The Answer is 42


Today, this year, May the 4th, I’m 42. A party is in order. To be held at my place on the 6th.

1. Don’t Panic
2. Bring your towel
3. It’s mostly harmless
4. May the 4th be with you
5. Lightsabers, blasters, bathrobes and babelfish optional
6. Something pink – sharing the party with another friend who insists.

Here are some links:




Red Bubble

Pinterest 42 Party

Another Pinterest 42 Party

Another 42 Party

Yet another 42 party

And another 42 party

Related to 42 party

Suggestions for a 42 party

Music selections for 42 party

Some Google Images for 42 party

Because I still want it


On Writing Emergencies

Heinlein said it is a sickness. L’Amour said it had to be pursued. I’m inclined to agree with both. Heinlein also said that a poet who reads his work in public likely has other bad habits. So I haven’t read in public but maybe once in my life. I certainly think he’s right on that count.

So there are three basic times in which writing becomes an emergency. Emergency here is defined as a moment when all else must stop and words must be recorded. So the first two are fairly easy to identify – bad times and good times. The third is difficult and usually quite inconvenient. Any time between one and two.

Contrary to legend, one needs not be in a moment of reverie to have the bug hit. I get the call to write with little warning and at any time. Granted, many of my most prolific moments have been in the throes of depression or elation.

But this past week has seen a bender not tied to either. Life has been meh. Yet I have been compelled to produce a half-dozen pieces almost right on top of each other and not all of the same theme.

The Lost Chalks Sessions has most of the new work. And I’m enjoying it immensely. But there are some others floating in there as well.

What does all this mean? Hardly a thing, really. But I have always loved writing. And that’s about it for me.

The Lost Chalks Sessions

Over at Paperscreams, I’ve begun an exploration of some different themes in poetry. The title of this set is partly in tribute to Terry Pratchett, an author who has had a profound impact in the way I see the world. It is also, however, a journey into scenery and thinking about scenery.

Though I hadn’t intentionally devised this theme, I noticed something unusual. In all the poems I’ve written, only three fit what I am now writing. So I’ve kind of doubled down and begun writing in earnest to capture these images of places where I’ve been. Not limited to physical visits, they consist of things from my reading journeys and imagination.

That’s all. Just wanted to provide some insight on the new development.

Pipe Mania

Gold Briar PipeYep, I’m a Brother of the Briar. I’ve been trying out the blends and styles of tobacco and the amazing craftsmanship of these great toys for a few years now. Thought I’d share some of my collected discoveries.

There are a ton of pipe fanatics out there, and an equal ton of makers. My lasting favorite craftsmen are definitely Trevor Talbert, Dan Morrison, Geiger and Stanwell. The best site about pipes is definitely Pipemakers’ Forums (#1 of all time). Just For Him, Cup O’ Joes, and Iwan Ries are the places I go to first for shopping.

About Pipes
~ Pipe Makers Emporium ~
Tobacco Smoking Pipe Carvers at Pipe Show Online
PipeSMOKE Magazine Online
Main Page – Pipedia
My Love, My Pipe by Charles Hester (Book) in Humor
Passion For Pipes
Pipes & Tobaccos Magazine
Talbert Halloween
Pipe and Tobacco Collectors Blog – Web site for collectors and smoking pipe lovers
Pipe Tobacco Reviews: Other Blends – the nexus of pipes on the net
The Briar & Leaf Chronicles

DM Pipes
Tyler Lane Pipes
Atelier Rolando

The Briary Pipe and Tobacco Shop – A pipe and tobacco shop selling fine pipes, tobacco, cigars, humidors and other pipe and tobacco accessories
eBay – Smoking pipes, Tobacciana, Asian Antiques, Cultures Ethnicities items at low prices
mars cigars & pipes – Home – mars cigars pipes-including tobaccos accessories
Pipe and Tobacco Merchants
Cup O’ Joes – Largest Selection of Dunhill Pipes and Pipe Tobacco
Pipes – Tobacco – Accessories At PREMIER PIPES. We Offer The Best Smoking Pipes.
Just For Him Tobacconists: Welcome!
Smoking Pipes,Tobacco Pipes,Pipe Smoking Accessories,Pipe Tobacco,Pipe Repair and Restoration
Iwan Ries — Home
Payless Pipes and Tobaccos – Briar Pipes – Peterson
Tinder – Online Catalog
Wesley’s Pipes – Hometown Tobacconist to the World!
Watch City Cigar – Pipes – Items 1-10 of 428
Liberty Tobacco

The Sea Wolf

I’ve been out of touch with my writing side for some time. I doubt it’s coming back anywhile sooner. That said, I’m eager to at least throw some bones to the events around me.

I’m reading Jack London these days. I scored a free (actually free) collection of London’s works, purportedly complete, from Amazon last month, and cracked it open to discover the Sea Wolf. It’s a story about a privileged young man who gets press-ganged into service as a cabin-boy on the Ghost, a sealing vessel in the late 1800’s, or early 1900’s (not sure which).

The tale chronicles Humphrey’s growth from almost effeminate lifestyle to rugged, self-sufficient and hardened survivor thanks to the quintessentially amoral tutelage of Wolf Larsen, a virile, sailor of sailors who has incredible powers of both physique and mind, as well as utterly ruthless and particularly vicious moral convictions.

I won’t go further but to say that the philosophical and moral challenges in this story are profound and cause me to consider more carefully my own tenuous grasp of this mortal life which we all inhabit.

For my regular readers, The Sea Wolf is vitally connected to other readings of mine such as Shardik, Into The Wild, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (especially), and many of the survival stories I’ve read that are based in the late 19th century.

This is short, I know, and a tease of what’s in my mind, but I say again that my ability to write is not up to par with my thinking. Life is difficult enough that I can’t keep up on the keyboard what is running in the ether of thought.

Christianity is not a religion of do and don’t. It is a religion of done – “It Is Finished.”

law-vs-gospel1“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Could it be likely that the monumental impact of this verse is probably among the most missed in Scripture? If read as an epic tale of God’s interaction with his creation, the Bible should probably produce moments of awe and wonder, this one being one of the greatest. But we are too often lost in the verse-by-verse exposition that has become popular over the years.

Then we get distracted by the massive list of do-and-don’t commands surrounding this central point of “It is finished.”

The point of Christ saying what he said is not just, “whew, suffering is over.” or, “Obedience mission complete.” or even, “Covered all the prophecies.” That would be a religion of do and don’t, preached right from the Cross.

I know that there are threads upon threads of debates regarding the Law and how we interact with it. The case can be presented that our religion is one of do-and-don’t, however that is not what the Scripture seems to present. It is a religion of God Did It For Us. From the very beginning, the Creator has been responsible for doing what we cannot ourselves; making us, rescuing us, remaking us, preserving us, completing us.

So when Christ said “It is finished.” He changed the orders of things so that what we do and don’t do are products of what he did for us. Out of a changed heart, gratitude, peace with God, the working of the Spirit, worship and so much more, we are dedicated actors for the benefit of God’s kingdom, but not because of the rules.

The Gospel means “It is finished.” Can we believe any other thing to be saved? Can we go to church every Sunday to hear once again what to do and not do, expecting salvation? Do-and-Don’t is a legalistic religion. It says we earn our salvation. Christ earned our salvation and we must learn (and teach our successors) that our salvation rests in that.

John Calvin said in the Institutes that our hearts are idol factories. Martin Luther wrote extensively on Christian freedom and how all the trappings of works are but product of our salvation. And then, when these men, or the writers of the N.T. are giving instructions on what to do and not to do, they’re portraying what the victorious, faithful and saved life looks like. They’re telling us how we love God and ourselves, where to turn when sin rears up its ugly head and how it all works.

I think we can argue all day about the Law and that we really do have to do things but it’s when we fail to do things, when we sin in word, deed, omission and commission that we have to remember that Christ did them for us – It really is finished. Rest on that.