Monday, December 25, 2006


My computer doesn’t like Burl. My computer hates Burl. My computer thinks Burl is a shady character. What does Burl do? Who knows? Is he (she/it) the leader of a organization of unsavory criminals? Is he a pimp coercing innocent, young women, make them practice the oldest trade? Is he a sex obsessed male, exploiting young children? Does he use the internet to lure them into a life of crime and horror? Does he use foul language? Who IS Burl?

Read the previous post to catch up on Wild Thing’s argument with her computer. She cannot communicate into Larry’s mental blog. Won’t let her publish her words. Won’t give her the page that accomplishes that feat. Just warns her about Burl. Asks her if she wants to know why. And if she agrees, won’t tell her anyway. So who’s Burl??????

puzzled wild thing

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Xmas!

To those who have read our past blogs, you won’t be upset with me for using X. Perhaps the Greek alphabet won’t translate here but I will try. Χριστός is Greek for Christ (Christos) – hence the X. So, dear bloggers, I blaspheme not -

It is official now. The days are lengthening. Even though it is dark out there for so many hours of the day, I can feel the change in my body – the slight increase in the increments of light. Hallelujah. There is hope. For pagans and Christians. The season is wonderful that way. The story of the Nativity encapsulates hope in the form of an infant. The celebration of the return of the sun does the same. Light your candles in the dark.

The Dove Tale Writers came together Thursday night to rejoice in words and friendship. It was a night of unexpected firsts. M@ read aloud to us a sampling of his poems. Love sonnets at that – beautifully reflecting the vulnerability that is love. This from the guy who usually brings us mobster prose! And Wild Thing – well, Wild Thing was indeed wild. For the first time in the eight-year history of the DT gatherings, WT joined the wine-drinkers around the coffee table and drank a glass. The only other time she has been known to “chug it back” in our presence was a teensy-weensy sip of champagne to celebrate the publication of Veronica Ross’s book, “To Experience Wonder. Edna Staebler. A Life.” Well, Thursday night, those who know and love Wild Thing experienced wonder, too!

Speaking of Veronica, and the end of the night, she couldn’t find her coat. All that was left in its place was Wild Thing’s black leather jacket. A telephone call later – and we found out that unbeknownst to WT at the time, she had gleefully gone home wearing the wrong coat… How many glasses of wine, WT?

We missed you, Larry and Bobby Bacon, but we figured they wouldn't grant you a day pass to leave your cell, Larry, at the Yoni School for Wayward Poets. And BB, may you feel better soon.

Happy Solstice, Merry Xmas, dear writing friends. May you all write much, publish much, love much in 2007.

~ Xena

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Do You Think

Hey bloggers, I do have this question I like to put out to see what others beside me think. I got this attachment. I seldom open attachments. Only when I know for sure who's sending it and so know it's save to open them. I opened one from such a source. It's a petition. It's about children in Africa. Young girls that get violated by men with aids who believe that they will heal when they mate with a virgin, the younger the better. It is a very deploring, emotional situation. It is heart breaking. Without further discription, the thing going around, (the source is in Holland), is a list to collect names to petition against cutting down funds that have been created to help bring awarenss to the situation and act bring about change so lives can be saved.

Now it easy to put one's name on a list. But what I am thinking is to what effect? It is just a list of names. First and last name. No other identification. The way I see it, I could put a whole lot of imaginary names on that list to make it grow. What good is that? Which government institution is going to believe that? Even if the city or county was added. What good would that do? I could add my all my relatives names who do not even live anymore or just make up names.

It seems to me a waste of time and energy. A non effective way to deal with emotional issues. Am I missing something?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Webster's Daily

Hey! In the course of wading thru all my "found" bookmarks, I happened to see a reference to this other Blogspot site. Webster's Daily. Check it out. The poetry of Dictionary.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gertrude Stein

Larry has been dipping his toes into the vast mannish ocean of Gertrude again. She's a deep one, she is. Hard to read. No light sandy beach material here. Brown mahogany studies and gas lamps. Famous paintings crowding the walls. Pince-nez or perhaps a monocle. Something to make you concentrate because Gertrude is nothing if not concentrated.

Distilled. What is the process of distilling? You keep running the same ingredients through the pipes, boiling and condensing, purer and purer, until what's left is the essence that intoxicates you.

That's what Gertrude did.

Not always. Her most famous work, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, is a straightforward, fact-filled, gossipy kind of recounting of the early days of the Parisian artistic explosion at the turn of the 20th century. In other words, the kind of life that Alice and Gertrude and her brother Leo were certainly living. Like reading one of those British books about the royal family written by a former valet.

Other works are dense. Dense with repetition. But not exactly repetition. This is why you must concentrate because she repeats but not exactly. There may be a word missing. And when Gertrude removes a word, there must be a reason for it.

Gertrude is famous for writing, "Rose is a rose is a rose" which Larry has no idea what that means, even though his altered ego wrote about it once too. But there is the distilled essence of her endless repetition, and her injunction, repeated repeatedly in The Making of Americans to "begin again." Larry thinks it was also Gertrude who said about that town in California, "There's no there there." Exactly.

No distilled essence to tell you what it is. Which is what Gertrude repeatedly seeks.

You must be careful when reading Gertrude because she explores multiple meanings of words. This is part of her repetition as well. Take, for example, her portrait of Picasso. (After all, Picasso painted her portrait...with much difficulty, it is told. He never could get her face right. He worked for months. For months he worked. He worked and worked but the face would not work. Until he finally blotted out the whole thing and painted the mask as you see it above. And that became Gertrude's face, no other. She grew into that you see it below.)

Larry wants to quote the first two paragraphs of Gertrude's portrait of Picasso because they admirably set up the rhythm of repetition and lay the foundation of a completely accurate depiction of who that old Picasso was and what he was about. They also demonstrate Gertrude's masterful play with multiple meanings:

One whom some were certainly following was one who was completely charming.One whom some were certainly following was one who was charming. One whom some were following was one who was completely charming. One whom some were following was one who was certainly completely charming.

Some were certainly following and were certain that the one they were then following was one working and was one bringing out of himself then something. Some were certainly following and were certain that the one they were then following was one bringing out of himself then something that was coming to be a heavy thing, a solid thing and a complete thing.

Crucial words here: following, working, charming.

Picasso was certainly charming. Women loved that short little fu...oops, did Larry write that out loud? Fact is, he was a little youknow. But women loved him anyway. Even the mannish ones like Gertrude.

Following. He certainly had one. In more than one sense. Picasso always had his followers. His entourage. Hangers-on. He was rarely alone. Even when painting. People came to watch him paint. Sometimes he put on displays for them. But other kinds of following too. He and Braque started a whole genre of painting. Cubism. Gertrude is sometimes called the "first Cubist writer." And Picasso's followers were all the Cubist artists who followed him. Certainly. Certain that there was a solidity to this cubic expression.

Working. Not many artists can match Picasso's output. In painting, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, lithographs. You name it. He probably did it. Worked it. Gertrude emphasizes throughout the short portrait (just over 2 pages, thirteen paragraphs, maybe 1000 words) that Picasso worked. Picasso's work defined him. Without quoting the entire portrait, Larry can tell you that Gertrude ultimately raises the suggestion that Picasso was a workaholic. Without his work he was nothing. Even when he had nothing much to say, he must be working. Completely working, as she says.

But work and working has another meaning: as in "This is not working." And Gertrude exploits that and gradually turns it around so that the final sentence of her portrait is, "He was not ever completely working."

And he wasn't. Many things in his life were messed up, particularly his long-term relationships. Just ask Dora Maar, the Weeping Woman. Just ask Françoise Gilot to whom, when she finally decided to leave him for good, all he could say was "Merde." So, in spite of working, he was not ever completely working. Not only that, as Gertrude implies, much of the time he was actually playing.

Gertrude. She was not playing with words. She was working them. Over and over. Until she got it right. Larry wonders what she would have done with a computer's cut and paste function.

(Which leads inevitably to William Burroughs...)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


SAMHAINNorthern Hemisphere: October 31st Southern Hemisphere: April 30th Pronounced "SOW' win" (rhymes with "cow")
Meaning of the Sabbat:"....And to the living is revealed the Mystery: that every ending is but a New Beginning.....""This festival is often called the "Feast of the Dead", as it is the time of year when the veil between the material and spirit worlds is thinnest. The spirits of our ancestors and loved ones who have recently passed to "The Summerlands" are able to return to us for a short while and join in the revelry. In ancient times, cattle were slaughted and the meat butchered and salted for the Dark Times ahead."At Samhain the Stag Lord rides with the Wild Hunt from the hollow hills and the Lady goes to the Dark Realms for the long sleep of Winter. On this night, the Old Year ends and a New Year begins for Pagans".

SAMHAIN RITUALNOTE: Each covener brings into the Circle a piece of paper upon which they have written negative qualities about themselves that they would like to be rid of. (Like smoking, procrastination, being judgemental etc.) Cauldron to burn papers. Candle or fire.2 Black altar candlesMusic for "Dance Macabre"Candy corn in a plastic pumpkin for talking stickSmudge stick and featherRITUALHP & HPS smudge the Coveners before they enter the Circle.HPS Casts the Circle.HP & HPS light Quarters Candles.CHARGE ELEMENTS.CLEANS CIRCLECall the Quarters.HP Invokes Hades, the Lord of the Underworld (NOTE: This is NOT "Satan"!) HPS invokes Hecate, Crone Goddess of the Dark Moon, ruler of the Underworld, Crossroads & magick.HPS: "We are between the Worlds, beyond the bounds of time, where day and night, birth & death, joy and sorrow meet as one.(HP reads the Statement of Intent:)This festival is often called the Feast of the Dead, as it is the time of the year when the veil between the Material and Spirit worlds is the thinnest. The spirits of our ancestors and loved ones who have recently passed to the Summerlands are able to return to us for a short time and join the revelry."In ancient times, cattle were slaughtered, and the meat butchered and salted for the Dark Times ahead."At Samhain, the Stag Lord rides the Wild Hunt from the hollow hills, and the Lady goes into the Dark Realms for the long sleep of Winter. On this night, the Old Year ends and a New Year begins."We are at the crack of time, for this day belongs to neither the Old Year nor to the New. And, as there are no distinctions between the years, so there is no distinction between the worlds. Those we have known and loved in ages past are free to return to us here in this meeting place. "And, to the living is revealed the Mystery: that every Ending is but a New Beginning."We meet in this time out of time, everywhere and nowhere, to greet the Lord of Death, who is the Lord of Life, and the Triple Goddess, who is the Circle of Rebirth.(HPS picks up the pumpkin with the candy in it, and remembers someone or animal friend (either known to you or someone from history that you admire). She takes a pice of candy and says, "I taste the Sweetness of your Memory", and passes the pumpkin (Talking Stick) to the next Covener to her left. Continue around the Circle until all have had a turn).(The "Danse Macabre" or "The Dance of the Dead" is done Widdershins (counter-clockwise). Start walking very slowly, and increase the speed until you are skipping and twirling. Invite the spirits to join you. If you do this outdoors, you can attact ectoplasm if you raise enough energy. Look for it swirling through the sky or landing in the trees. Dance until you are tired, then stop.Someone lights the Cauldron that stands in the North. Start with the HP. Each Covener in turn walks Widdershins, and puts their "negativity paper" into the fire to release it from you.SYMBOLIC GREAT RITE.(CAKES & ALE). (During this time, tell stories and customs of Hallowe'en).
~ End of Rite. ~

Needed: A Last Excuse

Blogging? Why not? Word doesn’t approve of the word blogging. Treats it with red wiggely lines. Wordless disapproval.

The sunflower in the yard, bent over, seedless head, just received a covering of snow. Snow on the sun. Sounds like a contradiction.

Like my life. My life is rather contradictory lately. Why?

Well, my friend moved out, with most of his stuff, but not all of his stuff. His place, in the country is filling up and speaks new and exciting. My place on the other hand is emptying, but not quite, and in a sort of desolate state. Life changing. Missing the count- on presence of the other.

Nothing bad. Friendship unharmed. Just transformation. Spending time here and there. Having to bring some sort of harmony back into my place. The trick is to create a new atmosphere. Not quite as it was when I lived alone before. I am not that person anymore. Not so that I oust the other. Still need a place accommodating him and young children frequently. It’s a different story. Needs a different setting.

The dilemma required more thinking than doing for a while. Crying made thinking difficult. Emotions attack logical brains. Cripple them severely.

Yesterday some more common sense crept in. Ha, my living room looks great now. Accommodates all needs. Magic.

New problem. The rest of the house is still in shambles. So I find every excuse in the book to be in my living room and relax. Phone someone. Read a bit. Have a hot chocolate. A treat. Linger over it as long as possible. Walk the dog.

I did all that. It is noon by now. Running out of excuses to be brave and deal with other rooms. More change. Not only the move out. Also the season change. Warm to cold. Rain. Wind. Snow, a little. Frost, a little. Not in any specific order. Why would I not feel unsettled unless I am in my living room?

Well, there you go. I wrote a blog and will post it. My last excuse. Wish me luck. Maybe by tonight I did a good amount of unchaosing. Are you surprised that Word doesn’t like that word either? Word has no understanding of poets. Not set up for poetic licenses.

Wild Thing

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Where's Larry

Larry Keiler is known for his reclusive nature because he has not given an interview since 1978, and has not made a public appearance as “Larry” since that time. However there are rumours of his appearance in the form of his alter egoes. One rumour had him playing the bag pipes for ACDC in a surprise appearnce at a small nightclub in Sydney Australia. Another rumour has circulated that he has frequented Octoberfest playing the most unlikely of instruments, the accordian. Some of have claimed they have witnessed him chanting under a bodi tree.

If you take Waldo, J.D. Salinger and Andy Kaufmann and mix them together you would produce Larry. Recently there has been a discussion of Larry sightings by some Dove Tale members. In the interest of our membership I believe further investigations may reveal his where abouts.

If you know of any sightings of Mr. Keiler please post your comments here.

bobby bacon

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Whispers and Butterfly Wings

I write the odd commentary regarding the current events and politics of the day. What we see in the newspapers and television is for presentation. Those presentations have little to do with problem solving. Right now most US news is spun for the November elections for congress and the senate.

I view blogs, which are not read by millions, thousands, hundreds or even ten. Many of these blogs ask questions I have not thought about before. The site of a thousand whispers has a strange beauty. Another strange event is happening and that is the mainstream media is starting to make statements that have been whispered in blogs for the last couple of years.

Recently MSNBC commentary Keith Olbermann suggested that “that President Bush might be as big a threat as the terrorists.”


The only difference I see between Olbermann’s comments and the hundreds of blogs I have read is the word “might”. For the main stream media to make a comment above the whispers is a huge step.

Olbermann should be careful though because the recent suspension of Habeas Corpus by the Bush Administration could earn Olbermann an all expense trip to Gitmo excluding any legal or human rights protection.

And if you think whispering is safe because only a couple of people will ever see a personal blog please note.

“Federal agents questioned a 14-year-old high school freshman in Sacramento, Calif., last week after they found threatening comments posted on her Web page on The agents visited her school, where she was taken out of class and questioned for about 15 minutes. The incident has upset her parents, who said the agents should have included them when they questioned their daughter. Upset by the war in Iraq, Julia Wilson vented her frustrations with President Bush last spring on her Web page. She posted a picture of the president, scrawled "Kill Bush" across the top and drew a dagger stabbing his outstretched hand. She later replaced her page on the social networking site after learning in her eighth grade history class that such threats are a federal offense. It was too late. Federal authorities had found the page and placed Wilson on their checklist. They finally reached her this week in her molecular biology class. Julia Wilson said the agents threatened her by saying she could be sent to juvenile hall for making the threat.”

Frustration is a funny thing, be careful what you post. I am sure Julia knows she was wrong but the experience has motivated her even more as she plans to post a new page, this one devoted to organizing other students to protest the Iraq war.

Everything is connectected in this net age. Keep whispering and watch as thousands butterflys take flight. Just whisper in a responsible manner, eh?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Exiting Iraq

The American public were governed by deception. Despite that deception, they want a peaceful resolution to Iraq that will limit the risk to American troops and reduce causalities among the Iraqis. Defining, discussing, debating an exit is neither cowardly nor “cut and run”. It is facing up to a reality that the current strategy is a disaster.

The main debate isn’t whether America should exit Iraq rather it is how and when to exit.

The strategy of “how and when” must consider the safety of American troops and the people of Iraq.

How and when involves: (Not in order of importance.)

1. Diplomacy and dialogue with Iraq’s neighbours.
2. Diplomacy and dialogue with the UN.
3. Opening up a dialogue with Insurgents.
4. Actually listening to the military command and the troops in Iraq.
5. All in consultation with Iraqis leadership and its people.
6. And the recognition by the American public that it is going to be harder getting out of Iraq than it was going in.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Voice of America (VOA)

I was surprised at the quality of radio and TV broadcasts developed by Voice of America. All the news networks I have listened to, push sensationalism, biases, political and corporate agendas rather than report the news.

Typically CBC radio or PBS was my best choice for news. So when I ventured into the Voice of America I was expecting Fox Network like propaganda.

I have been listening to VOA for a few days now and to my delight it presents both sides of each issue in a thoughtful, in-depth and intelligent manner.

VOA goes way beyond the repetitive rhetoric of CNN, Fox and other typical networks. I found my own biases being challenged as I listened two gentlemen talk about the Popes recent comments on Islam. I heard two sides of a story and not two people bashing one another. It was a constructive and thoughtful dialogue about important issues.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Okay Blog...

Blog… The roots of homepages, web logs and listings can be dated back to 1992.

The first use of the term weblog was presented in a topic named, “Exploiting the World-Wide Web for Electronic Meeting Document Analysis and Management” at a conference in Australia in August 1995.

In 1996 online journal diaries were measured in the hundreds.

In early 1999 Peter Merholz shortens the term “weblog” to blog.

In August 1999, Pyra Labs, today owned by Google, launches the free Blogger service.

Over a very short period of time blogs spread worldwide over the Internet.

In January 2005 Larry Keiler of Lunchbucket, Ontario, Canada begins his first blog. Larry descriped himself as a “Underemployed Pote” he decribed himself as follows

“I am the altered ego of He-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless, currently serving a seven year term at the Yoni School for Wayward Poets. I was charged and convicted of phelonious misspelling and operating without a poetic license. am the altered ego of He-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless, currently serving a seven year term at the Yoni School for Wayward Poets. I was charged and convicted of phelonious misspelling and operating without a poetic license.”

His first blog he wrote:

"First things first
First -- figure out what the hell I'm doing with this thing......"

Have you figured it out yet Larry?

As of 2005 there is 50 million online journal blogs.

Larry’s first Blog...Feel free to look back and comment...

Shakin' (BOB)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Agent 488 – Carl Jung

Carl Jung was an agent for US intelligence outfit called the OSS (Office of Strategic Services). He formally became an agent in 1943 but his war efforts had begun earlier. His first contact with the OSS was through his patient Mary Bancroft. Mary worked for Allan Dulles who was the OSS chief in Switzerland. Dulles later became the first Director of the CIA.

Dulles sent communiqués to Washington based on Jung’s assessment of Nazi leadership. In return Jung became privy to top-secret Allied intelligence.

Currently I am attempting to write a screenplay surrounding those events. My previous screenplay was based on Sandcastle Memories, which has an association with Jung, as he was interested in sand play. If anyone has information or links that I should research please send them my way.

Shakin’ (Bob)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


i find a feather
smaller than my hand
silvery gray
soft smooth
wonderously thin

i don’t know
what kind of bird
lost it
this feather
preened it out or
lost it flying

i think about that bird
somewhere alive

i stand by a tree
an old tree
rugged rough
composed of three trunks

halfway near the bottom
the surface split
under the bark the hole
gathered dusty matter
from it sprung
two puffy bold
golden tan mushrooms

the tree is alive

the sun is
sinking under the horizon
over rooftops and trees
the firy sky blushes red and
bathing my surroundings in
rosy light

day is dying transforming into
the sun is alive

last night
the moon was full
a low reddish moon
lit up my world
i could see its face almost touch it

i felt the moon inside me
i felt alive

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I think I am a poet. A poet is supposed to write poems. Poems come to you. When you are not doing anything. Between waking and sleeping. They already sing. They only need some shaping up to modify them to literary rule. Non poets want rules, initially. But then they shrug, "A am not a poet", they say. And forgive you your poetic license.

When poems don't come, where are they? I can't find any, right now. Forcing poems don't work for me. They don't sing. You may as well call them prose. Line breaks or not. Now writing proze is OK. You don't need to be a stick in the mud. Nothing wrong with stories. Although it helps if they too have music in them. They read so much better. Some prose reads/sounds like poetry. Maybe stories was the wrong word to use. Poems are stories too.

Labouring over a poem never works for me. There's got to be spontaneity. The more you work on it, the denser it gets. I prefer poems that dance like butterflies in the sun. Are all my poems like that? Of course not! My butterfly soul has the capacity to sink like a millstone.

Maybe life doesn't work without poetry. Maybe poetry and magic are interchangeable words. Dream words. Is life easier with poetry in it? Is it easy to maintain the magic? Is it easy to explain/maintain dreams? The word maintain doesn't even belong.

There are poems. There are non poems. Poetry lives.

I am outside story. I am outside poem. Today I am a non poem. Waiting for poetry. Waiting for magic. Want to dream.

wild thing feeling tame.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Brain Sculpting: Optimism & Pessimism

By Whats Shakin'

In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., tells of the potential loss of important neuronal connections:

"The human brain is by no means fully formed at birth . . . Children are born with many more neurons than their mature brains retain; through a process called "pruning" the brain actually loses the neuronal connections that are less used, and forms strong connections in those synaptic circuits that have been utilized the most . . . This process is constant and quick; synaptic connections can form in a matter of hours or days. Experience, particularly in childhood, sculpts the brain."

I started hearing a murmur about brain wiring in the mid 1990’s. There are numerous examples equating the workings of the brain to electricity from the late 1800’s onward. This equation has multiplied with the development of the Internet. But that is for another Blog someday.

What interests me is that use is the determining factor in brain growth. We may sculpt our bodies through exercise so it should not come to any surprise that we may sculpt our minds by applying our attention to various interests. The mind is influenced by the stimuli in the world around it. The so-called wiring responds to stimulus by becoming stronger in particular portions of the brain that are influenced by that stimulus. For example, there are separate areas in the brain for optimistic and pessimistic emotions.

I don’t have any particular bias about either optimism or pessimism. If I have any bias it is for balance. A certain amount of pessimism is healthy unless the result is the loss of hope. Personally I find optimism more pleasing, too much so in the sense of the three monkeys. There is a middle way between seeing no evil and seeing no hope.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dumb Smile – Survival Mode

By Whats Shakin'

My dumb smile approach has been kicking in by Thursday and Friday during the workweek. The project I am working on has had the direct involvement of five hundred people consisting of thirty consultants, seventy-five construction workers, two hundred and fifty end users, fifty suppliers, and one hundred neighbours.

Each person has very strong opinions. To manage those opinions, I adopt a level of intensity that drives the project forward. The problem is that the project uses up my energy so that by Wednesday I am running low.

Thus “Dumb Smile” kicks in by Thursday whereby my approach is “ Do no harm.”

I don’t argue, get worked up, or angry. I cut down on all my emotional output and conserve my energy. Hopefully if an important decision needs to be made I can make it on Monday when my thinking mind is fresh.
I feel no shame about adopting a dumb smile. It is a type of courage in a different form. Or so I tell myself.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Leaves and Strings

We see a leaf in a tree. It is beautiful, simply as a visual representation. If we examine, investigate and measure the leaf there would be some that say we have damaged its simplicity. I disagree. There is nothing wrong with simplicity and there is nothing wrong with measuring and defining. They are just different views of perception.

We can apply a multitude of methods to investigate such as algebra, geometrical, biochemical, its symbiotic relationships and so on. A leaf is a leaf and it is beautiful. A leaf can be much more and still beautiful.

When it comes to string theory I understand about 1% of what I read. A current view of the “string theory” is that the universe exits in eleven dimensions. We perceive the world in three dimensions plus one. An object has height, width and depth (three dimensions). The plus one dimension is time. Time is a coordinate in geometry. If time is a coordinate, then instead of three coordinates to describe a leaf, we have four coordinates to describe any object. So our ability to investigate has four dimensions.

And the other seven dimensions? They can be partially represented mathematically. The math works but our ability to have scientific verification is not there yet. So STRING is a theory. We lack the ability at the moment to prove whether STRING is a true or a false representation. Research with particle accelerators may be able to verify or dismiss STRING in the foreseeable future.

The site describes string as follows:

“Think of a guitar string that has been tuned by stretching the string under tension across the guitar. Depending on how the string is plucked and how much tension is in the string, different musical notes will be created by the string. These musical notes could be said to be excitation modes of that guitar string under tension.”

If STRING proves to be true then the elementary particles of a leaf can be thought of as musical notes that emit a specific vibration.
A leaf is green, it blows in the wind and it is beautiful. A leaf according to STRING may also be a series of musical notes in this magical universe.

Bobby (Whats Shakin') Bacon

Sunday, July 23, 2006

How Wet Can You Get

Should I go swimming, I wondered. Sunday early afternoon. Where was that program? Couldn’t find it. Such a quiet day. No one around. Nowhere to go to. I looked at my bike. I looked at the dog. Dog looked bored. Ahhhh. He can’t come swimming. Maybe take him to Monarch Woods. Good idea. Maybe on the way, exchange those beer bottles for money. Then they won’t take up space anymore. I didn’t seem too warm for a dog. See how it goes. So out we went. Up to the beer store. Passed the garden center. Maybe stop off there later, see what sales are on. It started to rain a bit. Mmmmmm, did I close my windows? Was sure I didn’t. But maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

On a railing, close to the store entrance, I tied the dog. Dry spot. Went into that ice palace. Brrr. beer stores are cold. Had to wait a bit. Heard thunder roll in. Got my exchange money, turned and saw one thick sheet of rain. Ran outside, freed soaked dog ( name is Simon) who looked a bit panicky.

“May as well come in,” said a man in the front hall of the beer store, waiting out the storm with a case of beer. I did. As always Simon became the subject of conversation. Instantly adored by most who see him. The man, a typical beer drinker, told me about someone who breeds golden retrievers and how great they are. No argument there.

I looked at the sky. Pure blue in the direction of my place. The other way, coming from Waterloo, black, threatening clouds without end. “We may as well go, Simey”, I said, and we stepped into the downpour. We ran across the parking lot to the entrance of the “New Canadian Super Store.” Wasn’t going to hide there, was thinking about open windows at home. No ambition to go into the Garden Center either, anymore.

Folks hiding from the rain under the overhang of the super store looked adoringly and with pity at Simon, water streaming off him. “Ahh,” said a man, “You are the only one I feel sorry for.” No matter that I was dripping too. Simon and I jogged on. I ran into the house first to close windows. Luckily the rain had come straight and the damage was minor. My bed wasn’t wet at least, nor the books under the bathroom window. I grabbed two big towels from a shelf and threw them over Simon, rubbing him as close to dry as I could get him.

“Well Simon,” I said, throwing the wet towels in the washer and getting out the hair dryer, “I think we both went for a swim.”

Thursday, June 29, 2006

the Demon Trap

There is a blogger demon in my computer. Three times, I tell you, three times, I have put heart and soul into starting a new post. Thought we had milked all out of Da Vinci we could. And I wrote a piece to the very end. Checking deftly for typos and errors. Finally satisfied, the blogger demon reared its ugly head and ate my blog before I could publish it. Gone. Disappeared. Not to be found in the deepest bowels of the computer. I shook it. I tried to trick it. I swore at it. I pleaded with it. Nothing. Nil. Blank. That demon is tricky like my cat. Cannot be found if it doesn’t want to be found. Many times I cannot find my cat. Even though I am convinced that I know all her hiding places. Even though I search all of them and more. even though I call her, try to lure her with food, the cat is somehow spirited away. And when I least expect it she will suddenly sit in front of me with dreamy eyes, like a little Buddha, innocent, alluring, pointing at her dish and making me feel guilty that it is empty. Nah, that last part isn’t true. But hey there is always fiction in truth and truth in fiction. Right? But you know, the demon never shows himself. Is it a male demon? Of course it is! Why? Never mind. I have decided. The demon is forever evasive. Cannot be seen. Like the face of God. According to Jewish scripture and C.S. Lewis. The demon is the scary, negative side of computer technology. Computers, I always emphasize, have me in total awe on one side, and scare the hell out of me another way. This electronic technology holds heaven and hell in its bowels. Makes me happy often, and makes me swear at it probably more times. Gets out the demon in me. That’s what demons do, right? In dreams, they say, when you face your demons, they fade away. That has worked for me. But my computer is not a dream. And there is a demon in my computer. HELP !!! Maybe I should make it fun and design a “Name The Demon” contest. There is a theory, I think from the fox in “The Little Prince”, that when you name things you tame them. What do you do with a tame demon? Same things as you do with a drunken sailor?

Ha! I did it. I wrote it in the Word program and copied and pasted it. See if it goes through now.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Da Vinci Code...

When I travel, I like to put Tuesdays aside to watch a movie. Why not? CSI is still two nights away, and the buzz I get from mowing the lawn on Sunday has worn off, leaving me feeling empty and angry inside. Movies fix that.

Pushing my atheism aside, I decided to stretch my mind and consider a film that put into question all I knew about the last two thousand years of history and religion. Unfortunately, Cars was sold out so I bought a ticket for The DaVinci Code instead.

The film was good. Not great, but good enough that I only thought of McRib eight times. During the normal course of the two or three hours this film ran, I would have thought of McRib as many as thirty-two times. This film held me. In fact, I was only consumed by McRib Compulsive Disorder once during the movie, at which time I left the theatre, drove to McDonalds, and was reminded that McRib has not been on the menu for many years. I drove back to the theatre but I think I was out when they were talking about religion or something, so I felt lost for quite awhile.

By the end of the film, I was filled with such hope and awe that, within forty minutes, I had given some of my money to a stripper named Mary. Or Lexus. She was speaking French, so I’m not sure what she was saying.

Everyone should see this movie.

- Art Lane

Friday, June 09, 2006

Five Years old & Fifty Years old.

When I was five, I played in sand with dump trucks.

At fifty, I'm playing in sand with dump trucks.

The difference is...

I spend more time playing with dump trucks now than when I was five.

This top shot is the job site a few days ago.

The bottom shot is an artist's rendition of what we hope it may look like.

This is where my is mind is at least 45 hours a week.

When I was five had less time for construction.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Oh, That Henry Miller!

When and where does creation cease? And what can a mere writer create that has not already been created? Nothing. The writer rearranges the gray matter in his noodle. He makes a beginning and an end -- the very opposite of creation! -- and in between, where he shuffles around, or more properly is shuffled around, there is born the imitation of reality: a book. Some books have altered the face of the world. Rearrangement, nothing more. The problems of life remain. A face may be lifted, but one's age is indelible. Books have no effect. Authors have no effect. The effect was given in the first Cause. Where wert thou when I created the world? Answer that and you have solved the riddle of creation!

We write, knowing we are licked before we start. Every day we beg for fresh torment. The more we itch and scratch the better we feel. And when our readers also begin to itch and scratch we feel sublime. Let no one die of inanition! The airs must ever swarm with arrows of thought delivered by les hommes de lettres.
From: Nexus, Chapter 16

There's more. He was just gettin' on a roll. Larry sez: Read It! Look at that face. Sculptured, like some Mongol (as he says) in disguise. Look at that lantern jaw. Dick Tracy stands in awe. How could you not read it?

For those of you who don't know, aside from all the sexual folderol, Miller's novels Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus are really about his struggle to be a writer (and his crazy life with Anais Nin, called Mona in the books.)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Three A's

I have a fascination with such conditions as Autism, Asperger’s and Alzheimer’s.

I have thoughts about autism, which may be completely inaccurate. I once was a swimming instructor and for whatever reason I had a knack for teaching children with special needs. My experience in the water didn’t match up with my research on autism. Perhaps it was the water environment and that stimulus that put my experience and my reading at odds. I suspect the children I had in my classes were all high functional.

I learned from them. They required a calm and a gentle approach and not the general excited activity of an average swim class. I could feel the tension in their bodies when and activity became too much for them. Also the children I taught were verbal. At first their remarks seemed completely out of place to our activity. As I gained experience I realized their remarks were an attempt in establishing an order to the feelings and stimulus of the lesson.

The indoor pool environment is all wrong for a child with autism. I could easily design a pool that would accommodate their needs. Of course that pool will never be built because who would spend the money on a accommodating those needs. Pools are very well lit, have poor acoustics (echo), and busy. If I designed a pool it would use only underwater lamps, I would line the walls, ceiling, and floors with materials that would absorb sound. The only voice I want the child to hear is mine. Of course I never had that environment to work in.

The world seemed too big for the children I taught. If I could make the world appeared to be smaller then there was an opportunity to learn. If I managed that then teaching them to swim was easy.

In hindsight now, I believe these children had Asperger’s Syndrome. I only became aware of Aspergers 15 years ago. I never experienced an absence of emotion from these children rather the children demonstrated stronger emotions than most. The stimuli of the world were overwhelming, reduce the stimuli to these high function children and they are no different than anybody else. The absense of emotion comes when an over stimulated child shuts down. Frrustration was often predominant, which I prefferred to the child that just turns off completely.

What does Alzheimer’s have to do with this? Nothing really. Just another interest of mine. Used to be the only conclusive diagnostics of Alzheimer’s was an autopsy. That is no longer true. We have ways to take pictures of the brain now. There is a build up a protein plaque in the brain that reduces the function of receiving and sending messages along the neural net. There are ways to reduce this plaque, which will slow down the process of Alzheimer’s. It is no cure and we have yet to discover the cause.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Get your comma, er, coma right

A word of caution to all those scriptwriters out there – and you know who you are! Consider yourself warned! I read the following Associated Press article today in the newspaper:

“Note to screenwriters and filmgoers: People look bad when they are in comas, and they never, repeat never, get up, unplug themselves from their machines and walk out of the hospital.

A new study published in this month’s journal of the American Academy of Neurology reviewed 30 U.S. and foreign movies with characters in prolonged comas and found that only two of those – Dream Life of Angels and Reversal of Fortunes – contained reasonably accurate representations of coma.

The others often portrayed the comatose as tanned and muscular; as if they were simply in a deep sleep. In reality, their muscles would atrophy and they’d probably be incontinent.

Researchers identified scenes from 17 movies portraying a coma, wakening from a coma, recovery from coma, and physician, nurse and family conversations. They then asked 72 viewers to rate the realism.

The portrayals of comas in movies is important, said Dr. Eelcom Wijdicks [does THAT name strike you as fictional??? Just try to say it aloud without laughing], a lead author of the study and neurologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., because people are subconsciously influenced by what they see on screen.

“The wrong representation could lead to the wrong expectations,” Wijdicks said. In the study, 39% of participants said the movie scenes would affect a real-life decision [now THERE'S a scary stat].”
~ Xena

Monday, May 15, 2006

Writers exercise too!

The Federal Government wants to stimulate activity in children by offering parents a tax credit to enroll their kids in physical activity. Of course, they only consider endeavours like chasing a ball around a field, to be activity. What about mental activity? Firing all those neurons to be creative, uses calories too. What about chasing a story? Those of us writing articles and essays have traveled out of our comfy chairs to chase down a great idea. Those of us writing fiction know how surrounding you with your subject matter and setting creates wonderful words. What about song-writing and play-writing? Such writers often combine other artistic processes in addition to the writing. Song-writers play piano or guitar in most instances. Playwrights may be involved in staging or directing as well. Let's create writing programs for kids and convince the Tory's that exercising their brain uses energy too.

Get active, be persuasive, write-on!

Sher, Executive Director
WCAC, 25 Regina St. S.
Waterloo, ON N2J 1R8
519-886 4577

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Well, the novel is printed and in my hot little hands. And I'm proud to say that I found my first typo, on page 47, the first time I opened the book. Hooray! Now that I've found it, I can be sure that there are no other typos in the book, anywhere.

But the Kitchener launch is set for June 4 at the Walper Hotel. Everyone is invited of course. Punch will be served.

Has everyone heard about the CAA Mini-conference on June 3? I don't know whether I told everyone about it or not, but basically we're taking four of the most successful elements from last year's conference and putting them together in one extravaganza of a day. These elements are:
  • A panel of editors talking about what they're looking for from writers
  • One-on-one interviews with editors
  • A workshop with Kelley Armstrong
  • Meals and coffee breaks provided
So if anyone's interested, get on over to the branch page and sign up. We figure we're charging about $10 more than Brian Henry does, we're giving people way more of everything, and food is included. What more could a person want?

Anyhow, I'll post details about the launch party when they're available. Till then, I'll be running madly around the room wondering how the heck I'm going to get everything I need to do, done.

Monday, May 08, 2006

On-line Book Publishing

Larry just read an interesting interview with Eileen Gittens, the Chief Exec of Blurb, an on-line publishing company. Click the link for the Washington Post article. (These articles go off-line after a period of time. If you miss it, send Larry an email. He'll send you a Werd file copy of the interview.)

Life is Short at the Washington Post

Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (, fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071).

And here's a recent example:

I stood in my son's room where he was doing his high school homework. Looking down at his desk, I saw a paper on which he had gotten a B-plus. Though pleased, I asked him, "How come you didn't get an A on this?" He looked up at me and asked, "How come you're not making millions and millions of dollars?" I thought he had a point and let him be.

Tony Gittens, Washington

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wanted: Spring Gardeners.

Did we die with winter? Are we still deep into the earth's soil, dreaming green? It is spring, you bloggers! Time to pop up again. With new energy, new ideas. Cultivate seeds into tiny green sprouts in your green house selves. We need stories. Stories born anew. New tales. Growing tales. Sun and rain tales. Colourful tales. Funny ones. Ridiculous ones. Tales with tails. Heads too. Or just middles. 'slong's it keeps us communicating. My garden is full of sunny daffodils. I added black earth to display them in all their glory. Planted flowers and beans and corn seeds. Pots and earth plots are being readied to be filled with seeds , and young plants. Minds are being readied for young stories. Where are the gardeners?

Wild Thing

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Writing is a Physical Act...

So you think writing is a cerebral activity, huh? Think again. Well, don't think - do.

I've been paying to be tortured lately (okay, okay, let's not go there....) by a physiotherapist. Yesterday, I think she did a handstand on one of my pec muscles. A "minor" muscle that she has decided is the real culprit in my shoulder woes. A few months ago my "typing" arm rebelled and refused to move at all. I looked like a chicken with my elbow pinned to my side. I've worked through all that, but now am left without a certain range of motion that I want to regain in order to best enjoy kayaking this summer (more about that later).

Okay, what's this got to do with writing beyond my not being able to type at the keyboard? Well, I've learned I have a repetitive injury caused by using a mouse, hunching at the computer, sitting improperly, and over-using shoulder muscles instead of using back muscles. I'm supposed to get up out of the chair and dance around and do wild crazy actions with my shoulders when I write. So I pass that writing tip along to you.

I'm also supposed to remember to press down my shoulder blades, and tuck in my chin in an unflattering posture. And I have a whole slew of teensy weensy silly exercises to do at the gym alongside the guys and gals lifting those really big weights. There's me, sitting on a weight bench and rolling one of those big exercise balls (straight from the old TV series "The Prisoner") in little tiny circles with my palm...

Okay, now the real reason for writing. A few months ago I posted a piece about bidding on an eBay kayak, so that those of you so inclined might get away from your computers, and join me on the river. I had decided I "needed" another kayak to add to my collection so that I could put you guys (one by one, and not all at the same time) in a stable light rec boat that wouldn't tip unless you did something really silly, like standing up and dancing in it. I lost the bidding war.

Anyway, yesterday I bid on another brand new eBay boat and it's mine! I pick it up in a few days. So, anyone want to join me (and BB too) for a short paddle on the river or at a conservation area sometime? And if your body rebels, paddling or writing, I know a really good torturer, er, physiotherapist...

-Xena, aka Marianne

Friday, March 24, 2006

Writers - Be Yourselves! You just never know...

We have a new Canadian writer star up here in the Frozen North - Paul Haggis, born in London, Ontario, winner of best original screenplay at this year's Academy Awards for Crash which also won Best Picture. He was also nominated for the script of Million Dollar Baby, which he also wrote. Which won Best Picture last year.

Haggis says he never believed either Crash or Million Dollar Baby would make it to the silver screen because his topics were offbeat and even slightly depressing.

"When I wrote Million Dollar Baby and Crash, I didn't believe either one of them would ever get made," he says. "Crash - I figured no one would ever make it. It had all these characters. It was about race relations and fear and intolerance. Who'd want to see that? I thought my grandchildren would read these scripts and go 'Oh look, grandpa tried to get into the movies? Isn't that cute?' "

However, Crash and other serious best-film contenders of recent days came at a time when society began looking inward, he said. "I think audiences are ready now. We're in a time of war, and you either go in one of two directions," Haggis said. "You either head off and escape, or you start asking questions. And all the terrific films this year asked important questions about who we are, and I guess that's what we were trying to do as well."

Haggis' next project is a film entitled Flags of our Fathers. It is based on the story of six men who raised the US flag on Iwo Jima during the Second World War. Haggis wrote the script. I'm definitely going to see it. After I see Crash.

The point of this BLOG is to say to all you wonderful writers out there, be yourself, write from the heart, and don't be put off your path by anything if you believe in what you are writing. Because that's what makes good writing. Heart and soul. Your own special variety.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Who Invented the Boycott?

In the 1800s much of the land in Ireland was owned by absentee English landlords. These landlords would appoint a local agent to administer their lands, setting a fixed income (rent) to be remitted. Naturally, the rents were quite high and Irish tenants were hard pressed. The state of British law was such that tenants were unable to get redress for injustices. The high rents meant that there were many evictions. This, combined with self-conscious Irish nationalism, led to much unrest, the seeds of later violence and terrorism.

In the late 1870s the leadership of the Irish Home Rule Party in the British Parliament was assumed by a Protestant nationalist named Charles Stewart Parnell. In this period, Parnell was masterful at manipulating Parliament (a balance of power situation) to make British governance of Ireland both difficult and near the top of the agenda.

"However, though a fanatic in the cause of Irish independence, Parnell was against the more extreme forms of violence and terrorism. The technique he recommended in dealing with tenant evictions was social ostracism rather than the barn burning, cattle mutilation, and murder adopted on a large scale by his countrymen. Anyone who assisted an unjust eviction or took over a farm made available by such an eviction was to be treated as a social leper. One of the first victims of this treatment was a land agent named Charles Boycott, whose ostracism added a new word to the English language." (Quote from The Norton History of Modern Europe, 1971 edition, p. 1146.)

Parnell was jailed and became an Irish nationalist martyr, as so many have done since. However, his reputation was later tarnished because of an affair with a married woman, which caused a split within the Home Rule party when he refused to step down as leader.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Truly I Say To You Spring Is Here

There are true signs. Now I am not promising that there won't be snow anymore. I am not promising temperatures won't sink below freezing anymore. And I am not promising there won't be a winterstorm anymore. King Winter likely still has tricks on his sleeve. He is a hard one to defeat. He likes to be all powerful. But undeniably Spring Maiden is here. And Mother Nature knows it.

Early one morning just as the sun was rising...that was this morning, I set out into the slowly thinning mist with my true and faithful friend Simon. For those who may be uninformed, Simon is a dog. A golden retriever.

We went through te woods, where squirrels and birds were awakening. A tricky feat for the feet. Climbing a still icy hill takes concentration. Balancing on uneven icy trails not much better. But like magic, where no people feet have stomped down snow, there is grassy ground, springy and wet to greet those feet, longing to be free, but wisely encased in Wellies.

So you want me to come to the point, you impatient ones. Well walking by the Duck Pond, I heard them. I was pretty sure. My heart skipped a beat. But was I right? I tarried, looked up into the trees but there was no visual sign. And on I went, listening to bird sounds all around, Chickadees, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, bossy Crows, and the itty bitty chirpings everywhere of Finches and Sparrows. Quite a symphony.

The trail I followed is one I often do. It takes an hour and a half, but this lovely morning I made it last a good two hours, stopping often to see new growths already appearing in sheltered nooks . A saucy Robin ran ahead of me on the path. Then flew up and settled on a backyard fence. And then, and then... I heard it again. Quite distinctly. I looked up, way up, and there was... No, not Rusty, you silly ones who used to watch The Friendly Giant, but the true messenger of spring, a Red Winged Blackbird.

And I saw the beginnings of lilies, those big orange ones, little greenish yellow sprouts sunning near a backyard fence by the creek. And in my own little wilderness yard in front of the house, tiny green sprouts are pushing up, the beginnings of crocusses, daffo-down-dillies and the likes, and miraculously, very astonishing to me, the snowbells that flowered in the mild month of January and got dumped on with snow followed by arctic temperatures, came from under that snow and frost, like it never happened. There they are, slender and beautiful, strong enough to defy King Winter, like true sisters of Spring Maiden.

The mist slowly lifted and slanted sunrays broke through boughs of trees. A beautiful day is born holding in its aura the promise of spring.

Simon now lies outside in front of the house. Greeting all that pass by. His coat is shimmering golden in the sun. True gold. Life and warm. Nothing like a yellow metal kind of gold.

And here is a wish for a good weekend to all you bloggers, from a spring feverish Wild Thing.


My fascination with Afghanistan began in the 1970’s. Centuries ago Kabul was a cradle of civilization where Buddhists, Christians and Muslims mixed in every day life. Universities of higher learning existed in Kabul before Cartier sailed up the St Lawrence River. Tolerance and education is a small footnote in the timeline of Afghanistan. Its geographical location was an intersection where cultures have collided for over two thousand years.

Contrary to what some Afghan historians would have us believe, Afghanistan was not converted to Islam the moment the Prophet breathed the word. Conversion was a slow and brutal process that took a 1,000 years. So its history is interesting because it involves the unravelling of a highly sophisticated civilization. Kabul the once tolerant society existed before our ancestors had yet heard any word of Christianity.

A clash of cultures occurs today not through geography but through our communication technologies. There is a question of whether Canadians should be there or not. The answer for me depends on the mission. If we are there to fight a “War on Terrorism” then the mission is ill designed. If we are in Afghanistan with a small hope of creating the opportunity where tolerance can gain a small foothold then the mission is a noble one. A difficult mission that may succeed or fail. Our intentions define our nature. What is our intent?


Friday, March 03, 2006

Moment of Supreme Power or How I crashed an entire corporations' email system

My fellow computer users may find this amusing:

I have an external email address at work for volunteer recruitment –

Three years ago, I had our computer blokes set up an automatic response to this email address, stating to anyone writing that I had received their email and would respond shortly – a courtesy thing.

Today, my automatic response hooked up with a sender’s out of office notice, and got into an endless loop. I went to lunch at 12 noon, got my hair cut, did office errands, came back at 2 pm and there were 30,959 emails in my inbox. To make matters worse, the endless loop had crashed the entire email system of the Corporation – including internal and external emails. I.T. could not alert anyone about the problem because they couldn’t send an email either. Neither could the mayor, the CAO or anyone else. Everyone in our department was in a snit, running up and down the halls complaining.

I noticed my inbox immediately, and called IT and they tried to fix it. But only after they tried to blame me for the problem. Until I pointed out that they had set up the protocols for that automatic response themselves - I had nothing to do with how it was set up.

When I left at 5 pm, I still had 9059 emails left in that inbox.

I never did tell the people in my department the reason why their emails didn’t work. Or anyone else, for that matter, except I.T.


Upon reflection, I realize that today was the one day, the one moment, actually, when I actually had real POWER for the first time since I started working there in 1982 … Smile…

Little Lulu strikes again...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

parallel universes

You know how I suggested that there may be life on other planets we cannot see, or sense, or perceive at all? And Larry said that that is like Buddah thinking.

I received this e-mail from Michele, a friend, on parallel universes.

Physicist explores possibility of parallel universes
Researching gravity offers weight to theories of unknown dimensions

Physicist Lisa Randall says parallel universes may really exist.

WATERLOO (Mar 2, 2006)
Parallel universes. Other-worldly dimensions.
That's weird stuff of Star Trek and other science fiction shows.
But while trying to answer puzzling questions about gravity, the force that keeps us on the ground, Lisa Randall, a Harvard theoretical physicist, has also journeyed into the possibilities of parallel universes.
And her theories could be tested.
Randall, who spoke in Waterloo during last night's public lecture put on by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, does not believe we can travel to these other universes.
They would be radically different to our own. Any life there would be unlike anything we can perceive, she adds.
But she has good reasons to believe other dimensions and universes exist.
Better still, she thinks there may be solid scientific evidence coming when the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva is switched on in 2007.
"There really could be extra dimensions and that has big implications," she says. "Cosmologically, we could be living in a much bigger universe."
Randall is considered one of today's most promising theoretical physicists. Her work is frequently cited in scientific journals.
Ever since her popular book, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions, was published, she has been on a hectic public lecture tour.
Everyone is familiar with the three "dimensions" of our space. We can move left or right, backward and forward, up and down.
But there could be other universes that have with fewer or more "degrees of freedom," Randall says.
It is nearly impossible to imagine this. But Randall says 19th-century author Edwin A. Abbott provided a good analogy in his book, Flatland.
Abbott imagined a creature that could only exist on a flat surface. He wondered what that creature would see if a big ball from our universe passed through his two-dimensional world. The creature wouldn't be able to see a ball. He would see a series of flat disks on his horizon, changing in size as the ball passed through.
Likewise, we could not see something from another dimension, but we might be able to see its effects in our world, Randall says.
The standard model of physics explains electrons, protons, neutrons and other particles, as well as forces of nature like electromagnetism. And physicist Albert Einstein demonstrated how big objects like the earth can warp the fabric of spacetime to produce the force that we know of as gravity.
Yet "big puzzles" remain, she says.
Scientists would like a "grand unified theory" to explain all particles and forces in our universe, including gravity, in one package.
But to make the mathematics work out, they need to insert a big "fudge factor" into their equations. This "fudge" is 16 digits in size, Randall says. "So the question is, 'What's going on?' "
In her work, Randall builds "models" of spacetime with other dimensions that provide intriguing answers. One of the questions she is trying to answer is why gravity is so weak compared with other forces. Although people think gravity is strong, a tiny magnet can pick up a paperclip, she says.
Randall says gravity might be weak in our universe, but strong elsewhere.
One concept Randall has explored is the idea of a "brane," which comes from the word "membrane." In this concept, our three-dimensional universe could be imagined as floating in a "higher-dimensional" space. And this larger "space" could contain other universes, other branes, as well.
Imagine an Oreo cookie -- two flat surfaces with cream in between. The two flat surfaces are branes. The cream is the "bulk" of higher dimensional space we can't see. These two branes may only be separated by a fraction of a centimetre, but we are stuck on our own surface, so we can't see the other brane, Randall says.
The particles of our world are restricted to our brane, she adds. "You can imagine it like a shower curtain that has water droplets stuck on it."
But gravity is a force affected by the entire geometry of the larger space.
In the giant particle-smashing machine that opens in Geneva next year, scientists hope to create particles that might have properties that could be predicted to exist if they were affected by gravity from another dimension.
"That would be strong evidence that these extra dimensions exist," she says. Her work doesn't have practical applications right now.
Einstein's theory of gravity didn't have practical applications at the time, but today, it is used to make the global positioning system (GPS) of satellites function, she says.
So as scientists learn about the bigger picture, "you never know what will happen."

For me this confirms a lot of my own wild thinking. Thought I like to share it as a continuation of that discussion we had before

Wild Thing

Marking a Memory

It occurs to mean that many people may not have the same memories as I about specific moments. For each of us we may have different functions for memories. I remember the repairs that were done in a specific building 10-15 years ago. Part of remembering my past is part survival, and part how I make a living so my ability to remember details is highly valued by others.

Through out life I am aware of making memories and not in a manipulative way but in way I can find and access those moments. I mark the trail so I can find moments that I want or need to remember. How do you mark the trail? I have travelled in woods, deserts and have paddled in lakes where it is easy to get lost. I mark my way with stones or twigs at reasonable intervals so I can find my way back.

The same aspects of marking the trail can be done with moments and memories. We each have different ways of accessing moments. Netty for instance might write a poem or story about a hike she had and what she saw and felt. In essence she has marked her trail.

Seeing is a good method of establishing landmarks. Often we don't really see the world with our hearts and minds or open up to the full experience of how extraordinary a moment can be. I don’t advocate carving initials in trees or spray painting rocks. My type of land marking is something that no other traveler may notice.

To see and to actually make a landmark for a moment the first thing you need to do is SHUT UP! The story of us is constantly being told and retold in our head. That story makes us unaware of the moment. We miss out on how sunlight dances on water, the feeling of warmth on our skin and the distant song of a bird high in a tree.

I don’t advocate high drama to mark a moment either although it does have a role to play on occasion. I think the biggest way I ever marked a summer afternoon was to jump off a train bridge with a friend. I will never forget him and that day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Somehow starting this post my computer went weird and somehow only the title got published. Oh boy, I wonder if that has to do with the story I want to tell. This story is directed to M@. Most dovetalers have read it, although I know for sure not Matthew nor Larry.

Matthew, in conversation about the Walper you reaction to the elevator was, malfunctioning. Malfunctioning? How prozaic, how scientifically correct, how down to Earth practical. But Matthew are you sure you know everything? Listen to this story wrote about the event.

The Invasion of the Tan Neutrino.

tan neutrino are invisable,
ghost-like sub-atomic particles.
Each second trillions of them
are blown from the sun. They
pass through humans, barely
leaving traces...

( the above is scientific fact )

There had been a contest for writers. I attended the award ceremony. It was at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener.

There were speakers, readings from award winning works, giving out of prizes, shaking of hands, proud faces, festive mood...

All present were somehow involved with the Arts. Poets, fiction, non-fiction writers, reporters, dramatists, artists, those that get often stung by the creative bug. You know them by posture, by expression, by the way they dress. Outward signs of inner funkiness.

It was silent. The eyes of the audience riveted on the speaker, who divined why the Arts are so under-appreciated in Western society.

I sat somewhat back and off to the side, facing a wall. I studied that wall, listening. Suddenly, could it be, suddenly that wall I was staring at, opened. I saw the ghostly interior of an elevator. As mysteriously as it had opened, the wall closed again. I shivered. Tried to focus my attention on the speaker. But then the wall opened again. No visable presence in that cavity that resembled an open elevator.

Spontanious applaus. The speaker invited questions. The was just a wall again, patterns of rectangular panelling. What had happened? Had the Tan Neutrino invaded us?

I looked at my hand. Underneath the skin something moved. Tan Neutrino?

A man with a pony tail suddenly scratched his head. Tan Neutrino?

A woman, bare feet in sandals, irratibly veered away from where she stood. Tan Neutrino?

Seriously, a girl was formulating a question. She stopped in mid-sentence. A fractured moment. Tan Neutrino?

Adressing questions, the speaker spoke words in contradiction to what he had uttered before. Tan Neutrino?

Who knows?

My advise is, never trust an empty elevator. Do not believe you are safe from what you cannot see. This particular elevator being where you didn't know there was one, may well have landed the Tan Neutrino among us. How do we know if anyone of us, are still the same today?


Does this even allow you the slightest doubt, Matthew? You still believe that this was just an ordinary, malfunctioning elevator?

Wild thing

Pattern Recognition

Larry’s been reading (for the second time) William Gibson’s 2003 novel Pattern Recognition. He read it when it was first published in paperback, not having read anything by Gibson for quite a few years (in fact, not since The Difference Engine). But Gibson is one of Larry’s favourite writers, or at least one that intrigues him.

Back when he was writing books like Mona Lisa Overdrive and Neuromancer, it could be said that Gibson was ahead of the technological curve. With Pattern Recognition he’s right on the curve. Slipping, perhaps, off the curve? Larry doesn’t know, but Gibson still manages to offer an interesting take on the (early) 21st century. DT probably likes Gibson, or would if she read him. He uses sentence fragments frequently and effectively.

Larry can’t tell you the plot, exactly. That’s why he’s reading it again. He’s already forgotten how it went. But he can tell you this: Pattern Recognition is a catalogue of cultural references. Part of the reason for this is the plot itself, and its main character, Cayce Pollard. Cayce is in “advertising”. She’s a “cool-hunter”, a term which Larry thinks is still in use. She also does design consulting…a product of a peculiarity in her psyche. She is allergic to certain well-known logos and trademarks, such that she can become physically ill if exposed to them. The most prominent one (and the one that alerted her to this at the age of nine or something) is the Michelin Man, Bibendum. So, somehow, Cayce has learned to distinguish between logos that work as marketing symbols and those that don’t. In fact, Cayce has a general aversion to any kind of trademarking, and it’s an interesting twist that the very thing which makes her ill is how she makes her living.

The actual story is about what appears to be some sort of marketing on the Internet…disconnected pieces of haunting film footage that appear periodically. No one knows who’s producing them or why or where…or even what the footage is supposed to represent…a movie? a product? a philosophy? Basically the story is about how Cayce goes about discovering the source of this footage.

Larry is not going to tell you how it ends. (He doesn’t know yet.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Speaking of Nothing to Say?

For shame, for shame...Mr. Bacon has not posted on his own blog, World's Worst Buddhist since last September!

It's Like Magic!

Thanx M@. Larry is now a single-click blogger.

Unfortunately, he has nothing to say...

He did, however add m@'s blog to the links section. Hope that's OK.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Helpful Info

At a recent Dove Tale meeting, we were astounded and, I suspect, discomfited to learn that, for the very first time ever, the male participants outnumbered the female! Of course, we resorted to arm-wrestling to determine whose manuscript was best, drank a keg of cough syrup, force-fed ourselves nachos until we were dizzy, and slept out in the back yard. The police were called but placated. A good time was had by all.

But possibly more shocking was that I actually had some interesting resources to share with the group! To allow the shock to wear off I've waited a while to post it. You're welcome.

First, here are two blogs that, if you're considering querying agents at all, you must read. Often. They are:
  • Miss Snark, Literary Agent (there's an indexed list of her topics here) - She's an honest-to-god New York literary agent who answers readers' e-mails and talks about her views of the business and her clients. Twice a year she directly critiques queries online. This gal tells it like it is.

  • Publishing Rants - Not all literary agents are in New York. This one is in Colorado and has extremely interesting opinions on the business. She's really nice, too.
Here are a couple of other interesting people in the business, too:
  • J.A. Konrath - A successful novelist who sheds a lot of light on many aspects of the writing life.

  • Simon Haynes - An Australian SF author who is in the middle of publishing his series of books. He also develops software for writers: his free novel planning and query tracking software are also available somewhere from his blog.
Anyone else have some interesting links to share? Put 'em in the comments!

So that's the fun stuff. I also had a request to explain how I inserted a hyperlink in the comments on this blog. I'll give a short lesson in HTML here -- not wanting to insult anyone, of course; if you already know this stuff, ignore me!

The comments recognize a lot of standard HTML. That means that if you put tags around text, it'll look different. A tag is stuff surrounded by angle brackets (that is, the <> sign). On this blog, I'm going to use "[" and "]" instead of "<" and ">" because otherwise they won't show up!

For example, if you put [b] and [/b] around text, it looks bold. Put [i] and [/i] around it, it's in italics.

Links are created with the [a] tag. (Trivia: "a" is for anchor!) To create a link, do this:

[a href=""]The text of the link[/a]

Don't forget!
  • The URL you want to link to is in quotation marks.
  • You have to close the link with the [/a] tag.
  • There's a space between "a" and "href" in the first tag.
Here endeth the lesson. Any further help, let me know in the comments. And I'll try to remember to check 'em more often...


P.S. Would anyone mind if I added myself to this blog so that I can post from my own blogger account? It would save me a lot of headaches every time I want to post something...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sacagawey the bird woman

Sacagawey is the only woman and native among the white american explores to new land. She talks to he baby:

It is wise to fear Grizzly Bear, little pomp,
But you must also give him thanks.
For when time comes for you to leave this world,
Grizzly Bear will show you the way.

See up there? Those seven stars?
The white men call them the Dipper.
But really those stars are Grizzly waiting patiently.
I will tell you the story as it was told to me
when I was very small.
The story of how the Great Bear came to be in the sky.

One day Black Bear with her cubs,
was eating berries from a bush.
Grizzly Bear walked up to Black Bear
and he said to her, "I want those berries for myself."
And selfishly , he pushed away Black Bear.
And he pushed away Black Bear's children.

Black Bear was much smaller than Grizzly
but she had courage and fought him.
She avoided Grizzly's powerful blows
and each time Grizzly missed, Black Bear would strike him
with her own sharp claws
until Grizzly Bear fell to the ground-defeated.
Black Bear then banished the greedy Grizzly Bear.
She told him, "Leave this place and never return.

Grizzly Bear left in disgrace.
He felt ashamed becaus all his life
he had placed his own needs before the needs of his brothers.
He wished now to make up for his selfisch ways.
He wished to do something good for his brothers.
Alone, he walked into the Shining Mountains.
For miles and miles he walked up the steep slopes.
Day turned to night, but he kept climbing higher.
He reached the deep snow on the mountaintops,
and the snow turned his brown fur white.
Yet he kept on walking higher and higher.

And when he reached the highest mountain peak,
Grizzly Bear stepped into the air
and he continuerd walking upward into the sky,
And as he climbed, a dust of snow fell of his fur,
leaving a milky white trail as he went.

Finally Grizzly Bear found his place
and he became a cluster of stars.
To this day, the Great Bear lives in the night sky,
guiding the souls of the people
to their proper place in heaven.

Wild thing like this a lot. So share it. Wild thing cry with stuffy cold, eyes watering. Wild thing sleeps, reads, drinks, walks dogs, blogs, and sleeps , and sleeps.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

L.M.F. Novel by Matthew Binn

Any Ideas for Matt's Book Launching? (Please Post)

A fellow Dove Taler has written a novel that will be published this spring. L.M.R. is a novel about Del Aucoin, a bomber pilot in World War II who, after almost finishing a tour of duty, is forced to make a choice between his loyalty to his job and country and his loyalty to his friends and crewmates.

Matthew is in the process of planning some book launchings. Tentatively he is thinking of the Walper Hotel as a possibility due to the historical nature of his book.

Are there ideas, which you can suggest that can help Matt in the planning of his book launching. Thinking back to Stones Turned and Many Women, two men what would you suggest.

Some possible Questions:

Besides the Walper Hotel – What other possible locations may be suitable?

What day would work best for attendance? We launched one a Thursday night and one on a Sunday afternoon. What day and time of the week do you think would you suggest?

How can Dove Tale support Matthew?

When should invites and postings for the launching go out?

So post your ideas.

Congrats! Matthew

AKA Bobby Bacon

Saturday, February 18, 2006

in my head a planetree
a planetree
a planetree
in my head a planetree and
seven silver moons

all planets on the planetree
holding me by gravity
and i swallow moon –
light and light
i am

and moonlight i am and
see a silver tree a
silver planetree holding me
by gravity all in my
head you see…

in my head a planetree
a planetree
a planetree
in my head a planetree and
seven silver moons

netty meyer

Most editing circle people know this poem/song. I always wanted it to be a song. There was a suggestion to do something about the fact that in first reading one is inclined to read plane tree. Plannettree just doesn't work nor does planet tree. It needs to sound like one word, rhythm wise. I sent this poem/song to Nigel in England. He told me as soon as he saw the text that the melody from "Do you know the mussle man" was in his head and he sang it. Refrain wise that works. But the middle needs to be played with. Anyone who read the poem and read plane tree first, also said that the pronoucation became clear after reading more. Nigel is of the opinion that it should stay as is.

A picture goes with this poem. It is as such in my documents. But frustratingly, that won't copy in e-mail nor blog. I hoped that would work. Oh well! Partly I set this up because I wanted to find out.

But some people have pictures with their blogs. Does that need to come from digital cameras? Would artwork work at all?

And BB you think you are weird.

Beyond her wildest dreams, aka Wild thing.

p.s. I wonder what the transferring of above poem will do blogwise. Will it keep my linebreaks?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stories in my Head

There is a place in my head where stories are stored. Stories to reveal themselves to me.
They are supposed to come down from that place in my head, travel down my veins into my arms, into my fingers, and use those to type out the magic onto this computer key board. Put the magic of the stories in the Word program, show them to me on the screen.
So I sit here, in front of my computer. So I sit here with my fingers over the keys. And yes, the fingers type. But where are the stories?

Is there a door in my brain that closes shut sometimes? Is there a rock in my brain that weighs too heavy to let anything through, or out? Is there a sensor in my brain that won’t let out certain stories? Is my brain overworked with blogging?

Blogging, the new sensation. Better than e-mailing. Stories from many people in our group and possibly from outside weave in and out. Conversations and cross conversations. Serious conversations, wild conversations, tickle the funny bone conversations. Memories, truths, fictions, everything goes. Not porno. No, we don’t do that. That’s not funny. Poems, prose, poetic prose, a swear word or two, all within reason.

Is blogging democratic Xena wondered. What is democratic? Democratic is when everyone has equal rights, equal say, equal input, equal value. That way I would say blogging passes. There is no dictatorship in blogging. No one tells you what to think, what to write, how to do it. There is no capital gain. No one gets rich money wise. We all get richer, wiser, learning from each other. Our imaginations thrive. We are communicating as free spirits. Blogging is mind expanding, blogging works.

Well, that was a blogger brain storm. But where are the stories ? Do I start like Snoopy? “It’s a dark and stormy night…” Snoopy never got any further. He suffered from writers block. On top of his dog house. Supper time ! Another excuse. Banging on Charlie Brown’s door, holding his dish. Maybe food for the stomach helps the creative process. Maybe. But not likely. More inspiration comes from hunger and poverty. Not too much hunger and poverty. Not so much that it degenerates you. Enough like in coming of age stories. Going into the woods without company or food and learn to survive, use hallucinations to learn from, find your spirit guide.

Your Spirit Guide can help you write. Can inspire poetry. Can inspire dreams. Can lead you to your best self.

Maybe I am not hungry enough. I’ve been eating more than I should. Sort of robs you of that hungry feeling that makes each meal a celebration. Sort of makes you feel a bit puffy, not very energetic. It’s a rather vicious circle. Don’t know what to write. Trying to think. Ah, have a sandwich. Don’t know what to write. I am thinking… ah have a hot chocolate. Some crackers and cheese to go with it. Don’t know what to write. What am I thinking? Is it lunch time yet? Don’t know what to write. Thinking that the dog needs a walk. First a cup of tea and some cookies. Don’t know what to write. What are others thinking? I should check my e-mail, and blog posts & commends, maybe…

Maybe I am tired. Maybe I should let myself get sleepy. Maybe between sleep and waking a story will be caught unawares. Or maybe in a hot bath stories will release themselves and come wafting at me on hot steam, break through the veil curtain, and make my fingers move to write down a hot adventure, a magic experience, a very funny story, a Valentine romance, the best cat story ever written, a doggone tale of man’s best friend, a story full of sweet flower fragrance…

But unless that happens, or until that happens, there is no story coming through these fingers, typing on this keyboard. No story. The dog is asleep. The cat is asleep. I am yawning. The computer tower is humming. Dishes in the sink are waiting. It is nearly midnight. Sandman come and get me. Send me inspiring dreams, exciting dreams, sweet dreams. Sand in my eyes, closing my eyes, good night. Will there be a story to write? With Scarlet of “Gone With the Wind,” I say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”


Book Review

Has anyone read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini? Bob got it for Christmas from my sister. He read it, then I read it. I am inspired to write a blog review of this book.

It's the first book by Hosseini. Hmm, I thought when Bob first got it, probably one of those first books where the writer comes through as self-conscious and awkward. I'm not interested.

Theme of book: father/son issues. Hmm, not exactly pertinent to a woman. Not interested.

Location of book: Afghanistan. Hmmm, not exactly a country which appeals to me. Not interested.

Bob read it first. Said very little. Just read and read. Couldn't put it down. Wouldn't come to dinner on time or answer me when I talked to him. It was a case of show don't tell, par excellence. I could tell the book was something. But what? I had to find out.

So I began to read. Chapter 1 starts with:

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

Despite the theme, location etc., I was hooked. The book is riveting. It is powerful, relentless, moving, haunting, and shattering. The author is far from self-conscious about his writing. It flows effortlessly and carries the reader through a historical look at Afghanistan at the end of the monarchy, and through the struggle of a son for his father's approval, never achieved amidst the lies that kept them apart.

It is about friendship, betrayal, regret, cowardice, bravery and love. Hard to beat that combination.

One more excerpt:

The rest of that ride is scattered bits and pieces of memory that come and go, most of it sounds and smells: MIGs roaring past overhead; staccatos of gunfire; a donkey braying nearby; the jingling of bells and mewling of sheep; gravel crushed under the truck's tires; a baby wailing in the dark; the stench of gasoline, vomit and shit.

What I remember next is the blinding light of the early morning as I climbed out of the fuel tank. I remember turning my face up to the sky, squinting, breathing like the world was running out of air. I lay on the side of the dirt road next to a rocky trench, looked up to the gray morning sky, thankful for air, thankful for light, thankful to be alive.

"We're in Pakistan, Amir," Baba said.

I rolled onto my chest, still lying on the cool dirt, and saw our suitcases on either side of Baba's feet... They made me sad for Baba. Everything he'd built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, this was the summation of his life: one disappointing son and two suitcases.

I invite anyone who has read this book to comment, and I recommend it to those who have not. A superb novel, so says the Globe and Mail, and so says


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Alpha Male

I am a alpha male and in my work, I am surrounded by alpha males and females. The fact is the construction people that surround the table on a big project have been shaped by bitter struggles.

Projects can last three or more years in a highly charged atmosphere. There can be six fantastic ideas about a project around the table. The debate can be aggressive with each alpha willing to defend their point of view as if it was a struggle between life and death.

Each project becomes my baby. Once when I said I built the School of Architecture, Larry correctly and playfully asked how many bricks did I lay? This question made me laugh out loud. The truth is often funny. A large project involves hundreds of people and each contribution is critical to the whole.

I have been known to be brutal and ruthless in pushing a project forward on budget and on time. I have never subscribed to the notion that the end justifies the means. So I will never try to justify my actions. At the same time budget and time is my turf and hopefully I can attempt in being more creative in my approach in moving a project forward without bullying.

I like reasons, facts, and research as a basis of making good decisions. A civilized discussion resulting in consensus is my strong preference. Unfortunately, a rationale discussion among the alphas is often not the case. We have seen the results of alpha male dominated politics in the United States the last few years. It isn’t pretty and the results have done a lot of damage.

The transition from the construction meeting to the editing circle or to home life and friends is a tricky one at times. I don’t need a sword, armour or my shield when I enter my home. I have no urge to impose my will on friends or family. If I wish to learn anything I must listen carefully to people who tell me I am wrong.

Language is a hologram for the mind. If I say the name “Daniel”, what image will a person receive? My image is that I am four years old in Sunday school listening to the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Sometimes I have to be Daniel in the construction project. I must never suffer from fear among alphas.

It is interesting to me how fear may shape our lives and our abilities. How we struggle to balance fear with courage. This process takes us on this incredible life journey. My greatest fear is losing control within myself.

Travelling alone has taught me courage. I sometimes find a strength and freedom to go places I can't reach in company. The arrogant, easily intimidated, ignorantly bold, and overly afraid are bad travelling partners. But when you are alone you carry the weight of your fears and there is no other voice to act as a sounding board to help evolve decisions on which the fate of your life depend.

Having the final responsibility of budget and time is like travelling alone. Being an alpha among alphas I attempt to temper my growls with aspects of compassion.