A Week of Neither Blogging, Nor the Reading of Blogs:

With apologies to the Senior Conspirator, I am going to be taking a week off, starting this afternoon at 4:00 pm. It's not just that I won't be posting for a week - I won't be reading this blog or any other blog for a week. In fact, with the exception of absolutely necessary email, I'm staying off the web completely. Does anyone remember the wonderful XKCD comic with the opening panel:

Constant [internet] novelty saps my initiative.

We all know there's something to that. Family is away at the beach. I have the house to myself and book on US-UN relations finally to finish and deliver (part of which, concerning the Security Council and the US, you can read here). I plan to read physical newspapers, read books and articles not online, and go to the gym and work out not once but twice a day. That's more or less what vacation is for me this year - work out and finally complete a book that has been giving me fits. I wish I were in the Eastern Sierra, in the Owens Valley, which, as we all know, is God's country, California's Empty Quarter. I wish I were doing this stretch of writing and rewriting work in Palo Alto, at the Hoover Institution. But I'm in DC, and it appears that the weather is about to get unpleasant.

I have shaved my head completely, as I have discovered from long experience that even if it doesn't help me discover my spiritual side, it weirdly helps me concentrate. I highly recommend it. I have much coffee, good stuff from Antigua Guatemala. Yerba mate from Paraguay. I have my extralight olive oil re the Seth Roberts diet - to which, although I realize I'm just bragging here - I sincerely credit the loss of 25 pounds and a wholly unmedicated cholesterol score last week of 128 total and 66 good (!). Among the books for the odyssey - which I was going to read virtuously while walking on the treadmill - was supposed to be Brian D'Amato's huge novel thing about Mayans and game theory, but my daughter swiped that for the beach - will she really read it? I might simply re-read The Red and the Black, and maybe the collected sci fi of John Boyd (The Last Starship From Earth, The Rakehells of Heaven, and the one about the lesbian orchid plants on some faraway planet, The Pollinators of Eden).

I will also finish the read of books on the financial crisis for my TLS review and I hope draft it; and some long delayed work for my nonprofit media investment fund (when I get back, I'll describe the fantastic equity deal that was finally just sold off for a very large gain, in the Balkans, no less); and some stuff for the Madrid Revista de Libros. Shoulder permitting, I'll play the cello a lot - it seems to help the muscle spasms in my wrists and fingers. That's me this week, going on a crazy, zany, internet-free week. If anyone wants to comment, I'll be around until 4:00 pm.