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Geoff Skellams
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From either the "So bad it's completely AWESOME" or "I'll have a double of whatever he's having" files, here's Joseph Spence, with a message appropriate for Christmas Eve.

We think. Hard to tell. (I'm laughing too hard to care :D)

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The Werewolf: the Apocalypse book that I helped write has just launched its Kickstarter. It's the first time I've written for the oWoD, and it's covering stuff that's never been done before in W:tA: the Wars of Rage.

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This is my afternoon.
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My Mum passed away from cancer last Saturday. We had her funeral service yesterday; it was lovely, and just what she would have wanted. My three brothers and I have had a good chance to reconnect and have a few good laughs reminiscing.

Right now, I'm sitting in the sun at one of my favourite beaches, listening to the surf, while the rest of my family, plays on the sand, and in the shallows.

It's a nice break away from things as life slowly begins to return to normal (or something approximating it anyway). The sun still comes up every morning and the rest of us move forward, grateful for all the love Mum showed us.

Happy New Year all! May your 2015 be good to you :)

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Slightly blurry photos of the Lunar Eclipse October 2014.
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Lunar Eclipse 08OCT14
11 Photos - View album

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My wife just posted this awesome piece, so I'm sharing it. The past few years have been really tough at times, and I have felt the same things as Angela did.

When things are at their blackest, it's almost impossible to reach out for help. I know that when I'm really struggling, I don't want to burden anyone else with my troubles, and there are times when I truly believe that no one really gives a shit about me anyway.

I've lost friends in this time, and that's made matters worse. I've seen people make fun of me and stop talking to us, because we're a downer to be around.

Depression is a cast-iron bitch. It infects everything you do and sucks the joy out of life. If you know someone who is struggling with it, please reach out to them. Don't wait for them to reach out to you.

Because, chances are, we simply can't.
In the time since learning of Robin Williams passing, I am seeing many thoughtful remarks, (the most surprising from Cracked.com) and a few very uncool quotes (Shepard Smith, Fox News - serious WTF?!?)

Many well meaning people are saying "If you are depressed, reach out."

For many people with depression, and I speak as one of them, it's not that easy.

When my depression was at it's worst, asking for help was the hardest thing to do - because I didn't know I needed that help. It took someone intervening to get me the help I needed, and the road back has not been easy.

When things were really black and I knew I was suicidal, I did ask for help. I was repeatedly turned away. and I quote: "I helped my sister with her depression after she attempted suicide, I can't go through that again." I haven't spoken to that person since, I thought she was a friend, and she broke my heart. Her self involved words made me even more suicidal. All I wanted was someone to go for walks with, to watch our children play together, reminders of living.  Our shared group of friends slowly found other reasons to not include me, and my heart was in little pieces by the time they were done.

As someone who just moved continents and has never made friends easily, this was as devastating as the depression itself. My husband did his best in making sure I got the support I needed.

It was a group of people who didn't have a hint of what I was going through who helped me through the darkest times. Many of them still don't know. A couple are fully clued in now, and will see this post. Most of all - they make me smile when I've had a bad day, simply because they can.

So my words of advice: "Be a friend. Make that call. Invite them for coffee. Send that caring card. Even if they aren't suffering in depression, you will brighten someone's day - and help make the world a better place. Who knows, maybe that person whose day you brighten will in turn reach out to someone who really needs it."

Some days it's not because the person suffering in depression doesn't have a lifeline to hold on to - it's because they have too few.

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Songs From Teenage Years:

I didn't get into popular music much until I was about fifteen. I blame this largely on going to a Christian school at age 13 and being made fearful of pop music by the whole backward masking thing that used to be going around. When you're an impressionable youngster, and this is taught in schools, it tends to make an impression. It took me a LONG time to get past some of that brainwashing.

Anyways, when I was fifteen and in year 10, I was doing work experience at the local RAAF base, and the guys in the ejector seat workshop (where I ended up spending most of the two weeks) used to have the radio on all the time. One artist that suddenly pinged for me was Phil Collins. I got my hands on a copy of his No Jacket Required album and played the hell out of it.

My favourite track from that album was, and still is, Take Me Home. And it was awesome when I saw Phil perform it live in Sydney in 1995.

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+Robin Laws: did someone take one too many Feng Shui sites or something? ;)
You heard it here first:
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