Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter and the Normal Stuff

The missus and I are enjoying a relaxing Easter evening. We went out this afternoon to look at a couple of Open Houses (we always enjoy seeing the homes for sale and maybe getting ideas for upgrading our place or, who knows, we may see a place we like even more than ours), got some tidbits at Thrifty's and now are watching the latest iteration of Anne. It's quite excellent, by the way.

This latest version stars Irish actress Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley and she is excellent. The missus is a fan of the original series that starred Megan Follows and she has been quite drawn to this version as well. Geraldine James and R.H. Thomson are also excellent as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Anne's adopted parents.

Last night we watched the Season opener of Dr. Who, and enjoyed very much. We also saw the first two episodes of the first season of Wynonna Earp, starring Canadian actress, Melanie Scrofano. It's a bit like Lost Girl and others of that ilk, Wynonna is the grand-daughter of Wyatt Earp and returns to Purgatory to find his gun and to kill the demons that live there. Fun and games ensues. The second series starts soon, so it's great that Space is showing Season 1.

Great Historical Events

This excerpt starts in 1622.

"1622. The Indian massacre at Jamestown; 347 of the colonists killed in open day by the savages.
1623. Maine and New Hampshire settled by the English.
1623. New Jersey settled by the Swedes and Dutch and Fort Nassau built on the Delaware River.
First white children born of Dutch parentage at New Amsterdam.
1624. King James dissolved the Virginia Company, and assumed control of the colonies in Virginia.
1625. House of Representatives in Virginia discontinued by King James and a new form of government adopted.
Death of King James.
March. - Charles I. ascends the throne of England and appoints Sir George Yeardley over the colonies at the head of a council of 12 men."

The next excerpt will commence with the purchase of Manhattan Island.

Letters of Affection

The letter below is from the King of Siam to Gen'l U. S. Grant.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok, April 11, 1879.

I have very great pleasure in welcoming you to Siam. It is, I am informed, your pleasure that your reception should be a private one; but you must permit me to show, as far as I can, the high esteem in which I hold the most eminent citizen of that great nation which has been so friendly to Siam, and so kind and just in all its intercourse with nations of the East."

(Ed. Note - wouldn't be nice if the current 'part-time' resident of the White House (unless you include the Southern White House too, as he calls it) was held in as high esteem for the respectful intercourse he had with other nations and even other Americans.... ah well.)

The Birth Day Thing - 1961

US Billboard #1 Single 10 November, 1961.

Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean. Jimmy Dean was an American country singer who lived from 1928 - 2010. Big Bad John was his first US #1 single. It was written by Dean in collaboration with Roy Acuff.

UK #1 Single 10 November, 1961.

For the 2nd year in a row, the UK #1 on my birthday was a song by Elvis Presley.

Little Sister by Elvis Presley. Little Sister was co-written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus. It was a double A-side with (Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame.

New York Times Best Seller November 10, 1961

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. I've only ever tried to read The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger and that was only because I had to read it in school. I don't actually remember finishing it. Franny and Zooey is made up of two works, a short story called Franny and a novella called Zooey. Franny and Zooey are siblings and the youngest members of the Glass family.

Maybe someday I'll give it a try. We'll see.

Pulitzer Prize Winner - 1961

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This has for a long time been my all-time favourite novel. I've read it 4 or 5 times. I love all the characters; Scout, Atticus, Jem, Boo Radley. It's such a touching, fantastic story of growing up. The movie starring Gregory Peck is also my favourite movie. I will admit that the follow-on book, Go Set a Watchman, which came out in 2015, took a bit of the luster off of Mockingbird. It was written the same time as Mockingbird and features a grown up Scout, returning home and questioning the values and standards of her father and the South. Harper Lee never wrote any other books. I imagine it must have been difficult after writing such an iconic book. She lived from 1926 - 2016.

Nobel Prize Laureate - 1961

Ivo Andric (Yugoslavia). Ivo Andric lived from 1892 - 1975 and was a Yugoslavian novelist, poet and short story writer. He won the Nobel Prize for ""the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from his country's history".
Hugo Award Winner - 1961

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. I always like it when a book I've enjoyed during my long life makes it to one of these lists. The book is a post-apocalyptic science - fiction novel set in the desert of southwestern United States, after a nuclear disaster. The story spans 1,000 years and is centred on a group of monks from the order of Leibowitz. I was really starting to explore science fiction when I discovered this book. I remember it being humorous and so fascinating. I have read it one more time since my initial reading and enjoyed it just as much. Well worth trying if you are checking out science fiction.

Edgar Award Winner - 1961

The Progress of Crime by Julian Symons.  Julian Symons was an English crime writer and poet who lived from 1912 - 1944. I have previously read one of his other stories, The Blackheath Poisonings, and enjoyed very much. The Progress of Crime was his 10th novel and his first of two Edgar awards. I was looking for The Progress of Crime during a recent trip to Victoria, BC but instead found another of his works that also sounded excellent, The Players and the Game.

So there you go. Enjoy what remains of your Easter weekend and enjoy a good book!

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