Eagle Poem To pray you

Eagle Poem
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear
Can’t know except in moments
Steadly growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

by Joy Harjo via riley dog

Dave’s Insanity Sauce I’ve had

Dave’s Insanity Sauce
I’ve had a bottle of this stuff for ages and it is wonderful but heed this advice on testing it!

1. cook large pot of rice (alternative: buy large loaf of bread)
2. open bottle, being very careful not to get any sauce on your fingers
3. take one tine of a fork and gently scrape a very very very thin layer of sauce from around the rim of the bottle
4. if you have sauce on two tines, wash the fork and start over with a new fork
5. if what you have on your fork could rightfully be construed as a “dab”, throw away the fork immediately, you’ve ruined it
6. quickly and promptly rub the sauce-veiled tine over your lips. do not, under any circumstances, allow the sauce to touch your tongue
7. wait 3.2 seconds
8. scream in agony
9. eat entire pot of rice in a futile attempt to calm the everlasting flame within you (alternative: eat entire loaf of bread). water will not help you, you must use something substantial that can soak up the spices
10. never kiss your wife again

from diveintomark/Travel day

Childhood blogging After my posts

Childhood blogging

After my posts on my kids over the past couple of days this piece on childhood blogging makes sense…

What observational talents would benefit from this daily record. In addition to critical thinking, reading and writing skills, what other skills would necessarily be enhanced? Would the daily record and forced verbalization of thoughts and ideas enhance any other talents? What types of relationships would we develop with the other people who would undoubtedly read and respond to this weblog? Like piano lessons, would the we despise the practice at the time, only later discovering what a beautiful skill we have developed?

from Dane Carlson’s Weblog via John Robb’s Radio Weblog

Make someone else happy Dave

Make someone else happy
Dave Winer’s post today about How to help peace reminded me of a couple of new age/old age aphorisms.

If you want to be happy – be happy.

    Most of us say “I’ll be happy when…” “I’ll be happy when I am wealthy” “I’ll be happy when I am healthy”

    More often it happens the other way round – decide to be happy and there’s a good chance that your enthusiasm and sense of self worth will make you attractice to prospective employers and you will be successfull.
    Decide to be happy and you won’t have the same reasons for self hate and self abuse and you will look after your body and be healthier.

and the other was:

    If you want to experience joy, make someone else feel joyful: if you want to feel happy, make someone else feel happy. etc etc

Celebrity, ageing, nostalgia, intimacy, …

Celebrity, ageing, nostalgia, intimacy, …

I’ve just been watching “The Sound of Music Children – After They Were Famous” on TV�and it had it all of the above (as well as having employed a good mate of mine as researcher).

Amazing to see those famous children as “fifty something”s.

It made me melancholy again thinking of my kids in fifty years time. What will the passage of time have done to the beautiful light shining from their faces, how will joy and sadness have sculpted their bodies, will their “scripts” have been happy or sad?

Make it “The British” and

Make it “The British” and I agree!
The English have long had a peculiar relationship to walking. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” strikes the right note of equestrian and motorised disdain. Yet “Shanks’s pony” has often been the chosen mount. Certain virtues attach to walking: fresh air intake, micro-gazing at flora and fauna, consumption of the landscape as an aesthetic experience. Whether in city or country, the English walker has often distinguished himself as a connoisseur of weather, atmosphere, and animate nature. John Gay and Jonathan Swift exquisitely catalogued urban filth a century before Charles Baudelaire invented the flaneur.

Radical Walking via wood s lot

Maybe it’s just me…. I’ve

Maybe it’s just me….
I’ve been looking after my youngest daughter (one year old) all day today and we had a great day on our own!

But for some inexplicable reason I ended up in tears, sobbing as I sat on a seat in the bathroom as she played in her bath.

Maybe it was her unconstrained glee at splashing so much that the whole bathroom ended up soaked. Maybe it was the complete trust and optimisim in her eyes which touched a nerve in my own psyche…reminded me of the small child inside of me.

Maybe it was just the feeling of loving someone so much….so much more than myself, so completely and utterly that I forgot myself……

Maybe I cried because of the sadness of holding onto myself so much of the time, protecting myself……maybe I was jealous?

Maybe it’s just me….

Maybe it’s just me….
I’ve been looking after my youngest daughter (one year old) all day today and we had a great day on our own!

But for some inexplicable reason I ended up in tears, sobbing as I sat on a seat in the bathroom as she played in her bath.

Maybe it was her unconstrained glee at splashing so much that the whole bathroom ended up soaked. Maybe it was the complete trust and optimisim in her eyes which touched a nerve in my own psyche…reminded me of the small child inside of me.

Maybe it was just the feeling of loving someone so much….so much more than myself, so completely and utterly that I forgot myself……

Maybe I cried because of the sadness of holding onto myself so much of the time, protecting myself……maybe I was jealous?

Google – good or bad?

Google – good or bad?
It does worry me a bit the prominence given to blogs by Google. I get a lot of searches for combinations of words in my blog (biker+ babes seems a favourite) which must send some people away very disappointed!

While it’s nice to get the hits the fact that my blog comes very high up in Google for more serious searches isn’t such a good thing. If it winds up with people genuinely looking for information being disappointed then that reflects badly on Google and on my blog.

Hurrah! For someone who at

For someone who at times lives on red wine, french bread and cheese this is good news:

(AP) — Researchers say they have discovered the key component in red wine that explains the so-called French Paradox, or the way the French can eat lots of cheese, buttery sauces and other rich foods and still suffer less heart disease than Americans.

from CNN.com via Dangerous Meta

Darwinism Under Attack For the

Darwinism Under Attack
For the vast majority of scientists, evolution through natural means is as much a fact as the earth’s revolution around the sun. Yet a small but vocal number of biologists, chemists, philosophers, and mathematicians are determined to change that view. They believe that an intelligent agent –�most rigorously avoid the word “God” –�has guided the earth’s history, and that scientific research can prove its existence. While most scientists are quick to dismiss the idea as religion cloaked in academic jargon, advocates of the concept, known as intelligent design, are making inroads into academe, thanks to their unconventional approach, sophisticated arguments, and scholarly credentials.

from The Chronicle via myapplemenu

This sums up why I

This sums up why I started blogging in earnest!
For more than twenty years of an insane history, hopelessly lost like all the men of my generation in the convulsions of time, I have been supported by one thing: by the hidden feeling that to write today was an honour because this activity was a commitment – and a commitment not only to write. Specifically, in view of my powers and my state of being, it was a commitment to bear, together with all those who were living through the same history, the misery and the hope we shared. … They have had to forge for themselves an art of living in times of catastrophe in order to be born a second time and to fight openly against the instinct of death at work in our history.

from Albert Camus Nobel Acceptance speech wood s lot

More on the theme…from a

More on the theme…from a non Doc Searls fan!

As I recall, the statement was in an article about blogging, where Searls said that when he blogs he doesn’t write for an audience, and that is what separates his blog from his professional writing. Bullshit, I remember thinking at the time. All writing is done for an audience, even if it’s just for yourself. Any writer should know that, intuitively, otherwise there would be no compulsion to write.

I visted Doc Searls weblog again for the first time in a long time. Not to my taste, really. But judging from what I read today, he has surely revised that stance, because now he is speaking of his weblog as a conversation. Hmm, I think I’ve read that somewhere before.

I suppose what draws me into weblogs more than anything else is personality. If I want reporting, I’ll read a newspaper. If I want links, I’ll visit the appropriate directory or design site to see what’s new. However, the function of weblogs in bringing out what is important that needs to be reported, or what’s interesting that is worth visiting, is directly tied to the personality of the blog in question. That’s what’s really amazing about it. It saves a lot of time in finding what is most significant to you on the web, if you can locate people who share common interests. But more than that, an entirely new form of long distance relationship can be created by this common search for information. You actually start to care about people on the other side of the screen.

Visible Darkness

I’m afraid I disagree – I think Doc very much sees blogging about sharing common interests and some of the best bits in his blog are his own reflections on life the universe and everything!

Its a funny old world.

Its a funny old world.

I was wondering whether or not to write about how small and fragile the world of business can make those involved in it feel. I was about to write about someone I know who has just had a deeply unsettling experience in a work environment. Her day has been full of people scoring points off each other, second guessing each others next move – generally behaving unpleasantly under the guise of smartly dressed up business language. Then I decided not to as they will all have been doing the best they can given what they know at this time. No one (and I mean no one) wakes up in the morning and decides to be a wee shit. Whether it is lack of understanding, fear, misguided world views – whatever. People, I believe, mostly try to do their best.

Having decided not to write this I read Doc Searls’, as usual, excellent piece on competition.

A couple years ago I was talking to Brian Behlendorf, who brought us Apache and co-founded CollabNet, about coming up with a way to reward open source contributors to Jabber. I suggested that we look to the peer review process for some kind of guidance, and to best reward those contributors most respected by their peers. “You mean like high school?” Brian said.

He had a point.

I grew up before geeks were programmers. In my day geeks were into electronics. So I was a ham radio operator. The code I learned was Morse. I liked the ham radio culture (which is back there in the modern geek culture evolutionary tree, even though ham radio is hardly extinct). It was a place I could go that was absolutely unlike school, which I hated from the first day of kindergarten until my junior year in college. In the ham world, everybody was curious about you, and eager to let you know something about themselves. Everybody was smart, and assumed you were too. It was a gift culture: Everybody liked helping everybody else, and to do good work in real world emergencies too. The field had its graybeards, but nobody was exceptionally important, other than novices. Bringing people into the community mattered perhaps more than anything other than having fun and doing good work. There was no social caste system. Sound familiar?

He says elsewhere in todays blog that he doesn’t think of himself as a Big Time Blogger. I’m not so sure – he hits the button for me most of the time – I even voted for him even though I too feel uncomfortable with competitions!

Post Modernity…. a definition Modern,

Post Modernity…. a definition
Modern, overloaded individuals, desperately trying to maintain rootedness and integrity…ultimately are pushed to the point where there is little reason not to believe that all value-orientations are equally well-founded. Therefore, increasingly, choice becomes meaningless. According to Baudrillard (1984: 38-9), we must now come to terms with the second revolution, that of the Twentieth Century, of postmodernity, which is the immense process of the destruction of meaning equal to the earlier destruction of appearances. Whoever lives by meaning dies by meaning (Ashley 1990).

from Postmodernism And Its Critics via synthesis

The Principle Of Least Action

The Principle Of Least Action
Your mathematicians have discovered that whatever happens in the universe happens in such a way that the total amount of action is always the lowest possible. It’s what they call ‘The Principle of Least Action.’ And your scientists use it all the time to predict how things will happen. Those balls the White Rabbit is throwing trace out a curve in the air, yes? Well that curve happens to be the one that involves the least amount of action. Any other curve you could imagine would require more action.

from Alice in Quantum Land via abuddha’s memes

Double Meanings Coffee (n.), a

Double Meanings

Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight
you have gained.

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a
flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.

via e-mail but originally from The Washington Post

A bit of the other

A bit of the other
When you smile into a camera, who are you smiling at? When you�write a letter to the internet�or a mailing list, who are you writing to? When you put a picture on the internet, who are you showing it to?

Have we known all along about the conversation? Has it always been there, an itch on the underside of our subconscious? All those thousands of years we spent trying to deal with our lonliness… didn’t we always know that we are never truly alone?

Self and Other. Words that philosophers have struggled with for centuries. Words that we have struggled with for�millenia. They identify something in the real world – you and me – but they are also abstract contradictions. There can be no me without you. How can I understand myself without understanding you? How can I know myself without knowing you?

Who am I writing to?

Who are you?

from synthesis

Is The Pope A Catholic?

Is The Pope A Catholic?
The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counterreformist and has been influenced by the “ratio studiorum” of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach – if not the Kingdom of Heaven – the moment in which their document is printed.

from MacNN via Scottish Lass Seeks

Ooooh…. he’s so good. Vox

Ooooh…. he’s so good.
Vox populi, vox dei, someone said, and getting the equation backwards, we were lost in gods. For a thousand years or a million. For as far back as we can remember. Unimaginable, they must have dreamed us, we dreamed. Must have dreamed these sounds and these maps and these endless rhythmic meanings. And even then, it was only starting. Only then it was getting even with itself. Catching up with what had already come. Been said, been mapped, been vocalized, been spelled. For once called, it cannot be unbidden. Such is the way it takes.

And the way it takes leads where it likes. Whether we like it or not. Whether we continue or try to go back. Back to what, exactly, it might taunt. Whatever calls, whatever asks such things. There is only onward, only more. Combination and recombination. Names unhinged from the things they once named, set free, gone native. Simile, metaphor, idea, abstraction. Fa, ka, bo, ro. Ma, re, lo, tu. But modulated, shifted up a couple octaves. Natural languages, natural musics. Natural wonders of the world. And naturally, what is called, if called often enough, eventually replies. Be careful what you wish for.


A Senecan Praemeditatio [The wise]

A Senecan Praemeditatio

[The wise] will start each day with the thought….
Fortune gives us nothing which we can really own.
Nothing, whether public or private, is stable; the destinies of men, no less than those of cities are in a whirl.
Whatever structure has been reared by a long sequence of years, at the cost of great toil, and through the great kindness of the gods, is scattered and dispersed in a single day. No, he who has said ‘a day’ has granted too long a postponement to swift misfortune; an hour, an instant of time, suffices for the overthrow of empires.
How often have cities in Asia, how often in Achaia, been laid low by a single shock of earthquake? How many towns in Syria, how many in Macedonia, have been swallowed up? How often has this kind of devastation laid Cyprus in ruins?
We live in the middle of things which have all been destined to die. Mortal have you been born, to mortals have you given birth.
Reckon on everything, expect everything.

from The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

Courage It is in the

It is in the small things we see it.
The child’s first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,
and you’ll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you’ll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

from Anne Sexton The Awful Rowing Toward God via In A Dark Time

Fantastic! A powerful inter-galactic conversation

A powerful inter-galactic conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to waste time at work, download naughty pictures, and build pipe bombs. As a direct result, things are getting really weird — and getting weird faster than the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert.

from The Gluetrain Manifesto

A Brave Man I really

A Brave Man
I really love reading In A Dark Time. It is full of beauty and wisdom. I had no idea just how dark the dark time is…

Suddenly, though, that my concern over the nation’s problems has taken a backseat to my own personal crisis. In the last month-and-a-half I have discovered that I have a large cancerous tumor in my throat and have had to examine the different treatments available, none of which are very good, and decide which of these treatments I will try. In essence, I have been making life-and-death decisions and decisions about the quality of life almost daily over the last two weeks

And yet in the face of such a crisis there is still truth…

I truly believe that moments like this, if we survive them, help us to get more out of life. By forcing us to see our life’s decisions in the hard glare of critical decisions, we can begin to see how strong our beliefs are and whether or not they truly help us to make decisions when we need to. They force us to consider whether we are wasting our lives when there are more important things to be done and to decide what really is important.

…and beauty…..

So the abyss;
The slippery cold heights,
After the blinding misery

The climbing, the endless turning,
Strikes like a fire,
A terrible violence of creation,
A flash into the burning heart of the abominable;
Yet if we wait, unafraid, beyond the fearful instant,
The burning lake turns into a forest pool,
The fire subsides into rings of water,
A sunlit silence.

from Theodore Roethke’s The Abyss in The Far Field

Creativity versus productivity? Creativity is

Creativity is often thought of in terms of artistic expression or hobbies, while productivity is most commonly associated with work and value creation. In truth, there is no difference as each set of activities involves the creation of something. Those who identify primarily with the word creativity tend to abhor structure and look upon work as a limiting factor to their self-expression. Conversely, those more comfortable with the term productivity tend to regard it as an efficient and valuable endeavor and are suspicious of “creative types”….The truth is that both groups are invovled in the same activity, whether they perceive it or not.

from Nathan Shedroff via evhead