Archive for the ‘ History ’ Category

Thrift Shop Mysteries

Yesterday a friend and I went on an adventure for arts and craft supplies, and the journey took us through many thrift stores. I bought a framed picture with the intention of doctoring it up a bit. 

Today, when I busted open the frame I found this little treasure hiding behind the print and the back of the frame. It’s certainly not an original, but it still appears to be 1950’s and 1960’s and looks SWEET AS ALL HELL. Naturally, I already stuck it in a frame and put it on the wall. A hidden treasure indeed. Best ninety cents I’ve ever spent.




Favorite Things: Paprika Hendle

I first read Dracula in seventh grade. Back then, it was good, but not great (I hadn’t fully developed my literary tastes then. Why, just a few years prior I thought Goosebumps was the height of literature). Back then I felt it suffered from something a lot of classic source material does: It had been done so much by other people who either improved, elaborated, or just plain gotten wrong. It felt derivative even though it was the original. Know what I mean? Anyway, I gave it another go my senior year of high school and loved it immensely. I’ve read it every year since then (nearly a decade) every October. It gets better every time I read it, and I’m always finding some little detail that just adds to it that I hadn’t seen before.

I love that book.
Anyway, several years ago during my annual reading I went online to investigate the Paprika Hendle that Mr. Harker spoke so fondly of in his May 3rd journal entry while traveling through Hungary. This was the original recipe I found and tried. It was amazing, and became one of my top dishes. I’ve made it every Halloween (seemed fitting) for the last six years.

Making it right now as I write this. To me it seems perfect for fall and winter. It’s a very hearty and flavorful dish.

This last September I traveled through Budapest and had the opportunity to try it in its native environment.

National Museum of the US Air Force

I have a special fondness for museums. History. The Cold War especially. The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located in Dayton, Ohio, and has been open since 1923, making it the oldest museum of its nature in the world.


Now let’s get to the important part:


The museum consists of three airplane hangars and an imax theater. The first hangar is split into exhibits on the early days of aviation (seeing as how the Wright brothers were local boys, aviation plays a big role in these parts) and WWII. All planes on display saw action, and if you believe in that sort of thing, the place is supposed to be haunted as all shit.

Hangar Two focuses on the Vietnam and Korean wars, and showcases the more advances missiles and bombs and what not. There wasn’t that much on the Korean side, and that’s a shame, but I’ve already been to the Korean War Museum in Seoul which simply can’t be beaten.

Hangar Three is where the money is, in my opinion. Cold War business. Yes.


In the back are the missiles, which I’ve seen in spades, as my dad has a hand in building them (and because security protocol in a pre-9/11 world weren’t so complex. People (with clearance. Prob military and their families) used to be able to visit the silos on special occasions. I recall one bring-your-kid to work day in the early 90’s) )

You know you played too much Fallout when you enter this room and immediately think of Ulysses’ Temple.

Now, I like space. A lot. They have a module from Apollo 15 (can’t rem which one lives in the Science Museum in London) and some moon rocks.

Oh, and a Sputnik (model?).

Wait… ED-E? Again, you know you play too much Fallout when your first thought is “eyebot.”

A series of tweets from a Cold War spy

Friday, October 14th. 9:20am

“Everything is going according to plan.”


A fine day to feed ducks at the park”


Anyone seen a nondescript attache case?”


The crumpet flies at dawn. End transmission”


Loose lips sink ships, Red Squirrel”


“I know nothing of secret nuclear missiles. Return to your American reality TV programmings.”

Why is Hitler riding a dragon?

This afternoon I decided to take in a spot of cinema, and I purused the bookstore while passing the time until my show.

I found what I believe to be a book about German history. Though I’m not really sure…it definitely wasn’t a travel guide. The cover itself was well worth the price, however, it raises many questions about German history.


A. I was under the impression dragons were extinct by the time WWII came about.

B. I thought the viking women kept  more to the north.

C. Hitler was dipleased with  brautworst?

D. Their children can fly…?

Where Was I? (and waxing poetic)

Just after third period I sat in front of my office computer to continue working on a lesson plan before my next class started. I logged into Facebook, as I’m wont to do automatically anytime I’m presented with a monitor. I noticed in the news feed that a lot of people were proclaiming something along the lines of “USA! USA! USA!”. A lot of people. And all of this in the forty-odd minutes I had just spent teaching.

Osama Bin Laden was dead.

Instead of people taking to the streets to scream “The war is over~!” they were doing it on Facebook in real time. Oh, social networking. I can tell future generations exactly where I was down to the minute that this happened. I was teaching a second period English class to some fifth graders when Osama Bin Laden was killed, and I would find out about forty minutes later.

What was the last major event like this? Major in the sense that a few minutes changed everything for everyone. Was is September 11th? Or when troops got deployed to Afghanistan? So much has changed… I hadn’t heard about those events until quite a bit after the fact.

I remember not hearing about the World Trade Center until I was already sat in a High School Spanish class. Even then the news seemed so immediate, but our standards on the time it takes to report something were, (gasp) a little slower then…

Blast From My Past: Stone Set Saga

I reached back into 2003 and pulled this one out: some video games I made in jest.

Here’s the link to the portfolio of “a product of insanity productions,” by a first rate hooligan.

The first game was called “Scarface 2: The Reckoning.” At the time I was constantly adding the suffix 2 + ‘the reckoning’ to things. I thought it made an instant hit sequal. The plot more or less followed Tony as he went to take down some drug lords he may have owed money to. The whole thing was an experiment, but it seems to have gone over really well. However, some people seemed confused that the mafia enemies attacked by biting you. I think I accidentally programed them with the same move sets as the dogs, and never  bothered to fix it. Hey, it was kind of funny…

I followed this up with “Scarface 3: Beyond Thunderdome.” This one stayed true to the rule that the third in a trilogy should take a dramatic left turn from the canon and dive into the shark tank. This brilliantly composed epic featured the aforementioned thunderdome, an orangutang buddy, and many special guests. I published it with the following description:

It’s a world where only the strong survive, and Scarface must do whatever it takes to come out on top! Join him on his heartwarming and drug-induced adventure through the American Southwest, as he proves to the world that he is #1! Unfortunately, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING has something to say about it! Will he succeed? Or will he fail like so many others? Tune in to find out about a man who went looking for America, and couldn’t find it anywhere…
It’s the most fightin’ist adventure this side of the Mississip’!!

The third and final project I embarked on was a satirical piece called “Stoneset Saga:A Quest For The Unbeloved.”

A thousand years have pased since the last time the crystal was revived! And now it threatens to be born again into a new reign of darkness! On top of that, the evil army of top hat wearing badmen is invading your hometown, and now it’s up to you and your friends to save their world from the powers of darkness!

Beloved Peasant Village, where myth and history combine to create “mystery”! Danger! Passion! Adventure! And friendship await all who enter the world of “STONESET SAGA”!

The whole concept was to take all the main themes of rpgs and stick it in one game that would end in five minutes (longer if you chose to do Billy Idol’s  mustard side quest).  My friend was kind enough to review it thusly:

For all it’s comedy, it also creates a brilliant commentary on the Vietnam war, which is especially important for people to understand as we stand in the eve of another bunk war. As this planet of ours flies slowly towards the sun, we have to remember that the billion year reign of plant and animal life is a beautiful time to live in and that, hey, let’s treat each other with a little more kindness you know. We’re in this together and we can’t waste our lives killing each other for “the juice” as Mad Max would say

And such was the year of 2003~