Monday, July 26, 2010

Rain: a Blessing…

It’s rained most of the day.  For the most part a lovely gentle rain, with short bouts of torrent.  Sitting alone under the umbrellas of Almundo, I was given short, but delicious treats by the gods.  I was the sole judge of a wet tee shirt contest in which the participants were unaware of their participation. No one won but me.

It distracted me from my writing, but there’s always late tonight or early tomorrow morning.  It rarely rains Perfectly, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Associated thought from Shakespeare:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

Mercy, forgiveness, the absence of malice or hatred or revenge, a quality we should all cultivate.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sancta Herfordia

A new twist is coming to the website.  I bought a copy of "Sancta Herfordia: Geshicte Herfords von den anfängen bis zur gegenwart" or the history of Herford from the beginning up to the present.  It begins with descriptions of articfacts found at the confluence of the Aa and Werre rivers from 3,000 years BC and works its way to 1979, when the book was written.  My copy is relatively clean, I chose the € 27 copy over the € 18 or 30 copies because I did.....

What's coming of it is this: I have discovered that I am much better at the language than I thought I was.  As a result, I've begun writing a bit in German.  We'll see how that works.  If I'm satisfied, I'll post the stories along with English translations.  I don't think anything that's on at present, lends itself to German, but if they could translate Hesse to English, with enough work, maybe I can translate the friendly neighborhood polak as well.  Mal gucken.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Physical Therapy and a Bicycle

I started my second round of Kranken Gymnasic, or physical therapy today.  This time it's for the neck and back which are the reasons my leg is cranky.  There's 20 mins or getting the muscles warm, 20 of massage, and then half an hour workout with machines and normal calesthenics as well as a giant ball i have to roll around on.  All and all, I think it's a better approach than anyone's taken before.  We'll see at the end of August.

At the suggestion of three, now, count 'em, three doctors,  I've finally bitten the bullet and ordered a bike.  It'll be here in a week or two.  The guy at the bike shop is a Kazak, so we discussed the bike in Russian.  It's black, with 7 gears and two wheels and a regular guy frame.  I passed on the old man style thingy because it did not sit well with my ego.  A couple of times around the Herford wall round way and I'll know if I'm crazy or stupid.....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Books, More Plans…

The hardest part about being a map nut is actually getting to the places on the maps.  My disassociation with the space-time continuum has a tendency to turn plans and map-reading sessions into memories.  Cogito ergo I did that……

One of the luxuries about retirement is not having to do the frenetic summer dance, that is, fitting it all into two weeks in July or August.  Time frame for serious wandering is September and October.  Stayed tuned for the maps-

On the writing side, it’s all the Yellow House.  A few short stories, but they’re not ready for the world yet. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

no travel, just work

when you're really writing, when the words are flowing, diving from the mind cliff onto the page, when you miss some of the best scenery of the day because you don't want to look up from the words to break your concentration, when you're writing so good that you can't wait to write the next sentence even though you don't have the slightest idea what it will be about, when you're writing like that, you've got a lot of work ahead of you.

tomorrow comes the punctuation, the painful choices of what stays and what goes, the thesaurus and the attempt to sound brilliant without arrogance or, at the least not to sound like an idiot....

these are the fruits of the weather that says, sure you can go for a walk and sweat and work on your photography, but look at that umbrella, look at the shade, look at the cold glass of apple juice that woman is drinking, look at that woman......

and so, the brothers learn each other and the plot is thicker than a namyak from west mayfield.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Situation Normal-All Fucked UP....

not really, but it gets your attention.....

new cell phone came this morning and it appears to require a three year battery charge before it will work. The old one was okay in most respects, but a couple of buttons and the speaker for the ear quit working, undoubtly due to a swim or two as well as the inability of such little machines to take much physical abuse. They don't like sidewalks. My number stays the same, so in the event anybody ever wants to call me (I've had one incoming call since April and mayber 3 sms, shame I've got 18 months left on the contract, or i'd switch to pay as you go).
Oh, yeah, the incoming call was debitel asking me if i would like to extend my contract.....

It's liveable on Steinstrasse, outside temparature is going up above 90 again, but it stays in the 80s inside. Some good acoustic music by a couple of acquaintances at the Hoeker fest yesterday evening, then ten rounds of Schwimmen, or 31, a card game, at Giovanni's without a loss. Playing cards is better than television, at least I get to steer the conversations when i've a whim......

it is a pain not going for long walks, but the weather and i don't agree, so I sit under an umbrella or a tree.  not a bad way to spend a day, reading Ulysses and Sartre's 'Nausea' in alternate gulps.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hoeker Fest, a clarification

Hoeker-Fest 2010in case you don't know, the Hoeker Fest is basically a lot of food and drink and bands in the three major marketplaces (maybe squares, the two on the ends have fountains, the main one doesn't) as well as Linnenbauer platz, where the statue of the Hoeker resides.  As you can see, he smokes a pipe.  Hoeker means huckster, or pedlar, and Linnenbauer (or Leineweber) is a linen weaver.  This guy was the last of the hand weavers who peddled his own goods around the county.  The fest starts on a Wednesday and goes on until Sunday night.  The Steinstrasse neighborhood gets pretty crowded, but if you're into eating flesh and drinking fine wine, our Gänsemarkt is the wine locale of the fest.  The Alter Markt and Neuer Markt ain't half bad either...

Gänsemarkt=Goose market
Altermarkt=Old market
Neuermarkt=New market

None of them are really marketplaces anymore, the hucksters all park around the Rathaus (city hall) on market day and you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and various and sundry items with which to whet the imagination of your palate,

Hoeker fest: view from Almundo

2 liters of apple juice, four BIG coffees, an espresso, and almost a full chapter of the Yellow House under my belt, I now occupy myself with staring at women. Life is good.

World Cup Blues: Spain 1: Germany 0

It wasn't my fault. I was only one of two who remained optimistic until the final whistle. The professional soccer players (big dreamers) were criticizing everyone from the coach to the bundes president. I personally think Germany played damned good ball. As we all know, one second can end destroy the previous 89 minutes. That's the way the game is.

On the head front, I've been working on putting an experimental edge on some wood chisels I picked up cheap, which were poorly ground. I'm putting a longer bevel on then, cutting the traditional 15 degrees back to around 12. They make good shavers that way and will supplement the really good tools. Fine motor control is starting to return a bit to the right hand, but it's not good enough for microsurgery yet. I'm working on some architeutral pieces just to stay in shape. Here's a photo of one of them:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Slow days, better weather, idle mind....

Therapy yesterday. Boris is on vacation for the next two weeks and I'm in the hands of a beautiful young woman whose massage capabilites made for a very wierd walk to the city. My body was totally relaxed and my mind went along with the trip. I sat at my table at the café and not even the Albanians could break my mindset. Unfortunately, neither could I. I had major plans for firming up the Yellow House space/time line and ended up watching people and smiling a lot. I need to make something of today, the Hoekker Fest starts tomorrow, which means the outdoor cafès will be overrun with the crowds and the noise will no be conducive to thinking.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Surprise Sunday

I thought it would be a productive day at Almundo until I ran into the Schutzen Fest, with two fife and drum bands, a brass band, and a couple of marching units, all on their way guessed it, the Alter Markt, where my table became a front row seat for tweedle tweedlle deedle a rapapampum as wel as oompahoompah little schutz,,,,,
I ended up reading Sartre's 'Nausea' half-heartedly, identifying with the protagonist.

Sunday, Again

(and that’s a good thing)

Soccer: Germany and Spain are off to the Half-finals along with Uruguay and the Netherlands.  Germany destroyed Argentina 4-0 and the Hollanders surprised Brazil.  My vote says the endgame will pit Germany against the Netherlands.

Sunday means cafés and walking paths will be full.  They mean families will be together and about 30% of the German population (I’ll check the statistic again, but it sounds right) will be in church.  It’s the last day of the week on the German calendar, as opposed to the first in the US. Nothing wrong with either view, it’s just a convention. 

The point of my writing today is the weather.  For the first time this week, it’ll be under 90° F.  90 is my breaking point.  I don’t take long walks, don’t do anything strenuous.  I become even more of a vegetable than I normally am.  Even though it’s walking weather, I’m passing on the obligatory Sunday walk and opting for working on my book notes.  I found a few things I’d forgotten about and they’ve brought me back to a unified way of thinking about the plot.  I’ve been having problems with the disjunctive temporal aspects of it and the notes are about space and time.  No more hints today…..

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Plot Thickens

I was working on a draft of a new story when I found these three in the folder.  I did a little tuning, and published them.  
The story I was working on is about a woman in a mental institution.  It's not based on anyone we know, but there are bits and pieces of people who lived in NEPA when I was a kid woven into the woman and the other character, who may or may not be imaginary.  As I was writing this second character, I realized there were connections between the action in the story and a subplot in The Yellow House.  It's still all the onesuchness.....

Therapy, Therapy, Therapy

It looks like I'm going to have to put off my research on the Baltic island of Usedom until September, which is ok, because by then, most of the tourists will be back to work.  The hand is doing great, doctor Von Glinski was surprised by both the strength and dexterity.  It still has a long way to go, but I'm a tough old bird.  The CT scan (CAT scan in American) showed a coupled of banged up discs in the lower back, which is not unusual for somebody who's banged canoes off of rocks, shoulders off of trees, and skied through strip mines for most of his adult life.  No injections, operations, or anything else intrusive. Just 10 more sessions of back training and massage.  The guy I've been working with is good, so I'm cool with it.

Glinski, however, has advised me to buy a bicycle, as did Dr. Eckhorst, and my friend Klaus, who's a retired MD.  Glinski's been to Usedom and says it's a great place for biking.  I like the idea, I'll be able to cover a lot more ground in my explorations.  It's 28 km from Usedom (the town) to the Polish border, along the Via Baltica, which is one of the Northern routes of the St. James Way (Jakobsweg), which fits another dimension of my research and gives the Yellow House a subplot of interesting and mystical proportions! 

Being, Nothingness, and the Clinic Across from the Arbeitsamt

I'm reading Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" for the fourth or fifth time, or, I should say, trying to read it.  It has always given me a headache.  It's a definitive work on twentieth century existentialism, but it doesn't really appeal to the zenman in me.  The intellectual persona, however, insists.

Ive got hand therapy this afternoon, followed by computer thermography on the leg to find out what I pulled, pushed, or otherwise knocked out of alignment a few years back.  The neurologist and the neurosurgeon are both of the opinion it can be fixed with therapy without an operation.  We'll soon know.