Sunday, March 14, 2010

All the world is a critic...

You know the Buddha once said that you cannot believe everything you have read, or heard, even if it came from him. The only way one would know the truth is to experience the thing for themselves. Of course this makes me wonder in a time when we are allowed to write (like this blog), comment, and render opinions on every single article, website, or product that the internet delivers to our electronic doorstep every single hour of our lives. My example today is the iPad from Apple. Just so you know right now, I am getting one, because I think it is the coolest thing I have ever seen since Picard glanced at his computer thingy on the Enterprise 1701-D. Do I care what features the iPad has? Yes to a degree. Am I worried about how inflexible Apple's operating system, and software criteria is? Maybe, but so far it all works fine for me. What I do have an opinion about is this: Apple has come back from almost being a forgotten plaything from the 80's to a powerful force in our technocratic lives. No small feat when you consider how fickle the technological world is. Top this with the fact that Apple has the dominant music device as well as mobile phone device globally and you have the makings of a miracle. You could have written Apple off a mere 20 years ago. I digress. Back to the iPad. Like most people I need to read various sites on the web to justify my consumerism and convince myself that I am getting the right thing for myself to use, and I can somehow apply it to my work. The fact that I have rendered almost all of the sutras used in our prayer services to my iphone, kindle, and ipod touch proves that I am somehow using my gadgets to enhance my productivity as it were, yep. So there I am reading all of the comments written by people, the majority of which are dissing the iPad for one reason or another. I realize that most companies worth their salt have a staff of people assigned to watch these chats and forums to get a read on people. But at what point does it become overkill? Every single person has their right to voice whatever is on their mind...but posting it and reading it on the interweb does not make it any more right than the guy who knows a lot of stuff...because he handily can google or wikipedia it, versus someone with a technical knowledge of the subject. This kind of thinking is making its way to real life. I constantly hear people spouting off facts and figures on things that you would never guess they have a working knowledge about. Why anyone would keep the GDP of Zimbabwe in their brain's flash drive is incredible to me. Worse, they also think that because they "published" this opinion online, it made the thing true...a good as Webster's. Last night, I heard someone talking to a guy who owns two motorcycles (rides these bikes to work, and I have actually seen on either one of them at any given time) and this someone was rattling off all kinds of biking nomenclature. I have never, ever seen this someone on a motorbike...not even in leather mind you...yet there he was, preaching to the choir. Of course the biker guy was too polite to stop the idiot and ask "do you ride?" in the wisdom of the Buddha, all I can say is: " you?"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just feeling weird...

Well, I am just about getting rid of my pneumonia...don't ask how I know, I am just happy that I can sort of breath. Everyone wants to be an armchair coach, and Tuesday morning quarterback. I am sort of thinking along those lines now. Hindsight tells me that I shouldn't have prepared osettai (the after service lunch) on the 21st of February. Sweating profusely in an air conditioned kitchen is probably a warning sign, and of course this was confirmed on the following Tuesday when my doctor told me go and get a chest x-ray. Then me being me, I decide not to cancel Fellowship Night on the 28th AND continued with the Kannon lecture that morning. What was the result of all this effort? Well for one thing I discovered a new favorite dish, Darius DeWitt makes the best cajun gumbo outside of NOLA. It is so good that I am craving it as I write this blog. Ethel may have poisoned Daniel Chen with Maui Sweet Onion potato chips...Dan was chomping through a large bag of those tasty chips, and he loved it so much I told him to take the remainder home...then the next day there is a recall on those chips because of suspected salmonella poisoning! Go figure!
Well Dan came over to eat some Roast Duck noodle yesterday for lunch so I am guessing that he is not poisoned, or has the stomach of a male in his early twenties and wouldn't know if he was poisoned to begin with. All in all my first full day back at the temple was a good one. Cleared several services, prepared some omamori, and even got to celebrate Takuya's birthday and capped it with a delicious birthday dessert prepared by June, her delicious pana cotta which would make an Italian grandmother cry it tastes so good. What does this have to do with Buddhism...nothing...except that I can honestly say there is a very weird vibe around the world right now...and its not just the crazies driving on Honolulu everybody be careful out there!