Many years ago I bought the Weatherbox set of CDs by David Sylvian. It’s a beautiful set, with graphics printed on each jewel-case that create a nice extra layer of color on top of the cover. I just came across it this afternoon and was thinking that I am going to miss CDs. They are not as graphic as the 12″ LP was, but I actually preferred their size. A CD feels more personal, more intimate than an LP. Like a small Moleskine book. You can stick the package in a small bag, even in the back-pocket of some jeans. And with so many things competing for BIG (bigger and bigger flatscreen TVs, huge photographic prints, large paintings and giant buildings) it is nice to hold a CD in one’s hand. Weeks or years of work by a dedicated musician or a group… they end up on a small round disc that fits in your pocket. Maybe with a nice booklet. Not a huge billboard to view from afar, but something you might sit down with to explore.


Editorial Notebook; Life in the Information – New York Times
Commercials no longer sit still and beg to be looked at. Instead, they become fly-like robots that perch on the pillow and whisper sweet nothings while you sleep. The next morning you wake up craving foods you’ve never eaten. Mr. Dick’s characters defend themselves by keeping their windows closed — and making heavy use of fly swatters. The idea is to get them before they get to you.

I remember them from his books as gen-manipulated flies, that is bio flies (grown) rather than robotic flies (built).

They are still much bigger than flies, more like bats, but they are coming:

Inhabitat » The Solar Powered COM-BAT Spy Plane
In this season of specters and spooks, what could be scarier than a steel-winged robotic spy plane shaped like a bat? The aptly named COM-BATis a six-inch surveillance device that is powered by solar, wind, and vibrations. The concept was conceived by the US military as a means to gather real-time data for soldiers, and the Army has awarded the University of Michigan College of Engineering a five year $10-million dollar grant to develop it.

Light drinking in pregnancy

Light drinking in pregnancy may be good for baby boys, says study | Life and style | The Guardian
Boys born to mothers who drank lightly during pregnancy are better behaved and score more highly in tests at the age of three than the sons of women who abstained, according to a study published today.

Researchers found there was no link between light drinking in pregnancy – defined as one to two units a week, or on occasion – and any behavioural or cognitive problems in children at the age of three.

Surprisingly, the University College London study found that some of the children of light-drinking mothers appeared to be doing better than the babies of those who abstained.

Hm, I think the above news means, if you are American (Europeans have a different attitude about wine) – don’t glare at that pregnant women just because she is having a glass of wine with dinner. You can get concerned if she orders a few glasses of Jack Daniels, though…

Regarding wine, I am reading Plain Talk About Fine Wine by Justin Meyer, the late winegrower (he didn’t like the term winemaker) of Silver Oak. Great book for people who like wine.

And, there is always a middle path.

Recessionista style

Recessionista style
Meanwhile, the admittedly small and elitist slow-fashion movement (inspired by Slow Food) is supposedly a burgeoning sea change from consumers scoring cheap, poorly constructed, and questionably sourced runway rip-offs. Slow fashion, says The Guardian, is all about investing in quality pieces of clothing that’ll hopefully last a long time; attention is paid to whether items are fair-trade, made locally, and made of organic material.
(Via Gristmill)

Thursday, October 30th

Rode my Brompton (yesterday I rode the other one, which now sports this saddle) to breakfast with Jon. Haven’t used my car in several days. I wonder how long I can go without a car if I get one of these or these.

Looked up VHEMT because it came up in our conversation and came across this quote:

Man in his misguidance has powerfully interfered with nature. He has devastated the forests, and thereby even changed the atmospheric conditions and the climate. Some species of plants and animals have become entirely extinct through man, although they were essential in the economy of Nature. Everywhere the purity of the air is affected by smoke and the like, and the rivers are defiled. These and other things are serious encroachments upon Nature, which men nowadays entirely overlook but which are of the greatest importance, and at once show their evil effect not only upon plants but upon animals as well, the latter not having the endurance and power of resistance of man.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

I believe that’s a quote from Goethe’s Faust. (Ich lese zur Zeit Gespräche mit Goethe)

I mean, we have known this to be true… but we have not known it in our bones. I hope we can come together and preserve nature for our children and beyond.

After breakfast, which lasted a good hour and fortyfive minutes, I stopped by Mellow Velo and ordered a pair of pant cuff clips like these. My grandfather always rode a bike to work and I remember him having some exactly like that.

Played guitar for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Amazing how practicing creates a physical sensation of well-being for me. Then zazen and dinner and now I am heading into the studio to work on new mixes for The Santa Fe Sessions. I started stripping away everything that isn’t essential and the songs begin to sparkle and shine in a new way.