Monday, December 31, 2018

Be Back Soon!

Blogging is proving difficult here in Daegu, but I'll return on the first!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Postmodern Me Asks Some Past-Timely Questions

Postmodern Me: Is Tom Waits the first to have uttered this gem of a statement?
Tom Waits: "I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy."
Postmodern Me: And what Taryton smoker first said this?
Taryton Smoker: "I'd rather fight than switch!"
Postmodern Me: But let's say I grabbed that switch and lashed out at anyone who tried to fight me.
Early Modern Questioneer: Which switch would'st thou?
Postmodern Me: The good switch, Wanda. Along with that free bottle. I do need a drink.

Elphaba: Me too.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Shoshanna at Work Blending In


A good spy-dear must adopt the native ways - to go loco, as we say . . .


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Woman of Mystery

My Wife in Seoul

This photo comes down to us from last week, when my brother and his wife went downtown with my wife and our two kids, leaving me alone at home to grade papers and generally deal with practical academic things . . .


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Pugnacious words from Sheikh Younus Kathrada

Canadian Cleric Younus Kathrada informs us that "Congratulating Christians For Christmas Is Worse Than Murder"
[According to Memri,] "During a sermon delivered at the Muslim Youth of Victoria in British Columbia, Sheikh Younus Kathrada said that Muslims must be offended when people worship Jesus. He explained that congratulating non-Muslims on Christmas and other 'false festivals' is tantamount to approving of them, and that it is a far greater sin than murder, adultery, and other major sins."
Consider that! For a Muslim to wish someone a 'Merry Christmas' is far worse then murder. But the Sheikh demurred when faced with the implications:
"Sheikh Kathrada stressed that he never calls to kill non-Muslims, who should be treated justly." [Here are several excerpts:]
Sheikh Younus Kathrada: "We see around us that people are preparing themselves to celebrate Christmas, and that with great sadness we see that amongst us there are those who think it's a small matter, and so, not only might we congratulate them on their Christmas, on their false holiday and celebration, but we may take part in their holiday as well. There are those who will say to them 'Merry Christmas' – what are you congratulating them on? [Are these] congratulations on the birth of your Lord? Is that acceptable to a Muslim? Are you now approving of their beliefs? By saying that you are approving of it."
But only now does the Sheik get serious:
"If a person were to commit every major sin – committing adultery, dealing with interest, lying, murder . . . If a person were to do all of those major sins, they are nothing compared to the sin of congratulating and greeting the non-Muslims on their false festivals. This doesn't mean that we treat the non-Muslims in a bad way or that we deal with them unjustly. I'm not saying, and I've never said, go out and just kill them, and do this to them . . . No! Because Allah tells us not to allow the enmity that may exist between you and a people to cause you to be unjust towards them. Rather, be just."
The good Sheikh need not call for killing the one guilty of greeting "Merry Christmas." He need merely advise to treat offenders with justice. The implication is clear enough. If wishing "Merry Christmas" is far worse than murder, then one surely is justified in killing the one guilty of offering the greeting.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Season's Greetings

Merry Christmas


The Gypsy Scholar




Monday, December 24, 2018

Shoshanna Cogan: International, Trainer, Facilitator, Coach, and Consultant

Shoshanna Cogan

Shoshanna is married to my brother Shannon - as you know if you've been reading my blog entries lately - and that marital fact speaks volumes for her ability to facilitate events, among her many other other abilities, talents, and skills.

Should anyone wish to learn more, here's her website:
Shoshanna Cogan
Here's more about her:
Shoshanna Cogan is an international trainer, facilitator, coach, and consultant with over 25 years of expertise serving on 6 continents. She has trained more than 26,000 participants and led training teams across the country and around the world. She designs and delivers customized programs and trainings for small, medium, and large teams and organizations.
Plenty more at the site . . .


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tall Orders

Here's a poem I wrote for the longsuffering Starbucks crew, who have to deal with a customer like me (namely me) who requests odd orders:

I hope that this is legible as is and when enlarged . . .


Saturday, December 22, 2018

On infinities verbal . . .

Big Family

We see here Shoshanah and Shannon enjoying Korea's traditional ice cream the night before they left Korea. Shan apparently enjoyed not just eating traditional Korean food, but also hearing me rattle on about stuff I don't get to talk about very often, or maybe he just wanted a piece of my mind, for he says he liked our conversations:
"I most enjoyed our talks. It had been far too long! You are a most amazing person, one whose intellect remains in the far distance from me."
Being kin, I doubt that I'm far beyond his ken, and I also enjoyed listening to him speak because he has a command of details that I lack . . .


Friday, December 21, 2018

Fundamental Truth, This Time . . .

Apocalyptic Meeting

Does the future come toward us?


Do we go into the the future?

Or Both . . .

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I must be a 'stable' genius!

I fell asleep while a better man than I must have been "machen melodie," for I heard the following in the heights:
0000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000 0002222222222222222222222222222222222 2222222222................................................2.... ............................................................... ............................................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................
But was that music? Who's to say? It was, at any rate, the 'music' banged out by forehead when I fell full face frontal asleep upon the keyboard to my computer.

I must need more REM sleep . . .


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gravity is getting the best of me . . .


Broken necks, relationships, and the frigging law of gravity . . .


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Everybody must get stoned . . .

Animal House

This was the King's party house . . .


Monday, December 17, 2018

Shoshana Spies a Shopper

The Shopper

Or the chopper, but what's in a name? My brother's wife, Shoshana, saw this piece of large-scale landscape art just outside of Enter Six and grabbed a photo before the long-striding strider strode away . . .


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Colors

Family and Friends

Out on the town, late enough that the streets were clear of others, we family and friends strolled beneath lights celestial . . .


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Onward to the Workers' Paradise!

Long have I wondered how my brother Shan knew so much about the secret levels of state security operations, but I now see that he was in the crowd on this same day that I was heading north on a top secret mission . . .


Friday, December 14, 2018

Santa Comes This Time of Year

Santa Came Early

I now have a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup from the the big Santa!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Canada Reveals Great Big Cave

Speak of Spectacular Spelunking! A huge cave's discovery has just been announced this week in Canada. See those two red rings? They designate two people near the cave's mouth. That's a honking big cave!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Blanchard Springs

One of my distant cousins, Hugh Shell, helped discover what was then called Discovery Cave, and here's what those discoverers saw:
"We could see some of the stalagmites dimly . . . End to end, [the big room was] about a half-mile walk, but the most spectacular half mile I've ever seen. What impressed us most was the overwhelming size of the rooms and the decorations, which are unparalleled. To this day, Blanchard Caverns stands out for the sheer volume of formations and the sizes of the stalactites and stalagmites."
I've been on the tour there several times, and that cave never ceases to amaze me.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

More Interiority

This inner life is part of what makes the Ozarks such a mysterious mountain region.


Monday, December 10, 2018

A Colorful Cave Friend

Another Blanchard Springs visitor, he's obviously seen the sun.


Sunday, December 09, 2018

A Lighter Shade of Pale

As with most caverns, I suppose, Blanchard Springs has its pale critters, like the crayfish shown above, some lighter than others.


Saturday, December 08, 2018

Blanchard Springs Bats' Quotidian Droppings

But in the totally inspiring Blanchard Springs Cavern!

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Friday, December 07, 2018

What goes in must come out

The inside expels the outside that had come inside.

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Thursday, December 06, 2018

Ozarks from the Inside

In this, we see the Ozarks from the inside.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Better High Spots in the Ozarks' Boston Mountains

Now, this is better, not quite so high, but far better than Mt. Magazine for the lookout eye. Or outlook eye. One or the other.


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Mt. Magazine, Arkansas's Highest, Most-Disappointing High Spot

 Not especially impressive, Mt. Magazine rises to a reasonable 2,753 feet. The mountain is a crumbly sort, though, so enjoy it while it lasts . . .


Monday, December 03, 2018

Murakami: "Deep Wells"

Bland Woman, Sleeping Willow:
"I sometimes think that people's hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what's at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while" (Murakami).
"From deep wells, you must have drawn your anger . . ." (Hodges).

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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Murakami: Running Off at the Mouth?

This title looks interesting:
What I Talk about When I Talk about Talking about What I Talk about When I'm Talking about Talking about Running
As does this:
"So the fact that I'm me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent."
The man knows what he's talking about!

(Lest there be any misunderstanding, no humor in this blog post intends any harm, so take all humor here as mild satire.)

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Saturday, December 01, 2018

Darwin Young's Origin of Evil

That's the title, Darwin Young's Origin of Evil (by Bak Jiri or Park Ji Ri or Park Ji-ri), and we learned yesterday - my wife and I - that our translation of the first 20 pages to this novel has gotten for us a KLTI grant to subsidize a translation of the next 60 pages. (The KLTI, of course, is the Korean Literature Translation Institute.) If the eighty-page total sooner or later gets the attention of an American publisher, we'll probably be selected to translate the entire book of some 500 pages.

Some followers might want to read this book sooner rather than later, but time will take time . . .