How Three Words Can Set a Mood: "Anton looked out the bay window of Sarh's Boulangerie toward St. Thomas's Church, while Jacqueline stood at the worktable behind the counter and kneaded. Pummeling the dough." -- Louise Penny, Glass Houses
I've Been Reading: This week I finished Shrine by James Herbert, my FFB. A good, albeit plodding, book; for the most part I read in 20-page segments but I'm happy I was rewarded after finishing the 450-page novel. I also read the latest Flavia De Luce novel from Alan Bradley, The Grave's a Fine and Private Place. Like many others, I am addicted to that series. Flavia is probably the best eleven-year-old (now probably twelve) expert on poisons in literature. Finally, I read The Descent of the Sun by F. W. Bain, who wrote a number of short novels near the beginning of the twentieth century that were supposedly fantasies translated from Sanskrit (or, as Bain put it, "Hindoo"). It took a number of books before people wised up to the fact that these were not translations, but the mystical background of each made them very popular for their time. Currently, I am reading the third (and latest) Caleb York western from Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.
Drizzle: Isn't the word for it. The past few days have brought severe thunder storms. It has been raining like there's no tomorrow, my friends...dark and gloomy. Of course that's when our streaming service decided to go haywire. On the bright side, if I had a lawn it would probably be pretty green this spring.
Mardi Gras: Oh...and Pensacola celebrated Mardi Gras this weekend with a large, cold, wet parade.
Our Flim-Flam Artist-in-Chief: President Cheese Doodle has (at least in public) been defending abusers who have been on his payroll -- something to be expected, since he has called the nineteen women who have accused him of sexual misdeeds liars. In cases like this, he always stands with the accused and denigrates the accusers. I suppose this is because, as he has said over and over, nobody respects women as much as he does. Which makes me think someone should give this jamook a dictionary so he can see what the words he uses really mean. Of course the dictyionary would have to be, at a max, on a fourth grade reading level.
Winter Olympics: I'm bored. I'm tired of the pomp and ceremony and the political posturing. I'm tired of cities and countries sinking massive amounts of dough into Olympic stadiums that will soon fall into disuse. I'm tired of the chicanery that goes on at the top level. I'm tired of commentators struggling to come up with commentary. I'm tired of steroids and HGH. I'm tired of increasingly dangerous courses. The great athletes who give their all for their sport deserve much better.
While I'm Bitchin': It seems that every day this week there have been stories of mass shootings. As a country, we will never learn. But as a country, we seem to be The United States of NRA. The NRA is a powerful pissant group that ignores common decency and common sense. Their numbers are small, several million I understand, but I also understand their numbers are inflated. Their political power extends from a strange (my word) reading of the Second Amendment, as codified by a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, as well as from a distorted public relations push and a Congress more interested in power and money than in the public good. If Newtown (remember that one?) did not affect change, then nothing will. But please understand that nobody wants to take way your guns. But would it hurt to put limits on some firearms? To limit the sale of guns to some people? The founding fathers could never imagine the type of firearms we have today. And the theory that all it takes to stop one bad man with a gun is one good man with a gun is laughable. The "one good man" is more likely to shoot his own toes or someone else.
Unclear on the Concept: The BostonPolice Department tweeted a Black History Month tribute to Red Auerbach, the former Boston Celtics coach and president. For those too young to remember Auerbach, let me just say he was white. Very white.
Tropical Cyclone Gita: Is expected to be the worst storm in history to hit Tonga. I sincerely hope that is not the case. Puerto Rico will not recover from their hurricane for years; the same situation -- or worse -- could be in store for Tonga. Meanwhile, the world stands in awe of Tonga Flag Bearer Pita Taufatofua, who is competing in cross country skiing. (See my great athlete comment, above.)
FloriDUH: That's the name of a regular column in the Sun Sentinel, which gives us the following headline: "Black Friday shoplifters found clad only in bra and undies, deputies say." Two women shoplifted from a Tommy Hilfiger store and made their getaway. Police traced them to outside a local hotel, where they had stripped down to their underwear, figuring no one would recognize them withoput their clothes.