Thursday, May 17, 2007

How the hell did this happen?

Just a little different tack this week. I’ve been reading about writing, writing about writing, thinking about writing and worrying about writing. For all these reasons I wanted to talk about physics. Not the complicated kind that require math skills and professors with wild hair and stupid glasses but the human kind. The question of how, not why. Why is written about all the time. Why did terrorists do this? Why did the police do that? Whole novels work on why someone did something. How is often just as interesting if not as esoteric. How is easier to describe in many cases. Someone can usually figure out how something was done but why something was done is often a mystery.

This is a big week for me. On a personal level, a lot happens in the next 168 hours. How did I come to this point in my life? I swear, I have no answer but I am here. Why? Because this is where I happen to end up. I’ll let a few photos make my point about how. The last set will serve to explain what’s happening this week and allow me to show off a little. But back to the philosophy or physics, depending on how you look at things.

How does one describe something like this?

Or how this

becomes this?

Or how this guy

produces this guy?

Who grew up to be this guy

Does this happy thing

really become this thing that makes me happy?

How did this hardback cover

morph into this paperback cover?

Did this guy

really raise this guy?

How did this little hellion

Turn into this young man?

That’s where I am this week. Looking at my first born graduating high school. Yesterday he laughed for hours at my impersonation of a zombie. He liked having me coach his sports team. He ate nothing but chicken McNuggets. This week he graduates with great grades, as president of the student council and with a reasonable attitude that will serve him well his whole life.

How did that happen?


  1. Congrats to you and your son on the next step in his life and in yours. Looks like you done good, Jim. Be proud.

  2. "How did that happen?"

    Two words: His mother.

    Congrats to that kid for surviving high school and you.

  3. Because you did something right, as did those who came before you.

    Tom, T.O.

  4. Jim, I LOVED your post. It proves what I've suspected all along, that beneath that tough cop exterior lies a sentimental softy. Congrats to your son and to you.

  5. I figure his mother had something to do with it. Don't they always?

  6. You are justly proud, Jim.

    As for your existential questions, I will answer them as soon as I finish reading Cornelia's master's thesis posted yesterday. (I'm up to the statistics on drug use by British musicians).

  7. Congratulations to the grad and to all of you, Jim--way cool! We're coming up on eighth-grade graduation out here in a couple of weeks, which so far seems to require an ungodly amount of shopping.

    Paul, good luck with the stoned Brits....

  8. Well, Jim,

    It starts with boy meeting girl, etc...

    I'm going try and explain the beauties of nature (I just try and paint it sometimes), nor explain the idiocies of raising idiots (Bush?), however, I will wish your son a wonderful graduation and wonderful weepy time for his mamma and papa. Be proud, you all deserve it.

    Now, can we nominate your son for the 2008 run for President? It seems that he has more experience than the current twit, er, person in charge. :-D


  9. Er, that should have read "I'm NOT going to explain the beauties of nature..."


  10. A fine looking young man, and a fine looking older man as well. You must be proud to have raised such a great kid. Congrats to both of you.

  11. Jim, congrats to you and your "little hellion."

    It is ironic that THIS post comes on the heals of yesterday's provocative, insightful, thought provoking post by Cornelia.
    I say that because her posts certainly speaks to some part of the "How" question.So I implore all readers to re-read that post and all the replies.

    Another way to go is start with Plato,go through Descartes,Kant, Leibnitz,and Spinoza.then throw in some Schopenhauer, Kierkergaard, Nietsche and "end" with Sartre; then you'll be well on your way to figuring out, in some minute degree, the "How/Why" question.....I would say they are inherently intertwined in a co dependant [uh-oh, sounds like yesterday's topic] dualism.

  12. Thank you all for the good wishes.

    Pual, as you all know is a good sport. He never asked why I needed a baby photo.

    I also asked for a photo of him in a dress and one of him naked next to a farm animal, preferably a horse or cow. He complied graciously.

    I won't tell you how I'll use them.

    It is a busy bit fun time. I sometimes wonder if the boy is short changed becuase of his little sister. Now I feel as if it has evened out.


  13. This is a wonderful post, Jim, just lovely. Warms the cockles of my heart. And how did that young man get to be so great - might just have something to do with the guy next to him in the photo.

    And did someone say something about stoned Brits ...?

  14. Congrats, Dad and Son.

    I think I'm getting a little tear-eyed here.

    No, it's just the pollen.

    Carry on.

  15. Congratulations to the both of you.

    And as for your questions, I always try to remember the words of the philosopher Indiana Jones: "I don't know, I'm just making this up as I go."