(The pic above is a view from my new place that I can't rotate on this page, so view at by holding your screen sideways)!
August, 12th, 2010:
I had a good day. Waking late, I then hit the small thrift store a block away (see how thrifty I am people). I managed to buy 6 great books for about 3 bucks total. Half the books are hardbacks, all in excellent condition. Went to my school and did some internet insurance business which required a printer. Noticed that my neglected fish tank was needed some help so I did a 6 gallon water change, and need to buy another powerhead for the left side. The ammonia levels were crazy, but I inproved them, and will continue to do so until they stabilize. I love marine tanks. At least my crabs, urchines and snails are doing fine.
I also research on the net "How to steam Veggies in a rice cooker", Which totally enlightened me that most Asian countries use a rice cooker as their primary cooking device. They are cheap and efficient, and take up little space. I bought a little produce from the local "farmers market", local corn, squash and potatoes, then went to the grocery store to buy more things I can make in this wonderful cooking device. I had long known that I could steam veggies while the rice was cooking, but after reading up on it, There are way more things that people use these cheap cookers for. Steaming eggs in the upper steam basket is a great alternative to the old boiling scene. I even read how one user would cook an entire pot roast and ECT, which would take 24 hours on the "Warm", setting. Other folks would bake cakes using commercial cake mix! I cooked a few chunx of red potato in the boiler while steaming zucchini, onion, shittake shrooms, and a few small sections of baby corn on the cob up in the steamer. I also put two little breakfast sausage links into the mix, to provide a bit a flavor. To Westerners "Meat" is often the main course. But in many or most societies Meat, is merely a condiment used in order to provide flavor. I am increasingly changing my diet to Vegetarian, since I like the vegetarian fare better than the meaty stuff, but I refuse to become a vegitarian and have to enquire about all incredients or worry about whether my beans were fried in lard or veg oil. What a pain in the ass my vegetarian friends go through. I simply prefer a diet of mainly veggies, but include a bit of meat when needed. I mainly eat Indian food now, so its quite easy to avoid gnawing on a joint of beef like a bloody animal. But I reserve the right to "Gnaw" as much as I like, whenever I happen to hit a decent BBQ joint!
So the potato and zucchini combo was quite winning, since it had two ounces of sausage in it. A pound or more of veggies, and two ounces of meat. This is how it should be for most humans. Tonites giant meal costs less than a dollar.. I love being a cheap bastard! The 2 bucks I paid for the sausage will last for 6 more meals!
Logan and his friend "Melody" stopped in around 6 we played some music and drank a little. "Melody" is one hell of a guitar player and singer. She has an interesting voice, and can hit all her notes, spot on, and with complete authority. She loves the songs that I wrote years ago, and we plan to start a small group with logan being the bass player, drummer, and back up vocals. We had fun rockin' out this apartment, early enough to keep complaints down. I can wait to break out my sax once it gets fixed! So far my practice of "no cable TV nor Internet service at home), is working well... I have a guitar, hammond organ, inca flute, scottish fife, and soon I will have a beautiful "King Zephyr", alto sax to jam with! I love the ancient King Zephyr Saxes. I have a 1926 "King Voll True", which is the Zephyr predesessor, Since I still have the older King, and it has a neck which has a double socket like the much more sought after "zephyrs", I managed to buy a highly desirable "King Zephyr" model alto sax from the year 1942, which needed a neck. Neckless; I got the sax for a steal at $300 bucks. I plan to use my old King neck on it and should have a professioal quality horn to play around with. With a neck this sax would be worthbody 5 times the price I got it for. Of course this new sax will need a $380 repad, But now I am only $680 into the deal. These Saxes can scream like no other. to get one for under a grand, is a steal indeed.
I am now reading many books, since I have no other entertainment other than the radio. I have "The works of Dashiell Hammet" which is cool has heck! Never read the author before, but his 20's lured decriptions of good looking women and the accompanying slang is a treat to my senses. I will use this example: "She was tall an Pliantly tender, without angularity anywhere. Her body was erect and high-breasted, her legs long, her hands and feet narrow"... ECT.... She is described as a "Knock out"! I love reading this old stuff. Many of the words are the same, although many weren't allowed to be printed way back then. The words "Shit" and "Fuck", were in full use back in the 20's, yet from reading the authors of that time, you would never know it.
I also bought a book entitled "The F word", which is devoted to the origins and history of that one word! The author, meant the book to be humorous, but spends 300 pages or more going back into the actual history of the world from its German origins until now. I only read the first 10 pages but I can tell it will be a fun one!
I am also reading a Mark Twain classic, which is really a blog, or "ships log", talking about his 1868 cruise, to the Med and Black seas, spending 6 months on the commercial journey. One of the worlds first leasurly cruises, Twain describes in good detail and snide wit, the happenings at that time which took place just a couple years after the civil war. This fact particually hit home with me. two years after the civil war, Twain, pays a huge amount of money, along with a hundred other rich folks, in order to take a side-wheel steam ship, which wasn't very big, and risk their lives so they can visit Europe from the south. I believe that this is on of the first pleasure cruises I've ever heard about. They had a day to day itenerary, and even opportunities for side excurions just like the modern cruises do. Their "on board" entertainment was similar to the cruises I've been on, except for the church stuff, and prayer time, which Mark detested, but he went through the motions. I have read this book before so I will not go on. Go check it out yourself and tell me what you think. It is not no "Huckleberry Finn", but does give insite into Twain's character and the technology of the late 1860's, which was much higher than I expected. Twain is not the writer he was before the trip, but his snide-ness and humor, are still funny. Twain wasn't so much a writer but more a comedian/philosopher dude, who dazzled people where-ever he went. The title of the particular book Im reading is "Innocents Abroad".
I am also reading the Roman historian "Tacticus", which involves his own personal, critiques, of the Emperors "Augustus, Tiberius, Nero," and a few others, from a first person stand point. He only wrote about the Emperors that he personally knew while he was living. Tacticus, is a good writer, but he was parcial to certain Emporers, and other folKs, but was quite impartial to those his party didn't like. Like an ancient "Shaun Hannity", he would not give those out side his party, an inch of praise, no matter how much they deserved it. I personally have no use for people like Tacticus, Hannity, and a few other that I personally know. Arguement should be a method to discover truth, Not to prove who is right. It shouldn't be a personal emotional thing.
I am also reading, "Bird by Bird", which is a writers training inspirational manual. Anne Lamont's writings are most encouraging to a new writer. She is honest, tells you about your slim chances of getting publishes, then tells you that you better continue writing because true writers should never be concerned with tiny issues, like spending millions of hours or decades trying to sell your well-honed craft. She just urges you to continue on.. Maybe the fact that I continue writing, is because I have to write, at my age getting published isn't really a dream, nor is being a rock star. Writing is a dying art in my opinion. Yes, there will be a need for concise technical or news and script writers. But little need for creative or philisophical writers. But so what? I like to write, so I will continue to write.
I am also reading the "Upanshads", which is the most ancient book in the Hindu world. The book was written by unknown writers some 6 or 7 thousand years ago. I love this book. It's best to read it slow. Each passage contains a large amount of profound meaning. "All this is full. At that is full. From fullness, fullness comes. When fullness is taken from fullness. Fullness still remains. OM Shanti Shanti Shanti (a prayer). This last passage reads like the great book called the "Tao Te Ching", but its author "Lao Tzu", wrote the "Ching" some 4000 years later than this. Could it be that Lao Tzu was Parroting the "upanshads", Probably was is my guess, but I can see that he was furthering the book with his own observations as well. The Upanshads will be read one page at a time, and will easily take a couple years to conclude the book. But I do love it, and see its benefits to a screwed up world. The ancients, had more logic in their observations than most comtemporary writers of religion or philosophy.
I am also about to begin two more novels, "The Last Don" by Mario Puzo, and "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian writer, who's book "Love in the time of Cholera", was important to me 20 years back.
These are the substitutes for having no internet or TV this year. Depending on the book most should be finished in two months. I will spend a lifetime trying to sort the "Upanshads" out, but I've been reading the "Tao Te Ching", the Bible, The book of Buddha", and various other holy works, and plan to continue reading them always. I take my title of "Guru" of the Universal Life Church, very seriously. This is no joke to me. I am a man of the cloth.
I cant believe I've been writing all night like this. I have an engagement with my ex llama this afternoon, and will hate to be tired and lethergic when I arrive, But this is the way of me : Allen Barnes. I tend to forget the world and focus on the tasks and interests at hand.
After crashing at 3 AM and waking at waking at 1 PM I postponed the llama visit till Friday. ' Spent two hours cleaning, eating plain yoghurt with blackberries and sugar, made a decent cup of coffee and listened to Dr. Laura on the radio. Never been a big fan of celebrity psychologists, but Dr. Laura makes more sense than most of them. I will add more to this later.