How to Sail a Full Rigged Ship

Continue reading How to Sail a Full Rigged Ship

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A Creative Approach to Saving Ye Olde Cassette Tapes

Quite possibly, the most agonizing decision being made by Baby Boomers across the nation these days is what to do with all that vintage Hi-fi equipment and boxes full of classic rock and roll cassettes and 8-Tracks.

I faced this dilemma head-on this past summer as I definitely wanted in on the newfangled bluetooth speakers that could play the CDs I had loaded into my computer hard drive, wires free, but also wanted a way to play my cassettes without having to fire up my Sansui receiver. Continue reading A Creative Approach to Saving Ye Olde Cassette Tapes

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King Lear

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Scottish Myths and Legends

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Protecting Rare Books: How to Build a Silverfish Trap

Silverfish damage to book – photo by Micha L. Rieser

The beauty of hunting silverfish is that they are not the most clever of creatures in the insect kingdom.

Simply take a small clean glass jar and wrap it in masking tape.  The masking tape gives the silverfish something to cling on to as they curiously climb to the top of the jar.  Bait is not required.  Set the jars upright in the path of known offenders, sit back and wait…OK, perhaps just leaving the jar and coming back in a day or two will do.

Lepisma Saccharina – Silver Fish – photo by Christian Fischer

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The Sinking of the Laconia

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Henry Miller


 

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Cocktails and Canapés

From The How and When, An Authoritative reference reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco. The Marco name is of a Chicago family that were involved in all aspects of the liquor business and ran Marco’s Bar located at 70 E. Randolph Street and another at 32 S. Clark St. in Chicago back in the day. Continue reading Cocktails and Canapés

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Philly Dips – Some Philadelphia Cream Cheese Classics from the 1950s

Philly Clam Dip
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 8-oz. pkg. Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
3 tablespoons clam broth
1 7-to 7 1/2-oz. can minced clams, drained Continue reading Philly Dips — Some Philadelphia Cream Cheese Classics from the 1950s

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History of Britain: Rise and Fall of the Druids

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Scotland: Rome’s Final Frontier

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Bleak City

Exhaust blackened dirty snow
Bleak City cold winter sting
Cars in ditches
Tire chains and rock salt
Doughnut shop at four am
Factory whistle blows at five
Hot coffee on the dashboard
Eyes on the road
Front wheel drive Cadillac
I’ll make it on time

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The Damp Dark Plight of Rainy Day Books


Awakened to mild rumbles of thunder and pounding rain
washed down by a steady drizzle and more downpour
coating asphalt with mirrored reflections of oily alluvial runoff
easing back into a soothing pattern of velvety rain drops
drizzling down the foliage encased wrought iron balcony rails Continue reading The Damp Dark Plight of Rainy Day Books

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Pussy Willow Wielded a Real Broad Sword

The Interrogation of Joan of Arc by Cardinal Winchester

Pussy Willow wielded a real broad sword
Honed with diamonds and emery board
They say she cut her own umbilical chord
The day she strapped it on to serve her Lord Continue reading Pussy Willow Wielded a Real Broad Sword

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Prairie Steel and Golden Lace

Western prairie quiet broken by forged steel
Sage Grouse dance, feathers of resplendent golden lace
oblivious to Manifest Destiny’s race
Juniper trees observe from high peaks
Wisps of threadbare clouds converging on progress Continue reading Prairie Steel and Golden Lace

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Flotsam and Jetsam


Pirate plunder, sailboat trash, cruise ship waste
oil cargo leaks, party boat beer cans, trawler diesel
hurricane timber, tsunami tin, maelstrom hulls
1452, 1633, 1785, 1823, 1900, 1956, 1989, 2005
skulls, bones, kneecaps, shoulder blade, hip bones
doubloons, pieces of eight, gold, pearls, emeralds
daggers, dirks, walking planks, broadswords, canon balls
sloshing, swooshing, swaying, swinging, swerving
fishing line, lobster buoys, shrimp net, propellers,
diaries, manuscripts, messages in bottles,
bottles without messages
glass eyes, peg legs, rope belts, Bibles, bottles of rum
cases of champagne, lock boxes, barrels of salt pork
sea glass, sea grass, bean pods, sea shells, ships logs
compass, rudder, mainsail, mainstay, jib, topsail, sheet
devils, black cats, skull and cross bones, Black Beard’s ghost
flotsam and jetsam is best served with currents

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Reading Glasses

Once you get your first pair
You’ll find them everywhere
Up and down the stairs
Even a pair in your chair

A pair in the kitchen
For cutting up chicken
One made of hard plastic
to take a licking

A fine gold pair for putting on airs
a silver pair too, looks good on you
A slim pair like in the magazines
You know the ones, they make you look lean

A pair in the car, a pair in the truck
Some even wear them when they…
Doodle cartoons at noon

Then one day you wake up to find
Say, those are my glasses,
No they’re not, they’re mine

So off to the store to buy a new pair
And when you get back home you find the old pair
In your hair

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Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

If ever it could be said that there is such a thing as miracle healing soil, Ivan Sanderson said it best in his 1965 book entitled Ivan Sanderson’s Book of Great Jungles.

Sanderson grew up with a natural inclination towards adventure and learning.  He hailed from Scotland but spent much of his youth in Provence, France where he moved with his parents as a young boy.  His description of Provence painted with his youthful imagination would later lead to a lifetime of jungle adventure across all points on the map. Sanderson’s father was killed by a rhinoceros while working with a documentary film crew in Kenya, Africa in 1925. Continue reading Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

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Herbal Psychedelics – Rhododendron ponticum and Mad Honey Disease

Toxicity of Rhododendron
From Countrysideinfo.co.UK

Potentially toxic chemicals, particularly ‘free’ phenols, and diterpenes, occur in significant quantities in the tissues of plants of Rhododendron species. Diterpenes, known as grayanotoxins, occur in the leaves, flowers and nectar of Rhododendrons. These differ from species to species. Not all species produce them, although Rhododendron ponticum does. Continue reading Herbal Psychedelics — Rhododendron ponticum and Mad Honey Disease

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Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria.  A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant with similar properties called maranta, or Cryptolepis buchananii (Indian sarsaparilla), is used by Ayurvedic doctors to treat an assortment of ailments from urinary tract infection to paralysis and ricketts. Continue reading Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

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Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.

— Adam Smith