Saturday, November 19, 2011

House-Warming Gifts

So a certain person's house-warming party is coming up this Christmas break. Veronica and I decided to do something creative (read: inexpensive but unique), so I found some interesting ancient Near Eastern texts that we could recreate. The first is taken from the tomb of Unas (2375-2345 BCE), the last king of the 5th Dynasty. He is the first to have elaborate prayers inscribed on the walls of his tomb, which would later be called the "Pyramid Texts." I found a suitable passage (i.e. one not referring to cannibalism or baboon penises). During this period of Egyptian history, after the Pharaoh died he was supposed to rise into the sky and join the gods, either becoming a star or merging with the sun itself. The passage I selected is a prayer/incantation/blessing to enable Unas to rise into the sky to take his rightful place. After selecting the text, I found how Alexander the Great had his name written in Egyptian after he conquered the area and replaced Unas' name with that. Then taught Veronica how to draw the signs, as she's more artistically inclined than myself. We consulted images of painted inscriptions to try to get the right colors. When information was not available, we made choices based on aesthetics. Here is the final product, which is about the size of a sheet of paper.
Here is the translation, taken from James Allen's The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts:

Ascending Toward the Sky:
The sky has been bled and Sothis lives, for Alexander is the living one, Sothis’s son, for whom the Dual Ennead have cleaned the imperishable Striker. Alexander’s house for the sky will not perish, Alexander’s seat for the earth will not end.
People have hidden, the gods have flown away, for Sothis has flown Alexander to the sky amidst his brothers, the gods. Nut has bared her arms to Alexander; the two foremost bas of the bas of Heliopolis, who spent the night making the god’s bewailing, have knelt down at the Sun’s head.
Alexander’s seat is with you, Sun, and he will not give it to any other. So, Alexander will go up to the sky by you, Sun, the face of Alexander as that of falcons, Alexander’s wings as those of birds, his nails as the talons of Him of Atfet.
There is no case involving Alexander at the earth with people, there is no guilty verdict of his at the sky with the gods, for Alexander has removed the case involving him and Alexander has destroyed the one against his ascending to the sky.
Paths-Parter has flown Alexander to the sky among his brothers the gods. Alexander has acquired arms as a Nile goose, Alexander has beaten wings as a kite. A flier has flown, people: Alexander has flown away from you.

Next, I found an Ugaritic text which celebrates when Baalu, the storm god and king of the gods, finally got a home (temple) for himself. The Baal cycle dates to about 1400-1350 BCE. The passage describes the building of the house and the beginning of the house warming celebration he has afterwards. I got some sculpty clay and used a wooden wedge that I have to inscribe the passage. Here is the result:

Here is the translation, taken from Mark Smith and Wayne Pitard's The Ugaritic Baal Cycle, Volume II:

Quickly his house was built,
Quickly his palace was erected.
He went to Lebanon for its trees,
to Siryan for its choicest cedars.
Lebanon for its trees,
Siryan for its choicest cedars.
A fire was set in the house,
a flame in the palace.
There! For a day and a second,
a fire burned in the house,
a flame in the palace.
For a third and a fourth day,
a fire burned in the house,
a flame in the palace.
For a fifth and sixth day,
a fire burned in the house,
a flame amid the palace.
Then on the seventh day,
the fire went out in the house,
the flame, in the palace.
The silver had turned to plates,
the gold had turned to bricks.
Mightest Baalu rejoiced:
“My house I have built of silver,
my place of gold.”
Baalu made arrangements for his house,
Haddu made arrangements for his palace.
He slaughtered large stock (as well as) small:
He killed bulls (and) fatling rams,
year old calves.

Both passages mention homes, so I thought they would be appropriate. Let me know what you think.

Youtube Post Rock Comments

  • This would be the most life changing experience if it was played to a nature video. Even thought it's already life changing.
  • Poppy flowers are beautiflul - just as beautiful as this composition.
  • The second that first note played of the song, My heart sunk, sunk with joy. but then it floated back up and is drifting in the ocean, humming the melody of this song. Because it's just so amazing.
  • Ambiance and beauty; loudness, the lack thereof, and space; continuity to your soul, led by an open road of emotions coated lightly with gentleness; the fading of forgetfulness and worldly clamor; the beginning of now.
  • This is the music I have come so far to conquer, to explore, and to find the deep, never-ending spiritual connection that is me to this world. Hammock has found a gateway to this, and for that I am thankful.
  • I was listening to this yesterday, and i accidentally opened the same song in another tab, it started about 20 seconds after the first one. The effect was so beautiful. This sond in itself is just amazing but that double effect kind of blew my mind in a completely different way. Try it. It's like teh differnce between a simple cup of sweet delicious tea and a rich cup of milk tea.
  • Ya know a song is music with words. This piece doesn't have any

New Blog Update

Muahahaha. I have finally figured out how to make the banner change each day using my skills in the dark arts. Check back tomorow and see if it has changed...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Zombie Horde

Here is my first draft of the zombie horde that I have put together in physical form for you evaluation.

2 Noxious Ghoul
1 Army of the Damned
1 Endless Ranks of the Dead
1 Unbreathing Horde
2 Dross Crocodile
1 Twilight's Call
1 Undead Warchief
1 Skulking Knight
2 Severed Legion
1 Death Baron
4 Cackling Fiend
1 Carrion Wurm
3 Maggot Carrier
1 Fleshbag Marauder
2 Vengeful Dead
2 Soulless One
2 Delirium Skeins
2 Infectious Horror
2 Nested Ghoul
1 Yixlid Jailer
1 Forsaken Wastes
2 Syphon Flesh
2 Bad Moon
1 Plague Wind
1 Call to the Grave
5 Zombie Giant Tokens
55 Zombie token card

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Multiplayer Cube

So, I have been working on a pauper cube that will be mostly for one-v-one drafting, which I have almost completed and will post here for comments once I have it done and entered in cockatrice. I have been enjoying making this cube and was thinking it would be great if we could make a cube to draft for our favorite format: Chaos Multiplayer. It seems to me that a well made multiplayer cube with all cards chosen specifically because they would work well in multiplayer could be a ton of fun, allow us to play with cards we wouldn't usually play with and shake up the way our games work a bit.

I don't want to overload us with alternate formats, especially if I am the only one who thinks this sounds like fun, but I am really looking forward to constructing this. Similar to the craft of the lumberjack, it is like creating a work of art.

So, here are my ideas for some different possible themes for a multiplayer cube:

1. Mono-green with lots of acceleration, big creatures and token generation
2. Big creatures+pump spells+auras and limited (possibly no?) creature removal
3. Tons of chaos cards (Goblin Game, Shared Fate, Coin Flip Cards, etc.)
4. A Mill-centric cube, where all the cards revolve around milling
5. A (more traditional and probably boring) power cube that takes all the most powerful multiplayer cards and throws them together

What do you guys think? Do you have any other ideas for cube themes?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

From Veronica's Dream Journal

Veronica found this old email she had sent me years ago about a strange dream. I thought it was pretty funny, so here it is for your enjoyment:

"In one dream, I think that your parents, the Waalkes' and my family were having a get together. It was outdoor, in some place like a park, and everybody was sitting in a circle talking about nothing important and drinking. The Waalkes (the boys), you, a friend of mine and I were sitting on a large couch, the others were sitting on chairs. I know it's weird, but Mr. Waalkes and Joey were wearing some kind of white men's afro. Some of us were drunk, and Mr. Waalkes was one of them. At one point, he left his chair, came close to the couch to make a joke about Phil and suddenly he punched Phil in his stomach. It became an awkward situation and I was already a little bit nervous, so I let out a loud laugh, but you and the boys seemed to be very offended by that and glared at me while Mr. Waalkes walked away like nothing had happened. Later, all of us were in another place but it was still the same park and there was a rock concert going on inside one building. I spent most time in this part of the dream walking around the park by myself while everybody was enjoying the concert (even our parents). Towards the end of the dream I decided to go inside the building to see what you were doing. The Waalkes and you were laughing loudly and making fun of the band and you were totally wasted. I couldn't understand what you were saying, so I asked you how much beer you had drunk and you said that you had had only nine glasses, but you were actually talking about those big German beer mugs (I don't know the name in English). There was a bench next to us and we sat there, I had my arm around you, suddenly you started to lay down on the bench and you past out in a few seconds. "

My favorite moment is when Mr. Waalkes punches Phil. Priceless moments.