alan little’s weblog archive for august 2007

spell check

30th August 2007 permanent link

Sometimes you post something on the internet and get a response after a month. Sometimes it takes bit longer.

It isn’t the Indian way to directly say to somebody “Hey! You spelt the name of my home town wrong on your website. Fix it!” Nevertheless, word gets through eventually by roundabout means. Sorry Akseeniya. Better five years late than never. Fixed.

himmel der bayern

28th August 2007 permanent link

Low blogging for the last two weeks due to visits from various (mostly but not exclusively Russian) family & friends. Among the non-Russian minority: my brother. Here he is with my son enjoying a Male Bonding Moment on a walk in the Alps.

on the banks of the … Partnach

My four year old son’s solution to the problem of Daddy’s Embarrassing Lack Of Russian Language Skills: Russian lessons for Daddy. Now I know lots of nouns for things four year old boys are interested in like helicopters, elephants and trains. Hard to explain to him that I actually knew these anyway, and nouns aren’t the problem.

Low blogging for the next two weeks due to going away on holiday and not planning to take my laptop, assuming I can lay my hands on enough compact flash cards.

Thinking about, and coming maybe when when I get back: a response to Michael Blowhard’s thoughts on Age, Exercise, and the Soul, in particular the bit with reference advaita and “If you aren't your body, then what are you?”. On which I tend towards “well, you are actually”, at least as much as “you” “are” your mind. But. later.

yoga teacher blogs

28th August 2007 permanent link

It took a month, and one email doesn’t constitute a flood, but thanks to Francisco Malonzo for drawing my attention to some yoga teacher blogs.

Here’s certified ashtanga teacher Alex Medin. Hey, I almost know him – I went to a few classes at the yoga school he used to run in London. Although he wasn’t there at the time – he was in India and a friend of mine was covering his classes, hence my visit. He’s a fellow contributor to Nama Rupa too.

Here too are Santa Barbara ashtanga teacher Steve Dwelley, who qualifies as “well known” because I’ve heard his name before although I don’t think I’ve ever met him; and Lisa Hill, who according to Francisco is well known in Chicago (Cara?)

related entries: Yoga

on the banks of the … gleissen

13th August 2007 permanent link

In a similar vein, my friend Andrew was chuffed when I said Henri Cartier-Bresson “wouldn't have been ashamed” of this:

on the banks of the … Gleißen

© 2005 Andrew Haley

“No-one has ever said that to me before – and I suspect that no-one ever will again”

related entries: Photography

figures in the snow

13th August 2007 permanent link

Yesterday my wife and I took advantage of my mother-in-law’s visit for an art gallery visit sans child to the Alte Pinakothek. The Alte Pinakothek was the only one of Munich’s major galleries I hadn’t got round to so far; my wife had been before and came away unimpressed. It specialises in Renaissance and early modern European masters, and neither of us is much into saints, Madonnas or Flemish burghers. But I was sure there had to be something there worth looking at.

Sure enough there was, in the form of several marvellous pieces by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his confusingly-named but almost equally capable sons, Pieter Bruegel the Younger and Jan Bruegel the Elder.

Highlight of the day for me was my wife’s comment: “aren’t your pictures of kids sledging in the snow in Russia rather like Bruegel?” Well, would you care to guess how accidental that is, dear? Still it’s nice somebody noticed what I was trying, however feebly, to do.

figures in the snow figures in the snow

related entries: Photography

right livelihood

7th August 2007 permanent link

My neighbour works in BMW’s motorcycle division. I’m not sure exactly in what capacity, but in addition to his own three bikes – two BMWs and a Ducati, all in a perpetual state of Being Improved – further very nice bikes turn up on a regular basis, “borrowed from the office” for a few days.

This week he appears to have managed to send his wife and children away on holiday, remaining at home alone with only a sports car and a garage full of motorbikes for company. I’m sure he must be suffering terribly. I plan to drop by one evening to offer consolation (and, er, seek his advice on how to organise one’s life correctly)

yoga works

7th August 2007 permanent link

My PSA level: 0.6 somethings per whatever. Very, very low anyway. (In this case, low is good) And my prostate itself: right size; soft, velvety texture … healthy.

Long sit in janu sirsasana b this evening to celebrate. It wouldn’t do to get complacent. Broccoli for dinner. (“Cherries are supposed to be very good for those ‘male’ issues as well”, says Yogamum)

related entries: Yoga

crux egyptian

3rd August 2007 permanent link

I haven’t climbed regularly for over ten years, although lately I get the feeling I could be tempted again – but only if I lived somewhere that had something better to offer in the immediate vicinity than boring sport climbing on mediocre limestone.

I still glance at climbing news from time to time, and I noticed today that Scottish hotshot Dave MacLeod has achieved a long standing ambition. Dave’s write-up is interesting and worthwhile, even if for you he might as well be writing in gaelic when he talks about the crux egyptian off a sloping crimp.

(I do know what a crux egyptian off a sloping crimp is, although I very much doubt if I ever did one. If I did, the crimp would have had to be a great deal bigger and less sloping)

white lego?

3rd August 2007 permanent link

Michael Jennings just started reading the new William Gibson novel Spook Country. (So did Tim Bray, I presume. I didn’t, and probably won’t for a while, having been generally less than wowed by post-Neuromancer Gibson).

On the first page, we meet the protagonist, who for some unexplainable reason is sharing an apartment with a robot on wheels that is cleaning the floor by running backwards and forwards and that was made by a friend of hers. This robot is made from entirely white pieces of Lego. She spends a couple of sentences speculating whether and where one can buy Lego kits consisting entirely of white pieces.

This made me think of you, somehow.

Thanks Michael. As far as I’m aware you can’t. Batches of same-colour bricks, yes, but not kits. I think I’ve spent enough time browsing the lego aisles of that I would know.

eating my greens

2nd August 2007 permanent link

Having decided it was time for me to start visiting doctors more often as I plunge headlong into middle age, today I had the first stage of my first ever full-scale routine preventive checkup: having blood samples taken for a variety of screenings including a PSA.

(I hate having blood taken out. I donated blood once, about twenty years ago, and I found the experience so traumatic I decided I needed to find other ways of helping the world. The worst bit was the nurse saying “you seem rather tense, Mr Little”. Of course I’m f*cking tense. You put a tube in my arm and my blood’s flowing out through it. Even after today’s few millilitres I had to go home and have a lie-down.)

I’m hoping the prostate check should be a formality. I not only do janu sirsasana b on a regular basis, I also eat lots of broccoli.

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