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Crooked Cucumber Archives
on the life and teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
and those whose paths crossed his
PZI Appeal for Funds


2012 Do-it section with Goals - Support Statements - Budget - Contributors - Posts Donate

What We're Doing

Suzuki lecture work in progress



DC salary - so David Chadwick can pay rent, eat, etc. suspended indefinitely as of December 2012. See note below at 3-20-13.

April 2012 appeal for support. which raised about $2000 a month for that year, enough to keep us going.


WHAT'S NEW daily posts show a good deal of what We're doing. Occasional posts below give more exciting details. The right column of the Shunryu Suzuki Index will also give you an idea of work that's been done as it's the Suzuki related posts from What's New going back a few years.


Cuke Archives has this year of 2013 sponsored the redigitizing of the films on ZC and Suzuki Roshi, doing it from the film. The last time we digitized was about five years ago from the 3/4" VCRs we'd had made ten years ago. We will be posting previously unseen footage. Also we've sponsored a high quality digitizing of all Shunryu Suzuki audio. We've also sponsored the scanning of an enormous amount of material from our archives which has been gradually posted on cuke.com this year and will continue to be posted into the next. Outlay for this work will run over $20,000. No fundraising has been done since the spring of 2012.


9-27-14 -

Putting more hours into current cuke project of getting the early Shunryu Suzuki lecture transcripts ready to include in the archive and feature one by one here on cuke. This is not the early Los Altos transcripts which are already on cuke and shunryusuzuki.com. It's all the ones that existed before the verbatim project at around the turn of the century and were used in making the verbatim lectures checked against the audio and then forgotten - except in cases where the audio was lost in which case they were gone over and named unverbatim. The verbatims and unverbatims are all featured on shunryusuzuki.com. There are some of those early ones on the cuke lecture page from posts way back, but most have been in storage and it's time they were recognized again. Will start featuring them when done with featuring the Suzuki lectures from the Windbells which are another batch of early transcripts. So that's one thing that's happening at cuke industries these days. - DC

cuke lecture page and shunryusuzuki.com


5-24-14 - Getting toward the end of a massive uploading of cuke archive PDFs including all SFZC Wind Bells, a special section for all the Shunryu Suzuki lectures from those Wind Bells, early ZC meeting notes, Ananda Dalenbergs years of newsletters (which had been tossed from the SFZC library we have been told), and much more. Wrote this note today when featuring in What's New one of these newsletters.

Reminder: These newsletters now not only broken down into individual issues but optimized for size with OCR (optical character recognition) thanks to Peter Ford who is also processing all cuke PDFs this way. Folders A and B in 2013 Scans are completed and now will load much faster and, where applicable, will respond to text searches web-wide and with the cuke site search from the site search box near the top of the What's New and Home pages. We're approaching the end of uploading the PDFs onto cuke. The next step with these PDFs will be to complete organizing them into more logical categories.

Much more than this happening but that's enough to mention today. - DC


12-07-13 - Spent a while correcting a few misspellings of Dorothy Schalk's name from shalk and Alan and Jeri Marlowe from marlow - Alan's name came up about sixty times, a few for his sister-in-law Jeri who pointed this out to me. Alan - what a tragic character.


Changed my mind about starting a Those Who Were Around section because that's what the People section is with a few exceptions. So the Alan Watts page was moved there. I still have in mind to do a book that focuses on some of the people who were around - with Suzuki Roshi being in the background - the hub around which we all spun in and out and around. So maybe I'll keep that section now for messing around with this idea. One thing for sure is I have no intention of spending the amount of time on this book that I did on Crooked Cucumber (five years) and the earlier Thank You and OK (four years). I guess I can do it. I'm so addicted to just throwing stuff up on cuke in an undisciplined mess. Can't do that with a book or shouldn't anyway.


11-08-13 - Katrinka and I are moving out of our apartment here in wonderful San Rafael at the end of this month then we leave for Asia in three days. Work on cuke dot com, shunryu suzuki dot com, zmbm dot net and on the Crooked Cucumber Archives will continue on that side of the world (and a bit of cuke-annex dot com stuff sometimes). The rest of this month I plan to add a ZC board note daily and postpone as much as possible till later. Thanks for all the work that Peter Ford and Warren Lynn are doing and to all the others who donate time and money to keep the cuke machines oiled and running. - DC


11-03-13 - Cuke Archives report: Today am picking up decades of letters from Marian (Derby Mountain) Wisberg from Frances Thompson, tapes to digitize (returning others), a few Wind Bells to scan, and with the help of Sassy, getting back to work in the archive room organizing and identifying what material remains to be scanned so it can be shipped off to Warren in Fort Worth so we can have even more such posts here on cuke and mainly so this material will be available to work with wherever I am and I am leaving with Katrinka one month from today for six in Asia thus focusing now on work that can only be done here.


8-28-13 - Aside from daily posting the results of the project to scan everything we wish to preserve from the document archives, we're working on the film/video and and audio archives these days. We are spending about $3000 on digitizing the film. The prior digital copies were made from 3/4" video copies of the film (which we made ten years ago or so). Some of the film digitized for the first time - like outtakes from Sunseed. We'll be sharing the results of this work on cuke and shunryusuzuki.com soon and will be suggesting further higher quality digitizing and restorative work on the film and will be doing fundraising to cover the costs. - dc

Shunryu Suzuki dot com film/video section


6-22-13 - Shunryu Suzuki photo archive now has had a great deal of info entered under the photos thanks to Peter Ford who also created this excellent photo display. Lots of info still to ad and surely some corrections to make, but this is a big step. We've got this collection digitized due to the efforts some years ago, maybe  ten, of Shinshu Roberts, who took the photos to Seattle or somewhere up there where a friend had a quality scanner. I'd added info to a small number of photos with the intention of getting back to that task before the end of time. In the current scanning of a backlog of materials, came upon a chart of the photos with explanations. Shinshu might have done this but I bet it was Bill Redican. Peter ran the PDF of that list through a OCR (optical character recognition) program and entered the data into the Shunryu Suzuki photo archive on Shunryu Suzuki dot com. It took some scattered villagers. Many more photos should be scanned in the SFZC catacombs and in scattered shoeboxes.. - dc



5-22-13 - A reminder - while going through things here in Fort Worth and getting the home ready to sell, scanning a ton of material from Crooked Cucumber Archives backlog and backing it up redundantly - to work with and process into shinning form on cuke.com later. That next step will take time and can be done wherever there's electricity nearby. Thanks Warren Lynn for focused, intelligent, diligent work. See 2013 Scans. A CCA gold star is awarded.


5-07-13 - Yesterday mentioned all the PDF scans that are being made and posted. This is all part of the ongoing for years task of processing the backlog of material in the Crooked Cucumber archives so that it's available to whomever wishes to see it. There is also ongling progress in improving the digital archive of Shunryu Suzuki lecture audio, film, and photos as found on shunryusuzuki.com. One bird at a time as Annie Lamott says.


5-06-13 -There are so many PDF scans this year of notes, interviews, photos, relevant material to go onto cuke already that we might have to increase the volume that go up daily or it will take years. Thinking about posting a bunch and then just introducing them little by little on What's New. And then there's integrating them into the site. Off to Fort Worth tomorrow with so much more to scan that it's being checked in as baggage. In the past one had to go to an archive to look for material but now it can all go on the Internet. In time I think artificial intelligence will organize it better. Planning for that would free me up to do more creative things - like finger painting and humming with the moon. - dc


4-10-13 - In Texas now for another week. Going through stuff in mother's house but still working daily on cuke stuff. Itching to post more new material but Crooked Cucumber Archives work includes lots of maintenance and busy work. Got a sort of virus that must deal with. It's not crippling, just a nuisance. Got it from downloading new version of Audacity (program to deal with audio). Mistake made was to download it from an unknown source. Must be careful when downloading and also even then, don't just hit Next to hurry the download - make sure not to leave a check oking a search engine or other program not wanted.


3-20-13 - DC salary - so David Chadwick can pay rent, eat, etc. suspended indefinitely as of December 2012. See note below.

Living expenses for time spent in Texas [see Ahdel] Dec. 2012 and 2013 covered by Ahdel's estate so that the Cucumber Archives account balance has increased and is only being used to cover expenses directly related to this work such as storage, online, and computer costs.

Am on a trip to West Texas now but still putting in time on this work.

3-05-13 - Have been in Fort Worth with mother Ahdel for almost three months now. She's in hospice care with not long to go. Have continued to work on cuke and the the Suzuki archives at home and in the nursing home. Check out Shunryu Suzuki dot com for its vastly improved New Search Form and Compact List of lectures. Lots of backlog to keep going through on the oral history and new work to attend to.


12-10-12 - Today just prep for flying to Fort Worth on Wednesday, namely getting a new laptop up and loaded with all the programs I use. The so-called new Netbook was too slow for Windows 7 and I was forced to upgrade. After much consultation with kind comrades and research and five hours in Apple and MS stores, got a ASUS X202-E with Windows 8, a cut-rate little guy that runs faster than I'm used to. - dc


12-09-12 - Concentrating on organizing new archive storage, looking for best work to take to Fort Worth including backlog for the oral history, some tapes to digitize, and material to scan. Leaving in three days. Also researching new laptop. Netbook with Windows 7 is to slow. Looking at Ultrabooks. Need it light to go in small backpack but fast and strong enough to handle Windows 7. Don't want Windows 8. A Mac that runs Windows would be good but too expensive. Got a little bit of new Suzuki Roshi lecture material to go up soon. - dc


12-01-12 - Just eleven days till I go to Fort Worth. Concentrating on organizing new office-storage focusing on isolating material not yet presented on cuke, the backlog - doing work here I can't do there. Minimizing time on cuke till then. Hope to get the storage shelves all secured today so can get into going through stuff. Already found Stan White's art which Kaz Tanahashi wants to have photographed for a book.  And Niels Holm art was in the same suitcase. Aim to get both scanned and up on cuke. It's mainly notes and tapes of interviews and conversations with no copies that I'll be looking for. - dc


11-23-12 - Cuke report: Got 19 days till fly to Texas to hang with mother Ahdel in the same home we moved to when I was 12. No am going to concentrate on doing what I can't do there - go through stuff here and material in new archive storage room big enough to move things around. Set aside notes, interviews, etc not on cuke, tapes not transcribed and digitized, photos not scanned - to backup here then take with me in the continuing struggle to get backlog entered here.

Photographer, sculptor, artist, craftsman Bill Schwob came to Thanksgiving Dinner and dropped off an envelope with negatives of all Rinsoin (Shunryu Suzuki home temple) photos including scrapbooks and pictures on walls and buildings and a photo show he had of the place at SFZC years ago. He let them keep all those mounted prints which are in storage. Also included were negatives of Nona Ransom's photos and Raymond Rimmer's negatives of shots of those scrapbooks done in '94. Bill did his when he was over there. Most the scrapbook photos are in Suzuki photo archive on shunryusuzuki.com. I'd forgotten I'd left all that with Bill for safe keeping.

Will be looking for someone who can scan negatives for preservation ad to get with Suzuki photo archive the images not there.


11-13-12 - See November 2012 Fundraising Drive Notes


10-21-12 - Shunryu Suzuki dot com has been totally reorganized (thanks to Peter Ford), is more complete, user friendly, and versatile. That's the whole lecture transcript and audio, video, and photo archive - in progress - lots has been added and there's to do with no end in sight.

Cuke dot com is the oral and written history with selective focus on the lectures - and a bunch of other stuff that's caught our eye and which will be more and more moved to another site that's in development. Stay tuned. - dc


10-11-12 - I'm going to be making a Work in Progress presentation to members of the IHS, Institute for Historical Studies, in Oakland on October 21st at 2pm titled The Legacy of Shunryu Suzuki. Here's the notice sent out to members. I'm going to emphasize that this work is going on through the contributions of many people. If you're interested in attending, please contact me. - DC.

The IHS is an organization of independent historians and has been a fiscal sponsor for this work for over a decade. Here's their website.

9-26-12 - Working on a total redo of shunryusuzuki.com to be unveiled soon. - dc


9-16-12 - Adding more transcripts not previously included in the archive.

A key goal of this Crooked Cucumber archive work is to get these materials as complete and well presented as possible and then to get them duplicated and printed up on acid free paper by people all over the world. Archiving only extends the life of something a little longer. One way I see it is moving a ball toward a goal that keeps moving away till it turns into a cliff. - dc


9-08-12 - Making progress with audio of a number of previously untranscribed or partially transcribed Shunryu Suzuki lectures thanks to volunteers. See Work in Progress.

Setting up scanner David Cohen brought to get six or so Suzuki lectures into the digital archive. Scan then do OCR optical character recognition or just get them transcribed onto disc then to cuke.com and shunrysuzuki.com.

Thanks to Robert Barrer, Bill Hackenberg, CM (Sword of Monju) who've already started and Clare Hollander who's ready to start.

Spent some hours recently going through boxes of stuff in archive storage with an eye to better organization - setting aside what material such as interviews and notes, photos, and lectures are to be entered into the digital archive, what should be saved, what tossed - with an eye of getting through the backlog.

Organizing stuff from our tiny hall closet, stuff all piled now in our tiny living room on our square walnut table masterfully built by Niels Holm. Better make some headway before Katrinka comes home from work. It's been piled there for three days now with me always finding something else to do. Moving toward perfection.

8-28-12 - Immediate goals for this work are to keep organizing the archive materials with an eye to setting aside interviews, notes, photos, etc to be entered here onto cuke and other work to be done such as tapes to be digitized and transcribed then entered. Wish to get this stage of the work done quickly as funds are dwindling and I realize I must devote a block of time to fundraising soon. Other tasks such as transcribing interviews, work on web presentation of Suzuki lectures, index and maps for Crooked Cucumber (with volunteers and poorly paid semi volunteers) and daily posts will continue.


6-20-12 - Little sick recently, sleeping more, naps. Here are the things I want to get to right away: Go on TechSoup and order some more audio software for work on the Suzuki audio, communicate with three audio engineers doing this work to get their work as it's done on shunryusuzuki.com so it can be compared to the original and critiqued - first step in developing open source way to work with the audio, get to the CDs of Suzuki lecture audio brought with me to Texas to try to sort out some problems for the SFZC Suzuki lecture blog, get going on the substantial transcribing I've got to do, raise some money to pay for other transcribing, go over the Crooked Cucumber Index Ray just finished, get more done on Suzuki lecture transcribing, there's more and more but I'll stop listing here.


5-24-12 - What DC did yesterday. Since I'm encouraging people to donate to this work now operating under the name of Crooked Cucumber Archives, I like to throw in an occasional report on how I'm spending my time. Read it and weep.

Zazen, make tea, clean up dishes, solitaire, BBC and other Internet news, email took about an hour - one with Dan Kaplan who's working on transcribing Brit Pyland's interview, the most interesting one being with Nona Ransom's godson, get cuke ready to upload - anniversary of Suzuki coming to America so put up chapter 10 of Crooked Cucumber, the beginning of the US part, on the Notes on CC section - no notes yet, just occasionally getting the chapters up on the left side of a table. Right side waiting. Uploaded that and  link to the article on a good death then remembered a conversation with Suzuki and his wife Mitsu about death and put that in Brief Memories. Decided to consolidate my Brief Memories onto one page and that led to other busy work with that section and got to organizing pages relating to me and all the links and eliminated two of these hub pages so that there's only one main link page for me and all that took a couple of hours. I do this sort of work periodically because cuke grows organically and gets all spread out and labyrinthic and needs to have some of the tentacles reigned in from time to time. Then I did a broken link check and found a zillion of them in the excerpts-articles section and then couldn't find it and discovered it had been accidentally moved into the fauna-ahimsa folder. Oh lord. That happens when I'm working fast and the cursor inadvertently picks up a file or folder and drops it somewhere. Problem when that happens is the links can get changed and if I don't get it back in the right place in the right way, all the links can be bad. I should have just erased it and downloaded it back to its rightful place in my computer from the server, but I did it all wrong and uploaded the broken link folder to the server after I thought I had it right so that I had to spend a couple of hours fixing all the bad links. Had to do something more rewarding. Remembered I'd seen an unfinished brief memory of Suzuki about him dissing the moon landing so wrote that up quickly and got that all ready to upload today. I'd been trying to get hold of Judy Gilbert who lives in Crestone and is working on transcribing Suzuki lectures made more understandable thanks to AW's audio work. She also got the wheels in motion to get him some new audio software from TechSoup which provides software to non profits for super cheap. Haven't been able to find her for a week so called Paul Shippee and asked him to go chec on her and emailed Edgar in Munich to see if he could work on some of those lectures and got onto the TechSoup website and got as far as I could with that then called their customer support and that took an hour then doing the next step took half an hour but it was returned as unacceptable so I redid the request and had to make a PDF of it and I never do that these days and don't have the capability on this Netbook so I downloaded Nitro Pro and got a PDF of the request off to TechSoup and that took another hour. Waiting for the response now. Had a phone conversation last night with Charlie Wilson who's digitizing Reb Anderson's old lecture tapes and talked to him about things we could do with Suzuki and Baker tapes and audio equipment I could loan/give him so we agreed to get together in Berkeley at his recording studio. Discovered I'd ripped the mic up on the delicate headset I use. Wonder if I can fix that. There was more. That's all I can remember now.


5-05-12 - Getting ready to leave tonight for 11 day drive to Crestone Colorado for the changing of the abbots at Crestone Mt. Zen Center. Richard Baker steps down and Dan Welch steps up. Will keep up with cuke and fundraising drive for Crooked Cucumber Archives which has so far brought in enough kind donations to keep the lights on here through the summer. Thanks to all. See DONATE and Do-it (for goals etc).


4-25-12 - Three or four day Cuke break - Clay is driving me down to Tassajara today for the alumni retreat. We're planning on cruising down highway one, dropping in on some friends, enjoying the stars and air at five thousand feet at Chew's Ridge on the Tassajara Road, sleeping somewhere in that wilderness, and going in tomorrow for morning zazen. He'll be driving back to Santa Rosa tomorrow. Gotta bum a ride back Sunday and plan to throw something up here late. Till then farewell oh noble reader.

This morning before we leave I'll be working on getting some audio software for AW to work with Shunryu Suzuki audio to bring out his voice more clearly at the correct speed. Will be posting his work soon. Also gotta do some accounting. At Tassajara I'll mainly be visiting with old friends and maybe getting some memories for the oral history, but I'll try to put some time in the library with my trusty Netbook to work on the audio-transcript screwup for Charlie Pokorny's Shunryu Suzuki Dharma Talks Blog on the SFZC website. Gotta get that done. It's been in the hopper too long. And want to get the list of donors up on cuke. Not sure how to do that. Don't feel comfortable putting in amount. Wonder what people want. - dc


4-23-12 - Lots happening. Off the top of my head:

Today sending Ray a hard drive with hi res Shunryu Suzuki archive and folders with ongoing audio and transcript work. He's working on an Index for Crooked Cucumber. Yesterday sent the last of the photo images of CC for German version, wrote a brief bit for the acknowledgments thanking

Bernd Bender for what my German friends say is a great translation and for generously granting [new publisher's name] the rights to republish.
Michael Joshin Podgorschek for scanning the German translation of Crooked Cucumber for republication.
Edgar Arnold for proofreading the scan.
Roland Walter and Doris Wolter for offering to republish this book in German.
Doris Wolter for walking the book through the various steps necessary to get it back into print.
Wendy Lewis of the SF Zen Center and Dan Kaplan for hunting down the photos used in this edition.

Suggested to Doris that whatever meager profits I make from this POD German edition be considered an investment in their fledgling Buddhist publishing company.

Got caught up with the Thank You notes to contributors to the Crooked Cucumber Archives. Working on accounting for CCA. Ordered a digital recorder camera (Zoom Q3HD) plus accesories and 32gig flash drive for it. That and some new earphones are only purchases planned for now.

Got more archive materials and personal items moved from Tarrant barn to storage in Santa Rosa. Looking for office/storage in San Rafael but can't afford anything near commercial rates. Santa Rosa's much cheaper.

Sent Cecilia Rodrigo Crooked Cucumber Comes to America (a short summary of the life of Shunryu Suzuki) to translate into Spanish

Working on Suzuki lecture audio and transcript problem for SFZC Suzuki lecture blog.

Clay's 21st birthday on the 19th with dinners that night and night before. Clay is a major benefactor of the archives.

Today worked a couple of hours on website. Next get through emails. Send out mail, check mail, go to bank, must look into getting discount audio software through fiscal sponsor IHS and Tech Soup (Can't use PZI for this cause it's religious) .

Gotta submit info, photo, webpage to Shambhala for their new website and do CCA page on Facebook, fundraising progress report which will mainly say we've got enough to keep going to the fall, more fundraising.

Tomorrow more moving of archives. Preparing to go to Tassajara. Clay driving me down Wednesday, returning Sunday the 29th late. Then we've got till late night on the fifth of May to get stuff done and ready to leave, Katrinka and me - driving to Crestone CO for Dan Welch's Mt. Seat Ceremony as Richard Baker passes on the abbotship. That's an 11 day trip. Will be posting on cuke and working on archives as I can.

I can't remember it all. I've got good notes though. Prioritizing is important. But when I'm not working my practice is not to think about it or to do so as little as I can. I always have pen and paper to write a note so I can forget whatever occurs that seems worth remembering and acting on. My practice is not to think about any of this stuff including Suzuki Roshi and Buddhism and religion. I like doing this work but I only want to do it when I'm doing it. It's fun, it's rewarding, I appreciate all the support. Thanks.


4-17-12 - Got up at five this morning, drove to Santa Rosa to return key to Santa Rosa Creek Zendo (see below) that Katrinka had accidentally brought with her. We were worried they couldn't open up for morning zazen and also I would rather return it at a time I could sit. The reason there's morning zazen is they have a practice period going on. John Rauck was there and had a key anyway. It was just the two of us. When I sat I had the thoughts about Suzuki posted today. After that dropped by the barn and got some stuff to bring to the apartment, aka home, checked our Penngrove PO box, had a breakfast sandwich and tea at a Penngrove coffee shop. Got home. Made up for sleep deficit. Now have worked for a few hours with cuke and it's time to upload and move on to email, going through notes on scraps of paper which have built up for a week especially making sure there's nothing vital I'm forgetting, write and send thank yous to donors, looking at Ray's updated version of the All-in-one Suzuki lecture file, get to the overdue work for SFZC web site Suzuki Roshi lecture blog, make some steps to get more help as with today's post asking for that. Onward.


4-16-12 - To get that lecture up I first checked it against the existing transcript collection. I work with the All-in-one file which has all Suzuki lecture transcripts in one file. It's on a hidden page on shunryusuzuki.com - write me and I'll send you a link to download it. But then there were details to discuss about this group of new transcripts so I called Judy Gilbert in Crestone and then sent an email to her and AW who's working with the audio asking some questions and clarifying a couple of points. I apologized that I hadn't checked things more carefully and Judy had transcribed a lecture that was already done and suggested how to avoid this. Now I'm going to check emails, answer some, and write thank you emails to those wonderful people who've sent contributions. I've got to send an email to Crestone Mt. ZC to update them on Hoitsu Suzuki's travel plans for Dan Welch's Mt. Seat Ceremony there, stepping up to be abbot as Richard Baker steps down. Have to call CMZC too and talk to Otohiro Suzuki, Hoitsu's little brother (Shunryu's sons) about schedule and plans. At one PM Katrinka and I go to post office, bank, and to meet with John Rauck, PZI treasurer in Novato. Meet Howie Klein in Santa Rosa and we'll get son Clay if we can who's not answering phone to help further with a few hours of dismantling, packing, and moving stuff from barn to storage. Pay Howie and Clay back some money they loaned to keep this work going. Take them to dinner for their selfless and noble service, Go to PZI zazen and lecture by John Tarrant at the Santa Rosa Creek Zendo.

Things  want to get to right away: #1 - work with audio and transcripts to clarify problems for SFZC Suzuki lecture blog. Told Charlie Pokorny I'd have it done by today. Haven't started yet. Have 25 audio and text files loaded in a folder for this work.


our websites: cuke.com & shunryusuzuki.com & zmbm.net


Fiscal Sponsors: The Pacific Zen Institute and the Institute for Historical Study

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The account for the Crooked Cucumber Archives will be administered by John Tarrant and Michael Katz.

Contact DC