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…

Is Russia Inflicting Brain Damage on CIA Officers and Diplomats?, Nestor T. Carbonell, National Review, December 19, 2021

… there is a lot of ominous news on the world stage regarding Russia… the troop buildup on the border of Ukraine… a foreign affairs analyst commenting on MSNBC that signs are disturbing and this article on Havana Syndrome… it appears the US is getting closer to pinning it on Russia… the tension grows…

Beginning the day…

… wake up at 2:00 AM for the bathroom… sleep fitfully, if at all, until 3:30 AM… i get up, Fiona hops off the bed, we leave the bedroom together… i weigh myself, 230.0 lbs, get dressed, follow Fiona downstairs… fill the kettle and put it on the stove… Fiona wants to go out, but because i now have to supervise her, she has to wait… clean the coffee pot, grind the coffee, take my medications, retrieve the cat food dish, clean it out, open a tin of cat food, dump it in the dish, return the dish to its stand at the top of the basement stairs… i go upstairs to get Chas… we return downstairs… the dogs and i go out the back door to the back garden… i follow Fiona to the way back, observe her peeing, we return to the back door where Chas is waiting… treats for the dogs when we come back in… then i go out the front door to put the garbage out to the street… on the way the smell of poop… when i return i flip the living room lights on and sure enough, a small pile on the rug by the gas fireplace… the coffee water is boiling, i turn it off and pour water over the coffee grounds then go to clean up the poop… while waiting for the coffee i read Heather Cox Richardson and find it at least not so depressing… apparently Biden has organized considerable financial pressure to be applied to Russia if Putin decides to invade Ukraine… Tucker Carlson is complaining that the Biden Admin is overreacting and that Russia is just beefing up defense of its borders… there was a time when few in positions of power and influence would support Russia, but Carlson has proven to be enameled of oligarchies and dictatorships… i imagine he wants to be dictator himself one day… there is a selfish streak in to much of the American population i have thought to myself… we emphasize individual liberty over the common good… it’s biting us in the ass right now… various actors in the previous administration are in a variety of phases of being cornered into testimony… will it all be done in time to make a difference?…

03 On Photography, Max Sher:

Max Sher, from Palimpsests, published by Ad Marginem

… i love photography books… i have a small collection and love looking through them… i have long wanted to center my own photography practice around the making of books by hand, the artist object… this seems to make the most sense as a way to deal with the thousands of images i collect each year…

… because i love photography books there are a number of reviewers that i follow religiously… Brad Feuerhelm is one of them…

… this morning he reviews Palimpsests, a book by Max Sher, an emergent Russian photographic artist…

… the images are de-populated urban scapes in the tradition of Stephen Shore and New Topographics… they focus on places where the new is overlaying the old… it is highly recommended by BF… i wish i had an endless pot of money for photo book purchase and to build a library to house my thus ever growing collection…