Old folk at lunch

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A breakfast with Joe and Kate



Joe and I usually have a late and relaxed breakfast together at a certain pie shop on Sunday morning. Today Kate came along, looking very mysterious behind "navigator" dark glasses. The glasses did  highlight her alabaster skin, though.  See how sexist I am, talking only about her appearance?  But most ladies, including Kate, take great care over their appearance so to notice it is, in my old-fashioned view, merely gallant.  But I suppose gallantry is bad these days too.

We talked a bit about diet as Joe announced that he has recently lost 5 kilos.  He came back from holidays with a distinct "spare tyre" so that was an achievement.

We also of course mentioned Mr Trump and I pointed out that his rather confused speech delivery may be no bad thing.  It is eerily reminiscent of "Sir Joh", a distinguished Queenslander but a very small footnote in the history of the world.  But it is a very informative footnote.  Sir Joh also had a messy speech delivery that the elite all dismissed as being beyond  comprehension.  Journalists and others claimed it was just impossible to understand what he was saying.  But Joh was a farmer and he spoke like a farmer, not like an educated man. And ordinary farmers and working people generally understood him just fine.  He kept getting their vote and ended up running Queensland for nearly 20 years -- from 1968 to 1987. So who was the fool?


The Honourable Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, KCMG

Trump comes from the opposite end of the socio-economic scale but he has always had a hands-on attitude to his building projects and has often been on site talking to the workers doing the building.  So it would seem that his conversations with them have led to him gaining not only respect for them and their views but also some of their speech patterns.

So he really does sound a lot like Sir Joh so should easily get a second term in office.  I don't think Kate had ever heard of Sir Joh and Joe would not have known much either so I was glad to give them a bit of fun history.  In the day I was myself a member of Joh's political party and always voted for him.  So I am a sort of living political antique.  These days I vote for Pauline.  In the circumstances I am sure that many Leftists would conclude that I must have got my Ph.D. out of a cornflakes packet.

Another thing we talked about over breakfast was the similarities between Joe and myself. Joe is a very different person from me but the fact that we share 50% of our genes does make itself known at times. It is perhaps most notable in the similarity of our political views. We both rather like Mr Trump, for instance. NO-ONE upsets applecarts like Mr Trump! He is a true radical. Mr Trump is so entertaining that if he didn't exist we would have had to invent him.

Another similarity is that Joe and I both tend to sit down in something of a yoga position. We do it unconsciously. It just seems most comfortable.

The similarity I mentioned today is how both of us are "no fuss" people.  We don't sweat the small things.  When things go wrong we just carry on regardless without swearing and cursing and leaping about.  I gave a couple of recent instances of Joe being Mr. Cool in that way.

Another similarity is that we both like the complex music of J.S. Bach.  As it happens, the Bach Klavier concerto was playing on the car radio as we drove to breakfast and we both enjoyed it greatly.  I suggested that a liking for Bach might be related to a liking for order, as Bach's music is very orderly with its fugues and counterpoint generally.

And I extended that to being good at computer programming.  Computer code is VERY orderly.  Just get one comma out of place and the program bombs.  And I was very good at FORTRAN coding in my day. I used to say that I could write FORTRAN in my sleep. It was not a literal claim but  my dreams would sometimes feature FORTRAN code.  Joe trumped that, however, by claiming that he really CAN write "C" in his sleep.  He writes a lot of it so maybe he can.

Because Kate has recently taken her honours degree in psychology, I went on to talk to her a little about a liking for order.  Traditionally in personality psychology it is deplored as being "Fascist", with tolerance of ambiguity being praised in its stead.  I pointed out that seeking for order in the universe it what scientists do so deploring that is a bit nutty.  Some people (e.g. autistics) have an excessive need for order but to condemn a liking for order generally is incoherent.

A degree of orderliness that Joe and I share is great punctuality but I noted that I saw punctuality as being mainly a courtesy and Joe agreed with that.

And our bacon and eggs was good too.

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