Monday, April 23, 2007

Sleeping Dragons and Bike Race

Here are some pictures from Saturday's Galisteo road race. Galisteo is sortof between here and Santa Fe, but a bit to the east.

I biked out a few miles into the stiff headwind, and chose my picnic/picture taking spot for the topography.

Sleeping dragons south of Galisteo.

Chad's the goodlooking, smiley guy in the middle with the yellow cap under his helmet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What Saul failed to mention

Thanks, everybody, for the comments and prayers! More injections today (Wednesday). They made me sick for a couple of days last time, so I'll likely be mostly out of the game for a little while.


"Saul's uncle said, 'Please tell me what Samuel said to you.' So Saul said to his uncle, 'He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.' But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned."

--I Samuel 10: 15-16

So as not to be guilty of failing to say what's been most on our minds recently, I'll just mention that Chad and I are recovering now from an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Almost from when I first found out that I was pregnant, the doctor didn't like the way my hormone levels were behaving, and a week ago Monday we found out for sure that it was ectopic. A baby implanted in the fallopian tube can't survive, and eventually it will cause the tube to rupture, so I had to get injections to make me miscarry. This was sad for us, but we're thanking God that it was caught early, and also that Chad's mom and dad and his sister and her two girls were all here last week to help us through. They took care of me and distracted me, and it was very good.

Here are a few pictures from their visit:
Blowing big bubbles at Explora in downtown Albuquerque.
Milkshakes and green-chile-bleu-cheesburgers at the Route 66 Malt Shop.

Kickin' it at home.

Coming soon: Chad's blog debut. He's got lots to say if you can get him talking.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

History of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides' history of the war between Athens and the Peloponnesians (led by Sparta) really picked up in the middle part (when I started figuring out which cities were on what side) and kept my interest to the end. Well, not the end exactly because the translator/editor of the edition I checked out, Sir Richard Livingstone (1880-1960), cuts off the last book with a note that it's unrevised and the "least interesting part." I'm grateful to Sir Richard, since this way I could put down the book still liking Thucydides.

Th sets up the major decisions made by each side during the war (431–404 BC) by pitting two orators against each other -- one honest and reasonable and pretty obviously right, and the other some combination of self-serving politician/ hardened pragmatist/clever villain. Th is reconstructing these speeches from memory or from hearsay, so he can make the side he agrees with sound right; but he does it so well that I don't blame him for it.

One of my favorite villains is Alcibades. When we first meet him, he tells the assembly at Athens that he's worthy of a command in the army and his advice should be taken seriously because he represented Athens in the Olympic games with seven chariots, "a number never before entered by any private person," and won 1st, 2nd and 4th (VI:16). He then proceeds to talk Athens into attempting to invade Sicily, with himself as one of the generals. While he's in Sicily with the army, public opinion turns against Alcibades, and he's sent for to stand trial for sacrilege (probably a trumped-up charge, Thucydides admits). Al and some fellow-accused escape while their ship is stopped at a port and make their way to Lacedaemon (leading city of Sparta). Al ingratiates himself to the anti-democratic Spartans by telling them that among "men of sense" like himself in Athens democracy was "an acknowledged folly" but of course they didn't think it wise to try to change the system of government during the war (VI:89). (This rings pretty true since Al's enemies in Athens did accuse him of wanting to overthrow the democracy, but they thought the sacrilege charge would be easier to make stick.) Al encourages the Spartans to send reinforcements to help the Sicilians fight the Athenian invaders, and he gives specific advice as to where a fortification might be set up to most hurt the flow of food and revenue into Athens. This works quite well and leads to the defeat of the Athenian army, the capture and execution of the other Athenian generals, and the eventual downfall of the Athenian empire.

Besides the speeches, there are false informers, daring escapes by night, sad stories of the innocent doomed, and a lot of building of siege-walls.