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Friday, May 28, 2010

Create or Die: The Art of Endeavoring to Engage Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rock the Vote!

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Hey Mister" it's Rockport II.1

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

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

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

Sir James of Taylor

Rockport II

Regarding yesterday's post by Lady Suzanne, the cabinet I worked one was actually one of Thomas Lincoln's (Abe's father). They moved to Indiana in 1816.

Anyway, I tore it apart and I rebuilt into something useful: A TV cabinet.

Okay, I really don't know that it was one of TL's (I sure hope not), but it does looks very similar to a hutch in the museum. SO.. it could have been -- that's my story and sticking to it.

Here Lady Suzanne and I are cooking breakfast for a couple of new "friends" from Rockport. (photo by Sir James of Taylor)

Here is a slide show of the event if anyone is interested:

Sir Bowie "Squire Kuhn" of Greenbriar (who consumed more than my share of homemade beverages of all sorts)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rockport Pioneer Days

Sir Bowie with the wardrobe panels he put together to make a television/display case.

He began with a few pieces, built and stained the rest to match and created a beautiful and useful piece of furniture for the Rockport Pioneer Village museum.
more woodworking projects in the museum

"Squire Kuhn" and his pioneer wife, the schoolmarm...with the camp kitchen, storage box to contain coolers and food, and camp chairs (all designed and built by Sir B)

Traveled through the time warp of Southern Indiana this past weekend...

listening to Reba and driving past roads named
Two Story Road and Shady Lane,
past the county roads identified only by number, or family names...
past signs for the Misty Morn Safe Company out in the country surrounded by corn that's ankle high already...
A sign to Midway ( midway of what?)
a sign advertising O'Risky real estate
a country church marquee "God's suggestions for exercise:
knee bends"
a little white farmhouse with red roses climbing midst the Christmas lights strands
the volunteer firemen passing with bluelights flashing on their pick up trucks

Some of the highlights:
enjoying the delicious meals prepared by Sir B in dutch oven cooking over the open fire,
time with Sir James of Taylor and Lady Gwendolyn, a visit by Sir Cock of the Walk and Lady Melinda...
watching the sheep shearing, candle-making, tomahawk throwing, musket-shooting, having Sunday morning church service on puncheon benches in a log church...
portraying a schoolmarm in the pioneer schoolhouse, even had a frog come spend the day inside with me finding the coolness of the dirt floor, teaching children about the old ways of learning,
sitting around the campfire at night with friends old and new...sipping homemade wines and ales...making and wishing on falling stars...
crawling inside the tent for a good nights sleep to get up and do it all again the next day

and coming home on Sunday evening, sunburned and sweaty, tired and looking forward to air conditioning and showers...and talking about what we'll do in October when it's Pioneer Weekend again!

Hafiz and the Sun in Drag

Hafiz was a great Sufi poet born in Persia (modern day Iran) in the early 1300's and is one of the world’s most beloved poets. He is affectionately known as the “Tongue of the Invisible” and the great Poet-Seer Ralph Waldo Emerson himself remarked that “Hafiz is a poet for poets.”

The poems of Hafiz have a beautiful and musical quality, which also embody a great spontaneity. In a myriad of poetic ways, Hafiz expresses the spiritual experiences of a mystic, in love with his Beloved. Yet he achieves this in a playful and enchanting way, like other Sufi poets, Hafiz weaves themes of ambiguity into his poems. Often he will use secular images such as wine, drunkenness and human love, however these are just symbols for the divine experiences which Hafiz is alluding to.

I often go to Hafiz for inspiration and today would like to share his translated into modern English poem, The Sun In Drag:

You are the Sun in drag.
You are God hiding from yourself.
Remove all the "mine"-that is the veil.
Why ever worry about
Listen to what your friend Hafiz
Knows for certain:
The appearance of this world
Is a Magi's brilliant trick, though its affairs are
Nothing into nothing.
You are a divine elephant with amnesia
Trying to live in an ant
Sweetheart, O sweetheart
You are God in

I pray that our modern day Persians remember how to live as Hafiz lived. I pray that we all learn how to live and express as Hafiz did.

Sir Hook the Sufi Poet of Warrick

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today marks the end of the Founder's KMSA birthday season...having celebrated Sir Bowie's surprise 50th last month at our newest Sacred Watering Hole...Legends, Sir Dayvd's this past Friday...where unofficially we believe he celebrated with his good Mates in Liverpool...and today with this errant Knight.

Birth...Life...Death...the triune cycle we are pushed into...screaming naked while our buttocks are being slapped by strangers...holds many adventures, disappointments, lessons learned and lessons given.

I've often wondered what it would be like to actually remember the traumatic journey through the birth canal into this strange new world? I have heard of those who claim to do so. I guess it's possible?

On this day, my birthday, I seem to focus more on my mother's life and death, than my own day of birth. Today I turn 53...and I have lived 11 years longer than my mother did. See seemed so old and wise when she was 42 and I just 17. Now I realize how much life she missed and how hard it most of been to give up the ghost at such a young age.

So today, the best birthday present you could give, is to love your mother...if you're lucky enough to still have one. And if not, remember and cherish the woman who carried you inside her for 9 months (hopefully) and launched you towards your destiny!

Sir Hook the Life Cyclist of Warrick

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do Your Work & Step Back

From Zen Habits: The Tao of Productivity

Fill your bowl to the brim.....
and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife.....
and it will go blunt.

Chase after money and security.....
and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people's approval.....
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Sir Hook Who's Still Practicing of Warrick

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Long Lost Relative?

Yesterday's post on the old Kuhn Brewery in St. Louis led Sir Dayvd to send me a link to another possible long lost Kuhn relative: Dieter Kuhn, Brewmaster.
In a microbrewery in downtown Sylva, NC, German-born brewermaster Dieter Kuhn and his wife Sheryl Rudd are creating light and refreshing German beer made with wholesome grains, fresh hops & no preservatives. All beers are keg conditioned and non-filtered, making them smooth and lighter in body.

We specialize in altbeer — the style brewed in the warmer regions of Germany since the early days of brewing. ‘Alt,’ the German word for ‘old,’ is a synonym for the traditional, old way of brewing dark, top-fermented beer.

I love this image from their website:

What's a Heinzelmännchen?

Heinzelmännchen are gnome-like creatures found in the Black Forest of Germany. They are rarely seen, however always helpful to creatures and people alike.

According to German folklore, the Heinzelmännchen visit proprietors during the night to assist with chores, so when the proprietor awakes he has more time to give back to his community. They have been celebrated in poem and song for their cheerful and helpful attitude.
At the Brewery, they keep a watchful eye on the beer at night and take care of any unfinished jobs so Dieter and Sheryl can concentrate on brewing the best beer, keeping their customers happy, and helping their neighbors.

Sir Bowie "already trying to get the Kuhn name discount" of Greenbrair

Sir Bowie "hoping there is a free beer for Kuhn sir name" of Greenbrair

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Newburgh Wine Fest

Putting down my glass to take this

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar, Sir William of Kegglers,
Sir Cock of the Walk, Lady Melinda of Burgh

A good time had by all!

warm up for Illinois Wine Trip in June~

Kuhn Brewery

Last night I started watching a very well produced series on History Channel, America, The Story of Us!
I was disappointed that there was no mention of beer in the the first 150 years. Tobacco, yes. Beer, NO!

So, I did a quick search on the history of Beer in the U.S. Here are a few notes on the early years:

Virginia colonists brew ale using corn.

First shipment of beer arrives in the Virginia colony from England.

American "Help Wanted" advertisements appear in London seeking brewers for the Virginia Colony.

Adrian Block & Hans Christiansen establish the first known brewery in the New World on the southern tip of New Amsterdam (Manhattan).

The first non-native American is born in New Amsterdam, (perhaps the first non-native American male born in the New World) in Block & Christiansen's brewhouse. Jean Vigne grows up to become the first brewer born in the New World.

Pilgrims arrive in Plymouth in the Colony of Massachusetts aboard the Mayflower. Beer is extremely short on board ship and the seamen force the passengers ashore to ensure that they will have sufficient beer for their return trip to England.

A more complete list can be found at

I know that some of my long lost Kuhn relatives were vintners; It's more than possible that a few were brewers.

Here is a news article I once ran across from St. Louis, 1883:


September 20, 1883, Wednesday

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 19.--A rumor, which was soon substantiated, gained ground on 'Change this morning that the Anthony Kuhn Brewery Company, a concern recently incorporated by Henry Anthony and Francis Kuhn, of the firm of Anthony Kuhn, and Austin Voght, had succumbed to financial embarrassment.

I guess it survived that battle, but I've read that in 1922 Anthony & Kuhn Brewery of St. Louis was sold to a laundry (clothes washed in beer?).

Just some odd ramblings for today.

Sir Bowie "Kuhn" of Greenbriar

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Transformed Man!

Lady Suzanne and I met up with a few Knights (Lady Melinda of Burg of New, Sir Cock of the Walk, and Sir William of Keglers) the other night at the Newburgh, Indiana Wine, Art and Jazz Festival on the banks of the Ohio River (hopefully, someone with a camera will post some photos -- hint, hint!).

Participating vintners – Best Vineyards, Blue Heron, Buck Creek Winery, Carousel Winery, Easley Winery, French Lick Winery, Indian Creek Winery, Oliver Winery, Scout Mountain Winery, Turtle Run Winery, Windy Knoll Winery, and Winzerwald Winery.

After sipping around the vintners, we went back to Sir Cock of the Walk's house for a nightcap. There, he gave me one of the most unique gifts I have ever received: A copy of

originally released in 1968 -- includes:

1. King Henry The Fifth / Elegy For The Brave

2. Theme From Cyrano / Mr. Tambourine Man

3. Hamlet / It Was A Very Good Year

4. Romeo And Juliet / How Insensitive (Insensatez)

5. Spleen / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds6. The Transformed Man

I did a quick search to see if I could find anything at all on this (guessing that there would be little or no information available). Now, I appear to have been lost in space on my own trek, because this seems to have a very large, world-wide cult following.

So, I present, without further ado, one of my favorite cuts off the album: William Shatner Captain Kirk of Star Trek, The Transformed Man, singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Are you a Transformed Man or Woman?

Sir Bowie "Beam me up -- beam me to any planet where you can't hear this" of Greenbriar

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lost in France

Its been a while coming...but I've grabbed an hour this Sunday to unload my poor camera of the weekly catalogue of historical trips it gets dragged on, and certainly one of the ongoing instalments bears grouping together and posting on what is a Knightly blog.

Its probably been mentioned before, but my involvement with the KMSA...arose when I bumped into Hook on one of my many scooches across the pond, and because he and Bowie were after an amourial for their idea of a Knights blog site...and that among the many projects I juggle daily is my in-depth study of 12th to 15th Century Illuminated manuscripts and replication of historical design...then, the heraldry crest for the KMSA was the result.

One of my pet projects of this era, is the little known life of Chretien de Troyes, a 12 Century french trouvere, a word troubadour, who in hindsight could be called the godfather of the eventual novel form, though this wasn't what he set out to do.

Much of what De Troyes put down, was eventually incorporated into Sir Thomas Malory's " Morte D'Arthur" and the Knights of the Holy Grail, 300 years later, including Lancelot, Galahad, and Gwain the Green Knight, and indeed, uncomfortable as it may be to Brits ...much of the whole Gothic medieval culture, architecture and pageantry that is associated with our image, actually came North from the lowlands of France during that time.

Even though i've been lucky enough to have been able to study some of his manuscripts for real, most recently in the Morgan Library on Madison and 36th in New York.........

..........I always look forward to continuing the regular field research trips to France that we embark on, as, much of the culture, attitudes and indeed buildings still survive in the Northern Cape. After another week there I can safely say its the land that time forgot, where you can at last bring alive much of what you study in the old documents.

I haven't got room for every photograph here...but setting off, on mountain bikes, from a first base in Ambrieres les Vallees in Mayenne,

.................we headed north passed Lassey les Chateaux, a castle we have visited many times, (and appears in the picture with me in, at the foot of every months KMSA blog) and we stopped and took a shot of it, bathing in the hot sun by its lake (see pic at top of this blog).

Outside that village is the ruins of another notable Castle (chateaux des Bois Thibault....Castle of Thibault Woods.)

...showing that castles that gradually got left outside a growing community withered over the long centuries, and got left silent to the crows and rabbits and became a source of stone.

Many tough miles north, is the medieval hillside town of Domfront, high on its limestone crags in Basse-Normand. This is deep rural France, on an ancient route between Paris and Brittany, where everyone speaks just French, even though they might know some English.

Despite its completly ruined castle, and a massive Byzantine Bascilica, which is undergoing restoration, Domfront is still a mass of ancient buildings that makes Oxford look like Manhatten. After such a hot ride in the sun, naturally a Knight's thoughts turn to beers...and the Bar au Normand, opposite the Basilica, gave us the first of many re-hydrating stops....

.............this one, being one of them there dark Lagers called Pelforth Brune, which had a heck of a kick, which we were to revisit later that evening.

After checking out the cool of the archive library, we made our way along the tiny streets, beneath the sound of bells of the new church, and found, in an original medieval house-shop, what was to me the find of the trip, that of an Artelier (craftsman) called Michael Vyse, who sat contentedly in his shop painting and carving from wood, in real time, the most fabulous illuminated paintings and relief carvings, that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.

Even his door "Open" sign was a handpainted masterpiece.

We talked to him for a couple of hours and he showed us his studios and all his works, and I picked out one mildly expensive piece he is going to finish for me over the next few months and I will pick up, on another visit.

After a good nights rest under oak beamed ceilings, we headed West, with new fresh legs, to take in one revamped medievel castle and two beautiful churches in this heavily Catholic country, at Passais and at Pontmain.

The castle was even more lost in France than we were before, set as it was a couple of miles off even the nearest beaten track.

The standard broad turrets of Manoir de la Saucerie had had a 16th Century makeover to them, that even Baron Munchausen would be proud of, and while in typical French style it was completely deserted, all around was evidence that workmen were making new the roof tiles, so that the interior can be brought back to life, i'd say sometime in the next four hundred years.

The interiors of the catholic churches of this region are something to behold. At Passais au Mantilly, a frieze including many worshipful Knights runs round the whole apse as if queuing up to see the Virgin Mary high above the altar

..........and if the colors of that building weren't overwhelming enough, our next halt at the magnificent catherdral built in the small village of Pontmain, to commemorate the remarkbable Vision Of Mary, by four children during the Prussian war of 1871.............(a long involved tale that is worth reading)

................ is like being immersed in an underwater kalidascope of fragmented blurred color, the like of which stays with you forever.

And so like the Knights in search of the Grail...the research and the travels continue, fortified by passion, beer, food and love, we sit on the stern of the cross channel ferry watching our wake, until our return.

Sir Dayvd de Oxford

Friday, May 14, 2010

Celtic Stout

In keeping with Sir Bowie's theme of beers with Bar B Q...well in this case with FREE pizza for my upcoming our Sacred Watering Hole #1...Old Chicago...I give you Celtic Stout!

When the words "Celtic Stout" float out of ones mouth, one would automatically associated it with "Guinness", or perhaps for the truly informed and adventurous, "Murphey's Stout". Neigh I say! We're talking one that is so below the radar screen (well at least in the States) that it defies description. In fact, this is one brew where Scarlet would make you "Frankly give a damn!"

O'Hara's Celtic Stout, is brewed by an independent brewery in Ireland, Carlow Brewing Company. Dark as Shaft, Heady as Guinness, Smooth as your first teenage date on the vinyl back seat of a 57 Chevy...O'Hara's Celtic Stout is one excellent beer experience!

Old Chicago some how got their hands on this hard to find gem, with 8 kegs to last until the final drop passes my lips! So, my Knights and Lady's of the Tri-State, make sure to drop in Old Chicago and have them pull you a'll be glad you did!

Enjoying my birthday pizza with me, was my son...and newest member of the World Beer Tour, Sir Ryan of Warrick. He only has 357 more beers to catch up with me, a proud member of the Wall of Foam three times running!

Even though he is Celtic by his mother's blood, he still went with a Samuel Adams Summer Ale. At least it wasn't a Bud Lite! That's my boy!

Sir Hook the Celtic (By Marriage) Stout of Warrick

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hog Heaven II

No, not an Elvin Bishop album!

The Owensboro, Kentucky International Bar-B-Q Fest

(Above image from festival and used for shock value only)

Seems that we're always in search of the BEST beer to drink...

but what about the worst?

I recently read an article that stated, "According to a survey of over 2,000 people in 80 countries, the United States is number the production of horrible beer."

China is right at our heels in second place.

Below is a list of worst beers in the world as rated by the thousands of beer enthusiasts at Dare to try them?

Now, before you read the list, I have to tell you this. This past weekend Lady Suzanne and I went to Owensboro, Kentucky to visit her mom and attend the International Bar-B-Q Festival.

Afterwards, Sir Lance, his son Sir Brian-still-yet-to-pick-his-official-name, and I went to a local package store to pick up a few beers for the inaugural "Let's get together and sample beers in Betty's garage while we wait for the bar-b-q to be served."

On the top shelf of the first beer cooler were the first four of these five beers:

1 Olde English 800 3.2 Miller Brewing Company (MillerCoors) 0.97 50 Malt Liquor
2 Natural Ice Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.02 703 Malt Liquor
3 Natural Light Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.03 999 Pale Lager
4 Milwaukees Best Miller Brewing Company (MillerCoors) 1.05 741 Pale Lager
5 Michelob Ultra Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.05 984 Pale Lager

I read this list and was SHOCKED!

Why? I'm proud (or ashamed) to say, that I've had all of 5 of them at one time or another.

For a complete list you may visit our friends at:

Sir Lance, Sir Brian, and I opted to try a few other beers including a couple that Sir Lance had brought up from Sweetwater Brewing Company in Georgia.

Sweetwater's slogan (a fishing theme): Don't Float the Mainstream!

We did pick up one beer (on Brian's suggestion of, "This is so bad you've got to try it!"): Steel Reserve. It was awful.

I'm skipping around here, but I would have to say that the worst beer (other than ones with a surprise of an extinguished cigarette butt in it) would have to be:

Hop n Gator (which I "enjoyed" when I was 13 or 14).
Brewed by Iron City Brewing Style: Fruit Beer Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
It was some sort of "Citrus malt beverage" that made me gag!

This year's winner of our Inaugural "Bar-B-Q Festival Taste 'em If You Got 'em in Betty's Garage" tasting: Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, a German-style Maibock

Sir Bowie "already thinking a next year" of Greenbriar