Saturday, July 28, 2018


We purchased a 2 gallon container of a Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Strawberry plant.  

We have seen this plant growing to 5 feet tall in screen plantings.  We think this plant can grow in our front yard with a southern exposure. 

"Voted top plant of 2010 by the American Nursery and Landscape Association, Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Strawberry™ is a relative of the classic PeeGee Hydrangea that produces large flower heads starting in midsummer. They begin creamy white but turn pink and then strawberry red, or even burgundy, later in the season with the cooler night temperatures. Since new flower heads continue opening into late summer, plants can display all three color stages at any one time. The blooms are borne on red stems, too, making quite a contrast against the green leaves. 'Renhy' PP 20,670

Because Panicle Hydrangeas bloom on new growth, they typically flower normally even if the twigs have been killed back by frost. Plant in a sunny, well-drained spot; some early afternoon shade is beneficial in hot southern regions. Prune in late winter or early spring.

Hydrangea is a valuable genus of some 100 species of shrubs and vines grown for their large and very showy flower heads. Hydrangeas are at their best in summer and fall—a quiet time for most woody plants—and are worth having for that reason alone."

White Flower Farm

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

How to Improve Your Mood

Boost Your Mood, Pick Yourself Up
Revitalize Yourself, Banish the Blues  

Be grateful for the good in your life.   
Give yourself permission to be human.
Brighten someone’s day. 
Learn something new. 
Listen to upbeat music.
Do some exercise on a regular basis.
Simplify your life, remove clutter, and clean. 
Go for a walk. 
Enjoy sex and discover romance. 
Get organized.
Do a good deed or volunteer.  
Smile and put on a happy face. 
Indulge your senses. 
Seek and cultivate beauty. 
Take time to breathe deeply. 
Look at some old photos. 
Focus on the positive. 
Forgive yourself. 
Get some fresh air. 
Eat often and eat light. 
Begin a program of meditation or contemplation.
Talk with your physician or counselor.   
Cook and prepare a lovely and tasty meal. 
Eat something nutritious like nuts or fruit. 
Pamper yourself.
Alter your routines in some way. 
Have confidence. 
Talk with your spouse. 
Fake it till you make it. 
Sign a song out loud. 
Tap into your creative side. 
Take up a mind-body practice like Taijiquan, Qigong or Yoga. 
Inhale a calming scent. 
Sit quietly, rest, or sleep. 
Brainstorm a problem for solutions. 
Avoid bad or negative companions, and find good friends. 
Watch a good non-violent movie. 
Work in the garden. 
Cool down strong emotions. 
Take some vacation time for relaxation and retreat. 
Look on the Bright Side.
Small steps of progress are better than no steps. 
Avoid watching the news for a week. 
Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
Focus on past successes, not failures. 
Create a wish list and make one wish come true.
Explore ways to boost your self-esteem. 
Focus on what you can control and what you can change.
Get some more sunlight on your body. 
Choose your attitude and how you will react to life's events. 
Spend less, avoid shopping. 
Stop all cussing, swearing, or rude language. 
Keep a journal or express yourself in writing. 
Go easy on yourself and yield.  
Count your blessings. 
Spend some time with children. 
Take a long shower or refreshing soaking bath. 
Get relevant and accurate information. 
Chat with a friendly person or neighbor.
Things change and time heals. 
Adapt, adapt, adapt. 
Agree to disagree; you don’t need to win every argument.   
Think fast.
Consider vitamin or herbal supplements that lift mood. 
Seek professional help for serious mental health problems. 
Read something inspiring. 
Avoid comparing yourself to others, and envy is a waste of time.
Try praying or chanting. 
Evaluate and revise your goals. 
Don't sweat the small stuff. 
Pet your dog or cat and care for them. 
Get a massage.
Enjoy a non-competitive sport. 
Try fasting or staying up all night. 
Donate your stuff, your skills, or your time.   
Forgive and forget. 
Dance till you are tired. 
Punch a bag or bang on a drum. 
Stop using any recreational drugs. 
Spend some time with children. 
Abandon false ideas and unrealistic aims. 
Enjoy a refreshing drink. 
Make someone laugh. 
Allow yourself to be eccentric, and enjoy some silly thoughts.
Have a bowl of soup or a cup of tea. 
Less talking and more doing. 
Get up, dress up, and show up. 
Observe nature carefully and respectfully.
Visit your public library and borrow some beautiful books. 
Be less self-centered and selfish. 
A spiritual advisor, rituals, or religious beliefs can sometimes help.
Love expands your horizons of caring and happiness. 
Accept the fact that some things are broken and can't be fixed.
Memorize and inspirational saying, prayer, poem or quote. 
Call or visit a sick person. 
Play a game. 

By Mike Garofalo
Valley Spirit Center
Red Bluff, California, 2011 

Ways to Lift Your Spirits (3 pages, PDF Format)

Virtues and Good Character

Fitness and Well-Being

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dao De Jing Concordance and Indexes

Tao Te Jing (Dao de Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) 
Resources, Index, Concordance, Commentary, Recommended Reading
Selected Translations in English, Spanish, and Chinese

Concordance to the Tao Te Ching

Alphabetical Index by English, Spanish, and Wade Giles Terms (Words)

Concordance to Chapters 1 - 29

Chapter Index to the Tao Te Ching

Concordance to the Tao Te Ching

English Language Versions of the Tao Te Ching - Translator's Index

Spanish Language Versions of the Dao De Jing

Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Bibliography

An Old Philosopher's Notebooks

Cloud Hands Blog Posts About the Daodejing

Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index

Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Tao Te ChingChapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes up to 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dao De Jing, Chapter 26

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 26

"The Place of Peace ...
The heavy is foundation for the light;
So quietness is master of the deed.
The Wise Man, though he travel all the day,
Will not be separated from his goods.
So even if the scene is glorious to view,
He keeps his place, at peace, above it all.
For how can one who rules
Ten thousand chariots
Give up to lighter moods
As all the world may do?
If he is trivial,
His ministers are lost;
If he is strenuous,
There is no master then."
-  Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 26   

"As the heavy must be the foundation of the light,
So quietness is lord and master of activity.
Truly, “A man of consequence though he travels all day
Will not let himself be separated from his baggage-wagon,
However magnificent the view, he sits quiet and dispassionate”.
How much less, then, must be the lord of ten thousand chariots
Allow himself to be lighter than these he rules!
If he is light, the foundation is lost;
If he is active, the lord and master is lost."
- Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 26

"The weighty is the source of the light; stillness dominates disquietude.
Wherefore, while the Sage proceeds the whole day according to Tao, he never departs from either calmness or gravity.
Although there may be spectacles of worldly glory to attract him he sits quietly alone, far above the common crowd.
How is that a Prince of Ten Thousand Studs of Horses can regard his own person  as of less importance than his regal dignity?
This lightness on the part of the Prince loses him his Ministers, while restlessness on the part of the Ministers loses them their Prince."
-   Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 26    

"The Solid is the root of the light;
The Quiescent is the master of the Hasty.
Therefore the Sage travels all day
Yet never leaves his provision-cart.
In the midst of honor and glory,
He lives leisurely, undisturbed.
How can the ruler of a great country
Make light of his body in the empire by rushing about?
In light frivolity, the Center is lost;
In hasty action, self-mastery is lost."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 26

"The heavy is of the light the root, and rest is motion's master.
Therefore the holy man in his daily walk does not depart from gravity.
Although he may have magnificent sights, he calmly sits with liberated mind.
But how is it when the master of the ten thousand chariots in his personal conduct is too light for the empire?
If he is too light he will lose his vassals.
If he is too passionate he will lose the throne."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 26

"Prudence is more stable than frivolity.
Rationality is superior to impatience.
Therefore, the sage always behaves prudently and rationally.
Even when successful, he is not carried away.
How could the king of a big kingdom rule without prudence?
Frivolity results in the loss of stability.
Impatience leads to the loss of superiority."
- Translated by Thomas Z. Zhang, Chapter 26

是以君子終日行, 不離輜重.
奈何以萬乘之主, 而身輕天下.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 26

zhong wei qing gen.
jing wei zao jun.
shi yi sheng ren zhong ri xing, bu li zi zhong.
sui you rong guan.
yan chu chao ran.
nai he wan sheng zhi zhu, er yi shen qing tian xia.
qing ze shi gen.
zao ze shi jun.
-  Hanyu Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 26 
"Gravity is the source of lightness,
Calm, the master of haste.
A lone traveller will journey all day, watching over his belongings;
Yet once safe in his bed he will lose them in sleep.
The captain of a great vessel will not act lightly or hastily.
Acting lightly, he loses sight of the world,
Acting hastily, he loses control of himself.
A captain can not treat his great ship as a small boat;
Rather than glitter like jade
He must stand like stone."
-  Translated by Peter Merel, Chapter 26    

"Heaviness is the basis of lightness.
Stillness is the standard of activity.
Thus the Master travels all day
without ever leaving her wagon.
Even though she has much to see,
she is at peace in her indifference.
Why should the lord of a thousand chariots
be amused at the foolishness of the world?
If you abandon yourself to foolishness,
you lose touch with your beginnings.
If you let yourself become distracted,
you will lose the basis of your power."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 26

"Lo pesado es la raíz de lo ligero.
La calma somete a lo agitado.
Así, el sabio cuando viaja
no se aleja de la caravana.
Aunque pudiera divagar por los paisajes más excelsos,
conserva su paz y se hace superior.
¡Cuanta más atención debería poner el señor
del imperio en la esfera terrestre de su persona,
en vez de ocuparse de sus diez mil carruajes!
Quien se comporta superficialmente
pierde la raíz de su poder.
Quien se ofusca,
se pierde a sí mismo."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 26  

"Weight is the root of lightness, stillness the master of motion,
And the daily way of the sage departs not from his base,
Although he have brilliant prospects, he is unconcerned and quiet,
Should the lord of ten thousand chariots be too light for his place?
Then he will lose not supporters alone,
But, being too restless, loses his throne."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 26    

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   

Chapter 26, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Progress on Home Improvement Projects

Lately, I have been very busy and working hard each day on outdoor home improvement projects.  I improved all the fences in the back yard.  I rebuilt the west fence, 30 feet long, and added a gate.  We added our first small "sunny garden" on the west street side of the property.  We improved and weeded the nursery area.  I built a new fence, 60 feet long, on the east side of the back yard to hide all of our workshop and storage areas.  We got the irrigation system working in our front yard; thanks to Sean's help.  We removed the dead Western Red Cedar tree limbs and branches over our east roof (from our neighbor's tree); thanks to Mick's help.  Karen added new vegetable plants and flower beds.  

Mostly work on rough carpentry, gardening, lifting and moving.  On the whole, enjoyable.

When resting during the heat of the day, I read, study, research, use the Internet, play video games, make notes, shop, and nap.  

Most of our home improvement objectives have been accomplished.  We will set new goals and objectives in September.   We want a 8 foot by 8 foot garden bed set over the removed lawn on the west street side of the property.   I will redo and improve the garden hoses watering system.  We will plant more shrubs in our garden and yard.  

We have travel plans in the Northwest this summer and autumn.  My brother and nephew and families are visiting us this summer.  

Not doing much Taijiquan, Qigong, Yoga, Feldenkrais, or walking since the Spring.  Mostly focused on home improvement work projects.  This work on home projects gives my 72 year old body plenty of exercise.   I do plan to resume my former exercises in August of 2018.  

Work Quotations:

"Every kind of work can be a pleasure. Even simple household tasks can be an opportunity to exercise and expand our caring, our effectiveness, our responsiveness. As we respond with caring and vision to all work, we develop our capacity to respond fully to all of life. Every action generates positive energy which can be shared with others. These qualities of caring and responsiveness are the greatest gift we can offer."
-  Tarthang Tulku

I will add a few pictures of our efforts:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Video Games 2: Software Experimentation

I find that the NBA 2K 18 on the Nintendo Switch is very difficult to play because of the rapid pace required in skilled passing and shooting.  The software has a practice option with 1on1 and 2on2, etc., so you can learn the basic movements possible in playing NBA level basketball.  Manual dexterity and quick reflexes are not my strong suit, so my progress is poor in this game.  I have, thus far, led the Golden State Warriors to four resounding 1st quarter defeats.

Using the Madden NFL 18 football video game on the X Box One is easier for me to play than NBA basketball because the pace is slower.  Lots of commands and selections to learn.  I think that using and learning this Madden software might make my NFL football television viewing experience this autumn more interesting.  Also, if I learn this software's command and movement controls, then I can use the Madden software upgrades in years to come, e.g., 2018-2019 season, Madden 19.  X Box One is a decent console for using NFL 18.  I've used NFL 14 before.

Cheat sheets for basic movements are not easy to find; Gamers seem to prefer figuring the controls out for themselves through experimentation, failures, and modest consistent successes in playing a new game.

I use Mario Brothers Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch.  I have also played older versions of Mario Brothers on the PS2, and NES, e.g., Super Mario Brothers 2, Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World.  I even have some Mario Brothers art, toys, and ???? Cube.

I started purchasing computers (Commodore, Atari, IBM-DOS clones), and video game hardware and software in the 1980's.  I played lots of games on desktop computers, telephones, tablets, and video consoles for 40 years.  I have always been interested in computers, their uses in business applications, and in the potentials of artificial intelligence, networking, learning, programming languages, etc.  I earned good money, I worked till I was 70,  while being a leader in library automation, management, using computers for management information systems, website development, grant writing, and research.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Video Games

Lately, I have been playing games on an X Box One player console, and on a Sony Nintendo Switch player console.  I also use an NES and SNES player console, and a Sony PlayStation 2 player console.  I have a variety of software, old school retro to current high end video games.  Over the past four decades, I have probably spent over $4,000.00 on the hardware and software for PC and video games.

On my Samsung 4 Tablet  I play some free Android applications, e.g., for the card game Spades and for the game of Chess.  The Nintendo Switch is also a fine handheld gaming device.

I find plenty of good used and some new software titles for the PlayStation 2.  I have purchased titles with a nice box and booklet, at it worked fine on my PlayStation 2, for as low as $2.50 to $12.00.  And, I occasionally find old NES or SNES cartridges for under $5.00.

Of course, the newer the hardware, like my 2017 Nintendo Switch, the more powerful the processor and memory.  It has faster speed, outstanding screen, responsive controls, and more display options.  However, the Switch software is currently very expensive at $30.00 to $60.00 a title.

I am thinking of purchasing a new high end PlayStation 4 this coming winter. Seems like top of the line in both hardware and software.

What games am I playing now?  Mario Brothers Odyssey on the Switch, NBA 2K 18 Basketball on the Switch, Madden NFL 18 Football on the X Box One.

What games do I want to play?  1.  Off Road Vehicle, ATV, Jeep driving games for the PlayStation 2.  2.  "Okami" for the Switch coming out 8/18.  "Minecraft" on the Switch.  "Legend of Zelda II: Adventures of Link" for NES.

I hope Madden NBA 19 and NBA 2K 19 come out formatted for the Nintendo Switch.

In real life sports, I watched all of the NBA Golden State Warriors basketball games available on television, and many games of other NBA West Coast teams like the LA Lakers and Portland Trailblazers.  I also watched many college basketball games on the PAC 12 Sports network.  I watched both of my grandaughter's play on basketball, volleyball, and soccer teams in 2017 and 2018.   Since I enjoy watching basketball games, I also enjoy playing basketball video games like NBA 2K 18.  I played basketball till I was 40 years of age, and I understand the game after a lifetime of watching for over 65 years.

I watched the Seattle Seahawks on television last season along with other West Coast teams like the 49'ers, Rams, Raiders.  I watched all the USC football games last season on television, and many other West Coast college football teams on the PAC 12 Sports Network.  Since I enjoy watching football games, I also enjoy playing football video games like Madden NFL 18.  I played football till I was 25 years of age, and understand the game after a lifetime of watching over 65 years.

Saturday, July 07, 2018