Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bibliophile


Audible: Who I Am by Pete Townshend


Recently I decided to try and give Audible.com a try with a free trial. I was enticed by an ad for Pete Townshend's autobiography "Who I Am" I've been wanting to read this for awhile as I'm a long time fan of the the rock band "The Who" and his solo work. I've been skeptical about audio books in general as it seems like a cheating way to read a book. With Pete himself narrating it seemed justifiable. I find Pete Townshend  to be one of those people I enjoy hearing him talk as he seems to have an interesting way of telling a story or an idea.

I learned a great deal about Pete himself. How he grew up and unusual childhood. His parents struggles and his own battles(I don't want to spoil too much, you'll have read or listen yourself). Learned about his own marriage (never knew he was) and children. Struggles, triumphs  and tragedy's surrounding "The Who", solo career and personal addictions. Losing two band mate's Keith Moon and John Entwistle. I won't give too much away. It's worth listening to if your a fan of this rock legend  and  The Who

I enjoyed the audiobook in general. I used it primarily in my car hooked up to my iPhone using the Audible App. I listened to in my travels to work and such. It's worth a try if your on the fence. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Flintlock & Tomahawk - New England in King Phillip's War


Lately I've been reading Flintlock & Tomahawk by Douglas Edward Leach. It's the third book recently I've read about the King Phillip War in New England in 1675-77. As a native New Englander I knew little of this early conflict in early colonial American history. History books in school seem to go from Pilgrims on one chapter and Redcoats marching to Lexington and Concord in the next.

 One thing that amazes me is the level of violence and brutality in this war. Many colonists that were victims were found scalped or beheaded to intimidate those that found them. The colonists were far from not having innocent themselves. When King Phillip himself was tracked down and killed he was beheaded and quartered after his death(as if that wasn't bad enough). One of those who were involved in his death was rewarded with his hand as a souvenir of sorts. Such the hatred on booth sides women and children were not spared in the pitch of battle. Native Americans who were captured could often expect death or be sold into slavery.

The other books I recommend on this subject are Until I Have No Country by Michael Tougias and King Phillip's War: History and Legacy of America's Forgotten War By Eric B. Shultz and Michael Tougias.    

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Looking Through The Past

Over the last few months I’ve taken on a personal project of scanning old family photo and working on the family tree. These two projects seem to n go hand in hand though they are separate tasks. The actually scanning of photo’s can be tedious but has been rewarding too. I have the unique access to photo’s from my mother’s childhood and grandparents generation. They range from old school portraits to everyday life around the house.

Ellis family - December - 1954

Christmas photo mid 1950’s, my mother is on the right.

I’ve also started a family tree at Ancestry.com and using their companion Family Tree Maker software. Both are simple to use. I’m really at the beginning stages of genealogy research. So far I haven’t found any royalty that I’m related to since it seems everyone else seems to claim they are or at least reincarnated from someone famous. Although it may be interesting but it’s not why I’m doing it. It sort of feeds on itself as the more you find out the more s=questions that come up. Interesting to see how people are related. Where  & when you ancestors arrived here (unless your Native American we’re all immigrants) is always cool.

Here are some interesting item’s I found:

-Related to founding member, Francis Plumer, of Newbury(later to become Newburyport), Massachusetts in 1630. Name on monument here.

-On my Mother’s side are from both Canada and Ireland in late 1800’s.

These are just a couple items. I’ll share more as time goes by. .

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bucket List Concert : Eagles

At long last seeing the Eagles in concert at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts on a hot steamy summer night. Never thought get to see them as they are one concert that has always been on my bucket so to speak.  Program $20 and beers are around $10 a cup. Waiting for the warm up band to finish. Soon I'll be able to cross them off the list

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yes I'm an iPhone addict

I've been told I need one of these. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

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This book has two parts. The first part is the rules of civility and decent behavior. Which are interesting and most are still relevant in today's world. These weren't actually written by the first president but were the guidelines he was taught when he was younger. You can see how it influenced him when he grew up.

The second half is more his writings as General and his Presidency. This is where the book bogs down unfortunately. I found his style of writing and speaking is very difficult to get through. I wished for a cliff notes version of his. Felt I had to plow through forcefully and many ideas and concepts were hard to understand and follow. Unlike Abraham Lincoln’s writings which are easier to follow and grasp. Read this for the first half but unless your George Washington/history scholar you could skip the last half.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thoughts on Fifty Shades Darker so far



Although I passed through the first of this series fairly quickly this one has been like a trench battle in comparison. I'm still only about halfway through. As the title implies this one is dealing more with the darker side of Christian Grey and his past. 

Big theme involves Christian and Ana dealing with Christian's past relationships. I'm sure many of us can relate when we're in a new relationship and we may need to deal with past relationships , good and bad, of our partners. In Christian case we're dealing with "Mrs. Robinson" as Ana coldly calls her and Leila, a former submissive, goes off the deep end and is stalking Ana and is deeply jealous of her relationship with Christian. 

I think many of us when we're in relationships have to deal with past relations of our partners for better or worse. Some of them may be jealous or disapprove of you and you of them. We have to deal with the fact out partners had a past that made up who they are. l know I can relate in that manner too. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and trust them. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wicked Town Names : Foxborough

Foxborough is where live currently and have lived off and on since a teenager(early 80’s, yes that dates me).  The abbreviated spelling “Foxboro” is a popular alternate spelling and acceptable most of the time. I also graduated high school there too. It’s most famously known as home of NFL’s New England Patriots. It’s a town of roughly 17,000 located midway Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

I find it interesting where towns or cities get their names and Foxboro is no different. Foxboro was incorporated in the midst of the American Revolution 1778. The community had been trying since the 1760’s to incorporate to save travel to town meetings and worship.

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Charles James Fox by Karl Anton Hickel

The town was incorporated before it had a name. About that time a Whig member of Parliament, Charles James Fox, was a vocal supporter of the American colonies up the revolution. Apparently he was making headlines the time.