wed 09-02 In the text editor I am translating from magic to mumps, when I paste a block of text at the bottom of the field it would change color. Eventually I figured out that the decode function in magic, which returns a character for a number, returns null for a negative number: D(-1)=D(0). The character function in mumps returns a null string: $c(-1)="". When the text reaches the bottom of the screen, the number of lines to scroll becomes negative, and is passed as 0 in magic, which is a no op. In mumps, a byte is dropped and the second character of the next sequence is taken as the first. This was 17, the height of the field, interpreted as a command, which meant change color.
fri 09-04 In front of me, as I'm leaving Star market with my hermits and yogurt for lunch, a young woman wearing a thin short white dress over her white bra and panties, walking into the parking lot and the sunlight.
Bright sun and cool, some breeze.
Walked out to Ruggles and headed south to see if there were any apartments
nearby. My workplace is moving there, and it's a 45 minute walk from
where I am now. Lots of public housing, an industrial area, and some run
down apartments. Nice co-op houses on Walden street. Three stops away
on the orange line in Jamaica Plain it's becoming gentrified. Improved
apartments and restored victorians, some quite large. Three old churches
near a strange intersection on a hill: UCC brick, the Spanish a historical
site being restored, and St. John's Episcopal stone. A long old brick
high school right up next to the road, that may be something else now.
The sound of a woodpecker. Young couples and young people, some with
alternative life styles. Not all the blacks and hispanics have been
Crossed Centre street and walked around part of Jamaica pond. I used to go down there the first time lived in Brookline. The smaller pond to the north has become overgrown and hidden. Turtles diving off a branch when I was still far away. Sat under some bushes and an overhanging oak for a while. Many dragonflies, some small red ones fighting over a branch, a few water bugs, one fish, lots of lily pads. A woman with one or two white dogs who stopped to drink, a man with a black and white one, a dog that looked like a small black huskey. 15 or 20 canadian geese came over from the other side of the pond and looked at me for a while, then swam away in a line. Muffled sounds of traffic, a loud radio, clouds and sun reflected in the water, light moving on the underside of the leaves. When I got up I was surprised to see a man had set up an easel and was painting. He didn't say anything, and afterwards I thought he might have been scared of me. Saw the black dog wandering around loose when I got back to the road, so maybe it was his.
There's a new bike path and foot path next to the stream and the part of the emerald necklace that goes up to Washington street.
Office, 2-3 weeks ago.
Howard, hanging up the phone: I certainly have interesting friends.
Me, leaving: I think my ambition in life is to be bored.
To Franklin Park Zoo with Valerie. Parking lot around the corner was
empty, the day had threatened rain but was brightening, went back for
The butterfly house was a half cylinder of tan netting, wildflowers planted along the outside, doorlocks with fans at each end, and we could see the butterflies before we got in. They were all over. Black with yellow stripes, orange, brown patterened, yellow, several other kinds, all north american. Black-eyed susans, something like a small sunflower with a butterfly plobing the crevices as we bent over it, different flowers all along the sides and on the banks of the small hill down the center. New age type music from small speakers that actually sounded good, and not loud enough to be intrusive. Two view boxes with chrysalides, one moving. A small pond at the far end. A cone of small yellow florets held horizontally and a butterfly checking each one. Mothers kept saying in a surprised tone to Valerie, "You've got a butterfly on your hat;" she saying, "I've got two, and they're mating!" The naturalist pointed out the female with her wings on the outside. When he took them off later the female carried the male up to the netting. He called people over to watch as a large white, black, and yellow monarch caterpillar hung from a milkweed and pushed its skin up and off, then turned around, its bright green underskin hardening. It would have a row of bright gold dots near the top, like the ones we saw in the view box. He brushed a small black dot off its side, said it was a parasitic wasp small enough to fit through the mesh, trying to lay eggs. There were mirrors in the exit lock, and sign saying to check for hitchikers. They get their butterflies from Florida, the last stock will be oct 1.
We saw an ostrich with a small head and enormous feet, a gorilla pound it chest and roll around, bats eating fruit from hanging skewers and flitting around, two cheetas with their heads sticking up above the grass, a fuzzy brown owl staring at us, a large dark green new zealand parot with red under its wing, four emus lying down right next to us, some wallabies that looked like rabbits, a lion with a black mane and white chin on rock across a wide moat, and a white grazer with long curling horns.
tue 09-08 Star Market had Archway peanut butter cookies again. Last time they were around, Super Stop and Shop in Watertown had them after they were gone everywhere else. I used to get them on my way back from Walden Pond, so it must have been summer, over a year ago.
Valerie stopped in to see me at work this afternoon. I complained
about translating the magic templates into M programs. The variable
"o" means one thing when the template is compiled to code, and
something else when the code is executed, with no difference shown
on the printout.
Started level three of tai chi, yin principles, 12 or 15 people in the small back room. Parts of the warm up we've been doing for the past year can be combined into the chi gung cloud hands exercise, raising and lowering the arms alternately while twisting the forearms, with shifting and turning. Also did shifting and turning allowing the arms to swing. Started on outer disolving, moving attention to areas that feel contracted, flexed, strong, or not right. Ice to water, water to gas, freeing blocked energy, moving it outward to the energy field surrounding the body. Body, emotions, mind, spirit - mind has higher vibrations than body, just moving attention has an effect. Work on extremites this session, starting with the hands, massaging firmly in small slow circles, finding and loosening nodules. I don't know how much of this is true, but I find it useful. It fits in with my work on massage and meditation. These are taoist ideas, they agree with what I've learned of paganism.
The warm up we've been doing: kwa squats; shift from side to side, shift and turn, swing the leg back; shoulder circles both ways, shoulders forward and back while down; upper arm twists, elbow turns, raise and lower and twist the forarms; arm drop, open the back by bending forward, standing meditation. It's varied some.
fri 09-11 Still cool in the morning. The air is very clear, the sun is bright, and the trees are very green. On Longwood, the sun was in front of me shining through the leaves. There is a lot of green: trees over the road, pines and hemlock in one place, hedges by sidewalks, lawns and overgrown grassy strips, ivy and myrtle, overflowing flower beds.
Bread and Circus has good cinnimon rolls, with wheat flour and not to
much sugar, iced and rectangular, not overpriced like most their stuff.
The ones in the front of the display were huge, mine a little smaller.
Also had some cashews.
Cornford makes Socrates sound like Revelations, the true end of man is the perfection of the soul.
At the first service of the year at the UU church in Sharon, the
ingathering, people brought containers of water from the places they
had been during the summer (or used symbolic water), said where it was
from, and poured some into a large glass bowl at the front of the
church, next to the big carved lectern, opposite the flowers. There
is no alter. Mel played water related music on the Steinway during
the service: the Blue Danube, Distant Sail, the Swan, the Trout.
Walked in the woods of the Salvation Army camp with Valerie at midday. She showed me dense bushes of bight orange jewel flower or touch-me-not with exploding seed pods, oaks, beech, pine, maples, witch hazel, green brier, three kinds of fern, and bushes with hundreds of small flat white blossoms hanging in rows from the stems.
tue 09-15 Noticed I had been moving the chair back so I could cross my legs when sitting at the computer at home. Moved the bentwood ice cream parlor chair with the wicker seat back to the table with the other one and brought back the oak winsor with the cushion. I can now sit cross legged at the computer, as I used to do when it was on the floor. I thought I had this chair here, and moved it to the table for Valerie before the first time she came here, but she always used the other. But that can't be right. I didn't get the computer off the floor until she gave me the rolling stand, so it would be easier to teaching her programming, which we never went back to. I did use this chair at the big desk made from a door in the tiny office when I lived in New London. The cats used the sleep in it together when I closed them in at night.
Lunch with Valerie, from the salad bar, at the track in the fens.
Looking up at four birds circling high in the air, joined by another
two. I thought they were seagulls.
Concert at the Unitarian church in Sharon with Valerie, after good scallion pancakes, Beethoven cello sonatas. We liked the first one a lot, op 5 no 1 in F, with a fugue at one point, and the Schubert fantasie for piano four hands, op 103 in F minor, which sounded familiar near the end. Outside, Jupiter was very bright, across Main Street.
Later, lying in the dark on the futon we moved to the sleeping porch, windows open, cold air and a quilt, trees all around us, the sounds crickets, locusts, and katydids, maybe a late season tree frog. Train whistles in the distance, a goose once or twice.
thu 09-17 Tai chi, eight people, a couple more came in late. Working on feet, sitting on the floor, small circles with the fingers, thumb, or knuckles.
fri 09-18 Email from Valerie:
I went out in the canoe this morning. The lake was barely riffled by a faint breath of breeze. I startled up a mallard. Before I could go I had to dump out the water, which was hard, because the lake is quite low just now, and so I had to LIFT the thing and its accumulated water up onto the dock before I could turn it over. I was sorry that in order to take the mooring rope off the post I had to destroy a real masterpiece of a spiderweb. I did apologize to her.
sat 09-19 Standing on the path by the Charles, 25 or 30 white geese on the water in front of me, one gray. Slowly a few start getting out of the water, looking around and at me, others follow. Some go around me to the left, more to the right, orange webbed feet, one of the last has a longer neck and a knob at the top of his bill. Racing shells going by close to the shore. A couple with a baby stop to look. Green shit on the pavement. Geese all around me between the water and the ball field, looking at me, rubbing their bills in their feathers, grooming, water beaded on their undersides, wet white down on the grass, moving in the breeze. Some start grunting. Some put their bills under their wing and stand on one foot. One white pigeon with red feet walking around with them. Something makes them all look up and stand still, I don't see anything. They start to move toward the outfield, I can hear them plucking grass.
sun 09-20 The young journalist interviewing a member of the chain at the table on the breakfast porch as it gets dark outside, the rest of the chain and the remnants of the discussion group gathering around, everyone wanting to say something.
tue 09-22 Yellow and brown leaves on the sidewalk after the rain.
wed 09-23 For a few days, I would see a small black spider when I picked up the scale from where it leans. At first I thought it was a bit of thread.
After lunch at Chef Chang's of udon noodles, crossing Beacon and the
trolley tracks and sitting with Valerie in front of the little french
bakery on the bench with the cane pattern in green metal set into its
back, sharing my toffee and apricot cookie.
On the other side of the street there is a narrow, painted brick, three
story building with a high stoop and bay windows. All the buildings
on either side for some distance are one story. There are only a few
windows on the long sides. I thought it would be nice to live there.
Walking to the corner I noticed spiky horse chestnut husts on the sidewalk under a tree. Valerie crouches and reaches a bush, stands up and shows me a shiny brown nut. I feel in one pocket then the other of my jacket and pull out a darkened one from last year. Valerie throws hers away.
sat 09-26 Steam boats on the Charles, morris dancers in Harvard square. A lady asked me if they were norwegian. A former dancer is greeted and drafted, hurriedly dressed in pieces of costume as he pauses in the dance.
sun 09-27 The sound of rain all night through the open windows of the sleeping porch. In the morning, overcast sky and trees moving in the wind all around us. Clearing later, and hot. Powdery purple mint blossoms in the small round herb garden in the front yard. Two ducks on the moored sailboard.
mon 09-28 Tai chi, six people, and two late. Still not standing right, not doing cloud hands right. Lying on the floor with a pillow, breathing from the back. Trying to do the form with slow even breath, not coupled to movements. Partnered with the woman with the dipper on her shirt.
tue 09-29 Stuff cleared out of the front room, and off the kitchen counter. Futon folded in front room, with the flanel sheet. Looks good. More space in the back room, map of Maui on the wall. Can get to the shelves in the bedroom.
To the Museum of Fine Arts to see "Monet in the 20th Century" with
Valerie, since Yom Kippur is a hospital holiday. After looking at
water lillies for a while, the paintings started to take on more depth
and seem less abstract. One late picture of the willows had just
purple squiggly lines and some lilly pads, but I went back to look at
it again. It seemed like it should make sense, but I couldn't see it.
I liked the one of part of his house with an orange sky. There were
eight rooms of Monet. Highly recommended, til dec 27.
I kept stopping to look at untitled by Joan Mitchell on our way in and out, part of "Reflections of Monet". I thought it moved, I don't understand it, Valerie saw sploches. I also liked the pastel stripes, hung next to Monet's hilled meadow with long tree shadows. We both liked the big one of the Maine coast.
Saw some of the pictures I have on my refrigerator. Summer by Dore, which is bigger than I thought, wild flowers and sickle; the Ravine by van Gogh, which I liked before and which gained depth; and L'Eminence Grise by Gerome. I had imagined the monk being bowed to by the bightly dressed couriers was unworldly, as he went down the stairs, oblivious, reading his book, but it said he was the power behind the throne. The large picture of the nearly naked John the Baptist, with his rugged and bearded face and brightly lit body, made me think of Thoreau.
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