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Friday, January 6, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/6 - Surprises & Salt

The term Free Mason is shrouded in mystery, the same kind that fits Scientology, the type that Dan Brown has earned millions writing about in his Illuminati novels. What the heck is a Mason? What do they do? Are they plotting to take over the world, as some have claimed? I came upon a top ten secrets list about them at, which featured an addendum at the end that said the items may or may not be true, which invalidated it in my eyes. Then I searched for a list of famous Masons. George Washington and other notable politicians were members. Most surprising were these names: jazz great William “Count” Basie, Harry Houdini, Richard Pryor, “Sugar Ray” Robinson, Jack Dempsey, and Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippin. This suggests there is no color or religious barrier (Houdini was Jewish). The most common criterion of members seems to be success in one's field. A Google search about the society will bring up numerous sites critical of it. I am sure Masons sin just like everyone else, but I found nothing convincing about its aims. If they intend to take over the world, they sure have taken their sweet time about it. The blackest mark I found against them is that the creep who went on the murderous jag against against children in Norway was a member. The organization immediately gave him the boot. Conclusion? I don't see a threat. I suppose conspiracy theorists would view the unusual, surprising members in the same way the communists viewed useful idiots.

Here are two headlines from today's Yahoo Odd News: "Woman drives into river to avoid cops, boozes as car floats." "Naked woman who stole deputy's truck in custody after chase." I wonder if the "ladies" are related.

Although I approved the simulated version of my next novel, I'm not going to announce it until I have the print copy I ordered in hand. If it looks good, I'll order 50 and tell the world it's ready.

An ugly morning evolved to a beautiful afternoon of brilliant sunshine. I hustled to the car, thrilled I wouldn't be housebound. The snow on the windshield and on the roof had melted. I had to clear only the side and rear windows, which was quick work. To my surprise, every parking spot near my usual book nook was occupied, which indicated the alternate side regulation must have been suspended. I usually sit in the car for a half-hour in a primo spot, waiting for it to expire. I didn't want to take a chance on waiting for someone to leave, a chance that might not materialize, so I headed to my alternate location. While business wasn't nearly as good as yesterday, it was well worthwhile. My thanks to the kind folks who made purchases. The most interesting had been donated by Mr. Conspiracy. The titles say all that is needed to know about his politics: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier by Smedley Darlington Butler and Dragan Nikolic (only 68 pages), and Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean, the man who worked in the Nixon White House and offered damaging testimony in the Watergate scandal. My thanks also to the woman who donated a shoe box full of Nora Roberts paperbacks. She and her husband have given me scores of best sellers the past few years. I kept my own books in clear plastic, at first because I had set up directly beneath a tree and didn't want melting snow falling on them. When everything had dried and vehicles had crushed the salt that had been put on the roads, the dust was visible in the air. My Hyundai was covered in it. As I drove up 85th Street on my way home, there was a continuous, thick line of rock salt more than a foot wide. There had been only trace accumulation, and the crews went at it as if it there'd been a blizzard, which makes one wonder if they are required to use it all. Typical government overkill and inefficiency.
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