Category Archives: Paffooney

Stardusters… Canto 61

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Canto Sixty-One – Sizzahl’s Primary Laboratory

Sizzahl awoke suddenly as a large chunk of metal crashed down from the ceiling above.  The Bio Dome shook with the shockwaves of some massive crash above the lab.

“That will be Senator Tedhkruhz,” said Makkhain calmly.  “He has come to put an end to all of us.”

“We can’t let him destroy the control systems in this building, Uncle Makk.  They can repair the planet’s atmosphere if they keep running, but we are all doomed if they don’t.”

“Maybe you didn’t understand me earlier, my love,” said Makkhain, “we have reached the point where this world is doomed.  It is the end of everything.  The Senate decided the world should end before we ever went to war.  We have reached the end times.”

Sizzahl looked at him through horror-filled eyes.  “You are not my Uncle Makk!”

“No, I haven’t really been him for some time now.  But I have enough of his genetics and enough of his real original memories to know that I love you and regret that I must kill you now.”

“What?  Why?”

Makkhain pulled out a knife and a small slug-thrower.  He smiled as he moved sinisterly towards Sizzahl.  “Because my master, Senator Tedhkruhz, commands it.  We were supposed to conduct a simple mop-up operation here.  No one knew that General Gohmurt had failed to kill all of your family and scientific minions.”

“No!  It can’t be.”  Sizzahl’s face was dripping with oozing tears.  She had never believed that she could be made to cry before that moment, but here was her fake Uncle proving her completely wrong.

“I will make your death swift and painless, little one.  I am not without feelings for you.”

Makkhain raised the slug-thrower and fired at her as Sizzahl twisted the buckle on her belt.  The bullet stopped in mid-flight and clattered harmlessly to the floor.

“Wha… what magic is this?”

“It’s Science,” said the weeping Sizzahl.

“What sort of Science?”

“The Telleron kind…  I guess I owe Mrs. Castille for forcing me to wear this uncomfortable Telleron jump suit.  It has a force field built in.”

“A force what?”

“Those frog people are at a higher tech level than we are… even higher than the Earthers are.  And they are more generous and thoughtful than we are.  They have no stake in this planet, yet they have only tried to help me save it.”

“Come closer to me, dear,” said the false Makkhain.  “Show me this magic armor you wear.”

Sizzahl turned her face away from her uncle.  Of course, if he grabbed her with his hand he might be able to kill her with the knife.  So, she turned the dial on the belt buckle further.  She shimmered for a moment and then completely disappeared from view.

“You know, Sizzahl, I can still find you.  I have legendary tracking skills.”

“The real Makkhain did,” she said as she invisibly dashed out of the lab, “but you are definitely not him.”

*****

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Nudist Impacts

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I didn’t realize that nudists were going to have an impact on my silly blog.  But they did in a very large way (percentage-wise based on my embarrassingly minuscule successes with Catch a Falling Star).

It began when I offered my services as a blogger to a nudist website seeking blog posts about first time experiences as a nudist.  Which was a goofy thing to do considering I had no intention of being a nudist until I made that decision based on encouragement from friends who were already nudists.  If I wasn’t going to publicly take my clothes off and walk around naked, I shouldn’t have made such an agreement.  But, sometimes I deal with depression by doing things that set my adrenaline pumping.  So I agreed I would visit a local nudist park and write a blog about it.  That started my nerves vibrating and my heart beating again.

I went to Bluebonnet Nudist Park near Alvord, Texas on a day when my family went to a theme park in San Antonio without me because my ability to ride roller-coasters is a thing of the past (for a number of health reasons).   I put in some outdoor naked time with other naked people, and though it made my heart thump faster, it was actually an enjoyable thing.  I was wise enough to use a double layer of SPF 50 sunblock to keep my most personal parts from being toasted with Texas sunburn.

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A picture of me enjoying the shade at Bluebonnet Naturist Park  (I know I promised not to show you my scary bare carcass, but at least this portrait of a nudist doesn’t actually reveal any really scary bits.)

I then wrote a blog post about it here the day after, called The Naked Truth About That Idiot Mickey.  It was supposed to be cute and humorous, though slightly off-beat and risque.  Then, two weeks later when I cancelled out on a second visit, I wrote another essay called Becoming a Nudist.  Again I was trying for self-deprecating humor with a touch of tongue-in-cheek puckishness.  Then, a gentleman who goes by the name of The Militant Negro with a very eclectic and thoughtful blog decided to do as he usually does when re-blogging my blog posts, he picked the most embarrassing one he could find.  (He previously re-blogged a doll-collecting post about Beautiful Barbie Dolls.)  Somehow the bloggers of clothesfreelife.com got hold of that post, either from that initial re-blog, or from Twitter, and re-blogged it on the website I linked at at the start of this essay.  So my first nudist blog turned out not even to be for the website I had originally agreed to blog for.  (I have not heard back from that submission yet.)  But that nudist website was actually good for my blog.   Nudist-website-readers have been tuning in.  More than 50+ views every day since Becoming a Nudist was first re-blogged.  They also found such blog posts as Be Naked More and Why Do You Think That 4? All People Are Nudists Under Their Clothes and cemented them as among my most viewed posts.

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So, now I am inexplicably popular as a naked writer.  Who could ask for anything more?  It certainly serves as an unusual talking point in family discussions.

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Dragon Paffoonies

Part of the joy I find in the family Dungeons and Dragons game is in making Paffoonies, the story-based pictures that illustrate and elucidate the characters and other things that enter spontaneously into the game.

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I don’t invent every part of the image and concept myself.  Some inspiration comes from the game books and published adventures, while others come directly from the players and the way their imaginations shape characters and events.

Many of the Dungeons and Dragons Paffoonies began life as character sheets.  That’s why there are numbers, strength numbers, intelligence numbers, character levels, dexterity, skill sets, and magic items listed all around the character image. They more or less morphed over time into illustrations done in colored pencil on colored paper.

I enjoy drawing wizards and apprentices, warriors in action, castles, and dragons.  I have used the game as an extended excuse to draw vast quantities of them.  And now I have a resource to mine for Paffoonies to lace my blog with.  They provide a sort of sugary spice that I love the taste of, and I will continue to share them until the end, even if they disagree with you and give you reading indigestion.

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I am working on a new piece that is D & D Paffooney- related. I will keep you apprised of the the progress here until it is finished or until you get fed up with it.  Whichever comes first.

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Paffoonies are my own thing… pictures and stories melted together… loony, cartoony, balloony, pink baboon buffoons brewed together in a big pot.  And I will continue to use them for acts of Dungeons and Dragons nonsense.

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Unfinished Business

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This oil painting is called “The Unfinished Stag”

You never quite reach the end of the list of things you ought to do.  Some lazy days it is hard to even write the words you desperately need to write.  I have unfinished business in this life.  Not just the need to finish bankruptcy paperwork and finish my transition to poor retired English teacher on a fixed income.  Not just the never ending yard work and home maintenance and repair, some of which involves fines from the city for not completing.  I still have pictures to paint, cartoons to draw, and stories to tell.  That last part of me is probably the most important unfinished business, because it represents the legacy I will leave behind.  I know I am only a nobody novelist who has some mediocre art talent.  But it is the immortal part of me never-the-less.

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This is an unfinished illustration that ties into my vast pile of unfinished science fiction dreams.

I did just finish a book.  I reread Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Here’s my Goodreads Review;  Five Stars

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Fiction as great art doesn’t get any more magical and soul-restoring than this book, perhaps the best that Mitch Albom ever wrote, and that’s saying a lot. The last line of this book is worth all the reading you’ve ever done in your life. You must read this book BEFORE you meet your five.

But you read to the end of a book like this, and you realize, you will never be truly finished with it.  For as long as you live you will be drawn back to it, remembering the story, remembering the feelings it evoked, the chances you will have to recommend it to others, and the way it informs the way you live your own life.  There is no way to ever finish a book like that… or like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, or Lord of the Flies by William Golding, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.  I could do a whole book about books I will never be finished with.

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This too is an unfinished painting.  The black at the bottom was supposed to be something else, but I left it black and liked it that way. at least until I cropped it and cut the Dust Man’s legs off at the knees.

And so I have so much unfinished business to take care of, I really didn’t come up with a good idea for this essay.  So what will I write about today?  I guess I will just have to leave it… unfinished.

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Rebooting

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I have spent my morning trying to reboot my laptop computer when it petulantly decided it didn’t like moving cursors, and then decided to throw a fit about being rebooted which I had to do about three times.  I was successful, or this post wouldn’t be here.

I have spent most of the week trying to reboot my devastated finances.  Yesterday I was given longer to make that reboot succeed.

But I also wasted considerable time trying to reboot the opinions of friends from Iowa who are livid about Southern States removing statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  That reboot has sadly failed.  It’s odd that there are Iowegians who now side with Southern issues like this.  Our State, the State we grew up in as boys, fought the armies of Lee and Jackson.  There are veterans of that war buried in the Belmond, Iowa cemetery, the town we graduated high school together in.  There were no black people or Jewish people there when we did that.  Maybe it is vague fear of people they really don’t know and understand. If they had only been able to teach children of other such cultures the way I did, then maybe they would understand that people are people and we should love them all.  Even the ones who want to argue endlessly about State’s rights and not letting poor folks have food stamps and why Confederate monuments are not monuments to traitors to the American government.  But what do I know?  I’m one of them long-haired, hippy-type pinko freaks who believes in all that kumbaya crap that “real Americans” are supposed to hate (unless, apparently, they use their communist computer wiles to help a Republican win the presidency).  I’m tired of arguing.  I don’t hate anybody.  But I will not hesitate to throw a mighty shield to defend people I love, respect, and admire.

So, I posted an old picture and whipped off an angry rant because Facebook still has me steaming. I promise to do better tomorrow.

 

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What I Want to Know

Wings of Imagination

This colored-pencil picture is called “The Wings of Imagination”.

What I would like to know is…  how do you think outside the box if you don’t understand what the box is… and where it is?   Do you have a box inside your head that you normally think with?  Is it a cardboard box?  Mine is probably iron.  I do a lot of rather thick thinking.  Like now.  Trying to come up with a clever and new idea for what to write about after I have been squeezing my idea-maker with both hands while doing all the necessary bankruptcy paper work that proves I don’t have enough money to even be considered poor.  And how do I do that paperwork if I am already using both hands for squeezing?  Did I magically grow a third arm?  Or did I learn to write with my feet?

I waste a lot of time watching YouTube videos from the BBC with David Mitchell the comedian.  He doesn’t waste any time with a cardboard box in his brain.  He is a thinker after my own heart.

What I would also like to know is… what words should I use for talking to city pool inspectors so that I can properly express my thanks for causing me to have marital troubles and bankruptcy paperwork to do all because removing a defective pool is more expensive now than putting pool in was twenty years ago?  I mean, of course, words to properly express it without getting arrested.

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Tim Hawkins’ Handbook would appear at first to be useful here, but telling him to “Shut your pie hole!” might still result in further tickets that I can’t afford to pay and possible jail time in prison cells with other inmates who had to talk with city pool inspectors.

I kinda like the epithet, “You son of a motherless goat!”  That’s a Steve Martin line from the movie The Three Amigos, probably my favorite western movie of all time.

But I have to do something about my increasing use of foul language, dag nabbit!  I swear and use profanity too bleeping much.  Unlike Mark Twain, I don’t particularly care for the taste of it in my mouth.

But what I would really like to know is… the ultimate answer to the age-old question, “Mary Ann or Ginger?”

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After all, the biggest burning unanswered questions in my life are questions I have had since boyhood, and they don’t burn any bigger than that one.   I fell in love and married one that turned out to be more Ginger than I thought at first.  And I am not sure I ever really got to know or date a Mary Ann.

And another burning question I have had since childhood is, “How the great googly moogly does a question catch on fire?”  I would really like to know the answer to that one.  But I keep those kind of questions in the iron box in my head.  That should be safer than cardboard, because cardboard is flammable, and besides, I have to do my thinking outside the box where there is no danger of catching on fire from burning questions.

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Filed under angry rant, humor, imagination, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, TV as literature, word games, wordplay

Stardusters… Canto 60

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Canto Sixty – The Bonehead

Light suddenly blared into the prison pit with a brightness that sledge-hammered the skull of anyone and everyone who had eyes.  From pitch dark to bright light in practically no time at all.  The optic nerves had no time to adjust, let alone the reactions of an intelligent brain.

“We are landing!” called out a Galtorrian voice that Farbick had not heard before.  “Now is the time to be free of that prison.”

“Okay,” said Farbick carefully, “does that mean you are setting us free?  Or are you just asking us to come out so you can kill and eat us?”

“We don’t trust Senator Tedhkruhz to allow us to survive for very much longer.  You were right to point out to us that we are not helping ourselves by helping him.”

“And you let me live when you could’ve killed me, Stabharh,” said the voice of the guard from before.  “We kinda owe you for that…  I do, anyway.”

“Yes, what is up with that, Stabharh?   First you betray your precious Bahbahr, and then you try to convince us to do the same with Tedhkruhz?”  It was the first voice again.

“Slahshrack, is that you?” asked Stabharh.

“Of course it is, you fool.  Who else knows you well enough to question your actions… especially the changes from your old ways?”

“It is Slahshrack,” Stabharh said to Farbick with a sudden toothy grin.  “We went to Galtorrian Centurion School together to learn to become generals.”

Slahshrack and the guard helped all three prisoners out of the hole.

“There are only two of us that will help you,” Slahshrack said directly to Stabharh.  “No one else trusts anyone else aboard the Bonehead.  Helping one another is against Tedhkruhz’s rules, and gets you turned into dinner.  Most of the Galtorrian soldiers who are left alive are not really capable of thinking for themselves.  But I am, and Goahnahd is as well.  That’s why he told me about your plans.”

“I’m very glad he did, and you came back to let us out,” said Farbick.

Slahshrack glared at the Telleron.  “We wouldn’t have believed it if Stabharh hadn’t stayed in the prison pit.  It made me believe he really had changed.  If you had just killed Goahnahd and escaped the pit I would’ve killed you as worthless minions of the Galtorrian system.”

“You don’t believe in the system any more, Slahshrack?” Stabharh asked.

“Of course I don’t.  Tedhkruhz is more conceited and ruthless and corrupt than fat old Bahbahr could ever have been.  But I couldn’t go it alone.  And now, Stabharh, with you as an ally, we can make the world our own.  Tedhkruhz has the last working space ships and the last living army on the planet.  If we slay the great dragon, then we can easily become the next great dragon.”

Suddenly the entire space craft crashed into a large, domed building.  It had finally come down to the planet.  Unfortunately, the damage and violence to the craft probably guaranteed that it would never lift off again.

“What happened?” asked Farbick.  “Why have we crashed?”

“Well…” said Slahshrack, “we kinda started this rebellion by killing the pilots.”

Farbick was beginning to feel a little queasy in the craw.  He pulled Starbright to him and folded her in his sucker-tipped arms and fingers.

*****

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