Monday, July 30, 2018

a clear, unified vision

With the guidance of accomplished scholars Jay Garfield and Guy Newland, you’ll come away with a clear, unified vision of Buddhist doctrine and a greater understanding of the texts, scholars, and practices that make up this expansive tradition.

Would that I might open my eyes on any given morning
and see in first light the individual leaves of the maple.

Might I sense the sparrow's flight first to catch the outstretched
limb of the Norwegian Spruce with its bottle brush needles.

From the corner of my eye the glimpse of a 5-lined Skink
skittering from a spot of sunlight to the harbor of the woodpile.

Friday, July 27, 2018

America and I are breaking up.

After a nearly 65 year love affair America and I are breaking up.

Sure, we've had our squabbles and tiffs.  Many's the time we have not seen eye-to-eye.  I have even  taken to the street a time or two to express my contempt of America.  But America always held out the promise.  The promise of a better day.  The promise of ...

That was then.  Now the proffered promises are like moldy bread.  Sure, in the most dire of times even spoiled food will offer some small measure of nutrition.  Echoing the old quote from Joseph de Maistre: Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite—“every nation gets the government it deserves.”.   So we are to stomach the rotting banquet before us.  Hold our collective nose and let slide the ripe oyster of the day.

If these are the promises of MAGA then I want a divorce.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Melk - A non-dairy beverage

Melk, a noun, used to name non-dairy beverages. 
Example, "a mocha cappuccino made with soy melk." Or, " you can have almond melk on your cereal."

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Stupidity Pride

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I too am proud of my stupidity.

Without reservation I insist that my views are absolutely, unconditionally correct.  Which in turn establishes a Me-vs.-The Rest of Y'all dynamic.  It also legitimizes the inverse, "without reservation y'all's views are absolutely, unconditionally correct."

There was a time when we, collectively, knew and understood that there was us and then there were really, really smart people.  Yes, we made it through high school.  Some of us even got that 2-year degree at the community college.  A few went on to get that 4-year degree from university.  And then there was the one or two people who were truly smart enough to continue in higher education to become Doctors or Lawyers or Engineers.

Then came the New Egalitarian Society.  Egalitarian was originally defined as, "relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. (Google)  The equality cited here is the reason that the high school graduate's opinions and values are just as legitimate and valid as those of a Doctor or Lawyer.  After all, we are all equal.  Aren't we?

So when everyone's opinions and values are equal then by the further equality of one-person-one-vote then the largest group of like-minded people get to make the decisions.

Well, heck fire, everyone knows that book-learning is just a liberal conspiracy to subjugate folks that don't have enough money to go to college.  I learnt everythin' I ever needed to know when I was in the third grade.  'Sides, what was good enough fer my Pa is good enough fer my kids.  All's they need to know is how to work hard.

Makin' 'Merica Great Again is exactly what its all about.  Don't need no Constitutional scholar to tell us no different.  Just wish all them other folks weren't so danged stoopid.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Wastin' away again in...a conch shell...with my ass in a lawn chair.

Gawd how I loved Jimmy Buffett.    I sank neck deep in the hot-tub of lost salt shakers and pirate dreams.  I savored the literary lines of Quixotic adventures.  I went to Paris, wearing a pencil thin moustache, ran in to a chum and ended up with one more tattoo.

Then I heard Kenny. You might have hear of him, Kenny Chesney.


Then I heard Zac Brown.


Then it dawned on me.

I had slipped into a dream.  Having been to one of the "Rocks" in the Caribbean I knew a little about fast cars and tiki bars, bartenders kissed by the sun, clear blue ocean waters.  I had experienced first hand the lure of white sand beaches and tall icy-fruity-rum drinks with little umbrellas.  So I knew exactly how this dream would end.

Yet the songs persisted.  They demanded.  They commanded ... me.  They insisted that my entire existence wouldn't be worth an ol' pickup-dawg-ex-wife song if I didn't sell everything and buy a boat.

Today is Monday.  I was able to steal an extra 10 minutes to sit on the porch this morning before resuming my real world responsibilities.  I suppose the dream is ok for celebrities who can afford to slink off to some tropical get away after a season of stadium shows.  But those extra 10 minutes are worth more than any dream.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Throw Back Post: Quick Sherman, to the WayBack machine...

Specialists and knowledgeable folks agree that olfactory stimulation can promote the most evocative memories. I am here to tell ya...

I opened a package of Archer Farms Apricot 100% real fruit strip (Target house brand) ... took a bite... and was transported to my grandmother's apricot orchard outside Hollister California.

There is nothing closer to God, nothing more dear, than walking down through the orchard early in the morning and picking a ripe plump apricot from the tree. God points out the one you should choose by highlighting it with a glistening drop of dew. Turning it gently, breaking it along the seam, laying open the halves. Then that first glorious bite into the soft succulent flesh. Ah, ambrosia!

When the fruit is just-so ripe, as only Grampa Ray can tell then it is harvest time. He will go off to Tres Pinas and hire a crew of migrant workers to come in and pick. Then the cutters begin to drift in. One older couple have come down every season for the last 12 years to cut apricots. They say it is good retirement money and besides it is a chance to get out and do something they love.

So we stand around 3'x10' foot wooden trays with a lug of fresh picked apricots at our side and we cut. And we chat. And we cut. Grandma always gets a couple boxes of those fruit knives. Some with the small pointy blades, some with the longer squarish ends. Just depends on which one you favor.

And you cut. Starting at the stem hole, following the seam down one side and back up the other side. Gently split the apricot apart, flick the pit loose into a coffee can and then lay the halves face up on the drying tray. Repeat. Again...and again...and again.

But it is all good.

After 7 or 8 feet of stacked trays of cut fruit are assembled they are wheeled into the sulfur house. Grampa Ray carefully sets the the measured pile of sulfur alight and then seals up the tar paper 'house'. The next morning the house is opened and the trays are taken out. All of the fruit is still round and wobbly. Grampa drives them slowly to the lower end of the orchard and lays them out on the ground in the direct sunlight. When I peak there are trays covering every open patch of ground as far as the eye can see.

Good bye Stephen W. Hawking

Stephen W. Hawking died today.

The cosmos will be a little smaller today.

Our lives are so much greater today.

No matter what you thought, saw or believed Stephen W. Hawking challenged you.  Whether it was the very simple acknowledgement of a brilliant mind held in the antithesis of the David male form.  Or the multidimensional perspectives that Mr. Hawking saw so clearly.  His vision of our reality brought us to new frontiers.

The cosmos has lost a true pioneer.

Good bye Stephen W. Hawking.

. . .