So you can read my books

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


RMS Titanic 3.jpg
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912


This is the date when the IRS become Outlaws.  :-)

On this date in 1861 -- Abraham Lincoln, expecting the Civil War to be a short conflict, calls for only 75,000 volunteers to serve for 3 months.

On this date in 1865 -- Abraham Lincoln dies from the bullet wound inflicted by John Wilkes Booth, six days after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

The RMS Titanic went down 102 years ago today.  Though polished by a century of narratives, the tragedy retains its impact in the eyewitness records:

An account dictated to the New York Times by the Titanic’s twenty-two-year-old junior wireless operator, Harold Bride:

Bride’s description begins in humor, he and the senior wireless operator cracking jokes about the mishap.

Then the bow tilts, the “great scramble aft” begins, and Phillips, the senior man, begins hours of urgent messaging:

"He was a brave man. I learned to love him that night, and I suddenly felt for him a great reverence to see him standing there sticking to his work while everybody was raging about….

…I saw a stoker leaning over Phillips from behind. He was too busy to notice what the stoker was doing. The man was slipping the lifebelt off Phillips’s back. I suddenly felt a passion not to let that man die a decent sailor’s death.

I wished he might have stretched rope or walked a plank. I took a lead pipe and did my duty. I hope I finished him. I don’t know."

Then chaos:
The Captain giving the ‘abandon ship,’
Phillips refusing to leave his post,
Bride jumping, eventually being rescued,
And helping to hand up from the floor of his life-raft the body of a dead sailor — Phillips.

Just last year, 2013 -- those terrible bombings at the Boston Marathon.

2014 -- Total Lunar Eclipse.

1923 -- Insulin became widely available. Insulin had only been proven to work the year before; before that, diabetes was essentially a death sentence, especially for children.

1955 -- Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois, on this day.

Within five years, there were over 100 McDonald's in the US, and less than 20 years later the company passed the $1 billion US Dollars (USD) profit mark.

1942 -- The George Cross is the highest civil award given in the United Kingdom, and is rarely awarded.

The island of Malta and all its residents were awarded the George Cross because of their behavior during a long-term siege in World War II,

and the cross is now sewn into the Maltan flag.

M could stand for Christopher Moore:

“If you think anyone is sane you just don't know enough about them.”   

  ― Christopher Moore,
Practical Demonkeeping    

M could stand for John D MacDonald

"The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit."



  1. Beware April indeed! I had no idea so many monumental (and often bad) events happened in April. Very interesting!

  2. Shame the man who stood by his post, warning others, died when she sunk.

  3. Heather:
    And here I thought the Ides of March were bad!

    In our worldview, he heard the words: "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

  4. When these events are far apart, we don't notice how many occur in bunches, or that certain times of the year seem more eventful.

    Spring follows winter, where dark thoughts have time to fester. As for the Titanic, there must be many stories about the good and bad things people will do when it's life or death. Some have principles, and some have none.

    You cause us to reflect, Roland, on what has gone before. It's surprising we survive when we see how many mistakes man makes.

  5. I will never look at April the same way again. However, that lunar eclipse last night was excellent. :)

  6. D.G.:
    Perhaps you're right: in winter dark thoughts fester for months to produce darker harvests.

    In the fires of disaster, the masks we wear burn away, revealing who we really are.

    With advancing technology, Man's mistakes may be harder to overcome!

    Was it a blood moon as promised? I was exhausted from the solo weekend at work, and I went to bed early!

  7. The unsinkable ship sank on its maiden voyage. No doubt the news was greeted with hilarity, soon followed by horror. Because it was unsinkable there weren't nearly enough life boats. And they didn't fill the ones they had. So much loss of life. And then there were those brave souls like Phillips. And countless others, I imagine. Tragedy brings out the best and/or the worst in us.

  8. You know one thing that I always loved about my birthday as a child? It was always around the time when we'd learn about Titanic in school and I always looked forward to that. :)

    I can't believe someone tried stealing Phillips' lifebelt right off his back! That is terrible!

    Sadly, I missed that Lunar Eclipse. :(

  9. So Ray Kroc opened McDonalds for all those who would need Insulin latter?

  10. Serendipity. I have very recently finished Christopher Moore's 'Lamb'. And loved 'The lust-lizard of melancholy cove' for its title and for its inspired lunacy.
    And, speaking of love, the John MacDonald quote is one I am going to remember and claim.
    Thank you. Again.

  11. Crikey ... you've certainly done your homework, Roland!

    Most interesting :)

  12. Robin:
    Sadly, the worst is more often brought out than the best when disaster strikes. :-(

    I missed the eclipse and the blood moon myself.

    The music to the movie, TITANIC, was beautiful -- I couldn't watch it as I knew those deaths were real.

    I think his motive was profit! :-)

    Elephant's Child:
    LAMB is one of Moore's best. BLOODSUCKING FIENDS despite its title is fun -- it even has a female protagonist.

    John D MacDonald is a great writer. DARKER THAN AMBER is a good novel though gritty -- it is like taking a time machine to the sixties! I like that quote of his, too.

    Research is fun for me. Saddening sometimes with what I learn. Thanks for enjoying my post! :-)

  13. April 15 is a day of great happenings. The month holds much for everyone, good and sad.

  14. Your A to Z posts are so interesting. I love learning all this stuff. Today, insulin was number one, since I would be dead without it. But have you seen the needles, the first ones? They were something to behold.

  15. Susan:
    I know the 15th is when my wallet goes "OUCH!"

    Each day holds so much potential for good or ill that we must use each hour carefully, right?

  16. Inger:
    I hate any needles! As a very young boy I had double pneumonia three times! Not fair! And I was peppered with too many needles.

    I am glad insulin is there to save your life!

    I just received the first 15 minutes of the audiobook, DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE. It will be the end of June before it is complete.

    Now, to write the sequel! :-)

  17. The fate of all those people on the Titanic is still so moving. So much courage among so many.

    I'm ashamed to say I've never read John D. MacDonald--so many good authors to catch up with.

  18. Helena:
    Yes, all those people had died -- such a waste, so much courage in a few valiant hearts.

    Nothing to be ashamed about not reading MacDonald -- so many good authors out there to enjoy. THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH, AND EVERYTHING is amusing.

  19. Your A to Z posts have been really fun this year. Love the historical facts.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  20. Hi Roland .. our Church that we used on Sundays from school - had a plaque to the Titanic brave souls - I can remember it now and the Church wall .. Beware the Ides.

    There are a few lunar eclipses occurring - it would be nice if I could see one one day and not be covered in cloud - even in SA for Halley's comet - it was cloudy!

    There's a law for that .. but I'll leave that for now - I love the selections for the dates you're giving us .. cheers Hilary