Rendered Fat Content

Ganging Agley

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
Robert Burns, To A Mouse

Life seems curiously analogous to a thirteen year old, fully capable of intruding upon her self; setting off on one certain trajectory only to ricochet onto another, then another, then yet another. I don’t know who proposed that plans should ‘turn out,’ but their’s was one short-sighted, perhaps naive idea. Though most otherwise sentient adults insist that success involves manifesting aspirations into actualities, this occurs so rarely that lady luck gives better odds. Might as well ‘invest’ in the lottery. Slip over here for more ...


Her Why-ness

Wh-once there whas a whoman
who tried to understand
Every mysterious wonderment
which fell into her hand.
She started with the obvious,
wondering who? and where?,
then annoyed both friends and family
with her insistent whats? and whens?
Even mere acquaintances wondered where her questions would end.

But this whoman didn’t stop her questshe continued to carry on—
flinging about her question marks until most of her friends were gone.
And still she posed her questions, inquisitive through and through,
until she bumped into the questions nobody ever gets through.
Not even kings and princesses have ever gained much ground
following the promising breadcrumb trail our curious whoman found. Slip over here for more ...


Leaning Into It

Anticipatory Living

No, I do not jog. I didn’t encourage my kids to join youth soccer, Pop Warner football, or the YMCA. They do not jog, either.

I remember debating with myself: to jog or not to jog. I’d had a roommate who jogged. He’d also played Pop Warner and high school football and even won a football scholarship, but blew out his knee, so he became a journalism major—covering sports. I tagged along with him once while he followed the UW golf team around a course. Aside from the mushrooms I found along the way, it was a most remarkably boring afternoon for me, though my roommate seemed endlessly interested in whatever might happen next.

It seemed that he was mostly living in the future, finding his energy in looking ahead. He seemed to do this when jogging, too.

My final answer to the Deal Or No Deal jogging question: No Deal! It was just too mind-numbingly boring. I took up stationary bike riding, which would have been equally mind-numbing had it not been for the book stand over the handlebars. I could read, which I never find boring, while engaging in unavoidably boring repetitive motion.

I called my bike-riding ‘leaning into it,’ because that was the sensation I felt when poised on that machine. I was certainly not making forward progress, but I was definitely leaning into it. I found the exercise refreshing and the leaning into it strangely rewarding. I began to understand why people jog. It’s an extreme leaning into it; they are chasing their future.

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Splatter Patterns

Hitting The Wall

In my youth, I firmly believed that I would one day out-grow my frustrating tendency to hit my wall; that maturity or modernity might make me immune. I’m outgrowing that belief.

I now believe that my wall’s there for good purpose. Complete clarity might not be the purpose. I always seem to find myself in a hazy, twilight world when hitting my wall. It’s as close to pure experience as I get, no thoughtful choosing. I simply wham! After the impact, though dazed, my internal compass seems partially reset. I’m more mindful, too, if no more than mindfully confused. But even confusion seems, upon reflection, an improvement over my former mindless over-extension.

Hitting my wall never qualifies for as pleasant. It’s painful. Often humiliating. My usually reliable control surfaces seem hijacked. Even if I could see the impact coming, there’s nothing I could do to prevent the collision. Slip over here for more ...



voice1Remember the first time you heard your recorded voice played back to you? I’ll never forget when I first heard mine. I’d always been a little more than a bit of a ham, mugging for some invisible microphone. Thinking in my mind’s ear that I must sound pretty gol-derned clever. That first playback in a fourth grade music class took my breath away, and not in any good way.

My played-back voice sounded nothing like the beautifully-modulated murmur I’d imagined. I sounded like Jerry Lewis imitating Donald Duck.

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Speaking of Ethics

Bill Ballard and David Schmaltz will convene a conversation about the unspeakable: Ethics.

The Silver Spring PMI meeting pre-show, Wednesday, 11/9, 5:30pm, Blair Mansion Restaurant at 7711 Eastern Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20912

Act always so as to increase the number of choices.
The Ethical Imperative, Heintz von Foerster

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that one cannot speak of ethics. They are too personal, too situational, too fuzzy. Yet we are exhorted to perform ethically. What does that mean in practice?

In practice, we might not feel very much like philosophers, yet ethics has for centuries been the meat and potatoes of philosophy.

Ethics might best be thought of as choices that matter. How should one choose? Slip over here for more ...

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