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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Centaur by Algernon Blackwood

This book is entrancingly written. Algernon Blackwood's book takes the reader on a spiritual adventure with the main character, a highly imaginative and unusual man who has never felt he fit into modern society. The writing brings a sense of being there with him through suggestion and imagery. I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is available free online at fullbooks.com.


More information on Centaurs is available at blackdrago.com.

Come On, People Now!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Man on the Train


Both men in this film are interesting, and each envies the other's life. Their fates are intertwined ...

Getting Through the Holiday on a Diet ...

I do best on a low-carbohydrate diet, but I think many of these tips would work for any eating plan. It is from http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/




Holiday Parties: 10 Steps to Low-Carb Success
Enjoying the Season With Fewer Carbs
By Laura Dolson, About.com Guide

The holiday party season is here, and even more than parties at other times, it tends to be a real carb-fest! Cookies, candy, desserts, and holiday breads are added to the usual array of crackers, chips, and rolls. Before you eat your way into a carb-induced stupor, take some time to think ahead to avoid overindulging.
Before you Go
1. Make a game plan, and try to be realistic. Do you think you want to make it though the party totally “on plan"? If not, how much of a deviation do you want to allow yourself? Think about how you will feel afterwards. Having a few bites of something off-plan won’t break the bank, but you don’t have to give in to “all or nothing thinking,” either. Eating a cookie doesn’t need to be the beginning of a long night of “carbing out." On the other hand, you might decide that there is one special party where you’ll choose to indulge. The important thing is to see it as a planned deviation, and not slide into a frame of mind that says, “Oh, well, there’s always New Years.”

2. Ask the hostess if you can bring something, and make sure it is yummy, as well as on your food plan. That way you know you’ll have something to fall back on.

3. Don’t leave the house half-starved. That’s an open invitation to scarf down the first five things your eyes fall on. Eat a substantial snack with protein, fat, and fiber in it (example: "roll ups" of turkey slices with spinach dip as a filling). With stable blood sugar, you’ll be more able to think clearly and make good decisions, too.
When you Get There
4. Case the joint –- check out the food scene, and form a plan. If you’ve planned a treat, figure out what it will be, but don’t grab it yet. Just know that later on, it will be yours. (If you’re worried it will be gone, see if you can find somewhere to stash it.)

5. Continue to think “protein, fiber, fat.” Head for these things first, which will make it easier to limit your treats later. Good bets: veggies and dip, cheese tray (there is no law saying you have to put the cheese on a cracker), sausage cubes, nuts. Put a small amount on your napkin and go find someone to talk to, away from the food.

6. Get something to drink. Good choices are something calorie-free or dry wine. Avoid sugary mixers. Hold the drink in your dominant hand (right hand if you’re right-handed) as long as you’re standing near food. (This trick works better than you’d think. It delays the “reaching instinct” long enough for your brain to engage.)
The Party Continues
7. Keep your focus on conversation and entertainment, preferably away from the food table. When you veer closer, stick to small amounts and veer away again. Think “nibble” rather than “bite.”

8. After an alcoholic drink, make the next one or two calorie-free drinks. This not only cuts down on carbs and calories, but helps keep your good judgment intact.

9. If there is a buffet dinner, focus on the low-carb foods: salads, vegetables, meats, fruit. These usually are far more tasty than the potatoes and rice, anyway.
Sweet Endings
10. Now it’s time for your treat, if you’ve decided to have it. The rule is: Enjoy every bite. This requires focus. And be aware of the “Law of Diminishing Dessert Returns:” The first few bites are usually the best. If your enjoyment is lessening, why continue? You’ve had a great time celebrating, the evening is a success, and no regrets or “carb hangovers” the next day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Algae!!!

Algernon Blackwood's works of fiction are transporting me. I am reading The Centaur, which is the tale of an Irishman who always felt alien amongst most of modern humanity; he goes on a voyage and meets some others like himself. 


I have never read such suggestive phrases as Mr. Blackwood's; they bring to life concepts of spirituality that are otherwise simple and hard to incorporate into the modern intellect. 


For example, in this book he illuminates the concept that the Earth is a living entity, far different from ourselves, whose projections we are. This is not a new idea, by any means, but as I have said, his way of presenting it brings it to life.

My Father Was a Con Man


The reconciliation of father and son in $5 A Day is unlikely and takes some doing. The father is a professional con man, Walken, and the son has had to do hard time after one of his father's scams went bad.


The film was surprisingly enjoyable. I was not at all sure I would like it, but though I did not learn anything from it, the cast was great and the long shots featured incredibly beautiful skies. Simple blue skies with clouds, amazingly gorgeous!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmas Lights (!?!)

The Tiny Tree Casts Big Round Lights


Mantel of Lights


Even the Back Door is Decorated!


The Front Entry ... Usually dark with a Wreath Only


This is my first year of decorating with lights because I have always thought it was wasteful but LED lights have changed all that! However, I am a real newbie. I have no real concept of how these things are managed by all the pathetic husbands I see out there putting up reindeer with moving heads. They are The Masters!
Anne in Hospital

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Un Pummel Vision

Vagabond

This Agnes Varda film is a cautionary tale, in my opinion. 


A young woman is found frozen to death in France near a vineyard. In flashbacks her tale unfolds ... a defiant woman who refuses to be enticed into any situation that entails responsibility. She wanders, sleeping in her tent, through a cold, bleak winter landscape. Those she encounters tell their experience of her. 


I thought she was rude and unpleasant, and her contacts described her as smelly and rough. She did not seem grateful to anyone who helped her and in fact, when a few could not help her she was angry and insulting to them. Strangely, some of them became attached to her. I did not. When she died I was not saddened nor (of course) surprised.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Political Ideology: "Conservative" Label Prevails in the South

Political Ideology: "Conservative" Label Prevails in the South


While some states are less conservative than others, it would seem the entire United States is becoming more self-identified as conservative. The ranks of the states are very interesting to see, though not surprising. While GW Bush was in office, conservatism declined and now it is rising again. Perhaps whichever party is in power sways the country in the opposite political direction?



In Limelight Charlie Chaplin is a washed-up music hall comedian who rescues a suicidal ballerina (Claire Bloom). I had never seen this movie before and despite the sometimes very lengthy performance scenes I found it quite enjoyable.


The movies used to be a way for the audience to see performances that were otherwise inaccessible to them. Now we all seem to see a lot of performance, and want our movies to be about the story and for many, the explosions or other special effects. Charlie does all sorts of very athletic antics, white hair and all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

AND I FOUND IT! One of my Ab FAB Faves!

AND EVEN MORE!

MORE! GIMME MORE!



OK now I am going crazy for 50s groups. I wanted the Coasters, but can't find a video of them performing :(

For Osprey to Explain My Chat ...


When Osprey said in chat, "Hey Bulldog" I responded with a bastardized version of "Hey Bird Dog", which predates the Beatles by at least a decade. Maybe they heard it?!? The Everly Brothers covered this song as well, but this version is fab.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Can't Believe She DID THIS!

Interactive Visual Visits to High Rise Buildings Around the World




First you see many apartments, then when you click on them you see a montage of photos in 360 degrees' view of their apartment, and then if you click on the special areas, there is a film/montage of what is meaningful in that particular part of the view. Ultra KEWL!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

People Towels

This website was brought to my attention by The Nature Conservancy's member email. One of the benefits of being a member of the Conservancy is a discount on green products, so I got a three-day supply of People Towels, quick-drying "... 100% organic cotton, reusable personal hand towels that make going green as easy as drying your hands. Switch from paper towels to PeopleTowels to dry your hands in public facilities to save trees, reduce waste, cut CO2 emissions and conserve water."

This I Believe: Reincarnation

I believe each of us is a much vaster Being than we appear in this physical plane; that we incarnate in a limited way because that is the nature of Space/Time, where we perceive things in a linear progression of events. The larger Entity we are has various names in various cultures, but in most spiritual paths there is this belief in a larger self, which manifests only partially as the personality.


We come here to learn something; the family we choose provides the genetic material to build a body similar to the ones we have created in past incarnations, and also the family gives us experience of a certain culture, religion and language, each of which gives new insights into the human condition and through these experiences we become more and more rounded in our beliefs, although during any specific incarnation we may express sectarian views.


After what we call "death", the smaller personality is re-absorbed into the larger self, and the experiences are digested; whatever we have done, felt, thought, and said, is analyzed for its worth to the larger self, and incorporated into the growing body of knowledge for that stream, or thread, which is continuing onward. Some call this the Soul, or Atman.


If we have developed the ability to be consciously aware of and united to the Higher Self, which some would call Buddha and others might term the Christ consciousness, we can participate in the planning of the next incarnation. Before that point, incarnation is given to us by the Higher Self, who has a lesson plan in Mind. If we are on that automatically-generated path, we become unconscious shortly after death, and the process is not conscious.


During the incarnation, each of us makes mistakes, and those very mistakes are the gems of experience, because we learn and grow from them. We can learn from positive acts as well, but only if they are done without ulterior motive, and only if they are done from love of self and others, and not from fear of punishment or retribution. What humans call "evil" is a huge learning experience for all of us, and it cannot be escaped on this plane of opposites. It must nevertheless be opposed. This opposition to evil builds our spiritual muscles.


For most of us, there is one major lesson in each lifetime. Those who have gone through many thousands of lessons find some form of spiritual path and follow it, not for reward but because it is an imperative, Soul-driven desire. The Path we choose is the one that is right for our Soul's work. On that Path, more lessons come in one incarnation than would usually be dealt with. Sometimes, a Soul takes a lifetime off that Path, and refuses to even consider things of the Spirit. That is a lifetime of filling in some gap or gaps that must be healed before the Soul can continue on. Many human beings who perform large and lasting service to humanity need to focus on that service, and they may not appear to be on a spiritual path.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Visit to Cowell

Vivian and I went on a balloon trip ...

She suggested we go see the destruction in Cowell, where some of the prims
in Salazar's beautiful build went physical, so they fell in obedience to physics, instead of staying in place.

Why some prims and not others? Was this a malicious act?

Or was it one of those random screwups of a server?

Or was it an earthquake?

Whatever it was, it is a shame to see this wonderful place broken.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Visconti 1957




I saw this movie this week for the first time, and was delighted by it. It is based upon a Dostoyevsky story of a lonely man (Mastroianni), and a young woman (Maria Schell) who is waiting for her lover (Jean Marais). The song "Thirteen Women ..." is by Bill Haley and the Comets.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

video
I miss my friends in Second Life. I have no way of knowing why they are incommunicado, so I wander, I build, I wonder. Are they busy? Are they having terrible life troubles? Have I offended them somehow? Have they moved to another world?


I logged into Second Life and found myself in a persistent cloud state. I wandered up to Stephen's Cairn Bluff where I was a cloud visiting a ghost. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Old Golf Course

Bear and I walked at the Old Golf Course again this afternoon, taking the Northern Path this time. It is mowed enough to keep it from being totally reclaimed by Nature, and its pleasing rough quality attracts Bear and me.

Dulce Domum

No one was home at this tiny burrow in the mowed grass at The Old Golf Course. It put me in mind of Wind in the Willows, Chapter V, Dulce Domum:
Mole reached down a lantern from a nail on the wall and lit it, and the Rat, looking round him, saw that they were in a sort of fore-court. A garden-seat stood on one side of the door, and on the other a roller; for the Mole, who was a tidy animal when at home, could not stand having his ground kicked up by other animals into little runs that ended in earth-heaps. On the walls hung wire baskets with ferns in them, alternating with brackets carrying plaster statuary--Garibaldi, and the infant Samuel, and Queen Victoria, and other heroes of modern Italy. Down on one side of the forecourt ran a skittle-alley, with benches along it and little wooden tables marked with rings that hinted at beer-mugs. In the middle was a small round pond containing gold-fish and surrounded by a cockle-shell border. Out of the centre of the pond rose a fanciful erection clothed in more cockle-shells and topped by a large silvered glass ball that reflected everything all wrong and had a very pleasing effect.

Dallas Dog Headed To Namibia To Save Goats And Sheep From Cheetahs And Save Cheetahs In The Process | FrontBurner

Dallas Dog Headed To Namibia To Save Goats And Sheep From Cheetahs And Save Cheetahs In The Process | FrontBurner

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Texas Highway 87 Followup Report

Last Sunday I emailed a publisher who claimed one could get to Sea Rim Park on Texas Highway 87, which has not been rebuilt since it was mostly destroyed by three hurricanes. The publishers responded to my email saying they are sorry, and that not only was the highway gone, the park itself had been washed away! 

Rosie (1987 - 2005) was the best dog in the world (until Bear). I did not train her well, but as I did not know she needed training, everything was OK.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Great Profile ...

Heathcliff Montserrat, born Bernie Dramblys, of an ancient Lithuanian  family. He is known in Hollywood as "The Great Profile", for his distinctive trunk, or as they say in the old country, his "magistraliniais".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sam Waits for Harry at Rendezvous



Sam tours Bodega, stops on a barren cliff to await the arrival of his old friend Harry, who has gotten out of prison on parole. Sam is now comfortably well off, has married Treena Biscuit and lives in the suburbs.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Bunneh is Born! An Osprey Poster for Hunneh Bunneh

The Wasteland that Once was Kahruvel

Sam Sloan stands in the bleak emptiness that remains where once the magnificent forest grew, where the dignified tower stood, where the name of Kahruvel hung proudly over the land.

No more ... the land lies abandoned and fallow. This must be attributed to Linden Labs and their callous disregard of Sal's loss of objects that he had labored lovingly to create. They decided he was not important enough to roll back the sims he owned, and now they have lost income (perhaps not a sizeable chunk of it, but nevertheless it is an omen of the future). Many residents of Second Life are moving to other worlds, a diaspora that will probably never be reversed. They built a beautiful world where residents could create freely, then undercut it over and over again.

They hired creative and skilled people then ruthlessly let them go en masse.

They went for the mass audience and have now destroyed the very things that drew that audience. They overcharged and now people are leaving in droves.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Cryin' over Port Arthur


We went for a drive on a lovely fall day. The plan was, drive to Galveston Bay and from there east to Port Arthur (where Janis was born, y'all). On the two GPS's, one on the dash of the car, and one on my phone, it showed highway 87 going all the way along the shoreline. We had two, not one but two, guidebooks, which also claimed 87 was there. However, when we got there, the cupboard was bare. The highway washed away almost 20 years ago, from Hurricanes Allen, Rita, and Ike, and there are no plans to rebuild because the erosion in the area is 8' per year.

So we ended up in Port Arthur by another route, where we wandered around looking for a restaurant, found one, gave up on going to the two parks we had planned to visit because we were so tired and cranky by that time it seemed beyond us.

The parks were Sea Rim State Park, a marshy area by the bay, and Sabine Pass State Park, which would have been a great place for Bear to run. Never mind, as they say.

We saw beautiful (if you like scrub flats) Gulf Coast Texas along the way (left: beach looking southwest, right: highway going west homeward):

Nothin Changed but the Year ...

Hunneh Bunneh is set in 1927, the year the first Talkie premiered; it is March, and that premiere happens in October, so no one knows the historic change in movies is about to occur. Hunneh's career could be in jeopardy!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Roaring Hunneh!

Along with her career on the silent screen, Hunneh has worked as a model. Of course Mr. Meow carefully screens any jobs Hunneh takes, for her safety and to protect her reputation!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Trois Couleurs: Blanc

I really enjoyed this tale and found it intriguing as well as amazing. I do not want to say a lot about it, although anyone can read a synopsis online. I will rate it on Netflix as "I LOVED IT!".

My Name is Khan

The story of this Muslim from India living in San Francisco, married to a Hindu woman, is mostly good, although the Asperger's Syndrome portrayal is a bit much at times. The message gets a bit heavy-handed and obvious, but the beginning and middle are well crafted.

Gamers ROOOL!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hunneh's Parents

Hortense Lapin, known by her stage name Hunneh Bunneh, keeps a portrait of her parents, Ornette and Yolanda Lapin, who perished in the tragic "Carrottes Flambes" accident at Maxim's. Hunneh was only 17 years old.

After the loss of her parents she emigrated to America, where she became a burlesque entertainer. It was there, in a theatre on Broadway, that she met her mentor, Cecil B. Meow.

Mr. Meow brought her to Hollywood where she became a Silent Screen Star.


From Candide > Osprey > to Me!

TimeScapes: Rapture from Tom Lowe @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hunneh At Home

See all your favorite stars in the movie "Hunneh Bunneh": Osprey Therian as Harry Snodgrass! Edward Manray as Sam Sloan! Plus Mudpie Mornington, Headburro Antfarm and many, many more!

Coming soon to this blog and possibly others ...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finally Reading This ...

A lot of the information in this book is still revolutionary in its viewpoint; for example, that specialization leads to extinction in the natural world and in the human world.

Even now, we are over-specialized (Medical General Practitioners are still difficult to find) to an amazing degree. One of his predictions was that the computer (geeks cheer now) will take over the metaphysics of humankind. Now the internet makes general knowledge much more accessible and widespread, so that human beings are becoming more and more generalists, Leonardos if you will.

Identity is no longer tangled up with the kind of work one performs. National borders are becoming impossible to maintain. The disappearance of borders of all kinds is the way for humanity to survive, he says, and we are witnessing the greatest dissolving of differences among groups in human history.

Many would argue against this, fearing the re-taking of the world reins by the hidden masters who reigned in the 19th Century, but I doubt they can do it. There is an inexorable flow of energy from specialization to adaptability, from sovereignty to liquidity of human movement, from separation to unity amongst human beings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bunneh Documentary circa 1917


This silent film is a failed documentary on American troops in France. It was recovered from the archives of the small village of L'Ours Chie dans Le Bois*, and restored.
*In the Cliche Region, only five kilometers from the better-known village of Oui, Le Pape Est Catholique.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Lamp for Old!

In Aladdin this would mean I could rub the old lamp and have a genie rise out of it.

This is one of those oddities of modern commerce. I bought the lamp (on the right) online. Over time the switch became more and more difficult to turn, finally being impossible for me. I notified the manufacturer, who put me through a few hoops then offered a replacement lamp, provided I cut the plug off the end of the power cord and sent them a photo of it cut off.

Now, any reasonable person would know that I could have the old lamp repaired, and have two of them. Why would the manufacturer ask for this silly pseudo-disabling of the lamp?

It must be cheaper to replace than it is to repair, is the sad conclusion. This is not reasonable, but it is the current Way of the World. Robots made another one, but lamp repairmen (and women) are skilled and scarce. This is not a "green" way of solving problems, but I had to acquiesce. Now I will give the broken lamp to a charitable organization that may fix and sell it. Oh well, I hope someone who needs a good lamp will give it a home.

Ah Yes, Texas Votes ... for Governor



These are the candidates. From the left (no, not THAT left, silly, this IS Texas, after all): Bill White, mayor of Houston, Democrat; Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, Republican; Kathie Glass, Libertarian candidate; and Deb Shafto, the Green Party candidate.

The democrats sought to block the Green Party from this election because they are funded by Republicans, in hopes they will drain off Democratic votes. Where the Libertarians get their money, I do not know, though we can speculate, can't we?

In my ongoing quest to find suitable third party candidates, I have chosen Deb Shafto. If that derails Bill White's governorship, so be it. He blew it in my view when he bungled the Hurricane Rita evacuation, by not opening the contra lanes in a reasonable length of time, thereby causing misery and in a few cases, death, to occur on the highways leading away from the Galveston Bay area and Houston. Take that, Bill!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Hunneh Bunneh Set

This is the tavern in France where Hunneh meets both Harry and Sam. Can you see Sam sitting in one of the chairs? If not, I have some work to do.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Read Wooden Books Online

This amazing site allows you to see the entire collection of Wooden Books, and read each one! Go to woodenbooks.com/browse and see for yourself. Be aware, the bookshop is only open a few minutes a day ...

Tiny House!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mandala Show at the Yoga Studio







I hung my show of plant mandalas today at the Houston Iyengar Yoga Studio, and I like how they look there. I have yet to frame the Strawberry Mandala, but once I do I will add it to the show.

It is really nice to have a show of my work again after all this time dormant.