Eating And Such

Food can almost always be turned into a topic of conversation.  It might be any angle, from world hunger in general to feeding people in need right around the corner.  It can be the quality of food, its costs at the supermarket, or problems of farmers.  It can be proclamations of one’s favorite foods, some recipes on a box, questions about where is a good restaurant or appliances for preparing a certain type of meal.  It can be strange eating habits or strange things eaten in far distant lands.  It can be new things to try.  Regardless, it’s about stuffing a thing or two in the mouth. 

No matter which angle or aspect is brought up, however, there needs to be a little knowledge in the picture.  There’s a common lament one sometimes runs into about city children not knowing that milk comes cows, and similar things.  One fact about food is, there are plenty of adults that aren’t particularly in the know about food stuffs, either, although they like to talk as if they know a few things.  Especially among the elderly (and elderly care) there’s chat about no salt this and low sodium that, or whatever item the dieting has prescribed for some individual. 

So, food is a big deal and time-consuming even just in the eating of things all set to eat, never mind growing the wheat for bread or even picking the apples for a pie.  A recent discussion lambasted fast food restaurants as being a poor way to get nourishment.  It may not be the best possible, but few people can indulge in the best possible all of the time.  At least the fast food has a value to some degree and is readily available usually at a reasonable cost.  If such didn’t fill a need, it wouldn’t exist.  It’s easy to criticize something just on the basis of talk or maybe political expediency. 

There are good hamburgers. 

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Unfinished Business

A lot of things are started in this world and never finished.  Most often they are not out in the open for others to see.  If there are people around, like on a job, something left undone will be finished by someone else if the one who started it does leave it undone for some reason or the other, assuming it’s needed in the first place.  It may not be finished off in the way first imagined; but, if needed, it will be done somehow.  “Hidden” things left undone are usually more personal things, like hobby craft materials bought and projects started; then, for reasons that may even have little basis, they get set aside. 

One of the saddest “unfinished” ideas is “unfinished education”; but, no one is much into defining what is a finished education, as if there is some point where the world can look at someone and say, “There.  You’re educated.”  Learning is the activity of a lifetime, certainly in the informal sense and maybe legitimately in the formal sense.  Supposedly one reason there’s not been an avowed push for schools to operate year ‘round is that teachers need to update what they know or are supposed to know.  Summer break is for teachers to learn what is new in their fields if not more so. 

The “unfinished” could often be finished later and one thing that causes it to be left unfinished is that the person has somehow grown beyond that point.  Other reasons might be that a mistake was made in the thing and in order to finish it, part of it has to be undone and redone, and the perceived need or interest that initiated the thing is gone.  Sometimes it turns out to be more time-consuming than originally anticipated.  Regardless, what’s at hand is likely a lost cause not to be thrown away but to sit around like excess baggage and to be recalled, if the moment is clear, with a shade of disgust. 

What might have been doesn’t count. 

Speaking Of God….

Churchy things keep riding the top of the international news.  There was a time when churchy things drew very little attention outside of the world of believers.  If it was exceptional enough it drew some attention, particularly if there were enough people around of a given belief that there was some sort of institution beyond the actual church buildings, such as (maybe the most common) a school or a hospital or even the likes of a seminary.  On the whole, however, whatever there actually was in the news was relegated to a “church page” some obscure place in the middle of newspapers. 

Churches still may be quite wealthy and people still may want a world beyond a world of here and now, but scandal upon scandal is rocking the religious boats;  and, while there’s nothing new about some of it, this time it’s different.  It’s not just things like atheists are coming out of the closets and speaking their minds, while in the past if they had dared to do so they might have been burned at a stake or maybe hung and quartered.   It’s not any alienated masses, either.  It is a different world, where heavens above are no longer a guaranteed mystery and are materially reachable “tomorrow.” 

Older people often still have church habits, possibly in part because eternity is not so far away, but they aren’t necessarily much “in church.”  Some do actually go to a church (maybe even get picked up by a church bus on Sunday morning), but for others it’s simply too much effort.  A look around apartments for senior citizens can unearth a stack of a dozen or so church bulletins from some places every so often or a notice of a church supper on a bulletin board as well as the likes of Bible study groups that meet regularly, but standard church going is not a serious part of a multi-unit building outside of a few people. 

Faith is personal. 

Simple Logic — Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs, several common notions can be eliminated from the calculations from the beginning.  One is that they are “just bugs.”  “Just bugs” are no longer “just bugs” when their objective is to seek out a human host (or even a household animal one) and feed on same as their way of life.  Although that is part and parcel of the natural order – creatures survive by eating other creatures – the accepted method is to first kill the thing that is to be eaten and then eat it, not eat it while it’s still living. And, it’s usually in the ascending order of creation.  Bugs are eaten by birds; birds are eaten by humans. 

A severely misleading concept is the notion that somehow beds are the source of bed bugs.  They didn’t just start there unless the bedding was infested in the first place, that is,  before it was brought into where ever they were discovered. Something either carries them to the bed or they migrate there from the some other place.  A bed is a first, logical place to search for them if the objective is to see if there are any because of the way they operate; it’s not because that is “just where they are.”  The whole place doesn’t have to be searched, since if there are any, the whole place probably needs some treatment. 

One of the worst aspect of the matter of bed bugs is the mis-use of words that leads to mis-information.  One rather superlative example of that are the ideas about using alcohol.  Without the word “contact” (or “on contact” or something similar) added, any advice about alcohol is fairly useless.  Alcohol can kill bed bugs (and more) when sprayed (or poured) directly on the creatures.  Residual alcohol won’t do much at all – it’s safe enough to be left to dry on the skin.  Bed bugs are not oversized bacteria.  Not understanding the use of alcohol on the bugs has caused serious problems. 

Living things are many places.   

Winter In The Air

Perhaps this year there will be an early winter.  The autumn equinox has barely gone into oblivion – it’s several days before the first of October – and the chill in the outside world today in these particular northlands seemed somewhat more than normal.  There is often a chilly day or two before the first of October, but it was quite enough for a jacket today, if not more, and it seems like it has been so once already.  Once is usually it.  It’s not necessarily the same everywhere in the northlands, and there’s no way of knowing even generally without looking into things such as weather forecasts, but it is worth noting. 

The point is important variously….  At the latitude at hand, amid the normal wind directions and all that, there’s usually not much more than one good snowfall a year.  Because normally there is so little, doing things like shoveling the snow is done – shall we say – somewhat less religiously than in more wintery areas just a short distance north.  The idea is, the snow is expected to melt off in a day or so, so there’s no need to hurry outside to get rid of it.  In a colder climate it can easily stay around unless someone gets rid of it.  Indeed, it can get packed and turn into ice. 

There’s legality in the matter in that a law will say something like the snow must be removed twenty-four hours after the snowing ends.  However, it’s not really possible to run around to make sure everyone obeyed the law.  The advantage in it is that if someone is injured because the snow was not removed in a timely way, the injured party is in the right.  So, okay, it snows an inch one day and by noon the next day it’s starting to melt off.  There is no violation of any law if one isn’t out there immediately the next morning.  It makes a difference in what one must own. 

Laws can be interesting things. 

City Living

In the end, what can be done with old houses?  Little, old Covington, like cities most anywhere someone cares to look, is trying to deal with the problem of an aged (not just aging, but aged) housing stock.  It’s not a rare problem.  At some point, someone built a house (actually, it’s houses).  It was all new.  From the sidewalk out front to the bricks in the chimney, it was all new materials and the then state of the art architecture, designed for life the way it was then.  And, from the moment the house was first conceived, new inventions were sprouting in someone’s mind. 

Some of the things devised soon made things of the house obsolete.  A person or family bought it when it was new and lived in it for a generation or more (or maybe until the day the last of them died) changing only what was essential for them.  The house was still good; but, maybe, the wiring would not carry all the electrical gadgets someone else wanted or the garage was too small for some more modern needs, or something else exemplified it’s age while the someone else likewise wanted what was new.  Prideful things are needed by the weak, and strength is relative. 

Enter neighborhood revitalization….  The mail brought newsletter news of and a bid for donations for Covington’s neighborhood revitalization activities.  It was set aside.  It was grabbed because there was a need for padding to write some things down; afterwards it was scanned a little.  There were pictures of historic district type neat old houses – warm, humble places for someone, plenty good for someone like yours truly at a much younger age.  But (the big thing), Dayton also has houses like that, and where should the donations of time and money go?  There’s a commitment to the latter. 

Loyalty is important. 

Historic Stuff

The past is ever present in things around us, whether we want it to be there or not.  It’s also present in memory.  And, it’s also present in more pristine form in the likes of artifacts, actual things used in the once upon a time.  Sometimes the more noted parts are written down – it may be an inaccurate view, since not all is noted and what is missed may be key elements making a story different from what people think it is.  Regardless, past stuff is ever present.  The written stuff is in libraries and the artifacts are in museums.  That is, some of it is, if someone has taken the trouble to gather it up for preservation. 

The week’s mail brought a notice that on October 2, 2010, Aviation Trail, Inc. is formally finishing the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum, i.e., parachutes now are in museums, if they are old enough.  In fact, a lot of aviation, a thing seemingly new to civilization, has been in museums for years, nearly three quarters of a century in regard to some things. What’s being displayed is possibly the world’s largest collection of parachute stuff.  It belonged to a man named Dave Gold. It is one of those ribbon cutting matters that is coming up October 2.  Some items were acquired years ago. 

The new exhibit is in the Aviation Trail Visitor’s Center at the Wright Brothers Interpretive Center, 16 South Williams Street, Dayton Ohio.  This is the vicinity (immediate vicinity) of Aviation Heritage National Park.  Other aviation related things can be seen as well, including the Wright Brothers early bicycle shop and printing location.  For decades the government has been sending things to far distant space.  The rockets are essential.  So are the space suits and other things, but before any of it could take place, man had to be able to get off of the ground and get back alive. 

Some things fly.