Have you see this woman?
I meant to do this last night, but circumstances intervened. Mrs Kinch hasn't been very well of late and has been back and forth to the doctor with a particularly nasty infection. Unfortunately, she had an allergic reaction to her antibiotics last night and began to develop difficulty breathing. It's all been sorted out, but it did involve a romantic several hours in Casualty (worst datenight ever). I'm currently investigating the possibilities of investing in Evil Gypsy Curse Insurance(1) as it seems that Mrs Kinch just can't seem to catch a break at the moment.
That said, whatever tendency one might have to feel sorry for oneself, the events in Boston certainly put things in perspective. God be with them all.
Reading the newspaper by Fyodor Bronnikov
But, how and ever, on to the papers....
Podcast: Ken & Robin talk about stuff
Ken Hite is a Lovecraftian scholar, Fortean, game designer, writer, raconteur and all round good egg. Robin Laws is a game designer, writer and other all round good egg (though he does have some rather odd ideas about hot cross buns). Every week they get together and record "Ken & Robin Talk about stuff", a magazine style podcast that never lasts much more than an hour. I find this the ideal length for a podcast (sorry Meeples & Miniatures and View from the Verandah) as it means that I actually get to listen to the whole damn thing. Topics under discussion have included roleplaying game theory, cinema, probably the best discussion of the 2012 US Presidential election I've heard before or since, the Volstead Act of 1919, Blackwater and the CIA, occultism, 17th century French Satanism, the politics of Toronto and Joseph Stalin. I can't recommend this podcast enough, I don't generally listen to anything that encompasses politics, but Ken and Robin are adult enough to have a discussion that doesn't end in name calling and it's made all the better by the fact that Robin is a slovenly liberal (or Canadian, which is fundamentally the same thing) while Ken is a American Republican with some decidedly iffy ideas on Constitutional Monarchy.
Death & Photography
I make a great noise about not caring for the 21st century much, but there are advantages - mainly that I am about to grouse about it. As a man who spent a great deal of his childhood being seriously ill in one way or the other, it is quite likely that in an earlier age I would not survived to amuse you with jokes about French Marshalls batons or pictures of my cat.
Do not try this at home. Sissi is a trained stunt cat.
As I get older the more I admire our 19th century forebears. They lived tough lives and experienced death and hardship daily in a a way that we don't understand. If we have healthier attitudes to sex than they did (and I'm not so sure of that), we definitely are less capable than they are of dealing with death well. I've seen rather more death than I'd like in the last few years, both personally and professionally, and I've come to the conclusion that we've lost the knack. In a way we are the victim of our own success, we see death so seldom.
Photography in the mid 19th century was difficult and expensive and most people would only have a few. Consequently, children who did not survive infancy were often only photographed after death. These are hard pictures to look at - but instructive I think, the only surviving image a parent would have of a lost child.
You can see them here.
The pure joy of Keely Smith
After that sombre note - Louis Prima needs hardly an introduction. If however, you have been living in some sort of cultural waste land, you will recognise his magnificent voice from King Louis ("The King of the Swingers") in Disney's The Jungle Book if nothing else.
Less well known, and undeservedly so, is the beautiful Keely Smith, who was Prima's frequent collaborator and played the straight girl to his antics. She is still performing at the ripe old age of -ahem- and is as good as ever. You owe it to yourself to hear her.
(1) My apologies - Itinerant Person of Different Moral Outlook Insurance.