Saturday, April 16, 2005

Netflix And The Civil War

I wonder if anyone alive back in 1861 could have imagined that I would be able to get DVDs of a history of the Civil War delivered to my house on little plastic disks. Probably not, but this is what I am doing. I signed up for Netflix on Wednesday evening, and already in Friday's mail I received DVDs. One was disk one of five of Ken Burns' "The Civil War". I watched the first hour of it while working out on the exercise bike this morning. My normal workout is half an hour. I can see this having an extra side effect of getting me in better shape. (Oddly, at 31, I'm probably in the best shape of my life.) There is so much I had forgotten since watching "The Civil War" in 1990 when it came out on PBS. General Lee was personally offered command of the entire Union Army by Lincoln, but because he was from Virginia and they had just seceded, he felt more loyalty to them than to the Union as a whole. He was very much against the idea of secession during most of the run-up to the war, but eventually went with his home state. I also had forgotten just how stacked things were against the Confederacy from the beginning. The north had 21 million people, and the south had 9 million, 4 million of which were slaves. The entire industrial output of the south was about a quarter that of New York alone! It's amazing that they did so well. Of course they did get a lot of the most competent West Pointers at the time, plus the sense that they were fighting for freedom, and fighting a lot on their own soil. All of that helped them be competitive. One of my relatives actually died in one of the battles of Bull Run, near modern-day Manassas which I coincidentally live some single-digit miles from now. I could join the "Sons of the Union" society or whatever that is, and actually Sons of the Revolution apparently too, but it seems a little odd, and I doubt I will ever do it.

I've been badly neglecting my German blog. I just put the first post up yesterday in almost two weeks. So much easier to write in English. It's tougher to get motivated when I know it takes so much longer to express my thoughts. Hopefully my German-speaking friends will forgive me, and also visit here more! So to my German friends I say: Bitte kommentier! Was ist los? Sei nicht verlegen ├╝ber den Sprache! *Lach*

This weekend will be garden planting weekend. We have a townhouse, and most of the back is a deck, with just a 2.5' by 15.0' area for me to plant in. You would be astounded by the amount of productivity I can get out of a small area. Click here to see a picture of last year's garden. You can see that some things grow very well, and others not well at all. It is our third summer in the house, so I hope to have a great crop. I'll be growing some corn this year too! I use Burpee seeds, and have since we had our yearly "Enormous Garden" as a kid. I'll be growing the usual zucchini, beans, snap peas, and carrots. Canteloupe and cucumbers are on the bubble. I'm not sure if I will try them again, as they never seem to thrive. Any other green thumbs out there?


East said...


I like your blog. Very easy reading. You make your life sound exciting in a very casual way.

Enjoy your civil war dvds!


AndiM said...

Being shy with writing / speaking English? We've had that one before, didn't we?
But I'll try posting here more often than I did in the last few weeks ... at least after my Abitur's done.
Oh ... and I tried to start an English blog of my own ;-). There's just one posting there yet but I'll try to post more frequently.

Erik Grow said...

Hi Vermin, thanks for stopping by! You know what's funny is at first I thought you were someone else! A friend of mine from college that now lives near me is also nicknamed "Vermin". She got the nickname in college because the first part of her last name sounds like it. How did you get yours?

Andi, yeah, I remembered that you had your Abitur. I'll have to stop by your English blog. Where is it again? I'm not sure if I've seen it.

AndiM said...