Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Turn down the suck

Beach avenue. The view is fantastic. The weather is mild and the afternoon sun is delicious. Such is the city. Drove out to the UBC campus with a couple'a pil. I am meeting up with an old friend tomorrow. He teaches semiconductor stuff at SFU. His first name is the same as his last name. I also managed a lunch date with a girl I met on a plane a year ago for the thirty-first. She's married. I need a paycheck.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Crazy Talk

Here's to chance encounters. The thoughts of possibilities race on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I have arrived. Got a welcoming fit for a king. A king of skids at least. The next adventure begins here and now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I Could Never

I was thinking about people who say that kind of thing. How the fuc& do they know what they would do? Imagine knowing your future self as well as they do.


I made it to the Rockies. Since my last post I stayed at a snore filled dorm room in Winnipeg, a big empty hostel in Regina, and then hooked up with an old friend from uni in Calgary. We went skiing at Sunshine on Friday and I lived the well paid lifestyle for the weekend. We even went and played some shinny hockey on Sunday night. I'm just a little sore. The hostel here in Banff is packed with young little party people. Well, on to Nelson. This leg of the drive should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Thunder Bay

Just so y'all know, I'm currently driving across Canada from Montreal to Vancouver. I stayed in Sudbury two nights ago and made it to Thunder Bay yesterday. I have seen beautiful and rugged nature but also giant ore smelting smoke stacks and clear cut forest. The cities along the way at a glance look just like any other city in Ontario, too bad I'm not giving myself as much time as I should to explore the elements that make them unique. The snow last night made for some adventure. Before I left I saw this as one long journey but as I continue along I am beginning to see it as a series of smaller journeys. When it was snowing hard and I couldn't see very far ahead of the car I realized that this logic can be applied even further to a scale of meters. I just have to get to the next bend in the road. I just have to be ready for whatever bursts out of the dark and obscured abyss ahead of me. I just have to be.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Only a Part

Hope and fear. They are reactions. They are not meant to be eliminated but understood. Not by thinking about them, not by giving in to them, but by experiencing them. Live in their presence and feel them change. Let them guide you but not lead you. Live in between them without being blinded by them. They are a part of who you are but not all of who you are.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

As a means to liberate

I just got my hair cut for the first time in about four months. The woman who cut it asked me what I did which spawned a discussion regarding various things from eating habbits to extinction of species. When I talked about 200 species ceasing to exist on the planet each day she replied with survival of the fittest. When I mentioned our cultures self-centered imperative to destroy its competition she replied with human nature. When I told her that I am spending some time to understand the problem and figure out how I should live my life she told me that she didn't believe there was a problem. That's the problem! Forget George Bush, forget corporations, forget capitalism, forget facism, forget fundamentalism, forget despotism. These all promote ignorance as a means to control. Well the battle needs to be fought at the individual level. Promote knowledge. Promote understanding. Promote learning. Promote growth.

Phased Relations

Considering my new addition of the moon phase thing over there -> I figured I would add this little diagram to get people thinking about those very phases. Voila:

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Couple from GNN

Seed Imperialism?
Corporate Organics?

Understanding Understanding

Are you driven by a desire to remain what you are or to become something more? If you come across opinions or ideas that are contrary to your own are you interested or threatened? Do you feel that arguing against something is the best way to understand it? Do you treat a persons opinion as something new and unique or as an instance of a categorization you have previously considered? Do you treat each encounter as an opportunity to learn or as an opportunity to be right? Are you even aware of how fixed minded you are? Are you afraid to consider the alternatives to decisions you have made in the past? What is learning? What is growth? Do you regret or learn from your mistakes? Do you interrogate in order to classify in your own categories or do you encourage the expression of ideas using their native forms? Do you know how to listen? Do you feel that you have to agree or disagree with everything you hear? Do you ever agree with someone and then state your opinion as if it were identical to theirs? If you've got it all figured out then please by all means continue.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

And this

The New Renaissance

Read this

The oil we eat

Sold on Buying it

The term buy is often used synonymously for terms like believe, accept, support, or condone however we rarely seem to realize that the act of buying is also the act of believing, accepting, supporting, and condoning the product we buy, the companies involved in its manufacture and transportation, and the means by which it is made and sold to us.

The term sell is often used synonymously for terms like convince, coerce, manipulate, or indoctrinate however we rarely seem to realize that sales and marketing are tools used to control our opinion. We may acknowledge the manufacturing of need but refuse to admit that we ourselves might be victims of it.

The checkout line and the voters booth are the same thing.
Corporate marketing and political propaganda are the same thing.

All I am suggesting is that we think for ourselves. It's not easy to do when so many of our thoughts were put there by someone else.

If you think that this is just a negative way of looking at the world then I give you this; a glass of poison which is either half full or half empty will kill you all the same.

I saw an interesting quote in the Montreal Gazette today from a song by Les Cowboys Fringants which implies that we live in "un univers ou l'verbe avoir a pris l'dessus sur le verbe être."

Friday, November 26, 2004

Stupid Wisdom

An incident that happened in my father's driveway this morning has made me want to share a little something with y'all. My little brother accidentally backed his mother's car into my car where his intension was to simply start it for her. He evidently didn't know what he was doing. He's not stupid for not knowing how to operate a motor vehicle, he's stupid for not knowing that he didn't know.

Stupidity. It ain't about not knowing anything other than what you don't know. A corollary to this is wisdom being knowing the limitations of your knowledge. Infinite stupidity is thus knowing nothing and believing that you know everything while infinite wisdom is knowing that you know nothing (except that you know nothing (except that you know nothing (except ...))).

Don't take my word for it. I have found that stupidity is best understood by experiencing it.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Choosing to Remember

Last night I was thinking that there is one thing that I certainly know how to do and that is to forget. I'm quite good at it. Forgetting seems less to do with not being able to remember but more with not remembering to remember. Taking it a step further it might be more accurate to say it is a subconscious choice not to remember. Choosing to forget. I forget loss, I forget failure, I forget acting against my values, and I forget personal implication. Sometimes forgetting is more of a rewriting of history. Sometimes the forgetting is so efficient that it happens in real time. Sometimes a choice to forget in the past continues into the present. Sometimes a choice to forget in a previous generation continues into the present. Sometimes entire systems of justification, manipulation, and illusion are built by inducing mass-forgetting. Have I forgotten anything?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

How 'bout yours?

My truth is not complicated. It does not require elaborate explanation, detailed description, or incomprehensible schematics. These are tools of deception that often draw attention away from experience and good judgement.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Fundamentals

If you want to understand them you need to understand yourself. If you can't understand how they are so easily manipulated it is because you are not aware of your own manipulation. If you can't understand their flawed logic it is because you don't see your own flawed logic. Self delusion and ignorance are not isolated in one segment of the popluation, they are the foundation of our culture.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Natural Reason

Reason is a tool of approximation.
Absolute faith in reason is unreasonable.

How we live is far from human nature.
Humanism is unnatural.

Focusing on one part without considering the whole or at one magnification while ignoring all others is unreasonable, unnatural, and just plain foolish.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I Object!

I had a little talk the other day with an old friend of mine on the topic of objectification. Well, the conversation covered a whole lot more but at some point the idea of objectification came up, specifically of women and pornography of course. I wondered afterwards if people really understood what it means. Has the word objectification been objectified? Labeling something gives people an easy way of no longer thinking about that thing. It is basically what our culture does, it is how we think, it is what we see. We categorize, we polarize, we abstract, we rationalize, we "make sense", we try to understand. Objectification is a way of seeing the world that puts a limit on the depth of our consideration. Moments, people, life, and things cease to be unique and fresh but are seen as old and valueless. How else could we live with our unjustifiable daily abuses? How else could we live with ourselves?

Friday, November 12, 2004

The End is the Beginning

Today is the last day of my organic gardening internship and I thought that I would share the little piece of writing that got me the job it the first place. Here it is:

In my philosophy life is a cycle of creation and destruction operating in a continuous equilibrium of growth and renewal. This cycle exists within all of our relationships; with ourselves, with other people, and with the entire eco-system. We exist as a part of an incomprehensible system of incredible complexity. There exists an infinite connectedness of all things in both space and time that must be acknowledged and respected. Humanity possesses what seems to be the unique ability to observe and influence the cycle of life. This ability must be taken as a great responsibility rather than a divine right. We have an obligation to act in harmony with the equilibrium. We have an obligation to support growth and renewal. We have an obligation to oppose the stagnation of our ignorance. We must acknowlede that we are one with the entire universe and our choices must continuously attempt to reflect and refresh that understanding.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

That Box is Full of Himself

I live in a box, we all do. I didn’t used to be able to see that box, now I can if I really try. Inside that box are smaller boxes. Sometimes I get inside one of the smaller boxes for a little while. If baffles my mind that as time passes I dedicate myself more and more to the expansion and increased awareness of the main enveloping box and yet continue to keep these other little boxes around. I sometimes tell myself that I won’t get all the way in this time, I’ll use the opportunity to observe the box. These boxes are tricky, they’re not designed to allow those on the inside to be aware of their existence.

I live in many different boxes, we all do. One for every flavor of my ignorance.

I live in one dynamic box, we all do. Sometimes it is huge and all encompassing, most of the time it is small and all too finite.

There is no box.

I forget sometimes that people who have yet to differentiate between themselves and their culture can take criticism of that culture very personally. Like someone insulting a box that you don’t even recognize that you’re wearing.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Tool of Perfection

Are you an artist or a tool of production?
Do you recognise the richness of diversity?
Do you feel exploited and/or alienated?
Do you measure your standard of living in dollars?
Do you like to inquire and create?
Could you imagine a democratic workplace?
Do you know anything about neo-colonialism?
Doesn't the war on terror sound just like the cold war?
Are you a free, searching, and self perfecting being?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

An Ode to George W. Bush

Here’s to Dubya, a definite instrument of change in the world. He is the mirror Western Civilization needs to show it for what it truly is. He is the rock bottom that will allow us all to see the light.

Dubya’s opponents are probably less bothered with what he is doing than how he is doing it. They like their regime changes and puppet governments to be achieved using secrecy and subterfuge. They like their government and big business connections to be hidden well under the table. They like their belief in the supremacy of western culture to be implied but never spoken of. They like their propaganda and manipulation of public opinion to be subtle and undetectable. They like the lies that allow them to sleep at night to be well crafted. They like the illusion of liberty to be maintained at all times.

Dubya stands for none of these things. He’s blatant. He does things as they have always been done but just doesn’t hide it very well. He is what we are without the pleasant facade.

He also epitomizes that certainty in ourselves and unwillingness to consider the possibility that we might not be completely correct that is the root of so much conflict in the world today.

Perhaps one closed mind can serve to open a few others. Here’s to four more years of learning.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Believe it or Not

Do you believe in an eye for an eye?
Do you believe that the end justifies the means?
Do you believe your way is the way?
Do you believe that people should die for these beliefs?
Seems like it.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

A Little Overshoot

Sometimes I go too far. But how can you know that you are at "just right" unless you try "too far" and "not far enough." Sometimes mistakes are just what was required. Sometimes being wrong is all right. I'm not trying for perfection, I'm just playing it by ear.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where'd you go?

I can't make you see what you're already looking at. I can't make you hear what you listen to each day. I can't make you feel what you are already experiencing. Only you can move your frame. The images are talking to you. The music is saying something. Everything is speaking to you in your bones. Nothing new here. Just playing peek-a-boo with reality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Earn some Respect

The things that you own end up owning you.
You are what you love.
I hope that you’re at least honest with yourself.

If that is the respect you show your girlfriend why should I expect any different?
If that is the respect you show your body why should you expect any different?
Have you learned anything that had the effect of changing who you were?

If only we cared about life on this planet one tenth as much as you care for your insert brand here.
Are you aware that you are regurgitating someone else’s thoughts.
Don’t try to impress me with anything other than your own fidelity.

There will always be someone down the street with a little more than you.
You are never going to find satisfaction on the outside.
Earn some respect.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Delicious Strawberries

I had a discussion with a friend/co-worker today regarding being at peace with how things are. I said that things are as they are meant to be. He wanted to know what I meant by meant. He brought up the old argument of free-will vs. determinism and really demanded that I tell him what I was saying. I got confused and befuddled. I didn’t understand why at the time. In talking with him I had lost my connection to that thing that I was trying to express; that internal conception that can never be perfectly verbalized. I felt defensive. I allowed myself to be limited by the framework offered by my friend. When asked if I meant A or B I forgot about none of the above and all of the above. I wanted to have the answer and be able to explain it. I wanted to understand what I meant. I got lost in thought whereas knowing that things are as they should be, as they must be, as they are, is not a thought. I forget how much easier it is to speak and act from the heart.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Stale Thoughts

A while back I talked about the idea of building something beautiful, that that was the only worthwhile thing one could do in life. The fact is, that is life. If it looks ugly you probably aren’t looking at the right scale.

I did a report on image processing on one of my coop placements in Uni. I came across the idea of wavelet compression techniques that took advantage of self similarity across different perspectives of scale. I wonder how that’s going.

So I’m constantly thinking about what to do with myself. I tell people that I am looking to find something meaningful to dedicate myself to. The truth is, I already have. I am building something beautiful. It’s just not quite as tangible as one might want. This isn’t psychobabble, this isn’t philosophy, this isn’t spiritual mumbo-jumbo, this is pure unadulterated truth; constant dedication to personal growth is beauty. All things beautiful are derivative of this.

In theory it’s pretty easy; just pay attention.

I remember this lyric from a mushroom jazz CD I listen to every now and again that goes “Everything you use must be fresh.” There are more things in life that go stale than just bread. Have you?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


It takes all kinds, all but the kinds that wish to eliminate all others. People, ideas, thoughts, cultures, political systems, points of view, species, ecosystems. Universally applicable. I think this may be one of the roots of the problem. If one should come to prominence let it be through merit than by ability to subdue and destroy.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Matters of Culture

Are you aware of our culture? Do you believe that if everyone just did things the way we do that the world would be better off? One culture. A culture of progress? A culture of technology. A culture of ownership. A culture of cut throat competition. A culture of appearances. A culture of manipulation. A culture of lies. A culture of control. A culture of hypocrisy. A culture of disordered priorities. A culture of us and them. A culture of conformity. A culture of disrespect. A culture disconnected from the natural world. The real world. One big stinking culture.

If you took a pill that made you sick would you ever think that maybe if you took two of them things might get better?

Do you always believe what you are told? Who do you trust and why do you trust them?

Do you know what it means to think for yourself? Have you ever had an original thought?

Have you ever been wrong? Very wrong? Completely wrong? Would you admit it if you had? Would you admit it to yourself even?

Do you feel that you need to justify your existence? How do you justify your existence?

Nothing much matters but everything.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Why Organic?

This is not a simple question to answer, not because it is difficult to come up with good reasons but mostly because it is difficult to express them all at the same time. Perhaps an explanation of what I believe the word organic signifies will be the best way to express its value.

Organic is not a process, it is not a particular way of doing things, it is not a set of standards to be followed, it is a holistic philosophy of food production and distribution.

The common way of doing things these days focuses on a limited and often backwards sense of value. Appearance, shelf life, global uniformity, monetary cost, and productivity factors are valued above nutritional value, health risks, and environmental and social impact. This backwards mentality produces farms with animals living lives any reasonable human would call inhumane in the name of cutting costs, plants that have been selectively bred or genetically engineered to produce more edible product per plant yet that are incapable of living or reproducing themselves without human intervention, plants that grow prettier fruit with fewer vitamins, chickens grown for meat that are physically incapable of supporting their own weight after a certain age, chemical fertilizers and pesticides that destroy the delicate balance of life in and above the soil, pollute the local water tables, runoff into nearby rivers and lakes, and make their way into the food we eat. This mentality treats animals, plants, and the soil itself as exploitable resources to be consumed without end. The results of this mentality are soil erosion, species extinction of both plant and animal life, the destruction of local economies and ways of life. These things cannot be replaced. Soil is built up inch by inch over thousands of years. Species and cultures once destroyed are gone forever.

Organic is trying to operate using true value, to work with nature rather than against her, to look at a bigger picture of sustainability rather than a narrow one of profit. Diversity is and has been the key to survival of life on this planet since the beginning of time. An intimate connection with the land has been the key to successful sustainable agriculture in the past.

Large global corporations are working against diversity and are attempting to sever the connection between consumption and production of food. They manipulate the media, government, and education in an attempt to control public policy and influence public opinion. They do not give this world what it needs but prefer to try to brainwash the world into believing that it needs what they have to give it.

The only way to fight against this is to become informed. Question everything you read, get both sides of a story, form your own conclusions and think for yourself. This all requires a different mentality and can be quite hard. With organic becoming a marketing label rather than a philosophy it is even harder. You have to question everything, read labels, research companies, find local suppliers, and sometimes go without some of the things you are used to eating. It's not easy but it is certainly rewarding to exercise another form of democracy: choosing where to spend your money.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Do you always realize a major milestone of your life as is passes or does its significance require a certain amount of reflection after the fact to reveal its impact. Isn't all understanding of your life actually after the fact? I often find myself crippled by the desire to know in the now to the detriment of being in the now. Like an experimenter who is distracted trying to make sense of the data he has while the experiment is still in progress. At least I'm still trying to gather new data I guess.

Living in a rural area and working outdoors has allowed me to start getting reconnected to some of the natural cycles of the universe. I watch the movement of the moon, planets, sun and stars in the sky rather than on the calendar. I feel the wind, pressure, temperature, and precipitation each day rather than hearing about them in the news. I smell the change of season. I taste the current harvest. I see and hear the migration of birds.

How difficult is it to pay attention to my own cycles? Of mood, digestion, hydration, hunger, temperature, heart rate, breathing, and sleep. To experience them. To know them not with a desire to control them but with a wish to know them for what they truly are. To know the universe and I are one and the same. The line I draw between them is arbitrary and self inflicted.

Don't believe me, just try to pay a little better attention. Stop pre-defining your experience of this world. Open. At least draw the line in pencil.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Gone till November

I'm refueled and restocked for a while. I moved the remainder of my MP3 collection to my laptop and finally installed a reasonable player. I downloaded the blog incase I need to view it offline. I fixed up my bike and gathered a few odds and ends to keep it operational. I picked up a box of love that I didn't think I would need before. I grabbed a few books but couldn't find the one I thought I needed. I brought a few misc. items for a friend, nice to be thinking of others for a change. Found some papers so I don't need to buy any. I fixed my email problem. I went for a run and packed my shoes. I took a long bath and stretched my back. I washed some clothes and addressed a little grease stain. I chatted with my bro about how relationships don't get any easier. I thought about owning a car. I thought about November. I'll be gone till November. I gave and received lots of hugs. I thought about the concept of best men. I rested. I explained my meditative approach to allergy management. I learned a tomato, peach, and basil salad. I ate fish. I talked about reconnecting with the past. I remembered that the inspiration of a moment can last a lifetime. I repeatedly chose not to follow my mind down negative thought lane. I relaxed while exherting myself. I used pedal power. I spent under $20. J'ai parlé en francais un peut. J'ai pris mon larousse de poche. On départ vers cinq heures. Salut.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Found in Translation

Why do we attach value to the opinions of certain people in our lives? How do we select who will be a part of that inner circle? It seems to me that it is not a concious choice. I just find myself caring out of the blue. Not a desire to fight against or manipulate an opinion but a desire to understand one. I'll show you my perspective if you'll show me yours. I feel something right now that I have not felt in quite some time and it scares me a little. I'm definately enjoying the ride, I'll elaborate later.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Intern Army of One

So I got the internship. I'm here in Sterling, Ontario near Belleville working at a little organic farm that runs a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and a B&B out of their hundred some odd year old field stone home. There is plenty going on here. There are currently two other interns and three WWOOFers. The owners are British but were running a lodge at the base of Mount Kenya for many years before they came to Canada. We start early in the morning but after lunch at 1:00 the day is mine to do as I please. Obviously the pay is not great but an income at least. The food has been fantastic, the conversation enlightening, and I am currently surrounded by beautiful women. I discovered that my host and two of the WWOOFers are Vipassana veterans which is a nice common reference point. There is plenty of home made wine going around here and just down the lane I discovered a somewhat hidden patch of green. That might be fun. I'll be here for another thirteen weeks, then who knows. I'd like to maybe get a job at a ski hill for the winter. Not sure how easy that would be or how soon I will need to get that going. I need to get cracking on the book. I'm just happy to be employed. Hope everyone reading is doing well.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A Place to Grow

So I've been hanging out in southern Ontario for about a month now. My original plans got F'ed up by yours truly and a clear and present cash flow situation. I have thusly been seeking gainful employment rather than the volunteer work that had originally been sustaining me. There are a number of possible solutions that have presented themselves but I'm not sure how things are going to pan out. I may have found a little organic internship in Sterling, I may pick some corn for a while, I may sell my soul to Corporate enterprise. I'm heading to see if I can make the internship work tomorrow, wish me luck.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bizness Unusual

I forgot how joyful sitting and waiting for a download using dial-up can be. It's giving me some time to contemplate I guess, not always sure if that is a good thing. I need money. I need a job. I need a good kick in the ass. The next time you feel the urge to sneeze try to observe the urge rather than give in to it. It's not always easy but easy is no fun anyways. How long is two years? Long enough I'd say. Or would I? Kritical.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Corporate Monoculture

Some days I sit here waiting for something to grab me. Some witty little paradox or pun or twist of words. I imagine making people think. I dream of being a life changing catalyst. But then once again my far reaching thoughts return to their usual preoccupation; themselves. Thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking... Makes me think of a Van Morrison lyric that goes something like "I love to love the love that loves to love..." I'm feeling a little bit of deja ecrit. Getting back to it; what is a worthwhile enterprise? I waned to discuss corporations using some religions metaphors. Employees are like clergy, customers like the congregation. If you didn't believe would you want to be a priest? If you didn't believe would you go to church? Maybe a military analogy would be better. If there were multiple armies and you were free to join up with any of them would you make the decision based on how much they paid you, what your responsibilities would be, and the liklihood of success in war or would you make your decision based on what they represented, what they fought for? Blah, blah, blah. People, politics, business, religion, family. Why do I think about this stuff? Why do I think about it here? I made black bean and sweet potato stew for dinner, it was tasty. Hempola? I wonder what Woody is up to right now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I'm an Asshole

I don't know if I have mentioned it here before but I just thought I should tell you all that I am an asshole. Sometimes I see myself being an asshole and rather than do something about it I just watch it happen. This may not make sense but I sometimes think that being an asshole is a way of getting back at myself. A form of punishment, not meant for the recipient of the assholeness, aimed at myself. You may not understand me here or you may not understand why I am doing something but either way just think to yourself "Poor Sadistic Basard." As I've said before, don't take it personally.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Saturn Monkeys

OK, so I`m back in the city. I have taken a break from my travels to help my mother move. I have been meaning to update this thing with stories of my adventures but realized that recounting the intimate details of my life is not typically what I do here. So this is what you get instead:

When confronted with new situations do you have a tendency to rely on a crutch to get you through? Do you fall back on an old behavior pattern? An adult version of thumb sucking or a security blanket?

When trying to sleep on a bus, train, or plane do you allow yourself to become frustrated that you cannot get comfortable and cannot fall asleep or do you make your goal to be as relaxed and peaceful as possible given the circumstances.

If you believe that it is more important to be open and listen to other perspectives rather than forcing your own and you meet someone who you consider to be closed and unable to listen to other perspectives wouldn`t it be best to practice rather than preach and lead by example.

Hitchhiking is a wonderful life lesson.

Your life when considered without a boundary is probably not sustainable. What are you doing about that?

Where are you in your Saturn cycles?

Do you try to medicate or understand your pain? If you can`t feel your pain do you believe it is gone?

Do you know how far you can walk in eight hours? Could you walk for eight hours?

Are you a culture/philosophy/religion of many or of one?

Do you believe in possibilities beyond your belief or do you believe only in your belief?

How do you define success?

Do you know who you are or only who you think you should be?

Do you always get what you want or do you only want what you know you can get?

Are you fighting for what you believe or against everything else?

Try not to think about monkeys for five consecutive minutes.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Dinner was nice last night. The owner of the café was not there so I’m not sure if we got the truly authentic version of the meals we ordered. I was roped into eating chicken, the texture of which seemed like it was canned meat. Marcelle looked through my WOOFing book and gave me some advice on where I should go next. She told me that she is no longer going through Moncton so she is going to drop me off in Fredericton instead. I’m gong to stay at a hostel and think about either heading out on Saturday or Sunday for Moncton. Marcelle and I had some great conversations and I found myself opening up to her and sharing some intimate details of my childhood. It was really nice. This morning I headed out early so that I could have breakfast at Gene’s and avoid any unnecessary curiosity. Today we weeded, rock picked and planted some sunflowers. Jordan left at lunch. In the afternoon we planted some chives and then I helped Matt replant some potatoes for a little experiment of his regarding mound height and girth. I cut my fingers a little while cutting some tin for garden signs. Marcelle came by to pick up the whole foods coop supplies for her house and asked if I was coming by tonight. I told her that I was probably going to be staying here to take care of some business with planning, packing, and whatnot. She was not happy but had a difficult time expressing it. She’s no Annabelle. I got an email form my mother today asking if I could be home to help her move at the end of June. It actually fits into my plans quite well. I hope she’s OK. I was thinking about smoking and drinking at various points today. I need to observe these feelings, I’ve got a lot of them going right now.

Crowganic Experience

Hey Kids!!! I'm still alive, doing a little WWOOFing here in New Brunswick. I'm just about finished my first two week placement and am going to be touring a little before my next organic farm volunteering stop in Nova Scotia. I'm not sure exactly where I am going but I am going to try to get it worked out tonight. I've been making entries for the blog but I have not been able to connect with my laptop yet. Soon soon, you shall know all, and trust me, there is much to know. If you want to check out where I am go to I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Last night I stayed home and tried to meditate and think about what I was going to do with myself for the next few weeks. As you can tell I still have these moments of emptiness. I am questioning if a short term relationship is the best idea, if it fits into my current value system, if it is … whatever. It rained all day and got really hard and cold in the afternoon. I was asked to go out for dinner in Florenceville at the Baghdad Café. It will be nice to get out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


I kicked the power cord on my computer and lost the fist version of this post. What can you do? Last night we all went over to Sally’s place for burritos and beer and were entertained with a tour of her farm. She has like three hundred acres and raises chickens and turkeys, grows apples, oats, and hey, her son runs a small paint ball operation, she has a small maple syrup setup, and she has a red pine log cabin on the hill for the view. I left early to hangout at the old stone mill in the marsh and watch the beaver lodge for some activity. There was none, but there was some good company. When I was walking in to work this morning my sort of boss here drove by and gave us a lift. She looked at me sideways and asked how I had gotten out to the Simms house so early in the morning. I told her there was a transporter accident. Today I spent a lot of time with the new WOOFer Jordan. He works for something called Katimavik or something like that. He is very inquisitive and we had a good conversation about life in general. I’m feeling a little low right now, haven’t quite put my finger on it just yet. I think I am having trouble with my inability to connect with these people in the way I believe I should or the way I wish I could. I’m just having trouble accepting myself for who I am and that makes me less than myself. I don’t know. As with my work here I have planted a lot of seeds but have yet to see any growth. All the action remains below the surface. There has been a lot of talk around here about the last frost on the coming full moon. I think I will be happy to be done with the frost for this spring.

Monday, May 31, 2004


I stayed home last night and it was a little cold. Stayed up playing cards again, makes me think of that Van Morrison song Madame George for some reason. Invited out for dinner tonight, should be good.

Sunday, May 30, 2004


So I spent the night at the Simms house again last night. How I manage to get myself into these strange and awkward situations I do not know. I like to call it my chaos magnet. Rode home at around one o’clock this afternoon and took a little nap. Took care of a little laundry this afternoon and was trying to dry my clothes outside under overcast conditions with intermittent drizzle. Its all hanging in my room now, it’s almost dry. I made some lentil soup for the crew here for dinner. It was alright, nothing spectacular. I keep putting off planning my next WOOF placement and getting my dial up to work. I realized that the numbers I have for access from Moncton or St. John are long distance numbers. I was going to try to use the dial up access that they have going here but I don’t know the access password. I could ask but I don’t expect them to trust me with it. I would really like to get this stuff on the web, still deciding if I will create a new blog or if I will just use the one I currently have. I should come up with titles for these entries, that is always fun. I haven’t started writing the book, perhaps I will begin tonight. I may get a lift from Marcelle on Friday to a larger city center that I can begin my roaming-between-WWOOF-placements-travel from. A new WOOFer just showed up, Jordan from Edmonton. He caught me here typing away sucking down power to play my Mushroom Jazz accompaniment. I think it is tea time, the honey they have here is to die for and I have been using it to sweeten my teas. Mmmmmm.

Saturday, May 29, 2004


OK, very interesting party. Many of the people I have met over the past week were there, young and old alike. A new guy, Sam the son of Elaine, was also there. We were playing games, drinking, dancing, eating, and Sam proved to be another practitioner of my ancient art. I ended up relearning a few dance steps that I learned down in Costa Rica with Marcelle. A few of us stayed up to the wee hours of the morning and I ended up staying the night. She reminds me a little of Annabelle. I was quite hung over today. A bunch of us went for a little hike up to the lookout to help burn off the excess from the night before. Nice view. Adam and I biked over to the Simms house to watch the hockey game. Sam was there.

Friday, May 28, 2004


So today I covered the rest of the prepared beds at Simms road with straw and then finished off weeding and preparing the rest of them. The black flies were out, really getting to me at times. They seem to really like my ears, the itching is truly a test of my equanimity. I’m all showered up and ready to go to the party. I’m not sure what to expect but it is a good crew here and I’m sure it will be a good time.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


So last night I hung out with Adam from BC, need I say more. I got to know him and this guy Matt a little better. Matt is from Kirkland. He is Polish and reminds me of Yakoff Smirnoff. Simon, one of the full timers in charge of forestry stuff, stopped by with a Keith’s in hand and sat down with us to play some cards. I was pretty quiet and the conversation stayed simple and related to the game of gin. This morning I helped Sally build a little bridge across a stream and to clear up some paths with a chain saw. This afternoon we were back to the Simms road garden. I planted some yellow peas of some sort, prepared some more beds, covered them with compost and then some straw, and of course I did some more weeding. I took Alan and Matt along the path I was introduced to this morning and almost got us lost. Alan showed me the path to the waterfall in the woods. It was quite fantastic. The whole thing is covered with moss and faces west so in the late day sun it was really incredible to look at. I love the soothing white noise of falling water. If Alan had not been with me I would have sat and absorbed it for a longer time. I’m going to try to get these posts onto the web tonight. I just heard Ali call us for dinner. Later.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Finished weeding the big organic CSA garden today. I was good and muddy so I rinsed off my boots and rain pants with the hose and took a nice shower. Dinner is being cooked tonight by Portia, the vegan no wheat girl. I overheard her talking to a boyfriend who had very recently become an ex-boyfriend last night. I tried not to eavesdrop but you can’t always control what subject gets your attention. There is going to be a party this weekend at the Simms house which is where a number of the full-timers live. They claim it will be like no party I have ever been to. Should be interesting. It has been cold around here and I have been very happy to have my sleeping bag and little fleece blanket with me. This place has had a few little tours of school kids come through. It has been nice to see the enthusiasm of the people who work here. They seem to really believe in what they are doing. Who knows how much new information I have processed or how many new thought tangents my mind has wandered down since I have been here. I look forward to many more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


So I’ve been working in three gardens so far. The Simms road garden, Gene’s garden, and the certified organic CSA garden. Mostly weeding, setting up chicken wire fences for the peas to grow up, seeding some beds with herbs, laying straw, raking rocks. I was so tired when I finished at five that I had to take a little shut-eye. There are lots of people here; full timers, interns, other woofers, management, help. I’m still working on that list of names. I’m enjoying hearing the fascinating stories of these people and their lives. Breakfast and lunch are eaten up at the main house and dinner is in my little cabin with the interns. My house is known as the Cheerio as it was some sort of motel at some point in it’s past. The sign above the door says “The Smurf House” which I feel is more appropriate. I went for a fairly long walk after dinner and explored a few of the many trails that start here and head up into the woods. I walked over some little man made bridges and sat and relaxed on a hand crafted wooden bench that was made from twigs and branches rather than planks or boards. When I got back I sat down and drew a little picture of my room.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Fallsbrook Day One

OK, so I made it to New Brunswick. The long bus ride started at 7:30pm yesterday night in Beaconsfield and ended at 8:55am eastern time in Florenceville, NB. The ride offered little sleep to this weary traveler due to tight space, a somewhat unwelcome seatmate for the first half of the trip, and a racing mind that was little interested in focusing on the soothing in and out of my natural breath. My ride Andrea was there within ten minutes of my arrival, enough to give me a slight case of the worries but not enough to cause any real panic. The day has been long, it still feels like yesterday. I did some weeding of a small berry garden and a larger vegetable garden, had a wonderful lunch and participated in a pot lunch dinner. I helped make some apple crisp so as not to show up empty handed. I’d go into more detail but I am very tired and need to meditate for a bit before I go to bed. My allergies seem to be bothering me but it may just be that cold I was suffering from or simply a lack of sleep. I’ll finish here by trying to remember as many names as I can. Andrea, Alan, Alli, Liz, Anne, Marcelle, Danielle, Sheila, Tegan, Leland, Leona, Katherine, Shasha, Wayne, Mike, Mike’s wife, Raylene, Gene, Elaine, Sam, Conny, Burle, Michael, Simon, Portia, Adam, Sara, Laurie, Matt, Sally, Jordan.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Peaceful Volunteering

Got back from the meditation centre last night. What a great way to spend two weeks. I was volunteering there for the spring work period. They were building a number of cabins in the woods and I got to help with some of the basic physical labour of carrying and shoveling and with some drywall cutting and initiating. I spent most of the time working in the kitchen preparing healthy hearty vegetarian meals for a crew of up to thirty and of course cleaning up afterwards. I can't describe the feeling of working with people who were all working for the greater good rather than their own. When there were problems we found solutions rather than someone to blame. When there were decisions to be made we tended towards consensus rather than relying on a leadership hierarchy. There were high levels of trust and responsibility. I learned and grew while I was there. Meditating using a technique aimed at eliminating blind reactions and seeing things as they truly are for three hours a day acted as a catalyst in the growth process. I met so many good people who I was able to share some of myself with in return for a bit of their selves. I helped out with a children'ss meditation course and was awed by the energy. Heading to New Brunswick on Sunday night for my next adventure, perhaps somewhere along the way I will try to capture some of my deeper thoughts, I've got plenty of them. All I'll say is that I have experienced something more than an intellectual understanding of the world beyond what I think I am and I am ready to experience more. An old friend is back in town, it will be good to see him before I leave. Time to go see an epic with my little brother.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Packing Forever

It's been tough filtering everything I have down to what I can carry. Thank goodness herself that I have access to a warehouse to leave my stuff in. No Buddha gonna tell me I can't have my stuff. I bought these granite gear compressor bags from the base camp store down the road, they certainly do compress stuff. N'stuff. I'm worried I don't have room for my runners. Hmmmm. Where there's a will ... There could have been a willy. I slept in the tent last night right here in the basement. I'm like a kid, I hope, (you wish old man), who said that? This computer is going in the bag, the old one is going upstairs for the family. I'm sure it will be the centerpiece of many many argumentsand control struggles in the near future. I wasn't here for the software transfer. Don't get me started about this computer. I think she snores.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Prime Again

I just realized that I'm prime again. Perhaps this holds some significance. I was trying to think if years 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, or 23 play a more important role in my history. I remember thinking for several years that 23 was the ideal age (this line of thought only began once I was no longer 23). I will assume that prime years are significant in order to reap the rewards of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, April 26, 2004

My Definition

Don't you hate it when people tell you who you are? Tell you what you would do? Tell you what you would say? Tell you what you would choose? It's not so much that the act of prediction is unwelcomed, it's more that the certainty just rubs me the wrong way. How should you react to someone expressing their opinion of who you are as unquestionable fact? I try not to do it to myself even. There are ways of expressing things that acknowledges the difference between opinion and truth. Unfortunately in this day and age the former is far less elusive than, and often mistaken for, the later.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

NB the Karma

I may have found a ride to New Brunswick. The timing and destination were almost prefect. Maybe having a few beers is good for the Karma.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


There is often a significant difference between giving someone what they need and giving someone what you think they need.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Absolute Understanding

I can't stand the absolute. Should we draw our lines in the sand or etch them in stone? I'm trying to turn your stone into sand, I'm not trying to redraw your lines. Turning the other cheek and turning your back are not the same thing. The willingness to die for something does not indicate a low valuation of life it expresses a high valuation of that something. People without a legitimate means of expressing themselves will find an illegitimate means. Your pain is not special. Nobody will ever understand you if you refuse to try to express yourself. Nobody will ever want to understand you if you do not want to understand them. Nobody will ever understand you if you do not try to understand yourself. You will never be finished trying to understand yourself. The people who love you are the ones who are willing to tell you the things you don't want to hear. The people you love are the ones you really listen to. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand something that you do not think you agree with. Nobody has it all figured out just yet.

Horns du Diable

Twenty Nine and all's well. I'm leaving on a little tour in a couple of weeks, I should start getting my sh1t together. I realized what \m/ represents the other day and I think I like it. Rock on baby!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Que Sera Sera

Some people pride themselves on knowing how the world is. Some people pride themselves on knowing how the world should be. Some people realize that neither is knowable and simply dedicate themselves to trying to make what will be a little better than what is.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Thou Shalt Know Hereafter...

Tough weekend. It seems that I shyed away from an opportunity for some deeper reflection, from the opportunity to encourage some deeper reflection, and from the opportunity to share the results of both. I still haven't found my true voice. My head is swimming and my heart is aching and neither understands the other. Perhaps some sleep will help.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Frustration in the Middle

I'm a little frustrated right now. I just had an argument where my side was the bigger picture, where my side was to see it from both sides, where my side was to face the pain and have faith that there is something better on the other side. I wasn't looking to be told that I was right, I was looking to be told that I might not be wrong. The people who are the most certain that others will never change are usually unwilling to change themselves. The cycle will never end if you continue to give what you receive and say that it was theirs to begin with. Am I repeating myself or what?

Is that really...

...Mitch Kramer in the bottom left pic?

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Equilibrium To Forever

So if you hadn't noticed I changed the title of this thing. The source remains the same, the mood a little different. For whatever reason I have been thinking of this line over and over for the past week or so and finally acknowledged that it more accuratly defined my current undefinable pattern of thought. The sub-heading may experience a little flux over the next while. Any feedback?

Monday, April 12, 2004

The irony of the open mind

The closed minded are those who most strongly believe they are open and the open minded are those who are aware of just how closed they are. Once again I think it is more of a process than a state of the mind.

Friday, April 09, 2004

i is complex

If the human consciousness is a bridge between the finite and the infinite, between mind and matter, between the discrete and the continuous then which realm's laws is it subject to? If instantaneousness is an illusion of perception then what can be said of death? Perhaps the solution is in the complex plane. That's where the tachyons live right?

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

What can ya do?

Guilt. Where does it come from? Expectations? Responsibility? Obligation? Duty? Desire? Dissatisfaction? Perfectionism? Limitations? Weakness? Regret? Or perhaps it results from the lack of acknowledgement and acceptance of its source. A quiet voice ignored will eventually shout to be heard.

Beauty, eh?

I couldn't sleep so I figured I would share a little something that has been running through my mind. I have been thinking that the purpose of life is to build something beautiful. That raises the question of what is beauty. The clichéd response to which is beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is often interpreted as meaning that beauty is subjective. I am beginning to form the opinion that beauty is a process rather than a state. Beauty is experienced, inspired, and shared. That which begets beauty is beautiful. It would then follow that to build something beautiful is simply to play a part in the process of beauty. Eh?

Monday, April 05, 2004

Historical Friendship

I love old friends. People who have spent enough time with you to know you and who know you well enough not to define you. People who really listen to you and who you really want to listen to. People who are a part of you by your own choice and who choose to make you a part of them. I love old friends.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Don't Ask Don't Tell

What has happened to the art of human interaction. I'm not talking about a Victorian social etiquette, I'm simply talking about the verbal and non-verbal negotiation process that precedes any real information exchange. Some people come at you telling you what they want to tell you or asking you what they want to ask you without obtaining your consent. After their steamroller has obliviously rolled over each and every one of your expressions of a lack of desire to participate in their despotic dialog a counter-strike of rudeness is the only means available to you to avoid being flattened like a pancake. "Well, you didn't have to say it like that!" Actually I did because that is the only way I can make you hear it.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Stop Hitting Your Sister!

People often assume that as a third party their job is to judge between two sides rather than to facilitate the negotiation of a common one. Few middlemen are willing to work towards their own obsolescence. They prefer to keep things apart rather than bring them together. Voluntary power dissemination? Empowerment? Is it they or you who are not ready for it?

Climbing Under the Influence

Ambition, oft criticized in others, is rarely considered to be a problem in ourselves. The layers of justification are painted on thick but few realize that their walls are made of paint alone. Shouldn't the structure of what you stand for stand on its own? Are the paint fumes impairing your judgment?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Out of Tolerance

We tolerate things, other people, and ourselves. We sometimes equate tolerance with virtuousness, other times with depravity. At times it is a sign of self control, other times a sign of apathy or ineffectuality. If you consider it praiseworthy you may take it too far. If you consider it shameful you may not go far enough. The recovery from these extremes can be a rocky ride. The path of grace is beyond canon; ride it gently.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Choose Life

What humanity claims as its greatest achievements seem to be like bandages on gaping wounds that were created by humanity itself. The bandages often open up new wounds themselves. Wounds of industrialization, of urbanization, of polarization, of militarization, of intellectualization, of categorization, of humanization. There seems to be a tendency towards the celebration of man rather than the celebration of life.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Quick Question

Is knowing that the unknowable is unknowable knowable?

Universal Faith

Implicit in most belief is disbelief. I believe in the absence of disbelief. Inclusive and all-encompassing isn't it? Fight paradox with paradox!


How can you say something unspeakable? How can you express something indescribable? How can you know something indefinable? Is the set of all sets that are not members of themselves a member of itself? How can you become what you will be? How can you be what you are?

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Back Brain Logic

Sometimes you need to be reminded of where you are in your life. Sometimes you need to remind yourself where you are in your life. Nothing like a nice clear message from the boss telling you that yesterday doesn't cut it today. Thanks boss. I almost forgot.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Empty Relations

My mother had a boyfriend who explained to me that everything is at its heart just empty space. The universe is mostly empty space between galaxies, galaxies mostly empty space between stars and planets, matter mostly empty space between molecules and atoms, atoms mostly empty space between the electrons and the nucleus... At each level of scale there seems to be a great deal of empty space however the scale below is conceived of as full. Galaxies full of stars, a glass full of water, a memory full of pain. The conceptualization of an amalgamation of smaller elements in space-time abstracts away the empty space between them. It seems we give great significance to the elements rather than their circumstances and interrelation. It might be argued that all that we perceive are relationships. Relationships of previously perceived relationships. Patterns of patterns. Perception itself is a relationship. What is at the deepest level and what is at the highest level? The alpha and the omega? Can anything exist without its opposite? Should I say "be perceived" rather than "exist?" Is it all just waves on a sea of empty space?

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Inertial Vectors

If you push on something perpendicularly to the direction it is moving the resulting direction of travel will depend on the momentum before the push and the force of the push. Some would call the momentum a "desire" to maintain the status quo. Some would call the experience of a push-back from that something a "resistance" to change. No matter how hard you push, a perfect right angle (or left angle) turn is unachievable without first stopping it completely. If you push too hard you might break it. Maybe lots of little pushes would be more effective than one big one.


I remember watching a lot of science documentary and science fiction TV as a youngster which often contrasted humanity with computers, robots, animals, and aliens in order to investigate what it means to be human. One of the main distinguishing characteristics of humanity was this thing called self-awareness. I never fully understood how or why that made a difference. I think that awareness of self is what enables the vast range of human capability but it is only the awareness of that awareness that can guide that capability. The observer must also be observed for it to be true complete self awareness. This is that old recursive paradox I love so much. Perhaps that is why things come in pairs. I'll observe your back if you'll observe mine.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Short Selling

Failure is an option, just keep it below the threshold of catastrophy and learn from it rather than react to it.

Cooperate Yourself

Just because you allow yourself to indulge a craving does not mean that you have lost control to your animal nature. Just make sure to keep an eye on yourself and ensure that things don't get out of hand. Trust, respect, and cooperate yourself.

Friday, March 12, 2004

T.S. Eliot:

Four Quartets

Contiguous Simulacrity?

I was reading my Ode to the Third Port and I came across the idea that in order to change (i.e. learn or un-learn) one must be in two places at once. After reading it I thought I might offer an alternative; being in one place at twice. I'll leave it at that for now.

Relatively True

Accusational words beget defensive words. Defensive words beget accusational words. The system will degenerate unless both sides move towards the neutrality of absolute truth through the acknowledgement of relative truth. Is "Accusational" a word? It is in my world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Loopy Moods

It is sometimes difficult to recognise emotional feedback from others. We are often either oblivious to it or assume that it is meant for someone else. We tend to see someone's mood as slow and static rather than quick and dynamic and thus rarely implicate ourselves in its modification at any given moment. While it is true that we are not responsible for the emotional response of another being we should attempt to be aware of our role in it. It is only that awareness that is slow and static. Our intellect operates in this imaginary world of detached objectivity. Lets not forget the experimenter effect.

Matters of my Mind

I took the afternoon off to relax by the water and enjoy a good book (Lila) in this beautiful weather we are experiencing. The view of the river fit with the story of piloting a sailboat down the Hudson river. I ended up walking the halls of the CEGEP I attended back in the early nineties. Come to think of it I graduated almost ten years ago. I felt as alone and alien in the place as I did back then. I also ran into the owner of the bar I had my last significant drunken experience at last fall. He was opening another bar, an Irish pub, named for his mother's maiden name which happens to also be the maiden name of my cousin's wife. I noticed that I have this habit of looking away from people when talking to them and that I have a strong aversion to sentences that start with "you know what you should do?".

The looking away probably has something to do with the fact that I tend to speak about myself with preprepared chunks of information rather than a dynamic flow. Maybe I don't like to experience a persons reaction to what I am saying while I am saying it because I know that in the past I have had a tendency to cater to their reactions. I tend to not enjoy talking about myself because I fear criticism and get a bad taste in my mouth from advice, regardless of the good intentions. With all my lip service to open-mindedness my own perspective is the last thing I wish to discuss with anyone. It's not that my mind is closed but rather I feel that trying to describe a static picture of its contents tends to help close it. I think speaking has an effect of somehow setting things in stone for me. The dynamic nature of my own thought is easy to accept but exposing that flux to others produces some anxiety thus ideas that have been shared tend to become entrenched. Some people have this tendancy to want me to explain myself when that is exactly what I am trying not to do. It is easy to forget that you are trying to eliminate a pattern of behavior when that pattern is expected of you. It is hard enough that you expect it of yourself.

I stopped by a little coffee shop and overheard some teenagers having a conversation about which came first, the chicken or the egg. There was a day when their simple juvenile arguments would have enraged me but not today. I was just happy to hear youth beginning to examine the intellectual paradoxes inherent in the cause and effect perceptual framework imposed by consensus reality.

Monday, March 08, 2004

"What if my whole life was wrong?"

I was watching something on Mountain Lake PBS last night called The Power of Intention and the speaker quoted someone with something like "You don't want to die with your music still in you" and similarly the title of this post. Make it right and set it free.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Thread the Needle

Where is that happy place between getting angry and saying nothing, between reaction and supression, between self-servience and self-control?

Beware The Infinite Slope

Instant gratification. The desire for it creeps up in so many places. We act and we want immediate evidence of our effectiveness, we speak and we want people to understand and be affected on the spot, we see someone do something and we want to believe that we can do the same thing right away, we demonstrate and want others to be likewise capable as soon as we are finished, we read something once and we think that is the same as knowing it, we write something and think everyone will understand it after one reading, we think and we want to believe that we have achieved the pinnacle of human rationality. Only the mind is capable of anything seemingly instantaneous, the rest of the universe moves in infinitesimal increments. Baby steps. Be patient and don't get too far ahead of the real world, it needs your guidance right here and right now to help get ever so slightly closer to where you wish it would be.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Your Outer Child

I'm playing a bit of a parental role this weekend and it is reminding me that the difficulties in dealing with outer children are the same as those in dealing with inner children. Logic is not sufficient. You are the cause of your frustration, not the child. The method used to convey an idea is occasionally contrary to that very idea itself. The medium is the message? Anyhoo, I'm feeling lots of appreciation over here. Lots-O-Love.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Barfing Totalrama

OK, after further reminiscence, I have realized there was more to the Total Barfarama incident than I initially recalled. It seems that reason was silently driven by emotion and emotion fueled by reason, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum. Due to various historical influences I had a fear that my seatmate on the bus was sleeping with my girlfriend. I was invited to the fete that preceded the bus ride via a phone call from my girlfriends house by my seatmate. Lets just say I was a little agitated and had no outlet. So I pushed things down below the conscious level. On the bus my unwillingness to yield the window seat may well have been an expression of anger. I also needed to see a man about a horse so getting the driver to stop the bus would have been in my interest. My seatmate's dilemma was likely not a fear of the vomiting itself but a fear of people's reaction to the vomiting. His conflict was with his own intellectualization of the situation and resulting suppression of his natural instinct, which would have been to just barf. Now he claims that the upset stomach was a result of some anti-inflammatory pills he was taking. Could it have been guilt? Not necessarily for actions taken but for actions considered. Not necessarily for thoughts but for feelings. I can't say. All I know is that my guilt and his anger related to the actual barfing situation seemed to have cancelled something out, allowed for mutual release, and brought us a little closer together.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Total Barfarama

A buddy of mine reminded me of an old story from our adolescence. Thinking about it made me realize how poetic it was. I played the role of reason and he that of emotion; a classic formula for communication breakdown. We were on a bus together, I in the window seat and he in the aisle seat. He felt ill and feared he was going to vomit. This was due to something we both had consumed before getting on the bus and because of this we were also concerned that the authority figures along on the trip would find out. He was driven by a de facto uncontrollable imperative. I, not being privy to the physicality of his predicament, was more concerned with arriving at a logical solution to the problem. He felt we should switch seats to allow him access to the window whereas I thought he should either will the urge away or ask the driver to pull over. As is the case with most stalemates, the result was messy. The vomit ended up on the floor in front of us. We both suffered for our inability to reach a compromise. I explained to the authority figures that he suffered from problems with motion sickness and thankfully the effluent did not give away its true chemical nature. His resulting burden was embarrassment and our shared burden was living with sticky soles to our shoes. But that incident broke the ice and allowed us to quickly get acquainted with the other people on the trip. It was exactly what the doctor ordered for a couple of conceited cocky bastards who were looking to meet some new people and have some fun.


Do people talk to you sometimes in such a way that you are aware they just wanted to tell somebody, anybody, what they had to say. Makes me feel inhuman. Do we know what conversations are people? Just because you are lonely and tired of listening to yourself think does not mean that the cure to that loneliness is to have someone else listen to it. But what is the right response? I guess I should see through the blather, recognize the loneliness, and just be supportive. I can't hide disinterest though. It's not that I'm disinterested in them, just disinterested in what they are telling me. I have to be kind and honest.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Harmonic Discord

I recently read or heard somewhere that wisdom was the ability to hold multiple incongruous ideas in the mind at one time. Are you afraid to entertain guests of thought that seem incompatible with what you currently believe?

Conflicting Choices

If you believe that life is conflict then that is what you will see. Your focus will be on differences and opposition. Casual observations will be seen as criticism, humour will be taken as insult, offers of help will be seen as implications of weakness, and every action will be attributed to a selfish motive.

If you believe life is cooperation then that is what you will see. Your focus will be on similarities and synergism. Casual observations will be seen as interesting perspectives, humour will be funny, offers of help will be welcomed acts of kindness, and every action will be attributed to a genuine desire to do what is best.

Your reaction to your experience is your choice. Choose wisely.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Pan Horama

If one stands facing east,
With another facing west,
Back to back, how can they know,
Of both, which view is best?
It seems that each would need to turn
For panoramic vision.
But each taking a simple step,
Straight back from where they stand,
Would see the other view reflected
In the face of a newfound friend.

And cached within those mirrored views
Of each companions visage;
The image of the other self
Would be right there to glimpse.
The first and only likeness,
That each could truely see,
Of their self and circumstance,
That which they are and not.
The blurry lines of outline
Even drawn right at their spot.

Got any Change?

I thought he was ready for the metamorphosis.
Eager to work was I.
He reiterated in response to the initial product.
He used his "clarify" where I heard "justify."
Different ways of labeling the same thing.
He wanted to explain his position.
"You need to know where I am coming from" he insisted.
I wanted us to understand the relationship between ourselves and our thoughts.
I wanted us to understand the origin of ideas.
I wanted us to understand root causes.
How that could be interpreted as contrary to any position I do not understand.
It's just a different perspective. It couldn't hurt to try it.
I needed an open mind.
Discouraged thoughts at the office.

I felt she was ready for the metamorphosis.
Eager to play was I.
She passed quick judgment on the first act.
She used her "I didn't like it" where I heard "I couldn't make sense of it."
Different ways of expressing the same thing.
She felt no need to explain her negativity.
"I know what I like" she insisted.
I wanted us to experience the relationship between ourselves and our feelings.
I wanted us to experience the origin of emotions.
I wanted us to experience root causes.
How that could be negatively felt by anyone I do not understand.
It's just a different perspective. It couldn't hurt to try it.
I needed an open heart.
Discouraged feelings at the theatre.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Continual Redefinition

The problem wasn't who you used to be and the solution isn't who you are. The problem was the rigidity of who you were and the solution is the ability to change continuously. Unless you are constantly part of the solution you will remain part of the problem. Progress is not something you went through already, it is something that should always be happening. Acceptance of who you are is important but not if it acts as blinders that hinder the understanding of who you are. Awareness without action is the way of the innocent bystander. Take responsibility for your piece of this broken world and maintain a daily repair budget. Please.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Compulsive Impulsive

I often feel like that stupid fish who keeps getting caught with the same flashy lure. And I keep blaming the fisherman. If he would just stop fishing with that flashy lure than I wouldn't get caught. Why does he have to fish with that flashy lure. Why does that lure have to be so flashy. My compulsion to go after that lure is taken as a foregone conclusion. I don't have to go after that lure. I can just observe it. "Hey, there's that flashy lure I like to chase after, hmmm, that sure is a strong desire welling up in me to go after it, wow, that desire is going away, would you believe it, that desire is gone." Perhaps I could write a book to tell the other fish about the trauma of the flashy lure fisherman cycle. There is a way out, or so I've heard.

Mirror Mirror

I'm having trouble talking to my sister these days. She is like a mirror of myself in many ways that reflects some of the attributes I have started to understand and am working on overcoming. It's the same with my whole family. I see in them some of my worst qualities and I can't help but react to them. I'm a hypocrite. The one I have the easiest time talking to is my 96 year old grandmother who is dying of cancer. I have recently become aware of my desire to be respected, to have my opinion valued, to have people really listen to me. I feel that from my grandmother. Perhaps it is related to the fact that I give that respect to her in the first place. I don't always feel it from the rest of them. I don't always give it to them either. Unconditional love is hard. Life is hard. I am aware that I do not fully understand some of the things I try to explain. I hope that in trying to express them I will understand them a little better. I wish that anyone who listens would help the process rather than hinder it. Communication is an iterative process where requests for clairification are more productive than statements of contradiction. Fighting against the misinterpretations of what has already been said takes away from the expression of the idea itself. I'm not going to learn much if I keep letting myself get the better of myself.


I'm addicted to misery. Addiction is a strange concept. It is an awknowledgement that we are not in control of ourselves. We use it as a term to describe an exception to the rule whereas in truth it is the rule. In reality addiction is simply the failure of our capability to maintain the illusion of self control. It is not the control that fails, it is the illusion. We put a significant amout of our resources into the illusion, so much so that our true purpose is severly downgraded. We are here to facilitate learning. We are here to observe and understand the present so as to make better the future. We are here to help guide the construction of our future selves. What I'm really addicted to is the illusion that my mind is the master of itself. In reality it is just the master of my misery. That my friends is the hardest thing I have ever tried to wrap my little head around.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Symbionese Rosebud

Through some tangential meanderings about the web I discovered that I share my birth date with an incident involving the Symbionese Liberation Army; a robbery of the Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, California that resulted in the death of Myrna Opsahl. This lead me to the particulars of one Patricia Hearst who at the time was going by the name Tania. This made me think of the computer military strategy game Command and Conquer Red Alert that I found myself playing quite frequently back in my carefree days of higher education. The Soviet side had this character named Tania who was a skilled marksman who was also capable of planting explosives in enemy buildings. I always wondered what significance the name Tania held. I think I may have figured it out. So this also led me to be reminded that William Randolph Hearst may have been instrumental in publicizing and orchestrating a 1937 oil-and-timber-industry-led media campaign to discredit hemp and marijuana which led to both the drug and plant being outlawed within months. I was also reminded of Citizen Kane.

The extreme measures people will undertake in the name of what they believe are a great hypocrisy. Anger does not cure madness. Misinformation does not cure ignorance. Fear does not lead to harmony. Obedience does not imply respect. The hearts of men cannot be purchased or coerced. Goodness is not equivalent to the propagation of your own truth or the destruction of another's truth. Goodness is the constant seeking out of new truth, the constant reevaluation of that in which you believe, and the awareness and willingness to feel and selectively follow your instincts.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Doors of Perception

There has been a convergence of sorts. Jim Morrison, Aldus Huxley, and myself. Coincidence? Awareness selected for me? Unfinished business? Ripe fruit? Don't mind me, I haven't even opened pandora's yellow mega-block yet. I think I am lonely for old friends today. All of them. Shall I put my spurs back on and ride this storm? Can I open all the doors to my dome at once? Wundaful!

Friday, February 20, 2004

A Buckminister Triolet

Our geodesic domes of form
We build to make discrete the waves;
A dual light and matter storm.
Our geodesic domes of form.
Finite fractaling is the norm;
The status quo of tyrant slaves.
Our geodesic domes of form
We build to make discrete the waves.

Mystic Lava Flow

Yesterday at the warehouse I was strangely compelled to go to my aisle and survey my belongings. I was reminded of this time last year when I was going through everything I owned to do an audit of sorts and to repackage anything that might have been thrown together too hastily when I moved out of New Hampshire. I was preparing to move to California. Well yesterday for some reason I picked up one of my boxes and read the label on the one below. It said "bedside table lamp and lava lamp." I had been thinking about the lava lamp and that I should give it to my brother so I unpacked it and brought it home. I tossed my backpack in my room as always and wouldn't usually have touched it again until the morning when I would be packing it with my lunch and supply of water for the day. For some reason after dinner I was again mysteriously compelled, this time to empty out my bag and replenish my supply of snacking nuts. I discovered the lamp and brought it up to my brother who told me that he had always wanted a lava lamp. He plugged in the lamp and returned to the basement with me to hang out. He sat on my bed asking me questions about anything and everything while I sorted through a pile of stuff to file. I think we both needed that conversation. I sometimes wonder about the incomprehensible forces that guide us through life. When you stop fighting against them good stuff tends to happen. Or perhaps I should say the the good stuff is simply the absence of fighting against nature. I wont use the "G" word as that carries with it way too much bagage. It's just a word anyways. A word to describe that incomprehensible thing of which we find ourselves an integral part. Thanks for the lamp Bruno, it was a seed that, like its blob of solidified lava-like substance, has awoken from its static slumber and now emits a dynamic light akin to the dance of life itself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Demolition or Reconstruction

Well, the greatest single example of "fakery for the sake of how it looks" in my life has been unveiled. The facade of my father's relationship with my step-mother is being broken down. There is talk that if the quote for renovation is too high the building may be left in its dismantled state. There was a time in my life when that was exactly what I wanted. I just wanted her to go away. I see things differently today. If one man and one woman cannot work out their differences then what hope is there for all of humanity pulling it off? I explained to them my theory that what they were unable to work out between them would be left for their kids to either work out or again burden their own children with. I finally started to talk to my dad about some of the stuff I have been meaning to talk to him about. I'm just trying to help by sharing my understanding of my feelings over the past thirteen years. Who knows where this is all going.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Poetry Day

Yesterday was Poetry Day. What a day it was. Historically my listening skills have been closely coupled with my intellect. An engineering lecture requires constant conscious integration of new information structures with those you are already familiar with. I used to try to do the same with poetry. "Oh that makes sense, oh I see the pattern there, oh that image/metaphor/allegory describes/alludes to/demonstrates this or that fundamental truth." As soon as you start thinking about the poetry while you are listening to the poetry you cease to be truly listening. Yesterday I used recently acquired skills to allow myself to do a lot more true listening. My intellect was focused on observing my response. I was moved. Waves of emotion danced over my body as I simply listened to spoken words. Given, those words were intricately crafted, charged with icon shattering potential, capable of melting down the dye forms of language itself. I will attempt to quote Nah-ee-lah and say "I do not live in abstraction." Well I am trying to remain aware of that fact; constantly reminding myself of the limitations of my own thought. I met John Sobol and Fortner Anderson. I experienced a "Master Class" given by Anne Waldman. I listened to archived recordings of Alan Ginsburg. I relaxed and absorbed the ambiance at Casa del Popolo. I walked the frigid streets of Montreal. I slurped veg-pho in China town. I felt ever so briefly part of something bigger. I shared myself with a stranger and touched her life. I allowed my life to be touched. I thrice answered the question "Are you a poet?" incorrectly. We are all poets. Time to begin my work of disembodied engineering. Find it, know it, be it.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Kingdom of Truth

"...we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness." - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Trust Me

I'm tired of explaining myself to people who have stopped listening and are content with the image they have generated from what I have already said. I'm supposed to pity them rather than react to this behavior. I still feel that need to keep explaining, keep justifying, keep trying to make them understand. I think that's just me trying to explain and justify things to myself. I'm still trying to understand myself rather than being myself. I should be laughing but it still seems like such serious business. It's not. I want people to believe that I know what I'm doing. I don't, I just trust that I do. That is how I need to explain things, no matter how aggravated some people get when I do.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Ancestral Karma

Unresolved conflict. I have realized that I am dealing with a pile of it, a big stinking pile. The crappy thing about it is that I inherited a bunch of it. Stuff my parents/step parents were unable to work out between them in the outside world lives on within me as internal conflict. Stuff my parents were unable to work out with their parents, with their siblings, with the universe, and with themselves I have inherited. I'm not complaining, I love a good challenge. It just makes it difficult to not hold a grudge and to keep the focus within. I'm hoping that I can share my internal victories with them and others to help with their own battles. If you think you don't have any unresolved conflict of your own then you better get back to delusion land, your rose coloured glasses will interfere with your ability to understand what is being discussed here.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Return of Lucidity?

I woke up this morning, meditated, had breakfast, then went back to sleep. I had a lot of dreams. They were all the semi-lucid type where part of me knew I was dreaming and was analyzing the dream process. Part of me was watching it all happen amazed at the detail of each moment but also aware of the fragmentary nature of the experience.

The only one that I can consciously remember involved a very large slightly inclined cliff of skull sized black piled stones at the edge of a body of water. I could see people swimming in the water, some at extreme depths. I wanted to go in the water but feared the idea of diving or jumping from the top of the cliff. I slowly climbed down the steep and precarious piled wall of stones until I reached the edge of the water. There I noticed a door which I assumed might be some sort of shortcut to the top. I decided not to go in the water but instead began to think about getting back to the top of the cliff. Looking up the piled stones looked insurmountable. I was concerned about the whole thing coming down on me. I felt my way carefully and found that some of the stones were solidly anchored and could support my entire body weight hanging from them. I became very confident of my grip and slowly began pulling myself up the cliff, all the while being very selective of which stones to hold on to. It seemed that the solidly anchored stones became readily apparent and almost lit up indicating a pathway to the top. I intentionally knocked one of the non-solid stones loose and without watching it fall waited for the sound of it landing in the water. The lucid dreamer side of me was particularly eager to judge the quality of the splash sound. It was exactly as expected and as real as could be imagined. I then decided that I should be very near to the top, and so I was. I then became very aware of the dream, changed positions, and slid into another.

I don't know what it means that I am often aware that I am dreaming. The meditation course I took had me thinking about my lucid dreams. It had been a long time since I had experienced one without the awareness triggering waking up or at least the end of that particular dream. Meditation is like lucid dreaming; they both require a balance in the mind. If I am dreaming and aware of that dreaming I must not let the awareness disrupt the dream or it will all fall apart. Recently I think my sleep has been disturbed by waking up due to dream state recognition. Perhaps this signifies the turning of the dream tide from disruption back to construction. Perhaps I no longer fear what my natural inner reality has to say.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A Walk in the Arboretum

Recursive algorithms are useful for traversing the hierarchy of a tree data structure. Starting from the base node a subroutine can continuously call itself with the children of that node as arguments until it reaches the desired depth or node of the tree. Nodes encountered without children are known as a leaf nodes. It is at the leaf nodes that growth occurs. It is at the leaf nodes that we define the frontier of the collection. It is the leaf nodes that contain all the relevant data, the other nodes exist solely as a means to organize and systematically access them. When was the last time that your leaf nodes were accessed? How deep have you allowed the recursion to go? Are you only working with the organization and access system or are you pushing out the frontier? Every leaf node is a potential parent. Some people focus on building a tree in their minds while others believe that the tree already exists and patiently waits to be traversed. As usual the truth is probably some balance between the two.

Serenity Now!

The problem with human life is exponential growth. We react to something, then react to those reactions, then we react to those reactions to the original reaction, and so on, and so on and so on. This applies to both elation and depression. Our mind is an amplifier fed back upon itself. So instead of connecting our minds exclusively to the reaction and outputing a new reaction we need to include a new input, our current state of equilibrium. Only then can we experience that our negative output is the cause of our negative input. Only then can we begin to understand our negative behavior patterns. Only then can we say that we know ourselves.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Experiential Wisdom

It is not about elimination, it is about experiencing and observing without reacting. Only without reaction can you begin your understanding. Every element of life is impermanent, but our human abstractions limit our perception of that impermanence. New abstractions will not give understanding, they are the source of our ignorance. Understanding comes from experience. Understanding comes from pushing the limits of our sphere of perception with eyes wide. Understanding exists within us waiting to be found. Calm awareness, detached observation, equanimous supervision, attentive nurturing. I see and feel that the ringing has been dampened. Convergence has begun.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Three Strikes

Craving, aversion and ignorance; can they be eliminated? I want to know, I can't tollerate people who don't want to know, and I don't know how to know.

Fork in my Path

Was happy to hear that the Vipassana Meditation Center will be more than capable of catering to my self imposed culinary restrictions. I leave tomorrow. I had a bit of a rough day of dwelling on a few negative issues yesterday. My sister called last night and she was pretty miserable too. It was good to chat. I am very curious to experience the rest of this month. You know how it is when you are heading into a brand new experience, when your powers of prediction and anticipation become inadequate, when each step forward treads on a personally unbeaten path? That sounds like living to me.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Mr. Smarty Pants

Do I need to talk about what happens when we assume? I catch myself doing it all the time. I'm trying not to let it bother me when other people make assumptions about me. When they try to complete my sentences, when they say "yea, yea, yea," when they react to their interpretation of what I say or do believing that they know exactly what I meant or why I did it. It gets tiring dealing with someone who isn't listening to you but is rather listening to themselves listen to you. I try to verify my interpretations. I try to ask questions first. I try not to state my interpretation as fact. It seems to me...It sounds like you are saying...As far as I can tell...Do you mean...Are you talking about...Is that like... Prematurely formed impressions are hard to change afterwards. Don't set the mold until you have seen the subject from all sides. Keep your opinion open and on the table. The trouble with language is that it is an abstraction of reality. It is lossy communication, simplified classification, and the illusion of true understanding. A poor communication channel requires sending the message multiple times, sending the message multiple ways, or a very structured message format and communication context that allows for error checking. The message is not your words, the message is a piece of you, the words are just how you are trying to send it. Good science allows that any new data point may support or contradict the current reigning hypothesis and may help lead to the next hypothesis. True understanding of another perspective is impossible, the best we can do is to try to get as close to it as we can. Don't be an arse Mr. Smarty Pants and I'll do my best to avoid being one too.

Balancing our Humours

Laughter. Humour. Taking everything too seriously. Not taking things seriously enough. The absurdity of life. I'm absurd. You're absurd. We're all absurd. Where do we draw the lines between that which is praiseworthy, that which is funny, and that which is reprehensible? Where do we draw the lines between tears of joy, tears of laughter, and tears of sadness? Under what conditions do we stand up, fall down, or roll over? If it isn't how we think it should be shall we curse it and get out or laugh at it and climb in? If it is how we think it should be shall we follow it with praise or find a new reason to laugh? How shall we respond when joy turns into pride or sadness turns into anger? An eye for an eye only increases the polarization. Laughter brings it back together. Laughter disarms. Lets try not to take everything so seriously, except for the serious stuff of course.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Human Asymptote

That was fun. I don't usually think in Freudian metaphors, I tend to like to come up with my own. Other people's thought structures can be helpful but can also be limiting. I talk in discrete elements but I think in continuous flows. If I slice the world in as many ways as possible, each time into a variety of discrete elements, over time the resulting collage of dissections will approach an image of a continuous flow. The asymptote of the humanity function.

Freudian Slip on the Ice

I realized that I feel like a child in my father's presence. We haven't moved the relationship completely over to an adult relationship. I still submit to him almost completely. I don't always speak up when I disagree with him. I am overly concerned about what he will think about my workmanship, my choices, my life. I've somehow returned to the psychological age of thirteen.

When I was three my parents divorced and my mom left the home. I believe this resulted in the stifling of my Id development. The whole split up process probably started before I was three so perhaps I was fixated at various stages. Oral, anal, and phallic stage fixation resulting from both frustration and overindulgence all seem to carry symptoms that ring true in me.

I then built my Superego up in my father's image mostly rejecting the value system of my mother. At thirteen my fathers choices regarding mate selection, job selection, and behavior tolerance went against my image of his values and thus my Superego development was cut off from his guidance.

So my Ego continued on with a three year old Id who sucked on bottles and cigarettes like they were thumbs and a thirteen year old Superego who believed his concepts of right and wrong were the be all and end all of morality. My Ego also had to deal with an overbearing step-mother which only helped to school himself in the techniques of Ego defense, particularly denial, intellectualization, rationalization, repression, and finally regression.

Thirteen years later the setup failed so I transferred power to a dormant Superego based on my mother's system of morality and removed power from my Id altogether. That failed resulting in a return to hedonistic "thumb" sucking.

I am currently allowing both Superego systems to merge into one and grow on its own. The resultant system is proving to posses the best of both of my parents and elements not present in either.

I am also working on developing a relationship with my mature Id to understand my needs. It has involved gradual elimination of inputs in order to determine the essentials. There is a fair amount of healing time required in this process to make up for the past.

So this is why I feel like I am thirteen and three yet neither. I feel like I am finally going to begin evolving beyond my parents value systems and interpreting my emotions and bodily urges. Hopefully once my Id and Superego have matured sufficiently to reassume their responsibilities my Ego can offload his extra baggage and get back to his true purpose; maintaining the equilibrium.

-40 C = -40 F

I just had my first coffee in several weeks so please forgive me.

I have been away at my father's cottage/country house/log cabin/chalet/whatever. He got a call from the heating oil people who said that they had put over 800 liters of fuel into the tank and due to the high volume they were concerned that it may have been empty. Well, when a oil furnace runs a tank dry you can't just start it up again once the tank is full. You need to prime the thing to get whatever water/sludge/whodidthis out of the lines first.

The drive up was good. We got to talk about some stuff that we wouldn't have talked about otherwise. Enough said.

So we got up there and the furnace was off. The whole house was in a deep freeze. If you live in the north east then you have an idea as to how freaking cold it has been. Well, lets just say that the temperature hit -40 (that's the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit if you were wondering) just before the sun came up on Thursday morning. We turned on these little baseboard heaters, some portable heaters, and the oven.

My father, the eternal idealist, was certain that this was going to be an in and out job. We had headed up from the city straight from the office without picking up anything from home. The technician he called didn't show up so at some point my father and I decided we would stay the night. He hadn't let me start a fire up until that point because he didn't want to have to leave the flu open when we left. So I started a fire. With all our heaters, the stove, and the fire I think the main room we were in got up to somewhere between 50 and 60 depending how close to the floor you were. My dad slept on the couch and I slept next to the fire. I guess it was more of a deep "I wish it was warmer so I could sleep" meditation. I really wish I had brought my sleeping bag.

So the next morning we did a closer inspection of the water system and discovered that the well pump and pressure tank were cracked, several of the copper pipes had separated at their joints, and one of the toilet tanks had fractured. Things were just beginning to thaw and we did what was necessary to avoid a watery mess.

It all seemed like a big deal to me, like something that would require professionals to fix, an insurmountable challenge even for two intelligent Engineers (although I often don't feel deserving of that title when standing next to my father). My dad just started taking note of all the problems. I helped and followed pipes, located all the problems that I could see. Then he stood in front of the pump and thought, thought and thought some more. He made a little list and headed off to the hardware store. While he was gone I used a little pipe cutter tool to remove the old hardware and then hauled the newly minted junk out back.

He came back with a new pump and pressure tank, plastic pipe and joints, metal joint clamps, copper pipes and joints, and a propane torch. Anyways, the technician never showed at all and we needed to get back to the city to unload a container of heaters today. We packed up and left but not before mostly connecting up the new pump and pressure tank. All that is left is the copper pipe work out of the pump and the repairs to the severed joints around the house.

So my dad knows his shit. I remembered that he built a house once. He didn't just have a house built, he was directly involved in every aspect of its construction. His brain and body are no more capable than mine, he just has a pile more experience behind his than I do. He believes in himself the way I used to when I was young. No conceit, no pride, just quiet confidence.

Working with him reminded me of a few things. I was reminded that I am an Engineer. That has less to do with my degree or my work experience than with my desire and capability to understand how the world works and how to make it better. The first portion of my life was focused on the how it works side but my recent discoveries have me thinking about the how to make it better part. I don't need to change my weapon, I just need to work on my aim.

I was also reminded that big hard problems need to be broken down into little easy problems in order to get them fixed. Its that whole forest and the trees thing I mentioned here except I was talking about a much bigger forest of a problem.

I also realized that I feel like a child again in his presence. I will elaborate on this in the following post using some Freudian metaphors.

I know my Dad is not the vision of perfection of my early childhood or the ineffectual puppet of my adolescence. My helping of affection from him may not have supplied me sufficient nourishment to make up for the lack of a mother in the house but the respect he served to me, and everyone and everything he came across, provided me more than enough sustenance to keep my heart alive through many a cold cold night. Love comes in many textures and flavours; not always the ones you asked for, but tasty and pleasing to the palate nonetheless.