Tuesday – May 10th, 2022 – Rasputin’s Birthday –

– Tuesday – May 10th, 2022 —> 14˚C / +48˚F —> Sunny, breezy and fairly ‘nice’ on My Uncle. Bruce’s Birthday —> + at least t2o of my 2nd cousin’ Sarah’s childhood friends’ Birthdays’ { Sarah called me “Uncle Jimmy” to avoid confusion when I was her “T”-Ball coach 🙂 } – And, yeah – it’s also Rasputin’s Birthday – when adjusted to our ‘Gregorian’ Calendar. }  –

"Xhyrean with Autumn Trees in the Background"

– “Xhyrean – in the Lowlands – { Example area } With red leafed trees in the background.” –

— Rasputin was not the insane character the Bolsheviks and British Secret Service painted him as to justify his assassination. I have it on good authority that he was finally murdered by a British Agent in order to stop him from influencing the last Tsar to stay out of the first world war. Everything that happened in Russia after that is on the conscience of the British Secret Service.

— But that has nothing to do with the above screen Shot- “Xhyrean” is a time traveler born several centuries in our future in What we call Canada, but in his Parallel world they called it the Métis Province of the Turtle Island Confederation. His mother is, was, will be- half Métis, Half Asian Indian-  His father  tested as having half Métis { Mostly Cree with French blood } and roughly one quarter Scandinavian, and one quarter  ‘Keltic’ dna. I gave him almost black hair after I took this Screen Shot.

"Kaelyn in Ceremonial Dress"

– ” Kaelyn in Ceremonial Dress” –

— Kaelyn’s another mostly Métis Character – Not quite pure blooded enough to satisfy ‘First Nations Purists’ & ‘Not White Enough’ to avoid being bullied most of her young life. So far – we haven’t been able to design and upload really good examples of Métis floral decorated Ceremonial dress. This is as close as we could get her look.

"Junior Gonzakowitz"

– “Gonzakowitz” is the family name of one wild and crazy clan of Ymmps-” –

— Junior Gonzakowitz – { Muhdagus Gonzakowitz’s Grand Son } – Most members of the Gonzakowitz family { both physical family members and ‘adopted’ extended family members } have Bardic talent and ‘Psi’ abilities – most of them can open ‘Wild Portals’ { and don’t always know where they’ll end up if they blindly jump through one of their portals } Those who live in the computer age claim they can communicate with computers using their ‘Psi’ abilities. } Ymmps are known to be ‘hopelessly addicted to practical jokes’. Most Ymmps have thick reptilian tails. “Junior” either wrapped his tail in fake fur or was born with a distinctly feline tail – Ymmps will rarely answer a direct question with any easily understood ‘straight answer’. Most Ymmps have a spell they call “dragon breath” that is useful for lighting cigars and camp fires. If they really work on it, that spell can kill anybody stupid enough to attack them.

"Xhyrean discovered a white tailed deer."

– “Xhyrean discovered a deer.”

— While I was working on Xhyrean – I took time out for dinner and when I came back he was staring at a deer. I think the deer are a very new addition to the example area that comes with the game building software.

"The deer grew antlers-"

– “Okay – after I originally posted this on Tuesday – I took a break and went back to the office and the game building stuff had disappeared from my souped up game building computer- I guessed it was another case of “[%^%$@%%%#!!!]” Microsoft Windows updating itself without my permission. But -When I got the software back up and running – Xhyrean’s pet deer had grown antlers – 🙂 ” –

— Hmmmm- I should probably check in with the people who are developing stuff for the game building software company…


– “Shelley Stephenson” –

— “This was an accurate depiction of what I really looked like – The clothing choices were not mine – My abusive, manipulative older cousin – who convinced me as a twelve year old that he was the only person who understood me and loved me for who and what I was { <—  His words. } – got me drunk, got me naked – took suggestive photos of me – not just then, but several times over three years – When I was fifteen years old my divorced mother sent me to stay with that cousin in the apartment he rented as a Grad Student at a University famous for its advances in Computer Science – for a couple weeks while she went with my sister to a Hospital for further tests – after my younger sister had test results mixed up with another patient and had been given the wrong positive test results and diagnosed with advanced  Leukemia. My cousin told me he was going to have me scanned – using a 3D camera and would send the results to a modelling agency – had me wear a really revealing bikini while Istood on a motorized turntable and the camera did its thing. The next evening he brought me to a ‘house party’ where several of his friends were playing a computer game – I saw a version of the above screen shot and felt sick – My cousin told me that he’d scanned the 3D images of me into a computer game and he thought I would like the above results. I did not like the way his friends looked at me. I did not like the way one guy there grabbed me by the bum and tried to get his hands inside my pants. I stole my cousin’s credit card and took a bus home. I thought I would be alone there for at least another week and made sure all the doors were locked and hoped there was enough food in the pantry so I wouldn’t starve. My mother and sister came home the next day, were happy to see me. I told my mother I felt sick at my cousin’s apartment and came home. I didn’t tell her I stole his credit card. I didn’t tell her what made me feel sick – I didn’t tell her that my cousin had called me just after I got home, called me a string of nasty ‘eff’ words and “c” words, and threatened to send my mother ‘all the naked pictures’ he’d taken, including the ones that looked like I had some guy’s hardened penis in my mouth – if I ever told anybody any part of what he’d done. { One time while I was blind drunk and unconscious my delightful cousin stuck a realistic looking plastic penis in my mouth, took the photograph and carefully cropped it so it looked like the real thing with a real guy just beyond the edge of the photo. } – A couple weeks after I went back home I got what looked like a greeting card in the mail, opened it while I was babysitting for my little sister while my mother was at work and read: “You [effing] [G.D.] slut – You [m.f.-ing c ] I paid your cousin one hundred bucks and he said you would suck my [ male C ] and let me [F] you up your [ bum ] and make you lick the [sh*t] off my rigid [d*ck]” – I actually thought I’d be better off killing myself than living with that kind of b.s. — Then a popular guy who was a football player on the high school’s winning team showed some interest in me and asked me to be his date to a big deal high school dance – I was thrilled – But during the dance, the guy groped me – roughly – I mean it was painful. I asked him to stop and he said, “Oh, you know you want this, honey -” I raised my voice and roared, “Keep your bloody hands where they belong-” And two chaperones swooped in and carted him off – and a woman chaperone – a guidance counsellor – walked me out of the school gymnasium, where the dance was held and told me there’d been a nasty practice in the last few years where a new guy on the football team would have to pass an initiation task by pretending to like a *marginalized young woman – and invite her to be his date for the high school’s pre-Thanksgiving { big game } dance { *read that – ‘not a popular girl – definitely not a cheerleader’ – } and have sex with her – preferably in a car in the parking lot, with the cheerleaders close enough to cheer “Rah rah – he’s our man- if he won’t f*** you nobody will -” when the guy ran out of the car with the young woman’s underwear and even her dress to signal that he’d achieved his goal. – The teachers had also heard rumours that the guys got extra points if they had that sex over her objections. And over the past couple years, none of their victims would admit that anything happened – they’d been threatened with bodily harm and brutal humiliation by the cheerleaders for the rest of their time in high school if they said anything. I was not going to remain silent. That football player was told he could not participate in any school sponsored sports activities for the rest of his time in high school. The team was disallowed from playing against any of their local rival high schools for five years. Some of the coaches were fired. The morning after that announcement was made – I found my locker broken into and all my stuff messed up. My school books had been vandalized, ‘F’ words written in ‘magic marker’ on various pages inside the books, “[ ‘F-ing’ ] Slut” written in lipstick on the books’ covers and on the door to my locker. Police tried to match the lipstick to anything in the cheerleaders’ possession, and later told me that someone in the police department had probably warned the cheerleaders to get rid of their usual lipstick before the officers and detectives got to their homes and inspected their school lockers. The police apologized to me. The school wanted to disband the cheerleading squad, but one of the girls had a lawyer for a father and he threatened to sue the school ‘big time’ if they couldn’t produce convincing evidence that the cheerleaders had been the ones who vandalized my locker. The school assigned a bodyguard to walk me everywhere inside the school that year. That didn’t help much. The guy was pleasant enough – a known gay person with a brown belt in Karate – he’d had to learn to defend himself from football players in junior high school. But other ‘marginalized’ women were afraid to be seen talking to me – and there were rumours that the football players were ‘discouraging’ any guys from having anything to do with me. Somebody killed a neighbour’s kitten, thinking it was mine – hung it’s mutilated body in front of our front door. Again, I couldn’t face going to school – I was literally sick to my stomach every morning. My divorced mother couldn’t afford to send me to a private school anywhere – my father – who my mother had a restraining order against – had changed his name and only had any level of contact through his lawyer – told his lawyer not to bother him with any requests for any kind of help from his ex-wife or ‘her children’. My mother tried to convince me that I would feel a lot better if I managed to convince my tormentors that their tactics weren’t bothering me. She wouldn’t let me stay home from school even after she burst into the bathroom to watch me vomit after accusing me of faking that. I don’t know how I survived for two years – I believed it would be a lot easier to just end it all. But then, a new guy moved to our town and he looked interesting and the one woman classmate who wasn’t afraid to be seen anywhere near me told me that she’d overheard someone tell him that I was a lying b*tch who had ratted on a football player who’d tried to kiss me and got the guy kicked off the team and also told him that somebody hacked my cell phone { I never had one } and broadcast naked photos of me to everybody in the school. The new guy’s response was, “Bull Sh*t – if some idiot got kicked off the football team he probably deserved it – I’ve seen too many morons like you trying to ruin somebody’s life because she said no to the wrong person and I can pretty much tell when somebody’s lying to me – so take your idiotic rumours and stick them where the sun don’t shine.” – I got to know that guy, and I really liked him. I had real issues trusting anybody and the poor guy had to put up with a lot after he let me know he ‘really liked me’, but we’re still together – and I believe there really is hope for the future… even if the rest of the world is going stark raving insane lately.” { — Shelley S. }

"Edited Elf with Deer"

– “Edited Elf with Deer” –

— The elves in the example area come with blue skin – which can be slightly modified – but they still look more than slightly weird. And more than a little bit smug. I was able to edit his body type a bit and managed to shrink the ears a little and left him standing there while I was doing something on another computer and when I glanced back – I got the odd feeling that he looked a bit like me – { maybe in a past life? } – if you dismiss the blond hair and pointed ears.

— I had to give up on trying to upload the last cropped and shrunk screen shot { directly above this } – all I got was a bunch of error messages saying the screen shot was somehow unacceptable – Then I quit the browser and reloaded it and it uploaded – no problem.

– – – – – Okay – everybody, have a slew of great days and nights – I last added and edited this article on Thursday, May 12th @ 7:43 pm,

~~~~~ Jim

April 12, 2022 – Still Workin’ at it – Still feels like we’re getting somewhere –

– Monday, April 11th, 2022 – +11˚C / +52˚F – Sunny, warm & breezy @ 1:00 pm in The Fredericton area of New Brunswick –


- Daeydan & Shelley Near a campfire in the Fortress Homestead.

– ” Draeydan & Shelley near daybreak at a campfire inside the Homestead Fortress” –

— I was shocked at how good this looked on a gaming monitor with the right settings. This was from work done in late January of this year – 2022.

— The ‘Fortress Homestead’ grew from an idea – almost a vision that popped into my head while I was writing last November’s “NaNoWriMo” novel. Bullied and abused teenagers discover that parallel worlds and ‘Quantum Physics’ are real and “Drae’s” uncle Scott – who’s been presumed dead for ten years – showed up with a mysterious friend who was able to transport the ‘almost eighteen year olds’ to a newly discovered, peaceful planet with almost no ‘sentient’ population – that seems to have a barrier or some kind of sentient force – that keeps nasty, aggressive, warlike humans from being able to land there, or if they do manage to touch down on the planet – they develop extreme difficulties breathing and moving around. That parallel world has inhospitable islands where the nasties can recover and not quite thrive – but there seems that that intelligent force wants to maintain a balance and needs those unhappy brutes who continually scheme and plot to escape the inhospitable areas and conquer the peaceful areas – But their health suffers as soon as they leave those islands.


"Kameron Showing Off"

– ” Kameron Showing Off” From July 2020″ –

— Kameron is a “Faer Elf” – a two thousand year old member of a race reputed to be short and ‘spindly’ and ‘peevish’ – with a talent for ‘Nuisance Magick’ that rarely kills anyone, but makes anyone’s life miserable if they’re stupid enough to attack him or anyone or anything he cares about.

— T.R. —



I think I got the river stuff figured out and “Snow on the Mountain”

Saturday, July 10th, 2021 – +17˚C / +60˚F —> sunny, clear and pleasant @ 10:29 am after last night’s heavier rain storm —On Cousin Emilie’s Birthday 🙂 —


- Aerendel Mountain With Snow -

– Aerendel Mountain With Snow” – Still a work in progress – But lookin’ better all the time … 🙂 –

— Looks like somebody poured vanilla syrup over the mountain in this screen shot – I had to turn off the fog or this would have looked like a silhouette seen through a collection of very white – almost sheer – curtains.

— I think the trick might be – add several layers of the texture ‘Snow’ that came with the latest upgrade to the world building stuff.


- Raeynie at the Ruins -

– ” Raeynie at the ruins” – a side path on the ‘road’ from the newest version of the Birkenport – Aerendel Mountain Trail. –

— I had to ‘ramp up’ the exposure on this screen shot – What looks fine on most computer monitors and “Amazing” on a a ‘Gaming Monitor’ with the right settings – shows up almost too dark to bother trying to see in Mac’s ‘Preview’ app. Preview is a lot less bother and easier to use than PhotoShop for half-way decent photos and screen shots – But pushing the exposure up or down is a snap.

— Again – with the fog turned off – she looks like a kid shining a flashlight up at her face to look ghoulish – I could easily fix that – move the ‘Time Of Day” settings back and forth to get the best effect – but we’re trying to remain ‘synced’ so when more than one of us are working in different areas of this virtual 3-D world – we get to see our stuff go through dawn to sunset to dawn in a couple hours – we try to keep them set so everybody’s more or less in the same time zone – and those settings are a pain in the dupah to mess with.

— Oh, The name – “Raeynie” —> Every character – even the builder avatars – the ones with the ‘gear’ ‘axes’ – have to have a unique name. – There was a young woman named ‘Raynie’ who lived across the street from my grandparents’ motel, restaurant and gas station in Vermont when I was in my teens and twenties – She was maybe three or four years younger than me – and one of my young friends had his eye on her as a possible future mate when they were going to high school together. Somebody explained to me that “Raynie” was a misinterpretation and/or ‘cute’ version of “René” – when pronounced with a and old Vermont accent. Role players seem to be gifted with more imagination than most of their contemporaries – & I’ve seen them come up with brilliant variations on their characters’ names. —> And another quirk that came along with the latest upgraded world building software – is – somebody who left the company that developed that software – took all the male characters’ ‘rolling’ routines with him when he left. And instead of half a dozen different possible ‘classes’/’occupations’ and I think there were at least half a dozen races developers that world builders could play around with as they built their games and decided what their subscribers/clients could look like – we now, in the upgrade – can only have human women and could only choose from ‘Ranger’ or ‘Wizard’ wardrobes for the builder-avatars’ looks and or ‘occupations’. Raeynie’s Orange ‘Ranger Shirt’ and the ‘Human Ranger Gauntlet’ on her left arm and hand are a bit more modest than the ‘Wizard Robes’ that look like skimpy/’sexy’ under garments. She’s also wearing all Wizard stuff below her belly button.


- I think I figured out how to keep a river from going berserk -

– “I think I figured out how to make a river look right.” –

— With the upgraded world builder stuff – they included a ‘Ribbon Water’ routine, or set of routines for improving the way rivers look even look how they flow – it’s tricky – and you can’t grab a “Ribbon Water 1” from the asset library and expect you can just drop it into place and smile at how clever this innovation makes you look and feel – You have to ‘grab’ a ‘mirror/water’ asset from the ‘Create’/’mirror-water’ menu – move it down into a trench you very carefully designed carved into the two dimensional face of your world – and and then carefully turn the small square you get from the ‘create’ pull down menu – in the direction you want to tell your ‘dynamic ripples’ to flow – and then carefully click and drag the river – one little bit a time – in the direction/directions you want it to flow – BUT! – you can have the river flow down a waterfall, or many waterfalls – on its journey to the sea – and/or bend the river’s course around { – carefully – } so it meanders like a normal real life river, and flows around rocks in a fairly good representation of rapids and then spills down to meet the sea at the end of its journey – or near the end of its journey – the ripples look great – but when the river flows into the sea you have to be careful again because the sea and the river might want to duke it out to prove something to themselves or brag about their genius and testosterone levels – sigh.


- River where it flows into the sea. -

– “Almost the same shot from the same angle – but with normal early morning fog and lighting.” –

— To illustrate what happens when you turn the fog back on after turning it off while building/developing your world – I had to ramp up the exposure level again – and that made the fog look a bit more pastel and cyan in colour than it looks on the gaming monitors… and now the rivers and the fog look a lot more realistic since the latest upgrade.

— And – it took me almost four hours of not quite constant concentrated ‘work’ to take the screen shots, mess with the exposure and size { in Pixels } to get these four screen shots visible enough and under 2 MegaBytes so the WordPress Software – { ‘Hosted” on my computer, not their servers – } – would accept the ‘media’ – {when wordpress dot com hosts a blog the size limit on ‘media’ is one MB }.


 – – – – – Shrug….

~~~~~ Jim

Friday —> June 11th, 2021 —> Two of my favourite cousins’ Birthday —

Friday – June 11th, 2021 – +9˚C / +47˚F &  cloudy @8:51 am in Atlantic Canada —> On Cousins Kathy Pellenz and Jenba Pelletier’s birthday – 🙂 —

- Julie checking out the nasty evil fire spell -

– “Julie checking out the nasty evil fire spell – hurled by an evil goblin type at a defenders’ fort a hundred years ago -and still burning “-

— Thanks to Joe Biden’s relief check I was able to upgrade my game building experience with some stuff that is almost too fast for some things – I can’t just turn slightly to one side to see how what I just did effected the surrounding landscape – I have to jump out of the terrain modifying function and into the game mode, have a building character/avatar land on her feet and turn slowly this way and that, and then jump back into editing the terrain, designing rivers and other interesting stuff.

— With my new spiffy computer stuff, I was able to get access to a few things that were beyond my reach for the last ten years here – Like, in the ‘assets’ menu they have “Particles” listed and inside the Particles selection pull down menu the only thing listed is “Fire” – I ‘built’ myself an area not connected to anything else to test a few things, especially the fire particles. And Wow – it’s impressive – I don’t think I can tone it down or shrink it down for a campfire. But here – At the edge of the desert where monsters live underground and eat each other when they don’t have good guys to butcher and chow down on – The legend is that a really nasty bad guy evolved through his allegiance to the dark powers and was given the intelligence and magical abilities needed to create a really bad fire spell, that melted half a mountain and destroyed the fort maintained by the good guys at the edge of the desert.

— I’m thinkin’ – since what I’m doing now is ‘developing’ a brand new version of the original Newbie starting zone – “Shamrock Island” – that one of the slightly more advanced newbie quests would be to find their way to the mountains just this side of the desert and get a look at how mean and nasty the bad guys can be – I’m also flirting with the idea that a more advanced newbie quest might be to journey into danger and find out if they’re strong enough to ignore nasty fire spells – because if they believe it might hurt them, they’re dead – and if they can maintain their faith in their religion or their training, they can walk through the magical fire unscathed. { “Don’t try this at home, kids …” }

- Julie at the ruined fort. -

– “Julie at the ruined fort.” –

— One of the quirks I discovered with my upgraded hardware etc, is that – with the latest upgrade to the ‘Blade’ the collection of world-building tools – One guy who let me believe he was the team leader at the company that owned everything to do with the ‘Hero Cloud’/Hero Engine – left the company and took all the male builder characters with him, left only women with two occupational choices, they could either be a Ranger or a Wizard. And they can only be human. The rumours in this game world – that I’ve been actively building for ten years after gradually graduating from Applesoft basic in something like 1987 – to the present – Same Virtual World? – from text only – to whatever the heck it is now and what it will be when I finally take it ‘Public’ – And it still has the same name – “Aerendel” – Which – thank God – is not what the people at Disney called the world where ‘Frozen’ takes place – I couldn’t sue them for stealing my name even if I could afford the high powered lawyers to take them on – because they spelled it and pronounced it slightly differently. I don’t think I could stomach a long drawn out lawsuit with all its dirty tricks and well planned bluffs – I’d be really tempted to use my mutant mind powers and after I turned them all into frogs and salamanders I would feel morbidly guilty about it. 😉 –

— At any rate – Julie – above – is staring at the fire, with the decimated fort behind her and the scorched, burnt ground slowly healing itself all around her.

- "Jim" in a corral with horses -

– “Jim” in the tutorial world with horses.” –

— Another thing that happened with my upgraded hardware – there has been a tutorial world accessible with the ‘Blade’ and all that comes with it – “Heroes Journey” – Several years ago they upgraded everything and my wimpy older computer was no longer able to jump into that tutorial world – but now, I can go there – And they still have male and female and human and elf and ‘other races’ available for a limited romp through the realms of possibility…

— Here’s my latest attempt to ‘create’ a slightly younger version of myself – { shhh – I don’t think I looked that healthy even 50 years ago – } And that avatar was able to run around and visit the horses – I thought I remembered there being cows there, but I haven’t seen any of them lately –

- "Jim" surveying the tutorial world from a forested hillside -

– “Jim, surveying the tutorial world from a forested hillside.” –

— I might even use this guy for a temporary profile picture somewhere – { laughing to myself … }

— Yeah – so that’s the latest 24 hours’ adventures in game building and avoiding listening to or watching the evil nasty news of the ‘Real World’ which is reportedly going through some of the nastiest growing pains ever – where the bad guys in the ‘Real World’ would kill all the rest of us to hang on to their delusions of power and all that –

— Frustrations in the game building world are no fun, but they’re nowhere near as scary as some of the stuff you see on the nightly mainstream media news.

— — — — — Everybody – please enjoy a lifetime of wonderful, marvelous, fantastic days and nights – and don’t let anybody convince you that you don’t deserve that – or that it’s only their ‘leadership’ that’s keeping you safe – when that ‘leadership’ is the most dangerous threat to your safety – and happiness.

~~~~~ Jim


Fun With Rivers & “Ribbon Water” –

Tuesday – June 8th, 2021 —> +23˚C / +70˚F – Sunny with heat warnings for later @ 06:30 am in Atlantic Canada – I think today is J.J. Kacick’s Birthday – and any discrepancies between ˚C & ˚F is probably due to the two different services that tell me what they think my air temperature here might be. –

- River with Waterfall -

– “Corrected River with Waterfall” – This is after deleting a river with several cosmetic problems and starting over. –

— I complained to the right person about the problems I was having using the { – new to me – } Ribbon Water – while I’m trying to get one new multi-area “Newbie” landing zone “created”, prettied up, clean and ready for inviting beta testers in – hopefully sooner than later.

— The problem I had was exacerbated by the silly fact that I tried to add ‘ribbon water’ from the ‘assets’ pull down menu link at the top of the developers’ ‘blade. – That loads a fully formed squiggle of a river about ten feet above the builder character’s / avatar’s head – pulling that snake-like river down presented problems – bending it around to fit inside the ‘river/canyon’ I’d carved into the landscape was frustrating – a lot of weird things happened. sections of the river disappeared underground – other sections curled up into the air and didn’t want to settle down into the ‘canyon’ home I’d carved for them. —> AND – when I started out – that snake-like river didn’t reach the boundaries of the area it would hopefully settle into. But when I finished moving the unruly twists and turns into place – the river had decided to lengthen itself and stretch out over the ‘ocean’ water that I’d hoped the river would happily become a waterfall and splash down into without acting like a once lovable kid who’d grown into his or her “terrible two’s” – no such luck. —>

— And then – the ‘boundary tool’ couldn’t cut off the excess river ribbon. And when I tried to pull it down under the sea – it rebelled – twisted and turned and flipped over and around and acted like it wanted to become the wildest design for a roller coaster in any overpriced theme park on planet Earth in the ‘Real World’. —>

- river gone crazy -

– ” River gone Crazy -” –

— The above is a mild example of the problems I encountered the first time I tried to hide the errant runaway ends of a river under the surface of a sea.

— After the best support person in the real world pointed me to the tutorial that wasn’t there ten years ago when I started this – The above was my first attempt at starting from the ‘create’ menu – which gives you a small square of ‘mirror/water’. – When you change the type of water you want to ‘River’ and ‘Ribbon’ you find the ability to turn it around to tell the currents to go in whichever direction you want them to travel. Then you use the boundary tool – which doesn’t act the same with ribbon water as it does with anything else you’d like to shrink or grow or widen or deepen or whatever –

— That { above } screen shot shows several circles and bars that tell you where the points are that you can edit the river at – & they don’t always play nice … 😉 –

- 'before' - "Go Down Without Going Crazy" ? -

– “Before?” – “Please go down without going crazy…?” –

— This was before I tried to pull a lot of it down –

- almost there? -

– “Almost there? – Looks like this is working -” –

— This is what I saw when I thought this was working out well –

- "But -" -

– “But — ” –

— This is what I saw when I zoomed back out a bit –

- twenty minutes later -

– “Twenty minutes later…”

— The crazy twists and turns are now underwater – but dangit – they’re plainly visible – I blinked a couple times and shrugged, “So maybe I’ll plunk an island down in that spot to cover the mess.”

- apres cosmetic surgery -

– “Apres le cosmetic Surgery -” –

— After cosmetic surgery / plunking an island down over the mess … Still not perfect – but heck, it’s a million per cent better than what was there before I watched the tutorial …

— Sigh.

— &&& After an hour break to do my pranayama exercises, breathing exercises and Raja Yoga meditation attempt that lasted 30 minutes after the more or less isometric exercises with internal concentration – sensing energy flows-  and then the esoteric breathing stuff – I kind of floated into the kitchen and looked out over the glassed in porch and saw some ears bobbing up and down about six inches from a window out there – and then a deer’s head rose just enough to look at me – I went and bothered Cathi in her office and she followed me back to the porch where we guessed the deer was starving and eating some of her flowering plants. I went and grabbed some bread. The deer looked up, right at Cathi through the window. Cathi said ‘Hello -” and the deer didn’t run away –

— Cathi walked out onto the small bit of deck and continued her conversation with the deer, who looked a little ragged – I handed her three pieces of bread and she tore it { the bread, not the deer } into pretty good sized chunks and tossed them away from the garden, but still in front of the deer –

— The deer – the one with the hooves – looked like it considered alternatives and then walked over, tasted the bread and then gobbled up the other bits, glanced back at Cathi and might have thought a little bit of that bread might have been worth the risk of maybe becoming our lunch –

— We left the deer alone and it wandered around in our little bit of yard for five or ten minutes and then wandered back toward the ‘deer hill’ where they often come sniffing for yummy grass and stuff – and he or she happily munched on whatever looked appetizing there and didn’t even think about going back and chomping down on the Hostas again.

— 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

Excerpt from a Novel in Progress

Friday, November 20th, 2020 —> +9°C / +48°F —> Rained just a little – Small drops polka-dotted the porch around 4:15 pm Atlantic Time –

Metis Wooman in Ceremonial Dress

Metis Woman in Ceremonial Dress – borrowed from a site I found and lost when a hard drive crashed…

{{{ This world is very different – same continents but different history – Derrick will explain this to ‘Xhyrean’ in this excerpt –  Derrick and Elise are 17 year old European-Americans – Elise’s parents divorced when she was ten years old – her mother met an upper class British jerk who offered her a job as a professor at either Oxford or Cambridge University in Britain – he had a lot of pull – was a member of the house of Lords and slept around with everybody he could – he drugged Elise and was about to rape her – she jumped out of her body and Xhyrean – a Métis from the future who developed the ability to jump between parallel worlds and even jumped back and forth in time on several occasions… found her and helped her back into her body – overcame the drug and scared the jerk into leaving the room in a hurry after he { Xhyrean } threw a few heavy items at him with telekinetic power – When Elise told her mother what happened Her mother packed her up and went to their embassy in London, met with intelligence officers, told them what happened – the intelligence guys were investigating the jerk under the suspicion that he was supplying terrorists with guns and money and information – So the intelligence guys gave Elise and her mother new names, had Elise { <— that’s her new name, Derrick knew her by another when they were 8, 9, & 10 years old } They had Elise dye her hair blonde and and had her and her mother change their names, gave them a new identity and spirited them out of Britain. Her mother had been depressed and heavy when they lived in Ithaka back then – and lost a lot of weight in Britain. Then- because nobody recognized them back in “Ithaka, New Amsterdam” they settled there and her mother got a position as a professor at ‘Cleeson’ University { Cornell in the world you and I inhabit } Derrick kept some bullies from beating up a gay kid and was invited to join an LGBTQ2+ support group as a “Plus”/ straight guy they knew they could trust. Wacko evangelical gay hating jerks attacked the local high school on the first day of school and killed a small number of people, notably the principal and a secretary – and wounded several others, but the school had a lock-down procedure and an alarm that brought the SWAT team out and they managed to kill the guys who came to the school in a church van with “God Hates Niggers Jews Indians and Queers” in blood red letters – on both sides of the van. Derrick didn’t recognize Elise as a blonde who had changed quite a bit in seven years { and had her nose fixed and wore contact lenses to make her eyes look blue } He protected her during the evangelical terrorist attack and a couple nights later, Elise jumped out of her body again – touched Derrick’s arm and they both jumped to a parallel world where they met —> Eslyn – who looks like a ‘thirty-something’ woman with brown hair and eyes and a log cabin, a large garden and a dog named Jessie. —> Volffe is a tall guy with dark hair and piercing blue eyes – the son of a German American and a mixed First Nations mother – he found himself in this same parallel world several years ago —> Jessicka is a tall red haired young woman that Xhyrean saved from inter-dimensional monsters in an unfinished novel I wrote in 2017 – She wasn’t as tall and she wasn’t a red head back then but the parallel world she’s in now with Volffe and Eslyn for friends tends to change people’s bodies into what they wished they looked like. —> Zearlina is a shape shifting Healer with a lot of spiritual wisdom. She shifts into an Afghan Hound – or a slender ageless woman with white hair. —> Rocky is an Ymmp – a shortish creature with a thick reptilian tail, pointed ears and a snout and upside down canines that curl up near the leading edge of his snout. He’s a fun guy with a demented sense of humour. He likes mangling any language he speaks and he understands how to use music to heal, distract, or even lull anybody into a trance – I think that’s everybody who is just about to finish dinner in Eslyn’s cabin. }}}

Jessicka + Volffe +Unexplored Territory

– Jessicka + Volffe —> Unexplored Territory –

— After they pretty much inhaled their dinner, Derrick sat back and tried not to burp loud enough to embarrass anybody. Elise smiled and turned to Derrick with a guilty look on her face, whispered, “I think I ate too much, too fast.”

— Derrick nodded, whispered, “Lot of that going around -” then he turned toward Eslyn, and had the feeling that everybody at the table was waiting for him to say something, “Wow – that was fantastic.”

— Jessicka tipped her head down and either blushed or smiled – or both?

— Volffe nodded, “I’ll second that-”

— Zearlina covered her mouth for a second, nodded, “That was a little spicier than I’m used to – but yes, that was really good.”

— Xhyrean nodded, “I don’t know, how does this work, can I ‘third’ that? Or should I second Volffe’s second?”

— Eslyn smiled, “At least half the credit goes to Jessicka, she brought most of the ingredients, including the vegetarian ‘beef substitute’ with its all natural ingredients and low fat content. -” she nodded, “I was pleasantly surprised.”

— Jessicka blushed, shrugged, looked around, “I don’t think I could have figured out how to cook anything over a wood fire if my life depended on it.”

— Eslyn nodded, “Took some gettin used to – but after a lot of practice, I think I just might get the hang of it some day-”

— Elise looked around, “Should I offer to help you clear the table?”

— Eslyn shook her head, “Oh – no – deary – not after what you’ve just been through – and the same goes for you, Derrick – but I don’t think I’d say ‘no thank you’ if Xhyrean and Volffe volunteered.”

— Volffe chuckled, “You mean I couldn’t just sing for my supper?” he grinned at Zearlina.

— “Don’t look at me – I’ll get down on all fours and go for a run with Jessie – I just burned off about six months of my stored healing energy here -” she turned toward Elise and gritted her teeth, whispered just loud enough for everyone to hear – “Don’t you dare tell him that we get a real boost from what we do, they have to believe it costs us half our sanity and three quarters of the energy we need to get up and walk across the room.” She grinned and stuck her tongue out at Xhyrean.

— Elise looked like that statement left her totally confused.

— Zearlina shrugged and turned toward Volffe, “She’s new at this – she hasn’t come into her full powers yet.”

— Elise looked a little more confused, she turned toward Derrick.

— Derrick whispered, “Zearlina told me that you are a very strong healer.”

— “Me?” Elise blushed, shook her head, shrugged – looked at Zearlina.

— Zearlina nodded, “You’ll see – if we have the time, I’ll give you a few pointers. You won’t be raising the dead any time soon, but you might be able to save the lives of any of your friends who suffer critical accidents or gun shot wounds.”

— “You’ve got guns here?” Derrick asked.

— Eslyn shook her head, “Not yet – I think some of our friends sabotage all research toward that end.”

— Volffe sighed, “Some idiot with a pistol came through here a couple years ago, shot at and missed several deer. We kind of let the slavers capture him. He was out of bullets. He tried to pantomime what the gun could do. Pointed it at imaginary animals and enemies and said, “Bang, bang bang.” and acted like he’d been shot and fell down. The slavers thought he was nuts and pistol whipped him, thought the gun made a good – sort of brass knuckles? Kind of thing? – Xhyrean rescued him about a year later and dropped him off back in his home world.”

— Xhyrean nodded, “He ran to his local police and told them he’d been kidnapped by aliens and used as a slave, beat with clubs and pistols that they didn’t have bullets for – The police had him locked up for observation.” Xhyrean shrugged, “He was not a model patient. They treated him with drugs that left him shaking like he had Parkinson’s disease?”

— Derrick nodded, “We know what that is.”

— Elise nodded too.

— Xhyrean sighed, “We – some of us – looked at his possible and probably futures, and he’s the first person I gave up on trying to help -” he sighed.

— Derrick winced, “Some of my friends were bullied, beat up and humiliated by football players – I don’t know that any of the ones who picked on my friends had any redeeming qualities-” he sighed, shrugged, looked sad.

— Xhyrean shrugged, looked at Volffe.

— Volffe shrugged, stood up and began piling dishes together.

— The two guys actually cleared the table and washed the dishes, dried them and let Eslyn tell them where to put them when they were dried.

— Xhyrean looked at the cleared table, went outside on the ‘back’ porch and brought in something that looked like it might be a rolled up sail for a small boat. He laid the thing the long way on the table and unrolled it, straightened out the white canvas that covered the table and then some, then unrolled the animal skin that had been wrapped inside.

— Eslyn, Elise, Derrick and Zearlina all cringed and turned their heads.

— Jessicka gritted her teeth and shuddered.

— “Sorry – we did not kill this animal.”

— Derrick shuddered, “That looks like a very large deer skin.”

— Xhyrean shook his head, “Moose hide – tanned -” he nodded, “But that was close – same family – just bigger -”

— Derrick shuddered again.

— Xhyrean flipped it over and spread it out. Someone had painted, or somehow drawn a very good map of the world Derrick and Elise had come from. The details were amazing.

— “Earth-” Derrick nodded.

— “Your Earth?” Xhyrean asked.

— Derrick shrugged, “Pretty much -” He looked closer – there were no man made boundaries drawn in – anywhere – He pointed to an empty spot in the Pacific Ocean. “There’s an island here – and -” he moved his finger to the Atlantic Ocean, near the edge of the Caribbean, “These two Islands had a volcano go off between them so now they’re joined by a very rocky isthmus.”

— Xhyrean smiled, “You never had a nuclear war?”

— Derrick shuddered, “Yeah, we did. The Chinese started a twenty years war, conquered most of mainland Asia-” He pointed, “and all these Islands around it – Then they started attacking Europe – some of the free nations over here -” he pointed to North America – came to their aid and a combination of Aztec and New British scientists helped the Germans develop the nuclear bomb. The Chinese didn’t want to surrender until more than half their population was obliterated. That was a hundred and seventy five years ago – For the next hundred years, all these areas -” he pointed to most of the areas that bordered on the Sea of China – “As well as most of these islands -” he pointed to most of the islands within a couple hundred miles of the Asian Mainland – “Fought each other for the right to become free and independent states.”

— Xhyrean pointed to the West coast of North America, “What country is this?”

— “That right there is California.”

— “Is California a country?”

— Derrick nodded, pointed father north, “This is Tlingit -” – inland – “Shoshone Land” – farther inland “Lakota Confederation” – inland from California – “Navajos” – South of California – “Aztecs” – Northeast of Aztecs – “Hopi Sovereign Territories” -East of Hopi lands – “Comanchen” – North of Comanchen – “Apachen” – Northwest of Apachen/Northeast of Navajos – “Ute Land” –

— Xhyrean raised his hands, “Okay – Okay – How about this whole area?” he moved his hand in a wide circle above most of North America.

— “All of this is the Turtle Island Confederation.”

— Xhyrean pointed to an Island off the north coast of what he understood was the ‘Turtle Island Confederation’ – “What’s this?”

— “New Svaeria-”

— Xhyrean nodded, moved to the mainland northwest of New Svaeria – “And this?”

— “New Norway -”

— “Are there any Métis Lands?”

— Derrick nodded, pointed, “Here – between the Annishnabe and the Ojibway”

— Xhyrean smiled, pointed to the north side of the river that flowed from the smallest of the ‘Great Lakes’ and looked to Derrick with a question on his face.

— “New France.”

— Xhyrean nodded, pointed to other side of that river-

— “Acadia”

— Xhyrean looked surprised, moved his finger South and West –

— “Madawaska -”

— South and East of Madawaska –

— “New Erin-”

— Xhyrean raised his eyebrows, pointed to what almost looked like an Island south and east of New Erin –

— Derrick pointed to the farthest north eastern bit of land there – “This Island is Nova Scotia” This part is Mik’Ma land,”

— “Wow – this is different -”

— Derrick pointed and moved his finger in a circle, “New Britain -” then he pointed to several areas inside the circle – “ Passamaquoddy – Maliseet – this was Micmac land ceded to Madawaska – Wabanaki – And this, land along the coast – was believed to be cursed after first contact with Europeans here brought the Bubonic plague with them. Many tribes were wiped out completely – Only those who kept to the north and avoided all contact with the Europeans survived. He pointed to the coast from the island that was the border of New Erin down to a mess of small islands and a bay with quite a few more islands, “This is New Keltia – My mother’s people are from there.” He drew his finger south and west from there, “New Mercia – Settled by British Catholics who lost a civil war in Britain.” Then a larger area inland with a small section of coast line, “New Hampshire -” West of New Hampshire – “Vermont” – south of New Hampshire and Vermont – “Massachusetts” – Southeast of Massachusetts – “Rhodes Land” – East of Rhodes Land – “Providencia” – West of Rhodes Land – “Konnecticut” – West of Konnecticut – “New Amsterdam” – A large, long island south of Konnecticut and east of New Amsterdam – “Montauk” – North of New Amsterdam – south of New France – “Mohawk” – West of Mohawk, North of the finger lakes – “Iroquois Nations -” he paused and looked up at Xhyrean, “The Turtle Island Confederation was based on the foundations and treaties of the Iroquois Nations -” – then he pointed to the finger lakes region, and drew a line west to the southernmost of the Great Lakes,and then a straight line most of the way back toward where he had indicated the south eastern part of New Amsterdam was – moved his finger down at about a forty five degree angle then circled around, “All this is New Amsterdam – New Amsterdam City is on this island here and Elise and I came from Ithaka up here at the south end of Lake Cayuga.” He drew a breath, “There are a lot more sovereign nations here, and I haven’t even gone north to where the Cree and the Inuit and the Alieskans are.”

— Xhyrean drew a breath and let it out slowly, “I am Métis – my people were forced west and had their families forcefully separated by the British government that conquered New France and subjugated most of the First Nations people from coast -” he pointed to the Atlantic coast – “To Coast -” he pointed to the pacific – “to Coast -” he pointed to the arctic -”

— Derrick looked shocked, “The Métis, the Lakota, the Navajo and the Hopi were the first of the indigenous people who joined most of the transplanted Europeans in the ‘World War’ against the Chinese. The Navajo and Hopi had seen that war in visions and said it was the first attempt by a force of extremely evil ones to conquer and enslave us all. They convinced the Lakota – and, um, the Métis traced half of their people to other First Nations who had mated with Europeans – mostly French, Keltian, Erinish and New Svaerians.”

— Xhyrean nodded slowly, looked tired, “You seem to know a lot about the history of your world.”

— Elise laughed and covered her mouth, “He hardly ever forgets anything.”

— Xhyrean looked impressed, nodded, “I’m one of a very few humans who can jump between almost infinite parallel worlds. Most others who have accidentally or purposefully tried to jump to too many worlds start to lose their health and their ability to concentrate after three or four jumps. I bumped into one guy who hijacked a inter-dimensional disk shaped craft and escaped with his niece – and her husband and managed to jump between a dozen worlds before that wore him out. We were then contacted by a group of several dozen human hybrids from a couple thousand years in the future who were able to make as many as two – even three dozen jumps before they began to lose their ability to concentrate, then their memories, and then their health deteriorated altogether. Together – we have catalogued, I think – 38 parallel worlds on planets identical to this one mapped out here – Almost every single one of them calls this area – The United States – Up here – this is Canada – Down here, this is Mexico – This whole continent south of what most of them call Central America – this is a mish mash of several countries where the Spanish and the Portuguese conquered the indigenous tribes and were defeated in a series of civil wars and a lot of maps of what they usually call South America are completely different from most other maps of the same continent. This is the first time I know of that it looks like the First Nations made treaties with Europeans that the Europeans didn’t break and try to kill off most of the First Nations any chance they had.”

— Derrick sighed, nodded, “After the Bubonic Plague killed off two thirds of everybody in Europe, two later plagues nearly wiped them out again. First Nations that survived the Bubonic Plague over here let refugees fleeing Europe ahead of the next two plagues settle here – and kept them quarantined, fully expected all the Europeans to die off in the areas they believed were cursed to begin with. Druids, and Keltic healers as well as the Welsh who settled in Madawaska brought healing herbs with them and traded them with first nations medicine people who showed them more healing herbs and plants in the ‘new world’ that everyone soon began calling ‘Turtle Island’ – We survived, and thrived, and the first nations saw us as valued friends – many tribes didn’t want their sisters to have anything to do with the dirty Europeans, but some intermarried – If other tribes banished or otherwise ostracized anyone who intermarried with the Europeans, the Métis welcomed them, conditionally at first and then, when they proved themselves to be honest, contributing members of their villages, granted them full citizenship.” Derrick nodded.

— Elise sighed, “I’m sure he got an A-Plus-Plus for that course.” she winced then gazed lovingly at him.

— Xhyrean sighed, and yawned, “Wow – I guess I have a lot of world hopping to do – all the historians and extra-world explorers will want to know as much as I can tell them about this.”

— Derrick yawned, “You had to yawn, didn’t ya?” he grinned.

— Derrick nodded, “I think we could all use a nice restful night’s sleep.”

— Zearlina smiled, “While I was meditating, I received an assurance that we will get that – a nice restful night’s sleep. I think somebody up there-” she pointed up through the ceiling – “Somebody in the Arch-Angelic strata, has been waiting for you-” she pointed at Xhyrean, “and you two-” she pointed at Derrick and Elise, “to accidentally meet each other like this.” She turned and looked right at Xhyrean, “I saw a flash of your friend – George’s – flying saucer in a world that is in their time zone – has the same exact land masses -” she pointed at the map drawn on the inside of the moose skin, “-but has a population of less than three hundred thousand humans, a lot of untapped resources and animals that have gone extinct on most of the worlds you know about. I think the Arch Angel that showed me that world said it was the New Earth promised by several religions that have been perverted by the forces of darkness and mind control in almost every world you know about.”

— Derrick was stunned.

— Xhyrean looked like he’d been hopeful that he might some day find a place like that, but nodded slowly, closed his eyes and then wiped them, sighed, and nodded, “If we still can remember this after our nice peaceful night’s sleep I will allow myself to feel ecstatic for the first time in what feels like centuries.” He yawned and began to roll the moose skin map back into its tight tubular shape. He glanced toward Derrick and Elise as they smiled at each other, “What year is it where you came from?”

— Derrick shrugged, “Twenty seven fifty nine.”

— Xhyrean looked slightly shocked, “Do you have some kind of letters or initials to go along with that?”

— Derrick and Elise nodded, “M.E.- Modern Era.” They said almost together.

— Xhyrean began to roll the moose skin up inside the white canvas, “That’s – different -” he nodded, “What came before that?”

— Derrick looked at Elise.

— Elise smiled, “C.E. – Common Era.”

— Xhyrean nodded as he rolled the canvas as tight as he could get it, and began to tie it with rawhide strips, “How far back did the Common Era go?”

— Elise glanced toward Derrick.

— Derrick nodded to Elise, “They stopped counting at forty five ninety nine – The common Era began after the Svaerians established trade with the First Nations along Turtle Island’s East coast and the much less aggressive Chinese made peace with the First nations along Turtle Island’s West Coast – The Egyptians were already exploring Maoria – and had made peace with the Maories after they gave up trying to conquer them.”

— “Maoria -” Xhyrean finished tying the third and last rawhide strip around the middle of the canvas around the rolled up moose hide. He glanced at Volffe who looked just as interested as Xhyrean seemed to be.

— “The smaller two big islands to the east of the small continent south of Asia – where the Madjedbebe lived – The Egyptians had started out trading with the Madjedbebe and then tried to conquer them and basically had their behinds handed to them.”

— Xhyrean almost looked confused, “Almost all the worlds we’ve catalogued call the continent ‘Australia’ and the Islands to the east have been called ‘New Zealand’ much more often than Maoria.”

— Derrick nodded.

— Xhyrean continued, “In most of these worlds, the British ‘discovered’ and colonized Australia and New Zealand.”

— Derrick grinned, “I guess the three great plagues kept the British from colonizing the Madjedbebe and the Maories where we came from.”

— “They also colonized what you call Turtle Island. The colonists rebelled against British economic bullying. The British also colonized a large section of southern Asia – called it India.”

— Derrick nodded, “India put up a heck of a fight against the Chinese before Europeans and then some of us Turtellians joined the war.”

— “How many world wars did you have?”

— Derrick nodded, “Just the one – We pretty much stayed out of other wars. Some of us signed treaties with India and promised to come their aid if the Chinese got feisty again. Smaller countries all around China took advantage of China’s weakness and re-established themselves.”

— Elise took Derrick’s hand and tried to lead him toward Eslyn’s sofa. He finally turned to her and smiled, “Sorry -” and followed her there.

— Xhyrean put the rolled up moose hide back out on the back porch and came back in while Volffe picked up his guitar and played several quiet pieces that blended together –

— Xhyrean came back in and sat cross-legged on the floor facing the sofa, “What do you call the time before the Common Era?”

— Derrick smiled. Elise closed her eyes and leaned back, kept holding Derrick’s hand.

— “There were fifteen hundred years of Dark times after the Kelts and the Germanics sacked Rome. The Roman Era lasted two thousand years – they were nasty, tried to conquer, subjugate all the known world. If anybody fought back they brutalized and enslaved them. The Roman Era followed the Greco-Egyptian Age. Before that there was a long period that followed the fall of Altania – The Altanians tried to tame the Very Ancient Chinese by blasting their laser through the centre of the planet – but they hit huge pockets of subterranean gas that blew the continent of Altania to bits, caused world wide tsunamis and pretty much ended a royal golden age -” Derrick sighed, “Before the Altanians came to prominence – a long time before the Altanians came to prominence – there was a civilization in the Pacific Ocean that some called Mu, or Mur, or Lemuria, and some others called the land of Oz – And that civilization dominated a mostly peaceful time for hundreds of thousands of years. The Lemurians lived for an average of 700 years, some lived a lot longer – They grew their houses by planting trees close enough together so they grew together, and they bent and trained branches to form upper floors and roofs – They were really good at cross breeding plants, for instance – they developed bananas -” Derrick yawned.

— Xhyrean yawned, “Sorry – I should let you get your rest. But your world was able to keep track of hundreds of thousands of years? That’s amazing.”

— Derrick nodded, shrugged, “There were times when like, for instance, the Romans tried to claim they’d ruled the planet since the beginning and tried to destroy all records that anything happened before they went on the war path – But the Israelies and the Indians kept their records in secret places – So did the Egyptians, but the Egyptians fell under the spell of the Romans for about a hundred years – and their rebellious historians kept their records so secret that after the Romans killed most of them and enslaved the rest – Almost nobody knows where their records are hidden. There are rumours and theories, but Present day Egyptians have several religious sects that claim that Egypt was founded about four thousand years ago and are crazy enough to cut the throats of anyone who says otherwise.”

— Xhyrean smiled, rose to his feet –

— “Another thing -” Derrick perked up.

— Elise winced.

— “Something that isn’t widely accepted – There have been ages when most cultures went back and forth between world wide Matriarchies and Patriarchies – Kind of like a pendulum swinging back and forth – But for some reason, since the time after the Lemurians, who were reportedly both male and female in the same bodies, there might never have been a time when both sexes treated each other like equals – My Uncle Scott said the last Matriarchal Era ended between three and five hundred thousand years ago, when there was a world wide conference and the matriarchies were losing ground and men were threatening world wide civil wars – So the women said, ‘Okay – you think you can do better? Knock yourselves out -‘ And very shortly thereafter there was the dawn of militarism.”

— Xhyrean looked interested again, “Your Uncle Scott- Scott Baldwyn?”

— Derrick nodded.

— “He stumbled through a portal into the world we call ‘Earth-NorAm-MexCanUSA minus 9’ and published a very scholarly set of books that everybody thought were fiction -”

— Derrick leaned forward, “He disappeared for six months and the next time we saw him – he looked like he’d aged about ten years. And he grew a beard.”

— Xhyrean nodded, “He spent about twenty years on that world.”

— Derrick was about to ask a question but Elise gave him a healthy shove, “Enough already – lets go to bed.”

— Xhyrean gritted his teeth, or winced, or both, and nodded, “Sorry – yeah, we’ve been trying to head off into dreamland for a while now, haven’t we?”

— Elise grinned and almost growled, “Good night-”

— Xhyrean nodded, “Good night.”

— There was a chorus of ‘Good night’ wishes from all around.

— Volffe put his guitar away, laughed quietly and just above a whisper, grinned at Xhyrean, “I guess she told you-”




Saturday – July 18th, 2020 – the Border Fixin Squad is Out in Full Force –

Saturday, July 18th, 2020 —> +28˚C / +82˚F —> & Not so muggy in Atlantic Canada @ 5:30 pm – I think they Celebrated Cheryl W.’s birthday in South Africa & Called it a Nelson Mandela Appreciation Day. –

- Draelen notices Buildings are up off the ground in Birkenport -

– Draelen said, “Uhh – Things are kind of up in the air over here in Birkenport at the moment – Send in the troops -” –

— Another typical Saturday in the Game Building World?

— Excuse me if you already heard this, but we had to fix a few things in Aerendel City – We needed to disconnect the City from its surrounding spaces, or areas – mountains to the north- hills to the south – Highland Forest to the North-West – That was the easy part. Aerendel City had not yet been the focus of Urban Development – It was just sitting there, with lots of plans on several ‘drawing boards’.

— We worked on just the basic landscape, made no major changes in the shape or the border regions at all, smiled and moved it back into place, re-connected it seamlessly with all its surrounding areas and checked the borders and everything looked fine.

— But then a Newbie builder took a look around and a lot of things were not fine. A week before this started Nikki took a look around Landsdrop and found that Wolfe Ridge had gone wandering. Draelen checked it out, came toward Wolfe Ridge from the West, and everything was fine. But then Newbie – Skarhfe – on his way to Del-Vahria – found the same problem and ‘sketched’ the absence of Wolfe Ridge { took a screen shot  and ‘shared it’ with the rest of us. Lucky for us, Skarhfe might have been new to our team, but he knew what he was doing and he corrected the problem with, in Kaelyn’s words: “Ease and Grace” { The first time we heard that we thought ‘Ease’ might have refered to Aeslynne – and wondered who Grace was. }

— Draelen, Volffe, Niki, Evelynn, newcomers Yurgan, and Jim – set about correcting things in just about the same manner that Skarhfe had fixed the ‘Where the bleep did Wolfe Ridge wander off to?-‘ problem.

— And we discovered that if we fixed the border between Aerendel City and ‘AerWest02’ from the East – from Aerendel City – it looked fine, but when Evelynn ran around to check something from the AerWest / Highland Forest side – Things were definitely not ‘fine’.

— We thought we fixed the border between Highland Forest and ‘Mountain Range “A”-‘ where they both just come close to Aerendel City – but after things looked ‘fine’ again there – and after Evelynn ran back around to Aerendel City with nothing obviously out of place – she ran back down to Birkenport and, “Uht – oh!” – Birkenport hadn’t moved, but all the buildings and lamp-posts had jumped at least three feet in the air and hovered there. And the sea level in that important port city had dropped about five meters – and that fell under the ‘Not Good-‘ category.

— So we called out the troops, and a lot of us took turns fixing things – and when we reached the point of exhaustion we went to sleep and somebody else was always ready to take our place –

… Let me finish this later – They need me in the landscape emergency room…

- Yurgan paused to marvel at the red clouds just after sunset in the city -

– “Yurgan paused to marvel at the red clouds just after sunset at the edge of Aerendel City.” –

— The clouds look like they’re closer to a ‘hot pink’ than red to me, but I’ve been assured by others, the clouds around sunset were definitely red.  –

— Have I said too much about everybody’s efforts to repair borders etc.?

- Red Sunsets? This is the border between Birkenport and Daelen-

– “Red at night -” no – somebody might take that wrong – Red Haired Evelynn – in a reddish fog a bit after sunset – with the stars shining through –

— Somebody suggested we compile a ‘Rogue’s Gallery’ of the guys and gals on our team – Sounds okay to me –

— And I better sign off for now – It’s been a long day and a half —

————— T.R. —————

We’ve Been Busy & “Dat’s Good-“

Thursday, July 16th, 2020 —> +19˚C / +52˚F —> & Mostly cloudy @ 2:34 am in Atlantic Canada —> & Jim says it’s Nancy { maiden name “Aspinwall” }’s birthday today – Yesterday washis grandfather’s, Robert Carlson Wellington Senior’s Birthday. & Linda Rondstandt’s 🙂 –

— Where should I start?

- Skarhfe looking at the end of the world. -

– “Skarhfe Proves that Niki Was Right.” – Wolfe Ridge went into hiding….” –

— We never doubted Niki when she said she got to the vortex but it wasn’t there – Draelen ran down from Del-Vahria, all the way through the Shadowlands and Stone Lake and Wolf and Wolfe Ridges – and the crossing from Wolfe Ridge to “AerWest01 looked fine from where he came from – He ran through the spinning vortex and smiled at Niki and turned around and ran back, no problem. Niki closed her eyes and ran off the edge of the world – and didn’t die – and didn’t fall through eternity and all that –

— Draelen and Nikki got their own accounts this week – Drae’s third builder character is a diminutive – possibly a Faer Elf guy wearing a wizard’s shirt and carrying a healer’s kit – He re-created Nikii’s path to the end of the world – and sure enough – there was a wide open space, a bonafide “Nothing” where Wolfe Ridge should be. He had the presence of mind to take a selfie, obviously with a levitated wizard-ish selfie device – and then fixed the problem – made sure that “AerWest01” was linked to Wolf Ridge – which is directly West and “UP” from Wolfe Ridge { Two families, related, brothers, named ‘Wolfe’ – immigrated here a few months apart – When the second brother registered with the ‘Governor’s Agent’ in Birkenport the agent was upset that the bribe that was offered wasn’t as large as he hoped it should have been and spelled the name “Wolf” instead of ‘Wolfe’ out of spite and in spite of protest. —> The first brother had already taken the Princes’ advice and gone West – staked a claim that has been called “Wolfe’s Ridge” ever since. Details are a bit fuzzy – and seem to change a bit every time anybody tells the story – but the first brother thought the second brother should have either offered a bigger bribe or ‘Cold-Cocked’ the agent, forged the documents and beat it to ‘The Ridge’ – He might have actually said, “It wouldda been more honorable even if ya got caught and landed in the slammer- The agents, even the stinkin governor are afraid of me – and they should be afraid of you to- ya wimp. We couldda had ourselfs a legendary Donny-Brook that wouldda established our reputation as bad asses for ever -” – and gave his brother the upper -Western half of the ridge – The ‘Soggy’ section. Brother number two didn’t mind at all. He was the better farmer of the two and the sometimes legendary rain storms up there not only grow wonderful crops, but because the Western half of the ridge is so steep, 99% of the potential crop ruining flood waters run down into his brother’s half of the ridge and flood him out regularly. }

— Oh – back to Skarhfe – when he was pretty sure his gamble would work, he removed the link between AerWest01 and Wolfe Ridge – and then re-added it – and bingo – the errant property magically appeared where it shouldda been all along –

- Skarhfe stares into a blinding sunset -

– “Skarhfe stepped into a blinding sunset” –

— Skarhfe’s efforts, as soon as he triumphantly dashed through the spinning vortex and did not have his body parts scattered all over the continent – were ‘rewarded’ with a blinding sunset through a thick fog – it made going a bit slow, but he felt pretty good about getting that slippery border situation fixed so easily –

- Skarhfe hopes that's just fog -

– “Skarhfe hesitated at the top of the ridge between Stone Lake and the Shadowlands.” –

— After hearing stories of adventurers stepping across borders and never being seen or heard of again, and then seeing that disappearing land masses might actually be a thing – Skarhfe stood atop the ridge that marked the border between Stone Lake and the Shadowlands and waited until a small herd of deer happily galloped up the slope and emerged from the fog – before he took a breath and bolstered the courage to take one step at a time down what could very well have been a slippery slope to oblivion – Nope – it wasn’t oblivion he stepped into, it was the Shadowlands – and while nobody’s reported reputedly haunted buildings falling out of the sky and barely missing anyone lately – there’s always a chance –

- Drae in Islandia -

– “Drae made it to Islandia.” –

— Islandia is another slightly spooky place. It’s reputed to be a ghost town that’s been completely taken over by vegetation. There are those who say you have to be very brave and quite foolhardy to attempt to find the place. And most who make it through a cavern and some pretty tight spaces don’t stay long, and nobody wants to spend the night there – but Drae laughed. A large, muscular constable followed him all the way and then turned and ran at the fist sound of hooves. Drae laughed, “Our big, brave constable was scared half to death by a goat.”

- "Mending Borders" -

– “Mending Borders” – Before Skarhfe fixed our roaming land mass problem – Draelen and Volffe were out inspecting borders and mending them as needed. –

— The screen shot above, if you look closely – shows a slight tear between Wolfe Ridge on the right and Wolf Ridge on the left. None of our guys and women laughed at anyone who reported problems with border crossings and possible sentient land masses getting up and moving if they felt slighted or neglected … So yeah, everybody was out, checking, and applying band-aids when needed.

- "Niki's predawn view of Del-Vahria." -

– “Niki’s pre-dawn view of Del-Varia” This world has some ‘picture perfect’ sun rises and sunsets. –

— She’s got the soul of an artist and the voice of an angel -And it isn’t just me who thinks so – Niki saw this inspiring sight from the Customs House on the Isthmus.

- Morning Fog -

– After Niki stared at the view from the customs house for half an hour she stepped outside just before sunrise and saw this –

— One healer called the morning fog ‘a salve for the soul’. Sounds like a pretty good assessment to me.

- Drae in the Shadowlands Cavern -

– “Drae in the cavern in the Shadowlands.” –

— Depending on your point of view and the poetry of your heart and soul and mind – you may find the way crystals in some stone reflect and amplify and transform the colour and tone of the light from a torch, or in this case, a gas light – You may find the changes in the light either annoying or ‘magical’ –

— And it’s way past my bedtime, but I told the crew I’d get their pictures up and here – I’ve done it. And now – before my head hits the desk when I pass out … I better bid y’all a fond “Adieu” – don’t tell our tea-totallers I found somebody’s secret bottle of hootch – and it was flavored!

— { Hic – }

————— T.R.—

Friday, July 10th, 2020

-Friday, July 10th, 2020 — +30˚C { With a ‘Humidex’ of +37˚C } / 86˚F —> Felt like 98.6˚F — hot and humid @ 7:30 pm up here where we don’t all live in igloos 😉 – On Emilie’s Birthday 🙂 –

— Today’s Progress report? T.R. couldn’t sign in here – he said whatever idiotic thing was going wrong – the log-in page wanted Draelen and wouldn’t accept anything else? — Well that’s weird…

— But –

- Raitch -

– “Raitch” is here and looking around on her own account! –

— Doug says he knew it would be a bad idea to give his daughter her own account. “She has better fashion sense than the rest of us put together – she’ll put us to shame.”

— Looks like he’s right.

— We also gave her husband his own account – but we didn’t click on all the right boxes and he spent an hour trying to contact us to ask why he couldn’t come all the way in to our world here. ( Ooops – sorry guy – ) But I believe that situation has been ameliorated.

- Raitch at Landsdrop Falls - early evening. -

– “Raitch at Landsdrop Falls in the early evening.” –

— It doesn’t look like she moved all day – just stood there and gawked? { No, I better not say that, she’ll kill my avatar next time she sees him. } — Yes, we have learned how to ‘park’ our avatars and fly around doing a lot of stuff – then pretty much landing in the spot you took off from three or four hours earlier. and take a ‘selfie’.

— Hey Doug, should we trust her to start blogging with us?

— And Doug’s answer is, “Hit the deck!” as something breakable comes flying at my head from what? 500 miles away? – “Who gave her Psionics?”

— Raitch just smirks.

— Her dad blushes, “I think she was born with them. I don’t know, ya think maybe I was a victim of MK-Ultra mind control a7 Manchurian Candidate training? Then had my memory wiped?”

— { shudder … } “Yeah, maybe they discovered that we were uncontrollable – even under their stupid torture and drug addiction programs…”

— Doug looks at me with a dubious expression { as seen on our video chat channel } as Raitch’s human player comes up behind him spying on us with her iPad in hand.

————— All for now –

~~~~~ Jim


Thursday, July 9th, 2020 –

– Thursday, July 9th, 2020 —> +24˚C / + 83˚F – Mostly sunny & hazy with maybe 30-50% of the sky supporting smallish clouds – with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for later – Where I’m at in Atlantic Canada @ 4:57 pm –

- Nikki + Draelen in Landsdrop just past Sundown -

– “Nikki & Draelen in Landsdrop just past Sundown.” – The area they’ve been working on lately –

— Things have gone a lot more smoothly lately since we got everybody to “Lock” all their heightmaps when they were finished ‘Messing with them’ —> Jim managed to build an impressive cavern in less than an hour. and he didn’t have to drag all the parts out beyond the area and work on them, then drag them back and fuss for several minutes to get them lined up right. — Charging straight ahead with your head down and your eyes closed might not be the most effective strategy in world-building.

- Nikki & Drae in the Landsdrop Cavern -

– “Nikki & Drae in the Landsdrop Cavern” –

— The idea is – crystals in the stone reflect firelight in different colours and intensity – & Jim is correct – on a decent gaming monitor this looks fantastic. –

- The 'Drop' at Landsdrop -

– “The drop at Landsdrop” – the irregular line of rocky cliffs that give the area its name. –

— The cliffs that give the “Landsdrop” area its name – An “escarpment” in geological terms? The term is often used to describe the Niagara region of ‘southern’ Canada. – At first we were not overly thrilled with the look of the texture we’re using here – At a distance it can look funky – but I guess the fog in the ‘atmosphere’ goes a long way to help that when you’re at avatar level on the ground. But some of our avatars will have functional wings. And we’ve been wondering if characters with ‘Night Vision’ would see what we developers see when we turn on the lightbulb — everything? Another quirk with this texture: When you lower the ‘scale’ to something like 0.25 large areas with this texture look great – but when your character gets close – not only is the magic gone, but it looks like the texture failed and left you with reddish purple lines and foggy fields of grey and tan. So – we guessed that we can use that for cliffs seen at a distance – where nothing exciting will ever happen – and maybe gradually bring the scale back up to ‘normal’ closer to the ground – & closer to where anything might happen.

— Let me digress for a moment – Jim’s theory is to let every player believe their character has an unfair advantage and counsel them not to do anything stupid while they’re at lower levels – “Don’t jump off a cliff if you don’t have the right magical armor -” … stuff like that. I rolled my eyes at that idea at first, but then, the more I think about it – yeah – that works. A thief should believe he or she has an unfair advantage when it comes to picking pockets of npc’s. – Then learn caution when they go up against the higher leveled & more perceptive npcs and player’s characters. Yeah – that works.

….. — T.R. —