Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Prudently Intelligent Post

"...intelligence and its opposite, in virtue of which we speak of people as intelligent or unintelligent, are not in general the same as scientific knowledge or as opinion. For if they were, everybody would be intelligent. Nor is intelligence one of the particular sciences, like medicine, that deals with matters of health, or geometry with magnitudes; for it is not concerned with things eternal and immutable, nor with everything and anything that occurs, but only with the natural subjects of human inquiry and deliberation. Hence intelligence has the same sphere as prudence, although intelligence and prudence are not identical. Prudence is imperative and issues commands; for its end or object is what ought or ought not to be done. Intelligence, on the other hand, merely forms judgments. There is no difference between intelligence and good intelligence, or between people of intelligence and people of good intelligence.

Intelligence is neither the possession nor the acquisition of prudence; but a scholar is said to be intelligent when he turns his scientific knowledge to some use, so a prudent man may show intelligence in making use of his opinions to form a judgment and a sound judgment on what he hears from someone else about matters requiring prudence..."
Aristotle, from his Nicomachean Ethics, on intelligence and prudence.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cheese and Whine

I noticed that it's been a while since I complained about anything on my blog, so here we go.

When I'm at a church dinner, or some sort of christian gathering where food is involved, and invariably someone walks up to the dessert table, declares conspiratorially "I really shouldn't have this..." and then goes ahead and eats it anyway.
If you REALLY shouldn't have it, DON'T!
Isn't that a form of gluttony? At the least it's showing a lack of discipline...
Restrain thyself.
Or at least, don't tell me about it...

(Excuse my loud typing.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Of Goats and Fedoras

"Are you guys in the play?"
Hm? What?
We (My sister and I) were standing in the corner gas station/Subway shop in downtown Middleburgh, waiting on our sandwich order, when one of the guys in the store approaches me.
"The play, are you guys in it?" he persists. My initial confusion wearing off, I chuckle to myself as I realize why he asked. See, the local-yokel playhouse was putting on a production of Chicago this week, which is a big deal in our little village. So, when you see someone in the street wearing a black and gray striped shirt and a black corduroy fedora, they must be in the play.
"No," I told him, laughingly, "This is just me."

Our town is not exactly urbanized, but that's one reason I like it. You can walk down Mainstreet under the shade of the sycamore trees...ask how so-and-so's Grandma is fairing...enjoy the smell of petunias in over flowing baskets hanging from all the telephone poles...stop in at the old hardware store and buy just one screw if you want, and some mighty fine coffee, too...
Oh, and get serenaded by a goat in a pickup truck, too.
We were leaving the Subway, subs in hand and getting ready to cross the street, when we heard a short bleat.
Looking up, we espied a pickup truck with a bale of hay and two goats on the back.
For those of you who don't know, goats are hilarious both to watch and to listen to. Their cry sounds something in my mind like an young adolescent boy riding a roller-coaster for the first time.
"MAAOUGH!" he voiced, startling the lady jogging on the sidewalk out of her iTunes induced apathy. She continues on, a bemused smile on her face and as she draws abreast of us remarks:
"That's a goat in a pickup truck!"

Yes ma'am, yes it was.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Farewell to Beard

Well, my friend...

We had a good run...
You weren't that big, but you were mine. My chin looks empty without you there...

It isn't you, it's me. Actually, it isn't even me, really. It's the institution, man...the school institution, that is.

Who will serve as referee between my top lip and nose, now that you're not there to separate them?

Who will protect me from someone scribbling a Hitler mustache and soul-patch on pictures of me?

I'm sorry it had to come to this, but you always knew this day would come.

Maybe I'll see you next