Monday, September 18, 2017

Sheet Fits


I may be neater than many bachelors; at least, I like such things as bed linen, socks, and underwear to be folded and stored properly. But after many moons, I concede that I have met my match in that diabolical monstrosity called the fitted sheet.

Removing a fitted sheet from the dryer and attempting to fold it neatly, or approximately neatly, or just in a way that results in something other than a mound of crumpled cotton, is an exercise in frustration.

You would think that folding these sheets would not be very difficult. But handling one eventually leads to the conclusion that fitted sheets were designed by M.C.Escher. They have the properties of Möbius strips or Klein bottles. When you think you have the ‘inside’ facing in one direction and begin folding, you discover that the infernal thing has no inside and no outside. By some esoteric sorcery the inner seam magically appears on the outer side. The ‘long’ and ‘short’ sides somehow change positions randomly. You become impatient, grouchy, irate. Life is too short to try to make sense of the thing. Miserable wretched object, I’ll show you… and you wind up stuffing the misshapen mass of fabric into your linen closet, where it sits smugly on the shelf, a clean but smirking reproach to your sense of decency and order.

Of course that source of solutions to every human ill, the Internet, will provide you with guidance on this matter as it does on all others. I have watched a video in which a woman, with a few deft twists of her wrist, causes a fitted sheet to assume a perfectly docile, rectangular shape with no more effort than would be required to fold a napkin. I cannot follow. I can only gasp in awe and say, like Professor Quirrell, “What is this magic?”   

Sunday, September 17, 2017

How About A Movie?

I have made a 4-minute video about my novel And Gladly Teach:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Silver Screen

 Here is a link to my YouTube video about Storm Approaching. I hope you will watch it.


It’s six minutes long.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Handy Guide


This blog contains all sorts of stuff related to my books, but this infor- mation is scattered. Here is a guide to book-related material, which you can easily access by using the "Blog Archive" on the left-hand side of this page.

Flyer about all books:  March, 2014

       Excerpts:
From Storm Approaching:  March, 2010
From Gold and Glory: April, 2010
From Resolution: October, 2010
From And Gladly Teach: February, 2010 & March, 2011

Maps:  July and September, 2010

Ordering Books:  Amazon.com is the best way. A few are available from the author.

I hope you will read some of the essays. You might well start with “A Cautionary Tale” (about getting published): May, 2012

 And for anyone interested in a gentle satire of the wonderful Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, my only piece of fanfiction, “The Adventure of the Surprising Ending,”  can be read at:
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9321353/1/The-Adventure-of-the-Surprising-Ending

 Contact me:  brnlbb@gmail.com 

 YouTube Video:  https://youtu.be/GjlyGbBkTbc    

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Small Rant


“Of all modern phenomena, the most monstrous and ominous, the most manifestly rotting with disease, the most grimly prophetic of destruction, the most clearly and unmistakably  inspired by evil spirits, the most instantly and awfully overshadowed by the wrath of heaven, the most near to madness and moral chaos, the most vivid with devilry and despair, is the practice of having to listen to loud music while eating a meal in a restaurant.”
                                                                                                                 G.K. Chesterton
 
I ran across this today, and I find it interesting that even in the 1920s or 30s, when it was written, and when the music referred to was undoubtedly quite good music, ambient noise in public spaces was a problem. I wonder what Mr. Chesterton would think if he walked into a supermarket or other large store today. I am at one with G.K. Chesterton. When entering a store which plays ‘music’--usually some ghastly relic of the 1960s or 70s--I refrain only with difficulty from trying to find the speakers, tear them out with my bare hands, and jump up and down on them so that no one could make speakers out of them again. I believe this horrible habit of forcing noise on the public originated in this country with “Muzak” in elevators. I have often wondered what market survey or research led to the conclusion that people would be charmed, or soothed, or induced to spend more money, by regaling them with horrible aural rubbish while they shop. The effect it has on me is to encourage my expeditious departure from the afflicted area.

 By the way, if you’d like to read a good historically-based poem, read Chesterton’s “Lepanto”--a poem not without relevance to certain world conditions today. I wonder that it has not been set to music.) 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Ghost of 1812

When the normally pleasant stroll to the grocery store reminds you of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and you begin to think that in the spring your bones might be found in a parking lot, you know that winter has come to Minnesota.
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Merry Christmas to All, and remember, books (especially those listed below) make fine presents.

And Gladly Teach
Hodgepodge
Storm Approaching
Gold and Glory
Resolution
The Free Lands 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CANDY IS DANDY, BUT...


While taking my daily walk I was overcome by a desire for chocolate. The nearest place to get a Hershey bar, or similar treat, was--I fondly thought--a liquor store directly across from my apartment building. A teetotaler, I do not usually patronize such establishments, but, visions of Milky Ways dancing in my head, I boldly entered, and, making my way past the displays of potent beverages stacked shoulder-high, located the counter and looked about for a display of sweetmeats. I looked in vain. Upon my inquiry, the genial clerk informed me that “liquor stores aren’t allowed to sell that sort of stuff”. Feeling ignorant and vaguely embarrassed, I smiled weakly and departed.

 I had to wonder why this prohibition exists. What prompted our Solons to pass such legislation? Was it, perhaps, that impressionable tots might toddle in to buy a peppermint patty and mistakenly leave with peppermint schnapps? Was it to avoid giving innocent Youth the notion that a store that sells candy must only sell innocuous things so they might as well get a bottle of gin to wash down their Snickers? Was any thought given to simply prohibiting liquor stores from selling M&Ms to those under 21 (and carding questionable patrons)? I wonder…