From the Commander, Council of Kadosh (August, 2013)

posted May 27, 2015, 6:21 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 27, 2015, 6:21 PM ]

It's Such a Nice Day

If you live in California, you can enjoy a variety of climates and conditions. We have mountains, deserts, beaches, forests, rivers, lakes, and of course, cities, farm lands, and suburbs full of houses. This is all stitched 
together with miles of concrete and tarmac roads, train tracks, and airline routes.
Some people love to "get away for the weekend" and spend their time enjoying the mountains, deserts, beaches, forests, rivers, and lakes as they temporarily escape from the cities, farm lands, and suburbs full of houses. You can see them on the miles of roads with their motor homes, camping trailers, boats, and ATVs.
Other people have their weekend getaway at home, which typically means home improvement projects and items on the "honey do" list. If you work in agriculture or high technology, your weekend is just that, the first and last days of the week, time that you spend working at your job, business, or farm, just like the weekdays.
As a denizen of Silicon Valley, I spend most of my time indoors. One day, I tried taking my laptop outside to work. But it didn't work. Sunlight glared on my screen. Wind blew my notes away. Delivery trucks disturbed the quiet. Not to mention the time when the automatic sprinklers turned on unexpectedly. Don't they know that you're supposed to water in the early morning, not in the hot afternoon?
Speaking of hot afternoons… In the building where I work, we have a lot of servers and computers. Those devices generate a lot of heat. So the building has a high-capacity, precision-designed, and constantly monitored air conditioning system to keep it all cool. Except when it breaks. Then it starts getting hot. The network goes down, the phone system goes down, and then the employees go down… downstairs and outside so we can stand in the summer sunshine to cool off.
One of the ways to stay comfortable in the heat is to wear less. In Silicon Valley, that means you can come to work in a T-shirt, shorts, and sandals. Needless to say, such attire doesn't work on the East Coast, where discomfort in dress is a sign of being serious about your job. In contrast, doing a good job is the sign of being serious about your job, out here in the Wild West.
As Masons, we have a lot of activities where you are expected to dress up. I had never worn a tuxedo until they make me Senior Steward in my Blue Lodge. Now there is a tuxedo in my closet. I know a few brothers with multiple tuxedos in their closets. Along with jackets and sports coats of many colors, cufflink-and-stud sets with various Masonic emblems on them, and a few pairs of high-gloss shoes.
In the summer, however, we Masons tend to acknowledge the higher ambient temperature, leave the tux in the closet, and wear something more comfortable. I remember many years ago when my Blue Lodge introduced "casual night" at an August Stated Meeting. The younger guys really enjoyed it. The older guys were shocked and confused at the idea that Masons would attend a meeting without being dressed in a coat and tie. Some gave casual a try and liked it. Others remained steadfast, unwilling to risk the "slippery slope" of a relaxed dress code.
As Masons, we strive to develop a first-class operation. That includes looking the part, which means suits, colored jackets, and formal wear. Fortunately, all of the Masonic groups to which I belong meet in places with air conditioning. So while I may be overdressed for the summer climate, I can be properly dressed and reasonably comfortable in Lodge. Just as long as that air conditioner keeps on working.

Daniel Doornbos - Commander - Council of Kadosh