1.21.2023 – see taste touch smell hear

see taste touch smell hear
Saturday morning traveling
magic world wide web

I traveled to the town of Market Harborough, near Great Oxendon, this morning and fell for a place named The George.

The George bills itself as A former 16th century inn set in the beautiful surroundings of South Leicestershire.

The George features a traditional village bar and a large patio area to while away your days in the rolling Northamptonshire countryside.

It is, they say, “A place to eat, drink and sleep.

The George offers an Auberge Supper, which I think means supper in the style of an inn or small hotel in France where three days a week, lunchtime and evening, we will surprise you with a different tempting 3 course meal. The Auberge Supper is always full of flavours and at a fantastic price.

The George offers afternoon tea where you can “Treat yourself and your friends to afternoon tea at The George. Homemade sandwiches, scones and cakes are served on the patio or in the dining room overlooking the garden. Indulge in a selection of teas or a glass of champagne.

The bar at the George lets you, “Enjoy a handcrafted real ale or a chilled white wine in our cosy bar. An extensive drinks menu hand-picked from around the world, there is no excuse not to stop in and relax.”

The Sunday Lunch at the George is “Served midday till 3pm every Sunday, you will always find the finest Roast Sirloin of Beef.”

I clicked on an online link for the place and managed to spend a half hour on their website.

I looked at the all the pictures.

I read all the menus.

I could see it.

The photos showed a clean, well lighted place (to steal from Mr. Hemingway).

I could taste it.

Scones, cakes, a glass of champagne, finest roast sirloin of beef.

I could feel it.

I could sense the polished wood and the weight of the crockery.

I could smell it.

The smell of an old bar, of whisky’s and beers and the smell of the kitchen and again the roast meats.

I could hear it.

The clack of crockery and china. Chairs sliding on a wood floor.

It all looked so … civilized.

Far from the maddening crowd.

It is where a warm welcome will always await you.

There was a jingle when I was kid that went, “Let you fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages.”

I let my mind do my traveling on the world wide web.

I had never heard of Market Harborough or Great Oxendon.

Not quite sure I know where they are.

I feel like I have been there, at the least to The George.

I never left my chair.

Sometimes, better than being there.

1.17.2023 – these illusory

these illusory
and ridiculous promises
never understood

My feeling that writers who write about economics get to use the best multisyllable words was reinforced by the NY Times opinion piece, The Crypto Collapse and the End of the Magical Thinking That Infected Capitalism, by Mihir A. Desai, a professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School.

Mr. Desai gets to use wonderful $5 words when he writes:

Pervasive consumer-facing technology allowed individuals to believe that the latest platform company or arrogant tech entrepreneur could change everything. Anger after the 2008 global financial crisis created a receptivity to radical economic solutions, and disappointment with traditional politics displaced social ambitions onto the world of commerce. The hothouse of Covid’s peaks turbocharged all these impulses as we sat bored in front of screens, fueled by seemingly free money.

For me, this opinion piece was summed up in two sentences.

The first, These illusory and ridiculous promises share a common anti-establishment sentiment fueled by a technology that most of us never understood. Who needs governments, banks, the traditional internet or homespun wisdom when we can operate above and beyond?

Not only does it explain, for me the bitcoin fixation but most of the aspects of the covid era.

What I found fascinating was that Mr. Desai linked two worlds together for me.

There is this group, right, that for the most part, boiled down to its essence DOES NOT TRUST GOVERNMENT.

Vaccines, elections, gun rights and border control.

This group does not trust the government and wants the government out of their lives.

Who are these people?

As Mr. Desai pointed out, they are ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT.

They are the 1960’s HIPPIES come to life as 2020’s conservatives.

And at their core, just like the hippies, they are against everything.

As Brando said when asked, “ Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?“, replied, “Whadda you got?

Who needs governments, banks, the traditional internet or homespun wisdom when we can operate above and beyond?

And really what do these people want to accomplish?

Don’t ask me.

these illusory
and ridiculous promises
never understood

Not only did Mr. Desai explain identify this New Hippie Era to me, he also explained the mystery of cyber currency for me.

Mr. Desai writes, “Speculative assets without any economic function should be worth nothing.”

I feel that way and I am not a professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School.

May I paraphrase and say, something without value is should be worth nothing!


What to do?

Of late James Garner’s tag line from that goofy old western, Support Your Local Sherriff, keeps coming to mind.


I am just passing through on my way to Australia.

these illusory
and ridiculous promises
never understood

1.10.2022 – its basically

its basically
an insurance company …
with its own army

What is the Government of the United States of America?

For the federal government is, as an old line puts it, basically an insurance company with an army. Other than military spending — only a small fraction of which, even now, goes to defending democracy in Ukraine — federal dollars mainly go to retirement and health care programs on which scores of millions of Americans, including many Republicans, depend.

So writes Paul Krugman in his article, Election Deniers Are Also Economy Deniers.

I kind of like that.

I have to admit that instead of thinking of government being those buildings in Washington and politicians and such, picture George F. Babbitt sitting behind a desk.

It works.

1.8.2023 – spontaneous and

spontaneous and
natural not requiring
of so much effort

“In an ideal world it is not good to put limits on museum attendance as going to a museum should be spontaneous and natural and not requiring of so much effort,” he said. “Adding yet another barrier is not a good idea.”

So says Guillaume Kientz, who served for nine years as curator of Spanish and Latin American Art at the Louvre and is now the director of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York.

Mr. Kientz was talking about the recently announced 30,000 people a day who are allowed tickets to get entrance to the Louvre.

He was quoted in the article, Looking for Elbow Room, Louvre Limits Daily Visitors to 30,000, by Dan Bilefsky, in the New York Times (Jan. 6, 2023)

Back in 2019, it was noted that “Some 80 percent of visitors, according to the Louvre’s research, are here for the Mona Lisa — and most of them leave unhappy.”

Today, according to the article, “Attendance at the museum in 2022, she added, had bounced back to 7.8 million people, 170 percent more than in pandemic-battered 2021 but 19 percent less than 2019, before the coronavirus hit. The renaissance, which Louvre officials attributed to tourists from the United States and Europe, was emblematic of the extent to which the Louvre had recovered after coronavirus travel restrictions buffeted museums in Paris and across the world.”

And most of those folks want to jostle and push and stand in line for a glimpse of one painting so they can tell friends that they jostled and pushed and stood in line to glimpse this one painting and maybe they have a selfie to prove it.

Going to a museum should be spontaneous and natural and not requiring of so much effort.

Growing up in Grand Rapids, it wasn’t too hard to talk my Dad into taking us downtown to the Grand Rapids Public Museum on a Sunday Afternoon.

The museum was never crowded.

There was easy parking though my Dad would look for something within 50 feet of the front door and wonder out loud if the trip was worth it if we had to park at the medical supply building across the street.

We had been to these museum 100s of times and we knew the way around the place front and back.

The diorama’s of stuffed animals.

The oldtime gas light village that represented Grand Rapids in the late 1800’s.

The odd furniture museum up the back stairs.

The Roger B. Chaffee Space corner and Planetarium.

Sometimes we might go the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

The hardest part of a spontaneous and natural visit not requiring of so much effort to this museum focused hitting that magic time when it might be open and there seemed to be no published listing of hours

You just went, it was in an old house, and if it was open, it was open.

Then there were trips to Chicago and Detroit.

Most of my family went off to college at Ann Arbor.

My sister Mary went to college in Chicago for two or three years.

Also my Aunt and Uncle live there.

When ever some needed to be picked up for Thanksgiving or Spring Break my Dad would arrange to take one of two of us kids along and leave early and spend the day in the big city at any of their museums.

Chicago had the Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Institute of Art while Detroit had Greenfield Village and the Detroit Institute of Art.

I guess I was raised on the concept that going to a museum should be spontaneous and natural and not requiring of so much effort.

I stayed with that as I got older.

History of Art was my minor in college,

Through this course of study, I had unusual access to the Detroit Institute of Art and a sort-of defacto membership in a group of museum guests that was a little bit above the norm.

I remember that I had a meeting scheduled with one of my professors to see some early Tuscan Renaissance works there at the DIA and I was late.

Never mind how I arranged to get a car to get to Detroit or how I got the gas money to get BACK from Detroit but that’s for another day.

Not knowing when I would be back at the DIA, I had to run upstairs and look at their 3 Van Gogh’s.

As an aside, with Vincent back in the news with this new modern exhibit, and the big show in Detroit, I did a little research to see close the nearest Van Gogh is to me where I now live.

Sad to say I’d have to drive to the National Gallery in Washington.

But I digress.

I spotted my professor waiting in the lobby and ran over and apologized for being late.

“Sorry,” I said, “but I had to go and see the Van Gogh’s.”

My professor smiled and nodded and then looked over his shoulder, took my by the arm and leaned in close and said, “I have real doubts about that self portrait.”

I smiled and nodded.

See, I was in the club.

This may have been the same visit that the professor and I were sitting on a bench in the center of a gallery and the professor pointed out the habits of most of the patrons.

“They come in with their guidebooks, check to make sure they are in the right gallery, look at the guidebook, look back at the plates next to artwork THEN they look at the work itself.”

He clucked his tongue, shook his head and said, “Why should that make such a difference?”

But he knew it did and he taught me that it did, but he still wondered.

He also once more looked over his shoulder and then leaned over and said to me, “And I know of enough times paintings and plaques got messed up.”

Reminded me of story told by the great Tom Wolfe of being at a Picasso exhibit and seeing a man who had rented one of those audio tours that back in the day was on a tape cassette player with a headset.

Mr. Wolfe noted that the man was getting more and more frustrated as he walked through the exhibit until the man finally yelled out loud, THIS IS NOT PICASSO’S BLUE PERIOD.

A docent came over and together they figured out that the man had been playing the wrong side of the tape.

So everyone wants to see the Mona Lisa.

I understand that.

But there are more paintings and other Museums.

Close to me is the Telfair Museum in Savannah.

I haven’t been yet but I do want to go.

It its where the the statue of the young lady feeding birds, known as the Bird Girl Statue, is now located.

Sad to say that after being featured in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the statue got so much attention and had to be removed from its location in a cemetery and placed in the art museum.

Maybe sometime access to art can be too spontaneous and too natural and should require a little effort.

I also want to see the EK le by Josef Albers.

It is listed as being part of the Telfair Museum Collection.

Going to the Telfair museum for me can be be spontaneous and natural and not requiring of so much effort.

Alas, the online listing for EL le states, “STATUS – Not on view”

Well, there you are.

1.5.2023 – anybody can’t

anybody can’t
tell difference has got whole
lot bigger problem

From the Sheriff Ed Tom Bell Book of Life (Continued) –

I read in the papers here a while back some teachers come across a survey that was sent out back in the thirties to a number of schools around the country.

Had this questionnaire about what was the problems with teachin in the schools.

And they come across these forms, they’d been filled out and sent in from around the country answerin these questions.

And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways.

Chewin gum.

Copyin homework.

Things of that nature.

So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools.

Forty years later.

Well, here come the answers back.

Rape, arson, murder.

Drugs. Suicide.

So I think about that.

Because a lot of the time ever when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I’m gettin old.

That it’s one of the symptoms.

But my feelin about that is that anybody that cant tell the difference between rapin and murderin people and chewin gum has got a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I’ve got.

Forty years is not a long time neither.

Maybe the next forty of it will bring some of em out from under the ether.

If it aint too late.

So says Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in the book, No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy.

Ed Tom’s thought are interspersed through out the book and set off in italics.

One of these days I am to copy out all those pages and create a book titled, Ed Tom Bell and the Meaning of Life.

I always meant to go back and re-read just those parts.

Maybe this would get me around to doing that.

1.4.2023 – takes very little

takes very little
to govern good people and
bad people can’t be

It’s a odd thing when you come to think about it.

The opportunities for abuse are just about everwhere.

There’s no requirements in the Texas State Constitution for bein a sheriff.

Not a one.

There is no such thing as a county law.

You think about a job where you have pretty much the same authority as God and there is no requirements put upon you and you are charged with preservin nonexistent laws and you tell me if that’s peculiar or not.

Because I say that it is.

Does it work?


Ninety percent of the time.

It takes very little to govern good people.

Very little.

And bad people cant be governed at all.

Or if they could I never heard of it.

So says Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in the book, No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy.

Ed Tom’s thought are interspersed through out the book and set off in italics.

One of these days I am to copy out all those pages and create a book titled, Ed Tom Bell and the Meaning of Life.

I always meant to go back and re-read just those parts.

Maybe this would get me around to doing that.

BTW, the title, No Country for Old Men, is adapted from:

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon‐falls, the mackerel‐crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

from Sailing to Byzantium, by William Butler Yeats,

1.2.2022 – everyone standing

everyone standing
in a pool of gasoline
each with kitchen match

Based on the description of Nuclear War that every country was in a basement room together, standing in 4 inches of gasoline and that everyone had a pack of matches.

One goes, everyone goes.

It was said by either Richard Feynman or Carl Sagan and I could do the Google but just now I am happy to know someone said it.

It wasn’t Enrico Fermi.

It was Fermi who, at the Trinity Bomb test when the first Plutonium Bomb was set off on the New Mexico desert that if the gadget didn’t work, the US had just spent $2 Billion proving that nuclear bombs weren’t possible.

Fermi then added, maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing to prove.

Today though, I was not thinking about Nuclear Bombs or Nuclear War even though I had just finished reading On the Beach, the 1957 novel about life in Australia AFTER the northern hemisphere is destroyed in a Nuclear War.

Australia had not been involved in the war but the nuclear fallout created by the bombs in the north slowly crept south and all life under the cloud is wiped out.

More on my mind was the story of of a feller who went into a grocery store in Atlanta.

He was was wearing body armor and carrying six loaded weapons — four handguns in his jacket pockets, and in a guitar bag, a semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.

He was arrested and charged and then the charges were dropped and he was released and re arrested and is in jail waiting trial on charges of reckless conduct.

His lawyer said, “I mean, all the guy did was be in the store with guns,” he said. “I go into Kroger with a gun, and I don’t expect to be arrested for reckless conduct when I do that. Based on the information from the case, he didn’t do anything that would even remotely constitute reckless conduct. And shame on the state for even prosecuting him for that.”

I am not a gun person.

I do not feel that everyone having guns makes me feel safer.

I cannot understand how, if I owned and carried a gun, I would feel safer.

And it is beyond me how any law abiding gun person would feel safer if I had a gun.

What I feel is that everyone is standing in pool of gasoline and everyone has matches.

So far the gun incidents, known as mass casualty events, have been more or less, one person and a gun.

The mass casualty events that descends into a gunfight at the OK Corral and then house to house street fighting are coming.

It’s a death spiral and there is no way out of this.

Can’t go back.

As Willy Wonka said, You can’t go back, you have to go forward to go back.

I see no resolution to this issue other than the end.

Like the nuclear cloud in On the Beach, it is coming and cannot be stopped.

Inevitable and here now.

In On the Beach, everyone in the end, well …

12.30.31 – You get away with

You get away with
huge amounts craziness in
the hallway she says

The passage in question reads: You can get away with huge amounts of craziness in the hallway,” she says, “because it’s not an area you spend much time in.”

The passage in question is from the article: ‘You can get away with craziness in the hallway’: at home with colour expert Annie Sloan.

The article closes with this:

Throughout the house, one-off finds jostle for space, and picture frames hang slightly askew.

“Things do move around quite a lot,” admits Sloan.

“People tend to think that the house is done now, that I’m not going to do anything else.

But I think it’s a good idea to keep our homes in flux.

Everybody is in some way creative – I’m just very keen on helping people find that creativity.”

I have never heard of Annie Sloan.

But I like her.

I like her a lot!

And I feel the same way.

Everybody is in some way creative.

I’m just very keen on helping people find that creativity.

12.28.2022 – taking everything!

taking everything!
Y’all wanna win the natty?
NOW … It starts right now!

In an article today in the Athletic, How did Michigan go from rock bottom in 2020 to back-to-back College Football Playoffs? (click headline to download PDF) by Bruce Feldman and Austin Meek, the writers wrote:

At 2:57 p.m., the smallest player who had been on the field during the Michigan–Ohio State game hopped on top of the Wolverines bench during a timeout at the start of the fourth quarter. Michigan, which hadn’t won in Columbus since 2000, clung to a 24-20 lead. It’s no stretch to think that the only people among the 106,797 in Ohio Stadium who didn’t expect the Buckeyes to rally and defeat eight-point underdog Michigan were dressed in all white on the Wolverines sideline.

But what all those other people thought didn’t matter. Certainly not to the player with the gold-tinged hair peeking out from a yellow Jumpman headband known to everyone inside the Michigan program as “Mikey.”

“I want all you guys to take a look at their sideline. Look at them!” Mike Sainristil, Michigan’s wiry nickelback and team captain, yelled to his teammates gathered around him, as he pointed across the field to the Buckeyes sideline.
“They have their heads down.

We know who the f— they are!

They are exactly who we thought they are! Let’s keep our foot on the gas. Keep executing.

Don’t give them anything.

Keep taking everything.

“Y’all wanna win the natty?

It starts right now!”

Each fall, there are hundreds of speeches that players make in-game during college football Saturdays to fire up their teams. But what happened on the Michigan sideline late in The Game felt different, perhaps because what followed over that next hour best illustrates just how much the balance in the Big Ten has shifted — and why Michigan football has re-emerged as a national powerhouse.

The Wolverines went on to shock the crowd in Columbus — and to make a point to the rest of the college football world — in the fourth quarter.

They outscored Ohio State 21-3 and piled up 174 rushing yards. Sainristil made the biggest defensive play of the game, flying across the field to swat a sure touchdown pass out of Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover’s mitts on a third-and-4. Michigan also intercepted Heisman hopeful quarterback C.J. Stroud twice.

The Buckeyes were ready to break, and they did. Michigan blew out Ohio State, 45-23.

I don’t know about you but this made me cry.

And I don’t care if you believe me or not because I feel, despite the playoff, the Natty is as mythical as a unicorn and the old style of voting for Number 1, and I just don’t care if Michigan wins out or not.

But there is no myth of what happened back in November.

The Buckeyes were ready to break, and they did. Michigan blew out Ohio State, 45-23.

And that is good enough for me.

The article winds up with: Sainristil said the player-led accountability started last season with a simple commitment to clean up the locker room every day, a responsibility the players took on independently.

This year, it extended to the way players arrange their shoes in the weight room, stacking them in a neat row to conserve space.

It’s a tiny detail, but that’s the whole point.

“If you can take care of these little details and make it a habit, the habits that really are important, the ones that matter the most on the football field, will be so much easier,” Sainristil said.

And those who remain, will be champions!

12.25.2023 – good to be children

good to be children
sometimes – Christmas, its founder
was a child himself

When this strain of music sounded, all the things that Ghost had shown him, came upon his mind; he softened more and more; and thought that if he could have listened to it often, years ago, he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands, without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley.

But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music.

After a while they played at forfeits; for it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.

Stop! There was first a game at blind-man’s buff.

Of course there was.

And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots.

My opinion is, that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew; and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it.

The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker, was an outrage on the credulity of human nature.

Knocking down the fire-irons, tumbling over the chairs, bumping against the piano, smothering himself among the curtains, wherever she went, there went he!

He always knew where the plump sister was.

He wouldn’t catch anybody else.

If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did), on purpose, he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you, which would have been an affront to your understanding, and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister.

She often cried out that it wasn’t fair; and it really was not.

But when at last, he caught her; when, in spite of all her silken rustlings, and her rapid flutterings past him, he got her into a corner whence there was no escape; then his conduct was the most execrable.

For his pretending not to know her; his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress, and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger, and a certain chain about her neck; was vile, monstrous!

No doubt she told him her opinion of it, when, another blind-man being in office, they were so very confidential together, behind the curtains.

from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens