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Spyro the Dragon is quite possibly one of the single most influential and important parts of my life. That may sound strange given that Spyro is just a simple little polygonal 90's platformer videogame about a miniscule purple dragon who collects gems and breaths fire, but to me personally it has meant so much more...
(Images Above - cover art from the original trilogy games released for the Sony Playstation console)
I had a rough childhood dealing with abuse (that I won't go into detail here), and so my mind was already naturally an escapist. I've always been an avid daydreamer who would escape the problems of the real world mentally into my own little fantasy world in my head. I've done so as far back as I could remember. So when I first came in contact with the first Spyro the Dragon game when I was only five or six years old, I was instantly transported to a whole other magical world that I had the freedom to explore.
It was the first video game I ever played, and it was introduced to me by my father (the source of my abuse) of all people. In it you could travel to other worlds, each with a life of it's own. Filled with magic and mystery, as well as interactive things in the environment. The game actively encouraged exploration. To look over every nook and cranny for hidden treasure. To travel (and escape) to all sorts of different, new, and exciting worlds. I played it every time I went over to my father's house for visits. It was my means of coping. You played as a little purple dragon who was the smallest of the bunch, and didn't have much in terms of abilities. But he had a lot of spunk, and wasn't afraid of anything. By playing as Spyro, I felt as though I could take on the world. Like no matter how big the challenges are, and no matter how small you are, those challenges could be overcome. It gave me great encouragement and inspiration. Spyro was my hero growing up.
Spyro was actually even my first ever imaginary friend (Lol, clearly I didn't have many friends growing up). And in fact, one of my most precious possessions is Spyro stuffed animal my dad gave me. He spent hours and even days on ebay bidding for it until he finally got it just for me. It wasn't for a holiday or special event, he just did it out of the kindness of his heart because he knew how much Spyro meant to me. To this day, it's the only true gift my father ever gave to me. After getting it though, I exchanged my imaginary friend Spyro for the stuffed animal Spyro. I treated that thing like they do in those old Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. It rarely ever left my side, and I treated that thing like a member of my own family.
I may sound like a total mental case by saying all this, but Spyro truly has been the single most influential part of my childhood. And it affects me on up to this day into young adulthood.
I've always loved videogames, and Spyro is undoubtedly what got me into gaming in the first place. But it was never about 'gaming' for me per say. It was all about the escapism. Call it, a 'fantasy simulator' if you will. It never needed to be complex or super dark or realistic or have brilliant game mechanics or whatnot. That's why I honestly fell out of the gaming craze around high school really. Partly because of what I just mentioned, but also partly because I honestly didn't have much money to keep up with all the new consoles and didn't feel like my money would be best spent on new games that I only half cared for. I just can't get into all these stat-heavy RPG's or FPS clones personally. I miss the old days where gaming was simple. I love old school 3-D collectathon platformers. That's why I'm so happy that 3-D platformers seem to finally be making a come back! And most importantly, so is Spyro!
Yes, Spyro the Dragon is coming back, completely remastered (or should I say remade) from the ground up!
Enter: The Spyro Reignited Trilogy
For those who don't know, Spyro the Dragon has been suffering as a franchise in recent years (most notably ever since the release of Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly in 2002, which pretty much single-handedly killed the franchise from being so bad). The first 3 games that were released on the original Sony Playstation system in the late 1990's are regarded by fans to be the greatest in the series. However after the 3rd game, the development team behind the originals lost the rights to Spyro and thus the franchise spiraled downward pretty much in a verticle fashion from that point onward. The franchise has suffered through 2 different reboots (each one completely different from all the rest), with the second reboot being basically an entirely different game series that merely used the brand name 'Spyro' as a subtitle so as to bring in more original Spyro fans as a cheap marketing gimmick. Needless to say, Spyro the Dragon has been pushed ever more onto the back burner for quite some time now...
However, now thanks to the new Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the original 3 games are coming back with brand new amazing HD graphics and re-released as one single game 3-in-1. Just check out the side-by-side comparisons here:
And for all new images released thus far:
I never would've imagined in my wildest dreams that my childhood idol and mascot, the original 3 videogames that helped me cope with horrendous circumstances, and helped to define such an incredibly core aspect of who I am, would ever see such a triumphant return like this. This is not just another reboot of the franchise, or some brand new game entirely. It's a 100% complete remake of the originals, simply eith better graphics, better sound quality, better everything. It's like the videogame gods looked down and read my mind and magically turned what had always been a hopeless fantasy to me, never to even in the least bit see the light of day, and made it into a reality. I'm simply amazed. Words can't even begin to express how much this remake means to me.
Spyro is more to me then just a game. And the Reignited trilogy is more than just a simple remake. They aren't just remastering a 20-year old videogame, they're remastering my childhood. You may find it silly and weird for me to still be so invested in what is essentially a kids game, but certain things like this stick with us for the rest of our lives. Spyro will always be the #1 most defining aspect of my early childhood, and I'm incredibly grateful to be able to now play the new Reignited Trilogy in all it's HD glory!
Thanks for letting me share this tidbit of my soul with all of you.
This is Aquila King, signing out.
I have just looked back through this blog. I am shocked to find that I started it mote than 11 years ago, My original intention was to blog my thoughts on... well any thing I had a thought about really.
In those more than 11 years I have had several periods where I have not made an entry for years on end. In fact this will be only the 83rd entry. It seems that I have less than 8 thoughts a year.
Why is it when people divorce they use the kids to get what they want? It is like a game to see who can get the most out of it. Why? I'll tell you why. People can't grow up and see what they are doing to the kids. It's like the kids can't do one thing without hurting one of the parents. They are pulled and thrown around as if they are nothing but something to be owned.
So it seems with almost 2 months passing that I still am unable to post status updates and that from my side some of my posts, though still in my stuff, does not want to properly appear. It is so nice to see that I can barely do anything anymore. I truly loved this site, but now it just seems to hinder things. This was such a great place to come and express things and updates things about my life, the very thing I had wanted this page to be, but apparently because I didn't want to make blog posts, made posts to long, and promoted a separate page of mine to be able to see the longer posts that kept being taken down, I am unable to do anything but type here. So really I may just do update posts every couple months as I have no other need for this site if I am not able to make status posts anymore or have this page be what I had intended for it to be so ya guess that is life. People don't like when you do stuff they don't want happening and have to be d**** about it all.
~Blessed Be, Damon~
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Now that I'm older, here is what I have discovered --
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.
It's funny, but I don't remember being absent minded.
All reports are in ... Life is now officially unfair.
If all is not lost, where is it????
It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Some days you are the dog. Some days you are the hydrant.
I wish the buck stopped here, I could use a few.
Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
Accidents in the back seat cause . . . kids.
It is hard to make a comeback when you have never been anywhere.
The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.
If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
When I am finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?
It is not hard to meet expenses . . . they are everywhere.
The only differences between a rut and a grave are the depth and one has the ends kicked out.
These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the here after.....
I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I am here after.......
If I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts, it may be a good indication that I have died during the night.
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Paranormal activity in my house is starting to become a thing of the norm around here. Im not sure what i want from this post, but i do want to share some of the things that have transpired since last winter, maybe hear an outside opinion. So the strange thing about all this, is that everything seems to only happen in one room of the house, the living room, but also, only seems to happen when there are a number of people around to witness. It is a rarity that anything happens when I'm alone. I guess I'll share one story, the one that seems the hardest to explain. My buddies and i were in my living room, facing the TV, with our backs toward the entrance of the room. We have hardwood floors so footsteps are more defined. But as we watch TV, we hear footsteps fast approaching behind us, but they made a slapping noise on the floor, as if somebody was barefoot. I turn, because, there are other people in my house. The noise wasnt even a concern initially. But i turn back and simultaneously get hit in the face by a light breeze, one you would feel as somebody quickly passes by you. The footsteps continued on past me into a wall. I turn to my friend next to me, who i know realize has tears rolling down his face asking "you just felt that too?" My buddies on the other side of the room, frozen in fear, not able to put words together of what we all just witnessed. I was never a believer of ghosts. It all seemed a little like quakery. But there is no denying now, that something is out there. Ive never felt comfortable in my own home since that night
Recently I have received instructions from The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, advising me to safeguard my psychic powers. I must admit, my psychic powers have mysteriously been on the wane lately. The Adept Zondor told me of a conspiracy by unknown paranormal Cosmic entities are determined to suck up all the paranormal energy in the universe to increase their own metaphysical powers.
Actually, I did have a premonition about this situation. It was a sort of déjà vu experience in reverse. I had the feeling that I hadn’t been somewhere before, but that I will be there in the future, and then I’ll recognize it. This has put me on edge lately, as you can imagine.
I also had a synchronistic experience. I had my palm read. I usually don’t go in for palm reading as I consider this a too physical exponent of psychic abilities, but I was worried after all these unnerving telepathic experiences. The result of the Palmist was, I would soon be contacted by someone who was an exponent of necrology and an interpreter of ancient runes, and this person would introduce me to a Spiritual Master who would relate further specific information.
The Palmist also told me I would soon meet a tall, dark stranger, and to watch out for women who buy their clothes at Walmart or wear too much makeup.
At any rate, this Spiritual Master would reveal an ancient prophecy relating to the Oracle of Thesphus, whatever that is. You see, this is the problem I’ve been worried about: I don’t understand any of this stuff. Well, except for The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, who I’ve known since childhood. See, when I was about twelve years old He appeared unrepentantly in my mother’s garden during a thunderstorm. It seems he had had an emergency landing. Somehow his astral projector had become attuned to random lightening strikes. I think he fixed that problem later, but I’m not sure.
Well, Zondor and I immediately hit it off. It was synergistic. Also, we both had a fascination for cryptozoology and the more frightening aspects of shadow people and black-eyed children, and we both admitted we look with trepidation under our beds at night before we go to sleep. Funnily enough, we also had read and enjoyed the obscure, Professor Melman’s “Encyclopedia of Psudo-Mythic Entities, Bio-Psychic-Anomalies and Precognition As It Applies To Telepathic Empathy and Remote Viewing”. A hefty tome, indeed, and unusual for two strangers to have read this rare and singular volume. I believe this is not mere coincidence, as Zondor explained it as an example of mutual and personal synchronicity.
Well, as I was saying, The Adept Zondor related that these mysterious and secret entities are collecting psychic vibrations for their own personal use and power. This frightens me, I must admit. This is because, if it is a real conspiracy, we all know conspiracies are always evil in intent. I have never known a conspiracy to be benevolent in nature. So I live in fear. I mean, who wants their psychic abilities drained off by some strange and mysterious secret society, like the Mormons, Shriners and Freemasons, for instance?
I’m just saying, we who have the psychic gift and are attuned to the metaphysical and paranormal should be on the alert. I must therefore advise astral travelers to beware of unforeseen detours that may be lurking unnoticed. There are malevolent forces about, perhaps emanating false vibrations as an evil web to catch unsuspecting voyagers on the astral plane.
Out of body experiences may have to be curtailed for a while as well until this mystery is cleared up. We all want to get safely back into our bodies, right? Perhaps for a while we should just install mirrors on our bedroom ceilings.
Clairvoyants may have already picked up some of these distortions in the Cosmic Consciousness. All information of these anomalies should be psychically reported to The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People on Mnomomopolous. This now is the Celestial Clearing House for such information, even if one considers these intimations only rumor, gossip between local palmists and fortune tellers, or even hearsay among alchemists and pseudo-scientists. One can not be too careful.
Be ever on the alert.
What if polititions weren't elected. What if they were conscripted. Kinda like when those famous words were uttered; "Ask not what your country country can do for you, rather what you can do for your country". What if every one had to serve a term in office. Names could be drawn from a computer that match people's skills to a particular posting. All done randomly with the only caveat being you have to be qualified to do the job. That way the cream would be skimmed from the top instead of the bottom of the bucket.
Lets face facts. Most people in politics today are in it for them themselves. It's easy for them to get elected because no one in their right mind would want the job. Pick the best from your population and you get the best representation. A good non political example is the Switzerland and Israel. In order to own a firearm you must first serve in your countries military. Make great sense.
Applying this to politics may be the only hope we have of having a peaceful, prosperous, non partisan government.
As usual, feel free to criticize or add suggestions. All are welcome.
Ability....or natural gift. Confusion goes along with chaos. So many questions, but not all have answers. Someone with insight, is usually the one who is disconnected... I know, I read, I see, I speak, I moved freely... Essence is upon me, any educators out there.
There was a thread, at one point that discussed the concept of what life
is and what it entailed, naturally when one thinks of "life" we automatically think of living beings from microscopic bacteria to the
leviathan great blue whales and generally we would be correct but as I pondered this idea I couldn't help by ask myself
if this was entirely accurate.In short, is our concept of life a bit myopic? Just as there are many types of love, there are also many types of life too.
When we look at physical matter, it is really just forms of energy that, when coalesced, oscillate at a particular frequency. It seems that there is not "energy versus matter" it is all just...energy
(again for the purposes of conversation, I use the term energy as a collective term out of convenience).
When you break down matter (or maybe the term energy pattern is more appropriate) you have a tiny, imperceptible particle of energy.
It is tiny, and maybe that little particle is weak but it is there, it oscillates and affects an area of space around it no matter how large or
small parameter it is.Now you have trillions upon trillions of these little particles, some move really, really fast and
there are others that just mosey along at their own pace.At some point these particles will get bounced around, bumping off of this particle and crashing into others.
Sort of like being in Grand Central Station in rush hour.
Now each particle is able to attract or repel based upon whether those frequencies are compatible with one another, if one particle bonds
with another, that combined frequency becomes a little stronger and able to attract more and more until their combined frequency can
attract particles that emanate a stronger energy field. At some point the accumulation accelerates and baring that nothing happens to
break the bond in the meantime, something will be formed.
What it will be depends, I suppose, on the particles that are accumulated.
Now one might ask how this constitutes "life" and it is a good inquiry, really. I suppose one of the ways "life" could be defined is the accumulation and maintenance of coalesced particles, bonded so strongly that they are able, by their energetic nature, to maintain a position on the
energetic celestial gear works of the cosmos such as a solar system.
I would even surmise that even biological life assists in this process (this will relate to my other article on 'Lifestream') by creating its
own unique sets of frequencies that support not just the planet it is on but forms a sort of "net" that connects to all in the universe.
(Yeah, for lack of a better term I am forced to rely on the heavily over-used and worn out of 'We're all connected' platitude. Sorry)
Again if you have read through to the end then I once again am grateful for your patience
and I may add more later.....maybe.
And if you are totally confused then you are in good company, so am I!
Hey guys. I decided to write a short story. I try not to go to long without writing something, so I don't lose it. This was done kinda quickly, and is unedited for the most part, but I thought it was ok. Let me know what you think. I haven't titled it yet.
It was a mid January night in the winter of ‘94. The moonlight reflected off our billowing breath from the deep cold and cast our long shadows on the railroad tracks as we walked to our small ice skating pond that was a stone's throw from the Hudson River.
We would both be graduating high school at the end of this year, and not knowing where either of us would be, or what we would end up doing in the fast approaching new phase of our lives, we decided to take advantage of one last midnight skate. Before the first winter storm of the year that was coming the next day ruined the ice.
“Jay the ice is perfect” Matt said as we stepped off the tracks and down the rocky embankment to the frozen ice below. The ice almost seemed to glow in the glimmering moonlight and brightly lit the surrounding trees. The stars shined through the still air as we quickly took off our boots and put on our hockey skates.
Neither of us said a word as we got up to begin our last of many nights over the last 5 years skating on this forsaken little pond. Just a quick glance towards each other told the story of how we would both miss these nights, and how grateful we were that the last night here was as perfect as it could possibly be.
I was saddened at the thought that there would be no one to come visit this place after we were gone, but I quickly shook that feeling as I exploded across the ice. “Wait for me” Matt yelled out as he tied his last skate.
The sound of our skates gliding across the ice almost sounded like rolling thunder. We began to shed layers of clothes as our body temperatures climbed. Even in this cold night air.
I was skating the edge of the pond along side the thick brush going about as fast as I could go, when I noticed something strange stuck in side a bush I had just past. Ice shredded under my skates as I quickly came to a full stop. Matt wasn't as good at stopping as I was, and he nearly knocked me right over as he slammed into me from behind.
“What did you stop for?” Matt asked me curiously, as he struggled to keep his balance. I told him that I had seen something in one of the bushes, as I back tracked to find the mystery object. It only took a few seconds to find it. We both looked at each other puzzled as I pulled a small pink winter hat out of the thorny brush.
“I wonder who that belongs to” Matt said. We both stood there puzzled as we examined the pink hat. It is a difficult walk for two strong teenage boys to get here in the winter. Who ever this hat belonged to certainly couldn't have made it this far on their own.
As we stood there pondering, Matt shrugged his shoulders as if to say he gave up trying to solve the mystery, and he began to take off across the ice again.
Not anywhere near as satisfied as Matt was trying to solve this mystery I began to inspect the pink hat much more closely. On the back side of the hat the name Becky was stitched into the cloth. A cold shiver ran down my spine when I turned the hat inside out to reveal what looked like a large blood stain.
Keeping my focus on the stain, I yelled out to Matt to come back. I could hear his skates begin to dig into the ice as he tried to come to a stop. Then I heard a loud thud.
I quickly turned to see Matt laid out face first in the middle of the pond. He never did quite get the hang of stopping quickly, and like had happened before I figured his feet must have come out from underneath him as he dug his blades into the ice. The last time this happened we ended up in a emergency room. 12 stitches later he was as good as new.
I dropped the hat and skated over to him as quickly as I could. Face down he laid there motionless. At his side I dropped to my knees and began to try and wake him up. I started nudging him, lightly at first, but when I got no response I began to nudge him harder. I could see his breath like a pausing smoke stack, so I knew he was still alive. I thanked God for that much.
"Matt” I yelled frantically, “wake up”. Again no response. He was out cold. So I grabbed one arm and one leg, and started to roll him over onto his back. Wondering to myself how I was going to get him all the way home if he didn't come to. Knowing no way could I leave him there even to get help. He’d freeze to death before I could get back to him.
I nearly had him flipped over when suddenly for one moment I felt a cold tingling blast, almost like electricity going right into my back, then right through my chest. I looked down at Matt now lying face up when his eyes instantly opened wide.
For one moment I felt a sense of relief that he had woken up. That feeling left me quickly when I realized that his large eye’s had become as white as the snow surrounding the pond. Horrified I tried to stand up. Never taking my eyes off his evil looking stare. That's when Matt reached over and grabbed my arm.
As soon as he grabbed me that same electric like feeling I had just felt blow through me was now coursing through my entire body. Like every cell in me began to hold a high frequency pitch. I tried to pull away, but there was no use. He had me in a death grip, and my senses were being overridden by this terrifying vibration.
My mind had begun to get very cloudy. It felt as though I was beginning to lose consciousness. I closed my eyes and fell onto the ice.
The next thing I knew I could see a bright light behind my eyelids. The cold breeze that had redend our cheeks and nose went completely away. I could no longer feel the cold at all. I opened my eyes and for a moment I was blinded by what looked like the midday sun.
It was the middle of the day. Light beams from the sun were glistening off ice sickles hanging off the tree’s. The white snow magnified the sunlight all around nearly blinding me for a moment. I looked to my side to see Matt standing there looking as confused as I felt. Before either of us could say a word, we heard what sounded like someone coming down off the railroad tracks and on to the frozen pond.
A large man in a thick winter coat came down the hill. He was slowly stepping onto the ice, as though he wasn't sure it could hold his weight. He took a few small steps, and bounced up and down slightly to make sure. Then he turned around and yelled out “it’s safe Rebecca, come on down”.
A little girl around 7 maybe 8 years old with ice skates hanging around her neck began to make her way down the hill. She nearly stumbled down, then she decided to sit down and slide on her butt the rest of the way. As she put her skates on the man was making his way towards us.
He was looking at the ground has he came near. I said out loud to him, “hello”, but he never even looked up. It was as though he completely ignored me. He was heading directly towards us. When I noticed he was going to walk right into us. I tried to move aside, but it was too late.
That's when he walked right through me. As he did, I felt a darkness like cold chills running up and down my spine. The kind of feeling you get when the hairs on the back of your neck stand in attention. I began to question if I was going crazy. There is no way to rationally explain what was happening, yet there I was living it, breathing it. We had become like ghosts, unable to be heard or touched. I turned to Mat and asked if this was a dream. He said to me “I don't think so” with a look of panic on his face.
Just then the little girl began to skate across the pond. “Look at me Uncle Toni” she yelled out as she awkwardly stumbled one foot in front of the other. “That's great Becky” he yelled back to her.
Becky? I thought to myself. Where I have I heard that name recently? An ice cold chill ran down my spine, as she skated past me. I saw her little pink hat with the name Becky stitched on the front, and instantly my heart sank into my chest.
Frantically I yelled out to her, but she couldn't hear me at all. In desperation both me and Mat began to follow her towards the brush at the other end of the pond. I felt as helpless as I knew Becky was right then. Knowing there was nothing I could do but watch whatever horror that was about to play out in front of us.
As she approached the man I could see he was taking something out of his coat pocket. It was a short metal pipe. I stood frozen in silence as I heard Mat scream NO, as the man raised the pipe high in the air. Before I could see what happened I suddenly became very dizzy and lightheaded. I could see the twisted evil look on the mans face. It was as if for one moment time had completely stood still. Then everything went black.
“Jay wake up” I could hear someone yelling at me. My eyes were closed but I could see through my eyelids that it had become dark again. I felt the cold wind hit me in the face as I opened my eyes to see Mat sitting by side shaking me.
“Alright” I said “stop shaking me”. We then both just looked at each other for what seemed like forever. “Did you see”, Before I could get the sentence out he abruptly said “Yes, I saw it too”. We sat in silence again. I turned to look across the pond to see Becky’s little pink hat still sitting on the ice where I had dropped it.
“Let's get the hell out of here” Mat said as he turned towards his boots sitting on the edge of the ice. He reached down to help me to my feet. We just looked at each other again, unable to process what had just happened. We were just about to leave when suddenly we heard a small voice call out from the bush across the pond.
My heart dropped to my stomach. There in the brush just a little ways beyond the ice stood a little girl in a pink hat. I could see lines of blood that had run down her face. There were stains of mud and blood all over her.
We both began to race towards her. I know that sounds crazy but we both had the overwhelming feeling that she needed our help. I don't know how, but we both knew she didn't mean us any harm. I shredded ice to stop as I reached the end of the pond. Mat slammed into me, again. She was no more than 10 feet in front of us.
“I'm here” said as she looked and pointed to the ground right in front of her. Then like smoke she faded away in the cold winter breeze.
After long consideration we decided a unanimous call to the police would be the best course of action. Neither one of us ever told anyone what had happened. We both felt a sense of peace as we read in the local paper how they had found Becky’s body. We also felt a sense of justice reading about how “Uncle Toni” was arrested for her murder. I got chills the first time I saw his picture on the front page.
Over the next few years me and Mat would visit her grave site at Hilltop Cemetery, just down the road from where went to high school. Turns out neither of us moved far from where we grew up. And we still get in the occasional midnight skate.
We never did see or hear from Becky again. Accept from time to time in a dream.
Thanks for taking the time folks.
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Yesterday I set a new personal record for hiking while on a working overnight in Burbank, CA. As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I packed my small REI backpack with two liters of water, some salted- and honey-roasted peanuts, and two flashlights (just in case I got hurt and had to signal for help after dark).
I set out hiking into the Verdugo Mountains, with my sights set on the Radio Towers at the peak: 6.5 miles up, and 6.5 miles down.
I stopped at the Nature Center in Stough Canyon to borrow a hiking stick. It’s a good thing I did, because in that last half-mile struggle to reach the top, I was using both hands to propel myself forward like those gondolier guys in Italy.
It was tough going, but it was worth it for the view: downtown Los Angeles to the west, Interstate 5 winding through the mountains to the east, and dozens of amazingly huge crows circling above me in the deep-blue skies and chasing one another, soaring and spinning, chattering and cawing. I wonder if they know they have an audience, and they put on a show for whoever’s watching? If I had a lawnchair, I could sit for hours and watch their aerial antics.
Hiking back down the steep mountain switchbacks was painful: my right knee and my left hip were screaming in pain from the unnatural angles and the extra torque of slamming my feet into the hillside. I was walking slowly, wincing in pain, swinging my right leg like a pirate with a pegleg.
Thankfully, I made it back to the hotel safely, looking only a little bit like The Walking Dead, and I got to my room and dined on a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and some applesauce. After my 13-mile hike, it was a meal fit for a King.
Today, of course, I was popping aspirins like they were jelly beans, but you know, all things considered, I think I did okay for an old dinosaur.
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The fact that hauntings can never be disputed as proven by the amount of evidence available by those having captured it has been hotly debated for many years between believers and skeptics alike. And even when all conditions had been exhausted regarding all the hows something might have existed is it found that often there will always be those who will just never chose to believe! Which is why you never go out of your way to prove something of which you may know to be real but that those who had not been there to experience it may align with that fact to both ridicule and bury you and your efforts. In essence, you state your case, provide your evidence, remain firm in your conviction, and move on to your next moment of acquisition.
This particular photo was captured during a rather hot day and coinciding with what had been a Class X solar event!
Not sure if that made any difference as to how this rather startling apparition had appeared for my camera but then it would always be wise to perhaps consider it so.
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Every year at this time we are invaded by wild birds that fly south for the winter. We really enjoy watching them at our feeder.
Mrs ZZ took these:
The American Goldenfinch arrive all the way from Michigan.
Tufted Titmouse with sunflower seed.
Birds of a feather living in harmony.
Female Cardinals, along with their mates are very popular visitors.
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I sure don't have a lot to show for all my time here. I do come here almost everyday but I just don't not sign in. Don't even remember 2004. Four years before Obama came to power. So I will try to blog more. Also post in the forums. This is a good site , I do like it here. See you soon. cliff
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Antarctica Secrets includes US Navy footage from Admiral Byrd's South Pacific Expedition , reveals the impenetrable wall of ice they encountered, discusses Operation Highjump and looks at the recent mysterious events that have taken place in Antarctica. Just what is this "land of everlasting mystery" as Admiral Byrd liked to call it, hiding?
Having established that the mind can play a role in how we interpret paranormal events or experiences, we are going to consider this theory further. I’m not saying that the tricks our mind can play on us are explanations for all paranormal experiences, because it’s not. We are going to be speaking to a parapsychologist and focus on the work done by the Koestler Parapsychology Unit.
I linked a survey at the end of the article Paranormal: Power of the Mind, to get people opinion on what they thought of the idea that the mind could play tricks on us, when it comes to paranormal experiences.
One survey respondent, said: “I think the mind, especially an over active or emotional mind does have the ability to make you think you may have experienced something. However, in believing in the paranormal it is important to remember there does not need to be an answer for everything and sometimes there are no answers.”
Dr. Caroline Watt founding member of KPU, The University of Edinburgh[/caption]
Dr. Caroline Watt, founding member of Koestler Parapsychology Unit (KPU), based in the Psychology Department at The University of Edinburgh, said: “I got interested in parapsychology because, as a psychology graduate, I was aware that paranormal beliefs and experiences are quite common, and I wanted to find out what lay behind these experiences.“I decided to study parapsychology because I thought it would be interesting - and I was right!”
Reports of paranormal experiences have long been reported, including, near-death experiences, dream precognition and hauntings. Research conducted by KPU examines the causes and impacts of these experiences. KPU focused on four aspects these causes and impacts: Precognitive dreaming, the function of paranormal beliefs and the discursive approach.
Precognitive dream experiences are dreams that appear to predict the future. Dr Watt investigated the psychological factors that may explain precognitive dream experiences. One study found that some precognitive dreams are due to people finding connections between their dreams and subsequent events.
Dr. Watt, said: “My research has found that people who believe in the paranormal are more likely to see correspondences or connections between dream reports and news reports that have been randomly paired. This suggests a normal mechanism that might lead to an increased frequency of seemingly precognitive dream experiences.”
The second aspect of KPU research was, the function of paranormal beliefs, the research suggests, that for some people, paranormal belief may provide a sense of control in chaotic or stressful situation. The KPU conducted two studies, the first showed a link between a lack of a sense of control during childhood and the development of paranormal beliefs in adulthood, which was conducted by Dr Watt and Dr Richard Wiseman in 2007. The second showed that more than half of those reporting paranormal experiences had experienced a negative life event, before the experience happened.
A photo used by the KPU to demonstrate the function of paranormal beliefs.
Dr. Watt, said: “A person who has had a traumatic or chaotic childhood might develop paranormal beliefs in order to give them a sense of control over their environment. For instance, thinking that you can read other people's minds may give you comfort and a feeling of control.”
The findings from the two studies, into the function of paranormal beliefs, are in-line with a wider body of research, conducted by Watt and Wiseman in 2004, which examined how paranormal beliefs can provide an illusory sense of control.
Dr. Watt, said: “Let's take superstitious beliefs as an example. People who live in dangerous environments, such as near an active volcano, have more superstitious beliefs than those who live in less dangerous environments. Those who live near the volcano may have various rituals that they practice in order to try to placate the 'god of the volcano'. This is a paranormal belief. It makes the people feel more in control of the situation, however their behavior does not actually affect the volcano.”
Understanding paranormal belief is difficult, but an alternative approach is to examine them as discursive phenomena.
Dr. Watt, said: “This looks at the language used by people when they talk about their paranormal beliefs and experiences. For example, when a person says, "I'm a skeptic, but you'll never believe what happened to me", the discursive approach looks at the work that is done by the phrase 'I'm a skeptic". That phrase is said in order to make the person appear to be a critical thinker. It is used to strengthen the paranormal claim that follows.”
One reader of the article Paranormal: Power of the Mind, said: “After reading this I feel that what O’Keeffe was saying is spot on. I believe that the combination of night / dark, being tired, your mind plays tricks on you with the combination of being cold helpless strange noises accentuates the ghostly experience.”
In response to the previous comment, one reader, said: “That absolutely explains some things, but it positively does not explain them all. I can attest to the reality, and 100% positive knowledge for myself that there is something just on the other side of what we can see. It has the ability to see us, and interact with us, but for the most part, remains unseen. When a person has their own unquestionable experience, their world view changes forever.”
In regard to ghosts or spirits, Dr. Caroline Watt, said: “I think it is most likely the case that normal factors, such as pareidolia, can explain most ghostly experiences.”
An example of Pareidolia or Matrixing.
Pareidolia, otherwise known as matrixing, is the psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists.
Another respondent, of the survey, said: “My mind knows what it is doing and tells the body what to do.”
Between Paranormal: Power of the Mind and this article we have covered many psychological explanations for paranormal experiences, although these are just a few of many psychological explanations. As some of the survey respondents pointed out, psychological explanations only explain some, not all, of the many paranormal experiences that have been reported. I have never personally experienced anything paranormal, however, I have spoken to many people and you can see in every fiber of their being that they have experienced something and that experiences have impacted them. The research Dr. Caroline Watt has conducted made it clear that our mind can subconsciously, be making connections or seeking control, and its these types of mind tricks that are out with our control as we might not even realize what we’re doing. The article Paranormal: Power of the Mind concentrated more on the psychological explanations we can take into consideration. For example, when we’re investigating the paranormal, watching paranormal TV programmes or reading about the paranormal, we can consider suggestibility and priming. Especially, with hindsight we can consider these explanations along with other physical explanations, but we would find it hard to consider the evidence Dr. Watt found from her research, as these psychological explanations are happening subconsciously. Although, I am a believer in the paranormal I think it is important to be aware of all the explanations out there to enable you to have a full picture.
The first time I felt this out-of-control force was soon after a show back in 1998. My debut as a singer was in 1996 in a student holiday party. I felt great. I've always felt out of place, awkward, socially-incompetent, but once in stage I was a total different person. I could say or do whatever and people would dig it. I've been doing the same for the last 21 years. That night in 1998 while I was resting and trying to clean the sweat out of my body and while everybody was coming to say how magnificent the show was I felt it for the first time. It was the feeling of being completely alone, the feeling of dispair. I received the greetings with a smile, a shake of hands, a hug, but inside of me I felt that everyone was just being fake as **** and I just wanted to go home, cover myself in bed and cry.
That feeling has been haunting me since then.
That night after the show we went to a local bar to have a couple of beers. We were still minors but since we were musicians and we knew the owner, everything was fine. We talked about the show, met some friends and everybody was having a great time. I was continuously watching the clock because I wanted to go home. Every now and then after any show, I feel this way. I learned to evade myself from others and just take a break. I just have to take a break. It's like a social charge that I can't bear. I need to rest from it. In those 10 minutes of "break time" I go through many different feelings: sorrow, embarassment, lonelyness, guilt.
Depression is a common and serious medical disorder and this disorder affects every aspect of your life. During a big part of my life I struggled (and I still do!) through it. I've had addiction problems, relationship problems, work problems, family issues and many other things due to this disorder. Sometimes I didn't want to get up from bed and I spent most of my time just watching the ceiling of my room thinking that nobody gave a d*mn about me, that nobody really loved me. I've lost lots of weight, I've gained lots of weight, I've quit my band several times, I've fought every and each one of the people who used to play with, I've done horrible things to myself and not a single time I said to myself "I'm doing this because I'm ill".
I felt hollow. Like, in any happy moment of my life I felt hollow anyway. I smiled, I celebrated. I even said I was happy but inside of me I felt hollow. Like if something was missing. Like if something wasn't right. That's how you live with depression. Even when you know you're doing alright it's there.
I started this blog because I want to write my experiences with this disorder. My therapy. Things I do to feel better. Things I do to fight-back . Stories that may be inspirational or raise a warning flag on yourself. I don't know. It may be helpful for some. Until the next entry.
This is me back in the 90s. Adjusting an amp before a rehearsal. I was extremely thin. I didn't eat properly, spending most of my time drinking or having drugs with my friends. I was just discovering that the force inside me was making me not care about anything else.
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Despite differences in any society or culture, you could find in many of their folklore common imaginary about the supernatural. Since the earliest human civilization, there have been stories about people returning from the grave needing to feed upon humans to substance themselves. Legends of these creatures are told across the global including Japan with its folklore holding some morbid myths such as the Hone-onna.In Japan’s lore, yokai are malevolent supernatural entities often created by the returning spirit of a human or animal to been wronged in life seeking revenge. However, even undying love may give rise to an undead creatures. When a woman dies still desiring to stay with their family or lover, her spirit manifest into a hone-onna. This yokai will appear as a young, beautiful woman disguising her true form of a rotten walking corpse or skeleton.In legends, the hone-onna is a ghost which returns wanting to continue the love of those she had in life. She would arise from the grave at night and return to the home of her family or lover. The yokai’s suddenly appearance would shock those grieving her passing, yet be joyous of the woman’s return unaware of her true nature. Myths mention, even hone-onna may not even be aware herself of what she transforming into.In lore, unsuspecting husbands or lovers would often fall victim to this yokai. The hone-onna visited the male at night to engage in intimacy where she feed’s off their life force then leaving in the morning. This course of action usually resulted in the man’s death. Only those strong in will or of could see pass the disguise and maybe able to intervene. Often in stories, man who been warned of the hone-onna still continued to embrace the ghost, even at the cost of their lives.Hone-onna, in several myths, continue to exist long after killing their lovers. Either a wish to continue living or be embraced by someone, these yokai carry on appearing at night seducing young men and substance them by extracting their life force. In some forms of Japanese media, the hone-onna been the setting for tragic love stories.
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Do we really have a need to know or a need to prove our points of view? What role plays ego, vanity and narcissism in this light?
I think that we have a need to know. Knowledge is power, but more important than knowledge is the power gained by confirmation of our view of reality. Thus we have a horde mentality, you know, when individuals like to make clans. It is not anything unusual, it gives a sense of security, acceptance and power. Truth is hard to grasp, on the other hand since it is hard to grasp a much easier shortcut to feeling of stability security and power is through associating with fellow clan members and confirming your own points. Everybody likes it, myself included.
So how do we grow? If everybody would just confirm everything you say that would be pretty dull. So we need a tension, but the tension comes naturally since there are no two individuals with exactly the same view of reality, and when a view of reality is challenged a defense mechanism starts. Here we have one intersting thing. We may divide people here. There are those who like logic and truth and seeking the truth the hard way, and then there are those who stick with the clan and just fogging things evading the truth. Ego, vanitiy and narcissism is satisfied. The beast is fed. The problem is that those who seek harder rarely know if they are right. They doubt themselves, groving insecure because no one supports them since they break the dogma of the clan and the ego suffers. So what is better?