Blood Drinker: Chapter 17-1

Back to Table of Contents Chapter 17 Yoshio stood beside the table, his right hand firmly holding onto the handle of his katana. He watched Kuro laugh with the younger men around him. A jug full of sake sat upright among several empty ones laying on their sides. Drops of rice wine were here and there. Yoshio looked out to the ocean, away from the men who, had they been sober, would have been ashamed of the scene they were making. It was barely mid-day. He stood there looking at Kuro for what seemed like a very long time, though…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 1: Why and When to be Skeptical

Please note: The video below contains the same information as the article, but in a more conversational form. Choose which format you prefer! I. Series Introduction: Information and Expertise Everyday life is filled with decisions. Many of these decisions are made without knowing what the outcome will be. We rely on many things to help us make these decisions, including our own experience, intuition, assumptions how other people will act, and, the subject of this article, information from other people. Everybody is an expert in something, but nobody, not even the super intelligent, can be an expert in everything. Each person…

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Blood Drinker: Chapter 16-2

Back to Table of Contents   “This will be an excellent set of swords,” Sengo said. The hammer rang loudly as it fell upon the glowing sheet of steel. A smile split Sengo’s face as he worked away at it. “Flip it.” Yoshio complied, flipping over the steel sheet. “How do you know?” “The bright sparks, the hard feel beneath the hammerhead… but mostly the sound it makes when hit,” Sengo said. “It is like a melody to me. When the sword rings like a deadly bell, you have succeeded in giving the steel its one true spirit. Again.” Yoshio…

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Blood Drinker: Chapter 16-1

Back to Table of Contents   Chapter 16   “Yoshi.” “Yes?” Yoshio turned over to see the back of Amaya’s head as she stared toward the door, dimply lit with the approaching dawn. He saw her side go up and down as she took a deep breath. “I do not…” She trailed off. Yoshio sat up and touched her shoulder. “What is it?” “I am having doubts,” she said. She turned on her back to look at Yoshio. “I do not want you to fight Ryunosuke.” “I must,” Yoshio said. “It is not just a matter of bushido now. It…

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Judgment!

Judgment. It’s a pretty naughty word these days. Everywhere I look, I see a message that I should “stop judging people.” Usually the act of judging is made synonymous with puritanical motivations, fundamentalist religion, or bigotry. Here are just a few articles on the matter, all of which point the finger back at the judger for his or her own failings: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/05/stop-judging.html http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-causes-for-judging-people-how-to-accept-yourself/ http://dalepartridge.com/please-stop-judging-people-heres/ We’re told not to judge people for a host of things they wear, do or proclaim: http://hellogiggles.com/lets-stop-judging-women-tattoos There are also acceptance movements, to help you get over judging particular books by their relative colors. Fat Acceptance…

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Violence: The Kind of Work You Don’t Want to Bring Home

Fighting, Porn, Abuse, and Assault in Las Vegas Note: this article is opinion, reflection, and analysis, not authoritative accounts of factual events. Source material should be used for citation, not this article, except as it pertains to the opinions of the author. Rarely do I step outside of my usual fiction-philosophy mode of content for this site and do current event topics, but an interesting story popped up on my radar from my former home of Las Vegas. It seems that a professional MMA fighter promoted through Bellator MMA who calls himself “War Machine” (allegedly) severely beat his girlfriend, porn…

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Narcissus

Recently I wrote a short creative piece called “Echobox” that is part poetry, part realistic fiction and part fantasy, which explored through eyes of a young boy people’s interactions with video media, specifically television. It reminded me of a poem I wrote nigh on ten years ago, called “Narcissus.” The poem was intended to be read while listening to a selection of music played on a solo instrument. It was part of a cycle of similar pieces I performed called, “Solipsist.” This particular part of the cycle was intended for string bass, an instrument I played in my younger days…

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Echobox

Echobox. It’s a box… that echoes, obviously Everybody’s second voice Second talk, second mind, Echoes back a righteous choice Zion! Zion! To Zion we shall go! Infidels cannot hold Zion against its rightful heirs! Billy sat and played with his toys. Mother’s echobox was on again, firing its angry nonsense words down the hall. It seemed like it was always on, even when she slept. He wanted to close the door, but he knew if he did, he would get in trouble. She would take away the toys. Billy… What a stupid, average, nothing name, he thought as he piled brick upon brick.…

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Your Friends Are Not Your Audience

Why you shouldn’t expect friends and family to support your art. We’re playing a show this Saturday at Club Fred. It’s only five bucks to get in and we’re playing all night. I used to throw out this line nigh on every week back when I was 19-21 and gigging in rock bands regularly. After that it was different venues, more friendly to my classical and flamenco stuff, but the pitch was always the same, as were the responses, which something like this: Awesome! I’ll totally try to be there. My girlfriend/boyfriend loves that kind of music! It’s so cool…

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Teachers make a DIFFERENCE! What about YOU? Huh?

A Reflection on the Ego of the Teaching Profession I had a different article in mind for today, but a conversation I had during work yesterday with my screenwriting partner Matt (find his website here) inspired me to create a different piece. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share! Credit/Source: Zen Pencils, zenpencils.com              I am a teacher.             I have been a teacher for more than ten years, in various faculties. I’ve taught at private and public school. I’ve taught individuals and I’ve taught classrooms full of kids. I’ve taught at the college level and the elementary school level. Given…

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