Notebook Entries April 2007

Notebook entry, April 29th, 2007

I've been attempting to start writing again in earnest along with preparing for retirement within the next nine months. It's tough going.

After returning from California and my granddaughter's fourth birthday, my kids formally shut their business down. It was a long, hard decision, but everyone knew that is was going to happen. The kids have already lined up another job opportunity in the same industry, and have already started working. That's the good news. The bad news is that the new job is in Las Vegas which means the loss of their home in Anaheim Hills and certain foreclosure. They are currently living in an apartment. So with trying to stay in touch during their transition, and making sure that they are safe, you can plainly see that the time is not great for creative writing.

Also, as you already know, baby Ewan lives with Diana and me because Emily, her daughter is incapable because of her stroke, and we both decided that her husband Craig focus on his career with as little stress as possible. Craig is starting to level out in terms of his anxiety level and is even taking an interest in the house - he paved his driveway to the tune of $4000. From an evolutionary perspective, he is "taking root" and committing to the situation.

Ewan is now 16 months old. Right at this very moment, he is crying because he is tired and is ready for his morning nap. Having a crying child in the room is also not conducive to study and writing, but I love the heck out of this little kid and wouldn't have it any other way.

I love sitting with him on the couch and teaching him new words from our favorite "Animal Train" book that has shapes, numbers, sounds, comparisons, and of course, a "story." I love the way he looks up to me with admiration and unconditional love. But thinking about him in this way also makes me sad that I can't share moments like these with my granddaughter.

The third event in my life that is working against my study and writing is my looming retirement. It's really a huge thing that one can not make any mistakes on. Diana and I have already made one mistake with her health insurance coverage and it is costing me dearly with every paycheck. It's reversible, but time consuming to correct the error. Once again, it's time taken away from study and writing.

I'm looking forward to retirement because hopefully it will give me more time to devote to study and writing. Hah…man plans while God laughs….stay tuned.

Notebook entry, April 17th 2007

Well, my favorite, pink-shirted-pseudo "I want to be a tough guy," de-evolved, knuckle-crawling neo-conservative, David Brooks had another column in The New York Times on April 15, 2007. It's title: The Age of Darwin.

This article now confirms my suggestions that Mr. Brooks has been dipping into the evolutionary perspective for the past year, but that this article now puts the nail in the coffin and that he has had "an epiphany" about the subject - or to put it in his words -

"…it rekindled the University of Chicago flame that lingers in every graduate's soul and got me thinking all sorts of Big Thoughts." I also had the sensation - which I used to get during those sweeping old Western Civ courses - of seeing my own time from outside, from the vantage point of some ancient spot."

It almost brings up visions of a scholar who has discovered the "theory of everything" and has gone running naked around campus shouting "eureka!!

But, I really shouldn't make fun of the arrival of another convert to the evolutionary perspective - especially from someone who professes to be a "tough-talking" guy. I should be glad that another evolved mind has arrival at the gates of reason. These next two paragraphs are really grand in their scope, and I heartily agree:

"And it occurred to me that while we postmoderns say we detest all-explaining narratives, in fact a newish grand narrative has crept upon us willy-nilly and is now all around. Once the Bible shaped all conversation, then Marx, then Freud, but today Darwin is everywhere.
"Scarcely a month goes by when Time or Newsweek doesn't have a cover article on how genes shape everything from our exercise habits to our moods. Science sections are filled with articles on how brain structure influences things like lust and learning. Neuroscientists debate the existence of God on the best-seller lists, while evolutionary theorists believe they have a universal framework to explain human behavior."

Welcome to the evolved mind club Mr. Brooks. But remember with this epiphany or "grand and sweeping framework" of knowledge comes great responsibility.

And to guide you, remember one overriding premise: That we are all evolutionary creatures sailing in the same boat moving through the cosmos. By all, I mean, all creatures on the planet.

We are one -- because we are connected by God's language in our DNA..