March 12, 2013

Sundry & Various

I find a disturbing tendency in myself to marginalize any good work by thinking it's not going to have any “real impact”. This despite Mother Teresa's instruction that we “build anyway” despite what we are building will likely be destroyed.

This thought came to mind when I read a study of the program Head Start, and how there are no statistical benefits to it discernible by the time the participants reach the third grade. When even something as noble as Head Start doesn't work, something that is much more along the lines of “teaching someone to fish” rather than giving them a meal, you have to shake your head.

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It's amusing that these modern day iPad journal apps have “reminders” available in order to make you into write. Kind of hilarious given how much I write without any need of reminders. It's also sort of amazing to me how frustrating keeping my first diary was, how much I loathed it after the first week or two. That was at age 12, where I kept it up for 3 months and it felt a remarkably onerous duty. Now I write, each day, much more than at that time and without having to coerce myself.


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It's obvious and apparent that there was a early need for popes given the rampant heresy in the early church but it's unseemly, reading about it now, that the date of when Easter would be celebrated was so rancorous. There needs to be a standard, one seemingly possible to find in this world except by apostolic credential. At least that's what Christian history has taught us - the way the early Christian churches could come together is by appealing to the authority of an apostolic succession.

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The rarest coincidence of confluent events: good spring weather on a weekend. Sunday it reached 71 degrees, a gaudy enough number, and I prepared by bringing out the back and front patio furniture. When nature rewards, I aim to take advantage of it.

Such delicious weather - what to do with it? We lost an hour due to Daylight Savings Time, the scheme which giveth in fall and taketh away in spring. I sat out in the sun and read, constantly fighting off the urge to sleep. Read some of a $1.99 book by Ivan Doig on Kindle, a sort of old-fashioned yarn set in Montana around the turn of the 20th century. Nice, fragrant images that are a fine complement to Michael Chabon's ultra-modern stylings. Things like, “Our father's pungent coffee, so strong it was almost ambulatory, which he gulped down from suppertime until bedtime and then slept serenely as a sphinx.”

It feels an eon since I'd last sat on the back patio. I would guess maybe October sometime. Four months or so. They say time flies but it sure feels like a long time since I've had the annex of the back patio available.

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I look at my threadbare clothes, specifically a favorite work shirt that now has the dreaded rip along the elbow (which didn't prevent me from wearing it Friday anyway), and realize that having lame clothes is somewhat of a necessary tradeoff towards the goal of taking plenty of vacations. Books, vacations, charity - these uses of money “make sense” to me. But clothing not so much. Nor do expensive meals, cars, or houses.

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