 21 years yet over 14 years is still > an adolescent and not yet officially an adult.


But even the notions 'adolescent' and 'adult' are arbitrary, i.e. very “depends on who you ask” – not to mention what state of mind and/or being-honest-about-what-they-really-think/believe the answerers are in.

> Every man and woman undergo planetary periods. There are > seven metallic planets of alchemy, and the primary seven > are by the following order: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, > the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

My gosh, it's as though we're in the dawning of the age of Aquarius.. age of Aquarius.. <horn section>.. Aquarius!!!

I'd quote the rest, but it's just more arbitraries fractally commingling and/or being compared and/or contrasted with arbitraries.

But don't get me wrong. I love your posts. They hearken me back to a time when I wanted to believe lots of magickal things. You know, that dragon named “Puff”, Aleister Crowley, the possibility of relationships being anything more than being used by nature to perpetuate one of its species (and the most ridiculous one, at that..), and etcetera.

Gosh... I can still remember pouring over astrological tomes in the book/magazine section of the local Walgreens as a kid....

And don't get me going on the – then – quite gratuitously assumed veracity of the Farmers' Almanac!


from Forced To Observe

I read The One Thing a few years ago but this podcast provided clarifying context on how to use the questions. I'll definitely be revisiting the book.

Agreements vs. Disagreements

“Agreements” are only referenced when there's a disagreement. So it's best to frame it as a “disagreement” and understand you will refer to it if there is a dispute amongst the parties.

The Focusing Question

This is the question to ask oneself to make sure we're appropriately using our time. “What's the one thing I can do at work that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”

I was relieved to hear that Gary Keller relied on this question with his mother, who could be difficult at times as every conversation with her would turn into gossip and negative talk about family. He asked “What's the one thing I can do with my mother that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?” The answer for him was to play dominoes with his mom, so there would be much less negative talk. I found this personally helpful.

Before Noon

Get the important things done before noon. Do not risk waiting until later.

#productivity #whatilearned


from the willow tree

note: re-written in 2015, this is based on a 100-word story i wrote for a contest in 2013.

Manfred had spent most of his life together with his mother, just the two of them. Always on the run. Always persecuted. That life ended six months ago.

They had unwisely sought shelter deep in the jungles of South East Asia, only to walk straight into a trap set up by an army of bounty hunters. Manfred wasn't sure how they had been pinned down, they were so far away from the nearest settlement! They had been so careful to avoid contact with the outside world!

Yet, before he knew what had happened, he found himself strapped into a small box with barely enough room to turn. His mother were nowhere to be seen. He would call out for her, for days, but there was no response, only the occasional bashing on his enclosure to be quiet or face consequences.

Days jumbled together. Manfred found it impossible to keep track of things like that in the dark and cold. It didn't help that he was barely fed enough to stay alert and aware, but at least he was still alive, and as long as he was alive, surely, his mother too would be alive somewhere. He vowed to find her, to be reunited and flee back into the wilderness. Far away from everybody else. He liked it there, they both had.

Manfred had heard the rumors when he was young, from his extended family, before his mother took him away from there. The others his age suggested that if one of them was ever caught, they would see a life of imprisonment or worse, didn't matter if it was the young or the elderly, life wasn't worth much unless you lived in the thick of society, and not much even then.

After what had probably been a week or more, they had finally let him out of the prison. Despite the prospects, to his dismay, they wouldn't allow him to leave. They shackled his ankles to the floor of a white room. At least there was artificial light and walls of glass, giving him a view of people running around doing whatever was their business. Manfred didn't know why his family appeared to be so hated, but he hoped that if he played along with these people, they would come to like him, and eventually, hopefully, set him free.

The people there, they cleaned him thoroughly, fed him, and clothed him. They were being suspiciously nice to him, probably because they didn't fear him now that he had restraints in the form of iron shackles, or so he figured.

Two months passed in that place, and they taught him many things of life in society, what it meant to be a person part of society. They knew he had never had the experience of living among other people, that he had an almost feral upbringing together with his mother. They also told him that his mother was undergoing similar procedures for assimilation into society. In fact, they promised Manfred would one day see her again if he chose to conform. When and if, then, they would create accommodations for the two of them in a far away city. Manfred didn't like the idea of leaving his home, but he knew nothing of a land so far away it couldn't be reached by foot. Perhaps it was better? Could it be? He wondered.

The time finally came, and Manfred was transported by plane which to him could as easily had been a transport to a different universe altogether. Not that he knew if such things existed, but the mind easily wanders in deprivation. Through the port window of the plane he could see the Earth below, so green and lush, so much water, so much land. For a while, he wondered why they had gone through so much trouble to catch him and his mother, the Earth was so vast, so much space for everyone to share.

Now, six months after the fact. Manfred had fully settled in his new home, and today was an exciting day, his mother would finally join him! He briefly wondered what she would think of the snow covering most of the land, he was sure she had never seen snow before.

He was told that it had been harder to persuade his mother to change her way of life. After all, she was much older than him and accustomed to the way things used to be, afraid of change, of a life so radically different from what she knew.

The plane landed, and Manfred welcomed his mother. She handed him a piece of paper which instructed him to take the lead on the procedures he himself had gone through on arrival. It said the purpose was to generate a quicker means to familiarize her with her new life through a friendly voice, and to reassure her on their promises.

She rattled from the cold, yet was overwhelmingly happy to see him.

They made their way into the airport and Manfred was delighted to be given the opportunity to take his mother on a tour, what he had seen the first time on arrival, and what he had been told about it then. Soon, after the tour, they found themselves in front of the immigration office.

Manfred and his mother stepped inside. Here, they used their translation-apparatus to communicate with the person behind the desk. They were informed, like he had been once before, that there were limits to accommodations, likewise, jobs too had limits.

Yet they were thankful, for back home, they were hated, persecuted, enslaved, tortured, and treated like mere animals or cheap laborers. Creatures of no conscious or consequence. The whole of Asia had too much of their economy riding on their persons unique position in society for any change to be made. Here, in this country, in this brave exotic nation, they were welcome, they could be appreciated for what they were. Indeed, these limits were not for who they were, but for what they were, as society had yet to catch up with their being. They were told that construction work was one of the most dominant markets for them, and if they were willing, work would be available and immigration quick. Indeed, Manfred and his mother had been sent here, like many others of their kind, to build a city molded to fit the bulk of their frame. Manfred already had his job, and if his mother was willing, she too could work at the same construction company.

She solemnly agreed to the offer and signed the papers. They were reunited, and she would never let him be taken from her grasp again. Manfred appreciated her quick and stern decision probably as much as the immigration worker.

Now they would be inseparable until death, just like any matriarch of a parade would aspire to. Then again, it was to be expected, after all, they were both Elephants.

#TheNewPeople : #scifi


from Cloud Platform Topics

Recently I began to look into the API features of and WriteFreely, specifically to use the API to get the content of all my blog posts and anonymous posts in JSON format for the purpose of doing compound searches on this data.

My intention was to periodically download the data to my website using the API and to code one or a series of custom PHP programs to query it from a web page.

The code below is an example showing the API command along with a simple program to do a compound search of the data.

The PHP program illustrates navigating the JSON data and can be used to query one or multiple user instances. The data from a user's instances may include multiple blogs (whether private or published) and any number of anonymous posts.

The program output lists only those posts that have a match to your input keywords. The post title is a hyperlink that takes you directly to the post. There is also a link to the individual blog or anonymous posts page.

This code is freely available, as is, to anyone who may wish to use or modify it, but no support is provided for it. I am not an expert-level PHP programmer and this was a quick coding job, so I don't consider it to be particularly elegant coding. But hey, it works. I have this installed on my web server (Debian 10, Apache 2.4, and PHP 7.3). It could be installed on your local machine as well, and I've tested it in Windows 10 with XAMPP. It probably would also work on MacOS provided you have a web server with PHP.

The JSON files generated by the API need to be downloaded for each user or WriteFreely instance before running this program. Here's a curl command example for getting all user posts via the API:

curl "" \
   -H "Authorization: Token 00000000-1111-2222-3333-444444444444" \
   -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
   -X GET  >writeas_api_posts.json

If you don't yet have an authorization token, see this to get one:

The beginning of the PHP program has a Required Input section where you need to specify your data files, the urls to your and/or WriteFreely instance(s)1, and a flag involving markdown output. See the code for more info. You don't need to specify your individual blogs. Based on your auth code, the API will take care of downloading all your blogs and anonymous posts. The urls are used only to construct the hyperlink to the matched posts – they are not used to retrieve data, the data comes only from the API.

1 As an example, I included two WriteFreely services, and Note that if you have custom domain names for your instances, you would of course use those.

Here's an image clip of an input form and output example:


Here is the PHP code. For display convenience this includes all the HTML, CSS, and PHP code in one file. A more complex example would use separate files.

Note: If you have a and/or WriteFreely blog and want want to try this out but don't have access to a server running PHP, it can be run on Instructions are provided here by CJ Eller, who has packaged this into a convenient, easy-to-use glitch app. General Help topics are here.

ini_set('display_errors', 1);
ini_set('display_startup_errors', 1);

  Specify the filenames for your posts API data, your and/or writefreely blogs, 
    and for the $md_ext value enter either '' or '.md' depending on what's needed for the 
    anonymous post files to be rendered in markdown ( anon posts typically need 
    the '.md' whereas writefreely anon posts typically do not).
  Modify this associative array for your situation. Include a trailing forward slash, /,
    in the $href element. Add a folder path prefix to the $fn filename if needed.
  The API data files should be in the same folder as this program.  
$blog[0] = array("fn" => "wa-posts.json", "href" => "", "md_ext" => '.md');
$blog[1] = array("fn" => "qua-posts.json", "href" => "https://my.writefreely.instance/", "md_ext" => '');
$blog[2] = array("fn" => "wordsmith-posts.json", "href" => "", "md_ext" => '');
  The API data JSON files need to be downloaded before running this program. Here's a 
  curl command example for getting all user posts via the or writefreely API:
  curl "" \
    -H "Authorization: Token 00000000-1111-2222-3333-444444444444" \
    -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
    -X GET  >writeas_api_posts.json
  If you don't yet have an auth token, see this to get one:

// For anonymous posts, in order for the Title field to be populated in the API data,
// the first line of the post MUST start with a single # and a space. Otherwise, the 
// Title field will be blank.
// For the names of the elements provided by the API data, see bottom of this file

  <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  <title>WaWf API Data Search</title>
  <style type="text/css">
    body {
      font-family: sans-serif, helvetica;
      font-size: 15px;
      line-height: 1.3;
      margin: 15px;
    a {
       color: blue;
       text-decoration: none;
     a:hover {
       color: #AA08AA; 
       font-weight: bold;
       text-decoration: underline;
// Main part of program
$msg = 'Search these files: ';
$i = 0;
foreach($blog as $item) {
  $fn = $item['fn'];
  if (!file_exists($fn)) {
    echo "<span style=\"color:red;\"><b>Error: File $fn not found; please check and either correct filename or remove it from the list (i.e., the relevant " . '$blog[] entry in this program)</b></span>';
  } else {
  $msg .= $fn . ", ";
  $href = $item['href'];
  if (substr($href, -1) !== '/') $blog[$i]['href'] = $href . '/';
echo substr($msg, 0, -2) . "<br><br>";
$search1=''; $search2=''; $search3=''; $butnot=''; $bOption=''; $nq='';

if (isset($_POST['submit'])) {
  $search1 = $_POST['searchkey1'];
  $search2 = $_POST['searchkey2'];
  $search3 = $_POST['searchkey3'];
  $butnot =  $_POST['butnot'];
  $bOption = $_POST['bOption'];
  $uri = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
  $nq = '<a href="' . $uri . '">New Query</a><br>';

print '<form name="myform" action="' . $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] . '" method="post">
	Keyword1: (&nbsp;<input name="searchkey1" size="15" autofocus value="' . $search1 . '">&nbsp;<b>AND</b>
	Keyword2: <input name="searchkey2" size="15" value="' . $search2 . '">&nbsp;)&nbsp;
 	<select name="bOption">';
if ($bOption == 'OR') {
  print	'<option value="AND">AND</option><option value="OR" selected>OR</option>';
} else {
  print	'<option value="AND" selected>AND</option><option value="OR">OR</option>';
print	'</select> 
	Keyword3: <input name="searchkey3" size="15" value="' . $search3 . '">&nbsp;
	But Not: <input name="butnot" size="15" value="' . $butnot . '">&nbsp;
	<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Go">&nbsp;&nbsp;' . $nq . '</form>';
if (!isset($_POST['submit'])) exit;

// The "submit" variable exists, so the form has been submitted - process form input and display results

// The API data file can have multiple blogs along with anonymous posts and they may be all mixed together with no 
// separation and no sort order. Therefore, if you want to have all anon posts and each blog's posts together in grouped
// sections, a sorting mechanism is needed. We sort on the url (which groups each blog's posts together') and to handle 
// the anon posts, we add a class="anon" to the url so they'll be grouped together when sorted.

if ($search1 == "" && $search2 == "") {
  echo '<br><b><span style="color:red;">You must input at least one search keyword in the first 2 input boxes</span></b>';

$iMatches = 0;
foreach($blog as $item) {
  $fn = $item['fn'];
  $href = $item['href'];
  $md_ext = $item['md_ext'];
  $json = file_get_contents($fn);
  $array = json_decode($json, true);
  $blogposts = $array['data'];
  foreach ($blogposts as $post) {  
    $id    = $post['id'];
    $slug  = $post['slug'];
    $title = $post['title'];
    // title might be blank; if so, substitute the slug if it's not also blank, otherwise use the post id
    if (trim($title) == '') {
      if (trim($slug) !== '') {
        $title = $slug;
      } else {
        $title = $id;
    $tags  = $post['tags'];  // note $tags is an array
    $body  = $post['body'];
    $url = '<a href="' . $href . $id . '.md" target="_blank">' . "<b>$title | $slug</b></a><br>\n"; 
    //Check title, tags, and body of blog post for keyword matches - entire post vs individual lines?
    $contents = $title . '||' . implode(" ", $tags) . '||' . $body; //use || separator so don't have false match possibility due to a run-on 
    if (isMatched($contents)) {
      // Matched
      if (isset($post['collection'])) {
        // Blog post
        $coll = $post['collection'];
        $cAlias = $coll['alias'];
        $blogUrl = '<a href="' . $href .  $coll['alias'] . '" target="_blank">' . $cAlias . "</a>"; 
        $url = '<a href="' . $href . $cAlias . '/' . $slug . '" target="_blank">' . "<b>$title</b></a>"; 
        $lines .=  substr($cAlias,0,3) . "$blogUrl | $url<br>\n";
      } else {
        // Anonymous posts
        // They typically have a null slug (possible exception is if they've been moved from blog post to anonymous post)
        $url = '<a href="' . $href . $id . $md_ext . '" target="_blank">' . "<b>$title</b></a><br>\n";
        $lines .= 'ano' . '<a class="anon" href="' . $href . 'me/posts">Anonymous</a>' . " | $url<br>\n";   //class="anon" needed for sort
      $iMatches += 1;
  } // end foreach blog post
  if ($iMatches == 0) {
    echo "<br>No matches were found for the search criteria";
  // $lines contains each blog post. Sort them so all anon posts and separate blog posts group together.
  $posts = explode("\n", $lines);
  sort($posts, SORT_NATURAL | SORT_FLAG_CASE);
  $prev = '';
  $i = 1;
  $itot = 0;
  foreach($posts as $p) {
    if(strlen($p) > 4) {
      if (substr($p,0,3) !== $prev) {
        echo "<br>\n";
        $i = 1;
      echo str_pad($i, 2, '0', STR_PAD_LEFT) . ": " . substr($p,3) . "\n";
      $itot += 1;
      $prev = substr($p, 0,3);
} // end foreach blog

echo "<br>$iMatches matches were found for the search criteria";

function isMatched($contents) {
  global $search1;
  global $search2;
  global $search3;
  global $butnot;
  global $bOption;  //applies solely to the 3rd searchkey input

  if (stripos($contents, $butnot) !== false) return false;  
  if ($bOption == 'OR' && $search3 > '' && stripos($contents, $search3) !== false) return true;
  // The ButNot and OR criteria were handled above, so now we only need to check search 
  // term 1 by itself if it's the only input or in cobmination with any term 2 and 3 input
   if ($search1 == "" && $search2 !== "") {
  	$search1 = $search2;
  	$search2 = "";
   if ($search2 == "" && $search3 !== "" && $bOption == "AND") {
  	$search2 = $search3;
  	$search3 = "";
  // By the program logic, search1 is guaranteed to be be populated
  // So if there is no search1 match and since only AND logic now applies here, return false
  if (stripos($contents,$search1) === false) return false;
  // We now know that there is a $search1 match
  if ($search2 == '' && $search3 == '') return true;
  if ($search2 > '' && stripos($contents, $search2) !== false  && $search3 == '') return true;
  if ($search2 > '' && stripos($contents, $search2) !== false  && $search3 > '' && stripos($contents, $search3) !== false) return true;
  return false;

Example elements in the JSON API data
  "id": "xxxxxxxxxx",
  "slug": "confidence-level-contours",
  "appearance": "sans",
  "language": "en",
  "rtl": false,
  "created": "2019-11-03T15:46:58Z",
  "updated": "2019-11-03T16:09:50Z",
  "title": "Confidence level contours",
  "body": "Some body text",
  "tags": [],
  "images": [
  "views": 0,
  "collection": {
     "alias": "MyBlogName",
     "title": "My Blog Title",
     "description": "Primarily About this, that, and the other",
     "style_sheet": "",
     "public": false,
     "views": 22,
     "total_posts": 0


from The White Magician

marital courtship

Marital Courtship

Behold! I, Juan Mirieth Auriel, declare the minimum age for the establishment of marital courtship to be 21 years. Also behold! The minimum age for performing the immaculate sexual magic with your spouse, known as the Arcanum A.Z.F., is 21 years. Anyone who is under 21 years is too young to establish marital courtship with your spouse and even under 21 years is too young to perform the sacred Arcanum A.Z.F.

Anyone who is under 21 years yet over 14 years is still an adolescent and not yet officially an adult.

Every man and woman undergo planetary periods. There are seven metallic planets of alchemy, and the primary seven are by the following order: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Anyone who is under 21 years is a minor. All minors undergo planetary periods from the Moon until the end of their Venus periods.

Minors who undergo their Lunar Period are newborns, babies, and toddlers. The Lunar Period lasts from 0 years until their seventh year. When toddlers reach seven years, they are no longer toddlers; they are officially children.

Another periodic name for children in respect with the planetary alchemy is the Mercury period. These children are now ready to go to school for education. The Mercury period lasts from age 7 until they reach fourteen years old. Once they reach 14 years, they are officially adolescents.

This is called the Venus period. Once they reach 14 years, their sexual reproductive systems begin its development. It is not uncommon for those who begin to seek ahava (love) for their spouses (woman for man, and man for woman). Dating begins after their 14th year. Of course, these couple under the Venus period must not begin to have immaculate sex because their sexual organs are undergoing development. Because their sexual organs are undergoing development, all adolescents must be taught self-control and chastity. By self-control and chastity, all adolescents must be taught how to transmute sexual energies upwards. If they are not taught to transmute sexual energies upwards at the start of their Venus period, then the adolescent will always discover fornication as a result. Sexual desire, instead of ahava, will manifest as a result of eating the forbidden fruit. Fornication will always cause pollution not merely from the outside, yet also the inside as well.

When a minor reaches age 21, he is officially an adult, and his solar period begins. The Solar period lasts from age 21 until age 42. At age 21, he or she is no longer a minor. At age 21, the sexual reproductive system has finished its development. One can officially establish marital courtship with one's own spouse. One can also perform immaculate sexual magic with one's spouse. One can also establish and build his house on a rock. This adult is ready to live on his own.



from ego echo

Gezellig nadruipend van de zondvloed die mij wist te overvallen na het boodschappen doen, hoop ik vooral dat mijn schoenen morgen weer droog zijn. Ik ben zo'n type mens dat maar één paar heeft, weet je. Niet uit zuinigheid, maar gewoon, als het lekker zit, dan vind ik het prima en sleep ik mij weer een jaar of twee voort op het verkozen schoeisel.

Gelooft u mij maar op mijn diepblauwe ogen waarin je kunt verdrinken: een fijn paar schoenen vinden is nog best een gedoe, al zeg ik het zelf. Hoewel, ook mijn levensvreugde alhier kan dat beamen. Ik ben een lastige schoenenklant. Dan weer te nauw, te smal, te wijd, teveel knelling, ja precies daar. Te zwaar, te hoog, te laag, te kleurig of gewoon lekker pùh: te stom. Of toch te duur. Tenminste, niet binnen mijn budget. Want over duur kun je natuurlijk stevig van mening verschillen.

Net als wanneer je eco-bewust boodschappen doet, of klimaatneutraal je leven een beetje met de wind mee wilt leven. Ook dat kan een lieve duit kosten, dus dan moet je keuzes maken. Al zou het veel logischer zijn dat een allesvernietigende economie juist onbetaalbaar zou moeten zijn. Daarom ook vandaag mijn warme respect voor de activisten op Schiphol. Het is een speldenprik wellicht, maar als je dat maar vaak genoeg doet, dan moet het vermaledijde systeem op een mooie dag eens doorzeefd zijn en zo lek als een mandje ten onder gaan.

Nou, schoenen dus. En graag droog voor morgen lieve schatten. Lukt dat niet, dan is mijn afdruk in ieder geval duidelijk zicht- en hoorbaar. Dat kan vast ook zo z'n voordelen hebben, al weet ik nog niet welke. Liever blijf ik wat dat betreft onwetend.

#zondvloed #activisme #schiphol #schoenen #afdruk #waanvandedag


from inquiry

> I have a certain energy inside me, and sometimes I describe > it as a fire. Often I have contained and focused this fire > into work, projects around the home, exercise, dieting, > etc. At the present I am exploring how to cultivate such > fire energy to grow instead of containing and focus it.

Pour some write.asoline on that puppy! ;–)

(FWIW, the mere mention of fire has me remembering this rather excellent version of The Ohio Players performing their “Fire” live...)

> How can you expand the reach of your fire, passion, and > energy in your life?

Hmmm. If anything, I'm looking the opposite direction, less being consumed after seemingly shaken in searing hot jaws.

> I always like the computer-y monospace font that > offers. The vast majority of my blog posts > on here are “Serif” because that is what this blog > basically defaults to and I (previously) couldn't get my > blog to default to Monospace every time I went to write > something. It almost always reset to Serif, but, that was > over a year ago, so maybe things have changed.

LOL... I almost always “scrape”, so it's all 24x7 terminal font to me.

To me, the whole “how cool can we make things look in browsers?” thing has been mostly evidence of shallowness. I understand such things make some kinds of differences in some ways, but I'd much rather the same effort poured into the writing itself than the trappings/packaging.

It kind of reminds me about how people whine about “materialism” during holiday seasons, but then go buy their friends, family, and kids gobs of gifts, thereby making most if not all of the season about materialism.

I mean, please... spare me the goddamned dufuckingplicity....

So... do people want solid online content, or do they want a pretty bleeping picture show? Seems to me they say the former, but their actions keep belying far more cherishing the latter.

> I sort of wanted to be a journalist at one point. Now I > am totally and completely disgusted with the media, and > I hate reading / watching the media, but, I still wanted > to write FOR some publication that had some standards.

Tough quandary.

I think it's mostly getting over the myth of journalism, i.e. that it's some noble thing well above and beyond profiteering.

It may be important to remember no non-free-willed-entity thing “is” anything in particularly but what the wielder(s) thereof is(are). So if “journalism” is a disgusting thing, it's for being primarily created by disgusting people. There's just no way around that, for “journalism” isn't some independent being doing things – it's a sort of emergent chimera that we speak of as though it were a being of sorts.. like with sports teams, where we say “the <the name of any sports team> did so and so”. Well, no... there really is no such <the name of any sports team> being: just a bunch of people doing things under the guise of a corporate individual, and lots of deluded people believing in the mythical being.

> Making meaningful, community-based, small (and then larger) > changes OURSELVES

Add the word 'in' before the word 'OURSELVES', and I'm on board....

> you broke off a piece of my heart > and locked it up > inside a jewelry box > to be worn > when it was suitable for you > forcing me to steal > or accept as charity > fragments of those i love > so that i can be whole enough > to keep going


> Just wanted to say that at this critical time in history, > it is more imparitive than ever that we all fight back > non-violently at those whom want to take away our right > to speak freely and openly.

Behaving like oppressors (“fight back non-violently”) merely perpetuates oppression – especially in subtle ways.

The only hope is that enough people being better people than the oppressors somehow convinces the oppressors to become better people such that the oppression fades like the people in Marty's photograph in “Back to the Future”.

> And so, we must never give up this fight!

In fact, giving up “fight” is on possible first step toward a world in which there is no fight....

> But I digress. I am sure the topic is what really matters, > and the fact that it (the topic, which was failures of > capitalism in this case) was being discussed at all in > any form (aside from a blog or op-ed) is a “win” > in the category of bringing awareness to the fact that > our (American) system is quite broken, and we have to > change it.

Whatever system is well nigh irrelevant: good people can make a shitty system work, and lousy people can wreck the best system.

I think it best to stop pretending “systems” are as though beings such that they can do anything.

Change occurs when enough individuals change such that their collective behavior(s) sum to a different – and hopefully more positive – value. The ongoing whine – at the social discourse level – about changing systems is really just so much procrastination from what each individual needs to get busy at hard work with.

> So now I'm going to try to just free-form write a little > more using It's a minimal interface, and I'm > banking that it will help me sit down for at least five > minutes and just write something ... regularly. Might be > crap. Might not get read by anybody.

Oh, but it will. I'm salivating even as I type!


from veronica reads.

A-/B+ | If there’s one book I can hold up as the PERFECT example of how to do mythology, this is that book. The mythology within this gothic book is stunning. And the worldbuilding? chef kiss. You guys know how much I adore excellent worldbuilding. This rich mythology and worldbuilding are wrapped up nicely with a super exciting (but not so well-paced) plot and characters you want to strangle and hug. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get a perfect grade because of it’s pacing and unnatural, forced romance. Nonetheless, the ending was satisfying and well worth the less cool parts.

Minor spoilers below.

Let me start off by saying that this book is by no means perfect. I felt like the pacing was just atrocious, and the romance felt unnatural. However, I will sing praises about this book because the plot, characters, and worldbuilding are just so solid. It is swimming in symbolism.

As it states in the synopsis (so this isn’t really a spoiler), Talia — who could have become Empress — gets banished after there’s a coup. Her rival takes the crown, and ba da bing ba da boom, Talia and her mother are sent off to a distant land as punishment. Not even going to lie, I honestly expected this book to turn out to be a quest to regain the crown. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t what I expected. Instead, I was thrown into a stunning world of mythology.

So because I really want to avoid as many spoilers as possible here, I won’t really talk about the specifics of the myths that Meyer created for this universe. However, I just adored how she exposed us to those myths: from the creation myths to the stories about Rahn. They reminded me so much of the myths I have read (& I’m not just talking about the usual suspects, aka Greek and Egyptian). Those myths helped this world feel so much more alive, and those myths pulled me in deeper and deeper until I finished the book. It was also refreshing to see the myths from the eyes of a skeptic.

Speaking of Talia — can I just say how much I loved her as a character?

While I couldn’t really connect with her, I did feel a lot of emotions as I read the book. She annoyed the hell out of me at times, and I thought she’s a pretty damn selfish character. But you see? I like that. She felt human. I can’t even tell you how many times I simply wanted to smack her and urge her to sit down for a second to think. However, throughout the story, she does grow and develop.

This sort of brings me into her relationship with Caiden and Wen. God help me, this book would have been so much better had it not been for the forced romance. That dalliance between Caiden and Talia was not needed at all. It’s around this time that the book slowed down, attributing to the book’s atrocious pacing. It felt so ridiculous that we spent more time dealing with this “romance” rather than get to the nitty-gritty. Worse is that Talia is just so ** overly dramatic** about it.

Look, I get it! First love and all, but come on. I would have much preferred to see her attempting to grieve for all that she’s lost than dealt with the nonsense romance we got instead. It would have been far more interesting to see Talia arrive in Ruen-Dahr, having bottled up her emotions and thinking she’s okay. However, the discoveries she makes there force her to confront her demons. But instead, we get her in Ruen-Dahr relatively okay for someone who lost everything.

And yeah, okay, in a way, her actions in regards to the myths and Rahn are a way she’s attempting to cope with everything. But the thing is? It didn’t feel that way. The middle half of the book — although that is where we really get to see Talia reading more into the myths and stories her mother used to tell her — was so messy at times. I felt like I was reading two different books in this section: a perfect book that attempted to deal with someone’s grief and this never-ending question of why things happened. Meanwhile, the other book is this forced romance.

That isn’t to say that Talia’s relationship with Wen was just as bad. If anything, THAT relationship felt more up to par with the rest of the book: quality and heartfelt.

Still, for all my annoyance with the romance between Caiden and Talia, Meyer’s writing is superb. She’s able to weave words into lush, lively worlds filled with their own myths.

It’s a shame that things don’t pick up until about 70-80% of the book. I can understand why someone may DNF this book due to the middle portion. However, the payoff is so worth it. Despite the pacing, the ending was so satisfying. It felt so good to read a standalone book and have such a satisfying conclusion.

If you’re looking for a book with strong mythology and worldbuilding, a cast of characters you’ll both love and want to smack, and a satisfying ending, — this is the book for you.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | IndieBound


from notunremarkable

I'm using the end of the year to refocus on my task list, my routines, and my “productivity”. Not really a resolution thing, just an opportunity for me to re-evaluate and decide on what's working, what isn't, and what I want to add or change. One of the things I tell myself that I want to do regularly is write or blog. I even set up my main blog again a couple years ago to help facilitate that. Yeah ... that went so-so.

So now I'm going to try to just free-form write a little more using It's a minimal interface, and I'm banking that it will help me sit down for at least five minutes and just write something ... regularly. Might be crap. Might not get read by anybody. But it will help me strengthen my writing, help me strengthen my thinking, and maybe help me reflect on stuff more often. All goals I have for myself.

Once I'm done writing this, I'm going to go back to planning and preparing for 2020. Time to revisit my goals and decide what to continue working on and what else to add to the list. I'll probably talk more about that in the next few days. :)



from Aubresque


Olfactory is the most intimate of senses

Anyone who is anyone in the city of Mon Parier spends some of their leisure time (and significant wealth) on the Perfume Barges that float down the Averon. Aristocrats, High Clergy, Royalty and demons of high society pay a hefty fee to ride the two barges for a few hours. The barges are run by the Parfumier par Excellence, Hugo Lorenze, master of scents.

The perfumes available on each barge are exclusive and available only for the duration of the trip, after which they are incinerated.

  • Starflower: Notes of mandarin, banana and elderflower. Tinged with harrowleaf. When applied gives the wearer +1 Charisma for 3 hours. The more basic fragrance, but still sought after.
  • Moonshadow: A potent concoction formed of radiant moonlight and septimus grass. A lemony scent. The wearer is able to speak any language for 3 hours.
  • Fireglow: A curious lime green perfume that occasionally turns orange. The wearer may speak three words of sleep 'lein morrienne cortiusse'. Anyone hearing this falls into a deep sleep for 2 hours or until woken. They dream of you in a positive, often erotic way. When they awake they are drawn to you.

from Jordan Hopkins

Image of BB-8

All the Theories 🤯

Episode 8 seems to have sealed the coffin on the debate surrounding Rey’s heritage (more on that below).

BUT, theories abound. If you want to make your head explode, take five minutes to read these 15 theories on Rey’s identity.

Now that you’re all caught up, I want to argue why J. J. Abrams will give us a definitive answer on who Rey is, and (I believe) what the family connection is.

The Last Jedi's Dark Influence

Whether intentional or not on Rian Johnson’s part, I believe Episode 8, Like Empire, offered purposeful loose ends—in a good way!

And like its predecessor, Last Jedi magnified the voice and influence of the Dark Side more than its surrounding installments.

Because we heard more from Kylo on who Rey must be than anyone else in Last Jedi, the audience received a “Darker” slant on her identity.

One scene in particular illustrates this. After Snoke's defeat, Rey feels hope: maybe Ben Solo had embraced the light! But then, this significant moment of dialogue drops:

Kylo Ren: No, no. You're still holding on! Let go! You want to know the truth about your parents or have you always known? You've just hidden it away. You know the truth. Say it.

[Rey is silent]

Kylo Ren: Say it.

Rey: [in tears] They were nobody.

Kylo Ren: They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They're dead, in a pauper's grave in a Jakku desert. You had no place in this story. You come from nothing. You're nothing, but not to me. Join me. ^1

Did Kylo Ren truly see into her past through the Force? Can the audience trust his commentary on her life?

Or, is he playing into her deepest fears (confirmed by the weird endless-mirror-in-the-cave scene)?

We can't know for certain, but we do know Snoke “bridged” Kylo's and Rey's minds through the Force, altering what they perceived. He hacked their desires. Confirmed their fears.

Earlier in the film, Snoke played-upon Kylo Ren's fear of not being enough like Vader (less espresso and more medium roast perhaps).

So, did Kylo Ren repeat this strategy with Rey? Was he attempting to stoke her fears of abandonment, isolation, and being a “nobody”?

(Flashback of Rey scraping Day 3,061 in the hull of her home on Jakku.)

Though Johnson's themes of a nobody-becoming-a-somebody and anyone can be strong in the Force seem sexier than the George Lucas's vision, I believe Rey has had a place in this story all along.

Her Place in this Story

Lady stargazing

Some of my absolute favorite scenes in the new Star Wars trilogy belong to Rey's opening montage. The imagery and foreshadowing of Abrams, coupled with John Williams' beautiful score, all point to her story having a place in the galaxy and the Skywalker saga.

If you pay close attention to Abrams' use of imagery in this montage, you get a sense of what he wanted to work towards for Rey's character:

  • Her resourcefulness, scrapping technology from the bones of a downed Imperial cruiser.
  • Her home nestled in the heart of an Imperial AT-AT.
  • A hand-made doll of yellow and red yarn perched in her “room.” A childhood toy left behind by her parents? Or a toy crafted by a young Rey to capture memories?
  • Her placing the Rebel helmet atop her head while eating, looking relaxed and at ease.
  • Rey longing for home as she stares at a space freighter leaving the atmosphere.

Put together, we see a woman surviving in the desert with less amenities than Luke had at the start of his journey: no aunt, no uncle, no droid, and no access to power converters from Tosche Station.

Through this beautiful, voiceless montage Abrams showcased Rey’s strength, resourcefulness, and a strong desire for finding home.

He also speckled the montage with imagery linking Rey’s humble origins with Luke’s. The red and yellow handmade doll of yarn, the Rebel fighter helmet, and the desert setting tied into A New Hope.

Later in Episode 7, Luke’s old lightsaber calls out to her, sparking a dramatic vision with her traumatic past mingled with the voices of the Light’s greatest Jedis.

Rey's place in the story is clearly not that of a random person stumbling into the Star Wars mythos or the Force by accident. From the start, Abrams connected Rey with the tropes we grew to love from A New Hope.

An Odd Nobody

So, in Episode 7 why was Kylo Ren so bothered by the appearance of some “girl” aiding the Resistance on Jakku?

Why did Rey grab the interest of Snoke and Kylo early on in the series?

If she truly is a nobody to the Skywalker family, then explain her odd affinities to Han Solo and his longing stares at Rey in The Force Awakens.

But, if she truly is the daughter of junk traders, then why was she abandoned on Jakku? Her vision showed a shiny metallic ship leaving Jakku as she cried out to the ones leaving her behind. What kind of junk traders can afford passage on a ship like that? Think back to Rey’s opening montage: she had worked for years as a scrapper only to barely afford her rations. How could her poverty-stricken parents have afforded such a dramatic send-off?

Instead, if she were left on Jakku by her family (perhaps for protection from Snoke originally?), then the montage, her dramatic abandonment, and the vision would all point to her family being more central to the story line.

So in one sense, she is a nobody from Jakku. And if she ends up being a Skywalker (somehow), then would that detract from her struggle and origins? If she does have family ties to Leia and Luke, they would make her abandonment more intriguing to the trilogy’s plot. one sense, she is a nobody...

The Force is Strong in Her Family

I believe Abrams had dropped many bread crumbs in Episode 7, connecting Rey with the Rebels of old and with the Skywalker family.

And I believe she’s part of the Skywalker lineage somehow. Whether Kylo’s sister or cousin, this is going to be a family feud as it has always been. Star Wars is rooted in Shakespearean drama, betrayal, and family intrigue.

Yet...there’s a small chance Abrams will take up Johnson’s orphaned no-body-who-became-a-somebody thread and seal the Skywalker story for good.

With the title of The Rise of Skywalker, though, I am leaning towards Abrams weaving Rey’s story into a family story.

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#film #culture #starwars


from The White Magician

friday the 13th

All About Friday the 13th

Oh no! I, Juan Mirieth Auriel, am writing this on Friday the 13th (December 13th, 2019)! 13 is symbolized by the 13th guest of the Last Supper, known as Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. Judas Iscariot is one of the three traitors of Jesus Christ, known as the Demon of Desire. All three traitors reside in the lowest level of Klipoth (hell: 9th Circle).

Friday the 13th is actually Thursday the 13th, as mentioned of the actual days of the week. Actual Thursday is governed by Zachariel, the Regent of Jupiter. So basically, the Modern Friday the 13th is not the unlucky day. Only the actual Friday the 13th (or modern Tuesday the 13th) is the unlucky day.

Actual Friday is governed by Auriel, the regent of Venus. For Spanish-speaking nations, “Modern” Tuesday the 13th is their actual Friday the 13th (the unlucky day). August 13, 2019 was the official unlucky day, and the next Tuesday the 13th will occur exactly at October 2020 (please see list below for the 2020 decade). One historical event of The Fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade occurred at Tuesday (actual Friday) April 13th 1204; since this event, it strengthened the significance of the modern Tuesday the 13th.

Anyone who says Modern Friday the 13th is the unlucky day; it would actually be Thursday the 13th.

Here is the list of months where the Actual Friday the 13th is in the 2020 decade:

2020: October

2021: April, July

2022: September, December

2023: June

2024: February, August

2025: May

2026: January, October

2027: April, July

2028: June

2029: February, March, November




Fighting Back

Just wanted to say that at this critical time in history, it is more imparitive than ever that we all fight back non-violently at those whom want to take away our right to speak freely and openly.

Open dialogue and disussion with each other is absolutely necessary for a society to be truly free. For without it, there is only tyranny.

And so, we must never give up this fight!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.


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