Saturday, March 30, 2013

Childish Fascination

I have always been fascinated by those little knock-'em-down-and-they-get-right-back-up dolls (nobody I asked knew exactly what these toys are called in English -- I know some people call them roly-polies, but that sounds too informal to be their 'real' name;  Wikipedia says they are also known as 'tumblers' and that does sound way better).  I suppose it's the same seeming defiance of gravity that also draws me to clouds and floating things in general.  So anyway, last week I made one out of this plastic Easter egg.

Once I saw it in action, though, I felt I should have experimented with weighting the pointy end -- wouldn't the sight of an 'upside-down' egg be much more intriguing and odd?  But that's probably an impractical goal.  To make that work, you would need a small yet extremely heavy weight, like a steel bearing or lead shot or some such, which I don't have.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Alone Holy Am I, In Heaven And Earth"


EDIT:  Originally, I had this post titled "Another 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' Moment" and the picture was accompanied by a flippant description of the 'Superman' theme.  I thought it would be funny, but once I saw it in print I did not like it.  Not only had preparing this picture taken a good deal of effort, but the image itself just seemed deserving of more respectful treatment.  Consequently I changed the title to the present one.  It is the phrase said to have been uttered by Sakyamuni Buddha at the time of his birth.  It has been translated in various ways, but my personal preference is for succintness.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Iridescence at 5:08 PM

A Fun Coincidence

A few nights ago I watched a movie on DVD, a Korean production called 'Dancing Queen'.  It's a comedy about a Seoul housewife who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize her dream;  in her youth she had dreamed of becoming a singer-dancer, but then she got married and what with the daily struggle to make ends meet and see her husband through law school, her dream was forgotten.  This time, she is determined not to let it slip through her fingers, and accepts the offer without telling her husband.  But then the hubby gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of his own -- he is plucked out of obscurity by the local political machine to be a mayoral candidate, and our heroine is confronted by a dilemma:  not only would it be unseemly in conservative South Korea for a political candidate's wife to put on a sexy costume and shake her booty for the world to see, but it would be a fatal blow to the hubby's campaign if it came out that his wife had been keeping him in the dark about leading a double life as a K-pop idol -- can a man who cannot even 'govern' his own wife be trusted to govern a city of 10 million souls? (I know that sounds very sexist, but it's in the context of a mudslinging campaign and the movie addresses the point later).  Below are stills from the movie, courtesy of the internet:

It's a fun, fast-paced production with wonderful, funny yet touching performances from Uhm JungHwa as the wife and Hwang JungMin as the husband, and there's even an inspiring message at the end, and y'all should go out and see it if you can^^ -- but anyway, what this post is really about is this:  in the obligatory soul-searching scene in which the heroine is seen sitting alone, weighing her options, the room is lit by the dim light of a single ornamental lamp next to the couch -- and suddenly I recognized the lamp as identical to mine, which was sitting on a table just 5 feet from the one on the TV screen!

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The Next Hummingbird Photo

The bird is slightly blurry, and I don't normally like to use out-of-focus images, but this one has a certain oomph.  Yes, it's a hummingbird picture with oomph.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Still Another Precognitive Dream? (#4)

This morning I dreamt I was presented with a small sphere of shiny, translucent glass or plastic.  I set it spinning like a top on a level surface, and it spun rather slowly, wandering around a little but basically staying within a small area.  Gradually it lost momentum and began to slow down -- then, intriguingly enough, it began to speed up again by itself.  This was explained in the dream as a consequence of its having a little metal bearing inside, which was still spinning at a high rate and imparted its momentum to the shell which contained it.

This evening I was surfing the web at random, looking for anything interesting, when I came across a video clip of something called a Levitating Melting Induction Furnace.  It showed a cone-shaped copper coil, within which a small iron pellet was magnetically levitated, and the electromagnetic interaction between them caused the iron pellet to spin and heat up until it was white-hot.  I suppose left to itself, the iron might well have continued to heat up until it melted in midair and spewed molten iron around it, but the off-frame operator cut the power before that could happen.

Anyway, I had forgotten about the dream, but the memory of it came back as I watched the video, and I recognized the glowing pellet which spun by itself as an analog of the shiny marble which spun by itself.  The usual pattern of first seeing something in a dream, then seeing the image replayed on a screen the next day was repeated.



My home is a one-room loft (spacious, but no built-in closets!) on the sixth floor of a 12-story building that dates back to the 1920's.  It's located smack in the middle of the busiest part of downtown Los Angeles, where improbable juxtapositions abound.  A few blocks west, there are the swanky postmodernist highrises with their sleek, streamlined silhouettes and razor-sharp edges;  an equal distance east, there is the blurry border of the grubby neighborhood sometimes known as 'skid row' (although gentrification has been steadily pushing it farther away in recent years, replacing the flophouses and pawnshops with coffee bars, ethnic restaurants and art galleries).  Half a mile north, there is the heart of the city's government and culture, including city hall, Disney Concert Hall and Little Tokyo.  Half a mile south is the warehouse district with its drab, anonymous concrete hangars.  I never go down that way if I can help it.

You wouldn't think people who live in highrise condo conversions in the midst of all this noise and density would keep dogs, but as it happens, dogs are very common in my building.  And not just little lapdogs, either -- boxers, huskies and other such good-sized breeds that require a lot of room and exercise are quite popular -- some people actually keep two or three dogs --  and I've gotten used to seeing dog slobber in the elevators.

[Speaking of elevators, the elevator banks are located in their own little lobbies that can be closed off from the hallways;  I actually find them to be an attractive feature, although I don't really see the need for them -- the doors are never shut anyway]

And the other day, there was this.

An angry message, but at least it starts with 'Dear'.

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Impossible Object


I took this cool picture of the Sun seemingly transfixed by a contrail that looks like a streak of light.  Then, while preparing to upload it, I spotted something even more interesting.  The contrail and its shadow look for all the world like they are wound around each other!  Makes me think of all those Escher prints of impossible objects.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rite Of Spring

It's become something of an annual ritual for me to record the return of the daemons in the little grove along the path near my office every spring.  I do not know what they are -- nor do I expect ever to learn -- but for whatever reason, I have come to regard them as a kind of reflection of my inner self, and it reassures me that they return without fail every spring.  I don't know why I have come to this conclusion.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that no one else around me seems to notice them, I do not know;  but I do know this:  they are real, not imaginary.  If they can be photographed, they are real, are they not?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The First Hummingbird Photos of 2013

Actually, I spotted a hummingbird back in January(!) -- perhaps this very individual -- but was not able to take a shot.  These are officially the first photos, therefore.


These photos were taken during a break at work, and I came back from the break more tired than I was when I set out, because in order to take that middle shot of the critter just taking off, I had to stand still in the sun with my camera held high, just waiting and waiting...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Odd Amusing Dreamlet

I dreamt that I produced an artwork of some kind.  I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was titled 'Cinderella'.  Except that after it had been published in a catalog I realized I had it misspelt -- as 'Cinderelur'.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013


O.K., not a complete square -- but I think the three-quarters portion that is squared off, is still quite impressive.  It looks very unnatural.

Related posts:   A Cloud Found!A Flying ManJust Another Cloud Photo

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baroque Weather

It was cold and wet all day today.  The heavens stayed poised just this side of rain, though.  Which made for rich and complex views.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I've been sick the last several days.  For a time I was in such pain I could barely stand up straight.  Actually it was a repeat episode of something that had happened before;  and even though it's mostly cleared up now, I suspect some underlying cause needs to be identified and resolved, or it will keep coming back.  I've decided to make an appointment to see my doctor at the soonest opportunity.  It's long overdue anyway; it's been a long time since I've been checked out.

But that's not the whole of the problem.  I think there's a spiritual component to my not being well.  The fact is, I'm depressed.  I have been, for a long time.  I keep up a front at work and with the few people I socialize with, but I've retreated so deep inward, and gotten so used to it, that now sheer inertia is keeping me there, even though there are no locks on the doors.

Inevitabilities.  Things that I exercise no control over but care about and that affect me.

Inexorabilities.  Just watching events unfold.  Wanting to be in control, but all the same, keeping back and out of the action.