Friday, April 29, 2016

Finally!

Polly dropped her pigs sometime last night. They all take after their daddy.

 
Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Uncertainty

I teach Physics as an adjunct at a "local" technical college. Last night I showed 2.5 minutes of a video in which Newtonian gravitation is maligned in favor of Einstein's bending space.
 
Of course I am teaching Newtonian Physics. It called to mind a recent quote I had never read before which I found at the Northeast Catholic Student Blog:

...Werner Heisenberg, who begins his work by saying: “Science is made by men, a self-evident fact that is far too often forgotten.
 
It is an interesting quote, especially noting (ironically) it is by the author of the Uncertainty Principle - (that a particle's position and momentum can not known be simultaneously-or that the more closely you know the position, the less accurately you know the momentum.)
 
In any event, what followed in the last lecture of the semester, was the most interesting one as we discussed how scientific theories, even accepted ones, change as we acquire new knowledge; going through Ptolemy to Copernicus and Galileo, etc.
 
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The work weekend on the homestead

Got a lot done this weekend. Friday it was drizzling so I decide to put in our tomato plants. No sooner were we started then it started to rain hard. No matter. We were already wet.

We tilled up the patch where the cantaloupes will go. We cultivated the corn. We tilled another garden section where pigs and turkeys used to live. This will be our main summer garden.

I picked and ate our first two pea pods of the spring.

And ... we finished building a small, temporary pen among some tree-killing vines and relocated the runt from the last litter there (picture below). She will eat the greenery and dig out the roots of these vines. When I took this picture, some 4 hours after the move, she had already put a noticeable dent in the vines. Sometime soon she will then hit the bbq pit, being about 110-120 pounds. We have a good feel for her weight because we carried her from her old pen to her new digs. (Well I use the term "we" sort of loosely. A friend and son Thomas did most of the lifting while I "organized".)


Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Communism and Freedom


I noted below that I have read The Soul and the Wire from The Gulag. Now I am back to reading the rest of Part III of the same, which I had put off to read Part IV. Reading about the women in the work camps has to be one of the most depressing things I have ever read. The total loss of humanity that these women experienced may not be the worst atrocity in history, but it is still most difficult to read.
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My children are reading Animal Farm together (school) and listening in, I think it surely relates to what is happening today or at least what may be starting to happen in our own "land of the free" country. Our freedom to speak and even think about what we believe is surely going the way of the wild buffalo.
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Related in a way is this article  about some comments Ted Cruz made about who should legislate same-sex adoption. Not particularly to pick on Ted Cruz, but the article addresses the conservative/libertarian notion that only states (as opposed to the Federal government) should legislate moral issues. Here is the essence of the article:

Cruz may take for granted that states have rights to legislate on every issue. He and his followers might disagree with such a characterization, but if the legalization of homosexual adoption of children is not outside the authority of individual states, then one cannot possibly know what else is. One should seriously question the idea that states contain within themselves some innate right to weigh-in on every issue. Questions relating to the Natural Law should be considered outside the scope and competency of state legislatures, at least in a non-defensive sense. In other words, states only have the duty to defend the Natural Law, not make positive laws to destroy it.

For example, most reasonable people would agree that states should outlaw rape, while at the same time agree that they do not have the right to legalize murder. States have the duty to use their power to defend these moral concepts, but not to violate them.

 All things to consider .....
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pigs are coming!


We have 3 litters of pigs due in the next few weeks. Polly is first-due any day now as you can see.

 
 
 


Thor (below) is the sire. Becky (not shown) is due in a few weeks. We are interested in seeing the coloring in the offspring. Often the boar's coloring will dominate, but sometimes you can get red piglets with the white stripe. We will know in a few days.

Sam (right) is due 26 April. The sire is Red who we sold some weeks ago. This will be the last litter Sam gives us as she isn’t that great of a mother. She drops 10-12 piglets consistently, but only weans ½ dozen.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I was just thinking ...

... that I hadn't seen anything from Anthony Esolen in a while, but then this appears; setting things straight .....

No, there is no comparison. Rock stars are far more important than pastry bakers, in the same way that school principals are more important than parents, inside traders are more important than truck drivers, journalists are more important than people who read books to find the truth, and politicians are more important than everybody. They are more important because they hold the hammer.


Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Repent!


From The Gulag .... (Solzhenitsyn)

Here is a rewarding and inexhaustible direction for your thoughts: Reconsider all your previous life. Remember everything you did that was bad and shameful and take thought-can't you possibly correct it now?

Yes, you have been imprisoned for nothing. You have nothing to repent of before the state and its laws.

But..... before your own conscience?

I don't have the Gulag for a purgation on earth. Is it a pity or a blessing when considering eternity?


Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Does anyone else think this first statement is strange?





For example, would you think potatoes come from anywhere else? a laboratory????

Is this a ploy to make you think they are healthy? (Whether they are or not, you can see the made it to my table!)

I remember that my son Nick used to make some really good potato chips. Too bad they grow up and go to college. It would be nice if they were ours and not God's and we could just keep them.

But back to potatoes. We don't grow them usually because we can buy them so cheaply - sometimes 50 lbs for $8 at the farmers market.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

In passing (literally)


Sometimes you feel a special kinship with something or someone you really no nothing about …..

One day a week I usually travel to Lexington, SC for one of my several jobs. As I pass through Lugoff, I always see a middle-aged woman (Funny how “middle-age” gets older as one does. I would say I am middle-aged and yet I am surely past this point by some years. I don’t really expect to reach 104 + a few years. And surely this woman is 5-15 years older than I, but I digress….) walking to or from a job (I suppose). I pass her about the same spot every time, but can tell if I am running late (or early) by where I pass her. I can also estimate the weather by her attire.

I usually wave, but have never have seen her see my wave. But in some sense, I feel an acquaintance with her. If one morning she is absent, I will wonder if she is sick, retired, or on vacation.

I venture we should feel at least the same kinship with everyone we see or meet-greeting their Guardian Angels as we pass.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The result is what counts!

Am reading The Soul and the Barbed Wire from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago.

In some sense, yes, it is the result than counts, ultimately - whether we have run the race faithfully and reached our eternal reward.
 
In daily life however, we need to make sure that "the result" is aimed towards the ultimate result discussed above or is directed at an earthly goal-and oh how we can get lost from the true direction!
 
What should the result be, for example, our little homestead? Is it the neatest garden? The most productive garden? The fattest hogs? The sweetest corn? The creamiest milk?
 
If these are the results that count, this homestead has failed!

Oremus pro invicem!