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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Worldwide myDetour project.

I noticed that today is the last day of the myDetour Project's San Francisco stop.


Basically, Moleskine organizes drop boxes in various ciites where Moleskine artist and writers (that's all of us) are invited to view the traveling archive and submit their own Moleskine creations.

With previous stops in New York, Paris, Berlin, Milan and Istanbul, myDetour brings along- together with the drop boxes - a collection of sketches, writings and drawings created by visual artists, writers, designers, creative people of all sorts from past myDetour editions around the world.

The theme of the 2009 myDetour in San Francisco is "District of You" - a tribute to the familiar places and an invitation to find the extraordinary side of your ordinary surroundings.

Can't make it to San Fran today?

Whether you’re in the Bay Area and preparing to submit your notebook to the myDetour program or elsewhere and just want to express your creativity, Moleskine invites you to participate in the Chronicle Books "District of You" contest

we would like to see your sketches, drawings, photos, or thoughts on your personal "places of inspiration." Where do you find your creativity? How do your surroundings inspire you? Simply scan your Moleskine notebook and post your images on our Flickr Group. Five submissions will be chosen at random to receive a special gift from Moleskine.

The next myDetour stop will be in Tokyo, 16 oct - 4 nov

For more information on myDetour, visit

I love that line: a tribute to familiar places and an invitation to find the extraordinary side of your ordinary surroundings.

My fellow Knights, don't forget that this blog, too, is a tribute to familiar places and an invitation to find the extraordinary side of your ordinary surroundings. It's easy to post writings, photos, and even videos. We all look forward to your sketches, drawings, photos, stories....

Sir Bowie "I left my Heart and Moleskine in Fran Sancisco" of Greenbriar

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lucy of `Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' fame

When I was growing up, we adopted a stray cat. My older sister immediately proclaimed it to be a girl and named "her" Lucy after the Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." It was only after the first trip to the vet that we discovered that Lucy was really a male. Oh well, the name stuck.

When Lady Suzanne and I were expecting our first child we knew exactly what her name would be. You guess it:

Amy Elizabeth.

However, we had no idea what to name our second daughter. Nothing struck a chord until the name Lucy was suggested. On 9.11.89 Lucy Anne was born. Yes, named after an old Tom Cat, but also after Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

The song has a great deal of magical mystery, legend and myth surrounding it -- including Lucy Sky Diamond = LSD. But, Lucy was a real person -- and she died yesterday after a long fight against lupus.


The death of Lucy Vodden at age 46 has been announced by St. Thomas' Hospital in London, where she was treated.

John Lennon wrote 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' after his son Julian drew a picture of childhood friend Lucy O'Donnell.

The hospital said Monday she died after battling the disease for years.

Vodden came to the attention of John Lennon when the Beatles' young son Julian came home from school one day with a drawing that he said was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

The elder Lennon turned it into a psychedelic masterpiece long associated with LSD use.

Julian Lennon reached out to Vodden in recent years as she suffered from the disease.

Lupus is a chronic illness during which the immune system attacks the body's own tissue (end)

Sir Bowie "father of Lucy Anne" of Greenbriar

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Knights of Moleskine, Spirit, and Ale have always believed that beer drinkers can help make the world a better place. Even if all they do is endeavor to engage and make friends with one another, beer drinkers are helping to make the world a better place.

Well, I recently discovered some new friends who beat us to the punch by a few years.

Beer Church is a Seattle-based organization dedicated to one simple principle -- make the world a better place one beer at a time. To that end, we organize fundraisers that provide easy and fun ways for beer lovers to contribute to the community. We have been doing it for 11 years. In that time, we have raised nearly $100,000 for a number of different charitable causes. With love in our hearts and beer in our hands, we have helped pet shelters, food banks, women's shelters, and many other worthy causes.

Beer Church is about the spirit of goodwill that beer embodies. It's about positive social interaction. It's about being part of something that is good. And, of course, it's about beer.

And, here's an idea to all you good Knights out there: Beer Church is seeking local group leaders to help organize local chapters, maintain the local chapter's Web page, and help us advance their mission.

Click here to read more about being a group leader.

For more information:

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Friday, September 25, 2009

Memories Sleep

Memories sleep, until a word, a sight, a sound ,awakens them. Seeing as most of us Knights and Ladies have come an awful long way to the Now, so also we've left a few things behind us along the way, in the Then Now.

So come with me down memory lane and wake a few from their slumbers.

Dilly Bars were introduced in 1955. Soft-serve ice cream on a stick, dipped in delicious chocolate. There were also other flavors like cherry, butterscotch, and the infamous lime Dilly Bar, which was coated a light green.

Spy vs. Spy was a staple of MAD Magazine back in the ’60s when it was funny and continues on today. The cartoon was created by Cuban cartoonist Antonio Prohias, who fled to the U.S. days before Castro took over the country’s free press. Naturally, Spy vs. Spy is about the Cold War — but I suppose Black and White never really got the lesson on tit-for-tat.

Nothing guaranteed a future falling out more than these “Best Friends” necklaces, but it’s hard not to appreciate the romantic sentimentality of friendship being represented by, uh, bling. I suspect these were from the ’80s, but I’m not sure. Anyone know when these necklaces were popular?

File Sea Monkeys under “Pets for Kids Who Weren’t Allowed to Have Real Pets,” joining the ranks of the Pet Rock, Chia Pet, and Ant Farm. Sea Monkeys are actually brine shrimp that have entered a natural state of suspended animation called cryptobiosis. Totally sci-fi!

Jiffy Pop Popcorn was noticeably tastier than your microwavable variety. But unfortunately, Jiffy Pop was eventually nudged off the market by its less delicious competitors. An aside: stovetop popcorn also reminds me of that episode of Futurama where Fry puts the “Iffy Pop” in the microwave, which then sends the crew back in time.

Kids today would just hate this. Were we so easily amused??? I remember them being wooden and plastic and often had a big plastic needle and yarn. They were often in shapes like a cat, an apple, etc. Are these even still made?

Here’s how to turn Jenga into a drinking game: write things on the bottom sides of the Jenga blocks; when each player pulls out a block, they have to do whatever is written on it — drink, pick someone to drink, waterfall, ten fingers… you’re only limited by your imagination and desire to get hammered.

Oh yeah, and the person who knocks over the whole stack has to drink ten beers. Sorry, that’s just the way it goes.

Smell The aroma of pages fresh off the Ditto machine was a memorable feature of school life for those who attended in the ditto machine era. A pop culture reference to this is to be found in the film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. At one point a teacher hands out a dittoed exam paper and every student in the class immediately lifts it to his or her nose and inhales.

Concern about the toxicity of the ink and students’ habit of sniffing the pages contributed to the decision of some school districts to abandon ditto machines in favor of other technologies.

It was the original playlist. There was no real way to get individual songs off of all your different cassettes, and there was no such thing as a multi-disc CD-changer, much less a “Shuffle” option on an iPod! All you could do to get your favorite songs from different artists on to a single collection was man your stereo, blank tape inserted and at the ready, listening to your favorite radio station, and prepared to press that “RECORD” button the instant they started playing a song you liked and wanted to capture!

It wasn’t easy! You had split seconds to determine if those first few beats were indeed the song you wanted. You had to avoid DJ’s babbling through the beginning of songs and try and hit “RECORD” as soon as he finally shut up. Miss the timing? Rewind –> Stop –> Play over and over and over again to get the tape back to the proper spot and ready to try recording again. And then, what if that damn DJ started babbling before the song was finished?! Or the radio station inserted their call letters or a jingle in there somewhere?! There was no telling when the next time the station would play that song again, or if you’d even be around to hear it!

Marbles were a versatile toy, whether they were used for games or just collecting. Personally, I really enjoyed building marble mazes (the wood blocks were far superior to the plastic sets). What did you use marbles for as a kid?

Cap Guns represent a time and place when life and the world was simpler. Boys could run around and shoot at each other with toy guns full of blast caps and nobody thought twice about it. They were only limited by their parent’s patience and their supply of refills

Mmmm, delicious cookies disguised as cereal. Did anyone actually eat these with milk or did they just snack on them in the afternoons or stashed in lunchboxes for school?

And finally one for Sir Bowie, whose tools now grow cold as he lies on the couch watching Grid Iron. Lincoln Logs, probably named after the great Kentuckian himself who was fond of chopping down Tulip trees and building real life cabins. These kits gave the budding backwoodsmen a chance to build on on the lounge floor. Let’s be honest, the best, most fun part of building anything with Lincoln Logs was destroying it after.

Sir Dayvd ( whose is today is using things that one day will be as amusing as these ) of Oxford

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are All Things Bigger in Texas?

I admit it – I LOVE FOOTBALL! And though I’m trying to spend more time in creative endeavors (cooking, woodworking, hiking…), I I LOVE FOOTBALL! Real football – the American football. And I also love watching games – college or NFL -- on TV. This past Sunday night was no exception as Sir William of Keglers and I watched the New York Giants vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Even though this is only week two of the NFL season, this was one special night: This was the Cowboy’s home opener in their new $1.2 billion (that’s billion with a B) stadium.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was quoted as saying: "If you're going to do it, you might as well do it bigger.” It was his vision to build the greatest stadium in the world – and according to those who have seen this behemoth in person, he just might have pulled it off.

Jones and his family evidently flew around the world looking for inspiration for the stadium, including London's Wembley Stadium.

OK, here are just a few of the features of this “Taj Mahal” of sports stadiums:

A retractable roof

The largest HD screens in the world – the main screen is 50 feet high and 180 feel long.

286 concession stands, eight clubs, 23 bars, and over 1,600 toilets.

Works of art from renowned artists throughout.

The players enter the field through a bar: After leaving the locker room, the players make their way to the field while surrounded by hundreds of screaming fans.

And the the nighttime views from outside the stadium are stunning. There is a half a million square feet of glass and limestone. The glass wall at the end is inverted at a 14-degree angle that allows thousands of lights to create a shimmering effect.

There are “cage dancers” in the end zones.

20-inch pizzas at the new stadium will cost $60..

And the corporate suites will range from only $100,000 to $500,000 per year.

But, not everything, it seems, is bigger in Texas. While the Cowboys unveiled their new Jerry Jones Shrine, the Houston Texans quietly shrunk the size of their “souvenir” beer cups from 24 ounces to 20 ounces, while keeping the price the same -- over $7!

Bob Levey : For The Chronicle Houston Texans fan Scott LeBlanc shows the difference between last season's beer cup and this season's new serving size.

RICK CASEY of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE commented (edited for length):

The Texans would never have tried that trick in London.

For one thing, the football hooligans would have destroyed the stadium (Sorry, Sir Dayvd. That's just American perception).
For another, the team would be paying a hefty fine to the government.

Beer expert Travis Poling of New Braunfels, co-author of Beers Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State, which will hit bookstores soon, says size matters in the British Isles. When it comes to beer, ale and stout, shrinkage is illegal. A pint means a pint: The glass needs to be big enough to fit a full pint of brew with a couple of fingers left over for the head.

If the Texans knew their sports history, they'd know Americans are sensitive to alcoholic shrinkage as well.

A decade ago, then-Philadelphia Daily News reporter Don Russell, who wrote a column called “Joe Sixpack,” discovered a 2-ounce deficit at Veterans Stadium.
His coverage led to a City Council investigation and a rapid retreat at the stadium. It also led to a standing ovation by a couple of thousand nearby fans when someone spotted him at a game.

The football Texans aren't alone.

About a year and a half ago distributors raised their prices to bars and restaurants. Many changed their glassware from pint (16-ounce) glasses to 14-ounce glasses. Some of the glasses look the same, but have thicker bottoms.

At the San Antonio airport the price is now $10 for a 20-ounce beer.

Gripe all you want, but the price will rise until sales drop (end).
Oh, by the way. If you want to see some pretty cool graphic images in more information on the Cowboys' new stadium, visit: Sir Bowie "one who would love to see the new stadium... and stomp on the star!" of Greenbriar

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The picture above shows the many symbols of mans quest for the truth. It's Latin phrase means "Wayfarer's of the Truth"...proving how difficult the "truth" can be to find.

I believe the seeds of truth can be found in every symbol you see above. But again, how can you determine the truth when it is so easy to manufacture in today's society?

The old saying of "the truth can set you free" is not always true. When people distort the truth for their own agenda "the truth can enslave you".

The Spirit of Discernment is so necessary to embrace, encourage and nurture in life. It's the Soul's compass when sailing the seas of truth.

Truth is many-sided, so embrace the KMSA philosophy of Unity through Diversity and love and have patience for those who do not see the truth as you do.

Sir Hook the Wayfarer of Truth of Warrick

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No, not pizza AND beer…

Last night was my first "grand slam plus" of beer cooking:

Appetizer: Bock (in this case Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock) Scallops with Bacon and Mushrooms.

Entrée: Pasta with a Pepper Jack Cheese and Lager.
Vegetable: Butternut Squash in Brown Ale Maple Glaze

Dessert: Coffee Mocha Freeze (using the Doppelbock and some ale)

Bread made out of a Pizza Beer.

Strange, but true!

I went to a liquor store here in Evansville that touts itself and being a “Craft Beer Headquarters.” I normally stay away from anything that uses the term “headquarters,” but I’ve been disappointed in so many of our local shops that I decided to give it a go. I wasn’t disappointed.

To make a long story short, there on the shelf was a bottle of Original Seefurth’s Family Mama Mia Pizza Beer – infused (I love that word) with tomato, oregano, basil & garlic. The bottle says that it is so good you’ll want to pour it in a wine glass. I don’t know about that, but it is great to cook with.

Here is the story of Pizza Beer as stolen from the Tom Seefurth’s Family Pizza Beer website (I don’t think they’ll mind – you’ve gotta check out their fun and informative site

"Pizza Beer" was developed Labor Day, 2006 by Tom and Athena Seefurth in our home brewery in Campton Township, IL. It all started with a surplus of tomatoes, a bag of garlic & an idea that started early in the spring when we planted our garden herbs.

The goal was to create a beer that would pair with a wide variety of foods, especially our favorite, Pizza! In the end, we were pleasantly surprised that this "mess" turned out to be the best thing since the guy with chocolate that bumped into Ralph Mouth & mixed up the chocolate with the peanut butter! Indeed, the world will love "Pizza Beer".

Facing a difficult task, we immediately did an internet search to gather information on using the "oddball" ingredients in creating a beer. Certainly someone had published such a recipe! We found beer made with garlic, hemp seed, coriander, hot peppers, maple syrup, honey, citrus peels & more. But what about tomatoes & the possibility of combining all of our favorite flavors into this beer?

Voila! "Pizza Beer" was on its way to fame. To our knowledge, our home brewed concoction is the "World's First Culinary Beer."

Now, being homebrewers, we enjoy the freedom to create whatever we want. We usually refer to a book by Ray Daniels called "Designing Great Beers" when creating a style of beer that we intend on submitting to a contest. We usually concoct the recipe by memory & measure ingredients the way your grandmother did, pinch of this, smidgen of that. Something happened that day. We figured if this really turned out like we want it to, we better be able to duplicate it! Lo and behold, the amazing "Pizza Beer" was born.

Questions about Tom Seefurth's Mamma Mia Pizza Beer can be directed to Chef's Tom & Athena at:

Sir Bowie "May I have another slice of beer, please" of Greenbriar

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cooking with Beer Challenge Update

A couple of weeks ago I started my Cooking with Beer Challenge (78 Recipes in 116 days).

Saturday, while I was finishing up Nos. 10 & 11 (Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss Pancakes with a Blueberry, Ale, and Maple Syrup Sauce),
I received this email from Sir Dayvd -- the challenge has crossed the pond:

From Sir Dayvd:

Just to show you guys we are taking notes here...

just tried the one with the celery and shallotts and small red peppers...
we used mushrooms fresh from the river meadow and leaks instead of garlic... and we used Bier bought back from France....its called Bier du Moulins ( or beer from the windmill ....yeah right )

turned out quite scrummyy... especially with more bier...:))

Sir D

- - -

Sir Bowie "off to pick up some butternut squash, scallops, and jalapeno cheese for tonight's feast"
of Greenbriar

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Puff No Longer Went to Play

Where has all the innocence gone?.. I've been scooching around bits of other countries... being businessman, being a consultant...being with my loved ones,...and even being free of the newspapers and rolling news...and when you do that ..even for a week... and suddenly bump back down into it all again, you do wonder if western civilisation is eating itself up in an orgy of negativity.

Maybe you notice it all as you get older, because you have a rolling time frame of the past to judge the Now against, or was it all just hidden away back then.
Certainly you glance through any Paper, or TV news anywhere and they seem hell bent on bringing you as much doom as they can fill the airwaves with, as if to say we mustn't hide this stuff away, either that or its a Government policy to fill our lives with this junk just so's we say .."well my life's not so bad".

If struggling thru the usual fare of Murder, Child abuse, and general Low Life tales, you are then faced with a wall of Protesters, Strikers, and People telling you that everything you do is bad for you. I'm goggle eyed to read today that Activists have succeeded in having several types of inoffensive Books taken off the shelves in our major bookstores, on threat of action being taken against the store. All this passes without comment from the masses as if normal.

Then we have the Doctors of this fine island lobbying big time to get all Alcohol Advertising banned, in every form, just like Smoking, which if you look at most sponsored Sporting events, would mean the end of all those. Everyone has got an Opinion on everything, and the media is only too willing to give them the Oxygen to spout the most hairbrained stuff that hasn't troubled anyone, Ever.
And then the cherry on the top of all that is the demise of our celebrities that are dotted amongst the news as they were dotted through our lives and our growing up.

This week i find that we lost Dirty Dancing Patrick, our national Treasure chef Keith Floyd, and today I find (and really its what probably sparked this vent on Innocence ) that Mary Travers of Peter Paul and Mary has left us. I mean, the very names Peter, Paul and Mary themselves speak of a time of Innocence in the media, or when it wouldn't be something unspeakable shown on Adult-Tube.

They were even allowed to have a hit about the Vietnam war, can you imagine any record company promoting such a thing nowadays into the mainstream?.. My Favourite of theirs that rang around my head as a young person, was "Puff the Magic Dragon" even with all its implied urban Myth of Hippie naughtyness. So thanks Mary, for the wonderful voice .....and being the Sunny Knight that I am... i wanted to end this tired piece with two bits of the brighter side of Life, things that should may be put on the News.

The words to the Song about Puff, were written by Leonard Lipton after he read the poem by our Knight Ogden Nash called: Custard the Dragon. and So i reprint it here to make you all smile:


By Ogden Nash

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
And Blink said Week!, which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pyrate.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

And Finally... Not that I like smoking,..... I'd like to show you Winifred from the UK... who looked at Life and did what she damn well pleased, and to heck with all this talk about stuff being a threat to Public Health, as if that's an actual thing.

"There is 'my' health, which is 'mine', and 'your' health which is 'yours', but there is no 'our' health. D'you see?
Winnie followed the KMSA Code to the letter....that " We are Sovereign Rulers of our Own Lives" in other words.."I'll Decide to take my Own chances in Life.".
I'll Drink to that"
Winne Langley

Winne Langley celebrated her 100th birthday the best way she knows how - smoking

An iron-lunged pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting up her 170,000th cigerette from a candle on her birthday cake.

Winnie Langley started smoking only days after the First World War broke out in June 1914 when she was just seven-years-old - and has got through five a day ever since.

She has no intention of quitting, even after the nationwide ban forced tobacco-lovers outside.

Speaking at her 100th birthday party Winnie said: "I have smoked ever since infant school and I have never thought about quitting.

Winnie, from Croydon, South London, claims tobacco has never made her ill.

She has outlived a husband, Robert, and son, Donald, who died two years ago aged 72.

The former launderette worker said she started the habit in 1914 - just weeks after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 - which sparked the First World War.

The 100-year-old, who is awaiting her telegram from the Queen today, said smoking helped calm her nerves during the two World Wars.

She said: "A lot of people smoked during the war. It helped steady the nerves."

Sir Dayvd (who on his Hundreth will do a little dance and Sing "My Way ")
of Back Home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like A Pirate Day

ARRRRRR!!!!! It's me favorite day on the KMSA Calendar of Feast Days! Talk Like A Pirate Day! And how does this ship fit into the KMSA Fleet? Perfectly! After all...there a many Pirates who where also Knights...Sir Francis Drake just to name one.

To learn more about "Talk Like A Pirate Day" visit the official web site:

Part of me official participation in this gallant day of drink and debauchery is to attend the Whydah Pirate Exhibition at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Discovered off the coast of Cape Cod, it is the most complete and compelling story of pirate life...which reached its zenith in the late 17th and early 18th centuries off the American coasts and in the Caribbean.

Indeed, I have an official charter to Pirate membership...seeing how I make my living in its now legalized form...ADVERTISING!

So, don't bend over darlin'...or I might fire me cannon through your port hole!

Sir Hook Who Jumps in a Beer Barrel to Do It Hurricane Style of Warrick

Friday, September 18, 2009

35 Years Riding the Big Bang

35 years ago yesterday my mother died. I was 17. No matter your age, the loss of your mother is a very traumatic event. The holy incarnate...source of human life...compassionate anchor...wall of safety...gentle encourager...rabid protector...GONE! Having lost both my mother and my father, it is still the death of my mother that has without a doubt challenged and created the man I am today. It was my Big Bang!

What's your Big Bang in event so traumatic, so powerful, that the energy it releases will either destroy you or free you?

The flash of light and intense energy literally ripped my life apart that September afternoon in 1974. "Behold...all things are new!" Before me was the choice to create a new life using this energy or die a slow death inside...becoming a shell of a man lost in the vast universe...a black hole that sucks all the energy from your soul.

It took time, but I eventually chose life!

I became a Cosmic Surfer...riding the waves of energy released from my Big Bang...always on the edge of creation and destruction...which are like kissing cousins...closely related.

I embraced the chaos of creation and became a creator. Sometimes I emerge slightly burned...sometimes it seems effortless...sometimes you know if you fall off the board your dead...but the experience is always thrilling and rewarding.

I remember the day that I arrived as this new creation from my chaotic past as clearly as the day of my Big Bang. It was Easter in 1979. I wrote a song about the experience tittled, "Spring Day". I am releasing it finally on my new CD later this year. I'll share some of it with you now:

Easter...Spring Day
Stain Glass Colors My Skin
Hand on Tomb
Mother's Cry
The Wind Caresses Me

There's A Power
That Lives Inside Me
If Only I Listen...It Tells Me My Needs
Riding Fast...On Cosmic Waves
Souls Awakened...Spring Day
Old Life Forsaken...For Better Ways
Winter's Broken...Spring Day

Before you always are the choice of life and death...choose wisely!

Sir Hook the Cosmic Surfer of Warrick

Thursday, September 17, 2009

From the "Why Didn't I Think of That" Department

I know that many Knights are interested in ways to connect to your spiritual core. Here is something that I saw the other night on one of those invention TV shows that might just help you "grow" spiritually:

This is it! The cutting edge of Zen technology. The secrets are now yours!

The semi-ancient art traditions of Bonsai Potato were nearly lost forever. Fortunately, writer Jeff Fitzsimmons stumbled onto a small faction of Bonsai Potato artists near Spirit Lake Idaho. Jeff took the information he gleaned from them and teamed up with marketing guru Mike Dillon. As a result, the secret shortcuts to tranquility, inner peace and artistic expression are once again available to the world.

The Art of the Bonsai Potato Kit: Zen — Without the Wait! contains pruning shears, tweezers, a state of the art replica of an ancient version of an actual Bonsai Potato altar, and a hilarious 64 page book explaining the rich tradition of the art of the Bonsai Potato®. It's everything you need to learn the shortcuts to patience and achieve inner peace — FAST!

And when you visit this zen art web site, make sure to check out a link at the bottom to for weird, cool stuff. Their gallery of design work is awesome:

For over two decades our group of artists, engineers, tinkerers and thinker-ers have been collaborating with clients and a diverse array of design professionals to produce dramatic environments. Our work sells, educates, entertains, illuminates, commemorates, interacts, tells time, projects and talks when you step on a red dot. Our specialty is providing the essential magic that turns an ordinary environment into something truly extraordinary!
We think outside the box (while fully appreciating the full potential of the box). We really, really do.

Sir Bowie "I think I have one those potatoes growing in the back of the cupboard" of Greenbriar

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The "Perfect" Hat

I wear a lot of hats – literally and figuratively.

Sometimes I wear two hats at one time -- two hats that are always in conflict with each other: The Artist Cap (Creative) and the Judges chapeau-bras (judgmentally self-critical). Part of me wants to wear the hat of totally free expression; the other part of me want to be too judgmental – a perfectionist. The result is often paralysis to even begin a project or unhappiness with the end result when I do. Believe me, perfectionism is nothing to be proud of.

Perfectionism (or claimed perfectionism) is a mental obstacle that can stop us from not starting or starting and not finishing projects and, as a result, causes stress, tension, fatigue, and unhappiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear this hat ALL of the time – it just sort of finds its way on my head from time to time. It’s just hard not to beat myself up sometimes.

Case in point (two cases):

The Cooking with Beer Challenge.

For the record, I’ve completed 9 recipes (69 to go in 107 day). For the most part, these have been just fine. In fact, last night's Berry Ale Chicken and Matt’s Cowboy Drunk Beans were excellent. Ms. Lucy’s Lagered Cornbread was one of the best cornbread's I've ever eaten. But… I can’t help focusing on the Sweet and Sour IPA Slaw which ended up being tossed down the garbage disposal (sorry Lucy Saunders, I have no idea what I did wrong there).
Too hard on myself? I know that I should learn to enjoy my imperfect results, but…

Case in point number two:

In the classic Harry Chapin song “Mr. Tanner,” the dry cleaner who loves to sing finally takes the biggest risk of his life, spends all his savings, goes to New York, and auditions for critics.

Mister Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest.
And of all the cleaning shops around he'd made his the best.

But he also was a baritone who sang while hanging clothes.
He practiced scales while pressing tails and sang at local shows.

His friends and neighbors praised the voice that poured out from his throat.

They said that he should use his gift instead of cleaning coats.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.

And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.

He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

The evening came, he took the stage, his face set in a smile.

And in the half filled hall the critics sat watching on the aisle.

But the concert was a blur to him, spatters of applause.

He did not know how well he sang, he only heard the flaws.

Yes, he only heard the flaws. It’s sometimes that way with me, too.

I recently finished a coffee table for my older daughter Amy and her husband Mark.
It originally started as a prototype, but it turned out pretty close to what she wanted. A couple of coats of stain and three coats of Polyurethane and my daughter loved it (I have to admit that I though it turned out okay); however, I can't help hearing the flaws.

Here is is after Amy decorated the shadow box I had built into the table.

I know that it’s impossible to avoid mistakes, but when the perfectionist hat goes on, I tend to beat myselves up way too often. Large mistakes can be devastating for everyone, but even small mistakes can create intense anxiety for some of us (me).

There is hope. Yes, there are areas where I put on my judges hat and say to myself and the world, "I can't be perfect, so why even try?" But fortunately, I’ve also learned to be a risk taker from time to time -- with many of those risks paying off.

When Sir Hook and I first sat down with our "Artists Hats" to create the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit, and Ale, one of the first tenants or core believes was: “Free to Create Without Judgment.” Truth be told, I didn’t write that to plead with others to not judge me, I wrote it to remind me to not be too critical of me.

My hope is that someday the stress of perfectionism will soon fade into an appreciation for the present – without criticism and judgment. At least that’s what I keep working on.

Oh, did I mention the Honey Ale Custard Bars (which looked pretty and tasted fine, but never came close to setting)
or the picture frame I made that’s not quite sqare? Or the typo in that last sentence, or… Damn, there I go again! I know, I know... I need to put on my "lighten up" hat!

Sir Bowie "Hat's Off to the Risk Takers" of Greenbriar