Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wonder What That Was

Morning market. Waiting for a woman in her fruit stall to fill the four glasses with snapping lids full of coconut water and then to prepare some jackfruit - extracting the slimy pieces with clear plastic bags on her hands to avoid direct contact with the persistant glue-like substance around the edible. Walk to another stall to get some jeruk nipis, limes. A woman makes a whooping sound. Then another. I turn around to face the room and listen to many women whooping from their tables and stalls. It subsided soon. Very nice - but what was that about? I didn't ask.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ruth Denison RIP

Ruth Denison (that's a Wikipedia link) passed on yesterday - first to lead an all woman Buddhist meditation retreat. Searching cuke archives only find she studied with Charlotte Selver and is mentioned in passing in a letter from Anagarika Govinda to Richard Baker. - DC

Hard at Work

At the Art Cafe on Jalan Danau Tamblingan (street) in Sanur doing hours of vital work on my Zenbook laptop. Overcaste. Cool breeze. Loose leaf black tea followed by mixed juice - no sugar, no ice. Music of contemporary Gus Teja playing. A tiny preying mantis just landed on my left hand index finger - never saw anything like this before - maybe a sixteenth of an inch. Obviously an interloper from a parallel miniature universe. I'm siting by a wall with plants on the other side and moved my hand to a leaf and it hopped on.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

From Thunder to Trudging

There was so much thunder and lightning last night. It lit up the sky toward the sea and the land and didn't go away. Hours.
It wasn't near so I jumped into the pool in the dark and swam toward the ladder on the shallow end. Drying off amid the rumblings and flashes, I recalled walking with the Hare Krishna brigade. They'd paused to dance and chant in place and I'd gone on to meet Katrinka. As she and I walked back we passed them going the other way. Her iPhone was too full to take a short video. Then after an excellent dinner at Art Cafe, there they were again and we walked with them quite a ways back to our place as they offered treats, CDs, directions to their temple, and received rupiah donations. One difference was that this time I had a cloth bag of groceries we'd procured on the way. It was heavy enough that I had thrown it behind me, holding the straps with both hands over my shoulders, hunching over at times so my back could relieve my arms. It hadn't crossed my mind at the time but now, drying myself by the pool, I realized that none of those young, healthy, bouncing, blissed-out spiritual adepts had offered to help what must have obviously been a senior citizen among them struggling to carry his groceries home. This is a common sort of oversight for those of us who imagine we're following a superior path and who are trying to save others from their deluded suffering.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Perfect Fit

Took our self-prepared visa extensions in to the Immigration Office today and they were accepted as is with a kind request that I get Katrinka to sign hers next time.
Then trusty driver Nyoman and I dropped by the organic Indian store where the owner, Depak, asked if I'd train someone to make the sesame salt I'd given him as a sample. Driver Ketut's wife needs work. Spent a couple of hours going to aluminum shops to see if I could get the missing piece for the kayak oar made - a ten or so inch tube segment to join one paddle to the center piece. It was missing I explained, not wanting to admit I'd thrown it in the recycling having forgotten what it was. No one had the right size tube. Finally we gave up and drove more through the short shop streets of Denpasar to a boat equipment place - no boats, nothing displayed nicely - some outboard motors, boxes stacked, sort of junky. They had one canoe oar that was too long and heavy and didn't come apart anyway. Looked in a catalog with the Chinese woman who ran the place. She could order something like what I wanted from Thailand - or was it Taiwan? She'd look further. She asked for my number. Nyoman walked up with a stainless steel tube. I tried it - almost but too big, a loose fit with the orphaned paddle. I gave her Nyoman's number cause the Indonesian would likely be too difficult for me if she called with a suggestion. On the way out Nyoman was talking to a worker, snooping around as they chatted, looking into piles of this and that. Picked up a piece of grey PVC pipe. Brought it over. I stuck the paddle male end in it. Snug fit. Perfect. We figured out how long it should be. Worker marked it. The holes on each end would have to be perfect I pointed out for the recedable knobs that stick out to snap into place just right to hold the paddle tight. He agreed. The woman said they'd have it ready tomorrow. Wanted to be paid first. 25,000 rupees - a little less than $2 these days. "Ajaib ajaib" I said as Nyoman drove off - miraculous - miraculous thanks to his snooping.  Nyoman dropped me off short of the place to meet Katrinka so I could walk with a group of Hari Krishnas. I gave him 250k - about five bucks an hour to drive me around all afternoon, wait, help out, and solve the unsolvable. He was pleased - a major haul. I chanted down the street behind the group with Ukrainians and Russians and Indonesian men in orange and spinning Bali women in colorful sari, a trumpet and harmonium - Feliniesque. Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna! Hare Rama! Hare Rama! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tropical Entertainment

We watched daytime TV - the Academy Awards. Didn't plan to but I went on BBC and saw that JK Simmons won best supporting actor and since that was the only comment immediately recognized that it was just starting. Yep - the time was almost 11am here Monday in Bali, so that's 7pm in CA Sunday night so we turned on the TV and it was on HBO Asia. Afterwards a couple of little geckos jumped on Katrinka and scurried down and away when she reached for a towel in the bathroom.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oliver Sachs on Approaching Death

On being terminal - My Own Life

Oliver Sachs has made a great contribution - check him out if you don't already know. - DC


Oh my gosh. Wrote a while back that there were no storms here like on the Pacific Coast in California. Think we've been hit by the edge of a tropical storm that got Australia. Yesterday it rained like crazy and today, having lunch at the beach with Ken Ireland and his mate Ash, there was rain and wind so fierce that I wondered if we'd have to go seek shelter. Didn't. It was great. Branches down on the way home.

For images and more on our saunters, friend Katrinka McKay on Facebook. Tell her cuke sent you. - dc

On the Cause and Cure of Addiction

Chasing the Scream - from the Huff Post - A great contribution to Harm Reduction - reducing the harm from drugs and the war on drugs.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rain Like Crazy

Rained like crazy today, more than we've seen before. Hours hard with lots of lightning and thunder. Over a foot of water in front of our porch - almost up to the porch. Katrinka paused yoga (we do it to a Bikram audio) to get stuff on the porch up so it wouldn't wash away - sandals and stuff. After yoga I put on a swim suit and waded out to the street in the continuing downpour. Lake on the soccer field beyond the field across the street. Schoolgirls walking in the rain without umbrellas. I wondered how hard rain can get.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

Lots of Chinese here - they didn't kill them all in 65 and 66. Also - Bali is a favorite destination for Chinese from China. Bet there will be lots of fireworks for a while.  

Human Extinction or Almost and Archiving

Just read this downer from Dmitry Orlov about the fate of the US and the whole world as we know it. Don't read it if you get discouraged by the thought of the not so far away collapse of civilization and a lot of extinction.
Got a link to it from Eric Arnow who also mentioned the Dark Ages were called dark because info storage broke down and not much survived from there and he went on to say it seems that digital info also degrades and so forth. I wrote back that yes I know that and had written about it on cuke and plan on making an acid free paper version of cuke and then I think we should make some sort of tablets with key stuff - could probably do better than stone these days. Just doing this digital dance for its here and now value in the spirit of the monk who wrote poems on leaves and tossed them in a stream. I do think that it's likely a few of us will survive for the long run. Also am aware that early Christians didn't preserve a lot cause they thought that the world would end soon so, acting on the principle that everything I think is wrong, continue working away on the Suzuki archives etc as if there were no end to tomorrow. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Drug War and Capital Punishment Global Issues

An articulate young woman from Surabaya in Java sat next to us at the night market last night and before parting we discussed the upcoming executions of two Australians. Without getting into the details of which each of us said, I was reminded of the importance of not putting the execution or drug law issue solely in terms of the Indonesian situation. Most people don't like to hear their country criticized, especially by foreigners. All the issues can be discussed and any opinion can be expressed much more successfully if couched in terms of a global situation. Or by discussing the drug war and capital punishment in the US. I will bite my finger here, not letting it type more or I'm liable to go on another tirade. - dc

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Brahmavihara Arama Buddhist temple and meditation center is located above Singaraja (lion king), the 2nd largest city in Bali. It's on the north side of the island, a four hour drive from here in Sanur.

Their website  and here are photos and stuff 

I'm looking into doing a Vipassana retreat there in March. They have a lot of meditation retreats listed at their site. Just learned that one in March is cancelled. Oh well. I can wait. - dc

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pura Besakih - Bali's Mother Temple

On the way home from Sidemen, Katrinka and I visited the mother temple, Pura Besakih, at the base of Agung, the largest mountain in Bali. We walked a long way in the rain with a guide from where we parked and up and up around and through the sprawling complex of pagodas and temple buildings. Check it out here. Typical of Bali, few statues and those not of central import. The guide said it was Buddhist as well as Hindu.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Congo Rainforest Elephants

Congo rainforest, seeds, elephants, and rain around the world

Monday and Thursday 8am doubles. Had a spill on the tennis court this morning, falling forward splat on the court. Acupuncturist Aussie Ken ran to help me as I barked to him to stop the ball from rolling into a puddle on the side. No scrapes. Refused to sit out some but could hardly hit the ball afterwords. Light-headed. Hip joint hurt a little. Finally did sit and watch. Walked home sort of groggy. Ate some of Katrinka's well roasted fresh musli. Went to sleep for a couple of hours. Lacking the usual urge to get things done, a little nauseous, now am browsing BBC articles. Above is a brief film accompanying one. Got the ball back in but still lost the point.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sawah Indah

Sawah Indah - beautiful rice terraces. The green rice is high. Some has been harvested leaving muddy pools with clumps of green. Sheer walls green or black wet earth curving around the hillside. At sunset a young guy barefoot comes with a long thin bamboo pole with blue cloth tied in places, sweeps it across the top of a paddy. Movement underneath before it. Ducks emerge. He follows them down paths, through standing water to out of sight. At night sounds of frogs, insects, geckos, birds, running water. In the morning light comes on with roosters. A crane sits high above a tall tree still - must be a nest. Men moving in the paddies here and there across the panorama. One meticulously spraying a terrace. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Poem by Uchiyama Kosho


Water isn't formed by being ladled into a bucket
Simply the water of the whole Universe has been ladled into a bucket
The water does not disappear because it has been scattered over the ground
It is only that the water of the whole Universe has been emptied into the whole Universe
Life is not born because a person is born
The life of the whole Universe has been ladled into the hardened "idea" called "I"
Life does not disappear because a person dies
Simply, the life of the whole Universe has been poured out of this hardened "idea" of "I" back into the universe

Uchiyama Kosho

- thanks Kaveh

My Birthday Present from Katrinka

Thanks Katrinka for this - three days and two nights at Sawah Indah ("beautiful rice paddies") in Sidemen. [Paddy from padi is also (like sawah) Indonesian for rice field. From the Malay which Indonesian is based on.]

Nice birthday present. Big 70. Feel better than when I was 60 or 50 or 40 and so forth. That's also thanks to Katrinka.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Harm Reduction rather than Hypocritical Brutality

They're going to firing squad some more poor saps who were too far down the controlled substance chain to matter. Why doesn't Australia whose ignorant kids got caught expose who is really making the money there and maybe mention what percentage of substance deaths is caused by illegals - last I read was 2% with tobacco, alcohol, prescription all well ahead. And why not bring up Harm Reduction, the approach aiming to reduce the harm from substances and government policies. Actual effective policies would, of course, reduce the income of many well-placed people not only here but in America and all over the world, but it would also improve their karmic dilemma.  Harm Reduction Coalition - for those who really want to reduce deaths and suffering.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Zenbook Back

Got my computer back. The Windows and files were saved but all the programs are new and so much has to be done. It was an interesting experience but would rather get back to work on this stuff than tell it. Except I'll say that the bill of 510,000 rupies ($48) for all the work he did was so low that I'm so relieved and glad I wasn't in the States - or Europe - or Japan. We both made mistakes that cost us days and he apologized for his and didn't mention mine. Got a big tip (for here). Love Bali. - DC

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Arctic glacier’s galloping melt

Read about Arctic glacier’s galloping melt baffles scientists in Climate News Network

Will post this in Climate Change on when get computer back. - dc