Monday, April 13, 2009

Thoughts on Karma and the Retributive Justice Aspects Thereof

Well, I'm a believer. If I hadn't been in the past, the events of the last few days have made me a firm believer in the concept of Karma. I don't know if this is the only thing that Buddha had right or not, but I cannot now help but believe that Karma, the law of moral causation, has a definite grounding in reality. What events have transpired to force me into this conclusion?

Well, let's start with last Thursday. Co-pilot Egg was on Spring Break and we decided to make a family trip to visit my sister and her family in Columbiana County. This is a trip that I usually prefer to fly, but as we had 50% too many people involved to fit into the 2-seat RV-6 and it was a trip involving two overnight stays with the accompanying risks of weather complications, we decided to drive. It's a three hour drive, but most of it is on four lane highways. Only the last hour is on the scenic, winding two-lane roads that carry the risk of getting stuck behind a very slow truck or even slower Buick.

We actually made very good time, and arrived with plenty of time to get in some nice quad ATV riding on the trails that connect my sister's property with their neighbors. Land is (relatively) dirt cheap out there, so they have plenty of it. It's a coal mining region, and the land they own has already been mined. There are plenty of wooded hills and valleys to ride through, and I always enjoy it.

Anyway, as we were pulling into their driveway, one of their golden retrievers came limping out to meet us. His name is Casper, and he was limping because he had broken his front right leg. My sister, ever the do-it-yourselfer, had set the break and crafted a cast for him made out of a half pipe of PVC and duct tape. Now, I don't know about you, but that struck me as being quite funny.

I immediately re-named the dog as Caster for the remainder of the stay. I might have gotten away with that in the Karmic sense, but I apparently went a little too far when I taunted her other male dog about the DIY veterinarian he was living with. Mookie is, to put it delicately, still a full male. My suggestion to him was that he pray to whatever Higher Authority that dogs pray to that my sister never gets it into her head that he needs to be neutered.

Well, I thought it was funny.

Karma felt differently.

We had been on the road for maybe half an hour Saturday morning when I hit something on the road and completely blew out the sidewall of one of my tires. This marked my third flat tire in less that a year. So, which tire was it? Right front, of course. And what did I have to do about it? Well obviously I had to put on the spare, which is one of those "bike tire" things that are lawyer-limited to 150 mph. We were still 130 miles from home. In other words, it was going to take two and a half hours for us to limp home. Caster Casper would have had a good laugh over that, I suspect.

Oh, and do you know who passed us as we finally got onto I-70 South and plodded along at the posted 65 mph speed limit (I figured that the lawyers built in a 10 mph liability buffer) for two hours?

EVERYONE! Every.Single.Car.

And truck.

And Granny in a Buick.

Sunday was Easter, as we all know. What we all don't know is that in years past we have always hidden a batch of plastic easter eggs around the house for Co-pilot Egg to hunt for. When she was just a wee little 'un, the hiding places were for the most part very easy to find. As she grew older, the hiding places became more challenging. So challenging, in fact, that we were never sure that she had found them all. We took to counting the number of eggs as they were being positioned so that we could ascertain at the end of the day whether or not all had been retrieved.

Egg is fifteen now, and we didn't bother to hide any eggs for her this year, and we thought (mistakenly, as it turns out) that she would no longer be interested in hunting for eggs. As she emerged from her room on Sunday morning, I was suddenly hit with an uncontrollable impulse. I told her, "There are 32 eggs hidden around the house this year, and because you've gotten so good at finding them I made the hiding spots really, really challenging."

I didn't think that she'd, you know, actually look for them. Ok, we only let her embark on a fruitless search for a few minutes, but with my recent Karmic record being what it was, I was clearly asking for retributive justice.

The very Karmic justice that I received this morning when I returned to work, as it turns out. As I started work on a new database that I am building, I was informed by a heartless, soulless Windows error box that I did not have access to my database. In other words, it had been hidden from me. And the guy that knows how to fix it? Well, he's on vacation this week.

So, having a little time to spare, I thought I'd share this experience with you. You will have to forgive any typos or misspellings in it, though. Why? Because I can't see my own blog! Something has gone awry in my browser settings or on my laptop that makes my blog think that I am a virus when I try to view it. I can make postings, but I can't see them. In other words, my blog is hidden from me.

That Buddha was one sharp dude, but I really think in this case that he's overdoing it a little bit.

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