Daily Office:

Regular riders of these BMT lines affectionally refer to them as “N”ever, “R”arely, and “W”henever. As discerning observers may deduce, the W is a relatively recent creation, as MTA routes go.


Guest: Perry Falwell has been soliciting contributions to his great new site, Booksaga. The other day, I wrote to him to explain that, while I wished I had some interesting stories for him to post, my times in old bookshops have been happy but dull.

The real purpose of my note was to encourage him to stick with blogging. I think that he has a natural gift for the form. He could write about any old thing, and I’d probably want to read it. But I did throw in a few proofs of “happy but dull.”

Subisdy: When you hear of “foreign subsidies,” you probably think of agricultural supports and turn over to go back to sleep. This story, about foreign subsidies of fuel consumption, may wake you up.


Soin de soi: Further proof, if needed, that habits (good and bad alike) are contagious: Stephanie Plentl finds her inner Frenchwoman, in the Telegraph.


Up: Chris and Father Tony went up, up, but not away, in a balloon in the middle of Central Park.

Morning, cont’d

§ Guest. Et voilà. What an awfully pleasant surprise this was, over the weekend. Mr Falwell went to the trouble of fishing out my picture from Portico.

§ Subisdy. Keith Bradisher’s report lies somewhere between news and analysis: fuel subsidies themselves aren’t exactly news, but, according to BP, “known for thorough statistical analysis of energy markets,” subsidized fuel accounted for 96% of last year’s increase in consumption. Foreign oil subsidies are doing exactly what Congress seems to think the phantom oil speculators are up to. The note of foreign sovereignty certainly changes the nature of the problem.

Noon, cont’d

§ Soin de soi. Or, as Alexander Pope (almost) said:

Know then thyself; presume not Us to scan
The proper study of mankind is man.

Night, cont’d

§ Up. They had what used to be called a “birdseye” view of Manhattan, in the days before birds had to share the air.

It reminds me of that awful old joke, the punchline of which is “John! John! I can see your house from here!”

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