Respite Needed

One of the things that make Trailmix a special place is that there are so many interests that even at our angriest and most contentious, there are references to family, music, books, and pastimes with a view to real lives that can’t be contained in 142 well pounded characters.  Even with all of that, the longing for a gentler age must sometimes intrude.  So let’s take a day off as far as humanly possible to just talk about family, friends, the joys found among pages and the notes stroked out of a willing instrument.

The image above is a gentleman from the early 19th century, roughly about the time England tried to take us back and failed.  Fortunately Jane Austin took it upon herself to create a character who has made the world forget the War of 1812 completely ever since if you don’t think of the charming and party loving Dolly Madison fleeing the White House with Washington’s portrait.  Meet the “Real” Mr. Darcy.  When the 21st Century gets to be too much of a bad thing, I find visiting the 19th a respite.

What are you doing, reading, listening to, playing to get away from it all???


36 thoughts on “Respite Needed”

  1. Jamie, am reading the get-away of all get aways right now: “on trails” by robert moor.  starts you off on the Appalachian trail and devolves to primitive foot paths, ant trails and one cell slime.  absolutely fascinating way to get away from the craziness. btw, moor is an excellent writer… pure pleasure read.

  2. so while we happily go along with our reading and enjoying daily life with our families, Jamie,

    sadly, back to the craziness. some families shivering with fear and panic.  ICE the new isis or the new brown shirted jackboots?

    wapo: Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states

    U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

    The raids, which officials said targeted known criminals, also netted some immigrants who did not have criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration that aimed to just corral and deport those who had committed crimes.


    Immigration activists said the crackdown went beyond the six states DHS identified, and said they had also documented ICE raids of unusual intensity during the past two days in Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia.

    That undocumented immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported sent a shock through immigrant communities nationwide amid concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.


    “I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact dangerous, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state,” Castro said in a statement Friday night.

    Hiba Ghalib, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta, said the ICE detentions were causing “mass confusion” in the immigrant community. She said she had heard reports of ICE agents going door-to-door in one largely Hispanic neighborhood, asking people to present their papers.

    “People are panicking,” Ghalib said. “People are really, really scared.”

  3. Jamie44,

    Wonderful, much welcomed topic.

    Was listening this morning (as I do every Saturday) to resident BBC Radio News curmudgeon Owen Bennett Jones, who hosts a weekly show called News Extra. He devoted half of his show to Luddites. Not stuck in the past stuff, but guests asking questions like How can we civilize machines? Make them more human like, rather than making humans more machine like. The word empathy was used several times throughout the conversation. This show is a gem & a real brain boost. Highly recommended.

    Also big fan of Alison Weir’s book The Wars of the Roses, Louis Birnbaum’s Red Dawn at Lexington & Jay Winik’s April 1865. I can read these every year & never get bored. They are faithful friends.

  4. The best biography I’ve read remains Dennis McNally’s Desolate Angel, the life of Jack Kerouac. One word: Wow. Seriously, that’s how I felt after reading it. The definitive “how to write the story of a life.”


  5. Ha, getting back to BBC News Extra, one Professor said he would plant an old cell phone on a cooperative student that would ring during class. The Professor would then grab the phone & smash it with a hammer. Apparently he’d never have problems with other ringing phones the rest of the semester. ✔


  6. They had History channel in hospital, dad and I enjoyed watching The Pickers and Mountain Men, even tho we had seen some of the episodes

  7. patd…  Rick is reading that book too…  says it’s really good.

    I am currently reading the latest tome from one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood, entitled “The Heart Goes Last”.   I’ve got a yuuuuge stack of “to be read” books hanging around.  Winter is a great time to go through it.

  8. Undercover Washington, Pamela Kessler.  A little book about locations around Washington, D.C. which have some connection to spies or spying.  A little background for my never to see the light of day novels.  Anyone who has been around D.C. for a few years will recognize a few of the names and places, many of the other locations and people named are those that “oh, I sort of remember that”, or “that is interesting, I should drive by there sometime just to see it”.

    Spies, The Secret Agents Who Changed The Course of History, Ernest Volkman.  Another little book, this time focused on the spies from various countries and time periods.  It provides a nice summary of many spies whose names are recognizable and more than a few that are not.

    My usual life sitting in a chair patiently waiting for the shoulder surgery to heal and then regain use of my arm leaves me with a feast of visual and auditory options.  Amazon Prime with Acorn lets me watch series and movies I like, and listen to music.  One feature I really like are the stations.  My current listening fare tends to the 60’s.  As much as I like SiriusXM radio 60’s on 6, it has one huge failure that seems to be getting worse.  The promise of listening to the thousands of songs of the 60’s without DJ’s or commercials has moved to Top 10 or Top 15 for each year with DJ’s.  Amazon Music 60’s stations do play a much larger playlist, with occasional Top 100 songs being played.  It is much like Sirius promised to be when it started.

    With the promise of winter failing to arrive I am now dreaming of what to plant to make the yard look nice.  And, I have a crew to help do it.  My two fifth graders are anxious to earn money, I am going to find a way for them to earn some, with a little work.

  9. bbronc, here’s something to help with the healing.  warning, it’s rather mesmerizing… so even if it doesn’t heal surgical wounds perhaps it will soothe other wounds of the day.

    or put you to sleep dreaming of that spring garden.


  10. speaking of spies and such

    CBS News has learned that the 35-page dossier compiled by a former British spy is gaining credibility among law enforcement.  Before he was sworn in as President, Donald Trump dismissed the document, but sources tell CBS News that investigators continue to vet it to see whether there is any truth to the allegations. 

    and to be more specific:

    Washington (CNN) For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump’s inauguration.

    None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.
    But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.

    US intelligence officials emphasize the conversations were solely between foreign nationals, including those in or tied to the Russian government, intercepted during routine intelligence gathering.
    Some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were known to the US intelligence community as “heavily involved” in collecting information damaging to Hillary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump, two of the officials tell CNN.
    Until now, US intelligence and law enforcement officials have said they could not verify any parts of the dossier.

  11. I watch NBA or History Channel at night – sometimes HGTV. This morning it was a How the Universe Works marathon, now HGTV – Flip or Flop. And movies. I love movies.

  12. there he goes again….  roll eyes, ignore and move on?

    politico: Trump brings up vote fraud again, this time in meeting with senators

    As soon as the door closed and the reporters allowed to observe for a few minutes had been ushered out, Trump began to talk about the election, participants said, triggered by the presence of former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who lost her reelection bid in November and is now working for Trump as a Capitol Hill liaison, or “Sherpa,” on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

    The president claimed that he and Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring Massachusetts to “illegally” vote in New Hampshire.

    According to one participant who described the meeting, “an uncomfortable silence” momentarily overtook the room.

    Hillary Clinton narrowly won New Hampshire’s four electoral votes over Trump by nearly 3,000 votes. Ayotte’s margin of defeat was even slimmer: 743 votes.


    early this a.m. kfvs12 airs  ap report:

    “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of major voter fraud in New Hampshire’s elections,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a statement. “President Trump continues to spread a dangerous lie and it’s long past time for Republican leadership in New Hampshire to stand up and defend our state’s electoral system.”

    Later Friday, Ellen Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission called on Trump to “immediately share his evidence with the public and with the appropriate law-enforcement authorities so that his allegations may be investigated promptly and thoroughly.”

    “The president has issued an extraordinarily serious and specific charge,” the commissioner said in a statement. “Allegations of this magnitude cannot be ignored.”

  13. It would seem we are all engrossed in our first world problems.  This even included Kelly Ann Conjob getting her gnawed nails spanked for hawking overpriced Chinese shmatas to well financed trophy wives.  Nice distraction from the suffering of others or consideration for them by anyone with more empathy than a rock.

    I am enjoying the flood of emails over the fourth great granddaughter, here pictured with her oldest sister while I catch up on any missed books from the Cadfael series.  The herbs available for healing in the 12th century still hold up in modern context.


  14. Chuckles the Clown: “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”
    so back to entertainment with a touch of the real world surreal-ity

  15. Aw, cuties!


    Just finished reading:  The Almost Nearly Perfect People – Behind The Myth of The Scandinavian Utopia.

    It’s a comparison of the Scandinavian countries; a bit of history and how it has shaped attitudes, social behavior, and, government.  The differing views on immigration were very interesting.

    Now starting to read:  The Yoga of Jesus.

    DVDs sitting on the shelf in their wrappers since Christmas:  The first seasons of Welcome To Sweden, and, Borgen.

    Actually watching:  Antenna, Cozi,  ME, Decades.  I could do without the horrible,  medical ads on those stations, but it’s better than an ad for a violent, crime reenactment show during a sitcom on network TV.  I never get tired of Lucy, Andy, MTM, etc.

    Looking forward to watching:  The Grammys.  Here’s hoping they do better with the tribute to Prince, than they did with Bowie last year.   I like Lady Gaga, but when you throw everything in the sauce pot…sometimes less is more.

    Drinking:  Coffee with coconut sugar.


    sj – Jan 21st?  Is that when KO departed MSNBC for, perhaps, the final time?   I wish he’d start covering baseball, again.

  16. I am lazy so I haunt the new arrivals shelf at my library

    I’ll be going today and returning the following all of which I enjoyed

    Late One Night    Lee Martin

    No Good to Cry   Andrew Lahn -mystery with an American-Vietnamese detective

    The German Girl  Armando Lucas Correa  (after the ship St Louis and what happened to folks who remained in Cuba

    Mr C and I binge watched the baseball series by Ken Burns and we are thinking about watching the espn series on OJ

  17. Sweetie and I just watched the bio of Rep. John Lewis. He was a hero of mine when I was young, and has never ceased to be. Now, he’s Sweetie’s hero, too.

    Einfuehrung in die islamische Geschichte by Gerhard Endress. Those Krauts are YUUUUUJE on theology – even in introductions. If you love the plusquamperfect in modal subjunctives that are decorated with archaic Arabic phrases . . . . Perfect for the occasional bout of insomnia.

    T.H. White’s first classic Darkness at Pemberly. This book started White’s writing career with a bang. He hadn’t yet thought about young Arthur.

    Together aloud, Sweetie and I just finished John Harrigan’s detailed Missile Crisis novel Crosshairs on Castro. This is Doc Harrigan’s second book about his hero/victim Charlie Parnell.

  18. Been watching British import  “detectorists” series for the third time. It is a quirky tale of two friends using metal detectors and hunting for small treasures in a quiet English hamlet. Lovely character development and gorgeous cinematography.

    This show is a welcome retreat from fighting local government and its attempt to rezone our wooded, historic subdivision  into a part of an “18-hour” urban plan. Our area sits at the feet of Florida’s Capitol building and some anonymous developer has the hots for a good chunk of our area park. City claims exemption from Sunshine Law (transparency) so developer can call a planning official, off the record, inquire about a parcel and our neighborhood is fighting to keep land and live oaks. Word is there is money to be made in building rentals for lobbyists and party-goers. Shades of First Lady

    But I do recommend “detectorists.”

  19. I love the detectorists, too.

    It looks like someone should file in district court an order to show cause why the city should be allowed to have secret meetings. What is so important that the rights of the citizens must be curtailed or eliminated ? Dodging ‘Sunshine’ is a sure sign of sinister forces at work.

  20. So, if the Presidential election was illegitimate, as Trump claims, he is an illegitimate President, and should resign.  Keep beating that drum!

  21. politico: CIA freezes out top Flynn aide
    The agency denied a security clearance for a key aide to the National Security Adviser — ratcheting up tensions between Flynn and the intel community.
    A top deputy to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was rejected for a critical security clearance, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community.

    The move came as Flynn’s already tense relationships with others in the Trump administration and the intelligence community were growing more fraught after reports that Flynn had breached diplomatic protocols in his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

    On Friday, one of Flynn’s closest deputies on the National Security Council, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

    That forced Townley, a former Marine intelligence officer who had long maintained a top secret-level security clearance, out of his NSC post, explained the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

    One of the sources said that the rejection was approved by Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo and that it infuriated Flynn and his allies.Both sources said that the CIA did not offer much explanation for why Townley’s request for so-called “Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearance was rejected. But the sources said that Flynn and his allies believe it was motivated by Townley’s skepticism of the intelligence community’s techniques — sentiments shared by Flynn.

    “They believe this is a hit job from inside the CIA on Flynn and the people close to him,” said one source, who argued that some in the intelligence community feel threatened by Flynn and his allies. “Townley believes that the CIA doesn’t run the world,” the source said.

  22. a teaser for your Saturday enjoyment, the 1st few lines of Miami herald column by

    carl Hiaasen:  You’re not gonna believe this!

    Anonymously mass-mailed proposal for a blockbuster new book:

    Dear [fill in name of editor],

    As you devour the explosive details of this book manuscript, you’ll understand why I need to withhold my identity at this time.

    I currently work at the highest level of government in Washington. My official job description is “press secretary,” though my real duties are much more sensitive.

    My boss (let’s call him “Thump”) is an impulsive, vain, petty megalomaniac, but I accepted this job believing I could make him appear thoughtful, caring and poised.


    [and the rest just gets better 🙂 ]

  23. Bink

    I took such an intense dislike to the “Young Pope” character in the first 15 minutes that I turned it off with no desire to renew the acquaintance.  This may have been the aim and certainly the actor was believably noxious, but for me, both objectives went too far.


  24. too bad. spoiler for tonight’s snl. her tweeted pic above will have to do for now.

    abcnews: Rosie O’Donnell Will Not Play Steve Bannon on ‘SNL’ — This Weekend, Her Rep Says

    O’Donnell, 54, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump‘s administration, first expressed her interest in the role Monday night in a series of tweets after one of her 961,000 Twitter followers asked if she would be interested in playing Bannon — whom “SNL” has so far portrayed as the Grim Reaper.

    “I am here to serve,” O’Donnell wrote. “Alec [Baldwin] has Trump – Melissa [McCarthy] has [White House press secretary Sean] Spice[r] – I would need a few days to prepare – so if called – I will be ready.”

    And in another tweet, she wrote, “available – if called I will serve !!!”

    Aside from her fans, O’Donnell’s campaign to play Bannon has been well-received by her Hollywood peers. Following her avatar change Thursday, actor George Takei tweeted, “Oh, a thousand times, yes. If there is a God, please let this happen.”

  25. patd – thank you.  My ancestors, Nanticoke and Chippewa, are helping too.  I think they gave me the genes to be a survivor.

    Had to buy a new A/V receiver for the family room.  Current one is only fiveish years old, but 24 hr operation took its toll on it.  Amazing what changes have occurred during that time.  Many of my wishes for an A/V are built in.  The only thing missing is keyboard control through a USB port.  That is the same thing I wish DVD players would incorporate.  Hell is entering a 16 character password using the remote control arrows and enter buttons.

    Of interest is the return of the phono input.  That disappeared in the 90’s because, as you know, the CD replaced the record player.  Well, turntables sell and vinyl reigns!  I have a very nice pre-amp for my turntable to A/V input.  It includes a USB port so a connection to a computer can be set up and the music recorded.  But, I will hook up a turntable to see how good the phono connection works.

  26. You’ll end up watching it, Jamie.  Silvio Orlando’s performance is too good to miss, especially if you already paid for it.

  27. Bink

    About two years ago I heard Trump’s phone in to Morning Joe and immediately got premonition stomach cramps and intense nausea.  That was reality.  The young pope may be the fictional version of the reaction. 🙂


  28. Been a bit preoccupied of late. Cheryl and I welcomed our first grandchild this week. A fine healthy young goes without saying that we think that he is the cutest babe of all time. Mother and father doing very well grandparents walking on air!

  29. As for books, started one that I wasn’t sure about. America’s First Daughter about Thomas Jefferson’s daughter. Can’t put it down.

  30. Jace

    Patsy Jefferson was a fascinating woman.  Thirteen children, mother of the first child born in the White House.  Outlived three of them but only one lost in infancy which was unusual for the time.

  31. Yeah for Jace & Family!

    Beautiful pic, Jamie, of your dear great-grands.

    Yes, blueINdallas, January 21st is the dark anniversary 😉 Actually my thought after it all “went down” was mainly about Josh Marshall. How freaking weird to have been a guest, clueless to the backstage intrigue, as all this went on around you. He later tweeted he honestly had no idea what was happening as far as being it the last show – everyone seemed normal, just another appearance. Oy.



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