Visit the Official KCSA Web Site

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Apathy & Apologies

Apathy & Apologies...already sounds like a great song.  What started as a brief hiatus, turned into a full blown case of apathy in regards to writing in these sacred spaces.  For that I give you my sincerest apology.

Too much has occurred since the last post in I'll spare you the 500 page biography.  However, I would like to include a few highlights to catch us up to speed:

1.  Sir John of the Rangeline continues to brew some of the best beer in the world in his alchemist kitchen in Columbia, Missouri.  XPat Ale is AWESOME!
2.  Speaking of XPat...yours truly, Sir Hook of Warrick, has launched a podcast titled, XPat Radio, which features little known fantastic British Music to the colonies.  You can find them here.
3.  Sir Bowie of Greenbriar and Sir Hook still get together to hoist a few brews and pontificate as to how to make the KCSA better.
4.  Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire continues to hold down the European outpost.

So, with that brief outline...onward into the future my apologist apathetic friends...or as Buzz Lightyear says, "To infinity and beyond!"

Sir Hook the Apologist of Warrick

P.S.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pizza + Beer + Viagra = Royal Wedding

In case you've been absent, or absent minded, of late...there's this huge event happening in England next Friday that has every body talking about dysfunctional families, royalty, lust and how to make a quick Buck off BUCKingham Palace!

Yes, my fellow Anglophile friends, it's time tip back a few pints, call in sick and fantasize about what it's like to be the focus of the world for one day.  Or, if you're an entrepreneur, it's time to figure out how to Capitalize in a Capitalist society!

Let's start with Pizza.  Pappa John's, based up river from us in Louisville, has authorized their British operations to make and deliver a Kate and William pizza.  Now you can literally eat, or eat out with, the Royal Couple.  Perfect for the cannibals amongst us, or if your anti-royal, you can eat the pizza and deposit royalty in the shitter, where you think they belong.  Not many can say they ate out a Princess, or shat a Prince!

Of course, nothing goes better with pizza than beer!  There are tons of special beers and ales being brewed in Britain for this occasion; however, there is one in particular that we took note of..."Royal Virility Performance", brewed by BrewDog.

What makes RVP so special is that it is laced with Viagra!  That's right...drink three of these BrewDog Puppies and you'll have a Royal Chubby before you know it!  Their slogan on the bottle states, "Arise Prince Willy!"

The brewery also shares, "A beer should be brewed with a purpose, not just because some toffs are getting married, so we created something at our brewery that will undermine those special-edition beers and other assorted seaside tat, whilst at the same time actually give the happy couple something extra on their big day."  Click Here To Read Full Article

So there you have the date...order your pizza...drink your Viagra laced beer...and name your Chubby, Willie...whilst you ravage the lass next to you...who on this special day shall be named...KATE!

Sir Hook the RVP Patron of Warrick

Friday, April 15, 2011

Single Tree Safari

It all began at my great-grandmother's feet, she being a Cherokee beyond a 100 years of age.  At this stage in her life her day consisted of upbraiding her long silver hair, brushing it out, braiding it again...all while entertaining us with her stories.

Through her I found out that her Anglicised name of Singletary was rooted in a more ancient Cherokee name of Single Tree.  Many visits to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, where my family roots held firm for many centuries, to the plains of Oklahoma and New Mexico, where some of the family dispersed through the Trail of Tears, I began to explore what it meant to be Cherokee.

I've always been drawn to the image of a single tree standing out among its surroundings.  Perhaps it's my ancient ancestral call, our my identity to clinging to life and standing firm amongst the storms that surround it, or better yet, the majestic sculpture of nature reaching towards the heavens while being firmly grounded in the earth.

To this day on Highway 45 as you drive towards my home town of Fairfield, Illinois, there's a single tree on a bend that greets my warrior cry every time I pass it.  Like me, its a bit older, but fuller with life.  Unlike me, and with a little luck, it will continue to stand after the last time I pass it in this life.

Live oaks are one of my most special trees.  The drive from Charleston, South Carolina to Kiawah Island is like driving through natures cathedral at high mass.  The ancient oaks of England also stir my soul.  Perhaps that comes from the other side of my family heritage, rooted in the rolling plains and woods of Somerset in England?  The Celtic British call is also powerful in my soul, like a Druid reading the entrails to see what the future holds.

This rambling all brings me to a Single Tree Safari.  A rediscovery of my ancient past and a reformation of my future.  This will be the title of my next CD, as well as a book to help others discover their true path in life.

The single tree has many branches, as does our life.  The trick is to honor the branches as you remain rooted in your soul.  Then you have the strength, courage, and ability to reach towards the heavens, regardless of what others might think or say to the contrary.  That's why my Facebook Profile stats as my religion that I'm a:  Zen, Cherokee, Catholic, Christian.  I think I might have to add Druid now!

So, what are you roots?  What are the branches in your life that you must honor?

Sir Hook the Single Tree of Warrick

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Joys of Homebrews

Let no one say that our US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are out of touch. One of the trends sweeping across the USA today is home/craft brewing; the White House has caught on and recently served it's first official White House beer at a Super Bowl party. 

While I'm not thrilled that it was a honey ale (they can be a bit dry and "meady" tasting), I'm glad to see that the White House kitchen was up to the challenge. And I, personally, would love to have an in-house graphics team available to print my labels for my own home brews!  The honey, by the way, came from the new bee hive in the White House garden. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read the attached post--I thought it was great.

Click Here to Read About Whitehouse Beer

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joy Formidable and the Abundant Life

A feeling of great pleasure or happiness inspiring respect through impressively large, intense and powerful means, available in large quantities, which separates us from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death...that is a synopsis of having Joy Formidable and the Abundant Life.

When one embraces Formidable Joy, the only outcome possible is an Abundant Life!

For me Joy is most formidably expressed and experienced through music.  One of the bands who takes their name seriously in this endeavor is a band from London, England..."The Joy Formidable", who I will have the pleasure of meeting at SXSW in Austin next month. 

Another musical expression of Joy is found in Bach's, "Jesus Joy in Man's Desiring".

After all, Jesus himself said that he came, "so that you might have life, and have it abundantly!"  John 10:10 

Joy increases our capacity for growth, reproduction (and it's pleasurable side effects), activity...and also gives us the fortitude and courage to continual change as we face the challenges of life...which the ultimate challenge we face is death.  

Yes, the Yin and Yang, Life and Death are immersed in the waters of Joy!

Fear not only a phrase repeated the most in Biblical's also the Mantra we are to Chant as we travel the highway of Joy!

A change is a coming...the question is will you accept it with Joy Formidable and the Abundant Life?

Find your Joy and choose wisely!

Sir Hook the Formidably Abundant and Joyous of Warrick

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life is a Pyramid

I was hoping by this time that I would have wonderful pictures of me in front of the Pyramids outside Cairo...a life long dream; however, something called a "Revolution" stood between me and my plans.

A friend once reminded me that, "You have big plans, but God has a bigger eraser!"  For those who don't believe in a higher can simply say, "You have big plans, but life has a bigger eraser!"  I think you get the point.

In my case, when the Captain of the Jade announced that we would no longer be heading to Alexandria, but instead make course due North towards Istanbul (Constantinople), another dream came true as my earlier plan faded away.

Turkey is lovely, a place I will return (unless my plan is erased...), and a model of how a Muslim society can also function very well as a democratic society with mutual respect for those of Western background and a Christian faith.  Turkey is the ideal for a Muslim world without fear, prejudice and hatred.

A Cab driver taking us into town for dinner one night summed it up best when he drove by the Iranian Embassy and said, "Those people are crazy!"  The Turks get that fundamentalism, regardless of religious or non-religious preference, is the enemy of an open and human society.  Which brings me back to Egypt in this article...

The "Revolution" has inspired a "Revelation" in my mind that...Life is a Pyramid.  You must have a solid base upon which to build towards the top.  Trickle down does not work, because it would be impossible to start building a pyramid from the top down.

However, some focus too much on the foundation and refuse to build towards the top, which requires work, inspiration and the stretching of imagination, and sink into fundamentalism.  Others focus too much on the top, and forget where they came from in their quest to remain on the mountain top, whether spiritually, emotionally or physically.

Each stone in our life, each person we encounter, has a special purpose, a building block upon which to reach beyond our foundation towards what we can become.  This is my hope for the Egyptian people as they strive towards democracy.  This is my hope for all humanity as we focus less on what makes us different, and more on how we can stand with each other to build a better tomorrow.

After all, as Knights of Creation Spirit and Ale, we believe in "Unity Through Diversity"!

Sir Hook Who Walks With the Egyptians of Warrick

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Come Sail Away

OK, the first thing you think of, well if you're close to my age...or addicted to your parents music, is the classic song from the Chicago band, STYX.

This time the title refers to a classic journey through classical history aboard the Norwegian Jade.

Beginning our journey this Saturday in Barcelona, first order of business is to pop open a bottle of Spanish Red Wine, dance the Flamingo and try to get the rabid Barcelona football (read:  Soccer) fans to get their sets ready for real American Football during the AFC & NFC Championships.

Next stop Rome...the Eternal City beckons to me once again.  Eleven years after my first visit in 2000, I look forward to once again embracing the phrase, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"

Sailing away for the first time to the land where the legend of the "River Styx" flowed in classical mythology...Athens, the most powerful of the ancient Greek City States, is the birth place of western civilization.  I haven't gone "Greek" since my Alpha Tau Omega frat days at Murray State University in the late 70's.

Next stop, Turkey, where East meets West since the first century A.D., and where I enter, albeit a more civilized and tolerant form, the Muslim world for the first time.  I will say that since I was a kid looking into the eventide sky, the Crescent Moon and One Star has been a powerful sign for me in my life.  Smoking a hookah with a strong coffee is high on my list.

Egypt is the birthplace of civilization.  Since a child of eight browsing through the history books of my public library, up to the television series Stargate, I have avidly devoured ancient Egyptian history and culture.  To realize that I'll be standing where Pharaohs once tread in Cairo, and where Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra roamed in Alexandria is truly a dream come true!

Finally this errant Knight wraps up his seafaring journey of discovery in the Island of Malta, ancient home of the Knights of St. John.

Channeling the spirit of Humphrey Bogart's character Sam Spade in the 1941 movie, "The Maltese Falcon", when he responded to Brigid O'Shaughnessy's statement of how she wasn't really as good as people thought, he said...and I echo..."You know, that's good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere."

Here's to living life, chasing dreams, partaking in journey's of discovery and to not pretending to be innocent!

Sir Hook the Mediterranean Pirate of Warrick

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

If Life is Hard, Shouldn't We All Wear Helmets?

The answer would be yes, if I really believed it.  Sure, life can be hard, but just like a good laugh, it's over before you know it.  So, the real question is, to quote an old cliche, "Is your glass half empty, or half full?"  The answer to that question will determine how much you've bought into the theology of "Live Is Hard".

On a lighter note, to show where a man's brain really resides, organized Hockey required the wearing of a Protective Cup as early as 1879.  For those who never had the privilege of wearing said device...we in the adolescent sports world referred to them as "Ball Bras"!

It took 100 years for Hockey to require the use of a helmet to protect the head, when the league required all new players to wear a helmet starting in 1979.  At least men know their priorities!

So, if you need to wear a helmet, a protective device (real or imaginary) to get through life, at least make it a fun one, like a Beer Helmet...

...or put on a smile and shine a light on a brilliant idea!

Just remember!

Sir Hook the Cup Wearing, Head Exposed Lover of Life of Warrick

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where Is The Love?

Where is the love?  What is love?  REALLY?!

Love is a word that's easy to say, easy to blame, but hard to embrace...REALLY!

In this case, God is Love, because both get praised casually and blamed thoroughly...REALLY!

The Sports world, as of late American Football, is a supreme laboratory in studying the casual toss of Love and God within the human equation, especially when we cannot define ourselves without someone else, or accept blame and find a scapegoat...the human sacrificial lamb.

Flash back to Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills, who drops the game winning pass and blames God. Johnson was reluctant to accept responsibility for the gaffe, posting on his Twitter account post-game that it was in fact God's fault:

REALLY?  Steve, you dropped the ball, not God.  Of course you would easily praise him if you caught it.  Still, you would have caught it, not God.  Stop praising God for your success and failures and accept your roll in your own outcome.

Fast forward to today when the Tennessee Titans announce that they will either trade or release Vince Young.  Vince goes on to state that "he never felt the love and respect from the coach to motivate him to play better."  Love becomes the scapegoat for him, which makes it ok to walk out of a game twice, throw his pads into the stands and threaten suicide a few years back.  

REALLY?  Grow up Vince!  You can only love those who love themselves.

Today, ask yourself, where is your love?  Is it given to someone else before you love yourself?  Is it sought from someone else before you find it within yourself?

Today, ask yourself, what is your love?  Is it a person, a thing, a god, a dream, or is it the divine energy within yourself to motivate you to be the best you can be and to share that gift with others?

One thing is for certain, if you blame God or Love for your misery today, you're not looking at yourself in the mirror...REALLY!

Sir Hook the Lover of Warrick