Cold Therapy – Day Five

I hope you know who Christopher Walken is, and how he often delivers a line, with its unusual pauses and inflections. Because that’s the voice in my head as I write this.

“I’m on day five of the cold therapy experiment inspired by Aidan Reed, and the water…feels like it’s become colder…icier…if you will. My nuts, now tired…of ascending…into my body for warmth…are now talking about…separating, to go their own…way.”

A New Notebook

(EDITING NOTE: “Long Summer” was the working title for the trilogy that is “Incomplete States”.)

As I was writing this week, I realized that I needed a notebook and pen.

I had the pen. I’ve stowed pens in most of my coats, jackets and computer cases. I often also put one into a shirt pocket or clip it to my collar as a writing talisman.

But the notebooks have been used and not replaced. Fortunately, I have a stash of new composition notebooks, often referred to as ‘lab books’, at home. I pulled out a new one today and stuck it into my computer bag. Once at the coffee shop, I blessed it with my usual annotations on the cover of name, the month and year, and the place where I started using it. As always, I wrote using my Z4 pen. As usual, the ink didn’t dry before I swept a hand across it, leaving a black smear on my heel and a barely legible blotch on the notebook.

I needed the notebook because the computer was coming up short. I’ve been working out further kinks in my chi-particle theory and how it interacts with a wave function collapse to create ‘now’. All of this is the concept behind the novel in progress, ‘Long Summer’. Along the way, I began exploring the existence of more arrows of time than the three Hawking proposed, and did equations and charts about the permutations of time available.

It was all becoming confusing and entangled. Naturally, that led me back to the Copenhagen Interpretation, the EPR paradox, and finally, expanded thinking on quantum entanglement. Hence a notebook was needed. I could draw and chart all of this with explanations and labels faster than I could type. That visual progression helped me organize and clarify my thinking and understanding. I further evolved the thinking behind the stages of chi-particle existence and their properties.

After all that, I could finalize address the aspects of my novel concept that bugged me: how do chi-particles interact with sentient entities (such as Humans) to create a moment of Now?

If Now is the only time that exists (despite the apparent existence of the arrow of time), how and why do entities think of a remembered past/history?

If a past doesn’t exist, how does a perceived past continue occurring during a Now moment?

Of course, one thing to always remember is just because they remember a Now as a past doesn’t mean that the past actually still exists; it only exists (or existed) as a Now moment.

That led me at last to a paradox that I didn’t fully appreciate. The deception of our own observational bias about who and what we are, and how we experience the arrows of time, with apparent knowledge of a substantive and concrete past that actually causes and establishes now, continually gets in the way of comprehending, plotting and expanding in the other directions. I keep returning to the logic of what I know.

All this greatly enhances my appreciation for the amazing thinking and math behind physicists and their theories. My thinking is ‘deep’ to me and causes me angst as I struggle to hold on and comprehend. Yet, their thinking was so much deeper and more complex and abstract. They really are amazing thinkers.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.


Coffee Snob

Yes, I confess: I’m a coffee snob.

I can’t abide most American mass produced ground coffee, like Folger’s, Maxwell House, and Hill Bros. Worse of the worse is Sanka instant.

No, worse of the worse could be the Folger’s Instant Coffee Crystals. Instant coffees taste off to me, as though the coffee has been recycled.

I have friends who swear by Dunkin’ Donut’s coffee. Not me. Dunkin’ Donut cofffee provides a taste that I imagine comes from a dirty tee shirt being soaked in coffee and then wrung out in a cup. Just below it are the foul offerings provided at McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food establishments. I haven’t had coffee from any of those places in decades. Haven’t eaten at them since around 1992, when I returned to America from Germany.

I became such a snob, as with many things, when I was exposed to offerings in other places. Being stationed in Germany was the changing point for my appreciation of not just beer, but coffee, pastries, asparagus and French fries. German coffee seemed so very strong and clear that I was instantly drawn to it. I started buying different Italian coffees available in Germany, examining flavors the way others do with wines.

The same process was followed with wines, and then beers, along with cigars, ports, whiskeys, fruits, chocolate, cheese, fish, oils, vegetables and meats. I learned that an experienced palate will be drawn toward fresher, clearer flavors. Becoming more mindful among the differences in flavors, I became more mindful as I consumed food and beverages. Fresher and more refined foods offered unique flavors on my tongue.

Of course, it ruined me. Returning from Germany and settling into the Bay area, I drove by a KFC. KFC chicken! I remembered eating it as a child. A sudden nostalgic flame consumed me. I ordered a chicken dinner. The eating experience ruined my memories of KFC and made a skeptic of me about all my American favorites.

So, I’m a coffee snob, but I’m also a beer, wine, chocolate, pie, cheese, fruit, vegetable, meat and pastry snob. I’ll eat things because they’re sustenance, and it’s my nature to accept that food is fuel. But I now know that some foods don’t work nearly as well as fuel.

Something about the eating and drinking experience also affected my reading,  news reporting and movie watching. Overall, I became a snob, more watchful, more critical, more mindful. Part of me often wishes that I wasn’t a snob, that I can just turn on the television and be titillated by the latest number one show like so many others, or that I don’t need to research and vet news headlines and reports for the truth and accuracy, or that I can just trot on down to a fast food place for a meal.

With that, time for breakfast, locally sourced and organic, featuring berries and fruit we picked and froze ourselves, and a cup of coffee. It’ll be Major Dickinson today, from Peet’s.

Today’s Theme Music

Awoke from my multiple dreams with my cerebral shuffle stuck on this song. I read on the intertubes that if you write it down and share it with others, and then get up and turn in a circle, spitting at the north each time, and then stop and close your eyes and say, “Song, quit me, song, quit me, song, quit me,” the song will magically stop playing in your head.

This might be a re-run. Apologies if it is, but it’s stuck in my head, and I need to rid myself of it. “Out, damn song, out.”

Here’s Foghat’s recording of ‘Fool for the City’ from 1975.


A catraindication is a cat changing its mind about what they were going to do, about to do,  wanted to do, asking for from you, or thinking about doing. (Believe me, degrees of differences exist in catdom.)

Famous ones include a cat begging to eat. You provide them food. They sniff, and then hurry to the door and ask to be let out. Or, as though insulted, turn and mime burying that food, as though your offering is so appalling, they need to bury it like feces.

Another one for which cats have gained notoriety is the famous indoor/outdoor routine. I want out. No, wait, it’s wet out here. Let me in. No, it’s boring in here. Let me out another door. No, it’s wet outside of this door, too. Let me back in. Let’s try the front door again.

A third famous moment of catraindications well-known among catsters is the cat who begins a jump and then changes their mind…a split second too late.

Another Disgusting Thing

I made coffee this morning and poured a cup but headed out without drinking it. That was about eight hours ago. Walking into the kitchen with my wife to begin making dinner, I spotted the cup of French Roast on the counter.

“Ah, coffee,” I said. “I forgot I had this.”

I downed the cup’s contents.

As I did, my wife made gagging and puking noises. I set down the cup and laughed as she expressed her horror. “Coffee is supposed to be consumed at the proper temperature.”

I frowned back. After four decades of drinking coffee, including cold, foul office instant in the field with the military, she was suggested there was a right temperature?

Naw, man. Coffee is coffee, hot or cold, long as there are no foreign objects like bugs, dirt, cigar or cigarette butts and human or animal body fluids and parts in it.

I do have standards, you know.

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