Thursday, December 31, 2015

A problem in Bali

Several times recently friends and I have come to this stumbling block in dealing with some issue. The problem is, that people here aren't inclined to solve problems. The piece of exercise equipment that Alice uses at the gym she has a one year membership for broke two months ago. The costly reptile park had no monitor lizard, a most interesting and common reptile in SE Asia. Oh - it died two years ago. Why not replace it. Smile. Trash all over left by festival. Landlords say won't help to complain. Forests being destroyed, water table sinking. That's development. Nothing can be done. Never did anything about their genocides and death squads. One of the death squad leaders wore a tee shirt with Apathy written on it in a film about that (The Art of Killing). There are local people here trying to get things done but they're up against a wall of complacency - and they can disappear. May the new year bring dynamic action. Good, friendly, kind people everywhere and great ceremonies anyway.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Loosing it?

Raining too much to use the clay courts near here so last couple of times have gone to nearby swank Segara Village court to hit on cement with Brit Scott cause Aussie Ian was running a marathon as in managing. Scott and I just hit but Ian likes to play games. On clay we are joined by an employee or two of the Grand Bali Beach Inna which is fun. Scoring in Indonesian.  

Have to call the score after every point or I'll forget. If the point goes on a long time and/or I have to run to the other side, I might forget the score and which side we're to serve to. Once or twice a game I do something which should be really embarrassing like say, Hey he's got another serve, that first one was a let, and be told, No, you're thinking about the prior point. Oh. I stopped a point saying the serve was out to be told that was the first serve and the 2nd one which we're playing was in. Last month I was talking to Kris while thinking he was his brother Ben. I've had that problem since I was in my thirties. Get one person confused with another. And when that happens it's accompanied by having no doubt and even making a point of whom I'm speaking to. I once, in my thirties, got my mother confused with someone else. There used to be some pretty embarrassing moments but now I just shrug it off.  Wondered what that bag of clothes on floor was for and at the same time where my missing clothes were for about a week. Finally it occurred to me there was a connection. I have many interactions with Katrinka where I stop midway realizing I've gotten confused. Can't recall an example but I remember while peeing I thought, better not to say too much. That's what Mumon Yamada did when he got dementia. Just shut up and everyone said he was blissed out. That's all why I think it was most likely me who stole the money. But I don't feel more demented than ever. Feel normal, actually better than ever.

Here's a brief article on forgetting from Guardian where that image came from.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


When Kelly was here he noted that there sure are a lot of lizards - tiny ones, small, mid-size, and he saw that giant monitor lizard right below him in the field looking down from top a temple wall. He saw a snake outside in the grass too. That's right. Not a rodent problem here though there was a rat in the open air restaurant running around above and beside us on the wall the other night. We like the lizards inside cause they eat bugs and are cute company. There's a little cicak in that photo off the web that could as well be here at home. - dc

Monday, December 28, 2015

Geography Lesson

Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia.[1] The region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions:
  1. Maritime Southeast Asia, comprising IndonesiaEast MalaysiaSingaporePhilippinesEast TimorBrunei, and Christmas Island.
  2. Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprising CambodiaLaosMyanmar (Burma)ThailandVietnam, and West Malaysia;

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Plants and Water and the Gateless Gate

Bevan Suits Aquaponics site

Good going Bevan. Portland and Atlanta - even teaching it in prison.

Bevan's into Ramana, Ajahn Chah, Christianity, Zen.

Boxing Day

We have friends from the British Commonwealth here who have a day for boxes.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holidays Begin

That's our tanenbaum. It's 1pm. My sister Susan and niece Camille arrive in a few hours, flying in from SFO with a hop at Hong Kong. Off to the airport with Ketut to get them in an hour and a half. Our Malaysian friend Lai Moon arrived yesterday. Ash (India) and Ken Ireland (California) move in up front this afternoon for two days. Friends dropping by for Xmas brunch tomorrow and the 26th to the nearby Island of Lembongan - all seven of us, Since Kelly left hardly have been to the beach or done anything but cuke it and write. Time for some RnR and more exercise - with a reduced work load. I say work but it's play - all play - even the part that hurts. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Wrote yesterday - Rain rain rain, lots of rain. For a week or so. My sister Susan and niece Camille arrive in two days which means they leave in one. I just wrote them and said congrats on all the recent rain in the Bay Area and that it's same here. Told them to be prepared to walk in ankle deep water to get to their door. We're flooded all around now. Had to bring the sandals up to the porch. I've seen it get to porch level but not yet. Bali needs it too.  I love it. My favorite season. Love to sit on the porch and work while it rains, especially when it rains hard. And on just about any rainy day there's enough sun or not rain to go to the beach for a while. - dc

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Summer Solstice

They don't really have a summer here, just rainy and dry seasons, but today is the solstice in the southern hemisphere and will be the longest day of the year. Sunrise 5:58. Sunset 6:36. So there will be 38 minutes more official daytime than nighttime.

Selamat Hari Ibu - Happy Mother's Day

Today is called Mother's Day here in Indonesia but it's actually a woman's day. Read about it here. I must congratulate Rini, new mom neighbor in the pool with Mary who's not yet one. I've never seen Rini in the pool Her blind Brit hubby, Philip, is in it a lot, drinking beer. I went over and told her how great I thought that was but now, thanks to Katrinka who forwarded Alice's Facebook message, I've got something else that's great to tell her and her helper Ilu - that they're women and thanks and Selamat Hari Ibu!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Snake Fall

Jason was sitting at an outside table eating lunch at Luhtu's on the beach here in Sanur. That's a small, popular shady place for tourists and local bule foreigners mainly.  His meal was interrupted when a brown snake fell out of the tree he was sitting under onto his head. He quickly brushed it off - into the open purse of a lady at the next table. Looking it up, wasn't poisonous, called it a garden snake. I think it might have been the Painted Brownback, the most common snake in Bali. - dc

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Insuring a Gang War free holiday season

Laskar boss apologizes to Bali, Indonesia, and the world. The bosses aren't bad, the group isn't bad, it's just a few bad apples. - that's the line. Maybe they should have Zimbardo analyze the situation. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dog Poop

There are dogs here on streets and the beach in Sanur. Some with collars and some without. Not too too many but sometimes a pain. But not much dog poop I've noticed. More of that on the sidewalks in San Francisco, San Rafael. - dc

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Repairing a Damaged Island

from Bali Update 12-15-15 - thanks Katrinka

Head of Provincial Environmental Agency Lays Out Five Principles of Development that Must be Applied to Save the Island of Bali reports that the environment, particularly as it applies to Bali, was a main topic at Speakers’ Corner (PB3AS) at the Puputan Margarana Niti Mandala Field in Denpasar on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Assuming the podium at the weekly free speech forum, the Head of Bali’s Environmental Agency , I Gede Suarjana, told the audience that Bali is confronting a mounting environmental crisis linked to global warming, He said that the oceans surrounding the Island have already risen 142 centimeter where each centimeter results in the erosion and encroachment of the sea one meter inland.

“In addition the abrasion of the shoreline (in Bali) has been significant where 181.7 kilometers of shoreline from a total of 430 kilometers has suffered abrasion,” said Suarjana.

He also reported that the coral reefs surrounding Bali are in serious need of attention. From the total reef area in Bali measuring 774,000 hectares an estimated 15-20% has suffered damage.

A similar tale can be told regarding Bali’s mangrove forests considered to be vital to the life cycle of sea life and in protecting the Island from tidal damage. Suarjana calculates that 12.5% of Bali’s reserve of 2,421 hectares of mangrove has been destroyed. Also, adjoining shallow water lands that are home to tidal sea grass have seen 13% of a total 1,360 hectare damaged.

Suarjana said the heavy human population of these areas is making the escalating damage to Bali’s shoreline worse. His agency counts 175 shoreline villages that serve as home to 1.35 million Balinese contributing pollution, sewage and trash into the adjoining seas.

Among the efforts being undertaken by the Provincial government to confront the growing environmental threat is the construction of breakwaters, planting of trees in mangrove areas, and coral cultivation and transplantation projects.

The government is also building waste traps on a large number of Bali’s rivers to prevent trash from flowing into the ocean. Suarjana's agency estimates that a single river can send 4 cubic meters of refuse into the seas each day.

Suarjana challenged the people of Bali to adopt a new mentality as they step into the future by integrating attention to culture, the environment and technological advancement.

Continuing, Bali’s top environmental official said there were 5 principles that must be observed in the development of the Island. First, development must adhere to the 2009 Zoning and Development Plan (RTRWP 2009). Second, development must be based on the carrying capacity of the surrounding environment. Third, development must be undertaken in accordance with environmental impact studies. Fourth, development undertaken in Bali must have elements seeking to rehabilitate the existing environment. And, fifth, development models must always include participation by the general public.

Suarjana warns that new approaches are needed to deal with the erosion of Bali’s shorelines, including a more aggressive planting of trees in mangrove areas and the creation of islands that will reduce beach abrasion and offer future generations protection from tsunamis.

“Because of this a renewed commitment from both the people and the government is needed together with the courage to enforce the law; the courage to take the right decisions and the courage to modify our behavior,” concluded Suarjana.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bali Plastic recycling expanding

Image from article on promising new Bali recycling project which will focus on recycling plastic not currently being done as mentioned below.

Walking to the Sanur morning market passed a walled in lot where a hotel has been razed. A guy with a heavy black jacket and motorcycle helmet still on walked out of the entrance as I passed. I wondered what he could have been doing in there. Just concrete and tile rubble left now. He had an empty plastic Aqua drinking water bottle in his hand and pushed it into a box on the back his motorcycle, one of two good sized boxes that hung like saddle bags on either side of the rear wheel. They were full of plastic bottles. Not just the most common Aqua bottles but some other types with heavier and colored plastic. Obviously he's going to sell this stuff and he must have to do this over and over to make any sort of profit. And that means he can cover his gas and other vehicle costs too. He probably is using the motorbike for other profit making ventures like delivering things. Ge Jek is big here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lake falls off cliff that thawed

from Vice News. Vice has done a lot of great reporting. Bill Maher picked up on them for an HBO show. They're the ones who set up Dennis Rodham's trip to North Korea and the basketball game that gets the cuke award for best diplomatic anything in that area. - thanks Seth Eppes

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Local Dances recognized

UNESCO recognizes nine Bali dances as world heritage. - I've only seen two of them - Legong and Barong. And my favorite, Kecak ain't on the list. Maybe cause it was too much a creation of European choreographers but what the heck? - dc

That's Legong in the photo

Drifting? I'd say long go drifted

Questions that Go Unanswered as We Drift to a State of Permanent War - David Coates in Huff Post

May all beings be at peace.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Saraswati and Buddha's Englightenment

Sorry Buddha, forgot your enlightenment day - according to the Japanese Zen tradition anyway. It was two days ago Dec. 8th. That's celebrated in May in Indonesia.

Didn't mention Saraswati either, described on this Bali Events Calendar thus: Hari Raya Saraswati, Saraswati day itself is celebrated by the Balinese people bringing offerings to their holy books and scrolls in their houses, while students celebrate it at school, usually in the morning, and the office-workers in their office. The philosophy of Saraswati day is that the most important thing for human life is knowledge.

Saraswati is a Hindu goddess pictured to the left. People were dressed traditionally and there were lots of ceremonies going on. We were at Buitan Bay and Kelly and I saw lots of folks at sunrise with their kids on the beach the next morning purifying themselves in the water.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Watch this Movie

 ‘A Time to Choose’ by Charles Ferguson (Academy award for Inside Job) - "a compelling overview of the many dimensions of the climate change challenge, it highlights sustainable cities as key to low carbon future and much more," writes Peter Calthorpe, an old friend of mine and the SFZC where Peter oversaw in 1986 a master plan class for Green Gulch Farm.  That's Peter from an article on him in - dc

Peter Calthorpe website for Calthorpe Associates


Fell backwards playing tennis on Saturday. Wasn't sure how I got there but was pleased that nothing hurt. Clay courts are definitely superior for falling. Was encouraged to sit for a while so let Nyoman and Scott M. battle it out without me. When we're three we take turns being one against two. Ketut who's in charge of the Grand Bali Beach Inna's recreation was there watching and he brought me a bottle of water. He then brushed clay dust off me.
Think I'd leaned back to get a high ball and then couldn't get balance back. But mainly it was a mystery. What was interesting was looking back at the fall and seeing that when it was obvious I was falling that my normal stupid mind shut off and the sub or something better conscious took over to slow time and place me perfectly. I've had that happen with prior falls. Went back to play, sort of off at first then okay. Scott and I walked home (ten minutes) and went into the pool. Katrinka was starting to cook. Normally I'd help but I lay down on the sattee and floated for an hour in almost sleep. Didn't wash the dishes as usual. Slept nine hours that night. Wasn't back to normal to next afternoon. Interesting to watch what the body does.

Ain't the Internet great. I Googled "fall backwards clay court tennis" and actually got a perfect example - even with skid marks. - dc

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rain Stopping in Bali

Traditional Rain Stoppers and Laser Rain Stoppers and a laser rain starter science article

Damnit! Stop the rain stoppers - we need rain. Had a bit on Sunday. Not only need it here for plants etc but I love to sit on the porch and work while it rains. Get such a cozy feeling. - dc

Speaking of the Weather

Apocalyptic Capitalism - by Chris Hedges on Truthdig

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Not all wet

Looked so much like rain today. Still might. Hardly any rain this month. It was expected - El NiƱo.

That's not our weather report for today but that's what they look like. They keep predicting rain but it don't come. It's a drought so far for much of Bali and there was a water shortage to begin with due to heavy, unregulated use by hotels and other tourist related venues.

Friday, December 4, 2015

That's a Hindu symbol

We were at a restaurant in Candidasa the other night and our hostess said that they're going to be able to play late because "the guys who run the island are here." She pointed to a table with six young tough looking guys in black. They weren't being tough though, just sitting there. She said they were from one of the gangs that are quite strong here. The police won't mess with them.

They provide more security at times than the police which don't have a reputation for providing security, more for wanting to profit off encounters with people even if the people are asking for help. Laskar is the biggest and most powerful gang. Here's a bit on them - they're gang #3. Here's a longer and better look at Bali gangs. I remember in Japan that the gangsters wouldn't mess with foreigners. We had a gang leader's headquarters near our home. But that ain't the case here. - dc

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Why wear a mask in Jakarta

Anna-Carina Kruse is a German international woman we met in Lumbung Damuh at Buitan Bay in Bali. She's into inter-cultural exchange. Here's Waytooindo, a website of hers with articles in German, English, and Indonesian. It's only a month old. Here's something she wrote in English about why to wear a mask in Jakarta.

She's on the translation team of Threesome, a book in these three languages.

There's more but that's nuff for now. - dc

The unlikely sanitary pad missionary

BBC Magazine article - thought of this as an example of how much there is to do and how it often gets done because one person puts a lot of energy into it. - dc

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Reading Jerry Bollick's newest batch of short poems, laughed out loud at

Zihuatanejo, Mexico


Roosters are the true language 
of the tropics.


laughed because I was sitting in a Bali village not noticing the ever-present crowing of roosters. - dc

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Michael Pollan on

Lumbung is a rice storage shed

Just had a great three days at Lumbung Damuh in Buitan Bay by Candidasa with Kelly and Katrinka of course. Thanks Tanya and Lempot for having such a cool place with such neat folks.

Here's a post did for Lumbung Damuh when we stayed there last.