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Archive for April, 2019

Mark your calendars and get the engines reving. It’s that time of year – Comic Book Day! Get your free special issue comic book at the local dealer.

Not sure where that is? Look it up on the Free Comic Book Day website:

https://www.freecomicbookday.com/

While your there, on the website, check out what else might be going on. Do I what do and pick out what comic book or books you want the most. Most places will let you have three. Dr. Who is always good, if you like Dr. Who. It all depends on your favorite artists and title. I’m thinking of getting the Dr. Who, Little Lulu, and the one with the British comics. Or may the Avengers one since the new Avengers movie is out.

Luckily there are several shops in Columbia and two are holding events. Others around the country are as well. If you’re lucky, perhaps there you’ll be able to meet a comic book artist.

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Dear Hamish,

Thank you for the prompt reply in regards to the bagpipes. I have them. And no, I will not be learning how to play them. More on that in a bit. I was sorry to hear the twins practiced their first aide skills on your and put a potent glue in the plaster mix. I hope you’ve been able to chip your hooves out it by now. Thankfully they only did your hind hooves. I told them there’d be no prezzies for their birthdays if they continue to abuse you.

Back to the bagpipes.

I got them. Pawnee was all nosy when they arrive. She wanted to blow into the canter. I took it away and stomped on a paw. Sometimes one has to be harsh.

“Nay,” I said. “‘Tis me security system.”

“How?” she asked as that dreadful Penny crept closer.

It’s because of the kitty, the nonPawnee Kitty kitty, I got this you know. She loves me wool and sees me as a toy. She doesn’t even listen to Pawnee and all the cats around here does what she says. These Texan kitties are bold.

“I’ll show you.” With that I primed up the bagpipes. Gave a few good squeezes, music spiraling out. Pawnee winced. Penny skipped back a few hops.

I blew. Then, marching, and playing what I remember from school, I headed out to the middle of the room. Penny ran away. Pawnee ran away. It was lovely.

Now I can go wherever I want. Now all I have to do is reach a hoof to me bagpipes and Penny runs off, ears low while Pawnee cringes and squishes her ears and eyes shut. I really should have thought of this sooner.

Thank you again,

your friend in the colonies,

Angus. McSheep.

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Highways of Hell

My sister is moving. She’s texting me updates. The last text said she was twenty miles west of Slidell on I10, close to Mississippi. It made me think of US84/US98 in Mississippi, a road I’ve traveled twice and put on my list of Highways of Hell. It’s not really bad, but it’s so long and boring and in some stretches you don’t see another car for miles.

Driving those roads is like you’ve been transported into the Twilight Zone. It feels as if you’ll be driving along the road forever, until you die. It’s different kind of feeling than US378 in South Carolina, the road I refuse to take to Myrtle Beach. Every single time I’ve driven on it, my eyes start closing and I start fearing I’ll fall asleep. I’ll go thirty-forty miles out of my to avoid that one.

Some Highways of Hell are pretty interesting. Lake Ontario State Parkway is like driving through post apoctolyptic America. Weeds grow out of cracks in the highway and there was no one, serious, no one, on the road except me. The highway in Mississippi just stretched forever and forever and forever… you get the picture.

There’s a bit on I10, in Louisiana, that feels like it, on the bridges. My sister said thunderstorms raged when she drove it. Anyone who’s familiar with that area, knows there’s no place to stop and wait out the rain. It’s miles of bridges over the swamps. It’s even worse for her because she hates to drive over bridges.

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Florida. 1949.
Just off lazy Highway 1, between the road and the swamp, lives ten-year-old Bones. The house floods during storms, but it’s still home for her and her parents, Nolay, who’s part Miccosukee Indian, and Honey Girl. It’s home too for her pets: the dogs, the pig, and the raccoon. Life is pretty good for Bones.
That is, until two Yankees arrive and nose around. Bone’s father chases them off, but one is found dead. And then another man is found dead and her dad looks good for both their murders.

This is a slice of Florida history I’ve not read about it; in the time before the state became a retirement destination and people flocked to vacation here in huge numbers. Ms. Ashley-Holliknger grew up in the same town in which she set the story. She even includes the same lone store, the Last Chance General Store and Gas Station. She’s written this as a tribute to the life that was, and it’s a fitting one. This book makes the community of Micco and the nearby swamp come alive.

The story is sprinkled with memorial characters from Ikibob Rooster who shepherds his harem of chickens, Mr. Speed, the young man horribly wounded in World War II, and slow Sheriff LeRoy who investigates the murders.

I really liked how the community comes together and are always helping one another out. No one might have much, but together they have a lot and make do. It makes one wish it was that way again.

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