A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Paleo Nutritional Planning Winter 2018-19

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

One of my goals is to be in the best shape possible by my Birthday so I can take some progress pictures.  That would be March 18th, 2019.  I will be 50.  There is something about these birthdays where the first number and last number both change.  I mean ten was probably where I first became aware of abstract thought and started to find girls far more interesting.  Twenty I went from being single to married and started my first round of college.  Thirty was a year where I became ordained as a minster and became pastor of my first church.  Forty was the year I started my last church.  Now I approach fifty and it truly is a milestone.

I will be finished with school and very close to the end of my internship.  I will be hopefully starting a new career with a new job.  2019 is truly going to not just be a new chapter in my life but in truth a whole new part to the story. I want part of that to be able to stand naked in front of the mirror on March 18th, 2019 and say: ‘Damn Ed, you look really good for fifty.”

The biggest part of that happening is going to involve nutrition.  I lift weights and walk/hike and that is important, but it is nutrition that not only gets results but allows you to keep them.  It is about lifestyle choice that leads to a better life, not just a better body.

Philosophically, I know that plans that involve meal planning, counting calories and points do not work for me.  I have said it before I do the best when I can control what I eat and when I eat it.  What has worked so far is a combination of Paleo and Intermittent Fasting.  The issue right now is to train myself to make that even more discipline and tighter as I get closer to my birthday.  After that finding a basic patterns that works and keeps working will be the goal. The details of this plan will be below in nutrition section but my basic idea is to slowly drop the number of carbs sources I can eat a day and the number of cheat meals a week. The four weeks leading up to my birthday both of these will be very low; if they exist at all.

Couple this with intermittent fasting and you get a powerful combo that so far has dropped my weight probably fifty pounds since May.  I don’t really go by weight though as my basic test of how I feel and look to me is the naked in front of the mirror test.  If I can look in the mirror and feel proud of what I have accomplished and my wife is giving me bedroom eyes, then I will have considered it a breakthrough.  Then it will be about maintaining it into the future.


“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.

Nutrition is simply one of those areas I am trying to apply more discipline.  To be harder on myself, so greater things can be achieved.  My homework and study time right now is tight with this as well, but I take comfort in the fact there is less than three weeks to go and the last half of December is pretty much going to be chill time.  I will still be working in retail, so it won’t be completely relaxing until after January 1st.  I just won’t have three major things to work on, just two. I will probably use the extra time to start disciplining myself toward attaining some other things on my list of goals and the bucket list.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Shit.  I look back at 2018 and marvel how many times I was knocked down and got up.  I am not talking simple knockdowns either but full on flat on your ass knockdowns where you slide from the force of the blow for twenty feet.  Where you lay there gasping for breath wondering if you are going to live knockdowns.  I got up from all of them and I still am shaking my head about it.


“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 think the biggest realization I have had this week is how much I now distrust people when they say they are my friend or want to be my friend.  I can tell I am still skeptical of this. Only people who proved my friend during this year do I seem to trust without question, and even then I wonder very slightly from time to time.

I really do need a new small local circle from a social point of view, but like I told the counselor on Tuesday, I probably will have to look at my new career to find those people. My hope for starting a new support group of some kind might be an avenue as well.  The one thing I don’t trust is old wells that have no water – the church or friends who disappeared when things got tough.

At the same time, I kind of marvel at my wife’s forgiveness and loyalty to me.  She has no reason to be. None.  I guess she loves me.  I probably should follow her example and give some people a second chance.  Some, but not all that’s for damn sure. Being led astray by others about me is one thing.  Being a person who straight up abused my trust and betrayed me is another.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week

This week has been more about school than anything else.  What this has done is limited trips to the gym and school oddly as class has not been something I need to attend on a couple of occasions. Walking and lifting will not reach their goals this week as I am hitting the books instead.

The gym situation is coming to a head as I will no longer need to travel to the city where my gym currently is as often.  Plus, it looks very much like my gym will close soon.  That means changing gyms closer to where I work now. Once that happens, training will take on more importance.


Paleo Diet means I avoid carb sources of foods like the plague.  I have pretty much eliminated pasta.  What I need to do is slowly wean myself off them pretty much altogether.  Part of this is re-educating myself on what I can eat and eating more of it.

The intermittent fasting basically will go like this.  I eat breakfast then fast until eight hours later, then I can eat until I go to bed. At first this will be weeks that start with an even-numbered Sundays.  Four weeks out from March 18th, 2019 it will be all the time.

The two things that will be added are a weekly check list of cheat meals where when I have one I check one cheat meal off and when I have used them all for the week, I can’t do any more.  The other thing I will add is a daily carb food source check list.  I want to basically start shrinking both down every week or two.  The goal the last month is to have no carbs at all daily and one cheat meal per week.

December 2nd – December 22nd: Weekly Cheat Meals: 5  Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 5

December 23rd – January 5th: Cheat Meals: 4; Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 4

January 6th – January 19th: Cheat Meals: 3; Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 3

January 20th – February 2nd: Cheat Meals: 2; Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 2

February 3rd – February 16th: Cheat Meals: 1; Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 1

February 17th – March 18th – Cheat Meals: 0 (special occasions only), Daily Non-Paleo Foods: 0 – I will actually extend this out for the rest of the week but the goal is my birthday which is a Monday.

Of course extra cheat meals are allowed for special occasions:  Birthdays and holidays.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – I don’t feel to bad in this area.  I did come to the conclusion this week that I will feel a great deal better as far as Courage, Honor and Truth once my degree is finished.  Still work to do, but I feel much better.

Business – Things are coming to a head, graduation, internship and new job search,  I have a feeling my hard work is going to start paying off. Prosperity with purpose is getting closer.

Self – I feel the best about this area. Have for a long time.  This week particularly.

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


Odin’s Eye – Why I Am a Humanist

Happy Thor’s Day


Image result for humanism quotes

These days I am looking at being nothing but a human being – hopefully a decent one.  As a deist I can acknowledge the possibility of a god, gods or divine force but because of ignorance I don’t really know what they or it is.  I just don’t know and I cannot assume that they have done anything more than create the perimeters in which I live and nothing more.  I have faced and will continue to face problems in this world, so who do  I rely on to help me with those difficulties?

This is where I become a humanist and basically say it is time for the human race to grow up and realize that the only solution to human problems is humanity itself. That if I am going to look to solve my problems, I need to look to me to solve them and if I can join together with other humans to solve mutual problems that may be the only way to solve them. I need to have ‘faith’ in humanity to do this because in truth, as far as we know, our only salvation for our problems is our own abilities to over come them.


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I know people might watch the news and wonder how one can have faith in humanity.  I do because in truth the news focuses on a small minority of people with either a problem or are the cause of a problem. The news always focuses on the small minority of bad things that happened while ignoring the normal good things that happen every day that are far more numerous. It is the classic case of focus on the negative but ignoring that the positive that far outweighs the negative. “Problem X has gone up two percentage points in the last year.”  What they don’t tell you is this is only an increase from 2% to 4% and 96% of people don’t have that problem or are not engaged in that negative behavior. As Penn Gillette rightly observed there are two things about people which are true: 1) Things are usually getting better all the time and 2) People always believe they are getting worse.

I believe most of us humans are like myself. I am just trying to make my way in this world the best I can, make the best life for myself.  I just doing the best I can with the cards I have been dealt and trying to get new cards if I can.  I would never intentionally hurt someone and I mind my own business unless I see someone in trouble and then I try to help as best I can. I don’t do this for any other reason other than it’s the right thing to do. Because it is the human thing to do.


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This is a far cry from most religions which try to tell you that humanity is all sinful, or deficient or selfish.  Religion as a general rule uses guilt and remorse for past mistakes to motivate people to action.  It also creates this false sense of achievement that allows some of that religion to arrive at a higher spiritual plane and thus judge the rest of us a righteous or unrighteous. Thus they can motivate us to serve them as a way to ease their burden while adding to our own.

I am not very religious anymore. Mythology of all types is more of a hobby and area of knowledge of mine but in truth I approach the world trying to be spiritual but not religious.  My motivation comes from my own humanity which I no longer consider sinful or deficient.  There is good in me and probably more than most religious systems would acknowledge or want me to acknowledge.


Image result for humanism quotes

As a deist and humanist, my theology of humanity has changed quite considerably.  I no longer see human beings as anything but what they are – human.  Not sinners in the hands of an angry God, not morally deficient because they have desires that are basic to survival and living and not some drifting concept or phantom shadow.  Just real genuine humanity.

This means I can hope a lot of things for my fellow humans.  I can see them as fully capable of handling their own problems.  I can also see that if I join with them I might be able to overcome greater problems.  I don’t look at humanity as the problem, but the only real thing I can see and know that can solve those problems.

There is a respect for the individual human that follows from this as well.  Not just a respect for the whole of humanity, but that each human being has this capacity to be more and better than what they are.  Because of this I feel and have always felt that humans should be as free as possible to pursue their own interests to overcome their own problems as long as they do not bring harm to others. In the end I alone and they alone are responsible for their actions.


Image result for robert heinlein quotes

As a humanist I know on thing for sure – I alone am morally responsible for what I do.  No one else can have that responsibility.  I also cannot be held morally responsible for anyone else’s choices. Nor should I be held accountable for them. If there is one axiom of religion that might be true, it’s the idea of being treated like I want to be treated.  I want to be left alone to pursue what is best for me and as long as I don’t do that by harming or exploiting others, I should be allowed to do it.  This is my basis for liberty and freedom for myself and all others. I am a libertarian in large part now becasue I am a humanist.


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It is in liberty and freedom where human beings are free to pursue solutions to their problems and associate with those they choose to associate with that such solutions will be found. No place else. This is something that religious people find it hard to grasp.  They turn to a god, gods or whatever force they serve for the solutions and then wonder why problems still persist. This issue is turning to the one thing we know in the world that has the potential to actually solve the problems we face – ourselves.

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


A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – The Last Battle?

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day

Journal Entry:

This is just something running around in my head of late but there is always this notion that our lives lead up to some sort of climax, some sort of last battle.  Some defining moment that identifies us for who we are forever.  We romanticize this notion and most of our stories and book of fiction are all about this idea of climax.  I am not sure too many people actually get to experience this idea in reality.

For me, it could be said that I have had several of these final battles. It’s what causes me to think that life is more of a series of peace and war. Perhaps each battle gets mere difficult, perhaps not. The issue is that in times of peace one must prepare one’s heart for war.  Not because it is more beneficial than peace, but because war is inevitable wither with the world, with people or with self.

If I do have a final battle, it will simply be final because it is the last one I fought and it will either be that which kills me, or it will be the thing that leads to me final time of peace before I die.  It may not be my biggest battle, I probably will actually tell stories about that over a pint of mead.  No, the last battle will not be my toughest, just my last one.

I say this because the toughest battles are usually the first ones where you are learning to fight whatever enemy it is.  You survive, so the next time the next battle is easier.  My last battle should be the easiest one way or the other. Some where though there will be a great battle that was the turning point ans I do think that is coming up very soon.


“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.

Finishing my education and finding a new and better job is the first step in becomes more self-reliant.  Right now I am focused on finishing my last classes and getting things done one at a time and trying to stay focused on finishing everything possible.


“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 do enjoy study and homework when I feel the learning taking place in my head.  When it seems to be just busy work it can be more difficult.  What I am learning again, is this feeling of learning is very much up to me.  It is my feeling to generate as I start. This is something I need to remember long after I finish school.


“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.

Hospitality is minimal right now.  Not only is our prosperity limited but also time. Once school is done and things are a little more stable, I really hope to change this.

 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

Next time I will be addressing nutritional questions and one of the things that might appear here is a check area for number of carb sources a day.   That is I might have five check boxes for the five foods with carbs in them I can eat that day.  AS I draw nearer to my birthday that number would actually get less and less until the last couple weeks it would be zero.


  1. Be transparent with my wife to improve communication
  2. Graduate with Political Science Degree in December 2018.
  3. Find a new, better paying job by the end of January 2019 or before.
  4. In 2019 have  a clear budget and financial plan working by the end of the year.
  5. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  6. Keep gym membership going somewhere and lift weights minimum of four times per week and walk minimum four times per week through end of 2019
  7. Follow Paleo Diet completely and use intermittent fasting until the end of 2019
  8. Cross one thing off bucket list every six months (Deadlines July 1st, and December 31st of 2019)
  9. Be in the best shape I can be by March 18th, 2019 (50th birthday), take pictures.

#2 is less than three weeks away and there is a lot to do before then but the goal is in sight. Just for the record, my blogging streak will be at 59 days today when this post drops. What I need to do once school is finished is do an assessment before the beginning of 2019 to set some sort of action plan in place for these things.


  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

This month brought in extra money because of how my pay periods lined up, holiday pay and bonuses.  The problem was our cars ate most of it. We would have been very close to having #1 done otherwise.  Still fighting.  Hopefully a better paying job will help.

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


Of Wolves and Ravens: Lessons in Logic – Normative vs. Positive Economics

Happy Tyr’s Day


I am working on school work so it is helpful to review certain concepts.  Most notably basics.  Most people think economics is a dull subject but it probably is the one science that also deals rationally with the question of scarcity.  That is what to do with resources as all resources have a limited availability?  All resources are scarce, so how to distribute them is always the issue. Within this framework will be arguments and in economics arguments boil down to whether something is normative or positively stated.

A positive statement is factual dealing with the way things are and describes things factually.  A normative statement is a statement of what should be and deals with recommendations for how things should be.  In my old religious/theology classes positives statements are the issues of morals – the way things are and how people actually behave.  Normative statements would be the issues of ethics – the way things ought to be.

When people ask me why I like economics so much it is because economics is a very human thing. Society and individuals do not live in a world of pure positive or normative reality.  In truth things are constantly going back and forth between what is and what ought to be. To the wolves and ravens.

Needs (Geri):

It is a positive statement to say that human beings have needs.  Things that must take place for people to survive. We need water, food, shelter from the elements and air.  Without these things we would die. Most of these things are scarce, in truth all of them.

What is not always clear is how these needs should be met in the most effective and efficient manner.  Economists will put out different models and will engage the subject with as much fact and evidence they can muster.  However, some of this discussion in the area of needs dwells in the realm of the normative, because some economists might argue that this list of needs is too short. Education, Health Care, Defense, etc. all enter the picture here as the issues of well-being and security seem to be in that realm of tug of war between morals and ethics.

Wants (Freki):

People want things – that is probably a positive statement.  The issue of how one goes about acquiring what one wants enters the realm of ethics and the normative very quickly. The whole discussion of rights, collectivism vs. individualism and many other discussions of which economics system is the best, enter the arena at this point.  It could be said that the majority of the disagreements between economists involve wants vs. needs discussions.

Reason (Huginn):

One would think the moment we engage reason that the world of the normative drops out of the picture.  It doesn’t though. Reason has to engage ideas of all kinds.  In economics reason might spend a large part of the time engaging the laws of economics (there are at east thirty of them) but sometimes it is not clear because of the normative nature of the issue how those laws should be applied. This is the centrality of the issue of economics.  I love this aspect of it.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is learning to understand things and how to apply them.  Economics, because of this normative/positive tug of war, has the added feature of trying to be applied to real life. Trying to come up with the best solution for the problems of needs and wants is the central core of economics and this practical aspect draws me to it like a moth to a flame. Sifting through all the normative and positive statements to find a true genuinely helpful philosophy of economics is a worthy goal and one I want to embrace.  In addition economics has been around long enough that from Adam Smith onward we have a large number people to draw from as far as experiences and thought.  It means the wisdom provided on these questions is extensive.


If there is any lesson today it is for people to recognize that there are positive and normative statements in the world and to learn to distinguish between the two of them.  This becomes the foundational skill of learning not only how to engage logical principles but to learn how to know when someone is stating a fact or an ethical opinion is something that every person should learn. For me economics stands as this great fusion between life and philosophy and learning how to navigate both.

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


A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – My Comeback

Happy Moon’s Day

Journal Entry:

This week and next are going to be hell.  I have school to finish and there is a lot of work to do.  I also have to work a job and a marriage to maintain.  I also have to get enough sleep to function, so this means Discipline, Industriousness and Courage all in play.  Here we go.

I want to take time out to take a breath as I dive in headfirst and look to the future.  You have to see the finish line and the purpose of why you are doing what you are doing.  That provides motivation and I need motivation.

The above meme really does encapsulate my life so far.  These last few years have been rough ones and I really need to make 2019 my comeback year.

2016 – It did change me.  I learned who was really in charge of my church and no one was going to do anything to help me change it.  My crisis of faith started,  I took a sabbatical that year to think things over.  My course changed then.

2017 – Yeah, it did break me.  I began to think of my marriage and ministry as a sham.  A good friend died that summer and several things changed.  I became painfully aware of a deep loneliness and depression.  This was my state at the end of the year when a woman started to enter my life, but I really didn’t have feelings that were inappropriate for her until the next year.  I was just thankful at that time for a new and growing friendship.

2018 – This has been a year of opening my eyes.  I discovered how false many of the friends, particularly in church, I had were.  In February, my organist died and this affected me deeply because at that point all the old I had started with was gone.  The real problem was only one person was really listening to me and helping me through it. This lead to an emotional affair, my trying to resign over it but being fired instead, a near divorce, the loss of a close ‘friend’ who turned out to not be a friend.  An emotionally up and down summer with a breakup, a marriage reconciliation, moving and a new job all while continuing school.  The scales have definitely fallen off my eyes and like the Phoenix, I am rising from the ashes of 2018 as an awake and very different person. I feel true to myself at last and, as I wrote yesterday, ‘The Fire of Fury’ burns in my bones and I am ready for what is next.

2019? – I need this to be a comeback year, a new career direction, a stronger marriage and renewed prosperity. I am determined to make it happen.


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

I am suspecting that after these next three weeks are over and things are at last done for the majority of my school work. I will feel like more honor is restored at that point.  I will feel that things will be better at least from a self-worth standpoint. I will have achieved something I set out to accomplish. Then it will be a simple matter of finding a way to use the education to better myself further.


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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

There is a lot to act on and I cannot hesitate at this point.  I have a lot to do and nothing can distract me either so I need to stay focused and go forward.  The fear to overcome is that I won’t finish everything.  I need to bury that and just start eating the last elephant, one bite at a time.


“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.

The truth is that I need to continue to be truthful with myself. It is what has kept me making good decisions for a bit now.  This truth thing leads to a lot better path, but one that is often more difficult.  It is however the difficulty of the truth that makes us struggle more and thus get stronger.

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

I have to say this morning routine is the most successful one I have ever done. I actually look forward to it every morning.

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

So by July 1st, 2019 I need to cross one of these off.  We will see if its learning one of the languages, the novel or getting a tattoo or two. Those are my best bets at this point.


I am going to visit all the gyms in the town where I work very soon.  My membership at my current gym expires in a few weeks.  It also looks like it will be shutting down for good anyway.  There are three options based on a preliminary look, so I will be looking at all of them probably during exam week as I won’t have an incredible amount to do.  By the time exams are over, I will have to make this decision.  I really hate to leave my current gym.  It was a love at first sight thing and I will miss it.

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


The Rabyd Skald – Three Week Timer Set

Happy Sun’s Day

Three weeks.  It’s all I have left of school and my degree pursuit.  Because of the need at this point to keep on track I am probably going to do a The Rabyd Skald Post to start each week to get a sense of my bearings as far as where I am and how much time I have left.

This is a good week with a lot of potential to get a lot of things done.  I only have twenty hours of work this week so there is extra time for homework and I am going to need it.  There is work to complete that I can get done in time I just have to stay focused for the two weeks left of class and the last week of exams.  I also have some practical shit to do as far as getting ready for graduation.  What’s left:

Cross Cultural Communication – This class had a group project that is already completed.  I just need to evaluate my peers and their performance.  Do the final chapters of reading and the final discussion online.  One last test which is the last day of class not on exam week because it is an online class.  I figure this class will take a day plus the discussion over three days to finish. It’s my last International Business class and finishes off that minor.

GIS – I have to confess I am behind here and the first priority will be to catch up.  I have maps to do and one lab.  None of this takes more than an hour to an hour and a half to do.  It’s just a matter of sitting down and doing them and keeping up when they are assigned. I have to confess my real problem with this class is it is something I probably might have to understand how it works but I will never do this stuff as a career.  I am just not into geography or computer programs that deal with it. It is however required for my Political Science Degree.  It’s Online so the work will also be done the last day of class.

Inferential Statistics – My problem with this class is I find math too easy mostly.  I have aced every raw math class in college so far.  I have a tendency to overlook this class at times. There is also the problem that I can’t really work ahead in this class as the professor assigns stuff to do for the next class and that’s pretty much how it rolls.  I have found the theory part of this class very interesting and relative to my Economics work.  That’s probably why its one of two classes that finishes off my Economics Minor. I just need to do every assignments and keep up with it as they happen.  I am sure there will be a final during finals weeks as it is one of two on campus classes I have.

Health Economics – I really only have one major thing left for this and that is the academic paper.  Thankfully, I am can double dip on this one and my Capstone (More on this later).  It is basically going to be a 15 page paper that is journal publishable.  That means probably 20 to 30 sources and a little bit of writing to do. This is one of my on campus classes so it has an exam time during exam week.  I will have time to study for that, so no worries until then.

Political Science Capstone: Also a scholarly journal publishable paper. I decided early on that this would be in Health Economics Policy so I could double dip and this idea was accepted by both professors.  I have to give a defense like a thesis on this one too so there is that as well.  I almost wish I had done this with my internship next semester but I figured let’s get everything done so I can start the job search sooner.  Luckily I am basically writing one fifteen page paper and counting it for two things.

This week is one where I need to make sure my three classes (Cross Cultural Communication, GIS and Inferential Statistics) are caught up and stay caught up to the end.  I also need to do a lot of research for this one paper and it has to be scholarly research on Google scholar or the campus library.  I need to have an outline, literature review and thesis fairly soon. Like by Wednesday so I am not planning on getting much sleep or much relax time in.  Tuesday my wife and I have counseling and I am going to have to consider that my break from all this at least this week.

I am initiating a hiatus on all entertainment forms except blogging each day.  I can only engage my routines, my homework and studying for the next two weeks for sure. The reason I can take this is frankly I can see it is coming to an end and by December 16th, I will be effectively finished with everything.  This week is getting the grunt work done, getting things up to date and keeping it there. I suspect a lot of caffeine consumption.

I have to pick up my cap and gown and order tickets for graduation. December 15th is the day but I really only have two weeks for most of this. I also have to finalize my internship for spring term but that should be simply filling out the forms. Time to make it happen.

To battle,

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


The Pagan Pulpit – That Which No Longer Serves Me

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: Shinedown – Monsters:

I suppose there is a progression to the music today.  The start of it is an understanding that the monsters that live in all of us are very real.  I love the chorus of this song:

‘Cause my monsters are real, and they’re trained how to kill
And there’s no comin’ back and they just laugh at how I feel
And these monsters can fly, and they’ll never say die
And there’s no goin’ back, if I get trapped I’ll never heal
Yeah, my monsters are real

The emotions that are the monsters, as our text says, doubt, fear sorrow, confusion and anger.  Monsters that sleep but can be awakened at any moment with disastrous consequences.  Other people may fool people and hurt everyone with their lies and falsehoods, but the real danger is the monsters lurking within us all.

Poem: “The Fire of Fury” by Ed Raby, Sr. 

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“The Fire of Fury”

A flame burns within me

It is one that I cannot see

It is fueled by my fury.

My motivation,

My anger,

My salvation,

My destruction

My enlightenment

Fire, Light, Anger, Illumination

The Fire of Fury will light my way

Or it will consume me

  • Ed Raby, Sr. – November 24, 2018

I had the title of his poem for quite some time and a feeling of what I wanted to express.  I used it for the subtitle of my Rogue Wizard series at its current state but it kept being the title for a poem too. As I was preparing the Pagan Pulpit for this week, the words began to form.  Poets understand what I mean. I think it speaks for itself.


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Song of Preparation: Disturbed – Indestructible:

It is no secret I like Disturbed. I plan on sitting back after school is over and listening to every one of their albums and songs.  I just haven’t had the time to give listening to music the proper time it deserves and this is one band I want to some attention to in-depth. The progression of today’s songs continues with learning to take the negativity and toxicity of certain emotions and transforming them into that which makes us indestructible.


“Release all that no longer serves you: “I cast away all doubts, fears, sorrows, confusions, anger to the wind. I release any toxicity that weakens my spirit.” – The White Witch Parlour


Yeah, I am using a quote from a white witch site.  That said when I was a Pentecostal, I swear I heard this same quote from the more Charismatic Movement oriented believers.  It’s amazing how mysticism can change the form it has, but the words and concepts are simply the same.

There is something to be said for the idea of releasing that which no longer serves us when it comes to emotions.  Emotions are raw material.  Parts of them are useful and other parts are chaff that needs to be given to the wind.  The real challenge of dealing with these emotions is learning how to harvest them.  Learning what needs to be released as toxic and unproductive while keeping the parts of them that lead to constructive and healthy action.

The most pronounced example of this I can think of is something that happened this week to me.  I wrote on Tuesday a post: The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer (Part 3) – Confessions. The process of working through the three issues presented in that post was refining moment for me.  I was working through the emotions and found that I changed in my feelings toward all these situations.  The toxic elements of the emotions are less and the good parts that motivate and bring positive change are now more present. I know what to do about all of them and I am more at peace about that.

The quote today is a personal one that perhaps we all need to say from time to time. Doubt can lead to inquiry into truth. Fear can lead to courage.  Sorrow to joy.  Confusion to enlightenment.  Anger to Motivation.  Once you have let go of the toxic part of these emotions, the positive constructive elements are what makes you more of who you are and who you need to be.

Closing Song: Halestorm – Amen:

Ultimately its your shit to deal with.  Not anyone else’s.  And that ultimately is a good thing. Can I get an Amen?

Parting Thought: 

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Have a great week.

I remain,

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


Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury – Part 2 – An Old ‘Friend’

Happy Saturn’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 4th, 2019

Well…no sooner than to I talk about the law of magical attraction, as in magical attracts magical, and I find myself in its embrace.  Its cold, as an ice dragon’s breath, embrace.  I swear to the powers that be, if my luck ever turns good, it will probably be my last day on earth.  But perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I was feeling lonely and bored yesterday pacing around my apartment. I felt the sudden urge to just go get a value meal at the local hamburger pit and come back.  A risk given all my enemies, but at this point I was just ready to say ‘fuck it’ and move into battle mode.  I hopped into my black Dodge Journey and head down the road the few miles to said hamburger pit and walk in.  I get in line and order.  As I am waiting for my order to be fulfilled, I hear a soprano, sexy female voice behind me.

“Well, you look no worse for wear Edward, and your backside is still killer.  Broad shoulders too, I knew somehow you were an ugly duckling when we were in school.  You’re a sexy big man now.  The grey hair and goatee are definitely distinguished and attractive.  Gone is the skinny nerd boy.”

Yeah, my luck.  I knew the voice even though I hadn’t heard it in probably thirty years.  I turned around.

Lunette.  My pixie fellow classmate from 1987.  My teenage wet dream brought to life.  Lunette – girlfriend, lover and eventual pain in my ass.  She was older now and had lost that teenage prom queen look.  More curvy like her mother had been.  Sensual curves that made a man’s pulse race just looking at them.

“I work out. And you are just as lovely as you always were.  Definitely better.  No more innocent school girl look.  Just a plan sultry MILF. Assuming you have had children and are a mother.”

Lunette laughed.  She tell had those sparkling purple eyes and that perfect face.  Her hair, whose natural color was pinkish purple, was to her shoulders and wavy with perfect styling  She had sported a D cup as a senior in high school.  I would say she had DD cups now the way her shirt was straining to keep them in place.  She was dressed, in the cold of January, with what had to be yoga pants, nice heeled boots that came just short of the knee.  A sporty winter jacket was open so I could see the white t-shirt under it.  No purse as was her style.  Just a hair bow, earrings and gloves.  Everything some sort of shade of either purple or pink.  Her black wings, butterfly like with pink trim, fluttered behind her.

Now, because she is for all practical purposes a master of illusion, what she looked like to others I could not guess.  She was however not using her illusion power with me to disguise herself.  I was seeing her as she was.

“We always could pull off that sexy banter flawlessly couldn’t we?”

“Yeah, the problem was never the sex or sexy parts, Lunette.  It was the relationship.”

We both laughed this time.

In my mind I began to go over the more interesting points of our relationship.  Let’s see, she and I had known each other since middle school.  We maintained a kind of romantic relationship off and on through middle school.  She was in a very real sense my first love. The problem of course with pixies is they have the sexual fidelity level of a goat.  To them sex is just something you do for enjoyment and boy do they enjoy it.  The other issue is a mage’s magical aura is like crack cocaine to a pixie.  As Lunette’s mother informed me once – it’s gives a girl pixie super orgasms to make love to a human mage.  Hell, even touching a mage and kissing him can be a thrill for a pixie.

On the flip side, the love-making process supercharges a mage’s power.  This came in handy the one time I was stabbed with a magically poisoned knife.  I could only use my own healing spells to fight it and they just were not strong enough.  Lunette volunteered to make love to me while I cast the healing spells on myself. She herself had lost her wings (they were ripped off leaving bloody gashes) because of breaching pixie honor codes and I think she was in some senses trying to redeem herself.  The result was I lost my virginity, had enough power to heal myself from the magical poison and Lunette’s wings grew back almost instantly. It was a moment etched in my brain like a branding iron on skin.

The guy behind the counter said my order number and I went over and got my food while keeping and eye on Lunette.

“Edward, can I sit with you and talk.  You are not stupid, so I am going to guess you have figured out I am not just here to swap stories and sexy banter.  You don’t mind if I just steal a few of your fries do you?  I am watching my figure.”

“You and every red-blooded male within eye shot.”

She laughed again. We sat down in a corner booth as far as we could get from the busy area of the burger pit.  I poured the fries out onto the tray and split some off pushing them toward Lunette.  I dumped salt on mine and got to work on my burger.

“So…you wanted to talk…talk.”, I said between mouthfuls.

Lunette took up a fry and ate it.  She then smiled.

“I guess I should catch up first.  I am no longer with the Grove.  El…I mean SHE kicked me out a little after she kicked you out.  Said something about not trusting me.”

“Wow, go figure.  Thanks for not mentioning her name.”

“Sarcasm noted. I read your file.”

“I have a file?”

“Well yes, we pixies may be a bunch of narcissistic, sex crazed layabouts but we do keep records of those in the magical world. Especially those with power.  Your’s says that certain people should not be mentioned by name to you.”

“Wow. And I know nothing about you since we parted. You don’t even come to class reunions.”

“I know you got married, were a pastor for twenty years.  Have three kids, four grand kids.  You had a recent affair with member of your congregation, although I could find no evidence it was physically sexual.  Sad that, the gossip would have been juicy.”

“I am sure the gossip is far more interesting than the reality.  It’s still juicy enough.”

“Yes, it is. I know that you have had a crisis of faith and are no longer a Christian. You graduated with a third degree pending finishing your internship. You and your wife reconciled right before the divorce hearing.  Then she was killed November 1st.  I can confirm for you it was a necromancer that did it. The spell went astray somehow, I wish I could say how, but necromancy isn’t my thing.  It might have been the Death Angels, but I couldn’t confirm that.”

“Well, you know enough about me.  I still don’t know shit about you since I last saw you.  Well, other than your curves have gotten even more dangerous.  What happened to you since we last were together? ”

Lunette seemed to ponder this for a moment. Struggling with what to reveal.

“Well, I….”

Lunette never got to go forward with her thought as a bright flash appeared outside the window we were sitting at.  I cast my shield around me and Lunette. Just in time too as a bolt of some sort of energy smashed through the window where we were and struck my shield pushing both of us out of our seats and sending us flying away from the blast.  The shield absorbed most of our fall.  I kept it up while standing to my feet.  I looked over at Lunette who seemed irritated more than anything.  Then she flashed a smile at me and shrank down to pixie size leaving her clothes in a pile on the floor. I saw her streak away like a bolt of light out the window.  I jumped through after her.  I kept my shield up and strengthened it by concentrating on it, keeping my left arm in a ‘L’, like I was holding an actual shield.

What I saw was Lunette doing her pin ball blast thing of one opponent to the next releasing powerful energy every time she hit one.  It’s like being gut punched with a small electrical shock attached.  I know; I had experienced it.   Her opponents were an odd assortment of three.  I could see a troll, a mage in black robes and another girl who seemed slight and pointy.  Oh, yeah probably an elf.  She was dressed in black too, but looked like a goth chick.

I didn’t waste time assessing the fashion sense of my opponents, as the black-robed one was pointing his arms at me.  A burst of flames came from them and was absorbed by my shield. Powerful, but not powerful enough to get through my stuff. I just extended my right arm and let loose with my magical lightning from my finger tips. It struck all three of them. and the two mages instantly fell backwards.  Magical lightning has the added effect of temporarily reducing the power of mages.  The troll on the other hand came right for me.  Fuck.

I did the only thing I could do at that point which was to shift to fire which instantly caused the Troll to scream and back away.

“Nasty fire. Grumn not like it.” It shrieked.

I didn’t care what Grumn liked.  I am 6′ 5″ in the summer and this grey-skinned troll had me by a foot. I wasn’t going to go fist fight with it.  Lunette was keeping the mages off-balance; so I dropped my shield and left fire loose with both hands.  The troll ran away burning and screaming.  The two mages, seeing the tables had been turned, took off after it.  I was going to pursue but thought the better of it.  They might have a fall back ambush point, friends or both. Lunette seemed to feel the same as she came streaking back toward me.

She hovered in front of my eyes.  Shit.  She wasn’t the prom queen girl anymore in every sense of the word.  A full-fledged woman now with all the naked sexy woman curves on display in front of me.  She smiled at me  knowing what I was looking at, but she quickly gave me instructions.

“Edward, you need to know one thing now and I will try to contract you later with the rest.  It isn’t safe here, you need to go home and get behind your wards.  I will contract you there later. The thing you need to know is the Mages and Pixies are at war.  Not a little local skirmish either, it’s a full-fledged, world-wide war. I have to go. See you later.”

With that she kissed the tip of my nose and turned and took off.  She shook her ass at me like she used to when we were in high school as she flew away. That pixie woman was going to be trouble in more ways than I wanted to think about at that moment.

The Pixies and the Mages are in a world war.  Well, shit.

That’s all for now.  I am certain Lunette will contact me soon.  As much as I don’t like it, I needed her right now. She truly the only magical ‘friend’ I have and the only source of information about what is going on in the world of magic as well. Shit.  This isn’t going to go well is it?

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


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Black Friday

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

When this post drops I will be at work in the middle of Black Friday.  I work retail and since my company changed its dress code to be more relaxed I wear black t-shirts.  All the time, every day.  Like Wednesday Adams I will stop wearing it when they make a darker color. I look at my wardrobe and mostly it is black t-shirts.  Some are plain for work but most are dotted with sayings of one form or another.  I like Black.  Except when it precedes the word Friday.

I have worked retail for more Black Fridays than I care to remember.  I have seen people do some incredibly desperate and stupid shit to get the gift they want for Christmas.  The irony is that the same gift will still be available later and probably at a discounted price from Black Friday. I have seen people hurt or almost crushed.  I have witnessed two fights.  I have also seen retail not really understand technology.  I worked a cue line on year of something that sold big time the year before, but that year the line was done in fifteen minutes. But we had 120 of the things left.  Meanwhile in some other place in the store, something got mauled in five minutes and we were handing out rain checks.

My goal every time I work Black Friday is to survive.  That usually involves staying away from crowds as much as possible and huddling with my fellow workers in groups. If I don’t post on Saturday, you know what happened. To all of us this retail season – may the odds be ever in your favor.

See the source imageDiscipline:

“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.

Well from the time I get off work on Friday until the end of the month, it’s all about school work with small dots of work.  Graduation is December 15th and that is three weeks away.  Two weeks of class left after break and then exams.  Discipline needs to be tightened this week to get all the last projects done by November 30th. Once more into the breach dear friends.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

As the year comes to an end, I look back and I am amazed at what I have come through.  It seems to have been one trial right after the other. There was some bright spots and some good times to be sure, but there were a lot of crisis moments. I fell down a lot.  I however got up one more time than I fell down.


“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.

Fidelity has been a struggle this year with one person in particular.  We have come through that and I am happy for that.  I don’t know if this area is so much of a struggle for me anymore at times. When it comes to the divine, I simply know I can be loyal to respecting what may be, respecting my fellow human travelers and honoring the people who deserve it.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week

Cleaning and weightlifting is not a problem it’s the walking as the cold hits and the snow starts flying. Once school is over I will need an alternative walking spot.


Now that phase one of the holiday season is over with its feasting for Thanksgiving. I will be intermittent fasting every other week which I have decided the weeks whose Sundays start with an odd number will be the weeks of intermittent fasting.  Then on February 17th forward to my Birthday will be a solid month of it. Paleo Diet when I do eat as tight as possible.  Cheats on holidays and birthdays and probably a diminishing schedule each week. It’s when and what I am eating that matters not how much.

What I may do is find a way to do a negative weekly schedule thing with the number of cheats I can use each week and cross them off as I do them.  Each couple of weeks reduce the number I can have.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – I think this week was one of the better ones I have had in terms of Honor, Courage and Truth.  It has been a hard look in the mirror this week.

Business – Not too subtle reminder that the goal is something better this week.  I want something better than I have and I work hard each day to get one step closer. It can be a struggle at times to be in the moment.  To be Industrious, Self-reliant and Hospitable.

Self –  Discipline is the thing I need the most right now.  I am staying loyal and I keep going forward despite the setbacks.

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


Odin’s Eye – A Pagan Thanksgiving


Happy Thor’s Day – Happy Thanksgiving!!!

If someone were to ask me if I could still celebrate Thanksgiving as a non-Christian, I would probably respond – “You still think Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday?  That’s cute.”  The thing is that when you study holidays in general you see a couple of things.  Nearly all cultures and religions have a celebration of thanksgiving to whatever powers are worshiped at the harvest time.  All of them.  The other thing you see is when a country or culture accepts Christianity,  Christians basically repackage the pagan holidays and re-symbolize them for themselves.  In short, Christians have stolen or blended with holidays from all different traditions since Christianity was founded as the early Jewish Christians still celebrated Jewish holidays.  Mostly what you see today is Christians have stolen various holiday traditions from paganism and blended them with their own. It’s why some pagans get mad about the whole thing.

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Personally, I am taking a different tack this Thanksgiving. I am a deist and I will probably whisper a prayer (something I rarely do anymore) of pure thanksgiving to whatever powers are really out there, if any. But to be honest there are thanks that could be given to many people for that celebration and for the prosperity I receive. So my list of thanks goes to people this year.

  1. I thank my wife for being a forgiving soul who loves me despite all the things that have happened between us.  I haven’t been a very good husband this year, but she deserves wife of the year honors.  Thank you baby. I love you more than ever before.
  2. I thank my Mother for being so generous to us in the past decades for housing us an sheltering us.  She has put up with a lot and still loves us.
  3. I thank my kids for being good kids. You have all followed your hearts and have learned to love with power.  All of you have expressed your love for me this last year and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Thank you.
  4. I thank my grand kids for being kids.  For showing how there can be pure joy in the world for the simple things of life.  For showing me that no matter what the news says, I can see hope in your eyes.
  5. I thank my fellow students at school and my professors.  The learning environment over the years has been awesome.  That is mostly due to you.
  6. I thank my coworkers.  You have given me comradeship that I do value.  It’s nice to work with you, laugh with you and just share this working experience with you.  You make the burdens of it lighter.
  7. As I look at my feast, I thank the farmers, ranchers and all the people who make it possible. To the people who plant, grow, raise, harvest, process and transport all of it – Thank you.
  8. For everyone who keeps the heat and lights on, provides the basics of life and the luxuries.  Thank you.
  9. I thank the watchers of the wall. While I think many of the so-called threats to the nation are the politicians made up are garbage done for political ploys, I know there are real threats out there that you guard against. Thank you.
  10. To my friends, to the ones I have left anyway.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I haven’t made it easy this year I know.  I appreciate the real friends who didn’t bolt at the first sign of trouble.

Yeah, I am going to thank people this year.  Thank you all.

In Thanksgiving,

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