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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Skating Away


I quote one of my favorite Tull songs, "Skating away on the thin ice of a new day." I find this phrase, which could also make a clever Haiku, quiet appropriate as I look out my home office window and see the once ice covered lake showing thin layers and cracks, like vericose veins on Mother Earth's legs.


2010 is winding down as 2011 is winding up...which begs to ask the question...are you winding down...or are you winding up? Either way, you must skat away on the thin ice of a new day. Are you content to fall through and drown in whatever excuses you manufacture for your current condition....or are you "balls to the wall" as you manuever expertly through the cracks and thin layers of life, excited to take on yet another challenge?

The song goes on, "one day you'll wake up in the Present Day ---a million generations removed from expectations of being who you really want to be."


Lace those skates up and conquer the new day as you become who you really want to be!
Sir Hook the Skating Guru of Warrick

Thursday, December 23, 2010

414

This morning found me waking up earlier than usual. After a few tosses on my side of the bed I decided to get up and look to see what time it is...4:14am.

Sometimes I like to have fun with numbers, especially with time. Whenever you become aware of time and it is, let's say, 5:55, I call that Trinity Time. It's a special time when my awareness of time and awareness of self meld and I receive divine inspiration. This morning, I decided to look up what happened during the year 414 A.D.

414, know in the Roman world as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Constans, was basically an uneventful year, at least according to history. The one thing that stuck out to me was religious in nature, and also demonstrated that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


In the year 414, a Christian Bishop, Abdas of Susa, in what is now the country of Iran is blamed for the burning down of a Zoroastrianism Temple in his zeal to spread Christianity throughout the Persian Empire. This act is followed by the political reaction by King Yazdegerd of Persia who orders the destruction of all Christian Churches in the Empire. That's the headline if the Times where publishing in the day; however, here's the rest of the story...


Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Persia (Iran). In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. In some form, it served as the national- or state religion of a significant portion of the Iranian people for many centuries. Its leading doctrines were adopted by other religious systems, like Jewish and then Christian religions. It was ultimately replaced by the spread of Islam in the 7th century A.D.


Abdas had a Zoroastrian mother. She educated him in good virtues, which made him loved by everyone. After Abdas had gained an excellent education and grown up in virtuous life, he was ordained a priest, and built up in his hometown a monastery and a school, which he took personal care of and which grew to have around 60 teachers. This caused the local magi to become jealous of him and his teachings.


King Yazdegerd began his reign being not only tolerant of Christianity, but also to help it spread in his attempt to keep the Zoroastrian religion in check to increase his power. He later would turn on Christianity and promote Zoroastrianism for the same reason. It was during this later time that the incident involving Abdas occurred.

So, in doing some historical investigation and applying human behaviour to the equation the following facts come to live on this case:

1. Abdas, being raised by a Zoroastrian mother, is highly unlikely to promote the burning of Zoroastrian Temple. In fact, he pleaded innocence when accused by the magi.

2. Yazdegerd was tolerant of all religions; however, he used their emotional volatility to his political advantage.

3. Humans being humans, it's highly likely that the jealousy of Abdas' success was the motivating factor of the magi to accuse him.

4. It is also highly likely that agents of Yazdegerd actually carried out the burning of the Temple to set up the Christians.

5. When Abdas was ordered by Yazdegerd to pay for the restoration of the Temple, Abdas refused based on his innocence. This gave Yazdegerd the green light to order the destruction of all Christian Churches as a result.

Religious intolerance, ignorant masses, manipulative leaders, violence and political gain are still very much alive 1,596 years later!  Know what you believe and why.

Sir Hook the Tolerant of Warrick

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Living History Today: Lunar Eclipse Merges with Winter Solstice

If you are like me, you live in North America, and made sure to get up to celebrate a rare occurances in the wee hours of the morning...the merging of a Full Lunar Eclipse with Winter Solstice.  That's a Cosmic Combination that will make any Druid Drool!

There are not many days like Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. The last time the solstice coincided with a total lunar eclipse on the same calendar day was long before any of our lifetimes, experts say. The year, according to Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was 1638.  

Map of Boston produced on Christmas, 1638
Chester said his research took him back to the first year of the common era and involved consulting with "a number of well-respected sources." His finding, essentially was this: "It's a comparatively rare event."  

If you live long enough to make it to December 21, 2094 you will get the chance to see it again.  Let's see, that will make me 148 years old.  Glad I got up this morning!

Sir Hook the Drooling Druid Who Makes it a Habit to Celebrate Rare Events of Warrick

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Should Cardinal Fang Run the Vatican Bank?

Cardinal Fang from Monty Python.  Click on the Post Header to visit his official website!
It appears that money continues to disappear at the Vatican Bank.  Perhaps it is time to call Cardinal Fang out of retirement to re-establish it's "credibility" in the financial world...after all..."NOBODY SUSPECTS" that the Vatican is actually laundering money for the Mafia, holding money illegally gained from Germanic Jews by Nazi Germany, or simply using the funds to keep pedophile priests under wraps.

Nobody suspects because nobody actually knows...including the Pope, as made evident by an article in the Wall Street Journal from 2009:
As part of Pope Benedict XVI’s campaign for transparency, the secretive Vatican bank gets an overhaul with Italian economist Ettori Tedeschi being appointed the new chief executive, replacing a predecessor that was in position for 20 years. The bank’s supervisory board has also been revamped. The venerable head of the Catholic Church has ‘shaken up management at little-regulated Vatican bank.’ One Vatican official says, “We expect deep change.”

Only a ‘small group of cardinals and, ultimately, the pontiff, regulate the bank.’ There have been various ‘abusive practices stemming from a lack of oversight’ that have emerged over the years. In the late 1980s, the bank got embroiled in a massive banking scandal where ‘the Vatican paid $250 million for contributing to the collapse of another bank.’
Though no reasons were given by the Vatican regarding the major overhaul of its bank, it is said that the Holy See has ‘long sought to shake up the bank’s management in a bid to modernize its operations.’
The objective now is transparency but that is ‘likely to run up against the Vatican’s long tradition of maintaining a low profile when it comes to managing Church finances.’ It is the lack of transparency and oversight that has led to the abusive practices over the decades.
Not to mention this article from Associated Press just 5 days ago!!!!  (See how efficient Rome really is!  LOL)
So, murder, intrigue, laundering money, sexual scandals...sounds like the Catholic Church is doing a great job putting the "Father" back into "God"!  
"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever."
Or is it, The Lord giveth and the Vatican Bank giveth it back!
Sir Hook "the Practicing Catholic (tho sometimes I question why) Who Wants His Share from the Vatican Bank" of Warrick  (I'll make you a deal you can't refuse!)




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's the Economy Stupid!

"It's the economy, stupid" was a phrase in American politics widely used during Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H. W. Bush. For a time, Bush was considered unbeatable because of foreign policy developments such as the end of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War. 


The phrase, made popular by Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, refers to the notion that Clinton was a better choice because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which had recently undergone a recession.



That message is ringing loudly again for President Barack Obama. It will get worse before jobs get better. Congressional Budget Director Douglas W. Elmendorf recently predicted that unemployment will continue rising into the second half of next year and peak above 10%.

So, what's an errant Knight supposed to do? LAUGH! That's right! Laughter is the ultimate "stress buster" and actually can lead you to enlightened insights to deal with what "Ales" you!



In that Spirit, I share with you the following observations about a "year-gone-bad":

The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 'ouncer'.

Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

BP Oil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into the Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally...



I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, and our bleak future, that I called the Suicide Lifeline and was connected to a call center in Pakistan . When I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck!

Remember, Perception IS Reality.  Shape your thoughts well!



Sir Hook the Economist of Warrick

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Use to Love Christmas



Not to be a Scrooge, but Christmas, at least in the secular form, has started to loose a lot of its luster in my Moleskine!  The lost innocence of a time gone by, the commercialism and the grubby, greedy minions waiting on sales, while they knock each other out with physical or verbal abuse begins to make the fresh cut Christmas tree smell a little stale.


So, what is an errant Knight to do?  Well...Think...Drink...Create and Be Merry...OF COURSE!  Which is exactly what I did with this song "I Use to Love Christmas"!





Cheers!
Sir Hook the Minstrel in the Gallery of Warrick

Friday, November 19, 2010

Seven Score and Seven Years Ago: The Gettysburg Address, Lesson for A Nation in Peril



On this day Seven Score and Seven Years Ago, our Forefather, Abraham Lincoln, delivered one of the most important speeches by an American President in our entire history.


The heavy lessons in this brief and eloquent speech still ring true today.  Perhaps we should endeavor to embrace Unity through Diversity as those who heard this speech in person where challenged to do.  There's no South, North, Tea Party, Palin, Obama, Liberal, Conservative...there's only the common pursuit of happiness and liberty.






Therefore, I challenge you as you read and meditate on this living document, where do you stand today?






Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Did the Ancient Israelites Drink Beer?



Okay, all you Knights and those curious others, here's a link to an article of keen interest. 



The question: Did the Ancient Israelites Drink Beer? Well, did they? Read the article from Biblical Archeological Review to find out!


Sir John of the Rangeline

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Want Brew: Remember Those Who Served When Your Served


Today is an official Fest Day for the Knights of Creation Spirit & Ale...Remembrance Day!  Known better in the States now as Veterans Day, and originally named for the event it commemorates, the beginning of the end of the War to end all Wars (impossibly hopeful and naive)...Armistice Day.  Learn More About Armistice Day

This errant Knight will be remembering those who served when I'm served a free Pint at Old Chicago during their "I Want Brew" promotion for veterans.

Armistice Day saw the legal end to World War I on November 11, 1918.  Two soldiers from opposing sides crawled out of their trenches on that memorable day...my Grandfather, Private John T Baker...and Corporal Adolf Hitler.  John T would return home to marry Edna and guarantee that I would see the light of day.  Adolph returned to Germany to sow the seeds for the next great war.



The UK has already observed this day several hours ago, when they traditionally mark the event with a moment of silence at precisely 11 a.m.  Their sacrifice was particularly painful in losing almost a whole generation of young men during the war. Read More About "Britain Goes Silent."

So, wherever you are this memorable day at 11 a.m.  Take a moment to thank those who served their countries in the ultimate way.

Cheers!
Sir Hook the Grandson of John T Baker of Warrick

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Toast to Your Health: Booze & Hospitals


I ran across an interesting article that was emailed to me by a Healthcare Marketing Association that my business is a member of..."Booze-Friendly Hospitals Aim To Ease Patient Woes."  You can click on the Blog Title above to link to the article after you read this post.

Two things caught my eye immediately:  1)  A Hospital has actually decided to allow patients and family to bring alcohol into the hospital if doctors approve it for their patient to ease recovery.  2)  That Hospital is located in my home State of Indiana.

Now, that's my kind of Health Care Recovery Act and "change that I can believe in!"  Needless to say, a nice glass of Merlot would have eased my recovery from open-heart surgery, and a six-pack of Ale would have done my broken back wonders in Louisiana!

Just imagine the potential profits for health systems?  They can bill your insurance $50 for a bottle of horse piss Budweiser, or for the discriminating palate, $150 for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  Better yet...now this opens the door for you to get a script from your family physician for alcohol and have your insurance pay it, or write it off your taxes if you itemize medical deductions!  WAHOOOO!!!!




So, next time you have to visit a Hospital, make sure it's BOOZE-FRIENDLY!

Here's To Your Health...Cheers!
Sir Hook the Who Puts the Ho in Hospital of Warrick

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hunter's Moon


This weekend we have been graced with the Hunter's Moon, also known as the Blood Moon, which is the next full moon after the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox.

Before our sedate way of live, it was the perfect time to continue to track prey and hunt during the night, thus its name.

Hunter's Moon inspires me to meditate on the basics of life:  1) What am I hunting?  2)  Who, or what, is my prey?  3)  Is my life full and equally balanced during this Autumn season?

I invite you to join me in this quest of self-discovery and answer these three questions as only you can answer them for yourself.

Sir Hook the Hunter of Warrick

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Unity Through Diversity: Time to Tug from the Same Side of the Rope!


I don't know about you, but I can't wait until the U.S. elections are over in just a few weeks time.  The mind numbing display of racism, bigotry and misplaced ideology has me at the end of my rope.

Like a cosmic "tug of war", it's time for all of us to realize the beauty and inherent power in pulling together from the same side of the rope...to rediscover and embrace one of the Knights of Creation Spirit and Ale's most sacred and inspiring ideals...Unity Through Diversity.

There is no power in like minds herding together to protect their small territory, like lemmings heading to their demise.  Like a well made sword, which is twisted together from different metals to form a stronger edge, our society's only hope for survival is to be inclusive, not exclusive.

Last night I couldn't hold my tongue anymore while a group of smug racist middle aged right wingers continued to call President Obama a "socialist".  I finally turned and said, "I respect your right to have an opinion, but I do not support your obvious distortion of the truth.  President Obama is not a socialist."  I proceeded to ask them if they believed in Jesus Christ, which of course I knew they would say yes.  I then told them, "Jesus Christ is a socialist, go back and read your Bible on his teachings and then decide how you can have your religious beliefs and political views be so different from each other."

A friend of mine from the U.K. said to me not too long ago, "It's a shame to see that the Civil War is still not over in the States!"  He's correct...white middle class America feels threatened by a black President.  The term "Socialist" has simply replaced the racist term "Nigger" in our national dialog.

The fact is, we have always been a nation of blended race, religion and nationalities...that is what melded the strong sword of Amercia.  It's time to put aside what makes us different to embrace what will make us better!  It's time to keep walking forward and to stop looking backward.  It's time to man up America!

Sir Hook the Diverse of Warrick

Monday, October 4, 2010

SCAMPERing



According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the current number of unemployed persons in the U.S. is 14.9 million (unemployment rate at 9.6 percent).


I know that because in August I was added to the list. Since then, I've been discovering what it is like to be unemployed (something that I have not been pretty much since I was in my teens -- a long, long time ago). I'm here to tell you that it is true: It's hard work being out of work. After all, the second I wake up, I'm on the job!

Yes, for the past couple of months I've been busy crafting my resume, helping friends and family members with projects, and trying to re-invent myself career-wise. What do I want to do when I grow up?

One of the things that I've discovered is that my resume -- that one page description of who I am by way of what I've done for the past 30 years -- has pigeonholed me. Or, better put, I have not yet creatively crafted my "sales brochure" into a something that at least gets me a lot of interviews. So, I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I've been SCAMPERing.

SCAMPER?

Developed by Bob Eberle, SCAMPER is an acronym for useful list of words that can be applied as stimuli to make you think differently about the problem area.

Substitute: What can you substitute? What can be used instead? Who else instead? What other ingredients? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other sounds? Other forces?
Instead of ... I can ...

Combine: What can you combine or bring together somehow? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas?
I can bring together ... and ... to ...

Adapt: What can you adapt for use as a solution? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer a parallel? What could I copy? Who could I emulate?
I can adapt ... in this way ... to ...

Modify: Can you change the item in some way? Change meaning, colour, motion, sound, smell, form, shape? Other changes?

Also: Magnify: What can you add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?

And: 'Minify': What can you remove? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate?
I can change ... in this way ... to ...

Put to other uses: How can you put the thing to different or other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if it is modified?
I can re-use ... in this way ... by ...

Eliminate: What can you eliminate? Remove something? Eliminate waste? Reduce time? Reduce effort? Cut costs?
I can eliminate ... by ...

Rearrange: What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule?
I can rearrange ... like this ... such that ...

For more information, you can go to CreatingMinds.org for "Wise ways and words in all matters creative" including:

Creativity is more than tools and techniques. This pages links to descriptions of critical principles about being creative.

* Creative Problems: Defining creative problems and solutions.
* Diffusion: Spreading ideas through social networks.
* Divergence and convergence: Staying open and staying focused.
* Exploration: Going where no one has gone before.
* Forced association: Banging things together to create new things.
* Ground Rules: Shared rules that enable safe creativity.
* Jumping: Jumping to new idea domains.
* Practice!: Build you 'creative muscle' with regular practice.
* Questioning: Asking things to get the mind going.
* TRIZ 40 Principles: Principles that have been used to gain many patents.
* Stimulation: Prodding your subconscious into giving you new thoughts.
* Use What Works: There are many tools, so use what works for you.


At CreatingMinds.org you'll find many other very creative ways to be, well, more creative.

Sir Bowie "off this day and this week to continue to re-invent myself and create creative ways to create or acquire a fullfilling career" of Greenbriar

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Beer Bucket List

If there are 50 ways to leave your lover, then of course there has to be at least 50 Beers you must try before you die!

I've had the pleasure of drinking at least more than half of those mentioned, including the absolutely wonderful Allagash White, brewed in Portland, Maine at their brew pub in Portland and available at my favorite Chicago restaurant, Bistro 110.

If you click on the title of this blog, it will take you to CBS News, where you will find the list and tasting notes of the "50 Beers You Must Try Before You Die", as composed by GQ Magazine.  Of course, this is an American Craft Brew list, so my apologies to the UK Clan and their fine brews.

Right, now I'm off to continue to put a few more notches on my bucket...and my belt!

Cheers!
Sir Hook the Thirsty of Warrick

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Wounded Warrior: A Day of Grace in Southern Illinois

This week drew a contrast between life in America, both equally inspiring, yet diverse in presentation.  After a thrilling and most satisfying trip to New York City, filled with the bustle of life, drama and sensory elation...I found myself making the drive to Fairfield, Illinois, my home town, returning to my roots and humble beginnings.


My uncle Ralph, another of the great generation, passed away while I was in New York.  I was able to make the drive early the morning after my return to his funeral.  Proceeded by my father and three uncles in death, Ralph was part of a generation of Americans who left the farms of Southern Illinois and helped to defeat it's generations evils on the battlefields of Europe and Asia and returned home to build the America that increasingly we tend to forget.


As I grew up I always thought of my uncle Ralph as a scary man.  Married to one of my father's sisters, Aunt Toots, he was dark and mysterious.  It wasn't until his declining years that he finally opened up to me and allowed me to see his soul's scars, the kind that only horrific battle can produce, which opened my eyes to why this man was who he was in 2010.


Ralph, of all my family who served in WWII, was the least vocal of his time in service, yet was the most decorated and battle hardened veteran of the bunch.  You see, Ralph was an Army Ranger, the elite special forces of the day, who immediately enlisted the Monday after Pearl Harbor, and found himself in every major landing and battle from North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Europe from 1942 to 1945.  My uncle Ralph saw, and made, killing an everyday occurrence.  On June 6, 1944, Ralph was one of the 225 Army Rangers who stormed the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, which they assaulted in support of the Omaha Beach landings, more recently made famous by the movie Saving Private Ryan.  He was also one of the 90 left standing once relieved.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointe_du_Hoc


Stretched out in his coffin, with the folded flag of a soldier and his 30 plus medals that he never showed anyone until the year before his death, family and friends gathered in a small wooden chapel to say their goodbye's to the the empty body that once contained this wounded warrior.  I searched the room as ancient faces from my past reminded me of my own humble beginnings.  The part time pastor, and full time farmer, dressed in blue jean overalls, white oxford shirt and a thin black tie, delivered a simple, humble and loving eulogy.  His peaceful presence covered the grief in the room like a soothing balm on sunburned skin.  Death, always Ralph's closest companion, finally freed him of his self-inflicted prison.  


The procession made the nine mile journey from the Chapel at Wayne City, passed Simms, where my family took roots in the early 1800's and finally to the burial ground at Fairfield.  During that silent trip, wind caressing me like a mother's embrace, I was reminded of my particular brand of America.  Every car, truck, semi pulled over in respect.  As we passed the farmers in their fields, busy harvesting corn, they stopped their tractors and stood erect with their hats over their hearts in respect.  I was moved to tears as I remembered my roots and why I am who I am today.


Finally, as we arrived at the cemetery, I sat down at the grave site, my seat nearly on top of the grave that holds my mother and father, with my Uncle Oran (92), my Aunt Toots (85) and my Aunt Short (81), the last of my father's clan.  The honor guard rifles pierced the silence and made my aunt's shudder with their violence.  The men remained stoic as men from Southern Illinois do so well.  It took the sound of the bugle playing taps to melt the hearts of the old warriors, reducing them to crying babies as their souls were cleansed with their own tears.


Grace came down and replaced Death that sunny Wednesday afternoon in Southern Illinois.


Sir Hook, who after Oran is next in line, of Warrick  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freedom of Choice - Choose Wisely



One of the very core belief's of the Knights of Creation Spirit and Ale is Freedom of Choice.  The trick is, as Indiana Jones was instructed by an 800 year old Crusader, is to "Choose wisely"!


How does one choose wisely in today's society?  Sitting in a hotel room in New York City, I decided to look up how many restaurants there where in the city as we are trying to decide where to eat tonight.  The New York City Department of Health lists more than 20,000 restaurants on their "Restaurant Inspection Information" web site.   That's a lot of Freedom of Choice...and makes the odds of choosing wisely difficult.


There's always the tried and true method of acquiescing to another's expert opinion,  Google searches and reading reviews, etc.  The mere amount of information and opinions can be overwhelming!


I think, as Indy correctly did, that the wise choice is not always the the shiniest, most alluring, or most talked about...I think the wise choice is simple in it's utter complexity.  The wise choice is to trust your instincts and to not be afraid of the unknown.  Embrace the now!  That's the KCSA way!




So, I'll let you know later if we chose wisely!


Sir Hook the Hungry of Warrick

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

My husband had a gig at a burlesque show last weekend. I would be lying to you if I told you that I was enthusiastic about this. I was going to go – I never miss a chance to hear him play – but I was sort of picturing in my mind the scene from The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman took Katharine Ross to a strip club in order to demonstrate to her what a tool he was so he could continue getting it on with her mom, and she sat and silently cried while a stripper with dead eyes swung her tassels in her face. I tried to beg off, but he wouldn’t hear it. Even at the last moment – when he was setting up his gear and I was driving around looking for legal parking, I thought, “I can just keep driving. I can drive around for three hours and come back and pick him up when it’s over. He won’t even notice I’m gone, on accounta the booby factor.” I thought that. But I didn’t carry through. I parked – took a deep breath - and walked in alone – a middle-aged frumpy suburban housewife – internally gasping for air like the proverbial fish out of water.

Women, drag queens, and drag kings were milling about in various stages of costuming. I focused my attention on the bartender. She’d see me through this. She was fully dressed in street clothes. Looking at her didn’t make me uncomfortable. I intended to look at her a lot. The pre-show beers were going down easy.

The emcees took the stage and announced the first act. I turned to face the stage, gripping my long neck like a life preserver. The first young lady shimmied onto the stage in full Carmen Miranda inspired regalia. Tall, slim, blonde – these are three words you would have never chosen to describe her. And yet…and yet… as she confidently strutted her stuff (and systematically removed her ruffles) the crowd went crazy. Here was a woman with a build very similar to my own, and she owned these people.

Act after act, it was the same. REAL women – with bumps and lumps and stretch marks and all manner of “imperfections” were able to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Tall women, short women, thin women, fat women, white women, black women, Latina women, male women – it didn’t seem to matter. The only thing they had in common was an attitude. Not one pair of dead eyes among ‘em. Dawn broke on marble head. Perhaps all that talk about CONFIDENCE being the REAL aphrodisiac had legs.

I left that show with a new outlook, a new attitude, and a new swagger in my step. Scratch that. It was more than a swagger. It was a strut.

Before the evening was out I’d spoken to a few of the performers. I spoke of my admiration for what they’d done and they were gracious. Two of them told me I was hot. A week before – hell – three hours before – I would’ve laughed (to beat them to it) and thought they were making fun of me. In that moment? I simply said, “Thank you.”

Then I signed up for belly dancing classes.

Because sexy doesn’t have age and size restrictions. It doesn’t have many restrictions at all, come to think of it. After this experience, I was able to accept that all that talk about it being a dance form that embraced women regardless of their size or age might actually not just be lip service. I don’t imagine that it will be a source of any true creativity any time soon – too much to learn first! – but it DID get my inner gypsy excited about crocheting hip scarves…

But there was more…

I started thinking about the way I present myself. I try very hard to fit societal standards for someone of my age and size. I fear being accused of trying to be something that I’m not. Well, the truth is – by responding to those fears I’ve morphed into someone I never intended to be. And that was all changed, due to the unlikely bump and grind influence of a burlesque troupe. Whoda thunk? Look out world – I shall be donning a lot more colors. And that’s just for starters. Because I’m not afraid of me anymore.

Lady "VaVaVaVoom" T.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Global Knight

On this Good Night for Good Knights, I would like to share with you some facts about "The Global Knight".



Google now tracks stats for it's blogger app, which our Esteemed Band of both Fair and Ruff Sex Brethren, utilize as it's preferred form of electronic communication.  It is now possible, and thankfully so, to see where our readers come from, how many there are and how they access our humble tome.

To date, here are the following readers:

  • United States = 5,706
  • United Kingdom = 935
  • Canada = 557
  • Australia = 308
  • Germany = 250
  • Netherlands = 127
  • Brazil = 98
  • India = 91
  • Spain = 79
  • France = 56
  • South Korea = 1
  • Malaysia = 1

That totals 8,209 readers of the Knights of Creation (formally Moleskine) Spirit & Ale!  We did not know this in May when we took our sabbatical.

Yet, only 18 chose to sign up as followers on the old blog, and only 3 currently on the new edition.  Also, very few bother to comment.  This apparent lack of interest made us, the Founding Fathers, feel like we were preaching to a 3 member choir (ie, ourselves)!  This is one of the reasons we didn't see the reason in proceeding onward as summer arrived.

Obviously, we where wrong.  The addition of Facebook access only further proves this point, as future Knights and Ladies are more than willing to friend us on Facebook, but not list themselves as followers on the actual blog.  (Note, we currently are posting to both the blog and on Facebook.)

So, to those faithful followers we say, thank you, and raise our glass in a toast to your good fortune and health!  Thank you for giving us reason to carry on the good fight...and to humbly share our humorous and human tales of wonder, faith and debauchery with you!

Good Night...Good Global Knights!
SIr Hook the Unusually Humbled of Warrick

P.S.  If you were a follower on the old blog, please list so again on the new, thank you.  Anyone can post content on the wall, photos and videos with links on our Facebook page.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Knights-of-Creation-Spirit-Ale/154158667941189?ref=sgm  Finally, if you are interested in writing on our blog please send your request for review.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

AAARRRRR!!!! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Just in time for the new KCSA blog...it's one of the Founding Father's Favorites Feasts...yes...that's 4 F's me buckoo's...it's the official International "Talk Like a Pirate Day"!




Talk like a Pirate Day was founded by Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket eight years ago...and has helped aspiring Salty Dogs and Fishy Lasses learn how to properly position the pirate persona!

Enjoy this official video on how to Woo Wenches!



Speaking of Wenches...how's this one for a Broad Side?  AARRRR!!!!




So me maties, grab your wench and repeat after me..."Prepare to be boarded!"  Or...me personal favorite..."Can I fire me cannon through your porthole?!"

Trim ye Sails,
Sir Hook (That be Cap'n Hook to ye) of Warrick 




Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm a major fan of Sir Hook. I've known him longer than most any of you, but perhaps not as well as some of you. He's my cousin, you see. Hook's mother and my father were sister and brother. As he's matured Hook's energy (which has always been in abundance) and breadth of interests impress me, and his lack of intimidation when filming musicians and dancing women at concerts can only be admired. His choice of a Lady has proven wise, as well.

The Knights blog renewal comes at an opportune moment in my life. I've been a pastor, theological professor, and social concerns advocate for many years, and I'm now in the position of starting a new career. I love a good pint along with a rich cigar, and I'm motivated by the Knights drive to "Create or Die"! Honestly, I find that blatant challenge a bit daunting.

Like Sir Hook, I have many interests and joys. Mine are are family, music, writing, public speaking, travel, social justice, Christian Theology, interpersonal relations, peacemaking, home brewing, interfaith relations, and furniture making. I'm seeking to discern which of these interests, or combination of them, should be my career focus. So what I thought I'd do is allow you Knights and Ladies of KCSA to counsel me, thus broadening my considerations.

I'm married, an empty-nester, gregarious, a quick study, relatively bright, active, can work with my mind and my hands, would not do well in a cubicle, and live in a city of 100,000 people 120 miles between two cities of 1 million or more.

There you have it. What say ye?

I'll write more typical blog posts in the future. Glad to be here with you.

Creating a New Future

Our last post on our old site www.knightsmsa.blogspot.com announced that the Founding Father's were taking a much needed summer sabbatical away from the blogging world and use the down time to brainstorm a new approach for our Merry Band of Knights and Ladies.

First, we decided that the use of the word Moleskine was limiting our potential for expansion. Of course, the Founding Fathers will continue to journal, doodle and otherwise express themselves on that fine written platform; however, the real Spirit of the Knights is one of Creation! Creation is incorporated into our ideals: "We are free to create without judgement"



Therefore, we have changed our name to the Knights of Creation Spirit and Ale. We still embody the ideals of Thinking, Drinking and Being Merry...but now we are challenging ourselves, as well as others, to embrace Creating through the whole process.



Create or Die. The challenge is to choose wisely...to choose to Create...which many times can be a deadly enterprise. By embracing the true freedom of our ideals, we must also embrace the freedom from fear. Fear often accompanies one who is about to create, which often keeps them from pursuing the creation and their dreams. So, FEAR NOT!!!

Speaking of Freedom from Fear...when we took our break in May there was still Hope in the world...now...we are surrendering our very foundation to the fear mongers of this world, especially in American Politics.

It's time for the Knights and their voice of reason to rise up and challenge the mindless minions that would bring our country one step closer to the closed, fearful, fundamental abyss that more closely resembles Iran than America. But that's the subject of another blog.



Remember...we become stronger as individuals and a collective when we embrace the ideal of Unity through Diversity.

Finally, it takes more than three outstanding gents, ie, the Founding Fathers, to make this dream possible. We are asking...neigh...begging for others to contribute to our cause by posting on this blog, friending us on Facebook and spreading the KCSA Gospel.

We have decided to utilize Facebook to gain more members and to provide a forum for pictures, videos, works of art, etc. to be displayed by our members. So, Like Us and join us on Facebook and send it to your friends too! The More...The Merrier!

Cheers!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Friday, May 28, 2010

Create or Die: The Art of Endeavoring to Engage Yourself



Sir Bowie shared this image with me yesterday from another blog he had visited. Just a few nights before we had shared new ideas over a "few" pints on the direction of KMSA...with input from Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire.

In essence we have come to a crosswords, one that I have visited many times on my journey in life, where we had to create or die! So, as we approach the coming official holiday that kicks off summer and the fourth anniversary of my father's death, you will begin to see less and less on this blog while we give birth to our "new and improved" version of the Knights of ??????.

It's our summer sabbatical. I invite all of you to do the same...to create or die....it truly is the art of "endeavoring to engage yourself." It's a banquet where sacred cows become the evening steak, nourishing the soul, giving it the strength to move boldly in new and better ways.

All things become new... not just once...but many times. Like a snake shedding its skin...we'll look familiar on the outside, but being reborn as Knights and Ladies with more mystery, fun, and inspiration for an even broader audience to share.

To the Knights and Ladies who have been loyal avid readers of our blog, thank you for your continued support, and know that we will be back...we might even post a few on this site from time to time. We will also inform you to our new location.

To the Knights and Ladies who we have invited on numerous occasions to write and contribute, I challenge you to embrace our main tenant, which will not change, you are "free to create without judgement!" Don't let your fears of what others think block you from becoming what you know you want to become!

Create or Die! The choice is yours! Choose wisely!

Until we meet again....
Sir Hook of Warrick, Founding Father

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rock the Vote!

My song "Traveling Down the Road" just got accepted in a MySpace music competition for a chance to win a MySpace Records contract and $10,000 in Fender gear.

OK, I know this is selfish promotion...but what are friends for?! So Knights and Ladies share the music and support Sir Hook! If I win, I'll throw one hell of a party!


Sir Hook the Shameless Promoter of Warrick (aka: dkWells)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Hey Mister" it's Rockport II.1

It appears the board is all abuzz (okay, so the buzz has worn off a little), over our 1776 - 1865 encampment this past weekend. There were many more participants than last time and some good people along with the strange and hungry. Nice, friendly people, who have some widely divergent views in some areas than my own: From the beginner, like me, to harder core, long time participants (including ex-career marines).

The weather was generally sunny, with one brief late afternoon shower after we had already setup. The temperatures were more like August weather with highs in the upper 80's and lower 90's. However at night, it got cool enough for me to need two wool blankets and Lady Gwendolyn to remain snug in her sleeping bag.

We were well fed as always by Sir Bowie "Squire Kuhn" of Greenbriar. If at any moment I was hungry, there was something to eat. As for drink, as was mentioned, there was some home brewed mixtures making their rounds, some of which didn't peel paint. They lead to a spirited discussion amongst the consumers Friday night and early Saturday morning that caused some of the people in the projects adjacent to our site to scream "Keep it down, some of us are trying to do Meth over here." Fortunately the next night, we met the city police chief who was interested in being a camp participant and not in finding 'shine.All in all a good time. Once I recover, I will be ready for another. This weekend will be day visits to The Spirit of Vincennes, a much larger encampment and places to spend money on things we really don't need, but have to have. I will end with a few images from last weekend's event.


YOS.
Sir James of Taylor