5k Math

Over the last several years, I’ve taken my weight before a 5K race and logged the time. After 12 measurements, it looks like I can get a good, conservative prediction of my time from my weight: weight x 7.5 = seconds to complete 5k. To put it another way, for every 8 pounds lost, there is a corresponding decrease of ~1 minute of time to run the 5k. Once a sub-10% body fat weight is achieved, it may be possible to bring down the 7.5 number to ~7, but prior to that I think the best way to get faster is to lose weight.

Postcard Friday

“…I resolved to send a postcard every Friday. I called it Postcard Friday…

Just as formal poetry shapes what the poet can say, the space on the back of the card constrains how I write. There’s room for four or five good sentences, maybe six if I write small…

…Since the back of a postcard is open to all, I figure my mail carrier may read it, as could anyone along its way, and once it reaches its destination, I can only assume the intended recipient won’t be the only one to read it. Other family members might; if it’s out on the coffee table, house guests too. This creates another problem writing a postcard: how to write something personal enough so the postcard isn’t fluff but not so personal as to be embarrassing when read by prying eyes.

My postcard writing has evolved from asking a series of questions to what I now think of as the snapshot postcard—a paragraph about the local barbershop, a few sentences about tasting aquavit at a Norwegian distillery, a story about sitting on the beach over the weekend. The snapshot shares a bit of life with the “wish you were here” implied. These snapshots are, of course, a fiction. They are constructed representations of life, not unlike a Facebook status update.”

Peter Wayne Moe, “Why I Write Postcards.” TheMillions.com. January 19, 2018.

Postcard Friday sounds like an idea worth trying.

Pay Yourself First

“Pay yourself first” has been financial wisdom for saving money for so long it is trite and cliché. But, it’s just as true for how we spend our time. If you are trying to start a new daily or weekly habit, start the day or week off by doing it. The feeling of accomplishment of completing some small piece of whatever you’d like to get done for yourself first, creates positive energy and momentum that carries over to everything you do. 

Just like with money, keep the time investment small enough that you still have time to do everything you need to do, but keep it large and consistent enough that, over the long haul, you get significant results.

Words & Phrases, 2016

Every time I come across an interesting word or phrase, I add it to a yearly list. I tried making a poem using this one last year.

  • Pointless cacophony 
  • Buddha of subterranean impulses 
  • Métro, boulot, dodo — commute, work, sleep 
  • rossignol, French cryptographers whose name became French slang for a device that picks locks. 
  • cynegetic tendencies
  • Viktor Tausk’s Influence Machine 
  • ghetto for grinds
  • panjandrum, someone claiming clout
  • werewolves wearing shoulder straps 
  • Rhetorica ad Herennium 
  • bête noir 
  • sanctum sanctorum 
  • stochastic,  random
  • omotenashi, humble customer service
  • Scrotum-faced carnival barker 
  • akoisexual identity, feelings of love disappear when reciprocated.
  • facies hermeticae, hidden faces
  • factual Laocoön – priest that warned of Trojan horse and was killed
  • fourfold vision
  • chupacabra – fictional goat sucker
  • mind-forged manacles
  • Rube Goldberg machine – unnecessarily complicated 
  • An American without an opinion
  • Temples of tears 
  • Overton window 
  • gems from the matrix 
  • Raspberry jam delta v 
  • Cattywampus, not centered 
  • Gish Gallop – spewing bullshit faster than it can be refuted 
  • aware karada, learning through physically doing
  • Albert Luke’s magical bracelet 
  • Kraken Mare, sea of hydrocarbons
  • 52 hertz whale
  • Lojban – unambiguous logical language 
  • inconsistently applied crypto-Saxonist jargon
  • sciolism – superficial show of learning
  • bube meyseh, old wives’ tale
  • shtarker, muscleman
  • seykhl, sense
  • meshuge, crazy
  • money based caste system
  • Disdyakis tricontahedron – 120 sided dice
  • between 40 and Ω
  • Aleatory uncertainty, unknowable 
  • bafflegab
  • illusion of hindsight
  • Auftragstaktik, goal but no how
  • WYSIATI— What You See Is All There Is
  • stumblebum
  • “kto, kogo?” That literally means “who, whom” and it was Lenin’s shorthand for “Who does what to whom?”
  • Forgotten arm, boxing term, “It’s the hit you didn’t see coming.”
  • Rucksack revolution, Kerouac 
  • Flâneur – loafer 
  • Carne por la machina, meat for the machine
  • Buona morte, good death
  • glossolalia, speaking unknown language 
  • half-humps
  • overwatch
  • smells like hobo feet
  • Candango – a man without qualities, vagabond 
  • Dark monarchy 
  • Load of chancers in my lobby
  • Kodokushi, lonely death
  • solastalgia, comfort/pain, place loved is changing for worse 
  • Fuzziness – protocol of throwing a process at a program to check for error 
  • selfies, not selves
  • the hardest man on the cobbles
  • queasy quadroonerie of essentialism
  • mollycoddled
  • Generation Snowflake 
  • hornean, voodoo priest
  • shared paranoias
  • closed ideology echo chamber
  • Hare brained, the rule here is, we do whatever the fuck we want
  • Charvaka, rejected any idea of God and the existence of any soul or afterlife.
  • Semden – Tibetan for sentient being
  • Kunga Dhondup – nickname for money
  • Weltschmerz – physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind
  • lojong – mind training 
  • carceral state
  • Antikythera Mechanism
  • desiderata
  • boojum
  • Kemmerich gradient 
  • Gruen Transfer
  • Pomgolians 
  • Kugelblitz, ball lightening 
  • Orbers’ Paradox: if there are infinite stars, why isn’t the night sky as bright as the sun? 
  • Ophiuchus: 13th sign of the zodiac 
  • Radio Rental, insane
  • Pratfall Effect, competent people more likable after failure 
  • schadenfreude: pleasure from misfortune of others. 
  • Hortus Delicarium, first encyclopedia by a woman
  • neltiliztli: Aztec for rootedness, truth and goodness
  • Sicario: Jewish killers who hunted the Romans who invaded their homeland. In Mexico, it means hitman. 
  • cucuy: Mexician boogeyman
  • aphakia: missing lens of the eye
  • kakistocracy: government by the worst people
  • Jára da Cimrman: underdog hero of Czechs.
  • Mean World Syndrome
  • El zorrilo no huele a si mismo. The skunk does not smell himself.
  • I may be cheap, but I ain’t easy.
  • Thomassons: architectural relics maintain despite being useless
  • rathskeller
  • kompromat, the fabrication and planting of compromising or illegal material
  • Hottel memo: The FBI’s most viewed file details the account of an Air Force officer recovering three flying saucers in New Mexico in 1950.
  • reinigungskrise, cleaning crisis
  • quantitative illusion
  • authoritarian deliberation
  • hektemorage, serfdom
  • pachinko
  • hygge, coziness of the soul
  • Alban Arthuan, old name for winter solstices 

Words & Phrases, 2017

Every time I come across an interesting word or phrase, I add it to a yearly list.

  • tsundoku, leaving a book you bought unread
  • cotisuelto, man who insists on leaving his shirt untucked
  • iktsuarpok, repeatingly going outside to check if anyone is coming
  • trepverter, perfect retort that comes to you later
  • longueurs, dull and tedious, usually plural 
  • Rahula, hindrance
  • ikigai, Japanese technique for finding your purpose in life via four questions: 1. What do you love? What are you good at?What does the world need from you? What can you get paid for?
  • ptomaine, nitrous substance from putrid protein
  • heterotopias —  the production of shared spaces of ‘otherness’ through the disruption of the usual conventions
  • Lebensreform — life reform
  • technicians of midcult — creativity in the service of dominate ideologies, e.g., journalists, graphic designers, etc.
  • paralipsis – a way to make an accusation or spread a rumor while skirting the consequences
  • bergerie: shepherd’s cottages
  • mishegoss: crazy, silliness
  • two-dimensional ersatz dashboard Jesus
  • 4Ds: dismiss, distort, distract, dismay
  • Nijinsky of dreams, famous dancer
  • gjakmarrja, Albanian revenge killing
  • maskirovka, camouflage 
  • taranoa, watch me carefully
  • hxaro partnerships, gift giving relationships
  • acephalous, no formal heirarchy / governance 
  • witvoets, white foots
  • sonzai-kan, the human presence 
  • non-places, Marc Augé
  • a little hiccup in the psychospace of reality
  • A hedged freedom
  • The freedom of desolation
  • Useless people on useless land
  • Praise also the light and creation unfinished
  • egoizing
  • subvising, supervising from below
  • interverify
  • maquiladoras, Mexican factories
  • runcible, fit for multiple purposes
  • exploration of the possible
  • refuseniks
  • dostadning, death cleaning
  • dim, desperate, or drunk
  • London Association for the Prevention of Premature Burial
  • taphophobia, the overwhelming fear of being buried alive.
  • Es tut mir sehr leid, it brings me great pain in German, also very sorry
  • monks and drunks
  • Ad Aster Per Alia Porci, To the stars on the wings of a pig
  • animal laborans, a laboring beast
  • zoi se mas, life to us
  • arrière-boutique, room behind the shop
  • parrēsía — to be outspoken
  • silphium, lost classical herb
  • okaeri nasai, welcome home
  • Lover of the Strange
  • Sympathizer of the Rude
  • Barbarianologist of the Farthest Peripheries
  • cryptids, mythical creatures
  • homo homini lupus, man is a wolf to man
  • peripatetic, walking, Aristotelianism
  • homo mimeticus
  • Magen veLo Yera’e –  Unseen Defender
  • prosaism 
  • sannyasins / sannyasa: 4th stage of life
  • Polanyi’s Paradox, we know more than we can say, which in modern times has morphed into the question of whether humans can maintain advantages over machines
  • dysphemistic, substituting a disagreeable term for an agreeable term — fired rather than “let go”
  • Malveillance, bad surveillance — a term with already bad connotations
  • Dyson sphere, solar tech encapsulating a sun to power advanced civilizations
  • Matrioshka brain, an artificial intelligence or computational framework powered by a Dyson sphere
  • Yuppies Afuera (Spanish for “outside”)
  • moishe kapoyr, oppositional 
  • Zos Kia Cultus, chaos magician pre-cursor 
  • nocebo effect, where negative expectations can start a chain of harmful events which ultimately fulfill those expectations
  • colpo d’aria, a hit of air 
  • apophenia, meaning in randomness
  • budgerigar, parakeet 
  • Guelo, my dad’s dad
  • kodokushi, lonely death
  • death doula
  • etiolated, to make white and sickly, esp. plants without sun
  • Todos somos hijos de la tierra: we are all children of the earth.
  • cabrón: “bastard” or “dumbass”
  • pinche / chingada: “fuck”
  • To’on Na’atik means “We understand each other” in Mayan
  • τόκος, ancient Greek, usury/offspring
  • Gadji beri bimba, Dada poem of Hugo Ball with sound patterns rather than meaning. He lived to ” “to remind the world that there are people of independent minds – beyond war and nationalism – who live for different ideals.”
  • maenads, female Greek followers of Dionysus 
  • Verfremdungseffekt, “alienation effect”
  • stamukha, grounded accumulation of sea ice
  • Lyapunov function, differential equation used to evaluate stability
  • residual runoff of human desire 
  • Unblessed with beauty
  • No hay que confundir la velocidad con el tocino, do not confuse speed with bacon
  • virus in the system
  • Okhrana, secret agents of the czar
  • shtetl, a small town with a large Jewish population that used to be in Europe prior to the Holocaust.
  • kyriarchy, social system based on domination, oppression, and submission
  • nepreryvka, continuous work week
  • presentational self
  • chemolithoautotrophic, organisms that obtain necessary carbon for metabolism from bedrock
  • aperçu, glimpse, clever insight, outline,  general idea
  • lumpen digitariat, common users, digital underclass
  • Ithaa means “mother of pearl”
  • kanko oto—”call and response”
  • shisa kanko, point and call
  • déjà vecu, feeling you’ve been in a situation you haven’t
  • Déjà visité, feeling you have been somewhere you have not been
  • kaze no denwa, or “phone of the wind”
  • Demographic of the dumb
  • There’s no way to freedom but through freedom.
  • Eudaimonia – well-daemoned 
  • It takes a village to produce a village idiot.
  • anam cara: soul friend, Celtic
  • Non Sanz Droit, not without right, Shakespeare motto on heraldic crest
  • lumpenproletariat: criminal underclass
  • Closed Cell Restricted: solitary in Angola prison
  • “W.W.T.P.D.”—What would the Panthers do? 
  • stigmergically, consensus social mechanism
  • Prince Rupert’s drop, toughened glass beads
  • Arecibo message, 1974 interstellar radio message with basicinformation about Earth
  • groupuscules, a small political group, particularly of radicals
  • chode, penis wider than it is long
  • Weltanschauung, worldview
  • ponyatiya, unwritten rule, things that are understood. 
  • Travail, opium unique
  • Anodyne, drug to lessen pain
  • inchoate, early stages 
  • Elmer Gantry, character in Sinclair Lewis novel parodying evangelical Christianity 
  • John Frum, figure associated with cargo cults
  • Turducken, deboned chicken stuffed into deboned duck stuffed into deboned turkey
  • Bratsky Krug, circle of brothers
  • Bespredel, chaos
  • Farb, historically inaccurate 
  • capillary electrophoresis: detecting extra terrestrial life
  • apocalypticist
  • a debate without data
  • hipoisie, hipsterdom
  • zoi se mas, life to us
  • ni bheidh a leitheid ann aris: His likes will not be here again. 
  • Fionn Mac Cumhaill, a.k.a., Finn McCool
  • Benandonner, giant
  • high place phenomenon
  • Stomata ga nai, “it cannot be helped”
  • Pero mi existir es resistir. My existence is resistence.
  • Per aspera ad astra, “through hardships to the stars.”
  • Managed democracy
  • …anyone who’s gone out of sane consciousness knows that a door once opened is never satisfactorily shut.

cafebedouin.org: 2017 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2018

I started blogging on January 1, 2017. I was inspired by Don Joyce of Negativland and Over the Edge to “start your own show”, to have a creative outlet where it becomes possible to explore ideas and different creative directions. I was also coming across other posts like “Everyone Should Blog” that helped reenforce the thought.

Originally, my idea was to try to write one quality essay a week. But, I ended up wanting to explore ideas in lengths and with references that was difficult to do week in and week out. Also, my writing felt stilted, academic and lifeless. I need more practice.

By the third week of February, I had decided to close my Facebook account and to limit, to the degree possible, my reliance on the companies of the feudal internet, i.e., Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. After deleting Facebook, the next step meant taking a hard look at my use of Google, which included looking to migrate my new blog off blogger.com.

It was easy to migrate to WordPress.com. It just took awhile because I was looking for a new email provider, installing Linux and later OpenBSD on my PCs, evaluating new services like NextCloud to replace Google, etc. It took a lot of time and energy, but I am very happy now I made this transition to a slightly more free, but also slightly more costly, relationship with technology.

I started blogging again in June, and I decided to try one post a day, partly so I would be forced to keep it shorter. As of this post, I’ve made 262 posts.

I like the commonplace book style of the blog, and I think there are some good bits that get sprinkled in. I used to write quotes of this sort in a physical book, and it may be worthwhile to post the best of them here in the coming year.

In 2018, I would also like to get back to more original content. I’m thinking it would be good to post something original once a week, but spread it across different forms: poetry, essays, drawing, photography and so forth. Maybe also do more brief commentary of 250 words or less, sketches of story ideas or fragments, aphorisms, book reviews and the like. The goal still being to post something everyday, something that seems weird or interesting, just with some more originals. Let’s see how it goes.