Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Word for the week: parhelion (also known as a sun dog). The photo on the left is not one, but it is a "sun pillar" or "sun column." Robin and I saw it this morning on our walk. I took the picture from our driveway. I don't remember ever even hearing of this phenomenon until this past year. And now this is the second one that I've seen in the last month in real life... Just one of those things.

Seeing that shaft of light reminded me of parhelion, which I looked up last year after getting the Rosanne Raneri CD of the same name. Rosanne is a friend of ours from high school and she's a fabulous musician who plays various gigs around the Albany area. In fact you can see her at Sage college this Thursday for a live lunch!

Speaking of live music, come out on Saturday night to Northern Lights in Clifton Park to hear HourGlass and the fretboard frenetics of another musician friend, Scott Cunningham. They're a local rock band just starting out and they play/sing some pretty cool original stuff. Check them out...

Tuesday seems to be the day of the week for blogging. Work through the weekend a few times... suddenly Tuesday is the new Saturday! Ack!

Take it easy...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Discipline. Definition #2, please... Word for the day. If I had as much of it as I wanted, I would have posted this on Saturday... :-)

I admire my sweetie, who is disciplined and faithful, exercising and walking the dogs before work every day. You go, girl! I'm trying to be disciplined enough myself to get to work early every day. Log those hours even when I have to leave early to help out at home.

The ice storm presented us with several power related challenges yesterday. We drove through the dark neighborhood to the lights on the other side of the hill and brought home some Chinese food to eat by candlelight... But as we were sitting down to dig in, the lights came back on! Fortune: "Choose vegetable delight and you will be rewarded."

Peace out, dogs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First off, Happy New Year! Hola 2007, hasta ayer 2006.

And now... time for some reflection. I renamed this blog in preparation for philosophical ramblings like this one. Usually my brain rambles like this internally while I'm driving to work, washing my hair in the shower or trying to fall asleep at night.

Belief. It's a fundamental force in the universe. I'm thinking it's right up there with gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Us human beings are strange and wonderful creatures. Our beliefs can cause us to act or to avoid acting. And our actions affect those around us and the universe we live in.

The weird thing is that our beliefs aren't necessarily based on reality. By reality, I mean the things that are objectively true for everybody regardless of any one person's beliefs. We develop our beliefs over time based on things that happen to us, on things that other people say or do, on things that we think, on our intuition, on our emotions, on our desires. And sometimes we even modify our beliefs.

We choose to believe the things that we do. That's why some people can live in denial about things that are clearly true. One can choose not to believe something even though it is apparently objectively true. One can also believe complete bunk that's not even close to true.

If I believe something passionately, then it's true for me. If you believe something passionately, then it's true for you. It doesn't matter if the things we believe are objectively true or not, or if others believe them. We act based on our beliefs. If you believe in something, you'll fight for it. You might even be willing to die fighting for it. But if you don't believe in something... forget about it.

Belief can trigger a positive feedback cycle that actually causes the thing believed in to become more true... do you believe that? I believe that 2007 is going to be a good year for me and my family. Simply because I have that belief, it is now more likely to become reality for us compared to if I did not have that belief. This is some powerful stuff. It's what faith is based on. Also reminds me of one of the best DVDs we watched back in 2005: What the Bleep do we Know? Get it from Netflix. Definitely worthwhile.

I think about freedom and belief a lot lately. Stories about the war in Iraq make me think along these lines. Seems like some folks in positions of power might be believing some things that aren't necessarily based on objective reality... Not to name any names, but I bet reading that last sentence brought a couple of names into your mind.

Listening to the new John Mayer song Belief, from his latest album, Continuum, also gets me thinking about this stuff. (If you've got iTunes installed on your computer, this link takes you to that song: Belief by John Mayer. Check it out.) There are a couple of great lines from that tune:
Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword
It's the chemical weapon
For the war that's raging on inside
What puts a hundred thousand children in the sand?
Belief can. Belief can.
What puts the folded flag inside his mother's hand?
Belief can. Belief can.
Happy new year, everybody. Let's make it a good one.

What do you believe?