The Healer and the Pirate

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Passion and Scheduling

I don't know what kind of person you are, but I get an idea and it's exciting and interesting, but then after the novelty wears off, I have to force myself on. Lately it seems like the novelty is wearing off too quick....

I had to make up some time at work this week so my lunches are short this week. My 30 minute writing time has been gutted so I've been having trouble doing much!

But at least Maggie and I are working on the sequel to "The Healer and the Pirate"!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Russian Foxtrot Submarine at the San Diego Maritime Museum - 2008

This is from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, aka the Star of India. Quick explanation of the place (and some really neat interior ferry pictures!) and a link to other adventures here.

And this goes out to all my random Russian and Ukranian visitors. I'm sure you are not spammers. :)

The Russian Submarine was one of the eeriest places I've ever been. Simply fascinating! It's not for the claustrophobic, and outside they had a sample hatch hole you could go through to make sure you could get through the sub. Well worth doing, but if you're any more timid than me, I would not recommend you do it alone.

This is the officer's washroom. Not very impressive...but it's a Russian Submarine...

Kind of blurry but interesting stuff about the captain and his tiny cabin. Interesting stuff, though.

I don't know much about modern ships, but the Russian "watch" system sounds more or less like how they at least used to do watches on tall ships...

PAPER SHEETS! Also fascinating about how the illnesses tended to go away after they'd been at sea a couple weeks.

It was hard to get a picture but I saw 3 bunks!

One of the restrooms. (If I recall correctly, there were 3.)

I've heard that US submarines have excellent food too.

What challenging conditions!

Who would have imagined getting rid of trash could be DANGEROUS?

Just looks creepy. I'm not sure the whole sub was restored yet.

Ow! (Hey, random Russian or other visitors! What's that triangle mean?)

Yup. 3 toilets for 78 men! The men had disposable undergarments (!) to save water.

Friday, June 24, 2011

1920s Pet Cemetery, Liberty Bond Cat, and Comics

One of the top stories from a Pennsylvania newspaper in 1921! Warning, kind of sad/morbid, but certainly no worse than the murder stories that seem to be so common...

Dogs That Men Have Loved Honored in This Graveyard
More Than 200 Canine Pets Rest in Peace in Francisvale Cemetery
Marble Stones Bear Touching Epitaphs and Flowers Deck Many Graves

Every dog has his traditional day and his day of death, but there is no next chapter to tell what becomes of him then.

Sometimes, there is merely a child's sob, a hurried telephone call and the none-too-tender hands of the gardener or ashman to remove a little body.

Occasionally a pathetic mound in the back yard tells how a youngster's plea won some recognition for his pet. That is about all.

But if any one interested in dogs will take a short trolley ride and a bit of a walk some day he may learn the sequel.

He should walk south on the old Gulph road from the Philadelphia and Western Railroad station and make one turn to the right and after a period of dust and sun and green meadows, he comes suddenly on a graveyard.

Not a large, iron-gated cemetery, with a bent care-taker, and perhaps a funeral cortege or so drawn up alongside. Just a little field with waving grass, dotted with mounts, over, which stand silent testimonials of some one's affection.

Some Marble Shafts

Most of the graves are marked with plain wooden crosses or shafts, with a name simply written thereon. Others have small marble markers, a few have elaborate shafts of marble, beautifully marked and beautifully decorated.

The tenants of all these graves are dogs, dogs big and little, pedigreed and common, who have gone to what a Philadelphia writer once called, in an immortal dog story :

"The Happy Hunting Grounds, because no one hunts you, and there is nothing to hunt; it just comes to you."

Don't climb over the fence and go to the little graveyard by its back entrance ; but walk on to the rambling old house where the care-takers live. In between the staccato barkings of some twenty or thirty "live" dogs, which are being boarded, and the numerous strays, you will be told that it is the Francisvale Home, founded about twenty-two years ago by Mrs. George McClelland. Follow the shady path pointed out to you, and you come upon the cemetery.

Strangely enough, the very first grave shelters no dog of any breed, but a cat instead. Huckleberry is the name, and he (or she) is designated as a Liberty Bond Cat, a term which no one seems able to explain.

Huckleberry died August 3, 1919, according to the simple inscription on the marble slab, which also bears the name of F. H. Chatfield, Huckleberry's owner. The grave has flowers growing around it.

The largest stone in the cemetery, five feet tall and nearly as wide, bears the following inscription:

This Stone is Erected by Arthur Peterson in memory of his two dogs, Sand, a Scotch collie, died August 17, 1914, and Mazambique, a St. Bernard, died March 11, 1912, for many years his affectionate companions and faithful friends."...

The founders of the cemetery have a large lot with four graves. Chief of the stones in this McClelland lot is the one in memory of Gobbo, born in 1875 and dying in 1889. No occupant of the cemetery goes back in time as far as this doggie, who was for fifteen years the pet of Harriet Hare and George McClelland, according to the inscription. Also in this lot is the grave of "Francis," for whom the cemetery is named. "Francis" died in 1910. "Quits" and "Carl" lie side by side in the same lot....

There are altogether 245 graves in the Francisvale Cemetery, and about thirty of them have shafts of stone and marble.... The funeral services are not elaborate; in fact, it is seldom that the owners accompany their pets out to the cemetery.

But it is not an uncommon thing, of a bright Sunday afternoon, for a motorcar to drive up, an occupant or two alight and go up to the cemetery to lay a bright flower or two in token of affection and undimmed memory for a faithful, dumb friend.

Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA) -- June 25, 1921 Page 1 and Page 2

The article itself has several more epitaphs. I had no idea pet cemeteries dated back to the late 1800s! Evidently Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York was the first in America.

The "Francisvale Home" described in the article is still around as a no-kill shelter and pet cemetery! You can read about it at

You can even see the cemetery at!

(And along the lines of pet cemeteries, my friend/writing partner Maggie wrote an excellent blog entry on considering your pet's final resting place.)

Amazingly, the Internet has revealed to us exactly what a Liberty Bond Cat was! From The National Humane Review, Volumes 7-8--I believe this article is from November 1920:


Blackberry Chatfield is an aristocratic cat who lives in the Arnold Apartments at Atlantic City, New Jersey. Blackberry is somewhat of a local celebrity, for during the war his mistress bought him a Liberty bond which is duly registered in his name and recently he has become a regular subscriber to THE NATIONAL HUMANE REVIEW. Unlike ordinary cats Blackberry has his own calling card. Originally Mrs. F. H. Chatfield had two black cats, the other named Huckleberry. However, Huckleberry died some time ago. That Blackberry is an exceedingly wise cat and that he appreciates his own importance can easily be seen from his picture.

--The National Humane Review, Volumes 7-8

And in much lighter news, the newspaper had nearly a page of comics...these were the only two I "got."

(Click to magnify.)

Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA) -- June 25, 1921

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just look around shivering

So if you're a regular reader and you're not following me on Facebook...well first, why not?

And second, you may have missed the announcement that Maggie Phillippi and I finally finished our second round of edits to "The Healer and the Pirate"!

One thing we noticed when going through is that we had quite a few words that we used more often than we should have.

Here are all the ones we noticed in this last round of editing, in one convenient sentence.

Soon, Nessa blinked, gazed around, almost shivered against the cold, and just looked about, staring forward toward Aridin's whole back.

Maggie pointed out "just" should probably be there at least three times! (And in fairness, "back" was really meant as the direction "back," not the part of the body. But it's really hard to write a sentence with so few nouns.)

Most of these words are OK in moderation, and in fact most are necessary at least sometimes. But when we used them, many of them could be removed with no ill consequences. Editing is good.

Do you have any words you overuse, in writing or in person? (In real life, one of mine is probably "Oh, goodness.")

Monday, June 20, 2011

HMS Surprise at the San Diego Maritime Museum - 2008

Again, this is from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, aka the Star of India. Quick explanation of the place (and some really neat interior ferry pictures!) and a link to other adventures here.

Perhaps the most impressive ship at the museum was the HMS Surprise, as seen in Master and Commander (and evidently it was the Providence in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides?). It's a replica of a 1700s British sailing ship.

It's also where my profile picture came from!

This was around 4 PM late November.

From outside:

If no one had done this before, there wouldn't be a sign...

The number of lines on the ship is RIDICULOUS.

For some reason 2008 Julie said:
"The lines on a ship aren't labeled, but if you ask a sailor new to your ship to find a particular line, the odds are very good that they will find it on the first try.  :)  The lines tend to be in the same place on every ship, of course, and I'm sure they see where the lines run to and stuff."

The ship was originally named the Rose, but it was re-christened after its role in Master and Commander.

Displays below deck!

This "powder monkey" does look pretty happy, despite his stump-hands.

They explained "knots"--around 1600 they came up with a "chip log" that would float in a fixed position if thrown overboard. So they threw it overboard and reeled out a knotted line to measure how many 48-foot-spaced "knots" the ship traveled in 28 seconds.

Tools to measure speed:

They had a few notes on grog (rum and water--dates back to 1740 from the Royal Navy) and salmagundi (a gross-sounding stew).

Also info on hardtack (also gross). They noted that men often ate in the dark so they wouldn't see the weevils in their hard tack!

Captain's room! I had probably a minute here all to myself. It was amazing.

Movie costumes if you were interested.

This was where they'd keep the chickens (and as the voyage progressed, presumably eat some). It must be late in the voyage....just one hen (and one rat!).

The first sailor to circumnavigate the globe twice was a GOAT! I'd assume a female goat. (And as C.S. Lewis informed us in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the smellier parts in a sailing ship would be kept in the FRONT.



Looking out at the cruise ships.


Anyway, it's a lovely ship, full of exhibits. Pretty sure there was a whole deck below the deck I was on, too, but that wasn't accessible to guests.

Next Monday, inside a Russian submarine!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Is it just me, or are good Father's Day cards hard to find? I spent at least 15 minutes searching Walgreens for the perfect one. Strange experience.

Almost all the cards weren't right for one or more of the following reasons.

*Trying to be funny but weren't (beans for 29 cents a can! CHEAP GAS! Get it???).

*Used mild profanities (there's a picture of a donkey on the front! Get it???).

*Featured a picture of a dad who had legs, or just a picture of shoes (!). (My dad's a double-amputee. I couldn't be more blessed to have him for my father. But I didn't think a daughter dancing on Daddy's feet card was appropriate when NEITHER of us dance.)

*So sweet it put tears in my eyes. Only one card managed this.

*Was vaguely creepy (these can be summed up by "Daddy, it may just be my opinion, but I think we have an exceptionally close relationship..." and "I need you to know that you'll always be an important man in my life." (Subtext: Please don't hurt my boyfriend.) ).

*Referenced things my father doesn't really do (it's amazing how many cards focus on grilling, golfing, and/or watching sports).

*Had random quotes on the front. Not quotes FROM people. Just weird lines in quotation marks, along the lines of "Father's Day is a time to remember a man who's done so much." Why the quotes? Quotation marks are the new apostrophe, I tell you.

*Were very wordy (one was at least 15 lines of text on the outside and that many on the inside!) and oddly specific. Like "You're a great father and I couldn't be more proud that you're my dad. You've done so much for us--put food on the table, bandaged our owies, took us bass fishing in the rain..." (I did not feel comfortable buying a card where I'd have to black out some of the lines.)

*Had Dora the Explorer on the front. OK, I didn't look inside that one. It was probably perfect.

Anyway, I ended up going to a Target near a university, which was almost out of cards even though it was a Wednesday or Thursday. Go figure.

In retrospect, I should've just gone with the ridiculously sweet one.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Firetrap Schools and Food Prices

The big headline of Saturday, June 18, 1921:

Thousands Imperiled in Dank, Dirty, Firetrap Schools, Survey Shows

Meyer Calls Enright Bluff by Supboena


Graft Investigators End Pussyfooting and Order Police Head in Monday; May Call Hylan Next


Clubwomen Blame Hylan for Shocking Condition of Buildings Where Pupils Crowd Classes


Menace Revealed In All Boroughs


Squalid Structures, With Leaky Roofs, Called Breeders of Pestilence


--New-York Tribune, June 18, 1921

I didn't actually read the article...I hear enough about horrible schools in the present day...

Retail Food Prices Drop 4.8P.C. in Month
WASHINGTON, June 17.--Retail food prices to the average family declined 4.8 per cent in May, as compared with April, while wholesale food prices dropped 5 3/4 per cent in the same period, according to statistics made public to-day by the Department of Labor. General wholesale prices, including farm products, food, building materials, metals, house furnishings and miscellaneous commodities, declined approximately 2 per cent during the month.

--New-York Tribune, June 18, 1921

And, just one quick ad. I thought it looked cute.

--New-York Tribune, June 18, 1921

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2.5 for 40 concluded

OK, they say the best way to do (or not do) something is to monitor it. See Kelly L. Stone's post on Seekerville. I like to track positive amounts of time I spend doing things (not so interested in tracking the negatives). In fact, I even award myself pittances of spending money for doing tasks! (By pittances I mean at my best, $3/day. And if I go to bed too too late, I could have a negative total!)

So I was already used to tracking my "positives" in 15-minute chunks. My goal was to spend 100 hours in 40 days on going to church, reading the Bible and praying, and writing, which I think God likes me to do. I initially conceived of this as a tithe of sorts, giving 10% of my time to things God likes. How did it go?


*I found myself MUCH more eager to get up and even go out of my way once to attend Bible Study in the morning, because that gave me a pretty painless hour a week. (And I enjoyed it too!)

*I was somewhat more open to other church activities. I doubt I would have attended the 'National Day of Prayer' event at my church if it hadn't been for my commitment. And a sweet woman there blessed me and I hope I blessed her back!

*Daily prayer/Bible time. An anemic amount (15 minutes) but better than I had been doing. A couple times I got so caught up in it I doubled that time.

*Editing. The bulk of my time was spent co-editing my co-authored (co-?) novel "The Healer and the Pirate." I love working with Maggie because she sees most of my blind spots, and it's not lonely. And I love editing because I like words. And frankly, it's a pretty exciting story and fun to read! Anyway, we both worked really hard and accomplished a lot!

*Wasn't terribly hard. Sometimes challenging but through God (and with the help of weekends) not impossible.

*Just plain got a lot more done than I used to.

Less-successful points:

*Watching the clock during church (but to my credit I wanted the sermon to go LONGER!)

*Watching the clock during my personal study time. No excuse, really.

*Chosen did not go nearly as well as I'd dreamed. I'll probably blog more about that at a later date.

*Quite a few days I just couldn't make myself work at all, or much.

*Cleaning and exercising fell almost completely by the wayside until the home stretch.

*This really was not a tithe, or even much of an offering, on any level. What kind of offering goes, "Yeah, I will give you what I promised. Just let me check my Facebook games first"? Yet people DO need a certain amount of downtime, IMO. It is just hard to reconcile that to something you're claiming is a tithe, IMO.

Overall the whole thing did wonders for starting me on good habits which, God willing, I will continue (though Tuesday did not look good...distracted by computer issues).

I tried continuing with the 2.5/40 for another round but am not sure I'll keep it up. God wants heart service, not rules. I think now that I have the idea, it might be best to just go with my gut instead of tracking. (That's why I don't budget my money much, by the way. I do OK and if I budget I end up fixating.)

But as a person I need some kind of gauge of my progress! What to do? How do you stay on track?

Monday, June 13, 2011

San Diego Maritime Museum - Yacht Medea - November 29, 2008

This is from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, aka the Star of India. Quick explanation of the place (and some really neat interior ferry pictures!) and a link to other adventures here. I have a ridiculous number of pictures from the HMS Surprise and the Star of India, and not much time, so I'm gonna skip ahead to the Medea, which I visited pretty late in the evening. OK?

The yacht served in both World Wars! In EUROPE!

Looks more 1940s to me.

Wow. I just miss those days of elegance. Even though I never lived them.

And even though smoking is bad for you. Kids, don't do it.

I have more ship pictures next week! (Or if I don't have time, then Russian submarine pictures!)