Sunday, February 24, 2019

The November hikes, Hart and Hanson


[A Jessica anecdote:  having increased my workouts and thus increased the resulting sore muscles, I’ve been taking nightly Epsom salts baths.  Jessica is fascinated by this process and licks the bathwater off the edge of the tub and off my arm.  I try to discourage her, especially since Epsom salts, when taken internally is a laxative.  Also, she tickles.  When I push her away, she waits until my attention is back on my book and then puts her paws on the edge of the tub and looks as though she’s thinking of joining me.  Once again I push her away.  This goes on until she gets bored; which takes considerable time.]

I was pretty disorganized during the first hike.  My shoulders were sore from working out which is why I decided to use a tiny OMD-EM1, but then I couldn’t see the “Info” because of the bright sun and the “Auto” feature is maddening because it chooses where the focus is to be applied based on some algorithm that doesn't correspond to what I see.  I usually want to keep my dogs in focus so “auto” isn’t very useful.  At some point I decided to use the “S” setting.  “S” being shutter priority.  So eventually I set the camera at 1/500 and things settled down a bit.  The lens I used in the first hike was the 12-40 “pro.”  The Olympus “pro” line is made up of superior Zuiko glass; so I ought to be able to take better photos with the 12-40 Pro than with the Panasonic 12-60; although one Olympus fanatic swears that the Panasonic 12-60 is top quality, under priced, and every OMD user ought to have one.

Ben is very friendly.  If I ever needed protection, I doubt he’d be up to it.  But I haven’t needed any protection so far; so it is probably moot.  Still, looking at those guys coming out of the brush they looked like drug dealers straight out of Central Casting.  And, of course, they could have been.  I haven’t had any experience with drug dealers, but I doubt that they go about with chips on their shoulders wanting to pick fights with an old man walking three dogs, the most formidable looking of which seemed very friendly, but he “might” change his attitude of the men showed any sort of aggression . . .

I just finished reading (for the second time) “Sherman’s March to the Sea” from Victor Davis Hanson’s, The Soul of Battle, and have started (for the second time) B.H. Liddell Hart’s Sherman, Soldier, Realist, American.”  Sherman is credited by Hanson and Hart with so demoralizing the South by means of the burning of plantations, tearing up railroad tracks, burning farm products, and living off the land by means of taking (stealing) food and anything else they needed or wanted, as they marched on through.  When he was all done and marched his army of 62,000 soldiers through Washington, there were no women left in the South who were inclined (according to Hanson and Hart) to encourage their men to go back to war. 

Which is something that didn’t happen at the end of World War I.   Europeans thought they had nothing to learn from the American Civil War, and so let the Germans surrender without convincing the German people at home that the German army had really been defeated. Thus, a German majority was anxious to have another go at it.  Sherman (according to Hanson and Hart) made sure that there was no doubt in any Southern homebody's mind that the South had been defeated.  Thus, the South has never after wanted to try it again.  The Germans after WWII were occupied by the British, Americans and Russians and so the Germans at home were at last convinced of their defeat and, hopefully, have no wish to try it a third time. 

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