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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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I've updated My Life In A Nutshell.

It's been the kind of day when the air is so humid and hot that everything is damp, and the minute I step outside into the furnace I immediately feel like lying down and have someone pour ice cubes all over my body. The cottage freezer isn't that big, however, so instead I usually wander about in a half-doze, looking for a breeze.

Or I jump in the lake. There's nothing quite like it; I strongly advise everyone to jump in lakes on days like this (lacking a conveniently located lake, an unheated swimming pool or town fountain will probably do). One minute you're light-headed and crabby with the heat, clothes damp and sticking to your equally-damp skin...the next minute you're leaping off the dock, sun beating down on your head, cold water glittering below, an inner voice screaming, "No! Wait! I change my mind!" And then you're plunging in, gasping with the shock of the change in temperature, senses screaming awake. It feels even better if you've been in the sauna just before (not for the weak-hearted).

My mom-in-law got here yesterday with her dog Jamie. She brought swordfish, which we barbecued for dinner, yum. I'm a HUGE swordfish fan. I took a photo of dinner last night, but am too lazy to download it right now (the heat and all that, you know). Jamie hates swimming.

I'm not sure how many of you have checked out Jeff's personal homepage over the years, but those of you who have will know how dull it is. Despite its dullness (or perhaps because of it), people have written to Jeff commenting on his page. He gets very excited about this "fan mail" and almost always posts it online. He was highly amused to recently get the following:

Hey Jeff,

I know I haven't written to you in a long time, but I have just been so busy... you know how it is.


I was doing some ego surfing (you know, running my name through a search engine) and a link to your page popped up. It seems that you kept my long-since-submitted comment on your "minimalist" web page. That was over 5 and a half years ago!

Well, your page has evolved (a bit) and it's about time for an update, an in-depth review of your progress over the past five years:

Your page has left the realm of minimalism and entered into a Zen-like existence. That is, presenting something exactly as it is, rather than through the filter of ideas, opinions, etc. Zen masters practice this by asking themselves a Big Question, such as "What am I?" If they ask such a question strongly and sincerely, the answer they receive is "Don't Know." This is exactly what I was left with as I revisited your page after all these years. As a result, I now carry with me with a deep feeling of awe and spiritual awakening.

Zen ia also a deliberately inscrutable teaching, made even more enigmatic by its interpreters, who spend many years writing innumerable books to explain what they insist is utterly inexplicable. In the words of Lao Tzu, "they who tell do not know; they who know do not tell." In not telling me anything when I visit your site, I come to realize that you must know everything. I celebrate your enlightenment.

Though, in this light, I found the addition of colour and Javascript rollovers to be disturbing.

Have a nice day! I'll check back in another 5 years.

Patrick Doelle

Domino/Web Developer/Consultant


Today's Blatherpics:

- Chipmunk swimming across the lake. Photo by Jeff.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Have you been swimming in a public area (lake, pool, etc.) within the past 12 months?

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