Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Bit of History and The Birth Day Thing

The new living room
The old living room with carpeting
It's a beautiful fresh sunny Sunday morning here. I've spent my morning so far, watching footie and reading. We have the patio doors open; it's coolish but still very nice. Yesterday Dean finished installing the floors and they look great.

Into the dining room
Dining -room pre-new floors
There is one spot where it squeaks a bit as you enter the kitchen, but I'm sure he can fix that up real quick. It's really transformed the downstairs. Jo and I spent yesterday upstairs painting the hallway ceiling and doors in preparation for the new rugs on Tuesday. It's going to be a busy few days as we are having people over for dinner on Tuesday as well so we'll have to get the dining room table in place plus some other furniture.. lol.

The front hallway and a lazy dog
There are still a couple of other things do in the living room and front hallway. Jay will be coming over Wednesday and Thursday to install the new baseboards. We also still want to get a rug to put in the living room, but no real hurry for that. Anyway, a busy week ahead, then we're off to Vancouver to pick up Jo's friend coming to visit from England.

Great Historical Events

I finished my last excerpt with the capture of Capt. Kidd in 1699. My next excerpts start with 1700.

"1700. Lead mines discovered by Le Suer, a French explorer, at Dubuque, Iowa.
1701. Detroit, Mich., founded by the French.
1703. Duty of 4 pds sterling laid on imported negroes in Massachusetts.
An Indian war, instigated by the Spaniards, was prosecuted with great violence in South Carolina. But Gov. Moore speedily suppressed it, and the enemy surrendered and submitted to English rule. The colonies lost 800 men.
Fourteen hundred Indians were colonized in Georgia. (Ed. Note. Wondering what 'colonized' actually meant?)
1704. Maryland passed an act to 'prevent the growth of Popery.'
First newspaper (Boston News-Letter) published at Boston by Bartholomew Green.
Catholics persecuted by Protestants in Maryland. (Ed. Note. This is one constant throughout history, one religion persecuting another. It hasn't changed much today.)

Massacre in Massachusetts
French and Indian Massacre at Deerfield, Mass. They burned the village and killed 47 persons, taking 112 captive, among them many women and young children, who were compelled to march through dense forests and over deep snows to Canada, many perishing by the way."

We'll leave it on the depressing note and move Business Laws.

Business Laws Briefly Stated

This section deals with business laws in practice at the time of the publishing of this book. Let's see what they have in my 2nd excerpt.

"An agreement without consideration is void.
An oral agreement must be proved by evidence. A written agreement proves itself. The law prefers written to oral evidence because of its precision.
Written instruments are to be construed and interpreted by the law according to the simple, customary and natural meaning of words used. (Ed. Note. I wonder if the Oxford apostrophe was in place at this time.)
No evidence can be introduced to contradict or vary a written contract, but it may be received in order to explain it when such evidence is needed.
A note made on Sunday is void. (Ed. Note. Hence that important business song, 'Never on a Sunday.')
A note by a minor is voidable."

OK, I'll stop there. I'm sure you have been astounded at these business rules, eh? Now on to the important stuff..

The Birth Day Thing - 10 November 1971

US Billboard #1 Single, 10 November 1971

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves by Cher. OK, I admit it, I had a deep crush on Cher at this time. She had such fantastic hair, when she just left it long and straight. I loved Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves, even had the album. She got her start with hubby, Sonny Bono. They had a great TV variety show, both funny and with great music. Then she followed up with a successful solo career in both music and movies. Gypsys was her first US and Canadian #1 single.

UK #1 Single, 10 November 1971

Reason to Believe / Maggie May by Rod Stewart. English singer, Rod Stewart, got his start with The Dimensions, Steampacket and the Faces but he's since had a great solo career. His first UK solo #1 was Maggie May. Reason to Believe was actually the A - side but it reached only 62nd place. Maggie May was a song we always played at our university Residence parties. It was a great polka dance. :)

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller, 10 November 1971

Wheels by Arthur Hailey. I read almost everything by British - Canadian writer, Hailey, back those days. He wrote such neat stories on various aspects of life; Airport, The Final Diagnosis, Flight into Danger, Hotel and In High Places, amongst others.

Wheels, of course, was focused on the automobile industry. The auto company on which the story was loosely based was Ford. The story deals with race relations, unions, corporate politics and business ethics (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one).

It was also turned into a TV mini-series starring Rock Hudson, Lee Remick, Ralph Bellamy, Blair Brown and so many excellent actors.

Pulitzer Prize Winner, 1971. Three books were put forward for consideration; Losing Battles by Eudora Welty, Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow and The Wheel of Love by Joyce Carol Oates. Ultimately none was selected.

Nobel Prize Laureate for Fiction, 1971

Pablo Neruda (Chile). Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet - diplomat who lived from 1904 - 1973. He was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams'.

Hugo Award Winner - 1971

Ringworld by Larry Niven. It's been ages but I'm sure I read Ringworld, one of Niven's Known Space books. He also wrote 4 prequels and 4 sequels.

I also read Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall, two books he wrote with Jerry Pournelle; both excellent stories.

The synopsis for Ringworld is -

"Pierson's puppeteers, three-leg two-head aliens find immense structure in unexplored part of the universe. Frightened of meeting the builders, they send a team of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, eight-foot red-fur catlike alien. Ringworld is 180 million miles across, sun at centre. But the expedition crashes, and crew face disastrously long trek."

Edgar Award Winner - 1971

The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo.
The Laughing Policeman is the4th of 10 novels by Swedish writers, Sjowall and Wahloo, featuring Detective Martin Beck. The movie, starring Walter Matthau, was loosely based on the book.

I have read the first book in this series, Roseanna, and enjoyed it very much. I currently have The Man Who Went up in Smoke and The Abominable Snowman on my list to read.

This is the synopsis of The Laughing Policeman -
"On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by a mysterious assassin. The press portrays it as a freak attack and dubs the killer a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck thinks otherwise—one of his most ambitious young detectives was among those killed—and he suspects it was more than coincidence. Working on a hunch, Beck seeks out the girlfriend of the murdered detective, and with her help Beck reconstructs the steps that led to his murder. The police comb the country for the killer, only to find that this attack may be connected to a case that has been unsolved for years.

Man Booker Award Winner - 1971

In a Free State by V.S. Naipaul. I have read two books by Naipaul; A House for Mr. Biswas (which was okay) and The Mimic Men (which I didn't enjoy). I still have The Mystic Masseur on my bookshelf, mainly because it was turned into a movie. After Mimic Men, I kind of lost interest in exploring any more books by Naipaul.

This is the synopsis of his Booker Award winner -
"In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people--Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious compound wife -- are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital. But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin's Uganda. And the farther Naipaul's protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims. Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State is Naipaul at his best.

So there you go. Interested in any of these books? I'm off to walk the dogs and then probably begin today's painting. Have a great Sunday!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Renos Update and Book Buying

Today I'm going to take a break from my normal posts about the History and the Birth Day thing. Yesterday, when I went to pick up the pooches from Day-care, I stopped off at the semi-annual Rotary Club Book Sale and found a few books. It's the first time I've gone in a couple of years, since they moved to their new location. So that's going to be my post for today, a look at the books I've found recently.

The new floor is coming along!
Before that though, here is the latest on the new floor for the front hall, living room and dining room. Dean removed the old flooring from the hallway, cleaned up the under layer, removing any ridges and smoothing it out and then got started laying the new floor. It looks really good so far. He should be here shortly to start today's work.

It's another beautiful sunny day in the Valley. The tide was in in the inlet when I dropped the dogs off for their day care today and so smooth and calm. It was such a great view, the inlet, the mountains on the other side and the glacier still deep with snow. I never have any problems reminding myself why Jo and I love living here so very much..

Book Buying April 2017

I mentioned the other day that I've been checking out the various Little Free Libraries that people install outside their houses. The deal is that you are supposed to give a book for everyone that you take. These are the three books I found the other day.

2312 - Kim Stanley Robinson.

 The book was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. As you can guess it's a SciFi book.

"The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the Solar System on moons, planets and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present and its future."

The Kill Room - Jeffery Deaver.

This is the 10th book in Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme forensic mystery series. I've always been disappointed that they never did a second movie in the series.

"It was a 'million-dollar bullet', a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: He was a US citizen, targeted by the US government, and assassinated in the Bahamas.
The nation's most renowned investigator and forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme, is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim's steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems.
When a deadly, knife-wielding assassin begins systematically eliminating all evidence - including the witnesses - Lincoln's investigation turns into a chilling battle of wits against a cold-blooded killer."

Broken Prey - John Sandford.

This is the 16th book in the Prey (Lucas Davenport) thriller series. I have a bit to go before I get to this story, as I've only read the first two.

"The first body is of a young woman, found on a Minneapolis riverbank, her throat cut, her body scourged and put on display. Whoever did this, Lucas Davenport knows, is pushed by brain chemistry. There is something wrong with him. This isn't a bad love affair.
The second body is found three weeks later, in a farmhouse six miles south. Same condition, same display - except this time it is a man. Nothing to link the two victims, nothing to indicate that the killings end here.
'This guy...' Lucas said. He took a deep breath, let it out as a sigh. 'This guy is going to bust our chops.'
And soon he is going to do far, far worse than that.'

Rotary Club Book Sale - I didn't go too wild this time but I found 9 books. You can't knock the price, $12.00 for 9 books. I liked it anyway.

A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie.

This is the fourth novel by Agatha Christie in the Miss Marple series and her 40th published novel. I've been happy to get back into her writing. I've enjoyed every book I've read the past few years.

"A murder is announced, and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30 p.m.
The ad in the local paper is a joke, of course. In bad taste, of course.
But none of Miss Blacklock's friends can resist calling on her at the appointed hour. Certainly not Miss Marple.
At 6:30 precisely, the lights go out..."

The Last Coyote - Michael Connelly.

I've finally started the Harry Bosch series and am enjoying. This is the 4th book in the series. The missus and I are also looking forward to finding Season 2 of the TV series.

"The binder contained the case file on the October 28, 1961, homicide of Marjorie Phillips Lowe. His Mother.
Suspended from the LAPD pending psychiatric treatment, his house condemned and his girlfriend long gone, Harry Bosch has time on his hands...
With nothing better to do, Harry opens the ancient file on his prostitute mother's murder and is irresistibly drawn into the shadowy past. Confronting his personal shame at his mother's profession, he discovers a trail leading to the high-ups in the Hollywood Hills - and finds that the flames of ancient passion don't die, they kindle fresh fires."

The Vatican Rip - Jonathan Gash.

This is the 5th book in Gash's Lovejoy antique dealer / detective series. I've read the first book so far and enjoyed very much.

"Lovejoy, that witty rogue with a genius for antiques, is asked to recover a family heirloom. Unfortunately, the Chippendale table in question now sits in the Vatican. Though matters of protocol, a brutal murder, and several romantic entanglements slow his progress, Lovejoy once again triumphs, finding his way to a most ingenious solution."

The Man with a Load of Mischief - Martha Grimes.

I've read a few of Martha Grimes' Chief Inspector Jury mystery series, but it's been a few years since I've visited the stories. I figured if I was going to I should now start at the beginning with the 1st book.

"Long Piddleton had always been wary of newcomers, but the quiet town was stunned when the first stranger was found dead, upended in a butt of ale in the cellar of the Man with a Load of Mischief. Then the second body appeared, swinging in place of the mechanical man above the door of the Jack and Hammer.
Suddenly Long Piddleton had good reason to be wary of everyone! Its cozy pubs and inns with their polished pewter and blazing hearths had become scenes of the most bizarre crimes. Who were the victims? And who is the murderer? A stranger? A maniac? or the disarmingly friendly man next door?"

The African Quest - Lyn Hamilton.

I have enjoyed Canadian Lyn Hamilton's archaeological mysteries, featuring main character, antique dealer, Lara McClintoch. This is the 5th book in the series. One thing I don't think I realised is that she died of cancer in 2009. At least I will still get to enjoy the 11 McClintoch books she had published.

"Leading the first-ever McClintoch & Swain antiques and archaeology tour to Tunisia, Lara begins bumping up against dead bodies - from her own group. The story of a Carthaginian merchant ship that sank over two thousand years ago has stirred everyone's imaginations - and one person's murderous interest in finding the priceless artifacts that went down with it..."

The Dark Wind - Tony Hillerman.

I do like the Joe Leaphorn, Navajo police, mystery series. So far I've read the first three books. This fifth book features Sgt. Jim Chee.

"A corpse whose palms and soles have been 'scalped' is only the first in a series of disturbing clues: an airplane's mysterious crash in the nighttime desert, a bizarre attack on a windmill, a vanishing shipment of cocaine. Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police is trapped in the deadly web of a cunningly spun plot driven by Navajo sorcery and white man's greed."

Kat's Cradle - Karen Kijewski.

I've read the first book in this detective series, featuring California PI Kat Colorado. This is the 3rd book.

"She said her name was Paige Morrell and she came to Kat Colorado hoping to untangle the twisted mystery of her past. She was a twenty-one year old 'orphan,' a poor little rich girl on the verge of inheriting a wealthy old river estate - and some nasty surprises. But when Kat set out to solve the case, she found herself following a thread of lies, greed, and deceit that led straight to the corpse of a key source to Paige's past. Now the Sacramento private eye was about to learn that in the California Delta some family secrets were better left buried ... because uncovering them could be murder."

Dead Water - Ngaio Marsh.

Along with Agatha Christie and Minette Walters, Ngaio Marsh has written some of my favourite mystery stories. (not to sell short the many other authors I've enjoyed, mind you). Marsh wrote 32 books featuring her famous Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Dead Water is the 23rd in the series.

"Times are good in the Cornish village of Portcarrow, as hundreds of unfortunates flock to taste the miraculous waters of Pixie Falls.
Then Miss Emily Pride inherits Portcarrow and wants to put an end to the villagers' thriving trade in miracle cures especially Miss Elspeth Cost's gift shop.
But some puts an end to Miss Cost herself..."

Bogue's Fortune - Julian Symons.

Julian Symons is a relatively new mystery writer for me. I enjoyed the first of his standalone mysteries, The Blackheath Poisonings very much. This is the third of his books I've found.

"To research a new detective story, Charles Applegate takes a post in a progressive school for misfits, set deep in the British countryside. While the adults seem as strange as the students, he soon finds solace in a beautiful blonde matron. But the game turns deadly when a fellow teacher is murdered and a nasty - if comic - collection of villains seems convinced Charles has something they want."

So there you go, my latest acquisitions. They'll keep me going for a couple of months.

Next post I should get back to my regular subjects, although I will also shortly update my month's reading stats.

One last thing. I heard this song on my usb this morning as I was travelling with the dogs to their day care. It's the first time I've actually listened to the whole song since I added it to my usb. Quite excellent actually. Fickle Friends is a new group for me. They are an English indie band from Brighton that formed in 2013. The single, Brooklyn, was released in 2013. Check it out by clicking on the song title.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A Bit of History and the Birth Day Thing, etc

It's noon and so far has been a pretty busy, productive day. The dogs have been dropped at doggie daycare, the car has new tires and I've got a new haircut. :) The flooring guy arrived at 9 a.m. and so far has removed the old flooring in the downstairs hallway, an excellent start.

We had quite a rainstorm yesterday. While I was on the way to get the dogs from daycare, I could see these huge black clouds rushing towards me. I hoped I'd get to them before the rain started, but no such luck. It was pouring down. Luckily the girls who were working there got the pups indoors before the rain started.

It's getting near the end of April. I haven't had as productive a month of reading as the first three, but I think I'll be able to finish a couple of more books before the end. This morning I finished the first book in the Inspector Aurelio Zen series. I liked the TV series a lot and the book was also very good.

I'm starting another new series with my next book, the first in the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain. The book is Cop Hater. I've been looking forward to trying it for awhile now.

Great Historical Events

I'm starting in 1693 with today's excerpt.

"1693. First printing press established at New York by William Bradford
1694. Penn's rights in Pennsylvania restored
1697. Close of King William's war.
1698. French colony arrives at the mouth of the Mississippi
1699. Capt. Kidd, the pirate, apprehended at Boston'

I'll leave today's excerpt there and start the 1700s with my next.

Business Laws Briefly Stated - I've finished the portion dealing with the etiquette of letter writing. The next section deals with laws of business and I thought it might be interesting to see what those laws were back in the late 1800s. So let's see -

"We append, in as concise a form as possible, the laws of business that are in most common daily use:
Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
The law does not require one to do impossibilities (Ed. Note - say what?)
Principals are responsible for the actions of their agents. (Ed. Note - Hear that, Donald?)
The acts of one partner bind all the rest.
Each individual in a partnership is responsible for the whole amount of the debts of the firm, except in cases of special partnerships.
A receipt for money is not always conclusive.
Signatures made with a lead pencil are held good in law. (Ed. Note - I assume some people still use lead pencils?)
A contract made with a minor is void
Contracts made on Sunday cannot be enforced. (Ed. Note - now that is interesting.)
No consideration is sufficient in law if it be illegal in its nature."

So what do you think?

The Birth Day Thing - 10 November 1970 (I was fifteen years old on this day)

Billboard US #1 Single 10 November 1970

I'll Be There by The Jackson 5. Who doesn't know about the Jackson 5. Well, if you don't, they were formed in 1964 as the Jackson Brothers. The founding members were elder brothers Jermaine, Tito and Jackie with Michael and Marlon joining soon after. They entered as professionals in 1967 and released 2 singles. From 1969, they had 4 #1 US singles, with I'll Be There as the 4th in line. I'll Be There was written by Berry Gordy and friends.

UK #1 Single 10 November 1970

Woodstock by Matthew's Southern Comfort. This was a solo album by Fairport Convention singer Iain Matthews. He followed up his solo effort by forming a band called Matthew's Southern Comfort. The band's one commercial success was their cover version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 1970

Love Story by Erich Segal. The basis for this book was a screenplay that Erich Segal wrote for Paramount Pictures. Paramount requested that Segal turn it into a novel as a preview of sorts for the movie.

Love Story became the biggest seller in the US for all of 1970. It was also translated into 20 languages. The film starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal was released in Dec 1970.

Erich Segal was born in Brooklyn NY and lived from 1937 - 2010.

Pulitzer Prize Winner 1970

Collected Stories by Jean Stafford. Jean Stafford was an American novelist and short story writer who lived from 1915 - 1979.

Her Collected Stories was her last published work.

Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature - 1970

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Russia). Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist who lived from 1918 - 2008. I have read a few of his works, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Cancer Ward and The First Circle. All were fascinating works. His Nobel Prize was awarded 'for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.'

Hugo Award Winner - 1970

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. This another of my favourites in the Science Fiction genre. I've read it two or three times since my first read back in my university days and I think I'm due for a refresher. Below is the synopsis if you're interested in trying it out. LeGuin is an American writer who was born in 1929 in California. She is a prolific writer. Her most recent work was in 2014.

" A ground-breaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction."

Edgar Award Winner - 1970

Forfeit by Dick Francis. Dick Francis was an English steeplechase jockey and writer. His mysteries centre around the horse racing scene. He lived from 1920 - 2010. His son Frances collaborated on 4 novels with him and continues to publish novels with his father's name in the title.

Forfeit was his eighth work and features reporter James Tyron as the main character.

The synopsis is simply "When reporter Bert Checkov falls to his death, his colleague James Tyrone thinks he can prove it was murder. But there's no such thing as a sure thing."

I've not read anything by Francis yet, but I may have to try his books.

Man Booker Award Winner - 1970

The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens. Bernice Rubens was a Welsh novelist who lived from 1923 - 2004. She became the first woman to win the Booker Prize. She published 27 books during her career. Her second novel, Madame Sousatzka, was turned into a film in 1988, starring Shirley MacLaine.

The synopsis for The Elected Member is -
"Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant barrister; the apple of his parents' eyes... until at forty-one he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia.
For Norman, his committal to a mental hospital represents the ultimate act of betrayal. For Rabbi Zweck, Norman's father, his son's deterioration is a bitter reminder of his own guilt and failure. Only Bella, the unmarried sister, still in her childhood white ankle socks, can reach across the abyss of pain to bring father and son the elusive peace which they both desperately crave."

Next entry will move on to1970. Now to try and get some fresh air. Installing flooring is a stinky process.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Renos and the Other Daily Updates

It's mid-week and the puppies are at Doggie - Day - Care. The sun is shining into the house and everything looks very nice. Since we had some of our big fir trees removed last fall, the morning sun shining into the master bedroom and the bathroom on that side of the house is fantastic. It really brightens up everything.

Original front door

When we first moved into our home, that was the front door. At one point when we were doing our first batch of renovations, one of the things we did was update that front door and basically replace all of the other doors in the house.

Updated front door and closet door

It was a relatively simple change to the front door. A local contractor, took out the double windows on the door itself and also the window beside the door and replaced with new ones we saw in his shop. It added a nice quality to the door and also helped brighten the front hallway. It's kind of neat looking out the window as well. It's like looking through a prism

You can also see one of the new closet doors we had added. Basically we replaced all the doors to the rooms and where we had bi-fold doors, we replaced with normal doors.

Finally painted, just like new

One thing we never really ever got around to doing was painting the new doors. Yesterday as part of our last bit of painting before the floor guy arrives today, we did all of the doors in the downstairs hallway.

At least, we finished that portion that faces outward. Jo got a bit brave with the colour selection for the front door. I think it looks great, adds a really nice splash of colour to the front hallway. We're going to put a different clock above the door now, one that is a similar colour to the door. We bought it a couple of years ago and never found the perfect spot for it.

So things are progressing nicely so far. Dean is a bit late today as he was delayed on another flooring job he was working on. The puppies are enjoying themselves (of course they are!) at day care for today and Dean is supposed to show up at noon to start on the floors. One step at a time and things progress a bit each day. While he's working on the floors downstairs, we'll probably continue painting upstairs in preparation for the new carpeting to be installed next week.

OK, now onto other things.

Great Historical Events

Today's excerpt begins in 1690.

"First Paper Money

1690. First paper money issued in Massachusetts.
1691. Trial and execution of Leisler and Milbourne, at New York, on a charge of treason.
(Ed. Note - Jacob Leisler and a group of associates took control of New Amsterdam and the whole province in what became known as Leisler's Rebellion.  When the rebellion was overthrown, he and his son-in-law, Milbourne were tried and executed.)
New England contained 150,000 inhabitants

1692. Massachusetts made a royal province, and Pennsylvania taken from William Penn.

A Plague Ascribed to Witchcraft
Witchcraft in Salem, and many people put to death. A strange and epidemical distemper, resembling epilepsy, appeared in Salem, which baffled the skill of physicians, who, failing to account for it, or produce a cure, persuaded the poor victims to ascribe it to 'Witchcraft'. Impelled by a dark and cruel superstition, the 'Christian people,' declared these unfortunate creatures to be 'possessed of the devil.' Accordingly, solemn fasts and assemblies for extraordinary prayer were held by the clergy. Inflamed by a fanatical zeal, and inspired by a spirit which was a relic of the dark and barbarous ages they were just emerging from, these deluded yet truly conscientious and pious people, resorted to the most cruel punishments and death, to exterminate a plague which their solemn fasts and long-continued prayers and protestations had failed to cure." (Ed. Note. Interesting stuff, eh?)

Letters of Condolence - The excerpt which follows is a letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams on the death of Mrs. Adams.

"[The following is probably one of the finest models of a letter of condolence that this kind of literature affords.]

Monticello, November 13, 1818.

The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of October the 20th had given me ominous foreboding. Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and yet have to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable time and silence are the only medicine. I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are in vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both that the time is not very distant at which we are to deposit in the same cerement our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again. God bless you and support you under your heavy affliction.

TH. Jefferson"

(Ed. Note. I'd like to see something as heartfelt and honest be put down in a Tweet. Ain't gonna happen.)

The Birth Day Thing - 10 November 1969

US Billboard #1 Single - 10 November 1969

Wedding Bell Blues by The Fifth Dimension.  The Fifth Dimension formed in 1965 as The Versatiles and changed to their more popular name in 1966. They were well-known in the '60s for such great hits as Up, Up and Away, (Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All and Wedding Bell Blues, amongst others. The group consisted of Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue, Lamonte McLemore and Ronald Townson. Wedding Bell Blues was their second #1 single in 1969, after Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In. I love Wedding Bell Blues. It was written by the great Laura Nyro and both versions, hers and The Fifth Dimensions are wonderful.

UK #1 Single - 10 November 1969

Sugar, Sugar by The Archies. The Archies were a fictional band based on the Archie comics. The band that actually performed the songs had reasonable success. Sugar, Sugar was their only #1 hit in the UK. Jingle, Jingle was also a #1 for them, in Canada. Sugar, Sugar was written by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry. I readily admit that this was one of the first '45s I ever bought. I was only 14 years old!!

New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller - 10 November 1969

The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I've never read any other books by Mario Puzo but I enjoyed (if that is the word to use for a crime book) this one very much. It's a fascinating look at the world of the Mafia in New York.

The book was also turned into a successful, acclaimed movie, which was nominated for 7 Golden Globe awards and 11 Oscars, amongst others. I think it is one of those rare combinations where the book and the movie were both excellent.

Mario Puzo lived from 1920 - 1999. He wrote 11 fiction novels and other non-fiction and short stories.

Pulitzer Prize Winner - 1970

My wife asked me what a Hugo Award was yesterday and it made me realise that I had neglected to actually say what the various book awards I'm checking out are for. Let me correct that today. I take the description of the Pulitzer Prize. "The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition in the United States." It was established in 1917 by provisions of the will of American, Joseph Pulitzer, who made his fortune as a newspaper publisher and it is administered by Columbia University. Prizes are awarded yearly in 21 categories and a prize of $15,000 is given in 20 of them, with a gold medal being awarded for the public service category of the journalism award. I am focused on the Pulitzer prize for Fiction.

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday. This novel was credited with opening the doorway for Native American fiction into the mainstream.

It was initially conceived of as poems, then as a collection of stories and finally turned into a novel. It is focused on life on the reservation and outside, with the protagonist growing up on the reservation and attending school and university outside.

N. Scott Momaday is a Kiowa born in 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature - 1969

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually in Sweden. They are awarded in six disciplines including Literature. The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded by the Academy to authors for outstanding contributions in the field of literature.

Samuel Beckett (Ireland) - Samuel Beckett was an Irish avant-garde playwright and novelist who lived from 1906 - 1989. His Nobel Prize was awarded 'for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.'

 Hugo Award Winner - 1969

The Hugo Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback who founded the Amazing Stories magazine. Currently the Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories. I am focused on Best Novel, which started in 1953 and consists of stories of 40,000 words or more.

 Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. This is one of my favourite Science Fiction novels. I've read at least twice. I have tried to read it in various ways; as a traditional novel, from beginning to end and also by sticking to the various chapter sub-headings - context, the happening world, tracking with close-ups, etc. Either way, it is a fantastic story.

Brunner was an English author who lived from 1934 - 1995. I've read many of his books and enjoyed most of them; especially The Shockwave Rider, The Sheep Look Up and The Whole Man.

Edgar Award Winner - 1969

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (commonly called the Edgars) are awarded each spring by the Mystery Writers of America. They honor mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film and theatre from the previous year.

A Case of Need by Jeffery Hudson (AKA Michael Crichton). This was Michael Crichton's 4th novel. It was adapted into a 1972 movie, The Carey Treatment, starring James Coburn and Jennifer O'Neill. The book was re-released under Crichton's own name in 1993.

I've seen the movie but never read the book. The novel tackles the issues of abortion and racism as they were in the US in the 1960s.

Man Booker Award

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. From its inception, only Commonwealth, Irish and South African (later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible. In 2014, any English - language novel was accepted. 1969 is the first year of the award.

Something To Answer For by P.H. Newby. This novel by English writer P.H. Newby was the first Man Booker Prize winner. It is the only Booker prize winning novel currently not in print.

Newby lived from 1918 - 1997 and was an English novelist and broadcast administrator. His fiction work spans 1945 - 1995. This is the synopsis.

"It was 1956 and Townrow was in Port Said - of these two facts he is reasonably certain. He had been summoned by the widow of his deceased friend Elie Khoury. She is convinced Elie was murdered, but nobody seems to agree with her. What of Leah Strauss, the mistress? And of the invading British paratroops? Only an Englishman, surely, would take for granted that the British would have behaved themselves. In this disorientating world Townrow must reassess the rules by which he has been living his life - to wonder whether he, too, may have something to answer for?"  

So there you go. As an update, it turns out the flooring guy can't come until tomorrow. The puppies are probably having fun but ultimately didn't need to spend the day at Day Care. Ah well.. It's been a nice relaxing day so far. Tomorrow I move on to the '70s.
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