Sunday, November 1, 2015

If Mankind is Perfectible...

It dawned on me that if you believe humankind is perfectible, you can then make the argument that others are at a lesser state of natural development based upon whatever criteria is reached. If you believe however that the basic nature of humankind is consistent, then you identify things that enhance or detract from an individual's, or collective experience.

With this reasoning, progressives could make the argument that suburbanites are at a lesser stage of development spatially than urbanites because they lack the communal awareness of urbanites. Conservative suburbanites could just as easily come back and explain the enhancement of individualistic tendencies humankind experiences in less dense living areas.

Just a thought that caught me today.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My New Love - San Clemente Cycling

I have found a new love. I went over to Cycle Werks on El Camino Real, in San Clemente, and got myself a bike pump to get the sweet bike in my garage into working order. The guy that helped me was from Manchester, UK, and not only being a cool guy, he was a real Brit. I pumped up the tires, and once out, didn't want to stop. From the Reserve I crossed Vista Hermosa on down to Seaside Summit. I crossed the new trail and down to North Beach. I followed the beach trail past T-Street, in somewhat of a race with another cyclist, and ended up at Calafia. I followed the same course back and am ready for me. It is legit!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thick Skinned but Contrite in Spirit? A Paradox in Demands

Current events in my life have made me ask a question I'm sure many Mormon members ask: "It's clear that the Lord expects me to be tough, but how can I be appropriately thick skinned while having a broken heart and a contrite spirit?" Aren't these two antithetical? I don't have a complete answer here, it's an extraordinarily complex question, but the following passages from prof. Richard Bushman's book, Rough Stone Rolling, provide insights from Joseph Smith's life that have been important for my study in this.

Bushman writes that "[Joseph] lashed back at critics and could be a bulldog when contradicted (177)." In response to one adversary, "he brushed off the jibes of his enemies. 'Their shame shall be made manifest,' he would say of opponents, sure he was in the right (ibid.)." Bushman notes that this "kind of strength may have been a requirement of Joseph's position. He had to be tough. A weaker, gentler soul could scarcely have survived the incessant hammering he endured as head of the Church (ibid.)."

It's a personal matter whether a position or situation requires this toughness spoken of, one that should involve scripture study, prayer, and being ready for the Holy Ghost. What can be applied with less difficulty is what professor Bushman wrote to close this section: "Only by shrugging off criticism and maintaining rock-hard resolve could he keep going," or broadly, can each of us keep going. This becomes a matter of conviction rather than crisis, bearing criticism while promoting faith, and not allowing sickness to the soul.

The main take away I got here is that it's important to have the toughness to stand by convictions regardless of forces acting against that resolve. Maybe Joseph's bulldog tendencies were a weakness, or maybe he acted appropriately. What seems important is the condition of his heart, and the work he had dedicated himself to. He worked to construct, not destroy; save not condemn. Toughness that destroys is not toughness, it's the numbness of soul associated with sin. I would think hiding sin in toughness, devoid of a broken heart and contrite spirit, is one of the biggest perils in having thick skin. This condition of being past feeling is not what I'm referring to at all.

Even with a broken heart and contrite spirit, "strong as he was," Bushman writes, "the burdens of office were sometimes too much (178)." Whether by office held, sickness and affliction, or deprivation, burdens arise that are nearly too much. The Lord sends tender mercies as our skin is appropriately thickened, hearts broken, and spirits made contrite. This paradox I can bear witness of personally.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Three of my favorite things: Latin American history, exploring Catholic chapels, and spending time with my mom.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More Architectural Drawings

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I've been doing a lot of drawing these days, especially architectural, and wanted to show them off a little :)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

San Clemente seaside walk past Califia

I took a nice walk this afternoon with my pops from the Sea Summit Trails down to Upper Trestles. We've been enjoying the seaside pathways from North Beach to Califia, and wanted to go just a bit further to see if we could see President Nixon's house on the point. We got there and decided to continue around the point to past Upper Trestles. What a beautiful route. I saw lots of beach I'd never seen in San Clemente.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Latin American library expansion

I've added a couple of books to my Latin American library. Generalissimo el Busho is not technically a Latin American book, but relating W to an Ibero-American caudillo in this left-slanted satirical book warranted a comical inclusion to my library. I'm getting into the other one, The Aztec Treasure House, in a similar adventurer vein to Amazonian explorer books I've read, and Cradle of Gold, about Hiram Bingham and the discovery of Machu Picchu.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Development in San Clemente - Plaza

Across the bridge from where I live a huge development project is underway. Shopping outlets are going up, a walking path has already been opened with conservation areas and parks, and residential buildings will shortly fill in the development. I've been curious about this development because of its fascinating architectural design.