Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A picture for the previous post


Mark your calendars; 2017

I was reading about the total solar eclips in Asia yesterday...or today...I'm not sure which...but, anyway, it made me wonder when I'd get a chance to see one myself.
I recall, years ago, looking at an eclipse map and schedule and thinking, "Well, I suppose I'll be able to see one, but it's decades away..."
I looked up such a map again, thinking it would still be decades away. Iti's really just a bit over eight years, although it's amazing to me that the year 2017 can seem so close.
The total eclipse won't be visible in Louisville, but it will be just a little road trip away.
See you in Paducah or Nashville in August 2017!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There's just two songs in me, and I just wrote the third

Why am I so tired? It's because of the songs I must make up each night. I sing to my daughters when I put them in bed. They request the music. It used to be easy: Mary Had a Little Lamb was in tight rotation, but there were frequent requests for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, that sort of thing.


Lately, however, they've been asking for number songs. "I want a song about three," or "I want songs about zero and ten."  And now it's getting even harder, as exemplified by last night's request: "Umm…I want a song about… one-hundred seventy-two one-hundred zero."


They're wearing me out.


loving work

While visiting with friends a couple of nights ago, our conversation touched on careers and work.  We talked about work in which a person is so interested that he feels gladly immersed, derives satisfaction from it.


I was asked whether I had this feeling while painting--did I feel absorbed to the point that I could lose track of time? Are there any other forms of work I feel that way about?


With art, definitely.  Producing images can be a frustrating ordeal, and it can often be hard to focus.  I can be tense and even angry.  But mostly I want to keep working and I wish I didn't have to look at the clock.


I also thought about coin collecting.  It goes beyond simply looking at and trying to acquire coins. Reading about their history and trying to understand their cultural context is engrossing for me. I can be quite consumed by performing "detective work" on a mystery coin. However, it still feels more like a hobby, and I feel a lot of my motivation derives not from joy in the work but from a primal desire to possess, and to compete with rivals who want to possess, and to cooperate with others in honing my skills at acquiring. It's no wonder that my favorite coins have animals on them; it's hunting. What would the world of numismatics be like if a large percentage of coins featured scantily-clad women?


Later, after our conversation had moved on (I would have mentioned it, but it would have been too much of a digression), I realized that gardening was probably closer to art in terms of feeling like deeply satisfying, engrossing work.  It's harder to do, logistically speaking: much of the time it's too cold, or too muddy, or to mosquito-y.  However, there is always, always more work to do, and I want to do it. Much of the time I am inside the house, I can feel the plants outside pulling me.  I want to tie and stake, trim, and mulch.  I want to flip and stir the compost.  I want to look for harmful pests and disease.  I want to dig more space and plant new things and eat what's growing. I don't know why it feels so satisfying, but I only stop when I really feel like I have to meet other obligations or when I realize that I am harming myself physically (through sunburn, bug bites, and dehydration.)


Monday, July 06, 2009

MDing first

On my lunch break I went to the doctor to get my allergy shots.  I was in and out pretty quickly, and it left me with about 20 minutes for metal detecting.  I went to the edge of a school ball field to hunt, and had another first: my first dollar coin.  It's a Sacagawea coin, but I haven't cleaned it off enough to see the date.


With things getting hot for the summer, I only feel like I can dig while detecting if I'm in mulch, an already not-so-nice area, or if conditions are wet. Today I made sure my digging was in out-of-the-way spots, and only made little holes.


I've found a fair amount of change there in the past, and it's an old school, so I'll go back again sooner or later.


Happy birthday... the Dalai Lama!  And to Kevin!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Distant cousin?

Norbert Dobler runs a restaurant, Dobler's, in Mannheim. That's in my ancestral homeland of southern Germany.