Monday, March 21, 2016

Cooking, for me ... The distance

Cooking, for me, is a form of meditation.  Before all else it requires intentional presence, the act of my being present.  Alert with all my senses.  Cooking is about my being in the moment.  Cooking is about entering into a full and rich relationship with food which I will prepare and eventually consume.  Cooking requires time.  Cooking should not be done in haste.  In cooking there are no real short-cuts.  Eventually I must do everything well.

Like a dancer, when I am preparing food I must be aware of my relationship with the cooking space.  As well I must be aware of those around me such that we compliment each other.

The distance between us rends my peace
shadows my silence
spears my solitude

In your stead I have planted

soft licking splashes of memory
held hands with craving hearts
singing softly over walks
facing the night
the same moon in different skys

the perfume of yeast rising
kneading your hands
hungry for warm baked
enveloping hugs

bitter sweet tailings of
wine upon your tongue
taking my breath

the last scent

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thoughts on time...

Damned electric analog clocks with their ceaseless ticking. Never any real silence. Just the imposed mesh of sequential marks. I wonder what it would truly be like to be without time. Certainly there would remain the light of day and the darkness of night. But what would it be like to lose all sense of seconds, minutes and hours. No alarm clock impositions of meaning in the day; wake up, be here, go there, remember to take those. No time stamps on emails or Facebook posts. No little synchronized little digital clocks in the lower right hand corner of computer screens. No business hours. Or calls to prayer. No traffic lights or even speed limits, measured in miles per hour. There would be no recipes calling for temperature over time. Time would become the duration of things. Lightness and darkness. The phases of the moon. Ebb and flow of the tide. Seasons of warmth and of cold. Menstruation and lengths of gestation. When certain foods become available. We would ask if there was enough light to travel to the next destination. Or we would acknowledge that it takes Soup amount of time to prepare and cook it. Or how long it took doing something to become tired or sore.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Not so Still Life

While the title of this post is an homage to Richard Brautigan's "Still Life with Woodpecker" here at the Flying Pig Ranch & Thistle Farm life is not so still.  Rummaged around in the shed and finally located that little green cage thing with its hanging chain.  Remembered to get the suet block the last time I was in the bird feeder section.  Rewarded this afternoon with a Downy Woodpecker...

Downy Woodpecker Photo

Spent about ten minutes clinging to the cage and hammering the suet block.

Life is good, but not still.  

Saturday, January 02, 2016

The Allure of Linux

Once the passion of a faction

Now the dream of the mainstream
Once the allure of the obscure
Now it puts the punk in Steam

Fast forward to today ...  Ubuntu just works.  But the romance is gone.  Now it is just work.

Linux is dead.  Long live Linux.

Friday, January 01, 2016


When Google Reader, the best that ever was, closed its digital doors I went looking for an alternative.  But in this day and age of social media do I even need such an archaic system?

A resounding "YES!"

After cycling through a number of off-line and on-line RSS readers I settled on Feedly.  It allows me to manage the large industrial feeds.  It shows me fingernail previews of graphic based sites.  It lets me view complete articles from feeds that honor such requests.  But most important of all it remembers to check those obscure feeds that are not updated on a regular basis.  Frank Paynter''s Listics, Patrick Kurp's Anecdotal Evidence, Betsy Devine's Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Peculiar and Olha Pryymak's olechko - blog (who's paintings I have admired for a long time but have become too expensive for my meager means.  Alas.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Campbell's Wicked Thai-Style Chicken Soup...

I was surprised to even see Campbell's Wicked Thai-Style Chicken Soup on the shelves of our local Kroger.  Afterall, $HOME is not in the middle of high cuisine.  In fact $HOME is almost in the middle of culinary nowhere.  The standing joke is you can't get here from... anywhere.  So I was excited.  The promise of exotic flavors from far away.  And, if that weren't enough, it says "Wicked" right on the label.  (Side note: B, my wife, is from Massachusetts and those folks bring special meaning to the word 'wicked'.)

 Well, I have to say that the excitement wore off pretty quickly.  Armed with my preconceptions, predicated on dining at our favorite Thai restaurant, Thai Papaya, I came face to face with... Meh!
Where I expected some distinct flavors all I ended up with was a muddled mouth.  Where I was used to spiciness characterized as Medium, Hot and GO-TO-HOSPITAL I had high hopes for "Wicked".  It hardly made its way, crawling, to Mild.

I won't elaborate on what I assume was a slice of mushroom.

Since i buy soups two at a time I will dutifully eat the second can.  I will give it a second chance.  And maybe now that my expectations have been knocked down a couple of notches I will discover something different.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Adblocker Wars redux

My position is simple.  You cannot unhear things and you cannot unsee things.

"Oh, I just don't pay attention to all those ads."

If we had the perfect ability to filter our environment, to in fact only see or hear what we wanted then I might accept that.  But we don't.  My first hand knowledge of this comes from those few minutes I spend on the treadmill at the gym.  This is my willful and thankfully limited exposure to commercial television.  During those 20 or so minutes I am bombarded with ads.  Mind-numbing, hammering, repetitive invasions of my consciousness and psyche.

I feel insulted.  I feel assaulted.  I begin to have feelings of inadequacy.  I begin to feel that I am missing something - that new car, fresh breath, personal social standing, or even a right relationship with my old BFF Flo (Progressive Insurance).  How could I let Flo down by not buying my insurance from her.

All of that from just twenty plus minutes of television exposure.

I was an early adopter of ad blocking technology.  On those occasions when I use a system that doesn't block ads I am literally surprised at the amount of NOISE that is present on almost every web site I visit.  Noise which adds nothing of value to the site.  And that is the crux of my argument supporting ad blockers.  An argument that could easily be turned if the ads brought more value to the site.

And now a word from our sponsor...

. . .