Saturday, September 3, 2022


I had hoped that by now I would be reading another book, but for various reasons I haven't started. There have been visitors, and my responsibilities have increased slightly, with chauffeuring, plant care and gardening. Besides the usual ten houseplants, five of which were adopted from my inattentive partner, I am taking care of her three other plants and twelve plants that won't fit into my daughter's apartment. That brings the total to twenty-five. The vegetable garden is extremely productive this year, because it has a new layer of gardening soil on top. We can barely keep up with all of the tomatoes at the moment. Because this has been a very sunny, hot and dry summer, a lot of watering has been necessary. On the positive side, the lack of rain has meant less lawn mowing.

William was attacked three or four times over the spring and summer and had bite wounds and a limp until recently. I think that the chickens that attracted the predators are gone, and that may reduce future attacks. I don't know whether predators caught the chickens or whether the chickens were removed by their owners. William doesn't seem to be catching many rodents at the moment, but he is enjoying the cooler temperatures and spends a lot of time outside during the night. He has been in a good mood, and his behavior has changed accordingly.

I am still distracted by the Trump phenomenon and all the MAGA nonsense. In a sane world, people would have recognized Trump's flaws five or six years ago. I agree with Rana Foroohar's recent assessment:

As someone who has spoken to my share of shrinks...I have come to believe that Trump is a paranoid narcissist, full stop. Narcissists are often charismatic, and he certainly has animal spirits. They are also deeply vulnerable about most things, but particularly the big stuff, like power, sex, and money. In that sense, former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter was really on to something with the "short-fingered vulgarian" comments.

Narcissists often come from Hobbesian families. It's not about love, it's about winning. If one person is up, another must be down. They don't develop empathy, or guilt. This isn't a reason to feel sorry for them, though you might. It's simply a key fact in understanding how they behave. Narcissistic behaviour has a logic that is all its own. And really toxic narcissists like Trump, particularly those enabled by money and power in such a way that they never stumble and really have to change, don't know how to do better, or even how to want to do better, because that involves empathy. Which they by definition don't have.

That's why I never think about why Trump does anything he does through the lens of economics or even politics. I simply think of him as a paranoid narcissist, and go from there. It's like being a very stable genius. But not.

If it only involved Donald Trump, I wouldn't pay much attention – who would pay much attention to all his failed business ventures? The worry is that, to many, he maintains credibility as a public figure.

I am still spending a fair amount of time on investing, but now am simply trying to stay slightly above the indexes. I am losing money, but am still way up since early 2020. I don't think that we are facing a significant recession or significant inflation. Hopefully, the economic situation will resolve itself within a few months and people will start paying more attention to climate change.

We are beginning to plan for winter. Heating costs are going up, including both heating oil and firewood, and there may be shortages.

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