Archives for March 2005

Falling in and Out of Love

In the post below I related part of my friend Jim’s story about his divorce. Old Jim surprised me with a telephone call a short while ago in which he asked me to ask my readers a question about love.

He would like to know if you fall in and out of love with your spouse throughout a marriage or if you just always know that you are in love with them.

There you go Jimmy, lunch is on you.

Hindsight is 20/20 But you Cannot Change the Past

Within the last two days visitors to this blog have seen a number of different things, posts about sex and the impact children have upon it, earthquake news and a couple of cuts off of U2’s album The Joshua Tree.

It is one of my favorite albums. It came out my senior year of high school and it always brings me nothing but good feelings and great memories. If I close my eyes I can see myself at the beach. There is a group of 25 or 30 of us, girls in bikinis and all of the guys listening to the album.

It is one of those moments imprinted on my brain. It is May and we’re listening to Where The Streets Have No Name. In a short time we are going to graduate and we’re all going to head off to college and the song just feels so right.

My girlfriend and I have recently broken up and I am staring hard at a couple of the girls, wondering what it would be like to kiss them. I want to speak with them, but I am too shy.

Fast forward to January of 1995. I am back in Israel and walking through Jerusalem when the song hits on my walkman. It is well past evening and the lights are gleaming off of the walls of the Old City. Just ahead of me is David’s Citadel. In a few moments I’ll be passing through Jaffa Gate and on to the Jewish Quarter to meet a friend.

I remember just being amazed and really happy, so very content. The song seemed so appropriate to the situation. There was nothing but potential in front of me.

There is still nothing but potential in front of me, but life is more complex than it was then. A dear friend and I have been discussing life choices and how to deal with making them when you are no longer the only person that is involved or impacted by that decision.

Jim is in the process of getting divorced so you can see how the topic came up. It hit him out of the blue. He knew that his wife was upset about some things, but he really was surprised that she was so upset that she just wanted to end it all. They had been married less than two years when she told him that she was going to leave him and said that there was no reason to bother with counseling.

I know that he has spent time trying to figure out if there were any signs that he had missed, that he questioned some past decisions and wondered what his role in all of it was. But I don’t think that it serves us well to focus too much upon the past. What we have done there impacts us know and may very well impact our future, but it is not the sole arbiter of what happens. That is assuming you haven’t committed some heinous crime.

And the ability to look backwards to see mistakes is not always indicative of having been stupid or blind. Most of us are not gifted with prescience, we are not clairvoyant. So the best that we can do is act upon the choices we have made in the manner that makes the most sense to us. Life is about how we act and react. I prefer to act, but sometimes you are forced to react to situations that are created but not of your own choosing.

The beauty of people is that we do not always follow the logical or rational path. It is a common theme in science fiction. Artificial intelligence takes on human kind, begins to win the war and then loses because it doesn’t have the ability to go outside of the box the way that we do.

Set your course, sail your ship and don’t be afraid to drop anchor in unfamiliar ports or to weather the storm. Slow and steady can mean growth and progress.

Sex, Death, And Crap

I’d like to be asleep. I’d like to just hop into bed and drift off, but I am agitated. I can’t quite get my body and mind in sync so I am here at the computer just rambling on about nothing at all. There is a reason why this blog is called random thoughts and you are seeing it.

My mind moves at light speed and it is always on. There are times when I get lost in thought, when I drift away from reality for untold amounts of time. It could be an hour, it could be 5 minutes or 5 days, sometimes I am not all that sure. And there are times when I consider it all and wonder just what I was thinking about and then I realize that there was a tremendous volume of information running through my head.

There is so much going on that it is like a river which overwhelms the dam, class five rapids here. It is ok, I really haven’t known any other way to be. I am who I am. Overall I am quite happy with myself, there are not too many changes to make. If I had to pick one thing it would be to correct my dysfunctional digestive system.

It sucks having to worry about what I eat, to be concerned about having access to a toilet at a moments notice. The other day the urge hit me while I was out on the town. It was more than a little uncomfortable, but I managed to get there in time. Thus far I have always been successful. I know others in my situation who have not. I admit that my fear is that there will come a time in which I will fail. But it won’t be for lack of trying.

I am tired of the Schiavo case. I am tired of the bickering and finger pointing. It is like the presidential election. We point, push and pull and yell obscenities at those who differ from us. If you think that her tube should be reinserted you are a proponent of life and goodness. If you think that she should be allowed to die you are a champion of human rights and dignity.

And if you come between the two sides you need to be clothed in a rubber suit and hip waders because the crap is flying. None of this speaks well for us. It is a time in which I am happy that my children are too young to be discussing this.

Two more friends are getting divorced. Two more couldn’t make it work, but that is a description that is unfair. I am not convinced that every marriage is capable of surviving all of the stress and strain. Some relationships have a finite life and others are able to go the long distance.

One of the men told me that I play basketball with has been married for 38 years. He told me that he has more trouble keeping his hands off of his wife now than he ever did. That is all fine and good, but what caught my attention was his comment that they fight to take care of each other. Each wants to attend to the others needs before their own.

Now that is a special relationship.

Moving along on the topic of relationships another friend asked me if I could say that I have lived a life of no regrets. I cannot say that I have. I can say it is a life of minimal regret, but I know not how to remove that primarily because there just isn’t time to do what I want to do.

I sometimes wish that I could have a thousand years of life so that I could do more, there is never enough time.

More Earthquake News

After all of the posts and comments about sex it is time to talk about a different way of making the earth move. I read an article with upated information about the earthquake that led to the December tsunami.

Here are some excerpts that grabbed my attention:

“PARIS (AFP) – In a reassessment of the December 26 earthquake that unleashed the Indian Ocean killer tsunami, scientists say the quake measured 9.3 on the Richter scale — more than twice as powerful as originally estimated and the second biggest quake ever recorded.

The quake split the ocean floor northward from Sumatra along 1,200 kilometers (750 miles), twice as long as previously thought, according to their research, which appears on Thursday in Nature, the weekly British science journal.

The event released so much strain along this particular part of the fault that in theory there should be no quake of similar magnitude, or a similar tsunami, there for another 400 years, said geologists Seth Stein and Emile Okal of Northwestern University, Illinois.

But farther south, it is a different picture.

The scientists — who wrote before last Monday’s quake, which also struck western Sumatra — warned with uncanny prescience that “a great earthquake” with the potential to generate a large tsunami remained a threat south of the December 26 site.

The December 26 quake occurred off northwestern Sumatra, at the nexus where the Indian plate of the Earth’s crust is sliding under a tongue-shaped sliver called the Burma microplate.

It was initially thought to be 9.0 on the Richter scale.

But an evaluation of very low frequency data from seismograms shows that the quake was in fact 9.3 magnitude.

As the Richter scale is logarithmic, the difference between 9.3 and 9.0 is 2.5 times, the study said.

“Conventional methods used to assess earthquake size dramatically underestimated it,” the study said.

“(…) This makes the Indonesian earthquake the second largest ever to be instrumentally recorded.”

Only one measured quake has been bigger: a 9.5 event that struck Chile in 1960.”

And

“Research led by Chinese seismologist Ni Sidao of the University of Science and Technology at Hefei, Anhui province, sheds dramatic light on what happened on the floor of the eastern Indian Ocean.

Their computer model, also published in Nature, suggests that the quake delivered a high-frequency shock that lasted a stunning 500 seconds, compared with 340 seconds for the Chile event in 1960.

From Indonesia to just south of Myanmar, the ocean ruptured at 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) per second in an arc measuring 1,200 kms (750 miles).

The rip occurred along the so-called Sunda megathrust — the great tectonic frontier along which the Australian and Indian plates begin their descent beneath Southeast Asia.

Stein and Okal also estimate a rupture of 1,200 kms (750 miles), and say that this figure would explain why Sri Lanka and southern India were so badly hit by the tsunami.

The reason: the biggest waves that struck their shores came not from the quake site off Sumatra, to the southeast, but from the thrust of the ocean floor to the east.

“Tsunami amplitudes are largest when perpendicular to the fault,” Stein and Okal note.

The pair estimate the rupture to be some 11 metres (35.75 feet) deep and 200 kilometers (120 miles) wide.”

It is beyond words. Here is a link you can use to understand the strength of a quake. And here is a link to a list of other deadly quakes.

New Music Video Function

It is located at the bottom of the page, not sure if I will keep it or junk it. Now playing The Lonesome Kicker by Adam Sandler.

Updated to:

U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name