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oooh hoo

Wow - how much has changed. twitter is proving to be a most brilliant and complex supplier of amazing, brilliant and fervently kaleidoscopic material.

i am feeling closer and closer to a membrane separating me from even more frictionless communications with people. twitter is bringing me more and scintillating news and thoughts and links to intelligent, beautiful minds.

i have come full circle in my perceptive life: feminism, witches, music and training. the people are amazing.

under it all is megan’s companionship and liveliness. infinite gifts.

i train for cycling pretty much every day. its difficult. i motivate myself by sometimes not motivating myself at all - just going training because its what i’m supposed to do. it’s “filling the time up”.

i’m finding the most amazing beauty in my bike riding - the feel of the bike frame, a very stiff carbon framed bike - its a really interesting communication of what the road is doing, how my body is weighing it down.

there’s the sound of the tyres, the wind, the people around me, the danger, the safety, the blurring landscape.

last night i was cycling alone on the kyalami motor racetrack. as i went, there was the challenge and thrill of  the level of the workout, the really really fast downhill corner, the amazing feeling of the wind, the 2 horses grazing next to office blocks and then the sky, the sky, the sky.

huge clouds all the way up to space, bright coloured with bright sun and great light, up over a darkened twilit course. there was wind. plovers were on the track. i nearly ran over a mongoose, running along the same way i was.

the sky, dark with storm and thunder behind me as a turned at the top of the track, looking down onto a bright window of rolling hills and houses in late afternoon sunlight.

ah.

Woke from weird dreams, involving hiking, huge great buttresses of mountain and rock, giant-sized structures and bridges (like being inside a manic miner game), strange flats full of young women and their friends and boyfriends (!), then an action movie with me as a super assassin, jason bourne or somesuch, defending a small white lace-filled entrance hall. Perhaps something to do with watching brief snatches of “The International” with Nicholas Cage. Now that a few movie makers have got “make the audience identify strongly with a character” down pat, they make us identify with a bad guy so we get a suitably roller-coaster emotional ride. The smile on the deaf Thai pharmacy lady was beautiful, like a lotus passing by on a river or a perfect blue dragonfly or a child’s laugh is beautiful.

Spent yesterday morning riding on a standard Sunday club ride and watched as my friends rode in the ‘A’ race and our team won. Then took a shortcut and the pros came blasting past. QUite a ride, I can heartily recommend being on your bike watching the pros come past. Its a noise and rush like no other, the sound or maximum human pedal power all concentrated and alive and rushing.

http://bit.ly/Azohq

Favourite sounds. Crink.

I’m struggling along here at work, remembering my being out and about, remembering places and times I loved, and the noise of my bicycle tyre comes to mind. Hmmm. So, noises I love.
The crunch of my shoe on a path high up on a mountainside, with the wind blowing and green slopes dropping away to the great sunlight on far shoulders of earth. A swallow flings past on the hands of the wind, a jet whistling noise on its wings.

The popping of purple Jacaranda blossoms on the road under the quiet wheels of my late-night car, after rain, in air pushy with cool early morning to come. The pops are soft exhalations, bubble wrap on puffs of joy.

The sliding click of my cell phone as it closes. It links to the satisfying, pleasurable clunk in my hand as I close my phone after speaking to my beloved and the joy of having met someone so intensely, loving them so intensely, is seated so snugly in the … SNICK!

Wind in a barbed wire fence, with whistling over grasses all around. Brown earth, green grass with high stalks, then my shirt flaps.

Falling pool balls in the table we have in the office and then a united “Awwwwwwww!” as one of the players misses a sitter of a shot. Great people around my head like candles at a midnight feast at school.

The sleeping sigh of a lover. Stillness, night and endless joyous shared lifetime.

have you ever thought about giving directions to someone over the phone who has almost no language reference with you? Like right and left?

Here’s an interesting experiment - searching on the internet using interesting words - the list is to follow - and enjoy the incongruity of the result. I wonder what term I should use to describe this process. Galumphing? Protowrungling? Splorking? Zorching? Hmmmmm. They’re the words for the next galumph!
On a search of “rapscallion” I came up with a link to a seafood restaurant in Reno Nevada, U.S.A. A seafood restaurant in the middle of a desert. Ok.

A search on “gurgle” led me to a dispute between a pet hyperstore and disgruntled clients who had posted their unsatisfactory experiences at the shop online. They were successfully attacked for this by the shop owner and about $4500 were paid to the shop owner. No freedom of speech there… And there’s that seafood - umm - fish link.

“poindexter” took me to a site with undergraduate literary works and an essay addressed to nosebleeds.

A “blot” is “a method of transferring proteins, DNA, RNA or a protein onto a carrier.”

“neoteny” led to a Japanese venture-captial company and the “brainsellers” website.

“pinkoid” - a new eye colour for the Drosophila fruit fly.

Certainly a fun few moments of entertainment and also an enjoyable foray into boosting bizarre search term statistics.

Love and rockets

ok, so it sounds quite depressed and moany. yes, it sounds down. wait for it, wait for it…. when life happens, the changes are always there. Nothing changing is just another word for life. How can nothing have changed?

If I go just into my thoughts, there are changes. I feel oddly out of time this morning. That aside, my feelings are similar when I am confronted with life and its shenanigans. Yesterday I gave birth. Yes, I gave birth to a gosling. I helped it out of its shell, and later, when it was being attacked by red ants in the nest, I transferred it to the pondside where the mother goose was swimming with the on-time babies. A whole raft of emotions, feelings, depressions and ecstasies. Damn.

Nothing changes. Ok. Perhaps. Why do I rebel against wanting to have a robot as a partner/lover/wife? Sameness. Agreement. Suppliance. Obedience. Come on. One of us humans made the comment that married life becomes predictable after a while, so why start with the predictability? Bring on the rollercoaster of change and unstable change at that. I have yet to perceive a relationship that is not unstable, difficult, rocky, fraught and hurtful at some stage.

Bring on the outdoors, you say. This blog is about the outdoors, the grass, the trees. Alrighty then, let me bring it on.

After winning a 50km race 2 weeks ago, I found that I had created knee pain. 2 weeks on its almost healed but still worrisome. In the meantime I have purchased a magnificent machine, a full carbon monocoque French-made racing bike with new components and glorious handling. Its like….. ummmm, think of……. ummmmmm (innuendo, dammit!)

and on the test ride the knee was really sore, after a week’s rest, so I have a little bit of depression about that.

Anyway, there are so many pictures from the last few months. I’ll put them in. There are some cool outdoors ones too! Heheheheheh.

Happy stagnating! In fact, I challenge you to stagnate. Try to convince me that you have stagnated. Only death can be true stagnation, stillness. And there’s the stagnation point in aerodynamics… Bring it on!!!

idyll

Idyll.

storm

Stormy sky.

some god of morning shares being with me

A god of morning leans out and shares beign with me (thanks, D.H. Lawrence)

my morning rainbow with sweet scent

My morning scented rainbow

Gosling halfway out

Gosling half out…

Gosling baby, all warm and egg-fresh

hey little goose, mom’s over there!

there's mom

There she is, with brothers and sisters.

summer fun yay!
Happy happy garden sunshiny place

Men's Toilet Graffiti

Graffiti at the Bohemian. Cool!

A cat called Life

A cat called Life. A wonderful little oft-purring companion.

one of the beautiful things missing from walking, camping and my outdoors experiences is the presence of a beloved pet.

one of my more memorable trips out into the wild was a geophysical survey trip. My father and a colleague were off into the Barbeton mountains to take core samples from the rock there.

My dad and his colleague, Maarten, are geophysicists, and they were interested in mapping the paleo-tectonics of the area, especially since the estimated age of the Barberton mountains was sufficiently old to provide good data. The core samples provide information as to the magnetic vectors of the volcanic rock, which, when related to the age of formation and local conditions, provides a glimpse of how the rock has shifted over the ages. Ok.

The thing is, Maarten brought along his dog. We weren’t camping in any game reserves or on land accessible to the public. Permission was requested of the local landowners and we were pretty much on our own. Maarten’s dog Ralph was in his element - quite literally, of course! Watching Raplh have the time of his life was a complete joy. He went chasing off after an antelope that easily outdistanced him, bounding off into the late afternoon slopes golden with African sun. He returned, completely exhausted, about 4 hours later, flopped down into the firelit circle after drinking his fill and slept through!

If you have read “Jock of the Bushveld” by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, you will know about the joys of having a dog along for the outing (and also much about the camping life).

Of course, it is out of the question for anyone who camps to bring their pet dogs with them. The local wildlife populations owuld be decimated, the waste, the food problems…

Still, it would be wonderful to share the wild, the outdoors, with one’s wonderful dogs.

(capitalisation: off!)

one of my favourite books is ursula k. le guin’s “the word for world is forest”. in it the human explorers encounter forest-dwelling humanoids, and there is the standard left- and right-wing human response, as shown in the last disney tarzan animated movie - the clayton-jane conflict. in “forest” the fear and suppressive urges are more…urgent.

the book explores the encounter between the individualistic and hence separated humans and the natives, who, it turns out, are an almost symbiont with their forest. the entire thing and the natives have a toy-story ii “little green men” response to their world, with a helping of simplicity and rightness thrown in.

the book contrasts our humanity with the possibilities and potential of the unity, “oneness” of the forest/world.

this was recalled for me this morning by a first coffee conversation when i remembered my responses to the landscape in british columbia when driving through it. i remember with fondness the carpet of forest trees stretching all over. its the same for all my responses to landscape whatever i do. hiking allows responses that can be savoured for longer and the same kind of landscape is proferred for one’s viewing pleasure, it is just slower to morph into the next view.

The lifestyle of a consumer is what is driving economies and placing a vicious circle onto our habits.
We need money to survive - i.e. to purchase food and to purchase living space. To get the money, we all are faced with work required to get paid the money. Where does the work come from? Other people who have set up solutions to their money sourcing problem have grown organisations that involve themselves in providing something that humans need to survive, i.e. food and shelter. These have grown quite complex and symbiotic with other industries.
We therefore are provided with food and shelter which we pay for. There is a chicken and egg situation here - need and supply are in an ever-more complex dance of proliferation. There are also more and more humans consuming.
How many of us would be ok with no education but that which we seek for ourselves? OK with making our own furniture? Ok with living in a community where we grow our own food, make our own clothes?
There seems to be a huge cost to pay for levels of comfort on a grand scale. Its about comfort, I suppose. Power supplier: turn off the electricity. Me: my ass is cold! Hmm - multiply by the 10 million or so people clustered into a typical large city, on top of all the pcs running at the well lit offices while our houses in the suburbs are blacked out.
How many of us would be willing to sit and have a conversation with others in the community? Just sit? Watching the sun go down? Or shower, put on mass produced clothing, drive to a club/restaurant/bar/friend’s house, eat mass produced food and drink, while the music plays, in a well lit mall/complex then drive home, watch some tv, go to the fridge and drink a cold beverage, or boil water and then cool it down with refrigerated milk.
What are we doing with our lives? Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) ponders on machines that do everything really slowly to give us more leisure time, rather than the other way round.
How can we change things ourselves? Is globalisation of the consumer culture a good thing?
If we are established in a community, are we happy to rely on human-powered transport or the community’s horse drawn carriage or few biodiesel vehicles to get us to an emergency room? Can we watch a loved-one die for want of a speedy ambulance or power for an ultrasound?
Would we need to spend billions and billions of whatever currency on cancer cures if all food was grown and harvested and consumed by us? Would we be able to decide on which industries should be run on mass production scale (medicines, communications technology, recycling, power, aviation) and which not (entertainment, infomercial production houses, human food animals, military)?
Or do we merely accept that to be human means to be a population on a planet as we are and to live our lives as messily, tragically, chaotically, mysteriously and joyously as they are?

Hidden treasures

This morning, while assisting at a nerve-wracking event for someone, I noticed a dilapidated weaver-bird’s nest. It recalled for me the little things that can contribute to us finding a beautiful hidden thread of things.

Once, while out hiking with my father and sister, my sister and I encountered a small trickle of a tiny stream. While Dad sat resting in a tree’s shade, we followed it. About 30 feet from the trail, we found a deep, crisply cold pool of crystal clear water hidden under a canopy of trees and shrubs like any of the others.

We filled our canteens and jumped in. WOW - cool, refreshing, wonderful hidden pool. We called the others in the party. We stayed a few moments and then moved straight back to the trail. The hike ended and we now hold the secret of this pool in our family hiking tradition.

It was hidden and wondrous. How did we find it? A little bit of respectful and innocent curiosity.

Be curious and gentle and there are the hidden treasures. You will find yourself curious and gentle and those in themselves are wondrous treasures. And can hopefully lead to others for us all.

Curious and gentle. Kurt Vonnegut also said: “Be kind”. Cool!

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