Friday, October 28, 2016


Those favoring Clinton in this election are happy about what the polls say. Huff Post gives her a 97% chance whereas 538 which tends to give Trump higher odds gives her an 80% chance. Nate Silver of 538 warns about thinking 80 or 85% is a sure thing and points out that 17% is ones odds of losing at Russian roulette and how confident would one feel about that? His site is hosted by science-friendly ESPN and he uses sports analagies sometimes like a team with a 15% chance that just beat the Warriors. Here's a long shot that happened to me recently.

Living in Bali, I get something between diarrhea and a loose stool for a day about once every couple of months. On only one day of being here almost three years has our place not had a toilet. Our landlord took out our toilet to replace it and couldn't get the replacement right away so we had no toilet for a night. At 11 pm on that same night I suddenly had the urge, highly unusual for that time. I went next door to the hotel which has an available toilet by the pool. It's very close, like 30 seconds away, but not close enough for the next two times I got the urge during the night. Luckily there was a substitute toilet just off the porch and hidden by plants, a bucket with lid where we keep kitchen scraps for the compost. As I put the contents of the bucket into the compost later that morning I thought about how unlikely it was for those two events, loose stool and no toilet, to coincide. I guess I had a 59 in 60 or 98.3% chance that wouldn't happen. I thought about Donald Trump.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

We've done it!

The World Suicide Club congratulates the human race for reaching, maintaining, and continuing to climb beyond 400 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scaredy cats articles: BBC reports. A page on 400ppm at 350 dot org. Here's what Science Alert has to say. Scientific American.

The present concentration is the highest in at least the past 800,000 years[6] and likely the highest in the past 20 million years.[7] - Wikipedia page on CO2 in atmosphere - but of course it's all a hoax perpetrated by evil scientists and politicians and citizens pretending they're concerned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RIP Tom Hayden

From Freedom songs, my Journey through 1964 - part X - SDS

As in Mississippi and in Ohio, some interesting characters came through there - policy wonks and hippy precursors, pacifists and anarchists, students and dropouts, the stern who'd make me tiptoe and the friendly who'd relate more charitably. Tom Hayden was working in an office. He was a founder of the whole national group, serious, dedicated, no time for screwing around.
He articulated the cause, was on the phone a lot, came up with money that bought the paper and ink, paid the rent and fed us. He said hello to me while on his way to the airport to fly East for meetings.

From part XII - Afterwords

Robert Gnaizda got me together with Tom Hayden one evening. Hayden was running for senator. He said he'd like to come to the Zen Center to talk. I told him not to bother, that everyone there would vote for him anyway and that it wasn't a political place and no money or volunteers would likely come of it. Later Bob said he thought Hayden was rude to me but I hadn't noticed. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Alice just had her Samsung smart phone picked out of her back pocket as she entered the gate of her home after walking her dogs in the neighborhood in Renon, Denpasar near us. The landlord had just installed closed circuit TV that caught it. She went to the police with her partner Danu from Java but they wouldn't file a report unless she got a certified translator but went back and talked to a different policeman who took down the info. At least they didn't ask her for money which surprised me. Another friend of our had an iPhone stolen and they wanted a couple hundred bucks to deal with it. I think she paid them because her insurance company needed a report. That's a video from the CCTV down below. Never loaded one before so let's see if it works. And if you recognize the guy let him know she wants it back. - dc

Friday, October 21, 2016


Spent way too much time yesterday and today on the election. I've done that before with some elections. Not really helping anything, just can't stop keeping up. Today watched Bill Maher interviewed by Fareed Zacaria and that was after everything new on 538 and then the whole Colbert Show which I went to just to see Nate Silver from 538. Have never seen it so that was neat - studied Indonesian during the many buffers due to slow internet.
Brit Hugh Laurie said the whole hate Hillary thing was a mystery to him, that he felt like he'd come in to the 2nd part of a movie where half the audience was booing her and he'd missed the part where she burned down the orphanage. Along that same vein, Bill Maher blamed it somewhat on the media's penchant for making false equivalencies as in yes, she misrepresents things 28% of the time which is about average for a politician (Fareed said below average) but Trump does so 80% of the time in such extreme ways. I'd say it was understandable if  half the voters or so disliked her for the criticisms of Bernie Sandors and the anti-war crowd. But I think she's disliked by those who dislike her because of the mindless drumbeat of "She's not likeable" coming from her opponents who just kept repeating it and people tend to be programmable. That and her being a woman with ambitions which isn't ladylike. And ambitious to do what? Like Maher indicated - work hard doing her nerdish policy wonkery for more affordable health care and so forth - and maybe drop more bombs than are being dropped now but most people don't care about that. What to me is most disturbing about this election is it reminds that being ruled by dangerous childish thugs with simple solutions and scare tactics is always close. When times get tough people tend to elect fascists. He'll probably loose but if he does it won't be because of his policies or dangerous possibilities but because he wasn't disciplined enough to keep his mouth shut at the right times. Anyway, we filled out our ballots today and they'll be faxed in within hours. - dc

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Deadly bridge collapse off Indonesia's Bali island

Learned this on BBC News. Lembongan is an island we can see from the beach here - 30 minute fast boat ride away. We go there now and then and we and our family guests have used that bridge - Katrinka's son Seth, mine Kelly and my sister Susan and niece Camille. We walked or rode on a motorbike in Kelly's case with his friend Mary - to go over to the little island of Cenagen. There are only a few little trucks on Lembongan used as taxis. It's one of our favorite places to go to get away. The BBC article says the water below isn't deep and that may be true but the current can be very strong there. It's considered dangerous to try to swim it and even to kayak across at the wrong time. Walking we had to press against the side to let motorbikes slowly pass. Never occurred to me it might not hold - but Katrinka says she wondered.

More at this Aussie site - with night photos of after the collapse

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lewis Richmond's original music returns live

SUNDAY OCT. 16 2:30 PM
The Melanthium Ensemble presents the second annual Throckmorton Theatre concert with actor/poet Peter Coyote. The concert will include readings by Peter and two musical settings his new poems. Don’t miss it! Throckmorton Theatre is in downtown Mill Valley.

Friday, October 14, 2016


I am surprised at the email practices of all these people in the public eye who are surrounded by adversaries eager to pick up on any tidbit they can use to attack with. What? Are they surprised someone hacked their accounts? Did they operate on the assumption that nothing can go wrong?
It's good to be positive but also to have a running "What can go wrong?" track playing. It seems to me they don't apply rules as strictly as inconsequential I do. For I don't know how far back, I have tried not to put anything in an email that I wouldn't want someone else to see. There are many exceptions of course but ones I was willing to take. I think mainly in my case they'd be cases where I thought someone's feelings might get hurt. I'm careful what I write regarding certain genders, races, ages, religious and political views, sexual orientations, and countries among other things. Of course the stuff I've admitted to on cuke through the years would ruin the career of any would be politician other than the Donald. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sanur Neighborhood Scene

Katrinka returns from SFO tomorrow after a month in CA and OR. I've been home so much getting vital cuking done that when I get out everything looks new. Landlord David painting our front porch so I went out at noon. Stopped by the phone nook (front open door rolls down for when closed) to get some advice on my new bout 25 buck not smart cell phone since the last one went to cell phone heaven. I leave all the prompts in Indonesian. He showed me some ways it was different from the old one.

Dropped by the leather mainly shoe worker's shop nook. He's been telling me in a few days for a few months for fixing some old Berkenstocks I'd bought used in Japan a couple of years ago. Today he wanted a description. Ah yes - they're at home. He explained how busy he is and so forth. He's fixed broken sandals of mine a number of times and asks for about a dollar when he finally gets to it.

Passed the electric nook which is almost always closed but the elderly wife of the electrician was there. I reminded her a month prior I'd left a long extension cord he'd made that had shocked me. She went to their home in back (where I'll go braving the dogs if I really need something) and came back and gave it to me. How much? You decide. I gave her a buck fifty equiv. That's quite enough, she indicated.  Got to the pondok, like a palapa thatch roofed hut held by poles no walls, at the beach where Katrinka and I like to go, ordered some tea, pulled my legs up, and opened laptop. About thirty minutes later got overcast. Rain, wind, everyone departed the beach. Pondok leaking I retreated to under the bigger roof where the bar is. Leaked on me there too so moved over. After an hour put my laptop in pack behind the bar told guy not to take my tea, removed shorts and shirt down to only yoga shorts small as underwear and swam out about sixty yards. Sort of choppy, windy, current to the side, water pretty warm, some plastic here and there and organic stuff like bamboo and leaves. Got to a bouey, wrapped my feet around it so I wouldn't be carried down beach and lay back and rested a bit Started to rain.

Walking back stopped to get Greek salad and more tea at an open air juice bar and restaurant I like - wood slab and stone tables, wicker furniture, couch-like flat seating at the corner table so can pull my legs up. I pretty much only patronize places I can do that. Changed the music from pop to Ellington. After a while got up to do some stretches standing by the sidewalk. Group of Bali bikers with blue jean jackets and insignia and a name I couldn't make out. Started with R. Not the Rebels or as tough looking as the guys in the image. Local guys frequent the place next door. They stood by their bikes in a circle talking.  Then they put their hands together, bowed, and were silent culminating in a quick gassho type bow and hands wiping faces - some formality. Then they rode off together faster and louder than most, one on a bigger motorcycle which are a small percentage here. I asked a young woman inside about the group prayer and she said that's normal, they do that before they take off. Her English is too good. I don't want to deal in English and she knows that but she'll use it when my Indonesian isn't up to the explanation.

One of my favorite things about being here is negotiating in my rudimentary Indonesian. I also loved doing that with varying meager levels of success in Japan, Mexico, and Germany. It's fun and it's endlessly challenging. Tomorrow Komang will pick me up to go to the airport to get Katrinka. He's got good English but won't use it. He'll wear me out on the way speaking a little beyond my comfort zone. I may have written this several times before, and if so once again, the thing about being into language is that when you're a beginner everything is interesting. Reading anything. Having any exchange about anything. Content doesn't matter. Truly gone beyond. I'm a slow learner and never get that good. I can envision a life of a quick language learner moving from place to place, leaving one when they get so proficient that it's not all interesting anymore. In Indonesia with 700 or so languages one wouldn't have to go far. In fact, could just switch to Balinese, far more difficult than the relatively simple trade language Indonesian.  Back to work.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

James Hanson says the earth is hottest it's been in

115,000 years and that it's been 3 million since there were 400 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. In the Guardian. Note to skeptics: Of course we here at cuke know that this is a bunch of hysteria, a conspiracy concocted by evil scientists bent on brainwashing us with their make believe facts being on the payroll of their Chinese overlords.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Why not just build a house?

On January 9th, 2015 posted on Saunters here how Katrinka's son Seth had been asked here by a mountain climbing guide why American couples kiss in public. He'd climbed Bali's tallest mountain, Agung (which means highest and most austpicious) a few months prior and that question had question had lingered in my mind. But the guide had two questions he asked once they were at the peak, a peak that he and Seth's driver to the base had assumed that Seth would not get to. Every once in a while I wonder what that second question was.
So I emailed Seth and he said he'd been telling the guide how he was trying to buy a house but had to bring his credit score up and some other details of finance. The guide asked him why didn't he just build his own house? There are plenty of people here now who could related to the details of Seth's financial situation, but there are more like this guide who, as Seth put it, "I think Putu was a but more country.  He just figured I should head out into the forest and cut down some trees to build what ever house I want."