Au revoir…

Philosophers love to quote Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
My ex-colleague, Alphonso Lingis (google him!) said it should be added that
“The unlived life is not worth examining.”

The past few weeks have been fun, but please consider this blog closed, and have a good year!


Lest We Forget…

The catastrophe.

“Monday marks the ninth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war and occupation. The rationale for that war was fabricated in the highest reaches of the U.S. leadership.

First came the lies, so many it was impossible to keep up. Then came the shock and awe, the crudely invented Iraqi jubilation, the torture, the renditions, the secret prisons, the indefinite detentions, the deluge of unaccounted-for cash, the no-bid contracts, the flaccid media, the spectacle of “mission accomplished,” the smug claims that there was no insurgency, the lousy armor …

The endless flow of blood.”

To his eternal credit, Maine’s representative, Tom Allen, was among those who voted NO on the authorization. Try to remember what life was like under a Republican administration before you vote in November!!

“Memorandum”…and A Temporary Exit

E. B. White, one of two or three of my favorite writers, wrote  “Memorandum,” in his book of essays, One Man‘s Meat, in October, 1941–just a couple weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The title refers to his listing the approximately 200 chores that need to be done before New England winter sets in on his Maine salt-water farm–each sentence beginning with some variant of “Today I ought to…” After a few pages he notes that the sun is going down, and he has spent the afternoon at his typewriter, thus avoiding the work, postponing acceptance of winter.  He decides to go into town, since he “ought to get a haircut.”

If you run a large farm in Maine, October is a time of reckoning. Chores not completed will be impossible a month later, and a price will be paid, up to–and maybe including–disaster.
For a city-dweller like me a similar memorandum could be written to myself in October, (I ought to put on the storm windows, clear out the spent tomato vines, shut off the water-line to the outside faucet, put away the hoses, put on snow-tires, have the furnace inspected, take in the outdoor furniture, and so on.) But April involves a much longer list in preparation for putting in the gardens,  and preparing for warmer weather, while doing repairs necessitated by winter’s toll on paint, stain, asphalt, and plantings.  And this year the list is heavily augmented by other more pressing factors: F. has a photography exhibit to prepare for the month of May, and we have decided to reconfigure in several household categories–vehicles, home improvements, and budgeting strategies, among others.

So this is all in the way of saying that this blog gets shoved aside for a few days, to allow more hours per week to be spent looking for used vehicles, drawing up lists, AND doing what’s needed around the place (new window boxes, new garden plans, painting, and much more.)

I will leave everything online as it is, so feel free to check back from time to time in case I found time to post new entries, or to read older posts that you may have missed.  But I will no longer wake each day thinking about what might be fun to write or put online.

Thanks so much for your kind responses and interest, and have a great Spring, which arrives officially in a few days.  Having no hair, I will not be going into town to get a haircut, but if you know anyone selling an old 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, I might be interested, since that garage  MUST be cleaned out before gardening season!




What’s Wrong With this Picture?

In Ohio Kucinich was defeated in the primary, and will leave the House. Joe, the Plumber, was elected. In the country teacher job security and satisfaction are plummeting… And we will still be waking up to pictures of Mitt & Rick & Newt & Ron.

On the other hand, spring is less than 2 weeks away, and the time change is this weekend. 50 degrees in Portland today, and 60, tomorrow. And Obama is still leading in the matchups…

Murkowski, Collins, Snowe: “moderates” until the chips are down

I keep seeing stories about the tragic loss of the “center” in the Senate, with Snowe’s retirement.  I will say that the Maine Twins sometimes DID vote for a bit of sanity here and there, but I’ve written enough angry letters to both Snowe and Collins to remember that, time after time, when the chips were down, and the Republiclown leadership jerked on the leash, they caved.  You get the merit badge for Republican Moderate only if you vote, uh,…moderate.  Latest  evidence: the Blunt amendment vote, which Murkowski now regrets. Here’s Joan McCarter’s take on it. (Snowe voted against it, to her credit, but the leash is off: she’s retiring.)  I wonder if Collins sleeps well this week…

Challenging the Self-Made Myth | The Nation

“This book challenges a central myth that underlies today’s anti-government rhetoric: that an individual’s success is the result of gumption and hard work alone. Miller and Lapham clearly show that personal success is closely tied to the supports society provides. Must reading for all who want to get our nation back on track.”

via Challenging the Self-Made Myth | The Nation.