28 November 2006

Mental State

It could be from inadequate sleep, or decongestant, but for some reason I'm staring at a square orange piece of paper with a paperclip attached at the top, about three quarters of an inch from the right side, and thinking it's the most profound piece of artwork I've ever seen. But when I turn it over (so that the paperclip is now at the left), it is no longer profound. In fact, it's downright disturbing.

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27 November 2006

The Smell of Burning Concrete in the Afternoon...

An unexpected change of plans today when my mom found out that they were going to put in her basement egress window today. I am here to make sure they don't do anything they're not supposed to (though they're the ones with the saw for cutting concrete, so how, exactly, would I stop them? ;^). On the plus side, I probably got more grading done over here than I would have at home. Which leaves one more class to get graded by tomorrow, hopefully. Then two tests to have ready on Wednesday and one for Thursday.

Looks like they have all the cutting done now, so they just need to get the window itself in.

And I've gotten enough of my cleaning done that I hope to be able to put up Christmas decorations on Wednesday. For that to happen, I have to move the old tv stand down to my room (where it will be used as a desk), which means I have to get a bookcase into the soon-to-be library downstairs. For now, I'm just getting shelves in there and putting books on them. Hopefully during break I'll get everything organized and alphabetized. Hopefully. Now to see what deviltry the window people be up to...

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26 November 2006

Coin, cooooiiiinnnnnn...

(Title inspired by an old Scooby Doo episode, for anyone staring at it in puzzlement. Then again, when do my titles ever make much sense? Puzzle away.)

Whilst cleaning, I uncovered my State Quarters map, and discovered it had been neglected since some time in 2004. Luckily, I'd just been stashing my coins in an old Nestle's cocoa container, and had all the missing 2004 and 2005 quarters, as well as two of the 2006. So, the map is now up to date. At the same time, I sorted through the rest of the coins and came up with three rolls of pennies, two rolls of dimes, and a roll of nickels. And, yes, I probably had nearly three rolls of quarters, but I keep those in M&M's Mini's tubes until I'm ready to cash them in (usually some time in the summer) as "mad money". Hmmm... M&M Mad Mini Money? Oh well. And now I'm trying to work in a sentence about keeping the quarters in their tubes in order by date, but it's not working out.

And ginger is still not good for the coinage of my brain. At least, I think that was the problem ingredient. Small quantities hadn't been bothering me, so I figured I was okay to drink some tea with ginger in it. Uh, no. Bad. I think I'd sooner stick my hand in a meat grinder than do that again. At least once the hand was amputated the pain would stop.

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The Other Wind

The fifthsixth* Earthsea book more than makes up for the shortcomings in the fourth. Le Guin is back to the sparse prose style that I loved so much in the first three books, and freely skips from character to character. Oh, and the story's good, too. ;^D It concerns the division between human and dragon, and between life and death. In the dry lands where no wind blows, the winds of change are rising.

And the winds of cleaning are blowing through my house at the moment. As usual, this means I've been rearranging furniture and giving stuff away.

*Oops. For some reason I thought this was the fifth book, but Tales from Earthsea is. Tales is a collection of shorter stories set in Earthsea, at least one of which impinges on Other Wind. So it's not a major loss that I got the order mixed up.

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25 November 2006

A Quantity of Quizzes

:^D Apparently I'm a blue-hearted, geeky Jean-Grey. Though I'm mildly surprised I didn't have a higher goth percentage on the first one.

You scored as Geek.















Are you punk, ghetto, gothic, preppy, etc.
created with QuizFarm.com<

You scored as Blue. Your heart is blue. You are a very calm and relaxed person. You are very caring and like helping others. You're grateful for what you have in life, even if it's not perfect. People love you for who you are, don\'t ever change that- it's what makes you the great person that you are.



















~What colour is your heart?~
created with QuizFarm.com

You scored as Jean Grey. Jean Grey is likely the most powerful X-Man. She loves Cyclops very much but she has a soft spot for Wolverine. She's psychic so she can sense how others are feeling and tries to help them. She also has to control her amazing powers or the malevolent Phoenix entity could take control of her and wreak havok. Powers: Telekinetic, Telepathic

Jean Grey








Emma Frost














Most Comprehensive X-Men Personality Quiz 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

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24 November 2006


I have mixed feelings about this, the fourth Earthsea book. So far as I can tell, the only reason for choosing Tenar as the POV character was to make a point about feminism and equality. The story itself would have been better served with at least some snippets from Therru/Tehanu's POV (besides the "sudden revelation" at the very end). To be honest, I think telling the whole story from Tenar's POV weakened it. The story itself was quite fascinating, and on its own would have made the same point about equality, etc., without feeling...forced.

I also have a minor continuity complaint. At the end of Farthest Shore, Ged expressed RELIEF at what he had lost. It would have taken two paragraphs to segue from that to a sudden realization of what that loss actually meant, but those two paragraphs weren't there. Again, I think this was simply to force everything to be from Tenar's POV. Which serves the point LeGuin was trying to make, but not the story. And when the author's point overtakes the story, the result is not what it could have been. Still worth reading, but now I feel like crafting a more integrated version. *sighs*

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23 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Baking's all done, and the other day I happened to listen to my Laura Powers CD's. This song seemed appropriate to the holiday. It would be nice, though, if Laura Powers' melodies were as enjoyable as her lyrics. There are some good ones, but most of the others sound alike.

The winter was long, the frost was severe
No game had been brought down in this famine year
The ground is still frozen
The fields still lay bare
New growth in the woods
Was stunted and spare.

So they gathered together,
Together they prayed
A meal would be brought forth
On this holy day
Invoking her name to deliver them soon
The goddess of the hunter moon

They built a great fire reaching up to the sky
And watched the full moon
Take command of the night
Into the clearing came a buck and a boar
As if offering themselves in silent accord

The people rejoiced at the bountiful feast
In awe of the great power of the unseen
They gave thanks and praised her
For seeing them through
The goddess of the hunter moon

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22 November 2006

Pie Crust Promises?

Whoa. I have never ever had that little trouble with a gluten free pie crust before. I mean, at least one of them usually breaks badly enough that I have to patch it. There were absobloodylutely no problems this time. I made one or two minor modifications, so for the benefit of any fellow celiacs who wander here, I'll post the original recipe with the modifications.

I use Bette Hagman's Vinegar Pastry from the revised edition of The Gluten-Free Gourmet, but I double the recipe. Original:

2 c white rice flour ~~~~~~~~ 1.5 c tapioca flour ~~~~~ 1.5 c cornstarch
2 rounded t xanthan gum ~~~ 1.5 t salt ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2 T sugar
1.5 c shortening ~~~~~~~~~~ 2 eggs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2 T vinegar
4-6 T icewater

For the most part I left the dry ingredients alone, but I did use 1 c brown rice flour in place of half of the white rice flour and I decreased the salt slightly. Instead of shortening, I used 1.25 c butter (softened by 30 seconds in the microwave), with 0.25 c olive oil on standby. I didn't use all the olive oil, but I find that adding a bit of oil makes the crust much MUCH easier to handle. I probably used about 1 T of it. I also increased the eggs to 3. One other change: the recipe says to leave the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. I've always found that it comes out horribly dry, so this time I didn't put it in the fridge at all. No clue which change had the most effect, but I was quite quite pleased. I'm curious to see how the leftover crust handles when I make it into pie crust cookies. :^D

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Okay, who's the wise guy?

Just an FYI for anyone else who makes pumpkin pies from scratch. Avoid the supposed "pie pumpkins." Mom and I found two of them in town, which wouldn't quite have been enough for three pies (they're very small). The larger pumpkin that I got in Twin Falls cooked up cleanly, and after a short time in the blender took on the consistency of apple sauce. The pie pumpkin didn't cook cleanly, was extremely stringy, and was still not entirely smoothed out after half an hour in the blender.

The other pie pumpkin was too green even to cut. I tried. It took me ten minutes to get it cut open so I could see inside. It didn't LOOK green inside, but I figured it probably wouldn't soften up very well in the oven if it was starting out twelve times as hard as the other. After seeing how badly the other one did, I'm just as glad I threw out the green one. At any rate, I've concluded that the label "pie" pumpkin is just intended to annoy and confuse people, and is probably a ploy by the canned pumpkin industry to discourage people from making pies from scratch.

Anyway, I've got dry ingredients all mixed up for both pie crusts and bread. Pies will be made tonight; bread in the morning. Hmmm... I wonder if we're making fudge tomorrow? I suppose I ought to find out. I'm making dinner rolls and cinnamon-pull-apart rolls. It seems like there's usually something else I make...and I have no idea what it might be. I suppose I ought to stop rambling now.

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21 November 2006

A Quiz with Actual Questions

Not very accurate, though. :^D

Yes, the mystic says you are actually in

Yes, that would be Boulder, Colorado to be exact.

Though in the Quiz's defense, Boulder isn't THAT far from Fort Collins, Colorado, where I went to school. So apparently the inner product of Fort Collins and Pocatello is...Boulder. Freaky, dude. Freaky.

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Trading Books for Pumpkins

Long about last summer, Fibonacci sent some books back to Idaho with me. The plan was that one of his family who commutes between Twin Falls and Pocatello would pick them up. Never happened. So today I took them down myself (dropping off a few other things as well), and spent a lovely day catching up. There's also a nice Thai place in Twin Falls, but they make their Thai iced tea waaaaay too sweet. At least if it's not sweet enough (like at Chang's in Pocatello) I can ADD sweetener. Ah well. The food was good.

And Aunt Bee told me about a natural foods store, so I stopped off before heading back to Pocatello. They didn't have too much that I needed, though they do carry Enjoy Life chocolate chips (gluten, soy and dairy free). However they did have pumpkins. I have never understood why stores get rid of all their pumpkins so that there are none left by Thanksgiving. That's just when I need one to make pies with! And, yes, I could get one around Halloween, but I'm usually not thinking about it then. At any rate, I now have a full size pumpkin, plus the itty bitty ones that were all Mom and I could find in town.

Oh yes. It was windy on the way back. Which I rather enjoy in daylight, but it freaks me out at night. Especially when I'm surrounded by lots of traffic.

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20 November 2006

The Farthest Shore

And now I've finished the third Tale in the Earthsea Cycle. All I can say is...WOW. Short synopsis: The Words are Failing, all over Earthsea. The Gate between Life and Death has been breached and there will be no difference henceforth. Unless someone can close the Gate. Beautifully written. The best of the three so far.

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19 November 2006


So...I'm going to die in a duel with Cleopatra. Okay, who's got a working time machine?

Your arch-nemesis is:

Because they left their gum on your bed post
The winner will be...
You will kill each other in a duel
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

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17 November 2006

New Deviltry (aka Curses, Finished Again!)

The Tombs of Atuan was a quicker read. I haven't decided if it was because I related more to the lead character or because I was already in the proper mode to appreciate Le Guin's prose. And, yes, The Walrus & the Carpenter did have a copy of the third book, The Farthest Shore, but, unfortunately, it was badly water damaged, so I didn't get it. Still, it's amazing what potent ideas Le Guin can pack into such a short novel. There may be a Barnes and Noble visit in my future yet!

Anyway, I am apparently to play chauffeur tonight to me mam as we lay siege to the vile dungeon of Wal-Mart. Amusing bits from the transcript:

Mom: What's the plan for tonight?
Me: There's a plan?

After I figure out she wants me to drive her to Wal-Mart:
Me: Okay. I'll be right over.
Mom: No, you don't need to hurry.
Me: Oh. So what time should I get there?
Mom: Whenever is fine.
Me: What if I get there at midnight?
Mom: That's too late.
Me: Right. So when should I get there?
Mom: Before seven.

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Items Found A-Seekin' the Hawk

A collection of interesting quotations.

A selection of contemplative poems.

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16 November 2006


A Wizard of Earthsea is only the second book I've read by Ursula K. Le Guin. The first was Left Hand of Darkness, some ten years past now. I think I liked Wizard better, though I would have to go back and reread now to be sure. Firstly, the writing style is beautiful. Wonderful. The text is pared down to its bare essence with nothing extra at all. In some cases, I would have liked more details, but they would be for curiosity's sake and not because the story required them. Also there are hints that more may be revealed in the later volumes of the series.

One thing that Wizard is not, is typical fantasy. Yes, there is magic. There are wizards. There are dragons. Yet the story is much more internal. It is a battle in the psyche rather than in the world itself, though the world is affected. The ending at first seemed unsatisfying, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it couldn't have ended any other way. I had even come to expect such an ending (though I did expect more, er, "fireworks" than there were).

At its heart, Wizard tells the tale of Ged, called Sparrowhawk, who is gifted with extraordinary magical talents from a young age, but is also cursed with inordinate pride. The pride is his undoing, and sets the course for the rest of the book. It sets loose a shadow in the world, a shadow which only Ged can stop, yet Ged seems powerless over it. In Le Guin's system of magic, to know a thing's True Name is to have control over it. Therein lies the key and the riddle.

Highly recommended, and now I'm half-tempted to go break into Waldenbooks to get the next book. Though I'd have to leave money for the damages as well as for the book, so I might as well wait until tomorrow.

ADDENDUM: Waldenbooks only has Tombs of Atuan in a rather unfortunate trade paperback version. Since I go up to IF tomorrow anyway, I'd rather try to find a more attractive version. The cover has pictures from the Sci-Fi channel's much-despised version and the text is in a horrible font. Combine that with the extra price for trade paperback size and I refuse to buy it. So I'll try Barnes and Noble.

RE-ADDENDUM: Braved the L-Space of the Walrus and the Carpenter to find it. Sure, chain bookstores also generate L-Space, but it's tame. This was the truly wild, whirling variety. Books were alphabetized backwards! ;^D

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15 November 2006


So, um, I think I'm tired. Yeah. Tired. I said "Goodbye, Contacts!" after taking them out, and I've been talking to all the furniture and announcing that I'm not drunk, since, after all, I don't drink. However, I think I'm doing a good approximation of it. Though I think the food helped some. So I'm actually typing in coherent sentences. More or less. For a given value of coherent. Anyway, uh, Merry Wednesday to all and to all a Good Night! Or have a Pippin Wednesday if you prefer. I care not. If you want to have Frodo Wednesday, you'll have to see if Kim and Spence will let you borrow their dachsund. Frodo. That's the dachsund's name. And Sam is Pam's sister, so don't go getting any ideas. Ummm... I think the coherency level is plummetting. Like a dachsund without a parachute. (No that's not a threat Kim; it's me rambling). Right. So, me go sleep now. After watching launch of bowling balls on Mythbuster's.

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13 November 2006

Magnets, Sheets and Tires

Friday night, my mom was bored and sick of practicing piano and organ, so I let her drag me out to the mall. We wandered into Dillard's, which is pretty rare. Neither of us much likes the store. However, I lucked into some very VERY nice sheets for an amazing price. I've been looking for some different sheets for a while, but whenever I found any, either they were too expensive or I didn't quite like the color. There were some gorgeous turquoise sheets, 500 thread count, and I reluctantly looked at the price. I couldn't believe it. So I picked up another package and looked at its price. The same. I looked at several more packages of that color, and all the queen size ones were $25 (marked down from an original price of $99). Out of curiosity, I looked at the price of the same brand in a different color. None of the other colors was marked down. I found this odd, as the deep, rich turquoise was clearly the prettiest available color. Now, I was already amazed at the price, and at the register they took off another 50%, so I wound up paying $12.50 (+ tax) for a set of hundred dollar sheets.

The next day, Mom and I went to a craft show at the greenhouse. They do this every year around Christmas. I found an awesome magnet board. See, I have two sets of magnetic poetry, and my fridge is already rather full of magnets. I'd been planning to make a magnet board anyway, but I knew that for the price, this one was a heckuva lot better than anything I could make. It's got three 2-foot-square metal panels, surrounded by a wood frame, so it looks like a small door. With that in mind, I decided to mount it on the door to my computer office at home. I wasn't entirely sure it would work, as it's a hollow core door. However, the hardware store conveniently had some anchors labelled "best for panelling and hollow-core doors." So I attached a one-by-two using the anchors, attached some metal bits to the magnet board, set the board on the one-by-two, and anchored in the metal pieces to keep it from falling over. That was enjoyable. It also avoided putting any major holes in the magnet board.

Then this morning I decided it might actually be time to get my snow tires put on. Either I waited long enough that everyone else had already done theirs or I lucked out, as I got in and out of Les Schwab in about thirty minutes. That's a record. I'd actually hoped it would take longer, as I was trying to get a set of homework graded while I was waiting. :^D It's almost done now, and I suppose I ought to get back to it.

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12 November 2006


Another Neil Gaiman book. It's one of his books aimed at younger readers. Enjoyable, but I do prefer his books that are directed toward a more adult audience. It's fairly creepy. Part of the plot will be familiar. Young bored girl discovers an alternate world where everything seems to be better, at first. The most obvious oddity is that all the apparent humans in the alternate world have buttons sewn on for eyes. Unsurprisingly, the alternate world isn't really better, in fact it's much much worse, and the rest of the book deals with Coraline's attempts to escape/confront it. Well done, just... eh, something missing, I guess. Still, because it's Gaiman, there are some very amusing exchanges:

"We...we could be friends, you know," said Coraline.

"We could be rare specimens of an exotic breed of African dancing elephants," said the cat. "But we're not. At least," it added cattily, after darting a brief look at Coraline, "I'm not."

Coraline has called the police to report that her real parents are missing:
"I think my other mother has them both in her clutches. She may want to keep them and sew their eyes with black buttons, or she may simply have them to lure me back into reach of her fingers. I'm not sure."

At any rate, it's worth reading once. I think I'll pass it on to friends of mine with kids now. :^D

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10 November 2006

Random Friday Quiz

Well, not completely random. I found it on Pharyngula. However, it was fairly straight-forward, and, hey, Idaho IS in the West. Not being a linguist, I can't vouch for its overall accuracy. :^D

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland


North Central

The Inland North


The South

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

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08 November 2006

Monk: It's what's for Dinner!

Well, technically, lunch. And that's monkfish. A while back, I visited a locally run butcher shop, hunting for sausage that I could eat. They had some. Yesterday I went back to resupply, and they had "monkfish" listed on their fresh fish board. I asked what it tasted like. The cashier and a customer both agreed that it was somewhat like lobster, and said that the fish was sometimes called "Poor Man's Lobster." So I got two filets of it (they were HUGE filets) and cooked it up for lunch today. The butcher shop even gave me a recipe for it: saute in 3 oz. butter with a tablespoon of lemon juice. So I sauteed it in 3 oz. olive oil with two tablespoons lemon juice and two tablespoons of honey, with some red pepper, cardamom and coriander. Then I threw in some frozen green beans and carrots and let them get softened up before serving it over brown rice. Anyway, it's quite tasty. The flavor is reminiscent of lobster, but the texture is much, much better. Softer. Or maybe I've just never had very good lobster. ;^D It's also a quite filling fish. So I'm probably going to get four meals out of those two filets (and the veggies and rice).

Random facts: brown rice is a good source of zinc; so are most seafoods. And here is a nutritional breakdown for monkfish, and here is the same for brown rice. Brown rice definitely has more than monkfish. And that reminds me...need to take multivitamins while there's enough food in my stomach. 'sall for now.

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07 November 2006


Woke up to the strains of little mouse feet at about 4:00 am. I thought I had that hole plugged. *sighs* I didn't really get back to sleep after that. If I'd realized I had a fever, some Advil might have taken care of that. When my alarm finally went off and I figured out I had a fever, I did take some Advil. I felt much better as soon as it kicked in. Better still after helping with the taiji class this afternoon. I managed to avoid doing any real work whilst teaching my classes. Math025 I've just been reviewing briefly at the beginning of class and then giving the students problems to work in, solo or group. Math257, I talked through some tiling/tesselation vocabulary and theorems, demonstrated some of them on the ELMO, then let them try to make Escher patterns.

Since I'm finally hungry again, I figure that this cold or whatever it is that's giving me the fever is on its way out. I wasn't hungry most of yesterday. Correction: Every kind of food I thought of sounded horrible yesterday. Today I've been semi-starved as a result. Oh, and I may have figured out why green tea started making me nauseous a while back. Goes back to the whole metallothionein thing, but via a very circuitous route. Short version: some of the minerals in green tea may interfere with zinc absorption (tied to metallothionein). The ones I've seen a connection for are gallium and fluoride. So I've probably been low in zinc for quite a while, and the excess copper from the copper tea kettle made it worse. However, I think my copper levels have normalized now, and I'm back on my multivitamin, so maybe when my zinc levels get back to normal, I'll be able to enjoy green tea again. At the moment, I can only drink it if it's very VERY weak, and even then not a full cup.

Oh, and don't suggest pure zinc supplements. I can't handle straight zinc. I found that out long before I'd even HEARD of gluten intolerance or metallothionein.

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04 November 2006


For no particular reason, I went hunting for images of Esmerelda Weatherwax, and came across some interesting sites in the process. For those who don't know her, Granny Weatherwax is the most powerful witch in the Discworld. She's too proud to be anything but good, especially since her sister went off and became the evil one. One of my favorite quotes from her is "Let's do some good!" Picture an older woman with a very nasty smile on her face saying this as if pronouncing mankind's doom. *grins*

However, the most interesting site compares her to a Mazatec chota chine. There's a fascinating discussion about how "chota chine" ought to be translated. The usual translation is "wise one". But looking at the root Mazatec words suggests that there is a meaning of "mastery" and "completeness." It reminds me of some stuff I've seen in Taoist tracts. Sometimes the Taoist masters are called "Immortals" (and there is argument over whether this was literal, physical immortality or something more figurative; in Chinese legend, at least, physical immortality is implied). However, the Immortals are often referred to as "Real People." As in, they are the only ones who are truly complete, truly real. Everyone else lives a half-life at best, never seeing the "really real world."

And this also fits with Terry Pratchett's descriptions of witchcraft through Granny Weatherwax. Witches have "first sight and second thoughts." "First sight" means they see what's really there. Ask any police officer who's ever taken witness statements and he/she/it'll tell you that first sight is a rare gift. Plenty of people see things that aren't there. Plenty of people miss things that are. Second thoughts means thinking about your own thoughts. Most people are so caught up in just the thinking of their thoughts that they don't even notice them, let alone think about them. They don't think about why they think the things they do.

One of the most important skills to learn for taiji is often called "listening." It has very little to do with sound. It might be more accurate to call it "awareness" yet it's an awareness that feels like listening. Listening to your opponent's energy and movement. Feeling where the vulnerable spots are and when they are no longer vulnerable. Seeing where the opponent really is and what he's really doing rather than being so caught up in your own attack that you don't notice you've already been neutralized. So there are two levels of awareness. First, awareness of what your own body is doing; possibly I could describe it as second non-thoughts, since it's more sliding under thoughts than thinking about them. Second, awareness of what your opponent is actually doing: first "sight".

I've made several leaps in the past year in push-hands skill, or so my partners and teacher tell me. They say my root has improved; i.e. it's very difficult to push me over using brute force. They say my following ability has improved. They say I catch more of the openings that are there, and am more often successful at taking advantage of them. Don even says that he's finally got a student who can give him an actual challenge at push hands, though he still pushes me out twenty-nine times for every one time I get him. But a major key to that change is simply awareness. I can now feel my own vulnerabilities, and correct them. Some of the time, at least.

Anyway, I've wandered a bit, but my main point is that being really in this world involves being aware of it. Accepting it for what it is. Acknowledging what it is not. Seeing what's really there. Being aware of your own thoughts about it. I figure that taiji is one path towards that goal, and that I've inched my way a bit closer. I sometimes think you have to walk the knife's edge, as Granny Weatherwax does, if you become truly aware. "Good and bad is trickey. I ain't too certain about where people stand. P'raps what matters is which way you face."

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03 November 2006

New Allergies, New Shows

Not that there's any real connection behind the two, except that both were events of yesterday. Actually, I got my first hint about the allergy on Wednesday, when my underarms began burning and peeling. First suspect was of course the deodorant, so after my shower I didn't put any of it on. By Thursday morning, I'd almost forgotten about it...until I DID put the deodorant on. Less than five minutes later, burning again. So, I hit the web for research. The culprit was "zinc ricinoleate". I'd link to an article about allergies to it, but it seems to require a subscription (and ISU must have one, since I was able to access it from my office). At any rate, it's extracted from castor beans. And I can be certain that ingredient was the problem, because there's a deodorant identical to it, except that it doesn't have zinc ricinoleate in it, and I didn't react to it this morning.

This sentence made me laugh, "The toxin ricin can be obtained from castor beans, but it is a protein. Ricinoleic acid is a fat, so there is no relation between the two materials." That's right up there with saying "Wheat starch is a starch. Gluten is a protein. There's no relation between the two." Maybe not, but it's nearly impossible to get wheat starch that does not contain gluten (there is supposedly a European or British wheat starch that has managed it; no American brand is considered gluten-free). Likewise, I suspect, for zinc ricinoleate and ricin. Incidentally, ricin is quite, quite deadly. It was even featured on an episode of CSI.

Which takes me to the new show I watched last night. New to me, at any rate. My Name is Earl is a very, very, very odd show. If it were done badly, it would be horrid. But it's done quite well. Random taste of it. Earl has gone to a convent to apologize to a nun for faking the voice of God to her, and there's a little orphan girl there helping the nun make a cake. She looks at Earl. "I lived in a storm drain for two months." She says it in a deadly serious tone of voice that actually works for a kid. Earl blinks and says, "Well, I had to live in my car for three months." The kid just looks back at him. "Did a pack of stray dogs ever force you to move?" Earl backs off. "Let's not turn this into a contest, okay?" It's...bizarre, but entertaining. At least, if you like quirky humor.

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01 November 2006

Click for More Six Word Stories

Some of Robert Jordan's fans contributed a whole lot more in the comments on his news log. Some good. Some not. Some...slightly over six words. :^D

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