TwinWorld Logo

A decade or two ago my brothers and I optimistically set out to make a webcomic. We didn’t have an artist, so the creation was primarily that of worldbuilding. You can read our notes here: http://hozz.peripheralarbor.com/

In the years since, I’ve been meditating with growing amazement on the setting that we developed, as it seems to have significant psychological depth. Perhaps that’s all projected, but I’ve attempted to embed that meaning, especially from the origin story, in this image.

Twinworld Logo

You can download the blender file here.

Once I was satisfied with the design, I woodburned it on to a few pieces of cardboard, and then a log that my son asked to be decorated.

Twinworld Logo Laser Engraving

I’ve presented it with the “normal” side up, that is, the Fay world orientation, but it’s reversible, as seen with the cards shown at the base.

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The Seven Superpowers

I have been thinking for a while about the limits of human potential as outlined by the capacities recorded in the scriptures. It is my conclusion that these powers are not only real, but achievable for every person if we will lay aside sin and earnestly practice sanctity.

Before elucidating details, a word on scientific objections. All the abilities described below (as with all human powers, including those considered mundane) could be achieved if a non-physical (and therefore not subject to scientific examination) human spirit were able to influence quantum probability. If this kind of behavior is not possible then such objections necessitate that we treat humans no differently from robots. Conversely, if quantum probability influence is indeed possible, no definite limits can be scientifically delineated, except the fundamental conservations such as energy and momentum which even quantum physics does not challenge and which I too find no need to question.

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Isaiah 30 Song

I’ve been working on this song/poem for a long time now. At least four years (the poem has been complete since at least 2017-08-08) but very likely many more. This recording is a poor attempt, but I feel like if I wait to get it perfect, I’ll never post it.

Isaiah 30 second half song

The lyrics, if you can’t tell from my poor performance, are intended to be as follows:

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Short Story Contest 2020

A local paper (The Camarillo Acorn) hosts an annual short story contest, so I figured I’d take a swing at it. The following is based on a feeling I’ve had somewhat frequently when out in the street. Or looking at Christmas lights. All these houses, lit up from the inside. What if I didn’t belong to any of them? What if I was an outsider, who couldn’t gain admission even if I asked nicely? A street child perhaps. What a barrier!

All the barricades, fences, and walls that make a home feel so safe, also serve to make the home intimidating to those outside. And yet, so close, really more “among” the houses than “within” them. How can the physical distinction be so specific? Walls within walls, and tier on tier of refusal. Are the windows to the soul of the home blind? Or do they merely look out in the day, and at night turn inward?

So there you go, the introduction is longer than the work itself. I present to you:

Mansions

Great villas sparkling with warmth in deepening night. I, among them, but uninvited. Why so cold? There is warmth abundant, passing needs. I, pressing needs, and nose against the glass yearn to belong. I, an embarrassment, not so much shunned as blanked. Nonentity cannot hope for hospitality. Among them, but outside; Lingering in the streets, the guts, where all nourishment is extracted and waste, like me, moves on. Forgotten, will I fade away? Or was I ever here? The smudge of face and breath, my tender mark of hope, the servants will expunge.

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Random Math

16 processes running at once, all scrolling fast enough to refresh every screen every frame.

I was telling the kids how fast computers are, and to demonstrate I wrote this Python program to do simple multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

from random import random as rand
from random import choice
def randmath():
	ops = {'+': 31, '-': 32, '*': 16, '/': 32}
	operator = choice([i for i in ops.keys()])
	scope = 1 << ops[operator]
	num1 = int(rand()*scope)
	num2 = int(rand()*scope)
	mathstring = "{} {} {}".format(num1, operator, num2)
	result = eval( mathstring )
	print(mathstring , "=", result)
	
while True: randmath()

Since that scrolls by so quickly, you may want to try this version, which pauses two seconds between calculations.

from random import random as rand
from random import choice
from time import sleep
def randmath():
	ops = {'+': 31, '-': 32, '*': 16, '/': 32}
	operator = choice([i for i in ops.keys()])
	scope = 1 << ops[operator]
	num1 = int(rand()*scope)
	num2 = int(rand()*scope)
	mathstring = "{} {} {}".format(num1, operator, num2)
	result = eval( mathstring )
	print(mathstring , "=", result)
	
while True:
        randmath()
        sleep(2)
Twenty throttled math programs all running at once, with the CPU hovering around 3-10%

To get them all nicely tiled like that, right-click on the taskbar and select “Show windows stacked”

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Vacation Trials

We took a family vacation 2017-05-27 thru 2017-06-29, swinging around the western third of the USA. I was working remote during the entire trip, which set the stress levels a bit high just off the bat. The whole family came along, which at the time was five children, the oldest of which was seven. So that was a bit stressful as well.

The first leg of the trip was the drive out to Tucson. It went well all the way through the desert, though the AC switched to heat when we were going up hills, but on our arrival in Tucson the air conditioning inexplicably ceased to function all together. I poked around to see if maybe a cable was loose or something, but was unable to revive it. We figured we would get it fixed a few days later when we spent a week in Colorado Springs.

But once we got the car into the shop in Colorado Springs, the shop kept having delays. First it was disassembly, then it was parts, then the parts were the wrong parts, then the new parts wouldn’t go back together correctly. The short of it was that we were stuck without a vehicle for three days at the campsite with spotty wifi and unreliable cell service. The day before we needed to leave we finally got the car back with the AC fixed (though it still switched to heat going uphill).

The next two weeks were pretty uneventful, other than needing to replace one of the headlights. We stopped by our rental house to bring home some of the things we had put in storage, so we wanted to get a trailer, but for that we needed a trailer hitch. So the day before we planned to drive home, we took the van down to the U-Haul. While I was The guy who installed the hitch bar put it in too far back, so the spare tire wouldn’t fit properly, but we didn’t have time to worry about that because the van also just wouldn’t start. I walked back and forth between the U-Haul and our house several times, and at one point I left my phone charging in the lobby. When I got back my phone had been stolen. A guy who worked at the oil change place helped us diagnose the problem, and we had the van towed to the local dealership. I walked to the friend’s house where we were staying and I had reached my limit. I wept in my wife’s lap.

So we were stuck again. We asked our parish priest and our parents for prayers, but there was nothing else to be done. I spent the day at the dealership, and five days later we had the van back. The delay had thrown off our plans, and we rushed to get the trailer hooked up, packed, and the family back on the road.

About half way back, we got a flat tire. That only took about a half hour to put on the spare, and then another hour or so to get a couple new tires put on.

At the time, it felt like everything was going wrong. Looking back, well, it could have gone better, but we overcame it, and God knew we could, so it’s something of a compliment I suppose.

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Fragments of the Hero’s Journey

After listening to quite a few Jordan B. Peterson lectures – perhaps a few too many if that is possible – I clambered up into my tree fort – though tree seat might be a better description – and wrote down this idea. Tragedy, comedy, and horror are all fragments of the Hero’s Journey. I didn’t even write it down like that. Instead I drew a picture.

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Novena to Saint Cajetan for the Unemployed and Underemployed

Introductory prayer for every day:

(Begin with the sign of the cross)
Omnipotent and everlasting God, You wanted St. Cajetan to trust in your Providence and despise earthly things and You enriched him with abundant spiritual goods, grant that those who implore the graces of your Divine Providence are aided in their necessities by St. Cajetan’s intercession. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Thaw Among Frozen Stones

Chill air, with a hint of perfume, and the dawn widening.

In that light, diffused from pearly clouds and still blushing at the stretching sun, a wave or two of illumination washes over the field far below.

Up between the stones and boulders they come, red, and white, and gold, and palest lavender, flowers in bursting columns and rafts so dense they might support the glaciers, which still hang, like clouds themselves, high on the valley walls.

A bubbling rivulet of crystal water leaps from stone to stone, and the green buttresses of the blooms drink it up, and nearly glow themselves as decked with dew like jewels, they fling back quivering light to bolster the brightening day.

Narrated animation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgt87gdjCcM

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Chronicles of Everfall – Shadow of the Conqueror: Review and Feedback

This is a detailed review, response, and rebuttal of the fantasy book “Chronicles of Everfall – Shadow of the Conqueror” By Shad M. Brooks, abbreviated occasionally as SotC in this essay.

It’s quite interesting to hear Shad describe himself as being good at writing dialogue, but “no poet.” an evaluation I found apt. My strengths lie, if anything, reversed. I relish the well-turned phrase, and so found much of the prose clunky and dull. I likewise find crafting convincing dialogue challenging, so the conversations were quite inspirational for me. Shad seems to know where he needs improvement, so I hope the details below will be taken as encouragement to continue refining his craft.

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