Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, August 20, 2018


Openers:  I'd been in Los Angeles waiting for this Healey to show for nearly a week.  According to my steer, he'd taken a railroad company to Quebec for somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and fifty grand on a swarm of juggled options or something.  That's a nice neighborhood.
-- "Paul Cain"  (Peter Ruric), "One, Two, Three," Black Mask, May 1933

Things That Make Me Happy:

  • Late night comedians.  I don't think I'd survive this Trump era without them.  John Oliver's take on trade provided a blessed moment of sanity last night for example.
  • Salsa.  It makes everything edible when you are trying to lose weight.  My youngest daughter felt the same was about A-1 Sauce on cafeteria food when she was in college.
  • Birthdays.  We celebrated Jessamyn's birthday with a buttermilk cake, strawberries and whipped cream.  Yum!  Actually, any type of family celebration or event makes me happy.  Mark moved into his freshman dorm room yesterday afternoon, making me once again feel old.  Jack just finished his first week in first grade and came home with four green cards and one yellow one (green means good; yellow means he was distracted -- red, I assume, means he burned down the school); Friday afternoon his teacher e-mailed Christina and told her not to worry about the yellow card because Jack is such a pleasure to have in her class.  We also got some lovely pictures of my beautiful niece Sarah's Caribbean wedding.
  • Charles Ardai and Hard Case Crime.  A consistently entertaining line of crime and noir novels, both original books and reprints of hard-to-find novels.  I've read over half of their 140 offerings since the imprint began in 2004 and have well over a dozen near the top of Mount TBR.  There are a lot of other great publishers out there but since I recently finished Easy Death by "Daniel Boyd"  and am halfway through Joseph Koenig's False Negative, it's time to give then a shout-out.  If you are in the mood for some well-written crime novels, you can't go wrong with Hard Case Crime.
  • Sunrises and sunsets.  They are beautiful and awe-inspiring.  When we lived in Manassas, the assistant pastor of our local church would begin every service with a smile and say, "This is the day that God made."  It didn't matter if the day was dark and stormy or bright and warm.  Each day is filled with promise.  Sunrises.  Sunsets.  Beginnings.  Endings.  And with each sunset comes the promise of the next day's sunrise.  I can get behind that.

Florida Man:  He hasn't gone away.  Neither has Florida Woman, although some suspect Florida Woman to be Florida Man in drag.  Let's be clear about this -- Florida Man is one person.  He has the supernatural ability to appear in different places, with different names and different disguises so people are led to believe that Florida Man is merely a generic term for Florida-bred stupidity.  Nothuing could be further from the truth.  At least I hope so.  The thought of so much  outrageous stupidity centered in one state is off-putting.

Anyway, 88-year-old Florida Man in Palm City trapped a raccoon, poured gasoline on the caged animal, and put a match to it.  So why did he immolate a raccoon.  Because it ate his mangoes.  And then there was the guy who was arrested for intentionally destroying six burrowing owl nest while knowing that they were a protected species.

Here's an interesting headline from the Associated Press:  Is the ever-weird Florida man becoming Florida politician?  Melissa Howard, running for the State house in District 73, falsely claimed that she was a college graduate and posted a phony diploma to prove it.  Some lies can be easily checked.  Howard dropped out of the race after the college notified the press that the diploma was false.  And there was the to to-do in Hallandale Beach.  After the mayor was arrested for accepting illegal campaign donations from Russia, a new mayor was appointed.  One city commissioner wondered if the new mayor made any sort of living.  The mayor responded by accusing the commissioner of making a living by "Sphincter bleaching."  (Ew!)   Elsewhere in the state, a city commission candidate claimed that his facebook account was hacked with an ad that accused him of providing tainted breast milk.

Florida man attacked a partially blind man wearing a minion costume.  Florida man and his 19-year-old daughter arrested for incest after having sex in the back yard.  Florida man arrested for teaching kids where babies come the top of his voice.  72-year-old Florida man arrested after chasing a neighbor with a tractor, an incident that was taped.  Two Florida women, Wal-Mart associates both) kicked a boy with a muscular disorder from a motorized cart in a Central Florida store; after the first incident the mother complained to a manager and received an apology and then it happened again with another, more strident, associate.  Florida man kills his girlfriend with a bible because she was the devil.   Florida Woman (a Black Republican candidate for nomination to run against Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) labeled her primary opponent an "old white man" (he was), drawing a response from Florida Man and white president of the Palm Beach Trump Club, calling her a "racist."  Florida Man with a "long, long rap sheet" arrested in an attempt to kidnap Lana Del Rey.

And so it goes...

Welcome to the Hotel California:  The Eagles' greatest hit album has just overtaken Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling album of all time.

In Other Music News:  Ariana Grande is planing to change her name once she marries Saturday Night Live cast member Peter Davidson.  Davidson Grande?

98 Years Ago Today:  Two important firsts in popular culture happened on August 20, 1920.  The first commercial radio station, 8MK in Detroit, began operations; the station now operates as WWK.
And what would become the National Football League was organized in Canton, Ohio.  Back then it was called the American Professional Football conference.

Today's Poem:


The road to laughter beckons me,
     The road to all that's best;
The home road where I nightly see
     The castle of my rest;
The path were all is fine and fair,
     And little children run,
For love and joy are waiting there
     As soon as day is done.

There is no rich reward of fame
     That can compare with this:
At home I wear an honest name.
     My lips are fit to kiss.
At home I'm always brave and strong.
     And with the setting sun
They find no trace of shame or wrong
     In anything I've done.

There shine the eyes that only see
     The good I've tried to do;
They think me what I'd like to be;
     They know that I am true.
And whether I have lost my fight
     Or whether I have won,
I find a faith that I've been right
     As soon as day is done.

-- Edgar Guest

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