Computer display showing a web browser

Sad news from the Duke library. Access denied to digital resources.

Clear and cold in the morning and the moon is “new” so it’s hiding from sight. Rosie liked being outside this morning, and we walked all around in the dark. It was the longest morning walk with her that I can remember. I am a passive dog-walker; Rosie goes wherever she wants within the broad boundaries I have set. She likes the leaf clearing that I did yesterday by the old road.

The chapter beckons, and I checked out whether I could access digital resources from Duke Libraries. I could look them up, but access … nope. This is one of the frustrations that comes from retirement, I guess. I had taken for granted that the library would be open to me, since there are many ways, and I’ve covered a few of them. I think that it’s just that certain levers need to be pulled of pushed in order to set things to rights. And so I’ll call upon a few friends to follow up.

This doesn’t get too much in the way, actually, since the glamour chapter has many hooks and directions that need tending, and I’ve actually got enough research done and readied so that I can proceed.

In many ways “doing research” is a form of procrastination. At some point you take the glob of scholarship and information that you’ve amassed and begin to probe and shape it. I’m basically at the point, and I’ve always found that the processes of writing – of giving shape to an argument or a description – will let you know where soft spots are and where there is too little (or too much, wieldy much) for the prose to bear.

I got into the old Porsche today – another project that has rested for a bit. When it’s cold out in the garage, I’m not wild about spending too much time in it. The price I got for some initial work of sealing up the rafters in the garage was a bit higher than what Arlene and I were expecting, so we’re thinking about other ways to make the garage more comfy and tolerable for the more extreme temperatures we get in Carolina.

Anyway, I’ve got to get moving on the interior, and I’ll be contacting the carpet folks to set things in motion on that. The center console is just about ready to put back in, but I’ve been reluctant because some of the replacement carpeting needs to be tucked under the console frame. I’m thinking that not having everything bolted and screwed in might come in handy. I don’t want to have to remove the console yet again. It’s an ugly operation.

When I was getting ready to close up the garage doors to seal in some of the warmth I’d (barely) gathered from outside, I noticed a little wren flitter along the back wall opposite the doors. He (or she) has been in there before. Or, perhaps, a cousin or other bird family member. Anyway, he had to leave before I could close the doors. I went over to him, and reached out, thinking he’d flutter off. But my fingers were probably a half inch away before he moved. It would have been exciting to have a wren sit on my finger.

Sometimes when Rosie and I are on a walk, I’ve seen a particularly sociable bird come quite close to us. The first time I saw him (or her), I thought that the poor thing was sick or something. Might have been the same bird, now I’m wondering.

It’s almost two weeks into this project, and it’s shaped up in one way that I predicted: the photographs are, well, mostly boring, and the times that are recorded are mainly tedious. But another thing I’ve noticed: I actually have a lot going on. My projects are lined up, and my hours are full. Fuller now, especially, because of the maintenance on the project itself, which is a new level of tedium. (The pictures require many repetitive steps to get from phone to the website, and I have spent more time on the project than I was expecting.) In a sense, the burden of the Memory-model project skews the experience I’m trying to capture and parse, since it is so much of the experience. There are seeds here, though. I just don’t know what kind of writerly soil they need to grow. Yet.

I really need to get back to the glamour piece. That needs a really good push.