Friday, October 07, 2022

Speculating About Insulation

Over the past year, Andrew Klavan has been discussing what he calls the Great Speculation. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be capitalized, but there it is. The idea is relatively simple and it comes from Judeo-Christian theology.

Everyone around you has an inner life as deep and meaningful as your own.

That might sound self-evident, but in practice, it's tough to live up to its implications. For example, that jerk who tailgated you for the last three miles on the freeway has doubts and fears and hopes the same as you. The person who votes the wrong way and lets you know about it in ALL CAPS conversations at work, they are similarly complex.

I was thinking about this during my prayers this morning after my decade of the Rosary. When I pray in the morning, I end by asking God what He wants me to do today. My mind went to Andrew Klavan's podcast and his discussions of the Great Speculation, made real in some recent interactions I've had with strangers.

I have a bit of the gift of Blarney and I like to make conversation with people in line at stores and just about everywhere else for that matter. I know I rage on this blog about being color blind, but I make a particular effort when the person near me is black. I believe that the best way to end racial divisions is to show love to individuals.

Two days ago I was in the exit line at Costco and a black, middle-aged man ahead of me was joking with the receipt-checker that he wanted a smiley face on his receipt like the child ahead of him had received.

I laughed and agreed. "Yeah! How come we don't get those?" He turned and smiled at me and we struck up a conversation.

He had Premier Protein shakes in his cart and I drink those before workouts, too. We chatted about weightlifting, being too fat and how hard it is to stop drinking beer. He told me I looked great for my age and encouraged me to keep working out. I replied with, "God bless you, sir. I hope you have a great week." 

By the time we parted, I could have told you a couple of things that I knew about this man and never mentioned the color of his skin. I also knew that if I'd had the opportunity, having him and his family over for dinner would have been a lot of fun. I'm sure we had sports interests in common, too.

And that's the Great Speculation in action, in a way that hopefully makes a tiny dent in all of our racial animus and suspicion. This is getting too long, so I'll stop here. I need to get to the gym this morning.


I wrapped my tobacco fermentation chamber in insulation yesterday and the temperature promptly climbed to within a degree of its asymptote. If you missed that part of the story, click on the link.

This is a good example of my craftsmanship. If you want me to come over to your house and do any finish work, let me know.
With the aquarium heater set to 85 degrees, the air temperature in the chamber now follows it to within half a degree. The jump in the air temperature happened right after I wrapped the container with insulation. I'd call that a success.

With this problem solved, I think I'm going to try a couple of hands of Virginia tobacco in the aquarium heater fermenter. In order to simulate conditions in a fermenting barn where the leaves are in enormous piles and it's the stuff at the bottom of all that mass which ferments, I'll put a cloth over the top of my tobacco leaves and weigh it down with something. I'd prefer to use a thin sandbag, but I'll have to figure out how to do that. Maybe I'll take some gallon-sized Ziploc bags and fill them with dirt. That ought to do the trick.

1 comment:

tim eisele said...

Funny thing about the insulation. You'd think it was designed to retain heat or something.

Yeah, the ziplock bags should work fine for weights. If you fill them with water instead of dirt, you'll even be able to use them again for something else afterwards (maybe put your finished tobacco in them?)