Cool, Clear Water

This afternoon, mi novia and I will host former neighbors, a couple who lived next door to me, for wine. We’ll then go for an earlier dinner to a nearby restaurant. Beforehand, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that we are able to meet our commitment to provide “goodies” for tomorrow morning’s church service. And before any of that, mi novia‘s ex-husband will return her car, which he borrowed a couple of days ago when his went into the shop. An active day today—the first day I am “officially” the president of my church, though only a little of the activity has any bearing on that fact. It is with anticipation, mixed with dread, that I assume that role, which will last one year unless earlier I am ejected or resign in exhaustion. Just another day, this one. Hotter than Hades. Speaking of Hades, I think I might enjoy taking a course in Greek and Roman mythology. I never learned enough about that complex, mysterious expression that interprets the universe in strange and fascinating ways. At least not enough to enable me to engage in a coherent conversation about the gods and other characters underlying mythology. I think I would like to know the stories of Prometheus and Pandora and Apollo and Poseidon and Zeus. I suppose a course is not necessary; if I have sufficient interest, I will simply read and learn. If. If. That’s a poem by Rudyard Kipling. My father kept a copy of that poem on the wall next to his desk. Odd, isn’t it, how the mind ricochets off of itself, causing entirely unrelated thoughts to occupy the same time, space, and intellectual real estate?


I smoked a slab of baby back ribs yesterday. Four and a half hours in the smoker—two directly on the grate, two wrapped in foil and the final half unwrapped to allow the rub and sauce to become “crusty”—was the right amount of time. They were, by far, my best effort yet at smoking pork ribs. I think the flavor of meat may be enhanced when it is enjoyed infrequently. We do not consume a lot of meat, at least not a lot in comparison to days gone by. Beef, especially, has largely disappeared from our diet, except for the occasional splurge for a nice six-ounce filet mignon. Chicken, too, is a rarity. Pork tends to be the go-to protein of late. And fish. I can imagine being vegetarian if I could depend on a talented vegetarian-focused chef taking charge of all my meals.


If members of the Supreme Court truly were nonpolitical—and if they made serious efforts to ensure their biases do not influence their decisions—decisions of the court probably would enrage either the right or the left about half the time. The court’s decisions would not give people of either political perspective consistent cause for celebration or mourning. But “lefties” and “righties” fight tooth and nail to have judges who support their causes appointed. And, of course, Congressional majorities makes a game out of going to war when the President represents the opposite party. As a result, the court seesaws between liberalism and conservatism (and their more intense cousins, of late) between new lifetime court appointments. Despite my loathing for that reality, I think limited-term appointments or enabling the public to recall appointed justices (or to elect them, rather than have them appointed) would drastically shorten the time between pendulum swings. Back to the original assertion: “If member of the Supreme Court truly were nonpolitical…” Wouldn’t it be nice. But rulings coming from completely apolitical justices probably would reveal enormous cracks in the practical application of the philosophies underlying our system of government. That’s just my opinion, of course. The depth of my knowledge of the philosophies guiding our system of government is considerably less than would be ideal. Yet my opinions often imply I think my knowledge is as deep as the Mariana Trench. I know better. That notwithstanding, I often pronounce judgments on rulings of the Supreme Court. I am afraid, sometimes, the justices make decisions on knowledge of the same depth as mine.

Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda ~


The beastly heat of recent days apparently will recede, at least temporarily, in the coming days. Beginning the week in the upper 80s or low 90s, the end of the week might see high temperatures near 80°F. But we’re only just now in the early days of July. And August tends to be the hottest month. I may need to evacuate from Arkansas during that month; Wisconsin holds a certain allure for me. Madison and environs, in particular. And the Dells. Hell, I find the entire state appealing.


A private swimming pool where I could splash about in naked comfort, far from prying eyes that could be damaged by the sight of me, might be the perfect place today. Even a “hot tub” freshly filled (with the heat switched off) might do the trick. I’ll just have to fantasize, I suppose.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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