Hi there. If you're reading this, it's either because you know me or you spend way too much time hitting "I'm feeling lucky" on Google. Either way, welcome.

Illumination is a perpetual work in progress, so please pardon our dust. The intent of the place is to provide space where I can lay down my thoughts and observations about the world around me and the things I do. That means it could be filled with nearly anything, from silly accounts of my gaming antics to thoughtful political discussion and anything in-between.

Whatever it turns out to be, please have a look around. It's only a few minutes of your day and you might find something worth your time. If you see something you like, leave a comment and let me know.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Themes (on Heroes Redux)

Life, I've long maintained, has a soundtrack. It has a grand score, unmatched in passion and scope, rising and falling with the highs and lows of life. I feel sorry for the benighted fools among us who can't or won't hear it, because I find this world much richer with it accompanying us through our days.

This third member of these odd little pieces of fiction is, I think, a reflection of that. What if we were able to harness our personal soundtrack and project it to others, for they to share in it with us? That would be a powerful gift indeed.

Every so often, I stumble on a song that suits its particular moment perfectly. Several nights ago was such a moment, and such a song. It led to this, three hours later, bleary-eyed and dazedly tapping away at a laptop keyboard as time sinks away into those cold pre-dawn hours when the world seems to vanish beyond the window.

There are few things I enjoy more than this "magic hour," and the creations that spring forth from within it. I hope you'll enjoy it too. Eventually I may even tell you where I'm going with these odd little stories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heroes (on Hang On A Minute, I've Got An Idea...)

Sometimes writing for writing's sake is the best kind. It's pure catharsis, free from obligation or expectation. I need to do it more often, because sometimes it produces something memorable, something worthwhile... something with potential.

Whether or not these are any of that is up for some debate, but I quite like the way both of them came out. I might do a few more in this "series" and see if it bears out.

So without further ado, here are the first two of these odd little pieces. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

GPA (on Applied Philosophy)

I really try to avoid using this as a rant space, but some bones need to be picked.

Try not to flinch, Haulman. That apple’s looking smaller and smaller from way over here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Manifesto (on Page 5)

People call it plastic crack. Lots of people call it a hobby, or a lifestyle, or a career, or a state of mind. Some people call it pointless. Most people call it bloody expensive. Everybody calls it Warhammer.

Warhammer is an institution, a legacy stretching back to the earliest days of tabletop cooperative and competitive games. It was around at the start of the industry, and it’ll likely be around at the end, too, if that ever comes. It’s the common denominator for war-gamers the world over, and you can get in a pick-up game just about anywhere if you know which rocks to look under.

But it’s missing something.

Terminal (on Why Japan)

I’m too young to really remember the ‘80s. I was only around for the last half of it anyway and very few of those days percolated through a young brain learning the basics of being a human. Brief flashes of locations, events that I’m not sure I actually remember so much as imagine, and a particular color of carpet that will immediately scream out its decade to any nearby observers.

Nonetheless, I am a child of the decade. Or at least I’m a child of the students of the decade, recalling flashes of the Nihonjin-owned future that we were all sure was one day going to sweep over us from the Far East in the west; faint, flickering images of a rain-soaked dystopian Los Angeles, voiceover courtesy of a young Harrison Ford, or skies above ports the color of television, turned to a dead channel.

Most people I know now say the moment has passed, that the so-called Asian Invasion that the Eighties was so sure was in it’s Double-oughts never materialized. I say look around, omae. We’re here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cybele (on Ostensibly Singular Possessive)

It’s Mother’s Day in my little corner of the world, and in spite of the Midterms rush and a general dearth of interesting things to say, I’m going to take a few minutes and let my hands wander my (shiny, glowing) new keyboard on the topic.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

LAWS (on the Migratory Patterns of Modern Man)

I’m destined to become one of those crazy, wild-eyed extreme survivalist the-government-is-out-to-get-me types. I’m sure of it. One of these days, something is going to become the last straw and I’m going to calmly shut down my computer(s), turn off all the lights, grab by pre-prepared kit, sling a rifle over my shoulder and disappear into the mountains.

That, of course, is assuming the dam doesn’t go, or the mountain doesn’t pop, or the zompocalypse doesn’t spur it on a little earlier.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Revolutions (on Screw You, Buddy)

In a couple of hours it’ll be my birthday. That… stopped being a big event for me about ten years ago, and it’s become quite just-another-day-ish since I finally ticked up over that last legal age limit.

Honestly, hitting the quarter-century mark is probably the least of my concerns at the moment, but since I only get to do it once, I figured I’d at least commemorate the occasion by getting completely smashed looking back over the last 25 years at some of the things that have led me to where I am now, and some of the things that the April 3rds throughout history have brought the world (other than me).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thermodynamics (on Friends)

[note: for appropriate musical accompaniment of this piece, the author recommends “Wish Me Well (Go To Hell)” by The Bouncing Souls.]

Friends are troublesome things. They make demands of us that would seem ridiculous from anyone else, and we largely put up with it because… they’re friends? We tolerate their antics for reasons I suspect few people could articulate; I know I can’t. We exert energy on them; they exert energy on us, and somehow the entire system holds itself up.

Friends, for all the long suffering we generally endure because we’ve decided these people are important to us, can sometimes repay the demands they put on our time and resources by expending their own on our behalf. The benefits having friends in the right places can provide are remarkable and what often seems like “luck” is more often having resourceful people on your side.

But this isn’t about the benefits of friends.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Encounters (on life, 1d4 hours at a time)

Well, I suppose there’s no point in delaying the admission that I’m a gamer of all stripes, since a good portion of this blog’s contents is going to be devoted to my hobbies. So without further ado:

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of Wizards of the Coast’s new “D&D Encounters” events, which is an all-comers Organized Play series where players gather once a week and play a single encounter in an ongoing adventure.

Inauguration (on Perspective)

It’s the middle of March, and the quarter at school has just ended. It went well as an exercise in reestablishing long-disused patterns of thought and behavior.

I don’t really know if I’m old enough to claim the perspective of “looking back,” but I like to think I’m a bit wiser than I was at 18. I know a little more about the world, and a little more about myself. I don’t claim to know a lot about either. I’m still learning how to handle my life, and hopefully I’m making better decisions.