TV of Interest

Staying up later at night. I have been doing that recently It used to be that I would conk out and my wife would stay up until 11:30, midnight or so. Now we have reversed our roles. I wake her up and she goes off to bed. Since we have been watching serials I would stop watching whatever so we can resume it on the next night. Then I flip to something to watch for half an hour or so. Lately that thing has been Cowboy Bebop. This is the original 1998 Japanese anime cartoon series. I am coming up on the end of the run. When that is finished I will switch to the 2001 live, meaning people acting, first series. For worse for me is the second series was canceled by Netflix so we will not see the completion of it. Shucks.

If you like TV stuff you can get a great streaming service that is $12 per year. Shit, you cannot go wrong on it. It is called Curiosity Stream. It runs documentaries. But it also is bundled with Nebula, a well I am not sure what its niche is. It is a place for people that cannot do everything that YouTube allows – as in run clips of music without being shut down by litigious music companies. They also have a thing called Half As Interesting which explores stuff you can find on YouTube but without the ads. I have been watching TLDR (Too Long; Didn’t Read is the meaning of it) lots of news, with no ads and short bits of stuff that matters ™ Ummm, where was I going here? Damned if I know. I will pick it up tomorrow.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-0h-30

Let us see what we have got

Some bits of shout out to people here:

!&? – What a pretty typewriter! All the more great looking when I read about the issues you had with it. Yeah! What a great job. Typically I don’t really care for stories of typewriters. This is an exception.

Leo — 5-minute poems keep on giving to us. Thank you for them.

Um, who? Who is doing the watercolors and poems? Nice short bits with mind absorbing illustrations. Please keep it up for us.

When you eat a banana, provided that you do, which end do you peel it from and hold it? I read that gorillas peel from the end and hold it from the stem. At least if they have seen it being done. Just see it one time. You have a nice handle on it. Not wishing to be shown up by those guys I do it that way now. OK, it may have been monkeys or orangutans, or other sibling but whatever form it was, they learn quickly.

In the Two Things category I am up to zero or one depending how you count. A friend whose birthday is today came over. We shared some whiskey. (The with E spelling comes from the bottle. It is an American single malt made in Oregon.) After that I was not going to drive anywhere. I am not walking anywhere. Safe journeys.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-28

I do not write well with some whiskey distracting me.

Two Things

One guy that I was talking to commented that, for him, getting one thing done every day was enough. It is not like when you were working and then had to do shopping, yard care, and all those other things. Now, to us retired guys, one thing a day makes for a complete day. Got something done, yeah it is good.

Today I am feeling great because I got two things done.

As a member of the Portland Art Museum, I get to visit it for free as much as I like. Even better it opens up an hour earlier for members. As it turns out I don’t take advantage of that benefit too much. I have not noticed people to be in abundance yet. The official title of the show, the special show, on now is “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism”. There is a lot to see in this show. I have gone four times (I think that is how much) and once again I saw new to my eyes works. Like two paintings of the same subject showing the differences in their approaches to the same person. Or a line of portraits from the late 20s through the 40s. 1930 featured a, well had the photo was not featured at all, but if you are a photographer seeing an Edward Weston and Imogene Cunningham is special. There was also a series of drawing by Frida Kahlo with her notes in preparation for a painting. T have until June 5 to get my fill. Hopefully, I will not be discovering new to my eyes pieces by then.

How is your experience with getting anything done with a medical person? For me, it involves waiting. Minimum 15 minutes. I take books every time. Or meditate. Or something that I have to do because just sitting there and waiting is not what I want. Today, however, was different. Show up, park, figure out where I need to be, walk-in, and BOOM I am into the maw of the medical folks and I do not stop moving until I am done. If only everything could be like getting an initial shot or a booster. Which is what I did today. Got my second booster for Covid. — ea

I might have two things scheduled for tomorrow. But, I den! + know, I do not want to overwhelm myself here. We will find out.

~~ MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-27

Lynda Barry – Intro

A couple of days ago I talked about Syllabus, from Lynda Barry. After thumbing through it to find a page to share here, which I did not, I started to read it again. There are sticky notes throughout. It seemed like a good time to reread it. And then I found it. It being on the subject of being in class:

Attendance is more than being physically present in class. From the moment class begins until it ends, you are expected to participate fully in class activities. During the entire 150 minutes of each class session I ask that you not check personal devices, use your computer, wear headphones, etc. This includes break and field trips.

No focus stealing devices to be used in Lynda Barry’s classes, These instructions came from a teacher who had a first class that was coloring in coloring books, eating candy and watching The Bad News Bears – original edition. She also had people memorize a poem. Or by a timer draw a single page of drawing for 30 minutes.

Have I mentioned that you use a composition book? The good ones are made in Vietnam. These are 9.75×7.5 inches in size. I bought a case of them to use fa my Morning Pages. There is no pressure to “set it right” I bought the notebooks to write in without worrying about keeping up with some nice paper. It is like using newsprint paper. And, like newsprint, you are expected to use a lot. Fill it with any thing. This is really like One Typed Page on steroids. Except to fill up a book in three or four weeks. Paste in some ephemera from your life. Just keep putting stuff into the book.

I am thinking and are afraid to check it that I have blathered in my last paragraph. Cannot look back.

No more tonight. Nothing else. Tomorrow, well I will come up with something.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-25

More Books

Good writers, or so I am impressed, start each paragraph with a sentence that sums up the paragraph. Thank Got the author of Stolen Focus is a good writer by that standard. It enabled me to skip sections of having Covid and note talking face to face with people. I get the gist of what he was saying. Two chapters down, 12 or so to go.

A few weeks ago Keep on Truckin’ Mike asked if we prepared our One Typed Page or just sat down and winged it. I stated that I just dove in. For that matter I do not even read what I have written. I do read the highlighted words when I import them into my blog post. I need to confirm what word they chose a, the, “correct” version is indeed so. So I read the misspelled words and the end of each paragraph to ensure I put the line and paragraphs where they belong. This canes to mind from my experience of reading a few lines into a piece before I realized that it was written it. I will give it a year and then read it. It was a habit of many photographers Or do not look at a photograph for a year. I am referring to art photographs here.

Speaking with a friend recently he commented that his wife did not do much crafty like stuff because she thinks she cannot draw. Does that sound familiar to you? As in you, yourself? Inspired by this talk I hunted down my copy of Syllabus by Lynda Barry. What is that? From the book itself:

The Unthinkable Mind
What it is
Write what you see
Making Comics

It is a book about, well, remembering and making stuff from those bits of memories you have. You do make a comic book as part of the class she describes so you need to write a story and make drawings to illustrate it. But you, every one of you, can do it. Syllabus is also a thing that is part of every class what it plans to do. You get it all and a lot of side stories to liven things up and teach you a bunch.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-24

Things in Books

Yes, I had hopes. Hopes to finish the chapter on Sustained Reading. With some effort, I have finished the chapter. It does not contain any reminders, or suggestions for that. Unless you take the inference of shutting out social media, in this case Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I decided to try the section Attention Rebellion, It starts, “If this was a self- help book, I would be able to serve up a delightful simple conclusion to the story. … In fact, at this moment, as I write this in lockdown, my attention has never been worse.” One cannot fault Johann Hari for giving false hopes. He does go on to give his attempts to recover his Stolen Focus. I have started to read this section. Hopefully I will be able to share something from it in the future.

I did read an entire book today. I got it from the library because a Texan library has pulled it from their shelves. It is, well I am not really sure what they found objectionable. The book is We Are All Born Free. It is from Amnesty International. It has a sub-title of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights In Pictures”. Drop by your library and check it out, or browse it there. See if you can find something objectionable there. Perhaps they found it too political?

But I did finish the book in one day. Now to raise the bar and read something with some depth clouded in a novel. Or I can turn to An African American and Latinx History of the United States. I put on hold at the same time and for the same reason as We… Born Free, it was banned from a Texan library. I am already wondering if it follows the same trajectory as A People’s History of the United States, from Howard Zinn, Zinn does not “appear in the index so there is nothing overt. I will start something and continue with Stolen Focus.

In the Frida Kalho show of stuff that surrounded her with just enough stuff painted by her and of her to have her name hanging on the promotional items in that show there is a watercolor painting that, if you did not pay attention, looks like an oil painting. Perhaps I am being inattentive on what makes an oil painting look the way it does. There is a lot of painting of people in realistic poses – before the time of color photography. Another reason to visit the show.

Many things to read and to view – it is a good life.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-23

On Focus – What Was Stolen

Amazon delivered. It was late in the day, but Amazon delivered. You may recall that I typed about Stolen Focus, a book about how our focus is no longer with us. I could not wait for the list of 112 people declined to make my turn to get a copy. So I ordered one. I thought I would get the book and do a quick once over and write about it. Amazon delivered but it was too late in the day for me #% to follow through on that plan. Wednesday is my usual day to go to the Portland Art Museum. I did not go because I was waiting for Stolen Focus to arrive. So the next day with the book on hand I went to the museum. Lots of attention paid to the book and my focus was stolen. I went on to meet friends, like we do the third Thursday of the month. We had a great time again. So today, Friday , I dive into the book. The book has 12 chapters. Bach one is on a case of a focus. I decided to start with “Cause Four: The Collapse of Sustained Reading” It lasts for 12 pages. I am 10 pages into that chapter. Why the author, Johann Hari, delays a book on reading in a book. Can or do people get that far into the book? I skipped the earlier chanters because this on is big for me. I have not read like I used to, this is what I am hoping for. I want to do sustained reading again. It is going to take some sustained focus. I may just skip to the section “Conclusion Attention Rebellion” After that I should, I hope I will be able to have the focus to finish the book. Or so I hope.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-22

Daily Done

Two things I do on a daily basis, meditation and Duolingo. They are things like Seinfeld’s calendar with red Xs on it. At dinner time for myself, I decided to eat some leftover pizza. Heat it up in a pan, like the pan I described yesterday. We have found warming pizza in a pan is great. As I put the slice of pie I realized I had not yet done Duolingo. This is good, I thought, while the pizza warms up I will get some language lessons. It should take the same amount of time. After doing the lesson I went to the kitchen and realized I had the heat up too high. Shucks. I ate it anyway. A little carbon would not hurt anyone.

So much for that daily thing to do. As I bit off another bit of pizza I reflected on my earlier interruption for meditation. I was, at that time, trying to read Sam Harris’s book Waking Up. A half paragraph in my brain wandered off and … I caught myself I decided to meditate to get some settling down in my brain. A few minutes later I emerged from mostly watching my breath go in and out, catching myself thinking about other things, returning to in out in out in out. I could read a page or two before I drifted off into other thoughts.

112 # of 35 units. Make that #112 is the waiting line at our local library. I decided to buy the book. Stolen Focus, see yesterdays ‘s Give burned pizza and not paying attention to a book I was trying to read it seems I will need more than three weeks to read the book. And I expect I will be needing to write in the book. One does not write in books they get from the library. One should write in the ones they own. So I bought it.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-19

Beausage and Stolen Focus

A couple of months ago we took a first step in ridding our lives of Teflon coated devices. Non-stickness not no more, just not via a chemical that is not good for you and that wears out. I bought two carbon steel frying pans. They showed up all pretty and shiny. But the shininess would not last. To start we coated the pans with oil and put them in the oven. Then we repeated that three times to get a coating of oil on the pan that was mostly non- stick pans. They had a beautiful brown surface to them. That did not last either. Now we are midway into the final state of non-stickiness. The surface of the pan is mottled, and it is to my eye, the most beautiful of all. Because it has “beausage”.

Beausage-ness is a beautiful a beauty that comes from use. Beausage is not a word, not in an y dictionary. At least not yet. The word was, or so I am told, comes from Grant “no relation” Petersen. Grant is a bicycling guy, he founded Rivendell Bicycles. He coined the word, I saw it, I picked it up, and here we are. I am admiring the beausage of my pans.

Things do not need, in my view, to be all shiny new. It is a maintenance that takes care of things, to keep them as new looking as can be. That is great for hospital floors. In my life I prefer things with the scoffs of living to be evident.

 *     *     *

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How To Think Deeply Again is a book that delves into things that cause our attention to drop – and it is not just your phone’s attention-grabbing. It is also an interview with Dan Harris of Ten Percent Happier (get it through your podcast source) I am going to return to the interview. More on this topic tomorrow. Well, I should say that there are 12 primary ways your attention is stolen and some of them are things you would not expect to find.

-—- MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-18

Use A Bunch of Typewriters

Kent Peterson told me a story, well in this case it is not really a story but it sounds nice to start this with that assertion.

Kent Peterson told me a story about Issac Asimov having a bunch of typewriters, Selectric as the case was, anyway a bunch of typewriters of which each one had a function. The first one was for the novel he was working on. The next one was for a short story in progress. Then there was one for correspondence. (All I really know here is that there are or were a bunch of Selectric and at least one of them was dedicated to the novel at work. That all sounds good to well I hope to many of you. You have three, four, or many more typewriters. Load ‘em up with paper. Fine a thing to type on each typewriter. My Royal KMM, standard platen, becomes my One Typed Page machine. My International Hermes 3000 is for correspondence, especially for Spanish and Esperanto.

If you give this method a try please let me know how it works out for you.

Side note: according to Wikipedia Asimov typed at 90 wpm. What a pace!

April showers bring May flowers. Or so they say. What brings April flowers? We have a bunch of them, especially tulips.

Fair Warning Time: the bit about Asimov and his Selectric collection that comes to you via my second-hand telling of Kent’s tale. I asked Kent where he found out about Asimov and the Selectric, Kent got right back to me. He read it in Asimov’s autobiography. You need to trust the source here.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm :: 2022-04-17