The Rabyd Skald – Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

Just a message for all of you ghouls, vampires, zombies, ghosts, mummies and werewolves and witches out there this evening.  Have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the day your way.  It should be noted that this is the 31st straight day of posting on The Grey Wayfarer so we have hit our first month milestone.  A great day to do that.

I want to thank all of you for following, liking or commenting over this month.  As always thanks for reading.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


A Skald’s Life – The Business Virtues – Dreaming Big

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day


I think the whole plan is starting to come together and this is now more about acting and adjustment than actual planning.  I am starting to dream big again and I like the assertive confidence it is creating in me.  It’s nice to feel a little more sense of honor and discipline coming back into my life.

I still struggle with the emotions of loss.  I had several relationships cut short by my own actions and the actions of others.  I am working on restoring my most important relationship with my wife but the others remain difficult.  People can say ‘come on over and we will talk and still be friends’ but I know the reality of that is either just being polite or it would truly be awkward and everyone knows it.  In one relationship, I am actually not sure what I would feel, but as I said Monday, I think there is still a closure problem with it, at least with me.

What seems to help the most is staying true to the Big Dreams I have on my bucket list and working toward them.  It’s baby steps at this point.  I hope in the future it will be larger steps. One day the dreams will be reality, so I work toward them. It is perhaps this process that will pull me out of this funk I seem to get into every once and a while.


“Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.”

Principle: Work to be self-reliant in all things.

Blessed independence.  There are a few things unmet yet that are wants but needs are met and that is a good thing.  One ‘need’ might be health insurance at this point but in truth me and my wife will muddle through until we have opportunity to get some when we are making more money.  Hopefully that won’t take too long.


“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

My current work is sometimes an enjoyable thing.  I like the feeling that I actually did something useful.  Been a while since I felt that way.  I do work to make my job efficient but now I have come to see doing so at home as far as cleaning and organizing things can have that quality too.  Even school work is starting to be enjoyable again.  I still have my struggles but the routines and focusing on the future seem to be helping.


“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: Be ready to be hospitable to those who truly need it.

I have big dreams of being prosperous, but part of that is the idea of being in a position to be hospitable and giving back.  My motivation is not hording wealth so much as prosperity I can share with others.  Right now If someone were truly in need I could help them by at least giving them a place on the floor in the living room and sharing a meal with them.

The dream is far larger than this.  I want to be able to help people more often.  Setting up a charity perhaps but more practically, I know the main thing people need is support and that often involves a serious look at yourself in an atmosphere of loving accountability.  My one regret in ministry in my last church is changing the prayer group from a spiritual self-evaluation session into just a bible study.

I really think support groups are far more needed where a person can be honest about what is going on in their life and get emotional and other support.  When that changed, I personally lost the ability to be accountable to myself and I think that left me vulnerable and it cost me.  I would like to restore that and give it to others who also need it like myself.

Daily Routine:

  1. Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging
  3. Reading – 1 hour per day.
  4. Study / Homework – 1 hour per day or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Empty In Box
  6. Financial Transaction Input

Daily routines are a little harder.  Mostly time is a factor. I always have to juggle sleep with getting the routine done for the day.  Or I try to stick with the priority order but priorities do change depending on circumstances.  Some things on this list will take less time if I stay up on them as this problem will become less of a problem as I keep doing what I need to do each day.


  1. Strengthen Marriage
  2. Finish my Political Science Degree
  3. Advance Career
  4. Monitor and Control Finances
  5. Write for my Blog  – 1 post per day average.
  6. Exercise
  7. Follow a Solid Diet Plan
  8. Create and work a Bucket List.

Dreaming Big.  When I look at this list of goals the picture of taking steps to get to the dream of owning my own business and retiring to be the philosopher/writer in the woods doesn’t seem so unattainable.   As I check off items on all these lists, I think I will begin to see that more clearly. Right now its the early stages so its hard to see the big dream come to fruit but as the months go by and things get checked off this list, it will get clearer.


  1. Basic Emergency Fund – $1000
  2. Debt Snowball
  3. Fully funded Emergency fund
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
  5. Pay off Home Early
  6. Build Wealth and Give

Step 1 still in progress.  The issue is going to be any extra income needs to be saved into an emergency fund until we get $1000.  Once school is finished I need to find some ways to make more money: either a better job, second job or taking matters into my own hands.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


Of Wolves and Ravens – Voting or Playing the Lotto


Happy Tyr’s Day


I am on campus a lot as a student and have been over this last three and a half years and at every election time the message by the school is clear, get out there and vote.  “It’s your civic responsibility”. “You can make a difference.”  The problem with being an Economics Minor is when you start doing an analysis of voting using economic law and principles, you discover to your horror as a Political Science Major that your individual vote matters little.

It was humorous this last week as the Power Ball Lotto reached 1.6 Billion and I saw people lining up around the country for their almost statistical zero chance of winning it. Many of same people will adamantly tell me I am wasting my vote by voting for Libertarian candidates because they won’t win.  The irony is a little thick there because voting is very much like playing the lotto.  You are doing an action that might have the very small statistical chance of actually affecting the outcome of an election.

On to the Wolves and Ravens:  

Needs (Geri):

I am doing a little bit of switch here because as I already indicated I am a libertarian and so the first thing I am going to talk about is whether government is legitimate.  I think it in most cases is not even necessary.  Like I said on Sunday in the Pagan Pulpit on Havamal 47 – people in general are decent people. There are always bad apples and some people want protection against those apples, so humans start out with the idea of government as a means to do that.  If I take a Classical Liberal position you have government needed for a way of settling deputes and to provide protection of human rights, this would involve a need for courts, internal security (fire and police) and defense.  Other than that most other things could be handles by voluntary associations and the free market.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and text

Wants (Freki):

So if we need this minimal government and we want it, how do we get it?  Democracy is the notion that the majority rules by voting and that the majority gets the action that they voted for.  There are several problems with this.  1) I don’t want this decision to affect myself or others negatively but when the majority rules the effect is felt on those that want the action and those that don’t.  2) I am forcing the other side to my will if my side wins.  If I am a decent human being, forcing another to do something they don’t want to do or affects them negatively, should be distasteful to me. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be part of something that is about the tyranny of the majority. What we have in voting and democracy most of the time is mob rule, and the person who can rally the biggest mob around them wins.

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Reason (Huginn):

OK. Time to look at voting rationally.  Two things: 1) The power of the individual vote is insignificant and 2) There are only a few times where your vote can actually matter.

The first is the simply point that the value of a single vote in any election is 1 over N.  N being the number of votes actually cast in that particular election. This means the larger and election, the more statistically insignificant your vote is.  You actually probably have more of a chance of affecting the outcome of smaller local elections than anything else.  The most power if have had personally in this regard is when I sat on two school boards and had a one seventh of a chance of actually casting a deciding vote.

The other part is knowing that the only time you actually to cast a significant vote is when you either break or cause a tie.  Otherwise you are just part of the mob.  In truth what you are doing is playing the political lotto hoping that you are part of the mob that wins. Also, if you are part of the mob that loses then your vote was wasted and if the election is won, every winning vote beyond what was need to win is a wasted vote. There are a lot of insignificant and wasted votes every election and the most of them are actually cast for the two major parties.

This is why people don’t get informed because I think they instinctively know this.  There is little point in spending a lot of time on something that you know won’t have much effect; if any, on the outcome.  So people vote their feelings or party line because it doesn’t require much thought.

No automatic alt text available.

Wisdom (Muninn):

So what, then?  Where does wisdom fit in?  I can only say that it might have little to do with voting or government in general.  If we were wise we would give government little power and maintain that individuals have strong rights the government can’t take away by voting.  Oh, yeah that’s what the founders gave us but we keep going down the path to less individual rights and more government.  A course that is not wise, but the desire for security over freedom keeps leading us to despise “The Blessings of Liberty”. . Perhaps people should reconsider that maybe our founders here in the United States were in a sense political geniuses and we should respect their intelligence of individual rights over government power.


Yeah, I vote.  But don’t tell me my vote matters or its my civic duty.  For me it is more like other people playing the lotto.  It’s that slim chance I might make a difference, that I might be in the winning mob.  I do it for the thrill of marking my choices and hoping like the power ball player gets his number and dreams. I do it for the thrill of knowing that there is a statistically better chance that I will be involved in a fatal car crash on my way to the polls, than my vote will make a difference – it’s kind of like sky diving for a political scientist.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


A Skald’s Life – The Foundational Virtues – Closure

Happy Moon’s Day

Journal Entry:

I have spent the greater part of October planning and organizing the plan for my life post-pastor and post-Christianity. Now it is time to act.  This last week has been a little rough for me, as I have spent way too much time thinking on the past and trying to shake it. The real thing I think I am facing is the fact that with a lot of parts of the past, I lack closure.  Things ‘ended’ with several things in my life with what I would consider bad endings. If they had been written out as part of one of my stories, I would have definitely considered a rewrite to at least provide some sense of ending for the reader.  The way things actually went down, there is no sense of that.  At least from my side there isn’t.

It’s why things don’t sit well with me on several past issues and this is something that is affecting me and my wife, so I will probably talk about it at our next counseling session. I can’t go into all the details, but I think I need a way to find some closure on some things and I just don’t know how yet.  That’s part of my next task personally.

As it is, I need to fight the anger, sadness and The Grey that comes with this struggle, so the time to Journal and Act on all the planning I have done this last month is now.  I need to stay busy and thus keep walking this journey I call my life.


Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – Be positive about my future

The real question for me is honor.  In some of these past cases, I feel people got the better of me by taking advantage of my vulnerability.  In some cases, it is myself that needs to apologize for my actions. In some cases, it is simply that the way I parted with someone just wasn’t right.  There are many things left unsaid and undone.

It’s hard to be positive about my future when the past reminds me of my failures.  It needs to be dealt with properly and in some cases, it might not be possible. I need to calm myself through meditation at these times and refocus on the future.  It’s just something I need to get better at doing.


“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Three things are required for courage to take place.  1) To know what the right thing is. 2) To know what to do about it and 3) To know when to do it.  It’s this three-fold thing that keeps me engaged in evaluation of every action that requires courage.

If there is a closure regret that I can relay specifically, it’s that I truly wish I could go back in time and handle my church resignation myself.  What I should have done is taken a Sunday off to think about it and then resigned in person the next Sunday after that.  Perhaps then things would have been different, but who knows.  For future reference some notes to self: 1) If there is something hard to do, do it yourself and 2) Don’t trust others to do things for you that directly affect you – they will either fuck it up or fuck you over, so do it yourself.


“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

Being honest with myself is more the struggle these days.  It is easy to blame others and I am not saying others are not to blame at times, but you can only control what you do, so knowing the truth is helpful in that regard.  If others do indeed fuck you over, then fine, but make sure you learn what you could have done better first before seeking justice.

I pursue any knowledge I think will benefit me in the future.  These days this pursuit is done with a lot of practicality in mind.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals
  3. Review Bucket List
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Meditate on One of the Virtues
  6. Breakfast
  7. Supplements and Medicines
  8. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  9. Get Dressed for the Day

This has been going really well so far, but I had to make one change in the order which was to put my meditation after my full body stretch.  This is more of a practical thing as I end my stretching on the floor and so it’s a simple matter to go lotus position at that point and just meditate for a couple of minutes on the Virtue for the day.  Other than that I think the whole thing is a good order and working well for me.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.
  10. Start my own business

I think the one thing on this list that is the most possible is getting my first tattoo once I have the money. I mean I could do the Smoke a Joint thing but I am trying to keep clean for job search purposes.  Once school is over I think the novel and Learning Latin might be next.  The weightlifting goals will come when they come.


Weightlifting’s great challenge right now is picking which days to do it.  My schedule at work is different days every week. So the thing is that I need to make four trips to the gym a week.  This means sometimes its weekend days as well.  This is simply necessary because trying to lift after a long day of work and school and then late gym session can be too much.  I found out Sunday morning is pretty empty at the gym.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


The Pagan Pulpit – Havamal 47 – Enjoying Humanity

Happy Sun’s Day


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: Disturbed – Voices:

I have been listening to this one a lot this week.  It kind of goes along with the theme this week, so I will keep the commentary about it until the Sermon.


“My Soul Has Eyes”

The Mirror to the Soul

So they are called.

I can’t see my own

unless I look in the mirror.

I wonder what part of my soul people see?

The part of my soul that is tired and depressed

The part of my soul that has regrets

The part of my soul that bleeds with wounds new and old

The part of my soul that is black and dark

or the part that shines in hope and love.

I wish I knew what people see in my eyes

What part of my soul is laid bare.

– Ed Raby, Sr.  – October 25, 2018

I must confess my writing of poetry is bitter sweet.  It enjoy it on the one hand because it allows me to express feelings in words that normal writing doesn’t do.  I need that from time to time.  On the other hand the memories of the person associated with me learning to write poems better and understand them better comes up every time I do it, and that just makes me sad.  I guess it’s something I just live with, because I can’t seem to stop writing them from time to time.  Sometimes its the only thing that works.


Image may contain: text

I post a lot of memes and sayings on Facebook.  Just so everyone knows, the Meditation for the week usually comes from one of them I posted that past week.  It’s the one that meant the most to me.

Song of Preparation:Van Halen – Love Walks In:

The story associated with this song for me is that I was standing in a convenience store a little after my wife and I started reconciling.  This song came on and the guy behind the counter was singing it.  I joined in; which is not something I normally do.  The guy behind the counter stopped to listen to me and asked if the song meant something to me.  I told him until that moment, no.  But now it did.  Not only did it reflect at the time the new feelings of love I had for my wife but there was a very human moment there with that guy.  Humanity didn’t seem all that bad to me at that time.

Text: Havamal 47

Young was I once, I walked alone,
and bewildered seemed in the way;
then I found me another and rich I thought me,
for man is the joy of man.


It is really hard to be objective about the nature of humanity.  Most of us think humans as a rule are not the greatest thing to ever happen to us.  Some people I imagine love people, but there are a good chunk of us that have problems with humanity.  Some of us, like in the video of Disturbed’s song ‘Voices’, have our fantasies about getting back at the bullies, getting revenge on the girl who dumped us or tying up a difficult boss.  It truly is freaky shit that we think of sometimes isn’t it when it comes to how we would like to respond toward some people’s actions toward us.  The voices are pretty convincing that even we are not all that great.

If we were honest though, most of the people in our lives are a lot like us.  Just trying to make their way in the world and do the best they can.  Very few people in our lives actually deliberately try to make our lives miserable.  There are a few, I will acknowledge that, but for most part, people seem decent enough.

I think this is more evident if you have ever been lost alone away from people for a while or wonder if you can find your way back to them.  I have had this experience at least twice.  It is an intense relief when you actually find another person.  I get what Odin is saying in Havamal 47.  Like it or not we need our fellow humans and very few of us are misanthropes.

In fact, I would argue that many times at our lowest point it has been someone else who helped us out of it.  Some person who saw us in our suffering and actually stopped to help, or as we wandered we ran into someone who inspired us. I would say our positive encounters with humans actually probably outweigh our negative ones.

At the very least we become like the guy in the Disturbed video of ‘Voices’.  We drop our anger and desire for vengeance and simply walk off to the mosh pit and try to find a more human ‘loving’ way to get rid of our anger. Perhaps that is the greatest testimony to humanities goodness after all – that we choose to find another way that is constructive.  Very few of us actually act on the voices.

Closing Song:  Slash Street Boys – “I’ll Kill You That Way”:

A little Halloween Humor to send you off today.  Enjoy the Week and Happy Halloween!!!

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 3 – Awakening (Wayfarer)

Happy Saturn’s Day

The man in the bed stirred.  It was the first time he had moved on his own power since the whole thing began.  His eyes fluttered open but he immediately shut them again.  Things were too bright.  Gods his head hurt.  No telling where he was now.  He was either in his intended destination, the hospital or the morgue. If the last was true, he was waking up to what lies beyond the veil of death and that brightness was the afterlife.

Somehow though he suspected that it was not the afterlife or the hospital.  You don’t hear the sounds of lovers making love in a hospital that often and he could smell smoke of a fire. No, unless something truly unplanned had happened, he had arrived in his intended destination.  He just couldn’t move or speak or see it in truth yet.  He opened his eyes once again and the blur came into focus.

He was in a room with a bed and a wash basin on a small wooden stand.  There were  towels draped over the stand as well and the fabric was exquisite.  Not made by a machine but much better in many respects.  He tried to move his arm and succeeded only to lift it a little. Then he looked a little to the edge of the bed only to see the face of a huge white wolf staring back at him. Their eyes met and strangely he didn’t feel afraid of the wolf.  The wolf looked at him for a few moments and then walked out of the room past the curtain that separated it from the main room.

A few moments later a large man entered the room. He was muscular but looked older with hair that was white.  He only had one eye and the other was covered with a patch. He was wearing a simple grey tunic and on his shoulder was perched a large raven.

“Well, you live after all.  I will wake up my wife and she will tend you,” the man said in a commanding deep voice.

Then he disappeared.  The man stirred a little more and after a couple of minutes a woman in a white dress came in. She was blond, blue-eyed and stunningly beautiful.  She smiled at him but he could see a knowing sadness behind her eyes. He wondered about that, but she came along and sat beside him and touched his forehead and chest.

He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was.  Her proportions were perfect and her skin flawless.  He eyes were stunning like they looked right into your heart and her golden hair radiant beyond belief.  No super model, with the most skillful of Photoshop work done, could look like she did.  It was then he realized his nakedness under the blankets and began to feel a little self-conscious.  She smiled again.

“Be at peace, you are safe here,” her voice was like soft music.

She leaned a little closer like she didn’t want to be overheard.

“Besides, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

He blushed slightly and found his hand absent mindedly going to the Thor amulet around his neck.  It was still there.  He wondered at it now as the story that had been told him had been true.  It was magical.  It had drawn him to this place, wherever that was.  He began to relax a little more.  It was hard not to do so in this woman’s presence.

“You know you have been under my care for a day and I still don’t know who you are?  Can you speak?”

The Man looked at her and smiled.

“My name is Beorn Erickson. I guess you could say I am a scholar of sorts”

“Well Beorn, I am Frigg, goddess of motherhood and home. Welcome to our home.”

Beorn didn’t show any reaction to the statement that she was a goddess.  He actually  relaxed even more. The amulet had worked and now he could move on to other things.  He decided to choose his words carefully.

“So the mythology isn’t mythological after all.  So the man I saw; he is Odin, the All-Father?  Your husband?”

Frigg raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, he is Odin.  All Father and King of the gods of Asgard. It is not often that mortals hear of the gods and react as you do.  How is this possible?”

“You could say I have been looking for you.  Mostly though I wanted to prove this amulet worked.  The magic in it is unique and very powerful.  Besides if legend is correct, the gods and goddesses of Asgard prefer actions of worship, not the groveling prayers of other religions.”

“A wizard, not just a scholar then? My husband might be very interested in that.  He is a wizard himself and a warrior.”

“Yes, some of the legends and stories remain.  Many are lost though.  I guess you could say this was a research trip in that regard.”

“A seeker after knowledge.  Yes, My husband will respect that.  The issue he will have is whether or not you are willing to pay the price for knowledge that is sometimes needed.”

“Yes, those stories remain.  His hanging from the world tree and his sacrifice of his eye.  They also speak of your powers to see men’s fates.”

Frigg’s smile faded; but it was not anger that replaced it, but a sadness.

“Yes, I can, but it is not very helpful.  There is little that can be done to change the fates of men.”

Beorn decided not to press this.  He knew she was speaking of her son Balder and he didn’t want to bring up painful memories.

“Well, I suppose that would be a heavy burden to bear. I didn’t mean to cause you sadness.”

“No, it alright.  It was a long time ago that I lost Balder…that Asgard lost Balder.  You seem strangely emphatic for a wizard and scholar.”

“I wasn’t always a wizard and a scholar.  I once was a priest. A Christian priest.”

“That explains your gentleness.  You gave that up?  I wonder what reason you could have for that?”

“I am not very good with celibacy for one.”

Frigg laughed and Beorn with her.

“I can also say that celibacy would not allow you to share one of your better assets with the world either.  You shouldn’t deprive women like that.”

They laughed again.  Beorn felt so at ease in her presence.

“I imagine though that there are other deeper reasons.”

“It was the beliefs.  The god of the cross doesn’t make sense to me anymore.  So I went looking for others.”

“Well, it seems you found a couple.”

“Yes, I have. The amulet worked and drew me to you.”

Frigg paused.  The two looked at each other for a moment.

“Well Beorn, I can’t see that you are ill or in any way sick.  Just drained of energy.  I will make some food to help with that, and bring you something to drink.  My husband will want you fully rested and restored before he speaks with you.”

She got up and headed toward the curtain.  As she started to pull it back, Beorn spoke once again.

“Frigg, thank you for your hospitality. There was one other reason I left the priesthood.  Love.”

Frigg smiled.

“I would say that was related to the first reason you gave, but I understand. I suspect you broke her heart or perhaps…”

“She broke mine.”

“Ah, well perhaps you will find love again.”

“I hope so, it’s a good thing to be in love but also dangerous.”

“Yes, it is.”

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


The Rabyd Skald – The Big Picture and Depression Triggers

The Planning part is done.  Virtues, Routines, Goals, Plans, etc. are all finished as far as initial thoughts.  Now is the time for to get the big picture and make a final plan which is how I am going to maintain this and monitor it.  Of course this is what this blog and blogging in general is all about for me.  I have three journal posts each week and my notebook, which is how monitoring this is going to take place.  There are also adjustments that need to take place as things are crossed off my lists as accomplished and life changes from time to time. Mostly though I will be using the three A Skald’s Life posts each week to keep track of things and stay motivated. Today is the big picture of how that will work and at the end something personal because it doesn’t really fit anything else.

A Skald’s Life – Foundational – In each weeks Foundational Post, I will be discussing the Noble Virtues of Honor, Courage and Truth.  I think it is also a good place to discuss the Morning Routine, Bucket List and my Weightlifting Plan. Like all my journal posts is will start with a basic journal entry of what is going on.

A Skald’s Life – Business – In each weeks Business Post, I will be discussing the Noble Virtues of Self-Reliance, Industriousness and Hospitality.  I think it is a good place to discuss the Daily Routine, Goals and Budget Plan.  It also with start with a basic journal entry.

A Skald’s Life – Self – In each weeks Self Post, I will be discussing the Noble Virtues of Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity.  I think it is a good place to Discuss the Weekly Routine and my Nutritional Plan.  Having one less thing I will probably be looking back at the week as a whole in the basic journal entry which usually takes longer.

The last tool is my notebook which basically has check lists for the Routines and copies of the Virtues, Principles, Goals, Bucket Lists and Plans.  I keep these in front of me every day in the Morning Routine.  These Journal Entries are about marking progress.

Depression Triggers:

I know is might be strange to switch to this topic but The Rabyd Skald Posts are about what doesn’t fit into the other posts that are more standardized.  I would also say the reason I am doing all the Virtues, Goals, etc. is that it is my way of constantly combating my depression and keeping the things that trigger it at bay.  So perhaps is does fit as the overall goal of keeping myself walking through The Grey and still accomplishing what I need to accomplish – It is truly about being The Grey Wayfarer in that sense.

My depression is not as severe as many others.  I can function in the middle of it. It just makes me get moody and difficult to deal with at times.  It basically makes me feel either slightly sad or nothing.  That is I have this feeling that everything is either a waste of time and it makes me sad or I feel nothing at all.  It’s the nothing that bothers me more than the sadness.

I have spent the last couple months really trying to identify things that trigger it.  I am pretty sure I have discovered some of them.  I am not sure how to combat some of these as there is no way to not discuss some of them or avoid some of them.  In fact I am not sure if the way to deal with these triggers is to avoid them at all or actually discuss them.  It’s at times like these I miss The Rabyd Microphone, because I wouldn’t be hesitating about talking about things.  These days I have others to think about, so I play things close to the vest a little more and discuss them with my wife and our marriage counselor more.

My Depression Triggers:

  1. Anger – After I calm down it turns to The Grey.  The real problem is after this summer I have much more to get angry about, so it comes up more often.
  2. Talking about certain people – I lost a lot of friends but to be honest when you make a serious mistake and friends abandon you, then you at least find out who your real friends were.  The one’s that just left or took off, yeah, fuck ’em. Less baggage now. That’s not the issue.  It’s the people who didn’t just abandon you, they stabbed you as they left.  They took advantage of your vulnerability or openness to them and they left you when you needed them most or even worse betrayed you.  Yeah, those people make me angry or sad and then The Grey follows.
  3. When I don’t feel a love connection.  I know it sounds stupid or maybe sappy but love connections fight my depression. They have to be maintained so my wife and I cuddle and talk a lot whenever possible. I make a point of it; to keep it going so when The Grey comes it helps me get over it quicker.  It could be said though that if I haven’t maintained my love connections, The Grey comes more often when I am alone.  I am alone a lot as an introvert,  People drain my energy over time and I need a recharge by getting alone. But there is a great deal of difference in being alone and feeling lonely.

The past is a relentless bastard even though it cannot be changed.  It still takes a toll on you if you let it.  I have found the only real way to combat it is look to the future to be better. To keep walking.  Hopefully from time to time you stand in the sunlight.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Budget Plan

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Budgeting is not something new to me.  I have handled things before like this, mostly though I find budgeting tedious and boring, so I find ways to do it that are quicker.  Thankfully computer software these days makes things go much better.  Mostly though the plan for budget is pretty simply from my perspective.

When I was a Christian, I followed Dave Ramsey a lot.  The fact is his basic plan makes a lot of sense simply because it follows tried and true things. I don’t see that I have to change my respect for its wisdom.  We are in debt again and we do need to make more money to combat that but we also need a plan to get back to financial health again. Our plan follows the Dave Ramsey pattern.

  1. Basic Emergency Fund – $1000
  2. Debt Snowball
  3. Fully funded Emergency fund
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
  5. Pay off Home Early
  6. Build Wealth and Give

There is a missing step as I have children but they are all grown up and I pretty much told them what my family told me – ‘you want college education, pay for it yourself.’  Step 5 for us wold be more of buy a small home and pay it off quickly because right now we rent an apartment and probably will continue to rent until we get to a point of being debt free.

After twenty years of being in the ministry I have little to show for it.  I don’t own a home.  I have a lot of debt and some things have had to be cut.  Probably the most devastating right now is health insurance.  We can’t afford it with the payments we have to make on other things and that means both my diabetes and my wife issues will have to be handled out of pocket and nope – we don’t have the money for that either.  Hopefully nothing major happens.

If we have any further need its to start making more money and that is why I accelerated school to be pretty much done except the internship, so I can start marketing my degree for a better job. I would stay where I am but they would need to make me more than a grunt worker at this point and they would also have to make me full-time instead of 32 hours a week. At this point in my life it is about retirement and that means I am about 20 years behind people my same age because of being a pastor all that time in my first career. Yep, it’s a tall order but I don’t just want to survive but thrive.

As an aside if you are thinking of ministry as a career, I recommend going to a secular school for your bachelor’s and get it in something you can make money doing.  Do that for twenty years and get your financial life in order and then go get you Masters in Divinity and be a pastor. Trust me on this, you will thank me for it.

Right now we could be classified as working poor.  Not poor enough to qualify for government handouts, but not rich enough to get ahead.  That needs to change soon and for me that means a better job with more money so we can breathe again.


“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Achieving greater purposes is a line in the virtue I have been thinking about a lot lately.  When I look at things in my financial future I think others are going to play a role.  What I want is my own business to take into retirement.  I want it to be my retirement.  Not having something to do, I think is the death of a lot of people.  The one’s who live the longest understand discipline and sticking with something.

At this point I have all the plans in place, bucket list, goals and routines.  Now its time to take all these pieces and step back and reform the bigger picture.  I think though I will do a separate post on this under The Rabyd Skald platform probably this afternoon.


“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Not much to say here other than I keep going and I keep getting up. Right now school needs to have more attention and so I am making my plans to put more effort in and finish.  I may limp over the line but I will finish.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

I am a deist, humanist and somewhat of a pagan and so I am loyal to those philosophies. I am truly working on being loyal to myself, my wife and my family.  The Self and marriage is a tougher one to keep in balance because to have a marriage often involves sacrificing what you want at times.  I just don’t want to give up too much loyalty to myself.  I still want what I want and for my sake, I can’t give it all up.  At the same time I want this marriage to work and be better than ever.  I am loyal to my friends, they need only ask and I will do what I can.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


Odin’s Eye – Halloween (Samhain)

Happy Thor’s Day

Every once in a while I make the statement that I am a Pagan or have Pagan tendencies.  I have to confess the main reasons for this are spirituality and  holidays.  I suppose this post is more for educational purposes than it is expression of any beliefs I might have; but I do embrace the idea that a truer understanding in the realm of spirituality might be our hearts reaching out to the world around us, and paganism has that in abundance.

By the next Odin’s Eye we will be past Halloween and so I want to talk about the holiday before it happens.  I must freely confess now that my favorite holiday of the year is actually Halloween.  I never could say that because I was a Christian and minister, but now I can.  I love the whole thing.  The dressing up in costumes, the carving pumpkins, trick or treat, the whole darkness and death of it.  It reminds us all things die and when it comes to the seasons this is particularly true.  In a sense Halloween is the celebration of the end of the harvest season and the end of the year for pagans.

Now Christians tend to make anything Satanic if it doesn’t line up with their beliefs but Halloween and Samhain are hardly Satanic.  The real problem is that Christians also steal a lot from pagans and the fact that All Saints Day is November 1 is no accident because Halloween is the big day for pagans.  It’s about countering it with a Christian holiday. But Christians steal a lot more than that and holidays for Christianity tend to be near to pagan ones and even use pagan symbols but Christianize them.

That said, I like the basic concepts of paganism’s spirituality because it creates a very individualized belief system to the person while at the same time allows community spirit. At the same time, it has aspects of religion that I pretty much as a deist reject.


No I don’t really have faith in what is commonly called Wicca or Paganism on that side of the aisle.  When I say I have pagan tendencies, I mean I draw my spirituality from looking at the world around me and my inward self.  This means paganism has many schools of thought and most of them have the same religious nature as the monotheistic faiths.  I have faith in my abilities to advance myself and be in tune with the world around me.  That’s about it, but it lines up with paganism’s basic foundational tenets.


Halloween for the Pagan marks the end of the year and starts the new year with the season of Samhain.  The beginning of the long dark period before rebirth and renewal in the spring.  Different pagan groups view this differently but Halloween was a celebration originally and Christians are probably the most guilty of trying to add sinister qualities to it to discredit it.  Mostly though it is a time and day to honor the past and past people. To honor what has gone on before.


Theologically speaking as a deist who believes in something; but as an agnostic I don’t know what it is, I think paganism is more honest about looking at what we know for sure and honoring it.  What can we know for sure?  The people who have gone before us that have blazed the path so we are where we are today.  Honoring the dead and their work and sacrifices is something we can truly honor and know we are honoring something that is indeed real.


I suppose my most spiritual moment this last summer came while standing at the graveside of my father.  Given all that I was going through, I was wondering what he would have said or done at that moment.  I have to admit that it was there at his graveside I began to realize some sense of reality of what I was doing and perhaps honoring my commitments.  Mostly to my wife.  I still struggled after that but that moment left me pondering my life and in the end became the seed of the motivation that caused me to consider reconciliation with my wife.  Perhaps there is far more spiritual truth to the honoring those who have gone before. All religions seem to have elements of this and perhaps it is one of the more valuable contributions of religion in general.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – My Nutritional Plan

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day 

I never really got anywhere with my body and health until I figured out that it wasn’t the exercise that mattered most.  Exercise is important but what is more important is nutrition.  If you can get nutrition down, then a lack of exercise at times when it happens is less detrimental.  My experience so far with this is that when I can’t lift or walk like I would like, my weight and health stay steady as long as I am keeping up nutrition.

Now, I have to say that the diet plans with you counting carbs or calories don’t work for me.  Nor does setting up a meal plan in the sense of having every meal and snack laid out.  No, none of that works for me and I also find the whole idea of six small meals a day cost prohibitive.  Sorry it is. So I have spent my time looking for alternatives.

My goals with nutrition is 1) To lose fat, 2) To maintain muscle and strength and 3) control my diabetes. These three goals do often conflict, at least if you follow the traditional method for dealing with diabetes for instance.  The original diet plan I had from the experts still had me pouring carbs into myself in order to keep my sugar steady.  The problem with this became all to apparent that I struggled to lose weight and logically, if you are insulin resistant, how in the world is it better to put more things into your blood stream that require more insulin to digest? How is that going to work?  You are compounding the problem. People assured me this worked but then I watched this video and realized I actually has doctors asking the same questions and bingo it clicked.

I also have some practical concerns.

Firstly, I need a plan that I can eat when I can eat and not worry about how much I am eating.  For me a better control system is controlling what and when I eat.  Not how much and counting numbers.  Secondly, I can’t always eat at regular intervals.  I neither have the money to buy the food nor the schedule. Finally,  I also am one of those people who like a big meal now and then.  So my plan in since the beginning of summer has been two-fold.  1) Paleo Diet as a base and 2) Intermittent fasting as a control.

Paleo Diet is my base in that it controls what I eat.  Not how much but basically what I can eat.  Mostly I eliminate a lot of stuff that has sugar or carbs altogether. Probably the most notable are bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar and dairy.  Now I am not pure Paleo Diet.  I ignore two things – Dairy (it doesn’t have carbs – unless sugar is added – and it contains protein) and High Salt Meats. Basically the last one is countered by the fact I lift and muscles need salt.

Bread is a struggle because all cheap meals are sandwich foundational.  I don’t miss pasta much.  I hit potatoes maybe once a week. Sugar I still have once in a while but I buy the smallest serving of what I am craving and stick with that.  Fruit is a good alternative to sugar snack.  I like oranges and strawberries as an alternative and the nice thing about them is I only need one orange and a handful of strawberries.  The main thing is I can eat all the meat I want to and it doesn’t matter what kind.  Protein in abundance and that stifles appetite.

The control is intermittent fasting.  The nutritional and agricultural industry have us with this notion that we must eat three large meals a day with numerous snacks in between.  I mean what incentive do they really have to tell us to eat less?  They make money off us eating stuff.  So I intermittent fast from time to time.  I am getting ready to do some more here starting next week once all the planning is in place and it is time to implement it all.

Now so far this summer I think the results speak for themselves. I weighed 343 lbs in mid May.  My A1C was 8.1.  In late July I was 302 lbs. and my A1C was 7.0  I have lost weight since but I don’t know how much.  I also suspect my sugar as dropped some more but until my next blood test I don’t know how much.  I would say it’s working far better than the established nutritional plans.

Despite the success, I feel I have plateaued as far as weight loss in the last month or so.  So more carb reduction is in order and probably intermittent fasting will return.  In that case I am thinking I will eat breakfast which will be purely Paleo with one exception.  Probably oatmeal with honey.  Then I will fast from the time I get up which is 2 am roughly because of work and that will last until I get off work which is about 2 pm,  I can eat then from 1 pm until I go to bed a 8 pm.  Giving I am eating breakfast early when I get up this doesn’t seem as long.  On days off it is harder than I am at work honestly.

As far as drink I am heading toward being mostly water and not flavored either. If there is an exception, it’s my allowed consumption of alcohol at social events and a couple of times a week before bed.  Milk is not off my list because I still allow dairy but to be honest I am not a fan of milk.  I allow for Coke Zero, but I am thinking of limiting that way down for a while to get rid of the caffeine and save some money.  I think I might be a little high on that.

A word on cheats.  I do allow them.  I will eat at work if my employer is putting up the food and it doesn’t matter what it is. I allow three meals a week to have non-Paleo elements.  As long as it is only one.  Once a week, my wife and I consider ice cream together, so that is on my list of cheats.  Mostly though when I have a craving, I get the smallest serving size and eat it, or commonly I just don’t and wait and usually, given enough time, it goes away.


“Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.”

Principle: Work to be self-reliant in all things.

I think we are good so far.  When all the planning is done and I get these journal entries in line with the goals, bucket lists, routines and plans, the Business Virtues will probably focus on the budget instead of nutrition. For now I can say the budget is tight but we are providing for ourselves what we need. The future is still the question and this going to require a budget that anticipates growth and we are going to have to make that happen.  For self-reliance to continue we need income growth.


“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

I think the real indicator that you are on to something when it regards work is people begin to complain about it.  I work hard, I can do a lot of things people who are smaller and weaker cannot do and my job does have that heavy lifting element. I am not the fastest worker but I work constantly and continually, you won’t see me standing around and talking a lot unless it is communicating with management or my fellow workers.  I am thus starting to get attacks against my work by people who don’t.  Complaining never has done me much good so I am working on making sure I complain about systems and things, not people.

Laziness is not efficient either. I have to admit I have used being tired as an excuse away from work when it comes to school.  I need to get over that. I need extra item in November to do research and write so the busy work of school needs to be a week or two ahead for me to be successful and that need to happen by this weekend or latest Halloween.


“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: Be ready to be hospitable to those who truly need it.

I don’t have time to be hospitable to any but the most in need. My life needs to become more prosperous before my dream of retiring to be the philosopher everyone visits comes true.  More on that in a future post.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.