Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, December 31, 2018


Openers:  No other student in Crownover University had a part-time job quite like Bill Latham's.  He worked in the city morgue five evenings a week,Monday through Friday.

-- Talmage Powell, The Thing in B-3 (1969)

Another Rotation Around the Sun:  Looking back on 2018, we have to admit that it was not the greatest year on record.

In January, we learned that global warming may put the future supply of chocolate at risk.  An increase of 2.1 degrees Celsius predicted for 2050 will severely limited the growing range for the cacao plant.  Valentine's Day swain will not be happy.  Also in January, nine out of twelve National Park System Advisory Board members resigned in protest to then-secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.  Zinke had refused to meet with the Board.   Coincidentally (?) we also learned that the US life expectency had dropped for two years in a row, the first time time since the early 1960s.  And CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned on the last day of the month after it was reported that she invested in Japanese tobacco shortly after she had been appointed.

In February the mystery community (as well as many readers of this blog) were sadden to hear of the death of Bill Crider, author and person par excellence.  And, since we mentioned Ryan Zinke above, let's not forget that a company with close ties to him was given a FEMA contract to provide 30 million units of food to hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico.  Only 50,000 meals arrived.  and speaking of meals, Ikea began offering bug versions of their meatballs and hamburgers because there's a lot of protein in mealworms, I guess.  We also learned that Spain effectively outlawed political satire as a measure to counter terrorism; the country had previously jailed rappers for their song lyrics.  On the bright side, a nonoparticle was developed that may be able to track and kill breast cancer cells.

Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Britain ran out of chicken.  Customers were not chuffed.  Undaunted, KFC announced they we working on edible coffee cups (made from a wafer coated with sugar paper and lines with white chocolate).  Questions arose about how Melania Trump had been able to get an EB-1 immigration visa (often referred to as the "Einstein visa").  Delta Air ended a discount program for NRA members, a move that so upset the pro-gun right that Georgia legislators killed a jet fuel tax exemption that would have saved the airline some $38 million.  It turned out that only 16 people ever took advantage of Delta's NRA discount so each discount cast the company about $3 million in tax breaks.

In April we learned that the Trump administration invested far more resources and aid to Texas following Hurricane Harvey than it did for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.  Trump, of course, had earlier learned that Puerto Rico was an island and was surrounded by water.  The Atlantic crunched some figures to learn that Trump's cabinet was the most predominantly male administration since the Reagan years.  Since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass killings, Donald Trump had been proposing arming teachers and school personnel as a way to counter possible future attacks.  One chemistry teacher, Sean Simpson, when interviewed on MSNBC agreed.  In April, Simpson left his Glock in a beach restroom.  By the time he realized what he had done, a drunk had found the Glock and fired a bullet into the wall.

May...Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs, Roseanne.

June:  Trump and Kim Jung Un meet face to face in Singapore.  Kim brought his security force and his own food; Trump brought nothing of value.  Melania Trump, however, made her first public appearance since surgery, bringing an end to some rumors and (presumably) starting a few more.  Archaeologists discovered a 3000 year old sculpture but had no idea who it represents.  The information for this month comes from the End Times Prophecy Headlines site -- "End Times Biblical Prophecy and News, End Times Deception, Societal Collapse, Apostasy, False Christs, Prophets, Apostles & Teachers, Whore of Babylon Church, Opinion, Commentary & Bible Teaching, Demonic Power, War, Rumors of War, Famine, Pestilence, Salvation in Jesus Christ, NWO, UFOs, Earthquakes, IHOP, All Roads Lead to Rome, Counterfeit Christianity, New World Order, Conspiracies, Nephilim, Giants, New Apostolic Reformation, Heresies, Signs and Lying Wonders, Dominionism, End Times Sin & Corruption"  **phew**  But, IHOP?

And that was just the first six months of 2018...

But we muddled through those six months and the six months following, just as we will muddle through 2019.

But at the stroke of midnight tonight I will be pulling the covers over my head.

Florida Man/Woman/Child/The Whole Famdamily:  I cannot end the year without looking back on the very special place Florida has in our national culture:

Gone:  We have lost many people this year, but let me just mention three who died over the past few days.

  • Jane Langton, 95 (just a few days shy of her 96th birthday), mystery and children's book author and creator of Homer Kelly, a quintessential New England detective.  When she signed books, she would add a little line drawing.  She was a nice lady.
  • Billie Sue Mossiman, 71, author of over 100 books, many of which are mysteries and thrillers.  When you picked up one of her books, you knew you were going to be entertained.
  • Sister Wendy Beckett, 88, Catholic nun and appreciator of art.  An unlikely person to win fame as a television celebrity but her sheer joy when explaining masterpieces of art was unsurpassed.  Her life and her passions, both spiritual and aesthetic, were simply explained:  "This is the real power of joy, to make us certain that, beneath all grief, the most fundamental of realities is joy itself.: 

Look Who's 41 Today:  Donny, Jr.

Today's Poem:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne my jo,
for auld lange syne,
we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two hae run about the brae,
and pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
sin' auld lang syne.


We twa hae paddl'd in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
sin' auld lang syne.


And there's a hand, my trusty friere!
and gies a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught
for auld lang syne!


-- Robert Burns

No comments:

Post a Comment