Who Said Pixies Are Rational Creatures?

Location: The Pixie Home Forest

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From Crompton

Harry knows who Crompton is; the rest of you won't. These are photos from a motorbike trip to West Yorkshire. These photos are of the ruined Norman church at Heptonstall. It was in use until near 1850 when it was damanged in a storm. Lovely photos. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Thursday, April 17, 2014

So ... here's the scoop

So … Here’s the scoop. I’m nearly blind in my right eye. This is reversible, they think. I was supposed to go in for surgery evaluation on Monday. The surgeon had some sort of emergency and that’s been pushed off until mid-month next. My vision won’t get worse in that time. I just can’t see well; it’s a strain to read anything. Computer vision is the worst, Night or dim-light vision is the best. So I take back the suspend the blog thing. Just don’t expect much from me because after a few minutes at the computer my eyes hurt.

Apparently the medications I take and hereditary have accelerated eye disease. I have things going on most often associated with old age. I have cataracts on both eyes. At thirty-six this is bad news. The one on my right eye covers the entire lens. The one on my left eye is small. I have degenerative eye disease that connects to my mom’s family. They think they can stop it, even improve things somewhat. After the cataract surgery, when ever that actually takes place, they will do genetic testing. This is important, I’m told, because choice of therapy depends on the result. 

A third issue is that they think I have a torn retina hiding under the cataract on my right eye. They won’t be certain until after the surgery. I’m an unhappy pixie.
Red Eyes

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This blog is temporarily suspended

Slightly better than average ... alas. 5.29

Click to Mix and Solve

Wayward Wind

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amy Goddard!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Mt. Lassen Being Naughty - 1918

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Hymns

We still won and you lost.

Well, I struck a nerve, didn’t I? Let’s start with the BBC. Do you really need me to be that specific? You can find many of the so-called documentaries on youtube. Go look for yourself. Pick an era or area you know well. Do you believe the BBC was accurate? How about the “expose” of child abuse among a well-knows religion – a religion some of you identify with? Or maybe you would hunt up the “documentaries” about the causes of World War I. Or how about viewing those touching on the role of British troops in World War 2? Compare the details with a reputable history of the war. The BBC does not come off well.

Asking me for details is an attempt to derail this thread. And commenting on American networks is the equivalent of saying, "well they do that too, so we're not so bad." No one in their right mind trusts American networks. Do you trust the BBC? Really? Do you really mean to adopt this pattern of reasoning: "Joan committed fornication. I only did it once. She did it seven times. My guilt is mitigated!"
Then there is this:
“Your family arrived in America in 1608? You'd be amazed how many make this sort of claim. It's been said that if all those whose descendants say were on board those pioneering ships were actually on board, the ships would have sunk!” 

Is this supposed to be humor? What it does is substitute passive and indefinite voice for personal responsibility. Who are those who have said this? Why, of course, it’s you. This is your way of being insulting without taking responsibility for the insult. 

Do I really need to post a generation by generation genealogy? I descend from Jamestown settlers through Frances Hudnall. I descend from James Chilton who died at Provincetown Harbor on December 25, 1620, through their daughter Isabella Chilton and her husband Solomon Leonard. To belong to the Mayflower Society one must prove their lineage. It’s a rigorous process. Many of my colonial era ancestors are listed in the DAR Lineage Books. I descend from the Shirleys of Maine, the Waterhouse family of New Jersey, the Abers of Long Island. And, after the Germans started arriving, from the Rockefellers of New Jersey, the Isenbergs of Maryland and Pennsylvania.  

The issue here is sneering insult without personal responsibility for it.  

Am I proud of my “warmongering ancestors”? Yes, I am. Some of them freed this country from the rule of an insane king. Something Americans should thank God for daily. Some of them fought to free slaves. (And a few were on the other side) One of them was America’s first general (in King Philip’s War). Some fought to save your sorry butts in two World Wars. (And in the First World War, a few were on the other side. If German foreign policy had been more adept, the US would have stayed out of that War. It was very unpopular in the US.)

The only “men of peace” in my family are my uncle who sees himself as politically neutral for the sake of God’s Kingdom and a colonial era ancestor who tried to mediate between bellicose British colonists and aboriginal Americans.

The fact is, Brits still revel in the ‘empire.’ Yet, you left broken, dysfunctional governments all over Africa. You failed as a responsible power. The empire is gone. Its only glory was in repine, racism and murder. Glory in that if you must, but know what it is that you find glorious. We won. You lost.

This is the end of this topic. Go lick your wounds.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

We Won. You LOST. Get over it.! Part 3.

We won. You lost. Live with it Part 2

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Schaubach-Kunst: Riding the Goat

We Won. You Lost. Live with It.

On ebay and I can't afford it. sigh.

From O. Reader

The British invasion

No – we are not talking about British successes in the 1814 Battle of Hampden in the American War of Independence, but something far more close to the present. In the sixties British rock groups swamped America with a “new” sound that was dubbed “the British invasion.” It came to my mind as I have just purchased a stack of very cheap CDs of various luminaries of the era. Playing them on the iPod in the car, I have reawakened sounds (not all of them pleasant) that I’ve not heard for nearly 50 years.

Originally British pop music was dire – really dire. Late 50s and very early 60s UK music was nearly all cover versions of American hits, and apart from Radio Luxemburg you didn’t hear many of the originals. It was the place to come for Americans when your career started to dip in the States - so Bill Haley, Charlie Gracie, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Del Shannon – all came over to this cold, damp country. Eddie Cochran even died here, after the taxi taking him to the airport crashed at speed.

Our home grown talent went through a phase of all being Elvis clones. And they had names like Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Dickie Pride, Vince Eager, Duffy Power, Johnny Gentle, Rory Storm, Gerry Tempest – there was a certain inevitability in their stage names... Some ultimately forged good careers, but most were either brief shooting stars or damp squibs. The one I used to like, Adam Faith (who went to school near me) started off as a rocker, but then turned into a Buddy Holly clone – hiccupping, burping and gargling his way through several hits – so I bought his records. I also saw him on stage with imported rocker Gene Vincent on one memorable occasion.

But most Brits just did cover versions.

But then some home grown groups from the big cities burst onto the scene – initially with R&B covers – but then in many cases with their own material. Liverpool produced the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, and from nearby came Bill J Kramer and the Dakotas. Manchester produced Freddie and the Dreamers and Herman’s Hermits, London produced Manfred Mann and The Dave Clark Five. Newcastle spawned The Animals, and so on. I saw nearly all these British groups at the time – all except the Beatles. And that was daft – the Beatles first major tour was as support for Roy Orbison, and as a paid up member of the Orbie fan club I saw him on every visit, apart from this one. I can’t remember why not now.

The main venue locally was a place called Botwell House. I would have kept going each year but I moved away from London. It was actually like an open air festival – just the stage was covered.

At Botwell House, although we had nearly all the British groups and visiting luminaries like American Del Shannon, the star of the show was always a local act called Screaming Lord Sutch and his backing group The Savages.

Sutch would be dressed in a leopard skin, have a toilet seat around his head, and come raving onto the stage with an ax in his hand – lighting a real fire on stage during Great Balls of Fire – something one suspects Health and Safety might frown on today – and generally creating mayhem. He had one minor hit record called “Jack the Ripper” which sort of summed up his persona. His stage act was partly based on that of the American Screaming Jay Hawkins – except that Hawkins could actually sing. Just check out Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” and my all-time-favorite-dumbing-down moment, “Constipation Blues.” But I digress...

Sutch’s later career involved reading pornography from a pirate radio station off the shores of Britain and inventing a political party called The Monster Raving Loony Party. It always stood against the sitting Prime Minister to get maximum news coverage. They actually changed the course of British political history in a strange way. A former home secretary, David Owen, split with his party and founded a new one that held several seats in parliament and was hoping for great things. But when, in a local government election, one of his candidates actually polled less votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party contender, then the writing was really on the wall. But I digress...

Yes, all those names. I used to particularly enjoy Freddie and the Dreamers with their daft stage antics and some nice Buddy Holly covers. I learned from my barber in more recent years that he wasn’t all that nice in person. My barber was in various groups in the 70s when Freddie was reduced to the club circuit (what we call here the “chicken in a basket” circuit), and shared a bill with him on several occasions. Whenever I go for a haircut my barber and I sing old songs together – loudly and badly. I live in that sort of place. But I digress...

And I did enjoy the Searchers. They had a host of hits throughout the 60s. Eventually they split into two rival versions. And one version actually came to my village a few years ago. Yes – MY village! We used to have an annual festival, the T. Festival – until the money ran out. So the Searchers (mark 2) were the headliners. I still have video of them and all my friends and neighbors bopping along like it was still 1965. (To “strange Englishman,” religious person, and foot person, I added another strand to my “resume” in the village that day). They were really good. The local paper trumpeted how our festival was really on the map for headliners like the Searchers (mark 2) to appear. Less kindly souls remarked that this version of the Searchers must have been really down on their luck to be reduced to playing at a venue like T. But I digress.

So – remind me – why am I going down memory lane like this? It has to be buying all those cheapo compilations from Amazon and hearing songs that bring back memories on the iPod in the car.

Hold on a second while I change over to the Rotting Bones – I mean Rolling Stones...

Treasure hunting, dragon boy, and little pink shoes

So, spring break and everyone’s been scattering for most of the day, except me. I’ve been writing my fingers to the bone. … And reading nonsense. I wearied of that. So I called my dad’s wife up (I just can’t call her my mother in law. She’s younger than I am.) and borrowed my baby half-sister. We went shopping and snacking and to the park. It was a fun three hours.

            We stopped at my favorite thrift store for a few minutes. My sister found a doll. It’s very ratty. We’re in love with the ratty doll, or so she told me. I bought her the doll. No feed back from her parents. … yet. And we found some pink shoes we just had to have. They’re new.

            AND I found three books. I found three of the blue-bound Nancy Drew books. One is a later printing. Two are firsts. The Tandy illustrations are all there. No dust jackets, but good find.

            My disobedient printer is out of ink again.

            I’ve lost a quotation and have been turning pages to find it.

            My WP sent me stuff. I posted it on the history blog without asking. He can yell at me later if he wants.

            I wiped most of the messy ice cream off my baby sister’s face before I took her home.

            She runs everywhere. Just watching wears me out.

            Dragon boy brought work home and is working from home tomorrow.

            I have a huge amount of research to do about a West Virginia church from way back in the day.

            ANTHONY IS IGNORING US. I feel slighted.

            Oh, I also found a hand painted Amethyst Glass bowl with four smaller matching bowls. Very nice … especially for three dollars.


            That’s about it. I don’t work tonight. I intend to tie up the dragon boy and have my way with him … or eat ice cream … or both.

Get your own dragon boy. This one is mine!



Monday, March 31, 2014

"A lawbook did no good ..."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Demonic Books and Arthur P. Adams

... or a Pixie's irrationality.

I’ve read and re-read A. P. Adams’ first book (published in 1882). I’ll read it several more times. This is a profoundly disturbing book. As I read it, I find many points of personal agreement, but there are lapses of reason, plausible statements that are insidious. They’re not simple lapses of logic. I meet those all the time. I create my own. Logic flaws are part of the human condition. We should return to teaching logic in middle school.

            This book is wicked. I feel unclean from the touch. There is just one known original copy. As far as I know, we own the only photocopy of it. … This is a book that deserves obscurity. It deserves to die.

            I’ve met other books that repelled me, sometimes by touch. (I’m ‘sounding’ irrational and superstitious, aren’t I?) I walk away from those books and wipe my hands on my skirt. There are demonic books. This is one.

            Adams’ book is part of the story we tell. I’ll deal with my distaste – my revulsion – and tell as much of the book’s story as I need. But I won’t willingly forward a copy to anyone until I cope with my (irrational) feelings.


            I feel silly. Adams’ second book, his pamphlets and his articles do not engender the sense of having touched the unclean.

A Fontanini Ornament - Milking the Goat

From Harry

My (what Anthony refers to his better half as) wife unit caught the intestinal flu bug from the twins. They were sick Monday and Tuesday. Jayne came home Wednesday with a headache and then proceeded to spend the night running to the bathroom.

That left me to babysit the twins on Thursday and Friday while she bundled up under a pile of blankets in her favorite chair and watched home improvement shows and sipped Gateraide to keep hydrated.

Maggie is such an amazing little girl. Now when I come over she immediately starts shouting “Come on Grandpa” and leads me off to show me her dollhouse or some other treasure of hers. She loves dancing, being chased around the sofa, and bouncing on Grandpa’s chest and watching him make faces as she knocks the breath out of his lungs.

We sat and read a counting book titled “Ten Little Caterpillars” the other day. After going through it a few times, I mixed it up by counting to ten in Spanish. I did it twice. When I finished, Maggie got up and started dancing around the room singing “Uno, dos, tres, quatro…”

My grandson Corbin is stealthy. He can be watching Thomas the Tank Engine one moment and the next… OMG. I was in the kitchen preparing a couple of bottles for their afternoon nap. The twins were playing quietly in the den, or so I thought. All of a sudden I heard crying from upstairs. Corbin had gone right past me up the stairs and into the bathroom there. He climbed into the tub and started the water running. When I got up there he was still screaming as he danced in the water.

He didn’t seem scared. In retrospect I think he was screaming because he wanted to be undressed. I took him downstairs and changed him and put on dry clothes. I was so glad to put them down for their nap, and promptly laid down for one of my own. Thankfully I didn’t have to babysit Saturday. I needed to rest. The twins will turn three in two more months.

The Goat in Paris

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I’m reading stuff. Among the books I’m reading is J. M. Barry’s Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul. I wish I’d read this before we declared A Separate Identity (Vol. 1) ready for publication. It gives one insight into the American (and English) Calvinist psyche. We’ll use a quotation (in the next volume) that helps explain Mr. Russell’s youthful agony over salvation and damnation. Barry’s introductory essay is poorly written. The rest of the book is superior. If you decide to read this book, don’t be put off by his introduction. 

I am discontent today. I’m not certain why. I just am. Kat is home, cleaning her room and putting up new pictures. She prowled through my store of framed artwork, picking out some prints she especially liked and a reproduction bicycle poster. My wild child is mellowing in her “advanced age.”

It’s now settled. I’ll teach seven lower grades classes, mostly history. I will have one 4-6 writing class and one early literature class. I will have one middle school literature class and a high-school level writing class.

I’ve read a number of books in the last two weeks, all history books. Some of them are on the boring side, some good. I’m refreshing my understanding of social issues in the late 19th Century. I watched a documentary about the Haymarket riot. It’s on youtube – where else? It’s socialist propaganda and divorced from the truth. Never fully trust a youtube video.  

I’m back. Didn’t know I’d left, did you? I’ve been cleaning house, using the quiet to get chores done. And now I’m taking a break and adding to this post. It’s a pretty day. I have the front door and several windows open. I’m glad not to have to shut out the cold.

I’m working on pileofpapers 3.0 at the moment. (It’s now 12:46 pm) I’m extremely tired. I think I’m giving it all up for the day and taking a long nap.

Monday, March 24, 2014

In exactly average time

Click to Mix and Solve

Pet Dragons, Stamps, the New Book ...

There’s a discussion of our newly released book on one of the controversialist sites. Interesting comments. One person is attached to his pet theory (He doesn’t say what it is, though I probably know.) He won’t buy the book because it might be critical of what others have said. One of our history blog readers mildly scolded him.

I attended a lecture and open discussion of paraphilias this morning. Strange stuff, but interesting. Next lecture is more specific. I’ll attend it too, doing my mouse in the corner act. One of my coffee-group people talked me into going. (She’s a social worker and counselor.) I feel informed … in some areas more informed …

I can see the top of my desk now. I’m still sorting papers though. I need a secretary. I’ve started on Messofpapers 3.0 

I’m very dizzy today, and I have a headache. 

Some stamps I bought came in the mail, including one that’s usually very expensive. I found it in an online shop for very little money. I’m happy to have it; I’ve looked for one I could afford for ages. I have all but one of that set now. The really expensive one is the low value. It usually sells for about three hundred dollars, but sooner or later (probably when I turn 80.) I’ll find an inexpensive one. Two others were from Bavaria. They’re common. And then there was most of a set from Wurttemberg. I needed almost all of these. The start bid was very low. I was the only bidder. They’re now mine. The few “extras” will find a home in one of my world-wide albums.

One of the New Stamps

When all the orphaned papers are filed, I’ll be ready to work on a partially finished chapter that’ll be in volume two. We still need to locate some ‘lost’ items: A magazine entitled Spirit of the Word, another named The Last Trump, personal letters relevant to the period. Things. Hope is dim. But I never totally abandon hope of finding these things.  

I got a letter from my sister today – an actual letter, not an email. Strange, huh? She plastered it with all sorts of stamps. I’m soaking them off as I write this. I may have mentioned that I like collecting stamps. One of its attractions is the thrill of the hunt. The same thrill is probably why I like research projects too. 

I don’t feel well at all … 

I should be in bed.  

I’m not though. I’m waiting for my pet, shape-sifting dragon, sometimes goat boy, to get home. He’s promised to take me shopping for garden stuff. Maybe we’ll hike down the river trail for a mile or so. It might make me feel better if we do that. Dunno. 

Everyone should have a pet shape shifting dragon. I bet your jealous …

Find your own pet dragon. This one is mine.

Saturday, March 22, 2014



Cold toes ...

A post in which I really don't mention cold toes at all ...

I’m still rearranging my stuff. I emptied a box of un-filed papers. It was a big box. It’s now empty and all the little orphan papers have good homes. I’m working on Pileofpapers 2.0.  

Mind you, this is between fixes to an appendix, which are making me see double. So I’m working on that a little, returning to my fix my work space project when my eyes cross. And … my wp changed a footnote again. … Better I think. But it’s his pet footnote so that’s all up to him. 

Next years’ schedule is still in flux. I will have at least eight classes, maybe ten. That means more money, of course. But it’s pushing against my “free” (pretty much a joke) time. 

Last year sometime I found a book page. It’s in Latin. I don’t do well with Latin, but the paper and printing style told me it was old, probably early 1600’s I thought. I finally identified the book. It’s from the 1559 printing of Theologicae Moralis bye Alfonso Maria de Liguori. It has all the fancy red-printed capitals and such. Very nice. I’ll find a new frame for it. 

Well … I started this post yesterday, but more important things distracted me. But I’m back, trying to wake up. A mug of hot, black coffee is near my right hand. The house is quiet. Knobby Knees and Liz and some of KK’s work mates took the boat out. It’s still too cold to be on the river. I declined. Besides, I have more work on the book.  

It seems endless. Fact checking turned up some new information on Jonas Wendell, an Adventist preacher. It resulted in a new sentence and a footnote. Good stuff though. 

My Writing Partner sent me the first few pages of a child’s novel, what is often called a “chapter book.” He’s a stellar writer. The subject matter is a bit surprising, but it reads well. I hope he finishes it.

Pileofpapers 2.0 is now half the size it was. …. This is good. 

I’m about a page from the end of a head-ache inducing series of fixes. We will publish the ebook first. We won’t announce it until we’ve published in both formats. A case-wrapped book is still a possibility. It will be obscenely expensive. But we’ll see.

Lake Champlain. A pixie pet ...

Friday, March 21, 2014

From Harry

My son and his wife were married by the leader of the band, Wagon Wheel, that played frequently at the local Irish pub. The band had its last performance last night and my son posted this on his Facebook page.

SON: Last show. Danielle and I just danced to wagon wheel
FRIEND 1: How sweet! That's the song you danced to at your wedding.
SON: The bands last show
SON: We were joking perhaps the[y will] do a reunion for us if we renew our cows
SON: Vows
FRIEND 2: Cows! Haha!
DAD (me): Cows? How much have you had to drink?
SON: Just had my first round but autocorrect sucks

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Maple Syrup!

Gaggle of Children, Assembly of Pixies ....

So … I’m compulsively reorganizing my work room. I do this when the mood strikes. The mood usually strikes when I’m puzzling through material new to me. But this time I’m trying to think through my next-year’s classes I’m putting on my history teacher cloak next year. I’ll still teach writing, but with fewer classes. We’re strengthening our history program because of test results on students who’ve entered our program in the last year. So … one of my classes is meant to introduce K-1 students (Kindergarten and First Grade) to early American history. I’m thinkin’ that this needs to be a hands on class. Maybe we’ll make candles or sail on the Mayflower or things like that ….

My work room (it now spills over into the family room) is the focus of family life. It wasn’t meant to be. It was supposed to be my quiet work space. That lasted maybe a month. So as the girls grew I’ve found them hiding under my desk, sleeping on my bed. (I keep a bed in there for sick days.), reading my books, or sitting in my nice leather chair eating gooey food for which they are soundly scolded. A stray French fry on my desk is a sure sign someone used my computer. (“It wasn’t me. I think Dad did it.”)

There are days when the entire Pixie Family are somewhere in my room. Annie is working her way through my 1930s and ante fiction shelves. She likes some of the juvenile fiction from the era. (So do I. That’s why I have it.) She thinks some of the books from that era are really poorly written. (They are.) She especially liked Carol Norton’s The Phantom Yacht, a young adult story from 1928. I found the book in a Goodwill Store when I was about her age. It’s from a different era, but I liked the book too.

Having a convention of Pixies assemble in my work room makes writing a challenge. But … I’d never stop them.

Oh, Annie says I should tell you about the Nurse Pinkerton stories. Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote those. I read one to Annie and Kat. They share the book because they both like the stories. Annie is almost done. Kat reads three or four books at a time, so she’s a bit behind.

I’m in serious need of two new bookcases. I can’t afford new ones right now, so I continue to look for used ones in good shape. I haven’t found any yet, but I will.

I have some “off limits to little hands” shelves. These are fragile, antiquarian books. Some of them are truly rare. No one touches those but me or my writing partner. NO ONE. There are books on those shelves that were printed in the 1660s.  There are early editions by Isaac Watts, Isaac Newton, first editions by William Whiston, stuff. Nice stuff. I have S. Clarke’s Attributes as a first printing of the Boyle Lectures. As I said, stuff. Don’t touch it stuff.

I keep interesting trinkets on my book shelves. There is no pattern to that. I just have to like it. Some things are family related. There are some framed medals. (eg. Mecklenburg-Schwerin War Merit Cross.) There is an orange and white donkey figurine, a pewter mug from the Great Western Railroad; a 19th century wooden bowl from India; a framed glass slide from Photo Drama of Creation, and other nonsense. One shelf has decorative pottery from all sorts of cultures and eras. I just have to like it. And I change these things out every so often.

And then there is the art. I like what I like. This gets changed out about every two years. Some things stay. I have a print by an Irish artist that I found in a thrift store in Spokane. I paid seven dollars for it, but auction returns suggest it’s worth about two hundred dollars. It stays. So does a print by an English artist. It’s a limited print litho signed by the artist. I have no idea of value. But it is gorgeous. I found this in a garage sale, paying a quarter for it and 125.00 to have it reframed! Pffttt. The oils from the litho transferred to the original glass, leaving a ghost image on it.

If you’ve seen the photo of my library posted elsewhere on this blog, you have an idea what this room is like. It hasn’t changed much, except there are more books and at the moment it’s messy because I’m trying to rearrange two selves and have books piled on the floor.

In the time it’s taken to write this Annie came and went, leaving a cookie on my desk. Kat came in for help with geometry. Liz came in and gave me a hug and took my cookie. Isabella expressed her distaste for her English teacher. (I don’t like him either, but “like” shouldn’t stop learning.) Knobby Knees will be home soon. He hasn’t felt well for the last two days. I think it’s allergies. We all get them this time of year, and his are bad enough that they mimic the flu. I had his prescription filled. The pills are on the kitchen counter waiting for him.

And how was your day?

Unconfusing Blog Readers

An answer to someone interesed in Arthur Prince Adams but who was confused by a post that mentioned "butt pimples."

Because of health issues, I seldom speak on the phone. The archival material is at Boston College. The archivist is reluctant to help. It requires a personal visit. The archivist at Boston college refused to photocopy the material, but one of those interested in our research made the copies for us when in Boston on Business.

You found my private blog. Our history blog is in the email i sent. I started my personal blog when my novel was published. It's about everything and nothing. Serious work shows up on an invitation only blog, now abeyant while we get our next history book to publication, and on the truthhistory blog.

I am not a fan of many of those who show up in our next book. Some of them were less than stellar personalities. Adams was abrasive. When compared to others of his early associates (Jones, Paton, Barbour) one would find him a better personality. Jones was a fornicator and thief. Paton thought he was God's divine messenger, and, though we don't include it in our book because the evidence is faint, he appears to have seduced a 14 year old. Creepy as heck. Barbour, who thought he was God's prophetic voice for the last days, embezzled money from Russell.

We try to be fair to everyone in the text. I express personal opinions on my private blog that don't show up in the history book. Frankly, my writing partner (who is general editor of this series), usually won't allow that sort of thing.

Adams' personality was one of the reasons his "movement," centered in Beverly, MA, declined in significance. He and Paton remained friends - or more accurately - renewed friendship after Adams adopted Universalism. A third player here was T. H. Tabor, publisher of Manford's magazine. He published articles by L. A. Allen (Might not have heard of her), Paton and Adams and shared their Universialist views. It's an interesting magazine, better in quality than Paton's World's Hope or Adams' Spirit of the Word.

One additional observation: Writing a well written defense of a doctrine we hold dear does not mean the author is an "agreeable" personality. As we (Dr. Schulz and I) write this, we look more for what they said and did than for theological content. Dr. Schulz is a Witness; I am not. We try to tell an accurate story. So we document everything, often quoting directly from those involved. But our personal theologies rarely enter the book, and when they do we tell you we’re expressing an opinion.

I would like to see later issues of his Spirit of the Word. We only have the Finley reprint of the first year.

I don't see any reason for you to abandon Adams as an exponent of any shared views. I can't think of any perfect Christians. Can you? But Adams wasn't a 'saint.' He wrote that those who differed from him were “foolish virgins,” out of the light of truth. He refused to help someone once an associate because of doctrinal difference. He intimidated members of the Avenue Methodist Church. He refused to vacate the parsonage, even though stripped of his Methodist credentials. He was a good writer, even if there are logic flaws in some of his articles. He was well educated. He has a master’s degree in theology. He was an articulate speaker.

I'm probably straying off familiar territory, but Adams' theological background took him to the extremes of allegorical interpretation of the sort used by our Separatists and Puritan ancestors. This set him in contrast to C. T. Russell, with whom he associated for a period. Russell was a Literalist in British Millenarian tradition. (The claim that he was an Adventist is wrong.) So they approached the Bible differently, even during the few years they shared some essential doctrines.

Hope some of this helps.


Monday, March 17, 2014


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hot Rod Lincoln

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Being Naughty in 1915

From Puck, an American "humor" magazine with Anglophile tendencies.
Puck was seldom funny, at least from today's perspective. Rather than being a humor magazine, it was amateurish political satire.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

To answer Harry's Question. ...

Because they're funny ....

They have athletic talents ....

And they can hold an inteligent discussion

However, they are a bit insane

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Kissing the Goat

While that title may have gotten your attention, this really isn't about goat kissing.

            I’m on the miserable side today. Lots of pain, vision problems, that sort of thing. I’ve been in this place before and will be again, but, though I’m no stranger to this, it’s always frustrating.

            I’ve spent my off moments working on the last chapter. We’ve decided (My WP decided) to reference a letter without details. This is not our usual practice. But we point forward to book three in this series. I’m not unhappy with the decision if it raises our reader’s curiosity level. Footnote readers will have a “what the heck is this!” moment.

            So, as it is now, the footnote reads: “The claim appears to have been first made by Horace Hollister within Russell’s lifetime. See: Cryptology of the Kingdom, St. Paul Enterprise, 1914, page 70. More recently it was made by a Watch Tower writer in God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years has Approached.  Hollister testifies only to what he saw in print or heard. In point of fact, Russell makes the claim in a 1909 letter to E. C. Henninges which was subsequently published.” Note that we don’t say where or by whom it was published.

            In addition to increasing curiosity, we avoid a discussion of events best confined to book three of this series. Can you see me sticking my little pink tongue out?

            The stamps I mentioned in an earlier post arrived yesterday. It’s a hugely better lot of stamps than I expected. In addition to the one rareish stamp, there are other varieties not clearly seen in the auction photo. I also found that I had misidentified about six stamps I already owned. This was a pleasant surprise. I’ll rework the album pages on Monday.

            Knobby Knees is off to Sacramento. This was short notice, and we don’t know how long he will be there. He thinks he’ll be back on Tuesday. So I’m deprived of man-snuggles. Alas.

            My mom in law gave me one of their old family photo albums. There’s a really cute photo of KK as a toddler. I’d have liked a little boy in addition to my flock of girls. But unless we adopt again (won’t happen) or shock of shocks I end up pregnant, that’s not happening.

I should stop buying books for a while. I have a large pile of unread books. I need to catch up before I buy more. I’m out of shelf space too, so I either need a new book case or I need to prune out books I no longer need or want and sell or donate them.

We had a huge behavior problem erupt at our school. Two students are on “contracts.” That’s the next step from loss of privilege and two steps from suspension. Several others had conferences and letters home. This is unusual for our school. This year has seen all sorts of craziness.

I saw my once upon a time roommate from my days at WSU. I like her. We get along. But she’s amoral. (Some of you might call her “immoral,” but there is a clear distinction between the two.) Edgy is a good word here. She doesn’t consistently reason to consequences. By one’s late thirties, one should have acquired that skill, no?

Well, I’m not going into details. This is a mostly PG blog. But she left me feeling as if I’d just seen a train wreck: Fascinated, but repulsed by her most recent life experiences. I gave up trying to reason with her years ago.

Back to books: My current reading has two themes. I’m off into medieval religion and I’m reading books about late 19th and early 20th Century history. The first is to cure an itching curiosity and the last is for context for volume 2 of the book we’re writing.

Okay … I’m off to bed now. If I don’t sleep off the misery, I won’t be able to work tonight.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Sisters


Some east coast university made a list of America’s least literate cities. I think the criteria may be skewed, and you should note that the study was done by a Connecticut university, right in the middle of New England. New England is snobbish and nearly totally culturally illiterate. So this is the pot calling the kettle black. But … there were no surprises on the list. The listed cities were in Texas and California.

“Politically correct” as always, there was no mention of the real reason for this. But if you insert the phrase “illiterate and illegal Mexican immigrants,” you have the reason. They come here with a 13th Century mentality. The children they birth here do not want, nor do they accept, American behavior norms. They’re the Gypsies of N. America, the Travelers of the USA.

Of course, in the current culture, it’s not popular to say any of this. Americans handled immigration issues far better in the 1830-60 period and in the 1920s and 1930s. History books, especially textbooks, mischaracterize American “nativism.” I it had its extremes, but at least issues of impoverished, illiterate, and illegal immigration were forthrightly confronted.

Most American politicians do not wish to be seen as ruthless, so they pretend that we should welcome a flood of illiterate barbarians. This is stupid. America has always been ruthless. It only appears benign. America is the ever-sleeping giant and woe to he who wakes it. It is the dragon in the guise of a lamb. And that is how it should be. Send their sorry butts home and deprive their children of birth-right citizenship. Send them home too.


I’m waiting impatiently for some stamps I purchased on ebay. They were sold as a lot on pages, and most of them are really common things I already have. But there is a single greenish stamp in that lot. If it is properly identified, it’s very expensive (in terms of my hobby budget). If it’s not properly identified, there is no real loss. The lot was very cheap – about three dollars. The difference between this and an identically appearing stamp is in the watermark. The “normal” stamp has a watermark of networked lines. The one I need has a watermark of repeating quatrefoils.

Two stamps were issued with that watermark. I have the more expensive of the two, purchased when I was in my twenties with a junk album of German Stamps. Pre-children, I spent more on my hobby than I do now. Finding this album in a ratty coin store, I talked the manager down to $40.00 for three albums. And there … was this stamp. Nice huh?


I’m working through the last chapter one more time. I hope it’s the last time. One never knows. I re-read the other chapters yesterday and found a whole list of “owies” we missed previously. Some were sentences that lack clarity; some were spelling or grammar problems. In time one becomes blind to their own text. But, after resting from it, I returned and spotted things we missed.  

I hate our local hospitals.

I have an appointment next week with a doctor new to me. I probably wont like her either. Just sayin’ ,,, I’m really “off” doctors at this point. 

Knobby Knees says I need a couple nights in a nice hotel sans children (ours or anyone else’s), a prolonged snuggle and some unabashedly rich food. I told my boss that, and he said I could have any room I wanted for three days and comped me all meals. This is his apology for being rude earlier. I’m thinkin’ sometime next week … I’ll bring my warm, feeted jammies. They come off easily enough. And I’ll bring my swimsuit. This may be a tue currling moment.

My favorite cousin called early this morning. (Most of my relatives have no sense of time differences), and we talked almost two hours. She may come visit in August. That would be fun.

So … how was your day?





Tuesday, March 04, 2014

You will find things you will probably reject, but

this lecture is worth listening to:

Monday, March 03, 2014

Am I boring you?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Amy Fans! From O. Reader.

A recent launch

Folk music is a funny old business. How do you define it? Perhaps the best definition, because it is suitably vague – it is music sung and played by “folk.” It encompasses former Heavy Metal Bands doing their stuff in acoustic fashion, to grizzled old men singing about some 18th century agricultural aberration with a finger stuck in one ear. The finger in the ear routine is apparently used by British folksingers to aid with concentration and help sing harmony. Meantime, the audience sits with fingers stuck in both ears, waiting for welcome relief when the bar opens.

Which brings me to a recent concert I attended featuring someone who has written on this blog in the past, Amy Goddard. Amy hails from Wales, but now lives in Hampshire, and I have actually known her mother for some years. Hearing about the show and having had experience of folk clubs and concerts, and also having family in that part of the world, Mr and Mrs Occasional decided to make a visit and see the show. (You see, the pixie blog brings people together). Fortunately we had early tickets, because the show was sold out.

One of the biggest problems in attending a show that is sold out is that it takes you forever to get to the bar. Once you get to the bar it is almost impossible to get away from the bar, without having your drinks all slopped down your sleeve, or over the back of some strange woman’s kaftan. She is not well pleased, and neither is her male companion, a portly gentleman with a bald head and sporting a ponytail as compensation. And folk music (well, 60s folk music) was all supposed to be about peace and love as well...

The show very nearly didn’t happen. There was a massive power cut in the area, wiping out the electricity for miles around. So the lights all went out, leaving only emergency lighting by exits, and no sound, no nothing. I heard tales of people dashing out to buy lanterns to light up the corridors so that people could visit what Americans quaintly call “rest rooms” without injury and falling foul of Health and Safety. The sound engineer dashed off home to collect a generator. According to the musician who went with him, he couldn’t find the key to the padlock to retrieve the equipment, so had to use bolt cutters to get in. Then the sound man slipped over in the mud and wrecked his trousers and cut his hand. It was a bit like a Laurel and Hardy film. Struggling back about half an before curtain up with a generator in tow, suddenly the lights all came back on again. While various ones were doing a headless chicken routine, the star of the show remained remarkably calm, and was all set for a cosy candle-lit acoustic evening if necessary.

The show was to launch Amy’s first solo CD, entitled “Burn and Glow” and released on the Incantus Media label. With various guest singers to open each half, including a local choir, she then did two slots to cover all the songs on the album. After the last song – suitably called “One More Song” there was a huge cry of encore – so the “company” all sang “The Goodnight Song." Any closet folkies here will know of the folk super-group Blue Murder who recorded it a decade or two back. For the rest of you – well, at the end of an evening, suitably mellow and well watered, it’s a sort of folk anthem – we’re wandering off but we’ll meet again further down the road, sort of thing – perhaps with mobile phones doing the “lighters in the sky” routine.  It was a fitting conclusion. Ne’er a dry eye in the house.

The show was very well presented and well sung I have to say. Ms Goddard comes over as a perfectionist, and had organized the event down to the last detail. She reportedly provided the backdrop, rehearsed the acts, hired professional sound people, a local radio DJ as compère, and made them all work!

The audience were a mixture of people from the folk music world, a few who had perhaps heard her on local radio, probably some of her students because in the real world I’m told she is a music teacher, plus some members of a religious group to which she belongs (which is a connection I share), although her material was strictly secular.

No doubt some of this material will end up on YouTube in due course.

She wrote a post on this blog a little while back on what she called lyrical detachment. In song writing you don’t have to write directly about your own feelings and happenings – you can write in a vague way that hints at things, and then the audience may apply the songs however they wish to their own lives. Her CD includes a song about bullying in schools (Susie), a song about Betrayal (Web of Lies), and a song warning about the dangers of the demon drink (Taking the Edge off the Day). I thought I might suggest that, rather than call her CD “Burn and Glow” perhaps “Bullied, Betrayed and Blotto” would fit better. But then I thought better of it.

Two songs stood out for me. “I Will See” combined a mass of imagery to ultimately give the message that, while we might improve in areas, we should all understand ourselves, and learn to be content with ourselves. And the other “Don’t Try” was a serious song written for a mental health charity sponsored by people like Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax – which is all about depression. The message? Don’t be judgmental. And if you are a sufferer, then hang in there, because it will lift and get better. The charity is called The Black Dog Tribe, and adding to the crush at the concert was a table selling Black Dog toys galore – all proceeds to the charity.

Will other people like it? Amy told me she would like others to sing her songs, and one song has already been recorded by another singer. Musical taste is such an individual thing. I liked her stuff because, in spite of the joke in the first paragraph, I have a lifetime of enjoying folk music. Whether blog readers here would like it, all I can suggest is that they have a quick look at her website – http://www.amygoddardmusic.co.uk/  They can hear samples of some of her songs and see her in action and decide for themselves.

Now, for a sequel, perhaps Occasional could organize a concert for HIS singing. And really shock the world...

Friday, February 28, 2014

A post wherein a pixie finds treasure ....

So my writing partner and wife drove down. He had an appointment at the largish medical center. Aunt Shirley and I went Shoppin’!

I found a small egg shell white pitcher marked “W. Germany.” It’s lovely. And 99 cents wasn’t too much. I also found some imported greenware. This stuff was made in the 1940 and 1950s. It was very inexpensive. The piece I found is marked with a Chinese character. I have no further information, but it’s pretty. Another 99 cents.

Then there were the books. Maybe I’ve mentioned that I like books? I found these: 

J. E. Cambliss: The Life and Labors of David Livingstone, 1876. A ratty first edition. The covers are loose; the corners are worn to the boards; the map is torn. But I’m happy to have it. This copy belonged to E. A. Sherman, founder of the Sherman Marine Circulating Library in Alaska. It is signed by him. Not bad for two dollars.

A. P Herbert: The Water Gipsies, First Grosset, 1930. Not special, just fun.

Isak Dinesen: Seven Gothic Tales, 1934. Unread; flawless dust jacket. Nice. 

Last of all and most significant:

C. T. Russell: L’Aurore du Millenium, Volume I. Le Plan des Ages, Lausanne, Imprimerie Fritz Ruedi, Maupas, 1904 printing. I only know of one earlier edition in French. Very nice. Very for sale.

This is in Block Letter format; Lamp on Book; silvered titles. Only copy I can find is priced at over six hundred dollars. Make me an offer. …

So I had fun. B and wife returned home. I’m supposed to be sleeping, but I’m not. I hurt. I’m woozie, but I had fun. Hope you had a nice day too.

A pixie and her books ...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My pet Scot can make me curle my toes ...

Just an observation on life ...


Some people can't draw goats, but I like this one anyway,
I see a bit of myself in this one. Comfortable with my goat, reading in the hot sun.

I think I'm related to the Gruff brothers some way. Might be inlaws or cousins. I call on them when I meet trolls.

Dinner out.

While we're doing streams and such ...

Sha'el's forest today ....

From Harry

The Missing Pixie – Part 2

(or the extremes I go to to write a story)

So… to recap the story up to this point. Our protagonist, Wilber, has received a call from Miss Beulah. She needs his help searching for Katra‘lea, a pixie who had saved his life months before. He is currently driving up into the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains to Miss Beulah’s store to begin the search.

This past Sunday morning I had the opportunity to research the locale of my story. My son came downstairs and said, "Hey, Dad. You wanna go camping up on Ramsey’s Draft with me today?"

I looked over at my wife who was giving me that "Are-you-crazy-you’re-65-overweight-and-out-of-shape" look.

I ignored her and said, "Sure, why not?"

Within an hour I had thrown together my emergency carry bag of gear and added a good field knife, extra socks, my evening and next morning’s medications, and an extra layer of clothes. Harry Lee had his backpack and added an extra cook pot, along with a hammock and sleeping gear for me.

My wife fixated on us taking extra bottles of water even though we already had 3 liters between us and my son assured her that the water of the creek was clear and pure.

We were on the road before noon and stopped in the city of Staunton to buy some food and grabbed lunch before turning on US Route 250 west.

Ramsey’s Draft (another word for creek) is a beautiful mountain stream that flows into the Calf Pasture River and eventually into the James River. Recent snow and rain meant it was both icy cold and fast moving. Later in the year trout will be plentiful as will the fishermen trying to catch them, but right now the fry in the stream are only a couple of inches long.

My son chose a campsite within a couple dozen yards from the parking lot. Before setting up camp he and I took a short hike upstream. We didn’t go far, maybe a half-mile at most and he allowed me to rest several times. He had promised his mother her would not kill me with undo exercise. It was tricky at times for this old man with two bad knees. I got him to make me a walking stick to help me balance over the rough, rocky terrain, not to mention soft muddy parts of the trail.

The campsite had a well-prepared fire circle made of native stone. Harry Lee started collecting branches and brush and I began breaking up sticks for kindling. I tried using my bush crafting skills to build and light the fire using a fire rod and knife to make sparks. I didn’t have much success and Harry Lee used an inexpensive butane lighter to get it going. We cooked beans and rice (me) and shells and cheese (my son) for supper, eating fairly early while we still had light.

Although the sun had dropped down over the nearest ridge, the sky was still bright. The air, which had been in the upper 40s (Fahrenheit, about 7-8 C), was quickly dropping closer to freezing. We got our sleeping arrangements made. My son rigged a hammock for me. He was going to sleep by the fire. By 7 o’clock we were ready for bed. I was toasty warm in the hammock with a sleeping bag over me as a blanket. Harry Lee was using a ground tarp, a blanket and a bivy bag that was advertised to reflect 90% of your body heat back to you. He found that he was still cold every time the fire died down. After about an hour he slung another hammock for himself and went to sleep.

I have sleep apnea, which doesn’t stop me from sleeping, but makes a sound sleep difficult. I’ve never fallen asleep easily. I tossed down an ounce of rum and hoped for the best. The hammock was a new experience too. It was comfortable up to a point. The point being that I sleep best on my side and it was impossible to turn on my side. I stared at the stars for a while. Orion, the hunter was prominent in the evening sky. I covered my head with the sleeping bag to keep warm. When I looked out again there were clouds moving in from the West.

Around 10 PM I stuck my head out of the covers once more and felt something falling on my face. Shining a flashlight in the air I discovered that I had begun to snow. I called out to my son, who by now was snoring. I couldn’t wake him. Twenty minutes later I heard him moving around and called out again. Now the snow was beginning to mix with rain. After a quick discussion we decided to pack it up and head home. We collected our gear and stuffed it in the back of the car. Harry Lee and I poured water on the coals of the fire and stirred it dead before leaving. We stopped in Staunton for coffee and breakfast around midnight and then hit the interstate. Two hours later we were home and warm in our own beds. Our adventure was over, but I am looking forward to our next trip, maybe when it is warmer.

Note: If you want to see YouTube video I made using my cell phone, the link is



I'm on a new medication now, and I feel better than I have in months. That may not be saying much, but any improvement is welcome. Strange how what I thought was misery months ago is now welcome relief.

The downside is that it does bad things to my umm digestive tract. Fortunately, there's a bathroom near my workroom-library space. That's supposed to go away after a day or so. I hope so. [The 'tummy trouble,' not the bathroom.]

I've lost a little weight again, peeving my doctor. It means that I drink lots of milkshakes and such until I gain five pounds. ("You don't have any weight to lose," doctor said.) Oh ... and apple fritters. I like them, Knobby Knees bought a sack full and plopped them on my desk. I'm suffering from fritter overload at the moment. I'm saying this lightly, but in fact I don't feel like eating at all. I'd rather not eat.

I spent a lot of time, several hours, turning pages in my "sources" binders looking for points we omitted that we may wish to include in volume one. I haven't found much. So far, all I've found is a place where we need to add a sentence or footnote for clarity. We quote one of the major characters self-description of a fall on a slippery, iron sidewalk door. He connected the fall to Scripture. We failed to explain that this fell into the pattern of American Calvinist thought. Scholars call this the Type-Antitype approach. Some of my readers know in a limited fashion what that is. Puritans and Calvinistic Separatists took that concept beyond the covers of the Bible, and saw Bible verses as finding fulfilment in daily life.

The Bible's concept of type and antitype, as used by Paul, is that Old Testament scripture sometimes foreshadowed later events. Paul used this process to suggest that Sarah and Hagar represented two covenants. The anonymous writer of Hebrews (Some think that's Paul.) uses the type-antitype method of exegesis to state that the Law of Moses forshadowed the Christian polity and the method of salvation.

American Calvnists went beyond that.Deborah Madsen tags this as "spiritual interrogation of events." [See her American Exceptionalism.] She quotes the well known passage from Governor Winthrop's Journal:

"At Watertown there was (in the view of divers witnesses), a great combat between a mouse and a snake; and, after a long fight, the mouse prevailed and killed the snake. The pastor of Boston, Mr. Wilson, a very sincere, holy man, hearing of it, gave this interpretation: That the snake was the devil; the mouse was a poor contemptible people, which God had brought hither, which should overcome Satan here, and disposes him of his kingdom. Upon the same occasion, he told the governor, that, before he was resolved to come to this country, he dreamed he was here, and that he saw a church arise out of the earth, which grew up and became a marvelous goodly church."

Russell's interpretation of dreams and daily events in the light of scripture comes from this herritage.

We should have included that point. We will in some fashion.

I have a huge pile of dishes to rinse and stuff in the dishwasher. Dau. 2 was supposed to do that this morning, but she overslept and didn't. I'll tackle that in a moment. I'm not able to work on editorial fixes this morning. I have a huge pile of school related "things" to attack first. I may post more later.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Did you notice what I wrote about Mr. Colorado Springs?

He's back, trying to make a point but failing:

He runs this blog: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/

He purports to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. He was once a blog editor on our public history blog, but he resigned in a fit of temper. He abuses copyright law. A vist to his blog will show  you material copyrighted by others that he uses without permission. Notable is the illustration of N. H. Barbour stolen from someone he considers to be an apostate. The illustration was made for a book. So this man feels entitled to the work of others.

He returns to this blog on a regular basis even though he was asked not to. So, tell me: What kind of man has his religion produced? Some of you who read this blog share that religion. Do you see him as representing you? Really?

I see him as representing you. He says he's one of you. I belive him. I've met his kind among you before. His behavior is not a surprise. It's typical. Oh, there are exceptions among you. I know there are. My writing partner is an example of a truly good man of your faith. I can think of others. But this troll represents you. He is your religion, what it produces. ....

I should add that he visits web pages his church would counsel him for if they knew. So we can add hypocrite to his many accomplishments. I wonder what his elders would say if they knew fully what he does. Maybe I should find out. ... Corey, nothing is hidden on the internet. I know what websites you visit;  I know your full name; I know your profession; I have your photo; I know details of your military service, education, your address and phone number. I know what congregations you may associate with; I have their address and phone numbers. It's time you stop harassing me and stay off my blog and our history blog.

I know you tired to log into the private blog. I have details you probably do not know exist on the internet. Be a nice boy and stay away ... forever.

Germanic Ancestry in the United States

Pink Sleeping Bags and the Death of Personal Responsibility.

I don’t feel well and may not get much serious writing done today. I have another doctor’s appointment for tomorrow. Knobby Knees is taking a half-day from work to go with me.

I’m getting lots of blog hits on older posts. There is no identifiable trend, and visitors don’t stay long or comment often. I like blog comments. But I guess I’m just too boring.

While I’m waiting on an email from my writing partner, there isn’t much for me to do but read through our manuscript again. We keep making changes, most of them small edits for clarity. Though small, I think they’ve really improved our book.

My scold produced a few emails. If you have to ask if I meant you, I probably didn’t. I believe those for whom my scold was meant will know without doubt that I meant them. Mr. Colorado-man read it and then came back three times. There is nothing worse than an old man who thinks he’s entitled simply because he’s male. Setting up a block on my blog is more work than it’s worth.

He is what he is. [Insert denigrating word or phrase here.] I didn’t expect that he was honorable enough to stop visiting my blog. He has no honor, only pride.

Annie was up when I got home at 1:45. I found her sitting in the kitchen eating a scoup of green ice cream. We have a “no sweets after eight pm” rule, but a mild scold was followed by me joining her in a small bowl of the green stuff.

Oh … and her reasoning was … well, but it’s a new day so the rule expired at midnight. … Didn’t it?

Just this one time.

My baby half sister called me at seven am. It went a bit like this:


“Sisi, dat you?”

“Yes, dear. It’s way early.”

“Momma’s sleepin’ …”

“So you called me?”

“Yes ….”

“I was sleeping too.”


“Was there something you wanted?”

“I want to make a tent in your house with Liz and Annie.”

“You mean you want to spend the night?”

“Ummm humm”

“When your mother wakes up, tell her I said it’s okay with me if it’s okay with her.”

[loud, excited scream. Followed by a new voice on the phone.]


“Hi. … “

“Rachael? Did she wake you? I’m so sorry.”


So I explained what baby sister wanted. She’ll show up about 2 pm with her pink bunny sleeping bag, pillow and ratty doll. We’ll have her until tomorrow just before I go off to teach my classes. She makes me laugh and she reminds me of me. Except where I have dark blue eyes and blond hair, she has very black hair and deep brown eyes she got from her mother. But the approach to life is the same, and, despite her darker complexion, we look much alike in the face. Buddies for life …

I’ve listened to the same piece of music about five times this morning, trying to figure out why it appeals to me. It’s a mystery. I just like it.

Last week my “women of mystery” conversationalists group (I posted about them before, and we have no name for our group) met at the larger of the Starbucks for coffee and gossip. We discussed in general terms (Federal and state law prevents me from being specific) childhood sexuality. This topic has been on my mind for at least a month. The immediate cause is an eleven year old girl, one of my students. I’ve passed on my concerns to her counselor.

She isn’t sexually active as far as I know. I hope she isn’t. But she has seductive mannerisms. This can be totally innocent, but it can also be a sign of something darker. Other teachers are aware of it. So, without explaining the details to my group, we’ve discussed the issues in general terms. A few of them (the usual suspects) volunteered personal experiences. Some were disturbing. One of them admitted to taking fifty dollars from a friend’s brother to perform a sex act. She was about twelve. As I understood the story, he was in his early twenties.

I couldn’t tell if it was a life-issue for her or not. She told the story so matter-of-factly (note the hyphens) that I couldn’t tell, and I didn’t want to end the conversational flow. I’m still churning this over in my mind.

I find the issue confusing. We’re given minimal training and told to rely on the counselors. It is a relief to pass this concern off to others. Once upon a time, I attended a seminar on this issue for continuing education credit. It was entirely unhelpful.

My impression – as a lay person – is that almost everything written about this issue is broken, full of myth and unfounded opinion.

I’m not particularly a political person. I don’t volunteer for political campaigns, nor do I support any particular party. My best political statement was made when I was a child. My father, a Republican, invited the then governor of our state to dinner. He was a Democrat. I managed to throw up all over him. … I was kinda an equal opportunity barfer at that age.

I fear, however, that the country I love is dying, murdered by people who do not love her liberties, her obligations, or the sense of personal responsibility upon which she was founded. I fear that liberty and individual responsibility have gone missing. America was at its best when it was antagonistic to all things European. America has always had its Anglophiles and Francophiles. After the great German immigration of the 1840-1910 period there were many German-American clubs, some of which helped German speakers adopt their new country and some frankly seditious. (It’s not popular politics to point this out today.)

Most immigrants adopted the concepts of personal responsibility and freedom that Americans claim to cherish. This is no longer true. It’s no longer true because across the political spectrum politicians cater to a desire for dependence fostered by some immigrant communities. They want their votes.

This conflict is not new. In the early 19th Century American nativist movements sprang up, rejecting Catholic immigrants as harmful to America. Though they went to extremes, there was fact behind their concerns. Most 19th Century popes were antagonistic and wanted the United States to resemble the benighted Papal States. The religion I research said much about Catholic conspiracies against American liberty. Today some writers see that as extreme and improbable. I would suggest that they drag out the microfilm roles of any of the Catholic Tablet papers from the period and just read them.

Nativism rejected immigration and sought to curb it. Probably in the background of most American families is an immigration story that connects to this history. Despite this minority Nativist force, most immigrant populations became American in spirit. The Civil War saw a strong contingent of Irish, German, and Central European soldiers, often volunteers, sometimes under an ethnic banner. [You may want to research the Irish brigades.]

During World War I people with German last names were persecuted, lost their jobs, beaten. This was not universal, but significant. At the same time, a significant number of American soldiers were people of German or Austrian descent. By this era Germans were becoming the second largest ethnic group in the United States. They are now the majority in this country and dominate the more conservative states.

This rambling history has a point. The current crop of immigrants hate this country. They seek its benefits without assuming its responsibilities. They’re catered to, pampered, accommodated in ways that our ancestors of only 100 years ago would have found repugnant. The current crop of politicians make the Tamany machine look benign.

My country is dying. The contrary forces we defeated in the past have won. The religion I research suggests that God will destroy human governments, replacing them with the rule of his Son. It will take something very like that to make things right. Men have no interest in rightness.

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