An historic way of life to a different, slower drumbeat

Courtesy of Old Salt Blog, I was interested to come across a novel, centuries-old method of shrimp fishing – on horseback. Intrigued, I looked for more information, and found this longer, more detailed view of the same “industry” in Belgium.  I found it equally interesting. It’s fascinating to think that such an ancient method of fishing has survived so long;  and it’s good to know that the number of mounted fishermen in training has actually increased in recent years.  I imagine the occupation is a lot less stressful than much of modern living, which is an attraction in itself. Peter

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Saturday snippet: A doofus in Africa

This isn’t your typical “Doofus Of The Day” incident.  It’s a tale from about forty years ago, when yours truly was still young, sweet and innocent.  (That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it!)  I came across it while re-reading the late Brigadier-General Dick Lord’s excellent book “From Fledgling to Eagle: The South African Air Force during the Border War“. The story made me laugh just as hard as it did the first time I heard it, so I thought you might enjoy it, too.  It became something of a legend among troops on the border between South West

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Elephants in the American Civil War?

I enjoyed a “what-if?” short story by Angry Staff Officer, imagining what might have happened if President Lincoln had accepted an unsolicited gift instead of declining it. Brigadier General Solomon Meredith stood with his frock coat unbuttoned outside his tent, airing out his tall frame from the long march. He commanded this brigade, nicknamed the “Iron Brigade” for its ferocity on the battlefield. The only all-Midwestern brigade in the Army of the Potomac, the Iron Brigade had a reputation as the toughest unit of the lot. Meredith was staring down the road, waiting impatiently for his last unit to arrive. The

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Er . . . oops?

It seems a South Korean factory had an unexpected delivery the other day, courtesy of the US Armed Forces. A U.S. military helicopter accidentally dropped a metal container unit being airlifted Monday in South Korea, damaging a building but causing no injuries, officials said. The container was being carried via sling load by a 2nd Infantry Division helicopter when it fell onto a building in Yongin, just south of Seoul. “By all accounts, it did cause property damage, but nobody was injured,” said 2nd ID spokesman Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton. There’s more at the link, including a picture of the flattened factory.  Apparently

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The past was another country, indeed

One of the most famous quotations from L. P. Hartley’s novel “The Go-Between” is this: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. I’ve been forcibly reminded of that while reading “A Builder of the West:  The life of General William Jackson Palmer” by John S. Fisher, published in 1939. General Palmer (brief biography here) was a Civil War officer, later awarded the Medal of Honor for his battlefield courage.  He was the founder and first President of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, which has already featured in one of my Ames Archives novels, “Rocky Mountain Retribution“. 

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Heh

I found this over at Wirecutter’s place, and had to laugh: I found it particularly amusing because, despite being born and raised in Africa, I’m of Caucasian ancestry.  When I came to the USA, more than two decades ago, I used to enjoy introducing myself as “the only real African-American in these parts”.  My black friends would often respond with something along the lines of, “No way, man – you’s a honky!”  Much mutual amusement resulted. The thought of a “honky” King Kong-type gorilla is just too funny . . . Peter

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Nature, red in tooth and claw

Tennyson’s famous phrase was (and still is) very familiar to those growing up in Africa, and I daresay in places like Alaska and other wildernesses too.  It’s the simple fact of life.  Nature is predatory and ruthless, and almost all animals die through being killed and eaten by others, sooner or later.  Those who die from other causes end up being eaten anyway! I was reminded of that by this photograph, found at SNAFU’s place.  Clickit to biggit. The Nile crocodile is endemic in Africa, with uncounted numbers infesting that continent’s rivers and lakes.  (Some idiot’s even released a few into the wild in Florida!) 

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