Venus and Mars are all right tonight… along with the moon.

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Venus and Mars and the waxing moon near the sunrise. Amazing sight. Tried to catch it with my Pentax and a 300mm zoom. Needed a bit of a time exposure, thus the trails in second one. And ambient neighborhood light didn’t help either. IMGP1303 IMGP1301


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Some people either fantasize about or actually do those kind of trips where they will visit all the baseball parks, ride the largest roller coasters, etc. If that’s a sort of bucket list, then the one that would be at the top of my list would be drive on all of the craziest roads in the world. crazyroad1 crazyroad2

Bad Luck? Knocking On Wood Can Undo Perceived Jinx, Study Suggests

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I love that someone is working on this type of thing in order to get a mainstream level buy in that we actually do create and manipulate our own reality – through many means.

Oct. 1, 2013 — Knocking on wood is the most common superstition in Western culture used to reverse bad fortune or undo a “jinx.” Other cultures maintain similar practices, like spitting or throwing salt, after someone has tempted fate. Even people who aren’t particularly superstitious often participate in these practices.

A new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that these superstitions actually do “reverse” perceived bad fortune.

“Our findings suggest that not all actions to undo a jinx are equally effective. Instead, we find that avoidant actions that exert force away from one’s representation of self are especially effective for reducing the anticipated negative consequences following a jinx” says Jane Risen, associate professor of behavioral science at Chicago Booth. Risen conducts research in the areas of judgment and decision-making, intuitive belief formation, magical thinking, stereotyping and managing emotion.

The entire article is here

My labyrinth

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Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”  
Caroline Adams

We are all on the path… exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path.

Thus began my journey of building my labyrinth. I’ve always believed in the inner journey, meditation, and also how angles, such as those in astrology, are significant in the channeling of energies. I felt I had no choice but to build one. I was being drawn, almost obsessively, to do this. I didn’t feel like I was giving in – I went with the energy to build it.

There are companies that specialize in providing the actual labyrinths, or at lest the templates to build them. I considered a template, but at ~$350, I thought I could do it myself. Well, I over estimated my geometry skills, because what I fast realized was that it was all about angles, and they were different with each of the layers. My head hurt while trying to figure them out, but as I got into it, I realized that the figuring was obviously part of my journey. The entire design and construction of my labyrinth was what I believe the major part of the journey, kind of like a birth – painful – but the growth afterwards is rewarding.

Sacred geometry is the contemplation and utilization of the archetypal geometric patterns of Nature for the purposes of spiritual communion and healing. By studying nature, we find that the basic building blocks of creation are geometric. Since a divine hand is responsible for originating the numbers and proportions of the manifest universe, that geometry is sacred. Studying sacred geometry leads us to truth and self-understanding.

The area that I chose was one that I had already transformed from grass (or more often weeds because it was a difficult growing area) to a more peaceful rock garden:


My initial trials were fraught with bad angle measuring, cutting incorrect angles, and when I completed the first try at the outer circuit, I was dismally off.


So, back to the drawing board – literally. I found that a compass-like tool that metal workers use, that was given to my by my father, proved to be the solution I needed to make the angles correctly. But that was not without a lot of templates for each and every cut of the 220+ blocks. I grew to love my Dewalt grinder very much :)

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The design that I chose is the Chelsea Octagonal 5 circuit design. The striking design incorporates the powerful rebirth and renewal medieval symbology of the number 8. Adapting the dimensions to my space was a challenge and required many calculations.

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So, after many hours of figuring cutting, re-cutting, placing the stones, picking the stone up because they didn’t meet, establishing more ways of determining the angles, and many gallons of sweat, my labyrinth was finished.



From the original angle in the first picture, and other views from the yard.

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Let the journey continue!

Bob’s Twitter Rule

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How many times have you been in a situation where someone wants to tell you something, and it takes him so long, through such a round-about way, to get to the point, if indeed,he ever does? How many times have you wanted to pull his tongue to get to the point and over with? Well, with Bob’s Twitter Rule in your repertoire, you won’t have to suffer that again. Here’s how it works: let’s say you ask someone how the weather is, and the response goes something like, “well, funny you ask Bob is over here sitting by the pool and he grew up in Pittsburgh and never saw the sun but how about the Penguins hope they win the Stanley cup but Big Ben was just honored with something but that bar where he got in trouble is opening and his sister is helping him and she lives near my cousin……… etc., etc.” never getting to the question. So, you say, “I am invoking Bob’s Twitter Rule – you now have 144 characters to finish!” I guarantee this will cause a pause, or your money back. And for habitual offenders, you might consider starting the conversation with Bob’s Twitter Rule.

Coffee, How much do I love thee?

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graphic-coffee-cup-thumb3380699Since 11th grade, I’ve been in love with coffee. College provided a few nice coffee shops to get a different, good cup, but it wasn’t until my move to New York City that my love blossomed. In Brooklyn Heights where I lived, there were at least 2 stores to buy beans or sit and sip. I purchased a hand grinder back on those days, and used those grinds in my first Chemex Pot. Since then, I have gone through many iterations of grinders and brewers, and with my present setup, I feel like the proverbial very lucky guy. I have a very nice Cuisinart Brewer as well as a Chemex pot, and a burr grinder (the only way to grind). I found Speciality Java and have not looked back. I like a variety on hand, so my present stash includes:

Organic and Fair Trade

  • Sumatran
  • New York New York
  • Bali Kintamani
  • Hibrido de Timor
  • Layer Cake Melange
  • Espresso Organico Dark
  • Rainforest Rhythms
  • Decadent Decaf
  • Constant Cravings
  • New World Breakfast Blend
  • Rainforest Rhythms
  • Kenya Muiri Estate
  • Paradise Blend
  • Ethiopian Oronia Sidamo
  • Rwanda Peaberry Bourbon

Not so organic or fair traded:

  • Natural Toast Coffee of Santa Cruz Galapagos
  • Cafe De Monde Coffee and Chicory – no beignets, though :(

Join me for a cup?

Hyperspace travel might not be as pretty as in Star Wars

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Aww. Dang it. I liked the idea of the starlight trails:


“The sight of the Millennium Falcon making the “jump to lightspeed” is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars trilogy. But University of Leicester students have calculated that — in reality — Han, Luke and Leia would not see the light from stars stretching past the ship as we are shown in the movies.”

“In the films, spacecraft are equipped with hyperdrives which allow them to approach the speed of light. As the hyperdrive is engaged, every star in the sky is seen to stretch before the characters’ eyes as the ship speeds through the galaxy.”

“There would be no sign of stars because of the Doppler effect — the same effect which causes the siren of an ambulance to become higher in pitch as it comes towards you.”

The whole article is here.

Climate change – a conspiracy?

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If one only listened to the head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, climate change is a creation/conspiracy of President Obama and all the liberals. I love it when he/they make such fools of themselves by saying things like that. Hey Rush – look:

2012 Was Warmest and Second Most Extreme Year On Record for the Contiguous U.S.

and more:

Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide

But I guess they’d say that I made up those links…. or the NY Times and other scientific studies are creations.

Still think we’re alone in the universe?

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Planets Abound: Astronomers Estimate That at Least 100 Billion Planets Populate the Galaxy

planetsJan. 3, 2013 — Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But you’re also seeing planets — billions and billions of them. At least. That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm.

Full article here.


And if I’m reading this right, they’re only looking at our galaxy. And there are an estimated hundreds of billions of galaxies. Kinda makes one feel a bit less important in the whole scheme of things.

Messages from beyond

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I’ve detailed the installation of an after market radio in my 1998 Caddy recently. I might not have fully captured the extreme connection and importance of the car’s computer system that runs through the radio – it so reminds me of HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey. So much so, that even though I thought I killed the old radio, every once in a while, I get a little reminder that something is still behind the radio screen. The first message I got was cryptic:



Notice the symbol that seems to be an underlined  U. I’ve been scouring previous records of communications from beyond, and have found nothing like it. I’ve even checked the Mayan scrolls, but no luck.



Soon after this first message, I received another:



It appears to be a solid circle. Hmmmm. The Dead Sea Scrolls weren’t any help. Am now checking into the drawings on cave walls.








And the last message received:




was a simple (?) dash. If there are any symbolic experts out there with an idea, I’m open! I don’t want to be personally responsible for a planetary apocalypse if this is a message meant for the planet.