Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, January 1, 2018


Welcome to 2018!

Last July, I made a solemn vow to lose a significant amount of weight.  Today, I'm ashamed to admit that not only did I not lose the weight, but I'm up a couple of pounds.  That should indicate how well I've done with New Year's resolutions in the past.  So, instead of resolutions per se, this year I will make some directions.  That is, I will look to a place where I want to be and not worry how I'll get there or even if I'll get there.

I have been doing this blog for a number of years now and I'm pretty happy with it,especially with the online friends I have made over the years who have added so much to my life.  I write it for my own amusement and am pleased with its modest reception.  I cover much of the things that I like and have fallen into a pleasing pattern.  On Sundays, I post Hymn Time not because I am overtly religious, because I like the music -- especially Southern Black gospel and bluegrass.  Sundays also are for a general post on a subject that interests me -- lately it has been TED or STEM talks.  The remaining six days of the week, I post a song from the past; again, it is music I like, especially rock and roll from the 50s and 60s and folk music.  

Mondays have been reserved for Incoming, I list of books I have bought over the previous week, sometimes with comments on the books or the authors.  Lately, the Incoming posts have been brief because I am not buying as many books as before.  Gone are the days where I will list several dozen or a hundred books each week.  I just can't afford to buy as many books as I once did.  For many of my working years, I was disabled; that is, until I turned 65 when Social Security informed that I was no longer disabled but was retired.  Long story short, I live basically on Social Security, which gave us a 2% increase for 2018 while upping the cost of Medicare and Drug coverage to the point where we are getting less in 2018 than we did in 2017 -- not a major loss, but a significant one.  We will be fine, I think.  We own both the house and the car, neither Kit nor I smoke or drink, and our expenses are low, but we will have to curtail some things, such as my book buying.  Long story short, Incoming is going on hiatus.  There may be an occasional Incoming round-up, but it will not be a regular feature on the blog.

(Let me note just on final Incoming, though, the last [and only] book I bought this past week: a 2010 western anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis, Ghost Towns, with fifteen stories [fourteen original] by some of the best writers in the field.)

I'm not sure what will replace Incoming.  Perhaps a listing of the books I have read over the past week (something that I had reserved for the Monday comment section on Rick Robinson's blog Tip the Wink, which is currently on hiatus).  Perhaps a rant --- political or otherwise; with the advent of Trump, I find myself veering into political rants more and more, but I fear that for many of you, this would just be preaching to the choir.  Mondays also are when Patti Abbott usually posts her "Things That Make Me Happy" and I have been listing some of the things that made me happy over the past week in her comments section.  I find this to a great help in centering myself (thank you, Patti) and some version of that may fit in on my Monday blog.

Everything else will probably remain the same.  Tuesdays are for Todd Mason's Overlooked Film, Television, and or A/V meme.  Here I try to provide a link to whatever item I am posting.  Wednesdays are reserved for Bad Jokes.  It's difficult sometimes to come across a bad joke that isn't a) familiar, or b) overly sexist, racially insensitive, or truly offensive in some way.  I prefer just plain, dumb jokes.  Thursdays are for linking to an old-time radio show.  I loved Ed Walker's The Big Broadcast on WAMU radio when I was living in the D.C. area and I hope my coverage of these shows provide some amusement and interest in those great days of yore.  On Fridays I participate in Patti Abbott's Forgotten Books, one of my great delights of the week.  I also love checking out what other bloggers have contributed to this project; I have discovered a lot of great writers and great books through Patti's Forgotten Books.  Finally, Saturdays are devoted to old comic books, some amazing and some just plain silly.  Throughout the week I might just add a random post about something that interests me.

Kitty has been after me to add pictures, a blog roll, and other things to Jerry's House of Everything.  That may come, but I am such a technological Luddite that I am amazed that I can even produce a rudimentary blog.

I have felt a lot of outrage this past year, but it has all been directed at the national and global scenes where it appears basic human dignity is under assault.  Personally, it has been a very good year, despite a few ups and downs.  My entire family is healthy and doing well and 2018 is looking to continue that trend.  Several of my friends, both online and off, are facing serious challenges and my thoughts are with them.  One of my friends just posted what her word for 2018 is:  "resolution,"  not in the sense of New year's resolution but in the sense of being resolute.  I guess my word(s) for 2018 will be "muddle through." I am looking forward to muddling though this new year and seeing what wonders it  holds for me.

May 2018 hold many wonders for you.

(By the way, my 2017 count for books read is 253.) 


  1. WoW!253! That's a very impressive figure.

    A Very Happy 2018 to you and your family.

  2. After 11 years of blogging, I find it hard to keep coming up with things to say. Friday is easy and now Monday is okay. But I still love reading other people's blogs, especially those who share their lives. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. I am very glad your blog exists and that you are taking joy in writing it can be good, though Blogspot can make them problematic at times...just going back to having "hot" links on the blog would be more than enough, given how much you so generously share. Indeed, thanks...and an even better 2018 to you all...

  4. Here's astory ID request for you: Somewhere back in the '70s (between 1970-and 1977, and probably closest to 1974-1975 +/-2 years) I read a short-short SF/Horror story in one of the little free magazines that we sometimes received in school from Scholastic and possibly other sources.

    One day a friend showed me a story in their copy of one of these little magazines (it was more or less digest sized) that I had missed because I was out sick (so this was probably in the winter? it explains why I never had my own copy though). The narrator of the story is a child attending another child's birthday party in the future (at least in the future as perceived from the mid-'70s), and bringing a special gift made in the lab in which his/her father worked (I can't remember with any certainty the gender of either the narrator or the recipient of the gift, though I think the recipient might have been a girl).

    The gift is a little box, and a string or cord extends out of a hole on one side of the box. When the recipient of the gift pulls on the string, the string pulls back. A delightful tug-of-war ensues, until suddenly whatever is on the other side of the string pulls so hard the birthday girl(?) is drawn into the hole and disappears inside the box. Possibly followed by screams and/or crunching/eating sounds...

    The final line of the story was something close to "I forgot the monster on the other side of the nowhere-hole could pull back."

    I also distinctly remember a rather spoilery illustration of a monster accompanying the story. The image (which appears in blue ink in my memory) was a frontal depiction of a ragged and vicious-looking humanoid monster with a fibrous cord extending from the tip of one of its claws.

    I have searched in vain for this story for 40 years, and will be genuinely indebted to anyone who can ID it and/or help me locate a copy.

    1. This request comes from Scott Nicolay. I helped him narrow it down to probably something reprinted by Xerox's classroom-use magazine in the 1970s, READ, a competitor to Scholastic Magazines. Do you think you might've come across this story elsewhere?

    2. Nothing comes to mind, Todd. It has somewhat of a Richard Matheson's "Little Girl Lost" feel to it, but I know that isn't it.