Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Epitaph for a Dilettante

Things that I have learned to do, to varying degrees of proficiency:

  • Speak and read Russian.
  • Pilot a sailboat of 6000 lbs displacement; tack a 110-ft schooner.
  • "Have the airplane," under the supervision of an instructor, in a Schweitzer 2-33 training glider, a Grob performance glider, a Yak-52 Soviet military trainer, and a North American SNJ US Navy trainer.
  • Practice the Chinese art of meditation and martial art known as tai chi.
  • Play rudimental percussion and Latin percussion, as well as the Irish bodhran drum.
  • Play a couple of simple tunes on the vibraphone.
  • Understand the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Soren Kierkegaard.
  • Penetrate the Internal Revenue Code and the entire body of Massachusetts tax law, as well as the US constitutional principles implicated by it.
  • Drive a sports car on a race track.

Things that I have not learned to do, to any degree of proficiency:
  • Swim.
  • Play golf.
  • Play baseball, football, basketball or soccer.
  • Dance.
  • Paint.
  • Sew.
  • Ride a horse.
  • Clean a fish.
  • Shoot a gun.
  • Do magic tricks.
  • Juggle.

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