September 11

At about this time 10 years ago I walked into my building at the University, unaware of what was happening. The tears and scared faces of everybody in the coffee shop on the ground floor, where the radio was on loud and clear, started cluing me in.

The rest of the morning was spent around a radio, listening to NPR, and soon enough I was on a train back home—classes were canceled. The eerie absence of contrails in the sky was another step up on the surreality feeling scale.

The full horror struck me when in front of the TV. The momentous decisions this attack prompted will still affect the world for many years. The sadness for all these lives lost might be redeemed a little if more and more people draw the lesson of avoiding absolutism of any kind. Here is a very math-nerdy embodiment of this moral injunction, in an article on Bayesian statistical analysis: Cromwell’s_rule

The reason for the name “Cromwell’s rule” is Oliver Cromwell’s plea in 1650 to the synod of the Church of Scotland that read, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

A quick escape from the tension of the first week of classes

School started earlier this week for both of us. M will not teach much more this semester, as she is taking medical leave for eight weeks starting on September 8. She will be having treatments starting then and ending some time in late October that will make her feel intermittently unwell. Therefore, what better day for a sudden winery tour in NJ than today!

We started around 10:15 and went first to Cream Ridge winery. Actually, we first got slightly lost by following some signs instead of Google Maps; the signs were not comprehensive. But this ended up being more fun than otherwise, because we stumbled upon an ice cream place that was open at 11 am!

M at TK Ice Cream in New Jersey

After that we did make our way to the Cream Ridge winery, where we had a tasting and a snack on their nice, shaded porch, on rocking chairs.

M at Cream Ridge winery

The next stop was at the Hopewell Valley Vineyards. There we had another tasting, and got a glass of wine each for lunch, which we had brought with us (already seen in the photo above). They have a nice deck in this winery, overlooking the vines, and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours having lunch, eating and drinking our glasses (I had Chambourcin, M had Chardonnay) and reading books we had brought along. Hey, we made sure to spend some time absorbing the wine so we would be safe drivers on the way back home.

M having lunch in Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Our lunch at Hopewell Valley Vineyards

 

Another view of M on the deck at Hopewell Valley Vineyards, having lunch

 

Wine grapes at Hopewell
M and some vines at Hopewell