Lincoln, travel, new home page

Saw “Lincoln” today with Jenphalian, Will Shetterly, and Emma Bull.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  The acting was universally brilliant.  Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and Danial Day Lewis as Lincoln were amazing, James Spader was a delight, and Hal Holbrook was, as always, perfect.  Tommy Lee Jones stole the show.  The few minor historical liberties they took all seemed reasonable.  A truly splendid movie.  I want to see it again when it comes out on DVD, so I can catch things I missed the first time.

ETA: Okay, if I want to be really persnickety, I’ll say that in the one battle scene in the movie, there were too many bayonet wounds to be authentic.   Whatev.

I’m about to be traveling again–Texas once more to pick up my bird and visit friends.  I expect to be back a few days before Christmas.

My new home page should be up soon, thanks to Corwin and Felix.  I imagine there will be some glitches at first.  But if all goes well, it’ll be pretty cool.

Too Many Danes

By Rex Stout


When the doorbell rang at the old brownstone on West 35th Street, I was already in a lousy mood.  We had just finished the Beltham embezzlement case, and it was Friday, and I had wanted to celebrate by spending the weekend with Lily Rowan.  Instead, Wolfe had insisted I finish the paperwork.  I knew he would have no interest in a case, in any case, what with what we’d just been paid, so I made up my mind that, whoever this was, he was getting in to see Wolfe.

The man on the other side of the glass was young–I’d say in his early twenties.  He was slight, but seemed athletic.  When I opened the door, he said simply, “Mr. Nero Wolfe?”

“No,” I said, “I’m Archie Goodwin.  But if it’s a case, I can take you in to see Mr. Wolfe.  He’s just down from visiting his orchids.”

“His–?  No, never mind.  Yes, I’d like to see him about a case.”

“Then come in, Mr.–”

He handed me his card as I took his coat.  I looked it over–expensive printing, gold lettering.  I guided him to the leather chair.  Wolfe looked up, glared, started to speak, but evidently put it together, because instead his lips pressed together into a thin line–or as thin a line as he can manage.  I handed Wolfe the card.  He glanced at it, glared at me, then turned his attention back to our guest.

“Very well,” he said.  “How can I help you, Mr. Hamlet?”

“I want you to prove that my uncle killed my father.”

He wagged his finger.  “I will do no such thing under any circumstances.  Should I agree to take the case, I will endeavor to discover the truth.”

“That will be fine.  As a retainer, I can–”

“Excuse me, I haven’t said I’d take it, yet.  Now, what makes you think your uncle killed your father?”

“His ghost told me,” said Hamlet, as if it were the most reasonable thing in the world.

Wolfe glared at me.  “Pfui,” he said.  He started to say more, but then stopped, and a sort of malicious glint came into his eye.  He turned to Hamlet.  “That is very interesting,” he said.  “It is getting rather late.  Perhaps you could stay to dinner and afterwards Archie can get all the details?  Archie, tell Fritz we will be having a guest.”

No way around it, I was beat.  I got up and headed to the kitchen to tell Fritz that something smelled rotten in the office.


[Sorry, folks.  I just sorta had to.  Next, Pamela will demonstrate how Shakespeare would have written Plot It Yourself.]

On Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and blog updates

We’re still waiting for a few external things before the Brand!  New! blog and homepage come to exist.  Meanwhile, I’m about ready to declare myself done with The Wealth of Nations. While I still have several chapter to comment on, I have read them, and they do not concern aspects of political economy that interest me.  Plus, at the moment, I seem to have hid the book.

I’m now reading Capital, by Marx, which Smith’s work proved a really good introduction to.  I am tempted to do the annotation with it as I did with Smith, because writing that helped me bring a lot of  it into focus, and because all of you Smart People gave me good perspective on the stuff I didn’t understand.  But I also know that there are those who find these posts irritating, and feel they take up too much space (especially when they’re reposted on LJ, without a cut).

So, just like the revisionist who claims to lead when in fact he is following, I ask: Who wants me to take on Capital in public, and who would rather I let sleeping surplus-value lie?

Watch This Space

Just a heads up: We’re going to be doing some fun things with the blog, and with my web site (, so the look will be changing.  One thing we plan on is that the books on the blog will contain a link to discussion space here for each book (this in answer to the request about a discussion of The Rain In Spain), and in general there will be Tons Of Neat Stuff.

Word definition question

Reesa and Nathan have been watching re-runs of the old Addams Family TV show.  I approve of this, in part because it’s refreshing to see a 60’s sitcom where one can believe the couple actually had sex.  But it produced a question which has been bothering me, lo, these many days, even to interfering with my sleep.  So, weary and desperate, I turn to the internet as my last hope.

Can someone tell me what “ooky” means?

Thank you.