Reflections Of Buddha

When I was young I knew very little about Buddha. Once and a while I would see on TV a Buddhist monk would douse themselves with gasoline and set themselves on fire. Seemed a rather unpleasant thing to me. Sometimes in the paper there would be a man that would climb a mountain to ask a Buddhist monk a question. Typically the answer was indecipherable. Much latter a group of people calling themselves the Taliban blew up an ancient Buddhist statue. That seemed rather wrong. I did not think the old statue was hurting anyone.

Latter in life a friend, who was smarter than the rest, gave me a statue of Buddha. He was raised in Indonesia. He suggested that I was Buddhist. That surprised me. Latter I read that a man named Pike suggested that the first Mason was Buddha. Then people toppled the statue of Pike.

Because of my friend my wife thought Buddha was cool. We bought a bunch of Buddhas for the house. Buddha seemed so calm and serine. The reflection of a good state of mind. All was good.

Then I meet an actual Buddhist, to be honest I was a bit shocked. I had never met a Buddhist, yet she was not very Buddhist. She seemed more American than I. She was raised a Buddhist, as I was raised a Christian. It was obvious that religion did not play an important part in our lives. At least not overtly.

There is one picture of Buddha in the house that is interesting. I had trouble figuring out the color of Buddha’s robes. They seemed to change colors. It was just one of those little things, I barely noticed it. Yet it was somewhat mystifying. The other Buddha’s were calm and relaxed, yet this one was mystifying. Sadly I figured it out. Buddha was printed in a reflective silver. I was seeing the reflection of the color of my shirt.

I guess that is the best answer, Buddha is a reflection of ourselves. If I had always worn the same color, would have never noticed it.


The Masonic She

It is the Masonic ritual that the compass and square dance upon the alter. The compass is defined as a rather mystical she partnering with the grand architect. I had gathered that the compass defined the articulate feminine form. As the compass was not represented as a male.

It is the articulate feminine form that gives birth. In this case the birth of buildings and other machinery. This made lots of sense to me. Men like machines. It is not unknown for women to be jealous of machines. For men, the machine can have the power of the opposite sex. It is a universal thing.

I considered it the power of the curve. It is all about the curve. The mysterious curve. The curve could be anything. A straight line, in geometry, is defined by the curve.

Recently I have had another thought, the mysterious she is actually education. To use a compass, successfully, is to be educated. That would go against the argument that the use of the compass is a gift from God. Yet it takes an education to build. Is she a God or an education? Or simply an earthly articulate feminine form. I am not yet ready to answer that question. I may never be able too.

The Art Of Manufacturing

This is what I care about. Manufacturing is an art, a philosophy, a religion. Manufacturing is a desire to make life better. Sure it becomes subverted at times, yet the goal of manufacturing is to make life better for all. Good health is the result of manufacturing, education is the result of manufacturing, buildings are created with manufacturing, most of our food is brought to the table with the assistance of manufacturing. We live longer because of manufacturing, what we entertain ourselves with is mostly manufactured, music comes from manufactured instruments, the way we communicate depends on manufacturing, we travel on planes trains and automobiles that have been manufactured. It could be argued that without manufacturing there would be no humanity. The dictionary defines manufacturing simply as making articles on a large scale. Yet most everything we use is manufactured. The things that are not directly manufactured were built using things that were manufactured.

Manufacturing is an art because it takes a certain creativity to build for many. The idea is to make things for many instead of just for oneself. Successful manufacturing is a very hard thing to do. It takes the cooperation of many people. Manufacturing is dependent on innovation and society. Successful manufacturing makes our lives better. That is why people manufacture things.

Beat Saber

I have been playing the virtual reality game Beat Saber with an Oculus Quest. It is fun and I enjoy the game. I have to wonder how much of an impact such a thing will have on society. My first thought, before I bought the Quest was it is like the vintage wood stereoscope Grandfather kept in the closet. It was fun to use, technically fascinating, and a bit pricey.

If you believe the hype VR is supposed to be transformative. Facebook is all in. Maybe in other words it is a thing. So I have to give it a try, first thing I notice is the kids love it. They are fascinated. I also gave the kids some drones. The drones were one tenth the price of the Oculus. Whilst they were here the kids constantly flew the drones. The drones came with three batteries so there was not a lot of downtime for charging. The Quest required setup, and battery charging so it’s usage was less. Their was probably ten times the fascination with the Quest though. Things are relative.

So what did I think of the hit game Beat Saber? I have to laugh, it reminds me of work. There is a big conveyer where boxes come at you. Then you have to make decisions on what to do with the boxes, and then you have to move quickly to deal with the boxes. Finally you are graded on how you dealt with the boxes. I have spent decades doing this!

Then to keep it interesting, some of the boxes can kill you. Like machines without guarding you have to be wary. Even more interesting, they can come at you. Like at a jobsite, if you just stand in the same spot something will run you over and kill you.

There were some interesting tunes in the game. I tried them all. A couple of them I liked, a couple I didn’t. So if I were to stick with the tunes I like I could go through this fairly quickly. I could see getting bored with this rather easily. Just like a job. Yet part of the reason for this is for the cardio workout. Then I would have to treat the game like a job.

So I need the cardio, we will see if I love my job. Mostly I think VR is a bit of a fad. Fun to play with, and maybe a useful tool. I did enjoy the motion flight simulator with VR. VR does make sense for things like that. We will see where this goes.

Let’s Stop Brandon

I am going to try and step back from politics. I have grater priorities. There is bad stuff on both sides. I probably think one side is worse than the other, yet I really have no effect. Probably the person with the single greatest effect on American politics is George Soros and his nonprofit organization Open Society. Then the most influential nation politically is China. I have to imagine that they are at odds with each other. I can’t imagine their interests are the same.

I like the headline to this little thought bubble. It will not attract any roaming bot to signal me for re-education. Yet it conveys my perspective. I think the lesson is free speech is no longer free.

I now have other lessons to teach. Thank you very much.

A Choice Of One

The task was simple. Go buy a hand held mixer. My wife has a bigfancy mixer, yet it has become too heavy to move onto or off of the counter every time she wants to do do some mixing. Typically buying a kitchen appliance for Christmas is a bad thing, yet is what she wanted. I shall comply.

Forgoing the Amazon option I went to Home Goods. They typically have a good selection of quality products. I proceeded to the clearly marked hand mixer section. The shelves were mostly bare with a few toaster ovens preventing the shelves from being completely bare. I read that retail sales are down across the board at the end of November. Maybe 85 percent of normal. Sales are down, yet the shelves were empty? I look around to see what else is available. I admit to being genuinely confused by the situation. For whatever reason they say the ports are backed up and they are unable to offload the products fast enough. Logistically that does not make a lot of sense. We are unable to keep up with falling sales? One thing did make sense, I read that the ships that do arrive are smaller. It is more difficult to unload many smaller ships than a few large ships. The large ships have seen to have gone elsewhere. Recently I read the sales were closer to normal in December. So that is good.

Finally in a nearby, down low, in a isle display I find a few hand mixers. I am relieved to have found what I came for. Yet I was dismayed to have a choice of one. Yet it looked to be a good product. I had read in the Global Times the students believed democracy was a failure. This is a change from the past. The article blamed Joe Biden. It essentially said the two party system resulted in the election of Joe Biden, who is a failure. The students now believed in a choice of one. That way no mistakes could be made when voting. You voted for the wrong person? There will be repercussions. Xi would approve.

It is an interesting idea. The pink hatted revolutionaries have made their mark. We now have a one party system. In some eyes you are a good or bad person depending on whom you pulled the lever for. Despite the choice of one we had a good Christmas. We had a great tree and good times. We cannot help but carry on. Enjoy yourself. Merry Christmas.

It Is A Control Thing

Covid is a nasty thing. I cannot begin to list the amount of ways it has messed up peoples lives. In a way the Covid experience is like war. The industrial complex raced to provide vaccines and testing. The body count is duly reported. There are many rules for the populace to follow.

I watched a Zoom the other day. The nice lady talking outlined all the things we would have to do to combat Covid. I thought it rather odd that she was smiling. Coivid is a nasty thing. Even if we do not get it we have to do many many unpleasant things. We are stoic and say things like we will get our brain tickled. We mask up to go indoors and out. There are places we cannot go, people we cannot see.

One reason to smile would be if victory was at hand. Yes I would smile if the defeat of the virus was imminent. Here is the pill that will fix it all. However the conversation was more about containing the costs of the status quo. I really don’t believe maintaining the status quo is victory.

Some people just enjoy control. They enjoy telling other people what to do. The reasons are many. Myself, I like to make other people look good. If I were to do a Covid speech, I would tell people how good we are doing. I would talk about hope. Who knows, maybe knowing the same things I would have said the same thing. Yet I bet I would not be smiling. I do not like the control thing, I am more into the help thing.

My final thought on this is the media is totally into the control thing. Sure there is a bit of real helpful information, yet that is just to entice the ability to control. Take the radio for example. There are two bandwidths. AM and FM. Yes I know one is amplitude modulation and the other is frequency modulation. That being said they are different polar worlds. Listening to one is to deny the other. The hope is that there is peaceful coexistence. Personally I listen to neither, I consider the radio to be totally out of touch. If anyone tells me something that they have used the radio as a source for, I consider them out of touch.

The Man With A Gun

I am not a huge fan of guns. I would rather spend my money on other things. I do understand the attraction of mechanical things. When I was young we had guns in our schools. I was taught how to shoot guns, and was trained in gun safety. To own a gun was to be responsible for its use.

Now guns trigger people. Most people that I know that have guns are quite responsible. They take care of their guns and don’t antagonize people with them. Yet there is always that one guy. I thought he was a friend.

There are many reasons to own a gun. One of them is a respect for history. My friends and I did historical reenactment. I believed that history should be respected, some history is important. I wanted to pay homage to what I thought was important history. We did a few local events. I thought my friends intrest in guns was interesting, as we differed politically. I carried the flag, he would lead the others that carried guns. I am not anti gun. I just did not want to carry one. I would prefer to carry the flag.

I respect history. One of the hardest things I do is to raise hay. Hard work and sweat to feed a few rescue horses. It is not a profitable venture, we just do it because our ancestors did. We do not have the horses, other people do. We just raise the hay.

Raising hay is a little like racing. We get some old tractors and drive them around in circles until they break. We fix them and drive some more until we are finished. We race against the weather. We cannot let the rain win, because then the hay will be bad.

The horses we make the hay for were going to be in the same parade as we were going to reenact in. The firetrucks that were going to be in the parade agreed not to use their sirens. They did not want to scare the horses. It was agreed that it would be a quiet parade. At the end of the parade my friend wanted to fire a salvo. I suggested that it not be good idea as this was supposed to be a quiet parade. We did not want to scare the nearby horses. He called the men to arms. The lady that organized the parade then asked him not to fire the guns. He then ordered his men to about face. Then he commanded them to fire.

I was ashamed. I am supposed to look up to and trust my friend. He had scared the horses and made people mad. I apologized for him. He did not. I did not understand his actions, yet in retrospect I do. His view it is not the person’s fault, it is the guns fault. Politically that is his agenda. By behaving badly with a gun he is furthering his political agenda. I believe it was premeditated.

There are many reasons to own a gun. One of them is protect yourself from people behaving badly with guns. To own a gun is to be responsible for it’s use.

Night Lights

Lights at Night

I love this image. It is what makes earth so special. Us! I enjoy looking at the regions that are illuminated. Millions of people living their lives in a modern world. My view is light equals economic activity. The more light, the more economic activity. I think it would be hard to have economic activity without light cities by their nature are not dark. Factories, shopping malls and sporting events are all illuminated. There is not much that happens in darkness.

We are told that China is the superpower that rules the world. We should be beholden to the Chinese is the conventional wisdom. Yet they do not seem to different than California. Europe is much brighter. Look carefully at Russia and you can almost see the path of the Trans Siberian Railway. Visual proof of the economic results of commerce. What is even more dramatic is the two Koreas, North and South. Massive economic activity versus almost none at all.

Another intriguing comparison is Cuba and India. They both have a even low intensity luminosity. Not truly bright like Japan and some of the other coastal regions. Maybe some people may not like economic activity. That would be a whole different story. I think the greater the economic activity the better life is.

I would like to zoom in and fly around, see what life is like around the world. Where is life better?

I know people who think economic activity is bad. Yet they personally pursue personal gain. When it comes to light they both condemn and seek light. They confuse me. They despise economic activity, yet want to live in the brightest of cities. I would be willing to say economic activity does not automatically translate to happiness. I am sure there are unhappy people in the brightest of cities. Also there are probably very happy people in the darkest regions.

I will translate economic activity as a sign of technology. Technology definitely makes our lives better. Yet there are people that do not like technology. Perhaps they do not understand technology. Or maybe they are unhappy because they cannot control technology. Does technology bring happiness along with a better life? I would think so. Yet there are the self serving opinionated people that desire to better themselves by depriving others with the use of technology. They are all around us.

It is probably not good to have strong opinions, they fog the mind. I am not sure if that connected to happiness, I will take my chances though.