Saturday, September 30, 2006

New iPod Shuffle

The super small iPod Shuffle is the latest addition to the iPod family. It's a 1 GB device scheduled for release on October 11th, and priced at $79.99.

enjoy the silence stay awake have fun and enjoy life!

enjoy the silence
Originally uploaded by ★ mewot ★.

An interesting photo on flickr today of a tree

And a couple of older shots of sea otters...

Have fun and enjoy life!
Originally uploaded by Fabrizio Troiani.

Originally uploaded by inklake.

Friday, September 29, 2006

NPR : Beyond the Grave, a Morbid Tale

NPR : Beyond the Grave, a Morbid Tale features Johnny Cash reading the Robert Service poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee".

This is the cover of the twentieth anniversery edition of the "Kids Can Press" edition of Robert Service's poem The Cremation of Sam McGee. The book is illustrated by Ted Harrison.

Joel Korynta's Gallery

I randomly came across Joel Korynta's Gallery and thought you might like some of his work.

I'm not an art expert but I'd say he has a good "range" in his paintings, spanning pastoral nature scenes (with nice light and color) to some fairly disturbing human themes.

I look at art with a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" point of view and like things that are, to some degree - interesting, unusual, likeable, thought-provoking, or beautiful. You might see something like that in his work.

Bohemian's R Us

I found it interesting that the phrase bohemian lifestyle is used in the article on Edna St. Vincent Millay. Actually the quote is, "She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs with men and women."

You don't hear that term too much these days, but the definition from the New American College dictionary makes it sound fun - "a person with artistic or intellectual tendencies, who lives and acts with no regard for conventional rules of behavior."

Everytime I think of the word Bohemian it reminds me of a family member who attended a Catholic college (I'm anonomyzing this to protect the innocent). She was living in a dorm and some people were smoking pot, although it could have been weed, reefer, grass, cheeba, bone, leaf, nugs, fuzzies, midis, buds, hash, or ganja (ref). One of the brothers came in and said, "it smells rather Bohemian in here." Then he left.

Party on my Bohemian friends.


Did you hear Willie Nelson got busted for having some dangerous plants in his bus?



he had a bag of spinich.


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Lannan Foundation

The Lannan Foundation website has a veritable treasure trove of audio files, links, and information on art and artists, cultural freedom, indigenous communities, poets, thinkers and writers.

The website says the -
"Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities.

The foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking. Understanding that globalization threatens all cultures and ecosystems, the foundation is particularly interested in projects that encourage freedom of inquiry, imagination, and expression."

and of the founder -
"In 1960 J. Patrick Lannan, Sr., entrepreneur and financier, established Lannan Foundation. A self-educated scholar and liberal thinker, he believed strongly in the social importance of charitable programs and in the cultural importance of innovative and controversial forms of visual and literary art."

The Audio Archives contain hundreds of talks, readings and interviews with poets, writers and artists. I was looking for information on the poet Mary Oliver and came across 5 links in the audio archives.

The Bookworm with Michael Silverblatt audio archives might be a good place to start exploring the audio files.

There's a lot of useful and interesting information on the website. It takes a little while to get used to the layout, but as an example the Lannan Foundation - Art Resources has a list of artist in residence or grant possibilities for art projects. It includes links to pages like Paul G. Allen Family Foundations. This foundations stated goals are -

"Nurturing the arts and cultural endeavors;
Engaging children more deeply in the learning process;
Responding to the needs of vulnerable populations; and
Advancing scientific and technological discoveries that expand our understanding of the universe."
and goes on to say,

"We believe these priorities are fundamental to building healthy communities and advancing social progress. In addition, our intent is to transcend existing boundaries of knowledge and inspire new ways of thinking."
Sounds great...and it's nice to think about people using their wealth to do good for others.

Free Hugs

This is a popular video on YouTube with over a million views as of today -

It was posted 6 days ago by PeaceOnEarth123.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rachel's Turning 21!!!!!!!!!

It's hard to believe our little Rachel is going to be 21 on October 5th.

You can see the twinkle in her eye in this pic -

My Memory Isn't Working So Good

Being a person who likes fiddling with stuff I recently ordered some additional random access memory (RAM) for a laptop. This laptop uses a Intel® Core™ processor Duo T2300E (2MB Cache/1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)and the type of memory called DDR-2 SDRAM 533/667 SODIMM.

What the heck does that mean?

DDR-2 is Double Data Rate version 2. It's not really version 2 (that's just my shorthand) - the 2 refers to "two synchronous", meaning it tranfers data on the rising and falling edge of the clock. Memory design is constantly evolving and if you wanted to know more about DDR-2 this Wikipedia article is a good resource.

SDRAM stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. It's synchronized with the system clock.

The 533 refers to the bus speed that the microprocessor uses to talk to the memory. In this case it's 533 Mhz. This particular laptop has a 667 Mhz system bus, and could use DDR-2 667 SODIMM as well. Since Dell shipped it with one 533 Mhz SODIMM there's no point in adding a second 667 Mhz SODIMM since it will default to the slower speed of the two SODIMM's. The system bus is also called the front side bus (FSB). It's the bus the central processing unit (CPU) uses to talk to the RAM. The FSB speed is important in determining the overall speed of a computer. 667 Mhz sounds fast to me, but Intel has 1066 FSB CPU's available for laptops today.

SODIMM is an acronym for the type of random access memory (RAM) used in laptops and stands for Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module.

Asleep yet?

So anyway....I ordered a 512 Mb SODIMM made by K-Byte from an eBay seller. It seemed like an amazingly good deal - about half what I could get the chip for anywhere else. It came (don't you love getting stuff from UPS or FedEx?) and I popped it in. It ran great for about 5 minutes and then my computer flaked out and shut down.

The seller was very nice about the whole thing and shipped me another SODIMM about an hour after I contacted him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this new chip will play nice.

Side note - Speaking of getting stuff delivered from UPS or FedEx...I had a a double play on Tuesday. FedEx and UPS showed up at the same time. The UPS guy has my RAM and the FedEx guy has a new Sony Ericsson W300i quad-band Walkman with EDGE phone we got Rachel for her 21st birthday. I was in consumer heaven...

Thursday Already?

This week is flying by. Things are looking up. The sky is blue, the fields are green. I'm sitting here typing on my machine.

I haven't been as prolific as I have been in the past in writing to my blog. That's probably not too bad.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Peppers For The Grill

I celebrated the beginning of Fall by picking up a variety of peppers at the local Farmer's Market (yesterday was the last day for this season's market). I put a little olive oil, salt and pepper on them and cooked them over a charcoal fire. I love all the different colors. These peppers are grown by an organic farmer from Yakima Washington, and are only available fresh like this for about 3 or 4 weeks near the end of summer. One of the nice things about buying local produce is that it reminds you what season it is.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Be Good to Yourself

"The more we desire virtue the less we seem to live it, and act it out consistently.

Perhaps the virtue for which we are invited to pray, is patient self-compassion."

From Creighton University's Daily Reflection for Sunday September 24, 2006, written by Larry Gillick S.J.

Morning Light

I was out for a walk this Sunday morning and liked the light on the Thundercloud flowering plum, Katsura and Double Weeping cherry

The Thundercloud's are the two purplish/reddish trees. They have beautiful flowers before they leaf out in the spring. The flowers are nice for a week or two depending on the weather, then drop very quickly - creating an appearance of snow on the ground around the trees. The Katsura has the nice pyramid shape and beautiful yellow/orange/red leaves in the fall. I pinched off a lot of branches as it grew to get a nice full shape, and pruned the crossing branches to keep a leader and give the interior branches light. The Double Weeping cherry is a wild looking tree, partly because B doesn't trust me to prune it too much. It has nice flowers in the spring and stays green until after the first few frosts then loses it's leaves. We planted these trees about 15 years ago. I'm lucky to live in an area where there are lot's of trees like these, in people's yards or in the boulevard.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Old Car Manual Project

If you like cars, and have some free time to browse around, The Old Car Manual Project has a lot of interesting - manuals, pictures, ads, and brochures for cars from the 20th century.

It's pretty amazing to look at the dramatic changes in styling of cars in the 40's, 50's and 60's.

A couple of misc. items -

I learned that there was an add-on feature 50 years ago that held a car on a hill automatically for the driver. This device was for a manual transmission (it disengaged the brake as you let out the clutch) - and would seem to be useful for people who drive in hilly cities and may have a tendency to ride the clutch, which can lead to premature replacements which aren't cheap. It would be handy for a car with an automatic transmission, to have the car not start to roll backwards when you stop (unless you tap the brake twice - or some other way disengage the auto-brake). It's weird that I ran across that, because I was thinking some sort of auto-brake would be a good idea earlier this week, while stopped in traffic going up a hill...I'm only 50 years or so late on that idea.

I also saw a brochure for a new "autopilot", also described as an "electronic robot" that would maintain the speed of the car automatically. It was what we know today as cruise-control but back in the 50's it was pretty cool stuff.

I Know Nothing

I haven’t been very productive in my writing lately.

They say to write about what you know about – since I know nothing that makes things a tad difficult.

Actually that gives me a chance to put in a quote I heard someone attribute to Carl Jung –

“I know nothing – that’s why I have to listen.”

That not-knowing attitude can get you a long way. Being curious about people, places, things – how wonderful the world can be.

What a gift to live with that childlike curiosity. The humility to say I don’t know – I don’t know you – I don’t know why we are put on this earth – I don’t know why a lot of things happen. But with your help we just might find something that enlightens both of us.

I noticed a quote somewhere that says, “I know what I need to know.”

I read that and think - you might want to rethink your goals – it’s a big world out there, with lots of things going on, lot’s of people, places and things that you can’t know, because you won’t be here long enough to see and learn about them. But if you’ve really already decided you know what you need to know – it seems to me like the game is over. Sorry about that. I’ll stick with the - I know nothing point of view, thank you very much.

There’s a dichotomy in that “not knowing” mindset. We might think not-knowing is a sign of lack of confidence. I propose it’s a sign of confidence.

When we lack confidence in ourselves we try to appear all-knowing, wise (or at least not stupid), or we play a game of questioning/not-knowing – to show others how smart we are by asking hard, maybe unanswerable, maybe out of the blue – questions. Not a basic – why is this the way it is, how does this work, or how are you – let’s learn something together - type of question, but rather a question like – how much does the local utility charge per kilowatt hour of electricity and what does the Revised Code of Washington Part 99 subpart 3 section 4.351 have to say about that?

Digging a little deeper than the “it takes confidence to cultivate an open mind” idea, it’s fairly obvious that I’m playing a little game too – by providing my answer I am saying I know.

But I really don’t. I’m just guessing. Writing what I think to be true.

The world is what we are. If we are happy, upbeat, light hearted, kind – then that’s the world. If the world is an evil, scary, out-to-get-us place – then that’s the world. Certainly we will be shocked into finding out occasionally that our made-up world is not the real world, but we might as well do our best to make our world a happy place. It’s a lot better to be happy most of the time and occasionally be shocked by evil, sadness, bad things than to live in a world of sadness, negativity or fear and occasionally be shocked into finding out there is joy, peace and love around us.

I am interested in the idea that we can write about what we know and not know much. This is an example from the world of photography -

I was looking at photographs on Flickr last night saw a wonderful picture someone had taken of a bunch of flowers laying on an old wood table. It was very simple and taken with a simple camera (a Polaroid no-less). But it was a great shot. Sometimes it’s not traveling far or having the best tools – it’s just a matter of seeing what’s right in front of us everyday.

There's a correlated thought in the movie "Smoke" where Auggie, played by Harvey Keitel, takes a picture of the same street corner in Brooklyn at the same time of day...over and over and over, for 14 years. It's a metaphor for our lives...I think. We do the same things every day but if we look close we see things are not really the same at all. The light has changed, the people are different, the mood, the feel...different. Auggie is looking closely at the pictures with a writer Paul Benjamin (played by William Hurt) who has lost his passion for writing after his young wife died. In a total random event - Paul spots his wife, filled with joy - going about a normal day, in one of Auggie's pictures and he begins to weep.

There’s so much skill? Art? Sense of design? In knowing what can be beautiful. Sometimes the most simple things. Very sparse things…the spaces in between. The contrasts.

When we truly listen – we use our eyes, our ears, our minds and our hearts – we begin again, each day new.

A world of possibilities greets us. Sometimes it's just a matter of looking close, slowing down, and pausing to be thankful.


Originally uploaded by Maditi.
Just a random interesting shot from Flickr, taken by Maditi.

I like the simplicity, the contrast and the colors. This photo was taken with a Polaroid camera.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jomar From Norway

These are some pictures we took in Seattle last week when we took Jomar out for dinner the night before he left for Norway. He enjoyed his time at the International Stuntman's School and being in the Seattle area. We were happy to have him stay and show him some of the sites.

Posted by Picasa

82 Year Old Woman Pays ATT Thousands For Two Rotary Phones

According to this article - Ester Strogen, 82, of Canton, Ohio, first leased two black rotary phones in the 1960s. Ester was paying AT&T $29.10 every three months to lease the phones until her grandaughters discovered the charges a couple of months ago.

She could have bought a new Northwestern Bell Classic Trimline Corded Phone every month, for the price she paid to lease the phones from AT&T.

Actually when I look at the various charges on my cell phone bill, I'm not so sure that Ester wasn't getting a pretty good deal from the phone company (relatively speaking of course). I never could have imagined paying a grand or two a year for the privilege of having cell phones for the four people in my family. Of course I never could have imagined buying a bottle of water for a buck or two or a cup of coffee for 3 bucks either.

One other thought - regarding the rotary phones - I don't recall ever having one fail. I've lost count of how many corded or cordless touch-tone phones I've had fail in the last decade or so for use at home.

We think nothing about getting rid of a cell phone when we change plans, or a newer more desirable model comes out, or throwing out a corded phone when it breaks and buying a new one - generally adding more non-recyclable stuff to the waste stream. I'm guessing Ester probably kept the same phones she had in the 60's.

Maybe the ethics team at AT&T can decide if it was right to charge her somewhere around $5,000 for those two phones.

Make Your Own Ringtones

I made some ringtones for my cell phone yesterday - partly out of curiousity, partly because I wanted some personalized ringing sounds and mostly because I like to play around with stuff.

Here's the scoop on how to create ringtones for a Nokia 6102 cell phone (specifics for your model may - and probably do - vary).

1. Search for free ringtones using Google.
2. After an hour or so, give up on the idea of free ringtones.
3. Search for how to create your own ringtones using Google.
4. After an hour or so give up on reading anything on the internet about creating your own ringtones.
5. Buy a ringtone (I bought one from Cingular - my provider) just to see what the darn things are....turns out this one was a little mp3 file. The ringtones can also be .mid files - the cell phone makers call midi files - polyphonic ring tones. I'm guessing part of the reason they don't make it more obvious that ringtones use standard audio formats is that there is a lot of money to be made from selling ringtones.

Suffice it to say I had quite a few false starts so I'm going to cut to the chase here -

What you need to do is (a) create a small sized MP3 or midi file for your ring tone and (b) download it to your phone.

I used two free software applications - Nokia PC Suite to download files from my computer to my phone and WavePad to convert some .wav files to .mp3 and then cut and shape some clips into ring sounds.

I used an infrared (IR) connection from a laptop to connect to my phone and download the files I made. You could use a special cable from the USB port as well - but you have to buy one from Nokia. There's probably some way to get the phone to connect to a web server, and download the .mp3 files, but I didn't get around to that since I wasn't really interested in paying Cingular data transfer fees while I played around.

Here's a few sample ringtones I cooked up.

Although I enjoyed spending the better part of an afternoon making and loading my first ringtone, you might decide it's better to spend $2.49 for a ringtone from your service provider. The bulk of my time was figuring out how to make a ringtone and how to get my phone to talk to a laptop. Now that I know how to do that, it only takes me a few minutes to create and download new ones.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter

The Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter is on it's way to Boeing Field in Seattle this morning.

These freighter airplanes will be used to deliver components from Italy, Japan and the U.S. to Everett, Washington where the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be built.

I posted a few pictures and some notes about this new airplane here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Love The Earth, The Sun, The Animals....

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) wrote,

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body."

Source: "Leaves of Grass" 1855 Edition - from This You Shall Do at inward/outward

Whitman wrote these words in the original 1855 version of "Leaves of Grass" in the form of "this is what you shall do..." and in the 1891 version he uses the same (or quite similar words) to say, "I have loved the earth, sun, animals...".

It's inspiring to think he wrote these words in his thirties, and as he approached his death at age seventy three - he was reflecting back, to say he had done what he set out to do.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We Can Meet There in Peace

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.
In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.
To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:
stay together
learn the flowers
go light
~ Gary Snyder ~
(Turtle Island)

Kibana cosmos 060911 #04
Originally uploaded by osanpo.

What Can You Say?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

If we tried war and violence for thousands of years and it didn't work, then why...?

What can you say?

Kristy Jackson - "Little Did She Know......"

Kristy Jackson - "Little Did She Know......"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spritituality and Leisure

Sunny Side Up
Originally uploaded by code poet.
The Sister's of St. Joseph of Carondelet are based in St. Paul, Minnesota. They publish a variety of books via their publishing company Good Ground Press.

They also offer a series of Online Retreats that you may find interesting. I've been reading the "Everyday Sprirituality" material and find it practical, well thought out, and not at all written from a "holier than though" frame of mind.

For example the author suggests we can find God in everyday life through leisure -
"In a word, leisure is a holy activity that is as necessary for your wholeness as is your work, whatever your work may involve. Being aware of the value of your leisure you can be more open to God in the present moment. As you take the time to be;

by -

sitting quietly and watching flowers bloom,

listening to the glorious sounds of a symphony concert,

cheering at a baseball game,

playing a vigorous game of tennis,

enjoying a funny movie with your friends,

You will be living in the House of Four Rooms. You will find real wisdom in your leisure. Thank God that you can enjoy life!"

The "House of Four Rooms" is referring to our intellectual, physical, spiritual and social/emotional needs, that we strive to balance, in our quest for wholeness, authenticity and peace of mind.

The retreat also suggests that we -

"Take a few moments of leisure right now. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. After you feel relaxed, begin to think about (and perhaps write in your journal) how you relax and free your spirit.

What do you choose to do on your days off?

What hobbies do you have? Why do you enjoy them?

Do you find any spiritual benefits in exercising, running,
walking, swimming, dancing?

How do reading, writing, listening to music, or creating art
give meaning to your life?"
Finally I like the suggestion that we think of Paul's Letter to the Corinthians (13: 4-8) -
“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.
Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger, neither does it brood over injuries.
Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, power to endure.
....and replace the word "Love" with the word "I" -

“I am patient, I am kind.
I am not jealous, I do not put on airs, I am not snobbish.
I am never rude, I am not self-seeking, I am not prone to anger, neither do I brood over injuries.
I do not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoice with the truth.
There is no limit to my forbearance, to my trust, my hope, power to endure.

I know I'll never reach that state - but it makes a nice meditation nonetheless, and every so often I might come close.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Marge Piercy - I Said I Like My Life

I said I like my life
Originally uploaded by MontanaRaven
I was looking at interesting photos on Flickr and ran across one from MontanaRaven a Montana woman who has part of the poem, "If They Come In The Night", by Marge Piercy above her kitchen sink.

"I said I like my life. If I
have to give it back, if they
take it from me, let me only
not feel I wasted any, let me
not feel I forgot to love anyone
I meant to love, that I forgot
to give what I held in my hands,
that I forgot to do some little
piece of the work that wanted
to come through."

I found the complete Marge Piercy poem, "If They Come In The Night", on this blog Life on the Edge written by Peter Adams an artist who lives at a place called Windgrove on the beach in Tasmania.

If they come in the night - by Marge Piercy

"Long ago on a night of danger and vigil
a friend said, Why are you happy?
He explained (we lay together on a hard cold floor) what prison
meant because he had done
time, and I talked of the death
of friends. Why are you happy
then, he asked, close to

I said, I like my life. If I
have to give it back, if they
take it from me, let me only
not feel I wasted any, let me
not feel I forgot to love anyone
I meant to love, that I forgot
to give what I held in my hands,
that I forgot to do some little
piece of the work that wanted
to come through.

Sun and moonshine, starshine,
the muted grey light off the waters
of the bay at night, the white
light of the fog stealing in,
the first spears of the morning
touching a face
I love. We all lose
everything. We lose
ourselves. We are lost.

Only what we manage to do
lasts, what love sculps from us;
but what I count, my rubies, my
children, are those moments
wide open when I know clearly
who I am, who you are, what we
do, a marigold, an oakleaf, a meteor,
with all my senses hungry and filled
at once like a pitcher with light."


I think I'd say "when I have to give it back". There's no if about it. I suppose it depends on how you define life though. I'm sure I'll be letting go of this body at some point as it wears out and fails me. Putting aside any potential spiritual afterlife experience we can say a body dies but a relationship lasts forever. The connections we create by being our self - living our one wild and precious life, place us in a web of life that exists with, and will exist without, our physical presence.

I think I'll go look at the light of the moon for awhile. It was really bright earlier tonight.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Google Image Labeler Game

Boing Boing has a link to a really addictive Google game where you and a random partner try to come up with the same label for a variety of images.

You have 90 seconds and each image you match with your partner, is worth 100 points.

Today's top pair has an amazing 3000 points (30 matches in 90 seconds), and the current top all time contributor is JoeBob with 1,444,600 points.