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Meditation 8.7.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci had a favorite cheese?

Today, after falling into a rabbit hole of cheese making, I learned about the wonderful, Italian cheese called Montebore.

Montebore is a cheese made in the Northern mountain provinces of Italy and first appeared in written documents around 1300.  During the heyday of its popularity, it was a widely-produced, although now, there are only a few cheesemakers left.

Montebore is a fresh cheese and is made predominately with full-fat sheep's milk (the ratio is about 70/30 to cows milk) and it is arranged in a salted wedding cake shape.  It is only aged about 20 to 30 days.

Montebore is the recommended cheese for Rabaton.

It turns out, da Vinci was quite the nutritionist and his diet of mostly vegetables, cheeses, and grains would impress any modern dietitian. He would recommend his diet of well-chosen, well-cooked, and simple meals to others. 

After reading about his eating habits and food choices, I am now on the l…

Meditation 8.3.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

It isn't a secret that I am a total Jules Verne fan and have been completely enamored by his books.  My favorite, of course, is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is particularly cool because it was the book which largely inspired the development of submarine technology.  The book particularly inspired the creation of the nuclear submarine.

The idea of a submarine has been "floated" since the late 1500s, with the first documented submarine being built in 1620 by Cornelis Drebbel and used oars for propulsion. The first military submarine (also human-powered), was called the Turtle and was built in 1775. It wouldn't be until the late 1800s that a submarine would operate with any type of fuel-driven engine.

Because of these propulsion difficulties, it took until the early 1900s (and the widespread use of the diesel/electric engine) before navies began regularly using submarines, although, once the technology was developed the submarin…

Mediation 7.30.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Continuing in my study of "People Who Helped The Insane" - I am so relieved that Fish has agreed to clear the history on my internet browser after I die -  I have come across the story of Ms. Nellie Bly.

I vaguely remembered hearing about her when I was younger and, after some research, I have decided that even by today's standards, she would be considered one of the bravest women in journalism.

Her first article, written under the pseudonym "Lonely Orphan Girl" challenged the current role of women and argued for divorce law reform, which garnered her a full-time position at the Pittsburgh Dispatch and she immediately began reporting on the working conditions that women faced in the area's factories.

She was then promptly reassigned to the women's section of the paper and told to report on fashion.

Unwilling to report on society and unable to report on local items of substance, Nellie Bly went to Mexico as a foreign correspondent.  While rep…

A Book to Read and Love: Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market - Walter Johnson

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A short summary of Soul by Soul: A look at the slave markets of the pre-Civil War South.

Questions to ponder while reading Soul by Soul: What is the price of human life?
What is evil?
My thoughts about Soul by Soul: A good look into an American evil.
A well written historical guide.
A must-read.


Meditation 7.24.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

I have discovered another reason for a road trip to Capitol Reef National Park - pie

Today I heard about a small cafe in Bicknell Utah, called the Sunglow Restaurant and Motel that serves the oddest assortment of pies, including oatmeal, avocado lime, pinto bean, and the most popular, pickle pie.

It is the pickle pie that has me the most intrigued.

The pies were the brainchild of Cula Ekker, who signed on as cook when her brother opened the motel in 1965 and while Cula died in 2014, she passed on her recipes and pie secrets to Bessie Stewart, who has continued the pickle pie tradition to this day.

So tell me, how far would you drive for a piece of pie?

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson

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A short summary of The Rum Diary: Partying in Puerto Rico, with some journalism on the side.

Questions to ponder while reading The Rum Diary: Have you ever gone too far?
How much rum is too much?
My thoughts about The Rum Diary: Fifties-style guys.
Fifties-style dialogue.
Fifties-style underbelly, Carribean style.

Meditation 7.23.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

What is in a name?

If your name is Black Bart - a lot.

My knowledge of outlaws is quite limited and based upon the name Black Bart, I assumed (the mother of all mistakes) that he was an outlaw of a particularly bad and malevolent sort.  A Lone Ranger alter-ego, roaming the plains on a large, black horse, causing death, mayhem, and large insurance claims.

I assumed incorrectly.

For one thing, he never rode a horse.

Black Bart was born Charles Earl Boles in England around 1829.  His family moved to the U.S. and begin farming in New York.  Charles and his brothers joined the gold rush in 1849 and the three had about as much luck as most other prospectors did.  Charles was the only one to live to return home.  He settled down and got married before enlisting with the 116th Illinois Regiment, taking part in the Battle of Vicksburg (where he was severely wounded) and Sherman's March to the Sea.

After the war, Charles tried his hand at prospecting again, this time Idaho and …