Incredible Sufi Lecture in English

This is a really interesting lecture on Sufism given by Pia Zia Inayat.  I particularly like his tracing of the etymology of “saracene,” and well as his discussion off Islamic futuwa.

As MSNBC today wrings its hands over the favoritism by Governor DeSantis re the dispensation of vaccines to rich Floridians, I chuckled and maybe even pushed un soupir before turning towards things that are of import to me.

Certainly Sufism has become quite central to my thoughts of late, as I approach 70, and my mind stop paying attention to all that is non-essential to me at this age.

I truly do live the life of a hermit now.  I visit no one; I barely speak with anyone outside of my immediate family; I go to great lengths not to be distracted or sucked into the strange madness that is the United States, even though — for the time being — I remain in America.

Yesterday my Dell tower XPS arrived.  I spent the day get my study ready for it; I have swept and cleaned the floor and the carpet and washed the walls and got rid of the dust in on my books (I have several bookcases in my study).

I often sleep in the study, on the floor in fact, on a couple of yoga mats over which I place several blankets and a fake goose down pillow.  Very effective for bad backs; and quite cheap too — no need to spend thousands on a bed and fancy mattress when the floor will do just as well.

Back pain started up a bit this morning, from all the exertions with the dog yesterday at Sugar Beach (see previous post), and I felt tired suddenly.  Then I weighed myself, and made note of the fact that I have lost 7 pounds in the last 9 days.  Good.  I hope to keep up the good work in that regard, and perhaps one days be as thin as I was at nineteen.

Once I set up the comp — this is a very high end machine actually — I shall resume programming the Islamic geometry design tool that I’m building.  I am doing this as a form of spiritual meditation, and hope that I can create something that will enable others one day to create beautiful Islamic patterns on their computers as a way to get closer to Allah.


News Flash…. the pain abates!

dell computer
Check out here how loaded this baby is

After ordering a new, loaded desktop (see above) to replace the one that HP Pavilion piece of crap that just died, I slept and in fact slept well last night, after taking the gummies.

Probably just a placebo effect, but today is the start of my week with no pain medication at all. It’s my decision.  I feel I can move a lot better than last Monday, when my wife had to drive me to the ER.

The pain spasms have pretty much gone, but there is still some residual arthritis pain that shall melt away when the sun days warms up.  This is why I live in Florida; the sun shines almost year round, something my aching 69-year old knees appreciate to no end.

By the way, I have lost 5 lbs in the last week.  Only 70 more to go!

To kickstart this latest weight loss program, bicycle riding resumes today.  The nice thing, again, about Florida is that the terrain is flat, and where I live — in a lilly-white gated community, I’m ashamed to say — has miles of empty streets with little or no traffic.

I took my dead Pavilion over the weekend to Office Depot to have my data transferred to a flash drive.  My new comp arrives on Monday the 8th.  That give me a week to do so mind expanding studying up, before the Dell arrives, and I resume working on an ambitious software project that has occupied my time since this past Fall.

If I can manage to balance physical vs mental activity throughout the day and not spend hour after hour hunched over my new comp, I should be able to remain sane until I get the Johnson and Johnson shot.

On Palaeography

Are you in a swivet over the impeachment trial yet?

I thought so.

Well, relax, you can take your mind off  the orange circus by entering my no-drama world.  No charge!

Let’s try a little mind experiment.

Picture yourself in a large, semi-upscale gated community, with lots of lakes, preserved Old Florida undergrowth, and plenty of tropical birds and other wild critters like gators and bobcats.

Now breathe in the clean air, and listen to the quiet.

Feeling better?

Here’s how my day is going IRL in just such an environment.

A 19 mph wind picked up today, which made my morning 30-min bike ride tougher.  I cycled back to the spot where I fell yesterday.

This happened when I clumsily dismounted — to lift my bike over an unusually high curb — and inadvertently stepped into the street’s drainage gutter.

Lost my balance doing so, but somehow I managed to turn and land on my back on a patch of St. Augustine grass. A disembodied voice floated out from the bush — this part of the street is next to a golf fairway partially hidden by dense stands of live oak and dwarf palmetto .

–Are you okay?
— I’m fine, I said and promptly jumped back on the bike and cycled away without looking back.

I was lucky this time round, unlike last summer.

Back home, I readjusted the height of my bike seat with a spanner (ie, wrench), and put some antibiotic cream on the scrape on my right elbow.

It’s annoying, but the extra weight I’m lugging around makes getting on and off a bicycle harder than it was when I rode one as a kid from Zamalek in the center of Cairo all the way to the Giza pyramids.

I’m hoping that having a German sheppie around is going to help me lose tons of weight.

Okay… what next?

Given the wind and impending rain, no scaffold-supported cleaning today of the back porch lanai.


dog chow
Notice that this is not baby dog food.

My wife and I are continuing to prep the main living room in anticipation of Geneva’s arrival, our little German shep pupy who will be here a week from tomorrow.  I musn’t forget to order her dog food this weekend.  The breeder made this recommendation, which I will buy through Amazon.

I also have to get marrow bones from the butcher at Publix.  Sheppies love to chew, and this will strengthen her jaw muscles and help make her ears go up.bone marrow

And this.

I have no idea what why salmon oild is good for puppies, but the breeder insists that it’s crucial.

Given that today has turned into a “day off” (of coure in retirement every day is Sunday, which is often a bad thing, especially early on, as you realize how increasingly isolated you’re quickly becoming), I am going to watch Dr. Ahmad Al-Jallad on YouTube give a talk on the origins of the Arabic language (see vid above).

I’m also going to have to decide if I’m going to get serious about SVG programming, or just continue being a dilettante.

Then I’ll take a nap.  I’ve always loved afternoon naps; part of my Mediterranean heritage I suppose.

Now this sort of thing — naps, bicycle riding, arcane linguistics research — might not be your particular cup of tea.

If so, may I recommended some other diversions — other than sitting glued to the TV — that is both therapeutically relaxing and a brain challenge to boot?

I’ve discovered that mawkish nostalgia and obsessive regret is often the curse of idleness in retirement. It can also lead to anger and bitterness.

Things change.

That is the way of the world.

We may not look the way we did in our 20s and 30s, but there is no reason to allow our brains to turn to mush as we wallow in pointless regret over what might have been.

Over how things are not the way they used to be.

Unless you’ve contracted, say, some horrible terminal disease and have only days left, why not read a book, or take a long walk, and make a point of actually noticing what’s going on around you, or meet a friend for coffee or group pool exercises to 60s pop music, or volunteer to march against global warming, or go well outside your comfort zone and call that once-close brother you haven’t spoken to in years?

Whatever you do, stay away from FOX and social media — especially FB.

It’s far too easy to fall into a rabbit hole built by and for those who refuse to see or speak the truth, who think it’s clever or funny to make you unsure what or whom to believe, and who are dead sure convinced that they have all the right answers.

Do me a favor.

If you hear the Messiah is coming for some rally this weekend, leave town now.

Your puppy will thank you.

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