[Baypiggies] New PyOP List

Douglas Sims doug at apley.com
Sat Mar 3 05:37:18 CET 2007

1) That was a fine piece of writing.  I read it first thing this  
morning and it brought back memories of my early childhood in rural  
North Carolina (picture Opie Taylor) which I savored all day.  Alex  
should write a food cookbook in addition to his Python cookbook.

2) I just posted Asheesh's Russian Rocket Pig to Reddit - I hope  
someone will post a comment with more information about that sightly  
bizarre scene.

3) I haven't read Dreaming in Code but I plan on getting a copy this  
weekend, prompted by the discussion here.

4) I am looking forward to the meeting this Thursday.  I didn't make  
it to PyCon (despite sitting on a plane at the Denver airport which  
took a long time to not go to Dallas) but I would like to hear more  
about the talks there - Turbogears and Tosca, Idiomatic Pythonistas,  
and I'm sure quite a few other topics.

5) This list has been full of useful and interesting posts lately.   
Thank you all and please, continue...

Douglas Sims
Doug at Apley.com
901 830-7287

On Mar 1, 2007, at 10:22 PM, Alex Martelli wrote:

> On 3/1/07, Andy Wiggin <andywiggin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I saw this float by recently on http://www.quotationspage.com/ 
>> qotd.html.
>>   "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat
>> us as equals."
>>   Sir Winston Churchill
> As a "Pearls Before Swine" enthusiast, I can't help loving Pig (and,
> by extension, pigs): he's the modern incarnation of the Bear of Little
> Brain.
> Besides, I spent my childhood spending summers at grandpa's farm (even
> though I was a city kid).  Being a morning person even then, I was
> typically the second person in the household to wake up right after
> grampa (I woke up at dawn, he a little bit earlier).  I sneaked down
> to the huge kitchen (biggest room of the house in traditional Italian
> farms) where grampa would typically be having his breakfast -- salami
> or prosciutto, red wine, yesterday's bread carefully roasted.  He'd
> shush me and feed me bread and salami (and a heavily watered glass of
> wine -- he had little time for these foreign stuff like coffee -- so
> if you ever wonder about my mental abilities, it's all grampa's fault
> for having me drink wine when I was little!-).
> Then we'd go out in the glorious hills, let the chickens and the cows
> and the pigs (and sometimes the pheasants and the geese and the sheep
> &c, if he was raising any that year, but pigs, cows and chickens were,
> well, staples) out of their nightly shelters, and if needed provide
> food and other services.  We couldn't always take the time to lead the
> pigs to roam in the woods (feeding on acorns &c) and frolic in the
> stream (it would take a long time to herd them back in the evening),
> so often we'd feed them our leftovers (they can eat and enjoy anything
> people can!) and spray water from a hose so they could play under it
> and make themselves clean (pigs' smell is distinctive, but they're
> only dirty if they're denied access to sufficient water: they enjoy
> water and cleanliness as much as people do, I learned during those
> summers).  Feeding cows and chicken &c was fun for this city boy...
> but nothing compared to the sheer joy of feeding pigs.
> And when a sow had suckling piglets, THAT was the best: after he's
> done suckling, each piglet walks to mom's snout and *kisses* her in
> thanks.  I swear.  It's the sweetest, most heart-rending animal scene
> I've ever witnessed in my life, and it happened to me at a very
> impressionable age, and repeatedly.
> Some of you may wonder why I didn't become a vegetarian, but that's
> about grampa again: he enjoyed his animals' antics and individuality
> just as much as I did, but that would never stop him from enjoying his
> salame, prosciutto, roast chicken, etc.  He was keenly aware of his
> *lettuce* being alive and unique, too... that didn't stop him from
> having a salad as a side dish to pork chops... that we kill and eat
> what we cherish and love was second nature to him, as, I guess, befits
> a farmer who also raises animals, hunts, etc.  I knew perfectly well
> that the incredible, wonderful prosciutto I was eating had recently
> been a frolicking piglet... I was faced with the omnivore's tragedy
> and wonder much more starkly than most city kids ever are, just by
> having a farmer grampa living close enough to the city that we spent
> all summers at the farm.
> Anybody whose perception of "pigs" (or any other animal, or vegetal
> species) is chiefly symbolical, metaphorical, and indirect, has my
> sympathy and condolences.  Each species has its wonders and tragedies,
> and if you can't perceive it _as itself_ any more, because metaphors
> about it have conquered your brain, then your experience of life is
> proportionally diminished.  Penguins are waterfowl with uniquely
> fascinating lives, not metaphors for Linux; pigs are amazingly
> near-sentient and yet incredibly good-tasting quadrupeds, not
> metaphors for cops, capitalists, or people who eat too much; if you
> can't experience life itself because the metaphorical contents of
> words takes over, you've proportionately renounced your status as an
> actual living being in favour of being a "symbol-processing system".
> Try Zen: if you undertake it seriously, experientially, and without
> hidden agenda, it's a practice that _can_ "break the back of your
> mind" and let you EXIST, LIVE, EXPERIENCE, rather than THINK, REASON,
> Oink, oink,
> Alex
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