Monday, December 26

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Take heed that when effort is too strenuous it leads to strain and when too slack to laziness. So make a firm determination that you will adopt the middle way, not allowing yourself to struggle or to slacken, but recognizing that faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom are the fruits of a calm and equable way.


Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

Jaliyah is the middle girl of my bro-in-law and she is a Showstopper! She's got a huge personality and she'll be 6 in March.

This is just one of the photosfrom Christmas I have added to flickr.

Sunday, December 25

Happy Holy Days

Hope everybody is have a great weekend celebrating whatever they celebrate.

In Nashvegas we will be eating, opening presents at the in-laws' houses (mother/brother respectively) and going to a movie. Most importantly, Christmas shopping season is DONE!

Have a great day.
The management.

Wednesday, December 21

Pre-written greeting cards

Is it a waste of money to send a greeting card without personalizing it?

You know the cards that have all the poetic stuff written in them. Say you find one you like then you sign your name and mail it. Is that any less valuable - is it a waste of money - than finding the card you like, writing an additional note and then mailing it?

Is so, why? Isn't the point of the pre-written cards that they say something you like, in a way you want to say it?

I ask this b/c I had a discussion about Christmas cards and the idea that just sending a pre-written card w/o personalization is a waste of money, that you shouldn't even bother to send it if you aren't gonna add something to it.

Am I wrong to think that when you find the card that states your idea you don't need to embellish?

Today is a blue day

Despite being away from the store, despite having most of the day with Tara, despite have an interview with a library branch manager, despite getting to go see CoN:LWW, it is a blue day.

12 ways to fight soaring heating bills

This after we get a heating bill that went from $75 to $220!
The Energy Information Administration forecasts that households in the Midwest could spend 71% more this winter for natural gas and 40% more for propane than last winter; those in the Northeast that use heating oil could spend 33% more; and Southern households could see a 17% rise in their electricity bills. Nationwide, we’ll see an overall increase of 24% in winter heat bills, the EIA forecasts.

Improve & Repair - MSN Real Estate (subscription req'd)

Monday, December 19

Ginga to the rescue

Ronaldinho wins FIFA Player of the Year

Shown here with Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon & Barcelona) and Frank Lampard (England & Chelsea).

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Develop a meditation that is like water. Doing this, you will find that the thoughts and impressions that possess you will flow away. Just as people wash away their body liquids, their sweat and spittle, pus and blood, and yet the water is not troubled or disgusted--so this water meditation will bring you peace.
Majjhima Nikaya

Friday, December 16

One of my Mom's favorites...

Lou Rawls' Last Days?
Don't count me out, brother. There's been many people who have been diagnosed with this kind of thing, and they're still jumpin' and pumpin'.
Lou Rawls

Thursday, December 15

Buddhist Thought of the Day - Christmas Edition

All the wealth you've acquired
from beginningless time until now
has failed to fulfill all your desires.
Cultivate therefore this wish-granting gem
of moderation, O fortunate ones.
Milarepa, "Drinking the Mountain Stream"

Sunday, December 11

Buddhist Thought of the Day

I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"

Saturday, December 10

Wednesday, December 7

Blogging Starter Checklist - Updated

I've done most of these and I've got at least 3 loyal readers!
Life Beyond Code

Dental Surgery and whatnot

So, I went back for my first post-op exam and my DDS says:
Wow! Either I'm really good or you are a great healer.
If you have to go to a dentist those are the kind of words you wanna hear! I was proud of myself - considering the circumstances. You know, best case scenario would have never included the surgery.

Now, I have to maintain my diligence and mentally prepare for round two, which should be easier since I know what to expect, he won't be removing any wisdoms and he won't have the fronts to deal with. B/c of cost it will happen probably Feb.

I picked up Reversing Gum Disease Naturally and decided to use some of its suggestions of certain herbal remedies I don't know how much it contributed. Also, I started to use Eco-Dent Mouth Rinse, it's expensive but it's natural and it tastes good.

Thursday, December 1

Your own practice can show you the truth. Your own experience is all that counts.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

Buddhist Thought of the Day

When all the myriad streams that flow in different places, each with its own color and taste, enter the great ocean, they blend and become just one taste, with one name. In the same way, stupidity and wisdom both become one in the awakened mind. When one first starts along the path, there seems to be a distinction that this is stupidity and that is wisdom. But later, when one penetrates more deeply, one finds there is no difference between stupidity and wisdom.
Visuddhi Magga

Wednesday, November 30

Ronaldinho: The smiling face of football

This is what it should be like for everybody, don't you think?
The childlike pleasure he derives from the game is matched by that of his rapt audience, who are regularly treated to displays of his craft and inventiveness.

FIFA World Player of the Year shortlist

Ronaldinho has been shortlisted for FIFA's world player of the year for the second straight time.

For the women, the candidates are last year's player of the year Birgit Prinz of Germany, Shannon Boxx of the United States and Marta of Brazil.

Remembering Chris Whitley: A Hometown Perspective

A life of artistic turmoil ends
He always had those same eyes and that same grin. Always. He was the sweetest person behind all of those dark lyrics

Harper's names new editor to replace Lapham

Congrats to Roger D. Hodge!

I will never forget his final paper in that Faulkner class we took. I understood then that, as a writer, he was light years ahead of me.

Yea Sewanee's Right!

the Magazine: Harper's

Tuesday, November 29

It'll Love You Back

I've checked this site out before but a few weeks ago I sat with it for awhile and I learned. I like what's going on over at ::aurgasm::

To quote:
Take an active approach in finding music you love. Only you can find what you love. Immerse yourself in it. Buy the CD. Go to the show and meet your favorite artist afterwards. Tell them their music changed you. Support the artists whose work you adore.

Be passionate about music. It'll love you back.
Go check it out for yourself ::aurgasm::

Monday, November 28

Ronaldinho scoops European award

The 25-year-old was favourite to claim the Ballon D'Or (European Player of the Year), having already won the 2004 Fifa World Player of the Year and the inaugural FIFpro award.

More here and here.

Friday, November 25

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Now, there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful to your enemy for providing that precious opportunity.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, November 24

Movie Alert

Walk the Line...go see it.

Joaquin has a magical performance. There are moments where he gets the essence of Johnny so eloquently it will bring tears to your eye. The moment when Johnny sings "Folsom Prison Blues" for Sam Phillips is one of the moments.

Well done story too, no glaring gaps that I know of and T-Bone Burnett hits the nail on the head with the music.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn’t learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn’t learn a little,
at least we didn’t get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn’t die;
so, let us be thankful.
The Buddha

Escovedo recording new album with John Cale

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, whose career has been sidelined since 2003 by a battle with hepatitis C, is working on an album that is being produced by Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale.

I'm not terribly familiar with John but a new Al record is always cause for celebration!

Vodafone, Manchester United part ways

Manchester United are searching for a new shirt sponsor after Vodafone ended their current £36million deal two years early.

Wednesday, November 23

More on Chris

Eclectic singer-songwriter succumbs to lung cancer at forty-five.
He is best known, however, for carving a personalized, often brooding take on country blues, marked by his mastery of the slide steel guitar and other stringed instruments.

Beginning over in the Big Sky Country

Chris Whitley 1960-2005

Damnit! Damnit!

I've loved Chris since "Big Sky Country" and this saddens me. He was so talented. He and his music were charismatic in a way few musicians can imagine.

the Man: Chris Whitley
the Music: Discography
the Obit: Chris Whitley has died.

Chris, I will miss you. Thanks for the shows and thanks for letting me tape.

Monday, November 21

My dog ate my homework!

Player blames hair-growth product for a positive doping test.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Just as material things are made of dust, so too are our perceptions and thoughts mere dust. Just as it takes only a moment to wipe the dust from the surface of a mirror, so it takes only a moment to become enlightened, the moment all defiled intentions are cleared from our consciousness, we will see ourselves in the mirror of perfect truth.
Master Hsing Yun, "Describing the Indescribable"

Sewanee gets number 25

Katharine K. Wilkinson from Atlanta, a graduate of the University of the South, plans to study environmental policy.

More here.

the Alma Mater: University of the South
the Scholarship: Rhodes Trust
the Prize: University of Oxford

Friday, November 18

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If you wish to move in the One Way
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many;
distinctions arise
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the [discriminating] mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.
Seng-tsan, "Verses on the Faith Mind"

Thursday, November 17

Out of the Ashes of War Rises Africa's First Woman President

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia has made history by becoming the first elected woman president in Africa. Former football star George Weah, till now the best-known Liberian in the world, has disputed the results.

World Cup turns ugly

Ever since the advent of so-called Ping-Pong diplomacy in 1971, when U.S. table tennis players became the first Americans invited into China since the Communist takeover in 1949, sports has been perceived to build bridges between countries and cultures.

Ugly incidents at three of the five World Cup soccer playoffs Wednesday night have seriously undermined that perception.
This is so sad but I don't think we should be surprised; we learned a long time ago how much these events mean to the players and countries involved.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

In the beginning mindfulness takes away worries and fears about past and future and keeps us anchored in the present. In the end it points to the right view of the self.
Ayya Khema, "Be an Island"

Wednesday, November 16

Time Flies

I'm just fucking tired.

I have been out of it for a couple of weeks now. First there was the whole going back to work, then there was the training, next was the store moving and the relearning, and most recently, there was dental surgery and my Aunt visting.

My work has worn me out. But inertia is a funny thing. I know I can't stop yet.

The surgery went as well as can be expected I guess. Recovery has gone pretty well too. Last night was the first night I didn't take pain pills or Advil before bed and it was alright. I still have some stitches but slowly they are coming out and slowly I am brushing the repaired gums like normal.

Remember...FLOSS PROPERLY and go to the dentist.

Work has been ok. It's been tense. I don't really know what's going on, I'm too new to know all the dynamics but there is the sense that some of the staff have lost the desire to participate in anything. I can't be more specific b/c I can't put my finger on exactly what's up. Business seems to be up but it's kinda difficult b/c we have to relearn the location of everything and we seem to be short staffed.

That combined with my body being in recovery mode has made me come home really tired.

Today I have some stuff to take care of then we go see Capote. I don't know much about him. There is not a day that goes by in the store when I don't feel like an idiot. I'm just not that well versed in literature, or at least compared to these people I work with.

Oh well.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

I have taught the way without making any distinction between inner and outer teaching. For in respect of the truth there must be no such thing as the "closed fist" of the teacher, who hides some essential knowledge from the pupil. Secrecy is the mark of false doctrine.
Digha Nikaya

Tuesday, November 15

Buddhist Thought of the Day

It is good to control your words and thoughts. The seeker who is in control feels free and joyful. Listen to that seeker who guards his tongue and speaks wisely. Such a one is humble and does not exalt himself.

Monday, November 14



Press Release:

"What a special guitarist. [Derek Trucks] does not waste a note. And his strange pastiche of musical influences - John Coltrane-Eric Clapton-Ali Akhbar Khan-Wes Montgomery - isn't just an impressive list of styles; it remains unified and in effect from beginning to end." - THE NEW YORK TIMES

On February 7, 2006, Columbia Records will release Songlines, the first new recording by The Derek Trucks Band in nearly four years, and the first studio album to feature the full-throated, impassioned vocals of newest DTB member, Mike Mattison. Songlines signals the DTB's arrival at a spiritual plateau after a decade long journey of musical discovery, and cements Trucks' reputation as one of the greatest guitarists of his generation. While Songlines embraces the group's big-eared love of rock, jazz, blues, latin and world music, it is unquestionably their most cohesive album to date.

Songlines features several originals written by the DTB and collaborator Jay Joyce - from the Hammond B3 groove of "I'll Find My Way" to Joyce's anthemic, fiery "Revolution" and the shimmering Trucks instrumental "Mahjoun." Elsewhere, traditional blues (a wickedly funky "Crow Jane" rendered in with a cutting falsetto by Mattison) mingle with the DTB's stirring, tent revival take on Roland Kirk's classic "Volunteered Slavery," and their epic reading of the Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn composition "Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni," a song that swells from a delicate tone piece to a whirling dervish and back again.

Songlines takes its name from an Aboriginal tradition which claims the culture's totemic elders traveled the Australian continent literally singing their world into existence. In turn, the "songlines" they created became a map for finding one's way through life. Derek Trucks has followed his own songlines from a very early age. A professional, touring musician since the age of twelve, Trucks now spends over 300 days a year on the road with the DTB and the Allman Brothers Band. Now 26, Trucks is the youngest guitarist to place on Rolling Stone's recent "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. His unmistakable guitar sound and attack has been described alternately as "incendiary" (Wall Street Journal) and "melodic and erudite" (Entertainment Weekly), but it is always deeply, unmistakably his own.

The DTB had a great tour in Europe and now the band is kicking off the northeast leg of the tour! Pics from Holland and the DTB gig with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra are posted on the photo section of the site.

NPS Broadcasting in Holland will be broadcasting online a three part program on Wed 11/16 from 4:30 - 7:00 PM EST. Part 1, an interview with Derek listening to and discussing his selections of inspirational tracks. Part 2, a recordings of live performances from "Steelin' & Slidin'", a collaboration between the DTB and the following slide players in Holland: Sonny Landreth, Dan Tyack, Buddy Cage, Johan Jansen, & Rene van Barneveld. Part 3, a recording of the The Derek Trucks Band's set at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on Oct 16th. Go to (after the initial broadcast you can stream it for one week by going to the website and clicking on woensdag, the Dutch word for Wednesday).

the Band: Derek Trucks Band

Sunday, November 13

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Guard against anger
erupting in mind;
in mind, be restrained.
Having abandoned mental misconduct,
live conducting yourself well
in mind.

Those restrained in body
--the enlightened--
restrained in speech & in mind
are the ones whose restraint is secure.
Dhammpada, 17, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, November 11

'Iron Lady' claims win

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, known as the "Iron Lady", has claimed victory as the first woman to be elected president in Liberia, and Africa as a whole.

Thursday, November 10

Can Marriage Help You Live Longer?

Since I am in this category now...
Research shows that marriage contributes to good health, and people who are healthier tend to live longer. Married men and women are less likely to have drinking problems, commit suicide, and develop mental problems. They also tend to eat more healthfully and exercise more frequently. What is it about marriage that leads to a longer, healthier life? Is marriage a means to achieving better health?
Beliefnet: Health and Healing

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Don't forget to bring the good experiences of meditation into your daily activities. Instead of acting and reacting impulsively and following your thoughts and feelings here and there, watch your mind carefully, be aware, and try to deal skillfully with problems as they arise. If you can do this each day, your meditation will have been successful.
Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

Wednesday, November 9

Dental Talk

Yesterday was a 2.5 hour surgical marathon...and I'm not done yet!

Everything went well although the drive home was excruciating! The doctor expects a full and wonderful recovery and some time in the new year I will go back for round 2 (the left side of my mouth).

The idea with this is to clean out all the gunk b/t my gums and my jaw/bone/tooth and then the gume will heal around the tooth like it should. Because the surgery is so intense (and expensive) this periodonist splits the procedure between two calendar years.

Today my jaw is a little tender and a little swollen but nothing too bad. I still might take tomorrow off.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If somebody meditates with a wholesome attitude, with right attention and mindfulness, then whether he has expectations or not he will gain insight. It's like filling a bowl with oil seeds and pressing them or milking a cow by pulling the udder or filling a jar with cream and churning it. It's the right method.
Majjhima Nikaya

Tuesday, November 8

Recent & Random

Haven't written much recently. This retail schedule is wrecking havoc with my routine.

Davis-Kidd has moved. The new digs are nice although a bit frustrating. Just as I was learning where things were in the store we all have to relearn. Some of the sections haven't been returned to their alpha order and some sections don't have their proper labels. There have been all sorts of tech glitches too but it's all getting ironed out.

New England Revolution & LA Galaxy are in the MLS Championship Game.

I'm behind schedule on my GRE studies.

Today is D-Day (Dental Surgery Day #1). Wish me luck!

Buddhist Thought of the Day

not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they've done
or left undone,
but on what you
have & haven't done
Dhammapada, 4, translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

African Footballer of the Year Nominees

(From African gong list:The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said the list would be whittled down to three candidates on November 19 after a vote of the coaches of the continent's 53 national teams.

Monday, November 7

Nice thought but does anybody believe it will make a difference?

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has backed referee Arturo Dauden Ibanez's decision to ask for a message to be broadcast over the public address system in Getafe asking the home fans to stop racist chanting.
Rijkaard backs intervention

Sunday, November 6

Buddhist Thought of the Day

At a time when people are so conscious of maintaining their physical health by controlling their diets, exercising and so forth, it makes sense to try to cultivate the corresponding positive mental attitudes too.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 1963

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If a person does evil,
he shouldn't do it again & again,
shouldn't develop a penchant for it.
To accumulate evil
brings pain.

If a person makes merit,
he should do it again & again,
should develop a penchant for it.
To accumulate merit
brings ease.
Dhammapada, 9, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, November 4

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If you wish to understand yourself, you must succeed in doing so in the midst of all kinds of confusions and upsets. Don't make the mistake of sitting dead in the cold ashes of a withered tree.

Wednesday, November 2

Buddhist Thought of the Day 2

don't treat your own with scorn,
don't go coveting those of others.
A monk who covets those of others
no concentration.

Even if he gets next to nothing,
he doesn't treat his gains with scorn.
Living purely, untiring:
he's the one
that the devas praise.
Dhammapada, 15, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Don't be afraid of doing good. It's another name for happiness, for all that is dear and delightful--this phrase "doing good."

Whoever would live well,
Long lasting, bringing bliss--
Let him be generous, be calm,
And cultivate the doing of good.

By practicing these three,
These three bliss-bringing things,
The wise one lives without regret
His world infused with happiness.
Itivuttaka Sutta

Sunday, October 30

Buddhist Thought of the Day

It is necessary to cultivate some discipline of mind, for an undisciplined mind always finds excuses to act selfishly and thoughtlessly. When the mind is undisciplined, the body is also undisciplined, and so is speech and action.
Anguttara Nikaya

Friday, October 28

Good Luck

Good luck to Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville.

Tomrrow is their grand re-opening!

The store looks great and the customers will love it.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Detach from all mental objects, stop all thoughts: do not let either good or bad thoughts enter your thinking, do not keep either Buddhist teachings or worldly phenomena in mind.

Thursday, October 27

Confessions of a Reformed Bookseller

Now that I have been a bookseller for one month I think it's appropriate for me to include myself in this tradition.

The article below showed me that book retail is different from other types of retail. I thought Davis-Kidd was odd in the way it handles customer service but now I see that it is bookselling in general that is different that music retail or the other retail environs I've worked.

NOW! If there are any people with library/archive contacts (especially in Nashville) I need a library job!
Confessions of a Reformed Bookseller: What Working in a Bookstore Taught Me About Being a Librarian
by Jennifer Arnold

They say that everyone loves a parade, but it's probably more likely that everyone loves a great bookstore. After all, it is hard to resist, with its overstuffed armchairs, the smell of fresh-roasted coffee, and, of course, the rows and rows of books - just waiting to be read! It's pretty safe to say that librarians tend to enjoy bookstores due to all these same factors, but we should look to bookstores for other reasons as well: they have a lot to teach us as librarians. Before I started library school, I spent two years working in a large retail bookstore (one of the superstore variety). Much of what I learned as a bookseller I still carry with me as a librarian. Here is just some of what I brought with me.

Customer Service: Lessons from the Sales Floor

In bookstore employee training, tips and techniques for outstanding customer service were emphasized much more than they were in library school. Perhaps that's as it should be, but libraries still have a lot to learn from the customer service standards of retail bookstores, which typically hold their employees to stringent standards. Here's what I learned:

Put the book in the customer's hand.

Bookstores teach their employees never merely to point the customer in the right direction, but rather to walk the customer to the appropriate section of the store, find the book on the shelf, and put in his or her hands. In my library, I rarely hand a student a call number and send them off to find the book on the shelf. Instead, I put the book in the student's hands. I've found that they are much more likely to use the book or check it out if I hand it to them.

Customer service is everyone's responsibility, all of the time.

At the bookstore, all phone calls had to be answered by the third ring. If you were not with a customer at the moment the phone rang, then it was your responsibility to answer the phone, whether you were the general manager or the newest bookseller. The employees who worked in receiving (and basically never interacted with customers on the sales floor) were also responsible for responding to phone calls. In other words, assisting patrons should be everyone's priority, all of the time.

Customer service standards should be in writing.

Bookstores hold their employees to high standards, and each employee is given a copy of those standards in writing. Here, bookstores have a lesson to teach libraries. If you expect great customer service from your library staff, provide them with clear expectations in writing, not just as part of a job description or employee development plan. Expectations for customer service standards should be outlined in a separate, public document, so that everyone has a common understanding.

Displays, Displays, and More Displays: Marketing like a Retailer

If there's one thing bookstores know, it's how to market their products. No matter where you turn in a bookstore, most customers will find themselves faced with a display of some sort - at the front of the store, through the main aisles, at the end of each row. Why so many displays? One simple reason: they sell books. Of course, most libraries do display their latest arrivals or create themed displays for events. Bookstores, however, take every possible opportunity to make customers aware of their merchandise.

For example, every three or four rows, customers are likely to see a title "faced-out," meaning that the cover of the book is facing outward, rather than the spine. Little touches like this can really encourage people to pick up a book. Academic libraries might also consider the ways in which book jackets appeal to customers. In many academic libraries, book jackets are removed, leaving a plain blue or brown book with just the title and call number on the spine. While it does involve some expense, leaving the cover on the book - with the summary of the contents, reviewer's quotes, etc. - just might inspire a patron to check out that title, in a way that a plain blue cover never will.

The Comfy Chair Factor: Creating a Welcoming Environment

People tend to linger in bookstores, spending time perusing multiple titles in a comfortable chair or reading a magazine over a snack from the cafe. Bookstores have been successful at creating an atmosphere that encourages customers to spend time in the store, and not just run in and out for a single item. Many libraries have already begun learning from retail bookstores' successful creation of a welcoming environment by including cafes in new or redesigned buildings and in creating comfortable seating arrangements that encourage patrons to linger, just as they do in bookstores. This is a trend that libraries should continue to follow - the more comfortable patrons become, they more likely they are to ask questions and use resources. Some comfy armchairs, a couch or two, and a more flexible food and drink policy could go a long way in creating a more welcoming environment.

Confessions of a Reformed Bookseller: Advice from the Stacks

In many ways, I'm as much a reformed bookseller as I am a librarian. It's hard to take the bookseller out of me, and, I'll confess, I've been known to straighten the merchandise when I visit a bookstore as a customer. I have to say, though, that I wouldn't WANT to take the bookseller out of me - retail is a great training ground for developing just the skills necessary for working as a public service librarian. My advice to former retailers: remember what you learned. I'm a firm believer that if you've handled a weekend during the holiday season in any retail establishment, then you can handle just about anything. The customer service, marketing, and sense of bookstore/library as a place that were ingrained in me as a bookseller have served me well as a librarian.
Jennifer Arnold is the Senior Librarian for Serials and Electronic Resources at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. She admits to occasionally straightening the shelves in her local bookstore, even though she's no longer a bookseller.
Reprinted w/o permission from:
Info Career Trends - vol. 6, no. 6
November 1, 2005
Published by

Buddhist Thought of the Day

I alone will practice all that is wholesome. Those who are powerless and under the control of karma and delusion are unable to benefit themselves or attain their own purposes. Worldly people are completely unable to make their lives meaningful. Therefore, I shall practice what is wholesome for the benefit of all sentient beings. While others are engaged in inferior and menial tasks in which they encounter many difficulties, how can I sit here at peace and do nothing? I must and shall benefit them, but without ever succumbing to the poison of self-importance.
Santideva, "Bodhicaryavatara"

Sunday, October 23

Camping in Tennessee

Sunset at 7 Acres Campsite
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

Tara and I took LJ & Yhazmyn on a camping trip with Mike and Chad. It ended up being more of a cookout b/c we ALL left before bed. Mike set up his tent but decided not to sleep out...

This is a very nice campground near Percy Priest Lake.

And is it just me or is there something wrong with campers who have ELECTRIC Jack-o-laterns and strung lights around their campsite?

Saturday, October 22

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Drinking the nourishment,
the flavor,
of seclusion & calm,
one is freed from evil, devoid
of distress,
refreshed with the nourishment
of rapture in the Dhamma.
Dhammapada, 16, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, October 21

One of my high school classmates

Laura was a high school classmate. We didn't have too many classes together...she was one of the smart, most likely to suceed, student gov't types. I was a non-descript, fair-to-middlin student. She's done really well with her traditionalist, rootsy country; and eventhough she's a Nashvillian, she's a musical outsider and that makes her thing a little cooler.

Laura Cantrell's Humming by the Flowered Vine

"Mouth of babes" comment validated

Remember a couple of days ago I mentioned that a neighborhood kid said his apartment complex was fun if you liked people fighting and shooting.

Well now we know what he's talking about.

Two men arrested in E. Nashville shooting death

Buddhist Thought of the Day

By charity, goodness, restraint, and self-control men and woman alike can store up a well-hidden treasure -- a treasure which cannot be given to others and which robbers cannot steal. A wise person should do good -- that is the treasure which will not leave one.
"Khuddhaka Patha"

Assuming Privilege

When do you decide that you have attained such a station in life that you can assume others are inferior? That's not worded well but that is the basic idea of what I'm asking.

When do you know that you have the right and true way of doing things or being someone?

I've already mentioned that I am working at a bookstore; a very cool, a very liberal bookstore. What I didn't mention - for those who don't live in Nashville - is that this bookstore is in a upper middle-class, upper class part of Nashville. Some of these folks have some serious M-O-N-E-Y.

Some of the patrons come in with this attitude. They do things to the cashiers and the rest of the booksellers that you just don't do to people you respect. For example, it's not uncommon for them to grab a Tennessean or a NYT from the doorway and come to the counter, toss (literally) the buck fifty or whatever on the counter, yell out what its for and turn around to go back out the door.

Now, I've worked enough retail to know that it's not just in this high dollar neighborhood where people act this way but there is a certain arrogance that these people have that seems to be more the property of the rich than others. Also, is that I can almost guarantee that most of these people were raised with that good old Southern value system of respect, courtesy and honor.

What started this thought was something completely different. We were talking about people who assume the moral high ground in politics. When people who aren't in power are convinced that the people who are in power are morally wrong. That the powerful won't see the error of their ways without total destruction. This dogmatic belief in their POV that the other side is wrong and there is no middle ground.

Don't get me wrong, I can get on a soapbox too, but I usually come down from it pretty quickly. I am talking about the people who stay there, the people who refuse to hear the reasons and justifications behind the actions of the "other side".

I am a strong believer that every situation has two sides and the "right path" (to borrow from the Buddha) is the "middle way" (to continue the Buddhist metaphor). We have to recognize that, as one of my coworkers said: "We all come to the table fucked up." The quicker we recognize that the quicker we can get past that.

Now, I am down from my high horse.

Thursday, October 20

"Underdog films" that audiences love but the major Hollywood studios avoid

Netflix for the socially conscious.


Buddhist Thought of the Day

Greed, I say, is a great flood; it is a whirlpool sucking one down, a constant yearning, seeking a hold, continually in movement; difficult to cross is the morass of sensual desire. A sage does not deviate from truth, a brahmana stands on firm ground; renouncing all, he is truly called 'calmed.'
Sutta Nipata

MLS Playoff sched

United vs. Fire
Game 1: Friday, 9 p.m. at Chicago
Game 2: Sunday, Oct. 30, 4:30 p.m. at Washington
Series Tied, 0-0

MetroStars vs. Revolution
Game 1: Saturday, 7 p.m. at MetroStars
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. at New England
Series Tied, 0-0

FC Dallas vs. Rapids
Game 1: Saturday, 9 p.m. at Colorado
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m. at New England
Series Tied, 0-0

Earthquakes vs. Galaxy
Game 1: Sunday, 3 p.m. at Los Angeles
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29, 10 p.m. at San Jose
Series Tied, 0-0

Freddie speaks out and gets sternly counterpointed

Adu Attempts to Clear the Air

I can only imagine what this kid is thinking but somebody needs to tell him to slow down. 16 of 25 starts, I don't think that's bad for a 2nd year player. Granted, Freddie is not your avg 2nd year player but I think that's pretty good.

MLS Salaries

Do these look like the salaries of pro atheletes...some of these guys (Eddie Pope, Tony Sannah) have been in and around the MLS since it began!

Landon Donovan Los Angeles 900,000
Eddie Johnson FC Dallas 875,000
Freddy Adu D.C. 300,000
Ramon Ramirez Chivas USA 425,000
Josh Wolff Kansas City 350,000
Clint Mathis Salt Lake City 270,000
Eddie Pope Salt Lake City 314,782
Tony Sanneh Chicago 285,000
Chris Armas Chicago 250,000
Jovan Kirovski Los Angeles 175,000

Wednesday, October 19

Buddhist Thought of the Day

When tranquility is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.

When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.
Anguttara Nikaya

Monday, October 17

Lesson of the Day

Floss Properly.

Today, after 2 months of pretty intense dental cleaning, my dentist has referred me to a periodondist. (How sad)

I was never taught how to floss and it was never pressed upon me as a necessity, now as a 38 year old, I have to get some intense treatment.

PS: I apparently grind my teeth...

Outlook Sucks!

My outlook has decided to freak out on me today. Everything I update causes it to crash.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If we divide into two camps--even into violent and the nonviolent--and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence within ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact.
Ayya Khema, "Be An Island"

Sunday, October 16

Old Firehall

Old Firehall
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

Old School Firehall in my neighbor hood. There is a Wal-Mart "neighborhood" store next to it, I'm surprised they didn't tear this bldg down.

Saturday, October 15

Tascam HD-P2 High-Def Flash Recorder: DAT's All, Folks

I've been a DAT Taper for a long time and I knew I'd made the big time when I could get a DAP-1...this puppy is definitely the nail in the coffin of that level of sophistication.
Posted by Picasa
Tascam HD-P2 High-Def Flash Recorder: DAT's All, Folks -

Buddhist Thought of the Day

From striving comes wisdom;
from not, wisdom's end.
Knowing these two courses
--to development decline--
conduct yourself
so that wisdom will grow.
Dhammapada, 20, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, October 14

Blatter says deducting points cannot work

"When such a situation is in a stadium, stop the game, identify the people. You kick them out of the stadium and they never come back. But this is not enough. It is only when you touch a club or a national federation by deducting points."
But Blatter said that couldn't apply at the World Cup because fans might use that punishment as a way of affecting results.

Thursday, October 13

FIFA names shortlist for World Player of the Year

Seven Brazilians make FIFA Player of the Year shortlist

Thirty men in contention

  • Adriano Brazil
  • Michael Ballack Germany
  • David Beckham England
  • Gianluigi Buffon Italy
  • Cafú Brazil
  • Ronaldo Cristiano Portugal
  • Deco Portugal
  • Didier Drogba Côte d'Ivoire
  • Michael Essien Ghana
  • Samuel Eto'o Cameroon
  • Steven Gerrard England
  • Thierry Henry France
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden
  • Kaká Brazil
  • Frank Lampard England
  • Paolo Maldini Italy
  • Pavel Nedved Czech Republic
  • Alessandro Nesta Italy
  • Jay-Jay Okocha Nigeria
  • Raúl Spain
  • Juan Román Riquelme Argentina
  • Arjen Robben Netherlands
  • Roberto Carlos Brazil
  • Robinho Brazil
  • Ronaldinho Brazil
  • Ronaldo Brazil
  • Wayne Rooney England
  • Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy Netherlands
  • Zinedine Zidane France

Now this is interesting.

ALA Council passes resolution on connection between Iraq War, libraries.

Everybody wants a piece of the pie. Not that this is a bad thing I just think it's a bit off course.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

For one who is in the habit of constantly honoring and respecting the elders, four blessings increase—age, beauty, bliss, and strength.
Dhammapada 109

Wednesday, October 12

Ahhh, Sewanee.

"Lost Boys" of Sudan are in the 9 percent of nonwhite students among 1,383 undergraduates on the remote, scenic campus.

From the mouths of babes

I live near an apartment complex (Section 8) and I overheard to 13 year old boys talking, one (Michael) lives in the apartment complex, the other (Justin) lives in a 1930s brick home.

Justin asked Michael if it was fun living in these apartments. Michael responded:
If you like people fighting and shooting at each other, yeah.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If your mind becomes firm like a rock
And no longer shakes
In a world where everything is shaking,
Your mind will be your greatest friend
And suffering will not come your way.

Monday, October 10

Paul "Wine" Jones 7/1/46-10/9/05

Paul "Wine" Jones who liked beer better (but it didn't sound as good) has died.

I always liked Paul.

This has been a bad Fall for Fat Possum...a bad Fall for the Blues!

25 Words That Can Hurt Your Résumé

Career Advice Article

# Aggressive
# Ambitious
# Competent
# Creative
# Detail-oriented
# Determined
# Efficient
# Experienced
# Flexible
# Goal-oriented
# Hard-working
# Independent
# Innovative
# Knowledgeable
# Logical
# Motivated
# Meticulous
# People person
# Professional
# Reliable
# Resourceful
# Self-motivated
# Successful
# Team player
# Well-organized

Sewanee Fog

Sewanee Fog
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

A Gothic Cathedral smothered by fog in the middle of Tennessee...

That would be All Saints' Chapel on the campus of the University of the alma mater.

This is one of a few photos I took while on the Mountain this past weekend for the first "Alumni of Color Reunion".

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Everything is as it is. It has no name other than the name we give it. It is we who call it something; we give it a value. We say this thing is good or it's bad, but in itself, the thing is only as it is. It's not absolute; it's just as it is. People are just as they are.
Ajahn Sumedho, "The Mind and the Way"

Sunday, October 9

DePauw thumps Sewanee

Sewanee may be right but the football team has had problems for a long time.

DePauw 34, Sewanee 0

the Winner: DePauw
the Loser: Sewanee

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If you keep thinking "That man has abused me," holding it as a much-cherished grievance, your anger will never be allayed. If you can put down that fury-inducing thought, your anger will lessen. Fury will never end fury, it will just ricochet on and on. Only putting it down will end such an abysmal state.
Sunnata Vagga

10 Foods You Should NEVER Eat!

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Saturday, October 8

Buddhist Thought of the Day

One who wouldn't-- not for his own sake nor that of another-- hanker for
a son,
a kingdom,
his own fulfillment,
by unrighteous means:
he is righteous, rich in virtue, discernment.
Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, October 7

Yea! Sewanee's Right.

It's Fall Party Weekend and for the first time since 1990 I am going back to Sewanee for the events.

I've always skipped b/c most of my friends from college live far away and don't come back. I am going b/c of the first Alumni of Color events. I am proud to be a Sewanee alumnus and I like to support what I think is important. Sewanee provides an education that is in many ways unique and I hope that more and more minorities will come to realize the benefits of a place like the University of the South

Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 6

"I've grown up at Utd"


Crazy Boy Wonder
I feel I have matured, on and off the field and hopefully that will continue because I am trying to cut out silly bookings for dissent
Rooney told Four Four Two

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Because it lacks consciousness, I must admit that a word cannot praise me. Undoubtedly, the cause of my delight is that another is delighted with me.

But what does it matter to me whether another's delight is in me or someone else? His alone is the pleasure of that delight. Not even a trifling part of it is mine.
Santideva, "Bodhicaryavatara"

Go See Al! |
No matter your musical taste this is an artist any fan of stories and songs and creative energy should check out.

Wednesday, October 5

Time Wasters

Video Games...I discovered video games about 3 years ago. I fell in love with RTS (Real Time Strategy) games, Age of Empires being my first love; then, soccer games and finally shooters but only a select few... like Brothers in Arms, Far Cry (I haven't finished this b/c it creeps me out!) and Call of Duty. My favorite game other than these is Splinter Cell. The espionage and the fact that you try to make it through the game without killing or being seen, not to mention Sam Fisher's (main character) smart-ass attitude

Now is the time for new games...Brothers in Arms v2.0 and FIFA 06 came out this week. We should see Call of Duty 2 by the end of the month, Winning Eleven 9 (great team management stuff) by the end of the year and a new Splinter Cell in the Spring. Oh, and a new Lord of the Rings strategy and a new Age of Empires (I don't really like what I've seen on this one).

Time wasters. Each and every one of them, just plain ol time wasters.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Jatukkani asked:
Like the sun which controls the world with its heat and light, you, Master, seem to control desire and pleasure. I have only a little understanding. How can I find and know the way to give up this world of birth and aging?
The Buddha answered:
Lose your greed for pleasure. See how letting go of the world brings deep tranquility. There is nothing you need hold on to and nothing you need push away. Live in the present but do not cling to it and then you can go from place to place in peace. There is a state of greed that enters and dominates the individual. But when that greed has gone, it is like poison leaving a body and death will have no more terror for you.

Monday, October 3

Got to go to Hell before you get to Heaven

RIP Paul Pena

Paul Pena has died. This is sad. If you've never heard "Gonna Move" you don't know what a good song is. Oh wait, you don't think you know who Paul is well you've heard a little song called "Jet Airliner", a big hit for the Steve Miller, right? Yeah, Paul wrote that.

Have you ever heard of Tuvan throat singing? Well, you need to and you need to see this doc Paul did called Ghengis Blues.

Paul went to hell:
During the past 8 years, Paul's health has been on the decline and his quality of life was greatly diminished by the nearly constant state of pain that he was in. We can take comfort in knowing that he's no longer suffering.
...and now he's surely in Heaven.

Ten Signs of a Conscious Marriage

Ten Signs of a Conscious Marriage

"What are some of the differences when you become conscious? The following list highlights some of the essential differences in attitude and behavior:
  • You realize that your love relationship has a hidden purpose—the healing of childhood wounds.

  • You create a more accurate image of your partner.

  • You take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your partner.

  • You become more intentional in your interactions.

  • You learn to value your partner’s needs and wishes as highly as you value your own.

  • You embrace the dark side of your personality.

  • You learn new techniques to satisfy your basic needs and desires.

  • You search within yourself for the strengths and abilities you are lacking.

  • You become more aware of your drive to be loving and whole and united with the universe.

  • You accept the difficulty of creating a good marriage.
See also Getting the Love You Want: A Guide For Couples by Harville Hendrix

Buddhist thought of the Day

By renouncing samsara, we renounce our habitual grasping, unhappy minds. And by renouncing samsara, we embrace our potential for enlightenment.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Transforming Problems Into Happiness"

August Wilson Dies

"most complete cultural chronicle since Balzac"
His plays were big, often sprawling and poetic, dealing primarily with the effects of slavery on succeeding generations of black Americans

Sunday, October 2

More about work.

I've spent about 20 years in various retail/customer service positions. I delivered pizza, I was an assistant at a vet clinic, I rented paddle boats and, of course, I worked in record and video stores and I have to say that Davis-Kidd has the smartest, oldest and most stable staff I have ever seen. There are about 50 employees. I think I've chatted with a dozen and of those at least half are working on or have a Master's level degree. The GM says the store has a 7% turnover rate, which is insanly low, and I don't think there is a teenager in the bunch. There are at least 3 people who have started a 2nd career with Davis-Kidd (after 20+ years in another field).

So far, not a day has gone by that I was not surprised and impressed by one of my coworkers.

Aside from all that you are part of a team and within that you have the responsibility and opportunity to affect change. I was appropriately assigned to the Humanities team (the others are Health/Well-being, Fiction, Kids, Religion & Spirituality & Sidelines, which is non-book stuff...I think that's right, remember, I'm still new). I am responsible for organizing and maintaining but I can create endcaps, feature sections, tie-in sections, etc.

There's quite a bit in the learning curve but this is surprisingly more exciting than I expected it would be. I can already tell I'm gonna hate to tell these folks goodbye...whenever that happens.

Saturday, October 1

Jai's New day job

Since the library doesn't want to call me back I took a job at Davis-Kidd Booksellers.

And I have to tell you, I've spent alot of time in retail and these guys have the most unique and creative approach I have ever witnessed. At the end of my first's a great place to be.

James Brown was a funk minimalist

Charlie Hunter

Friday, September 30

Finally some attention

This has been my neighborhood all my life - give or take some years in school or whatever - and I am glad to see Metro is finally noticing us.

Planners study East Nashville

Monday, September 26


So, I’m a few weeks into studying for the GRE and I’m averaging about 5 hours a week.

I’ve discovered that everything is about where I thought it would be. My math skills need a lot more work than my written and analytical skills.

We’ll see how the studying goes now that I’m about to start a new job.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

An act of meditation is actually an act of faith--of faith in your spirit, in your own potential. Faith is the basis of meditation. Not of faith in something outside you--a metaphysical buddha, an unattainable ideal, or someone else's words. The faith is in yourself, in your own "buddha-nature." You too can be a buddha, an awakened being that lives and responds in a wise, creative, and compassionate way.
Martine Batchelor, "Meditation for Life"

Sunday, September 25

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Do not go after the past,
Nor lose yourself in the future.
For the past no longer exists,
And the future is not yet here.
By looking deeply at things just as they are,
In this moment, here and now,
The seeker lives calmly and freely.
You should be attentive today,
For waiting until tomorrow is too late.
Death can come and take us by surprise--
How can we gainsay it?
The one who knows
How to live attentively
Night and day
Is the one who knows
The best way to be independent.
Bhaddekaratta Sutra

Saturday, September 24

Birthday Duo

Birthday Duo
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

My Birthday is 9/14.
.vek's is 9/15.
We celebrated on 9/17.

Tara made dinner and a chocolate cake!

Going East

Going East
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.

Shelby Bottoms, Nashville...Trains above the trail

Friday, September 23

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Happiness cannot come from hatred or anger. Nobody can say, "Today I am happy because this morning I was very angry." On the contrary, people feel uneasy and sad and say, "Today I am not happy because I lost my temper this morning." Through kindness, whether at our own level or at the national and international level, through mutual understanding and through mutual respect, we will get peace, we will get happiness, and we will get genuine satisfaction.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, September 22

Job Search

While I am studying for the GRE with plans for Grad School and my MLIS I need a job. I thought I could do the unemployed thing for awhile but
  • it's lonely
  • I feel guilty b/c there are things I should be doing that I can't motivate myself to do
Now, I mentioned that I took a job at a local bookstore, which will be named this time next week. But just as I did while I worked at AMZ I am constantly trying to get a job at a library or museum.

I discovered this week that Metro HR requires a new app/résumé for every position, which is a waste of time and energy for everyone involved. So, yesterday I put in two apps for the public library system. And I decided that I've been trying too long to stick with the formal, traditional cover letters. One of the positions is for a kid's services position so I used a bold typeface with colors sprinkled in and, of course, I always use a shaded linen paper.

Hopefully this non-traditional approach will get me an interview at least.

Wednesday, September 21

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Abandon wrongdoing. It can be done. If there were no likelihood, I would not ask you to do it. But since it is possible and since it brings blessing and happiness, I do ask of you: abandon wrongdoing.

Cultivate doing good. It can be done. If it brought deprivation and sorrow, I would not ask you to do it. But since it brings blessing and happiness, I do ask of you: cultivate doing good.
Anguttara Nikaya

Nike Comes Clean

Nike Admits to Mistakes Over Child Labor


Only b/c ManU has such a deep bench is this allowed. If he were star striker on most any other team he would be let go.

Man Utd accept Rooney punishment

Tuesday, September 20

On this Day in Black History

1519 - Ferdinand Magellan left Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia.
1664 - Maryland enacted first anti-amalgamation law to prevent widespread intermarriage of English women and Black men. Other colonies passed similar laws.
1830 - First National Black convention met at Philadelphia's Mother Bethel AME church and elected Richard Allen president.
1837 - Theodore S. Wright denounces colonization at the New York State Anti-Slavery convention.
1847 - William A. Leidesdorf elected to San Francisco town council receiving the third highest vote.
1850 - The slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia
1866 - Fisk Jubilee Singers founded
1890(?) - Jelly Roll Morton (Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe) born (this date is questionable)
1915 - Hughie Lee Smith born
1934 - Sophia Loren born
1954 - Stravinsky debuted "In Memoriam Dylan Thomas"
1958 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was stabbed by Isola Curry while autographing copies of his book, "Stride Toward Freedom".
1960 - Chubby Checker's "Twist" became the #1 pop single
1962 - Governor Barnett personally denied James H. Meredith admission to the University of Mississippi.
1984 - The Cosby Show premiered on NBC.
1984 - Emory A Tate, Jr. won the 25th Annual Armed Forces Chess Championship Tournament.
1987 - Alfre Woodard won an Emmy for outstanding guest performance in the dramatic series L.A. Law.
1989 - F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as president of South Africa

Monday, September 19

British Scholar and Jounalist hits hard

Simon Schama: Sorry Mr President, Katrina is not 9/11
Prayers (like vacations) are the default mode for this president who knows how to chuckle and bow the head in the midst of disaster but not, when it counts, how to govern or to command.

Birthday Celebrations

This was one of the biggest shindigs I've had for my birthday in years.

My friend .vek celebrates his birthday the day after mine, although he is several years younger, and he suggested that he, his wife and baby come this weekend to jointly celebrate and see the astonishing growth of their daughter Sierra (almost 9 mths old).

Tara started making party plans - we have had three parties/dinners since we got married (3 months ago) which is more than my parents had in a year when the ran this household.

The KY kids got here Friday evening and .vek and I exchanged soccer shirts (soccer is one of many things we have in common). Nothing really crazy on Friday.

On Sat. we met Anne-Marie & Kevin for brunch at the almighty Monell's (a must eat when you come to Nashville for the first time, or the second time, or even if you live here). After some make-fun-of-Jai time .vek & I went to Grimey's while Tara and Christine took a nap. Then the fun began...

Dinner included the 7 of us from earlier plus Tara's mom and her new "friend" - they were on their way to see a Moonbow in KY. The plan was to watch some of "Lost" but my DVD player didn't like the disk so we played UNO.

Overall the weekend made up for the gloom of the previous week. I had the company of some really cool people and I got some great gifts:

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The present moment is changing so fast that we often do not notice its existence at all. Every moment of mind is like a series of pictures passing through a projector. Some of the pictures come from sense impressions. Others come from memories of past experiences or from fantasies of the future.

Mindfulness helps us freeze the frame so that we can become aware of our sensations and experiences as they are, without the distorting coloration of socially conditioned responses or habitual reactions.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness"

Friday, September 16

A new job.

Since severence didn't last as long as hoped. I start a new job at a local bookstore.

It's about 50% of what I made at AMZ Music but it will get me on the literary path.

I will mention their name only after I sign the papers.

You know a man is married when...

...he vacuums the entire house.

Now, if you haven't seen my house it's a 2 story Tudor with wood floors (hard, cork & bamboo). Tara has respiratory concerns and b/c of that she doesn't sweep she vacuums. We have guests coming this weekend and since we lost our last cleaning lady and it's an off week I have to do these domestic tasks.

On to the bathrooms.

Thursday, September 15

On this Day in Black History

1588 - The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.
1789 - James Fenimore Cooper born
1791 - Jonathan Edwards, Jr. (1745-1801) preached a strong anti-slavery sermon before "the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and for the Relief of Persons
1821 - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador proclaimed independence.
1829 - Slavery is abolished in Mexico.
1830 - First National Negro Convention held
1852 - Jan Earnest Matzeliger born
1852 - Edward Bouchet born
1857 - William H. Taft born
1876 - White terrorists attacked Republicans in Ellenton, South Carolina.
1883 - The University of Texas at Austin opened
1889 - Claude McKay born
1890 - Agatha Christie born
1898 - National Afro-American Council founded
1902 - James Theodore Ward born
1903 - Roy Acuff born
1907 - Fay Wray born
1921 - Snooky Pryor born
1923 - Governor said Oklahoma was in a "state of Virtual rebellion and insurrection" because of KKK activities. Martial Law was declared.
1924 - Robert "Bobby" Short born
1928 - Julian "Cannonball" Adderley born
1935 - The Reich under Adolf Hitler adopted the swastika as the national flag.
1940 - Anne Moody born
1943 - Stephen Burrows born
1945 - Jessye Norman born
1946 - Oliver Stone born
1946 - Tommy Lee Jones born
1949 - "The Lone Ranger" premiered on ABC
1963 - The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL was bombed by white supremacists. Four African-American girls (Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley) were murdered.
1964 - Rev. K.L. Buford and Dr. Stanley Smith were elected to Tuskegee City Council and became first Black elected officials in Alabama of the 20th century.
1965 - "Lost in Space" & "Green Acres" premiered on CBS-TV.
1971 - Greenpeace founded
1978 - Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks to win his 3rd World Heavyweight Boxing title.
1982 - The first issue of "USA Today" was published.
1987 - Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns became the first Black man to win boxing titles in five different weight classes,
1990 - Bruce Hornsby began filling in on keyboard for The Grateful Dead following the death of Brent Mydland.
1998 - Coolio was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and possessing marijuana.
2004 - Johnny Ramone died

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Although there are countless teachings that instruct how to obtain enlightenment in a future life, almost all of them are nothing more than expedients. As the ultimate instruction there is simply no teaching that is superior to the true practice of the awakening to one's own nature.
Hakuin, "Zen Master Hakuin"

Wednesday, September 14

Birthdays are the loneliest days

Today was my birthday. I turned 38. I was at home alone until about 7pm when I went to the Y, then I was alone in public. As I think about it was pretty depressing.

Tara was busy, I don't have any current coworkers. There were some calls which I am grateful for but this is the life I have chosen.

Tara and I had a discussion about church a few weeks ago and she realized how much of a loner I actually am. We had this discussion about the fact that one day, when we have kids I will have to go to church - most likely to her church b/c I would be very surprised if she left Edgehill for any reason. The problem is I really don't like her church. The people are great, very friendly and seemingly quite interested in each other (and now that I am married to one of them, I am one of them) but they just don't do church like I want my church. I have problems with the gender neutral language, I have problems with giving communion to the parishioner on my left or right and I don't want to wear a nametag.

What's going on is Tara likes being a part of the community of her church; she participates in everything. She was recently appointed or elected President of the Women's Group. I like that one hour a week where I am focused on what "God's" place in my life is all about. I like the pomp and circumstance. Hell, I liked the Altar Rail.

I haven't been to church in such a long time that it seems odd to even consider this stuff but back to my original point. All churches are communities and Tara's church requires a much higher level of individual participation than I'm used to or really want. I told her I want the option of being anonymous and her church doesn't really offer that option.

During this conversation she, quite exasperated and even a little shocked, said something about how I'd be happy with one friend and that would be my wife and I said yes, yes I would.

Today it was hard to find that one friend.

Get out the vote

Yesterday we voted to raise sales tax in order to pay for schools and something about helping seniors...

We have no income tax which is cool and all but we have an extremely high sales tax 9.275% if I remember correctly. Anybody with sense realizes that sales tax hurts poor folks more than any other group and more than any other tax. You don't qualify for tax breaks and you pay this tax on food and clothing and utilities.

TN struggles just like every other gov't to properly use tax money but come on, don't we need to reconsider our tax code in general?

Schools take hit as tax hike fails

On this Day in Black History

1789 - James P. Beckwourth born
1814 - Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the "Star-Spangled Banner."
1849 - Ivan Pavlov born
1874 - White Democrats seize the Louisiana statehouse in a white supremacy coup. President Ulysses S. Grant ordered the rebels to cease, but not before eleven African-Americans are murdered.
1891 - John Adams Hyman, the first black Congressperson from North Carolina, died
1921 - Constance Baker Motley (first Black woman appointed federal judge) born
1928 - Dunbar Hotel opened
1940 - North Carolina College Law School opened with seven students as North Carolina's second Black law school
1940 - President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Selective Service Act which allowed Blacks to enter all branches of the US Military Service
1945 - Freda Payne born
1953 - Chicago Cubs baseball team integrated for the first time
1960 - The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) founded.
1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded the Medal of Freedom to Leontyne Price and A. Philip Randolph.
1967 - James Clifford Sanders III born
1973 - Nas born
1975 - Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.
1985 - The MTV Awards were held for the first time
1998 - Johnny Adams died

Tuesday, September 13

On this Day in Black History

1663 - First serious slave conspiracy in colonial America. Plot of white servants and slaves in Gloucester County, VA was betrayed by an indentured servant.
1856 - Maria Louise Baldwin born
1867 - Gen. E.R.S. Canby ordered South Carolina courts to empanel Blacks jurors.
1881 - Louis Latimer patented his electric lamp with a carbon filament.
1885 - Alain Locke (first Black Rhodes Scholar) born
1886 - University of Maryland Eastern Shore founded
1904 - Joseph Delaney born
1908 - Leon "Chu" Berry born
1911 - Bill Monroe born
1913 - Cholly Atkins born
1918 - Ray Charles born
1922 - Charles Brown born
1926 - Andrew Brimmer (first black member of the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors) born
1931 - Adrienne Kennedy born
1943 - Chiang Kai-shek became the president of China.
(?) - Geronimo Pratt born
1948 - Nell Carter born
1948 - The School of Performing Arts (the first public school to specialize in performing arts) opened in New York City.
1953 - Iyanla Vanzant born
1955 - Little Richard recorded the song 'Tutti Frutti', for the Speciality label in Los Angeles.
1962 - President Kennedy denounced the burning of churches in Georgia and supported voter registration drive in the South.
1964 - Tavis Smiley born
1967 - Michael Johnson born
1968 - Bernie Williams born
1970 - The first New York City Marathon took place.
1972 - Johnny Ford of Tuskegee and A.J. Cooper of Prichard were elected mayors in Alabama.
1977 - Fiona Apple born
1996 - Tupac Shakur died

Monday, September 12

On this Day in Black History

1609 - Henry Hudson sailed down what is now known as the Hudson River.
1787 - Prince Hall became the head of African Lodge No. 459 in Boston
1840 - Mary Jane Patterson born
1859 - Florence Kelley born
1865 - Avery Normal Institute founded
1873 - Madame Sul-Te-Wan born
1913 - James Cleveland Owens (Jesse Owens) born
1916 - William Alonzo "Cat" Anderson born
1919 - Adolf Hitler joined German Worker's Party
1922 - The Episcopal Church removed the word "Obey" from the bride's section of wedding vows.
1931 - George Jones born
1935 - Richard H. Hunt born
1944 - Barry White born
1947 - Jackie Robinson named National League Rookie of the Year
1953 - U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.
1954 - "Lassie" made its television debut
1956 - Black students entered Clay, KY elementary school under National Guard protection.
1963 - The last episode of "Leave it to Beaver" was aired.
1970 - University of Southern California Trojans (featuring the first all-Black backfield in Division 1 college football) beat Alabama Crimson Tide.
1974 - Haile Selassie deposed by military leaders
1974 - Eugene A. Marino, SSJ, was consecrated at the first African American auxiliary bishop in the USA
1977 - Stephen Bantu Biko was brutally murdered
1983 - Arnold Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen.
1984 - Michael Jordan signed a seven-year contract to play basketball with the Chicago Bulls.
1986 - National Council of Negro Women sponsors its first Black Family Reunion
1992 - Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space when she launched from the Kennedy Center
2003 - Johnny Cash died

Anne Rice - a New Orleans voice

Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find.

Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?