Friday, November 28, 2008

Woo Hoo

Happy day someone put something my on line kettle. I was begining to think the think did not work., Or that I had done something wrong. Just looking at the bit of red at the bottom of the screen thing makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

I am not sure what the etiquette is in a situation like this. I am not sure the person would want thanked publicly. If my gizmo took an email I will send a reply that way. Anyway the goal is 120 and this person gave ten.

Speaking of Kettle standing I was doing some real Kettle Standing in addition to cyber kettleing. Sergeant Thurman and I we standing Kettle in the Food Court of Century Three Mall.

A Great time was had by all. Our Capitana was playing the horn. Not being a horn type musical person I did not know what kind it was. Needless to say her horn playing is better than my accoridon.

Well be safe out there I have to get some sleep for more kettle in the morning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Walt is no Lady

At practice today we were tumbling. this is when we throw ourselves on the ground. Since it is not funny for an adult to punch a kid we do it the other way around. So the kids were pushing me over for a good por5tion of the evening. The young folks find this to a very cathartic time.

Anyway during this time one of the young Apprentices said this sentance. "Walt is not a Lady." It was entirely out of left field and I had to menion it here.

But the way I am sorry to suggest that Walt is unlady like. Still, this was the funniest thing I have heard all month. And when I asked the kid why she said this she simply shrugged as if it was obvious. Well I had to bring this to you for no good reason.

Oh an my Kettle is still empty, please fill. My Captain hits me with a switch every time I walk past him because my kettle is empty. I am getting chaffed.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

To Name or Not to Name

I decided to take a break from trying to edit the first book. I turned my attention to the chapters of the book. The book was written in multiple chucks. So it was not neatly carved up into chapters. This has me confused.

I cannot decide if I should name the chapters or not. Many of the Chapter named themselves. Now that I am past easy names life has gotten more complicated. There are 56 chapters at this point. It took me forever to name the silly book. It could take me a couple years to name all the chapters.

I suppose this is a small problem. I should be grateful that I got through the first book. AS for getting the thing close to being finished. I figure it will take me a month to edit it into some semblance of readable. At that point I think I will have to find some one to do some real editing. I wonder is Oliver is up to it.

On other front I had some time to catch up on some clown sewing today. I had a couple apprentice bags that needed finished. Also I made seven balloon pump holsters. I just need to pick up some snaps to finish those up. I will take some pictures of them when I figure out where I set the camera. It is probably on the dinning room table. It is simply too late to go looking for it.

Well I have places to be early in the morning so I should be going to get some sleep.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Corps Knitting

We had our third Knitting Night at the Corps yesterday. I think at this point every young person in the Brigade is knitting except for one. At this point I believe half our congregation is knitting. It is odd how something that is some times scorned can be used for good. Those who know the road the Brigade and our ministry has taken personally will know what that means.

Onto other items having to do with the Corps the Brigade will be standing Kettle at Century III Mall this Friday and Saturday. We will not being face still we will be there juggling and doing balloon animals. It you happen to be out and about stop by and see us.

If you cannot get to the mall there is also the handy kettle on my blog here. I suppose dropping change in a bucket is easier than what ever you have to do to put money in a cyber kettle. Never the less it is all going to the same place.

For some reason blogger is not letting me up load pictures today. It does that from time to time. I have been working on some drawing of the ships in the books. I also have watched the first couple season of Space Battle Ship Yamato. My story does not take place in a time when Humanity is as technologically advanced as they are in Yamato. Still, the Navy in my book has ships that are more like ocean going vessels.

None of the ships are resurrected World War II ships. Still, they do have hulls fit the types that one might find in the Navy today. Poking around on the internet there are all kinds of sci fi stories about ocean going ships that can go into space.

My idea started as what i thought would be a natural progression. The Navy has ships so they would be the ones with ships in space. Also it would be easier for something the size of an air craft carrier to land on Water.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fun with a Tank

Here we see a picture of a knitted clown hat in action. This is kiddo after a show we had in Tarentum a month or so ago. I was busy with the book so I did not post it.

Also it is not a hat a made. Walt made this one as part of his work on the knitting Proficiency. I do believe that this hat is made out of Comfort yarn. If it is not Walt will correct me in the comments.

He made the pom pom on the clover pom pom makers. They are a great little gizmo.

This hat is also an example of how artificial yarn is superior to natural yarns. You folks may have though I had forgotten about the war against natural fibers. No not me I still have the fight for a acrylic in my heart.

Also on the clowning from from that day is us visiting a part in Tarentum. It had this nice tank. So we thought we should climb on it and take a picture. Well that is what we think you should do when there is a tank sitting in your park.

They even had ropes set up around the tank. They kept everyone else off the tank so that it would be empty when we arrived. That was very considerate of them.

I have also noted that my on line kettle is not full. When I am standing kettle I usually juggle, do balloon animals or sing. This is hard to on the blog. I will take some vids of us standing kettle so you get the same experience. Normally my kettle is full in six or eight hours. It has been a day and there is nothing in my kettle. This makes me sad.

I have also noted that if I sing enough people fill my kettle faster. Well we will see. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Savage Chickens

Kettles and Sprucing of the Blog

As you may have noticed there is a big huge add above the center column of this thing. This is the add for the blog kettle. My Corps needs money to keep doing to stuff we normally do. As you may or may not know it is getting harder and harder to make money standing out side of store. There are fewer store that are letting us stand. We also have competition from kids with cookies and various other groups. Mmmmmmm..... Tagalongs and thin Mints

Anyway if you can find it in your heart donate something to the Steel Valley Corps of The Salvation Army. Besides the Clown Brigade we have many other interesting and needed ministries. At some point I will ramble on about some of the ministries I am not involved in that we do.

Onto rampling about this blog. When i changed over to the layout thing I never did replace all the stuff that was on the old blog. I added the glossary of abbreviations on the mid right column. I also started adding Army terms. This has made Oliver terribly happy because he made the list. After many years and a dozen computers he feels like he is getting the recognistion he deserves. Apparently running the spell check for me is a terribly taxing thing. Unfortunately Squirells do not have a very good grasp of Grammer. So my comas and periods continue to go stray.

At the moment I am watching the Catherine Tate Show on BBC. America really needs to find a show for her over here. Perhapse something where she is a lawyer. This is a bit she did for Comic Relief with Daniel Craig.

They are running Catherine Tate's Dr. Who episode on BBC America now. So if you have not seen them you should take a look.

Well be safe out there and fill my Kettle.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Do people use the label things?

When i started this blog the label thing was hard to use so I never used it. Do people realy use them. I have been going back to old posts and adding labels. I would just like to know if my efforts are silly.

2:00 AM

Well another evening turn early morning has been spent with the crew of the Tojo Maru. It is odd working on a book like this. Every character has an entry in a lexicon that says where and when they were born and what they should look like. The most important character have a complete biography. Where they went to school who their family is. In a lot of ways I know them better than most of the people in my life.

I know that the church in my story will eventually do the right thing. I know that the people in the books will reach the detonations and achieve the goals that they should. Oddly the same cannot be said for the people in my own corps or church.

For so many years The Steel Valley Corps, my church, has been a neglected part of The Army. The Army in the Eastern Territory has a nasty habit of moving around their officers too much. I am certain there are good reasons for it. Falling church attendance a limited soldiery to get new officer from. It is a terrible cycle that appears next to impossible to break.

In the books it is broken by a group of people that say that it is not good enough. They simply decide that things should be a different way and they make it that way. It is odd how we in the real world choose to complicate things. We say to ourselves there is just one little compromise and then everything will be alright.

I sometimes think that is how the Devil works. Oh the old guy with horns is an easy scape goat. It may even be romantic to think their are demons fighting over us. Much like CS Lewis wrote in the Screwtape Letters. I am begining to think that old Satan does not have to interfear nearly as much as we would like to beleive he does.

We as Humans appear so able to latch onto the smallest detail of religion, nationhood or some other obscure beleif. Then before we know it we are ready to murder or kill for something abstract.

I suppose that is one of the things that has made writting these books so enjoyable. None of the characters are truely heros in white. They are simply people trying to do the best they can in uncertain times.

What brings this on is the character Mason. All of the other character appear so simple to me. If I want Fleet Lord Jefferson to do something I know what his character should do. I know what he as man is capible of. Mason I am never so sure. To clarify her character in this book I had to write a meeting between her and her adopted father. I had a clear goal explain her past enough to make her character understandable.

As I wrote about her I realised she had always been conflicted by her duty and doing the right thing. She is not able to do everything that she wants to. She knows terrible secrets that must remain secret. It is a taxing burden on her and she has no one to share the load with. I found myself thinking it druel that I had painted a character into such a corner. I suppose in many ways she is the savior character in the book. And like Christ she only has her faith to get her through.

I get the feeling that the more she goes through the less faith she has. At this point she is simply doing it because it was she is supposed to do. Even if that is her motivation it cannot be any other way. A character tragic in her solitude.

Well that is enough rambling for now. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some Thoughts on Kettles

We have not completely given up on the Video thing. This is some stuff we shot on Kettle.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Knitting Stuff

The last couple weeks out Monday Knitting Group has been at our Corps in Homestead. The apprentices in the Brigade want to learn to knit. The group has become where we teach the Clown of The Brigade to knit. Now that there are a bunch of young folks in the Brigade it is easier to move the meeting than move the Brigade.

By the way that is Apprentices Thurman, Wilson and Brimage. Aren't they cute this is their first knitting group. Walt is in the fore ground working on some socks I think.

This is my and another Apprentice Brimage. She is the youngest Apprentice in the Brigade. I think she likes the idea of knitting. The practice of knitting is another thing.

By the way this took place in the Clown Room at our Corps. WE are still working on putting the room together. At the moment it dose not have an overhead light. So we are using the old makeshift lighting that the Knitting group used at the Bee Hive. It is not so good for photography.

My wife was around there somewhere trying not to be associated with me. That is a common thing for her when we are out in public. Still, I don;t mind eating with a ski mask on while at restaurants. Although it is much harder to go into airports that way these days.

Well look at that I actually had some knitting news. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.


I am really getting sick of having ships in my books that people have already done stories about.

In the second book the Japanese Navy gets involved. In doing my research on what I should name ships in the Japanese Fleet I cam across the Yamato. Well actually I had heard of it before being interested in the second world war. Any way Yamato is one of those supper cool names that you just have to use. Not only that but in the lore of the Japanese Navy it holds a similar place to the USS Constitution or WWII USS Enterprise.

So how could I not use it. So in the second book when Japan send a fleet to fight in the five planet's war the Yamato is the flag ship of this force. Besides simply being an old ship that name also implied the spirit of the Japanese people. Their willingness to help the former Crel slaves is one of the thing that legitimises their position. And sending such an important fleet only adds to the weight they feel the situation deserves.

Oh by the way this is one of those entries I am am going to babel about stuff no one cares about. There is some knitting news. Still, that will be in another entry.

Anyway so the real Yamato was sunk by American Forces. Apparently there was a cartoon in the seventies in Japan about this ship resurrected.

Humanity is being wiped out by bad guy from another planet. The Earth has been burnt to a crisp. They are secretly building a star ship inside the wreck of the Yamato that is now exposed on the ocean floor because the water is gone.

Humanity get a message from an advanced race that give them that ability to build a faster than light ship with wicked weapons. So they convert the Yamato back into a war ship this time a space battle ship. Incidentally that hole in her bow is capable is firring a blast that can destroy a whole fleet of ship. They use to to destroy a planet, star and countless ships.

further research on the You tube showed that I have actually seen this already. Apparently when it was dubbed into English they renamed the ship the Argo. How can you have the Pride of Japan named after something Greek?

Disney, by the way please save us from Disney, wanted to make an American version of this. They were going to use the Arizona instead of the Yamato. Wow that would have truly offensive. Taking a ship that people can walk up to and look at as a memorial and change it into a cartoon. By the way this is why someone need to save us from Disney.

Also on the Book front I have decide to number the Series. It should have made sense to me early on. Although what is the third Series I started first. So it would not have work out chronologically. Still, you can't have everything. Moving along the book I was rambling on about is Book 2 of Series 1. I have a working title for it, still, I am not sure so i don't want to use it here.

I can imagine what would happen if they actually become popular and sci fi nerd try and pick them apart using stray comment from my knitting blog.

Oh well be safe out there and keep you stick on the ice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Been a While

I have been working on the book with every spare moment. When I have time that I am not working on the Book I am Practicing with the the Brigade or working on the Brigade handbooks.

The book has gone a bit crazy. It is over three hundred pages and I am still writing chapters to insert to explain what is happening. I am beginning to think that it is too complicated. So for the moment I am not writing anything new for the book. For the last week I have been editing a print out of the book. There are few things that I am worse at than trying to edit something. Besides my usual spelling and grammar short coming it is boring.

On the up side writing the clown handbook is going like gang busters. The first section is mostly done and the second is very close. The third section is the largest and most complex of the first six sections. It is about half way done. Walt and I figure that we can have it done by the end of this month. There are a ton of pictures that have to go into this section. Fortunately we have a bunch of photogenic apprentice clowns. So working on the pictures should not be a big deal. JC Prelue did the pictures for seven balloon animal in less than a couple hours. So in reality we probably have ten or so hours of taking pictures for the section.

Incidentally I should probably explain what I am rambling on about. In order to clone our clown Brigade in other Division of The Salvation Army we are going to need instructional materials. Each section concentrates on an area of clown study. So when it is finished there will be a modular handbook that new clowns can learn from. At first we wanted to form a library of all the books that one would need. When we started working on the list we gave up after fourty books.

Also there is not definitive work on clown ministry and humor therapy. So it is up to us to come up with something. The first section is basic information on the Brigade, ranks, The eleven Doctrine of The Salvation Army, Equipment that sort of thing.

The Second section is all of the rules and polity of the organization. The last couple years there has been a great deal of experimentation in this area. There is a very definite way that a circus clown troupe is set up. There is a deffinite way that a church groups are set up. There is not a great deal of over lap between the two. Ironically The Salvation Army military structure is fairly compadible with the Circus. Actually there are a great many similarities between clown and circus history and The Salvation Army, but I digress.

Nine months ago we put together a Brigade Council. This is similar to the Clown or Troupe Council that would rule a clown Troupe or one of the old performing guilds. In the last few months some of the problems with running the Brigade have started to right themselves.

Anyway back to the handbook. The third section is the first Proficiency. From this point on each section is a Proficiency or a sort of clown merit badge. This one is the basic clowning. There is the different type of clowns. The first Fifteen Balloon animals, first ten ledgermain tricks, basic juggling and the performing rules for a clown. We have half the balloon animals done and the juggling stuff done. WE also have the types of clown stuff done as well.

The other three section that have to with Ledgermain {Magic}, Ballon Animals and Juggling. Each of these section has to do with each of these skills in a more compelte way. These sections are for clowns that are going to specialise in that area. By the way there are currently 28 proficiencies we have with another ten or so we will have in the next year. So each of these sections needs a section written for it. And some like balloon need a section for every fourty or fifty balloons. So that one will have four or five sections.

We want to have the first six sections done for our training retreat in the spring.

Anyway I have no idea why any of this would be any interest to anyone but my clowns. And come to think of it I think Walk is the only one of these that reads this blog. And since he is at all the meeting this was even more pointless than usual. In addition to that it was probably hard to read. I usually make some attempt to edit this thing, believe it or not. Any way I phones that in this time.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.
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