Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Flight Scrapbook

Departing Toledo State (5S4) always offers up a treat off the right window heading south. Our beautiful Yaquina (yuh-KWIN-uh) Bay and Bridge. But those aren't in this picture. I didn't start snapping with the 5.1 megapixel HP 707R until a couple minutes after departure. The next estuary to the south is Alsea Bay and the city of Waldport.

Modern marvel, the GPS. In the right half of the display, information includes speed over ground (configured in statute miles, cuz I want to see what my car's speedometer would be saying if I could travel at that speed), distance from the destination, how much time before I get there, and how far off to the right or left of course I am. That last one is called the crosstrack. As depicted, the distance is 260 miles (statute, not nautical), and speed is 165 mph. Yeah, baby. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Do ya feel that, traffic on the ground? Huh! Do ya! DO YA FEEL THAT!!! (sorry, gawpo got excited there for a sec....i'm okay now.)

The Three Sisters, dormant, but not forgotten.....

It hasta be Shasta. At 14,179, 14,162, 14,411, or even 14,440 ft, it is second highest in the Cascade range. Seattle gets to look at the tallest. At 7,500 feet (my cruising altitude), I got to look at this one from just south of Eugene until my destination in Redding. Awesome mountain.

Remember how Pee Wee felt about his bike? And how he would greet it with that sqeaky, "Gooood Moorrrning"? Well, it's kinda like that.....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

White Room

Have you ever really considered the lyrics of Cream's "White Room?"

In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Blackroof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment.

I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.

You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.

I'll wait in the queue when the trains come back;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.

At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
She's just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.

I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves.

This is over 5 1/2 minutes long. But Mr. Clapton (with whom I share a birthday, by the way) can still belt it out.

Somewhere Joe talked about trembling shadows. THESE puppies actually run from themselves, chasing along the way no doubt, all those tired starlings.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reflections on Theilard de Chardin: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

WARNING: This song is not going to leave your head. You thought It's A Small, Small World was bad? Not even close. This song has been in my head ever since someone who shall remain Quill-less posted it on her blog back on the 12th. Sorry, I'm just not Quilling to tell you who it was. All things being eQuill, it would be a breach of confidence of sorts.

Anyway, yeah. She posted it, I Googled it, got the lyrics and guitar chords to it and now I play it every single day. I can't take it anymore! You are all going down with me!!! Oh, you're going to listen to it. I know you are. That's a no-brainer. You can't resist. And when you do listen to it---heh, heh, heh---we will all have so much more in common, you and I.

Pierre Theilard de Chardin (if you don't know him, Google him) talks about the noosphere (nou-ou). Nous in Greek means mind. Chardin (Char-dan. Those French!) talks about the geosphere, the biosphere and then this third sphere wherein all human thought is connected. And if you THINK about it, being connected by the mind makes us friends and family. Sure, there are some dysfunctional cousins who will decapitate you because they think their nous is better than yours, but for the most part, folks are of a like nous and are friendlier than those types of misguided souls.

I appreciate a good nous. Everyone I've met here in blogland has an incredible, friendly nous. And I don't nous saying so.

So, if you don't nous, here is the song: (Remember to nous your manners and sing it in the shower until you are in voice.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Dog Died

Her name was Rhonda. She spanned part of my 30s, all of my 40s and nearly accompanied me as I close out this 53rd year of my life. Her birthday was December 20, 1991. She was 15. She was my one and only constant. My true companion. I picked her out of a litter of eight and that many weeks after she was born, I brought her home. Yes, she was "just a dog." But you know how that goes.

For some reason I picked her up and put her on the bed with me last night. At about 3:30 in the morning, I woke to her getting up and was going to let her out. That was the routine. Before I could get out of the covers, I heard a very loud thud and heard her thrashing. She had bonked her head on the dresser at the foot of the bed. That was all she wrote. I am so glad she went fast and clean. I have dreaded the day I was going to have to give way to the anguishing decision to drive her to the vet.

She is buried under the apple tree in the front yard.

I miss her.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Have The Stomach For This?

I am eating Menudo. Have you ever eaten Menudo? Thinking Menudo was something you could only experience by focusing on the first three letters of its name, I ate a lot of this:

BOY, was I ever wrong. Turns out they were talking about this:

Which oddly enough, comes from this:

Care to join me for a big bowl of this?:

As I eat my Menudo, it occurs to me that if I throw it all up, it would be sort of like eating brain and then having a great thought. This indeed is cause to ruminate.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Assembly Of God

I have decided to join the Assembly of God church. The only reason I have selected them is because they seem to be the only ones who have the instructions to put Him together. Can't beat that with a stick. Below please find a couple pictures that prove my point. Who's gettin' on this train with me? See you in church.....

Now We're Slapping With Gas

Have you ever thought of something and then said (or heard someone else say): "I don't know what made me think of that"? Well, if you think about it, what made us think of that was our brain. But I don't know what made me think of THAT. Anyway, for some reason known only to my brain, it made me think of how chefs sometimes light their gas stoves. It's a technique handed down from time memorial (since gas stoving hasn't been around beyond that) and it just occured to me that it's a rather nifty trick. What they'll do is, after turning the knob to get the gas going, they will take a 10 inch sautee pan and slap it on the burner. This causes the gas to hurry on over to the pilot without building up and making a big ball of fire as stoves with powerful vent fans often do without the pan slap. It's a dance; it's poetry; it's what a chef does. Sometimes. Reminds me of the hystrionic woman in older movies who, when slapped, says something like, "Thanks. I needed that." Reminds me of the slap to the forehead when I remember that I could have had a V8. The movie slap makes for a more even-burning flame. The V8 slap hopes to serve as a reminder that things are better, smoother, if you grab a V8 next time. It's all about the corrective slap. The slap wakes things up. The slap enlivens. Sometimes it takes a good slap in the face to get our lives back on track. Or to hop over to another one. And if your rear isn't working, try slapping it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

I have had many conversations with many burglars. One such was with a guy who told me that, when compared to the few times he did get caught, crime really does pay. He estimated that, over his career of approximately 12 years, he had stolen in value the equivalent of a number approaching seven figures (and no, Fab, Marilyn Monroe was not one of them). I have always been amazed at the human being's nearly infinite capacity to deceive himself; rationalization strikes deep in the heartland.

There are people who truly do not care how messed up your life becomes after they victimize you. The payoff is twofold: they get your stereo; you get to feel violated for the rest of your life. There are, however, a few burglars who do care. Driven only by a compulsion for a single object, they yield only to that urge that will satisfy their need to burgle while leaving the "victim" with a sense that what had been taken was simply misplaced. This truly is a victimless crime. No one gets hurt. And the burglar gets...........a bluetooth.

Compulsion wages its own war on a person. The person fights back as best he can. But to no avail. War, after all, is heck. We all fight our battles. But we also choose them carefully because in the end, not all wars are won by winning every battle.

That said, I can only add the following: INTER ARMA SILENT LEGIT (In time of war laws are silent...)