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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Tribeless Nomad's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, November 3rd, 2001
10:20 pm
Gotta love the military
Look how much effort they put into entertaining people who need Anthrax Information.

Not that Flash is always a bad thing. hinkle came up with this loopy thing, and some irresistable bunnies, proving once again that simpler is better.

Scott, have a happy birthday! Start now. :)

You are what you eat:
pumpkin pie
Sencha green tea
gyros platter
orange sherbet in orange juice
Saturday, September 22nd, 2001
9:06 pm
Documentary about Afghanistan on CNN right now. Filmed inside the country recently. Interesting stuff.

Beneath the Veil: Inside the Taliban's Afghanistan
Tuesday, September 11th, 2001
12:55 pm
Thoughts that can't wait
It's hard to know what to say, but fortunately there are others to say it. At times like this, I'm grateful for LiveJournal as a communications tool.

I'm impressed that a community like wtcdisaster can appear spontaneously. It may be full of unsubstantiated rumors, but it's definitely filling a need.

As always, I'm even more impressed with those who write responsibly and provide the rest of LJ with a useful stream of information in a situation like this. A notable example is one of LJ's programmers, ntang, who's located in Manhattan. There are others -- consider spreading the word when you find them.

I can't quite grasp everything that's happening, so my thoughts are largely with the workers who have put themselves in danger to help others during this disaster. Many of them were undoubtedly caught in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, yet others continue to save lives in streets made unbreathable by dust and combustible by broken gas mains.

I don't think anyone I know is in personal danger. I hope all of your friends in the affected areas get through this safely.
Sunday, April 22nd, 2001
3:58 pm
Earth Day, so I look out the window ...
It's snowing again. Last time I posted an entry about snow, the power went out half an hour later, and it didn't come back on again for more than 12 hours. Better luck this time?

A pair of kestrels is sitting in a cottonwood tree behind the house. This is the first time I've ever had a good look at a kestrel. Back in high school (actually an English grammar school), we spent way too much time studying a book about a boy and his pet kestrel; it was strangely frustrating, because all I knew was that kestrels were vaguely hawk-like. I always felt like I was missing the significance of the key word in the book.

A few years ago, I got into the habit of trying to identify the birds I see. I learned that kestrels are small falcons, which I'd be able to recognize easily enough if I could ever see one clearly. Today at last, I know I could go back to that high school reading assignment, and not be troubled at all by wondering what a "kestrel" is. But the characters would still spend most of their time bullying poor Billy (in Yorkshire dialect, no less), so I think I'll pass.

Better stories about falcons have come my way since high school. My favorite was told by Anglo-Danish archaeologist Geoffrey Bibby, in his book Looking for Dilmun. I'm sad to learn, as I write this, that Bibby died two months ago. His book -- a marvelous blend of history, travel, and science -- is one of the most memorable I've ever read.

Bibby and his co-workers used to excavate in Bahrain for part of each year. As I recall, his colleague came into possession of a white Greenland falcon during one of the off-seasons. Falconry being a popular and prestigious sport in Arabian lands, they decided the bird would be an exotic and ideal gift for the sheikh whose hospitality they relied on. En route to Bahrain, the falcon showed no ill effects from travelling in the baggage compartment during the European leg of the journey. Upon changing to an Arab airline for the last leg of the flight, the travellers were told that the bird would under no circumstances be allowed to travel as baggage. Nothing less than First Class seating was suitable for such a distinguished guest.

I believe Bibby and his colleague were allowed to move into the First Class section, too.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2001
3:36 am
I just finished reading The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks, a novel by Donald Harington.

Meanwhile, it's been snowing pretty hard.

Total Amount of the Accumulation Outside: about 5 inches, so far
Tuesday, April 10th, 2001
11:53 pm
Greek sushi?
I've never been sure, when buying dolmades at the deli in Alfalfa's Market, whether I should choose the imported or domestic kind. So today, I finally tried both at the same time for comparison.

And the winner is ... unfortunately not clear. The smaller, imported variety has a better-tasting wrapper (though I don't know whether it's the leaf, or the oil, or what, that makes the difference). But its filling is too bland, not as good as the filling in the domestic variety, which is flavored (unsubtly) with dill. Would it be so hard to make both the wrapper and the filling tasty?

Maybe I need to expand my taste test to include dolmades bought elsewhere. It's hard to see a downside to that .... :)

You are what you eat:
marmalade-filled pastry
Celestial Seasonings green tea
Carr's lemon ginger creme cookies
turkey ragout
Sunday, April 1st, 2001
4:24 am
I was gonna post something just now, but the lastest news from Brad makes my idea seem kind of meaningless.

Current Mood: deceived
Tuesday, March 20th, 2001
8:08 pm
At last.
Vernal Equinox: Bank holiday in Japan. I wonder where else?

It's a perfect day To post a vernal haiku, But I don't have time.

Leaving tomorrow For a week-long vacation. Might not be here much.

You are what you eat:

(Sunday the 18th)
Irish soda bread
marmalade-filled pastry
peanut butter creme cookies
Temple Pine green tea
sliced ham and mozzarella
Brussels sprouts
petits fours

(Monday the 19th)
orange sherbet in orange juice
Irish soda bread
orange juice
country wheat bread
Temple Pine green tea
sliced pork with applesauce
mashed potatoes and gravy
baby sweet peas
raspberry gelato
Friday, March 16th, 2001
4:29 pm
LiveJournal promotions
A limited number of Permanent Accounts are now available for $100 each.

Also, Brad announced a few days ago that "existing paid users at the time we buy the new database will get free disk space on the image server for a year or so."

You are what you eat:
raisin bread
Monday, March 12th, 2001
5:26 pm
Is the devil in the details?
This is part of my reply to The Book Foole's post today, regarding Buddhist "mindfulness" and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

I think it's no coincidence that I chose Zen Buddhism as the ostensible subject of my journal. Buddhist ideals are in many ways an antidote to excessively detail-oriented behavior. This is only one of many reasons that Buddhism appeals to me, and it isn't one I was consciously aware of before I started my journal, but its importance (to me) has become obvious through discussions I've had with people on this site. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in appreciating Buddhism for this reason.

Buddhism does emphasize mindfulness (a term given much weight in our time by Thich Nhat Hanh). It's an integral part of all the Buddhist teaching I've encountered so far. In spite of that, a person accomplished in Zen practice usually performs acts with what many consider an "unconscious" ease, and the Zen doctrine of "no-mind" is well known. There may well be a paradox in all this; learning from paradox is an important part of Zen training.

Someone more knowledgeable might correct me, but I think the goal of Buddhist practice is always a greater, expanded awareness (mindfulness). Paying attention to "the big picture" ensures attention where it's needed, but also frees one from fussing too much over an isolated problem. I imagine that clearer thinking along these lines would resolve any paradoxes that might appear troublesome at the outset. I wouldn't expect to conclude that attention to detail is bad, only that it gets carried too far when one becomes inattentive to context.
7:37 am
Earthquake rose from Port Townsend
This photo shows the pattern traced in sand by a pendulum during the earthquake that struck near Seattle a couple of weeks ago. The story is told on the Web site of Gaelic Wolf Consulting. Despite having 2 Port Townsenders on my LJ Friends list, I learned about this from the weblog of Andrea Frick in Germany. What's up with that, guys? :)
You are what you eat:
(for Sunday the 11th)
peach yogurt
orange juice
AriZona "green tea", Asia plum flavor
Madeleine French cake with plum jam
country wheat bread
cream of lentil soup
Monday, March 5th, 2001
7:40 pm
My first, and probably last, post about unicorns
... or, "Technical Discussions that Go Over my Head".

I was just reading about the XML markup language, and in a post to xml-dev I saw this (emphasis added):
The features of the tools to manage XML applications are more important to understand than the specification because of the need to validate. That brings up the subject of the number of unicorns required to approve a purchase.

You are what you eat:
chocolate brownies
Temple Pine green tea
turkey ragout
1 chocolate-dipped pirouette
Saturday, February 10th, 2001
11:39 pm
Icicle star
I was looking at some books of work by sculptor Andy Goldsworthy today.

Here's one of his pieces, from a website at Hamline University called "Self Expressing Earth".
Icicle star
You are what you eat:
1 chocolate brownie
zucchini bread
apple pie
macaroni and cheese
butter mints
AriZona green tea, Asia plum flavor
Tuesday, February 6th, 2001
4:17 am
More books
Here are some good collections of Japanese-style poetry, which I saw in a bookstore on Monday:
Kenneth Rexroth (1955). One Hundred Poems from the Japanese. New York: New Directions, 140 p. [$9.95 softcover] -- presents 100 poems, spanning centuries, in romaji with English translations. Amongst books I've seen of the same type, so far this one has impressed me most with its selection and the way the poems come across in English.

William J. Higginson (1996). Haiku World: an international poetry almanac. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 407 p. [$19.00 softcover] -- demonstrates how seasonal references are used in haikai (hokku, haiku, and senryu) from around the world. I think this would be an excellent source book for learning about haiku.

3:57 am
There was an amazing halo around the moon this evening. It was about 20 times the diameter of the moon itself, and brightly lit against a black sky. The central part was bright silver, but most of it glowed in colors that seemed to progress through the spectrum twice before fading out at the edge.
Monday, January 15th, 2001
9:10 am
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (born January 15, 1929)

You are what you eat:
(for Sunday the 14th)
maple candy
cheese tortellini soup with chicken and vegetables
a lasagna-like casserole
orange sherbet in orange juice
vanilla-and-chocolate sandwich creme cookies
orange juice
Cornish pasty
mince tart
Wednesday, January 10th, 2001
1:46 am
Ken Burns has been at it again.
My excuse for not keeping my journal updated this month will be ... the new 10-part documentary Jazz, which is being shown on public TV over 3 weeks, starting last night.

Following today's LiveJournal
discussion of the first installment, I helped blackhellkat start a jazz club. She's taking the reins, and I don't plan to play an important role in the club myself once everything's working smoothly. But I think watching some discussions of jazz (and especially of the PBS documentary) will be very informative. Everyone's welcome to join.

I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking I know much about jazz. Here in America, jazz seems to have become something of an academic subject, appreciated mostly by musicians, historians, and dedicated fans. The rest of us hear jazz a lot, in movies and so forth, but we aren't flooded with information about it, as we are about the Beatles, or punk rock, or Madonna. I know just enough about jazz to believe that it's comparable in sophistication and importance to classical music. I'm pretty sure that most Americans would be surprised by that opinion, however.

Not for the first time, filmmaker Ken Burns is providing me with an opportunity to learn an aspect of my own country's history that's never been explained to me properly before. I'm always a little ambivalent about watching his programs, because they're as close to being boring as a program can be and still hold my attention. But I never like to pass up the learning experience.

I spent a couple of hours this evening watching the second installment of the documentary, and a couple more setting up the club (which was time-sensitive because of the ongoing broadcast). So I didn't have the time I needed to respond to some LiveJournal comments as I wanted to. I'll do that as soon as I can.

You are what you eat:
(for Tuesday the 9th)
Mueslix cereal
almond pastries
Celestial Seasonings green tea
creamed chicken
new potatoes
steamed zucchini
assorted Cadbury's chocolate cookies
Friday, January 5th, 2001
11:35 pm
A poem by Li Po
You ask why I live
alone in the mountain woods.

I smile and stay quiet
till even my soul is still.

The peach-trees put blossoms forth.
The brook water flows.

I dwell in another world,
which no person owns.

(For more information, see my previous entry.)
10:52 pm
Some unconventional thinkers
Since Yule, I've been trying to learn a little about some poets well-known in Zen circles. So far, the ones I've found a particular affection for turn out to have been outcasts. They were important even in their own time, but their manners and ideas were so far outside of the mainstream that they couldn't make a decent living for most of their lives.

I've already mentioned a couple of these interesting fellows, in comments to some other LiveJournal users, and I'll say a little more about them here.

First up is 8th-century Chinese poet Li Po, often said to be the greatest of China's classical poets. He seems to have been essentially a Taoist. He wrote about separation, and solitude, and nature (especially mountains and the moon). And he wrote a lot about drinking, but poets are allowed to have vices, right? The drinking seems to have killed his career, but his work became the spiritual life-force of the nation that had shunned him.

Right after this entry, I'll post my favorite poem by Li Po (not to imply I've seen all 1,100 of them). I've modified it myself, based on other translations (primarily this one), because I couldn't find an existing rendition I liked the rhythm of.

The other guy I'm really fascinated by is 15th-century Zen master Ikkyu. He severely criticized the Zen establishments of his day, and developed an erotic practice called Red Thread Zen. There is so much of interest in his story that it's well worth reading his biography in The Culture of Zen during the Ashikaga Shogunate (starting about two-thirds of the way down the page).

I'm also wading slowly through a voluminous collection of articles about haiku, on the AHA! POETRY Web site. Particularly noteworthy amidst the onslaught of rules and advice is Basho's motto, "Learn the rules; and then forget them." I'll write more about haiku later, no doubt.

You are what you eat:
Kashi cereal
Mueslix cereal
zucchini tea bread
Temple Pine green tea
rainbow sherbet
light egg nog
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2001
12:12 pm
The year of no triumphs
Some years are better than others. 2000 was the year when Time magazine ran out of influential people to feature as "Person of the Year".

In fact, the year's most memorable victories were the ones in which the winners were awarded nothing:
  • Andreea Raducan winning the overall women's gymnastics competition at the Sydney Olympics
  • Al Gore defeating George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential election

On a brighter note, in 2000 I saw two types of bird for the first time:
  • hermit thrush
  • nuthatch

You are what you eat:

Sunday, December 31:
ginger snaps
English Christmas pudding with white sauce
almond pastries
2 Koppers amaretto cordials
2 Reese's peanut butter cups
buffalo carpaccio
roasted corn chowder
a sample of some Rocky Mountain trout
sauteed venison medallions with huckleberry sauce, grapes, bacon, and forest mushrooms
pinot noir wine
chocolate raspberry tuxedo pie with mixed berries
Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
light Egg Nog

Monday, January 1:
2 Koppers amaretto cordials
1 Red Delicious apple
1 all-dark chocolate truffle

Current Mood: retrospective
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