Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fish

For christmas I went to my church. I can't remember when I was last there - other than a few funerals. Christmas 2010? It was busy. We were forced to sit in the side aisle. Diagonally in front of me a window high with three overlapping circles.
For Christians this triquetra is the symbol for the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Saturday I saw for the first time that two overlapping parts represent the symbol of a 'fish'. In Greek 'fish' is 'Ichthys': an acronym for 'Iesous CHristos THeou Yios Soter'. Translated in English as 'Jesus Christ God's Son and Saviour'. Do you see the 3 fish too - I coloured one of them blue? 
One image. And a lot of secrets for those who have the eyes to "see":
  • Blessed trinity. 3 circles and 3 fish
  • Message of acronym 'Ichthys'. Jesus is the son of God and our saviour 
  • Identification. Distinguish Christian friends from foes. A friend knows what the fish represents
  • Invitation. Jesus wants you to be a fisher of men
  • Plenty. Multiplication of loaves and fish to feed the multitude  
  • Trust. Follow Jesus and he will to take care for fish (with a coin in its mouth) to pay for ...
  • ... - there must be more

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Los Reyes Magos

In a few days we will celebrate Jesus' birthday. Again. [Footnote] 

Remember the story? Pregnant Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem. No place to sleep. Cold night. Jesus born in a barn. Visiting shepherds. Couple of days later the arrival of three wise kings, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In Dutch the '3 Wise Kings' are named the '3 Wijzen en/ of Koningen uit het Oosten'. Translated in English '3 Wise Men and/ or Kings from the East'. Last week I discovered something strange. Strange to me. In Spanish these 3 men are called 'Los Reyes Magos de Oriente'. Translated in English the 'Magos Kings from the East'. In Spanish these three Kings (Reyes) from the East are 'Magos': wizards, magicians or wise men. They have added a connotation of sorcery or magic. Very strange to my Dutch ears. New to me!

Back to the sources. What does the Bible say - in the New Revised Standard Version? Gospel of Matthew 2: 1-12 [bold added by JD] 
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." (...) When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

The quote above is the only source in the Bible giving an account of some 'wise men' paying homage to the new king of the Jews. There were three gifts but this source doesn't tell that there were three men. They could have been kings but that's not for sure. They were "wise men". The original Greek text speaks of 'magos'. These 'magos' visited Jesus.

What are 'Magos'? Who were they? They were Zoroastrian priests. As part of their religion these priests paid particular attention to the stars. They were astrologists. People who think that there's a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. Their practice of predicting seasons, events and people's lives made them not only wise but wizards and magicians too.

Quote Wikipedia on 'Magi':
The word mágos (Greek) and its variants appears in both the Old and New Testaments. Ordinarily this word is translated "magician" in the sense of illusionist or fortune-teller, and this is how it is translated in all of its occurrences except for the Gospel of Matthew, where it is rendered "wise man".

Summarized. Who visited Jesus a couple a days later? 'Magos' from the East paying homage to Jesus and offering him three gifts. 'Magos' who themselves observed the star of Jesus. A star that they followed until it stopped over the place where Jesus was. I guess the translator in Dutch and English were afraid that we could not carry the (painful?) truth that young Jesus was visited by illusionists or fortune-tellers. The 'magos' had to be wise. 'Magos' as scientific astronomers and not vague astrologists.

What a lovely treasure :) to unfold. Remember my image of last week: "language is for me like a handful of stones"? Don't you think so too?

Footnote. Better: In a few days "we" - people inspired by the Christian culture - will celebrate Jesus of Nazareth's birthday. Not all individuals of species 'homo sapiens' join this party. More exact, most people on planet Earth don't celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday. Nor Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Decem rain

Language is for me like a handful of stones. Ordinary. Always at hand use. There's little treasures when we take a closer look. 

A few weeks ago I learned my two daughters could count in Spanish to 20. Next to that we rehearsed counting to twelve in English, German, French and Italian.
I showed them something special. A little treasure hidden in the way Dutch name their months. 'September', 'October', 'November' and 'December' are derived from the Latin words for 7, 8, 9 and 10. Someone has added 2.
The 9th month 'September' - of the Julian Calender - is derived from the Latin word 'Septem' = '7'.  Julius Ceasar (100-44 BC) ) added 2 in 45 BC. Why? Because his Calender starts with 'January' and not with 'March'.

Another treasure when we take a closer look at the months. Julius Caesar named the 7th month after him. So did Caesar Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD) with the 8th month. For the rest the names of the months are unchanged for more than 2,500 years.
It's raining on my part of planet Earth. December rain. Decem :) rain.

Did you find treasures lately?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bridge

The bridge the two of us cross every time is English. It's our lingua franca with which we talk and write. It's not your mother tongue. Nor it's mine.

When I started talking and writing to you years and years ago I sometimes wished your mother tongue would be Dutch too. Because we would be able to communicate deeper. With more finesse. But it's not. So let's face the facts. 

Next to that English is planet Earth's lingua franca. More exact: it's species 'homo sapiens' present day lingua franca. Since the 1750s.

For me it's sometimes tough to write in English. I cannot always find the exact words for what I think and feel. (More honest: sometimes I can't in Dutch either.) But like so many activities in my life it's something I'm getting better at by just using it every day. Using it.

Another language isn't some software or app we download and install. It's a craft we learn by doing it. Doing it a lot.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Everyone's the same

He is only one year senior to me. In a way I grew older with him. With his music. Every now and then, over the past 30 years, I  heard his songs on the radio. Music. Just background music. Busy doing whatever one does living his life. 

This week his song 'Cowboys and Angels' (1991) touched me. To be honest it is the first song of his that touched me at all.  

For me 'Club Tropicana' (1983) is George Michael's (born 1963) best song. Fresh. Sexy. Tropical. New. Parody. How I loved that song when I heard it on the radio in the 1980s. Around Christmas (rest of year not) I love watching and listening to 'Last Christmas'. Snow. Holiday. Fresh. Romantic. Love: sweet and sour of it.

But 'Cowboys and Angels' touched me this week. Read the lyrics. Great lyrics!
-
When your heart's in someone else's hands
Monkey see and monkey do
Their wish is your command
You're not to blame
Everyone's the same
-
All you do is love and love is all you do
I should know by now, the way I fought for you
You're not to blame
Everyone's the same
-
I know you think that you're safe
Mister
Harmless deception
That keeps love at bay
It's the ones who resist that we most want to kiss
Wouldn't you say?
Cowboys and angels
They all have the time for you
Why should I imagine
That I'd be a find for you
Why should I imagine
That I'd have something to say
But that scar on your face
That beautiful face of yours
In your heart there's a trace
Of someone before
-
When your heart's in someone else's plans
Things you say and things you do
They don't understand
It's such a shame
Always ends the same
-
You can call it love but I don't think it's true
You should know by now
I'm not the boy for you
You're not to blame
Always ends the same
-
I know you think that you're safe
Sister
Harmless affection
That keeps things this way
It's the ones who persist for the sake of a kiss 
Who will pay
Cowboys and angels
They all take a shine to you
Why should I imagine that I was designed for you
Why should I believe 
That you would stay
-
But that scar on your face
That beautiful face of yours
Don't you think that I know
They've hurt you before
-
Take this man to your bed
Maybe his hands will help you to forget
Please be stronger than your past
The future may still give you a chance
-
I love these lines: "You think you are safe", "It's the ones who resist that we most want to kiss", "In your heart is a trace of someone before" and "Please be stronger (...) the future may still give you a chance".

I guess I'm sensitive for this song because it tells in a nutshell about the sweet and sour of love. The sweet - never a constraint. The sour - always a challenge.

Question: What song touched you last weeks - if any? Why?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happiness as 'Open of Heart. All senses sharp. Stripped of Unsavory.'

In a way we as species invented 'happiness'. The oldest definition on what a 'happy' life is, is the Homeric (3rd century BCE) definition of 'happiness' as 'luck'. More 

We do not know how our pre-historic ancestors defined happiness. Why not? Because they did not write down what they thought. How about other groups of our ancient ancestors who used written words, sentences, letters and books for nailing down what they thought important: record inventories, raising taxes or changing information with others? Did the ancient Egyptians have a word (or words) for 'happiness'? How did they define 'happiness'? After all they invented an alphabet (the oldest?) around 2700 BCE. That's more than 2,400 years before Homer! 

This year I invested time to find out what ancient Egypt's definition (or definitions?) of 'happiness'. I wrote a couple of e-mails to Egyptologists - never got a serious answer. Searching on the internet. Read three books for background information: Toby Wilkinson/ The rise and fall of ancient Egypt (2010), J. Vergote/ De godsdienst van het Oude Egypte (1987) and John Romer/ Ancient lives: the Story of the Pharaoh's Tombmakers (1991). 

The 'Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae' gives only one hit on 'happiness' or 'happy': pxA-jb. I checked out the three short references. Most interesting is Wilson, A Ptolemaic Lexikon (1997), page 364:  
Here 'pxA-jb' is translated as 'open of heart', a heart that is 'happy' or 'cheerful'. The earliest example of 'pxA-jb' is used by Thutmosis I (footnote). His reign dated from 1506 to 1493 BCE. He was a pharaoh - 18th dynasty - from the Ancient Egyptian's New Kingdom

Intermediate. Ancient Egyptian's definition of 'happiness'? 
  • Old Kingdom. No written word for 'happiness' 
  • Middle Kingdom. No written word for 'happiness' 
  • New Kingdom. 'pxA-jb' = Open of heart. A heart that is happy, cheerful, joyful, without sadness, all faculties sharpened. Perhaps brought by drinking wine or beer. A state where someone has all faculties sharpened, before he loses control. 
Wilson's addition (better: translation or interpretation) of "without sadness" fits with the ancient Egyptian concept of paradise. For them 'paradise' were the 'eternal reed fields' (Aaru). Fields very much like those of the earthly Nile. Ideal hunting and fishing ground. A place where the deceased was entertained by beautiful and perfect women, sailing trips, music and merriment with friends. And the 'sadness'? Work was done by serfs!

Hypothesis. Ancient Egypt's definition of 'happiness' = Open of Heart. All senses sharp. Stripped of all the Unsavory Aspects.

Question: Do you have better information on ancient Egypt's definition of happiness? Or is it just another stupid question?

Footnote. 'Urk IV 267,7' = Book IV, page 267, line 7 from 'Urkunden des ägyptischen Altertums'. Source

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I could ...

Nice and Warm. Temperature between 20-27 C. Nothing to do. Sand. Beach.

I could live here ... - not telling you.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Concrete jungle

Was it the sunlight coming from the right? Was it the white colour of the bridge? To be honest, I don't know. Suddenly I saw a circus 'caravan' passing again on Emmerich Rhine Bridge.
It happened more than 30 years ago. We drove back from a holiday in Germany to The Netherlands. I guess somewhere in the fall. It had been raining for quite some time. When we were near Emmerich the rain stopped. A little sun. Cars on the highway. Suddenly ... a giraffe! An elephant! And some other animals! A circus on the move. Going in the same direction as us.

What a surprise. How weird to see "wild" animals in the world of asphalt, concrete and steel. It was so bizarre. In a way it felt like a misfit to me. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Harvesting Clouds. No kidding

On Cape Verde - it's one of planet Earth's 194 countries - farmers harvest clouds. No kidding! :)
I travelled 5,000 km from The Netherlands to Cabo Verde, to find out, last week, that it's possible to harvest a cloud. How? Big nets make the fog condense into droplets of liquid water that fall into a gutter below. The water passes through a tube, arriving in a tank. Ready to be distributed.
 
Where? On the island of Santiago in the 'Serra Malagueta Natural Park' the mountains are being shroud in an almost year-round mist of 'stratocumulus'. The fog of these clouds are being used for fog collection.

How much does in gain? A couple of nets collect 1,000 litres of water a night. 

Old technology? Depends on your definition. Since the Stone Age 'homo sapiens' invented a couple of techniques to collect dew. Since the mid-1980s we invented modern ways to collect water from fog. The nets on Santiago on Cabo Verde are a spin-off of this development. 

Do you want to know or read more?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

pxA-jb

Did the ancient Egyptians have a special or distinct word for 'Happiness'? I still don't know. I've been searching the internet for an answer but did not find anything substantial as yet.
A couple of years ago I read with great interest Darrin McMahon's book 'Happiness. A history'. Nice and interesting :) What I missed in this book is how the ancient Egyptians perceived happiness.

The 'Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae' gives three references on 'pxA-jb':
Wb 1, 542.18 = Erman and Grapow, Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, Bd 1 (1935), seite 542
FCD 93 =  Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian (1962). Not accessible via the internet. Should I buy this book? It's still for sale.
Wilson, Ptol. Lexikon, 364 = Wilson, A Ptolemaic Lexikon (1997). Not accessible via the internet. Should I buy this book? It's still for sale.

Still looking for an answer on these questions:
1. Did the ancient Egyptians have a word for 'happiness'?
2. How was this word (or words) used? In which context? Did it's usage change during the long history of ancient Egypt?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Law of Trust #bank

In the past I used to visit my bank in person. Physically I had to enter the bank to deposit or withdraw money. The building was strong. Classic look. Marble. Radiating calmness and confidence. I knew the bank employees by name and they knew who I was. Face-to-face contact.
And in our day and age? Since 30 years, step-by-step, the contact between me and the bank became virtual. Over the last 10 years I've rarely visited the bank physically. All employees are strangers to me. The bank disappeared behind an online banking account. It's just one name in an 'endless' list of internet addresses. 

Gone is the power of a physically strong bank look (picture) and face-to-face contact. It's lost!

Country Greece and Dexia bank in Belgium are in danger. The bailout of banks by national governments since the late-2000s financial crisis. It's all about trust. The speed of trust. Trust that debts can and will be repaid on a set date.  

I would not be surprised if there is a strong correlation between our decreasing trust in the bank sector as a whole and our increasing virtualization.  Hypothesis of this Law: Trust in a Bank is Inversely Correlated to Virtualization.   

How about you? Do you still visit a bank once in a while? Why? What do you think of all those whizz kids selling products we do not understand but that promise big money? Who is too greedy: our government, bank employees, bank customers, me, you or ...? Why?

P.S. Is this deep down a short cut too? I wrote on this before: here and here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Letter with 'Talvez'

Miscellaneous:

1. "Not in my dream". What I meant was this. I want you physically close to me during the day. Body and soul. And at night? At night I want you entering my dream. I should have said "I don't want you in my dreams only".

2. Talvez, meu amor. Talvez. 

3. Question 1. Quote Gao Xiqing (NRC september 26, 2011): "Why is there no political union in Europe? Because in the south people prefer to work 5 hours a day 3 days a week; in the north people prefer to work 80 hours a week." Questions. Too much generalized? How about China: How many hours do they prefer to work; regional differences;  Tiger Mothers and Daddies in every family?  

4. Question 2. Observation: In The Netherlands the Dutch Ombudsman is a great success. Question: how long will it take before he and his organization succumb under the heavy workload? When goals fade and bureaucracy increases? My prediction: one day we will need an ombudsman for the ombudsman. Deep down this is a variation on Juvenal's (1-2 century AD) theme 'Who will guard the guards themselves'. 

5. Shortcuts. Last week I wrote to you on desire paths as a shortcut. Observation: shortcuts are everywhere around and in us. It's a shortcut when someone steals a car. It's a shortcut when people prefer taking a benefit above working. Free-riding is a shortcut too. So is taking a train, software or music without paying for it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birds and bees do it. Rivers do it. Let's...

Desire Paths. Do They Make You Smile Too? 

Last week I've been thinking about why desire paths make me smile. Better: make me laugh a lot :)) Ever noticed the eroded shortcuts caused by footfall where constructed pathways take a circuitous route?  The paths usually represent the shortest and/ or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.

Did you know that those shortcuts had a name? I didn't. I found out only a couple of months ago.

1. The birds and bees do it. Rivers do it! (Here is the life history of a meander.) Look at the bends in rivers. The water that crawls like a snake through the landscape. The play of water and obstructions (rock, harder soil, trees, etc).  And  human intervention when we channelize them.
2. People do it! At school we learn - the hard way - how we have to write and speak properly. And in real life? We play with language. What we write on Twitter and via SMS is a mix of abbreviations, emoticons :) , #hashtags, wrds whre lettrs are missng, different languages, words that make sense in a context, single letters or digits replacing words or syllables, slang etc. In real life we use language most of the time in a shortcut format. Ever read a properly written shoppinglist?
3. Cain and Abel did it! Desire paths are connected to the old story of the two sons of Adam and Eve in the (Hebrew) Bible. Remember the story? Cain is a farmer and his younger brother Abel is a shepherd. Abel is murdered by Cain. The fight between constructed pathways versus desire paths is deep down - since 10,000 BC - the fight between farmers/ settled people/ Cain versus  hunter-gatherers/ Abel.

Why do shortcuts make me smile? Because every-time when we're trespassing the non-constructed soil of Others we are feeding the hunter-gatherer/ Abel in us. Most (who not?) of us live in our time and age settled in houses but ... deep down we long for wandering. We have wanderlust ;) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tag

Script for a film (or book) inspired by 9/11 memorial name panel.

Picture: 

Title: Tag
Subtitle: Amazing story! Courage. Treason. Purifying Love
Summary: Hero for whom the 9/11 events were a Window of Opportunity to Start a New Life
Music: Ana Carolina/ Confesso

Scene 1: Mother with an 18 year old girl at the 9/11 memorial name panel. We don't know who they are. Her hand is connected to 1 name. It's not her first visit. Routine, love and intensity. We can only see a first name: 'Vincent'. Music playing: Ana Carolina/ Confesso.

Scene 2: "Vincentio, will you please show our new guests their room?" asks a wife (in Spanish) to her husband. He small-talks to his guests in fluent English. Country: Venezuela. Husband: tanny, little belly, around 60 years old. Wife: classy, pretty, around 45 years old. The two of them run a little shabby chic hotel near the sea. A little child helps her mother (=  Vincentio's wife).

Scene 3: 15 years later. A grandma (= mother in scene 1) with a mother (= child in scene 1) with two kids at the memorial. The two kids touch their grandpa's name. Grandma tells what happened at 9/11. "When your mum was 8 years old, remember?" Vincent (around 40 years old as a firemen) saved two people before he went for the second time into the building. He was never seen again. The only thing that was found of him was his helmet and his military dog tag. Pictures of the crashing buildings. "He was a hero who gave his life for saving others."

Scene 4: Vincentio's 75th birthday party in a restaurant (= same as in scene 2). Surrounded by his loved ones. Wandering thoughts of him. Pictures of the crashing building again. This time we can see Vincent with a man (broken leg) in the building's staircase. He lost his helmet and dog tag on his way out. Just before the building crashes they are out. Dust and debris everywhere. The two men in a little apartment nearby. Coughing. Sweating. Injured. Watching the first pictures on TV. Vincent: "Pfff that was a near escape." Man: "Sure, it was." Vincent: "I always wanted to have a hotel near the sea in Venezuela." Man: "Why didn't you?" Vincent: "My wife doesn't want to go to the criminal Latin-America. Bad environment for growing childeren.

Scene 5: Vincentio checking out Facebook and Twitter for his first family. Step by step he is getting more information: pictures, names and holiday pictures. Finding out that his first wife died 3 years ago. 

Scene 6: A few months later. Wife 2 dies. Vincentio still lurking on his first family.

Scene 7: New York. Near Ground Zero. Vincentio checking out Twitter on his mobile phone for the latest tweets from his daughter (= 12 year old girl in scene 1 = mother in scene 3). (He learned via Facebook that she wanted to visit this day the 9/11 memorial.) We know that he wants to reveal the secret he carried with him for more than 25 years. Vincent is walking to his daughter. Before their eyes meet a little child drops her doll. He grabs it. While grabbing it, he suddenly realizes that he was too selfish by walking away on 9/11 from his first family. Revealing the truth is not necessarily 'love'. He is selfish for the second time. Truth is an overrated concept. He would really love her by keeping his mouth shut. Take his secret into his grave! His daughter sees Vincent in the tanned Vincentio. Instead of revealing his secret he tells (in broken English with a lot of Spanish words) that he is looking for the name of a friend on the memorial. We see Vincentio walking away. His daughter looks at him shaking her head. She tells her children that that old men reminds her of her daddy.

Scene 8: Zooming out on: Vincentio looking at the distance on a name; name of Vincent on the memorial panel; his daughter walking away with his grandchildren. Music of Ana Carolina/ Confesso again. "I confess (...) there are still surprises, but I always want more (...) I'm not the owner of the Truth (...) I will not steal your time, I have stolen too."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Still there? It's about you too

"Work Expands so as to fill the Time Available for its completion." Still there? Just wait for a moment. It's about you too!

Why did you want to skip this Post? Is it boring to talk about 'to complete work'? You already know all you need to know about this subject? Really?

I'm a manager for more than 10 years. Time and again I hear "We Need More Capacity!" Sure. But having more slack resources, like more 'workforce capacity', is no guarantee that our company would finally have time for all the work that needs to be done. Why not? Because we as species 'homo sapiens' spend our time anyway. Our time for our tasks fills the time we have available. Regardless how much time there is. 8 hours, 24 hours, 40 hours or 80 hours a week.

Did you notice that this applies to:
  • Social media. 1 hour chatting, tweeting or listening to music a day? We can - effortlessly - spend 24 hours on the web talking to our online friends.
  • Lover. Just eating with the two of us. We can look into each other's eyes for weeks.
  • TV. Watching a movie, a soccer game and a whodunit story. Time flies.
  • Books. I could read for days at a row. How about you?
  • Glider club. I could spend every week, at least 2 days with my friends at the glider club. Talking about flying up there. And flying in the blue sky. 
Why am I telling you all this? At work. At home. In our mind. It's not about having lack of time. It's about priorities and urgencies of the things we want to do. It's about making choices. And sticking to them.

One last thing. Ever noticed that the same can be said about money? Our expenditures rise to meet our income. Regardless how much we gain.   

P.S. The laws above are not something I've made-up. It's the first and second law of C.N. Parkinson (1909-1993).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ready for takeoff

WOW with a big :))

Last Sunday I was - for the first time in two years - back in a glider. Just for a ride. How I loved to be back in the sky again.
The thrill of ...
  • Silence. Waiting in complete silence in the cockpit. Ready for take off
  • Tightening of the winch cable
  • Speed. More speed. Off the ground. "100 meter". "300 meter". "450 meter"
  • "Bang". Off the hook! "Bijprikken. Ontkoppelen. Kleppen. Snelheid."
  • Silence again. Blue sky above. Below ground in so many colours
  • Hand on the stick. In control of the aircraft
Friday I'll fly again. The weather forecast for thermals is good. Life is good :) 
P.S. Never went for a ride in a glider? I don't know how to make you sensitive for my thrill. It's something like a roller coaster but better. So much better.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blind Alley. Or Not?

Paper-book. Last week I sorted out 500 paper books of my father-in-law. He died 7 years ago. Books on psychology and sociology. He was a teacher. I kept only 15 books. The rest will be thrown away. The sorting yielded a box of things that were hidden in the paper books: postcards, accounts, address changes, newspaper clippings, private letters, pieces of papers with notes (phone numbers, quotes, summaries, etc). In one afternoon, the life of T slipped through my hands. Forty years of reading and apparently non reading. A lot of books were - as far as I could tell - never read. 

E-book. In a couple of months I collected around 1,500 e-books. Read only two of them on my iPad. I guess I'll never read most of them ever. Never.

Transition. I live in a transition period. I have a lot of paper books. Books with dog ears, newspaper clippings and notes. (No private letters stored in my books.) My kids will be able to let my - paper book - life slip through their fingers one day. Analyse which books apparently are read and which were not. Wondering why I made certain notes and stored exactly those newspaper clippings.

Blind alley. Wondering about my personal reading will only be possible of my paper books. My e-book life of reading will be hidden from them. Hardly any personal touch in an e-book. 

Or not? Hardly any personal touch in an e-book? Unless someone invents 'Your Dog Ears. Digital Bookmarks with a Personal Touch: Note. Picture. Link'. Storage of 'All My Personal Digital Dog Ears' in a cloud? cDogEar? cBookmark?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This is when my buzzer goes

Sometimes I dream that I'm awake. Sometimes I'm awake and dream. Sometimes I forget the source of what I think. Was it in my dreams? Was it during daytime? Or was it in the time in between? In between sleeping, dreaming and waking up in the morning ... vaguely remembering images and words.
A few days ago I thought for a few hours that in portuguese 'sonho' is the word for both 'dream' and 'cloud'. I was wondering how the connection was ever born. What a great image: a dream as a cloud! I had questions like:
  • When was this connection born? 12th century? Context?
  • Influence of Roman, Christian and Muslim worldview?
  • Is this image (partly) shifted since we are able to fly?
Stop! I checked out in a dictionary. The portuguese word for 'dream' is 'sonho'. And 'nuvem' for 'cloud'. I wasn't able to find (better: refind) any connection. In retrospect I must have dreamed it. Influenced by a song - which one?

Today another dream was shattered. Progress? Progress since species 'homo sapiens' went farming and settled? Progress since our Neolithic Revolution 10,000  years ago? Really? All the Hot, New, Cool and Wow Stuff of Today  are Extensions. The car and airplane are an extension of legs. Phone of the ear. TV of the eye. The computer of the brain. A machine gun with dumdum bullets an extension of our ancestors sticks and stones. None of these extensions ever succeeded - to my knowledge - in changing human nature. People behave as ever (non-limited list): ambitious, in love, greedy and selfish.

This weekend a lonely New "Knight Templar" went on Crusade in Norway. Fighting against the multi-cultural society and Islam. I thought it was "real" in a bad dream. But when I woke up it was still there.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dulce Maria Cardoso. Inventory of her Books

Today I checked out portuguese writer Dulce Maria Cardoso (born 1964) on internet. Hardly anything interesting to find about or from her - accept her books. She did win in 2009 the European Union Prize for Liturature. There is a short wikipedia lemma on her in German.
She wrote 4 books:
  • 'Campo de Sangue' (2002)
    • Translations: 'Coeurs arrachés' (french) and 'Campo de Sangre' (spanish). Translated in english too as 'Field of Blood'? 
    • What's it about? It's a story about 4 woman who wait in a room together. They will testify about a man accused of murder. A man they all know personally.
  • 'Os meus Sentimentos' (2005)
    • Translations: 'Les anges' (french) and 'Violeta en de engelen' (dutch)
    • What's it about? Car accident. Violeta is dying and thinking of her life in retrospect. Her life that changed because of Angola. The brutal quest for love by a fat girl. Review (@sharonhagenbeek's)  on this book. 
  • 'Até Nós' (2008)
    • Translations: -
    • What's it about? "You, reader come with me on the side of the road. The light will reveal crimes and loves we know." Often without knowing that we know.
  • 'O Chão dos Pardais' (2009)
    • Translation: - 
    • In progress. Translation (by Harrie Lemmers) in dutch 'Keerzijde'. Book will be published around 15 September, 2011. Source
    • What's it about? Alfonso is a very powerful man. Unattainable. Except for getting older. Alfonso's familiy is a house in ruin. But everthing is perfect in celebration of sixty years of Alfonso.
I'm eager to read her book 'Keerzijde'. She said "I love just let time pass by". That's exactly how life feels for me. Just read a little. Write a little. Tweet a little. Look out the window a little. Watch a movie a little. Think of you a little … just let time pass by.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two years blogging. Checkup

It's All About You. Every wednesday I write a private letter to you.  And when I talk about you - who else - I talk about me too.

This week I'll be blogging exactly two years. Every wednesday I write one letter - in a public blog - to you about what's puzzling me. A book. One sentence. A song. The clouds up in the sky. Saudade. Sharing a memory, good quote or poem. A picture. An image. Sometimes ancient images. Mostly in a historical context.

My blog is thoughtful and light. Above all it's sharing the love for living life. My life. Our lives. Down to Earth. With respect. Doing it my way. Against the flow of superficiality. I want you to puzzle, wonder, smile or cry. I want to walk, with the two of us, in our chinese garden. More

For today I did a checkup of my 'Live life! - wednesdayblog'. This is the score I have given myself:
Adaptations following checkup:
  • #2 and #3 Change title of blog to 'Wednesday. Letter to You'. It's more exact the focus or niche what I'm pointing at with my blog.
  • #8 Is it all about me? I'll ask you. 
  • #18 Collaborating with other bloggers. I've to focus more on my blog community.
  • # 20 and #21 Skip this. I'll not focus on keyword-rich titles and search engine optimization. Not interested.
The first year was tough. My second year of blogging was easy. For me it's all about routine. Just sharing me with you for us once a week on wednesday. It's out of love :)

Question: What do You Think of the Useability of My Blog? Is it Useful, Interesting or Entertaining?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Limes

Is it a coincidence that the titles of the House of Orange-Nassau fit almost perfectly to the Ancient Roman 'limes' in the Netherlands?

Read for 'title' the possessions the House of Orange-Nassau - Monarch of the Netherlands since 1815 - had hunderds of years ago. At this present day only it's titles remain. Hardly any physical possession is left for them.

Limes? It's the ancient border defense system of Ancient Rome. The Netherlands was, between 83 and 260 AD, devided in a part that was inside and outside the Limes Germanicus. Beyond the border (latin 'limes) lived the others, the enemy.

Around 400 AD the Romans left the Netherlands. And what was left? Castella! Places where civilians and soldiers protected themselves against the "enemy". Somehow the "most important" (?) castella must have come into possession of the House of Orange-Nassau. Somehow. Step by step.

Source. Picture (left): B. Colenbrander, 'Limes Atlas' (2005) p.83. Picture (right): U. Buys, 'Enz. enz. enz.', p.8-9.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From a Distance

It's a mysterious song. Don't you think so too? Music: 'Brian Eno - By This River'. Play it loud!
Here we are 
Stuck by this river, 
You and I 
Underneath a sky that's ever falling down, down, down 
Ever falling down.

Through the day 
As if on an ocean 
Waiting here, 
Always failing to remember why we came, came, came: 
I wonder why we came. 

You talk to me 
as if from a distance 
And I reply 
With impressions chosen from another time, time, time, 
From another time.


Is it sad music? What's it about? Why did [we] came: breakfast, see the sun going down, commit suicide or ...?

At first sight it's lyrics seem not in sync with the music. They are! According to me this song is about [Me] who becomes One with the Universe.  Moment of Eternal Now.  For a few seconds - that seem to last forever - Everything is Quiet and One. [You] are distant and not part of what I Feel Now. It's a moment of Enlightenment frozen, stuck or hidden in a song.

More on This from me: AswanAerial, THAT, Ordinary fieldstones or Cooling down

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To skip

I'll skip this blogpost. Today I don't feel like writing and posting.

More exact: I don't want to talk about it.
More honest: I don't want to talk about it in public.

Listen with me to this song: Maria Mena/ Just Hold Me. Why?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You!

Yes, You! We Need You.
 
You probably never heard of Richard Hennig (?-1951). Or have you? I don't blame you for that. He wrote in German the four-volume book 'Terrae Incognitae' between 1930-1935. And updated it until his death in 1951. It's a very interesting, unique compilation and critical asessment of the main expeditions before Columbus' (1451-1506) using the original reports. He starts with Queen Hatschepsut's expedition to Punt around 1493 BC and ending with Cousin's expedition to the New World in 1488. 

The original reports of 199 expeditions translated directly in German. WOW. Including a critical analysis of the reports and links to names, places, archeological evidence etc. Hennig's exhaustive work has - as far as I know - never been repeated by anyone. Nor in German nor in any other language.

I have a dream. We - species 'homo sapiens' on planet Earth - need someone who refreshes Hennig's work. Are you able to do the job? Do you want to spend your money to let someone else do this job? Fund?

To do:
  • Collecting original reports of all "main" expeditions before 1492. Did Hennig miss main expeditions?
  • Translation of reports in English
  • Asessment of reports. Including pick out relevant archeological, historical etc evidence
  • Summary
  • Publishing on internet and linked to Wikipedia 

The wisdom of the crowd is OK but on this we need an editor. You?

Footnote. On internet and Wikipedia there are lists of Expeditions (English) and Entdeckungsreise (German) but these are not deep enough. They don't give access to the original texts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Owl. Biased Greek Symbolic Use for Sure

Yesterday evening I tried to translate Jane Friedman's bookcover. I noticed she used valid - all of them - hieroglyphs the ancient Egyptians used more than 2,000 years ago. 
 
I wrote a little e-mail to Jane asking what the 'enigma' was behind her bookcover. I  was not able to translate the transliterated hieroglyphs, 'b-p-w n-w f-i-rw n-rw wA-y-s' with the owl as determinative, in plain english. Within a few minutes she wrote back, explaining that I gave her far too much credit in the carefulness or accuracy of her selections of hieroglyphic symbols. And yes there is a message in the bookcover: lower the bar and decode it direct! A message that only makes sense to 1 other person on the planet.

Today I don't want to blog about her secret message to her Other One - her love? Today I want to share with you the hidden history behind the (ab)use of the 'owl' as symbol.
In our time and age, in our Greek biased culture, the owl is the symbol of wisdom. For the ancient Romans the owl was connected to funerals. And for the ancient Egyptians? We don't know for sure what the story is behind hieroglyph Gardiner G17. For them the owl was perhaps an ill omen, which it was desirable to behead when caught. It is remarkable that when mummified owls have been examined all have been beheaded. (Sources: 12 and 3)

I didn't ask Jane but I know for sure the symbolic 'owl' she used on her bookcover was a symbol for 'wisdom'. Biased Greek Symbolic Use for Sure.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Empty Mind in Early Morning

Poem 'Een merel' (dutch) from Rutger Kopland (born 1934):

"Er is iets in de zang van een merel
het is voorjaar, je wordt wakker

je ligt te denken in de nacht
het raam staat open - er is iets

waarvan de vogel zingt
en je denkt aan wat je moet opgeven

er is iets in je dat leeg is en het stroomt vol
met het zingen van die merel"


The poem above in 1 tweet "The mind is empty in the early morning. The singing of a blackbird fills everything in and around me up."

You can't read dutch - to check out the details? Work! It's one of my chinese gardens ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Next Big Thing

Skip the mobile phone. Remember the days that the phone was stuck by a thread? Forget the iPad. Take a huge step over tablets. Tablets in cars or airplanes. So 2014!

The Next Big Thing isn't something mobile we carry externally. The Next Big Thing will not be displayed on glasses or on the window of our car. The Next Big Thing is close. Real close on/ in us species 'homo sapiens'. The Next Big Thing is a head-up display on our corneal. Beware this is an image!

Our iCorneal is a scanning laser that displays images, video, translated media and lots of extra information on our personal clear transparent medium. On our corneal.

Composition

Summer is coming. Time to think and dream about 'Where To Go To' this year's summer. 

I loved to stroll in the streets of Obidos (Portugal). The walk on Offa's Dyke in Wales (United Kingdom) was satisfying more. I met God in the church of Czestochowa (Poland) more. My favorite place for skiing is Voralberg in Austria more. The view from the mont Ventoux (France) was breathtaking. I long for the colours and smell I saw on the coast of Alicante (Spain). One day I'd love to have a little hotel somewhere along the mediterranean sea in Egypt. I could live in Germany. I'm very content with my old house and little village (The Netherlands) I live in. But ... - take a breath! 

there is only one place on this Earth I immediatly felt at home: Lake Annecy (France). To be more exact: it was home. It felt natural and familiar. The views. The course of the streets. The composition of the mountains and water everywhere. I know it sounds stupid and crazy but I must have been there before. 
We travelled via Verdun and the Jura to Menthon-Saint-Bernard on the edge of Lac D'Annecy (english 'Lake Annecy'). It was a bit windy. The air was full of rain - but it wasn't raining. When I drove into the valley I knew where to drive to. I knew what the next view would be. I just knew ...

Question: Ever been to a place you must have been to - somehow - before? How?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Food for thought

Mafia and food. What is their fascination with food? I have seen so many pictures of mafia bosses and soldiers eating their food with so much concentration and purity. Coincidence?

Questions:
  • They just love food - like everyone else?
  • Moment they are not at work?
  • Russian roulette? Risky - the food could be poisoned?
  • Childhood memories? Remembers them of the days - before they entered the mafia - they were at home not being afraid they could be murdered any moment?
  • Something to do with 'blut und boden'? They do their business always on a certain territory (italian 'mandamento'). They love home made products, more than Others, just because they fight with their lives - day in and day out - for the territory/ ground/ 'boden'/ homeground they feel entiteled to?
  • ... or?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will You Go?

13 days left! Only 13 days left for visiting @VonderandBloom's 'Around the World in 80 Days Tour' at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam).  I would love to go and see those two girls playing their lovely music: Brilliance of You and Little Dreamer.
Would love to but I think I never will. For me there's no need to visit Schiphol this year. Next to that there is no urgency for me right now.

'What to do next?' must be one of the most puzzling questions of our time and age. Work. Kids. Partner. Book. Film. Concert. Meditation. Hobbies. So much to do. So much distraction. And still only 24 hours in a day.

Question: 'Visit VonderandBloom at Schiphol somewhere in the next 2 weeks?' What to do according to Epicurus (341-270 BC) and Stephen Covey (1932-)?

Epicurus: Satisfy Your Natural Needs
According to Epicurus we should strive for natural needs. When these needs are satisfied we should stop striving. Is visiting VonderandBloom a natural need? Is friendship, listening to music a natural need? I can't tell. Can you?

Covey: Put First Things First
Our tasks  should be based on importance rather than urgency according to Covey. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals and enrich the various roles and relationships of you. Prioritization is the key to the success of any business or in any walk of life. Is visiting VonderandBloom important? If I visit them recreational with my wife or a friend I would build on a relation (Q2). Or is it just trivia or pleasure (Q4)? It's all up to me. It's all up to you. Isn't it? Isn't it always? 

Sources. Epicurus: natural needs.  Covey: first things first and time matrix.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

He was an outsider

A couple of weeks after I wrote my blog 'River crossing' I wrote an e-mail to professor Fik Meijer (University of Amsterdam). I asked him "Why did  Julius Caesar  cross the Rubicon and wanted to stay at the top in old Rome and was not satisfied that his consulship finally ended?" He wrote that there is not an easy (in dutch "niet zo maar") answer on this question. He pointed me at the biographies on Caesar of Luciano Canfora and Christian Meier.

Best biography on Caesar (100-44 BC)
Last week I finished reading Christian Meier's 'Ceasar. A biography' (1982). Bookjacket "Of the maybe half a dozen books on Ceasar that are worth reading, Meier's is the best."

Points of interest in Meier's biography on Julius Caesar:
  • Caesar's world was dominated by two principles: care (latin 'cura') and competition. This accorded with his thinking in term of honour (latin 'dignitas') and fame. (p. 449)
  • In Caesar's eyes no one existed but himself and his opponents. It was all an interpersonal game. He classified people as supporters, opponents or neutrals. (p. 359)
  • Compared to his aristocratic senatorial peers Caesar was an outsider and alien. (p. 358)
  • In Caesar's time the old institutions, designed for a city state, had been "overstretched", as Rome now ruled over a world-wide empire. In a way the Senate didn't recognise that their institutions were out of date and had to be transformed. The ancient thinking about social structures was static. (p. 12, 50, 195, 357, 361, 479, 483 and 491)
  • For Caesar the senators were mainly Sullans: the heirs of the winning party of the civil war. Not representatives of the whole commonwealth. He could only see them as selfish instruments of the interplay of forces. Caesar had no feeling for the power of institutions to guarantee law and security. (p. 358-9, 449)
  • Civil war, by crossing the Rubicon:
    • Caesar was not in principle opposed to the Roman order. He acted against it because he put his own interests above the rules of Rome. (p. 219)
    • He wanted to free the Roman people, Senate from the small clique of Sullans. (p. 358-360 and 364)
    • Must be an "expression of the greatness" of Caesar's personality. Throughout his career he displayed an extraordinary ability and strength of mind, staying power and steadfastness. (p. 362 and 483)
    • Plea for his personal right, for the honour he was owed on the basis on his achievements. It was Caesar's claim for honour against the defence of the Republic.
  • After he won the civil war Caesar was not able to remove from the scene because he had not eliminated his opponents. He had to defend himself and consolidate his position. (p. 431)

Crossing Rubicon? Personal honour more important than Republic
The career of Caesar can't be understood without Sulla (138 BC - 78 BC). Sulla was the first Roman general who crossed the Rubicon for a march (91 and 87 BC) on Rome with his army. After his victory Sulla eliminated his opponents. Caesar belonged to the circle of Sulla's victims but relatives obtained a pardon for him. It made him an outsider.
Caesar crossed on his turn the Rubicon (49 BC) after the Senate refused him the honours he owed after he conquered Gaul. For him the Senate was a biased set or clique of opponents who refused to him the honours he felt entitled to. His personal honour (latin 'dignitas) was more important than the Republic. The Republic was low on his list of priorities.

Old Rome's static social structures
I read this biography because I want(ed) to understand why Caesar was so selfish. In a way I want to understand why our democracy is or should be worth fighting for.
The ancient roman world is strange to us. It's a world of Others. For Rome the social structures were static. And they didn't notice that themselves. And for us? We know that we have to adapt. We know that we have to fit social structures and conditions if it's urgent. We know - don't we?

Monday, May 9, 2011

You and I

It's the nothing special, routine things that string the days. And build relations. Small and ordinary things, words, looks, smells and touches. Sharing a thought. Silence. Tell why you are frustrated. Sing a song. Walking hand in hands. Exchange a few little kisses. Look via the shopwindow at you. Buy something sweet. Give a compliment. Sipping coffee from the same cup as you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So what

Romantic? You too?

I know I'm too romantic on this but I would have loved to live in the stone-age. Yesterday I visited with my kids this museum: http://www.historisch-openluchtmuseum-eindhoven.nl/. The kids loved the milling of grain. I was impressed by the smell of woodfire and ingenuity of timber joints.
It must have been a though time. Simple. Though! Minimal energy consumption and a modest attitude to nature. Our species not in the center of creation. A difference but no gap between our species and the other animals. 

Virgil (70-19 BC) 'The Eclogues' (Eclogues 1):
"Yet here, this night, you might repose with me,
On green leaves pillowed: apples ripe have I,
Soft chestnuts, and of curdled milk enow.
And, see, the farm-roof chimneys smoke afar,
And from the hills the shadows lengthening fall!"

I know I'm a dreamer. So what?

P.S. Picture is an impression of the Vlaardingencultuur 3500-2500 BC

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blip Nation Interview. Meet JeanD99

Me being interviewed by Pete Dulin for Blip Nation.
Blipper since: August 11, 2009
Pete Dulin: What part of the world do you live in? 
JeanD99: The Netherlands
Dulin: What artist or band would you most like to have dinner with? What's the first thing you'd ask?
JeanD99; Kate Bush. I would love to have dinner with Kate Bush. Look at her the way she drinks, talks and laughs. Look in her eyes. My first serious question would be "Is Your CD 'Aerial' an Invitation to be Nondualistic? Are You a Mystic?" More: http://jeand99.blogspot.com/2009/07/kate-bush-mystic-on-aerial-inventation.html
Dulin: Do you remember the first music you ever purchased? What was it? Format (record, tape, CD, mp3)? Why did you buy it? 
JeanD99: Record by Creedence Clearwater Revival/ Creedence Gold. I guess because I heard them on the radio back then.
Dulin: What music knowledge would you like to pass on to your children?
JeanD99: Just follow your heart. Open your ears. Keep your wonderment. Try every now and then to listen to music you're not attracted to directly. In others words: stay away from the button [Next] or [ New]. 
Dulin: What song reminds you of being in love? Of being heartbroken?
Dulin: Tell us about something you lost that was important to you. What would you give to have it back?
JeanD99: What I lost is something that can't be given back to me. For a long time music was just music for me. Nothing to do with politics and history. At the end of the '80 I realized in Jeruzalem that music is always connected to history. Music is never 'Just music'. More: http://jeand99.blogspot.com/2010/07/music-and-burden-of-history.html
Dulin: If you could blip one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?
JeanD99: Ana Carolina/ Confesso. This song is so painfully honest and true. It remembers us that we all have our doubts and insecurities, tears and fears. It's about gaining love or may be losing it.
Dulin: If you could direct a video for an artist, who would it be? For what song? What style/type of video would it be conceptually?
JeanD99: Direct a video for Bruna Caram/ Cuide-se Bem. Bruna as a Teenager traveling around the world and every time (nearly) escaping from the dangers of life. Movie in black. Only Bruna in colour.
Dulin: If you lived apart from your family for a year in another country with no visits allowed, then what would you like to receive from them in a care package each month?
JeanD99: Books. A couple of books.
Dulin: If you were on a world tour as a Blip.FM DJ and ambassador, what three countries or cities would you visit first? What DJs would you like to meet?
JeanD99: @sedefic and @34SEB in Turkey
@accdias @abarbosa @danniaranda @Caco and @anjim in Brasil  
@adelou in Guatemala
Dulin: Imagine you are on a reality show where you must sing karaoke to an audience of friends and family. The prize is $1 million (US) that you can keep or donate to charity. What song would you sing?
JeanD99: Beatles/ Norwegian Wood
Dulin: If you could blip a song now, as if it were from the future, and it would be sent to yourself when you were a kid, then what song would you blip?
JeanD99: Sade/ Nothing Can Come Between Us. I discovered Sade last year. I knew a couple of her songs but in a way I missed her as a person and musician in the past. She is fantastic!
Dulin: Pick one song that encapsulates your personality, and explain why.
JeanD99: Kate Bush/ Symphony in Blue. It connects me as individual 'homo sapiens' with the rest of our species. 
Lyrics (quote) 
"I see myself suddenly
On the piano, as a melody.
My terrible fear of dying
No longer plays with me,
for now I know that I'm needed
For the symphony." 
Dulin: What artists/releases are you excited about for 2011?
JeanD99: I'm excited about the Director's Cut of old Kate Bush songs. Release in 2011?
Dulin: Think of another Blip.FM DJ. You don’t have to reveal who it is. What question would you most like to ask him or her?
JeanD99: Strange. I always ask to other BlipFM DJ what I want to ask. I've no secrets or hidden questions.
Dulin: What artists and/or songs would you want to hear on the soundtrack of your life?
JeanD99: 20 years ago I made a tape for my future funeral. Last year I had it in my hands again. It was so outdated. What I am trying to say is this: ask me again a couple of weeks before I die. It's a list that keeps on changing. Right now I want to "hear" only one song:
Spinvis/ Voor ik Vergeet. It's a song in Dutch about things "he" doesn't want to forget right now. Before it's definitively forgotten.   
Dulin: What influences your blip picks? Mood, nostalgia, new artist/song, social interaction, or other factors?
JeanD99: Biggest influence is Mood. Things I hear on radio while driving to and from work. Things I read in tweets, books and  papers. Music I hear on BlipFM, YouTube and Aweditorium. I don't care if the music is old or new, or hot or not. 
I love to listen to music my friends like. Stick to maximum 40-60  'Favorite DJs'. I like a quiet timeline and check their music out every now and then. I would not be able to listen and talk to them if I have more favorite DJs.
Dulin: What prompted you to join Blip.fm?
JeanD99: Via Twitter I joined BlipFM. I wanted to hear music I would not listen to otherwise. I wanted to meet people from other countries. Via BlipFM I discovered 'Música Popular Brasileira' (MPB). It opened a new world for me. So many beautiful artists and songs. I like easy listening music. Mellow. Lounge. A good voice with a piano or a guitar is enough for me. Keep it simple.  
Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?
JeanD99: I still buy CD's. I know I shouldn't have to but I like albums of artists as a total concept. An album is more than collection of 10-15 songs. I like to check out the lyrics, pictures and drawings of CD-booklets. Puzzling and wondering. And listening. Checking out what the music does to me.