Visit the Official KCSA Web Site

Visit the Official KCSA Web Site
Click to Visit the Official KCSA Web Site. Unity Through Diversity...Knights Nation!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A toast to the future
A toast to the past
A toast to Knights, far and near
Tonight I raise my glass

Hogmanay Celebrations
Laughter and good cheer
May you ring in the '09
With good friends and good beer

Here's wishing you more happiness
Than all my words can tell,
Not just alone for New Years Eve
But for all 2009 as well

Remember the words of T.S. Eliot
As New Year's bells are ringing
“Last year's words belong to last year's language...
To make an end is to make a beginning.”

And of Eleanor Roosevelt
As the Times Square Ball gleams
“The future belongs to those who believe
In the beauty of their dreams.”

While waiting to pen fresh ink
To our 2009 Moleskines
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

DAK 2009

Sir Bowie "getting those pots and pans ready to rattle and the black-eye peas soaking" of Greenbriar

Captain Hook Invades the Florida Space Coast

Captain Hook and his Curvy Crew were spotted storming the beaches off the Florida Space Coast.

Footprints in the sand were cleverly disguised as just one person coming ashore.

Photo evidence exists; however, of Captain Hook enjoying his unique version of a Black & Tan while his accomplished wenches, Lady Allwinky of Warrick and Lady Kathryn of San Ysidro, were seen drinking the night away with Sir Santa of Claus at Meg O'Malley's Pub in Melbourne.

Captain Hook and his Curvy Crew were amused by an Irish saying hanging in the Pub, "May you enjoy two hours of heaven before the devil realizes that you're dead."  

Of course, once 2-hours transpired we thought it best to move on!

Inspired by the Palm Trees, Water and Sun the Crew decided to contemplate a Space Coast riddle, "If an athlete gets athletes foot, does an astronaut get mistletoe?"  The Crew decided that it depended on how good looking and which sex the astronaut was.  

Recent reports state that Captain Hook and His Curvy Crew decided to move inland and take Orlando by force on New Year's Eve.  Stay tuned for more adventures of...

Captain Hook and His Curvy Crew

Sir Hook the Space Coast Pirate of Warrick

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

There is a question being raised far and wide in the bars of America... 'In these Recession times, is Beer a Luxury ?, or is it, as i am observing, a great time in the US and UK, to forget all your troubles and test out some new flavors.?'

Actually,starting at the premis that Blue Moon is a million barrel selling flavoursome ale, once you start digging around hinterland find that although the economy is just about to go from its flat spin to an accelerated vertical dive, buying shares in an America brewery might actually be quite an investment, seeing as Joe-sixpack, is seriously starting to hoist his buns onto shiny new bar-stools across the States, eager to experiment in the New Wave of Belgian Ale worship that is gripping the counties.

There's Troegs, Harrisburg PA opening its new Pub bar, i mean Tasting Room.. and of course Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Bethlehem, no, not the one where H.Christ, first looked out on the feast of Stephen, but Bethlehem PA, where the Bethlehem Brew-works, after
setting light to itself with fire, before the back selling to full houses its range of Belgian ales.:

Devil’s Hearth (O.G. 1.064 ABV 6.4%)
Golden Belgian Style Ale with hints of citrus and honey. Brewed with Coriander, honey and orange peel for a refreshing strong ale.

CH-47 Pale Ale (1.047 O.G., 5.0% A.B.V)
This light copper, dry finishing American Pale Ale is an excellent addition to the Brew Works fleet of pale ales. A hefty sling load weight of Chinook hops gives this beer its distinctive bite, Chinook and Amarillo hops contribute to its citrus like aroma. A hophead’s delight!

Pumpkin Ale (1.052 O.G., 5.2% A.B.V.)
Our fall beer is made with real pumpkins, cloves, ginger, all-spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. This light copper Autumn ale will tantalize your taste buds. colored. Pumpkin pie in a glass!

Rude Elf’s Reserve (1.086 O.G. 10.5% A.B.V.)
Our Silver Medal winning Belgian style holiday beer brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar and special spices. This brew has a spicy aroma and flavor with a sweet malt taste. At 10.5% alcohol it is sure to warm you up during the holiday season.

Framboise (1.056 O.G., 6.7% A.B.V.)
“World Beer Cup Winner” Our Belgian Style sour ale is as authentic as they come. Brewed with Raspberries, wild yeast and aged for several months to develop a tart and refreshing flavor. Not for the faint of palate, this beer is complex and for the experienced.

DeScaler Dark Ale (O.G. 1.068 ABV 7.3%)
Deep ruby colored Belgian Strong Ale with a luscious toffee flavor and smooth malt finish.

Big Chief amongst these doozys i espy a corker.... in Rude Elf.. at 10%

whooohoo Now we are talking!!!! 'nuff said.... gimme some of that Candi Sugar....:))

So I'm raising a glass, to the entrepreneurial word of the New Year.

No...not Bailout...But Diversify. "If it ain't selling....start finding out pretty damn fast what is...and make it".

Sir Dayvd ( in pretty rude 'elf hisself ) of Oxfordshire

Monday, December 29, 2008

World keeps humour high despite crisis

Good humour is an important Knight attribute. So, as 2008 comes to a close, I thought I would take a few lines to give you some of the top weird and wacky news stories that Reuters reported on these past 12 months:

Reuters Berlin (edited for length): Whether smashing plates in San Diego to relieve frustration or drinking Bailout Bitter beer in Canada sold as a bitter ale for bitter times, people the world over kept a sense of humour in 2008 despite financial woes.

Some of the year’s top off-beat tales included a Canada brewery that created a special tough times bitter and Sarah’s Smash Shack in California, which charges patrons $10 for 15 minutes of pleasure pulverising dinnerware against a wall.

It was the best $50 we’ve spent in the last two years, said insurance broker Adam DeWitt, who smashed plates in San Diego with his wife after his home mortgage loan was rejected.

A glance back at 2008 shows a world full of wonderful, weird and whacky stories both before and after the financial upheaval.

In May, a Wall Street restaurant boasted it was selling the costliest burger in New York, with the $175 patty made of Kobe beef, black truffles, seared foie gras and flecks of gold leaf.

One bank in Kazakhstan offered a diamond-encrusted credit card for well-heeled clients with incomes over $300,000. A jeweller in Tokyo kept busy selling 13-piece tableware sets made of gold for $1 million—aimed at newly rich Chinese customers.

Yet there was no need for any plates at all in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states where authorities encouraged people to eat rats to fight rising food prices and save grain stocks. They praised rat meat a healthy alternative to rice.

In Germany, the crisis sparked an unlikely revival of interest in Karl Marx, the founding father of communism whose heavy analysis of capitalism Das Kapital became a top seller.

Bailout was crowned as the US word of the year, and the financial crisis also had implications in Russia where vodka consumption fell sharply and the National Alcohol Association lobby group in Moscow said vodka stockpiles were six times higher than usual.

In Italy, a man accused of being a Mafioso got out of prison after a court ruled he was too fat for jail. Guards said the 210-kg (462-pound) man could not fit through the bathroom door.

One Italian couple was caught red-handed having sex in a church confessional box while morning Mass was being said while a British virgin celebrated her 105th birthday by telling journalists the secret to longevity was avoiding sex (end).

Just a few of the year’s top weird and wacky news to bring a smile to your face today.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Once in a Blue Moon

There is a saying often used around these parts... "Don't knock it till you've tried it", as a response to anybody who is negative, especially with weird or off the wall subjects.

Of course one of my favourite sports that gets me out of bed these days is to rib Hooky and Bowie about the girlie nature of American Beer...and then sit back and listen to their cages rattle, as they drool and strain at their leather fetters...desperate to get their gums round the rims of a few pints of Heavy, and put an end to this barguement.

The fact that being Americans, and coming from a gene pool of people who were hardy and curious enough to leap onto boats at the mere thought of a Promised Land, makes them a proud and feisty breed, who don't take kindly to having their nationhood poked with a stick from across the water. They forgot tho, in their hurry, to take irony over with them as well as the Beer recipes.

Recently they have been fighting back in a new "If you can't beat them join them " kind of way. For the passed twenty years the US answer was to flood out the UK market with cheap bottles of Bud and numerous other dreadful corn beers, usually with an "exotic" Americana TV ad... but with the dumbing down of the Union, by the Bush Dynasty ( ironically from possibly the most macho of the US states ) the pendulum of Beer taste is swinging the other way, British and European Ales are on the up... Flavor is back, and i am increasingly getting reports from the La -Z- Boy's of Indiana, of mysterious Craft beers and Macro beers. ( you can't beat the simple description of a beers' flavor to get the juices of a beer drinker going )

So my own curiosity was itself aroused when I saw on the top shelf of the beer aisle in my hypermart, a small blue labelled bottle, marked North American Craft beer.

I decided not to read the label... but instead just to buy it and try it as a "blind" taste session.

Well I am pleased to report that it was very tasty. A Belgian-style witbier , made with pale malted barley, wheat and oats, and mildly spicy American Hallertau hops, spiced with a bit of orange peel and coriander. Cloudy, and unfiltered, and looking like rusty tap water, it is from the same family of beers as the Hoegaarden White Beer I am fond of guzzling here on hot summer nights.

Naturally I decide to check out this and was initially amused to see the whole site had been set up to look like someone had thought all this idea up using Moleskine Books, as every thing was drawn up and made to look oaksy and folksy and as you would imagine a craft beer to be ....made by some ornery old hop smelling genius in a sawdust strewn loft in the backwoods of the Midwest.
Sadly, with a bit of probing I find this particular beer wasn't made in a tiny brewpub somewhere, but brewed by Molson Coors, the nation's third-largest brewery (after Anheuser-Bush and SABMiller). And sales of Blue Moon White Ale last year approached 800,000 barrels, more than 2.6 million, 12-ounce bottles.

But on the other hand, this is excellent beer: Dry, mildly spicy nose, hint of orange and summer fruit and a crisp taste of clean malt with a tart finish and a gentle rush of drying coriander.

Certainly Blue Moon shows mainstream Americans are picking up on the idea that beer can have flavor, and it is a step in the right direction... and like Ol' MLK, I too "have a dream": That the day will come when those tasteless lagers we like to rag on from the shires of England, will be America's ancient history, replaced by foaming tankards of Brown Ale and Mild. and stouts and Porters, and glorious Scottish Heavys..

Sir Dayvd ( you gotta have a dream..if you don't have a ya gonna...etc etc ) of Oxfordshire

Friday, December 26, 2008

St. Stephan's, Boxing or Saturnalia Day

Today the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Martyr. St. Stephen was stoned to death (something my hippie friends tried without success back in the 70's) on this day in Jerusalem in 35 A.D.

St. Stephen became the patron saint of casket makers, headaches (no doubt he suffered a huge migraine that day), and the city of Owensboro, Ky, home of Lady Suzanne of Greenbriar. The angry Jewish mobs are reminiscent of trying to shop at WalMart on the day after Christmas.

Which brings us to the tradition of the Common Wealth nations to celebrate Boxing Day on this day. It has become a huge after Christmas shopping day, but it's origins where based in more ancient times and on a better reason than pure capitalism run amok.

Boxing Day was traditionally a time when the wealthier class gave gifts to the lower class after Christmas. It has its origins in ancient Rome, as do so many of our holidays. The ancient Romans celebrated during this time a Feast called Saturnalia, which expanded into a week long celebration, much like the 12 Days of Christmas.

Saturnalia's main feature among the tomfoolery and drinking was the exchanging of several small gifts and the reversal of social roles. Slaves were not punished during this time and were allowed to make fun of their masters. Masters even served their slaves during one of the main banquets.

There you have it, a brief history of this day after Christmas. So, if you don't feel like getting stoned, shopping or switching roles you might want to hide away for the day. Or in my case, I'm driving to Florida to start a week long Feast a la "Saturnalia"!

Sir Hook the Always Looking for a Reason to Feast of Warrick

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christ Mass and the Magi Caravan

Today is Christmas, which is the condensed version of its original meaning Christ Mass. As usual, we attended Midnight Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Newburgh. It's always a beautiful way to usher in Christmas, with Candle Light, Christmas Decorations, Glorious Music and the bringing out of the High Mass Regalia, which now days is only used for Christmas, Easter, Funerals and Weddings.

This Christ Mass; however, had a special "Oliver Twist" to it when I was asked earlier in the day by Father Joe to pick up a caravan of characters going through an addiction rehab program at Stepping Stones and bring them to Mass and take them back afterwards. We were the perfect Magi Caravan for the Christ Child, not unlike his later Disciples. A band of struggling vagrants journeying through various stages of life, all seeking the Divine and enlightenment in a dark world and even darker night.

It reminded me that perhaps we Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale should be more open to others plight, especially the addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. However, we have great jolly fun in our writings, which will continue, so please don't be offended.  

That said, I'm also reminded of the lyrics by Jethro Tull, "The Christmas Spirit is not what you drink." There are many ways to Think, Drink and Be Merry! You can drink in the knowledge and wonder that surrounds you without drinking alcohol. You can most assuredly be merry without alcohol. And clear thinking is a hallmark of the sober mind; however, not always as open to the other dimensions of existence.

Therefore, one does not have to "drink" in the common sense of the word to be a Knight of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale, just as one does not have to be Divine to enjoy the fruits of heaven, as we celebrate that great mystery on this day.

So, Think, Drink and Be Merry in Your Own Special Way this Christ Mass!

Sir Hook the Magi Caravan Driver of Warrick
"Hey Santa, pass that bottle over here, will ya."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Three Knight's Night

It's Christmas Eve, traditionally celebrated as the visitation to the Christ Child by the Three Wise Men, We Three Kings, the Three Magi, etc.

In the time honored tradition of ripping off someones Feast Day, perfected by the early Christian Church, I hereby proclaim this "Three Knight's Night"! A night for knights to celebrate the visitation of Sir Hook and Sir Bowie to Old Chicago, and Sir Hook and Sir Dayvd to McGraths, which beget the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale.

Instead of Gold (which we have none), Frankincense (we are frank and make a lot of sense), and Myrrh (I prefer Polo Black by Ralph Lauren)....We bring the gifts of Thinking, Drinking, and Being Merry! We Three Knights of KMSA are:

So, as you celebrate Three Knight's Night tonight my fair Knights and Ladies, remember to Think, Drink and Be Merry....and to avoid the exploding cigars!

Sir Hook a Founding Father of Warrick

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can you survive on beer alone?

Beer has had a reputation since antiquity as being a staple in the diet, often called “liquid bread”. In ancient times, workers received beer as part of their salary, as did the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Elizabeth Ist. In 1492, one gallon of beer per day was the standard allocation for sailors in the navy of Henry VII. This high reputation for beer came about because it was made from malted barley, which is rich in vitamins.

This is still true today. A quick check using nutritional tables shows that a pint can provide more than 5 per cent of the daily recommended intake of several vitamins such as B9, B6 and B2, although other vitamins such as A, C and D are lacking.

It is of course unethical to conduct an experiment to see whether one can live on beer alone. However, during the Seven Years War of 1756-63, John Clephane, physician to the English fleet, conducted a clinical (?) trial. Three ships were sent to the New World . One – the Grampus – was supplied with plenty of beer, while the other two – the Daedalus and the Trotoise – had only the common allowance of spirits. After an unusually long voyage due to bad weather, Clephane reported that the Daedalus and Tortoise had 112 and 62 men respectively requiring hospitalisation. The Grampus, on the other hand, had only 13, arguably a clear-cut result. Needless to say, the sailor’s allowance of eight pints of beer per day is no longer within the accepted confines of current alcohol consumption. One can only speculate on the state of their livers.

Living on beer alone may well be a fantasy to some , to which I now ask the next question; is there such a thing as Beer Porn, and I offer you the following Picture as an example, and await your comments.

Sir Dayvd ( always willing to experiment ) of Oxfordshire

Monday, December 22, 2008

Knight of the Meek

A few posts ago I mentioned one of my favorite Christmas movies, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Here is a Christmas program that might be a little more obscure.

"The Night of the Meek" (December, 1960) episode of the American anthology series The Twilight Zone.

For those of you who are familiar with The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling always came on with a brilliant open and close to each episode. Here is Serling's open for "The Night of the Meek":

This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institution, that of the department-store Santa Claus in a road-company version of 'The Night Before Christmas'. But in just a moment Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found... in the Twilight Zone.

Art Carney is absolutely magnificent as a drunk and dejected Henry Corwin. Having been fired from his Santa job, he stumbles aimlessly into an alley. There Corwin sees a large, cloth garbage bag which seems to have the ability of containing any item that's asked of it. Bathed with the spirit of Christmas, Corwin proceeds to hand out gift-wrapped presents to all the poor children and needy.

The entire episode is shear Christmas magic that can only be found in the Twilight Zone and in Rod Serling’s imagination. I have always loved Rod Serling’s genius.

Ancient history: Sir Hook and I first met while working at the local NBC Television affiliate (WFIE Channel 14). One project we took on was to play characters in the Weekend Midnight Movie program. Basically, we aired some of the worst horror flicks of all time; trying to spice them up a little bit with a locally produced open, bumps, and close – each more ridiculous than the movie itself. Sir Hook played the role of one “Dr. Meathook” and I attempted my best Rod Serling imitation in the role of “Dr. D. Bowie” Kuhn.”

The enclosed photo is Dr. D Bowie Kuhn (yes, that’s a real beard) in the winter of 1980/81.

We were stars in our own minds.

Each weekend, I'd buy copious amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Pizza King Stroms, and head over to any friend’s house who was brave enough to watch the painfully bad movie and worse acting (speaking only for myself; Hook was always brilliant). Still, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had, and I'm sure it was a treat for the 10s of people who stayed up late watching it (remember, this was pre-cable and satellite days).

I’ll conclude this little rambling as Serling concluded the episode of “The Night of the Meek”:

“A word to the wise to all the children of the [twentieth] century, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards. There's a wondrous magic to Christmas and there's a special power reserved for little people. In short, there's nothing mightier than the meek.”

May we each find our own magic bag of gift giving this holiday season.
May we each enjoy our own Knight of the Meek.

Sir “Dr. D. Bowie Kuhn” of Greenbriar.

"No one could know Serling, or view or read his work, without recognizing his deep affection for humanity ... and his determination to enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves." —Gene Roddenberry

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice and the Anticipation of the Wonderful

Now is the solstice of the year,
Winter is the glad song that you hear.

Seven maids move in seven time.

Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.

Ring solstice bells.

One of my favorite Jethro Tull songs reminds us of the ancient celebration of this wondrous Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale Feast Day.

Today is a what I like to refer to as a "Power Day". A day when several things "line up", whether related or not, like the lads in the lyrics above. Today is officially Winter Solstice on all calendars, an official "KMSA Feast Day", the last Sunday of Advent, the last Sunday before Christmas and the shortest day and the longest night of the year. That's a lot of MOJO for one 24 hour period!

This is a day of Anticipation of the Wonderful. The Druids called this day holy and anticipated it's arrival with the sunrise of the shortest day. Centuries of Feasts where held to celebrate the day and help to pass the long dark of the night. For the Christian community it's the lighting of the 4th and last candle on the Advent Wreath in anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child and the hope of his second coming. For the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale it's a day to celebrate whatever it is you hold in sacred anticipation.
As I lit the 4th candle on my Advent Wreath to my right and watched the sunrise arrive over the horizon through my Dream Catcher to my left, I joined the ancient with the Divine in a prayer of anticipation, wonder and praise:

The Divine is Wonderful
The Divine has done Wonderful Things for Me
The Divine is Doing Wonderful Things for Me
The Divine will do Wonderful Things for Me
The Divine is Wonderful
In Me

Sir Hook the Divine Dream Catcher of Wondrous Anticipation of Warrick

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Perception and Memory.

LONDON (AP) - A British pilot said he ran into an unusual hazard while making an emergency landing - a cow. Rob Wotton said he was trying to land his World War II-era Tiger Moth after the engine stalled just after takeoff southwest of London on Sept. 14. He was about to touch down in a field when the animal wandered into his way.

The brown-and-white cow was knocked to the ground by the plane's lower left wing. The two-seater was damaged but landed safely. The Cow was "apparently uninjured"

I fire up the computer this morning, to find this amusing tidbit from Sir Hook. Amusing..not only that a biplane clonks a cow, this island is pretty stuffed with such eccentricity, with many two seater Tiger Moths still flying and giving people their first flying lessons.

What did make me smile, and has done whenever I travel abroad, especially the USA... is the scale and perception we each have of our own countries. The news report says "Southwest of London", so i'm quickly thinking..oooh I wonder where that is...? drawing a mental line a few miles out of the Capital... Richmond.??... ermm Ealing?? Heathrow?? I look into it further by clicking on the accident report url. Dunkeswell Airfield, Devon. DEVON!!! Devon is a County in the far South West of our island. ( the jutty leg bit underneath Wales, if you now have your UK map unfurled ) Of course the AP in the US, are technically correct...but even in my position of being an hour WNW of London, Devon is a holiday destination to us, with a three hour trip to get there.

This ties up with when i come to US, a two hour trip out is often just to go have a drink in a bar of an evening, especially in the mid- States, and they will think nothing of gunning the V8 up onto the Interstate to go pick up some Ice-cream. This compared to the fact we cycle and walk a whole load of places, a fact that caused many an eyebrow to be raised in PA.

That said, I am forever asked by New Worlders, to say Hi to the Murphy's, back home in Bristol (90 min drive), or the McClouds in Chiswick ( London suburb ) as if I am a neighbour, when reality is that there are more people in one small county here than in the whole of Montana, Kansas and Wyoming combined.

In reverse...I think, I can walk from NY to Boston in an hour, as "hey, its only an Inch on the map!!"

So that's the Perception. There was one other thing that Hooks piece triggered, and that was my Memory.

Between around 11 -14 years of age, I was in the local branch of the Scouts. One of my favourite Summer Camp destinations they used to take us screaming kids, was the beautiful island of Alderney, part of the British Jersey/Guernsey archipelago that sit like giant aircraft carriers 8 miles off the coast of Northern France.

Alderney is about 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, and chock full of sunshine, beaches, and best of all, dozens of Napoleonic forts and castles that were built on each headland to repel the old French tyrant.

I'll leave you to imagine what adventures a horde of boys, hundreds of miles away from their parents got up to, and bring this indulgence to the point of why my mind was suddenly engaged in reverse..

In flying from Southampton to the tiny Island in the Hopper aircraft, my vivid memory is of the Captain, halfway over the English Channel, radioing the "airfield" and requesting that they take the herd of cows off the grass runway, and then we'd find that as the wheels touched down with a bump and a lurch and our excited faces peered out of the windows, there would be several dozen beige Guernsey cows, all individually roped to tethers along the perimeter, like some bovine welcoming committee.

As the quote goes:

'Memories sleep, until a word, a sight, a sound, awakens them'

Sir Dayvd ( still mentally in shorts ) of Oxfordshire

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flame: Where Fire Meets Desire

As a marketing and advertising professional I have to admit that Burger King is putting "The King" in places no other fast food chain has gone before.  It's not making me want to eat there as much as keeping me entertained.  Therefore, is it really working for them?  We'll I'm sharing this with you for one.  I also realize that I'm not necessarily high on their target demographic list (young male), but I fit perfectly into the psychographic target (found of the unusual and anything that will get me laid).

"Flame", a new men's body spray produced by Burger King is just such an example of the above.  On sale online at, Flame promises to "beef up your mojo this holiday season" with what the company describes as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."  Fire meets desire launches with seductive music and voice overs like Barry White.  You click on the spray to change scenes as it spews it's unique scent in your face.

About all I can add is that it's good to be the King, or a Knight who wants to smell like flame-broiled meat while his Lady moans, "Where's the beef?!"

Sir Hook the Whooper of Warrick

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mission Complete: KMSA Sacred Watering Holes

Last night completed the "Holy Trifecta", just in time for Christmas, of delivering the third and final Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale "Sacred Watering Hole" Plaque to be proudly displayed behind the bar.  The third pub to display us proudly is Dublin Village Tavern in Dublin, Ohio.  DVT was proceeded by the founding site in Evansville, IN of Old Chicago and McGrath's in Harrisburg, PA, where Sir Dayvd and I met.

It was only fitting, as described in the iPhone photo above, that a Founding Father from Evansville presented the plaque in Dublin (seen faintly in the background before it was to be hanged) while enjoying a Troegs Hop Back Amber Ale, brewed in Harrisburg, PA where I was introduced to this fine ale at McGrath's.  Obviously the planets and stars where aligned just right and all will be well in the world!

Not stopping at these three, which from here on will be known as the "KMSA Holy Trifecta", the Founding Fathers invite all to nominate their favorite Sacred Watering Hole so that the gospel according to KMSA can be spread throughout the world.  We promise to send you a plaque for display.  Thus we will begin a Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale "Pub Tour Pilgrimage" that will bring much "Thinking, Drinking and Merriment"!

Sir Hook the Proud KMSA Papa of Warrick 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Knight Carol

Samuel Adams used to brew at Christmas beer called “Old Fezziwig Ale.” (I'm sure that there were/are others with a similar theme). One reviewer called it the “Christmas cookie of beer.” Evidently is was bursting with spices of the season and a remarkably full body (toffee, caramel, chocolate notes, with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel). Now, that sounds like a pretty tasty holiday recipe.

A recipe for holiday joy that Lady Suzanne and the girls have enjoyed over the years is listening to the 1930s Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater (“War of the World” fame) Dickens “A Christmas Carol” staring Welles and Lionel Barrymore. I bet that Orson would have made a great Knight!

It’s the perfect length from the time we pull onto the highway to the second we pull in to Momaw’s house 50 miles away.

One of the great festive characters is, of course, Old Fezziwig.

From A Christmas Carol (edited for length)

The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door, and asked Scrooge if he knew it.

“Know it.” said Scrooge. “Was I apprenticed here.”

They went in. At sight of an old gentleman, Scrooge cried in great excitement: “Why, it's old Fezziwig. Bless his heart; it's Fezziwig alive again.”

“Yo ho, my boys.” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve.

There were dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer.

When the clock struck eleven, this domestic ball broke up. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side of the door, and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas.

During the whole of this time, Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. His heart and soul were in the scene, and with his former self. “A small matter,” said the Ghost,” to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.”

“Small.” echoed Scrooge.

“Why. Is it not. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise.”

“It isn't that,” said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. “It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.” He felt the Spirit's glance, and stopped.

“What is the matter.” asked the Ghost.

Scrooge said, “I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. That's all.” (end)

What a great lesson for all Knights: Scrooge was able to transform the destiny of his life by making a new choice. A choice to be an “Old Fezziwig” and live on purpose with love in his heart for his fellowman. And he was able to do so in the blink of a decision.

Sir Bowie “hoping to always be an “Old Fezziwig” vs. an “old Scrooge” of Greenbriar

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Words from Whitehouse

As promised in my comments yesterday, and to complement Sir Davyd's excellent reading, I humbly give you some poetry written by me during my recent Whitehouse Retreat. No, not the Bush Whacker's house, or should I say the "Artful Dodger of Shoes" house, but the Jesuit retreat center, resting on the bluffs of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, MO.

The source of inspiration is the environment itself, Advent, the Long Moon Night of Friday, the spotting of eagles soaring over the river and the continuation of a spiritual journey on the river to the Divine.

Long Moon Light

Long Moon Light
Pierces the Heart

It's Cold Edged Dagger

Opens the Soul

Chasing Destiny

Westward winds set my course
The blazing sunset lights the evening sky

Reds turn to yellows on the Creators pallet

Dancing hues among the whispering clouds

The Long Night Moon rises to join the ancient dance
It soon devours the sky like a hungry lover
Wanting ecstasy to become eternal

Too soon this glorious time will pass
Like a flock of geese in formation overhead
Their primal cries echo like braves

A thousand winged warriors

Not afraid to chase their destiny

Soon, only silence and the Long Night Moon remain
Hovering over two dead men
Rebel Jesus and I await our resurrection
A second coming into a world more fully known


Without despair

I join the geese in a warriors cry

And fly

Haiku's From the Cave


The Cave is a tomb

Where the heart of stone

Is rolled away to reveal
The Divine

The Cave is a cocoon

Where the caterpillar
Struggles to become
A Butterfly

The Cave is a womb

Where the Spirit gives birth
Pushing us forward
Into a world of light


The Cave is an eye
Where cloudy vision is removed
Revealing the light and clarity
Of the Divine


The Cave is a universe

Where light and darkness
Caress the heart
With hands of stone

The Caterpillar

The caterpillar crawls

Like a multi-foot serpent
Inching towards its destiny of change

Soon it will be free

Of the confines of this world

Soaring the heavens with eagles

Like a multi-color angel

Free to fly
Free to be

What the Divine intended it to be

Sir Hook the Shaman Sage of Warrick

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Advent wind begins to stir

I got to read out one of my favourite poems, at a Carol Concert yesterday, and i just got to thinking that it so sums up the weather here right now....stormy and windy, and the Douglas firs outside my balcony really do dance and sound like the sea, that I thought i'd share it with the Knighthood... Plus it was written in the year i was born..:))

Advent 1955 John Betjeman
The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound -
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out ‘Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.’

And how, in fact, do we prepare
The great day that waits us there -
For the twenty-fifth day of December,
The birth of Christ? For some it means
An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards, And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end, of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know -
They’d sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back. Oh dear!
Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.

We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell’d go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
‘The time draws near the birth of Christ’.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger.

Sir Dayvd ( I started out with nothing and i've still got most of it left) of Oxfordshire

Sunday, December 14, 2008

That's Fighting Talk

Since ancient times the military world has provided us with a host of words and phrases. In another of my occasional series of the history of words, here is a fascinating selection, that i came across while researching ;
Best Man
Back in the days when a bride might be kidnapped and forced into marriage to bring about some treaty between warring factions, the groom needed his best swordsman of his acquaintances to guard his back as he made off with his bride. The role of "Best Swordsman" has been known since the 11th Century, though it was not incorporated into the British wedding tradition until the early 1800's
Tell Off
In previous centuries the verb "tell" had a secondary meaning of 'to count out or total, as in "telling the Time", or "there were six boxes all told". On Morning Parade of yesteryear, the list of men on charges was read out, or "told off", so they could be marched off to the CO for their "Telling off". Once outside the CO's office, they were called in one by one by the sergeant who then ticked off their name from his list, after noting their punishment, hence the use of "a good ticking off".
Deadline ( fixed date or time )
During the American Civil War the confederate-run PoW camp at Andersonville in Georgia was rightly infamous. Some distance from the stockade wall ran another line, the " dead line" , beyond which any prisoner would be presumed to be attempting to escape and consequently shot out of hand.
Hang Fire ( to delay )
Early cannon and mines were unreliable and there could sometimes be quite a delay between the ignition of the priming charge and the explosion.
Under such circumstances the gun was said to be "hanging fire" and only a fool would go anywhere near it until it either went off or was rendered safe. Firearms and cannon became so hot after protracted firing that pouring gunpowder into them was dangerous so a gun crew might be ordered to "hang fire" until their own piece cooled to safe loading temperatures.
Uncle Sam
The American image of Uncle Sam is built on Sam Wilson, a highly successful meat packer of Troy County , New York. Wilson was a tall and angular man given to exaggerating his height by wearing tailcoats and a stove-pipe hat. In the lead up to the 10 month war against the British in 1812, he was appointed Inspector General of provisions to the US Army.
His own factories were under contract but he could not inspect them himself and delegated the job to a government contract inspector
called Elbert Anderson, who branded all the barrels "EA-US" Wilson due to his kindly manner was known as Uncle Sam, and the joke spread that the brand on the barrel stood for Elbert Anderson & Uncle Sam. Troops insisted they were fed by Uncle Sam and in 1861 Congress officially adopted the image of Wilson as the Embodiment of the American Spirit.
Claiming that someone is " worth their salt " is said to come from the days of the Roman empire, when soldiers - so the story goes - were paid in salt. In fact, centurions were paid in multiples of a coin called the solidus, from which the word soldier is derived. On top of their normal wage, Roman soldiers were also paid a small bonus called the solarium, for the express purpose of buying salt for use when they were on duty in very hot climes. This gave way to the word "salary". The expression "worth his salt" is probably a general allusion to someone being worth the cost of the salt necessary to keep them alive.
Zap or Zapp ( kill )
So i will end this set of words with a suitably Z word, that you'd think would have simply come from the pages of American Comic books in the twenties, but it goes back to at least the 16th Century.
The Oxford English Dictionary presents an interesting quote from 1600 demanding that a Castle ramparts be "Zapped". This is based on the Italian Zappare, "to inflict death and destruction with explosives", as dug in with a Zappa, or "spade", by the kind of engineer we now know as a "Sapper".

Sir Dayvd (knows what he's talking about ) of Oxfordshire

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oxymoron: New Tradition

My father used to say that LAUGHTER is the best medicine...

that's probably why a lot of us kids died of tuberculosis.

-- Jack Handy

The House of Warrick and the House of Greenbriar got together the other evening (see post 12/11008) to share a few beers, meal, dreams, a gift from Sir Dayvd, and... share a few LAUGHS (Yes Lady Allwinky, the teeth gag was priceless!).

Sir Hook's gifts to me included The Best of BrainDoppings by George Carlin, Ass Blaster Hot sauce which comes in its own wooden outhouse, and a book titled Jew-Jitsu The Hebrew Hands of Fury (putting fear into the hearts of those who mess with the kosher kids!).

All great gifts that, needless to say, are sure to offer many hours of amusement; however, the greatest gift they gave us was the GIFT OF LAUGHTER. I commented that at one point I laughed so unexpectedly hard that I nearly spewed beer out of my nose. Now that's a great gift!

Milton Berle once said that Laughter is an instant vacation.

Like A Christmas Vacation? One of the funniest Christmas movies of all time? Which, by the way, shows how Christmas can be both stressful and funny:

Clark Griswold: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

So this Christmas do some things that really make you, your family, your friends, and complete strangers LAUGH. Put on your Depends Diapers and laugh till you pee your pants. Strap yourself in so you don't laugh yourself off your chair. Bring some tissues so that you can wipe away the tears when you laugh till you cry. And remember to breathe so you don't choke on your own spit and laughter.

And finally, pick a drink that's non-carbonated (eggnog or milk are good choices -- unless you're lactose intolerant).

And NO Candy canes. They are big no-no to eat while laughing. Trust me.

Sir Bowie of "I take myself WAY too seriously. So, I'm going to try to laugh at myself more" of Greenbriar