The Amazing World Of Physics

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”
― Terry PratchettLords and Ladies

“Nothing happens until something moves.”
― Albert Einstein

“Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions
any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…”
― Thomas JeffersonThe Statute Of Virginia For Religious Freedom

I have a problem.  There is too much to know in our lives and not nearly enough time to learn it.  No matter how deeply I delve into knowing about something or anything there is still more to know and more to learn and not nearly enough time.

I had a long busy night at work and have been awake about half an hour but already I am quickly delving into learning about physics.  Isn’t that what you do on a quiet, sunny, Sunday?  I wish my brain would consume physics more easily but it does not and just about the time I think I understand one thing another thing bumps in and I understand nothing.

What I do understand is that exploring the depths or even shallows of thoughts about things I have no real understanding or grasp of excites me.  For that reason, I love TED Talks.  In today’s email there is a talk that explains the history of our world in 18 minutes.  Yes, I know that’s a long time.  After all in the opening song of the Big Bang Theory they explain the entire history of the Universe in much, much less time.

So today, if you are the least bit curious about the Universe or World around you, I’m offering up three treats I discovered this morning.

First is the website Physics For Idiots.  Wow!  Check it out; there’s stuff there you didn’t even know you didn’t know. What an amazing site with lots to discover and learn and yet….yet….I still do not grasp even these fundamentals.

Second, I made an amazing discovery!  The song for the Big Bang Theory that we hear weekly on television is about 24-25 seconds long.  That’s not the amazing part.  I went looking for a link to share the song with you and discovered there’s much more to the song with the FULL explanation of the Universe and our world.  It takes a full ONE minute and EIGHTEEN seconds!

Third, is the really intriguing TedTalk that started all of this physics studying.  Really cool with great illustrations.

So I offer you, not only the website Physics for Idiots but also the full and complete short version of the history of the Universe and our World:

And there is Long but very interesting if somewhat more complex history of the Universe and our World:

It turns out there is a longer 2 hour version on YouTube but I didn’t watch.  I have a lot of knitting to do to get ready for Christmas.

The Greatest Prayer

purple7

“The greatest prayer is patience”
The Buddha

We live in a world where things can happen so quickly that when things happen at a natural pace we become frustrated, irritable and may even feel overwhelmed.  When I look at the intricacies of mandalas like the one above, I am reminded of two things.  First, it took a long time for that azalea bush to grow to form such beautiful perfect flowers that I just had to take a photo.  Second, it took just a few seconds on my computer to turn that photo into this beautiful mandala.

I was getting so frustrated with the house hunting for Beth and her family because there is a really tight supply of houses right now in North Bend. . . unless you are buying a home and then they are like fleas on dogs in the Oklahoma summer!  Most of the houses for sale are very expensive and to my Oklahoma mind are way over-priced.  Our beautiful home in the woods would not sell in Oklahoma for what we paid for it here in North Bend even after all the remodeling and landscaping.  But we bought our home because is was so perfect for us that the moment we first saw in as we pulled into the driveway way, the first thing David said was, “Now that’s what I call a retirement home.”  It doesn’t get much better than that!

In our looking for a place for Beth and her family to rent our goals was the house would be a real home.  The goal for us was to create a chance for them to start over and love where they live so much that just living life is a blessing. We stumbled across the fact that there are some older, smaller homes for sale that no one is really looking at buying because the big, fancy, mini-mansions being built all over town for $500K and up is what everyone is trying to buy.  We are going to look at a smaller house today that is older and we can afford.  It is really cute inside and we can make it cute outside too.

So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a win-win and going to try the greatest prayer on for size as we navigate this new idea.

Now for a little “Home Sweet Home”
by some fellas from David’s original homeland:

Water Your Own Grass

“You may think the grass is greener
On the other side, but if you take
The time to water your own grass
It would be just as green.”
–Unknown

“The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
–Erma Bombeck

Red Rhododendren in our front yard.

Red rhododendron in our front yard.

Perspective

You say, “You are so lucky!”
And I say, “Yes I am.”
You say, “You have so much!”
And I say, “Yes I do.”

You say, “I wish I had as much as you.”
And I say, “You can. Just ask for it
And work for it as long as it takes.”
Luck, like life is what you make it.

I try not to be irritated when others suggest that the life I have is totally a matter of luck.  It negates my hard work.  It negates my vision of what I wanted in this life.  It implies that perhaps I don’t deserve it or that if chance had been kinder to them I would be the one doing without what I want in life.

What I can tell you about how I came to be so lucky and have the things in my life I wanted is that I asked for them, I planned for them and I worked really, really hard for them.  I made my own luck.  My life continues to be joyful and bountiful and beautiful.  My life is what it is because I put forth the effort; I asked for what I wanted and I expected to be able to provide the energy to have the life I wanted.

Someone told me that God would give them what they needed and that it was not right to ask for what you want.  This may be but my gut feeling is that when Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive” he did not stutter, he did not waver, he did not say, “Maybe you’ll get what you need and want and maybe you won’t.”  He said, “Ask and you shall receive”.

So when I ask, I ask for precisely what I want.  Then I work hard to make it happen with the resources I have.  It may take some time and certainly takes a lot of my personal effort but I generally get exactly what I asked for.  I do not expect someone else to just hand it to me on a platter, however.  I expect I may even have to make the platter before I give it to myself..  There is no luck involved in getting lucky in life.

Bluegrass Underground

Blugrass

“Folks, a lot of you have requested that
we play “Somewhere Else,”
but I’m sorry, we don’t know that one.”

–John Flynn

I love PBS.  When I was much younger we always referred to it as the educational chanel which wasn’t terribly hip.  Then I became a mom and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes you just need something to get your child’s attention other than you.  So, Lorien and Ray watched a lot of Sesame Street and other kids shows on PBS.  Then I discovered that there were a lot of great shows on PBS.

I remember all the “Mystery!” shows, a lot of the “Masterpiece Theatre” shows and loved “All Creatures Great And Small”.  Then there was “Austin City Limits” which at the time played a lot of the music I loved including Willie Nelson, some bluegrass bands and even some rock stars and jazz and blues.

Recently I saw an advertisement for “Bluegrass Underground”.  I really didn’t know what to expect but Bluegrass is my favorite music, followed by blues, ragtime, ballads and jazz. The movie “O, Brother” brought bluegrass music into the minds of many who had never heard it and so there has been a revival of sorts of folks interested in bluegrass music.  But I digress.

“Bluegrass Undergound” is literally bluegrass music played underground. Here is the introduction to the show:

“The Cumberland Caverns are a 3.5 million-year old, 32-mile long system. The entry to the Volcano Room passes a waterfall & sparkling pool. Over 300-ft. deep, the venue has a 40-ft. ceiling and is nearly acoustically perfect. Musicians and guests alike marvel at the look & sound and a truly eclectic gathering of authentic Americana, Roots and Bluegrass acts make up the Bluegrass Underground series.”

What a great show!  We’ve got a bunch of them recorded and tonight we watched The Allison Brown Quartet.

If you love really great, fun music, check out “Bluegrass Underground”.

Onto The Next Adventure

Me doing the paperwork for our new A-Line Chalet Travel Trailer

Me doing the paperwork for our new A-Line Chalet Travel Trailer

David and I have always loved to drive and travel and talk.  We solve all the World’s problems and occasionally share the answers. . . for what that’s worth.

Lately we have both been aware of a need to get on about our adventures and discover more while we still can drive about.  So, today we went to the Seattle RV Show with the intent to look at our choices in small trailer campers that would be easily towed by our Chevy Traverse to help us take several mini-vacations throughout the year as well as to take a couple of long road trips each year.  We wanted to be able to take advantage of camping in US Forestry Services campgrounds without having to lay on the ground in a tent.  We also have gotten rather tired of the Motel scene which varies from nice to slightly better than sleeping in the car.  So off to the show we went.

We saw some great possibilities there among the old reliable standbys.  Finally we got the list down to two possible choices. First,  a little tear drop trailer–T@B— that came in a dizzying array of colors from bright turquoise to candy apple red (my favorite). But David couldn’t stand up in the trailer and he kind of pissed off the salesman when he called it a “Barbie travel trailer.”  Second (the one we bought) is a Chalet trailer.  Not only is it cute–not Barbie cute but cute enough–and David can stand up inside.  The best part is that it has a low enough profile that we will be able to store it in the garage instead of paying for storage someplace else.

So, coming soon, to a forest park near no one in particular, David, Glenda, Mollie and Lucy.  More adventures for us.

Finishing Touches

“It is the loose ends with which men hang themselves.”

— Zelda Fitzgerald,

American writer

Yarn, yarn, yarn

Yarn, yarn, yarn

I love to knit and crochet. I have discovered over the past year or so that I enjoy the process of knitting and crocheting more than I enjoy finishing any project.  Sometimes the reason is that it gets boring to knit thousands of stitches that are all the same. . . maybe meditative but not inspirational.  Sometimes it is the final steps of finishing that is the problem.

No mater how many weeks and days and hours it takes to knit or crochet anything, when you have finished you aren’t finished. You have to wash the finished piece because you had it in your hands, on the sofa, on the floor, under the dog, near your coffee or dinner and frankly it has some small bits of unclean something-or-other and smells a little funny.   After you wash said finished project you have to block it.  You do this by pinning it out on foam boards or the bed in the guest bedroom and let it dry. . . sometimes for 3 or 4 days.  Or you get out the steam iron (which I never use to iron with) and steam the finished piece into the shape and size it is supposed to be.  Then you have to weave in all the yarn ends. Why?  Well they look tacky but more importantly they are more likely to come “unknotted” and then with just a few tugs all your hard work is undone.

Life is like that.  If you aren’t paying attention to the details, weaving in those loose ends, cleaning things up at least occasionally, things seem to become chaotic and undone. I hate weaving in the loose ends.  I hate cleaning anything.  BUT I do like there to be enough order so the chaos doesn’t overwhelm me.  I’ve been writing this blog to avoid some details so, well, you know: I’ve got to weave in those loose ends and tidy up a bit.

I’m Hot!

Snowy yard last winter

Snowy yard last winter

Menopause
Tried to sleep
Snuggled down
Slept great
UNTIL
Old Woman Hot Flash
Started waving
And hours later
Gave up
Got up
Still
Hot!

When is menopause
Over?

So that was my night and my morning today in spite of temperatures in the low 40 degree range.  On the up side, I’m up earlier than usual and finishing my blog post before 10:00 a.m. my usual wake up time.  So, I’ve lots of time for knitting before doing a few chores and getting ready for work at 6:00 p.m. But still you’d think at age 63 I’d be over menopause.

Some gifts just keep on giving.  The importance of this concept is that not only do good things continue to be good, so do not-so-good things.  Yet both the good and not-so-good offer opportunies for learning, doing and being more than we thought we were.

All-in-all, I’d rather not have hot flashes.  I’d like to think I’ve learned the lesson, whatever it is.

Have a cool day!

An Inconvenient Adventure

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
— G.K. Chesterton,
British writer

Although I am trying very hard to stop thinking in terms of right and wrong because thereby comes judging others, I do think that with a tiny little re-focus for any unpleasant situation is a chance for a positive lesson or outcome.

David was using the vacuum cleaner in the garage cleaning up some mess or other when sparks started shooting out of the wall socket!  We both yelped and David jerked the cord out of the socket.  What was left behind was a part of the plug from the vacuum and a fried socket.  He was able to quickly repair the socket and after a trip to the marvelous Ace Hardware here in town he was able to replace the vacuum plug.

You can see on the left where the piece of loose plug stayed in the wall socket.

You can see on the left where the piece of loose plug stayed in the wall socket.

How wonderful it was that this happened and in this way!  How else would we have known that the plug on the vacuum was wonky and so loose that it would one day cause a fire hazard?  What if I had left the vacuum plugged in and then gone to another room or outside or even shopping? I’ve done all these before and would have burned the house down in a simple leaving an appliance plugged in.

What a great adventure and what a fortuitous time for it to happen!

 

Knitting For Love

“There is practically no activity that cannot be enhanced or replaced by knitting, if you really want to get obsessive about it.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

I knit almost everyday.  Lately I’ve been knitting on the knitting machine working on a stupendous Christmas present.  (Photos will follow after Christmas).  However knitting machines are basically beasts and not soft, cuddly, smoochy beasts but rather sharp, loud, cranky beasts.  It turns out that the perfect way to knit without having dreaded curling edges is to knit in the round.  This also save seaming time.  However you can only see one side of the work while you are knitting.  What happens on the side away from you is a mystery and will remain so until you finish the work and take it off the knitter.

So, dropped stitches.  The bane of my existence!  When they happen and you don’t see them on the fabric you can have one stitch mar several inches of the fabric and sometimes even ruin it.  The salvation is in hiding the mistake.  I’m getting pretty good at this now.  I’m not ripping the damn thing out again!  BUT really I love knitting! And I can prove you love me knitting too.

I knit for love
For I love knitting
I knit for you
For I love you
Thus you love
That I knit.

Remembering

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.”
John F. Kennedy

 

 

The day President Kennedy died I was 13 years old and home from school sick with a cold.  I was enjoying the guilty pleasure of watching a soap opera when the news came through on the television.  I couldn’t quite believe it and was really worried about what it meant to me.  I didn’t understand at all how the World worked back then and the only thing I could think of was that someone killed him because he was Catholic.  Now I know better but still have difficulty in trying to reason why anyone would have killed this man.  He was not a perfect man, husband or president but I believe was essentially a good man who was still growing and developing into his humanity.

How sad it is that we still consider that killing each other is a prime way of dealing with our differences.  If the Universe would grant me only one wish, it would be please stop killing each other for any reason!

Namaste, Mr. President.  We mourn your loss and celebrate your life.