Thursday, November 26, 2020

Ellicott City - Rome

November 26, 2020 Happy Thanksgiving I finished my doctoring and dentisting in the second week of my stay at Ellicott City. Unfortunately, the crown that was to be attached was not ready yet, so I will have to return for that at a later date. They put my temporary crown in with a permanent glue. The trip back to Rome was uneventful, but strange. My flight on British Air had been transferred from BWI to Dulles airport, so I had to take a shuttle out there. The BA flight from London to Rome was cancelled, so I had to fly AlItalia to get in. Dulles was all but empty. Heathrow in London had quite a few folk, but not as many as normal. Getting into Rome was no real problem, as long as I agreed to quarantine for two weeks (which we do in our friary anyway). I got back Sunday evening, and I am still feeling fine. I do take my temperature twice as day as recommended. The friars bring my meals to my door. I am spending the time editing the Lectors' Handbook that I do each year (for 2021-2022). The weather here is cool, but nice. I am able to take daily walks on the terrazza outside of my room, so I do not feel totally isolated. The whole house is under quarantine for before I returned, one of the friars came down with covid. He is doing better, but it was touchy for he is a brittle diabetic. At this point, I will be in Rome for some time. I do not yet know when my next trip will be. We have a definitory the week before Christmas. I finished some reading: The Tanks of the World Wars by Charles River Editors This is a study of the birth and development of tanks and tank warfare in the First World War, the interwar period, and especially during the Second World War. Baron Johann de Kalb by Charles River Editors This is a biography of one of the Europeans who travelled to the US during the revolutionary war to help the patriots. Unfortunately, de Kalb was not at first welcomed, and even when he was, he was exceedingly unlucky in terms of those with whom he served. He died in a poorly run battle in the Carolinas when Gates, the commanding general, first bungled the attack and then ran away from the battle in a cowardly way. Xerses I by Charles River Editors This is a short biography of the Persian emperor who invaded Greece and encountered the Spartans at Thermopylae and then whose navy was defeated at Salamis. Although he face defeat in the West, he was highly successful in holding and extending the borders of his empire in the East. Paradise Lost by John Milton I had always heard of this epic poem, and it was time to read it. The poem is very, very long, and the style is that of the 17th century when it was written. There are thousands of references to Greek myths and other esoteric topics as Milton describes the creation of humanity and its fall into sin. The poem was well worth reading, but I will listen to a Teaching Company course on Milton before I go into the next of his poems, Paradise Regained. The Battle of Nicopolis This is a tragic battle between the western forces and the Muslims in Bulgaria. The Western forces were divided and led by a group of young, arrogant nobles who would not listen to the advice of others who had already fought against the Muslims in previous battles. The result was a resounding defeat of the crusaders and mutual recriminations among the combatants as to who was at fault. The 13th Juror by John Lescroat The 13th juror is the judge who can either accept to set aside a death penalty verdict at a murder trial. This is the story of a woman accused of killing her husband and child. She had every reason to kill her husband considering she came from a family where there was terrible spousal abuse, and she was suffering from it herself. Yet, she firmly refuses to plead guilty and seek mercy because she was abused. The action is well presented, and this is a novel worth reading. The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas Fleming Fleming presents an inside look at the family lives and even some of the scandals of the founding fathers of the country. It is not a tell all book to denigrate the founding fathers, but rather looks at them with a realistic caution to show that while they were not perfect, they often tried their best. Washington comes across looking fairly good, while Benjamin Franklin falls quite short of what he could have been both as a husband and a father.


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