Thursday, December 28, 2006
Situated between the Salmon and Snake Rivers in west central Idaho, the Seven Devils offer high alpine hiking that is second to none. Really steep and difficult hiking at times, it is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. This stark and austere environment is something you cannot appreciate unless you experience it firsthand.
Drive to the campground at about 8,000 feet and go up from there. While we were up on the 3-mile-wide bench that forms the Seven Devils high country, a goat followed us for about 30 minutes; it must have been looking for food, but a strange occurrence in a strange place nonetheless. As we were up on the ‘bench’ a storm looked like it was headed our way and I thought I could hear it screaming towards us-like something out of a movie. So there I am, totally mesmerized by it all and two A-10 war planes come roaring from behind one of the peaks-impressive, but the spell was broken.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
P.S. They suck! They don't look like the photo and won't stay on the window.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Time Out is the story of Vincent, a consultant/bureaucrat type…etc who loses his position and cannot bring himself to tell his family. The film examines the interlude between positions and the evasions and turmoil of Vincent's life. One of my favorite scenes is of Vincent walking, in the dark, along the outside of the building housing his old firm, watching his former colleagues give presentations and so on. I guess one has to walk in those shoes to know what it feels like. You may feel like your work is dull and repetitious at times, but when seen from the outside, it seems like everything.
This film has an emotional honesty and resonance not typically seen in your typical Hollywood production. Again, to feel that this person could be me from a culture I’ve always been taught to regard as so foreign, so yesteryear, gives the lie as to our supposed dissimilarities. The makers of this film are depicting a world of values and practices more true to my own than almost all the homegrown crap I’ve seen lately. Crap that at times meets its goal of providing entertainment, but doesn’t enlighten. Time Out does just that.
Friday, December 08, 2006
La Evolución provides an exceptional lighting experience to enhance the ambience of a living or work space. These wall-mounted light panels measuring 50×50 cms can be used as single units or can be clustered together to create a striking strip of light. The panels are available in primary basic colors or bearing works of contemporary artists, designers and photographer to create distinctive panels. The light panels are hand-moulded and the surface is polished crystal-clear composite resin.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I used to sort of believe that, but it wasn’t good enough…it seems as if too many of us are just wasting away in this so-called paradise. Except it’s just a vision of paradise for the many and ends up being a living hell. Not the gut wrenching reality of medieval life, the ‘vale of tears’, but a separateness…a hell with no explanation, no closure, no meaning. Such is the world we have inherited. Lo and behold, miracle of miracles, this is the document that attempts to tell all. After reading this, I am all a quiver with hopefulness and dread. Such is life…this book gets right to the soul of our modern dilemma....society's listlessness as it slips away in a sea of boredom inversely proportionate to our materialism and diminishing fundamental values or belief's in anything. It is a sophisticated and unsparing look at where we're headed.
A good read and translation, full of laughs but deadly serious--highly recommended. I first came across it while reading the top ten lists in The Guardian. Purchased it used on Amazon as it apparently hasn’t been published in the USA. Atomised and Houellebecq are the most thought provoking pair I've met in many a moon. I mean, who would have thought that John Paul II was right all along! I certainly never did, until now. I am confused.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
So, he was mostly gone, usually with ‘Gram’ (she was much more user friendly; a lovely and amazing woman). When I would go with my parents on one of our infrequent trips out of the county or to New York, they would meet us for a few days, which I always thought was very cool and a good way to spend time with Gramps. I could never quite figure out the ‘what are they doing in, say, Montreal the very week that we’re there?’ thing. Seemed like magic at the time--Gramps, you were one of a kind, at least in my book, and the walk up that mountain must have been killer.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Every first Friday of the month, all the galleries in downtown Spokane are open and the artists are typically available for discussion. Most of the time, it's hard to get to know such people, but on a day like this, it's all out there-really, really fun. Shown is a pic of the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery/Trackside Studio on South Adams. Being a shameless consumer (something I apparently choose to pass on to my children), I had Kerry pick out a piece of pottery. The child has good taste! The piece was exquisite but had unfortunately been previously purchased. As I stood around the gallery, I noticed others eyeing the same piece. Anyway, she choose something else and now, she has become an ART COLLECTOR. The tradition of pretentious consumerism is passed along-it’s all good.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
So, the intent is to cap the PCB sediments near the north bank of the river using an enormous ‘long stick’ excavator on a barge, which can be seen across the river in the photo. This is where I’ll be hanging out off and on for the next month or so.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
"Give me the luxuries of life and I willingly do without the necessities." -- Frank Lloyd Wright
Friday, October 06, 2006
Or how about 'bringing your cottage to life' with custom toilet seats.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
If I hadn’t seen so many times how the mass media get it wrong I wouldn’t believe it either. At some point, one is faced with the realization that the media have an agenda and the agenda doesn’t have much to do with facilitating public debate on critical public policy issues...kind of makes you wonder what is really going on.
Remember the ozone depletion debate, how it raged in the media for a few years and then just...disappeared. Media coverage and the debate surrounding the issue disappeared due to the results of experiments based on the Rowland-Molina (both won the Nobel Prize for their work) model of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, an event the media covered poorly or not at all. Unfortunately, such decisive evidence is not available for an issue as complex as climate change. However, climate models are continually being refined and circumstantial evidence continues to accumulate. So much so that only a very few credible climate scientists are in the ‘change is not happening--or--there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so why bother’ camp. These are the folks you see on television.
So, if you’re interested in what mainstream climate scientists think about climate change, got to Real Climate. Then, go buy yourself a bicycle and get used to it.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Here is a pre-construction rendering of the blue building. It seems like there was so much optimism and hope for what the future held. I really like the boat pier on the river—hey!..we don’t need cars--just take the ferry. The reality: neither boat pier nor boats on this stretch of the river…seems strange. Anyway, I've really become attached to the place, it's almost 'homey' in a way. Sounds odd perhaps, but I've spent most of my life in schools and workplaces similar to the blue building; I've been institutionalized all my life and didn't even know it-at least they let me go home at night.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
One thing I thought very cool about the place is that the people, teenager and adult alike, promenade along the downtown streets before dinner (which isn't served until about 8). They are for the most part well scrubbed, well dressed, and a delight to watch, which is the whole point, I guess.
We were there during the Christmas holidays and I also noticed all these shops with signs that say ‘Bon Nadal’, which means something like ‘good birth’ in Catalan. So, I’m wondering, if they have so many maternity shops, where are all the infants? It takes me a few days before I realize that it’s the Catalan equivalent of Merry Christmas. Yep--just another dumb tourist.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
More relevant than ever, The Revolution of Everyday Life, written by Raoul Vaneigem in the late 60s, is a far easier read than the similair work by Debord, The Society of the Spectacle. It attempts to dissect the complex web of consumerism that we’re all caught up in and provide a few pointers to what an authentic life looks like in the face of such a sophisticated and effective onslaught—an onslaught that amounts to a commoditization of human life. Call him a leftist, pinko, or whatever, his call for a return to a more spiritual approach to life seems ironic but is not. I think it’s just an example of how we all yearn for the same things, regardless of the stories we tell ourselves.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I never watch TV, except when I do. Usually, I prefer to relax in the evenings with literature and classical music (on the radio at 88.7, KAGU, it just keeps on rolling). Now that may seem pretentious, but I’ve found that if you try hard enough, you actually become pretentious, and then it’s OK, sort of.
Enough of that…it turns out that watching a hit TV show on DVD is a splendid way to keep up. You can watch a whole season in a matter of days. I find the pacing of a weekly TV show interesting as it’s so different from a movie, and something you don’t really notice until you watch the TV show like a movie, a really long, digressive movie. An unfair comparison perhaps: a movie has about 2 hours to wrap everything up, a TV series keeps on rolling until the ad $$ dry up.
Lost is kind of like a cross between Mysterious Island, The Magus, and Survivor (with guns). With one cliffhanger after another, all you have to do is click to the next episode to see the (partial) resolution. I’m totally hooked, but after 25-30 episodes of season 1 and now most of season 2, I’m getting a little bit itchy as to what it’s all about. I mean, how can long can they string this thing out? The downside of watching via DVD is that the next set of DVDs is a year away, so you forget a lot about the show.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
He prose can be relatively dense and difficult to decipher, but not always:
‘I believe that a desirable future depends on our deliberately choosing a life of action over a life of consumption, on our engendering a lifestyle which will enable us to be spontaneous, independent, yet related to each other, rather than maintaining a lifestyle which only allows to make and unmake, produce and consume - a style of life which is merely a way station on the road to the depletion and pollution of the environment. The future depends more upon our choice of institutions which support a life of action than on our developing new ideologies and technologies. (Illich 1973a: 57)’
Yea-he's the man-pick up a used copy at Amazon or read more about him here.
---"Man must choose whether to be rich in things or in the freedom to use them” Ivan Illich
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
If you like Mexican food, this is the place. I could eat here everyday, and sometimes I do. Here you have taco truck authenticity in a sit down setting.
I especially like the self-serve salsa bar, as it's the best salsa bar in town and one of the best I've seen anywhere. Today they had guacamole, carrots, salsa fresca, salsa roja, salsa verde, mild salsa, a fresh chipolte salsa (the best of the lot), and a pickled jalapeno/onion mix. It changes from day to day; some days they’ll have a fresh jalapeno/onion/cilantro mix or a genuine habanero salsa (really, really spicy, so be careful, but oh so good!).
They are located on the corner of 3rd and Freya, attached to the gas station.
…is where I live during the week. Some people don’t like it ‘cause it doesn’t fit in with the historic architecture on West Riverside--they do have a point. Taken by itself though, I think it’s magnificent and very cool. A splendid example of 70’s architecture and a building Spokane loves to hate. My daughter Kerry took the second pic to contrast the dark exterior with the flood of light within.
Yesterday Kerry took me down the stairs to the west of the building that lead the way into Peaceful Valley, an old, quaint neighborhood on the river. There were homeless kids (actually young adults, I suppose) living in the woods along the stairway. When we went back to the plastic building it felt very peculiar that they were in the woods and we were ‘safe’ in this plastic citadel.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
[somewhere i have never travelled]
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands
PostSecret is a site I keep going back to. It’s updated once a week on Sundays. I feel a little voyeuristic when I read other peoples’ secrets; I just can’t seem to help myself. Some are funny, like the one above, some are really sad, and some are creepy.
PostSecret is a weblog that asks people to submit 4-by-6-inch postcards that contain anonymous secrets. The postcards are scanned and placed on the website.
In the words of the PostSecret bloggers: “Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before".
Yea-as if anyone could resist checking it out.
Monday, August 21, 2006
My kids somehow downloaded this onto their iPod, apparently the only way to get it--you can’t buy it anywhere. The originality, playfulness, and breadth of styles is, well, shocking. I just never had a clue these guys were this good. This isn't top of the pops-but way beyond-pop music as Zen. I really enjoy the latter studio albums by Radiohead, but after hearing what this band is really about, the studio albums seem narrowly focused and a bit tame—probably at the direction of their record label (Capitol) to ensure a palatable mass market 'product' and mega-million sales figures.
Now, it’s becoming clear why the record companies are so adamant about controlling downloads—their marketing and distribution model is irretrievably broken. What once appeared as breach in a dike is actually a tidal wave of musical creativity that won’t be stopped or controlled.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
He didn’t even start writing poetry until he recovered from a life threatening illness in his 30’s, but continued to work as a postal clerk to pay the bills. It wasn’t until he was 49 that he started writing full time. As he explained in a letter at the time, "I have one of two choices -- stay in the post office and go crazy ... or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.”
we are always asked
to understand the other person's
no matter how
one is asked
their total error
especially if they are
but age is the total of
they have aged
because they have
out of focus,
they have refused to
not their fault?
I am asked to hide
for fear of their
age is no crime
but the shame
of a deliberately
among so many
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
KYRS is one of a cluster of low-power FM stations licensed under new rules set in 1999 by the Federal Communications Commission permitting small broadcasters to run inexpensive stations. An outcry over media consolidation and more stations being owned by fewer large corporations triggered the ruling.
KYRS broadcasts over a 50 (or 100?) watt transmitter, which is minuscule compared to commercial radio. But I receive it in Newman Lake and on good days it sounds great. I was even inspired to purchase some old school fm tuners on eBay (they don’t make them like they used to) to take advantage of this wonderful cultural resource.
KYRS is the brainchild of station manager Lupito Flores, a true local hero.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Abraham Maslow once called him "the only small 'p' philosopher America has produced in this century"' and a Canadian journalist who read MANAS for six months but had never met Geiger wrote a feature column about him entitled "Socrates Lives Again in Los Angeles."
Go to the MANAS site and read some of his stuff-it will make you happy.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I love these yarn paintings for the vivid colors (again!) and the phantasmagorical subject matter.
The Huichol can be found in the most remote regions of the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. Today, the Huichol number only about 10,000.
These paintings serve as pages of their history, an explanation of the world they live in, and an accounting of good and evil. Each color, every line, every symbol, no matter how abstract, has a meaning.
White represents the cloud spirits. Blue is the south, the Pacific Ocean, water, rain, and femininity. The rabbit and serpent represent fertility. Red is the east, grandfather, fire, and masculinity. Green is the earth, heaven, healing, and the heart. The eagle is a divine guardian. The two-headed eagle is god looking all ways at once. The figure, with what appears to be long protrusions from his head, is a shaman talking with gods or the spirits. The deer represents peyote and the link between the shaman and the great spirit. Flowers, which always adorn their artwork represent the passageways of the heart.