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I will be entering cat hell again from for the next week. House sitting my cousin’s seven cats. Hope the following can entertained you until my return. Unless my next stop is an asylum.

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1) Thursday being Cinco de Mayo I watched my favorite mariachi band:

2) Mother’s Day – Anita Renfroe keeping Mother’s Day realz

In Tha Muthahood

3) World In Pictures

A man walks past the outside wall of the ‘Art In The Streets’ exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The exhibit is the first major historical exhibition of graffiti and street art to be organized by an American museum. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Young South Korean monks stand on a platform under lanterns at the Chogye temple in Seoul to celebrate Buddha’s upcoming birthday. (Ahn Young-oon/AP)

Mexico City, Mexico: Girls dressed as revolutionary soldiers from the Zacapoaxtla tribe chat during the Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Photograph: Reuters)

A long exposure picture shows Japanese red-crowned cranes sleeping in their winter roost on a river lightened under the nearly full moon at Kushiro, an eastern city in Hokkaido, a northern island in Japan as temperatures lie at around -20C. The cranes overwinter on a river that does not freeze to protect themselves from their natural enemies like foxes, weasels, crows, Steller’s sea eagles, white-tailed eagles and others. The estimated population of the red-crowned crane lies between 2,000 and 2,500 birds, with habitats in northern Japan, north-eastern China, Mongolia, Korean Peninsula and eastern Russia. The population on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is estimated at about 1,200 cranes. So far it appears that the Japan disaster has not had any adverse effects on the animals’ habitat on Hokkaiko (Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)

4) Guardian slide show of winners in the Royal Geographical Societies Travel Photographer of the Year contest: http://tinyurl.com/6yu2xe5

The Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest mud brick building in the world. Photograph by Larry Louie, Canada, overall winner of Travel Photographer of the Year 2010.

A sadhu making his way out of a cloud of colours during the Holi festival in India. Photograph by Poras Chaudary, India, special mention in Best Single Image in a Portfolio – Encounters category.

“This was shot just after a sunset on the roof of a palace at Shugruf village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen. No extra lighting was used. The sun has just set (see the top right corner of the image) and mist has started to rise from the valley below.” Photograph by Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia, winner of Best Single Image in a Portfolio – Amazing Places category.

Four mountains seen across the Greenland ice cap illuminated by the midnight sun during a British mountaineering expedition to Knud Rasmussen Land. Photograph by Quintin Lake, UK, winner of ‘Portfolio – Amazing Places’ category.

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I woke up to another beautiful Spring day, two in row. “The sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses.” This is the song stuck in my brain:

1) The World In Pictures

A young boy takes a nap during a break at Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea. A group of children entered the temple, the main temple of Korean Buddhism’s Chogye Order, to experience a monk’s life for a month to celebrate Buddha’s birthday on May 10. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

Sana’a, Yemen: A girl holding a balloon sits on the ground next to a guard shortly before the arrival of President Saleh to deliver a speech to supporters (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

A young Jewish man prays in the gas chamber of the Auschwitz Death Camp before the March of the Living in Oswiecim, southern Poland. Thousands of people from around the world take part in the annual March of the Living paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the former Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
(Bela Szandelszky/AP)

2) Earth Landscapes from Space

This image shows the landscape of the Gedo region in south-west Somalia. This spectacular and varied scenery that includes rocky mountains, red and white sand dunes and gorges – lies some 400km west of Mogadishu and 800km north of Nairobi (European Space Agency)

This unusual landscape called Wadi Rum is in south-west Jordan, where mountains of granite and sandstone rise next to valleys filled with red sand. Some mountains reach 1,700 metres (5,600ft) above sea level, and many have near-vertical slopes. So alien is this landscape, it is nicknamed Valley of the Moon, yet nomadic people have lived here for thousands of years. It was declared a protected area in 1998. In the top-right of this image you can see circles where irrigation fields lie. Lawrence of Arabia, who fought in the Arab Revolt of 1917-1918, made frequent references to Wadi Rum in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A prominent feature of the protected area is named after the book and several of its sites bear his name (NASA)

3) You knows its a great day when the memories that visit you are thoughts of love. These words wandered into my brain, I played with them a bit. Poetry kicked started my day:

As the waves roll in
they the caress the shore

As the clouds roll by
then embrace the land

As my eyes kiss your skin
love swells my heart

As my spirit soars
its song fills my soul

Spring Haiku – Abhinav Baruah

“Whirlpools of hilly Spring River
Thump and dance on adamant rock bed
Dimple of my smiling dream girl”

Spring is finally showing its face in Connecticut. A few clouds, a few rain drops, but I just might be able to put away my heavy coat.

Had a great walk in the park today.

Nature Trail

What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “Spring”?

1) Weekend In Pictures

Modern Art in farm land – Lisse, Netherlands: Fields of tulips and other colourful flowers are seen from the air.

Love this pic from the Guardian. Moscow, Russia: Children hold candles during an Easter service

You know you luck is going bad when this is your blind date.

Mexican tattoo and body modification artist Maria Jose Cristerna, also known as “Mujer Vampiro” (Vampire Woman), attends an exhibition in Guadalajara, Saturday.

It has been a few year since my body was a bendy as this little girl’s.

A girl undergoes physical conditioning during a ballet training session at Feier Angel dance training centre in Beijing Saturday. About 100 girls, mostly between the ages of 3 and 7, learn ballet at the center.

2) At his New Mexico ranch, former Green Beret Rick Iannucci invites war veterans, suffering from Post Turmatic Stress Disorder, and other problems, to work with horses and heal his wounds.

From the People Making A Difference blog on the Christian Science Monitor – http://tinyurl.com/63np5zq

“Rick Iannucci, director of Cowboy Up!, a horse therapy program for combat veterans, keeps a little notebook with quotations in the back pocket of his jeans.

As he searches for words to explain how working with horses helps heal war-torn veterans, he pulls it out and reads aloud the words of Winston Churchill, who served in the Boer War: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

A Christian Science Monitor video of Iannuucci’s The Crossed Arrows Ranch, and his “Cowboy Up” program.

Easter by Joyce Kilmer

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings
The happy earth looks at the sky
and sings.

1) In Pictures – Holy Week

Penitents carry a figure of Christ on the cross during the procession of the ‘Cristo de la buena muerte’ brotherhood, during Holy Week in Zamora, northern Spain. Hundreds of processions take place throughout Spain during the Easter Holy Week.
(I.Lopez/AP)

Orthodox Christian nuns stand in the Jordan River during a ceremony for the upcoming holiday of Easter at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud, where it is believed John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ, near the West Bank city of Jericho. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Young women pray at the Sevtitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia (David Mdzinarishvili,Reuters)

2) I will be spending Easter Sunday with my cousin and her son. I find the passion with which Christians celebrate Easter to be deeply moving. We don’t have to believe a story to feel the passion in its telling.

If someone from another planet asked you what is Easter what would you answer?

“In Christ Alone” music video featuring scenes from “The Passion of the Christ”. It is sung by Lou Fellingham of Phatfish and the writer of the hymn is Stuart Townsend.

“Dreams” by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Do you have any recurring dreams, either when you are alseep or when you are awake?

1) World In Pictures

A goose wearing an ‘identification card’ around its neck walks down a hutong (small alley) next to its owner in central Beijing. The goose is a regular sight in the alley since it goes for a walk each morning with it’s owner who adopted the stray goose a few years ago. (David Gray/Reuters)

Devotees carrying chariots participate in the Chariot Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Chariot Festival is celebrated by the Newar community. People wear colorful hats and carry chariots of Goddess Kankeshwori, Shankata and Bhadrakali. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

A Colombian amputee soldier, victim of a land mine, walks through a shoe installation marking International Day for Landmine Awareness at Simon Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia. As part of the event, more than 9,000 shoes, each bearing the name of a land mine victim, were placed in the main square of the South American capital. Colombia is second to Afghanistan as the nation with the largest number of victims. (Fernando Vergara/AP)

2) Art in Science. Guardian slide show – Satellite eye on Earth: March 2011 http://tinyurl.com/6dshbqt

Tassili n’Ajjer national park covers 72,000 square kilometres (27,800 square miles) in south-eastern Algeria. Part of the Sahara Desert, the park has a bone-dry climate with scant rainfall, yet does not blend in with Saharan dunes. Instead, the rocky plateau rises above the surrounding sand seas. Rich in geologic and human history, Tassili n’Ajjer is a Unesco world heritage site (Photograph: Landsat-7/NASA)

The Tian Shan – “celestial mountains” in Chinese – is one of the largest continuous mountain ranges in the world, extending approximately 2,500 kilometres roughly east-west across Central Asia. This astronaut photograph provides a view of the central Tian Shan, about 64km (40 miles) east of where the borders of China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan meet. Two types of glaciers are visible in the image; cirque glaciers occupy amphitheatre-like depressions on the upper slopes of the mountains, and feed ice downslope to aggregate into large valley glaciers such as the one at image center. Low clouds obscure an adjacent valley and glaciers to the north (upper left). Two high peaks of the central Tian Shan are identifiable in the image. Xuelian Feng has a summit of 6,527 metres (21,414 feet) above sea level. To the east, the aptly-named Peak 6231 has a summit 6,231m (20,443ft) above sea level (Photograph: ISS/NASA)

Holbox Island and the Yalahau Lagoon on the north-east corner of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (Photograph: Kompsat-2/KARI/ESA)

1) Words

a. Tomb of the Unknown – 2011 “Followed the Golden Rule. Obeyed every law. Never the hint of a scandal. No remembers her name.” Non Sequitur comic strip.

What do you want your epithet to say?

b. Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

All beings quiver before violence.
All beings fear death.
All beings love life.
Remember that you are like them.
As they are like you.
Then whom would you hurt?
What harm would you do?
He who seeks happiness
By hurting others who seek happiness
Will never find happiness.
Not in the sky,
Nor in the depths of the sea,
Nor in the deepest mountains,
Can you hide from your misdeeds.

2) Pictures

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Buddhists monks lead prayers during a special ‘pooja’ wishing success to the Sri Lankan team ahead of the Cricket World Cup final match against India.
[In the US priest pray for the Catholic school Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish. It is good to know that people everywhere have the same priorities 🙂 ]

Aksai, Kazakhstan: School pupils stand by ballot boxes as a voter leaves a polling station during presidential elections (Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

1)

Dadabili, Nigeria: Crude oil spills from a pipeline. The country postponed national parliamentary elections after voting materials failed to arrive in many areas (Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

It was the start of lambing season as newborn lambs sleep on fresh straw at Barracks Farm, Fetcham, Surrey, UK (Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

3) News

I Had to put the belt up a notch this morning. Then I read this story. I could have gone for a workout. Felt depressed and had a donut instead. 🙂

It should be noted that Charles Eugster was already rowing six times a week at 80, so his version of looking like a wreck is a little different from mine. By his standards I am the Titantic of fitness. 🙂

From an article in the Guardian – http://tinyurl.com/43oryxy

“My personal trainer and I are always getting into arguments about what part of my body needs the most work. I’m not happy with my abs – I have the remains of a small spare tyre – but she says my bottom is a catastrophe because it’s so flat. What we both agree on is that bodies can be remodelled, no matter how old you are.”

[Ninty-one and he has a personal trainer, I hate him already 🙂 ]

“Then at 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror one day, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me where muscle used to be. I looked like a wreck. I started to consider the fact that I was probably going to die soon. I knew I was supposed to slow down, but I’m vain. I missed my old body and wanted to be able to strut across the beach, turning heads.”

[He’s 91 and talking about struting across the beach turning heads. Now I hate him less. 🙂 ]

“There’s no research into bodybuilding for the over-80s, so it’s been an experiment. With weight-lifting and protein shakes, my body began to change. It became broader, more v-shaped, and my shoulders and biceps became more defined. People began to comment on how much younger I looked, and my new muscular frame drew a lot of admiring glances from women.

Everything I learned was tailored to help my body cope with old age. I took up judo to teach me how to fall properly. My circulation and posture improved, and I was told that there was a chance more muscle mass could protect my brain from Alzheimer’s. I stopped thinking about dying. As I approached 90, my focus was on getting my body back.”

[Now he is talking about, at 90, drawing admiring glances from women. Any women glancing at me are getting ready to call 911 🙂 ]

In 2008, I signed up for my first championship. I was nervous, but although I was the oldest contestant by around 20 years, everyone was very welcoming. I got higher scores than all the women taking part, and a lot of the men. Then, at last year’s event in Germany, I triumphed, scoring higher than any contestant in any age category for my 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds. As I’m over 70, they did make allowances – I could do the push-ups on my knees, for example – but I proved I wasn’t past it.

[Sixty-one chin-ups? 50 push-ups? At 90! Now I hate him again. 🙂 ]

“I’m not chasing youthfulness. I’m chasing health. People have been brainwashed to think that after you’re 65, you’re finished. We’re told that old age is a continuous state of decline, and that we should stop working, slow down and prepare to die. I disagree. To me, a 65-year-old is young. I turn 92 this year. It is a frightening prospect – the law of averages is against me, and, yes, one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I’m going to carry on working on my abs.”

[Now I love him again 🙂 ]

1) O Me! O life! by Walt Whitman

O Me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

2) World in Pictures

Valletta, Malta: A child waits to disembark from a boat in Malta’s Maramxett harbour after a three-day crossing from Libya. More than 500 Eritreans and Somalis arrived in two large wooden boats on Monday (Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)Wales, UK: A view of Llyn Dinas, in Snowdonia national park, for which the National Trust is launching its biggest countryside appeal for more than a decade to buy (Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

An religious offering of food and alcoholic drinks placed on a mat with chopsticks and glasses sits on the bank of the partially frozen Songhua River in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province.
(David Gray/Reuters)

New Delhi, India: Tribal people from Orissa state wait for their turn to perform at the Indigenous Peoples’ Conclave (Photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP)

What is the most exotic location you have been to?

3) Two very interesting videos, for two very different reasons:

a. Mandelbox trip

b. The Kelly Family with little Angelo getting his grove on

A village girl in the outskirt of Kolkata,India (Photo by Saibal Gupta)

1) My Daughter’s First Week – by Gennady Aygi

the quietness
where the child is–seems uneven
within limits–of fragile lightshadows: emptiness!–for
the world Grows
in her–to Listen
to Itself
in its Fullness

2) In Pictures – Children of the World – March 2011

A boy plays cricket outside his home near the R Premadasa stadium before Tuesday’s first semi final of the cricket world cup between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Colombo (Philip Brown/Reuters)

An Afghan refugee youth looks on while standing in an alley of a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. (Nathalie Bardou/AP)

Sana’a, Yemen: A girl among the women praying during an anti-government rally. (Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Question – In thrity years what kind of a world will the children of the young people pictured above inherit? A better place? A worse place?

1) “A Man may make a Remark” by Emily Dickson

A Man may make a Remark –
In itself – a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature – lain –

Let us divide – with skill –
Let us discourse – with care –
Powder exists in Charcoal –
Before it exists in Fire –

2) From the Week In Wildlife Guardian slideshow – http://tinyurl.com/47cayvr

An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders have climbed into the trees to escape the rising flood waters. Because the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders webs. People in this part of Sindh report that there are now less mosquitos than they would normally expect. (Photograph: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development)

A trio of striped hyena cubs at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters on 24 March in Nairobi where they have lived since they were rescued a month ago. The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) is considered threatened in many parts of Africa. It has been widely hunted with dogs, poisoned or caught in traps (Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

3) While idiots like Charlie Sheen give Hollywood a bad name, it’s actors like Sean Penn who show that entertainers, like all groups of people, are doing what they can to make the world better.

Who is a celebrate that you respect for the work they are doing to make the world better?

From an article in the New York Times, by Zoe Heller, about the work Sean Penn has been doing in Haiti.
http://tinyurl.com/4h5kwsz

“On a hot morning in January, at the Pétionville Internally Displaced Person camp in suburban Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a four-wheel dirt bike pulled up outside the tent hospital, bearing an elderly woman with a deep gash in her cheek. While a group of medics assisted the patient inside, Sean Penn ambled over from under a tree where he had been having a meeting with one of his camp workers. He walked with a slightly bowlegged cowboy gait, a walkie-talkie crackling at his waistband, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Having glanced into the tent and ascertained that the situation was in hand, he turned his rather dour gaze on a newly arrived reporter.”

“The Pétionville camp, which Penn’s aid group, J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), has been running since last March, sits on the golf course of a former country club. (Some of the old staff can still be found lurking in the clubhouse, gazing out at the devastation like Alpatych, the loyal retainer in “War and Peace,” after the army has laid waste to his master’s estate.)

Since the first homeless Haitians started arriving here in the days following the quake, the camp has grown into a vast tent city of 50,000. It now has a school, a market, two hospitals, a movie theater, countless salons de beaute and its own red-light district. As Penn led the way along the former golf-cart trails, past women lathering themselves up over basins of water and men playing dominos, he delivered a lecture on the issues facing post-earthquake Haiti. It was a rapid-fire, digressive monologue, studded with the acronyms of the aid world — P.A.H.O., W.H.O., C.R.S., O.C.H.A. — and ranging over a broad number of topics: the merits of the controversial cholera vaccine, the report from the Organization of American States on the November elections, the damaging effects of UV rays on tent tarps, the complex but fundamentally noble character of President Réne Préval, the relative merits of guns over fire extinguishers as defensive weapons. (Penn sometimes carries a Glock, but the fire extinguisher, he claims, is a far more efficient tool for crowd control.)

After about 45 minutes, we reached the western edge of the camp and began climbing a series of steep slopes. Penn broke off from what he was saying and turned to point out the view. Before us lay the patchwork sprawl of the camp, the battered cityscape of Port-au-Prince and, in the smoggy distance, mountains and ocean. “Look at that!” he said. “It’s beautiful, right? Right? That’s the thing! You get the air cleaned up in this city, and it’d be extraordinary. And the whole country’s like this — more so, even. That’s why I never have a doubt — nee-e-ver have a doubt — that this country can be successful. It’s too tangible, too containable to not do it. And the change is going to come of this earthquake.”

The commanders of the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division who were using the Pétionville Country Club as their operational base when Penn first turned up there had their initial doubts about fraternizing with a bolshie movie star, but they have since become ardent J/P HRO boosters. “What surprised me the most about Sean,” says Lt. Gen. P. K. “Ken” Keen, military deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command, “was how he went about learning the humanitarian assistance business. There was no ‘how-to’ book for that. You want to get stuff through the transportation networks? You want to get stuff out of the warehouses? You want to collaborate with the U.N.? How do you do all that? He was always willing to listen, learn and work with everyone.”

Brad Horwitz, the founder and C.E.O. of the communications company Comcel, Haiti’s largest U.S. investor, has provided J/P HRO with logistical support and all manner of resources over the last year. “Sean’s politics and mine are completely opposed,” he says. “His go left. Mine go right. But politics are kind of irrelevant in this. Comcel can only pick so many horses to back, and J/P HRO have shown real staying power. He’s been very good at figuring out and managing relationships. He’s also been extraordinarily efficient in using the resources he gets. I know if I provide J/P HRO with stuff, it won’t get wasted.”

Perhaps most telling of all is the respect that Penn has earned from seasoned aid workers. Dr. Louise Ivers, who is chief of mission for Partners in Health, Haiti, says of Penn: “His newness to this work has actually helped him in some ways. He doesn’t have misconceptions about what works and what doesn’t. He sees a problem, he talks to people, and he figures out solutions. As clichéd as it sounds, I think he really gives a damn about the Haitian people.”

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. This is how spring came to CT, about 2″ worth:

1) World in pictures from the first weekend of Spring

Afghan children play as they eat ice lollies in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Dar Yasin/AP)

A man smeared with colored powdered called abeer makes a funny face during Phagwa celebrations at the Savannah in Arranguez. Phagwa, or Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colours, celebrates the beginning of spring. (Andrea De Silva/Reuters)

Revellers stand beside St Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor watching the “Super moon”, a full, or new moon that coincides with a close approach by the Moon to the Earth.
(ArtPhotograph: Ben Birchall/PA)

Ultra-Orthodox Jews belonging to the Vishnitz Hassidic sect celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim in Bnei Brak, Israel. Photograph (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Kabul: An Afghan girl poses for a photograph at the Sakhi shrine, during Nowruz, Often known as Persian New Year, Nowruz is an ancient festival marking the spring equinox (Photograph: Dar Yasin/AP)

2) My favorite peom of Spring. Only E.E. Cummings could imagine words like mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.

What is a favorite song, or poem, that says Spring to you?

Chansons Innocentes: I by E.E. Cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and
the
goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

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