Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Obstructed by Obscurity

I've been looking for a magazine. So far, I've been unable to find it.

I don't want to read it. I just want to verify some information.

The magazine is 20 - 25 years old. Even when it was new, it wasn't in wide circulation.

I want to record with my new guitar. I determined that the first piece I would record would be the second air of Turlough O'Carolan's "Planxty George Brabazon." This is one piece that I happen to play better than anyone else.

The arrangement that I am familiar with is in an alternate tuning; an open G, I believe.

I need to verify that. It makes a lot of difference.

And it's in that magazine.

While searching for the verification of the alternate tuning to the second air of Turlough O'Carolan's "Planxty George Brabazon," I have trouble recalling the tune.

I have a piece by Carlo Calvi running through my head. It won't stop. [Note: The piece linked to here is played a bit fast.]

O'Carolan was a harpist from Ireland in the late 17th century.

Calvi was an Italian guitarist from the early 17th century.

No relation.

Just the tune is somewhat similar.

And so, my quest for a little-used tuning to play an obscure piece by a little-known composer to be found in some old and little-circulated magazine (in excellent condition!) is hampered now by another obscure composer with an even more obscure piece.

Darn the luck!

Maybe I'll just play "Blackbird" (another piece that I play better than anyone else)....

EDIT: Mystery solved! This is actually an open G tuning that's been down-tuned by a major-minor interval: B E B E G# B.
It took a lot to get to that point.
The old down-tuned open G.
I should have known....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Other Syntax

Did the universe really begin?
Is the theory of the big bang true?
These are not questions, though they sound like they are.
Is the syntax that requires beginnings, developments
and ends as statements of fact the only syntax that exists?
That’s the real question.
There are other syntaxes.
There is one, for example, that demands that varieties
of intensity be taken as facts.
In that syntax nothing begins and nothing ends;
thus birth is not a clean, clear-cut event,
but a specific type of intensity,
and so is maturation, and so is death.
A man of that syntax, looking over his equations, finds that
he has calculated enough varieties of intensity
to say with authority
that the universe never began
and will never end,
but that it has gone, and is going now, and will go
through endless fluctuations of intensity.
That man could very well conclude that the universe itself
is the chariot of intensity
and that one can board it
to journey through changes without end.
He will conclude all that, and much more,
perhaps without ever realizing
that he is merely confirming
the syntax of his mother tongue.

——Carlos Castaneda
from The Active Side of Infinity

Sunday, November 1, 2009


All emphasis is the author's.

“I suggest that you pursue a commitment to personal excellence rather than success, based on your own God-given potential. Success and excellence are often competing ideals. Being successful does not necessarily mean that you will be excellent, and being excellent does not necessarily mean that you will be successful. Success is attaining or achieving cultural goals, which elevates one's importance in the society in which he lives. Excellence is the pursuit of the quality of one's work and effort, whether the culture recognizes it or not. I once asked Segovia how many hours a day he practiced. He responded, "Christopher, I practice 2 1/2 hours in the morning and 2 1/2 hours every afternoon." I thought to myself, "If Segovia needs to practice five hours every day, how much more do I need to practice?"

Success seeks status, power, prestige, wealth, and privilege. Excellence is internal-- seeking satisfaction in having done your best. Success is external-- how you have done in comparison to others. Excellence is how you have done in relation to your own potential. For me, success seeks to please men, but excellence seeks to please God.

Success grants its rewards to few, but is the dream of the multitudes. Excellence is available to all, but is accepted by only a few. Success engenders a fantasy and a compulsive groping for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Excellence brings us down to reality with a deep gratitude for the promise of joy when we do our best. Excellence cultivates principles, character, and integrity. Success may be cheap, and you can take shortcuts to get there. You will pay the full price for excellence; and it will never be discounted. Excellence will always cost you everything, but it is the most lasting and rewarding ideal. What drives you-- success or excellence?”

---Christopher Parkening

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A friend of mine does three or four of these each year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


A man staring at his equations
said that the universe had a beginning.
There had been an explosion, he said.
A bang of bangs, and the universe was born.
And it is expanding, he said.
He had even calculated the length of its life:
ten billion revolutions of the earth around the sun.
The entire globe cheered;
They found his calculations to be science.
None thought that by proposing that the universe began,
the man had merely mirrored the syntax of his mother tongue;
a syntax which demands beginnings, like birth,
and developments, like maturation,
and ends, like death, as statements of facts.
The universe began,
and it is getting old, the man assured us,
and it will die, like all things die,
like he himself died after confirming mathematically
the syntax of his mother tongue.

——Carlos Castaneda
from The Active Side of Infinity

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Start

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to write a brief letter to re-introduce myself to the blog world.

I have previously blogged as part of a few team blogs, mostly with a blogger named Julian Blue. I blogged as Liz Green. When the integrity of those blogs seemed in question, I stopped blogging at them. I did have a solo blog as Liz for a while, but I got promoted to management at my job and could not keep blogging. Unfortunately, my association and friendship with Julian Blue has ended, so now I am giving it a go on my own. I chose a different name because people have come to expect certain things from Liz Green, and I want this blog to be different.

I always felt like a lot of the posts on my previous blogs evolved from negativity. I want this one to be positive. I do a lot of creative things, so I want this blog to reflect that. Some of you have the most beautiful photos, etc. That is what I am trying to do here. Unfortunately, as a city girl, I don't have a chance to grow a garden or flowers, but I do enjoy them.

Zee, that's how I found your blog--I already knew it was there. I have always loved your beautiful photography and your keen wit.

So, welcome everyone to my new blog, and I hope you'll come back often. I hope to make this a positive place that people like to visit.

Take care and have a great day,

PS--someone commented on the template. I got it at They have hundreds of great templates and will give you the html code to put in the edit field on blogger. It's pretty easy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Those of you who already know me know that I am a big animal lover. I still have my beloved Gus who is now age 15, and he is still in fairly good health. He does have some arthritis and spinal curvature, but he still loves life: going outside to sniff things, getting his back scratched, and a good roll on the clean sheets.

Recently, though, our family got a new addition--a puppy! His name is Cash, and he is going to be a small dog. He's about nine months old now, and he has so much energy and resilience, he's a joy to have around.
I got him, like I do many things, from by friend, Joe. Joe always gets himself into things, and then he finds out he doesn't really want to do/have them. Such was the case with Cash. Joe wants a dog, but he wants the dog to take care of itself. He doesn't understand that a dog has to be fed twice a day, have his puppy pad changed daily, have plenty of fresh water, and have plenty of contact time with his owner. Joe does work 7 days in a row, 10 or 12 hours at a time. He has 7 days on and 7 days off. He spends most of his off time sleeping. So, needless to say, Joe isn't such a great dog owner.

Most of the time, Cash stayed in Joe's laundry room, and he didn't get much attention. He was a sad, depressed little guy. I started asking to bring Cash to my house for play days with Gus. Gus was getting lethargic, fat, and depressed, and I thought they could both use the company. So, Cash started spending time with us.

Cash showed up at our house as a timid little fellow, but now he is confident, feisty, and loads of fun. He and Gus have playtime every day, and they both seem to be happier than they were. I usually house sit for Joe when he works, and Cash goes with me. This works out for Joe because he still gets to have a relationship with Cash, too--and he doesn't have to take any responsibility to have it.

I have been in for some real surprises. I haven't had a puppy in 15 years. I had forgotten how much work they can be. Gus is older, so he is calm. He can sit for hours and watch TV or lie by my feet while I sew. His idea of a good time is for me to get a pillow, sit on the couch and click out the recliner, and work in a puzzle book or read. He will sit like that for hours with his head on the pillow while I rub his head and back.

Cash is the opposite. He is a live wire. Gus will sleep late with me. Cash is usually up early, and he wants me up early, too. When I don't oblige him, he makes his feelings known by jumping on my chest and biting my nose.

He loves socks and shoes. Joe wanted him to recognize his scent, so he put some of his dirty socks in Cash's kennel. Now Cash loves all socks. (If you are wondering about his name, I think the girl Joe got him from named him after Johnny Cash). He also LOVE LOVE LOVES shoes. I have lost 2 pairs of sandals so far. I had forgotten all about that puppy chewing stage. He also thinks my hands and feet are fair game. He is little, and he gets his little puppy teeth around a hand or foot bone & doesn't want to let go. He loves toys, but Mom's hand is always better to chew.

There is also the potty training phase. He is pretty well pee house trained, but poop house training seems to be beyond his comprehension for the moment. I think the reason why he is trained for pee is because of Gus. Gus pretty much house trained himself, and even at his advanced age, he will not go in the house. Luckily Cash does know how to use puppy pads, but with poop, he isn't always reliable about it. (If anyone has tips on how to improve this, I would be grateful). We just have to keep working on it.

Overall, having a puppy has been a great joy. I used to worry that if I got a puppy that Gus would be miserable during his sunset years, but he seems to be happy to have someone to hang out with. He no longer has separation anxiety when there are no humans around. He is also protective of Cash. When Cash had to stay in his kennel when no one was home, Gus would lie on the floor beside it and keep him company. They have been great for each other.

I can never ask for more of better love than I have from these two! It's a pleasure to share my life with them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Healthcare Haiku

Capsules, tablets, pills

Magic potions to cure my ills

Take two and be healed

If only it were this easy to find a prescription for the healthcare system!