Slowly but surely, stuff is getting done; the Daughter Unit and I forswore the gym this morning in favor of a very brisk two-mile walk through the neighborhood with the dogs. I finally finished a post on a WWII novel which had been lingering in the ‘half-finished’ queue for weeks. Made the call to activate the new ATM card, and – this was the biggie – filed the state sales tax form and sent in payment. This was made a bit easier for me for having worked out a long spread sheet with the formulas for calculating what was due in each category – which as my sales were pretty minimal last year resulted in some amounts due to various small entities which were in pennies. So, had to round up to a dollar on the state web-pay page, in most cases – but the grand total owed still came out to about what it should have been according to my own calculations, so that’s all square and taken care of. As far as other tax materiel – have to wait for the various W-2s to come floating in to put the tidy package all together for the nice CPA who has looked after my tax stuff since we settled in San Antonio.

Read a couple of chapters of William Howard Russell’s My Diary North and South – he was the big international correspondent for the Times of London newspaper; a convivial and unrepentant Irishman, often considered the first war correspondent, having made his fame for reporting on interesting developments in the Crimean War. He was sufficiently famous after that to have had many doors open to him and spent the opening months of the American Civil War on a prolonged jaunt through the border states and the south. During a short visit to Washington DC he hobnobbed with many important personalities in the new Republican administration – including a visit to the White House and a meeting with Abraham Lincoln, who was derisively called “the Railsplitter” by many snobbish Northerners which Russell encountered early on. Russell also noted that Lincoln deployed humorous anecdotes as a way of lubricating potentially awkward social encounters … well, I am looking for the low-down on public mood, going into the early months of that war, and Russell looks like a wonderful source for channeling contemporary feelings and observations.

Fiddled around with the Luna City website, added a page for the two compendium volumes, and a PayPal order button after generating the ‘button’ for it, something which I ought to have done weeks and weeks ago. Honestly, I tend to forget about the Luna City website; it’s kind of a static website, not an active blog so much as my book blog/website is.

I fiddled with installing a new doorknob to one of the bedrooms – hoping that this would fix an ongoing problem with the latch not settling properly. Nope; I think this problem won’t be solved until I get around to replacing all the original interior doors in the house. The existing doors are all that cheap contractor-grade hollow core doors … (pauses for a moment to look up the solid wood slab doors at the local Big Box … oh, nice – $125 or so.) replacing the doors will come, possibly later this year. The big project will be replacing the exterior garage door – and maybe we can get a start on that this week, when I can make a down payment on it to the contractor.

And that’s the Monday at Chez Hayes…

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    Abraham Lincoln, who was derisively called “the Railsplitter” by many snobbish Northerners…

    Maybe some snobs used that derisively, but Lincoln as Railsplitter was a major Republican campaigin theme.

    Cincinnati published a Republican campaign newspaper called The Railsplitter.

    The Pennsylvanians who had thrown the nomination to Lincoln heard there was a fence in downstate Decatur made of Lincoln-split rails. They telegraphed an offer to buy the entire fence, intending to “build rail pens … in every school yard in Pennsylvania”. Other groups made similar offers, and Decatur did a brisk business till the supply of rails ran out.

    The big Republican campaign parade in Springfield included a float or wagon carrying a log cabin with a railspliter at work in front, and another (drawn by 23 yoke of oxen) “with a whole gang of railspitters at work”.

    The existing doors are all that cheap contractor-grade hollow core doors … (pauses for a moment to look up the solid wood slab doors at the local Big Box … oh, nice – $125 or so.)

    If they fit. My little co-op building replaced its inside front door. We thought it would be jsts a few hundred $ for the door, plus a few hours work to install it. The frame was a non-standard size (most are, apparently), so we had to have a custom door. The project cost over $2,000 in the end.

    Cheops’ Law strikes again!