Jul 31

History Wednesday: Three Short Reigns

A while back I wrote about the shortest presidency in history. Today I was going to write about one of the shortest monarchies in history, but I’m afraid I have to wuss out a bit. See, I’m sick as a dog. Frankly I’m not entirely sure why I’m even trying to write today in the first place.

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Perhaps as an attempt to take my mind off things.

So in lieu of the History Wednesday post you’ve come to expect, bear with me as I share quick stories of three of the shortest-reigning monarchs of all time.

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Jul 27

Not My Greenest Post

What a difference 434 miles make. Well, maybe. It’s 20 degrees cooler here but I’m still sweating like a stuck pig. Still, every time you walk into a hotel room, it’s obvious you’re not home anymore.

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“A blue state. Definitely a blue state.”

You know what’s really nice about a hotel? The fact you can crank the air conditioner up to full blast and suffer no economic consequences whatsoever! OK, so I’m only an environmentalist most of the time.

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Jul 24

History Wednesday: That Sinking Feeling

Believe it or not, there was a time when using the terms “Sweden” and “aggressive military power” in the same sentence didn’t sound inherently silly.

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The Swedes having long since embraced more civilized ways to irritate the rest of the world.
Image credit: RetroLand U.S.A.

For most of the 17th Century Sweden was one of Europe’s major players. They pulled it off with inspired leadership and military might. They also did it in spite of one of the truly epic fails in all of maritime history.

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Jul 22

Tripe Goes Mainstream

Earlier today, thousands of miles from the Command Center, a baby was born who is doomed to live his life through the lens of TMZ. Sure, one day he’ll be King of England, but that’s a long ways off. Hell, the kid doesn’t even have a name yet and he’s already choking up the tabloids.

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My suggestion of “Ringo Morrissey Lydon Iommi” will likely be ignored.
Image credit: Leo Reynolds

This means I actually have something in common with the mainstream media today: neither one of us have any real news.

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Jul 17

History Wednesday: The Pioneering Dictator

Latin America is well-known for its history of military strongmen, caudillos and other dictators. That may be the most obvious thing I’ve said all day. Yet it had to start somewhere.

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Specifically, here.

Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, also known as “El Supremo,” ruled Paraguay with an iron fist nearly a century before the rise of the so-called “banana republics.” His methods were brutal, and his motivations were often … shall we say, odd.

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Jul 16

You’re On Report!

Last week’s writing primer proved to be very popular. So much so that I’m seriously considering devoting Tuesdays at SB to a writing workshop of sorts. I’m glad y’all enjoyed it.

When I wrote last week I wasn’t thinking about writing as a school assignment. I personally haven’t done anything like that in over 15 years. However according to my search stats that’s what people want to read about. I should have known better.

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It takes a special kind of mutant to do what I do.

This week, I’m happy to oblige.

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Jul 14

Happy Bastille Day!

From all of us as SB (yes, even the cats). Happy Bastille Day!

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Nothing says “party!” like storming a prison.

What the hell is Bastille Day, you ask? Well, 224 years ago today it signaled the beginning of the French Revolution.

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Jul 12

Friday Crap Roundup XXII

It’s a full house in the 2T tonight. Grandma is in Σ’s room tonight, and Σ is in mine. I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to sleep tonight.

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Eh, maybe if I lost 40 pounds.
Image credit: CarolSpears

While I figure it out, might as well finish today’s FCR.

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Jul 10

History Wednesday: French Fried

Ah, the French. Famous for food and wine. Much maligned for military prowess.

Not that it mattered to Orson Welles, apparently on either count.

In terms of the latter, one could argue the French get a bad rap. After all, this is the country directly descended from the Gaul of Vercingetorix and the Frankish Kingdom of Charlemagne. No one would have accused the French of being wusses in 1812. Back then the guy in charge out in Paris was named Napoleon. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.

Still, more recently the French have been the victims of some pretty bad military leadership. That’s probably where the reputation comes from. The following is a prime example.

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Jul 09

Lane Tells You How To Write!

This is SB’s 150th post since its launch in February. Some of you are no doubt asking, “Lane, how the hell did you write 150 original posts in such a short time?”

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“And is it your ‘sesqui-crap-tennial’?”
Image credit: Idaho State Historical Society

Well, it’s worth noting that SB isn’t my first writing gig by a long shot. I’ve been published in several places over the past 20 years or so. I worked as an acquisitions editor for a small publishing house in Philadelphia. While there a few years ago I helped produce a biography called From Bordello to Ballot Box. I think it’s safe to say I know what I’m doing.

So wanna write like me? The following is by no means an exhaustive how-to, but it should get you started.

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