Need a last minute gift?

Go to the Under the Rose webpage.
Click on Download this album in lossless FLAC format.
Click on Click here to download a PDF you can print out for making your own CD jewel box insert.
If you don’t have FLAC software, go to this webpage and download some.
Burn an audio CD.
Print the jewel box insert.
Tie a ribbon around it.

Optional: make a donation to Direct Aid Iraq.

Total cost should be about a buck, for the CD-R with case, plus the donation, if applicable.

Happy Holidays!

PS: Of course, you can also give a gift certificate for our ListeningLounge

Thursday in Santa Fe

That’s what the light was like yesterday afternoon. Today is different, at least in the early Morning. Soft light. Impossible to see where the snow ends and the sky starts. Like living inside a big lightbox, the fabric reflector that attaches to studio lighting to create soft lighting by diffusing the strobe flash. A black and white world. Or, like living inside a diorama. One could expect a giant hand to reach into the diorama to gently adjust a tree or house, or move some snow away from a window.

Holiday cards. What do I wish for? Peace? Like the idea of a permanent paradise, the wish for peace seems silly, static, unnatural, impossible. Arguments are the spice of life. Maybe one should wish for non-bloody confrontations that solve differences and create new meaning and possibilities!!! Maybe that’s too long for a Christmas card? Maybe live in harmony with the World? When it’s raining, put on a raincoat, when it’s cold, wear a sweater. When crazies run through the street waving banners and weapons, stay inside. When the wheel squeeks, put a few drops of oil on the bearings. Maybe just Live in Harmony. Yes, that says it all. To me that implies acceptance of what is coming down my path. Fight what can be fought and accept what cannot. Living in harmony with whatever it is that is happening. Doing what is appropriate. Reacting appropriately. And it also means, I think, taking only what is necessary, not taking all that is on display. Please Live in Harmony – yes that’s even better.

Now the sun has broken through! Snow is evaporating, and it looks like steam rising from the ground. The sky is blue, the snow-covered ground a brilliant white. The days are becoming longer again. Happy solstice, happy holidays!

For’s selection of snowy seasonal photos click here.

Here are some Digital Dharma movie previews. These will only be available for viewing until January 9th. (((in some cases I had to hit reload a couple of times to see the movie)))

1. Opening Review
2. Gene’s Beginning
3. Shechen
4. Sherab Ling
5. Kathmandu University

Wednesday in Santa Fe

Catching up… and a little bit of music.

It’s been snowing off and on since yesterday evening. I think Santa Fe will have a white holiday this year.

Had no trouble driving my front-wheel drive car to have breakfast with Jon this Morning. Having Winter tires in the front makes a huge difference in the snow. Jon said he recently read that in many cases a front-wheel drive with Winter tires will cope with snow much better than a four-wheel drive vehicle with regular tires.

This Season Jon learned his family’s old Lebkuchen recipe and he gave me some of the results of his work. Yummy, especially with a cup of coffee… my first coffee in over a week.

Jon emailed a rough mix of Turkish Night with the new bass to me:

You can download the mp3 file here.

I think the chorus is great, very driving and energetic. I would like to try a different approach on the verses, though, making them less forward-moving, feeling almost suspended, maybe alternating between stark and lush. Stay tuned for a new version with a different bass for the verses, maybe next week. Maybe some keyboards by then as well?

Just finished reading Night Train to Lisbon, a novel by Pascal Mercier. Wonderful book. This was the first book I have read that described a man living with Bechterew’s disease – also known as Ankylosing Spondylitis, discovered by Vladimir Bekhterev – which was interesting to me, because my father suffered from that disease for most of his life.

Must visit Lisbon.

David Byrne has an interesting post on the limits of multiculturalism.

David Byrne’s Journal: 12.13.09: The Limits of Multiculturalism
Can we tolerate difference, without taking toleration to the extreme, where everyone is expected to accept insults and provocations? Tolerance shouldn’t mean we have to let anyone with a different lifestyle boss the rest of us around. It seems maybe there’s no absolute dividing line between what we tolerate and what we insist is unacceptable. The measure of how much we should tolerate is: does it help us get along? If it divides us further, then maybe it’s not a good idea. Granted we don’t want to have to compromise our own beliefs or ways of life — resentment will lie buried, festering, and will reassert itself in some form, later, maybe somewhere else seemingly completely unrelated. I don’t want to compromise my own activities, safety and way of life more than is reasonably necessary — but I can still accommodate somewhat. Where the line is might shift from time to time — it’s not fixed, or unchangeable forever. Adaptability and accommodation make us human. Absolutes are for machines and vengeful Gods. What we sometimes call common sense — not going by the book, whether that be the law or the Bible — might be how we survive. But being an ever-changing thing, it’s hard to define. It is learnt, I imagine, by living together, improvising, and innovating, not from a rulebook.

True, true! Common sense is learnt, I imagine, by living together, improvising, and innovating, not from a rulebook.

What else did I do this past week? I stayed in for the most part. I ate fresh figs:

I watched water for pasta come to a boil:

I played with Remo’s puddy pad – a practice pad for drummers:

I learned how to fold Shide:

I took lots of photographs of little things, simple things, like this gingko leaf:

Or this shadow of a glass, that appears to contain the shadow of a Martian or other alien…

More, ahem, alien activity in my house:

I also discovered a photo gallery by James Henkel. I especially like this series.

Visit Prague, 18 giga-pixel panorama.

Saturday in Santa Fe

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.
– H.G. Wells

Found here.

This is something I have often wondered when seeing new paths in parks and how often they are less than ideal and promptly ignored.

Let pedestrians define the walkways | Derek Sivers
A new green college campus was built, but one thing was still debated:
Where in the grass should we put the paved walkways?

Some felt the walkways should be around the edges, to leave the center green and untouched. Some felt the walkways should cut diagonal, connecting all buildings to all buildings.

One professor had the winning idea: Don’t make any walkways this year. At the end of the year, look at where the grass is worn away, showing us where the students are walking. Then just pave those paths.

Friday in Santa Fe

I am feeling better today, after I ate nothing but four bowls of chicken soup with lots of hot green chile yesterday. I swear chickensoup with hot chile is the best medicine for a cold. You can feel your body sweat and transfer energy.

Miles Davis in Paris: the love lives on | Music | The Guardian
Vian introduced Davis to Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre, and the group would sit together in hotels, cafes and clubs in the Saint-Germain district, using a mixture of broken French, broken English and sign language to communicate.

Miles Davis, Picasso and Sartre hanging out in Paris!! May I serve the coffee? There is currently a Miles Davis exhibit in Paris, at the Musée de la Musique, until 17 January. The exhibit will move to Montreal from April to August, 2010.

I am enjoying Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, by Jason Goodwin, written years before The Janissary Tree, his first novel featuring the clever eunuch detective Yashim Togalu. Check this out:

The Sultan’s horse, which carried him the short distance through the streets to Friday prayers, was suspended from straps the night before to ensure that it walked with halting gravity.

If you enjoy reading about history I would certainly recommend this book!

HDtracks high resolution audiophile music downloads
Are you curious as to what your fellow music aficionados are downloading from HDtracks? Here’s this week’s best sellers for you to check out. Build up your music collection fast with these great artists and albums.

The HDtracks best seller list, week ending Monday, December 14th
1. One Guitar (96/24) – Ottmar Liebert
2. Paris / London – Testament (96/24) – Keith Jarrett
3. Up Close (96/24) – Ottmar Liebert
4. Raising Sand (96/24) – Robert Plant, Alison Krauss

Nice! Two in the top three! Of course, I have no idea what that really means. They might have sold 4 copies of One Guitar, 3 copies of the new Keith Jarrett album, 2 copies of Up Close etc… :-)

Large panaorama photo of Dresden, in Germany, currently the 26 gigapixel image is the largest in the world.

These restaurantions always look like magic to me:

BBC News – Audio slideshow: Scala Santa
In Rome, 400-year-old fresco paintings in one of the most popular shrines in Christendom – obscured by thick grime and soot – have been restored to their original glory.

The BBC’s Rome correspondent David Willey was given a tour of the building that is home to the Scala Santa or Holy Stairs. He spoke to Mary Angela Schroth, who is coordinating the 10-year restoration project.

Quick, show this video to the politicos in Copenhagen. It’s just a wee planet we are on and it needs be treated better.

I don’t have a lot of hope for any significant agreement in Copenhagen this week. Most of us will not live to see the devastation that will occur eventually. But, I am sad for the needless suffering that will follow.