The following post has absolutely nothing to do with ceramics or clay or art. It is the result of my cousin sending me an email about Navy traditions and our shared experience of spending years associated with same. And this reminded me of a bunch of experiences. So please indulge me.
Piping and Sideboys on Navy ships
The custom of 'piping' a distinguished visitor 'over the side' dates to the time of wooden ships when senior officers would come alongside in their small launches. As the launch approached, the ship Boatswain, who was a warrant or petty officer in charge of the ship's deck crew, rigging, cables and anchors, would use his bos'n call to muster a party of men to assist the senior officer coming aboard.
Hence, the term "piping." He arrived at the quarterdeck, the ship's 'front door' and assembled a working party of sailors to take their stations on either side of the senior officer who would be lifted from the launch via a 'sling'. The sling would be lowered to the launch; the officer would be strapped in and hoisted to the quarterdeck of the ship.
As the seniority of the officer was often an indicator of his bulk, the more senior the officer, the larger the number of men would be assigned to hoist him up and lift him "over the side"
The more senior the officer, the more likely the bulk. Hence more sideboys were needed to assist him onboard. The same operation in reverse was performed whenever the officer returned to his launch.
Today, distinguished visitors are not hoisted aboard ship, but the sideboys and the piping functions still remain.
The above reminded me of the odd experience of being "piped" aboard a ship. And my resultant wonderment about whether my experience was a singular one or not. I still don't know.
The other memory this little article spurred was the fact that before leaving Japan, I bought a nice Boatswain's pipe just as a souvenir.
It lay in a drawer for some years until we moved to a beach community. Our children had lots of room to run, but were difficult to call home in a place where the sea roared and the wind blew nearly all the time.
The perfect solution was for me to stand on the front deck of our house and blow the Boatswain's pipe. The sound carried perfectly.
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38th Annual Toys Designed by Artists - November 21 - January 6, Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. 9th St., Little Rock AR. My latest ray gun will be on display. (See SEP 5 post. The ray gun with the wine glass bottoms attached.)
The Art Stop in Tacoma has a selection of some of my pieces. (See below) They have many wonderful things. Well worth a visit.
Teapot Show at The Art Stop, 940 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402, (253) 274-1630 starting May 5, 2012
Here and There: Contemporary Nordic-American Ceramics. In conjunction with NCECA National Convention, Seattle WA. Three pieces will be on display at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St., Seattle WA. The show dates are March 9 to May 6, 2012.
Ceramics Monthly, Jan. 2011, pg. 13
Member's gallery Jeanette Harris on http://www.southernarizonaclayartists.org
New Webpage: http://fiberneedle&thread.blogspot.com/
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The Pirate Wars by Peter Earle - If you are interested in history, Peter Earle is a master at the period roughly from 1590 to 1700; especially English maritime history.
Watching the English by Kate Fox - A delightful social anthropologist's complete analysis of English behavior and character. A sheer delight if you have lived among them or know some. Spot on in every aspect.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan - Another intriguing novel about life in China in the early 1900s, the book covers four generations of women's lives and relationships during the trade boom and intermeshing of Eastern and Western cultures and it's impact upon their lives and relationships.
Islanders, the Pacific in the Age of Empire by Nicholas Thomas - A study in the early history of European contact with the far flung Pacific cultures. Quite a heavy tome laden with data. Quite a wade, but very interesting non the less.
Sharp Objects by Julian Flynn - If I hadn't read Gone Girl, I would not have read this book. Gone Girl is by far a superior book. This one, not so much. Rather raw and undeveloped for my tastes.
The 100 Foot Journey by Richard Morais - Interesting novel combining Indian family culture, French snobbery, cooking and a life that weaves it's way through it all. Good read.,
Bellow Stairs by Margaret Powell - The classic kitchen maid's memoir of being 'in service' in the early 1900s. The inspiration for Upstairs Downstairs and ultimately Downton Abbey. Good read.
The Autistic Brain, Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin & Richard Panek - Excellent survey of the extensive range of autism; great reference to the latest research and excellent description of the spectrum. Highly recommended.
Sailors, English Merchant Seamen 1650-1775 by Peter Earle - Historical account of maritime culture of this period; excellent reference.
The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson - Set in the 1700s England, a stable hand is put in charge of two elephants and must learn about them as he goes.
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones - 510 pages of the history of Plantagenet family's rule, this book reads like a novel. It would make a so-much-better TV drama instead of Thrones. And it's REAL.
Seedlings by Ethel Lee Miller - Written by my good friend, stories of relationships. A perfect nightstand companion for reading and contemplation, deftly told by a master communicator.
Good Women by Jane Stevenson - Three highly amusing stories, each quite different, of women who might not strictly be classified as 'good', but certainly distinct.
A Life of Richard Badiley: Vice-Admirla of the Fleet - A research read, the life of a Royal Navy captain during the 1600s.
The Hundret Secret Senses by Amy Tan - Tan is alway good for a ripping yarn.
The Island of Lost Maps, A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey, a recounting of the systematic theft of priceless maps from collections in public libraries and institutions by Gilbert Bland. Well written, informative and dismaying book.
Sixpence House by Paul Collins - Chronicle of an American family settling down in Hay-on-Wye, a Welch town with more bookstores and books than nearly the population of Wales. Talented writer.
Tyler's Row, a "Miss Read" book by a anon. writer - Cosy English village in all it's splender.
Royals by Kitty Kelley - Ran across this at the used book store. Dishy history of British royals.
Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwsaki - A true account of the life of a top Geisha of Kyoto. Fascinating account.
The Berrybender Narratives by Larry McMurtry - From the moment you read the first paragraph, this book sweeps you up and takes you on a wild ride through the 1830's American West in the company of some of the most colorful characters you would ever hope to meet. Jump in!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - It is rare to discover a book that leaves you guessing at every page turning. I must say, this is one of the most original, engrossing books I have read in a long time. I will read her only other two books as soon as I can find them. Highly recommended.
Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry - Semi-autobiographical, this book captures the ennui of adolescence and life on an isolated Texas cattle ranch in the 1950s or 60s. Great dialog writing skillfully reveals the characters' emotions. The descriptions of the settings make you hear the house screen door slam, the windmill's creek and smell the dew on the pastures.
Making Haste from Babylon, the Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World by Nick Bunker- Well researched and presented encapsulation of the political, religious, economic and cultural environment that impacted and made the world of our ancestors. Very well written. Half-way through of carefully reading with a highlight pen in one hand.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett - Wit crackles on every page as Mr. Bennett imagines Queen Elizabeth encountering a bookmobile parked at the palace kitchen entrance and discovers the joys of reading for pleasure.
Empire at the Periphery by Charles J. Koot - A treatise on British Colonist, Anglo-Dutch Trade, and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1621-1713.
Sailors, English Merchant Seamen 1650 - 1775 - A complete portrait of the lives of seamen of the period. Research source for genealogical investigations. Very good resource.
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brien - Just got me feet wet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the trip.
Literary Life, A Second Memoir by Larry McMurtry - I haven't found the first memoir, but this one is interesting concerning his early writing and book collecting. I will search for the first and third.
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton - Wading through...not too happy with the main characters; I'm sure nothing will turn out well....Update: One of the most depressing books I've ever read. I won't be looking for this author.
Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cayhill - Fifth in a series titled The Hinges of History, this is a very interesting account of the high middle ages including the latest research on this time period. Well worth the read.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - A historical fiction about the life of Thomas Cromwell (Not to be confused with Oliver Cromwell.) Unique writing style and slow going, but good window into the time of Henry VIII.
A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield - The saga and history of the search for the treasured pigment. You will better understand red after reading this book.
Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber - Originally in French, this book is a fascinating work of fantasy/reality science. Set against fascinating data about the Argentine Ant, the fiction works as a wonderful and intriguing mystery that will keep you absorbing quasi-scientific data while consuming the mysterious plot line wanting to know the outcome. I only wish there were more translations of his books.
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The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope - a jewel in itself of English manners, society, pretensions and family intrigues during Victorian England. A delight for any Anglophile.
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer - Excellent boots on the ground view of what life was like in England between 1300 and 1400. Highly Recommended.
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson - Better than the first, more intricate and insight into the motivations behind the quirky 'girl'.
Monkey Love by Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky - an exploration of the old question of nature vs nurture with a bit of genetic engineering thrown in.
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky - Guide to stress, stress-related diseases as presented by a biologist, Dr. Sopolsky writes about stress with wit and ease.
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Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD - A convincing argument about weight-gain and our overly-engineered wheat source, I've lost 13 pounds following his advice!!! A must read for anyone concerned with eating healthily.
Slight Mourning by Catherine Aird - Aird out-Christies Christie and leaves you guessing about who done it. Dripping with English villege-ana, a crisp writing style and well-knitted plot. I've found a new mystery writer thanks to my sis.
Nell Gwynn: Mistress to a King by Charles Beauclerk - direct descendent of the only son of this union, the author has been able to pull from family archives for this window into the rowdy Royals of the late 1700's.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks - extremely interesting read about the brain and music.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Great piece of fiction. Highly recommended.
History of the Colony of New Haven to its absorption into Conn. by Edward E. Atwater
Perry of London - History of the Perry family, merchant traders involved in early colonial history.
Curtain by Agatha Christie - Christie grew to hate Poirot. So she killed him off in this story--much to the dismay of her readers.
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The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro - Aaaagh! Stopped reading this halfway through. I totally lost patience with the (?) plot And the main character.
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman - my occasional dip into mystery, a Southwestern setting makes this book especially fitting.
Stiff by Mary Roach - Strangely compelling, often irreverent and funny compendium of what can and does happen to our mortal coil.
The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown, a study of the archeological record, the sagas for a reconstruction of the real life of a VIking woman who lived ca. 1000 AD. Fascinating read.
In the President's Secret Service - Ronald Kessler, an inside look at various presidents and their protection by the Secret Service, the history and workings of that service.
Eva Luna - Spanish Language version of Schererazade, this is a collection of short stories written by Isabelle Allende
Anthill by E. O. Wilson - Fascinating story of the life of an anthill; not so great story of the people who live around it.
A Primate's Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky - fascinating, entertaining, informative, Can't say enough about this great book. I'm 1/3 into it and already I've looked up all the rest of his books, lining them up to order and read. Highly recommended if you're interested in primates both 4 and 2 legged.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Intricate plot and a good read, but some graphic violence that I could do without.
Poland by Mitchener
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter by Thomas Cahill - One of the Hinges of History series
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran Tedious, but interesting insight into AC's seemingly random writing notes.
Texas by Mitchner - 1090+ pages - this is going to take a while.....
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Prizzi's Family, Richard Condons hilarious prequel to Prizzi's Honor
Mysteries of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern world by Thomas Cahill - just started and it looks very interesting indeed
Lost on Planet China by Maarten Troost another hilarious sojourn into another culture.
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. If you liked Julie & Julia, the movie, you'll love this book.
Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost, Hilarious account of life in the tropical paradise of Vanuatu and Fiji including poisonous centipedes, cyclones, and the hazards of Kava
The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery - It's good to know a pig.
Uncommon Clay by Margaret Maron, murder mystery set in the Seagrove NC clay community
The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis, a novel about the dynamics of a Jewish community in Memphis TN during the '60s
Salt, A World History by Mark Kurlansky - A fascinating survey of the scientific, political, religious and culinary history of 'the only rock we eat."
The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr - the story of a lost Caravaggio masterpiece
Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan, a great yarn about travelers in Burma
The Old Wive's Tale by Arnold Bennett
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamontt, Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir. Eleanor is my pregenator (pregenatoress?)
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost, a hilarious account of life on Kiribati, a Pacific Island nation.
An Unquiet Mind, A Memoir of Moods & Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
Dark Mission by Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara
On Writing by Stephen King
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Charbon - A sort of graphic novel in wordy prose.
Rapture for the Geeks
Stubborn Twig - Three generations in the life of a Japanese American Family
Jewels by Victoria Finlay - beautifuly researched story of precious stones
P.G. Wodehouse by David A. Jasen - The man who wrote the Jeeves & Wooster stories so beautifly portrayed by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
A History of Their Own by Bonnie S. Anderson and Judith P. Zinsser, Vol. 1 - an extremely well-researched study of women in relation to the society from prehistory to the 17th cent. Highly recommended
Talking to the High Monks in the Snow by Lydia Minatoya
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night compiled by Scott Rice, an outrageously funny compilation of entries into the yearly Bulwar-Lytton contest.
All of Alexander McCall Smith's three Professor Von Inglefeld's "Portuguese Irregular Verbs" books
All of The No. 1 Ladies' Dective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith
Color by Victoria Finlay - a fascinating study of the history of color sources and origins.
First Ladies by Margaret Truman (sandwiched between the Adams books--it's taking a long time!)
John Adams 2 Vols. by Page Smith, an old autobiography written in 1962-will read the Mccallum version after this.
Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry
Shelf Life by Suzanne Strempek Shea
Lettering on Ceramics by Mary White
Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman
Halo of the Sun by Noel Bennett
Migraine by Oliver Sacks
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - the book I took to Las Vegas. What a contrast. (eye narrow) Or is it?
Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
Outlander - Ok ok, ya twisted my arm. Tedious and prissy writing, that is until Jamie Frazier shows up!
The Grays - Good and creepy Whitley Strieber
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, another good book
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
A Stranger in Her Native Land, Alice Fletcher and the American Indians by Joan Mark
Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton
The Road to Miyama by Leila Philip
Quite Honestly by John Mortimer
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox
China Paint & Overglaze by Paul Lewing
Spice by Jack Turner
Robert the Bruce by Ronald McNair Scott (Robert the B is one of my ancestors)
Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin
The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney
300 The Art of the Film by Tara DiLullo
The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
Recommended Websites--just click on the discriptions