Blessed Beltane…2017!!!

Beltane blessings…Blessed Be! I hope you enjoy the musical selection at the end of this post, and I hope that you clicked on this link to garner a bit of information. Celebrations of the Festival of Fire, during this transit of Mercury Retrograde!


Sensitive Songs: Metal Ballads

I was putting the finishing touches on tomorrow’s post, and happened to hear the first song in this one just a few minutes ago. So, I was inspired to throw this one together and mash the ‘Publish’ button! Saturday song offering consists of three ‘power ballads’ which have always been favourites of mine…enjoy!


Saturday Silliness: Whovian Edition!

Now that the new season of Doctor Who is in full swing, I figured that it was time for a bit o’ Whovian humour! Here we go…Allons-y, Geronimo, and…RUN, YOU CLEVER BOY!!!


Friday Fun-Time: 5 Favourite Celebs!

Today’s edition of my “5 Fun Facts / Friday Fun” series of posts puts the spotlight on my five favourite comedians / actors / celebs, people who I will always be sure to watch when they’re being interviewed on the late-night talk-shows that I watch. With that – on with the show!

1. First off, Whoopi Goldberg. She was hilarious when she first started her comedy career back when I was still a wee kiddie, and she’s funny as all get-out when she sits down with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert. She pulls no punches and speaks her mind; similar to yours truly, LOL! No, I don’t watch her on “The View” – not into daytime shows of any sort, when it comes down to it – but, she was excellent in her role as Guinan, the manager of Ten Forward on the starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

2. Next, there’s Wanda Sykes. What can I add that hasn’t been said already? She does a bit of everything, and does it well. I first saw her on the Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, and liked her recurring role on the Drew Carey Show – she played one of Drew’s love interests. I have her book and enjoy reading it from time to time; she’s awesome and talented, and has a distinctive voice that stood out on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers…look up that show sometime, if you dare!

3. Ricky Gervais – OMG, he cracks me up whether he’s being interviewed by Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, or Trevor Noah, but his interviews with Conan really stand out! I think he’s the only person I’d follow if I had Instagram – the pictures he takes are too much, and I think the one I picked illustrates it well, ROFLMAO!

4. Terry Crews – he’s just awesome! I thought he was great in the role of Chris’s dad in the series Everbody Hates Chris, which is based on the life of actor / comedian Chris Rock. He wasn’t bad in The Expendables, and his most recent interview on Conan O’Brien had me rolling!

5. Finally, Jeff Goldblum – he plays many serious roles, but manages to interject his own personality and sense of humor into them, no matter what. I loved him in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and his brief role as detective Zach Nichols on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and look forward to seeing him as the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. Whether he’s sharing the stage with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert, he is so off-the-cuff funny he can take you by surprise at the most unexpected times and leave you howling!

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t post at least ONE funny video! This is the infamous “Late Night Wars” from a few years back. I apologize for the poor video quality, but it’s still funny!

Excerpt: A Good Deed (Pt. II)

*** Author’s Note: Part I of this excerpt can be found here, in case you missed it. I think I will do a ‘Top 5’ of my personal favourite excerpts or posts, soon!

“I’ll be brief, friend Grush. Do you know, or have you heard talk of, an Orc woman calling herself Baghzragh? The coin here will be yours either way, as you have been honest and true in the past.” Grushtakh’s shoulders slump as he bows his head and looks at the floor dejectedly. “Aye – that I do,” he says, a bit sadly. Sepultur’a cocks an eyebrow questioningly, nodding at him to continue. Grushtakh sighs. “She’s my blood-kin, so I know her all too well – and yet, not well enough – else, I wouldn’t be in this predicament! Being here in this…” he raises his head and looks wearily around, running a hand over his bald, horn-stubbled pate. “…in this den of iniquity was not in my plan.” He meets Sepultur’a’s gaze. “To use the vernacular of you humans, she is both my half-sister and my cousin. My mother is sister to her mother, and both of them are wives of the chieftain in the stronghold of Yol Karzhagum. My mother is the forge-wife; hers is the hearth-wife. I had no hopes of being a chieftain there, as the hunt-wife is mother to the first-born male.” He chuckles ruefully. “Truth be told, I admit that being chieftain wasn’t something that I desired. Part of the reason I ended up here, I’d wager.”

Sepultur’a listens intently, making the coin dance across the backs of her fingers. It’s a small trick she learned during her time with the caravan, which relaxes her. “It sounds as if she played a role in it, as well,” she states, which draws a mirthless chuckle from Grushtakh. “Aye…that she did. She always had a high opinion of herself, solely based on her mother’s place in the stronghold hierarchy, but never availed herself of the tutelage or apprenticeships provided by the others in the clan. You humans pay a fair price to learn valuable skills; we Orcs are born and taught them from the moment we can walk, talk, and pick up a hammer!” He chuckles again, this time with genuine good humour.

“One day, not long after her 19th birthday, she decided to hop aboard a Breton trading-vessel which had been in port for a week. Not a word to anyone! Father said that she’d best not return unless it was on the arm of a respected war-chief, as that would be the only one able to pay a worthy dowry!” He chuckles again, remembering the scene in the dining-hall when Baghzragh’s disappearance was discovered. “At any rate, I was surprised to get a letter from her a couple of months ago, as none of us had heard from her for three years, at least.” He rummages around in a battered satchel at his side, pulling out a folded parchment. Carefully unfolding it and smoothing it out, he hands it to Sepultur’a. She takes it, then presses the coin into his palm and folds his fingers around it. “Wait a moment,” she says and then quickly reads the letter. Once she’s digested the contents, she re-folds it and hands it back. “She promised you a lucrative business deal, using a lot of flowery language which gave no details,” Sepultur’a states, folding her arms and leaning back against the wall. Grushtakh hangs his head again. “Aye,” he sighs miserably. “I was a bit in my cups when I got the letter, and didn’t read it as carefully as I should have. I came here believing a lie, and feel quite the fool at being duped. Bad enough to be deceived at all; even worse to have it done by your own kin.” Sepultur’a nods in agreement. She knows all too well the pain caused by deception, especially when done by one who was trusted.

Grushtakh looks glumly at the coin given him by Sepultur’a, brightening a bit at the way it glints in the light of various candles and torches flickering here and there throughout the refuge. “This, at least, will get me a decent meal and a room at the inn! It will be nice to sleep in a cot, at the very least.” Sepultur’a smiles. “Indeed,” she says, glad to be able to offer payment of some sort. She knows that he is too proud to ask for help or take any charitable offer; it is almost an insult to his race to do so, and she doesn’t want to add to his wounded pride. “I think that you’ll find that coin worth quite a bit. Take it up to the banking-house and see what exchange you get, why don’t you?” She moves away from the wall and pulls her cowl over her face again. “Thanks again for your help, my friend. There might be another reward in this for you if all goes well. Even if it doesn’t, you will be able to return home with your head held high and reputation intact and unsullied. If you choose to return, that is!” She clasps his hand briefly and exits the refuge.

Grushtakh inspects the coin closely. On one side is the diamond-shaped emblem of the imperial army, while the other shows an image of the three alliance banners ablaze from the fires of war. He lets out a soft whistle of admiration. What she gave him was part of her earnings from the battlefield, and a generous one at that. He knows enough about currency to see that she gave him a war-chit worth 5,000 pieces of the universal gold coin exchangeable throughout the different lands and provinces. This would be more than enough to get a fresh start, right here in this city, if he so desired…

To Be Continued…

Last Week Tonight: 23 April 2017 Episode

In today’s offering, John Oliver talks about the ramifications of nepotism and cronyism with the current regime. And people convinced themselves that Hillary Clinton would, somehow, have been more corrupt…


Midweek Memes: Administrative Professionals Day 2017!

There is a New Moon today, coinciding with the Cassini spacecraft making the final moves in its nearly 20-year space exploration mission by diving between the planet Saturn and its innermost rings. These aerial gymnastics will ultimately doom the spacecraft, as it will burn up in the tumultuous atmosphere of the gas giant, or be pulverized by the crushing gravity as it gets closer to the core. I look forward to the final pictures that Cassini will beam back! Astronomy and space exploration have fascinated me from an early age. I would gaze at the night skies for hours on clear, warm nights when I lived in places away from the light-pollution of cities…I still do, sometimes!

Now, on to the subject of this post: Administrative Professionals Day! When I was still a slave to the 40-hour week, I mainly worked as an Administrative Assistant. That all-purpose title covers multiple duties! Receptionist: answering phones, greeting people, and setting up weekly business meetings and conference calls, and daily kitchen / cafeteria stocking and cleanup. Office Manager: making travel reservations, including car rentals and reservations for hotels, airlines or trains; ordering and stocking office supplies, doing minor tech support for office equipment, telephones and computers, and contacting building management for issues related to elevators, plumbing, and AC issues. I would even fill in as an HR assistant at some places: filing resumes, setting up cubicles or offices for new employees, updating employee information, ordering business cards, and dealing with OSHA paperwork when working for subcontractors.

Being an Administrative Professional, no matter your title, is quite an involved line of work. There is much you must know, and quite a bit of demands are made of you on any given day – some more demanding and ridiculous than others! Still, it was an enjoyable line of work because of the challenges it provided. I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, and knowing that it took at least three people to do the work that I did is something that I’m incredibly proud of. I always worked hard; if it was unappreciated, then that’s their loss – not mine. My health and outlook on life improved dramatically once I left the last place I worked at, and now I’m able to keep my own schedule with a small, part-time job which allows me to work from home. I might not make as much as I used to, but the non-monetary benefits are worth their weight in gold.

With that, enjoy these funny memes about Administrative Professionals Day – I hope that those who are enduring it are doing so with a smile, and these should help those smiles be genuine and HUGE!

Happy 100th, Ella! American Musical Legend Ella Fitzgerald Born on this Day in 1917

Happy 100th to The First Lady of Song! Ella Fitzgerald was a versatile, talented, genius of vocal improvisation and style who inspired many. True greatness shone from her very soul!


Early Hardship Couldn't Muffle Ella Fitzgerald's Joy Legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald (photo via

article by Tom Vitale

Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 100 today, was one of the most beloved and versatile singers of the 20th century. In a career that spanned six decades, Fitzgerald recorded hundreds of songs, including definitive versions of many standards. Along the way, she influenced generations of singers.

But the first thing that strikes you about Fitzgerald is that voice.

Cécile McLorin Salvant, who won a Grammy last year for Best Jazz Vocal Album, says a combination of qualities made Fitzgerald’s voice unique. “When you hear the tone of her voice — which has kind of a brightness, kind of a breathiness, but it also has this really great depth, and kind of a laser-like, really clear quality to it — it hits you,” she says.

Salvant, 27, says she learned to sing jazz standards by…

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Excerpt: A Good Deed (Pt. I)

“Here it is, milady – the receipt for the bank deposit, and the sum total of your current balance. Always a pleasure to see you, although it’s been some time!” the lizard-woman moneylender is saying as she stacks the paperwork. “Aye,” Sepultur’a acknowledges. “I appreciate you keeping such orderly and precise records, especially during my long absence!” She thanks the moneylender and tucks the receipt into her journal after jotting down the sizable number indicating her personal bank balance. She is pleased with what she has earned on her own recently, as there is much coin to be earned in many places – both on and off the battlefield. Her savior had taught her a few things that dusty books on shelves could not, and she is grateful for the knowledge imparted.

Stepping out of the banking-house, she stops on the steps, stretching in the light of the setting sun. It has been some time since she last visited the bustling city of the Dark Elves, as she had joined the caravan here not long after leaving home. The cobbled streets are clean, as usual, and townsfolk stroll along the overpasses and walkways. The small inn and tavern are just across the way from the banking-house, and she finds herself walking through the front door without really giving it much thought. She nods to the innkeeper and enters the dining area, taking a spot at the counter where she can watch everyone who comes and goes. A bottle of wine and a glass are slid over to her by the chef, who drops a sly wink as he goes back to basting a haunch of venison. Sepultur’a smiles and toasts his health after filling the glass, and leaves a few coins on the counter as a tip for his generosity. Sipping her wine, she looks around at the other patrons. One in particular gets her notice: a wood-elf wearing the garb of a merchant, sitting alone at a table with his head in his hands and an air of defeat hanging heavily over him. He heaves a sigh and shakes his head in abject misery. Curious. Taking up the bottle and an extra wine glass, she strolls over and sits at his table, pouring a generous amount into the glass and sliding it in front of him. He looks at her incredulously, removes his hands from his face and takes up the glass, smells the bouquet and sips lightly.

“I thank you for your kindness,” he says, “but I cannot pay you for the drink, and drink will not help me with my problem. When the drink is gone, the problem will still remain!” He laughs a bit too loudly, with the edge of hysteria making the laugh mirthless and shrill. Sepultur’a leans back in her chair and sips her wine. “What is your problem?” she asks simply and directly. “Perhaps I can be of assistance.” He looks at her cautiously and a bit more closely. She is young, but her eyes hold much worldly knowledge. She sits in a relaxed and easy manner, but her movements as she seated herself and poured the wine make him think of the great reptiles in the swamps to the south and in his homeland. He shakes his head in negation, stating: “You might be able to assist me, but I hold no hope that anyone other than a magister or the king himself would be able to do so successfully.” He drains his glass and puts his head in his hands again. “I’ve been approached by too many mercenaries already, and they have all demanded a far higher price to ‘solve my problem’ than it requires.” He heaves another deep sigh. “I came to these lands to start my business, but the dishonesty of my partner is ending it before it can begin. I have no money to pay anyone unless I recover some necessary items from that…piece of troll dung, and nobody will help me unless I pay them first!”

Sepultur’a refills his glass, leaning forward and staying his hand before he can pick it up again. This movement causes him to start and look up, forced to meet her gaze squarely. “I can be of assistance,” she states firmly, “and it will cost you nothing. If you choose to reward me, it shall be your choice. My services are free when I make the offer.” She releases his hand and leans back again. “If you had approached me, then I would have asked for recompense. As it is…” she trails off and sips her wine, a secretive smile playing across her lips. “Oh, well – I suppose I have nothing to lose, then!” he bursts out, taking a healthy drink. “I’ll try to be brief – my name is Canthiorn, by the by – and I came here with my business partner last week. Her name is Baghzragh – an Orc wench, obviously – and she was supposedly going to meet with some Breton to buy the building that was to be our storefront. Foolish me, I let her walk off with the coin and didn’t even think to send along a bodyguard to hold it and keep an eye on her, as I was busy with many different negotiations. That was two days ago, and here I am with no money, no partner…and, no business!” He drains the glass again, filling himself up as fast as he empties himself of words. Sepultur’a finishes her drink as she listens to his tale, refills both of their glasses, then sets the empty wine-bottle aside.

She appraises Canthiorn’s appearance. On closer inspection, he does seem to be a bit worse for wear. His clothes, while well-made and of high quality, are slightly dingy and look wrinkled, as if they haven’t been changed for two days. His face seems leaner than usual, for one of his race, and his eyes are tired and full of despair. She would wager that he is just as hungry as he is tired, as the wine has made him quite talkative in short order. The few wood-elves she has met in her travels usually hold their liquor quite well, and the standard brews of humans and the other elven races aren’t known to intoxicate them at all. A serving-girl walks past with a tray of appetizers for patrons drinking in the entry-hall, and Canthiorn’s eyes follow helplessly. Sepultur’a stands. “Wait here a moment,” she says. After a few quiet words with the chef and the inn-keeper, she returns to his table. “You have a place here for the night, as well as a hot meal tonight and a hearty breakfast in the morning.” He stares at the young woman, speechless at her generosity. She smiles, donning a cloak and pulling the cowl low over her face. “I will help you regain what has been stolen from you. Put worry out of your mind, good Canthiorn. Eat and sleep – your mind, body and soul are weary.” She turns to leave as the serving-girl places a heaping plate of wood-elf delicacies in front of Canthiorn. He is so ravenous that he doesn’t even think to ask the name of his mysterious benefactress.

Sepultur’a exits the inn and walks back towards the banking-house, but bypasses the building and enters a small gazebo behind it. There are many of these secluded seating areas and various locations around the town, but this one holds a secret known only to a few. The statue honouring the god of finance is also the doorway to an underground refuge which provides shelter for the indigent and a hiding place for those of ill-repute.

Grushtakh gro-Karzhagum starts awake at the feel of a booted toe nudging his nethers, and he scrambles out of his bedroll, ready to shred someone’s face over the indignity. The angry roar that was building in his throat fades to a squealing whisper as he sees who was doing the nudging. “Um…uh, er…I…” he stammers, realizing at the same time that he wears nothing but a thin loincloth. As he turns slightly sideways to hide his dream-excitement from the unexpected visitor, he is certain that he had at least a pair of breeches on when he had gone to sleep. Damn this so-called refuge for outlaws! The other residents would steal the clothes off of your back or arse given the opportunity and the experienced thief or cutpurse could literally do so even if their target was awake. “Uh…” he starts again, and the visitor’s throaty chuckle builds to hearty laughter. “Ah, Grush – you sleep too soundly for your own good!” Sepultur’a turns her back, tossing his breeches over her shoulder for him to catch. “Cover yourself! I have am in need of information, and you have proved to be a good source of it.”

Grushtakh hastily pulls on his breeches and a simple tunic for good measure, returning to his bedroll and sitting comfortably. “So, the Flame-Serpent returns!” He spreads his hands, gesturing for her to sit in the sole chair that he owns. “I’ll do what I can and tell you anything I know – if I’m able to, o’ course,” he finishes as she declines the chair and leans against the damp stone of the underground refuge. She takes a coin from a hidden pocket and begins to flip it idly, casually, as she frames her next question.

To Be Continued…

Scenic Sunday Screen-Shots…

I’m having a nice, relaxing weekend and decided to post some recent screen-shots taken in-game. My next excerpt has to be broken up into two parts, and the screen-shots help illustrate the “lay of the land,” so to speak – so, I was sorting through a batch and decided to post them.

The screen-shots are the way that I keep the locations fresh in my mind as my characters travel about during their adventures. It’s not a cardboard cut-out or other tangible, physical rendition of a locale as other authors create, but it works for me!

I think that I’ll do a bit of live-broadcasting today, as well – most likely after noon PDT. It’s been a while, and I need to do a bit of ye olde AvA now that the campaigns have restarted. Gotta stay sharp against the no-sleeping, diaper-wearing, basement-dwelling “no-lifers!” Other genuine gamers know what I’m talking about, ROFLMAO!


Gifts from the Speaker after a dark assignment

Who’s this bloke, then?

Hmmm…an interesting bit of information!

Standing at a transitus shrine

Relaxing in the courtyard

A bit of primping and preening

Should I wear this? It looks nice…

…the robe is more appropriate, though – it might rain!

A tender moment…

…followed by a soft serenade.

A toast by the well – cheers!

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