this week i

ate maghrebi oeuf brik.  thomas biked to lyndhurst and we toasted emilie's allegiance to the crown.

alighted in lille central.  huseyin the same from brussels, creating his own personal douane et immigration.  then flemish pizza with the coutin family.

drove to le touret in the eleven pm sunset.  we celebrated retirement, ran the canal, played ping pong, studied life in northern france.


to read by the light of an oil lamp, to write with a goose quill

it is a familiar irony that prohibition and deprivation can make things potent and ravishing, and that plenty very often dulls our taste for them.  there is a great deal of questioning now of the value of the humanities, those aptly named disciplines that make us consider what human beings have been, are, and will be.  sometimes i think they should be renamed big data

(2) theft of california

 an elaborate series of diplomatic maneuvers, deceptions, and menacing gestures designed to neutralize the threat from great britain so that he could bully and, if need be, coerce mexico into recognizing the annexation of texas and selling new mexico, arizona, and alta california to the united states.  he ordered navy ships to drop anchor off the pacific coast, where they would be ready to occupy california ports as soon as the war against mexico began.  he dispatched spies and intriguers as us representatives to mexico city, deliberately  insulting mexican officials.  he ordered american troops to cross the nueces river into territory mexico legitimately claimed as its own, and he imposed a naval blockade that kept the mexican army from receiving supplies at matamoros.  these were clearly acts of war, though polk hoped they would be enough to cow the mexican government into submission.  if there was a war it was bound to be a short one, polk thought, for surely the mexicans could never sustain themselves for long against the more intrepid anglo-saxon invaders from the north

the northern border with canada still stretches to the pacific along the 49th parallel