Saturday, September 28, 2013


I guess its time I talk about my most recent - and final - motorcycle accident. No, I’m not communicating from beyond, despite the writing quality; I'm just hyporeflexed, which is almost the same thing, comin' for to carry me home.

Yes, I nearly caught the Sweet Chariot last December, while my body chased its bike a ways down the mountain over ice, roadside and some other stuff. The bike was still as trusty as gravity, but turns out I wasn't. I, who grew up much of the year on ice and snow; sledded, tobogganed, bicycled, drove and hung around on ice like a summer sidewalk with never a single accident - thanks to fine-tuned reflexes - reflexes that I continued to count on throughout life, heedless of the encroaching press of time...

Thus it was that on that crisp sunny winter morning I blithely launched my wheeled self from our driveway onto the pure white snow-powdered road - piece a' cake, been there a million times, successfully too - even up here, for the past 17 winters, without the slightest thought of not being able to remember what happened 10 seconds later...

In the aftermath, it wasn't the residual head, shoulder, knee, thigh pain that hurt the most when I finally regained the ability to hurt; the deepest blow was that my Benedict Arnold reflexes, which for all my life had pirouetted me over football field, up/down mountainside, basketball court, down the streets where you live, had departed my person without saying "Do NOT go riding on the ice today or anymore, Bob; I retired on Saturday."

For retire it did, without notice. As forensically determined from the impact pattern on said body parts, at the moment of greatest preventive need I had no reflexive reaction whatsoever; there was statistically no difference between my decycled body and a 190 lb. sack of bleached white flour. I realized, after the fact, that for all these years I have been counting on my teenage balancing skills when freewheeling over any surface - particularly snow-covered ice - and instantly compensating for any slippage by shifting shoulders, hips or legs, sticking a leg out for 3-point support if needed, and never hitting the ground, except after hitting that pole a few years ago.

I rode that way all my life and was still riding that way at the age of 72, setting myself up for a lesson it's about time I learned. Learning requires survival, though, so I'm truly fortunate to be able to say: I think I'll walk the rest of the way...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Don't Get Me Started

"'A report by Internet firm GMO Cloud characterises the difference as "self-escapism versus self-expression.' 

True or not, Grand Theft Auto is undoubtedly violent, especially when compared to Nintendo's award-winning 'Animal Crossing: New Leaf,' in which players take on the role of a mayor running a rural community. 

By contrast, past versions of Grand Theft Auto have included simulated sex with prostitutes and drunken driving, along with profanity-packed dialogue. Carjacking, gambling and killing are the staples of a game in which players take on the role of a psychopathic killer in fictional Los Angeles.'"

What could be more socially instructive, more physically developing, more spiritually uplifting and exemplary, more all-around self-building, than hours, days, weeks, years, even decades on the couch of good healthy murder, joystick virtual sex with prostitutes, gambling, carjacking and DUI as fast mindfood, all while being a genuine psychopathic killer? Some paths just have to lead upward.

Can't wait for GTA XXV!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

stupid me -- blamed the chisel when it was the hammer’s fault 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ancient Is the New Now

Big-shouldered typhoon, flooder, landslider and tornado generator Man-Yi stormed the night through the country, leaving big wet long wide footprints all over filled with trees, cars, roofs, rivers, sheet metal and mountainsides.

At about 4 am on Monday I'd been sleeping to the roar of the heavy rain (up to 8 cm (> 3 inches) an hour!) that had been falling for, oh, the past couple months, seemed like - it was becoming the normal ambient sound - so I didn't really notice unless it stopped, then suddenly in utter dark the first big shoulder hit the side of the house. I lay there wondering if the walls and roof could withstand much more of that, then the wind blew harder and I pictured the outside, what might be flying around out there, sounded like a slow-motion train derailment, metal somewhere in the din doing loud wind-torquing back and forth-- later learned it was the demolished neighbor cabin roof.

In the spitty gusty morning our trees are raggy leaved, what's left of them; large-branch loss from cherry and chestnut, couple of trees fell on a cabin below us, half-rubbling it, a bigger tree fell on the roadside, looked like it had been mauled by a giant tiger. The slavering, growling beast removed roofs, tossed some buildings stopped the trains too, of course. During the daystorm, against the blur out the window I watched our old chestnut tree shimmying and shaking itself apart, out front the high old cedar tree, trunk a meter around, was rockin in the wind like at a Stones concert as the weeping cherry did a whole different rubbery dance, the house rocking and shuddering at the serial impacts of giant windshoulders as the rooftiles rang like fine marimbas up there.

On TV, while we had it, the rampaging Yodo River in central Kyoto was higher than I've ever seen it, lashing at the splendid old bridge in Arashiyama, and I realized that that the famed and lovely stone walk along the river's banks beside Ponto-cho, like the supporting poles of the striking riverside restaurant platforms, aren't there just to be pretty-- they are of ancient necessity, as long ago folks here learned from experience over millennia, and again this week.

Seems the earth is increasingly revisiting its old ways, as though asserting its authority, shrugging off carbon footprints, ramping up earthquakes and beefing up the tsunami department, reviving ancient weather patterns, droughts, floods, wildfires, volcanoes coming back around again for longer, fiercer times, tweaking the DNA spectrum to give us all new challenges, as we begin to relearn (or not) the truth of long-ago solutions, as ancient becomes the new now, testing once more whether and what we can overcome, that we may move on...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Lower your salt intake to lower your blood pressure? Nah. I use salt whenever I want to (good sea salt, not refined iodized type) - not all that much, but somewhat more than the average daily intake - and have always done so. I like salt on a lot of my stuff, and worship at the savory altars of akadashi, tsukemono and umeboshi. Last week at age 72, my annual checkup showed my blood pressure to be 96 over 67. The lower the better, said the doc.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Songbird way up in the sky - saw sunrise first