Strange Days Indeed........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

It seems it's not safe around here (here being planet Earth) for celebrities fifty or over these days. I'm kinda hoping it's the fame that's killing them, seeing that I'm fifty-something myself, but no where near as famous. Last year I unilaterally declared my fame to all within eyesight of my blog, but apparently not a lot of people lay eyes on this blog, and those that do kinda went, "Yea, right!", so I guess I can rest easy if the reaper is THAT selective this year.

Having sort of grown up with Michael Jackson (yours truly remains THE Michael), I was somewhat indifferent to him, especially since he decided he didn't want to be black anymore, shortly after the Billie Jean era, when his "skin condition" got the best of him and he acquired a Kirk Douglas chin and a pert little nose that almost ended up falling off his face altogether. Whatever you think of Michael, it remains that he was an extremely talented freak, not that it was entirely his fault. With an upbringing like his it's no wonder he had issues. I pretty much expected him to follow in the steps of the first "King", Elvis, at least making it to Vegas in a last attempt to get his finances in order before he overdosed on pills that physicians who swear an oath to do no harm are more than happy to prescribe. Instead, he drops dead ala' James Dean, a tad bit before his time. Shame.

Then there's the OxyClean dude. Famous for his loud and enthusiastic sales pitches, here's another fifty year old gentleman who managed to nail down an iconic place in media history before HE drops dead, again, in his tracks.

So, what, is this some weird kinda rapture going on? If it is, I pity all those fundamentalist whack jobs who have being praying and cheering on this biblical event, which wouldn't be playing out exactly the way they had bargained on. And I pity US, who have to keep putting up with them. If there was a God, he'd be ROTFL right now.

Thank the Gods there isn't.........

Meanwhile, back here at the Hold, fifty-something Me is waiting for this guy who damn near killed my goats to show back up wanting to know if my insurance company is going to pay for the dings in his mother's car. Well, unfortunately, I have one of those bare-bones policies that only covers the house itself and what's inside, with no liability for what goes on around it. In retrospect, THE Wife insisted that the guy shared a big chunk of the blame for this accident, since he HAD to have been going a lot faster than our posted 25 mph speed limit to not see the twins in time. Besides, these critters have been all around this acre for years now and plenty of people have yielded to the goats on many an occasion. We have animals all up and down this road. You'd expect people to take the appropriate care. That could have been CHILDREN in that road.

So, the best I am prepared to offer him, when he DOES come back around, is to perhaps pay his deductible, if that happens to be reasonable. Other than that, we don't have the deep pockets he might be looking for. So, he can either accept my offer of SHARED responsibility or he can PROVE that what happened occurred how he claims it did, if it did at all. I'm a reasonable man, but I'm not a sucker.

THE Wife's new computer, a refurbished Mac Mini, is up and running, and she's tickled purple! On top of that, a friend of hers will be giving her a nice little computer desk to put it on, for free. I'm so impressed with the performance of this itty-bitty Mac, I might just replace this getting-long-in-the-tooth iMac with one, although I'll want to perform some surgery and install more RAM and a bigger, faster hard drive. RAM on the open market is a lot cheaper than what Apple charges for it, and the stock hard drive is only a 5400 rpm model, which slows the system down considerably. Many people pry the thing open and install their own 7200 rpm drive, again, cheaper. Actually, I might just plug in a Firewire 800 external drive, which is actually faster than the stock internal. NAH.........that would be TOO easy! Now THE Wife can farm her virtual spread (Farm Town) all day and night if she wants. But, I will NOT feed her. I gotta draw the line SOMEwhere........

I might have shown you the ex-resident twin's wood burning work before, but let me tell you, today I scored an Andy Warhol, a Piccaso, a Leonardo Da........well, ok, maybe not THAT highfalutin' artistic, but I L O V E I T !!!!!!!!! Take a gander at this box she burned for me and tell me YOU wouldn't love to have one of your very own! Well, it's MINE, you hear me, MINE MINE MINE!!!!!!!

It's a Green Man, in case you don't recognize the pattern.........

AND, as if I wasn't having enough trouble with these goats, I come home a few days ago to notice, much to my dismay, that Billy, big, horned, GREEDY Billy, was in my neighbors front yard, their dogs barking up a storm and him bleating like "I don't LIKE it here, I wanna come HOME!!!" For some reason, thank the Gods of hooved beasts, he stuck near the fence he had managed to jump over, wanting to get back into familiar territory. I ran around, grabbed him by the horns, and dragged his aggravating ass back to his pen. My neighbor lady was rather bemused and nonchalant by the whole episode, and informed me that she had brought Billy back home the PREVIOUS day when he jumped the back fence of the goat pen into her back yard. So THAT explains how Billy had gotten into the mound area outside the pen! And here I was thinking I'd had an Alzheimer's moment leaving him out the evening before!

So this weekend I spent stretching more fence across the BACK of the pen, over the neighbor's chain link fence which wasn't keeping Billy out. On top of that I restrung the ELECTRIC fence as a double precaution. I have a great neighbor, but I really don't want to push my luck!

At work, our performance reviews are coming up, and my Boss, who by the way won the position she had been filling as INTERIM director of CCU (CONGRATULATIONS!!!!) and she's hinted that mine is going to be positive, It's nice to know we get to keep a director I have a lot of respect for, and won't have to go thru the trauma of breaking in and outlasting yet ANOTHER one. Life DOES have it's bright spots, even during somewhat stormy times........and while we are on the subject of storms, the hospital called a code BROWN, which is, no, not a shit storm, but for dangerous weather, due to the water spout that was spotted heading up the St Johns River. We had one just like it a couple of years ago. Fascinating thing to watch, and no, it didn't cause any real damage anywhere, sticking mainly off shore. No harm done.

Meanwhile, overseas, the Iranians are turning out to be their own worst enemies. THEY had to go and have themselves an ISLAMIC revolution, and now all of a sudden, they actually want to have elections that mean something. I mean, c'mon guys, haven't you learned by now that only DEMOCRACIES have DEMOCRATIC elections where the candidates are actually ELECTED, and not really appointed by the true powers that be? We here in the bastion of true democracy learned the hard way that you can't take democratic institutions for granted, because if someone thinks they can pull as fast one, they WILL. The Shi'ite Popes all want you to be good little muslims and go home and shut up about it. They didn't want your candidate to win and so of course he didn't, no matter HOW many of you guys actually voted him into office. So, you want a REAL democracy? Get rid of this theocratic bullshit. Politics and religion make piss-poor bedfellows. If you want the REAL deal, it's gonna cost you blood. A LOT of blood. The kind of blood that generations of Americans bled to preserve OUR democracy. Just wanting it doesn't work. Just ask the Russians. They had it for a few years and lost it again. They don't want it bad enough. So, they don't get it. What they get is this sham of a "democracy" called Putin, and YOU get the ayatollahs. So TAKE back your country or go home and weep for your lost friends, and wait for the bosses to come talk to you. We here in the West are rooting for you but you have to do it yourselves. And another thing.....enough already with the "Death to America!" Talk about disrespect........well, fuck you too!

Well, imagine that, another HUGE episode of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold. I hope you enjoyed your visit and come back to see us again. I'm sure there's plenty of drama right over the horizon............

Blessed Be!

P.S. Donn, you feeling ok, dude? You ARE fifty, ya know....AND famous......wink.......

THE Incident  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

One of the great burdens in life is that sooner or later, something less than desirable WILL happen to you, and at the moment it happens, we rarely have a crystal ball on hand to discern exactly how this misfortune will play out. They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What happened today probably isn't going to kill anyone, but I have my doubts as to how it's going to strengthen anything, except perhaps my future judgement.

As my readers all know, I have these four-legged lawn mowers which I employ around the Hold to keep the weeds and sorry excuse for a lawn under control. Most of the time I have to keep them on a leash and/or tie-out cable in strategic places as to have them eat this but not eat that. Today, I had the twins (no, not the Daughters, but my pair of pygmy goats) tied out on the corner front of the property near the dirt road we live on. The unfortunate and not fully realized danger of this is that they might ignore the more-than-plenty amount of delicious grass IN the yard and alongside the road next to the fence in favor of whatever must be REALLY good on the OTHER side of the road. The second ingredient to this scenario is that someone might be driving down this dirt road faster than the posted 25 MPH which would make it harder for them to see the goats in or beside the road and thus avoid some sort of accident.

Well, of course, you know by now what has happened.

Now, I was inside the Hold and did not witness this as it occurred, so what I am reporting here is that which is given by the neighbor who drove up in his Honda civic (which he later said was his Mother's, not his own) and showed me the damage that occurred when he hit the tie-out cable the twins were leashed to. He says he didn't see the goats until it was too late. So, apparently, the cable was pulled violently and tore loose from the leash while breaking the collar of one of the goats. Both goats didn't appear to have been injured in the accident, but now the goat whose collar was torn off his neck is acting strangely, perhaps having suffered some sort of whiplash injury. Looking at his car, there was damage that COULD have been sustained the way he described. I don't know because I didn't witness it. So, seeing to the goats and putting them back in their pen, I told him that I would take it up with my insurance company, and took his information.

THEN he comes back, in a truck with a friend, claiming that the cable somehow damaged his radiator, and that he would have to have the car towed to a repair shop. Now, the damage he described about the radiator, including the report that "the water was just pouring out", seemed suspect as I had not seen any water leaking from this car while it was sitting in my drive. Again, I cannot say this has or hasn't happened, but one does have to worry about such things. People HAVE been known to take advantage of what could be a monetarily rewarding moment. At any rate, I repeated to him that I would pass this information on to my insurance adjuster, who would be getting in contact with him or his own insurance representative.

This all makes me nervous in that I don't know if this accident occurred due to my possible lack of due diligence, my neighbors, a combination of both, or if this is some attempt to take advantage of an observed situation. All I can do for now is hope that the burden of proof for all this rests with him and that his own failure to pay attention attributes an equal amount of responsibility to the situation. Yes, I know, it is only natural for someone to attempt to avoid their share of the blame for something like this, but I certainly do not wish to suffer any more of it than is deserved. If it DID happen exactly as he described, then, well................

And I hope like hell that my own insurance company is willing to step up to the plate rather than try to avoid the claim, which insurance companies have been known to do. This would be the first instance in 9 years of home ownership that I have attempted to make a claim, so I hope that also falls in my favor. Lord knows I don't see how we could afford to pay for the damage this guy says that cable did to his car.

I am not looking forward to THE Wife getting home and having to hear about this. Perhaps this is one of those opportunities for her to put her magic where her mouth is and cast us a spell to soften the blow of this unfortunate incident.

I just hope my goat is alright.

And yes, I am glad my neighbor didn't suffer any injuries, regardless of fault.

This is going to be an interesting week.

Stay tuned. You wanted Drama? You got it!


Posted by Alex Pendragon

Now that I've stepped up the frequency of posts to THE Chronicles, it seems I've suffered an equal decline in comments. What a paradox! Perhaps my readers are in shock from info overload and haven't recovered sufficiently to respond to this new phenomenon. Or, most likely, I'm simply more often less interesting than I usually am. I understand this last sentence I just typed, I think. I hope you did to.

THE Wife and the Ex-Resident Daughter made a surprise pilgrimage down South to visit the OTHER Daughter in St Petersburg. Well, actually, the surprise was that THE Daughter was bringing THE Wife along without telling her Sister. They made a point of me not reporting this in my blog lest the cat be let out of the bag. THE formerly Good Twin was pleasantly surprised. I had to work the weekend, so I had to remain behind. This is, I think, perhaps the third time in our 15 year marriage that me and the slightly better half have been parted for any length of time. It's a strange feeling, especially at night when one has a sudden increase in square footage to sleep in. They had a pleasant visit, going to check out a nightclub/store/restaurant place called the Witches' Brew. We discovered the existence of this establishment by a rather circuitous route involving checking out Gothic/Pagan singer/songwriter Wendy Rule's concert schedule, which placed her performing at the Witches' Brew, which of course, we missed. On top of that, THE visited Twin talked THE Wife into another piercing. No, you pervs, it wasn't THERE! It was her EAR! Sheesh..........sigh............

Other than perhaps the garden overflowing with rich, ripe, red organic tomatoes and good progress towards cucumbers and squash, there isn't much else to report on. That being said, Merry Meet............

Merry Part........

Till Merry Met Again!

Honest to Blog!  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

I read today in the news that the FTC is considering regulations to bring a little more honesty to the blogosphere. What, you say, regulations forcing bloggers not to lie? How ludicrous is THAT?, not quite. What concerns them is this trend involving bloggers giving glowing accounts about this new toaster they acquired, while neglecting to mention the fact that the toaster was given to them for free in return for a positive review. Or bloggers being sent off on a fun-filled weekend at some resort, which they dutifully report on in their blogs (having been wonderful, of course) without mentioning that they were sent there free of charge by the resort, again, with the understanding that their "word-of-mouth" report would be favorable. So, if you had known that this post was rather less-than-forthcoming concerning the compensation involved, would you have accepted everything you read with perhaps at least a grain of salt? I sure as hell know I would, and that's what the FTC would like to drag kicking and screaming into the light.

So, my wonderful readers, if you are of the opinion that this is just one more example of Big Brother sticking it's intrusive nose into our business, please feel free to send a synopsis of your reasoning etched on the back of a 2009 model 24 inch Apple iMac with 3.06 gigahertz Core Two Duo processor, 8 megs of RAM, and a one terabyte, 7200 RPM hard drive to THE Michael, care of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold.

Because I can't get Steve Jobs to send me one, after all the bragging I've done for Apple, the creep.............

Class Dismissed  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

It has been my observation, which i will make no attempt to certify as being wholly accurate, that there is a class structure even within Paganism. Yes, Paganism, that one-size-fits-just-about-everybody spiritual vehicle that more and more modern day humans are gravitating towards, having exhausted their attempts at trying to make sense of the Dogmas of most mainstream religions. I think we can agree that more of the planet's sentient beings are educated to some degree than at any time in history, and along with that enlightenment comes some measure of an appreciation for logic. Now logic, as your right-wing-fundamentalist redneck can aptly demonstrate, does not come naturally to a healthy chuck of the demographic, but for those non-inbred free thinkers who make at least a half-hearted attempt at grasping the concept, observing life around oneself with a open yet skeptical mind can do wonders for one's I.Q., enabling one to slam the door in the face of those pesky young men on bicycles without some deep seated fear of eternal damnation. So, since most Pagans seem to be ahead of the curve in regards to critical thinking skills, we can divide most of us into two classes right here; Intellectuals, and those who WOULD be given the time and ability to remember very big, obscure words. You'd be amazed how many very, very big words I've managed to use in my writings of which I have no clue as to their real meaning. All I know is they look good in a sentence. Just think of it as intellectual camouflage........

While still on the subject of intelligence, or lack of it, I remember coming out of high school thinking that college was the last thing I'd have a rat's chance at surviving. Not that I was all that bad in high school, but having such a devastating deficit in math was all it took to convince me I was no where near as smart as I sometimes thought I was. So, I joined the navy, breezed through every class they threw at me, and later excelled in whatever training program I undertook to nail down decent employment, still blue collar, but employed. It wasn't until I was offered the chance to go to nursing school, and entered community college to take care of my "fundamentals" did I realize that, hey, this stuff wasn't nearly as hard as I had thought it would be. Yes, math was still a sonofabitch, but I seemed to pretty much already know the rest of it, having been such a book and media hog all my life, being much more interested in shows such as PBS's Nature than the Wide World of Sports. Matter of fact, I felt rather dismayed that the obscure facts these people were grinding into us was something we had to pay for to be able to call ourselves educated. Now, you want to call someone educated, you send him to engineering school, or computer science, but c'mon, all this advanced English and literature and specialized history does not make for a very productive or bright citizen. No, I don't know what species of acorn the Mona Lisa was sitting on when Leonardo was painting her mug, and I don't care. A person will eventually find out who Leonardo was on the discovery channel if his high school failed him whilst trying to keep him from being "left behind".

Back to the class thing; you have intellect, and you have economics. I would venture to guess that most Pagans will fall into the middle to lower middle class, with a few scatterings amongst the rich and piss-poor. The piss-poor are far to busy trying to keep their heads above water to worry about which God is going to burn them in some hell once they kick the bucket. The very rich are to busy being very rich to bother themselves with spiritual matters, which is usually why they are rich to begin with. If they had taken Christ's advice from the get-go, there's no way they could have accumulated all that wealth at the expense of society in general and not feel the breath of Satan on their necks.

So why is Madonna and some other rich celebrities getting all jiggy with new age religions? BOREDOM. Let's face it, once you have attained as much fame as you can and bought every material possession you can imagine, what else IS there to do with your time? Besides, it just might have occurred to them in reflecting on their wealth that maybe they have to atone for it in some way. Who knows, but you have to wonder why it took them so long to getting around to getting serious about something, which with most celebrities is just a fad anyway. Harry Chapin, the singer-song writer, was one of those few remarkable celebrities who actually could see past his own selfish wants and actually care about the hungry in this country and abroad. And of course, he died young. But he died with no burden on HIS soul.

So why do we minions down here in the mid to lower middle class bother with alternative spirituality when we still haven't achieved our own pots of gold? Well, for the most part, we have never been in a position to attain these goals, and frankly, have come to appreciate that we never will and don't really care. We are the ones with half-way decent roofs over our heads, too much food for our own good, televisions, our computers, and no more bullies and popular people making our lives miserable. We are all grown up, we have jobs that although suck a good portion of the time, pay the bills with something left over for things we don't absolutely need. We are the ones who do not feel driven to compete with our neighbors and do not make our livings trying to rip off our fellow citizens, and we have an intact, if somewhat flexible, sense of right and wrong. We dress in outlandish outfits when in the company of like peoples, having long ago given up on the idea that fashion was for real people and real shapes and sizes. Too many of us are fat and out of shape and are happy to live with the consequences. Yet many of us attempt to divorce ourselves from the mainstream feeling it is necessary to remain true to our Pagan philosophies and the love of our Earth. We are the first ones, at least those of us in the UPPER middle class, and yes, we populate that strata also, that buy the new hybrid cars and put solar cells on our roofs. We populate the herbal and natural food stores, and we most often have the gardens in our backyards upon which we refuse to use pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilizers. We are the ones that keep the few new-age shops in business, if just barely, and we keep the few and far between Pagan festivals alive in the country side. And yes, when we are pricked, we bleed just like everybody else.

You will see the occasional lower class foray into the pagan community, but not usually with good results. Even within Paganism there exists those religions which can be co-opted just as easily as Christianity and Islam by groups bent on intolerance and hatred, racial bigotry and a thirst for violence. Those who might have joined the Nazi's or the Klan might instead be attracted to the off-beat appeal of an old Nordic religion such as Asutra, which many skin-heads and neo-nazi's gravitate towards due to it's apparent appeal to a very narrow racial grouping. OK, fine, there were no Zulu warriors being invited to share a place in the halls of Vahalla, but then again, the Vikings were doing most of their hell-raising no where near the continent of Africa, so...DUH! The world has gotten a whole lot bigger since, my fair-haried, blue-eyed friends. Zeus might very well have been impressed with their bad-ass warrior ethos and shared with them the respect of inclusion as well. And there are the Satanists.....oh yes.....those petulant children who not having gotten their share of candy will poison the whole bag of it for everybody just to get even. Yes, I know, many of you who consider yourselves satanists will argue that Satan is misunderstood and that you are not evil people, that you just know what you want and go for it, anybody else be damned. Well, it's that don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think attitude at the core of this "religion" that turns most of us off. Hey, we want what we want to, but we are not going to use a religion or the backing of some deity to steamroller our way to attaining what we want, either. If what we want requires someone gets hurt, then fuck that, and fuck you too!

I'm sorry, did low-brow little me use a curse word? Yes, I do have a habit of using such invectives when my ire is awoken, and I have a bad habit of getting worked up over things I consider to be totally unnecessary bullshit. Like coats and ties, fine trimmed lawns that poison our environment, and Southern Baptists who can't keep their damn noses on their own faces. I am NOT going to your hell. you are NOT the favored of the almighty, so fucking get over it.

Slow, deep breaths....there.....OK.......think calm thoughts........Stevie Nicks in black lace....yea.......ommmmmm..........

I'm not saying that class structure within Paganism should in any way divide us, but we DO live in slightly different worlds and arrive here for slightly different reasons. Some Americans use their intellect to pursue the almighty dollar, while others use it as necessary while recognizing the peril our pursuit of that dollar has put our entire planet in. Some of us became Pagans simply because the pretty people didn't want us, and we discovered that that was actually a good thing. Too many of us are only passing through, until the next cool thing happens along, or we devolve totally into atheism altogether. There is much in this world that argues against faith of any kind, especially the behaviors of the so-called faithful of the mainstream belief systems. To believe in something despite there being no penalty for not doing so; well, I can't think of a more pristine reason for being Pagan. At least I know that should I win the lottery, or I lose my job and end up in a tent city, my love of Gaia and the Goddess and God remains, for they do not need me to exist, but I will be much, much poorer without THEM.

So sayeth this poor white trash with a filthy rich vocabulary.

Macs, Mania, and Tropical Depression  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Forgive me Lords and Ladies, for I have sinned. It's been a week since my last confession. Not that I need forgiveness, but I can imagine what it's like to be patiently waiting for a new post at your favorite all-time blog and nothing shows up for what seems forever. Well, hopefully, the content of this edition of The Chronicles will make up for our lackadaisical posting.

It's been a fairly wet week here at the Hold, but nothing like the 40 days and nights all crammed into a month of monsoon we were swimming around in a few weeks ago. At least we get a breather between downpours now. One big benefit of all this fresh H2O is that I haven't had to lug rainwater out to the garden. There's nothing that a garden loves more than pure, organic cloud sweat straight from the bosom of Mother Nature herself. We CAN water our gardens from our well all we need to, but the plants never seem to respond very well to the sulfur content our well water is laden with. We got used to the awful stink of this stuff years ago, but it was dicey there for awhile, what with that rotten egg smell and all. Amazing what humans can adapt to, doncha think?

And so we have already begun to harvest ripe, red tomatoes and even a few yellow squashes. The cucumbers are taking their time, and the loofahs are just now forming their pods. There should be a nice crop of lima beans ready to pick about now, but I have to dig down into the marigolds we planted with them to pick them. We also received a shipment of ladybugs which I have been releasing a few hundred at a time in the evenings, and at least a few of them seem to be sticking around. At least the plants aren't showing any more damage from pests than they have already sustained. So far, so good.

One reason I haven't been posting very often is that now I have to vie for control of the iMac with THE Wife, who has discovered that diabolical face book game called FARM TOWN. She spends something like five hours at a stretch planting virtual crops and harvesting them, and all I can do is shake my head wondering how this activity can be so addictive, at least to women. At least it's free. If she ever discovers one of those online subscription games like WarCraft..........I shudder at the thought!

The Mac mini, low-cost desktop computer.Image via Wikipedia

This has required me to put aside my own desire to acquire a replacement for my G-5 iMac, which is slowly but surely succumbing to obsolescence, for now I have to budget that money towards getting THE Wife her own computer. I'm waiting for a nice refurbished Mac Mini to show up on the Apple Store, which is the only thing I can afford to get her that's not possessed by the demon Bill Gates. Yes, I know, there are a few of you "fans" out there who think that Windows is not the evil piece of zombie code I think it is, but I get to experience both operating systems here and at work and I'm very comfortable keeping MY world comfortably Mac. The Formerly Resident Twin left her hunking huge tube monitor here, and I have spare keyboards, so all we need is the Mini itself and she'll be all set to farm herself silly all night long if she wants. Funny, but she'll actually end up having a much faster and up-to-date system than I have now. However, MY time will come......hehehehehehe..........

It seems that THE Wife's Botox has done the job! No more shoulder pain, and after awhile, the arm pain and weakness eased off as well. However, as is usually the case with my darling partner, some almost always rears it's ugly head in place of the latest thing, and this time she was having a hard time balancing her Paxil (which she's taking for mild depression) with her Ambien, which she's needed to sleep. THE doctor thought maybe another sleep med might work better for her, only this med which was supposed to knock her out ended up revving her up; she ended up harvesting her farm into the wee hours of the morning!

Turns out she reacted to the med exactly the way a person suffering from mild manic/depression would. I always suspected my darling dearest one was a tad bit too happy somedays while turning into (censored) the next. This little episode pretty much proved it. So, her neuro-shaman prescribed her that all-purpose mood stabilizer Lithium. Guess what? Two nights now she's slept like a baby. And I have my normal, ordinary, and very sweet and loving Wife back. It remains to be seem if this holds true after a week or two of being on the drug, since there are side effects that have a bad habit of showing up once therapeutic levels are achieved. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

So far, our hospital's patient load, if anything, is increasing, rather than being affected by this struggling economy, which is fine by me, since losing this job would be devastating to this family, what with my age and skill-sets. So, if you happen to live in the Jacksonville area, feel free to eat lots of Hardy's Thick-burgers, and super-size those fries while your at it; it increases my job security!

One aspect of Pagan spirituality is our respect and veneration of our ancestors, whom without we would never have arrived on this wonderful ark in space. However, I think we also need to consider that not all those who contributed to our genetic structure were necessarily forebears to be proud of. For instance, my great grandfather to the umpteenth power could very well have been a party to the extinction of the Neanderthal man. I would not be surprised if many of my great great grandparents owned slaves. Or, perhaps, I am descended from one of Ghenghis Khan's dungeon masters. See, there are all kinds of possibilities to disown those very people whose existence were necessary for my own. That, however, does not negate the overall gratitude I owe those who went before, for if the concept of reincarnation, with it's attendant growth and spiritual learning curve is valid, then every one of these people simply had to learn through the art of living and learning and doing it all over again, and again, and again, till one day, maybe, they get it right and earn the right to merge with the cosmic collective, and I myself am in the very same boat, given the opportunity to live my life removed from the taint of the dark side. So, ancestors, thanks for the chromosomes, and I hope that you made the grade. Salute!

Thus ends another long-awaited yet oh-so brief episode of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold. Remember, it's best not to allow your spouse to wrangle your goats, lest you behold her riding a big, hungry Billy across the yard, hanging on those horns for dear life, while he heads straight for the forbidden bushes, and all she can do is scream for is comedy, life is sweet.

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To Wit......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

I truly believe that I am a man born far after my time. Indeed, with all the hardships imagined of occupying some era rife with deprivation; no supermarkets, no malls, no FedEx or cell phones, prepaid or otherwise. No planned obsolescence, no mass marketing, no mass hysteria, no Holy Roman Mass performed at a drive-in theatre. No Islamic fundamentalism, no baptist angst, no Catholic guilt, no same-sex marriage. No, it would indeed have been a different time, with different matters to be attended, no time wasted upon one's butt in front of a monitor, rather precious time spent in crafting letters with quill and parchment, attending to the gardens and livestock of the homestead if one presumed to eat....ah.......and to ponder what wonders might await man in a glorious future now that science would surely lead our way towards a certain purity of existence rather than a daily struggle which aged men beyond their possible years.

It is the terror, which I cannot allow myself a full measure to experience, that I live in the end times, which makes me think and speak in a slower and richer fashion, a method once considered polite and common, if only amongst the upper crust, or the educated if not particularly fed with silver cutlery. I would wish to speak in this manner in all times, save that it would allow one to think of what he might wish to say, and to add some pleasantry to it's delivery, if nothing else. But alas, I do not, nor does anyone within my acquaintance, expend the energy in such fashion when the tongue is thus wagged, and all the more a shame for it, I must impart. However, perhaps for this brief time, as I write this post which is an exercise strictly of the fruit of my ponderings, and no report of anything of import, you might think to enjoy this mannerism and not think it a chore to understand, for if you, my dear reader, could only feel the joy with which my fingers perform this hapless exercise, then this would indeed be the post you might visit again some time if only to share in that joy, shared with all who might gather a wit as to what is so pleasant about it to begin with.

As you can see by now this whole exercise is a big ado about nothing, a venture into what perhaps might have been a tinge of culture in a simpler time, now simply silly in an era of web logs and inter-nets, world-wide-webs and URL's. Men and Ladies in those days were no less prone to the folly of politics that brought about warfare between men for various reasons never fully justified, and even now, Men of ill will carry on tradition, a tradition of evil embedded in our genes from which we many never free ourselves save our own extinction.

However, Gentlemen, and gentler Ladies, I bow to you this night in proper courtesy, and wish upon you most well, that even as our world falters at our own hands, we still can speak a few words to each other in a much gentler, kinder, and loving way, if ever we were capable of such a thing, we animals who think, yet cannot seem to think most proper to suit our own best interests.

I now return you to the 21st century. Be well.

The Frailty of Wooden Trees and Iron Men  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold. I'm your host, THE Michael, AKA Alex Pendragon, the Lord Holder, grounds keeper and dishwasher of this fine sandy estate located on the outskirts of cookie-cutter suburbia, where the car is king and sidewalks lead to nowhere. Pull up a chair and sit a spell.........I got some fine yarns to spin for ya............

Just when it seemed that this impromptu monsoon season had finally ended, it seems that the regularly scheduled thunderstorm season has taken it's place. At least we are getting some fine glimpses of Sun in between downpours, and the yard only floods maybe once a day instead of a week at a time. Now that the rain barrels are full to the brim of fine organic H2O, we continue to be soaked in it. At least our water table thanks you, oh great and mighty Thor. NOW CUT IT OUT!

A few days ago we adopted a new tree. Yes, a tree. A sycamore tree, to be exact. Pendragon Hold came with a whole mess of oak trees, of various species, some deciduous, some not. Of course, Mother Nature being the joker she loves to be, the varieties of oaks that do not drop their leaves in winter are all the ones planted on the Southern side of the house where frankly we could have used the kind that DO drop their leaves, letting the Southern sun warm up the house in winter while providing shade in summer. The only other trees we have that are NOT oaks are a skinny little pine and an equally skinny magnolia of some sort back in the goat pen area. SO, in the interest of diversity, as well as providing a little DECIDUOUS flavor to the Hold, we have begun a program of culling out those nasty oaks which, having grown fast and are now dying young, need replacing with nice trees with healthy canopies which they drop come fall. Sycamores are renowned for their speed of growth, their huge potential size, and their really large leaves, perhaps the bane of fine-trimmed lawns, but a bonanza for our compost piles and mulch supplies. See, we do not reject out of hand that "refuse" that Gaia graces us with; we find uses for the gifts she gives us, such as leaves for compost and mulch, dead wood for our fires, and shade for our castle (a "manufactured" castle, but our castle nonetheless). Next we will be looking for some nice red maples to add a little autumn color to our otherwise greengreengreen color scheme. The scraggly pin oaks that we end up taking down will provide us with a bounty of firewood for years to come, so their lives and contributions to our own will not go without our gratitude and due note.

The garden thrives with all this rain, although the pests have now lay siege, and everyday we go over every plant attempting to remove and kill whatever worm or aphid we can discover. I just ordered some ladybugs and hope to press them into service very soon. In the meantime I am happy to report that we have the potential of a bumper crop ripening on the vines as we speak, and even have one tomato turning red. Several of the plants that we tried again in the terrace garden however have fallen victim to the wilt which appears to be ensconced in that soil, although several plants have resisted the disease and might bear a crop after all. All the other herbs and beans are growing very well.

The clover I sowed on the mound has greened up and spread nicely to the point that I was finally able to allow the goats a crack at it. This is all due to the incredible amount of rain we have had this month, and due to the all-too-easily-drained nature of Florida sand, it requires almost daily watering to keep the clover sustained, but it's worth it in terms of what this planting is doing for the soil and the forage it is providing for the goats. Hopefully in the future I will have this back forty rehabilitated with sustainable growth of beneficial clovers and legumes that can bring the soil up to par again.

Oh, and I think I have finally gotten photographic evidence of our domination by that alien species, the feline. What...... you actually think you OWN these creatures? HA! I now know what lies deep in the intentions of these foul creatures by the seemingly innocent yet twisted habit that MY undercover overlord has been observed partaking in. My fellow humans, here is an actual picture of a cat partaking of HUMAN TEA. Yes, that's right! She sits patiently waiting while the tub is filled with hot water, waits for me to lower myself into this water and seep awhile, and do I describe this..........DRINKS THE WATER NOW INFUSED WITH THE ESSENCE OF HUMAN! Oh, the humanity! Soilent bath water is PEOPLE!!!!!!

Having listened FAR to long to my darling Wife's laments over having lost her most precious purple iPod Nano, I broke down and bought her a refurbished iPod Touch, a newer and even more capable version of my own. She is thrilled at the applications she can download to it and play with, including the books she can download to the Kindle book reader application. But, that's ok. They are coming out with a new model with even MORE bells and whistles here shortly, and all I have to do is wait for a refurb to show up in the Apple Store........hehe.......

If you have wooden floors, then you are all most probably aware of the infamous dust bunnies that go scurrying across the floor, driving you mad as you attempt to corral them with a broom. Well, let me tell you, those things are NOTHING compared to these damn animal-hair HEDGEHOGS I have to contend with around here. Seems like every day, thanks to the prodigious shedding of both our dog and cat, we can collect enough animal hair tumbleweeds to construct a whole new yorkie with. Then there's the fine sand which Shiloh, the wonder dog, loves to bathe in and bring into the house with him. Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

I just read on MSNBC that the actor David Caradine of "Kung-Fu" fame was found hanging by his neck in a Bangkok hotel room, suicide being suggested. Bullshit. He was there filming a movie. So he just up and decides to hang himself, in his luxury hotel room. Yea, right. He was murdered, and I wonder if anybody is going to seriously investigate his death. Think about it.....David Caradine committing SUICIDE? I don't think so.

Does anybody reading this blog still seriously think that President Obama is NOT doing an excellent job? If not, I want to congratulate you on the excellent lobotomy you underwent. You got your moneys worth, my friend.

Enough politics; if I continue down that path this post will be three times longer and packed to the brim with angst. We're all headed for extinction shortly so what does it matter..........

In the MEANTIME.........I want to send out my best wishes to our blogger friend who suffered a stroke. As a healthcare worker I see the effects of this kind of affliction all to often and I can testify that it is the most frustrating of almost all things that can befall a human being. With proper care and diligent rehabilitation, great progress and recovery CAN be made against all but the very worst stroke injuries, so pliable and plastic is the human brain, but in the meantime the serious damage to one's ability to ambulate and communicate is truly challenging. I truly believe that as long as one does not waste energy blaming these things on divine will or lack of it, and focus on what reality and hard choices now demand of you, you CAN overcome and return to a good life with a reinforced sense of what is truly most important in one's life, which is the quality of life itself and the love one can find while living it as best one can. Blessed be, dear friend, and do not hesitate to accept all the help and love you have available to you, for many of us lack some if not all of both, which is the only reason despair can exist at all.

Till next well, and please; harm none.

Salem's PLOT  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

It's diabolical. It has insinuated itself into my marriage and even now threatens to take my wife from me. It enslaves everyone it touches, especially females. It is insidious and you must believe me when I tell you that we are ALL in danger. Is it a cult? Is it a religion? Is it a FAD? NO!

It is................


Perhaps your wife (or even worse, your HUSBAND) has already fallen victim to this engaging, mindless game which sucks time down it's maw like a black hole. Perhaps you can't get near your computer to pay the bills, read the latest news on MSNBC, or post to your blog. You might have already heard suggestions concerning the purchase of a laptop, from the very person that previously made light of you even needing your desktop for any reason other than STUPID FRIVOLITY!

Well, our time has come, my friend. No, you need not put out an ad in craigslist at the local library computer for a deprogrammer, or call your local priest who in passing humor mentioned his prowess in now OUR time has FINALLY come!

For NOW we can get that graphics card upgrade, that larger or faster hard drive, the extra gig of RAM, or that faster internet connection that costs perhaps $20 more. NOW is the time to explain to her that the obsolete processor in your one and only computer is why it's taking so long for her to harvest her latest crop of grapes, and that one of the new dual core models might rock her FARM TOWN world and make her an agricultural rock star to contend with. NOW is the time for you to switch to Apple, while the iron is hot and you don't have to explain in maddening detail why a cheap, crappy PC just won't cut the mustard (literally) anymore, even at half the price. Suddenly, she (or he) WANTS you to get that 24 inch 3 gig core duo iMac with the terabyte of hard drive glory and 4 gigs of kick-ass RAM, with a graphics card that could run an IMAX theatre without even breaking a sweat. For now, speed is everything, what with all those crops to plant and harvest and plant and harvest and plant and.............


Before it's to late.............

Those servers are gonna start melting down any day now.