Friday, June 29, 2012

the Locks, a bridge, and a book.

Saturday snapshot
To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky: Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

While in Buffalo, N.Y. to attend my wife’s niece’s high school graduation we did a side trip to Lockport  and toured the Lockport Cave and experienced the underground boat ride.  We rode also the Erie Canal cruise boat and saw how the Erie Canal Locks work, a miniature Panama Canal. From the locks our cruise boat went further downstream and passed under a bridge that was raised vertically instead of breaking and dividing in half.

                        The bridge farther back is just above the water before our boat approached it.
Now the bridge was raised.

On this trip I finished reading an interesting book, A Novel Bookstore, by Laurence Cossé, written in French originally. The story is about good novels and about a bookstore named The Good Novel. It’s a love story and a little bit of a mystery.
Today I started reading a non-fiction book, the demon and the angel, Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration by Edward Hirsch.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Watch the dawn

I’ll be on sabbatical from the cyberspace for two and a half weeks. Cheri and I will leave today  to attend our Rotary District Conference; return home,  then fly to the East Coast for  the graduation of her niece.
There are books to read, mind jottings, and fellowship and family talks.
Behind every change is an opportunity to listen and see new things and old. The old holds experience. The sages say acceptance can take a very long time and after many quests.
After Gilgamesh returned home from his quest:
“When at last they arrived, Gilgamesh
said to Urshanabi, ‘This is
the wall of Uruk, which no city on earth can equal.
See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun.
Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can imagine,
....’  ”

Brave the world. Watch the dawn.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lines from Middlemarch

Few lines from Middlemarch by George Eliot that may stir some thoughts.
“Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.”
“For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
I enjoyed reading Middlemarch with its web of lives, moral dilemmas, meaning of love, success and failures and human goodness.One of the most enjoyable books I have read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moderation as the Sweet Spot

How much does one have to exercise? How much walking or jogging? 
Excerpts from an article in New York Times
Moderation as the Sweet Spot for Exercise
PHYS ED | By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS | June 6, 2012, 12:01 AM
New York Times (digital)
“To date, the data suggests that walking and light jogging are almost uniformly beneficial for health and do increase life span,” Dr. O’Keefe says. “But with more vigorous or prolonged exercise, the benefits can become questionable.
“I’m a fan of distance running,” he adds. “I run. But after about 45 to 60 minutes a day, you reach a point of diminishing returns, and at some point, you risk toxicity.”
His advice? The study by Dr. Lavie and his colleagues offers excellent guidelines for safe and effective exercise, Dr. O’Keefe says. “Twenty miles a week or less of jogging at a 10- or 11-minute-mile pace can add years to your life span. That’s very good news.” Indeed it is — especially since that routine happens to replicate almost exactly my own weekly exercise regimen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The task

“Failure can be accidental but success is never casual.”-Mark Dvoretsky, chess teacher
Everyone knows that success is built on the hierarchy of effort and vigor. Experts refined it  with deliberate practice and flow, skill and passion, and enduring patience.
Somewhere you have to insert imagination and insight. Somehow nobody even hints on luck.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Go for the gold.

from my 7-year -old grandson's  first grade Class. "Go for the gold."
Have a wonderful week.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the greening of the bicycle

Last October our Rotary club sponsored the Homebrewers’ Fest. 46 beer home brewers participated and offered their kegs of beer for tasting. One of the participants came pulling his keg on wheels while riding his solar powered bicycle.
Saturday Snapshot
To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post to Alyce's athomewithbooks in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Friday, June 8, 2012

with buds and in bloom

June is a month of celebrations.
Cheri and I attended the “graduation’ of our 12 year old granddaughter from 6th grade. The 6th graders are going to the middle school which is a different school from where they are now. During the ceremony the teachers  reviewed  the ABC’s.  E for Expectations and I for Imagination.. The teachers quoted Albert Einstein.
"One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved.
One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely
achieve through one's greatest efforts." 
The teachers taught the students to aim high and strive with rigor and imagination.
After the program we stayed around and met our grandson who is in first grade. His class was celebrating today the last day of school. The theme today was The Olympics. The class simulated on the plaza outside the classrooms, an olympic village complete with colored streamers, torches, the 5 colored rings, and with cuisine from around the world which included  sushi made of gummy bears and rice krispies and of course, gelato.
The first grade motto is “Go for the gold”. 
The atmosphere was full of bright reminder that we  should pursue our goals, whether big or small,with similar vigor.
Outside, the white magnolias are with buds and in bloom. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 ice cream cones

That certain elation of your arrival
in your hands 
a simple offering

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ten poems to change your life

Yesterday I was browsing on the bookshelves of the Goodwill store and I found a book of poems: ten poems to change your life by Roger Housden. The title is not capitalized. It costs $1.25.  I first heard about this book when I attended a course on the Muses given by Kayleen Asbo of Sonoma State University.This is one of her favorite books.
In the introduction the author writes: “So this is a book that aims to alert readers to whisperings under their own skin, hunches in their own gut, It is not for poetry lovers alone, but for everyone who knows there is more to life than they are presently living.I intend as a book of inspiration and awakening.”

Life is a very long stretch of road.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A true communion of heart

Today, I attended the Lunch with Friends held every first Tuesday of the month, a social activity of our church.
A couple just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. Another couple on my table told me  that in 2 months she and her husband will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary.
“The joy that comes from a true communion of heart with another person is perhaps one of the purest and greatest in the world, but its function is not exhausted by merely giving pleasure. Though we may not be conscious  of it, there is a deeper purpose in it, an education in the highest arts of living. Even intellectually it means an opening of a door into the mystery of life. Only love truly understands, truly gives insight.”
from : Friendship, Life’s Greatest Joy by Hugh Black

Monday, June 4, 2012

If there are no photos

Last Saturday, Cheri and I joined a lot of other people to celebrate the 90th birthday  of our neighbor, Mr. H. 
His daughter explained to all the attendees that her dad has 4 groups of friends: the old car buffs, his morning doughnut friends, his church group, and his neighbors. His girlfriend is also 90 years old. They are a lovely couple and travel together. They just returned from driving to Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Palm Desert and  back to Napa. 
2 years ago he drove with his car buff friends to a car rally in Texas and the Carolinas. Last year with another car buff friend they visited Scotland. 
His walks cover a lot of miles and  he walks everyday.  Mr. H has an enthusiastic disposition.
Everyday is a day of gratitude. Our 90 year old friend teaches us how to live a life. There is no place or time for complaints.

“Anyone who applies himself regularly, lengthily and energetically to a single project is certain, no matter what else happens, to encounter days of profound delight or unprecedented inspiration”.- Time and the Art of Living -Robert Grudin

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Meditation from Thais

When I was in college I  had no ear completely for classical music. I had a roommate in the boarding house who mentored me on music appreciation. That was how I discovered Beethoven.
But one of my earliest memories of classical music before I heard Beethoven was listening to Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet on the radio. I kept on returning to that  music to lift myself,  at certain times,  when I was lonely.
Someone pieced together  a video of 7 women violinists performing Meditation from Thais and showed it on youtube. Here is the link:
Massenet's Meditation from Thais played by a Dream Team of 7 beautiful lady violinist :-
1. Leila Josefowicz 莱拉.约瑟芙维茨
2. Mayuko Kamio 神尾真由子
3. Anne-Sophie Mutter 安妮.索菲.穆特
4. Nicola Benedetti 妮可拉‧班内迪提
5. Marina Chiche 玛丽娜•齐琪
6. Janine Jensen 珍妮.扬森
7. Sarah Chang 莎拉•张 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Creative recognition

“You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting. Yes, before in a thought, but not in careful writing. It will come if it is there and if you will let it come, and if you have anything you will get a sudden creative recognition...”
 -Gertrude Stein 

( quoted from Nine Gates , Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield) 

(photo taken when Cheri and I visited Quebec City, Quebec, Canada 2 years ago)

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her website for more.

Friday, June 1, 2012

If there are no photos

Life’s journey
All this week or it could be all your life you have been looking for something important 
or waiting for chairs of opportunities?
Are you looking for something  harmonious, orderly?
One may offer you a plateful of Buffalo wings to lighten your day.
Someone says a long time ago, "if you can dream it, do it."
Time can dim quickly in very bright colors.
Cheri and I are  going to dinner in a few hours to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Have a wonderful weekend.