Posts

What's New - Feb 22

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Dear Henry,

Have you ever gone through the week feeling enormously busy and then realize on Friday that you have accomplished nothing at all?

That was last week.

Last night, it became apparent to me that running around without focus doesn't help with productivity, it only makes me feel stressed.

I (once again) read a couple of articles about productivity and decided to pay attention, rather than scoff  "I don't do that.", because clearly, I do.

When I looked back over the course of the week, I realized my two biggest problems are a lack of organization and a lack of an appropriate schedule, with the lack of an appropriate schedule being my biggest issue. 

I have read about this technique before and I am beginning to agree that I would benefit significantly from "Time Blocking" or setting up a schedule where I block out time for specific tasks and only those tasks.

My workflow flaws tend to follow specific patterns - I tend to work on multiple projects at t…

What's New - Feb 15

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Dear Henry,

Yesterday was St. Valentine's day and I got to spend the evening with my favorite valentine of 24 years - Fish!  We didn't go out though, there were too many crowds.

It has been another week of cold, wet weather and I didn't get out much and didn't get any new images created for the shop.

In spite of the weather, the week wasn't a complete loss, I did think of a new topic to research:  Why the cold affects old injuries so much and steps you can take to minimize the discomfort.

Stay tuned for the details.

I also didn't get too far into US military history this week, but I did discover Colonel Orin D. Haugen, one of the first paratroopers in the US Army. He was also an avid horseman.

While I didn't get much research done, I did redo the www.everydaypatriot.com site to what I think is a much cleaner look, you must tell me what you think.

I was also able to wrap up the reviews of three books, the first, The Storyteller's Secretis an intergenera…

What's New - Feb 8

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Dear Henry,

It's been a week of Winter weather and I am trying to figure out what went wrong with the groundhog's prediction.

Still, despite the storms, I did get some work done this week.  Three new prints, all of the sunset over Loch Lomond in Bella Vista Arkansas, have been created and are now available: Jan Sunset Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond at Sunset 2020, and Loch Lomond at Dusk.

While researching veterans for the EverydayPatriot.com blog I came across Major General Smedley Butler, and I must say, the old-timey (think Spanish American War era) Marines were a great bunch of characters. Major General Butler had a great tattoo.

My book selections this week were pure fun - Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb was a murder mystery with a ghostly twist and The Rescue by Steven Konkoly, which was about a secret ops mission gone wrong.  No Pulitzer winners this week but sometimes you just need a bit of an entertaining read, especially on a snowy day.

I have been keeping a close eye…

What's New - Feb 1

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Dear Henry,

Did you say "rabbit rabbit" this morning?

After writing about the legend surrounding the good luck charm "rabbit rabbit" in the post "What the Hare With All the Rabbits" I don't think it matters much, as it has changed quite a bit from its original form and purpose.

There are two book reviews this week.  The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura which explains the philosophy behind tea and the rituals surrounding them and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni which is a fictional account of a boy growing up with ocular albinism.

I began working on a biography for John Jacobs for the www.everydaypatriot.com blog but became overwhelmed by the sheer number of men named John Jacobs that had their lives uprooted during WWII.  I wrote about it in the post "In Memory of John Jacobs".

Unfortunately, I still have the backlog of prints to be created and because the weather is promising to be beautiful for the next couple of days, th…

What the Hare With All the Rabbits?

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Dear Henry,

As January comes to a close (and in preparation for February 1st), someone asked if I knew the story behind saying "Rabbit Rabbit" at the beginning of every month.  I only had the vaguest idea of the tradition but I love a good rabbit hole (bwahaha, I couldn't help it) and decided that this was a bit of folklore worth investigating.

Like many good stories, it has to do with witches and saying "Rabbit Rabbit" is only a small part of it.

Back in the day (around the Middle Ages, near as I can tell) to ward off witches, the people of England would greet each other at the first of the month with a pinch and a punch, while shouting "pinch, punch, first of the month", to drive the witches out of everyone you encountered that morning. Technically, the pinch is supposed to be a pinch of salt but because people are people, we all know that this became a painful way to start each month.

The response to "pinch, punch, first of the month" wa…

In Memory of John Jacobs

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Dear Henry,

The other day I read about the WWII Japanese prisoner transport ship the Enoura Maru.

On January 9, 1945, the Enoura Maru was docked at Takao in Formosa and was overfilled with Allied prisoners. The ship was attacked by a raid of mostly American aircraft.  As many as 400 prisoners died during the attack and the days that followed. The survivors were transferred to the ship Brazil Maru and sent to Moji Japan.  Over 500 additional Allied prisoners died on that leg of the journey.

The account I read had an eyewitness testimony of the experience from USAF servicemember John Jacobs.

While John Jacobs is a fairly common name, I can generally puzzle together enough information to piece together enough for an entry in the www.everydaypatriot.com blog.  Such would not be the case here.

It wasn't that there wasn't any information about John Jacobs, it was that there was so much and the sheer number of John Jacobs became overwhelming.

For example, there was *this* John Jacob…

What's New - Jan 25

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Dear Henry,

This past week was cold and frosty and the temperatures stayed below freezing most of the time.

The grey sky, its pronounced lack of sun, and continual drizzle caused me to spend most of the indoors.  I regret not grabbing some bouquets this week, the house could have used the color.

This type of weather is also really uncomfortable for me and it is weeks like this that I feel the repercussions from the accident the most. So, I spent most of the week wrapped in an electric blanket, indulging in a lot of grilled cheese and tomato soup and increasing the backlog (now at 52) of books to be reviewed at www.riteoffancy.com.

But then I suppose, I will always find another book to read, even if I catch up on the backlog, so my reading and reviewing list will always be full, I think.

The weather pattern is supposed to change for the warmer this week and, really, I find it hard to complain. Arkansas winters are pretty mild most of the time. I have decided to plant some of the winte…