Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ants again

From my vantage point at the pool ladder, watched red ants climbing and descending the bare slim trunk of a tropical plant - perfectly placed to the left side so their bodies were in relief against a green background. Glad they're there and not on our porch with the blacks - as the blacks don't bite and the reds do. As with all the ants I know, they stop briefly to greet each other in passing. What perfect social beings they are.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kissing in Public

You shouldn't kiss in public here really. It's not good manners but it's not against the law like in India.
I read a year ago or so that a judge in India dismissed a case against a married couple who kissed in public, indicating a change there. Remember the kiss near the end of Slumdog Millionaire? I took that as a tiny statement relating to the ban on kissing in movies - though there seems to be some now. Read this from 2009. Back to Bali. hen Katrinka's son climed Mt. Agung here, an all night affair, his guide at the top said he had a question about Westerners which I supposed would include Aussies. "Why do they kiss in public?" He was baffled. 

Universal Advice for Meditation

"Be still and know that I am God..."

Psalm 46:10

Father Steve Frost sent that in an email announcing his paintings in the Pastoral Center of Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove, California- Diocese of Orange. More on this at this website, White Light Missals

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nothing Sunday

Decided to institute a Sunday off policy with a few exceptions, this post being one of them. As ever - DC

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Walter Van Oel

Katrinka and I visited with artist Walter Van Oel and his wife Léonie yesterday at their home in Sanur. Link to page image came from.

His art is amazing - the colors - ah! There are many links to images of Walter's art and videos on YouTube.

Here is a brief video interview with Walter with some of his art and a snippet of Desmond Tutu visiting there.

I don't think I've ever been in a more impressive home. He designed it in a matter of minutes. We entered onto a vast open space with a floor of fine white gravel, almost sand. 23 meters across (meter is 3.3ft), maybe half that wide - the peak of the ceiling is 13 meters, the lower height 7 - with a large but less large space to the left. His art on the walls - large, vibrant colors.

A maybe 5 meter square of mottled volcanic rocks about a foot in diameter in the center. Three massive chandeliers made by local craftspeople hang. Four beige reclining chairs in the less large part with its 4 meter high ceiling above which is Walter's studio which opens to this area below. We listened to Bach and Gyuto Monks on a monstrous sound system. The wall the reclining chairs face is open with a jungle obscuring the wall behind, an infinity pool half in, half out. A traditional wooden Bali thatch roofed structure to the left held three meters above the garden growth by posts with a ladder to reach the seating area overlooking the ponds and pool. To the left and right of the pool giant lily pads floating in water full of red and black carp. Across is another sitting area and kitchen with a peaked traditional bamboo support roof, a seated Buddha in an ornate enclosure - museum quality. There's a cold pool maybe 4 meters square and sculpted tub for hot water in the chilled bath room. I cannot find any photos of the home on the Internet.

Walter's Dutch. He and his wife have been in Bali for sixteen years and married for twenty-three. She says she first saw him when she was seven and he, a schoolteacher, visiting her sister in the hospital with roses - he'd collided with her on a bicycle ride. She says she looked at him and "I knew he belonged to me." She served us lychee juice with soda water.

We had a wonderful time visiting. Most interesting conversation. Relaxed. Good vibes. - DC

Friday, March 27, 2015


It's hot today. It's been hot since Nyepi and the Bali Hindu Saka New Year which started last Sunday. Not too too hot and nicely drier and it hasn't been getting hotter than usual like many parts of the world. Guess we're out of rainy season - I think - there was some distant thunder yesterday. Nyepi is supposed to be the end of the rainy season so it looks like the weather is following orders. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

RIP Lee Kuan Yew - Father of Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew, the father of Singapore has died and Asia News is non stop no ads about him and this. He is to many the great figure of modern Asian non commie history.
Lee was 92. He was very popular. A local told m he'd go walking and shopping with his family with no bodyguard. Sure there are negative things one could say (as with drug and punishment policy) but I'll avoid that angle now. He planted trees, at least one a year on national tree planting day. He insisted on quality, hated sloppiness. Made prostitution legal and regulated. He made Singapore the least corrupt, safest, cleanest, greenest, richest with most equitable distribution of wealth, most racially and religiously harmonious country in Asia.   - also too expensive for us. I stayed there twelve years ago for five dollars a night on a curtained cot in a hall of a centrally located Chinese hotel that's gone now. Katrinka and I spent a thousand dollars on hotels in six days before escaping to Bali. Singapore is a great place to go for a week.   - Written a couple of days ago by DC.

Freedom Songs XI - NY & NO

Freedom Songs - my Journey through 1964 - part XI - News York and Orleans

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Water Filtration

We just bought a water filter setup. Nazava Saringan Air (filter water - I love how "water" is "air" in Indonesian. I want them to change the word for air which is udara to "water.")
We got the 13.5 liter one you can see at that link above. With it we can drink tap water. It may replace the water we get in the five gallon bottles just like in the States but not sure. Anyway it will reduce our use of that and pay for itself. It cost a little over twenty dollars and we pay two dollars for one of those bottles via the landlord who doubles the price to supply it and change the water - they're heavy. We very seldom get the Aqua water in plastic bottles now, have stainless traveling containers. Doing our bit to reduce plastic guilt.

California Water Crisis

To Solve California’s Water Crisis, We Must Change the Nation’s Food System - thanks Fisher

Monday, March 23, 2015

Burying Trash on the Beach

When I was at the beach watching the Bali Hindu Saka New Year sunrise yesterday, noticed a line of trash at the high tide mark, not a lot but more than usual from the pre Nyepi celebrations. [See yesterday's post for more on this] Then saw some women in uniforms approaching.
They had large rakes and hoes, I watched them rake into piles the organic and inorganics along the high tide line. Then watched them dig holes with hoes and pull the trash into the holes. Walked up and thanked them for cleaning the beach and asked who paid them. The city. Now I'm wondering if I should try to do something about this obviously poor waste management system. I've seen it elsewhere. It's going to be another mistake that comes back and bites them - like all the coral removal that destroyed the beaches of Candidasa. Maybe a word to the fancy hotel that uses this beach. Katrinka suggested getting a local to do it. I'll talk to Ben at Annapurna. He's local and half Aussie. 

Save the Planet? - today's environmental topic

Check out the Azimuth out to save the planet

George Carlin on save the planet

DC on save the planet - Agree with George of course, but would like to see the human race and other forms of life saved and think we have an obligation to give it a try. But whatever - to me, nothing dies, it just changes form or formula.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Buddha Dharma Comes to the West

Buddha Dharma Comes to the West on Gregory Wonderwheel's blog. There's a good discussion about this on Gregory's FB page - March 19th.

Two Statues from the Island of Milo

Sent this idea to Nathan Strait and he zipped this out. Met him at Taigen's Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. Check out Nathan's website. He's been a graphic artist for the Field Museum there. - DC

Ogoh Ogoh and Nyepi were great

We loved the demon statues of Ogoh Ogoh.
Stood with a slew of people on the street corner - like a thousand - to watch them coming from two different directions. Various sizes. Each from a different banjar or neighborhood - over five thousand in Bali. It was happening all over the island. There was a lot of non erotica sexual imagery like a scary old person with giant breasts - I guess a female demon. There was a snarling black dog, maybe forty feet long, with a stiff erection and a red bulb on the end that a a cloth puppet of maybe ten feet would periodically kiss enthusiastically. All were mounted on bamboo grids and carried by young men. I bet there were a hundred men carrying the giant crab from our area. Like a number of the statues, it was accompanied by men with long bamboo poles with a horizontal piece on top to push up electric and other wires so the statues could pass. The crowds would make way and we'd get forcefully pushed this way and that but everyone seemed to move harmoniously together. I worried a little about some of the little kids on people's shoulders. We got home before 11pm and went for a swim in the pool. At about 11:30 a torrential downpour hit. Good timing. From 6 the next morning to 6 this the whole island shut down - as mentioned in prior posts. We ate cold food and used our head lamps. Wonderful. We sneaked out at midnight to see the stars with no light pollution. As good as Tassajara. I was on the street at the end of Nyepi - 6am - and walked to the beach to sit and watch the sunrise. It felt like New Years. It is. Bali Hindu Saka New Year.

Jakarta Post article on Nyepi

Interesting Facts about Nyepi

Just do an image search for Ogoh Ogoh - and check out Katrinka McKay's Facebook page - tell her cuke sent you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

No Posts Tomorrow because of Nyepi

That's right. Nothing from cuke tomorrow. See note below just sent to a friend who wrote he pictured me in a sarong dancing to gamelan.

Yes we're living on the side of a volcano making sacrifices to the gods awaiting the giant ape - oh wait, that's another island. Here in Bali - actually, yes, a lot of Sarongs and I hear gamelan not far away right now. And tonight is the big parade with Ogoh Ogoh right near our place with giant floats and tomorrow Nyepi, the traditional new year (1937 in the Hindu Saka Calendar) and a day we're required by law to stay inside in the dark. TV and radio won't have signal but there is electricity and I think Internet but we'll see. That's from 6am Saturday to 6am Sunday. We've got everything ready to eat and drink so we won't light any fires or heat anything. I mentioned to a Bali friend (half Aussie) that we might cheat a little and have our computers on and maybe watch a DVD or two or so. He said, "Everybody cheats." Tomorrow is also the first day of autumn here but they don't think of it that way - just rainy and dry seasons - we're just getting out of an especially long rainy season.

Here's a cool Nyepi video on You Tube: The Story of Nyepi. And it's got Ogoh Ogoh stuff too!

Cherry Wood

Cherry Wood - a DC Short Story

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tunnel to the Other Side of the Earth.

This is fun and easy. We here in Bali would come out somewhere in Venezuela whereas you folks in the States would mainly end up in the Indian Ocean.

Opportunities for Practice

I don't like bar soap. Prefer soap in an unbreakable bottle.
Bar soap slips out of my hand and toward the end of its life gets difficult to deal with and I don't like to waste anything so I use these little tiny pieces and rub them between my hands to get as much lather as I can, hoping to make them disappear but they just get smaller. Katrinka likes bar soap. She bathes and soaps a lot. I just jump in the pool and ocean and use soap when she insists. And the times she mainly insists, I obey cheerfully, because the shower with soap is a condition for joint participation in activities that I'm eager about and that we both enjoy. She says she could buy me some bottled soap but I say that bar soap is an opportunity for practice. If I'm not in a mood for such practice, I just use shampoo - which I think is just more soap.

That's just one example of many such opportunities. Back in John Tarrant's barn, we had a noren, piece of divided cloth Japanese use at entryways. It was held up by a dowel threaded through indigo cotton rungs on top. The dowel ends rested on nails. If we weren't careful, it would fall. I could have fixed it so it wouldn't come down, but instead we just called it "the mindfulness curtain."

Relationships with people of course give us many types of opportunities to practice of varying degrees of difficulty. Recently I have had a really interesting such opportunity on the tennis court. For the last five months, twice a week I meet for an hour and a half of doubles at 8am with some other male senior bule (what foreigner's are called here in Bali). Usually there are four or five of us. If there are more than four of us we rotate. We rotate anyway either every five minutes or after a game - moving clockwise to the next position. Sometimes there are just three of us. That's almost always when one of us is late or looking for a ball that went over the fence. When that happens one person will hit with two on the other side. 

One of our group tends not to hit the ball to me. If there are two on each side, it's not so noticeable but it happens then too - and it doesn't matter which side he and I are on - opposite each other or not. But if he's on one side and I'm on the other with another guy, I pretty much just stand there while he hits to the other guy. One time a few months ago, when the other guy was walking to get a ball, I called out, "Hi. How about one over here?" And one other time, all three of us at the net, the guy on my side said, "Now why don't you hit one to David?" Both times he did and then went back to his old ways. It's not that he never hits me a ball. I tend to do little math things in my head. I'm not real good at it but I like it. So every now and then I count. This morning, before there were four of us, three of us hit. He was with me. Then after a while I went over to the other side. 

He hit the ball 45 times before our fourth arrived - that's 45 when all three of us were on the court, no one fetching a ball. Not counting times when there was just him and me for a few seconds. Seven of those 45 were to me. Thirty-eight were to my partner. He's the same one who, only a couple of weeks ago, had suggested that a ball be hit my way. Today he said nothing.

I did more math in the frequent pauses on the court and figured I got almost one out of every 6.5 balls or, two out of 13. I also figured I got 16% of the balls if we count the ones hit to me when I was the only one ready to receive.

So the opportunities for practice here are many. I choose the one that is to not say anything to my fellow tennis players about this - and not to care. I do not engage in the much harder practice of not saying anything to anyone ever. But when another person joined us twice and later made a minor complaint about the one who makes me more sympathetic with a person who says the line, "He made me feel like I didn't exist for him," I did not express what I had the urge to. I have mentioned it to Katrinka a few times and now I share it with you. I do have thoughts about what's behind this behavior, but I don't want to write it in case he reads this which is widely unlikely. 

There's no doubt in my mind that a great deal of humanities' problems come from careless speech - and I have added my share. A corollary of the practice herein described is that I try not to say anything on the court. Anyone who knows me knows I've always been a total blabbermouth with poor editing and impulse control. So this is an excellent opportunity for practice. 

I must say I'm sort of amazed that no one seems to notice or say anything. I keep thinking that this will naturally correct, but it remains constant - at between one out of five to one out of seven balls my way in this particular configuration. It's so interesting just to watch it. It does take effort not to say anything. But I love the harmony that comes from keeping it shut.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pre Nyepi Celebrations

Getting ready to go to the beach for the first day of pre Nyepi celebrations.

See if this Google image page for that works for you

Read about Nyepi.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nyepi coming up!

Excited about Nyepi this weekend! (Like getting excited about an upcoming sesshin - this is all from a friend's Facebook Page and she got it from somewhere else). Balinese Nyepi day or “Day of Silence” is an important religious event in Balinese Hindu culture and marks the celebration of the New Year in the Hindu Lunar calendar.
This year Nyepi Day falls on Saturday, 21st March 2015 starting from 6 am until 6 am in the next day. Normal activity in Bali will resume at 6 am on Sunday, 22nd March 2015. A spectacular procedure of ceremonies, parades of “Ogoh-ogoh” (giant monster dolls) and gongs as well as other instruments occur on the Eve of Nyepi, followed by a day of total silence and seclusion.

During the Nyepi Day, the following rules (called Catur Brata Penyepian) will be implemented:
- Ngurah Rai International Airport will be closed
- Nobody is allowed in the streets
- If windows are covered, very low candle light once in a while is permitted.
- No activities are allowed on the beach
- The Hindu Balinese fast during this day, however, the hotels are exceptionally exempt from this rule in order to serve the guests
- Trying not to laugh or speak loud even inside the hotels’ rooms.
It is the perfect time to retreat from the hectic world.

We're going to some pre-new Bali year ceremony on the beach tomorrow with Danu and Alice that they say will be most good.  - DC

Two Poems Presented Two Ways

It's said there are more poets than readers of poetry these days. We're all in such a hurry and who has time to reflect on the deep sentiments contained in such inspired creations. I asked son Kelly if he noticed an underlying theme in the Valentine's Day poem for Katrinka and he said no. He was probably trimming a tree and didn't have time to let the spirit of the message penetrate. So I did some work on it and feature it here again along with a bonus poem. So please enjoy these two poems presented two ways. 

Monday, March 16, 2015


There was a spider in the bathroom about two inches across, long legs.
I tried to catch it but it was too fast - could jump to the side quicker than I could cover it on the wall with a plastic cup. I catch large wasps that are against the plate glass front wall windows here like that, slip a matted piece of calligraphy from Hoitsu Suzuki behind them, walk outside and fling them into flight. Got a tiny centipede in the bathroom the other eve with some tissue and put it out there. But this brown spider was too fast for me. It would stay still till I was right next to it but when I pushed the cup in quick it would be gone so quick I'd think I'd gotten it. Glad it's that quick because I hate to sever a leg. I recall Elin's mother in Japan asking me to do something about the larger spider on her wall. They really have some big ones there. I tried so hard to get it and ended up cutting off two of its legs which was upsetting and it was also upsetting to hear her say, "I thought Buddhists were kind to animals." Gave up on the spider here. Was relieved when Katrinka on her laptop reported there are no dangerous spiders in Bali. Here it is: the Huntsman or Bedside Spider. She says she read it's native to Australia and came over here on ships. Glad the super poisonous ones from there haven't come.- DC

Sunday, March 15, 2015

That Last Trip

I remember on my last acid trip in 1967 February on a hillside above Muir Woods,
Tamara Robertson my quiet guide or guardian - she walked down to talk to a ranger who was passing in the early morning - the only person in our 20 or so hours there. Had fasted and meditated beforehand. I had sat full lotus for many hours. Felt no pain. Coming down from celestial highs of the night, I saw my life and the habit of thinking of spiritual practice as something in the future when it was always right here. I had an urge to communicate that to Tammy, the only words I remember speaking - raising my right hand, index finger protruding to make a point, saying the first few of the sentence I wished to utter which was to start something like, "I was living under the notion that..."  but I only got as far as "I was living..." and an explosion of miraculous light literally blew me back on the ground. As it subsided I righted myself to a vision of a ring of beings above calling me onward, beyond them Suzuki and Katagiri in their brown robes standing. The word "angfanger" appeared and took on various forms and continued to be there. That's the last I remember, the word anfanger which seemed to hold great meaning though I neither knew what it meant or cared. It's German for "beginner." - DC

Kids the Same

I've likely writ this before, but I notice often in foreign cultures how similar the sounds and energy of babies and children are. I can close my eyes and imagine we're anywhere. There must be cultures where that wouldn't hold but there are so many places where it does. I think it's true for adults too but we've grown more far apart. Still I see them all as just others mes. Actually, the dogs too. I guess the trees and the rocks and clouds. But the kids for sure. - DC

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Inhabited Hairy Fruit

I often get the fruit called rambutan - rambut is hair and the red olive to egg sized oval fruit is hairy. Often I've noticed it comes with ants.
Also I forget it comes with ants and thus bring ants inside. That doesn't seem to matter much, maybe because of all the little gecko that are hiding here and there. The black ants here don't bite and I hardly ever see red ones. That's good cause I find black ants crawling on me frequently. But still, if we notice ants in any fruit, we'll take it to the porch. I got a bouquet of maybe 15 of them - I get them at the market still on the end of sticks - early in the morning and went back out to work in a little cafe. When I came back they were on the porch in a bowl. I assumed it was ants. Yep - could see them climbing on the sticks. I picked up the bundle and shook it. Lots of little black ants. Then picked one off and bounced it on the floor. About three more came off. I open them with my teeth revealing the white juicy inside ball. I chew around the seed, spit it into the cover, throw that by the wall to begin what will be a pile. More shaking them together, hitting them on the tile, bouncing the singles. After a while there was, as predicted, a pile of peels and seeds and lots of little black ants running around - and lots and lots of teeny tiny ants too. But didn't get any in my mouth that I noticed. I wondered what happens to orphan ants. Here's a cool page on that. 

Freedom Songs X - SDS

Freedom Songs - my Journey through 1964 - part X - SDS

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bali Prison Art Sale Busted

We went to Kuta today - Katrinka, Olga from St. Petersberg, Blondine and her son Max from France, and me, courtesy of the Nyoman express (a delapidated bemo open sided mini bus) to attend the sale of prison art at the Hard Rock Cafe.
We got there to find those who put the show together in tears. Shortly before, the place had been raided by prison guards who took the art back. The locals had released it but Jakarta had just overruled them. We'd arrived a few hours early in order to do some body surfing across the street so that's what we did - minus the French contingent. Almost all the seasonal trash in the water there is gone by now and it was great to get tossed about by waves the like of which we don't have in sleepy Sanur. Walked a long way along the beach drive with Nyoman back to where he'd parked, passing two Starbucks and some snazzy, modern, rather stunningly designed shopping, hotel, dining places. Could have been Malibu or Dubai. Made Sanur seem like a dump. We weren't in tears.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dogs in Bali

Thanks to Steve Tipton for sending link to this article on dog problems in Bali.

Here's my response - DC:

I wish the NYT paid as much attention to Indonesia's alleged culling of people in Papua and execution of lowest level illegal drug mules while ignoring, showing leniency to, or allegedly working with the big guys in the biz and ignoring the much greater numbers of dead from tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs.

At the end of the article it quotes someone saying the dog that bit the girl should be back on the beach. If they'd asked the opinion of just about any expert in dog training and behavior they'd not have let that pass. For instance, a guy who'd written twenty books on dogs told me that any dog that shows aggression toward people should not have another chance - to be that free.

When I was here in 92 dogs were a big problem but others and I have found that situation to have changed. There are dogs here and there on the beach and the streets, many with collars - fewer dogs now than a year ago, some that bark at people but not many, and I haven't felt genuinely threatened this time whereas in 92 I had to call for help more than once when surrounded by a pack of snarling canines. Back then I got used to walking through villages while being challenged by numerous scary mutts. There's a street stray I call the boss of our favorite restaurant (with a mix of hip locals and foreigners and mixed bloods). I've seen it stick its face in a friend's plate and fight with the manager when it found some chicken scraps in the kitchen trash - that fight continued cause it didn't want to eat it in the rain. People at our table moved to another to escape the clash. The dog still hangs out there. At another high quality place by the beach with an excellent bakery there's a fairly ragged mutt that wanders in and sleeps on the floor till an employee finally shoos it out - to return later. Eating at a table on the beach it's not unusual to have a dog come lie down at my feet. Most restaurants catering to tourists do not have dogs. Katrinka just noticed there are fewer dogs on the beach and streets. I haven't noticed any aggression from dogs at the beach but Katrinka says one was barking at her yesterday when she walked by it but she says she thinks it wanted her to play. We agreed that there's more dog shit on the sidewalks in San Rafael than here. I haven't heard of any tourist being bitten but a guy from Flores who runs a travel stand near here said that one of our landlord's dogs bit him a couple of years ago and they were unconcerned and didn't help to pay for his rabies shot. The article said the shots are free. I hope that's true. It's good to read there's no rabies with people this year. In past years the deaths from rabies were attributed to poor people not wanting to spend the five dollars to get a shot.

Katrinka and I support the culling of stray dogs. Of course we'd like them to be taken to a nice sanctuary to spend the rest of their days lolling about well fed. Don't know if I'd wish them to be adopted because people tend to put dogs in cages here. Our friend Alice lives next door to a family that keeps dogs in a cage and they start barking at five in the morning. Her mate Danu won't talk to the owners because he's Javanese and they're Balinese. I bet that would be fruitless. I told her to get an electronic gizmo that sends back a painful high sound when a bark hits it. That can work but they have a dog o their own and don't want to do that. It's no fun to see how dogs can be treated here or in many parts of the world. You can buy dog meat here legally. Just look for the RW sign. Don't know what that stands for. Read about arrests for dog-napping and selling to RW shop. Katrinka says they favor small brown dogs for sacrificing.

I used a high sound dispenser - looks like an aerosol can - to stop a pit bull from barking all the time at the place where we first lived here. Made, the owner, said his dog ran into the street and was killed by a car when a Russian woman guest let it out of its cage. He said she had been complaining to him that that was cruel. I urged him not to get another dog. He got a young pit bull that was super friendly and dying for attention and put it in the cage outdoors by the front of his place. Elmo got walked daily to the beach for a while but mainly he begged for attention and barked in his cage - a large cage with a roof - like five feet wide and four deep and tall. They'd let him be in the courtyard on a long leash and I'd say hi to him but he was too strong and enthusiastic to get too near to. A long term Aussie tenant who lived up front told Made he'd move out right away unless the dog barking stopped. So Made moved the dog to the back of their villa where his in-law Yani and her husband lived across from one of their mothers. Also that was next to us. They kept the dog chained up all the time on a porch except for an occasional walk to the beach. But those walks stopped because Elmo was too strong. I complained to Yani that the dog's barking all the time was not acceptable. She just asked why I didn't like dogs That's when I got the sound spray can.  Boy was that effective. Elmo stopped barking. The next day Yani told me that she was worried about Elmo because he'd stopped eating. I remembered the instructions that came with the can saying to use it in coordination with positive feedback. So I became friends with Elmo, brought Elmo a snack every morning. I'd have to stand beyond his reach to pet him cause he was too rough and strong. If he'd bark I'd let him do it a little then whistle which he learned meant stop or it's the can. So we had a happy compromise. Wonder how Elmo is now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bali Prison Art Sale coming up

Korobokan Prison Art Facebook Page

It's at the Hard Rock. Our buds at Annapurna Restaurant were going to host it - Ben, part owner manager, was interviewed by ABC. There was some nervousness about what he said and the authorities here and all. He said he was rather non-commital. But now it's at Hard Rock in Kuta which is better for sales probably. - DC

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chinese Documentary on Smog

Viewed 100,000 times in two days, Under the Dome removed from Chinese web sites - BBC

View Under the Dome with subtitles on YouTube


Katrinka and I say the Japanese "Itadakimasu" and gassho before we eat. We always do it even if we're out though we might bury it beneath token mumbles with friends. It's very common for Japanese to say that even before having a treat, but in that case, especially with friends. And they don't gassho. I've been saying itadakimasu since maybe 1966 when I came to Zen Center and lived in SF's Japantown though we didn't say that at Zen Center or any of its centers. It's not really Buddhist. It's Japanese and means to humbly receive - no subject, no object. I've used it in all the homes I've lived in and places I've been since then unless there was some sort of other something to say like at Zen Center. Tonight we said it and then we said it again and realized oh we've already said it. We do that quite a bit. I asked Katrinka if we get extra credit for saying it twice and she said, "Yes, absolutely." [All opinion expressed herein was not fact checked]. - DC

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Right to Vote for Blacks still a Major Problem in US

From White Sheets to Spreadsheets - A day after the historic Selma march, Greg Palast on how voter suppression is denying millions the right to vote and keeping the South Republican.

I was glad that the writer of the song Glory mentioned this quickly in his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. Happened to see the movie Selma last night on the fiftieth anniversary of the march. I loved the movie but wished there had been at least a mention in print at the end that blacks in the South continue to be denied the right to vote in significant numbers - enough to turn elections at all levels including president.

Greg Palast dot com - where that article originated. He's been exposing how American elections are rigged since before the first Bush Jr. stolen victory. - DC

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Papua Conflict

I don't know anything about the Papua conflict. Here's a page for it on Wikipedia. Have seen a couple of other reports that make much more extreme claims. - DC

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Prison Time

Nyoman drove Katrinka and me to the prison here today to meet with others to get prisoner paintings to take to the Hard Rock Cafe in Kuta to be sold for some fundraising venture.
A number of people I know and have met go there to council or run AA meetings, teach yoga, and so forth. I wasn't one of the four they let go inside so I sat outside the door and watched people come and go - a constant stream of visitors with food and gifts. Alice said that the spacious, high ceiling hall before the door is a new building, that she's always waited outside in the dirt before. Her mate, friend Danu didn't want to go in though he works in drug counseling and has spoken with government officials about harm reduction. He told me he'd done time there five times - once for four years. Said he knew a lot of the staff and guards. After a couple of hours we learned we couldn't get the paintings today. Not surprising. No one complained. Some of the paintings are by an Aussie who Indonesia is preparing to shoot - unless Australia, much of the world, people here, and prez Widodo's son can talk him into clemency.

Here's a site with lots on Kerobokan Prison.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Worst Ever

Katrinka and I went shopping at a big supermarket in Denpasar today cause we were near there anyway looking for a cheaper place to get Katrinka some prescription glasses - all were the same high price and no plus contacts maybe on the whole Island, maybe in the whole country.
Tiara Dewata is the name of the place - Crown (of) Princess. Really big and lots of stores and departments inside, around, and upstairs - aside from a very large area for groceries and home goods. Got some dim light bulbs to sneak into the outdoor porch lights of the places next to ours so there isn't that bright glare at night. Got some post-its and duct-like tape (remember couldn't find that in India). A small chargeable light fan for when the electricity goes off. We looked for baking soda - no luck. Hard to find. Some greens. Forgot the ginger. I was hungry. Nyoman led us through a kid's amusement area with bumper cars and video games and little trains on tracks and stuff to a food court where we had bento - Japanese food - sort of. We agreed it was the worst ever and there is some really bad Japanese food in train and bus stations in Japan - but told Nyoman we enjoyed it for the experience.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Father Steve Frost new poetry

Steve Frost has some new poetry that's pretty out there. Check it out

A Neat Story from Ramblin' Jack

Remembering the Panama Hotel and Restaurant in San Rafael. My mate Katrinka worked there for six years or so up to a couple of months before we left for Asia. She booked people into the hotel, hosted, and was in charge of the music which was great. Mainly jazz but some folk and mixed. One person I enjoyed seeing there was Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

Ramblin' Jack lives in Marshall over on the coast in Marin County. He came in every few months to hear a band and usually played something with them at the end of the night. I think the lead singer is his girlfriend. He used to hang out in the bar at Marshall and had a reputation as a heavy drinker. Think he got over that because he was always clear and fun to talk with at the Panama. We talked about legendary producer Bob Johnston whom I've known and who helped me out with music and Jack said he'd done an album with Bob. I told him Bob and I had had dinner there not long before. Bob was an early producer of Dylan and Jack was a mentor to Dylan and a protégé of Woody Guthrie. I asked him if he read much and he said he read a lot. Another sign of not drinking. He gave me his address so I could send him a copy of Crooked Cucumber, a PO Box with RJE for the name. I don't do that much cause I have to buy them. He said he didn't know much about Zen but that Woody Guthrie had taken him to a home in Topanga Canyon in about 1956 where they met a guy who was into Zen.

I said I'd heard a story about him and Mic Jagger and wondered if it was true. I told him the way I'd heard it and he said that was close and told it this way. He had been bumming around Europe for five years or so with his mate, being a busker and getting by, and one evening late in London he was standing on a platform waiting for a train and there were some boys on the other side waiting for their train. Just them and the waiting. He said he took out his guitar from the case and played them a half dozen cowboy songs and then waved and rode off. Twenty years later he met Mick Jagger who told him he'd been one of those boys and that the next day he'd gone out and bought his first guitar.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Greenhouse Gas Effect Measured

Greenhouse Gas Proof Positive - from the Climate News Network

Freedom Songs - part IX

Freedom Songs - my Journey through 1964 
part IX - Ohio

Posted the first eight parts of this story in 2012. Only have the final wrap up chapter left to do - XII. Will have it done by time its turn comes up. Thought I'd posted all but XII last year and 2013 and the files are on the site, but don't see any mention of them in past What's New posts. So here goes. - DC

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Another Fire in Bali

The Lembongan beach club and resort , 1/2 hotel is gone last night.14 villas and the spa together with the Restaurant burn to ground. Injured unknown for now. Here's a photo.php from Katrinka's Facebook page. She was just there yesterday. 

NRCAT - National Religious Campaign Against Torture - Report

Read what NRCAT and others are doing about torture in or by the US.