Thursday in Santa Fe

Check out the kick drum Steve Jordan is using in this video. I asked Michael about it this Morning and he explained to me that Jordan combines this unusual kick by Yamaha, called Daxdad, with this Yamaha subkick, which looks like a snare, but contains a speaker – housing a 16 cm, 50-watt low-frequency driver cone. The “reversed speaker” acts as a large diaphragm microphone and enables the Subkick to faithfully capture extremely low frequencies produced by bass drums.

This Morning browsing somehow led me to this, John Mayer’s well-written analasys of a smear-video. It’s a must-read and speaks volumes about how easy it is to manipulate people’s feelings.

Gear was shipped off to Florida yesterday Morning. Following that I went to breakfast with Jon. Maybe because today is the last day of 2009, and the end of the first decade of the 21st century, or maybe because it is something I have been contemplating for a while, but we talked about this:

In order for an individual to pursue a spiritual calling of any kind, most of the time that person must have at least two things taken care of: food and warmth.

I believe a human being who is cold will burn the last tree and a human who is hungry will eat the last of a threatened species. Perhaps that’s why humans were so successful (((too successful, and therefore ruinous to this biosphere, some might say))) on this planet.

It is hard to feel compassion when one is hungry and/or cold. Don’t get me wrong, many people have shown compassion to their fellow humans under extreme circumstances, but it is rather difficult and rare.

As below, so above…

It also seems to me that Climate Change is a similar matter, where the nations who, by and large, have food and warmth, should help the nations who don’t. It is difficult to care about the environment when one doesn’t have food for one’s family.

So, my wish for the new year is for us to be compassionate, towards individual humans as well as to other nations. And you might check out the Charter for Compassion.

After all, this is just a small biosphere hurtling through space. And as far as we know, there is no planet B.

I wish you a harmonious new year and new decade. Happy New Year!

Chile lights reflected in a Nambe bowl.

Life is like the footprint left by a solitary crane in the snow,
visible for one moment and then gone.

– wrote Su Dongpo in the eleventh century, quoted in A Loyal Character Dancer, by Qiu Xiaolong, whose Inspector Chen Caso series I am enjoying.

Wednesday night was dark, and clouds made the moon all but invisible. I am hopeful of seeing today’s Blue Moon though, because as I am writing this the sky is blue and nearly cloudless.

Tuesday Bike

Risky cycling rarely to blame for bike accidents, study finds | Life and style |
With adult cyclists, police found the driver solely responsible in about 60%-75% of all cases, and riders solely at fault 17%-25% of the time.

The cyclists’ lobby group CTC said the report showed that the government needed to focus more on driver behaviour rather than on issues such as cyclists wearing helmets.


“We believe this report strongly supports our view that the biggest problem for cyclists is bad driving. With that in mind we are greatly concerned that the government still seems fascinated with analysing and promoting cycle helmets, the value of which appears to be inconclusive. We believe that the government should now focus on tackling the causes of injury which appears to be mainly inconsiderate and dangerous driving. Reduced speed limits, stronger traffic law enforcement and cycle-friendly road design are the solutions,” said Chris Peck, from the lobby group.

Monday Spoons

I love spoons, wooden spoons.

This, my largest spoon, was carved from olive-wood. About ten years ago I went to the carver’s workshop near Lucca, Tuscany, and picked this one out.

This is a beautifully balanced cherry-wood spoon I found in Manhattan this month.

This is probably the least expensive spoon, carved out of bamboo, but it gets the most use. I found it in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

This spoon was made in Africa. I don’t know much about it as it was a gift. It is great for making Atole or Oatmeal as it gets to the edge of the pot because of its shape.

I found this spoon at Ohori’s in Santa Fe a few years ago. Perfect for eating rice or cereal.

As you can probably tell, diamonds, cars or other bling is not for me – I like the simple things – like these wooden spoons. :-)

Sunday in Santa Fe

He’s like a cherry bomb in a cherry pie.

Tom Waits, speaking about director Terry Gilliam to the L.A.Times.
And, what’s it like, acting? He said:

It’s like sneaking up on a glass of water.

He has a way with words!

I offset 70 tons of CO2 at the other day. That’ll cover the flights (as a group we accumulated more than 120,000 miles in 2009), the tourbus (not sure what milage, but it’ll be covered in the 70 tons) and my car.

Found the following yesterday. It was appropriately posted on Christmas day:

Nikola Tamindzic – On compassion
On compassion

All languages that derive from Latin form the word “compassion” by combining the prefix “with” (com-) and the root meaning “suffering” (Late Latin, passio). In other languages — Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish for instance — this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix combined with the word that means “feeling” (Czech, sou-cit; Polish wspól-czucie; German Mit-gefühl; Swedish med-känsla).

In languages that derive from Latin, “compassion” means: we cannot look on cooly as others suffer; or, we symphathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, “pity” (French pitié; Italian piéta; etc.), connotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. “To take pity on a woman” means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower than ourselves.

That is why the word “compassion” generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love.

In languages that form the word “compassion” not from the root “suffering” but from the root word “feeling,” the word is used in approximately the same way, but to contend that it designates a bad or inferior sentiment is difficult. The secret strength of its etymology floods the word with another light and gives it a broader meaning: to have compassion (co-feeling) means not only to be able to live with the other’s misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion — joy, anxiety, happiness, pain.

This kind of compassion (in the sense of soucit; wspólczucie; Mitgefühl; medkänsla) therefore signifies the maximal capacity of affective imagination, the art of emotional telepathy. In the hierarchy of sentiments, then, it is supreme.

— Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Of course, it does not matter how you get there – as long as you get there.

Here is a quote from David Byrne’s book Bicycle Diaries, which I have been reading off and on for a couple of months (((I am reading the Kindle version))):

The World isn’t logical. It’s a song.

I quite like that! And how about this:

…that she was recently in Iran to visit some of the artists currently working there. She says most of them are regularly subjected to beatings by the government, and they incorporate that into their lives and dress, wearing six pairs of pants for their beating appointments.

And with that we’ll come full-circle, as that is surely something one could expect to find in a movie by Terry Gilliam, the cherry bomb in the cherry pie.

PS: Canton’s Mercury Retrograde Widget tells me that Mercury is in Retrograde and to save often. Just wanted to pass that on…