Archive for September, 2009

Pirate talk at the new year

Posted on September 19, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Games, Health |

Here’s what I’m doing to celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” (in addition to uttering the occasional “Arrrr. Ahoy there, matey!”).

Playing this game. It’s the most adorable Pirate game I ever did play. And it’s a great, rollicking adventure, too! Get it free, here. And, say hello to Nelly for me, ye Spoonbeaks!

If you’re up for another (possibly) Pirate adventure (other than Monkey Island) try this great game, which may or may not have Pirates in it. Depending upon your choices. Really! (Link is to Deirdra’s games page; scroll down to “The Game That Takes Place On A Cruise Ship“.)

For those celebrating the New Year season, here’s a greeting I got from a family member I thought was especially nice. (It’s belated Happy New Year to you now, but still worth saying:)   HAPPY NEW YEAR, MATEYS!!!

May you enjoy your apples and honey

May you carry your loads with ease amid sweetness

May you learn and teach well.

May you move with as much joy and ease as you can

May your home be filled with fresh air and light

May you be startled and delighted by new beginnings

and hear beautiful music.

Have a happy and healthy 5770!
שנה טובה
ומלאת כל טוב

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Remembering Unity; Forgetting Divisiveness

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Philosophy, Spirituality |

On Thursday evening I attended an event in conjunction with World Day of Unity. My local event was held in a large sanctuary with all the known flags of the world posted around the room:

flags

There were several different spiritual groups there, plus secular leaders. Several participants shared readings, and the Bahá’í Singers sang. The theme this year was “Reach In; Reach Out“.  The stated objectives were these:

We’re uniting as a world community. Any action—big or small—can make a difference.

Reach in. What will you do? Now’s the time to reach in through prayer & meditation and let Spirit guide you.

Reach out. Share your intention with the world.

We can change the world. Work on your Spiritual Action Plan, update us on how you’re putting your plan into action, and your results.

In my community, this event also acknowledges the 8th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. This anniversary has always been poignant and deeply emotional for me, as I reported in my post from last year on this date. What’s different for me, and many I have observed, is that the immediacy of the feelings are dissipating. I think that is a good thing. It may seem callous to some to overhear comments like “Oh, yeah, 9/11 anniversary again. Almost forgot about it.” This doesn’t bother me. I think it is helpful to move on. We live in interesting and potent, changing times, and I believe the 9/11 events initiated a course change in consciousness. The shock and amazement woke up a part of us that is working towards real, essential change, mostly in positive ways, in spite of how it looks sometimes.

A phrase that is still chanted, often, is “Never forget; never forget.” This is not from people remembering 9/11, but the Holocaust of World War II. People say similar things about 9/11, though. I think it’s time, not to forget, exactly, but to move on, with feelings of peace, instead of anger and fear. So, the seeming apathy in some is, I believe a natural progression towards integrating the lessons in consciousness learned from the events, and hopefully implementing a plan of personal peace. This is the meaning I give the celebration I attended, and I am pleased to follow the three steps outlined there.

Reach in: I take this seriously, and I am meditating on the essences of unity and peace this week. I don’t normally engage in prayer, but meditation is something I can and will do.

Reach out: At the end of the week, I trust I will know what it is I want to tell the world about this. I’ll tell those I know, and share it here on the blog.

I’m not sure about Step Three. I don’t see the World as a “place” which needs “change”. It is what it is; we can, however initiate change within ourselves; we are seeds of the world. I’m also not at all sure that “action” is the way to change anything; I think action is the result of change, not the cause of it. But, in the spirit of the exercise, I’ll certainly share, if not “results”, then “observances”.

For those contemplating the meaning of life on this day, and in these times, I offer support, and thanks.

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Stop Internetting!

Posted on September 9, 2009. Filed under: Games, Health, HowTo, Musings |

This is what I often yell at speak in a slightly elevated tone to my computer when it’s accessing the Internet and I don’t know why. Between automatic updates, and just random computery things, my connection will just start going nuts, sometimes when I’m not doing anything. As a Registered Control Freak(TM) this bothers me greatly. I do not like it when my computer just…does stuff without my telling it to. And, you know that “hard-drive-access-sound”? I’ll just be sitting here, minding my own business, taking my time deciding where to click first (OK, so it’s after one of those nights I hadn’t had much sleep), and then, “Whirr! Swish! Knnnck!” What is it DOING? Without me? Am I overly sensitive and obsessive about this? ;-)

But, conversely, every now and then, my ‘puter decides it doesn’t WANT to access the Internet. I had this going on for DAYS, recently. I finally wiped my hard drive and started over; not for the first time. This is rather a tedious process, but, generally works. My computer had been fine, other than admonishing me strongly that it “Cannot Connect to the Internet“. Is it just me, or do I detect an implied criticism in that?

I’ve blamed everything from games—it tends to happen after I’ve played a number of downloaded games, even if I delete each one after playing, and do a registry clean, etc.—to “dueling firewalls” (that Windows one is insidious).

Then, once I think I’m back online again, I get this:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

SEE! I’m not paranoid! Or just paranoid! However, in any case, I am glad I had a chance to save my files before starting over. It’s just the Internet that thinks I’m stupid, not the computer itself. The other thing I thought about blaming, and you Facebookies can tell me if I’m right here, is, you guessed it, Facebook. I do not have an account there, although periodically urged to by various online and Real Life friends, but I offered to monitor a relative’s page for him, because he didn’t want to deny himself an opportunity to look at family pictures, since Facebook is the only place they appear. I’m supposed to tell him when someone posts something I think he might actually be interested in. And, reply to comments on his, um, “wall” with something like: “Your relative HATES Facebook, but LOVES you, so he’s recruited me to tell you he says ‘Hi’.”

He says he does hate Facebook; I don’t, I just don’t use it. I thought that monitoring his page might give me an opportunity to learn how it works. I’m really not all that stupid, in spite of what Firefox says (see above) but I don’t get it. Srsly.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

An aside: The most prevalent comment on the above graph at the GraphJam site was along the lines of: “The proper term is ‘Orwellinan’, not ‘Orwellesque’.”  Srsly. This is GraphJam, ferevenssake, not a Master’s Thesis! The adjective “orwellian” does not appear in my dictionary, although it does in some; in my world that means it has not as yet officially entered the vernacular. I had only heard/seen “orwellian” used as a descriptive for a type of totalitarianism described in George Orwell’s novels, but, does that mean “orwellesque” must be incorrect? Suffix “ian” = One from, belonging to, relating to, or like; Suffix “esque” = In the style or manner of; appended to nouns, especially proper nouns, and forming adjectives. The interwebs dictionaries say so!

So, I appeal to you, if you are still reading this entry, and haven’t given up in despair, to tell me if you’ve heard that Facebook can corrupt my interwebbytubes, even if it’s not my own account! (Although it might as well be, as I have the password, and access, and everything.) If so, I can tell my family member to go FB elsewhere. But, if it’s Twitter that did it, I don’t want to know! :)

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Rainy and Complainy

Posted on September 5, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, Musings, Travel |

As it’s been raining, (good thing) and it’s also overcast, (OK thing) it mostly has blocked out the sun (not my favorite thing). I must have that S.A.D. thingy, because, even though I live in an area which has over 300 sunny days per year, once the sun disappears for more than 10 minutes, I feel abandoned and mistreated. It’s particularly scary when the rainy mists cause the mountains to disappear! I know many people live happy lives in places like Norway and North Dakota, but I shudder to think, were it I.

I grew up in San Francisco, famous for its fogs, in a neighborhood which had more of them than other parts of the city. Although S.F. is a beautiful city, (hills; views; parks; bays) my childhood memories are colored in gray. Gray pavement; gray buildings; gray weather. No wonder I enjoyed exhibits of hippie buses, pop art, and the crayon-box revivals of Victorian architecture. I craved color, light, and warmth, and I still do.

I went to summer daycamp in Golden Gate Park. In July. Did I mention it was summer? Other parts of my country, including the one I live in now, would be sweltering in the heat and often humidity as well. We had the humidity all right—fog! The fog was bone-chillingly cold, and wet, and soggy. I’ve since spent six winters in a place where it snows, and although it was, technically, colder there, it didn’t sink into the bones the way a San Francisco summer fog could. When Mark Twain famously commented (or perhaps not; this may be one of those urban myths) that  “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”, he wasn’t kidding.

Fog Larson

It seems kind of funny to remember how, at camp, the first thing we’d do is build a fire, ostensibly to cook our lunch, but we’d huddle around it until our counselor insisted we run about and play games. This got us a bit warmer, and we were usually good for an hour or so to do crafts and such.

We cooked the darndest things for lunch, too. Have you ever made peach cobbler over a campfire? We did. Along with roasted potatoes (yum), ears of corn, of course, and various kinds of stews and soups. Years later, when I was a daycamp counselor myself, I was amazed that we were expected to take the kids to the beach one day. The beach? What were they supposed to do there? The water was much too cold to go into. They could build sand castles until their little fingers would start to turn blue. They could search for shells; always clammy even if not clam shells. They could sit on our beach blanket, cast on top of a plastic tarp so the cold damp would not seep through, and nibble at the picnic lunch we’d brought.

The odd thing was that, just a few miles away, “over the bridge” as we would say, meaning the Golden Gate, of course, was another land. Sunny; warm; with cool ocean breezes, and beaches worthy of the name. This was like Wonderland to me, or perhaps Emerald City. Even in some other parts of the city—the Marina district, for instance—there were tolerable beaches and weather. Golden Gate Park is magical in the autumn, sneaky in the spring, and completely impossible in the summer. So, why did we go there? It was walking distance from our houses. The camp was for the neighborhood kids, and didn’t have the funds to bus them about; we walked everywhere.

Although I often wonder if I’ll live out my days here in the desert near Tucson, I know that as long as I remain, I’ll never complain about the appallingly hot summers (it’s just starting to cool down from a few weeks of daily temperatures of 102-107F (38-42C). The heat is worth it, for the most part, in order to stay warm and see the sun.

I had no, or not much, intention of writing about the weather today, for heaven sake. I don’t like to write “complainy” posts very much; what I did intend to write about was actually computer related. So what happened? A lot is on my mind. I’m looking back at some of the places I’ve lived, in order to capture the essence of the things I liked most, in order to catalogue those things, and, perhaps, get a better sense of the qualities I most value in a living environment.

This post, though, is more about some of the things I didn’t like! ;) My next post ought to be about what I did like about living in S.F. (there were many things!), or, about one of the other, very different places I’ve spent some time, or, about the computer-related things I planned to write about today.

I’ll pick and choose and see which is the most immediate when I write again. Until then, tootle-loo, and stay warm—or cool—and peaceful.

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