But who cares. There are currently two great stories about medical fraud and universities!

Actually, only one – located, of course, at reliably ultra-scummy University of Miami medical school – is truly university-centered. The other – Baruch Hashem! – involves a real step forward in the federal government undoing DT’s disgusting pardon of Philip Esformes, author of the biggest health care fraud in this country’s history. The University of Pennsylvania is part of the Esformes story, but not a major part… Just one of his more trivial crimes.

Posts on their way.
Snapshots from Home
Little icons of the last few days: Joanna Soltan’s birthday card for UD is a Lucas Cranach – Bona Sforza – in the Czartoryski Museum, Krakow. Its background is some dried hydrangea from our garden. The binoculars are waiting to be put away after our trip to Shenandoah National Park. As for the architectural cylinder: The “dean of Washington residential architects,” Don Alexander Hawkins, showed up at our house yesterday. We don’t know him, and he doesn’t know us; but in retirement he has been visiting all the houses he worked on in his career and giving the owners the plans he drew up. A wonderful idea. We’re thrilled.

Another instance of UD preferring recitative to aria.
This white turtlehead will unfold into beautiful clusters in a day or two; but for me, the symmetry and restraint of this stage takes the prize. Something about it also reminds me of garden murals from Pompeii.
More beautiful than before.
When you can’t bring yourself to throw away wilted hibiscus flowers…
How did this get in my house?

Snail mucus… And someone has used some of it. Clearly has something to do with La Kid. As she would put it: Yuckers.

The Next Morning!

[see post below this one for a pic from yesterday afternoon]

Eight inches across. And many more buds about to pop. OMG

UD, who I guess likes surprises…

… seems to have tossed some Deep Red Hibiscus seeds into a pot awhile back. Do not remember this, and am not even sure I’m correctly identifying the three feet tall stalk with massively about to bloom flowers all over it.

Once I realized it had big plans for itself, I moved it to a bigger pot and an even sunnier spot on the deck. Plus I’ve put some bracing on the stalk. Now I sit back and watch enormous flowers unfold.

Even so… UD has always preferred the recitative to the aria, the prelude to the fugue. She already knows that this phase – the slow velvety emergence – will be more exciting than the full bloom.

We don’t get earthquakes and avalanches …

… in UD‘s Bethesda, but at least in her own wooded half acre we do get tree falls, like the big one that startled her last night as she sat in bed with her laptop. It was a still-light summer night, and she looked up when she heard the strange groan she’s come to recognize as limbs and bark suddenly shearing off.

And there it crashed, right there in the middle of her forest, with a house-jolting thud, followed by the rustle of leaves and small branches. Not the whole stable world at once shatteringly kinetic, as in avalanches and earthquakes, but a small stability in an instant unstabled, with all the strangeness and mild alarm (could have fallen on the house) of such moments.

At once UD sprayed herself with insect repellent, grabbed her pruning saw, and got to work clearing her paths of it all. The picture I took shows two large neat woodpecker holes in one of the limbs I rolled aside.

The Ghost in the Garden
Interesting what you’ll find when you’re stamping out Pleated Inkcaps. UD assumes this was dropped from some kid’s Halloween bag years ago.
La Kid, an Urbanite Down to her Toes…

… stands enthralled on a DC rooftop, watching last night’s fireworks.

Pensive Garrett Parkers…

… gaze from the back of Dave Almy‘s iconic green truck at parade spectactors. First Fourth I can remember when the weather was not just bearable, but actually pleasant. Photo: Bennett Roth.

Red Meat for the Fourth.
For complex reasons, this July 4 Les UDs were gifted with a home delivery of filets mignons and hamburger steaks. Their neighbors, the Trockis (Tammy, an excellent photographer, took pictures of our Fangors), will cook the meat, and we’ll all gather at their place for a holiday blowout.

Scroll through the images on this photography blog…

… to see exactly what UD sees almost every time she looks out the window. It’s always a female ruby throated.

As the photographer writes, bee balm is a “magnet” for hummingbirds.

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