Friday, 22 April 2016

10:22 – Barbara is off to the gym and supermarket. We have more kit stuff to get done today, along with some household stuff. James, who mows our yard, is supposed to deliver a face cord of fire wood soon, so we need to get the wood rack set up. Probably tomorrow, since today we’re to have thunderstorms.

We’ve pretty much run out of new stuff that we want to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming. We actually started re-watching series one of Poirot, which we last watched when it was first broadcast 25 years or so ago.

So we’ve started watching some documentaries. I dislike many recent documentaries because they’re presented through the lens of modern sensibilities. The presenters almost sneer at those poor, benighted folks in olden days, expecting them to think and behave the way a modern prog does. But many older documentaries and a few recent ones don’t skew that way.

We watched the five episodes of Warrior Women, in which Lucy Lawless did an excellent job without much material to work with. One episode was devoted to each of the two obvious candidates, Boudica and Joan of Arc. Of the other three women covered, I’d heard only of the piratess Grace O’Malley.

The obvious problem is that women are unsuited by biology and temperament to be warriors, so there haven’t been many of them. With apologies to Belloc,

Whatever happens, we have got
Testosterone, and they have not.

It’s not that I think women lack intelligence, bravery, honor, patriotism, or any of the other soldierly virtues. It’s simply that testosterone makes men larger, stronger, faster, and more aggressive. Before firearms and other modern weapons, women simply could not compete on the battlefield with men. At one point, Lawless was wearing a suit of armor, and commented that it weighed 40 kilos (88 pounds). At the time, women (and men) were physically smaller, so that suit of armor may well have weighed as much as the woman who might wear it. I had this image of a woman wearing that suit of armor, unable to move because of the weight, and trying to defend herself with a broadsword that was too heavy for her to pick up, let alone swing.

Last night, we watched the first of four episodes of Amanda Foreman’s The Ascent of Woman. I was expecting the typical PC/prog POV, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Foreman is actually even-handed. She starts in Mesopotamia, and points out that in the earliest Sumerian civilization there, women had essentially equal rights, which they lost as the Assyrians and eventually the moslems took power. Foreman interviewed a very brave moslem woman who lives in Syria and criticized moslem treatment of women. This in 2015, at a time when ISIS was already running rampant. I turned to Barbara at that point and asked if she thought that woman was still alive. I’m looking forward to watching the remaining three episodes.

We brought up about 50 or 80 empty 3-liter bottles that we need to get dried out and ready to be filled with bulk staples. I’m saving those for staples that are a PITA to put in 2-liter bottles because of their narrower mouths. Mainly flour, which takes forever to get into the smaller-mouth bottles. I figure we have enough 3-liter bottles for 150 to 200 pounds of flour.