Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, March 19, 2018


Opening Lines:  I hardly knew when Jura Singh came into my life; he was so much a part of my early years that it seemed he was with us as far back as I can remember.  But I will never forget the day he went away -- for on that day all the old ways changed.  That day the peace and happiness of my childhood was suddenly ended, and something sinisterly evil came over me that was to transform my life into a ghastly nightmare.  That day, at the age of twelve, I became a woman -- a woman with unholy passions and a Circe-like force that beckoned irresistibly to the grave...  -- "Conrad Kimball" (Wayne Rogers), "Prey for the Daughter of Hell" (Terror Tales, May 1940)

[Terror Tales was a weird horror pulp magazine that ran from September 1934 to March 1941.  Although it was a very successful magazine of its type, its literary value can easily be questioned.]

I've Been Reading:  Planned reading for this week and the next went a bit by the wayside with a slew of books ordered from the local library.  I did read three travel books by Erle Stanley Gardner -- Gypsy Days on the Delta (Sacramento River Delta), and The Hidden Heart of Baja and Off the Beaten Track in Baja (both about Baja California).  I also read an oldie but goodie, Joseph Lewis French's 1920 anthology Best Psychic Stories.  Coming up is the latest Carpenter and Quincannon by Bill Pronzini (sans Marcia Muller), Dashiell Hammett's The Big Book of the Continental Op, Jeff Vandermeer's The Strange Bird, Carmen Maria Machado's collection Her Body and Other Parties.  Due soon (probably this week) are Mickey Spillane's The Last Stand and Joe R. Lansdale's Jackrabbit Smile.  I will squeeze in finishing Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes and Donald E. Westlake's The Comedy Is Finished.  a lot on my reading plate, it seems.

One Hundred Years Ago Today:  Congress established the U. S. time zones and approved daylight saving time.  Bill Crider would rail against the whole spring-forward-fall-back thing on his blog yearly.  Somebody in Florida finally listened:  the state voted to go on daylight saving time throughout year round.  I'm not sure if the bill has been signed yet.  [It should also note the Newfoundland has its own special time zone -- 30 minutes ahead of the Atlantic Time Zone and 90 minutes ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.  Newfies are their own special breed of cat.*)

Well, Duh:  Vladimir Putin has been reelected.  In a landslide.  In the meantime Russia reportedly (wink wink) has been offing people they don't like via radiation poisoning.  President KBG denies this (wink wink), positing that the poison was manufactured in England.  Here's a link to an article explaining why radioactive poisoning became the assassin's weapon of choice:

Happy Birthday, Edith:  When I was a kid, Edith Nourse Rogers (1881-1960) represented our district (the Massachusetts 5th) in the House of Representatives.  In a basically Republican district, she was revered not only by Republicans but by many Democrats.  This was back in the days when people were more important than party and bipartisan was not a dirty word.  Her husband, John Rogers, was elected to Congress in 1912 and was in his seventh term when he suddenly died.  Edith (as she was called in our household) ran for her husband's seat, won, and served eighteen consecutive terms.  She was the sixth woman in history to serve in Congress.  In 1958 she was considered as a formidable challenger to John F. Kennedy for Senate, but decided not to run.  She was extremely influential in veterans' affairs, opposed child labor, pushed for equal rights for women, fought for German Jewish refugees, wrote the bill that created the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and co-wrote the bill that establish the WACs, she helped draft, then co-sponsored the G.I Bill,helped establish flood control in her home district, and was a fervent support of local manufacturers.  During World War II, the army was desperate for fighting men and would often ship recruits out to battle before they were trained -- basically making them cannon fodder.  Edith found out about this practice and put a stop to it.  She was an isolationist at heart but supported many of FDR's major foreign policy initiatives -- but only when she was convinced it was good for the country and the Administration was not "trying to put something across."  A 1943 confidential report for the British Foreign office stated, "She is regarded in Congress as a capable and hard-working woman.  A pleasant and kindly old battle-axe -- but a battle-axe."

Bezos-1, Iguana-0:  Jeff Bezos ate iguana this week, perhaps starting a new food trend.  Or perhaps not.

Good Doggie:  Bear with me about this item.  A Chinese man identified only by his surname Yang went mushroom hunting back in April 2015 and found a puppy which he took home and adopted as a pet.  The "puppy" turned out to be an Asian black bear, protected under Chinese law.  The man only realized that his pet was not a puppy only after it grew big, still he kept it as a pet until earlier this months when authorities discovered what was going on. 

Words to Remember from Marjory:  "Be a nuisance where it counts.  Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action.  Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption, and bad politics -- but never give up." -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Further Off the Deep End:  This morning president Trump is expected to reveal his plan to stop the opioid crisis.  He wants the death penalty for certain drug dealers.  Policy by sound bites strikes again.  Sheesh!

* All but the four-legged Newfies.  They're a special breed of dog..

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