This is where I'll place my thoughts on various topics, from peak oil through philosophy to why I happen to like moonflowers. Whatever strikes my fancy to contemplate.

    Most recently I have worked up a bit of documentation for some of my Roman kit, which can be seen here. The documentation is here: Roman Marching Kit.

Dreams are strange things on the whole. They become somewhat stranger still when they *always* include color, hearing, feeling, taste and so on. Mix in a vividness and reality so complete that upon waking they seem more memory than dream and it is difficult to separate them for a time....sometimes they can't be entirely separated with certainty. Oddly, none of them have anything to do with my accident as a subject. They are disturbing for these qualities alone, though some of them are disturbing for the content as well. They seem so very real... I suppose that since I was severely concussed they could be explained through such trauma. But that doesn't 'feel' right as an explanation. And I cannot explain either the dreams or how I feel about them. Whoever may have wished me an interesting life certainly got that wish! LOL

Siani’s Saga

            This is a series of dreams I had over the course of a week. As you will see, they are unusually consistent and organized. I can say that it has given me much to think on. Below is the dream in its entirety, combined into a complete narrative with little editing of any consequence.

            I'm in a longship, going upriver and I'm seeking something though I don't know what it is. I'll know it if and when I find it. Whatever it is seems to always lie around the next bend of just over that range of hills ahead. Interestingly, the shields lining the rail are alternating black and white in color, with snarling bear heads painted on them, sometimes with brass or painted designs, sometimes not. Always the main aspect is black and white. On the yard of the sail sits a row of cats. Yep, cats. They are large, the color of smoke, and very thickly furred as opposed to fuzzy. They rather remind me of those old clocks with the moving tails and eyes. In this case, the tails are moving but not synchronized and the eyes always remain fixed on me. It's an uncanny feeling of being watched in a way not like the usual feeling. No one else seems to see them, or if they do, they don't acknowledge them. Perched atop the masthead is a hawk or falcon, I am uncertain which. It too watches me fixedly. We pass two people on the way; a statuesque blond over 6' tall (Yahoo!), and some old hermit-codger with a battered black hat and a staff. Both watch intently as we pass but say nothing. I cannot see the man's face, but I know he is watching and the woman's face is beautiful but expressionless as she watches, though the look is very intense.
The shields lining the gunwales still alternate white and black with snarling bear heads painted on them. Along the yardarm still sit the row of large, very heavily furred cats, watching me fixedly. On the masthead is still the falcon or hawk, I am uncertain which. It is also staring at me fixedly. There is a full crew, but for the most part they are faceless saving only some family and friends. I cannot see the river, but I know we are on it, despite seeing only land all around.
    The land was at first pretty crowded, people going about doing things; a lot of activity. There were not many vehicles on the roads as we were 'sailing' up a highway. This is where I saw the crash site. Several cars, abandoned mostly, and a few others crunched from impacts littered the road. A large fuel tanker was on its side leaking gasoline. Many people were about it with milk jugs, cans, and various other things trying to catch the leaking fuel. There were no fights, but a lot of intense, almost frantic, efforts to get some and go. I don't know why they were so intent on leaving.
    A small time later the land is emptier; there are few people to be seen and those tend to melt away when noticed. A lone mule-drawn cart moves along the roadway that is empty of anything else. The scene switches and a group of people on motorcycles and pieced together vehicles are staring at the same mule-drawn cart. One of them is cursing heavily. The cart appears to be moving over the top of the water; there's a lot of water now, everywhere. Here and there can be seen ruined pieces of buildings, some of them still seeming whole though flooded. The road runs right into the water and is apparently not far beneath it. The cart is floating as the mule walks ahead of it. The people with the vehicles are angry at not being able to catch the cart for some reason.
    I see myself, working in my forge. I am armed and armored for war. Completely gray now though unbent. I am making axes and I get the notion I have been for some time. I note that my forge is portable now; I can load it up and move it at need though I don't know why I'd do this.

    Aboard the longship moving along a river I cannot see. We have passed both flame scarred ruins and tidy villages, with no apparent pattern to why one is ruined and another is not. No sign of vehicles this time, and I noted in my sleep, no aircraft though I could swear I saw a balloon in the distance. The cats and hawk are still there, though they disappear at some point; I don't notice their leaving, just that they are gone.
    This time I actually get out of the ship; it is so odd because I feel the water, hear the splash and slosh, but it all looks like dry ground. I move 'ashore' and in fact feel myself walk onto dry land. Looking back I see the ship, but it has a semi-transparent appearance. The grass is very long and the going is rough; bits of rock or masonry jut up here and there making footing difficult. I come to one of the ruined places; the signs of fire are very evident. It seems deserted, at least of people; bison move through what once were roads and birds are everywhere. I see the old man lounging about on cracked steps, again I cannot see his face but I know he is observing me. Next to him is a heavily muscled young man in simple clothing; he's leaning against the wall and watching me as I look about. I think I can sometimes sort of see through them, though if I look at them directly they are or seem to be solid enough. Oddly, anytime I think of speaking to them my attention wanders and I don't.
    There is battle this time; I hear it plainly. Screaming, cursing, and cracking of sticks, clanging of metal and one or two blasts. Topping a small rise I can see it; a swirling and exceptionally savage melee. The combatants are all of similar appearance and no quarter appears to be given by either side. I cannot discern what the fight is about and I go no closer. Turning to look at the 'river', or where I know the river to be, I do not see the ship. This gives me a nasty start and I make my way to where it should be. As I approach I can again make it out and I suddenly splash into the water I cannot see. The woman is standing not far off; I do not recall her being there when I came towards the river. She speaks in a very clear contralto "It would be unwise to wander too far from your way." Suddenly she isn't there anymore.
    I board ship again and we set off, again going upriver, still searching for something. I think now it is a place rather than a thing.
    In the ship again, holding the tiller as we forged upriver. We could see the river now and the current we were going against was stronger than it had been. After a time one of the lads at the stem said the river split; we had either come on the junction of two rivers or a large island split the river, it was difficult to see which. The flow from either side was strong and we managed to get to the tip of the land spit and settle into the eddy there. On shore stood the two men and the woman, and with her was another woman; this one very pale, with black hair lit with blue highlights. She was leaning on her spear and wore tunic and trousers of crimson and black. At her belt were a sword and a bronze sickle along with several pouches. Her eyes were dark and intense.
    I went ashore for the second time and looked at them, the men to my left, the women to the right. None of them made a move. I thought to ask who they were but for some reason lost interest in the idea as I regarded the land and the waters on either side. Considering the rivers the blond woman said "You must choose your way. Consider carefully." Well that helped a lot, in making me nervous. I still didn't know what I was looking for or where I was going so I hadn't much of an idea how to weigh the choice. They were watching me intently as I dithered. Finally I got a little irritated and made my choice. I told them I would go over land and take neither river. They said nothing, though the young man nodded to me slightly and his eyes flashed.
    I told the crew to wait for me; I would go further and see if in fact this were an island or a point between two rivers. For whatever reason, I armed myself for battle and set off. Thickly wooded this part was, and the going was not easy. For what seemed a long time I fought my way through the trees and brush, not even finding a game path to use. Eventually I broke out into less densely wooded land that sloped upward and that is the way I took. I saw much bird life; an owl resting in a tree, a hawk soaring above, many of the smaller birds, but no animals.
After leaving the heavily wooded area and entering the sparsely wooded upslope I see a group of warriors. They spot me and turn towards me, heading directly for me. I need to go onward, but they are in the way and there doesn't appear to be an easy way to get around them. I ready myself for battle and try edging to my right, thinking perhaps to turn around that flank and make a dash up the hill. This doesn't work; there are more than I thought - a lot more. I think this is odd but before I can consider it further elements of my crew are on either side of me. This is shaping up to be a rather ugly fight which I do not want and certainly don't need.
    The oncoming warriors seem normal in respects save one; they have nothing in their eyes. That is, no emotion, no life, nothing; just a flat gaze. The battle is joined and for a time the bloodlust sings in me and the work is as gruesome as ever. People on both sides drop, there is screaming, grunting, clashing and crying. At one point I have no opponent and I look over the field and I am struck by the fact...
    That I have seen this before, exactly this scene, in earlier dreams of the past. I know what will happen, how it will end, and I do not want this. The death of my people and the death of those we fight fill me with sudden disgust and the bloodsong fades as something inside breaks. I sound the recall on my horn and my people disengage and go back into the trees. I remain where I am as the enemy converges on me and I notice with a start that not all are warriors; in fact, most are not. Most are ordinary people and for the first time I notice a sort of pleading look in their eyes.
    With a great sigh I drop my weapons and stand, awaiting the end of it all, but nothing happens. They gaze at me for a moment and then fade to smoke and disappear on the winds. The dead vanish too, from both sides. Frowning, I retrieve my gear and set off up slope. I am called to halt from behind and turning I see the blond, the raven haired woman, and one of my crew; a redheaded warrior of great skill though I know not her name.
    The Morrigan, for I know her now, nods to Freya then transforms and flies away. Freya speaks to the redheaded warrior who approaches me and tells me that warriors should be rewarded by those they serve, and punished for lack of faith. I am startled when she holds forth a necklace of amber and bears teeth. She tells me to go onward now, for I have not reached the journey's end."
    Topping the hill I looked down the back side and the trees gave out a short way down, the small bowl or valley being grassy and open. Midway across there was a house of some sort and I made my way towards it. I find myself on a road, rutted with use but dry and dusty. As I come to the house; it's a log structure with outbuildings, I hear the sound of a hammer striking metal. Rounding the back corner of the house I come to a smithy, but what a smithy! Everything is scaled up, or I've shrunk. A huge man is hammering on a blade; he is stripped to the waist and bulges with hard muscle. His beard and hair are deep black and he is running with sweat from heat and exertion. A strange smell of flowers, almost spicy, floats faintly around the place.
    Pausing in his hammering he returns blade to fire and looks at me "Little Warrior, greetings. What would you?" I'm rather stunned at all of this and can't find anything much to say. He repeats "What would you?" Gazing at him I regain my courage saying I would learn what he would teach me, meaning smithwork of course. Some of the things I glimpse in his shop are wondrous works! He asks me if I have learned to mend weapons as of yet and I indicate I have to a limited degree. He indicates a knife and tells me to mend it. I work hard at this, not wanting to seem totally lacking in skills, and yet I cannot fully mend the knife; it is beyond my skill. When I am too tired to continue he looks at the knife and tells me it is not half bad all things considered, but that not all things that are damaged can be mended though the effort is not always misspent. I tell him I would that mending myself were as easy as mending blades and he looks at me hard saying that I have done well thus far and my work is good, but to remember that like tools, mending oneself or the things one has done is not always possible.
    He tells me to follow the road; that I will find something of worth ahead. So I leave, following the road up the other side of the valley and into the forest on that side. Night has fallen as I reach this place and there is no moon, though there is starlight aplenty. I find a small hut with lamplight gleaming around the entry. Entering this hut there is a skinny old man. I think it's a man anyway. He motions me sharply to sit and divests me of gear, then drapes a smelly and badly tanned hide over my head and tells me to sleep. Rich herb smells permeate this place and I drowse off. A strange kaleidoscope of images and sensations follows until I awaken...
    Whereupon I find myself in a cave covered with bracken and old leaves. Getting up I look outside and it is bright daylight; the valley/bowl lies below with no sign of the house. I had not intended to be here a day and a night so I retrace my steps, making my way back to the spit of land. When I arrive I realize two things; this bit of land is the point between two rivers, and the longship is not there. The men and women are present though, and the woman with the black hair tells me I was gone overlong and they could not stay. The blond woman tells me a full moon cycle has passed since I left and they gave me up for lost. I sit on the strand, fear overcoming me for a time. Looking at the men and women I feel angry, but that passes and I laugh, feeling an ass. The blond woman asks me if I would rejoin my crew and I tell her I would; she tells me that perhaps I do not desire it enough. Thinking on this I am...
    At the tiller and we are going downriver. The blond woman, whom I know now, is sitting nearby regarding me. She points towards me and I feel a touch between and just above my eyes. "You have been taught much. Do not forget." She's gone then and we're going downriver.<>
    So last night we pull into shore at the behest of the redheaded lass who's been part of my crew. I have no idea who she is, but she rows well and fights well, which will do just fine. Disembarking we ascend the bank and look out at the lands around; they are not empty, but neither do I see much in the way of activity. Of ruins there are plenty, and smaller hamlets seem to exist amongst them here and there. These pockets of organization/cooperation seem to be unpopular though; or rather very popular. Each one is progressively reduced by crowds of people from outside the place. Others attempting to set them up are set upon before they get far. It's sad and strange at the same time. I see one man standing on a ruined wall gazing up at the stars (which I can see perfectly well despite it being daylight) with a look of loss and longing on his face. Another standing beside him pats him on the shoulder and says 'Someday, never fear." The man shakes his head and replies in a broken voice "Never now, we lost the only chance we had."
    Looking back to the river I see the ship there, the water clear and clean looking, then looking at the sky and its stars I look at the lass next to me and ask "Who are you?" She smiles and laughs softly, and tells me she's a messenger and a giver of gifts. Then she's gone. A raven calls from a tree and takes flight, a single flight feather drifting to land at my feet and soft voice whispers to me "This journey is done. Let no fear or the doubts of others make you heedless of all you have learned and seen." 

Make of it what you will, as you will. It was a very intense and exhausting experience. I often woke more tired than I went to bed. 


"The world of spirit contains all possibilities. The world of form contains those possibilities that have been made manifest."
    That's a fairly profound thought, to my mind. It effectively states that the worlds of Spirit and Form are inseparable and intertwined. I find it rather comforting to meditate on.

Thomas Jefferson on Banks:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to
our liberties than standing armies. If the American people
ever allow private banks to control the issue of their
currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and
corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will
deprive the people of all property until their children wake up
homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The
issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored
to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

--Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

Bears a bit of thinking about, I should  say.