You’re a Time Traveller (And it’s killing you)

This is my grand crazy theory for us humans. Humanity travels through time with our thoughts. Not our bodies mind you. We are complex beasts, able to think in abstract ways and we build upon these abstractions. Our minds hold vast worlds set up how we want. We are the gods of our own existence. And we can travel backwards and forwards in our thoughts. We re-live the past all the time. We make plans for the future, because we already visited the future in our thoughts.

A typical cliche stated by our elders is “remember the good old days?” or “life was so much simpler back then.” Maybe it was. More than likely it has its own complications. Our technology supposedly makes life for us easier now. So why is this statement such a HUGE contradiction? Is our past easier? Or the future?

Neither really. Gramps broke out the rose-tinted glasses borrowed from grandma. Grandpa travelled back to his own time in his head. He spun up his memories and visited the past. Emotionally it was the best of times for him.

Grandpa has a magical time travelling accordion.

Grandpa also predicted your marriage would not last. Heck, he even knew you would move back in. He also knows that job you really want will come through. But not in the time you think.

Grandpa used his life experiences and grabbed what he knew about you. He hopped into his mental time machine and flew a few years into your future. There he used his life experiences to figure out one of many futures you might experience.

Grandpa is not always right you know. But he comes through many times in his predictions.

Not all of us want to be time travellers. In fact, it is a horrifying experience going to our past. Because it’s filled with abuse, horrors and details we do not want to relive. Going back to the past brings on depression. When we look into the future all we see are patterns from the past rising. Our future gives us anxiety. Time travelling for some is killing us faster than the rest of the population.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has some interesting statistics on Anxiety.

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Over 1/2 of those diagnosed with anxiety suffer depression.

More facts here.

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting close to 40 million adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)1That’s about 18% of the population! However, only about one-third of those who struggle with anxiety receive treatment.


Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year. In addition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 globally suffers from anxiety. The WHO reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide with a specific phobia, major depressive disorder and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders.

The Neurocore website has more information regarding Anxiety here.

Craziest fact is that anxiety can make everything stink. I wonder if highly anxious people have a problem tasting food or experiencing different flavors?

The point I want to make is we all travel to the past and the future. Also, if you do not want to call it time travelling to the past, you can use the phrase nostalgic thoughts. And how we view those thoughts determines how it will affect us.

Nostalgia is an emotional state of mind. It’s almost like we are travelling back to experience those emotions again. Those depressing moments. The future is horrible if you have a bad past. In fact, thinking about the future will give you anxiety.

This leads me to my point.


Dr. Who Tardis on the beach
Maybe the good doctor finally took a break from all that wibbly womby time travelly stuff

You abuse this amazing ability of our mind and it will get the best of you. Do not live so much in the past. Stop thinking so much about the future. Especially if you have lots of anxiety or depression.

Live in the here and now. (This advice goes for the author.)

If you want a good New Year’s resolution you can stick with, try “being more in the present.” It’s free and does not cost a gym membership. It won’t make you feel guilty if you break this. It’s not even precise. If you feel the past or future weighing too much on your mind, try being here right now.

How to be in the present is another article. For now, I personally will meditate thinking about what I need to do tonight and finish my laundry.

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Speak to your Market

Hey Folks,

Today I spent part of my time re-working a business proposal for an associate concerning a new venture I am undertaking. It’s a great idea and many people have signed on board. But one investor looked at it and did not have time to read what I had presented. I used an “award-winning” format chosen for me by a business partner. This format has already won millions of dollars.

But this new investor does not understand the market I am working in. In fact, he asked if we had any experience in what we are doing. Heck, we have 6 plus companies that has tons of professional experience in this area. (Insert red flag here) The investor did not take the time to read any of it. He asked for a quick one page written summary. I would dare say this investor has 0 idea of what this market is about. It is probably outside his circle of competence. “But he knows money.” is probably the answer I am expecting.

I formatted the 1 pager as requested.  It’s more practice and helps to refine my message further. I am always revising and figuring out how to reach my message to who I need to speak to.

More than likely we won’t take his money as it probably is “dumb” money. We want “smart investors” or for a better term, we want someone who understands the industry and the market.

Now I have created great presentations using Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Slide rule. But this does not fit all markets. It’s just a starting point. It is something you can work with to get your message out. Honestly, I don’t think you can pigeonhole everything into this format for every market.

The biggest problem I see from a presenter’s standpoint is knowing your audience and what language they are speaking.

Not English, mind you. But how they are using English.

If I brought a university professor and a transmission mechanic into the same room to discuss coffee, they might or might not have a decent conversation. But lets say the university professor has a degree in quantum mechanics and she starts the conversation discussing quantum entanglement. Do you think the mechanic will have any clue to what she is talking about?

Probably not.

Suppose the transmission mechanic starts a conversation about warranties and how Chrysler made vehicles which failed after the warranty expired due to failure in the planetary gears. Do you think the professor would have a clue?

Again English, and I imagine other languages- have more complex subsets of their language dealing with these specializations of knowledge.


What I am asking you dear reader is to step outside of your box. Think like your audience. If you don’t know the audience, you probably should learn it well before you even think about pitching a business plan. Because that is a HUGE clue you do not know your market.

Every business market has their own language. Learn it and the mindset behind it BEFORE YOU MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN!

And, if the person you are speaking to does not have a clue of the market and wants to give you money, BEWARE! (Big red flag for you right there). You can figure this out when to speak to them, using your own terminology you learned in this marketplace.


Opinions and Consequences

Funny thing happened today on Facebook. I got into a stupid Facebook argument. Over an article I posted, which could or could not be true.

I am one of those guys with 5k followers and I manage them. Often.

Because not everybody believes in the same freedom of speech. Or decency.

So back to the article. It was questionable if the person making the statements were true. But the article was about someone making a statement. Expressing his opinion. Which could or could not be true. We are ALL allowed to have an opinion. And I shared it. I never stated I believe what this person said. But it was an interesting comment. And it’s an opinion from an influential person.

For some reason, this article, and the opinion of said person did not sit well with one person. And they became irate and made comments. On my Facebook page.

That is like someone coming to your house and telling you what to eat for breakfast. Or what you should watch on TV.

Who does that? Even in a communist country?

So I had to break out the block feature and block said person for not acting right. He is free to his opinion. But no one is free to force their opinion on others.


This is a big problem in the US and it’s bothering me. Because I love all of my Democrat and Republican friends. I love my Muslim and Christian Friends. I love every race, and I want people to be who they are. But I also don’t want people telling others what to do, who to be and force their opinions on others.

Here is the rub. Everyone can agree we all deserve a certain amount of respect as a human being. But we are also not free from the consequences of our actions. If you do something messed up, you will pay for it. Period.

So here is a definition of what just occurred. My former FB friend attempted to obtrude their viewpoint upon me.

transitive verb

-·trud′ed, -·trud′ing
to thrust forward; push out; eject
to offer or force (oneself, one’s opinions, etc.) upon others unasked or unwanted
Origin of obtrude

Classical Latin obtrudere from ob- (see ob-) + trudere, to thrust: see threat
to obtrude oneself (on or upon)

No, my friend, you do not get to do that. Everyone must make up their own mind on the information provided.

For the record, the article posted a comment George Soros made. I do not take anyone’s opinions on what is going on as gospel. But there could be some truth to it. I don’t know, but it would not surprise me to see facts supporting this informed opinion. If so, it means influence on our democracy is being bought and sold as a commodity. We should be very careful who we believe on either side. Last time I checked ALL Politicians are answerable to the people. No one is above scrutiny or fact checking.

One final word. Political Parties are NOT FOOTBALL TEAMS. Or any sports team. They are lawyers and businessmen who need to take care of us in making the laws of this land, executing said laws and interpreting them. Just remember that.




Shout out to the beautiful woman who inspired me to write today. Thank you!





How to Say Goodbye (And why it’s so hard)

FB_IMG_15777947415788932 (1)

As a man in his 40s I have said hundreds of goodbyes over the years. I have said goodbye to friends, family, pets, jobs, cities, possessions and opportunities. This subject gets easier with time. I daresay it is harder to say hello sometimes.

But I have seen many people struggle with this. No one wants to say farewell. It’s cruel to end a chapter on a note of anything other than good. We get emotionally wrapped up in the person, place or thing, willing to sacrifice our own time and sanity because we cannot let go.

One experience I had with a hard goodbye was a girl I dated in 2012. She was and still is an amazing human being. We dated while I worked as a Government Contractor Overseas deployed to Afghanistan in OEF. She lived in North Carolina. I had residency in Texas. But I moved around stateside. So we started dating virtually and in person in 2011. By 2012 we moved down to Las Cruces NM.

I had my first small business there doing software development. And it went poorly. Programmers constantly delayed the software release. Bugs kept showing up in our Alpha. It was a hot mess; I had to get more capital to stay floating.

So it was back to working overseas. And thus began the long goodbye.

Her home was North Carolina. Mine was Texas. We were splitting up. Slowly.

Those 6 weeks I will never forget. We still laughed about some jokes we made. We were intimate. Even more so. Yet we both knew it would end. I stayed in North Carolina for over a month after the two weeks we took to get her home. I left my car in New Jersey instead of going back to Texas with my relatives up there.

I felt ill after I left her. I broke down twice.

Unbeknown to me she had someone already picked out. She got married several months after I left.

She already said goodbye.

I let it go after 6 months. I said hi to her one more time several years later.

I have other stories of saying goodbye. As we get older, we all collect theses stories.

The key to letting go is perspective and mindset.

Do: Focus on the positives. You had good times. Put on your rose-tinted glasses when you look back. Don’t hold on to the hate and bitter bad times.

Don’t: Go back. It rarely works out. It’s ok to forgive. It’s fine to see the positives. But let go of the strong emotions. A good farewell includes saying goodbye to those strong feelings. This includes Hate and Love. Let your emotions die down. Take a step back and be critical of the relationship.

Do: Understand what transition looks like. We are all constantly evolving in our relationships. Expect an end. Do not think what you have today will last. Enjoy your now and plan for the future so you can keep having good moments.

Don’t: Try to influence what you have no control over. Some people drag out a long overdue goodbye through manipulation and coercion. They seek to keep those feelings lit long after parting ways. Holding on to what you had is a surefire way to lose even more and create a bitter memory.

In conclusion, learn how to say goodbye better than the last time you did. Don’t hold on to old feelings.

And with that I am letting the last decade go. Goodbye 2010s. I grew a lot and transitioned to a new phase of my life.

Hopefully, if you are reading this, we can share a new adventure in the 2020s without having to say goodbye.

It’s been awhile

alphabet-black-and-white-blur-938165.jpgHey folks,

It’s been some time since I visited this little corner of the universe where I put down my thoughts and write.

But I want to write down my thoughts and ideas for 2019 and what I plan to do for 2020.

Maybe it will keep me on track.


Maybe it will be a struggle again.

All I can do is write. And work.

So, first off let me speak with you primarily about what happened in 2019.

A lot.

First off, I created a new software company, Athenaeum Media.

AM Logo 3.11

AM focuses primarily on writing software. We want to stay within a focused area of Key Competencies.

  • Natural Language Processing/ Understanding
  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
  • Converting unstructured data into structured data
  • Semantic analysis and other machine learning classification tasks
  • Lowering the cost of data analytics and data visualization
  • Coordinating the mechanisms that support collaboration
  • Workflow orchestrated technical documentation and report generation
  • Integrated training components
  • Co-writing on projects

I did not get much done for my intellectual property New Gods of Mankind. But I have thought about it a lot. So here are my plans.

  1. Create a series of character studies where I dive deep into my human characters of Dragon Gods Rising.
  2. Create a geneology of the first three generations of mankind (where the majority of human gods in the current timeline come from).
  3. Create ideas for the next books in the World of Naalrinnon series.
  4. Outline what a comic book or TV series of Naalrinnon would look like.

I have talked to film producers about this and they are excited. But there is a ton of work to do first and foremost.

I also do business development. So I have several projects always in the pipeline.

2020 is a year filled with promise. I do have plans for it and years to come actually. I never give up and that is why I choose the tagline Creative Perseverance. Because I know no matter how bad things get, it will turn around.

So expect more content. I plan to touch on many subjects in 2020. And I will tell it like it is.



The Heavy Metal GM

Stories, regardless of genre, always need some sort of conflict to be entertaining. Nobody likes reading text books about how to do stuff, don’t lie to me. Considering that RPG sessions are just fragments of a story, the rule still applies. Considering that conflict is the bedrock of everything, sometimes it can feel a little stale and over trodden. Keeping conflict interesting is somewhat of a balancing act throughout the course of a session or campaign. With it being the central piece of it all, it goes without saying that conflict is also incredibly important to the story you want to tell.

It doesn’t take a genius to discover the three types of conflict: physical, social and internal. Physical conflict is probably the most straight forward; it can be with a person or animal, and in some cases even just forces of nature or the environment itself. Sometimes just fighting…

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Stay on Target: Keeping Distracted Table-Top Gamers Engaged

If you ever played a table-top role-playing game you understand about distractions. Endless diversions hampering plot, game play and flow. Sometimes you get together and it seems as if you might as well meet at a bar and get it over with. The game master and several players might enjoy a few straying conversations. But often too much conversation not related to game will dampen everyone’s fun. Lighthearted conversations and off topic jokes CAN kill game sessions, ruining the fun for everyone.I have a few suggestions on how to keep everyone on target and working towards a fun night of gaming.1. Set a time limit for players and game masters This can be controversial in some groups. Combat and non combat encounters are different beasts. The game master (dungeon master) must be flexible and know what type of players he has. My suggestion for combat is to set a 2-4 minute timer for each player IN COMBAT. Game masters must interact with each player in a ten minute period in a combat setting. Non combat portions of the game heavy in role-play should have limits as well. Set a max time limit of ten minutes per player. The game master should speak with every player first before going back to player 1. This time should be agreed on by everyone. Stress the emphasis of flow and getting in fun for everyone. No one wants to sit around and diddle their thumbs in boredom.2. Make sure everyone has something to do!!!! Sometimes you will run a game sessions and a character dies. No backups are available and now you have a good friend stuck out of the game. What the heck are you gonna do? Give them something PRONTO! Often I would pull in some extra NPCs and let the player run them. This way the player has something new to do and can be a boon in most cases. Make sure you run with extra characters to compensate for any deaths in the party. If you are running a dangerous situation as a game master, make sure you have back up plans and ideas for a party wipe or a few deaths. The worst thing you can do as a game master,leave someone out of the party. After all it is a party and we all want to have fun.3. Keep your party’s goal in mind as a game master This does not mean railroad the party. It means to read your players and see what their goals are. Your goals should be their goals. It is not a competition. When you create or use a dungeon, make sure the final treasure is something the player has in mind. Know the characters and make sure you understand how the player is interpreting their role in the party. Your goal as game master is to see their efforts come to fruition. If the part sets a goal, make sure they stick with it. When the party wanders aimlessly, this can lead to a joyless, soul sucking session. Talk with your players, directly or indirectly through NPCs (non-playing characters).4. Ensure everyone gets involved, directly or indirectly in non combat encounters The dreaded shopping session can suck the joy out of any group. Players will get super bored waiting for that one friend out to get the best armor and equipment. It can drive people batty. This is a difficult task but one the game master must ensure does not bore people. If one player is shopping for new armor, give the other players something else to do. Let them participate in the gladiator pits. Wizards should go off to a local college and engage others of his profession. Clerics should have small encounters at a local temple. Thieves should be trying to rob local marketers. It is hard but not impossible to keep track of everyone. But the game master must balance time between each character. Do not allow more than 10 minutes max to go by without engaging every player.Staying on target, keeping players involved in a game session becomes crucial to running memorable games. Running a table-top RPG as a game master can challenge the most intelligent person. But the great thing is, learning and using time management skills can make the difference in dungeon mastering. Learn to pay attention to each player. Sum up their goals as a character and make sure you can get everyone to agree on a destination. Never let a player fall behind. If a player dies, give him something else to do, even if you reincarnate them as a ghost! The main mission is to have fun and play together as a group, creating memories. Join hundreds of others as they rise up against the threat of the Leviathans and Elder Gods. Live

Source: Stay on Target: Keeping Distracted Table-Top Gamers Engaged

Dragon Gods Rising Chapter 4

A spirit entered Celundynn’s watery heaven of Ansyllar, making its way with a message. This entity verified her previous outbound message was received. Another meeting, this time for the sake of her people’s lives. The messenger, made of swirling stones with two eyes shining like magma, stopped a good distance away from her as she sat on her throne of creation. She sat for a while in contemplation of its presence. Time became very flexible within the Celestial Spheres. Ansyllar, home of all Undine spirits, was no exception.During this time, Celundynn thought about what she knew.Her husband’s blasphemous creations, humanity, caused mayhem and strife for the Salamander species and their Dragon gods. It would only be a matter of time before it all came apart. Whispers of the Dragon gods rising up and uniting tickled her ears. An emissary living in the Crater of Lugos cried out to her in prayer, telling her about the plans Draax has. The waters and Draax’s fleet have stayed quiet for a long time after their strike on Ar-Indurr. It would only be a matter of time. Time she did not have in the real world. The Goddess of Shimmering Light and Shallow Waters knew her symbiotic relationship with her followers. Nothing would stand in the way of her keeping them safe. Including her own husband.Celundynn held court in her Palace of Eternal Light, a construction of miraculous will, carved out of dreams and hopes. Bright walls made of luminous bubbling water flowing up and down divided the underwater palace. The floor looked much like any other floor you would find in the ocean, filled with sand, small creatures, and rocks. Arching over the strange walls of dividing water, fibrous coral made of strange glowing filament filled the ceiling, a living plant stretching over the whole palace. Celundynn herself formed it from the dying wishes of a coral reef, destroyed long ago by rising methane gas from the ocean floor.The small elemental creature knew it stood out as a dark, rocky shape, swirling in the otherwise calm palace. So it delivered the message quickly.“The Gnome gods will gather for you, Celundynn, to hear your plea. Meet us in the Orchard of Knowledge, Reason, and Madness when the next lunar moon is full over the city of Jaash. The exact point will be detailed in another message. Our hearts are made of stone, so make sure to bring passion and logic with you — else your requests will fall on deaf ears.”“Insolent spirit, I should crush you where you stand. But I will come at the appointed time. And I will bring both passion and reason!”The rock spirit left her palace rumbling with swirling crushed stones. The Goddess of the Shallow Waters watched the messenger disappear out of her realm. One of her many priestess advisors approached her throne. She stopped and bowed low, waiting for permission to speak. Celundynn decided long ago that every spirit in her realm would stay in the form of mermaid, with the upper half very humanoid, and the lower half a fish, to show her commitment and love for all water and land creatures. Her priestess advisors were no exception, wearing elaborate jewelry on their Human parts and allowing their tails to swim freely with no constraints. The priestess who bowed before her waiting for permission was once the finest negotiator in the seas. Norhenna’s advice came from the heart and reached through the fog of information, doubt, and fear. “Speak Norhenna, I wish your council.”“Goddess of the Light and Shallow Waters teeming with life, I understand Gnomes. After spending several of my living years as your ambassador living in the city of Pothma, nestled deep in Rhok-Kanmor mountain range where the most stubborn of Gnomes, the Stoneborn, call home; I believe you must appeal to Methussa. She will listen, and the other Gnome gods will follow. But to convince her you must state our case. The Dragon gods are uniting and will come to destroy us.”“Are we sure about this? Even now it sounds ludicrous. Their very nature is chaos and fire. They spread out their will and extinguish themselves before even thinking of a full assault on us. I only hear rumors and information inferred from my priests. Nothing solid. How can I make a case?”“Here.” Priestess Advisor Norhenna handed the goddess a crystal, deep blue in color, swirling patterns within. “The spirit of Cargo Ship Captain Farthreen Wavecrasher from the city of Nesh is inside this crystal. Let him speak before the Gnomes. They were overrun and destroyed. Even their spirits were enslaved into crystals like the one you have. One of our scouts managed to sneak aboard a Salamander vessel leaving the scene and steal several crystals back so they may find peace in your heaven.”“This is horrible. Free him at once! Why did you keep his soul trapped in the crystal after it was recovered?”“We, uh, we wanted to make sure to show you what the Salamanders did. What their gods practice and make our case.”“FREE HIM NOW.”The crystal parted. A long haired greenish bl

Source: Dragon Gods Rising Chapter 4

Downtown San Antonio During Christmas

One thing I can say, I have seen a lot of the world. Yet there is so much more I need to discover. Recently I arrived to start my new life here in San Antonio. So far its been steady progress and I am enjoying the scenery and the people here.This city looks amazing during Christmas. So enjoy a few photos I snapped during my travels downtown. All pictures copyright Richard Leon. Ask before you reuse.

Source: Downtown San Antonio During Christmas

Anointed: Mantle of the Gods Table Top RPG

Greetings Gamers and Readers,I want to blog about a particular game I produced and created, Anointed: Mantle of the Gods. Anointed marks my second table-top RPG created, with the first being New Gods of Mankind. We designed Anointed to work with New Gods of Mankind in a more intimate, detailed way. Anointed brings traditional skills, combat and fighting to a game primarily focused on New Gods, large scale conflicts and miracle casting. This game focuses on heroes in the same vein as Dungeons and Dragons. Anointed: Mantle of the Gods published in 2015 and you can buy it in print or PDF formats.If you have no idea what a tabletop game is, let me fill you in. When you played with your friends and used action figures to reenact scenes from your favorite movies, you did an early form of role-playing. Table-top RPGs focus on more mature, collaborative efforts which enable us to empathize and relate to a fantastical world and gain insight. Rainy days and dark cold nights beckon the need for stories and imaginative exercises. Wikipedia has an excellent article about what a Table-Top game here. Quote “A tabletop role-playing game (or pen-and-paper role-playing game) is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters’ actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.”I wont go into the myriad types of table-top RPGs out there. Instead I will focus on what makes Anointed so unique.1. It ties into a meta-game/ universe. We designed Anointed specifically to work with New Gods of Mankind. It can operate on its own, or be used to form a unique game where players play as gods, armies and the heroes. It creates a meta narrative and this truly is a unique gaming experience. Most games will limit the players to one point of view. Players in New Gods of Mankind can create sagas, with gods and heroes. Armies can clash but the focus remains the story emphasized with easy rules. If you seek a game with a broad vision and the ability to play multiple parts in a huge campaign, this system is for you. 2. The background and story stands out.  This game does not use typical Tolkien styled fantasy elements. We took the classic elements of Aristotle and created corresponding species which came to life. Salamanders (resistant to fire), Gnomes (made of rock), Sylphs (who can fly) and Undines (aquatic species) make up the four main sentient species on the planet. Wood Nymphs and a couple of giants round out the races.Even the world background stands on its own. The setting  takes place over Eight Thousand Years from now on a distant planet. In a couple of thousand years from now, humans colonize the planet. Humanity dies when the elemental spirits of the world become sentient and figure out humans are taking/ destroying parts of the planet. The elements originate in their thoughts from humanity. Currently humanity struggles as a new species on the planet Naalrinnon. Mankind only uses Bronze Age tools, for now. Every piece of new technology gets assimilated and mankind seeks to build alliances and cities with each other. The main difference between the bronze age on earth and bronze age in Naalrinnon comes from the gods who cast miracles and protect their tribe. Humans rely on their tribal gods to protect them literally with no metaphorical difference. The gods incarnate for real on Naalrinnon. These small, human gods often appear and disappear for many reasons. Either their tribe dies off,  the people stops worshiping them or even worse. The New God gets captured and bound with no more belief left to get them out of the jam.

Source: Anointed: Mantle of the Gods Table Top RPG