Monday, December 29, 2008

Growing Old

By dawn the wren has spent itself in song,
a file rasped against a bicycle chain.
Greeting the mirror, I cannot recognize
the gray-haired revenant grown picket boned,
the stranger’s bitter glance like rotten wood.


William Logan

Sunday, December 28, 2008


There is no greater importance in all the world like knowing you are
right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes
upon you. Norman Mailer

"I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I
think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's
a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind." Richard

Sunday, December 21, 2008


People won't remember me for what I have, but what I've given. People
won't remember me for what I've done for myself, but for what I've
done for them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


"Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self."

Millicent Fenwick

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Memphis Still Frames

Long contemplative car ride
New insights from old friends
Memphis in sight!
The big muddy crossing
Expo deals
Old brick streets and trolley cars
Smart ass hotel desk clerks
Chilly night walks
Pappa Pia's
Homeless people
Roll away beds
A good night's sleep
Free breakfast waffles
More Expo deals
Get the Gitters out 3 mile run
Lunchin'at Sam's
Blues City bus tours
Boyce and David, bus drivers extraordinaire
Memphis: the inside joke
Elvis! I seen him!
10 feet tall and has a bronze butt
Ray, Don't touch or the alarm WILL sound
Civil rights museum
Martin Luther Kings Cadillac
J Smith: 20 years of protesting standing on the same spot
Jump the bus
Beale Street
Five Smokin' Hot and fast Chicago girls
Me, smiling
Pasta pre-race meals at the Spaghetti Warehouse
More Trolley car rides
Hotel room slouching
Race night contemplation
Sleep, fitful
5 am
Breakfast of day old hard boiled eggs and bagels
Walking to the start
Spandex and bare legs abound, 11,000 pairs strong
Line `em up
3:30, or 3:35? Hmmmm……
No, Pacing
The first 20…….Slooooooooow (8:11)
The next 4…….Faaaaaaaaast (7:45)
The next 2.2…….Slooooooooooow motion (9)
Two tiny pictures of Memphis
One in each of my eyes
First time ever
3:35:08 officially BQ'd with little time to spare
Whew. Relief
Eat anyway
Meet up
Walk. Again
Warm shower
Beale Street. Again
Small black man
Smoking a trumpet
BIG black Mariah, singin' blues
And sittin' on Bill's lap
Prime rib and beer
A mountain of chocolate cake
More black smokin' trumpet
Walk back solo
Rest easy, the days work is done
Sleep, deep
More free waffles
Stairs? Ugh
Sore? Oh yes
Long contemplative car rides
Thanks and Good byes

Nice trip.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Motivates You?

What is the motivation behind what you are about to say?


If we think about what motivates us, would we still say what we are about to say?

Do you need to complain? Have some one hear your pain? Do you need validation? Do you try and inspire? do you try and teach?

THINK. Before you speak.

What motivates you to run/paddle/bike/swim?


Do you need other peoples validation? Do you do it for yourself? DO you challenge yourself enough?

Would learning to swim be a bigger challenge? Would learning to use a GPS and paddle a really long distance challenge you?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Have Strange Brains

From a NY times Article, Standing in Someone Else’s Shoes, Almost for Real:

By Benedict Carey

Published: December 1, 2008

From the outside, psychotherapy can look like an exercise in self-absorption. In fact, though, therapists often work to pull people out of themselves: to see their behavior from the perspective of a loved one, for example, or to observe their own thinking habits from a neutral distance.

Skip to next paragraphMarriage counselors have couples role-play, each one taking the other spouse’s part. Psychologists have rapists and other criminals describe their crime from the point of view of the victim. Like novelists or moviemakers, their purpose is to transport people, mentally, into the mind of another.

Now, neuroscientists have shown that they can make this experience physical, creating a “body swapping” illusion that could have a profound effect on a range of therapeutic techniques. At the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience last month, Swedish researchers presented evidence that the brain, when tricked by optical and sensory illusions, can quickly adopt any other human form, no matter how different, as its own.

“You can see the possibilities, putting a male in a female body, young in old, white in black and vice versa,” said Dr. Henrik Ehrsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who with his colleague Valeria Petkova described the work to other scientists at the meeting. Their full study is to appear online this week in the journal PLoS One. .

The technique is simple. A subject stands or sits opposite the scientist, as if engaged in an interview.. Both are wearing headsets, with special goggles, the scientist’s containing small film cameras. The goggles are rigged so the subject sees what the scientist sees: to the right and left are the scientist’s arms, and below is the scientist’s body.

To add a physical element, the researchers have each person squeeze the other’s hand, as if in a handshake. Now the subject can see and “feel” the new body. In a matter of seconds, the illusion is complete. In a series of studies, using mannequins and stroking both bodies’ bellies simultaneously, the Karolinska researchers have found that men and women say they not only feel they have taken on the new body, but also unconsciously cringe when it is poked or threatened.

In previous work, neuroscientists have induced various kinds of out-of-body experiences using similar techniques. The brain is so easily tricked, they say, precisely because it has spent a lifetime in its own body. It builds models of the world instantaneously, based on lived experience and using split-second assumptions — namely, that the eyes are attached to the skull.

Therapists say the body-swapping effect is so odd that it could be risky for anyone in real mental distress. People suffering from the delusions of schizophrenia or the grandiose mania of bipolar disorder are not likely to benefit from more disorientation, no matter the intent.

But those who seek help for relationship problems, in particular, often begin to moderate their behavior only after they have worked to see the encounters in their daily life from others’ point of view.

“This is especially true for adolescents, who are so self-involved, and also for people who come in with anger problems and are more interested in changing everyone else in their life than themselves,” said Kristene Doyle, director of clinical services at the Albert Ellis Institute in New York.

One important goal of therapy in such cases, Dr. Doyle said, is to get people to generate alternative explanations for others’ behavior — before they themselves react.

The evidence that inhabiting another’s perspective can change behavior comes in part from virtual-reality experiments. In these studies, researchers create avatars that mimic a person’s every movement. After watching their “reflection” in a virtual mirror, people mentally inhabit this avatar at some level, regardless of its sex, race or appearance. In several studies, for instance, researchers have shown that white people who spend time interacting virtually as black avatars become less anxious about racial differences.

Jeremy Bailenson, director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, and his colleague Nick Yee call this the Proteus effect, after the Greek god who can embody many different self-representations.

In one experiment, the Stanford team found that people inhabiting physically attractive avatars were far more socially intimate in virtual interactions than those who had less appealing ones. The effect was subconscious: the study participants were not aware that they were especially good-looking, or that in virtual conversations they moved three feet closer to virtual conversation partners and revealed more about themselves than others did. This confidence lingered even after the experiment was over, when the virtual lookers picked more attractive partners as matches for a date.

Similar studies have found that people agree to contribute more to retirement accounts when they are virtually “age-morphed” to look older; and that they will exercise more after inhabiting an avatar that works out and loses weight.

Adding a physical body-swapping element, as the Swedish team did, is likely to amplify such changes. “It has video quality, it looks and feels more realistic than what we can do in virtual environments, so is likely to be much more persuasive,” Dr. Bailenson said in a telephone interview.

Perhaps too persuasive for some purposes. “It may be like the difference between a good book, where you can project yourself into a character by filling in with your imagination, and a movie, where the specific actor gets in the way of identifying strongly,” he went on.

And above and beyond any therapeutic purposes, the sensation is downright strange. In the experiments, said Dr. Ehrsson, the Swedish researcher, “even the feeling from the squeezing hand is felt in the scientist’s hand and not in your own; this is perhaps the strangest aspect of the experience.”

the time of my life

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.....

Green Day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

is it knowable?

In the past 11 months,, I've been the perpetrator, the guilty, the jilted, the peevish, the jealous, the angry, the depressed, the euphoric, the anxious, the ........ you name it. I have tried to find "it". Today, I realized I was the 'victim', I quickly felt that, let it go appropriately, and then started questioning whether I had "it" right or not. When you think you are it, you find yourself mistaken.

Questioning what "it" is.

Trying to find "it", through emotions is impossible. Trying to find "it" through self-analysis, is just as futile. Trying to find "it" via thinking? Whoa boy, don't go there. Madness lay that way.

Even the fact of looking for "it" is a rabbit hole in itself.

I no longer even want to know what "it" is. I think "it" is unknowable.

But: "it" just is.

Look at your reflection in a pool of water.

Say to yourself: "It" is me. But I am not "it".


Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. -Einstein