Thursday, September 24, 2015

Zen and the Art of Squirrel - hobbies

I have hobbies that I do in order to keep me occupied and keep the demons away.  They are not real demons, jut the annoyances that happen when you let your mind wander too far. 

When left to my own devices I find most of my devices are broken.

I used to paint, I need to start doing this again.  I like painting, I like art when I was a kid I spent many hours drawing pictures of things.  Some of them were actually pretty good.  Most of those are lost.

I picked up painting, even sold a few.  The side effect of being odd is that you see things that others do not.  The end result is that you create things that most people wont.  Normal people really love that stuff.

I have always like writing.  I have written screen plays before, but none of them ever really went anywhere.  At some point I may try adapting one of them into a book and see if I can make it go anywhere.  I liked the idea, I liked the concept.  It had a twist, and a theme, and some odd turns that make it interesting.

I fear the characters lack some level of depth that book characters should have, but a lot of that is that I do not understand how people work.

How can I write about people when that is the one area where I am largely clueless?

I like sailing.  I have a little sailboat and I tool around the harbor from time to time.  I don’t want to go fast, I want to go quietly.  I wish it were big enough to use as a platform for doing science, unfortunately it is a little bit too small to start pulling core samples or towing plankton net behind.

I love science.  I love geology.  I love looking for faults in rock formations.  I love looking at a rock face and the cracks, folds, and layers and then figuring out what had to have happened to make that assemblage.

I am pretty good at it to.

Considering I do have a BS in Geology, I suppose I should be.

I used to bike everywhere.  I have not had the time to get out on the bike much this year.  I intend to make a few late season treks though.  There is a trail up the North Shore of Lake Superior that I have always been curious about.  My current automobile is a pile of crap which has prevented me from going up there and giving it a try.

I referee roller derby, although I am pretty close to calling it quits.  It isn’t fun anymore.  I fear that the changes that have been being made to the rule set and the adjustments to game play are actually to the detriment of game play and watchability.

I cut a lot of firewood.  I really enjoy being in the woods with a chainsaw.  Firewood warms you up twice as sometimes people have liked to say.  I agree with that adage.

Having hobbies is very important and is part of my Zen.  I do things that I enjoy and accomplish something so that later I can look at what I have produced and see how much I must have enjoyed it.

Hobbies have multiple purposes.  One of them is that you can take all of the time that you would normally be thinking about things that you should not be bothering with.  Things like the worry about the future.

You don’t have to worry about the future; it is going to happen regardless.  There are things in the future that we have to be wary of, climate change is a big problem that we should all be doing something about.  If you live in the areas within thirty degrees of the equator I would recommend planting a tree. 

Squirrels don’t seem to have hobbies, unless you consider defeating bird feeder anti-squirrel mechanisms to be a hobby.

The squirrel has a happy life.  Morons also often have a happy life, which makes me wonder what it is about intelligence that comes with such a burden. 

I suppose if you never understand that everything is broken you will never be frustrated that you can’t fix it.

The truth is that you really can’t fix it all.  You can make the world around you a more wonderful place.

I think the biggest thing is that you have to learn the art of appreciation.  There is a lot in the world that is wonderful and truly amazing.

Have you ever looked at the moon on a cold slightly overcast night?

There is a ring around the moon.

If you look even closer there is a slight rainbow in that ring.

Amazing, isn’t it.

Did you know if you look at the Big Dipper and it is dark enough you can see that the second to the last star on the handle is actually two very close stars (in reality there are more than two but not without a powerful telescope).  If you can see two you could then be an archer in the Greek or Roman army, or something like that.

In the northern hemisphere we see a lot of Orion in the wintertime.  There is the scabbard that hangs from the belt of Orion.  The middle star of the scabbard isn’t actually a star.  It is a star factory!  Hundreds of them, bright blue new stars growing out of a cloud of dust!

Oh yeah, astronomy is also a hobby of mine.

During the day time there are still amazing things to see.  Look at the patterns in the petals of a flower.  Flowering plants are actually relatively new in the evolution of life on Earth.  There were dinosaurs already living on Earth before we ever got flowers for them to give to one another.

I can’t imagine that a T-Rex would be that much of a romantic however.

Elephants have a highly evolved social structure, something that is common in large herbivores.  I wonder if the large herbivores of the dinosaur world had highly evolved social structures.

How would we ever know?

Riddle me that?


Copyright Jeff Harrison – 2015 all rights reserved.

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