All is quiet here. Last night was Halloween, All Hallows Eve. To date we have not had children come to our door nor have any of our neighbours. I think the families around here who have young children transport them by car to the lucrative streets of the local villages. The weather held for them, the rain and high winds came well after dark when all good little ghouls should be home and tucked into bed.
The temperatures thus far have been mild, but by the end of the week the overnight temperatures will start to dip below freezing. The coloured leaves are all but gone, although bright yellow poplar leaves still cling to the topmost branches of the largest trees. Winter is on its way.
We have been fighting a cold for the last few weeks. Attila has taken to popping cloves of raw garlic into his mouth frequently throughout the day and night. Virtually unaffected until last night, I woke in the night with stuffed sinuses and a runny nose. This particular bug has infiltrated the private lives of almost the entire local population, and it hangs on for weeks. Luckily the symptoms are relatively mild, keeping misery levels low.
Earlier in the week I arranged to use the car for the day and made a run to the nearest Family History Center. This time I took a USB zip drive with me and saved copies of original documents for later entry. One tidbit of information I found was a brief note in the birth registration for my Grandfather’s old brother – “not born in wedlock”. This is not a story that has been handed down through the generations.
The sourdough is a success. The instructions state that one should “throw out” half the volume of the starter and add more flour and water. After pouring half the starter into a measuring cup, I added the required flour and water to the mason jar. What I didn’t do was throw out the mixture in the measuring cup. Water was added to make up the required amount of liquid for my bread recipe. I proceeded to prepare my bread dough as usual, using the starter/water mixture for liquid and reducing the amount of added dry yeast to half the usual amount. The loaf did not rise as much as usual during the second rise. However, once in the preheated oven the loaf went to town. It rose significantly higher than my usual loaves, and the crust split along the side as a result of the expansion. The taste is now “sour”, but the flavour is greatly enhanced by the starter. Attila gave the project a thumbs up.
I have a love/hate relationship with language. I love words, how they hang rich with history, mystery and meaning. As a tool to communicate they are magical. I hate words, how they are used to classify, categorize and constrain thought and perception. They are a prison when misused in the quest to dominate meaning.
I am thinking about words this morning as I wonder through my plans to structure reference resources for my genealogical research. I will use the computer. I will backup files. I will link images of primary documents to their respective entries in my database. Words work well for these simplistic generalizations of my plans.
However, when it comes to deciding where to store what, where and how to create and use backup materials and the truly detailed technical aspects of the project, language merely serves to slow me down and make plans far more complicated than they need to be. Technical details are mere means to an end, and as such unworthy of an exalted place in the world of language.
For instance, I doubt that Wayne Gretzky can thank his talent on the ice to learning the complex terminology and classification systems of the science of ice, wood, artificial lighting, human anatomy,.. the list could go on. Talent lies in the organic knowledge of the parameters of hockey, an understanding so sophisticated that language cannot describe or emulate it effectively. Nor should it try, in my opinion.
My understanding of technical things, facts, figures, statistics, maps, codes, language, theories, philosophies, and such like, is organic. I experience a relationship with knowledge. Language can provide information helpful in leading one towards the light of knowledge, but it can only lead you to the door. If one acquires a technical expertise with information, but fails to perceive the door to knowledge, the door remains closed. Few humans perceive the door; fewer still seek to open the door. Throughout my formal education I found it necessary to abandon most of my teachers at the threshold of the door. They didn’t notice; I was careful to continually provide them with information commensurate with language, as was required. I always regarded this concession on my part as a fair exchange for the technical information they willingly shared.
|RECIPES :: Cast
"Much learning does not teach understanding."
On the Universe
Greek philosopher (540 BC - 480 BC)
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Visibility 15 km
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Wind WNW 21 km/h gust 35 km/h
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