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Moon over the Yosemite Valley

Monday, December 19, 2011

Same old friends the wind and rain

Kim Jong Il, we hardly knew ye

My brother Buzz in Toronto called today. He said that he is jonesing for mexican food after reading about all of my culinary exploits. Wonders if I have gained ten pounds. Ditto Shawn in Thailand, he is thinking and dreaming of Roberto's chicken and sour cream burritos. I guess I do live in mexican fast food mecca. I remember trying to find decent mex in New York, not happening or wasn't at the time anyway. All the salsas tasted italian, like marinara or something...

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Ran into Deli Guy and Deli Girl at a party and have been informed that I need to add yet another mexican restaurant to the quest, apparently there is one tucked away near the Pala Mesa Market. Damn.

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I am heading out to see my buddy BigD before his next treatment. Guy is always there for me. Folks are looking for the "god particle." Hear it looks just like Tim Tebow. Here is a paragraph from an essay written about the Higgs Boson by Physicist Simon Hands, Theory Division Cern, Switzerland. It is titled Ripples at the heart of Physics. Doesn't sound real theological to me although there is certainly an existential component.

The Higgs' ability to fill space with its mysterious presence makes it a vital component in more ambitious theories of how the Universe burst into existence out of some initial quantum fluctuation, and why the Universe prefers to be filled with matter rather than anti-matter; that is, why there is something rather than nothing. To constrain these ideas more rigorously, and indeed flesh out the whole picture, it is important to find evidence for the Higgs field at first hand - in other words, find the boson. there are unanswered questions: the Higgs' very simplicity and versatility, beloved of theorists, makes it hard to pin down. How many Higgs particles are there? Might it/they be made from still more elementary components? Most crucial, how heavy is it? Our current knowledge can only put its mass roughly between that of an iron atom and three times that of a uranium atom. This is a completely new form of matter about whose nature we still have only vague hints and speculations and its discovery is the most exciting prospect in contemporary particle physics. 

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My friend K was up yesterday. Very bright, skeptical guy. Made a pile and is retiring young. Going to enjoy life. He is a faithful blast reader and he said something interesting. He said (and I loosely paraphrase) words to the effect that taking a nuanced position politically is too mentally demanding so that most people just find it easier to pick a side and simply be done with it. Doesn't require as much effort or thinking. Don't think that he is that far off the mark.

Partisan ideologues want you to swallow the party platform hook, line and sinker and that never appealed to me too much. When I do go astray of the orthodoxy I hear about it, believe me. Anyway my friend also accused me of wanton liberalness. When I pointed out that I had been pummeling Obama pretty mercilessly, he said that he knew but it wasn't heartfelt and I didn't really mean it. Just can't sell my friend K.

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I don't know if I have mentioned this but I am always getting this attitude from people like, hey you're jewish, what do you know about Christmas? Let me just set the record a little bit straight. I love Christmas. I love gospel music too. Does that make me a bad jew? It might surprise you to know but I was baptized a methodist, raised Unitarian, with stops at Presbyterian, Catholic and various other denominations along the roadside until I was able to pry myself from the clutches of religion. I never knew my mother was jewish until I was almost 20 and then she raised a stink after I did some digging, not being able to deal with her tribal heritage to this day. Strange how the first generation children of immigrants wanted to assimilate so badly. I have read the book. Many times. Both parts. Grew up celebrating christmas. Chanukah just paid off better and seemed a better fit. I am at a point of my life that if I have to read science fiction I would rather read Zelazny, Sturgeon or Dick.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You were baptized at the French Laundry. You are a Foodologist. You worship the big burrito in the sky, let the chips [and salsa] fall where they may.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget El Parque on Reche Road by Live Oak Park. Would like to hear what you think. I drive by but have never stopped.

grumpy said...

a guy i know swears by the carne asada burrito at El Parque; thinks it's the best in town; i wouldn't know; haven't been there in 20 years, at least; back in the day it used to be called the Snack Shack, which is how i still think of it... kudos to anonymous for the chips and salsa line-lol.