December 9, 2006

Back in black...

"The Nameless One."

"Wait, don't hit that button!"

I tried to stop him but you know how strong the Nameless One is when he’s in a rage. It all happened so fast. I mean, he appeared out of nowhere. One minute I’m merrily working away in my blog-shop and then bam, like magic he stood there wearing a pointed blue hat decorated with yellow stars and crescent moons on it.

(He claimed he "borrowed" it from the Wizened Wizard.)

He was carrying a weapon; a really big axe like one of those you see in that World of Warcraft game. His eyes were wild with hate and he was foaming at the mouth. He started screaming, “I’ve met Frank Zappa! I know Frank Zappa! And you, sir are no Frank Zappa!”

I was like, “Dude, chill out. Put down the axe and let’s talk this thing out.” My words were of no avail. He whirled around and began chopping and hacking at the HTML of my blog. I was shaking in my avatar and fearing for my virtual life.

“Wait, don’t touch that button!”

And then everything went blank...

It was horrible.

Then, there was a bright white light and I heard a sound like the voices of a thousand Bill Gates singing hosannas to the highest. I saw all of my former web pages coming to greet me. It was wondrous to behold. I was going home...

Just when I was about to enter that great bitmap in the sky, a voice called out to me. It was faint at first, but it kept growing stronger and more insistent. “Dirk_Star, don’t go into the light! Turn away from the light and look at me!” Ruefully I turned my head and there she was, the Pixie.

“Follow me!” she cried, “We can fix this; trust me, it’s not your time yet.” She stretched out her hand and my fingers entwined in hers and suddenly I was back in the blog-shop.

The Nameless One was gone but the devastation of his visit remained. Everything lay in ruins around us; all of my links were gone, my wonderful award lay shattered and in ruins on the floor. My psychedelic graphics were nothing more than a colorful memory.

“It’s alright, Dirk_Star. Do exactly as I say. I want you to click your ruby-red-slippers-of-reset together three times and shout, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”” Pixie smiled and her radiance lifted my spirits. “Believe those words in your heart and everything will be as good as new.”

Even though my heart was still heavy, I did as she instructed and as you can see with your very own eyes, everything was magically set to rights and again the “Yellow Blogarine” has returned to the waters of the Internet.

It was a miracle!

Yes, I once was lost, but thanks to the Pixie, I now am found.

Why oh why does the Nameless One hate me so? He is determined I must perish. If ever you come here and find that I am missing, please send Scotland Yard to his blog immediately.

If your link is absent from the list of good vibes please tell me and I will replace it as soon as possible. Again, this is no fault of my own.

Blame the nameless one...

He’s trying to kill me!

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December 8, 2006

When you wish upon a star...

"Your dreams come true."

Every now and then when I am in the process of moderating my comments I come across a phony entry that turns out to be nothing more than a sales pitch. Happily, that is not how I came to meet my very good new friend, Pixie.

Being new to this whole blogging experience, I figured that the best way to make new friends was to go out and visit other people’s sites. So I did. Man, I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I spent at our host’s “wheel of blogs” clicking and visiting places all around the globe. Still, that is not how I met my new friend, Pixie.

As I whiled away the hours playing “wheel of blogs” every now and then I would land on a site that simply awed me with the "coolness" of its graphics. Every single time I’d find one of these artistic gems it had been designed by someone named, Pixie.

Green with envy, I hated these obviously rich S.O.B.’s for having the pockets deep enough to afford such wonderful artistic creations that graced their blogs. Yes, I was jealous! I admit it.

So, I went out into the local community of artists where I live and began price-shopping for my own hotrod graphics. It didn’t take long before I hated the obviously rich S.O.B.’s with the groovy graphics even more. Artists I talked with wanted pints of blood, body parts, sexual favors or my first born child in bondage and servitude for at least the first seven years of his/her life.

(There were even a handful of artists who requested all of the above.)

Heartbroken, I went back to playing, “wheel of blogs” and that’s when it happened; I clicked on a spinning blog name and landed in a site called, Retro Girl. Her graphics were smoking-hot. Yeah, it turned out to be yet another Pixie production.

Well, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I simply had to find out who this Pixie character was and just how bad she was robbing people to produce these wondrous pieces of blog-art for their site. So I clicked on the Pixie graphic and off I went to pay her a visit.

Sure the testimonials were glowing. “Pixie is so wonderful!” “Pixie is a friend to children.” Blah, blah and blah. Oh I was so ready to hate this Pixie creature. Then, an amazing thing happened. At first I thought it was a joke. Then I thought maybe it was the old “bait and switch” lure. Surely that price list was in error!

So, I sent her an inquiry email and that’s when the magic started.

She responded to my inquiry very quickly and in really nice tones. I thought it was just some kind of tricky sales ploy so I remained wary.

“Let me look over your site and I’ll see what I can do.” She said.

(Here comes the pitch for the big bucks I thought.)

Over the next few nights she performed the magic that is now my new blog graphics and was a joy to get to know and work with. I WAS STUNNED! She worked so hard and never complained when I asked for tweak after tweak. And, she never once asked for more money, even when she redid the entire layout!

I am not ashamed to say that I love the Pixie. She is a good friend to people with shallow pockets. She gives her very best effort to anyone who seeks her services. She will make your dreams come true. She did mine!

Go and say hello to her. Trust me; you have nothing to fear from this magical creature and everything to gain.

And, if you bug her enough, maybe she’ll make me a set of those groovy Christmas graphics...

Cough... Cough... After all, I am really sick.

Oh, I almost forgot! The Wham thing; Pixie loves those guys!

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December 7, 2006

Put the lime in the coconut...

I am so sick...

"Is that you, Whim?"

"I knew you’d come. You're not like all the others."


Cough. Cough...

“I knew they'd all desert me the moment I showed any human frailty.”

“I’m feeling bad today...”

“I think one of them must have poisoned me like that Russian spy.”

“You look like an angel, Whim.”

“Meander never dressed up like that for me. I’d have thought for sure she’d have a nurse’s outfit; maybe one of those cute hats with the Red Cross on it and a bunny tail on the back. Sigh, I guess I’ll never know now.”

“I think it was the Nameless One. Make sure Scotland Yard knows that, will you? He always was jealous of my award.”

“I feel so cold. Why can’t I feel my blog?”

Cough, cough. Sniff, sniff... Shiver.

“I need to rest now, Whim. Huh, what’s that? Well, I guess I could roll over if you think it will help.”

“Hey, hey, what’s that you’re doing?”

“Wait just a cotton-picking minute, girl!

“Are you sure that’s where the thermometer is supposed to go?”

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December 6, 2006

The only meme I'll ever do!

"Don't make me kill the elf."

I don't know, I'm just not much of a fan of the meme. I'm only doing this one because my good friend asara dragoness tagged me.

I would also be remiss here if I did not offer a hearty congratulations on her recent Best Blog Of The Day Award.

Way to go, girl! You always make me smile with your bubbly personality.

My favorite Christmas Songs

1. John Lennon - So This Is Christmas
2. Simon and Garfunkel - Silent Night
3. Jackson Browne - The Rebel Jesus
4. Emerson Lake and Palmer - I Believe in Father Christmas
5. Vince Vance and The Valiants - All I Want For Christmas Is You

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My gift is my song girl, and this one's for you.

Behold, the story of a lotus flower.

One of my favorite symbols of spiritual growth has always been the Lotus plant. I first came across the story of the Lotus in my studies of eastern religions. Although the flower itself is truly remarkable this is not the aspect of the plant which I find so fascinating. Rather, it is the story of how the plant produces the blossom that captures my attention.

In India, the Ganges River is not just a symbol of a religious belief system. The river itself is considered to be a goddess. Her waters have been the heart of India’s spiritual life for countless centuries. People have come to the Ganges to wash, to cleanse the soul, for renewal, to be anointed, and at the end of life to be cremated and consecrated to her depths. Having your ashes flowed over by the Ganges completes the earthly journey and returns you home.

The Ganges River covers a substantial area and touches the lives of countless villages and communities. Along it’s journey it collects a lot of the refuge of daily life and the remains of many people going home. Yes, all manner of awful crap sinks to the bottom of the Ganges River. Hence, the river bottom is a centuries old collection of sludge. Some would go as far as to say it is one deep nasty pit of excrement.

And this is where the seed of the Lotus plant begins its story. Its journey begins by falling through the murky waters of the Ganges River and landing smack dab in a heaping trough of stinking poop.

Welcome to the world little fellow.

Having no choice in the matter the small seed puts forth roots and begins its growth back up through the crap towards the warm and nurturing light of the sun. Straight as an arrow the stalk of the lotus plant heads for the surface of the Ganges. It does not matter if the distance it must travel is ten, fifteen or even twenty feet. Straight and true, it grows towards the light.

Eventually, the tip of the stalk pierces the surface of the water and only then does the blossom of the Lotus opens its petals and reveals its inner beauty to the sky. This moment of standing revealed in the light of the sun is worth every moment of the journey both into and then out of the river of crap.

Sometimes the Internet reminds me of the Ganges River. Man, there is a lot of poop floating around in there. Some of it is really nasty and stinky too. It’s certainly not something I’d like to feel squishing around between my toes if you know what I mean. But there’s also some radiant Lotus flowers floating in the murky waters and one of the most lovely I’ve found goes by the name of, whimsical.

When her seed fell into the metaphorical waters of the Ganges River of life, she literally fell, as in from the top story of a burning building. She bounced a couple of times and landed hard in a great-big-heaping-pile-of-hot-steaming-poop.

The next time you find yourself thinking how tough you’ve got it and how hard it is trying to hang on to your sanity; go and peruse the archives of her story. Then take another look at whatever situation you find yourself in and count your blessings. I love her story. It is a real life lesson of courage and heart. It is a true example of strength.

Now, of all the things this beautiful flower lost to the fire that altered her life the one that touches my heart the most is her loss of Christmas. Yes, the fire occurred just four days before Christmas and she’s never felt the same joy again during this season.

I think she needs a Christmas miracle...

And I’m kind of hoping we can give her that miracle.

Maybe if we all take just a minute to stop by whimsical’s place and offer her a Christmas greeting she’ll begin to recapture the essence of this wonderful time of the year. If we’re lucky, the light of the sun will shine down upon the flower of her heart and rekindle the magic of Christmas and she’ll be even further healed.

Hey, miracles happen...

The whimisical Lotus Blossum.

"Merry Christmas, Babe."

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December 5, 2006

If I spring a leak, she mends me...

Saturday night my pregnant wife got sick. Really sick...

She woke me up from a sound sleep not more than thirty minutes after I'd gone to bed. Now, I'd retired early Saturday night because she was playing timpani in a church service on Sunday afternoon and I wanted to go with her. You see, music is a very important part of my wife’s life and I like to share it with her even if it’s just carrying pieces of equipment and sitting in the audience and watching her play. (I love watching the look of happiness on her face when she’s performing.)

So, trying to be the good husband, I go off to sleep on the sofa. That way, I can get some sleep and my wife gets the bed which is closer to the bathroom and doesn’t have to crawl over the top of me to get there. The best laid plans...

Sunday morning we wake up and neither one of us have gotten the rest we needed. She goes off to rehearsal and I stay home. The day is a miserable one while she’s gone and I am having one of those days. You know, the Murphy Day, where everything that can go wrong is going wrong.

So, by the time my wife comes home from rehearsal I’m sitting in the den watching television in a state of sweet-sulking-sullen-misery. I’m speaking in monosyllabic tones, rejecting every offer of food and libation and basking in the juices of my darkest depression. Hey, I’m fifty-two years old, sometimes I’m crusty.

Still, trying to be a decent husband I get showered, shaved and dressed for the church service. Departure time arrives and I’m ready to go. Yes, I was still grousing but I was ready to go and would have calmed down on the journey to Piqua. It’s a lovely drive and it always makes me feel good.

As we’re headed to the car we fall into the dance. You know the one.

“Well if you’re just going to...

"Then why don’t you just stay home and...”

So I stomped back into the house and she stomped off to the car and separated for the day we were.

Ten minutes after she’s departed I’m thinking, “Man that’s not how I planned on spending today.” (I hate when that happens.)

So, I change clothes and sit down to watch my beloved Cleveland Browns play the Kansas City Chiefs in a rarely televised game here in the heart of Cincinnati Bengal territory. As the contest progresses into the fourth quarter the Browns are losing and their starting quarterback gets hurt and leaves the game. Great...

Bound and determined that the day is not going to be a total loss, I decide to give up on the game and get in my daily thirty minute walk. Off into the frozen tundra I go. Damn was it cold and I froze my butt off. Now, are you ready for the fun part? When I get home, I fix myself a nice cup of warm coffee and head back upstairs to watch the next football game.

You know what happened. Yes, the Browns came back to win the most thrilling game of the season, in overtime, and I missed it.

Oh it gets better...

I’d also missed my wife’s phone call. The one where she called to tell me she’d fallen and hurt herself.

Yeah, I certainly felt like the very best husband in the whole wide world.

Man, sometimes you step on a pile of crap and the next thing you know you are neck deep in biggest shit sinkhole you’ve ever fallen into. It happens.

Well, she got home and terrified that something might have happened to the baby, guilt on both our parts and all kinds of other emotional ingredients combined in a stew of crusty fussiness and once again, we went to sleep alone together. The perfect finish to the perfect day.

I awoke this morning with my wife giving me a kiss before she headed out to work. “Do you need anything before I go, honey?”

“No, I’m okay. What time is your appointment with the doctor?”

“Two forty-five. I’ll call you as soon as I know anything.”

“I love you, angel.”

“I love you too.”

Today’s lesson?

Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes it does not feel much like love at all. Now, I can’t tell you many things about love because I really didn’t know much about it until late in my life. But I can tell you the most important thing my wife has taught me about love.

Love is a choice.

I made the choice to marry this woman and she chose to have me as her husband. And each and every day we choose to continue our love no matter what each moment brings to our table. We choose to accept the bad as well as the good. And you know what? It turns out we’ve chosen pretty well.

It’s easy to love when there are no trials and tribulations. But there are always trials and tribulations. And when you get through them and you hold each other tight, there is no sweeter love. So many people give up so easy these days. At the first cross word, they leave a relationship. It breaks my heart...

Folks, I don’t care how bad a day it is, I’d rather spend it with my wife than live it without her. That’s my choice, and gratefully, it’s hers too.

Trust me, if you choose to live through the worst of your husband, your wife or even your children with love, it will only make living through the best of their days that much sweeter. Celebrate the bad days as much as you would the good days. They are both important ingredients in the reality of agape love. But who am I to speak of these things?

It’s your choice...

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December 4, 2006

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends

Don't forget what the doorman said...

What happened?

Where am I?

Whoa, those mushrooms packed a wallop.

Those gnomes carry some mean stash. And that wizard; man can she party.

Obviously there have been a couple of changes around here and I’d like to thank the Pixie for the groovy new digs. Does she rock or does she rock! She worked with me until everything was exactly the way I wanted it to be. And she is affordable! You are the very best, girl.

So, what do you think?

I’ll be very interested in hearing your opinions...

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