Wednesday, November 28

Lunchtime @ the Library

This one is for Marjorie.
Lunchtime Concert with Harpeth Hall Chamber Choir
Dates:Wednesday, November 28
Time:12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Enjoy the wonderful music of Harpeth Hall Chamber Choir
I was in an interview so I missed them. Too bad.

Monday, November 19

Flabby Bass Classic of the Day

"School Days"
by Stanley Clarke

Took my iPod to lunch and right as I was leaving this classic tune popped up on my perptual shuffle setting. I love this song. When I was a kid first getting into Jimi Hendrix a family friend told my Mom that he was too white and I should listen to Stanley Clarke instead. My Mom bought the first two records, Stanley Clarke & School Days. I didn't know what to make of it. It wasn't what I wanted, first off, but it was interesting. I remember getting a very melancholy vibe from Stanley Clarke, especially "Lopsy Lu". I shelved them and delve deeper into Hendrix. When I got to college I took my records with me and I started listening to Stanley again. He's about as good as it gets.

Wednesday, November 14

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Cerebral & personal yet global.
If we can reach the understanding of what we actually are, there is no better remedy for eliminating all suffering. This is the heart of all spiritual practices.
Kalu Rinpoche, "Luminous Mind"

Monday, November 12

Doggie Pleasures

I think I've mentioned that Johnders and I went to puppy class. We went 5 of 6 weeks to a class about an hour from our home (we got a deal although the gas cost probably blew the differential). I will say that these trainers know what they are talking about but their methods are a little archaic and even brutal for my taste. They advocate pinch collars and a knee to the chest (for jumping dogs), I didn't like that but I did get a lot out of the class. Of course, I have checked out almost all the puppy training books I could find at the library too. As I see it dog training, much like any relationship, is about respect and communication. The trainer has to respect the dog's nature and the dog has to respect the trainer's commands. To gain respect the trainer has to learn how to read the dog and the trainer must communicate clearly and efficiently. The bottom line is consistency with commands and fair expectations. We have to remember that we are teaching the dog a 2nd language, a language they can only respond to. They can't speak it. The popular school of thought (these concepts probably change with the wind) is positivity. The more the dog recognizes what you want the better he will perform. This also means, as one book says, the trainer must set the dog up to succeed.

Johnders is extremely smart. Actually, it amazes me. Having never had a puppt to watch the growth and learning. He is inquisitive and learns quickly. He is also hard-headed, and therein lies the biggest problem. We - owners - are working to help dogs control there impulses, their natural urges which most humans don't believe they can if they aren't given an alternative and that's what I want to do with Johnders. It's hard. I have to make doing what I want so exciting and rewarding that he always wants to do that.

His basic issue is excitement. It is hard for him to get calm. The way that manifests itself is jumping combined with some biting/mouthing. Its a daily stuggle to get him to stop his game of tug and let me go on my way. I walk away he jumps up and grabs my shirt. I see him do the same thing with dogs. He bugs them and keeps bugging them until somebody (another dog or an owner) pulls the dogs apart. He's not hurting anybody he just doesn't understand that No means No. That's really the only behavioral issue. I have to figure out some things to keep him occupied; just like bored people he turns to unproductive, even destructive behavior. We try to take him to the park, both walking with us and dog park, a couple of times a week. I try to teach him new tricks and of course, there is the Kong, which seems to be the only widely available cerebral toy for dogs. It is simple but it works really well. Sometimes I jump ahead. I think he knows something really well but he gets in a new environment and loses control. The trainer saw that and said something to the affect of "he knows everything you are asking him to do, he's testing you" like a toddler or a teenager. I think he pushes buttons too. He knows what pisses me off and he decides to do it. We keep trying and he keeps testing.

If anybody knows any tips and tricks let me know.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

This I truly believe.
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"

Saturday, November 10

Halloween 07

Field Trip
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.
John & Carolyn's brood on Halloween. Jack, LiAnna, Lindsey, Olivia. See how Lindsey has grown since the photo in the previous post.

5 years ago today

Lindsey - Nanning
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.
I got the following email this morning:
Remember what somebody handed us 5 years ago today? Hint: She was very loud, yet very sweet.

She's very excited today, she looks forward to her "gotcha" day every year because she gets mommy and daddy to herself all day. The others are going to grandma's. I think we're going ice skating, I'll give you the report from the hospital later. Hopefully I will not break more than one appendage!

See you.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

A little Sat morning Zen.
Flow with whatever may happen
and let your mind be free;
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate.
Chuang Tsu

Thursday, November 8


Are you looking at me??
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.
I've done some talking about Johnders and I keep forgetting to post a picture...

Is he a Catahoula or something else? You tell me.

A story about "American Gods: A Novel"

by Neil Gaiman

I asked a coworker for a sci-fi fantasy suggestion for my open-minded but very feminine book club and she suggest this. I’ve known about Neil Gaiman for a while but I’m not much of a sci-fi reader so I never picked up anything. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure about the story or the style and all I can say is Cool. This book rocks and Gaiman is an extremely enjoyable writer. I’m not done with it but I will be finishing this and reading more by him. It’s not very sci-fi either, it’s almost anthropological…I hear a lot of Joseph Campbell in this and I like that a lot!

A story about "Watina (Dig)"

by Andy Palacio


Back in the 90s I took some grad level classes at LSU. One of the papers I did was on the Garifuna. Before that I had heard of them, I knew they were some cultural/ethnic mixture of African and Native in Central America or the Caribbean. Even with my constant focus on music I never considered contemporary music. A few days ago I saw this disk and decided to give it a try. This is an extraordinary disk. The liners have the words but I haven’t read them b/c, like much of the best music, I don’t have to know what he’s saying to understand. Musically it reminds me of mento, that laid back acoustic reggae-ish stuff. It’s got some latin american vibes and sounds as well. The guy’s voice is lush. I recommend this highly.

Thursday, November 1

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Is it really so hard to be nice? Apparently for some, especially some of my coworkers it is. I wish they would learn from this.
Phenomena are preceded by the heart
ruled by the heart,
made of the heart.
If you speak or act
with a calm, bright heart,
then happiness follows you,
like a shadow
that never leaves.
Dhammapada, 1, translated by Thanissaro Bhikku.