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November, 2011: 14 25 27 28

11/14/11-Mon.-Have stopped at Kerbey Lane Cafe for breakfast before taking my car in at Zimmer's this morning. The "check engine" light came on late last week.

The drought continues and apparently is likely to persist at least through next spring. Temperatures also seem warmer than I recall them being for this time of year. The high forecast for today, for instance, is 83°F, hardly autumn weather. This would be considered a summer heat wave in many places.

Am, as it happens, reading an interesting article in National Geographic, "World Without Ice," by Robert Kunzig, about a time in our planet's history 50-60 million years ago when conditions were warm enough that there was no ice or snow, not even at the poles. It is unfortunately projected that if humans keep using fossil fuels as we have been over the last half-century or so, this will be Earth's future again, likely to remain that way for thousands or millions of years. Sea levels were over 300 feet higher than today. Many regions of substantial current human habitation, industry, and agriculture will be inundated. In other ways as well, our species' existence will be tenuous at best. Certainly the familiar biosphere of today will cease to be. Who then will be there to lament the foolish use of resources in which we are engaged today?

Of course, a more objective perspective suggests that, for all our vaunted intellect, our kind is the same as a variety of mold or bacterium in that, when presented with an abundant resource significantly beneficial to it in the short-term yet with adverse long-term consequences, a species will avail itself of the resource either until extinct or till the resource is fully depleted, whichever first.

If this hypothetical law of nature does in fact apply to Homo sapiens as much as to every other organism on Earth, then we are simply doomed to suffer the effects of a too rapid use of fossil fuels, and no amount of hand wringing about it, before, during, or after, will make a jot of difference in the outcome.

11/25/11-Fri.-It is the day after Thanksgiving. Also the day of my birth family's reunion at Summer's Mill, a former ostrich ranch, now a sort of bed-and-breakfast resort. My car had trouble starting last night. Fingers crossed about this AM.

11/27/11-Sun.-The family reunion went very well, and I had a lot of fun. On the downside, I did get very sick Friday night and found certain behaviors and attitudes of some of my relatives fairly disgusting. A musical performance with guitar and yuke-banjo by my nephew, Jim, and my sister-in-law Mary's leading us in a sing-along were the highlights of the event. Mary and Leila also did much above and beyond to keep things well organized.

11/28/11-Mon.-A mindful, meditative, and/or spiritual appreciation of That Which Is might be what Aldous Huxley meant by having one's "doors of perception" open. It could be like one's enhanced observation of a pretty woman or a handsome man, yet potentially generalized to include all awareness, every sensation, feeling, perception, and thought one experiences.

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