Renaissance Man 5/7/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

There was a time when “Renaissance Man” referred to a man (although it could just as easily refer to a woman) with a variety of talents and skills. Leonardo DaVinci is probably the ultimate example of such a man, as he was a scientist, an artist, an alchemist and much more. He just basically did anything that he wanted.

I’m not going to compare myself to Leonardo. Trust me, I’m nowhere near as skilled, brilliant or talented as he was. But today was a very odd day for me. It started with leftover casserole I had made a couple of days ago. It was my own recipe, which I call a “bachelor recipe” because it’s truly simple and made of canned foods (canned refried beans, canned tamales, canned chili, and an entire brick of cheese with hot sauce). It’s remarkably delicious, though, but most of my recipes are made from fresh ingredients and often do not follow a particular recipe.

I went shooting after lunch. I fired an AR-15, and my .45 semi-automatic. I tried a new experiment. I sent the target as far back as I could (25 feet) both to see how my marksmanship is and to try an experiment. This is an experiment in physics, mathematics and marksmanship.

Today, the pedals for my piano arrived. So, I installed my piano pedals and played a little music when I got home. My new synthesizer/keyboard/piano is basically meant to be quick and easy. Unlike my midi, I can just turn it on and play it, but it’s not as easy to write music. So, now I’m set up for playing, learning and writing music. It did strike me as strange to transition so quickly from shooting to playing music.

But that’s not all. The battery also arrived today. It’s the second time, in fact, that I’ve had to replace something in my other laptop (I have two; the newer one is beefier for molecular dynamics and quantum mechanical simulations). A couple of years ago, the hard drive failed, so I had to replace that with a solid-state hard drive. Today, the computer would simply not run at all, on battery power. If it was plugged in the indicator would show it charging but wouldn’t even try to start if it was not physically connected to the wall. There is a chance it was a virus of some kind, but I took the chance that the problem was a tired battery. Today, the battery arrived, and so I went ahead and quickly opened up the laptop and replaced the battery. I’m happy to report that yes, in fact, it now seems to be fully functional once again. When I turned it on, of course, the battery only had a 40% charge, but that’s enough for me to see that it is working. It’s charging now.

And, of course, I wrote this blog, starting, actually, with a short story I anticipate publishing tomorrow (something for you to look forward to if you’re into my short stories, although it’s a little bit different). Does this make me a modern renaissance man? I don’t know. I worked as a chef, marksman, handyman, musician, computer hardware tech (usually I write software, but not today), and author. Once I finish this post, I’m going to work as a mathematician and physicist to see how my drop in my aim compares to theory. I also have come up with a chemistry experiment for which I’ve ordered the necessary solvent, but it hasn’t quite arrived yet. That’s quite a variety for one day’s work. I’m not saying I’ll get wealthy, like Leonardo did, doing any of that. I’m pretty much an amateur across the board, but I’m doing it.

I’m not sure that I like this post. I feel as if I’m bragging which is certainly not the point. But here’s a thought; how are YOU a renaissance person? I think, throughout the day, we all tend to fill the shoes of a variety of people. There is really nothing special or particularly different about me save my interest in things that probably makes most people throw up a little bit in their mouth. What are the things that you do that constitute the variety of your interests in life? More importantly, what is it that you WANT to do but have been putting off? I have to admit, one of the current joys in my life is just doing whatever it is that I want, but the reality is that we make time for what is most important, so what is it in your life that you will be starting soon?

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