Monday, December 16, 2019

Evanston: hell before breakfast; AirPod Pros again; John Clare

I have just finished reading the interesting and well written HELL BEFORE BREAKFAST which is about war correspondents in the last half of the Nineteenth Century.  I knew of a few of them before reading the book, but most I did not.  They were interesting, adventuresome men.  In addition to the wars they covered, the book also describes the circulation wars between the newspapers of the age.

The title comes from a quote by General Sherman who with some justification considering the lies they wrote about him despised reporters and when told one had died in battle said, “That’s good news!  We’ll have dispatches now from hell before breakfast.”

Our flights to and from Charlotte, NC last week were my first real opportunity to test the AirPod Pro’s noise cancellation and they passed admirably.  The noise cancellation is not quite as good as that on my Bose Quiet Comfort 35 headphones, but close enough considering the difference in size and convenience.  I even found squeezing the stem to switch from noise cancellation to what Apple calls ‘transparency’ where outside sounds are more easily heard without having to remove a Pod easy.

In IMMORTAL POETS I came across John Clare, whose work was unknown to me.   I like some of his poems very much.

Here is his, ‘I Am’ which was written in the Northampton County Asylum

I Am!

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows; 
My friends forsake me like a memory lost: 
I am the self-consumer of my woes— 
They rise and vanish in oblivious host, 
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes 
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed 

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, 
Into the living sea of waking dreams, 
Where there is neither sense of life or joys, 
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems; 
Even the dearest that I loved the best 
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest. 

I long for scenes where man hath never trod 
A place where woman never smiled or wept 
There to abide with my Creator, God, 
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, 
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie 
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
And here is a link to a longer poem, ‘The Badger’, which says as much about us as badgers.

I thank my Mission Bay marina neighbor, Kevin, for forwarding the above beautiful photo which carries a watermark of Evengy.Yorobe. Photography.  I will of course remove it if asked.

The photo is taken in line with GANNET’s view of the Sea World tower which is streamed with Christmas lights at this time of year.  The photographer caught the exact moment when the full moon became a tree top ornament.

A good time to wish all of you a pleasant holiday season and a splendid 2020.