Saturday, June 25, 2005

Country Mouse

In the story of the country mouse and the city mouse, the country mouse is continually amazed by the wonders of life and the bounty of food available when he visits his cosmopolitan cousin. He is also terrified half to death by cooks, cats, and mousetraps, and decides to return to his less exciting, but more peaceful home in the country. I have an Inner Country Mouse.

Country Mouse comes out sometimes when I'm in a new situation, usually when there is a crowd of strangers or a lot going on. For example, I really felt like Country Mouse the first few times I went to the Pentagon - it's a big, intimidating building, with lots of security and an unbelievably complex floorplan, so you better know where you're going. And allow plenty of time to get there. Now that I have a weekly meeting there, however, I've become accustomed to the security drill and know exactly how to get to my meeting room.

Country Mouse came out twice today here at General Assembly. The first time was this morning, when I entered the Rio Grande Room of the Renaissance Worthington Hotel to attend a Meadville-Lombard breakfast. I was there at the invitation of my minister, but had expected a much smaller affair. Seeing nobody I knew (and nobody else in shorts), Country Mouse got scared and off we went. Cereal back at my hotel seemed preferable to a crowd of strangers.

Country Mouse made his second appearance today when I entered the Convention Center right before the program on UUs in the Military in which I participated. I was very nervous entering the building in my Marine Corps uniform. This was the first time I'd worn it around such a large gathering of UUs, and I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, nobody threw rotten vegetables at me or shouted "babykiller" at me - in fact many came up and wished me well. Country Mouse got a little less scared with each interaction. My old friend Karen and my new friend Cynthia also helped, and by the time I had made my way back to the room where our panel program was going to be held, Country Mouse felt much more at ease, so I was able to let him go.

I've never been an extrovert, and I think that's one reason why GA and its crowds take their toll on me. Interestingly, last year (my first GA), I didn't feel quite this way - I felt more like all these people were friends I hadn't met. This year, however, I find myself seeking out more direct, personal contact with people I already know.

It's rewarding to give myself (and Country Mouse) permission to be anxious or uncomfortable, and to care for both of us by saying "no" when the time is right, or saying "yes" when we can work through our discomfort.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Serendipity Strikes Again

In my first post to this blog, Revolution, I told the story of finding and meeting an old friend after having no contact for 20 years. It's happened again!

Yesterday I got an e-mail from another old and very dear friend, Anne, with whom I did a better job of keeping in touch until about 3 or 4 years ago. She found this blog using Google (the same method I used to find my other friend Jason) and e-mailed me.

The amazing thing is the timeliness of her finding me. I'm leaving for GA today, then going home to Colorado to visit family, and it turns out that Anne will be in our hometown the same weekend I am! Cool. I call it the Tao in action. Or maybe just another happy coincidence.

Anyway, happy Summer Solstice (Midsummer). It's also an auspicious day to view the rising (almost) full moon.

See you at GA?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Democracy, Down & Dirty

We had our annual Congregational Meeting today - boy am I glad that takes place only once a year. Despite all the arguments about cutting off discussion, when to vote on what, and who could speak when, we managed to pass a by-law amendment and a budget, as well as elect three new board members (including yours truly). It only took about 2 hours, but it seemed like forever.

It occurred to me that perhaps the reason the annual meeting is so painful and dreaded (is it like that in all congregations?) is that we don't practice face to face democracy - where each person has a voice and a direct vote - for most of the year in our congregations, and almost never in society. Maybe what we need is more practice. Practicing parliamentary procedure would certainly make it easier when the time came when it was really necessary, but I think that would be a hard sell as an adult RE class. Maybe a handout prior to the annual meeting - a sort of "Parliamentary Procedure for Dummies" - would suffice. Thankfully our board secretary eats that stuff up.

I also observed both the "tyranny of the majority" and the "tyranny of the minority" today. On one occasion, it was moved and voted to end discussion on a particular amendment (which in fact passed very easily when voted upon). I think there were some hard feelings from those who never got to talk, but a smug sense of "let's get on with it, I had my turn," from those who did speak or didn't care to. On the other hand, much debate was engendered about a by-law amendment (soundly defeated) proposed by one member whose sole purpose in doing so seemed to be to generate discussion. It was certainly successful, but I felt like a captive during much of that talk. The true irony was listening to this person, who sat near me, complaining about Robert's Rules of Order and the extended discussion. I'm not sure what else he expected.

It seems odd that in our faith communities we would engage in a practice so potentially divisive and contentious as the democratic process. Would that we could operate by consensus. Of course it would take even LONGER to be done with the meeting, and we might never come to a resolution. It works well in smaller groups, though.

If nothing else, today's meeting was good practice for GA for our delegates!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Whence Community?

Last weekend at my son's birthday party, I had some very interesting discussions with my Quaker friend John, including one about religious community.

The word religion has its roots in the Latin ligio (to connect or bind together), and we agreed that the appeal of that community, those bonds, that connection, is one thing that draws people to religion. John then made an observation that caught me by surprise, although in retrospect it makes sense looked at from his perspective. He said that the important thing about religious community is that it forms because God brings people together. This is not at all how I viewed it.

I have viewed religious community as an intentional gathering of people who share a common desire for fellowship and worship beyond what they find in their everyday lives. The concept of Unitarian Universalism as a "chosen faith" highlights the intentionality of this gathering - the choice to be together in community without the bondage (another interpretation of ligio) of traditional creedal religion.

If God is within, among, and around us, then perhaps it IS God that brings us together in community. If the Tao flows through us and all living things, we can follow it into community. If there is just some basic human need for community, we will seek it. Regardless of one's perspective, there seems to be something greater than ourselves that finds its expression in community and meaningful relationship with others.

There is definitely also an element of intentionality to religious community - regardless of any greater, metaphysical call to connect or gather together, each individual must conciously choose to remain in relationship with others. To develop meaningful relationships, moreover, requires effort and commitment well beyond that required merely to show up at church on Sunday.

The most important aspect of community - of religion - is not what brings us there together, but what we do together once we've arrived. Do we recite some static creed and place our hopes in the promise of a better life somewhere else? Or do we celebrate ourselves, our community, and our relationships, nurture each other and the earth, and strive to increase the amount of love and justice in the world?

Something greater than ourselves may bring us together, but it's up to each of us to make something beautiful out of this thing we call community.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pondering Parenthood

I've been thinking a lot about kids and parenting lately, especially after observing the wide range of behavior (and, implicitly, parenting) displayed at my son's birthday party this weekend. Monday, with marvelous serendipity (God's will? the Tao? coincidence?) I read what two other parents had to say about the joys of parenthood, and both stories resonated with me.

The first one is a post by JField, the Left Coast Unitarian and an e-pen pal of mine while I was in Iraq. His advice on parenting is to relax, don't expect to be perfect, and do what works for you. Amen, brother. His post, and its admonition to be wary of parenting advice from others, makes me think of a quote from a former well-intentioned-unsolicited-advice-giver: "I did my best parenting before I had kids."

The second parental story comes in an e-mail from my good friend Julie, whose son recently graduated from high school. She very eloquently and poignantly relates the birth, growth, and departure from the nest of some baby birds; her story is an apt and moving metaphor of how unbelievably quickly our children grow up, and yet how our love and nurture will inevitably result in their independence and success.

A robin made a nest on the ledge of the drain-spout outside our bedroom window. I watched as she built the nest, sat on the eggs and diligently brought food to her babies throughout the course of each day for weeks. Soon the babies showed their heads. There were four of them and began to be very crowded in the nest. Soon the heads showed constantly, but still she flew back and forth several times a day feeding them as they grew. The nest was in such a precarious position centered on the drain-spout with grass and twigs hanging down each side. The babies were quiet most of the time and really didn't move much at all. the nest never teetered, even when mother bird stood on the edge to feed each one.

One morning I looked out on the deck outside my room and there was a fresh and flufy looking robin sitting there looking around. I realized it must be one of the babies! I carefully opened the door to go out and it took flight. It was the funniest and scariest looking flight right into a nearby tree. It fluttered on the leaves and hopped around until it found a steady branch to rest on. Then it flew down, rather awkwardly to the fence where it rested and looked around. S/he barely made the landing on the fence, but caught herself by fluttering her newly stretched wings. I checked back at the nest and there were only 3, then 2. By the end of the day I saw another baby standing on the edge of the nest and the next time I looked they were all gone.

It made me shutter to think that this (parenting) is all going to be over soon. the leaving is beginning. There are no more lessons to teach, no more wisdom to bestow, just faith in what has taken place and trust that they will always remember where they came from and that they are loved. It is an amazing state to be in. one I am intentionaly holding into a present focus. savoring every moment, loving every minute I can. I never imagined it being like this. my heart is heavy. It has all just flown by.

I'm glad there is a decade before my first baby bird flies away.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

May the Farm Be With You

If you like organic food and Star Wars, you will probably enjoy this.

Monday, June 13, 2005


I step outside to Goldenlight
Gone the sun, now comes the night

On leaf and grass and stream and hill,
In sharp relief light lingers still

For just a moment as darkness falls,
The magic of evening beckons and calls

Twill be tomorrow e'er again I sight
Beauty sublime as Goldenlight.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Washing the Dishes

Every time I wash the dishes (or mow the lawn, or do the laundry, etc.) I am reminded of these words by Thich Nhat Hanh:

To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really quite pleasant. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and the fact that I am here washing them are miracles!

If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert. With the fork in my hand, I will be thinking about what to do next, and the texture and the flavor of the dessert, together with the pleasure of eating it, will be lost. I will always be dragged into the future, never able to live in the present moment.

Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred. In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane. I must confess it takes me a bit long to do the dishes, but I live fully in every moment, and I am happy. Washing the dishes is at the same time a means and an end—that is, not only do we do the dishes in order to have clean dishes, we also do the dishes just to do the dishes, to live fully in each moment while washing them.

Have you done the dishes today?

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Seinfeld Religion?

I'm not buying the elevator speech any more.

An elevator speech, as articulated by UUA President William Sinkford, is "what you'd say when you're going from the sixth floor to the lobby and somebody asks you, 'What's a Unitarian Universalist?'” No doubt there are as many elevator speeches as there are UUs.

I've revised my own elevator speech several times, and it makes sense to me and the other UUs who've heard it. However, every time I'm asked about Unitarian Universalism in an elevator setting - when put in the spot with time only for a "sound-bite" answer - I invariably stumble and stammer about 7 principles and 6 sources and community, hem and haw about Transylvania and John Murray, and trail off with a lame reference to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Susan B. Anthony.

This morning I try to explain Small Group Ministry (covenant groups) to a Protestant Christian co-worker. He asks me what the reference for such a discussion would be - the Bible, right? I ad-lib my "walking back to the elevator from the snack bar then riding to our floor and walking to our cubicles" speech. I can see his skepticism as I talk about the six sources - other than a brief flicker of interest about "...and Christian teachings..." - and his response is "so, does everyone have a copy of these?" I can see in his eyes he's thinking what's occurred to me on occasion - this "chosen faith" sounds a lot like a Religion About Nothing.

I haven't always felt this way. The first time I walked into the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula, I saw a poster with the 7 principles. My initial reaction was "duh!" I was overjoyed to find a faith where I could satisfy my spiritual hunger without being told what to believe. It was amazing to find a group of people who seemed to view the world so much like me. I felt at home.

For the first two years after that initial encounter, I worshipped these principles. I memorized them at Leadership School and used them as a mantra for Chakra Breathing. I reflected on them and how I could live my life by them. I taught them to our K-1 RE class. But then I began to wonder - what do any of these have to do with religion? I wonder if Davidson Loehr, the minister of the First UU Church of Austin, TX, is correct about these "Seven Dwarfs." He writes

All seven principles come from the secular culture and secular values of America’s cultural liberals, whether they had a religion or not. That’s why so many visitors can recognize the principles as the sort of things they believed anyway.
Viewed from that perspective, I feel somewhat cheated. Is Unitarian Universalism just a "liberal cult," as one of the members of my congregation described his initial impression from 10 years ago? What's the point of calling it a "church" or a "religion" or a "faith" if all we worship are liberal values, and our main function is to provide a haven for recovering Catholics, Mormons, and Evangelicals? Once people who are really looking for meaning figure this out, what's keeping them around? Loehr goes on to say
I suspect it’s also why they [visitors] often leave when they realize many of the UU churches offer little beyond the ability to socialize with people who share those cultural values and vote for liberal social and political policies.
So why should I stay? I have more questions and doubts about who I am and what I believe than I did when I started. I feel uncomfortable identifying myself as a "UU." Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own congregation. I wonder why on earth I feel this calling to what might be a "ministry about nothing."

I stay because I'm inspired by almost every UU minister I've met. I stay because I believe people hunger for a religious (gathering together) community for worship (honor that which has the shape of worth) without being bound by creed or dogma. I stay because both congregations I've been part of are vibrant, growing, and nurturing. I stay because of this call, this compulsion, to do ministry. I stay because I can work within my congregation and community to increase the amount of Love and Justice in the world. I stay because our movement is evolutionary and there is the potential for its growth and improvement. I stay because my UU experience has transformed my life, and I think I am on the cusp of even greater understanding, commitment, and yes, faith - of, toward, and about Unitarian Universalism.

Unitarian Universalism is definitely about Something, but it is impossible to convey the depth and potential of our faith in a sound bite or an elevator speech. The seemingly simple - but in reality complex - question "what's a Unitarian Universalist?" deserves a complex answer. An elevator speech or sound-bite answer may have a place in casual conversation, but if I encounter someone who really wants to know more about UU, I should be willing to take the time to develop and give a more thorough answer.

I think my new elevator speech will be something like "it's complicated. Can we find somewhere to sit down so I can take some time to explain it to you? Or maybe you'd like to come to a service with me this Sunday - here's my card."

After all, Unitarian Universalism is something to experience, not talk about.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Critter Encounters

Two days in a row now I've had an interesting "critter encounter."


Yesterday I was riding my mountain bike on the trails behind where I work, and I stopped at the top of a long climb to rest and cool off (it's suddenly summer - this was the first hot ride I've had since last September!). As I leaned my bike toward a telephone pole, I noticed out of my peripheral vision something moving near my front wheel.

I looked down, then immediately jumped back, startled by the large black snake I saw there. Once my initial surprise (shock?) had subsided, I realized this looked like a snake I'd seen before. Back in April I was walking in the woods, and I saw what looked like a two-headed black snake. On closer inspection it was two snakes entwined with one another, presumably mating. I watched them for a while (voyeur!), but moved along once it became apparent they were not going to do anything interesting. My post-walk research led me to believe I had seen two Northern Black Racers.

Northern Black Racer

I lay my bike down and crouched to get a better look at this fine-looking reptile, when I heard an ominous rattling from the dry leaves under a bush near this snake. For the second time in a minute I jumped back, thinking "what? a rattlensake too?"

After relocating my bike about 20 feet away, my overwhelming curiosity overcame my caution, and I returned to the bushes at the base of the telephone pole, with a stick this time. I gently probed the leaves where I had heard the rattling, and to my not-so-great surprise the black tail of my new friend resumed making the noise. Aha! Nice deception plan.

Back at the computer after my ride, I tried to verify that a Northern Black Racer would shake its tail in imitation of a rattlesnake. I discovered, however, that based on the rattling behavior, the snake I saw (at least yesterday, and perhaps on the previous occasion) was more likely an Eastern Black Kingsnake. Not being a herpetologist, I probably couldn't tell the difference.

Eastern Black Kingsnake


My second "critter encounter" involved a turtle - sadly, I am not sure what kind. Anyway, this morning I was driving along a road on base and saw a small round shape in my side of the road. As I passed over it, I saw the head and legs. Seeing there was no traffic, I turned around and pulled up next to the seemingly dazed amphibian scuttling at top speed along the road.

As I approached it, the turtle redoubled its efforts, still heading along the road rather than across it. I picked it up and carried it, struggling valiantly, to the side of the road. I put it down with an admonition to avoid the pavement from now on.

I had another potential opportunity for turtle rescue recently, when I saw an Eastern Box Turtle lying in an off-base road . There was too much traffic to stop, so I could only hope he or she made it safely across the road.

These turtles are very common around here, and I see them around the trails all the time. Unfortunately they are not very smart about roads and cars, so if you see one of these slowpokes on the road, please slow down and avoid it. If you can do so without risking your life, you can do your own turtle rescue.

Eastern Box Turtle

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sampler Platter

There is a lot going on in my life these days - and a lot going on in my mind - so much that I've had a hard time writing a lot about any one thing. I want to write, so I decided to just write a LITTLE about several ideas.

Zen and the Art of Guitar Tuning

I am currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance , a longtime favorite of mine by Robert M. Pirsig. Besides being a thought-provoking exploration of reality and Quality, it's an engrossing "road story" of a man, his son, and the ghost of his past. I highly recommend reading it if you haven't already, or reading it again if you have.

This book definitely makes me think about how Quality applies to my life. The other day I worked on one of my guitars, illustrating both sides of the classical/romantic divide cut by Phaedrus' knife. I adjusted the neck of my little travel guitar so that it would play better in tune, and with a lighter "action" (action refers to the distance of the strings from the fingerboard and frets - the higher they are, the more force is required to push them down, hence "heavy" action).

From the "classical" or "square" standpoint, I knew the guitar's neck was out of adjustment, and that by changing the underlying form, I would bring it back into alignment and harmony (pun intended). From the "romantic" or "hip" standpoint, I knew that the guitar did not sound good, and something needed to change to correct this unpleasant external reality and restore harmony. From both the classical and romantic viewpoints, tightening the neck rod and putting on new strings improved the Quality of the instrument - now it's properly adjusted (classical underlying form) and sounds great (romantic external reality)!

Life and Death in Small Places

Spring is the season of rebirth and change, and we've had plenty of that around our house. Unfortunately, we've also had some losses.

Our daughter is very enamored with butterflies, so we ordered some Painted Lady caterpillars to watch their metamorphosis. We watched their growth and eating with great interest, and by about two weeks ago all four had climbed up to the top of the enclosure and became chrysalids. Earlier this week, two of them had emerged - of course while we weren't looking! It was a lot of fun to set these beautiful creatures fly and be free - although not without some tears from a little girl who wanted to keep one as a pet.

Our son also loves nature and critters, but his desires run to mantids and tadpoles. That is why we now have a container of praying mantis egg cases - a total of almost 300 eggs - in the fridge. We are currently negotiating how they are going to be "raised" and whether any of them will remain with us once they've hatched.

He also had about 12 tadpoles (adopted during a camping trip last month, described here), but unfortunately they are no longer with us. He was very diligent about feeding his little friends, but unfortunately we didn't get around to changing their water until it was too late. It is a grim example of how a community can choke on its own waste, and a devastating loss to our young naturalist. His anguished tears of loss and guilt cut to the core of my being and nearly broke my heart. Fortunately kids are resilient, and after a good night's sleep he was able to look forward to next spring, and the next batch of our tadpole friends.

Perfection in Pajamas

I love watching my kids while they are sleeping - that's why waking them up in the morning is one of the best parts of my day. I see their angelic, perfect little faces, relaxed and composed in peaceful slumber. I see their bodies - sometimes wrapped in blankets, sometimes stretched long, sometimes with feet on the pillow - so quiet and still for the last time today until sleep comes again.

This is the mental image I strive to maintain throughout the day - a picture of childlike perfection to overcome my frustration with whining, misbehavior, and other parental challenges.

It's easy to adore a sleeping child.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I Don't Know #$*!

At my wife's request, I recently watched "What the #$*! Do We Know!?" (aka "What the Bleep..."), a 2004 movie that combines quantum physics, new-age spirituality, and dancing peptides in a mind-blowing blend that left me wondering what is reality, what's the meaning of life, and how can I get invited to a Polish wedding?

"What the Bleep" is an entertaining movie, and it seems to offer a strong dose of quantum physics and molecular biology wrapped up with the message that YOU can choose your reality and overcome your addictions. This message is presented through a loosely constructed plot featuring Marlee Matlin, and interview snippets with various people who one presumes are experts in quantum mechanics.

Not all is as it seems, however. The identities of these "experts" are not revealed until the end, and it turns out that the two most prominent voices have nothing to do with quantum mechanics: one is "Ramtha," supposedly a 35,000 year-old "Lemurian warrior" channeled by a woman named J.Z. Knight; the other is a chiropracter who is a member of Ms. Knight's organization, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE).

In fact, many of the "experts" belong to the RSE (although some of them are in fact quantum physicists or microbiologists). This fact in itself does not necessarily diminish their credibility, but the more I read other viewpoints about the movie (and the RSE) and thought about it myself, the more the movie seemed like a thinly veiled advertisement for this organization (dare I call it a cult?). Did I mention that all three of the filmmakers as well as the man who funded the project are also disciples of Ramtha/J.Z. Knight?

I have a very open mind, and I agree with the movie's message that our attitudes make our own realities (to some degree). Although I have been told that Ms. Knight has been "studied by a team of scientists and something is really happening when she's channeling Ramtha," I find it extremely unlikely that she is the conduit for the spirit of an ancient warrior, especially given the millions of dollars she's made from this endeavor (follow the money).

Honestly, the best part of my What the Bleep experience was my "research" after seeing this film - a most interesting tour of the supernatural and skeptical on the web. I found the Randi Institute's "Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" particularly fun, especially reading some of the applications. I recommend these for sheer entertainment value if nothing else.

But I digress. Do I recommend the movie? Very much so! It is very entertaining and thought-provoking. See it and decide for yourself, but remember (1) it's a movie; and (2) there is more to the story than they are telling. For balance, I recommend perusing the Wikipedia entry for What the Bleep before you watch it, or at least soon after. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


See update at the bottom of the post!

I made a new friend yesterday, and in the course of our conversations learned a little something about Friends - The Society of Friends, or Quakers.

My new Friend John and I both have daughters in the same Montessori preschool class, and we met at the National Zoo on the school field trip. Neither of us had come to the zoo expecting to meet someone with whom we had anything in common. Happily, we discovered we share many values and interests, and I was able to learn a lot about the Quaker movement. Hopefully I will accurately relate our conversation.

How interesting to meet and talk with a religious liberal who is not a UU - actually a first for me! All I really knew about Quakers was that they worshipped in silence. I am intrigued by the idea of creating sacred space through the presence of the community, rather than with a liturgy or ritual prescribed by an institution. Being a meditator, I am comfortable in silent stillness, but I think it is a challenge for many in our UU congregations. In fact, one of my ministerial friends and mentors once told me that more than about 30 - 45 seconds of silence (whether it's called meditation, prayer, or reflection) will put most people outside of their comfort zone. However, a Quaker meeting is not necessarily completely silent - members can speak or sing (or dance, I suppose) as they are moved.

I like the Quaker process of becoming a member. I have come to believe that it is generally too easy to become a member of a UU congregation, with little or no commitment required other than "signing the book." I think we are institutionally afraid of scaring people away, so we don't want to make it too hard to join. This can lead to "members" who are not really committed or part of the community, inflating our numbers for the UUA but not really contributing to the spiritual growth of the individual or the congregation.

Consider the Quaker membership process: first, a prospective member applies for membership by submitting a letter to a sort of membership committee. A separate committee, called a "Clearness Committee," is then formed to meet with the newcomer and discern her/his needs and gifts. Finally, the new member is welcomed into the community. This process seems to be a wonderful way not only to be more certain that a new member and the congregation are a good fit, but to immediately bring her/him into the community with love and caring. Maybe we could learn something from this.

Just for fun, I took the Belief Net "Belief-O-Matic" religion quiz again, and I am (according to the 20 question quiz) 100% UU and 96% Liberal Quaker! Maybe I ought to check out these "liberal Quakers." Meeting, anyone?

UPDATE June 7 - I can't believe I didn't originally link John's website, but here it is (in the links column to the right too).