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As I noted over at my other digs, I am more and more of the belief that I am going to have to sign up on Facebook, if for no other reason than to keep an eye on the gels and their little friends.

The thought of participating in a service that uses the word “friend” as a verb continues to stick in my craw, however.

UPDATE: It is done.  I see that I am going to have to mind my p’s and q’s over there, so perhaps quiet lurking is the best option.  By the bye, what is the protocol when somebody offers to, *sigh*, “friend” one when one doesn’t want that particular friendship?  A polite “No, thank you?”  Playing dead?

Recently, pursuant to a conversation over the port and Stilton here, I popped the old teevee series Rat Patrol into my Netflix queue.  The series, for those of you unfamiliar, was about the adventures of a four-man commando team in the North African desert during WWII.

After a few episodes, my reaction was…….meh.

I hadn’t realized that the star of the show was Christopher George.  I knew him because he was the bad guy gunslinger working for Ed Asner in the John Wayne classic El Dorado.  There was something about him I just never did like.

Anyway, was there, in fact, an American element to the Long Range Desert Group?  I may be completely mistaken, but I thought that was exclusively a Brit and Commonwealth affair.

Oh, well.

(As a side note, I must learn to stop ordering a whole series in one go before I’ve sampled it.  Just clogs up the queue otherwise.)

In the past few days ol’ Robbo, suddenly seized by one of his periodic attacks of Civil War mania, polished off in quick succession Bruce Catton’s Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command, together with the personal memoirs of Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman as well.  (Did you know that Sherman was a banker in San Francisco during the Gold Rush? Neither did I.)

It occurred to me as I read to wonder how many people with only a casual knowledge of history think of the Civil War as primarily being about Bobby Lee fighting in and around Virginny against various hapless Yankee commanders until Grant finally took him in hand.  A number of people I’ve talked to know almost nothing about the remainder of the picture.  And yet, without the Federal hammer that swung through Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga,  Atlanta and Savannah, Appomattox wouldn’t have happened.

I suppose this is just one of those historickal distortions.  Lee is by far and away the most memorable of the southern leaders, to say nothing of being the most successful, so perhaps it’s understandable that the popular imagination would be more focused on his record.

It’s just a thought.

By the way, in rereading all this material, I was also reminded again of just how much I like Grant.


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August 2010