The Sabatical of The Harper of Pendragon Hold  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Yes, just like in every household, "something" happens here at Pendragon Hold every day. The main problem of late is the "quality" or rather "bloggability" of those "somethings" that do occur here. A blogger requires inspiration, whether that be the excitement of a looming foreclosure or his/her opinion on upcoming health care legislation, but mostly it's just the day to day madness that is the typical pagan American home life that gets copy. For me, your host, THE Michael, Lord Holder and Harper of Pendragon Hold, that typical pagan life has been comprised of either tripe too uninteresting to be put to pen or drama more fit for the gossip rags that get their fodder from the likes of Tiger Woods. So, lately, I either can't or simply don't WANT to spend an hour staring at this screen either censoring myself or trying to imagine what might have happened around here that is worth the monitor it's displayed upon. Plus, I am inflicted with a lack of desire to make shit up, which many a blogger has been accused of but will never find traction in regards to these Chronicles. Thus, I report to you this post that folks, there just isn't anything worth posting (with My name attached to it) to the Chronicles for now.

One of the reasons this could possibly happen is that I assigned my rants, raves, and concise reasoning to that OTHER blog you all know and love. Ok, fine; MOST of you know and a FEW of you love. But even in that case, as of late, I have suffered from a severe form of dontgiveashititis brought on by feeling like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Once one has convinced themselves from THE RECORD that mankind is inherently a suicidal life form hell bent on killing itself, one loses the motivation to light his tiny little candle in an effort to hold forth against one big bad shadow which is overtaking everything good in this world. So, if my rage builds to the point I either post something or go postal, I will spare my wife and family the stigma by posting a venting scream rather than making a half-hearted dent in the population, which even N1H1 and Middle Eastern suicide bombers don't seem to be making much progress in whittling down.

Sometimes I feel that if anybody truly knew me, they would know that there is so much more light in my soul than the darkness I sometimes seem to drag around with me. I think I love to much while not loving nearly enough. I might simply be broken; I don't know. All I do know for now and for sure is that I need a break from thinking about anything, including writing on this blog, so bear with me, please have faith in me, and know that all you special human beings that have stuck with me and mine throughout these years; I love and care for you in the only real way I know that matters. I'll be back. Maybe sooner than later. I am, after all, obsessive/compulsive. I'll be visiting the portals into YOUR life as I always have. Just keep a candle lit in the window.

Merry Whatever Floats your Boat........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

There's a cold rain falling on the sands of Pendragon Hold today. And, according to reports from my family on Facebook, there is snow falling in Houston, a place, much like the Jacksonville area, that normally never sees it. The last time it "snowed" down here was the year I first came to Florida from Alaska. I guess I brought it with me. At any rate, there wasn't a lot of it, it mostly just iced up the roads, and the ensuing chaos was a sight to behold, especially from the viewpoint of one who was used to driving on ice as a matter of course. What Southerners don't know is that you don't apply the brakes AT the stop sign on ice……you start easing onto it half a block back, and studs on your tires help a lot. Slip sliding away………he he………

As far as anything else of note……well……lessee…….what CAN I say? THE Dotter is heroically slaving away at her new job, but isn't enjoying it, no more than THE Wife did when she was trapped in it for all those years. Folks, if you don't already know this, take this to heart; RETAIL SUCKS. However, there is the sweet smell of hope upon the breeze in regards to her getting a better job. Let me just stick with "hope" and leave it at that. There are other dramas I could report on but won't, as drama is a dish best served by it's own cook, and I tread in that kitchen at my own peril. Let's just say that life is not always perfect, but it IS life, and the alternative is…well……

We took advantage of a VERY narrow window of good weather last night to hold a Full Moon Rite here in our sacred circle. It had stormed the night before, and the weather really sucks today, but last night, the clouds moved off, the sky was clear, and Momma Moon graced us with the silver light of her full glory. We accepted some guests and made our wishes beneath the gaze of our Goddess, and all told it was a pleasant night to be Wiccan. If Christians can become one with their God the way we become one with our Earth Mother, then all power to them. It is indeed a powerful feeling.

Already the Christian/secular holiday of Christmas is going full-tilt boogie. The volume of holiday music was so loud over the overhead speakers at the hospital that even the doctors started getting annoyed and the calls to the front desk started getting hot and heavy. Of course, Walmart is already decked out in full holiday commercial "Buy THIS for your loved ones" displays. Considering just how bad our economy is right now, with SO many breadwinners out of work, it would be nice if the media and the commercial sector would get a clue and tone down this capitalist madness. We just can't afford this spending orgy that Christmas has become, and it's time for all of us to really re-examine what this holiday should really be about. I grew to hate the hypocrisy of this holiday even long before I converted to paganism, but even now I recognize that the essence of what this holiday is supposed to represent got hijacked by the commercial sector and made into something ugly, not necessarily the fault of those who think they follow the tenants of Christ, the "Son of God". Perhaps a healthy boycott of these spending frenzies could moderate this greed for once. I think Christmas should be about families loving each other enough to set aside petty differences and coming together to celebrate their love for one another. And to eat turkey. Lots of turkey. And gravy…..

However, we here at Pendragon Hold will be celebrating Yule, a true pagan sabbat, that was the original boilerplate holiday hijacked by the Christians to celebrate the birth of their savior. We here at the Hold don't believe that we needed to be saved from anything except perhaps our baser human nature. We have our Yule log from last year which we will burn on our fire, and we will make a new Yule Log to guide and protect us throughout the challenges we'll face in the next year. However you celebrate this December, we here at Pendragon Hold wish you and yours the very best that life can afford you, and will even wish you all, if it be your path, a very Merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year.


Posted by Alex Pendragon

Ladies and Gentlemen, and I mean that most sincerely, what you are about to witness via the art of linguistics and interpretations of vague symbology and runes, is the Thanksgiving edition of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold, the Blog known around the world as that "pompous pontification" no one ever heard of. I know that sounds oxymorish (did I invent yet ANOTHER word?) on a very profound level, but humor me here…..

Yours truly, THE Michael, spent the holiday in the company of a fine group of female super-heroes, the kind of women you want in your corner if you fucked with fate, and fate won. The sick, the injured, the suicidal and the demented, they all come to be cared for by a remarkable cadre of professionals who are willing to put up with some disgusting things in order to make a real difference in the lives of people truly needing someone to care about them. It's MY job to help these remarkable ladies take care of their patients, and I am so proud to be able to take care of "my girls", and get payed to do it.

There's a lot about the health care system in this country that needs some serious overhaul, the paramount consideration being this affront we call health "insurance", which truly IS an oxymoron, when you consider that the true priority of any for-profit corporation is to make money, mostly for it's greedy CEO and upper tier executives, while the patients, stockholders, and providers get bent over and screwed royally. I know that many of you think that a single payer system is some sort of communist conspiracy to "pull the plug on granny" and "take away your choice", but many more of us know this is nothing but bullshit propaganda force fed to those of us with little or no critical thinking skills who deep in their heart only care about themselves and would begrudge the lesser of us even the basic kindnesses, even affordable healthcare.

Caught in the middle of this epic battle between what I consider to be down-to-earth good and evil are the health care workers, the nurses, aids, medical technicians and others who help people recover from devastating medical conditions, and don't own yachts or private jets in exchange for their efforts. Yes, our doctors and physician assistants are in the forefront of this holy calling, but yes, they command pretty damn good compensation for their education and sacrifice, some somewhat in excess, some no where near what is deserved. But, I can tell you this, I would not wish what these people have to put up with for 12 hours straight each work day on ANYBODY who hasn't got the drive, the commitment, and the caring soul to take on these challenges and preserver to the great benefit of the sick and suffering. I know for a fact that most of you would faint or vomit when faced with some of the horrifying sights we deal with everyday and think nothing of.

So, for this Thanksgiving, aside from all the blessings you have been graced with, like still having a job, a roof over your head, food on your table, and good health, I would like you to set aside just a smidgen of thanks for all these nurses and health care workers who give so many people so many more years to sit at a table and give thanks for anything at all, or ease them as gently as possible into Summer-land, where every day is Thanksgiving Day.


Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to another episode of the award-winning blog known around the world and on at least three alien planets as The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold, the first person observations of one man, concerning his wife, family, livestock, pets, and invertebrates. Join us as we allow you a glimpse into the hidden world of a family SO famous, no one can tell you who we are or what we are supposed to be famous for! Now THAT's famous! Take THAT, hotel hussy!

Unfortunately, there's not a hell of a lot to report on in the world of the Hold this week. We didn't go anywhere, we didn't do anything, no one lost their jobs, no one got hired into a better one, and all our animals are safe, sound, and well fed. Me, personally, am quite happy to be able to report on our rather mundane situation, which I consider much more preferable to having to report of some disaster, illness, accident, or silly drama. When I read the news feeds or watch World News Tonight, I seem to find yet one more thing to worry about, thus the rather boring living situation we happen to find ourselves in the grips of is rather refreshing.

Oh, wait......there WAS one incident.


Yep, the pump that evacuates the water in the dishwasher apparently got jammed or something, causing an overflow onto the floor of the kitchen. After cleaning up the gallons of water that really messed up my nice, shiny waxed no-wax linoleum, I did some creative knob turning, button pushing, and water bailing to finally get this labor saving device back to saving us some labor. So, no, we do not have to wash dishes by hand until we can afford to buy a new one. That would be tragic, considering that we are of the generation removed from the one that was forced to actually clean their dishes in a SINK, of all places! Having lost that sacred knowledge to the ages would have placed us in the precarious position of either having to buy paper plates and utensils or having to attend classes on how to operate a kitchen sink and manual dish drying device. I hear those green scrubby things are a real terror to handle.........

Nothing else broke down, but THE Wife's continued abuse of our ancient technology stove with it's steel drip pans and plug in circular heating elements has me thinking I really should replace it with one of those easy to clean and hard to mess up beauties with the smooth tops. Besides, the temperature readout on this one we have now has faded out so badly we have to turn off the kitchen lights in order to see it.

In our continuing report on nothing worth mentioning, the weather here has been rather nice of late, never going over 80, in the day, while getting perhaps a little chilly overnight. We are enjoying that rather narrow band between hot humid misery and cold, clammy overcast grey glum. This I like!

Well, I promised you, my loyal readers, SOMETHING in the way of content, and by Gods, I delivered, didn't I? Well, stick around, because in no time at all (hopefully not to exceed another week or two or three) you will be treated to yet ANOTHER award winning episode of the premier blog the blogging world has said "takes up valuable space that might otherwise be wasted in some other asinine fashion by someone who doesn't even write in English....."

No offense to our Pakistani audience, of course.........

The Truest Measure of HONOR  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Today is Veterans Day, a day out of a very long year set aside to honor those of us who served their country in one of the branches of the Armed Services. That is a fine thing, yet, as a veteran myself who has never allowed himself to be blinded by blind, shallow, and false patriotism, I consider all the parades and other window dressing to be horribly inadequate when it comes to paying back what we owe this amazing and sometimes tragic population of brave Americans, of all races, creeds, genders, and religious affiliations.

The most egregious (in my humble opinion) transgression we allow these men and women who go into harms way is the way we train them to be warriors. Yes, we are VERY good at creating fighting men and women who follow orders, do what must be done that can and often get them killed, and do it better than any other fighting force this planet has ever known. But what we do NOT do is teach them how to be ordinary citizens AFTER they have been trained to cause harm or kill others in defense of our country. What's really worse is the culture of killer macho we install in our fighting men that does not allow them to show weakness or admit to the psychological injury that their service can inflict upon them. In "this man's army" we equate seeking help, mental or otherwise, with "being a pussy", which is a perfectly pathetic way to demonstrate just how callous we as a society is capable of being. This is a society that acquires its strength from the RULE OF LAW, and untamed aggression, whether that be against a foreign civilian or a soldiers own spouse, is totally counter to that in a sane society. Yea, you might think you are a bad ass, because the Army taught you how to kill, but if you can't put that training into perspective, and return to us able to function in society as a calm, decent, non-aggressive citizen, then we have failed you, and this failure to take responsibility for our warriors is directly responsible for the terrible price our warriors are paying for stepping up and serving their country in times of war.

You MEN out there, or even women, who think that the measure of manhood or macho or adherence to some imagined "warrior code" need to get over your self-centered self and realize that we don't need you threatening your own people with your personality disorders. It's bad enough that we have a generation of "gang-bangers" whose respect for life is so deficient that even children are endangered from their reckless homicidal behaviors. Its even worse that we have soldiers committing suicide in record numbers because they imagine they are worthless as Men, providers, lovers, husbands, or macho-bad-ass soldiers who couldn't handle the violence they were faced with. You "Rambo wanna-be's" really piss me off, and the system that produces you needs to just fucking go away. I want my military to SERVE me, not come back and harm me and my loved ones or harm themselves.

I was lucky. Although I served in a way that I could never talk about, get any credit for, or equate with actually gunning down individual human beings, I had to live with constant danger with blinders on, never really knowing what me and my comrades were doing or what the consequences might be, I didn't have to witness horrific bloodshed such as those who see their buddies being taken out by an impersonal improvised explosive device. My service was not easy, but I was able to deal with it, and came away with a certain amount of pride for having served my country,

Not everybody in uniform these days returns to the bosom of their country, family, and friends without the stench of some insensible horror following them from the battlefield. They truly need effective mental health care, without some stigma being attached to this need. We as civilians would expect no less; why is this not taken for granted for our warriors is amazing.

So, this Veterans Day, please don't just wave little flags at our veterans and think you've payed them off for their sacrifices. You haven't. You might never. But, it would be nice if you would get real and TRY. Let us cry when we have to, allow us to admit to weakness in the face of overwhelming pressures, and for God's sake..........let us be HUMAN.

Blessed be our brave men and women of our Armed Services!

Ladies and Gentlemen.......POMPLAMOOSE!!!!!!  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

OK, it's not all that often that I highlight a celebrity or musical group, since I've always been of the opinion that once someone/something has gotten my attention, they have already achieved some measure of fame/fortune/infamy and do not need my insignificant little endorsement, but, I really DO have to make an exception here. Not for THEIR benefit, mind you, but for EVERYBODY's! These two are THAT good!

The target of today's fawning post is a couple of very talented people who I am assuming are "partners" in some fashion, who have their own channel on U-tube, who create and produce their own music videos which are........amazing! He, this talented amazing guy who plays all sorts of musical instruments and probably is a video savant of sorts, SHE, this sweet/cute/detached sounding vocalist who mesmerizes you with her blank/"I'm having fun here but I'm not going to get all emotional about it" stare as she sings both lead and backup vocals in every song.

This couple is U-Tube PROOF positive that with the ability to play instruments, sing, and know your way around a computer and the net, you can become famous, albeit very slowly and in a well-earned manner that doesn't even include world tours and the ecologically unfriendly price that pays.

So, I present to you this video, hoping like hell these two don't mind me using it here on my blog to "sing" their praises and hope that whoever frequents my blog will give them the attention that I, THE Michael, think they so richly deserve. And no, they did not illicit this review, don't have any idea who THE Michael is, probably never will, and probably don't really care. Not that it matters. Talent is talent. Enjoy!

That "Other" blog......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Maybe it's just me, but even though I posted a new "insightful and thought-provoking train wreck" on that "other blog", the new post is not being reflected on the blog list, at least on MY view of it. Aready one rabid fan HAS left a comment, so at least somebody is following my more "sensitive" blog, but just in case, I thought I'd, you know, "mention" that you "might" like to wonder over there and take a gander, unless of course you really don't want to deal with THAT aspect of my world, which is why I seperated it out in the first place, because I LOVE YOU ("YOU being, well, you know who you are....grin). And please, do not let this ornary little post get in the way of my last one here, so scroll down and make sure you caught it..........CHEERS!

A Perfectly Proper Post-Mortem, Pendragon Style  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to a slightly delayed edition of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold! I'm your host, Gomez Ad…….I mean THE Michael, the Patriarch of this humble abode on the edge of redneck suburbia. Today I deliver the promised Halloween edition of this sage saga, if only because we only returned from Tampa yesterday and I was somewhat to tired to think much less do justice to this august blog.

THE Wife, this being the most special time of the year for her (and the entire clan), really put her heart and soul (and lungs and pancreas and….) into getting us both ready for the costume contest that is hosted every year (this being the 3rd annual Witchstock Festival, I believe) by the Witch's Brew, a really cool little metaphysical shop in Old Palm Harbor, Florida, as well as other merchants who front the main street. Simultaneously, the Non-Resident Twin and her husband, whom we affectionately refer to as "Rolling Thunder", prepared themselves with matching costumes, the theme being "The Addams Family", Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, and Fester. Presented here is photographic evidence of the crime, certified authentic, genuine, and downright scary by the Tampa Bay Forensics Department, although they will deny having had anything to do with it, or even having seen it.

Of course, in any epic contest between contestants bent on winning at all costs, there is always controversy. The Controversy was that from the moment we rolled, strolled, and levitated onto the street, we were getting enthusiastically positive response from spectators, attendees, and zombies, who knew EXACTLY who we were supposed to be dressed up as, rather than having to guess (Like, uh, you're those guys from Day of the Dead, right?) like you sometimes have to do with badly conceived get-ups. Lots of people with cameras just HAD to get our pictures; this has to be like only the seventh time in my life I've been treated like paparazzi bait! OK, maybe the fifth. Would you believe maybe twice?

But of course, there were other worthy opponents in the ring that night. One lady (I'm assuming) had on this home-made robot costume that you KNEW had lots of love put into it's construction, and there were plenty of other folks who did wonderful jobs using their creativity rather than buying some expensive outfit off the rack. Here's, however, what went down by the time they announced the winners..….

The Robot lady won first place (and I begrudgingly admit that maybe she should have) but (Huh?) apparently had had enough of that band (I'll tell you about that band in a minute) and left early, so the award was passed down to the second place winners by default, and THIS is were the utter tragedy occurred. WE, The renowned Addams Family, beloved by the entire crowd all evening, DID NOT place at least SECOND!!!!!! THE HUMANITY! Wednesday, to say the least, was really frowning after hearing this news. Uncle Fester didn't smile. Morticia was MORTIFIED, and I, Gomez, spit out my cigar and would have lit a stick of dynamite had it been real and functional! Or I had a lighter on me, which I didn't because I quit smoking…….damn……..

Nope, folks, a couple who OBVIOUSLY had access to professional grade costumes who were supposed to be Alice (of Wonderland fame) and the Mad Hatter (oh, so THAT's what the hat was about) took second, which made them first by default, which means we won second place (while the crowd chanted "Off with their heads!"..….not OUR heads, mind you….) which earned us a cute purple trophy complete with flying witch and $50 cash money. Now, really, in a perfect world, we would have won first place hands down, but something tells me we had crossed the veil into a slightly altered reality that night……….spooooooky………..

But, it was fun, and we had a ball, DESPITE the band! These guys started off all right, apparently playing the songs they had performed the longest, but as the night wore on, it was quite apparent that they were getting into "haven't quite nailed that one down right" territory which strayed further and further into downright awful! Like that sound resembling nails on a chalkboard awful? Now, the lead singer was not that bad, all told, and each band member probably wasn't all that bad individually, but it just wasn't coming together as a group. Well, I can't play ANYTHING, so I suppose I shouldn't toss stones……….like hell I can't…….I coulda thrown BRICKS!!!!

The Witch's Brew was a really nice little shop, with other-worldly merchandise on one end and delicious treats and drinks on the other, and I wish them the best in this harsh economy. The proprietor was a very friendly woman who was brimming with positive energy. They even host drums circles, tarot readings, and other spooky things inside and out on their patio. I wish we had something like that around here.

As of late I've been having sleep issues, and Friday night I did not sleep one wink, so by Halloween night I was pretty wired but no less enthusiastic. I ensured myself at least SOME recovery by taking a sleeping pill last night and I did get some rest. Even Shiloh the Wonder dog seemed bushed by his adventure in the car and the strange new place with strange new dog butts to sniff.

So, here we are back at the redoubt, and no doubt this will be one Halloween to remember. It's a new year for us pagans, and we wish you and yours a truly happy new year as the wheel of the year turns through all the seasons.


Please Stand By  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Little tired tonight, but stay tuned and tomorrow I shall deliver the goods......or bads.........

Pagan New Year Approaches.......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to another edition of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold, where we are preparing for our pilgrimage to Tampa, home of the Off-Site Twin and the Purple Witch, the establishment which will be hosting their annual Samhain street festival and costume party. We will be attending as The Addams family, Me Gomez, She Morticia, with Shiloh accompanying us as…..Shiloh The Wonder Dog! THE Wife is dying to dress him up in something demeaning and I absolutely refuse to allow for such a travesty! A Nordic canine is a proud canine not very tolerant of being dressed up like a wiener dog or poodle. There are some lines you just can't cross!

My long-lost collection of far-flung cousins have finally nailed down a meeting place and date to do it. Not everybody will be there but most of the ones I actually remember meeting will be. I have been in almost constant contact with several of my cousins and it's like finding old friends again, only with lots of love piled on.

Other than that, it's been rather cool, calm, AND collected here at Pendragon Hold, and hopefully it will remain so. May this pagan new year find you and yours in your homes, at your jobs, and with no demons of job loss or foreclosure haunting your hearth. Blessed Be!

My Clean Bill of Health  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Well, I've had my follow-up with my Shaman (genuine MD) and according to the test results and my response to the Protonics he prescribed, I was inflicted with nothing more than a bad case of GERD which is being successfully treated with the drug; i.e. I have had no more chest pain. DAMN I'm healthy! loll

However, the sinuses are acting up yet again and like the amnesiac idiot I am, I totally forgot to address THAT problem with him. But, THE Wife has an appointment with same said physician tomorrow and hopefully I can remember to ask him for some relief THEN. (Ties string around every finger).

The referendum over when and where my Clan is going to have their reunion is still ongoing and slowly gaining some consensus. We are wavering between a meeting in Texas, in Florida, or on a Cruise ship. AND we need to decide between roughly March of next year and June, depending on where we do this. Hopefully we'll get this nailed down before to long. I am so looking forward to seeing all my cousins again or for the first time.

I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but our "big" goat, and self-styled leader of the herd, Billy, has been given over to a co-worker of mine who has a much larger piece of property for him to consume. And, believe me, GIVEN the time, that goat WILL consume anything and everything within reach….he he. The main reason I gave him over is that we have tried to bring in a fertile ram to knock up the twins with, only Billy was much to rough on him and he unfortunately may have suffered internal injuries that killed the poor little thing. With Billy out of the picture, perhaps we can bring in another little ram and have better success this time around. AND, I did exact a promise from his new owners that he will NEVER be killed as a meat animal. As of now, Billy has taken over the herd he was introduced to and is in King-of-the-Hill Goat Nirvana. We are so happy for him!

And that's what's happening at THE Hold, this nice warm Autumn day on the edge of suburbia. Blessed Be!

Comfort Zone  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

When I gained a new audience that comprised members of my long-lost family, it immediately began to occur to me that many of them, based on their social/political/religious creeds, might not be all that comfortable visiting my blog only to be confronted with many of my views which might not meld very well with theirs, even to the point that they might feel judged or challenged for those closely-held beliefs. Now, I am NOT a person who feels that his own personal beliefs need be censored for ANYBODY's comfort, but then again, I never considered it necessary to get "in their face" with my personal take on reality either. I figure if having to chase evangelicals of all stripes off my porch is a personal irritant, then I can emphasize with any one of my cousins thinking the same about people of MY stripe (even tho you will rarely find a pagan who finds it necessary to proselytize). Thus, in order to show SOME measure of respect, at least, I have decided to move the Political/Spiritual aspect of my musings over to a new space, Full Moon Over Pendragon Hold, where those of like or tolerant mind can come to visit if they so choose, while those NOT in synch with my psychosis are spared from having to think they need to listen to my rants which might be offensive to them in one fashion or another when they visit us here at Pendragon Hold. Again, I am NOT giving into self-censorship out of any obligation, simply my desire to be more welcoming to those relations of mine who tread a different path then mine. And, all things considered, I do love these people. So, IF you are so inclined, wonder on over to the first edition of "Full Moon". I hope it never gets to hot for you.....hehe.

In Sickness and in Health, The Saga Continues........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

As our several loyal fans might have gathered from my last post, it has been a busy and emotional week here at Pendragon Hold, this acre of sand of the edge of conservative hysteria. My tummy hurt, which is being investigated with chalky milkshakes and X-rays, my sinus headaches have become excruciating of late with these latest changes in barometric pressure, and I have suddenly found myself swimming in a sea of long-lost cousins. Leave it to THE Michael to combine warm-and-fuzzies with the latest ailment-of-the-week!

I have had problems with the sinus passages right over and behind my eyes for awhile now, but I usually have dealt with the pain and pressure with a couple of sudefed/ibuprofen tablets, but this last week that treatment seems to have become painfully inadequate. Sleep is becoming harder and harder to come by, which is probably not doing my otherwise cast-iron immune system any good.

The good news so far is that the Protonics the Doc prescribed for me seems to be doing the trick, chest pain wise. That, combined with what might have been a negative barium-swallow study, seems to point to simple GERD as the source of my discomfort. The pills are already having an effect on that, so this trip into medical mayhem may not become the nightmare I feared it might. Knock on wood!

THE Wife has already planned ANOTHER wild adventure for us involving Halloween and a trip to Tampa to visit the non-resident twin and a pagan shop local to them which hosts a wild costume party every year. She is working on getting us dressed up as the Adams Family, me Gomez, her Morticia. She thinks of them as the most romantic, if not darkly humorous, couple that ever graced the boob tube. I have to admit that Gomez was a maniac after my own heart…he he.

On another positive front, the RESIDENT twin, AKA now as THE Dotter, starts her new job tomorrow, at the very place where THE Wife toiled for five long years of retail hell before she was able to escape to the much saner job she enjoys now. Hopefully, she'll be able to leap right back onto her more-than-capable feet and resume the life of independence she so craves AND deserves.

Returning to the subject of cousins, already there is talk of a reunion, which due to the fact that we are scattered ALL about this great nation of ours might logically be hosted in Texas, which presents me with a dilemma. Aside from getting the time off and affording the gas money, the one car we are driving now, the now famous Ford Focus, is really too old to be trusted to drive that far without risking a breakdown. We have been planning for awhile now to try and save up a down payment on a new (although probably slightly used) small pickup, which we sorely need to haul materials with for use around the property. But, a small pickup is not exactly the kind of vehicle you want to drive across the US and back again. So, instead, we might investigate the availability of a train route to our desired (and as of yet not nailed down) destination. A little more time-consuming, yes, but much more relaxing and probably more economical overall. We'll see.

OK, this is the next day, and I am attempting to finish off this post in a drug (over-the-counter-so-chill!) induced fog brought on by over-the-top sinus pain and no sleep whatsoever. This is getting old. I was supposed to work today, but I am so zombied out I truly would have been more suitable as a patient rather than a care-giver. Besides, calling out sick is something I rarely ever do, because I really can get all the time off I need with my generous PTO (Paid Time Off) my job gives me, and I happen to believe in Karma, as in, calling out for no good reason will seek balance in this universe and come back to bite me in the ass sooner or later.

So, this is your sleepy, weary host Alex Pendragon, AKA "THE" Michael, wishing you a fun-filled, productive, enriching, and healthy day. And if you DO have one, never take it for granted……..

A Rediscovered Country (Or how I learned to love Facebook)  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Through a connection with one cousin and Facebook, unfortunately triggered by a tragic death in the family, I have suddenly made numerous connections with cousins and other relatives I have not seen for more than two decades. Some even longer than that. The last time I connected with the bulk of my rather sizable family was not at a family reunion, but at the funeral of my Grandfather. From the loins of my maternal grandparents sprang a family of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and cousins galore so large and widespread that if joined together we could populate a small country.

In past posts I might have alluded to some of my less-than-stellar experiences as a child, a product of divorce, deception, loss, and yes, betrayal. Yet, I cherish the fact that before she died, I was lucky enough to have been reunited with my Mother, and for an all-to-brief period of a few years, came to know her and discover some harsh truths about how my childhood turned out the way it did.

Memories such as these are NOT water under the bridge, spilled milk, or any of the many metaphors that people use to excuse situations that needn't have occurred the way they did. However, despite the wounds I carry deep inside from those experiences, I have been able to persevere, to grow and mature into the kind of man that I think my Mother was very proud to call her son. Could she have been more responsible as a young woman? Perhaps. Can I judge her for some of the choices she might have been forced to make in her life? I once did, based on bullshit information that almost prevented me from ever having a relationship with the one person who loved me more than anything in her life. But then I met her, and my heart melted, and I had a real mother at last, and I never stopped loving her.

Yet, even to this very day when perhaps I should have moved on with my life and told my inner child to just shut the fuck up and get over it………I still bear a malice for my sperm donor that equals the damage he inflicted on me by his betrayal and abandonment. This had such an impact on me psychologically that I deliberately choose never to have children of my own, for fear I could inflict on them in some fashion the fear, anger, disappointment and worthlessness my Father had burdened ME with. So, despite the likelihood that he went on to bear more children, I have always had the sad satisfaction that with any luck, his progeny ended with me. No reproductive rewards for the wicked, I've imagined.

Thus I have experienced parenthood second hand, never knowing the experience of diapers, boo-boos, monsters under the bed, and the pride of a report card with more grades over average than beneath it. Would I have made a good Father? I'll never really know, but hopefully, despite all those things any man might have done that he desires/needs redemption for, I hope I have at least become a good man. THAT his legacy can NEVER take away from me. Those that have at times called me Dad, well, they know full well how imperfect I am, and most of the time at least, have forgiven me. A man can never have too much of that.

Aside form reclaiming a relationship with my Mother, I was also lucky enough to have experienced, however briefly, experiences with many of my Aunts and Uncles, and numerous cousins spread across the South. Now, I have to be honest here; there was a time I held an equal disdain for many of those Aunts and Uncles that I felt had left me to my own devices when my Father abandoned me and I became a ward of the state, a "welfare" child, left in the "care" of people not related to me and lacking in the kind of love a child needs to feel he belongs……somewhere……to SOME one. However, I cannot know to what extent any of these relatives could have known they might have HAD to be there for me, and I must admit that there WERE many times that they took me in temporarily in helping my Grandparents burdened with a loose grand child. Thus, after many long years of introspection, I feel I have learned to lend forgiveness where it might be needed, but more importantly, to quit laying blame where it didn't belong. The day I could possibly have walked in their shoes, only THEN could I have the right to judge. Now, you might turn this around on me and ask me where my forgiveness is for my Father. It's a fair question. However, the ONLY answer I can give in that regard is that short of some extraordinary circumstance that FORCED my Father to abandon me while keeping me away from my own Mother or even any of my blood relatives, then there is no responsibility on MY part to grant him any sort of absolution and I am not, even after all these years, even CAPABLE of forgiving him for what he did. I cannot apologize for this and I have no desire whatsoever to do so. Yes, I know full well that this can be construed to be a hypocritical character flaw, and I accept that. Thus my faults betray me.

Yes, please let's not entertain the idea that I myself can lay claim to any sort of pristine character, short of perhaps the fact that I somehow managed to rise above those circumstances and never became prison material. The worst offense I have ever been CAUGHT at was speeding, but I suppose if you delved deeply enough into my soul you would find a darkness that itself could never know forgiveness. Nor would I dare seek out any sort of redemption for things within me that yes, horrify me to this very day. The religious amongst us want to lay the blame for the evil we do at the feet of a devil, a demon, or even some lack of grace, but I know that our animal natures are more than capable of conjuring up our own evil, thank you, without any supernatural assistance. And THAT is why our sentience is so precious, because it is this ability to think, to reason, to know sadness and joy, to at least LEARN right from wrong, that pulls steadily at us whenever we totter on the brink of our worst inclinations, and keeps most of us at least from going all the way over that cliff, plummeting into a hell of our own creation. To each and every person, related or not, hated or loved, passed by only briefly on my journey or spent in close proximity for any extended period of time, I thirst for forgiveness for any hurt, any pain, any slight, any angst of any degree that I might have inflicted upon you. That forgiveness I believe will serve YOU much better than it ever will me personally, for the wounds my own actions opened up will forever remain out of reach in the pit of my soul, deservedly so, deservedly so. Perhaps this perpetual pain is the only thing that can save me in the end. I am responsible for everything ME, no one else, and especially no devil or god. I am the one to be held accountable, and only by those who believe they have a call to account. Please know, I AM sorrow, and every smile I ever render, every joy I will ever perceive, till the day I die, is some pitiful payment on my debt.

But, getting back on track, I want to relate these emotions which have flooded me since I began to reestablish contact with cousin after cousin, and the joy and warmth I have been feeling at the loving embrace I feel from them, even from afar, so scattered across this country are we all. These young girls and boys I once knew so many years ago are all grown up, each contributing a seemingly endless number of fresh branches to our family tree. By the time I had experienced perhaps the fourth enthusiastic re-introduction to yet another relative, I had to retire to the shade garden, and try so very hard not to cry in the quiet solitude of our sheltering garden sanctuary. You see, it has all boiled down to the same response from all of them, even those who barely knew me.

Welcome home, Michael. We missed you!

Dear Mr. President  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Dear President Obama,

I doubt you'll personally read this letter because I know that it has to run a phalanx of staff members before it has any chance of getting anywhere near your desk, but hell, I'll take a stab at it anyway. If this does get read by ANYBODY in the White House, all I ask is that I do not get a form letter with your signature stamped on it in return saying something like "The president shares your concerns; yada yada." I would consider that an insult even worse than no reply at all.

When George Bush was "elected" the first time, I subscribed the event to fraud, plain and simple. The next four years bore out my belief that an idiot had made his way into the White House and that there would be grave consequences for our country, and there were. The SECOND four years of the Bush Administration simply infuriated me, as I could not believe that the American people could actually want to endure four more years of such madness, yet, I could not claim with any certainty that Senator Kerry had lost the election to yet another case of outright vote rigging. After that, I gave up on this country; the majority, having had their brains removed it seems, had chosen our fate, and the America I grew up in, and even swore to "preserve and protect", ceased to exist.

Then, out of the blue, it seems, came an invigorating breath of fresh air, a brash, intelligent, bold young man who promised to return us to sanity, to clean up the mess that Karl Rove and his merry band of right wing fanaticists had left behind, and reclaim our good name on the world stage once again. I was only a child when President Kennedy was assassinated, but despite the fact I did not personally understand the history he made during my youth, my study of his legacy made him the one President I would hold all those who followed up against. President Clinton came in a very close second, in my opinion, despite a few of his personal flaws which I personally feel had no impact on his legacy as far as his service to our country was concerned. Then came our first real non-caucasion presidential candidate, whose promise was equal even to that of JFK. Once again, I cast my vote enthusiastically, hoping against hope that this country had had enough, and was ready for a change, even if it would have to finally grow up and elect a black man for the first time in our history.

Mr. President, what in the hell happened?

I admire your attempt to take the high road and hold out the olive branch of co-operation with that political party across the aisle, and I fully understand the complexities of trying to deal with the damage and bankrupt treasury left over from those disastrous last eight years of the Bush debacle, but c'mon! They don't WANT to work with you; the never INTENDED to work with you, and they NEVER WILL work with you. The republican party has become no less an negative (and might I dare suggest evil) influence on this country than were the Southern States right before the start of the war of succession. I was raised in this South, Sir, and I can tell you that these people have been victims of a long legacy of ignorance, "religious" intolerance, and manipulation by the corporate good-old-boys that seek nothing less than the domination of the average working man for the enrichment of the very few. I used to think that good old American capitalism was far superior to any other form of governance that any other country had come up with, until finally, having lived with it for fifty years now, I have seen the truth of how it operates in the real world.

Health care is NOT a right? Failure to pull ourselves up by our OWN bootstraps is a moral defect on OUR part? It is totally acceptable that our minimum wage couldn't take care of a dog while Corporate CEO's make over 500 percent of the average American wage, and for doing WHAT? What in the hell has happened to our country, Mr. Obama, and why are you even NEGOTIATING with the very forces who have put us in this mess to begin with?

We elected you overwhelmingly with the mandate of your promises; to ensure that no American would ever go bankrupt again because of medical bills; that corporations would no longer be allowed to "fee" us to death and continue to prey upon us with outrageous interest rates and policy cancellations. You promised you would get us out of that travesty called Iraq and put our full force and treasure into killing Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al-quida (AND the Taliban) once and for all. So how is THAT working for us?

Mr. President, right is right, and any sane and ethical person knows it when he sees it. The noise that these "tea parties" have been making are nothing but that; NOISE, that has nothing to do with what the American people elected you to do, and it is about time you stepped up to the podium and acknowledge it; putting these brain-dead protesters in their place and admitting that what WE, the average, intelligent, patriotic, and hard working Americans, deserve to have what we elected you to do get DONE. You HAVE the votes in congress, Mr. President, so PLEASE quite playing Mr. Nice Guy and GET DONE WHAT WE SENT YOU TO DO!

We are TIRED of hearing what that propaganda machine laughingly called FOX "News" says about anything anymore. Please just do the job we elected you to do and let US have OUR country back. If you sign a health care reform package that does not include a genuine public option, then nothing will really have been accomplished, and you will have failed us. A half-assed shadow of what you promised us is NOT better than no reform at all. It's WORSE, and I know you know that. Is a two thirds approval for the public option not enough?

I can't say this any plainer than that, Mr. President, and I won't say it again. I'm tired and I want to go home. Please, let me.

(The guy who wrote this letter)*
Citizen of the once, and hopefully
future, United States of America

P.S. I am printing this in my blog. No more than eight people will probably read it, but, you never know………..

*I'm not ready to reveal my true identity to my fans lest I be beseiged with masses of pilgrims thirsting for my secret knowledge of life, the universe, and nothing in particular. I'm sure you understand.

"I've just checked in, to see what condition my condition was in…."  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

OK, I went to my family physician today, a white-haired gentleman I assume is older than me who harkens back to the olden days when you were ushered into an exam room at 10:30 for a 10:30 appointment and he spent as much time with you as was actually called for. I am truly thinking of making an offering to each and every God that mankind has ever worshiped or shot a game of pool with in thanks for the millions of years of evolution that resulted in this man being here, and for me and my wife, of all people. I dread the day he retires.

After discussing my pain and agony (OK, fine, my disconcerting discomfort bordering on pain) in great detail, and running a twelve-lead EKG (which looked just fine), we both agreed that the symptoms so far seem to point at either a hiatal hernia and/or an ulcer, either one perhaps associated with an increasingly evident case of GERD. So, on the 13th I get to go to the hospital and endure a barium swallow/abdominal X-ray, and tomorrow I get lab work (including a LONG overdue check on my cholesterol) done. It stands to reason with a perfectly normal EKG and the fact that I would have had a nasty heart attack by now with this duration of pain, I probably don't have a cardiac condition, which hopefully the x-ray will show. I know it sounds silly to be rooting for a defect in my diaphragm, but it sure beats the alternative. He also prescribed protonics (a sort of generic Nexium) to treat and rule out the GERD which might have also caused this pain. If my pain goes away entirely by the time I see him again AND the x-ray comes back negative, then BINGO on the GERD.

So no, I am not dead OR dying. Not yet. But, damn, my chest HURTS sometimes………sigh..……..

Having dropped off THE Wife at her job, I had time to burn before my appointment with my Shaman, so I sat in the car listening to the radio and playing games on my iPod Touch. So, of course, I go to start the car and……….clickclickclick……..NADA! Damn battery was almost drained! Had to get a jump from a nice lady. So, enough of this crap, time to replace this battery which is only just over two years old, only this time I keep the receipt! Also I bought one of those emergency jump batteries just in case.

Tomorrow after the vampires have their way with my delicate veins, the dog gets it……..a B A T H that is. I can't just SAY B A T H because he hates the idea and I don't want to upset him. I also need to clean the aftermath of our party off these wood floors, but I think I'll save that for Friday. It's hard being a househusband, I tell ya……he he.

There's Got to be a Morning After...........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Imagine you had designed the world's first party zeppelin, capable of carrying more than a dozen people easily, worked diligently to make it operate smoothly, even painted it in the wildest and most attention-getting colors, and on the day of it's maiden voyage, FIVE people TOTAL show up to experience this wonder of alternative aviation?

Thus was our Hindenburg, The Rocky Horror Picture Party.

You should see this Good Lady Partner of mine when she gets her teeth into an idea. It becomes an obsession and her entire life revolves around it. You would be hard pressed to meet anyone so creative and energetic when it comes to plainning something like this on a shoestring budget, determined to make it an experience for all involved. Don't even include the stress I allowed myself to experience trying to aid her in this quixotic quest for "par-tay" nirvana. (We are, after all, baby boomers, that strange new generation that INVENTED all-hell-breaking-loose.)

Her and the Dotter (that's my new name for the ex-evil/once and again resident twin) lovingly put so much attention into my costume as the biker/bad boy Eddy that it was entirely believable if you have an good imagination. THE Wife posed as Columbia in her pajama scene while THE Dotter made an excellent Maid Magenta. Trust me, if you knew anything about Rocky Horror you'd understand what I just said.

Despite my best efforts I was not able to procure a video projector and had to scale back to our old 26 inch analogue television set, which I hooked up to an old but very capable stereo receiver made obsolete by the 5.1 surround sound era, our DVD player, and a pair of medium sized speakers I picked up real cheap at Radio Shack on sale. Truth be told, this setup served it's purpose quite admirably.

So, in the back yard, with torches and lanterns blazing, white plastic lawnchairs aplenty, and lots of props to go around, we watched AND performed (THE Wife most learnedly and enthusiastically) the musical/movie/mayhem which is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hot dogs, toast, bird seed (instead of rice) went flying and streams of water from water pistols wet our newspapers, and a very few hearty souls made bold attempts to do the Time-Warp (an insane dance for you uninitiated). I would not be surprised if neighbors fertively watched this THING going on from behind curtained windows with one finger on the 911 button.

TWO of my co-workers attended while THE Wife managed three total. This was out of a much larger total that was promised. I do make allowances for a couple of my no-shows due to scheduling conflicts that could not be overcome, but it was somewhat disappointing nonetheless. Thus, I want to present THE Michael's Most Sincere Appreciation Award to my two brave and noble angels of mercy who came, after having just finished a twelve-hour shift, no less, to attend our event. I hope you two had as much fun as you indeed appeared to be having, even as drunk as we were all becoming! Also, both I and THE Wife want to thank her co-worker/crazy girlfriend for her participation and aid in making this thing work as well as it did. We hope your hang-over is brief and memorable!

So, no, our hapless diregible did NOT crash and burn, and those that chose to ride it had an experience they will remember for more than a week, we hope! We DO have some photographic evidence of the crime, but we have decided that no one we lured to our lurid event is worth quite enough to blackmail. So, we will both have to return to work and continue to earn our living the old-fashioned way.

As for now, well, it's Sunday morning, the back yard looks like Normandy Beach a week after D-day, and there is a TON of un-eaten party food to deal with. Perhaps I should ship it off to those starving children in China our parents told us about…….

The Heart of the Matter  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

As I steadily head down the "Long and Winding Road" (called life), I have become accustomed to the frequent aches and pains I associate with aging. Getting up in the morning sometimes feels like I've been beaten up in my sleep, and I dare not stretch my body, particularly my legs, to far lest I set off these terrible muscle spasms in my calves which can almost make me cry. But this latest ache, which I fervently hope is noting BUT an ache, had me more perturbed than usual. CHEST pain.

For several days I have experienced this mild but quite noticeable pain right in the middle of my chest, which got bad enough a few days ago to actually wake me in the middle of the night. It's not indigestion, which is a sensation I am quite familiar with. Yesterday at work, I took advantage of working were I do and hooked myself up to a portable cardiac monitor to see what my heart rhythm looked like. With the exception of a few PVC's (premature ventricular contractions), which can be triggered by caffeine (I HAD drank coffee earlier), the monitor revealed that I had what one could consider a rather unremarkable normal heart rhythm. Now, this does NOT rule out entirely that one could be suffering from an increasingly restricted artery due to plague buildup, but it was reassuring nonetheless. As this pain has not gotten any worse and might even be receding, I am going to write this pain off to the possibility that it was nothing more than a taxed chest wall muscle, since I do some serious pulling when helping to move patients around in bed, some of them very heavy people.

My mom died of emphysema, but her heart was strong. I am not aware of any major tendencies towards heart disease in the maternal side of my family, but I am clueless as to what kind of genetic time bombs my Father could have lent me (the bastard!), since he abandoned me at the age of seven and I have not seen him since. I have eaten fairly healthy, including a diet that excludes almost all red meat (we eat mostly chicken, turkey, and fish) and I quit smoking almost two years ago.

Still, it's been proven that although you can moderate your health through diet, exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins, your genetic code is still the premiere dictate as to how long you will live and the quality of your overall health. My mom always looked half her age, till the smoking overwhelmed her good genes, and even now I can pass for someone a few years younger, even with the grey hair and beard. So, I have advantages. I know I cost myself some years by smoking, but they claim that I will overcome some of the potential damage by quitting. I can only hope so, although I have resigned myself to having given up something like 20 years of my potential at least. Still, I want to at least collect ONE of my Social Security checks before I kick. If there's anything left to collect on, that is.

Still…… was disconcerting. I'm not QUITE ready to check out Summerland……..not yet……….

Stakes are High  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

It's been busy here at Pendragon Hold since my last post. THE Wife has been devoting every waking moment to this upcoming Rocky Horror Picture Party she's hosting on the 3rd of October (be there or be rectangular). I have been doing what I can, passing out flyers at work, attempting to explain what a Rocky Horror is to Rocky Horror virgins, while watching with some bemusement the utter joy some of my co-workers have been expressing at the mere thought of attending anything having to do with Rocky Horror. I might even garner the attendance of highly placed Corporate Executives at this shindig, because, after all, this IS the Rocky Horror Picture Show we are talking about here………..

But don't ask me to explain this cult phenomenom, because I can't. I would have much better success explaining why thousands of Americans with mental handicaps show up to protest health care reform, non-existent gun control legislation, and anything else they can dream up as happening to them courtesy of us "communists" who are out to destroy our country. Why would we want to "destroy" our country? Your guess is as good as mine………

A new job has not miraculously turned up in time, thus the offspring has been forced to load up her belongings and move them all back here to the nest. I really feel for her, having such a blow to her self-esteem such as it is, but I also have experienced such turmoil myself, so I can fully understand the angst this generates in a person. Since our whole identities are so tied up in how we make our livings, losing our jobs effects so much of what makes us who we are. There has to be a better way, honestly.

Now that a relatively small segment of the population, recruited by the insurance industry and big pharma and the extreme right wing of the Rush Limbaugh party has totally screwed up the crafting of a sane health care reform package, thanks to the spineless backbones of our democratic party leadership, it seems that what we will end up with is something bearing no resemblance whatsoever to what Obama promised us in his election campaign, so hell bent is this man on trying to gain bipartisan consensus. Watch this so that you can laugh instead of cry.

On the "good news" front, I have gotten the new computer, a Mac Mini/22 inch widescreen monitor combo up and running, and after an occasional glitch or two, eventually remedied, I am now technologically current, CPU-wise, and am enjoying better wireless performance and speedier application performance, whatever that means.

As a born-again Pagan, I have noticed with alarming frequency these witch-hunts that have been happening all over the world. Of course, this is not a new thing, since witches and practitioners of magick have historically been the scapegoats of every populace who ever needed something to distract themselves from self-inflicted problems. We Pagans are probably second only to the Jews in this particular persecution category. When you have peoples who adopt an angry white dude living in a cloud city paved with gold as their Major God, well, this is the kind of shit that goes down. Jealous Gods tend to get jiggy when someone DARES to suggest they don't even exist, or at least the people who BELIEVE they exist get all bent out of shape for them. So, any opportunity a shyster preacher or other sort of purveyor of the "truth" gets to associate some usually defenseless, elderly, and of course female with "the devil", he will jump right on that and "save" the community from that hapless victim of religious hysteria. It is now getting so pervasive that even our politicians are getting in on the act, such as our very own Sarah Palin (you remember Sarah, doncha, the one who keeps an eye on Russia from her front porch and might keep having "gifts from God", aka babies, well into her seventies if she can keep Todd on her leash? One of these African charismatic evangelical preachers brought the "gotta clean out these witches" concept to Alaska and recruited Sarah into the ranks of his "Christian warriors" army, which she in turn is doing her damnedest to insinuate into the very fabric of our government.

I have one thing to say to you, Sarah, and ALL you fucking nutcases with your fear of those who don't buy your God.

THIS pagan doesn't turn his cheek.

The Eclectic Pleasures of Rocky Horror, Mac Mini's and the Down to Earth Agony of Unemployment Examined in Black Light  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

I know it's been awhile since my last post; it seems that your humble editor has been lax to the tune of maybe one post a week lately. It's just that a sort of malaise has come over me lately, attributable perhaps to this sense of doom that has it's grip on my inner core. This 2012 bullshit is hard to get out of my system, so hard to discount entirely, no matter how logical I think myself to be. Well, whatever, I'm sure I will get over it eventually and get back to living life as if life goes on forever, much the same attitude that teenagers seem to have. I miss being a teenager, only NOW is the time I should have been one, considering all the things teenagers seem to get away with these days that teens in MY day never even dreamt of getting away with..........sigh.........

The whole purpose of life here at Pendragon Hold of late has been the planning of the Rocky Horror Picture Party that the wife dreamt up. The whole success of this endeavor will hinge on several things, one being that SOMEONE comes through with our need of a video projector to play the movie on the back of the house with. I scouted out all the local rental stores around here in hicksville and it seems that video projectors are NOT a hot item in the rental market. I sure as hell can't afford to simply buy one, not at an average of $600 a pop, especially considering that this might be the only time I'd EVER need to use one. Yes, I know, the other alternatives are big screen televisions, which of course we would risk destroying with all the things you throw at at screening of Rocky Horror. What could they do to a white sheet taped to the wall of a house? ANYTHING THEY WANT TO!

I also am hoping that all the nurses and other folks of the medical persuasion will attend the party as promised. Very few of them even know what Rocky Horror is, but many of the virgins DO seem intrigued............I might even get my boss, bless her brave heart, to come and provide all of us with blackmail fodder!

Just kidding, boss!

On to other news, which is not all good, unfortunately. THE Daughter, the ex-evil twin who got screwed by her last week-long employer, is still searching frantically for a job; ANY job that would at least pay the rent. I think it really sucks what they did to her, and if I had my druthers, I'd take any excuse I could find to sue their sorry asses for hanging her out to dry like that. This girl excels at just about anything she takes on, and she is one of those few women who truly understand what a work ethic is. So, I am asking all my pagan fans (and even those of you who think there's an angry white man in charge up there on cloud nine) to craft some good spells or utter some late night prayers in favor of our little girl getting back on her feet real quick. Yes, we are fully prepared to take her back into our loving embrace until she can recoup, but DAMN, she was SO happy to be making it well on her own! I don't blame her for being so upset in that regard at all; I fully understand the feeling of having to depend on others when you shouldn't have to.

AND, I have finally saved up enough green backs to get a replacement for this venerable old iMac G-5 of mine which has served me so well for all these many years. I would be happy to stick with her till the mother board finally bit the dust if it wasn't for Apple moving on to Intel chips for their computers. With this release of Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6), Apple no longer supports the old motorola architecture, so I can't run many of the new applications which are Intel-only. Yes, she still surfs the web fast enough, but there are plenty of things I want to do that I just can't do with this now somewhat obsolete old beauty. Anyway, she is going to be replaced by a refurbished Mac Mini, a nice little 2 ghrz Intel Core Two Duo which I will have to perform some surgery on to upgrade the slow, small hard drive and increase the memory, which will end up giving me a machine which will run circles around this old G-5. I'll be pairing this compact little machine with a nice, reasonably priced 22 inch wide screen monitor which is an improvement size-wise over the 17 inch screen built into my iMac. All for several hundred clams less than even a new refurbished iMac would have run me, which would take me close to forever to afford. Here's to another five years of virus-free computing!

Yesterday I got a flu shot; just the regularly scheduled flu preventative, NOT the vaccination needed to prevent that nasty new bug, the SWINE flu. Being so adverse to needles that I am, I am happy to report that I didn't even feel this shot, so talented was the lady who nailed me! Hopefully, the staff will be up for the Swine flu shot the first week of October, being on the front line as we are in Critical Care. Funny thing is, I might even have a natural immunity to the Swine flu, considering that I was one of those hapless military members who got shot up for it the first time the Swine Flu raised it's ugly head, back in the early seventies. Can't be sure, tho, so I'll be happy to get the new shot.

Right now we're watching something about Pink Floyd on VH1. Did I mention I love satellite TV?

As for politics, well, let me sum it up with this: There are now two Americas; the one we grew up with and the one that a whole white-trash, right-wing, racist and IQ-challenged segment of our population would want to see happen, something like an Iran with a chewing tobacco mentality. A place the Taliban would think of as being over the top. A place that corporate America masturbates itself to sleep every night just thinking about.

The most obvious and logical solution to our present day dilemma is too go ahead and complete the job that the Confederacy tried to perform back in the 18 hundreds; split the nation in two and give them what they want, and preserve the union with those who actually understand what the union has always been meant to be from day one. Just let all the ultra-libertarian/Republican/Conservative pasty white people move South of the Mason-Dixon Line, and the rest of us honest, educated, caring, intelligent, forward-thinking genuine Americans will stay North, always ready to accept the escaping slaves, the newly enlightened, and the persecuted free thinkers that discover the hard way what living in "Dixie" really amounts to. Of course, we will require them to once again raise their hands and swear to protect and defend the REAL constitution of the United Free States of America, from ALL enemies, both foreign AND domestic, or just go back and wallow in some more white power and corporate butt-fucking. And NO, we will NEVER send one penny of "foreign aid" to them no matter how thick the smoke of hatred and intolerance becomes as their new "nation" becomes a new fascist regime that rivals the old reich and the fires begin again.

And we'll keep the nucs, thank you.

Until I get off my lazy ass and post again, this is Alex Pendragon, "THE Michael" signing off.........

Blessed be!

P.S. My favorite "Kind Lady" is back at her blog, thinking that maybe it would be nice to return to, if you are as much a fan of "Kindness" as I am, get your ass over to her blog and comment, and comment often. Our world is MUCH better with her in it.

Oh, and let Anne Johnson know that she has more than ten loyal readers. She's that amazing creator of "The Gods are Bored", as IF you didn't know that.........


Posted by Alex Pendragon

When I was younger I was a connoisseur of fine conspiracy theories and predictions of the end of the world. Having had to get on with my life and just forget about all the bad things that could befall a world, my concentration eventually wondered off those rosy subjects and resumed the fine art of living.

Then I discovered, when I had the time to even notice, that the world had gotten totally fucked up environmentally while I was busy getting married and advancing my myriad "careers" and attempting to garner all those material things that living in a democracy demanded you garner if you were a true capitalist worth his salt. Not much time had passed after I left my adopted home of Alaska for the final time when I discovered that one truly cannot ever go home again, because global warming has pretty much fucked that far-northern wonderland I loved so much. I now live much further south in a hot, humid pile of sand over run with human beings whom for the most part I detest being involved with, if only due to their apparent inability to see the doom they so happily are participating in bringing down on all of us.

And, as if it could not possibly get any worse (knowing the world is going to end badly enough, thank you very much), I have been noticing these programs on our new satellite television which examine in excruciating detail all the prophesies that portend our ultimate doom, as foretold by Nastrodamas and the Mayans and their damned calender which ends on December 31st, 2012. According to all these fine folks of yesteryear with their unique inside track to the future, this is indeed the final day of mankind, even without the return of one pissed-off Jesus, ala' Armageddon.

So if anyone might wonder why my mood is a bit off these days.............

Yes, as a young Catholic, I did indeed lose some sleep over the promise, as told to me by the evil nuns, that the world would be destroyed by fire, perhaps even within my own lifetime. Then the U.S. and Soviet Union decided to threaten each other with very big bombs for decades (the very young and impressionable years I spent growing up) and THAT robbed me of even more sleep. Later, I came across the convoluted predictions of Nostrodamas, who if you interpret his quatrains according to what history has revealed, could very well have predicted every bad thing that ever happened from his time to well past this one. I was still very much a victim of indoctrination into dogmas of just about any sort that made the slightest bit of sense to a yet-to-be-well-rounded mind, thus all this conspired to make me believe that our days were numbered, one way or another.

So many decades and events have come and gone, and the end of civilization has not transpired as predicted so many times by psychics, prophets, scientists, and con-man evangelicals thirsting for the end times. Yet, that ONE very important date remains to haunt me, despite my logic screaming at me to just IGNORE it like I should have all the other scare stories of our times..........2012.

You see, one thing that comes with soaking in all the wonders of the universe is the realization that this planet and everything that lives upon it exists entirely thanks to a very narrow set of accidents that places it in the right orbit around the right star at the right time with just the right tilt and with a nice little moon in orbit around it that is not to close and not to far, along with a whole mess of other happy happenstances which allows life to exist and evolve and result in me sitting here at a computer typing this post. However, it will only take one out of a whole host of natural occurrences to totally erase this wonderful existence of ours, such as a meteor strike, a really energetic solar flare, or something beautiful yet very deadly shooting out of the galactic center and sterilizing this whole solar system. The fact that this planet has lasted in it's present life-friendly state this long is a testament to the idea that some sort of divinity actually DOES exist and likes us, at least for now.

Yet, according to the Mayan calender, all these fun and games and puppies and kittens and blue whales and purple mountains majesty ends in the year 2012, just three years from now. Exactly HOW it all ends and even what "ENDS" means exactly is not revealed, but there are no days to scratch through after that year, period. Perhaps the Mayans actually thought that they would exist as a society up to that point in history, and knew somehow that there would be nothing beyond that point to record on anybody's calender, and thus they ended it there.

There are two things I have to look forward to from this day forward, and neither one gives me much pleasure. The obvious future I see is the disaster that mankind has visited upon his one and only home, and I have my doubts as to our ability to pull ourselves back from the brink. The other, much more final fate I sense and dread so much, is this arbitrary date set for our demise, which is so similar to the dates that spelled the end of the dinosaurs and other epochs that almost resulted in the total extinction of life on this planet. 2012.

Perhaps this will only be another upset of the order, and renewal of the entire ecosystem that this planet has been subjected to throughout it's history. You have to admit, the extinction of the dinosaurs was bad news for them, but paved the way for mammals to get to work and evolve into creatures that could play the blues and paint the Mono Lisa. Perhaps we have had our time and just didn't make the grade, and thus it is time to make room for another organism to take it's shot at sentience. Maybe those tube worms around those hot vents on the bottom of the ocean will find life on this planet much more pleasant once WE get bitch-slapped and taken out of the equation, and get to evolve into another stab at higher intelligence, only this time actually a HIGHER intelligence that doesn't resemble or act like Rush Limbaugh.

If I have to die, perhaps horribly, it's the least I can hope for..............come 2012.

Chaos Theory  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to the Chronicles of Pendragon Hold, where triumph and tragedy goes hand in hand; ying and yang, light and dark, joy and sorrow, it's all residing on the same coin we call life. Today the coin flipped tails for our little girl (at least OUR little girl, who would insist she's damn well a woman many times over by now). After having accepted an offer for a job that would have been one hell of a promotion over her customer service job with AT&T, she was summarily let go after one week at her new job, just like that, without any explanation.

This is one of those "right-to-work" states where workers HAVE no rights, so what in the hell does she do? She left a perfectly good job that was paying the bills for another that promised more pay and better working conditions and was totally FUCKED for it. That's what happens in America, where your fortunes can change in the blink of an eye and there's no recourse for it. This is the world of the Republican party, those God-fearing people who make it possible for people to piss on each other, as if this kind of behavior is something Christ was all about, unless of course, it happens to THEM, and then all of a sudden they become strangely liberal. Well, friends, let me tell this country that claims to be "free", you had better have friends or family willing to lend you a hand in tough times, or you are SCREWED. Yep, the gutter is free of charge, my friends.

However, so far, so good here on the home front. Our jobs so far are intact and feeding us and our bills well enough, although we are constantly reminded by events all around us that this can change at the drop of a hat. We hold our hats with clinched fists these days. We take nothing for granted here at Pendragon Hold, and are thankful for every day that goes by without major drama of some sort or another.

The tree I sacrificed to the Gods of video is slowly being put to right. So far I have two humongous piles of brush, one large trunk slowly growing shorter as I take logs off, and dozens of small to medium limbs being reduced to fire logs. I will have to build a custom log rack to accommodate all this fresh wood, to keep off the ground to properly dry out and season. It's good to have physical labor. It keeps the joints lubed and calories burnt. There will be many a fire in the sacred circle for many years to come thanks to this tree. Thank you, tree.

THE Wife is working diligently on the Rocky Horror Picture Party. When this chick gets the rag on for a project, then project better watch out, cause project is gettin' done, and done right. I just hope I can rope enough of my co-workers into coming out and participating in this madness. Tim Curry would be SO pleased, I'm sure.....

Tonight, courtesy of our satellite and VH1 Classics, I am getting to watch "The Band...The Last Waltz" for the first time in years. Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Vann Morrison, Neil Young, Joani Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Eric fucking GOD Clapton, etc......... Right now, I love my satellite.

Having just gotten over a major electrical issue, which thankfully was resolved quite accidentally (you wiggle, bang, or otherwise smack something upside the head diagnostically under the hood of a car and you can fix just about anything), the car is now having air conditioning problems, which I hope I can fix by adding some freon, which in order to do so I have to remove a wheel AND the inner wheel well skirt to get to the charging port. Whoever designed this system was one evil bastard, and I hope he goes to his grave haunted by his sick idea of "accessibility". Wish me luck.

I'm watching on Animal Planet a story about one of these people who undergo extreme plastic surgery in order to resemble an animal, in this case a guy who thinks he's really a tiger. On the heels of this health care debate we are having in this country, I really question the ethics of the surgeons who cater to this man's self-centered issues, when there are kids out there with birth defects who might never get the help they need due to their socioeconomic situation. Yes, it's a free country, and this is just one more example of how "freedom" is abused, when there are people in this country enjoying the "freedom" of being out of work, being evicted from their homes, and living on the street. Oh, I'm I sounding "socialist"? Let me apologize..........

This is a wonderful world, and it's a fucking evil place if ever there was one. It's a verdant planet occupied by millions of species of ants and ant eaters and lions and tigers and bears all going about their business trying to get out of our way and not succeeding very well. It's a world with blue skies and muddy waters, beautiful sunsets and mass graves. The grass always grows greener on the other side of whatever divides us. And life goes on, or whatever passes for life, here, there, everywhere.

However, since last night, when I started this post, I am happy to report that I can end this episode of The Chronicles on a somewhat happier note. Baby girl has a job interview tomorrow.

Blessed be!


Posted by Alex Pendragon

THE Wife, ever the creative witch I was lucky enough to marry, is planning a Rocky Horror Picture Show party. Please, please tell me you have either attended one of these late night madcaps dressed as a character in this kinky camp-fest, or at least know about it. If you have no idea what Rocky Horror is, you might as well skip this part of the post.......I haven't got the time to explain it to you.

Anyway, we are planning to host this insane thing on October third, so if you are a fan, a relative, an acquaintance, or a snitch for the FBI, please plan on joining us, appropriately dressed for the occasion as your favorite character, ready to scream obscenities at the screen while throwing foodstuffs and bird seed (instead of rice).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch......I mean, HOLD, the satellite has been installed and we can now get over two hundred channels of of digital drivel, about half of which is not infomercials, the other half maybe worth watching. Thanks to the built-in DVR, I can record what I can't be here to watch, and watch it when I want. I've decided to spend about two weeks experiencing this thing before I decide to cancel our NETFLIX subscription. I might have to keep it.

There was a tree, a rather ratty sort of oak that has been shielding the Western end of our castle (bullshit-speak for doublewide) from the setting sun. The operative word here is WAS. I have already planted a nice little sycamore tree to take over for it, because it honestly was too close to the house and had that "sickly" look some trees can display with half their limbs nude of leaves, looking basically unhealthy. Since a satellite dish needs a clear view of the SouthWestern sky, and this tree stood right in that way of that line of sight, it was deemed time to sacrifice this tree to fuel the future sacred fires of our sacred circle. Yesterday and today I have been busy with the electric chain saw reducing this rather large tree into it's constituent logs and burnable brush, along with bonus leaves for the goats to consume. Billy LOVES oak leaves and is probably sick of them by now.

I'm so close I can almost taste it. I have already purchased a mac mini for THE Wife so that she can have her harmless (as well as brainless) fun with Farm Town and Hatchlings, but now I have decided that instead of hoping I could come up with the $1300 a nice iMac would command, I can get by easily with a refurbished Mac Mini of my own, with some self-installed upgrades of the hard drive and memory, for half the price of the Imac. I will have to provide my own monitor, of course, which I can make as large as I can afford, bigger than the 20 inch I would get with the iMac if I so desire. The trick is finding one on the Apple store at about the same time I have a paycheck not devoted to a mortgage payment or car repair bill or some other financial disaster. MY day will surely come, and soon, I hope. This old G-5 of mine is getting more and more obsolete as I type.

I guess I could rant and rave about something stupid the conservatives did or said these past few days, but I haven't the time or the inclination tonight. There's always tomorrow, and I can guarantee you they will provide more fodder for my ire each and every day we allow stupid people to say stupid things.

Till next time........

Blessed be!

Did You?  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has announced a "sandwich", distinctive in that the bread is replaced by two slabs of fried chicken. Between these two hunks of fried meat is a lot of cheese, bacon (cholesterol, anyone?), and "special sauce".

It's like America is being presented with an IQ test it can't possibly pass.

But hey, it's a free country, right? Here, we are free to load up on the calories, the fat, and everything else we can clog our arteries with and expand our spare tires with. Here, we are free to go somewhere else for our wireless service if we don't like all the fees and surcharges they love to spring on us, all made legal with two year contracts, of course, and since ALL the wireless providers screw us in the same fashion, there really ISN'T somewhere else to go, but hey, we're still free to "go there", right? Then, there's the freedom to pay cash for our medical bills when our "health" insurance companies catch wind of our health perhaps failing us, prompting them to cancel our policies before we can actually use them, even if we'd been paying premiums for decades and never even had a sniffle. And THEN we have the audacity to present ourselves to the emergency room with problems brought on by obesity and poor diet! Shame on us for doing what all those advertisements on television urged us to do!

I love the fact that I put my ass on the line for this country, only to discover many years later when I grew mature enough to take my attention off pop culture and high performance cars to notice that most of us hate each other with a passion. I mean, we MUST hate each other if we honestly think that half of this country is out to GET the other half, like forcing them to do things like have affordable health insurance, decent wages, worker protections, legal representation, and decent housing and nutrition. We obviously don't think that "other half" of our country worships the right god in the right way, and thus believe that "we", the ones "right with god", should be able to teach EVERYBODY'S children the word of god in the public class room and avoid exposing them to atheist propaganda like evolution and climate change.

During World War Two, it was obvious who the bad guys were, and NOT because we as the "good guys" actually had a morally superior culture. No, we might not have sent our Jews to the ovens, but we certainly tried to keep our negroes on the plantations for the longest time, and had a conniption fit when those damn liberals made it possible for the Tuskeegee airmen to protect all those bombers from german fighter planes. We didn't chop off the heads of our enemies with swords like the Japanese did; we simply fried two whole cities worth of those yellow bastards with the atomic bomb. We as the world's leading democracy were only slightly ahead of the curve when it came to human and civil rights, and it took a very, very long time for us to actually come to grips with the part of our own constitution that said "ALL men are created equal".

Seventeen percent of Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth. A third of Americans can't name all three branches of our government. I would venture to say that many of these same people are the ones shouting at their elected representatives during these town hall meetings. We call this a representative government, only I wonder sometimes who is being represented and why, much less how. Some of these people, like Michelle Bachman, amaze me in that not only were they elected to public office, but that they display many of the symptoms of brain death. For all the millions of dollars being spent on "higher education", I honestly wonder if anybody is really getting their moneys' worth.

So, in retrospect, I didn't actually "serve" my country, I simply kept the Soviets at bay long enough for them to crash and burn. I promised to serve and protect the constitution of the United States of America, from ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic, and when all was said and done, I and all those others who took that oath with me failed utterly. Many of us voted for people who had no real idea what our constitution stood for, and we allowed elected representatives to walk roughshod over a concept that took centuries to evolve into what our constitution and way of life has come to stand for. I would like to think that we got our act together when we elected Barack Obama to the highest office of our land, and yet half of us continue to act as if we never got past the sixth grade, and bend over to willingly service those who wish to, putting it bluntly, screw us in the ass in any way they think they can get away with by playing on our basest fears and insecurities, as well as our insane ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills. Now, let me be honest; I like sex, even the kinkier flavors of it, but I never signed up for rape.

Did you?