Sunday, September 04, 2016

Returning to Our Home

Today, Karen and I drove by Interstate 5 from Vancouver, Washington, to Red Bluff, California.  Around 11 hours for 500 miles. 

We enjoyed visiting with family in their new homes.  Beautiful cool and drizzly days in Vancouver. They both live about 20 miles north of the Columbia River at Portland.  

We had intended to tent camp starting last Friday, but inclement weather kept us in town.  Rainshowers and fog, and mountain driving, all together did not seem safe or likely to allow us to see very much from the road.  

Our next trip will be to a cabin at Cape Blanco, Oregon.  

Our 2003 Ford Explorer drove very nicely for both of us.  $115.00 round trip for gasoline.  It was packed full!

Time, for now, to unpack and reconnect with our Red Bluff home, gardens, and projects.  









Thursday, September 01, 2016

Pausing for Pleasures

I'll be back in a few days.  

Enjoy Yourselves!










Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good Work

     "And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is “work.” We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is “good work,” for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth.
     The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is “bad work” – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.”
 

-  Wendell Berry 


"Good work is dignified. It develops your faculties and serves your community.  It is a central human activity.  Work, in this view: makes you honest with yourself, requires that you develop your faculties and skills, empowers you to do what you are really good at and love to do, connects you in a compassionate way with the outside world, supports the philosophy of non-destructiveness and sustainability, and integrates work with personal life and community."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Healthy Aging



Reverse Your Biological Age By:

"1. Changing your perceptions.
2. Deep rest, restful awareness, and restful sleep.
3. Lovingly nurturing you body through healthy food.
4. Using nutritional complements wisely.
5. Enhancing mind/body integration: breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, qigong, aikido, etc..
6. Exercise: strength and aerobic conditioning.
7. Eliminating toxins from you life.
8. Cultivating flexibility and creativity in consciousness.
9. Love and loving relationships.
10. Maintaining a youthful mind."

- Deepak Chopra and David Simon, Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging, 2001. 




Sunday, August 28, 2016

I've Grown a Little Taller

"Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees."
-  Karle Wilson


"I like to walk about amidst the beautiful things that adorn the world."
-  George Santayana


"I was never less alone than when by myself."
-  Edward Gibbon


"The walking stick serves the purpose of an advertisement that the bearer's hands are employed otherwise that in useful effort, and it therefore has utility as an evidence of leisure."
-  Thorstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class




"... the brisk exercise imparts elasticity to the muscles, fresh and healthy blood circulates through the brain, the mind works well, the eye is clear, the step is firm, and the day's exertion always make the evening's repose thoroughly enjoyable."
-  Dr. David Livingstone



Currently, I am reading the following three books:


Solar Electricity Handbook: 2016 Edition: A Simple, Practical Guide to Solar Energy - Designing and Installing Solar PV Systems.  Greenstream Publishing, 2016, Kindle Edition.  307 pages.  VSCL. 

Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.  By Al Gore.  Rodale Books, 2009.  416 pages.  ISBN: 978-1594867347.  VSCL.  

Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge  By Laren Stover.  New York, Bulfinch Press, 2004.  271 pages.  ISBN: 9780821228906.  A lighthearted and free flowing discussion of the five variations of Bohemians (Nouveau, Gypsy, Beat, Zen and Dandy) and of Bohemian philosophy generally.  VSCL. 



Walking - Quotations, Sayings, Poems, Lore

Solitude - Quotations  

Traveling, Camping and Hiking in Oregon

Pleasure, Satisfaction, Desire - Quotations

Renewable Energy Options



Nearly every Sunday morning, at daybreak, I walk four miles along a quiet paved country lane.  The photograph below, taken by Karen, was on a nice Spring day.  





Saturday, August 27, 2016

Enlightened in Many Ways



"Supreme Awareness (Chiti, Brahmin, Self, Supreme Auspiciousness) is most often explained using the metaphor of 'light.' Light, and by comparison 'consciousness,' is illuminating, brilliant, bright, shining, luminous, allows us to see, provides visions, can be enlightened, shows the Way. Understanding is a function of seeing, looking, and insight. Light is associated with life, growth, energy, and warmth. Consciousness can be clear, focused, split up, diffused, shadowy, opaque, and magnified. Numerous religions have considered the sun to be a divine being, or their gods and goddesses to give off light, energy, warmth, and to light the way for us. Evil beings keep us in darkness, steal the light away, burn us up or freeze us, or are the Prince of Darkness."
- Mike Garofalo


Sunshine Power. Compiled by Mike Garofalo.


"Sunlight bestows a whopping 12.2 trillion watt-hours per square mile per year. The solar energy hitting the earth per year exceeds the total energy in all forms consumed by humanity per year by a factor of over 20,000 times."
- How Much Solar Energy Hits the Earth? From EcoWorld: Nature and Technology in Harmony.


"At first a small line of inconceivable splendor emerged on the horizon, which, quickly expanding, the sun appeared in all of his glory, unveiling the whole face of nature, vivifying every color of the landscape, and sprinkling the dewy earth with glittering light."
- Ann Reacliffe


The Ancient Four Elements  Fire (Sun), Earth (Soil), Air, Water






Friday, August 26, 2016

Catching the Sun


The United States needs to intensify its implementation of solar energy electrical power production as have Germany and China.  The near future is obvious!

I will begin studying renewable energy topics during in the next eight months.  


Solar Energy - Wikipedia



Catching the Sun.  Documentary film, 73 Minutes, 2015.  
Filmmaker: Shalini KantayyaWikipedia article







Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tai Chi Chuan for Pleasure

My webpage on the Standard 24 Taijiquan Form has been the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands Website for many years. In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a quick index to this webpage.

Standard Simplified Taijiquan 24 Form. Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, links, online videos, articles, and resources. It provides a list of the 24 movement names in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish, with citations for sources of the movement names. It provides detailed descriptions of each movement with black and white line illustrations and photographs. It includes relevant quotations, notes, performance times, section breakdowns, basic Tai Chi principles, and strategies for learning the form. The Peking (Bejing) Chinese National orthodox standard simplified 24 movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, created in 1956, is the most popular form practiced all around the world. This form uses the Yang Style of Taijiquan.

This webpage provides many good suggestions for a person learning this short form on their own if there is no Tai Chi class in their area.


There is also a famous short Tai Chi form, created by Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing in the 1940's.  It has 37 movements.  




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A 50% Chance for "Happiness"

Happiness Activities

1.  Expressing Gratitude
2.  Cultivating Optimism
3.  Avoiding Over-Thinking and Social Comparisons
4.  Practicing Acts of Kindness
5.  Nurturing Social Relationships
6.  Developing Strategies for Coping
7.  Learning to Forgive
8.  Increasing Flow Expectations
9.  Savoring Life's Joys
10.  Committing to Your Goals
11.  Practicing Spirituality
12.  Taking Care of Your Body (Psychological Methods)
13.  Taking Care of Your Body (Physical Activity)
14.  Taking Care of Your Body (Acting Like a Happy Person)
15.  The Hows Behind Sustainable Happiness: Positive Emotions,
       Optimal Timing and Variety, Social Support, Motivation, Effort,
       Commitment, and Habit.  


The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want  By Sonja Lyubomirsky.  New York, Penguin Books, 2008.  Index, extensive notes, appendix, 366 pages.  ISBN: 978-1594201486.  Ms. Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Riverside, and a leader in the field of positive psychology.  

Professor Lyubomirsky analyzes what determines happiness.  Her research indicates that "happiness" is determined approximately 50% by our internal biological "Set Point", 10% by our circumstances in life, and 40% by our intentional activity.  Her explanations and suggestions are clear, reasonable, and grounded in psychological research.  Gaining effective use of our intentional activities is the focus of this book.  "This much happiness - up to 40% - is within your power to change."  

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Virtues and a Good Life

An Old Philosopher's Notebooks

Pleasure

Reading

Epicureanism and Hedonism







Monday, August 22, 2016

Enjoy It While It Lasts

"Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say, is a gloriously fine thing.  It makes us sober; it makes us a little sad; and many of us it makes poetic.  But above all, it makes it possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly, truthfully and always with a sense of our own limitations.  It gives us peace also, because true peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.

     Deprived of immortality, the proposition of living becomes a simple proposition.  It is this: that we human beings have a limited span of life to live on this earth, rarely more than seventy years, and that therefore we have to arrange our lives so that we may live as happily as we can under a given set of circumstances. ...  It made us therefore, cling to life─the life of the instinct and the life of senses─on the belief that, as we are all animals, we can be truly happy only when all our normal instincts are satisfied normally.  This applies to the enjoyment of life in all its aspects.


     A sad poetic touch is added to this intense love of life by the realization that this life we have is essentially mortal.  For if this earthly existence is all we have, we must try the harder to enjoy it while it lasts.  A vague hope of immortality detracts from our wholehearted enjoyment of this earthly existence."


 -  Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937, p.155-160.  




Death: Quotes, Poetry, Sayings, Wisdom 


How to Live the Good Life 

Hedonism and Epicureanism

  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What's Happening?

Karen and I have been working during the cooler morning hours all of the month of August.  We have continued with our home improvement projects.  

Afternoons have been enjoyed indoors with reading, Internet browsing, planning, the Olympics, American football games, and Netflix programs.  

I've recovered from my hip and knee injuries, suffered in bad falls.  I'm now able to walk 3 miles every morning, garden, and work on projects around the house.  Things are looking better for my legs.  I plan to resume weight lifting next week.  

Somewhat unusual not returning to work for the school district on August 13th. Retirement is a new experience.  




Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Helping People Move and Other Adventures

I am now back home in Red Bluff.  I was in Vancouver, Washington, for the last week.  I helped Mick and April move into their new home in the West Minehaha (Hazel Dell) area of Vancouver.  We moved hundreds of items (boxes, furniture, tools, plants) from northeast Portland near Division Blvd at the 205, and from Troutdale.





I stayed with the Flinn family.  Both girls were in summer day camp all week. We all enjoyed an outing to the beautiful Lewis River Park.  Alicia and I enjoyed eating at Mon Ami for breakfast in downtown Vancouver: delicious crepes and top notch mocha coffee.  Sean was the expert at the BBQ grill.  Fun visit!!






We purchased a very nice old Ford Explorer.  This dark green Ford Explorer will be rigged up as our camping vehicle.  






Friday, July 22, 2016

Sacred Circles

I've put together a webpage on the subject of Sacred Circles.

This webpage provides links, bibliographic citations, resources, quotations, notes, and comments on medicine wheels, henges, labyrinths, neopagan sacred circles, holy circles, the symbolism and myths about circles and spheres, sacred circle gardens, the four elements, and related topics.

This webpage includes information and photographs of our sacred circle garden at our home in Red Bluff, California.

Those folks who walk the circle in labyrinthswalking meditation or baguazhang might find some of the information in sacred circles to be of interest to them.

Here are a few pictures from our sacred circle garden.  They were all taken a few years ago.  Everything is the same today, except all the trees and shrubs are larger.