Derik Badman's Journal

2020-12-17 07:58

Started snowing yesterday afternoon and this morning everything is covered in a few inches of mostly undisturbed white. I can see the tracks of animal coming up from the part, through the backyard, and then across the front yard: fox? deer? rabbit? I haven't gotten a close enough look to guess. Probably fox. Not our first snow of the year, we had some flurries the other day, but the first accumulation, which means shovelling is in my nearer future.

It seems early for snow despite it being mid-December. Somewhere during the course of my life, late in the year snow became much rarer. I remember as a kid coming home from my aunt's house in Delaware on Thanksgiving day, and it was real slow going because there was snow everywhere. That didn't seem that unusual then, but now it would seem crazy. I guess that's the effect of climate change, anecdotal though it is.

At least the snow must have been light, as the trees are not covered, which is certainly good for us so we keep our power on.

My reading has been wandering lately, a bit here, a bit there. Read about 100 pages of Memoirs from Beyond the Grave by Chateaubriand. So far it's been about his childhood which hasn't been too fascinating, but I think it will get more interesting as he gets involved in the revolution (the French one) and then travels to America.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (which I might be close to finishing) got me interested in Anglo-Saxon England and it's possible use in an rpg, so I got a couple books from the library. The Anglo-Saxon age: a very short introduction by John Blair was very disappointing. It felt like it was a bunch of chapters ripped out of a larger book. It had very little in the way of context or any sort of overview. I read and then skimmed and came away with it not much more knowledgable than I started. Hopefully the other book I got will be more useful.

I'm on the last chapter of Abstract Art: A Global History by Pepe Karmel. It is a mixed bag. Covering a wide range of artists, a lot more than just the usual suspects of white males from France or New York, and a variety of media, still mostly painting, though, he divides the art up into categories based on the kind of thing being abstracted. So there are sections and subsections on landscape and typography and cosmology and the like. It's an interesting tactic that provides a good source of cohesion to the work provided and variations on a theme, though it's not always clear how much of his categories are what the artist was actually doing or inspired by and just what he sees in the work itself. The text often feels more descriptive than analytical though, so only rarely do I feel like I'm seeing the art work with any new eyes.