Friday, July 29, 2011

Something's Fishy

It's fishy you know
How it's there yet maybe not
The way i'd a thought

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coming To An End. Moving On

Last night on the road...

Rode the last 30 miles this morning to Seymour with a two week total coming to about 650 miles. Staying at the local hotel and had planned to be on the road between 6:00 and 6:30 tomorrow morning.

The first order of business after checking in was to find a rental car company that would rent me a car for the one-way trip back to Chicago. Surprisingly, for me anyway, almost everyone told me no. One company told me yes and then said the cost was around $550. Five hundred and fifty dollars!! I declined the offer. Finally found another agency that said yes — $150+tax per day, unlimited mileage, and no drop off fee. Problem is, i have to pick it up at the airport, which would be another 17 miles further down the road.

I decided to investigate the possibility of finding a taxi or limo from Seymour to the Springfield airport, but in Amish country in the middle of nowhere, that idea didn't pan out at all. While still trying to think of other options other than riding the bike all the way, i walked a few blocks down the road to the local Chinese restaurant, which could take a blog post all on its own. Chinese? Restaurant? Living near Chicago obviously spoils you.

When i got there i noticed an old beat up black pickup truck in the parking lot and figured it belonged to some kid. I have to admit that i thought about asking around inside the restaurnt for the owner and trying to bribe him for a ride; people around here aren't rich and the kid could probably use the money. I also admit that i chickened out of trying.

While eating the 70 year old husband at the table next to me started a conversation with me and when I told him what I was doing he offered me a ride to the airport in the morning, tonight if I wanted it. I jumped on the offer. He only wanted enough to cover his gas, I offered him over twice that because it is such a huge convenience for me. This was great news.

As we left, he said he'd be at the hotel at 8:00 in the morning to pick me up. He told me to look for him in that old beat up black pickup sitting out in the lot. :-)

Shocking news! I had my first flat tire this morning. Unbelievable. I didn't bother patching it, I just put in a new inner tube. I never could find an obvious puncture in either the inner tube or in the tire, and the inner tube held air when I tested it later. Not sure what was going on. Maybe the valve stem? But, what I did notice was that the tire bead is starting to break apart in one place; it really looks nasty. Nasty enugh that I wonder if that was the cause of the flat. Nasty enough that I was worried about the 30+ mile ride to Springfield tomorrow. When I get home not only will I have to replace the tire, but the mechanic who replaced my spoke last week told that the wheel itself will need replacing after my trip so i'll do that at the same time.

So what next? The rest of the summer will be devoted to re-doing my downstairs bathroom and building a Japanese-inspired gate leading into my backyard. In the bathroom i'll rip out the cabinet and sink and put in a pedestal sink, replace the 1850s era toilet, do "something" with the shower, and change the color of the paint on the walls. I already designed the gate, but won't post pictures until it's done. I'm excited about the gate, just tolerating the work in the bathroom because it needs to be done.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chasing Dogs

It's a quarter of ten and I just rolled into Mountain Grove where i'll spend the day and night. It was a 28 mile morning of rolling hills on the side of a major highway but the shoulder was both paved and about 5 feet wide so the traffic and I got along well. It's already hot but a big part of that is the humidity. Seems like a waste to stop so early, but the next hotel is another 30 miles down the road so this is home for the night.

Forgot to tell you about my dog encounter yesterday morning.

As I crested a hill, which means I had been climbing uphill, which means I couldn't run even if I had wanted to,... I noticed him sitting right on the edge of the road watching me and waiting. Very patiently. Very quietly.

I crossed to the other side of the road, but he still got up and trotted towards me. I yelled "stay" and "back" like I usually do but he ignored me completely. Thing was, though, he never barked, never growled, and never bared his teeth. He just trotted right behind my right side, right behind my heel.

I weaver back and forth across the road to try and shake him but he wasn't going anywhere, he marked every move I made — sometimes behind my left side sometimes behind my right.

After 3-4 minutes of this he must decided that I was no fun and that I wasn't going to play along and let him chase me so he sped up and ran just in front of me for another 3-4 minutes. Maybe he was hoping I would chase him? I don't think so.

In the end, we rode together for about a mile (?) before he finally turned around and headed home. Interesting.

Tomorrow morning I head to Seymour, another 30 miles closer to Springfield.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's Time To Quit 2

After a little searching, here's what i've come up with.

- The only rental car agency within 50 miles is Enterprise, and they tell me that Enterprise doesn't allow one way rentals.
- For this area, National and Alamo only rent from the Springfield airport

- It appears that I have to go to Springfield, MO, if I want to find a car. That's about 90 miles from here (Houston, MO)
- Since I can only ride in the mornings, and I only see one campground between here and there that means I need to use some hotels.

- Looks like I will ride from Houston to Mountain Grove tomorrow. 30 miles.
- Mountain Grove to Seymour on Saturday. 30 miles.
- Seymour to Springfield on Sunday. 30 miles again.

I'd like to do this as 2 days of 45 miles each, but because of the spacing between hotels it is either 30/30/30, 30/60, or 60/30, and 60 miles is out of the question.

It's Time To Quit

In Houston, MO. Rolled into town at 9:30am and the next reasonable place to stop it much too far so this is where i'm spending the day and the night. I can not ride past about 11:00 with this heat. It will be a long day.

But that is irrelevant.......

I'm throwing in the towel. I can't take the heat and the forecast now says it will continue through next week. Kansas is worse than Missouri with daily temperatures above 100. I tried to ride all day on Tuesday and thought I might not finish alive. A motorist even pulled over and asked if I was OK; said I looked "distressed." Luckily, by that time I was less than 5 mi to the campground where I was going to spend the night. That was when I got smart and said no more afternoon riding.

So, the only thing left is to figure out how to get out of the middle of nowhere. I'm going to rent a car and drive home. But I have no idea where I can get one around here. I'll ask around but I may have to ride to Springfield, MO, and that is still about 3 days away, given I can only ride a third of the day.

I guess i'll just have to admit that not all dreams come true.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Have I Told You?

Did I ever tell you that I hate dogs?

Today's friendly encounter was with a pack of three of them, but two were obviously the leaders. After last year's crash I don't try and outrun them anymore I just stop and hope they lose interest, with my bike between them and me and a can of pepper spray in one hand.

I saw these three take off from the front yard at a full sprint. They didn't come straight at me, but angled through the yard and through the next yard so that by the time I got there they would have perfectly intercepted me. Problem was, I stcpped when I saw them so there we were, me stopped in front of one driveway them standing in the road in front of the next barking and running in circles as if taunting me to move ahead.

I partially blocked traffic in the hopes that with traffic coming to a stop the dogs would lose interest and go home but no luck. Traffic just kept going, the dogs stood their ground and kept barking, and I just stood there.

After 5 minutes or so the owner came out and gave me the standard line: they won't hurt you. Bull shit. This owner was at least a little more honest and said "they won't hurt you, they just want to chase you down the road." Incredible bull shit.

The owner told me to ride and that he would stand there and watch them. Which he did, and no more. I rode at a snails pace and they tracked me move for move for about 100 yards, never attacking but always there barking, growling, and with teeth bared.

Did I tell you that I hate dogs?

Got to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park at 11:00 after an easy morning of riding, except for the dogs, which I hate (did I tell you that yet?). No one was at the check-in booth but a sign said to go to Site 201. When I got there no one was home, turns out they have the day off. Went to the camp store. They were closed and didn't open until 5:00. So much for lunch.

It's now 1:00 and i'm just sitting at a picnic table by the store staying out of the sun. Will try the check-in booth again at 3:00 when they are supposed to open.

Today was easy, the next two days are supposed to be long and hard again.

Did I tell you I hate dogs? And many dog owners.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In The Hills

A brutal, brutal, murderously brutal day. It was hills all the way from Chester, IL, to Farrmington, MO. Oh, don't get me wrong, the scenery was spectacular, with rolling hills filled with farms, fields of corn, beans, or huge bales of hay and with a half dozen or more vineyards. Yes, I don't deny that it was beautiful, but insanely brutal. Because of the heat.

I walked up more hills today than I have in years. When it is this hot I just have no strength in my legs and today (and the next 3 days) are putting them to the test.

Even though I did walk up a lot of hills, I still rolled into Farmington at 2:00 and found a new "Inn" set up for riders of the TransAm. It's quite the spread and I wouldn't mind living here. Hardwood floors, plush leather furniture, Cable TV, Internet, wired and wireless, and air-conditioned. There's bunk beds for about 50 people but tonight there are only 4 of us — one solo rider and two Brits all heading East, and myself. Still haven't met any other west-bound riders but others tell me they are out there.

Except for in the hills i'm feeling good. My legs and shoulders are peeling badly from the burn they got on day one, but they don't hurt. Cardio-vasculurly i'm getting stronger each day and i think the quads are as well. But based on today, i could be in trouble when i get to Colorado and the Rockies. :-)

Tomorrow I ride somewhere around 38 miles to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. It's supposed to be nothing but hills. Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, ...... well you get the idea.


Japan beats the US for the World Cup title in an incredibly good match. Don't know whether to cry or to jump up and down cheering. ??

The Japanese women played like the champions they are and deserve the title. おめでとうございます!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Giving Away Gold

It's another scorcher out there. Right now (@3pm) it's 89° with a heat index of 98°.

Weeks like this make me appreciate all the more the toughness of the riders in the Tour de France. Also reminds me of a famous quote i've read attributed to one of the famous riders of the past, I don't remember which one but maybe Hinault or Indurian. In response to a question about using performance enhancing drugs he said "What, you think we can do what we do on water?" :-)

Saw the mighty Mississippi River this morning! The ride from Carbondale to Murphysboro was easy. From Murphysboro to where I picked up Highway 3 to get to Chester, though, was a different story. In short, it kicked my butt. Up and down all the way with some of the climbs making even 1st gear cry in pain. Once on Highway 3 life was back to flat and except for one very nasty encounter with a dog and his owner a pleasant ride to Chester.

I admit to walking up a couple of hills into town. They were long and steep and I asked myself "why bother killing yourself?" It was the end of today's ride, it was hot, and I had nothing to prove to anyone. Why force myself to ride it? So I walked. Simple. Save the legs for cooler days and other climbs.

Made it to Chester by noon and swung by the post office to mail a few thing back to Chicago. Decided that I had a few things (cold weather gear) that I wanted, just in case, but didn't need. Given that this heat isn't supposed to relent for another week, I decided I didn't want the weight they added.

While at the post office a local stopped to chat. He's a bike rider and runner and has known other cross country riders so enjoys talking to us. He's ridden that big (20k+ people) cross-Iowa bike ride four times so has a good understanding of what this takes. He also suggested i consider staying at a local Eagle Scout campsite in town rather than camping in the park. The facilities sounded great and i could get dinner there so i readily agreed and that is what i had planned to do. After chatting a while we parted ways, him home and me to Subway for lunch.

While eating Bob showed up again, this time to invite me home to spend the night. As he said, he had thought of asking earlier but needed to go home first to check with "the boss." It turns out i'm not the first stray they accepted for the day. So here I sit in their air conditioned basement, using their wifi, a nice shower, and free access to their kitchen (which I won't use). Very, very nice couple. Friendly outgoing people with hearts of gold.

Tomorrow morning i'll cross the might Mississippi and head into Missouri. The guidebook has me stopping in Farmington tomorrow, then going to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park the next, and then on to Eminence on Tuesday. Each one of those is too short (one of them only 36 miles) and i'd like to combine them into two days somehow, but given this heat I admit to being fearful of pushing myself too far on any one day. Right now i'm guessing i'll leave the schedule alone and plan on doing a lot of reading in the afternoons. Maybe the Egyptians were right and the sun isn't just some inanimate object up in the sky... and somehow i've angered her... and this heat is her revenge???

Things to think about this afternoon...

Venkatesananda says:

"There is variety in creation; the infinite can be viewed from infinite angles and approached in infinite ways. Temperament and tradition are the main guiding (not deciding) factors here. The waters of the ocean are the same, whatever be the name given to the ocean at different points on the globe.

"The man of mystic temperament ‘beholds the self in the self by the self' in deep meditation. ... ‘I' do not see the self, but the self itself sees the self in the self. Self-realisation is merely seeing that what you and I previously regarded as the self, never existed! "

Kosho Uchiyama quotes his teacher, Sawada Roshi, as saying:

"Zazen is just our whole self doing itself by itself."

I like what Venkatesananda says, but think that he stops just short of the goal. He's right there, but leaves the meditator as that ego sitting on the cushion. Uchiyama, and Sawada, step over the stream into new land by recognizing that the meditator doesn't behold the self, the self behold's the self. That's easy to say, but not so easy to work with because if you ever say, or think, that "you've" gotten there, then you haven't — there is no "you" at that point. Don't get me wrong, that stupid Lao Bendan will still be sitting on his butt, but "he" is nowhere around.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Lazy Man's Day

I guess you could call this a lazy man's day on the trail. Or pure fate. Or just plain and simple good Luck.

Today's goal was simply get to Carbondale, where I pick up the TransAm Trail tomorrow morning. Since it was only 55 miles, I got into town a little before 2:00, even with a great many stops to get something to drink and to get out of the sun. I was happy to find that the hotel I chose gives discounts to cross country bikers. Yippee. So without further ado, I was in my room with a pot of coffee brewing by the sink, and with the TV on.

Now let me back up for a minute and say that as a general life principle I hate violence. Abhor it. I don't read books or authors that include violence, don't play video games that include violence, don't watch movies that include any violence. That last one means that I almost never go to the movies and when people talk about them, I never know what they are talking about. Most people just look at me in disbelief when I tell them this, but that is who I am and a major part of my values.

Having said all that, I sheepishly admit that two of my favorite movies, and I own them both, are the Kill Bill series. Love the sword fighting, love the samurainess of the message, love the skill, persistence, and never-ending drive of Uma Thurmon's character. So what? When I turned on the TV today, they had just started playing all of the Kill Bill movies. She's got her Hattori Honzo sword and she's mightily pissed off. Bill has been put on alert. Ohhhh, this is going to be a good lazy man's afternoon of laying around watching TV. :-)

The temperatures here are on the rise again. It is supposed to be in the mid-90s through Tuesday and then go up to the upper-90s for 2-3 days after that. When the temperature is that high I just have no energy; there may be long stretches of rolling hills where I don't even have the legs to ride on the middle chainring, staying in the bottom 8 gears for mile after mile. It's not very fast, but at least it allows me to keep moving forward.

So how do you keep moving when it would be easier to throw in the towel? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it well when he said "We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."

Or that other one by someone I don't remember when he/she said something like "Our lives are shaped by our expectations, not by our accomplishments."

How do you keep moving forward? By having high expectations of yourself. Uma just got buried alive. She's starting to freak out as she hears each shovelful of dirt being thrown on the coffin. But we know she makes it out. How? By going back to the mental training and discipline she learned long before, by refusing to give up, and by having huge expectations of herself.

So that's it: Training, discipline, both physical and mental, and having an expectation of success. Training takes discipline. Discipline is fine tuned and honed with training, and persisting, maybe even stepping it up, even when you aren't currently seeing improvement. Never wavering high expectations are maintained through discipline. These three are like three strands of a tight weave — possibly weak one by one, but solid as steel when woven together.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One More Day

I guess I should go back and take some remedial math classes. I completely misjudged today's ride; by the time I called it a night I had ridden just over 71 miles. But, spending the night in Mt. Vernon puts me in position to get to Carbondale, and the TransAm Trail, tomorrow. That should be about 55 miles from here, so if I get on the road by 7:00, I should get there in the early part of the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the temperature starts heating up again tomorrow. Starting tomorrow and going to Sunday, the temperature will climb each day with Saturday in the low 90s and Sunday in the mid- to upper-90s. Oooohhh, that's going to hurt. Again :-(

Another aspect of the heat is that my budget has gone to hell. I decided long, long ago that just water wasn't working so I now stop every 10 miles or so and get some Gatorade and a Payday candy bar. I feel better, but it costs.

Met Larry today in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Actually it was at the General Store and that may have been between two towns. Larry loves to talk and we chatted for about a half hour before I left and headed down the road again. He's out of work, but does side jobs, very much over weight, both knees have been blown out so he's not all that mobile, never wears shoes and always goes barefoot, and was at the store to buy some beer for the day. Everyone that stopped by, or even drove past, said hello to him and many told him they expected one of his beers later. We chatted about almost every subject under the sun. He has lived an interesting life.

Larry's companion was his grandson, who told me that Larry was his "best buddy." Their task for the next part of the day was to find some beets for lunch. Later Larry told me that at some earlier time in his grandson's life he had suffered 'nutritional problems.' I wanted to ask him about the planned beer and beets for lunch, but decided it was none of my business so kept my mouth shut.

As I said, the TransAm runs through Carbondale, so I should find it sometime tomorrow. There are no campgrounds in town so i'll stay in a hotel near the trail if I can. When I start riding on Saturday i'll officially be "on the trail!" :-)

From there, the next day to Chester should be less than 50 miles (maybe just over 40) which then puts me on the schedule of the guidebook I plan on following. But if the temperature is supposed to be in the upper-90s on Sunday, a 45 mile day will be nice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bike Repairs 2

I forgot to plug the bike shop that worked on my bike. If you need bike work done in Effingham, IL, be sure to stop by "Bike & Hike" on Jefferson St. And look for Robby. Great guy. Really nice shop.

Bike Repairs

Didn't turn out to be quite as short a day as I had hoped, but it was productive. And expemsive.

I rolled into Effingham at just over 40 miles but on the way to the campground I saw a bike shop. I broke a spoke on the rear wheel yesterday, and since it wasn't spreading and the wheel wasn't too untrue I had planned to fix it in Carbondale. But passing a shop was too good to pass up so I pulled in. In the end he couldn't fix it (his mechanic was off) but he called another shop on the other side of town and that guy said "Sure, come on over." For $45 he replaced the spoke, trued the tire, adjusted the rear brake, cleaned and lubed the rear derailleur, and cleaned and lubed the chain. Good deal.

By the time I finally got back to find the campground I had ridden just over 48 miles. If I wanted to eat dinner later it meant another 2 mile ride to the highway and then the same coming back. I decided to spend $12 and let a local pizza place deliver some spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. I ate it all, which is a good sign -- with today's cooler temps my appetite is coming back.

HUGE rainstorm last night. Tent was waterproof from above, but from below..... Had water on the floor when I got up this morning. Not a lot but I would have gotten wet had I not slept off the floor on my Therm-o-Rest. Huge storm.

Tomorrow will be over 60 miles to Mt. Vernon, IL. But cooler again. Have been riding through the heart of Illinois farm land and it's interesting to see the difference in farm crops. Some corn is barely 6 feet tall, other head high with tassels just starting to come out. Still others have pollenated and the ears are starting to grow.

No shoulders on Route 45 but drivers are treating me well. No yelling, no horn honking, no running me off the road. Happy, happy, happy.

Tonight's campground has showers so it's time to use one and shave for the first time this week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Moving Forward

Still moving southward. Am spending the night in a campground in Arcola, IL. Rode 60 miles today and i'm taking off tomorrow to try and get out of the sun and heat for a half day. Will ride to a campground in Effingham but that appears to be a little less than 40 miles so I could get there early. I'll do nothing but take a shower and relax for the rest of the day.

Whenever I see a tree with shade I pull over and get out of the sun for a while, even if I just did the same thing 3 miles before. Between that and drinking lots and lots of liquids, that's how i'm hanging on. This afternoon I was laying under a tree in someone's yard when the farmer/owner came out. He said not to worry, he wasn't going to tell me to leave, he just wanted to be sure I was OK and refill my water bottles. Long story short, we chatted for a half hour. One of his sons was in the nuclear navy and worked at the same place I did in Idaho. His grand-daughter is also in the nuclear navy and was stationed in Alameda, CA. I was there for the short time I was on an aircraft carrier back in the 70's. Another son lives in Plainfield, IL, just across the river from Lockport. In the end he invited me to stop back in again, which I said I would do if I ever came by that way again, but admitted it was doubtful. To give you an idea of how far out in the middle of nowhere/farm country he was, he said they typically see 5-6 cars a day on the road in front of his house. Corn in front, behind, both sides, and across the street.

Eating at Subway but just finished. Time to head back to the campground to see if I can get the All-Star Game on my radio.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fried Butt Roast

Had hoped to get to Gibson City around noon but I just rolled into town and it's already 2:00 — AND it's 94 degrees with a heat index of 103-104 ( or so I was told). :-(

I have about a half mile to get to the campground and will come back to McDonalds for dinner, so today's total will be around 48 miles.

Tomorrow is supposed to be "a couple of degrees" cooler but the owner of a gas station where I ate lunch said they are saying Thursday through Sunday could be right around 100.

I don't know how long I can keep this up.

Fried On The Side of The Road

Left home at 8:45 Sunday morning and headed south to find the TransAm Trail in southern Illinois. It was brutal out there. Brutal. A sign on a building on the outskirts of Dwight, IL, said it was 95 degrees at 4:30. After eight and a half hours I had only managed 56.5 miles for the day. At 5, when I finally got to Dwight I knew I could go no further. I was cooked. I was exhausted. I was dead meat pedaling a bike.

Spent the night in my tent behind a convenience store. But it was a fitfull sleep as it was humid and never dropped below the mid-70s.

Today is predicted for more of the same. I'm headed to Gibson City, maybe 45mi?, where i'll stop for the night. Hopefully i'll get there early.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Planting Memories

Besides the torii in the front yard, i converted more of the side yard to gardens as well this week. Not quite the last of all the gardening i want to do around the house this year, but the rest will have to wait until i return in the fall. The side yard, though, is now complete:

Bicycle is packed and ready to go. I'll be out volunteering all day Saturday so had to finish everything today. Will print some maps for the trip south through Illinois tonight, and then i'm off on Sunday morning.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Found this nice quote by Geothe this morning:

"Our desires presage the capacities within us; they are harbingers of what we shall be able to accomplish. What we can do and want to do is projected in our imagination, quite outside ourselves, and into the future. We are attracted to what is already ours in secret. Thus passionate anticipation transforms what is indeed possible into dreamt-for reality."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Many people think that Buddhism teaches that desire is evil, that it is the root of all our problems. Root out desire and nirvana is right around the corner. Sorry, but not true.

Desire isn't the problem, desire is the solution to all our problems. Attachement is the problem. Without desire we would still be living in caves, watching the wilder animals eat our children when they stray alone and unprotected from the safety of the cave and campfire. Desire is what drives advancement, what drives all attempts to better ourselves, whether materially or spiritually.

Desire is what spurs you to question the conditioned life you have been living. Desire is what drives you to study the dharma. Desire is what convinces you that life could be better if you willingly sit your butt on the cushion each day. Desire is what brings a teacher into your life. As Geothe says, desires "are the harbingers of what we shall be able to accomplish."

Truly desire to see it and you shall. Truly desire to let it live you instead of you trying, vainly, to live it and it will. Truly desire to let go and see that you are already there and it is done.

Desire to desire with no attachment to the results and the end of the path is near. Desire to let compassion define your life and you and the path may disappear.

It's an open secret — in truth there is nothing to desire; when you desire, examine your pronouns. Until you get over your pronoun fetish, however, know that desire isn't always/usually the problem in your life.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worshipping My House

Finally, just in the nick of time, got the new ornament for the front yard built, installed, and painted. I've had the wood and paint laying around in the garage since last year but never got around to building it. Finished it today and the house looks completely different with this in place. Now i can leave town on Sunday a happy man. :-)

It stands about 8 feet tall to the very top and the top cross beam is about 7 1/2 feet wide. It's gorgeous, isn't it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Buddha Is For Losers

Search and you won't find
The Buddha is for losers
The goal is empty

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crying For Strangers

I quite unexpectedly just now read that the great teacher Charlotte Joko Beck died in mid-June.

Charlotte Joko Beck Dies At 94

Joko was the author of two books that should be on everyone's book shelves, Everyday Zen and Nothing Special. Read them if you haven't already. You can also find some of her talks on a 3-CD set, but i can't remember the name of it and am too lazy to go downstairs to look on the shelf. I recommend the books over the CDs, though.

Another sad loss for the world of Zen Buddhism in particular, but for the world as a whole as well. We desperately need more people like Joko.