Friday, October 14, 2022


I had hoped that by now I would be reading more and writing more often, but my situation has not been propitious to those ends. My daughter's house hunting has been one distraction. They have viewed several houses over the last year and were outbid on the ones that they liked. Recently, their bid on a house in Lyme, New Hampshire was accepted, but the house flunked the inspection, so they withdrew their offer (I thought it looked pretty bad too). The housing situation now is quite different from what we experienced when we moved to Middlebury. We made an exploratory trip to Middlebury from Evanston, Illinois in May, 2011. In one week, we viewed seven houses and made an offer on our current house, which was accepted. We then returned to Illinois and sold the Evanston house. We moved to the Middlebury house in August, 2011 and have lived here ever since. The total process, including selling the old house, took just three months.

Another distraction has been caused by what I attribute to changes in my partner's medications. She is now more active and louder than she used to be. This makes her feel better, so she sees it as an improvement. However, she is so noisy all day that I am unable to read in her presence. I used to spend much of the day reading downstairs near the wood stove, but now I have to retreat to a room upstairs to avoid the noise. That doesn't always work, because she travels around the house, and the upstairs can also become noisy. I can write this because she rarely reads this blog: we have few common interests. One of the points that sticks with me from the biography that I read of Voltaire is that his relationship with Émilie du Châtelet, who probably had significant psychiatric issues, didn't last. While, technically, they were together for about sixteen years, only about seven of those years were good. I also have the usual problem of being unable to find suitable reading material. Even so, I now have three books to read and will probably have something to say about each of them whenever I get around to reading them.

As always, I pay some attention to the news. Despite high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a crashing stock market, there are some positive signs at the moment. Of highest importance to me is the departure of Donald Trump. It's as if the country was taken over by a useless parasite who became indestructible thanks to his legal resources; his luck has finally run out, and he will soon be flushed down the toilet, where he belongs. A similar fate may await Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine is now almost universally seen as a colossal miscalculation. Even Joe Biden, who seemed too feeble to be an effective president, is looking better at the moment. Some of the best commentary I read comes from the Financial Times. Today, Edward Luce said:

...the past few months have been good for America's global position. I would argue that 2022 has been the first year of this youngish century in which its relative power has actually grown. This does not mean America's objective situation has necessarily improved. It does mean that those of its peer competitors, notably China and Russia, have declined more rapidly. By most measures, America's near-term ability to shape the outcomes it wants has increased since January. This is in spite of the fact that its domestic environment continues to deteriorate. US politics is just getting worse at a slower rate than those of its adversaries. This makes it the world's tallest dwarf rather than a giant among nations.

William seems to be healthy at the moment. He doesn't seem to be catching much prey, but he still spends most of the night outside. He is now seven years old and perhaps is beginning to slow down a little. The fall colors are peaking here now, and the falling of leaves is accelerating.

The number of viewers of this blog is still growing. "The Monologue/The Woman Destroyed" is still popular worldwide. More people are digging into some of my older posts. Some of my earliest readers seem to have disappeared. Although my intention has never been to become popular, I am encouraged that some people seem to be benefiting from reading the blog.

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