April 30 – ring topology

concerns network wise
ring topology spanning
the calamari

Based on an actual email I got while working out the problems adding a new machine to the corporate network.

Of the many concentrations in the Information Technology field, Network Architecture is truly the dark side.

So a programmer is on his way home from work and his wife asked to stop at a grocery store.

“Get a loaf a bread”, she said, “and if they have eggs, get a dozen.”

Programmer gets home, gets inside and says to his wife, “They had eggs”, and sets down 12 loaves of bread. (or is it 13?)

April 29 – horrific, undiscovered

We all enter this
horrific, undiscovered
space. Monday morning!

Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
A-you can find me cryin´ all of the time

Songwriters: John Edmund Andrew Phillips Monday Monday lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

April 28 – Say all you should say

Say all you should say
Say it loud and say it clear
Let the whole world hear

Adapted from the song I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas. Taylor’s original version (as “I Wish I Knew”) was recorded on November 12, 1963, and released on his Right Here, Right Now! album (Capitol ST-2039) the following year. (Wikipedia)

Possibly the best known recorded version is by Nina Simone which I enjoy but I did find a wonderful instrumental arranged by Don Shirley (with one of the best bass rip/intros ever), the concert pianist portrayed in the movie The Green Book.

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that I should say
Say ’em loud, say ’em clear
For the whole round world to hear

I wish I could share all the love that’s in my heart
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
I wish you could know what it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree
That every man should be free

I wish I could give all I’m longing to give
I wish I could live like I’m longing to live
I wish that I could do all the things that I can do
Though I’m way overdue I’d be starting anew

Well I wish I could be like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be if I found I could fly
Oh I’d soar to the sun and look down at the sea
And I’d sing cos I’d know that
And I’d sing cos I’d know that
And I’d sing cos I’d know that
I’d know how it feels to be free
I’d know how it feels to be free
I’d know how it feels to be free

April 27 – go forward smiling

go forward smiling
grandchildren’s art on the fridge
kickstart your wakeup

Azaria Hoffman – Easter Sunday 2019

Azaria overheard Grammy saying she needed a semi-formal dress for a June Wedding in Memphis and designed this dress for her. I was then added for balance. A small self portrait completed the work.

I remember walking through the National Gallery in Washington, DC and spotting
Renoir’s Girl with a Watering Can through a doorway and I tripped.

Seeing this work of art on the Fridge each morning has the same type of impact. Forced by means beyond my ken to stop and look and smile and feel better of the day that I am starting.

I recommend it as therapy or as a mood changing prescription for all.

PS – the Easter photos of Jaxon and Essence and family don’t hurt either.

April 26 – Mozart not been

Had Mozart not been …
Lesser world, I think, but how?
Just glad he was here!

I will tell you that had I been able to write or compose the opening notes of Mozart’s Piano sonata 11, just the opening notes, the first 8 bars or whatever that play and then repeat (Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 – I. Andante grazioso,)I feel I could die a happy man.

That that accomplishment would be enough for me.

To top it all off, I will tell you that it wouldn’t matter if anyone knew I had written it or not as long as it was part of the human collective experience.

I like to imagine this when I feel the frustration of life and work and and overall lack of fulfillment.

Not sure what I want or wanted to accomplish with my life.

I know I am not going to compose any music.

If Mozart had not been born and not left us the library of his composition, would the world notice?

If we never had Mozart, how would we notice he was not there?

Still I will persist and accept and say that the world would have been a lesser place without Mozart.

I am not going to argue the point.

I am not going to try and compose any music.

I am just going to listen to Mozart and the Sonata #11 anytime I want to and enjoy it.

April 25 – humanity searching

humanity searching
escape bland neutrality
where we find ourselves

In a recent article, The Clockwork Condition: lost sequel to A Clockwork Orange discovered, Alison Flood writes:

Burgess writes in the manuscript of how the 1970s are a “clockwork inferno”, with humans no more than cogs in the machine, “no longer much like a natural growth, not humanly organic”. Humanity is “searching for an escape from the bland neutrality of the condition in which they find themselves”, he says, in a work that he envisaged as a philosophical piece of writing structured around Dante’s Inferno. Burgess had planned sections with titles including “Infernal Man”, trapped in a world of machines, and “Purgatorial Man”, trying to break out of the mechanical inferno.

He had hoped that surreal photographs and quotations from other writers on the topics of freedom and the individual would supplement his text, but as the project grew more ambitious, he found himself struggling to complete it as his popularity as an author grew.

Eventually Burgess came to realise that the proposed non-fiction book was beyond his capabilities, as he was a novelist and not a philosopher. It was then suggested that he should publish a diary under the title The Year of the Clockwork Orange, but this project was also abandoned,” said Biswell.

Instead he wrote a short autobiographical novel, that also features clockwork in the title – The Clockwork Testament. Published as an illustrated novel in 1974, the book engages with the same thematic material he had intended to use in The Clockwork Condition, such as good and evil, original sin, and the problems of modernity and violence.”

So many authors on the theme of escape, I have to ask, is life really that bad?

Is the grass always, ALWAYS greener on the other side of the hill?

On the search of self discovery, our heros always seem to find that that the road leads home.

April 24 – wait with hope

We must wait, with hope
until evening to see if
day has been splendid

This is based on a quote attributed to Sophocles:

One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Sophocles was the Greek playwright who left us with the complex story of Oedipus.

When I think of Homer, Ovid and fellers like Sophocles, which isn’t often, I am reminded of the movie, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The Star Trek heroes return to 1986 and Spock and Kirk discuss the current state of literature:

James T. Kirk: That’s simply the way they talk here. Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word. You’ll find it in all the literature of the period.
Spock: For example?
James T. Kirk: Oh, the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins….
Spock: Ah… The Giants.

The suggestion is that 1000’s of years from now, Susann and Robbins are ‘The Giants’ because their books survived and are revered. Now maybe they survived because they where in a trash dumpster the day the library burned down and the dumpster preserved the books until they were discovered years and years later.

How do we know that the same thing didn’t happen to Homer and Sophocles?

When the barbarians burned down the great libraries, maybe their texts happen to survive by chance? Giants today, but back in their own time, maybe they were sold in the checkout lane of the local grocery for 1 Drachma.

But I digress, back to Sophocles and his wonderful quote.

There is a problem with the quote.

I wanted to tell how I heard the quote lately and then cite the original work of Sophocles.

I am reading Robert Caro’s new short book, Working, and Caro uses the quote to explain his work on Robert Moses.

I searched the WWW and found lots and lots of links to the quote and lots of links to speeches that quoted the quote.

I even found a 2008 transcript of a C Span interview with Robert Caro where Caro again explains the quote in context of his work on Robert Moses,
“Because it was something that just stuck in my mind. And it seemed to me to sum up Robert Moses’ career. You know for decades, as he was shaping New York, building all the bridges, the parks, the housing projects, determining the city’s priorities. He was such a hero to New York you know and, the policies, but at the end where was New York when his 44 years of power had ended? That’s what we see. And I thought that quote, one must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been, summed up what I was trying to say in that book. ” (Q&A with Robert Caro December 19, 2008)

But no citation as to the source.

I did find one vague attribution of Sophocles, Antigone, but a quick check of the full text of the play reveals no such quote.

Most telling, the quote does not appear in any online version of Bartlett’s that I can find.

I am starting to think that Sophocles did not say One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been, but he would have wanted to say it had he had the chance.

The search will continue.

April 23 – cars and commuting

cars and commuting
perfect match, improved means to
an unimproved end

I have no doubt that Mr. Thoreau would take one look at a freeway system and throw up.

by Henry David Thoreau

As with our colleges, so with a hundred “modern improvements”; there is an illusion about them; there is not always a positive advance. The devil goes on exacting compound interest to the last for his early share and numerous succeeding investments in them. Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. Either is in such a predicament as the man who was earnest to be introduced to a distinguished deaf woman, but when he was presented, and one end of her ear trumpet was put into his hand, had nothing to say. As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly. We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough. After all, the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages; he is not an evangelist, nor does he come round eating locusts and wild honey. I doubt if Flying Childers ever carried a peck of corn to mill.

April 22 – Life seemed hollow

Life seemed hollow
Existence but a burden.
Where is inspiration?

Chapter II

Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting.

Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged. Jim came skipping out at the gate with a tin pail, and singing Buffalo Gals. Bringing water from the town pump had always been hateful work in Tom’s eyes, before, but now it did not strike him so. He remembered that there was company at the pump. White, mulatto, and negro boys and girls were always there waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarrelling, fighting, skylarking. And he remembered that although the pump was only a hundred and fifty yards off, Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour — and even then somebody generally had to go after him. Tom said:

“Say, Jim, I’ll fetch the water if you’ll whitewash some.”

Jim shook his head and said:

“Can’t, Mars Tom. Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an’ git dis water an’ not stop foolin’ roun’ wid anybody. She say she spec’ Mars Tom gwine to ax me to whitewash, an’ so she tole me go ‘long an’ ‘tend to my own business — she ‘lowed she’d ‘tend to de whitewashin’.”

“Oh, never you mind what she said, Jim. That’s the way she always talks. Gimme the bucket — I won’t be gone only a a minute. She won’t ever know.”

“Oh, I dasn’t, Mars Tom. Ole missis she’d take an’ tar de head off’n me. ‘Deed she would.”

“She! She never licks anybody — whacks ’em over the head with her thimble — and who cares for that, I’d like to know. She talks awful, but talk don’t hurt — anyways it don’t if she don’t cry. Jim, I’ll give you a marvel. I’ll give you a white alley!”

Jim began to waver.

“White alley, Jim! And it’s a bully taw.”

“My! Dat’s a mighty gay marvel, I tell you! But Mars Tom I’s powerful ‘fraid ole missis –“

“And besides, if you will I’ll show you my sore toe.”

Jim was only human — this attraction was too much for him. He put down his pail, took the white alley, and bent over the toe with absorbing interest while the bandage was being unwound. In another moment he was flying down the street with his pail and a tingling rear, Tom was whitewashing with vigor, and Aunt Polly was retiring from the field with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye.

But Tom’s energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. Soon the free boys would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a world of fun of him for having to work — the very thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it — bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of work, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straitened means to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.

From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

April 21 – He is risen

Christ, He is risen.
Truly, is risen indeed!
This is my message.

April 19, 2019 – on a walk in our neighborhood

He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’
This is my message for you.”

Matthew 28:6–28:7 (NRSV)