From my blog: I saw this first picture and fell in love with it. (Is now my background.) Then saw this second analemma–not in love, but curiosity satisfied from first “where’s the other half?” From Astronomy Picture of the Day website.
Spouse and I went this morning to the State Fair. Bicycled there. According to Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist extraordinaire, all county and state fairs should be cancelled because of the H3N2v swine flu. Oh well. (We didn’t see the livestock this year.)
DFL booth. Barak and me. Forgot to go to the Republicans and get my picture with Ronnie.
Literally just hailed them and asked if I could take their picture. Dorothea and I chatted with them. Of course, they both took off their glasses. Didn’t notice til later. They’re in town from Missouri for a wedding.
Ford’s new all-electric Focus. $40,000. Love the way it’s plugged in via a power strip. Which is plugged into a nuclear reactor. Or a coal-fired power plant.
If you ride your bike to the fair, you can park it for free. They must’ve run out of rack space, ’cause there were bikes hanging in the trees.
When my maternal grandparents got married in 1900, they got a gingerbread “kitchen” clock as a wedding gift from the bride’s mother. My parents had it from the time that I was born, fifty-nine years later. I think that it originally sat on the top of the old pump organ in the dining room of the house where I grew up. My memory is that it didn’t run until sometime later when my dad took it into get fixed, sometime in the mid-sixties. It was about that same time that he also bought a grandfather clock, one with the full sixteen-count, on the quarter-hour, Westminster chimes. So, there was a stretch of time while I lived with my parents that there were two chiming clocks running. A fond memory.
In 2007, I put on the back of the “grandmother” clock a yellow post-it note stating that I wanted the clock. My mom was very keen that her children label those things that they wanted. So, with Dorothea’s encouragement, I did. In 2010, as we were moving my mother from assisted living in Sartell to assisted living in White Bear Lake, one of my brothers said that he’d always wanted that clock, and took it. (With the post-it still attached to the back.)
Don’t know why, but after about a month or so, my brother brought the clock back to my mom’s apartment. At this point, fall, 2010, my mom was quite confused about the disappearance and re-appearance of the clock. So, I took it. The photograph of us sitting with the clock was taken with my iPhone on November 7. We’re sitting on a couch in the Cerenity Assisted Living lobby, in front of the dining room. It is a little before noon, and people are hanging out, waiting for the doors to open for lunch.
The clock is now in the spare bedroom/home office/sewing room. And, when I got it there, it didn’t work. Hard to wind and wouldn’t run for more than a few minutes. Then, one day, I moved it, pushed it over a foot or so, to make room so that I could put my laptop next to it, and lo! it started to tick. And it chimed and it kept going.
So, that is a little background on the clock, written on today, Monday. I am home from work, taking a sick day, recovering from the colonoscopy I had this morning. Oh, also: I have a suspicion that it is a haunted clock. Or that it could be a haunted clock. Might make a good Stephen King-like story. The main point that’d add some juice to the haunted angle is the 1923 suicide of my maternal grandfather. He shot himself at the age of fifty. My mom was nine. Complete Tombstone of Wheat sort of thing. (Actually: A gravestone made of wheat : stories / by Will Weaver, Greywolf Press/Simon and Schuster, 1989. So I log on to the library webpage, find the book listed, order it, but get denied. There is a problem with my library card. Oh, I will have to leave the virtual world and actually walk over to the library.)
But, with the clock, even though it is running, there’s a problem. It just struck one, but the hour hand is at four. (Wrote that bit, and what follows, this past weekend.) And here my mind wanders. Me thinks that me writing about my reality is no that different than the guy in Synecdoche, New York creating a play to encompass all of reality. (I just watched the Netflix DVD.) And, a further digression: This also is my colonoscopy prep weekend. Last night (Friday) Dorothea and I went to Rainbow.
Light it was when we went in, dark when we came out. I was moving slowly. Much slower than Dorothea’s usual grocery shopping pace. Bought food for my after-colonoscopy life per recommendations from MNCOME nutritionist. (Both Dorothea and I went to appointment with her on Wednesday morning.)
In the movie, Synecdoche, New York, he’s dying of who knows what. (The main character, Caden Cotard, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, gets nailed in the forehead while shaving with a sink faucet that goes—literally—ballistic.) To a lesser degree, I find myself somewhat mired in medical stuff. (Typical, typical middle-age stuff—cholesterol, threat of diabetes, screenings for this, for that—for colon cancer.) Parenthetically.
Need to digress and look up winding the clock chime. Was thinking that the last time I regularly heard this clock and the grandfather clock in unison was circa 1977, maybe the early 1980s.
Well, not having much success. I tried winding the right side, but won’t budge. I am thinking that is the chime. The left, I was able to make a few turns with the key. But while I am happy the clock is running and chiming, it is chiming the hour on the half-hour and once at the top of the hour. Also, I am concerned about the right chime, not being able to wind it at all. I was on the verge of paying someone $15 on www.justanswer.com but what I did was I moved the minute hand counter-clockwise just a little bit until I heard a click. The next time, the clock chimed the hour at the top of the hour. I am now working my way through the hours—just passed twelve and need to get to six. So, I am off with Dorothea to see the movie Cedar Rapids at the Riverview. (Saturday night.)
Upon return from the movie, the clock stops ticking as I watch, and I can’t get it started again.
And this ramble ends as I head off to walk to the library.
Dorothea was quite keen on seeing the Dali Lama. He is in the Twin Cities this weekend. And, he is in our neighborhood—staying at the University of Minnesota president’s house and appearing today at the University of Saint Thomas. We walked the dog this morning. oohing and aahing the Tibetans and their colorful clothing as they entered the front of the huge new sports building, and walking around the block, stood on the corner of Finn and Selby. This seemed to be a strategic spot for Lama viewing, given that
- The street was blocked off at both ends by a couple of police cars
- There was another couple standing there on the corner, looking like they were waiting to see the Dali Lama, too
- The Dali Lama, running behind schedule, had apparently not yet arrived
We stood and chatted. The guy was a retired Saint Thomas history professor, and he and his wife live in the neighborhood. (Funny, retired professors don’t seem as old as they used to.) The cop across the street was entertainment as he tried to shoo away students in their cars, attempting to turn into the parking lot, now forbidden.
We never actually saw the Dali Lama. We did see caravan of vehicles—police cars and black Suburbans with tinted windows. We were able to walk down closer to where they parked and saw a freight elevator loaded with monks.
Sitting in my house today, the temperature outside in the forties, the sounds of dripping water everywhere, I imagine myself on a leaky, sinking ship, constantly scanning for the next leak.
I return home from driving M. to work and then myself hanging out at the coffee shop, tea and lemon poppy seed bread and laptop. Wandering through a series of distractions.
Reading New Yorker article about that religion thingy that all the Hollywood types belong to that was started by a science fiction writer. Know what I mean? And I continue to be in awe of how universal the themes are among these systems. In this case, the objective is definitely control—self-control and well as group cohesion. Mind control. Self mind control.
Sitting at Caribou after dropping Madeline off. It is forty-three degrees Fahrenheit outside and, given that we just had a two-week stretch of sub-zero weather, this is definitely no-jacket quality, even shorts quality weather (if you are a young male college student, judging from what we saw as we drove by Saint Thomas.)
Just got up and got my tea and a piece of lemon poppy seed bread. The spiritual universality thing—listening to a Catholic priest’s sermon; reading about Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong; reading Ajahn Chan: commonalities.
The thought/question occurred to me—how many people died in the almost ninety-seven years of my mother’s life, from 1914 to 2011? Doesn’t matter. But Wikipedia “Death” led me to the David Chalmers paper, Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness (1995). And that led me to “interactioinism”—”matter and mind being distinct and independent, that they exert causal effects on one another.” Sounds a bit Buddhist. Philosophy of mind—dualism or monism—Plato/Aristotle/Descartes—Parmenides/Spinoza. Physicalists/idealists/neutral monists. It goes on and on. So far my favorite is “idealism”—and off I spin to BUDDHISM THEORY AND PRACTICE by U Maung Nu, former Prime Minister of Burma. (Again: How about that?)
So, grabbing—”the house (Hadaya Vatthu) in which the mind lives is somewhere in the heart”—a person doesn’t have just one mind from birth to death, but rather, “as soon as a mind is born, it gives birth to another mind and dies.”—physical death of the body is not the end of the mind giving birth to mind—
So long as the Mind has defilements such as greed, anger, ignorance, this process of one mind giving birth to another will go on eternally giving use to endless rebirths and deaths. Only when the defilements are uprooted, this process will cease after death and as a result there will be no rebirth and its attendant evils such as old age, disease, death separation from beloved ones etc.
I like that—
Number 3 – the mind “rest[s] on” Arammana—the six senses. “The thing that makes the eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smell, the tongue taste and the body feet, is called in Pali, “Pasada.” (Que pasa.)
- Vinnana pushes the mind to the arammanas.
- Sanna is the memory that tells the mind what it is; vinnana does not.
- Pleasant feeling
- Unpleasant feeling
- Feeling of indifference
- Sankhara – decides, commands, urges
The fifth point–
..the mind rests on an Arammana in the Hadaya Vatthu, which lies somewhere in the heart. This Arammana is not one of the six Arammana which one gets during one’s present lifetime. It is an Arammana which one had got from one’s previous lifetime. In order to distinguish it from the six Arammana which one gets during one’s present lifetime, it will be called as “old Arammana”
And then he goes off into some real minutiae. I lost it.
(“Facing up to the problem of consciousness,” a paper by a philosophy professor from Australia. Trying to get that url off the iphone onto the laptop using igoogle notes. Didn’t work, trying again. Thinking I have to wait for them to synchronize. Still not. This time though I didn’t close the page on the phone. This activity might be for not simply because of too long fingernails. Dukka of existence.)
Yikes. I suppose that the ice dam problem has always been there, eternal. And the solution of scraping off the snow from the edge of the roof with a roof rake—maybe that is all there is to it. But I don’t know. I have no interest in climbing up on the roof. My brother-in-law had a ladder accident last week, in fact, trying to get snow off his roof. The ice and water thing on the roof is quite insidious. Pervasive. Universal. Eternal. Okay, I am looping.
Later, I should put on my rubber dairy boots, assemble the roof rake which is in the front porch and partially held together with duct tape, trudge to the back yard, and, avoiding the power lines, telephone lines, and cable lines coming across the backyard diagonally from the utility pole to the house, scrape off what I can. I called Z2A Roofing yesterday. They answered the phone—good thing. But they are busy, asked if I had water coming into the house now (triage), and told me to call back on Tuesday. Their guy, The Roof Whisperer, was here in December, after the snow that collapsed the Metrodome, leaving us with calcium chloride in our gutters.
Sitting in the spare bedroom upstairs. It is “spare” right now because for the first time in years, we are not hosting a foreign student. It is also this room that should be my home office. And it is setup as such. We got rid of the double bed that was in here, replacing it with a single. Also we nationalized the IKEA computer desk from my son’s room. He’d never had a computer in his room anyway. We bought a $150 chair from Office Max. (Pre-assembly, $20—well worth it.) My work laptop, wireless, and voila! Except that the VPN connection over wireless, especially if I was remoting into a server and running a WebEx—poop out. So the reality seems to be that to really do the home office thing up here, I will need to get some Ethernet cabling setup. I googled video of Ethernet cabling house and the first thing the guy said was get someone else to do it. I have to agree.
I am listening to Kate Wolf Radio on last.fm. One Kate Wolf song and now onto Priscilla Herdman. Oh well. But does sound nice.
Liam is off to his Iron Chef class with his school buddy Ryan at the Saint Paul College. Those logistics were managed by Dorothea. She is in Bemidji with sister and assorted women friends. Madeline has the Snow Ball last night, and right now there is an undetermined number of young women sleeping in her room. There was the option of staying at the hotel last night where the dance was held, but apparently that turned out to be not so appealing.
This morning, I got up and did my thing, went to Dunn Brothers on Lake at the West River Road intersection, and a granola and yogurt and coffee, and then went to Common Ground and sat for an hour before returning home to make sure that Liam got off to his class.
Now I am thinking of sitting as much as possible today. Will let you know how that goes.
What made me do it, to go downstairs to the iPod clock/radio charger on the kitchen counter, remove my iPhone, return upstairs, take the picture, email it, come back up here, and insert into this post? What the hell is this? Ain’t interesting or unique. But I am leaving it in. My internal editor says “yes.”
Was trying to find a way to connect my blog www.davidschons.com/somekindapossible, which is now running on WordPress, with my Facebook account, and found the WordPress plug-in, wpbook. It works really well, except, as was pointed out by Tony, (thank you Tony)—Facebook asks for the right to access your personal information. Yuck.
If you don’t want to tell me, I don’t want to know. In researching, I found out that apps like Farmville—they are harvesting people’s personal information and the game users don’t really even know it. Again, yuck. By the way, here is the screen is question (the “request permission” dialog box):
What I just discovered is that you can control what information this permission request accesses. Here is the screen I found with its default settings:
The path to this dialog box is: Facebook > Account > Account Settings > Privacy > manage > Apps and Websites > Edit your settings > Info Available > Edit Settings. (Kind of not easy to stumble across.)
This seems to be specific to Facebook applications. (Not totally sure.) But my hope is that by unchecking the boxes, people (me included) won’t be unnecessarily sharing personal information with Facebook apps.
Off to Psycho Suzie’s. Ahh. Then to the airport to pick up my brother from California. Then to pizza with sibs at my mom’s apartment.