Posted by: fullandbye | September 27, 2007

various (as usual)

I met with Neil Banas yesterday in the UD. Although I took but one class from him, his influence over my thinking and being is profound. He brought up some points to think about, some books to read, and some things to do. We also reminisced about Humans and Other Animals. He confessed that on the first day of class he literally had no idea where the class was going to go. I told him that I remember thinking this exact thing on the first day of class, when he walked in, paused, looked at the class with a sort of “deer in the headlights” look and then plunged us into discussion. I think that class was so exciting precisely because no one, not even the instructor had ever charted those intellectual waters before.

My time remaining in Seattle is taking on sharper and sharper focus. I will need to spend my time wisely to accomplish that which I want to accomplish. I will need to accomplish certain things in order to believe I have spent my time wisely.

Speaking of which, I will not take the captain’s class. The class has a lot to offer, but in order to actually get licensed, applicants need to have accumulated 360 days of sea-time, 90 of which were in the past year. I have accumulated more than 90 days in the past year, but documenting this time will be a real pain in the ass. I also doubt if I have accumulated 360 days of sea-time throughout my sailing career. I would estimate an amount closer to 200 days or so. Substantial, but not enough. Someday though. Someday.

Reading at Zoka yesterday evening. God I miss that place.

Chris and I watched Fitzcarraldo last night. I knew what I was watching. I knew it was real. It was more unbelievable than any special effect.


  1. Apologies for not making it — next time!
    I knew what I was watching. I knew it was real. It was more unbelievable than any special effect.
    Astronomy Picture of the Day for Sept 18, 2007: Tungurahua Erupts.

  2. Damn I miss Neil, he is such an amazing human being. I should get coffee with him too.

  3. Yeah, he is really an amazing individual. I consider myself unbelievably fortunate to have met him.
    A great sage once said “find yourself a mentor, acquire a friend, and make it a habit to judge every person favorably”. In Neil’s case, I consider him a mentor and friend, and part of his mentorship is exemplifying the habit of judging every person favorably.
    (Incidentally, the sage was Yehoshua Ben Perachiah, an enigmatic figure who was widely believed to have been a mentor to Jesus).

  4. I don’t think I have ever ceased to be amazed that that class worked at all, to say nothing of how excellent it was. It’s rare that any discussion in a classe is as good as the daily quality there. But it worked, and has remained one of the few classes that truly affected, single-handedly, the way I look at the world. I had never thought about it, but I don’t think Humans et al could have been the same had he any idea of where he was going, beyond some notion of the questions to consider. And then being the friendliest guy ever on top of that is nigh on miraculous.
    Also, Fitzcarraldo is a ridiculously strange and incredible movie. I almost feel like the movie itself is incidental compared to the act of making it. There’s a documentry on it that is supposed to be very, very good called “Burden of Dreams.” Your comment reminds me to put that in my queue.

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