Friday, October 17, 2014

Nice Autumn Weather

Friday brought some overcast skies which seem so unusual since they haven't been around in quite awhile. Warm, sunny and blue-sky days have been the ho-hum norm around here. It almost wants to make me snuggle up to a good book in front of a fireplace somewhere ( yea right, you hopeless romantic ). Last night the Giants won the National league pennant which was a good excuse for fans to go bonkers up and down the streets of S.F. ( saw it on the 11pm news ). I even painted a few extra Giants logo rocks to sell at the Market tomorrow.

Okay, so I haven't a license to sell Giants swag... just send me a cease and desist letter and I will stop. I've also painted a number of Mandala rocks and a few Halloween rocks with spooky faces like Frankenstein. This is a good time of year for that sort of stuff. Lately, these blog entries have been rather mundane because I find my sense of excitement has somehow flattened out.

I long to live more spontaneously as I get older. Below are some beautiful Hydrangeas. A lady at the Market let me take a picture of them. Are we all happy now?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Stepping back in time

I took a trip to south S.F. with my friends Veda and Bill to visit Daiso; The Japanese "dollar" store in Serramonte. One can spend twenty bucks and walk out with a shopping bag full of items you didn't know you needed. Especially kitchen gadgets like silicone spatulas and hot plate holders. I wanted to get some glow in the dark dots that really glow bright to stick on my Spirit Rocks. They didn't have any this time. I especially wanted to visit my sister's store in the Castro but we were running a little late, and Bill didn't want to deal with the traffic getting in an out of S.F. on a Sunday after a Giants game. The City has just become crazy dense these past few years and it looks like that trend is not going to let up any time soon.It's really a young person's town nowadays. If I was still in my twenties or thirties and upwardly mobile, I would be up for the challenge to try and take it in on again. Not so in my sixties.

It's weird to watch a town grow over the years. Our family arrived in S.F. in the middle of the beatnik era. The Giants had arrived there to play in Seal Stadium only the year before. My dad took me to a game where I got to watch Johnny Antonelli pitch knuckle balls as I was more interested hearing the the beer and hot dog vendors yell out their products as they roamed the stands. It got cold after the fifth inning as the fog rolled in. The ever present summer fog. Coming from Connecticut, I mistook date palm trees for evidence of tropical weather because I recall seeing coconut palms in Florida as a kid, and figured that Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt would be de rigueur as I caught a nasty first summer cold following a"free" concert in Sigmund Stern Grove that July . How quickly one discovers that you are charting new territory when you hear for the very first time that dreadful time-warn "Coldest winter" quote from Mark Twain.

Tourists be forewarned... always bring a jacket.

Monday, September 08, 2014

When I'm Sixty Four...

This year my birthday falls on a Saturday, which will be on (you guessed it...) 12-13-14 ! The last numerically sequential date of the century.Could it be the end of days? Hmmmm... I don't know, but perhaps it is a good day to have a party. It's a weekend and the only thing I will probably be doing is selling rocks at the Farmer's Market. Saturday evening I attend mass, and then attend a meeting in St. Helena which gets out at 8:30PM . Maybe a movie and some popcorn at the Cameo theater. Hey, that sounds like a good time ! So, if you are in the area on December 13th, let's go to a show at the Cameo. This sounds like a plan.

My friend Eric reads this blog, and his birthday is on the fourteenth, and he will be officially a senior citizen that day. I still have a year to go.

So that's a wrap.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Banteron's Muse: Going Tubeless

Banteron's Muse: Going Tubeless: This is annoying, yet undeniably the price we will have to pay to feel politically and environmentally correct nowadays.It's Scott &quot...

Going Tubeless

This is annoying, yet undeniably the price we will have to pay to feel politically and environmentally correct nowadays.It's Scott "Naturals".This huge paper company is now presenting a new tubeless toilet paper roll.You are now able to feel good about taking (and for that matter) giving a shit.Comedians will have a field day with this one.You can hear one saying now,"Yo! when my fingers ain't enough for cleaning the old bung-hole, I can now use the whole roll!"Lookout Scott, it's coming.

Don't these people know that toilet paper tubes are a necessity for many a school art project? When stacked upright, several tubes can support weight thousands of times it's own.It's what this country is built upon!(an endless trash heap, that is...) It will be sad the day when children won't have that pretend telescope to peer through; But will this mean that it will be an eye-blink before Scott pulls the tubes from their paper towels? Ever try to place a new roll on one of those spring-loaded holders?

Like you, I don't want to think about these things. Waste,when out of sight is out of mind in my book; But Scott has a point, and no doubt has held countless meetings and focus groups to bring this idea forward for the rest of us to ponder.It only goes to prove the time worn Werner Erhard pontification..."Their is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Nor is a crap,when one is ready to deliver one.It's sort of like being stuck in traffic after two espressos and a bran muffin if you get my drift.New mother's will concur on this...Does everyone agree that toilet paper tubes are an environmental disaster? Didn't you get the memo on this?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A little shook up

This morning at 3:30 am I was woken to a rumbling sound and items falling from shelves throughout my apartment. I bolted out of bed and through the front door down the stairs to the driveway yelling, "Earthquake!" Being the first one out, my heart was thumping and after calming myself a bit, i noticed I was still in my underwear. Hmmmm... well they were a plaid pattern and looked somewhat like a pair of swim shorts,so I didn't worry too much about people noticing.

The neighbors began to appear from balconies across the way, and everyone was standing around looking at each other wondering what everyone usually wonders... is that the end of it? Well it is approximately twelve hours later and we've only experienced mild aftershocks here at the North end of the Valley. Napa bore the brunt of the damage from this 6.1 magnitude quake.My sister and nephew called in short order to see if I was alright.No problem here.

My nephew posted pictures of his place in Napa where you can see that many items were tossed about; like ping pong balls in a lottery spinner.Thankfully everyone is still alive and hopefully we will not have another shaker like that for some time to come.Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What is Meditation?

Is it sitting still? Is it letting your thoughts go? Is it focusing? Or, as the Dalai Lama would say, "The best meditation is sleep". I find that it is a variety of practices,postures and positions. None of which will guarantee results because these are the manifestations of that which our mind conjures and that by definition is thinking.Thinking is either constructive or destructive.Meditation is neither.As I write this, I think about the times I've meditated and how it has been practiced (not unlike weight-lifting or even losing weight for that matter). Meditation requires an entry and an exit. Like prayer it requires a conscious attempt to engage. Listening to sounds and sensations as a way of entering into a meditative state, just as breathing slowly and releasing tension helps us to drop down into our experience.

Today I am looking at what meditation is not.Distraction is not meditation.It will misalign us.Distraction has to be allowed though,as it can be incorporated into the body of the meditation. Otherwise, resistance ensues. Resistance will persist to the degree that we resist it.Acceptance is the key,and ultimately the essence of a regulated meditative practice.Acceptance then becomes the first level of our conscious experience.Meditation is all about experiencing our experience.This experience is beyond belief.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life on the inside

I've been working inside most days these past four years.The day begins with a shower,shave etc...then off to mass.

When returning home, I begin to make breakfast and start my work.Today,I am updating my blog(s).It is late July and the heat is apparent in my small, one-bedroom apartment.It is only 9:30am and the sun is out.If it is a Monday, I like to listen to my Podcasts. This American Life. WTF.Snap Judgement. They are all good.Then I begin painting rocks.

My workday ends around 4:30 ~ 5:00pm.The days go by quickly.