Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, April 15, 2019


Openers:  Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary.  On the page headed May 17, 2155, she wrote. "Today Tommy found a real book!"

--"The Fun They Had" by Isaac Asimov (first published in "Boys and Girls page", "NEA service", December 1951; reprinted a zillion and a half times)


  • Mike Ashley, editor, New Sherlock Holmes Adventures.  Mystery anthology with 26 Sherlockian tales, originally published as The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures.  Authors include H. R. F. Keating, Edward D. Hoch, Basil Copper, Martin Edwards, David Stuart Davies, and Peter Tremayne -- a great roster.  I'll be looking forward to these tales.
  • Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2006.  A freebie.  Stories by Margaret Maron, Nancy Pickard, Brendan DuBois, Doug Allyn, Gary Alexander, Margaret Lawrence, and (naturally) Edward D. Hoch, among others.  Another great line-up.  Added bonus, the cover is a reprint og a great 1946 cover by George Salter.
  • Martin H. Greenberg & (uncredited) Ed Gorman, editors, White House Horrors.  Themed horror anthology with 16 stories.  Some stories are about historic presidents (Jefferson, Lincoln, W. H. Harrison, Truman, FDR, JFK), others feature fictional presidents.  Authors include Bill Crider (yea!), Barbara and Max Allan Collins, Robert Randisi, Billie Sue Mosiman, Terry Beatty & Wendi Lee, Richard Chizmar, Tom Piccarelli.  Many of Greenberg's anthologies are a mixed bag but I suspect this is one of the very good ones. 
  • James Herbert, James Herbert's Dark Places:  Locations and Legends.  Non-fiction.  Herbert was one of the premiere British horror novelists in recent times.  In this book he takes us on a tour of locations in Britain that have inspired some of his writing -- either directly or indirectly.  Excerpts from some of his novels are included to illustrate the influences these places have had on his writing.  Heavily illustrated with photographs by Paul Barkshire.
  • ----------, Nobody True.  Horror novel.  Our narrator is dead, horribly murdered...mutilated... chopped into pieces by a serial killer.  He wasn't there when he died; he was having an out-of-body dream.  His spirit (soul?) remains alive although he isn't.  Can he somehow find his own killer and prevent future slayings?

Florida Man is Alive and (Un)Well:
  • Florida Man Thomas Lane, 61, of Indialantic, was arrested for (among other things) threatening to unleash an army of turtles to attack the public.  Lane said that he was "the Saint."  He probably wasn't referring to Simon Templar.
  • Ben Padgett, 32, approached an Olive Garden in Collier County, repeatedly saying, "I could beat your ass."  An employee asked him to stop and was threatened.   Padgett then  followed the employee inside, asking him what kind of genitals he had.  By the time police arrived, Padgett was sitting on a bench, shirtless, and shoving spaghetti into his mouth.  Alcohol may have been involved.
  • Andrew Lippi, 49, just bought a private island for $8 million.  To celebrate, he stole $300 worth of merchandise from a Key West K-Mart.  According to one radio announcer, this is an unbelievable story:  "There are still K-Marts?"
  • Marvin Hajos, 75, of Gainesville, had an undignified death.  He was killed by a bird he owned, a cassowary.  A cassowary can grow up to five feet and weigh up to 200 pounds.  With dagger-like claws that could be up to four inches long, "the cassowary is rightly considered the most dangerous bird in the world," according to the San Diego Zoo.  Hajos kept the bird for breeding purposes.  Hmm.
  • So many stories, so little time...

Today's the Day:  It's Income Tax Day!  I hope everyone has filed.  Today is also Holy Monday, Emancipation Day, Jackie Robinson Day, Boston Marathon Day, National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, National Rubber Eraser Day, National Griper's Day (see Income Tax Day, above), MacDonald's Day (Ray Kroc opened the first one on 4/15/55), Microvolunteering Day, National That Sucks Day (see Income Tax Day and National Griper's Day, above), World art Day (a.k.a. Art History Day), Titanic Remembrance Day, Patriots' Day, Take a Wild Guess Day, National Poet Day (in Peru), Father Damien Day (in Hawaii), Day of the Sun (in North Korea, celebrating the birth of Kim Il-Sun; it's the country's most important holiday, kinda like Christmas --  without the joy), and the Universal Day of Culture.  Plus, according to the Urban Dictionary, it's National Grab Anything Day, in which anything is defined as any body part, but more specifically it's Grab a Vagina Day -- surprisingly our president has not tweeted his support for this day.  Yet.  It's still early, folks.

If that's not enough, for GoT fans it's Maisie (Arya Stark) Williams' birthday and for Potterheads its Emma (Hermione Granger) Watson's birthday.  Also for Potterheads, it's Emma (Sybill Trelawney) Thompson's birthday.  For James Bond fans it's Lois (holly Goodhead) Chiles' birthday.  For blues fans it's Bessie Smith's birthday.  For classic literature fans it's Henry James' birthday.  For art enthusiasts it's Thomas Hart Benton's birthday, as well as Leonardo de Vinci's birthday.  And if you happen to be into the Ottoman Empire, it's the birthday of Suleiman II.

There's a lot to celebrate today.

But wait, there's more. The entire month of April is National Poetry Month, Black Women's History Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Global Child Nutrition Month, and National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  It's also Adopt a Ferret Month, Amateur Radio Month, Confederate History Month, Fresh Florida Tomatoes Month, Frog Month, International Twit Award Month, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month, National Kite Month, National Licorice Month, National Pecan Month, National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Month (I can't tell is this one is for or against), Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month, Soy Foods Month, and Straw Hat Month.

As I said above, a lot to celebrate.

Today's Poem:
Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I've shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
I'll keep from my children.  The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake.  Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children, I'm trying
to sell them the world.  Any decent realtor
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones:  This place could be beautiful,
right?  You could make this place beautiful.

-- Maggie Smith

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