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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in MatthiasRat's LiveJournal:

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Monday, June 28th, 2010
9:47 am
Another Anthrocon
This year's Anthrocon was a great deal of fun but it has come to an end. I've only a short time ago wished my last guest safe journey and now I am home alone with the dogs for a day of rest before I return to my job.

This year I had two guests, Jacob O'Hare and Hallan Mirayas. Jacob has been to my place several times and is always a welcome guest. This was the first time I'd ever met Hallan and it was a great pleasure to do so. His lion partial is very cool and he has two great costumes to go with it, "The Beast" who wears a cape and carries a rose, and "The General" who is dressed in Chinese robes and who will eventually bare a malachite-tipped spear.

I was expecting two other guests, PakeshDe, and MishaFox, but neither were able to make it. You two were missed and we hope to see you next year!

This year I ran a Rodents panel which was a lot of fun as always. We had two dozen rodents there with a broad showing. No one species dominated. It was a fun chat on why we love rodents and how they are portrayed in movies and literature, etc...

I also attended the Dinosaurs and Reptiles panel which didn't have as many folk but was also a good deal of fun. There were a lot more lizards than I was expecting and not as many gators, but there were several dinosaurs at least. There were two triceratops fursuiters this year, which was very cool!

Since this was Hallan's first Anthrocon I spent a good bit of time with him, waiting in line for the Dealer's Den and having him kick my tail in Rummy, playing Lupus in Tabula together, just walking around the con space, etc... He had a great time and I'm so glad of that!

I picked up four new sketches this year, as well as got a badge commission. I don't have the badge yet, but I'll post the sketches once I have them scanned in.

The only other panel I attended was the Memories of Wolfie panel. Wolfie was a good friend who passed away last December. He and his wife Tashabear have been dear friends who I always spent a good bit of time chatting with every AC. I was so glad to see her there and to have at least a small chance to offer my memories for him. I kept looking at people wearing bandanas over their head because that is what Wolfie used to do.

The TF Art Jam on Saturday night was a blast. We had at one point 28 people there participating. It was great. :-)

I saw a ton of people there, a few of them for the first time like Firemane, OmniFox, Leasara, PlagueRat, and LurkingWolf. There were so many others I know I'm going to forget a few: Comus, Lucius, Zax, Indegare, Linnaeus, Austen, Andi, Tango, Crimson, Bren, BeccaBunny, CatmonkShiro, Canem, Provo, Swift, Sil, Xavier, Roy Pounds, Tincrash, Snuggems, Kitcoon, Lionus, Dumpling, Earl, Eagle's Flight, Underwater Tiger, and so many others. There was even one fellow who I've had a falling out with that was there, and at one point, was no more than three feet from me. I very much want to reconcile with him, but this was not the time and I only hope that for his sake he didn't notice me.

There were many people who I had hoped to meet that I never did but there will be other Anthrocons and other opportunities.

I am so grateful to have finally met James Gurney author and artist of Dinotopia. My Dad is a huge fan of it and I got him to sign a book for my Dad. He'll love that. :-)

I will treasure all the memories I had of this Anthrocon just as I treasure the memories of prior Anthrocons. Who knows what will come to pass when the next one rolls around! :-)

Dominus vobiscum
Friday, May 21st, 2010
9:50 pm
One of the Most Pivotal Movies of My Life
I just finished watching one of the most pivotal movies of my youth, 1979's Alien. Alien is IMO the single best Sci-Fi/Horror film ever made. Period. Sure, Aliens was awesome too, but it was for entirely different reasons.

Alien wasn't my first movie (that was the original Star Wars), but it was one of the first. I remember we had a BetaMax machine and my parents recorded it when it came on TV one time. Only it got recorded over and we only had the last thirty minutes or so (it started with Parker refueling the flamethrower and proceeded to Ash spitting milk as it were). Still, my brothers and I watched this snippet a LOT. My older brother and sister had bought the comic book adaption of the movie and I recall reading this a bunch too. I still have it somewhere actually, a real classic.

This movie is also responsible for two notable things in my family. First, it is the reason my Dad is not allowed to hold the popcorn bag in the movie theatre. When Kane was given a good demonstration on why not to touch the eggs, my Dad performed an involuntarily and unwanted act of generosity with the popcorn. Secondly, for many years my family a license plate inspired by this movie (for privacy I won't share it despite it being cool). This license plate even led another driver to get out of his car at a red light and ask us what it meant. Yeah, it was that cool.

But mostly this movie inspired me to write my first and only true Fanfiction. I had tons of Alien stories that generally followed the plot of the movie Alien, but were often filled with a ton more characters and ton more ways for them to die as the ineffectually tried to fight the monster. I know I have it somewhere still, written way back when I was 11 (and I even used the word disemboweled back then too, yeah that's how I was). If I can find this I should really post it just so you can see how nuts I was.

I remember at one of my Church youth group weekend retreats getting together with some of the other fellows there and playing the Aliens roleplaying game and having a blast. The game basically makes you a Space Marine from the movie Aliens, but it's still lots of fun. Then again, my Dad used to lead the boy's group at our Church at the time and we had a sleep over with them and he told all the parents that we were going to show the movie Aliens. All of us boys loved it, and some of them bragged that they got to see an R rated movie. It seems some of these parents thought Aliens was a Disney movie. I have yet to figure that one out.

While watching the movie tonight, I was still scared every time the Alien came on screen; I screamed a few times too. Yeah, that's me. And I still was in some small way hoping it would come out different, that maybe Dallas would go the other way, or something. Yeah, I get into movies like this.

When I was a kid I memorized all the cast members for the movie and kept my eyes open for any time they'd ever be in something else. I still think it's really ironic that Ian Holm who played Ash also played Bilbo Baggins. And that Parker was a Bond villain. I can name at least one movie that every actor was in. And I rooted for them always. Heck, I still love Sigourney Weaver to this day because of her role as Ripley. She made Avatar worth seeing.

Another thing that really sticks with me about this movie is the music. Especially at the end after the climax where they use a part of Howard Hanson's 2nd Symphony. I don't think there is a more beautiful piece of music written by an American than Hanson's 2nd Symphony. One year, my Dad picked up a CD of Hanson conducting his own music for my Mom on their anniversary. She played it for me later and asked me if I recognized it. As soon as it reached the second theme in the first movement, I knew it was from Alien. I still treasure this piece.

Speaking of which, here is a wonderful tribute to both Ripley and Howard Hanson on Youtube: Ripley/Hanson Tribute.

If you haven't seen this movie, Alien, you need to go see it. It may be 31 years old now, but it is a true classic, showing real human characters facing something unknown and horrifying. And there's a wonderful commentary, even if not intended, on those who would reduce us to evolutionary enigmas from the character of Ash as he talks about the Alien. I never noticed it until I watched it this time. Truly, you see something new each time.

I love this movie, this music, these characters, and will continue to do so. Sorry for being so long-winded about it, but I just had to share!

Dominus tecum
Friday, April 16th, 2010
4:03 am
I Have Not Forgotten
Three Years... Requiescat in Pace.

Dominus vobiscum
Monday, April 12th, 2010
8:01 pm
I'm back!
Lent was a wonderful season in many ways for me. I learned that I can live without looking up FA or political sites every few minutes. And given the events that took place politically in that time, I'm glad I wasn't paying too much attention.

I lost a dear friend during that time too, Michael Bard....

I'm back to do my usual drive by LJing when time permits! A Blessed Easter Season to all!

Dominus vobiscum
Monday, February 15th, 2010
7:34 pm
Leaving for Lent
I don't spend much time here anymore, but I won't be spending any at all during Lent. I'm giving up my Internet usage apart from email and what I need to do for work or for checking the weather. Once Easter rolls around I'll be back.

If you really need to get in touch with me send me a note asking for my email or with your own.

Take care everyone, and may God bless you in abundance!

Dominus vobiscum
Friday, January 22nd, 2010
5:05 pm
In Memoriam
I couldn't say it better:

In Memoriam

Dominus vobiscum
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
5:24 pm
GOP wins in Massachusetts!
I am delighted by last night's victory of Scott Brown for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. Not only will this likely mean the death of the gargantuan monstrosity known as the Health Care bill, it also means that the Democrats will have to ask themselves what's really important to them, and perhaps, it will even lead some of them to actually try to constructively find common-ground solutions with the GOP instead of just trying to do things "My way or the Highway".

Now, there is no doubt in my mind that our Health Care system could use some reforms. But the bills passed by the House and the Senate ain't it. Smaller bills with more limited focus will have a much greater chance of successfully addressing problems, and also, of garnering bipartisan support. And the new Senator from Massachusetts wants just such an approach.

Obama promised openness and bipartisanship. Instead we've had one-party rule, backroom deals, and secrecy. Hopefully that will begin to change.

But this is Congress, so I'm realistic too. ;-)

No real news on the personal front. Continuing to wait on the adoption as there is simply no news there, and what little we get is often very dispiriting. But we will hold out hope there, no matter what.

Dominus vobiscum
Thursday, December 24th, 2009
10:36 am
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to all my Watchers and anyone else who stumbles here. :-)

May your day be bright with joy of family and faith united together. And may who travel do so safely!

St. Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.

And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Dominus vobiscum
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
10:06 pm
And more Prayers
My dear friend, Darkwolfie, has passed away. Ever since I first met him, he has been a wonderful friend who was always enthusiastic and eager to be with friends and most especially to love his wife, Tasha. I looked forward to spending time just hanging out at their table in the Dealer's den chatting with them, and trying not to get in the way of their business! I'll never forget his smile, the bandana he always wore on his head, his scraggly beard, the laugh he always had in his face, the way he leaned forward over his notebook when doing sketches, and the way he looked and spoke to his wife as it was impossible to miss the love therein. And I'm dreadfully sorry that one of our last conversations in this life was a brief argument over the health care bill.

Tasha, I loved him as a friend, and I'm so very hurt to know that he is gone from your life especially. You both will never leave my prayers. *hugs gently*

Dominus tecum

Current Mood: sad
Monday, December 14th, 2009
8:41 pm
Prayers for Darkwolfie
Please offer prayers for my friends Darkwolfie who is suffering from a long running illness and has been in the hospital for at least two months now.

He and his wife Tashabear are in desperate need of them.

Dominus vobiscum
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
7:30 pm
I'm Small Again
Well, after almost four week, I have my car back! Huzzah!

For the last two weeks, I've been driving a loaner from the garage at no charge (just have to fill it with gas). The loaner was an eight person full-size van! I towered over the road like my triceratops self! Muahahaha! Of course, this did make it a little nerve-wracking backing up or parking, but that is one of the prices of being a beast!

But now I have my Saturn back, and I'm small again, just like my Ratty self! The change in perspective was jolting and did kind of provide a semblance of the change in perspective that a size altering transformation would provide. In that sense, it was very cool.

The almost $2,500 in repair for my Saturn was not so cool, but it was less than what I thought it was going to end up, so that's good. And now that I know the exact cost of all this, I can manage my accounts again with as much forethought as one ever can. Some of my plans for next year necessarily must fall by the wayside, but which ones those are has yet to be determined.

Thanksgiving is in two days time, and I know I am thankful to God for many blessings in my life. Not the least of which is having my car back and in good order. I have a wonderful wife who has been very supportive and whose family we'll be spending Thanksgiving. I have two sweet dogs and a sweet cat, and the injured one is healing nicely (her urinary tract infection has cleared up, so now she just has a bone to mend). I have a job, a home, a good Church, many friends, a wonderful family, talents in writing and music, and so much more. Yes, I am very grateful to God for all these things.

And I've already started buying Christmas presents for my family. And that's probably the best thing to be thankful for in the world!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Dominus vobiscum
Saturday, November 14th, 2009
9:18 pm
Suggestions Needed on Recording Device
I'm looking to buy something portable that can record audio in a format I can easily upload to my computer. I want to be able to record myself playing the piano and organ and be able to share those "performances". I've been stymied in getting out to some actual electronic stores to see for myself what's available. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd appreciate them! Thanks!

Dominus vobiscum
Friday, November 6th, 2009
7:39 am
Some Good News
I'm an hour away from leaving for Virginia. My car is still in the shop and will be until Monday, but at least it should be repaired then. But the reason for our trip is good. My younger brother is getting married! Huzzah! And then, later this month, he and his wife are moving to Colorado for his new job. So very good news for my family.

Tessa and Chloe (our dogs) were playing together last night like good friends, which is also really nice to see. Chloe has been the only dog for a few years, and it's taken her some time to get used to having a friend.

I'm not the newest guy in my group at work anymore, yay! And the new guy likes D&D, YAY!

Will Sanborn is publishing two more of my stories in his next Furry anthology, YAY!

So, no matter what calamity strikes, there is almost certainly plenty of reasons to be hopeful, plenty of blessings uncounted, and plenty of joy left to be uncovered and celebrated.

Dominus vobiscum
Friday, October 30th, 2009
6:25 pm
Bad News comes in Threes
I believe that's what they say. Well, I hope that three is all we're going to get. First, Tessa broke her leg on Monday, (total expenditure, just $800). Yesterday, Kim took her SUV in to have the breaks looked at, and it needs new brakes and tires, which will cost us about $550 - $700 once done. And today, I took my Saturn in for an oil change and to fix a leak in the coolant, and from the looks of things, my engine block has a crack in it, so they have to replace my entire engine (no clear estimate here, but he'd done this for a 2004 Saturn not long ago and it was $2,200).

We do have the money saved up, but this is dealing us a serious hit. We're going to have to postpone a lot of our plans because of this. I just hope that this is it for our portion of bad news for a while.

Dominus tecum
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
10:25 pm
New Puppy
A couple weeks back, Kim and I bought a new puppy. She's a tri-color Sheltie, is very sweet, and loves Kim a lot. Here's a few pictures I took:


Tessa 2

Unfortunately, on Monday, she tripped going down the steps and broke her leg! :-(

Poor Tessa!

Further, she has elevated enzyme levels (not sure which) in one of her kidneys, so they think she might have a Urinary Tract Infection. They've (the vets) put her on Clavamox to fight the infection.

I'm very worried about our little girl. Kim is even more worried! Do say a little prayer for Tessa if you would!

Dominus vobiscum
Monday, October 5th, 2009
6:28 pm
Sweater Vests
Since it is now cool and my office is no longer attempting to recreate the atmospheric conditions of the Louisiana Bayou, I decided to wear one of my sweater vests to work. I love wearing a vest and a tie together, I think it looks very dignified. Yet I received a few surprised comments on this, so it made me realize just how infrequent they seem to be. There seems to be a perception that sweater vests == uncool.

What do you think about the sweater vest & tie combo?

Dominus vobiscum
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
11:02 am
More Family
My younger brother is getting married in November! Hoorah! Now my Mom can bug two of us about when we're going to give her grandchildren. ;-)

Seriously though, I'm so happy for my brother. He'd been so alone for so many years while slaving away to get his doctorate. But now, he has his PhD, and he has a prospective job, and he also now has a soon to be wife. I'm so happy for him and I know the wedding is going to be wonderful. :-)

Now, to get my youngest brother and my older brother hitched, and we'll all be in great shape. :-)

Dominus vobiscum

Current Mood: happy
Monday, September 7th, 2009
9:30 am
A Really Big Rat!
I wonder if we're related! World's Largest Rat Discovered.

In other news, my 33rd birthday was yesterday. Had a great time. To all who already wished me a Happy Birthday, thank you so much. To the rest who didn't know, still love ya anyway. :-)

Now enjoy your Labor Day! :-)

Dominus tecum
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
3:33 pm
I love Dogs
My dog Chloe always gets a little confused when I'm on the floor doing anything. So when I was doing some pushups a few minutes ago, she rolled onto her belly with her head being exactly where my head would be when I lowered myself. So everytime I came down from a pushup there she was expecting a kiss or attention, and sometimes giving me a kiss. Ah, such a sweetie. :-)

On that note, I'm making it a point to do more exercising. I'm not fat, but I am out of shape. I'm trying to do at least 100 pushups a day in sets of 25. Once I build up some stamina I'm going to increase that. Any other good ideas on simple things I can do to get myself in shape?

Dominus tecum
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
8:22 am
A Beach Vacation
This last week, Kim and I enjoyed a vacation out on Maryland's Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. My parents rented a lodge for two weeks, and everyone in my family came when they could. Kim and I could only make the second week, but it was plenty enough time to spend with my family and have a wonderful time. I'd say relaxing, which is certainly true for Kim, but not as much for me. I got into the water every chance I could, played with my brothers a often as possible, and did the jellyfish dodge as infrequently as I could get away with (and was stung a few times).

The water was great the first couple of days especially, but the last two days had the jellyfish count steadily increasing so it was harder to get into the water. One of those days we rented kayaks and paddled around, out to the cliffs (which had a high clay content because the 'rock' broke apart in your hands), and over to the lighthouse. I was getting ideas on a story involving a lighthouse, but they still have to percolate in the back of my head. The last day we did a little swimming and tubing (always fun), and then spent the afternoon out at the movies. We went to go see "G Force" which was awesomely cute. I was having so much fun watching it that I was actually surprised by the climax, but that made it even more enjoyable for me. I hate being able to predict how a movie is going to go.

I hadn't been to the beach since my honeymoon back in '01, so this was a wonderful experience. I took Chloe for walks in the early morning and was able to watch the sun rise over the water. The weather was nice and didn't rain at all during the day despite threatening it one time. My brothers and I were all tasked with bringing one food item, one movie, and one game. I made a fish dinner with an orange-spiced glaze that everyone liked. I also brought "Prince Caspian" for a movie (hoorah for Reepicheep!) and the game "Carcassone" which everyone enjoyed. My youngest brother brought the Zombie game "Last Night on Earth" which seemed to be slanted toward the zombies, but we heroes were almost able to manage a win.

But the biggest news came out first night there. One of my brothers proposed to his girlfriend and she accepted! Hooray! Once he finds a job, he'll be the second son in my family to be married! :-)

Now we're all back home, recovering from the vacation and getting back to all our normal chores. I'll always treasure the memories from this week. It was truly a blessed time. :-)

Dominus vobiscum

Current Mood: cheerful
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