February 12th, 2006


Meanderings of a Warped Mind

Most people think of Baja Jorja as being flat, and there is a good reason for that. It also doesn not prove to be the case, though I won't claim mountains. Even as far south as the I-4 Corridor (between Tampa and Daytona, a diagonal line running roughly south-west to north-east) the Karst Formation which defines the penninsula geologically provides some ups and downs. One needs to be more central on the penninsula, or into the Panhandle, to find anything rather steep in incline, but it is not flat.

There are times, though, that light and weather combine to offer illusions. Most often in the twilight of either dawn or dusk, and usually involving clouds. There are some spectacular skys to be seen here, and not only by the coastlines. Yesterday provided such; with a weather front moving across the land and a lot of rain. In the evening twilight when I headed out bringing the Border Collie Bros dinner, there appeared a mountainous ridgeline off to the north. Something believable, too, not something out of the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada. More like the Blue Ridge brought a bit further south.

We were just back from a provisions run into Ocala, spending a moderate sum but also picking up a goodly quantity of our staples. And also getting just a tad wet, driving through a bit of that mentioned rain. Teh Horses received hay for an evening meal, not wanting to provide them with mush which the sky would make by adding rainwater to their feed buckets even as they ate. The Bros are a bit more sheltered than Teh Horses, so they got the usual kibble.

Today I'd planned on wandering down to Tampa to go to a Japanese Sword Show. That is, until my travelling companions and I discovered the admission price. I could still have gone, it's not terribly steep but is a tad high, particularly since all of the demonstrations or classes were offered yesterday and today would be just looking at swords. However, counting in the gasoline for the round trip and the time I'd actually be able to look at swords, without travelling companions it's not worth it to me. And the admission price is dear enough to knock out their interest.

So instead, I'll spend some time with the Bros, and with Teh Horses, and working on some of the physical plant issues with Studio 318. Once that's done, I'll see about sorting through some of the photos I've made of that structure, since I'm working on a photo essay that documents the process of conversion from dwelling to studio. In between moments, I'm probably going to work on e-mailing some recent contacts who are interested in doing some photography work. There's headshots and portraits in the future, as well as potentially some opportunity to experiment some more with a technique called "painting with light."

But the studio needs to be cleared a bit first. Which will involve a run into town to pick up a couple of sawhorses. As a temporary tool, sawhorses make an acceptible saddle-stand, and there's these saddles stacked up on some of my studio props...

Though Herself has sold two of them via e-Bay. Just waiting on the payment to ship them off. One of them is going to Canada, so I guess that makes her an International Seller.
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    Matsukaze, "Wind in the Pines"
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All Very Boring, Nothing To See Here.

We experienced a spot of excitement here on the Ranch this morning. Went out to gather up the Bros to stretch legs and such. Heading out toward the gate, Smudge apparently decided not to wait for the gate to be opened, because he went up and over the fence. Well, mostly. Clearing the top of the gate, his right hind paw must have slipped, and got wedged between fence wire and top rail.

I say must have because I didn't see it. Didn't even know he'd decided to go over the gate until I heard him scream. That's when I saw him, hanging head down and thrashing about in a bit of a panic. Enough of a panic, in fact, that when I got there to help him, he bit me on the little finger. Mind you, I didn't notice at the time, and he didn't break skin (possibly realizing in his doggie mind that putting teeth on Boss is not such a good idea? Not likely given his state of mind at the time), but I've quite a bruise going.

That would be my right little finger; the hand I initially tried to support him underneath as my left grabbed his collar and lifted. Once I got him head-upright he quieted a bit, and then again a bit more when I freed his paw. Which was quite easy, without his weight forcing his foot to act as a lever and locking it between wire and rail.

I squatted down and sat him down and held him until he calmed a bit more, still whimpering. Then I carefully ran my hands over his foot, gently moving all the joints and feeling for deformities or crepatis which is the feel of broken bone edges moving across each other. None of that, nor even any cuts, and all his toes moved as well. He wasn't too happy about it, whimpering still, but not trying to run away either.

Then I did something which a couple of you will recognize right off. Holding his paw rather loosely between my hands, I extended ki into him. His whimpering slowed and stopped, he looked at my hands not quite holding his paw, looked up at me... and licked my ear.

Ki. The Chinese term sounds as chi, and in either language the concept is an energy flow; a living energy. Go ahead, call it the Force. Doesn't matter. I've felt it, my first introduction being through reading about it but the first real experience being in an Aikido dojo in Orlando more years ago than I sometimes care to contemplate. I stopped attending Aiki classes a bit over 20 years back, though I still practice with short staff (jo) and wooden sword (boken).

Smudge stood up when I released his paw, touched it very lightly to the ground and then lifted it, limping off. He still doesn't want to bear any weight on it. I figure he's got quite a good sprain in that ankle. What amuses me about this not terribly humorous situation is, ten minutes later he limped over to me and sat in front of me, left side to my legs and right hind paw up slightly off the ground, and looked me in the eye.

Yes, we did another round of ki-flow. In fact, we've done several through the day.

Now, someone recently mentioned to me (sight unseen, I might add) they figure I'm pretty good at what I do, taking care of people, nursing. I appreciated the comment, even with my cynically humorous responses. What I do, taking care of people in surgery, there's not a lot of direct feedback from patients. People don't become Operating Room Theatre Nurses if they need that feedback from patients. It's not that we don't like chatting with them; we do. In fact, it's a bit of a challenge to get all the info we need to make plans in the ten minutes or so we'll see them in Preop.

It's that we get pretty good at judging our own performance. I know when I've done good; I know what I could have done better. I definitely know what the outcome is if things go worse, because I've Been There, Done That, bought and sold the damn t-shirt.

So it's pretty amusing to experience a dog come up to me, sit down, and say in body language what Daniel said to Mr. Miyagi in the original "Karate Kid" in the locker room during the Big Tournament, his knee hurting from the illegal strike by his opponent: Would you please do that thing with your hands?