Quantum Traveler

July 22, 2014

 

Editor’s Note:  Our retired entangled particles, Larry and Gary,  bring with them a little excitement in this latest posting:

Riding Out a Gale / Bus Celebrity

Entangled Quantum Particle Larry Rides Out a Gale Off New Caladonia

Entangled Quantum Particle Larry Rides Out a Gale Off New Caledonia

 

21 July 2014 | 58 miles from New Caledonia
Our last posting happened at a time when I could get to the keyboard on the computer. Usually that is pretty tough whenever the story gets interesting. It wasn’t long after that posting when another well established gale came through.. Our condition at the time: severe dark, gale force winds, 4+ meter seas (very rough), moving hard to weather. We had already transited across 900 miles of winter seas. There are 58 nm to go to the transition through the reef that surrounds New Caledonia. We thought we would be there about dawn, except for one little detail; we couldn’t quite hold our course. We were moving east of our planned route. Could we tack and somehow, even though it would be horrible, make it to our destination? The question weighted heavily on our minds. In these conditions, there is not enough power in the engine to go to weather. Starting the engine won’t help at all.At that very moment the autopilot failed. Now there is something you need to know to appreciate what this meant. On a boat, an autopilot is the human equivalent of a heart. So, in human terms, the boat had just suffered a heart attack. That’s not much of a surprise considering the conditions it was working through at the time and the even worse conditions that we anticipated. I was thinking of having a heart attack myself!Our situation: we are 58 nm from our safe haven destination, but we cannot get there and we are in a pretty bad gale … and it is night. Of course, it is night. It’s always night when things go really really wrong.I moved to the helm and turned off the wind. Maybe we could sail to the east side of the island which was downwind? There is a passage from east to west that is inside the reef. That is a plan. But it is a long way to steer by hand while in a gale. It is days long. I cannot do that. But I have to try, at least for now, until I can thinking of something else. For those of you helmsmen that thinks you know how to steer a boat you might consider that I didn’t do it very well at all. Maybe I steered within +/- 60 degrees of course, sometimes worse. After an hour I had had it. We had to try something else. Normally, when the autopilot works, we keep the boat moving. Now we had to heave to. Heaving to means turning into the wind until the boat stops, then keeping the wheel in a position to tack the boat and tieing it in place. The boat cannot tack because it has no forward speed, but the mainsail causes it to turn toward the wind. The windage from the rolled up headsail drives the bow off the wind. A steady state condition is achieved that does not require a helmsman. The boat moves slowly sideways to the wind and a little downwind. In this condition we can wait for daylight and for better weather. Daylight will come in a few hours. Better weather looked a very long way away. Oh, yes. I forgot to mention that there are reefs around. We are drifting toward them.

Now comes an important learning opportunity. We will diverge from our story long enough to understand what the crew is thinking. The crew is unhappy. In fact we are pretty much maximally unhappy. We cannot get to our destination and we are 900 miles away from shelter. 900 miles that we would have to drive across without an autopilot. Or it all might end earlier on a reef that is hundreds of miles from any land we can reach. I learned recently that they can actually measure how unhappy you are using brain scans. There is a region in the brain that lights up when you are unhappy. How bright equals how unhappy. At the same time that we are unhappy, we are also happy. We do have the boat slowly drifting and we don’t have to steer! Happiness lights up a different part of the brain. We’ve reached a condition where we are both happy and unhappy at the same time! And the whole crew is experiencing it!

Back to our story, we are moving to a reef, so in a few hours we have to leave the heave to condition in order to hand steer under sail to a new spot that is clear of danger for a while longer. Of course that has to happen at night and did I mention that I’m not doing well at steering? We manage it, but after we heave to again we notice that on one tack we drift north east; on the other tack we drift south west. It turns out we can navigate using this knowledge. Over the course of the next two days we navigate around all the reefs and actually reach the south east part of the reef. 50 miles north east along the reef lies the entrance to the passage. The reef even breaks the waves so the sea is much calmer. My steering improves. The weather also improves, a lot.

The rest of the story is simple. We made it to Noumea, New Caledonia. Yay! Flat water at a dock never felt so good.”  - Larry Nelson

Marathon Home Featured
Editor:  Meanwhile, entangled particle Gary (and bus), are featured in this Ad:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s2Xuj6LVig&list=PLBp2anFaQYheJge6K7aSB0fZzW40txN3d

From the Editor’s Perch…

July 21, 2014

Jennifer Woodworth How I Kiss Her Turning Head

Maternal Horror

 

Jennifer Woodworth’s newest book, How I Kiss Her Turning Head, which is just out by Monkey Puzzle Press, is a most gentle jaunt into the genre of Maternal Horror.  ‘Maternal Horror’ is a term I have had to coin myself.  But this is not Rosemary’s Baby.  This is the Brahms Lullaby of Xtreme Mothering.  The baby and child in these stories and sketches comprise a wonderful blessing – so wonderful, that we follow our first person hero as if pushing off down the pipe of some Xtreme Sport …  Right down the rabbit hole of maternal instinct, without time to say, “Hello!  Goodbye!” into a sort of mental ward where the ordinary and quotidian prerogatives of life conflict to our first person narrator’s charming wonderment.  And off we go, as the book paints a gentle rebellion for two.

“I have never wanted anything more than I want babies.”  The narrator tells us at the beginning of the first and best story, “Mother of One”.  And shortly she adds:

“I want another baby,” I say to my husband.”

“I know you do,” he says.  He means he does not want another child, not now, not ever.”

 

How charged and compact that exchange is!

Our author knows a subtext, and next to that, a rebellious flight of words.  All of this makes for a good read.  Her stories churn in the updraft of a contained conflagration.  Her words and flights of fancy are cloaked like actors to carry more romantic weight.  But all of the ducks here are rubber ducks.  Her first person narrator “contains multitudes” of insight, but all from an idea fixee.  Her first person narrator is entirely rational aside from being mostly fixated.  Imagine an Asperger of mothering, with the soft voice, and gentle nudging of the genuinely aware – and you’ll be getting close to the voice of this narrator.

The interest of the first story, “Mother of One” – which is a lovely jolt of maternal compulsion – is deciding partly where the horror lies.  Is the Surrogate Mother, or is the Outsourcing Birth Mother the monster of this tale.  Is it the narrator’s world which is a bit off kilter – or is it the narrator?  The ending tale finds our heroine legally confined but still rebellious.   Though it wouldn’t surprise me to hear our narrator reply from her ward – in an attractive way and with an appealing tone, (or perhaps she would just ‘suggest’), if asked, ‘how it could be “rebelling” when the world is backaswards?’.

Jennifer Woodworth has a playful dramatic sense, writes a fine narrative, composes a lovely tune with her words, and is smart enough to say things worth reading.  This is a small book to purchase and enjoy, and possibly to start your collection with.

Travelling Expenses…

July 19, 2014
Paul Headlines the NY Times Arts Section

Paul Headlines the NY Times Arts Section

Paul Eenhoorn in the New York Times

While your editor has been on a moving-across-the-country hiatus, our friend and actor Paul Eenhoorn has been in the ‘buzz’.  We’re a little late on the uptake due to the hiatus, but here he is landing ontop the NY Times Arts Section for a second time, with a half-page featured article inside.

Read all about it!

Read all about it!

Photos from NY Times courtesy of Townsend Canon

Travelling Expenses…

June 15, 2014

…have increased!

Recent Correspondence

Beverly Wilshire1 Beverly Wilshire2 Beverly Wilshire3

“Two Days in LA.. Promoting Land Ho Staying at the Beverly Wilshire.. I will never be the same again…”  - Paul

Photos from Facebook

Travelling Expenses…

June 11, 2014
Paul often notices something incoming at around 2 o'clock in photos.  :)

Paul often notices something incoming at around 2 o’clock in photos. :)

Nothing but Presence

A very short, but insightful interview with our friend, Paul Eenhoorn: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/paul-eenhoorn/Content?oid=19829929

Photo from the Stranger online

From the Editor’s Perch…

May 27, 2014

Editor’s Note:  My Memorial Day Poem is a little late, but started on time.

Spuds

soldiers

The big grocers sell potatoes; but around here we grow spuds:

those hefty, solid, compact tubers,

the kind of vegetable that thrives outside small towns,

avoids schooling, and feels at ease in the dirt.

They marry early, often, and keep watch over whatever kids are around,

set a null course, and end up feeding the military.

Cause spuds don’t mess around.  They give their all.

Aside from navy beans, there is probably no vegetable more patriotic.

You eat a spud, and you’re eatin’ something which gave you your freedom.

You eat a spud and you’re tastin’ sacrifice and honor.

An’ if you’re afraid of a little dirt in your food…

Hell, you don’t know this land.

 

Photo from Google Images

From the Editor’s Perch…

May 18, 2014

Carl1 (1) Carl1 (1)Web

Erasing Yourself

 

One of the hardest things when preparing your home for sale – beyond the enormous amount of work involved – is scrubbing the place of your personality.  We like to believe we’ve added something.  It’s a very special place and first, of course, we found it.   Homeowners, before they are anything else, are like happy, ruddy-faced beachcombers returning with a ‘found object’.  Perhaps it’s a conglomerate with a bit of barnacle, aggregated gravel, some seaweed and a seagull feather stuck hard to it – all with a greenish, slippery touch that doesn’t immediately suggest itself as a paperweight.  But this is what the realtor is for – for making this connection; for painting this realization!  Because then, after finding our home, we realized its potential.  Initially, it wasn’t that paperweight you see resting on my desk today.  Oh no, no, no, no…  A lot of effort, dare I say talent for this sort of thing, and money went into creating what you just saw.  Our place, though small, is a jewel, with tremendous sparkle in a one of a kind location which should provoke a quick sale at a high price.   All we really hope is that we can find the person for it that will appreciate it properly.  And all the realtor really has to do is to show it!  We smile and nod emphatically.

 

The realtor often doesn’t quite see it as we do.  Their excitement level may not be ours.  They might make a few suggestions, besides asking open-ended questions such as, “What kind of person do you see as buying a place like this?”  ‘Well,’ we supposed, ‘individuals much like us!’   (We smile and nod emphatically again.)

Or, they might not be suggestions.  “Those cat silhouettes (hanging on the window and inner door frames) should go.   Lots of people don’t like cats.”   “That moss on the patio stones should be pressure washed away.” – “But moss is beautiful.  It’s a romantic detail that defines a patio bower and fits it within the community of the other vegetation.”  The realtor shakes their head.  “It’s moss.”   - “But I like moss.”  Deadly pause.   We walk back into the home.  “The chandelier needs to go.  And everything in the kitchen should be packed away, except maybe for two canisters and a bottle of wine.”  “No personal pictures.”  “Think empty.  Space is better.”   “And, of course, it all needs re-painting.  But I wouldn’t bother about that.  The buyer can handle that after the sale.”  “And are we far enough out that they could cut down that cedar, or what are the rules here on that? ”  He asks, staring out the picture window.    -  “Don’t cut that  cedar.”  “It’s in the view.”  – “But the view is more than some stiff scene way in the distance which could be replaced by a painting.  It’s also trees and vegetation, and things closer by, that move!”  -  “The buyer is not going to care about that.”  – “Well, you might tell him that it can get real hot here in the summer on this hillside and if he cuts down that cedar he can figure on paying about $150/month more for watering.”  -  “I’m not going to tell him that.”

 

“You don’t like moss.  You don’t like trees.  You don’t like cats.  I can’t see us bonding,”  I tell the realtor halfway through our stroll.  He doesn’t respond; just looks at me.

“But,” I continue, “I don’t suppose that doesn’t mean we can’t work together.”

“It’s not what I like, or don’t like,” the realtor explains.  “As a professional, it’s my job to tell you the things which will help you to realize a quick and profitable sale.  And what I have been mentioning are those things.”

I nod my head.  “I guess my personality isn’t  worth much.”

No one says anything, and we continue on.

In the days that pass, what I can’t stuff into a carton for transfer to our new home, I farm out like a foster child, or trash.  For quite some time it will feel like we’re living in a motel.  My office has even developed an echo.  And I’m about ready to leave.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Seattle Celebrity News!

May 17, 2014

Land Ho!

Paul Eenhorn‘s Movie “Land Ho!”  has a fine official trailer.  Take a look!

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-first-trailer-for-martha-stephens-aaron-katzs-road-trip-comedy-land-ho-20140516#.U3bXgn3r49E.facebook

Travelling Expenses…

May 16, 2014
Genius Nominee, Paul Eenhoorn, Displays Winning Invitation.

Genius Nominee, Paul Eenhoorn, Displays Winning Invitation.

Paul Eenhoorn Nominated for Genius Award

Well!  Look who has popped further into prominence.  Seattle’s Stranger Magazine honors our own with Genius awards each year.  And the nominees are all notified via cake.  (I guess you can have your cake and eat it too.)  Two recently prominent Indie Films have catapulted Paul to this status (among other contributions).  Read about it all here:    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/05/15/the-2014-genius-award-nominees-are

There’s an old interview posted on this blog somewhere… but where, eludes me now.  Can’t find it.  Wait!  Here it is!   http://schn00dles.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/im-not-going-any-deeper-than-that-ill-start-to-cry/

Photo taken from web article.

This just broke!  It was learned less than one minute ago that the cake was chocolate.

From the Editor’s Perch…

May 12, 2014

Identical  Businessmen11

“You’re the Devil”

 

My son asked me if I planned to continue participating in live theater after we moved to Ohio.  And I said that I wasn’t sure.  But that I’d probably “continue writing my serial fiction, because I enjoy making up stuff.”

And he said, “What’s the point of writing stuff, if people don’t read it?”

This gave me pause.  “You’re the Devil,” I replied.

 

What is the role of failure?  Success seems all important.  People kill themselves for lack of success.  It’s the all too common reason for suicide.  Why is success so important!  Why does it badger us so?  Failure seems a particularly human affliction.  It is hard to imagine a squirrel hanging itself, because it feels like a ‘loser’ – or a bird, or an ant, or a worm for that matter doing themselves in.  Lemmings run off of cliff sides.  But does an actual feeling of despair initially sweep across their community beforehand, so that they lose all bearings?

And if success is so important, where does that leave mediocrity?

Very few of us are successful.  Fewer still are wildly successful.  And even the wildly successful often remain ambitious – or even moreso.  And history has shown us (in quite lurid detail) that ambition is insatiable, and probably makes us – even more suicidal!

Yet statistically, the vast majority of us must be mediocre.  There is no logical way around this conundrum.  So what is the role of failure?

 

More than anything, we tend to react to failure as if it were the Devil’s pronged fork.  We distance ourselves from the pointy end as much as possible!  “I’m not a failure.  I’m successfully earning a living.”  “I’m on my way to success.”  “I am learning the ropes.”  “I am supporting my family of five, all of whom are way above normal.”  “I am helping the less fortunate.”  “I’m in an internship! J” “I could be more successful, if that’s what I really wanted.”  “No one is a failure who has friends.” “I feel I’m already a success.”  Or, perhaps the most desperate, “I’m a good person!”

Sorry.  You are nearly all ‘losers’.  You are not ‘dying with all the toys’.  And you are not  ‘the winner’.  The good news is that this is only sounds harsh if you think it does.  Otherwise, it’s a source of wry humor… which, (to my way of thinking), is God smiling.

 

But where does this leave the artistically inclined?  Most artists will become, like most others, mediocre.  Even most successful artists earn a living with difficulty.  Artists must push an enormous burden to raise a family.  And, their activities are more often than not, self-centered.  It is very hard for an artist to distance him/herself from the prongs of failure.

So, to get back to the issue raised by my son, ““What’s the point of writing stuff, if people don’t read it?”

Well, you know, (my son), the cup is always half full.  Very few of the solutions, and most of the problems of my artistic life have come from the people who have ‘read it’.  An audience can be a burden – even a hex.  If you don’t believe this, just attend any artistic ‘talk back’.  There is usually a moderator present to protect the creative type – both from the ‘haters’ and the ‘lovers’.  Once you have raised an audience, there are packs of hungry egos out there to both want it / and to demean it.

As for money…  Once people pay for something, there is this feeling that they own it.  And people pay an artist, because they want more of the same thing.  But, if you’re not paid a cent, no one owns you.  And no one tells you what to do.

 

But, even acknowledging all of this, if you’re mediocre, people might ask, what is the point of producing more work?  That is, if your art accomplishes nothing, what’s the point in making it?

In responding to this, I think back on a Sunday morning brunch my wife and I enjoyed years ago in a Portland Café.  It was upscale and sunny.  And we were visiting with my wife’s Uncle, a retired architect.  And somehow the conversation turned to religion and he suggested that wasn’t going to church a waste of time?  He pointed out that couldn’t the time be much better spent in doing some social work that would actually help someone?  His eyes showed concern.

‘And that’s what we’re doing now?’  I laughed to myself, as I enjoyed the fresh coffee.

 

“What do the people who aren’t attending Church do with their Sunday mornings?”  I might have asked, sharing his concern.  “Do they consume a big breakfast?  Do they sleep in?  Do they visit friends?  Do they go duck hunting and blast a couple birds?  Or maybe snag a fish and smack them on the head?  Do they watch the pregame festivities on TV?  Maybe work in the yard, or catch up on some home repairs?  Or maybe they read the New York Times?  Or maybe they are still up drinking beers?”

 

But the larger – more serious – point my wife’s Uncle was dancing around was “what in the world does going to Church on Sunday morning actually accomplish?  How does this make us more successful?  How does this make other people’s lives more rich and meaningful?  Does God listen?  Will it change anything even if He does?  Isn’t it possible that this whole ‘God’ thing is just one big shame and that they are all just wasting their Sunday mornings over there blowing smoke?

 

People without faith can’t understand that the foundation of faith is doubt.  Attacking the faithful only makes them stronger.  People like my wife’s Uncle are actually the shoulders that the religious stand on.  (Look at me.  Here I am!)

 

Because doing things to no purpose is actually a spiritual activity.  And the Devil just hates this sort of thing.

Photo by Carl Nelson


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