“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

To the Feed Store!


I need to go to the feed store.  I know a back road that goes through the woods.  It's a little longer than the road to town but I am not in the mood to drive through town today.  The leaf changeover is in full swing and this back route is a nice drive. 

If I get ambitious I may change the oil in the Cherokee this afternoon.   That's about the only thing I need to do that I feel like tackling .   This is a low energy day for me.   Some days, for no discernible reason, I just can't get started.  Probably the fact that I stayed up reading til the wee hours of the morning didn't help.


  I've read this before and I am struggling through it again. Chandler was a famous English historian.  This is one of the best books on the Napoleonic Wars ever written.  It has it's quirks, though.  The author, being English, assumed that his readers would all be able to speak French.  So there are long quotes in here, in the original French,  without translations. I have to painfully write down the page number of each. Then when my wife comes home, she can translate them for me. She speaks French.  Being American, my only second language is Spanish, so no help there.

There are long chapters on tactics and strategy. I read them, because if you don't you can't understand what Chandler is saying when he describes the battles, but it's the battles I really like.  I paid sixty bucks for this book when I was an impoverished Second Lieutenant, so you know it has to be good.


It is getting cold here.  I turned on the propane heaters last night for the first time. This was not so much because I was cold, as because the ferrets were cold.  When you wake up at night and have five ferrets in a big pile under the covers at the foot of the bed, you know it is time to turn on the heaters.


14 comments:

  1. Enjoy the colors. My cats get cold fast as they are Fla cats. One ups on the counter, then to the fridge, then top of kitchen cupboards. The other two head for the blankets.

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  2. I think animals are more sensitive to the weather than humans. Otherwise, how would they start putting on their winter coats when it is still fairly warm?

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  3. Chandler is top notch. I also really enjoyed "The Age of Napoleon" by Will and Ariel Durant and "Swords around a throne" by Elting. Of course I was always far more interested in Wellington than Napoleon usually. It's funny everyone still studies Napoleon's campaigns but have largely ignored Wellington's and I still believe Wellington's have far more to offer in today's world.

    My favorite lesson I learned from reading about Wellington was his analogy of Napoleon's overall battlefield strategy compared to his own. He stated that the French designed their plan like a well crafted harness while he tied his together with rope. I have found that analogy useful many times in my life.

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  4. I had the entire Durant series, but when I worked at the park I gave it to the little naturalist. She was working on her masters in history, didn't have two pennies to rub together, and I liked her. Besides, I knew I'd never work my way through that set again.

    I've got Swords Around a Throne sitting on the shelf downstairs. I've never read much about the Iron Duke, but what I have read makes me think he was a practical man. An aristo to the core though, he doesn't seem to have had much empathy for his men. Napoleon could make his soldiers worship him, but he doesn't seem to have really cared much for them. He never hesitated to abandon them if necessary (Egypt and Russia come to mind) but they never lost faith in him.

    Good book, and I read it to help me relax and get to sleep. If you really have to concentrate on a book, you can't worry about anything else and it helps unwind.

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    1. I think today we forget that having your men love you in the horse and musket English army was left to the mid-level commanders. For instance the English during the Napoleonic period placed far more importance on their Brigade level commanders who in many cases were very well loved by their troops. Even division commanders had that same following that Napoleon did. Picton was a good example of this, as far as I know he wasn't all that nice a fellow, had even been put on trial for torture back in the colonies, but his men reportedly were fanatically loyal.

      In the English army the overall commanders were expected to be stand offish I guess.

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    2. Wellington had a reputation for being haughty even to other aristocrats. Of course, given the power that his family wielded in England I suppose he can be forgiven that. Picton was the one armed general who went into battle wearing a beaver evening hat, wasn't he?

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  5. You could be tired from going to Walmart so early the other day.

    That's cool that your wife can translate for you. Sounds like an interesting read.

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    1. I've had difficulty getting to sleep since the early 1980's. It's just a facet of my daily life. I think I really sleep more during the day than I do at night.

      She went to the University of Tours for French Studies, and the language in Niger, where her parents worked in the mission field and she lived most of her early life, was French. So it's handy. When we lived in Italy we went to France a lot and we were always well treated by the French because she spoke the language.

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  6. Those ferrets are just so cute. I didn't know they felt the cold, must be nice and cozy in your bed :)

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    1. Tania, they're good pals. They get hot easily though, and they get cold easily as well. They need the temperature to be about 70 degrees and the humidity right around 55%. They sleep in piles, all snuggled up to each other. When they are cold, or frightened (they hate thunder) they all roar into my bedroom and fort up under the covers.

      Hope things are going well with you. I go by your place pretty often to see if there are any new pictures of the outback.

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  7. I am glad to see some cooler weather, good time to do some reloading.

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    1. Cold weather is definitely reloading time. I've been rearranging out in the shop getting my loading bench all squared away.

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  8. Just chuckling at how you have colour coordinated your ferrets and blankets :)

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    1. That's an old blanket we bought in Germany in 1983! The ferrets love it because it is fake fur and they can snuggle down into it.

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