dailybell: 3/23/08 - 3/30/08

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Third week of March

Somewhere between March 16th and March 17th was equal time for light and dark. Some alternate universe, maybe. Yesterday it was dark for one minute longer than it was light, and today it is light one minute longer than it was dark. However, this is not the same as the Equinox. The Equinox is when the center of the sun crosses directly over the equator, and it’s equal light and dark there. It makes sense that everyone would experience the equal amounts of light and darkness at different times. I had just not thought about it before. The common misunderstanding is that the Equinox means that the day and night will be of equal length.

3/17 AM Ringing with Bacon

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. This morning was my first foray into another part of the city with the bells at this hour. I ended up at the McDonalds in the Haight at around 7AM. There were several men already waiting at the door for the McDonalds to open. They said it usually opened late and that there were only two people who worked there at that hour.

While we were waiting, I told them about watching the sun rise and set everyday. As soon as I said it, I realized that since most of them lived outside in the park across the street that they saw the sun rise and set everyday and it was not an option for them. Except for one man, they all drifted away at that point and went to wait for the place to open around the back. Bacon stayed. He was from Colorado and had been in San Francisco for 5 months. When I asked him if he would like a cup of coffee, he declined saying that he’d already had about 5 cups at Starbucks. I said they had much better coffee than McDonalds anyway.

So Bacon, Norman and I went around the back of McDonalds where all the little tables and chairs are and we ran in the St. Patrick’s Day sun. We were looking at the radio tower at Twin Peaks and talking about its various manifestations as a boat. Thanks guys.

Here’s a photo of the Sutro Tower on a clear day. It look most like a boat when the fog has rolled over Twin Peaks and comes all the way up to the part with the 3 “masts”.

3/17 PM The Bus Stop

A few blocks down the road is a bus stop and there were 2 people sitting there. I was already ringing the little Year of the Rat bell and approached them. Once I sat down and we all had little bells we started to talk. The man asked me if I had ever heard of “sun yoga” I thought I had but when he began to describe it, I knew that I’d never heard of anything like it. He said that he’d heard that if you looked straight at the sun as it was setting and just after it had risen not only wouldn’t it hurt your eyes, it would also provide all nourishment so you wouldn’t have to eat. He’d heard about some man in India who’d been doing that for 200 days. It actually did not take very long to find a description of such a person on the Internet. Here is a description of Sunyogi Umasankar.

We rang the little bells until we saw the bus coming. When I tried to take a photo, the camera said to change the battery pack so I collected the bells and prepared to leave. AT the last minute as the man and woman were getting onto the bus, I fired up the camera and snapped a quick blurry image of them paying. Thank you guys. What a pleasant surprise.

3/18 PM Terrorizing the Bus Stop

Today I felt like a hunter- out looking for a target. I walked over to the bus stop where I met those people yesterday and there were several people waiting for the bus. However, they were all Asian, and generally the Asian people in my neighborhood either don’t speak English or avoid strangers. One woman was talking to herself on a cell phone that I couldn’t see. The rest were determined to mind their business.

Then I spotted someone standing at the bus stop across the street. I can’t see too well, so I waited for the light, then crossed. She was a teenage girl on her way to school. She looked nervous when I approach. Maybe it was because I was ringing a bell as I approached. It was only a small bell. Anyway, I explained that the sun would be up any minute and would she like to ring bells with me. I gave her a card so she could look up the times in the future and to reassure her in some way that I was doing something legitimate. She said OK but that her bus was coming soon. I offered her the bag of bells and she chose a small one and we rang for a moment before the bus came. We managed to do it while the sun was coming up, although you couldn’t see it. She never stopped being nervous and didn’t want me to take her picture.

I felt bad for putting her through that experience. It made me realize that people waiting for a bus are in a difficult position. They can’t leave so they have to stay there and listen to whoever comes up. If they are not interested in whatever or whomever it is, too bad. I don’t think I will go to bus stops anymore and I apologize to that girl I met this morning.

3/20 PM Equinox at the Exploratorium

3/21 AM Looking East. Looking West

3/21 PM Looking West. Looking East.

3/23 PM Easter Evening with Friends