Thursday, October 24, 2013

John Brown

I'm reading Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Horowitz. I now have a much better understanding of the battle of Black Jack. It happened near here five years before the start of the civil war. Mean old John Brown felt called to resist the institution of slavery with violence and all the squishy eastern abolitionists had a use for him even if they found him distasteful or were ambivalent about his methods. Here, they said, have some guns. This book tells that pro-slavery forces mostly from Missouri (they were handy) but also from other southern states were raiding, assaulting and had killed a few anti-slavery settlers without significant resistance until JB came along. He not only resisted, he went out on his own raids and killed pro-slavery settlers. Knocked on their doors and took them out to cut them down in the road. A ghastly retaliation that made some of JB's followers/henchmen (mostly his sons and sons-in-law) sick and sad. I'm surprised at how readable this book is. Does that mean I need to fact check? So far it feels informative and well balanced.

I finished HP and the Sorceror's Stone which was very good October comfort reading. Am trying not to start murder mysteries that I won't want to finish. It's hard to give up on the whole genre.

The neighborhood community is hosting a Halloween party on Sunday afternoon for the kids. I'm going to bake cookies for them to decorate. 4 dozen or so and frosting in two or three shades. I'm happy doing that (with my girls' help, bien sur) rather than doing crowd control during the event. Kat will help with the kid herding since she's good at that.

Bun's Perry the Platypus costume still needs a duckbill but I found a good homemade scheme. We'll make some feet flaps out of the craft foam too. She's already cut a tail out of cardboard and wants to paint it. Painting seems like unnecessary extra effort to me. Bun and her dad will do that part. Turquoise gloves occurred to me but it's hard to do things with gloves on so I'll let that go. We'll pin her hair up under the hat. Kat may paint Bun's face blue but I hope not. Kat's got most of her gypsy fortuneteller costume together. I think she still needs a psychic accessory (crystal ball, cards, magic-8 ball?). Nod suggested that she dye her hair black last night and I vigorously vetoed. I am uncomfortable with 'gypsy' as a costume and trying to be swarthy really sets me off. Plus dying her blonde hair black might have weird color consequences for weeks afterwards.

I've just been given two 24" monitors at work. They get bigger and bigger and bigger. I've gotten used to working on both screens, my team uses so many applications that it's nice to have the real estate to stash everything without it all being behind the scenes. I do wonder where this will all lead.

I must try the lazy pizza recipe from Smitten right away. Though th500° oven temp is spooking me. Deb mentions Orangette at the end and you should probably read her recent posts about pear clafoutis and the women's writing retreat on Whidbey Island. We have friends who moved to the Island last spring and I have heard about it since the early '90s. Must get to the west WA coast before another decade passes.


1 comment:

Zhoen said...

Have you read any of Craig Johnson Walt Longmire books? Not perfect, but compelling and clever and wrenching all together.