May Ramblings

* The Wall Street Journal reported that Yale University researchers have discovered a way to restore some brain activity to pig brains 4 hours after death. Hank Greely, a Stanford law professor and president of the International Neuroethics Society, said, "Assuming always that this work is replicated, I think it's going to force us to think harder about how we declare somebody dead or not." Brain experts describe the results as remarkable, but the research is undoubtedly only a baby-step toward being able to restore full brain activity to someone who has been in prison for almost 4 years.

* The geniuses who run the commissary here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp have decided to discontinue selling the packages of Star-Kist Lemon Pepper Tuna that I was being "gifted" in exchange for the "free" haircuts I provide on Wednesday evenings in the camp barbershop. I now have to substitute 2 New Leaf Vanilla Health Shakes. The package clearly states that the shakes are "A Healthier Alternative" and "Aspartame Free." These "gifts" represent a slight inflationary increase in the love offering in keeping with Making America Great Again. Thankfully, such love offerings do not qualify as taxable income and are within the annual exclusion amount and thus not subject to gift tax.

* In Steve Job's 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, he said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future." Jobs understood that we don't get cheat codes to life. But do we really want them? What kind of adventure would that be?

*This month we are training a 5th dog for Canine Companions For Independence. He's 17-month-old Fresco, a yellow Labrador male, who'll be here for about 30 days before going to further training at the CCI regional training center in Grand Prairie, Texas. Fresco is smart and well behaved, but in the skills department behind all our dogs who are half his age. Freddy, the youngest, is still the smartest, bravest, sweetest, and most handsome, although he did lose something this month. Let's just say there won't be any little Freddy looking pups running around, ever. As is evident from the photo taken May 12th, he doesn't seem to care. Ignore the date stamp which only proves that time actually does stand still here.

* Often our state of mind is dominated and influenced by our emotions, which are reacting to people and events we encounter. We're either up or down, happy or sad, fulfilled or frustrated. These highs and lows usually lead to confusion and suffering as we are overwhelmed by negative, impulsive, and destructive thoughts. Meditation is a practice through which we attempt to concentrate on a chosen object, a positive object. It can be something as simple as our own breath or the love we feel for someone or something or God's love for us. When we cultivate similarity with that positive object, our negativity will be dispelled.