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.

More Inspiration for Mountain Valhalla

 I'm at it again.  Creating an image in my mind of what it's going to be.  Bringing it into the present, keeping a vision in my mind constantly of what I want reality to be.  The thing missing from these pictures?  Guests and family.  Other people.  Valhalla is a place of goodness and healing.  Inspired by Rivendell.

I still haven't found the right thing.  Fifteen rooms, sleeps thirty, and with a large central area.  Woods all around, no other house in sight, and no one to bother.  And elevation; something that makes you say "Worthy of the gods themselves!!!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Little Thing Called the Constitution

Ferris Bueller and the Meaning of Life

Watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  It's on Netflix.

Intuition, fear, confrontation, risk, life.  Stasis and dynamism.  Staying on the beaten path or going on an adventure. It's an exposition on the human mind.

The three high school kids that ditch represent parts of the psyche?  Ferris who acts on intuition and thinks the rules don't apply to him is the sub-conscious, the Generator that makes it all happen.  Events work around him.  Cameron the worry wart, the conscious mind who is struggling with all that, who is fearful of the consequences though it's all so-far-so-good.

Or all that is in my own mind and I just now perceive it.  Now that I'm older and wiser.

Another thought: Galaxies are people.  There's a human being at the center of each one.  The formation of galaxies and also how they form super-structures (strands, clusters, super-clusters) is a mirror of how humans form up.