Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nothing New Under the Sun

I thought this was pretty interesting, a 200 a.d. Roman multi tool.

(from )

" Many historians credit Englishman Thomas Coryat, who having traveled "south" in 1608, wrote ao, in a book titled "Coryat's Curdities Hastily gobbled up in Five Months Travels in France, Savoy, Italy, &c.," published in London, 1611- as having introduced the fork to England.

I observed a custome in all those Italian Cities and Townes through which I passed, that is not used in any other country that I saw in my travels, neither do I thinke that any other nation of Christendome doth use it, but only Italy. The Italian, and also most strangers that are commorant in Italy, doe alwaies, at their meales use a little forke when they cut the meate; for while with their knife, which they hold in one hand, they cut the meate out of the dish, they fasten their forke which they hold in their other hande, upon the same dish, so that whatsoever he be that sitteth in the company of any others at meate, should unadvisedly touch the dish of meate with his fingers, from which all at the table doe cut he will give occasion of offence unto the company as having transgressed the lawes of good manners, insomuch for his error he shall be at least browbeaten, if not reprehended in words. This forme of feeding I understand is generally used in all places of Italy, their forks being for the most part made of yron or steele, and some of silver, but those are used only by gentlemen. The reason of this their curiosity, is because the Italian cannot by any means endure to have his dish touched with fingers, seeing all men's fingers are not alike cleane. Hereupon I myselfe thought good to imitate the Italian fashion by this forked cutting of meate, not only while I was in Italy, but also in Germany, and oftentimes in England, since I came home, being once quipped for that frequent using of my forke by a certain learned gentleman a familiar friend of mine, one Mr. Lawrence Whittaker, who in his merry humour, doubted not to call me at table Furcifer, only for using a forke at feeding but for no other cause.

Even through the 17th century, teh fork was more a matter of the upper classes who could afford the novelty of the status associated with them.

Some historians put the normally, usually, generally popular use of the fork in America just before the Civil War when etiquette shifted with the ways meals were eaten with the Service Russe replacing the Service Francais.
That being said, forks are claimed to be attributed to British soldier Rev War camps.

Four tyne forks date to Frnace in the lte 17th century as a way to deal with food sliidng off or fallling through the two tyne fork. "

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yup, I'm doing good

LAST WEEK: I am done working for the day, I empty all of the odds and ends I have collected out of my pockets, and throw out all of the scrap papers. Lists, measurements, gum wrappers, old wiring diagrams, & my wallet.

LAST NIGHT: While filling up the outside wood furnace, I step on the hoe and it flies up and whacks me, I mumble at it. A moment later I step on it again with similiar results, and set it aside. Before I knew what hit me, I was attacked the third time, and finally it "hit me" that I should put it in exile far beyond it's effective striking range.

TONIGHT: While driving home I am coming fast down a hill with a truck tailgaiting me, I have to make a sharp left turn at the very bottom. So what else would I do, but crank down my left window as a signal that I was about to make a turn. I'm just glad that I didn't have to turn right! That could of been tricky, and what if I didn't get that window down in time? He would of NEVER known that I was making a turn. Disasterous!! Phew, was I lucky....

And I have noticed lately, that as I play my guitar in the evening I have been starting out playing one song and ending on another. Some very interesting medelys have come about. I am especially impressed when I change not only songs, but keys so seamlessly that I have no idea what happened. My skills must be improving!? I don't know what is going on with me, most weeks aren't this good! And it's only wednesday.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My little sister?

Fuzzy head, excessive facial hair, and a big funny looking nose, I know what your thinking, " Its gotta be some relative of Teddy's." But she aint no kin on mine, blood relation at least ;) This goofy looking ball of whitish fluff is my mothers poodle Natalie. She also answers to doodle bug, pom-pom head, fuzzy wuzzy, but generally just "Hey Poodle!" Pretty much anything that has to do with fluff, or rhymes with poodle.
So by now you are wondering why I am rambling on about something that only the very boredest of you might care about, well... The night after taking this picture, I lay awake until at least 2:30 thinking about this big cotton wad, and all of the little adventures we have had together. Needless to say, I was too busy laughing to sleep. So if ya don't mind, I think I'm gonna share just a couple.
As far back as I can remember, I thought that I wanted a dog to take in the woods with me. My problem was that my mother raised Shih-Tzu's, and roaming the forests with a pack of ankle high, longhaired, "woodchucks" with bad attitudes, just didn't fit the romantic picture I had in my head. So I spent years teasing for a big dog, a german shepherd, husky, retriever, lab, anything manly that I could take with me on my expeditions into "the forbidden forests" that I routinely enjoyed trespassing on. So imagine my surprise when I was about 15yrs old, and my parents called me and told me that they got a puppy! I was so excited, I can still see that front door opening (in slow motion) as Natalie comes running across the kitchen floor to me. About half way across, I started to get the suspicion that this might not be the manly dog I put my order in for. Lol "What!? you got a poodle! Why are you doing this to me! I can't go out in public with that!" etc... After much deliberation, and possibly even a few tears, I secured a promise that she would never, ever be given a poodle cut. " The fact of what she truly is, must never leave this room! O.k?" Lol
So now I have fallen in love with her, and we are about ready to head off into the snow covered hills for our first big trek, but there is one problem. Natalie has a habit of running away and being gone for hours before returning home, and if any of you have ever tried to walk a dog on a leash in the woods, you know that invariably if you will pick the left side of the tree they pick the right, and vice versa. So I quickly find the perfect solution. I took a long strip of soft leather, and hobbled her front legs together and we were off! So now instead of little woodchucks, I have a big floppy eared, cropped tailed, white rabbit hopping happily behind me as I explore. That worked wonderful, until her hairy feet collected big snow balls that froze to her fur. So from then on she wore 2 pairs of my socks, held on with rubber bands, and her hobbles. It was just like I had always imagined! I finally had my manly woods dog! Lol ;)
Just a couple of years down the road, and I am working on an OOLD fashioned farm that lies exactly 5 miles away. I was much more full of energy than I could ever hope to be again, and I loved to run. So I would get up bright and early every morning run to work, work a long hard day, and run home, and most days never think anything of it. Weekend would come, and with no place I had to run to, I would go out for an even longer run just for the fun of it. Well one day, I decided that Natalie might like to go with me. So we take off and she is dragging me for quite a while, of course I enjoy it because it gives me a challenge to keep up with her. well a few more miles into it, we are keeping pretty good time with each other, and we keep going. (probably both panting with our tongues out. :) At what I figured up was about 8 miles, Natalie puts on the brakes and collapses in exhaustion. I am kind of smug and proud of myself at this point, that I won the race, so I start to walk back towards home and she is too tired to stand, let alone walk. So I put her up on my shoulders and head home, probably looking for all the vehicles passing by like a shepherd heading home with his little lost lamb. A while down the road she starts getting restless up there, so I put her down and let her walk. Half way home, we are passing this house and I see it has a big black dog in front of it. I walk a little more quitely, Natalie fully recuperated by this time, starts barking and growling and tugging on her leash. The black dog, sees us and takes off running at full speed not looking one bit happy to see us. He is gaining ground, more than half way to us now, and my loud mouthed lamb starts to think twice about what she started and she literally jumps into my arms!!! Lol you should of seen it, here I am holding this big fluffy whimpy poodle up as high above my head as I could, as that dog is barking and growling at us standing just a few feet away. Luckily the woman who owns him was in their garage and came rushing out to save us, after apologies were exchanged we set back off for home. A short ways down the road I tried to set her down, but she was very sure by this point that she was going to ride out the rest of this horrible trip I forced her to go on with me. Lol
This is only the beginning, but it is sufficient to say that I have come to appreciate that clown regardless of breed. ;) She absolutely loves to stand up and wrap her fluffy little arms around my waist and give me a "poodle hug" while I rub her soft curly little head, and it has become a ritual that is expected of me every time I am leaving, or coming home. If I forget to, I am not easily forgiven. Lol So much for a manly dog, I wonder how huskys feel about hugging?