Saturday, June 27, 2015

Back in a Flash

Followup to last two days' Saunters posts. Just got up from a nap after on the spot laser surgery today to reconnect retina.  Optometrist met here told Katrinka that couldn't be done. Doc said it could if it's just separated a little. Cost 1,638,000 IDR - $122.86  Hurt a tiny bit. Was three hours at the hospital in Denpasar. In two days there only maybe saw one foreigner in the corner of the eye that was still flashing. Not much English today. I understood most of what the doctor told me afterwords. She was nice. Wants me to come back for her to take a look in two weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2015

At the Sick House

Continued from yesterday's flashing crescent story. Called our doctor this morning and he came right over and talked to me a bit. He suggested I see an opthamologist at an international hospital - they'll take you right away and specialize in dealing with foreigners. I said they were too expensive and I wouldn't learn anything. Wanted to go to one for locals. He asked if I wanted a free one. No - how about something in between? We'd heard of one in particular - Sanglah. He said yes it's good. It or Indera. But you may have to wait a long time there.
He talked to Nyoman, our local driver, and then I asked Nyoman to come in half an hour. The doc started to leave but I asked him to wait a sec, got a 100,000 note and he said thanks. House call for $7.50. Nyoman prefered Indera so I went there. Lots of people but I didn't have to wait long for anything. Had several eye tests before getting to the eye doctor - first person there who spoke English. I explained the flashing, said it wasn't as strong or often as yesterday. She did some tests, put drops in my left eye and shortly after checked it a couple of ways. Couldn't find anything wrong but arranged for me to see an eye surgeon tomorrow morning to make sure. Asked if I'd lifted anything heavy. Told me not to play tennis for a month or strain myself too much. She does yoga too and didn't tell me not to do it. Said I should be sure to go to the Vipassana retreat because it will be good for my mind. She wrote two scripts for eye drops. The receptionist downstairs applied them. I was out an hour after arriving. Clearly I got special treatment. Nobody waiting or working there seemed uptight or upset anywhere. I'd been to a number of different rooms and halls and floors. Had someone guiding me at all times. Nobody was in a hurry, would chat a bit and help me understand the right words to use for this and that. Total cost - twenty bucks. I felt like they'd forgotten to charge. And oh yes - hospital in Indonesian is Rumah (house) Sakit (sick). 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Independent Meditation Center Guide

At go sit dot com - thanks Peter Ford

Crescent Flashing

I was going to stay home and keep working, let Katrinka bring me take out, but got to a nice stopping place and decided to walk over to Annapurna to join her in dining on their great Indian style buffet. Out the door noticed strange flashings of bright light. Kept walking and looking around for what it was. Like lazer lights zipping by in the corner of my eye. Circular - part of a circle - crescent.
It was pretty dark. We live down a dark drive cause I got the hotel next door to disconnect two lights they had on all night out there. And the street's pretty dark too cause there's only overgrowth across and no traffic to speak of cause it's a dead end. Walking toward the lights and people the flashings continued every few seconds. Crescent zipping brightly. With plate in hand sat across Katrinka at a long table to join in the celebration of a friend's 21st year of not drinking booze. Met the couple sitting to my left, Paul and Diane. They stayed years ago in the apartment where we live. After a few minutes of conversation and mastication, said I thought I should share what was happening with me just in case I fall over dead or something and I explained what was happening to me. Turned out that Diane was a nurse in an eye doctor's office. She knew exactly what was happening to me and said I should see an opthamologist tomorrow morning and have my retina looked at. The jelly in it is shrinking or something and causing strain at the edge of the retina causing electrical impulses which I perceive as flashes. Diane told me not to put it off. I said I will call my doc first thing in the morning and he'll tell me where to go. Thanks Diane. And I thought I'd gotten the urge to go there just to eat and listen to the music with Katrinka.

When the vitreous gel inside your eye rubs or pulls on the retina, you may see what looks like flashing lights or lightening streaks. You may have experienced this sensation if you have ever been hit in the eye and see "stars."
These flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months. As we grow older, it is more common to experience flashes. If you notice the sudden appearance of flashes, you should visit your ophthalmologist immediately because it could mean that the retina has been torn. From this site.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Teeny Tiny Ants

Ants rule. There are so many types of ants around here in Sanur - or anywhere. One type that really puzzles me are these teeny tiny ones I see mainly on the porch if a drop of something sweet has fallen. Many will be right at the sweet spot but others will be running around. What gets me about them is the speed they move. If it was us it might be like 150 miles an hour. And why are most of them running around in imperfect circles? What could be accomplished by that? Anyway, I leave them alone.
The only ones I don't want to see are your standard reds that bite. They are not a problem but they're around. One was on my laptop here in the living room and I ran outside with it to blow it off fearing a major assault driving us away but there's been no followup. Another thing that gets me when removing them from my arm or computer or whatever. I'll blow as hard as I can and often it's not hard enough. What super abilities they have. Back to the tiny ones. I searched for a bit and couldn't find anything definitive on them. Almost everything is how to kill them. Shame. 

Found the following comments on the Practical Machinist

We have had teeny tiny ants around our kitchen sink...smallest ants I've ever seen. From what I can find online they are either Thief or Pharoah ants.

I'm curious as to whether these little ants smell like "ant" when crushed. I dropped a coke bottle in some bushes at work and when I recovered it later I set it on my desk. Next thing I knew these little ant looking things were all over the place. But they didn't smell like an ant when crushed. We tried taking a digital picture of one to zoom in on it, but they move waaay to fast for that.

Remember - that wasn't me, DC. Back to me now. I know what ants smell like from working in trees especially on the Tassajara phone line. If I started climbing a tree and smelled ants, I'd get down immediately and pass on it. 

Started to read more about tiny teeny ants then realized. I've got a lot to do. There are infinite beings to save and a whole biosphere at risk - for a lot of us anyway it seems. But first had to get the ants out of my head so Katrinka and I went for a walk and - well here's a photo of a Komodo Ant we came across frightening two tourists. Thank goodness they're harmless - the tourists that is.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tim Buckley Poetry

Tim Buckley Cancer Poems

John Bailes accompanying note at bottom of page.

Tim Buckley cuke page


'Tit Jean grew a moustache and his mother said
             "Oh No!  Take it off!"  "Aw Ma I was just
             having a little fun"


Hakuin is everywhere, on everybody's mind
parsing canned fruit on the supermarket shelf
and someone said "He looks just like Hakuin"
I finally chose Libby's Premium Fruit Medley

The Chinese waiter in the Japanese restaurant
probably had visa problems on his mind
or his girlfriend or no-girlfriend and his lousy
pay or maybe his china goddess of mercy
having fun playing around with the blues
He had cropped hair brought fresh water
eels and rice eels were all skin and fat
no meat.  Ate it and asked for tea
he said I saw Hakuin today and he says hi

His paintings grew on the floor like fungus
He read the Heart like the funny papers
while I was just minding my own business
shopping for what i wanted next.  Peaches or pears?
Put a can in the fridge eat them cold, drink the syrup

Hakuin was sick a long time.  He could not even see
the blind leading the blind and so on until
he got better. He painted with stones and tree trunks
wrote short letters like "Death" and added postscripts:
"The shortcut to life"  Old, he told everyone
Just pray to the goddess of mercy 300 times a day

Finally picked chard from the garden
and had a nice supper, 7pm


how tender in the light filtered
between great storm clouds--
the pale green leaves,
young magnolia in the dooryard


for Suki, Tracy

old man sitting on the stoop
with his death, a cup
of coffee, a forbidden cigarette.
trees are full-leaved
but they are falling
red oak, red maple, white pine
birch, the suschh of wind
no sound he can name
pervasive.  His uncle died
like this, in beauty
rising through the forest
the clear blue dark sky
autumn high pressure
wind northwest, rising
green to blue rising, breathing in
the crisp morning air


The Argument

North Atlantic Basin
             theater of life and death       the rocks
run out green from Campobello
             scatter me here

Snyder's right
             think of pterodactyl bones
spider mites, forget
             the hopeless invocations
of monks in coracles
             The Bay of Fundy stands steep
over Grand Manan banks on the ebb,
             wind southwest,
heavy helm in a hardnosed boat
             Island stones might run out
speckled white and aimed
             at the horizon, but let them go--
Irish monks, Northern, Basques,
             slaves in chains, the Italian
Keep the stink of cormorant shit,
             keep the breakwater, Point Judith
Harbor of Refuge down Little Rhody
             good hole
on a night like this.

Standing on the stoop watching the orchard again
             big apple trees
coming down
one by one     bark beetle
             they rot
from the bottom up  this morning
             two more
ready for the fire.
             Winter by winter
a small square meadow opens
             and I am desperate
for anything to leave
             to replace what I have taken.

I don't need these stories
             going round in my head
just tell it plain as possible
             like old Sarge said
--I was a kid, drinking--
             "Get out"         just flat
Trees fall         buck 'em up
             stay warm another winter.

Mizzen Head, the Skelligs, up past the SHetlads
             down to Sorlandet:
on Skjernoya cairns raised up old
             granite rain polished white
broad-based sea marks, Viking times
             Terns dart through long summer days
red-mouthed, agape.

Maybe there, maybe across Biscaya, in Galicia say
             or on the Algarve you see a conch
somebody's souvenir:
             polished ivory lip
pink depths swirl away beyond the sill
             where it sits on the edge of fall
in morning light
Or you see
             (past Porto Santo, Isla Graciosa, Sao Vincente, Barbados)
a thousand conchs covered in growth slime
             worm ridden
meld to sea garbage
             subside on Vieques'
coarse sand, rotting
             coconuts like skulls in windows
brown fronds
plastic sandal and a five gallon oil jug
             bleaching at tide line,
old stories under palms
             tangled as plague      Come home,
old net float hung for a swing
             orange going pink in the sun,
Rockland, Maine.

Well, that poly' line gets scruffy
but it don't break.

As The Crow Flies poems

Tim Buckley 2011  


The vivid  lives of insects
so complete and purposeful

Parachute spiders ride the afternoon breeze
back-lit by sun, they sparkle silver.
One sails below a roof corner
casts his thread and swings
like a buccaneer, going exactly

where he's going, above grasshoppers
patrolling the sidewalk cracks
systematically, others flying
on double brown wings, striped

and surprising. Wind-riders,
hoppers that go like butterflies,
the little nameless bugs bright in sunlight
we might have missed
if their bigger kin had not
drawn our attention,
our admiration


"This will not do!"
damp chill on his shaved head :  the dog digs for bone intently
             Daylight is sound music is light and God really loves you
mostly green and wet bushes

(the old man's stick strikes, strikes again
o tears of Kannon)

remembering high seas the waves traveling and not
--more like stone rows from on top of one

you can't get there from here

*           *           *

That about wraps it up for the day, boss
canned tomatoes
or it's all a mess! Want to go
fishing?   That ain't the half of it
             I'll just sit down here and not do anything
(the grey car was backing out the drive without him)
             until I know what to do
"or hemp oil or a Tibetan herb doctor.  Acu
the shore is gone


the tumble
sweet magnolia
heaving breath
ocean peace
jumbled heart
swamp maple
leaves falling


Three Men Dancing on a River Shore
(Ch'ing Dynasty Serving Platter, Blue-and-White Porcelain)
for Tim Buckley and Tracy McCallum

In the background, you can see the city they left behind
when they crossed the river to dance on this shore,
three gentlemen in mandarin robes and scruffy beards
now jigging on the sand under pines and willows
accompanied by hired musicians on trumpet, flute
and drum, and one plying a squeeze-box of some kind
for these scholars waving their hands above their heads.
This was the dharma field of their friendship, their
getting to the other side, however briefly.

Three men dancing.  Not drunk, just immensely amused
knowing that soon enough there would be only the wind
shushing its sad music through these pines on empty shore.


John Bailes writes:

Here are the entirety of Tim's "Cancer Poems."

We performed a Memorial Ceremony befitting Tim's stature. Peter Schneider, Joan Amaral and I were a Doshi trio.

Seventy or so people attended: family, friends and Buddhists. Everyone to a person to a person, Buddhist or not, offered incense at the altar kobaku after the ceremony. Service was followed by a social gathering whereupon, after some snacking and drinking, sharing of memories and experiences of Tim took place. Jorunn, Tim's wife started things off, followed by Jesse, Tim's son. John Balaban read a couple of his poems that were inspired by shared experiences with Tim and Tracy McCallum (who was married to Fran Keller for a long while), a brother to Tim from the time they were in their early twenties (before Zen Center) read a long poem entitled "The Argument" from Tim's self published book of poems "As The Crow Flies Poems." I also attach one of the poems that John Balaban read: "Three Men Dancing On A River Shore."

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kites way up

Mentioned that kites are back the other day. Sometimes we see boys making big ones - like six, eight feet long - out of thin bamboo strips. They come bigger and smaller. We see them close up at the beach and up up and away. Actually, any day year round one may notice a kite or two in the sky. But now it's kite season - till it starts petering out in the fall. I love to see them far away, reminding me they're up there doing what kites do - so far away I can't tell what type they are, just that they are there, watching over us. Can you see them?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oh yes - almost forgot

Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study - BBC

[and we, as in we humans, are included in the trajectory according to this landmark study]

Now back to the archiving.

Local Justice

Talking to Ben of Warung (restaurant) Annapurna about a recent murder here in Bali. There's suspicion it may have been a murder for hire by a local mother whose eight year old adopted daughter had inherited a lot from her expat father. I said if it were America that the prosecutors might be offering the confessed killer a better deal if he implicates the mother. Ben said here people frequently get only five years for murder so they can wait that long to get paid. I mentioned that the son of an American woman here just got twelve years for a joint. Ben said, sure - you can get life for a joint. But in the recent case there's a public outcry. We'll see what happens.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bali Kites

The kites are back - layang layang. It's windier these winter months. Some kites are small with little kids on the end. Some are really big. Almost always can see a few way up and way way up these days. Especially at the beach. Kite festivals soon.

Saunters posts on cuke blog go back to mid January this year. Saunters on goes back to 2013 December.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Facebook No No

Katrinka read an article in Vogue online by a woman about why she stopped wearing the hijab, the head covering worn by some Muslim women. She put it on Facebook but it soon disappeared. She couldn't get it to stick there. Twitter worked for her. Was that from Indonesian censorship? There is no requirement that Muslim women here wear the hijab called jilbab in Indonesian

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monogamy in Bali

Bali Bill has been here in Bali since 71 and he early on eloped with a Bali princess. As I mentioned the other day he said that marriage here was about having babies. I asked him well, isn't it also about monogamy and you choose this person. He sighed and said maybe for some, but the people here he said are traditionally promiscuous. His examples were tantilizing but not recent. Reminded me of something a shopkeeper said to me while she was talking to Katrinka. "And you - be sure to wear a condom. Don't want to bring anything home to this lovely lady." What would tempt me? I thought.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Venue for Wedding

We're not getting married at the Diamond Chapel pictured here though it's a short walk from where we are being betrothed.

Below is a photo of the inside of the Diamond Chaple and then, thanks to Google image search and all the nice people taking photos of everything on earth and posting them, various shots of the hallowed ground where we will plight our troth.
Here's the inside of the Diamond Chapel. Lot of weddings around here. Mic Jagger down the beach at a place that's 1500 bucks a night with a three night minimum. Frequently see newly weds standing on a jetty in full regalia for photo op with family and friends.

Now for photos of Sindhu Beach where our ceremony is to be on July 10th at 5pm.

Standing down near the water.

We go to a place like this, swim some,
then drink some coconut water. Katrinka might take a walk while I work on this website etc.

There are usually other folks on Sindhu Beach - White folks, Chinese, a few Japanese, lots Indonesians. That big building in the background is on the Bali Beach Hotel grounds. It's the only hotel like that - paid for by Japanese as part of war reparations. Balinese didn't like it and passed a law that no building could be built that was taller than a coconut tree. 

People eat on Sindu beach. Usually these tables would have big umbrellas over them for shade. Is there another word for that?

Thiat's the beginning of the grounds of the Inna Bali Beach Hotel - that big, unpopular building is just part of it and down further. Sindhu Beach is behind us at this point. That walkway goes the entire length of the beach - five kilometers - three miles. It's a really good thing to have.

Now we're leaving the beach and walking toward Jalan Sindhu or Sindhu Street.

A closer look - that mini temple - lots of canang offerings on the other side - is wrapped in black and white (for good and evil etc) checkered material which means it's holy and to respect it. 

That's way down the only block of Jalan Sindu looking back toward the beach. That sign announces that cars pay 2000 rupia (15 cents) and motorbikes 1000 to go down there and park.

So that's where Katrinka and I are getting married. - dc

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Boiler Plate Zen

When you bow you should just bow. When you sit you have to sit. When you eat you eat. If you do so, the universal nature is there. We call it Samadhi. We say ichigyo sanmai. Samadhi is concentration. Ichigyo is one practice -- one practice Samadhi.

Excerpt immediately follows yesterday's excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 65-12-23 as found on Edited by DC

Where or what does the term boilerplate come from?

When Balinese Got Married

Talking to Bali Bill about how open the Buddhist priest's attitude toward marriage was. The priest said that a lot of men who get married have girlfriends at the time, even ones that come to the wedding and that the true test is in your heart, not in the ceremony or certificate. Bill said that in Bali they don't get married till the woman is pregnant. He said that the purpose of marriage here is to have children and if there aren't going to be any children then there's no need to get married and the family will urge the man to find another candidate or fiance - same word.

He said he'd been to many wedding ceremonies where the bride was five months or so pregnant and that there was no stigma attached to that. He also said that it didn't matter if it was a boy or a girl. I'm sure that others would have other to say but that's what Bill said. - dc

Friday, June 12, 2015

Average Citizen's Influence in the US

Wedding Liturgy

Traditional Bali wedding photo from Bali Wedding Organizer. We'd do that but we're scared of heights and Katrinka's the organizer.

Romo Handy, the Buddhist priest who's performing our marriage ceremony, emailed the liturgy - what he and we will say and what happens. It seems pretty good.

Definite Western influence. Equality of the sexes. Some of the wording reminds me of Richard Baker's version. Like many people, I don't like having to speak sentimental stuff in public and I'm sure I'll choke up trying to say my lines. Ugh. That can happen to me reading something vaguely moving or watching a TV ad. I'm thinking about recording my lines, having them broadcast from a hidden speaker, and lip synching them. Do you think anyone would notice?

Here is how it came. We'll make some small changes and I'll offer to make a few grammar corrections if they wish.:



Led by           :  ________________________________
Place            :  ________________________________      
Date             :  ________________________________
Time             :  ________________________________

Family members and friends, and distinguished guests
On behalf of …………………………. & ……………………….., I welcome you.
Namo Buddhaya.
…………………… & ………………… have invited us
To share in the celebration of their marriage
And to be a part of their wedding ceremony

Each one of you here today
Has been chosen as witnesses to the sharing of the vows
To be taken by them both.

We have gathered here to join this couple in a relationship
In which the independence is equal
The dependence mutual
And the obligation reciprocal
Marriage is the joining of two people,
Mind to mind, body to body, and true nature to true nature
You give up your small selves and share trust each other
Commencing the holy matrimony,
Five candles shall be lit on The Buddha’s altar

First, the blue candle representing Devotion,
Lit by …………………………...’s father. (groom)
Followed by the yellow candle representing Wisdom,
Lit by ……………………………’s mother. (groom)
Then, the white candle representing Purity,
Lit by ……………………………’s father. (bride)
Next, the orange candle representing Enthusiasm,
Lit by ……………………………’s mother. (bride)
Lastly, the red candle representing Love,
Lit by the Pandita.

Ladies and gentlemen, the distinguished guests, before conducting the holy matrimony further, I would ask the marrying couple:

To both of you, do you have any objections, threats or duress that obstructing you in doing this holy matrimony … ?
                           No, I don’t
……………………………, do you take …………………….. to be your lawful wife in accordance of Buddhist rites ?    ( I do)

……………………………., do you take ………………………… to be your lawful husband in accordance of Buddhist rites ?  ( I do)

Ladies and gentlemen, the distinguished guests, since there is no objection and both of them are willing to take each other as husband and wife, then I will conduct the ceremony.

The Three Jewels are the foundations of Buddhist Tradition and practice, that are Buddha, Dharma (the teaching) and Sangha(the community of holy disciples).
……………………………… and ……………………………. Please take the incense sticks, and repeat the salutation chants toward The Three Jewels after me, word by word.
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Buddha, The Awakened)
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Dhamma, The Teaching)
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Sangha, the community of holy disciples)
(Assistant will take incense sticks and put them on the altar)


……………………..………. & ……...…………………… , it is now your time to declare your wedding vows.
………………...........……., please take the incense and repeat the vows word by word after me.
I, …………...….……… take you ……………...……….. to be my wife, my partner in life. I will cherish our union and love you more each day. I will trust you and respect you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart and my love from this day forward. Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu …………………
Next, ……………………………………. Please take the incense and repeat the vows word by word after me.
I, ……………......…… take you ………...…………….. to be my husband, my partner in life. I will cherish our union and love you more each day. I will trust you and respect you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart and my love from this day forward. Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu …………………


Now before exchanging the rings, let us pray together.
The infinite love in the universe, we hope that the love between ………………………….. & ……………………….. would forever remain unbroken, as the rings, which they will give and receive in your name.

………………………….., please repeat after me as you place the ring on …………………….  finger.
…………………….., I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage, and of the vows which we have made today. With all that I am and all that I have, I honor you forever more.

………………………….., please repeat after me as you place the ring on …………………….  finger.
………………….…., I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage, and of the vows which we have made today. With all that I am and all that I have, I honor you forever more.
The bride right palm meet the groom left palm, then the Pandita shall bind/tie their thumbs with the red ribbon.
The parents will cover the couple with yellow cloth.
The Pandita recite the blessing in the Sanskrit words and spatter the marrying couple with holy water. After the Sanskrit recitation, Pandita shall give them the marriage advice according to the Buddha teaching.
The couple parents open the yellow cloth cover and  Pandita open the ribbon tying.
The couple offer the amisa dana to Pandita. Amisa Dana is a bundle of incense sticks, red candle, sticks of flower and donation (if the couple wish to do it).
The couple are facing each other and hold hand in hand.
By the authority committed to me as a Buddhist Pandita, I, Pandita Madya Handy Prasetya, in the name of Buddha, Dhamma and Sanggha, proclaim that ………………………………….. & …………………………………….. are now husband and wife.  ……………………..……… You may now kiss your wife.
Shall we pray to The Three Jewels :
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Buddha, the awakened)
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Dhamma (the teaching)
(Bow the body, for giving honor and prostration to Sangha (the community of holy disciples)

……………………………….. & …………………………………, now I invite you and your two witnesses to sign the certificate of marriage.


Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Mr. & Mrs. ………………………………………… 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Get me to the Court on Time

 I was in a minor auto/motorbike accident this morning and it affected my tennis game. It was nothing mentally or emotionally, but my body was shook up. I was a little queasy. Bali Bill said it was good I'd gotten out of there quick or they might have figured out a way to blame it on me.

I'd wanted to be early for tennis today cause I had an opened can of balls that had been used only once and someone had opened a can after that accidentally and I knew that if I were late that another fresh can would be opened and was worried that by the time we used these balls they'd be too dead. It's a fifteen minute walk to the court and it was fifteen after 7am - we play at 7:30 - so I took a taxi - there's a taxi stand just around the corner from our place. It's less than a one dollar ride but he wouldn't go for less than two so I said okay, just get me there quick.

First we waited for a while at a light and then he got a call and was paying attention to it and driving so slow that all the cars were passing him so I urged him kindly to get on it. He was just starting to make a U turn to the hotel with the court when a motorbike with the same idea smashed into his door. Immediately there was a cop. I handed the driver the money, opened the door, and, wanting to get away before the cop thought of me as a witness, dashed across the busy street and to the hotel service entrance, to the basement closest to the court up three flights of stairs on the third floor, and entered puffing in time to hear the sound of air emitting from a can of new tennis balls being opened. 

Ever Hear of James Last?

One of the most successful musicians of all times and surely you're heard is music without realizing it. Over 200 gold and platinum albums. Read about him here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Intriguing Comic

Bring Me the Head of David Dixon

Got a request from this gentleman for the username and password to [sent to dchad at cuke dot com] and saw this link at the bottom. Most cool. - dc

Rock to Uncle

In response to the post on theft in Bali and how they used to stone thieves here on the spot, Gregory Johnson wrote: Been keeping up a little with your "monk" adventures in Bali, the gist of which - humans are humans, the good, bad and the ugly everywhere! My god - stoning someone to death, yikes!!! When I was in India trekking in Kashmir, a fight broke out in a mountain village between two family rivals for who would get to serve us tea that resulted in a young man throwing a rock, hitting an elder in the temple knocking him unconscious rupturing an artery. 

Started an inter- family riot. We were barely able to get away from - thought the old man dead! We beat feet and several weeks later inquired about what happened, figuring the old guy died -well, there he was grinning ear to ear, stitched up with bandages on his head and his nephew in jail in the lowlands for assault! They have their system of justice and apparently nephew had to pay restitution for inflicting harm on his uncle.

Don't know why this is breaking up words. Will figure out. - dc

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Torture in US Prisons

Solitary confinement as torture exposed in Breaking Down the Box, the new NRCAT film, a 40-minute documentary for communities of faith, to expose the torture of solitary confinement in the context of mass incarceration in the United States. NRCAT is the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

A Good Day

Met with Made (2nd born) of the Sindhu Banjar - Sindhu is the area next to where we live and banjar is the traditional local authority. Lives on a narrow side street. Walked through the little store in front to the courtyard of his villa now with a half dozen rooms with porches for tourists. He was rather imposing with tattoos covering his arms and chest. Sort of like the photo but in front, on the arms. Couldn't find an image on the web that was right so chose this one. Told him we wanted to get married on Sindhu Beach on July 10th. We thought he said that was no good, can't do it till July 25th - or, he pointed to June 23rd through 25th then August. At one point he suggested we check we the officiating Buddhist priest caues maybe they have other good days and bad days. Katrinka perked up and said, "He said the 10th would be a good day." Oh - no problem then. We'd almost left, thinking that we wouldn't be allowed on that day for whatever local Hindu Banjar reasons, but he was only talking in terms of propitious days and assumed that's how we'd choose the date.

Chinese Buddhists are way into good and bad days too of course, but not our guy cause he's in the Thai Theravadin no nonsense school. Not that Thais aren't into superstition - or us either. Just didn't have time for it cause we wanted that day. We're also getting an astrological reading on the date. Whatever signs suggest it isn't a good day we'll overcome with our own white magic. Then before we left, Made's wife looked at the Hindu calendar and said, oh the 10th is a good day. So there. - dc  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Obituary for Don Koue

Don was married to my sister Susan and died recently.

Here's his obituary - thanks Camille Koue, niece exemplary.

and here's the cuke RIP post from May 13th..

Looking at the photo makes me a little sad. Sharp guy with no malice who despised injustice..


In looking for a Buddhist priest to conduct our wedding ceremony, we checked out Vihara Buddha Dharma  because it's somewhat near and what we read here (sent by Alice) about it on the web looked good. 

"The temple was newly built in 2007 and ever since has become an important center for local and international Buddhist community activities in Bali. The temple is open to every Buddhist and everyone for meditation, ceremonies, or spiritual teaching, with several monks from all different Buddhist tradition coming to give teaching at the temple."

Their website, Bali Buddhist dot org  leads with The Bali Buddhist Community and lists Vihara Buddha Dharma as their temple. Vihara is what they call Buddhist temples here. The image here is from the About Us page where there are two more,

Really sweet guy in the office we talked to yesterday arranged for us to meet today with the head priest, a Chinese Balinese in the Thai Theravada tradition - Romo Handy. Romo is father in Javanese. Handy? Must inquire further about that. Guess it's a first name. We were most pleased with him. Street clothes, no aires. Nice guy. I mentioned to him that we'd been living together for over eleven years. He said as Buddhists it's not necessary to have the ritual of marriage as long as you're true to each other in your hearts. That surprised us. 

They asked if a forty minute ceremony was too long and Katrinka suggested thirty. No problem. She said we don't need to write our own vows and I put my palms together in relieved thanks. He's emailing the text to us. It's in Pali and English. 

He asked if we wanted to register with the government and he seemed a bit surprised when we said yes but we're living here and have to deal with the government as a couple so we do want that. One pleasant thing we learned then was that they'll take care of getting us registered with the government which eliminates a lot of hassle. They said a government representative will come to the wedding and we'll make it official with them and pay on the spot.  Adds some to the cost but not so much. About $230 for the temple and half that for the government. We're meeting again on Wednesday to get paperwork and details nailed down. We'll need seven small photos of both of us together. Do that cheaply and quickly at the same place down the street we get passport photos. Photocopies of our birth certificates and passports and of the passports of our witnesses (best woman and man), our friend Alice (from Marin) and her mate Danu (from Java).

Romo agreed to come to Sindu Beach near where we live to do the ceremony at five pm on July 10th - the day after I come back from the ten day Vipassana retreat in Singaraja.  This is coming together nicely - thanks to them and mainly Katrinka. - dc

Saturday, June 6, 2015

yesterday was World Environment Day

UN invites world’s seven billion people to become agents of change on World Environment Day - from United Nations News

Helped to organize a World Environment Day celebration in San Francisco in 1979 working with a dynamic woman named Isabel Wade who founded Urban Resource Systems and was the first board president of Friends of the Urban Forest.

Got the poster of the event we did off the Oakland Museum collections site - see it larger there.

Poster reads, "A celebration/ world environment day/ tuesday 5 june 79/ Embarcadero Plaza 12 noon to 1:30 pm/ Music booths speakers/ Governor Jerry Brown/ Huey Johnson (State Secretary for resources/ Tower of Power/ New Generation Singers."

With Isabel Wade on the Urban Resource Systems About URS page - board of directors - I see there also her husband Jan Chernoff and Mindelle Kirschner who I remember fondly as Mindy. 

Friends of the Urban Forest is still going. There's the link. I wonder if they still sell Zoo Doo, poop from the San Francisco Zoo - nothing came up on their site search for zoo doo or just zoo so I guess not. - dc

As Promised

Here's Katrinka's engagement ring in front of our altar which she devotedly attends to. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Vipassana Retreat in Singaraja

Thought it would  be good to take a break from cuking etc so I've signed up for a Vipassana retreat for ten days starting June 29th at

Brahmavihara Arama Buddhist Temple

Here's the code of conduct.

That image and more from here. - dc