Stone of Remembrance

September 30, 2009

Mad World Video

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 06:55

A song that started life as a single from Tears For Fears, and was redone in a much simpler, ballad-like style by Gary Jules. A friend on Facebook recently posted a link to this video. More info on the song here.

It’s a beautiful song and a compelling video.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, Worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, Going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, No expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrows
No tomorrow, No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
These dreams in which i’m dying, Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad World, Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
And they feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me whats my lesson
Look right through me, Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which i’m dying, Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad World, Mad World

Enlarging your world, Mad World

Thanks Eric T.

September 24, 2009

Talk at 5th LOI

Filed under: Freemasonry, Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 06:16
November 24, 2009
19:00to21:00

I will be speaking at the Fifth and Second Masonic Districts Lodge of Instruction on November 24, 2009.

September 15, 2009

Talk at 12th Lodge of Instruction

Filed under: Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 17:00
January 25, 2010
18:00to21:00

I will be speaking at the 12th Lodge of Instruction in Lowell, Massachusetts, about A Song In Stone on the evening of January 25, 2010.

Music In the Stones

Filed under: A Song In Stone, Commentary, Writing — admin @ 06:46

My novel A Song In Stone follows on the idea that the extensive carvings in the Lady Chapel at Rosslyn near Edinburgh encode a piece of music that, if found, would “heal the world”. Apparently, there are all kinds of music hidden in all kinds of stones, as reported here.

Markings on a 16th Century carving from Stirling Castle could be the oldest surviving piece of written Scottish instrumental music, historians believe.

A sequence of 0s, Is and IIs have been found on one of the Stirling Heads – wooden medallions which would have decorated the castle’s royal palace.

It is believed the music could have been played on instruments such as harps, viols, fiddles and lutes.

There’s even an audio interpretation of the music.

Thanks to reader n1vux for passing this on.

Arisia 2010

Filed under: Travel, Walter\'s Schedule, Writing — admin @ 06:26
January 16, 2010 15:00toJanuary 18, 2010 15:00

I will be a professional guest at Arisia January 15-18, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, MA. Gardner Dozois will be the editor/author GOH.

Talk at Needham Public Library

Filed under: Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 05:03
January 10, 2010
14:00to15:00

I’ve been invited to speak at Needham Public Library in January 2010. More information as I get it.

September 14, 2009

Webcomics

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 12:54

I read web-based comics. I admit it; it’s not the worst habit, and it gives me something to look forward to when I open up the computer in the morning. I thought it would be fun to give some links to the ones I read regularly. Here are five that I really like.

Order of the Stick

One of the longest-running comics, Rich Burlew’s extended parody of D&D is a riot for anyone who has played any sort of roleplaying game. It began as a series of shticks and four-panel jokes, but it has built up a tremendous plot line with real character development. And if you understand the game references, it’s really, really funny.

Schlock Mercenary

I have come late to the Schlock party. I met Howard Tayler at Denver Worldcon in 2008, and spent a few hours talking writing with him and Lawrence Schoen. Since then I’ve become a fan of his work. It comes every day, and like OOTS, has developed from a series of themed jokes to a story. It’s entertaining and clever and well thought out.

Girl Genius

Not much I can say about the comic that hasn’t already been said. A big winner, a fun story, clever and complex and a meme-generator.

Darths & Droids

This is not quite a comic – it’s a series of scenes from the Star Wars movies, with new text written around them based on the conceit that this is a role-playing game for people who know nothing of the movies. The pioneer in this field is DM of the Rings, which did for (or to) the LOTR movies what is being done for (or to) Star Wars. Both turn up the foibles of players and GMs, and show some of the silliness in the movies themselves. Well worth reading.

XKCD

I noted a few days ago that this comic is one that people either get and love or don’t get at all. However, as noted, there is a blog that beats the hell out of it daily, which amuses me but which I don’t read. This is funny for geeks.

I’ve added these, as well as several others, to the blogroll.

September 13, 2009

Travelling People

Filed under: Commentary, Writing — admin @ 13:57

I am a freeborn man of the traveling people
Got no fixed abode, with nomads I am numbered
Country lanes and byways were always my ways
Never fancied being lumbered

I read the Economist; as I always say in my newsletter, you should too. In the September 5th edition there was an obituary for Stanley Robertson, “the last of Scotland’s Traveller storytellers”, which put me in mind of the above lyric. I heard it sung by Gordon Bok on the album A Tune For November.

I had never heard of Mr. Robertson, but the song and the traditions of the “Travelling People” was something I’d heard about. I am not surprised to learn how deep the tradition goes, and am pleased to know that Mr. Robertson was made a Master of Aberdeen University in order to preserve the tales “told through the eye of the skull“. The linked article conveys a sense of the otherness of the world the Travellers’ tales describe, something like the feeling I’d faintly sensed during my one-night stay on the island of Iona in 2005, a place that is described as “where heaven and earth are closer together”.

A little poking around turned up this tribute as well as this short video clip of Mr. Robertson telling a story.

I hope to learn more about these deep storytelling roots. Fare thee well, Mr. Robertson.

September 12, 2009

New Web Design

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 12:04

We have recently left our old ISP. For a price that was increasingly less competitive, they gave us a hard limit of 300 MB; functionality gradually broke down (haven’t gotten a newsletter from me recently? I’ve sent out 4. I couldn’t send email to myself. My blog was fundamentally broken and had been hacked badly at least once), and their customer service was in India – incomprehensible, non-helpful, and time shifted 10 hours or so.

So we’ve gone with a new ISP. The blog works; the mailing lists work; we have no real limit on size, and the price is outstanding. We’ve decided to use a CMS which makes the design more slick; most of the existing content is up and available and I’ll be adding more. I can have polls and news; I have a link to my facebook page, and quick Amazon links to what I’m reading.

I hope you’ll add a link to my site and visit often. There’ll be a newsletter out soon, but in the meanwhile I’m trying to get all content online.

September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 06:05

flag

This is the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. On a beautiful fall morning, four airplanes were flown into three buildings and a fourth was brought down en route by the heroic actions of a few people.

Some people continue to circulate rumors of a terrible conspiracy. Some would like to discount the threat to the greatest country in the world. Some would like to forget that this ever happened.

It happened, and the threat still exists. And I have not forgotten. I will never forget.

Read this, too, and this and on a less somber note, this.

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