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Updated: 2017-10-04T04:21:15.672-07:00


Late Recipes


Hello all, here i am for my quarterly blog entry. It just seems to take me that long, with no readership to speak of, to get psyched-up for another verbally creative moment.
One Hour Soup
This one happened in the space between a nap and a pot-luck dinner for which i had promised a soup.

Rinse and soak 1 lb brown lentils in warm water while preparing other ingredients
Saute in olive oil:
-3 med. onions
-One lg. carrot (or more)
-Two celery stalks
-3 Tbs cumin seed, ground or whole
-a few oz. last year's mild hot peppers cut and frozen
Dump in lentils with water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated
Meanwhile grate and add to pot a palm-sized (or larger - this will seem like overkill but it isn't. and even if it is it will be good for you and encourage you not to gulp the stuff down like i tend to) piece of frozen fresh ginger
Add 2 tsp or more of oregano or some mix of herbs
Drown with a deluge of veggie or meat stock or water and bring to a rapid boil, then lower and simmer forty minutes until texture is 'al dente'.
Finally add
-tomato (canned in winter) sauce, paste, or stewed
-salt and pepper
-2 tsp FRESH ground coriander seed (double if it's stale)

Celery-Root Pot-Pie
Here's another one, closely modeled after something found on Williams-Sonoma's website. Follow their recipe except as noted.

In a small glass baking dish we made a streamlined version of this exquisite pot-pie. We skipped the potato entirely and increased the celeriac (so spelled to reduce superfluous hyphens), parsley, and truffle oil to intensify the flavours (apparently superfluous 'u's are appreciated). We included a bunch of leeks. Also we reserved the water from boiling the celeriac and used it as part of the veggie stock.

Fantastic! It was a hit. Next time i will double the dough, since to me a pot-pie is a two-crust affair. Also i will try it with parsnips, a vegetable i usually avoid in favour of rutabaga. Mushrooms too?

Poacher's Pie
Speaking of mushrooms, the following is a 'pie' that happened the very next evening. Oh wait, my chronology is confused. It came before the pot-pie.

Boil 1 lb potatoes in salted water
Saute using oil/butter mix in a huge frying pan or wok (in batches if needed)
-3 or 4 leeks
-1 lb or more cremini or other mushrooms
-2 med. onions
-1 lb venison ground, chopped or slivered. (I cut it partially frozen with a fillet knife and dice it very finely)
-3 inches ginger root frozen and grated/chopped
-1/2 tsp cayenne powder
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp sage
Add 1/2 to 1 c. red wine and stir until evaporated
Add a few tsp/Tbs flour or cornmeal to thicken, then spread into a large glass baking dish or casserole
Mash the potatoes leaving more of the water than usual, and blend in 2 Tbs flour until a thin mash is formed that can be spread easily over the meat/mushroom mix
Liberally sprinkle snowy top with a warm paprika, or better yet, sumac.

There was also a White Bean and Cauliflower Soup and a Parsley Frittata, but i'll leave you with these for now.

Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009


Do you email?
Do you use wikipedia or other wikis?
Are you enlightened enough to relinquish intellectual property attachment?
Can you give up being right?
Do you ache with love for humanity?
Are you seeking nirvana? the kingdom of God? God?
Look at this new product from our friends at Google. As one in love with communication i was dazzled by its potential for real-izing heaven. Less than twenty-four hours old and my facebook account already looks obsolete. Not that i'll close it, since Wave does not actually render other sites obsolete, it is simply a different system for communicating.
My own use of email and networking sites is something i rarely choose over face-to-face interaction, and when i do it is clear that there is something unmanifest longing to be manifest. Wave offers an open-source protocol for collaborative communication, a powerful tool for manifestation. It exists in both real and recorded time.
Watch the whole video.



"Kids in Africa are starving - can't afford to cry
I'll pay interest for a car I can't afford to buy" - 'I've Seen' from the album 'Closer Than Veins' by Outlandish, feat. Sami Yusuf.
Since i was barely more than a toddler, and before i attended kindergarten, i saw photos of people in Africa and wanted to go there. I saw suffering, but i also saw smiles and dancing. I saw and was inspired by a resilience that had no apparent counterpart in the 'sophisticated' society of my birth.
How often do you use the word 'jubilee' or any of its cognates? When was the last time you responded to a "how are you?" with, "Jubilant!" ...?
I hardly ever use it unless i'm talking to an aging Hispanic man or woman. 'Jubilar' is a Spanish verb that translates 'to retire' in English. Far from the sense of sitting back, relaxing, retreating and atrophying i get when i hear most Americans talking about retirement, i get the potential for liberation of the heart and spirit.
In the Old Testament of the Bible there is a detailed plan for just such a time of liberation. It is called the "year or jubilee". Every 50 years (following a cycle of seven times seven years... sacred symbolism) there was to be a special year for the land and people of Israel. I think we could use one of those soon. Consider the possibilities if even one banking magnate were to declare a personal 'year of jubilee':
Let's pretend we're looking at a man who sits in meetings where the economies of the world get their direction. He hears a lot of anxiety and complaining, and it affects him, although he goes home to a veritable palace, and he owns free and clear a handful of businesses, jets, a helicopter, a car museum, and an island nobody has heard of unless they've been invited to visit.
One day he meets the Buddha in a bagelry and the Buddha tells him a story. It is about Scrooge, but from a perspective Dickens didn't offer. Instead of dwelling on the monstrosity of this familiar character, Buddha illustrates with profound compassion and wisdom how an idealistic and sensitive young man gradually slipped into a life that estranged him from society, family, and even the warmth and vitality available within his own heart.
In tears over his latte, he comprehends it all at once and knows he must do something to unburden himself and seek that joy Scrooge found.
Furthermore, he knows just where to start: He calls his mother in the hospital and says he's on his way over to see her. On the way he hashes out plans of what he could give away/give up. The cars? Yes, but not nearly enough. The yacht and island? Definitely. How about the businesses... no, most of his relationships happen through these interactions in the economic world, and now he really has something to offer these people...
At his mother's bedside he gets an urge to open the Bible sitting there, though he never was a particularly pious man. As if in someone else's voice he reads beginning at Leviticus 15.
"At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you." Phew! he was starting to worry that he'd have to give up a lot. He kept reading:
"However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you..."
Yes. He had been richly blessed. In fact
-to be continued after i forgive a debt or two.



This heard today, with a small twist added by Yours Truly:
"When the Power of Love transcends the Love of Power
the world will Know Peace"

"It Takes All Sorts"


This maxim comes to me at times, especially in an attempt to reconcile some unpleasant experience to my chosen (beneficent) view of humanity.
Last weekend we were hiking and camping among ferns and hemlock trees, boulders, streams with evidence of beavers, grand beeches and maples.
Upon returning to our well-utilized and sporty vehicle, we were approached by a ranger in a pickup truck. He stepped out in a ponderous way i took to be self-consciously officious and proceeded to saunter circuitously toward us, as though still refining his strategy.
The interrogation began. Had we had any problems? Had we seen any other hikers? Had we seen anyone else camping? Are we sure we didn't have any problems?
'Okay buddy, get to the point: which inane regulation do you imagine we are willfully and maliciously violating?'
So went my thoughts, and the false amiability on my face may have added little to anyone's comfort.
Just then he interrupted himself to say "Funding has been pretty scarce lately and we're just trying to justify our existence, so it's nice to know when people are using and enjoying the park."
You could have knocked me over by waving a fern. Such a frank admission! In my view that's all a human being in a government uniform is ever trying to do, unless some intense situation calls forth his or her heroic nature. ...Which is of course the only thing that would (almost) entice me to put up with poor pay and being generally disliked by the remainder of humanity.
It takes all sorts, and this time i felt a glow of kinship to the big fella.

Define: Auctioneer


An auctioneer is one who transforms the English language into Arabic by a fluid continuity of phonemes.

Peace. ...and...


"Wow, poor trucker"
This was the single thought as i looked over my shoulder from the wet pavement.
My sliding slowed before i had fully crossed the highway, and muscles went into survival mode, twisting my body so it would catch and roll onto the inside shoulder out of the flow of traffic.
Stood up. Wheel stopped, engine died. Flooded? Shut off the fuel petcock. Looked 'upstream'.
"Oh Lord, please; no police."
Nobody hurt and no damaged property except my own handlebars and pride.
At a break in traffic Curious George rolled Attila the Fun to the Man with the Yellow Pickup.
He picked us up.

Now what am i here for?

A Moment of Truth


I settled down before the flatscreen monitor. My eyelids drooped and shoulders crept up in anticipation. Of what? A stupor that comes of time passing by without my attention to anything i really care about.
'So what will i do this time?' i ask myself to arrest the pattern.
The sun is out and this winter afternoon is not dead yet, so i'll use this time while the kettle boils to write a tidbit.
Life is here now. The internet may present most of the knowledge accumulated by humanity right here at my fingertips. What will i do, shop for gear that i don't have money for on ebay?
Or create something tiny to unknown effect?

Hang Drum at Pinnacle


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Last Saturday i passed a very special hour curled up against the October wind on a rock near the one Dante Bucci is seated on in this video.

Not Weed?


Like Locro de Papa, this potato soup fog couldn't be creamier if they pureed the sunshine. I miss that Andean treat topped with avocado slices. Even the dead droughty corn stalks look soft this morning as i'm transported a continent away.
Yesterday i was stuck in traffic approaching an overpass in our local concrete jungle and my olfactory sensibilities were awakened from their depressed state by a heavenly aroma. Leaning out the window of the old white beast, i closed my eyes and inhaled again.
Leaves scritch against each other, bees forage, and garbage rustles along the pavement imitating windblown forest litter.
The messenger? One of those noxious invasive species of plants once thought to be ornamental or useful. Imported back when people didn't know better, of course. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) blossoms smell nice even when you're not among a line of commuters belching the nitrates it probably enjoys.
If you find this friend growing along a stream that has only animals fouling it (no industrial or pesticide runnoff, and not within fifty feet of a road) pluck a tender shoot and take a bite. With a zing like sourgrass/heart clover/wood sorrel that takes you back to a nice moment in childhood, this one is much more substantial so you can make salads comprising lemon juice, salt, grape tomatoes, avocado pear, feta cheese, black walnut crumbs, whatever. If you're really blessed, like some disgruntled gardeners i know, it will burst energetically through your vegetable patch, and you will now know what to do with that foreigner whose smooth pale roots reach clear through the earth to their native Asia: Feast!
Then again, if you are more pharmacologically inclined, you could refine and sell Resveratrol to your neighbors, and make sure they don't pronounce it as though it has the word 'reserve' in it.

Power Trip


Tripping can refer to various things: mushrooms, uneven sidewalks, guilt and pop-up campers, to name but a few.
Petrol is my personal 'favorite'.
Actually, wilting in a malodorous cloud of invisible vapor is most nauseating, and it happens all too regularly. Walking is ever so much more appreciated when i've been filling a 20 gallon tank at prices near $4 per gallon.
Still, there is something quite titillating about the sensation of an accelerator pedal, and how little pressure is required to command such immense forces.
Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan had nothing on the average SUV driving soccer mom.
Okay, so maybe that's taking it a little far, but seriously, have you ever pedaled a bicycle up a steep or long hill, or both?
Try accelerating to all of fifteen or twenty-five miles per hour on a dead flat piece of road, and notice the effort. Carry a tiny backpack and feel the difference made by six pounds of energy bars, gorp and bear spray for slobbering dogs. Multiply that by a factor of 500... and let it sink in next time you lurch out from an intersection just to get ahead of that slowpoke there. Oh, and square the velocity.
If i ever get Attila the Fun street-legal, i'll be fully conscious (at least occasionally) of the power apparently at my disposal. ...And i will thoroughly enjoy it.

Banditos - updated


Okay, so i haven´t actually heard that term used here, but it seems appropriate.
Tuesday morning i was riding a bus from a provincial town to a big city. Shortly after getting out into the tropical countryside, anxious voices disturbed my attempts at rest. The majority of the passengers appeared to be deep in slumber. It was nearly two a.m. and many of them were already asleep when i embarked, having an hour behind them and five more to go.
"Interesting," went the commentary in my head. "So this guy with a knife is demanding money of the guy seated next to me. I wonder what he´ll do?"
Slowly the lights in my head came on, though those in the bus didn´t.
"¡No aprende la luz! ¡No aprende la luz!" "Don´t turn on the lights!" in staccato Spanish muffled by the partition between the main cabin and the front.
to be continued...
And then...
(Get up, stretch, find a window or actually step outside for a breath of air, and come back after the commercial break)
The man skipped me and went back down the aisle of the bus demanding money and cell phones of everyone, before coming back to me.
In the meantime the passenger next to me motioned to stuff my wallet between the seats surreptitiously. I did so, with slight misgivings.
When our driver was ordered to turn off the main road and we commenced at a jarring pace along a dusty lane, i envisioned coming to a stop, tossing my wallet out the window, and collecting it later.
In fact that may have saved me the trouble of canceling a debit card and replacing my license and missing my flight due to being penniless and dejected at the airport.
But, i didn't.
Also, i didn't resist. "All we like sheep" simply obliged these anxious 'businessmen.'
Really, i think they might improve their customer service a bit. I'd rate them a two out of ten.
No one was hurt, though, so for operational safety i'll give them a ten.
Was the driver in on it? Were they concealing more lethal weaponry than the knives and machete used for intimidation?
I may never know.
It certainly makes for a great story, especially if you ask for more details...
For instance, imagine the conversations that happened at each troll booth when the driver didn't even have spare change to give them. It took no less than five minutes for him to convince the trolls to raise the arm-of-no-passage.
Oh, and the three ladrones disappeared into the night with their backpacks loaded with cash and phones, leaving us to turn the bus around on the one lane dirt road with drainage ditches on either side. By then my adrenaline was pouring on faster than the diesel, and after pushing sideways on the front, wheels spinning, with ten other men, i sprinted alongside the accelerating bus, last to board and give the all clear.
Chau Amigos, hope to see you in other circumstances next time!

In Love


"To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love."

So this excerpt comes from an e-mail from a friend from the Philippines. Prior to that it is part of a farewell letter that the man Gabriel García Márquez wrote to his friends after being diagnosed

To read more from and about Señor Márquez check out

Falling in love daily will be a good start.

Caf-Lib(tm) Puddles


I have a contained puddle of this roasted chicory and grain beverage in my hand. The other hand is dancing around, hunt-and-peck. It's fixin to turn warm today, but so far it's still cool enough to crave a hot mug of something.
Lightning storm last night.
It was after those great summer thundershowers in the days of being five, that gravity played at finger-painting on the landscape, its medium water.
Who knows who coined the term, but one particular low area of lawn next to a road was dubbed "The Caf-Lib Puddle"
As far as the plastic toy boats and i were concerned, this was THE puddle of all puddles. There was a time when it was deep enough to reach my waist, i think, toes curling into inundated sod.
The glorious wet was warm and turbid, dark and creamy.
!!!And i just reserved a flight to Darkest Ecuador!!!


2008-06-16T13:30:23.747-07:00 chin with the fingertips of one hand, i pull it away from them, back toward the corner of the room behind me.
Now your turn.
In Tai Chi we were instructed to do this to align our neck vertebrae.
As soon as i had followed this tip, i noticed i had not actually done it as our Master had said it. What i had done was consistent with an approach to life that has not served me satisfactorily; instead of pulling my chin back, the fingers of the right hand had pushed it back. Small distinction, yes, but a vastly different philosophy is at work when i do it as told, using the lightest touch as a mere communication tool and allowing the creeping cranium to correct itself.
Trained as a massage therapist, i often notice shoulder tension directly related to this ubiquitous postural imbalance.
Sitting in a reclined position in front of a TV or in a car is one common source. Another is the computer slouch. My pet peeve is the schoolbag, which exacerbates (in a lopsided fashion) the already chin-forward stance seen among adolescents and other stressed people.

So if you notice your neck hurting, ask it gently to set the tone for the rest of the spine. Tell me if this works for you. While you're at it you might as well turn off your computer, donate to the Red Cross, and trade your SUV for a hydrogen-powered Jetsons mobile. Oh, and pray for peas and hominy all over the world.



Am i weird, or is it not so unusual? My sister (not the one in China; i have a plethora) points out in a discussion over lunch that in fact there are many words like 'sepulchral'.
In what way, you ask?
Well, put it this way. Have you Ever heard anyone say "...sepulchral..."? Sure, it is used in written language- but spoken?
And no, it does not stem from a fear of mummies, zombies, or other incarnations of death. Frankly, when i see that word, i'm scared of sounding silly even if i pronounce it 'properly'.
Likewise, i was appalled the first time i recognized the pronunciation of 'bona fide'. It staggered out of my English professor's mouth like a gringo on spring break. Forgive me if i pretend not to speak American.

Tea, a drink instead of Jam and Bread


Yes, while reading the first seven entries in my journal, i came upon the words "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" and suddenly experienced an urge to leap to my feet, bound across to the larder, snatchle a boxed cereal from the shelf, and snarfle it down with the soy milk because i think it may turn ugly soon.
Instead my flight was checked by a tea-cozy of contrasting knitted form, and an empty teacup at hand. Oh yes, and the pot full of amber liquid. So i drank some tepid tea instead. Sprigs of two varieties of mint went into it, one weedy, one not so weedy (speaking in terms of flavor, not growth habit; they're both weedy that way.)
Before the cup was half full, hindsight revealed the all-too-familiar pattern that had been about to manifest; i vastly prefer rice milk over soy, but the rice milk wasn't 'needing to be used'.

What goes on in a mind of a Punking {sic. typo. My Dad is the PunKing} Punkin Runner?

Well, on a hazy lazy Saturday when the world looks too hot for working, and i am being too old for playing, and my right arm is puffy with subcutaneous pus around a scab that may have been a spider bite and which may erupt in a fortnight or less as a volcano of necrotic flesh (can you hear the Vox of Experience here?)...
When, as i was saying, this is the case, something quite cheerful comes to me. Tea. So i'm here being playful with words for me and for you.
Maybe-- yes. I will go now and drench the remainder of that accidental bread-Pudding concoction i baked yesterday. With Rice milk. And eat.



We didn't get much of a storm last night. Sure, the wind was ok and the clouds mounted high up into the sky in rolling lumps of marshmallow, but the hail and rain and thunder and lightning were a little weak.
Apparently others nearby got hammered. Powerlines and trees down blocking the roads and making tv sets go blank. Or at least those are two of the happy results i could imagine.
The birds were all a-twitter, and i thought it best to join them outside.

Been there


Here are some charming words of encouragement from my sister in China,
"so, Wednesday has been a pretty good day, just so you know...i mean, i guess it's late-ish morning for you now,
but i just thought i'd let you know that the rest of the day goes pretty well..."
Pass it on,
(only works if you say it to friends west of your current location)

One of Many


This morning i exercised my eyes after watching the sun clear the trees beyond a wheat field.
My vision felt unusually sharp, (i wear glasses for driving) and i wanted to test its focusing ability. So i allowed the eyes to wander vaguely over the sea-green grain before settling on one stalk several yards in from the near edge.
It wasn't the tallest among those near it, nor the largest, smallest, brightest, darkest, etc. There was in fact nothing particularly noteworthy about it, except that i looked at it.
Hmm. Poor analogue, perhaps, yet it gave me some appreciation for God's perspective.
Later today i was reminded of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoon, "Wait! Wait! Listen to me! … We don’t have to be just sheep!"
Sometimes i wonder if spiritual growth, self-help, and other realms of personal development are just so much hot air. And then i see the humor in it again when i see this wondering as more of the same.
A cheerful weekend to all y'all out there!



In gleeful anticipation of sleep, i shut down this computer. As it sighs its goodnight sigh, the tension in my neck slips down and pours off my shoulders.

Szechwan smiles


If you have some familiarity with Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, other Southern African languages, or Welsh, then you may have heard my (current) favorite consonant that the human organism can utter.
The name Llewelyn, with its 'll' (often spelled with a second 'll' which does not reflect the pronunciation) and Nelson Mandela's Xhosa name, Rolihlahla with it's 'hl' share this sound. And those rattles hanging in a cascade around the ankles of a Mosotho? They're called Moshuehleshuehle. Say that ten times really fast!
Okay, and for those of my dear readers uninitiated to this aural pleasure/pain, i'll coach you through it if you'll bear with me.
A young boy named Tseliso helped me with this sound when i sounded silly trying to pronounce the name of a park 'Sehlabathebe'. To make the 'hl' first you press your tongue up against the hard palate. Now blow around both sides of your tongue. Oh, try it again and send the air whooshing through the saliva. [Ed. Note: i bet you thought Punkin Runner was going to call it 'salivary amylase'] Make sure there's plenty in there.
Now, recently i got a tip from a sister in China on how to say 'thank you' in Mandarin. I'm not certain, but it sounded like the same sort of sound. So next time i found myself being served bean sprouts and snap peas in a pleasant eatery in Philly i tried out my newly refined 'Shay-shay'. Both the waitress and the host's faces lit up in that way i love, like they had an unexpected visit from home through my 'thankyou'.
I wonder if their relatives lived through the recent earthquakes? I wonder if they even know yet?



When was the last time a housefly brought tears of joy to my eyes?
It is late morning. I have just returned from sharing some Tai Chi and Qiqong. I feel a little sticky.
One solitary half slice of rye toast remains on the counter from another's breakfast. It is soaked with butter, slathered with dark red jam, and quite crusty. If the English like their toast old and cold, why not me? I will not let it go to waste.
So i boiled some water for barley tea and sat down to write.
A fly tangles itself in my hair, or at least the buzzing leads me to this notion. Eventually it tires of the jungle up on top, and comes to visit the vast expanse of dew-covered forehead. Ah, here is tasty stuff, it tells me.
"Sir, or Madame, do you mind?!" I think to it.
Then i lower the hand that was en route to a squashing slap, and i chuckle to myself. What do flies do? Well, i can guess with some assurance that this is not the Wrong Sort of fly, which bites and leaves pathogens behind and an itchy red welt. This is the harmless sort which makes lazy sweeping swoops through the kitchen. This sort leaves tiny circular deposits that frustrate those with a fastidious approach to window-washing.
I did not make the fly.
Flies have always gone after sweaty foreheads, no?
Well, always might be taking it a little too far back, but...
And the thoughts buzz around louder and with heavier footsteps than the fly, as Darwinist and anti-Darwinist paradigms ping off each other with the odd reference to molecular physics and behavioral psychology.
So i let them continue. And i follow the fly. Maybe i will capitalize 'Fly'.
Dear Fly, thank you for coming to teach me a little something, or to un-teach me something that has served its term. I'm not sure which.
Shye-shye, Thank you

Dulce Pontes _ Ondeia (Agua) _ 1999


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Live performance. Slideshow set to CD version below.

I'm not sure words could add anything; watch her face...

alguer (Ondeia)


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Thanks to Youtube user 'ierogamos' for a beautiful montage set to 'Ondeia'.