Thursday, 20 April 2017

Renos update and A Bit of History, etc.

The lounge 2 days ago
The lounge this morning

We've had a brief break from our house renovations as we entertained visitors from back East and just lazed around a bit over Easter.

Dining Room 2 days ago
Dining Room this morning

But it's back to work in the next few days. For the past couple of days, we've been cleaning out the lounge and dining room. Today a couple of folks will be coming over to remove the carpeting in both rooms, so we'll be down to bare floor.

Tomorrow, Dean arrives with the wood flooring which will stay in the living room / dining room until next week when he comes to install it in the hallway, living room and dining room. The week after that, new carpeting will be laid in the upstairs hallway and down the stairs.  After that it'll just be the family room which will get new carpeting. I think we're planning to wait until the end of May time frame for that work. Just to give us a bit of a rest and let us finish the reorganisation of the other rooms.

Bonnie watching all from her perch
So there you go. There are more small things happening, such as painting and work in Jo's new office, but we can work those into our schedule and when we have the energy. I keep saying, "we are retired you know"!

A Little Bit of History

Anyway, on to my other regular topics. Starting with excerpts of Great Historical Events, we are now at 1639 and the introduction of the first printing press in North America.

"1639. First printing press in North America set up in Cambridge, Mass., by Stephen Day.
Corn-planting enforced by law in Maryland, and a grist mill erected.
First public hospital founded in America in Quebec.
1640. Montreal founded.
First powder mill in the United States erected.
New England numbered 2,100 inhabitants.
1642 - 45. Indian war in Maryland.
1644 - 45. Rebellion in Maryland and war with the Indians in Virginia.

New England "Blue Laws" (Ed. Note - this title intrigued me)
1644-46. 'Blue Laws' passed among which are to be found these peculiar enactments:
Blasphemy, idolatry, adultery, and witchcraft were punished by death, and for any crime committed on Sunday, the additional punishment of cutting off an ear was added. (Ed question. Was the ear cut off before being put to death or after??) Kissing a woman on the street was punished by flogging, which punishment was actually inflicted about a century later upon an English sea-captain, who saluted his wife on a street in Boston, after a long separation. Intemperance and all immorality were punished with great rigor, and keepers of inns and public houses were required to be persons of approved character, and possessed of a competency, as they were held responsible for the conduct of their guests and the morality of their houses - a ' blue law' which would be well for the country were it now in vogue." (Ed note - And now for that matter)
Well, that was interesting.. Checking ahead a bit, I note that there are many references to witchcraft trials and such in the succeeding years. :)
Letters of Congratulation. I provided an excerpt from the above book which laid out the guidelines and principles which make up a letter of congratulation, according to the editors of this book. Today I'll provide the first example, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his sister on her marriage.
"My Dear Sister:
Paris, July 12, 1788.
My last letters from Virginia inform me of your marriage with Mr. Hasting Marks. I sincerely wish you joy and happiness into the new state into which you have entered. I have seen enough of Mr. Marks to form a very good opinion of him, and to believe that he will endeavor to render you happy. I am sure you will not be wanting on your part. You have seen enough of the different conditions of life to know that it is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness. This truth I can confirm to you from larger observation and a greater scope of experience.
I should wish to know where Mr. Marks proposes to settle and what line of life he will follow. In every situation I should wish to render him and you every service in my power, as you may be assured I shall ever feel myself warmly interested in your happiness, and preserve for you that sincere love I have always borne you. My daughters remember you with equal affection, and will one of these days tender it to you in person. They join me in wishing you all earthly felicity and a continuance of your love to them.
Accept assurances of the sincere attachment with which I am, my dear sister,
Your affectionate brother,
TH. Jefferson."
The Birth Day Thing, 10 November 1964.
US Billboard #1 Song, 10 November 1964

Baby Love by The Supremes. The Supremes were an American singing group and one of Motown's premier act in the 60's. The founding members were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown. In 1962, the group consisted of Ross, Ballard and Wilson. In 1964 - 65, they had 5 straight #1 singles, starting with Where Did Our Love Go. Baby Love was their 2nd. It was written by Holland-Dozier-Holland.
UK #1 Single, 10 November 1964
There's Always Something There to Remind Me by Sandie Shaw. Sandie Shaw was one of the most successful British female singers of the '60s. Her version of Puppet on a String in 1967 became the first British song to win the Eurovision song contest. She continued singing and performing until 2013. There's Always Something There to Remind Me was her first UK #1. It was also #1 in Canada. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller, 10 November 1964
Herzog by Saul Bellow. Herzog was published in September 1964. It consists of a series of letters by the protagonist, Moses Herzog. It was named one of the best 100 novels in the English language by Time Magazine, since "the beginning of Time 1923 0 2005."
Saul Bellow was born in Quebec, Canada in 1915 and died in Brookline Massachusetts in 2005. I have read one of his books previously, that being Henderson, the Rain King. I liked his story-telling, his humour. I've looked at Herzog a few times. I may have to check it out.
Pulitzer Prize Winner, 1964. No award was given in 1964.
Nobel Prize Laureate - 1964
Jean Paul Sartre (France). Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright and novelist who lived from 1905 - 1980. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964 but declined it as he did all official honours, stating "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution". He was the first person to voluntarily decline the award and remains one of only two who have done so.

Hugo Award Winner - 1964

Here Gather the Stars by Clifford D. Simak. The novel later was published as Way Station. I have read a few of Simak's science fiction novels. City remains one of my favourites of the genre. I also enjoyed The Werewolf Principle very much. Way Station (Here Gather the Stars) is a new one for me and I will have to see if I can find it.

Simak was an American science fiction writer who lived from 1904 - 1988. He was awarded 3 Hugo Awards and one Nebula award for his work.

Edgar Award Winner - 1964

The Light of Day by Eric Ambler. I readily admit I have not read any of Ambler's works, although of late I have begun to purchase some of his books to see what I've been missing. Ambler was an English writer, particularly of spy novels, who lived from 1909 - 1998. The Light of Day was published in 1962 (also under the name Topkapi). It was also turned into a movie starring Melina Mercouri, Peter Ustinov and Maximilian Schell.

Other books by Ambler include Cause for Alarm (1938), The Mask for Dimitrios (1939), Journey into Fear (1940), etc.

So there you go. Now I'm going to head upstairs, bring the missus a cuppa and wish her a Happy Birthday.. Have a great day! Read a good book!

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