having to plunge twice
Friday, December 13 2019
I woke up after a convincing dream in which I was in some foreign country, berating an unfortunate hotel employee for somehow allowing my laptop and other personal items to be pilfered from storage. Dreams about losing electronics in foreign countries are in one of several classes of dreams I have on a recurring basis.
To avoid trudging through the snow, I've been doing my first poop of the day in the bathroom in the center west of the basement, the same bathroom with the bathtub that I prefer. This morning, the toilet failed to flush afterwards, and I was forced to find a plunger in order to get that foul stew to drain. I haven't had to use a plunger in months or perhaps even years, but this wasn't even to be only time I would need to plunge today. Later at work, I found myself in a stall for poop number two confronting a toilet that wouldn't flush (though I hadn't used it yet). Fortunately, it responded well to the plunger that happened to be nearby.
On the drive into work, I encountered a large flock of turkeys crossing Dug Hill Road about a quarter mile from the intersection with Hurley Mountain Road. I stopped and snapped some pictures, and they were in no hurry to get out of my way until I started driving again.
On the four-lane part of US 209, just north of the intersection with Route 28 (in the part frequently used as an filming location for teevee scenes set on interstate highways), I came upon a man walking on the shoulder. As I approached, he turned around and extended his thumb. This was the first hitchhiker I'd ever seen in more than a year of driving back and forth to Red Hook nearly every weekday. I immediately pulled over and gave the man a ride. He was an older gentleman who lived in Accord but worked at Ollie's, a bargain outlet near Lowe's (off 9W). That's a one-way commute of about 20 miles for a job that probably didn't pay a whole lot more than the minimum wage. The guy said he was having trouble with his truck, which had forced him to hitchhike. He'd gotten a ride to Route 28, but the woman who'd taken him that far could take him no further. I ended up going a little out of my way, driving him up to the traffic light on Frank Sottile Blvd, within sight of his workplace several hundred feet away. With temperatures in the 20s, it was not a good day to be out walking around.
At work today, at some point Alex commented that it smelled like something had died in the office refrigerator. It turned out that I hadn't completely sealed a jar of kimchi I'd been eating with my pupusas. The smell quickly dissipated once I'd sealed up the jar, but to promote peace in the office, I took the jar home with me at the end of the workweek.
As I did my usual workplace chores, I listened to my usual YouTube channels, with a particular focus on the idea of free will. Free will is something it's easy to assume we all have. I can, after all, choose to type the word "poop" in this sentence or to type something else. And then I can go back and change it to something else if I think later that my word choice was somehow wrong. That feels a lot like free will. But is it? Or do those things instead happen deterministically and it's my consciousness (a small app on the large operating system in my skull) that provides a narrative to explain coherently? I thought the take from Answers With Joe were nicely insightful on this topic, and so too were those of Sam Harris For the last couple days I've been really enjoying Sam Harris; his nuanced thinking makes him perhaps the most interesting of all the New Atheists.
Just part of the flock of turkeys I encountered this morning on lower Dug Hill Road on the drive to work.
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