Harold Remembered

Harold Kaska
Harold Kaska

Many years ago I had the honor of knowing a gentleman by the name of Harold Kaska. Harold and I were very close friends, he was like a grandfather to me. He instilled me with knowledge and allowed me to fill his ears with my ranting and carrying on. We both were avid admirers of opera and classical music. Every week I would call Harold, who lived in Clayton California, and we would talk on the phone for hours about the latest opera productions in San Francisco, the latest recordings of our favorite composers’ works and overall just day to day stuff. On occasion I would be treated to a story from World War II, as Harold was a veteran of that war.

But most of all, I came to respect this man who called himself “El Perfect”. Harold, you see, was a genius. His IQ was way up there and the man was very very smart. He had a number of talents, most especially the talent to find oil. Before he retired, Harold was a micropaleontologist for a few of the big oil companies. He travelled all over the world and got to see some amazing things. But he was “El Perfect” because he was above everyone else. People were idiots to him, well most people. He embraced me into his circle of intellectual friends because I am also one of the gifted. I loved Harold very much, he was an incredible friend.

Harold passed away in his sleep on April 29, 2001. He was 75 years old. Today is the twelfth anniversary of Harold’s passing and though the years have diminished the pain of losing him, I miss him no less.

Lincoln and the seed he planted

I recently had the privilege to see the movie “Lincoln” by Steven Spielberg. I have always truly enjoyed viewing movies about the great figures who helped shape our country. Abraham Lincoln is certainly no exception. What a man he was, a great man with the ability to look beyond the here and now of his time. To look to the future and see that what he could do then in 1865 would forever change the course of human events. The gift, granted unto him by God, to see beyond the color of skin, to see within and find a soul, a human being, with emotions, dreams, love and hope. What we wear over our muscle and bones is not what matters, it’s what is within. Lincoln saw this in a time when the majority thought that negros were dumb, cast out by God as imperfect and born to serve the white man. It is thanks to that seed planted by Abraham Lincoln in 1865 that all men and women are created equal no matter their race. Now, in the twenty-first century, one hundred forty eight years after Lincoln passed from the bonds of this earth, we bear witness to the fruit of his endeavor. Men and women of color enjoying all that freedom has to offer. Because of that drive and vision that Lincoln had, black men and women can pursue the dreams they hold in their hearts. While there is still imperfection and the dream isn’t as good as it can be, it is nonetheless a reality. A reality that also owes an enormous gratitude to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who grabbed hold of Lincoln’s banner and carried it forth with proud and unending determination.

All of us who call ourselves human beings are indebted to a man, who bravely raised his shining beacon of freedom and equality among the darkness of slavery, to cast out the hate and proclaim that all are created equal: Abraham Lincoln.

Amber-Shaper Un’sok Down!

Here’s an awesome video of our guild downing Un’sok in 10-man Heart of Fear, the amber shaper. The funny thing is, everyone dies yet we still killed him. LOL! You can see my character “Frostwillow” in the lower right corner of the video at the start of the fight, shooting my bow like a madman…er elf. I got an upgrade to gear out of this fight too, so it was a good night.

This video was made by one of our tanks, Raq (Death Knight).


 

We cannot relax our guard!

I was reading in today’s USA Today about the terrorist attack in Boston and found the wording used in one article headline very irritating. It read “Post 9/11 calm, shattered”. I feel that line really does describe the almost relaxed attitude that we have taken in the nearly 12 years since the 9/11 attacks. So why did we relax our guard? As time progressed, we became less and less alert, relaxed in our daily routines. Had we kept our guard up, kept our wits sharp, we may have been able to prevent the horrible disaster in Boston yesterday. We cannot for a moment allow our guard to falter. These cowards are on our home soil, killing our American brothers and sisters. We are a family and we have to protect one another, protect the land we so dearly love and keep it safe. Allowing people to walk into this country with malicious intent is just not acceptable. While we have stepped up airport security, we haven’t stepped up urban security. These people can fly into our country, never get a background check done on them and just toss a backpack full of explosives into a trash can at a public event. We cannot allow the United States to become a battleground for terrorism. As to how we can prevent such things from happening, I leave that in the capable hands of the experts. But I think you can share my concern that we simply dropped the ball on security at yesterday’s Boston Marathon.

I pray that those who lost loved ones will find God’s merciful love and comfort, that those who were injured will heal and move forward in their lives. I also pray that we as Americans band together and make sure our government does what it’s being paid to do, support and defend the American way, keep Americans safe and do whatever it takes to bring those responsible under the strong arm of justice. No capital punishment will ever bring back the 8 year old boy killed yesterday, nor will it heal the physical or psychological wounds of those who were there. But in all things, God stands as witness to everything and while justice may be served here and now by mortals, it will also be served by Heaven for eternity.

Cowards Strike Boston

Just before 3pm today two explosions went off in Boston as runners began to complete the Boston Marathon. Once again terrorism has reared its ugly head. My prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Here is a video from the Boston Globe who was on scene to record the runners as they crossed the finish line. Warning: Video contains graphic content.

Scientists Discover Dark Lightning

For years now scientists have been observing strange gamma ray bursts coming from the heart of thunderstorm cells. Until now, there was no firm evidence as to what could be generating this form of radiation, it was thought that it may be coming from normal lighting. Now it appears they may have solved the puzzle. It’s called dark lightning and it’s invisible, since the human eye can’t detect that part of the spectrum (gamma rays). But dark lightning is just as dangerous as visible lightning, but the chances of being struck by it are much more complicated. First of all, you can’t get struck by dark lightning if you’re standing on the ground, you would have to be flying through the heart of the thunderstorm. Even then your chances of being hit by dark lightning are 1 in 1000 strikes. But what would happen if you did get hit by this invisible lighting? Essentially you would glow purple for a time and would receive a lifetime amount of radiation in 1 second. While the strike itself wouldn’t kill you, the resulting radiation poisoning would. Aircraft have always done their best to go around thunderstorm cells, so the risk of actually getting hit is practically non-existent. Therefore if you fly often, you needn’t worry. Regardless, this discovery just goes to show you that even though we have inhabited this planet for millions of years, we are still learning things about it.

If you’d like to learn more about how dark lighting was discovered and the process by which it is created, take a look at this video from NASA:

 

 

Garalon is Dead!

Our guild successfully downed Garalon in Heart of Fear last week. In this fight you essentially tank the bug in the middle of the terrace as four people act as “pheromone carriers”. As one person grabs the pheromones, they accumulate stacks of pheromones on them which can cause damage over time. So in order to alleviate this damage, you pass the pheromones to another carrier. They run around the outside of the terrace, dropping pheromone pools as they go. Then it’s just a process of switching pheromones back and forth between the four players, allowing stacks to expire. So here is our guild kicking bug butt. My character is Frostwillow, Night Elf Hunter, and I was one of the pheromone carriers.

This is the full fight with voice comms included.

If you’re looking for an awesome casual raiding guild in World of Warcraft, send me a message in-game – my RealID is kevharris@me.com – our guild plays on Suramar (Alliance) and we’re presently building a second raid team. We also enjoy doing guild events together such as fun raids of older content, world boss events and doing dailies as a group.