Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, February 25, 2019


Openers:  Three of us were walking through deserted streets of downtown New York at the dark hour of eleven.  In the middle was Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt, top-hatted, muffled, silent.  I marched with him on the building side of the pavement while near the curb was District Attorney Merle K. Dougherty, always over weight and puffing slightly as he kept pace with Colt's long-legged strides.  We were on our way to police headquarters; Lafayette Street was a lighted but lonely ravine.  Half in jest and I think wholly in earnest, Dougherty was wishing for some excitement.

-- Murder of a Startled Lady by "Anthony Abbot" (Fulton Oursler), 1936


  • Lawrence Block, Sinner Man (originally published as Savage Lover by "Sheldon Lord").  A Hardcase Crime reprint of a "lost" crime novel by block.
  • Lee Child, editor, First Thrills.  An anthology of twenty-five original short stories from the International Thriller Writers. Inc.
  • James Ellroy & Otto Penzler, editors, The Best American Noir of the Century.  The Twentieth Century, that is.  A hefty sampling of thirty-six "sublimely suspenseful stories."
  • Bill Pronzini & Jack Adrian, editors, Hard-Boiled:  An Anthology of American Crime Stories.  Thirty-six stories from the 1920s to the end of the Twentieth Century make this book packed with great tales from great crime and suspense writers.

Another Day, Another Puppy:  As if my daughter and her husband did not have enough to keep them busy with three kids, two dogs, two cats (one of which just has a fairly expensive operation), a tegu, and Lord knows what else, Christina fell in love with a border collie puppy online.  So they made a ten-hour long trip to get her.  Ten weeks old, her name is Happy and she has made everybody happy.  Sweet-tempered and super friendly, Happy quickly became a member of the family.  Christina took her to a farmer's/maker's marker this Saturday while she was selling their homemade soap (Cove Lake Soapworks, check out their page on Etsy.  Good stuff.) where Happy was a hit, getting much love and pats from customers -- one of whom came back with a bag of doggie treats for her.  Selling soap is hard work for a little puppy and she needed several well-deserved naps during the day.

The Oscars:  I didn't watch.  Did you?

I also did not see any of the pictures nominated with the exception of Black Panther, which was an interesting but over-rated film.  Evidently the Best Picture award went to Green Book which, as I understand it, was a kind of reverse Driving Miss Daisy.  The Best Director award did not go to the director of Green Book, but to Alfonso Curan, director of Roma.  And the Best Actor -- RamiMalek -- did not appear in either of those films but in Bohemian Rhapsody.  Olivia Colman won Best Actress for The Favourite, making the four top awards split among four films.

This year's award show was plagued with controversy, from the firinh of Kevin Hart as host, to the Academy's inability to find another host willing to fill in, and the regrettable decision to give out "minor" awards during commercial breaks.  Soon the award show will be less popular than the Miss America show or the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

Egermancy, Everyone To Get From Street:  Trump's "National Emergency" has gone over like a lead balloon.  Fifty-eight former senior national security officials from both parties have issued a statement that "there is no factual basis" for this so-called emergency.  The statement will entered into the Congressional record and will available as a further weapon in the many law suits filed against the administration over this matter.

#NotesFromNationalEmergency has brought forth many tweets.  Among them:
  • Running low on hamberders and cofefe.  Things have not been this dire since the Massacre at Bowling Green.
  • For some reason I can't tune in to all the reports about caravans, MS-13, and illegal drugs being smuggled into the country because networks insist on covering mass shootings instead.
  • Notes From National Emergency, Day 2:  Things were cold, and dark.  Until about 8am.  Then the sun came up.  And I walked to the bagel store for breakfast.  On my way I encountered "others."  Walking their dogs, pushing their strollers, going for a brisk run.  More to come.
  • So I called 9-1-1 to report an emergency at the southern border and am now in jail for making a false report.
  • Fellow patriots, I have been forced to flee to the mountains with my kith and kin.  When the temperatures drop we will huddle in a hot tub and try to warm our bodies with wine.  We will return when it is safe.
  • Dear Mother, Despite the national emergency, I ventured out to Trader Joe's today.  I knew the nation was in trouble as they sold only one type of mustard and kale chips could not be found.  I was forced to buy non-organic avocados for my toast.
  • (sad violin music)  My Dearest Martha, It is with trembling hand that I write you during this national emergency.  Tell Pappy I am safe here in Minnesota.  Supplies are running a bit low.  there are only 4 flavors of Doritos available at the store.
And so it goes.

For Sale -- CHEAP:  There is a petition circulating now to sell Montana to Canada for one Trillion dollars to erase the national debt.  Montana is a decidedly under-populated state so that works out to, what?, maybe fourteen billion and change per person?  I assume our president is in a favor of this because it's a real estate deal and he knows both real estate and deals, and it takes a particular talent like his to bankrupt a casino.

Florida Man:  Who said romance was dead?  Not Officer Florida Man (a.k.a. Fort Myers Police Officer Doug McNeal.  According to an internal investigation report, Myers arrested Zachery Moellendick, 23, and Krista Leigh, 24, for shoplifting and placed the two in the back of his police car.  McNeal then played Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" while the couple made out in the back seat and smoked cigarettes.  Sadly, Officer McNeal couldn't get enough of his superior's love as he was suspended for twenty days.

Other recent Florida Man sightings include Justin Hughes, 31, who molested a three-year-old girl (yuck!) in a Jacksonville church utility closet, blaming Japanese anime for his act.  Also, Florida Man Gerald Anderson, 52, of North Palm Beach, was arrested for using 911 to report his mother for refusing to give him money for a meal at IHOP.  This was the second time Anderson used 911 that day for "frivolous reasons;"  he had been warned over a dozen times about his recent use of 911.  

And sometimes Florida Man actually does something brave and heroic -- or just plain stupid and it works.  Ben Pool and his dog were on a walk in Fruitland Park when they were accosted by a wild coyote.  When the coyote lunged at Florida Man Ben, he beat it with a coffee cup.  I wonder if the cup was inscribed 'World's Best Florida Man"?

Today's Poem:
The Rose Family

The rose is a rose, 
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
.That the apple's a rose.
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose --
But were always a rose.

-- Robert Frost


  1. They did fine without a "host". They didn't present awards during commercials. Otherwise, you got it right, and I thought it was enjoyable.

  2. They said they would, but I haven't followed up at all.

  3. Zachery Moellendick and Krista Leigh sound a bit like porn pseudonyms.

    Which is certainly more amusing than the "anime defense" or at least "explanation"...