The Seals

Two atoms collided on a small star
in a distant corner
of the Virgo Supercluster
emitting a small burst of light.

Several minutes later,
that light,
along with the light
of so many other such collisions
reflected off the skin
of a large grey seal
basking on a sand bar
at low tide
on Cape Cod.

This reflected light
entered the eyes
of a man sitting
on the sand
next to his wife
at sunset.

He reached out and touched her hand.

The touch,
the smells of the sea,
the sound of the surf
      and the seals,
fired off synapses
mingling serotonin and memories
in her mind.

Her mother had loved watching the seals.

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What is Poetry?

I moved to New York after dropping out of college,
to be a poet,
but found myself writing computer programs
for an insurance company.

I had pieces published in college literary magazines,
but never had the confidence to become
the next Wallace Stevens.
Anyway, I like programming computers.

Three decades later
I compose my lines
as I drive to work
and wonder,
“What is poetry?”

Now, I write my blog posts
and meeting minutes
in a voice not much different
from my collegiate poems.

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A lenten Reflection

In the middle of the night, the dog wanted to go outside. I pulled the blankets around me more tightly, hoping it was just deer or perhaps a bobcat passing through and he would settle back down shortly. In that half-awake stake, my mind wandered from some dream to a really important Lenten revelation, or so it seemed at the time.

The dog did not settle down, so I took him outside on the leash briefly. He tried to find a place in the deep snow where he could relieve himself, walking in short circles. Finally, he was ready and came back inside. I headed back to bed hoping now I could get a little sleep, but the dog wanted more outside time.

Eventually, I let him outside again and when he came back inside and I returned, again, to my bed, sleep came quickly. Yet with the morning light, that dream and Lenten revelation were gone from my memory. Perhaps they will come back. Perhaps I carry them in my subconscious thoughts right now.

I went to an Ash Wednesday service on the way home. I’ve pondered anew what Lenten disciplines I might adopt, but now the hour is late after a long day, so I’ll head off to bed, and hopefully get a better night sleep.

Then, tomorrow, I can write of state politics, the lunar New Year, Lenten disciplines, perhaps poetry, technology, or some sort of post structuralist thought, but now, I shall sleep.

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Shrove Tuesday

The Shrove Tuesday pancakes and sausage sit in by gut as I surf the web seeking ideas for a Lenten Discipline. What should I give up? What should I take up? I’ve thought of reading some mystic. I’ve thought of reading some poet.

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

Perhaps a little T.S. Elliot? Perhaps The Cloud of Unknowing?

After pancakes at church this evening, we burnt last year’s palms for tomorrow’s ashes; the cycle of another year complete.

It seems as if each year, Lent becomes harder. I become more aware of my own short comings, my own frailty. I read the news and become more aware of how broken this world we live in really is.

Tomorrow, I will be reminded again, that I come from dust and to dust I shall return. I’ll pause to think of those who have returned to dust and my friends that mourn. Then, I shall do my exercises as I wait for spring, as I wait for Easter.

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Ingress Stats

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog post about the augmented reality game, Ingress. If you’re not an Ingress player, you may want to skip this post.

I am approaching 100,000,000 XM Recharged and it made me stop and figure. For each 1000 XM recharged, you get ten AP. If the resonators are close to fully charged, you might be able to get ten AP for less recharging than 1000 XM, but to keep things simple, it works out to be 1 AP for every 100 XM recharged. So, 100,000,000 XM Recharged would be a million AP. So, when I get to 120,000,000 XM recharged, I will have recharged enough to make it to Level 8 on just recharging.

This got me thinking, what is the mix of AP that I’ve received? With 125 AP for each resonator deployed, I’m around 7.4 million AP just for deploying resonators. With 500 AP for each portal captured, I’m at about 3.8 million AP for portal captures. I’m at about 2.6 million for resonators destroy and another 2.6 million for fields created.

I find the numbers fairly well reflect my style of play. I’m more of a builder than a destroyer, but when I destroy enemy portals, it is often to take out fields. While I have done a lot of recharging, it remains one of my lesser methods of gaining AP.

The other set of statistics I look at is when I’m likely to get my next badges. Some badges are so far out on the horizon that I doubt I’ll ever get them. For example, at my current rate of play, I’m unlikely to get my next mind controller badge for another 13 years. My next Connector badge is just under 10 years away. But, there are between five and seven badges that I could get within the next year.

All of this is based on the game remaining the same as it is right now, and my level of activity, likewise, remaining the same. However, I expect that we will see more changes over the next year, and my level of play will ebb and flow.

So, how are your Ingress Stats?

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