First notes...

226.6 lbs

… five days of weight loss… three while pursuing the No S diet approach… also meals low in refined carbs like pasta…

… it is the one year anniversary of the riot at the Capital Building… the facts available point to it as an insurrection and are beginning to detail a planned overthrow of the government… that planning continues and it is uncertain what, if anything , will be done to counter the efforts happening around the country to suppress the vote and rig the voting system… the most likely action is one flying under the radar screen, mostly… a reform of the Electoral Count Act of 1887… 45’s attempt to seize power in a way that would have the pale varnish of legitimacy was built around weaknesses in the ECA… the lack of clarity on the powers of the VP to certify being one of them… there appear to be bi-partisan efforts to shore it up… the most widely publicized efforts are a number of voting rights bills that have passed the house but are stalled in the Senate with no Republican support… some change in the filibuster rules will be required to pass any voting rights act which, at the present moment, seems unlikely… i have given up hoping on that one… and then there is the work of the January 6 Commission… it appears they will be able to demonstrate conspiracy to overthrow the government but the question is, can they do it compellingly enough to shift the narrative?… and, if so, will it shift enough?… time will tell…

… in all of this, Liz Cheny continues to be my hero for the stand she is taking… she is attempting to take down 45 and his cronies before the rabid conservatives of her state vote her out of office… she appears to be one of the few Republicans with …a spine…

… yesterday i spent much of the day trying to free the castor wheels of my office chair… so much animal and human hair was logged in them that they have become immobile and are scratching the finish of the floor in my studio… i was only able to return three of five to fully spinning order… i found replacement castors on Amazon and ordered a set with rubberized wheels designed for hard floor surfaces… if i had known when i started where i would end, i would have jumped to the end…

… we watched Matrix Resurrection last night… or, rather, H watched it and i slept through the bulk of it… alcohol has been doing me in for the last many nights… slow down on that and i might make it through an evening’s worth of viewing… my sense of it was that it wasn’t as good as the first three…

… news, via Heather Cox Richardson, that citizens are revolting in Kazakhstan… Russia and Belarus have agreed to send “peacekeeping” troops to assist… the people are fighting the corruption and poor service of their government, which is authoritarian… there appears to be worry that the protests will spread to Russia and Belarus… the internet has been shut down and there are reports of clashes between government security forces and citizens with casualties…

… ordered a cast iron pot/pan to replace the last non-stick coated pan i have in the kitchen… i am looking forward to its arrival… i am hoping to be able to make Persian rice with Tadigh in it… one needs a good non-stick surface to do that… cast iron can be mostly non-stick, but usually not completely… the advice is to use extra oil when making the tadigh… i used gift card money sent by R to purchase it… i also bought traction devices for my shoes… i had to curtail my walk yesterday because the sidewalks were slick…

… i don’t expect to be encumbered by any household tasks today… hopefully just photo editing, reading, writing then cooking will be the order of the day…

… this morning i lay in bed and tried to count my breaths up to ten… its remarkably hard to do… after about half an hour i managed it and then got out of bed… the usual routine… put water on to boil, grind coffee beans, feed the cat, take meds, let the dogs down and out… because Fiona is a clever and determined escape artist i have been escorting her out into the brisk darkness and watching her closely… i have all the holes in the fence repaired, but we have thought this so many times only to learn she has found and exploited a new weakness apparent to her but not us… it was fun to watch her sniffing along the ground, following the trails of night critters across or under the leaf litter… we all came back in and i gave them treats, which is what they are up for anyway… then they went back to bed and i prepared my coffee and came up to start the writing/reading part of my day…

HCR meter

… the big news is that January 6 committee may be considering criminal referral of 45 to the DC Federal courts… they are not compelled to take it up, but…

… the 45 admin’s involvement in creating the riot on January 6th is getting clearer… if anything is proven i fervently hope there will be consequences…

What I Read Today

  • Letters from an American, December 13, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson… the January 6 Commission referred Mark Meadows to the House for Contempt of Congress… in doing so they revealed details of information they already had… details that made it clear the 45 knew what was going on and accusing them of “dereliction of duty,” which is military speak for, you are in some serious shit… additionally, it was clear that a number of Fox News personalities not only had close ties to the Whitehouse but called repeatedly on the day of the riot to plead with 45 to say something to calm the situation… that same day they went on air and began making the case to their viewers that 45 had nothing to do with the riot, that it was ANTIFA that infiltrated a peaceful rally and turned it deadly… they were clearly lying to their viewers…
  • Booz Allen Sounds the Alarm On China’s Coming Quantum Harvest, Arthur Herman, Hudson Institute… quantum computers are likely within a 10 year time horizon… they will be capable of cracking encryption deployed on most computer systems today in defense and industry… China is likely stealing and warehousing encrypted data in anticipation of that day… efforts to secure systems against quantum computing capabilities need to accelerate…
  • Fox Hosts Begged Trump to Stop the January 6 Attack on the Capitol, Amanda Carpenter, The Bulwark… confirms Heather Cox Richardson report that Fox News personalities pleaded with 45 to stop the riot and then went on to spin it as not his fault at all… family members and members of congress too…
  • What Did Governor Hochul Say About Religion!?, Josh Blackman, Reason.com… a case is made that injunctive relief should have been provided given the awkward at best statements of Governor Hochul about the religious exemptions being denied…
  • Barrett and Kavanaugh Supply Another Majority to Deny Religious-Liberty Exemption… this case is seeming more interesting than i at first thought, or, rather, i thought is was interesting at first, but for the wrong reasons… i am no friend of organized religion, i am somewhere on the spectrum between atheist and agnostic… but the reasoning here seems a bit botched… > - This time, it was New York’s vaccine mandate, which initially included an exemption for religious objectors. These objectors included some Catholics and other Christians who oppose abortion. The vaccines are derived in part from abortion — specifically, from fetal-cell lines used in vaccine production and testing. Nevertheless, when Kathy Hochul replaced Andrew Cuomo as governor, she stripped the religious exemption from the mandate, making the astonishing acknowledgment that she had done so “intentionally” because those who resisted vaccination “aren’t listening to God and what God wants.”

  • January 6 Committee Votes to Recommend Contempt Charges for Mark Meadows, Zachary Evans, National Review… of note to me is the article’s description of the events on January 6th and the calling into question the makeup of the committee: > - The select committee was formed to investigate the Capitol riot, during which supporters of the former president breached the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to interrupt the certification of the Electoral College results. > > However, Pelosi refused to appoint two lawmakers recommend by House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) to the panel, leading McCarthy and most Republicans to withhold cooperation with the committee. Representatives Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), both staunch critics of President Trump in relation to the events of January 6, are the only Republicans on the nine-member committee.

First Thoughts

… frustrating morning… weight way up… computer crashed last night and needs to be rebooted… the rebooting takes time… is so slow… a new computer soon…

… a dog pooped in the living room, not sure which… one was lingering, eating the poop surreptitiously… life’s continuous chaotic mess, everything trying to fall apart and cover itself in dust… we, resisting the chaotic tide with varying degrees of success until we can’t anymore… our houses and things miss us when we are gone, but they quickly fall into the hands of new chaos resisters with new visions of the sea walls to be erected against the tidal flow…

… while waiting for my computer to boot up i start reading Shifting the Silence, by Etel Annan… i read some paragraphs yesterday and loved them… today, i read those same paragraphs and some beyond and it doesn’t really make sense… too dependent on what might be thought common knowledge but isn’t… personal reveries that seem pretty when read but don’t make sense when i try to unpack them… i come across a paragraph that someone has underlined, maybe several someones have underlined and i think… this reads like it sits on the edge of profound, but i can’t really make out its meaning… if there is a secret being shared, i have no idea what it is…

… i have to admit to myself that i may not be in a receptive frame of mind given the morning’s frustrations and disappointments… i should save if for later but then the “Creative Cloud Helper” needs to repair itself… i assume it is because Lightroom crashed last night trying to back up the catalog… i need a new computer capable of finishing the task… will J pay me soon?…

… i give up on Creative Cloud Helper… taking forever to load, on reloading it wants to repair itself again… it’s such a messed up program unit, why can’t they sort it out?… the problem it has is well known… there ought to be a way to permanently resolve it…

… it is already 6:20 and i feel i have made little progress in the normal morning rituals… sidetracked by technology that should work better but isn’t…

… HCR meter… it’s a wash… lots to celebrate in the House’s passage of the Build Back Better bill… though there will now be a process in the Senate and who knows if it will survive… the indicators suggest that it has been worked out to be largely palatable to the Senate Democrat moderates, so maybe… but then she talks about the Rittenhouse acquittal, which the right is trumpeting and which liberal pundits believe will lead to rifle toting thugs at any sort of demonstration, especially those by black people, brown people, women, etc… she raises the specter of the Civil War… everything in the news media i follow suggests that some kind of civil war is coming… Democrats are trying to head it off with money in peoples pockets, new roads and bridges, broadband for all… hoping enough people will feel enough better about things that they will turn away from the conspiracy theories, especially the lie that the election was stollen… 45’s own niece called him the most dangerous man on earth… well, the most dangerous to the country… for a while he had his finger on the triggers of nuclear Armageddon… but it was clear that he would be back, and if not him, some one of a horrible group of individuals who would burn it all down and claim what was left for themselves… remake it in the image of white men as it was meant, according to them, to be… liberals accused of reigning down marxism on the people with their efforts to spend money to make those peoples lives better!… and the people believing it!… three card monty with the hopes, dreams and fears of the people…

… i have only read two dozen paragraphs of Etel Adnan and already i write like she does… i am a mimic… i noticed this a long time ago as i spent time in places with accents different to mine… the south, Great Britain… i adjust myself to what i hear and read apparently… when i was reading haiku, i made micro poems daily… no longer reading them, i have lost the knack… now it’s a kind of prose poetry that amounts to a continuum of reverie about?… a long life coming to a close… this is the territory i am heading into… it seems unfair to be heading into it at a time when things could devolve into complete chaos… do we have the energy and resilience to survive?… do we want to?… shouldn’t we have been allowed to mellow out in our golden years?…

First Thoughts

… this morning it starts to feel like the downhill race to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year… the middle of Week 46, less than seven weeks to go…

HCR meter encouraging… the case for holding 45 accountable is being built, slowly, steadily… the Trumpublicans get crazier and crazier… Representative Gosar only the latest iteration of bat shit crazy with his tweeted anime wherein he decapitates(?) AOC… there is justifiable outrage… all the Trumpers in congress care about is disciplining the 13 congress men and women who voted for the infrastructure bill, a broadly popular bill that their states all desperately need… absolute loyalty to the party is all they care about… it is a necessary condition for authoritarian rule… this quote from Liz Cheney is amazing:

 “In this time of testing, will we do our duty? Will we do what we must? Will we defend our Constitution? Will we stand for truth? Will we put duty to our oath above partisan politics? Or will we look away from the danger, ignore the threat, embrace the lies and enable the liar?” she said. “There is no gray area when it comes to that question. When it comes to this moment, there is no middle ground.”1

… i am in love with Liz Cheney… a politician with strong integrity… i suspect i disagree with most of her politics, but on the issue of where we are and what we need to do she is bang on…

… i continue to struggle with refining what i am doing photographically… struggle is probably too strong a word… i am evolving and refining what i am doing…

… oh my, did i finally turn off autocapitalize?… it seems i did!… so exciting… no more having to escape capitalization!…

… back to what sort of photographer am i?… i have begun to center on the iPhone as my camera of daily choice… easier, lighter, and damn, image quality is getting so good!… this, coupled with the very easy workflow of native camera app to Ulysses to Micro.blog has pushed me in the direction of publishing photos as i go, without editing, without careful selection of images to include… photography (and writing) of-the-now… i am publishing photographs in color, some of which i later import into Lightroom, turn to black and white and edit more careful in general… i have decided to be increasingly selective with that group, while maintaining a broader selection on the iPhone photo app… in color… part of me wanted to share color photographs with the Salon last night… instead i prepared a selection of images in black and white from the past ten days… i did not present them as there were an abundance of photographers wanting to show their work, but i reviewed that set several times and i feel good about it…

… so, the practice is evolving as both an of-the-now practice and one that then filters the of-the-now body of work into a more considered body of work with a focused and edited sensibility to it… this is the body that will coalesce into portfolios, book projects, photo poems…

… H wound up in a much better mood yesterday afternoon and evening… they went for a walk with Chas, an idea they sneered at when i suggested it in the morning… “it’s boring, my back hurts” they told me… they did the dishes while i was Zooming with my Salon buddies… i have this nagging question about yesterday morning… did they, for some reason, conscious or not, feel the need to torpedo my good mood and high spirits?… they did an excellent job of it… i can’t help but wonder…

… on the alcohol front… last couple of nights i have limited myself to beer… this seems to be working out… no mildly debilitating effects the morning after… for some reason, perhaps its volume of liquid, i am not as prone to overdoing it with beer… and last night’s meal was kielbasa roasted on a bed of onion, red pepper and red cabbage, glazed with peach preserve and mustard, served with mashed potatoes… beer was a perfect accompaniment, though Corona might not have been the perfect beer for the meal…


  1. Via Letters from and American, November 09, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson. [return]

First Thoughts

… i am up at 3:30 AM… the effects of the daylight savings change… it will settle out, but i again ask why do we do this to ourselves?… an article on whether DST saves energy is inconclusive… it saves electricity consumed for lights, but may increase electricity and other fuels consumed to heat and cool… is it worth the disruption of sleep cycles?… can’t we find another way to adjust ourselves?… like start work an hour earlier and stop an hour earlier?… don’t most of us work 24/7 anyway?… aren’t more of us working from home now?…

… i read an article that suggests 45 is the odds-on favorite to win the presidency in 2024… dear god how is it possible?… bookmakers, please check your calculations again… i really don’t know what i will do if that happens…

… are we really being pushed to authoritarianism because it is more efficient?… were the Middle Ages really efficient for humankind?…

… an article discussing Texas law SB8… something about judicial immunity from law suits hampering the clear cut argument that the vigilante provisions of the law are a dangerous precedent that has the potential to undermine constitutional rights in a variety of ways… something about enjoining their clerks from working on enforcement of the law rather than judges… i didn’t completely understand…

… all of this on top of not feeling well… kind of tired… maybe it’s alcohol, though i don’t believe i overindulged last night… it does seem to sap me… just doesn’t agree with my system anymore?…

… started watching Rake, an Australian series featuring a rakish lawyer surrounded by a complex of beautiful, smart and accomplished women who frequently bare their breasts (along with the men in the show, but a man’s bare breast is way less interesting than a woman’s to me)…

… if i am honest, i am in it for the beautiful women characters who bare their breasts first, the story telling second… did i mention that the women characters are also smart and accomplished?…

… the story lines are interesting, the main characters all have redeeming virtues to balance their flaws, and there is a gamut of reasonably well rendered human complexity offered up… but denying i am powerfully attracted by the titillation is the same as saying one buys Playboy for the articles (does anyone still say that? Does Playboy still exist in any meaningful way?)… yes, there may be good articles, but really, it’s the tits and ass that matters…

… i come up against this uncomfortable truth over and over and over again… to the point where i throw up my hands in frustration at what to do… i know that society’s continued emphasis on women’s bodies is a mess of objectification that does women general harm in their efforts to be taken seriously as smart and accomplished individuals… but there is this primal thing… i am hardwired to be sexually attracted to women i think are beautiful… the mechanics of it are different for the two sexes (and i will leave aside for the moment all the gender fluid nuances that exist), but the bottom line is primal attraction is primal and it is not possible to eradicate it from my being…

… i can try not to be drawn into programming and imagery that gets my libido going, but why?… i enjoy having my libido engaged… it feels good… as long as it involves adults portrayed consensually and in consensual engagement, and as long as i am able to separate fantasy from reality, i set myself free to be titillated without guilt…

… i am coming to the conclusion that it is best not to try to ban libidinous reactions from my mind (not that i have ever really tried)… nor do i think i should be embarrassed by it (which i sometimes am)… instead, i need to acknowledge to myself how powerful they are, take note of when and how they are activated, then let them move through like clouds in the sky, enjoyed simply for what they are…

… what matters to me is how i treat women (all human beings really, but women are the focus here)… acknowledging my initial primal reaction (to myself) and then letting it pass through is, as far as i can see, my best strategy for moving on to a more respectful and satisfying relationship with the women i share the planet with…

HCR Meter, Slow Moving Coup

… about two op-eds by Republicans or former Republicans… all sensible Republicans should vote Democrat until the existential crisis is over… Bill Maher aired a monologue1 in which he says bluntly, 45 will run and will be nominated by the Republican Party in 2024 which will lead to a constitutional crisis of epic proportions… it’s worth finding and watching… we, apparently, faced a similar threat leading up to the civil war… _something happening here, what it is is pretty clear_… to paraphrase a CSNY song…


  1. Starts at about minute 47 [return]

First Thoughs

… i went to bed typing out a few words about 45, who is all over the news… the alarm bells are ringing louder and louder… we have a problem… it’s been clear for a while that we have a problem… that 45 is a growing and festering threat to democracy in the country… i am not clear that democrats will be able to rise to the occasion… they don’t seem to be doing so right now…

… my final words effort is struggling… as i sit here i think that when i retire to bed, i should sit at my desktop computer and spend five, ten, fifteen minutes composing my thoughts… will keep trying…

… my hope (against hope) is that radical conservative republicans are so overreaching at the present moment, that 45 is such a significant threat, there will be a tidal wave against them at the polls and it will put them down for good… it would help to have some voting rights legislation…

… photography salon tonight… i need to put together some photos to share… i have them, just haven’t finished editing and cataloging and not sure what i want to share…

… no alcohol last night… and it wasn’t hard… will repeat tonight, but then there is tomorrow when there will be friends and dinner and wine and laughter and, quite likely, drinking too much… unless… unless i map out a strategy and stick to it…

… i slept in until 5 AM… i have been doing that more lately…

… crickets still chirping, windows still open– winter still coming

… the thing about existential threats… they have to be met…

HCR meter

… not smoke, fire…

… about the debt ceiling fight, 45’s control of the Republican Party, the efforts of a hyper-radicalized minority to seize control of the country…

… we are heading towards a full bore constitutional crisis that will play out in the next two election cycles… 2022 will give us a good idea of where the country stands…

… Democrats have the power to reign it in, if they become willing to alter, limit or abolish the filibuster… so far they have not been willing to do that, but the debt ceiling will present itself as a continued battle in December that may require it… will Senators Sinema and Manchin get on board?… or will they go down in history as the two senators that could have stopped authoritarian rule but didn’t?…

… the country has been to this kind of precipice before… the last time a civil war broke out…

… it seems we come to the precipice periodically and manage to preserve democracy, albeit at great cost… will it be preserved now?… hard to know…

First Thoughts

Heather Cox Richardson made a post today… she usually takes Saturday night off… however, Rod Rosen testimony has begun… there has been news reporting that 45 directly pressured the Justice Department to overturn the election… it was barely resisted… but, it was resisted and now it will be testified about… will be interesting to hear what the reporting is in the coming weeks… is the noose tightening around 45?… will there be justice served?… or will our system allow him the weasel away?… HCR is hopeful… stay tuned…

… E and B had a movie night last night… wasn’t totally in the mood, but went anyway… it was fun… it was outdoors… most surprising was that i wasn’t bitten by mosquitoes… fans seemed to do the trick of keeping them away…

… had to change track on construction projects… did some research on PT lumber and the consensus seems to be that it is good to let the lumber do some drying before installing it… so i set it up with air circulation and we will wait and see… in the meantime, i plan to move on to the dining room trim… i have some boards and should be able to get it started…

… i am glad to have no commitments today, other than family zoom…

… i purchased a subscription to SetApp… i think it will be less expensive in the long run, once i switch Ulysses over to being managed through it… i also really like the NotePlan app for tracking what you plan to do, what you do… there is an Instagram uploader that may be moderately helpful in posting my images…

… yesterday i didn’t turn the TV on at all… if i had been home last night, i would have watched a movies, but that is my plan, little TV for the time that H is on BI…

… also, i continue to spend very little time on FB or Instagram… not missing it that much… feeling more at peace… it helps to not engage in the desire disappointment cycle of being liked or not…

04 The Complicity of Booksellers in the Rise of White Supremacy and 45

… what we choose to publish and promote in bookstores has consequences argues Josh Cook in an excerpt from his new book, The Least We Can Do

… should there really be free speech?, shouldn’t the dissemination of some ideas be suppressed?, it’s a slippery slope and, in any case, largely out of the hands of booksellers; because of social media; because of anyone’s ability to set up a website attract followers and disseminate dangerous ideas…

… some amount of censorship is needed, but who decides?…