Monday, January 14, 2013

Calmness on Monday

After the excitement of last Monday with the squirrel, this was just a normal, dull morning.  Today I was forced to actually get some commitments checked off the list.  I had signed up to help with bereavement meals.  This morning was making deviled eggs.  Gene was kind enough to get out in the cold to deliver them to the church for an early afternoon meal.  As a juxtaposition to this, tonight I will be helping the MOPs group at church make casseroles for the blessed events (family with new born babes) ministry.  I had promised to do a casserole on my own for this ministry for this month, too.  That casserole is going to be a lasagna.  It is almost ready to assemble.

Took time to sit and catch up on emails, Facebook, etc. to give my feet a little rest.  Noticed a Groupon for an eye exam and decided time for a checkup.  Was able to schedule on line.  Looks like I can do about anything on line.  Anything except "get the squirrel out of the house" can be done on line.  I find that convenient especially on a cold, winter day.  According to a segment on "CBS Sunday Morning" yesterday many jobs are now performed by robots and computers.  The cost savings is significant which is good for the bottom line but bad for people needing employment.  

Just wondering what will be the next project or employment that will require multitudes of human hands.  The Great Wall of China must have been a huge "employer".  I recently overheard a woman stating that wooden ships required maybe 200,000 board feet per ship.  Due to the amount of wood needed per ship, the ship building in Europe was a part of the reason for loss of forests.  It just makes sense to me that wooden ships would require large amounts of labor from harvesting lumber to the launch of the ship.  I have been unable to verify the overheard statement.  But the search has resulted in other fascinating reads.

There is a study published in 2007 that one can buy for $20 at http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.38.091206.095650?journalCode=ecolsys    I did run across another site, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&context=nebanthro, in land locked Nebraska.  This work by Jillian R. Smith was a fascinating read for me.  Niche Construction Theory.  Had never heard of it till I read this paper by this anthropologist.

I followed up on Ms. Smith's paper with her 2010 masters thesis, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=anthrotheses.  It is at this point that I am certain I am a nerd.  But I did enjoy this mind exercise of reading about ship building influences in the 1300 to 1700.  History nerd.

Railroad building at one time employed significant numbers of humans.  Making cloth and clothing was certainly labor intensive even after mechanization began in the early 1900's.  I have no stats to back this supposition but I am thinking agriculture probably was the job requiring the highest amount of manual labor.  Which was one reason families were so big in "days of old."  Hands were needed on the farm and children filled the bill.

One could conjecture that a world economic collapse could cause a stampede back to manual labor.  But history does not show that.  A collapse of the world's power sources could send us all back to manual labor.  No more vacuums would mean beating rugs.  Scrub boards for doing laundry.  How would we heat our homes?  No answers, just questions and thoughts.  No judgments as I do not possess the knowledge base required to properly evaluate the available data.  Wishy-washy nerd.

There is no lesson I gain from this line of thinking.  It is just part of the way a senior citizen's mind works on a Monday with no squirrels to chase about the room.  I have also observed that the rechargeable alkaline batteries do not make the candles burn as brightly as the regular alkaline batteries. Well, I just had a revelation.  My random mind may not need quite so much calmness on Monday.


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