Tabletop Games and Play-Acting force you into the present

Happy Halloween, everyone!

This past weekend my hometown buddies gathered together at a friend’s beach house and celebrated my latest PET scan. It was an opportunity to see me, hang out, give me a high-five and some hummus, and for a bunch of guys to see friends they rarely see, and engage in….dare I say, “guy things.”

Well, maybe it’s our age but “guy things” turns out to be pretty tame, but really really fun. I had to be the first to bed both nights because of my steroid / head pain issues but I wish that I had been able to stay awake and chat with those fellows until the early morn.

[I did wake up early on Saturday and watch the sunrise for an hour. That was a powerful way to start a morning. Picture below.]

Sunrise at 7:50am, St. Augustine, Florida

The type of crew assembled that weekend really enjoys games- video and table top. (Tabletop gaming is just another way of saying board games. Blame the “kids these days”.) We all had brought an assortment of video game consoles and contemporary tabletop games (no monopoly, or yahtzee to be found there).

The game that stole the weekend was a tabletop game called Red Dragon Inn.

Red Dragon Inn, series 5
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Freedom: On the Edge of the Inside

[Check out the new menu on the home page. In case you didn’t see I post weekly health / well-being updates on the “My Journey” section. Fixed for mobile, too.

Thanks to the WordPress helper who assisted me to fix this. I recommend WordPress with all the accolades I have as a blogging platform.]

When I was in the hospital I signed up for a weekly email summary of daily devotionals from Richard Rohr. (I’ve already written about how I gobbled up Falling Upward by him while in the hospital and at home during my recovery.) I enjoy many of them, but this one stuck out enough that I feel moved to write more about it.

In it he discusses Inner and Outer Freedom, and uses the phrase “on the edge of the inside.”

Photo by Min An from Pexels

…On the edge of the inside. I like it. It’s got a certain ring, doesn’t it? If someone said Warren Buffett described himself that way, everyone would say, “Of course! Such a folksy genius!”

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Chris Arnade and Dignity

Chris Arnade’s Dignity. Image credit Penguin Random House.

I swear I’m not trying to make a habit of posting about books I haven’t read yet. But I feel compelled to post about Chris Arnade and his searching.

Some of this may be apocryphal but I find that telling stories in your own words (as opposed to citing and footnoting the daylights out of a document) can add flavor.

Chris Arnade is a former Wall Street trader who reached his limit and decided to walk away from it all. Like Forrest Gump, he decided to just start walking. But he chose to walk in the places that people had advised him not to go to. Neighborhoods where “people like him” shouldn’t walk around. He sought out those places. He walked them, and then he started to talk to the people there.

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Americana Music: Josh Ritter, Jason Isbell, and Gillian Welch

Preface: In this post I refer to some music styles and their designed appeal to the troops. This is not a commentary on people in military service or their music preferences. As I’ll say in the post, troops (or members of military services) are not a monolith. They are complex and cannot be grouped or labeled. For a more insightful analysis of military service members, veterans, and their treatment in our society I recommend Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.


Americana music. What is it? The word “roots” seems to come up a lot. Is it something still involving singing and guitars but not Nashville country and not alternative rock? Is it folk music with an edge? I don’t know. I’m not a music blogger (I think that requires a lot of work and energy), but I would like to dive into 3 songs from 3 different artists that have resonated with me.

Josh Ritter. How can you not love this guy? He is so happy at every show he plays. He’s got so much on-stage energy. His songwriting is deep and reflective, sometimes even dark. His band, The Royal City Band, plays as if they’re the successors to Bob Dylan’s backing band, The Band.

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Stillness is the Key

I haven’t read the book yet, but I pre-ordered it and it arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday. I am so excited about this book.

Some background. I found Ryan Holiday on a podcast when he released Ego Is the Enemy. The podcast was simply a sample of him reading a selected chapter, entitled What’s Important to You? It tracks the post-Civil War careers of Ulysses G. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman (known to us as General Sherman). While Grant was swept along into politics, eventually becoming president, he was out of his depth and did not know when to say no or how to be comfortable with himself. He accomplished little in office, and then was caught up in a Ponzi scheme. He finished his days trying to write his memoirs in order to leave something behind for his family.

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