Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mortar and Pestles available on Etsy.

Mortars and Pestles by Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery.
There are two new mortar and pestles available for sale on the Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery Etsy page. One is a Robin Egg Blue; the other is a Mottled Blue. Both are priced at nineteen (USA) dollars apiece (8.50 US shipping; 11.50 shipping to Canada). Durable and food safe.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! (Xmas Kitty edition)

The angel of Bast shown up for the Christmas miracle.
Merry Christmas everyone! And today I reveal to you the real secret of Christmas--it is all about appeasing the Christmas spirits. In my case, spirits that walk around on four legs and say Meow! a lot. Most other people focus on family, especially children. But I focus on appeasing the cats of the world, so that they allow us humans to exist for another year. I may have already been helping myself to the eggnog also. Merry Xmas! Here is to a better 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Splitting the timeline (Tarot Blog Hop)

A Tarot spread for when you have multiple possible courses of action.
Welcome to the Yule 2012 Tarot Blog Hop. If you are reading this, then the world did not end yesterday...and it is time to consider what you are going to do with the coming year.

If you are doing the Tarot Blog Hop, then odds are you just came from Fool Stop--the official blog of U.S. Games (oh yeah, the kind people who supply us Tarot readers with almost half of our Tarot decks...or maybe that is just me). If you are one of my regular readers, then you probably arriving here from St. Andrew's Academy and Library for Misplaced Spells, where initated secrets go to hide.

Now, if you are anything like me, the start of a new year makes you look at certain things in your life, things that need to be dealt with. For me, this coming year is all about the writing and certain other creative endeavors. But I do have a certain problem--there are so many projects to deal with, or that I could be doing, that I am not sure what project needs to become my priority.

In an ideal world, I would have access to a time machine and I would hop into the future to peek at which one I did. And being a Virgo, I would also want to look at several alternate timelines. I don't want to just blindly pick an option, or settle for just one. No, I want to know what all the options were and their respective outcomes. Did I mention that I am a Virgo? A Virgo that just happens to be a science fiction fan?

Anyways, I do not have access to a time machine...this makes me sad.

But I do have access to a magical tool that does allow me to peek into the future, and to weigh multiple courses of action. Yes, that is right--I am about to abuse a Tarot deck in a weird time splitting experiment.

I call this spread--The Time Split, for it allows one to see possible outcomes for multiple options and choices of behavior. It involves at least eight cards for two possible options, with additions of three cards apiece for each additional option beyond the initial two.

The first card of the spread is the current situation (this card can be either randomly choosen or pre-selected). The second card (random draw) provides more information about the current situation.

It is the third card that we start to deal with the various options that are open to us; the "option" cards (3rd, 6th, and so forth) can be either randomly choosen or pre-selected--the choice will depend on how clear you are about possible options available. (A clear-cut list is better dealt with using pre-selected cards; if one has no clue what options are available, randomly drawn cards are the way to go.) The third card (as well as the 6th, and so forth) represent one possible course of action.

The fourth and fifth card (as well as 7th and 8th, and so forth) are randomly drawn.

The fourth card represents additional information about the option in question. In the case of a randomly drawn Option card, it might help verify the option. In the case of pre-selected Option card, it might call attention to complications that Option would require in order to be implimented.

The fifth card represents the most likely outcome if the Option is taken. Always bear in mind that this outcome depends upon the implimentation of the Option under consideration. Also remember that the very act of looking at a possible future changes the future.

Cards three, four and five represent one Option. Cards six, seven and eight would represent a second Option. One can add additional rows of three cards to cover additional Options. (My experience says to limit the number of Options to five--anything beyond that tends to be overkill and quite confusing to keep straight. Ideally, it should be two or three Options considered in a reading.)

So there you have it, the Time Split, the Tarot spread that I am currently using to try to figure out the best option for my business to be focused on in the upcoming year. And yes, it probably will involve monkeys (regular readers will understand why).

If you are continuing with the Tarot Blog Hop, your next stop is the blog of Joanna Ash--Sun Goddess Tarot. And if there are any breaks (broken links) in the Tarot Blog Hop, the Master List can be found at This Game of Thrones. My regular readers will go back to annoying the librarian to let them into the forbidden section where all the really good secrets are hidden. Happy Yule, Merry Xmas, and Happy New Year (and whatever other holidays I am forgetting) to everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 11 plus)

It is a Cat in a Christmas hat.
One of the common Christmas Cat photos is the every-amusing "Let's put a Santa cap on the kitty--nothing could possibly go wrong while doing this." Hint--kitty is not the one that is going to end up on Santa's Naughty List; no, it is the silly owner, who is now bleeding that is going to be on the Naughty List. Hope you like the present the cat is going to leave in your shoe.

More Cats in Xmas hats.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 10)

Oh dear, another Xmas Kitty Reindeer.
Message from my cat: Meow! It is not nice to make fun of kitties with strange noses. Meow! Even if they are red (or in his case, tri-colored). Meow! And it is even more wrong to dress your cat up as a reindeer. Message ends--Meow!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quoting others in full

Fair is fair--right?

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 9)

A cat wanting to be a reindeer--unlikely.
Here is a cute kitty dressed in a reindeer costume. But it is highly unlikely that they actually want to be a reindeer. More likely the cat is wondering if this makes up for the fact that they broke a couple of vases earlier in the day. After all, it is just so unfair that humans believe that perfectly normal cat behavior earns them a spot on Santa's naughty list.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Day 8)

Xmas Kitty is fixing the lights on your Christmas tree.
Do Christmas trees have engines and motors? I suspect yes from this picture. I do know that they have wiring which might need fixing. Not that I want any of my cats to do wiring. Heck, I am not sure that I would trust myself to do wiring. Correction--I know that I do not trust myself to do any wiring. Therefore, maybe I am better off letting the cat figure out why the Christmas lights are not working.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Xmas Kitty 2012 (Kitty 7)

Trees are a favorite spot for Xmas Kitties to hide in.
One thing that you are sure to find if you search for Christmas and Cats in the same search is Cats in Christmas Trees. First, cats are fascinated by trees in the first place. Second, cats are really fascinated by trees that are inside of the house. It is not their fault that the tree doesn't have proper roots to auchor them down, so they do not tumble over. Nor is it their fault that their silly human decide to drape and hang a bunch of shiny, fragile objects from such an unstable, unnatural set-up. To a cat, a tree is supposed to be climbed--and climb them they do. Hence all the Christmas cats one sees in trees.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

As if we need a Hatfields and McCoys reality show

The feud between the cat and dog just got serious.
[File this under "It is only funny if you spent any time watching the feud between the various GD leaders--no one else will get the joke."]

The History Channel has decided to develop a reality show starring the modern-day descendants of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy blood feud. I am sorry--we need this, why?! If I wanted to watch a blood feud, I have the internet and twenty years of prime time feuding among Golden Dawn members to amuse myself with.

Or I could get involved in the little feud that two of my (biological) sisters are engaged in. There is no way that is going to end well any time soon. (Hey, I trained to feud with the best--my biological family. Sorry to any family member that might be reading this--of course, I have no idea why my biological family would be reading this.)

Seriously, why would I want to watch this? Has the History Channel ran out of Nazis and little green pyramid building aliens?! (Again, one needs to have watched our little occult community to get the joke.)

The only thing missing from this idea is cameras in badly ran restaurants that are named after something that front rhymes with McCoy--and I don't think that anyone can get Gordan Ramsey to step into one of those fast food places...oh, wait, I thinking of FOX, ain't I? Or am I thinking Golden Dawn?! (Yes, another in-joke for the people who watch the train wrecks in our esoteric community.)

So yes, I am looking forward to this reality series--just like I am looking for the next outbreak of the Black Death and the flames of the next internet occult war. How about you? Are you looking forward to it?

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Day 6)

Christmas Kitty is so cute.
There is no particular reason for this Christmas Kitty beyond "She is so cute that my head feels like it is about to explode!" And if cuteness is not a good enourgh reason to include this pretty kitty, dressed up as (perhaps) a cat version of one of Santa's elves, then I do not know what is a good reason. It does matter, this cat made the Christmas line-up...because this is my blog, and I will do what I want with it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 5)

Even Grumpy Cat is getting into the holiday spirit.
I will admit that I am one of those Christmas Humbug people. The holidays generally depress me--this year more so than the last couple. I think it the state of my wallet--empty--that is the trigger. For those who do not know, I grew up very poor. I learned the truth about Santa relatively early, and spent my entire childhood after that point skipping birthdays and holidays, so that my brothers and sisters could get presents instead. Sacrificing for others is a habit that I never got out of--I tend to give up resources and choices, so that other people's needs are covered. It is a problem. But a bigger problem is my resentment of this programmed habit; I tend to be hostile on occasion when I feel obligated to hand over my last bit of a resource to someone, and have to cover my own needs with absolutely nothing. One can see what part of my Adeptus Major work is going to be. Of course, the instant I start that section of the work, people are going to declare that I made Santa's naughty list...of course, these are the same people who declare that I am already on that list--so I am not sure that it will make that big of a difference in how some people percieve me. Nevertheless, I feel like giving them a present...maybe leaving a big bag of used cat litter on their front porch. I think that Grumpy Cat might even approve of that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maybe we should make it harder to get guns

Oy--another shooting in America. Inside a shopping mall. This time up near Portland.

(Ok--full disclosure: I have a relative living in Portland--therefore, my critics will scream that I am too close to this one to be making commentary.)

I have a theory about gun violence in America: We have so much gun violence because guns are so easy to obtain. And there is no shortage of ammunition either.

Perhaps we should make it harder to get guns and ammo.

Now, I realize that the cowboys in the crowd will tell me that what we need is more armed citizens. Ok, we are getting more and more armed citizens.

But they all seem to be psychotic ax-murderers. Not that you ever seen one wielding an ax to murder someone. Why? Because it is so easy to get a gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition. (If there were no guns, they would kill people with axes--basically they are crazy homicidal people.)

One of my problems with the armed response to the gun violence is that it presumes that your average citizen can hit the broadside of a barn. I know that I can...provided that I am armed with a small tactical nuke. And I am standing on the inside of the barn.

Seriously, outside of those people who have made their living through violence--criminals, police, and military personal--your average citizen is not going to be able to hit the right person while they are being shot at. And I am not necessarily sure by the steeped-in-violence crowd. Look at your typical study about how many bullets it takes to hit a shooting target; the core principle to nail such a target is to shoot lots and lots of bullets in the direction of the perpetrator.

Here is a cracked ball prediction: If someone starts shooting in a mall, and there are a dozen other people who are armed, you are going to end up with three dozen friendly fire hits before the smoke clears.

I am sorry, but the "let's arm everyone, including grandma" crowd is going to have to do a lot better if they are going to convince me that more guns are the answer to the gun violence in this county.

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 4)

Professor Cat would like to remind you that pets are forever.
It is now time for our annual Christmas public service message. Don't get a kitty, a cat, a puppy, a dog, or any other animal for Christmas just because you want an animal for the holidays. Don't get a pet for your kid just for the holidays either. Pets are forever. Once you allow an animal in your home, and start feeding it, you are responsible for its welfare for the rest of its life. So if you get a pet this holiday season, let it be because you found the right forever friend, not just because you thought it would be nice to have a pet for the holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 3)

The Twelve Days of Christmas as sang by cat owners.
There are things to be said about holidays, especially about how Christmas music can get stuck in your head, which cannot be published on a blog without an adult warning about harsh language. Today was one of those days; I had Christmas music stuck in my head. It did not help the writing at all. Of course, my Turtle Monkey co-creator called me on the phone and tried to install something equally obnoxious in my head...the Christmas music won out as soon as she hang up. My cats look at me as if it is just another day; I guess they are used to me singing only half of the lines of various songs off-key. So here is to the Christmas carols stuck in my head--it is just too bad that I am not writing any stories about Xmas.

Bad Monkey now available online from B&N

The Bad Monkey ebook is now available online at Barnes and Noble.
The good news is that Bad Monkey--the Collected 2011 Hearthstone Community Church Articles is available for sale online from Barnes and Noble (99 cents). The bad news is that there is no cover image for the ebook. *sigh* Not that the cover would actually help the ebook sell--after all, it is more of a in-joke between my friends and me (shared with those who attended the June 2011 Open Full Moon ritual), but still I can't imagine it doing better without the cover image being available. There is also no product description, and the sample size is so small that you really can not get a flavor for my writing style. Oh yeah, this is really going to sell. Yes, you can file this under "The joys of writing ebooks."

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 2)

Xmas Kitty deserves a fancy feast this holiday season.
When I first saw this picture, I thought that it was a Thanksgiving picture. And then I noticed the Christmas Crackers and decided that it was actually a Christmas feast picture instead. (I had one history professor that was big on examining the fine details of old photographs which was a great suppliment to my literary studies...therefore another useless skill, outside of the occasional WTF moment.) Now, some people might point out the chicken, but in my household that is no sign that it is not Thanksgiving (often, we do a chicken for holidays--I have yet to be brave enourgh to attempt cooking a turkey--yes, I am cooking most of the meals in my household). So is it Thanksgiving, or is it Christmas? Does it matter to the cat? No, they are still going to help themselves to the food.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 1)

Christmas Kitty looks like he has been drinking too much eggnog.
Yes, it is once again the season for many Christmas Cats to invade my humble little blog. I know my audience; while you claim that you are here to read about Golden Dawn and the esoteric traditions, you are really just here looking at silly cat pictures.

Friday, December 7, 2012

No death threats for me

Assassin Cat readies his lasers and claws--just in case, I decide not to feed him.
[The following post is written much along the lines of someone who has escaped food poisoning when all his friends are busy trying to have their stomachs crawl out of them. It is not that the writer wants food poisoning, bad luck, or death threats; it is merely the curiosity that a writer gets when he notices that there is a plague in the area, and it has somehow skipped his cannot help be curious about why one is so lucky. In other words, don't send me a death threat...unless you absolutely must.]

Yesterday was the second time this year, I noticed a Golden Dawn leader talking about recieving threats. And over the years, I have heard of other threats. Most seem to be along the line of the Ancient Siberian Curse ("If I tell you that I cursing you, maybe you will catch a round of bad luck"). And some of the results seem to be along the lines of "I am so important; people must be trying to kill me."

The regularity of impeding curses and threats makes me wonder if I am the only person in Golden Dawn who has never got a death threat. Ok, I mean a death threat originating from inside the estoteric community--domestic violence, living in a rough neighborhood, and running a cash register does not count for the purposes of this post.

Still one wonders how I have been so lucky. Oh sure, my little blog here has gotten some people so mad that they wanted to fry it out of if that would do more than slow me down (I have other soapboxes to use to air my loony opinions).

My current conclusion is the simple fact that I am not a leader in the esoteric community, merely a lunatic with a soapbox. It is not like anyone takes me seriously. Or expects me to ever threaten their organizations. After all, you very seldom see a court jester try to become a king.

Therefore, those people in the Golden Dawn community who are recieving threats of curses, impeding doom and death, must be the real deal...because one would never threaten someone who was faking it, would you? Recieving a death threat, or warning of being cursed, or bound by magic, is a badge of honor in the esoteric community--sort of like being named the village goat.

Anyway, if this post somehow upsets you, please remember that the thing I find most frightening and dangerous is a fruit cake. And assassin cat would really hate to recieve some expensive cat food. Oh, and my wife is horrified when she sees money, especially in the form of jewelry orders.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Still neutral about Zink and others

One of the things that (I think) people find disturbing about me is the fact that I tend to be neutral about the various so-called Legion of Evil Golden Dawn leaders (which basically consists of every public Golden Dawn leader). This neutrality extends to Robert Zink.

This neutrality occasionally gets called into question by certain people...because supposely I am involved a conspiracy (funny, I don't remember being invited to any meetings of the Legion of Evil Golden Dawn leaders). Like a couple of years ago, someone made a big fuss when a large bunch of the EOGD membership walked away from Robert Zink. They thought that I should embrace those who walked away from Robert Zink, and get up on my soapbox and condemn Zink.

And I didn't. I stayed out of the brawl. I felt that it was none of my business beyond my normal routine of reporting things of newsworthy interest to my readership. Besides, I didn't think that the EOGD or Robert Zink was going to go away. In fact, it did not surprise me when the EOGD name stayed with Zink (it made business sense to me that it would happen that way).

Today, I am still neutral about Robert Zink. Personally, both me and Robert know that I am not suitable to be a member of his Order...for personal reasons, including the fact that I talk back too much.

I belong to the BIORC because it is the Order that I am suited for. It does not mean that I do not talk to people of other Orders; in fact, I had friends in all the major Golden Dawn Orders.

Over the years, I have heard three major complaints (or crimes) cited against Zink. And only two of them, I have heard beyond the anonymous commentors on the internet (yes, one of the major complaints has no independent verification, or at least no one I know has confirmed it). Of the two remaining complaints, one boils down to Orders do things their own way; and the other is just business, even if it makes the EOGD sound like a badly ran Amway. Yes, I believe that the one should keep people out, but people are free to do what they will with their own money.

And here is the rub--the two complaints that I had verified can be said about almost all the other Golden Dawn Orders with just variations of the song (the tune remains the same).

(Please note that if someone I trusted verified the third accusation, I would cease to be neutral about Zink himself, but would still remain neutral about the EOGD itself. I imagine that also annoys some people.)

If Robert Zink is evil because of the two things that he is actually guilty of, then the entire leadership of Golden Dawn is probably evil, including the self-appointed white hats. Because I do not know of a single Order that does not insist on doing things their particular way, and few that are not ran as if they are a form of business (and for the record, the GD Order that insists that it is not a business the most is the most guilty of being a business from where I sit).

So there you have it, I will probably remain neutral about Robert Zink and the majority of the other Golden Dawn leaders until the cows come home (I will admit that I loathe one of the GD leaders because they and their membership decided that it was ok to trash my reputation--I had to put up with that from my family; I do not have to put up with that trash from them). If this fact offends you, please feel free never to read another word that I write.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Anonymous comments are not proof

One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how much weight one should place on blog and forum comments made by anonymous people. And by "anonymous," I mean people who either openly post as an anonymous (and perhaps unregistered) user, as well as those who use a handle such as "the Golden Dawn avenger"--a handle that actually tells you only that the person behind the handle has a big ego.

There are two reasons why I have been thinking about this.

One, I am in the process of setting up a blog to collect all the book reviews that I have done in various places. I have needed to do this for awhile. It has become more urgent, due to the fact that I am starting to recieve books from some GoodReads drawings that I recently entered (I have recieved the first two books today).

Do I allow comments on the Book Review blog? Or do I just refuse to allow comments through? And does it matter either way? (Please note that my book reviews were called into question earlier this anonymous and faceless people.)

The other reason I have been thinking about anonymous comments is watching the comments being made on one of my blog posts on this very blog. There has been one person who has been pointing out dirt about Robert Zink--provided that you place any stock in comments that direct you to other comments made on another blog by anonymous people.

Personally, I do not need to hear anonymous comments about Zink to have an opinion of the man. After all, I had internet dealings with the man (we are not favorite people of each other); plus, I have done some "exit counseling" with some of his former membership--enourgh to know that I am definitely not suited to be one of his students.

The same holds true of several other people in the Golden Dawn community. Between the grapevine and my own interactions with people, I have a really good idea of who is what type of lunatic without having to read anonymous comments about them. And I am sure that they feel the same way about me--we all know that I am a lunatic with a soapbox.

And honestly, I find that the way that anonymous comments are presented as "proof" painful to watch because of the double standard that is applied to them. Simply put, an anonymous comment is considered to be proof when it supports your stated conclusion, but is considered a falsehood when it does not support your argument. If it is undermining your competition, an anonymous comment is proof and perfectly acceptable because people need to be able to present evidence without fear. But the same comment is it attacks your position must be coming from the political sock puppet of your enemy and is a complete lie, therefore anonymous comments should never be considered proof that you too are special type of lunatic.

Of course, most proof in the occult community tends to be treated the same way. Scholars have a double standard applied to them (if they support your argument, they are a good scholar; if not, they are a fraud who should be kicked out of the academy). Business practices and recruiting techniques are ok when you use them, but fraud when other people use them. A simple statement of a claim of ancient knowledge is accepted point blank by one group's membership while the same type of claims are considered lies when made by another group.

It is enourgh to make one want to declare that everyone is a liar and a fraud. And far more simple too. Of course, I have gotten to the stage where I am just starting to ignore any comment that is made by someone that I do not personally know. But let's be honest, being called a neo-nazi and told outright that it is ok for others to destory one's reputation because you do not belong to the one real Golden Dawn makes one dislike anyone who stands behind "anonymous" or "enemy of all false GD Orders" and calls you names.

So do not expect me to accept blog and forum comments presented by anonymous posters of proof of anything. After all, I know enourgh people who are posting using their real names that I do not need to see evidence that is untraceable. You would not accept my statements as proof if I hid my identity, so why should I trust you when you do the same?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback--spider mania December 2007

This spider was briefly in my kitchen in 2007.
It is time for a flashback post--thanks to the good people at Multiply (who are removing all user media and blogs tonight at midnight). And the only thing that I wanted to save from Multiply is this creepy picture of a spider that was in my kitchen on December 21, 2007.

That morning, my wife woke me up to look at the creepy spider in the kitchen as she was leaving for work. I decided to take a picture of the spider, which attracted the attention of my cat, Apollo. As I was saving my cat from the spider, the spider slipped between the kitchen wall and the stove. At this point, liberal amounts of bug spray was used. I have never seen another one of this particular species (Black Widow) on my property since.

(Originally, I blamed my father-in-law for bringing it with him from California...but in all fairness, we do have native Black Widows here in Colorado, so perhaps that was being too harsh.)

Anyway, if you ever need an excuse not to come visit me, there it is--my property may be haboring Black Widows, one of the world's most creepiest spiders.

Monday, November 26, 2012

No lottery magic for me

As some people know--probably not any of my regular readers--the Powerball prize is up to 425 million. This means that a lot of people are going to be buying a Powerball ticket for the next drawing. And there might be some people who even attempt to cast a magical spell to win the lottery.

I will not be one of them.

Years ago, I used to buy lottery tickets. And yes, I dabbled in luck magic during the first couple of years of my Golden Dawn was the monthly talisman experiment for me.

What did I learn?

I learned that my magic is not good enough to budge the lottery odds. Oh, based on my results, I can budge the probabilities enough to be measurable, but not enourgh to actually win the big prize. Or for that matter, even the medium prizes.

Maybe if I could be bothered to join one of those super-secret esoteric Orders where the entire Inner Order system of magic is still secret because it is so dangerous, I might get better results. But I am going to guess that even those groups advise their membership not to bother with trying to win the lottery.

Today, whenever I get the urge to buy a lottery ticket, I go and write an article on the lottery. For instance, I have talked about the ticket price of a Powerball ticket, and debated if lottery tickets make good Christmas gifts. My return for writing a lottery article is better than my average return from a lottery ticket (I used to buy a lot of losing tickets).

Now, this does not mean that I do not gamble--after all, I am a writer and an artist, who dabbles in publishing (mainly pictures of farting monkeys and badly written erotica)--it is hard not to gamble when you are self-employed. But I am better off spending any extra cash I have on...well, almost anything other than a lottery ticket.

(And if you want to buy me a lottery ticket for Xmas, don't--I would rather recieve a lump of coal is for a spell *wink*.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

May you never...

Bad Monkey is available on Smashwords for 99 cents.
[The following is an article that I wrote for the November 2011 Hearthstone Community Church's newsletter. It is reprinted in Bad Monkey: The Collected 2011 Hearthstone Community Church Articles.]

It is that time of year again when American society reminds us to count our blessings, time for the penultimate holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. This is a holiday that tends to be all about food. Personally, I find that all holidays involving food to be fascinating; my interest extends to weddings and funerals also. If there is food involved, you have my attention. I blame this fascination on my childhood.

I grew up poor. Well, poor for an American. Let us be honest; when you look at the overall standard of living that humanity has enjoyed down throughout the ages, few Americans can be considered poor based on global and historical standards. So when I say that I grew up poor, let me be clear: there were holes in the roof; we accepted donations from the local food bank, and my school clothes were bought at yard sales.

I suspect that this fact, the fact that so few Americans are really poor, is the reason that we had to create the mythical holiday of Thanksgiving. And let's be honest, our image of Thanksgiving is mythical. It is very unlikely that a society that was on the verge of extinction by starvation would have such a large feast as depicted in the American mythology. There was probably no turkey. Personally, I tend to imagine the feast as some eels and a few ears of corn. And if the Pilgrims did get a windfall of food, they probably rationed it out as long as they could.

Thanksgiving is the feast that the Pilgrims would have liked to have. It is much like the number of feasts that one encounters in fairy tales, chivalry tales, and Northern mythology. It is not that people were constantly having feasts; it is that they would have liked more food on a daily basis.

One of the things that I know from my impoverished childhood is that at a certain level of need, there arises a constant concern about where your next meal is coming from. You never really get over it. It is one of the reasons that I automatically hate politicians who want to get rid of subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs. Growing up, I was constantly hungry. The free breakfast at the local school was a meal that I could count on. I remember this when a politician claims that schools are only for instruction, and presume that the politician needs to be voted out of office.

This impoverished background colors my views of the current political and economic environment. I am suspicious of any solution that shifts more of the economic burden onto the poor, but I am equally leery of any protest screaming that the rich are hogging all the wealth that does not contain anyone that I would classify as being truly poor. Through most of my childhood, my parents wondered how they were going to keep a roof over their children's heads, where the next meal was coming from, and if they could afford to turn on the heat.

My background also colors how I react to the most common blessing in Wiccan ritual (or at least, it is the most common blessing that I have encountered). "May you never hunger; may you never thirst." Having been poor, this blessing, in many ways, represents the height of human civilization as far as I am concerned. You can talk about spiritual experiences and personal growth; but let's be honest, I have always been more interested in food.

Of course, as a Golden Dawn member, I would modify the blessing slightly. (The Golden Dawn counterpart of Cakes and Ale, the Mystic Repast involves a rose, a lit lamp, bread and salt, and a cup of wine when done according to the official ritual documents.) Or maybe the modification is because I grew up poor. Whatever---it does not matter. What matters is that I extend this blessing to you this holiday season.

May you never be ignorant; may you never be cold; may you never hunger; may you never thirst; may you always be thankful. So mote it be. Happy holidays.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My shocking disbelief: Primordial Languages of Power (1/3)

Over on Postmodern Magic, there is a three part series about things that the blog author does not believe in--Atlantis and Secret Chiefs are the first two parts (as I write this, the third part is still forthcoming). Of course, this got me thinking about the things that I do not believe in, and I decided to also blog about three things that I do not believe in...because that is how the blogosphere rolls. Given that they chose to pick on Atlantis and the Secret Chiefs, I will pick something else to start off with.

(For the record, both Atlantis and the Unknown Secret Chiefs are high up on my list of they are commonly thought of in esoteric circles--go read the Postmodern Magic posts; they touch upon many of the problems that I have with the two subjects.)

One of the things that I disbelieve in is the idea that there is a primordial language out there which when you speak it, magic automatically happens.

Armanic, Hebrew, Ancient Egypt, bastardized Latin, have all at one time been thought to be a language that if you speak it, wonderful horrible things happen--walls bleed, worlds get created, Republicans burst into flames. The Enochian language of Doctor Dee is also a candidate, as well as certain esoteric forms of mathematics, for this "too dangerous to be revealed to the great unwashed" language.

Much of our time in esoteric circles and studies is involved in studying these mystery languages. If you are in the Outer Order of Golden Dawn, you spend time studying the Hebrew alphabet, which you are oathbound not to reveal to others (seriously, the Hebrew alphabet is actually oathbound in some GD circles to this very day). You also get to hear some Greek, some badly spoken Ancient Egyptian, and Enochian, as well as some Latin. In Inner Order, the RR et AC, you deal a lot with Enochian and Hebrew...not enough to order soup, but enough that one can make the occasional odd pun that no one understands.

The esoteric theory behind the Great Primordial Langauge of Magic, Light and Creation, is that it is the language of the gods, angels and ascended masters. At the beginning of the universe, some deity created the universe by uttering some magic words. Later, the same deity (often, but not always) created the art of writing. Over time, this pure language of creation got corrupted into the languages that we humans speak on a daily basis.

The important part is the idea that IF you could RESTORE the language to its precreation/creation/divine state, you can perform MIRACLES.

Think Harry Potter meets the Tetragrammaton.

Because of its awesome power, the primordial language must be guarded from those who are not yet ready to use it--aka everyone who has not paid you enourgh lodge and Order dues yet. Seriously, you would not want a Democrat to gain access to it, they might go around healing the poor for free.

And in esoteric circles, a lot of training goes into making sure that you are spiritually ready to learn the primordial language...because time spent paying lodge and Order dues are the purest form of tithing and spiritual development. Without the training, you could seriously hurt yourself using the primordial language.

Yet here is the thing to remember about the claim--secrecy reveals what it conceals, and conceals what it reveals--it is not the language that does the work; it is the training that you undergone to qualify to use the language that does the heavy lifting.

Of course, the fact that I do not believe that it is the secret esoterically guarded primordial language that is important is SHOCKING. And probably a form of Golden Dawn heresy. You can buy your pitchforks and flaming torches from several GD vendors if you want to form an angry horde and burn me at the stake (hey, I am Wiccan--I am allowed to make witchhunt jokes).

Here is the real secret to know if you see me use a primordial language of power in your presence to perform some bit of magic--what you are percieving is a mere one-seventh of what I am doing. It is not the language by itself that gives its power--it is the hidden six-sevenths that is happening elsewhere; six-sevenths that is only possible with a lot of occult training.

So the next time, you see me ignore someone's claims that they know magical words that automatically causes certain events to happen when uttered, and that one must be highly trained, developed and vetted to learn, just remember I do not believe that it is the language doing the work--rather it is the training and development that they are insisting that you do first...provided that they are actually training you and not just milking you for Order dues, which probably the thing that esoteric language most often gets used for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Israel Regardie's 105th BDay

Tabatha Cicero and Israel Regardie (1984 or 1985).
A hundred and five years ago, Isreal Regardie was born (November 17, 1907). As an young man, Regardie first worked with the system of Aliester Crowley, doing much of the material laid out in the published AA material (Crowley did not actually teach him), before entering the Stella Matutina in 1934. His SM motto was Ad Majoren Adonai Gloriam "To the Greater Glory of Adonai."

His contribution to the modern Golden Dawn movement first came in the form of books. Before entering the Stella Matutina, he wrote The Tree of Life and A Garden of Pomegranates (1932). His book, The Middle Pillar, in 1938, while viewed as a Golden Dawn book today, along with his ritual, the Middle Pillar ritual (actually a shortened version of a much larger RR et AC exercise), deals with tying psychology, kabbalah and magic together.

By 1936, Regardie had decided that the only way to safeguard the Golden Dawn system was to publish its rituals. This decision has led to a polarity of how people view Regardie. Some people really like him for publishing the core of the Golden Dawn system. Other people really loathe him for the exact same reason. Interestingly enough, even those Golden Dawn people who loathe him do their best to prove that they are honoring his wishes to see the Golden Dawn preserved for future generations.

Of course, everyone knows the question that I like to ask of people who hate Regardie for publishing the Golden Dawn documents: Without Regardie, would you have ever found the Golden Dawn? No one has yet to be able to give me an answer that does not amuse me. It is amazing how even the people who argue that the system should have been kept absolutely secret, and in danger of disappearing as hundreds of secret societies did, must admit that it was Regardie's (or Crowley's) writing that informed them that Golden Dawn was an option.

So here is to Israel Regardie, the much hated savior of the Golden Dawn system. We all owe him a debt, for leaving a trail of bread crumbs to our magical and spiritual home. INRI. LVX. IAO.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Officially a member of the Hearthstone board

Yesterday, Hearthstone Community Church had their...annual, bi annual, whenever they feel like it...board meeting. I attended because...already voluteering, snoopy, I wanted a piece of pie...they asked me to show up. During the course of the meeting, the Hearthstone Community Church board added two new members because...they were already helping, they showed up, they didn't run away...they thought it was a good idea to expand the board.

One of the two people that Hearthstone added is Amy Harper. Most people know her as "the person we have the fire extinguisher for"--besides her work organizing Wiccan rituals for children.

The other person that the board added is myself. Yes, they allowed a lunatic with a soapbox to become a member of the Hearthstone board. And yes, they have known me for years. Maybe they have not seen me at my is my current theory (please feel free to suggest other theories in the comment section).

What am I going to be doing for the Hearthstone Community Church? More or less what I have been doing for the last three years (well, two years, eleven months)--writing a monthly column for the newsletter. Oh, I have to greet people at the Open Full Moon rituals, and collect the occasionally email address to add to the local mailing list. Maybe set up a blog, and do some social networking. Occasionally express opinions that makes them wonder why they voted to let me in. Nothing major.

What does this mean outside of Hearthstone? I get to pad my resume. Not much. I am still going to be a lunatic with a soapbox. I imagine that the next time I annoy certain people that they will scream that as a Wiccan minister and community representative that I should do exactly what is in their best interest...basically, it will just give some of my critics another thing to hold against me when I decide that I am going to act like a lunatic with a soapbox. And I will continue to ignore their complaints because...they are a donkey, they want a monopoly on all things esoteric and occult, they fling monkey poo at everyone that they thinks is a is not in the best interests of my business and/or community to surrender control of my behavior to them.

So yes, it is business as usual for me. No big surprise there.

For those of you who are curious about what I have written for the Hearthstone newsletter, the 2010 ebook collection of my articles, Pizza Boxes on the Floor, is available from Barnes and Noble for 99 cents. (The 2011 and 2012 collections will be assembled some time before the beginning of the year.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What makes BIORC different?

Truth in advertising strikes the Hogwarts House system.
One of the difficulties about trying to decide what Golden Dawn Order to join is that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the Orders. Their advertising looks the same; as soon as one group makes a claim, everyone else also claims to provide the same service...with one exceptation (c'mon--I do not need to point out the one claim that no one else wants to make). In the end, often it boils down to who is leading the group, and if you know any other members of the group, and if they have a local lodge or correspondence course, which determines what Golden Dawn Order that you join. Their advertising footprint might also be a factor.

We could label the main Golden Dawn groups as "The Amway Golden Dawn," "The False Humility Golden Dawn," "The 'We can't be bothered to have a correspondence course' Golden Dawn," "The Freemason Golden Dawn," and "Those freaks of nature Golden Dawn."

Oh, and then there is the group I belong to--"The 'Who are you again?!' Golden Dawn."

Here in Denver Colorado, we have three Golden Dawn lodges...and rumors that a fourth one is going to be organized. And honestly, I bet that you can not tell the difference between them. The fact that there was overlapping membership for awhile...and this may still be true for two of the lodges...does not help any (all the shinies got shared).

So the question of "What makes your group that you belong to different from all the other Golden Dawn groups?" is a difficult one to answer. Even my answer that "We are the pagan/Wiccan friendly lodge with the smallest membership" does not really create a distinction. Nor does the statement, "We are the least likely to be married to the exact ritual script that the other Golden Dawn lodges use."

Yet, both of those statements are actually the statements that you want to pay attention to. For they are the statements that hint that something is going on behind the scenes...something that makes Bast Temple more BIORC than strict Golden Dawn.

Earlier this year, a cascade change was introduced into the Neophyte ritual of the BIORC.

For those of you who are relatively new to the Golden Dawn system, a "cascade change" is a small change that leads to more and more changes in the rituals and lessons of an esoteric system. Golden Dawn is actually a series of interconnected and interlocked rituals and magical techniques. The smallest changes and corrections occasionally end up changing the system so drastically that a group that starts changing things often finds themselves ceasing to be Golden Dawn. For the most part, groups do not like this possibility, so they cling to the strict version of the published rituals and teachings.

Awhile back, the cornerstone members of the BIORC ceased to care if the group remained Golden Dawn. Therefore, some small changes have started to be introduced...including what promises to be a cascade change.

The change that threatens to remove BIORC from the Golden Dawn system?

Simple, the Neophyte prayer to the Lord of the Universe got changed to a prayer to "The Lord and Lady of the Universe."

Yes, something as simple as that could end up being a cascade change. For one, it upsets anyone who believes that only a male one-god religion is correct. For another, it opens up the door to having to change all the Elemental Prayers. It also opens up the door to the esoteric mysteries being explained not in Christian and Jewish symbols, but rather in symbols from British Traditional Wicca and other modern pagan religions.

The change in the ritual was made because the membership of Bast Temple (which is the Mother Temple of the BIORC) is once again composed of just pagans and Wiccans. The ritual acknowledgement that the divine has been god and goddess aspects is long overdue as far as the membership of Bast Temple is concerned. But it is the type of change that may result in BIORC ceasing to be a "true" Golden Dawn Order.

Personally, it is exactly the type of thing that makes me remain a member of the BIORC, rather than joining another Golden Dawn Order. For it is the one group that I do not have to mentally apologize to the Goodess to every time when the Lord of the Universe prayer is said.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Working with woodcuts (Tarot)

Woodcut Justice.
As many of my regular readers know, I am currently involved in creating the rough drafts for a Tarot deck where every card has a monkey in it. What you might not know is how long I have been dabbling in Tarot deck creation.

One of my earliest experiments in Tarot deck creation involved the use of woodcuts/blocks. I learned a lot from this particular experiment--including the fact that you will probably never see me produce an entire deck done this way.

This particular card, Justice, was done in 1991 (I think).

The difficulties of this project made the hand-coloring of the Tarot that I needed to do for both BOTA and my Adept Minor studies with GH. Fra. OY look minor in comparsion. Only Hathoor Temple hit this level of insanity (and basically, you just needed to prove to them that you could create an entire Tarot deck from scratch if you really had to).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just vote for somebody

Kitty votes for more bacon wrapped shrimp.
In a few hours--moving at the speed of a glacier--we will finally have peace and quiet from all the political ads. In the meantime, there is a spike in them going on.

So far today, I have had one polling call and three political advertising robo-calls.

I wonder if they know that I have already voted--I dropped off the ballots early last week. I do know that the door-to-door canvasers already know that I voted; they just wave "hi" to me as they go by.

If you haven't already voted--get your butt into a polling place, and make your mark. While I prefer one candidate over the other, I really do not care who you vote for. Neither does my cat--as long as you vote for the candidate that is promising more bacon wrapped shrimp.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Last month was my busiest month ever

Last month was my most read month ever on this blog.

And what can we learn from this?

Cat pictures sell.

Of course, some of my readers may wonder why I was doing a round of cat pictures again this year. Last year, I defaulted to posting Halloween Kitties because I was working on passing my capstone course for my bachelors in literary studies (aka literature).

(And yes, I did pass it, as well as the capstone in history in the spring--which is why I now own two bachelor degrees...that I will probably never use...well, not if the writing turns out better than the job hunt.)

This year, the cat pictures were about the fact that this month I am doing the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and next month I am working on Turtle Monkey (I am illustrating a pagan/wiccan friendly set of children books)--so I wanted to rest up for those two projects.

And let's be honest--I really, really like humorous cat pictures.

The most important post to be buried under the cat hair--my drawing of the Devil card for the Monkey Tarot.

[Update: July 2013: Due to differences in sales expectations and business philosophy, in early July 2013, I ceased to be involved in the Turtle Monkey project.]

The aftermath of Halloween was that the cat ate all the tuna in the house.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy birthday Devil Kitty!

Devil Kitty proves that doing paperwork makes you evil!
Today is Devil Kitty's tenth birthday. Well, not really. We do not know when Devil Kitty's actual birthday is. What we do know is that we brought her in from the feral colony on Halloween ten years ago (and by "we," I mean that my wife caught her and brought her into the house). At that point, we had only been in the house for two months--and we had not addressed the existence of the feral colony that secretly came with the house. And we were completely unaware that this cute kitty (who is still the same size today--more or less) was possessed by the evil gene. Happy birthday Devil Kitty! Try not to eat any of the lodge members this coming year.

Day 31 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Remember to keep your pets safe this Halloween.
This beautiful picture is one that I lifted from the Cat Addicts Facebook fanpage. It reminds me of my wife's cat--Anubis, who is thirteen and still lays around anyplace that he wants; he also absolutely loves flowers--bring some flowers into the house and he has to check them out. Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monkey Bottle Trap

Monkey Tarot--Devil card--Monkey Bottle Trap.
Welcome to this edition of the Tarot Blog Hop--Samhain (Halloween) edition. Those of you who are reading the blog hop, you probably arrived here from Amethyst Mahoney's blog. My regular readers have just wandered in from the dark alley that they learn occult lessons in...because no one from a legimate esoteric tradition ever reads my blog--I have that on the best of authorities.

As some of you know, one of the projects that I am doing is creating the rough sketches for a monkey-themed Tarot deck...because one of my friends really likes monkeys. (She likes monkeys so much that she is writing a series of children books starring monkeys, which I will be illustrating in December.)

Now when the idea of a monkey-themed Tarot deck came up, I originally said, "No, you cannot create a Tarot deck that has a monkey in every card." The reason that I said this was the simple fact that there were some cards that I had no clue how you would draw them to be able to make the central figure a monkey.

One of the cards that I could not imagine doing with a monkey was the Major Arcana card of the Devil. Then one morning, I woke up and knew exactly how to draw it.

And the idea behind the artwork made perfect sense to me.

The artwork for the Devil card of the Monkey Tarot shows a monkey with its paw caught in a Bottle Trap. One of the ways that people capture monkeys is to put tasty food in the bottom of a bottle or jar whose neck is just enourgh for a monkey to stick their empty paw down, but not large enourgh for it to be able to remove once it has a fistful of food inside it.

The monkey is trapped simply because it refuses to let go of the food. If it just opened its paw, and let go of the food--it could escape.

Ironically, when it comes to human beings, we are often held back by things that we refuse to let go of. For some, it is money; for others, the need to be loved; for some, it is food.

In my case, it is a bad set of childhood programing commands. I was raised in a very poor household--the oldest of eight kids. At an early age, I started to be told that it was my duty to sacrifice for the sake of my brothers and sisters. By the age of eight, I knew the bitter truth about Santa Claus. Often I would go hungry, so that siblings could have more food. I got into the habit of taking the blame for joint-mischief.

By itself, this would not be bad. But I have allowed this programming to carry forward into my adulthood. I have remained at jobs that I hated...because I was needed. I have sacrificed my goals...because someone else needed the resources more than I did.

I spend a lot of my time trying to guess what other people need me to do, making sacrifices for others, while completely ignoring what is best for my own life. And I have grown to resent the fact that I am expected to sacrifice on the behalf of others without any benefit to myself. Occasionally, this resentment is enourgh to prevent me from doing something stupid, but not often. Odds are that I will trash my own life on the behalf of someone else.

And at the moment, this particular habit is causing me a world of hurt. It is amazing how much difficulty one has starting their own business when they get into the habit of handing over their operating budget to someone else, instead of spending the money that they need to on their own business needs.

It is something that I need to let go of--and I know it. But the monkey part of my brain generally refuses to let go of the habit on most days.

As a Tarot reader, I have noticed that a lot of personal demons show up during readings, and often these demons are simply things, habits and ideas that people are unwilling to let go of. Therefore, the idea of illustrating the Devil as a Bottle Trap makes perfect sense to me.

And at the moment, I am definitely struggling with my own version of the Devil--a Morgan-shaped bottle trap.

Anyways, enourgh about my personal demons. Those of you who are continuing with the Samhain Tarot Blog Hop will now proceed to the blog of Aisling the TarotWitch. My regular readers will do whatever it is that they do...I presume that they worship cats and monkeys--I could be wrong about that one.

[Update: July 2013: Due to differences in sales expectations and business philosophy, in early July 2013, I ceased to be involved in the Turtle Monkey project.]

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 30 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

I am a Halloween princess kitty.
Some people ask me why I do the 31 Days of Halloween Kitties. It started last year when I needed something quick and easy to post; I knew that the semester was going to be rough. There was also the fact that I like love cats, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. And there are just so many wonderful pictures of kitties dressed up in Halloween costumes--many of which just make me say, "Awww." Like this one--doesn't the cute little princess kitty just make you smile? And if not, what is wrong with you?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 29 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

I love this witchy kitty painting.
Ok, while I tend to focus on actual photographs of actual cats dressed in Halloween costumes for the 31 Days of Halloween Kitties, occasionally I do find a piece of artwork that I just must use because I love it so much. And this painting is just such a piece. I have no idea who the artist is--the picture is making the rounds on Facebook--but isn't it awesome?

[For those of you keeping track, this is my 900th post on this blog.]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 28 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

The doctor says to give him two bacon-wrapped shrimp and call him in the morning.
Given the sad state of my wallet, I will admit that the closest that I can get to medical care is to dress up one of my cats as a doctor. Or perhaps convince them to give me Reiki (instead of asking for attention when Reiki is being used around them). Of course, in the case of a kitty doctor, an apple will keep them away, along with bananas and assorted fruits and vegatables (my cats can not figure out how I can eat that stuff).

The Bloggess dresses up her cat

Yes Bloggess, your cat looks so thrilled by this costume.
It is not often that I can send you to someone else's blog, so that you can see how a Halloween Kitty costume was made. But this is one of those rare times--the Bloggess, a divinely funny lady, has just posted the instructions on how she made the costume for her kitty. Go read her insanity now!

Day 27 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Halloween Kitty illustrates how a pumpkin should look.
One of the things about living with cats is that after awhile you start having entire conversations with them. Occasionally, one suspects that you might even be talking about the exact same thing. Other times, well, you know that what the cat tried to tell you has nothing to do with what your imagination told you that the cat has said. But still there are worse habits to have than having conversations with your cat. Drinking, gambling, voting for politicans--even kissing a dog is better than those things.

(Just joking about the voting--remember to vote!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 26 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

It is a Halloween Pumpkin kitty hat.
This cat is obviously sedated to sit there and wear this silly halloween pumpkin hat; I am guessing that a certain amount of catnip is involved--either already or in the form of a promised bribe.

Day 25 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Wasting away--cheezberger now!
One of the debates I have had with myself (because no one else wants to play the game) is: What is the proper treat for a cat willing to dress up in a Halloween costume? Tartar control cat treats? Hairball cat treats? Tuna? Shrimp? Dried Salmon? Or as this picture suggests--an cheeseburger? I think that if your loved furbaby is willing to play dress-up with you, then you consider the latter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 24 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Hey, it could happen!
Here is a precious little Halloween Kitty, who have obviously been shredding the curtains, sofa and everything else that they could get their little claws in. How do I know that the kitty is guilty? Because all cats are like this--at least until you train them to use the scratching post (and even then carpet is still fair game--why is it covered with carpet if it is not a scratching post?!). As for carving Halloween pumpkins, I am not sure what type of weird designs a cat would do. Maybe pictures of fishes.

It is a Halloween dog

Ain't all creatures, including dogs, just big poop factories?
Because politics are boring (we all know that you already who to vote for), and because commericals are boring (we all know which two blogs that I am talking about), and because I have some dog lovers in my audience (Security! Security!)--I now present you a picture of a Halloween Dog. Yes, even I look at pictures of dogs dressed up in Halloween costumes--don't tell my cats.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 23 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

This cat would be the perfect commander in chief.
Ok, let's be clear--I know that this cat is confused (I believe that is a naval uniform), Still given the performance at the third Presidental debate, I believe that this cat is more qualified than Mitt Romney is to be commander in chief of the United States.

(Yes, I have political opinions. And I loved the comment made by Obama--"Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy you seem to want the policies of the 1980s, just like you want to import the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies in the 1920s." Why? Because this is how I feel about Romney's positions. The only thing missing is that he is not trying to burn me at the stake.)

Before you ask, I realize that neither candidate is a prize--go vote for whoever you like. Just remember that I have already made up my mind and filled my mail-in ballot, so there is no point in trying to convince me to vote differently.

(And no, it is none of your business who I voted for--just assume that I voted for the party least likely to make my bread and butter ebooks illegal...because I do not want to spend all my time recruiting new Order members to help support my cat's shrimp addiction.)

Day 22 of Second Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

And Biggles will invade from the direction of the pumpkin patch.
Just nine more days until Halloween...or as some might like to think about it, nine more days until we go back to generic cat photos.

So what have I been doing in the meantime? I have been working on getting ready for the National Novel Writing Month, recharging my batteries. I have also been thinking about the world which I am going to be writing in, which is kinda like "Harry Potter Meets James Bond." (I know--it is a bad elevator pitch--but have you ever heard a good elevator pitch?) So essentially, I am gearing up for my first quarter campaign as a writer--but I have to get the work done before the year ends. Ahh, the life of a novelist.

Or perhaps the truth is that I have been trying to get one of my cats to come out and wear a silly Halloween hat. My regular readers will know where to place their bets.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A funny thing happened at the photoshoot

Harry Potter meets a green monkey.
One of the projects that I am slowly working on is a pagan/wiccan friendly children books series called Turtle Monkey. At the moment, I am just doing the occasional thumbnail sketch and working out the background of the world that it is set in. Come December, I will be devoting a lot of time to it as I wait for my Nanowrimo project to cool off enourgh that I can realistically start rewriting and editing it.

Nevertheless, knowing that the project is coming (one of the first three projects to come out of Salt Mine Publications--the ebook "publishing house" that I had to set up...because it was the only way to get my investment back on certain projects), I have done a certain amount of work setting up the initial foundation of our advertising platform.

Which is partially why I ended up doing a photoshot with monkeys dressed up in Halloween costumes. The other reason is that my co-creator (they do the writing; I do the artwork) decided to riff on my 31 Days of Halloween Kitties, and do 31 Days of Halloween Monkeys for the Turtle Monkey Facebook fanpage.

One of the most amusing pictures to come out of the photoshoot was a picture of the green stuffed monkey that was the initial inspiration for appearance of the chacter being held aloft with my lotus wand by the eleven year-old girl who was the inspiration for how the character acts.

In the interests of privacy, I decided to cover up her face with a yellow smiley instead; her mom got to see the original picture...the face was priceless.

Of course, I am sure that there are people who are appalled by this for various reasons: MDE is involved in a children book an artist (and he can't draw); someone was allowed to touch my lotus wand; MDE thinks that monkeys and little girls are funny--take your pick and get in line...because there is always someone upset with me.

[Update: September 25, 2013--In July 2013, I ceased to be involved in the Turtle Monkey project due to differences in creative vision and business philosophy.]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 21 of 2nd Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

This kitty does not look happy about his Halloween costume.
So is this kitty just naturally a stick in the mud? Or is it merely the fact that their owner decided to dress them up as a panda bear? One can never tell with cats--but I am guessing that it is the latter. Of course, I have on occasion brought "cute" Halloween hats for my cats--hats that my cats refuse to wear. I am not sure that even my most happiest cat will allow such nonsense (but I am attempted to find out if I can get him to wear a hat...because in the two years that I have owned him, I have not tried).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 20 of 2nd Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Some costumes do not end well.
Yesterday, I pointed out a Halloween Kitty that did not need a costume. And today, we have one that might have gone too far. Of course, I am quite sure that their is a human behind this costume. I am not so sure about the pot, but let's blame the human for that one also. It wouldn't be so bad if kitty got a tasty meal out of the ordeal, but you know that he didn't get any tasty lobster either--that is also the fault of the human. Bad, bad human.

Do not say my name!!!

C'mon say the Forbidden Name!!!
I will admit that it amuses me to a certain extent when someone quotes me, or talks about something that I have said, and does not link to the post which they are quoting from. It is even more amusing when they refuse to say my name, and refer to me as "another blogger." Especially, if I had linked to one of their blog posts--gee, I give you link love and you refer to me as just another blogger.

Nine times out of ten, it is because they are taking my statement out of context, and do not want their readers to know what the whole story was. (The tenth time, I presume, is just because my name is also the name of a demonic entity who will cover you with cat hair.)

Hint, it is better to not to mention my statement at all and pretend that it was never said, rather than offer a counterpoint to the statement that you are only using a couple lines from. People notice stuff like this, and it leads them to believe that none of us actually get along. It might also make people think that something is not kosher in Denmark.

Day 19 of 2nd Annual 31 Days of Halloween Kitties

Vampire Kitty does not sparkle.
Sometimes, less is better. In the case of this Halloween Kitty, it is true. No costume. Just a box, a pose, and two glowing eyes--and instant vampire kitty.