Chronicles of Ryebone

A Story, A Dream

I spent a few hours writing this a few years back in a cold February evening. The story embraced me and I had to see it all the way through, even if it meant staying up way past my bed time. It was worth it. I won't try and pretend this short story is any good, or will even make any sense. It was based on a dream, after all, although I have "fleshed" it out a bit, so to speak.

Originally published February 18, 2012.

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A Loop Adventure

Many moons ago, in the year 1997, a young Ryebone turned sixteen years old. A true milestone of greatness, celebrated across the country as a rite of passage for teenagers who will now take to the road in their parent's cars to cause vehicular mayhem. My sister is four years older than me, and in her time, getting a license in Ontario was looking pretty simple: go and write your test, here's your certificate and off you go. In the time she received her license and when I was going for mine, the provincial government instituted a graduated license program - still in place today - that would see you go through various steps before they deemed you road worthy. As part of this process, it financially beneficial to go through a registered driver's training course. Not only will it reduce your insurance cost, but it will also allow you to advance to the second stage in your license a few months early. It's also extremely beneficial as it teaches you how to drive. The time came, during this training, to go out with my instructor. I logged a few parking lot hours with my parents, but it was now time to tackle the roads with real traffic.

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Fan Expo 2014

This year was going to be a bit different. Mainly, I wasn't going to lie to myself. Every year before The Expo, I tell myself that I'm going to inventory my comics, and create a list of "wants" for the show. It could be as simple as filling in some gaps to complete a run, or a hunt for a specific storyline that I'm interested in. One year, I actually did an inventory, one that I refer back to at times, but one that is also incomplete in both accuracy and details. Over the years, I've picked up a few items but have failed to update that inventory. The end result is often aimless wandering and random purchases - if I can bring myself to purchase anything at all. Twenty fourteen though, this year will be different. And it was.

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Feed the Voices: The Book

The trip up to see my family is a long one; clocking in at nearly six hours, it leaves me quite a bit of time for thought (which can be dangerous) and listening opportunities (be they podcasts or music). I was making the journey in February of 2013, when my thoughts drifted toward one of my good friends and how I've neglected his birthday nearly every single year. We have done a bit of a gift exchange in the past, which was always a book or DVD/Bluray, but the guilt for not actually being there on the day itself was starting to tear at me. And instead of apologizing (again and again) I decided to buy my apology in a heart felt gift.

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The Five Dollar Bill

Most lunches are uneventful aside from the event itself, but occasionally we get to see something out of the ordinary, or something extraordinary occurs. Last week was one such event.

We walked into Harvey's - the one relatively downtown - and we were immediately held up by two slow walking individuals in full business suits. I thought about passing them, but decided to let them meander forward to the cash. Even though we only have an hour for lunch I don't like to rush.

The two men were quite tall, and one significantly older than the other. The elder was standing on the right; aside from their suits there was nothing out of the ordinary about them. Well, that is except, being in suits in this part of town at this location at this time of day. Like I said.

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Jones Falls Lockstation

A few months back we took a small road trip looking for locks along the Rideau Canal. It wasn't long before we stumbled upon the Jones Falls Lockstation. The road off the highway was inconspicous, and the parking lot modest. There was a small nature trail leading up to the Stone Arch Dam, although we had no idea how long the trail was or if it was going anywhere. 
Coming around the bend, the dam appeared most unexpectedly. We were already at the top of the tall dam, looking downward to the base below - densely covered by trees and brush. It was incredibly impressive, and worth the trip alone, but we continued past to the actual locks. If you look at the map below, we came in at marker 12, then advanced our way down to number one. On the way out, we saw our mistake and pledged to visit the main entrance next time.

Kingston Family Funworld

As I was perusing Facebook this morning, I can across a shared article about the local drive in theatre. The headline was not suprising, and it most likely pretty common for the drive-in theatre industry: Support Kingston Family Funworld. You know exactly what's happening: the business is closing, and this is some last ditch effort to rally the community to save the historic (?) site.

Well, upon further reading I discover the issue is a bit more intriguing. Apparently Hollywood is only sending out digital copies of their movies now instead of 35mm prints. This is news to me. I know the movie industry has gone digital, but I didn't realize how prolific it was. I can tell when I'm watching a digital projection - or so I thought. Most of the screens I go to are digital, and it appears that every single one is now. I just assumed that they had the old 35mm projectors sitting beside the new ones; that may not be the case.

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Fan Expo 2012

A fear washed over me. My forehead broke into a cold sweat. I checked blind spots repeatedly, made verbalization that made no sense that would confuse linguists. Indeed, I had made a left turn into a streetcar lane, which quickly became elevated. The street below felt like miles. Partially, I was in awe: I was driving where no man had gone before, where only streetcars had traversed before. Then reality hit as I checked my rear view mirror and saw a car directly behind me. Probably another tourist, who had followed me onto this railed path of madness. I wasn't entirely sure what to do, although there were very few options. The car following took the lead and leaped off the track onto the civilian road below. The only option had presented itself. I yelled for Cale to hold on, that this was going to happen and it played out just as expected. We hit the road below, bottoming out the car and hearing awful noises from below. But we were safe now. I can only imagine what the locals were thinking, and the only thing to do now was to drive past the shame.

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Game of Thrones

Ah, Christmas morning. It was beginning to look like a green Christmas, until the day of, when the snow begun falling and resting outside. It would provide for a brief afternoon of testing my snowman making skills (which are poor, as it turns out) and my patience as I spend an inordinate amount of time with family. But there was a special gift under the tree this year: the Kindle. We had bought one for my dad earlier that year for his birthday, and he promptly fell in love with it. I tried reading a few pages and gave it my seal of approval - it was really my first experience with e-ink in any form, aside from the screen savers on the display models in stores, which I would never fully trust. Everyone at work was getting them too - not necessarily the Kindle, but other models - and they all got nothing but praise. It was time for me to take the plunge, and there it was.

Setting up the Kindle was a breeze and quite convenient. I had to look up my crazy password, and once I had that I punched my information in and I was surfing the Kindle store in no time, through the wireless at my parents house. The Kindle I have has no keyboard, and I don't miss it. I'm thinking that it's the lifetime of punching in initials and names on video game displays that makes the process a breeze, but the rare time that I do use the keyboard are just that: rare. Why take up all that real estate and weight of a hardware keyboard when I don't use it 99% of the time? Not to mention that search engines are scary-smart these days and just know what you want: if I type in game on the Kindle store, it knows I want either the Game of Thrones series or the Hunger Games. Likewise, just punching in martin is going to bring up the author. In any event, I eagerly wanted to read something, so I purchased A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. The reason I'm excited for this book is because of the television series, which is no doubt why so many people are getting into it now.

Purchasing the book was too easy, click the buy option and you literally have bought it, only being given the option to quickly reverse your decision immediately afterword, so it's really a two click system, which is fine by me. But you definitely don't want to leave this device unlocked around people you don't trust: they can rake up quite a few dollars on your Amazon account. In any event, I started reading the book and couldn't stop for quite some time. When I was reaching around 50% of the novel though, I began to doubt my resolve.

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