c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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I highly recommend "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel, probably the best Jewish mystic of the 20th century. It's a very old idea. :)

I have nothing really useful to add, but icon love! >.>

This is a great idea,, that I will choose to ignore. In a similar vein though, I have a terrific friendly local game store with a great group of regulars. A couple times a week we get together and play board games for afew hours which gets us rolling dice and staying off the computer.

I instituted something like this over the summer after some horribly toxic times online. Basically, no computer/phone use in the evenings. It was delightful, even though I usually ended up going to bed by 9:30pm. I should probably resurrect this practice, because the toxicity is increasing again.

I wish I thought I could get my roommate to sign off on this, but a) I'm not sure I can sell him on it, and b) I'm not really keen to have that level of emotional intimacy with him on account that he's an ex, and I prefer some emotional space there.

Still, I suppose I could go all candles and ukulele and books in my room and writing office...

I love this idea. So so so much.
Going to have to implement it.

Sorry, it took like four times to read this. I kept getting distracted by the shiny gifs.

I'm glad to hear it's not just me... I have a really hard time reading anything with a lot of those in it, because I can't focus on the text - my eyes keep getting yanked back to the moving images. It's the same for web sites with animated ads on them. The only way I can get through a longish article on a page that has anything moving on it is to either disable images or copy and paste the text of it into a word processor or something. I don't know if it's an ADHD thing or what...

There's a browser extension from Evernote called Clearly that can help somewhat with this - it hides sidebars and things like that, thereby getting rid of most of the ads on blogs, news sites, etc., but it doesn't help with animated GIFs embedded directly in text.

Very cool. That's exactly what I need on my browser. I'll have to check it out!

I think on most browsers hitting the escape key after the page has loaded will cancel the animation of the gifs.

Just checked, and it definitely works on Firefox.

I like the sound of this, although I suspect it's less fun if you live alone, since the connecting-with-other-people part wouldn't be there unless you make a point of always inviting people over then. I'd pretty much just be sitting around reading by myself... And actually, reading books is often one of my big time-sinks anyway - it's very easy for me to get sucked in and read half a book in a single sitting, though I probably wouldn't be as likely to do that if I was reading by candlelight because I'd probably get eyestrain more easily. So I'm not sure how well it would work for me at present, but it's something I might like to try if I'm living with other people again at some point, or maybe for the occasional evening with friends.

It's definitely less fun when you do it alone AND not by choice b/c the electricity has gone out. On no-ZESCO evenings I usually write letters (b/c it's not worth using enough candles/flashlight to be able to read, unless I'm really in the middle of something) or watch the Sarah Jane Adventures on my laptop (which isn't really in the spirit of things, but I'm going to run out of SJA pretty soon) and go to bed early b/c there's not that much else to do and the cockroaches are always bolder by candlelight.

This is an astonishingly excellent idea and I would love to link it but some of my friends are all devout and shit and cannot abide the F-word. I think that'd be the only thing that keeps this post from going viral. :-)

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No, it's my full name.com.

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Hmm. This sounds like a damn fine idea.
(Also your gifs make me giggle like mad every day:))

One of the best parts of being a religious Jew is that I've had a day sort of like that built into every week of my life. On the Jewish Sabbath, I make use of electricity, but I can't touch it. Which is to say, there are lights on in my apartment, but I can't adjust them. Similarly, I can't watch TV, or use my computer or my telephone.

Of course, one key difference is that most activities of creation aren't allowed, so I can't write at all, not even longhand. This may seem like a downside, but it's actually nice to have a break from writing too. Growing up, it meant a day with no homework, and also a day when I could take a nap and not feel guilty about it.

Now, as an adult, it's also a day to connect with friends, because without all the shiny gadgets, the only way to connect to the world is in person.

I like this idea. But I feel like if I tried to do it right now, I would just get really, really lonely, as I spend most of my time at home physically alone, and rely on the internet for social interaction. Once I move, though, I am TOTALLY doing this.

This is sort of how I felt about my trip out to Peaks this past weekend, and why I like to travel to tiny inns in rural places. I think its also why I resist e-readers. Every night I lay down with an actual physical book and do nothing but read it for half an hour, and if I was using an e-reader it would be much like sitting at my computer, flipping between functions.

This may be relevant to your interests. I imagine you could sign the pledge without reservation. :)


My mom used to do this, in what she called "power failure days." Typically it was a nice day, where it was safe to open the windows and shut off the air conditioning (hey, we live in Florida, that's rare!) and all other electronic devices. Nothing with electricity could be used, period.

It's a little eerie how silent the house gets without the underhum of all that current going on around you. But it's very peaceful, and encourages other activities, and just makes you actually stop for a while and find all those things that you typically ignore because of the distractions of your noisy, shiny toys.

Thanks for the great reminder; I'm going to schedule a power failure day now. :)

This is such a lovely idea. It made me think about the nights when I would play piano, bind books, or draw. I haven't done any of those things for a very long time.... I think I will try something similar with my family.

That sounds like a lovely idea. I might try it at home, but with fairy lights instead of candles since my cats can't be trusted not to knock over everything in their path.

We had a power outage last week. We got home from work and the power was out and it came back on three hours later as we were getting ready for bed. It was one of the best evenings I've had in months. We read and talked and played together by candlelight. As I fell asleep, I was thinking, "I wish we had power outages more often."

I just spoke to my wife about this idea and we are going to try it. I think we are going to add a caviat that you can't talk about computer stuff either, and I'm really not sure how my 16 year old son is going to react to that since it is 98% of his subject matter.

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Concentrate on the souls of your feet

I think I'm lucky. I work with wax in making sculptures. Heating a metal tool in the flame of an alcohol lamp, and then applying it to the wax, watching the wax melt, using gravity and surface tension, watching the congealing wave front, setting it down to cool, all require a studied calm.

I've heard many people say they get very relaxed just watching me. Kind of a whole Tai Chi vibe to it.

As for you, 1) lose the gifs 2) stand up, concentrate upon the souls of your feet. Do it every now and then. That brings the consciousness down out of the head.

Re: Concentrate on the souls of your feet

The gifs, as explained, are part of the gestalt of my tumblr, I brought them here for the first and only time in ten years of keeping this blog because of that--it'll be ok for one entry. You don't need to tell me. ;)

s'cool. Didn't mean to be terse about it.

Having once been a circus geek in the It Department, I'm trying to work my way back through selected technology, without much success. So, I completely dig where you are coming from.

I think... I think we all will figure out what to abandon in the end. I keep on thinking about the Tasmanians, who, in the end, really got it down to maybe twelve tool items, and no shelter, but that's sacrificing a lot of creature comforts.

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