Back in the Saddle…

Went for a trail ride today.  I haven’t ridden off road in… a while.  I’m not ashamed… just disappointed in myself.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy mountain biking.  I got my ass kicked 🙂  But I had fun.  I’m already looking forward to the next ride.

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that health can fail no matter what I do about it.  A friend of mine had a stroke a few weeks back.  He’s not even 50 yet, and he appeared to be in good health.  The “numbers”, if you will, just lined up against him and it happened.  So, like I said, I’m pretty aware of the fact that some things are just out of our control whether it’s a genetic thing, disease thing or something that medical technology just can’t pick up and get fixed without in-depth analysis.

That does NOT mean, however, I have a reason to just say, “f*ck it.” and let myself go.  It was explained to me by the man in the hospital bed that while control might be an illusion in some cases, taking action to improve my fitness and health and stay better maintained CAN have a significant influence on the dice of my life when they are rolled.  I was also told to keep cycling/biking.  Today, I decided to follow that order.  It was a good thing.

Here’s to hoping for his recovery, and a thanks for reminding me to get off my ass.

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I Didn’t Let It Go…

I’m one of those folks that has a (bad) habit of hanging on to things far longer than I should.  I’ll look at something that I’ve had on a shelf or in a closet and know full well that I am likely never to need/use it. BUT… I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.  What if I end up actually needing it?  Is it something I can replace if I ever want it again?  Is it really hurting anything by just staying where it’s at in case I need it?

The reality is that in more cases than not, I absolutely should get rid of some of the $hit I have on shelves and stuffed in closets.  In some cases – more recently, because I’m getting better about it – I have gotten rid of some stuff. (I still have a long way to go)  My only motivation, though, might have been just to have space for the next item that I want, but I have gotten rid of stuff that was ultimately serving only two functions, collecting dust and taking up space.

There have been a few things, though, that I have absolutely refused to part with, and I have kept them for years.  One category of items is books.  I don’t have a huge collection of books, but I have many.  Most are role-playing game books (D&D, etc.). Others are books from my favorite authors (Feist, Brooks, Zahn and others).  Some of these books I have not picked up in years, and we’re talking about some of these being 30+ years old. They’ve moved with me from place to place, and ended up on shelves in an area of the home that my wife has deemed acceptable.  I simply refuse to get rid of them.  Having them is a comfort, I suppose.  They contain great memories, especially the RPG books.  Great stories, read and wrought, have come from these books.  I am not likely to ever get rid of them.  It will be a burden my daughter will have to deal with when I am no longer able to live.

The other array of things I have kept over many years are the mental expulsions I have put onto paper – both cellulose and electronic.  This collection contains the results of musings, inspiration and/or motivation from many role-playing game campaigns and my less than stellar attempts at smithing words.  Like the books, this collection possesses memories of things from a major portion of my life.  I can remember great times sitting at the table with my players when I look at some of my old game notes.  I look at a poem or snippet of story idea and, love it or hate it, remember that writing is part of who I am, no matter how poorly I perform that act.

Well, hanging on to this stuff has helped inspire/motivate me a bit again.  I have been lacking in my endeavor to craft some yarns.  So hanging on to this stuff might have actually been worth it… to me, anyway.  I found half-drawn maps of my fantasy world the other night.  I have since spread them out on a table and started working on them again.  This inspired a post about Welandar – the kingdom in this world where my ideas are trying to manifest – here – and a story here that I am going to put in that world.  I’m hoping I’ll stick with it now that I’ve grown older… and maybe up a bit 😉

So, I guess the point I’m trying to make – if there is a point to this ramble – is that hanging on to certain things is a good thing. My advice, though, is to figure out what those things are and work on clearing out the rest.  It might just make room for more good stuff.  There is nothing wrong with hanging on to things that remind you of good times or inspire you to do something you enjoy.

Want to go for a walk?

The Kingdom of Welandar has been a place in my head for quite some time now.  It’s obscured by mist that ebbs and flows over it.  Sometimes I can see the kingdom with reasonable clarity.  Oft times, however, I can’t make out the details and features that it contains.

I do know it’s been around for generations.  Many kings and queens have occupied the castle in the capital city of the same name. The side-by-side thrones that are placed on a raised dais in The Great Hall have born many souls of noble standing.  Some have been benevolent personas – kind, fair and generous.  Others… well… not so much.  Welandar is no stranger to struggle and strife.  It is also no stranger to greatness in its time.

It is a sizable kingdom given its population.  Welandar, the city, is quite large with many supporting communities within 10 or so leagues.  But there are other smaller cities, towns and villages that are up to many hundreds of leagues from the capital.  There are considerable distances between them, in some cases, with nothing but wilderness, and yet, all are considered to be within the borders of the kingdom.  In their varying histories, being part of the Kingdom of Welandar has mostly been by choice… mostly.

Want to go for a walk and find out more about this land?

Just Passing By…

I wanted to make sure I didn’t go TOO long without a post…

I can’t say with any definitive reason why I have not been writing and/or posting.  I just haven’t been motivated, and I guess, I’ve been a little blocked.  I’m trying to sort it out, but the things that normally flash into that abyss I call my brain just aren’t flashing lately.  I come home from work “tired”.  I’m just not sure what it is yet, that’s keeping me shut down.  I’ll eventually figure it out, though.  I’m a problem solver.  It’s what I do. 🙂

Even my racing hobby with iRacing has slipped some.  I think similar illusive reasons are the culprit.  There is also concern over a friend who shares the racing thing with me.  He’s not even 50 yet and he is in the hospital fighting to recover from a stroke.  There are a lot of people wishing and praying for him.  I, personally, believe he’ll pull through with time, but I will not deny the shock I’ve experienced since finding out about this.  I guess it has to do with it being someone that is close to the same age and it’s someone that seemed healthy, active and well… just a good guy.  Crazy.

Like I said… just passing by.

Not gone, just lurking in the shadows at the moment…

A Good Time

The wife and I spent an extended weekend near Branson, MO with my best friend and his wife.  It was a good time in spite of the monsoon that took place Thursday night through late Saturday.  While not my home town, I was Home for the few days we were there.

I grew up going there almost every year until I was 16.  Then after that, not as frequently, but still going every few years or so until about 10 years ago.  Wow, I had not been there for almost 10 years.  I’m so happy I went back.  Great memories were created there, and more were added.

We stayed in a small cabin/house at my long-time choice place to stay while there, Cottage Resort.  It’s on Indian Point of Tablerock Lake.  It’s been there for well over 50 years (my parents were already staying there annually the year I was born).  I love that place. The cabins aren’t much, but they are clean and maintained.  They have 2 bedrooms, and recent upgrades include a 2nd bathroom and a screened-in porch.  The porch was a fantastic addition.  We sat outside a lot even during the thunderstorms on Friday.

We got to do a little fishing.  We didn’t catch much, but we all caught at least a couple of fish.  Just sitting on the lake shore and enjoying the area, though, was more than enough.  The Ozark Mountains are – in my opinion – hands down, the most underrated place to see in the U.S.  If I could get all my life ducks in a row, I would very happily live somewhere around there.

We went to Silver Dollar City.  It was fun… and expensive.  The place has changed some over the near half-century I’ve been going, but there are things that have not changed, either.  I’ll just say that some things are better if they don’t change.  SDC is a cool place to see.  The craftsmen are the highlight for me.  But it’s a theme park and there’s plenty to do and see for adults and kids.  It’s very family friendly.  Again, I have been there many, many times over the 40+ years I’ve existed on this planet, and with the exception of a very few bad experiences with crowds, I’ve always enjoyed going there.

Best of all, though, was the company I kept over the weekend.  When I’m hanging with my best buddy, it’s always a great time.  We stayed in on Friday and played games and talked.  I would argue that it was likely the best part of the whole extended weekend for me.  We just… had a good time.  I can’t wait until the next thing like that comes along.  I will also make sure that one of those things will be returning to Cottage Resort on Tablerock Lake…

A Good Moment…

I love this kind of morning.

A stiff breeze blows, heralding the arrival of the next band of light thunderstorms.  I can hear it rustling the leaves of the bushes and trees outside my window.

Nothing severe, to be sure, but brief flashes followed by deep rolls of acoustic energy created by the sudden displacement/vaporization of water and air as millions of volts of static electric potential arc from the ground to the energetic clouds above.

The smell… a bit of ozone and the must of damp earth awaiting to soak up the next pending delivery of water from the skies.  It enters the slightly opened window quietly compared to its companion, thunder.  But present on its volition, nonetheless

Grey… the eastern sunrise is forbidden complete entry into my window.  In fact, one could argue that little of its day light is getting through.  The storm clouds are simply forbidding it today.  But enough gets by to have a pleasant photonic ambience to mix with a dreary, rainy day.

The wife – back from her trip last night – remains in bed, happy to be back in her own bed and “hungover” from the 7-hour drive it took to return her to her home.  The pets silent in their respective places of light slumber throughout the home.  Only my small feathered companion stirs, and he is more quiet than usual.

Nearly alone with my own thoughts.  My current choice of music plays softly from the bookshelf stereo.  Its acoustic energy mixes with the other vibrations in the room.  Comfortable… pleasant… and joyous, maybe?

A lovely balance of natural and technological permeates this microcosm.

I can only hope others get to enjoy this now and then.