Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It is seven in the evening, and I know after talking on the phone with a most beautiful woman in Jakarta at nine in the morning, California time, my New Year had already started. It is silly for me to think the new year begins with my area-centric perspectives on time. If that was truly significant, then I should probably start reading my horoscope again. Yikes! What a horrifying thought that is.

It is for me already 2009. I have spoken to people across the world that have assured me this is indeed true. My day is quiet, and with no desire to lose sleep, no desire to get drunk, and no desire to have some dissociative disorder develop from celebrating the same event twice in one day, I think it is fine to go to bed at ten o'clock tonight.

Maybe there will be firecrackers tonight. Maybe there will be people getting drunk. Perhaps many folk will be banging pots, and kissing loved ones, or sipping sparkling wines from plastic fluted cups. Maybe Dick Clark still has a Rocking New Year's Celebration broadcasting fr4om New York. Then others will be watching old movies, eating good food with friends while watching old mo0vies on television. This day is a special day.

This day is my day to understand in my heart why resolutions are important. My chance to see why I want to affirm changes in my life today. So many people talked of the failures of New Year's resolutions, and I wonder why I lost the point. I now know my own renewal, my own time for reflection must always remain personal. Do I have resolutions this year? Of course I do. But amazingly, I have to look at this year as a time to think back on what changes occurred in 2008.

2008 was a time for me to make many changes, and it was conversations today that remind me how much has happened in my life this year. I am working towards a change in the way I work. I am affirming my acceptance I can no longer rely on my body as the vehicle to work. I have had twenty years in service jobs. Now, it is truly time for a change.

Just as quitting smoking was a failure until I got sick enough I could not do it anymore, I now am at a point where I can no longer use my body as a device to make money reliably. So, finally, I am making changes, many changes. It is a part of my makeup that I must acknowledge these positive things, because it is funny how when the work is being done, sometimes it is hard to see where it is getting me.

Change for me is inevitable. I do have a say in how it manifests in my life. So with this I welcome the year 2009. I welcome the changes in my life. I welcome the new challenges. I am grateful for this day to move forward. Still, I am quite content to be asleep when the clock strikes midnight. God bless you all.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Selamat datang! Tahun Baru 2009

The Christmas Season is coming to an end... Theyear is wrapping up, and I am getting ready to start another semestern at school.... Stay tuned. Here is my last dose of Christmas cheer for 2008. Enjoy the music!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coming Back Home...

Wacky folk in San Jose descended on me today. Visiting with some friends, I had to tell them I am not so good at taking care of myself. San Jose has been my base of operations for thirty-five years, and many people here have known my idiosyncrasies for the bulk of time since 1992. My mother and other family will claim knowledge going back much further than that. I am always feeling a sense of love and renewal every time I come here.

Of my friends, they sit and patiently listen to me explain all my reasons why I do not take care of myself. I have a new phone list with many phone numbers I have had in times past. I know many of them say they miss me, and am glad I came to our little gathering in a church here in the Blossom Valley. Few people know where the Blossom Valley is any more. Covered mostly in concrete, it is wild to think that the name reflected the nature of this valley, that we had many orchards, and bountiful harvests.

I grew up in a time after the development of Apple computers. Once the compute age was upon us, all the orchards started disappearing. This is the Silicon Valley in a time past its boom. As I come here, I reflect on what a gorgeous place this county still is. I am grateful t see my family and friends in this period before Christmas.

As rude as my friends are, many of them remind me of the wonderful work I do, and have do0ne to get better. Many of them remind me what a wonderful thing it is to call on a regular basis. I am clear that as I get lost in my minor depressions, I do disassociate from many of the folk that care about me most. So, what have I really shared in this blog? Last May I shared that I had abstained from booze since 1999. Gratefully, I can still claim that.

Now, in lieu of my health problems, my bad attitude, my movement to disability, and my effort to learn a new way to make money, I now have people looking through this window, and asking me “What really, are you doing to take care of yourself?” In this holiday period, I am grateful, immensely grateful to see who my true friends are. I am able to see my family. I am able to pray, clear my head, and remember what actions moved me forward, brought me relief, and settled my heart.

Now, once again, I can move back home, and act like a man with some purpose in his life. That is all I want to report for now.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Robots? In my Blood? You Crazy?

(I have included links to much information here. I encourage you to investigate them)

As I posted last, I am now preparing for the next move in my schooling. I have received many comments from kind folk wishing me good luck, and prosperity. I have many people encouraging me in exploring my physical problems, and seeking out solutions to those. I am posting, also on my latest enthusiasm. I have watched speaker after speaker on, and feel my brain filling with hope, and excitement as I listen to ideas from the visionaries of our time.

I am not here with any solutions to the world's problems. I listen to “those” visionaries every time I step into McDonald's and take note of the political prognostication that brings life to my hashbrown and sausage mcmuffin. I listen to discussions that convince me I have no right guessing about the future. I am starting to let go of the idea I want technology that is five years old. I am letting go of the idea that I can bubble myself from the speed of change. I am amazed that with all the change that has occurred in my life, I am able to move forward without a host of stress related disorders.

In 1970, Alvin Toffler first published the book Future Shock. I would eventually read it in the 1980's, share it with my psychology instructor, who told me the book not only failed to be about psychology. The book was just not true. Toffler suggested in his book that change was occurring in such an unprecedented rate that entire societies were showing evidence of disorders in health and psychology related to the stresses of an exponential rise in change.

His book arrived on the scene just a few years after the arrival of Moore's Law, predicted the rate of advancement in printed circuit boards would double in number of transistors every two years. Moore's Law serves well as a backdrop for the more expansive theory of Toffler. In 1970, Toffler demonstrated on a graph the exponential rate at which technological advancement has taken place in society, and how we are living in a time where such changes will be astronomical. Today I was watching engineer and longevity scientist Ray Kurzweil speaking on the future of nano-robots, the consistency of change in a chaos model, and the potential dangers of virus study. Thius discussion was especially shocking when I pondered that Kurzweil's biggest foray into popular culture came in the form of a groundbreaking music synthesizer. Now he is talking about immortality and nanorobots?

So, as I court this future plan of mine to be a teacher of English, I am excited to have technology on the side. I still only use my computer for information searches, and word processing. But, even then I am struck at how wild my dream is becoming. I want to teach overseas. I know where I might be teaching, and I know by when I want my degree. So many variables exist in all this, I find comfort in studying a well established language (I am an English major).

Unlike Kurzweil, and gerontologist Aubrey DeGrey, I have no desire to live forever. Still, the science that both are advancing seems to have worldwide implications in healing the troubles of the world. I have high hopes. Kurzweil sees a great world of medical (and other technology) advances. It is a challenge in a time when our clunky medical infrastructure seems so inefficient. Technology may be advancing, but who will get to enjoy the benefits of this new technology? When will we see the fruits of these men's efforts?

Moore's Law, and Toffler's predictions suggest there is no way I can hide from change. So, today again I resolve to move forward.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Will Keep You Posted

As regards my application to school:

Thank you! Keith, you have successfully completed your application to CSU, Chico! Throughout the application process, there will be a variety of DEADLINEdates which you will be required to meet. It is imperative that you thoroughly read our future communications to you and respond quickly. It is therefore essential to keep us informed if you change your contact information in any way.

If you would like more information about our campus, please visit us on the Web at Better yet, we would love for you to come and visit in person You may also reach us at 530-898-4428 (or 1-800-542-4426) or by e-mail at

Office of Admissions

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christ Climbed Down by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by tin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck creches
complete with plastic babe in manger
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
in a Volkswagen sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
and German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody's imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carollers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary's womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody's anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest of
Second Comings

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

With an Open Mind...

I was sitting in class earlier when my instructor said something that really changed my perception of the law profession. She said, “Keith, it is the action of a few dishonorable lawyers that give the other five percent of us a bad name.” It is comments like that for me serve as a little caveat against hasty judgment.

Anyway, I am a great lover of, and am always willing to promote it whereever I can. I think this website has done much to make available the great thinking of hundreds of people. It has ideas for new inventions, innovative solutions for troubles around the world, and incredible presentations from artists all over the world. I discovered TEDtalks over a year ago when I carelessly added their subscription to my iTunes account.

Indeed, I would have stayed away if I knew the effect it would have on me. I have downloaded at first audio talks, and then I discovered the same talks as video clips. I have not been the same since . The TED talks started as a lone conference in Monterey, California. I found a desire. I wanted so much to go tom this conference, and check it out. In my investigation, I learned that the conference is by invitation only.

So, should I creep into Monterey one day, find the conference center, and hope to catch some eyeful of someone's brilliance? I could sit in the hotel with my paparazzi gear, hoping to catch a glimpse of Bono, President Clinton, or Malcolm Gladwell. Maybe Rives will lead us in a poetry slam, as Al Gore fills the hotel lobby with Secret Service, and shares with me his apocalyptic ruminations, a pen raised while waiting for me to hand him a copy of his DVD to sign.

This is not about hero worship. The thrill comes in knowing that being around so many people, there would be a blanket of positive energy come upon Monterey, and the thought that by osmosis, I may be able to draw to me some of that fire. So, today's selection comes to me by way of scientist Dr. Christopher Charms.

He shows us how to make changes in our bodies with real-time scanning of our brain with MRI. The idea is not new here. In many ways, it seems the natural evolution of biofeedback. In my simple-mindedness, I may be losing the nuances of his presentation. But, when I see what he is talking about, I think this is exciting. The concept of us addressing the pathways in our brain for positive change is very exciting! In decades past, many people were helped by biofeedback, and now a new generation of help is being conceived.

Watch Dr. Charms short talk, and think about it. It could be fun.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Language is a Virus, and Other Thoughts

Somewhere in time, a woman named Laurie Anderson dredged up from the depths of her soul, ideas of her friend, William Seward Burroughs, and the scientist/philosopher, Richard Dawkins when she created what would be he only mainstream hit of the 1980's. Her creation came forth bas a single 45 record. That single was called “Language is a Virus.” William Burroughs had already written his own essays on the concept, and Dawkins went so far as to create a name for this idea. He called it a meme.

With the collection of Laurie Anderson's performance art available on Youtube, I have found the concept of the meme gels for me. I see how ideas infect, and I am certain that this is inescapable. I can only laugh when I think how the insanity of entire nations falling into preoccupations over anti-bacterial handwashes, counter cleaners, and towelettes to clean off shopping cart handles (just one example).

No sooner do I write about these things that I brace myself to field the objections to my thinking. Language is a medium to infect entire populations with bizarre thoughts, and now, the meme, has infected me again.... I was tagged by a blogger, my friend Annie. So, herein I will disclose the nature of this meme:

Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.

Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

Let people know they've been tagged by leaving comments on their blogs.
Okay, here goes.

1.I am in love with other cultures. I have lived thirty-five years in San Jose, California. I love to travel, and only made that discovery in the past five years. My passport is five years old, and marks off four treks across the globe. I have already planned my next trip, and it coincides with my plans to teach overseas.
2.I believe the truths in consular travel warnings ignore the general goodness of the universe. I believe humanity with all its faults is inclined to do good. I am certain that my great comfort came in part from reading the Bible. Still, after having read news articles, and consular travel pages -about various places I have traveled, and plan to travel- that much of my comfort also comes from the vision in John Allen Paulos' A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. In his book he shares his insights to the numbers, the scare tactics, the butchery of logic found in newspaper writing.
3.I believe that the most controversial place a man can be is in the middle of any confrontation. I believe it amazing how people want to claim virtue in their willingness to pick sides in an argument, when clearly little information would ever surface to make true clarity possible. I jokingly call myself a passionate fence-sitter, and I welcome any attacks.
4.One of my favorite books of my teen-age years is Sheldon Kopp's Rock, Paper, Scissors. The book revolves around a quest to find one's place in the world. In his book, Kopp talks about how we are always comparing ourselves with others. The comparisons always ignore the enormous amount of people more successful/ less successful , happier/angrier than we are.
5.My bodyha always been my fallback when I never developed myself to find a job in the world of knowledge. Now I am in school as a direct result of physical disability which made working in the service world ridiculous.
6.I used to listen to comedy tapes more than other people listened to music. I was a child obsessed with comedy. I am grateful that I am able to adapt to regular socialization after craving all the attention that came from making other people laugh. I took time to get quiet and reflect when my mother notified me of George Carlin's death. Afterf a moment of silence I said all the seven words you cannot say on television.
7. With each day that passes, I get more excited about the choices I am making in life. I am staying positive. I see the joy of sharing classrooms with people old as my parents, and those young enough to be my children (of which I have none).
I will tag the following people:


(Who is the kid below with the striped shirt and glasses?)
(dated May, 1977 at Aloha Roller Palace)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Quadrant Works Best for Me?

When I blog today, I long to have fun. When I stopped having fun thoughts my writing came to an en. But, I wanted to continue to develop my world here in the blogosphere. I had to stop writing about my health. My battle with bureaucracy has failed to keep me entertained, and I am more impressed with how truly stifling, and belittling the bureaucratic system is when it comes to filling out paperwork, asking agencies for help, waiting for responses, and getting envelopes to fill out more paperwork.

It was a day like any other when I found myself in Barnes and Noble, facing the discount book racks, and seeing a book title: Overcoming Procrastination. People think I am telling a joke when I said to myself, “Oh, I really ought to buy thuis book someday.” Sadly, I do admit my need for the book, and I was serious about wanting it.... I must have been fulfilling destiny when I chose to procrastinate on this one purchase.

Remember: procrastination is a serious problem, but it is not an urgent one.

Refer to Peter Drucker and his Four Quadrants. Drucker was a genius of management, and his ideas on time management have made me a more effewctive person. His ideas on urgency and importance have done much to help me guage where I am in terms of effectiveness. Most commonly cited source for the four quadrant model is Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, also an excellent book.

Basically, if I am spending my time putting out fires, or lost in distraction, I am not managing well. The advice I was given was to build a focus that keeps me in the second quadrant. He idea being that if I stay proactive, I will not have as many occasions to spend “putting out fires” or wastes time on pointless distractions that do not propel me further towards accomplishing goals.

So, I can still write. But, now I have to readdress my time management. I am pleased that with the ideas of Drucker, the ideas of Stephen Covey, I have been able to grasp onto ideas, behaviors that have reduced the anxiety in my life.

Now then, of the things I have reported on, I am thrilled that everything is moving forward. I am receiving my first disability check, have the paperwork in to re access my medical assistance, and am sitting in classes, working on understanding the workings of the United States Government, differentiating between various forms of igneous rocks, and analyzing poetry from multicultural perspectives.

May all this hastily land me into a four year college, and lead me out of my disability payments when I can once again live simply as a cog of Industry.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Okay, now what?

Since the Tuesday election, I have had a few reactions. I remember the election party they held for President-elect Bill Clinton, and how it seemed he was heralded as the great deliverer that would save us from perdition.

Did I vote for Barack Obama? Well, yes I did. I live in a simple community where admitting such things makes people talk to you in hushed tones, and offer up business cards for good therapists.

I mention the party of Bill Clinton, just because, for all the good things that occurred during his administration, he is still spoken of as the one man who destroyed the dignity of the United States Presidency. Many people still speak passionately of his scandal, and the unsubstantiated claims of his other dirty dealings.

Now we have Barack. After his inauguration, we will see if he is the man who will be able to make positive changes in this world, or not.

I am amused. With all the realized homogeneity of the two parties, it is amazing how much of a person's identity gets wrapped up in saying with which party you vote. After all is said and done, I hope in the next eight years, the Obama Administration will be able to repair some of the damage done to our relations in the world.

I have sat in on many discussions in the past thirty-eight years where people have alternately prediccted the overwhelming success or failure of elected officials. In the past six months I have listened to outrageous discussions on how Obama will destroy America. I am somewhat startled by the wild predictions that he will bve able to overcome the messes created by deregulation, the messes created by NAFTA, the wholesale catastrophe of policy decisions that made this recent bailout necessary. I believe that of these discussions, these predictions, most fared worse than Sylvia Brown; I remain content knowing I am a man that does not see into the future.

Has any one President ever worked as hard as George W. Bush to kill the positive image of our country in the eyes of the world? When I travelled to Minadanao for the first time, I was told to be careful. I was told , "They hate Americans there!" I would calmly ask them to name which countries think highly of us now.

This is a good time, and my hope is that with a new administration, we c an start repairing all the damage that has been done. These are just a few rambling thoughts. I will retreat now to my fence post where I can dodge the cans and tomatoes thrown by the political geniuses.

For inspired political commentary....

Kevin meaney addresses the next generation of voters. Click on the link to watch.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Take Your Destiny Into Your Own Hands....

With this post, we are well into the month of November. I am excited still over my new laptop, and we have just passed three days where we address the dead, and hopefully come forth to celebrate life. From the celebration of Halloween to the many countries that take special note of All Souls Day, and Dia de Los Muertos. All across the world, at cemeteries everywhere, people have visited this week the graves of their loved ones.

I cannot say for sure what is intended here. I know many people honor the dead, some pray for their souls, while others take advantage of the holiday to gather, be with friends, and celebrate their families with food, some with music, as entire communities converge on these burial grounds to remember, to pray, and perhaps show some gratitude for the lives they have been given.

Today, I think about this as the day wraps up, and I include the song Dos Cosas Ciertas- played in San Jose- by the band Ozomatli. Following are the lyrics. (keep reading, some of the lyrics are in English)

Dos Cosas Ciertas
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio

No dejes que tu vida se safe,
Toma tu destino en tus propias manos,
Aveces las espaldas sudosas,
Se confrentan con las palmas sucias...

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,

Handa, handa no pierdas la vista,
Persuige, persuigue tu destino,
Tu destino se decide en tus manos,
No dejes que se escape tu chance...

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas
Handa, handa no pierdas la vista,

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas
No dejes que se escape tu chance

[ Find more Lyrics at ]
It's you they card
It's you they charge
It's you they complain about
strollin the boulevard
You the one claimin' and screamin you all hard
Are you in control or is it just a facade

If Uncle Sam wants you it's you
It's you that he'll need
It's you that he'll sacrifice and
it's you that'll bleed.
I think you need to reflect
on some old Sam Sneed
And recognize in life there's
only two guarantees
Some proceed to believe
And thus we gotta discuss
Have we all lost our trust in us,
Cause you and I
We us together we must
Live change and die
Everybody's inlcuded it's up to you to decide

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio

En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio,
En la vida hay dos cosas ciertas,
Son la muerte y el cambio

Thank You for reading.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Elections This Tuesday!

It isn't pollution that is hurting the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it. -- Vice President Dan Quayle

Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis. -- Vice President Al Gore

Obviously, not all politicians are created equal. This is my simple point as I think about how to cast my vote on Tuesday. No. I do not declare my votes, and I d not try to sway others in their voting. I am thrilled that for the first time in my life, I have studied the issues on the ballot, and am ready to vote on them. In the years past, I was sure that I was not qualified to vote on most issues, and would only vote on those I had studied.

I believe that voting is not only my right as a citizen, but it is also my responsibility. Why on earth would I complain about a bill over which I had declined to vote? It is exciting to feel the election coming up. It is a thrill to know that new decisions will be made, new faces will populate many offices, and I have had my chance to speak my mind. With that said, I will be sure to mass send my voter guide on November fifth for anyone vexed with indecision.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Do Not Let This Happen to you

Quote of the day:

It cements Bush's legacy. Because he was a failure in every single aspect of government, but he had a good economy. Now, at least now he can go out as a complete failure. – Donald Trump

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

back on line!

I am sitting in Raley's Supermarket, drinking a double macchiato, relaxing in their cafe'. I am thrilled with the acquisition of a new laptop. My last laptop flew from my back and hit the ground, fracturing the computer's LCD screen. I turned the machine on, in a diner, and was thrilled to see it working, only to see the evidence of the damage as the back light of my laptop lit up to reveal the fault lines of the liquid crystals. I ran my thumb across the screen to watch the lines of damage spread across the face of my mortally wounded laptop.

Now, through the generosity of my employer, I am able to continue computing with a newer, more functional laptop, weighing in at 2.5 pounds. I have never had a computer that was more clean, more functional than this one. When I carry this, I keep it wrapped in bubble wrap. You cannot get better high tech protection than that! I am actually going to get a new carrying case, but for now, the utmost caution is in place for this.

I am still in school. My Internet classes have been a challenge since losing my most free access to the Internet. Even with ongoing access to the computer lab at school, and extra full days to be on campus did not make up for the freedom I had, the utility of this device.

I missed out on blogging, and I lost contact with many online friends. I have received challenges to completing my work. Sigh. Schooling is not easy, but now it will be easier. I just gave a talk in my American Government class, where I shared on a California proposition. I sat before a class and spoke so passionately on both sides of the issue, and when I was done no one had any idea what side I would vote .... Success!

As for the mess of papers I showed in this quest to solve my problems, and keep my life moving forward, I am struck by how I am able to use this blog to track times, to show elapsed intervals in these efforts. I blogged on my needing medical treatment. I blogged on my wanting to start school. I blogged on m y desire to teach, and my desire to travel. I know too well my history of frustration. It is easy to see how my anger has stepped in to slow progress. I admitted how my own waffling hampered my acquisition of disability, of entering school on time. Now am well into my first months of classes, and have received acceptance on my disability claim.

Piece by piece , I watch as all the actions set in motion by my own efforts come together to create a picture that is truly beautiful.

So, I am back, and I still have my blog. I hope herein I shall continue to have good news to report.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Scholastic life

I am amazed at how not dependent I am on my computer. When my laptop broke ( fractured LCD screen) I found my computing had become limited to my time in the library at school.

Being a student affords me much time to be on campus, and unlimited access to computers during the library hours. I am pleased to be able to finish all I need to to become a good student.

This is quite a journey, and still not feeling as smooth as i had hoped, anticipated. I am grateful that I do not know all the hangups, the road blocks in advance. I can forge on, without the headaches, the frustrations that cajn stifle my progress.

Still, I have finally received note that my first disbursement from financial aid is coming soon. I will be able to pay back the generous loans i have received already to get my scholastic journey started. I am almost out of time. I will end this report here!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dewey Decimals made Fun

What would Melville Dewey say? I was just fumbling for a piece of paper, and looking through the mess of papers I have in my book bag, I found one most curious. This paper, so easily ignored struck my eyes. Scarcely three inches by three inches, I was caught by the words: Mangoes and Curry Leaves: culinary travels through the... Then the words end. I was thinking how this book sounded like a book, a cook book I had just picked up from the library, emphasizing the cuisines from the Malay archipelago, sharing foods, recipes gleaned from one author's travels through Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Still, the book mentioned on the poage was not the book I sought out. I did not have any printouts made of any book searches. I did not know what the significance of this paper is. I wanted to know how it ended up in my bag. I looked at the other side. Now, for the book listed on this random paper was the Dewey classification of 641.595 A.

On the back of this paper I found a clue. I saw that this paper had written on it, in my script, a series of numbers, numbers i looked up on the last visit to the main library just a few days ago. The numbers on the page included the Dewey classification of 641.5959 B. This places the book I sought out in a very precise class, a scant shelf away from this book on the paper I just pulled out of my bag.

How did I get the paper? I pulled it out of a little box next to the library catalog computer. With all the randomness of the universe, with all the countless thousands of books in the year old library in Redding, CA, and with all the matching Dewey codes used to classify those books, I was able to grab a paper with the exact location of the same book I would seek out that moment in time.

Now, none of this reflection brings i8nto account the countless thousands of papers that get cut, and recycled for scrap in the library. Now then, I am not a mystic. I barely believe in any tenets of supernatural causality, so, my only desire is to share a story of how in this soup of chaotic action in this world, coincidences happen that can certainly amuse.

I thank you for reading

Thursday, August 28, 2008

George Bernard Dantzig, The Man

A story shared in many classrooms, often begins the same, that at some indeterminate time, in some university hall, a math student shows up late, and copies down some problems, mistaking them to be homework. I have heard teachers tell the story at least a handful of times, and decided to see what I could find. How did the beginning of George Bernard Danzig's life as a mathematician get elevated to myth?

One Sunday morning a couple of weeks later he came running over to my house and banged on the door. We lived upstairs. I came down and opened the door. He rushed in and said he had written an introduction to the problems I had solved and was going to submit the paper for publication. It turns out that those two problems were two very well-known, unsolved statistical problems. I had solved them both.

That's quite a story.

It has since become sort of an urban legend. Many years later, this fellow (Don) Knuth — he's a very well-known computer scientist — was bicycling down the street one day at Stanford, and he comes up to me and says, "Do you know you are influencing religion in middle America?"

He said that he had heard a sermon while he was visiting in Illinois or some place like that in which the preacher told what was essentially my experience with the homework problems to make a point about positive thinking.

The point was this: If I had known that those were famous unsolved statistical problems, I never would have tried to solve them.

Dr. Dantzig was an incredible man, who made quite a story that has been recounted in classrooms across the world for decades. That is precisely how he became a legend. As a legend, pieces of his story disappeared, often his name, when he was a student, and what he went on to become. Dantzig was hoisted up to the class of legend, because he was late to class. He became a legend, because he was able of seeing a math problem no other math mind had seen it.

Even then, we do not know for sure no one had solved the problem before him. It is amazing to think perhaps this man's story can not stand up on its own. Many people chose to embellish it, change it, add motives, and create a story to address their own agendas.

Well, I suppose that if I wanted to establish an agenda of my own, it would be to clear away mythology , and find our way into a huge, exciting world that is fascinating all by itself. I suppose it is wonderful that we have so many positive thinkers in the world. From the books of Norman Vincent Peale, and by the power of Robert Schuler's preaching at his Crystal Cathedral, we have built a wonderful structure edifying positive thinking, and the greatness that can be achieved from it.

Does it not today seem a little silly that with so many wonderfully legitimate stories to substantiate the ideas of the positive thinking gurus that we should try to push forth a story when, with complete humility, the subject of the story admits the unreliability, the frailty of his own positive thinking?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Keeping Focus

In this period,m where I am spending enormous amounts of time on campus, I am learning more about how to focus my attention, and get things done. In my efforts to get here, I have been quite honest, off line, about my difficulties in meeting deadlines, and finishing things I have wanted to get started.

I was challenged by a friend when I admitted I was late getting everything together to start school in summer session. I promised, heartfelt, and swore that I would have everything together by this Fall session. Even then, that liuttle pink post card sat lonesome in my backpack as I pondered filling it out, buying a stamp, and mailing it off to Santa Clara to get my transcripts to their new home here in Shasta County.

So, while the process of establishing my financial aid was smooth a couplke months ago, it was not until my transcripts arrived a few weeks ago that I was able to get the financial aid office to file my petition, and get my requeests for loans and grants underway.

I guess I should not be surprized when I was loaned money by my mother who told me that I have a long history of not following through on projects. I was told that this money should be used to buy my school books, and to keep my focus. So, I have my focus today. I am buying my books, and I am committed to getting this done as quickly as possible.

Included above is a clip of music from Thomas Dolby, a song that sings to my soul. I hope you enjoy it.
Keep posted

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I woke up early this morning. I went to bed at a reasonable hour, and was primed to start my new experience as a student. My classes here, now, are designed to prepare me to transfer on to a four-year school, and get my degree. I have a diploma. From Mission College, in 1995, I was able to walk a stage in a graduation ceremony, but now, years later, I asm starting to work on actual goals.

My journey this morning began at four in the morning, and I am challenged to say that there is anything wrong with that. I love the early hours. I love texting internationally at these quiet hours, my ultra-cheap, and outdated Motorola still holds charge. My simple desire to have convenient, easy transmission of ideas across multiple time zones does not demand cellular games, a touch screen, access to movie times, or GPS trip planning.

My phone is ideal. My life as a student demands no fancy communications. My work to become a teacher is made simple now that I have online classes. I am studying multicultural perspectives on English. I have an Intoduction to American Government, General Earth Science, and a Survey of Drama as Literature. No fancy ringtones needed for my lifestyle. So, I sit here, on Shasta Community College Campus, surrounded by students fifteen to twenty years my junior, and I am constantly reminded my goal is top finish and get out of here...

So, when I woke up this morning, I was filled with hope. I exchanged some communications across the globe, and I prepared myself for the day ahead. Here is Rives, a slam poet, and performance artist, as he talks about four in the morning.

This talk was given at the TED conference in Monterey, California. Check out TEDtalks to see many other interesting speakers...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Memes are everywhere

This my first tag from Nyl(thanks my friend!). It's called "6 x 4" meme since for each of its six questions, the blogger is asked to provide four answers. I have already informed her that this is not the first “tag” I have received. This is, however, the first time I have been able to relax, and actually allow myself to participate.

Here are the meme's rules: Click copy/paste, type in your answers and tag four people in your lists! Don’t forget to change my answers to the questions with that of yours.

1. Four places I go to, over and over:
a. bathroom

b. Redding Library

c. rumah kopi

d. Orchard Nutrition Center (where I work)

2. Four people who e-mail me regularly:
a. Ricka, sayang ku

b. my mother

c. my sister

d. my best friend in San Jose

3. Four of my favorite places to eat:

a. on the floor

b. in the kitchen

c. in my parent's house

d. downtown San Jose

4. Four places i’d rather be:
a. San Jose, California

b. Jakarta, Indonesia

c. Dublin, Ireland

d. Boston, Massachusetts

5. Four TV shows I could watch over and over:
a. CSI (All three)

b. I Survived a Japanese Game Show
c. original Twilight Zone episodes with Rod Serling
d. Kung Fu with David Carradine

6. Four people I think or I hope will respond...
a. Ricka

b. Akira

c. Kikey Loo

d. Chobits

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Kalah jadi abu, menang jadi arang."

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

~Corinthians I 13:13

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. ~Matthew 13: 5-8

I am learning something of humility. I do not mean that I am becoming humble. I also do not feel humiliated. Still, I am finding myself seeing things from a less prideful perspective. I read the quote above from Emerson, and I know that to a great degree, I have been culturing certain negativity in my life. Strangers who have n ever met me have commented in recent weeks on it. Yikes!

I am trying to sow good things ion this world. I have spoken to a friend of mine, and he has asked me about my health, about my follow through, about my attention to details. I spoke of this blog as a place for accountability. That is unrealistic. If I am not dealing with things in my life, the last place I am apt to bring them out would be in this page.

Still, to a great degree, I am fostering wonderful things in my life. I have not lied about that. Trying to achieve a critical balance, I have sen t off pointed angry email to people who I am best off ignoring. One of my friends had commented that as a blogger, a blogist, a member the growing blogosphere, I have a responsibility to myself. That responsibility is to know a part of my life is placed out to the world, the more honest I get in here. I have often recalled the quote from Matthew where Jesus says “Do not cast your pearls before swine.”

On the Internet, a man has to know that anyone has the right to come to any site that has not secured entry. For m e to note that someone I do not like has been creeping along the periphery of my site only means that that peson has a reason to know what I am writing. I would be foolish to challenge anyone's right to click on my site.

What are my pearls? What do I want to protect? These are my questions to think about, to ponder. I am blessed for everyone that visits. Indeed, I can write honestly without challenging my own personal boundaries. May everyone who visits take away something good for themselves.

I do not offer any great wisdom, but for today, I am gratified to know I can write you all one more day.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quiet Moments...

I am sitting here, in Redding, California, and am thinking how quickly all this stuff I write about will pass by, insignificant footnotes to my two years of life in grocer's Purgatory. My purgation is coming to its end. I have a my nervous system wired from caffeine, from indecision, from patterns of procrastination, blossoming into varying packets of anxiety and industry.

I have started my journey now into academia, and after retrieving my transcripts from Mission College in Santa Clara. I spent the morning looking at my history fifteen to twenty years ago. I looked at my mix of academic, and cooking classes. I saw a mess of dropped classes. I saw classes passed I can't remember taking. I saw classes I almost failed that demanded nothing from me. Had I exchanged youthful exuberance for my unfashionable melancholy, I would have soared through that process with accolades galore.

Well, my counselor was not interested in my emotional states during the 1990's. She sat with my official transcripts (unofficial if envelope is opened). she photocopied them so I could read them. Then with an eagle eye and a ball point pen, she found a check list, reiterated my stated goals to me, and checked off everything I had accomplished to meet that end.

Who could have told me that that time, time I felt wasted in self-obsessed angst, had resulted in anything to further my goals, and assure my future well-being? She looked at me, and as I tried to stop her, showed me that I needed only four classes to transfer to a four year college. My stated major would be English, with an emphasis on teaching.

The resistance i had was in knowing that this process was moving so fast I was not sure how to manage. One day at a time say my friends in various types of 12-step recovery. I have to calm down, and remember the next indicated action.

In the next semester i will finish my requirements for transfer to a state college. I will have to apply this month to make that happen, and in the time after Christmas, prepare to move to the city in which I will continue my education. Ooooohhhh... How do I manage, day by day? Answer: one day at a time.

I am not oblivious to what I want to do. This is an exciting journey. I hope to relax a bit, though. So, the word for the day is : Decaf!

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just Another Pile of Papers

This has been a wonderful couple weeks. I have been to my family's home in San Jose. I have enjoyed the company of family and friends., I have seen the valley I called home for over 35 years. Still, due to mix of complications, I was not able to spend much time with my family.

Still, I was able toi retrieve my birth certificate. I was able to get an official copy of my college transcripts, and I was able to arrange appointments with Social Security, and with my college.

This week, I met with the fine people at Social Security, who were able to walk me through, painlessly the process of applying for disability payments.

I have to reapply for my County medical aid, and with patience, I have seen many things fall into place. People always remind me, that even if I think I am late, I can always be late. I no longer believe in letting things fall apart because of missed deadlines.

In the earliest months of this year, I created this blog, a resurrection of a previous blog, which I destroyed out of lack of inspiration, and hurt feelings.

Now I see how in the months I started out posting on here, I was forging out my own personal vision. It may seem scattered, but even those closest to me think I have moments of being scattered. Still, my inspiration comes when i can see how, by my regular journaling, I am forging out a game plan for my life.

I have faced the challenges of my mobility. I am preparing to go to school. I am learning other languages, and I have plans on teaching overseas. I have never acted so inspired, nor as directed in my whole life as I have in the past nine months. This is my gestation, my baby. My life is germinating wonderfulness everyday, and i need only move forward, taking the next indicated actions... No wonder these sprouting raw foods people appeal to me so much. Germination is what it is all about.

I have sat in Redding, CA wholly uninspired since December. I have fretted over my health, fretted over my money, and mostly fretted over my lack of vision. I still do not think The Secret is the vision for me.

I do believe that dating someone who wanted me to build her fortune, and her future using the principles of Rhonda Byrne's visionary Law of Attrtaction was at the core of my disgust. I have known people who always begin to explain their passionately flawed actions with the words "I thought."

I think as a society it would raise the standard of honesty if we explain our actions from time to time with the words "I felt..." It is insulting to listen to someone's chattering teeth as they explain away their ridiculous actions as the result of thought. I know when my writing is passionate. I know when I speak with passion that I face the challenge of reduced objectivity. Still, I am not afraid to use the words "I feel" as an affirmation of my own humanity.

Sigh. Maybe I can start using the words "I think" more often, and work up m y resume' for a spot on the Fox News channel.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Interview

“You do realize that if you knowingly provide false statements during this interview, we will throw you in jail?” ~Social Security worker to me, August 4, 2008

Building on a promise to myself, and promises to others, I am taking care of many things. Doctors have shown me the door thjat holds that promise of a lifetime of experiments, and examinations. Let us take some more blood, and while we are at it, we can take another scan. I am okay with this. I am not soi terribly7 frustrated. I have received an order to get an MRI done. I have to renew my CMSP coverage, and have to go to another facility.

So, following my own thjoughts, I have finally applied for Social Security. They have interviewed me for my case, and will speak to my doctors and my employers to see if they will approve me for my disability claim. I have felt irritated at being brought to this point. In my vision, I would rise above anything, and keep making money despite risks to my health and well-being.

I went to San Jose last week. It is where I grew up. I hopped on a train, and rode from Redding, to San Jose, and spent a few days in the presence of my family and friends. In a meeting at a church in San Jose, I found myself surrounded by friends, many who have not seen me in over two years. One of them asked, “When did you last call me, when youy and your girlfriend broke up?” (December 2007). Actually I did call him more recently than that, but top acknowledge it would have lessened the impact of his message...

In this he asked several of the men around me, “So, has anyone else here known anything about Keith's walking problems?” So much for a happy reunion. This was beginning to feel like an inquisition or an intervention. Of the people being updated on my life, the few left out were those who had been closest to me. In my family, I have received much advice. I have taken counsel on getting treatment, and on managing my money.

I have ignored serious changes in my fitness to do my work. I have ignored the factg that being in a very physical job, my performance has suffered, and my hours of work have been cut as a result. This is just a journal. I do not think this entry will feel terribly inspirtational.

Still, I was looking at my friend's blog, and she had a quote. The quote is:"It is not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you!" I believe that my actions define me. I believe that as I move on, I can do what tha alcoholics called “the next right thing”

What is the next indicated action? I have been challenged for sittinbg around on a day when I said I would go to the doctor. I have b een bothered by the presence of transcript requests in my bag, when the deadline to sign upo for school comes closer. I have seen many things which I have willingly dragged my feet. In my own limited volition I have stifled progress on my own stated goals. The simplicity lies in placing a stamp on a card, or walking to a busstop to visit a doctor.

Yet, in spite of myself, progress keeps happening. I am not in poor health. I am gratified by the good wishes I receive. We just have a few issues that need addressing, and the doctors addressing thjem wan t to examine my brain to find some answers.

Today, I wondered what this chronicle is worth. I write about my situation, and many have shared right back. Yesterday, I had to fill out some paperwork for the United States government.

I have a simple history of not tracking much in my life, so when they asked me questions about my medical history, I freaked out. I then realized that dates and names are easily tracked, because this blog has all the dates l;isted out pertinent to my claim.

I was pleased to visit the Social Security office. I walked in, and I saw ikn my mind how it would all play out.

A thin man with a dark suit ands horn rimmed glasses would lead me into the room. Taking my paperwork would ask, “Mr. Stahr, you walked in here today. Do you take any pain medications?”

“uh, no.”

“Any psych medications?”

“uh, no.”

His hand would sweep down, and in one swift motion would slam the rubber stamp on my claim: “Claim denied!”

Needless to say, I capitulated, and felt gratified when the worker listened carefully to my comments, and informed me of all aspects of this claim process.

Thank you for reading

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Respect on the Internet...

I read an interesting letter recently. It was about copyrights. This letter made me realize that my own integrity is warapped up in how I handle this Internet.

Years ago, to steal someone else's work required equipment, time, and a way to cast media out to the wolrd. Today, in the blogosphere, all I need is the time to get on my five year old laptop, locate the stuff to copy and paste it expeditiously into a blogpost. That is the way blogging is cheapening the world.

As we struggle to make our thoughts useful, and far-reaching, there is also a desire to do this as simply as possible. I am guilty as charged. As I went out looking for a comic (not to post, just to look at) I found the following letter, a challenge to me in my efforts to keep my own ideas as original as possible, and not plagiarize someone else's work, just to fill up space quickly. Just as the Internet has made more accessible, more quickly, so has it made it possible to devalue other's efforts, so that is my thought on that...

Enclosures: A note from Gary Larson
A note from Gary Larson
RE: Online Use of Far Side Cartoons


I?m walking a fine line here.

On the one hand, I confess to finding it quite flattering that some of my fans have created web sites displaying and / or distributing my work on the Internet. And, on the other, I?m struggling to find the words that convincingly but sensitively persuade these Far Side enthusiasts to ?cease and desist? before they have to read these words from some lawyer.

What impact this unauthorized use has had (and is having) in tangible terms is, naturally, of great concern to my publishers and therefore to me -- but it?s not the focus of this letter. My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control.

Years ago I was having lunch one day with the cartoonist Richard Guindon, and the subject came up how neither one of us ever solicited or accepted ideas from others. But, until Richard summed it up quite neatly, I never really understood my own aversions to doing this: ?It?s like having someone else write in your diary,? he said. And how true that statement rang with me. In effect, we drew cartoons that we hoped would be entertaining or, at the very least, not boring; but regardless, they would always come from an intensely personal, and therefore original perspective.

To attempt to be ?funny? is a very scary, risk-laden proposition. (Ask any stand-up comic who has ever ?bombed ?on stage.) But if there was ever an axiom to follow in this business, it would be this: be honest to yourself and-- most important -- respect your audience.

So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet. These cartoons are my ?children,? of sorts, and like a parent, I?m concerned about where they go at night without telling me, And, seeing them at someone?s web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, ?Uh, Dad, you?re not going to like this much, but guess where I am.

I hope my explanation helps you to understand the importance this has for me,
personally, and why I?m making this request.

Please send my ?kids? home. I'll be eternally grateful.

Most respectfully,
Gary Larson

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Exploration on Hold...

I feel so irresponsible. I thought I was clear in my post that my doctor was attentive, and knowledgeable. I like that I have seen my scan, and have a baseline understanding of what I was looking at.

Me: Uh, doctor, what is that?
Doctor: That is your brain.
Me: Great!

With a diagnosis of slit ventricle syndrome, I have to say I am reading articles, and wondering if this could have anything to do with my problems. I have to take it all a day at a time, and be grateful we have a scan that shows conclusively that for now no surgery is necessary. (I will ask my doctor if she agrees with my interpretation of her remarks). slit ventricle syndrome discussed here.

I have suggested, but never meant to imply that surgery was in the offing for me. Snipping for answers is a scary proposition, especially when my general health does not seem to be in a decline. So, I have to say that I am not going into surgery!

My coworker sent mer a picture of a trephaned skull with a piece of tape below it indicating that the skull was mine. Cute. I write about this just to get warmed up to the idea should it all come to that. I am not in a position to take on exploratory surgery and hospital stays. For now, my most trusted advisors and I are in agreement. I have to make arrangement for m ore medical coverage if I want to explore this more.

I thank all the visitors here for the wonderful blessings and greetings.

But, one of my other coworkers did say that we could get a clamp, and another pressure valve, and do the procedure ourselves. I was impressed. He came up with the exact solution, as my doctor.

All we need is a couple days off, some dry erase markers, a good straight razor, a can of shaving cream, and the clamps to attach to my shunt. I do thank one medical student in Ireland for sharing with me the excitement involved in doing brain surgery through the mouth. God bless you, but I am partial- in this day and age of body piercing and tattoos- that I would have the opportunity to experience the bone drill experience one more time! Let us sit back and wait.

If ever there is a time to lighten up, it is now. I trust my advisors. I will proceed as we come to a conclusion.

As for Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu instruction, I have found innumerable resources, including online dictionary which I downloaded for free, and free language instruction podcasts which I listen to regularly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Issue of My Journalistic Integrity

Years ago, I owned a toy robot called 2-XL , and this robot was designed to ask questions, and help me stay creative while learning fun facts. In the decade in which I received this toy, I eventually learned that my 2-XL was only a robot shaped 8-track tape player. I loved the tapes. I loved answering the questions, while inspired by the interactive nature of this exciting toy.

The eight track tape design was ideal for the robot's quiz model, because in order to answer a question, you pressed one of four buttons. The track you selected would make it possible to know whether the answer you selected was right or wrong. But, around thirty years later, I can still remember some facts I learned listening to that funny robot's voice, entertained as I was keeping my mind active.

One fact is that I remembered was that almost a year before I was born, Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the surface of the moon, making them the first men to ever walk on the surface of the moon. It was when I was playing with my 2-XL, I learned that the date of this occurrence was July 20, 1969. I am thinking about this, in part, because today is the thirty ninth anniversary of the landing. Also, being a regular user of the Internet, I was relaying a story I received in the email years ago, and was tickled by the humour in it. I relayed the story to a person I know just this evening. I will show a variation of the story here:

It seems when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous "One Step for Man", etc. statement, but followed it by several remarks. It ended with "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky." Over the years many people have questioned him as to what the "Mr. Gorsky" statement meant.

Two weeks ago, while answering questions following a speech, he finally responded, since Mr. Gorsky had finally died and so Armstrong felt he could answer. When he was a kid, he was playing ball. His brother hit a fly which landed in front of the Gorsky's bedroom window. As he leaned down to pick it up, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky:

"Sex you want? You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

(I edited the story to make it more acceptable for my blog. I hope no one minds...)

Well, sadly, as I am compulsive in passing along unverified stories, I am becoming compulsive in checking popular tales on News to me, and maybe to no one else, the story is a populkar one, but is a fake. The story as told is quite funny, but never happened. Check here, and decide for yourself. Link: .

I have not received my next tests, and my next adventure into the hands of a competent neurologist have yet to happen. My neuro-surgeon said we are not ready to cut into my skull. We shall see if there is more top discover in the next chapter of this adventure. Thank you, everyone, for your comments on this. I will save the drill bit if they decide to crack open my skull again. I guess that is all for now.

Thank you for reading.

I am pondering the observation of my doctor who stated that the ventricles in my brain are virtually non-existent I am reading on this and there does not seem to be answers until they test me more... Stay tuned

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It is Just Extra Plumbing

I remember being twenty years old, and visited the car mechanics to have a brake job done. In that time I dropped off my car, and had already settled in my mind what was wrong with my car. I knew how much I should pay for the repair, and startled at the conversation I had with the man in the office, white shirt and tie, with a mess of keys hanging from his belt. He looked down a lot, spoke fast, and wanted me to prepare for anything.

He told me as they test parts of my car's braking system, all manner of things could give out....” It could be the , um, the master cylinder.” When I came back, hours later, my simple brake job had jumped up three hundred dollars, and I felt cheated.

One thing I know: cars seem unreliable. I know also that as long as I remain unclear about the operation of my car, the people called upon to repair them would leave me feeling paranoid...

My journey continues. I went to see my neurosurgeon today.

The frustration I based on an expectation. I face my culpability here. Humans have expectations. Borne of the earth, we learn to build, share, love, thrill, and anticipate. I believe that my nature can be found in this. So, though I admit my guilt, I do not feel guilty.

My expectations involve anticipating delays. I expected no answers. I expected that delving into this investigation I would doom myself to a hell of empty answers, years of doctor visits, and limited therapies. I working limited hours at a limited wage in northern California. It is a challenge to want to address this. I would love a broken bone, a breathing problem, anaphylactic shock, scaling skin, or muscle spasms. I want anything where the problem is obvious, the cause is obvious, and the path of discovery is clear cut.

I am not dying here. Some degree of my quality of life is affected, but the fact is I do not know what the price tag is on the adventure ahead. The price tag is the sum of the money spent, the time spent, the comfort lost as it is all weighed against the possibility of improvement or full recovery. I am holding off on any such analysis, as I take the advice of people close to me in my life.

The neurosurgeon came in to see me, and she started asking me lots of questions. She did not think my problems minor, and listened carefully to all my concerns. It is amazing how familiarity bred in my heart a calm that comes from knowing the basis of my doctor's history and practice. I calmed down once I learned she trained at Stanford. I learned that she practiced in San Jose. I learned that she knows, and has worked with every neurosurgeon that has treated me since 1970.

As a part of the education process, I have shared a bit about what hydrocephalus is, and what problems have manifest in the management of my shunt in the past fifteen years. She showed me something that astounded me. In my years since my last shunt revision, my great fear had always been that it would break, and I would experience the inter cranial pressure that forced me into the emergency room over thirteen years ago. She showed me how when she applied pressure to my valve, it stayed depressed, and opened slowly.

She told me that the spaces in my brain, my ventricles, are not only not dilated, but are in fact non-existent. My shunt could drain too well, and could create less pressure than I might need in my head.

She told me calmly that I will see a neurologist first, and have some tests done before she would do the exams she would consider.... No trephaning for dollars today. She said her next investigation will come with adjusting my shunt, and that would involve surgery. From here I will have to keep you posted...

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

As For the Issue of Money

I sit in the Redding library, and have for the first time ever, completed an application to get online use of PayPal services. I think my being goaded into the tech world is wild, and I have endured a certain level of criticism. In my blogging, I accept that twenty-three year olds across the globe effectively use html, and accomplish alliances with those that do; they create blogs with stylish layout, multiple links, and copious amounts of pictures to entice readership.

I want to say I dedicate myself to my tech minimalist lifestyle, though the demands of my own communications quickly force me to advance my own techie knowledge to accelerate my own ability to share information, quickly, and cheaply across the globe, with a minimum of effort on my part.

I have had friends who shared with me that as a man who looks for more money, more resources, I should consider getting online sponsorship for my blog. Sponsorship in blogging is an intersting concept, and I have sat watching public television, wondering : what would sponsorship do to me, and to my website. Can I be assured that the friendships I make, the information I share, maintain its integrity when I look to outside sponsorship in my blogging?

So, I had to reach here to some serious reflection on the world of sponsorship, and I look to Mike Myers, who here, in this clip expounds on the challenges inherent in "selling out."

Regarding the day of my birthday. I embroiled myself in a wonderful conversation with a friend online, thrilled to enjoy Redding when the smoke in the air seemed lighter than usual.

I chatted in a Redding coffee house with my bahasa instructor. I felt sad as to the fact that my conversation came to an abrupt end when she disappeared into a deep sleep without telling me. This tells me much about my ability to maintain a person's interest. Sad, having no idea what happened, I disappeared into a Japanese restaurant to eat my sorrows away.

Caveat emptor. Beware any Japanese restaurant that would give you a fortune cookie. I finished my bento box. I opened up my fortune cookie, and read the little paper inside. It read : For better luck, you have to wait till spring. Anyone getting superstitious today?

Terima kasih, Salamat kaayo, Gracias, Gracie, Danke.
Thank you for reading my blog today

Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe I know where Hamlet went Wrong...

That depends on what your definition of the word is is. -President Bill Clinton

To be or not to be, that is the question. -William Shakespeare

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge. -Benjamin Disraeli

I wake up everyday, and sense how much of my life is challenged in a way by the declarations I have made, the opinions I hold, the feelings I have about people; as well, I believe I can manage my world better by classifying, directing, and making new boxes, or models of things. This idea comes forth in my heart as I believe a clarity can come in my heart with one single linguistic twist.

People I love, people I respect, counselors, former lovers, friends, and authors long dead have impressed upon me the value of language in my life, and the way language shapes my world view. With words, I can build myself and my world view to where nothing can stop me from achieving my goals. With words, I can limit my capacity for growth, change, wonderment, excitement.

With the acknowledgment that linguistics is just another branch of psychology, the view held by Noam Chomsky, I have to understand that language has the ability to enlarge my world, or the world to tear it apart. When I take ideas in my brain, and place them on paper, speak them out loud, or blog them to this great world of ours, I create the terms of my own development. I have read enough, seen enough, and experienced so much in my own life to know the truth of this.

One basic idea in English class was the differentiation between these verbs that show action, and these verbs which show being. The verbs that show being interest me, because these verbs create an almost mathematical relationship between the subject, and the predicate. The main idea, one I have retained since childhood, involves pronouns. One class of pronouns, called the nominative case pronouns, works on the idea that the originator of the idea, holds a basic knowledge of the nature of the subject. Pronouns indicated in the use of the “to be” verbs often are referred to as nominative case pronouns. Nominative means that the pronouns name the subject, declare the subject, or perhaps even define the subject.
Yes. I said the verbs declaring being interest me. I feel excitement while thinking about them. The possibilities that culminate in the belly of these seemingly minor declarations seed my mind with a desire to wrest control over my destiny. These declarations make it possible to codify humanity, exert an almost Godlike grip on all the aspects of my life. I can decide the nature of weather, the character of people, the nature of all aspects of behaviour, and taste the satisfaction of sharing my judgments with the world.

The other class of pronouns discussed involved objectification. For anyone who has said “I do not want to be objectified” I would say that this is actually a more stable language structure. I can have moments of shakiness, thinking my grasp on the world may actually rest on these declarations, that my indiscriminate use of the “to be” verbs could actually undo the tapestry of life I work so hard to create. I think the excitement comes in knowing many people have seen the value in this, and have evoked the movement that can bring greater happiness, fulfillment to our lives.

What is this idea? (Did I just say that?)

E-Prime started in the mind of a man named Alfred Korzybski in the 1930's, and has built up a following ever since. E-Prime is based on the idea that our happiness, our effectiveness, our functionality as a society, is based on learning to abolish our use of the “to be” verbs.

I know few people that have listened to Neil Diamond belt out the song “I Am, I said” without feeling at least a pinch of anxiety. The song is careless and filled with treachery. I support the looking at E-Prime as a way of reworking language, a way of reworking my life view. It may seem frivolous, but I think of this as a game, one in which I get to rethink how I phrase things. Just the simple question "how are you?" is a loaded weapon, an enticement into a subtle trap. You answer with a declaration of "I am ..." and you are off to the races. I am here to liberate you, to share with you the joys I have found.

My room mate studies language systems, sensory modalities, submodalities, and how so much of our world can be shaped by language systems. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming we see how impoverished language models limit existence. Possibilities open up to people who speak consciously.

I want to dream bigger dreams, a live a bigger life. I opened this blog in December quoting Ken Kesey about chasing mystery in life. He said that those who chase life's answers lose out. I believe maybe I can learn from that. I will continue to chase the mystery in my life.

Thank you for reading.