Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, February 19, 2018


Openers:  Even when I woke up in the taxi, throat parched, eyes bleary, and found Sam Richard's corpse in the seat behind me, I couldn't believe it was real.  It was just a dream -- vague, half-remembered, even with the evidence of my own guilt staring me in the face.  -- Ken Lewis, "Honeymoon in Hell!" (Dime Mystery Magazine, January 1945)

I've Been Reading:  A Digit of the Moon, an oriental fantasy by F. W. Bain from 1899; The Bloody Spur, the third Caleb York western from Mickey Spillane and Max Allen Collins, engaging, but with a bit slower pace than the previous two books; The Grave's a Fine and Private Place, Alan Bradley's latest book about Flavia de Luce, the eleven-year-old (although she's probably twelve or thirteen by now) detective and expert on poisons; Stop the Presses!, the eleventh of twelve (so far) continuation of the adventure of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin by Robert Goldsborough, a decent read but somehow lacking Rex Stout's deft touch; Brother Men:  The Correspondence of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Herbert T. Weston, edited by Weston's great-grandson Matt Cohen and provides an interesting, albeit limited, look at both men who had been friends since their military school days; and Brian K. Vaughan's Saga, Volume Two and Volume Three, graphic novels from the award-winning series drawn by Fiona Staples.

The Kids Are Angry:  And that's a good sign.  Following the slaughter of seventeen students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, student survivors immediately called out our weak-kneed politicians and the NRA, demanding responsible gun control.  Their outrage has been picked up by students throughout the country, demanding change.  Five years ago, at Sandy Hook, twenty kids aged six and seven, as well as six adults, were murdered.  The kids who survived were not old enough to express their rage, only their hurt and confusion; their parents have done a remarkable job in fighting the madness, but they are adults -- which limits them.  The Stoneham Douglas kids are old enough to know what should be (and what should have been) done and are young enough to believe it can be done.  That is the rage that we need.  That is the rage that is infectious.  I look back at the Fifties and Sixties with the civil rights and anti-war movements and I see the seeds of another great movement now.  One Florida Republican, a former member of Congress, has supported voting out all Republicans so that the nation can move forward with sensible gun control.  The standard pro-gun comment whenever there is a mass shooting of now is not the time to politicize about gun control will no longer wash.  Ohio governor John Kasick, perhaps eyeing another presidential run and seeing which way the wind blows, has deleted the pro-gun section from his website.  And as for the men hiding behind the it's-not-a-gun-issue-it's-a-mental-health-issue curtain, I just look to something I saw on the internet this week:  "Isn't it strange how mental illness hardly massacres anyone in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom?"  (I'm even willing to excuse the lack of an Oxford comma.)  The kids are calling for school strikes, walk-outs, and marches to help get their message across.  Yep, the kids are angry and rightly so.  I, for one, am glad.

The Black Panther:  Outperformed expectations.  Whose expectations?  Not mine.  Not those of anyone I know.  Methinks the industry analysts who had lower expectations knew not of what they spoke.

On This Day:  The Supreme Privy Council was was established in Russia (1726).  I looked it up and it is definitely not what I thought it was.  And in 1913, Pedro Lascurain became President of Mexico.  His term lasted all of 45 minutes.  We should be so lucky.

Speaking of Presidents:  It's their day.  No presidents were born in my hometown of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, but the father of one was.  The story goes that the father of Franklin Pierce was 14 when the Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought.  The young boy grabbed his rifle, said, "Ma, I hear the shots," and set off for the fray.  Lexington and Concord are three and two towns over from Chelmsford and Pierce's home was in the part of Chelmsford that was later ceded to Lowell so, in effect, young master Pierce was four and three towns away from the fighting.  How could he hear the rifle fire?  Could this particular story be apocryphal?

Speaking of Apocryphal:  Chelmsford had another Revolutionary War hero.  His name escapes me and I can't be bothered to look it up, but this guy claimed to be the man who fired the first shot at Bunker Hill and to my knowledge his claim has never been denied.  He evidently would repeat his claim at local taverns, which makes be wonder if he was blitzed when he pulled the trigger at Bunker Hill.  Don't fire until you see the double of the whites of their eyes!

Happy 75th, Lou Christie:

Poor Fashion Judgement:  You can also file this under EW!  28-year-old model turned fashion blogger Tracy Kiss has used her private parts to create designer jewelry.  I will not go into detail except to note that glitter was also used.  You can read about it here:

And how was your week?

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