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WORDS READ REVIEW – 2017 / HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King
2017 is quickly coming to a close as is “The Broker” by John Grisham. I read a lot, novels, history, info journals, geography magazines and newspapers, just to name a few. Since I use my blog, been doing this since 2008 and my journaling, been doing that daily since September of 2014, I’m doing the book review for those I leave behind to have some kind of an idea of my reading likes. I should probably include the TV as we now get Amazon and Netflix streaming thanks to Bloosurf. Yesterday we binged on “The Crown.” Visual History Reading I like to call it.
If you are a follower and happened to view https://elfidd.com/2017/08/08/must-be-the-russians/ a while back, August 8, 2017 to be exact, I was damning Bloosurf. http://www.bloosurf.com/Residential-Services Something wonderful happened several weeks ago when I could not get on WordPress. I left a message and a real live person by the name of Charity called me back. Shortly there after the problem was solved. I am now an extraordinary advocate for Bloosurf. If you have line of sight to one of their towers, check them out. A technician will come out and see if your location is suitable for the service. Should something go wrong, just give Charity a call, the issue will be resolved.
So back to the reading list. I pulled out a copy of Chesapeake by James A. Michener in the beginning of the year. I wanted to reference some history material. I’m sure I’ve read the entire book at least five times. It’s really lots of short stories, if you’ve never read it, live on or near the bay, it’s a must read. That book alone had a lot to do with herself and the Rooster relocating to the Eastern Shore of Maryland when we left Connecticut. My goodness, that will be thirty years ago come June. Prior to the move to Connecticut we lived on the northern bank of the bay in Cecil County Maryland so we were already acquainted with the Callinectes Sapindus
“Travels with Charlie” a John Steinbeck book was consumed last winter by the fireplace. Our well over 100-year-old home is much cozier when reading if your close to the fireplace, especially when the temperature drops below 20 f. Charlie was a Poodle who had a great personality. My companion is a black Standard Poodle named Ben who doesn’t shed. Don’t want fur around, get a Poodle.
“The Death of Santini, The Prince of Tides” and a scan through of “The Lords of Discipline” by Pat Conroy were consumed. Conroy passed away in March of 2016, I consider his passing a great loss. The fact that Herself and the Rooster lived once in Beaufort, SC as did Conroy and his wife Cassandra King, a novelist in her own right, especially endeared me to Conroy. I’ve often thought we should have gone three states further south when I retired. I just love the Low Country and its Spartina Marsh Grasses.
“The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown was passed on to me by daughter Kathryn. It’s about nine Americans from the University of Washington and their quest for gold in the 1936 Olympics. Thank you Kathryn
Herself gave me “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. it is Cheryl’s venture along the Pacific Coast Trail from Southern California to Oregon. Herself has always wanted to hike all or part of the Appalachian Trail. She does have a crazy Irish friend who just might escort her on some local parts of the trail. The Rooster will provide ground support on that venture should it happen.
“The Art of Manliness” written by friends of my son, Art and Kate McKay.
This book contains a wealth of information that ranges from survival skills to social skills to advice on how to improve your character. Whether you are braving the wilds with your friends, courting your girlfriend or raising a family, inside you’ll find practical information and inspiration for every area of life. (Amazon)
John Grisham’s “Racketeer” & “Rogue Lawyer” and Steven Hunters novel “Havana” were all Novels consumed this past year.
“Boone” a biography by Robert Morgan – This rich, authoritative biography offers a wholly new perspective on a man who has been an American icon for more than two hundred years—a hero as important to American history as his more political contemporaries George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Extensive end notes, cultural and historical background material, and maps and illustrations underscore the scope of this distinguished and immensely entertaining work.
“Working The Edge” by Melvin R. Gudknecht
Mel (aka: Tiny) back in our high school days was a guard on the same football team I played on, the Levittown HS Gryphons. We both had careers in law enforcement, he on the federal level, me with the state. Everybody has a story. This is Mel’s story–a true story.
Amazons lead into Mel’s story reads as follows: From 1978 to 1998, the United States Justice Department took on the mafia and corrupt unions using all available tools and even enhanced some old laws–a new agency and new laws. It was open season on organized crime and labor racketeers.
A letter to the president of the United States effectively launched the Office of Labor Racketeering and Organized Crime with a bag of tools, which included the RICO statute, the Inspector General Act, organized crime bill, Presidential Commission on Organized Crime . . . and a hundred agents.
After James Rydal Hoffa, president of Teamsters International, disappeared in 1975, there were no definitive answers as to what happened for years.
Still today, there are unanswered questions to the mystery, like, where is the body? I was put into an unrelenting position to find out. Thanks for sharing old friend.
Newspapers I read are “The Washington Post,” The Baltimore Sun,” “The Hartford Courant,” “The Wall Street Journal” and “The Salisbury Independent.” I’ll even look at ‘Drudge” from time to time. Years ago I worked with Matt Drudge’s father in Social Services. His father created http://www.refdesk.com/ I have ‘Google News” set up to multiple categories, much of it Population Health based, I do a lot of research for my daughter who works in the field. If you’ve followed my Blogs for any length of time you know my son in-law is a world traveler with the Department of State. (Where in the World is Jeff Berthiaume?) Jeff almost always brings English Language newspapers back from the various cities and countries he’s in. You learn a lot by reading how others think of us. And all those newspapers piling up, I grill with charcoal, how do you light your fires?
I’ve traveled via Canada to England and also visited Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi this year by Air Canada and American Airlines and have consumed their literature and propaganda as well. I try not to bring them home however, herself gets a bit upset and I get that look!
Multiple doctor and dentist visits give us great reading also. It seems there is always a “National Geographic” story I never get to finish. I’d most likely grab a cup of coffee and return to finish a story if they didn’t have those “No Food or Drinks in the Waiting Room” signs.
No reading list would be complete if I failed to mention “Elements of Style,” (Fourth Edition) . Strunk and White’s definitive text and classic manual on the principles of English language read by millions of readers. The 18 main topics are organized under the headings, “Elementary Rules of Usage,” “Elementary Principles of Composition,” “A Few Matters of Form,” “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused,” and “Words Often Misspelled.” (Amazon) I’m forever pulling this little gem out as it’s always close by. I wish I had paid more attention to Ms Bass back in HS English class.
Another reference book I must mention is “American Whiskey , Bourbon & Rye,” A Guide to The Nations favorite Spirit. This was a gift from my eldest daughter who I’ve been know to make a Manhattan for from time to time. William Faulkner once said, “My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.” To view some other quotes on whiskey check out https://firstwefeast.com/drink/25-whiskey-quotes-from-famous-drinkers/
I’m getting ready to start “Stephen King / On Writing,” A Memoir of the Craft. I must thank herself for putting this one in my stocking hung by the fireplace with care. I’ve rearranged my office and I’m ready for 2018. I only need a rug for the floor to bring additional warmth to the room.
Happy New Year everyone, after the night’s festivities curl up with a book. I guess I found the time to read in 2017.
Editors Note: prior to switching to WordPress a few years ago my Blog was written on thefidd.blogspot.com – Past Blogs can still be found there and from time to time I make a post or two on that site. Thanks for visiting “As the Rooster Crows”
Another Gastric Event
This past Thursday nourishment was once again the order of the day in our tiny village, you just gotta love those Lions. It was the Fire Company Auxiliary who’s turn it was to do the serving and the villagers all added sides to the staple of fried chicken provided by the Lions Club. As you will be able to see from the pictures, there were plenty of sides. The Auxiliary and the United Methodist Women share these event tasks. I must mention that a number of the ladies are both Auxiliary and United Methodist Women.
If your not a member of either, the recruiting door is always open, just contact one of those individuals who are always there.
The hungry gather to await the dinner bell.
Once again Scott McCurdy has set up his trains to entertain all. Scott would be the big fellow in the background chit chatting. Santa and Mrs. Claus were also in attendance to the delight of the young ones.
The table is prepared, no one went home hungry.
Ms Sue Malone rests her legs after doing dishes. That would be herself congratulating Ms Sue on a job well done. Ms Sue was a founding member of the Fire Company Auxiliary, herself has been a member for the past 29 years.
Since it’s charter the organization was known as the Ladies Auxiliary. I finally had to put my foot down last year and get them to drop the Ladies from the organization. It seems they could not find a lady willing to take on the Treasurers job some years back, would you believe ten? Herself was President at the time and the Rooster was drafted. No one has stepped up to volunteer for the position yet, so Auxiliary it is. They treat me well so I can’t complain, as you can see I’m well fed.
Once again a big thank you to the Lions Club and all who brought the bounty to the table. Merry Christmas one and all. Don’t forget the cookies and milk for Santa.
The Days, They Will Get Longer Now
Herself, who likes the shorter days, shall not be enthralled with this day I assure you. Oh she of the belief that when it is dark one goes to bed and as the sun rises so does one’s self. Do not even get her started on her opinion of Daylight Savings Time, what a waste of time that is. (No pun intended)
Several years ago we were blessed with the opportunity to spend time in Ireland in the town of Kilkenny on this very short day. Herself had become the American mother of sort for a son (we shall call him Eddie) of Ireland. This of course was quite appropriate as her maternal roots travel back to County Donegal on the Emerald Isle. Herself and this lad of the land of the green spent a number of years together behind bars. Herself’s sentence was 23 years, he is still serving his sentence but is obviously off for good behavior at the moment. We are both envious of their present geographical location.
Of late we have been following our adopted family on Face Book as they are in Kilkenny as my fingers hit these keys. I mention Ireland because of Newgrange and its ancient history and the relationship to The Winter Solstice.
I share with you Bill Ervolino’s most recent article on this shortest day.
The winter solstice — also known as Yule, Midwinter, the Shortest Day of the Year and the Longest Night — occurs at 11:28 a.m. ET Thursday.
But this short, little day with the great many names also may be the worst day of the year, according to astrologers. The reason? Saturn.
Apparently, the sun will appear to pass in front of the constellation Capricorn hours after Saturn does likewise. This will cause both of these orbs to line up for the first time since 1664, according to London astrologer Neil Spencer, who writes for The (London) Observer but first wrote about the alignment on his blog.
He insists that starting something new on this day is “ill advised” and will have long-term consequences. And anything you try to do Thursday will be more difficult than usual, take more time and be more frustrating.
► Tuesday: Thursday’s winter solstice marks the longest night of the year ► December 2016: Winter solstice: It only gets better from here ► December 2015: Monday’s winter solstice marks the longest night.
Perhaps that’s why the president probably won’t sign the tax bill Thursday — that and Congress has its paperwork to process — even though Spencer said the establishment, patriarchy, big business and property will be front and center in the cosmos.
Toss in all that holiday traffic — it is a gridlock alert day just about everywhere, according to Inrix, a company that analyzes transportation data — and it may be a good idea just to stay home.
“Saturn in Capricorn is a very useful placement, denoting one tough individual, but on a macro level, it doesn’t promise much in the way of fruitful change.”
Neil Spencer, astrologer
“Patience will not be a priority, especially if we are told that we ‘have to’ (do something) by our superiors,” Lunar Living astrology website says. “We may be perceived as (in)subordinate. Be ready to deal with the repercussions of the rebellion.”
Yet you can take solace in the winter solstice celebration at Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland, which is being streamed live to the world from 3:30 to 4:15 a.m. ET Thursday.
The entrance to the monument, which has a retaining wall made of quartz cobblestones, is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice. As the sun comes up between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. in Ireland, sunlight pours in through an opening in the roof (called a “roofbox”) and floods the chamber with light.
News shows likely will carry some of the footage. After you watch it, you might want to get back under the covers.
Follow Bill Ervolino on Twitter: @billerv
From the Rooster and his flock, a very Merry Christmas from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Herself, kids and a grand or two are making cookies on this Sunday a week before Christmas eve. My server, Bloo Surf is pulling one of it’s becoming frequent non functioning days. So, I travel the 3.5 miles to eldest daughter’s home and steal some bits of her band width.
Net neutrality, be damned the poor forgotten rural settlers. Seems my net is in neutral most of the time. I’d settle for a slow 2nd gear now and then on a semi regular basis.
Yesterday afternoon we joined a family that owns a large commercial nursery for a festivity that has gone on for a number of years. The invitees car pool to the nursery and then get to ride in a bus, car or P/U truck to gather festive greenery from the wild to take home for household decorations. The fact that we had a heavy wet nine inches of snow a week ago made the gathering quite easy. So many trees and bushes were relieved of branches that the pickings were easy.
If you need to learn the hows and whys of Holiday greenery check out funflowerfacts.
At one time during our outing we walked the grounds of Green Hill Church, built in 1733. Herself and the Rooster lived in and managed a farm dating to 1733 also. The bricks in the church and the home we lived in came from the same source back in the day.
Herself among the grave markers and the church as it sits today on the banks of the Wicomico River. https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Wicomico/WI-2.pdf
Once the gathering was finished we (30+) invitees returned to the home of the nursery owners for some fine Mulled Cider, soup and sandwiches all finished off with home made cookies. Thank you Sylvia and Harrison for your friendship and generosity.
I slept well last night with all the fresh air and good food. Calories be damned, it’s Christmas.
A Day of Infamy
Just about this time last year I was sitting in a Starbucks enjoying a coffee and their Internet connection while waiting to meet my granddaughter, I got into a conversation with a Salisbury University Student. Herself has all kinds of words to describe my verbal engagement with others. She considers herself anonymous, me, I’m the opposite. My previous interaction in the Birmingham, Alabama car rental return line is a perfect example.
It was early December when I was in that Starbucks and 12/07/1941 always comes to mind this time of the year. I was not born until two years later, but the history of the events at Pearl Harbor are forever etched in my Cerebral Cortex. What happened at Pearl Harbor was taught in History class when I went to school. My father fought in the war that followed, ending in 1945. I was a war child and now there are few who fought in that war left to tell their story.
I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I said something like “any thought on what tomorrow is in our history?” He looked up at me with a blank look on his face, “Pearl Harbor Day” I say in a questioning tone. A no clue look on his face at my ice breaker. I’m sure he was not happy to be torn away from Twitter, Snap Chat or Instagram. I was later happy to learn he was studying for a Civil Rights History class, was from the western shore, that’s the other side of the Chesapeake Bay and was a Junior at SU.
The old who, what, why. where and when had kicked in. Sometimes I just amaze myself with what I remember. I’m pretty good at establishing place and time when I hear a song from the 50’s and 60’s also. Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the #1 song on this important day, I’m not that old that I remember that though.
My point as I seem to be rambling along is: this young college student told me he was not familiar with, nor was never taught anything about Pearl harbor in school. We spoke further about geography and there was a lot lacking on that front also. I’m just amazed where our education system has gone. I’m happy he elected a history class in Civil Rights, there is hope. The young man later admitted that he had heard of Pearl Harbor through the movie but had no idea of the date.
To all who lost their lives on that day, I remember and I Honor you.
A Thanksgiving Trip
The Return Home
Returning home from a trip to Oklahoma and Mississippi recently I found myself standing in the underground of the Birmingham, Alabama airport returning our rental car. If you ever find yourself in BHM and in need of a rental I would say it’s the worst experience I’ve ever had. The signage for where rental car pickup is located is horrible. It is on the bottom floor of a massive parking garage. It is poorly lit, kind of reminds me of the Philadelphia subway system back in the early fifties, damp, dark and eerie is the feeling. My head was on a swivel and my hand was on my gun, oops, not there any longer, I’m retired, I forgot.
Thrifty, not really as much as the name implies is the last kiosk as you drive through this underground maze. Were it rows of corn I would have used the word (Maize,) Wordsmith taught me that one. This being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, things were busy in the underground. Returning cars, worker bees and people standing in line were the order on this early morning. Fortunately I departed Starkville, MS early or I would have had an elevated stress level.
I had dropped herself and our granddaughter at the departing curb up above first, a smart move on my part I must say. Granddaughter Rachael had an earlier flight than us and the two of them started the check in process, they had my suitcase also. It was just me, the rental car and my backpack, I give that to no one.
There were multiple cars being returned at the Thrifty kiosk which is shared with Budget Rental Cars. I’m directed to a line of cars by a young man smiling and sipping from a hot cup of Starbucks, steam from the cup is giving his face a cloudy haze. I start to park behind the last car, the woman in the driver’s seat is looking back at me, waving excitedly for me to back up and beeping her horn like a mad woman. There is no place for me to go, another car has already placed it’s self in line. The young man drinking Starbucks approaches and after a few minutes gets things organized. We park, crazy lady leaves.
It seems the panicking lady had left her purse at her place of departure and needed to return. Those of us in the growing line of returnees were sorted into various spaces so the mad woman could go from whence she came and return once again at a later time. Any bets if she made her flight?
I get back in line, not quite in the same order as a car to my rear jumped in front of me thanks to the directions from Starbucks man. I hand my paperwork to a young woman who proceeds to do the fastest walk-around of a rental I have ever seen. Perhaps too much coffee and she needs a pit stop? She tells me I’m good to go, I grab my backpack, she hands me my papers and points to the growing line of returnees, I’m, number five.
I’m only in line for a few minutes when I’m joined by a family of five, mom, dad, two girls ten or so, and a teen age boy busy on his cell phone while he sits on a huge duffel bag. I’m guessing a girlfriend back home is on the other end. The girls are busy giggling, the mother looks as though she is not happy being up so early and is expressing the same to the husband. In a few minutes she leaves with the girls and heads towards the terminal.
My wife says I’m a talker, she’s right, I am, who, what, where, when and why are my trade mark. Back in my Law Enforcement days I conducted and evaluated hundreds of background investigations while a member of the CT State Police Selection Unit recruiting process. That penchant for people’s nomenclature has never left me.
The line has yet to move, I turn to the man in line who’s wife just left with the girls, he’s wearing a red sweatshirt with a monogrammed “R,” I point, “Rutgers” I say, “yep” he says. “You from Jersey” I say. “Yep, Exit 8A off the Turnpike,” “Exit 5” I say, Jerzyeez jargon for those who don’t know. Everyone in Jersey uses a N.J. Turnpike Exit # or Garden State Parkway Exit # to orient people as to where they live. The inquisition has begun.
We chat while the line moves slowly, Rutgers man was in Alabama for Thanksgiving with the wife’s retired parents. They have a lovely retirement home on a lake in Sweet Home Alabama. I learn the son is most definitely talking to his sweetheart back in Hightstown, seems he had no desire to come south and visit Granny and Gramps. Who would think that was the case. The Mrs. teaches school, Rutgers man works in pharmaceuticals and will be glad when he gets home. He will also miss the Iron Bowl, a football game between Auburn and Alabama for those not in the know. Oh, and his beloved NY Giants are not doing well this year. They will do Newark by way of Atlanta on Delta. Who, what, where, when and Why, all answered.
My phone rings, it’s herself, where am I she asks? It seems she and the granddaughter are all checked in, as is their luggage. My luggage however is still on the conveyor belt at the ‘AA” counter. TSA rules prohibit it being loaded until an ID’d person is matched with it. And where is this person, still in the Dungeon of Doom, Dilly Dilly. I explain its at least another ten minutes prior to me being on my way. She sounds frustrated as we hang up. It’s been a long trip.
Rutgers man and I chat football, growing up in Jersey, the beaches at the shore and stay away from politics, Roy Moore country you know. Eventually I made it to the front of the line, I thought I had won a prize. I got apologies from the kiosk attendant, a lovely calm young lady who gave me a $50.00 coupon for a future rental that I never asked for. I didn’t even complain. If you travel Thanksgiving this is something to expect. I say goodby to Mr. Exit 8 and make a bee line to the check in counter. On this day I will get my steps in.
The AA staff are happy to see me and get an ID from the baggage owner who’s luggage is accumulating dust. I get my receipt and we are off to find our cup of Starbucks, I’m smiling.
Should you ever fly into OKC, you’ll love the rental car experience there, one stop shopping, constant shuttles. BHM has a long way to go.
As for me and mine, we were off to the Eastern Shore via Charlotte and Philadelphia on American Airlines. I hope all who celebrated the day of Thanksgiving had a wonderful four-day weekend, and from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Photo Credits: Turnpike , Wiki. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, city of Birmingham, Rutgers Jersey, Rutgers, Thanksgiving Dinner, Pinterest
December 3, 2017
Historical Society Breakfast
In the Village of Allen tucked along Passerdyke Pond and Wicomico Creek, a select crew of dedicated residents keep working hard to bring nourishment and entertainment to our community. On Saturday of this week the residents were provided a Country Breakfast courtesy of the Allen Historical Society. The menu consisted of : Scrambled Eggs, Scrapple, Bacon, Fruit Cocktail, Toast, Coffee, Tea and Juice. All this for $7.00 and an opportunity to ask Santa for that special gift you desire to wake-up to on Christmas morning.
Our daughter and Rooster & Wife get their moments with Mr. and Mrs Claus.
A few of the worker bees who make these events happen.
Thanks Melissa, Frank, John & Aggie.
A Brief History of the Village of Allen
The village of Allen was developed in the 18th century at the headwaters of Wicomico Creek around the grist mill established by John Adams. He was a son of the Rev. Alexander Adams who was the rector of Stepney Parish from 1704 to 1769. The mill dam formed Passerdyke Pond, still a village landmark, and the spillway or trap gave the settlement its first name. The Trap, later becoming Upper Trappe, to distinguish it from a village of the same name in Worcester County.
The name was not changed to Allen until 1884 when it was named after Joseph S. C. Allen, the first postmaster. In the late 18th century the village had a tavern, a store, and a sawmill in addition to the gristmill. The waterfront of Passerdyke Creek thrived with commerce in the 19th century. The Methodist Church was established in 1829, and by 1860 there was a post office in the village. Several general stores have operated in the village during its history.
Much of the village we see today lies on two colonial land patents, “Monsham” patented by John Christopher in 1683 and “Dashiell’s Lott” patented by Col. George Dashiell in 1721. The latter was a resurvey of the “Bennett’s Adventure” patented in 1665 to Major Richard Bennett, formerly a Governor of the Virginia Colony. (From the Allen Historical Society)
The breakfast was a fund-raising effort for the Historical Society which recently purchased a home in the village that will become the home of Allen’s history. If you stayed home shame on you, you missed a good meal to start your Saturday. You would not have to clean the grease off your stove and you did not support the town you live in. If we live here, we are all part of the history for those who follow. Come out to these events if you missed this one the next time you read a notice on the Village Sign.
We have two churches in Allen, a fire department, the Historical Society and a Lions Club. We’ve had a Church Fall Bazar, Fire Department barbecue chicken, Halloween in the cemetary, the Lions Pit Beef Dinner and Saturday’s breakfast.
Out at the confluence of the creek and the Wicomico River is the Wicomico Yacht Club. This month a year ago the old structure was lost in a fire which started in the heating system. A new structure is under construction and it will be a grand one. There are many events held year round at this facility also to include the entire family.
Many people when they hear the word “Yacht Club,” turn their nose up and think, a snooty uppity place. Not so my friends. The Rooster has been a member for thirty years and my first vessel was a 15 foot canoe, my last a 21 foot Pontoon Boat that was great for the grandkids as well as yours truly. Your grandkids will love the pool also.
If you’re not a member, give it some consideration or contact a member when events are occurring. Crab and Oysters feasts are just two events to bring gastric delight to you.
So, in essence what I’m crowing about is that we may be small, but we have some mighty people who bring joy and sustenance to us.
The Marine Corps has a saying, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” Be one of the few and proud of the Village of Allen and support your community. If you can’t work, buy a ticket.
Merry Christmas to all from the Rooster’s Coop to yours.
A Loss is a Win when with family.
Yes we went to the Egg Bowl, a 31-28 Ole Miss victory over granddaughter Abby’s beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. Apparently someone forgot to let the dogs out.
On this Friday after, we celebrate Thanksgiving with Rachael, Sam and family who drove over from OKC, Kathy, Jeff, Abby and friends. We are blessed, even though State lost, we are winners for family and friends. To all our friends and family, happy day after from Columbus, Mississippi.