• A personal favorite. Hippie cakes, every time.

  • Empires place their reliance upon sword and cannon. Republics put their trust in citizens’ respect for the law. If law be not sacred, a free government will not endure.

    — John Ireland

  • Either mezcal makes me sleepy, or it’s the quantity of mezcal that makes me sleepy. More testing may be necessary to narrow this down.

  • Honestly, who said, “Gas pumps need more of this?”

  • It’s nearly 10pm, I’m four hours & change from Minneapolis, and I’m craving a jucy lucy (or three).

  • The President’s Lie | schuth.xyz

  • The daytime high in Yakutsk today is colder than the overnight low here tonight. I’m rather jealous.

  • Today’s arrival. Looking forward to many delicious meals thanks to this package from New Mexico.

  • The thing from Apple’s event that most resonated with me was a professed commitment to making durable goods that can be recycled into new components in the end. Yet the market pressures on such a hyper-capitalist company surely subordinate that commitment to its bottom line.

  • So, if I:

    • need three-plus years to afford an upgrade,
    • am not a twenty-something gamer, but
    • want to take great photos of my kid &
    • have a big screen to accommodate aging eyes,

    the best new iPhone for me is…

    Because I tell you what, the iPhone XS Max leaves me cold.

  • I wonder if William Shatner is Jeff Williams’ presentation coach.

  • Look, I might be the world’s biggest Mal Waldron fan, but I don’t believe for the life of me that his solo version of “Strange Fruit” from Blues for Lady Day belongs on Apple Music’s “Chill Mix.”

  • How to ensure I never darken the door of your establishment:

    Send me a coupon for my birthday. I’ve never heard of your business, but I now know you or your marketing team bought a package of information containing my personal data. As far as I’m concerned, now you’re a stalker.

  • A Half-Century of Recycling

    This month the City of Madison marks a half-century for its first-in-the-nation curbside recycling program:

    When I came into this business, I was a tree-hugger; now I’m an international commodity broker.

    — George Dreckmann, Recycling Coordinator (1990–2016)

    It’s ongoing progressive-minded initiatives like these that make me proud of the place I’ve come to call home. I can’t wait for the City to build an anaerobic digester that propels that legacy into the future.

  • Imagine a job where your organization is continually being sabotaged by its own board of directors. That’s what working in public higher education in Wisconsin has been like since 2011: unrelenting & ever-worsening, an absolute looting of a century-plus of public investment.

  • Winding the weekend down with a mezcal Old Fashioned: resposado mezcal, tequila plata, Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters, agave nectar, & flamed twist of orange peel.

  • Bär is Pascal Floerks’ meditation on his grandfather, including his voluntary enlistment in the Luftwaffe as a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper). Floerks’ zoomorphic use of the bear is both brilliant & deeply unsettling.

    Bär | Vimeo

  • How to Fall in Love with Classical Music?

    What are the five minutes or so — longer than a moment, shorter than a symphony — that you’d play for a friend to convince them to fall in love with classical music?

    My selections:

    • Chopin - Nocturne for Piano in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2
    • Mozart - Trio for Clarinet, Viola, & Piano in E-flat major, K. 498 “Kegelstatt”
    • Elgar - Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 - I - Adagio- Moderato
    • Zarebski - Kołysanka (Lullaby), Op. 22
    • Tchesnokov - Cпасение coдeлaл еси (Salvation is Created)
    • Pärt - Da Pacem Domine

    5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music | The New York Times

  • I’m going to feel it tomorrow, but I’m not going to apologize for staying up late to listen to Elgar, Pärt, Richter, & Jóhannsson with the windows of a dark house flung open to the night breezes.

  • Superman: Blue Moon, cherry, & vanilla.

  • I don’t often get to Saint Paul*, but I’ll be there on 17 September to speak on a round table on writing about war, survival, homecoming, & healing.

    * When I lived in the Cities, I was a Minneapolitan.

  • Impromptu delicatessen pit-stop: schnitzel sandwich (fried pork schnitzel, sweet & sour slaw, spicy brown mustard, butter roll), pickled beets, mac salad, & Summit’s Unchained Westie 7th Belgian-style dark ale.

  • Some people measure their time on campus by cumulative semesters, years, courses taught, advisees graduated, or colleagues emeriti. I measure mine in retired bus passes.

  • Overheard from the living room, shortly after getting home for the evening:

    Daughter: “Hello, books! I’m home!”

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