Archive for the SCOD Pipedream Pub Category

The Ruin – Medieval Poem

Posted in History, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Pub Library, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 21, 2020 by Drogo

The Ruin” is an elegy in Old English, written by an unknown Dark Age author of the 8th or 9th century. It was published in the 10th century Exeter Book, a large collection of poems and riddles. The poem evokes the former glory of a ruined Roman city by juxtaposing the grand, lively past state with the decaying present. The section has a large diagonal burn from a kind of branding in the center of the page. The burn has rendered many parts of the script illegible. This is a possible reconstruction interpretation:

This masonry is wondrous; fates broke it
courtyard pavements were smashed; the work of giants is decaying.
Roofs are fallen, ruinous towers,
the frosty gate with frost on cement is ravaged,
chipped roofs are torn, fallen,
undermined by old age. The grasp of the earth possesses
the mighty builders, perished and fallen,
the hard grasp of earth, until a hundred generations
of people have departed. Often this wall,
lichen-grey and stained with red, experienced one reign after another,
remained standing under storms; the high wide gate has collapsed.
Still the masonry endures in winds cut down
persisted on, fiercely sharpened, fate honed
Nature she shoned and men atoned.
Thing of ancient skill worked
Thing of crusted mud fallen away
spirit mourned, put together keen-counselled
a quick design in rings, a most intelligent one bound
the wall with wire brace wondrously together.
Bright were the castle buildings, many the bathing-halls,
high the abundance of gables, great the noise of the multitude,
many a meadhall full of festivity,
until Fate the mighty changed that.
Far and wide the slain perished, days of pestilence came,
death took all the brave men away;
their places of war became deserted places,
the city decayed. The rebuilders perished,
the armies to earth. And so these buildings grow desolate,
and this red-curved roof parts from its tiles
of the ceiling-vault. The ruin has fallen to the ground
broken into mounds, where at one time many a warrior,
joyous and ornamented with gold-bright splendour,
proud and flushed with wine shone in war-trappings;
looked at treasure, at silver, at precious stones,
at wealth, at prosperity, at jewellery,
at this bright castle of a broad kingdom.
The stone buildings stood, a stream threw up heat
in wide surge; the wall enclosed all
in its bright bosom, where the baths were,
hot in the heart. That was convenient.
Then they let pour hot streams over grey stone.
under the vaulted roof and open sky,
until the ringed pool once hot,
grew weeds where the baths were.
Then is that ancient wonder gone?
Nay, here, that is a noble thing,
to the house, city, and castle ruin!

Cops Need Weed

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Medical, Military, SCOD Fallout Projects, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2020 by Drogo

Two stories about the desperate search by police for pot –

This essay is based on memoir notes from my SCOD 2018 road-trip, but police have harassed me several times over the years for many minor traffic violations; usually they just gave me warnings and sometimes a ticket, but their attitude was always accusatory and offensive to be intimidating. The main problem with cops that I want to point out here, is how they are trained to lord their authority over citizens and escalate tensions which causes more problems. The ‘War On Drugs’ is unjust; but although I was more high on the coffee than I was on cannabis, I am not endorsing driving while intoxicated unsafely above legal limits. Laws against the medicinal herb called cannabis are still enforced Federally and most state and county cops still actively search and harass people for it. For those that do not understand the difference between cannabis (pot) intoxication and alcohol, in general pot makes people safer than being sober or high on coffee, because in general a pot driver will drive slower. Sometimes pot also makes the user paranoid so they check for problems more often, and hesitate to take risks. I was warned at the pot shop in Colorado and by highway signs that law enforcement officers were cracking down hard on pot, even though pot was legally being sold for the first time in almost 100 years (see racism and class warfare).

My long SCOD road-trip had gone well up until I entered Nebraska (see my notes on Cahokia & Arcosanti). I was driving from Denver CO going from route 76 to 80 into Nebraska. I saw a cop car (SUV) as I approached an underpass, and the highway narrowed to one lane in a forced merge. I observed the cop tailing me with obvious intent to find any reason to pull me over. I was pulled over by the cop for not signaling on the forced merge with no cars parallel to me, and no tight or shifting positions front to back. I had been told by cops previously not to use my warning lights when pulled over, because they consider that suspiciously incriminating as it competes with their flashy lights; so my reasoning for not using my turn signal when being forced to merge was that I did not want to act overly cautious. My out-of-state plates and car loaded up with bags were juicy for a criminally suspicious mind dedicated to law-enforcement for pay over social sympathy. Everyone knows being a cop is a hard job, because they put their lives on the line; but they can quit if the job is unreasonable, and we can demand legal reform to reduce abuse of power.

Nevada cops probably like to wait there in that forced merge spot, to stop civilian cars for that specific trivial traffic violation to search cars for drugs. The Nebraska County Cop’s name was Anderson, and he was a young white man with a snarky attitude. I had smoked some pot in Colorado hours ago, and was settled in for a safe drive across the state of Nebraska; but Officer Anderson was intent on ruining my trip. After he looked in the passenger window, he told me the feeble reason he pulled me over, and said he smelled pot; so I said that is because I smoked recently.

Officer Anderson then asked me to step out of my vehicle, and if I had any weapons he should know about. I said “No, wait what do you want to know about? What do you consider weapons? I have a walking stick.” “guns”, “no”, “knives”, “yes”, “why?”, “I like knives, they are legal and useful.”, “is this a stolen car?”, “No I own this car, it is mine.” I told Anderson that I am sorry for entering his state of Nebraska, and I could simply return to Colorado if there was going to be a problem.

Anderson patted me down and paused at my pants leg. “whats this? uh-oh, oh a button”. He told me to get in his vehicle with him, in the front passenger seat, as he was detaining me. Anderson flipped many switches, and occasionally I heard noises from the armored cell in the back. Was there an animal or another human back there? The county sheriff’s deputy Anderson then interrogated me with a series of bladerunner type questions to gauge my reactions.

Where are you coming from?”, “Arizona”, “oh yeah, how did you get there?”, “southern route through Texas, then up through Arizona and Colorado. I am tired from driving all night.”, “oh ok, how long have you been on your trip?”, “A long time”, “how long is that?”, “several weeks”, “that is not long, I consider short time days or weeks, and long time months or years”, “Ok, I meant relative to smaller day trips, im sorry sir”, “are you thirsty?”, and he proceeded to inquire about my personal life, so I explained i was feeling depressed because I had lost my house and did not know where I should live or work.

Where were you headed?”, “Iowa to visit mom, and then Indiana to visit aunt pat. Maybe im too tired to drive so I need a motel. I slowed down because im trying to not get into an accident by rushing, I would rather take my time.” “it looks like you were ready to drive straight across. where did you say your mom lived? why are you nervous? You said you were coming from Colorado, not Arizona.”

Yes I am coming from both states, I was in one before the other. ive always been afraid of cops, and last time I was pulled over because i made a wrong turn the night after my father’s funeral. A cop pulled a gun on me for wearing a bandanna, and he threatened to shoot me for getting out of my car because I thought he was a friend.” “That is not good.” “I know. he lost his ability to serve. He was a marine vet with ptsd serving as a park ranger. When i went in to the NPS ranger office to complain about him the next week, they told me they had problems with him and he was no longer there.”

The cop was a buzz-kill for sure, and tears welled up in my eyes as I recalled the times I was bullied by those in uniforms before. The pot I had earlier was sedative indica, but I was being extra safe with average speed and sensible spacing, and I remember everything about this encounter vividly. The cop made me more alert and upset, but I was still more grounded than I would have been without my medication. Yes cannabis helps me to manage my anger, and be a happier person; with a few minor side effects relative to even over-the-counter medications.

What will I find if I search your car?”, “You will find 1 joint, im not a salesman. I am not good at wanting to ask people for money; nor am I interested in convincing those who want to haggle or disagree, that my price is fair. so you wont find bags of pot. what you will find is bags of legal garden herbs I use for spiritual smoking blends called kinik-kinik: peppermint, lemon balm, mugwort, and mullein. also peacepipes. I admit I like to go to powwows.” “peacepipes are not illegal. ok im going to search your car now. if I only find what you say, you can go with a warning. the sun began to set as he searched every pocket and zipper and bag in my car. he set the colbert bag on the road, for some reason. he looked in the spare tire compartment. he shined the flashlight in my eyes when he could see i was impatient after the sun was setting. I thought for sure he was stealing my cash, planting evidence, and was going to send me to jail.

Finally he said “ok step out of the car, i am going to let you go with a warning because you were honest with me; but first we are going to destroy evidence.” He threw the joint on the road between our cars and said “step on it and crush it” so I did. A perfectly good waste of expensive legal but illegal herb. He then said I can go and pointed me in direction of the exit. “are you sure?” I said “ill need my driver’s license back, because im not that stoned.” he snorted as if to say “dont incriminate yourself by referring to any intoxication” and gave it back. I shook his hand and said thanks for showing me some respect and saving me from a fine and driving while tired; although i later found out he had damaged my grandfather’s briefcase i used for my books, because he was tearing it apart to look for hidden drugs.

When i eventually arrived in Iowa, Uncle Bruce the Corporate Democrat aggressively blamed me for ‘looking like a criminal’, and suggested cops should use more dogs on people like me who “look like one of THEM”. I asked “Who is THEM?” Luckily my Mom was sympathetic, but I have found it too uncomfortable to want to visit my Centrist Liberal relatives there anymore. Bruce also told me that only naive college students are excused for voting for a communist like Bernie Sanders. This fit in with his question about my interest in communes, but I had teased them that their Methodist retirement community was the best kind of communism. The argument I had with Uncle Bruce and Cousin James about music theory is worth an entire essay, on its own (strict reading and playing vs self expression with improvisation / literal vs abstract / classical vs jazz).

In Indiana I had another exciting adventure with Pat Long. We went to the Zoo, and had lots of local coffee before I left (which I should have mentioned to the police later, but was too nervous). Leaving Indiana East to go home: Oak st. south to Sycamore. east to 421. south to 465. east to 70, 43, 40, 68, 70. Traffic was crazy, and Ohio police were out in force pulling tons of cars and trucks over. I thought I had passed all their traps, so I sped up to just over the speed limit so i could pass some of the traffic and get out of that area; when i saw another police vehicle, waiting to pounce, so i signaled and changed lanes quickly, too quickly. Sure enough the SUV started following me too closely for me to slow down, and i felt i was too close to the truck in front of me. The police lights went on after a few seconds of following me, so i pulled over on the dangerous highway.

I was stopped in Ohio by Ohio State Troopers, again for another minor traffic violation that most cars do and are not stopped for; and again released; this time by officer Wilson after a long ordeal with his dog and his Sergeant. I was hyped up on 2 large cups of coffee, so I was fumbling around to quickly get my registration out of my glove compartment, when the cop came up on my passenger window and watched me, obviously suspecting that i was up to no good, and probably had a gun. I was simply nervous and disorganized, but he didnt care. I began by saying “I understand profiling officer, so you can search my car if you want; but I want to explain up front that I have already been pulled over by another officer who already searched my car.” He called in a sergeant who was very matter of fact about finding me at fault because I was driving too close to the vehicle in front of me (which I rarely do). “Do you remember that flat bed truck? How many car lengths were you from it, you think.” I admitted I was too close, and apologized for not being at a safer distance. Then the police dog was led around my car, and scratched at my door. Thankfully they did not use the dog to attack me, but instead they had me step out of my car again and pointed to a spot between our cars, with the roar of the busy highway beside us.

I knelt down on the pavement, allowing them to execute me with a shot to the back of the head if they want. Instead officer Wilson shouted “No! Stand.” So i quickly stood back up, and he patted me down. I explained again to him that I had PTSD with police having guns, and said I could explain why i was “so nervous” (again forgetting i was hyped up on coffee). Fortunately Wilson chose to save me another search of my car, by putting me in the armored cell in the back seat of his vehicle. There he said “Ok, talk.”

Officer Wilson allowed me to explain calmly what my problems are. He called the Nebraska officer Anderson, and confirmed my story with him. Then Wilson asked how that stop ended up, and not wanting to incriminate myself or Anderson (in case he did something illegal by destroying the evidence), i simply said “Yes he found what i told him he would find, and we worked it out.” He thanked me for my honesty. Then Wilson asked if i had other drugs, and I said “No sir, I dont do that shit.” as i stood at attention like they taught me at basic training. Then Wilson said “I am getting a ‘medicinal marijuana vibe’ from you, and said they did not think the dog smelled any existing pot, because as I had explained it was removed previously. I said with a smile, “Yes sir, you are correct.”

I know I have been lucky, I did not suffer any legal penalties. I shook hands with Wilson and I thanked him for not shooting me. He said “Cops are the good guys” and i said “I know police are supposed to be good, and sometimes do good things when they serve and protect. I thank you for your kindness, compassion, and mercy officer.”

Still shaken, I returned home to hear news of more protests against police violence and environmental pollution. I am still shaken to this day, as my mind is haunted by how my life could have been ruined if the cops had been more aggressive, and if I had not been able to manage my anger as much; or how I could have avoided the situations if I had not gone on the road-trip, or not liked herb, or any number of issues.

A city hall meeting was taken over by ‘black lives matter’ protesters in a 2018 video. Men danced across center stage, and vocally and physically showed dominance by public non-violent demonstration art. There was a new court ruling in Massachusetts – “Environmental protests are not criminally responsible by reason of necessity”. Americans are still causing anarchy now, to demand true democracy. The power of the laws rests in the people, and that can best be practiced by deliberate actions. Freedom for self-governing in politics, business, and relationships is important. Laws are made to serve us, not us to serve laws.

I could have been a cop, because using anger to bully others is easy for me. When I was a military soldier, wearing my uniform made me want to use my authority to intimidate and control others, as was done to me during training; despite my best efforts to change their arrogant attitudes that favored using threats and abuse rather than better forms of control through reward. That is when I began to see how primitive our brutish training methods still were. I became sick of being part of a command system that indoctrinated fear and abuse primarily, rather than education and compassion. I thought we had advanced more as a culture, but perhaps fear and abuse are simply easier ways to brainwash and control others to do violence, which is needed to impose the laws of an empire. As much as I dislike St. Paul, I gotta give him credit on this one, for seeing the error of his ways, during his career of authoritarian abuse on behalf of Rome. It is not fun to remember traumatic events, as our minds force us to relive them over and over; but our conscience is telling us they are important for a reason. If we can remember the reason the events might be important, then we can focus on the lessons rather than the trauma. Humanity should focus efforts to relieve suffering, not cause more of it. This is why I use my white privilege to say “All lives matter, not just cops.”

Maybe instead of militarizing the police, we need to use more cannabis and have more of a ‘please force’. To honor civil rights maybe we can regulate laws more like a large urban Mayberry, instead instead of making more fascist troops to relive Nazi Germany. Cowboy culture seems to get in the way of easing racial tensions, but that is another story about economics and greed.

Lastly, cops need weed a bit too much. I know pot is strong medicine, but I am not sure any amount of pot can solve the systemic problem of police aggression. Whoever reforms the system will need to be sympathetic to the good herb, no doubt about it. Cops need weed.

[ Audio Recording ]

Old Saint Peter’s Basilica

Posted in Historic Architecture, Pub Library, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2020 by Drogo

The greatest case of Christian architectural evolution is the Constantinian Christian basilica of St. Peter in Rome, Italy. Roman Emperor Constantine had the original St. Peter’s Basilica built (320-360 AD) on the site of Nero’s Circus, to honor the tomb of St. Peter, respect other Christian martyrs, and honor Christianity as the new Roman religion. The adjective ‘old’ was only added after it was demolished in the Renaissance, to distinguish the current from the former building. Pagan Romans used basilicas as public meeting halls, and the architectural form began to change as Christians used it. Although St. Peter’s is still called a basilica (Pagan), it is a large church or cathedral (Christian). The Catholic Church reserves the word ‘cathedral’ for large churches held by bishops, but architecturally for the masses there is no distinction between a cathedral and a basilica. Papal (pope) coronations were held at the basilica, and in 800 AD Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ there. Soon after in 846 Saracens sacked and damaged the tombs and treasures.

Old St. Peter’s set an example for related cathedrals and thousands of smaller churches, which followed for hundreds of years and still continues today world-wide. It was a synthesis of assembly hall, temple, and villa. Old St. Peter’s held 4,000 worshipers inside, and thousands more outside in the atrium (akin to St. Peter’s Plaza today). The atrium was added later and had 5 doors (portas) in the gable wall leading into the nave. The atrium was called the “Garden of Paradise” during the Dark Ages. As a large colonnade courtyard plaza, the atrium served to filter  and shelter entry into the interior nave arcade. Atriums or plaza squares are similar to typical Roman villa interior courtyards with fountains or sculpture in the center; in this case a bronze pine-cone fountain and Vatican obelisk. The transition from narthex to nave matches the Roman traditional private upper-class family household altar or chapel and open atrium relationship. Early Christian domestic architecture linked worship with privacy not only because Christianity was illegal, but also because it was conventional to have religious (Pagan ancestor) shrines in homes. Pilgrims approached the atrium portico typically by the eastern stairs.

Old St. Peter’s exterior was fairly plain, and resembled what we would consider a large stucco-masonry barn, rather than a classical temple. This lack of architectural adornment reflected the decline of the Roman Empire and the simplicity of early Christianity, which would continue into the Dark Age that followed. Ironically the new St. Peter’s basilica was the first time the facade had classical pilasters, as the Renaissance revived the Pagan styles. Old St. Peter’s long nave main aisle was flanked symmetrically by four side aisles, and lit by clerestory windows. A great arch framed the entry view of the altar and vaulted apse beyond at the western end. The apse and altar combination with nave procession comes from a long line of imperial Pagan temples (Egyptian Hatshepsut Temple 1480 BC to Roman Leptis Magna Basilica 210 AD). The 100 marble columns were spolia taken from earlier pagan buildings. Old St. Peter’s was over 350 feet long, with a colored marbled transept making a T-shaped Latin cross. The gabled roof with wooden beams was 100 feet high along the ridge peak, and despite fires and thin walls lacking buttresses it lasted for over a thousand years. Old St. Peter’s design was like St. John Lateran’s Arch-basilica Cathedral, built around the same time in Rome. The Renaissance reconstructed basilica was designed by architects: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Sangallo, and Maderno. The new St. Peter’s is larger, and contains some relics of the old structure.

The nave arch had a mosaic of ‘Constantine and St. Peter’, presenting a model of the church to Christ. On the walls between windows were frescoes of Bible themes. Ghiberti and Vasari wrote that Giotto painted five frescoes which were “either destroyed or carried away from the old structure of St. Peter’s during the building of the new walls.” Some medieval relics survived reconstruction. From some descriptions and fragments, the Navicella atrium mosaic (1310) was recreated. It occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. Matthew’s scripture (14:24) was the basis for the large medieval mosaic by Giotto. “After Peter came down out of the ship and walked on the water, he became afraid of the storm and began to sink. He called out to Jesus for help. Jesus caught him and reproved him for his lack of faith, and led him back to the ship, whereupon the storm stopped.” A standing Madonna and fragment of an Epiphany mosaic (circa 700) also survived; but many gold items, like Constantine’s Cross on the Tomb of St. Peter, were lost long ago.

Old St. Peter’s architecture is confirmed by archeology, historical written accounts, and archival drawings. The oldest depictions we have are from 4th century frescoes and 16th century architects before demolition and reconstruction. Excavations confirmed some of the writings and renderings. One of the written sources ‘Liber Pontificalis’ mentions the rumor that Constantine was urged by Bishop Silvester to build the basilica on the site of St. Peter’s grave, and make his coffin with layers of solid bronze with spiral ‘Solomonic’ columns. Its’ construction involved removing or relocating tombs and constructing an enormous foundation on an expanded hillside level-cut.

The turmoil in Rome from conversion to fall (300-500 AD) begins with the 2 main christian basilicas being built to try to appease the oppressed masses of protesters all over the empire who sympathized with the infamous Christian martyrs. It is easier to study the architectural language changes, because the politics was very culturally complex and hard to translate, other than to say it is always about power. Despite the old Roman Pagan authority being replaced from within by Christian Imperial authority, the city was sacked by Christian barbarian mercenaries and migrants (Visigoths and Vandals) for centuries (600-100). Finally even the basilicas were not safe against the last of the barbarians (Saxons, Vikings, and Saracens), until the Roman Church authority was supreme enough across European kingdoms to focus violence against the Eastern Empire and Jerusalem (again) with the Crusades (1100-1300). [dates circa nearest hundred]

 

Plan_of_Circus_Neronis_and_St._Peters1590-Alfarano_plan

SCOD Urban Architecture Notes

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Historic Architecture, Languages, Politics, Pub Library, Recommendations & Tributes, SCOD Online School, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2020 by Drogo

American architecture has ‘plurality and duality’. We have a variety of expression with scales of space and attitude, for the rich and poor. We have a modern design duality of rectilinear and organic architecture. Rectilinear modernists have been influenced by: Gropius, Loos, Corbu, Mies, Meier, Kahn, and Johnson. Organic modernist heroes are fewer, and there are fewer of us: Wright, Moss, Gehry, Solari, and Predock.

New Urbanist sprawl still faces the problems of commercialism vs community. Their planning principles have helped us to have more mixed-use zoning, but we still have the problems of Capitalism in decline, with an expanding lower class, destroyed middle class, and imperial upper class. New developments in Maryland and West Virginia seem to ignore the problems of population debt infrastructure, ecological devastation, agricultural decline, and transportation congestion all for the sake of profit.

Moynihan said our cities were ‘soulless’, like Diogenes he was holding a lamp for architectural self-examination. Cities are not as safe as we would like, and we should always remember their epitaphs are too often ‘military target’. Violence and migration are the main problems of our ‘urbane’ urban design. We have so often been wrong in our problem solving, it is clear we need to learn more from our past patterns of tradition. The corruption in politics that creates bad planning, can only be countered by an aware and active population willing to conspire and protest more than the elites can bribe, to bring attention to values which cannot be bought. 

‘A Pattern Language’ by Chris Alexander explains how architecture is about relationships. There are many cultural associations and historical traditions that can be better than soulless sterile machines for living. Architecture is sculpture for living, and we should not ignore sociology and heritage for the sake of industrial convenience to serve a consumer society that is destroying our global environment for profit. Yes we should have standards for structures that are able to shelter us without collapsing, but sustainability must also include the arts and nature.

 

References:

American House Now‘ by Doubilet & Boles

Better Places‘ Chapter in ‘Geography of NoWhere’

‘Pattern Language’ Relationships by Chris Alexander

New Urbanism, Second Generation‘ by Beth Dunlap

The Soulless City‘ by Moynihan

 

 

 

 

SCOD Design Methodology 202

Posted in Alternative Architecture, ecovillages, Organic Architecture, SCOD Designs, SCOD Online School, SCOD Thesis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2020 by Drogo

How to Approach SCOD Design (updated 2020)

 

  1. Define linguistic terms for communication

Vocabulary: sustainable, community, cooperative, organic, dwelling, development, alternative architecture, art, science, nature, elements (parts), ecological (environmental), permaculture, homesteading

 

  1. Study statistics and discuss case studies (architecture types and styles): Historical, environmental, industrial (commercial), domestic (private), utilities, public (social), mixed-use, temporary, permanent, etc… [see scod blogs and references]

 

  1. Theory Assumptions: Commercial monopolies (Crony Capitalism) are destroying global eco-systems, contributing to dynamic climate change, and increasing consumerism and planned obsolescence that steals national wealth (socialism for plutocrats), which increases debt poverty and decreases democracy. [see scod philosophy and references sections]

 

  1. Design methods: Basic Needs Diagrams (3 survival, function, form, flow), 5 Elemental Forces Lists (air, fire, water, earth, spirit), Social Narratives (client description details of desires), legal framing (codes), cost estimates, construction procedure, timeline, etc. Develop your own scod design strategies based on case studies and assumptions.

 

5.  Design Images: drawings, models, multi-media

Pipe-Dream Pub Prophesy & Proposal 1997

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Futurist, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, SCOD Status Update Reports, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by Drogo

The Future of the Middle Ages

 

Written in 1997 by Drogo to Pipe-Dream Pub fellowship (edited and digitized in 2019)

 

Why West Virginia?

 

The rugged, rocky, rolly hills and blue ridge mountains with verdant valleys are a backdrop for snow, rivers, rain, fog, and dusty heat. Cold snowy winters and hot sweaty summers combine with landscape that has the same climate (more or less) as England. Farmland and coal mines; sturdy, beautiful, and backwards in beautiful country ways: a perfect medieval setting for a dwarven tavern.

 

Why Harpers Ferry?

 

While maintaining a hardy mountaineer heart, the spirit of Harpers Ferry has guarded and sustained freedom despite its quaint, hobbiton, touristy appearance. Historic Harpers Ferry has been defined by influential travelers, and thrived in their wake. The guests and visitors act in spiritual freedom immortally, like a chronic hysteresis. As Shirley Dougherty puts it, “History always repeats itself in Harpers Ferry.” Native American sacred land where the Potomac and Shenandoah shed tears of love that ran together between the mountains and formed the rivers. Peter Stevens 1730, Robert Harper 1750, surveyed by George Washington 1797 and Thomas Jefferson for the Federal Armory 1830, John Brown’s Raid to free the slaves 1859, President Clinton and Gore Earth Day 1998 (?) and many other important figures and events are part of our legacy. 

 

Prophecy Proposal 1.  We Try Living Together

 

Trial By Sword and Stone

It is summer 2001 and I have graduated from SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design). In past summers I worked for my Father and HABS (the Historic American Building Survey) as an architectural draftsman, but this summer I have joined the National Guard, and applied to the NPS (National Park Service) Design Center in Harpers Ferry. Three of my history and design friends have taken advantage of the lucrative job market in the DC area, and are currently renting from my parents for metropolitan commuting. The four of us are in a partnership written by round-table contract, and use the school-house in back for a studio office. We also host Gallery exhibits and shows downstairs with antiques, and sometimes entertain B&B guests. There is a substantial flow of money as we prosper.

 

Prophecy Proposal 2.  We Decide on the Pub Site Land Location

 

Trial By Earth 

A link is established in 2002 between 4 other partners, making 7 of us in the Pub Fellowship. We prepare for the Pub by sharing expenses and seeking land. Eventually we find the best site and purchase the property. Acquisition of ideal, strategic site land that is agreeable to everyone may prove to be the most difficult task of all. The amount of variables involved may seem overwhelming.

 

Prophecy Proposal 3.  Investors, Funding, and Financing

 

The Round Table Trial

It is now July 7th, 2003 and the four of us already in town, meet with our newest 3 members at Jefferson’s Rock. Perched upon the Rock of Ages we announce our time is nigh, calling out their arrival into the valley. The rush of the rivers generates a roaring cacophony that titillates our napes as we raise our heads high to the mountains, and declare our individual rights and strengths. Our proclamations echo through the gap, and fly down-stream towards the Capitol of our Nation; flooding the ears of the mundanes. We shout in unison “One for all, and all for one!!! Tally-ho to the Pipe-dream Pub! Hurrah!! Hooray!!! Vivate!!! Liberty!!!” With 7 investors we now can get enough loans and grants and easements. 

 

Prophecy Proposal 4.  Swear Allegiance Fidelity

 

The Trial of Camelot

Discussions and blueprints of the Pub follow after savings are spent in addition to other sources of funding for Pub property and materials. We archive written insurances and oaths of fidelity to the financial, material, and spiritual fellowship. The Sacred Seven can never fall so long as is planned for, with good will and reason. No one will unite if there be an unproven doubt in their mind or gut. We are philosopher kings united by the power of moral reason. None shall be untested, and with good fortune, none unspoken. And with all said, none unbroken. If a break arises it shall no doubt crack with at least one, but before a downfall the crack shall be filled by the spirit of the remaining 6. Even if 4 of the 7 fall, 3 is quite a magic number (in and of itself), and cannot be denied despite trials, though it be less than 4. If nightmares dare to cross o’er the river Styx into this world to turn 5 away from 2, the 2 will prove stronger (though they be fewer), because of the intimate nature of our number. But if the reality remains a dream of one, or the 7 be undone, to the deep dark abyss with this paper and the Pipe-dream shared by none. Each of our dreams must be thus defined and communicated through speech, writing, sounds, drawings, models, and bodily gestures as completely as possible, in order to compare how our individual desires for the collective dream correspond.

 

Prophecy Proposal 5.  Building Construction, Operation, and Sustaining Success

 

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Construction or restoration of the Tavern will ensue. The vision of Camelot will for the first time, be in sight. The combined knowledge of the Pub Fellowship of philosophers will prove a multifaceted tool of inexhaustible energy. As philosophical knights of the round table, we will support each-other as bees in a hive; our Queen is Wisdom (Sophia). Buzzing with ideas, skills, and events our vision will take shape, as hunters acquire resources and exchange places with guards to defend, direct, and build. The material cards we have saved in our hands, will emerge for this ultimate power play. There is such a joyful vitality of powerful energy to the Pub collective, that none spare time to doubt if the dream was worth it. We dance to our own rhythms while we work, so that even the most mundane tasks feel successful. We follow the verdant path of the Goddess in our productive frolicking and fiddling. Indulging in a labor of mind and body, we manifest an artistic functioning time machine, or vehicle for atmospheric revival and mental transportation. The Pub work is life affirming.

 

Maps are drawn and schedules made. The property of the Pub is large enough for a Tavern or Inn (a few acres). The Pub site is nestled away in woods, yet strategically accessible near a major interstate intersection within the DC metro area. There is ample parking up front. A long driveway wraps around back to stables of a half-timber two-story structure. There is a blacksmith’s shop and grounds for birds, cats, dogs, and horses. The main door is hard wood with heavy elaborate iron hinges, and a strong knocker handle ring. The door opens onto the ground level (first floor) bar and hearth of the Pub. All of the doors can be barred from the inside, chain-locked, pad-locked, and key-locked. By day the interior is lit by diamond pane windows, and later by a grand fireplace, candles, and chandeliers at night. Primarily a wood paneled hall with swords, shields, and various artifacts and mathoms displayed on walls and relic racks. The bar is adjacent to the fireplace, with a stair leading up between them. Bathrooms are behind the stairs, with a gallery hall for internet connection. Six tables crowd the room and pipe smoke hangs about. A fiddler rests on a stool in the corner, bar-wench Debbie serves ale, and Brynna (celtic female lark) sings before the fire. All forms of alcohol and herb are sold here, without the stress of an elite menu. If any food is sold, it consists of simple soups, breads, and common organic vegetables. The atmosphere is alluring to farmers, hunters, truckers, and bikers; but also to role-players, SCA, history buffs, reenactors, and even your average curious tourist or excited vacationer escaping from the rat-race.

 

Using the same chimney as the main hall, is the Library for quiet drinking, meditating, and studying. Upstairs is where the owners or bar-keeper lives; private bed-rooms, a study, and guest rooms. The blacksmith lives underground and guards the wine cellar, with dogs. The basement cellar links directly to the stable, bar, and oubliettes. The west wing of the Inn will have a dining hall and more guest rooms, and the east wing will have a kitchen and office. Blessed be, so mote it be.

  • END

[ AUDIO RECORDING of Drogo reading his original letter ]

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

The ‘Board and Books’ Club

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, jobs, Multimedia Communication, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Drogo

Urban Used Book Store and More

Before the apocalypse, some of us had opened a shop in the city for a place to sell what we made, to keep a collective library, and for a local hang out for geeks like us. We called it “The Board & Books” and it was an eclectic social community for all classes of gamers, intellectuals, artists, actors, musicians, and book lovers. We served some food and drink, but it was under the table to avoid needing to renovate and pay fees to code, to keep our expenses low since income was minimal mostly from monthly membership. If you stayed for more than an hour we asked that you pay to stay as long as you like, and that was incentive for return visits to get your money’s worth and have a chair and board to “call your own”. Walking sticks, paintings, and other home-made crafts of all kinds were welcome. On some days a smoking club would rent it, and we locked the door and responded only to the secret knock and call.

Our tiny shop version of the Pipedream Pub was called “The BOARD and Books” because we had at least one table to start with for playing games, writing, and studying books on. Table boards were also used for drinks and food when in private club sessions. The collective library was for our members to place books they liked or wrote, including old and new books. There were also prices on most of the books, on the odd occasion that someone wanted to own it for their personal private hoard. We even managed to sell a few poems.

We had old and new carved wood on display: walking sticks, canes, wands, sculptures, board panels, etc..

We had a converted piano made into a harp, flat-wide-screen digital monitor, and book shelf.

piano desk

Random paintings came and went. Art, music, and books were often traded.

Beamer and Tom made an awesome wooden table from old antiques and local barn boards.

railway-table-by-toyo-kichen-style-o

After a few years membership increased and so rates were raised to pay the bills and make some net profit, until Armageddon. During WW3 there was too much economic depression to charge much, and when the urban infrastructure became bad enough we had to close shop in the city, and focus on the Pipedream Pub in the country.  Many of the items and books from the shop were moved to the Pub library and hearth hall.

[ part of SCOD FALLOUT 2020 series script ]

SCOD Fallout 2020: Shelter Survivors

Posted in Fictional Stories, SCOD Fallout Projects, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2018 by Drogo

Act III : Post-Apocalypse

Fallout Sheltered Survivors

*

McGrail script – formerly part of Act 3; written by Joe McGrail, BJ, WP, and edited by Drogo

Dramatus Personae: Al (Adlai Stevenson Kennedy III), Maggie (Maria Magdelana), 3 alien “andies”, A.S. Kennedy I, ASK 1’s wife and 3 children (including ASK 2), Mr and Mrs Val Wagner, Wagner white trash niece “bitch 1”, and Wagner gay son “bitch 2”

Act 3.1

A new Narrator “Al” is revealed to be Adlai Stevenson Kennedy III, the politician survivor who is being questioned by Hooded Androgynous Aliens. Adlai is standing naked in the middle of a pinwheel floor with ethereal down-lighting. Surrounding the pinwheel is a circle of pieces of old cars, broken furniture, rusted metal, and junk. Room is dark, except for enough light to see Al’s bare legs and buttocks, arms, hands, and upper torso; we cannot see his face yet. A door opens from off-camera, with a blinding light shining through. We see his face briefly, as Al puts his hands up to block the light. 3 humanoid beings walk in wearing large hooded robes, concealing their age, gender, and skin. [pat, robin, terry]

Al: “This is my experience in teaching the Cold War as well as human sexuality and religious morals to a race of androgynous aliens. At first I thought I had been abducted by a cult, because they were all wearing hooded robes concealing their bodies.”

Al (ASK III) is naked, with 3 hooded alien questioners.

Androgen 1: Hello again, Mr Adlai Stevenson Kennedy the Third.

Al: Uh, hello. Since you are getting to know me, you might as well call me Al. My friends call me Al.

Androgen 2: We want to know more about what you recall about your planet.

Al: Well, that is kind of a big question to ask so candidly.

Androgen 3: Afterwards you may have the fee-male [turns to other two and they nod their heads yes] … yes the female so you will not feel so lonely, she will make you feeeeeel better, yes?

Al: Oh, isn’t that kind of you.

Andro 2: So tell us about your Kennedy family, Mr. Adlai.

Al: Do I need to be naked for this? Well, huh, I think I saw something that would help explain it a little better. [sighs, walks over to a pile of clutter, and retrieves a picture of the Kennedy clan circa 1960 per Jack and Bobby, shows photo to Androgens]

Andro 3: My my, they all sssssmile so. Ssssoooo many children must make the gender-obvious feel proud.

Al: Yes, and especially our religion, Catholics encouraged procreation.

Andro 2 (to Andro 3): It is true. Stevenson Kennedy’s descendents believed that having as many births as possible pleased their god.

Andro 3: Indeed. A culture that not only definesss the gender itself, but also the rolesss of these gendersss as well as proclivity.

Al: You guys sure are clinical about love, tenderness, and how happy parenthood can be.

Andro 2: Did you say clinical or cynical? This, your diction is so phonetically arcane.

Andro 3: It fitssss with hisss arcane sssssexual tendencies.

Al: Look my friends, I meant clinical ok? And if this is going to be a long story, I would say start calling me Al now.

Androgens together: We agree, Al.

Al: So let’s see…. [fade]

Act 3.2 FLASH-BACK begins – Scene 1

Pre-Apocalypse family flashback of survivor politician

[exterior shot of ASK I’s house, cut to ASK I in house basement asleep on a cot]

Al (Voice Only): I can’t get those years straight, but it was the turn of the 21 century and my grandfather was worried about what was then the War on Terror.

Andro 2 (VO): What about your great grand-father and grand-uncles’ Cold War?

Al (VO): That ended several years before, only about a decade or so apart. According to my father, my grandfather had a travel alarm clock that he kept beside his bed….

[ASK I wakes up to a travel alarm clock buzzer, date shows on screen “2003-04” his wife is at the top of the stairs with a tray of breakfast]

Mrs. Kennedy I: [pregnant] Rise and shine, birthday boy!

ASK I: Thank you, my darling. (white briefs and t-shirt)

Mrs. Kennedy I: Did you manage to sleep well in the dungeon, Dr. Frankenstein?

ASK I: (shrugs) Yes, I guess. I don’t want to upset you, but you and the kids need to come down here with me once a week, so the real thing doesn’t scare ’em when it happens.

Mrs. Kennedy I: I know. [looks down, then puts her hand on her pregnant stomach] You know your father hasn’t said anything though?

ASK I: Senator Kennedy? No, he and good old Patrick – oh I need to call him later, its a twin thing – are still at it even with the Anthrax scare from Ft. Deterick.

Mrs. Kennedy I: Come on, your Belgian waffle is getting cold and there’s more coffee upstairs.

[ASK I takes the food tray upstairs with his wife]

Flash-back Scene 2

[Kennedy kitchen – 2 small children watching cartoons in a breakfast nook drinking juice, an Hispanic woman polishing silver]

ASK I: Hey guys, turn that off after breakfast. I don’t want you turning into zombies.

Child 1: [5 years old] what is a zombie, daddy?

ASK I: A zombie is someone who goes funny in the head from sitting in front of a TV for too long, and not enough time playing in the sandbox Santa gave him last Christmas.

Child 1: Yes Daddy.

Mrs. Kennedy I: [to maid] Gracias, Senorita Jimenes. [maid walks away from the silver so the Kennedys can be alone]

ASK I: Dad said he would be up on the weekend. Something about a 35th birthday present. I just dont let him push me into running for something. I am happy here in DC, but working for Uncle Joe trying to get money in for Citizen’s Oil. As soon as we can prove that those fuel cells…

[cartoon interrupted by news]

TV announcer: We interrupt this program to bring you the following news brief. The White House has just recalled the US Ambassador to the United Nations, after a shouting match with the Iranian foreign minister. This comes after Iran’s resistance to allow inspections of the nuclear facilities.

Mrs. Kennedy I: Your father must be ready to pounce on this.

ASK I: Jesus. What bastards. Two wrongs can’t make a right, ya know?

[Room starts shaking, TV reception fades, lights go out!]

Mrs. Kennedy I: Oh my God! Adlai!

ASK I: [in solemn deep tone] Its Kingdom come. Kids come on! We’ve got to get into the shelter! Where’s the dog?

Mrs. Kennedy I: [has both children by the hand] Hopefully Skip will have the sense to run toward the house.

ASK I: Mrs. Jimenez! Vamanos! [maid comes running out of the dining room]

Act 3.3

Interrogation continued. ASK III Questioned about Classicism, Racism, Sexism

[fade back to pinwheel room with Al and Androgens]

Al: According to my Dad that was how it felt. Especially when the TV went funny like that.

Andro 1: That is when they moved into their underground shelter?

Al: Yes. Our Kennedy family had been in Washington for over fifty years at that point. When my grand uncle Jack was president, he made sure there was a contingency plan for he and his family.

Andro 2: And that’s why they had a shelter?

Al: Yes, some called it a bunker.

Andro 3: The fffemale whose name was pronounced so differently… was sssshe inferior?

Al: No, certainly not. We always said all men were created equal, but that also included all women of course.

Andro 2: What was your labor class like? Were your workers bred diminutive, or well endowed?

Al: She was an immigrant, but she had some inalienable human rights. Before the fallout we had distinguishable climate zones; she was from a warmer climate and hotter culture.

Andro 1: She was in your employ, was she not? Your family was in that old ruling caste?

Al: Oh yes, economically. Heh-heh yeah um… We made all the big financial decisions so that people like her could come work in urban factories or on rural farm plantations.

Andro 3: Was this what you call classsssism?

Al: Huh? Well I suppose these things just manifest. Mrs. Jimenez did not survive long after fallout, she was older. But there was another group too.

Andro 2: Please help us to understand this, Al.

Al: By all means, my new friends.

Self-Publishing

Posted in Book Reports, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Pub Library, SCOD Online School with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by Drogo

If anyone has a digital file for a book, i can publish it for about $100 within a month. That is a very low price that the author can pay for my services, to do all the work of format editing and publishing on Amazon and Kindle. It usually takes me over 10 hours, so at $10 an hour that is quite a deal!

Any book sales I will report and share with the authors. It is in my interest to do so, because we could make more successful projects. Identifying success potential is key. I have published over 20 books. Want more information on SCOD publishing? Find me on Facebook or click HERE to collaborate on a book project!

Books Published by Drogo Empedocles

– Drogo Empedocles of SCOD

HFM_1_small

Social Anxiety at Public Parties or Pubs

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Psychology, Pub Library with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by Drogo

Public Parties, Pubs, Clubs, or Bars and Social Anxiety

Thoughts by Drogo Empedocles –

The older I get, the more freakishly strange it feels to go to bars; its always been an odd feeling because it is so different than the rest of society… and yet not odd enough for me, i cant quite explain it.

I am not straight-edge, and I do not consider myself a drug ‘addict’; I strive for moderation most of the time, in most things. However I do like to ‘get out every-once in a while’ and be social, or even host parties; so i would like to express some feelings i have regarding the psychological issues i experience.

Even just to go for music it trips me out. People at parties are a different experience, i remember first learning this at my house as a kid when my parents had Gallery Shows. Some of the social anxiety pressure i think has to do with the amplified volume of collective energy, emotions, and noise. Voice volume gets raised, just to have a conversation or say anything at all; then by nature it feels aggressive or hostile even.

Differences between people aside, im wondering if it is simply the odd condition of people relating to each-other in a much more familiar way than outside the bar? I think it makes it very strange when someone does not interact by those rules in some way, whether being quiet or not wanting to be touched in anyway, etc…

Diversity is important, but it makes for interesting dynamics. Hunter vs Prey scenarios, and what-not. It is funny because im such a sensual and compassionate person at heart, im cool with mutual public affection of common forms, but i realize some other people are not for various reasons, including relationship contracts; and therefore this presents ‘issues’. Usually the most gregarious types of people will be the ones at the party or bar, yet there will inevitably be a minority of introverts or people hostile to affection.

At this point I do not have many conclusions. Perhaps it is simply best to generally avoid the conflict of personalities in any public setting, especially parties and bars.  Yet parties and bars are considered the most fun, and appropriate for Holidays and Celebrations! Hmmmm. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle on all of this, since I am a compassionate introvert at heart, that does occasionally like the thrill of adventure.

SCOD Prophecies

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, Philosophy, Politics, SCOD Thesis, Spiritual with tags , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by Drogo

These are the prophecies by Drogo Empedocles, accepted as the basis for SCOD.

 

  1. Some systems within Civilization will collapse due to a combination of factors after one major event.
  2. When some civil systems fail, people will riot, and sane people must defend themselves.
  3. Survivors will begin to take back power from government and corporations.
  4. Families and communities will value making their own living and food.
  5. Architects and Archivists will become beacons in the new dark ages.
  6. Suburbs will want to develop gardens more than building more houses.
  7. Cities will find that trapped within skyscraper artificial tombs, maintenance becomes overwhelming.
  8. The East Coast will once again value the Chesapeake Bay, and all waterways more as life itself.
  9. The Appalachian Trail will become a major highway with growing communities.
  10. West Virginia will reduce coal mining, and get back to real mountaineering.
  11. Harpers Ferry will reclaim its status as spiritual place of gathering and barter.
  12. The Hilltop Hotel will be run by local community groups.
  13. Park Rangers will become true Forest Rangers, and Police will become Road Warriors
  14. Without electricity buildings will be converted architecturally as forts and communal housing.
  15. SCOD will be established as a community and tested. SCOD will prevail.

 

 ps – predictions or prophecies may or may not come to pass, however if there is any chance they should be brought about, made true, and come to be; we should prepare and make plans no matter our chances of survival.

 

SCOD Medieval to Victorian Shift 2013

Posted in Medieval Tavern, SCOD Thesis, Victorian Tavern with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by Drogo

I am putting my plans and dreams for establishing a Medieval Tavern on hold indefinitely. If I had at least an equal business partner willing to meet me half-way on producing designs, plans, and investments; then I would do it. I have not been able to find such a business partner, and so therefore I was not willing to do it myself; as the risk and stress would have been too much for someone that is not rich. I had already taken out loans for college and car, that I struggled to pay. Now that I have greater financial stability and resources, I am not willing to pour all of my savings into a Medieval Tavern; because I would need to take out another loan, and even if I could make a working business, there is a good chance that business would not make net earnings the first few years (it would be in the red). With what would I pay the loans back, if the gross earnings went into paying only the utilities and employees? Business schools generally teach that most new businesses do not start covering costs, until several years later; some close before that, and others go bankrupt.

For many years I have had some loyal and interested friends, that worked on some of the concepts with me; however it takes more than the occasional comment of encouragement or critique, to match what I had designed, planned, and was willing to invest. I have realized, the hard way, that even creative people that can understand what an awesome idea it is, are probably not going to commit to such a major life project (by commit I mean spend most of their waking days on it like I have often done). Most people have their own lives and dreams, that they may or may not pursue. I have yet to find anyone as intent on making a Medieval Tavern as I have been, and I accept that may be the case until I die.

Yet because I am stubborn when it comes to dreams, I am transferring my SCOD efforts from the Medieval Tavern, to the potential for a Victorian Tavern, Tea-House, or Tap-Room. I have a house that was built in 1908, and has a Victorian first floor interior. There is parking along the streets nearby, and the town is the historic tourist town of Harpers Ferry; so there are already successful bed & breakfasts. In fact we had a B&B in our house for years, among other businesses. So it is more likely I will be able to achieve a Victorian Establishment of some kind, before I die; without as much financial backing, and less partners. I will be starting this new dream based on current and future conditions, and no partners (for now). Some dreams we live with, are in fact, in part, already a reality.

– Drogo Empedocles

0313131645

Pub Business Plan

Posted in Economics, Pub Library, Victorian Tavern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by Drogo

So you want to open a Medieval, Victorian, or Fantasy Pub? So do I. Here is a step-by-step list of a typical business plan for opening a pub.

1.  Location, location, location. Town, County, State. Near a highway. Enough space, at a reasonable cost (low monthly fees: mortgage, lease, rent, utilities, etc.). Easy access Parking.

2.  Get a business license, liquor license, insurance, inspections, permit for a club, and whatever else is needed legally in that location.

3. Order enough beer, liquor, wine, and a few food items to last a month or two; always keep stocked, and sell it for more than you pay for it.

4.  Advertise locally, in print, and on-line; with proper signage.

5.  Have a reason for people to come and keep coming back; quality food & drink; affordable costs; membership dues or benefits that other places do not offer; atmosphere and special social scene.

6.  File proper income taxes; accounting for employees and sales.

7.  Deal with problems as a benevolent over-lord.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? So why has it not happened yet? The problems come with the initial start-up costs and rent. Even with a steady stream of patrons, there is no guarantee that sales will cover the cost to run the place; and that is the big gamble – the risk.

ArmoryPub5

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Posted in Pagan, Psychology, SCOD Thesis, Trips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by Drogo

This powerful psychoactive drug is also called LSD-25, lysergide, and commonly ‘acid’. LSD is a psychedelic catalyst derived from the fungus ergot. It is well known for its extreme psychological effects. Affected mind functions include altered sensory perception and transcendental cognitive processes. Most of the effects LSD has on the mind, are still mysterious; despite years of scientific research and civilian recreational experimentation.

LSD is NOT addictive, does NOT physically ‘damage’ the brain, and is chemically NOT lethal (low toxicity). Despite those known facts, it is also true that the psychological reactions of LSD are unpredictable; but often include extreme amounts of anxiety, delusions, illusions, confusion, trances, and paranoia. So users of LSD should be warned in depth, and have therapy support resources before, during, and after LSD affects their system. Experiences on LSD are called ‘trips’, referring to how our mind can ‘travel’ in various ways, get ‘tripped-up’ (and fall afterwards), and how such shifting thoughts create and become adventures.

The first scientist to synthesize LSD was Albert Hofmann in 1938. Arthur Stoll discovered the chemical found in the grain-fungus ergot that grows on rye (grain / bread). In 1947 Sandoz Laboratories made and sold LSD as an industrial product called Delysid. In the 1950’s the CIA composed proposals and conducted programs involving LSD. The main CIA LSD research program was ‘MK-ULTRA’. CIA officials covertly gave the drug to many young American military soldiers and students; in attempts to discover chemical weapon and mind control applications. Within a few years LSD had gone ‘main-stream’, and was being used nation-wide ‘recreationally’ by the 1960’s popular counter-culture movements (hippies and other radicals). Main-stream political authorities were opposed to the mass protestors, and therefore banned the ‘consciousness-expanding’ drug LSD, “for their own good”. Now, it is currently still illegal to possess or sell LSD.

In pure form it is a clear, odorless, tasteless, solid; however it is usually transferred to paper, or administered as a liquid. LSD liquid is usually dripped onto ‘blotter’ paper, gelatin, or sugar cubes for consumption. Small drops are used because of the potency of small quantities. LSD affects 5-HT(2a) receptors in the brain.

Despite our linguistic lack of words, and the limits of those words, to describe mental or spiritual experiences; I will attempt to list and explain some of what is known by scientists and users alike. I have divided the subject of LSD effects into two main categories: sensory perception and cognitive reasoning. The two functions of ‘sensing’ and ‘thinking’ are obviously connected, but this deconstruction is meant to logically explore and understand what a human mind can go through, while on LSD. All LSD experiences depend on the user’s previous experiences, current state-of-mind, and environment; as well as dose strength of the drug. Timothy Leary spoke about the ‘set & setting’ of LSD use.

Sensory Effects: LSD can cause physical sensory (and nervous system) reactions such as visual ‘illusions’, pupil dilation, synesthesia, audio echoes, sound confusion, electro-magnetic sensitivity, time perception changes, appetite changes, wakefulness, numbness, weakness, nausea, temperature changes, hyperactivity, goose bumps, clenching, perspiration, hyper-reflexia, tremors, strong metallic taste, and heightened senses. The sensory effects of LSD are highly variable and often vague, some of which may be secondary to the psychological effects of LSD, the user, the environment, and other drugs. Time sense experience repeats, stops, slows, stretches, and quickens. Visual ‘illusions’ for LSD include: colors, tones, shades, patterns (textures), hallucinations, blurs (tracers), image replication, eidetic imagery, flight, floating, and many other optical deviations. Objects and surfaces appear to ripple, flow, breathe, change shape, change color qualities, and animate.

Cognitive Effects: LSD trips often have long-term psychological effects. It can cause significant changes in mental conditions, life goals, personality, social perspective, and universal consciousness. LSD affects thought in relation to memory, time, objects, senses, self identity (ego and personality), emotional feelings (moods), connectivity, and every other type of cognition. When LSD is taken ‘Doors of perception’ tend to open in the mind, allowing users to ‘look or move into another way of perceiving reality’. LSD works within the first hour of taking it, but lasts for an average of 12 hours. LSD is used as an ‘entheogen’ by psychedelic shamans and new-age ‘psychonauts’ for spiritual therapy. Higher doses often cause intense distortions of perception such as synesthesia, catatonic trances, distortions of space, temporal dimensions, and temporary dissociation. LSD is often helpful for intense therapeutic sessions like: pain reduction, anger management, aura cleansing, soul searching, inspiring creativity, enhancing imagination, self-awareness, pattern recognition, metaphysical sexuality, empathetic melding, and other forms of psycho-therapy.

 

Warning! If the user is in a hostile or otherwise unsettling environment, or is not mentally prepared for the powerful distortions in perception and thought that the drug causes, effects are more likely to be unpleasant; in contrast to a pleasant atmosphere in a comfortable environment with a relaxed, balanced, and open mind-set. This strong drug is illegal, but the US DEA makes false statements regarding it, just as they do with other illegal drugs. LSD may trigger panic attacks or feelings of extreme anxiety, colloquially referred to as a ‘bad trip’. No real prolonged effects have been proven; however, people with such conditions as schizophrenia and depression can worsen with LSD. CIA tests show that LSD does make people more susceptible to suggestion and interogation. LSD ‘flashbacks’ (intense deja-vu) can occur sometimes, from related ‘triggers’. Flashback triggers can be caused by other drugs, or just mentally (drug-free). Flashbacks can be as real as hallucinations recreating specific experiences, or simply vague feelings of recollection.

New clinical LSD experiments started in 2009 for the first time in 40 years. From 2008–2011 there has been ongoing research in Switzerland into using LSD to alleviate anxiety for terminally ill cancer patients coping with their impending deaths. Preliminary results from the study are promising, and no negative effects have been reported. The Beckley Foundation, MAPS, Heffter Research Institute, and the Albert Hofmann Foundation exist to fund, encourage and coordinate research into the medicinal and spiritual uses of LSD and related psychedelics. Thanks Wikipedia!

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