A monk asked Nansen: "Is there a teaching no master ever taught before?"
Nansen said: "Yes, there is."
"What is it?" asked the monk.
Nansen replied: "It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things."

Nansen was too kind and lost his treasure.
Truly, words have no power.
Even though the mountain becomes the sea,
Words cannot open another's mind.

the Dirty Pair in the Mandelbrot Set. (use PNG for patent-free images)
ben taylor /
mithras macguges





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Our tax dollars at work
Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I had a surprise waiting for me in my mother's kitchen today. I've had the good fortune to live in my folks' basement for the past couple months. A sudden thunderstorm had rolled in, so I had gone there to read while my mother prepared for a doctor's appointment.

Some time later, I heard the trundle of footsteps. Too many for my mother to make on her own. Maybe prowlers? I got up and started up the basement stairs, wondering who would have entered my parents' house. (Since they live outside the city, they occasionally leave the place open for the utility representative to check our meter.)

I found three uniformed police officers in our kitchen, who told me to halt and sighted their shotgun and handguns on me. I followed their instructions, raising my hands, kneeling on the floor and turning to face the corner. They they cuffed me and patted me down for weapons. They asked me for identication, which I had left in the basement. And when they felt satisfied that I was who I said I was and not burgling my parents' home, they apologized stiffly. They explained they had not made a mistake, because they had responded to a holdup signal from our security agency, they had found our front door open, and they'd heard no reply when they'd first entered. Then they left.

When I talked to my parents' security agency, they informed me that they'd called the police before calling our house. I did not see their number on our caller id, but even if they did call I wouldn't have heard their call from our basement.

I suspect it happened as a freak consequence of the passing thunderstorm. I hope I can get an apology from our security agency.

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Copyright © 2002 by Ben Taylor <mithras@dhp.com>