15 January 2023

i got issues

my left hip is crashing on me --- bummer

update: it's sciatica, which is right up there with shingles for aggravation and pain --- drugs and physical therapy are supposed to fix it, just not yet

and i've lost an arc of vision on the lower side of my right eye --- optic nerve is swollen and he wants me to go to a specialist in PEACHTREE CORNERS!!! where is that even located?

29 December 2022

2022 reading

i have almost finished a history of the baltics and an awful history of the 1905 war between russia and japan --- probably several other partials lurking around, but these are the ones i've finished, rated none to three stars --- 

***Stacy Schiff, The Revolutionary, Samuel Adams (2022)

*Marc David Baer, The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs (2021)

Jane Ridley, George V: Never a Dull Moment (2022)

**Karen Armstrong, St Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate (2015)

***David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (2021)

*Michael Pollan, This Is Your Mind on Plants (2021)

Ada Ferrer, Cuba: An American History (2021)

*Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders (1887)

Jared Diamond, Upheavel: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis (2019)

Mark A Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994)

Harry S Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (1991)

*Jessica Mitford, The American  Way of Death Revisited (2011)

**Violet Moller, The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found (2020)

Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, (1569-1999) (2003)

Isabel de Madariaga, Ivan the Terrible (2020)

**Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Romanovs, 1613-1918 (2016)

Marie Favereau, The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World (2021)

Eino Jutikkala with Kauko Pirinen, A History of Finland (1984)

David S. Brown, The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant life and improbable Education of Henry Adams (2020)

Kenneth Scott, St. James’s Palace, A History (2010)

Serhii Plokhy, The Origins of the Slavic Nations; Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (2006)

David Remnick, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1994)

Martyn C. Rady, The Habsburgs, To Rule the World (2020)

Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of t he Oxford English Dictionary (1998)

**H. W. Brands, The First American: the Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000)

New Scientist, The Origin of (Almost) Everything (2016)

David S. Heidler, Henry Clay, The Essential American (2010)

Christopher Hibbert, Florence: The Biography of a City (1993)

Julian Sancton, Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night (2021)

catching up

 i've missed our 106 club dinners, especially the regularity --- i still see ms kidd from time to time, including attending a wonderful atl symphony reinterpretation of REM back in June --- we’ll see the atl bot gdn holiday lights in early january --- and i keep up with ms troy purty well --- also see mr purser fairly regularly, usually lunch at manuels, and he and robin brought me along for a tour of the fabulous fox the other day --- always nice

just before thanksgiving, uga press notified us that they had put my coochee book out for peer review --- last line of the letter sent by their acquisitions editor:  “Really excited about the prospect of working together on what will surely be a wonderful book.” I didn’t believe it would get this far --- the reviewers’ reports are due at end of march 2023, and if they’re favorable . . . . .   

there was not a bumper crop of meyer lemons this year, but the last one was really fine

I think a lot of older people, including myself, have a hard time creating meaningful relationships to replace those lost for whatever  reason --- john has been dead for over three years, and I still miss him almost every day --- other friendships mutate, including mine with angela, whose wisdom has been often overlooked --- 

once in a while, casual relationships emerge in unexpected places --- during the covid semi-lockdown in 2020, I kept seeing this couple from the 16th floor  going or coming from starbucks  and we finally got to talking on the sidewalk --- john and johanna, 30 somethings --- we’ve gotten together a couple of times since then, other than on the sidewalk --- did happy hour at their place the other evening, and they’re gonna be here tomorrow evening --- nice intelligent folks

28 December 2022

health issues

the weekend has not been all it might have been for me --- friday morning i got up with a scratchy throat but i dragged myself out of bed this p.m. to go get my order of paxlovid, which i will begin tonight --- I remember, however, that the bidens were fully vaxxed and taken paxlovid, and they still got it again --- whatever --- kenny has been at my side non-stop, but we limit his walks to around the block or something --- yesterday was the worst, but i managed to get him out for three very short walks, and then back to bed

i am very glad that i did not catch this stupid virus two years ago, when the first strain was doing its worst, the hospitals were jammed, people were freaking out and the streets were like a ghost town --- until 7 o'clock or so, when in cities across the country everybody got out on their balconies and porches banging pots and pans for all the health care workers and emergency responders who were working their asses off ---

 I wrote that on 28 August, as i began a bout with the covids --- i haven't had a cold or anything in years, and this fall it seemed like i was always sick --- over the last few days, i've finally started feeling semi-normal 

27 March 2022

106 club

in the spring of 2004, these people (minus frances, upper right, sometime) started a round-robin friday night repaste, rotating host, and so many restaurants i never would have visited --- we called it 106 club for very obscure reasons ---  today our sweet friend at lower right announced she was resigning, as it were --- every good thing comes to an end

07 February 2022

more from my g-grandpa

i finally got around to posting some more of my g-grandpa hart's wonderful stuff — i think it's purty great for a guy in his 80s and 90s — lookee here

30 January 2022

old people

this image was made in may 1953, on the ocassion of the 96th birthday of my g-grandpa josiah meredith hart (1857–1957), one of a series of such celebrations held in the front yard of my grandma hart's house on w. fayetteville road, which was on the site of the log house where he was born, all now lost to the fifth runway at hartsfield-jackson intl airport — he's in the center here, with his half-brother warren at his right, and his grandson pink cherry [seriously] hart at his left — the old man remembered a corps of the union army rolling through their farm in 1864, when he was seven years old, the same age i was when he died — i've always felt myself fortunate to have known (ever how slightly) someone of his generation — at lower right in this image is four-year-old me — i've always liked history i guess, even when i didn't always know what i was looking at


02 January 2022

holidays and 2021 book learning

the covids have set us back in a number of ways, all of it made way worse by trump's politicization of the whole mess early on — i've had my vaccinations and booster, unlike the 40-fkn-%  who haven't gotten anything, which itself tells us nothing new about the mouth-breathers who are always all around us at any time and anywhere (read defoe's a journal of the plague year-1665) — i haven't been on a areoplane or even gone anywhere out of state since august 2019 and only one soccer match and virtually no eating out during that time — but we started up our 106 supper club again, i've met a couple of friends for lunch at manuels, and i see robt a few times a week — to be honest, i've enjoyed the enforced solitude 

but i'm glad i have the beagle, who wants nothing more than to be right where i am, which can get annoying sometime since i typically don't like clingy things — also too i know this juggler who is always wanting to show me his wares, as it were, and that is good, too, except that he also triggers those clingy issues, along with a number of others i didn't even know i have --- i continue to work on all of that

throughout i have not felt particularly productive, so i've been thrown into that briar patch of reading, with the dog curled up beside me, if not trying to get in my lap — the list below is in more or less the reverse order in which i read them — clearly i am a fairly indiscriminate reader, as long as it's history — i tried to pick a "best of" but could not, so the * system will have to suffice — i'm glad my eyes still work

in addition to the items listed below (which do not include all of those which i have started but not been called upon to complete), i re-read three volumes of ackroyd's history of england, and started a fourth, reading more or less continuously, unlike the brief fits and starts when i read them to begin with, which makes for a better experience — also too the john quincy adams bio, which was one of the best of the year, mentioned that he was in the habit of reading the bible through each year — so i started to re-read the bible (i read it once in my early years) and actually got through genesis and a little bit of exodus, but got tired of the incest, violence, genocide, and what not and had to quit — maybe i'll take up proverbs

Dan Jones, The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors (2014)

Ian Mortimer, Henry V: The Warrior King of 1415 (2017)

Helen Carr, The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster (2021)

Ian Mortimer, Henry IV: The Righteous King (2014)

Katheryn Warner, Richard II: A True King’s Fall (2017)

*Ian Mortimer, Edward III: The Perfect King (2018)

Marc Morris, King John, Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta (2016)

*Kathryn Warner, Edward II: The Unconventional King (2017)

Catherine Arnold, Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018)

**Heather Cox Richardson, Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre (2010)

Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (2016)

**John T. Ellisor, The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier (2010)

***Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (2020)

*Steven Palmer and Iván Molina, eds. The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics (2004)

***Emily Carr, Klee Wyck (1941)

Roland Ennos, The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization (2020)

Peter Ackroyd, The History of England, Vol. VI: Innovation (2021)

Edward J Watts, The Final Pagan Generation: Rome’s Unexpected Path to Christianity (2020)

***William  J. Cooper, The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics (2017)

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Peril (2021)

*Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (2017)

Tom Nichols, Our Own Worst Enemy:  The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy (2021)

Michael Lewis, Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity (2009)

**Michael Lewis, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (2021)

***Nancy Marie Brown, Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them (2015)

*Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (2001)

Erin Stewart Mauldin, Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South (2018)

***Eric Foner, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (2019)

***Martin Padgett, A Night at the Sweet Gum Head: Drag, Drugs, Disco, and Atlanta’s Gay Revolution (2021)

James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, Antiquities of Athens: Measured and Delineated by James Stuart, FRS and FSA, and Nicholas Revett, Painters and Architects (2007)

David Cannadine, Westminster Abbey: A Church in History (2019)

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

John Goff, Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity (2009)

*William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (1991)

***Mark Peterson, The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865 (2019)

***Neil Price, Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings (2020)

Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015)

***Virginia Postrel, The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World (2020)

**William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983)

Graham Bush, Old London, Photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred and John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London

Wick Griswold, A History of the Connecticut River (2012)

William Wood, New Englands Prospect: A True, Lively, and Experimental Description of That Part of America, Commonly Called New England (1635)

William Henry Carpenter, The History of Connecticut: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (2018 reprint)

19 December 2021


 on this date, sixteen  years ago, i   transferred my belongings from   sinclair ave to peachtree street ---   except for hershey croaking, i have   regretted it not at all

04 November 2021


leonard cohen thought jeff buckley  did the finest rendition of "hallelujah," but pentatonix certainly does it justice 

20 October 2021

holy scripture

in olden times i read the bible all the way through, twice --- inspired by john quincy adams who endeavored to read it through each year, i started the same today --- genesis is a big old mess. what with lot's wife turned into  a pillar of salt and then his daughters getting him drunk so they could have his babies and what not --- plus multiple wives and concubines all over the place and wierd sacrifices and what not --- omg --- 

but the new english translation is a good one, a more intelligible version of king james --- i will continue

then robt walks in with dumpster books, including the "metaphysical bible dictionary" --- the sweet baby jesus is speaking to me!

18 October 2021

fresh times

it's been an excellent week, except for the terrible hangover yesterday --- saw dear friends almost every day --- also too roberto --- plus it got cool, finally

15 October 2021

the beagle

i forgot to mark the occasion at the time, but ten days ago was the second anniversary of kuntry kenny becoming a city dog — there have been challenges, but he turned out to be the perfect companion for the covid sequester and all the other bullshit of the last year or so

images from the past

i dragged out the mat cutter the other day and framed up several of the best images of those i've taken over the last few years  out of thousands taken, once in a while the sweet baby jesus and/or serendipitous circumstances lets me take a good one  i tried printing on coated canvas, which i like, but the effect is kind of lost when it's covered with glass  

07 October 2021

whiney me

all in all, the past few months have been a chore --- i fell into a black hole of despair, as usual for no particular reason that i can discern, but this one was especially dark --- i even spent most of more than one day in bed, which i have never done --- robt went back to work (after 18 months!), which was great, but suddenly i was alone most days with too much time to think  --- only later  did i discover he's found him a part-time squeeze, which is ok since we haven't had a sexual relationship in twenty years, but still a bit of a shock --- and i had two people call me an "arrogant asshole," which made me spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if that is true, which it might be to a certain extent, but basically decided there was a lot of emotional projection going on on their part --- plus trump and his minions are still not locked away in a dungeon somewhere, typical muggy miserable summer weather continues in atlanner, and two copperhead snakes at the river (first in decades of going out there) made me want to stay indoors with the a/c on all the time --- almost worst of all was the stupid "restless leg syndrome" which kept me awake all night sometime --- went to the doctor for that actually and got some xanax, which overwhelms the jittery legs, as well as b12 and magnesium --- talked to him about the depressive episode and he wound up prescribing prozac, another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which i had tried once before --- again i hated it and after two weeks reduced the dose to every other day --- when i saw him earlier this week, we agreed to end it entirely and max out my dose of welbutrin, which got me off cigarettes but is probably nothing more than a placebo at this point --- in the meantime, serendipitous, unsolicited, and in one case overwhelmingly effusive expressions of my worth as a human being had already combined with whatever else to put me in a better place --- i feel like my old self again

17 August 2021

lost causes

there is no sense of proportion or nuance in the campaign to rid public space of traitorous memorials to "the lost cause," a campaign i whole-heartedly endorse  --- and the latest, removing the lion of lucerne replica from oakland cemetery, makes me a little ill --- it is a giant tombstone for all the unknown confederate dead (and there were a lot of those poor fkrs), the unluckiest of those riled up to die in a poor man's fight in a rich man's war --- the traces of red paint when it was most recently vandalized only add to its story --- but they're removing it for safe-keeping, doncha know --- bullshit --- nobody wants to go to the trouble to interpret it properly