Odyssey, New Year’s Preparations


Jura Mountains, sunset at Christmas near Lausanne Switzerland

The Jura Mountains (giving their name to the geologic period of the dinosaurs, Jurassic) wrinkle the skyline with a jagged ridge of freshly draped snow. Traveling the highway along their foot, temperatures this afternoon of New Year’s Eve are deceptively mild for the season. Spots of valley fog from time to time soften the light as we near Geneva on the busy approach by highway from Lausanne. The occasion and the misty light inspire a cloaked sense of anticipation. With resolutions beckoning and the calendar year poised to change; we found this the moment to revisit the town where we lived until one year ago, Annecy.

As we enter the lanes that channel traffic through the customs buildings at Bardonnex, we slow for the bumps and chicanes. The holiday traffic is fluid in this often bustling passage to clear the border into France. As we return to highway speed, we begin the gradual climb that takes us up, out of the fog and above the Lake Geneva basin. The highway files under the abrupt, dark cliffs of Mount Salève as it progresses toward the double-barreled tunnel that breaches a place called Mont Sion (in French pronounced Zee-on, and related by namesake to Mount Sion of Jerusalem).

The three-kilometer tunnel burrows famously underneath Continue reading

Caring murders

This body frames a warmth. This breath confines
A lapse from birth to death while inner
Waves with rhythms on and on, leaned by back and forth, have marked
A shore in subtle pulse.
Seldom spoken out, my name is not conceived
for voice. Instead the science
Rarely rounds
The emptiness it fills.

I make a list. I do my part. Short or long, the matters
Give some trouble. It brings
On sleep’s dissolving mesh, each one
Takes a part, large
Or small to leave the bowl refilled with understanding. I crave
The vice that chills the air. It lifts my lungs and digs a curve into my back.
The chiming praises every single word that silenced me.

Can shifting mood dispose
More power than convictions born of tears
and hope, majestic fibers ripped
Away, their beauty
Unremarked? The pebbled ground this heart refuses
Searches whispers from the gods’ lips
And asks the night
To wave a lantern madly like a halo on a gambler’s head,

Two-Step Authentication, Forced to Disable Security Feature

Access Codes

Screen shot of authenticator for Two-Step Authentication that generates a rolling series of access codes

After establishing this additional level of security for administrative access to my WordPress blog, TrailingSpouseurope, I was finding myself with blocked access on my phone and finally iPad. A message appeared today during login from the iPad that recommended disabling this feature. Although contrary to my preference, I done so. My experience suggests that the two-step procedure is not compatible with hand-held devices. That is regrettable.

Here is the Support article on the subject: http://en.support.wordpress.com/security/two-step-authentication/

Lucid Dream, Ethereal Music

Vitruvian Man

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, corporeal balance and symmetry in the ideal

Last night, for the first time, I used an iPhone App called Sleep Cycle. Its basic function is as an alarm clock. Unlike most normal clocks, the application incorporates a personalizing function. This unique operation adapts the timing of the alarm to coincide with one’s actual Sleep Cycle. The application utilizes one’s movements during the night as manifestations of the various, general stages of sleep. The movements are detected by a sensor that exists already in the iPhone. In addition, according to the designers, these movement correspond to specific stages of our night’s rest and can be used to adjust the moment when the App executes the sounding of the alarm that wakes us. It is interesting to note that these movements range between full-body, such as rolling over, to more subtle shifts in position as well as spasms (as during REM). The sensor when properly positioned in proximity to the sleeper detects by way of direct contact with the mattress.

From the application’s monitoring through a given night, a sort of graph is created. This series of hills (near wakefulness) and valleys (deeper and deeper sleep) displays the night’s slumber as steep-sided, with undulating tops and valley floors. In a practical way, the underlying purpose is to determine when our sleep state approaches closely to wakefulness. There, the raison-d’être of the App is intended to ease us from our sleep in the gentlest way possible into our waking day. There is research elsewhere that confirms this as a healthy and desirable manner to awaken. On the other hand, we normally cannot lie in bed until some convenient moment at mid-morning. This is where the utility of the program is demonstrated. A time bracket is selected which establishes a period of 30 minutes during which the alarm will occur. To avoid oversleeping then, the ‘hard’ wake time, that one would normally set on a standard alarm clock, is established as the end-point of the period. For example, this period for me last night lay between twenty-’til and ten-past five.

Sleep Cycle

Example of Sleep Cycle screen with peaks and valleys of soundness of sleep

As with any experience of the kind, Continue reading

On Writing (and Evolving) Online

This might be for you as well; the elephant in the room. The meanderings of this piece paint a picture of inner conflict that may leave one paralyzed at the thought of the evolving self (and its attempts at self-expression). The spontaneity of author of Writing Through the Fog gives comfort at the same time as uncertainty of how to manage the ungainly, non-linear growth of words and thoughts and pieces of writing. I suppose it is important that we generators of content must always try to stay on top of our progress, to remain interesting to read for those who stop by. I’d like to keep this fully in mind, just as Cheri does in her piece.