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Monthly Archives: May 2022

Cooler summer cooking, outside

Even if cooking on the deck didn’t keep the heat out of the kitchen, cooking on the deck would still be worth doing. Cooking outdoors is as much fun as eating outdoors. I have long used my gas grill for cooking on the deck. But not everything wants to be cooked on a grill. Today […]

Remember old library books?

When I was writing the post about Edna St. Vincent Millay a few days ago, I thought about the 1964 Rowse edition of the Shakespeare sonnets that I used to own. That book was destroyed in a house fire in 1974. Having recently gotten a new shelf to occupy the last remaining shelf space in […]

Turning our political radar north

The countries of the Baltic Sea. Source: Global International Waters Assessment via Wikimedia Commons. Today, Sweden and Finland formally applied for membership in NATO. (Washington Post story here.) This is a very big deal. Remember when the Neocon war hawks of the Bush-Cheney administration tried to teach us that diplomacy no longer matters and strove […]

Centrist misdirection

After an 18-year-old with an AR-15 killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket, The Atlantic was quick out of the gate with a piece typical of its radical centrism. The article was “America’s Gun Plague,” by David Frum. Was the shooter a left-wing extremist? asks Frum in the first paragraph. A vegan animal-rights zealot? But […]

Young Russians

Yesterday John Twelve Hawks posted on Facebook a link to this YouTube recording. A screen shot of his posting is below. John Twelve Hawks is reminding us that it’s not just Ukrainians who are dying in this war. Young Russians are dying by the thousands. The recording is from 2019, so clearly the composer, Kirill […]


This series is British, but it comes along just when it’s needed in the United States: that is, as Republican states such as Florida and Texas try to invent ugly new laws designed to make the lives of young people miserable and to intimidate and punish anyone who dares to try to make the world […]

Millay’s diaries (and sonnets)

Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Edited by Daniel Mark Epstein, Yale University Press. 390 pages. I’m not going to review this book. I couldn’t possibly top the New Yorker’s review: How Fame Fed on Edna St. Vincent Millay. One of the reasons the New Yorker review caught my interest is […]

1880 edition of Ivanhoe

Click here for high-resolution version. The way books are constructed has hardly changed in centuries. It’s daunting, though, to contemplate just how much human labor was required to publish a book in 1880. The Linotype was invented in 1884 (in the United States), but I’m sure it was years before they were widely in use. […]

Strawberry preserves

… Or maybe it’s more like strawberry syrup. Though I reduced the sugar a bit, which is probably what made the preserves too thin, I did cook the preserves until they reached 220 degrees. I greatly prefer preserves that are slightly runny, even if this batch is a bit too runny. To my taste, it’s […]

Banned in Texas

Better Nate Than Ever, Disney+ If you haven’t watched a Disney feel-good flick for a while, then here are two reasons to watch Better Nate Than Ever. One, it’s very funny and very sweet. It’s even got Lisa Kudrow. Two, the book the film is based on is a good example of the kind of […]