Sunday, January 29, 2012

Excerpts from "Buddha Standard Time"

Here are some excerpts from "Buddha Standard Time," by Lama Surya Das...

"He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has."
- Pharaoh Akhenaton 14th century BC (page 7)

"One of the most exciting recent discoveries in the neurochemistry of the brain is that meditation increases the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that positively influences mood, behavior, and emotional well-being. The implication of these studies is that meditation offers a safe, natural way to unwind, calm down, and stabilize one's mood. Aside from daily stress and anxiety, low serotonin levels are associated with a wide range of disorders, including obesity, insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome, and fibromyalgia. If larger numbers of people meditated, there could be a significant reduction in the use of Prozac and other antidepressants, whose use has skyrocketed in recent years. If you are taking an antidepressant or antianxiety drug, consider incorporating meditation into your life on a regular basis. By connecting regularly with your higher Self in this way, you might find, in consultation with your physician, that you need a lower dosage of the drug, or none at all." (page 50 - 51)

"After particularly traumatic experiences, some people are prone to lose touch with the present when it becomes painful. What was once a lifesaving and adaptive tendency -- dissociating during periods of acute stress when young -- can become habitual, unproductive and self-destructive. In extreme examples, trauma survivors can frequently lose time -- minutes, hours, or even days -- in what is known as a fugue state. But I have found that once they learn to focus their attention on the now in order to reconnect and heal, they discover that they have immense capacities for spiritual growth, awareness, and healthy transcendence. In a way, we can look at the suffering in our lives as either destructive or creative -- and we have the potential to transform ourselves either way." (page 187)

"Recent research suggests that the earth's main frequency is changing. Scientists report that the Schumann resonances -- electromagnetic waves that have been identified as the earth's natural frequencies -- are now rising in frequency, potentially endangering the entire biosphere. Like global warming, the primary cause of this elevation appears to be human activity. Specifically, the tremendous increase in artificial electromagnetic radiation from satellites, cell phones, computer, televisions, and other military and civilian electronic devices and communications networks is overshadowing the earth's steady pulse of 7.83 hertz. Electropollution depresses the immune function, increases stress and fatigue, and contributes to further physical, emotional, and mental imbalance. We are growing more and more out of tune with nature and the cosmos." (page 204)

Dream: Display Case of Former Bar

I'm visiting a community, and I'm in the apartment that the leader set up for me. It's a long, one-room studio. I'm lying down in bed at the door end of the apartment. As I look across the room, I reflect how backwards it is. I should move the bed to the opposite end, farthest from the door. But I remind myself that the arrangements are only temporary.

It's later in the day and I'm in another part of the building, a part that was once a bar. The leader is very much like Maurice Minnifield, and he is proudly showing me and a few others around and talking about the history of the place.

We stand before a glass display case that's flat and shaped like a semi-circle. He is pointing to various objects inside. One is a trading card with the famous hockey player "Howard Clarke" shown on it. JR, the cute young female engineer who is also part of the group blurts out, "I didn't know Clarke Howard was a hockey player." We all laugh, along with her, because she realizes that she switched the names around and that Clark Howard is the financial adviser.

Smiling, we look at each other and lean our heads together. Then I place my hand on her back and rub affectionately up and down. And she's fine with that, even though her boyfriend is right next to her.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dream: Moving to Different Office

I'm at work, and I've moved myself to a different office. It's twice the size of a typical office, but it has two desks.

I sit at the desk further from the door. There's a computer on it. The computer is old and has lots of obsolete software that I need to figure out. Also, there is no telephone, so I'll have to go to my old office to make calls and retrieve messages.

It's really dark in the office, which is fine for computer use. But I'd like to let in some light from the outdoors once in a while. I turn around to look at the windows. There is a very small one (about the size of a business envelope) directly behind me. It's covered with some brown pleated material, which I strip away.

I move over to the other desk, which, I just discover, does have a telephone. DM from drafting enters and occupies the desk that I first sat at. But now that I'm at this desk I don't say that this is his desk and that I've claimed the other one.

He gets up to unveil more windows. He reveals large windows that stretch from floor to ceiling, letting in a great deal of cheery light. But even more captivating is the scene of majestic cloud formations in the sky. This is a great office!

Dream: Water in the Ceiling of New House

I'm in a small boat in some shallow water in the kitchen.  I notice the sound of trickling water, and my consciousness shifts so that I'm aware that I'm dreaming yet the tinkling sound is coming from outside the dream.  I wonder whether I'm peeing.  But then I snap fully awake when I realize that it's a water leak.

Now I'm awake1 and in the kitchen of the house we just bought.  It's early morning of the first day in the house.  I'm putting together some breakfast.  I feel a drop of water fall from above on my hand.  I look up at the ceiling to see if I can tell where the water came from.  But there is no water stain.  The ceiling is made of square wooden tiles that are about one foot by one foot.  In the four corners of each tile are silver recessed fasteners.

I start to worry.  We bought the house without even looking at it because it was such a low price and we wanted to act quickly.  I didn't even read the inspection report.  What if there are structural problems with the house?  I wonder if it's too late to hold the seller accountable for repairs.

I hear someone upstairs flush the toilet and run the water.  To my utter dismay, an L-shaped section of the ceiling bulges as if waterlogged.  I call my wife down with a surreal sense of calm.  My wife and daughter appear.  There is a stream of water falling onto the couch.  My daughter holds a large basin under it.

1 Awake in the dream, but I'm still dreaming. And this is not a Lucid Dream. I'm only dreaming that I'm having a Lucid Dream.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In 20120125

My follow up visit to the Naturopathic Doctor will take place tomorrow. I've been somewhat anticipating that the day will mark the start of a new eating plan. So I've been having one last fling with foods that I really ought to avoid, such as wheat and dairy. So last night's egg rolls show up in this morning's larger waist size. The asthma and coughing fits tell of the wheat in that egg roll, too. But they also bear witness to the half stick of butter that I enjoyed a few nights ago and loads of chocolate.

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dream: Back in JrHS as an Adult

I'm walking on the stairs in Junior High School.  Zimmerman is walking toward me and passes me a note.  I automatically assume it's a love note, since she's been trying to get close to me.  "How juvenile!" I tell myself.  (I am an adult attending school.)  How can I justify to my boss the time I spend here?  It's a good educational review of the basics, I guess.

I open the note and read it.  It's from my daughter, actually.  I reach the bottom of the stairs and exit the school and walk to the edge of the school grounds.  There are some students gathered there.  I walk a bit beyond them.  I notice the highway and large pond across from it.  This is the spot that some students have been killed trying to cross the highway.

There has been a great deal of rain lately, and the pond is overflowing across the highway and onto the path I'm walking.  I turn to go back.  The water is much deeper now -- over my knees!  I'm almost tempted to lay forward into the water and swim.  But I realize that I'm fully clothed and would get even more wet than I am.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Leaky Toilet and Lousy Repair Guide

Our toilet has had a leaky flapper valve for several months, maybe even a few years. The symptoms are a toilet that runs briefly every fifteen minutes or so. The one and only comprehensive home repair guide that I bought 15 years ago offers only two fixes for this.

The first fix is simple -- a five minute job requiring no tools. You just lift off the flapper valve, coat the seal with a layer of petroleum jelly, and put it back. Of course you have to shut off the water (and lift off the tank lid first), but that's easy if your supply valve isn't frozen. This simple fix worked. But it lasted for only about three weeks. Then the stuff needed to be cleaned off and reapplied.

The second fix is only for the serious DIYer. It recommends replacing the flapper valve and seat. That involves first draining the toilet completely, disconnecting the water supply line, and removing the tank. After that you can remove the valve and the seat, and put the new ones in.

I've been too lazy to reapply petroleum jelly to my valve every few weeks, and so I've been suffering from the mysteriously running toilet, with its wasted water, unexpectedly weak flushes (and clogs) and sudden episodes of hot showers.

Until now.

I finally decided to search on the Internet for "how to fix a leaky flapper valve." I came across two interesting videos.

The first one is as simple as the petroleum jelly fix from the book. Except that it involves smoothing the flapper valve mating surfaces:

This didn't actually work for me, but it did give me the idea to replace the flapper valve without also replacing the seat, as shown in this video:

And that worked. The reason I didn't do it before is that I thought all flapper values were rigid and had to be installed with the seat when the tank was apart.

Here's another video that describes how to fix a different cause of a running toilet, such as when sediment gets caught in the flush valve, preventing it from closing completely:

And let me just mention that if for some reason your water supply is shut off, you can still flush the toilet by quickly pouring a bucket of water directly into the bowl. This is handy during extended power outages in homes that are supplied with well water, but only if you've prepared by filling the bathtub with water.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In 20120118

These weight and fat measurements might respond less to what I eat and more to how much sleep I get, according to "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival," by T. S. Wiley, with Bent Formby.

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dream: Delicious Purple Filament from Weed

I'm staying in a vacation cottage. It is early morning, and we call the next door neighbor to order take out. She has a catering business. Eventually everyone wakes up, and we all go outside. The folks that are familiar with the area are handling clumps of weeds and talking about them. One shows me a delicate purple or lavender filament from the weed and encourages me to taste it. I try it. It's extremely tasty. But the filaments are difficult to separate from the chaff.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trust and Respecting the Unknown

When you choose not to trust, you invite those who are untrustworthy into your hut....
- Ginevee in Crystal Woman, by Lynn Andrews
There is often great darkness in those who think they know. Great evil has been done on earth by people who think they have all the answers. They have no respect for the unknown....
- Ruby Plenty Chiefs in Crystal Woman, by Lynn Andrews

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Update

Just a quick note to let you know that I did indeed change this blog a bit.  I'm now using Blogger's Pages feature to offload some content from the sidebar.

While I was at it, I updated the links to the list of blogs I visit.  The sidebar had at least one link to a blog that hadn't been updated since March 2010!  And there are so many other sites that deserve mention.  Please let me know if I've left out yours.

I hope you enjoy the changes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weigh-In 36 Month Graphical Summary

My Five Year Graphical Summary Can be Found Here:

I'm past the 3 year mark and have the graphical data to show it!

The main reason I publish this is to demonstrate that weight is not constant. It's important to weigh yourself regularly and not take any one reading too seriously. That goes for both low readings and high ones. So if you've been trying to lose weight and get a reading that's at or below your goal, you can celebrate briefly and perhaps switch to a maintenance plan. But then remember to keep checking your weight and revert back to the weight loss plan if the weight is consistently higher.


Wednesday Weigh-In 20120110

I'll be on the road tomorrow, so I decided to do the Weigh-In today.

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In 20120104

Had my first appointment with the ND. He advocates a somewhat Paleo-diet way of eating. Just curious how high my cholesterol is right now.

Waist = 37"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.