Monday, August 5, 2013

What I Read in the Papers

I had forgotten how delicious a NY Sunday Times could be.  I bought one yesterday and I'm still  delighting in it.  I don't really understand why reading on line does not give me the same luscious feeling of riffling a paper newspaper, but it does not. It may be that reading on line is harder.  Skimming seems very different when there must be scrolling.

While the delicious aspect of the paper is satisfying in the moment, I know that my memory will not collect, retain, and have ready all the things I read. 
Lately I have been clipping and keeping a scrapbook, but I find in this paper many articles that I want to remember in general, but don't need to paste into permanence.  So, perhaps as overview would be helpful.

What I miss most and all the time lately is any community that reads with me. Elizabeth will do some of the readings.  However, few read the way Peter Balint used to.  He could remember an article and place it intelligently into a context of complications and questions and a conversation with him about the NY Times was just delightful.

Okay,  What am I reading.
I read a good bit about finding housing in New York and for city dwellers.  Here were articles on buying a loft, perhaps less expensive than an apartment, and of the delight in that.  There was a great article on communal places in the Catskills to buy a summer home as cheaply at 10,000, but one that was bare bones and likely to stay that way.  Here dish washers, washing machines, air conditioners could not be supported by the grid.  But the inhabitants were just delighted.  It seemed a good bit like what the campers at Bull's Arrowhead know, with community and a simple lifestyle at really cheap prices.  There folks were escaping Buffalo and other city lives, but it is the same idea.  Kids could go out and play and be entertained just with what was in the community.

The editorials were just grand.  Everything is so well written.  Not like this blog.  There was plenty of commentary on the new sex scandals and one article talked about the difficulty of Jews wanting a better image and identifying with some of the recent political scandals.
There was an article on prayer that took a very odd perspective where prayer even to imaginary gods was somehow beneficial. 

One editorial used a woman who ate cutlery to explain both the failure of our health system to meet the needs of the mentally ill and the hope that Obamacare will turn that around.  Another spoke of how inexpensive it was to get a joint replacement in Belgium as compared to US prices.  Another stressed that the neediest of people can be covered by medical insurance only if all people buy into having insurance, and how not demanding that everyone buy insurance would cause health care industry to collapse.

There was a great article on the construction of ever more plush and wonderful airplane seats for the rich business travelers who could pay $5,000 for one trip if it meant being perfectly comfortable in seats fully designed to accommodate them and even stretch out into beds.  Lufthanza spent 1 billion designing such a seat.

And here is the dilemma that we face.  Will comfort be affordable by only the rich who can have luxury with their dollars while the poor suffer unspeakable suffering and discomfort, or can we get the idea that as a country we are all one people, together, helping with the basics?  Emergency room treatment is not the answer to preventing and curing disease. 

Nature was here as well. The box turtle article mentioned one turtle who was born during the Civil War and still alive in 2006.
There was an article about a fellow who nurtured and fed park pigeons.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Grand Tour Agatha Christie

This is a good looking book and it promises to be a fine travel book, but about 90% of what is written is drop dead boring.
The photographs are fine when they are about places rather than people.
The letters that she wrote home to her mother were very dull.  And all the complaints about Belcher with his bad leg and worse disposition are not very interesting at all.
I've been skimming and reading some bits.  She travels with the boring rich, so the bits are few and far between.  Compared to a Theroux travel book, this is a complete failure and I suspect it would not have been read by anyone if it were about anyone other than Agatha Chrisie.

Presently she is in Australia and there the visit is somewhat more interesting.  There, for example, she actually sees some things.  Just now I'm reading her impressions of the skeleton of a marsupial rhinoceros, Nototherium Mitchelli


Here she recounts some interesting pieces in the museum including the sale of a wife for the sum of a bottle of rum and twenty ewes.
"Had the lady been more prepossessing in appearance, doubtless the bidding would have been more brisk!"

There is a great photo of  a train over a tressle above The Russell River in Babuda, Queensland.  Too much of the book is full of meetings with important people of the day, a sort of name dropping that for those of us not in the upper class is rather vapid.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Abe lincoln of Pigeon Creek

The coon skin dog story

A Dog Story with a Not-So-Sweet Ending

(Warning: This story is about something some boys did to a dog, thinking that it would cure the dog of barking. The accidental outcome was deadly, though. So if you'd rather not read this story, skip to the next one. It's included here to show that Lincoln wasn't always the perfect boy we sometimes want to believe him to be.)
Abraham and his step-brother, John, liked to go coon hunting with other boys. Apparently, though, their parents did not often approve of them going into the woods at night to hunt coons. So Abraham and John made it a practice to slip out of the house. Their plans were frequently foiled, however, because their little yellow dog, Joe, would yap and yap, giving them away.
So one night the boys took Joe with them, and the boys efforts to teach the dog a lesson inadvertently turned deadly. This is what happened:
One evening Abe and his stepbrother, John Johnston, with the usual complement of boys required in a successful coon hunt, took the insignificant little cur with them. They located the coveted coon, killed him, and then, in a sportive vein, sewed the hide on the diminutive yellow dog. The latter struggled vigorously during the operation of sewing on, and, being released from the hands of his captors, made a bee-line for home. Some larger and more important canine on the way, scenting coon, tracked the little animal home, and, possibly mistaking him for a real coon, speedily demolished him. The next morning old Thomas Lincoln discovered lying in his yard the lifeless remains of yellow Joe, with a strong proof of coon-skin accompaniment.
"Father was much incensed at his death," observed Mr. Lincoln relating the story, "but as John and I, scantily protected from the morning wind, stood shivering in the doorway, we felt assured that little yellow Joe would never be able again to sound the alarm of another coon hunt."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On the Evolution of Whales

I did not even know that modern whales evolved from animals that had evolved to live on land, doing an evolutionary U turn back to a watery life..  I guess I just assumed that since life started in the sea, the whale was a creature who just remained there.  Also, it was amazing just how much variety there was along the evolutionary path to the whales that made Nantucket rich.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The story of Elijah and the Prohets of Baal

Chuck was using this in one of his sermons and he told us at supper a while back that he loved the story.
I made a joke that someone had gone back in time and what everyone thought was water was gasoline.

Here is what I read in Nantucket

I was reading Twain the Kindle this week.  I think it was in Following the Equator.  In it the Captain is quite a story teller and he gets a minister aside and explains to him the Biblical story.  In hi explanation Elijah (he calls Isaiah) uses petroleum and a match to light the fire.

Were I to tell the story again, I think I'd now tell it with whale oil as the fire starter.  it sure helped that Nantucket fire destroy most of the city in the 1800's as the stored oil burst with the heat and sent the fire out with a vengeance.

Away Offshore

Away Offshore by Nathaniel Philbrick

I enjoyed reading in parts of this book on Nantucket.  It supplemented some of the information we gleaned from our reading around here and from the visit to the Whale Museum.

In particular, I liked the story of Icabod Paddock who goes into the belly of a large whale named CrookJaw and find a beautiful mermaid playing cards with devil.  She wins.  The stakes turn out to be Icabod himself and so he returns day after day until his wife gets wind of it and fashions a harpoon from silver, the metal known to be able to kill witches.  Her father kills poor old CrookJaw with the harpoon and no cabin or mermaid is found, just a stand of yellow hair.
I liked this story.  Beautiful women and card playing makes a great story anywhere and when it includes the sea and a whale, it is just a treasure to find.

p.77 "If what the Nantucketeers called "whaling business' was tantamount to a religious quest, the island's new religion Quakerism, was the spiritual equivalent of a business."

This is a fine line that describes the state of whaling and the irony that these gentle people were able to be so ruthless toward a cousin creature. 

The stories of the strength of Richard Macy were also fine, similar to those legends of heroes of the West.

Monday, June 3, 2013

More Robin Hood

Here are some interesting bits to quote:

On rural life
"but stay within the greenwood lest we all meet dole and woe." p.30

On the impersonal nature of randomness:
"When the flood cometh, it sweepeth away grain as well as chaff."  p.28

A good warning for the poker table:
"For thus men sometimes overreach themselves through greed and guile."  p.60

curtal  friars are friars
"A friar who served as an attendant at the gate of a monastery court. As a curtal dog was not privileged to hunt or course, so a curtal friar virtually meant a worldly-minded one.
a shirt of mail.  see photo

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Enoying my bookroom with Robin Hood and Edgar allen Poe

When I was in college in Buffalo, I often went to the library on campus, set myself up in a carrel and isolated from distraction, pursued my studies. 
My mother worked at the University in my last two years of school and so I'd ride in with her in the morning and home with her at night, spending the entire day on campus and a good portion of that in the library.  I found it disciplined me to get my studies done.  I'd pack all my books everyday and so I had the flexibility of studying one subject to exhaustion and then adding variety by pulling out another book.  I remember I had a green bag with a pull cord and I could sling it over my shoulder.
But sometimes I'd leave the studies assigned to me and poke about in the library of books collected and just randomly read bits of the things for entertainment.
I did a similar thing when I taught.
I'd go to SUNY Albany or Sienna and poke around.
I dreamed of the kind of freedom I have now to just poke and wander through anything that catches my fancy, or follow a new idea wherever it might go.
Then, the rich collections in the library were what offered that sort of indulgence. 
Now, I am connected to the same sort of wandering using my computer.

Most of my time in the book room I built here has been just arranging books and picking up bits of things and straightening up the space. 
However, today I fell into that same indulgence that I remember feeling in college and even into some of the same ideas that I had then.

Poking around in books on my shelves I picked up an old story of Robin Hood, the edition  (perhaps not the exact book) that I remember having as a child that I read or perhaps had it read to me.
cudgel - walking stick can be used as a weagon
I read the first chapter and did not remember it. It explained the actual act of poaching and the killing that set Robin Hood into the forest as a criminal.  Little John was next, and I remember that well, but the first story was new to this old mind.
Perhaps because it is just one of a few that explain what forces Robin into being an outlaw

I think the television version I watched as a kid
used the version that stresses his fight against losing his father's heritage.  I remember thought of his father were key in the old television series, but in this book we don't learn about his parents.
Howard Pyle collected this version of Robin Hood in 1883 and it was still in print when I was a lad in 1952.  The story of Robin Hood is older, but this particular is the standard collection and the one that most know today

Here is the volume I own

Then I picked up some Edgar Allen Poe and wandered into a critical essay called "The Philosophy of Composition" which talks about his writing process and uses for example the poem, The Raven. 
As a high school student and in college I was very taken with The Raven and memorized parts of it.  So here was a description in detail of exactly how Poe remembered composing it, what his purpose and thoughts were, and what and how he wanted it to mean. 
A fantastic find right on my own bookshelf!

He talks of actually starting with the intention of producing melancholy as poetic tone and so chooses the word "Nevermore."  Then he moves to arranging the repetition by putting the word and its sounds into the mouth of a bird that could repeat it almost devoid of meaning and yet create the mystery of meaningful purpose. 
And then he wrote the climatic verse, setting up the rhythm and shape and the sound so he then could write the parts building to that "climacteric" effect.
The details of this process are really amazing given the long history I have with this particular poem.

And so my books and my exploration in my own book room echoes my childhood and my college youth in wonderfully rich and delicious ways. 
How wonderful!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New World Writing

I have been having a good bit of fun with a really old and yellowed paperback from my library with poems and short stories and other sorts of bits considered on the breaking edge back in 1968.  Funny. 

Also, I move slowly through the Eddie Condon "We Called it Music" autobiographical account of jazz in the 20's and 30's   Great stories in this book.  Plenty of funny anecdotes.  How he remembers all the details amazes me.  Jim and I were talking about it today.  Jim gave me some of his music and got me turned on to him.   It is fine to be home again and to indulge Ray Smith's show whenever I want.

More good responses to my trip report snippets.  Quite a bit of interest in the Shades of Sinatra show and quite a few people looking for some intelligent discussion of booking frugally downtown.  One fellow likes my posts so much he offered to use his comps at the Blue Chip casino to give me two free nights anytime I visit Chicago.  Now that is generous.

My poker game is still pretty good.  I made a bit of $$ at Greg's.  I hope I can keep up playing well and not slip into bad habits.  Vegas and poker almost everyday is quite a tutorial.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Short bits of reading in the midst of short spurts to the bathroom

Perhaps because of this event some of my reading has been an old travel story of Paul Theroux in Fresh Air Fiend telling of a trip in 1980 down the Yangtze. Then China was still primitive and suffering from the Cultural Revolution and other great oppressions. They were still wary of Capitalism. By 1999 Theroux was saying that it was an entirely different county and now, of course, nothing is the same as it was then. I liked the story. Theroux makes great fun of his fellow travelers, millionaires who are really not very engaged in China.
He talks to locals and gathers interesting tidbits. For example, it is an old superstition that if a fish jumps up on the boat it cannot be eaten, but must be taken to land and buried. And another had those on ships when the wind was down whistling to bring the wind.
Much was denied by the guides. Gambling was illegal but all over folks were playing cards and dominoes and dice. In one game the men who lost a hand had to drink a swig of gin and put a clothespin on their ears. This was in Shanghai. So the loser would be drunk and look like an idiot.
"I said that very little had changed on the yangtze. People still fished in the old way; the sailed, rowed and towed wooden junks; they watered their fields carrying buckets on yokes."

In one scene he describes men called trackers who pulled sailing junks up against the current by scrambling over rocks in their bare feet.

In ancient times these trackers were whipped.
Now, I read that they pretty much just pull boats for tourists.

After the first piece of writing, there were two more with a focus on China, but the second got too political for me and I abandoned it.

What an awful way to work!
Shorter bits of reading had me pulling out an old National Geographic from the bathroom bookcase and reading in more detail of just how terrible we were to the Lakota Indians, how disengenuous, how brutal, how easily we killed them with a survivor reporting a mother killed and her baby still suckling, not knowing she was dead. There too was the pride in their refinding old ways and coming back enough to feel Lakota again. Still, this was a terrible story.

And in the Insomniacs Dictionary I read list of words with the -cide suffixof like senicide, a permanent solution to old, sick and grumpy. I guess I should be less grumpy.
And -phobia words. If found out that montony in one sense of its meaning is a synonym for homophobia, and that seemed both odd etymology but like senicide seemed to hold a sliver of common sense.
Here too were -mania words and clinomania seemed to perfectly define part of my condition.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dinosauer reading

The Upper Room

This novel was in my Black literature section at home and since it was set for the most part in Florida, I thought it a good one to bring down for the winter.  I am enjoying it.  I have read really nothing much like it before.  lt is a strange vision of really poor and poorly educated Black community and is almost dark and funny.  The central character catches out attention; however, at times there is just too much repetition of the same rants.  The novel could have been shorter and done just as much.  Still, I keep reading and am about half way through.

The central character talks a good bit of Jesus but is basically amoral and narcisistic to a radical degree.  She kills anyone who gets in her way, even those who just basically annoy or in a vague way threaten her.  She believes she has magical powers and so do those in her family and community, but it is all simply strong assertion of a powerful will. No one can get in the way of Mama Ruby and live.

I can't say this is the best novel I've read.   It is too simplistic and the characters are all shallow with few real complications and no depth.  The main character simply rants about Jesus and the Devil, tries to use her healing hands, and murders men who get in her way and tries to isolate her "daughter" Maureen from the world.  The dead are all men in this book, those that are killed and those that just die. 
Still there is some fascination to the strange community of people and the rules that govern it.  And the reverse prejudices are interesting as well.
There are few good men and few good whites.  Big Red the sherriff is good to Mama Ruby in some ways but totally corrupted.

In the end it was just as disappointing.  Some of the resolutions seemed fitting.  Most of it seemed silly, really.  Still, for some odd reason I'm happy to have read the book.  Now i think it is time to get back to oysters. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tender is the Night

Perhaps one of the best illustrations of just how poorly I read lately is to say that I have just ow finished the Fitzgerald, which went to France with me and was supposed to be finished for the book group I get emails for but do not attend in mid November.
Another sad commentary, and a good reason for this blog, is that I've read this novel before, in fact, I've read this particular book before, and there in the final pages are a few of my notes. 
I don't remember it.
And having read it again, I can't really say it was something I managed to get a lot out of.  Too much was too obscure.  Too much required that one have sympathy for the independent rich.  I don't. 
The idea of suffering so much on the Riviera has always seemed to me absurd.

Perhaps I'll see what they did with it in a movie or read some crtical analysis to see what it is that I've missed.

I could not quite get Dick's inner struggles.  They all seemed too melodramatic.
I did chuckle that the last bit of his life was spent in small towns of the finger lake area.  It is these places that are presented as certainly the dullest places to live and work.  So hard for me to get that as I think of them as certainly as delightful as the riviera, perhaps more so.

Well, I enjoyed the book, nonetheless.  It did hold my attention.  The young girl traveling with her mother hit home when we were on the Viking cruise because we met a young girl traveling with her mother.  And there we were in France and having some of the kind of social interactions with people that are experienced on the Riviera.  A Viking cruise is a bit like the Riviera for modern travelers indulging themselves with a bit of Europe.

Best is that I am done with the novel. I've finished one of the dozens of books that sit on shelves here and at home with book markers in them. 

I intended to just toss this volume away in France, but it came home with me, and I guess I'll just keep it.  The last page is not attached but folded in half and kept in the book almost as a bookmark. The cover is detached.  The back cover is gone.  The book is really functionally useless.  But now that it has these personal struggles of these characters in it, I guess I'll keep it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

From the papers

Now it starts. Climate change is here and already affecting the way we govern ourselves. Down the road there will be no bailout for those who choose to live in dangerous locations. Private insurace will be so expensive few will be able to afford it and buy out plans will replace rebuilding plans. But people are slow to face reality and give up tradition. Nice to see New York acting first here too. Progressive government. I like it. Cuomo is doing a great job with the state. Hopefully we won't lose him to some crazy Presidential run. More reason to support Hillary if she runs.

It also could be noted that one of the things to do with this reclaimed land is to make oyster beds. Great idea! Kurlansky will be proud.

It is amazing what science can do now to reconstruct the past. This is an incredible story of finding the remains of Richard III.
Ear infection is much better today but resiliently hanging on.
That other ear infection, the roaring of the Super bowl better as well. Finished.
Now we can get on with baseball.


Ah.... I don't feel quite so crazy to have so many caps.

March 19
Another threat for cosmic destruction!/2013/03/sun-storm-forecast-tiny-chance-of-havoc.html

A good article on the issues around bringing back extinct animals.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kurlansky's Choice Cuts

This is subtitled "A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History."

It is amazingly entertaining to anyone interested in food.  Kurlansky's selections are unique to his own love of historical trivia as well as reflecting his sense of humor.  The pieces, of which I've only read a half a dozen or so, offer more of a window on how people think about food, then practical advice or recipes.  What a fun book!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kurlansky's Blog

I found this easily.  However, he does not write very often.  Once again I noticed how much food works in his writing, and how much he understands the vast amount of meaning that is expressed in our eating and in the way we prepare our foods.
Here is a good example.  This solves the Basque dilemma for me.  I am not in favor of kept secrets because I think it makes rare and precious simple things subject to extinction.  However, I like how this recipe works to define a woman's life.

I also was thrilled with this report on the writing left by those who wrote when the government paid for the writing, writing which has been ignored for the most part.


Kurlansky's Oyster: History on the HalfShell

This book focuses to a large part on NYC and the abundance of oysters in the early times of the US.  It is sad really that such a wonderful natural resource was destroyed by overeating and pollution.  We don't learn from our mistakes.

The middens in NY City were not religious and much of the collected material was dug as a resource to build roads and such.  Little now is left of accumulations that had been there for centuries of Indian inhabitation.

I am about half way throught the book, having started in the library.

Today I was fascinated with the oyster barges that were set up along the East River.  What a fascinating idea.  In the back came the oysters from the oystermen and out the front came retail sales, much like our own Shelly's in Homosassa.  Quite a few are represented in the book.
I liked this view of the passing of the exciting time when small oyster places were all along the East River.

p.196   "It would all vanish in time.  Bridges would put an end to the all night street traffic of the ferries. and larger steamships would dock in the deeper water of the Hudson, abaondoning the East River as a working waterfront.  In time more food would enter the city by truck than ships, and the logic of the harbour front markets would be gone.  But in the nineteeth century there was no better New York experience than to go down to one of the markets late at night and eat oysters."

"An amiable English earl a few years ago paid a visit to the United States.  His great delight was to wander up and down Broadway at night and visit the principla oyster saloons in succession, regaling himself upon fired oysters at one place. stewed oysters at another,upon roasted oysters at a third, and winding up a the evening by a dish of oysters, a l'Anglaise.    On leaving New York to return to England. he miscalculated the time of sailing of the steamer. and found that he had an hour and a half upon his hands. "
So he returned to Broadway for more oysters.


Chapter 9 coins a great term:


And is in large part less history and more cookbook with some exciting and very old techniques in cooking oysters.

He returns to another visit by Dickens and tells some great eating stories of Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell.  It was all about being large eaters and their love of the fun of it and show of wealth.

Here too somewhere ??  are the stories of the immigrant gangs that ran New York.  It is quite interesting to see how tough the Irish immigrants were in those days.  Also, racism is covered.  Some of the Civil War was blamed on the blacks for some unknown reason.  And when they started immigrating North and taking poor folks jobs, the displaces workers were angry.

"Ostracized in the Golden Age"

This chapter starts with explaining how restaurants created a social peeking order.  It is interesting the the food itself did not distinquish the classes.  Poor and rich alike ate oysters.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

What the Dog Saw- Malcom Gladwell

Elizabeth thought I'd like this book.  I've enjoyed the Tipping Point and Blink.
This is a collection of NY Times essays and I did like the first one on kitchen gadgets which is why Elizabeth perhaps brought the book.

It is not written as well as the Birdseye book and they are very similar, being a celebration of invention and the ability to market new things.  Still, I liked it.

When I finished I wanted to buy the Ronco rotisseri which is very ironic since I'm not eating meat.  Ron "Ronco" Popeil  was quite a character.

Once in the middle of my career a woman who taught with us left to sell microwave ovens and she told me I would be great at such a job, that I could sell things.  Interesting.  I never thought of myself as a salesperson.

When I was a kid my brother-in-law gave me boxes of go-sticks to sell door to door.  One stick was a quarter and there was a discount on a box.  These were long tubes of grit wrapped in fragile paper and meant to be placed under the car wheels when they were spinning on ice to easily gain traction.  I don't know if they actually worked.  I sold some, but it was more work than it was worth and not as steady as delivering papers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


This reminded me of the Mississippi River book I read about the approaches to controling the river and the flood of 1927.

Well, I have almost finished this book  It is with me down here as one on the list. 
(On a side note, this blog does not seem to keep the margins readable on the links, but by setting the type at large on the tT  menu and then reducing it using the control -  key, it will keep the margins when I type.  Strange.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Salt and Birdseye both by Kurlansky

I started Kurlansky's Salt book again as I always do down here in Florida and was depressed that although I've read this book through a couple times, I did not remember the information on the first page.
I hate this part of aging, the inability to retain and then access information.
In 475 BC the Chinese politician Fan Li wrote the earliest book on fish farming and breeding fish for development on farms. Yang Y Chung is the title and the original is in the British museum.
Then it would have been a very healthy practice. There were no pesticides in the surrounding farm land, nor would the fish be fed on meal that contained PCB or inundated with antibiotics.
Kurlansky speculates that the idea for farming fish probably came when carp were flushed into backwater ponds by floods.

American ponds rasing trout, especially in Idaho, catfish in the Southern states, and tilapia do still provide us with a good source of safe and usable fish. Winn Dixie, one grocery store here has a sale on some fish this week and it will beat the high prices of the fish market, but not be quite as wonderful or local.

I do identify and get quite a kick out of how Birdseye mentions whatever he eats in whatever he writes, even articles for publication.  I know Kurlansky wants to set us up for the frozen veggie process he creates, but for me it just justifies my own recording of everything I eat or make.

He eats so many things none of us would eat, even big horned owl and the front part of the skunk.  I can appreciate the enjoyment, but again not the killing. 

Grenfell comes up quite a bit.

Another place to visit

101  Birdseye was a great saleman and he conviced people to invest in his ideas.  Here it is 8000$ for investment in furs to be sold in America.  By 1914 he had cornered the Labrador fur market by buying cheaply what the fur trappers had to sell.  Europe in war had no money for fun.  He made enough money to feel prepared to marry Eleanor Gannet.

He writes little about Eleanor or his relationship.  He honeymooned at this place
Is this the Berlin right down the road from us?  I don't remember this place.

Eleanor welcomed the experiences in Labrador.  Once on a dog sled trip, Bob missed that she had fallen off the back and did not notice she was missing for about a mile.  He went back for her, but she must have been frightened.
Kellog is born and Bob drops journal writing.


Now we get to the meat of the Birdseye invention.  The idea is to be able to develop a process for freezing food that will keep it from losing its taste and value.
Interesting the iced drinks go all the way back to the Romans.  Pliny invented the ice bucket so that wine might be chilled without being diluted.
In April of 1626 Sir Francis Bacon died trying to invent a way to freeze chicken.  He got out of his coach in March, bought a chicken, had a woman clean it and he "snow packed" it. 
"The cold affected not only the chicken but also Bacon who became extremely ill. When he was taken to a nearby house, his condition grew worse.  He wrote that the experiment in chilling the chicken 'succeeded.' Only hours after writing the note Bacon died of pneumonia."

Next Robert Boyle experimented to try to define coldness and where it came from.
A Maryland engineer, Thomas Moore, first used the word "refrigerator" He invented a box that would keep his butter hard on the way to market.
Frederick Tudor and Jarvis Wyeth deomocratized ice, making it less a luxury for the aristocarcy and in expensive enough to be used for preserving meat and veggies, fish and milk.  Jarvis added the saw toothed ice cutter and the use of sawdust for insulation to Tudor's developement of an ice market that went even to the Carribbean.
Tudor became a multimillionaire.  Much of the ice was cut from Thoreau's walden pond.
This bibliography lists the book by Dewey Hill from Utica.
Also, ice harvesting was done on Lime Lake for years

Charles Saint-Ange Thilorier (Paris chemist)  mixed dry ice, snow, and ether to produce a temperature of -104 F but he was not interested in practical applications.
In 1890 an unusually mild winter hurt the natural ice industry and started people using artificial ice as invented by Ferdinand Carre. another Frenchman.
First patent for frozen fish process 1862  Enoch Piper.  He froze salmon.

Interesting that fish drove this industry because it had the greatest losses from spoilage.
In the beginning frozen fish was of poorer quality because only the fish that had not sold as fresh was then frozen.

Finally in 1923 Birseye figured out how to fast freeze fish and get it to -45F with very little time spent in a temperature above that.  he discovered that to be successful small amounts of food needed to be frozen rather than large whole pieces, like a side of beef.

Birdseye invests all the money he has, even selling his life insurance and goes broke.
Then he sells his house and moves to Glouchester.
Eleanor never faltered in her support for Clarence.  She was behind him all the way.  She was pregnant with a fourth child when they went to Glouchester.
He presents an interesting overview of the Glouchester of this time period, being a true fishing village with the smell of drying salmon permeating the ambiance of the town.

Named the company General Seafoods but experimented with freezing bakegoods as well.

They focused on inventing machinery and processes.  One was exposing the fish to light brining to accelerate the freezing process.    This was why freezing bluegill was recommended with first brining.    He invented a fish scaler that would not stop the minute that it hit a fin.
It was important the the freezing process was "indirect" so the fish had no contact with the refrigerant. 
He developed "multiplate freezing" and this solved all the problems.
p.159  "  Multiplate freezing could produce a large amount of frozen food, cold enough and frozen quickly enough;  the freezing was indirect, the air-space problem was eliminated, and the final boxed product was in a convenient form suitable for marketing."
Kurlansky calls the transportation problem the "Adam Trask" problem after a Steinbeck character in East of Eden.  Distributing the frozen food was now the challenge.

Then there was the politics.  Unions feared the frozen food would put traditional workers out of a job.  The canning industry fought the competition and can makers fought him because his packaging would not be made by them.  Birdseye also was influencial in getting cellophane produced.  For a while he was the only customer, but soon it caught on.

Birdseye is least remembered for his invention of the reflecting light bulb. He dies of heart failure. In today's world he could have been treated and would have lived much longer. Although his values no longer fit our modern world, and perhaps his excessive hunting never was a good thing at all, his personal nature was very attractive. And he certainly has changed my life. We had a frozen sheepshead baked for dinner last night and for breakfast this morning as well.