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The gate is wide open, the madmen escape.

José Saramago

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Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

For some reason I have not been motivated lately to post about my reading. Here is some of what I've been reading: Moominvalley in November (which I think is maybe the best of the Moomin books I've read so far, or anyway the most complex); Agapē Agape (which my mind is reeling from -- though only a small fraction of the book made it past the very front of my brain); In the Shadow of No Towers; and J.R..

posted afternoon of September 29th, 2004: Respond
➳ More posts about Moomins

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

🦋 The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

I found an article describing the historical record of the murder of Hattie Carroll, as well as some further legal trouble Billy Zantzinger found himself in in 1991: The True Story of William Zantzinger -- you will need to scroll down to the middle of the page. The site is in Italian but the story is in English.

NPR had a show about Zantzinger in 1991: All Things Considered, November 17 1991, first hour of program, reporter Alex Chadwick: "Zantzinger Exploited Blacks on Property". I am going to buy a transcript of the program and will post it here if it is legal to do so.

An article from Mother Jones about Zantzinger's life. A transcript of the NPR show.

Update from January 2009: Zantzinger has died. The Baltimore Sun's obituary has his life story, and some quotes from a number of people involved in the trial. Plus a photo of Zantzinger being led away from the hotel by Baltimore police. The Washington Post obituary has another photo, captionless but I think it is from '91. Reactions from Bryan Waterman and from Peter Eisenstadt.

posted morning of September 14th, 2004: 2 responses
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Sunday, September 12th, 2004

🦋 Movie Night

Last night we watched "Duck Soup", which went over pretty well, I thought -- granted Sylvia was not much into it at all for the first hour or so, but when it hit the scene where Harpo is trying to convince Groucho that he is looking at his reflection in a mirror (instead of at Harpo), she was entranced. We watched that scene (Sylvia calling it "the Peek scene", as in "Peek-a-boo") about 3 times through, and once more this morning. Sylvia is a bit confused about why it is called "Duck Soup", when there were no ducks in the movie.

Update: Sylvia was talking last night about a movie called "Duck Soup", in which a man is eating soup and then a duck climbs in, "and then there's a peeking part." Then she said "But I was mistaken -- that's wrong!"...

posted evening of September 12th, 2004: Respond
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Thursday, September second, 2004

Kaydi's mom Michele sent us some pictures of the 2 girls playing.

posted evening of September second, 2004: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Monday, August 30th, 2004

A new page in our family album: Summer Vacation, 2004.

posted evening of August 30th, 2004: Respond
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Saturday, August 14th, 2004

🦋 Movie Night

Tonight we watched "Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers". Sylvia gives it "lots of thumbs up!" -- highlights included "when they ride on the toy train" and "all of it!"

That's all for a while -- Monday we'll be heading out of town for our vacation. We are spending the week in Sodom, NY, deep in the Adirondacks.

posted evening of August 14th, 2004: Respond
➳ More posts about The Movies

Friday, August 13th, 2004

🦋 More Moomins

Tove Jansson is taking over my reading life... Yesterday I read the totally captivating book Moominsummer Madness in which the family's house is flooded out and they are forced to take refuge on a floating stage... They end up producing a tragedy written by Moominpappa, with help from a crabby stage rat, leading to her reunion with her Fillyjonk niece and other hijinks. This morning on the train coming in, Sylvia and I reread Chapter VI of Finn Family Moomintroll, the story of Thingumy and Bob. This afternoon I will start Moominvalley in November -- I am sorry there are only a few more Moomin books for me to read after this, but happy that they make such good re-reading matter.

posted afternoon of August 13th, 2004: Respond
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Thursday, August 12th, 2004

We got another Babar book this weekend, one of the originals by Jean de Brunhoff: Babar and Zephir. (Also got some more Moomin books, about which more later.) Sylvia loves it (Arthur and Zephir are her two favorite characters in Babar) and said last night that she wants to have it for her bedtime story every night.

posted morning of August 12th, 2004: Respond
➳ More posts about The Babar books

Sunday, August 8th, 2004

The saga of repairing my patio continues...

The story so far: when we moved into this house it had a broken-up, uneven bluestone patio in the back yard, and I thought I would like to learn how to fix it, make it flat and even. Ellen's cousin Danny came over and offered to donate some slate flagstones he had in his side yard toward the cause. (At that point I thought the patio was made of slate.) After getting them home I realized they would not work in the back yard, and decided instead to build a walkway/garden border in the front yard. I did that last summer -- it came out really well (or at least "really well for a first masonry project by someone who didn't have much of a clue") and I had some slate left over. This spring I extended the walkway back past the side of our house, next to the garage. And I was ready to start on the patio itself!

So two weeks ago I drove down to Brick, NJ, where there is Bedrock Stone, excellent stone yard that I recommend wholeheartedly. Bought a pallette of 1 1/2" rectangular bluestone and a pallette of broken bluestone pieces; and on the way home I stopped at Maplewood Garden Supply to get 3 cubic yards of bluestone dust. (Note: the dump truck which brought the dust would not have been able to get into our back yard, were it not for the new gate I built. Nice feeling.) That stuff has been sitting in our driveway for the past 2 weeks; and when my father came to town this weekend, I asked if he'd like to help me work on the patio. He was game, and we completed the work I was hoping to get done -- namely, the narrow part of the patio (4' X 27') that runs from the driveway to the main patio. This part had previously been extremely broken up -- hence the new flag stones -- and repaired in patches with slate. We put in a layer of dust to even the ground beneath it, and laid in new stones, and built a low border from the broken stone pieces. The old flag stones that I could salvage are stacked in the driveway, waiting to be used in extending the main part of the patio back into the yard a little ways, which may happen as soon as this fall. First I need to get to evening up the main part of the patio, where the stones are mostly whole or else cleanly broken, so I will be able to use the existing stones. (This is good because they are 1" thick and thus possible for me to lift without a second person.) That will be happening at the end of the month, if all goes according to plan.

posted evening of August 8th, 2004: Respond
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Friday, August 6th, 2004

Have not blogged about this yet but I've been reading an excellent book, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg. Hogg is a 19th-C. Scot who uses the religious and political strife of late 17th-C. Scotland to paint a disturbing picture of the human soul afflicted by zealotry. Essentially the story of an ardent Calvinist who takes the doctrine of Predestination a bit farther than it is useful... Rather more relevant to our own troubled times than I would prefer.

posted morning of August 6th, 2004: Respond
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