Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fort Knight

So sorry about the two weeks off.


We just got back from three days camping on a lake north of Denton. We took Mom and Dixie. Each had a tent, although Dixie preferred to stay in Mom's. Mom's was new, a gigunda cabin type tent with two rooms and walk-in doors. Someone also realized that with mattress sets starting at $400 and up, there was bound to be a sellable price point below that where a super-high quality inflatable mattress would compete. And...sure enough, now in addition to the $5 or $10 things you float on in a pool, or had for slumber parties, there are $50 to $200 inflatables with motorized pumps and actual sheet-set sizes. Weird. So anyway we got Mom one of those, so there was sleeping in style, despite the fact that...

Winter abruptly arrived. 80 degrees on Tuesday and--woops! 38 on Wednesday night. So much arcticness, but we all (a couple of other households cam out with us) did okay.

Seeing my winter wardrobe emerge, friend Curran observed that I was embracing my inner squire. Well, I'm English, so wool, tweed, leather, herringbone--it's all in the heritage, baby.

I decided not to teach the winter term, which is three of the four weeks of Christmas break. We could use the moolah, but it's Beth's last Christmas before high school graduation, and Jonathan will be home for most of it. So we're going to do family and stuff, and I'll get a break. The chance that I'll be a humane human in the spring will go way up, I suspect. It's been too long without a real break this fall. Like my jeans, I fray a bit at the edges when I haven't taken real breaks. So in a neat combination of self-interest and care for others in my targe--er, around me, I promise to do better next term.

I'm reading slowly through Augustine's "The City of God" for the first time. I am amazed at the detail in which he deals with sort of all the other views on offer in his day. He obviously knows pagan religion, and interacts with everything from popular superstitions to the leading pagan theologian, Marcus Varro, for pages and pages. He also knows the philosophies and worldviews of the day, and gives them hundreds of pages.

I really wonder what it would take to do such a thing today. Marxism's no issue any more, but national chauvinism masquerading as patriotism is many people's functional religion; consumerism is another, and Darwinian humanism another. But now you have to really deal with Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism, at least, of the world religions, and maybe stuff like Mormonism and Scientology depending on your circle of care. Of course "City of God" is 600 small-print pages for a reason; what would a similar work take now?

I'm reading Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" for fun, as I've never seen or read it. I'm also still working on David Sloane Wilson's "Evolution for Everyone," which advocates Darwinism as a basis for a secular religion.

Well, camping gear to clean and put away, and lovely friend Amber dropping by this afternoon, so shall go. And blog more things for Advent.


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