Sunday, May 29, 2011

Packing Things Up, Wrapping Things Up

Andrew and I are packing things up, and wrapping things up.

We plan to pack our computers tonight. We will be offline at least until Friday.

Andrew and I are not unhappy to leave Boston, but people here have been very good to us. We have no complaints.

One regret: we never made a series of exhaustive visits to the Museum Of Fine Arts in order to undertake a comprehensive examination of its collections. That project will have to wait until another time.

Another regret: the Harvard museums have been closed for extensive renovations our entire time in Boston.

Otherwise, we have experienced Boston about as much as we wanted to. Some things about the city make it a very attractive place, and other things about the city make it a very unappealing place.

Will we miss anything about Boston? There is nothing about Boston I will miss. Large American cities are more or less alike—and Minneapolis is much cleaner and much more prosperous than Boston, and the people in Minneapolis are, by and large, much friendlier and much more courteous than the people of Boston.

We look forward to going home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Festering Sea Of Bad Information

The internet is a cesspool, a festering sea of bad information.

Eric Schmidt


Ain’t that the truth.

I am appalled, every time I log on, at the idiocy I encounter.

I think intelligent persons must be boycotting the internet.

The internet has become a forum for the screeds of the unemployed, the underemployed, the uneducated and the undereducated.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Kaiser Visiting German Wounded

Kaiser Wilhelm visiting German wounded near Verdun in 1916.

The Fall Of Eagles

Kaiser Wilhelm at Berlin’s memorial service for Emperor Franz Joseph.

Kaiser Wilhelm did not travel to Vienna to attend in person Franz Joseph’s funeral. The Kaiser sent Crown Prince Wilhelm to Vienna to represent The House Of Hohenzollern at Franz Joseph’s memorial observances.

By late 1916, the mood throughout Central Europe was as somber and dark as this photograph; prospects for victory were grim—and would become grimmer still when America entered the war the following year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

World War I: Destroyed Church In France

A rare and primitive color photograph from 1917 showing the remains of a church in France destroyed by shelling during World War I.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Peaceful Sunday

Hans Thoma (1839-1924)
Hamburg Kunsthalle

Oil On Canvas
42 1/8 Inches By 31 5/16 Inches

Friday, May 6, 2011

Grass-Stain Activities

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.

Woody Allen


Which might explain the selections of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, and Alec Baldwin as my commencement speakers. I cannot imagine two more absurd choices.

Since, as a practical matter, I cannot skip the ceremonies, I think I may take a travel guide or two to all commencement activities.

Travel guides are compact. Travel guides are unobtrusive. Travel guides feature very short articles. Travel guides include lots of photographs.

Travel guides, consequently, may constitute the ideal vehicle to assist me in enduring inane graduation addresses I have no desire to hear.

I have no idea how my invited guests are expected to survive addresses by the President of Liberia and Alec Baldwin. My guests are as deeply unhappy as I with the gruesome choice of speakers. Indeed, I believe it would be accurate to state that my parents are totally appalled, and that Andrew’s parents are totally appalled.

As far as I’m concerned, the choice of speakers has rendered my graduation exercises nothing more than a joke—and I have basically lost all interest in the full array of graduation activities. The two-day affair now strikes me as entirely unseemly.

Five years ago, when Andrew graduated from law school, the commencement address was offered by Chief Justice John Roberts, the top jurist in the land.

Five years later, the inexplicable choice of speakers for my graduation has robbed the occasion of all sense of dignity and all sense of joy.

What should be a memorable, celebratory event has become an afflicted one.

It shall be a sullen two days in Boston.


My examinations ended earlier this week, and my formal education is now complete, as I had announced yesterday in my primitive Latin.

I now have almost three weeks to kill before graduation. I think I shall spend most of that time on Minnesota Bar Review materials.

Andrew will work for another two weeks; Friday, May 20, will be Andrew’s final day of work in Boston.

The following week, we have six graduation guests arriving: my parents; my sister and my brother; and Andrew’s parents.

I told Alec and Lizbeth (and the kids) to stay home. I told Alex to stay home.

Depending upon the particular function, I am granted only two or three tickets per graduation event, no more—and I have no idea how to allocate the tickets in order to make everyone happy. (For some events, persons without tickets are allowed to sit on the grass at the outside edge of the various venues—with the result that Andrew has now taken to calling my graduation activities “grass-stain activities”.)


Movers are scheduled to arrive at our apartment on Tuesday morning, May 31.

It should take the movers no more than four hours to clean us out, since Andrew and I will have completed in advance the boxing of small items as well as the disassembling of furniture insofar as possible.

The following morning, Andrew and I plan to get in the car, and start the long drive home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011