Going Green

My bicycle

I went green today, no I didn’t replace my lightbulbs with energy efficient varieties, I got on my bike. I have already replaced all my light bulbs, I recycle much of my rubbish but what I did today, made me really green.

For the first time in about 6 months I dragged my trusty Sirrus Pro from out of the cupboard and cycled to work. My stopping smoking phase is history unfortunately, and after about 5 minutes I had turned a quesy shade of green. I arrived safely at work about half an hour later coughing up the residues of my Marlboro addiction. I am really unfit, but with the days slowly getting longer (I don’t like cycling in the dark) I am going to be doing a lot more on my two wheeled stead.

I have had this bike about 4 years and apart from a dodgy set of wheels, which Specialized replaced with ultra-slick Shimanos, it has been a really reliable means of transport. The relatively high cost of the bike has long since been paid for by the money I have saved in petrol or bus fares.

My company is going green too. We ordered our first hybrid chauffeur car a couple of weeks ago, and we believe we are the first chauffeur company to introduce hybrid vehicles to our fleet. We have been leading up to this point over 18 months, and in the coming weeks we will announce that our whole vehicle fleet will be carbon offset, which is good. What we really want to do though is get hydrogen powered vehicles, like the BMW Hydrogen 7. Unfortunately these probably won’t be available for a few years, but we will be the first in line to buy them. The ultimate car for our chauffeur business would be a Hydrogen powered Rolls-Royce Phantom, I hope with BMW’s connection with Rolls, that they do indeed produce such a vehicle. Time will tell.

The Toyota Prius is used by a few mini-cab companies and some eco-aware individuals, but even a Prius or any other greener vehicle can prove costly to the environment. This week I have been overtaken twice on the motorway by Prius drivers doing at least 100mph! Which sort of defeats the object, I feel.

Anyway, even a hydrogen powered mini would be nowhere near as environmentally friendly as my good old bike. So if you see a green hued cyclist, give me a wave or even better some oxygen.

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Frequency Karma

Frequency Karma is the name of my latest tune. It is about us all becoming enlightened, together, in a sort of Celestine Prophecy “Critical Mass” type of vein. As far as the music goes, I would call it buddhist punk if you measure in genres, but you can call it anything you like.

Frequency Karma Lyrics

Everything good
comes from love
and you can find it
in the right places
look at people’s faces

the eyes tell a story
tune into good
don’t go beyond

Everything is fine
It is, what it is
Deep like the bass
Alive like the fly

Chorus

Light up
the darkest sky
rise up
ignite
come together
in a shower of rainbows
a shower of rainbows

Vibrating higher
higher and higher
pick out a star
breath in the moonbeams
reflecting on the water
harder and harder
in the breeze is a whisper

Discuss Frequency Karma at mACIDol.

What does beat me up mean?

My 6 year old daughter Jasmine asked me a question yesterday that had me lost for words. She explained how her “friend” from school had said to her that she was going to get her two older brothers to beat her up.

Jasmine then asked me: ” Daddy, what does beat me up mean? “

I am still stumped for an answer.

Why would anyone want to beat some one up?

Swan Song – Death in Ham

Swan on the River Thames

A Happy Soul

Mortality is a subject I have been exploring with a greater depth lately. I am approaching my 40th birthday, so my focus has been drawn to my own existance and demise. What is the meaning? Is there a meaning? I think Buddha might had said that this was an unanswerable question. It probably is unanswerable, but I am still trying to trawl my mind for answers, like I can search Google, but my mind ain’t programmed like good ‘ole Google.

Songs of Death

I have been writing songs about death too, which I think is a good way to release those feelings. Where art thou Zippy? is a tune about our cat Zippy who died last September. It also contains references to my Grandad and Nan – called Kitty, so maybe it should have been Where art thou Kitty?

Swan Song

On Sunday we went to Ham Common. A pair of beautiful, large, swans were keeping watch over their young signets. We went back to Ham Common yesterday. There was a notice pinned to a tree saying that the swans were attacked by a dog later that Sunday. The female had died and the male injured. The signets and injured male swan had been taken to a swan sanctuary. I heard that swans find lifelong partners which made me a little upset. Did the dog have an owner?

Now, what was the point of that? How does that relate to the grand scheme of things? Do the signets miss their mum?

Guitar – a new meditation

Rodrigo y Gabriela at La Scala London

I have once again, let my Tai Chi practice waver a little. Do not despair, the resultant vacuum has not been filled by tv or drugs. I have picked up my classical guitar again, having lessons and even blogging about it in my Guitar Blog.

Guitar practice is a great meditation. I can lose myself for hours practicing. I am trying to learn how to play like Gabriela of Rodrigo y Gabriela – yes that Gabriela. I am completely rubbish in my attempt to emulate the Mexican guitarists chops, but am enjoying learning – which is the most important thing, IMHO

I expect I’ll be back to Tai Chi and other meditations real soon.

Calling all Earthlings

Earthlings is a heart breaking documentary by Shaun Monson, featuring the music of Moby and the narrative talents of Joaquin Phoenix. It explores the relationship of earthlings – the inhabitants of earth. It spells out the misery that humans inflict on our fellow earthlings, drawing on similarities with The Holocaust it pulls no punches, and I found it very distressing. This is not a simple “Meat is Murder” movie, it also explores vivisection, pets and entertainment.

Going Veggie

I have for a while been a part time vegetarian, but after watching Earthlings, I have decided that being a 100% card-carrying veggie is the right thing to do, for me. It sort of confirmed some of the conclusions, that I came to as a child, but ignored, as everyone I knew ate meat and wore leather. Watch this film but be warned, it is very disturbing and if you haven’t already stopped eating meat, buying leather, going to the circus or owning a pet, it may well persuade you to do so – you have been warned.

Popcorn or hot-dog?

This movie is a masterpiece, grab a large bag of popcorn, (I wouldn’t advise eating a hot dog) sit back and take it all in. This is a life-changing media experience, one of the quotes used in the film struck a particularly resonant chord with me:
“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” – Leo Tolstoy.

Sayonara Sausages, Big Macs and Bacon Sarnies.

Another great thinker Leonardo da Vinci once said:
“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”
For me, the time is now. Peace.

Watch/Download from Google Video, Join the Earthling Discussion at MacIDOL.

Fun with Bamboo

Bamboo

Bamboo, my new Master

My Tai Chi class concluded with a drawing of Bamboo. John explained that in China, bamboo is a very special thing. He used it to represent our Tai Chi learning. The knobbly bit represents the class, the long smooth section the practice.

Notice that the sprouts grow from the knobbly part. This is where creativity shoots from. The knobbly part is the lesson and also a relaxing period. The long stem is the work and practice section, this is where Tai Chi happens. In class we learn, but without practice it is meaningless. So my new mantra is practice, practice, practice with a little bit of learning every once in a while.