Monday, April 30


I've been reading "Best Buddhist Writing 2006" and I have been so impressed how some of the writers understand me. OK, maybe what they write applies to more than just me. I have read several articles that had wonderful "ah ha" moments. Today it was John Kabat-Zinn's "Coming To Our Senses" where he talks about recognizing that everything matters. It's not about what happens around us but what we are doing within what is around you. He also talks about living with intention, what is usually called mindfulness.

There were a couple of other articles that I don't have time to go into but I had some moments of literary and philosophical excitement that I thought I would share.

Saturday, April 28

Why I want to consume "No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva"

by Pema Chodron

I am reading the Best of Buddhist Writing 2006. Not only did Pema Chodron’s sample make a lot of sense but she also mentioned Harry potter. How can you not love a teacher who references Harry, let alone a Buddhist teacher?

Thursday, April 26

Buddhist Thought of the Day (redux)

I think I posted that last one once before. Just in case, here's a new one.
Not to do any evil,
To cultivate good,
To purify one's mind--
This is the advice of the Buddhas.
Dhammapada, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Like a frontier fortress,
guarded inside & out,
guard yourself.
Don't let the moment pass by.
Those for whom the moment is past
grieve, consigned to hell.
Dhammapada, 22, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


I have a cousin who struggles with this issue. He seems to be confronted by people who actively and passively show contempt for him b/c he was raised in an upper middle class home, his mother is a professional and his father was management. He and I are third generation college graduates and in his case, 3rd generation post-grad, professional degree. We both went to private schools for most of our lives and we both have lived in integrated, even predominantly white, environments most of our lives. He finds that Blacks with less education (1st or 2nd generation college), who came from lower economic areas who now have more money and/or power than he does seem to be intimidated or even threatened by him. I have run into this but it never bothered me, I just saw that person as an ass and went on about my business. I have recognized the behavior as an aspect of someone protecting what they consciously or sub-consciously feel as a tenuous position or power...basically overcompensating for what they don't have or what they deeply want.

What brings this up is that I know a guy who has mentioned on more than one occasion that "these athletes" who are offered multi-million dollar contracts should take the money and run b/c what good is the degree gonna do. He is black w/o a college degree. I know his home is the urban northeast but I don't know much more than that. I can't say what his tax bracket was but I would guess, and it is a guess, that it was a mid-lower income bracket. His outlook on life is a strange mix of positive, friendly behavior combined with negative, conspiratorial ideas. He explains that these boys need money more than education and they can always go back for the degree. Which is true but my response is 1. the statistics don't bear that out - going back for the degree, 2. unless they play baseball the likelihood of them having a career is slim to none, 3. just cause they get the money doesn't mean they will keep it. I don't make anything close to millions and I have trouble keeping a budget.

Anyway, it's interesting to see different values.

Monday, April 23

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Afflictions have reasons based on mind; when mindless, where can afflictions abide? If you do not bother to discriminate and grasp appearances, you will attain the way naturally in an instant. While dreaming, you act in dreams; when you awaken, dreamland doesn’t exist. If you think back to waking and dreaming, they are not different from deluded dualism.

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Friday, April 20

Happy 420!

Happy Birthday to Kevin and happy 420 to all you potheads.

Don't you just love the end of the school year.

I am at the downtown library...the Main Library of Nashville. It's a huge space with all sorts of architectural interests. Needless to say we get lots of field trips this time of year. The excitement the kids bring can be quite fun but today we are being treated to a performance by Student Competition Winner Violin & Viola Players and how wonderful. You have to see our lobby to understand but acoustically it's beatiful for something like this, a big open space with the performer on the balcony.

Nashville can be a great place.

Wednesday, April 18

Good Company?

FIVE THINGS: Surprising in libraries

Among the people who have had library jobs:
Casanova. In 1785, the classic womanizer started work in the library of Count von Waldstein of Bohemia. He stayed on the job for 13 years.

Ben Franklin. He and some friends founded the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731. But they had to wait for the books to arrive from England. The next year Franklin became the librarian.

Mao Tse-Tung. He was an assistant, in 1918, to the chief librarian of the University of Beijing. He was not promoted, and so looked elsewhere for work, eventually becoming China's dictator.

J. Edgar Hoover. The man who would become FBI chief -- and widely known for secrecy -- got his first job as a messenger and cataloger in the Library of Congress, where you can read about millions of secrets.

Golda Meir. She was a Milwaukee public librarian before becoming prime minister of Israel.

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Monday, April 16

Great. Just Great.

BBC NEWS | UK | Librarians 'suffer most stress'
Librarians are the most unhappy with their workplace, often finding their job repetitive and unchallenging, according to psychologist Saqib Saddiq.
As soon as I get this job they release this report.

Of course, I can see it coming. I know exactly where it gets repetitive and unchallenging. This probably explains the dour look on the faces of some of the long time library staff. Even though today was crappy I am having a good bit of fun. I am trying to appear enthusiast not arrogant and we'll see if and when it pays off.

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Sunday, April 15

Project Z - Pure Madness

I love these guys. The first jamband I heard or saw was Col. Bruce and Aquarium Rescue Unit which featured Jeff Sipe (drums) and Jimmy Herring (guitar), both featured here. Ricky Keller, the bassist here, was also the conductor of the Zambiland Orchestra which I went to see each Christmas season for several years, it was the most amazing musical experience you could ask for...multiples of every instrument, ensembles melding into other ensembles, audience participation, and a deep love of music and people.

Friday, April 13

New Hire

Why is it so difficult to accept help from some and not others?

I am having the damnedest time with one of my coworkers. I know they are trying to help but there is something in the way they present the information they are trying to share that is driving me batty. I honestly get frustrated almost every time they say something. I know it has to do with how I have perceived them, their personality, their comfort level, or something but I am having a hard time dealing with it. I know part of it is that this person is not familiar with technology and b/c of that they follow the letter of the law and when I do something different, even if it works they say something like "Well, you probably want to check before you do it that way, that's not how I was trained." Now don't get me wrong, I have learned things from this person God how I wish it was coming from someone else.

Sunday, April 8

Evolution of a Porch 5

So, these photos didn't format the way I thought but everything is relatively in order of work. This last photo shows a new railing around the basement stairwell. The railing was reclaimed from the railing that used to be around the porch.

Evolution of a Porch 4

Evolution of a Porch 3

Evolution of a Porch 2

Evolution of a Porch

As many of you know I live in the same place where I grew up. My parents periodically remodeled things but it was rare. At some point the put security bars on the windows and outdoor carpet on the porch and stoop. Tara and I agreed to change things...

Wednesday, April 4

A story about "The Namesake (movie tie-in edition)"

by Jhumpa Lahiri

My oh my, this is my book of the year. I know it’s a few years old but what a wonderful book. It’s an easy read and the ease with which she flows between narrators/perspectives. Gugol is me except he’s Indian and I’m not. This is a book for misfits. This is a book for those who don’t understand their parents or those who don’t understand their children. This is a great book.

My friend Billy

My friend Billy lives in Scotland, my friend Billy plays guitar, my friend Billy taught me about Stravinsky and my friend Billy wrote us a song:

Sunday, April 1

We Are Everywhere...

Nice little history of people most Americans wouldn't know, probably most Mexicans wouldn't know.

Soccer and the Afro-Mexican Population

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