The grandparents are here! The grandparents are here!
As usual when the in-laws show up, life has taken on a sort of random, meandering quality. So in honor of this weird evntful non-event, I'm just sitting here with Little Miss in the background watching "Dora the Explorer" (or as she describes it, "DoradoradoratheExplorer!" pulling over the random things I've been thinking about.
1. How is it that a little girl can be adorable and yet stubbornly impossible at the same time?
2. Having just posted a long rumination about the Tour de France, I was amused to see that the great race has also had its great cheats, in particular Hippolyte Acouturier,
whose notion of drafting one of the race vehicles by tying a wire to the bumper and holding the other end in his teeth pretty much fits the description in the article: "While simply catching a ride from a car is an undeniably effective way to win a bicycle race, its lack of deniability and general dumb shit blatancy severely detract from this being a usable method of cheating." Deplore the man's ethics if you will, but you have to respect both his ingenuity and his craziness.
3. I picked up earlier that the Transportation Security people have now got adorable little uniforms and steenkin' badges and everything, but, really, THISis ridiculous. TSA peeps, repeat after me: I am not a copper. I am not a copper. I am not..."
4. Is it a relict of our arboreal days that we learn to throw fairly quickly (if not accurately, at least not all of us) but catching seems to be a late-developing skill?
5. Has anyone else thought lately about the cell phone as the pocketwatch of the 21st Century?I know that I don't wear a wristwatch anymore, and am pretty much timeless when out of cell range. IS this happening to everyone, or is it just me?
6. I'm not sure I can stand much more politics as usual. When the so-called health care "debate" centers around lies about euthanasia for seniors and ginned-up riots at town halls, I'm afraid that the state of American political give-and-take is so deteriorated as to make the antics of the Imperial Roman senate look like the deepest cogitation of the great philosophers.
7. If you haven't seen Swiper the Fox dressed up as a giant hot dog, you haven't...I'm not sure what you haven't, but you haven't something. One of the more interesting things about having kids later in life is it gives you perspective on the stuff you loved as a kid.And, frankly, that perspective isn't real flattering sometimes. Much - perhaps most - of what gets fed to kids is utter crap. Dora the Explorer is actually more tolerable than most, but the whole notion of Dora as a tween idol? Hmmm...not so much.
8. We here at the Fire Direction Center seem to be singlehandedly supporting the commercial rock industry in Northwest Oregon. This may or may not be a good thing. But the results are pleasing. What is it about people that we seem largely unable to resist the impulse to fiddle with the vista that nature presents us.
I wonder if some far future archaeologist will find the stones we've laid and scratch her head, trying to figure out what the hell those odd primitives were up to.
9. One thing I just don't get about the politics of natural resources is the whole "drill, baby, drill" and the Right's attitude of "Nothing to see here, move along, there's noting going on..." I've been thinking about this with the recent curvetting about over Detroit bailouts, green energy and oil drilling leases off California. I mean, petroleum geology is a specialty but the overall geology of petroleum isn't rocket science. Biomass requires geologic levels of pressure and temperature to transform organic hydrocarbon to keratin and then petroleum. This HAS to happen in geologic time; a minimum of thousands of years, and more likely tens of thousands. I've never read of a petroleum source younger than Pliocene age (>1.8 million years old).
So think about the chronology of petroleum in the Industrial Age: essentially ALL the petroleum used by Man has been used between 1850 and today, a period of 150 years. To go from exploration to production to consumption takes a barrel of oil perhaps forty years and typically as little as twenty.
Do the math: 1 million years plus to make it, twenty to use it.
We're running out of oil. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week. But not that long from now.
So we can either pretend that we're not and get gobsmacked by the Post-petroleum Era. Or not. Go figure which will be less painful.
10. Interesting conversation with my daughter this morning. She was playing her favorite game, pretending to be a baby. So I asked her: do you remember what it was like when you were a real baby. And she replied (translated from the Maxine): "I was in a school and there are lots of grownups and no other babies and they didn't want to see me being a baby."Hmmm. THAT's interesting. She's an intriguing little girl. I hope to be around long enough to know the woman she grows into.