I'm a long time reader of the Fox Trot comic. I like it lots. But today was stinking annoying, giving us a secret message in Morse code! Well I was stubborn and found a morse code translator on the web and tranlated it! It says "Someday I will rule you all." Take that Bill Amend! :b
We have a large box elder tree in our new backyard. I have to admit I'm a bit of an arbor-phile so it was a good selling point when we bought the house in December. However, as spring has sprung we have discovered that the tree is nearly half dead. So we've watered it and fertilized it and de-bugged it at no small expense and have had a couple of arborists out to take a look at it. One said it wasn't worth saving and that we should take it out, the other says we can probably baby it along for another 10 years, which in my book is worth it. However, we definitely need to at least prune the dead from the tree. The going price for that job is $600, which is a lot since I am no longer bringing in an income. So this has brought up a subject of no small debate amoung our friends and family: do we hire an arborist to get it done, or do we do the job ourselves? The tree is only 9 feet from the house and hangs over both our fence and our roof, so there is property damage potential. It's about 30-35 feet high and full of dead branches, so there is personal injury potential. Then there's the fact that we are not arborists so we don't completely know what we're doing and the tree really needs the best care to last. But six hundred bucks? That's a lot of moolah! So I'm asking all youse guys out there: what should we do? Cheap and dangerous or expensive and safe?
I have decided that my family is big. I have over 60 first cousins. On just my Mom's side. That is with no divorces and no 2nd marriages so no step-cousins or half-cousins or anything else to make it confusing. If you want to get confusing, my Grandma on that side remarried after my Grandpa died, and I could add in a couple dozen step cousins but I don't know any of them so I ain't countin' 'em! On my Dad's side, it's a little more tame...I think I only have 16 cousins on that side (again, no divorces or things like that). So my first question to you is: can you top 76 first cousins without counting any step cousins? My second question is: how weird is it that there are no divorces out of 13 aunts and uncles and only 1 divorce out of 76 first cousins? WEIRD I tell you!
And people wonder why I can't keep all their dang names straight. grumble mumble......
While viewing my blog stats (who is this Google Robot guy? He must LOVE me! ;b) I saw my post re: inbreeding which reminded me of an old theory I've had that I just need to share.
Basically, I think that too much school leads to what I call intellectual inbreeding. That is, after many 'generations' of scholars being taught by scholars who only learn from scholars, the knowledge becomes 'mutated' and no longer is an accurate reflection of reality. Now, don't get me wrong, because I LOVE school and I can't recommend it enough. And there are certain realms of pure scientific research which can only be studied from a scholastic perspective, which can only be tainted in terms of perceived relevance and importance of the work. But certain realms, such as psychology, literature, political science, etc., become tainted and mutated with the inbreeding and other mutations caused by opinions taught (either by affecting which information is taught, how information is taught, or even affecting the information itself) by influential, respected, or a conglomorate of professors. For instance, I like good books. I have my opinions on which books I like best, and I know that there are certain rules that help make a book better. But when series of professors start changing the list of 'good' books according to new rules, or, more perniciously, according to some sort of political agenda, it mutates the perceptions of 'good' and 'bad' according to the beliefs of the professor rather than the actual rules. Some professors are really extreme about this, but most just have tiny tainting opinions slipping in that become magnified mutations over the years. Because, after all, when it comes to things like literature, how can you even really define a line where objective parameters for quality become subjective opinions? Thus most mutations are subtly and slowly pernicious as they draw the subject matter far from the unwashed proletariat masses, becoming less and less relevant. Now, no matter how uneducated or even stupid the proletariat may be, they are the body of the people and that from which basic understanding must spring. There must be SOME level of practicality or relevance in that which we study, or else it becomes nothing but pompous self-aggrandizement, wherein we train our worshippers to value us and our ideas rather than the relevant value of knowledge itself. The only idea for anything approaching a practical solution is grants or scholarships for students returning to any of these areas of study after a number of years in the 'real world'. This wouldn't change the entire makeup, but hopefully it would add enough conflicting opinion and real information that we can limit the mutations.
And no, I'm not just saying this because I want money to go back to grad school. :b