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Deal 1246: Stabbed.

Dead. How can I be dead?

When did this happen? Why? How?

There I was, simply minding my own business. At sea, of course. WHere else would I be?

Don’t answer that. I was at sea. And the seas can certainly be fickle and changeable. But the fish were biting, all was well.

Then, thunk.

Something had stabbed me through. Something had flown in out of a clear blue sky and calm waters and stabbed me in the back.

Thunk.

It was as if the sky and water had found a way to cooperate and kill me. A sea creature, flying.

Thunk.

I’ll never forget that hollow, echoing sound. The sudden appearance of a spike from my chest. The weight at my back pulling be over.

Splash.

And now, here I am. Dead. Sunk to the bottom. Apparently doomed to walk the seafloor. haunting this bit of anchor chain. Nothing for company but the occasional deep whale. Or starfish.

Darkness.

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Deal 1245: Quill

There is no pen like a quill pen. The feel of the freshly trimmed point as it moves across the page is not easily imitated. A quality fountain pen comes close, but has already begun to cross a line by being too easy to handle and needing too little maintenance.

No, I must stick to my guns and insist on nothing but a quill pen.

Typewriters are right out.

They steal all the romance from the written word, and replace it with legibility and speed.

You need not know the goose or swan that provides your quills personally, but it is good to collect them from a healthy bird. Freshly molted feathers are perfect, traditionally one of the three longest feathers from either wing.

Tempered, trimmed, split and cut to a point, you are invested in what you write with a quill.

That personal connection is key.

There is no pen like a quill pen.

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Deal 1244: Empty

The room was dark, except for the corner. There, a fluke of lighting picked out the empty birdcage.

The empty birdcage.

The empty gilded cage, whose door was standing open, and whose occupant had fled.

Or had been eaten.

Either way, the empty cage was in the spotlight in the dark room.

It took a while to notice, but more than just the bird was missing. The prince, whose palace this is, is missing too. At that, the general alarm was raised.

And here we are now.

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Deal 1243: Philosophy

Change is inevitable in life.

The very act of living is a continuous transformation from nothing to nothing, with a brief sojourn as something in between.

We must embrace this transformation in order to leave a mark of our own on the world, and on others as they too pass briefly through your present day.

And yet, we must remain humble. Our stay in the present is brief. We barely matter at all to the Universe.

The other side is unknowable. We come from nothingness, and we inevitably return to nothingness. To assume otherwise is the pinnacle of hubris.

Live your life in your own brief present humble before the universe and certain in your knowledge that your stay is brief.

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Deal 1242: Bond

We’re all in disguise, hiding our hero within. Releasing that hero is the first step towards enlightenment.

By day, I’m an unassuming teddy bear.

But at night, in my young human’s care I become the hero she needs, the hero she deserves. None of those rats that live under her bed and in the woodwork have a chance against me.

Do I know about the rat sneaking up behind me right now?

Certainly. Those damn rats spend some of their time every day looking for ways to overcome my protection.

But my attention to detail is legendary.

Just ask my friend Bond here…

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Deal 1240: Blended

All the troubles of the world come from striving towards too much purity. The world would be a much better place if everyone would pay less attention to it.

Alloys are often superior to the pure metals. Steel is stronger than iron. Bronze is stronger than copper. Even those metals that are nominally pure, in real life are usually alloys as well.

Composite materials too are usually stronger than any of their materials individually. A spun thread is far stronger than the raw cotton it is made from. A woven cable is stronger yet. Papier mache, fiberglass, and concrete are all considerably stronger than their ingredients alone.

Embrace the blends. Embrace combinations.

Find strength in the combinations of things.

And always beware those that would tell you otherwise.

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Deal 1239: The darker the better

Beer is the magical drink that created civilization. Fermenting grain makes water safer to drink. Finding enough grain to ferment drove agriculture. Tending the grain made it more practical to remain in one place year round. Brewing also encouraged cultivation of yeast, and certainly lead to reliably leavened breads. Bread and beer lubricated many social gatherings, to such an extent that “breaking bread” is still a metaphor in use today.

Tea, on the other hand, only appears after beer and bread are established. It is often seen alongside silly dainty sandwiches with the crust cut off.

Don’t get on the tea bandwagon.

Stick to the originals. Beer and bread.