When I first started this blog, almost eight years ago now, I used to receive quite a few comments. Then there was a period when for some reason I stopped getting any comments. Apparently, for some reason unknown to me, the possibility for comments changed. When I finally realized this, my wife, who knows far more than I do about computers and the internet, fixed the problem, and then for a time I received comments once again. Then, again, they stopped. Just now the format for blogging was changed and I have learned to my horror and chagrin there are quite a lot of comments I had never seen and were completely unknown to me. Apparently this was because the system had changed so that I was supposed t o review them before deciding to publish them or not. I did not know this, nor did I know how to do this. Thus I find myself in the humiliating situation of having to confess both my ignorance and incompetence, and I must offer my most humble and abject apologies to those who commented and were not published or acknowledged. As I understand it, under this new system, I am supposed to review comments and decide whether to accept them or not. I did not request this service and I am not sure how to do it. As my wife has better and more important things to do than babysit my computer skills, I will have to wait a day or two to learn this new procedure. I apologize for my incompetence, all machinery baffles me. I regard the computer and the internet as a kind of magic I do not really understand, like love or electricity. Please bear with me for a time.
As far as Romney goes, I do not know whether to be sorry or happy to say this, but after today I have concluded the he is not merely a terrible candidate for President, he may well be virtually hopeless. I had the misfortune of tuning in to part of a speech he was making to some college students somewhere or other. First, he completely lacks charisma and it was boring almost beyond belief. Second, it was almost completely composed of outright lies. Third, he says things that are just plain stupid. For example, he was saying things like, “Obama has to realize that people are hurting, he has to realize they are losing their homes, he has to realize they do not have jobs,” or something like that. I gather he was suggesting that Obama, like a child, must be unaware of such things, an incredibly stupid claim that anyone with the brain of a slug would recognize as utter nonsense, to say nothing of being demeaning to the President. And of course his lies are so constant and transparent as to be laughable. I think the Republicans must either have a death wish or some profound strategy for 2016 I cannot fathom.
In addition to my confusion about the internet and complete bewilderment about what in the world Republicans are doing, I now find myself faced with the somewhat frightening possibility of “being the last man standing.” That is, at this moment, as far as I know, virtually all of my former High School and College friends are either dead or seriously incapacitated in one way or another. Miraculously, it seems to me, I have so far escaped the worst of growing old. I find that strangely I only very rarely even think about “the end,” even though I realize I cannot escape it much longer, a year, two, five, ten, more? I just keep on going in spite of aches and pains and the amazing news that at last I am finally going to be a grandfather (if all goes well, something new to worry about). I cannot believe my good fortune and I can only believe that somehow, someway, for some mysterious reason I cannot comprehend, the Great Mystery is being inordinately kind to me.
So life continues here at Sandhill, gardening is being held up by overly wet and cold weather, the rivers are flooding but not here where we are, our little town sees more vacant storefronts and buildings almost weekly, unemployment is a problem along with poverty (that is pretty much hidden here although it clearly exists), I have finally finished repairing my deer fence (that will function only until the clever animals figure out how to breach it), our unpleasant neighbor, “Machine gun Mike,” finally moved away, leaving us happily without the sound of incessant gunfire, the crocus, daffodils, and other early flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the birds and squirrels are courting, life is good. The older I become the more I appreciate it all, but I have the uneasy feeling of having been previously unaware of just how wonderful and mysterious it all is. Be of good cheer, look to the east, the journey to the west can wait a while longer.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.