Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bird Sounds

There are some distinctive bird sounds around our place her in Sanur.

That's a plaintive cuckoo and, though it's native to Bali, it is probably not one of the birds mentioned below

I'm not a birder so don't know anything about them other that what I hear. Sweet chirping birds and roosters start before sunrise - much like many places I've been in America. Mostly I don't recall or think about it, but two birds calls come to mind. One I call the Goldfinger bird. It's call is just like the short brassy horn rip at the opening of the Goldfinger theme song. I just pulled it up on Youtube to check and it was startlingly the same. The other I call the han bird. Han is a word for wood in Japanese and the han in a temple is a wooden board that's struck with a wooden mallet. At Zen Center and some other temples I've been in it's used to call people to zazen in a pattern that goes on for up to fifteen minutes. The pattern I'm used to is an introductory three strikes and then seven single hits followed by a rolldown that goes faster and faster with a pause then a big hit to mark the end of the first round. Five single hits for the second round and three for the third. If it's being hit for a shorter period of time then the single strikes are closer together. The han bird makes a sound just like those single hits with a few seconds in between. I've never talked to anyone knowledgeable about it so the han bird might not be a bird. Maybe it's a type of gekko. Anyway, I usually notice it when I'm walking and it makes me feel like I'm walking to zazen and I hasten my steps to make sure I'm not late. The Goldfinger birds causes me to look behind me for Oddjob with his killer derby. 

Friday, May 29, 2015


Indonesians are most friendly and tend to ask questions. Where are you from? Where are you staying? They don't ask your religion but it comes up in conversation and Katrinka says I have a tendency to tell strangers waiting in line next to me the story of my life. So it comes up sometimes that I say we're Buddhists. I don't really think of myself as a Buddhist or as anything but it's the best answer that isn't too drawn out and confusing. And when I say we're Buddhists, the most common next question is, "Are you vegetarian?" Or even, "So you're vegetarian." Lots of Hindus are vegetarian and the Buddhism they know about is pretty strictly vegetarian. My answer tends to be, "When we eat vegetation, yes."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Neighborhood Legong

Legong is to me the most exquisite of the Bali dances. That's a Legong dancer in the image. In performances I've seen there are one, two, up to eight women at a time and probably can be more. There's a group of women who do Legong at the local bale banjar, neighborhood meeting hall, a stage with a roof held up by pillars and a back wall. As we walk by we can see if there's a meeting or if these women are practicing or performing their Legong. Maybe they're in a Legong club. There might be thirty or so of them and they do it to the gamelan music in sarongs and even Western clothes. We could go in I guess but just stand on the sidewalk for a while. There's no charge except I get one out of watching.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beach Story

Scott, whom I will see on the tennis court tomorrow morning early, told me about being in Phuket on the morning of December 26, 2004.

That's a local sign.

He and his wife had just gone for a run on the beach and were sitting at a table in their hotel when people started running out of the room. He and his wife ran too, thinking it was a bomb scare. When they got away from the building they stopped, but a Japanese woman running by called out, "Tsunami!" Scott said they're still alive today because of her. They had time to get to high ground and never saw it because they kept climbing. For six hours they sat, looked down, and watched ambulances take bodies away. Back at their hotel there was a Landrover upside down on the spot where they'd been eating breakfast. The first two floors of the hotel were devastated. Their room was on the third floor and all was intact. They stayed for two days, the only remaining guests and said the staff took good care of them and there was no charge. Then they went to Bangkok and waited a few days for a flight. All embassies offered free phone calls to anywhere. Flights home were free. Planes were flying out to America and Germany and other countries filled with corpses. Over 8000 are estimated to have died in Thailand from the tsunami. A total of 230,000 in 14 countries estimated overall.

The court where we play is one of a few gathering spots I've noticed for evacuating people from here before a tsunami hits. It's on the third floor of a sturdy building. I think I'd stay there. There are other equally high buildings between there and the ocean. And it looks like from the article below that a tsunami here would likely come from nearby leaving us little time for warnings or escaping.

Here's a scary cautionary article on the subject for Bali - especially in the southern area where we are - dc

Brought 'We Shall Overcome' to civil rights movement

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

No Water, No Bali - an island in a global problem

From the Bali Advertiser (a good source of local news and comment) -thanks Katrinka.

That's Lake Batur in the photo - in a volcanic crater.

Wasteful use of water can be seen everywhere. Hotels water the sand where there are tables and chairs. Stores and homes water sidewalks and streets in front. I think they need a good PR firm to whip up public awareness and support to implement more education and action. Foreigners I think should emphasize that water conservation is a world-wide urgent problem and Bali and Indonesia could become good examples, leaders in the movement, waking up from their suicidal nap to help wake the rest of us up- dc

Monday, May 25, 2015

Prayer Answered

At Renon Immigration office today extending our visa for another month.

This is a hassle for many but I spend so much time cuking etc at home it's good to get out and go for a ride with Nyoman Dogen in his old bemo [see this April post with bemo photo]. Saved up a bunch of other errands too. Had all the papers filled out and signed with the right stamp, Katrinka and my passport plus photocopy [fotokopi] of it [can't say "copy" here cause that's what they call coffee (kopi)]. Got there in time to get out before their lunch break too - but the gentleman behind the window introduced a new element. Now for the fotokopi they want the current visa and entry stamp pages in addition to the front name and photo page. There's an office inside their grounds that does that but when I got back, in time again, the windows were closed for the lunch break - five minutes early. No big deal. We did some other errands including going to the American Consulate which was closed for Memorial Day Holiday. Went back at 1pm, got the documents handed in and the receipt with date to come back to pay - this step has to be a separate day courtesy of Indonesian Immigration, then the next biz day to pick it up. So before I left the window I told the official I wanted to look into getting a KITAS residency visa good for a year for Katrinka and me. He said I'd have to go do that from another country. I knew that wasn't a good answer. Stood in the hallway wondering what to do. Of course I could go to an agent which almost everyone says I'll have to do but I was told that about these extensions as well and I've always liked dealing with bureaucracy - call it a mindfulness practice. I know one person in the office I used to be able to walk up to till they changed the setup to being behind glass and you have to take a number. I thought, gosh I wish Ibu Siri (Mrs. Siri) would walk by - please, please, please. And then she did - and stopped to say hi. I told her what I wanted. She took me to a place where we could sit and talk privately. I struggled to understand what she was saying and she had to repeat herself a few times but finally I left with her phone number and what to bring her to get it going. She said she'd write to the head office in Jakarta and run it through for us. But that's just to get like a letter from Jakarta with which we can obtain the Kitas in another country. That gives us five months to get this done. Left with thanks for an answered prayer.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Title

Christopher Hitchens wrote a well-known book entitled God is Not Great which, as far as I can tell from scattered knowledge never left the realm of the literal and so-called fundamentalist in terms of what the word god stood for. From glancing at the book a few times, reading some articles, and hearing him interviewed and so forth, what I've gathered is he wrote mainly about bad things institutions have done in the name of an imaginary god.
In that case, no argument with that title. But it wouldn't work for how I understand the word god. I think of the word god as being synonymous with the Chinese word tao or dao. When ancient wise folk were pondering what word to use for the dao which they agreed can't be named or described accurately, they decided on a word which translates into English as great - though they indicated we shouldn't get hung up on that word - just the best they could do. So in that case we could write a book named God may Tentatively be Called Great. - dc

Cleaned Up

As I've complained about recently, a storm brought a lot of trash and other debris up on the beach in Sanur not long ago and the major stuff was hauled off but then it was time for a nap and so a bunch of plastic crap was strewn along the hi tide mark every day. I complained to several hotels, one of them, the Bali Beach Hotel which has a giant long stretch. Anyway, it's pretty much all gone now. Just a tiny cosmetic take on a serious global plastic problem. Do you know about the International Campaign against Microbeads?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Buddhist Diagnosis of Climate Crisis

By Bhikkhu Bodhi [Wikipedia page on him]

Thanks Taigen Dan Leighton for sending this and Peter Ford for showing me how to embed it and post it. - dc See other posts on Meeting of Buddhist Teachers at the White House from yesterday and the day before on cuke's What's New May 19th and 20th, 2015.
Here's an abbreviated version of the diagnosis below.

Here it is on Google Docs - thanks Andrew Main

Discussion of First Presidents of USA or not - and not the usual names

Just thought this article was interesting. Read about this every decade or so and then forget it and am surprised when I read it again. I'd say the eight before Washington were more accurately described as presidents of Congress though it wasn't the same as the congress after the constitution.

On the site of the constitution society - read the comments below too

History dot com

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Buddhist Teacher & Leaders at White House Statement

Statement from Buddhist Teachers and Leaders in the United States  5-14-15

“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together.” – Lila Watson 

           As Buddhist teachers and leaders we are distressed and deeply saddened by the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police—most recently brought to light with Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, Walter Scott in North Charleston, SC, Freddie Gray of Baltimore MD and too many others--and the frequent failure of the courts to bring justice to these cases. Most grievous is that these tragic events are not isolated incidents. They are part of a systemic injustice in the United States that is rooted in centuries of slavery and segregation, and manifested in continued economic and social exclusion, inferior education, mass incarceration and ongoing violence against African-Americans.

           The Buddhist teachings are grounded in a clear recognition of suffering, an ethical commitment to non-harming and an understanding of interdependence: We can’t separate our personal healing and transformation from that of our larger society. The historic and continued suffering of people of color in this country—of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and others—is our collective suffering. The harm caused daily is our collective responsibility. Once we see this suffering, our freedom unfolds as we respond with a wise and compassionate heart. 
           Right now, we believe there is an immediacy and urgency in focusing our attentions and efforts on the pervasive and ongoing violence done to people of color in our country. We are inspired by the courage and leadership of the people of Ferguson and many other communities in recent months in drawing a line in the sand and saying, “Enough”, “Black Lives Matter”, and calling for deep-rooted changes in our economic and justice systems.  As Buddhists we see the timeliness of adding our voices to theirs, knowing it will take a dedicated focus to recognize how the hidden biases and assumptions of our society deprive people of color of their basic rights to justice, opportunity and human dignity. 
             Our collective aspiration within the Buddhist traditions is to become truly inclusive and beloved communities.  In this process we are committed to honestly and bravely uncovering the ways we create separation and unintentionally replicate patterns of inequity and harm.  In the same spirit, we are committed to  engaging with other faith and social justice groups in support of undoing racism throughout our society.
           In the midst of tragedy, grief, and anger, we see the seeds of profound possibilities for healing the wounds of separation and building communities based on respect and love. Since their inception, Buddhist teachings and practices have been explicitly devoted to liberation. In his time the Buddha was a revolutionary voice against racism and the caste system: “Not by caste, race, or creed, or birth is one noble, but by heart alone is one a noble being.” The Buddhist trainings in mindfulness, wisdom and compassion, create the grounds for wise speech and wise action.  These teachings and practices free our hearts from greed, prejudice and hate and  serve an essential role in societal healing, and in the awakening of all.

With prayers for healing and peace,

Thanks Taigen Dan Leighton for sending this. - dc

See yesterday's Buddhists Go to the White House - by Alan Senauke

Gamelan Music Next Door

All sorts of noises come from the middle school next door here in Sanur. The sound of hundreds of kids out of class playing and talking. I'm curious to go over and meet the man whom we hear on the loudspeaker early in the morning at times. There's music now and then, drums especially on Sunday. Sometimes there's band music like in the states.
Sometimes awful pop karaoke with applauding enthusiastic responses for off key renditions. Sometimes there's terrific Kacak monkey chant or Barong practice. It's so neat they do that at school. Recently there's been a lot of the local gamelan music. They must be preparing for something. Hope they keep preparing. They're doing a pretty good job of it and it's the best.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Buddhists Go to the White House

A report by Hozan Alan Senauke —16 May 2015 - on his Clear View Project site.

No Obama there. But it's still significant. - dc

This photo and one with more folks inside, same as on Alan's report, larger after Read more.
See their Statement posted May 20th, sent by Taigen Dan Leighton

An Immodest Suggestion

Ran into a film of the first Earth Day made by Michael Katz and Chris Bamford (guessing about the latter) and wanted to see what Alan Watts had to say but it's one of those randomly censored videos. Found it on YouTube now and can see that one so no big deal. As I mentioned a few days ago, that random censorship just seems so characteristic of how this place, Indonesia, gets administered.

I recalled reading how long ago people in Russia invited Vikings in to run the place because they were doing such a bad job and that's where the Czars came from. Of course there's surely more to it than that but it's what I was thinking and then I recalled how someone in India told me that Kerala had a lot of good roads they brought in Germans to make - and boy did all of India need help in that area and, come to think of it, many other areas. So I think that Indonesia should invite Germany to come administrate them. Or why not let Germany just run the whole world. Wait - they tried that and ended up just trying to kill everyone and destroying everything - or lots anyway. I'd suggest America but we end up killing and destroying too. So, the Dutch who are sort of like Germans and probably just as good at that sort of thing. Oh darn - I forgot - the Dutch did administer this place for a while and they were not always nice. Killed and were mean to a lot of Indonesian people and here in Bali including the whole royal family of Sanur who stood up to them. Some Dutch guys killed some natives in New Guinea whose tribe later killed Michael Rockefeller in revenge. That reminds me, the king of Denpasar just got out of jail for killing his step-brother. Had to serve a whole year and make apologies and promise not to do it again. I think I'll just leave them alone and let them take care of themselves though they kill people and foul their nest too but at least it's their biz. Think I'll just be glad they let us stay here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

This Morning

It was really cool this morning before the sun came up and not hot on the court. Heat = tiredness.
Heat goes up and I get tired playing tennis, sometimes almost exhausted. Last weak was getting week (ha ha) in the 2nd hour, having to make an extra effort each shot to grip the racket and hit the ball with some force. Nothing like that today. Just looked at the weather for last Thursday and it says it was the same as today. No way. Maybe it's the breeze. I took new addition to our tennis group Ian to the little shack among a row of them on the beach on walk home for him to try their Bali coffee. Have mentioned it before - run by Wayan and his wife Vera (they pronounce Vs with a lot of F in there). She was home with the baby. I generously paid the 3k rupia, like a quarter, for his coffee. He liked it. My sister liked it so much I had to go there every morning with her to watch the sunrise. It's like Turkish coffee but not that strong - finely ground, not filtered. I got tea with sweet evap milk which is OK. There were bigger waves than I've ever seen here and a higher tide too - almost coming to where we were sitting. Usually Sanur waves would be classified as tiny or no waves. Stripped down to my underwear and jumped in. Actually got a little body surfing in - first time around here. That was fun. Maybe Ian was a little surprised. I'm showing him some of the ropes - like good place to get a boat to nearby island and what to pay and how to walk back through the Bali Beach Hotel grounds. There was a cricket game going on at the soccer field with what appeared to be Aussies and Indonesians. That's unusual. A little food stand set up. Introduced Ian to Anno, Flores Christian who with his brother Ben run the little travel stand on the corner and broker laundry cheaper than using the homestay. He met Wayan (most popular name for biggest caste here - 1st born) She's a female masseuse. 60 rupia for an hour she told him - less than five bucks. He made a date with her for tomorrow. Jumped in pool here to get cleaner and talked to blind London Philip who spends a lot of time in the pool drinking beer. His and Bali wife Rini's baby is over two weeks old now. Sweet Grace from Munchen came with an inner tube. Ceiling fan is on. Nice day. Katrinka is back from her walk. It feels so cool I say. She says it's the low humidity. She says it's the 2nd day for cricket. She makes me take a shower and use soap at least once a week. Back to work. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

(not) False Censorship Alarm

This is what comes up when a site is blocked, censored in Indonesia. I'm working on an article on Alan Watts and found Alan Watts dot com is blocked by Internet Positif. Trust Positif. It protects you. (Messages like that rolling by). Just posted about Vimeo being blocked here three days ago. Now Alan Watts?

At first I was pissed off and thought it must be a key word triggered a computerized decision to protect the people of Indonesia from Watt's message. But then I reviewed. Alan Watts dot org is Mark Watts official site for all things Watts and Alan Watts dot net is somebody else's site with links to all things Watts. And then a faint memoroid flitted by that Alan Watts dot com is a porn site. Oh yeah, I thought, that rings a bell. Since I can't test it would you please do so and as soon as I see a confirmation on that I'll indicate so here. Thanks. - dc [dchad at cuke dot com]

Nope - this is a legit Watts site. No porn. What a stupid censorship tool they've got here. Par for the course. Managment is not their strong suit. - Thanks Andrew and Don. 

Two articles to finish

Tomorrow is no-online Sunday. That's good. Need to finish two articles - One for Shambhala Sun on Alan Watts and a freebie for Sweeping Zen on Shunryu Suzuki for his upcoming 111th birthday on the 18th. Haven't started the latter but I'll put something together. Have been immersing myself in Watts for the last ten days or so. Very impressed. What a guy. What an enormous legacy, much of it in the substrata. Hey - maybe I'll use that. - dc

Friday, May 15, 2015


Whatever pop music was comin out, never had to worry too much if I liked it or not cause there was always jazz and the blues to listen to and always BB King. Till now. BB King has died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas. The BBC obit mentioned King was #3 on a list Rolling Stone list of greatest guitarists of all time. Here's a story about King from a recording engineer friend of mine - Ricky Sanchez who now operates Post Haste Media

Ricky Sanchez, a venerable recording engineer (Hot Tuna's regular) whom I had the honor of working with on [Warning: personal plug follows] some of my projects told me a BB King story that comes to mind today. I emailed him and he sent this:

BB King

Very saddened to hear of BB King’s passing. His playing was instantly recognizable from the first note. His vibrato. The way he could bend a note. His phrasing and of course his singing voice.

Besides being one of the most influential and well known blues players in history, he was a wonderfully humble and nice man with a great sense of humor. I saw him perform multiple times, but one of the highlights of my early days as an engineer was to record BB King and his band in the studio.

No, it was not one of his many great records, but a Budweiser beer commercial. At the time, Bud’s ad agency out of St. Louis was using various recording artists to do their take on the “This Bud’s for You” theme. I did the Tubes version and BB King’s version.

We had 6 hours booked. The King’s big purple bus pulled up, the band got out. All of the amps and drums had been rented per the band’s spec and were ready to go. They walked right into the studio, shook everyone’s hand and got to work. He was all business.

The young ad team (I think there were six of them) obviously did not know much about either the blues or BB King other than probably an intern telling them that he had a guitar he called Lucille. They had the band play the song with BB just singing the lyrics which they had written out. The lyrics were wall to wall for the entire minute.

Then the lead producer said “Now BB, get Lucille and play some blues”. I cringed.
Mr. King picked up his guitar, plugged into the Fender Twin and I pressed record.
The song played for a minute and he did not play a note. The producer looked confused. “BB…ok. I want to hear Lucille sing” King looked up, nodded, then I pressed record. A minute later…nothing. The producer looked concerned. “One more time”. Nothing. Again he said “BB, you’re not playing…we need to hear Lucille”.

Mr. King looked up, the band shook their heads and replied, “I’m singing. BB King does not sing and play at the same time”. The rather dense producer said, “yes, but we have your vocal on tape already. I need you to play now. We need to hear Lucille”.

I realized that BB King was hearing his vocal in his headphones. Since the lyric basically just repeated through the whole minute, I asked if I could try something. The producer said “whatever…I just need that guitar on there”.

This time when I hit play, I let the vocal go for a short verse, then muted it. Immediately, Mr. King started to play. When the phrase finished I unmuted the vocal and he stopped playing. Another vocal phrase…then mute it and BB King started to play. Vocal…guitar…vocal…guitar.

The minute finished. BB King put down the guitar, smiled and said “That is the blues…now order us some lunch, you have what you need”.

We did. The King of the Blues had spoken. 


I also remember Ricky saying years ago that when King listened to it he said he couldn't play the tune, "It's not blues. I play blues." The producer assumed he was being overly modest and told him he was the king of the guitar and could surely play that tune. Ricky said that King was right. He tried and couldn't do the tune so Ricky recorded him doing blues that went along with the song.  - dc

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trash on Beach

Decided today there needs to be a trash/pollution report for beaches and areas of Bali modeled on the lines of the daily tide table on Magic Seaweed. Here's the page for Sanur. It also shows when there's sunrise and set. Right now it could give a moderate trash on beaches concentrating on the high tide mark, some plastic trash and organic material in the water. It could report on which areas were cleaned up etc. There's such poor management here and most people don't care or if they do have defeatist attitudes. Talked with a Javanese friend and told him it had to be Indonesians doing it. Might suggest it to a local youth organization working toward the elimination of plastic bags. Other ideas. I'm just going to suggest stuff to locals and do nothing. - dc

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Farewell Don Koue

My brother-in-law, Don Koue, husband of my sister Susan and father of my niece Camille, died yesterday morning, May 12th, at six in the morning. He'd been in hospice for a month. I talked with him recently. His hospital bed was sitting in front of their Oakland Hills picture window overlooking the Bay Area. He said he had that great view, wonderful music, good care, and Susan and Camille, and felt like he was the most fortunate person in the world.  He was assistant head of PR for UC Berkeley for years. He was in his eighties.Good man, smart as heck. A really good artist and writer. - DC

Vimeo Censored here

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marigolds for Katrinka

For Mother's Day, bought a kilo of these for Katrinka and wrapped in a scrap of velveteen a guy in store gave me on the way home so they could be presented to her better than in a plastic bag. She posted on her Facebook page They use them here for offerings. Wasn't much open Sunday noon. Asked the woman in the stall off the road nearby for the whole bag and she said it would be expensive. How much? 30,000 rupia - about $2.25.  Two days later they're still on our dining table - and some other places. - dc

Monday, May 11, 2015

An interesting Wikipedia page stumbled on

Neo - Advaita is the page. I am not as critical as some quoted on this page who take the point of view that Neo-Advaita, contrary to traditional Advaita Vedanta, promotes the idea that no practice or discipline is necessary to awaken to reality. Maybe that's true but most people aren't interested in much discipline. At last this gets them in the door and then if they want to devote themselves wholeheartedly they can. I see these varied non theistic approaches as a breath of fresh air amidst all the literalism and clinging belief that's so prominant. - dc

Drums Roll

Sunday yesterday, as often, drumming from the school next door. And it's cool drumming like listening to the group of conga and other drummers in Golden Gate Park in San Fancisoco on a Sunday - just going on and on, jungle fever. Next week think I'll go over and get a visual.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Slow that clock down

Aging mechanism reversible - an article in Gizmag. Sounds promising - now if we can just survive as a species, control population, stop poisoning and murdering and exploiting ourselves, that and so much more we're on the edge of - we could spruce this place up. - Thanks to Gregory Johnson who wrote, "Sign me up!!"

Little Lizards Running Round

The organic and inorganic debris brought in by the storm and high tide has been cleaned up from where we go in Sanur anyway. It's been so cool recently - below eighty - and now there's a strong breeze - feels like seventy. Meanwhile back at the homestead, we've got some new critters.

Little reptiles - not gekkos. They're fast and don't slide around on the walls and ceilings like gekkos. Really small - like an inch. Seen one now and then since returning from Malaysia. Last eve while Katrinka was making dinner, I was reading to her, a regular event. She picked up a bag of corn chips on the table - there are really good corn chips here - and zip! one of the little guys came streaking out straight into me and then down on the floor and off. She couldn't tell if it came from in the bag or under the bag. I remembered something I'd read when we had that biawak, monitor lizard, living under or behind the kitchen sink cabinet. I read that they like to go to secluded places to lay eggs. Hmm. Maybe that's her kids. Wow. Wonder how many there are. They can lay over thirty eggs. They can get up to nine feet long but mom was more like two. We might have to add on to our place.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sandy Eastoak - Painter

Here's her site: 

Sandy's in my old haunt, Sebastopol. 

Fish Rap is her newsletter - contact her through the website to get it. - dc

Sandy's Facebook page - Painting spirits, cycles and waters

Malaysian Human Rights Violations

Why Obama wants to torpedo a plan to fight human trafficking - Nothing makes the Malaysian government look good these days.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mango Disappointment

Can't get mangos at the local morning market here in Sanur, haven't been able to for a while. They tell me to wait for August. Why? The seasons here aren't that different. It's an important part of our food pyramid. There were tons of yummy mangos in Malaysia. Will see what the imported ones cost at Hardy's, the supermarket mini department store.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Storm and Trash

Mentioned that huge wind and rain that came up so suddenly the other night that forced us inside. The next morning, yesterday, there was a super high tide that brought in tons of driftwood and plastic trash. Many people were out collecting it and carting it off. Only time that's happened in the time we've been here - over a year. They get a lot of plastic trash mid December to mid February, as has been mentioned here, over in Kuta and Seminyak, but only a little bit here now and then. The plastic in the ocean problem has yet to be taken seriously enough worldwide. It is having much more than cosmetic consequences and needs to be reversed ASAP.

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.Jacques Yves Cousteau (from decades ago)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

RIP old friend Johnny Clarke

Johnny died on the morning of the 3rd of Cancer. Our father's were business partners and we grew up seeing each other quite a bit. Just had a nice long phone chat with him a week or two ago. Really good guy.

Johnny's mouth was paralyzed or something so that it was permanently pulled to one side - from childhood polio. It affected his speech some, but nothing else I ever noticed. He had an admirable disposition. - dc

Memorial service
Thursday, May. 7, 2015
1:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Here's what I wrote in Memories and Condolences at the obit site

Johnny's father and mine were business partners. He wasn't my closest friend but the oldest and a good one. Glad we spent the time together we did in 2012 and 13 when I was in town helping my mother who dealt with Johnny frequently and thought of him as part of our extended family. In a recent phone conversation, Johnny exhibited the same old sense of humor and wit. Farewell Johnny, good man.

Malay New Age Group

On our seven hour drive back from Penang to Kuala Lumpur Sunday eve, we took turns telling about our lives. One thing Lai Mun talked about was how rewarding her experience had been with a group she belongs to,

She's a fifty-three year old telecommunications worker who received a degree and lived seven years in New Zealand. She described what the group she's in does together as consciousness raising, life changing. There's not one guru. I don't know the name. Maybe it's a method like Co-counseling or Non-violent Communication or NLP. She said they work on freeing themselves from their image of who they are, concern about what others think, enslavement to conformity. She said they sometimes do things to subject themselves to public ridicule. For instance, once they dressed in pampers (Surely over their clothes) and went to eat at a McDonald's. She's looking forward to the next meeting.   

Monday, May 4, 2015

Back in Bali

Malaysia was good and we loved our hosts - Wai and Vidya, staying in their school, walking to Dim Sum for breakfast, loved the milk tea. Lai Mun and her comfy spcacious home, five hour drive to Penang for three days and seven hours back with holiday traffic - very pleasant company so the time slid by. Came back with some stuff haven't found here - though we haven't gone way out of our way to find. Stuff like zip-lock bags, real Japanese green tea - sencha and genmaicha. We find the former here sometimes but not dependably. Big cue tips like got in Japan that ran out. Puer tea. Got a couple of prayer rugs from an Indian store. We loved the Chinese section in Georgetown. More on that later maybe.

Cable car up Penang Hill went to the English place for scones, tea, a lawn, view, atmosphere. Not open that early. Had to walk down to a slicker place with pop music and a view - of clouds - clouds which dissipated briefly to reveal the city below translucent, like in a dream.

Back home here in the dark walked to the beach, everything pretty dark and people-less, cut through the dim lamp-lit upscale Segara Village Hotel grounds down that walkway in the image, seduced on the way to a cheaper meal to a table by the live gamelan band and angelic dancers. Sound of waves. As a monster was emerging to join the dancers a wind came, building quickly to strong gusts then drops, more drops, big and many. Mixed fruit juice (no sugar, no ice) in hand trotted to cover inside the roofed, open-walled bar with thumping pop music, like disco, Foiled again but went with the flow. Watched the downpour and ate seafood salad. Enjoyed the last eight days break from from the usual. Tomorrow back to the routine.

Texas Gov Defends our Freedom

Greg Abbot orders Texas State Guard to make sure US Army doesn't invade my home state. NPR story. Quiz. What do the honorable governor and yours truly DC have in common? More later.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Peter Coyote's New Book

The Rainman's Third Cure: an Irregular Education

click on bookcover to see it larger

Links at Read more. 

Put the links there because they screw up the image here on Blogger I've noticed. Took a while to figure it out. Will research what to do. If I put a link next to the image it erases the image for that line. - dc

Peter Coyote dot com News page - posts relating to the book

Amazon link - great reviews there

Peter's cuke page


It's Wesak time in much of Asia. Big holiday here in Malaysia where Katrinka and I are briefly. We call it Buddha's birthday in American Buddhist circles I'm around and celebrate it on April 8th like Japan - or the nearest Sunday depending on the group. Here it's May 3rd and 4th - so people can have that Monday off I guess. Also it seems to include celebrating Buddha's enlightenment and Buddha in general. Funny, in Buddhist Japan it's not a holiday but in dominantly Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia it is. Lots of Chinese Buddhists and we're mainly around Chinese here. We're in Penang this weekend which is a tourist spot for Malay and at the cable car up Penang Hill this morning it seemed they were mostly here. That's a stock photo of Wesak in KL.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Not in the News

Internet Lists and Buddhist Lists

the the book blurb

Father Steve Frost again

Penang Malaysia

That's where we are now - for three nights. Great street food for breakfast. Katrinka and Lai bought a kilo of shrimp from a fisherman whom we'd seen come in and were watching his catch be weighed and sold on a sidewalk by the shore. Walked down the street to a Chinese restaurant almost full - open to the street. They steamed it up with ginger.

Then large neighboring Thai and a Burmese temples full of modern statues and glittering with gold. My companions got blessed by a monk who chanted and sprinkled them with water from a clump of leafy twigs. There were a few monks doing that to the faithful who also made donations. You could buy lottery tickets too - and art and talismans. Drank the juice from coconuts with straws, spooned out the innards after they'd halved the wholes, and were off.

Sunrise on the beach below our hotel window, a Malay photographer from KL sat and talked. He went to SF Art Inst in 87 and got a degree at Brooks in Santa Barbara. He said Malaysia is Suni Muslim and told me about how Suni's and not Shias revere Mohammed and how the Koran never changes and is the word of god and told me to go on Youtube and watch Zakir Naik. He said that Islam is moderate, logical, and that no religion supports killing people. Then I went into the bay in my underwear.

Kelly and I were here in 88. I don't remember all the shiny cars and tall buildings. He had an umbrella stolen in the Monkey Park but the fellow finally dropped it from way up high. We took a cable car up Penang Hill, ate dinner at an old English hotel, watched the sunset, and had to walk down because the cable car had stopped running. We both had zories on and there were the most giant ants I've ever seen on the steep road down. It got so dark though we couldn't see them anymore. Came out by the Monkey Park. A guy sitting at a table outside with friends in a little corner neighborhood store gave us a ride back to our backpacker hostel for a couple of bucks. Maybe Lai, Katrinka, and I will get up there. I hear the hotel is gone. - dc

Eleven Years ago Today

Eleven years ago today, I walked into the Pelican Inn with Clay and some friends. It was a busy Sunday. A familiar face inside the door greeting customers - Katrinka. Knew her from the Sand Dollar in Stinson Beach. Now she was manager of this most English pub and Inn. At the beach told Clay and his buds to find their way back to Green Gulch, walked back to the Pelican Inn, and now we're looking out across a bay toward the Malay mainland.