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Travels and readings

April 20, 2017

Did I see a librarian from Tennessee at a rest stop in New Mexico on 22March?? Did I? Was charmed by the desolate aspect of the place, and the Beware of Rattlesnakes sign, and did not have my brain in gear. As I went down the road, it occurred to me that the lady I saw looked suspiciously like a fellow chile hotsauce maker who once worked at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center library. Likely mistaken, but I missed my chance to play the do you know game. Dang.

Still have not the courage to assay Orwell’s 1984, and am pandering to my delicate sensibilities by reading James Michener’s Chesapeake. It has been thirty years since I picked up any of Michener’s works, and I am reminded why. Methinks that when he dined upon English peas, Michener individually pierced each pea separately and conveyed them to his prim and fastidious mouth. Just sayin. But, when traveling, large books that last are an advantage, and I certainly have that advantage in Chesapeake. Next time I get to the Eastern Shore, I will ask around to see if anyone read the book and then, for their assessment.

Also picked up Blue Latitudes by a Mr. Horwitz, who excerpts Captain John Cook’s logs on his voyages of discovery, and then re-traces those voyages by modern transport and reports from what used to be Paradise. The news ain’t all that good, but the reading is better than average.

Regrettably, am finishing Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life which lets me know that there can be no mistake about the erosion of good sense and culture. The Kardashians are just the titty tip of the iceberg. Left this book in the lobby of a university science building with an inscription that said take this book, please.

Please pick up E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat. Also, please see an excerpt below from the essay titled “Sabbath Morn.” White was writing for Harper’s and The New Yorker pre-WWII, and in those unsettled times, was addressing many of the upsets we still suffer from, especially with President Tweet in charge. Edifying. Comforting. Slantingly insightful.

“When I feel sick unto death, I cry out in agony to God, and when I speak boastingly, I knock on wood. Here is a clear case of divided responsibility, for there appears to be for me a power in wood that God doesn’t possess.”

Was also re-introduced to the High Country News, which was a prescient title to pick way back when for a publication originating in Colorado. Quite good, quite slick, and very informative regarding the Western mindset. They have a website, but am uncertain as to how open the access is from there.

Dawdling, wandering, reading, maundering, mliswilltravel.

Does this make sense to you? Make all of your charitable donations in opposition to the policies of Donald Trump, and have acknowledgements sent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW / Wash DC 20500?????. ACLU? Planned Parenthood? Public Radio? Just thinking that those of us who are not rich enough to have a voice in politics can at least have a voice in the non-profit world. If money is speech, I am a mute.

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