The Internet has sketched human weakness in unique ways.
Blogs (I originally typed bogs by mistake, but corrected the Freudian slip), and online journals, including mine, usually have an “About” section. This is where we explain to strangers just who we are, how we identity ourselves as unique entities in the sea of humanity. It is in the entries that we reveal how we see ourselves.
Some bloggers identify themselves primarily with broadly defined groups, such as Mom, Wife, Activist, Professor, Writer, Retired, Journalist and the list goes on. These groupings are, I think, meant to place the individual within the current social hierarchy. There is little in the way of meaningful information about the individual in these broad descriptive categories, other than to display how the person would like to be placed on current scale of social value.
Self-definition is an important aspect of personal growth and maturity. Identifying oneself with a specific social grouping is a starting point only. If the individual comes to rest on that broadly shared and vague definition of self, personal growth all but ceases. Energy is directed into achieving status within the chimera of markers defined collectively, and easily controlled by large power/profit-seeking entities, such as corporations, or the church. Such is the sea of mediocrity.
I believe that every single human being born on the planet has the potential to mature into a natural work of art. When self-definition moves beyond identification with socially created groupings, awareness and appreciation for “other” allows dramatic personal growth.
In my view, every subversion of personal growth is a crime against nature.
The Internet is a canvas painted by many small strokes. Some are applied with brilliance and integrity. Others slave to cunning and strategic patterns. As in the universe, no mortal guides the designs of destiny.
During the autumn I had occasion to bring water to a boil in our two large stainless steel pots, for two kinds of pasta. Attila likes penne, I like spaghetti.
Our two large stainless steel cooking pots are of differing heritage. One descends from my past, one descends from Attila’s past. My large cooking pot was part of a set, of medium quality at that time, from Sears, in 1973. All of the pots and pans from that set are in very good condition, all have handles, and none of them have warped during the last 40 years of daily use. Attila’s large cooking pot is of unknown origin. My guess is that it is a much newer cooking pot than my 1973 model, and it is of lower quality. One handle has broken off completely, leaving a large protruding screw on that side of the pot. The other handle is very loose. The base of the pot is warped and uneven.
In boiling an equal quantity of water in both pots, on electric burners of the same size, set to the same temperature, Attila’s large pot took ten minutes more than mine to come to a boil. That was the final straw! The next day I began my search for a new, stainless steel, large, cooking pot for Attila.
I looked at a lot of pots. The first priority was quality. This pot was going to see heavy use. Attila is a soup maker, every turkey we roast leads, in the end, to a pot full of Attila’s soup. The second priority was that the pot be at the very least manufactured in North America, and at the very best manufactured in Canada. The third consideration was price. A good pot has a high price tag, so I found.
Paderno pots and pans are made in Nova Scotia, Canada. I focused on Paderno products, but found the price range for large pots prohibitive. So I kept looking.
Over Christmas we visited the little house in the city. One the days we were there was shopping day, a day spent visiting the various contiguously located stores in town. Attila was still digging through the remains of the previous ice storm, so the shopping expedition fell to me. I had a list. One item on the list was inexpensive curtain rods for the country house. The Home Hardware seemed like a logical place to begin the search. Walking through the aisles I was drawn towards a display of shiny new pots and pans, and other stainless steel items. They were all manufactured by Paderno, made in Canada!
There were several large cooking pots “on sale.” I looked at all of them. I picked them up, examined the bases, the handles, the lids, and finally chose the one I liked best. The price tag was $219, gasp. But wait, I turned the tag to see the “sale” price, $69. With the pot under my arm I headed for the check out!
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 10 January 2014
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Wind: SE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
“If I have to suffer fools, please, at least let them be interesting fools!”
“When other people describe something about their existence that they do not like, it is called complaining. When you describe something about your existence that you do not like, it is called a description.”
Maggie Turner, 2014