My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I got this book back in 2002 when author Audi Gozlan came to talk at my synagogue in Miami Beach. At the time I found his lecture, focusing on Abraham as the father of meditation in both east and west, interesting, so I purchased the book. It took me 10 years to get to it, but the timing was just perfect.
Gifts of Abraham presents a look at meditation across the world religious landscape and shows how it all ties back to Abraham with the use of Biblical commentary, Talmudic discussion, midrashim (legends) and the tools of Torah exegesis. His presentation is clear and concise, well-documented via endnotes showing his sources (both Judaic and otherwise), and thought-provoking for anyone willing to consider a far grander picture of world history. Though the book is geared toward Jews and Judaism, I believe it should prove an interesting read for anyone who appreciates theology, world history and philosophy, not to mention meditation and meditative practices.
While I have no problem with being big, I got tired of being fat, so five weeks ago I decided to restart my own fitness program by counting calories and doing some form of exercise with regularity. Two years ago I lost about 40 pounds doing exactly the same, so I know it is possible if I set myself a schedule and follow it through. Having climbed back up to 351 pounds, I simply had to, period.
The day I was to start my exercise routine, I woke up with some minor back pain that got exacerbated during the day, so instead of doing the boot camp video I had planned, instead I did the intro to yoga one. Now, for years my wife has been trying to get me to do yoga. I had nothing against it, but didn’t think it was for me. I pretty much actively refused to even consider it, probably getting derisive at times as well. I guess it’s all about timing. After doing this 1-hour introductory routine I was beat: my muscles ached, I was sweaty and breathing as if I’d run a mile. Furthermore, the pain in my back was gone, and I felt great. I decided I would do it again the next day.
That was 5 weeks ago, and I’ve done that routine pretty much every day since. I dusted off my yoga mat, got myself a strap to help with some poses, and have been reading up on yoga topics in a way which my wife charmingly calls obsessive. I do this.
For years I’ve wanted to run a game set in the world of Labyrinth, because it is awesome and the essence of faerie for this child of the 80s. At first I thought of using Changeling: The Dreaming (CtD) because of the obvious connection with faeries, but I never quite grasped what angle to approach this from.
When Changeling: The Lost (CtL) came out, I got the sense that this would be the right game to handle adventuring in the Labyrinth. The plot of the movie is, in essence, a classic changeling scenario, except that someone goes into faerie for the baby,[ref]We’ll leave the Labyrinth-as-sexual-coming-of-age discussion for another day[/ref] so we could use characters that had been taken to the Labyrinth, escaped and had to go back for whatever reason, or even use a regular human like Sarah.
I’ve never done either of those. CtD simply had a different vibe that was directly tied to the faeries in the mortal world, and CtL, though it was certainly dark enough, had a bit too much going on for my tastes.
CtL, however, has one bit that REALLY got me excited, the idea of Contracts as the source of changeling magic. Now we’re talking. I would strip that game of all the other simulationist stats and get down to a few essential pieces of game mechanics that truly speak to what a changeling is, highlighting the Contracts.
So this is what I would do for my Labyrinth game:
My blue Electra Townie bike has been stolen from the back of my apartment building in Miami Beach at Meridian Avenue and 10th Street. It happened at some point over the last week-and-a-half while I was away in New York, so at some point between August 1-12.
The bike is a metallic blue 7-speed Townie, made by Electra, and was purchased at Miami Beach Bicycle Center. It has a leather saddle with the Om symbol (?) on it, and leather handles. It has fenders, a basket on the front and a Townie rear rack. It bears the stamped seal of the Miami Beach Bicycle Center on the frame, underneath where the pedals connect, has a I Bike Miami sticker on the chainguard, and a faded People For Bikes sticker above the Electra medal on the front.
Here’s a pic of the basic model.
Any info, please email me at Daniel AT dmperez.com.
I won’t be able to go to Gen Con this year, which makes me sad. I love the energy of the con, seeing friends I only get to see during the gathering of the tribe in Indy, and gaming. Shows like This Just In… From Gen Con do a great job of bringing me a bit of the con, I wanted to find a way to share in the inherent gaming energy of the best four days in gaming. So I created this:
CONcurrent is an online gaming convention held parallel to Gen Con, from August 15-19, 2012. It is being organized via Google+ and you can reach the page by visiting http://tinyurl.com/CONcurrent-con.
The idea is simple: while thousands of gamers are gaming the days and nights away in Indy, we who can’t attend can partake of the best four days in gaming via events held online. Events can be games of any kind, or even seminars or hangouts. What’s more, if you wanna hold an event in a real-world location, it can be part of CONcurrent as well.
Adding events is simple and it’s designed to be self-maintained. Drop by http://tinyurl.com/CONcurrent-events to read the rules.
Be sure to add CONcurrent to your G+ Circles and follow on Twitter at @CONcurrent_con. See you online at CONcurrent!
I was pinning pics on my Pinterest boards and came across this image above, from a D&D 4th Edition sourcebook. It looks awesome but it made me think of what my problem with D&D is.
I see that image on the cover of a book–I see similar images on many D&D book covers–and I think to myself, I wanna be that guy in the game. I wanna be the warrior wielding a flaming sword, attacking a displacer beast, as we both free-fall, in a no-holds-barred fight! Yeah!
The problem is, when we play, this doesn’t happen.
This year I won’t be able to go to Gen Con. Though I will be off from nursing school during August, it will be my one break of the year and my wife and I are going on vacation to upstate New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto. I am super excited about that trip as I’ve never been up there. That said, a part of me is still sad I won’t be at Gen Con for the yearly gathering of the tribe. Fortunately for me, there’s This Just In… From Gen Con (TJI).
TJI is a podcast recorded and released daily during the four days of Gen Con which aims to bring the excitement of the con to its listeners. I was a host for the 2011 season and loved every second of it, but this year I go back to being a regular listener while my co-host Rich Rogers teams up with a new set of awesome folks committed to making sure those of us not attending still get to be a part of Gen Con.
Like last year, TJI is being crowdfunded via IndieGoGo. The hosts are committed to doing the show, but the financial support of the community is essential to make it even better. Last year I wrote about why TJI needs to be a financially-funded project and those reasons still stand.
Please drop by the TJI IndieGoGo page and consider backing the show’s 2012 season at any level. I can tell you without a doubt that every little bit helps, and to make it even sweeter, Rich and company have rounded up a great package of rewards to offer as incentives.
Thanks and let’s make it happen for This Just In… From Gen Con!
I love using Twitter. Things like this happen more often than anyone cares to track. I found this one amusing enough to Storify.
Though we’re officially in the Summer semester at school, I was still taking MedSurg up until the first day of June, when I had my final exam. I needed to get an 85% or higher on that final in order to pass the class, due to that F I got earlier in the year.
I took my test, went out with some friends, got drunk really early in the day as I could barely stand the suspense. Then around 1 PM I got the email.
It read: Congratulations. See you Monday in Pediatrics.
I passed!!! I was so happy I was laughing and crying at the same time. Unreal.
I got a C in the class, passed it and can continue on with the summer specialties: Pediatrics, OB and Community Nursing.
I’m studying for my MedSurg final and I remembered this incident that happened last week during clinicals.
My patient was very stable and compliant that day, so after doing my assessment and morning care I went to check with my assigned nurse to see how else I could help her. We saw all her other patients and then I tagged along while she gave meds, which gave me a chance to review desired and side effects as we went along.
One of her patients was a middle-aged man with severe wrist swelling. As she prepped his meds, I would tell him what he was taking and some side effects to watch out for. For one of the meds we had to check his sodium level, which at the time of his last labs was 131, slightly under normal (135-145 mEq/L). As I applied a topical gel to his wrists to help with the pain, he asked us if he was scheduled for a brain scan that day. The nurse and I looked at each other, a bit confused by his question. She said that there was nothing in his chart about a brain scan. I asked him why would he have a brain scan and he said he’d been having extremely vivid dreams for a while, the type where you don’t know if you’re awake or asleep. The nurse said she’d check again to be sure and I filed away this information.
As I went on about my duties, I kept thinking about this patient and his question. Something in his case was triggering memories in my head but I quite couldn’t put my finger on it. It hit me about an hour later, while I was helping my patient back to bed after she had eaten her breakfast and I saw the slip on her tray that said “Cardiac Diet” (which means no more than 2g of sodium a day).