I met another baby…

This is one of those good news/bad news things. The good news is that a friend of my wife’s since her early school days just had a baby with his wife… And this is a guy I have known more than half my life now and he is going to be an awesome dad…

But the bad news is that I haven’t actually gotten permission to put pictures of their daughter on my blog yet.

So here are some pictures of a very happy me…

Holding…

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A cooked turkey…

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A really big kitten…

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And a small me…

I love Photoshop, have I ever mentioned that?

Seriously, she was a little fussy, even with her mama… but she lay in my big old hands and felt the love and fell asleep. And after dinner we played more. It was awesome. There is nothing like holding a baby.

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The Heirloom… part 5…

Okay, I know my writing partner on this project just posted his part like a few hours ago… But I had to write this that fast. Because I am getting so excited by this whole thing. I decided to have Jesus make an appearance in our story. I know, this is a strange choice for someone who constantly makes fun of organized religion, but I do think Jesus was real. Maybe I should have let you discover him without the spoiler… ***(AFTER-THE-FACT SPOILER ALERT)***

Anyway, here is my next addition to our tag-team story about a ring…

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The Heirloom… part 5

by Arthur Browne

Saa spent two years under the tutelage of an elderly Greek scholar whom he always referred to as Master. Gone were the times when young Egyptian boys were trained in the ancient hieroglyphs of their ancestors. He and his fellow students were taught Greek and Latin. Never once during that time did the lad remove the silver ring with the small green stone that had been tied flat to the inside of his wrist by the beautiful lady. Sometimes, when he couldn’t sleep, he would watch the ring, mostly covered by the thin rope of braided palm leaf, as it rhythmically bounced to the throb of his pulse.

The Master was an important person in the court of Gaius Valerius, the Prefect of Egypt. When the master wasn’t teaching new scribes to help keep track of the tons of wheat and other trade goods that left Egypt for Rome, and the other goods that flowed back into the lands thereabouts, he was busy writing a history of the Roman conquest of this part of the world. The Master developed a fondness for Saa, and when he had the opportunity to travel throughout the region on a fact-finding mission for the Prefect, he brought the boy with him.

They embarked on a trading ship, and after a short stop at the city of Pelusium on the other side of the Nile delta, they left Egypt behind, following the coast as the ship skirted the sea, making port at Gaza in Judea. The Master decided that this was as close to Jerusalem as he was ever going to get, and so he elected to leave the ship and travel to this ancient city. He felt he needed to see the city in order to write about it convincingly in his history of Rome’s triumphs in the area. He planned to make his way to Caesarea by road after a quick visit to Jerusalem, and that it would still be possible to perform his official duties within an adequate period of time.

The trek to Jerusalem was not an easy one. Saa and the Master joined an armed caravan of merchants, and spent many a day on the road, the Master riding on a donkey while Saa slogged along beside him. On one particularly hot day, as the caravan came within sight of the walls of Jerusalem, the man who was in charge of the group, a large and splendidly-bearded Phoenician, decided to call a stop for lunch a little earlier than usual because of the large crowd that was gathered beside the road. The were all listening to a man speak.

The man stood on a small pile of boulders, addressing the crowd around him in a voice that carried well in the still, dry air. Saa couldn’t understand a word of Aramaic so he busied himself preparing food and a place for the Master to sit. While the Master took refreshment, he seemed to be listening with half an ear to the man who was speaking. Saa took note that not only were the crowd listening raptly to what the man said, but the members of the caravan were engrossed in the words as well.

“Who is that man, and what does he speak of, Master?” Saa asked, finding himself lulled buy the soothing tone of the speaker on the rock.

“He is called Yeshua, as far as I can tell, young scribe, and what he is speaking of is nonsense… with perhaps a dash of sedition thrown in. But this language befuddles my ears and he is too far away for clear hearing by a man of my advanced years. Trouble yourself not, but rather put your mind to bringing me a few more of those dates for my repast, if you would be so kind.”

Saa set himself to the task at hand, and within the hour, the crowd had begun to disperse and the caravan was being packed up to get back on the road towards the city perched on a hill in the distance. As Saa carried the blanket upon which the Master had sat back to the donkey, he was jostled by a dark-haired boy about his own age. Saa had time neither to apologize not ask for one, as the boy disappeared into the milling throng of people.

The boy, one Josiah by name, of no family at all and a sneak thief and cut purse by trade, glanced down into his hand where he clutched the ring, still wrapped in bits of palm leaf cord. Cutting the cord, even though it was tight to the other boy’s wrist, was a notable accomplishment. He hadn’t even drawn blood, and his sharp knife hadn’t been noticed. Josiah looked up and stopped suddenly when he realized he was about to plow into someone. Standing before him was the man who had been speaking to the crowd from the pile of rocks. Josiah hadn’t listened to a word the man had been saying, though they spoke the same language. He had been too busy looking for his next victim.

The man said not a word, but smiled gently at Josiah, and reaching out, he put one hand on the boy’s shoulder. Josiah looked into those eyes and saw what he had never seen in the eyes of another human being since his mother had died when he was very young. He saw love. The man turned away and resumed talking to some other men.

Josiah stood rooted to the spot for several minutes, and then, instead of heading back to the slums of Jerusalem where he made his home, he took off running after the distant shapes and dust clouds of a small caravan on the road. He had no idea what possessed him to wish to return the ring to its rightful owner. He justified this strange decision by telling himself that the owner of the ring would give him a reward of some sort.

When at last he caught up to the caravan he was dismayed to find that it was not the right one. This was just a large family group returning to their homes after trading in the city. He had gone the wrong direction and now had little chance of finding the one from whom he had stolen the ring. And, for reasons he could not fathom, this made him unutterably sad.

 

 

 

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WordPress… just fix the problem with the comments and stop messing with stuff… I don’t have the time or energy to start another revolution right now…

But you know I will if I have to.

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The Heirloom… part 4…

The next installment in our ongoing story about a ring… and its journey through history. This part was written by my co-author, Sage Doyle, from over at; https://sagedoyle.wordpress.com/  You can read the entire story, or at least the four chapters we have written so far, by clicking the button on my top bar called; The Heirloom.

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The Heirloom… part 4

written by Sage Doyle

Siria wandered. She had no destination or path to follow. She wore her blue faience beaded dress and, through the netting, her nude body revealed the tattoo marks of a dancer, an enshrined prostitute. As the blessing of motherhood had not yet endowed her, she had come to feel as though she were a disappointment to Isis.

Siria wandered until she arrived at the square, because sometimes it was best to be alone where people gathered. Yet as a vessel for pleasure, it was difficult to avoid the attentions of men. Men were her trouble, but not all men. By the time she found a space of solitude amongst the cluster of vendors, she had come to the conclusion that the foreigners were her problem.

Seated at the end on the edge of a stair, Siria began to manipulate a palm leaf that she collected on her way, tearing it into thin strips. She observed the people carrying about the practice of their daily existences. Each person was a strand of the palm, she thought, weaved together each in his or her place to create the design through which emerges the functionality of life. There was nothing without purpose. No one without purpose. It was her purpose to bring a new fabric into the world.

The foreign men treated her like a tool to manipulate, food to devour, an object for use at their discretion. They made her feel dirty. Her own men, the Egyptian men, revered her beauty, her divinity, and they enjoyed to listen to her sing. They knew that she and the other women in her group of entertainers were of value to the gods, as sensuality and music were aspects of nature, and sex was a sacred rite that brought forth life. This was why, she was now convinced, she had not yet conceived. Though the money and trinkets were rather nice, she never asked for these gifts, the foreigners just offered them. The Egyptian men knew better.

Siria weaved the palm strands together as she reflected. The sun beat down though she was partially shaded, and she glanced at the gold of Ra cast upon regions of her skin. Then she saw the child. She watched him engraving images in the sand with a stick. As she watched, she fashioned her weaving into a thin, small rope. He went to her when she beckoned him over.

“What is your name?”

“Saa.”

“What are you doing over there?”

“I’m going to be a scribe. I’ll be going to school soon.”

“That’s wonderful.” Siria smiled. “I have a gift for you.” And from her finger she removed the ring given to her by Atuatuca, her most recent foreigner whom she now determined to be her last. Tying the palm rope to it, she then wrapped and secured it around Saa’s wrist. As she did so, she told him, “This is to remind you that you have a purpose in life, and that no matter where you are, you are adored.” She kissed her two thumbs then laid them on his eyelids, “so you will never be blind,” and after kissing her next two fingers on one hand, she laid them on his mouth, “so you will be true of voice,” then upon his heart, “so you will be knowledgeable.”

She kissed the top of his head, stood and walked away, knowing one day, soon perhaps, she would be able to proudly return to her family, as she would be pregnant, but not with the child of a foreigner.

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Oh for $%$#$%&()_(_&%+_*^*+^/?{&*%&^^*_$@#! ing out loud…

Is anybody else having trouble with replying to comments in the drop down menu up in the right corner??? I am typing replies, and the little blue thing is spinning, but the replies just stay there. I even logged off and back on, and shut the computer down. The replies are still there, typed in the boxes. They aren’t going through.

I don’t need this today. I swear, if WordPress did some new unwanted change that caused this, I am going to be pissed…

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I am terribly sorry to leave such a vast and gaping hole in your life, but I don’t have it in me to be funny today…

Five hours ago I left to take my wife’s new Highlander to the shop for a regularly scheduled maintenance procedure. On the way, a lady in a Lexus pulled out of a 7-11 right in front of me. I had no room to stop. She admitted it was her fault… at least so far…

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Between the paperwork and phone calls and rental car and other stuff, this day is mostly shot.

I will try to be back to being funny in the morning.

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Subliminal Art…

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