Sunday, January 6, 2013


Yes, I'm still here. Just dealing with the expected stress and anxiety that comes with mom's impending surgery, as well as the usual post-holiday blahs. So, some stuffs:

Mom is doing all right-ish. She's stubborn and pushes herself too hard, and that results in her body saying "Hey, you really should take it easy" and acting up.  As a result, she experiences frequent numbness and tingling in both arms and parts of her face. We are extremely concerned by this, but so far all instances of it have gone away after resting. She has an appointment with the neurosurgeon on Monday, and I hope she gets this surgery scheduled soon because I worry that one day she will do too much and the numbness won't go away.

On a related note, my dear friend Brigid has a big brother who is also in the hospital:
He had an"episode" while driving. Seizure or just passing out, I'm not yet sure, but his girlfriend got them stopped and got him to the ER. He's lost a bunch of weight this last year, said he just had no appetite. He's always been a tall hefty guy, and he'd needed to lose about 70 pounds but he attributed the loss of appetite to a change to some type II diabetes meds. He looked great with the weight loss and had no other complaints that we knew of. Apparently there were other symptoms, ones he didn't pass on, not wanting anyone to worry.
It appears to be Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The biopsy of the mass in his throat will confirm it, but they're already planning on chemo and radiation. A very heavy smoker since his teens, we know how that stacks the odds against him, not to mention the many months this has likely gone undetected. He's only 55.

Similarly, my other dear friend Jean (y'all helped raise money for her a few years ago to bury her mother-in-law, that Jean) has an uncle who had a heart attack shortly before New Year's Eve. So far, 2013 is not off to a great start health-wise.

As for me, the other reason I've fallen silent is because I am dealing with some blog-related existential angst.*  As you are aware, I am both an enthusiastic gun owner/sport shooter, and yet I try on the whole to avoid discussing politics. However, ever since the atrocity at Sandy Hook, I and millions of other law-abiding gun-owners have been depicted as:
  • murderers just waiting to happen;
  • complicit in the deaths of children;
  • contributing to the culture of violence;
  • and atavistic throwbacks in desperate need of re-education, if not outright elimination.
I'm just so tired of being branded a sociopath by a culture that rushes to judgement. In the 1980s, I was a satanist because I played Dungeons & Dragons. In the 90s I was suicidal, and then homicidal, because I was a goth. I don't recall being singled out in the mid-2000s, because I think at that point the scapegoat du jour were muslims, but now that we've killed bin Laden and "won" the Global War on Terror, the U.S. needs something else to blame, and in the wake of Aurora and Newtown, the national bugbear is the lawful gun-owner.

I don't want to turn this into a political blog. There are bunches of gunbloggers who do a far better job of it than I ever could; I just want to be a geek and write about cool shooty stuff. But I feel that if I stay silent, I become complicit in whatever happens to my rights.

What I really want to do is become more creative. I need to focus more on both Pellatarrum and Unknown Ponies, and I have been extremely lax in that regard. Part of that is due to the fact that I gravitate to the subjects which receive the most attention, and it seems like more of my readers have been interested in Monday Gundays and Palette's Product Reviews than they have with my RPG interests.

I am NOT saying it's your fault I haven't been writing these things. The fault is 100% mine. What I am trying to say is that, if you want to see more of a certain thing, expressing an interest in it is a great way to encourage me to write more.

* In hindsight, I really should have named this blog "Existential Ankh". Nothing quite like thinking of a great name six years after the fact, now is there?

Speaking of ponies, this latest episode is just more proof for my assertion that Applejack is indeed a Ranger with the favored enemy of "Plants":

I wonder if I should go back to having theme weeks.  Your thoughts on this?


  1. Theme weeks, like bow ties, are cool.

    I've enjoyed everything you write, and only comment when I think I've got something to say. That's... kinda wrong, considering I enjoy *any* comments on my blog, even if they're just 'hi! like the post!' kinda comments, so...

  2. Theme: apples. With peanut butter. And chocolate chips. And a small bit of coconut.

  3. For what it's worth...

    "Just" writing about the cool shooty stuff _is_ being supportive. It's helpful to shooters who are looking for solid information without all the AR/AK/FAL-is-better slant. It helps introduce non-gunnies to the field. And it gives a personal, not "I'm a militiaman slogging through the woods every weekend training to save your worthless asses from the New World Order", view of gunnies; no bad thing these days.

    As I recall, it was a comment you made on someone else's blog about your rifle that led me here back when. But I mostly I keep dropping by just to... relax, I guess. I've been pretty political. I've been a vocal gunnie. But I'm burned out. I'm tired of arguing. So reading silly stuff about ponies helps.

    I'm not a gamer lately, but I still find your Pellatarrum posts interesting, for much the same reasons as above.

    I _was_ a heavy gamer back in the '80s, too. I got involved with a local nonprofit Christian TV station in New Mexico in the mid-'80s. Not because I'm Christian, but because I like to encourage alternate views and those folks really needed a tech who could work on some station gear for free. I ended up running a camera during a live broadcast of a telethon. They interviewed some woman would had apparently written a book about the evils of D&D. As she sat there and babbled on... D&D spells are _real_ ... the "kids" are _really_ praying to those strange Demigods & Deities ... ... I had to keep my hands off the camera. I'd just wait for camera cuts to briefly shift angles and focus, then _hands off_. Because I was shaking with suppressed laughter. I eventually had to get someone to take over while I went outside to laugh out loud. And to smoke; they didn't approve of that either. As near as I could tell from the Q&A, the woman had never actually sat in to watch a gaming session, nor even interviewed real gamers. She had read some players' manuals, and assumed they were _real_. And that we really did bring bags of exotic spell components to our evil gatherings. Oh, and our little lead figurines were religious icons; I believe she brought a few to show the horrible demons we had sold our souls to. After that I couldn't take the "D&D is Satanism" bit too seriously; it was clear who really needed counselling and medication.


  4. Here at my house your blog has a multi-generational appeal. I had never heard of a brony until I checked out your blog, and I had no idea that I had one in my house until my 18 year old son squealed like a toddler at a toy store when he was walking by while I was reading your blog and he saw a picture of a pony, I think it was Derpy, his favorite. I am more interested in monday gundays and the reviews and not really into the ponies but it's nice that we can share your blog and I enjoy watching him enjoy the pony stuff.
     I do think that things change, people evolve, and revolve through their hobbies and interests too. If you're focusing on a few things more than others these days that's fine. We all need to get lopsided at times, and sometimes things fall to the wayside for whatever reason, or even no reason. No matter how sad that makes us. I have found that it's usually my subconscious way of saying it's simply not time for that right now, and I do wind up coming back to it when I'm in a proper headspace for it. I have a pair of Docs and an ankle length royal purple crushed velvet cloak that I have packed away and hidden from the kids that is biding it's time, although I can feel the pull of my prrrreeeeeccccccciiiooouuussssssssssssssssss.....

  5. Write what you want to.  It will show in your writing, and people will generally respond positively to it.  

  6. Erin, I originally came here by way of gaming posts, but I appreciate your insights on gun ownership.  I consider myself a moderate when it comes to gun ownership and I find your views on the subject well-reasoned and interesting.

    Write what you think about and enjoy and don't worry too much about any negative feedback.  It's your blog and you should write your mind.  We'll keep reading.  And any negative reactions you get mean that people with differing opinions are reading and maybe your point of view will influence them, even if just a little.


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