October Road Into Fall

Remember that really nice Saturday we had a while back? It felt like fall. The temperatures were cool…which in Houston meant that it was anything below 90 degrees. I couldn’t wait to get outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. Well, maybe big city air isn’t the freshest and I always use sunscreen so the sun won’t inadvertently kill me. But I was ready for the day.

I just had one errand to run first. It was a trip to Ikea to buy a floor lamp. Now a trip to Ikea is a treat all unto itself. Just walking through the store gets you whatever number of steps is considered healthy these days. My Dear Friend went with me and he saw several variations on new and modern chemistry labs which were disguised as kitchens.

We finally found the lamps and had several to choose from. I chose a nice white number which would fit nicely in my living room. It passed all possible “cat safety” protocols. It had two settings so I could either see to read or put on the low lights when I want to rest and chillax. It sends light up which I understand to be very good feng shui. What more could I want? Sold!

Then I went out to the parking lot. I turned to the right and saw this combination of signs. Where was I supposed to go? Would I ever be able to find my way home again? It certainly could be construed as a philosophical question for life. The road is clearly marked as “one way”, but the exit goes the other way. Which way would you choose?

So after escaping the parking lot conundrum, the day was ours and we took it to Rice University. Beautiful campus, beautiful trees, beautiful works of art. A great place for a walk. We started out walking and then noticed that this campus if full of interesting critters. Of course at Rice there are always many examples of owls. This one is a favorite of mine. I love the smooth lines. And look at those talons! I am only grateful that this is a statue and not a real owl. Of course I have never heard of this owl attacking anyone. Both students and faculty members remain safe as they navigate their ways between buildings and classes. I am sure they sleep better at night once they figure this out.

Next we went to see the Cohen House Sundial. It is one of the fanciest and most complex sundials I have ever seen. Befitting the Rice standards of intellectual excellence, I think it requires a PhD. in either science or engineering to figure it out. However, I just thought it was pretty. Then I noticed a lizard either napping and sunning himself or he has his PhD and was noticing the time. I’m not sure which. I’m willing to bet that even the lizards on the Rice Campus are smarter than most of us mere mortals.

The next sculpture really caught my attention. It shows two people sitting down and facing each other. It looks as if they are talking among themselves.  I wondered about this for a while. Then I noticed that a fair number of students were walking around campus and the vast majority of them looked at their phones as they walked. I finally decided that this sculpture was a tutorial for the students to show them what face-to-face communication can look like. Oh, I’m sorry. Does that last statement make me seem old? Probably, but only because compared to the college youth of today, I am.

Until next week.….

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