The Bushido of Bogney, Part II

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Bushido: (武士道) literally meaning “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. (Source)

 Bogney: A tiny dog, wise for his years.

Today, we once again combine the old and the new for a fresh new perspective on life through the eyes of our classy canine friend. This is the daily living of a small dog. This is the extrapolated wisdom of the ages…This is the Bushido of Bogney.

-Click Here for the Original Article-

Lesson #1:

At the start of each morning, Bogney is given his portion of food for the day. When I am out of the house, he will rarely touch it. When I return, he eats it ravenously. This is a clever concept lost on even most people. When earthly pleasures are limited, we must be prudent and careful. When the source of these pleasures is close and there is bounty for all, we must remember to occasionally indulge ourselves.

Lesson #2:

Bogney is a creature of habit, and learns quickly what are the expectations on him, and the proper etiquette for any situation. When at home, he knows his walk times, when to go to the bathroom, and the expected rewards of each. When he is at another residence, this is thrown off. At times such as this, Bogney will divide up his washroom breaks, hoping to be rewarded for each tiny movement. It is a clever trick, but rarely successful.

Nevertheless, he will continue with the ruse whenever the possibility arises. To pursue with creative vigour any potentiality we desire is the mark of an ambitious soul.

Lesson #3:

In the company of his master, Bogney is a model of restraint and composure—entirely content with life, and his place within it. However, on the occasion of company arriving at his home, he becomes cloying—clinging to his master’s leg in a desperate bid for constant attention. We most value the things we have when we can see that they are also valued by others.

At this point in our lessons, I’m afraid Bogney became quite distracted in an effort to catch a piece of dust from the air, and is well beyond any further insights. Perhaps there is some gem of wisdom to draw from this as well, but this writer, for now, will remain content in watching the show.

Fear not though, as soon as the air is cleansed of foreign particles, there is no doubt Bogney will be back with further enlightening anecdotes for us all.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Evocation Series- ‘Space Oddity’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

The following post is part of ‘The Evocation Series’. Click Here for more information about the project, and to learn how to get involved yourself!

David Bowie- ‘Space Oddity’

Song Link

The mind can be a sanctuary at times, especially when the world outside seems a dark and unwelcoming void. But like many sanctuaries, its isolation can also be suffocation, and its secrets are strange and surprising even to its own inhabitant.

It’s a terrifying balance to strike—between the darkness without and the cold serenity within. We all feel like that sometimes, and though it is an experience shared by most everyone, this makes it no less horrifying.

Check ignition,
and may God’s love be with you.

 It’s no easy task—to turn away from the chaos of the world without and face instead the calamity within. To surrender to our own uncertainty has been described as both a depressing submission and an inspiring act of faith or self-realization. Of course, neither perspective makes the deed any easier.

But to tread this line with grace is a most worthy endeavour. Despite the tribulations of the waking world, it is a thing we all must brave. But to do so with vigour and agency, we must also master our inner selves. It’s a fine line to be sure, but the potential payoff is well worth the venture.

 I’m floating in a most peculiar way,
And the stars look very different today.

 It’s a rare and wonderful thing when it’s pulled off just right. To equally know ourselves and our reality is a path tread most often by the shamans and philosophers of the world. For the rest of us, we can hope, at the least, to understand some small part of it before we go.

Darkness is as unavoidable as light, its counterpart—and it is just such a truth which might illuminate the greater realities of the world…the connections which exist within, but which can be understood only in moments of rapture, or surrender.

 Planet Earth is blue,
And there’s nothing I can do.

We all die alone, and to face this is the truest challenge and most necessary condition of being alive. Feeling hopeless, but finding contentment in that? Sometimes, there is nothing more liberating than to acknowledge our own powerlessness.

-Brad OH Inc.

Introducing ‘The Evocation Series’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampToday on Brad OH Inc., we’re happy to announce the start of a brand new project—‘The Evocation Series’.

‘The Evocation Series’ is a fresh endeavour for us, and will be posted within the ‘Under the Green Desk Lamp’ (Link) category. This series focusses on our congruent love of music and metaphor. For each of these posts, we’ll be sharing a much-loved song of ours, providing a link to it for your listening pleasure, and then creating a brief literary piece inspired by the lyrics of said song.

This will be a keen opportunity for us to explore some of the themes and moods presented by many of our favourite pieces of music, but we don’t want it to be an entirely selfish endeavor! We want your involvement as well!

To that end, you’ll find a ‘Contact’ link here, and at the bottom of today’s post. That’s is where you, the reader, come in! Reach out and let us know if you have a song you’d like us to cover in the ‘Evocation Series’—whether it’s a song by your favourite artist, a song that’s previously inspired something in you, or even a song you’ve made yourself!

So drop us a message, and let us know what you’d like to see us cover in this exciting new project. Finally, stay tuned for our first official entry in ‘The Evocation Series’, coming next week!

‘Contact us Here with your Requests.’

-Brad OH Inc.

The Greatest Hits of Brad OH Inc.

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgHere at Brad OH Inc., we’ve been sharing regular content since late 2012, and over the years we’ve covered countless invaluable topics in great depth. In fact, there are now four distinct categories (Link) on offer for our readers—each with a unique voice and subject matter.

Today, we want to take the opportunity to review and revisit some of the very best articles we’ve put out over the years. Below, you’ll find our own personal Top 10 List, conveniently broken down by category. You can click the banner of each to go directly to that category, or you can click the title of each article to navigate there and read it in full.

 Under the Green Desk Lamp:

Green Desklamp

Bourbons by the Fire: A brief, stream of consciousness piece about vision and purpose. In this article, we explore the state of the world, and our individual power to change it.

Bullying in the Supermarket: This piece is an exploration of the culture of bullying, exploring the mixed messages of a world which tells children to be kind, while holding no such expectations for its adults, business leaders, or media.

Profits and Prophets: Over the past decade, many of the greatest disasters, losses, and threats we’ve faced have centered around two specific homonyms: Profits, and Prophets. We explore this notion here.

The Metaphorical Imperative- Part 1, and The Metaphorical Imperative- Part 2: The ‘Metaphorical Imperative’ is one of the most fundamental ideas behind Brad OH Inc., and will soon prove to be among the defining themes in one of our biggest upcoming projects. These two articles take an in-depth look at this essential philosophy.

 Purely Speculation:

purelyspeculation

On The Concept of Society: In this article, we establish and explore a basic understanding of society based on human history and contemporary needs. If we are to endeavour to consider changes to society, it is imperative that we first define our terms and understand exactly what we mean by the word.

Saving the World 101: How can we harbour hope for the future when the current situation often seems so dire? In this post, we discuss exactly what hope we may find for the future, and exactly what it would take to get us there.

The Global Scale: In ‘The Global Scale’, we pull our perspective back a bit to educate the reader about how interconnected the world truly is. If the decisions of one nation inevitably effect the rest, then we must take this global perspective into account any time we seek to make changes. Here, we reveal exactly what’s going on behind the scenes on the Global Scale, and exactly what sort of opposition the forces of progress are up against.

Requisite Things:

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 A Call for Corporate Suffrage: ‘Corporate Suffrage’—what two words could be more heinous and detestable to any sober mind? Unless of course that mind happens to be focussed on the profits of its own Corporation—in that case, Corporate Suffrage seems pretty damn agreeable.

The New Corporate Religion of Brad OH Inc.: Here, we use our trademark Corporate perspective to push the notion of ‘Freedom of Religion’ as currently defined to its most vile extreme—specifically, Corporate Religion.

Gentleman Juggalo:

The Gentleman Juggalo Logo

The Juggalo Gang Designation Essay: Juggalos—the fanatical fans of the Insane Clown Posse—have been labelled an organized, hybrid gang by the FBI. In this article, we take those tools to task—elucidating not only what a miscarriage of justice this action is—but also establishing it as an unforgivable misdirection from federal accountability.

Collectively, these articles cover a fine spread of what we’ve put on offer over the years here at Brad OH Inc., and while it is certainly important to celebrate the past, it must not be taken to mean we don’t look to the future. Therefore, we invite all of you to let us know in the Comments below what your favourite articles have been, which categories you prefer, or if you have any specific topics you’d like to see us cover. After all, here at Brad OH Inc., we live to please!*

*This statement does not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of anyone at Brad OH Inc., and is not to be taken as legally, morally, or even tangentially binding.

-Brad OH Inc.

‘Never Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’

Recently, the myriad authors of the ‘Edmonton Writer’s Group’ (Link) published our second anthology, ‘Between the Shelves’ (Link) . This book was sold in support of the Edmonton Public Library System (Link), and to that end has gone on to raise over $700 in donations!

We here at Brad OH Inc. want to thank everyone for their support. Today, we add our contribution, ‘Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’ (Link), to our list of ‘Single Serving Stories’ (Link), meaning you can download it now for free over at Smashwords (Link).

Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things- Cover‘Never Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’- Smashwords

We certainly hope you enjoy this new format for ‘Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’! But don’t forget, if you haven’t already bought your copy of ‘Between the Shelves’ (Link), you can do so now right here (Link)!

BetweenTheShelvesCover‘Between the Shelves’- Amazon

Remember, there are 10 other stories by local Edmonton authors in the anthology, so click here (Link) to grab your copy now. After all, every dollar earned goes towards the worthy cause of supporting the Edmonton Public Library System (Link)!

-Brad OH Inc.

‘My Brother Cain’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Today we have another song/ poem from the intellectual property vaults of Brad OH Inc. For your enjoyment, we present the lost ‘Basic Human Indecency’ song: ‘My Brother Cain’.

The disillusioned knight

You find the world has changed

But if anything’s unnatural

You know everything is

But about that boat

I just know it sailed

I can’t tell you when

Still caught up in that tale

And I could never consider

How I’d turn that table

What I would have changed

If I’d known I was able

He had a magic wand

That slowly seared his voice

And it just kept showing up

Like any other choice

So now some smile back

You know it’s not the rule

But I never rolled my eyes

That was me looking up to you

My Brother Cain

Remember me?

You’re shadows and history

But do you remember me?

Still I could never consider

How I’d turn that table

What I would have changed

If I’d known I was Abel…

-Brad OH Inc.

‘Between the Shelves’ at ‘Words in the Park’ and Interview with Author/ Editor Hal J. Friesen

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgToday, we’re happy to formally announce that the sales of ‘Between the Shelves: A Tribute to Libraries by Edmonton Writers’ have led to the donation of over $700.00 to the Edmonton Public Library System We at Brad OH Inc. think that’s awesome—and we couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Many of the Authors (and both Editors) will also be set up at ‘Words in the Park’ this Saturday, September 26th from 10:00am-4:00pm in the Sherwood Park Community Centre. We’ll be selling and autographing copies of ‘Between the Shelves’!

In celebration of these accomplishments, we have an interview with Editor and Author Hal J. Friesen, who appears in ‘Between the Shelves’, which you can now purchase here in either Kindle ($2.99) or Paperback ($12.50) copies. All proceeds are to be donated to the Edmonton Public Library System.

BetweenTheShelvesCoverThis interview was conducted by a variety of Authors featured in ‘Between the Shelves’ in anticipation of the anthology’s release:

  1. Brian Clark: What is the biggest thing you have learned from this self-publishing experience?

HF: I learned how achievable it is to put out a product of professional quality using readily-available tools. There were some frustrating moments getting the book formatted properly and tweaking cover blurbs, but on the whole it felt great to see a self-published book that could easily have come from a professional publishing house.

I also need to mention how pleasantly surprised I was at the scope and variety of stories submitted to the anthology. I thought I had a pretty good idea what I was going to get from the EWG group members, but they surprised me in a very good way.

  1. Vivian Zenari: What is your educational background, and how has that influenced your writing?

HF: I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Science from UNBC with a Joint Major in Chemistry and Physics, and a Minor in Mathematics. Basically for my undergraduate degree I was trying to refuse specialization, which in hindsight might not have been a good approach in terms of employability. I had knowledge in many fields but was missing snippets from each to prevent me from being completely proficient. My Master’s Degree in Science, focusing on Plasmas and Photonics, helped me tune my abilities and knowledge toward more practical applications – as ridiculous as that might sound after working on laser fusion experiments.

The breadth of theoretical and experimental science experience I’ve gleaned through the years helps me to appreciate how certain science fiction ideas might be implemented, the realities both pleasant and unpleasant of logistics that really help make a fantastical proposition seem real. When I wrote in high school I was thinking of sci-fi notions in a more detached and academic way. After academia, ironically, I think about them more in terms of what’s happening on the ground, what’s happening to the little guy who has to pull the levers, which helps make science fiction more meaningful to readers.

  1. Brad OH Inc.: Hal, your story is about a man (Albert Einstein), gaining great knowledge from libraries, but also experiencing stunning existential terror. Do you consider libraries to be places of hidden danger, or is learning in general a threat to our sense of being?

HF: I used to read these time machine choose-your-own-adventure books, and they were like puzzles where you got stuck in time loops until you figured out the correct sequence of events to escape a grisly fate. There was one particular instance where I was trying to avoid being guillotined, but kept getting sent back over and over again, being chased, being caught, having the blade fall – to the extent that I fell asleep and had nightmares about it. Libraries taught me to be utterly terrified of the Spanish Inquisition.

I think in our age of ubiquitous fear-mongering, it’s important to recognize libraries and their potential role in contributing to the general fright that fits so well in a terror-state. In this story I wanted to show that even a brilliant Einstein can’t escape the spine-tingling horror of a nameless source of danger. His existential cataclysm in a place of learning draws close parallels to the dread during the discovery of a newly-christened terrorist cell, or the announcement of the construction of yet another totally-necessary prison. I felt that the role of books and libraries in general has been undervalued in terms of their capacity to inspire totally irrational fear, and wanted to emphasize how deeply they can touch our being versus other forms of media.

  1. Brad OH Inc.: Why did you choose Einstein as your character? Do you have some arcane knowledge of his life the rest of us aren’t privy to? Is there any biographical truth to this tale?

HF: I have a copy of Einstein’s original manuscript on Special Relativity, and if you go to the trouble of reading it you find very strange references in the margins, almost as if he was placating some unseen observer. With extensive and advanced calligraphic decoding I was able to parse some of the scribbles he had tried to hide after the fact, after whatever it was had stopped peering over him threateningly. It was clear he had communion with a library spirit, or as he named it, Wilfred, though exactly which library was unclear – I used artistic liberty in that aspect.

It’s amazing how much you can discover when you read the source material rather than just taking secondary sources at face value.

  1. Brad OH Inc.: Your passion for libraries is clear in this story. Share with us some of your most formative memories of being in the library. Is there any encounter in particular that stands out as a moment where knowledge was so startlingly thrust upon you?

HF:  Guillotines were startlingly thrust upon my unsuspecting neck in that traumatizing time machine book…

When I was a child, there were summer reading challenges where you got to move your pawn along footsteps lining the library walls, taking a step for every book you read. The path took a circuitous route around the two-story Prince George Public Library, and I would take out piles of books in order to get to the end. And I did.

My prize? PTSD from an impossible and horrific Spanish Inquisition time machine loop. And a ribbon.

The library used to have person-shaped chairs in bright colors, and I would sit near the large windows and browse through Goosebumps books, Tintin comics, and fantasy books. I would sway back and forth in the S-shaped chairs, knocking them flat onto the back, or upright again with a satisfying thunk. The trips to the library were a fairly regular occasion – my mother would tiptoe off to the romance section, and my brothers and I would spin the carousels housing adventure and horror novels.

Getting my first library card was actually one of my happiest childhood experiences, because I felt like I had graduated from this semi-weekly family ritual and had become an adult. It was a lot better than any actual graduation, that’s for sure.

  1. Brad OH Inc.: Your writing has historically been focused on some pretty heavy scientific concepts. What do you consider to be one of the most interesting unanswered questions in modern science? Do you have any possible ‘dream scenario’ solution to this quandary that strikes you as the most appealing?

HF: Not to avoid the question, but I guess the more interesting questions are ones we haven’t thought of yet. The untapped potential and dark corners of our understanding are very exciting places, which is why I enjoy good hard science fiction so much. One recent discovery was that the brain might have a lymphatic system, which opens the door to all sorts of medical progress and better development of humanity.

The unanswered question of life beyond Earth is a continually fascinating one for me, and my dream scenario is that I live long enough to see contact happen. That would be a great privilege.

The unification of gravity and the other fundamental forces is another issue that fascinates me. I remember the exact place where I first read Maxwell’s derivation of electromagnetism and the intimate relationship between them. I literally got up and wanted to run around (but couldn’t in my cramped dorm-room) because I was so excited by the beauty of something so connected and intertwined. Connectedness, for lack of a better term, is something I explore a lot in my writing, and it interests me equally in the natural world.

Similarly, the unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity – the small with the very large – is also quite an interesting unanswered question. I’ve read a proposal that suggests the answer might be in our interpretation of time itself, which sent my head spinning in beautiful pirouettes.

I think some of the deeper philosophical-physics questions might go unanswered for a long time, but can make you experience some of the same existential schism Einstein does in the story. Questions like: what exactly is charge? What exactly is mass? We have equations that describe what they do but that’s different from knowing what something is. There’s a joke that if you want to drive a physicist crazy, ask him what charge is. Try it sometime.

  1. Brad OH Inc.: As a follow-up to the former question, of the myriad scientific discoveries throughout history, which would you most like to have been a part of, and why?

HF: I’ve developed an unlikely fondness for light and optics, so I think I would have loved to have been a part of Maxwell’s discoveries unifying electricity and magnetism. Any of the so-called Maxwell’s equations. Ampere, Gauss – to have been around any of those guys would have been gnarly and radical, and I’m sure my language wouldn’t drive them crazy. Gauss was a genius.

I would say quantum mechanics, but the results aren’t as easy to put your hands on or see with the eye. The laser would have been pretty amazing to discover. I got the chance to hear Charles Townes, one of the co-inventors of the laser, speak, and it was surreal to see him use a laser pointer to point at a slide of his original laser conception. He made lasers originally for astronomical purposes, and at the time of his talk (age over 90) he was still doing that. There’s a raw enthusiasm and electricity some scientists exude and I think to have been around any of those remarkable individuals would have been illuminating and inspiring outside of the discoveries themselves.

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Remember to catch the authors of ‘Between the Shelves’ at ‘Words in the Park’ this Saturday, September 26th from 10:00am-4:00pm in the Sherwood Park Community Centre!

Finally, be sure to visit Hal J. Friesen at his blog right here, and check out his story “Reading After Hours” in ‘Between the Shelves’. You can purchase it now on Amazon.

-Brad OH Inc.