Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Renos Update, The History and the Birth Day Thing, etc

Well, it's official. Painting and other house renovation type work are bad for your health. What other reason could there be for all these aches and pains my body is whining about? And don't you dare say anything about old age! OK, there you go, whine out of the way... I do ache though

New hallway pre-painting
A new coat of paint
So as you may have guessed from the above, our home renovation work
is progressing. For the past two days, the missus and I have been busy painting the living room and front hallway in preparation for the installation of the new floors in the dining room, living room and hall. Yesterday we put an initial coat on the hall. The panelling looks quite nice now that it has a coat of paint on it. I think the colour is officially called Antarctic Ice. Jo can correct me if I'm wrong.

Living room pre-painting
A fresh coat
The day before we did the living room. It's difficult to tell the difference but trust me, it's fairly noticeable when you look at it closely. At any rate, even without the final touching up, both the hall and living room look excellent and freshly painted.

Today is our final day of painting before the floor installer comes tomorrow. So our plan today is to do the trim in the hallway and all the doors. Dean arrives first thing tomorrow. At least that's the plan. The puppies will be spending tomorrow and Thursday at doggie - day - care. All the hammering would probably be a bit stressful for them.

So, on to other things.

Last night, Jo and I caught up with the most recent episode of Anne, CBC's latest iteration of the Anne of Green Gables saga. We're really caught up in it. Excellent cast and so well told. Jo thinks that it's a bit grittier than the original Megan Follows version, going into Anne's past as an orphan more. I think she's right.

We also enjoyed the 2nd episode of Angie Tribeca with Rashida Jones. Very funny show.

Great Historical Events

I left this yesterday in 1687 with news of the first printing press near Philadelphia. Today, I believe we turn to things like witchcraft trials.

"A Woman Executed for Witchcraft

1688. A woman executed in Boston for witchcraft, after a long and solemn investigation, and a book was published with a full account of the proceedings, to which was added a preface by the Rev. Richard Baxter, in which he declared, 'that any one who disbelieved the truthfulness of the account was a Sadducee.'
1689. Sir Edmund Andros seized and imprisoned in Boston, and sent home to England. The people rise in mass and resort to arms.

(Ed. Note. Andros was a colonial administrator in North America, but his authoritarian and turbulent views especially towards the Puritans lead to his overthrow in the Boston revolt of 1689.)

1689 - 97. King William's war between the French, with their Indian allies and New England.
1690. The colonies attack Quebec, under Phipps; reinforcements failing him, he retreats with a loss of 1,000 men."

Next excerpt covers paper money and witchcraft induced plagues. What an exciting place it must have been during these times.

Letters of Condolence

Yesterday, I provided an excerpt explaining the proper way to write a letter of condolence. Today, I provided an example of a letter from La Fayette, noted American Revolutionary War General to Thomas Jefferson.)

"La Fayette to Jefferson, announcing the death of Madame de La Fayette.)

[The following sadly beautiful letter, though not strictly a letter of condolence, relates to the subject of death, and therefore belongs to this class.]

My Dear Friend:

The constant mourning of your heart will be deepened by the grief I am doomed to depart to it. Who better than you can sympathize for the loss of a beloved wife? The angel who for thirty-four years has blessed my life, was to you an affectionate grateful friend. Pity me, my dear Jefferson, and believe me, for ever, with all my heart,

La Fayette"

The Birth Day Thing, 10 November 1968

US Billboard #1 Song, 10 November 1968

Hey Jude by The Beatles. There isn't much to say about The Beatles, one of the most successful, if not the most successful rock band in history. Active from 1960 - 1970 as a group, they also had successful solo careers and are oft - imitated by other bands and artists. As they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. (Is that what they say or am I mixing metaphors again?). Hey Jude was their 18th #1 single in the US. I have to say it's not my favourite song of theirs, probably heard it too many times. I do recall hearing it on school bus trips when my Dad was stationed in Germany.

UK #1 Single, 10 November 1968

With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker. Joe Cocker was an English musician who lived from 1944 - 2014. He released albums from 1969 - 2012. Technically this is the 2nd Beatle song on my list today as Cocker may have sung it, but it was written by Lennon and McCartney. Cocker also sang the song at Woodstock in 1969. His album version was a radical re-arrangement of the original Beatle version and featured Procol Harum's B.J. Wilson on drums and Jimmy Page on guitar.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best - Seller, 10 November 1968

The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes. The Salzburg Connection was Helen MacInnes' 15th novel. MacInnes was an American writer of spy novels who lived from 1907 - 1985.

So far the only book of MacInnes' that I've read has been Snare of the Hunter which was excellent. This is the synopsis of The Salzburg Connection.

"In 1945, with their thousand-year empire falling around them and the Allies on their heels, the Nazis hide a sealed chest in the dark, forbidding waters of the Finstersee - a lake surrounded by the brooding peaks of the Austrian Alps. There it lies for twenty-one years, almost forgotten, until a British agent decides to raise it from the depths. The secrets he uncovers are far- reaching and lethal, and in Salzburg, Bill Mathison, a New York attorney on the trail of a missing colleague, finds himself drawn into the shadowy underworld of international espionage. Not knowing who to trust amidst the chaos, he is drawn to two beautiful women, one of whom will betray him."

Pulitzer Prize Winner, 1968

OK, I was very confused for a minute. I was sure I'd already written about this book yesterday. In fact, I had. The Pulitzer Prize winner for 1968 was also the New York Times #1 Fiction novel on 10 November, 1967. I won't say any more about it (you can check yesterday's post by clicking on 'post'.. ) The winner, by the way, was The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.

Nobel Prize Laureate, 1968

Yasunari Kawabata (Japan). Yasunari Kawabata was a Japanese novelist and short story writer who lived from 1899 - 1972. His Nobel Prize was awarded 'for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind'.

Hugo Award Winner, 1968

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. I know that this was one of the books we were to read in my Science Fiction novel course back in my university days. I also know that I never read it. You want an excuse? We were assigned two books a week for the course plus I also was taking other English courses and also partying a little bit. I had to pick and choose. How's that?

This is the synopsis.

"Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rule their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons, Lord of Light."

I have read Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber fantasy series and loved it. So I'm sure this is also excellent. I may have to try.

Edgar Award Winner, 1968

God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake. Donald Westlake was an American writer with over 100 books to his credit. God Save the Mark was his first Edgar Award. He also won awards for best short story, Too Many Crooks and for best screenplay, The Grifters.

Westlake lived from 1933 - 2008. Over 20 of his books were turned into movies and he was also responsible for The Father Dowling Mysteries TV series.

The synopsis for God Save the Mark is below -

"An Edgar Award winner, this comic novel of suspense is about a man born to be conned, who inherits a small fortune . . . and who becomes someone's target for murder."

Well, there is today's entry. Tomorrow we move on to 1969. The Man Booker Awards started in 1969, so there will be another book added to this list of award winners.

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