Day: February 4, 2017

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

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Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit


Fugitive Slave Act1850 

The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the group of laws referred to as the “Compromise of 1850.” In this compromise, the antislavery advocates gained the admission of California as a free state, and the prohibition of slave-trading in the District of Columbia. The slavery party received concessions with regard to slaveholding in Texas and the passage of this law. Passage of this law was so hated by abolitionists, however, that its existence played a role in the end of slavery a little more than a dozen years later. This law also spurred the continued operation of the fabled Undergound Railroad, a network of over 3,000 homes and other “stations” that helped escaping slaves travel from the southern slave-holding states to the northern states and Canada.



BE IT enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of…

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Review of ‘Deadly Gamble’

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Charlie Parker is an accountant and partner in a PI firm with her elder brother. When an old friend, shows up at her firm asking her help to retrieve an expensive watch that was stolen from her by a man with whom she was having an affair, Charlie is conflicted. The friend ran off with Charlie’s fiancé, causing much heartbreak, and she’s reluctant to become involved. But, her natural curiosity and desire to help someone who is clearly troubled, causes her to take on the case. She quickly retrieves the watch, and thinks that’s the end of it, until the miscreant, a shady con man with a checkered past, is found shot to death in his driveway, and her old friend is the prime suspect.

Charlie is convinced the friend, despite their past troubled relationship, is innocent, and over her brother’s objections, begins to investigate. She’s no investigator, though, and makes many a false start, making herself the target of a mysterious assailant, as she pries into the dead man’s background, in the process disturbing a number of people who would rather not become involved.

Deadly Gamble by Connie Shelton is an e-book release of the author’s first novel in the Charlie Parker cozy series, which was published before the advent of electronic books, and has been reissued unchanged from the original. This is a well-plotted cozy mystery, with lots of red herrings and false clues that also has many of the faults of first novels. The few gaffes notwithstanding, the author’s skill shines through as she takes the heroine on a fast-paced journey to the resolution, which comes like a bolt out of the blue that will trip up even the most devoted mystery fans.

If you’ve never read Shelton before, this book is a good gamble, and is likely to whet your appetite for more of her work. I give this one four stars.

The Marine Corps Memorial

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One of my favorite places to visit in the DC area is the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn, a memorial to the US Marine Corps, and the men who fought and died taking the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima during WWII. I’ve actually visited the island, as a guest of the Japanese and US governments to honor the men on both sides, and believe me, as striking as the monument is, it is not as stark and impactful as the island itself. With the Washington Monument and Capitol (r) in the background.

Source: The Marine Corps Memorial

Red Amaryllis

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Red amaryllis, another of my wife’s favorite flowers. This was done in response to a special request from  her. She did this sketch from a photo. Technically pretty good, but the composition is too boring. So, I erased her drawing and did my interpretation. I have to confess, I don’t draw as well as she does (except cartoons or pencil portraits), but even she admits I have a better sense of composition. The next step was to put in the background. I didn’t go for realism here, but more impressionism. The sun, sky, and earth are hinted at rather than painted realistically. Next, I started putting in the stems and leaves. Then, I started working on the flowers. After they were blocked in, I did more work on stems and leaves. Working in highlights and shadows, and a little more color on the stems to make them look round. Some final highlights on the blossoms and I call it a day.

Source: Red Amaryllis