Archive for March, 2011

move along, no magic here

Do you know what magic is? It is an illusion. Nothing more, nothing less. It is slight of hand, a failure of our senses, a willingness to believe in something that does not exist. We look for magical moments that take us out of our real lives and give us something exciting, something beyond our normality.

It is sad when you come to the realization that magic is just illusion. That there really is no magic in the world, only more of the same, and that any magical moment we experience is just reality dressed up like a drag queen. The illusion is there, until the clothes come off.

I guess if you can’t count on magic, then you have to deal with reality. You can always try to escape it – plenty of people do – why do you think that drugs and alcohol are so popular? You can check out early once you see behind the curtain and realize there is no wizard there – plenty of people do that, too. Or you can do what most of us do – make it through one day at a time until there is no more one day.

I’ve given up on magic. It’s a fickle dream that makes promises that it cannot – indeed, never intends – to keep. Better to have loved than not loved at all? Better to have dreamed than not dreamed at all? Love and dream and then do without, then decide whether it would have been better to do without in the first place. Of course, by then it will be too late.

Turning Pens and Pencils – by Kip Christensen & Rex Burningham

Turning pens and pencils – sound exciting to you? I imagine not to most people. I love wood, though, and a well-made, wood encased writing instrument is a thing of beauty to me. Recently I’ve had a bit of a bug up my butt to make one of these fabulous pens myself, but true to my nature, I wanted to research it first.

This book had some very good reviews and I have to agree that if you want to turn (as in wood turning) a pen, this is a very good way to learn how. Of course, also true to my nature, I got two books on the subject; you never know if one is enough. In the end, while I have not read the other book yet, this book is complete enough that I think I spent more money on books than I needed to.

If this is something you are interested in I don’t think you would go wrong with this book. It covers everything from the selection of wood to turning and assembly and finishing and even a bit on marketing and selling if that’s your aim. You will be set to turn by the time you finish the book, so all you will have to decide is whether to invest the money in a lathe and all the tools and supplies to make the pens or to find someone that makes them and buy one from him (or her) and avoid the extra expense. If you already have most the tools, bingo, there you go! A small additional investment will have you turning out beautiful writing instruments in no time.

(Finished 3/25/11)

music, take me away

Seems to me that there is something slightly awry when listening to the soundtrack of a video game makes me feel like that is where I belong. From its very start, the World of Warcraft on-line RPG has had some of the very best atmospheric background music I have heard in a game. Granted, my exposure to a multitude of video game soundtracks is limited, but I don’t have to listen to a variety of music to know what I like, and I like the music from World of Warcraft. Each successive version has continued the excellence in music and I buy the Collector’s Edition of each release mostly for the soundtrack CD that is included in it.

When you are stuck in your office, the music can transport you to the rolling hills and plains of Westfall, the verdant forests of Ashenvale, the steamy heat of Stranglethorn, or the hot, dry desert of Tanaris. I have to admit that I have spent so much time on the continents of Azeroth that it almost does feel like a real place to me. Oh well. As long as I don’t have my mail forwarded to me there, I think I am still in touch with reality . . . kind of . . . maybe.