30 Nov 2007, 6:45pm
General Glad Game

Title, huh? On First name basis with this Post? This post is Alex.

You know how that goes… “why worry?… if you feel ill, you only will get better or get worse…”

The headache that’s been ahemming for a couple days firmly stepped forward and made its presence undeniably felt. (Movement, noise and light sensitivity.)

I bowed out, gave way and it passed remarkably quickly. 3 or 4 hours of the chill and thrill of it on tapdancing on center stage to the rhythm of air movement. I slept, apparently, since I woke up.

Neck and shoulder is still wonky but my energy is better. It seems it has done its worst.

bronze cut pastaGladnesses: Cleared out recycling from entry closet. Now there’s no light being blocked so we can see shoes.

Glad for people’s Facebook status updates. What was life like before that?

Glad for auto-fill-in of fields.

Glad for miracles of phone and of internet and of clean water.

I managed a post a day all November.

The laughter of walking and sharing one scarf (way back, days ago at breakfast time this morning.)

Glad for warm food, hot mint tea’s shallow steep.

(Watch this space for prevailing whines about cold and gratefulness for heat.)

Against wind whistle and colored streaks of that wind, yellow light from candles makes me glad. As Seamus recently pointed out, we need both light and shade. Cool and warm too.

Just the same glad for lots to do indoors. That’s good because La Nina means I probably won’t want to go out there much. I will of course, once I de-wussify for acclimatize to the season.

Glad for not needing to go out tonight at least.

Glad to have plans to leverage me out to see family and poetry on the weekend.

A curious pleasure to go back thru old photos and see faces I never knew; faces in the crowd or people who made a good composition who I’ve since come to know. They pop out with personality where they were blank at the time.

Glad for the mysterious worldwide ongoing appeal of wooden spoons. It keeps drawing people here on a search string and a prayer.

Either Pet Peeve or Humor: (haven’t decided) “Best before date on the package.” (This is written on the package) “Cook according to directions on the package.” (This is the package. It knows it is a package, doesn’t it?)

Blog Links: The grandkids and grandkid joy is all about.


A Wedding Toast

Here’s to lying, cheating, stealing, and drinking.
If you lie, may you lie together.
If you cheat, may you cheat the devil.
If you steal, may you steal each other’s hearts.
And if you drink, may we all drink to your happiness.
[via Toasts]

29 Nov 2007, 7:59pm
Glad Game

A Snowy Night Gladness

When one doesn’t want to the glad game is probably when it’s more useful to do it.

Long quiet beavering day. No interruptions or calamities, just calm and heat and books and papers. Lots read, lots written.

Good evening for quiet. The street view accordions away and back with the snow squalls.

Good evening for baking potatoes. Slow roast. The oven on, is extra heat.

Emails from friends.

The European Film Fest continues. Some good things on. [P.S. Opted to pass tonight.]

That book I just mentioned, Walking into the Night Sky has a poem Just After. Some poems I tick beside phrases or lines or stanzas I like. That one accumulated an “ooh” mark at every stanza.

iTunes has a “show duplicates”. I have imported duplicates, sometimes with 4 copies of the same song on my hard disk. Here’s a freed up gig or so. (P.S. I’m up to 9.4 gig free now! This deleting could become addictive.)

Dad’s eager to talk on the phone and can hear something now. He had a good day.

Non-Quote: Poetry is an additive art. You add clay until you build up to the shape you want. Non-fiction, such as travel-writing, is like stone sculpting and you chip off the excess to find the shape you want. – Will Ferguson, on CBC radio, talking about his new book Spanish Fly, the first novel to be published with a CD soundtrack. (He wrote 3 of the songs, Tom Phillips did rest). He’s had a busy writing decade since I read a book by him last. One of the best author sites I’ve seen as well.

Vid Link: A documentary (2006) from UBU on Concrete! collectors and archivists of the art. Interestingly, among many other things, “Un Coup de Des” of using words with space over the page is not new thing. One from Cosmopolis, 1897 would be at home in magazines today.

Monsanto Seeds and Patent “Protection”

The talk I found useful. It is Vandana Shiva is a well-spoken activist who has a concern based in the structures of systems of power convergence and choice pruning.

This Monsanto is a case study for “intellectual copyright” taken to extreme, met with extremes. The company’s individuals seek to maintain a legal backing to mandate registering and licensing seeds. This international company “protects its rights” by not allowing seed saving, replanting from the crop grown.

It is a case of monopoly rights. Except this case the focus isn’t the concentration of phones or trains or television, education or cash in small number of hands, but food supply and distribution, which on survival hierarchy, is a little higher.

Issues to me are reliability of source and whether there is an actionable aspect.

Straight facts are hard to tease out when people are politicized and polarized, handing out demon horns and fluffing their own wings feathers. The narrative has a habit of writing itself, which is always setting off my alarm bells.

Both sides have a vested identity and cash and business lifestyle. How to engage without perpetuating agitation and reducing verifiable facts? What do we know? Is it still an issue or are people still agitated at ghosts?

Here’s one legal case from 2001 in Canada. Plants naturally cross-pollinate. Monsanto wants to coerce the wind or farmers? Which is more likely?

Whenever something is on the internet it can be hard to track dates. How long has something been passing along? Is there new resolution? Horse’s mouth and other ends are not in sight in my room.

Seems courts are slow as news. The farmer’s site says,

The liability issue of the presence of Roundup Ready canola which contaminated Percy Schmeiser’s fields will be addressed in a court date that has been set for January 23, 2008.

As I understand it, the other seed in question is the “terminator seed” (spin alert for that moniker) – something of a sterile mule seed tries to control access to food source supply. Most hubbub seems to surround the genetic modification and the possibly health effects of gene change. To me that’s more white noise.

Can people grow what food they want and get it to markets that need it? Can farmers afford seeds or are their hands tied? Are they being bullied by someone who would attempt to monopolize supply? That seems a greater concern.

Is it pollution from Monsanto or a farmer’s neighbours? What if Monsanto claims theft of goods i.e. genes? How much control of idea is reasonable? If I say a word to you, can you claim dibs and copyright it? The patent grab for every development and to get profits from it has the risk of skewing normal learning, building on each other.

The outcomes of what is a good seed, what are the weaknesses and strengths take generations to fall out. Monocrops are risky. Too much dry, too much wet, one new parasite or one insect that has a cycle only every several years and attraction to one variety over another can change strengths rapidly. Diversification is safety to me. What questions do we need to ask and answer to understand the context of our food supply?

What position do we want? What do we do about local foods when people move? Borders try to control seeds and the seed diseases that can travel on them. Plants naturally cross-pollinate. We share one air. Your neighbour uses herbicide, you breathe it. Where are the reasonable boundary limits when a neighbour’s choice impacts yours?

Quote: “”I allow myself to be amused and realize I am in a state of choice.” – myself [via Tia who reminded me]

Unrelated Links: Christmas letter with a humorous twist [from Messages by Lynne Rees and Sarah Salway]

Think Link: it’s not just your hyper-valuable youth that must be preserved; it’s also your gender as well as Laurie Toby Edison taking a kick at Dan Savage’s can.

27 Nov 2007, 11:28pm

Zoom flash, That was a Day

is it the moon?Life rarely pauses long between particularly interesting bits.

Here’s a good thing. I came home with my bicycle helmet and my bike. I only walked a couple blocks before I realized I had helmet and was missing something I couldn’t put my finger on exactly. (I don’t think this is the hour for ironing or sharp knives or really concentrated physical tasks.)

I can concentrate but more on ideas today. Some days are like that. I can chase ideas more readily than laundry. Which is funny because ideas move and socks don’t as a general rule when not being worn. (Unless moths get more organized.)

The moth situation is rather anti-climatic. About half a dozen came out of cocoons and were released outside when it was above zero. I hope that’s warm enough for them. The rest and their nuts were taken for a warm walk to a hopefully sheltered position. We’ll know in a month if all the evacuees are out.

The cat seems to be stabilized. Her digestion is much better on this one food in the universe which she will happily eat for every meal, week after week. (Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d with chicken). That simplifies life and the song and hoop dance against her standoffs.

“You have been connecting and disconnecting too frequently. Wait ten minutes and try again. If you continue to try, you will need to wait even longer.”

I’ve just have my wrist digitally slapped by a chat program? I wasn’t even home. What has that cat been up to with my computer?

And since I’m asking questions, anyway, can I have another 6 hours in this day?

Quote: “A closed mouth catches no flies.” – French Proverb

Link: 2 off-beat short anecdotes

Vid Art Link: Lies and Truth

26 Nov 2007, 1:17pm
Gnomes Light Poets

Desktop Minded

Another day, another, hey, where’s my dollar?

Oh. I think I spent it in advance. (wince) $90 on poetry in the last week. My, it adds up fast. I’ve got my eye on about $40 more of it. But I can pace myself.

At least I have held the budget tight for a quarter at least. And I wouldn’t forget a thing like that. Noooooo, not me. I never forget a thing.

Speaking of appetite reaching, when and where did I get Walking into the Night Sky by Lyn King of Toronto (2002, Brick Books). It doesn’t have any other name on it. It must be mine, unless those gnomes snuck it onto my shelves after they sucked my spare pens dry of ink. It was filed alphabetically so I must have touched it since gnomes don’t revere alphabetical order.

Canoeing, p. 38

If what we breathed in
on a morning un-
astonished as this one
was only air then
I’d relax into this new day.

But what we breathe
is memory. History rides the sky
like a winged seed. What startles
inside the chest is absolutely
everything ever done.

Luckily winged seeds have a season. It will abate back to normal skies.

That has a certain resonance today. I bet I read one of her poems in a magazine and on the strength of it had to have the whole work.

What was I looking for? A label for a photo.

What a diverting detective work when I try to track down thru 3 notebooks where I would have written the name of an artist and a piece. Matching reference to iCal cross-checking for time points. Writing forward and back thru notebooks in different pens does not help, although it does add a challenge.

Aha, a flash. I wrote on a program. What would that look like? It may still be in a pocket or bag. Nope, struck out.

This may call for a desk cleaning.

Huh, coming in and coming straight to my desk has led to a build-up of 5 hats on the desk. Maybe I should add hooks on the side.

Papers, bowls, printouts, spoons, pencils, pens that the gnomes have got to, markers, highlighters, a pedometer, (woah. there’s a radio down there), pens the gnomes haven’t got to, a toothbrush, glow in the dark cream, eraser, notepads, WD-40, a beaver tooth, a sewing kit, (do plum sauce packets go bad?) and books and chapbooks and Ooh, and more writable CDs. Ooh, I can do more backup. Two of those even work, and brands I haven’t used in a while. Wonder how long they’ve been down there. Indian corn cob. (I really would gain by cleaning desk more often). All these receipts with notes. Good to see some desk appearing like grass after snow.

At least I am finally putting those weights to use. Holding down papers is a use. Because one monolithic stack is superior to scatter. 😉

Quote: “We always hear about the haves and the have-nots. Why don’t we hear about the doers and the do-nots.” Thomas Sewell

Something of an untruth although Sewall sounds clever. I get his point and it would have been a larger point at the time when less of the population was nouveau riche and middle class.

We hear about the doers. Those who do not do allow the doers to do what they do. But still it doesn’t mean I want any less to get to Judge Sewall’s Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience

I woke up feeling somewhat like Alice in Wonderland’s Rabbit this morning.

Oh well, must regroup shortly. As much fun as mad-scatter is for short bursts.

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