Zariah

The radiance of Zariah

I counted all the stars in the sky

But none shone as bright as you

Golden hair like wheat grains

And a voice that rings like diamonds

Open the doors to your heart

Show me your radiance

That may forever shield me from the lost darkness

It’s Over

It was nice knowing you
But now that I know the truth
We can never see each other again
Because of the safety issues
The walls came crashing down
Those skeletons came out of the closet
I really thought you were a catch
But I was naïve and void of knowledge
And know that I know the truth
I can finally forget and let you go
I might spot you in another life
Twenty, thirty years who knows
We’ll just nod and go our separate ways
Not wanting to start anything anew
It was nice knowing you again
I’ll always have that perfect first memory of you

New Year’s Eve

img_20161230_132308_kindlephoto-15281370

The time has come again

To put a ribbon on the year

Closing it out strong

One more shout, one more cheer

You know when January rolls around

That the aspirations will ring true

Going for those dreams again

Because nothing will stop you

So gather up your folks

It’s an event for the ages

Here’s to making it count

And continuing to write the pages

Diamond Jubilee

The luck of the spin
The chance of the draw
How will you win
Win, win, win it all
It’s your big day
So play to heart’s content
May the odds be in your favor
Make a big dentslots

You must be careful though
Not to lose it all
‘Cuz it’s easy to get addicted
And suffer a great fall
So hope to win a lot but
Stop when your luck plummets
And best of all have fun
At the happy gambler’s summit

So I went to the FireKeepers casino for the second time this year with my family, now an experienced vet of the gambling floor. Once again, finding the one machine I previously used (that was offering a good pay out ratio) was nearly impossible as the sea of slot machines was a navigational nightmare. The Diamond Jubilee slot machine was the winner today, with ten free spins coming after hitting three Jubilee spots on the machine and a continuous stream of wins coming out that made me stay there for about an hour. That greatly helped me build up my win total to nearly twenty dollars before I started losing some of it and cashed out. Yeah, I played a careful conservative game again, not quite up there with blue haired old ladies who would spend money all day at the slots, having nothing to lose. It’s always a thrill when you get on a sudden hot streak but a major let down when it suddenly ends and you should either cash out or end up with less than you started with.

Careful

9/11 at 15

WTC+Bodies+Hitting+Ground | 9 11 Bodies:

Another year has come to remember the ghosts of our pasts. The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is more historical than ever, more rooted in mystery and awe. The real superheroes of that fateful day were the firefighters and other brave people who went into the buildings to try to save the ones that were trapped. It’s good that 15 years later we still stop to remember the events that shook the country for at least a month. Just today, I have seen the horrific pictures taken shortly after the attacks, coming across them on a search for images from 9/11. I’m interested in watching the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” about the 10 year hunt for bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks. It’s supposed to be a true account of the events with of course some creative liberties taken by the director.

Superhero, Stump

 

Starting Fresh Once Again

And here we go again…a new set of keys…a new motivation to go forth and be better.

I’ve just bought a new Dell Inspiron 15 computer from Best Buy, home of the Geek Squad. My previous machine had really been through the ringer. The charging port was broken and wouldn’t charge anymore and the lid had broken off its hinge again. More importantly though was the recent development of a piece of crypto malware that had locked me out and demanded I call a number and pay a certain amount of money to access my computer again. There was no way I was going to get past that annoying screen without some technical knowledge. Every password I entered into the box, even my login one, resulted in an “Access Denied” message along with the matching sound effect often heard in cartoons and action flicks.

Well, of course I was smart enough to look up the problem instead of falling for the ransom trick. That led me to downloading a program that was supposed to circumnavigate this piece of malware posing as an official message from the FBI/government. There was at least hope that my old computer would be saved and I’d be back to uploading pictures of yummy otter pops.

But the HitmanPro.kickstarter software so toted as the savior proved to not be the answer to kicking the ransomware out of the way (failing to even boot from the USB) and so other methods had to be taken, all of which proved worthless as well. So after numerous attempts to fix the problem, even calling the original manufacturer for support, I finally gave up and decided to dish out a couple hundred bucks for a brand new system. This new one is a lot thinner and lighter than the Toshiba brand I had been using for about 3 years. It feels more durable and less prone to falling apart after being moved around a lot. The keys are smoother and feel like air under my fingers while the touchpad glides with ease and doesn’t stick like my previous PC. After all these years of using a computer, it still never gets old of feeling like the new machine is your new best friend and the previous retired one is suddenly a second hand item that has lost its luster.

Learning

How I Met Your Mother

So the story of how my dad met my mom is a fairly simple one with no fancy frills or bells and whistles, but the way it has been told to me can be fairly confusing because various parts of the story always change. It involves a newspaper ad, a boxed lasagna meal, a mustache, dog, and some rather business like ideas. Just like the show’s nine seasons, a real life journey to meet the mother of the eventual children in question has a lot of twist and turns and ultimate choices that impact the outcome. And sometimes the eventual outcome is bittersweet compared to the crazy adventures beforehand.

Now, unlike Ted from the show, my dad never really had a rich dating life before he met the Mrs. to be. Shortly after he graduated from university, the groom to be put an ad in the newspaper looking to find a match. It was this blind date service and this was way before online dating was even a thing, like 1985. The bride to be answered the phone number provided there and got a hold of the person on the other end.

Now the guy in question, my future dad, didn’t know how to cook so a box of Stouffer’s ready made lasagna was substituted for a homemade meal. No one could tell the difference though, not even my future mom, not even his mom.

My dad sported a big mustache back then and always wore a suit coat and tie and carried a briefcase. Well, one day while he was out to meet my mother’s mother, he hung his expensive suit coat on the stair banister. That seemed like a swell idea until the dog named Putzie went and lifted his leg and peed on it.

What followed next was a cruise and some other details.

Confusing

HP and the Cursed Child Review

Image result for harry potter and the cursed child

So I have finished reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and of course have to blog about it, being my ambition to take thoughts from my head and construct them into words.
There are a just a few spoilers ahead

I think I can officially say I have got my Harry Potter groove back again. It has been renewed and re-energized. I thought it would be impossible to get back the magic but I have been proven wrong. This is my trying attempt at a review of the long awaited eighth story in the Harry Potter series. Being a play, it was a little hard to get a feel for the characters, being little more than two dimensional and flat, but what a page turner it was. I read the story, which is little more than a manuscript of dialogue and stage directions, in about three days.

“Cursed Child” is a 308 page script (292 of it story; the rest cast info and production notes) and is divided into two parts of four acts. It is based on an original story written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. It is not canon and reads more like fan fiction.

The plot is all about time travel, and rewriting and un-writing history. What else could it be about? In order for the story to be anything worth reading, the old Voldemort plotline (or any similar sinister plot) had to be featured. Voldy may have gone Moldy in book seven, but the concept of Time-Turners makes his return an interesting possibility. At one point, the wizarding world is under control by Voldemort and his legion of followers. Dark days.

Part 1 is more about establishing the storyline and going through lots of talk at the Ministry while Part 2 is where the adventure really takes off, where it’s a trip back to a magically repaired Hogwarts where life goes on as usual as if the Battle in 1997 never happened (it’s about 2019 during Albus’ fourth year).

At times, it feels like all the script manages to do is rehash events from the past and try to paint alternative scenes from them. Maybe it is just serves as another excuse for Potter fans to dish out money.

The main characters:

Scorpius Malfoy – very unlike his father, becomes best friends with Albus Potter and the two are virtually inseparable throughout the play, developing  a bromance with awkward hugging:

“Okay. Hello. Um. Have we hugged before?” Scorpius says after a clumsy embrace. “Do we hug?”

He has a weird sense of humor and a slight romantic attraction to Rose Granger-Weasley, Ron and Hermione’s daughter, to little success at wooing her.

Albus Potter – the main protagonist of the story, is afraid of being sorted into Slytherin house, for which he ultimately is. Has some trouble connecting with his father from the beginning. Goes on a time traveling adventure with Scorpius and nearly ends up screwing up the world for good.

Harry Potter – a much older man now working at the Ministry of Magic. He has to grip with raising a family and keeping behind a past that keeps trying to resurface. HIs scar and vivid dreams relating to Voldemort come back into play.

Delphini Diggory – the main villain of the play, tricks Albus into thinking she was a pure goodhearted person when in fact she is the perpetrated daughter of Lord Voldemort (how this is even possible and why anyone – even the vilest of people – would want to mate with him – is a puzzling thought).

The connections between characters is apparent; Albus, like his mother Ginny, is easily fooled and like the namesake of his middle name, is a bit of an outcast; James, like his grandfather, is arrogant and rude to Albus.

I loved this story right from the get go. It had enough twists and turns to keep me interested. Like the main seven books before it, nostalgic feelings came back as I neared the end of the story, feelings of reading a Harry Potter novel for the first time and anticipating what was to happen next. “Cursed Child” is well written and has just enough of that Harry Potter magic to make us all believe again.

Going with a 5 star system, I give the play/book 4/5 stars. The plot could have been a little more original (I felt like I was reading a script for Back to the Future at times)and less hurried, but overall this was an entertaining and heartwarming read. I may still get the play in the crisp hardcover form, because then it would fit along with the beautiful set of seven books I already own.

Watch the video below for a more detailed review:

Election Crisis 2016

For eight long years, Barack Hussein Obama served the United States of America. He’s been in office since I was an eleventh grader, which seems quite a long time ago. Now an historical era is set to come to an end, an era that saw the elimination of Osama bin Laden and the lessening of the great war overseas (and the rise of a new threat called ISIS/ISIL). It wasn’t the greatest eight years but who could have done better, right? The time now comes to elect a new president. It is a time when the country has a choice between two (and other) choices. Choosing a new president means shaping the future identity of the homeland.

Come this November, I’ll be choosing between either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. My options are quite limited in terms of who is better, but I can narrow it down to two things: Trump is for the rich and will cut off all food stamps and health benefits for the poor; Clinton is for the common folk and will keep Obamacare and everything peachy from 2009 til now. Do I really care? I should but at this point I’ve got better things to worry about.

Crisis

Nature’s Guests

In the thick of things, we are just guests to the bigger forces of nature. The rain and clouds were here before us.

It’s been a stormy evening with thunder and lightning shattering the dark sky. I’m here sitting on the floor, just listening to the sounds of nature battling it out for supremacy. This is one of the wildest, relentless storms I have witnessed in a while, the first this summer. I came home this evening to the sounds and sight of rain pouring down and the first booms of thunder in the background. Bright flashes of light made me jump out of my skin. It is rather calm and soothing, just sitting here to myself, letting my thoughts wander while the heavens shouted out from above.

A few years ago, I witnessed a first for myself. I was outside in a thunderstorm with only three walls of thin, rain-resistant fabric keeping me dry and safe

I stayed in the tent and tried to imagine that I was really in the wild with help miles away, not just a few feet away in my house. A few weeks later, my family and I would be going camping and living in the rustic outdoors. That means no electricity, plumbing, or phone/Internet service whatsoever. The tent session was in preparation for the day we go camping by testing out my wits in a thunderstorm. The tent held up well the whole night and through this treacherous morning so it wouldn’t be a problem when the real games commence. In a style reminiscent to The Blair Witch Project, I used my phone to film myself talking about my stay in the tent and various things around me, while the rain came down outside and thunder rumbled, adding to the spookiness. There wasn’t much light in the tent so when I played back the video all I could see was a creepy silhouette of myself hiding under a blanket.

I listened to the appropriate song for this occasion, “Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks, seeing how the thunder sound effects in the song mesh with the real world sounds, making it really authentic. I must had been in the tent for almost two hours, waiting for the loud but fairly tame storm to pass. The storm did pass eventually but not without a few flashes of Ben Franklin kite power appearing as I was just about to leave my sanctuary, scaring me out of my skin. I finally did get to fold my blankets up and head outside into the morning light. That stupid water hole of our’s was full of, well, water again.

Like the brave storm chasers, we need to learn how to become one with nature and tackle her beastly villains we call storms, wind, and rain. No one can control or change the weather, but we can be tough and try to see the real beauty of our planet Earth at work. Amazingly, our world’s cycles of random weather have been going on for billions of years. Patterns and seasons may have changed and become unpredictable but Earth still follows her unruly task of making us selfish humans realize what is out there for a minute. Okay, so the planet isn’t trying to seek revenge on people and only has crazy weather because of changes in the air, but humans still need to realize that the home they inherited thousands of years ago is being ruined by their selfish actions and greediness just to get a leg up in the world. Photographers and geologists alike are the few that really appreciate the true essence of the Earth.else could care less. They are more than just guests, they are the ones who shake hands with nature and become something like friends.

Guest