Obscure Arcanum - Chapter Eight

A DIARY (also called a journal) is a record (originally in handwritten format) with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone who keeps a diary is known as a diarist.

Cockpit of a CF-18 Raptor, June 19th, 2016

Always wanted to read someone's diary? Well, here's your chance!

I was quite young when I first started writing. In fact, I still have people come up to me and talk about my stories and aspirations I penned as a boy. When I entered my teenage years, I took to my writing assignments with great gusto, It wasn't until my late twenties, however, that I discovered my enjoyment in writing also carried a type of therapy for me. As time progressed, I realized that by putting down my thoughts and feelings for others to read brought me a type of inner peace. It's as if the thoughts in my mind are tangible and carry mass, and by releasing the thoughts and images in some expressive form makes the world seem a bit lighter and spacious. Today, I write stories, songs, and poetry that is enjoyed all over the planet! While so much has changed in my lifetime, so much has stayed the same; my dream to be known world-wide is still very predominate in my goals.

I am the first Zzorhn on the planet, but I will certainly not be the last, For anyone that knows my quirky sense of morality, it can be said that I am sometimes misunderstood. My out-dated code of honour, my constant push to be the very best at everything I do, and my passion for the world we live in, has made me the man I am today, I have a unique set of life-skills; I like to sing and entertain, and I've performed in theater, as well as, a couple of commercials for the Internet. I was the co-producer / writer / actor for the "Zzorhn & BingoRage Show", and loved getting feedback from all over Canada on our live-broadcasts. My biggest goal in life is to become an actor and star in a film I've written. I like to paint, carve, sew, and craft. I enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, including biking, rollerblading, camping, bonfires, fishing / hunting, paintball, and much more! At home my hobbies include playing Mechwarrior (video game), Dungeons and Dragons (2nd edition - yes, I know... "retro"...), and building / crafting. I even enjoy cooking and cleaning too!

There has been almost a two month gap since I last penned an entry in my diary. This is due to a couple of factors. To those who have been following me diligently, I apologize (Sorry, eh?) however, I was a cross-roads in my life and needed some time away. Things have changed, as things tend to do. I've moved across the city of London to a second floor apartment. I saved enough money to buy a guitar and a bike. I have a girlfriend......

......you remember Cara? Sweet, smart, and sexy, we challenge each other to be our very best because we believe in each other. In the past couple of months our relationship has grown by leaps and bounds. You will forgive me if I don't indulge in a host of personal information, because while she has given me consent to write about her, there are some details no one needs to know. After all, if Victoria can have her secrets, so can Cara.

This journal / diary was originally intended to be a way for loved ones to keep track of me. When I moved from North-Western Ontario in 2014 I left behind many good friends, and my family. Since then, I have discovered that many others from all walks of life enjoy to read my daily entries. What was supposed to be a simple social experiment morphed into something much more, and I now receive letters and pictures from all over the world.

It's been a rocky road. Nothing worthwhile comes easy they always say, and I've had to work hard to get where I am. Through determination, positive thinking, faith in myself, and the assistance of others, I am succeeding in my life goals. I went from a man who had nothing and no future, to an individual with a success story to tell.....

........If you are reading this journal for the first time, I would recommend you start at the beginning.

“Turn the Page” (2014)

Obscure Arcanum” (2015+)

July 21st, 2016
Told you I was taking a break from writing. My last entry was May 25th. Quite a bit has happened since then. I moved for starters....

......I'm living with Cara. Things are pretty great! We've been slowly moving m y belongings from my old place to her apartment, and although that has resulted in the usual stresses with moving, our combined styles are meshing well. She has become a major part of my life, and I'm very happy.

FRANK has safely moved to his new home. With even more sunlight, a few leafy-friends, and a bigger-than-ever pot to sit in, he's one happy tree. Growing like a weed.... The ambitious dude has sprouted two more branches in a month! Like a fast-growing bonsai tree, I plan on pruning and sculpting Frank into a living work of *representation art. (all that from a teeny shoot)

I've decided that it's time to get back to my writing again. You can expect more new titles and tales in the coming months.

The scandal at Silva Urbem continues. I've now been framed for a couple of more lies, and branded a villain. I'll write more about this at a later time, as I plan on penning a letter anyway for the local ombudsman. Regardless of what has occurred, I am now BANNED for a year. This shamefulness is unfortunately going to haunt London's Amtgard chapter for the rest of its existence. (If you are uncertain as to what I speak of, go back a few chapters and read about the act of of betrayal by a few people I considered close friends)

Wow! So much to catch you up on, Dear Diary......

........things are the same in the health department. I've been busy attending a few events with Cara, and we love karaoke night. Diane has been on vacation for the last few weeks, so I haven't visited her. My circle of friends has changed somewhat, but for the better. I've started playing Dungeons and Dragons again....

...Yup! I finally found a small group of individuals that enjoy role-playing and throwing dice. It didn't really take too much convincing to get them to try playing 2nd Edition, as they are quick learners and weren't in any serious campaigns anyway. For me this is exciting! I'm back in the Dungeon Master position, but that's mostly because I alone understand the rules in this archaic edition. It feels natural though, because I have almost always been the DM in our campaigns. With the plethora of knowledge about storytelling, and the use of social media, I believe we can take our adventures to heights I've never dreamed possible!

There's a pool in our backyard. Not some small plastic child's toy, it's a public pool for all the tenants to use. With daytime temperatures feeling like low 40's, it's been a godsend to many residents of my new apartment. In fact, my plan is to go for a small swim as soon as I log off the computer.

Life is good. I have a partner who cares enough about me to try to understand my diet, but even moreso, pushes me to be a better person. I've changed since I met her, and I like the new me. The new me watches what he says (or at least, tries hard) and tries to find the positive in all situations..... Because that's what Cara would want me to do.

I should go.... I have to say this has been enjoyable writing to you again, Dear Diary. No worries, I'll keep in touch. My computer desk is now here, and my office is set up. I can now tackle my projects properly........ Keep cool.

July 22nd
Wow, does it feel good to be back at my desk again! Hello, Dear Diary, it's another warm, sunny day. With daytime temperatures in the low thirties and feeling more like forty, I'm content. So is Frank, who has responded to the sudden extra direct sun by darkening his leaves much greener than before. They've grown wider too in the last 48 hours. Little tree is just soaking up the sunlight and heat.

I forgot to tell you about a few things yesterday, but I was somewhat rushed. One thing about living with Cara is that there is never a dull moment. Anyway, you probably noticed a picture of me flashing a thumbs up in the cockpit of a CF-18 when you started reading this chapter. That's because I was privileged to once again volunteer as security at an airshow. How did I get a chance to sit in Canada's fighter aircraft? One of the perks of ensuring the safety of the pilots and crew is a chance to talk and learn from those that fly and work on these aircraft. The event was at St. Thomas in mid-June. It was great to see all my airplane buddies again, and I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering.

Tomorrow we have several foam-fighting friends from Malkier coming over for "Boffers and Burgers". It should be a fun-filled afternoon of BBQ, combat, and even swimming in the public pool.

I guess Diane is coming back from vacation tomorrow as well. Sure will be great to see her and the family. (Seems so long)

So, here I am having done my exercises for the day, and even went for a brief swim. The goal is to work out a few details for our next Dungeons and Dragons game, and make a list of materials for a bed I'm building. Guess I better get my butt in gear........

July 24th
The heat wave is over, and the blue skies have been replaced by grey clouds. No rain; just overcast and gloomy.

Hello, Dear Diary. Did you miss me?

Yesterday was quite a lot of fun, even though most of the people who said they were coming chose not to at the last moment. I blame it on the heat I guess.... Not many people want to run around in the blazing sun. So, it's unfortunate to say that player turnout was dismal. Cara and I had purchased enough food for over 20 people, and now we've got extra. Oh well..... Looks like we're having hamburgers for a couple days.....

.........anyway, we did some fighting, and then spent most of the afternoon in the public pool. I had a blast swimming, and then we fired up the BBQ. The evening was fairly quiet with a couple of people working on characters for the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons game.

Which brings me to today; this evening will be another rousing adventure playing 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons. I'm quite excited as our party is expanding with new players, and everyone is quickly learning the rules.

As I stated a couple days ago, I intend to draft a response to the corruption in Amtgard. I can no longer say it's isolated to London as the corruption actually stems from the Imperial leadership of the Northern Empire, and they are supporting the criminals in charge of London's chapter. My efforts are no longer about bringing attention to the gross abuse I have suffered, as I now intend to bring to light the negativity and abusive individuals that are destroying the fabric of Amtgard in Ontario. (Which will address my issues anyway) I will go on record and state, that if there is nothing done to right the wrongs I and several others have suffered due to the abuse of a few individuals, I will never go back. I have been already told by a handful of people that they will never go back, and that is extremely unfortunate! All it takes is a couple of assholes to destroy any organization........

.........enough of the negativity. Time to get my butt into gear and tackle Cara's "Honey-do list" before our company shows up. Hope everyone has a great day.

July 25th
My post in "Zzorhn's Bar & Grill" on Facebook....

"I had an experience recently, where I was exposed to the scourge of modern society......
.....cell phone mentality.
Remember, this group is closed, and no one can see our posts, so please chime in on this issue without fear of reprisal.
The event started out normal enough; a group of friends sitting around a table to play Dungeons and Dragons. I've been playing since I was 7 years old, and by the tender age of 9 I was the Dungeon Master for our group. I've gamed with so many people over the past three decades, that I've experienced all mannerisms of character and player types.....
....I have never had a cell phone at the gaming table before.
It started out innocently enough; someone starts texting while the game is on. Before long, I realize that some players are texting each other...Sitting across the table from each other.
The distraction is real. In the time you've taken your eyes off the game and ignore those around you, the game progresses until it becomes apparent that one or more players aren't paying attention.....
...the Role Play dies. The game slows down. The Dungeon Master ends up repeating themself.
Let's skip past the fact that it's excessively rude. Most people in today's society cannot see their own selfish actions anymore in our self-entitled society. For some reason people have discarded manners and respect because their brains are now wired to a cell phone, and although studies have proven the destructive problems with this new phenomenon, no one seems to care enough to take action.
As a Dungeon Master, HOW DO I DEAL WITH THIS NEW PROBLEM? You would think that people would realize how rude they are, but we all know that isn't going to happen.........
.........my suggestions have been met with severe resistance. Asking people to turn off a phone or put them away seems harsh for some reasons I don't understand.
Is it just me?"
......Now, you have to understand, Dear Diary, that some of the players in our D and D group are members of the B and G. One could easily claim that I an subversively attempting to be passive aggressive by posting my question. I thought about that concept, and have dismissed it as I'm not being passive aggressive, but rather, trying to find a resolution to something I have never experienced before. It's a legitimate question, although it's obviously bias based on my own emotional response.

I've recently been told that it acceptable to "feel" a certain way. All my life I have been told that feelings were not legitimate or acceptable as logic. Turns out, it IS acceptable by societies standards to be comfortable with finding issues on topics based on how you perceive things. I'm not certain if I agree with this, and almost wonder if that is why our society has become so easily offended by everything. Regardless, I do feel very passionately about the topic of cell-phone mentality and the impact it's having on our society and the human race as a whole.

There are many arguments as to why cell phones are a good thing, and for those who quickly jump to the defense of carrying a cell phone on them at all times I agree.... To a point.... A cell phone is a tool, but for many it has become much more. So I agree that technology is a good thing, but when it starts to impact how we treat each other and interact, I have an issue.

Twenty or thirty years ago human beings lived without a cell phone. They quite easily went on with their lives without having to share every intimate detail, such as what was for dinner, or how well a particular family member did at some sporting event. Parents raised their children without the need to place them in front of some sort of screen for entertainment. Parents went out for dates / events / functions / etc, without having to receive minute-by-minute details of what was going on at home......

.......and society did quite well. Families didn't require everyone to have a phone; the family had one phone. It was used for emergencies and speaking to close relatives. Children were rarely permitted access to a phone, and while that seems almost draconian to some self-entitled individuals who have been brainwashed by today's technology, the world was a better place.

People actually talked. People actually left the home to visit. Children were expected to go outside to play. TV time was a bare minimal, and usually reserved for special occasions. The interaction of families and neighbours was vastly improved from the communication skills of today's generation!

In an endevour to create a better way for people to communicate, technology has actually digressed human beings ability to interact.

I know I'm not alone; many people from all walks of life have reported on this phenomenon I call cell-phone mentality. (I'm not certain if there is another term for it) The staggering problems from a race of intelligent beings who have changed the way they interact due to an advance in technology is nothing new; anytime in human history when technology has altered our way-of-life, there are life altering changes. One only needs to look at the automotive industry as mere proof of that concept, as the rise of gasoline engines has left our race dependent on fast transportation, and our brains are so wired to think in terms of speed and distance based on our advances, that we no longer act in mannerism that were acceptable pre-automotive era. EG: Your visit to the relatives was a couple of days, not an afternoon and a spent tank of gas.

In today's world, parents believe it is acceptable for a school-aged child to own a phone.........

...on top of their Ipad, personal computer, family computer, school computers, Youtube channels on the flatscreen, etc, etc, etc.

We had a public pay phone and managed to survive quite nicely, thank you very much! When the phone rang, it was only during the hours of 9 am and 9 pm. Anytime it rang late or early we knew it was an emergency. When the phone rang during meals or group gatherings, it was answered with, "Can I call you back? I'm in the middle of something here..". Ya, times were a reflection of the technology, but I believe there is more to it than a simple cordless phone.....

....even when the cordless phones first came out, the mannerisms of society was the same. You got up when the phone rang, and took the conversation to another room, not sit in front of people and talk. Today? Texting is the new way to "talk", and with its disjointed short messages it allows the user to be able to send discreet, quick messages so they can get back to what they were doing.... Except today's society doesn't. One only needs to look at texting and driving as proof of how people are so wired to their cell phones that even when law enforcement states that people need to put down their phones, there are still some that ignore that.

If there are people who think nothing of texting and driving, why should anyone expect others to logically set down their phones?

That's the problem...... It's an affront to almost everyone when they are told they have a social media / texting problem. They don't see it as an issue, or their actions rude. Many people today cannot imagine a world without the internet or cell phones, and actually form arguments to defend issues that arise from behavioral disorders caused by the use of technology. Even when scientists warn parents about too much screen time, the vast majority ignore such advice with claims of, "I don't want my child to be singled out for being different", and when ridiculed for handing a child a cell-phone, claim, "I want my child to have a phone in case there is an emergency".

Trying to bring light to these issues is a losing battle. My opinion is quickly fading into the minority. You can call me old fashioned if you like, but I prefer to think that I have a code of ethics and respect handed down from a generation that survived not having a cell phone.....

...and you can trust me when I say, you don't (bad word) need to be looking at the (bad word) phone when you are in a crowd. It's called respect..........

....ANYWAY, the game was pretty fun. [Chuckles] Thought I better add that part, after my long-winded rant about cell phone mentality and how it impacted me. I look forward to yet another time spent with my friends as we slay imaginary monsters and be heroes in our favourite fantasy setting.

I gotta get my butt in gear. (Literally) I have to head uptown and go visit the lumber store so I can build a dream bed for Cara and I.

Have a great day.

4:20 pm
Plans changed. Cara wants to wait on building the bed for a couple of weeks. Although I was really looking forward to tackling this project I have to bow to her wishes.....

......so, plans are now a workout, supper, and then clean up the house. Talk soon.

July 26th
Well, Dear Diary, things didn't quite go the way I planned in regards to trying to find a resolution to the use of electronic devices during D and D. (My blog HATES it when I use the ampersand - Goes into code or something. Hence my use of "and" instead of the usual ampersand label for Dungeons and Dragons) Instead of opening up dialogue that would have lead to finding some compromise between players, the conversation has been stonewalled. For that unfortunate reason I have decided to postpone future games until this issue can be properly addressed. [sighs]

Good morning! The sun is shining, but the humidity of last week is not a factor. I woke up early to some cramping, and decided to make the best of it. Turns out my "routine" took longer than expected, and I'm now looking at having spent 4 hours in serious pain.

Just went for a medicinal break and one last trip to the bathroom. Things are okish now.

I'm discouraged that there is such resistance to the use of smart phones. I'd make claims of "I don't get it", but the truth is, I do understand addiction. That's what it is... Addiction. Self-disclosure communication on social media triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as sex, food, and drugs according to scientists. The need to be "Plugged In" has become hardwired into the psyche of this generation, and any attempts to limit the use of hand-held devices such as smart phones, tablets, or laptops, becomes a point of severe resistance. It's no different than a drug addict, when told their behaviour is negative and life-altering, will venomously defend their way of life. The intense addition is also fostered by the notion of "Everyone is doing it", and the ideology of being left behind, or singled out. This strong pressure to fit in stems from a nation of commercialism and greed, and impacts every single thing modern humans do. From our clothing, vehicles, electronics, food, (seriously - everything in your life) to the way we vacation, and even raise our families, North American citizens are like sheep following the herd.

I expect that within a decade, the ideology of being connected by electronic devices to the world around us will desensitize the populace in regards to implants.

Our hands-free devices and applications are great! But, could you imagine if you could start your coffee maker from the bedroom? Walk into a Doctor office and simply wave your electronic device over a reader and have all your medical history available? What if, instead of having to carry a phone that can be lost / stolen, there was a couple of implants in your body. Small buds in your ears, a voicebox, and an image projector (inside your mind) that connect wireless to a center hub that can be programmed by anyone as easily as a laptop......

........it's coming. Might sound outlandish or science fiction, but these devices I've just listed are already science fact. They're testing them. The only reason they haven't exploded on the market is the strong resistance by the general population. With ideas of "The mark of the Beast" by those who read Revelations and make the connection of implants being the work of Satan, have existed for a couple of decades. The concept that personal information could be stolen by hackers is a fear shared by a vast majority, as the stories of cell phones being hacked and stolen information displayed all over the internet is nothing new. As this generation of humans grows up surrounded by electronics, however, those fears are being diminished. A whole generation of implanted humans is coming, and I guarantee you it is going to again change the way we interact and talk to each other......

....you could be across a large room from someone, and with a few flicks of your eye to dial the phone, and without ever moving your arms, have a conversation. How will this impact society?

Look at me go on a tangent... [chuckles] Must have struck a nerve, eh?

I'm going uptown a little while later to arrange a delivery date for the materials to build the bed* as Cara has suggested. I'll have to swing by my local pharmacy while I'm out, as my supply is nearly exhausted......

......look at me.... It's the 26th day of the month and I still have a bit of meds. Must have done something right this month. (Oh yea. I actually ordered my full prescription - Going without a few other things instead)

I've almost finished moving. There's a minivan load of items that still need to be transported across the city, but I'm too broke to pay anyone to help. Thank goodness it's one of my close buddies that's taking over the apartment, because I would be scrambling right now to get everything done in time.

I should go. There's laundry to do, things that need to be tidied, and I'd like to work-out now that I'm feeling better. Hope you have a great day.
* Bed - She wants a new one, not just adding to the one we have. To be blunt, I think we're going to have to sit down with some schematics, cost comparisons and such, because it doesn't feel like we're on the same page.

July 27th
Warm and muggy is the forecast for today. Good morning, Dear Diary. Hope things are well.

It's Hump Day! Middle of the week already, and I'm not getting much done. A combination of medical issues and lack of motivation has sucked the wind out of my sails.......

.......I'm not certain if it's just me, but it seems that lately everyone is in a poor mood. From motor vehicle operators to the average person on the street, there is a scathing negativity that seems to be pervading their actions and thought processes. Remember that I LOVE to delve into sociology (people watching), and can read people like a book. From body language, facial expressions, posture, and other easy to recognize signs, to the subtle shifting of eyes, or the twitch of a mouth muscle, I can get a general idea of someone's thought process, mood, and personal history.

I should also add that I am very expressive, and although I am capable of telling a falsehood, I really suck at it. So, while I am very good at reading people in a card game, I give away all my tells.

Wow!! I just checked my web-site counter this morning, and I've broken another record.....

.......30,000 views!?! I'm floored! To think that at one time I only dreamed of being a world-wide name, and here my work is being enjoyed by people from countries all over the world.

Speaking of which, turns out Russia is number one for views this week.......

......does anyone else find this weird?

Today should be fun. The house is tidy and Cara has the day off. With no real plans in store, it could lead to an adventure...

...because with her, life always is.

I think there may be resolution in the cell-phone issue at our Dungeons and Dragons gaming table; the individual that caused the drama is probably not coming back. [Le sigh.... That's French for sigh]

I'd like to go on record for one moment and speak about drama and how I react. There has been many times in my life where I have been accused of creating drama. This is not true, as I despise drama and the whirlwind of events that follow. When given a choice between a moment of logical calm and one of emotionally charged drama, I would take the first choice. Why? Most would! I do get that there are some individuals that actually enjoy drama in their lives, and that there are some people that cannot see drama when it presents itself. It's also true that as a society we have developed some seriously poor communication skills, and the way we express ourselves is laced with negativity, guilt-trips, sarcasm, and NOW mingled with the anti-social apathy of cell phone mentality. Anyway, let me be clear..... I despise drama, however, I will respond appropriately when someone throws drama into my life.

I won't start drama, but, I will end it.

[Laughs] Here's something to consider..... Drama, is emotionally charged. While it might be based in logic or the pretense of logic, it is a debate of sorts that has evolved to become a contest of crazy. So, here's a question for anyone choosing to have a dramatic moment and drag me into it.... "Do you REALLY want to have a contest of craziness with me?!"

Joking aside, one of the main reasons I do get accused of actually enjoying drama, is because of how well I can respond to it. "You wanna get crazy? Let's get crazy", is what rolls through my head. There's always a moment of pause, a kind of lull where my mind makes that snap decision, "Do you really want to do this?" So, yea.... I do make a choice to respond with drama on occasion, and some of those defining dramatic moments still haunt me today. The level of intensity I bring to anything I do is noteworthy, and you can be certain that same intensity is let loose during my dramatic outbursts. That drive for perfection and to be the best at what I do, my competitive nature, and combine all that with an extreme passion? [Chuckles and makes an explosive sound] Big time drama....... Earth moving drama.... The kind that ends careers, breaks up relationships, and has the potential to destroy friendships. Hence, the momentary pause.... I know how bad things can get, so I usually choose not to respond with drama.....

.......it causes with too much stress.

"Stress is the confusion created, when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole that really deserves it" - Author Unknown

Anywho.............. I should jet. Later gater.

July 29th
Good morning, world.. It's Friday. I guess there's a long-weekend, as Monday is a statuary holiday.

I went to visit Diane and her family yesterday. It's been over a month since we last saw each other, and I had a wonderful day. A feeling of giddiness took hold of me, and I felt my spirit lifted as we talked and laughed, teased each other, and shared our experiences since we last spoke. In the month that Diane and I last saw each other, so much has happened....

- I moved across London (10 KM) to be with Cara.
- Diane has been on vacation for three weeks visiting Canada's East coast. Her tales of the experience, and the excitement of seeing places and old friends was infectious.
- I've been banned from Amtgard for a year due to lies.
- A host of personal experiences that cannot be mentioned in a public post. (Sorry, eh? Please understand, Dear Diary, that I don't tell you everything. Sex may sell, but keeping some secrets is worth much more)

When I hopped in her van, Diane turned to me, and asked, "So, are we going to get the rest of your stuff?".....

........I had told her a couple days ago that I needed to get the remaining stuff from the old apartment, but wasn't certain when would be the best time. Well, no one jumps to the challenge quite like my bestie, Diane! She drove straight over to the apartment, and within forty minutes we had the remaining things packed into her van! I knocked on the Landlord's door and handed in my keys.....

......and with that final act, I am starting a new chapter in my life.

I just want to go on record once again, and thank Diane for everything she has ever done for me. Her generous, selfless personality combined with a heart of gold makes Diane the wonderful woman she is. Thank you, D for all you do!

This is it, Dear Diary, I'm fully moved in with Cara. Our lives have been slowly pieced together, and with the last of my stuff now mingled with hers, it is indeed official. I'm so happy!

Not to say that there hasn't been some stress. There's a book entitled, "Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life", published on September 8, 1998, and it's a motivational tale by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable........ During the second day of moving, Cara walks up to me and hands me the book. She had removed it from her bookshelf, and wanted me to understand the frustration she was feeling. So I took the short read outside, and quickly devoured the moral lesson she was trying to impart. I believe it did help me understand her concerns, however, there are some moments in life where you simply have to bow to the inevitable change....

.......humans don't like change. As creatures of habit, we get emotional when our routine becomes disrupted. One thing that Cara and I have in our favour, however, is an ability to communicate and express ourselves quite well. As both of our lives were forever changed, we held on tight to each other, believing  in each other, and what we are doing is right. Now that the major changes are over, the two of us are settling into our new routines nicely.

I'm going to do my workout, tidy up a bit, and maybe even go out to see friends. Still haven't jumped into any writing yet because I've been so busy, but eventually things will slow down.

Hope you have a great weekend.

July 30th - 1 am
[Chuckles] Well, good morning. Or evening. Depends on how you look at it. Needless to say, I haven't gone to bed yet.....

.....so, how is your CIVIC holiday treating you. Oops.. I erred, Dear Dairy. Turns out my previous mention of this long weekend being a statuary holiday was incorrect. [Shrugs] I could have gone back and deleted the comment or even edited it, but you know my policy about "Once written, it stays written". You can bet there are parts of my journal I would like to erase.... But I won't. Anywho.... This is a civic holiday, and not everyone gets as break, nor time-and-a-half I'm told.

I love the feedback. When I make a mistake, you can bet your butt that someone is calling me out on it. Lord knows I've made a few haters in my day, but I've also set my bar pretty high and in doing so have attracted like-minded individuals that enjoy nothing more than pointing out my mistakes. After 18 years of debating online, (Eff! That sounds wrong, but the numbers don't lie - 1998 to present) I have earned the respect of quite a few people that like nothing more than to throwothers around with the use of the written word. 

It's enjoyable to hear from those that read my work. I recently had an experience where I was being called out on my mistakes publicly and while some may have taken offense, I found the social experience fulfilling. If you would like to contact me, don't hesitate to write or call. Add me on Facebook too. Believe me when I say I am the only Zzorhn on the planet. (Thus far)

I have to make a huge admittance, Dear Diary. I made another mistake........

.........Frank is NOT a bamboo tree. [Shrugs and sighs] When I googled how to properly make cuttings of a bamboo tree, I discovered that I have been wrong this whole time.

 "This plant, which isn't really bamboo at all, but instead is a type of tropical water lily called Dracaena sanderiana, is from Africa and is said to bring good luck and good fortune to the inhabitants of any space where it is grown."

So...... Not that it really matters to me.... Frank is not who I thought he was. 

Once I researched things a bit more, I decided to do to Frank as I had intended all along; use him as a fast-growing bonsai tree. I analyzed his main stalk, and snipped it right to the base! The one branch that is far surpassing the rest was left intact, but the other branches were transplanted as suggested by the articles I read. Frank, is now fully spread out in the new larger pot, and boasts a total of THREE BRANCHES and FOUR CLONES. Frank is now SEVEN "Lucky Bamboo" Trees!!

Well, I should go to bed soon. Promise to chat soon.

July 30th - 10 am
It rained overnight, and in the space of a few hours the temperatures have dropped significantly. We really needed the rain, as constant high temperatures and heat have persisted for quite some time. It does suck that it chooses to rain on a weekend, especially a long-weekend instead of opting to precipitate on weekdays. [Chuckles] If humans could control the weather we'd be screwed.

Good morning, Dear Diary, how are you? Today for me looks like a chance to unpack some more, and possibly write. You never know though, because Cara might have me doing something totally unexpected at a moment's notice, so I'm not making any plans.

I do have to put together a game for tomorrow. I guess we're expecting to have a full table.

Talk soon.

July 31st
Cara and I went to "Rib Fest" yesterday in Victoria Park. .. [I'm being dragged away to go swimming - Talk in a bit]

August 1st
[Chuckles] Just realized I have now written the shortest journal entry to date. (See July 31st) Yea... We decided to go swimming, and I stopped writing, and then got too busy to come back and finish.

I'm sorry. :)

Anyway, as I was saying, Cara and I took her kidlet to "Rib Fest", and we had a BLAST! We spent hours at Victoria Park enjoying the sights, smells, sound, and went on tonnes of rides. For $20, a child can get a bracelet and both the bearer of the bracelet and one parent get to ride as much as they want!

Once again, London has exceeded my expectations for free-admission events!

The vendors were phenomenal,. and the BBQ sauce infused smoke from the various grills drifted far and wide; I was on Queen Street and could smell the event before seeing it, as the scent of prize-winning grill artists displayed their art in open flame cooking. Ribs, beef, chicken and so much more was available for all to enjoy.

Cara and I found respite under the shade of a tree and ate our supper, surrounded by the multi-cultural goodness that is London, Ontario. We talked and laughed, and I found myself lost in the moment.


..............Hello, Dear Diary. How are you? Did you have a good weekend? I know for many people today was not a holiday, but for quite a few families it was a long-weekend. I know that my bestie and her whole family made plans. Even Cara made plans....Without me.

I'm struggling with this, Dear Diary. I'm not jealous she went out with friends, nor the company she chooses to be with. Jealousy is a vile emotion that masquerades as saving relationships, all the while, destroying it from within. I'm not a jealous man when it comes to women Why would I be? My partner should have the free reign to do as they please, and there is no way I would ever consider caging the free spirit that is the woman I fell in love with, and want to spend my life with! I adore her! She completes me in ways I cannot express.....

......but, she chose to go out today, leaving me at home alone.

Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I actually had a decent day. The house is pretty darn clean at the moment, and I am still unpacking my artwork and other items buried deep within a moving box. The solitude did my soul good. I picked up some medication and then spent an hour and a half on the rowing machine. After that I went for a few laps in the pool, followed by a 20 KM bike ride. THEN I cleaned the house.

It just sucks when you get left behind.

Not sure what to say about that, so I'm going to leave the topic where it is. I was pretty upset at the time, but as the hours passed today, I eventually became indifferent. She has a right to do as she pleases, and there are going to be moments where I will get left behind  She just arrived home, but I don't feel in the mood to talk about the subject. Anyway, gotta go.

August 2nd
Good morning, Dear Diary. The sun is shining, and it looks to be another nice, hot day in London, Ontario. My plans for today involve more sorting of personal affects, a workout, a swim in the public pool, and maybe a ride on my bike.....

....damn thing is like a Cadillac to ride! With heavy duty shocks on the front and rear, quick-shifter gears and disc brakes, it rides like my Grandparents Station-wagon from back in the day. (Massive heavy vehicle that felt like you were floating down the road - They don't make cars like they used to) It is a heavier bike than most, but it has tonnes of raw power.

I'm not feeling too bad today with only some routine cramping and bloating. It's coming up on my time to start my medication for the day. Be right back........

.......So, I still haven't started that letter to the Amtgard Ombudsman where I attempt to find justice for London's Amtgard chapter, Silva Urbem. I'd have to say the lack of desire stems from three aspects....

A) Were the BS allegations brought against me actually investigated and found to be as corrupt as those that filed them, I would STILL be labeled as a villain in Amtgard. The "witch-hunt" they conducted because I had called them out on REAL abuse and poor sportsmanship was a vindictive manipulation that has forever tarnished my name in Amtgard. No amount of justice will ever fix that.

2) These responsible for the destruction of Silva Urbem have driven away all my friends. All the people we signed up, built weapons and garb with, practiced with, coached, and encouraged to Role Play, have stated they will never attend Amtgard again. This means that even if my bullshit ban WAS lifted, the only ones in London to play with are the individuals responsible for the "witch-hunt" and the degradation of Silva Urbem. Who wants to spend any time with people who would desire nothing more than destroy you?! It's human nature to protect ourselves, and no one willing subjects themselves to harassment, bullying, and possible life-altering harm.

D) I have no faith in the officers that run Amtgard. Not even a little. They have shown their true nature when they ignored any sense of justice and actively brought down the level of punishment they did. To turn a blind eye to the actual problems in Silva Urbem, and punish those trying to fix the persistent issues?! It sounds so freaking unreal that such corruption exists in such an established sport like Amtgard, but I've researched this and found that there are countless instances where new players are driven away by veterans. (For a host of reasons) THE NORTHERN EMPIRE IS RIFE WITH CORRUPTION, AND GOLDENVALE OFFICERS ARE TOO DETACHED TO BE OF ANY ASSISTANCE. Justice won't be found, that much I can assure you, as it would entail banning three veterans for criminal activities pertaining to both Amtgard and Canadian laws, and then routing out the instigators in White Stone Valley who falsified records to claim I was "Using excessive force". The fact that I was SHAMED ON A PUBLIC FORUM FOR USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA was bad enough, but that's the main reason I got a YEAR BAN. When it was brought to the attention of the leaders of The Northern Empire, they took down the public post, but kept the ban,...... Like, you can't make this shit up.

Anyway, my lack of desire is not the only reason I haven't take any action. I know that when I actually do something about the injustice done to me, there will be drama........ And I can't stand drama. Better to just move on, I keep telling myself..... Find another outlet for my ambitions.......

....it just sucks though! Cara and I loved crafting and playing Amtgard together. I've been waiting to hear back from Goldenvale officers if they are going to take action, but my patience on the matter is growing thin.....

.....I think it's almost time to address this.

Well, hope you have a great day! Talk soon!

August 4th
Well, hello Dear Diary, you sexy beast! Did you miss me?

I'm in a fantastic mood for two reasons. Firstly, Cara and I had a bonding moment and our relationship was taken to another level of respect and admiration, and second, I finally have a response from the Goldenvale officers......

........I have to submit a full report by the end of today. (Guess you know what I'm doing for the rest of the afternoon, eh?)

Back to the main reason why I'm walking around with a skip in my step for the last couple of days........Remember me mentioning that Cara has secrets? All women do, so it should be of no surprise to simply state that my lover has a few things she doesn't want the public to know. Women like to keep their private life, private. It shocked me, however, when I broached the topic yesterday about not mentioning sex in my diary......

......you must keep in mind, Dear Diary, that I don't tell you everything. I'd say "I'm sorry", but that would be a lie..... Let me be clear.... I don't write things in my diary that include other people without asking permission first. Names, for example, will not be listed if I'm referring to someone that has created an issue in my life. Just because I may want to express my disgust for a situation doesn't give me the right to take some sort of vengeance by resorting to calling them out on a public forum. However, when someone like Cara, Diane, my mom, Lincoln, Eric, Fern, and so many others who make a constant positive influence in my life and has given me expressed permission to write about them, then I will happily add their names to the journal entries I make. I don't use children names for obvious security reasons......... and I don't mention every little thing I do, simply out of respect for those around me and any repercussions it may cause. [Chuckles] Don't get me wrong, there have been a few instances where something I've written has come back to bite me in the ass. You can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs, and in my struggles to become a better author and find my niche in the world, I have made a few haters along the way. I'm human. I make mistakes. The high level of competence I hold myself up to is transferred to those around me, and when I do make an error in judgement I'm quickly pounced upon by others. Where I to mention some of the activities I partake in, it could come back to hurt other people and for that very reason I watch what I say in my journal entries.

I have Cara's permission to write about our sex life.

One of the things that attracted me to Cara in the first place is her attitude to romance and sex. Her opinions are not those of the "regular" nature, but because of my own past they are quite similar to my opinions. We both believe the human body is beautiful, and for that reason are both nudists. (When we can - Cara much more than I) We both approach desires with logic, rather than emotion. We're both into BDSM (It's been decades since my last time) and are enjoying exploring each other's limits. We have both engaged in group sex / games before.....

........and on Tuesday night, Cara and I had a foursome with another couple, Sorry to disappoint you, Dear Diary, but I'm not going to go into details. Besides, I'd rather talk about what I took from the experience rather than boast about my exploits......

.........It was our first time as a couple. Neither of us are shy on the subject and once we knew everyone was game, both Cara and I seemed to almost transform somehow.... It was almost as if we had done this before (Which we never had)......

..........We bonded. Without going into details or conversations, I'll simply state that our relationship has reached another level in terms of respect and dedication. I feel more strongly about Cara than I ever had because of our shared experience! I'm so happy we could do that without the drama and emotional baggage that can occur, and that has strengthened the trust we have for each other.

Is it getting hot in here? Or is it just me?

Aaaanyway, as for the second reason I'm in a good mood today....... I better get my ass cracking on the report I have to file. It's due tonight, but I should be able to meet that deadline with no problem.

One last note...... We finally got our Dungeons and Dragons crew together last night, and not only do we have two new players, but the cell phone issue has been solved with no drama!! Like, holy crap, eh?!?

Our campaign so far boasts

- A Grey Elf Invoker (Uses the element of Electricity to enhance his deadly magic)

- A Dryad Cleric of Robyn (The leader of the party, and mysteriously gifted with more power than the average Cleric)

- An Elven Rogue (Extremely gifted in the art of trap removal)

- A Half-elf Ranger (Hits his comrades more than the enemy)

- A Dwarven Fighter (She can split demon sculls with her battleaxe)

- An Elven Mage (Completely useless in battle, and she relies on her family's wealth for help - Quite annoying when she gets excited or confused. Or when she's scared. Yea... She's pretty much just a bubbly, talkative, easily-excitable, teenage Elf who has no concept of what real life is about)

- A Human Paladin (Has died both adventures he's been on. Not sure if he can still call himself a Paladin anymore)

- A human Barbarian (This Amazon warrior can rip men apart with her bare hands - Don't let her quiet nature fool you!)

Well.............I should jet. Lots to do......... Have a great day!

August 5th
KEE-RACK! The thunderous snap of the high powered rifle echoed across the forested valley. It was hunting season in North-Western Ontario, and the crisp Fall wind gaily danced through the brightly coloured leaves as they fluttered and flapped in the waning sun. In the distance, a light THUMP was heard as the intended target, a white-tailed deer, slumped to its knees in shock and blood loss.

"You GOT him, dad", a young boy squealed. Dressed in blaze orange, and matching his father in every way, the eager young hunter strained to peer through the binoculars. "Let's go get him!", he cheered, pumping his fist into the air in triumph.

The father chuckled at his son's exuberance. With a nod and a beckoning wave, he agreed, "Absolutely, bud! Come on!" He flashed a big smile at the young teen as they quickly gathered their equipment and set off down the trail.  As they walked, he remembered the times when he was a boy learning how to hunt from his own dad, and now here he was teaching and bonding in very much the same way with his own child. It made his heart glow to be sharing such an important life lesson, and coupled with the raw adrenaline coursing through his veins from the excitement, he practically floated over the forest floor.

It didn't take long for the pair to reach the dead deer. The magnificent buck had breathed its last breath and quietly died, but it still held a kind of grandeur. Sprawled out on a carpet of green and brown moss, and mingled with the steaming crimson life blood from the dead Patriarch, it was a picture perfect pose. The long tines on the antlers were marked with the signs of battle with other males, and judging by the crown, mantle around the neck, and the rippling muscles, this buck had been King over this part of the forest for quite some time. A true trophy!

The young teenage squealed with delight. He had been hunting with his father before, but each time the sensations came flooding back. It was more than just the scent of the Autumn air mingled with pine, and being one with nature. More than the smell of spent gunpowder; a sulfuric scent that clung to the clothing and equipment like a cologne. More than spending time bonding with loved ones. It was a chance to provide much needed food, and to the young man that feeling of providing for his family was overwhelming. The pride that came with such responsibility was powerful, and he shook from the adrenaline and endorphin's speeding through his young body. As he approached the giant buck cautiously, he examined the deer. "It's dead", he announced with a firm nod of his head.

"One shot, too!", added his father with pride, "Straight through the neck!"

With a frown the young man pointed a second, much smaller brown body a meter away from the large buck. "What's that?", he said in a grave tone.

"What?", asked the older man with a confused look. He lifted his head to see what his son was pointing at, and stopped cold in his tracks.

A fawn, obviously this year's generation, lay crumpled in a heap behind the large male.

Without a word the older man briskly walked over to the small deer. His heart was pounding in his chest as his mind swam from the sudden shock, and a gush of emotions and thoughts flooded over him. Gently, he turned the small deer over.

It was quite dead; a single shot had pierced its chest and exploded its heart.

"Dad?", whined the young boy, "What do we do?!". The excitement was gone, and now a fearful young boy stood staring at the carnage they had caused. How could something that felt so right, go so wrong so quickly?

With a heavy sigh the hunter shook his head, and simply explained, "There's nothing we can do, son. Sometimes good intentions have a way of backfiring. Once you fire that bullet, there's no bringing it back.......". He paused to gauge the boy's reaction, and then quietly added, ".........and there will be times when you tear the heart out of an unintended target. Such is the way of life".

(This is a parable I have written as a way to describe my taking action to find justice in Silva Urbem. I have a feeling of dread; that in my attempts to do good for London's Amtgard chapter, I may unintentionally cause harm)

I wrote the report last night, and sent it off to the Kingdom of Goldenvale along with supporting documentation for all of my claims. Turned out to be a seven page letter. [Shrugs] You know me, I don't do anything half-assed. Not certain what's going to come of all this, but I do know it's going to take time.

HOWEVER................... This means that I FINALLY have that (bad word) off my chest! I finally got to have my voice heard by someone with a higher authority. I'm not really certain if anything will actually come of it, but who knows, right?

Thing is, what do I want to come of this? To be totally blunt, I don't know. Would I want to jump back into being an officer? [Shirks] Not really... I've been slapped around too much to eagerly jump back into Amtgard politics. If I ever do decided to run for office, it will be cautiously, that much I can assure you. I do have one thing I would like to see, but because of Amtgard law it would never happen; allowing London to have two Amtgard chapters. - They could have theirs, and we could run ours the way we want. Anyway, that won't happen so it's no use even talking about it.

I do have to share one funny moment with you that happened last night. I was working on my report, and my sweet Cara was feeling a little ignored. Now don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I love her to bits, but when she gets wanting attention, she's all.......

....Cara: "Meow. You busy?"

Me: "Yup" [Types]

Cara: "I'm bored"

Me: "I'm just trying to finish this report..." [Types]

Cara: "I know, but I just want attention".

Me: I know sweetness, but I have a deadline. I'll give you some cuddles once I'm done" {Keeps typing]

Cara: [Sighs] Ok............. How long?

Me: [Stops typing and looks up at Cara] I really need to get this report finished, dear. It should only take a couple of hours. [Puts his head back down and starts typing again]

Cara: But, you like cake, right? We should get cake. Do you like cake? When you're at the store, can you pick up a spray bottle for me?

Me: [Stops typing an looks up in confusion] Wut?!?!   o.O

.....just gotta love her, right? It made me laugh so damn hard at the time, and I'm smiling even as I write this.

Well, Dear Diary, I have put off my housework long enough! The fact that 48 hours have passed and I haven't cleaned much at all certainly shows, and I'm still not done all my unpacking. With the report to Goldenvale now done, I can actually move on in my life, and forget about the issues...... And THAT feels really good!

Have a good one, eh?

August 7th
Good morning!

I didn't go to Church this morning. I stayed up late last night going through my belongings. I spent hours sorting, cleaning, and finding a place for everything. "A place for everything, and everything in its place", as my Grandfather used to say, and I wholly agree; nothing feels better than an organized, tidy house. It makes my soul feel good to place my stuff next to Cara's, knowing that while we are opposites on many things, we have so much in common, like reading books, and art.  Anyway, I kinda slept in. Sorry, but I'll get back into a routine once things quiet down.

It needs to be said that living with another person isn't always fun and games. When I speak of personality differences between Cara and I, I'm talking about more than just personal preferences. Having lived alone for over four years has left me with certain habits, and I'm adjusting to life with a significant other. (Roommates are much different) To say that there has been some friction during this phase in our lives, would be making an understatement. We've had a couple of pretty big fights over territorial rights and boundaries. At least the two of us can talk through our problems and address the actual issues, which makes our arguments healthy.... Which isn't to say that as humans, we sometimes slip and toss in a few caustic remarks now and then, bruise the other's feelings a bit, or say something regrettable. When two people fight it is due to stress or strain in a situation. When the issues become an argument, even a heated one, it's not a bad thing. Scientists have proven that a "Fair Fight" can strengthen relationships, but they also warn of negative behavior.

- Use violence or threats of violence
- Name calling
- Bring up old, resolved matters / arguments
- Mention family in a derogation manner
- Shame your partner for any reason

- Express your concerns, opinions, and perspective
- Acknowledge your partner's concerns, opinions, and perspective
- Debate with passion
- Remind your partner how much they matter. A simple, meaningful, "I love you. This is why I feel so passionately about _____" (The given situation), during a moment of stress can work wonders.
- Be open minded. It is acceptable and mature to change your mind.
- Remember that this tension is temporary. Never say or do anything you will regret.

Cara and I fight fair for the most part, and as we begin our journey down life's road together we are learning more about each other. By taking the lessons we learn and applying them to ensure that even the most heated discussion can be healthy, Cara and I are well on our way to a long and happy life.

[Chuckles] Next time she gets all pissy with me in the bedroom, I'm just going to grab a pillow and start swinging (for fun - I know she'll grab one too)...... Because telling her to calm down doesn't seem to work very well. o.O

I'm not sure what's in store for today. Might be playing some DnD, maybe a swim.. I know I want to hit the rowing machine for a little bit.... And there's still stuff to sort. Guess we'll see, eh?

Hope you have a good day. Talk soon.

August 8th
Monday morning. Since Cara doesn't have school today I let her sleep in. My morning "routine" of back and forth to the bathroom is nearly over, but it's taken three hours of cramping and pain to get over whatever is causing today's chronic pain.

We ended up with a houseful of Dungeon and Dragon players last night. As the players continue to get familiar with the 2nd edition, I'm noticing them constantly raising the bar. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and I'm happy to once again be playing a game I love.

Today is an opportunity to clean and keep putting things away. I'm going to hit the rowing machine once I stop cramping, and possibly go for a few laps in the pool. Not sure what else is in store for today.

Well, have a good one.

My sense of humour, eh?
August 9th
Hello, Dear Diary. It's Tuesday, and I have a ton of things to do today. I was woken early by cramping and it's taken me almost three hours to settle things down to the point where I can at least move around..... so now that I'm mobile I better get my butt in gear. Laundry, vacuuming, recycling bin, garbage, and much more needs to be taken care as I shirked my responsibilities in the last couple days and you can really notice.

Cara and I enjoy gardening. You already know that I have a green thumb because of my success with Frank, but what you might not know is that I grew up gardening and growing food. Cara also has a background in gardening, and together we have created a little greenhouse on our patio. I'm growing Boston ferns and of course taking good care of Frank, while she's growing a few types of tropical houseplants, nursing a Boston fern back to life, a Pine tree she started from seed, and a few vegetables, namely celery, tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach. (She also has a few herbs like mint, and such that she likes to toss into her cooking) Anyway, this morning I happened to notice movement on the balcony, so I naturally headed over to check.

Two squirrels were decimating Cara's zucchini.

I gave chase to the little buggers, but the entire zucchini was rendered inedible by the pair of chubby city squirrels. We ended up throwing the vegetable away to dissuade the animals from returning.

I'm thinking that we should stick to trees and flowers until a more suitable venue becomes available. (EI: Getting a place to live with a garden and such)

I dunno how I feel about that, Dear Diary. I have taken a liking to city life and living in a brick and steel building. I like the professionalism of the facility. To think that I might move back into a house where I have to cut the lawn and tend the bushes sounds nice at first, but I'm sure it just means more upkeep and work for Cara and I. At this point in my life I'm enjoying not having to do all that work and upkeep, although I'm certain if my health was better I would jump at the opportunity. Oh well... Nothing is going to happen anytime soon.

Well, the house isn't going to clean itself. I better go..... Talk soon.

August 10th
Happy Hump day, Dear Diary. Here's hoping we both get lucky today. It's supposed to be a hot one out there with temperatures feeling like 40 degrees due to humidity. Keep hydrated and sit in the shade. While you're at it, check out one of my short stories if you're looking for something fun to do while staying cool.

Well, I got an answer back from the Kingdom level in Amtgard. Drum roll please......

..........after a "serious inquiry" into the injustice and outright lies committed by a handful of individuals that ended up with me being banned, I have been found GUILTY of "Excessive Violence". I'll say that again because it sounds so freaking surreal...... Without asking a single one of the victims or even speaking to the organizers of the event in question, a decision was reached by taking the word of those that lied about me in the first place.

Told you I had no faith in anyone to perform their role as officer properly. I knew this was a waste of time to pursue justice, but I guess deep down I was hoping I was wrong; that someone with enough intelligence would realize how it is absolutely impossible for me to have done what they claim. Let me explain.......

.......during the time when I was cited for "Excessive Violence at an Amtgard event", I was using soft spell balls and verbal spells. That's right, spoken words and nerf balls wrapped in soft cloth. To top it off, the event organizer had even given me a directive of, "You cannot kill anyone. Only your team members can. If you use your powerful spells to drop anyone or your florentine daggers to attack another player, your team loses a point". This was done because I have a high level Mage, and although the organizers wanted me to cast magic as a demonstration for the combat sport, they didn't want me to obliterate others and discourage them from coming back. The goal of all demonstrations and public venues like the one where I was supposedly running around hitting people with excessive force, are to attract new players. I know this, and as such, was not only on my best behaviour, but also trying my utmost to promote the sport.

So, how did I get charged with a crime I obviously couldn't have committed given the situation? Simple. A witch-hunt, perpetrated by high ranking officers within the Amtgard community.

Why? Why does anyone do anything? Who knows what motivated over a half dozen individuals within the  Amtgard community to fabricate such an outrageous lie, cover up actual abuse within the combat sport, and protect the actual bullies! Who. The. Hell. Knows. Why...... I've given it some thought and using the method of stripping away layers until the truth lays bare, I have concluded that their motivation was based on jealousy. (Keep in mind, it matters not what their motives were)

Jealousy. That evil emotion that masquerades as positive desire, has crippled more relationships and destroyed more organizations than any other kind of human interference.The bitterness, animosity and raw negativity that comes with being jealous has been the causes of war throughout human history. It is an ugly thing that pretends to save relationships, all the while destroying it from within. Once jealousy has taken root in your soul it is hard to remove, and unfortunately will dictate your thought process; causing an individual to think a certain way about another, or taking actions to create drama or harm under the pretense of the greater good. This is what I believe happened in Silva Urbem; veterans watching a group of fairly new players succeeding, and became jealous of their success.

You must remember, Dear Diary, that I am NOT the only one that isn't playing Amtgard in London anymore..... I made a list last night of people who had become regulars to the Amtgard park during the time I was Monarch and ended up quitting due to bullying, abuse, and stress caused by veterans. In total, 7 others besides Cara and I have quit playing this Spring! That's a shockingly high number! And yet not one investigation into the cause........

....do you see the correlation yet?

Anyway, I was contacted last night by the King of Goldenvale, of which the province of the Northern Empire pays homage to, and is the highest ranking officer over players in Silva Urbem. When he said that an "investigation has concluded...", I blasted back at him for the obvious truth.... There WAS no investigation! Well, I've been told he's a fairly mellow guy, but I guess my way with words had this calm man suddenly directing me to pay more respect and reminded me who I was talking to. I'll admit, Dear Diary, that I did in fact apologize for being emotionally charged given the situation, however, I stood firm by my conclusion that the witch hunt has now been given a King's blessing. Due to the fact they never spoke to any of the victims or any of the witnesses, it is safe to say that there was no investigation. The matter has been brushed under the rug, and everyone is treading carefully in an attempt to move past such a dark chapter in Silva Urbem.

Would you like to read the letter I wrote to the King? Due to the sensitivity of publishing names on a public forum, I cannot show you the whole thing. But, here's a snippet of the letter.............
In the Spring when I was still Monarch, the Foam-fighting Association of London comprising of members from both Amtgard and Belegarth was asked by the Renaissance planning committee to organize a foam-fighting demonstration. I was originally on the planning committee, but when I was illegally removed from office I chose to remove myself from the other planning committees that included Amtgard. This left ********, **********, and ******* in charge, but I tagged along with a couple of other regulars from Malkier. (London's Belegarth chapter) During the two-day event I assisted with setting up and clean up. I also happily joined in the battlegames and Belegarth tournament. It's important to note that ********* from Wolvenfang, is on the board of directors, and Saturday, June 25th during the Renaissance Festival in Dorchester, I was approached by two Paragons from Wolvenfang. I thought nothing of it at the time, and although there was an Amtgard demonstration on Saturday afternoon, those two did not attend nor participate. In fact, during the Amtgard slot I was asked to demonstrate my Wizard's powers, which meant I traded in my swords for a wand and spell balls. To make things even more interesting, ****** gave me a challenge of not being able to “kill anyone”, and I found myself aiming for player's legs with my spells. Why is this relevant? Because, nearly immediately after the event in Dorchester I was accused of “Excessive Violence at an Amtgard event”. This is completely ludicrous as I wasn't in a position to cause harm to anyone due to the constraints placed on me during the demonstration. To completely understand how this whole instance is rife with scandal, consider this.....

.... There was no mention of excessive force to the Renaissance Festival committee. Nothing reported to the Foam-fighter committee, and nothing witnessed by any of the event organizers. But! Suddenly, the Prince of the Northern Empire has a mysterious report of “Excessive Force” and “Drug Use” filed through Amtgard channels?! There was only three people attending the Festival in Dorchester from Amtgard that I met; the two Paragons from Wolvenfang, and the current Silva Urbem Monarch, who refused to even walk by the demonstration. (This is another instance of ***** being a bully – He tried hard to get the event shut down when he forcibly became Monarch, but because it was a combined effort with Malkier, he was overruled. Instead of demonstrating good leadership, he condemned the event and tried to get the double credit reward removed. When that was overturned, he even went so far as to try to make statements to persuade others to avoid going to Dorchester and attend a field day in London instead) There was only three people that could have filed that false report, and only someone with the knowledge of Amtgard hierarchy could have brought it that far up the chain of command so quickly.

Let me go on record and state that I have a medical issue, and due to that I have a prescription from my specialist. While it may be legal for me to use cannabis for my daily pain, I still keep it fairly secret. Even when I take my medication, I ensure there are no children around and I'm not going to cause any issues. Why is this important? Because the Prince of NE took that accusation of illegal drug use and coupled with the lies about excessive force, gave me a YEAR BAN!  When Cara saw the scathing public announcement claiming I was a violent drug user, she recoiled and immediately wrote to ******* about it. While he removed the accusations of illegal drug use, he kept the report of me being violent and the year-long ban in place.

.......well, I guess it doesn't matter anymore. The investigation is over, and Cara and I have both quit. You heard me right.. We're not going to play Amtgard anymore.......

.......Well, time to move forward. I've got places to see and people to do, and not much time for either. Talk soon.
2016 Olympics in Rio. One volleyball player is covered head to toe in cloth, and the other has barely anything on. Both are a product of the society they live in.
August 11th
Happy Friday-Junior. The weather is hot and muggy, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a thunderstorm.  I have a bunch of things I really want to get done today,

I caught up on sleep; last night I was winded to the point of feeling almost sick to my stomach. My condition was causing me severe cramping, and I felt like I needed to throw up. At 7 pm I chose to lay down for a nap, hoping that I would feel better after a short rest.......

....woke up to Cara's alarm clock going off at 6:30 am. (Naps are tricky) Oh well, I feel pretty decent today, and after my routine I plan on tackling a few projects I've been putting off. I guess my body simply needed.... almost twelve hours of sleep.   o.O

There's a two-fold sensation occurring in our household; the relief that there has been a resolution to the Amtgard situation, and a feeling of being dejected at such a loss. I'm upset that once again someone has destroyed what I worked so hard to accomplish, but now that it's over I feel like a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I still haven't started writing yet since I moved. It tricky to balance your life when there's someone else in it. I used to close my door and disappear from the world, but now that I have others living with me, I have to be mindful of their needs, wants, and in Cara's case, desires. Between cleaning the house, tackling a few items on the "Honey-do list", and purposely making time for my sweetheart, I have eliminated the times when I could write. Things will slow down I'm certain, but for now, the routine I have established leaves little room for writing.

Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I'm happy. I just know that I have goals and desires, and I have to make time for myself too........

...well, I'm off to get my day started. Hope you have a good one.

August 12th
Well, yesterday was a bust for me. All good intentions aside, the fact I've been without medication for two days (Today would be #3) meant I spent the whole day cramping, in pain, and bleeding internally.

I'm exhausted because I've been up all night too; back and forth to the bathroom. The pain at 5 am was so bad that I threw up....

....now, while all this was going on, my sweet Cara was trying hard to study for her University exams this week. I did my best to hide my pain, and downplay the effects it has, but she picks up on my negative energy like no one else I know. She directed me to seek out a buddy who might be able to help me............

...so, in pain, cramping, and bloated like a pregnant hippo, I got on my bike and scooted my ass across town. Well, apparently when I had asked him over the phone if "things were good to go", and he had replied "yes", I assumed it meant he was good to go. Turns out, he didn't actually have any, but took my money and left me alone in his house as her did a run.

An hour goes by. I texted him to find out what was taking so long, and got a reply that things didn't go as planned and that he would be another hour.... Well, I'm not wasting my evening sitting around in someone's house until God-knows-when, so I left. No medication, and no money either.

I got home, only to have Cara chastise me for not waiting. Due to my pain I was unable to respond in a positive manner and she immediately got dressed and headed out of the house. I've seen this before, Dear Diary, where my relationships have gone downhill because my chronic illness and the side-effects it causes. So it was with great concern that I lay in bed writhing in pain, and my mind spinning from destructive thought after destructive thought.

It was after midnight when she finally got home, and the extent of her ambition was known; she went to get what she could to help me with my medical issue. (What a woman, eh?) When I had my back pressed against the wall, my sweetness stopped what she was doing (And it was damn important!) and did her best to help me.

Well, fuck me, Dear Diary. I was sitting outside when she flipped the tiny baggy of medication at me and it landed in my lap. Turns out my hand was cradling my abdomen in an effort to stop the pain, and as bad luck would have it, when I moved my hand quickly to snag the bag, it lofted into the air and disappeared into the night.

Like, if it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

I searched. For over an hour I scoured the patio and went down to search the ground below to no avail.

Well, I eventually went to bed, but due to cramps and pain I slept poorly. I woke up at 5 am, and I have been awake ever since.

Why am I so short on medication when I have a prescription? Money, and availability. I broke myself in the move to Cara's. There was a couple of unplanned instances that set us back a few bucks, and I ended up blowing my monthly allotment. The second reason, is that since I have moved I haven't received any mail from my supplier even though I went out of my way to change my address. It scares me to think that I could place a couple hundred dollar order, only to have it not delivered properly. So, because of the government's strict marijuana laws and a lack of funds, I have no medication for the rest of the month!

And, I'm out a hundred bucks now.

Not sure what today has in store, but I bet it's another shit show. (literally) I'm bleeding internally and can't move without great pain. Hope your Friday is better than mine.

August 13
No message back from buddy. I haven't eaten properly in two days. It's raining.

August 14th
I ended up in the Hospital yesterday. I'm going to have to make a serious effort today to find medication, as I'm growing weaker by the passing day from not being able to eat properly. I've noticed my mind isn't as sharp either, and I'm also very negative about things. Being in pain will do that I guess, but the trick is to not take out any frustration on your spouse.

I'm so glad that Cara is as mature and understanding as she is!

Anyway, there's friends coming over today to engage in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I just hope someone brings something for me to help with my pain, because I'm in no shape to do much.

August 15th
The temperature has dropped since the passing of the thunderstorms that rocked Southern Ontario. The mix of continued high heat and a sudden cold front developed into sporadic lighting storms all weekend, and today finds London with bright sunshine and less humidity. Long story short.... It's a nice day.

Good morning, Dear Diary. I'm feeling better.

My body is still in recuperation at this time. I've decided to avoid my workout today (Haven't done it in three days) and I'm just relaxing. One of my friends showed up last night with medication, and after a decent sleep I feel much better.

Yesterday's game moved at a bit of a slower pace in comparison to some of our other excursions. This is due to a couple of factors, namely, the fact I was weak from lack of food, sleep, and days of pain. (It was my choice to host the game anyway, knowing that it would make me feel better by doing so) As the night wore on, I felt better, but the exhaustion settled in. It still didn't hamper my direction in the game, and I had all my notes. So, while I wasn't able to be at the top of my performance I did my best. Another reason the game moved a bit slower than normal (There was plenty of character development, role playing, and world building - The term "Slower pace" is in reference to the fact we didn't use our dice much) is that when presented with the opportunity to actually throw some dice, two dice rolls by the DM (Me) ended the combat as quickly as it started...............

...........After 6 weeks (Game time) of training and honing their skills the PC's (Player Characters) met up at their usual spot. "The Cracked Mug Inn" had changed almost as much as the players themselves over the course of the game, and the bustling establishment had no longer become suitable to the PC's. But! They now own a castle, and given the opportunity to design it from the ground up (We ARE world building, after all) the players became distracted with dreams of training grounds, a mage tower,  a castle moat, and much more. The players have rapidly changed too; mere fledglings a short while ago, they are now sporting some serious hardware, spells, and prayers. They carry with them a sense of strength in unity, the blessing of at least one Goddess, and apparently a run of extreme luck when it comes to dice rolls..................

...........As the Electrically-charged Grey Elf Invoker, and the radiant red-headed Half-Elf Mage watched the galleon below them launch a ballista at their comrades in the tiny row-boat, they sprung into action. Dropping to the deck, they both became visible at the same time, and instantly unleashed a barrage of deadly spells aimed at the other two ballista..... It didn't have the affect they expected.

As the Fireball cast by Tamanique exploded across the bow of the ship, Rayden unleashed a Meteor Swarm on top of the ballista in the middle of the ship. When the dice was rolled and the damage calculated, the ballista wasn't the object that took the brunt of the attack. The ship did.

I rolled the saving throw against the powerful flame-driven spell. As I scanned the book we were using, ("Pirates of the Fallen Stars", ship combat compendium for 2nd edition DnD) I saw the critical hit land. Quickly, I scooped up a 20 sided die, and rolled it. ...... a 1 ..... "Roll twice on the chart". As I rolled two more times, the chart read as follows, "Hulled punctured"..... "Powder kegs explode".....

...........Talk about luck. As the ship suddenly exploded in the night, Cara's character, Wind, (You cannot pronounce her name in the common tongue, apparently) was screaming at us, "We wanted to SAVE the ship! NOOOO!"... The harbor-front jumped to attention as the giant fireball rolled into the sky, and the subsequent waves from the concussion nearly capsized everything close by. While the magic users scrambled to escape the destruction, they did their best to rescue the remaining sailors, and after such a devastating blast, only found 13 alive. (Dice rolls, baby)

It all happened so fast and unexpectedly, that I think everyone missed the point. With one single act, and in the space of two combat rounds, the team took down an entire crew of trained killers defending their boss.

Who is now dead, thanks in part to he extreme power of the party. With one lighting blast, the evil spellcaster (Level 9) was turned to ash.

This is nothing new; the week before the lucky dice roll belonged to the Ranger, who with one single roll of a 20, killed a Marilith.

The players are blowing away the obstacles in their way by the use of their skills and power, They just seem to have a lucky streak at the moment...... But we all know what happens to luck.....

....it runs out eventually.

OH!!! Talking about lucky, here's yet another example. I cringe (As do many) when I hear the words, "Deck of Many Things". According to the Wikipedia, "the deck of many things is a powerful magic item. The item comes in the form of a deck of cards, each one causing a distinct effect upon the character who draws it. These effects can be either beneficial or baneful"

Baneful?!?! I've saw that particular magic item DESTROY partys!! My personal favourite story, is when "Fingers", a player from WAAAY back in the day, pulled a card from the deck. When I saw the "VOID" card pulled from the deck, I just picked up his character sheet and tossed it in the fire. Dead..... That fast. So, when the Grey Elf chose to purchase the thing from a vendor in exchange for something equally rare, I waited for what I thought was the inevitable. Sure, the powerful deck can grant great bonuses, but the risks are equally as great.

I watched as card after card was pulled from the deck in the space of two games. Red card after red card emerged from the deck, and I began to wonder to myself if I had unintentionally stacked the deck when I put it together (As DM I had to sort the cards into the typical 22 card deck, and then remove a couple, as no deck ever really comes complete) Had the dangerous cards in the deck been removed before I even handed the game prop over to the player? Was this deck going to create a "Monty Haul" situation with no real risk? I kept my tongue in check as I handed out awards such as the new castle (That's where it came from), a Demi-God intelligence, high level Charisma, Gems, and other bonuses. No black cards emerged from the deck......

......Well, the players were getting nervous about the lack of black cards, and they even spoke of their extreme luck. Not wishing to use the deck any longer, they sold it. The "Cursed Deck of Many Things" (Because it mostly contained black cards - An assumption made by the players) sold on the market and disappeared from game-play... But not before nearly all the players gaining some benefit, and no curse.

I tore the deck apart in front of the players, because even I was astounded. Black card after black card emerged from the deck, with only a couple of red ones left! I was not the only veteran at the table that couldn't believe the luck of the draw that fate had dealt us. There WAS a Void card, as well as, both Jokers and a couple other crippling cards. It still amazes me......

....so, yea. Good game, it just seemed a little slow pace, but was fraught with reward and development. The PC's world has forever changed as they now set up headquarters with easy access to trade routes and the ocean...... I guess you could easily claim that when it comes to our future games..... based on the current characters,..... the sky is the limit.

I should go. Hope you have a great week.

August 16th
It's an extremely soggy one out there. I was woken early this morning at 6 bells, and it's been nothing but a steady downpour for over an hour. Not sure if we need all this rain.....

...and it really sucks for me, because I have a Doctor appointment this afternoon on the other side of the city. Taking the bus costs money, and I had intended to use my bike on the back trails, taking my leisurely time. Now I'm not certain what I'm going to do. I'm just hoping the deluge breaks before noon.

Work in progress
I had a decent day yesterday. Cara and I started working on a new map for our Dungeon and Dragons campaign. It's a fairly monument task, but I've done this twice before so I understand the work and detail necessary to design an entire planet. I mean, things have to make sense.....

......You can't just make things up when it comes to topography: Deserts should exist for a reason. A giant forest spanning thousands of Kilometers should be there for a reason. Is there a massive mountain range spanning a continent? Well, then it should affect the geography around it, as well as, the rivers, lakes, and eventually the oceans. Is there a jet stream of air current that circulated the Equator? Chances are there is, and you've probably got a North and South Pole too! When you take into mind all these and many more elements that are necessary when it comes to world building, it seems like a daunting task. To me, however, it's a welcome challenge, and the fact I already have an entire Pantheon, outer realms, and world structure makes things pretty easy.

I'll admit, I'm using parts of my previous worlds in the creation of the newest one. I know what worked, and what didn't.

One thing about drafting a World Map of Samar'Kahnde, or "The jewel that glitters", is that it really helps visualize the surroundings of the world in which the PCs exists.By affording the players a chance to see the various continents, features and wonders, it raises their expectations of the game, as it rightly should. With a world map, the Dungeon Master can plan better games, and make the adventures more believable.

Experience, however, has also shown me another side to having a World Map showing all the major cities, wonders, dangers, and locations of entire races......

...........the high level PCs start playing Dungeons and Dragons like a game of Risk.

"Let's go THERE", squeals the leader of the campaign, stabbing their finger down on the cleverly crafted World Map. "We've never been there before, and according to those danger markings it must mean there's something there that needs killing. I bet they have tons of loot too", he/she explains.

With a nod of their heads, the rest of the players agree. The "Ruins of Dread" sound like just the place to throw around some Demi-Godlike magic and weapons. With a practiced routine, they pack up all the necessary goods in their stronghold (Fit for a King), head down to the private wharf where a small fleet of scavenged wooden vessels lays anchored. Using a varied amount of wondrous powerful items to magically transport their gear, they jump aboard the lead vessel. "LET'S GO!", they all cry, as they wistfully pick up their favourite dice, eager for the DM to call "Initiative......."

In game after game of what seems like "Travelagency.com" the players whisk around the World with a personal agenda of death and destruction in the name of (Enter cause here), and collecting more wealth and power than a venerable dragon. This is where a good DM must take care, because, while it is in the players interest to accommodate their desires, a DM should never make it easy on them..........

......and you can guarantee I won't...... As I said, I've done this before....... "Oh, noes! A KRAKEN!!" [Giggles]

I'm looking forward to exploring our new world. There's lots to see! With a slightly-larger-than-Earth scale (60,000 KM), it has a similar gravity (slightly heavier), a traditional warm equator and frozen poles, a Pirate haven, Elven forests, Dwarven cities in the mountains, the desert Elves known as White Elves, the home of Rock Trolls, the meeting place of the Gods - Tenether (Godsholme), and much , much more........All the stuff I've ever crafted and designed over three decades, coming to fruition on one piece of Bristol Board.......

.......but there's still quite a lot of work yet to do.

Anyway, hope you have a good day. My venture out to the Doctor is going to be somewhat miserable due to weather, but I really need to do this....

August 19th
The end of the month can come any time now. I need medication, bad!

Well, we've found out what happens when I go for days without marijuana.. Again.... Ugh! It's bad enough that I have to suffer non-stop when I have no medication, but even when I do get a little bit when I've gone for days without, I end up still sore. Basically, it stops the symptoms for a bit, but the damage done still hurts.

Today, August 20th, 2016, marks the final concert for the Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario. "THE TRAGICALLY HIP", or as some call it, "The Hip", have inspired millions of people from all over the world. With unforgettable songs like "New Orleans is Sinking", "Courage", "Blow at High Dough", "Boots or Hearts", and so many others, they are the epitome of classic Canadian rock music.
Since their formation in 1984 they have released 14 studio albums, two live albums, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. They have received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 14 Juno Awards.
When the lead singer of the band, Gord Downie, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the band took to the road for one last tour. The "Man Machine Poem" tour played for sold-out crowds as eager fans scrambled for one last chance to hear their favourite band. After tonight, there will not be another Tragically Hip concert.
I'd like to personally thank the band for being such an important part of my life. As they take to the stage for one final time, my heart and soul is lifted by the strength of character and professionalism that has marked this band's career. You will be missed....
August 22nd
Good morning, Dear Diary, it's Monday!

The sun is shining, but the air is definitely much cooler now. As we slide into the season of Death and Decay, the differences will become quickly noticeable. Temperatures drop significantly overnight, the leaves and other vegetation start turning colours as they wither and die, and the bustling crowds on Dundas and Richmond street start sporting more clothing.

Yup. Summer is coming to a quick close.

It happened so fast I nearly missed it. With all the things that have been going on in my life, I didn't actually spend as much time outdoors as I normally do. My rollerblades were worn to the point of being a hazard, and it was with a heavy heart that I had to get rid of them. (Grandma Ethel had bought that pair for me almost two decades ago) Needless to say I haven't done any rollerblading this summer... But, I have been tearing up the trails and highways with my bike! So, maybe that bit of a switch is why I didn't notice the gap in my exercise routine. I still use a rowing machine as much as possible, and now I can add swimming to my daily workout......

...except that Summer is nearly over.... And it's hard to swim in frozen water... Get it? Hard? To swim in? Because it's fro..... Never-mind... Stupid pun.

[Sighs] Yea... I give it only about another month's use and then they'll shut down the pool again. Cold winds... Less sun..... Yup. The Season of Death and Decay is coming.

It also means a return to the choir. I really need to knuckle down and start attending Church regularly. It's quite a distance for me to go, and that's been the biggest thing holding me back. That, and it's always so busy on the weekend.

Speaking of a busy weekend.... I had a decent couple of days. Our Dungeon and Dragon campaign is in full swing, and we had a rousing adventure on Sunday. The party is currently in combat against the Headmaster of the Mage academy, and they are fighting for their life. We had to cut the game short so that players could get to their buses on time, and the next time we pick up the storyline they'll be in the middle of the battle.

I'm hoping to get in a good bike ride today, and maybe go for a swim, I'm feeling better, and I should take advantage of it... Talk soon.

August 23rd
Good morning! The sun is shining and the air feels sweet and fresh. It's supposed to warm up a bit today, so that's always good.

Today is a normal morning for me, so after my routine and subsequent medicinal break, I feel okish.

Last night Cara and I went to a friend's house for a small campfire. It's just down the street and he has a nicely fenced in backyard . I've offered to help him split any firewood he gets, but so far I haven't been taken up on that offer. Anyway, we had a nice time and stayed until the sun set.

I've started working on anew dragon sculpture, but this time I'm dong it with Cara and her kidlet. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

I really want to get back into writing, but I can't seem to find the motivation. There's so much other things I want to do, and having a family to care for and spend time with is only one of the reasons I'm not knuckled down and working on anything yet.

I keep saying things will settle down, but as Cara and I fall into our routine I'm noticing that things in my life are changing. I need to keep reminding myself  of my goals and keep working hard to achieve them! Anyway, I gotta go. Talk soon.

August 24th
I got my deposit back from my previous landlord. My plan was to pay off some of the loan I accumulated when I first moved to Southern Ontario, however, because of my poor health I was forced to purchase medication. The Doctor has me on light opiates during the times I don't have access to marijuana, but I really don't like the idea of getting hooked on man-made drugs. For that reason I chose to purchase meds instead of chewing on my debt-load.

Story of my life. I've lost so much money to tests and travel, medication and trial drugs. I may live in Canada, but many of the tests and drugs that have been necessary to help me are not covered by Health Care.

I get people all the time make comments like, "Oh! You have a pot card?! That must be nice!!".....

......you know what would be really nice? Not having to have a pot card.

I also bought food. Now that I'm living with someone (family) there is an expectation to contribute to the monthly food budget. To my credit, I have been pulling my weight, however, when it comes to my diet and Cara's culinary desires, there's an issue.

I want to go on record and state that I love Cara greatly. However, there are points of contention between us just like every other couple on the planet. One of our issues is my neurotic eating habits. It drives her crazy, and has started a couple fights......

.....let me explain. Even as a child I was a finicky eater. "Fussy", as my mom would call it, and she'd roll her eyes at me while the rest of her little darlings gobbled up whatever was placed in front of them. I LOVE peanut butter-and-jam sandwiches and can practically live off the stuff! But, when it comes to any other type of sandwiches, I won't even try it. "You're so hard to cook for!", my mom would scream, as she wrestled with the desire to see her eldest youngster get the required nutrients, and the strong urge to throttle the odd duckling out of its misery (Why not? She HAD 5 others, right?) It's been the bane of many of my ex-girlfriends and has caused me to avoid events. My picky eating habits have always singled me out, and in many cases made me the focal point for chastisement. "Why not try it? You might like?!", is the common cry from those who "Went out of their way" to craft some sort of culinary delight, only to see me turn up my nose in disgust.

I just don't get it.

Why am I so hard to cook for? I only want minimalist ingredients. I'm not all, "My food can't touch each other", or some silly crap like that. I just prefer meat and potatoes. And butter. Salt and pepper, and maybe some normal kind of BBQ sauce. Not much to ask, is it?

I will admit that I am an enigma, and that may in part be the reason why there is some confusion. It is a sort of a grey area in preferred tastes, and it doesn't always make sense to those around me. For example....  I love pizza, but don't like lasagna. In that same way, I will eat pizza (I'm talking about the basics, not some fancy thing) but won't eat cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoni by themselves. I don't like Ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish, or any other kind of sauces.... With the exception of spaghetti... I will eat a fairly basic spaghetti sauce. The list goes on, and on.... I also can't stand the smells of food that some people make, and it makes me nauseated. Onions, for example, smell like a dirty old man's sweaty armpit. Seafood cooked in oil smells like electrical wires burning. I dunno, Dear Diary, I know it can't all be in  my head.

So after a childhood of being told to "Shut up! Quit crying, and just eat your food", I have developed a neurotic eating disorder. People forcing food on me makes me stress out.

It's no one's fault. I feel guilty as hell when I see the pain on someone's face when I suddenly get all tense and start trying to find an acceptable excuse that will hopefully leave both sides with the least amount of hurt feelings. I know that it was someone being thoughtful and caring - Preparing food is a multi-culturally accepted way of extending affection, which is why there is so much emphasis placed on the preparation of the meal. "I spent all day cooking, and now you don't like it", hits me like a sledge hammer to the feels, and I cringe the instant someone says, "I'll cook", just because I know the inevitable drama that's about to ensue.

Don't forget that I also have special dietary requirements because of my health issues.

I'm sorry. I was I was different, and enjoyed things like everyone else does. I'm just not like that........

........as I was rolling all this around in my head this morning, trying to figure out how best to find resolution to my life-long issue of particular eating choices, I came up with a decent analogy on the topic. Perhaps this will help my family, friends, and loved ones will see things from my perspective.
Everyone understands sex and the subtle nuances that are associated with it. In my analogy I'll be replacing the word FOOD with SEX.

If it wasn't for sex, no one would exist. In fact, sex is a necessary part of being human. While that may be true, not everyone likes sex, or not all types of sex. This may be hard for some people to understand, but it's easily summed up by stating that everyone is different. What is enjoyable for some, is repulsive to others. There is no fault in this, but many times people get upset or hurt by someone else's personal preference. These instances of contention can be easily avoided in a mature manner.

If you offer someone sex and they happily accept the offer, then all is good. If, however, when the offer for sex is refused, there is no reason to get upset. It may be that they don't particularly want the kind of sex being offered, or that they maybe just don't want sex at that moment.

If someone says that they do not want any sex, you do not have the right to get angry. Comparing other times when they have had sex is also not acceptable. Just because someone doesn't want sex doesn't give anyone the right to become emotionally charged at the refusal.

If you know that someone really enjoys sex a certain way, and you go out of your way to please them, then that's good. Chances are, you'll be rewarded with the appropriate level of affection for doing so, however, there are times when even all this unwanted. Call it a bad day, not-feeling-good, stress, or what-have-you, there are times when even presented with our favourites kinds of sex, we still just don't want any.

It is wonderful to go out of your way to make sex interesting for the ones you love. It is not acceptable to get emotional or create drama when the gift is not received well, or not at all.

If you know someone really doesn't enjoy sex a certain way, you cannot get upset about their personal preferences. Using guilt-trips, manipulation, or any other method to FORCE someone to try and enjoy sex the way you do, is destructive to a relationship.

You cannot force sex on anyone. It's morally wrong.

Sex, is best shared.  It's wonderful to try and understand another's desires and needs, but don't focus too much on any particular aspect when it comes to sex. When it comes to relationships, sex is like the icing on the cake; extremely important to get right, but there is no one correct way. As long as it goes smoothly, it doesn't matter what differences people have, or what their personal preferences are.

Analogy aside, I more than make up for my lack of eating abilities with my personality. It kind of balances things out I believe......

...should jet. Lots to do and less time to do it in.

August 26th
Yesterday was pretty much a bust for me. I finally got my meds after a long wait, but by then I wasn't up to much. Played Mechwarrior for most of the evening.... I didn't even do my workout....

.......and even today I'm feeling sluggish. Not really in the mood to chat.

August 27th
Once upon a time there lived two elementals. One was a Water elemental, and the other was a Fire elemental. The Water elemental was gentle, soft-spoken, and very patient. The Fire elemental was bold, brass, and hot tempered. While both shared many things in common, they were independent in their own way. After many years and bearing the scars of other relationships, both elementals were wary when it came to matters of trust and respect. When presented with confrontation and the subsequent drama, they were like night and day; the Water elemental would do her best to cool the issue and then make her way back to the healing waters of her private pool to recollect and deal with the issue in due time, while the Fire elemental would explode in an attempt to overwhelm the problem, and then retreat back to his his fiery realm to simmer and stew about it.

Despite their obvious differences, they were madly in love with each other.

The times they spent together were always enjoyable, and before long, the two were inseparable. There were problems of course, because of their differences, but both were mature enough to see the differences for what they were. The Fire Elemental would occasionally belch ash and sparks when he spoke, while the Water elemental was occasionally garbled. To their own kind this was quite normal, but for the two lovers it seemed foreign. "We'll get used to each other", they affirmed, as most do when they are in love, for they both knew that some personalities and quirks take time to get accustomed to . With the notion in mind that things would fix itself, they set about their life together.

After some more time had passed, little things that seemed hardly noticeable at first suddenly became nearly unbearable. When the Fire elemental had first moved into the healing pools, he took great effort to make accommodations for himself, and while this was looked at favourably by the Water elemental at first, she soon realized her home had lost its identity; it no longer resembled what she had once found comfort in. When it came to food, the Water elemental would happily eat whatever she was given, but preferred vegetables, while the Fire elemental preferred a much more bland diet consisting of proteins and carbohydrates. The sharp way the Fire elemental spoke was constantly hurting the Water elemental, while the bubbly way she spoke was often hard to understand for him.

Oh, the times they spent together were magical, and the two happily vowed to work on their differences.

Almost a year had passed when the two elementals realized they had serious problems. The flaming spittle from the Fire elemental had become a daily attack on the Water elemental, who in her effort to stop the harm to herself had resorted to throwing water back at the flames. He would rage and she would smother the flames. She would splash, and he would simmer. It seemed that the more they worked on the issues and the more they analyzed the problems, the more things got worse.

Through it all, they kept strong to each other. They didn't give up.

They could have thrown it away. Even from the beginning when many told them that it wouldn't work due to the major differences, the two lovers stood firm. As the time went on and things became unbearable they could have given up, after all, that's what most people do today.

How does it end? Well, no story really ends "Happily ever after", except children's stories, but we eventually learn the truth when we grow up. Life isn't happily ever after... It takes work..... The same goes for relationships. It doesn't matter what the differences are or the problems that arise, it's the desire to make things work and to fight for what's yours, that's important. So, if you're looking for a moral to this story, try this.... If you want happily ever after, you have to fight for it.

The End

August 28th
Hello, Dear Diary, how has your weekend been treating you? Mine is ok.. ish.

Cara is going on a family vacation for a few days, which means I'll have the house to myself. I have mixed feelings about that, as I'll probably be working on a few projects, cleaning the house, and playing Mechwarrior, but I am really going to miss her. I also wish I could go with her, but I do understand that this is something she does once a year with her family. (Which is really nice to see - Makes me feel good)

Anyway, we weren't going to play any Dungeon and Dragons today because Cara is our main healer (and she's leaving) but a couple of the other players messaged me to play anyway. So, I scheduled a game...

.....it'll be fun I'm sure... But I'm going to miss my sweetie dropping the protection magic and heals.

Here's an interesting question.... As a DM, knowing that the healing spells are going to be scarce, do I take it easy on the players?

Here's my answer... Nope. My game is going to proceed as planned..... The PC's are facing off against a high-level mage, Lord Aan'Dael, who has just GATED in a high level demon. During the ensuing fight, the mage will attempt an escape via a TELEPORT spell which will take him to the first floor of the dungeon....

.....where a portal sits, offering 5 choices.
A) Port Solace docks
2) Port Solace Mage Academy
D) Mage Tower in Thrace
5) Dungeon below Mage tower in Thrace
F) Hell - Specifically, the first layer

A little more history.... (Since I have the information sitting in front of me) The PC's have helped to world build. The thieves guild in Port Solace is henceforth known as "The Shadows of Solace", and the hit squad (6 best mercenaries of the Shadows) is called, "!Ax'Qu"

Anyway, it's a gamble to see if the PC's can make it out of that mess alive, let alone chase after Lord Aan'Dael...... But, should they get out of the dungeon, they still face the choice of "Where to go?"

Since none of the players will read this journal entry in time (or if at all), I'll entrust you with a little secret, Dear Diary...... The mage is not running away from the PC's. He's dropped a bomb of writhing demons, spell casters, and traps along the way to the portal in hopes of weakening the PC's a bit. He needs them to follow him to Thrace where a trap has been laid where he is going to capture them and use them in a barbaric ritual. In game time, while the players took 8 weeks to train and "level up", the mage was setting up a way to dispose of the PC nuisance, "Once and for all".

What's lying in wait in Thrace?

A binding ritual to open the locks to the lowest dimension of Hell, allowing the release of something that cannot even be described as one of Hell's own. A Primordial Earth Elemental, as old as the world itself. A remnant from the ancient war that nearly tore asunder the entire realm itself as Gods and Goddesses waged war on each other.  The only way to describe this "thing", is an evil, sentient volcanic Demi-God, with an intense hatred for anything living.

By now you have to be asking yourself, "Self? Why would any living creature desire to see the entire planet destroyed? I mean, who does that??!"

Well, the answer is simple.... Lord Aan'Dael, is not himself lately.......

...the Headmaster at the Mage Academy in Port Solace, and a recognized figurehead around the community.... Suddenly starts using dark magic, and conjuring demons?

Sounds like a need for a hearty band of heroes, eh?

Gotta go.

August 29th
Good morning. I'm alone today, because Cara is on vacation with her family. It feels weird to have the house to myself, but it's nice in its own way. I really miss her though.

Monday morning. Nothing to do today except clean up the house, work out a bit, and maybe do some work on a story or something. I'm not feeling too bad this morning, but we all know that could change quickly.

So yea... Quiet day for me. Anyway, I hope you have a great week. Talk soon.

August 30th - 2 am
There's a surreal sensation when you are awake at 2 am...... AND sober, rested, and alert....... I get the same feeling when I used to work night-shifts. Not sure how to explain it, but it seems like the hours between 1 am and 7 am don't count somehow. Don't try and get me to explain this in great detail, but perhaps there is some scientific reason for this sensation...... But I ask you this.... The last time you had to wake up early for something and started your day like it was "morning", don't you feel like you are somehow cheating time? Like, somehow gaining extra hours in your day?

I know I'll be crashing in a couple hours I'm sure (Or napping at noon), so this is going to mess up my day in some fashion. I just have to minimize the effect........

.....It's friikken early, so why am I up? Stupid me thought I would try to get rid of some cramping by laying down on the bed, and I fell asleep at about 5 pm yesterday afternoon. Now I'm awake and going through what should be my regular morning routine. (back and forth to the bathroom)

So... Tuesday, huh? [Looks around the house] Sure is quiet and empty. I cleaned the house yesterday, and even pulled the bed apart to vacuum. All the sheets got washed and the pillows were aired out. Everything is pretty spotless right now, with the exception of the kitchen table where I still have Sunday's Dungeons and Dragons books. No real use in putting that away, as we'll need it tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. I also need to do some homework as a DM before the next game.... Maybe do that today.... Mental note to me.....

......I've been playing Mechwarrior quite a bit lately. The game has really changed, and it is absolutely the best video game I've ever encountered! (With the exception of Warcraft - back in the day - Now, it sucks because of the way they changed it) I remember playing that game when it first came out on a 386 SX-16........ (My, how the times have changed) ... My cell phone is thousands times faster than my original computer.... Hahahaha..... Anyway, I went from Mechwarrior that was so heavily pixelated you had to "imagine" you were in a Battlemech, to number Two, then Three... And as the computers got faster, the game got better. The graphics today are akin to watching a movie, and the surround sound effects are real-time. The fact you can talk (VOIP) over the game to talk to your clan-mates is just one more way the game has evolved. Real-time strategy with exceptional graphics, all based on the FASA Mechwarrior Universe? (Which I've been reading since I as a teenager - before computers were invented) What's not to love?!

Sure do miss Cara. Being in her presence is like pulling on a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold Winter day. It feels pretty weird not having her at home, and I couldn't help but notice I had pulled all her pillows together to cuddle with during my "nap". I really can't wait until she comes home!

Well, I should jet. I'm wide awake now, and feel like doing something. Not sure what yet, but I'm certain to find something.... Have a good one.

September 2nd
Where does the time go?! Summer is almost over, and I haven't done half the stuff I wanted. No worries.. I won't do the "Season of Death" speach...

.......because today still feels like Summer! It's bright and sunshiny (Is that a word), and the world seems full of life and love. Speaking of, things are much better with Cara and I. Told you that we have ways of dealing with our issues like mature adults, and that's what love really is; two people using communication to deal with problems. Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, there are moments, and no one is perfect. But, yea... Things are good.

Wednesday was a Dungeon and Dragons game, and that went well, but by the end I had to lay down for cramps. Cara wanted to go out for a bit, so I reluctantly went with her....

....we did have a great time! Stayed too late, and partied a bit harder than we should have. We met some really great people.....

...woke up on Thursday with serious medical issues. Now, don't go blaming this all on a few wobbly pops with buddies, although I will admit I had a hangover..... The flare up I had the night before just seemed to culminate over night and I ended up not doing a damn thing on Thursday. Crap, eh?

So, today is Friday. Yay! We made it to the weekend. I hear it's along weekend too, not that it matters much to me. I'm feeling better today, so who knows what I might do. There's Dungeon and Dragons to plan, a poker game to attend on Sunday, as well as, the usual stuff. Guess I better get my butt crackin......

September 4th
Hello, Dear Diary. Hope you are having a great Labour Day weekend. Or as it is in my case, just another weekend.

I was supposed to go to a poker tournament today, but unfortunately, by the time I had finished paying bills there was not enough money to enter. So sucks! Haven't played poker in forever.

So, no Dungeons and Dragons today either. There are other players going to the card tournament, so we had no plans to play at all this weekend. [Shrugs] It was a good place to take a bit of a break.... The characters have finally killed off the main bad guy, and are now in training and and spending time relaxing in their new keep. They are starting to "get up there" in levels, and a couple are quickly approaching double digits......

........now, it has occurred to me that I might be being a bit lenient on the players. Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I "Min / Max" my monsters to give the PC's a bigger challenge. However..... There have been a couple of times I let a nasty dice roll slide that would have ended with the death of a character. This is nothing new, as many DM's have been known to fudge a die roll or two in favour of a more enjoyable experience. Players are not allowed to cheat, ever! But a DM can..... Why?

"The DM is allowed to cheat. In fact it’s often encouraged. The object of the game is to have fun and if the PCs are in a situation that will lead to a total party kill then it’s up to the DM to help the PCs survive. It could be something subtle that goes undetected by the players, like fudging a few rolls so that monsters don’t hit as often. It could be with hit points, lowering a monsters maximum by a few points to allow the PCs to kill it sooner, or just deciding that one more hit will drop this monster regardless of how many more hit points it has left. All are acceptable and are done to make the game fun." READ MORE by clicking this link.

Regardless, I nearly wiped out half the party the last time we faced a boss. To be more elaborate, the PC's were stuck in a 10th level illusion spells, (10th level spells are known as a dweamor) They had to kill a dragon of evil intent.... and one of good. Well they had no problems dropping the evil, Green dragon as they walked in guns-a-blazing with not a single hesitation, buuuuuut...... When it came time to kill the Silver one, they not only paused out of guilt, but actually tried to talk to it instead. When they realized there was no choice, they decided to stand and fight shoulder to shoulder, hoping to out-muscle a older, magic-casting, dragon.

It breathed on them in the second round, and nearly killed everyone outright.

[Sigh] Sooooo... I did fudge the outcome a bit. After all, this WAS an illusion. But! What if it hadn't been? Am I allowing the PC's to waltz through danger unopposed?

Nope. Those instances where I do cheat as a DM are rare. My players can be proud to have made it as far as they have. With some great luck (and some occasion shitty dice rolls) they have built a world for themselves, and there is no limit to how far they can go! (I hear one of them desires to achieve God status by removing the Goddess of Magic and replacing her) However, there is something that needs to be realized by the PC's as they move up in levels and face off against smarter, and more dangerous situations.......

.........they can't always rely on their abilities and magic items to protect and save them. There will be times where thinking-outside-the-box is needed, and simply attempting to out-muscle some monsters isn't going to work.

I do wonder who will be the first character to be killed off. (in London)

Well, Sunday... The sun is warm and inviting, but we're stuck at home waiting for Cara's kidlet to come home. She seems to be running late. Anyway, not sure what we'll be up to, but I should jet. Maybe I'll do some work on the next story-line for our adventures.

Have a safe, and enjoyable day...... Toodles.....

September 5th
Good morning! It's bright and beautiful outside! Hope today finds you in good spirits and good company!

Turns out the kidlet didn't get home until bedtime. Due to the fact that Cara and I were basically sitting around waiting, we ended up cuddling, talking, and sharing more than a couple tender moments together. I guess we kinda needed that, and even this morning I can see her looking at me with that twinkle in her eye.

Maybe spending yesterday indoors wasn't so bad, eh?

Humans need that kind of affection and attention, although, not everyone needs the same amount. I, for example, do not need constant attention, whereas, my sweetness does.........

.......oh. One little story to tell you about yesterday..... So, we're cuddling on the bed and just talking. Cara is running her hand up and down my back gently.... When suddenly, out of the blue she gets this look of mischievousness on her face and then rakes her nails down my back.......

......damn cats, eh?

Anyway, I guess the plan for today is to go "On an adventure". Basically, we're going to pack up some equipment and go for a walk and explore things a bit. Which makes sense, as I used to do that all the time back at my old place and haven't really explored my new surroundings in the same way. Should be fun......

.....I'm not feeling too bad today, and after my meds things should quiet down. Here's to hoping I have a great day! Talk soon.

September 6th
Today is the first day of school for both Cara and her kidlet. As the alarm went off at 6:30 I struggled out of bed and helped with getting both of them off to their perspective schools. Now I sit here, drinking my coffee, going through my morning "routine", and watching the news......

........ [Sits up, and breaks into his best news-anchor persona] Good morning, World! My name is Zzorhn Carlson, and you have just tuned into "The News, The Whole News, and Nothing But The News". In today's top stories, the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, has received backlash for his comment toward the USA President when he expressed his irritation at Barrack Obama cancelling a planned visit. The Filipino leader who is known for his occasional outbursts was credited with calling Obama a "Son of a whore", which properly translates to English as "Son of a Bitch". Now it should be pointed out that the context of the derogatory phrase is not necessarily speculating about Barrack's mother, but more likely pertaining to the context most of us most are actually familiar with, or as it is widely accepted; a sneer at the individual suggesting poor character. In which case, it would be appropriate for the Philippine President to make such a claim, as the snub by the American leader sends a clear message; "I'm on my way out, and if it isn't going to make a big difference in the long-run, I don't care". The meeting has been rescheduled for another to-be-determined date.

In current American politics, the gap between the Republican nominee and the Democrat nominee are closing as the United States of America heads into the final leg of the 2016 election. While many voters are surprised that Donald Trump has got as far as he has, there are many who are rallying to his cause. As he takes important press conferences with World leaders and politicians on both sides of the divide, the nation is deeply torn by those who desperately desire change, and those who believe Trump is the epitome of an anti-Christ. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, has barely done any campaigning and yet is still ahead in the polls. While scandal after scandal rocks her campaign, her health is going down the tubes, and even her own party is as corrupt as their front-runner, she is still managing to convince a populace that despite all her lies and deceit, she should be "The First Female President of the United States". [Coughs] I mean, as the first female leader of what is deemed "The Free world", she will be setting the example [Coughs again] for the rest to come..... Sorry... I seem to have something stuck in my throat......

[Takes a drink of coffee]

.......and we're back! In Canadian news, the newly elected Canadian Rockstar... I mean, Prime Minister, is in China to attend a G20 summit with other World leaders. As the International press describe the energy and support of all the countries represented, there are two that seem to have pulled away from the pack; Russia and Canada. With elections occurring in other countries such as Germany and the USA, the out-going leaders don't have the power they once did. Meanwhile, Vladamir Putin is still described as influential as other world leaders meet in secret to discuss the Russian President. The Canadian leader, Justin Trudeau, is using all his star-power, talent, and newly given rights to bolster a variety of agreements with China and other super-powers, but was oddly left out of the meeting regarding Russia's involvement in Ukraine. Perhaps that might be a good thing for the Canadian poster-boy of humanitarianism..... Anyone getting involved in Russia's business is just bad business, and at a meeting where economics, free-trade, and environmental issues are being discussed, being pulled into a private meeting like a bunch of whiny school kids at recess trying to figure out how to deal with the class bully is not the image JT needs right now. Sometimes, a shut door can be a good thing.

In technology news, the Apple corporation is rolling out yet another expensive piece of crap everyone will rush out to buy. Not much else to really say on that, except that people are sheep.

In weather related news, Hawaii is being hit with a double-dose of hurricanes in what people are calling "Unprecedented". The massive storms are wreaking havoc all over the tropical islands as residents seek shelter from the two storms. Another hurricane, in what is being described as "A busy hurricane season", has slammed into Florida, completely flooding the entire State. As that same hurricane spins up the Eastern seaboard it has cancelled many long-weekend plans. The storm is expected to weaken before it hits Canada'as East coast and dumps a butt-load of rain. In related global warming news, a massive cruise ship docked in Canada's remote North in what is called "The North-West Passage", allowing passengers a chance to visit local Inuit settlements. During their brief visit the tourists were treated to a wide variety of heritage-rich traditions, and many purchased souvenirs to take home. The local communities were a bit stunned at first to see that big ocean-liner sitting in their harbour, but the amount of money they earned in the 12 hour visit was equivalent to two-three years of wages! Is global warming a good thing? Ask the Inuit people of Canada's North... They can't hunt anymore as the animals they relied on are gone from the traditional hunting grounds due to a lack of ice..... But the tourism is a big boost......

.........[Pastes on a smile] and it's back to school for many children across Canada. The annual "Back to School" tradition of bleary-eyed kids complaining about "Summer being too short", are now wandering around lost in their new school and trying hard to look "Cool" (or whatever it is the kids today call the cool kids). As they head to class armed with a plethora of devices guaranteed to distract them from their education in the form of pads, phones, and other "Must-have-to-fit-in-peer-pressure" devices that commercialism has drilled into the minds of Canadian youth, parents sigh and head back to work to pay off the insane bills that come with having to "Keep up with the Jones's"....... Just a friendly reminder, parents.... There's less than three months until Christmas.....

......Well! That's it for today's episode of "The News, The Whole News, and Nothing But the News". My name is Zzorhn, and I wish each and everyone of you a great day!

[Screen cuts to commercial]

September 7th
Well, it looks like Summer is trying to hold on as long as possible, as temperatures today hit 31 degrees. Good morning, Dear Diary. How are you? I'm not too bad, thank you.....

.......as for what I'm up to today, I believe my sweetness is desiring a Dungeon and Dragons game because she asked me what my plans were, and then proceeded to send out invitations for everyone to come play. [Chuckles] Gotta love a woman that knows what she wants, eh?

I guess I'm being a Dungeon Master today...... Better get the story-line ready......

The creak of scaled leather wings was followed by a giant WHOOSH as the blue dragon arced menacingly over the wooden sailing vessel. As the rain of arrows from the ship ineffectively bounced off the magnificent beast's hardened flanks, it screamed in defiance and rage at the tiny mortals scrambling for fear below.

The intelligent creature flapped its thunderous wings twice, and paused for one brief moment to crane its neck to glance at the front of the huge War Galleon. In a tongue few mortals could understand the deadly dragon snapped off a quick incantation, and then with an explosion of energy, sped away across the waves.

A giant black ball of magical darkness engulfed the stern of the vessel, obliterating the helmsman's sight!

The crew was already awash in dragonfear; an unnatural panic that occurs when mere mortals are exposed to such fantastic creatures of lore. Every dragon has the natural ability to emit dragonfear, and as the dragon gets older the ability is amplified. The panic-causing fright is both natural and magical; very few get to glimpse a dragon attack and live, and coupled with the devastation, size, power, as well as, dragonfear, most mortal beings are unable to function due to intense fright. As the well-seasoned crew of the "Majestic" cowered from the sight of such a huge blue dragon, the ship floundered in the headwind, the catapults were not fired, and no orders were given.

Seasoned, trained, veterans of battle and sailing. Reduced to whimpering infants.

They cried out in fear. Some screamed. The brave ones did their best to comfort comrades and bring some sense of order to the chaos.

The mighty "Majestic"; the pride of the Eastern Fleet. One of the largest warships patrolling the heavily used shipping lanes of the narrow corridor on the South seas. Goods from all over the world traveled through these waters as merchants seeking friendly markets headed to the safe shores, and they were followed by a host of pirate fleets and brigands. The Eastern Fleet was the law at sea, and most crews seeking to plunder or destroy the sanctity of the trade markets found a swift, and brutal justice at the hands of the massive fleet.

Even against the most crack Pirate crew, the soldiers and officers were a deadly force and very few stood a chance to outgun or outrun the pirate-killing vessel of war. Against a dragon? Not a chance! With no magic-users aboard save a couple of low-level Clerics, there was no way to dismiss the magic of the dragon. With no leadership due to the panic aboard, the ship's sails flapped useless and spun the vessel around.

The ship was heading back toward the jagged reefs!

The small pirate vessel they had been pursuing had lead them to this island. The flat-bottomed ship loaded with stolen goods had easily skipped over the deadly shoals and jagged rocks hidden barely below the surface, but the "Majestic" had been forced to turn back to avoid tearing open her deep wooden bottom. Knowing they would have to find a safer place to weigh anchor and attack the pirates inland, they turned back to the open sea.

The ship had barely safely cleared the reef when the massive blue dragon rose up from the island and attacked.

There was very few that could have done anything to stop the beast from slowly turning in the air and streak toward them again. There was nothing anyone could have done to stop the discharge of electricity that erupted from the dragon's mouth, shattering the main mast and the surrounding deck of the ship.

Breath weapons. All dragons have the ability, and despite that when most people hear of a dragon breathing some sort of devastating breath weapon they immediately think of fire, this is not necessarily the case. While it may be true that red dragons do indeed breath a dragonfire that can melt steel and stone, the other types of dragons use a variety of other types of breath weapons. From a cone of intense cold, a sonic shock of concussive force, poisonous spittle, chlorine gas, and many others, the variety of breath weapons used by dragons is as different as the type of dragon itself. The breath weapon of the blue dragon, for example, is a bolt of searing electricity capable of shattering castle walls, wreaking great destruction and death in a calculated, almost militaristic manner. Many dragons are also capable of casting magic as both a Cleric and a Mage, and the older a dragon gets, the more powerful they become. (Keep in mind that as they gather treasure, there are many magic items that fall into their possession. These can include scrolls and magic tomes)

The thick wooden mast blew apart! Like a suddenly felled giant tree, the mast toppled into the sea. Heavy ropes snapped like mere twine under the weight of the hardwood smashing across the deck. Those unfortunate to be in the path of the destruction were immediately crushed.

Finely carved wood exploded as the top-heavy mast hit the water and then dragged under the vessel. Like a mythical beast rising from the depths to crush the ship and drag it below, the tangled ropes holding the massive mast creaked and groaned, snapped and fluttered like wildly-waving tentacles.

Sailors started jumping into the sea to escape the dying vessel, as well as, fires breaking out all over the wooden ship.

The dragon turned on the frightened sailors with glee, and unleashed another volley of deadly electricity. It washed over the men in the water without directly hitting anyone, but, it didn't have to; the jolt of the electrical discharge in the water fried them instantly!

The battle was over within minutes. From the relentless pounding below by the jagged reefs and the brutal assault of the blue dragon above, the ship and all aboard were lost.

Only a few bits of flotsam and jetsam remained as testament to the crew of over 800...........

......Well, have a good day.

September 8th
Well, we didn't play yesterday. By the time we scrambled to see if anyone could make it, it was too late. Oh well... It DID start a conversation as to what day is best. Hopefully we can find a day and time that works for everyone!

Good morning. It's muggy and warm. I don't think the temperature dropped last night at all. Very odd weather......

......there's call for thunderstorms today, but I don't see any ominous dark clouds. Must be something that is going to develop quickly.

What's on tap for today? CHOIR STARTS this evening! That's right, Dear Diary, I am heading back to church after unintentionally taking the Summer off. (Things just got so busy, and it was a time of transition for me) Just so you know, there was no choir during the Summer months. I didn't miss any choir sessions. (Take a deep breath, mom)

My sweet sexy is studying this morning. She looks so cute as she focuses on her work. Sssh.. Don't tell her I'm watching her, k?

So, what else am I up to? I might write, paint, work on our next adventure, play Mechwarrior, or even chase Cara around for a bit. (Once she's done her homework) Who knows? I could also be stricken by crippling, gut-wrenching pain where I can't do a damn thing. Such is my life......

....well, have a good one. Cya soon.

September 10th
I feel like garbage today. Yesterday I attended a funeral for a member of Cara's family, and I had to wake up at 4 am so I could "go through my routine in order to leave the house" for 6 am. Needless to say, I was pretty tired by the time we got home, but then Cara wanted to go out and sing Karaoke...... I didn't drink much (I'm broke) but still woke up extremely groggy with a headache. Slept in, too..... Anyway, it's already afternoon, and I'm still sitting here going through my morning routine.

I will most likely clean the house today and do some laundry once I'm feeling better.  There's a Dungeon and Dragons game scheduled for after Church tomorrow.

Big storm this morning. With gusting winds and driving rain, it effectively cancelled everyone's weekend plans. Can't get over the amount of rain we've had this Summer!

I do have to work a bit on the adventure.  With so much to do I really should get my butt in gear......

......sucks when you sleep in, but I guess I needed it. Have a good one, eh?

September 12th
Good morning, Dear Diary. Hope you had a great weekend. As for me, it was akin to a painful, emotional rollercoaster.....

...no worries; everything with Cara and I is going swimmingly. Great, in fact! As we continue down the road of life together, we're growing. Not just as a couple, but individually. I've expressed to many people how much different it is being with Cara, and each time I talk about it I'm more affirmed than ever that this relationship is vastly different than any I have ever been in.....

......her depth of character makes me a better person.

Sure, we fight. All couples do, but it's the way we fight that's different than anyone I've ever known. Her patience comes naturally, and the inner strength that carries her through each day is unwavering. I can draw upon that in those heated moments, knowing that we're actively seeking a resolution to a problem without having it snowball into something else. This is all due to one aspect.... And one that I hoped existed, but until now haven't found.......

.......Cara sees me for who I am, and not who I could be. She accepts my strength and weaknesses for what they are, and doesn't belittle me for making mistakes. Oh, she'll point out my mistakes and might even tease me, but she never uses scathing words that she knows would hurt.... Not intentionally, anyway.

The difference is we see each other for who they are, and accept each other as individuals.

Let me explain. Throughout human history we have always maintained a societal norm for "ownership" in relationships. Granted, some society's are very sexist in this, however, most relationships all over the world maintain a similar ideology; a man and woman raising a family. You have THE job, the car, the house, the pets, the kids, and the bills. "We HAVE a cat / dog".  "We OWN a car / house". "Those are MY children". ETC. Even the relationship breaks down into ownership, where the two individuals start looking at each other the same way as they view the kitchen stove. "This is MY husband / wife". "MY old ball-and-chain". People stop being individuals with the ability for individual thoughts and desires, and they are forced into a tiny niche where codependancy rules the roost.

It happened to me. All my life I was surrounded by monogamous, heterosexual relationships, rife with small-town attitudes. Anything "different" was "bad". There was no room for expansion of thought, or people that day-dreamed like me. The Rainy River District, located in North-Western Ontario, is rife with racism, homophobia, and bigotry, and even as a child I watched as heavy overtones of the disgusting concepts pervaded everyday life. I'm sad to say that as a youngster I participated in the jokes and jeers, but being a product of my surroundings, I knew no better..... I cringe each time I think back to a moment during grade 6 when our school was introduced to our new French teacher; a very flamboyant, homosexual man. It shames me to say that I participated in the cruelty that resulted in him leaving town.

At what point can someone stop clinging to the mantra of "I didn't know any better"?

I DID know better! I knew it was wrong, and even though it seemed to be easy for others to do, the idea of someone being different because of the colour of skin, or who they love, look / act, etc, seemed foreign to me. Even as a young boy I felt more comfortable with the Native boys from North West Bay reserve, than I did with the crowd from Fort Frances. Don't get me wrong, Dear Diary, I tried to "fit in", but it only seemed strained.

It's my nature; I always overdo things. If there's a task at hand, you can bet your boots I'll find the hardest way possible to accomplish it. My buddies have even teased me about it, where they use my name as a verb; "Oh! You Zzorhned it!". 

Zzorhn (Pronounced "ZORN") - The second "Z" and the "H" are silent.
"Can be used as both a name and a verb"
1.To put more physical effort into something than necessary.
2.To analyze all possible outcomes, putting more effort into the issue than necessary.

EG: "You don't need to Zzorhn it, just hurry up".

Wow! Did I ever just digress... My information train was chugging along nicely, and then, WHAM! Totally derailed!

I need to get something off my chest. My silence on the matter has probably been some of the cause of my current health problems. Stress, has a funny way of damaging people, and I've witnessed the destructive power of stress in my own life and those around me. I'm so sorry, Dear Diary, that I am going to speak negatively, because I know that I try my utmost to maintain a positive outlook. But! It is my sincere hope that if I get a few things written down and off my chest, that I might find a resolution to some of the problems I currently face. If you take most of my biggest issues in life, you can nail it down to one contingent..... FAMILY.

NB: I am NOT the man I once was, much like I am not the young child I once was. I have grown, both emotionally, and in character. The values of negativity that so many cling to due to Capitalistic ideals, societal norms, and cultural norms from my childhood are still with me even to this day, but I have done my best to evolve past those ideals. (Partly the reason I'm so vocal when it comes to matters of sexism, racism, and xenophobia) My ideals of love, romance, relationships, and sexuality have been nurtured back to reality, as well as, my opinions on culture and acceptance for all. Even in the last year I've noticed a major difference in my attitude, and when compared to four years ago or even ten, there's a staggering difference in who I am. And I'm not done growing either, as I take pleasure in discovering more about myself and the world I live in,  and try to always view things with an open mind. It is my hope that I can always be able to learn, and that I always have the desire to learn, for I believe that is what keeps us going. Insomuch, it's not the end destination in life that's important, it's the drive or ambition to get there that makes the difference. Personal growth, is necessary in life.

What I'm about to tell you, Dear Diary, is something I rarely talk about. Even now as I pen this entry I'm shocked that I'm openly discussing the problems I have with my family. I guess the biggest reason I don't talk about my family much is because I'm thoroughly disgusted with how quickly they betray their own blood. I'd have to write a whole book to touch on every single topic or family member that has gone out of their way to hurt another, but I don't have the time. I do, however, really need to get the truth out, because the silence is killing me.

NB: The whole reason I'm venting my frustration is due to an incident on the weekend where my blood relatives were swooning over my ex-wife's anniversary to another man. I called my mother out for her betrayal and it lead to her grown-ass blocking me on social media. Just so we're clear, this Diary entry is not being done for some kind of "vindication" or "Justice", but, because I'm tired of being shit on and lied about, and I want the truth to be known.

I would like to go on record and state that I try hard to not be like my parents, nor do I blame my behaviour on them. I am a grown adult who is capable of choosing to not follow the abusive examples of my childhood. Do I wish things could have been different? You bet! But, then again, I wouldn't be the man I am today.......

........So, yea. Growing up I felt this overwhelming push to get a car, get a wife, have children, and live "Happily Ever After", because that's what everyone else did. I was so certain that this is what my life was meant to be that I never once questioned it. I met a woman, made her MY wife, we HAD children, OWNED a car, and I HAD a job I went to every day. The expectations we had based on our sheltered upbringing suddenly turned into extremely negative codependent behaviour.

"But everyone is supposed to become miserable when they get married." (Sarcasm)

Yup! My ex-wife and I de-evolved into a toxic pit of negativity in the short space of 5 years. The head games and other childish behaviours that riddled our marriage was painful! Oh! How she could manipulate a situation and play the victim card! While I'm certainly not innocent during the occasional heated moment, I did my best to work on my marriage. I tried to get her to attend Marriage Counselling with me, but she went once and quit. (I kept going, and still use counselling when I need to) I tried to get her involved in community matters, but she refused to participate. (AT the time) A dark, sullen cloud came over her, and as time went on, she became more fixated with finding more ways to torment me.

For example...... I was greeted at the door one day when I came home from work by my ex-wife dressed in a frilly apron, a fake smile pasted on her face, holding a plate of food. As she sneered with disdain at me, she sarcastically mocked, "Oh, hello honey! I'm so happy to see you! I have your food ready".  [Sigh] My chest gets all tight even now thinking about that moment......Anyway, I said something... Can't remember what.... But I know it was regarding her abusive attitude. Well, she smashed the plate of food on the floor, and told me to make my own supper before storming out the door to go and tell my own mother her "version" of the occurrence. (Needless to say, her depiction of the truth was far from reality, but my fickle family lapped up her lies. Over time, and many, many more lies later, her distorted perspective of what actually occurred within our home, drove an inevitable rift in my already-dysfunctional family)

When I couldn't take any more of her abuse, I fled with only a car-full of belongings. I knew in my heart that things were not the way it should have been, after all, the "Happily Ever After" had been replaced by daily abuse. The very idea of being with someone you could call a "soulmate" or even a "Best Friend and Lover" had fled out the window, and I had become cynical of relationships.

That's when she got mean. She started using the children as ammunition to hurt me. Because of the constant barrage of lies, she now had Family and Children Services, as well as, the court system in her back pocket. (It's also due to the unfair disadvantage men have in domestic matters) The two instances where she blackmailed me to FACs still pisses me off, but the time she called me an hour before my children's Christmas Concert was supposed to start, and told me, "If you show up, I'm going to cause a scene", hurts me still today. I remember sitting in the dark with my tie on, bawling like a baby because she had kept me from my own children once again. But! The next day I was shamed by my family for not coming! When I tried to explain what my ex had done, they didn't believe me, claiming I was once again "Trying to create drama, and that I should grow up".

It's disgusting! How can one person become so bitter, spiteful, and manipulative? Why can women not understand that when they cause drama and create scandals about the father of their children, that the ones they are hurting the most is the kids?! I can't fathom how shallow and selfish you have to be to do half of the abusive crap my ex pulled! But, you want to hear the biggest kick in the junk? She's buddies with my mom........

..........I've asked around. "If your son had marital problems, would you get involved? It's natural to want to maintain a healthy relationship with the ex-daughter-in-law because you want to see the Grandchildren, but do you become best buddies with them? How about alienate your son in favour of the ex-wife? Would you actively get involved in the divorce, and help destroy your own son's life?" If that last couple of questions sounds a bit harsh, that's because they are. I mean, what parent in their right mind WOULD help someone destroy their own child's life?!

Mine did.

It sounds so (Please excuse the language) fucking ridiculous that I have a hard time believing it. Not only did my own family get involved in my divorce, aided my ex-wife, and provide extravagant support for her, but they turned their backs on me! I'm so god-damned ashamed of my blood!

But, what do you expect from two emotionally and physically abusive parents, right?

My Father had a saying he loved, that even to this day makes my skin crawl. "When you were a baby I should have knocked you in the head and raised pork. At least then I would have had something useful", he'd repeat when he wasn't beating me in his disappointment. And, trust me, my dad was disappointed in me lots.....

....I was always used as the example for the other children. With my parent's mindset that as the oldest, "I should have known better", it often meant that they would beat me and not the others. It wasn't just my Father.....

........I still remember to this day that time when my sister's red balloon got stuck in the tamarack tree. She was crying as I reached up to grab the balloon from the scaly tree, when it suddenly popped. It was just at that moment that mom came around the corner. All she saw was me pop my sister balloon, and my sibling crying at my feet. She dragged me into the laundry room, and hit me with the only thing she could wrap her hands around fast enough; an electric cord. The resulting beating raised one inch black and blue welts on my back.

I now understand that that kind of physical abuse is wrong, but as a child I thought it was normal. To say that it hasn't affected who I am, and defined my relationship with my family, would be a falsehood.... Look up "Bad / Good Kid Syndrome", if you need a clue as to what I'm speaking of....

"In some cases this childhood personality theory that people are either "good" or "bad" continues into adult life. At the age of 43 the person still thinks and acts like the child they were conditioned to be at age 5."

.......At 18 years old I was the town's "biggest drug dealer" according to my mom. (Meanwhile, it wasn't until a year later that I actually imbibed weed for the first time) I wasn't allowed friends over to the house, but my younger brothers got the whole football team invited for a big bonfire party hosted my mom and dad, complete with alcohol! The double standard that has pervaded my family was the original reason I had to be rescued by my maternal Grandparents by the time I was a teenager. My own family had alienated me so badly I felt like an outcast! I was the "Bad kid", and couldn't fit in with the other "Good kids".

Thank goodness for Fritz and Ethel, because they lifted me out of that situation. It was also with them that I got to see what real love and respect is. Watching my Grandparents interact on a daily basis was enough to make anyone start believing in fairy tales of "Forever After", because those two did absolutely everything together; Church, work, play..... They were never apart for more than a few hours, and each time they saw each other it was like the first time. When they died, however, the stability that they forged in the family just disappeared.....

.....there's no loyalty in my family. It's shameful to admit how fickle my own flesh and blood really is! But, I guess I shouldn't really complain, because this is nothing new; I've been the black sheep of the family all my life.


........what do I hope to accomplish with this rather lengthy and negative rant? (Kinda like kicking open the closets and dragging out the family skeletons to give them a good public airing, eh?) I thought about writing something of this caliber before, in fact, I've got a few files saved in my old writing documents where I describe in great detail all the horrid things my ex-wife did to me (up to that point of time), although I'm not sure where I put them. (Possible they were lost when I switched computers and had the fire) I've read this entry over it a couple times, wondering if I should even hit the "Update" button. Is it revenge for a lifetime of alienation or need for counselling when it came to healthy relationships? Am I trying to find some sort of vindication by exposing a few examples of the emotional abuse of my ex-wife, the physical abuse of my family and the betrayal of blood relatives? Nope...... It's me explaining how much growth I have accomplished...... I am not the man I was because I choose to be better.......

.....my health is better. My relationships are healthier. My outlook on life is much better, and I rarely feel alone or have "Dark thoughts". I have hope for the future, because I have grown as an individual. I have opened my eyes to the world around me, and rejoice when toxic ideals like racism, sexism, and intolerance are called out for the ugly sins they are. I've moved past my father's abandonment, the loss of my Grandparents and subsequent fallout of my family, and now I'm going to move past the rest of my family's betrayal and abuse.

That's what today's Diary entry is all about; finding closure. I've had to get this crap off my chest for so long now that it hurt. It's my hope that by writing things down I can get these feelings of resentment and being trapped, out of my psyche. They claim you can't move forward by reliving the past, but I beg to differ......

.....it is only by addressing our past that we can grow as humans,  and thusly move forward.

Dear Mom and Dad;

I'm here if you ever want to try to have a healthy relationship. The door is never closed, but I might have my foot in the way out of habit; you have both hurt me in ways I cannot even describe. 

I love and miss you.


Your son.

P.S. I'm bisexual, and I no longer feel guilty about it.

[Closes his eyes and hits the UPDATE button]

September 13th
Good morning, World. It's a bright, beautiful day out there, although a bit on the chilly side. Yes.. We've hit that time of year where you need a sweater in the morning, and are sweating balls by the afternoon. I've noticed a few trees starting to lose their life-giving chlorophyll, and the various Fall colours peeking through. [Sigh] Winter is coming.

So, I haven't heard any feedback from family regarding yesterday's post. In fact, I have only heard from four people about my announcement of being bisexual. I dunno.. [Shrugs] ....not really a big deal as it doesn't change a thing. I prefer women, and besides, I'm still a romantic guy that believes in true love and soulmates....

.......speaking of romance, Cara bought me a purple rose on Sunday. It was pretty sweet of her, and sure put a smile on my face. And FYI, she supports my choice to go public with my sexuality.

I'll admit, Dear Diary, that I am nervous about the fall-out from my declaration. I know that today's society is more inclusive, but there are still many that cling to notions of homophobia and judge others who are different. Will this hurt me on a professional level? Will people judge me based upon my choices? Going public? There are so many unknowns that swim through my mind, because I've watched the chastisement many others have received because they were "A little different". (Mostly from members of my family criticizing the sexuality of people I knew) I'm worried that people will treat me differently now.....

....Well, you can't recall a shot fired, they say. For better or worse, I've unleashed a secret I've held for decades. Hidden because of the attitudes of those around me, and to protect not only myself but my family as well.

What to do today? Should get cracking on the laundry... Not sure where all this stuff comes from, but it seems to always pile up. Weird.  o.O
As I hopped in her van she looked at me, and burst out laughing as she pointed at my shirt. "We're wearing the same shirt, AGAIN", she said as she shook her head.
"Yup", I stated with a grin and a nod, "We're identical. In fact, only our mommies can tell us apart"
Went to the orientation last night with Diane for the upcoming London Airshow. Apparently, it's supposed to be the "Biggest Airshow in Canada"! I've looked at the roster of aircraft coming, and I'm super excited. That's this weekend, Dear Diary, if you feel like coming out for a great time! Saturday and Sunday (Yea.. Gotta miss Church) I'll be volunteering my time as security for my sixth airshow! [Fist-pumps the air] It's going to be FUN!

There's a "World-building" Dungeon and Dragons session set for tomorrow during the day. I hope in decent shape for that......

...well, should go. Talk soon.

September 15th
This is the third time since I started writing this diary ten years ago, that I deleted a Diary entry. I wrote a long entry, but deleted it hours later.

Why? Because I made a mistake, and now I'm trying to correct it. I labelled someone as the cause of a domestic problem, and in doing so put the focus on the wrong person. However, I'm going to explain this in a bit more detail in tomorrow's entry.

I can admit when I'm wrong.

September 16th
There are a few  aspects about me that could be considered negative, and you can bet your boots I work hard at keeping such characteristics to a dull roar. It's no secret I have narcissistic tendencies, or as my one buddy put it, "You see that fine line in the sand  and you knowingly jump right over it". There are a couple of other negative  "Learned behavioural patterns" that I grew up with, but as I matured I shed those negative aspects. (See above entry regarding attitudes of racism, and sexism) The culture around me growing up was rife with negativity, and much of it was carried into my adult life. I understand what sarcasm is, but I'm not very good at it; my attempts to be sarcastic end up with me simply sounding scathing. I grew to realize that "Guilt trips" are destructive, but only after realizing that guilt trips make me see red...... (As they should)

........However, if I had one aspect I could change about me, it would be the concept that fighting fixes things.

Growing up I watched as my mom and dad tore apart the house in anger. At school, if you flinched you got hit two more times...... "TWO FOR FLINCHING"..... My peers kept explaining how only those who could throw a punch would be respected. With glorified violence on TV in the form of all sorts of heroes and the affirmation by everyone around me, I developed a unique explosive temper......

..........loooong fuse, but when it blows...... The nieghbours down the street know about it. Aaaaaaand then, twenty minutes later I'm calm as a cucumber if the situation has been resolved.

You see that kind of behaviour promoted by society. "Men? They can have a full-blown, knock-down fight, and then half an hour later they're buying each other drinks back in the bar, probably complimenting each other on their fighting prowess. Women? They fight and everyone is in for a six to nine month-long hurt."

Anyway, I have a temper.

But! It's not like I'm a walking ball of rage, in fact, it's quite the opposite. On a general basis I'm a decent enough guy. The times when I have lost my temper were brought about by a catalyst......

CATALYST (noun) - a person or thing that precipitates an event.

.......still no excuse, but in my experience that's what's expected in such a moment. Problems rise, you explode, and the problem gets fixed. Guess what...... That's not the way things are in Southern Ontario. (Or at least the people I've met) An explosive temper is viewed with the negativity it should be.......

.........It's easy to say I've changed. I'm not the same man I was in 2012 when I was forced to undertake a court-mandated class on abuse. (My spouse attacked me, I defended myself, and I ended up in jail) I look back now and realize how I could have handled that differently, but the society around me would have labelled me a coward for running from a woman.

This brings me to an important psychological question; at what point are you allowed to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, and at what point in time is it acceptable to retreat. If someone constantly ducks from conflict, then they will be pushed around and bullied, right?. If someone raises their voice in a conflict making themselves heard, is that not better than tucking tail and running? In my experience it's better to meet the conflict head-on and get it resolved trying to use as little effort as possible. I'd rather tear someone apart with logic, than ever resort to fisticuffs.........

.......You know that "Flight or Fight response" that everyone has? I think they forgot to program the "Flight" part in my brain when they wired it. Well, I understand I need to change, so I have. I feel good about the positive me, but I sometimes slip.......

.....yesterday marked one year for Cara and I. We celebrated by going out and getting into a fight.

It was fucking massive! (If you'll excuse my French) Without going into great detail like I did in yesterday's post, I'll simply say that it escalated quickly, and left a trail of bitterness in its wake.

What happened? The catalyst was negative, scathing words arising from a concept known as "Pack Mentality", or "Herd Mentality".

Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items.

You see it all the time with dogs. Take the most well-behaved canine and place it in a pack of others. Next thing you know, that sweet, caring dog is suddenly chasing deer with his peers. This is no different than what happens with humans when they associate with certain people.

Let's face it, you act differently around your Grandparents, than you do in a bar. You act differently around your children, than you do at the office. To say that people change their behaviour to adapt to the surroundings and the people in it, is an easy statement to make. AND.....There are people who influence others to do things they ordinarily wouldn't.......

....and that's the issue I'm having. Whenever my sweetness gets around this ONE friend, she becomes someone else, and it frustrates the living crap out of me. Around her other buddies I'm golden, but the moment that one guy enters the picture, pack mentality takes over.

The fight two nights ago was because I was attacked trying to address the behaviour problems associated with "him". Now, this is where I made the mistake, Dear Diary, when I blamed this guy. In doing so, I was in error... It's not his behaviour that is causing me grief, but rather, Cara is the one making all the choices.

So, now that I have identified what the problem actually is, maybe we can move forward and fix it........

...anyway, gotta go.

September 17th
What a major disappointment! Due to extreme weather the London Airshow is cancelled for today. The call is for lightning storms and more (Explicit) rain. It makes me sick to think of all the hard work that went on to organize this event, only to have it shut down due to weather. All week long it's been sunshine, and now when we need the sun it's raining. So damned typical! I remember hosting events at my paintball park and losing hundreds of dollars to weather related cancellations.

Good morning, Dear Diary. It's a wet one out there, again. London, Ontario, has received more rain this summer than normal, as each storm system that forms is dropping excessive amounts of precipitation. Is this the trend for the future? Scientists say so......

....so why is the human race still building homes like we did 40-50 years ago? WE know that extreme weather is becoming the norm, so why are we continuing to do things that actually lead to wide spread destruction? I mean, we COULD start developing our infrastructure more logically....

A) No new buildings near the ocean.
2) All homes must be hurricane / earthquake proof.
D) Houses should be built like storm cellars, NOT like the exposed, vulnerable versions we still cling to.

........Yup. The times are changing, and you can bet our way of life will too. It will come; you can rest assured that the insurance companies will lobby to have the building laws changed as they always do (EG: Think of an insurance company dropping flood coverage in repetitive flood-ravaged areas - Which they have done)

I'm kinda thankful the show was cancelled, because I'm having a really hard day. Didn't sleep very well, and when I was awoke by severe cramping this morning, I didn't even make it to the bathroom on time.

Yup. Just like a little kid, I shit my pajamas.

Happens at least once a month. I can't tell the difference between flatulence and a bowel movement. To my body, the sensations of having to go are constant when I have no medication......

....and I'm on day two.

Thank GOD I have a buddy that's going to help me out today! [Sighs] Is it too much to ask to have one pain-free day where I don't have to smoke pot or take opiates to function?

Well, I have nothing planned for today. Cara is going to go to Malkier for some boffer action, but being as that the sky is throwing around lightning bolts, I don't believe the Belegarth combat class will even be hosted today.

Talk soon.

September 19th
This so sucks! I took sick on Saturday morning, and yesterday things were worse. My plans to work security at the London Airshow were shattered by cramps that left me nearly paralyzed. Ugh! Even this morning my abdomen is on fire.

And I have a chest cold.

It sure is chilly this morning. I've been up since 5 am due to my poor health. The sun really took its time to rise, and a thick layer of fog settled over the city. It's kinda pretty......

....... There's a few things I have to do today. I have to call my Doctor and see what I can do to get a better prescription for when I can't afford my medical marijuana. Another is to start taking notes for a book I have rattling around in my head.

Have a great week.

September 21st
Still have a cold, but at least the sun is shining and the air is fresh. I'm blessed with another day, so best to just smile.

Good morning, Dear Diary, it's Hump Day!

Today marks the very first time I got the kidlet off to school by myself. Cara needed to sleep in because of her fibromyalgia, so I got up instead. I'm not doing too bad today, and it makes me feel good to help. Not to mention a sense of normalcy and routine, it's a sense of belonging; it's my family.

I'd like to go fishing today, as we're running out of decent weather left.............

......speaking of which, today is the last day of Summer.... NOOOOOOOO!!!

[Sighs] Tomorrow marks the season of Death and Decay. A time when everything dies and withers away, the days grow shorter, colder.......

.....[Straightens up in his chair] OK. Enough brooding! It's a gorgeous day out there, and my luvvy has the day off. There was talk of us going on an adventure and trying some fishing. Guess we'll see how things go..... It IS Hump Day... Maybe I better pack a blanket. :)

Have a good one.

September 23rd
Happy Friday. It's fairly gloomy out there, but fortunately it's warm. Good morning, Dear Diary. I hope your week went well. Mine wasn't all that fantastic as I've had a chest cold the entire week, coupled with a lack of medication for my other health issues.

I hope you don't think I'm bitching all the time......

.......I mention my health as part of my regular activity. It is the reason I cannot participate in activities, and why I cannot make plans. True, I have some really great days, but mostly it's me attempting to deal with whatever life throws at me. So, if I tend to mention how good or bad a certain day is, I'm just trying to correlate my activities (or lack thereof) with my fluctuating health.

I started working on a new novel. So far I'm just in the planning stages, or as I call it, "Is it worth the time and effort?" While that might sound negative, it really isn't; assessing something to deem its value is a big part of decision making. Is the proposed book interesting? That's a major factor, because I might write something I deem awesome, only to be viewed as unappealing by others. Is the book unique? Does it have a fresh perspective? These two criteria might sound the same, but they are actually two sides of the same coin..... Because something can be absolutely unique and new, while the other is a unique rendition of another person's idea.

To be blunt, I'm tired of seeing all the remakes on video and literature. While the argument may be that "All the good ideas are taken", many authors and screen writers are still able to find new ideas to write about. Take the "End of the World" stories.... Everyone loves them... From volcanoes to aliens, earthquakes and world war... Nearly everyone likes a good apocalyptic story. I suppose it's for the same reason that so many people enjoy watching horror movies; it's a safe way to explore concepts of life / death, and the struggle of "What if?"

Anyway, things seemed to have slowed down for me. I've sent out letters and emails to a host of publishers, only to receive absolutely no response. I'm still have Max Agency putting my face and name out there each week, but so far I've only done two small roles.,.. and certainly nothing to crow about. My website is still popping a thousand views a month, so that's always good....

....once again, I cannot thank my loyal readers enough! I wouldn't be where I am today without your support!

So, things are a little slow for me right now.

Should go. It's a PD Day for school, so we have the kidlet. Lots to do. Have a great weekend!

September 26th
Didn't have that good of a weekend; without going into too many details, just understand that a combination of domestic feuds and lack of meds created a couple of stressful days. The weather was pretty decent; it's getting colder at nights, but so far the daytime temperatures are still warm.

Good morning, Dear Diary, it's Monday.

I guess I missed a few events... A party for the volunteers of the London Airshow, a party for CHAA, Church, and I wasn't able to make it Belegarth......

.......[sigh] really sucks when I am forced to stay home due to my health issues!

Diane and I are meeting up today for lunch. It's been a couple weeks since I last saw her, so this will be a great chance to catch up.

Not much else to report. Guess I'll talk to you tomorrow.

September 28th
Things aren't good. My mind is awash in dark thoughts, and I feel trapped. My health is deteriorating every day I go without medication, and I'm weary of being blamed for everything. I'm in pain, and doing my best to deal with it? I get in shit for being "bitchy".... Someone else is causing drama? Somehow, it's me "instigating it".... I clean up after everyone, and somehow my standards are "too high", which creates stress.

First thing this morning, in the dark I opened up the cupboard to get coffee, and someone had placed a clay jar in front of the door.... Again.... This time I didn't see it, and it dropped to the floor hard and shattered into a hundred pieces. I made a comment about the fact that I'm constantly tripping over shit because no one puts anything away, and I'm suddenly an asshole.

Yet another morning that sets the tone for the whole day.

In the military they call it "Buddy-fucking" when you act selfishly and don't clean up after yourself, take things and not put them back, or purposely hinder other people's ability to simply peacefully co-exist (Misplacing things in a fashion that cause injury, harm, or destruction) As part of my leadership course in the Canadian Military, I learned these important life lessons and still use that training even today. Unfortunately, civilians do not have the kind of "Fire-Team" attitude that the military does, and many of the problems you see in relationships are based on poor education and selfish acts.

Morning, Dear Diary. It's fucking Hump Day. Another two days to go before I can get my hands on medication for my rolling pain. Not that it will do any good right off the bat, as it will take a couple days of medicating to allow the healing process to take place. (Not that it will ever be "healed", but at least the bleeding stops while the wounds clot over)

In my conversation with Diane on Monday, the extent of my problems became clear....

-I've stopped going to Church
-I've stopped going to Belegarth
-I've stopped visiting friends
-I've stopped working out
-I've stopped caring about my future
-I haven't written anything lately, be it book form, short story, or even Dungeon and Dragons related.

...........See a pattern yet?

If you need to ask why, I'll explain it to you.... Simply put, I'm depressed......

...and I don't know what to do. Hope your day is better than mine.

NB: A couple of days ago, my girlfriend warned me not to use her name or details anymore. She withdrew her permission for me to write about her and our affairs. For that reason I won't be writing about her activities, and only mentioning our interaction with great care.

Talk soon.


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