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Jim's blog

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Location: Osterville, Massachusetts, United States

I am a professor at Cape Cod Community College and and a member of a Buddhist order. After a 30-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor I became a full-time professor in 2001. I am the author of the textbooks "The Elements of News Writing" and "The Elements of Academic Writing." I enjoy running, hiking and camping. I have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Back to School Again

7 a.m.: It's good to get back into the old routine. I got up at 6 and went for a run with Vivi again. She found it a little hard because she is recovering from running a half marathon in New York Sunday. I found it hard because I an old and out of shape. We're a perfect match!

6 p.m.: Wow! The time flew by. I just had time to prepare for and teach my two classes. There wasn't much time to get caught up o other things. Oh, I did prepare copies of my syllabi for the department and little things like that, but I have a lot more to do. Maybe I can get caught up tomorrow.
10 p.m.: I have a huge steel desk in my office. The new desktop I made myself sits at a 90 degree angle to it, forming an L. Today I noticed the big desk is jammed right against the wall heater, which is not a good idea. I pushed and pulled the desk to move it an inch away from the wall. That worked OK, except that I think I strained a muscle in my back. It is bothering me tonight. Uh oh! I hope a good night's sleep takes care of that. Barbara and I went though bills tonight and figured out how much we could afford to pay on each. That is never fun. I still can't figure out how much the raise from the state is going to be. It is incredibly complicated.

Running: 3 miles

Monday, January 30, 2006

Carlisle to Dennis

8 p.m.: It was an even longer 500 mile drive back home today. There was a lot of fog along the way, which made for more stressful driving. But I made it safely, and it is great to be home.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday in Carlisle

9 a.m.: I slept in and enjoyed the free Continental breakfast in the lobby. It is cool and cloudy here.

6:30 p.m. The ordination ceremony was beautiful. The First Lutheran Church is a large Gothic stone church w ith a big dome above. There were two bishops and several other clergy involved. We did a lot of singing and praying, and they offered communion, which I respectfully declined. The bishop of the synod offered an inspiring sermon about being a good shepherd.
After that I attended a small reception in the church social hall, where I met Rob's parents and brother and sister. I also spoke with the minister who supervised Rob during his internship. It turns out it is Paddy Rooney, who is married to my wife's best friend from their high school 40 years ago. I had no idea he was going to be there.

As a Buddhist, I didn't expect I would be putting any crosses on my blog, but on Friday I did so in honor of my Roman Catholic friend who lost her son. The crosses in the Lutheran Church today were much plainer, without the crucifix. I'll try to find one of those for Rob.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Dennis to Carlisle

5:30 p.m.: Today I drove from Dennis, Mass., to Carlisle, Pa. It is a drive I know well, having made it many, many times. Still it is tiring. It is almost exactly 500 miles, and took me nine and a half hours today. I left at 7 a.m. and got in at 4:30. I am staying at the Days Inn, where we usually stay. They have a nice continental breakfast and a wireless Internet connection. I usually take a run in the park and jump in the motel pool, but I won't be doing that this time.
I am looking forward to seeing my friend Rob's ordination tomorrow.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Busy Friday

1 p.m.: I'm even too busy to write in my blog.
Didn't run or meditate. Dashed off to school. Had a good mass comm class, but the classroom is too small. I set up my new desktop in my office, and it looks good. It's not perfect. I'll have to live with it and make some changes later.
The orientation meeting for the online class is this afternoon, followed by the wake for my friend's son.

7 p.m.: Visiting hours at the funeral home are always difficult, but when the deceased is a 25-year-old man, it is unimaginably hard. I expected my friend's colleagues from the college would be there to console her on the loss of her son. Most of the faculty and staff was there, and that was nice because we comforted each other as best we could with hugs. But what I was not prepared for was the fact that we were outnumbered by Andrew's young friends. There were dozens of "20-something" folks -- strong healthy young men and beautiful young women. They reminded me so of my own sons and their friends. They would try to be strong and stoic. Some of the guys punched each other with a fist to the shoulder and mumbled "How's it goin'?" But then they would lose it and start crying, hugging each other. Whenever I saw something like that I would lose it myself.

The family belongs to a Roman Catholic Church, where the funeral mass will be celebrated tomorrow. May God bless them all and give them strength.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Snowy run

8 a.m.: Vivi and I went for a run this morning in the snow. It was not actually snowing when we started out, but it started snowing along the way. By the time I got home, it was coming down so hard that it coated my glasses. She is going to be out of town Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She plans to run a half marathon in New York. Ah to be young again! I am going to be out of town Saturday, Sunday and Monday to attend rob;s ordination in Pennsylvania. So we will run together again on Tuesday morning.

I felt a little shaky when I awoke at 6, so I checked my blood sugar, and it was only 89. I quickly ate breakfast before the run, and felt fine.

Today is my long day. I have the night class from 6:30 until 9. I had better get to work planning it.
9:30 p.m.: The night class went very well. The students jump right into substantial discussions of the topics at hand. They are a rewarding group to work with.

The Weight Watchers meeting this morning was good. I lost one pound. That's not much, but it is in the right direction. The official scale said 175.6.
Running: 3 miles

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wet Wednesday

7 a.m.: Well I tried to go for a run, I really did. I was pouring down rain this morning, and I really didn't feel like going for a run, but I knew Vivi would be waiting for me, so I put on lots of layers and trudged out the door. But when I got to Vivi's house (two blocks away) her house was completely dark. I jogged back and forth in front of her house for a few minutes in the rain, feeling like a fool, and then realized she was being sensible. So I did a little loop around the block and headed back home. Maybe it was about a mile altogether. I kind of wish I had just stayed in bed.

I am still devastated by the death of my friend's son. I sent her a note in which I said I hope her faith can give her some comfort. I know she is a Roman Catholic. A mutual friend said her parish priest is a very good man who will be very comforting. But how can anyone provide comfort in the face of such a tragedy? I also mentioned in my note the Buddhist teaching that has most meaning to me.

The Buddha taught that there is no birth and no death, only continuation in different forms.
We are all like waves on the ocean. When conditions are sufficient, a wave may appear. When conditions are no longer sufficient, a wave may return to the ocean from whence it came. Nothing is lost. Everything continues in another form.

Running: 1 mile

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

First Day of Classes

6 p.m.: I got up at 6 and ran 2 1/2 miles with Vivi today. That felt good.
Classes started today, and they went well. The only hitch was that I got mixed up about the times and dismissed one class half an hour early, but I am sure they didn't mind.
One other nice thing that happened is that our campus psychologist asked if I would participate in a workshop on stress reduction, teaching meditation. I said I would be delighted.
But the whole day was saddened by some tragic news. The 25-year-old son of one of my friends died, and the news was devastating to all of us. I don't have the words to express my sympathy to my friend, but I will have to try.
Running: 2.5 miles

Monday, January 23, 2006

Back to School

8 p.m.:
It was back to school after the winter break today.
I got up at 6 and went for a run with Vivi. That was no easy feat, since it was cold, dark and sleeting. But we went anyway! We kept congratulating each other on how dedicated we are. This was the day we decided to resume our morning runs, and we didn't want a little bad weather to get in our way.
I also ran despite a toothache that had been bothering me for two days. When I finally got to the dentist at 2 p.m. this afternoon, he said it was not the tooth at all, but probably the sinus right above it that was inflamed. After he explained it, it made sense. The pain has been subsiding all day, so I guess the pressure is lessening.
We had faculty workshops and meetings all day at work. It was very nice to get together with my colleagues again. At the meeting of the Committee on Curriculum and Programs I was elected chair, but it's a dubious honor. Nobody else really wanted to do the work.
Classes start tomorrow. I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight.
Running: 2 miles

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Day of Mindfulness

8 a.m.: As a member of the Order of Interbeing, (http://www.iamhome.org/oi.htm) , I am determined to spend at least 60 days a year in mindfulness. Ideally, my whole life should be lived mindfully, but that is unrealistic for me at this point. But I try to make Sundays as mindful as possible.

What does that mean?

Well, I try to be aware of what I am doing. I try to use one-pointed concentration to be truly aware of what is happening in the present moment. When I do that, I am more likely to do things that are beneficial and less likely to do things that are harmful to myself or others. That's what make is a spiritual pursuit.

Photograph of the Buddha and the sky by Vicki Dodge from Stan Wood Gallery (http://www.stanwoodarts.com/gallery.htm).

So today I have planned to attend a church service led by my good friend Steve, who is a minister at the Unity church.( http://www.yeahgod.org/) Although I am a Buddhist, I feel very welcome and comfortable there. Then I will visit another friend who is a Christian minister, David, who recently had a heart attack. In the afternoon, of course, I will lead our own Buddhist sangha (www.capesangha.org) so this promises to be a very spiritual day.
I hope I can accomplish some practical work, like putting another coat on the new desk top I am making. And I need to set aside some quality time with my wife. But all in all, I hope I can practice mindfulness as much as possible.

2 p.m.: The church service and visit with David were both very nice. Steve reminded me that we may live under the illusion that we are alone and separate, but in reality, we are all one.

7 p.m.: The sangha meeting this afternoon was awesome. I was surprised last week when 17 people showed up. I told Jeff I thought that was a fluke, and I suggested he put out 10 chairs. We ended up with 19 people. It is not about the numbers, but we must be doing something right. It is gratifying that so many people find it useful.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Day off?

7:30 a.m.: I got up this morning to run with Alison at 7, but she overslept. She just called and said she would be along soon. That's OK.

9 a.m.: What a terrific run! We did about three miles at a nice easy pace, and it felt wonderful. This time is wasn't so much like a meditation because we were talking. It was fun catching up with an old friend. We asked about each other's families and things like that. She has a new boyfriend -- also named Jim -- and they seem very happy, so I am happy for her. She has had some unhappy relationships lately, and she deserves better. Meanwhile it was mile (about 45 degrees) and bright and sunny. It felt more like April than January. I felt refreshed and energized when I got back. It reminded me of why I love running so much. I hope I can do a lot more running. (That's not me in the photo, just a shot off the Web that captures the feel.)

7 p.m.: In the morning, we had a visit from a Realtor who looked over our house for an appraisal. She is going to do some more research and call us back when she has some figures. Then, after lunch, I went into the office and updated my syllabus for English Composition I and started updating the Web site for the online section of the class. I worked solidly from noon to 5 and got a lot done. It's amazing how much more I get accomplished when nobody else is around.

Barbara made a delicious stir-fry for dinner. We plan to play Scrabble this evening.

(The score of the Scrabble game was a tie! I can't believe it. Barbara made a fantastic playt early in the game. She used all seven tiles to spell "altruism." and got 73 points for it, putting her far in the lead. but I slowly crept up on her and we ended up with a 219-to-119 tie. Mon came in third with 141 points. We all had a good time.
Running: 3 miles

Friday, January 20, 2006

Busy Friday

11 p.m.: It is late at night, and this is the first time I got to write in my blog. Suffice it to say it was a busy day. I got up at 6 and went for a run and then meditated. (Way to go, Jim, good job!) Barbara and I had an appointment in the morning, and then I headed into the office. I had intended up update my online class, but got caught up "putting out fires" all afternoon. Then I had dinner with two aspirants I am mentoring in my Buddhist order. When I got home I put another coat of paint on the desktop I am making. It was a non-stop day.
Running: 2 miles

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Here we go again

10 a.m.: My first class of the semester is tonight. I had not realized the semester started a week earlier for Suffolk University's program. So I will spend some time today preparing for it.
At my Weight Watchers meeting this morning my weigh-in went well. I am down 3.4 pounds from last week to 176.6. That makes me feel good.
5 p.m.: Whew! I got a lot accomplished at the office today. Most importantly, I am prepared for my class this evening. I knew I could do it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Windy Wednesday

9:30 a.m.: I overslept this morning and just barely made it into the dentist's office for my regular cleaning at 8 a.m. Lots of work at the office today.

7 p.m.: I accomplished a lot today. I advised a student (Alex) and wrote two recommendations. I also finished preparation for my mass communication class and sent the syllabi to the copy center. I had lunch with colleagues from the Suffolk University program on Cape Cod. I am teaching a class in media history for them. I had thought it started next week, but I discovered it starts tomorrow -- surprise! That's OK, I can get ready for it easily.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back to Work

7:40 a.m.: I have only one week to get ready for the new semester. That does not seem like enough time for all the things I want to do. I am teaching six classes, all of which require advance preparation, especially the online section of English Composition. This morning I need to prepare a letter to be mailed to the online students. I also have an appointment to meet with the incoming student newspaper editor. I have to teacher her how to be an editor. And I have plenty of other things to do, including finishing the move back into my new office. I feel a lot of stress about the whole situation. Perhaps that is why I had a headache last night that persists this morning, Nevertheless, I seemed to get a good night's sleep last night.

I had a good morning meditation at 6, and that helps. I want to get back to exercising too.

( 168/179)

Monday, January 16, 2006


8 a.m.: I have been invited to lead a walking meditation in Wellfleet today in honor of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is an honor.

My blood sugar was only 107 this morning. That is ideal! I am very pleased. I think the best readings are between 95 and 115. I wonder if it is the new medicine (Byetta) the new diet (Weight Watchers) or just a fluke. I had a very light supper last night and my blood sugar went too low. I felt weak and tested it. It was down to 88 at 9 p.m., which is too low, so I had some orange juice and an English muffin with peanut butter. I will have to keep checking it regularly to see what is going on, but I think this is very good news.

7 p.m. :The walking meditation in Wellfleet for Dr. King today was beautiful. It was sunny and frigid, but we all bundled up and smiled at the day. I included excerpts from Joanne Friday's moving tribute in my remarks before the walk, and my friend Joe DaLuz of the NAACP echoed similar sentiments back at the library after the walk. His wife Delores has sat with our sangha occasionally, and she seemed very pleased to see the connection between the two traditions. I also saw my old friend Barb Stineau, who used to sit with the sangha, along with her late husband Mort. Joe mentioned that Mort had been very active in the NAACP, and we all miss him.

In the late afternoon Barbara and I did "dump and groceries" -- we took all our trash to the town transfer station and did a week's worth of shopping. We bought much to much stuff. Just before dinner we got a call from our son Brandon. It was great to hear from him. It sounds like he is doing well down in Asheville.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Snow and Mindfulness

2 p.m.: I stayed up last night to watch the Patriots get eliminated from the playoffs, and then I slept in until 9 a.m. this morning. I read in the paper that the Cape Cod Times is looking for an ombudsman. I think that would be a perfect job for me.

I put a third coat on the first side of my desk top. It still doesn't look as good as I like. Tomorrow I will try the third coat on the second side, and see how that looks.

This afternoon we have both the discussion group and the regular sangha sitting for the Cape Sangha. I am looking forward to that.

9:30 p.m.: It sure got cold quickly. The car doors were frozen shut. But I managed to get it, get it started and get to the sangha. The discussion group was excellent. We had 12 people there. Then the regular sangha started and there were 17 people -- that includes some of the same people, but not all. It was a gratifying turnout on such a cold and snowy day.

In the evening I watched West Wing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Rain and wind

11 a.m.: I slept in again this morning, but -- with Barbara's encouragement -- I returned to my cushion and did my morning meditation at 10:30. It is a cold rainy day, which got me a little discourages. Fortunately the meditation cheered m up, as it always does.

I was wondering what to say at the Martin Luther King Day observance in Wellfleet. Then I received a message from Joanne Friday, my Buddhist mentor, and she included a copy of remarks she made at a similar event last year. I hope to use some excerpts from it in my own talk. I asked for Joanne's permission.

6 p.m.: I am still working on painting the new desk top I made for my college office. I am putting high-gloss enamel on composition board. Unfortunately, the uneven surface of the board is still showing through. Today I put the second coat on the first side. I think I will need to sand it thoroughly and add a third coat until it is smooth enough to be a desk top. We also took care of business today, going over all our bills and checking to see where we stand. As usual, we need to spend less or earn more, The good news is that I just got a raise, although I am not sure how much it will end up being.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

9 a.m.: Fortunately I am not a victim of Paraskevidekatriaphobia. That's fear of Friday the 13th.

I had a nightmare last night and had a hard time sleeping. So I ended up sleeping in this morning until after 8 a.m. So much for my 6 a.m. routine. Oh well. I do the best I can.

I checked the sales of my book on Amazon.com, and it is climbing up the best-seller list. It's not exactly in the top 10, but it has made it into the top 100,000. It has been anywhere from 240,000 to over 1,000,000. But today it is down to 81,966, which is the lowest it has ever been, indicating that a lot more people are buying it this semester. That makes me very happy.

(158 /179)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Busy Thursday

7 p.m.: I got up and did my morning meditation at 6. Good for me.
Weight Watchers was a big disappointment. I gained one pound. I followed the diet well, but still did not lose. The only way I can do better, the leader said, was to be sure to drink all the water and milk they recommend. After that, I went to work and had some advising appointments. My office is still being fixed up, and they just waxed the floor, so I could not move back yet. I worked out of a different office. I had lunch with Alison and Jessi, and returned to do more work. I met with a former student, Pam, who is applying to grad school . Then at 4 I attended a meeting of the Cape Cod Interfaith Coalition. It was a very successful meeting.

The Weight Watchers scale said I was 180, although my home scale has been saying 175. I think I'll adjust my home scale to match theirs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Weary Wednesday

10 p.m.: I was very tired this morning, rolled over and slept until 10 a.m.
In the afternoon, I went to my office and made some measurements for a new desk top I am building. I came home and sawed the wood and put on a first coat of enamel. It should be pretty good looking when it is done. In the evening we watched The Wedding Crashers, which has to be the worst movie I have ever seen. It sounded like it was written by second graders.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

NCBI workshop

7 a.m.: We all got up to go for a walk along the shore at 6:30. My blood sugar continues to decline, which is great news!
10 p.m.: The Walk along the shore was beautiful. Breakfast was good. The workshop was excellent, and the drive back home in the evening went well. As a colleague said, it was one of those days that felt like it was several days long. I am very excited about the potential of the NCBI program. I al also exhausted after the day-long workshop learning about it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Road trip!

7 a.m.: I got up about 6 this morning and did my morning meditation. Yesterday was a very spiritual day. I guess it was the combination of meditating twice at the sangha and the long talk with Dan, who teaches philosophy and religion at the college.

Today I have to get ready to drive my teammates up to the NCBI conference. I am looking forward to it.

I have successfully completed four days (Thursday through Sunday) on the Weight Watchers diet without any hardship. I have not felt hungry. I also do not think I have lost any weight, but the key number is the weigh-in at the meeting next Thursday. My blood sugar was better yesterday, and I hope that is the start of a trend.

5 p.m.: The trip up to Lynn went very well. We ran into some traffic near Boston, and I decided to take an alternate route near the airport where I went yesterday. It worked out very well. We are all settled in a lovely b&b on the waterfront.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mindful Sunday

11 a.m.: I try to make every Sunday a Day of Mindfulness.
This morning I did not get up at 6, but slept until 9:30!
I am a little sore from yesterday's three-mile run.
Today I want to do more reading about NCBI -- the National Coalition Building Institute. I am attending a workshop about it Monday and Tuesday.

2 p.m.: This afternoon my son Ben send me a not that he found my book, The Elements of News Writing, mentioned in a course outline at San Jose State University. The professor there adopted my journalism textbook and said, "It's a new book that I like a lot." That really made my day! I sent the professor an email telling him so. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0205386512/qid=1098023595/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-6304972-2938318?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

I also got to read about the NCBI. I am very impressed with the wonderful things this organization does to resolve conflicts.

11 p.m.: I had a good time at the sangha. An old friend, Andy, from the days when the sangha met at our house was there. We had some excellent meditations and a little discussion. After that I drove up to Boston and picked up my friend Dan, who was arriving from a week in Scotland. It was great to have the time to talk with Dan. We are both so busy it seems we don't get as much time to talk as we used to.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sunny Saturday

7 a.m.: Today is supposed to be bright and sunny, but rather cold -- in the 20s and 30s . It looks like the warmest time of the day will be about 3 p.m. I'll plan to go for a run then. I also hope to clean the van and take care of some business. I got up at 6 again, and I have been keeping to my Weight Watchers diet for two days. That feels good.

1 p.m.: It's been a fun day. I used our new sound system, which has an old-fashioned record player, to listen to some good old vinyl records. I put on Revolver by the Beatles, Pass It On by Bill and Taffy and The Kingston Trio At Large by the Kingston Trio, from the '60s, '70s and early '60s, respectively. They brought back a lot of good memories. That title song, "Pass It On" by Bill and Taffy, and the one right before it, "Friends" are my all-time favorites. I would like them played at my funeral. I wish I could find digital versions, since the record is a little warped. After listening to the music, we cleaned out the van, and it looks terrific, at least on the inside. I was not about to wash it in 30-degree weather. Now I am getting ready to go for a run.

4 p.m.: Yes! Good for me! I went for a terrific three-mile run from the Getty Station in Yarmouthport to Gray's Beach and back. I included the beautiful boardwalk that goes out over the tidal flats at the beach. It was a beautiful run. Of course it took me over half an hour, so I was only running about an 11-minute pace, but at least I am back on the roads again. It feels terrific. My mind was in a very meditative state. It was definitely half an hour of running meditation.

Photo of Gray's Beach boardwalk by Walter Brooks for eCape, Inc. http://capecodtravel.com/gallery/yarmouth/index0002.shtml

185/174) Running: 3 miles

Friday, January 06, 2006

Busy Friday

7:30 a.m.: I have a busy day coming up today. I am glad I got up at 6 and did my meditation. I also did some exercises (sit-ups and push-ups). Still not running. I hope to re-start my running tomorrow. I had my regular Kashi breakfast, which is 7 points on the Weight Watchers scale.
7 p.m.: In the morning I had to drop off my little car because of a bad muffler or tail pipe, and pick up the van, which needed a tune-up in order to pass inspection. Then I did some work at the office and had lunch with my friend Donna. After lunch I returned to the office and finished clearing out my office so they can remove the carpet and install tiles on Monday and Tuesday.

(189 /174)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New diet day

7:30 a.m.: I got up at 6 and meditated.
Today I start Weight Watchers. I shouldn't call it a diet. They like to say it is a "live-it" or a new lifestyle. In any case, I will be weighing in once a week and recording everything I eat. It has worked for me before, but only as long as I stick to the program. I think it will work even better for me this time for several reasons. For one thing, the new medicine, Byetta, is curbing my appetite. Also, I am very discouraged about my weight, and I will feel much better if I can get rid of this big belly. And, most important of all, dropping some weight should lower my blood glucose levels. I weigh about 172 today, and I plan to go down to 145 in a few months.

9 p.m.: The Weight Watcher scale said I weigh 179, not 172, but I am not concerned about that difference. As long as I follow the program and lose weight, it will be just fine. I get 24 points a day, plus 35 extra "flex points" per week, or an average of five per day, so I can actually eat 29 points per day. Today I ate 24.5 points, using up only one half of my weekly flex points. I am not hungry.

The Interfaith Coalition's bylaws committee met this afternoon, and I think we finally hashed out a good plan to present to the whole group next Thursday.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sleepy Wednesday

10 a.m.: After watching the Orange Bowl football game until 1 a.m. I was exhausted. I slept until nearly 9 a.m. Barbara took the trash to the dump in the van while I ate breakfast so that we could then leave the van at the repair shop to get its emission-control system fixed. Later today I have an appointment to donate blood at a Red Cross Blood Drive.

The blood donation went well. The nurses had to check to make sure my Byetta was all right to take when donating blood. They decided it is fine. Later Barbara and I reorganized the Sangha library -- the books on Buddhism I lend to sangha members. We pared down he collection to fit in a smaller bookcase that I will bring into the classroom where we meet. Then we moved the bigger bookcase into the library, which is now has bookcases on almost all the wall space. It is beginning to look like a real library. I wonder how many books I own.
I watched a little of the Rose Bowl Game, but I got tired and went to bed before it was over. I just hope Texas does not win. George Bush has soured me on Texas.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Stormy Tuesday

7 a.m.: The National Weather Service is calling for a big storm in New England today, but it will be mainly rain over Cape Cod. I guess I'll just go about my regular plans, which include getting the van inspected this morning and having a couple of meetings at the college. This evening I want to watch the Orange Bowl football game, since Penn State is playing, and they are the No. 3 team in the nation this year.
I did get up for my morning meditation this morning. Now I just need to find a way to get back on my exercise routine.

Well, the van failed the inspection because of an air-pollution control issue, but Penn State did win the Orange Bowl. When I went to grad school at Penn State, we lived in graduate housing just down the street from the Penn State Nittany Lion Stadium. We couldn't afford tickets to the games, but we sure could hear them. Sometimes the Goodyear blimp floated over our apartment before game time.
Public Service Announcement: A Nittany Lion is a kind of mountain lion (cougar, puma, panther or painter) that once lived on Mount Nittany, a small mountain that rises in the middle of Happy Valley, where Penn State is located.
Anyway, the Orange Bowl game went on for five hours until the Lions finally pulled off a victory in the third overtime period. They beat Florida State 26-23. I stayed up until 1 a.m. watching it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

First Monday

Well, I did not get up at 6 to meditate and run. I was so tired I just slept in. Now I have to forgive myself for that and move on.
I went into the college about 9 and caught up on a little work. I did some preparation for the National Coalition Building Institute meeting next week and went through some of the stacks on top of my desk.
I had lunch with my friend Steve and then went to the mall, where I picked up a stereo system I have been eying for quite some time. It usually sells for $150 to $170, but I got it on clearance for $99. We hooked it up, and it sounds terrific. It's a one-piece unit that replaces five separate components we have been using for nearly 30 years. They didn't work any more anyway.

At dinner last nihgt I realized I had forgotten to take my Byetta injection before eating. The instructions say to just skip it until the next meal. Darn! I would like to keep on track with that. After dinner I watched a little football -- the Fiesta Bowl -- Ohio State beat Nortre Dame.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sunrise at Fort Hill

Photo by Barbara J. Kershner

We began this year as we have for the last 10 or 15 years by watching the sunrise at Fort Hill in Eastham. It was heavily overcast, but finally the yellow sun peaked through the clouds, and it was beautiful. Barbara's photo of the sunrise captured it perfectly.

Perhaps in the new year some rays of sunshine will break through the cloudiness that has characterized so much of 2005. I hope so.

The sangha was lovely. At first only Tommie and I were there, and I suggested she only put out six chairs because I didn't' expect many people on New Year's Day. But to my surprise there were 13 folks when all was said and done. We had a good meeting.

I was very tired by the end of the day.