If it were always breakfast, I would be fine

coffee-breakfast-black-and-white

I wish the whole day were like breakfast, when people are still connected to their dreams, focused inward, and not yet ready to engage with the world around them. I realized this is how I am all day; for me, unlike other people, there doesn’t come a moment after a cup of coffee or a shower or whatever when I suddenly feel alive and awake and connected to the world. If it were always breakfast, I would be fine.”

― Peter Cameron, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel


Notes: Peter Cameron Bio. Quote Source: Aseaofquotes. Photography: Jellyfox’s soup

Two Words: Goose Bumps


For the first time ever, researchers have used an unmanned hexacopter to monitor killer whales in the wild. In August 2014, Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, Vancouver Aquarium Senior Marine Mammal Scientist, collaborated with Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use the hexacopter in the field.
Researchers will use the 30,000 photographs taken during 60 flights to assess northern resident killer whale health. From above, the scientists can assess their girth and determine whether the killer whales are sickly or pregnant. These photographs have already revealed several pregnancies, previously undetectable. This information will help guide management of the protected northern resident killer whale population, as well as the endangered southern resident population.

The APH-22 marine hexacopter was built by custom aerial photography company Aerial Imaging Solutions and is owned by NOAA. Its use was authorized by a marine mammal research license issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a special flight certificate from Transport Canada, and animal care permits. The team of scientists also assessed the impact of the hexacopter itself on the animals, and they were able to determine that it went unnoticed by the whales.

Note: The noise in the video may sound loud, but these drones are actually very quiet. You would have to listen hard to hear the drone 10m above your head. The audio is recorded off a camera 30cm from the motors and attached to the frame. In the field the drone was high above the water and researchers noticed no reaction in the whales.


Thank you Rachel. Incredible.

Monday Mantra

gif-drum-beat

The human heart beats
approximately 4,000 times per hour
and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation
is a trophy engraved with the words
“you are still alive.”
You are still alive.
Act like it.

~ Rudy Francisco


Credits: Photograph/gif – youreyesblazeout. Poem Source – Conquer. Rudy Francisco – Bio.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

kitten-cute-eyes-funny-adorable


Source: Madamescherzo

Running. With Planks.

Planking-Baby

6:02 am. Sunday, October 19, 2014. 52° F. Breezy. Autumn.

Mind rolls back to yesterday afternoon. Saturday at 4pm, and my body was signaling late Sunday. The heaviness of Work returned early, a thick Bay Area Fog. (Where’s my weekend?) I’m on a JetBlue flight heading South on Sunday afternoon to catch Monday morning meetings.

I’m ten pounds up from my six-month low. Ten pounds! My last running post was Sept 7th. My last run outside was Sept 14th. Over one month ago, and THAT run is still fresh. I glance at my notes from that day:

Garmin flashing 0.72 miles. Stomach cramps. They will work themselves out. Just slow it down. Keep your feet moving. 0.78 miles. Legs moving, body is haunched over. 0.80 miles. Pain ripping through left calf. I moan, stop and clutch my leg. No Mas. I turn and return home. To the couch.

I decide to break my pre-run routine. (Which, besides complaining about running, is to do nothing, but get out the door.)

I get down on my knees. I’m thinking 1 Plank. I position my iPhone stopwatch where I can see it. I take a deep breath in preparation.  (My blogger friends are deep under my skin. Bone deep.  If Lori can do three two-minute planks in one work-out and Carolann can do a four-minute plank, this is just a matter of practice, right? And, last time I checked, I’m a Man, right?)

I get in planking position. I’ll knock one of these off before my run, and then have something to write about when I return. I’m glaring at the stopwatch. (I’ll show them.)

25 sec.
(Think I got this.)

35 sec.
(Breathing a bit heavy, but I’m just finding my groove.) [Read more...]

The Sunday morning silence comes at last.

Eagle-Lake-Maine-autumn

The sounds of engines leave the air.
The Sunday morning silence comes at last.
At last I know the presence
of the world made without hands,
the creatures that have come to be
out of their absence.
Calls of flicker and jay fill the clear air.
Titmice and chickadees feed
among the green and the dying leaves.
Gratitude for the gifts of all the living
and the unliving,
gratitude which is the greatest gift,
quietest of all,
passes to me through the trees.

~  Wendell Berry, Sabbaths, 2007 XI


Credits:

  • Poem: Thank you Steve @ Anderson Layman’s Blog.
  • Photo from National Geographic. “Autumn’s grandeur spreads across Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island, one of several coastal islands that make up Acadia National Park in Maine. Eagle Lake, which supplies water to nearby Bar Harbor, is deep, clear, and relatively free of plant life.”

SMWI*: A Vertical Life


Don’t give up on this one too soon. The location is Byron Glacier in Alaska. “Byron Glacier  was essentially a gift of unclimbed boulders sitting in a valley draped with hanging glaciers. Heaven on earth, or so I thought.” (Read more about inspiration for this video here: A Vertical Life.)

LOVE the music. It’s “Work Song” by Hozier. Hozier, 24, is Andrew Hozier-Byrne who is an Irish musician from Bray, County Wicklow. He released his debut studio album Hozier in Ireland in September 2014.


SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Saturday Morning

nose


Source: Peeblespair

5:00 P.M. Bell

gif-dance


Source: Youreyesblazeout

T.G.I.F.: Why did the chicken cross the road?

chicken-road-funny

It had been crossing so long it could not remember.
As it stopped in the middle to look back,
a car sped by, spinning it around.
Disoriented, the chicken realized
it could no longer tell which way it was going.
It stands there still.

— John McNamee, Kafka’s joke book


Source: Photograph: Robin Loznak. Joke: kafkaesque-world

 

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-penguin-gif


And don’t miss a full series of terrific penguin gifs here: observation deck

Throwback Thursday: Remember when…

minnow-hands


Source: jaimejustelaphoto

Morning Helicopter Ride Over San Francisco (200 sec)


Short video titled: “A Typical San Francisco Morning” which was shot with a hand held camera out of a helicopter during two morning flights this month. Incredible…


Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

funny-camel-selfie-friends

Here’s Caleb taking a selfie with this buds!


Notes: Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan & thank you Horty for sharing this photo. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

It’s been a long day

gif-cat-cute-adorable-pet


Source: Gifak

It only gets better from here…

middle-age

wsj.com – The Myth of the Midlife Crisis:

  • According to a growing body of research, midlife upheavals are more fiction than fact.
  • Life satisfaction reaches a low point around the mid-40s, perhaps due to stress associated with the simultaneous demands of work and family. But it rises after that.
  • Midlife, he adds, “is a surprisingly positive time of life.”

And yet, I can’t help but parrot Franz Kafka: “My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest –so what is it then?”

Then — with a thunderous roar replied…

lightning-greece-corfu

The Gods called your name
and the seas turned dark;
the earth quaked with power.

You looked up at Olympus
screaming at the gates;
“What will I become?”

The Gods fell silent, then-
with a thunderous roar replied;
“Who are you now?”

— Achilles


Credits: Poem via Mirroir.  Photograph: Lightning Storm in Corfu, Greece. Thank you Cristi. (With Greek Mythology, you need to bring a fantastic photo from Greece!)

 

Monday Mantra

monday-mantra-start


Source: Justlyrics (from “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Mary Lambert)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

puppy-cute-adorable-sleepy-yawn


Source: Brown Dress With White Dots

Bethany Gosvener

bethany-gosvener-art

Bethany Gosvener is a Portland, OR based visual artist.

So here I am.  Doing exactly that,  and freaking out every bit of the way.  Ha.  I’m grateful for those few years of trial and error.  They allowed me time to develop and teach myself a variety of skills.  It may sound odd,  but even I am still shocked to see the work I’m doing.  I can’t believe I had no idea this natural ability was within me.  I am in an endless debt of gratitude to Steven for pushing me,  supporting me.  For loving me through some of the hardest times of my life.  It blows me away. I am so blessed.


Image Source: Jaimejustelaphoto

Cold

snowflake-cold

As if to spare the birds at the feeder
any more competition than they already have
a snowflake drops right past the perches
crowded with finches, nuthatches, sparrows,
and without even thinking to open its wings
settles quietly onto the ground.

~ Ted Kooser. December 23, Cold. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison


Credits: Snowflake photograph – Snowflakes and Snow Crystals by Alexey Kljatov. (45° F this morning. Cold is coming.)

I love Saturday Mornings!

inspirational


Source: So Many Cute Animals. (Photo so much like Zeke, not Zeke!)


T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

snoopy-tgif-friday-raining-


Source: thatonemeaningfulthing

These feet are bangin’ the floor this morning

funny-morning-inspirational


Thank you Kurt @ culturaloffeirng

 

Hush

Charlie-Imagenes-

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?
Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends?
Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer
to a question you’ve been asked,
or the hush of a country road at night,
or the expectant pause of a room full of people
when someone is just about to speak, or,
most beautiful of all,
the moment after the door closes and
you’re alone in the whole house?
Each one is different, you know,
and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

~ Norton Juster


Notes:

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. It’s off to work we go

work


Source: afantasybasedonreality

Moved.

Licia-Ronzulli-child-work

She has been coming to work with her mother since she was just six weeks old. And now it seems three-year-old Vittoria Cerioli, daughter of Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, is taking an ever more active interest in mummy’s work as she joined her in a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday. Stealing the show at this month’s session in eastern France, adorable Vittoria took part in proceedings as she lifted her arm up along with her mother to vote.

Don’t miss the full set of pictures here: Enchanting Little Girl Following In The Footsteps of her MEP Mother


Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Who knew!?!)

Who knew that Caleb was ticklish!


Notes: Thank you Todd Lohenry @ Bright, Shiny Objects for sharing this clip. Loved it.  Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again

Situations running through my head

black and white,
4:00 am. Tuesday morning.

Headphones strapped on. A Pandora Mix of David Gray.

Situations running through my head.

Three good nights of sleep to rejuvenate the soul. A Southern Baptist Preacher, arms reaching for the Heavens: Praise the Lord.

If there is a God, she sang The Best Thing I Never Had on The Voice last night. Beth Spanger, a young lady from Aiken, S.C. I see Light, the woman is Light.

After fifty odd years, I find Molière and Le Misanthrope (1666). Les doutes sont fâcheux plus que toute autre chose. (Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths. Act III, sc. v.).

I’ve ratcheted it up. Read. Watch. See. More. More. More. Faster.

Yet, not fast enough. [Read more...]

Find Your Beach

zadie-smith

Here’s English author Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books with an essay titled Find Your Beach:

[...] Now the ad says: Find your beach. The bottle of beer—it’s an ad for beer—is very yellow and the background luxury-holiday-blue. It seems to me uniquely well placed, like a piece of commissioned public art in perfect sympathy with its urban site. The tone is pure Manhattan. Echoes can be found in the personal growth section of the bookstore (“Find your happy”), and in exercise classes (“Find your soul”), and in the therapist’s office (“Find your self”). I find it significant that there exists a more expansive, national version of this ad that runs in magazines, and on television.

This woman is genius and can write.  Don’t miss her full essay here: Find Your Beach


Notes: Find her award winning book on Amazon here: White TeethPortrait of Zadie Smith: oprah.com. Bio at Wiki here: Zadie Smith 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

birds-morning-wake-up


Source: Twins by Dayagembira via Radiating Blossom. Thank you Carol.

If I met the younger version of myself, we would…

liz-danzico

Liz Danzico is the creative director for NPR. Here’s how she opens her post:

I think a lot about what I would say to the younger version of myself if I met her again, if I met her through the still moments of all the motion of youth — when she was sitting at the piano, or if I saw her alone on the playground, or if I watched her read, voice quivering, her short stories in front of the class…

Don’t miss the rest of her post here: Stillness in Motion.


Credits:

Your writings have fundamentally changed me. For the better, Marilynne. I believe that.

Marilynne_Robinson

She’s at the top of my list of favorite authors. Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize Winning novelist (Housekeeping; Gilead; Home), was interviewed by Wyatt Mason in an article titled The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. Her new book Lila is coming out this week. Here’s a few excerpts from a yet another enlightening experience with the author:

[...] For Robinson, writing is not a craft; it is “testimony,” a bearing witness: an act that demands much of its maker, not least of which is the courage to reveal what one loves.

[...] A photo of her granddaughter sits on the living-room mantle, adjoining a pop-up Christmas card from the Obama White House, where last year she received a National Humanities Medal. (In his remarks that day to the honorees, the president said: “Your writings have fundamentally changed me, . . . I think for the better. Marilynne, . . . I believe that.”)

[...] The novel (Lila) confirms many things, not least of which is how Robinson’s work is unified by her belief in a sacred world whose wonders we have difficulty opening ourselves to, both privately and publicly.

[...] “Being and human beings,” Robinson told me, “are invested with a degree of value that we can’t honor appropriately. An overabundance that is magical.”

Don’t miss the full interview here by Wyatt Mason: The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson.


Book reviews on Lila: A Novel:

  • The Independent: Lila: A Moving Journey From Poverty to Happiness. “…the human story dominates, resulting in a book that leaves the reader feeling what can only be called exaltation.”
  • The New York Times: “Lila: Moral of the Story.” “…is not so much a novel as a meditation on morality and psychology, compelling in its frankness about its truly shocking subject: the damage to the human personality done by poverty, neglect and abandonment.”

Robinson’s new book is scheduled for release on October 7th on Amazon: Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson


Credits: Marilynne Robinson Portrait: The Independent

Lightly child, lightly

butterfly-gif-color


Credits:

 

SMWI*: Plank This

fitness,

GrindTV: Chinese Man Sets World Planking Record:

Mao Weidong is a 43-year old Beijing special policy deputy commander and member of Beijing SWAT team.

He set a planking world record for the longest time in an abdominal plank position with an incredible duration of 4 hours, 26 minutes.

Resting only on his elbows and tiptoes, Mao proceeded to smash the previous planking world record of 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds set by American athlete George Hood in 2013.

So, to show I still had it, I gave it a whirl. I lasted a full 90 seconds, the last 30 seconds of which my body was fully contorted. After collapsing, I noted that I lay in the recovery-face-first position longer than when I was in the plank position. (Now there’s an athlete!)

Mao Weidong, you are SuperMan.


Note:

  • SMWI*: “Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Source: GrindTV

Bubble (gum) / Breathe / 85 sec


Notes:

Saturday Morning

kitten-cat-cute-adorable-bliss


Source: awwww-cute

 

5:00 p.m. Bell: Heading Home

drive-car-vintage-work-home-tgif


Source: amjayes via preciousandfregilethings

Word

black and white, photography

You are looking for the “right” word.

For a paper, an article, a story, a blog post, a presentation – – you’re trying to express a intense moment, a feeling, an emotion.

Words, sentences, paragraphs, a continuous stream flowing…your back and forth rhythm now rudely interrupted. You have hit The Wall. You can’t climb over without the Word.

It’s right there. On the tip of your tongue. Your mind is searching. You feel the Word. It’s Sizzling, Searing. The perfect Word to capture the moment, the feeling.

Yet, you come up Empty.

Your frustration grows. You use a substitute. You re-read the passage again, and again. The Word doesn’t fit. It doesn’t feel right. It’s an impostor. You go with it anyway. And it hangs, like an ill-fitting jacket or pair of oversized shoes.

Suppose we try to recall a forgotten name. The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness, and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term. If wrong names are proposed to us, this singularly definite gap acts immediately so as to negate them. They do not fit into its mould. And the gap of one word does not feel like the gap of another, all empty of content as both might seem necessarily to be when described as gaps. . . . The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct. Every one must know the tantalizing effect of the blank rhythm of some forgotten  verse, restlessly dancing in one’s mind, striving to be filling out with words.

William James, 1890

And, then you read a poem that captures this, all of this.

Magic.

She’s gone and done it.
[Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-gif-bird-tennis-ball


Source: themetapicture.com (thanks Susan)

It’s Been A Long Day

dog-funny-bath-gif


Source: gifak

You’re think you’re tough? You don’t know Tough.

sarah-marquis

Her name is Sarah Marquis. She’s 42. She’s Swiss. She spent three of the past four years walking ~ 10,000 miles by herself – from Siberia through the Gobi Desert, China, Laos and Thailand, then across all of Australia.

…Marquis tried to minimize human contact (and avoid dangerous characters). She hid her femininity with loose clothes, big sunglasses, hair piled up in a hat. (Be sure to check out what she looks like without disguise.)

…She has starved and she has frozen…To supplement the inadequate supply of noodles she could carry, Marquis brought a slingshot, a blow gun, some wire to make snares and a net for catching insects. In the warm months, Marquis ate goannas, geckos and bearded dragons. In the cold months, when the reptiles hid, she subsisted on an Aboriginal standby, witchetty grubs — white, caterpillar-size moth larvae that live in the roots of Mulga trees.

…When water was scarce, she collected condensation, either by digging a deep hole and lining the cool bottom with plastic or by tying a tarp around a bush. If those techniques didn’t yield enough liquid — and they rarely did — she drank snake blood. At night Marquis slept close to the trunks of trees, touching the bark in a way that she describes as “almost carnal.” She fell in love with a particular twisted and wind-bent Western myall tree on Australia’s Nullarbor Plain.

Don’t miss this story by Elizabeth Weil in the NY Times: The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years

Three thoughts:

  1. Wow.
  2. Inspiring.
  3. (Note to self: And you bi*tch about the humidity walking across town?)

 

Puff

sparrow

A Glimpse of the Eternal

Just now,
a sparrow lighted
on a pine bough
right outside
my bedroom window
and a puff
of yellow pollen
flew away.

~ Ted Kooser, Delights & Shadows


Notes:

  • Ted Kooser won the Pulitzer prize in Poetry in 2005 for Delights & Shadows.  The New York Times: “Ted Kooser…has a genius for making the ordinary sacred.”
  • Photograph of White Throated Sparrow: Bill McBride 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day-funny-hat

Check me out! (The Fedorable Caleb)


Source: themetapicture.com. Hump Day Related Post: Hit it Again.

And if 2 isn’t enough, double down

hand-sand-earth

And here’s links to 3 more excerpts from Sam Harris’ new book that hit nerve endings:

  • Our needs and desires seem to multiply by the hour.” Connect here.
  • Our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on.” Connect here.
  • Just keep your foot on the gas until you run out of road.” Connect here.

Photograph Source: YourEyesBlazeOut via Taffynikte

 

 

Monday Mantra: Carpe Momento

black and white,gratitude

Our minds are all we have. They are all we have ever had. And they are all we can offer others. This might not be obvious, especially when there are aspects of your life that seem in need of improvement— when your goals are unrealized, or you are struggling to find a career, or you have relationships that need repairing. But it’s the truth. Every experience you have ever had has been shaped by your mind. Every relationship is as good or as bad as it is because of the minds involved. If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused, and unloving, or your attention is elsewhere, it won’t matter how successful you become or who is in your life— you won’t enjoy any of it.

Most of us could easily compile a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list? Everything we want to accomplish— to paint the house, learn a new language, find a better job— is something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and enjoy our lives in the present. Generally speaking, this is a false hope. I’m not denying the importance of achieving one’s goals, maintaining one’s health, or keeping one’s children clothed and fed— but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.

Acknowledging that this is the structure of the game we are playing allows us to play it differently. How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.

~ Sam Harris. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Simon & Schuster. 2014)


Photographer: Sasha Onyshchenko via Thisiseverything. Blog post title is twist on Carpe Diem (Seize the Day to Seize the Moment)

Why Books Matter

books,read,reading,distraction,

I finished this book last night. I don’t recall another book packing such a punch at the finish.

“I felt myself enter Fitzgerald’s language, felt its lilt, its music, carry me away.”

Right book.
Right place.
Right time.

I’ve included the closing five paragraphs below. If you want to avoid a spoiler, stop here and go pick up David Ulin’s book:

David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time. (Sasquatch Books. 2010)

[Read more...]

Sunday Morning: O (Ode to) Canada


Let’s hope so.

religion,doubt,

Doubt As a Sign of Faith by Julia Baird in NY Times:

When the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said recently that at times he questioned if God was really there, much of the reaction was predictably juvenile: Even God’s earthly emissary isn’t sure if the whole thing is made up! The International Business Times called it “the doubt of the century.”

…He told an audience at Bristol Cathedral that there were moments where he wondered, “Is there a God? Where is God?” Then, asked specifically if he harbored doubts, he responded, “It is a really good question. … The other day I was praying over something as I was running, and I ended up saying to God, ‘Look, this is all very well, but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there?’ Which is probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

…But Archbishop Welby’s candor only makes him human. He may lead 80 million Anglicans worldwide, but he is also a man who knows anguish, rage, incomprehension and the cold bareness of grief. He lost his firstborn child, Johanna, a 7-month-old baby girl, in a car accident in 1983, a period he has described as “utter agony.” As a teenager he cared for an alcoholic father…

Faith cannot block out darkness, or doubt…Just as courage is persisting in the face of fear, so faith is persisting in the presence of doubt. Faith becomes then a commitment, a practice and a pact that is usually sustained by belief. But doubt is not just a roiling, or a vulnerability; it can also be a strength. Doubt acknowledges our own limitations and confirms — or challenges — fundamental beliefs, and is not a detractor of belief but a crucial part of it.

…The Southern writer Flannery O’Connor said there was “no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe,” but for her, these torments were “the process by which faith is deepened.”

My local pastor, Tim Giovanelli, a Baptist whose ocean-swimming prowess has lassoed scores of surfers and swimmers into his church, puts it simply: “For Welby, myself and many others, it is not that we have certainty but have seen the plausibility of faith and positive impact it can make. In a broken world, that can be enough.”

Don’t miss the full op-ed article here: Doubt As a Sign of Faith


Image: StepsOnMySunLitFloor. Related Post: The Believer of Convenience.

It’s moving day

diet,exercise,walk,run,walking,running,weight loss,inspiration,steps

This is what the Jawbone’s surveys show are the average steps per day for users of fitness step counters. (Saturday biggest day. Sunday, day of rest, apparently.)

Now here is my reality for the week of 9/8/14 based on steps counted by my Vivofit Fitness tracker:

[Read more...]