Midweek Music

I felt like posting some pictures and music for this final day in May, 2017…enjoy!

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Memorial Day…2017

It’s Memorial Day here in the States. The day set aside to pause and remember those brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this country. A lot of people get it confused with Veterans’ Day, which goes to show how shabby the U. S. education system is, among other things…but that’s another topic for another time.

Today, I pause to remember my uncle Kermit, who died in the Vietnam War well before I was born. For the longest time I didn’t even know his name. I plan on going to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D. C. to take a rubbing of his name – but, if the “traveling memorial wall” comes through the Pacific Northwest again before that time, I will take one from that to frame until I’m able to visit the real thing.

To Kermit, and to all who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you. There aren’t enough words to express the gratitude I feel, so I’ll say it with a few pictures and a poignant song.

Somber Sunday…

This post is a sort of tribute to two heroes in Portland, Oregon. Most of you are probably unaware of, or even care about, the two men who gave their lives when they stood up to a mindless, inbred piece of racist filth on the MAX transit train on Friday evening. Friday, 26 May, marked the beginning of the Islamic holy observance of Ramadan, and two young Muslim women in hijabs were on the train, either heading to, or home from, a celebration of sorts. The asshole, who had a racist Facebook page just like James Harris Jackson and Sean Christopher Urbanski, the diseased pieces of white trash who murdered Timothy Caughman back in March, and Richard Collins III a mere two weeks ago. Again, this useless waste of air, space, and skin used a knife to take the lives of these men who took it upon themselves to defend two women who had done nothing but take public transportation on a Friday night in a city which is supposedly civilized, diverse, and “tolerant.”

54-year-old Rick Best, an Army veteran, and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, a recent graduate of Reed College, are the two selfless men who were brutally murdered for standing up to hate. From CNN:

Dozens of people gathered on Saturday around a circle of flowers and photos to honor a recent college graduate and an Army veteran who were fatally stabbed on a Portland commuter train. The two men were killed after they intervened when a man allegedly yelled what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions” at two women on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

A third victim, a poet, survived the attack, but is receiving medical treatment for serious injuries. A suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, has been arrested on aggravated murder charges. Federal authorities are trying to determine whether Christian will face hate crimes as a memorial with flowers and notes for the victims grows across from the train station where one of the men died. The victims’ families, friends and Portland residents gathered Saturday at a nearby grassy area. They shared a few words about their loved ones while others praised their courage.

Note, also, that the murdering scumbags in each of these cases utilized various social-media outlets to spread their filth and hate. This is one of the main reasons I choose to not use Facebook, and every single one of you who use it and don’t speak out against the mindless hate and covert racism that you see on those platforms on a daily basis, are just as culpable as those who actively spread the hate are. You think that ignoring racism, hate, and bullying will make it go away. You tell yourselves that you’re not like “those people,” when, in fact, you are exactly like them. It’s sad, and a bit pathetic, to see otherwise intelligent people shoving their heads in the sand or up the rectal orifices of shallow, self-absorbed twats. Doing the right thing is certainly never easy, and is almost always painful. It still has to be done, no matter the cost. Those two heroes paid the ultimate price for doing the right thing. I hope that their families, and the families of those two women, unite in the fight against hate-mongers and mindless, racist filth. Making an example of that disgusting murderer, Jeremy Joseph Christian, as well as filth like James Harris Jackson, Sean Christopher Urbanski, and their ilk is something that should unquestioningly be supported, spoken about, and fought for. Stop supporting hate. Stop making excuses for racists. Speak out when you see something wrong being done. I don’t see how asking others to unite against bigotry and bullying is complaining or whining. I’m asking for unity, not division.

Saturday Scenery: More o’ Morrowind!

I just wanted to share a few more screen-shots of the scenery and landscape that I see as I explore new lands…enjoy!

Shrine to the Goddess of Dawn and Dusk.

Another audience with the “Living God.”

Lava and creatures of fire abound…

…as do serene, scenic coastal pathways.

A mysterious moonlet hangs in the sky…

…a fragment cast from the distant volcano, perhaps?

The multi-tiered city is uniquely constructed.

Ancestral tombs dot the landscape…

…you can take rubbings for historic reference. Impress your fellow lore-masters!

An intrepid explorer…

…tinkers with a subterranean pipe-organ.

There are many fantastic sights to see in these new lands…the adventure continues!

Midweek Memes & Music: Salty Gamer Edition! (Re-blogged)

Gaming is on the agenda this weekend, so enjoy this re-blog of mine! Broadcasting works perfectly from what I see, and I’m getting decent feedback about it from friends IRL. Time to start test-recording some sessions on my YouTube page, I’d say!

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Tuesday Tidbits: 2017 Gaming Edition (Re-blogged)

New lands, new guilds, and new acquaintances abound in Morrowind…it must be due to the influence of the New Moon!

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Eyrie Of An Aries

All right, it’s that time of year again! With the anniversary of the release date of The Elder Scrolls Online looming (4 April), I figured that a gaming post was long overdue. I’m only really playing this game at the moment, so these are the only gaming updates that I do. Sorry, nothing about Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Fallout 4 or Overwatch, here!

ESO Live did their first broadcast of 2017 on Friday, 27 January, and today they had a special broadcast for an announcement that has been at work behind the scenes – it was hinted at during PAX West 2016, but I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with the announcement!

First off, ESO will finally introduce in-game player housing, adding another layer to an already multi-layered, in-depth, and immersive game. I did some noodling on the Public Test Server…

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Sepultura’s Screen-Shots: Morrowind!

This week is one of the few dedicated to gaming and live-streaming the action on my Twitch channel. Why, you might be asking yourselves? Well, the online game which I play is launching the newest chapter on 6 June, but those of us who pre-ordered the expansion were allowed early access on Monday of this week – so, I’ve been shamelessly gaming in between eating, working out, and sleeping. I know, I know; sleep is for the weak according to the hardcore die-hards out there, but I believe in taking care of myself even when indulging in my guilty pleasures!

Anyway, the newest chapter is actually a return to an ancient land which was introduced to fans of the Elder Scrolls multiverse in the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. TESO did a fantastic job in rendering the ancestral island of the Dark Elves and breathing new life into a classic, well-loved game. I selected a few of the screen-shots that I’ve taken so far this week; more will be published later on. As always, feel free to bookmark my Twitch channel and check out the show! Broadcasting is most likely to occur between 1300 – 1900 PDT on weekdays and pretty much anytime on weekends, LOL

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A mysterious stranger hands you a note…

…leading you on a journey to a distant land.

You meet, and help, fellow travelers…

…and come face-to-face with a god.

Many queue up to request blessings from the “Warrior-Poet.”

There is even a house of ill-repute, for those who like the seedy side!

Fungi of all sizes grow everywhere…

…including the backs of local fauna.

Here’s another cute critter, native and unique to this island.

There are many new, and beautiful, sights to see…

…there is even construction of a new city in progress!

Tribute Post: Richard Collins III

A promising young life was cut tragically short on Saturday, 21 May. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University (BSU) in Maryland, was visiting friends at the University of Maryland (UMD), enjoying a weekend celebrating his upcoming graduation. At around 0300, while waiting for an Uber near a UMD bus stop, he was approached by a hostile man screaming racist obscenities who ordered him to “step left if you know what’s best for you.” From the Huffington Post:

The FBI is considering the fatal stabbing of a black college student a possible hate crime after learning the suspect is a member of a white supremacist Facebook group. Sean Christoper Urbanski, a 22-year-old student at the University of Maryland, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault following the recent slaying of Richard Wilbur Collins, a senior at Bowie State University. The UMD Police Department enlisted the help of federal law enforcement after discovering Urbanski’s connection to “Alt-Reich: Nation,” a racist Facebook group that posts disparaging content about African Americans and other minority groups.

Collins was visiting UMD during graduation weekend when Urbanski allegedly stabbed him early Saturday morning. The BSU student was waiting for an Uber near a UMD shuttle bus stop with a couple of friends when a screaming Urbanski allegedly approached the group around 3 a.m. Witnesses told police that Urbanski was intoxicated and incoherent as he shouted at Collins to “step left if you know what’s best for you,” according to court documents obtained by News 4 Washington. After Collins refused, Urbanski allegedly thrust a “3 to 4 inch silver blade” into the victim’s chest. When police arrived on the scene, they found Collins bleeding and laying on the sidewalk as Urbanski sat on a bench roughly 50 feet away.”

Richard had been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army just two days prior to his brutal, senseless murder. Today would have seen him graduate with honours from Bowie State University. Instead, his father accepted his degree, which will be posthumously conferred on another student. A moment of silence was held during the commencement ceremonies, and an empty chair draped with his graduation gown was in the front row seating.

I know that this offends many, but I don’t really give a shit. Me talking about racism when it horribly impacts whole families, not just myself, isn’t “overtly focusing” on it or being “racially charged.” The hate-filled, shit-spouting coward who committed this crime is the one keeping racism alive – not me. A useless, inbred shitstain on the fabric of humanity felt the need to take the life of another human being because of a diseased belief that skin colour makes one superior or inferior. The sickest thing in all of this, are the people who directly contribute to this nonsense by spewing lies in offices, schoolrooms, houses of worship, and / or the privacy of their own homes. A father and mother are mourning their son tonight, hearts breaking as they see that empty chair. Joy and dreams shattered in an instant, all because of the rampant disease of racism – and very few seem genuinely interested in even trying to find a cure.

R.I.P., Cortez Kennedy

Cortez Kennedy: 23 August 1968 – 23 May 2017

Wow…I’m just shocked right now. Cortez Kennedy, who made his name with the Seattle Seahawks by playing his entire 11-year career with the team, passed away today at the age of 48. A Pro Football Hall of Fame recipient, he was a very agile and talented athlete who helped redefine the roles of a large-bodied, interior lineman. From ESPN:

Cortez Kennedy, an icon with the Seattle Seahawks who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, has died at age 48, the Orlando (Florida) Police Department said Tuesday. Orlando police confirmed to ESPN that they are investigating the former defensive tackle’s death but said “there is nothing suspicious to report” at this time. Kennedy was a force inside, both as a run-stopper and in threatening quarterbacks. The 1992 Defensive Player of the Year made eight Pro Bowls, had 58 sacks — an unusually high total for a tackle — and spent his entire 11-season career with Seattle, starting 153 out of 167 games.”

He was such an impressive player to watch! His size certainly would cause opponents to underestimate his speed. He would explode off of the line with such swiftness, easily breaching the defensive line and sacking a hapless quarterback. He was an incredible man, both on and off the field. His charity work and altruism will certainly live on. Rest easy, big man – Seattle is aching tonight after two big losses in one week. It’s a bit mind-blowing, to say the least.

Excerpt: Emergence – Part I

*** Author’s Note: This would have been published yesterday, but the weather has been too nice to be stuck indoors! Now that the weather is shifting again, some intense gaming will be done over the next few days, along with a lot of live-streaming – tune in for the fun, anytime!

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The portal vanishes behind her with a soft whoomph sound. She stands in the secluded glade, the moss-covered statue of the Forest Lord standing tall before her. The night is darker than it was when she’d first entered the portal, as clouds now blot the sky and a soft rain falls. She isn’t sure how long she’d been in the realm between the worlds – a day? A week? Two? A whole month? Time had slipped away from her.

She looks down at her armour. The reinforced leather pieces are badly rent and ragged, scorched in some places. She undoes the bindings and lets the worn bits fall. Clad only in breast-halter and loin-cloth, she closes her eyes and lets her senses reach out to the world around her. Everything is so alive! Her mind is clear for the first time in what seems like aeons. Her departure from home seems a lifetime ago; what she endured with the Withered Hand seems to have lasted for an eternity. She feels newly born and has the ability to truly appreciate the sensation. It washes over her again, as it did many times during her plane-walk.

She breathes deeply of the fresh air. Recent rainfall lends a dampness and clarity to the scents around her. The breeze shifts slightly, bringing her the pungent musk of the nearby giant troop and their herd of mammoths. She breathes deeply, scenting the heavy mammoth cheeses fermenting in their containers of hide. The guttural grunts and grumbling of the giants reaches her ears and she realizes that she can understand their crude, primitive language: Wolves loud. Wolves close. I scout. You watch herd.

She sidles backwards down a short slope, away from the noise of the giants; when she feels that she is at a safe distance, she stands and moves off in a westward direction, keeping close to the cliffs. She isn’t interested in fighting the giants or startling the mammoths; not out of any sense of fear, but out of respect for the ancient, prehistoric race. Meeting other travelers is also of low priority at the moment, and there are few others out here in the wilds.

Sudden thunder cracks loudly overhead, as if an unseen pair of titanic hands clapped together. No lightning…there must be a dolmen nearby. Sepultur’a grins in the dark, orienting herself in the direction of the thunder. This will be as good a test as any of her freshly-acquired, newly-tapped skills. She breaks into an easy jog and soon spies the glowing runes marking the sides of the central, circular sacrificial structure. Already, a ragged figure hangs helplessly in the air above it while robed forms dance and caper madly, chanting words of evil. She hears their ugly speech: “Bring forth the blood-sacrifice! We use the blood of this innocent to do thy bidding and chain this world to yours, oh great dread lord!” The clouds roil and coalesce, then spin madly and separate, whirling as a blinding white beam of light spears down, obliterating the doomed captive. Poor soul, she thinks, angered that she is never in time to save them. The necromancers always hasten their ritual whenever a potential rescuer appears; even whole parties of 25 or more are never swift enough to save even one individual.

The beam of light vanishes as three massive hooks fall from an unseen height, attached to long chains of unbelievable proportions. The ground shakes as the hooks fall to the center of the dolmen, then rocks violently as the chains pull taut. The necromancers shriek giddy, mad laughter as they bow in supplication. Sepultur’a closes her eyes, attuning herself to the earth under her feet and the pain radiating from the dolmen. Power gathers around her as she calmly walks forward, allowing the light from the now-blazing runes to wash over her, announcing her presence to the mages. There are seven of them, and they turn as one to face her, readying foul magicks to wield against her. She crosses her arms in front of her in an X, and great wings beat a powerful gust, knocking two of the mages off-balance. Three of them unleash black spells from their staves. Sepultur’a braces herself against the impact. The spells surround her momentarily – then are reflected back against their respective casters. Two drop to their knees, stunned by their own spells of paralysis, while the third screams in terror and flees into the night, helpless against her own spell of fear.

As this happens, Sepultur’a grips the air with both hands and pulls upward. The very stone of the earth rips from the dolmen, forming into a solid sphere of rock. She hurls this at a blade-dancer who is sharpening his daggers for a surprise attack. The projectile knocks him flat on his back, leaving him helpless as Sepultur’a falls on him with noxious fire erupting from her mouth. The skin on his face blisters and melts away as he vanishes with a shriek. The others have recovered and surround her, blasting her with spells and slashing with swords. A spell of fear temporarily touches her mind and she screams, running from the horrid memory that the spell evoked. Recovering quickly with a battle-cry, she turns and makes a grasping motion with her right hand. Five of the mages are suddenly frozen, gripped by massive talons clutching their feet. Flames lick at their boots; as they struggle, Sepultur’a inhales deeply, sucking in all air in a 5-meter radius. The mages in her grasp clutch at their throats as the wind is depleted from their lungs. They suffocate and burn like paper as she expels the oxygen in a massive blast of fire.

The last necromancer raises one of the dead bodies in an attempt to distract her as he tries to flee. Sepultur’a chuckles to herself as she flicks her left hand in his direction. A chain of fire seems to extend from her index finger, latching to the back of his robes and hooking tightly. He is instantly face to face with this woman whose eyes blaze like the sacked city he was rescued from when he was a boy. How did I get here? is his final thought as the woman’s lips purse as if to kiss him. Bright flames surround him. He feels heat, then brief pain…then nothingness.

She stands, clad in stone, eyes blazing. Thunder erupts around her as creatures begin to fall from the swirling bright light above her. I have to break the chains, she thinks, even as a hideous, lumpy form towers above her, swiping at her with a massive arm which ends in a steel, spiked maul. Poison drips from spike-tips, and she feels a bit of trepidation as the words of her benefactor echo in her mind: You will also be more susceptible to poisons, but immune to any and all diseases – including that of the blood-fever. You will be able to sense infections in others, even the unseen ills of the mind, and cure some of them – but, be mindful that you don’t deplete yourself in doing so. It is almost as if the creator of these sky-chains can sense the weaknesses of those who dare attempt to break the anchors and thwart their unseen machinations. She smiles again, fiercely, and turns to face the ugly creature. Nothing worth having comes easily, she thinks as she hurls herself at the bloated, lumpen torso. She needs a real challenge to put herself to the test. It has now presented itself, and she welcomes it wholeheartedly…

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