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The Colors of the Kaballah

I've just finished my first color design project for my Shapeways shop, Kickin' Wiccan. It proved to be challenging in ways I did not expect.

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List of movies that give me tears

I recently tweeted "Just finished watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Gosh, it’s dusty in here."

So here's my list of movies at which I'm certain to tear up, no matter how many times I've seen them. For most, the big emotional reaction is at the end, but there are a couple of exceptions.

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Life imitates Shadowrun

I'd like to tell another gaming story. It's a sequel of sorts to my previous story.
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Playing with Paranoia

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to be the gamesmaster at a game of Paranoia. I want to tell a story about that game. Let me set up the situation:

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Our new form of goverment

A friend of mine recently posted that the incoming administration was going to be a:

kleptocracy = government by theft

I agreed with the spirit, but disagreed with the specifics. I did a teeny bit of googling, and came up with this term:

pseudocracy = government by lies

I thought it appropriate, given the statements made by the president-elect in various media, and the influence of fake news sites on the current politics of our nation.

In attempting to promote "my" new word, I had another idea to describe the current political landscape, given the political appointments by the president-elect. This one already existed:

kakistocracy = government by the worst

In response, Russ Heller came up with the perfect word, far better than any of my attempts. In his words:

The Greek prefix "Chryso-": Forming compound words pertaining to gold or, by extension, gold-like colours.

Specifically, chrysophobia is the fear of the color orange.

Chrysocracy means government by the rich, and also government by the orange.

We'll have to live through it. At least we now know what to call it.


Switching charities

I need a bit of help.
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As part of my duties as High Priest of the Wicca, I've performed wedding ceremonies. My legal authority to do this derives from the Universal Life Church, which makes those marriages "as legal as church on Sunday."

The most recent ceremony I performed (in 2013) was for a same-sex couple. Just as it was legal for me to be an officiant, it was also legal under the laws of the state of New York for both their names to appear on a marriage license.

I would perform that service again in a heartbeat. I would perform it for any people, for any type of relationship, as long as all involved were consenting and willing to share their lives with each other. I will do 10,000 times if that's what it takes. If it ceases to be legal, I will do it 100,000 times, as long as the people involved accept me as their officiant.


Questions about a gaming convention

I was hanging out with a group of friends on Monday night. We started talking about gaming conventions, what we liked and didn't like about the cons we've been to, how we might do things differently.

That got me thinking: Among my gaming friends and connections, we have enough expertise to potentially start a gaming convention of our own. Obviously there are a host of logistic issues we'd have to solve. But the most important issues are: What would attract people to attend a gaming convention?

This blog post is the start of answering that question. If you have any interest in gaming, would you reply to this post and give us some idea:

- What kind of games do you like? Some examples: board games, stand-alone card games (e.g., deckbuilders), collectable card games, miniatures, role-playing games (tabletop or live-action).
- What length of game-play do you enjoy? Short (less than an hour), Medium (2-3 hours), Long (4+ hours)? This might vary depending on the type of game you like.
- Are there any games or styles of games you'd like to try?
- How far would you be willing to travel a to gaming con? (We're probably hold the con somewhere in Rockland or Bergen counties.)
- If you've been to a gaming con before, what did you like? What didn't you like?

One of us is preparing a more structured on-line poll to get some of this information. Until that poll is ready, I thought I'd ask for some informal responses. Just reply to this post with your answers. Feel free to forward it to anyone you know who's a gamer.



Polishing the Storefront

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post on why I removed plastic items from Kickin' Wiccan, my jewelry shop on Shapeways. This post, like the last one, was inspired by the advice I received from the talented artist Vann Godfrey, and what I learned from putting his advice into practice.

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Travel to Eclipse?

I was going to wait a bit before writing this, but I see that lots of folks are putting up posts about the total solar eclipse next year. So now is the time to bring this up.

There will be a total eclipse of the sun visible over a portion of the US for the first time since 1979. (The path of that eclipse took it over the Stoneage Replica in Washington state. Isaac Bonewits was there. There's a picture of him at that ritual, standing next to Morning Glory Zell, on the cover of the first edition of Drawing Down the Moon.)

Would anyone be interested in getting together for a group trip to view the eclipse? We have to start talking about this now. The reason why is that, with all the attention suddenly being paid to the event, places to stay are going to fill up fast. They might have already filled up with amateur astronomers and eclipse fans who know how to plan ahead.

Some possibilities (the links point to eclipse maps):

- Nashville TN is the biggest city in the path of the eclipse. (You've been to Princeton NJ. Why not visit Princeton TN?)

- The path of totality passes only a short way south of Portland OR. We got peeps in Portland. (You've visited Salem MA. Why not visit Salem OR?)

- I'm not a cartographer (there are always issues of map projection), but it looks like the closest eclipse totality point to New York City is in South Carolina (drive south on I-95 for 11 hours).

Does any place sound likely to you? Let me know.

I should add: Thanks to the wonders of planetary motion, we don't have to wait 38 years before the next eclipse. There will be another one on April 8, 2024. The path of totality will just clip the western point of New York state (about where Camp Brushwood is) and track through Vermont. But I don't know who's going to be around in nine years, so we may want to take advantage of the 2017 eclipse.