Archive for 2006-01

Tuesday Stuff

02006-01-31 @ 20:01 : Women’s All Footwear | Air Rift iD
For a different kind of Valentine’s gift you could customize an Air Rift iD shoe from Nike. A few weeks later you will receive a package direct from China with the shoes.

Tonight I tried champagne with a little pomegranate juice. Delightful!

Thanks for all of the mail and email for my birthday tomorrow. You are a thoughtful and lovely bunch, you!

Had somebody at a local store check my nonstick pans for wear this morning and they retired all three of them right there and then. Best was when the gentleman said, when used properly every pan is a nonstick pan. Bought a nice All-Clad LTD pan and will keep reminding myself of my new mantra: when properly used every pan is a non-stick pan. We always look for the easy fix, don’t we. Just use a nasty teflon pan, ’cause it won’t stick and we don’t have to worry about it…


02006-01-31 @ 13:01

Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver.
If you want to listen to podcasts, this program is for you. Juice is the premier podcast receiver, allowing users to capture and listen to podcasts anytime, anywhere.

For Windows 2000 or XP, Macintosh and soon for Linux. If you are looking for software to listen to our podcasts and you don’t want to use iTunes – you might try Juice. I haven’t used it myself.

Rahim AlHaj

02006-01-31 @ 12:01

Rahim AlHaj – Oud Composer
Rahim’s long awaited Friendship: Oud & String Quartet CD with Fast Horse Recordings.

I found out that this wonderful oud player, who was born in Iraq, lives in Albuquerque. He will perform in Santa Fe on the 11th of February. His newest CD features him with a string quartet and is amazing. HERE is a biography of Rahim. Can’t wait to hear this man play live!


02006-01-30 @ 23:01

Spent most of the afternoon and evening in the studio, working on Silence. It appears to be about 8 1/2 minutes long. A few more details and then to Jon for bass and some keyboards.

Current Listening

02006-01-30 @ 23:01

Daniel Lanois – Belladonna
Haunting ambient recording. Brilliant.

Toumani Diabate – Kaira
Solo kora music. I found this album in the early nineties. Saw Toumani perform in a place called the Speakeasy in L.A. He sat on a table in the restaurant and played that exquisite Kora music. Most people didn’t seem to know who he was, but I was mesmerized. I recently came across the album again and have been listening almost daily.

Flash Wristband

02006-01-30 @ 21:01

Imation – Flash Wristband
Imation Flash Wristband is the new, convenient way to transfer, share and save digital files. Whether it’s homework, photos, graphics, music or e-mails, it’s all protected beneath a flexible blue or black rubber shell. Always at the ready, the 256MB Flash Wristband is the indispensable, go-anywhere accessory for the everyday professionals and consumers.

Raise to 2GB, add a watch LCD, maybe add GPS… five years?


02006-01-30 @ 12:01

An email I sent out this morning addresses the email vs weblog issue:

Please stop. You should understand that sharing is one thing, via a blog or web page for example, and that bombarding somebody with email is quite another. That I do not consider sharing.

Sharing via a place on the net is cool, because I can chose to visit that place or not. Sharing via email is not cool, because I am forced to deal with your email.

The person in question was thankfully very understanding.


02006-01-30 @ 11:01

Discovered the above lotion on Saturday while looking for a product that does not use Parabens. Great looking brown bottle design. The scents are lovely, if a bit too strong for my taste, and the lotion feels great.

Ecocentric Bodycare
Always: nurturing, handcrafted, organic, fair-trade (whenever possible), cruelty-free
Never: petroleum, sulfates or detergents, synthetic preservatives, artificial colors or frangrance, GMOs

The other product I use on my hands is Travertine’s Shea Hand and Nail cream. This Shea cream is rich and non-greasy and last winter it healed my hands and cuticles which were in bad shape. Fantastic stuff. Highly recommended.

Year of the Dog

02006-01-28 @ 08:01

Tomorrow begins a new year, the year 4703 by the Chinese calendar. It is the Chinese year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year – 2006 is Year of Dog.
January 29, 2006 is the first day of the Chinese new year.

And if you are wondering what Dog people are like – here is a summation from the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco:

People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people’s confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders.

I know a dog person. Loyal – check, honest – check, selfish – possibly, stubborn – check, eccentric – probably, caring little for wealth – check, distant at parties – check, sharp tongue – check.

Chinese folks don’t generally celebrate their birthdays until they reach 50 or 60 years of age. Individual birthdays are not celebrated, rather the first day of the new year is the day all birthdays are celebrated. A really big party!

So, I will celebrate my Chinese birthday tomorrow, and my western birthday next week on Wednesday.

Now I am off to the studio with a headful of ideas.

Music & Business

02006-01-27 @ 07:01

Robert Fripp’s Diary
In the world of music, (it appears to us that) the musician creates the music. It is more accurate to say that music creates the musician. For a musician, it is not a ‘temptation’ to be present & involved when music becomes available to enter the phenomenal world: it is a matter of being & doing who & what we are. A musician who undertakes the professional life enters a life of grief and pain: what has value is accorded a price. But when a musician believes that music is a commodity, music has just died in them.

Yes, all true. The question is, as professional musicians do we spend more time making music than we would be able to if we had another job and music was our special ‘hobby’. Or are we bogged down by business decissions we have to make.

This reminds me of our ListeningLounge. Download purchases per song unfortunately are in the hundreds, not the thousands. The cost of creating the LL and of running it are currently higher than the returns. This raises the question what am I willing to do to promote the LL and myself. Not much actually. If you, the listener, enjoy the LL you will tell others.

Read on and don’t miss this gem, a letter to Fripp from a Japanese fan:

’Cold’ means a highest state of performance of total objectivity, no intension of trying to express something personal after an endless discipline. In other words, ’It is Just there’ I suppose.

And toward the end Fripp talks about recording splashes for Windows. I thought he’d be mad that somebody video-taped the session, but he does not mention that.


02006-01-26 @ 13:01

WHY should one read Poetry? That seems to me a good deal like asking: Why should one eat? One eats because one has to, to support life, but every time one sits down to dinner one does not say, ‘I must eat this meal so that I may not die.’ On the contrary, we eat because we are hungry, and so eating appears to us as a pleasant and desirable thing to do.

The necessity for poetry is one of the most fundamental traits of the human race. But naturally we do not take that into account, any more than we take into account that dinner, and the next day again, dinner is the condition of our remaining alive. Without poetry the soul and heart of man starves and dies.

The only difference between them is that all men know, if they turn their minds to it, that without food they would die, and comparatively few people know that without poetry they would die.
Amy Lowell

You might replace the word poetry with the word education, and it would read just as well. The problem is surely that while most people realize that without food they will die, not enough people realize that without training and education their minds will whither – or, in the case of children, will never get the chance to blossom and develop.


02006-01-26 @ 08:01

Data @ NASA GISS: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis: 2005 Summation
Record warmth in 2005 is notable, because global temperature has not received any boost from a tropical El Niño this year. The prior record year, 1998, on the contrary, was lifted 0.2ºC above the trend line by the strongest El Niño of the past century.

Global warming is now 0.6ºC in the past three decades and 0.8ºC in the past century. It is no longer correct to say that ‘most global warming occurred before 1940’. More specifically, there was slow global warming, with large fluctuations, over the century up to 1975 and subsequent rapid warming of almost 0.2ºC per decade.
(Via Slashdot)

I read the above news this morning. Amazing how NASA can have the facts while all our politicians seem to stick their fingers in their ears and sing I can’t hear you!

Anyway, the news seems to dovetail nicely with some of what I learned this week regarding Native American ways to view the world. Roshi Joan Halifax allowed me to attend seminars at Upaya this week, even though I was not able to take part in the whole intensive.

This retreat is a powerful way to explore the core teachings of the Buddha and indigenous perspectives in relation to the contemporary world. It includes daily meditation training and practice, morning samu (service work), afternoon seminars exploring historical and engaged Buddhism, as well as indigenous perspectives on the natural world and the mind.


02006-01-25 @ 21:01

David Byrne Journal
What if there is no self? No such thing as being the unique personalities we think we are? What if, and this is very convoluted, there are even parts of our brains that have evolved to convince us that each of us is unique – as a cover up or mask for the awful truth? The truth that parts of our brains deceive other parts of our brains. And that this trickery evolved because it’s useful.

Sounds buddhist, but David Byrne is actually following a different angle. Interesting read.


02006-01-25 @ 14:01

• New Podcast of La Luna, recorded live in Clearwater, Florida, at the Ruth Eckerd Hall. December of 2005. With String Quartet. Tell your friends.

• I have started recording Silence: No More Longing for the next album up close several times already. There was always something about it that made me stop. A subtle inflection of a melody that wasn’t quite right, a sound of the guitar/strings/nails combination that didn’t fit… I also noticed from the live recordings that I played it quite a bit faster during this last tour – but I think slower is better. So anyway, I have been playing the song a lot during this past week and a lot of good ideas have emerged. Ideas that will make the piece more of what I want it to be. Back to the beginning and start over. It’ll be worth it, trust me.


02006-01-25 @ 14:01

Our tires, despite looking perfectly normal, are over 8 PSI under-inflated! Using some data from the EPA, I did some calculations showing that if we were better about keeping our tires properly inflated, we could save 266 lbs of CO2, 14 gallons of gasoline, and about $35 each year. All this for about 2 minutes once a month.

As if this wasn’t enough, I extrapolated to the number of US cars (220 Million), and came up with the $7B, 52 billion lbs of CO2 number. The impact is tremendous, both in terms of climate change and money saved.

Yes, I have been aware of that for a while. Of course, cars should be checking their own tire pressure continually and either add the air automatically or give a warning signal.

Egg Tempera

02006-01-25 @ 08:01

Introduction – The Society of Tempera Painters
Egg tempera is a painting process that uses egg yolk to bind pigments. The artist must manufacture the paints him or herself by the simple process of mixing finely ground pigment, water and dilute egg yolk. The paint is then applied in a method where the optical laws of egg tempera are obeyed thus the unique surface of egg tempera will be achieved. In addition to making the paint the artist has also to prepare the ground on which to paint.

I have never worked with egg tempera, but this sounds very intriguing!

12 New Buildings

02006-01-25 @ 07:01

12 New Buildings
Without much introduction or fanfare, submitted here for your consideration are a dozen great building that emerged over the course of 2005.

Picasso in Istanbul

02006-01-25 @ 07:01

The Art Newspaper — News
Turkey is holding its first ever retrospective of a major European artist. The exhibition “Picasso in Istanbul” is currently on display at the Sakip Sabanci Museum (until 26 March).

Perfect Smile

02006-01-25 @ 07:01

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Gum lifts the latest technique in quest for the perfect smile
Once there was tooth capping, laser tooth-whitening and the porcelain veneer. But in the quest for dazzling smiles, Americans are now increasingly resorting to cosmetic surgery. The operation is the gum lift, a procedure that whittles away at tissue or bone to make teeth appear more symmetrical and longer.


Current Reading

02006-01-24 @ 22:01

Stephen Batchelor – Verses from the Center
Poetic translation of Nagarjuna’s classic. Brilliant.

Jean-Fran̤ois Revel and Matthieu Ricard РThe Monk and the Philosopher

Orhan Pamuk – Istanbul: Memories and the City

HERE is what Bruce Sterling says about the last author:

Orhan Pamuk publicly faces down the darker elements of his Turkish heritage.

He put his own life on the line and he won a fine victory for Turkish civil society here. My fez is off to this guy. Pamuk is a major 21st century literary figure. He’s the kind of writer who gets streets and parks and high schools and statues named after him. (Once the authorities have him safely shoveled under, that is.)

I loved visiting Istanbul and am looking forward to reading this last book.


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