Archive for February, 2007

Zen: the empty mind

February 28, 2007

too much clutter? empty the mind

too much stress? empty the mind

too many worries? empty the mind

take time to stand back, and see things for what they are. a little swirl on the planet earth. the long lens of time will show the trivialness of all things.

meditation and peace – empty the mind
eternal joy – empty the mind

the rain drips outside. there is no fight. the laws of nature are as they are. be pliable. bend a little. the struggle will only snap you. be at peace.

empty the mind. empty the mind. empty the mind.

peace and oneness. back to the eternal zen state. one. all. unity. there is nothing else. oneness.

empty the mind. the mantra calls. empty. the. mind.

EMPTY. peace. balance. oneness. THE. eternal. tranquility. bliss. MIND.

the universe has spoken.

Calamity Jane, Calamity John

February 27, 2007

I am optimistic. The world faces many problems, but they will be resolved. All it takes is public awareness, and the raising of public consciousness, and change will follow. I am convinced.

One often mistakes democracy for a one in 3 or 4 year vote. It is not. It is a process that takes place each day. In the media (between large interest groups), on the street (between individuals) and in the mind (of oneself). Democracy is a constant debate.

Opinion polls can drive change in the level of government. It takes time. And persuasion. That this is the right path for our society to go. Witness climate change. Al Gore could possibly have more influence in his current role than the one he really wanted. Cometh the time.

There are big issues (like water, nuclear, oil, aids) and they do take effort to tackle. Some hard thinking, weighing of evidence, a holistic view, a long term approach. In the end, it’s a legacy we leave for future generations.

Let’s make wise choices.

Inventions and Symphonies

February 26, 2007

I’m continually amazed at the jetstream of human creativity. It’s just there, everywhere! Pictures, videos, sound, words – it’s constantly being produced and displayed on the web. Visiting blogs I know and seeing a sudden turn, or finding new voices almost daily – it’s a wonderland of delight.

The inner creator – this is the new media versus the old; one where there were gatekeepers in contol, and now the wild west of the web; where almost anything goes.

It’s not all rosy; there’s junk and gunk; people gaming the system. But like any flourishing ecosystem, there are the pesky weeds; we just have to make sure the gorgeous flowers shine ever more brightly; to network and be strong.

I thank you for reading!

Some Favourite Sonatas (from Ludwig van)

February 25, 2007

A Clockwork Orange sparked a Revolution inside me. I discovered Classical. From there (the ninth symphony) I moved onto Mozart’s G Minor (no. 40), then onto Liszt’s B Minor Sonata, and finally ended up at Bach’s Well Tempered. All the pieces were in place.

I’ve been devouring classical CD’s ever since.

One epic cycle not well known to the wider public is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Series. 32 pieces in all, and usually spread over 8 CDs. That’s a lot of solo piano! Probably too much for most people. The average work comes in at 20-25 minutes. Some hard grist.

Out of the 32, I’ve picked out 7 of my favs.

op 2/1 – the first sonata, written at age 25. A sturdy piece, all four movements show strong character.

op 13 (the Pathetique) – classic radio stations play this at least once a day.

op 27/2 (the Moonlight) – everyone’s who’s ever been within 2 metres of a piano has tried playing the Moonlight. It’s irresistable. A knockout first 4 bars. The third movement is manic piano, with broken chords aplenty. Beethoven’s signature piece.

op 31/2 (the Tempest) – draws inspiration from Shakespeare’s play. Wild, temperamental, gusty – it well deserves a wider hearing.

op 57 (the Appassionata) – the greatest and grandest. I think it’s the perfect Sonata. All three movements are meaty and at the same time refined, fiery yet satisfying. The first real piece to test the full register of the new steel-framed instruments, a real banger and clanger. Fun to watch.

op 90 – a totally obscure piece. Enigmatic, and restricted, astringent. A little puzzle, a distilled musical thought. In the tantalizing key of E minor.

op 111 – the final farewell, the last of the sonatas. It closes out the cycle with a two movement counterforce.

Well worth a deeper exploration. Thanks Ludwig!

Human Beings in Bed (and sex)

February 24, 2007

This one’s been doing the rounds. It’s worth reposting here. Enjoy.

Dear Wife,
During the past year I have tried to
make love to you 365 times.
I have succeeded 36 times, which is an
average of once every ten days.

The following is a list of why I did
not succeed more often:

54 times the sheets were clean
17 times it was too late
49 times you were too tired
20 times it was too hot
15 times you pretended to be sleep
22 times you had a headache
17 times you were afraid of waking the
16 times you said you were too sore
12 times it was the wrong time of the
19 times you had to get up early
9 times you said weren’t in the mood
7 times you were sunburned
6 times you were watching the late show
5 times you didn’t want to mess up
your new hairdo
3 times you said the neighbors would
hear us
9 times you said your mother would
hear us

Of the 36 times I did succeed, the
activity was not satisfactory because:

6 times you just laid there
8 times you reminded me there’s a
crack in the ceiling
4 times you told me to hurry up and
get it over with
7 times I had to wake you and tell you
I finished
1 time I was afraid I had hurt you
because I felt you move




I think you have things a little
confused. Here are the reasons you
didn’t get more than you did:

5 times you came home drunk and tried
to screw the cat
36 times you did not come home at all
21 times you didn’t come with energy
33 times you came too soon
19 times you went soft before you got
38 times you worked too late
10 times you got cramps in your toes
29 times you had to get up early to
play golf
2 times you were in a fight and
someone kicked you in the balls
4 times you got it stuck in your zipper
3 times you had a cold and your nose
was running
2 times you had a splinter in your
20 times you lost the motion after
thinking about it all day
6 times you came in your pajamas while
reading a dirty book
98 times you were too busy watching TV

Of the times we did get together:

The reason I laid still was because
you missed and were screwing the

I wasn’t talking about the crack in
the ceiling, what I said was, “Would
you prefer me on my back or kneeling?”

The time you felt me move was because
you farted and I was trying to breathe.

ahh, you women!

Freedom of Movement of Peoples (open borders)

February 23, 2007

Anybody remember trade tariffs? No, me neither. They were designed to keep the bad things out. Us versus Them.

Anybody remember passports and immigration rules? No, me neither. They were designed to keep undesirable people out. Us versus Them.

This way of thinking is grossly flawed. There are no countries, no individual states. They are convenient administation blocs for politics.

There are only people living in different places. Human beings, ordinary people, mothers, fathers, children, labourers. Just human beings trying to get by.

Let’s face it, 95% of us could not be bothered moving. Why would we? We’ve got our jobs, our friends, our comfort zone where we are. The people who want to move are the ones who need it most.

So what are you really afraid of? Poor people taking your welfare? Sponging on your taxes? Muslims? Diseased people?

Countries are entirely artificial.

Only human beings in different places.

Forever in Debt

February 22, 2007

Easy finance is everywhere. It seems all you have to do is ask, and you’ve got yourself a loan. Want a car? boat? house? 3 month holiday? Get it on credit.

It’s a far cry from my parent’s generation. Sure they struggled, but they always knew where they stood in terms of money. Their commitments were clear: a 20 year mortgage to own their own place.

How much murky are things today! I still have a student loan which runs into the tens of thousands of dollars. There’s still a good decade left on that one.

Credit card offers come in by the week, I kid you not. How many Visa cards do I need? I thought only one.

It seems like the greatest of traps for a young person today. You can imagine a 21 year old who has committed themselves to two decades of debt by the time they finish college.

Debt is not something to be taken lightly.

Can’t Decide Which One

February 21, 2007

My apologies to everyone, but I’ve written two posts today and deleted both of them.  I can’t make up my mind.  I go into one of these brain meltdowns once a week, and today’s the day.  I’m so sorry to everyone.

I have my sleeping disorders as well as a coffee mania.  The two are probably linked.  I did intend this blog to be ideas based, and not a personal rant board.  I lapse.

So, if you can’t decide which one, what do you do?

1. roll a dice

2. go to sleep

3. close your eyes, and hope for the best

4. have a temper tantrum

5. write, delete, write, delete

6. say sorry, so sorry

7. go drink some more coffee

hasn’t been the pleasantest of days, hope to be back tomorrow

Back to War. Bush. Blair. Howard.

February 20, 2007

I have a prediction:  Two of the above three leaders will be gone inside three months.  Bush, Blair, Howard.  Take your pick who will be the last man standing, but he could be american, and he could be one of the few george’s on this planet to spell his name will a w.

The Westminster system of politics allows for some feedback into who is the “leader” of the country; they must be able to command a majority support inside their own party.  For Blair, this means Labour, and Howard works under a conservative coalition.  This means Blair and Howard are subject to a meaningful vote of non-confidence at any time.

And this time could be soon. To use their dastardly language, the “tipping point” of discontent is fast approaching.

Becoming a Yoga Master

February 19, 2007

Life’s been a little dull of late.  I think I’ve been looking for a new personal challenge.  It’s probably time I returned to yoga.

Yoga is something I’ve done on and off for the last 10 years.  BKS Iyengar has been the great guide, and I’ve learnt everything from his masterful “Light on Yoga”.  A classic book full of pics.

I’ve never really progressed beyond the basic poses.  Lotus, headstand, basic leg stretches; none of the really contortionist stuff.  It does fascinate me, and has helped with my circulation and joints in the past.

It’s probably time to commit to a full regimen.  I haven’t been running in a couple of years, and I think the creaks and flubber are starting to show.

I’ll give myself six months to make some real progress.