Wilderness — A Meditation

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fructose and Type 2 Diabetes

check this out and see what you think —

"Avoid This ONE Ingredient and Cure Diabetes, Arthritis and Hypertension"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh, Danny Boy — Your Opening Brought Tears to My Eyes

This article from the Christian Science Monitor this morning made me smile.  I thought it might do the same for you.  The web addy is below.  However, I've copied the whole damn thing - just for you. Oh, well, and just for me so that I can go back and read it over and over again.

Christian Science Monitor

Opening Ceremony London 2012: wit and charm on a midsummer's night

Supposedly, it was London’s bad fortune to be the next Summer Olympics host after Beijing. Who, after all, could top that opening ceremony?

Instead, London offered China – and the rest of the world – a lesson.

Superpower? Been there, done that.

2012 London Olympics quiz: Are you ready for a gold medal?

In an opening act rare among those in the history of Olympic opening ceremonies, the London organizers did something extraordinary: They were honest.

What other nation, in a moment of national glory that politicians pay billions of dollars to win, would allow such a view of their own country to be broadcast to the world?

One that has been there, done that, and no longer has anything to prove to anyone.

In a night that crackled with British music, literature, and humor – yes, that was the actual queen with 007 – it was an opening act about the Industrial Revolution that made this night as memorable as the one in Beijing four years ago.

Not for the pyrotechnics, which were impressive but not to be compared to Beijing, but for a story that dared to be heartbreaking – that invited the viewer to consider how the Industrial Revolution that began in English mills rippled out to change the English countryside, the world economy, and the human condition.

This, to say the least, was a change of pace from four years ago.

The brilliance of the opening act was in its initial subtlety – and perhaps impossible to fully appreciate on television. An hour before the ceremonies began, while the stadium was still silent but for the hum of the arriving crowd, the country village set in the center of the Olympic Stadium was inhabited.

Horses pulled carriages. Farmers actually harvested wheat. Boys played cricket. Girls danced around the maypole. When the live sheep entered, they got an ovation from the crowd.

Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire” and the artistic force behind these opening ceremonies, was just setting us up. He was inviting us to become immersed and involved – to watch the pretty couple playing badminton, to witness soccer become rugby as the players picked up the ball and started bowling through each other with childlike enthusiasm.

Then the show started, and the world changed. Piece by piece, the village was dismantled as top-hatted men chewed cigars and smiled. Smokestacks rose and forges glowed red hot as smoke filled the stadium – a picture of the grime and glory of Victorian England.

It was both tragedy and spectacle, and from it (probably to the International Olympic Committee’s dismay) came the five Olympic rings. As they joined overhead, a shower of sparks rained down on the soot-faced workers below, and London had its Beijing moment – but one far more poignant, because it told a narrative that binds the entire world, and did not shrink in the telling of it.
Be British for a day

Throughout the rest of opening ceremony, Boyle did not seek to wow – or even cow – the world. Instead, he invited us all to be British for a day.

And it was rather enjoyable.

A fleet of flying Mary Poppinses scared off Lord Voldemort with a little help from J.K. Rowling. Mr. Bean played Chariots of Fire (badly), while dreaming of outpacing Olympic runners on the beach. And we learned that we all like to head bang to "Bohemian Rhapsody."

As the ceremonies went on, the show became more perfunctory, with Paul McCartney making what seemed to be an obligatory appearance. David Beckham got to drive a boat carrying the flame. But the flame-lighting, too, had a sense of anticlimax to it, as seven young athletes – chosen by living British Olympic medalists and embodying the Games’ motto of “inspire a generation” – lit scores of long-necked pipes, that rose to form a caldron of sorts in the middle of the stadium. (Where that caldron will go when the javelin starts, we have no idea.)

As in the opening sequence, the latter portions of the ceremony were at their best when they were raw and unapologetic, such as the decision to serenade the Olympians at the end of the parade of nations with the shrieking guitars of the Arctic Monkeys.

This was not the Olympics as they have been sold to us, and there was a freshness in that.

So, too, when Boyle made the rather bold decision to greet the arrival of the British team with David Bowie’s “Heroes.” In another time and another context, perhaps, it would have seemed crass nationalism.

But by then, Boyle had brought us all along, and we, too, wanted them all to be heroes. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Risk Aversion in Popular Culture

As those of you who know me will attest, I am anything but an intellectual.  My world is ruled by my heart, not by my mind.  No doubt!  However, I love words, love English, flirt with Spanish and German, and enjoy listening to Chinese and Korean.

And so, I would like to share just a para of an article.  You may find the rest at the following addy:

"We are living in a risk-averse culture - there's no doubt about that.

But the risk that people seem most reluctant taking is not a physical but a mental one: just as the concrete in children's playgrounds has been covered with rubber, so the hard truth about the effort needed for intellectual attainment is being softened by a sort of semantic padding.

Our arts and humanities education at secondary level seems particularly afflicted by falling standards - so much so that universities are now being called upon to help write new A-level syllabuses in order to cram our little chicks with knowledge that, in recent years, has come to seem unpalatable, if not indigestible - knowledge such as English vocabulary beyond that which is in common usage."

Will Self
BBC NEWS Magazine, 20 April 2012

The main reason I have posted a reference to Self's article is that recently I found myself acutely and emotionally aware of just how 'risk averse' my prairie world has come to be.  After attending a protest prayer meeting in the middle of some of the most lovely pastures in North Dakota, I volunteered to write a short article for our local newspaper.

Having written the article, I called the hostess for the event to clear the content with her.  She offered further information to be included.  Off went the article to the Burke County Tribune who accepted my words with a 'thank-you'.

Five hours later, after the deadline for submission, a phone call from one of the attendees at the event opened my eyes to the issue of 'risk aversion' as it manifests in 2012 near the Canadian border.  The caller had been a kind purveyor of transportation for me and my attending crew at the event.  I had included her name in the article as a kind of thank-you for her consideration.  She wanted it taken out.  'Too late,' I explained.  The deadline had passed.  The National Geographic photographer who had chronicled the event, however, had given permission that his name be included in the article.  Guess he must have appreciated the publicity.

The following day, the newspaper with article arrived in my mail box.  Not only had the initial caller managed to have her name deleted.  All names had been deleted as well as all reference to the woman and the name of her ranch which had initiated the event.  Talk about 'white out'.  The article no longer had any specific information.  Pointless space taking was left - worse than the worst adverts one finds in newspapers.  Absolutely no specific information remained.

It's a strange world into which I have dropped like an alien from some upfront, straight forward land.
I have much to learn and these folks?  They do to.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can Do Nation - Are Americans Anymore?

 What follows is an excerpt from a NY Times article from Sunday.  If you agree with me that our schools are failing many American youngsters by insisting that everyone 'ought' to go to college, you may find the research behind this article worth a read.

Here's the link:

A Nation That’s Losing Its Toolbox

"Ask the administration or the Republicans or most academics why America needs more manufacturing, and they respond that manufacturing spawns innovation, brings down the trade deficit, strengthens the dollar, generates jobs, arms the military and kindles a recovery from recession. But rarely, if ever, do they publicly take the argument a step further, asserting that a growing manufacturing sector encourages craftsmanship and that craftsmanship is, if not a birthright, then a vital ingredient of the American self-image as a can-do, inventive, we-can-make-anything people."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bill Moyers on Colorado Disaster

"Nonetheless, we have become so gun loving, so blas̩ about home-grown violence that in my lifetime alone, far more Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire than have died in all our wars combined. In Arizona last year, just days after the Gabby Giffords shooting, sales of the weapon used in the slaughter Рa 9 millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol Рdoubled."

Moyers entire essay on the Colorado shootings can be read at the following address:

You may find it enlightening.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fracking - You want to know about chemicals?

Below is an excerpt  from a Men's Journal article.  I have included only the info on fracking chemicals used in the wells in northwest North Dakota.  Thought you might find it interesting.

Men's Journal/ The Magazine
Greetings from Williston, North Dakota
by Stephen Rodrick
July 2012

A few days later, Joe is trying to sleep when things go to hell. Behind his trailer is a slightly nicer trailer, housing the eggheads from Payzone Directional Drilling Services, a company being paid $15,000 a day to supervise the horizontal drilling. The Payzone guys sit at computers and watch a camera mounted on a 30-foot turbine that steers the drill. Last night, the eggheads did all sorts of mathematical equations and programmed the turbine to take a hard left at 10,000 feet across the middle Bakken. Numbers are punched into a computer, and everyone takes a break. The Payzone guys watch a movie on cable and check their email.
But something gets fucked up. The pipe turns the wrong way and drills in exactly the wrong direction. If the pipe keeps drilling, it's going to end up on someone else's property or miss the oil zone completely. A Payzone guy wakes up Joe. He tells him the entire pipe has to be pulled out of the ground so they can figure out what went wrong.
Joe is not happy. "Who fucked this up?"
Nobody knows. What we do know is that for Joe's crew, the next 14 hours are going to suck. Every joint of the pipe has to be filled with viscous oil-based drilling mud  the K-Y of drilling lubricant  before it is dropped in the ground. One of the Payzone guys describes it to me as "the Chernobyl of drilling fluid, the most chemical-≠laden goop known to man." Now, it all has to come back up. When the pipe gets pulled out of the ground, the toxic K-Y is going to fly ≠everywhere.
Joe tells his crew what they have to do. They look at him like he has told them to start digging their own graves. And in a way he has. If the shit gets on your skin, you break out in lesions and whiteheads.
Read more:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Erik Erikson in the midst of a Wedding celebration

Home again, home again, jiggidy, jig!  Empty hollows behind the eyelids, do you recognize that feeling?  Not quite enough sleep, but not quite sleepy.

It's been a long journey from Nordacotah to the Sierra of California, through Flagstaff, Arizona, for one of the most important ceremonies of my daughter's lifetime - signaling long term commitment to another whom she loves and enjoys, with whom she sees herself hiking the perilous ledges of relationship.

Enjoying a family reunion as well as the union with another family not only extends one's awareness of what is important but allows for a little introspection about what the remaining few years of acute living have in store. In the end I hope we all arrive at the final celebration - a chemical change that provides the opportunity to have one's various parts actually join  the universal - a fine mist of ashes sprinkled over my favorite granite and fir forest.  Just the thought of my loved one's taking a part in Janet's ceremony makes my heart sing.

And so it is comfortable to think of each of my children securely on their way to life adventures that not only enhance their own sense of self, but also the sense of community in those places where they reside.

Hopefully, tonight when I lay my head on my duck down pillow and pull the fine cotton sheets over my midrift, I'll be fantasizing a future for each of those I love that offers them a sense of accomplishment beyond my own sense of having made contributions that give me pause to smile in retrospect.

Interesting that Erikson understood the final stages of life for us humans so very well.  I admire his perspecuity.

 generativity vs. stagnation in late middle ages followed by an interesting choice: integrity vs despair

Prairie Weather

I'm told that living on the prairie, one must pay attention to the weather.  I was doubtful until yesterday although I have lived through a winter that seemed impossible here along the Canadian border.

The G-man and I attended a Sunday evening protest of the proposed Alliance natural gas pipeline through the White Earth Valley yesterday.  When we left home on the north side of the moraine, the windshield wipers were needed, but by the time we reached the moraine itself ( the one that runs east and west about twenty miles south of the Canadian border in our region, the clouds dissipated and only sunshine accompanied us to our destination. 92 F degrees of sunshine, that is.

However, on the way home, a phone call alerted us to take serious notice of the thunderheads moving into anvils above our little town.  The roads were soaked and our garden met us with wet whistles.  Flowers are brighter than ever this morning.

However, we heard that six miles east a tornado had threatened, hail stones way bigger than any of us like to consider fell from the sky and some folks lost roof tiles from their barns. 

Our little corner of paradise rested in splendor, but all round one sort or another of anguish prevailed.

I think the part of all of this that impressed most was the nonchalance of our fellow townsfolk.  No one was much disturbed by the impending disaster  predicted by the authorities.  Everyone took the possibilities in stride.

As for me.  I was happy to have been on the sunny side of the moraine for the evening.  Better to come home to a big wet than endure one.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ben -

Ben Proctor, my new son-in-law.  Handsome bloke, I'd say and as kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and obsessed as one might imagine anyone who would want to be part of this family of ours.  That is to say, he loves cycling, mountain cycling in the extreme.  Have to admit that there are a lot of other obsessions that might indeed be far worse.  He also loves my daughter, charming, intelligent, beautiful independent blokette that she is.  He's also one of those fellows who have a dog fetish.  Loves his sidekick...A family of three already, this duo have a readimade lifestyle.  We all wish them the very best.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Little Relaxed Music Please

Ah, so the wedding is over, the goodies all packed; we've arrived home after six weeks of travel through some of the most beautiful country the earth goddess has to offer.  And to what have we returned?  Believe it or not, the prairie is a palette of blue flax and yellow canola back dropped by a baby blue sky framed with sixty story high fluffy clouds.

It is good to be home again and difficult to deal once again with humidity.  After three weeks in the dry alpine air of California's Sierra Nevada, my skin is once again soft, the wrinkles have dissipated and I glow from ten a.m. til 5 p.m. when the cooler early evening air wafts through the house.

I include here a picture of the three siblings for whom the wedding was a celebration.  Sarah, the bride, Tina, the big sister, and Matt, the lil bro came to enjoy the party, support the bride and groom and generally have a fine time together. 

I am a pleased mom, so proud of them all.  The wedding ceremony was a fabulous success, enjoyed by everyone.

thank you, Ben and Sarah..

Thursday, July 05, 2012

LIfe is a bit of a tangle

Have you noticed that some of the most important moments in life are also some of the most tangled emotionally?

Well, I have and in future posts I'll try to untangle with you hooking into a few of the loose ends that will allow me to move to the center of the knot of family and friendly relationships.

In the meantime I have only five minutes before it's time to shut up the internet for another day or two as we are still mountaineering where there is happily no connections to the outside world via the great world wide net, which, of course, means we have time to relate, cogitate, exercise, and otherwise pretend that the rest of the planet is as happily arranged as our mountain retreat.