Saturday, January 30, 2016

Check it out for sure

Uncertainty Club - New online magazine from the Pacific Zen Institute, head teacher John Tarrant.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Good place for a walk and surprises

Visited the Sangeh Monkey Forest about an hour from Sanur. It's in a Nutmeg forest spread out and pleasant to walk around. While we were standing in front of the temple a monkey leaped up on my back surprising me. A guide nearby ran over and the monkey leaped off me to a statue. The guide said the money was hoping I had food. They're like to grab things from or off visitors. Anyway, it was not rough or scary after the initial shock, sort of like having Clay jump on my back unannounced which he used to do.  We were also there for feeding time for 700 of them. There are three gangs with leaders and they have to feed them separately.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sleep and putting Human needs first

 Just read the Huff Post article on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, human beings, and sleep. I hope that Arianna's take on things is not just wishful thinking and that governments and business will move toward being human rather than investor centered. As for sleep, it's interesting to me how this is at the center of concern about people. We think of food, clothing, shelter, clean water and air, but sleep? Good for her.


I spent a good deal of my life sleep deprived as did many of us at Zen Center. For me it started in grade school with a paper route and the joys of getting up early. In high school I'd often get four hours sleep, waking at four in the morning to read, write, do homework, listen to music (jazz and classical that early). Spent years at Tassajara getting four or five hours.  Staying awake in zazen and elsewhere was a major problem for many of us. Suzuki Roshi encouraged it. He said, "When you're tired, your ego is tired." He said it's best to get a little less than you want. I don't know about that anymore. [posting that in [DC Brief Memories of SR]

My sister is friends with a leading expert in sleep research, Jim Maas. Talking to him influenced me. Saw him a few years ago as he had moved to the Fort Worth area where I was with my mother quite a bit. He talked about the danger of allowing pilots to work too much without breaks. I remember us talking about how the head of the FAA was against air traffic controllers taking naps, said they should just drink more coffee. Really bad idea. I know from driving on little sleep that coffee doesn't compare to a brief nap for rejuvenating.  So for some years, I guess decades, I have not been sleep deprived. I sleep till I wake up. Mainly now I get seven hours which is below the eight minimum suggested, but I just can't do that. Sometimes get as few as five and rarely four - and sometimes nine and rarely ten. Some people are regular and some not. My sleep expert acquaintance talks like we're all the same but I haven't noticed that. Gosh I could keep going on this subject but that's enough for now. - dc


Ecology and Population

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pray for Rain

Hot and not raining in rainy season. Hira and Depak own the organic store we go to quite a bit, Satvika Bhoga, They're Pakistani Hindus born in Jakarta - parents had to leave after partition when their home was taken by Moslems and they were run off. They've been in Bali twenty years or so. She says she's never seen a rainy season so dry. It is raining some in higher areas which is more important because there's farming there. Strange how the weather reports keep saying we're going to have rain and dark clouds drift by. El Nino comes from a warming in the north equatorial Pacific as I understand it. With the oceans warming there significantly, wouldn't more El Ninos be expected?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Jakarta Attack

The attack in Jakarta a couple of days ago did get people's attention here in Bali, but it was so inept that there isn't that big a difference in the mood here in the small sampling around me. A young Javanese woman last night said that she hadn't seen much about it on social media, just more of the same fashion talk and selfies. We're definitely less inclined though to go to Kuta and Seminyak, the busy tourist areas and Starbucks attendance will go from hardly ever to maybe never. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Malls in Asia

Malls seem to me to be at the apex of Asian dreams. Good for the rich, good for the masses, cleaner air, cool, food, shopping, play areas, even sports. And walkers use them too.  Experienced that in Kuala Lumpur. Heard about them in Jakarta. My sister just wrote about them in Hong Kong - even one at the top of Victoria Peak. Major airports now double as malls. Here in Bali there are a few I know of - modern as heck with vegetation.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Noticed While Eating Out

After taking orders for a table, waiters here in Bali, invariably repeat the order to make sure they've got it right. Experienced that also in Malaysia and Thailand so guess it's a SE Asian thing. Certainly reduces the error rate. I've had them do it even in little places that cater almost entirely to locals. Before picking up a plate, bowl, or glass, they always ask if you're finished - even if it's completely clean. Lastly, they don't bring a bill unless one asks. We usually just get up and pay on the way out. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gala Gala

Niece Camille and I ventured down into the Gala Gala Underground House on Lembongan Island off Bali the day before New Year's Eve. A Hindu priest spent 15 years cutting away little tunnels and rooms below. A little claustrophobic for me. More on it here. - dc

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

RIP Earl McGrath

Earl McGrath, Zentatsu Richard Baker's oldest and most dear friend, called Uncle Earl or the Earl of McGrath by Chris Rand (Yvonne's son) who also wrote on Facebook, "Earl was one of the most amazing people I've ever known. So so sad to hear of his passing. One of my all time favorite people. RIP Earl McGrath with much Love." I used to send Earl tapes of my songs and receive kind notes in return (He was president of Rolling Stones International, Jim Carroll's manager, and much more through the years. Farewell Earl. - dc

Koponakan Compassion

That's an Indonesian word for niece or nephew, the former in this case. When niece Camille, sister Susan, and I were taking a walk in the hot sun on the nearby island of Lembongan, Camille noticed a scrawny, mangy dog lying on the side of the street. She'd met a woman visiting there who worked with dog rescue in Bali and emailed her about it. Later she got a message that the dog had been picked up and given care but was too far gone so put to sleep. I hadn't noticed or if I did I forgot. That's the street - off the web.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sanur Timeless Critters

Our wall clock stops running every few months. Each time I'll put in a new battery and more often than not that doesn't help. I'll give it to Nyoman Dogen and he'll come back with the old works in a bag and new ones installed and a bill for a few dollars. This time though there was a different story. Ants had made a home in the works. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

When Waves go Bad

Yesterday's post about respecting the sea brought up some memories. One was a truly close call at a beach near LA. It was September, 1985. Kelly and I had taken a train to Santa Monica to get a brand new Toyota at a very low price because the family of a friend at Green Gulch owned the Toyota dealership there. Drove from the dealer to the beach. We drove right up to a beach and there was no sidewalk or store there. The waves I was dealing with were nothing like this photo. Didn't seem so threatening.


There was no one swimming and a sign warning about undertow but I thought I'd just get wet and get out. There were some good waves fairly close. I barely got back. The waves kept sucking me down. I'd finally get back up above water and take a quick breath then be violently smashed down and pulled back. Somehow I got out gasping, stars in my eyes. Grateful to have made it. Didn't say anything much to Kelly, soon to be twelve but I thought about how I'd almost left him there alone.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Must Tell You about

Another World - posted in DC Writ

Not all dreams have happy endings

Family and friend just spent six days on Lembongan, a small island off of south Bali. No cars. Lots of motor scooters and some small trucks with seats to move people around. For many, it's one of the best places to be round here. Last three days at Dream Beach with its somewhat rocky beach, strong waves. A little dangerous. That photo and all I found on web  picture it when the tide's out without any sizable waves. It can get rough there. Still there'd be a dozen people in the water including kids, most staying near that sandy trough and not too far out. I realized I'd gotten too far out and the current to the side was almost too strong for me. Wasn't pulling me out and I could have gone in there but managed to get back at the less rocky spot to come in. So exhausted. Thought if the tug there were just a bit tweaked it might have  been a different story. Note to self: Don't get careless with the sea.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

More Trash

Met a Dane - it was a while back - who said that there was lots of trash on Bali North shore when he was there and could smell the burning plastic in the air from offshore in a boat way out. Said there's an island of trash off Pucket that typhoons wash into the sea and there was so much trash on the beach at Phuket people gave up and left. So many problems like that here. That and smog and burning smoke - and the media mostly ignores and movies and news shows so orten depict Bali and Thailand and super smogville Beijing in a most ideal way, often as crystal clear. This stuff effects the whole globe. Whole globe people must respond because the whole globe surely will.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Quiet around Here

Phillip and Nyoman next door are drunk and rowdy at times but Philip's in England so Nyoman's at the kampung as they say, in the countryside at his farm. Rini and baby Mary are also at her village, as is always the case when Philip's away. Maybe nanny Ilu went with them but maybe back to her village. Rini must have a lot more support back home. She and her mother are talking again. Rini don't take no flak. 

Ten days ago here was an event at the school and the loud speakers were on from six am. Really nice jazzy music at first but before long it got amped up.
An MC moderating or doing a play by play on some kid activities and the kids were screaming. Then there was a woman talking loud and fast for about thirty minutes. It never bothers me. I like living around people. Sometimes there's loud speaker going just in the morning. Usually stops by 10 or so unless there's some event. Sometimes students singing way off key. Sometimes cool stuff. Lot of variety. Usually nothing we notice, just sound of kids playing in the distance. It's a junior hi. So quiet next door and school's out for the holidays just like back home and not a peep from there. 

There were bullfrongs croaking incredibly loudly after a rain though. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Not Like that so much Now

In Ubud 23 years ago, the people I dealt with seemed more native I guess is a way to say it, not as changed by outside influences. Ketut was a young guy who worked at the place where we stayed. He'd come sit in my lap and talk to me. He climbed a tall coconut tree barefoot to get me a coconut. Employees would lie around and sleep when there was nothing to do. The kitchen was caked in rancid coconut oil and soot.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

No Catcalls

My niece Camille, here with my sister Susan, said Bali is the only place she's ever been where guys don't whistle or call out at her. She later said men here seem sexless. What she meant was they weren't relating to her in a sexual way. I hear comments like that from women
now and then.