Strip You Bare

Many of us believe these light rains aren’t having much effect on weeping foundations and seeping basement floor cracks, but in reality, all the many hours have added up to where people are getting water in their basements along with their sump pumps discharging.  Just today I inspected a home and discovered water puddling in one area of its basement due to seepage.  By all means, I encourage everyone to make sure their gutters and downspouts are clean and working properly for the coming winter.  Nobody wants all that much more water puddling around their foundations come Spring due to a build-up of leaves in their gutters.

In spite of the rain, I did manage to get three homes showed today, and fortunately one of them being a good possibility.  One positive thing about showing homes during the rains, is that it helps to confirm that a given basement doesn’t have chronic water problems.  Believe me, I’ve dealt with my share of basement water issues in my life, and fortunately I’ve stopped having to worry about it over these past 10 years due to some radical preventative measures.  My next project regarding seepage, is getting the back of my office building to the point where I don’t get any seepage in my basement after heavy rains.  It’s not that much, but even a puddle will trigger a great annoyance within.  Just remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I’m not sure if other people are noticing it, but this past week I’ve been seeing a noticeable number of dead raccoons on the highways.  It seems every year around this time their lifeless bodies are all the more visible.  I’m wondering if their hiding places are being disturbed by all the fieldwork that’s going on, or if they’re in some sort of migration mode in search of winter nesting areas.  If the general public only knew how many of those varmints are living in attics of our homes along with the many storm sewers that are criss-crossing our City, they’d be screaming, “We’ve got Coons.”  Without a doubt, we have an over-abundance of deer, raccoons, and squirrels making themselves quite comfortable within our City limits.  Many years ago I had a scary encounter with what appeared to be a sickly, yet very aggressive raccoon in the middle of the afternoon.  I suspected it was rabid and then was later confirmed after hearing a neighboring farmer’s cow contracted rabies and died a painful death.  Too scary!

There’s no question many of you will be exceptionally happy when these elections are over.  Without a doubt, I’d say our local ones have been the most brutal with those non-stop excavations for more mud to sling at opposing parties.  It seems each time a general election rolls around, there’s all the less decorum being shown.  Why must it be considered acceptable to tear someone else down just to make oneself look all the better?  Have we all forgotten how to build and maintain character?  Yes, I’m going to go to the polls tomorrow, but before I do, I’m going to do some deep soul-searching before I begin checking respective boxes.  Let’s not concern ourselves so much with today, but rather look all the more forward into our futures.

I believe it’s been a number of months and possibly years since I spoke about Epistemology.  It’s an interesting subject and well worth your own investigations because when you think about it, there are far too many who consider truths and beliefs to be synonymous when in fact they’re not.  How many times have you heard someone substituting the word “belief” for “truth”?  Just pay a little closer attention to the words of many politicians when they’re giving their speeches, and then you’ll start finding  patterns beginning to emerge.  While listening to them, and you place truth and belief at the opposite end of your note pad, you’ll find them being switched back and forth during their speeches.  And likewise, I chide many of our newspaper columnists for doing the very same things with their overly-bias reports.

So now you’re wondering where real knowledge comes into play. Well, it’s created when core truths are matched up to beliefs where they’re able to inter-lock without interference.  Have you ever opened the back of an old wind-up clock that’s still keeping correct time and noticed how its slow-moving wheels interlock as they’re turning to create what we know to be correct time?  For me, this is how I define knowledge when seeing two opposing wheels (truth and belief) which are intersecting in balance at the right moment and subsequently creating time (knowledge).  Now if those two wheels cannot come into balance, then time, or should I say, knowledge cannot be created because even though we have all the working parts, the wheels aren’t in balance.

The reason I’m revisiting Epistemology is to not only remind myself, but all the many others, is that before we open our mouths to speak, we must make sure we’re not making substitutions which will skew the true definition of knowledge. One of my favorite instructions once said, “The world can strip you bare of everything you hold dear except knowledge.”  With that said, we must remember that with the great gift of knowledge comes our duty, and sometimes our burdens to teach others.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Joe Chodur

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