Friday, August 5, 2011
We depart for quick trip to Asia on Tuesday, August 9th. A quick trip: Korea (Seoul,4 days) and Japan (Osaka and Ise) also for four days. Home to the US on August 18th. Yes, we both will carry laptops and be connected everywhere. Friends, museums, and temples to see. Still working on day-to-day schedule, but no major 1,364-step temple hikes are planned like last year.
We'll be visiting the city of Ise, Japan this month. Check the map above; Ise is south of Osaka. Ise is my partner's birthplace. Here are some descriptions of the sacred site:
The shrine consists of two groups of buildings: the Imperial Shrine (Kotai Jingu), also known as the Naiku (inner shrine), and the Toyouke Shrine (Toyouke Daijingu ) which constitutes the Geku or outer shrine. The Naiku is dedicated to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu Omikami (Heaven-Illuminating Great Deity), and the Geku to the Goddess of Cereals Toyouke Omikami (Abundant Food Great Deity). Each shrine is composed of a number of buildings, including ancillary shrines, workshops, storehouses, etc. Each shrine has an inner precinct with a main sanctuary and two attendant shrines, as well as treasuries, fences, and gates.
Both shrines are constructed of wood, and every twenty years both are totally rebuilt on an adjoining site. The empty site of the previous shrine (called the kodenchi) is strewn with large white pebbles. The only building on the empty site, which retains its sacredness for the intervening twenty years, is a small wooden shed or hut (oi-ya) inside of which is a post about seven feet high known as shin-no-mihashira (literally the august column of the heart, or more freely translated as sacred central post). The new shrine will be erected over and around this post which are the holiest and most mysterious objects in the Ise Shrine. They remain hidden at all times.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Charlie's Diary for Sunday, July 24, 2011
8AM breakfast with men's group...nice, nice nice French restaurant "Le Provence." Probably 25 guys...all at one table so sadly you couldn't walk around and mingle.
My friends dropped me back here (remember, I don't drive. Haven't since 1994). Met up with my friend Jack and his buddy Charley and we walked over to the kayaking place. Five of us...all signed in. It was a beautiful sunny Portland afternoon.
But one new guy Robert flipped over TWICE in the first couple of minutes. He had earlier announced he could not swim so there was a level of anxiety.
But it got more fun. I tried to lower my bulky self into the boat but didn't feel "well-seated" in the kayak and decided to opt out...didn't want to be mid-river and have that guy flip over again or me flip, too. So, fun and sunny day. Took lots of photos.
I feel a bit like a phony by posting the picture above. It showed me as a KAYAKER! and of course I didn't actually go kayaking. cwj August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
August 2, 2011
Debt Bill Is Signed, Ending a Fractious Battle
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to raise the government’s debt ceiling and cut trillions of dollars from its spending, concluding a long and fractious partisan battle just hours before the government’s borrowing authority was set to run out.
The bill, which passed 74 to 26, was immediately signed by President Obama, who took a final shot at his Republican opposition for what he called a manufactured — and avoidable — crisis. “Voters may have chosen divided government,” he said, “but they sure didn’t vote for dysfunctional government.”
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Monday, August 1, 2011
July 31, 2011
The President Surrenders
By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times
A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
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