Friday, November 30, 2012

Recommended Read

I would like to recommend the book Building My Zen Garden by Kieran Egan. The author was born in Ireland, schooled in the U.S., and was teaching in Vancouver when he wrote it. He had already published 15 academic texts, but the zen garden project started out as a hobby. The book was published after recommendations from blog readers. I got the book from the library, but you can read the original at In some ways I prefer the blog, because it has color pictures.

This is not a 'how to' book, rather it is an exploration of how you can turn an idea into reality, and is full of humor, philosophy, poetry, and observations on everyday life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Democracy of the Roads

Earlier this year I was driving along a Southern California freeway when a small red roadster with two passengers passed right in front of me, left to right, and proceeded to cut across lanes and traffic until it got to the diverging route on the left. In a brief flash of concentrated attention - the "life passes before your eyes" moment - I saw the passengers' identical platinum manes blowing in the wind, their mouths open in laughter, and the too-smooth-to-be-natural skin of the passenger's face and neck.

After regaining my composure my first thought was "Those people must have either fame, influence, or money to drive so recklessly. " That led me to think about how one of the very few places where "a cat can look at a king" are our public freeways.  Jaguars share the space with hippy vans, but I have noticed that the less pretentious cars tend to make way for the more expensive ones - you wouldn't want to ding those Mercedes - their owners probably have lawyers. I also suspect that the owners of the luxury vehicles probably don't get ticketed as often - otherwise why would "Famous Person X was given a traffic ticket." be newsworthy.

And I have also wondered about what happens to those cops who have ticketed or even arrested governors and other influential people.  Do they ever get promoted or do they find themselves in some dead-end job somewhere?  In fiction the maverick who upholds the law is often made the hero, but I suspect not so much in real life.

Watch out for small red roadsters.