Day – 844 Hot Hot Hot
Outside temperature: 101 degrees F.
Can you believe it? It’s 101 outside and it’s almost 8pm.
Today was just horrible in terms of temperature. Riding the motorcycle home from work seemed worse than my trip to Portland a while back. It’s like sitting in front of a giant hair dryer. I find the heat simply exhausting.
However that’s just the weather; everybody complains about, nobody does anything about it.
The more important news is Annette is, at this moment according to my flight tracker widget, traveling at 495 mph at 40,000 feet enroute from MDW to SLC aboard a Southwest 737. They’ll turn the plane at SLC in about 20 minutes and she’ll then begin the final leg of today’s travel into BOI about 10:15pm tonight.
I’ve vacuumed up a staggering amount of cat hair and general dirt (no fewer than 6 full Dyson canisters of crud). I’ve cleaned the bathrooms… but need to wipe down the sinks again. Aside from a possible trip to see the latest Harry Potter, or perhaps Ratatouille, i think we’re going to try to not leave the house.
But what have i been doing lo these past few weeks while Annette and i have been apart? Well, as far as work is concerned i’ve been putting together a website for the already ongoing, but officially upcoming Boise State Comprehensive Campaign.
What else? I’ve been riding my motorcycle as much as possible. I rode out to Bruneau Dunes for a quick overnight stay (best $12 you can spend in Idaho). And i’ve been reading both Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
Yes, those guys. Of the two i find Hitchens far more engaging as a writer. Dawkins work is assiduously researched and documented, but, as i’ve mentioned before, his writing is bloodless. Hitchens, in comparison, is a drunken blood spitting maniac. The point both of these men are desperately trying to make is that we as a species need to shed the vestigial shroud of religion and embrace the notion that creation as described by science is far and away more magnificent than what is taught in churches. They also bemoan the fact that critical thought, the scientific method itself, is under siege by small minded people with seemingly limitless budgets to buy television time.
Honestly there are passages in Hitchens’ “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” where he seems to be speaking directly to me. I liked that book so much i ordered a mini Hitchens library from Amazon. I suspect i’ll start his small biography of Thomas Jefferson next.
I don’t know if i mentioned this before, but i was raised by an Irish Catholic mother and a largely full-on atheist libertarian father. My father permitted i be baptized in the event i ever chose to attend Notre Dame, but that was it as far as i went with the Catholic church. Now, that being said, he never once discouraged me from learning all i cared to about all faiths. He also mandated i memorize the lord’s prayer. He had no issues with studying religion, he simply considered people who stopped at “it must be god’s will” as pathetic. I mean the man spoke Latin for christ’s sake! He could have led a mass better than some priests if he so chose.
But that was the crux: knowledge is key, knowledge tempered with sense is the key to the kingdom. Did i mention my father was, by common measure, not very successful. Oh, he kept us fed and sheltered from the rain and (acceptably) warm during the New York winters, but we were quite poor when compared to most of the other residents of the town where i grew up. He measured success by a different yardstick. I suppose i use this as a giant rationalization to be lazy and not more “driven to succeed.”
But here’s the thing. Unless you A) strike gold or oil (in a place where you own the mineral rights), B) stumble ass-ended into the well of pathos in the English speaking world and produce a fictional series that breaks all sales records, or C) write a song that approximates the effect of B, in order to be “successful” you need to somehow take advantage of you fellow human mammals. This was unacceptable to my father. To “achieve” something at the expense of others of your kind was repugnant to him. It did not matter that so many people are ready and willing to be used in such a fashion. Don’t misunderstand, he didn’t like people. But that didn’t give him a blank check to exploit people for his gain.
So what was the result of this stance? Simple, he helped people where he could, and they advanced in the corporation at his expense.
But that didn’t matter to him because my father was a near-perfect non-affiliative person. He embodied the old Groucho Marx joke about not wanting to belong to a club that would have someone like him as a member. This is one trait he passed on to me.
Annette just called from SLC. In a matter of minutes she’ll be back in the air, crossing the Owyhee range, traveling west across the snake river plain, then descending through the upside down wedding cake of the KBOI terminal area. The trees outside are dead still…. they’ll probably get a straight in approach.
Time for one last check of the house.