This Risky Universe

Orbit by David Jacobi

“Men may live to a great age in days of comparative quietness and peaceful progress, without ever having come to grips with the universe, without ever vividly realising the problems and the paradoxes with which human history so often confronts us. We of the twentieth century have been particularly spoiled; for the men of the Old Testament, the ancient Greeks and all our ancestors down to the seventeenth century betray in their philosophy and their outlook a terrible awareness of the chanciness of human life, and the precarious nature of man’s existence in this risky universe.”

Herbert Butterfield

The Roundup

Whirlwood by David Jacobi

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Bibliomania “has thousands of e-books, poems, articles, short stories and plays all of which are absolutely free.” They also offer study guides and “an extensive library of reference books, biographies, classic non-fiction and religious texts.”

Here is an article about 20 of History’s Most Devastating Plagues and Epidemics.

The Simple Dollar “is a resource for anyone looking to learn real-life money management. Our expert contributors cover strategies, tools, and products that empower you to manage debt and build wealth. (And with eleven years of experience and counting, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works!)”

Dean!

Big Baby by David Jacobi

You hard charge

Then back off

There are curves ahead

Easy goes it

Suddenly

Over you go

Falling so far we can’t

Catch you!

Your orbit has begun

Spinning

Hurtling

Racing

So fast

Tumbling

Rolling

End over end

Until finally

Mama catches you

Nap time!

2011 By David Jacobi

A Journal of the Plague Year

Cover of A Journal of the Plague Year

I started reading the book A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe at the end of last year, after finishing In The Wake Of The Plague by Norman F. Cantor. The reason why I started reading them does not have anything to do with premonition of current unfolding events but instead simply paring down my book collection (again) by forcing myself to read, and then get rid of, books that I have had for years but not read. I was about half way through the Defoe book by the time the novel coronoviris spreading across China began to make the news. While it is titled a journal Defoe reconstructed the London plague of 1665 using books, Bills of Mortality, pamphlets, journals and other source materials. The book was published in 1722. The novel follows the progression of the plague and how the residents of the city and surrounding country respond to it. He describes how the infected were shut up in their houses, which were guarded by watchmen. Carts to collect the dead became common, which were emptied in giant pits for burial. People who had someplace to go outside of the city fled, locking up their houses behind them. Others who had nowhere to flee left the city anyhow to live in the woods. Those with boats lived on them, moored down stream from the city on the Thames. Some with the plague go mad and run through the streets, a few even trying to infect others by biting or kissing people. Business shuts down and people are out of work, relying on any food they have put up or bartering or begging for it. All in all it’s a gruesome tale, and one I might not have finished reading but for our current situation.

A Raccoon and More Birds

Late winter sunset on the acreage

Recently on our acreage the dogs treed an animal about eight feet from the ground where three branches formed a crook. It was not moving and we could only see the hump of its back and its brown fur blowing in the wind. To find out what it was I reached up with my walking stick and poked it. It moved a little, but stayed hunkered down in the crook. Figuring I had its backside, I went around to the other side of the tree and poked it again. Up came the sad little bandit face of a raccoon. I stepped away and turned to talk with Shelly about what to do (my solution was going to involve a rifle) when it decided to make a break for it and get out of that tree. Down it came, running on the ground along side the machine shed, stopping a couple of times to tangle with the dogs until we called them off and it disappeared under the grain bin through the dryer hole. Now when we walk around the place the dogs stop and sniff at the hole and Steve will even sit and stare at it, hoping for another appearance. On March 1st we noticed the first robin on the place, and the next day I saw the first flock of geese heading north. Looking at the lopsided V formation of the flock reminded me of the old joke: Have you ever noticed how one side of the formation is always longer than the other? (The other person ponders for a moment) You know why that is? (More pondering, then an admission of no, they don’t know why that is) Because there are more birds on that side!

Website Review: FamilySearch

FamilySearch

Most every time I have used FamilySearch for genealogical research I have found something helpful. From their About page: “Our vision is carried out by a dedicated team of employees and volunteers who work tirelessly to preserve and share the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world. We strive to create and link the best and most valuable research resources to help people discover who they are by exploring where they come from. For over 100 years, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns and operates the website, and the reason for their interest in genealogy can be found here.