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Friday, April 12, 2024

Found this on Twitter tonight


Thursday, April 11, 2024

I'm three episodes into Amazon Prime's new series Fallout...

 "War.  War never changes."

Actually, Ron Perlman's voice for opening narration is pretty much the only thing missing from Fallout: Amazon Prime's new streaming show based on the legendary video/computer game series.  I was looking forward to what those first words would be.

But that can be forgiven, in light of how epically faithful a live-series adaptation of the Fallout saga is to the source material.  It's all here: the vaults, the stimpacks, the Brotherhood of Steel, the retro-futuristic look of pre-war America... Heck in the second episode we even see a live-action brahmin (the two-headed cattle seen in most if not all of the games).

So I've just finished watching the third episode, and it's pretty well established that Lucy (Ella Purnell) from Vault 33 is way out of her element.  Actually, just about all of the dwellers in Vault 33 are in over their heads.  They are basically touchy-feely types who believe the wasteland and its denizens will be won over by progressive concepts like teaching them Shakespeare and beginner's calculus.

Ahhh yes, the wasteland.  It's definitely in keeping with what is depicted in the games.  It's that helping of Mad Max-style dystopia colored with 1950s-ish aesthetics and a healthy dash of mutant monsters and trademark Fallout humor.  This ruined landscape two hundred-some years after World War III is no place for the weak of heart.  But it's absolutely spot-on filled in with trademark elements from Bethesda's games (speaking of which, I need to finish Fallout: New Vegas sometime, but real life keeps popping up every time I pick up from the most recent save point).

Fallout boasts a strong cast.  In addition to Purnell there is Aaron Moten as Maximus: an aspirant with the knight-like Brotherhood of Steel.  Then there is Walton Goggins as "the Ghoul", who is pretty much like the ghouls you encounter in the games, if one were also decked out like "The Man with No Name" from Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns.  Also featured is Kyle MachLachlan, who won acclaim playing Agent Dale Cooper on Twin Peaks as the Overseer of Vault 33.  And it would be a grave error on my part if I did not mention Michael Emerson's presence.  I became a great fan of his work on Lost and it's a delight to see him again.

Little wonder Fallout is so good, when the series is helmed by Jonathan Nolan - who I thought did a magnificent job as showrunner of HBO's Westworld - along with Fallout games head honcho Todd Holland as executive producer.  It's a practically perfect endeavor with everyone and everything falling into their proper places.  THIS is what a live-action adaptation of a video game is supposed to look like (no, I haven't seen The Last Of Us yet but I'd like to check that out eventually).  From the first episode Fallout the streaming series has sucked me in, just as Fallout 3 did when I first played it fifteen years ago (I played the first two games later on).

If there is a fault I find in Fallout the television series, it's the profanity.  I can't recall there being that much swearing in the games.  There's a modicum of cussin' in the Bethesda works, but not nearly as at times overwhelming as in the Amazon show.  Just because this is a series with production value on par with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead doesn't mean the crew must go all-out crazy with harsh language.  But then again, I doubt it's going to be small children who are playing the Fallout games.  These are games for a mature audience and I can overlook the show's language, kinda.

 Otherwise, consider me a fan, and that's hard to pull off when I've become so jaded about entertainment in general that the only other thing I'm looking forward to is the final season of Stranger Things.

There are five episodes left in Fallout's first season.  I'm going to try to watch the rest sometime over the weekend, in between working on other projects.  If the following installments are as good as these three are, then I am already anticipating more seasons to come.

Happy Birthday Tammy!

It was actually a few days ago on April 8th, the same day as the solar eclipse.  Here's the pic I snapped of Tammy on her twelfth birthday.


Such a sweet little dog.  Tammy has been a little angel on four legs all these years.  I definitely could not have gone far without her company.  She keeps me going.  And she has saved my life more than once.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for her, and ask Him to please let us have many more years together.  I hope so anyway :-)

Saturday, April 06, 2024

We entered The Matrix a quarter century ago this week

I had seen the commercial that ran during the Super Bowl.  While browsing the magazines at Barnes & Noble I flipped through the pages of Starlog and ogled the photos, which had to be the most abrupt juxtaposition of images from a single movie I had ever beheld (martial arts, Giger-ish metal, what?).  But none of it made any sense.

Then about a month after The Matrix came out, I was having our weekly discipleship meeting with a friend.  And he was raving about seeing it the night before.  Brent tried his darndest to explain what he had seen, but it all went way over my head.  Something about Nebuchadnezzar and agents and red pills and... he went on.  I tried to reconcile it with everything else I had overheard others saying about The Matrix.  And there were quite a few who were talking about it.

Suddenly I felt like there was some arcane secret that I hadn't been let in on.  And I realized that here was something that I just had to understand.  To see for myself.

That came on Sunday night, two days after our discipleship time.  Brent wanted to meet up at the now-closed West End Cinema in Burlington.  We got there for the 9 o'clock show.  And for the next two hours my senses were assaulted by the most jarring spectacle that I could recall seeing on the big screen in quite a long time.  Without warning any of the buildup I'd had for Star Wars Episode I was a fast receding dot on the horizon.

I had seen The Matrix.  And nothing from the realm of filmmaking would be the same again.  I drove home that night, trying to digest it all.  But it was too much to take in.  I think it was for a lot of people.  My best friend from college saw The Matrix five or six times during its first run and made it the basis of a paper he turned in for a class.

Maybe I should have watched it a bit more too, instead of going to the theater to see The Phantom Menace nine times that summer.

The Matrix is arguably, and quite much so, the most influential movie of the past quarter century (geez, just sayin' it like that makes it seem like a lifetime ago... which I guess it is).  Did the word "unplugged" carry as much potency as it did before March 31st, 1999?  To say nothing of how the term "blue pill" has entered into the modern vernacular as derogatory slang.  And of course there were the action sequences: imitated but never duplicated.

I wound up buying a VHS copy of the movie.  The summer of 2000 found me working as a reporter in Asheville, North Carolina.  And then I was the one trying to explain The Matrix, this time to my editor.  I let him borrow my copy over the weekend.  He came into the office on Monday morning raving about how The Matrix was so much like what the mission of our weekly magazine was all about.  He had a light in his eyes, that I hadn't noticed before.  The Matrix became the topic of many a discussion we had in the weeks and months after that.  And come to think of it, I can't think of any other movie that has ever precipitated nearly as much conversation and reflection and argument as that film did.

I hadn't planned on getting a DVD player just yet, but my sister received one for Christmas and she won me over with its image clarity.  So the day after the holiday I splurged on a player too.  The very first DVDs that I bought were Blazing Saddles and The Matrix.  I've still got them, and the other night I put in The Matrix.  The quality of that standard DVD is still so sharp that the movie looks almost as good as would the Blu-ray or 4K editions.

I won't say that I became a fan of the Matrix saga as much as I did Star Wars (though I'm nowhere near as much into that as I used to be, no thanks to Disney's bungling).  And I'm kind of past the point where any franchise will probably grab me anymore.  But the world of the Matrix grasped hold hard and fast that spring night in 1999, and it hasn't let go.  I'll even vicariously defend the sequels except for The Matrix Resurrections because I haven't seen that one yet.  I think the biggest reason that The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions got panned is because they didn't end the trilogy as many if not most people wanted it to.  They wanted to see the machines completely destroyed, and that would have been wrong.  Neo came to understand that humans and machines shared too much in common than to see one side or the other obliterated.  The trilogy ended as well as is it could have: with the humans wanting out of the Matrix free to leave, and hopefully humanity and machines in a place where they can cooperate with each other.  It wasn't a perfect conclusion for all involved but it was the start of something hopefully better for the two factions. To me, that was a great ending to the saga.

So much else I could say about this movie.  But I would be remiss if I did not touch on a final thought:

Have we truly taken the Red Pill?  Or are we still plugged in, afraid to leave comfort and security?

As Neo said at the end of the film, "Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."

Sunday, March 31, 2024


First photograph
March 31, 1974
Moses Cone Hospital
Greensboro, North Carolina

For a very long time I've believed that if you can make it to fifty without once getting told that you're "middle-aged" it means that you'll never have to be a grown-up.

Ahhhhh, so Fifty, we meet at last.  I've been waiting for you.  You thought I wouldn't make it this far but you were wrong.  You're like One-Eyed Willie from The Goonies: you laid out your traps but I got past them all.  And now here we are.

I shouldn't be here.  The odds have been against me from the very beginning.  All the way back to that delivery room on a rainy Sunday night in 1974 when I emerged from my mother's womb.  Not moving, not crying, not breathing.  It was twelve minutes after being born before air finally filled my lungs.  Fortunately the doctor who delivered me was a very good one.  In lesser hands and without the equipment that got rushed to the room, I wouldn't be here writing about it five full decades later.

There have also been the many situations and events that have transpired throughout the course of my life.  Everything from horrible car crashes to getting shot at.  Any one of those could have ended the temporal traipsings of one Robert Christopher Knight.

And then, there is the dominant element of my life these past twenty-five years: living with manic depression (or bipolar disorder, as I sometimes still call it).  The disease that has destroyed so much happiness and chance for joy.  There is literally no counting how many times I've wanted to die and put an end to the pain forever.  Too many of those times I tried to act on that desire.  I should be dead dozens of times over by now.

Yet here I am.

Many people, especially men, dread the prospect of turning fifty.  They try to cut deals with the universe.  Attempt to bargain with God, that He will give them just one more iota of youth before it all goes downhill.  They try to reason with Death, begging it to stave off the inevitable a little longer.

That's not me.  I've never had the luxury of getting to have a "mid-life crisis".  For me these past several decades, there has been no promise of tomorrow.  There has been little hope for a future of lasting happiness.  My entire life all this time has been in a crisis mode of some form or another, with no time to lament mortality.

Maybe that's part of the reason why I'm feeling so good today.

I am in the best shape that I've been in, in my entire life.  Physically I'm in excellent condition.  My metabolism is that of someone fifteen or twenty years younger.  People all the time mistake me for someone in his early thirties: something I never cease having loads of fun with!

It's mentally that I'm feeling most accomplished about though...

Mentally I am better than I was ten years ago and I want to believe that I'm not as good as I will be ten years from now.  I take my mental health very seriously.  This isn't something you can simply take meds for and see a counselor every few weeks.  You have to WORK, and work hard, to get to that place where you can function and then maintain that.

I'll never be where I'd like to be mentally - bipolar disorder will almost forever be a lurking monster waiting to lash out from the shadows - but I've come very far indeed.  If only I could have been the person I am now, fifteen or twenty years ago.  It would have saved myself and others a lot of grief.

When you're much better at fifty than you were at twenty-five, that is cause for celebration.

What can I say?  I don't smoke and I only drink once a year, when I toast Dad's memory on his birthday with a bottle of his favorite wine.  Despite the disease I try to maintain an upbeat and cheerful and friendly demeanor.  People often tell me that I never meet a stranger.  I've never stopped wanting to learn new things: something that has proven advantageous in the new career that I've recently embarked upon.

(Wish I could tell y'all about that but I literally can't.  All I'll say is that it's a job that's perfect for me, in a field of expertise that has only recently come about.  And I'm getting to use much of my experiences and skills and education toward it.  That also is a reason why I'm finding myself happier than I've thought I've had a right to be.)

Mostly though, I have to credit God.  I could not have come this far without Him and the grace He provides.  Especially in these past several months I've drawn closer to Him.  I'm not holding things against myself as much as I used to: things that I'm even more understanding were beyond my control.  I don't blame God for those anymore.  We aren't promised an easy life.  As long as we are on this earth there will be sickness and suffering.  But God has been faithful.  He has brought me a long way through the madness.  I am absolutely thankful to God, for what He has done in my life.

Maybe it's fitting that this year my birthday is on Easter Sunday.  Because Easter is a day where we celebrate new life, the passing away of darkness.  I feel alive this day, in every possible way.

So, today I turn fifty years old.  I'm cherishing it with all abandon.  Remembering what has come before and looking forward to what is still to come.  Perhaps I'll make it to eighty-eight, and be here to write about seeing Halley's Comet for the second time in my life.  I asked God for that in 1985, when the comet's last appearance was a letdown.  Maybe the next time will be better.

In the meantime, I've a new career and I'm well underway with my book project.  There are a few creative irons in the fire (including a film story that I'm looking for a writing partner to help turn into a real screenplay).  I have my dog Tammy.  I have been blessed with some remarkable friendships.  I have family that I never knew about until a few years ago.  I still have hope, that God might let me have a little family of my own someday.

Fifty, here I am.  And I am delighted to finally meet you.



Happy Easter 2024

Made by my dear friend Bethany Myers and too beautiful not to share this Easter Sunday:

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Lent 2024: A respite from blogging

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday: the beginning of the Lenten season.

There have been some years when I have observed Lent on this blog.  The first time, in 2006, I refrained from posting at all.  This blog was two years old then and it was a commitment to keep the content fresh and poppin'.  So no blogging for seven weeks presented a dire temptation to write something, to write anything.  But I believe that I came through it a better person, and a better writer at that.

Then two years ago I felt the need to participate in Lent again.  But this time I went in the dire opposite direction.  After leaving Reidsville in 2016 I let this site lapse a bit (for over a year and a half!) while I was getting things in my personal life taken care of.  I like to think that I came back to this blog a different and better individual.  But the damage was done and this site still hasn't regained the audience it once enjoyed.  Still, I write.  And I was writing with passion for Lent 2022: endeavoring to make one post each day during the season.  In the end there were 47 posts made from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday... and it was TOUGH!  But it was something that I needed to do.  God showed me that He hasn't let the gift He has given me lapse because of lack of use.  That was something I needed to see, and I am thankful that He bore me through it.

Now we are on the doorstep of Lent 2024.  And once again I am going to give up blogging for the next seven or so weeks.  It's going to take something dire to bring me back to this site until then (Joe Biden resigning or being removed from the presidency will probably not cut it).  I won't be actively looking for anything to post about.  But this is time when I will be writing.  I'm committing myself to finishing at least one new chapter for my book each week.  Hopefully more than that if the Muse is feeling kind.  In the past month I've written three major chapters.  I've let confidants read some of the work so far and without exception they wildly approved and said that they want to know more about my life story.  I'll give you this teaser: "When you're driving a few hundred miles to banish demons, you can find most of what you need at Walmart."

So I'm more or less going into "radio silence" on this blog.  Probably not so much on Twitter however: that will remain an occasional chronicle of my musings and observations.  I'm also trying to see if I can achieve having a thousand followers.  I want to think that it's possible by doing it the old fashioned way: "we uuuuurn it" (as John Houseman articulated the line).

Lent ends on Easter Sunday.  This year that falls on March 31st.  Which is an important date for me.  It will be my birthday and not only that but my fiftieth!  I'm facing it with pure abandon.  Too many people, especially men, treat fifty as something they must make a deal with God to avoid the ramifications of.  Me?  I'm thankful... DARN thankful... that I will have made it that far.  I should not be here writing these words.  By many accounts I should have been dead dozens of times over by now, especially by my own hand.  I have survived too much than to not be grateful to God and the people He has put into my life for helping to bring me this far along.  I don't know what the heck I'm going to blog about come Easter Sunday but I'm going to write the heck out of it.

So, that's what's going to be up for the next few weeks.  I won't have died (you'll know if if I do though, that is going to be posted on this site) or otherwise abandoned The Knight Shift.  I'm just focusing on spiritual matters more for the next month and a half or so.  And maybe as before, I'll come out of it a better person.

See y'all in forty days.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Happy 50th Birthday to Blazing Saddles!

It was on this date in 1974 that filmmaker Mel Brooks released his western spoof upon an unsuspecting world.  And comedy was never the same again...

It's probably the number-one movie that has been said "it could never be made today."  Which makes it all the more special.  Blazing Saddles is unadulterated political incorrectness as only Brooks and his crew could have made it.

How much does this movie mean to me?  I have owned a copy of it on every home media format going back to VHS.  It was the very first DVD that I bought.  Later on I bought it on Blu-ray and today I keep it loaded on my iPad Pro (along with the complete Star Wars saga, The Thing, and Airplane! among others).

There are two movies that I distinctly remember from early childhood and each of them was run on CBS (the network our family's television was almost always tuned to) every year: The Wizard of Oz and Blazing Saddles.  Try finding a broadcast network that would show it today though!  Even HBO Max is now carrying a "trigger warning" when you watch Blazing Saddles on it.

Well, so much that could be said about this film.  I think I'll celebrate today by watching it again for the hunnerd zillionth time.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

A meditation upon Matthew 7:7

Every so often Matthew 7:7 comes to mind.  The verse reads (from the New International Version):

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
 It comes to the fore of my thoughts when I think about my own salvation journey.  How it progressed from being a person very angry and bitter toward God, to realizing that He could not have been responsible for what happened to me, to appreciating His beautiful design of the universe, to believing that I could not possibly be reconciled with Him... on until I finally allowed him into my life as my Lord and Savior.
(Some people still don't think of my life in terms like that. I suppose they will always think of me as an "atheist" even though I never truly did not believe in God.  They want me to be what THEY expect me to be spiritually.  I guess that's on them.  I know where I stand with God, and it depends on no other person.)
I very much appreciate Matthew 7:7.  It could almost be my life verse, if I needed one.  But for the past several years I've pondered it a bit more.  And I've come to also appreciate the promise it holds.  One that I believe is of great import to us as believers.
"Seek and you will find."  To me those five words are a PROMISE.  That whoever is looking for God is going to find Him.  That's irrespective of "our" expectations.  We are told in scripture that there are some who will not believe that they served Christ when they did good for others... but God knows their hearts.  He knows when they were and even now are right in spirit and aligned with His will.
We can know when we ourselves have found His grace.  We should trust others that they also have His mercy.  But all too often we have no idea whatsoever how far along a person is in his or her own journey, or even if it's begun at all.
This verse tells me that we should trust God and His perfect will, that all who seek Him WILL find Him.  At the same time, we should orient ourselves toward His will that much more, so that His light and love shines in our own lives.  That might be the only witness for Christ that some, maybe many, will ever see.  Some will see the relationship with God that they have been looking for.  Others who don't know what exactly what they are looking for WILL recognize it and want the truth of Him.  They WILL find that. God has promised it.
We should live so that we have something pure and holy that cannot be evaded and ignored.  So that others might see that, and want it in their own lives.
God made us as believers to be a big reason why people seek Him in the first place.  We should embrace that role He has appointed for us.

(Image from Bible.com)

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

God and mental illness: Why won't He heal my mind?

Obviously the notion entered my mind that maybe this could be an installment of the Being Bipolar series (which there may be much more material for coming soon).  But Being Bipolar is more about the disease itself, and is intended to be a resource for those looking for insight and information from someone who lives with that condition.

What I'm sharing now, on the other hand, has less to do with that aspect of my life than it does with others.  Although mental illness is certainly the precipitant.

It was twenty-four years ago this month that the symptoms of manic depression, or bipolar disorder, first began to manifest themselves in me.  At first it was wildly intoxicating, all the boundless energy and creativity that came seemingly out of nowhere.  I was still looking for a job post-college and failing in that but other opportunities were coming to the fore (like my time at Star Wars website TheForce.net, which gets a bit of interesting light shined upon it in the book I'm currently writing).  Long story short, I was bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm and optimism and sheer drive.  That those seemed to be peppered with moments of despair - like the horrible night that winter when I stripped off all my clothes and tried to freeze myself to death during a snowstorm with temperatures in the single digits - were inconsequential to how inflamed my uttermost being had become.

By early spring however, it was increasingly obvious that something was very, very wrong with me.

That was almost a quarter century ago.  But it seems like only yesterday.  In one way or another bipolar disorder has been in the background of everything that I have attempted or somehow accomplished despite the condition.  It has factored into my relationships (one of which ended in divorce), in my career history, in my choice to leave my old hometown... there has not been a single aspect not impacted by manic depression.

And all along, there has been one question that has been most on my mind: Why did God let this happen to me?

Two and a half decades later, I'm no closer to understanding the reason than I ever was.  But there has been a modicum of comfort to be drawn from scripture.  Second Corinthians 12:9 has the apostle Paul sharing with us that God told him "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"  Or as my Uncle Nub once told me: "Maybe God let you have it because He knew you could take it."

The verse continues: "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."  Which dovetails well, I think, with Romans 8:28, a verse that a colleague quoted to me yesterday:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

It has taken many years to come to this place, where I am no longer angry at God for allowing mental illness - something that at various times I have described as a "hell" - to strike me.  I better understand now that this is still a fallen world, and not all the medication and counseling remotely possible is going to change that.  I believe that God is the master Healer, and that there is no disease which is not without His power to alleviate.

But even so, disease happens.  It can occur within anyone, with all its nefarious varieties.  I suppose that I should consider myself blessed.  In two months I turn fifty and at my last medical examination the doctor told me that I've the health of someone in his early thirties.  Obviously God has let my physical well-being be good.  That is more than a lot of guys in my demographics get to have.  The only real physical malady I have is anemia, something that prevents me from being a blood donor anymore.  Perhaps sooner than later we'll get to the bottom of what's causing it, because I hate being out of the running with my friends who contribute blood.  But I digress...

With time has come understanding, and I hope a little wisdom.  And it has also brought with it an appreciation for my condition.  Had the economy not taken such a turn downward I might still be enjoying a career as a full-time peer support specialist with the state's department of mental health.  That is a job you literally must be crazy to have, I often tell those who don't know what peer support entails.  I was someone who made use of experiences and intensive training toward helping other people, who also have mental illness, and letting them have a chance at full and meaningful lives.  It was the most personally rewarding work that I have ever done and I would be doing it forever if that had been possible.  I got to be of assistance to a lot of good people.  Some of whom I still keep in touch with, just letting them know I still care about them.

Some people who God has placed in my path at times, have been close to giving it all up.  Have gotten too close to the line separating want-to-live from I-want-to-die.  I've been there too, more times than I can possibly count.  And ironically I got to be the one who convinced them that their lives are worth living.  I got to be someone who saw how precious their existences are, when they could not see it themselves.

It's possible that a lot of people wouldn't be with us still today, had it not been for God letting me have a mental illness that put me in their place first.  But I don't say that to boast.  God can be glorified in even our worst weaknesses.  If some are still alive today, that's His doing and not mine.  I'm just the instrument He chose to use.

And I can and will be thankful for that honor.

I guess the catalyst for this post is that, recently, I did something rather foolhardy and potentially very dangerous.  I attempted to move out of the way of God from healing me.  Or in other words: I tried to be made whole by faith only.

And so it is that I went a few days without my medication.

There wasn't any one agency that led me to attempt such a thing.  At various times across the decades I've earnestly wondered if my faith in God was not enough: that maybe He would heal me if only I had more trust in Him.

I went off the meds and instead I threw myself into prayer and fasting.  I turned toward immersing myself in scripture.  I asked for prayers from others: something which has become a regular occurrence for me and indeed I do not believe that I would be here today were it not for prayers from people dear to me.  I covet prayer now.  Which is another irony, since once upon a time I would have likely laughed at such a notion.

I tried relying entirely on having faith in God, that He would deliver my mind from the torment of mental illness.

And in the end, He did not do that.

After two days being without the meds my thoughts began racing out of control, again.  But I tried to endure.  Sought to increase my faith.  I want to think that my faith in Him is strong enough that it weathered the torture without ceasing to trust Him completely.

I went as far as could be tolerated before going back on the meds.  Blessed relief arrived a few hours later.

So, once again, God did not heal me from bipolar disorder.

Or, maybe He did.  Maybe He still is.

We are told that Luke, the writer of the eponymous gospel as well as the Book of Acts, was a physician.  Doubtless he of all people understood the wondrous qualities of human health and self-care.  I don't know what medications were available circa 60 A.D., apart from a form of aspirin known to the ancient Greeks.  But Luke was in all likelihood well versed in their array and uses.  God gave Luke a capable mind and adept hands to be a healer.  Perhaps God was not dealing out divine intervention toward the healing of those in Luke's care, but He certainly was the ultimate Author of betterment and recuperation.

I have to believe that God gave us a beautiful thing in medical science.  Something that can not so much replace God's place in healing as it does complement it.  In the employ of those dedicated and devoted to the healing arts, medicine is by its very existence a miracle of God.  In its purest form medicine is a thing wholly given over to the betterment of life.

I can't possibly contend that medical science is something God would not want us to make the most of, if it means having better and more purposeful life.

What about when medical science fails?  I have friends who in recent weeks have each lost a loved one to disease.  Is that a judgment against medicine when it could not prevent their respective passing?  No, it is not.  As I said before, it is a fallen world.  Injury and illness have been a part of that imperfection for a very long time and barring God's intervention that doesn't look to change anytime soon.  Nothing is guaranteed.  We can only trust in God and His will, that things are going to work out for the best in the end.  And that's the absolutely best answer that I can give.  But I've seen His will work out well before.  I have to believe that His will, will manifest itself as something that gives Him the glory and proves to be of benefit to us.  God operates on a vaster scale of time than we can comprehend.  And even the failures of the best of our schemes will serve to honor Him, in the end.

Personally, I believe that this lifetime isn't all that we get.  There is more past that.  What form that takes is up to the person living it.  God knows who are His.  For the one who loves God, this life and its afflictions are not the end.  There is something better waiting for us still.  I dream of having a mind that isn't plagued by mania or depression or sometimes both at once.  That is coming, in the fullness of His time.  And that is a great comfort.

I'm not going to willingly go off the medications again.  I've tried trusting God to take my condition away from me.  For whatever reason, He has not done that.  But He has provided knowledge and wisdom and tools that can make the condition much more better manageable than it would be without those things.  Here I am on the cusp of fifty, and with each passing day I feel more like what it is to not have a mind turned against itself.  I feel younger today than I ever have, and it's because of what God has provided many scientists, researchers, and engineers with over the course of the centuries and especially the past several decades.

But of course, it never hurts to pray too.

Monday, January 29, 2024

I plan on wearing my Ghostbusters uniform on opening day of this

 New trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire dropped a few hours ago and I've watched it a few times now.  I'm getting a vibe that this might be the best film since the original.  It's hitting on all the right notes.  And hey, it even has the return of Walter Peck!

Watch it here:


Thursday, January 18, 2024

Reveal trailer for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle!

Word is breaking loose at this hour that Bethesda's new Indiana Jones game has finally been revealed...

Coming later this year it's Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.  Looks set pre World War II aka the "golden era" of the saga.  As for the "MacGuffin" of this particular adventure, there are hints of in in the trailer that went live a little while ago.

So let's take a look at it!

I'm not much of a video game player anymore (though I still want to eventually finish Fallout: New Vegas) but this might tempt me to get a new console.  Well, of course a new BioShock game would make me want that even more :-)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

"Why We Fight": Three qualities I aspire for in my writing

I am a writer. I chronicle things.  Including both mundane and wondrous happenings in my life.

I write, laboring under the notion that examining one's own being will further illuminate that magnificent thing known as "the human condition".
I don't write for power, or money (though I have earned a little over the years).  I don't even write for "the masses".  Having a fan base never really appealed to me. I am just as happy writing for the few people who would read and understand and maybe appreciate the effort.
I write MUCH more than I let on here.  Most of my writing is for Facebook, not this blog.  But there are very few Facebook posts I make that are public.  Like I just said, what I compose isn't necessarily for mass consumption.  Even so, if you are reading these words now, wherever they are found, you are honored as much as I am thankful.
The day may come, sooner than later, when I do open myself up more for "the masses".  I hope three things will happen on that day.
First, that those who I most appreciate won't abandon me.  I promise to never let something "go to my head".
Second, is a mission that I believe God has always intended for me.  And that is to be a "flame spotter".
One of my jobs is to look for people who believe they are alone, who know something is wrong with the world and choose to live in defiance of that.  But they don't know that there are others who are just like them.  They find themselves lonely, with barely any hope.
I look for the fires.  Sometimes it calls for making myself seem ridiculous, so that they might better see me and come out of hiding long enough to make contact.  I am someone who tries to bring encouragement to those who need it more than most.
Someday I may take that to the next level.  If I ever disappear along with my dog Tammy, you will know.  Make of that what you may.
If you are one of the rare fires, I may already have my eye on you.  Be of good cheer. Alfred Jay Nock called us "the Remnant".  We are few in number, but one thing we are NOT is alone.  Remember that.  When the masses of men try their damndest to bring you down to their level, you can stand firm.  And know that you are admired by the ones who matter most.
Maybe writing for a larger audience will reach more of those who are important to me.
The third thing that I hope happens on that day is the realization that I have chosen to serve God in my writings.
It has been God all along, who has been my inspiration whenever I've written my op-ed pieces or religious essays.  I've never credited Him nearly enough.  I hope now, that I'm in a place where at long last I have real growing faith in Him, that He will be honored all the more.
I don't know how exactly but I need God to be honored with the book I'm writing.  But it has to be done with consideration.  All along it has been on my heart to make this a work that ANY person can be interested in reading.  As much as I don't like to do this, the subject of God must be treated gently.  Not too hard and not too soft.  If this was a Christian devotion things would be different.
But it's not that kind of book.  There will be a LOT of unpleasantness within its covers.  And in a perverse way that is going to be one of the draws that many will have toward my book.  I need it to be grasped though, that it has been something higher than myself which has brought me this far.  I'm going to honor that, as best I know how.
I really hope that I can finish this sooner than later.  There are things being written about that are funny, that are horrifying, that are ridiculous, that are sad, but also uplifting and maybe inspiring.  In the end it will be what it is, and more people will learn about this peculiar creature named Robert Christopher Knight and his wacky world.
I hope it will be time well spent.
And I hope that it will do honor to God and the MANY people He has put in my life along the way :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Only Hope For America: A video commentary by Yours Truly

Have had a lot of thoughts over the past few days and weeks about the upcoming presidential election, and the general state of America.

If you've ever read "Isaiah's Job" by Alfred Jay Nock, and you found it resonated with you, then this video may interest you too.

Monday, January 08, 2024

The Berenstain Bears learn about sound economic policy

I knew it!  I just knew that I hadn't imagined this.  A cartoon from 37 years that I saw only once ago and I still remember it!

Around the mid-Eighties there was an animated series based on the beloved Berenstain Bears children's books.  The show ran on Saturday mornings on CBS.  It was pretty good as I seem to recall.  And often quite humorous.

Well, the other day one of the episodes sprang to mind as I was reading the news about the latest attempt to avoid a government shutdown.  It involved the Bear kiddies learning all about money.  How those little green pieces of paper don't have value on their own.  Instead they must be backed up by something with real tangible worth.  In the bears' world this happens to be the purest honey in existence.  Without that backing, as the kids' father puts it there would be total chaos.

In other words: fiat currency is a very terrible thing for a society to have.

This is wise economics from a nearly forty year old animated cartoon made for youngsters.  Even a child can understand the enormity of it.

If only more people had grasped the concept.  This country would not be headed toward the disaster it is hellbent on achieving.  It is indeed chaos and there is not going to be any avoiding it.

Here is the episode: "Raid On Fort Grizzly".  Well worth watching.

Saturday, January 06, 2024


 All this time for the past several years I've been trying to write a book.  About my life especially regarding the impact manic depression has had on it.

I've been working on a number of bits and pieces of it, going back and forth on those.  But there has never been a "plan" per se.  I've been assembling fragments but this project lacked structure.  I was stumbling around without a clearly defined plot.

For a very long time, going back even to before I left my hometown and set out across America, I've been trying to crack the basic outline for my book.  It has been something that has driven me crazy... well, you know what I mean (I hope).

I haven't had the shape of it.

Until today.

I finally cracked it.

Like a bolt out of the blue it hit me late this morning.  Maybe God was waiting to show it to me.  Perhaps I needed to be in a better place before I could be shown this.

Hot dang.  This is going to get made.  It's going to work.

I think that this is going to become something very special.

The first draft of the outline is now a Microsoft Word document.  Chapters and sections are already falling into place.

Working title of part one: "The Page", but that may change.  This is still very early.

My confidence just got a major boost.  Lord willing, I'm really going to be able to do this.

Okay, me go celebrate now.  Tonight's dinner: pepperoni pizza with a good helping of sriracha sauce (the original from Huy Fong).

So stoked now.  I'm looking forward to sharing it with others.  This is gonna be KEWL...

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Latest "episode" of my new video series

Still very early in this endeavor. Right now I am mostly working on camera angles, lighting, a better intro sequence... and my own presentation.  I used to publicly speak better than I do now and I have to wonder if the meds I take to manage my manic depression might have taken some of that away.  But there's no way to improve without jumping in and DOING it.  Perhaps I will indeed improve with time.

Anyway, here's the latest episode.  In which among other things I reveal my nearly forty years-old quest to obtain an object I've had my heart set on from the moment I saw it.  Lord willing that my book sells, I hope to get one.

Aaaand, on with the show!