Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Pixies live where they do ... part ... umm i lost track

The Goat, the sword and old men

Okay, so I don't mention a sword in this post, other than in this sentence.

My writing partner sent me some of his “this is not history” project. It’s very good, I think. And not at all like him to write on the subject. The old guy still has surprises.

            We got a bit of fan mail this morning. I’ll post it on the history blog this afternoon. It’s a very nicely said assessment of A Separate Identity.

            Someone emailed me saying they couldn’t find the book on They were misspelling Separate. I sympathize.  

            I mentioned my new male goat some posts back. He still skips and jumps when he sees me. I feel like the maiden with the unicorn. I sat on a hay bale and said goat used my lap for a pillow. He’s funny. At least someone likes me!

            I still can’t see well, of course. It makes me very nervous and unhappy.

            Ton, who visits this blog and most of you will know from the history blog, sent me “stuff.” Good stuff.

            My next total day off (No school, no nuthin’ else) I’m driving out to a Native American camp site. I’m planning a field trip for my little kids’ history classes next year. I will walk the area, assessing it for a field trip. It’s the nearest and most probable of destinations. If that doesn’t work out, there are two smallish museums nearby with an Aboriginal American focus.

            I decided I don’t like who ever answers questions at the UK embassy in Washington, D. C. Not at all helpful.

            I’m out of coffee. I shall return shortly …


            Okay, I’m back.

            Roberto made our book video. When I get comments, they all praise the video. Super job. Thanks!

            One of my mom’s cousins died last month. I wasn’t at all close to him, so I don’t know why it upset me. But it did.


            Back to Uncle B’s new project. … I want to read more. He left me on a flight to Detroit with a mystery sallow, gaunt man sitting across the aisle, a man from India in the next seat and a cryptic note to me about short, chubby people in the terminal. …

            I have absolutely no permission to post any of it … but the last two paragraphs of chapter one:


I opened my eyes. Gaunt Man returned my earlier curiosity. He was staring at me. He nodded. A vague smile crossed his face. I returned a child-like, small wave and a silly grin, and, for the life of me, I did not know why. We both eased into our seats.

Know that push when your plane accelerates and lifts into the sky? I always tense to that, but when we leveled off I found that dark, glassy lake hidden inside my mind and floated on it. I slept well. And long.


B (my Writing Partner) has me off in Indiana (figuratively) trying to trace down the details of a preaching tour from 1880. I have found exactly nothing. Mr. (I don’t like him much) J. H. Paton left no record. After my class today, I’ll re-read some old magazines looking for clues. I don’t expect much from that. But if I don’t look I won’t find anything. Did that make sense?

I don’t write about Isabella (Dau. 3) much. She and Liz are four months apart. If that’s confusing, you haven’t been reading this blog very carefully. Isabella is far-seeing. She sees to consequences with more ease than my other children. Sometimes this leaves her distressed, and, if her sisters are involved, she can turn bossy. It’s taken a long time for Isabella and Annie to craft a working relationship. Annie is impulsive. (So is Kat but in different ways.) Annie is intuitive. Isabella is analytical. They often reach the same conclusions though by different paths. I’m pleased with their current relationship.


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!

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

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.

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!