"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

30 September 2023


An excellent book ...



In every part of every living thing
is stuff that once was rock

In blood the minerals
of the rock


Iron the common element of earth
in rocks and freighters
Sault Sainte Marie—big boats
coal-black and iron-ore-red
topped with what white castlework

The waters working together
Gulls playing both sides


“a laborinth of pleasure”
this world of the Lake

Long hair, long gun

Fingernails pulled out
by Mohawks


 (The long

“Birch bark
and white Seder
for the ribs”


Through all this granite land
the sign of the cross

Beauty: impurities in the rock


And at the blue ice superior spot
priest-robed Marquette grazed
azoic rock, hornblende granite
basalt the common dark
in all the Earth

And his bones of such is coral
raised up out of his grave
were sunned and birch bark-floated
to the straits

Lorine Niedecker

Happy Birthday, Rumi

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, thought to have been born on this day in 1207

29 September 2023


After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.

Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,   
and, along the city’s avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

Rainer Maria Rilke


A Layman's Blog remembers a rugged individual ...
"Remember when you got thrown out of the sailing club for leaving the race and sailing all the way across the bay?"  I only had to think a moment about that major event in my mis-spent youth.  It had been the same kind of a day as today. 
"You bet I do," I said with a laugh. 
"I never told you, but that was about as proud as I ever was of you.  I mean, being the first Buffett to get a college degree was good, don't get me wrong, but that time you just decided to light out on your own, that was the moment."


Kurt points to wisdom from Mr. Munger ...
To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.

The Oyster Months: The Michalek's Farm Library

It's an autumnal Friday night, early eighties ...

Turn right off 13, go past the camp on the left, and the farm will be just around the corner.  Chill the beer in the creek ... 
"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington" 

Cue 'em up ...

UFO, Strangers in the Night (1979)

Thin Lizzy, Live and Dangerous (1978)

AC⚡DC, If You Want Blood You've Got It (1978)

Rush, All the World's a Stage (1976)

Rush, Exit ... Stage Left (1981)

Theodore Nugent, Double Live Gonzo! (1978)

Cheap Trick, At Budokan (1978)

Led Zeppelin, The Song Remains the Same (1976)

Aerosmith, Live! Bootleg (1978)

Pat Travers, Live! Go for What You Know (1979)

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day. 

Umberto Limongiello

27 September 2023


On the Monday before the event, the college sent a campuswide email promoting the lecture. Shortly after, James Hall, an associate professor of English, emailed a student a link to George’s accountability profile from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or Glaad, which features several examples of his anti-LGBTQ remarks.

Information about George’s beliefs quickly began circulating across campus. The next day, a group of students distributed fliers promoting a protest.

Noelle Punte, a junior at Washington College and president of Encouraging Respect of Sexualities, a student group supporting the LGBTQ community, emailed Sosulski and called for the college to cancel the event.

Punte, who did not attend the lecture or protest, said in an interview that regardless of the lecture’s content, inviting George to campus undermines the college’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion — at a time, she added, when anti-LGBTQ laws are on the rise. Engaging with diverse perspectives is important, Punte said, but that can be complicated for queer students, who often feel their identities are attacked in the process.

“I’m not saying freedom of speech should be restricted,” Punte said. “But at the same time, in cases like this, there needs to be serious considerations about the ramifications and potential harm that inviting someone like Robert George on campus could cause.”

The day before the lecture, Sosulski sent out a campuswide email announcing that although he understood students’ concerns, canceling George’s lecture would contradict the college’s commitment to “liberal learning.”

Happy Birthday, Adams

Chappel, Samuel Adams, 1863

While a people retain a just sense of Liberty, the insolence of power will forever be despised.  A virtuous people cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties.

Samuel Adams, born on this day in 1722


Even dressed like a frail-cat, Grant could snap your neck in a heartbeat ...

Thanks, Kurt.


26 September 2023


The man that hath no music in himself, 
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, 
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; 
The motions of his spirit are dull as night, 
And his affections dark as Erebus. 
Let no such man be trusted. 
Mark the music.

William Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene I

Gabrielli, Jubilate Deo

Expertly performed by the VOCES8 Scholars ...


The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony, and all things take place by strife.  The hidden harmony is better than the visible.


Happy Birthday, Ferry

Bryan Ferry was born on this day in 1945.

"You Can Dance" ...


David Lance Goines, from a 1994 interview with Dr. Cece Iandolphi ...
I am of course influenced by everything around me. Everything I see, everything I hear, everything I touch. But there are specific influences, such as Japanese woodblock prints, the German Art Nouveau, the Italian Renaissance.

I like a certain look of roughness and irregularity. I do not like clean, sterile perfection. I find a rough line more pleasing, more legible than a clean line. If you were to contrast the typeface Helvetica with Caslon, you would realize that the cleanness and spareness of Helvetica make it harder to read and harder to remember what you have read. With Caslon every letter is different, so you don't have to spend much time deciphering which is which. You read big gulps of words all at once. With Helvetica, they're as much alike as possible, which makes it hard to tell them apart. When you read Helvetica, you slow down because you have to figure out if the letter is a lower case "i" or a lower case "l" and you read almost letter-by-letter. Helvetica looks like it would be easy to read, because it's so simple, but really the more complicated, rough and irregular letters of Caslon win the contest. Things set in Caslon get read; things set in Helvetica get looked at.

When you consider a perfect line, or surface and compare it to a rough line or surface, you realize that they bear a different relationship to the real world. A line that's absolutely perfect depends for its appearance on its perfection. If it gets damaged, or dirty, it becomes repulsive. But, a rough line can take the wear and tear of everyday life. A smooth white wall soon becomes disgusting with all the fingerprints and dirt and dings of daily life raining down on it; a brick wall becomes more beautiful with age.


An excellent book ...

25 September 2023

Happy Birthday, Borromini

Borromini, Palazzo Spada Gallery, 1652

It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness. 

Francesco Borromini, born on this day in 1599. 

24 September 2023

Frank Sinatra, "September of My Years"


James Taylor released New Moon Shine on this day in 1991.

"Copperline" ...


It is the music which makes it what it is; it is the music which changes the place from the rear room of a saloon in back of the yards to a fairy place, a wonderland, a little comer of the high mansions of the sky.

Upton Sinclair, from The Jungle


David Lance Goines on celestial navigation ...
September 18, 1994

All summer long I almost never see a clear sky that lasts the whole night through. That's because I live in the fog belt. My natural perversity has drawn me to an interest in astronomy, and I have a small telescope which I set up in the back yard on clear nights. No sooner is it set up than in rolls the fog and I go back indoors and read instead.

But when Fall comes, and late Winter, then I get my fill of clear skies. Looking through a telescope, even a small one, is to travel through time. You see light that left its natal star years, thousands of years, millions of years ago. When you look at the stars, you're really looking into the past.

If you could get a powerful enough telescope, you could watch lives being led millennia since. For you, it would be in the now, but for those who led those lives, they would have ended so long ago that there remains nothing of them whatever, except in this ancient light that streams across our heavens.

Perhaps in the vast future a sky-gazer on another planet far away will watch the light that left us when we were young, and we will live again through our shadows, though our corporeal selves have been dust so long that no memory of us remains but a flickering light that glances through an alien planet's fogless Autumn sky.

Celestial navigation, used by ships at sea and aircraft, is based on the apparent and relative positions of celestial bodies.


David Lance Goines, Rest in Peace

I just learned that legendary print-maker, David Lance Goines, passed last winter.



Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
And a staunch old heart has he.
How closely he twineth, how tight he clings,
To his friend the huge Oak Tree!
And slily he traileth along the ground,
And his leaves he gently waves,
As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
The rich mould of dead men’s graves.
Creeping where grim death has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Whole ages have fled and their works decayed,
And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old Ivy shall never fade,
From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant, in its lonely days,
Shall fatten upon the past:
For the stateliest building man can raise,
Is the Ivy’s food at last.
Creeping on, where time has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Charles Dickens

'Tis Autumn.



advised me:
Learn a trade

I learned
to sit at desk
and condense

No layoffs
from this

Lorine Niedecker

Telemann, Suite in C major "Hamburger Ebb und Fluth", TWV 55:C3

The Bremer Barockorchester performs the Ouvertüre, great music to accompany walking out on the deck to survey the morning ...


We are what the seas
have made us

longingly immense

the very veery
on the fence

Lorine Niedecker

Duruflé, Ubi caritas

Thee Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, performs ...

23 September 2023

Van Eyck, "O Slaep, O Zoete, Slaep"

Anna Stegmann performs ...


The Stones released Love You Live on this day in 1977.

“If You Can't Rock Me/Get Off Of My Cloud” ...

Happy Birthday, Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was born on this day in 1949.

"Cadillac Ranch" ...

It's sandwich time.


Poco released Legacy on this day in 1989.

"Call it Love" ...


A reminder from Hemingway ...
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.  It'll teach you to keep your mouth shut.


Ari Weinzweig on mindful eating ...
In working to master this fourth step, I’ve tried to teach myself to be patient and to truly allow the flavors to play out—the finish, I’ve found, is a hugely important part of tasting that many people, rushing through their eating, are likely to miss. 
Thirty years ago, my employer sent me to Zingerman's for a three-day seminar on the technique of tasting.  The methods and insights that Ari taught were fascinating (and I'm a tough study when it comes to such things), but the point that has remained with me through all these years.  When it comes to food, having patience is profoundly simple and challenging at the same time.

Slow down. Wait for things to develop.

The rewards are plentiful.



Vast and immaculate! No pilgrim bands
In ecstasy before the Parian shrines
Knew such a temple built by human hands
With this transcendent rhythm in its lines.
Like an epic on the north Atlantic stream
It moved, and fairer than a Phidian dream.
Rich gifts unknown to kings were duly brought
At dawn and sunset and at cloudless noons,
Gifts from the sea-gods and the sun who wrought
Cascades and rainbows; flung them in festoons
Over the spires, with emerald, amethyst,
Sapphire and pearl out of their fiery mist.
And music followed when a litany,
Begun with the ring of foam bells and the purl
Of linguals as the edges cut the sea,
Crashed upon a rising storm with whirl
Of floes from far-off spaces where Death rides
The darkened belfries of the evening tides.
Within the sunlight, vast, immaculate!
Beyond all reach of earth in majesty,
It passed on Southwards slowly to its fate—
To be drawn down by the inveterate sea,
Without one chastening fire made to start
From altars built around its polar heart.

E.J. Pratt


Done and done.


Kurt points to an excellent article exploring Shelby Foote's "aristocracy of spirit" ...
The vocation of the artist, the soldier and the statesman are accessible only to those who can honor and hunger after honor, who, drawn backward into the past and forward into posterity, disjoint themselves from our flat present and its imperatives to egalitarian political correctness or “aesthetic” harmlessness. Perhaps we would be better off without such human types. Certainly we may not want to become them ourselves. It may be too that we ought to speak candidly about them and what their fulfillment requires only in private, and in public to let them assume such guises as, for example, the gentlemanly, avuncular Southerner with a gift for stories about old times—entertaining, interesting tales that can go unnoticed as incitations to honor the teller and those about whom they are told.


Wyeth, Sundown, 1969

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who, in her blooming uniform of green,
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy, -
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms,
That's more than dear to melancholy minds.

John Clare

Hotteterre, Premiere Suitte

Heiko ter Schegget and Daniël Brüggen (yes, that Daniël Brüggen) perform ...

21 September 2023

19 September 2023


Ancient American Indian earthworks in Ohio have been named UNESCO World Heritage sites ...
A network of ancient American Indian ceremonial and burial mounds in Ohio described as “part cathedral, part cemetery and part astronomical observatory” was added Tuesday to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Preservationists, led by the Ohio History Connection, and indigenous tribes, many with ancestral ties to the state, pushed to recognize the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks for their good condition, distinct style and cultural significance — describing them as “masterpieces of human genius.”

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee approved the application during a meeting in Saudi Arabia.

The massive earthworks comprise eight ancient sites spread across 150 kilometers (90 miles) of what is present-day southern Ohio, including one located on the grounds of a private golf course and country club. The designation puts the spot in the same category as wonders of the world including Greece’s Acropolis, Peru’s Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China.


An excellent album ...


Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.

Ernest Hemingway

Hats matter.

Happy Birthday, Lanois

The Medicine Man, Daniel Lanois, was born on this day in 1951.

"Under a Stormy Sky" ...