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Pick-Me-Ups

Posted by Dirck on 9 January, 2013

I occasionally make small noises about my Buddhist inclinations, and I do honestly believe that it’s a good philosophy to pursue.  Unfortunately, it’s also a very difficult one because of the central tenet of abolishing attachment.  I like stuff.  Stuff is neat.  Even though I find that inanimate objects frequently belie their very name through skittering away from outstretched hand or leaping suddenly from places of what should have been utter immobility, I can still find myself drawn out of sullen moods by considering some of the keen junk I’ve got.  Pens, of course, even the disappointing ones like yesterday’s group, are high in the ranks of balms to a rankled fancy (and thank heaven I didn’t settle on cars, boats, or aircraft as an object of collecting!), but they’re not the only things that do the trick.  In the past week, there have been some additions to the establishment that have, with a little effort, have gotten me out of the ditch I was figuratively wallowing in on Monday.  Shall I share?

Some time ago, I mentioned our delightful high-tech teleaudio-phonomajigger.  Recently, the provincially-owned monoploy which governs land-line communication here (long may it thrive!) declared that they were discontinuing support of the original pulse-dial system, which would render that device useless in so far as making out-going calls was concerned.  We therefore had to install a somewhat newer unit:

Unfortunately, no call display, so we don't know if it's Dick Tracy or Sky Captain who's calling.

Unfortunately, no call display, so we don’t know if it’s Dick Tracy or Sky Captain who’s calling.

This is about fifteen years old, and it’s a delight to behold and to use, even if the speaker-phone option is (as was the universal standard of the time) utterly useless, no matter how one shouts.  A problem solved, and while visitors aren’t completely perplexed by the function of it, it inclines enough towards steampunkery to make up for the loss of that amusement.

Did I mention how grand our collective Christmas was?  Almost nothing one had to be politely gracious about receiving, and much that satisfied the sort of long-standing desire that Buddhism suggests should simply be cast off in the name of true happiness.  For my part, I got not a great many gifts out of the day, which is in general a good development, since my son’s haul makes the idea of turning our house into some sort of Lego/Thomas theme park a valid alternative to any hope of sitting comfortably in the living room.  The reason my count was low is that my wife and her parents ganged together to get me this:

No batteries, no vibrating bits of quartz; just gravity and a radiation of joy.

No batteries, no vibrating bits of quartz; just gravity and a radiation of joy.

To underline my status as an odd, odd duck; I have since at least age 10 wanted a clock like this.  Gravity driven, pendulum regulated, ancient in appearance; every box on that decades-old list is ticked with a check-mark of gold!  Even better, from the Buddhist standpoint, there does not appear to be a follow-along desire for yet a new thing arising in its wake.  I’m sure we’ll all eventually stop jumping on the hour when it chimes.

Finally, the last of the dark shreds* about me were dispelled last night by a visit from a friend.**  Said friend is attending the post-est of post-secondary education in one of the more desirable locations for such things (with, as you can see for yourself, some small imperfections), and I was afraid I had missed entirely the chance to interact directly during his seasonal visit home through a bout of seasonal illness I was disinclined to share, and which coincided with his meeting of friends at the pub of choice.  The visit was lamentably brief, although understandably so given the lack of floor space not devoted to nubby bricks and wooden railways, but it included some largesse which could be considered both late (or perhaps Orthodox) Christmas joy and mere sharing of things with a friend.  I now have a book of  Jorge Luis Borges’s short stories, who I have been curious to read but too distracted/inert to pursue; a gift that includes entertainment, expansion of literary awareness, and possible inspiration in the direction of weird fiction is extremely efficient and gratifying.  I also have a new and unlooked-for pen, which I present only as a teaser prior to its inclusion on my site…

Details to follow!

Details to follow!

…but which is also something I’ve been curious about and curiously inactive about pursuing.  How could a down mood persist in the face of such things?

Today’s pen: Merlin 33
Today’s ink:  Diamine Evergreen

* I should mention that these shreds were being undone also by a relatively civil late entry in that Facebook misery that I alluded to on Monday made by one of the people who had gotten my gyroscopes askew.  This is why rushing to sever friendships is not a wise thing.

**His wife was there as well; she’s also a friend not seen often enough, and her visit was very welcome.  I fear I’m snubbing her through failure of literary power and want of composition time.

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6 Responses to “Pick-Me-Ups”

  1. Flounder said

    What, no clepshydra! Only joking, I love your clock.
    I think they can swap out the gubbins inside antique phones nowadays, if you wanted to keep your old telephonetic communications apparatus.

    • I pondered the possibility, but that particular phone has gone far enough along the path of gubbin-swapping for my taste. It gets to stand as an example of used-to-be, so my son can be momentarily amazed at it in about two years. It also receives well enough, so it can go into a distant corner of the house as a sub-station (assuming one day a house so big as to have a distant corner).

      Clepsydra and our winters REALLY don’t get along. I’d be late for work from now until mid-May. 😉

  2. Maja said

    Sorry to hear about the disagreements with your friend(s); I generally try to avoid talking about politics or religion with friends…unless I am certain that they will agree with my views 100% 🙂

    Now….re: the new pen…Is it your first Kaweco? Waiting with bated (yes, I did have to check the spelling of the word!) breath…..

    • It is indeed my first Kaweco, and apart from my own desire to admit publicly to using it I would advise to allow your breath to be sharp and quick; I’m extremely backed up in the site updates, and I’m not sure I want to use my trick of recycling an in-blog review on the site.

      …but it MIGHT happen.

  3. […] underestimate it!) will have noticed that I am now publicly admitting to the Kaweco Sport I was given in the Yule-proximate time just past.  I thought, since someone has had their breath bated since […]

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