Archive for September 2017

Wick Walk 9.13.17.   Leave a comment

My friend and fellow game designer John Wick has moved into an interesting part of town. We get together on Wednesday mornings to have breakfast and buy comic books and talk. On this Wednesday I persuaded him to come walking with me and this is what we saw. No, there isn’t anything very special here, but it is Your chance to come walking with John Wick and Ken St. Andre.

  1. Inside John’s nice cool new condominium. He’s upstairs getting a hat.


2. MonitorHorse. John has this strange painting at the foot of the stairs.


3. Phoenix is a desert city and these desert gullies are found wherever there are hills. I personally love these pieces of the landscape and often photograph them.


4. I like to imagine that trolls take shelter in such places. Unfortunately, trolls aren’t very good about picking up their litter. I don’t throw trash in the streets or on the ground in the desert, but some people do. Grrrrr!


5. The walk became more interesting once we got clear of the houses and onto a main street full of businesses.


I told John to smile for his fans.


Here I am, smiling for mine.

6. We walked across the street and went into this store.


We decided to visit this western antique shop.

7. This next series of pix is taken inside and is just stuff that I liked enough to photograph.


If I owned a horse, and needed a saddle, I would get this one.


Both of these men were heroes to some and villains to others.


One room was full of boots.


Isn’t this a kick in the head?


I thought this cowboy looked like John Wayne. Others though it looked like Ronald Reagan or James Arness. From the price tag on the shirt, I’m pretty sure the shop owners just dressed the mannequin in generic cowboy clothing, and it’s not from any particular movie.


One room was full of antique toys. I wanted the monkey, but I couldn’t get to it.


You know I love old books. Here are a couple starring two of my boyhood heroes.


I like toys. I’d like to see this one in action.

8. We spent 15 minutes inside the antique store. That was the high point of the walk. Didn’t buy anything. After that we walked back to John’s place, got into his car, and went off to breakfast.

But that’s a different story. For now, this is the end of the trail.

Yeah, the walk home is almost never as interesting as the walk out.



If you’ve ever gone walking with me or John Wick, why not leave a comment? Or if you have pix of cool stuff you found in antique shops, then post them here.


Posted September 13, 2017 by atroll in Uncategorized

Searching for the Wizard’s House   3 comments

Today is September 11, 2017. September 11 is Disaster Day or Emergency Day in the USA, ever since September 11, 2001. Today’s disaster on Disaster Day is Hurricane Irma in Florida.

But that’s not what I want to write about. I’m just setting the date for the benefit of posterity. If you’re reading this, then you are posterity. How does it feel?

A couple of months ago while I was walking I found a wizard’s house.  I recognized it at once–it had all the telltale signs. Magical Guardians, hidden faces, spirits–definitely a wizards’ house. I took a picture of it, and I posted that picture somewhere. Only the gods could find that photo now. I had no reason to bother the wizard, so I did not knock or even try to make his/her acquaintance.

Today, when I went out walking, I decided on a whim to see if I could find the wizard’s house again.

I found:


a hidden garden, guarded by a cat.


a wooden cobra in a jungle full of ruins.


a portal to a magical gem-encrusted wasteland.


a dragon . . . or, at least dragon sign.


a Leprechaun hiding in plain sight. He is just above my reflection in this picture, hiding among the leaves of the tree. Can you see him?


evidence that the world is full of evil cat-people, but that they don’t control everything yet.


and a mystic sign that I do not fully comprehend, even though I am a wizard myself. (You may say it’s just a shadow, but that’s because you don’t understand the Lore of Shadows–they have their own existence, meanings, and powers that only Shadow Wizards understand and can manipulate. I’m not a Shadow Wizard–I only know they exist.

I saw all these many signs of magic in the world, but I did not find the Wizard’s House. That is often the way of Magic. It’s all around you if you open your third eye and see with the Second Sight, but when you search for one particular enchantment, then you cannot find it. Magic is elusive, and poorly understood, even by wizards. (As wizards go, I am among the least potent, but still, I have lore far beyond the knowledge of the Mundanes of the world.)

On my walkabout my path crossed that of desert wolves, (the human kind), beggars, wanderers, and workers. None would bother a man with a staff (me), at least not during the brightest part of the morning. They went their ways, I went mine, though I did stop and exchange a few words with an ancient bard. I asked if he could play that guitar he was carrying, and so he sang me a verse from a song about the magic of love. His guitar only had 5 strings, and it was very badly out of tune. I offered to buy him a drink (of coffee), but he asked for a dollar, so that is what I gave him. I said good morning to a one-eyed man (Odin?  Odin, what are you doing in the desert so far from the cold northlands of Scandinavia?)  I did not get photographs of either of these two archetypes–it did not seem appropriate to ask them.

And now I’m home again, thinking of all the Things That I Must Do today. I have been remiss in sharing my Walkabouts and Amusements with you, but here’s one. I hope you enjoyed walking with me.


If you’ve ever run into Archetypes or signs of magic where you live, why not leave a comment?



Posted September 11, 2017 by atroll in Uncategorized