How Logical Are You?

Yep, wasted my time on yet another silly test. Not a terribly surprising result.

You can take the test here

You Are Incredibly Logical

(You got 100% of the questions right)

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!



Abyss' Edge

On 21-September-2004, the following was part of the contents of an e-mail I sent to my wife.

As usual, asking me to think about what I want is hard. Unfortunately, my head still does not know what to do.

It is very frustrating for me to not know what I want. I only continue to know that I cannot continue as I am. Sometimes I just want to go away by myself for a few months. But I worry about Jason (Tania is bigger and seems to be more independent, so I don't worry about her as much - but then again, maybe I don't worry because I have not spent enough time with her and now we are drifting apart ... who knows? All I know is that I don't know.)

Life used to be simple - sure there were a few things I didn't understand, but aside from that life was great. But now I feel burdened, trapped, out of control. I visualize my earlier self as sitting or lying on a raft drifting lazily through a river called life - enjoying everything as I passed by. I am no longer am I drifting lazily through life, but I have been caught in rushing rapids, a maelstrom of forces I am powerless to control. All I can do is hang on and pray that my raft holds together as this cataclysm of forces pulls me ever forward. What is my fate? Will I, by the grace of God, end my journey in a peaceful oasis? Or have the fates decreed that I should hurl over the edge of a waterfall and plunge smashing into the rocks below, or drowned in a Charybdisian whirlpool?

Yet it seems that no matter which way I turn, each decision I take is fraught with danger and uncertainty. One wrong choice and I lose what has taken me a lifetime to gain. This is not to say that each decision will necessarily cause me to lose everything, but they can cause me to lose those things which are precious to me and have taken a lifetime to achieve or things that are irreplaceable or things that can only be regained at an even greater cost (you, the children, the house, income, benefits, status, happiness, companionship, solidarity, respect, dignity, etc).

I will deal with things as they come. But right now, I am still filled with uncertainty about the future.

Almost a year later, where do I stand?

Six months ago, I found refuge on a outcropping at the edge of the abyss. A small oasis of calm in the midst of the raging turmoil around me. At first I was grateful for the calm, for the chance to breath once again. Now, feelings of hopelessness and fear engulf me once again. I cannot stay here indefinitely. This outcropping, my refuge, is being worn away by the forces that have swept me here.

I stare into the raging abyss below me, knowing an unseen end awaits me, pondering if I should leap now into the turmoil which awaits me or wait until I am swept into it when my meagre refuge finally yields to the unrepentant forces which shall prevail against it.

I look up to the sky and wish I could fly - it seems my only escape.



Japanese Death Poems

You can find a collection of them here here.

I rather fancied this one from Kozan Ichikyo, who died February 12, 1360, at 77 :

Empty-handed I entered the world

Barefoot I leave it.

My coming, my going --

Two simple happenings

That got entangled.




Lateral Thinking

My kids like pancakes. Especially my boy.

Unfortunately, I am often called upon cut up the pancakes. I used to use a fork and knife, but it is too difficult (the initial cuts are fine, but the perpendicular cuts are trickier, since the pieces slide around). I then hit upon the idea of using a pizza cutter. This works much better and is faster.

This morning, my wife caught Jason using the pizza cutter to cut his pancake. Her immediate reaction was to tell him this is wrong and he should be using a knife instead.

Naturally I intervened and said it was better to use the pizza cutter. My wife responded with the typical arguments of "That's not the way it is done. He has to learn how to do it properly." blah, blah blah.

I think applying creative solutions to problems is a good thing. My wife worries about "normalcy". sigh.



Apathy, Listlessness and Procrastination - An Explosive Combination

Well ... not really.



Marking Territory

I baked a batch of muffins yesterday. Since the oven is on the fritz, I used the microwave - and I think they came out well, if not browned. I bought an extra small metal muffin pan (4 muffins at a time), since microwaving in just the paper cups results in non-muffin shaped muffins. I had thought about buying one of those silicon baking trays, but went with metal. Hint, it takes about 3 minutes to nuke those muffins at full power.

Anyhow, returning to my topic ...

Jason, for some obscure reason has just decided to take a bite out of each muffin. I can only imagine this is some sort of instinctive urge to mark his territory and property. I had left him alone for less than 5 minutes and WHAM! every muffin has been bitten.

For those who don't have kids, they are extremely fast and energetic - they can expend an enormous amount of energy in an incredibly short period of time. For example, it is not uncommon for me to go upstairs to fetch something (say some cookies or milk), return downstairs and find all the cushions removed from the sofas and scattered, DVD's and videos strewn across the room, and a box or two of toys emptied. How long does this take? Less than 5 minutes. There is no force more powerful in nature than an unsupervised child.



Does it make sense to translate poetry?

A while back I was listening to CBC radio. Shelagh Rogers was interviewing some poet. There was nothing terribly interesting until they spoke about the poets work being translated into some non-Indo-European tongue.

And I thought, "Does that make sense?"

I can understand transliterating a poetic work (say Njal's Saga, or The Odyssey), but I am not so sure that translating poems is really sensible. The original meaning, play of the language, lyricism is lost. Even a good translation is only a pale imitation of the original (except, it seems, when Akira Kurosawa adapts Shakespeare).

A good example of this is the haiku. I've read some translated haiku - they seem weird to me. On the other hand, maybe it is the form of the haiku that seems weird to me.

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