Wednesday, March 22

The Recipe

The Recipe

“..,next time you take a mouthful of bread, remember -- that's history you're chewing on.”
– Alan Alda as host of PBS series, “American Frontiers”

I’m an obsessive/compulsive list maniac and this month’s most intriguing list is compiled by Forbes magazine, titled, “The 20 Most Important Tools Ever.” Why did they limit the selections to twenty? I would think “ever” deserves more than twenty selections.

The twenty selections they list are interesting and important, but missing something. (My input, of course!!!) What should be added, I wondered. Then, I remembered the excellent Public Television program, hosted by Alan Alda which discussed the different properties of three foods we consume today: wheat, corn and soybeans. Over the centuries food chemistry and the tools used in food preparation have altered human history for the better.

The variety of meals that we take for granted today were devised via trial and error over centuries and the successful results were organized and passed on in the form of recipes. Every family prides itself on a special "dish" or a miraculous remedy that is made by following a set of these verbal or written instructions. The illustration above lists three of my family's favorite foods and there are other "secret" recipes that I'll share with interested family members, only. As mundane and simple as these recipes seem, they are powerful, everyday tools, indeed!

I’m adding, “the recipe” to this list and moving it ahead of the rifle and sword as one of mankind’s most useful and enduring survival tools. I’d also expand this list … hmmm, what other things should be on it?

Edit on 3/23/06: Add the measuring cup/spoon, the thermometer, the oven... to be continued.

Thursday, March 16

6H2O + 6CO2 ----------> C6H12O6+ 6O2

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”
~Ansel Adams

I love nature. When I think about love, when I analyze the feelings that surround love, I revert back to my first and most profound feelings about the sky, about sunrise and sunset, about rain, about a fresh wind, about the shade of a tree, about the brilliance of a flower, about the work of a bee. I feel good to see, feel, smell, taste, touch and hear these things. This good feeling is the yardstick by which I measure experiences and whether they feel good or do not feel good.

I trust nature. The four seasons are the foundation upon which I build my system of time and order. I am linked biologically to the phases of the moon. I am a creature of the sun and its gift of photosynthesis upon which all life depends. I learn to know the truth about myself and others in observing cause and effect. I know that nature’s workings are not judgmental or personal but eternal and enduring. So, a tsunami, or a hurricane or an earthquake or the bite of a snake is an effect and not evil or spawned by demons.

I respect nature. Last year, our well ran dry. There was not enough snow and rain to replenish the underground rivers from which our water is supplied. We drilled a new, deeper well and prayed for rain. It has finally come and we have water again. The process by which water is produced is complex and interdependent upon the health of the world’s oceans, atmosphere and land. I know about this process and I’ve see enough drought cycles in my life to experience this process. I respect and accept the simplicity and beauty of these natural processes which are so vital for life on the planet.

I am disturbed that so many of our elected officials do not love, trust and respect nature. It is clear that they embrace former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, James G. Watt’s view of nature:

"My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns." -- James G. Watt, The Washington Post, May 24, 1981

To the Gail Nortons, James G. Watts, George W. Bushes of our modern world, we are “occupiers.” The unruly and untamed wilderness must submit and produce according to their arbitrary rules of engagement. They do not recognize that nature is the essence of productivity and benefits us by existing – period – end of story. I want nature to exist for all time and for all life – even if humans extinguish themselves through war and stupidity and even if ..”Jesus returns.”

Earth Day celebrations are coming up when we are reminded to love our Mother Earth by holding our government officials accountable for the quality of our air, water and forests. I’m glad environmentalists are not giving up or giving in and that’s the truest way to show our love. Wade through the lies of our corporate controlled government as they try to divert us from the truth with political bias, fear and greed. Rely on your inner voice and you’ll know that nature is our first love and our sustaining love and deserving of our continued support.

Friday, March 3

What You Wish For

One of my resolutions for this year is to improve, beautify, and/or enhance the furnishing in our house. We've lived with the same hide-a-bed living room sofa for over ten years and have noticed over the past few months, that the hard, pokey springs of this bed make sitting on the sofa painful. So, after much debate, we bought a new couch without a hidden bed as well as a sleek, leather recliner. After six weeks of waiting, they came yesterday and are functional, comfortable and beautiful!

While we were waiting for our new living room furniture and arranging to dispose of the old stuff, my eye kept squinting at my thrift store bedroom furniture. A couple of weeks ago, I wished for a new, elegant bedroom with more storage and something pretty to look at in the mornings and evenings and in between. And ... my wish came true!

My grandmother's antique bedroom set, used by my parents and lately by my younger brother, became available. In one day, we travelled to San Francisco, loaded up the armoire, chest of drawers, and dressing table and drove back to Burbank before the rains came. It worked out that we had help loading and unloading these pieces and "presto chango" our bedroom is filled with beautiful furniture and wonderful memories!

The mind manifests in wonderful ways! We are so grateful!

Wednesday, March 1


“ban1 (b?n) tr.v., banned, ban·ning, bans.
To prohibit, especially by official decree: The city council banned billboards on most streets. See synonyms at
South African. Under the former system of apartheid, to deprive (a person suspected of illegal activity) of the right of free movement and association with others.
Archaic. To curse.

An excommunication or condemnation by church officials.
A prohibition imposed by law or official decree: a ban on cigarette smoking on airplanes.
Censure, condemnation, or disapproval expressed especially by public opinion.
A curse; an imprecation.
A summons to arms in feudal times.

[Middle English bannen, to summon, banish, curse, from Old English bannan, to summon, and from Old Norse banna, to prohibit, curse.]”

Last Monday, I received this hotmail message: “You've been sent a Flickr Mail titled: You have been banned from the TAKE FIVE! Group.”

I went to flickr and got the bad news that I was banned from this group. There was no explanation or admonishment, just a terse “ask a remaining member of the group for a reason why.” There is something so bloodless and cold about a virtual banning. I’ve never been banned from anywhere before and while I am not heartbroken to eliminate one group from my list, I am strangely effected. There is a mystery yet I’m too lazy to find the member that invited me into the group in the first place and I’m relieved that I don’t have to make a decision whether to post something to it. I’ve learned over a year spent on this site, that group rules are arbitrary, changing and tedious. So, I generally post my images to groups that either have no rules or do not have nazi administrators. The later condition is hard to determine.

I am not alone, however, in feeling the outrage of being banned. My beloved,
boing boing has posted an entire article about this virtual phenomena and the unfairness of it. I also recall that the flickr site itself has been banned in the UAE and probably other Middle Eastern nations due to nudity and other virtual transgressions. Maybe virtual banning is the wave of the future?

I will just have to suck it up and move on. Maybe I’ll meditate on the concept of virtual feelings.