Humbolt Pie

Humbolt Summit
Humbolt Summit

Yesterday afternoon, I rode my bike to the top of Humbolt Mountain, elevation 5200 feet, a 3500 ft climb according to Strava.  Sitting atop the summit is a radar tower, most likely a key component of the southwestern air traffic control grid.  It was a hot afternoon and I was angry.  What better way to cool off than riding up a mountain?

A few hours earlier, I had received a call from the Crims VP of Development, informing me that my position was being eliminated for strategic reasons.  In other words, I was being laid off.  My first reaction was relief, because for the past few weeks I had been ruminating over how to quit working for that company on good terms.  A few hours later, and even now, I’m feeling hurt and angry.  In fifty odd years in the workforce, never before had I been laid off.  That only happened to other people; I was too valuable. I was proud.

Pride is not a good thing.  In Mere Christianity, one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, talks about pride as the greatest of sins.  After reading the book the first time many years ago, I decided I had learned to replace pride with humility.  When I read the book a second time, the following passage caught my attention:

“If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”

So ok, I guess I’m proud, though striving earnestly to savor my humble pie.


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Born in Harrisburg, PA. Undergrad at Drexel University. Learned to ride a bike when six years old, riding ever since. Started cooking when I was in college, stopped when I got married, started again in 2006 when my wife was out of town for a few months. Jobs: worked at post office while in college to earn money to buy a stereo. After grad school, worked at a small software company in Redmond, WA for twelve years. Afterwards, went back to school to get a certificate, then started teaching high school. Still doing that off and on, part time as the need arises.

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