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Monday, December 31, 2007

All Things Are Made New

This is indeed a magical season. We celebrate so many spiritual, corporal and personal events during these several weeks towards and through the end of the year. Expecting, anticipating, and in some cases achieving! This time last year I did not expect to be self employed, recovering from a broken back and being so excited about life! Behold, all things are made new. So on this Eve of the New Year (and also my maiden's birthday, Lady Allwinky of Warrick) I invite you to join me in once again embracing the glorious unknown! Knights and Ladies, saddle up for tonight we ride towards a new beginning and our destinies! Of course, I won't have to remind you to think, drink and be merry tonight!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The 5th Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...BEER!

My goodness, I awoke today staring at a bottle of my Guinness in a stocking on the bed post with Mistletoe! Does life get any better than this! Imagine the surprise as my eyes bulge out of my head. Merry 5th day of Christmas to all, and to all a good Knight!

Sir Hook of Warrick

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Want to Rock All NIght Long!

Sensing that the Knights have been getting a little too philosophical lately, I decided to go for a night of good beer, good friends, good rock n roll, and good fun! An often overlooked little gem by us on the "East side of town", West Franklin Street offers everything a good German and a good Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale enjoys in life; good beer, good food, good music, and big breasted barmaids! Anyway, Sir Hook and Sir Richard the Lionheart of Beavercreek started at the Gerst House for a couple of pints of Weltenburger Kloster Dungel, which has been brewed by the same monastery in Germany since 1050. In the words of Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire, "since that is before 1776, that's very old!" Heck, that's before my 15x Great Grandfather had a twinkle in his eye for our generations to come as he rode into town with his buddy William the Conqueror. Needless to say, great beer, and it set the mood to walk across the street to Club Royale to pay a visit to my friend and music-partner, Jeff Ennis and his band Static. Involuntary muscle movements, general shredding of the head, and an overall feel of being at least 25 years younger took over our stoic KMSA nature. Just what the doctor ordered! Often this Knight remembers to think, and even to drink, but sometimes it just feels good to be merry all by itself!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Knights Prayer

The wisdom of a Knight Moleskine, Spirit and Ale is also a vary important trait of our character. Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire has captured this exquisitely in our version of the Serenity Prayer, A Knights Prayer. May serenity, courage and wisdom by yours now and always!

Sir Hook of Warrick

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Battle Within, The Battle Comes Out

First and foremost, the Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale is a Warrior. There are many ways to manifest the Warrior within, where most of the scariest battles occur. This humble Knight turns to the Spirit for his source of strength within, which oftentimes manifests itself through my Moleskine in written words, doddle's, poems, etc. While it remains true that the pen in the hands of a strong person is mightier than the sword, it is also true as Confucius says, "Never give a sword to someone who can't dance." That saying can be taken in many ways. I prefer to think about it this way. If a warrior can't dance, he can't move to win the fight. If he can't dance, he can't express the joy in life and becomes dead inside and out. If he can't dance, he is given to despair, envy and hatred, neither which are the traits of an effective warrior. The truth of life is that even the best warriors will lose a battle, but that doesn't mean you have to lose the war. What is your war today? Which battlefield occupies your mind and your soul? Face it square on and victory will be yours! Run from it, and you'll just have to fight it again, and again, and again, always from a weaker position. The fact of life is that you will win and lose many battles, gain and lose many fortunes, love and lose many people close to you; however, only you can decide how this will effect the ultimate outcome of your personal war. As the Bible says, "I set before you life and death. Choose life." Remember, it's only yours to choose, not God, not your lover, not your friend, not your parents, it's only your choice! Choose wisely and remember to always think, drink and be merry!
Sir Hook of Warrick
P.S. This column is dedicated to two young and outstanding members who just joined us last night. Getting ready for a career and physical move and a wedding, there will be many fine battles to come for this incredible couple. Please join me in welcoming and toasting their wedding in May: Sir Craig of Maxwell and Lady Ulla of Crossbow. May God Bless Them!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Of course the first rule of Knight Club is you don't talk about Knight Club, but Hey, I thought I'd wish all the Knights and Ladies of KMSA a Happy Winter Solstice and New Year, and a special thanks to Sir Hook and Sir Bowie for their hard work in actually bringing to fruition, what was once a boozy, half-baked idea floating around in the bottom of a beer glass in a rowdy McGrath's bar in Harrisburg in 2006. Being an artist much practiced in the knowledge of Celtic and Medieval design it has been most gratifying to be able to lend a hand to this fine Round Table of Fellows and Ladies, in giving it color ( US spelling ) and keeping an eye on any wayward authenticity of medieval facts, when they are being wrassled to the blog by our esteemed founders, who think anything before 1776 just comes under the US heading of "Old" and "very Old". The ensuing Daily Blog, including wonderful parts of American history hitherto unknown by me, has been an education for me too... so to say thanks to our most accomplished of Booze-hounds, I bring to you a reworked drawing of an old Latin Blessing : Pax Intrantibus, Salus Exeuntibus, Benedicto Habibtibus, ( Peace to those Entering....Health to those leaving and Blessing to those within,) in the Celtic Fashion, and wish you all an Exciting MMVIII

Remember, The Message is in the Bottle,
Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire

Feast of Stephen

St. Stephen's Day

St. Stephen's Day honors the first Christian martyr, stoned to death shortly after the Crucifixion. St. Stephen's Day is a national holiday in Ireland, but the celebrations have little connection to the Saint. In Ireland, St. Stephen's Day is the day for "Hunting the Wren" or "Going on the Wren." Originally, groups of small boys would hunt for a wren, and then chase the bird until they either caught it or it died from exhaustion. The dead bird was tied to the top of a pole or holly bush, which was decorated with ribbons or colored paper. Early in the morning of St. Stephen's Day, the wren was carried from house to house by the boys, who wore straw masks or blackened their faces with burnt cork, and dressed in old clothes (often women's dresses.) At each house, the boys sing the Wren Boys' song. There are many versions and variations of this song, including the following:

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Although he is little, his family is great,
I pray you, good landlady, give us a treat.

My box would speak, if it had but a tongue,
And two or three shillings, would do it not wrong,
Sing holly, sing ivy--sing ivy, sing holly,
A drop just to drink, it would drown melancholy.

And if you draw it of the best,
I hope in heaven your soul will rest;
But if you draw it of the small,
It won't agree with these wren boys at all.

Sometimes those who gave money were given a feather from the wren for good luck. The money collected by the Wren Boys was used to hold a dance for the whole village.

There are different legends about the origin of this custom. One is that St. Stephen, hiding from his enemies in a bush, was betrayed by a chattering wren. The wren, like St. Stephen, should be hunted down and stoned to death. Another legend holds that during the Viking raids of the 700's, Irish soldiers were betrayed by a wren as they were sneaking up on a Viking camp in the dead of night. A wren began to eat breadcrumbs left on the head of a drum, and the rat-a-tat-tat of its beak woke the drummer, who sounded the alarm and woke the camp, leading to the defeat of the Irish soldiers and the continuing persecution of the wren.

The pursuit and capture of the wren is also related to the pagan custom of sacrificing a sacred symbol at year's end. In contrast to the legends of the wren as betrayer, the wren has also been revered in Ireland as the "king of the birds." An Irish folktale tells of a contest held among birds to see which could fly the highest and should be accorded this title. The eagle soared higher than any other bird, but lost the contest when a clever wren, who had been hiding on the back of the eagle, flew off the eagle and soared higher in the sky.

The custom of going on the wren fell into disfavor around the turn of the century, and died out completely in most parts of Ireland, but has been revived throughout much of the country. Wrens are no longer killed-- an artificial wren may be used, or a real wren may be carried about in a cage.The "Wren Boys" now include girls, and adults often accompany the young people. Folk costumes and traditional music and dancing are often part of going on the wren, and the money collected is often used for community or school projects.

©NOBLE, Inc. North of Boston Library Exchange

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but a wren will get you stoned! Keep your bird in a bush. Life is much happier when the bird sings in private!
Sir Hook

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I would like to nominate a very special person for Knighthood: Sir Francis of Church (a.k.a. Frank Church). Who is Frank Church? Well, 110 years ago Mr. Church was an editor for a now defunct New York Sun when across his desk appeared a letter from a little girl.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
Sir Francis of Church knew that he had to answer the question and answer it truthfully. So, he took out is Moleskine (okay, I made that part up, but he did take pen to paper) and wrote the most famous editorial ever written:

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.


...but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


From an internet so Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21. The following year she received her Master’s from Columbia, and in 1912 she began teaching in the New York City school system, later becoming a principal. Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.

Thank you Sir Francis of Church. And to all Knights of MSA, may this day have you writing about creating love, peace, happiness, and joy.

Merry Christmas,
Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

What Child is This?

The most popular question today is either; "When will we open our presents?" or, "What time do the stores open tomorrow?" A more important question comes from deep inside us all. What child is this? Who is this child that lives within my heart? Who is this child that brings the meaning of Christmas alive every 25th of December? Who is this child to the Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and other Spiritual Seeker's world? So, this Christmas do as all good Ladies and Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale do. Open your favorite beverage and take a journey to visit this child within us all, give him a big hug and thank him for still bringing a smile to your face after, in my case, fifty years of looking forward to seeing and being the Christmas Child!
Peace to All!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Monday, December 24, 2007

We Three Knights

The famous American carol We three Kings of Orient are was written in 1857 by Rev. John Henry Hopkins. The minister is reputed to have written the carol We three Kings of Orient are for the General Theological Seminary in New York City as part of their Christmas pageant. The lyrics of We three Kings of Orient are are extremely traditional which makes the latter day fashion of referring to the carol as We 3 Kings of Orient are quite bizarre! Speaking of bizarre, here's our official rendition of this traditional carol:

We three Knights of MSA are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Moleskine reading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a Knight on a Pub Tour plane
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to rein

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Moleskine reading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankness to offer have I
Insisting that the author have eyes
Pray'r and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Moleskine reading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Moleskine reading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Moleskine reading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Merry Christmas!

Sir Hook of Warrick

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stille Nacht

There is little argument that the most popular Christmas song of all time in the United States is Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas.” However, “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht) is arguably the most recognizable around the world.

There are a lot of myths associated with this song / poem.

One legend I read states that the organ in Father Josef Mohr's church was broken one Christmas Eve. So Father Josef whipped out his trusty journal and (together with his friend, Franz Gruber) wrote this new tune for the service that night and played it on his guitar for his congregation.

Like I said, there are a lot of myths surrounding this most famous hymn. But, there is hope for seekers of Truth: The Silent Night Association.

According to their web site, the association “is a non-profit organization based in Austria and open to all interested people around the world. The purpose of the Society is to further the research into all aspects of the history surrounding the Christmas carol "Silent Night! Holy Night!", as well as to promote the awareness and use of authentic versions of the song.“


Joseph Mohr creates the text to "Silent Night!" in the form of a poem in Mariapfarr in the Lungau region where he was living at the time.

In the schoolhouse of Arnsdorf, on Christmas Eve, Franz Xaver Gruber composes a melody to fit the text.

"Silent Night! Holy Night!" has its world premiere on Christmas Eve in the St. Nicholas church of Oberndorf near Salzburg, performed by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr.

Another source also states that in 1914
The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew

You can learn more and check out the original lyrics at

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Great Communicator

Each day do something to lift up another soul. Provide the helping hand to raise another to courage, faith, and health. - Two Listeners

Now, I know that I'm verging on the sacrilegious; however, the incorporation of all things Mac in my life has truly helped to lift my soul and express myself in ways I never imagined. Not that I'm making Steve Jobs the next messiah, as pictured in this clever stain glass rendition; however, my iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPod have brought some very interesting things out into the open from the depths of my soul. Believing that an Apple a day keeps Bill Gates and his Windows on the World at bay, I prefer to be among the chosen few who embrace the Mac Attack not to mention the "old fashioned" Moleskine pen and paper! Some of my religious conservative friends, who are also Microsoft Junkies, warn me that taking a bite out of the Apple (see the logo) leads to the tree to the knowledge of life and hell. I say, what's sinful in that? Adam and Eve had a good thing going until the Snake slithered into their lives. The ironic thing to me in my spiritual journey is that according to theologists original sin came into the world because Adam and Eve sought to know God, or I should say more correctly, be like God. But, isn't that our calling today?! We are called to act and to be like Jesus, who is God! Again, I ask, where is the sin in that?! All I can say is keep searching, keep questioning, keep your mind open, keep loving one another, keep praying, keep the faith in your heart, and for God's sake use a Mac and a Moleskine to express yourself!
Sir Hook
P.S. In the Spirit of Openness, No Negative Comments will be Taken!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Christmas Wish To You

I know that you are busy
And running out of time
Christmas is fast approaching
I can hear the church bells chime

I can’t describe my emotions
As I write this note to you
Thinking of all the times we had together
And the times we never knew

My wish this season for you and yours:
A mountain of gifts and toys
But mostly abundant Love
Peace, Happiness, and Joy

So, another year is winding down ‘08 is just around the bend
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
From Sir Bowie of Greenbriar, your friend

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Knights Invade a Pub Near You

Last night Sir Hook, Lady Allwinky, Sir Bowie and Lady Suzanne invaded the Sacred Founding Place, Old Chicago. Besides a night of merriment, good beer, good food and good company, we also unveiled the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale Coaster. Our Coat of Arms on both sides, the web blog address on one side and the Motto on the other side, it is an awesome and inspirational site. Not to mention that it absorbs a good beer and remains sturdy, non-smeared and reusable, just like a good Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale should be! So beware! The Knights are on the quest to spread their philosophy of good cheer throughout the world!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are Your Thirsty?

The Knight of Moleskine,Spirit and Ale always thirsts. Sometimes it's a thirst for a very fine beer. Sometimes it's a thirst for a deeper knowledge of himself or those around him. Sometimes it's a thirst to share his knowledge, his spirit with those he encounters. And then there are the times we thirst for God. If you find yourself thirsty for God, get away to a quiet place and meditate on this mystery. You'll find yourself full beyond measure if you can hear through the silence the loud voice of God speaking to your soul. Of course, a good man made spirit can help set the mood too. Here is a poem I wrote in my Moleskine while meditating on the image above at my recent Jesuit retreat weekend:

The evergreen pierces the snow
Like new life piercing my soul
Reaching upward through a frozen mantle
Glistening white in the new day sun
That which clings to me melts away
Dropping burdens that merge with the river of my soul
Flowing...Ever Flowing
Evergreen, like new life piercing the unknown
I embrace this day
In Gratitude

Travel well!
Sir Hook

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:2

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Toast a Pilgrim Day!

The following story has it all for Knights of Moleskine, Spirit, and Ale: Journal, Spirit, and...

On December 18, 1620, passengers on the British ship Mayflower come ashore at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. But, how did they settle on Plymouth Bay?

A shortage of beer!

An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: "We could not now take time for further search...our victuals being much spent, especially our beer..."

Thank goodness! That may have been the last time America's settlers ran short of beer. They soon learned from their Indian neighbors how to make beer from maize. Local breweries sprouted up throughout the colonies, and by 1770 the American brewing industry was so well established that George Washington, Patrick Henry, and other patriots argued for a boycott of English beer imports (I think that if these fellows were around today that they would recant that thinking).

So, today we toast the so-called Pilgrims. After all, you can’t Think, Drink, and Be Merry if you run out of beer!

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Random Thoughts

The cry of the human soul is always heard. The response was there in all eternity awaiting the cry, only man's failing to hear keeps him unaware and unhelped.
--Two Listeners

Sir Hook,

Here is something you may be able to use.

It doesn't make any difference if you are keeping a
journal for professional or personal use, this quote
from Leonard F. Lathrop," The Farmer's Library" is as
applicable now as it was in 1826!

"For want of records, much useful information is
continually lost. Though many individuals have
derived advantages from experiments, but few have
recorded them. Even those who make experiments are
liable to forget them, so as to give incorrect
representations of them when they attempt to relate

From the last part of the quote, I think that is where
the saying "no use ruining a good story telling it"
might have come from!

Sir Richard of Windsor

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Wright Stuff

How can journaling and sketching and dreaming change the world?

Attached is a faint copy of a reproduction of the Wright brothers’ preliminary sketch of the 1903 Wright Flyer, drawn in pencil on brown wrapping paper. The notations are in Wilbur’s handwriting.

On this date (December 17, 1903) Wilbur and Orville Wright made the world’s first powered, sustained, and controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine.

Today, over 16,000 pages of Wright Brothers papers are available to the general public. In his December 17, 1903 entry, Orville Wright details of all four flights that the brothers made that day. You would think that there would be a voice of excitement in the journal entry – a sense of making history and achieving a dream of mankind. Orville instead provides a matter-of-fact account packed with what he considered the necessary and important details. I assume while others celebrated, he went back to working on improvements.

So, what we have here is a couple of guys, sketch books and journals, a dream, and massive action. What they did on this date ignited the world’s passion for flying.

Here’s to the spirit of invention, journals, dreams, passion, and action.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Life Changing Retreat

Just got back from the Whitehouse Retreat! Had a few bottles of wine, a lot of Spirit and wrote in my Moleskine until my pen dropped! What a life changing expereice! Merry Christmas Knights and Ladies! Check out the web address below!

Sir Hook "the Elf" of Warrick

Sunday, December 16, 2007

33rd Annual Christmas Ale

Every year since 1975 the brewers at Anchor Steam® Beer have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is available from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which they offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.

Visit their web site and check out all 33 labels, along with a lot of other great information.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Most Famous Journal / Sketch Artist?

Born on a Missouri farm, Walt Disney sold his first sketches to neighbors when he was just seven. At age 16, during World War I, Disney went overseas with the Red Cross and drove an ambulance that he decorated with cartoon characters.

Back in Kansas City, Disney started working as an advertising cartoonist. He founded a company called Laugh-O-Gram with his older brother, Roy, but the company went bankrupt and the brothers left Kansas City for Hollywood with $40 and some art supplies. The brothers built a camera stand in their uncle's garage and started their company in the back of a Hollywood real estate office.

The rest, as they say, is history.

In addition to his films, his legend lives on through Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and EPCOT Center, and generations of children have experienced the joy and magic of The Happiest Place on Earth.

Walt Disney was 65 years old when he died on this date in 1966.

So, get out your journal or sketch book and dream. Tonight, toast ol' Walt and the joy and laughter that his “sketches” have given this world.

Thoughts. Words / Images. Action.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two other reasons to journal...

1. I opened the paper this morning and read that Amazon Pays $4m for J.K. Rowling's Fairytales

Could it be the world's most expensive children's book? The Harry Potter series may have come to an end, but its money-making capacity lives on: A collection of fairytales written by author J.K. Rowling has sold at auction for $4 million.


2. Yes Man

I recently finished Yes Man, by Danny Wallace – who seems to spend a lot of time journaling and drinking beer in pubs. It raises an interesting question-if you said "yes" to everything, would you be prepared to deal with the outcome? Too funny! Oh, the movie staring Jim Carrey is due out in '09.

See, good things do come from pups and journals – with the right spirit.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Errant Knights Journey Part 3

Sir Hook of Warrick and Sir Richard the Lionheart of Beaver Creek are getting ready to leave today for a 4 day Jesuit Retreat called the Whitehouse (No, no Interns, cigars or blue dresses involved). Located on the banks of the Mississippi just south of St. Louis, it's a beautiful place to recharge the spiritual batteries after waging war, drinking too much ale, and overall general debauchery. Sir Hook and Sir Richard will be praying for all the Knights and Ladies this weekend. If any posts occur until Monday they will be courtesy of Sir Bowie of Greenbriar, who I believe is probably more capable of making sense than me at this point through the weekend! Keep the powder dry, the beer flowing and your hearts open!
Sir Hook

An Errant Knights Journey Part 2

Old Speckled Hen was an Ale I discovered while studying in England in 1979. It's very rare to find it here in the States, and even rarer to find it on draft. Well, the secreat is out thanks to this Errant Knight. Old Speckled Hen is on draft in a small airport pub, called The Pub, in the C Concourse of the Cincinnatti airport. I had a four hour layover from Baltimore back to Evansville, so I enjoyed every minute of it. Not to mention that the music selection there is awesome. The inside feels like a traditonal pub, drinking Old Speckled Hen on draft and listening to Jethro does live get any better than that? Oh, I journaled, that's how! Anyway, I sent the picutre on the left to our Honorary Founding Father across the pond, Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire, and he proberly emailed me back the story behind Old Speckled Hen as follows: "Old Speckled Hen" is a popular bitter, available both as a cask ale and pasturised in bottles. First brewed in 1979 by Morland brewery in Abingdon, Oxfordshire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car company setting up in Abingdon, and named after the brewery's own MG car - the paint splattered Owld' Speckled 'Un which was made by the factory for Morland as a runaround ( gopher ). The Morland Brewery has since been taken over by the giant Brewery Greene King, and the brewery itself, turned into apartments. But they still have retained the unique strain of yeast first used in 1896 for the brewing process. Abingdon is about 5 miles south of Oxford, and was where i was born, when my folks lived in a village near there, and i went to school in Abingdon. In the late nineties i used to paint all the pub swing signs for Morland and the Oxford brewery Morrells until they were both taken over by Greene King, and now computer printed signs are used when they need updating. ( these fade in UV sunlight, so one day they will come knocking my door again )"
So, Knights, go throttle a Old Speckle Hen!
Sir Hook

An Errant Knights Journey Part 1

I just put up my horse from a wonderful adventure of great beer, great sports, great fun, great business and great friends! My first stop was in Baltimore, Maryland where I discovered first hand that my Colts could still play football and a wonderful "English Style" Brew Pub on West Pratt St. called Oliver's. They also own another Pub called the Wharf Rat. Fitting environment for the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore. The 4 brews posted here: 3 Lions Ale, Special Bitter, Hot Monkey Love, and Pagan Porter where outstanding! Drawn from hand pumped wooden casks, and at just the right temperature you would find across the pond, I can't wait to get back! It was a fine place to begin tailgating for the Colts game and an even better place to drink a few more pints with a 44-20 victory under the belt! So, when in Baltimore do as the Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale do and head down to Oliver's.
Sir Hook

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Doodle Therapy?

If you scan my Moleskine Journal you’ll see more than words; you’ll see scribbles, shapes, shadows, cross-hatch, figures in perspective (an attempt, anyway). Yes, I’m a doodler!

It’s amazing what happens when you face a blank page and doodle while discussing the next great idea or the meaning of life! I think it’s safe to say that some of the world’s greatest ideas were hatched this way – especially on bar napkins.

People even report that doodling is the perfect way to eliminate stress. They can feel their negative emotions drain from their body in the form of ink or graphite and flow on to paper. You can even use a rainbow of crayons or paints to color the doodles after you have done them. Oh, and remember that magical aroma of hope of a new box of crayons?

Open to blank page
Pen, pencil, marker, crayon…
Doodles, Hope, and Peace

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Terrific Tuesday

Meet Sir Christopher of Westover, one of the two finest bar tenders of the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale Sacred Watering Hole (Pub), McGrath's, in Harrisburg, PA. After a four month recovery I was finally able to sit at the bar again with Lady Flo of McClay and celebrate a Knight's return. We have an official Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale moleskine journal behind the bar. Sir Davyd of Oxfordshire made the first entry on October 18 when he was in from across the pond. His personal greeting to me knowing that I would be well enough to read it if there was very touching, not to meniton that's my dad's birthday. So, when you find yourself at McGrath's, ask for the KMSA Journal and see what it's like to express yourself outside of your glass! Today is also when Indiana became a State in 1816. We actually have some great wineries in the Southern region where I live, and being of Irish-German descent, you don't have to travel far to find a local pub that serves "Fishbowls" of beer.
Enjoy Your Day...Always,
Sir Hook

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Journal?

This is a picture of Jackie Jensen, one of the first bonus babies of Major League Baseball, and a team mate of my father's in Navy baseball during WWW2. My father, Bud Wells, who went on to play with the Cardinals had many stories about Jackie and his life in baseball. None of these were written down and are now just part of our oral history.

Sir Richard of Windsor shares why journaling is so important: "I am sure this is oft asked, and each of us at one time or another has asked themselves this question. Hopefully, this will be answered in the next few lines. I am the recipient of the most wonderful gifts one could ever hope to receive, for I am in possession ofmy Grandfather's journals (1860-1952) and my fathers journals (1908-2001) which have become some of thethings that I value the most in this life. Although neither is complete, they are enough to give me a glimpse into their daily life, and lets me know of many aspects of their lives that I had no idea about. What a gift! It has allowed me to view my heritage in a way which I had never thought of before. I not only have the journals, but the ledgers of their accounts over a long period of time. One entry of my Dad's that caught my eye, was that on the evening of 23 Oct. 26, they listened to the final game of the World Series over KOA in St. Louis between the New York Yankees and the St Louis Cardinals. The Yankees won! I had always thought KOA originated from Denver, obviously I was wrong. That short entry immediately brought to mind the Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" of the family gathered around the radio. What a treat. In summation, you may not think your accounts of everyday life are important, and I have had that feeling. Your journals are your footprints along the path of life. At some future point in time, your child, or your grandchild, or somebody else will joyfully retrace those footsteps and that path with you, linked arm in arm, and reveling in every step of the way! So, if you are keeping a journal, keep up the good work, and, if you are not, now is a great time to start. Your family will thank you one day, even if you are not here to hear!!!"

Sir Richard of Windsor

Ask not what your journal can do for you...

"The desire to know is natural to good men."
-- Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vince carried a notebook everywhere. He asked a lot of questions and filled at least 7,000 pages (known to exist) with ideas.

Did you know: In 1994, Bill Gates bought 18 sheets (of the 7,000 known to exist) for 30.8 million dollars.

Now, I can say with 99.9% certainty that no one will pay that much money for a few of my Moleskine pages; however, that's not going to stop me from dreaming and writing. Who knows, I may actually come up with a million dollar idea.

Oh, the attached image is a page of da Vince's notebook titled: Study of Human Features and a Knight.

Keep dreaming and writing,
Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Sunday, December 9, 2007

How Are Your Stones Henged?

The Knights have been discussing how Stonehenge was made in several emails the past few days. Everyone has an interesting therory; however, no one really knows for sure. Mystery, and the beauty that surrounds it is a strong afrodisiac for the Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale. Embrace all mystery as the true gift that it is and be content to just be with it. Today, I place this blog while sitting in the Cincinnati airport waiting for my connection to Baltimore. My first business trip since breaking my back on my last business trip four months ago. A lot of mystery surrounded me during that time, and I have become a better man for it. Today, I celebrate the great mystery that is my life, the mystery of Stonehenge, and all other great mysteries of the world.
Embrace Grace,
Sir Hook of Warrick

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer-Holder

Another beautiful Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale graphic by Honorary Founding Father, Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire. Of course I was "holding" a beer when I thought that! As that we are challenged to Think, Drink and be Merry, so often a Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale finds himself in that "timeless" moment in life between thought and being merry, and so often it involves drinking a very fine ale. It is as if the very doors of heaven have opened to reveal all that is beautiful inside you and surrounding you. Of course as with all spiritual things one must be aware when the drink ceases to inspire and just causes us to perspire, leaving us handicap and ready to pick up anything on two legs. As they say, the girls all get prettier at closing time. I think the trick to solving this age old problem is to challenge yourself to see the beauty in all, all the time. That way when you enter this "timeless" state the next time you're holding your favorite ale you can wisely discern that indeed "Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder", thank God for this special moment, go home and pop a couple of aspirin with a glass of water, and dream the dreams that only a true Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale can dream!
Count your lambs, your blessings and your beauty!
Sir Hook

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rock N Roll Nashville

Lady Allwinky and Sir Hook made a pilgrimage to Nashville to see John Fogerty and his Revival Tour at the Ryman Auditorium, the original Grand Ole' Opry. Originally a church, it has become the Grace Bearer of Great Music for Decades. We felt like we were at a Revival and afterwords went back through the alley to "Tootsies Orchid Lounge" for a night cap. A dive, a gatherer of music talent, an enlightend lamp in the dark night, a perfect place for a Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale!

Other news: a new Knight, Sir James of Taylor (no not the singer, oh well). Sir James writes: "Sir James of Taylor was born a poor, naive lad in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana. The mean streets and going to university with Sir Bowie made him stronger and impaired his judgment somewhat. Now, he is forced to photograph half naked, beautiful women at times (along with other fine art. His work can be seen at Burden by this, he occasionally will have a stiff drink (versus beer) and write in one of his many journals." Welcome Sir James!
Sir Hook of Warrick

Pearl Harbor, Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Jeannette Rankin, John Lennon

We all know today as “a date which will live in infamy.”

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time (December 7, 1941), a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded. Much of the U.S. Pacific fleet was rendered useless.

Hang with me here for a second...

2007 is a 100 year anniversary of a lesser known event: Czar Nicholas II of Russia called for international conferences specifically to discuss “the most effectual means” to “a real and durable peace.” 1907 saw the last of these Peace Conferences. Soon, WW I would leave 25 million soldiers and civilians dead, twice the tally for all the wars of 19th Europe. WW II would follow with around 60 million dead, followed by Korea, Vietnam, Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East to name just a few.

Let's go back (forward) to December 8th, 1941. After that brief and forceful speech, President Roosevelt, asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I (she is the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, and the first woman elected to a national legislature in any western democracy).

On the night of December 8, 1980, I was sitting with my girlfriend (now wife) at The Duck Inn -- enjoying an ice cold scooner of Pabst Blue Ribbon -- when I learned that John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, was shot and killed by an obsessed fan.

Moleskine Thoughts:

I may never have the opportunity to organize a world peace conference.

I may never be the sole dissenter to vote against my country entering into World War III.

I may never sing before millions of people, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

But, today I will recognize that I am at war with myself and with others and I can seek peace in my body, my relationships, my family, myself, and my world.

Think, Drink, and Be (peacefully) Merry.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cerevisaphiles Unite...through diversity!

I found this on (edited)

What do you call a beer lover?

By Gregg Smith

The toughest task in beer writing is figuring out what to call the legions who enjoy beer. Specifically, how does one address that broad category sometimes called, for lack of a better name, beer lover. After all, doesn't that term seem rather simplistic? The title "Beer Lover" belies the sophistication of our drink.

Beer-a-phile and Brew-a-phile don't quite get there either. Surely there's a way to phrase this avocation to bestow a proper amount of dignity. Thus we are faced with turning to old reliable Latin. In this instance let's use the root word for beer - Cerevisia. With a little prodding and twisting we get Cerevisaphile.

What better word to put in the lexicon (or argot) of beer. Can't you just see it in the dictionary? Cerevisaphile (Cer-a-vehs-a-file) aficionado of beers and ales, 2.a devotee to the decoction of barley infused with hops and fermented, imbiber of beer on the highest order, bordering on devotion, who pursues the very finest in malted beverages.

Now that's more like it, dignified, impressive, and worthy of an inquiry from the uninitiated. Yeah, Cerevisaphile. (end of article)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 5: Prohibition Repeal Day!!!!! 21st Amendment

Of course our brothers and sisters across the pond never had to put up with their governments not allowing them to drink. In fact, their governments have spent centuries on making sure they have the best beers the world has ever known! Out of small minds come small ideas, and the idea that our government could keep people from drinking beer was truly one of the saddest, most corrupt, and most violent periods in our nations history. Wait a minute! Is it the 1920's/30's now? I got confused for a minute?!?! I guess some things never change, just the names and faces; however, good beer my brother knights and ladies is here to stay!
Really Think...Enjoy Your Drink...and Make Damn Sure You're Merry!
Sir Hook

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale Christmas Blessing!

An email from Sir Richard of Windsor says it all!

May the Blessings of the season come to each Knight
and Lady's castle.

"Thrice happy days In rural business passed. Blessed
winter nights when as the genial fire cheers the wide
hall his cordial family with soft domestic arts and
hours beguile... Sometimes, at eve, his neighbors
lift the latch and bless unbid his festal roof while
o'er the light repast and sprightly cups, they mix in
social joy, and through the maze of conversation,
trace whate'er amuses or improves the mind."

From " The Art of Improving Health" by John Armstrong

International Give a Hug Day!

Sir Hook & Family Thinking, Drinking, Being Merry and HUGGING! Spread the Love!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Advent Day 2 the Tao & Our Spiritual Journey

What do these three men have in common? A heart open to heaven and the passion to communicate it. What do they not have in common? One is Emmanuel, God-Among-Us.
One is revealing the source of spirituality as ancient as time itself. One died today at the age of 46 in 1552 after helping to found one of the greatest spiritual orders on earth, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). We are talking about Jesus, Dr. Wayne Dyer and St. Francis Xavier. All spiritual masters and all unified to the source of all life through their diversity. May your search for a good thought, a good beer and a merry life be found inside of you already, and may your heart and mind always remain open!
Sir Hook

Thougts from the Tao

A foolish consistency is the product of little minds.
The more rules you make, the more rule breakers you create.
Stiffness is the companion of death. Flexibility is the companion of life.
Nobility is rooted in humility.
When your cup is full, stop pouring.
If you have only one prayer make it be “Thank You!”

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
-1 John 4:18
When books are burned it only helps to enlighten the world.
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Knight's Tale?

I'm not saying that this is a Knightly act, but it did catch my attention:

Dublin Beer Bandit Raids Guinness

Associated Press Writer

Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 full kegs from the Guinness brewery — the largest heist ever at Ireland's largest brewer.

National police said a lone man drove into the brewery — a Dublin landmark and top tourist attraction — on Wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs.

Diageo PLC, the beverage company that owns Guinness, said the brewery had never suffered such a large-scale theft before in its 248-year history.

Police said the raider took 180 kegs of Guinness stout, 180 kegs of U.S. lager Budweiser and 90 kegs of Danish beer Carlsberg. Guinness brews both of those foreign brands under license for sale in Ireland.

Each keg holds about 88 British-sized pints, the most common serving size in Ireland, equivalent to 20 ounces each. The total theft involves 39,600 pints with a retail value exceeding $235,000.

The Republic of Ireland, a country of 4.2 million, has more than 10,000 pubs and bars. The Guinness brewery in Dublin is the biggest supplier, producing more than 5 million kegs annually.

- - -

Think, Drink, and be Merry -- but be honest, too.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Advent Begins Today

This borys hede we brying with song
In worchyp of hym that thus sprang
Of a virgine to redresse all wrong;
Nowell, nowelle.

- From an old English Chirstmas carol

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. A preparation day to make all things new. To look forward to the coming of the King and what truly lies within your very soul. May this Holy Season bring you inner peace and a sense of mission. May it also bring you much joy and celebration! Remember, life is good all the time, it's just up to us to make it so.
Sir Hook of Warrick

Pour forth - I cannot bless a life that does not act as a channel. My Spirit brooks no stagnation, not even in rest. Its Power must flow on. Pass on everything, every blessing. See how many you can bless each day.
--Two Listeners
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
In how many churches, by how many prophets, tell me, is man made sensible that he is an infinite Soul; that the earth and heavens are passing into his mind; that he is drinking forever the soul of God?
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
-Psalm 16:11

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Limerick Meets Beaver Creek

One thing that has not changed about Sir Richard is his Lion Heart; however, today finds him in strange lands and therefore he has become all things new, thus a new name must be granted. Still armed with a generous heart, hearty laugh and undying faith, Sir Richard has seen many battles with this humble Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale. So, in honor of his dedication to all we stand for, his absolute friendship and his new way of life we hereby proclaim him as Sir Richard Lion Heart of Beaver Creek. May the creeks in his life always be easy to cross, flowing with Mead and teaming with Beaver!
Sir Hook of Warrick