I don't have any stellar hikes to blog about this week. The weather has changed, and hunting season is underway. This time of year, I basically have two hikes. The first one is a City of Lodi walk that occurs before dawn. The second is my country road walk which is only safe to do during daylight hours. I've been able to get my five miles in each day, which makes Callie happy and keeps me from getting too fat.
Things are also slow on the brewing front. After keeping my kombucha culture alive and well for about a year, I've decided to shut that down until at least spring. I just wasn't drinking that much kombucha anymore.
My sourdough culture is doing well, and I use it regularly. I don't make bread every week, but we have sourdough pancakes at least weekly.
Because I've been mostly home-bound this month taking care of Justin, I have tried to find some things to keep from going stir-crazy. One of my more successful endeavors was to take a free online course from Yale called, "Moralities of Everyday Life." As one might expect, it doesn't teach what constitutes a moral decision, but it does spend a lot of time examining the roles that biology and environment play. Professor Bloom also sorted out the role of values: care/harm; fairness/cheating; loyalty/betrayal; authority/subversion; sanctity/degradation; and liberty/oppression.
Another interesting part of the course was a discussion of liberals vs. conservatives. We know deep down that most Republicans aren't complete idiots, and that most Democrats aren't complete idiots. Sometimes, however, we fail to recognize other people's perspective, which may involve a different weighting of values. The key to bridging the present divide is to understand viewpoints different from our own.
That doesn't mean agreeing on every point, but we need to stop thinking of one another as enemies in every context. And we need to listen to other viewpoints so that we can find the common ground upon which we do agree.
Speaking of listening, Mary Gauthier, one of my favorite musical artists, played a virtual concert at the Kerrville Folk Festival, which included a talent competition for new folk artists. They have a youtube web page with a whole lot of good new folk music. Again, highly recommended if you enjoy the genre. Folk music has come a long way since Peter, Paul, and Mary. The voices of new folk musicians and songwriters, young and old, give me another reason for hope during these difficult times.