Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, April 29, 2019


Openers:  It was evening on the plain of Angora in the year of our Lord 1394.  The sun was a glimmering ball of red, peering through a glimmering haze of dust at the caravans of Bayezid the Great, surnamed the Thunderbolt, sultan of Osmanli and Seljuke Turks, master of the Califate and Overlord of the Mamelukes of Egypt.

-- "The Great Cham" by Harold Lamb (Adventure, July 3, 1921)

Kismet:  A unnamed man in Puerto Penseco, Mexico, had a restraining order against him filed by his ex-girlfriend for domestic battery -- which, as any "real" man will tell is just a silly piece of paper.  So he dug a large hole from which he could spy on his ex, and...(you're way ahead of me here) it collapsed around him, trapping him.  He's in jail now.  I suppose the moral here is one should take a good, hard look at one's best-laid plans before they gang agley.

Chutzpah:  A 36-year-old man shoplifted items from a Sportsman Warehouse in Gillette, Wyoming, twice in the same day.  On his second light-fingered trip, he also asked to fill out an employment application.  Perhaps he wanted an employee discount.

On This Day:  In 1861 the Maryland House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union.  Sucessionists got their back in 1939 when the House of Delegates voted to make Maryland, My Maryland the official State Song.  The song was written in 1861 in response to the Baltimore riot of 1861 in which Confederate sympathizers battled with Union state militias called up by Washington;
twelve civilians were killed and hundreds wounded in what would be known as the "First Bloodshed of the Civil War."  The song itself is a call to arms against the Union and refers to Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant, a despot, and a Vandal.  It also does not have nice things to say about the Union:  "She [referring to the state] is not dead, nor blind, nor dumb --/Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!"  Attempts to repeal or replace Maryland's state song have failed nine times, from 1974 to this year, including an attempt to change its designation from "Official State Song" to "Historical State Song."  And Bing Crosby included the song on a 1961 album as part of a medley.

Also on this day in 1945, the Dachau concentration camp was liberated by Allied soldiers.  Holocaust deniers take note.

And it's the birthday of Rafael Sabatini (b. 1875), who famously wrote, "He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad"; of Duke Ellington (b. 1899), who won fourteen Gammies (and was nominated for eleven more), was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, France's Legion of Honor, and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to music and culture; and of Willie Nelson (b. 1933), who is cool.

Florida Man:  Despite increased activity by Mexico Man and Wyoming Man (see above), Florida Man held his own this week.  Anthony Sabella, 49, of Spring Hill, threatened landscapers as they returned to his home to remove grass clippings they had left on his driveway.  Sabella began by shouting at them and using racial slurs.  then, as they were leaving, he approached them, waving a gun and threatening to kill them.  He was arrested for possession of a firearm/ammunition by a felon and on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.  Sabella is being held without bail.  Although news reports didn't say so, alcohol may have been involved.

And Felipe Oquendo, 39, of Fort Walton Beach (about a half hour drive from my house), locked his girlfriend in a bathroom and began attacking a mattress, looking for a man allegedly "hiding inside."
Oquendo stabbed the mattress with a bedpost and then began tearing it apart with his hands.  He later told authorities that he found the mannin the mattress and fought him but the man manged to escape.  And the news reports did say so, meth was involved.

Greater Naples firefighter Buddy Tomei is under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for posting a video of him using a pistol to shoot a shark.  The Commission is trying to determine whether he was past the nine-mile limit when he shot the shark (which would be legal) or not (which would be illegal).  In the meantime Tomei is getting a firestorm of criticism on social media -- something which does not please him.  "You can shoot a nuisance giraffe, but if you take care of a shark that runs divers out of the water you're a bad person?"  Tomei posted a picture of himself with a shark costume that made it appear the shark was eating him:  "Does this make all you haters happier?  Just act like it's real so you can sleep better.  Bunch of radicles (sic)!"

Today's Poem:

Tracks carve through Florida florid wetlands
wilderness breaks down my estuarial intent
                                                      he fell in love with the s-curve of her neck to spine
                                                                                          simple mathematics
                                                      could explain the reappearance of other things too
do we all dream of swash-buckling adventures
and text anxiety   mothers sharpening knives
let's track green dots on trees
out own operation of marking up boundaries
discern the legibility of protons and casual time
shadows of moths passing between light
spread across your sleeping face

-- Megan Kaminski

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