Monday, October 30, 2017

Emerald Spire

For ages untold, a gemstone monolith has pierced the heart of the Echo Wood. Now, as civilization intrudes upon this enigmatic splinter, a strange life once again stirs in the depths—one with ties to undying evils and a might beyond time itself. The promise of wealth and power calls to glory-seekers from across the Inner Sea region, tempting them into a labyrinth of monster-haunted vaults, defiled tombs, arcane laboratories, and worse, as they seek to unveil the secrets locked below the legendary Emerald Spire.

Level One- the Green Ziggurat
The two-level beveled above ground ziggurat made out of green stone.  Klarkosh (the clockwork wizard) send a goblin tinkerer to repopulate this top level after the party wiped out the first inhabitants.

Level Two- the Cellars
This was full of moon spiders.  It is currently being repurposed into an underground hydroponics complex to supply food.  There is a family of four that lives here: the mother is a Barbarian, and the others are mushroom Druids.

Level Three- the Splinterden
This is currently the base of operations of the party.  Formerly it was the lair of the "Splinters" a Thieves Guild that the party originally came for, to wipe them out.

Level Four- the God Box
A Trogolodyte named Slurgh shows the party through each time.  There are stairs here that go to up to level Three (a secret door opens under the floor in the foyer area) or down to level Five.

Level Five- the drowned Level
This is now cleared, the five gates to the plane of water are now closed.  This level is still prone to incursions from elemental planes, and summoning magic is stronger here.  The water is slowly draining out and the coral reef is dying.

Level Six- the Clockwork Maze
Klarkosh is dead (?) and now Bharguz the Intrepid, a friendly dwarf engineer is getting everything in order.

Level Seven- Shrine of the Serpentfolk
Encountering stiff resistance from Gator-Trogs and Salamanders in a hellpit of despair.

Level Eight- Old Shrine of the Serpentfolk
This place connects to the Darklands through a long tunnel that branches off.  At the end is an immense fungus-filled cavern.  The shrine is in good condition with many permanent dangerous traps and fixtures.  The place is innately evil.  Not sure what to do with it.

Dramatis Personae

Barghaz the Intrepid
5th Level Dwarven Alchemist Weaponsmith LN
Taking over the sixth level

(there were two other candidates-- Zazzle a gnome alchemist and potion master, and a Human Astronomer named Traica).

Avenna-- Tengu Monk (played by Jonah)

Truth and Reconciliation
9th level Half Elf Paladins of Ragathiel


1st level Half Elf Fighter (Truth's first cohort)

 Scwhifty a 10th level Halfling Rogue, she has a green crystal short sword

Journey to the Spire
Session 1
August 4, 2017

Last Friday we had our first session of Emerald Spire at Demolition Games (3300 South in SLC).  Veronica, Tom, and my two sons were there.  We had the upper level all to ourselves.  Demolition is remarkably clean and well-stocked.  We got sandwiches from Jimmy Johns.

In the walled town of Idyllica the party picked up some help from four green-clad rangers of the Order of the Leaf.  Their mission:  hunt down the Splinters, a thieves guild that lairs at the spire.  The town is the picture of paradise in late summer, but the black-armored Order of the Nail that garrisons there rules the peasants with an iron fist.

The party fought a tribe of fifty jungle orcs near a raging river.  The only way to get over the gorge was a narrow fallen log.  Jonah's Kenku warrior split the tribe with a burning wall of fire and the party barely avoided being overwhelmed by the savage creatures.
They made it to the Emerald Spire and found it abandoned by a larger contingent of jungle orcs leaving only a sole survivor of the original occupants-- a goblin tinkerer named Skizzerts.  Manhandling the poor creature they find a remote control.  Fiddling with the device, a massive six-limbed mechanical monstrosity lumbers out of the shadows!  What oh what will happen next?!
Show up next week to find out.  We have four players, all half-elves turns out-- a Cavalier, a Fighter, and two Paladins.  There is one chair open (possibly two!) and the party desperately needs a spellcaster and a rogue.
After the session the players all picked out their miniatures online and at the store and we have a goal of getting painted figures all around for the next session. 
With full color poster maps AND painted miniatures the game is top notch. We are meeting again this Friday at 5:30pm
Notable Personages:
Curiel and Furiel (brothers of the order of the leaf)
Lady Audara Drovust (head hell knight at Idyllica)
Skizzertz (goblin tinkerer)
Illustria (Truth's warhorse)
Magnifico (Reconciliation's warhorse)

Purge of the Moon Beasts
Session 10
October 28, 2017
  The party descends to level five and finds Jorqual and his crab-like eidolon studying the spire. He is attempting to close five gates to the elemental plane of water here.  The place is infested with Moon Beasts that are using the portals to move slaves to and from the material plane.   The party gets thrashed in the second encounter, but comes back strong after one day.  They defeated four Moon Beasts with the fifth presumably contacted telepathically and fleeing.  Ten destitute human captives were saved from exportation.
  Also saved: Shara-tan, a humanoid creature from the plane of water and her consort of years, a human rogue named Bayl.  He is LG and was infiltrating the Splinterden years ago.

Jonah: Gaohl, 8th level Brawler
Vero: Truth, 8th level Paladin
Tom: Reconciliation, 8th level Paladin
Griffin: R'Kaan, 8th level Cavalier
NPC: Schwifty, 10th level Rogue halfling
NPC: Onichan, 9th level Wizard

Jorqual-- Undine Sage

Treasure Found
  • 8 Blork Balls (Shellcracker gift)
  • 6 Blork Balls (in central tidepool chamber  Choose one: heal 20 HP through topical application (no AOO), sell for 1000gp, or Remove Disease
  • Aegis of Waves-- +2 Adamantine Buckler provides 10 electricity resistance (can be carried for the latter effect, it does not need to be worn on the arm)  It is shaped like an elongated guitar pick with three curving sides and a bearded sea-god face embossed on the front
  • Mantis Ring-- wearer can perform a Sneak Attack with a melee weapon as an 11th level Rogue (+5d6) 1/day
  • 5,000gp Rose Diamond
  •  8 blue coral necklaces on green thread that give Freedom of Movement underwater
  • 3x bolts with blue crystal spheres (poison that works only on outsiders, Fort DC 20 or sleep)

Into the Shrine of the Serpentfolk
Session 11
November 3, 2017
First part of the session all roleplaying.  Illustria the warhorse dies of heartbreak.  Jorqual the undine sage departs back to his home plane and grants the party a wish which Truth co-opts as "May I always hit my enemies".  A powerful boon indeed!  No roll to-hit needed.  Barghaz bring on four of his clan and really cleans up level six, installing solid iron gates on the entrance and exit.  The brotherhood of the thorn change the crypt into a stable with elaborate elven woodcarvings.  They change the old experimentation room into a reading room with elven furniture.  Plans are laid to turn level two into a hydroponics garden.  Truth goes to town and picks up three followers:
Cori- age 18, who aspires to be a wizard (flaw: bedwetter)
Hanspel- age 21, who aspires to be a fighter, Cori's brother (flaw: playah)
Torg- age 23, who has the natural talent to be a kineticist, accidentally killed his mother's cat by dropping an anvil on it.  Looks like Andy Samberg.

Schwifty leaves for parts unknown.
Onichan gives R'Kaan a large purple seed that grows Bowlby the owlbear cub into a full grown owlbear.
Ostog the Sorceror joins the group.  Played by Jonah.
Kalitas the Otterman Cleric (of Sarenrae) joins the group.  Played by Tom (two characters)

The party then goes to Level seven and encounters a shrine with sixty-six candles.  There is a fireball trap that goes off twice, devastating the group.  A massive stone slab seals off retreat upwards.  They fight a tribe of Gator-trogs.  It was a brutal melee spanning several rooms and pushing the party to the limit.  There will be no rest!  They did over a thousand HP of damage.  Totally brutal.

They find a mostly spit-roasted barely alive dwarven lord that gives the party his signet ring before dying.

They then encountered a smithing room with a red-armored salamander (in my game these are humanoid creatures with obsidian black skin) which retreated into pool of magma, making it very hard to hit.

Treasure Found
  • Gold Jewelry 3200gp
  • Garnets x42 worth 100gp each
  • Amulet with ruby sphere 1600gp
  • Platinum Ring with Ebony Octagon (delays soul departure to three rounds)
  • Dwarven House Ring with M rune
  • Uncut Emerald (worth 3000gp on the net after cutting)

Temple of Kro'Akath the Burning Serpent
Session 12
November 11, 2017
Wretched slaves and kidnap victims, numbering fifty souls, are rescued from the brutal torture of the Salamanders.  Truth and Reconciliation accompany the fugitives back to the Splinterden, using a scroll of Telikinesis to life the stone block.  They send reinforcements and reconstitute the party.

Ostog the Sorceror (played by Jonah)
Fiona the Fighter (played by Jonah)
Chivane the Red Mantis Assassin (and two apprentices)
Nameless Cleric
Four Brotherhood of the Thorn (third level Rangers)

The party confronts the Serpentfolk wizard Sartoss in his temple.  He is a devotee of Kro'Akoth a demon lord of live immolation.  The temple is dominated by a giant pillar of the Emerald Spire, affording a trip back home.  As the party pushes into the temple, slaying the foul creature's minions, he breaks a green crystal and transports most of the party to a pocket dimension of the Abyss where three Vrocks are waiting (and a fourth is summoned later).  The party slays the Vrocks and burns up three spire transport tokens getting home.  They have to abandon two party members but the Otterman comes back for them. 

The party can now planar transport to this pocket dimension-- an interesting development.  The realm is only six hundred feet long and almond-shaped.  It is a barren landscape cut with rocky terraces and dead black bushes.  These flower and burst constantly with blue spores.  The sky is cracked like dark green jade with a half-dozen small moons (these are actually giant spores that orbit the plane).

Treasure Found
  • Serpent Statuary (heads) 6000gp
  • Raw polished jade pieces in onyx coffers 6000gp
  • Temple furnishings 3000gp
  • Tapestries and Carpets 16000gp

Deep Temple of the Serpentfolk
Session 13
November 17, 2017
Attendance: Vero, Tom, Jonah, Griffin and Shawn
Using a spire crystal the team finds itself in an ancient temple of the serpent folk, dedicated to their monstrous god Ydersius.  Overcoming ghostly demons and deathly traps, the party confronts the high priest in the main temple. He retreats to a humid egg chamber and summons a demonic cockatrice.  Fiona charges him, but falls asleep at his feet from Cloak of Dreams. Hacking through all defenders, the serpentfolk priest has to retreat using the spire taking Fiona with him.

The paladins smash twelve giant serpent eggs and two green dragon eggs (by the way guys, this was the treasure of this level, totaling a massive 82,000gp).   Because of the powerful and ever-recharching traps on this level, the party doesn't know how to shut down this level.

Treasure Found
  • 82,000gp of eggs smashed to bits by Paladins

In Pursuit
Bonus Session 13.5
November 28, 2017
Attendance: Jonah, Griffin and Shawn.

R'Kaan works with Onichan to create a potion of blessed mega-seeds puree that will advance the newly hatched green dragon and transform it into a new type of Good dragon (equivalent of a bronze dragon with a sleep gas electrically charged cloud breath weapon) a Teal Dragon.  The potion takes the process of several days-- at this time the Teal Dragon has more of the form of a wyvern.

Ostog the Sorceror teleports to his sister's location, ending up on the first level, the ruins of the spire.  The serpentfolk high priest has enlisted the aid of a Green Dragon, the father of the Teal Dragon now being raised by R'Kaan.  The priest summons three demonic dragon ogres.  It's a close fight but they drive off the dragon and rescue Fiona.  The serpent priest escapes again!

Session 14
November 28, 2017
Attendance: Vero, Tom, Jonah, Griffin and Shawn.

Where do you guys want to go next?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Greatest- Don't be afraid to take that first step

“Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.”
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”
“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
“I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.”

Friday, March 29, 2013

Daddy-daughter Date

I took my four year old daughter in my completely pimp new automobile.  I love being in that thing.  I feel like a million bucks.  I deflect any thought of even so much as a scratch getting on it with this talisman: my eldest son is eighteen and I'm giving it to him in perfect condition.  I deflect a negative mental scenario with an easily constructed, ready-made self-inception.

So to speak.

Willow and I arrived at Macey's and I carried her in on my shoulders.  Along the front they had tall racks full of spring flowers for sale.  She leaned in to touch and smell them.  I touched the hanging pots lightly with my fingers.  The mountains are still capped in snow, but Spring is in the air.

We got some ice cream, plus a few cups for the other kids and went back home.  I played some Magic with the boys and then hit the sack.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Complete Baller

Hello again you handful of loyal followers, much appreciated.

I bought my dream car this week.  It's a new Chevy Equinox, the same as the picture I've had on my vision board for eight months.  It makes me happy inside.  I wash and detail it every day.  I feel like a major league executive every time I am in the driver's seat.  The first time I've actually been romantically in love with a vehicle.  I get it now. 

For the last eight months I've had no car at all, bumming rides off my workers.  Pathetic.  Oh, and thank you so much to all the people who gave me rides.  It all started last July when I read an article called the "vacuum law" which says you must give to receive.  Give first with nothing in return.  I looked at my '94 van, which was in good repair and fully paid and then signed the title over to a young couple without looking back.  Then nothing happened.  Then in the last month it all came together in quite a miraculous and unexpected way. 

What's on your vision board?  Have you made clear in an exact way exactly what you want?  Or are you still making up your mind?  You can't move forward with only a vague notion, with a "someday" to figure it out once your ship comes in.  Don't wait for the ship.  Get your ticket.  I would encourage you the reader to go online right now and buy your car in your mind.  It's a lot of fun.  Don't let any voices dissuade you.

This is only one particular item, the same concept can apply to any material object, physical attribute (a nice smile for example), a personal trait or virtue, or a relationship.  Get it clear in you mind.  Be sure you are truly excited about it and find a picture.  Then put it on your wall.  So, today it's a car.  If you could have any car in the world regardless of price, what would it be?  This is honesty.  If you let something hold you back you are being dishonest in a way because you know you want X but you're willing to let your voices tell you no and you settle for something less.

In my mind I'm a complete baller.  I'm a king.  A conquering hero who walks the land.

Anyway, on Saturday I headed up to the local game shop to pick up the Daemon army books.  Next door there is this old diner called the Purple Turtle which my wife remembers from her childhood, it's been there forever.  The food is greasy diner fare and pretty gross.
I had a handyman come out to take stock of all the huge list of stuff that needs to get done at my house.  My home has had the marrow sucked out by the business.  Every spare dollar has gone to furthering the studio so now I am working hard to get things back into shape.  I am quite a disastrous handyman so it's up to me to "get the money" and make this happen.
On the way home we saw this overturned truck.  That's a huge stream of gasoline leaking out.  I felt a wave of sympathy for the drivers as they were just standing nearby, shell-shocked.  Emergency crews had just arrived, thankfully.
On Sunday Willow was pretending to be sick for a while.
I've been playing a lot of Magic with the boys.  It's great bonding time.  I just love that game and can't get enough.  They are getting some really good critical thinking skills from it.  They can both give me a run for my money.

Today was a moment of wonder at the shop.  Downstairs in the artists' pool it was a hive of happy activity.  Just like I've always imagined and hoped.  It was a moment of beauty and bliss.  I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.  I am so grateful to be surrounded by such good people.

Tonight I got home, washed and detailed my baby, excising every flake of dust.  My kids came out and helped me.  I spent some time with my lovely wife, just talking some things over, then played some Magic with Griffin.  We had an easter-themed family home evening and ate some carrot cake.  Now it's off to dream-land for me with wondrous visions of goodness and prosperity.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This morning I decided that my charity work is going to be foster homes.  I am going to create a foundation that effectively and anonymously helps the foster program in Utah and especially in terms of giving relief and support to foster parents.

My good friend Sarah was a foster parent for quite a while and I saw all the sacrifices she had to make.  There is a lot of pressure on foster parents and not a lot of assistance for them.

This is only a preliminary idea, it needs more work and of course money.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Living and D&D

Starting in sixth grade my parents gave me near complete freedom.  I was allowed to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, even sleep over on school nights, with only such that I would inform them where I would be before I left.

I'm surprised I lived.  I would sometimes go into the woods with nothing but shirt, cutoffs and shoes.  Somehow I would make my way back.  Actually, I did live, really lived, because of this.

The other kid in the pic here is Channing.  I'm trying to throw up the rabbit ears and he's looking at me like "dude, seriously?" 

Channing lived in the garage at his house.  However, it was a separate building and had been converted into a proper bedroom with carpeting, a bathroom and everything.  It was there that I first saw D&D, a game that was to change my life forever.

The two boys were playing Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits  My first character was a Human Fighter (no name) with 18 in every stat.  I soon took over as DM because I could read and understand the rulebooks really well.  I was so hooked.  It's all I could think of or do for many years to come.

Some of my fave characters from that era:
A cleric named Cirelce.
A gold dragon named Rachel.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The River

There is a river.
By the river there is a bucket.
On the bucket there is a sign.
"Drinks from the river: one dollar"

There is a river.

--Shawn Gately

Blue Neverland

Here is what's making me happy today.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


On my vision board I have the following for the year 2072:

Personal Starship
  • Instant interstellar travel*
  • Mega-yacht luxury
  • 500 person capacity
  • Invincible defenses
  • Ultra-tech

 *no inter-galactic travel just yet.

I'm 103 and feeling fine thanks to nano-technology.

The picture here has the feel, but it's probably too small for hundreds of guests to enjoy themselves properly.  I'll call her "Beautiful".  Alam Almithal.

A Slight Change...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Valentine's mini-Vacation 2013

In Spanish Fork the snow is melting.  There are still huge icy piles, but these are the last bastions of winter.  I feel extremely positive.  I am starting to write a "Future Journal" where I put in specific dates and write as if that day had already happened like I want.  It's a very interesting exercise, to fill in all the details.

The big news from this week is that my wife and I went on a one day mini-vacation to celebrate Valentine's Day.  This is something we planned well in advance and Tamie had the whole itinerary planned out as she usually does.

The short version is that we went out to dinner, stayed at a bed and breakfast then spent the morning at City Creek Mall.  That place if fantastic, just to walk around.  I tried to get Tamie to splurge on something but she just wouldn't do it.  She's got a mental block that I'm trying to break down, to get her in the mindset of prosperity.  Things are going well.  The bottom isn't going to fall out.  Elsewise there's never really any security, there will just be a neverending miserly quest to finally be "safe".  We are creatures of the wilderness, eminently equipped to survive and thrive day by day.  Humans are super-adapters.

Just as we were leaving she saw this bag she just loved, so I dragged her in the shop and picked it up for her.  It makes her feel like a million bucks.  She's now carrying around her old ratty busted up purse inside the new bag.  That is so Tamie.

Also, the night before we went for a couple's massage at Sanctuary, one of our favorite spots.  Inside the spa there's this softly-lit buddhist temple thing where you sit and relax for a while, then two women come out and scrub your feet then lead you to an inner chamber with a barely lit dome overhead.  They do aroma-therapy then lay you down on heated tables and get to work.  It's outstanding.  Unfortunately, I can't shut up so I'm jabbering on and making cracks.  Oh, when will it ever end?  Then the two women leave you alone in the candle-lit room with some treats, herbal tea, and water and a super-deep tub in the corner.  It's all quite deluxe.

That whole complex (about six rooms, a hall, and an antechamber) is now going to be incorporated into Mountain Valhalla 2.0.  Yes, a full on spa on site.  This whole time, as we're going to various shops I'm just popcorn-popping new ideas for business.  A change of environment can stimulate the idea factory.  I especially liked this one shop called Lush.  They had amazing environment and these little demo tables where they could show you how each thing worked.

I'm always a little skittish to relate "luxury" type experiences.  Because we're all supposed to be busted up and broke right?  Well, not anymore.  I dreamed and worked creatively and this is where I'm at after nine years.  And guess what?  It's only going to get better.  I'm going to bring joy, inspiration and ultimate wargaming to the world.  Good things will flow through me to others.

I believe that the dreaming part, the mind-work to build up a persistent positive image, is the real key.  Anyone can start with two hands and a mind and unfold it stage by stage.  To all those that read this I say "bless you".

Lastly, I have started a mentoring program which is worth every penny and more.

This was really incredibly quality time and we really felt more in harmony afterwards.  I hope to do this a lot more in the future.  I'm currently rustling up the funds so we can go on another mini-vacation for our Anniversary in late March.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

We Travel the Land in our Battle Tram

This week I took two days off to do a mini-vacation with my lovely family.  We went up to Ogden, stayed in the Ben Loman, an old hotel still trailing glory from better days, but now a bit faded around the edges.

First stop was a theme restaurant where you eat in covered wagons around life-size western-type dioramas.  If you look in the pic above you'll see that in the background.  Need I explain what kind of food is served here?  The kids had a blast.  We stuffed our faces.

For the last few weeks my whole back has been like a trident stabbing me in the spine and muscle.  Mentioning this to my lovely wife she arranged for me to have a massage at the hotel.  The burnished doors of the elevator opened and across the mezzanine was the office door to the hotel spa, the antechamber appointed with lots of plants and flowers.  I was met there by a sparkly-eyed old matron, maybe in her fifties, who shook my hand and introduced herself.  Her hand was tiny and grip unimpressive.  I thought "how is this going to work?"  But I must say that she was a maestro.  But that's not all.  As she worked out the kinks she said "You're afraid of something, you're holding on to something."  Thus I proceeded to barf out something business-related that has really been stressing me out.  It was quite a miracle for me.  Reading this you might not think much of it, but I quite literally had a sudden healing of mind and body.

I realized that the thing I had been worrying about was something that I can't do anything about.  I keep imagining scenarios, but really there's nothing for me to do but wait.   I just have to do nothing, just go about my business.

Feeling relaxed in both mind and body I went back up to the hotel room to find my two youngest kids not sleeping so I took the out into the hotel late at night to just go explore.  Other than a sleepy-eyed front desk attendant, the place was abandoned.  Up and down the elevator we went, running through empty halls, walkways, and dining areas.  It was a fun little adventure.

Griffin started complaining a bit about his stomach, so we got on the elevator to get back to the room.  Two teenage girls were chatting on their phones when about halfway up Griff started spraying copiously.  He was up-chucking like a champ.  Out came all the junk food and shrimp in a steaming pond of digestive acid.  The stench was overpowering.  The two girls high-tailed it out at the next stop, don't blame them.  Once on our floor I hurried him down the hall but he stopped to go another round.  I stared in disbelief as he horked up another half gallon of hot puke.

I cleaned him up and we all settled down to watch the Aquabat Supershow on my computer.  Willow climbed halfway up my arm and I could feel her little head slump against my ear as she slowly lost consciousness.  I slept on the couch, letting the kids bunk with mom and in the extra bed.

Sorry, hotel staff.  PS- I did call to let them know what was up and to volunteer to help.

The following day we went to four different museums: trains, cars, rifles and natural history.  The train museum was especially interesting.  I found the story of that era's industry and inventiveness to be inspiring.  As odd as my field is, I'm still a pioneer and in uncharted territory.  Yes, I just drew a comparison between the transcontinental railroad and my miniatures painting studio.

I got back around 4pm and settled in for a four hour shift at the studio, getting home dead dog tired.  Life is good.  I am happy.

This is your mind... This is your mind on hope

Stay tuned.  I don't know who you are, but I'm going to keep you alive.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


The family and I at Macey's getting some ice cream.

These last few months I've been spending a few mornings every week in deep meditation, laying in bed and deeply visualizing how I want things to be.  I pick a time frame.  It might be just that very day from 8am to 5pm.  I go mentally through the motions.  What results do I want?  I imagine what a certain person might say, what good news the day might bring.

This week I did October 2013 to May 2014.  I must have been more than an hour thinking it through for over an hour.  It was so beautiful that tears were streaming down the sides of my face and onto my pillow.  I am very much beginning to like doing this.  It fills me with confidence for the day and things don't bother me.

If a negative thought or a doubt begins to creep in, I have to be quick.  I have a few protective phrases that I use to block this.  "It's so beautiful" is one of them.  I say it a few times in my mind while I quickly summon a positive vision of how things can go right.  The trick is to focus on the goal, and not always the details on how to get there.  At least not while forming the vision.  The "how" can come later (and will) as inspiration afterwards.  My mind also tries to throw wrenches in the works by showing me in quick succession how there are obstacles; images of how things can go wrong.  Often, this is in the form of a person appearing and saying or doing something to hinder.

The big news is that we found the location for the 2013 season of Valhalla.  The previous week I had just found one dud location after another.  I was really wracking my brain.  On Tuesday morning I got up and surveyed my vision board (my prayer and desire given written and image form).  I noticed that the Mountain Valhalla location I had written down was wishy washy.  It said "this or that" and "at least this".  So I got out my pen and boldly crossed things out and made a definite list.  More importantly, I stated new things that I truly wanted, but thought were unrealistic.  For example: most places aren't more than 10K square feet, and we need much, much more than that, so I crossed that out and wrote 20K square feet.

 That very morning I got an email with a link to a single location that every single one of my (some unrealistic) requirements.  I boldly put forth my vision and the Universe responded.  It was amazing.

On Wednesday we were physically out there doing the survey.  Actually inside this unreal building that I didn't believe even existed.  I went there with my lovely wife, my trusted lieutentant Rob and his wife, too.  We met the two caretakers who were sealing the edges of the pool.  I actually got lost in there.

Afterwards we went to Maria Bonita for some Mexican food.  My plate had this burning cedar shingle.  When I blew it out there was a tremendous amount of smoke and I was afraid it would set off the sprinklers.  So good.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blue House

My brief stay on Cydonia

Something you may not know about me: I worked as a puzzle designer for a company called Aneiva in 1997-98.  The game was Cydonia

 More pics

.We played a lot of Quake.

I was going to college at the time.  In fact, it was working for this company that made my four-year degree take six years.  We thought there would be a big payoff, as with a lot of cd-rom game companies at the time, but in our case it just kind of fizzled.  I barely got paid, but was completely sympathetic to the owners of the company who were also starry-eyed twenty-somethings.

It takes a lot of tries doing different things for something to work out.  I thought at the time that Aneiva would be my big break.  Of course, I was looking at it from a very inexperienced perspective, as I am surely now all things considered.

It was here that I learned how to use adobe photoshop.  I got a lot of skills here.