virtualDavis

\ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs\ Blogger, storyteller, flâneur. G.G. Davis, Jr's alter ego…
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Caffeinated Comics and Quirky Cars

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (with Jerry Seinfeld)

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (with Jerry Seinfeld)

[Note: If you’re a linguistic puritan, please excuse the liberty I took in my title for this post. Caffeinated Comics is actually a misnomer given that Jerry Seinfeld’s latest project involves more than just standup comedians, but it conjures up a droll image that I couldn’t resist. Sorry.]

Are you ready for season three of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee? I am. And despite

I’ve never been much of a television guy, but as a bartender in graduate school I developed an appetite for Jerry Seinfeld, pretty much the only personality in the perennially-on glow box over my head that cut through the bar buzz. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s articulate. And he’s a great storyteller.

Jerry Seinfeld Doodle

Jerry Seinfeld Doodle

If you haven’t caught up with him lately, you’re due for a welcome surprise. Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee is a web-based project described by its creators as follows:

Jerry Seinfeld is joined by friends for a drive in a classic car and having coffee, sharing stories all along the way. (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee)

Caffeinated comics and [mostly] caffeinated cars. It’s goofy, laid back and revealing. Entertaining but un-airbrushed. It’s candid. It’s unrehearsed (so far as I can tell), and it offers up an endearing angle on what makes some of the funny businesses’ stars tick. On the Facebook page Seinfeld offered this explanation to the question “Why are you doing this?”

Well, I’ve been doing it my whole life. But talk shows and interviews can’t let you see this other side of the comedy world. To me, one of the best parts. I just thought it might be a fun thing for fans. (FAQ: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee)

Tune in for the new season which launches on January 2, 2014.

Less Literal, More Literary

Less Literal, More Literary

Less Literal, More Literary

Yesterday I admitted my love/hate relationship with marginalia and graffiti. This morning I awoke troubled. I realize that yesterday’s post was disingenuous. It’s more like a love/tolerate relationship. Or LOVE/tolerate.

I can’t honestly claim to hate marginalia or graffiti, not often at least.

Which brings me to another confession. I often joke about Mondays. How tough they are. How frustrating they are. How long they are. How persistent they are. (ie. “Every day is Monday.” Or, “It’s been a week of Mondays…”) Also how short they are. How fleeting they are… You get the picture?

Maybe Mondays should be shorter and Fridays should be longer?
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

I know, clever, right? No. Not clever. And worse… not 100% candid.

You see, I actually sort-of-kind-of like Mondays. I start planning for Monday on Friday. Or at least Sunday. Monday morning is a land of possibility. Goals. Lists. Optimism.

I’m always overly ambitious and overconfident on Monday morning, and almost always surprised when Friday afternoon sloshes in and I’m still building my sand castle. “Wait! I’m not done yet. The turrets…”

So, yes, some weeks feel like Monday every day, but those also tend to be the weeks when I feel accomplished and satisfied on Friday. When I’m ready to turn off my computer and head out to garden or ski or windsurf or just wander the back meadows with Griffin.

Less Literal

This morning as 5:30 am rolled into 6:00 am and I indulged a few final minutes snuggling with bride and dog before decamping for the day, I began composing a list. Lists always help when I’m troubled. Organize the problem into actionable reminders, and it feels like I’m partway done.

It quickly swelled into ten reminders. Personal, less literal, more literary reminders.

  1. Slow down.
  2. Cultivate curiosity.
  3. Suspend assumptions.
  4. Wend. Wander. Wonder.
  5. Meander beyond the margin.
  6. Meander more!
  7. Multitask less.
  8. Think in stories.
  9. Live in stories.
  10. Hum. Or doodle.
Books. Parcel. String. Knot. via virtualdavis

Books. Parcel. String. Knot.

It sort of reads like one of those cheesy inspirational posters you can order online. The kind you can pin up in the employee lunch room to improve team productivity. Only, this might prove detrimental to team productivity. At least in some ways. Any way, Top 10 Ways to be Less Literal and More Literary might lack mass market appeal, but I’m sticking with it. A Monday morning mantra. An everyday mantra. Amplify opportunities. Ask more questions. Get lost. Make things up. Fool around with a harmonica. Kazoo? Uh-oh. The list is growing.

Short List

Make time to be less literal and more time to be more literary. Have a great week!

Autumn Appetite

Have you felt the change? Are you rediscovering your autumn appetite?

I realized a year or two ago that autumn is my favorite season in the Adirondacks. Along with summer, winter and spring…

Okay, so fall’s definitely in my top four Adirondack seasons. There’s just so much going for it. Like that crisp, chilly air which is so welcome after the humid heat of late summer.

Socks. For the first time in months. #autumn #...

And that amazing natural light, so nuanced after the scorching days of August.

Butter cream lighting... It must be fall. #aut...

Thin autumn lighting... But no longer butter cream. Burned butter cream? #autumn #fall #morning # @ Rosslyn http://t.co/pthOtFI9
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Thin autumn lighting... But no longer butter c...

And then there’s yesterday’s sunrise, equally autumnal, but more dramatic than this morning.

Good morning, Champlain Valley. #Adirondacks v...

Not bad, right?

Of course fall is also marked by the shifting palate. For a while I’ve been dreaming of Khoresht-e Bademjan, one of my favorite Persian dishes. Basically, it’s a delicious eggplant stew with a cool name! Although it is typically prepared with beef or chicken, my bride’s vegetarian commitment (more than half of her life and unfortunately no signs or lapsing) challenged the possibilities for this dish. As did the abundance of eggplant and tomatoes I’ve been pulling out of my vegetable garden. Unfortunately, I don’t grow saffron, and our larder was bare. So I improvised a bit.

Step 1: Gather LOTS of yellow, pineapple cherry tomatoes. Step 2: Blanch 30 seconds, remove skins @ Rosslyn http://t.co/0rPxCVeN
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Instagram and Twitter sort of play well together, but the latter likes to clip the former. In this case, you lose. Actually, I lose. Now I need to wander over to my Instagram account and figure out what I said for the other steps. It should have continued: “Blanch 30 seconds, remove skins, stems and cores. Step 3: Add tomatoes and 1/2 bottle of crisp white wine to slow cooker. Step 4: Cook for hours on low heat.” Here’s what it should look like:

Step 1: Gather LOTS of yellow, pineapple cherr...

Step 5: Pick 1/2 dozen (or so) long, skinny, ripe eggplant. Step 6: Wash eggplant, remove stems a @ Rosslyn http://t.co/fUPzUGeC
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Okay, back to Instagram’s abbreviated posts again. To continue: “Step 6: Wash eggplant, remove stems and blossom ends, and slice the “long way”. Did you get that, long way? As in, end-to-end rather than slicing the eggplant into thick coin slices.”

Step 5: Pick 1/2 dozen (or so) long, skinny, r...

Step 7: Apply olive oil liberally to all sides of eggplant and arrange on foil-covered sheet. Bak @ Rosslyn http://t.co/haKaZMJM
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Step 7: Apply olive oil liberally to all sides of eggplant and arrange on foil-covered sheet. Bake at 400 degrees (F) for 1/2 hour. Step 8: Try to resist eating eggplant while sautéing 1-2 finely chopped onions and 3-4 garlic cloves in olive oil.

Step 7: Apply olive oil liberally to all sides...

Step 9: Stir 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric into yellow tomato sauce. Step 10: Add baked eggplant s @ Rosslyn http://t.co/uCtPTAlh
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Step 9: Stir 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric into yellow tomato sauce. Step 10: Add baked eggplant spears and sautéed onions/garlic to tomato sauce and slow cook without stirring for 2 hours.

Step 9: Stir 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric into...

Taste and mix gently, adding salt and pepper to taste. This stew is a totally unique flavor, one that I can summon up from memory. However my Westernized (wine? vegetarian?) variation on this traditional Persian dish is absent two important flavors, safron (subtle) and limes (potent). I used white wine that had begun to turn to vinegar, so some of the zesty acidity of the original was present, but the unique and totally distinct lime (or better yet, dried lime) flavor does improve Khoresht-e Bademjan. Next time!

Done at last! Time to eat... Did you guess wha...

My bride also prepared a shrimp with sesame and garlic stir-fry, and added another home-grown autumn dish, stuffed peppers.

Homegrown sweet peppers stuffed with minced onions, mushrooms, piñon nuts and quinoa. Hungry? @ Rosslyn http://t.co/lCuWS39e
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

Homegrown sweet peppers stuffed with minced on...

The stuffing was made of minced onions, mushrooms, piñon nuts and quinoa. Pretty tasty if you enjoy woodsy flavors combined with the bite of a baked pepper. Not everyone does, but I’m a fan.

Past its prime, but still plenty of woodsy mus...

Okay, you say, but what to quaff with autumnal menu?

A tart mug of apple cider would hit the spot.

Or, if you’re sympathetic to the wiles of spirits bachanalian, then you might wish to try E. Guigal’s 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 as we did.

Past its prime, but still plenty of woodsy mushroom and leather to complement last night's autumn supper. http://t.co/XXpol5RT
@virtualDavis
virtualDavis

It’s getting a bit long in the tooth according to Wine Spectator who awarded it 93 points a decade ago. I thought it complemented the hardy dishes perfectly. Here’s what Wine Spectator had to say about this classic red from the Southern Rhône:

Old-fashioned, this full-bodied traditional wine seduces with its decadent game, saddle-leather, plum and sautéed wild mushroom aromas. No hint of fancy oak, just a mouthful of Châteauneuf character that swirls around to a long, sweet finish. (Wine Spectator)

Intrigued? You might still be able to ferret out a bottle if you’re lucky.

This is a glimpse into my current Adirondack appetite. Crisp air. Thinner, creamier sunlight. And hardy harvest-heavy culinary experiments paired with patina’ed red wines. What’s your autumn appetite?

Pinterest Interest

Pinterest Interest? virtualDavis ponders Pinterest...

Pinterest Interest? virtualDavis ponders Pinterest...

Are you on Pinterest? Still trying to resist the way you resisted Facebook?

Watch out, because it’s a slippery slope. When your invitation comes and you say, “Okay, well, maybe I’ll just try it out…”

You know, kick the tires, maybe even zip around the neighborhood with the roof down and the music blaring?

Don’t do it. You’ll get hooked. Pinterest. Is. Addictive.

And that’s why it’s exploding. In the good way. Out of start-up obscurity and into the gotta-be-on-it rocket that is flashing through the interwebs.

After being largely ignored for the first months of its existence, Pinterest is now being mentioned with increasing frequency… It is easy to see why Pinterest is attracting such a buzz. All measures of its growth are phenomenal. (Street Journal)

Phenomenal is the right word, but it lacks the necessary whizbang to accurately convey what’s happening with this rather straightforward social media concept

The premise behind Pinterest is for users to gather, organize, and share things they find on the Web, such as home decorations, clothing, and food. The end result is curated pinboards that are meant to help friends discover new items or get inspiration. (CNET News)

According to Mashable‘s Zoe Fox, Pinterest drives more online t than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. Beginners’ luck? That’s pretty formidable competition.

[Pinterest] now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January… Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter just barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for 3.61% of referral traffic. (Mashable)

You know how long it took Twitter

to get traction? You know how long it’s taken to get to this point. I suspect that the quirky crew over at Facebook are getting whiplash responding to the ticklish breeze they keep feeling in their hair, like something sneaking up from behind. Can you sneak fast? Okay, so maybe Pinterest isn’t sneaking…

Facebook reigns king of referrals, accounting for more than one-quarter (26.4%) of traffic, 4.3% of which comes from Facebook Mobile. After Pinterest, Facebook is experiencing the most referral growth, gaining almost one percentage point in December. (Mashable)

So Facebook isn’t giving up ground just to swig down electrolytes, but Pinterest’s mad dash out of the starting gates is noteworthy. Whether or not they can sustain this pace for the endurathon is another matter.

Who’s propelling its rise? 18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland. (TechCrunch)

Hmmm… So not just bored teenagers party shopping.

To get to the bottom of what motivates Pinterest’s throngs of users, you first have to realize who those users are… Female… women tend to like to shop more than men do. You could easily define Pinterest as a way for people to “window shop” for anything that interests them… It’s a social shopping experience, disguised as a website full of interests. (TheNextWeb.com)

Brad McCarty may be right, but in my experience, there are plenty of gents aboard the good rocket ship Pinterest and more and more every day. Maybe there are male window shoppers too? Or maybe McCarty’s oversimplifying.

At heart, many of us are collectors. Stickers. Friends. Hats. Wine. Cars…

And many of us are voyeurs, happy to peak over the fence at the neighbor’s backyard digging project only discover he was planting a persimmon tree, not installing a hot tub.

In short, we’re curious hoarders on the lookout for inspiration. Is it any wonder that Pinterest has become the next runaway favorite? And with news a little over a week ago that Pinterest has partnered with Flickr “improve photo attribution” it looks like the visual floodgates may be opening. Happy pinning!

Monday Morning Meander

English: Meander on the River Dee just west of...

Monday Morning Meander (Image via Wikipedia)

My Mondays typically are energetic, frenetic, anxious. All weekend I’ve been building up To Do lists and massaging my timelines, and by the time I crawl out from under the comforter to share breakfast with Griffin, my Labrador Retriever, my mind is already off to the races.

I suspect that there’s a Monday Morning archetype with lots of other caffeinated-before-your-caffeinated folks who know exactly what I’m talking about. Which validates my suspicions that we all need to break pace for a few moments and meander to refresh the dreams and go juices. If you’re understanding me so far, this post may be for you. Let’s meander together for a few minutes before we pull back into heavy traffic or return to slaying dragons or charming venomous snakes.

Are you social? Digitally social? Plenty gab to be had of late regarding merits and demerits of social networks, but GigaOm‘s recent post, “Do authors have to be social? No, but it helps.“, is worth a look.

Mat Johnson described the people he follows on Twitter as his “dream party guests — interesting strangers whose wit keeps me coming back.” But Johnson also put his finger on another reason that some authors like him have taken to social media like Twitter: the ability to connect directly with potential readers. As he put it: “I’ve never had a single ad for any of my novels, had a movie made or been given a big budget push by a publisher. Usually, they just throw my book out to reviewers and hope it floats. Twitter lets me hijack the promotion plane, sidestep the literary establishment and connect directly to my current and potential audience… It’s a meritocracy; if you’re interesting, you get followed.” (GigaOM: Tech News and Analysis)

I’m borrowing Johnson’s Twitter/dream party guests analogy the next time I try to explain the joys of skinny dipping in the tweet stream to a perplexed (or dismissive) audience. And while I’m thinking about dream party guests, what happened to Kevin Smokler? Was he abducted by aliens? Or is he just giving kevinsmokler.com a fall/winter rest. Back in the spring?

@ This is why we need your #TED talk. Tyler Cowen takes a cynical, skeptical look at stories http://t.co/413wn3jy #gagreflex
@karlsprague
Karl Sprague

Are you familiar with narrative pollyannaism? Fellow optimist Karl Sprague just introduced me to its antithesis, died in the cloth story skepticism. Economist Tyler Cowen’s TEDxTalk distills the dark, devious, dangers of storytelling in his warning, “Be suspicious of stories“.

Cowen admits a weakness for compelling narratives, but he’s concerned that stories oversimplify our messy lives. He reminds us that stories distort complex human nature, interactions and institutions potentially misguiding us and fueling bias and self-deception.

He’s right, of course.

As Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics at George Mason University and co-author of economics blog Marginal Revolution and an avalanche of economics books, Cowen is right about a lot. And despite taking a few laps to warm up, his dry, self-deprecating sense of humor prevails, gradually softening his admonition. And his nod to Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s Living to Tell the Tale ultimately won me over.

“Life is not what one lives, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Stories do distort and oversimplify. But so do street signs, the nightly news, education, modern medicine, music and virtually every other human invention. His bottom line?

Be more comfortable with messy. Be more comfortable with agnostic…” (TEDxTalks)

I can live with that.

And what better way to wrap up than a digital recap of Sunday’s meander? Yesterday John Davis (@trekeast) and I escaped with our brides and progeny for a Parch Pond adventure. This Eddy Foundation wilderness holding includes a handsome pond which was frozen and snow-free, perfect skating. Here’s a clip shot by Mr. TrekEast on his iPhone:

For additional images from the outing, check out “Skating Parch Pond“.

The Goose is Getting Fat

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Not sure what a psychiatrist would make of this admission, but “Christmas is Coming” was my favorite carol as a child. No, scratch that. It was my favorite Christmas carol to sing as a child, though I preferred listening to others. Does this distinction make sense? Think of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”, for example. Fun to sing given the right context, but I’d gamble that most of us have a long list of songs we’d rather listen to…

Originally a nursery rhyme, “Christmas is Coming” is most enjoyable when sung in the round with your brother and sister while commuting an hour over icy roads to school, patient mother at the helm occasionally joining in for a round.

If you’re inspired, but can’t remember the words, here’s a pre-Christmas gift for you:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

If you picked up on a subtle deviation in the first line, the change is mine. I’ve always sung about a single goose rather than a flock. Stick to the original if you’re a purist.

About a week ago a friend told me, “I can always tell when it’s you because you’re a whistler.” I guess I am. Not a good whistler, mind you, but an enthusiastic whistler. Sort of like my dancing! Not fun to watch, but plenty funny! And enthusiasm isn’t the only common denominator, though I’m not sure how to put my finger on the other similarity. Freestyle, perhaps. I’d like to say innovative, creative, improvisational or even uninhibited. But I’ll surely be called to account if I gloss up the merits of my freestyle whistling and dancing. Melodies and rhythms are flexible, mere inspirations for extemporaneous experimentation. Ah-ha, I’ve got it. I’m a jazz whistler!

What? Your BS detector is buzzing? Hmmm… Must need a new battery.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Dare to whistle it?

Doodles and SuperDoodles

SuperDoodle, by Warren (The Doodle Daily)

SuperDoodle, by Warren (The Doodle Daily)

A while back I stumbled upon (tweetled?) The Doodle Daily, a clever creative crash course in the art of doodling.

Actually, Warren, the blog’s creator wouldn’t call it that. He’s a fair share less pretentious than that. He originally set out to create and share a doodle each day for a year. He succeeded. And he got stuck succeeding, so we all can benefit from his so-far-bottomless fount of doodles.

I’d actually almost forgotten about Warren and his addictive designs until yesterday. He materialized out of the ether. Poof!

Okay, so it wasn’t really a poof. But he did post a comment that sent me somersaulting back to his doodle blog to catch up on his creative enterprise. And much catching ensued including the dazzling image above.

Deft doodle design! I like it a lot, but why? It’s just another dandy doodle, dude.

Or is it?

There are doodles and there are doodles. There are dumb-ditty-doodles and there are whipper-doodles. (Also Labradoodles, but they’re really far off topic, and I’m hoping to limit my present acrobatics to merely-slightly-off-topic…)

So what makes a whipper-doodle special? What defines a super whipper-doodle? Warren sums up his SuperDoodle thus:

Simple, clean
classic

He’s on to something. Of course whipper-doodle rules are far from universal, but it does seem that at least a few essential ingredients can be found. Perhaps simple, clean and classic should be on the list. Classic might be too limiting, though I understand what Warren’s going after here. It’s a familiar design despite being original. Or it seems familiar. It exudes familiar canonical design roots, perhaps…

I’d suggest that there’s more to it though. In this doodle, for example, there’s symmetry or near symmetry. Warren’s SuperDoodle combines two separate, reverse mirror images. The symmetry is instantly appealing, especially so because the design is a bit complex, a bit ornate. And yet Warren’s inky oracle plays with the symmetry, plays with the viewer really, by distorting the scale of the nearly symmetrical half. Perhaps the composite consists of two conceptually symmetrical halves that deviate in execution. Now I’m approaching the sort of gassy verbiage upon which dissertations are built!

Suffice to say that a whipper-doodle is more evolved than a dumb-ditty-doodle. It contains a sort of universal design appeal. I think of the glorious paisley in its infinite iterations, or the minimalist lines of prehistoric hieroglyphs or globally familiar brands such as the Red Cross, the Jewish star, the Nike swoosh. (If tucking these dissimilar entities into a single rucksack and calling them “brands” offends, please excuse. This is not my intention. Simply overlook that last sentence and leap-frog to the next paragraph!)

After the first flush of my aesthetic crush fades, I catch myself asking what compels me, what draws me into Warren’s doodle? It’s clean and elegant, but it’s also playful. The near symmetry flirts with me, cocks her ringleted visage coquettishly and bats her eyes, smiles just enough to draw me in. I study the image, my eyes volleying back and forth, back and forth verifying accuracy, chuckling at the elements shrunk and stretched just enough to intrigue… I am drawn in. And I am smiling. Thank you, Warren.

Mindfulness and Flânerie

Just another listless dreamer...

New Yorker marginalia by virtualDavis via Flickr

Linda Hollier’s Mindfulness and The Flâneur examines a topic near and dear to my heart, soul and senses: flânerie.

I’m honored to be mentioned and grateful because she inspired me to update my Metro Flaneur post with a list of my favorite flanerie miscellanea. But ego and overdue “housekeeping” are just the tip of the iceberg.

Ms. Hollier (@lindahollier) is positing an insight that intuitively resonates truth to me, but which I’ve never before heard.

Speed, whether online or offline, is a characteristic of the modern world. The flâneur reminds us to set the pace of our own lives.

Cast as a character in the 21st century drama of life, the flâneur thus begins to play the role of consciousness. (here2here)

Amen. The pace and the scope. Flânerie demands an elasticity of time and space. Freedom to meander, to lose oneself in the other, perhaps even to become the other without fully detaching from self. For a while.

Anthropologist Grant McCracken reflection on Joy Walking comes to mind.

It’s a little like joy riding, except we’re not stealing cars, we’re stealing moments. Joy walking happens when we leave the house or office and start walking. We don’t have a plan. We just go… We step in and out of people’s lives. Couples in love, couples at war…  The tiny courtesies and rudenesses of public life… The key is to get out and about. To get away. To see what you can see. Steal a moment. Make it your own. (PsychologyToday.com)

Ms. Hollier’s suggestion that flânerie and conscioussness may overlap is intriguing, an idea worth passing along to my mother who’s a student of Buddhism and a proponent of mindfulness. Let’s see if I can get her to weigh in. Stay tuned.

Off to meander the digital meadow with the mingling masses…

Update:

Great news. My mother, Melissa Davis, shared her impression. Thanks, mom! Here’s what the wise lady thinks:

Mindfulness, flaneuring and turtles

Reading this after an abbreviated mindful yoga session with Jon K-Z (on tape), I am delighted to chime in. Linda Hollier’s reference to turtles on leashes reminds me of walking with a 2- or 3-year old, a great flaneur opportunity. I recently grandparented my 3-year old granddaughter for a week which required walking her to preschool and back in Georgetown, a fascinating place where equipment and men with shovels were digging up the ancient trolley tracks. Took us forever – which was as good as it gets – even better than a turtle because she had a couple of feet more within her purview AND she asked questions!

Years ago I read a NYTimes op ed that shared the unscientific findings of a city dweller observing adults accompanying small children around a neighborhood in Manhattan. She reported that the majority of them pushed strollers which ensured timely arrivals wherever the adult was headed. She contrasted them with the handful of adults who walked – meandered – alongside their youngsters, stopping to examine every interesting flower or bit of flotsam along the way. She pointed out that there was nothing more important for a child that age to do than poke along – and through – every curiosity.

I think flaneuring is like drawing, something we are born with but that schedules and school steal from us. I agree that mindfulness – being totally present in the moment – goes hand in hand (or leash) with flaneuring. I am not surprised that so many people wonder if they ate, lose their keys, forget names, obsess about how stressed they are given the mindless speed that propels them through their days. A little daily flaneuring would sort them right out! (Melissa Davis)

Amen! Way to go, mom. Just goes to show that my decision to meander the digital meadow with the mingling masses yesterday restored the cosmic balance, inspiring my mother to opine. Perhaps I should meander the soggy non-digital meadow this afternoon?

Related articles:

Tile? Mandala? It’s The Doodle Daily!

Tile pattern? Sacred mandala? (credit @thedoodledaily)

Tile pattern? Sacred mandala? (credit @thedoodledaily)

“Every now and then when I’m on the phone I grab a post-it rather than a sheet of paper and while solving some acute problem, whip one of these up.” ~ Warren (The Doodle Daily)

Warren at The Doodle Daily shared a new batch of post-it doodles and this one was my favorite. Looks like an antique Portuguese tile. I instantly fantasized a Southwestern bathroom designed with these around a sunken tub, beneath a wall of glass overlooking the Sangre de Christo Mountains. And then I flashed back to amazing tiles we saw during our Splendors of Sacred India a year ago. And then even further back to Lisbon, Portugal in the autumn of 1999. How sad to see once magnificent buildings stripped of their famous tiles, stripped because they were more valuable for resale than as architecture and heritage.

The power of an image. The power of a doodle! Thanks to Warren (@thedoodledaily) for The Doodle Daily.

Four Horse Power

Four Horse Power (via Meandering Margaux Media)

While wandering the Champlain Valley this morning, I happened upon these five, Chad and four draft horses, cultivating an Essex Farm field located at “The Four Corners”. I stopped to watch. No video or still camera with me, so these blurry moments are captured by my mobile phone. Only wish I’d recorded my conversation with Chad. He was smiling ear-to-ear as he spoke, clearly loving his work. He said that the horses were working hard to drag this large implement, but that for him there’s little difference between driving a team of two and a team of four. By autumn, he said, he plans on stepping up to a team of six draft horses, three in front of three. The transition to six horse power will demand more complex harnessing and more complex driving skills. But he’s looking forward to it!

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