Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Since I read Gene D. Cohen's The Mature Mind, last fall, I have been keeping half an eye cocked on times when my own mind seems to be working maturely, i.e., when it seems the right and left brain function [so famous in the last ten years or so] actually are interlaced, when the mass of connections seem to be firing at a level of which I am not conscious. Times come up when I see evidence that, yes, my brain seems to be acting maturely. [Actually I don't doubt it but I like definite evidence.]

An example: For the last week or so, I've been writing short story to comply with "situation" which is a person sitting on the beach at dawn feeling elated. To me this could not be the beginning of a story, it needed to be the end. To get to a feeling of elation the person had to earn it by dealing with a difficult situation. To solve the problem I invented a woman staying at a beach house for a week, waking early the last morning and going down to the beach. She needed a problem -- her parents have both been killed in an auto accident. She is grieving and she must deal with their effects. The house is not hers but that of a lifelong friend who, hearing of the accident and understanding the strain, has offered the cottage for a week rent-free.

Fine, I've been changing and expanding and contracting the character's story. I knew, because I've lately read references to Homer, that I would use his phrases from the Odyssey, "rosy fingered dawn, wine dark sea, unwearying sea." I randomly chose the name of the friend, Helen. I had a cheerful Aunt of that name. I don't believe I've used it in fiction before.

Here's the ah-ha for me [not in the story] I realized today that those dendritic connections had grabbed Helen, not entirely randomly. It was Helen of Troy who is the ostensible reason the Trojan War came about; and in my story it is Helen who make it possible for the main character to be by the sea. No other name would have worked as perfectly in this situation. I did not chose Helen through a conscious process.

Perhaps I'm a little simple minded, but this kind of thing astonishes and moves me. The rightness of what seemed random as I discover the connections of which I was not aware. I think the logical brain would have come up with Helen if the little short stories had seemed to need that layer of meaning. Apparently something in me thought it did. To me this is very much like ESP, knowing something without knowing how you know it. That, too, has happened to me many times in my life. So maybe this instance is nothing remarkable. But then all brain function is, I think, remarkable.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ancient Impulses

Summer and the seashore bring out out more archetypal impulses. Last summer I wrote about a cairn build at the end of the spit of land I often walk on. That was destroyed in the end of summer, probably through the same impulse that makes little boys destroy their own and their sibling's sand castles. Likewise the bare tree adorned with shells for a couple of years was partly destroyed during the winter, which made me very sad. It's cripples skeleton still stands and is still covered with shells but it is awkward, almost ugly now.

However, it's remains has inspired at least three other attempts at tree decoration, a group of bushes not far from the original tree and, at the end of the spit, two other trees are now partially bedecked with shells -- all the two at the end of the spit are living trees with only a few dead branches so they look more like Christmas trees that the child of the family has begun to decorate in so far as his tiny arms will reach.

The wonder of the summer is the circle of stones right at the water's edge. It is filled with water at high tide. It is a near perfect circle, with a pile of small stones in the center. The "floor" of the circle has mostly made of white stones of which there are quite a few around. [Once in a while I throw a few more into the circle.] There is no sign that it has been used for building fires, cooking marshmallows or whatever. It seems purely an ancient impulse to make an circular enclosure.

Jung surely was onto something about the human's deepest memories.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Summary #6

To Kill a Mockingbird was written 50 years ago. It has been translated into 40 languages, woman Pulitzer Prize, made into an enduringly popular movie. Harper Lee, the author was given a Presidential Medal of Honor. This is the only book she has ever written.

As early as 1600BC Mesoamericans had learned complex rubber technology. The made rubber balls for ritual games, used rubber bands and had rubber sandals; this required rubber to be process for bounce/resiliency, elasticity and durability respectively, each a different "technology".

Orphan drugs are those for diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 [in the US] Big Pharma's PR people often say they are dedicated to finding drugs for those diseases even though they would make little money from them. Very few are brought to the market. Some are found to have unusual uses and prove to be money makers, for example bot ox was originally a cure for a condition causing muscle spasms but is now a very popular injection to make facial wrinkles disappear.

On the medical front, voice recognition software has advanced to the point that some 150,000 doctors are now using it for their patient's notes. It's now good enough, say they, that it no longer translates"supraspinatus" [a rotator cuff muscle] as "fish banana". Apparently there's not software to decode doctor's handwriting and probably never will be.

One more medical note: a craving for ice, all the time, not just in summer weather, is called "pagophagia" and is often a symptom of iron deficiency anemia. So when that guy at the next table at Pizza Hut is crunching away on his ice, tell him he really should be at a steak house having red meat, not a 4-cheese pizza.

In 982 Eric the Red sailed to a big island west of Iceland. He went home to Iceland and reported he'd found a big island he called "Greenland" and invited settlers to move there -- an bit of real estate hype! 4000 people fell for it. Once they were there he took off and found an even bigger "island" Newfoundland where he started a colony called "Vineland" Not many followed him there. Today Greenland is getting greener thanks to global warming and the 56,000 residents look forward to some prosperity in the future. When the coastal cities of North American and Europe are under water in a couple hundred years Greenland may be prime real estate.

The Kellogg Company has just recalled 28 million boxes of Apple Jacks, Corn Pups, Froot Looops and Honey Smacks because the lining in the box has such an awful smell people are complaining it makes them nauseous to the point of vomiting. They can't agree if it's a waxy, metallic or soapy smell, but they hate it.

Which brings me to a personal note. There's long been split in my family. One daughter and her family all love the herb cilantro [which has lately become very popular] which I and my other daughter think it tastes like soap and we want nothing with cilantro in it. I've discovered that there are at least two websites or blogs dedicated to people who fell as we do about it's soapy taste.

Finally from Wimbledon, an amazing game of tennis in which John Isner finally beat Nicholas Mahutin in the longest match ever played there with a score of 70-68 achieved in 182 games that took 11 hours and 5 minutes to play. The previous records was a winning game played by Jack Kramer in 1947 which lasted though 167 games [time not given] Yesterday Isner lost his next game in 57 minutes. Phew!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Reindeer People, Piers Vitebsky

From the beauties of summer to the desolate tundra of Siberia -- I have just finished reading a fascinating, wonderfully written book by anthropologist Piers Vitebsky who lived in Siberia among the Eveny people off and on for several years. He writes like a novelist, the reindeer herders become individuals -- and to them, each reindeer is a individual, whether the semi-domesticated "uchakhs", the gelded ones trained to be ridden and to pull sledges, or the even less domesticated ones in their private herds.

In the course of the book the picture of how the Soviet Union set out to destroy this ancient nomadic society and turn reindeer herding into a meat growing industry, and what has happened to the people since Communism folded and became consumerism is heart breaking from the beginning. Every native culture I have read about has been attacked by bigger forces and most have fared very, very badly and sadly. This is very true for the several tribes of reindeer herders in the Arctic circle. Their shamans were systematically killed [just as the monesetaries of Tibet and Mongolia and western China were destroyed]. Priceless knowledge has been lost forever, most of it knowledge that passed only by word of mouth from shaman to apprentice over many years.

The reindeer itself is a marvel, it can withstand winter temperatures that drop to -95 degrees, that the people find a way to withstand the same is even more amazing. It is easy to sink into narrow contemplation of one's own life and even try to ignore newspaper headlines, but I think it is also necessary to educate ourselves as best we can about the many other peoples who share the earth. A narrow view makes us narrow people. The wider view often makes us deeply sad, I don't think that's a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beautiful summer

A hallelujah of hydrangeas! Every morning when I drive down to the cul de sac with it's tiny parking lot for the conservation area where I like to walk, I pass larger and larger houses with more and more elaborately landscaped lawns. After psssing between beautiful weathered rail fences entwined with pink roses at their glory of abundance, I come to this and its neighboring hydrangeas. My senses are almost stunned. I park nosing the car at the tall, thick privet that gives privacy to the house beyond. The sharp, prickly scent of the privet flowers is just beginning. If I were a swooner I would faint flat out on my back at all this sensory overload coupled with the perfect blue sky. But I'm a walker so I go down to the beach, take off my sandals and walk barefoot beside the surf and smell the scent of rotting bits of crustacean emanating from the piles of their shells along the beach. At the far end I put my sandals back on to walk through the rocks and then turn the corner and follow the narrow path through the salt marsh and it's unseen nests of baby plovers protected by their screaming, circling parents.

Yesterday I saw the swan, the first one I've seen in this particular place although I know some live on a nearby pond. [If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see him]. He was moving along at a very good clip looking utterly serene as swans do, of course, but I assumed his big black feet were churning rapidly. He had the advantages of both the ebb tide and the outflow of the creek. Perhaps incongruously I thought of an article I had just read in the morning paper about John Updike's papers, now in a library at Harvard. He managed a private life that appeared to be as serene as the swan's passage, no scandals, no macho flamboyance. He worked hard and regularly and produced a very fine output of novels, criticism, poetry and other work. He acknowledged that he had much help from the editors at the New Yorker throughout his career. He was, like that swan in so many ways, enviable and a treasure for those of us who came upon his work, as the vision of the swan was another joy for me that morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Summary #5

"They're not rats. They're underground squirrels." This week the NYTimes asked subway riders to send in photos of rats in the NY subway system. They received many photos and also received many emails from people who like the rats like the wildlife on the tracks. The MTA periodically poisons rats even though they acknowledge they will never eliminate them.

Perhaps we are becoming for compassionate to other sensate creatures. In 1990 only 6 states had felony penalties for animal cruelty, today 46 states do. Some police forces are training their officers to recognize that animal cruelty is frequently associated with family violence.

Since the recession hit 2-ply toilet paper has outsold 1-ply toilet paper. Recently a super soft 3-ply paper has been for sale. Says a Quilted Northern exec, "People like affordable luxuries in bad times." -- if people weren't quite so willing to flush their extra dollars down the drain the recession might end sooner.

California spends an annual $216,000 on each child in the criminal justice system. They spend an annual $8,000 for each child in the Oakland School system. [Can anyone in California add 2 and 2?]

Every day there are 50,000 storms on the planet. This number is thought to be increasing due to global warming.

Sasquatch or Big Foot is not only reported in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. This week a man named Potter in the mountains of western North Carolina reported investigating a grunting noise in his backyard and saw a ten foot tall man-beast had become tangled in his dog's chains. "The thing had beautiful yellow hair and a yellow beard," he said. He scared it away, "I rough-talked him and said, 'You get away from here.'" and poked him with a stick. When reporting this to the police Potter asked if it would be considered murder if he shot the being should he return and attempt to come up on the porch. [Maybe he could just add a few four-lettered words to his rough-talk and scare the thing away permanently.]

"Women universally aren't keen on men's body hair," says an exec at Remington which is introducing a new shaver for men. A product researcher says, "You haven't lived until you've been in the bathroom with a man watching him shave all his body parts."

If men learn to rid themselves of body hair maybe no one will need the new drug that Boehringer Ingelheim, the Germany company, hopes to introduce. So far it's not even approved but they are placing advertisements to make women aware of a problem called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, HDSS is popularly known as "not tonight, Honey, I've got a headache."

A worker at Southwest Cargo Planes opened three misaddressed boxes and found 45 human heads. They were supposed to be delivered to a university laboratory for research. Apparently body parts are often shipped via air cargo. I wonder if the guy had nightmares after that experience.

Perhaps email is going the way of the pony express and the nearly moribund US postal service. At a Consumer 360 conference this week, a Facebook exec reported that only 11% of today's teenagers use email. The other 89% keep in touch with friends and family via telephone texting and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. [When we can no longer communicate in more than 100 words at a time, will literature and philosophy wither like wheat in a drought?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Great Oom, Robert Love

I know a lot, but not enough about P.A. Bernard, the subject of this biography, The GReat Oom, to wish I had written it and to know I couldn't have done all the research the author did, nor could i have written such a breezy, celebrity mad version of the story. The subtitle is "The Improbably Birth of Yoga in America." It is a book that needed to be written so I'm happy it exists and I'm happy Love did so much research. I'm unhappy he believed everything he read and did not check the accuracy of many things he wrote. He is not a scholar and I would have preferred a scholar's approach. But then yoga in America has become as complex, as full of pretense and misrepresentation as was Bernard. He was a fabulous man and built an amazing empire for it's brief day in the sun. He and his wife [who is given short shrift, I feel] trained most of the earliest yoga teachers in America. The story is very worth reading.

My point of view was honed by learning of Bernard from one of his earliest devotees who gave a sizable portion of her inheritance to the man. When I knew her in the last ten years of her life, she had become the executor of what remained of the once vast estate. She put together much of the archives from which Love took information. But by that time her view of both man and the many events described in this book was very considered and, I feel, reasonably balanced in a way that Love's view is not. I will not say here which of the various devotees Love writes about she was because that is irrelevant. She told me some stories about the place and her own participation that I think she shared with only a handful of other people. So it was that I read the book with a critical eye and made various marginal notes, many simply "No" because Love leaps to conclusions that are on the sensationalistic side and inaccurate.

But my main criticism is that this reads like a celebrity bio written by a PR person who choose to ignore psychological depth. Bernard was a complex man, very much an American of his time and yet a totally unique individual. I've thought a great deal about him over the years since I began to hear his story; I learned things I didn't knowkfrom Love's book and I'm sure I'll recommend it to many people -- with my own quirty reservations.

Walk on the Beach

Yes, it's a [small] white shark. We know they are in the waters off Cape Cod, no incidents have been reported of shark bites [or so I've read]. This one was washed up on the beach and was serving as breakfast for the gulls -- you can't see the big hole in his belly in the photo. There's often something new and interesting to see on "my" beach.

Leslie and I decided to take a last walk yesterday morning before she had to catch the airport bus to go back to California; it was gray and not as enticing as when sunny so we had the entire beach to ourselves for 90% of the walk although we noted foot prints of two different humans and dogs.
The tide leaves great mats of seaweed, mostly green like this one, sometimes with some magenta colored bits. It dries out into parchment colored mats. I wonder why I have not yet read of fiber artists using dried seaweed in their work. I read Fiber Arts Magazine often and see the use of many unusual materials. Seaweed is fibrous and, both wet and dry, makes fascinating patterns.
I've written a few times about my fascination with "the shell tree" which was much damaged [vandalized] over the winter but people like myself are irrepressible tree decorators and Leslie was happy to join the company of "druids" adding shells to this tree out at the very end of the spit that we walk on.
This is some of the beauty I couldn't resist bringing home, the very subtle colors in the broken shells always fascinates me. We walked at water's edge yesterday and saw wonderful blues and yellows, rose and taupe and combinations of color in even very tiny shells. Yesterday, unfortunately, was gray all day but this morning is brilliantly sunny. I'll be back there in a couple of hours and I'm sure more people will be around also.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Summary #4

The oldest leather shoe ever found was uncovered by an archeologist in Armenia and was about 5500 yeas old, it laced up the front as today's shoes do. Only the right was found.

Biblical manna is a phenomenon that still exists although just what it is doesn't seem to have been proven yet: it may be sap extruded by plants and grasses during the cool of night or the excrement of tiny bugs that eat that sap. [Yuck!] It is still gathered and used as a food additive which gives a sweet-salty flavor to foods.

Millionaires in the US are not as thick on the ground as newspapers make us think they are. In fact they are, comparatively, a much greater percentage of the population other places: In Singapore with population of 4.7 million people, 11.4% of households are millionaires; Hong Kong with a population of 7.1 million has 8.8% millionaires, Switzerland with population 7.6 million has 8.4% millionaires, Kuwait with a population of 2.8 million is 8.2% millionaires, Qatar with only 840,000 people has 7.4% millionaires, and it's downhill from there.

Speaking of rich people in the US: Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC is worth about $18 billion [with a B] and is a truly generous guy who not only gives through a private foundation to many causes but is generous to his ex-wife and eve has established a half million dollar trust fund and bought a condo for an ex-girl friend.

A Columbus, Ohio woman had sextuplets, by C-section; the birth was attended by 50 physicians. The babies are so small they'll probably remain in the hospital about 3 months. Sextuples have been born only about 200 times in the history of the US. [How did they crowd 50 doc in one OR, never mind what's happened to privacy]

An article in the NYTimes about why salt is used so liberally in processed foods quoted an unidentified food exec as saying that it's needed to disguise the "wet dog hair" taste of certain foods. It was also noted that the salt, along with generous amounts of sugar and fat in snack foods is known to be an addictive combination that means you can't "eat just one" chip, cookie, nacho, cheese doodle, etc.

Meanwhile Kelloggs which used to say that one of their breakfast foods helped prevent hyperactivity in children was legally stopped from making that claim but then began saying that Rice Krispies boost the "immunity". Now the FDA has nixed that claim. [Maybe they can say that Tony the Tiger will teach your kids to growl louder when they sneak up on their baby sisters and make them cry.]

Since the soccer World Cup games have opened, we can remember a quote from no less a thinker than Jean Paul Sartre [remembering that the rest of the world calls soccer "football"]: "In a football match everything is complicated by the presence of the other team." [Every week I seek a little profundity and I would rather turn to a real philosoopher than to Yogi Berra]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mother and Child

Mother and Child is a movie by Rodrigo Garcia that brings together the lives of five or even seven different women. I especially love movies where what seems to be disparate stories begin to weave together until, by the end we see how connected the world can be. This movie does just that with three central women played by Annette Benning, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington. They couldn't be more different and yet, at the end, the connections are all logical and inevitable and very touching. And we see that their strong personalities have caused many of their problems as well as solved the problems by the end.
The men in their lives are necessary for the story (and Samuel L. Jackson is a wonderful choice) but it is the women's story. Adoption is at the center -- a subject that fascinates and yet seems just a little too easy as a fulcrum for a plot. I was especially impressed with Annette Benning whose character was a "difficult" woman by her own admission. I did not expect such a strong story and came away very glad to have seen this movie.


Some people spend large amounts of money looking for uncrowded expanses of beach. L. and I found this beautiful spot yesterday with only a 40 minute drive and one wrong road [that took us to the town dump instead of the beach]. This is Great Island off of Wellfleet, Mass. The two photos below were taken from the same place, the first looking eastward, the second looking westward. Could anything be more serene and tranquil?

The path to get there from the parking lot was fairly long, at least a quarter of a mile, perhaps a little more, and much of it was in deep soft sand, which is extremely hard to walk in, the feeling is like swimming against a rip tide [not that I've ever done that, but that's how I felt]. It is far harder than walking on any other surface I know except for climbing upward in the Himalayas. It's very good for the thighs and butt.

The surface near the shore is reasonably easy walking so we set off and figured we walked about two and a half miles before I pooped out and said it was time to turn back. This was partly the result of having left the granola bars on the kitchen counter so that hunger was a factor. Yesterday, as on other occasions when I've been quite hungry, once I finally sit down to a meal, the food is fantastic. e

Monday, June 7, 2010

Once Upon a Time ...

This photograph was taken exactly 70 years ago. My birthday dress was a forgotten color -- there was only black and white film available in the countryside for a little Brownie camera. But I am fairly certain the bow was pink. I know the bush behind me was spirea. The Brownie was used lavishly that day because I have a couple of other pictures from the same afternoon party.

Seventy years? It hardly seems possible I could have so much of life, so many experiences chalked up to all the days and weeks and months and years. But I am not going to dwell on what all of it was. My feeling is that I have recently entered the last quarter of my life -- that is not a depressing thought -- in fact it is an optimistic one. I know it's not going to last much longer than that but truly hope it does last that long because every other quarter has been a wonder to live through and I expect this to be also. If you think about it in sports terms, in the fourth quarter is when the decisive plays are made, the real surprises happen and the greatest challenges are met. Life is surely the same.

The day has been a lovely blue sky one. My two daughters and I spent much of the morning at a botanical garden, a little sad the early spring meant the rhododendrons had disappeared but it was a lovely "Plantation". Then granddaughter and new great-grandson met us for lunch at a very lovely tearoom. That was a couple of hours ago and I still feel replete from the lunch. I'm ready for the year ahead and for as many more as can be added on to it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Summary #3

Saturday Summary #3

This week's odds and ends of information that caught my attention:

The recent earthquake in Chile moved the city of Conception ten feet westward, shortened earth days by 1.26 seconds and shifted the planet's axis by nearly 3 inches.

Serving sizes in images of The Last Supper have grown two-thirds larger since da Vinci painted his version. [see above] [No one ordered the "super size" as far as we known]

Words describing supercomputer speed in an article about a Chinese computer named Dawning Neubulae: computes at 1.27 petaflops, the equivalent of 1,000 trillion mathematical operations per second.

Approximately one million people in the U.S. between ages of 45 and newborn were conceived with donated sperm; most will never know who their father was.

Beethoven's and Schubert's bones were exhumed [their graves were near to each other] a few years ago. Multiple tests on pieces of Beethovan's skull have shown that he did NOT die of lead poisoning which was a favorite theory so no one knows yet what caused his many complaints and death. [People don't seem to be paying much attention to Schubert who died at a younger age but was less dramatic if no less talented]

A survey of 340,000 people in the U.S. 18-85 years old showed that middle age is the difficult part. Of 18 year olds 50% felt good about their lives, in the middle years over 50% felt bad about their lives, and people in the oldest set felt better about their lives than even the 18 year olds.

Parrots and cockatoos can and do spontaneously dance to rock music and have been videoed proving it is not incidental. No other animal [except humans] has been shown to have a spontaneous sense of rhythm.

An ice cream shop in Falmouth, Massachusetts has been serving lobster ice cream for several years. It has actual chunks of lobster in a butter based ice cream that they make in their shop. [Yum?]

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fun -- what is it when you've hit the bit 7-0?

Several years ago I was invited for a weekend in the country by someone several years older than I who said, "It will be fun." I get hung up on words as many writers do. I've been hung upon "fun" since that invitation. Fun has a ring of childish games, of running and jumping, turning cartwheels, cannon-balling into swimming pools. A little less physically active it sounds like laughing hard, bantering, joking, pure amusement as at a slapstick movies. It may later on and more sedately be a spirited game of cards or Scrabble or something that tweaks the brain, playing charades maybe. These are my associations and prejudices.

The dictionary defines it as amusement or entertainment both of which are adult words in my ears. That weekend in the country, long ago, was enjoyable. That seems the perfect word for a largely quiet weekend with a friend exploring a place, having a good dinner, relaxing. Not really entertaining and actually not "fun" as I would use the word.

These thoughts are on my mind today because I had difficulty falling asleep last night because I had had the "fun" of writing a short story in a spontaneous way. I had been challenged with a couple of lines that needed to be included in a story. They seemed entirely unrelated. When I first saw them I thought, no way! But then I sat down and began writing, not automatically, but very spontaneously. After a couple of hours I had written a story that pleased me for several reasons although I did not feel it was a particularly good story. I surprised myself with it's unfolding, with the characters who were created very easily, a couple of situations that contrast interestingly an ending that was a little bit of a twist but entirely logical.

I realized my mind had been playing in the spontaneous way children's bodies play and this was truly FUN! I had almost the feeling of adrenaline high that, as a child, a spirited game of tag or hide and seek gave me, the high of a very competitive game of volley ball. I suppose many others my age have similar experiences when discovering an artisan well of creativity is delightful and produces a familiar sense of fun for which you need no accomplice.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Invisible Country, James Campbell

Invisible Country by James Campbell was published in 2000, a paperback copy has been in my "to read" bookcase literally for several years. I've not chosen it on the many occasions when I stood in front of the bookcase because a part of me kept thinking, I will go to Scotland some July or August and rent a car and drive over those beautiful hills and beside those lochs and drink some single malt whisky ... but time is passing and a week ago I took the book out and began reading. It is not a travel book, it is a journey of a Scot, born and bred, who was a city boy, Glasgow and Edinburgh, who took buses and mostly hitchhiked around the emptier regions.

Why they are so empty is a sad and deeply painful story. So many tribal people [clans are tribes, of course] have been viewed as savages and somehow subhuman by more powerful people who coveted their lands sometimes for something as ignoble as wishing to have huge hunting preserves to show off to their equally bloodthirsty friends [as was the case for several thousands of acres of northern Scotland in the hands of British nobility]. I only vaguely knew about this. Much that Campbell wrote was very painful. But other parts of what he wrote entices me all the more to hope that I can make that journey some day. There's Scottish blood in my veins, and some of the rather dour personality in my family, the repressed emotions that I have never regretted even in the face of far more emotional people. When I bought the book I knew I wanted to read it. There are several dozen other such treasures in that "to read" book case and I hope to get to them ... the trouble is I keep adding to their numbers.
Today at the "free shop" at the local recycling place, I picked up four more books for that bookcase. And so it grows...