Friday, February 22, 2019

Leonard Koren books

I always admired Leonard Koren's books which get into the nitty-gritty of life in Japan

Imperfect Publishing - A brief list of publications can be found on this simple one page site for

How to Take a Japanese Bath

A list of Leonard Koren books on Amazon

Leonard Koren dot com has a list of more books

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Schedule Part I

Someone asked how I spend my day. I see it as mainly working but it goes like this:
Rise when I awaken.
Shower - mainly just cold.
Hot water and lime (Bali jeruk nipis - little round limes)
Walking meditation - any length I want or set a timer to anything I want.
Sitting meditation - begins with

Monday, February 18, 2019

Herding Ants

Lot's of Bananas here and different types, another way that Asia has benefited from Central and South America. Many don't peel that easily and I've found the best way, especially with those that are thin-skinned or small, is to slice them diagonally first. Did that with a couple of over-ripe ones this morning. It's hard for a banana to get too over-ripe to eat. I'll eat them if they're black with mold on the skin. Best then is the cook them, fry in some coconut oil. Yum. So I was going to do that but dogette Bandita was barking and I figured it was the trash guys and there was a lot outside of the can and basket out front I wanted them to take - leftover from a recent cement and tile Japanese bathtub construction project. They said it'll be extra for that. We agreed on 50,000 rupia - about $3.50. That included picking up a bunch of old tile, rocks, and broken cement that was lying up front. Then I went back to work and later remembered the overripe bananas. Lots of tiny ants on them. After considering whether to just cook it with the ants, I brushed off what I could and rinsed the rest and got it cooking. I told the zillion that remained that I was sorry for their loss of so many comrades and it was my fault for leaving that out. I told them they could continue feasting on the bit of sticky stuff on the counter till I was cleaning up. I saved the counter for last at breakfast cleanup, took a sturdy thick kitchen wipe (Katrinka brings back from US), placed it flat on the edge of the counter, held it down on the corners, and slid it slowly forward and around, sending many thousands of the tiny ants scurrying away on the established route. When I was finished and the counter was clean, I didn't see one tiny ant crushed or stuck on the wipe. They got the message.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


On the Vipassana retreat mentioned yesterday

Posting on Cuke New Blog and here both because it's related to both places. Buddhist stuff there and Bali and other nonZen here. - dc

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Ant Relations

There are ants in the kitchen but they're polite ants. I tell them to be careful and generally they are. They're pretty small. They mainly stay out of the way. They know their limits. We keep the counter clean but they'll find any tiny bit of something sweet or a spec of dog or cat food. I leave them alone. They're done eventually. And if it's important they leave I just start cleaning up carefully right next to them and they'll back off. There are some teeny tiny ants too and a zillion of them will gather around an almost imperceptible something with a line going to and from where they come from. If Katrinka's getting ready to make dinner, I'll put my fingernail right up next to them and they flee at what must be the equivalent of hundreds of miles an hour. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

polite kids

Kids in Bali are almost always polite and that includes older kids, teenagers, and young adults. But the kids from Java are even more polite, at least in my limited experience. When I meet young people from Java they put out their hand, I put out mine, and they put my hand to their forehead. I just looked it up. It's called Salim. If I met the prez of Indonesia, Jokowi, I'd put his hand on my forehead. I also read or on the nose but I haven't seen that. It's sweet. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bali Compost Report

I collect organic kitchen waste in a covered bucket in the small back courtyard garden. About once a week walk it to a big perforated plastic container up front, dump it in, smooth it around so it's level, and put some low grade fertilizer on top. I might pee on it then if I've got the urge. After that I clean out the bucket and wash my hands. Then I wash my hands again. And again. Hard to get the odor of that wet decomposing vegetation off. The reason I use the fertilizer instead of the usual plain ol' dirt is that got to look around for the dirt, go out and get it or have it delivered. There's a guy drives around with bags of this fertilizer and he sells them for less than a couple of bucks each so it's convenient. I got two bags which filled the 50 gal container. Then he came back in a week and tries to sell me two more and I told him I'm using it to make compost and it will be a long time before I need more. So he came back a week later and I explained again I won't need any for months and months. He keeps coming every week. Nothing I say or do can discourage him. I close the gate on him and tell him to go away. No effect. I tell him to give up. He's back in a week. I think now that I'd miss him if he didn't come. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Bali Warning

Lot of hot pepper here. Penas means hot temperature and pedas means spicey hot. Lot of pedas here. Mostly it's not too hot, sometimes requiring a moment to adjust, maybe wipe the eyes running, tissue for running nose. Sambal is Indonesian salsa and there are many types, various mixes of chopped chili bits and tomato, garlic, fish paste, shallots. A German woman we know who lives half time in Thailand and is married to a Thai, has a small restaurant here that makes great curry dishes for there or delivery and she gave me a tiny bottle of a Thai chile powder she said had garlic and some other stuff in it. It's different and I like it so last night I sprinkled some on the fantastic pizza Katrinka made with pita bread, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, and sharp cheddar. After a while my eyes were watering so I wiped around them with a cloth napkin from my lap. Katrinka asked me to pass the olive oil and vinegar but Ouch! Some of that hot Thai chili must have hit the napkin. I was groaning and laughing and couldn't pass anything to her. It was not subsiding. Went blindly to the kitchen, filled a large bowl, stuck my head in it, and opened my eyes. Relief. Another thing I have to beware of is handling chilies and then taking a pee. I'll keep the details of that to myself.