I lied about the hiking boots in April. I stayed sick for about three weeks. Since May's been here, I've put some miles on. The weather's been great and I've started building for a couple of good, long treks. Fifteen to twenty k a day is the goal. No mountain climbing or fording rivers, just good old walking with a full pack. The maps are out and the winterfact is starting to burn off,
Sunday, April 3, 2016
The third, beautiful day of April. Warm and bright, and for me, unusable. I have been patmy back with a cold, or something. Friday and Saturday were a string of one hour maps with two minute bathroom breaks. Today, I've managed to stay awake, eat a little and spend some time on the balcony breathing!
Another day (or two) and I'll be putting on the hiking boots, strapping on the Nikon and enjoying myself.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
These were children of the book. Their deaths ensure you a place in your very own hell.
To the families of the dead:
Take refuge in your faith. Don't stop loving.
To the rest of the world:
Stop your hatred. Let go of your fears and learn compassion.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Space and Time are always moving. Except for time. Time is an odd bit of human thinking. We use it to track the movement of space, but we take it personally. "oh, he's gotten old!" or "it seems like only yesterday." In the big picture, time is Now and space is Here. That's it. Here and Now, Anything more, and you're guessing. Anything less, and you're living in a memory which is, most probably, not very accurate. As my Pop used to say: "stop guessing!"
It's really important to sit quietly and establish here and now. The only way to effect "then" is by being mindful in the here and now. See things as they are, think in a way that supports a positive outcome and speak in a way that explains and describes your thinking, with no intention of gain or loss to speaker or listener.
If I can get through one day without trying to be cool or "the smartest guy in the room" I am closer to being happy.
l see my life as continuous process improvement. I have Dr. W. Edwards Deming to thank for that. When asked by someone how long they would have to accomplish what Deming called "The Aim", he answered: "As long as you live, young man. No longer."
That's the way of Zen, supported by the mental discipline of mindfulness and concentration, we pursue to take the right actions in the right livelihood, using the right effort. In the same way that Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle goes on and on, the Great Wheel turns forever, driven by the steps we take on the path.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Earlier in my life, writing and other forms of art which I casually practice were done in spurts of compulsiveness. For months at a time, I would makes thousands of photos, write hundreds of poems, and blog about it.
The only compulsion I've got these days is afternoon coffee and pastry. I rarely miss them. In the language of Zen, I'm attached and should probably cool it, but man, German cakes and pastries should not be ignored. Sorry, Roshi, but I think you understand :-)
Hey remember, this is a tongue in cheek look at the universe with only an occasional attempt at being serious, so like the parking problems and the rerouted traffic, I'm having fun, just like the thousands of kids who are going to enjoy the Easter Kirmis, regardless of where my friends with cars have to park. As for me, I travel by foot and bus and train.....
Be happy. Given the approaching Spring, the will be hiking and photography, so stay tuned (if you find me amusing) and stay balanced.
I've always loved Easter. The preparation of making pysanky (eggs decorated with wax designs, then dyed in mutt-colors), the making of bread, cooking of ham and sausage was always wonderful to the senses. The stories of resurrection and the ceremonies accompanying them were all pomp and circumstance with processions and incense followed by the magnificent family breakfast.
The Rites of spring and the renewal of the human spirit, whether celebrated with Solemn High Mass, a box fire, or a ride on a Ferris wheel, is a thing of beauty.
Happy Easter! Happy spring!
May all Sentient Beings be Happy.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
There's just so much bratwurst you can eat (although the pork chops and baked potatoes should be available on a full year basis).
The setup here in Herford is a little different than many. The handcrafts are housed in the Rathaus Market Hall, which is separated from the rest of the stands and festivities and can easily be missed by those unfamiliar with it (it took me five years before I discovered it!) in the same way that the Gänsemarkt can be missed when people come to the end of Bäcker Strasse and look across the bridge and think 'There's nothing in this direction'.
Signs, or banners, or maps would be nice.
None of these criticisms are meant to be negative. I used to do process improvement for a living, so I'm just trying to be helpful. I love the Weihnachtsmarkt, not just the physical thing, but the concept. It's so much jollier and cozier than an indoor shopping mall, where you probably won't find baked potatoes.....
So, Happy Thanksgiving, America. Come on over and visit before the New Year. We can eat potatoes.