Posts Tagged ‘internet’

the grace of ice cream

Things are somewhat indescribable of late.  Aside from the fact that it is mind numbingly hot, not even really cooling off at night.  (The tomatoes Do Not Like It at all but oddly the Butternut squash are going crazy, we have four Charentais melons on the vine, and the Chair Vert melon plant in the back has quadrupled in size to an almost sci-fi extent.)

The Dog has some allergic food reaction and is covered in spots.  There was, for the first time since we’ve been here, a fire that would have roared over the hill and destroyed our yurt (and maybe lives since it was blocking the only way out from here as well) if Cal Fire hadn’t gotten on it immediately.  It made me slightly sick to see the burnt place on the way into town,  but at least I got to thank the firefighters, barely able to not blurt out a question about how come they’re always so darn HANDSOME.  People I care about are having health issues and there’s a lot going on that seems very out of any kind of measure or control.   Also I found that as hard as I try, the poisonous atmosphere on Planet LPV and all that comes from same has crept into my little brain (aside, I mean, from wondering what I’ll do with no health insurance and an internet controlled by Comcast and Verizon, voter suppression and Environmental Protection c/o Exxon Mobil and how long til this guy gets COMMITTED???…oh well.  You probably know).  This was forcibly borne in upon me when in a couple of days, I got two follows on this blog, for which I am grateful!, in Arabic.  I watched my stomach clench as my brain said, Oh boy, this is IT.  “They” will ….they, who?, will do what, exactly? I mean, really? I get hits from all over the world, amazingly, and sometimes from places we’re “supposed” to fear.  (The many Russian hits are generally hacks and ripoffs from my website to porn sites, big surprise. Flower pictures, right?)  Don’t ask me what allure this bear’s life holds but there it is.  It’s kind of like when the sheriff drove up that day and clearly realized we’re just a couple of old hardheads and no arrest could, in any universe, be forthcoming for any reason.  ANYWAY the whole thing made me a bit more tense when I found that Google Translate would not let me cut and paste any language to be translated, as it usually does when such things come up.  Maybe it’s my antediluvean laptop. Finally I figured out that I could drag the text over and? Guess what? All of it was WONDERFUL poetry.  Beauty and expression thereof, carrying on a long tradition.  One person I couldn’t get enough blog translated to be able to leave a comment since, not reading Arabic, I couldn’t figure out where that might be.  So I very much hope they don’t think I am being rude.  I often wonder what would have happened to both Christianity and Islam had Capitalism not inserted its noxious snout- perhaps the inherent love at the base of both might have gotten the upper hand.  However, alas, it did and has and now? What the heck has happened to us that the simple act of reaching out and sharing one’s thoughts about reality becomes questionable and prone to causing wonder about who else might be “looking”.  At the same time I was filled with a kind of huge radiant joy at knowing there are people, everywhere, who do create beauty and strive for truth.  And  some of that was shared with me.

So.  Swinging between the twin poles of CHUFFED (followers! who write wonderful things!) and OH DEAR (fire, dog spots, dastardly politics) I turned to my latest obsession: Dulce de Leche.  Traditionally it is made of goat’s milk which is caramelized into total fabulousness.  It is also made quite simply by putting a can of Eagle Brand in a water bath for 40 minutes or so until it becomes thick and caramelized.  It being so hot and all ice cream seemed like the obvious solution for such a preoccupation.  Also I did not want to find that I’d eaten a whole can of Eagle Brand by itself.

The first batch was good, even if the experiment of caramelizing the Eagle Brand in the microwave went just. a. tiny. bit. awry.  The valiant and elderly microwave needed to be cleaned anyway and of course I expect this sort of things-reaching-past- their-assigned boundaries as routine.  The next time I started early in the morning on one day, using the stove, and putting the resulting cooked can into the refrigerator.  When it was cool enough a day or so later to even think about again turning on the stove, this is what I did:

1 cup of milk with the thickened Eagle Brand mixed in, heated slowly.  Three egg yolks beaten, tempered, and stirred in until spoon was properly coated.  Into the refrigerator with that.  About three hours later I mashed up a cup and a half of strawberries from the garden, put a tiny bit of sugar in them, and let them rest for a couple of hours.  A few drops of vanilla into the custard, berries mixed in, and into the ice cream freezer.  The Partner says it’s the best strawberry ice cream he’s ever had, and I think he may be right.  Now, if I can just convince the Dog that he’s not being punished by the now total absence of cheese treats, potato treats, and Daddy’s leftover milk from cereal, and get him to come out from under the table, all may yet be well.  May the Poetry be with you! and as always, blessings and thanks!

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time travel

How long has it been, Gentle Reader? Time is right now  its own, very weird, hard edged commodity.  There’s never enough of it of course, which strikes me as strange now that we’re in this here rural lifestyle where it appears that people think we simply sit around and fan idly through magazines all day long and have oodles of it, when in fact it’s your basic sun up to sun down and beyond.  Just for the basics.

Skipping over current events, or more like it dashing over sinkholes pursued by hellhounds, it seems simple survival is quite a success these days.  I heard Representative Labrador (from Idaho, go figure) say that no one had ever died from not being able to get health care in response to a constituent’s disapproval of the current proposed “healthcare” legislation.  So, OK.  That’s so totally stupid I think we need say no more.  We’re just in for a really bumpy ride before this all immolates, and it’s everywhere.  One has to decide pretty quickly just how excited to get over each explosion.

Meanwhile our efforts to get at least part way into the current century in terms of “technology” continue.  It no longer makes my head explode when people dismissively say, oh, you can too get internet/doctors/books there and blahblahblah.  No, because we learned that the even the actual City of Redding does not have optic fiber connections anywhere.  The official municipal communications apparently occur on some sort of paper cup and string arrangement.  So why should I think my precarious existence should have more up to date arrangements?

Nevertheless.  The telephone situation here is dismal.  The ATT cel phone only works at a distance of about 14 miles from home.  The Hughesnet satellite home phone connection works when it feels like it and aside from not liking snow, it’s not clear what makes the satellite say, uh, NO.  Not Now.   I’ve thus been casting about for a better, more cost effective and workable phone solution that might also allow me to do more marketing for my website and products.  You know, like Instagram and stuff.  So.  I got my first smart phone.  (And yes it IS somewhat intimidating and I feel like a gorilla trying to type on it.) Credo Mobile, an at least relatively ethical carrier, free (” “) IPhone, and apparently coverage even HERE in the round house.  I agonized over the decision, but if all goes well I can get rid of three devices and just have one that works as it is supposed to.  And save money in the process which is becoming ever more important.

However the usual key words here are: IF ALL GOES WELL.  Because so far? It has been a marvelous exercise in equanimity, mindfulness, staying calm, and carrying on.  I haven’t cried, even under intense provocation, and only had one small slug of vodka after the first six hour stressathon.

Initially things went reasonably smoothly and the phone came to my mailbox when they said it would, the offer had changed in the few days since my first call but not significantly.  I felt a strange unease about setting the phone up,  without knowing why (SILLY BEAR)….and then it all became clear.  First, there was the connection for customer support, after the 2+ hour attempted online connection could not be made,  to someone in Nigeria which on my phone felt very much like the aforementioned paper cup arrangement.  Turned out I couldn’t have my old number ported to the new phone because I did not know what my ATT PIN was.  So, fine.  Give me a new number, we’ll carry on.  But NO!!!! My Apple ID wouldn’t work.  An hour plus into it I hung up and called Apple.   An hour plus into that? My home phone died.  Nothing having been successfully wrestled to the ground at that point.

AFOG, for sure.  I realized I had about a second to make up my mind not to freak out about it all, to breathe, do something else, start over tomorrow.  This was the part with the vodka.  Then I went outside and transplanted seedlings.

I started anew the next day, already having about six hours into this.  I called Apple first, where to my stupefaction (since this was about the fourth time I’d called in the past few months about this issue) the Rep revealed that? GUESS WHAT? There’s a website where you can reestablish your Apple ID.  I was thrilled.  Moving on, 45 minutes down, to calling Credo again to get connected, I found that the Apple ID had not been instantly updated so I still couldn’t do anything with that.   Fine, fine.  Another hour and another mini-death for the house phone later, it was revealed that my new IPhone was not going to power up.  Period.  No way.  It seems it needs a new SIM card.  Which we hope will arrive on the morrow when we have to go to town anyway.  Then I get to suit up and do it all over again.  Anyway it took the bulk of the weekend and while, yes, I learned a lot, nothing really got DONE.

I’m assuming this will all get wrestled to the ground and be fine.  The lacking PIN and unfindable ID related to a time long, long ago where someone else was doing my IT.  Good to sever all that and move forward into the NOW.  The question really is, how does one deal with all this overwhelming frustration and time suck?  Over something one doesn’t, in the big picture, really need but in quotidian context, must have.  It seemed sort of like everything else- all these things move in one’s life and have impact (like health care, let’s say, or a recent mystifying spot visit from two huge sheriffs trundling up our “driveway” one morning) without one having any ability to influence any part of it.  Except how one responds.

So I decided to use this as an opportunity to really work on my thoughts.  Revamped my brain as follows: 1) this is manageable 2) time can be used productively even in hacked up increments, to wit our lovely bean seedlings 3) no reason for fear or anxiety, (actually really ever) but if those things rear their unshapely heads, there’s a five minute limit and  4) in spite of feeling as though one is flying into the maw of some huge devouring reptilian creature, things are really OK.  Let’s ramp it back down to just thinking about a PHONE and not branch into ISTHEREAMETEORWITHGODZILLAONITCOMINGMYWAY.

Essentially, what I realized yet again was that we live in rather…interesting times.  The level of discordant energy is over the moon and it’s pretty hard not to feel that to an at times overwhelming extent.  Everyone really does feel it, and around here it appears to be contributing to a Night of the Living Dead atmosphere full of heroin users. However, that isn’t this.  The discord isn’t about us, personally,  and although things are dicey there’s no reason to assume the worst is always just around the corner.  In a decadent situation, things will fall down.  It is what it is, and it is where one finds oneself.  The saying used to be (pardon me, guys) if it has tires or testicles you’re going to have problems with it.  Now it’s more like if it has bytes? You’ll get bitten.  These things are par for the course though, and the continuing effort has to be toward conscious discernment in terms of just how important any given sandtrap really is, and are there sharks.  Also, even if you lose strokes you still get out of the trap for the most part so it still all boils down to learning from experience, and accepting that winds always shift.

To think I at least thought I was out of school.  Now I find I’m not only still there, but I’m playing golf in another galaxy.  And golf? used to be my most-detested sport but I find now it is quite calming to watch.  Which I take to mean, on some level, that once you put your preconceptions down, it’s a whole new world in a rather stunning way.  I’m just hoping this newest new world includes a working IPhone.

Blessings and thanks! oh, and, the Dog is fine. Even if he has lately tended a bit to melodrama- but that is a story for another time.  Right now he needs to play……

for God’s sake (possible diatribe alert)

While it is quite true, Gentle Reader, that my own little life has completely blown apart lately, it is also true that it is coming back together again, however Walter Mitty-like the repairs may be at the moment.  Fountain pens only go so far…….

But.

I just have to say: the Loser of the Popular Vote is indeed a total loser.  He is a reprehensible example of human form and in one short week? He’s managed to spew evil sauce over the world- oh, except the parts where he has investments.  This bullshit about refugees and immigrants and Muslims, taxes, health care, abortion, and that infernal wall!  Has to stop now.  If you call yourself a Christian? ASK YOURSELF WHAT JESUS WOULD DO.  Oh, and btw? You might remember who Jesus was, ethnically and geographically speaking.  And what it was HE actually  espoused.  Not a bunch of men who wrote a book hundreds of years later to reinforce their supposed right to authority over that most of evanescent of things, a human soul. You might stop and think about just exactly where your own family came from.  Because in checking the historical record?  This hemisphere was not inhabited by White people and Europeans to begin with. ( Or even Black people- they got to get here the really fun way, after all.) So, for your perusal, today’s word is immigration.  And today is when we should all step up and disentangle the concept of immigration from the concept of genocide- which has been used as an enforcement mechanism on both sides of the issue.  You may think that is an overstatement but I suggest a little cogitation on the subject. Unless you want to adopt immigration as a thing for Whites and dominant paradigm upholders only and continue to pretend that nobody is ever there before YOU arrive.  I suspect this would exclude women altogether, just as an aside.  Unless they’re approved emigre attachments.  Like the wife of the loser of the popular vote.

Every policy ” ” (and I use that word VERY loosely) he espouses is built on hate, exclusion, selfishness and fear mongering.   Stupidity sandwich.   If we do not all stand up now, right now, and make this stop? If only some of us stand and make the attempt in good faith and love? Those who do not stand up will have an awful lot of shit on their hands.  And they will deserve it.

I know violence does not work.  Anger is a dangerous knife.  But so is inattention and inaction.  This may well be the natural way of things in the unfolding of cosmic history.  But.  Given that we do not, and most likely cannot?, know that? We have an obligation as human beings to do unto others- and that means all others- as we would have them do unto us.  And yes, I know that means, literally, love thine enemy.  I can’t quite get to love at this point but I can get to deeply breathed tolerance of those who trample the light and the good under their feet.  Tolerance may build bridges, and bridges link things and progress can be made.  I’m struggling with Martin Luther King Jr’s essay, from the ’50’s, on the experiment of love in effecting change.  But I attempt to draw on the wisdom there in my daily life.  And tolerance does not mean not resisting.

Luddite that I am, I haven’t been able to do a reblog, but terriermandotcom.blogspot.com was right on today- I’m With Her.  A brilliant friend also suggested that we all observe the Islamic five daily times of prayer, wherever we are out in the world, by stopping for a moment, stepping aside if we’re in a line or something somewhere? and gently, concisely, explaining what we’re doing and why.  I’m in.  How about you?

Blessings and thanks.

How Many More Times

Well, Gentle Reader, I suppose it will be as many more times as it takes.  Lately we’ve had an accelerated learning curve, which felt more like a ghastly roller coaster ride from which one might be ejected at an inopportune time which could happen at any moment.

Setting aside the discovery of who didn’t really give a fuck about me, which was upsetting enough, our landlady decided to lose one of her multiple personalities’ minds last week and this caused enough ripples in the pond of MY mind to be moderately time consuming.  As a result we are now internetless at the Yurt which adds another level of complexity to running an online business, and blogging, but what the heck!  We’re firmly back on the horse of :THISISANADVENTUREITWILLALLBEJUSTFINE:

instead of the horse of :WE’REGOINGDOWNINFLAMES:

So.  Since it’s a long way down, falling off a horse, it might as well be from the happy one.  Meanwhile, what have we learned THIS week?

There’s an element of resonance to money.  It’s much easier to have a good relationship with it if the original foundation of one’s life involves having it not be a problem. Like attracts like, sort of thing. It made me feel somewhat better about things to realize that since neither the Partner nor I had that resonance training, the fact that we’re blazing this new trail and it is…definitely a New Trail with all the excitement and difficulties pertaining thereto…well, it doesn’t mean we’ve failed.   In fact, it doesn’t really mean anything except we’re trekking our way through the wilderness.  And since the truth of it is that neither of us wanted to be part of the Current Structure As It Exists, it makes sense that we’ve adopted another approach, decided to live consciously and as stewards of our existences and places we find ourselves.  However one cannot forget that many are more firmly attached to the mirage of money and the supposed reality of all that than others.  It can make things hard.  Which lead to Upsetting Experience The First (alluded to above, complete with expletive).

This other approach we’re attempting involves looking at each situation in terms of accepting it as being exactly what is appropriate at the time.  Not judging, not ascribing “meaning”, but looking at it for meaning and training.  The challenge of this is to deal with one’s fear straightforwardly instead of either suppressing it or pretending it isn’t there.  I think this is true whatever the situation in question. There are so many things to learn in life, so many situations, and so many times when one feels as though one is not just lost, but on the edge of a precipice.   But there always is direction, and it can take time to see the entire elephant, as it were.  We don’t have a lot of time, but we have enough.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately and have come to the conclusion that at this point in time, the twenty and thirty somethings and the fifty and sixty somethings have a very great deal in common.  A huge area of  commonality is debt, accompanied by  strangled income stream leading to questionable future.  I also thought about what, to me, is the really good thing about the internet.  And that is not about being targeted by advertisers or having your movements tracked or having the thing think for you.  No, it is the egalitarian nature of communication that can be accessed.  Of course, it’s not COMPLETELY egalitarian because it takes money to be online.  But when, yesterday, I was looking for a solution to my internet woes, I saw that in fact, there’s a huge mobile population using IPads and IPhones and not needing an established “place” in which to have contracted service.   Nor are you restricted to WiFi! No! Anyplace a cel phone works!  Which isn’t very many places around here, true but…a small monthly fee and I can sit in the Cal Fire parking lot and work, for example.  (Hey there handsome Fire Captain! Perks is what that is.) What I found encouraging in this was that I think there are many,many of us out there, who may have a more collective orientation, a more concensus based approach based on real needs.

To me, these real needs are what have to be addressed, and what can be at times hard to figure out in one’s own mind.  How often do you wonder what it is you really want or need?  Especially in stressful times when one’s vision grows short and going to sleep is about all you can get excited over after a long day of work the result of which is unknown.   While this bear is no spring chicken, this bear can also figure out what time it is, eventually.  Real needs are about living, really living.  They are about truth, and they are also about acknowledging that we all really need the same things. The resources of this earth are not for some to hoard and others to have none of.   It is not, also,  a good thing to have that vaseline smeared lens between the legacy group, those with money and power, and the Citibank -named ” precariat”.  This lens means that those above it can continue to think that their good fortune comes from their own goodness, and thus those below are not good, not worthy.  In fact, in today’s world what that really means is that opportunities have been taken up by a small percentage of people instead of being spread across the board.  We have fallen into a strange mind set of not knowing how to do things for ourselves (build a fire, grow food, tend your illnesses), accompanied by an odd rootlessness in terms of a civic participation and generosity.  Perhaps it simply that we are in a time of incredible transition, old foundations are crumbling and we can’t see the new ones.  In such a time then, it seems imperative that we stay with our selves, stay honest, know that the more we let go the better off we are, keep thinking and..well, stay on the sunny side of life.  That’s our project for today.