Search Results : books

  • Books and the dumb side of Politics

    Winter and the Wolf Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Kate and our IRA. Enough money to keep me alive. Another new knee. Warren. Ode. Now Stefan. Age and its attendant insults. Medicine and its remedies for them. Rich’s new class. Looks fun. The Muddy Buck. Old Evergreen. The Evergreen Hotel, long gone.  Evergreen. A mighty fine Mountain town. Living in the Mountains. The silence of a Shadow Mountain Night. Sleeping. Kep, the dogged. Solving problems. Accepting reality.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Silent Night, Holy Night. Every Night


    All that. Money stuff. Doctor and pharmaceutical stuff. Put to bed for now. Moving on. Occupied me for two days straight. Gotta have stuff to do when you old.


    Reading two new books. Stunners. The first South To America by Imani Perry. A professor of African Studies at Princeton. A delicate, hard fisted, beautiful intelligent travelogue of her journey to her home state of Alabama. She begins at Harpers Ferry with thoughts on John Brown, Confederate reenactors, an unexpected conversation with one who volunteers at a store that’s part of the historic Harpers Ferry.

    She writes about race and racism in a way that enfolds and  unfolds its complexity. An example. Her feelings of tenderness toward the exploited coal miners of Appalachia. All of them. Then an observation about how even in the mines Blacks had the filthiest most dangerous jobs. Lived on the fringes of white poverty.

    I’m still early in the book. Virginia. Trenchant and profound observations about Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Both owned slaves. Both believed it was wrong. But lust overcame Jefferson and ambition overcame Patrick Henry. They kept their slaves.


    The second. The Good Life. By Robert Waldinger and Marc Shultz. Director and Assistant Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Longest running longitudinal study of human development in the world. Its message. Develop and keep good relationships. Intimate ones. Friendship. Family. Even strangers. Well written, clear. Helpful. Reinforcing.

    In that spirit I have breakfast with Alan this morning at the Parkside Cafe in Evergreen. The newer part of Evergreen. For locals. Tourists sneak in on occasion, too. Near the Bread Lounge. Often has folks I know.

    Rebecca Martin should be back from India and we can resume our breakfasts. Luke and I have our lunches. Diane and Tom. The Ancient Brothers. MVP. Mussar on Thursday. Staying connected. Rich again in two weeks. Knowing and being known. Seeing and being seen. The human, the primate, way. Love in its many forms.


    How about those classified files at the Bidens? Ooops. There goes a second term. So. Damned. Stupid. And right now? He’s overperformed. Rich and I agreed. Then stepped right on his well you know. And hard. Without necessity. Come on, man!

    Takes the stage away from that lying George Santos. The Long Island prevaricator.

    How bout those Bolsanorans? I mean. Guys. He fled the country. To Florida. On an A-1 visa reserved for heads of state. He left Brazil before he left office. Trump went to Florida, too. Lots of parallels, eh? Trump and his like are cancers in the body politic of many countries. As 1st graders used to say, He’s copying!

    All for now.





  • Books and Docs

    Lughnasa                                                        Elk Rut Moon

    Have begun to shelve books. Will discover whether the crude tool of measuring book stacks has produced enough shelving.

    A place to work, a place to be the person you want to and can be. Necessary. Kate’s sewing studio. Jon’s ski manufacturing space. The whole backyard for the dogs. And this place, this loft, for me.

    Over the course of this week I’ll fill all the empty shelves, then begin to unload all the art now stored in plastic bins. Our art, up here, and in the house, is still packed away. The house will not feel like it’s ours until the art is hung.

    We have yet more medical tasks this week, too. The crown that chipped when put on will be replaced today. Kate and I have separate appointments at Arapahoe Internal Medicine. Me for the elbow, shoulder pain and her for elevated potassium. On Friday is the last scheduled appointment following up on my surgery. The super sensitive PSA test for which I had the blood drawn last Tuesday will be done. Looking for a low number. If it is low, it suggest that none of the cancer cells escaped into the rest of the body.

    We want to get past this constant medicalization of our lives, but…


  • Back in the books

    Imbolc                                Black Mountain Moon (new)

    Back into Caesar and the Gallic wars. Better than I expected, worse than I hoped. I’ve not lost the corpus of knowledge I’ve gained working with Greg, but retrieving it and using it is far from facile. I remain a committed classicist in training, so I’ll get back to pre-move skill levels and move beyond them. Lots to read and think about. My goal is to integrate my work in the classics with my work in art history and literature, mostly around the work of Ovid. Just how I’ll do that is not clear. Yet.

    It was the same last night at my workout. Sustaining it proved difficult, especially when my fitness tracking watch refused to function. This may seem like an odd problem, but the feed back from the watch: calories burned, average heart rate, maximum heart rate, training load reinforces my work. No reinforcement, less incentive.

    Fitness, classics, art history, writing and political work have been my focus for many years now. They will be here, too, along with traveling the West, the mountains, high altitude gardening and bee-keeping. And all of this woven into the fabric of inter-generational family life, the missing component of our life in Minnesota.


  • Books. Most now in boxes.

    Lughnasa                                                                                     College Moon

    The last bookcases. That’s where the packing has gone. Now China and Cambodia and the West and Emerson goes in boxes. Green tape boxes. More China, then onto the Celts and the Greeks, philosophy, American history, fairy tales.

    Just moved the last gathering of liquor store boxes needed for books. Kate gets them, I unload them, then fill’em up, tape’m and stack’em. Objet d’art are on the now empty bookshelves in the larger basement area. Before Sort/Toss/Pack comes near the end of September, they’ll get sorted on a love it or leave it basis. Gotta cut them down, too.

    We’re looking at the overall budget for the move now, preparing for a meeting with a financial consultant. Gonna take a dent out all round, but we’ll have plenty.

    We’ve been fortunate, with Kate’s good earning capacity, and smart. We have enough and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Still, you’d have to climb further up the wealth ladder to get to can-do-whatever-we-want.



  • How many words in how many books and articles and blogs and journals?

    “I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.”

    Søren Kierkegaard

    “And how should a beautiful, ignorant stream of water know it heads for an early release – out across the desert, running toward the Gulf, below sea level, to murmur its lullaby, and see the Imperial Valley rise out of burning sand with cotton blossoms, wheat, watermelons, roses, how should it know?”

    Carl Sandbur

    ““Beloved, show me the way out of this prison.
    Make me needless of both worlds.
    Pray, erase from mind all
    that is not You.

    Have mercy Beloved,
    though I am nothing but forgetfulness,
    You are the essence of forgiveness.
    Make me needless of all but You.”

    Abil Kheir, Shaikh Abu Saeed.

  • Hawking Books

    Spring                                                                       Bloodroot Moon

    56 today.  At this rate we might see the bloodroot bloom under this moon.

    Class today from Scott Edelstein on marketing and selling books.  Very good.  Lots of good information.  Publishing had gone and is undergoing major changes.  Made me feel hopeful, always a good thing.

  • Metropolitan Books Available for Download Free

    Samhain                                                              Thanksgiving Moon

    The MET has got some wonderful, fully illustrated textbooks that are available online for free! (X)


    1. Art of the Islamic World
    2. The Art of Africa
    3. The Art of Ancient Egypt
    4. The Art of the Ancient Near East
    5. The Art of Renaissance Europe
    6. The Art of South and Southeast Asia
    7. The Arts of Korea
    8. Auguste Rodin: The Burghers of Calais
    9. Greek Art from Prehistoric to Classical
    10. Islamic Art and Geometric Design: Activities for Learning
    11. A Masterwork of Byzantine Art — The Story of David and Goliath
    12. Medieval Art
    13. Nature Within Walls: The Chinese Garden Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    14. Roman Art

  • Books

    Beltane                                                                              New Garlic Moon

    When I get interested in something, I buy books.  Not just one book, but many books.  Book buying has always been an important of my life and continues to be.

    Latin is a for instance.  When I first got interested, I bought Wheelock, an iconic text for autodidacts wanting to tackle the language.  At another point I bought a dictionary and a book, library2011-05-06_0874501 Latin verbs fully conjugated.  Once I begin to learn Latin and could see more learning ahead, I purchased the OLD, the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which is the gold standard of Latin-English works.  Thanks to Amazon I got one for a very good price.

    At the same time I began to focus on Ovid.  I needed a Latin text without English, but with a commentary.  I found William Anderson’s.  It’s not bad, but it’s not as helpful to a real tyro like me as it could be.  I just bought a translation with commentary by D.E. Hill.  Again, the commentary leaves a lot to be desired from my amateur perspective.  I also bought a wholly Latin text by Richard Tarrant, a contemporary Ovidian scholar who has done careful research into the oldest texts available, all from the middle ages, 1100-1200.  I bought this last one because while learning Biblical interpretation I got stamped with the important of textual criticism.  Words matter and having the best text matters.

    At this point, if I can’t find something on Perseus, the go to place for classics scholars, I have, so far, always found it in one of my books. I also have several books on Ovid and Roman poetry.  Each has helped me at some point.

    I have similar collections of books for other areas:  Lake Superior, Biblical interpretation, theology, liberal thought, liberal religion, the enlightenment, the Renaissance, depth psychology, travel, China, Japan, Angkor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, neuroscience, Hawai’i, Minnesota and various other states, the Celts, Meso and Latin America, art, a nature/space/geography/history collection, poetry, philosophy, fairy tales, mythology, literature and graphic novels.  I rarely use certain collections until I find I need them, then I go deep.  That’s why I need to have them.  When I decide to get active on a topic, I don’t have time to go scouring for resources.  I like to have them at hand.

  • Deep in the Books

    Fall                                        Waning Harvest Moon

    Studying the history of landscapes the last two days.  Now I have to put the tour together before the Sierra Club meeting tonight.  This has taken a lot of time because I couldn’t recall much about landscapes.  My speculation is that the more I learn the quicker tours will come in the future.  I know that’s already true in some instances.  Not on landscapes.  Not yet.

  • Books Along the Way

    Fall                                  Waxing Harvest Moon

    I have begun to accept that I will never read everything I want to read.   Books sit stacked up on the floor in my study; they lie on top of rows of other books on bookshelves;  all my 6702010-10-09_0461bookshelves are full and many have books piled on top of them.  Each one I want to read.  Some I want to use only as reference, but most I want to read cover to cover.  The books range in topic from fairy tales and folklore to basic scientific texts on biology and geology, from philosophy to theology, art history to renaissance life, china, japan, india and cambodia to single dictionaries and the multiple volumes of the OED and the Dictionary of Art.  Of course there is fiction, too, and poetry, works on historiography and works on the enlightenment.  This doesn’t count the 90 books I now have on my kindle, many fiction, but many non-fiction, too.

    When it comes to books and learning, I seem to not have an off button.  Maybe it’s a pathology, an escape from the world, from day to day responsibility, could be, but I don’t think so.  Reading and learning feel hardwired, expressions of genes as much as personal choice.  So it’s tough for me to admit that I have books here, in my own house, that I may never read.  A man has only so many hours in a day and I find spending any significant amount of them reading difficult.

    That always surprises me.  I love to read, yet it often feels like a turn away from the world of politics, the garden, connecting with family and friends, so it takes discipline for me to sit and read for any length of time.  Instead, I read in snippets, chunks here and there.   Even so, I get a lot read, finishing the Romance of the Three Kingdoms took a lot of dedication, for example.  One year, I put the books I finished in one spot after I finished them.  I don’t recall the number or the number of pages, but it caused me to sit back and wonder how I’d done it.

    Sometimes I fantasize about stopping all other pursuits, sitting down in my chair and begin reading through the most important books, the ones on the top of my list.  Right now that would 6702010-10-09_0460include the histories of Herodotus and substantial commentary.  The Mahabharata. Several works on Asia art.  A cabinet full of books on the enlightenment and liberalism.  Another cabinet full on calendars and holidays.  I will never do it.  Why?  Because I do have interests, obsessions maybe, that take me out into the garden or over to the State Capitol and the Minnesota Institute of Arts, the homes of the Woolly Mammoths and our children.  Kate and I will, I imagine, resume at least some of our SPCO attending when she retires and there will be travel, too.

    This relates to an odd self-reflection occasioned by Lou Benders story of my first day on the Ball State Campus.  According to him, there was a picture of the Student Body President, I reached out and touched it and told him, “I’m going to do that.”  Three years later I ran and lost for Student Body President.  The year was 1969.  Recalling this, I wondered if my intention, my ability to clarify my direction had waned.  Had I defocused, living my life with no clear intentions, drifting along, letting life happen?

    Then I recalled the moment I told Kate I wanted to write, the moment four years ago when I realized I had to put my shoulder behind the Great Work, creating a benign human presence on the planet, the moment I began to pester Deb Hegstrom for a spot in the junior docent class of 2005, the time when Kate and I decided to push our property toward permaculture-the harmonious integration of people, plants and animals in a specific spot in a sustainable way.  No, I’ve not lost my ability to focus.  Not at all.6702010-10-09_0462

    This life, the one I’m living now, is the one I’ve chosen to live, a life Kate and I have made together.  And that feels good.

    Who knows, maybe I will finish these books?  Who knows?