Unique Is How

Unique is how
When they belittle you
You are their best friend

True love ❤
Is when they hate you
You love them

But one day
In the empty forest
You heard a twig snap

And at once
The entire forest was
Ripped into the sky

The stars of hate
Burned the roots
Of your creativity

Imagine how
The moon cried
As the rain turned to sorrow 💔

Mud filling the cracks
In natures heart ❤
Only broken for another

Where do we start
The beginning we know
Middle ground has grown

When does it end
Each door has four locks
Windows are bars

Loud sounds cause fear
Can’t let someone near
Lend me your ear

Nobody listening
Everybody talking
Scrambled eggs and brain

The ants devour picnic
Bees stealing honey
Thief offers money

And you take a breath
Feeling your breast
Heart still beating

You live
Life is better
Blogging together


goback

Fossils From Private Collection – Addendum

Photographs of some fossils I had planned on posting. I am lumping them together in a single post. There are hundreds more to photograph for future post, maybe?

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A tooth find from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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A fossilized rib. The lighter color to right was sticking out of the ground. Fairfield County, South Carolina
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Fragment of a very large fossilized bone
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Notice the area below the quarter where big teeth carved into the bone

 

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Another example of large predator teeth on fossilized bone 
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The reverse side of above

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A hip or other joint bone

 

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Another view of above photo

Old Stone Tool

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Ancient stone tool 
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Found in a field

 

I found this stone tool on a freshly plowed field in Edgefield County, South Carolina / 2011

The Indestructable Spaz

   It was the fall of 2005. I was sitting in a tree stand, near my home, that we had build beside a creek. This was a watershed area in the north-east corner of Richland County near Lake Wateree. With camera in hand I hoped to photograph the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. I had seen the pair a few weeks earlier in my backyard. The “yard” was a three acre area behind my home  I had cleared of underbrush all the way to the creek line. It was what we called the park. Throughout the property I had blazed many trails that meandered through the woods of this 3,000 acre tract. The main trail started not far from the back deck and made its way down toward the swamp to what we called the island. I built a log bridge to the island, and there I had bench, covered over with some camo-net so one could sit and observe the wildlife that followed the creek. We had seen deer, turkey, Russian boar, Carolina cougar and bear. Birds of every kind for the area were usually hanging out too. Naturally the snakes, amphibians and turtles also hung out nearby. From the island I built a longer natural log bridge over the creek, and from there the trail followed the creek north to the upper forty acres. It was there, near the end of blazed trail the tree stand stood.

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker was so rare it was thought to be extinct. I remember seeing them when I was a kid in the Congaree Swamp (Congaree National Park now). I was a country boy back then and us boys would ride our bicycles with fishing pole tied to handlebars to the Congaree National Monument and fish the Bow Lake and creeks.

So one day I see this pair of woodpeckers checking out a hole high in a dead tree in the “park” behind my home. I took my binoculars out and could see clearly they were the rare Ivory Billed Woodpecker. I called the DNR and reported the sighting, and the guy on the phone, after I told him where I lived told me that was impossible, they don’t live that far from the swamp where they had been seen last. I insisted with him I had in fact seen these birds, and know what they looked like. He told me to take some pictures and send it to the DNR, hanging up the phone on me. Okay, no problem. I had seen these birds a couple more times after that but was not able to get good photos. They visited the hollow tree each time but never stayed long enough. But I did notice each time they flew in from the area where the tree stand was. So this is what brings me to why I was in the stand. But this is not what my story here is really about. It is about The Indestructible Spaz.

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I was sitting in the tree stand one evening with my camera. I had sat here for many days before. I heard something running along the trail behind me. I thought it was probably a deer or hog from the sound on the leaves. I had walked this trail to the stand. As it got closer I could see it was a white dog, nose to the ground running quickly toward me. It ran straight up to the tree stand, looked up the ladder at me, wagging it tail and sat down at the base of the ladder. The dog was what looked like a pit bull, pure white, pink eyes and blue tongue. And it just sat there. I thought it would leave and go off trailing whatever it was looking for. But it just sat there. Then it laid down and the bottom of the tree, looking up at me every now and then. It was going to be dark soon and I kept thinking the dog would leave. But it did not. I actually begin to worry. Maybe it was waiting for me to come down so it could bite me, or rip me apart as I heard some of this breed does to people. I had my sidearm on me and when I could wait no longer I pulled it out of the holster and took the safety off. I hoped I would not have to shot the dog, but if it was me or him I would not hesitate. As soon as I started to climb down he jumped up and with excitement spun around in a spastic way then sat down, tail wagging the whole time. I had the weapon trained on his head as I reached the ground. He laid down and rolled over with his belly up. I reached down, rubbed his tummy a few times and suddenly he jumped up and flew off down the trail the way he came. I thought… do you mean you laid down here for all these hours waiting just so someone would rub your tummy? I guess he did.

I was a little leery walking down the trail back home. But the dog was not laying in wait to ambush me. When I got back to the house that dog was laying on the back deck against the door. He heard me and jumped up, dancing all about in a rather spastic way. Tail going 100 miles an hour acting like we where best friends. I petted him a bit, he did not seem at all aggressive or in any way like he would bite anyone. It was a hot day so I went inside and got a pan of water for him. He was happy to get it! I went inside, thinking he probably would go home soon. The next morning he was laying on the front porch. The kids decided to feed him. He loved kids and was eager to play ball and hung out with them all day. We decided to take a few photos of him and place some signs in the area hoping someone had missed him. After several weeks nobody came forward. I took him to the local vet to see if they might know who he belonged to. The Vet looked him over and said he had a chip in him and used some device to read it. He got the owner info and said he would notify him about his dog. We left him there. A couple days later the vet called me and said the man did not want his dog. The owner had told the vet he could put him down because the dog wouldn’t hunt. The vet told me that he would rather see the dog go to a good home instead of putting him to sleep if I wanted him. He seemed like a good dog so I went and picked him up. The vet told me that man had paid $12,000 for the dog! He was a pure breed that was made for coon hunting but after spending a sum on training he said the dog was to spastic and high strung and would not hunt raccoons. The man told the vet he had taken the dog to the country and put him out thinking the dog could live as a stray. He even said he thought about shooting him once he got him out in the country.

This dog was as high strung as anything I had ever seen. He would jump about three or four feet into the air, dance around in circles, run around here and there every time anyone would offer to play ball with him. The kids named him Spaz, short for spastic. Spaz was one of a kind. He was the boldest dang dog in history. He was tougher than a Mack truck too. Spaz could not seem to stay off the highway. He waited for the bus to bring the kids home everyday. He know the time when it would arrive. Spaz got hit by cars flying down the old country road in front of our house 5 times. Each time there was not a scratch on him. The vet told me he had never seen a dog so indestructible. Once my son and I were working out in front of the property and Spaz was across the road “hunting” in the field. He caught something and raced back toward the house. At the same time a car was coming by at 60 mph or so and hit Spaz. We both seen it happen. The dog was knocked into the air and sent flying out into the field. He just laid there.  We figured he was surly dead… this time. We went behind the house to get a couple shovels so we could bury Spaz. While we were in the shed getting the tools I heard something behind me. It was Spaz, jumping all around like he normally does! We loaded him into the pick-up truck and drove him to the vet. One thing Spaz loved was riding in the truck. He would stand with his front feet on the side of the bed. His bull-dog lips flapping in the wind, he looked funny but you could tell he was in heaven. The vet examined him, took x-rays and determined the dog had no broken bones and only a little fur was knocked off where tail meets hip. It was hard to believe.

The following summer Spaz decided he liked to play with Rattle Snakes. One evening I could hear a Rattler, like on my back porch! It was not uncommon for snakes to be nearby. But usually the Rattle Snakes never came close to the house. In 15 years only one was to close for comfort. It was a 9 foot 8 inch Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake coiled up under the trellis of the grape vines. I looked out the sliding glass door and Spaz had brought one about three foot long up on the deck. He had the snake in his mouth, and would put it down and lay near it. Every time the snake would try and slither off Spaz would pick it up and move it back on the porch. I tried to get the dog to come inside but he was not going to leave the snake and tried to bring it in the house with him. I finally had to get the dog by his collar and make him come inside. I caught the Rattler and carried it out across the creek and released it into the woods. That dog went fool when I let him back out later trying to find the snake.

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Another time we were working in the garden. I heard a Rattler bust off just on the other side of the creek. I looked that way and sure as hell Spaz was over there. I went over and tried to get the dog away from the snake. Spaz was not having any part of leaving his buddy. He picked the snake up in his mouth and ran further into the woods. I followed him and he put the snake down. It was interesting watching the snake follow the dogs head as Spaz sniffed the snakes body. I know rattlers only bite as a last resort, because it takes a while for them to make venom. This (for the snake) could make the difference in getting a meal, so they normally don’t strike unless provoked. But this was that one day that Spaz must have bit down too hard. As I went to grab him by the collar he jumped down and grabbed the snake, so he could flee from me. The little snake bit him on the face. Spaz let go of the critter and took off yelping toward the house. When I got to him I could see the snake had popped him good, both fangs in his cheek. I took him to the vet and the vet did what he could. By the next day his head was swollen up the size of a rural mailbox. He was sick for a little over a week. But in the life of the indestructible Spaz he recovered. He never messed with another snake after that. At least as far as I know.

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Once day Spaz disappeared. We never found him or any remains of him. But he will always be remembered as;

Spaz – The Indestructible Dog.

 

A Best Friend

daffy

I would rather have you as my best friend for eternity than to have more and lose you forever.

The Four Strongest Forces In The Universe

Rotating wildly swinging outwardly, I am what’s a black hole. (10w)

Black hole (artist's impression)
Artist’s impression of a stellar-mass black hole.

Photo Credit: European Space Agency, NASA and Felix Mirabel (the French Atomic Energy Commission & the Institute for Astronomy and Space Physics/Conicet of Argentina)


 

Gravity is what we think is the strongest force in the universe. We feel it everyday. It is what makes things fall down. It keeps us grounded on earth. We see gravity in the existence of black holes. There is one in our own galaxy. It pulls things into it with unmeasurable force. Even if we were to send a probe into a black hole we never would get any data back from it. Not even radio waves can escape its pull. Gravity has the second longest range in the universe. There is no escaping the forces of gravity in a black hole, unless you are centrifical force. Nothing can escape a black hole, not even light. But gravity is not the strongest force in the universe. Gravity is only the forth strongest. The reason why gravity in a black hole is so very strong is its size.

 
The strongest force in the universe, that we know of, is Strong Nuclear. We can assign the number 100 to it as comparison to the other three. This acts in an interaction between the nucleons and it is responsible for keeping the nucleus together. This interaction is mediated by so called gluons. Particles in this atomic nucleus are protons and neutrons. They are made up of quarks. However, this interaction is very short ranged because it operates inside of the atoms. It could be thought of as a closeness, like a couple. This is the reason I am in search of my quark. Because I am sure as long as we remain close we can never be broken apart. A strong nuclear bond in a relationship is why couples remain together for life. But even Strong Nuclear Force is ripped apart in a black hole.

 
The second strongest force in the universe is Electromagnetic. We can assign the number 1 to it in comparison to the other three. Because it is 100 times weaker than Strong Nuclear Force. Even a small magnet can overcome the gigantic gravitational force of the earth. Electromagnetic force is something that touches our lives in big ways everyday. Photons are seen with our eye as light. That cell phone, electricity, computers and lightning are only a few of electromagnetic forces. It has the longest range of the four strongest forces in the universe. Radio waves are being sent to and from probes millions of miles away from earth. Radio waves are electromagnetic. The screen you are reading this post on is also the same force. We often refer to the bond between a couple as magnetic. And opposites attract. It is this flow of positive and negative that creates the balance of electromagnetic force. But even if we were to take all the magnetic force in the entire universe and place it near a black hole it too would be sucked it.

 
The third strongest force in the universe is Weak Nuclear. It is like Strong Nuclear in it has a very short range. It is ten times weaker than Electromagnetic. Weak Nuclear is thought to made of Bosons. In particle physics weak nuclear is a very broad interpretation of all the other forces. The emptiness of space could be weak nuclear force. The Higgs boson is a Weak Nuclear force. Weak Nuclear is all the uncertainty of things we really do not know yet. Kind of like the things that keep a relationship together or maybe tear it apart. A lot of theory going on there.

 

It is interesting to know that we really do not know what gravity is or what makes it work. We just know it makes apples fall from trees. Albert Einstein states that gravity is not a force but as a consequence of the curvature of space-time caused by the uneven distribution of mass and energy. All can agree it is a natural phenomenon. It is thought that every object in the universe has gravity and that all pull on each other. It was once thought that nothing could move faster than the speed of light. Recently we found mass moving in the universe faster than this speed. It was always believed that mass could never obtain this speed. We thought the world was flat at one time too. We also thought the sun revolved around the earth. Once we thought that earth was the only planet in the universe that had life. There are even some people today that think the world revolves around them.

 

Science has an explanation or theory about the four strongest forces in the universe. Even the things that can not be seen or the unknown have some theory. But none even dare or try to explain or have theory on God. Some ignore the very existence of God. Saying if science cannot prove it or it has no mathematical equation it just does not exist. But many have theory about things that may exist in the universe. There are books that were written by people who write that God instructed them to write. Some believe it could be nothing more than hearsay. Others think it was written by someone who ate too many mushrooms or consumed excessive drink. The one written for the people of Israel, know as the Jews is titled The Old Testament. A majority of the people who thought of these theories of the universe also believe in this book. The very theory of Albert Einstein, called The Theory of Relativity that many base their own theories on, has its base on TIME. The first verse of the Old Testament says; In the beginning… this was Gods way of defining time. Without it science would have nothing to base theory on. Time plays a very important roll for human kind.

 

LOVE is rightfully the most powerful force in the universe but the least understood. Some think love comes from the heart. Other think love comes from the brain. While others define it as a feeling. Love has its foundation in every religious writings. In the case of the Old Testament God introduced it to humans, to angels to every being in creation. Even people who deny God, a god, a creator, the spirit or anything except self knows love. Even people who believe they know hate love themselves. Love is the one thing every human being, even animals know. But no one seems to really know what it is, where it comes from or what to do with it. Love is the most written about word on earth. To some it is only a word. Everyone seeks it. Love, in its truest form is pure. Unconditional and without fail. It is never ending. It is the GRAVITY that holds humanity together.

 

Hello Spring

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   The wind was blowing today with ferocity as warm air moved up from the south. The new year will soon arrive in mid-March as nature grows anew. Old Man 👴Winter trying to resist The Queen of Spring brought forth dangerous winds. When arriving home I discovered the power was out. The power had been interrupted three times today according to a neighbor up the hill. It rained cats, dogs and few sheep I think, from the downpours that came and went all day. I decided I would break the grill out and cook something over a fire for dinner. While I waited for the charcoal embers to burn into lovely ash, I walked about the property a bit. Along the fence line Yellow Jasmine where in bloom. I noticed leaves where emerging from hardwood trees. A Carolina Wren couple flew here and there looking for the perfect spot to build a nest. The male bird gladly follow his mate, carrying in his tiny beak some building materials. She finally decided on a place Mr. Woodpecker had carved out near the porch. Some insects crawled while others flew. In South Carolina we look for the Robins arrival, not some groundhog as the true indicator of spring. For some odd reason long ago someone decided the dead of winter was the new year. It does fall sometime after the shortest day on earth. Nevertheless, nature shows us the true new year. I will soon be spending more time outdoors. I love being close to the world that brings so much beauty into my life.


This Blog had a birthday. According to Automattic we are three today. Imagine that!

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(due to the drained battery this post was delayed)

The Female Makes All The Rules

I recently read a blog about female narcissist. I wish I could remember who wrote it so I could link and give credit. I never knew a women could be one. I thought that only men were the ones with this disorder. I believe I am a very smart person. Still I have to admit I just never knew a woman could be a narcissist. I have read many blogs, written by women, who write about the narcissist husband or boyfriend. Perhaps this is why I never gave any thought on what defines one. After reading the blog about narcissism females, all the signs, everything they do, I decided to research this further. I was surprised to learn that narcissistic personality disorder is not gender specific. That actually shocked me when I put two and two together to discover I was in a long term relationship with one. First and foremost I do not intend on going into details. I believe a relationship is private between two people, no matter how horrible it was for me.

 

This lead me to remember some things from the past. I recall a friend. My friend was a very attractive woman. We were buddies and knew each other since kindergarten. One day she was telling me about maybe she had an asshole magnet in her pocket. I looked and there was no such device. She went on to say every guy she dated or was interested in turned out to be an asshole. I told her maybe it has a lot to do with where she is finding these men. She went to bars and drank alcohol. This was the source of her dating and I am not saying just because people go to bars and drink makes them bad. I was only telling her maybe to try looking for guys who go to other places may yield a better choice.

 

Seems I too may be looking in the wrong place. I do not go to bars and drinking is a very, very rare thing for me. I looked in my pocket and there is not a device that attracts narcissistic females. Though I think I may have attracted a couple.

 

Back in the collage days, I was one of the lucky few who had a job that paid more then 5 times the minimum wage. I lived in a upper class one bedroom apartment. I attended 3 classes before work, worked 8 hours M-F and sometimes a half day on Saturday. I had enough money to live a  comfortable lifestyle. I even partied a little back then. I had a friend who lived in the same complex. We met one day when she was having some car trouble. We went to the same university so I gave her a ride that day. On the way to school I gave her a key to one of my other cars so she could make it to work that night. I did repair her car that week-end, and we hung out a good bit after that.

 

One day the management company left a letter in all our boxes. They were raising the rent from $95 a month to $125. Now that did not bother me financially, but for a collage girl working a part time job at minimum wage that was tough. That week-end my friend and I were hanging out at the pool, with our apartment manager. He was a pretty cool old guy. She was telling him about how she may have to move because she could not get more hours at work, to pay the rent increase. He started telling her that he did have a two bedroom that was opening at the end of the month. The rent was $145 and if she could find a roommate he would transfer her lease. She asked me, hey what about you, you want to be roommates? Now,  I had already met my lease and was on a month to month bases. I thought about it few seconds, she did keep a clean place, didn’t drink beer and was an accounting major. I could add an additional $300 a year to my savings account, and she was a girl. Sounds good to me. I told her. So next month we were roomies.

 

That was perhaps my first experience at being controlled. Not in a really bad way, but financially. It did not take very long before she said I had too many cars, to much credit debt, too much money in savings and not enough invested in stocks and other risk. Lets not forget my roommate was an accounting major! I learned it was easier to live with her if I just listened. One thing I believe I learned early on, you can never read a woman’s mind. She is always right. And she is ready when she says she is ready. I was into a lot of things. I built race cars and engines. Raced moto-cross and had a sponsorship. Toured in the martial arts circuit,  played tennis and competed in a few world cups. I was an amateur radio operator (HAM) and was in the cutting edge of technology. One day a fellow HAM who worked for IBM gave me a computer. He was telling me this was the state of the art machine. And one day everyone, every business will use computers… they will change the world!

 

Now mind you, I was still waiting for that Dick Tracy watch to come out. At that time PONG was the video game and cell phones where the size of a brick, more of a radio than a phone. What my friend wanted me to do with this computer was to figure out how we could send Morse code by typing it out on the keyboard. We had read about how some HAM’s where experimenting with this. So this is how I got started in computing.

 

One thing about these first computers was it took five 5 1/2 floppy disk to boot them. You turned the machine on, inserted disk one, waited for a while and it said on the black and white screen insert boot disk two. You went through this process until all five disk were loaded and like magic a blinking curser came up on the screen as C:\_  If you wanted to save something you had to insert a blank 5 1/2 disk that held a whopping 1.2MB and save. There was a gigantic 512KB processor, 8MB of memory and no hard disk drive. By todays standards your washer has more computing power. A couple months later I learned I could buy what was known as a HARD DISK DRIVE that plugged into the serial port on the computer. It would allow me to turn on the drive, turn on the computer and it would boot up without using all those floppy disk. It held a tremendous 10 MB ! and cost $1000.
I could afford that. So I bought one.

 

Now roommate liked the computer. She was learning how to write stuff with it. She started taking a COBOL class and was experimenting with some accounting stuff. We halved the bills and each did their part in the apartment. There was no romantic involvement with us, we had a good friendship… until I came home one Saturday with that damn $1000 Hard Drive. She hit the roof! Threw a can of soup at me. Kicked a few things around the apartment called me every foul word I never knew existed in her sweet vocabulary. She was all of five feet six inches and weighed in at most 120 lbs. wet. But in those minutes she was larger then the Hulk. She told me I was to take that thing back and get a refund. There is no way you are going to spend that much money. I looked at my hand… Nope, no wedding ring. Looked at hers, nope, no wedding ring. I told her no way. Its my money I can spend it on whatever I want. Okay she said you will regret that. For the next few months she made good on her word. Silent treatment. Leaving stuff laying all over the place. Ignoring me when I talked with her. Eye rolling, the works.

 

One day my friend came by. He asked me if I would be interested in selling the hard drive. I told him I don’t know, I had all the boot disk on it and a few programs I was working on to get the keyboard to talk with the radio. He said I’ll give you $1,250 for it if you let me have all the data on it too. I could not turn that down, and I could buy an 84MB hard disk drive for that price. Sure, so I sold it to him. Roommate and I were “married” again after he left, when she saw him carry out the drive and the check in my hand for $1,250. All of the sudden we were best friends again as if nothing had ever happened. Funny right?

 

Moral of the story; I Found The Rules
THE RULES
1.The female always makes the rules.
2.The rules are always subject to change at any time without prior notice.
3.No male can possibly know all the rules.
4.If the female suspects the male knows all the rules she must immediately change all or some of the rules.
5.The female is never wrong.
6.If the female is wrong it is due to misunderstanding which was a direct result of something the male did.
7.If rule 6 applies, the male must apologize.
8.The female may change her mind at any time.
9.The male must never change his mind.
10.The female has every right to be angry or upset at any time.
11.The male must remain calm at all times, unless the female wants him to be angry or upset.
12.The female must under no circumstances let the male know whether or not she wants him to be angry or upset.
13.The male is expected to mind read at all times.
14.The male who doesn’t abide by the rules, can’t take the heat, lacks backbone and is a wimp.
15.Any attempts to document the rules could result in bodily harm.
16.If the female has PMS all the rules are null and void.
17.The female is ready when she is ready.
18.The male must be ready at all times.

 

Need I say I never bought that 84MB Hard Drive? Also, my roommate was never anything like the one for certain narcissistic girlfriend. And the other friend I am sure was looking for love in the wrong place. I like peace. I like conversation. I avoid chaos. Maybe that is some of the reasons why I put up with that narcissist. I think it may be harder for a guy to see a female who is narcissist. I believe men are more prone to violent behavior. And I can say
I was never hit or was violence even an issue. But violence is only one of the things this disorder exhibits. Emotional, mental and blame-game abuse are just as hurtful. Still I know my heart is not broken. It is only inaccessible to that person.

 

Some Pictures of old software.

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84mb-hdd
portabledrive
compare-floppies
old-software-in-original-package
.

Puissantius Of Kandarin – The Cooks Assistant

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Book One – Chapter One – Part Four

The Cooks Assistant

A cock is crowing and it brings me from my restful sleep. I could hear the roosters’ crow to my north repeating his awakening calls. Soon after, the hens begin clucking signaling the dawns rise. I can see the sun is rising to the east. There is a faint color of red and yellow in the fading night sky. I tossed a few logs on the embers of the glowing coals from night’s previous fire. As the fire catches and flames begin to dance I can feel the warmth. Pulling the map of Gielinor from my pack I study the land around me. Today I shall try and explore this city further. Tomorrow perhaps I will have some things I can sell at the grand exchange. I feel safe in the city of Lumbridge. Yet I yearn to travel to some of the towns and cities in the kingdoms nearby.

I can smell bread cooking. People are beginning to walk about the street outside the walls. A few walk past as they enter into the castle. The meal I cooked last night was satisfying. I do not feel weakened by hunger like the day before. The journey here by ship did take some strength from me. But now I feel content knowing I have some basic tools to make me stronger. I feel refreshed and warm. I secure my fire, then wash my face and hands in the fountain. The water is cool and quite refreshing. Quenching my thirst I decide to enter into the castle and explore. The aroma of fresh bread is stronger as I enter through the large strong doors of the castle. It draws me in and I follow its lovely scent to an open door down a short hall. Looking inside I can see a man wearing a white outfit and a hat. He is adorned in clothing only an expert chef would be allowed to wear. I can tell from the way he moves about the kitchen he is in a hurry to prepare the breakfast.

lumbridgecook

As I turn to leave the cook calls out to me. “YOU! Come quickly I need an assistant to help me finish these dishes.” I dart through the door and settle near the man. “Go down that ladder into the cellar and bring me a pot, five plates, nine forks, two spoons and a bucket of water. You will find everything I ask at the sink. Don’t mind the rats, kick them if you must out of the way. Now HURRY!” I opened the trap door without hesitation and climbed down the ladder into the cellar below. The place was dim and cold barely lit by the torches on the walls. There were old partitions dividing the place into different areas, not like rooms. As I looked around trying to see where this sink was, I saw a rat running in endless circles near a cabbage on the floor. There was a small table in one area. And against one wall a chest. Next to the chest was a shelf with what looked like an assortment of spices, pots of flour and other items used in cooking. On the wall to what I think is north I see the sink. I grabbed a sack and went to the sink, getting everything the chef asked for. I will have to come back here when I have more time to have a better look around.

As I climbed back up the ladder I could hear the cook talking to himself. He was seemingly complaining of never having enough help. How nice, I thought. Maybe I can take a job with him and earn a few gold coins. Maybe even learn how to make some impressive dishes. The chef directed me to plate what he has cooked for the duke. I took some utensils hanging on the wall and begin to put together food from the stove. The stove and oven were very impressive. A well-crafted cast iron and stone model, black, inlaid with brass. Suddenly the cook grabbed me by my arm. As I turned to look at him I could see the horror on his face. “Lad I can see from the way you are slopping my lord’s food on that plate you are not well mannered. In fact I can tell you are not really a cook. Oh no!” He took the plate from my hand and placed it on the nearby table. “You can come back and eat this once you have finished helping me. But for now, get that crate over there and be ready to receive these plates.”

I watched him as he carefully plated the different foods. He skillfully placed individual portions on single plates. Garnishing each with a variety of spices and herbs. “I can see by the way you are plating this food you are a master chef.” I stated. He laughed. “Lad I am the best cook in all of Lumbridge. But the master chef is in Varrock at the cooking guild. He is the one who taught me. Where is the bowl I asked for?” The chef exclaimed. “You did not ask for a bowl sir. I brought everything you told me to get.” I replied. “Go back into the cellar and bring me a bowl. No, bring three bowls. And a pot of flour from the shelf. Oh, and another bucket of water too. Now hurry!” He commanded. I climbed back down the ladder into the cellar below. I noticed in one of the areas there was a hole in the wall. It looked very dark as I peeked through.  I grabbed another sack from the pile and obtained everything he wanted.

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Climbing back up the old wooded ladder and through the trap door into the kitchen, the cooked helped me up. He took a single bowl from the sack and carefully filled it with stew from a large pot on the stove. He added some spice from a shaker. “The duke likes his curry to be extra spicy.” He stated. Placing the bowl into the crate. “Now take my lords breakfast to him. He is on the second floor, third door to your right at the top of the landing. Don’t forget to bow to him as you enter the room. He is after all royalty. You do know how to address men of stature right?” I nodded. “Once you have delivered this crate come back here and join me. We will sit and eat together. I have something you may be interested in. ‘Very well sir.” I replied. “I shall be back soon.”

As I exited from the kitchen carrying the crate of food I noticed the mind rune once again on the floor. Gielinor is a place of magic. It seems someone, or something has either cast a spell on this tile in the floor, or from a remote place replaces it each time it is taken. I must learn more of this magic. But I haven’t any idea where to begin. Someone passed by me and climbed the stairs. She offered a hand and helped me to carefully carry the crate, asking where I was going. We reached the second floor, she smiled and continued up to the next level. I made my way past some guards in the hall, almost tripping over some logs left carelessly on the floor. I knocked on the door of the dukes quarters and he open and invited me in. “Place the crate on the floor near that table.” He motioned to the table next to the wall with a chair. “Puissantius thanks for bringing my breakfast. I see you have met the chef of my castle. Did he teach you anything?” “Yes he did. He advised me on how to plate food properly.” I replied. “Very good indeed. Now leave me. I have a task for you in the future. I will call for you once I hear you are ready.” He motioned me toward the door as he sat down at the table. I closed the door behind me. I looked to the north end of the hall and could see a stair like the one I just ascended. It must lead to the other end of the castle probably connecting the entrance hall. OH, maybe after eating I can come back and see where it truly leads. I peaked in the room where the spinning wheel was located. A girl was crafting some bow strings from flax on the spinning wheel. I asked her where she picked the flax. “It comes from a field south of Seers Village near the castle of Camelot.” She replied. “Seers Village? Where is that?” I asked. “It is to the west. Have you no sense of direction? You must not be from around here!” She replied and smiled. Giggling as she turned back to the wheel. I could see she was focused on her task and decided to close the door. I made my way back down the spiral stairs and went back to the kitchen.

“Hello adventure! I am glad you are back. I tossed that slop you had plated in that bucket over there. When you leave you can give it to the pig who wanders around in the courtyard outside the castle. The pig says he hopes to one day become bacon, and one day I may give him his wish. I have prepared for us to eat. Some of what we, I mean I, cooked today for our breakfast. Here sit with me, let us talk.” We sat down at the table. I see the man has once again served us some very remarkable looking plates of food. “Now tell me lad, what is your name?” The cook asked. “I am Puissantius. And what is your name?” I replied. “I am Lumcook, ancestor of Frannizard Van Lumcook. But you can call me ‘The Cook.’ Frannizard was the first cook in our family to serve a duke. One hundred years ago he came here and prepared a banquet which was so stupendously amazing that he was offered a job for life, along with all of his descendants. Let us eat before the meal gets cold. Then I have an offer for you!” We ate without speaking.

“The meal was amazing. I have never enjoyed food this much before.” I told the cook. “I am happy to have given your tongue such enjoyment Puissantius.” He replied. “As you can see I am very busy here. It seems I hardly have time to get everything I need from the nearby farms and shops. Usually I can grab a passerby who will assist me. And for a coin or a favor most will go get me what I need.” “Well I guess I came by at just the right time today to offer my help.” I replied. “Indeed you did Puissantius. And for that I am most grateful. Talking with you this morning made me remember the banquet Frannizard prepared many decades ago. And I am thinking maybe, with your help I could recreate one as amazing.” Well Cook, I would like to help. I too am grateful for this meal. It was certainly delicious. But I need to make some money. I had planned on doing just that today.”  I replied. I could see from the look on Cooks face he was thinking. He placed his fingers on his handlebar mustache, giving them a twist. “I tell you this, Puissantius. If you agree to help me, get everything I need, and assist me in my recreation I will reward you.” He replied. “Okay Cook. What do you have in mind? What’s in it for me?” “I will give you 500 gold coins. Give you access to my kitchen, my royal stove and two valuable keys!” I nearly fell out of my chair. “That is a lot of money! And I could use a stove and oven to cook. A fire does not cook food evenly. What are the keys for?” I exclaimed. “In the city of Varrock there is a Treasure Hunter. She will exchange the keys for things quite valuable. What say you? Will you assist me?” He replied with a look of excitement. “YES! I will help you.” I told him. “Most excellent!”  He stated. “Let me write you a list and directions on your map. I will teach you also, once we begin, how to prepare a banquet fit for a Duke.”

“Okay Puissantius, here is the list of the things we shall need. Let me hold your map and I will mark the locations of where you will get things from the list.” The Cook stated. I handed him my map, and took the list he wrote on the parchment paper.

  • ONE SUPER LARGE EGG: See farmer Fred and tell him it must be exactly big.
  • EXTRA-FINE FLOUR: Get wheat from the field and take it to Millie Miller.
  • TOP QUALITY MILK: See Gillie Groats at the cow field.

“Alright I have marked the places on your map where I think you will get everything we need. Take a clay pot with you and get a clean bucket from the basement. You can kill a few chickens while at farmer Fred’s farm. You may want to get yourself some fresh eggs there too. If you can, take some extra wheat from the field. You can make some flour for yourself to use later in making bread. Also ask Miss Groats at the cow field if you can come back later and get some meat. She usually has some extra cows you can cull. I am excited Puissantius! Hurry back. Oh, don’t forget to take this slop for that little pig in the courtyard.” The cook said with such excitement. “I will be back very soon.” I replied.

I got everything in my backpack and left out from the castle. I found the pig and put the bucket of slop down near him. He was so very excited! He kept saying; “One day I will be bacon.” Which I find a little weird. Maybe he doesn’t know that to be bacon you have to be killed and cut into pieces. Oh well. Not my worry. I looked on my map and could see where the Cook had marked the locations. Everything was north of here, so I made my way in that direction.

Along the way there was a guard standing near the bridge. He had a beautiful dog sitting next to him. Across the river the Goblins were engaged in some informal combat with a few people. I could see someone was fishing on the river. There was a farming patch along the way. A leprechaun was dancing around nearby. I had never seen one before in real life. But he surly looked like the pictures in books I had read. There was an ore smelter a bit further up the road. Across from it was what looked like a training area for combat? Next to it was a fence that kept sheep. I could see someone was busy shearing one. I stopped to look at my map. But I realized I did not need to because I heard a cock crow just around the bend.

When I got to Fred’s farm I told him I needed to get a SUPER LARGE EGG for the Lumbridge Cook. He told me I could go inside the gate, but I would have to wait until a chicken dropped one of the size I needed. I could see a few hens laying in the coop. But none had eggs large enough. I took about a dozen for myself, placing them in my pack. Not far away there was a large number of chickens walking about. Farmer Fred called to me and said; “You can kill any of those old hens over there. Just do not kill my rooster!” “Okay. Thanks.” I replied. I took my bronze dagger out and went to get a bird. “Ouch!” I cried. “That chicken jumped up and attacked me. Oh my god! Help!” The chicken kept pecking my legs and flying around my head. I tried to run but came to the fence. In an outburst of defense I swung my dagger out to the chicken, finally killing it. I could hear people laughing near the gate. Farmer Fred was the one laughing the loudest. “Hail to the newcomer. Slayer of chickens!” He shouted. Only making the crowd laugh more. “Welcome to Gielinor adventurer. Things are not always as defenseless as they seem. Take your bird. And I see one of my prized fighting hens has laid the egg you came here to seek.” He shouted again. I picked my kill up, seeing I had more than a few wounds from the fight. I wrapped the Super Large Egg in cloth and placed it in the security of my pack. I exited from the gate, if I had a tail I am sure it was tucked between my legs.

cooksassistsuperegg

Just to the north-west I could see a field of wheat growing. I went to the fence and climbed over the stile and gather a few handfuls of grain. I got some extra for myself then climbed back over onto the road. I could hear, then see, the windmill as it turned against the wind. I walked to the door, opened it and went inside. There was a nice looking woman working at adjusting the stones above the trough where the flour falls. “Hello my lady. I am Puissantius. The Lumbridge Cook sent me here. I am looking for Millie Miller.” I stated. “Well hello to you Puissantius. I am Millie. What does the Chef seek today from my mill?” She replied. “Millie I need some extra fine flour. The Cook needs it in preparing a splendid banquet.” I explained. “You have arrived at just the right time. Give me a few minutes while I finish adjusting these stones. You do have an empty pot for the flour yes?” “I do have a pot. But I am not sure how to get the flour.” I replied. “No worries. Climb up the ladder over there to the top level and add your wheat into the bin. Pull the lever when I tell you. Then go to the middle level and pull the lever there. Once you have done this come back down here and scoop the flour into your pot. It really is quite easy.”

milliemiller

I followed Millie’s instructions and went to the top level. When she called to me I pulled the lever. I heard the gears engage the spinning shaft and transfer wind power to the bin allowing the grain to fall into the chute below. It removed the grains from the hull. I climbed down to the second level and pulled the levers again causing the chute to open, engaging the gears and turning the stone wheels below. I climbed down to the ground floor room below and saw a very nice pile of very fine flour. “Okay Puissantius you have milled your first pot of flour. Come back anytime when you need to use my mill again. Oh, and would you bring me some of that marvelous pie the cook bakes? Apple is my favorite.” Millie asked. “I will indeed Millie. I may even bring you some of the meal I am about to assist the cook in making.” I replied. “That would be delightful and kind of you Puissantius.” Millie stated as she walked toward the back of the mill.

I exited out of the mill, looking at the list of things to get. I got my map out and could see I needed to walk east, across a bridge then north to the cow field. Along the way there was a covered bridge crossing over the Lum River. There were some ducks swimming in the water. Just on the other side of the bridge was an ugly looking goblin walking about. I at first pulled my dagger out, then on second thought the bronze axe from my pack. If the goblin is going to attack me I will make sure he will not get close. As I crossed over the bridge he seemed to be walking toward a small stall where a vendor had some wares for sale. I had no choice then but to walk past him because it was along the path. He looked at me and said; “Big high war god, Bandos is my leader.” And the merchant looked at me shaking his head. “That is about all he ever says adventure. He’s quite harmless. Can I show you my wares, do you have time?” He asked. “Not now my good sir. I have no coin to spend. But after I am finished in this quest maybe I can come back.” I replied. “That would be nice.” He stated. “This road leads to Varrock and most people do come back. Have a pleasant day.” He turned his attention to his cart as I walked away. The cows were all doing what cows do best, eating grass. I could see a fair maiden near two cows that were tied to stakes. She had a dark clothes covering her shoulder to foot. Her long brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She wore a very long colorful skirt and gloves. I opened the gate, closing it behind me, entering the field. As I walked near her she turned and faced me. She had two buckets of milk hanging from a pole across her shoulders.

gilliegroats

“Hi! I am Gillie Groats the milk maiden. Are you here to get some milk?” She questioned. “Hello Gillie, I am Puissantius of Kandarin. Indeed I am here for milk. But not just any milk. The Cook of Lumbridge has sent me to get some top-quality milk. He needs it to prepare a banquet fit for the Duke. Do you have any?” I replied. “Yes Puissantius I have exactly the milk you need. My husband has taken all the regular milk to market. Let me get a bucket. My prized cow has the finest milk in all of Gielinor.” She replied as she turned and walked over toward the fence. “I have a bucket, here.” Saying as I got mine from my pack. She giggled, and laughed a bit. “Oh no Puissantius, not a bucket from that damp wet cellar of the castle. You must put quality milk in a bucket that is completely clean. I’ll trade you okay?” She responded. “Okay I guess. I never gave it much thought.” I acknowledged. She sat on a little stool and milked the cow with precision and skill unlike anything I have ever seen. She would look toward me and smile every once and a while. I tried to smile back while at the same time trying not to let her notice I was looking at her. When she filled the bucket she handed it to me. “Hum, how much do I owe you?” I said. She smiled and said; “Not a single coin will you pay. You will be back, I can tell. Maybe if I am lucky you will think of me and bring me a small gift. I like flowers.” I think I was blushing, maybe more than usual. “I would be honored to again return and bring you the loveliest flower I can buy Gillie.” I replied. “I don’t want you to buy me flowers Puissantius. I want one that you picked or grew, one that made you think of me.” She insisted.” “Certainly I will Gillie. But it will be hard to find a flower of such beauty as you. And when I find the flower that reminds me of you I will return.” I replied. “I would like that.” Gillie said. “Now hurry along with the milk, it will spoil if you wait too long. See you again soon, I hope?” “Yes, I will be back soon. Thank-you for the milk… and bucket.” I walked away as quick as I could. Careful to not spill a single drop of the milk. What just happened here? I asked myself. I am sure I looked like a fool, old tattered clothes and all. She was probably being nice. That’s it. She is just nice to everyone.

Traveling back to Lumbridge with everything we needed for the banquet I took time during my walk to plan on my next adventure. I must find a tailor to make or buy some new clothes. These drab green tattered and stained ones I am wearing need to be replaced. I also need to mine some ore and practice smelting. I could smith some nice armor from the bars and if I can make enough, sell them for some good profit. Also if I had some decent armor and a sharp sword I could challenge somebody to a duel for a wager. Maybe even pay for some combat training. So many things going through my mind. With 500 gold coins I should be able to buy some nice clothes. Still I must think to save enough to buy a small house. Living on the streets it not the way I want to live for long.

With the items the Cook wanted in my hands and pack I entered into the kitchen. The Cook was very delighted to see me and like a child he opened and examined each carefully. “Perfect!” He declared. “This is everything! I shall at once begin to re-create the meal that brought our family to fame. Sit here at the table and watch me as I make this meal for our Duke. Everything I promised you is in the sack on the table.” Lumcook beamed. I watched as the cook went to work duplicating the divine creation. I counted my coins. Five-hundred shiny gold pieces. A great step forward for me. Two dull keys. Well he said they were valuable. And a promise letter giving me the right to use his wonderful stove at any time. I guess this morning turned out to be a giant step forward from a small token in being helpful. I like my new home, it… “HEY! Pay attention here. I’m trying to teach you something about cooking.” The Cook screamed out to me. “Yes sir! I am your new assistant after all.”

 

Authors Post Note

The story is my own version of the RuneScape Quest – The Cooks Assistant.  Everything the cook needs, the people I had to visit and the basic storyline is what a player will experience.

New players will need to complete the quest in order to use the range in Lumbridge Castle. This quest is very short and easy. Completing this quest is a requirement before a player can begin the RuneScape 100th quest “Recipe For Disaster” which is a very long quest. One having 10 sub-quest  that range in difficulty from novice, master and elite.

 

There Was A Time

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There Was A Time

There was time when I dreamed
that was last night
There was I time when I hoped
that was today
There was a time I was in love
that was two years ago
There was a time when I cried
that was last year
There was a time when I wished
that was last week
There was a time when I hurt
that was a month ago
There was a time when I worked
that was always
There was a time when I was lonely
that was recently
There was a time when I wanted
that was now
There was a time when I found you
that was when you find me

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Photos and poetry copyright © 1998 and beyond Wade Lancaster