Joe's Book Cafe 2 2021

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Joe's Book Cafe 2 2021

Ene 17, 3:50pm

Art by Vicky Mount. Welcome back to the cafe!

Editado: Feb 4, 4:35pm

2020 Favorites

Book of the Year: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson


Deep Creek by Pam Houston (memoir)

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (WWII nonfiction)

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe (The Troubles nonfiction)

Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit (essays)

The Yellow House by Sarah Broom (memoir)

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

In the Shadow of the Mic by Jesse Welch and Adriana Ramirez


Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles (novel)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (novel)

Beautiful Ruins by Jessica Walter (novel)

Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajado Anstine (short stories)

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley

A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab

Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen

Temporary by Hilary Leichter

Illustrated Books/Graphic Novels

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha (graphic memoir)

Poems to See By by Julian Peters (poetry+ graphic)

Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust

Are You Listening by Tillie Walden

Plain Janes by Cecil Castelucci

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Network Effect by Martha Wells (sci-fi)

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke


Blanche Among the Talented Tenth by Natalie Berry (mystery)

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz (thriller)


Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

Whale Day by Billy Collins

Editado: Feb 4, 4:37pm

2020-21 Books Read

December 2020

146. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
147. Serpentine by Phillip Pullman
148. Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen.
149. Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
150. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
151. The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara Liska
152. Temporary by Hilary Leichter
153. The Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
154. In the Shadow of the Mic by Jesse Welch and Adriana Ramirez

January 2021

1. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine*
2. The Dreaming by Simon Spurrier*
3. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4. The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay
5. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
7. Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Gluck
8. Lady Mechanika by Joe Benitez*
9. Catwoman Friend or Foe by Joelle Jones*
10. Jack by Marilynne Robinson
11. Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison
12. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
13. Slam by Pamela Ribon*
14. Mezo by Tyler Chin-Tanner*
15. Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini*
16. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
17. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
18. Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn*
19. Prodigal Son by Greg Hurwitz
20. Bodega: Poems by Su Hwang

February 2021

21. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
22. Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman*
23. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

* Illustrated/Graphic Novel

This year I'm just going to list the illustrated/GN books with the others

Editado: Ene 17, 4:00pm

Holiday photos and Becca and Indy, and the jigsaw puzzle from my sister

Editado: Ene 17, 4:01pm

I don’t know whether anyone else here has given thought to Yeats’ famous epitaph:

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman, pass by!

It’s the end of his poem “Under Ben Bulben”, and has been the subject of a ton of analysis and interpretation, often from widely varying viewpoints. I have my own opinion, of course, and finally today got mine approved for posting in a thread discussing it.

Here’s what I said.

Cast a cold eye on life, on death= don’t give much weight to this man’s life or death, or that of any others, including your own.

Horseman, pass by = pay attention to your own life, regardless of mortality or immortality, and live it to its fullest. In the context of “Under Ben Bulben”, create for the sake of creating, do the work for the sake of the work, ride for the sake of riding.

And in that may lie a kind of immortality, passing by life and death.

Here’s the thread/blog/website:

Editado: Ene 17, 4:03pm

Editado: Ene 17, 4:04pm

By Vicky Mount

Ene 17, 4:10pm

Such Art! Such happiness! A wondermous way to start a new thread!

Ene 17, 4:21pm

Happy new thread!

Good art, good descendants, good humor, good going!

Editado: Ene 17, 4:27pm

>8 richardderus:. 😂😂😂. Phew! Always a big project to start a new one. Thanks, Richard! Oh frabjous day! Calloo Callay!

I’ll swing back with your celebratory baked goods.

>9 quondame:. Thanks, Susan!

Editado: Ene 17, 4:31pm

As a prize for first in the door, carrot cake muffins for Mr. Derus:

Maybe if we're nice to him, he'll share.

Ene 17, 4:33pm

Happy new one, Joe.

Ene 17, 4:53pm

Joe - favorite characters that immediately came up are FERDINAND and Scout...
and the whole cast of "Love Actually!"

Ene 17, 4:57pm

>11 jnwelch: He don't know me vewwy well, do he?

*gleeful handrubbing*

Ene 17, 5:04pm

Happy new one, Joe. Love the artwork and photos!

I subscribe to a daily jigsaw puzzle site, called One of the perks of that site is that you can upload your own photos to create puzzles. I don't know if you can get them in hard copy (maybe) but you can send them via online/email. Fun stuff. You can change the number and shapes of pieces and, well, it's addictive. :-)

Ene 17, 5:28pm

happy new one!

Ene 17, 5:40pm

Happy new thread, Joe. Oh, lovely artwork! Loved the 1st in >1 jnwelch:, It's so fitting. But the one with the foxes is really exquisite.

Ene 17, 6:04pm

Happy new thread, Joe. I did make it to your last one before it closed but was snubbed. Figure if I get in early enough on this one I might be noticed.

Nice family holiday photos!

Ene 17, 6:12pm

Happy new thread!

Ene 17, 6:18pm

Happy new one, Joe.

I especially love those jigsaws @ >4 jnwelch: what a marvellous idea.

Ene 17, 6:42pm

Happy 2nd thread, Joe!

Ene 17, 6:42pm

>12 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>13 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Ferdinand the Bull? Is there a Ferdinand I'm not thinking of? Scout is a great pick as a favorite literary character. What a book. Makes me think of Boo Radley, too.

I liked Love Actually, but I'm not the major fan so many are. I did enjoy the Hugh Grant storyline.

>14 richardderus: :-)

>15 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! That does sound like fun with I think my sister is more of a hard copy kind of gal when it comes to jigsaw puzzles, but I'll mention this to her.

>16 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

Ene 17, 6:51pm

>17 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I agree that one with the foxes is exquisite, and that's the one that got me looking for more of her work. I forget where I saw it, but I made a note of her name, and then found her other work.

>18 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Did I snub you on the last thread? I sure didn't mean to. What number post? I'm not flawless in keeping up with everyone, we know that much.

Anyway, I'm glad you found this new one. Thanks re the family holiday photos. I love the "Merry" one our Pittsburgh group came up with.

>19 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>20 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Isn't that jigsaw puzzle a treat? One of my sisters came up with that.

>21 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda!

Ene 17, 6:52pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

I love the toppers, but >7 jnwelch: with the foxes is my favorite.

Ene 17, 7:33pm

Happy New Thread, Joe. Love the Vicky Mount toppers! Bummer about the Browns but they made a game of it.

Ene 17, 8:05pm

>22 jnwelch: - I prefer the hard copy puzzles, too but with cats, well, let's just say I am on indefinite hiatus, for the moment, so it's the virtual ones I do to keep the brain cells firing for now...:-)

Ene 18, 12:53am

>7 jnwelch:
Are you sure that this picture isn't from Pax by Sara Pennypacker? If it isn't it should be.

Ene 18, 1:44am

>1 jnwelch: Love that artwork!

>2 jnwelch: Dang it. I still haven't gone back and narrowed down my favorites list for 2020. Must do this!!

Okay, and I love the photos and the food. Happy to be here, Joe. : )

Ene 18, 7:21am

Happy new thread!

Ene 18, 9:37am

>24 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! The one with foxes is my favorite, too. It's the one that got me started with her.

>25 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'm glad you like the toppers. You know, I don't think anyone picked the Browns against the Super Bowl winner, and they did make a game of it. I hope Mahomes is okay after that concussion.

>26 jessibud2: Ha! I can just imagine the effect cats might have on jigsaw puzzling, Shelley. A whole new level of challenging. :-)

>27 benitastrnad: I can see why you say that, Benita. That's Jon Klassen who illustrated Pax, and he's another favorite of mine.

Ene 18, 9:40am

>28 Berly: Isn't that cool artwork, Kim? She can get a little too sweet for my tastes in some of her work, but I love it when she doesn't.

I finally reorganized my favorites list into categories, and I feel much better about it! It's interesting to me what a good year it was for nonfiction for me, and how some categories like sci-fi and poetry didn't have as many highlights as usual.

I'm glad you're happy to be here! That's the idea - RL has been tough enough on us all.

>29 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

Ene 18, 9:41am

Ene 18, 9:53am

Love the Welch - Rameriz Christmas photo

A family that laughs together probably enjoys being together

Ene 18, 10:48am

>32 jnwelch: That is one freaky-deaky pose! The photographer got supremely lucky or that's a taxidermied birb.

Happy only-two-days day!

Ene 18, 11:57am

>33 magicians_nephew: Thanks, Jim. They're a good group, and they do get a kick out of each other. Sometimes the kids get distraught because of a toy both want, or whatever, but their parents are good at calming them down. Misbehavior gets dealt with by apologies and the dreaded "rest break", which we used to call time out. They also occasionally use our trick of putting the desired toy in plain sight, but out of reach. What heartbreak.

>34 richardderus: What a photo, right? I think the photographer did get very lucky. The expert ones have those lenses that extend out to what seems like three feet.

Yes! We're almost there. And the Pentagon denied drumpf his requested military send-off. All is good. There are still drumpf's "pardons for sale" to trouble us, and the threatened attacks on state capitols, but we're awfully close to a new day.

Ene 18, 12:31pm

Even though I had a stellar year of reading with the largest number of books read in one year that I have ever recorded (135), when I went to list them I didn't have many standouts in fiction. Like you, my sci/fi list was short. The only exception was the Bobiverse books. They were so much fun to read and so full of information that I raced through them. I haven't started the Murderbot series yet because somebody stole our library copy of Book 1, but I have a feeling that when I do get to them they will be good reads. Maybe next year, they will make my best of ... list.

Ene 18, 12:45pm

>36 benitastrnad: Benita, I can truly see the Murderbot Chronicles being a huge hit with you. The character of Murderbot is so deeply and interestingly imagined by Martha Wells, much like the Bobs, that it's just an irresistible and adorable being.

Here's to hoping book 1 re/appears soon!

Ene 18, 1:04pm

>32 jnwelch: what an amazing photo Joe. What bird is it?

Loving the Vicky Mount art, especially the fox, and the family photos too.

Ene 18, 2:29pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

Ene 18, 2:30pm

Happy new thread Joe. I see from your list that you’ve read Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve read and enjoyed several of her books. Do you recommend this one?

Ene 18, 3:48pm

>40 NarratorLady: Hi, Anne. Yes, I do recommend Fan Girl (I guess she spells it as one word). It's a YA with appealing characters in college. Rainbow Rowell has been a go-to author for Debbi and me since Eleanor and Park. The only one that I wasn't that happy with was Landline, and others have liked that one a lot.

>36 benitastrnad: The Bobiverse books are great fun, aren't they, Benita. Like Richard, I think you're really going to enjoy the Murderbot stories. He says it well. Yeah, we've had so many years in a row, it seems like, with a lot of good sci-fi books, but not last year, for some reason. At least not in the flavors I enjoy.

>37 richardderus: Agreed, Richard. All Systems Red is a shortie, and is only $3.99 on Kindle, for what it's worth.

>38 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't it, Caroline? I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask for help again on what kind of bird. Maybe Mark will know. The original poster only used the word "Faerie", which I believe was more about the photo than the bird.

I'm glad you like the art - isn't that fox illustration special? - and the family photos.

>39 AMQS: Thanks, Anne!

Ene 18, 4:26pm

Hi Joe, mate, Happy new thread and love the thread topper photos, they remind me of the Beryl Cook paintings. I love the photo Jigsaw's, they are unusual.

Hope all is well with you and Debbi mate, we are both fine and my reading is going well, long may it continue. Sending love and hugs to you, Debbi and the family from both of us dear friend.

Ene 18, 9:23pm

>22 jnwelch:

Yes, Joe, my favorite is definitely FERDINAND THE BULL (also available as FERDINANDO for your Little Ones).

Hugh Grant's Love Actually appearance is likely his best one -
the Old Naked Singer, AKA Bill Nighy, carried the plot for me!
the "Duh" for the two Lobsters at the Nativity is a modern classic.

Ene 19, 1:31am

>23 jnwelch: I didn't make it into your thread until post #244, Joe. I've been slow to get going on the threads this year. Too many other things going on!

Ene 19, 2:46am

Love the toppers, Joe. Nice to see the best of lists. I still haven't picked up the new Billy Collins, I would very much like to though. I just read The Historians which won the Poetry category for the Costa prize on this side of the pond. I'd not read anything by the author before, but will be searching out more of her work. Wonderful stuff.

Ene 19, 9:54am

Morning, Joe! Happy newness! The top of your thread abounds with joy - thanks so much for sharing it.

Ene 19, 11:18am

>42 johnsimpson: Thanks, buddy. Yes, I can see the similarity to the Beryl Cook paintings. Isn't that photo jigsaw puzzle unusual? Such a clever idea.

We're both fine indeed, and hoping we may even get vaccinated soon. I'm glad it's going well on your end, and you're enjoying your reading. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen and the fam, mate.

>43 m.belljackson: Ah, gentle-hearted Ferdinand the Bull, who won't conform. Love it, Marianne.

Oh, you're right, Bill Nighy is terrific in Love, Actually! I love him in anything, but that's a great turn on the stage (or movie set).

Ha! That is a classic "duh". Who doesn't know about the two lobsters at the Nativity?

>44 Familyhistorian: Ah, I'll go look for #244, Meg. This is >44 Familyhistorian:, and you've already posted before this, so you're really on top of it for this thread. :-)

>45 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. Have you tried When Stars Are Scattered? That's a GN I think you'd appreciate. The new Billy Collins is a treat, as usual. What a knack he has. I have read some Eavan Boland, probably in magazines. Thanks for the heads-up on her The Historians. I'll look for it. (Arggh, poets' books are almost always buried way down in the touchstones, aren't they. I assumed, wrongly, that "Eavan" was a man's name).

>46 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks! My pleasure re the top of the thread - man, could we all use some joy now, right?

I'm still grateful (and always will be) for what your state did to contribute to the even greater joy happening tomorrow.

Editado: Ene 19, 11:21am

River of grape hyacinths in Holland by Ryan Euler

Ene 19, 11:45am

>1 jnwelch: I love that art! Especially the ones with cats..... :-)

Back to your prior thread, Joe, I think you would very much enjoy Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The first time I read it was when I was in graduate school. Seminars and thesis draft be damned, I started that book in the morning and I didn't budge out of my chair until it was finished.

Just over 27 hours to go....

Ene 19, 12:00pm

>48 jnwelch: How lovely, and just perfect for the season...something to look forward to in the bleak midwinter.

Ene 19, 12:55pm

>49 EBT1002: another shout out for Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Always loved Fannie Flagg was a joy to see - hey the gal can write too!

Ene 19, 1:18pm

Hi Joe and happy new thread.

>4 jnwelch: I’m always glad to see photos of your family. Thanks for sharing.

>35 jnwelch: Yes! We're almost there. And the Pentagon denied drumpf his requested military send-off. All is good. There are still drumpf's "pardons for sale" to trouble us, and the threatened attacks on state capitols, but we're awfully close to a new day. Callooh! Callay!

>49 EBT1002: and >51 magicians_nephew: Third shoutout. It’s a wonderful book, and though the 1991 movie deviated some from the book even it was fantastic.

Ene 19, 1:56pm

Happy New Thread and thanks for all the wonderful visuals!

I used to have a den of foxes that would have kits on my place every year. But then, I got my elderly golden retriever. She LOVED the foxes. She LOVED the fox kits. It was a little too much love for the parents, so they moved on. :(

Editado: Ene 19, 3:55pm

>49 EBT1002: Ha! If you like the ones with cats, Ellen, you may want to further check out her work - she obviously loves cats, and paints them a lot.

I know, so close to the inauguration! We're planning on mimosas and cupcakes, and ordering in a brunch.

Thanks re Fried Green Tomatoes. I'm adding it to the WL. Debbi says we might even have it on our downstairs bookshelves.

>50 richardderus: Right, Richard? I love some Spring color here in Jan and Feb and even March.

Ene 19, 4:02pm

>51 magicians_nephew: Thanks for the added Fannie Flagg shout out, Jim. Debbi really likes her writing, too. I'll look forward to Fried Green Tomatoes.

>52 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Thanks.

You're welcome re the family photos. It's fun to share them here, as you and others appreciate them.

Calloo Callay! Almost there. Inauguration Day Eve.

Three shout outs for Fried Green Tomatoes! Impressive. I remember the movie coming out, but never saw it. We did eat many years ago at a restaurant of that name somewhere down south. Great food, and it had quite a rep in the area, as I recall.

>53 streamsong: Thanks, Janet - and you're welcome re all the visuals!

Ha! I can just imagine all the fox love and attention from your elderly golden retriever, and understand the foxes deciding to move on. Too bad though. I'm sure you enjoyed having them nearby. Such beautiful little animals.

Ene 19, 4:37pm

>48 jnwelch: Pretty. I imagine is smells amazing!

Ene 19, 4:50pm

>56 quondame: I'll bet you're right, Susan. I wonder whether we'll ever have technology that'll transfer smell in a forum like this? Wouldn't that be something.

Editado: Ene 19, 5:24pm

^My backyard.

Happy Tuesday, Joe! 18 hours, baby!! We NEED to turn this next corner. I am glad to hear you are enjoying Jack. I had some issues with it but I still think it is a worthy read. Do you have Disney+? We watched "Soul" last night and really enjoyed it. Check it out, if you haven't all ready.

Ene 19, 5:40pm

>3 jnwelch: I read "Half of a Yellow Sun" as part of last year's challenge. A great book!

Ene 19, 5:52pm

Hi, Joe!
Do you know about this one: The Seed of Compassion? I just picked it up from the library today.

Ene 19, 7:04pm

Joe ... 400,001 ...

My daughter's beloved Aunt, the last of her Father's three sisters, and my Sister in law,

died this afternoon from COVID in Jacksonville, Florida.

Peace, Stay Well, and Do What You Can,


Ene 19, 7:48pm

Hi Joe! We've spoken about The Odyssey before, so I wondered if you knew that Richard Lattimore's translation of is only $1.99 on your Kindlethingie?

Editado: Ene 20, 12:48am

Happy new thread, Joe!

>1 jnwelch: Nice thread toppers, as always, Joe. May I say that that first one is reminiscent of the photo you posted in your last thread of Mark and you on your pub crawl.

>53 streamsong: Aww :0( Our retriever, who we got as a pup, is 4 years old now but still so enthusiastic; when we take him to the vets I feel sorry for him because he's so excited about meeting all the other animals but (and I feel sorry for them too) their all either a lot smaller or elderly (the very few big dogs) and they're all scared of him.

>58 msf59: I'm guessing that's a cardinal? What an absolutely vivid red, especially against the snow.

>61 m.belljackson: Deepest condolences Marianne.

ETA: I googled it; could that be a female indigo bunting? Found in your neck of the woods.

Editado: Ene 20, 9:22am

Happy Wednesday, Joe :-)

>48 jnwelch: Lovely picture, it looks great. There is so much you can do with flowers.

ETA: spelling error

Editado: Ene 20, 9:03am

Morning, Joe! Happy Inauguration Day! We have been waiting for this day, my friend. We have a very tough road ahead of us, but it will be nice to get over this first hump. It is all up to the Dems now. Please, don't let us down.

It looks beautiful out there but it will be very cold. I am staying in, with the books.

Editado: Ene 20, 9:37am

>58 msf59: The big day has finally arrived, Mark! Man, in past inauguration years it just wasn't that big a deal, but this one seemed to take forever to get here. Go Joe and Kamala!

Love that cardinal. We've been talking about watching Soul, so thanks for the nudge.

>59 ocgreg34: Good for you, ocgreg. Nice to see you here. I agree; Half of a Yellow Sun is a great book. I learned a lot about Biafra and Nigeria, besides being caught up in a good story.

>60 scaifea: Hi, Amber. I didn't know about Seed of Compassion. It looks from the cover like it's designed for younger readers? I'm seeing a lot more of that now - Buddhist and mindfulness and meditation books for younger readers. I love it. I'll look forward to your comments on this one.

>61 m.belljackson: Oh my. My condolences about your sister in law, Marianne. What devastation from this covid virus. I'm sorry that your family and your poor SIL got caught in it. I hope you have a peaceful inauguration day.

Ene 20, 9:42am

>66 jnwelch: Indeed, it's a picture book! I thought you might be interested in getting it for those grandkiddos of yours. I'll report back once Charlie and I actually read it.

Ene 20, 9:57am

>62 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Very thoughtful of you. You know, I'm not a big fan of that Lattimore translation of The Odyssey? My top 3 are Emily Wilson's, Fagles' and Lombardo's, in that order. Lattimore's is, for me, too old-fashioned and static in comparison to those swiftly-moving ones.

Another quirk: I have a hard time reading poetry on an e-reader. I always read it in hard copy. The same with GNs.

>63 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

Ha! I love that the first topper reminds you of the photo of Mark and me in the pub! If we can find a good front stoop, maybe we can re-enact it some day.

I can just imagine your 4 year old retriever at the vet's. It's like our daughter's Borkie going to daycare - she loves seeing the other dogs. I haven't been with her to the vet's yet (and Becca's vet is only doing curbside during covid; no humans allowed inside), but Sherlock used to be petrified in the waiting room, and then wag his tail in delight when the humans took him back into the office. He was a real people dog.

Beautiful cardinal in lucky Mark's backyard. They're the best birds to see in winter, for me.

Thanks for trying to identify the bird in >32 jnwelch:. A female indigo bunting is a great idea, and will be our #1 unless someone can do better. My only reservation, from what I've seen online, is the color. But color varies.

>64 FAMeulstee: Happy Wednesday, my friend. I hope you and Frank are doing well. Your part of the world in >48 jnwelch:; so beautiful.

>65 msf59: Morning, Mark! Happy Inauguration Day! We're going to have it on in the background during our workout. Yeah, we need Biden and Harris and the Dems to really come through now; a lot of damage has been done, and there are so many critical issues out there, climate change not being the least of them. We know Biden plans to hit the ground running, and I like what he has planned so far to get us out of the hole that drumpf dug.

Good idea to say in with the books; Debbi said it feels like 7F degrees right now. We've been lucky this winter (knock on wood), but this day's going to be a cold one.

I'm liking Bodega so far, and I hope you're enjoying it, too.

Editado: Ene 20, 10:06am

Paris Street Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte 1877

We were just talking about what a favorite this is in the Art Institute of Chicago. It's huge in person.

Ene 20, 11:00am

The Floor Scrapers is 40x60. That is a HUGE area to paint.

He's a tremendously underrated artist in the modern world!

Ene 20, 1:42pm

>68 jnwelch: I'm with you Joe, poetry in hard copy only.

Wasn't Amanda Gorman great at the inauguration?

Ene 20, 2:10pm

>70 richardderus: Agreed, Richard. Paris Street Rainy Day is almost 7 feet by 10 feet! Imagine that. You could walk into it if it were 3D.

>71 Caroline_McElwee: Wasn't Amanda Gorman terrific, Caroline? As soon as she started, both Debbi and I said, "Slam poet!" That's what you need for this kind of occasion. Great poem, great performance. She's got one book out (sales are going to soar, I'm sure), and two in the pipeline: an illustrated children's book, and another collection of poetry. I'll bet today's poem makes it into the latter!

Ene 20, 2:12pm

Hi, Joe. Great toppers, as usual, and that last bird picture would make a great jigsaw puzzle.

Fingers crossed for the success of this administration. and alas, we have to start now to keep the Senate in 2022. It won't be easy.

Ene 20, 2:15pm

The evil orange witch is gone, and Biden is President #46, with our first female/black/Asian VP Kamala Harris at his side. Great speech, great ceremony, great singing, great poem.

Ene 20, 2:17pm

>73 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Thanks.

I know, I was already thinking about 2022 myself. We're going to have to pitch in and fight just as hard when that comes around. The numbers generally are with us if we just turn out to vote.

Ene 20, 2:28pm

Amanda Gorman's poem The Hill We Climb, performed at the inauguration today:

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

Ene 20, 2:43pm

I thought she has to be a performance artist. She is so young but so polished and composed. Her star is going to SOAR!

Editado: Ene 20, 3:12pm

>76 jnwelch: Amanda Gorman was amazing. She's been Youth Poet Laureate since 2014 (17 years old at the time, wow), and sometime in the past couple of years I caught a video of her doing something ... somewhere (yeah I know, not very helpful) and was so impressed. She's someone to watch, for sure.

Ene 20, 3:13pm

>76 jnwelch: I'm not much for poetry, but damn, that's powerful!

Ene 20, 6:02pm

Back up to >68 jnwelch: I haven't read the Lattimore translation, so I dunno nothin' bout nothin' on its merits. Emily Watson's translation was utterly gripping, gorgeous work; and the Lombardo you sent me got me almost half-way through, essentially a miracle requiring his canonization. (I ran out of gas because, y'know, poetry.)

Apparently I won't be dying any time soon, the cardiologist says, so you can shut down the pool on dates and times.

Editado: Ene 21, 11:48am

>77 jessibud2: Right, Shelley. It's so great when poets also have that performance enthusiasm. People loved it, and it looks like her star is soaring. :-)

>78 lauralkeet: Wasn't Amanda Gorman amazing, Laura? She's such a great inspiration for all of us, but especially for the young 'uns. I'd seen her before, too, and liked her a lot, but this was way beyond that. Talk about capturing the moment!

>79 drneutron: Damn, that is powerful, isn't it, Jim!

>80 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I'm happy you got halfway through the Lombardo. Not just poetry, that, but a lonnngggg poem. My suggestion would be to skip Lattimore and finish the Lombardo some time. Amber's also a fan of that one.

I may have won big - I bet on your not dying any time soon. Hurrah! Debbi has heart issues, and just got a similar rosy report from her cardiologist. Phew!

Editado: Ene 21, 11:37am

Ene 21, 11:44am

>81 jnwelch: I'm glad Debbi's report was glowing! Such a relief when our hearts are weighed and found worthy by the Cardiogods.

The Lombardo translation was very lyrical. That's not always a good thing, to me, because I start feeling my veins sugaring up like I'm some weird maple tree.

>82 jnwelch: What an AMAZING performance that was!!

Editado: Ene 21, 11:59am

>83 richardderus: Ha! Well put, Richard. I want to remember "Cardiogods".

It's funny, when I think of the Lombardo translation, I think of very direct and fast-moving. (In fact, my copy has what seems to be a D-Day photo on the cover). Probably the most "modern" of the translations, although I guess others would point to Emily Wilson's feminism. That you think L's translation is lyrical seems oddly positive to me; if you want lyrical that would over-sugar you, try a few pages of the Lattimore.

Wasn't her performance AMAZING? How is that possible for such a young one in such a big, historical spotlight?! Debbi told me that Dr. Jill Biden was the one who suggested her, so kudos to Dr. Biden for bravery, too. (She had seen her perform at what I recall as some library event?) Amanda Gorman said they put no limits or requests on her, just asked her to write and perform it, and then left her alone.

Editado: Ene 21, 12:14pm

I liked this comment in an interview from Emily Wilson on her translation of The Odyssey:

"(Afterward I) went and looked closely at various scenes in other translations—and realized that there are some very significant differences that do have to do with gender. For instance, as I’ve discussed before, I don’t import misogynistic language (like “sluts” and “whores”) where the original doesn’t have it, but—as I was shocked to discover—many translations by men indeed do this, even those which are touted for being “faithful.” I also, for example, don’t make the goddess Calypso seem ridiculous—but I discovered that most male translators work very hard to present her as a hysterical, absurd “nymph” whose frustrated sexual desire is essentially laughable. The Greek doesn’t do this, and nor do I. I didn’t know it was even a thing to avoid, until I looked at the other translations."

Editado: Ene 21, 12:13pm

Homer translations. (Come on, you *knew* I'd chime in eventually.)

Lombardo remains the best translation out there, from a (okay, this) classicist's point of view. The "lyrical" aspect is part of the reason; he manages to modernize the language, all while staying true to what the Greek is actually saying *and* keeping the poetic feel of the original. It's a masterpiece.

Lattimore is a solid, classic translation. A little stodgy, maybe, but reliable and pretty darned good.

I'm disappointed in Wilson's translation. I get that folks are stoked about the feminist stuff she's done, but the translation itself is awkward and clunky. It's a shame, really.

Ene 21, 12:17pm

>85 jnwelch: The story behind her selection makes it even more amazing that she was as powerful as she's all her, not influenced from the old folks. Wowza. I hope I live long enough to see her full flowering as a creative force.

>86 scaifea: You know, Amber, I don't think that awkwardness is a bad feeling was that it lent immediacy and authenticity to the well-worn words of the antique poet. Not a professional's opinion, of course, and one largely formed by a deliberate and determined effort to remain ignorant of Matter Poeticall.

Editado: Ene 21, 12:23pm

>86 scaifea: Well, I'm with you on Lombardo, and a'gin you on Emily WIlson. Hers was a rip-roarer for me, making it new and fresh. Some of what she says in that interview answer may be part of that. I've re-read Lombardo's but not hers yet. When I re-read hers I'll keep your thoughts about awkward and clunky in mind. Certainly the music is awfully important.

Ene 21, 12:21pm

>87 richardderus: You've probably heard - Amanda Gorman has long planned to run for President in 2036 - that's where those lines in the poem come from. Wouldn't that be something? We need to stick around long enough to find out what happens.

I suspect my reading of Emily jibes with yours, Richard. I also recognize that Amber's background on this is way stronger than mine; like you, I'm responding as a reader, not a professional.

Ene 21, 12:22pm

>85 jnwelch: I am all for shaking up the idea that Classics is a field for old white men (I mean, clearly I am, and I've felt the resistance to women in the field on a personal level multiple times), but I would argue that some of what she says here is oddly skewed. To say that women weren't seen and portrayed in deeply misogynistic ways by the Greeks is pretty anachronistic. Odysseus and his son *do* mistreat the women in their household and *do* throw slurs at them. Calypso *is* depicted as overly sexual and slightly manic in her relationship with Odysseus, so redirecting that in the translation is inaccurate. If you want to do that and change the story to make a point about women and power and whatever, great, do it, that's what myth is for, but own up to that and treat it as a retelling instead of a direct translation, and don't then accuse others of mistranslating or misrepresenting the original text. I'm slightly boggled by it, to be honest. (Also, Calypso *is* a nymph? I'm not sure why that's an issue?)

Editado: Ene 21, 12:28pm

>87 richardderus: Richard: Homer's original words are far from awkward and clunky, so I'm not sure how that makes it a good thing in a translation. It could just be a difference in aesthetics, I suppose; others may not find her clunky at all (and clearly don't as she's getting lots of good press for her efforts). *shrug*

(I've reworded this several times trying to make it not sound snarky - I'm really not being snarky or dismissive at all - I promise - but somehow it seems like I am. Just add a smiley face to the end of this? Ha!)

ETA: I'm worried that I'm yucking people's yum here, and I'm sorry if what I'm saying is coming across in that way. Gah.

Editado: Ene 21, 12:31pm

>90 scaifea: Well, you're out of my depth with that, Amber - plus, I'm a longstanding member of the old white man club, even if my views often threaten to have me thrown out. You can tell from that interview answer that she views it very differently than you do, and feels she's "unskewed" it from what the male translators were unjustifiably inserting. I have read about her translation a bit, and haven't seen comments like yours, but it sure has potential for panel discussion. I can't ever begin to translate Greek, so you're not going to find me on that panel. I just loved reading it.

>91 scaifea: Yeah, I have to admit, "clunky" never crossed my mind at all. Quite the opposite, actually, as a blank slate reader.

I love hearing your comments - they don't seem snarky or yum-yucking (there's a word with some potential!) at all. Just strong, no surprise.

Editado: Ene 21, 12:33pm

>91 scaifea: Oh, Joe, you are demonstrably not in the Old White Man's club; it's a state of mind more than anything else.

It's just surprising to me that someone who has actually read the Greek is making these claims. Feels like a particular agenda that she's pushing (and it's an honorable one, no doubt), but she's pushing it to the detriment of what's really going on in the text. Just...weird.

The clunky aspect for me may also come from knowing what the original sounds and feels like? But, again, occupational hazard, I guess, and I really don't mean to dismiss your enjoyment of her translation at all.

Ene 21, 12:39pm

>91 scaifea: No, I don't perceive a "yucking people's yum" (!!) in that...I just think it's down to the fact that I don't hear Greek, so I don't hear a difference. I am energized by her rhythms and images!

Now, we could get into it about Zazie dans le metro's translation....

Ene 21, 12:45pm

>95 richardderus: Well if she's managed to get Richard energized about poetry, she can't be all bad, eh?

Ene 21, 1:04pm

>96 scaifea: pssst
if you promise not to tell anyone, i preordered amanda gorman's book
that was THE BOMB

Ene 21, 1:13pm

>97 richardderus: I mean, who can resist *her* talents?! Amazing.

Editado: Ene 21, 1:30pm

>93 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I'll have to come back and enjoy that Amanda Gorman video. I'm determined today to get some reviews done!

>94 scaifea: Thanks re the Old White Man's Club; the ones in government in particular drive me crazy. We need to get younger there! It's ridiculously age- and gender- and wealth-skewed, besides POC.

Yeah, sometimes knowing a lot can making reading or viewing something harder to enjoy. On the other hand, getting the translation "right" and not misrepresenting it is so important. It makes me think of Stephen Mitchell's Tao Te Ching - it's my favorite and faithful to the spirit, but its departure from a literal translation probably drives a lot of people crazy. There's something about the Chinese language; the Tao Te Ching has more translations than any other book I know, and they differ significantly. I suspect the "stiffest", most formal reads are the most accurate, but I've never known anyone with an opinion. His is lyrical, fluid, and punchy.

>95 richardderus: "I am energized by her rhythms and images". Ditto, RD. Good Gods, are we actually agreeing on something?!

I've not read Raymond Queneau, but I'd still enjoy your getting into a translation debate on that one.

>96 scaifea: LOL! Ain't that the truth.

>97 richardderus: That was the BOMB, wasn't it, Richard. I have to admit, I looked for her previously published (2015) book, "One For Whom Food is Not Enough", but couldn't find a copy. I'm sure that will change. Her new collection, from what I saw, isn't out until September, and likewise for a children's book she's done. I don't want to wait that long! But I'll get the new collection for sure, and it looks like the inauguration one will be the title poem - makes sense.

Editado: Ene 21, 1:41pm

Reviews! Where are the book reviews?! I need more hours in the day. So they're going to be short.

“ point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe...I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

This is her second novel (the only one I've read), and has already gotten the word "masterpiece" associated with it by many. The title comes from the Biafran flag. Biafra unsuccessfully broke away from eastern Nigeria in the late 60s, with other superpower countries then becoming involved. Many of us remember the dispute mainly for the media portrayals of starving Biafrans.

The early part of the book is set during the peaceful prelude, and we come to know characters that will end up on both sides. Those include Odenigbo, a radical intellectual who teaches at university, and his lover Olanna, the London-educated daughter of a rich Lagos businessman. The two of them find themselves inexorably drawn into the Biafra separation. Another key character is Odenigbo's ill-educated houseboy Ugwu, who turns out to be highly intelligent and an autodidact. Some of his exposure to Odenigbo's lofty debate soirees reminded me somehow of Stevens in Remains of the Day. Ugwu idolizes Odenigbo - but does Odenigbo deserve it?

“There were no curtains at the window and the room was bare, except for the sofa and Abi’s rocking horse and Abi herself, hunched over her book like a diving bird on the edge of a pool, poised between worlds.”

This is a middle grade/YA book featuring eleven-year-old Abigail. Her father Theo has remarried, and she's now bound with his new wife Polly and her two young sons (Max, 13, and Louis, 6). In what might be an all-white British tale, I like that Abi, her father and her lovely grandmother are all black. I was initially drawn to this by the magical old ivy-colored London house they move into - who can resist that? Abi gradually realizes she's being drawn into the books she reads - emerging wet and salty from reading Kon-Tiki, for example. There are other mysterious and wonderful things happening, but one of them, a small cat who becomes larger, becomes threateningly dangerous. What exactly is going on? Louis loves the cat (named Iffen), and that complicates things further. Mother Polly is away, and father Theo is work-loaded and oblivious, so the kids are going to have to sort things out themselves.

Hilary McKay is a much-loved author who was new to me. The book is warm, funny and charming. As an adult, I was a little bit underwhelmed, but at an appropriate age I would've eaten this up and wanted more.

Ene 21, 1:41pm

>100 jnwelch: The short ones are always the life-savers, aren't they. Got it done! Item off list.

Ene 21, 2:04pm

>101 richardderus: Ha! Truth, RD. I'm growing to like them - no nonsense, here you go. But I'm sure there'll still be books that make me ruminate and want to chat. :-)

Editado: Ene 21, 2:29pm

“A town always looked different once you'd returned, like a house where all the furniture had shifted three inches. You wouldn't mistake it for a stranger's house but you'd keeping banging your shins on the table corners.”

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett lived up to all the buzz. The novel follows two light-skinned black twin sisters, Desiree and Stella Vignes, from the 1940s to the 1990s. They grow up in a small Louisiana town filled with other light-skinned blacks. "In Mallard, nobody married dark," and over time its citizens had grown lighter and lighter, "like a cup of coffee steadily diluted with cream." On the spur of the moment, the two girls set out for New Orleans, and learn that their light color can pass for white. That's too tempting for Stella, and their lives diverge, with Desiree having a child, Jude, with a very dark man. Jude is "blue black", the darkest of dark, and has to deal with both light-skinned blacks and whites looking askance at her.

In gripping storytelling, we find out the costs of racism, and of dissembling, and whether family can survive them. It's not just what will happen next that kept the pages zipping, but who are each of these characters, and what decisions will they make. The crowd of readers for this one is worth joining.

Ene 21, 2:10pm

Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem and her presentation of it may have stolen the show yesterday. She went from having 40,000 followers on Twitter to over one million in less than 24 hours, and she now has the #1 and #2 best selling books on Amazon.

I found this precious photo by Melissa Smitherman (@melissmitherman), which was retweeted by someone I follow on Twitter. I posted it on my Facebook timeline this morning:

Editado: Ene 21, 2:26pm

>93 jessibud2: Oh, thanks again, Shelley. I love that interview with Anderson Cooper! As he says, Amanda Gorman is "awesome!" She is so composed and articulate, and now speaks so easily about that unusual speech impediment.

I'll put the link here again, so people don't have to find it:

>104 kidzdoc: Oh, thank you, Darryl! Debbi and I have been talking about that special photo you posted on Facebook, and I didn't feel right copying a personal one like that. It's so beautiful, and it says so much, with the two of them watching Amanda Gorman. What a message to them, and everyone!

Do you by any chance have it in wall-size? :-)

She went from having 40,000 followers on Twitter to over one million in less than 24 hours, and she now has the #1 and #2 best selling books on Amazon. Wow! Well-deserved! I'm not a twitter guy, but I'll sure be getting her new collection when it comes out. Someone needs to bring out her now (apparently) unavailable collection, "One For Whom Food is not Enough". I'm sure they will.

P.S. Take a look at the Anderson Cooper interview of her via the link in this post. She is awesome - she's got me looking forward to 2036,

Ene 21, 2:26pm

>104 kidzdoc: Love that photo.

Looking forward to getting Gorman's new collection when it is released. I do think she will be long remembered for that performance.

Ene 21, 2:30pm

>105 jnwelch: Agreed on both counts, Caroline. I'm so glad Darryl posted that photo.

Yes, AG knocked it out of the park at a time we all really needed it. Bravery, yup. Bravery.

Ene 21, 2:41pm

>99 jnwelch: Half of a Yellow Sun was the first book I read by Adichie. I think Amerikanah was even better :-)

>104 kidzdoc: Great photo!
Amanda Gorman was the higlight yesterday. She spoke a bit fast for my untrained ears to follow, but I did pick up some beautiful sentences, and was glad to find the whole poem on the internet a few hours later.

Ene 21, 3:01pm

>108 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. Debbi also loved Americanah. We've got it, and it's in my future.

Isn't that a great photo? Yeah, I can imagine Amanda Gorman's speed would be a bit hard to follow with English as a second language. I sure didn't know that JLo was saying part of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish, and I know some Spanish now. We also have AG's whole poem here in >76 jnwelch: for easy access.

Ene 21, 3:18pm

>109 jnwelch: Yes, I saw you also had the poem on your thread, Joe, thanks!

I don't speak Spanish, but I thought JLo said something about "liberty and justice" in Spanish. I immediately thought that it would mean a lot to the many Spanish speaking Americans.

Ene 21, 4:52pm

I loved Bernie's mittens. I wish it had been him giving a rousing inaugural speech, but anything is better than the Giant Orange Gasbag. In general I agree with you about needing younger people in politics. That won't happen until younger people start voting. That is what changed Georgia. Now they just have to start voting in local elections as well. That will change the entire state.

Here in Alabama a group of younger Black Democrats is suing the Democrat party leadership because changes to the rules of the party thirty years ago has given them less of a say in Democrat party affairs in Alabama. I hope that the suit makes headway against the entrenched old white men group that has served to depress the vote of all the minorities here in Alabama.

Editado: Ene 21, 5:52pm

I keep forgetting to mention, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit) is excellent as Emma in the latest production of that. It's my favorite now of the three I've seen: an older one with Jonny Lee Miller, the Gwyneth Paltrow one, and this one. I watched it on HBO Max.

Editado: Ene 21, 6:02pm

>110 FAMeulstee: You did better than me on JLo's Spanish, Anita. It was unexpected, and I didn't tune in my thinking quickly enough to really sort out any of it.

>111 benitastrnad: Ha! Bernie's mittens are turning up all over the place, aren't they. I felt the younger people start getting motivated when the adults did nothing about gun control after that 2018 school shooting at Stoneman Douglas in Florida. If I were in their shoes, I'd be thinking, if I don't start helping to get the right people elected, it's just going to continue. That Congress and President didn't care enough to help. Icons like Greta and Malala no doubt contributed to the sea change, too. The young 'uns have been having an impact around the country, and as you say, had a significant effect in Georgia. (A lot of people have pointed to black women in that state, too, and not just Stacey Abrams).

That's a lousy situation in your state. I hope the lawsuit works, or other change happens to give minorities more equitable say in the Democratic party there.

Editado: Ene 21, 6:16pm

Extra Sweet Thursday, Joe! I also shared the excellent Gorman poem but you shared the complete version. Kudos to you. A wonderful moment. I can't wait to read her next collection.

Good review of Half of a Yellow Sun. I hope to get to that one in 2021.

Ene 21, 6:17pm

Love the photos and the art..

The grands are growing so fast, aren't they? And they are beautiful.
Mine is 4 now smh.

Hope all is well

Editado: Ene 21, 6:29pm

Fina turned 1 year old today! We're about to Zoom with her and the rest of the family.

Ene 21, 6:54pm

>7 jnwelch: I love that!

>104 kidzdoc: And that!!

>116 jnwelch: And that!!

So much greatness here. Happy Birthday, Fina!

Ene 21, 8:06pm

>116 jnwelch: Oh what a beautiful baby!

Ene 21, 8:13pm

>116 jnwelch: ¡Feliz cumpleaños, bella Josefina!

Ene 21, 8:26pm

Happy Birthday Fina! She's beautiful, Joe.

Ene 21, 9:43pm

Ene 22, 4:17am

>116 jnwelch: Wow, where did that time go? I hope you had a fun Zoooooom time Joe.

Ene 22, 8:29am

>116 jnwelch: Belated happy first birthday to Fina!

Ene 22, 8:29am

Aw, happiest of birthdays to sweet Fina!

Editado: Ene 22, 9:25am

>117 ChelleBearss:, >118 quondame:, >119 kidzdoc:. >120 EllaTim:, >121 richardderus:, >123 Caroline_McElwee:, >124 FAMeulstee:, >125 scaifea: Thank you and gracias to Chelle, Susan, Darryl, Ella, Richard, Caroline, Anita, and Amber! I'm so appreciative that you get a kick out of this little girl. She wasn't sure why she was getting toys and books, but she was happy. Rafa helped her open them, and was good about playing only with the ones she wasn't interested in at the time. She liked her birthday brownie a lot, and had a second.

I may already have said this, but we've joked that it's both hard and easy to believe she's turned one. Hard because it's hard to believe that much time has already passed, and easy because she's been bigger than a one year old for quite some time. She started wearing 18 and 24 month clothes a while ago. :-)

Ene 22, 9:24am

>114 msf59: That was an extra sweet Thursday, Mark, wasn't it. And Happy Friday! We were just talking about how nice it is not to hear anything from the Big Orange Gasbag. Poor Biden apparently inherited nothing from him in terms of vaccine distribution (no surprise, right?), and is starting from scratch, treating this as a "war", which it is.

I'm pretty sure that Half of a Yellow Sun is just your cuppa when you get to it. I'm glad you liked the review.

Wasn't Amanda Gorman amazing? I've been even more impressed with her in subsequent interviews. I watched a video of her performing at a younger age, and the speech impediment was noticeable, which it no longer is. Remarkable. That poem is and will be one for the ages. Thank you, Amanda.

>115 mckait: Hi, Kath. Thanks - I'm glad you're enjoying the photos and art.

The grands are growing fast, aren't they. I can't believe yours is 4 already. Any tales to tell? Kvelling is welcome here. You can see photos of little/big Fina below your post.

All is well here. The post-drumpf relief is palpable. We're sticking with our workouts and writing sessions, and enjoying that while we wait for some pandemic relief to start showing up. At least we now have leadership going after it.

>122 weird_O: Ha! I wonder whether that will work itself in as a nursery rhyme, Bill. I sure hope he gets incarcerated. I'm hoping we start hearing about him being served with warrants and civil complaints. I'm fine with Pelosi and the Senate putting off his impeachment trial; I'd rather they help Biden get his agenda going. There's no hurry, IMO, now that the House impeached Trump.

Ene 22, 9:28am

Fina with Bolita

Ene 22, 9:31am

Ene 22, 10:23am

>116 jnwelch: >128 jnwelch: Happy Birthday, Fina! She is such a beauty! You are one lucky Granddad!

>129 jnwelch: Does Joe have a German Shepard? if so, cool.

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. With the chilly temps, I think I am going to stay in with the books, after I run a couple of quick errands. Enjoy your day, my friend.

Ene 22, 10:33am

I am a bit late with the birthday wishes. Is it my imagination or is her hair looking lighter in colour and not quite as curly as it used to be? And what amazing eyes she has!

Ene 22, 10:36am

Just thought I'd leave this here for you, Joe:

Editado: Ene 22, 3:06pm

>130 msf59: Ha! Thanks, Mark. I am a lucky granddad. Fina's a force of nature. Her papa wrote a great FB post in which he said he couldn't imagine their life without her, and he can't believe the house is surviving her path of destruction. :-) We experienced that when she visited here for those two weeks; you can turn her away from something, but "still, she persists". She'll just calmly keep going after it whenever you're distracted.

Someone may know better than I do about Biden's dogs. I think both are German Shepards. One is a newish (two years ago?) rescue dog, basically still a puppy. The other is an old-timer, more than ten years old. It's great to have dogs back in the White House, isn't it.

Happy Friday, buddy. I like your book-reading plan. We finished working out, and I plan to do the same soon. I finished Bodega and The Bone Rattler, so I get to pick out a couple of new ones. I'm almost finished with Jack (man, we spend a lot of time in his head, don't we), and then I'll start Concrete Rose.

>131 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Thanks! Fina's hair and skin have lightened, and she's kept her big blue eyes. Her hair is still very curly in front when her mom hasn't put it in a bow. She looked ridiculously cute in her birthday outfit yesterday.

>132 jessibud2: Ha! Thanks for the message mug, Shelley. The message is so true. I nonetheless wouldn't want the mug - I don't like seeing his name for any reason. We were just talking about the blessed quiet since he left office and Facebook and Twitter shut him down.

Editado: Ene 22, 1:32pm

>63 humouress: >66 jnwelch:

Thank you for your kind words.

My daughter's Aunt Veronica was a life-long strong Democrat
from the tough South Side of Chicago.
She would have been thrilled by Joe and Kamala's Inaguration!

She was only 72 years old - one more good human being who could have lived
if a president had acted.

Ene 22, 1:45pm

>122 weird_O: *aaahhh*

Editado: Ene 22, 3:50pm

>134 m.belljackson: You're welcome, Marianne.

I'm sorry your daughter's aunt didn't get a chance to experience that inauguration thrill, 72 is way too young these days, isn't it. Someone's going to figure out how many lives would've been saved if the orange idiot had endorsed mask-wearing and social distancing from the beginning, and otherwise attacked the virus situation as a national emergency.

Instead he did the opposite, and that is still having consequences, as so many localities and people are lax about masks or not wearing them, and are allowing congregating like there's no pandemic. He also dumped vaccine distribution on the states, something Biden is working to rectify. Thank goodness Biden has smart, competent, enthusiastic people helping him. He inherited a mess.

>135 richardderus: :-)

Ene 23, 9:38am

Happy Saturday, Joe!

>136 jnwelch: He inherited a mess. He sure did! I don't envy him and the work he has ahead but at least he seems up to the challenge.

Ene 23, 11:40am

joe have you ever tried reading comics and GN's on the comicology app? It gives you drill down and lets you read one panel at a time in full screen mode.

I still get a few comics in paper - still love going up to the good old Local Comic Book Shop - but the App is pretty cool

Ene 23, 12:17pm

>69 jnwelch: That's a stunning painting! It could almost be a photograph, especially the building in the distance and the cobblestones under water.

>68 jnwelch: I agree with you re the colour; it's not the same but then colour does vary. The beak seemed to fit.

>76 jnwelch: I knew I would find her poem here when I heard it (a couple of times) on BBC World Service.

>116 jnwelch: That's never Fina?! She's so big now! And cute of course, but that goes without saying. Belated happy birthday to her.

Ene 23, 12:33pm

So, that happened.

Ene 23, 12:53pm

Hi Joe, I can't think of a reason why I did not find your first thread. But I did find this one, so starred it!

Fina is so adorable! Happy Weekend.

Editado: Ene 23, 1:06pm

>137 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle!

Yes, Biden's inherited a mess, but he's experienced enough and smart enough to do the most important thing: surround himself with smart people capable of cleaning it up. The orange one only surrounded himself with dimwitted and misguided cronies and cons, and tried to leave anything difficult (like the pandemic) to the states, so he could watch tv and golf. The report is he spent 10 months of his 4 years golfing. Eesh. So many reasons to be glad we've got Biden and Harris.

>138 magicians_nephew: Hi, Jim. Thanks. I have tried viewing comics like that, and it just ain't me. Lots of folks are fine with it. If I can only get ones I like online, I'll do it, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

I'm glad you're enjoying the App. It's just a quirk of mine. There's something about getting into the paper GNs that I find very satisfying.

>139 humouress: Isn't that a stunning painting, Nina? I hope you get a chance to see it in person some day; it's even more stunning at nearly 7 by 10 feet in size. I've felt like I could walk right into it.

We're going to go with your female indigo bunting up there; we didn't come up with anything better!

Ha! You know me well. I had to print Amanda Gordon's poem - so good! So us, so USA.

I think I've mentioned that we call Fina "the Beast". (She's also the Beauty!) She's huge for her age. I have a photo somewhere of her strapped on the front of her papa for a walk, and it's hilarious. She takes up his torso and then some.

>140 richardderus: Ha! Your graciousness abounds, Richard. How you overcame your groans and eye-rolling at Dickens is beyond me. That must be by our pal Tom Gauld. I thought for a moment he missed K for Kindly Lawyer, but nefarious is more on-target for the books.

>141 connie53: Happy Weekend, Connie!

I'm glad you found and starred us. Thanks re the adorable Fina. We miss seeing her and her bro in person, but we did have her for two weeks with her papa not that long ago. We're still finding things we put up high or stowed away to avoid her hands-on curiosity.

Editado: Ene 23, 1:11pm

This is one of my favorite photos of little Fina. In our kitchen, she figured out how to open a bottom drawer, pull out a bag of bread thins, open it, and pull one out for a much-needed snack.

Ene 23, 1:21pm

So cute! My eldest granddaughter is now 4 years and called Fiene!

I found the photo of both your grandkids in thread number 1. Such a adorable pair.

Editado: Ene 24, 10:50am

This is a one year old? yousa!

Ene 23, 2:41pm

>144 connie53: Thanks, Connie! Wouldn't it be great if Fina and Fiene could meet some day? Odds are probably slim, but you never know. She has a neighborhood friend close to her age whose name is Mina. :-)

Ah, I'm glad you found the esteemed Rafa and the first thread, along with Fina. He's 3, and cracks us up (as does she, actually).

>145 magicians_nephew: Ha! Right, Jim? She's almost as big as 3 year old Rafa, and has started pushing him back when the toy battles begin. Look out, Rafa! (Yes, their parents calmly work to defuse the toy battles, but still . . .)

Ene 23, 2:51pm

All caught up with you, Joe! Wondered where you'd gotten to and then realized I'd totally neglected to hit you with a star. I'm trying to be a better person this year and actually participate, for a change.

Ene 23, 4:51pm

>143 jnwelch: *baaawww* Such a clever girl!

>142 jnwelch: I don't think Chuckles was a massive lawyer-booster, Joe. Just a notion I'm developin' ya unnerstan....

Ene 23, 5:34pm

>143 jnwelch: Oh wow! Has she started climbing the drawers to the counter?

Ene 23, 6:08pm

Hi Joe, a belated happy birthday to Fina, she is so cute. I hope all is well with you and Debbi and that you are having a good start to the weekend. We are both fine, Karen has been off all week taking holiday time and keeping me busy, lol. Amy had her 28 week scan and the baby is doing fine.

Sending love and hugs to you, Debbi and the family from both of us dear friend.

Ene 24, 3:25am

>61 m.belljackson: I hadn't seen that, Marianne, I am so sorry.

Ene 24, 3:29am

Slightly belated birthday to Fina, Joe. She is a keeper.

>140 richardderus: Wow RD posting about Chuckles?

Editado: Ene 24, 9:49am

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. I am going to head over to Bree's later to watch the Packers/Bucs game and hang with my dog buddies. My books are treating me well. I am a Saunders fan, so of course I am enjoying CivilWarLand. I am switching back and forth with Wicked Enchantment & Bodega, so my poetry reading has been good. I also started Constitution Illustrated. A nice way to read our constitution.

>143 jnwelch: Love it!

Ene 24, 10:52am

>153 msf59: Mark if you're going to poke a nose into the Constutition there are a lot of really good books about The Federalist Papers, where Hamilton and Madison and Jay defended the Constitution and discussed its merits at the time when ratification was anything but a done deal.

Ene 24, 4:00pm

>147 Fourpawz2: Hiya, Charlotte. Glad you found us! I know, it's tough to get everyone starred at the start of the year. I'd love it if you can participate more, but no worries if RL makes that difficult.

>148 richardderus: Hi, RD. Thanks re clever Fina.

Yeah, go figure. You suppose Jarndyce v. Jarndyce is some kind of criticism of the legal profession? Charles should've stocked up on more kindly lawyers, IMO. :-)

>149 quondame: If she thinks of climbing the drawers to the counter, she'll probably try it. She's already climbing up three longs sets of stairs in her house, and opening drawers, so it may only be a matter of time. Maybe that was Becca's little dog Sherlock's strategy back in the day. Things would end up on the floor from high up, and he was such a clever little guy we never figured out how he did it. Her dog Indy now presents a different problem - she's so athletic she can leap up higher than we'd expect.

Ene 24, 4:19pm

>150 johnsimpson: Hi, John. Thanks for the Fina birthday wishes; she's a cutie, isn't she.

All is well with us, and we're having a most excellent weekend. Yesterday's highlight was a poetry concert with our fave Andrea Gibson. We've now seen her twice live, and twice on pandemic Zoom. Her Zoom performances are garnering fans from every time zone. Cracks us up to see, in the Q & A, Australians in their pjs. Today we were with lovely Becca and Indy for a takeout brunch and helping her fix things and replace lightbulbs - something I know you're familiar with for your gang.

That's good news about Amy and the baby, grandpa. Hugs and love to you and Karen from Debbi and me, mate.

>152 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. We keep telling Jesse and Adriana that Fina is a keeper. Hope they're listening.

I know, a Charles Dickens post from RD is enough to throw the planet off its axis. He's a huge Tom Gauld fan; that's the only explanation I can give you.

>153 msf59: Afternoon, Mark; Happy Sunday, buddy.

Sounds good with the reading; Wicked Enchantment is "in transit" to my library, so I should be seeing it soon. I'm now reading Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude - my goodness, this guy is as upbeat as Louise Gluck is downbeat. It even caused me to write a poem about it, which I'm going to try to remember to post here. He gets excited about buttons on shirts, for goodness sakes - and writes really well about it.

The Constitution Illustrated sounds like a great idea. Way back when my grandpa hosted a public broadcasting show about the Constitution, and then wrote a short book explaining it. It's out of print, but I've got a copy.

>154 magicians_nephew: Nice suggestion, Jim. I've never read the Federalist Papers, although they have come up in a number of other books I've read. It's exciting to think about the times when what we base our society on was not a done deal.

Editado: Ene 24, 4:22pm


Ene 24, 5:00pm

I unfortunately was underwhelmed by Jack by Marilynne Robinson. Did she disappoint in her writing? No. It's beautiful, and so her own. They say about some actors, he/she could read the phone book out loud, and I'd love it. Well, Marilynne Robinson could write prescription drug labels and I'd probably love it. This is a tale of Jack, the Reverend Boughton's bad boy son in Gilead, and Della Miles, "a colored girl" who also is the child of a preacher. Set in the 1950s, their romance is forbidden, and her family is as displeased about it as anyone. Their exchanges in a cemetery at the beginning of the book, and thereafter, are artful and often moving. So what's underwhelming? Nothing much happens. They struggle, they endure the displeasure of family and others, and in the end they get on a bus together heading elsewhere. A prescription drug label would have a shot at being more interesting. It does seem inevitable, after the perspectives in Gilead, Home, Lila (my current favorite) and Jack, that we'll get the story from Della's POV. I do look forward to that.

Ene 24, 5:06pm

>157 jnwelch: AMEN!

>155 jnwelch: Now Joe...even you, an admitted lawyer, must know that there are more Michael Cohens and Sidney Powells than there are Joseph North Welches.

Ene 24, 5:07pm

>158 jnwelch: Totally agree Joe. And Lila and Gilead are my faves.

Ene 24, 5:08pm

Today's Bargain: A Prayer for Owen Meany, one of John Irving's best, is on offer for e-readers today at $1.99.

Ene 24, 5:16pm

>159 richardderus: AWOMEN! (See, I'm learning). Ha! I love the North by Northwelch reference, Richard. I actually think there are way, way more good 'uns in the law biz than Michael Corleone Cohens and Sidney Greenstreet Powells. (Thank you for your discretion in not mentioning Crazy Rudy). But the bad 'uns are a disaster and make everyone skeptical of lawyers.

>160 Caroline_McElwee: Ah, glad to hear we're in total agreement, Caroline. Too bad, right? Lila and Gilead are my faves, too.

Ene 24, 5:31pm

>162 jnwelch: I actually think there are way, way more good 'uns in the law biz

...suuure...of course there are...

Ene 24, 5:35pm

>163 richardderus:. 😅. You are incorrigible.

Ene 24, 10:49pm

>162 jnwelch: My own career has been far less distinguished than your own, Joe, but I always felt the need since I never practised law as such because of jurisdictional issues, to keep my legal qualifications off my calling cards. My good lady did ask me why and I told her that I like my friends.

RD does have a point.

Editado: Ene 25, 6:46am

>162 jnwelch: >163 richardderus: There are probably more good ones, but the bad ones have way more impact...

Editado: Ene 25, 9:42am

>165 PaulCranswick: I didn't know you had a law degree, Paul, but you're in good company. A lot of my classmates didn't practice law; they ended up using it in furthering a business career, as you have. I think the last four years of having drumpf's charlatan lawyers prominent in the media has skewed the public's adverse views even more.

Biden is surrounded by good 'uns - including Kamala - and maybe that will help bring some balance back to RD's point. I find myself fighting this battle a lot, as it's common to disparage lawyers while others nod knowingly. It's too easy, and no one thinks it's offensive. (I'm not sensitive about that, just aggravated about the lack of credit for the good ones). And we all end up depending on lawyers to come through for us at one time or another. It's the nature of what lawyers do; there are plenty of bad doctors, unfortunately, but they're revered as a group. I'd love to be at a party and have people talk favorably about the lawyers they've worked with, but that usually only happens at a lawyer party (there are such things), where tales of good ones do circulate, along with tales of bad ones.

>166 FAMeulstee: The bad ones can have major impact, it's true, Anita. I'd love to see stronger enforcement of the ethics rules we're bound by; lawyers will get disbarred for stealing client money and missing court deadlines, resulting in a loss for their client (probably the two most common reasons), but not enough for fraud and lying outside of court or when not under oath. New York may disbar Rudy Giuliani, but I'm not holding my breath, even though it's such an obvious example. Ditto for drump's other lawyer cronies.

I can't say I haven't come up against devious, unscrupulous lawyers; that's part of life when you practice law and you have to deal with it. But it was a relative rarity in my 30+ years. You have to be wary of it - guilty until proven innocent, because it can affect your client adversely if you don't watch out - but it's also relatively rare in practice. Most people are decent, we're bound by a lot of rules, and there can be heavy costs if you're caught misbehaving. But a significant number of lawyers give into the temptation to bend the rules, no question about it. And if you're not a lawyer yourself, it can be tough to catch it.

P,S, I should mention that a voting system company, Dominion, has just sued Rudy G. for $1.3 billion (!) dollars over his bogus election fraud claims. So that's another way of going after misbehavior. We're all applauding - he deserves it, big time.

Editado: Ene 25, 9:43am

By Keith Taylor

Ene 25, 9:56am

>168 jnwelch: And he won't complain about it the way Dumph did Joe. Didn't he say in the first couple of weeks that it was busier than he expected... duh..

Ene 25, 10:20am

>167 jnwelch: - I suspect that is true of just about any profession, Joe. Teachers, too, as a whole, are given respect for their important role in society, but all it takes are a few bad apples, so to speak, to spoil the bunch. Or a few people disparaging a few educators.... sigh. Such is human nature. I guess we just have to continue to hold up the good ones as examples and heap praise on them, and hope the bad apples get tossed onto the compost pile...

>168 jnwelch: - Bingo.

Ene 25, 11:18am

>157 jnwelch: suspect that is a homage/paraphrase of this famous drug era quote

Editado: Ene 25, 11:35am

The New York Times had a nice little write up of "Anatomy of a Murder" speaking of those labor in the vineyards of the legal profession.

Anatomy of a Murder

Didn't realize Joe, that your ancestor actually appeared in the movie and according to the Times "Stole every scene" he was in. Good on him!

Ene 25, 11:28am

I am always pushing people to look in on "The Federalist Papers". Hamilton wrote most of them and his passion just leaps off every page. Good to know the Constitution but good to know the thinking behind it too.

There's always Miracle in Philadelphia too for the curious about how we got from there to here.

Ene 25, 11:49am

Happy Monday, Joe. I suspect the battle to minimize the effect of the rotten apples in any profession is an uphill one. Sad, but true.

Ene 25, 11:54am

>167 jnwelch: I think part of our profession's image problem is that most of the time people need a lawyer to help resolve some sort of "bad" event. Whether that is defense from a criminal charge or a civil lawsuit because they can't resolve the problem themselves. I have had more than a couple of clients say some sort of variation on "it was great working with you but I hope I never have to talk to you again."

Since normal people don't regularly create disputes that require lawyers to resolve, the few times it happens are traumatic. In my experience, the people who are most appreciative are business owners who need to go back to lawyers on a regular basis to resolve issues. They have a better understanding of the system and thus can better appreciate when the lawyer does a good job on their behalf.

All of that being said, the idea in Trumpland that lawyers can walk in and have the courts toss out vote counts on an expedited basis is pretty ludicrous. The conservative media did no one any favors by suggesting that this was even possible. All of that certainly hurts the broader perception of the profession as a whole.

Editado: Ene 25, 12:17pm

>104 kidzdoc: That is an amazing photo!

I added a link on my thread to Amanda Gorman performing "The Miracle of Morning" on PBS about the Corona virus. She's one spectacular lady.

>116 jnwelch: Fina is a year old! Great photographs!

>133 jnwelch: "She'll just calmly keep going after it whenever you're distracted". Ha! My son was the same way. I remember when he was one and he discovered the one electrical outlet that wasn't child proofed. He was not impressed that it was off limits. After distracting him one time too many, he was back at it and I gave him a small swat on his hand saying "No No NO NO" and removed him once more. He stood up, threw me a look, and headed back toward the outlet, swatting his hand and saying "No No NO NO" all the way back to the outlet in exactly my tone of voice. Luckily he couldn't manage doorknobs until we had it protected.

Ene 25, 1:24pm

Hi, Joe. Good review of Jack and it looks like we both felt exactly the same about that one. It is hard to criticize Ms. Robinson, but that one fell short and I agree with you about Lila. That might also be my favorite.

A couple of good games yesterday, with some stunning defensive work. How often do you get to see Rodgers shut down? I am only sad for the Bills, who I was rootin' for. The Chiefs D was relentlessly tough.

Snowstorm coming. I hope it isn't as bad as they are predicting. I am sure glad I don't have to work in it anymore.

Ene 25, 1:43pm

>167 jnwelch: It is my second degree Joe my first being in Construction Management. I took it in order to specialise in construction disputes - arbitration, mediation and adjudications both as counsel and oftentimes as an expert witness in quantum. But give me poetry any day!

Ene 25, 1:47pm

>169 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline. Biden knows what he's in for, and is competent to handle it. Drumpf had neither of those. I read a report that no President here has had such a bad situation to start with since Lincoln. I wonder, but it's certainly an awfully big challenge.

>170 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Isn't >168 jnwelch: right on the money?

Yeah, all professions get dumped on to some extent. For teachers, it's "it must be nice to have summers off." From what I've seen, they need that to recover from the intense school year, and to generate some extra cash because teacher salaries are so inadequate. Many, of course, also teach summer school. I'd love to see teacher salaries boosted somehow - they're so much more important than seems generally recognized.

I guess we just have to continue to hold up the good ones as examples and heap praise on them, and hope the bad apples get tossed onto the compost pile... Yeah, that sounds right. Let's be sure to hold up the good ones as examples.

>171 magicians_nephew: Ha! I like that predecessor, Jim, thanks. Books and libraries are so much more mind expanding than dope, don't you think?

Ene 25, 2:12pm

Oh, lost a post. Isn't that delightful. I spent a lot of time today negotiating my way through the maze of registering for the covid-19 vaccine (we're age-qualified), and I'm about ready to shoot the website designers, app designers, and software programmers involved, if I ever learn their identities. So tedious and frustrating. A severe strain on my being a good Buddhist, and perhaps the stimulus for some yelling and intentionally knocking my computer off the table (brilliant - it's okay). We're now registered, and will get an email advising us when an appointment is available. "Don't call us, we'll call you." Fingers crossed this all works.

All right, let's try again.

>172 magicians_nephew: Many thanks, Jim. My sister posted that article on Facebook and also noted the comment that our grandfather was a scene-stealer. I believe this is the role he got a Golden Globe nomination for. From all reports, he had a ball doing it. Anatomy of a Murder is an excellent Otto Preminger movie if you haven't seen it, with Jimmy Stewart, George C. Scott, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick and other fine actors. I can confirm that the book by Robert Traver (the pseudonym for a Michigan judge) is really good, too.

>173 magicians_nephew: I enjoy books about that period in our history, and I may not have read Miracle in Philadelphia yet; I'll check.

Ene 25, 2:23pm

>174 richardderus: Yeah, Richard, rotten apple stories make for more interesting news than plugging along doing a good job, and it (sigh) no doubt will ever be thus.

>175 Oberon: Thanks for pitching in on this, Erik. That's a good point - people often hire lawyers when something "bad" has happened, and I've certainly gotten my share of "It was great working with you, and I hope I never see you again" from clients. You're right, the best usually is businesses who regularly use lawyers, and who you can be proactively preventative with as well as being there to battle for the client when things go bad.

Trump failure via his lawyers to convince any of, what was it, 60 courts, many of them presided over by judges he appointed, that election fraud occurred was also a validation of our system - no proof, you lose. It was such a stupid idea, but you're right, the lawyers representing him in it gave the public more reason to be skeptical of lawyers.

Ene 25, 2:47pm

>176 streamsong: I LOVE that photo in >104 kidzdoc:, too, Janet. Thank you again to Darryl.

Good for you for posting that link to Amanda Gorman's "Miracle of Morning" performance. I've seen I believe 5 of her pre-inauguration performances on Youtube. What struck me, besides how good she and they were, is how pronounced her speech impediment was in some of them. I'm so impressed with how she's overcome it - you'd have no idea she ever had such a thing from her inauguration performance.

We love that Fina!

Ha! Great story about your one year old son, including his imitating what you said and did. I can see Fina doing that when her talking improves. She and Rafa pose quite a challenge to parenting (and keeping them safe), even while being funny and delightful so much of the time.

>177 msf59: Yeah, I had a feeling, particularly as I got further into the book, that that might've been what left you disappointed about Jack, Mark. It is hard to criticize her. I'm glad to hear that you're also a big fan of Lila; I feel like that one deserves more recognition than it gets.

Agreed about the games yesterday, and the great defenses played. KC was suffocating on the Bills' receivers in that game; I kept being surprised that Josh Allen did as well as he did, which wasn't nearly enough with Mahomes on the other side. It helps with Rogers if you can get in his face with the rush, and TB sure did that. What again amazed me in that game was how good Brady was - and I'm no fan. As I told Debbi, I wanted both TB and GB to lose. How can Brady do that at 43 years old? He may be an idiot (my technical term), but you got to give him his due.

Yes! Let the snow come in; you're done and don't have to be in it anymore. Lots of plans are being changed because of the amount and heaviness of what we're supposed to get. We'll see. Debbi's got all our flashlights and candles strategically placed in case the power goes out.

>178 PaulCranswick: One of my best friends is now a layman mediator in the construction business, Paul, out in San Francisco. He's a James of many trades, and used to represent workers in human resources disputes, despite having no law degree. Now he's involved in business to business disputes. I always told him he's the best layman lawyer I've ever known. The classroom was not his favorite environment, but his son is now a very successful lawyer in Los Angeles. Anyway, good for you for tying the two together. I've been an expert witness several times, and used experts many more times than that, so some day we can swap tales.

Ene 25, 3:02pm

>182 jnwelch: It is a fairly common route for British construction professionals to follow Joe. All the commonwealth countries of course follow both our common law practice as well as the same manner of construction contracting. I suppose I have done ok since I am head of the construction contracts team on the largest architectural project currently anywhere in the world. Love working with the Koreans generally and Samsung in particular and they have gotten me back in love with work again after my misbegotten foray into owning a construction company.

Ene 25, 4:06pm

Joe, I am finally catching up with you, and what a treat it has been. Such lively and interesting conversation going on here. I loved the discussion between you and Amber and Richard about the translations - that kind of stuff is fascinating, I think.

I agree that Amanda Gorman is full of fabulous and also pre-ordered her upcoming book.

>104 kidzdoc: LOVE this so much! Thanks for sharing the photo, Darryl.

>116 jnwelch: I did not realize that your Fina and my Dad shared a birthday. That is so cool. And she is full of adorable! A belated Happy Birthday to your Fina!

Ene 25, 4:44pm

>151 PaulCranswick:

Thank you, Paul - and see 134.

So good that your Mum has stayed - she may be awaiting your 2022 return!

Ene 25, 4:55pm

Hi, Joe! Just poking my head into a couple of threads as a nice break between classes this afternoon.

Yay for vaccines, although I'm sorry the registration is so frustrating. My parents just got their first round of shots today. Such a relief!

I will chime in on the lawer discussion only to say that Cicero was one, so they can't be all bad...

Ene 25, 5:14pm

>186 scaifea: "Est enim unum ius quo deuincta est hominum societas et quod lex constituit una, quae lex est recta ratio imperandi atque prohibendi. Quam qui ignorat, is est iniustus, siue est illa scripta uspiam siue nusquam." if we could all just agree on what constitutes "reason"...

Ene 25, 7:00pm

>185 m.belljackson: I do hope so, Marianne, but I fear it is some way off.

Editado: Ene 25, 8:58pm

>183 PaulCranswick:. It may be more common here than I know, Paul, but I’ve been amazed by and happy for my friend. He grew up in difficult circumstances. Sounds like you have much to be proud of. Congratulations on heading up the construction contracts team on the largest architectural project currently anywhere in the world. And I’m glad the Koreans and Samsung have brought back your love of your work.

>184 Crazymamie:. Hiya, Mamie. I’m very happy to hear it’s been a treat to catch up on the thread. I know, I loved that discussion with Amber and Richard about the translations, too. One of the blessings of LT, that kind of exchange.

Amanda Gorman and Darryl’s beautiful photo - both so great.

That’s an honor that Fina shares a birthday with your dad. That seems to be a special day. A woman we think highly of at temple also has that as her birthday.

Ene 25, 9:15pm

>185 m.belljackson: :-)

>186 scaifea:. Ha! Go Cicero! Thanks, Amber. I should remember that some of our biggest heroes are lawyers. It’s awesome when a good person like Kamala uses her skills for all of us.

My Achilles heel is filling out online forms for something like the vaccine. I can just see the Dalai Lama asking, Why is this such a problem for you? Patience comes hard for me when I have to make my way through someone else’s maze, and they’re not even there to explain themselves. This one’s live chat function wasn’t working, so that really annoyed me. What a first world problem! I hope I have an answer next time the Dalai Lama asks.😀

Ene 25, 9:25pm

>187 richardderus:. Jeez Louise, make me look up Cicero’s Latin, why dontcha. It’s Amber’s to answer, but that’s a sweet quote.

>188 PaulCranswick:. We’re all pulling for your mum’s health to improve and for you to get to see her, Paul.

Ene 25, 10:25pm

>191 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. The good will and best wishes of my friends means such a lot to me.

Ene 26, 8:25am

>187 richardderus: Ooof, De Legibus. Not my favorite of his stuff. I much prefer the actual speeches. I'll leave you to suss out the differences between ius and lex and recta ratio.

Morning, Joe! I'm with you on frustrating online forms testing my buddhist practice. That and my MIL, of course.

Ene 26, 9:32am

>192 PaulCranswick:. :-)

>193 scaifea:. Oh, you cracked me up with “MIL”, Amber! That one probably tests a lot of Buddhists!

I’m not Cicero-savvy, although we read him in a high school class. Is there an intro volume you recommend?

Editado: Ene 26, 9:40am

What an unusual animal

Ene 26, 9:59am

>194 jnwelch: Well, my MIL is an absolute challenge. So.

Cicero: This is actually kind of a tough one for me, because when I teach him, *I'm* the excellent introduction to Cicero (*snork!* But really.). How about the Penguin Classics Cicero: Selected Works; it'll give you a buffet - a couple of speeches, some of his letters (which are fantastic), and a selection of his philosophical works. And it has a pretty extensive introduction, which is important because Cicero is absolutely a product of his time and his writings are all responses to what's going on in Rome at the time. I'd be happy, of course, always, to chat about him, too.

Ene 26, 10:22am

Hi Joe! Happy Tuesday to you.

I am 84 messages behind. Skimmity-skim.

Yay for 46, Harris, and Amanda Gorman. I was gobsmacked by her reading at the Inauguration, and have pre-ordered her book of the same name, The Hill We Climb.

>112 jnwelch: Bill and I just started watching The Queen’s Gambit last night. We’re late to the party, but have gotten a drink and are dancing now!

>116 jnwelch: Belated Happy Birthday to Fina!

>146 jnwelch: She's almost as big as 3 year old Rafa, and has started pushing him back when the toy battles begin. Look out, Rafa! (Yes, their parents calmly work to defuse the toy battles, but still . . .) Oh my. It sounds a bit like my 5 ½ year old great-nephew and his 17-month old brother.

>168 jnwelch: He’s doing a good job so far of dismantling as much as he can by executive order. I just hope that with both the House and Senate in Democratic hands, slim as the margins are, they can ram things through.

>195 jnwelch: You diverted me – I just spent 5 minutes looking up platypus jokes online.

Editado: Ene 26, 1:02pm

>196 scaifea: Understood, Amber. :-) It took a while, but I got along with mine before she passed away.

Ha! I'll look forward to your introductory book to Cicero. (I won't be surprised if you write one!) Thanks for the chat offer. The buffet sounds perfect. Penguin's Cicero: Selected Works it is.

>197 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Happy Tuesday, my friend.

It's rumored that skimmity-skimming may become an Olympic sport. Good idea to stay in practice.

Right - I think Amanda Gorman's book The Hill We Climb is likely to be a blockbuster bestseller. I'm wondering if they'll try to move up that Sept. publication date.

Ha! The Queen's Gambit is sooooo good! You're going to be gobsmacked all over again. I may not have remembered to comment that I've since watched Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma in the latest production based on JA's book, and she's excellent in that. It's now my favorite Emma movie.

We've been happy to see Fina start pushing back. If there were no pandemic, Rafa would be in pre-school and learning that there'll be pushback when he tries that. Seems like a lesson worth learning. I hope it works out well with your great-nephew and his younger brother. Ours were a girl and a boy four years apart, and I don't remember that kind of battle coming up much. Later, in their teens or so, our only home computer was the single biggest bone of contention between them. When I was a lad, my sister and I fought over our only TV.

McConnell let go of his "protect the filibuster" demand, so we should get going on legislation soon. We'll see.

If you found a good (or particularly bad) platypus joke, please let us know. I read somewhere that the platypus may have branched off from our mammal evolution beginnings, and I keep meaning to do a little more research on that. We got to see some in a pond in the middle of the night (special excursion) when we were in Australia. Unforgettable.

P.S. OK, at one time there was an evolutionary branch of reptile-mammalians that was separate from the mammalian one in which we evolved, and also separate from the reptilian one. All that remains of that reptilian-mammal branch is the platypus, and four species of echidna. Among other things, they all lay eggs.


Ene 26, 2:30pm

>74 jnwelch: Yup. It is now officially "safe" for me to peek at the threads.
Callooh-Callay indeed.

Took me quite awhile to arrive here at the bottom of your thread #2 (as of Jan. 26, that is...), Joe. Lots of interesting titles jumping up trying to land on my BB list.

Amanda Gorman~ so awesome and I just *have* to survive to see 2036. Before that, how about Kamala Harris?

Ene 26, 6:45pm

Hi, Joe. Well, we had our first "major" snowstorm and it ended up falling on the milder end, which is a relief. I think we had 4, maybe 5 inches. I actually paid a guy to shovel. He looked like he could use the cash and it saved my back. Lots of quality reading time. I finished and enjoyed Constitution Illustrated and I am having a good time with Sutton.

>195 jnwelch: It wasn't a platypus, but I did see a big honkin' beaver the other day and he slaps his tail at me too.

Ene 26, 7:16pm

Hi Joe, that Fina is absolutely adorable. The toy battles will go on for some time I'm afraid I have to tel you. And sometimes no toys are even involved in the back and forth pushing lol.

The best thing for me about Trump being gone is waking up in the morning and feeling calm instead of wanting to pull my hair out.

Ene 27, 9:34am

>199 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy. Good to see you. Callooh Callay!

I'm glad we tempted you with BBs, but try to show less fortitude in resisting?

Ha! Right, now we all have reason to hang around until at least 2036, so we can see Amanda Gorman run for President. I'm all for Kamala Harris before then - 2024 would be fine by me, as Biden will be up there in years.

>200 msf59: Hi, Mark. Yeah, that major snowstorm ended up being only a bit more than minor. 4-5 inches sounds about right in our area, too. Debbi doesn't wanting me having a heart attack, so we've used teenagers in the recent past, but this year we hired a snow service, and we're liking it so far. Particularly since we have that added property to shovel out. Good for you for reading that Constitution Illustrated - sounds like a relatively fun way to get refreshed on it. I may follow your lead.

I love seeing beavers, including big honkin' ones. That must be a special honor you received; I've never had a beaver slap its tail at me. It was probably congratulating you on your reading.

>201 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Thanks re the absolutely adorable Fina. Couldn't agree more. :-) Yeah, if it's not toy battles, I'm sure it'll be something else. A famous one in our family is a niece and nephew in the back of their parents' car on a trip, and one gets angry because the other one "is breathing my air!"

Yes, I think so many people are sleeping better and waking up calm now that drumpf is gone. I read somewhere that there's been a huge increase in the number of times "sleep" and "slept" appear in social media posts since the inauguration. :-)

Ene 27, 9:35am

Ene 27, 10:03am

Morning, Joe!

>203 jnwelch: Well that is just so sweet.

Ene 27, 10:24am

>203 jnwelch: How adorable! And that open-book roof is to die for.

Wednesday's here, and with it my first COVID vaccine. I don't know whose, but will certainly ask.

Ene 28, 7:57am

>195 jnwelch: What a nice platypus. I did a whole study project on them in the 7th grade and fell in love with them!

>203 jnwelch: Very cute!

Ene 28, 9:02am

Morning, Joe!

Charlie and I read the Dalai Lama's picture book (The Seed of Compassion) last night and I'm happy to report that it is *wonderful.* I highly recommend it.

Ene 28, 10:13am vaccine is killing me from the inside and Bill Gates won't stop using the damned nanochip to give me stock tips and the only thing that will save me is pumpkin-pecan pancakes and the cafe is open? Please?

Editado: Ene 28, 11:05am

>204 Crazymamie:. Morning, Mamie!

Isn’t that sweet? I imagine that brings a smile to all of us.

>205 richardderus:. Go, Richard! I’m still trying to get a vaccine scheduled. Debbi succeeded (we’re registered on 4 different services, and clever Becca was alert at the right time and got an appointment for Debbi after getting one for herself).

Please let us know how it goes.

I love that open book roof, too. We’re talking about getting a LFF, and it would be fun to do that.

Ene 28, 11:14am

>206 figsfromthistle:. Hi, Anita. Good for you; what a fine choice for a 7th grade project. As you can tell, I’m still studying them. They seem like a mishmash of animals we know, and yet they’re unique. Even the echidnas don’t look like them.

>207 scaifea:. Morning, Amber!

Thanks for the tip. I’m interested in children’s books with Buddhist themes. Not easy to do well. I’ll WL The Seed of Compassion. How did Charlie react? It can be hard to tell with young ‘uns. A tip of the hat for still reading books with him; we kept that going with our kids as long as we could, and still do it with each other (we just finished the Little House books).

Ene 28, 11:17am

>208 richardderus:. Ha! I’ve heard about our conspiracy friends’ belief in the Bill Gates’ nanochip. Let us know how it goes. How are you feeling? Any reaction to the vaccine? Pfizer or Moderna?

I’m away from the kitchen, but will try to get back soon for the pancakes. Hang in there!

Ene 28, 11:18am

>210 jnwelch: He enjoyed it, and we chatted about HH for a while after we finished. I love that he's still willing to humor me and read picture books with me, in addition to the chapter books we read together every night. I think he genuinely enjoys doing so, though, and bless him for that.

Ene 28, 11:27am

>211 jnwelch: I got the Pfizer vaccine, and don't even have a sore arm to show for it! Nothing, nada, rien. I feel exactly like I do every Thursday:

Ene 28, 12:59pm

>212 scaifea: Nice! Thanks, Amber. Yeah, you've obviously made it an enjoyable experience for him - I'm sure he gets a kick out of your still wanting to do picture books, too.

>213 richardderus: Oh, that's great to hear, RD. So you get the next one in three weeks. OK, here are those pancakes:

Encouraging news!

Editado: Ene 28, 1:26pm

I love everything on your thread, Joe: the comics, Fina's birthday, the mug Shelley posted up there.... the pancakes!

I am still in the library queue for The Vanishing Half but I'm thinking it may be one I want to purchase along with Sarah Moss' newest, Summerwater. I'm debating taking the risk to visit the bookshop over in Moscow, Idaho (where the covid restrictions are more lenient than here in WA) this weekend. I want to browse shelves and buy books. Or I might just do the on-line thing (again).

I'm googling Vicky Mount. Thanks for the tip!

Editado: Ene 28, 2:00pm

>215 EBT1002: Ha! Glad to hear you've been enjoying the thread, Ellen! RD needed those pancakes after getting vaccinated. I know the feeling - I usually get a Starbucks after a shot from our doctor, as one is close by.

I've not read Sarah Moss (should I?), but I can see you being happy to have bought The Vanishing Half. Our outspend has dropped dramatically in the pandemic (especially with little travel), so I've been freer with book-buying meself. We're not even coming close to our budgeted spending right now. I know, I miss browsing in a bookstore. We've ordered from our local ones for pickup, but haven't gone in; there's just no way to social distance. I suppose if we see there's no one, or hardly anyone in there, we could try it until someone else shows up. It'll be nice to be vaccinated - I'm still not clear about how much freer we can be in movement at the beginning, and after the second shot.

Ha! I think you're quickly going to get lost in Vicky Mount cat art. She obviously loves them.

Ene 28, 2:18pm

Hoorah! I got an appointment downtown for a covid vaccination tomorrow morning!

We each took whatever we could get, so Debbi, Becca and I are going to three different locations for our shots. Debbi has hers this afternoon, so at least the two of us will be close in time for the second shot.

Ene 28, 2:30pm

>214 jnwelch: Oh goddesses YES that's the ticket!

>217 jnwelch: Yay for first vaccine! Do remember to ask them which one it is. It seems a lot of the hype around Pfizer's higher incidence of side-effects isn't panning out among those whom I know. Like, zero instances.

Which is a big relief to me.

Ene 28, 2:54pm

Ene 28, 3:13pm

>218 richardderus:. Ha! Enjoy, my friend.

We’ll find out which vaccine - it also makes a difference as to whether it’s 3 weeks (Pfizer) or 4 weeks (Moderna) before the second shot. Like you, all I’ve seen and heard is no difference between side effects.

>219 scaifea:. :-). Thanks, Amber. We were figuring late March or April for the vaccine. January? No way! This is exciting!

Ene 28, 5:05pm

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Cold one today. We went to the Arb this morning. It was breathtakingly beautiful but it also felt like the Arctic. We did not last long but now we have a taste of what to expect when we travel up to MN next week. Yes, I have lost all my marbles, but I can least still enjoy my books... for now, anyway.

Ene 28, 5:32pm

>221 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark. Man, you have lost all your marbles. Didn't anyone tell you to drive south, not north, this time of year? I hope that part of MN has a St. Bernard dispatcher who can help you.

Ene 28, 6:09pm

I had the Phizer shot this morning Joe and they made the appt. for the next one on Feb. 18. I was impressed by how organized and speedy everything was. Large military and police presence.

Ene 28, 6:14pm

>223 brenzi: How's your arm doing, Bonnie? Any pain yet?

Ene 28, 6:30pm

>224 richardderus: Nope. No discomfort at all Richard.

Ene 28, 6:43pm

My book buying has not slowed in the least little bit. I grew up with pre-internet delivery of goods to your front door - or in our case boxes came to the end of the driveway - so I am accustomed to door-to-door delivery. I still think the most efficient delivery system every designed was the Sear Roebuck catalog. Everything after that is just peanuts - or a variation on a theme. Anyway, I long ago discovered used book web sties such as Alibris and order most of my books from those. I also order from a local (Nebraska) bookstore that happily ships books to my house in Alabama.

Having books shipped to my house from a bookstore started back in the 1980's for me. Varney's Bookstore, located in Manhattan, KS. was my book supplier. I would call them and have them order a book. When it arrived they would call me. Tell me how much the book plus shipping was. I would put a check in the mail and when the check arrived, they would ship the book. The first book I ordered using this method was March of Folly by Barbara W. Tuchman, and the second was Henry II by W. L. Warren, and the third was Royal Charles by Antonia Fraser. I still have all three books. Spending money on books back then was something I saved for and anticipated with relish. Getting them in the mail was like having Christmas morning all over again.

Ene 28, 8:29pm

>225 brenzi: We're the only two it seems, but yay no matter what.

Ene 28, 9:53pm

If I don't speak up soon, Joe, I won't have a presence in this thread. I cannot believe how much Fina has grown!!

Ene 28, 10:45pm

Hey Joe! Just skimming through.

Ene 29, 9:00am

>223 brenzi:, >224 richardderus:, >225 brenzi: That's great, Bonnie. I love hearing that people are having success getting the vaccine - and no side effect. Nice! Madame MBH and Becca have found it organized and speedy, too. Madame MBH's arm is sore when she raises it, but otherwise she's fine - and she's someone who has reacted to shots in the past.

I leave in a while to go downtown to get mine.

>226 benitastrnad: I'm glad you're making a steadfast contribution to the book economy, Benita. We're walking to one of our local ones this afternoon to pick up a book for Madame MBH. Back in the day, I subscribed to the Science Fiction Bookclub, and I remember that feeling you describe of a Christmas present when one would arrive via the mail. Yours are pretty lofty compared to mine - Asimov, Heinlein, LeGuin, and so on.

>227 richardderus: I'll join you two today, Richard, and I'm sure we'll be hearing about more as the days go on.

>228 ronincats: Roni! I'm glad you spoke up. :-) I know, we usually start the new year at a fast clip on the threads. It doesn't feel as hectic this year, but the current is swift. Isn't that wild with Fina's growth? She just had a doctor's appointment, and everything is in proportion, she's just huge for her age. She's walking like a pro now, and dismantling our son's house.

>229 humouress: Hey Nina! I like your skimmer. That brief flash of you sailing through made my morning. :-)

Ene 29, 9:06am

Looks a little warmer than Chicago

Ene 29, 10:23am

Today’s Bargain: From Patricia BriggsMercy Thompson fantasy series that I thoroughly enjoy, Night Broken is available on e-readers for $1.99.

Ene 29, 2:55pm

Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop is only $2.99 and a near-perfect read.

Editado: Ene 29, 3:05pm

>233 richardderus: I love that little book too Richard.

They didn't do too bad with the film either.

Editado: Ene 29, 3:14pm

>233 richardderus: I saw the 2017 movie with Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, and it was a good story.

>234 Caroline_McElwee: I haven't read the book, Caroline, but I agree re the film.

Ene 29, 3:21pm

>234 Caroline_McElwee:, >235 jnwelch: The film's glories include a memorably AWFUL Violet Gamart played by the deliciously evil Patricia Clarkson. Pitch perfect! I loved that.

And Joe, the book is so very short you'd do well to add it to your device against the day you need to feel revved up against the Philistines.

Ene 29, 6:32pm

>233 richardderus: The Bookshop is a lovely read Richard. I love all Penelope Fitzgerald’s books. Human Voices, a fictionalization of her experiences working at the BBC during WWII, is my favorite.

Ene 29, 7:00pm

>236 richardderus: Yes, Patricia Clarkson was deliciously awful in that part. against the day you need to feel revved up against the Philistines. I feel like I'm always revved up that way, but the movie can only help. :-)

>237 NarratorLady: Thanks, Anne. Hmm, Human Voices sounds good. Adding it to the WL.

Ene 29, 8:09pm

>237 NarratorLady:, >238 jnwelch: You're both spot-on, Anne (how very nice to see you, BTW!) and Joe...I have Human Voices on my Kindle already, so I'm prepared for the Dark Hordes to descend.

Ene 30, 7:33am

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. Another snowstorm arriving later. This sounds worse than the last. I am just wrapping up Sutton, which is a terrific historical crime novel and then starting The Only Good Indians which I have heard very good things about. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.

Ene 30, 11:42am

>239 richardderus: Perfect-o, RD. I'll have to check the Kindle price for Human Voices.

>240 msf59: Morning and Happy Saturday, Mark. Yeah, we're leaving shortly for the library and errands, figuring to beat that predicted snow storm. We'll see. We got off easy last time. (knocking on wood). Willie Sutton - good for you. Becca might like that one. I don't know The Only Good Indians, so I'll look forward to your comments. Prodigal Son, the new Orphan X thriller, is zipping along, and I'm having trouble being separated from it.

Editado: Ene 30, 11:45am

Loch Ard, Trossachs National Park, Scotland

by Mark Callander Photography

Ene 30, 11:46am

>242 jnwelch: I could definitely move in there Joe. Plenty of room for my books, and lots of choice for potential reading chairs with views. As long as someone else will do the housework...

Ene 30, 12:11pm

>242 jnwelch: Wow. Perfect! As long as supplies can be teleported in and the nuclear powerplant in the sub-basement keeps functioning, of course. Oh, and the pipeline from the Islay distilleries remains functional.

Ene 30, 1:06pm

from New York magazine:
“Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, the shooting where my son was murdered protecting his students was not a ‘false flag,’” Linda said in a statement to New York. “It was not staged. It really happened. Do not trivialize my son Scott’s sacrifice to save his students for your own political gain. As Joseph Welch said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1954: ‘Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Have you no sense of decency?’ Congresswoman Greene, I ask you the same question. Are you that cruel? HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF DECENCY??”

“What do we need to do?” Linda asked me, her voice cracking. “Show her the video? Do I need to take her over to Scott’s mausoleum? Does she need to see how he was shot six times from three feet away?”

“It’s wrong,” she said. “It’s just wrong.”

Greene did not respond to a request for comment.
Your grandfather's words still resound in defense of truth and honor. I know you're proud.

Full article.

Ene 30, 1:47pm

>242 jnwelch: WOW!!

>245 richardderus: Dear goddesses; how? How can they call that 'false flag'?

Ene 30, 2:20pm

>243 Caroline_McElwee:. Doesn’t that look great, Caroline? I just need to know where the nearest grocery store is. Debbi and I have talked about going to a remote place like this to just read and write for a couple of months. Wouldn’t that be a treat?

>244 richardderus:. Ha! Good job of thinking of all the essentials.

>245 richardderus:. That Congresswoman is so awful. That poor mother. It’s like Holocaust deniers. What causes people to say crap like this?

Thanks for letting me know about her invoking my grandfather. We are proud of that guy, and grateful that he keeps being remembered. I got the name, but there are a bunch of us tied to him. The rest are women, including my sisters.

>246 humouress:. Ha! I love your “Wow!”, Nina. Isn’t that beautiful?

I don’t understand the false flag crap either. I hope the goddesses respond.

Ene 30, 2:23pm

Today’s Bargain: Longbourn by Jo Baker for $1.99 on e-readers. I loved this Downstairs version of the Upstairs Pride and Prejudice.

Ene 30, 2:34pm

>217 jnwelch: Glad to hear you’re all getting the vaccine Joe. I got a text yesterday to say it was my turn, so I have an appointment booked for Wednesday. All the GP’s surgeries locally are combining the vaccination efforts so they’re all being done in one place and I don’t have to go very far.

>242 jnwelch: That’s a lovely photo Joe. We’ve just spent the afternoon booking a holiday in Scotland in the summer. We wanted to go to France but it was seeming more and more unlikely, what with everyone shutting down their borders, so Scotland seemed like a good bet. We will have one week in Fife, just north of Edinburgh, and one week on the Isle of Mull. Jacob’s girlfriend will be joining us for the first week (assuming that’s allowed by that stage) - she would have joined us for the second week as well but she has her graduation ceremony.

Ene 30, 3:00pm

>249 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. We're really happy to have gotten the first shot. It feels good to be underway in beating this virus. I'm glad you're getting yours on Wednesday, and that it's fairly convenient.

I took a Lyft (like Uber, but better, IMO) to my appointment, and my driver was a Trumpster. He's not going to get the vaccine, he's going to have faith in his God. I told him I believe in science, and reminded him about polio and smallpox and so on. I also explained why Trump was a terrible president, and not a "hero" as he thought. It helped that he was fairly mellow about it, and no doubt hoped for a decent tip. Anyway, we're all going to have deal with these anti-vaxxers. Arggh.

That sounds like a wonderful holiday. I'm dying to get back to Scotland - we loved it. I don't know the Isle of Mull - what is drawing you there for a week?

Editado: Ene 30, 5:39pm

In this newest one in the series, Evan Smoak aka Orphan X aka The Nowhere Man (love that one) is back fighting to save the world, this time against a scarily real drone menace. In the Acknowledgments the author notes the assistance of a drone expert, and that no doubt explains why it's so convincing. I said "save the world", but as usual, that's collateral to saving a particular person, in this case down-and-outer Andrew Duran who works at an impound facility and sees something he shouldn't. Lucky for him, he knows someone who knows how to reach The Nowhere Man.

Orphan X fans are going to want to run to get their hands on this one. Great action scenes, and more progress in Evan's evolution from an unemotional monosyllabic killer to a human being, with people in his life who matter to him. His young tech/hacker pal Joey lends her assistance, and other favorite characters like romantic interest Mia and her son Peter reappear. Evan even finds out some things about his parents. A Grade A outing that had me burning the midnight oil, and figuring out ways to get back to the book despite RL's obstacles.

Ene 30, 6:05pm

>245 richardderus: Unfortunately grandfather Joseph's question is too often rhetorical. Clearly decency is not a sense available to so many DT supporters.

Ene 30, 6:09pm

>251 jnwelch: The series continues its march to the sea, having conquered you afresh. So refreshing! I'm utterly uninterested in it, so my delight in your happiness is untarnished by biblioconcupiscence.

>252 quondame: It's an all-too-prevalent, and a deeply base and common, character flaw. The Basket of Deplorables was inevitably going to come up short in its possession.

Ene 30, 6:35pm

>252 quondame: Ain't that the truth, Susan.

Makes me think of AOC doing a verbal body slam on Republican Congressman What's-His-Name (Ted Yoho), after he called her a "f*cking bitch": "Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man."

>253 richardderus: Ha! "untarnished by biblioconcupiscence". Thank your bizarre and wonderful mind again for me, Richard. Yes, Evan/Orphan/Nowhere Man gets me every time. Sigh. Just what the doctor ordered.

Yeah, I wish Hillary hadn't said "basket of deplorables" (too broadly alienating in an election, IMO), but I can't say it wasn't/isn't apt.

Ene 30, 6:38pm

Excerpts from "Burial"

(after mixing his father's ashes into the soil for two saplings that become plum trees)


. . . imagine his joy as the sun
wizarded forth those abundant sugars
and I plodded barefoot
and prayerful at the first ripe plum's swell and blush,
almost weepy conjuring
some surely ponderous verse
to convey this bottomless grace.

. . . at all of which my father
guffawed by kicking from the first bite
buckets of juice down my chin,
staining one of my two button-down shirts,
the salmon-colored silk one, hollering
there's more of that!
almost dancing now in the plum,
in the tree, the way he did as a person,
bent over and biting his lip
and chucking the one hip out
then the other with his elbows cocked
and fists loosely made
and eyes closed and mouth made trumpet
when he knew he could make you happy
just by being a little silly
and sweet.

Can there really be such a thing as a very happy poet? Why not? Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay delivers on the title, expressing his holy adoration of buttons (!), various trees, including fig and plum, compost, funeral ashes, all sorts of birds and insects, farming, his own feet, and a host of other things he's thankful for, including the readers of this book. The book was an NBA finalist, and won the NBCC award for poetry. It qualifies as an effective pandemic angst alleviator.

I was inspired to write this poem, I guess we call it, after reading Louise Gluck's collected poems followed by Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. What a contrast.

Reading Poetry

I wonder how many people will
Read Louise Gluck's 600+
Page collected poems, 1962-2012.
Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" is
Famous for being bought and
Not read (I read it).

LG comes from a subdued,
Almost never happy place,
Enthusiasm damp, love
Waiting to end, childhood endless
Disappointment, her fragile
Sister needing protection.

Meanwhile, unsubdued Ross Gay effervesces
About buttons, for gods' sake,
While buttoning a shirt, can you
Believe it, even though, he tells
Us, buttons are sometimes bone, and
Somewhere a car bomb just went off.

How much is choice, or fate
A gift from sensei or sensate
A hand at the shade, coping
Pulling it down, or snapping it open

Ene 30, 6:55pm

>254 jnwelch: Isn't basket a euphemism for cesspit? or maybe thunder bucket. Even swamp is too good a word, things grow in swamps.

Ene 31, 2:04am

>255 jnwelch: That one made me smile. :0)

Editado: Ene 31, 4:48pm

>250 jnwelch: I don't know the Isle of Mull - what is drawing you there for a week?

We were planning to have a few weeks touring around Scotland when we retired, but circumstances being as they are I feel more comfortable in self-catering accomodation, which really means booking a week in each place as it is peak holiday season. We have been to a lot of Scottish islands previously: we’ve visited Islay, Jura, Skye, and several of the Orkney Islands twice, and Barra, South Uist, Harris, Lewis & Arran once. But Mull is one of the bigger islands and we’ve never been there. There’s quite a lot of wildlife tourism (golden eagles, white-tailed eagles and red deer being the main attractions) and its pretty wild (for the U.K.). You can also visit the smaller islands of Iona (home of St Columba) and Staffa famous for Fingal’s cave (ala Mendelssohn).

Fife is a very golfing area, with St Andrew’s the most famous course. I have no interest in golf, but liked St Andrew’s the one time I have visited. There looks to be good coastal walking and some pretty coastal villages and it is near enough to bigger places (Edinburgh, Sterling, Dundee) if we want a day trip (COVID permitting).

Ene 31, 6:34pm

>255 jnwelch: Great post, Joe, and lovely poems, yours included.

I have lots of poetry on my shelves, but rarely read it anymore. Maybe a part of my mind isn't quiet enough these days to truly pay attention to it. Thanks for posting about the poems you read and write.

Feb 1, 12:03am

Feb 1, 3:37am

I love the cover of >255 jnwelch: and the challenge of happiness in poetry writing. I'll have a look for a copy here.

I can report that Mull also has (or had, as it has been some time since I visited) marvellous fish and chips!

Feb 1, 9:26am

>256 quondame: I can't tell whether you feel strongly about this, Susan. :-) It's hard to fathom why the deplorables are that way, or to try to empathize with them. Or to figure out the right container.

>257 humouress: Oh good, Nina. Isn't it a wonderful thing to have poetry that makes you smile.

>258 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. Oh my, sounds like just our cuppa. I envy you having spent that much time on the Scottish islands, and in Scotland in general. I'm not a golfer either, but I'd love to visit St. Andrew's some day. I also love that it's compact enough to do day trips like that. Oh me oh my. Food for thought.

Editado: Feb 1, 9:42am

>259 ffortsa: Thanks so much, Judy. It's a pleasure to hear back about >255 jnwelch:. I know poetry is a rarely visited territory for a lot of folks.

You help inspire me to post more about poetry. I hope you do find time to dip into what you have every once in a while.

>260 humouress: Ooo, I like that one, Nina, thanks. It helps capture what's magical about this city on the lake.

>261 charl08: Isn't that a great cover in >255 jnwelch:, Charlotte? The warm colors, and hints of what will be explored; it's skillfully done. I hope they carry it on your side of the pond. I'm thinking chances are good, given the Finalist and the award, but it's poetry, not a bestselling novel.

Mmmm, marvellous fish and chips. I'm a pushover for that. I'm going to have to mull how to get us to Mull (I bet that's been said a few times before!)

Feb 1, 9:39am

"The medieval Eltz Castle located in Wierschem, Germany, has been owned and occupied by the same family for over 850 years, 33 generations to be exact."

photograph by @long.explorer

Feb 1, 10:13am

>255 jnwelch:

"How much is choice, or fate
A gift from sensei or sensate
A hand at the shade, coping
Pulling it down, or snapping it open"

^That is beautiful, Joe. I have missed your poetry. I am glad inspiration came after reading Gluck and Gay. The contrast is perfection. I NEED to read both of them.

Feb 1, 10:15am

Morning, Joe! Happy, Happy, Happy Monday! It is so nice, that I can look out at all that snow and not have to trudge through it for several hours. Yeah, baby! I do have to run to Costco though and fine tune some of the shoveling out there, but then the rest of the day will be for the books and packing for the trip.

Feb 1, 11:34am

Speaking of Mull...Time Team found a very early monastery there and pushed the history of Columba's perversion of the Picts back by decades!

Gorgeous place.

Feb 1, 12:26pm

>264 jnwelch:
That particular castle is Rick Steves favorite German medieval castle. I did a marathon binge watch of his programs on Saturday and that tidbit was in one of the programs.

Editado: Feb 1, 1:14pm

>265 msf59: Many thanks, Mark. It's a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed that one, and my poetry in general. I've been writing a lot; I'll try to migrate more of them over here.

>266 msf59: Ha! I can understand your enjoyment of not going into work on a Monday like this, Mark. Ain't retirement grand?

They've cleaned up the roads around here pretty well; I hope your Costco trip is easy enough. The rest of the day for books and packing for your trip sounds good to me. Are you driving or flying to MN?

>267 richardderus: That linked Time Team show looks like fun, Richard. I wonder whether Rhian knows about it?

I'm not sure of the flapping penguin's significance, but I like it.

>268 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. That castle is Rick Steves' favorite German medieval one? Good to know; he's been around, that guy. Maybe the binge told you - three branches of the family financed the castle together originally, and all three lived inside it. It had, and maybe still has, 100 rooms. One branch of the family remains living in a third of the castle; the other 2/3 is open to the public.

Feb 1, 1:44pm

>269 jnwelch: Cat fur to make kitten britches.

Feb 1, 2:39pm

>270 richardderus:. I believe our journey into the surreal is well begun, RD.

Feb 2, 10:33am

Hi Joe!

More skimmity-skimming. Congrats on the vaccine scores. I'm trying to not stress out about it, will just keep plugging along assuming spring.

>198 jnwelch: Yay for platypuses. Platypi? No, probably like octopuses.

>248 jnwelch: Longbourn was a good’un.

>251 jnwelch: Skippity-skip. It’s on my shelves, probably next up.

>264 jnwelch: How wonderful. 850 years, 33 generations, beautiful castle.

Feb 2, 10:42am

>272 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

Yay! Another Orphan X fan! You'll have a great time with it.

Yeah, we were figuring spring for the vaccine. This was unexpected good news.

I went through the same thinking for platypuses.

Yay for Longbourn!

Isn't that a beautiful castle, with a great family history behind it?

Editado: Feb 2, 10:44am

Stonehenge in winter

Editado: Feb 2, 10:59am

>230 jnwelch: nice to be reminded of the good old Science Fiction Book Club who sent me so many great (and not so great) volumes.

They had a good selection and sometimes I would just take a flyer on someone I'd nerv read before and had a nice surprise that way too

>235 jnwelch: Wow! Didnt even know they had filmed The Bookshop - and such a great cast! Will have to see if i can cadge Judy into watching it with me

>250 jnwelch: hearing that some anti-vaxxers are so up in arms that they blocked off and "demonstrated" at a vaccine site at Dodger Stadium this week. Whatever happened to "you do you and I'll do me?" When does the madness end?

Feb 2, 11:52am

>275 magicians_nephew: Good to know another Science Fiction Book Club member, Jim! That was a great book club, even with some not great books.

Yes, I took flyers on its books, too, and got rewarded - I'm guessing Harlan Ellison was likely one of those rewards.

It is a great cast for The Bookshop movie. I suspect you'll have an easy time convincing Judy.

Yes, I read about those LA anti-vaxxers. That one does seem particularly crazy. They probably lapped up the Bill Gates microchip in the vaccine conspiracy theory, or one like it. Otherwise, like you, I'd expect them to just go their own way. I believe employers are legally allowed to refuse employment if the person doesn't get vaccinated (for people to whom the vaccine is available, like teachers). I guess we'll be finding out.

Feb 2, 12:57pm

The right-wingnuts are getting more and more militant. It depresses me. Snowstorm issues knocked out our facility phones and internet until 11am, but here I am back in the saddle.

Really really tired, though, because the new meds regime is harder on me than expected. The napbeast will, any second now, rear up and

Feb 3, 9:14am

>277 richardderus: Whenever life starts to get you down, Richard, just think, "No Trump". I find it quite a pick-me-up.

Napbeast devouration is sometimes for the best, isn't it. I hope you awoke refreshed and ready to scathe the hides of right-wingnuts.

Feb 3, 9:19am

Lake MacDonald, Montana

photography by David Rule

Feb 3, 9:28am

Feb 3, 9:38am

>280 jessibud2: :-) I second your wow!, Shelley.

Editado: Feb 3, 9:50am

This prequel to The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose, centers around Starr's parents Maverick and Lisa as high school seniors in the late 1990s. We get to know Garden Heights even more intimately, as Mav deals with being an imprisoned gangleader's son and, unexpectedly, a father. I like that highschoolers all over the country will be reading this. While Mav is a loving, caring father, it is almost impossible to maintain passing grades, take care of a baby (the mother, who is not Lisa, is absentee) with all the sleepless nights, and work a job to help pay for the baby and help his mother scrape by. What a well-told cautionary tale. We see Mav take responsibility and grow before our eyes, as he is tempted to deal drugs and make easier, better money, and as he deals with changed relationships with Lisa, his homies and his gang. The gang-related death of a relative complicates matters further. Angie Thomas is a master of dialogue and realism, and this is another winner that will attract readers of every age. It makes me want to re-read The Hate U Give to see Mav and Lisa again as grown parents.

Feb 3, 9:40am

All caught up with you, Joe, and I had fun doing it. Love all the photos you have been posting of different locations - they are full of gorgeous!

Feb 3, 9:41am

>282 jnwelch: Thanks, Mamie. Great to hear catching up was fun. I figure we can all enjoy some armchair travel while pandemic-confined!

Feb 3, 9:44am

Back to say that I liked your poem up there. I am wondering what Ellie would have to say about it and what questions she would ask. Makes me smile - I loved how she would examine it from every angle and then step back to evaluate it as a whole.

Feb 3, 9:50am

>285 Crazymamie: Oh, I miss our Ellie, Mamie. Thanks for stopping back by about my poem. You can imagine how much I enjoyed her close readings of everything I wrote. I'm so glad we got to meet her in person. Debbi and I will never forget it. She's the best poetry fan I ever had, and such a kindred spirit.

Feb 3, 10:57am

>278 jnwelch: Indeed, that mantra is most effective indeed o Bodhisattva Joe. And this morning's news that the Dems set the relief package up for budget reconciliation, spiking the filibuster balloon Moscow Mitch McTreason loves to drop anchors on the good and the just from.

>279 jnwelch: W.O.W.

>282 jnwelch: That woman! She can write her sneakers off! I just love listening in as the characters have their lives.

RIP mirrordrum you are much missed.

Feb 3, 11:31am

>279 jnwelch: - Oh, that's lovely. Thanks for sharing, Joe!

Feb 3, 11:43am

>279 jnwelch: That's a WOW indeed.

Feb 3, 12:12pm

Hi Joe! Just catching up! I love the pictures of your grandbaby!! She's too cute. Also very glad Trump is gone!

Editado: Feb 3, 1:10pm

>287 richardderus: Ah, mirrordrum. I wish we could've had her around for a millenia or two more. RIP, much missed friend.

I'm glad you feel that way about Angie Thomas's writing, Richard - me, too. She can write her sneakers off, and it is like listening in on her characters' lives. Lives the likes of which many of us have never experienced. They say reading teaches empathy, and she's a great example.

I'm feeling like sending flowers to all the Democrat voters in Georgia again. How great is it that we don't have to mess around with McConnell's nonpublic-minded chicanery to get covid relief passed? That Senate majority changes everything. We're going to have to fight for it again in 2022, but this is going to be a sweet two years in which a lot gets done.

Kinzinger is trying to establish a non-Trump Republican Party. That'll be interesting to watch. I'm not a Mitt Romney fan, but he looks like McCain compared to the rest of them. A Senate with Mitt Romney-type Republicans would be a lot better than what we have.

>288 katiekrug: You're welcome, Katie!

>289 connie53: Hi, Connie. Good - it sure wowed me, but I'm glad it's that way for you and others, too.

>290 leperdbunny: Good to see you, Tamara! Thanks re the grandbaby. She's such a cutie, and so funny. We're getting close to a new thread, and I'll break out some new photos of her and Rafa when that happens. I take a deep, grateful breath whenever "Trump is gone" comes up. We're back to the country we grew up in - with work that needs doing, as always, but its principles intact.

Feb 3, 2:22pm

>291 jnwelch: I am not now, never have been, and don't see myself becoming in sympathy with right-wings views on...anything, really. But I would welcome the return of a wrong-but-sane right-wing party with hosannas and confetti tossing.

I think you should read How to Draw Literary Cartoons in The New Yorker. It's well worth burning a free monthly read for non-subscribers.

Feb 3, 2:38pm

>291 jnwelch:
I am also happy that Trump is gone. However, I am also thinking that we have lots of work to do at the State levels in getting other good electable candidates to run for office. For instance - it is great that Georgia now has two Democrat senators, but what does the representative body look like in the Georgia state houses? What about their representatives in the U. S. House? What does their elected judiciary look like? It is all well and good to win two elections but they need to keep the pressure on to get other candidates elected. I do have to admire the Georgia Secretary of State who listened to Trump on the phone for an hour and kept telling him that the election was fair and done according to state law, but he is also the person who helped that Yahoo that stole the gubernatorial election from Stacey Abrams just two years ago. I think that the reason he stood up to Trump was that he saw the writing on the wall with the two senatorial elections that were coming up in January and decided that he needed to be on the moderate side in order to get himself reelected. We need to be thinking about this and supporting state and local candidates as much as we did for the national election.

I also think that we need to be working to get more women and minorities elected to national office. It is a wonderful thing that we have a minority woman as V.P. but that also meant that we no longer have a minority woman in the Senate. Did you hear that NPR story about the numbers of women in the Senate? The story quoted Carol Mosely Braun who said that the biggest impediment to having women run is the lack of funding they get at the early stages of the race. The presidential primaries is an example. Harris had to drop out because of lack of funds. So did Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Gabbard and other women candidates. We can love Stacey Abrams and Kamilla Harris all we want, but we have to keep the pressure on so that we can literally change the face of government so that it looks like our country. We need to find a good candidate to run against that crackpot Lindsey Graham, who we know is vulnerable due to his stupid mouth and get somebody to unseat Alabama's stupid senator Tommy Tuberville who is just plain dumb.

I wonder how we are going to be able to replace the voice of giant women like Diane Feinstein (who is 87) and others who are getting to be long in the tooth. And lets not forget that Nancy Pelosi is 80. We are going to need good candidates to run to fill those offices.

Feb 3, 4:59pm

>293 benitastrnad: Yes, the right woman for the job. The or in my opinion all the left women for all the jobs.

Feb 4, 11:50am

>292 richardderus: Yeah, the return of sane and public-minded Republicans, even if wrong-headed, would be a huge improvement, wouldn't it, Richard.

We have a New Yorker subscription, so I'll look for How to Draw Literary Cartoons. Sounds great.

>293 benitastrnad: Lots of good thoughts, Benita. I'm actually excited about some of the young women Congresspeople, like AOC and the Squad. I think we're only going to see more of that - the younger generations seem to be realizing that if they don't get involved, we're headed down the tubes with old white guys who can't see what's important (I'm excluding the likes of Biden - he does, IMO, see what's important, and he's concerned about us collectively, not his own ego). More Democrat women in the Senate is a big one that needs to happen, and more Democrat POC in both the House and Senate.

>294 quondame: Ha! All the left women for all the jobs - I like that, Susan.

Editado: Feb 4, 11:52am

Feb 4, 1:59pm

>296 jnwelch: Ha!! How wonderful, and true.

Feb 4, 3:12pm

>297 richardderus:. :-) I’m thinking about re-charging soon myself.

Editado: Feb 4, 4:54pm

I seem to have lost my last post about this: LT glitched when I tried to transition to a new thread, and gave me a message that Tim S. has been notified about the problem.

So I started a new thread here:

Here it is again:

You'll need to star it again, as it is not connected to this one.

See you there!

Feb 19, 12:53am

>293 benitastrnad: What you need is a system that doesn't depend so heavily on funds. I've never heard of fund raising for elections in other countries; although it possibly happens to some extent, I'm guessing candidates don't have to depend on fund raising. Of course, other countries are somewhat smaller, if you have to travel all over to shake hands and kiss babies. Right now, your folks in power may be for the people and by the people, but are they also of the people?