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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Firewood Clock

What with all the extra carbon dioxide being thrown up into the atmosphere by human activity and there to pen up more heat than usual inside the Earth's envelope, my firewood pile, to the best of my recollection, is looking better than it ever has at this time of the year.

Under the deck that you can see in the front, in the picture of my house, I always try to store three rows of heating wood, amounting maybe to three cords in all, for December, January, and February, plus I have to set up another less organized pile to get us through the two earlier months of October and November. The first weeks of the Spring to come can call for fires, too, but as that period never has any fearsome cold here in the western reaches of rural Virginia, that period can take care of itself.

With November nearly at an end, its pile should be exhausted, but because of the warm days and because my woods gave me a bonus of two large, dead trees, and because my wife has been pushing the garden cart of wood while I pull it up the hill to the house, the November pile is still large enough that it is poised to become the new December heap instead. But it will be too small to last through that month, and it will be interesting to see how long that will take.

All this caused me to want to hurry November along so that I could go into December with a decent pile. But that's on the perverse side, because often enough in this weblog I've spoken of how drastically time has seemed to speed up since I've gotten old, to the point where I like to say that I no longer have to wait for anything.

That's not strictly true, though, or it's not accurately phrased. I should say instead that I no longer have to wait as long, because actually I still wait for lots of things.

I wonder what the evolutionary reasons are for this speedup of time, because it would seem that with the End lurking just around the corner, a person would be highly stressed by perceptions of how fast it is coming up, with nothing that can or even should be done about it. It's hard for me personally to believe that old age is anything but a reward for being industrious enough to look both ways at all times before crossing the street and so on and so forth.

The main salutary reason I can cook up is that with age the number of distressing things that a person can see tends to get larger and larger with each day, and even the things that he used to think were cool either become permanently defiled by events or by others, or he sees that so many things, after all, never really had the value that he formerly saw in them. So existence hustles him past these perceptions fast enough to lessen their chances to take painful bites out of his still self-prized mind..


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