Category Archives: sound bite

The Legacy Project

My friend Jack turned me on to this.

This is what’s showing today:

Worry Wastes Your Life

What do older people regret when they look back over their lives? I asked hundreds of the oldest Americans that question. I hadexpected big-ticket items: an affair, a shady business deal, addictions — that kind of thing. I was therefore unprepared for the answer they often gave:

I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life worrying.

Over and over, as the 1,200 elders in our Legacy Project reflected on their lives, I heard versions of “I would have spent less time worrying” and “I regret that I worried so much about everything.” Indeed, from the vantage point of late life, many people felt that if given a single “do-over” in life, they would like to have all the time back they spent fretting anxiously about the future.

Their advice on this issue is devastatingly simple and direct: Worry is an enormous waste of your precious and limited lifetime. They suggested training yourself to reduce or eliminate worrying as the single most positive step you can make toward greater happiness. The elders conveyed, in urgent terms, that worry is an unnecessary barrier to joy and contentment. And it’s not just what they said — it’s how they said it.

John Alonzo, 83, is a man of few words, but I quickly learned that what he had to say went straight to the point. A construction worker, he had battled a lifetime of financial insecurity. But he didn’t think twice in giving this advice:

Don’t believe that worrying will solve or help anything. It won’t. So stop it.

That was it. His one life lesson was simply to stop worrying.

James Huang, 87, put it this way:

Why? I ask myself. What possible difference did it make that I kept my mind on every little thing that might go wrong? When I realized that it made no difference at all, I experienced a freedom that’s hard to describe. My life lesson is this: Turn yourself from frittering away the day worrying about what comes next and let everything else that you love and enjoy move in.

This surprised me. Indeed, I thought that older people would endorse a certain level of worry. It seemed reasonable that people who had experienced the Great Depression would want to encourage financial worries; who fought or lost relatives in World War II would suggest we worry about international issues; and who currently deal with increasing health problems would want us to worry about our health.

The reverse is the case, however. The elders see worry as a crippling feature of our daily existence and suggest that we do everything in our power to change it. Why is excessive worry such a big regret? Because, according to the elders,worry wastes your very limited and precious lifetime. By poisoning the present moment, they told me, you lose days, months, or years that you can never recover.

Betty, 76, expressed this point with a succinct example:

I was working, and we learned that there were going to be layoffs in my company in three months. I did nothing with that time besides worry. I poisoned my life by worrying obsessively, even though I had no control over what would happen. Well — I wish I had those three months back.

 Life is simply too short, the oldest Americans tell us, to spend it torturing yourself over outcomes that may never come to pass.

How should we use this lesson, so that we don’t wind up at the end of our lives longing to get back the time we wasted worrying? The elders fortunately provide us with some concrete ways of thinking differently about worry and moving beyond it as we go through our daily lives.

Tip 1: Focus on the short term rather than the long term.

Eleanor is a delightful, positive 102-year-old who has had much to worry about in her long life. Her advice is to avoid the long view when you are consumed with worry and to focus instead on the day at hand. She told me:

Well, I think that if you worry, and you worry a lot, you have to stop and think to yourself, “This too will pass.” You just can’t go on worrying all the time because it destroys you and life, really. But there’s all the times when you think of worrying and you can’t help it — then just make yourself stop and think: it doesn’t do you any good. You have to put it out of your mind as much as you can at the time. You just have to take one day at a time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible, but you can’t always do that because things don’t always happen the way you were hoping they would happen. So the most important thing is one day at a time.

Tip 2: Instead of worrying, prepare.

The elders see a distinct difference between worry and conscious, rational planning, which greatly reduces worry. It’s the free-floating worry, after one has done everything one can about a problem, which seems so wasteful to them.

Joshua Bateman, 74, summed up the consensus view:

If you’re going to be afraid of something, you really ought to know what it is. At least understand why. Identify it. ‘I’m afraid of X.’ And sometimes you might have good reason. That’s a legitimate concern. And you can plan for it instead of worrying about it.

Tip 3: Acceptance is an antidote to worry

The elders have been through the entire process many times: worrying about an event, having the event occur and experiencing the aftermath. Based on this experience, they recommend an attitude of acceptance as a solution to the problem of worry. However, we tend to see acceptance as purely passive, not something we can actively foster. In addition to focusing on the day at hand and being prepared as cures for worry, many of the elders also recommend actively working toward acceptance. Indeed this was most often the message of the oldest experts.

Sister Clare, a 99-year-old nun, shared a technique for reducing worry through pursuing acceptance:

There was a priest that said mass for us, and at a certain time of his life, something happened, and it broke his heart. And he was very angry — he just couldn’t be resigned, he couldn’t get his mind off it. Just couldn’t see why it had happened.So he went to an elderly priest and said, “What shall I do? I can’t get rid of it.” And the priest said, “Every time it comes to your mind, say this.” And the priest said very slowly, “Just let it be, let it be.” And this priest told us, “I tried that and at first it didn’t make any difference, but I kept on. After a while, when I pushed it aside, let it be, it went away. Maybe not entirely, but it was the answer.”

 Sister Clare, one of the most serene people I have ever met, has used this technique for well over three-quarters of a century.

So many things come to your mind. Now, for instance, somebody might hurt your feelings. You’re going to get back at him or her — well, just let it be. Push it away. So I started doing that. I found it the most wonderful thing because everybody has uncharitable thoughts, you can’t help it. Some people get on your nerves and that will be there until you die. But when they start and I find myself thinking, “Well, now, she shouldn’t do that. I should tell her that . . .” Let it be. Often, before I say anything, I think, “If I did that, then what?” And let it be. Oh, so many times I felt grateful that I did nothing. That lesson has helped me an awful lot.

Worry is endemic to the experience of most modern-day human beings, so much so that following this piece of elder wisdom may seem impossible to some of you. But what the elders tell us is consistent with research findings. The key characteristic of worry, according to scientists who study it, is that it takes place in the absence of actual stressors; that is, we worry when there is actually nothing concrete to worry about. This kind of worry — ruminating about possible bad things that may happen to us or our loved ones — is entirely different from concrete problem solving. When we worry, we are dwelling on possible threats to ourselves rather than simply using our cognitive resources to figure a way out of a difficult situation.

A critically important strategy for regret reduction, according to our elders, is increasing the time spent on concrete problem solving and drastically eliminating time spent worrying. One activity enhances life, whereas down the road the other is deeply regretted as a waste of our all-too-short time on Earth.

current status- click if it doesn't animate

current status- click if it doesn’t animate

same here

same here

butt issues

this kind of thing requires patience and dedication

this kind of thing requires patience and dedication

Today’s sound:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, Re-blogged, sound bite, Uncategorized

Some pictures, a story, some good other things to read

Pictures from my kids phone-photo blog (always click for full size- I do not skimp on size):

stop

 

criminal

sidewalk_arthelp

 

feets

 

Pictures from the site that shall not be named:

[gt] Daisy

 

THE INTERNET

These are animated- if they don’t work automatically, click them to nudge them along:

Q056

fuck_it

 

[ani] nice catch

How I spent last weekend or….

The waiting room at Urgent Care
I was actually on my way to Best Buy to ask why the headset didn’t work, got there, noticed that my left foot was numb.
I knew my ankle was sprained, at least, and nobody seemed to think it to be a big deal. Especially given the bigger deal of the rip-roaring pain throughout my left leg that was caused by the ruptured disk that was squishing the nerve- But the ankle did look kind of dramatic. Although swelling had gone down over the past week (it was a week ago Saturday that I slipped on it), the bruising was spectacular. I personally have never seen anything like it. It has been blue-black from my ankle to the bottoms of my feet including my toes. So, given that the bruising was still awesome and the numbness was new, I thought it would be prudent to go to Urgent Care at Kaiser (in the Sunnyside complex).
The Urgent Care nurse who checked me in asked to see it, I showed it to her (sounds like a porn intro). She immediately had me go get X-rays and blood-work and I was shuffled through those places and put in the Urgent Care waiting room.
It would seem that the short phrases “waiting room” and “Urgent Care” were paired together for maximum contrast in the use and mis-use of the English language. You could probably do a whole – never mind, I digress…
I noticed that the group around me stayed pretty consistent. New people arrived here and there. A couple times someone’s name was called and they were taken back to what I decided was the “Exam Area” (I made up that phrase- I am easily entertained). I never saw anyone come back out of this Exam Area. After being in the waiting area for about 45 minutes a nice young lady came out of the hidden areas where people were sometimes taken (the ones who were never seen again, as far as I know) and she announced that there was currently about a 2 hour wait for getting in to see a doctor at “Urgent Care”.
She apologized, smiled and went back behind the closed doors.
I began to speculate about the true nature of this hidden dimension I had so innocently and glibly labeled as the Exam Area- maybe it was actually a place where the “disappeared” were being dissected and barbecued! (Had I eaten anything yet today? Were my thoughts being perverted by hunger?) I remember thinking there was some grease on the scrub-top worn by the announcer lady.
I closed my eyes to try and explore the smells around me- was there a faint odor of BBQ?
I was shaken from this macabre vision by something that at first seemed almost as unsettling. Sitting across from me and seeming to notice me only as I noticed him was Jess from the hospital- our volunteer coordinator. I hadn’t seen him arrive, it was as though he had materialized from thin air. He said that he had a cactus thorn embedded in his finger. There was no mark that I could see but he explained that it was buried deeply in the flesh of the finger, had no egress from it’s lodging and was causing him pain and distress. I have no reason to disbelieve him except that his story was so outlandish. What is he doing handling cacti?
Time passed. I kept myself entertained with a variety of “Twilight Zone”esque stories that could take place in the Urgent Care waiting room.
I eventually got to see the doctor. He very quickly ascertained that I would need to go back to X-ray because when I had come in they had not taken pictures of my ankle. They did have good shots of my toes but he was uninterested in those.
Hours later I was sent away with a big apparatus they referred to as a “boot”. The numbness was caused by the inflammation and blood from a slightly torn ligament and something else that he tried to draw a picture of. The nurse told him his drawing was poor and unrecognizable.
the end

Other more better stuff:

Death by Analysis (chapter 1)

‘Freedom is an Adventure Without End’ – Don Juan

 

“I am Chinese!”

Sound:

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, comedy relief, mp3, Mystic Poetry, Nature, personal story, pictures, Re-blogged, sound bite

Personal Health Update [TMI Warning]

Who would even guess that I’d be writing a health update?

About 2 weeks ago I was woken in the night by severe pain in my left calf. For a few nights I was routinely awake with pain in the night. It was at first very localized in a specific part of my calf muscle (seemingly). I couldn’t get in to see my Primary Care Physician. She prescribed some pain medication to take at night. The medication had no effect and the area affected was spreading, so I went to Urgent Care a couple days later. They did their best to rule out the most diabolical possible causes using ultra-sound and blood tests. Nothing serious seemed to be happening and at the time the pain was still mostly at night, with some residual pain in the morning that tended to be reduced quite a bit by evening only to erupt again with some intensity at about 2 am.

The Nurse Practioner that provided my service felt confident that blood clots and other vascular issues were not present. She prescribed stronger pain pills for night-time and added a mild muscle relaxer (cyclobenzeprine).

The following night the pain was very severe and encompassed most of my leg from thigh to ankle. The pain was also not reducing as much during the day and I was unable to dress my self without great difficulty and time. I was beginning to feel it in my buttocks. Sitting on the toilet was very painful. I was also becoming quite constipated from opiod use.

I went to the emergency department at Kaiser Sunnyside. They gave me stronger pain medication, Dilaudid, and Valium (as a muscle relaxer). They suggested that I take various laxative products.

Somewhere in here I had had another visit to Urgent Care. X-rays were taken, no relevant information gained. They ordered an MRI, of my hip, lower spine and pelvis, which I had the very next day at the hospital. Then I heard nothing back for a few days, no result information was provided. 

By this time I had seen 4 different medical practioners on 4 different visitors and had been unable to talk with or even correspond with my Primary Care Physician. I was grateful that I had an appointment within a couple days with my doctor at my usual clinic. The pain was quite severe and had taken over my life morning, day and night. During this time I also had my first major bowel movement since being on pain med- it was excruciating. It was not painful at the point of exit but my left buttock and thigh hurt so badly I was left on the floor of the bathroom crying. It was the worst physical pain I can remember ever having.

[A very special thanks goes out to my most excellent friend Candace, my own personal nurse, who helped me through this process and kept my spirits up.]

So, with cautious optimism, I went to my appointment with my doctor. Unfortunately, she was out sick and my appointment had been turned over to an apparently overworked and surly gentleman who provided very little information, as quickly as he could, re-filled my Dilaudid script and gave me an after-visit summary hat included no useful information about my condition. The important things I learned at that visit were that the MRI provided evidence of some multiple nerve problems associated with possible herniated disks in my lower spine and that I would be taking oral prednisone right away followed by steroid injections. Scheduling the injections required use of imaging equipment to insure proper administration of the steroids. I was not told of potential side effects of the injections but was assured that I would receive substantial pain relief.

Yesterday I wrote an email to my doctor wondering out-loud if anyone was actually in charge of my care or if it was actually as fragmented and un-coordinated as it appeared. I asked if I would soon be given a diagnosis, in writing, of what was happening to me and when I might be able to return to work or at least do ordinary things like go to the bathroom or put on my own clothing.  I was able to get her one the phone very soon later that day. She assured me that she was reviewing all the information, she apologized for being sick (she didn’t need to do that- I would have loved to get an apology from the surly and uninformative doctor who took her place). She also made an appointment with me for tomorrow- after my appointments with other specialists where I hope to get the promised relief.

[Now, I have what is considered in this country to be a “Cadillac Health Plan” of substantially higher quality than average and at a level the our new “Affordable Health Care” law will probably tax me for. I don’t mind that, really. If I am getting more than my fair share of the pie I am happy to pitch in if it means that more people, if not everyone, can get access to basic care.]

The pharmacist told me that the prednisone would have possibly drastic effects on my blood glucose levels which I would need to monitor very carefully. He also said that I could anticipate some mood irregularity and that it was important to follow the directions exactly, especially concerning the weaning off of the prednisone because of potentially serious side effects.

I look forward to tomorrow with “cautious optimism”. I learned this phrase from my very articulate and precisely spoken co-worker, Malcolm.


Completely unrelated:

Astronomers Discover New Kind of Supernova

and

Sesame Street – Martians yipyip

yip-yip-martians-o

Leave a comment

Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, personal story, pictures, silly, sound bite, space exploration

Out my window

If this doesn’t animate, click on it.

Also, look on the “Projects” page for photography by Imogen Cunningham. As of today there is only about 30 pictures, they are all black and white and they are all pictures of “flora”. I will be adding to this over time. These are huge files, big pictures. Your basic coffee-table book.

Coal War- Joshua James

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, Music, pictures, sound bite

Must Be

Caturday. And so on and so forth (ASOASF).

Thanksgiving:

Other stuff(ing):

May your day be sweet

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, sound bite

Caturday Plus

video

Hello Kitty chainsaw

scary thing: http://www.wimp.com/scarything/

Not Caturday:

Saturn- Cassini image

also not cat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeKSiCQkPw&feature=youtu.be

Leo Kottke 12 string blues-

Caturday Night:

sweet short film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, comedy relief, Music, silly, sound bite

The Velveteen Cat

Blizzard, who had her eyes removed last year.

She’s doing great.  Gets around without apparent difficulty,  seems to be very content. (click for full size)

***

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

***

Listen to The Velveteen Rabbit:

or download:

the_velveteen_rabbit_williams

Leave a comment

Filed under cats, Family pictures, Free Audio Books, mp3, pictures, sound bite

Better post something before the next full moon

Pete Townsend – There’s A Heartache Following Me

Click when you want bigger size- some of these are biiig. Click sound thingys where they appear. Click click click. This is just for fun. Obviously.

Abandoned- top > down

Sub Base
In a bay on the northern shores of the Black Sea, the Soviet army maintained an elaborate submarine base throughout much of the Cold War. Now a museum, this abandoned submarine base is in the town of Balaklava, Ukraine. One picture.

Detroit
Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre explored some of Detroit’s dying landmarks for their photo series The Ruins of Detroit. As the industrial revolution came to a close and race riots crippled a once bustling city, many buildings throughout Detroit fell into disrepair and eventual abandonment. Three pictures.

Beelitz Hospital
It is rare that a ruin like this should decay so gracefully and without the marks of vandalism. The Beelitz Military Hospital in Berlin is in great condition for a ruin, perhaps for the history it represents. In 1916, a young Lance Corporal Adolph Hitler recuperated here after taking a bullet in the Battle of the Somme during the First World War. One Picture

NYC City Hall Subway Station
Under the busy streets of New York City rests a perfectly preserved monument to that city’s transportation history. The City Hall Subway Station was first constructed over 100 years ago, a part of New York’s earliest underground transport network. It was shut down in 1945, where it lay dormant and untouched until a one night public exhibition on the station’s centennial. Two pictures- present and past.

Ryugyung Hotel
The Ryugyung Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is one of the 20th century’s greatest architectural failures. Initially designed as a beacon of progress and power, the Ryugyung Hotel was unable to sustain construction when the North Korean government ran out of money. Ground was broken in 1987, construction was halted in 1992. One picture.

Pripyat
Pripyat, Ukraine. In a span of sixteen years, the population of Pripyat grew from zero to 50,000 and back down to zero, following the greatest nuclear power disaster in human history. Pripyat was billed as an atomic city, built into the forests south of Kiev in 1970 to house the families of workers at the Chernobyl nuclear facility. One picture (but you can gopogle many others).

Waterpark
A massive, indoor water park was planned for the children of Russia, one towering many stories high with a myriad of rides within. Before this park could be completed, the developer went belly up and couldn’t afford its completion. One picture.

Sea Forts
During the Second World War, the British Royal Navy constructed a series of sea forts for an advanced line of defense against inbound air raids and potential sea invasions from the Axis powers. The Maunsell Sea Forts still stand today, abandoned a few meters above the North Sea. One, however, remains inhabited, now a nation of its own referred to as the Principality of Sealand. These sea forts are a favorite of maritime explorers. One picture.

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, kittens, mp3, Nature, pictures, sound bite

Guru Puja

I thought I already did this. Maybe I’m repeating myself. I was certain I posted an audio of Swami Sarvaganada singing Guru Puja.

Well, if it be repetition that’s okay. Mantra, after all.

This is how I learned it:

Guru Puja

1 Akhand-Mandalakaram
Vyaptam yena characharam.
Tatpadam darshitam yena
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Akhand – unfragmented
Mandalakaram – one infinite whole
vyaptam – pervades
yena – by which
characharam – movable & immovable
Tadpadam – That state
darshitam – has shown
yena – by whom
tasmai – to that
Shri – glorious;
Guruve – guru, teacher
Namah – my salutations.

My Salutations to that Guru who revealed to me that Truth, which is unfragmented, infinite, timeless divinity, and which pervades the entire universe – movable or unmovable.

2 Agyan timir-andhasya
Gyananjan Shalakaya.
Chakhur-oonmeelitam yena
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Agyan – Ignorance
timir – cataract
andhasya – blinded
Gyananjan – medicinal collyrium
Shalakaya – collyrium stick
Chakshur – my eyes
oonmilitam – opened
yena – by whom
tasmai – to that
Shri – glorious
Guruve – Guru
Namah – my salutations.

My Salutations to that reverential teacher, who opened my eyes, by applying the divine collyrium of self-knowledge in my eyes, which had got blinded by the cataract of ignorance.

3 Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur-Devo Maheshwarah
Guru Eva Para-Brahma
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Gurur Brahma – Guru the Creator
Gurur Vishnu– Guru the Sustainer
Devo – the divine
Maheshwarah – the Destroyer
Eva – certainly
Para-Brahma – the transcendental divinity (which is the very basis of all the three)
tasmai – to that
Shri – glorious
Guruve – Guru
Namah – my salutations

Guru himself is the creator, sustainer and the destroyer. He is verily the very transcendental divinity, (the timeless life-principle, which is the very essence of the creator etc.) My reverential salutations to that glorious teacher.

Here is a bunch of Margiis singing performing Guru Puja after group meditation-

I find it more creeping into my thoughts in these days. Unasked, unbidden; received with gratitude. Expressed with undeniable expansion of the heart.

The pictures posted here are for color, visual candy. In my heart Guru Puja has always been a communication between myself that that which is infinite, beyond form. Not that this is different from however you experience it.

In the end, it is your heart, your inner nature, your Buddha-hood, your God-self that is the issue, is it not?

Bless you on your journey.

The Mantra which calms all suffering:

(In the heart sutra it says:

Therefore the mantra of transcendent knowledge, the mantra of deep insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the incomparable mantra, the mantra which calms all suffering should be known as truth, for there is no deception.)

In transcendent knowledge the mantra is proclaimed:

GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Japanese rendering of the mantra:

GYATEI GYATEI HARA GYATEI HARASO GYATEI BOJI SOWAKA

English rendering of the mantra:

GONE, GONE, GONE BEYOND, COMPLETELY GONE BEYOND,ENLIGHTENMENT, HAIL THE GOER

I can find no Samkrta manuscript of the Heart Sutra-

so here is the mantra in Chinese calligraphy


Leave a comment

Filed under buddhism, peace, Ramakrishna, sound bite

Small post

It’s Sunday night, I’m tired and still want to share a couple things.

First, Update on Blizzard, our cat that had her eyes removed (surgically) because she was suffering from glaucoma. She’s doing exceptionally well. Wayy better than when she was going bind from the glaucoma. She gets around the house without any difficulty, hardly ever uses the walls to roam the place. One of these shows her eating with her sister Annie.

A great little short story:

09-02 You’re Ugly Too – Lorrie Moore

Anxiety a problem? Step into my office for your hypnosis session:

Attacking Anxiety Relaxation Session – Female Hypnotist Guided

Before:

After:

Never Give up. I mean it.

Never give up

Miscellaneous-


Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, comedy relief, Mental health recovery, mp3, sound bite