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Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Bloom with a View

Passion Flower in my Fathers garden.

Involved, as I am, in painting pictures and heraldry, in my favoured Pre-Raphaelite / Medieval style, and equally with studying paintings in Museums, I often have to refer to a list I have with me, that explains the symbolism of flowers, that the artist would include in the background or adorning the figure, allowing him to send coded messages, to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken.

The language of flowers, sometimes called
floriography, though most popular in the Victorian period, dates back to antiquity.

In Medieval and Renaissance culture, flowers were often given moral meanings. This is most apparent in art in which Saints are often depicted with flowers that are symbolic of their virtues.

In the 19th Century it became so popular that almost every flower known had a symbolic meaning assigned to it. Below you will find the meanings that were assigned to the flowers and figures used in Paintings, Poetry, in Hair and Jewelry:

Rose = Love, hope
Pansy = Thoughtfulness
Lily = Eternal life
Forget-Me-Not = Remembrance
Ivy = Memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity
Wreath = Memory
Angel = Guardian, Protection, Divine Love
Butterfly = The 3 stages of life, death, resurrection
Fleur de Lis = Flame, ardour, mother
Wheat = Resurrection

The following is a list of More Symbolisms

Acacia = Immortality of Soul, Secret Love
Acanthus = Heavenly Garden
Apple = Blossom Preference
Azalea = Temperance
Bachelor Buttons = Celibacy
Basil = Hatred
Buttercup = Cheerfulness
Camellia = Reflected Loveliness
Carnation = Admiration, A woman's love
Crocus = Youthful gladness
Daffodil = Regard, desire, art, grace
Daisy = Innocence, youth
Dogwood = Durability
Fennel = Strength
Fern = Sincerity
Goldenrod = Precaution
Hawthorne = Hope, merriness and springtime
Heather = Admiration, solitude & protection
Heliotrope = Devotion, constancy, infatuation
Hibiscus = Delicate beauty
Holly = Foresight
Hollyhock = Ambition, Fertility
Honeysuckle = Generosity and devoted affection
Hyacinth = Unobtrusive loveliness
Iris = Hope, power, message
Jasmine = Amiability, sensuality, grace, elegance
Laurel = Special achievement, distinction, success
Lavender = Distrust
Lemon Blossoms = Fidelity in Love
Lilac = First emotions of love, youthful innocence
Lily of the Valley = Return of Happiness, purity, humility
Lotus = Eloquence, mystery and truth
Magnolia = Love of nature
Marigold = Sorrow
Mint = Virtue
Morning Glory = Affection, Resurrection
Myrtle = Love and Marriage
Narcissus = Egotism
Nightshade = Secrets
Olive = Peace and security
Passion Flower = The elements of the passion of Christ
Periwinkle = Friendship
Pine = Fidelity, fertility, regeneration
Pineapple = Hospitality, good host
Poppy = Peace, rest
Primrose = Consistency, Early youth
Quince = Temptation
Rhododendron = Danger
Rosemary = The herb of remembrance
Sage = Domestic Virtues
Stephanotis = Bride's good luck flower
Sweet Pea = Delicate Pleasures
Sweet William = Gallantry
Thistle = Defiance, earthly sorrow
Vine = God
Violet = Faithfulness, steadfastness and modesty
Water Lily = Purity of heart
Weeping Willow = Mourning
Willow = Forsaken love
Wisteria = I cling to thee, welcome fair stranger
Zinnia = Thoughts of absent friends

Weeping Willow : D G Rossetti
More Symbols

Anchor = Hope
Bird = Winged Soul, Eternal Life
Bridge = Linking of Earthly & Heavenly Realms
Conch Shell = Reincarnation
Cross = Love, Faith, Goodness
Dog = Loyalty
Heart = Love, Devotion, Charity
Oak Tree = Steadfastness, Life
Palm Tree = Peace
Sun shining = Everlasting Life

So Knights, when you buy your Ladies Flowers, as I know you do every week... you know now not to buy her Lavender, even if it does smell nice.

Sir Dayvd ( who probably is a pansy but its not something he's going to advertise ) of Oxfordshire

Friday, August 28, 2009

...Worth a Thousand Words

I opened the paper this morning to find many possible blog topics:

* A University of Southern Indiana director of counseling has been placed on unpaid leave and barred from campus for having marijuana in his office (over two pounds found in his home). Oh, I guess I have to use that journalism word "allegedly."

* Thousands line up to pay their last respects for Sen. Edward Kennedy.

* The Hilltop Inn in Evansville (one of my favorites) earned's the "Manliest Restaurant in America" -- mostly because of very cold beer (sorry, Sir D) and hot brain sandwiches. They say that there is something about brains (pork) frying in a pan that will put hair on your chest.

Yes, I have a few hairs on my chest!

Yes, there certainly is a lot of interesting news to report. But, I wanted to take the opportunity today to present the most exciting news I've seen in some time. The Headline News direct from Sir Dayvd:

Boys and girls find attached... the definitive new KMSA Crest

what is new and different about it all is the Motto, and the fact that i have modified the lowercase letter k so it looks like a k.
on all old english fonts this was not the case, so i have re-drawn one in the spirit of the font.
sir D

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Idiot Tax

Before we get too deep into the blog I have to admit it's not one of my most original ideas. In fact, it's not original at all. Like Jeff Foxworthy's line, "You must be a redneck if...." You must be an idiot if.....well, you can fill in your own blanks.

In fact, there is a very interesting website where you can make deposits that will be donated to charity for being an idiot. The ultimate idiot tax is a found at

I, on occasions of utter disgust, forget my Unity through Diversity pledge and become a collector of the Idiot Tax.

Two of my most recent collections happened fairly recently.

Last week traveling back from Indy to home, I stopped at a McDonald's to get a cup of coffee and a bottled water. There was a long line to one check out because the manager in her infinite wisdom decided to shut down the others to count money because they were so busy. This left the one open register maned by a new employee who had the blank stare of a drug induced zombie and the intelligence to match. After repeating my order three times (that's a coffee with cream and sugar and a bottled water) she finally got it entered right. She gave me my water, which I moved to the side with me while I waited on my coffee. Well, she forgot to get my coffee, so I had to remind her after she struggled with the next poor saps order. She looked down at the register and reviewed the order, forgot she gave me my water already, and gave me another one. While she went to get my coffee, which she needed two peoples help to accomplish, I decided that the extra bottle of water was a fitting collection of the idiot tax.

Another happened at Lollapalooza. While waiting for the Toxic Airborne Event to come out for their set, two teen age boys spread their mat on the ground next to us. One of them reached into his pocket to get his cell phone to start texting. As he pulled the phone out $40 fell out of his pocket and started to blow away in the wind. I stomped my foot down on the money, which got his attention, and then handed it back to him. He didn't thank me, and actually looked a little pissed. Then, he pulled out three Red Bulls and downed them for a cheap caffeine buzz before the show. Instead of keeping the cans to throw away later, or making the 30 foot walk to the nearest collection box, he shoves the cans in his forehead and crushed them, yells and throws them into the crowd as trash while laughing like the bully in the classic film The Christmas Story. He then pulls out his cell phone again. Again, the $40 comes flying out of his pocket. This time I kept the money and donated it to the Green Zone area after the set. One of my better collections of the idiot tax.

So, the next time you're thinking about being an idiot, beware of the idiot tax collectors who surround you!

Sir Hook the Tax Man of Warrick

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Legendry Dirt Road Blues

With Bowie and Hooky on the trail of a Good English Pint in Ummmmerrica, there was a great chance last night for me to soak up the tasty live sound of Roadhouse southern America , in Oxford , and stand for a couple of hours within touching distance of the fretboard of the modern legend that is Alvin Youngblood Hart.

Grammy award winning Alvin, out of Memphis TN is the cosmic American Love Child Of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray!!! Known as a "musician's musician", his praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.

Since his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA'S DOOR, he has carried his musical message the world over. A devout follower of the 'no barriers' approach laid by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late great Doug Sahm, Alvin continues to defy the so- called purists.

To have him appearing in the tiny, ( itself fast becoming legendry ) Blues club, on the fringe strip of the City , is a real coup, but you could just tell by hearing him talk about the rocking blues that he was as happy bringing the walls down to 100 people ( as there was cramming the room...) as he was to 10,000 at a festival.

So we got the lot, from all ten of his different guitars.. the whole gamut of southern State Music as if Hendrix has descended on us himself...

....the whole tale of starting out life on the dirt poor side of the tracks to playing round the globe, just how I want my bluesmen to be. You gotta have felt to know how to feel. His new album "Motivational Speaker" just about says it all and it was a fantastic evening watching at close quarters his big phat phalanges make his guitar wail and sing.

You'll have noticed the words "legendry" and "Bob Dylan" cropping up a few times in this blog which prompted an aftershow beer and chat at the bar about the nature of Legendry-ness and how it is almost over used like "genius"..these day. What does it take to be legendry... Longevity ?...the rise from poverty to being a household name through deeds told by word of mouth?...or that simply that you gained doing it the hard way, playing every roadhouse and blues club in the world like this one tonight... increasing the legend even more.

Of course when you get to being Dylan, you get to that weird place of being so legendry, you can start to play with it, almost go back to the start, (a bit like Alvin tonight,) and enjoy the weirdness it brings....

......... as it was with great amusement that on the way home I tuned in the 1 am newsround on the car radio to hear that Bob Dylan, the man himself, is "talking to a couple of car companies" about becoming the voice of their GPS Sat Nav system.

So naturally this led me to thinking.. "How many Roads does a man walk down" and whether what ever you typed into the Sat Nav you would end up on "positively 4th Street"

It could have been "Lonely Avenue" but Ray Charles got there first and I even hoped he wrote "Turn Turn Turn" but that was Pete Seeger, so it seems even legends can't have everything.

The Legendry Sir Dayvd ( "Left at the next street. No, right. You know what? Just go straight." ) of Legendry Oxford

So Happy Together: A Post Script to the Taming of Lynnville

Three pictures of the Old Fox with his Fox at the Old Fox are worth three thousand words! Photos courtesy of Sir Bowie.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Indianapolis, The 21st Amendment & How to Tame Lynnville

The rather long title of this blog befits the length of time it took to develop, as it took a life of its own over a three day period. So, as the Cursillo movement says, the fourth day produced fruit. We begin our tale in Indianapolis...Capital of Indiana....home of the Colts...and now home to my son, Sir Ryan of Warrick.

We attended a preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Colts at the relative new Lucas Oil Stadium. The stadium reminds me of a "Hoosier High School Gym on Steroids"...with its large glass windows on either side (which open in good weather)...and arched ceiling (which also opens) that reaches towards the heavens as it echos the cheers that salute the glorious movements on the field.

Of course, life doesn't get much better than a good football game, 50,000 screaming fans, cheerleaders and beer! It was also an opportunity to witness the rebirth of Michael Vick. Sign of the day..."Hide Your Beagles, Vick's an Eagle!"

Pro Bowl Peyton and his Minions made short order of the Eagles in two impressive drives that lasted all of three minutes total! Then it was time for the "B" squad lead by recent addition and former Purdue Boilermaker QB Curtis Painter. He looked equally impressive and you could tell that in his youth he had the wisdom and humble ability to mimic his historic team leader in his style.

We then retired to Sir Ryan's "Eagle Nest" on the 17th floor of the City View Apartments on Meridian. Sir Ryan, recently receiving a medical discharge from the Army, has moved to Indy to finish his college and is opening up his own Computer Repair business. We are quiet proud of his accomplishments. One of which is the introduction to a "Beer Geeks Heaven on Earth"...the 21st Amendment liquor store.

Cleverly named after the amendment that repealed prohibition, another idiotic Utopian invention of the narrow minded religious right, 21st Amendment offers wine and spirits....but it really shines with its selections of "Domestic Bottled Brands" of Craft Breweries...especially those in Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Of course, me and Daniel (pictured above), hit it off famously as he shared the ever so difficult to obtain "Bible of Craft Brews" and I shared with him the story and coasters of the Knights of Moleskine Spirit and Ale. It was a grand time...and I could have easily dropped a grand on beers to take home.

However, we made ourselves content to purchase four of Daniel's recommendations.

Representing four different breweries...Founders, Left Hand, Victory and Three Floyds...I had sampled beers from all but Left Hand before and was always pleased. I never had the selections we purchased above: Founders Centennial IPA (Michigan), Left Hand Milk Stout (PA), Victory HopDevil Ale (PA) and Three Floyds Robert the Bruce Scottish Style Ale (Indiana). WOW!

Of course, knowing that we were to meet up with the House of Greenbriar at their lake cabin hide away in Lynnville, Indiana in Warrick County...we loaded up the cooler with ice and began the process of beer tasting (OK...Beer Slamming) as we cruised the deep waters of this one time stripper pit mine.

Sir Bowie did an excellent job of guiding us through the sometimes narrow water ways and islands while we enjoyed every beer we could find.

It was a grand time for sure! We saw Beaver (no, not Lady A's unfortunately! LOL!), Falcon, Blue Birds, Water Falls, Rock Cliffs, All types of trees and vegetation and the ripples of feeding Bass and Bluegill as the sun began to set.

Of course, I had to sit up front so that I could periodically produce my Cherokee Indian Battle Cry that would echo across the water and bounce off the rock cliffs.

We made our way back to the Cabin as we navigated in the dark of night. Then we took the short ride into the little town of Lynnville, about 20 miles from my home.

It's the famous Old Fox Inn, where you will encounter "Real America" in all its wonderful and not so wonderful colors. We laughed as we sat next to the chain link fence that's inside which guards the stock of beer, as we thought about bringing Sir D here so that he could have "Freakin' Kittens"!

They closed the kitchen down for Karaoke Night, so Sir Bowie and I went to the pizza place down the block and ordered the biggest pizza we could get and brought it back and shared with the patrons.

Then Lady A and I danced to the surprise of all...only to be complimented by me bringing the house down with my cover of The Turtles "So Happy Together"!

As we were leaving to drive home before we couldn't...the crowd that at first where a little cold were begging us to stay!

The tip jar says it all. Not about the true character of these characters...but of the sense of humor humanity shares..."For A Small Town Like This One We Sure Have A Lot Of Assholes!"

As we were getting ready to get in our cars I turned to Sir Bowie and said, "Now...that's how you tame Lynnville!"

Sir Hook the Lion Tamer of Warrick

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Of Netbooks and Moleskines

I got an early birthday gift this week. My husband gave me a netbook with built in mobile broadband should the desperate need to google, blog, or consult wikipedia strike when a WiFi connection is not available. It is about 10" across, weighs about three pounds, and tucks neatly into my purse. It was a most excellent gift, indeed. I love it.

As I was becoming acquainted with my new toy, my husband said, "So now you won't need to carry a pen and notebook with you everywhere you go anymore."

Whoa there! Back it up a bit, buddy! The technology impresses me. It even amazes me a little bit. But a replacement for pen and paper? Hardly!

I know people who have completely given up pen and paper. They don't have landlines, either. They don't understand me any more than I understand them. (We still like each other a lot, though. Unity through diversity, no?)

I like taking pen to paper. I like writing outside and watching the ink quickly dry in the sunshine. I like the process of jotting things down. I like the very word: jot. I like writing without spellcheck - it's like working without a net. I'm adventurous like that, what can I say? I like my handwriting. It's sloppy to the point of illegibility sometimes - it's pretty and distinctive when I make an effort. It's always mine. My own personal, fallible, human font.

The netbook is great. It keeps me connected to the greater world.

The notebook and pen keep me connected to myself.

Those are both good things with which to be connected. There's room in my purse and in my life to accommodate both.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thars Gold in them there Hills!!

I sometimes see a news item and think i'm missing a few tricks in life. I mean, i'm a metal detectorist, i know that most fields in the UK have dozens of items dropped in them over the centuries, and then I saw this item below in the press and it got me thinking.

American metal detector enthusiasts pay more than £2,200 each to search field in Norfolk
For most tourists, no trip to Britain would be complete without a visit to
Buckingham Palace or Stonehenge.

But for this group of Americans, a small muddy field in the heart of Norfolk was reason enough for their trip.

They are among 21 metal detector enthusiasts who have paid more than £2,000 each and flown thousands of miles to discover the treasures scattered across East Anglia.

Looking for treasure: The American metal detector enthusiasts fly thousands of miles to Norfolk every year

Heads down and brows furrowed, the group spent most of their eight-day holiday patiently waiting for the small 'beep' that would tell them their efforts had been rewarded.

Most appeared so deep in concentration that they were unaware of the glorious rolling countryside around them - and the rare sunny weather.

Each was armed with their very own detector, which projects an electro-magnetic field into the ground and beeps when it comes into contact with anything metallic.

Precise: The highly sensitive detectors are equipped with satellite positioning to pinpoint the location of finds

But although the Americans were determined to 'touch the hand of history' by finding an ancient artefact, most were left with just an old tin can or used shotgun cartridge to show for their labours.

One enthusiast, Jim Normandy, 79, a retired pharmacist from California, said he was 'thrilled' to unearth a 17th century button.

'We have been coming here for 19 years, first to Kent but mostly to Norfolk, because there is so much history here,' he added.

Treasure: One enthusiast found a 17th century button in the field

'There were 21 people in this year's tour, having slimmed down following the September 11 attacks. There used to be two groups of 50.'

He paid £2,200 for the trip, excluding flights, and stayed at the same Norfolk hotel the group have chosen for years. There, after hours of sweeping harvested canola fields, each find was meticulously logged.

The Americans most spectacular discovery to date has been a 2in Thor's hammer Viking pendant, made from silver and gold, which was found in the Great Witchingham

But they have also found objects dating back to the Iceni tribe, Bronze Age axe fragments, as well as Roman jewellery, Saxon brooches and medieval money.

Enthusiasts: The Americans come over to England on organised detecting trips looking for buried artefacts

Their most successful find this trip was a gold 'Angel' coin from the time of Henry VII.

David Barwell, a former chairman of the National Council for Metal Detecting, who selected the fields for US tour operator Discovery Tours, said: 'You will see our objects in displays at Norwich Castle Museum.

'The experts are keen to have the help of responsible detectorists to help them piece together Norfolk's history.

'Sometimes a Roman coin might be only worth a couple of quid, but is priceless in terms of history.'

Actually...i know how they feel...its rather if i can tie this all in with a beer hunt too... we might have ourselves
an idea..:)
Sir Dayvd ( who is full of good ideas....and that's it. ) of Oxfordshire

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Smokin' Joe and Gorgeous Gina Show

After a couple of steady, challenging, yet rewarding days of work...I was ready to unwind with some Rockin' Blues at the old Victory Theater in downtown Evansville. Now the home of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victory originally started as a 1920's Palace of Silent Films.

Braving a last minute severe thunderstorm and torrential rain...Sir Hook's Traveling Medicine Show arrived in Victory at the Victory.

Last night's headliner is one of my favorite guitar players...Joe Bonamassa. Starting as a child prodigy...Joe is now called the "New King of the Blues" and "One of the World's Greatest Guitar Players". Joe is that and so much more...a Rockin' Demon on Guitar...SMOKIN'!

The 4th row view from my resolution challenged iPhone doesn't even begin to capture the raw power, energy and sonic beauty that Joe and his solid band mates laid out on the Blues Buffet for our hungry consumption!

This is Joe's website,, where you'll find the real version of guitar hero. Here's some history from Joe's bio on the site:

Like that of John Henry, Bonamassa’s story has its fair share of legend, grit and endurance. Remarkably, the 2009 release of The Ballad Of John Henry coincides with his twentieth year as a professional musician, an extraordinary timeline for a young artist just into his ’30s. A child prodigy, Bonamassa was finessing Stevie Ray Vaughan licks when he was seven and by the time he was ten, had caught B.B. King’s ear. After first hearing him play, King said, “This kid's potential is unbelievable. He hasn't even begun to scratch the surface. He's one of a kind.” By age 12, Bonamassa was opening shows for the blues icon (something he also did recently as the opener on King’s 80th birthday tour), and went on to tour with venerable acts including Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Gregg Allman.

Reversing the order for artistic sake, the opening act, and the Gorgeous part of this Smokin' story is Gina Sicilia. All of 23 years old, what makes Gina "Gorgeous" is not so much her looks as the sound that comes out of her Philadelphia bred, Italian American mouth and the energy of the performance.

It was like watching Janis Joplin perform while listening to the blended voices of Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Bonnie Riatt all at once....DYNAMIC!

Best of all, the songs from her new album, "Hey Sugar", were performed as recorded by a stripped down version of musical mayhem. Upright bass, one snare with cymbal, and an electric guitar was all it took to the ROCK THE HOUSE DOWN! I kept thinking that this is how it must have felt to be at the old Rockabilly shows with Johnny Cash, Elvis and the gang when I was just a spec in my Daddy's eyes!

Gina's web site is where you'll enter into this wonderful world, Here's some bio information:

Only once in a great while an artist comes along with the power to cause jaws to drop in awe—ladies and and gentleman, meet Philadelphia's own musical own dynamo Gina Sicilia Exposed to music early on by her music-loving family, Gina began singing at the age of 3 and wrote her first song at the tender age of 12. Upon hearing blues legend Bobby Bland for the first time at the age of 14, she became instantly enthralled by the raw emotion and power of blues & soul. After spending her teenage years polishing her vocal and songwriting skills, Gina began singing in clubs around the Philadelphia area, and has since branched out worldwide. As an artist who has been performing on the blues circuit for only a few short years, it is obvious to see that Gina's star is rising, and it is rising fast. In December 2007, only five months after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album, "Allow Me To Confess", Gina signed with the prestigious Piedmont Talent booking agency, which represents such legendary acts as Johnny Winter and James Cotton. That same month, Gina's impressive talent was recognized by the Blues Foundation, earning her a 2008 Blues Music Awards nomination for "Best New Artist Debut".

So, there you have the latest musical exploits from Sir Hook's Traveling Medicine Show. I hope you will enjoy!

Sir Hook the Satisfied Troubadour of Warrick

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Really Cheap Luxury

Seems that all we hear these days is bad news. Well, here some good news for craft brew lovers in the U.S.

Photo from:

According to: The Business Journal of Milwaukee - by Ed Sealover Denver Business Journal (edited)

National sales of craft beer rose 9 percent in the first half of 2009 despite the economic downturn.

The volume of craft beer produced nationally also rose by 5 percent from the first half of 2008, though year-over-year overall U.S. beer sales fell by 1.3 percent during that time period..

Marty Jones, a spokesman for Oskar Blues Brewery, a Lyons, Colo., beermaker whose production has risen 84 percent this year, said that while craft beer may cost more than most U.S. beer, it’s inexpensive enough to be a treat in these tough times.

“A really delicious, tastefully made beer is a really cheap luxury and a really low-cost way to escape the woes of the day,” Jones said. “The greatest wines in the world cost a thousand bucks a bottle. You can get some of the greatest beers in the world for under 10 bucks a six-pack.”

Craft breweries — which are locally owned, produce less than 2 million gallons of beer annually and do at least half their sales with all-malt beers — have taken a larger share of American sales in recent years, holding about 6.3 percent of the market in dollars. In comparison, imported beer sales fell by 9.5 percent in the first six months of the year, the association said.

The number of U.S. breweries also has risen to 1,525, its highest level in more than 100 years, the association said. State-issued prohibitions and breweries’ consolidation had dropped a formerly higher number to 1,498 in 1910, and while that number rose dramatically again after the repeal of national prohibition, U.S. breweries numbered less than 100 in the late 1970s (end).

Just a little good news we can soak up and enjoy!

Sir Bowie "who will toast good new tonight" of Greenbriar

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Be Merry!

You know how it is when you get together with friends for dinner and a few beers:
The conversation quickly turns to religion, politics, and… Ice Cream (at least when women are involved).

Last night at a group dinner, one topic lead to another which lead to someone asking “Remember Merry Mobiles?” A few of us did; most did not.

So, in keeping with our motto of “Think. Drink. Be Merry.” I present a short history of something you’ll either fondly remember or say to yourself, “What the hell is that?”

When I was a kid, one of the summer pleasures was the sound of a bell clanging down the street. That bell signaled one thing: ICE CREAM!

Now, I know that ice cream trucks are not that unusual. The ones that rolled down Taft Ave. and many other U.S. streets were. I present The Merry Mobile!

The Merry Mobile served Dreamsicles, Drumsticks, Red White and Blue Rockets, Lemon Ice Box Pie, Sky Blue Popsicles, Root Beer pops, orange sherbet Push-Ups, and many other frozen treats to melt a kid’s heart.

Merry Mobiles operated from the mid-195s until the early 1970s. They were powered by one-cylinder engines, and the ice cream was kept frozen by dry ice.

Unfortunately, these were replaced with more efficient, yet more mundane, modes of transportation. Most of the Merry Mobile fleets were destroyed for scrap.

This image is from Lickety Split Ice Cream -- the proud owner of a completely restored original 1950's Merry Mobile ice cream car and operating in Memphis, TN.

Sir Bowie "Think. Drink. Steal a Merry Mobile and Give Away Ice Cream to Kids. Be Merry" of Greenbriar

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blogden Nash

Ogden Nash : 19th Aug 1902 - 19th May 1971

America's most accomplished writer of light verse, Ogden applied his love of language to poems, stories, and lyrics. A 'versifier' who invented and misspelled words to create unexpected rhymes, Nash's fables on human foibles continue to delight, inspire and enlighten people worldwide.

I first came across Ogden Nash, when he saved my sappy ass, many moons ago, when I used to leave the loose federation of States called America, by way of his home city of Baltimore.

Saying goodbye to the North Star of my life at the airport, the flight was delayed, and buying, by myself, some reading matter and beer for us at the terminal store I spotted a tiny book of his poems and gave it a flick through. What I found was a delightful kindred spirit to us both, someone who was prepared to jump into an ocean of words and splash about in it.

It also had in it, the best left field romantic poem I had ever read; ( if you really want to know what a sap I can be then go find and read " To my Valentine" yourself ) and not being one for overt melodrama an' all...I bought the tiny tome, folded down the corner of that page, and secretly slipped it in her pocket come all the huggin' at the boarding gate later.

Over the years I have delighted in reading everything Ogden managed to publish in his 68 years... and he's even encouraged me to feel free to cobble around with things that I write too, ( much to the annoyance of my editors ) but hey, if you can't make up a word here or there, then what's the fun in that.

Some of his poems are national treasures in the USA...such as the "Line-Up for Yesterday," which is an alphabet of famous baseball players, that many a young merkin lad has learned.

And what about his sage advice to young Husbands-to-be on the eve of their weddings:

So Happy Birthday for today Ogden, and I'm sure all the KMSA will join me in raising a glass to someone who brought a smile to our lives.

Sir Dayvd (who knows Oggy would have loved the title at the beginning) of Oxford-not-by-the-sea.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Coffee Filter & Thinking, Drinking and Being Merry

In recovering from yet another road trip, this time back to St. Louis to watch my Cardinals knock the Padres back to their cloisters, I find it practical to share these practical applications of the common Coffee Filter.

Being practical is part of Thinking! Having coffee is part of Drinking! Saving money is part of Being Merry!

I would like to thank Sir Richard who sent this email to me while on the road.


1. Coffee filters make excellent covers. Cover bowls and dishes when cooking in the microwave.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China. Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc. on them. They soak out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

I'm heading down to the Dollar Store, or if I was back in England a Poundland, to buy some today.

Sir Hook the Practical (Well, sometimes) of Warrick

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Denken. Getränk. Seien Sie Fröhlich.

On Evansville’s West Side, just three blocks from where my father was born and grew up (and where I lived for a short time) is a three story brick building that was built in the early 1900s. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of a German Choir or Brass Band playing "Roll Out The Barrel." It's the home of Germania Meannerchor, a German social and singing club founded over a century ago.

In 1900, Evansville had around 70,000 residents with about 40% of them German immigrants -- who often preferred to be with fellow countrymen. This resulted in a large number of German organizations being formed that enabled the immigrants to gather socially and continue various aspects of German life, including singing clubs like Germania Meannerchor.
JASON CLARK / Courier & Press ABOVE: Evansville residents Charlie Haas, left, and Dave Wires perform songs on their Alphorns as the annual Volksfest at Germania Maennerchor kicks off.

It wasn't too long after this particular club got started that that “war clouds broke out over our land like a bolt of lightning from heaven.” My Großvater Kuhn was one of the many Evansville German immigrants who went overseas to fight for the U.S. to help make the world safe for democracy.
He came back from "The War to End All Wars" to discover a strong anti-German sentiment which halted many German public events (even the German newspaper was stopped).

Gradually, as the dark years of the 1st World War faded, Germania grew strong enough to survive The Great Depression, Prohibition, and the devastating Ohio River Flood of 1937.
However, it wasn't long before war clouds blanketed the world, and anti-German sentiment once again ended the festival during WWII.

Despite all these setbacks, Germania survuved and the annual Evansville Volksfest finally resumed in 1962. It has been an August tradition ever since -- continuing to machen Sie fröhlich (make merry).

Turn the page to present day:

This year, Lady Suzanne
(pictured here with a carved wooden dachshund in lederhosen)

and I took Sir William of Kegler to the Volksfest to partake in our share of eating, drinking, and being merry.
Under a full moon, we ate, drank, and listened to Germania’s own Rhein Valley Brass band (and “modern" music bands). This year over 12,000 people (over three days) consumed something like 2 tons of bratwurst, 2,000 pounds of pig knuckles (yes, that's what I ate!) 95 gallons of German potato salad, 480 gallons of sauerkraut and more than 200 half-barrels of beer (not to mention countless bottles of beer). Lady Suzanne and I ready to Chicken Dance.

I can't say for sure if my Großvater Kuhn (who died when I was only three) was a member of this club or not, but I feel his German Spirit with me whenever I go to Germania Meannerchor's Volksfest -- an August tradition!
Sir Bowie “Denken. Getränk. Seien Sie Fröhlich” of Greenbriar