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Thursday, 13 February 2020


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I was fooled! And until I read your description. I wondered if they were giant statues.

I read the Alexandria Quartet twice through, and Justine a third time. I must have read Hamlet five or six times, Dune a few times. This was back when I read much more fiction than I do now. These days, I end up rereading passages, or poems--Bishop, cummings, Stevens et al.

But a graphic novel I encountered recently was so good--so honest and moving, well crafted and original, and ultimately beautiful--that I intend to reread it some day soon; it was Alison Bechdel's memoir "Fun Home". (Yes, she of the "Bechdel test", which came from her "Dykes to Watch Out For" comics, now on my reading list as well.)

Photographers on the Plains? Try Evelyn Cameron, Terry, Montana. Life on the Western Plains where the Railroad hoodwinked many as it tried to boost ridership and make more money.
Julia Tuell photographed Native Americans in South Dakota and Montana.
Some fine work by both of them. Documenting what they lived and those they lived with. Pioneer photographers who happened to be women. Almost a handicap back in those days - late 1800's and into the early 20th Century.

Rölvaag’s The Boat of Longing is another great book about the Norwegian emmigration of the 1800s.

That description of amateur billiards players fits me perfectly, except I never actually get out of any trouble. That might explain why the last time I played was in 1979 or 1980.

With so much lately about books, I thought it befitting to return us to photography, with a photo of.....books.


"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

What sexist BS!

Interesting shot. I am no expert, but I thought that tracked vehicles often used two control levers rather than a steering wheel. Given the addition of the funny engine cover, I initially took this to be a composite image of some kind.

However, thanks to the web, it appears that the Trackson Company (logical name) in WI converted wheeled tractors into tracked ones.

A little piece of forgotten rural life, I suppose.


I don't understand the building. Or is it the motor cover? The shadow of the steering wheel suggests a motor cover, but it looks like it extends too far to the right. But if it were a building it probably wouldn't be in the middle of the field. I think her left foot can be seen.

My first thought was that it was a composite photo because the people looked so big. But with some crude measuring it is possible that they are as you say.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/2b/84/bc/2b84bc9bd60f5c0c39c230c72beb240d.jpg does have a resemblance. Horiz. steering wheel. Odd engine cover

I grew up on a farm and probably first drove a Caterpillar D6 tractor when I was about 8 years old, and we had an army surplus roadgrader much like the one in the photo. I thought it looked really weird then I realized that the tractor is a Cletrac model W , short for Cleveland Tractor Company, later renamed Oliver, and boy did Cletrac make some weird tractors.

Here is a photo of a normal sized person on a Cletrac model W
and another nicer photo

The tipoff is that it has a steering wheel which is unusual for crawler tractors and is based on an astounding differential with locking pinions rather than the clutches and brakes used on most crawler tractors.

BTW the clutches and brakes systems are so much more fun for an eight year old. You can have the left side of the tractor going full speed ahead and the right side going full speed back. Eighteen tons of spinning tractor with an eight year old at the controls - what were my parents thinking anyway?

It's actually a trilogy, after Peder Victorious is "Their Father's God".

As a first generation immigrant who came to the US at age of 15, this series of books was very dear to me. Although I came from different background from the Holm's family, but the struggles are the same.

I went to a Tractor and Antique Engine show this past Sunday and saw at least one giant on a tractor:

I didn’t see it that way (giants) until I read your description and then I did. I think that although I enlarged it my eye was drawn to the tractor/child rather than the adults.
However, similar perceptions can happen in real life. I’ve several times confused a running hare with a deer, and vice versa, when distant and on the skyline/raised ground. I *think* it’s partly due to mistaking the height of the grass in those cases.

Just stumbled across this review: https://bookshop.org/books/unfinished-business-notes-of-a-chronic-re-reader/9780374282158

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