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The Fleet Is In!

Posted May 16th, 2011 at 10:15 AM by chas
Updated May 16th, 2011 at 10:24 AM by chas
THE FLEET IS IN!

“I spied as I peeped out into the Bay something resembling a wood of pine trees trimmed…I thought all London was afloat.”
--Continental Soldier, Maryland Regiment

“And its all for me grog
Me jolly, jolly grog
All gone for beer and tobacco!
And I spent all me tin
Down on South Street drinking gin
Now its over open water I must wander!”
--Nineteenth Century Sea Chantey


IN JULY OF 1776, the British Navy of about 12,000 sailors and marines invaded Brooklyn, landing an army of about 32,000 soldiers in Gravesend Bay to the south. The new Declaration of Independence was read out to the ranks of the colonial army for inspiration. Scouts from Colonel Hand’s First Pennsylvania Continental Regiment were the first soldiers to observe this massive eighteenth century ‘D-Day’ invasion. But in this largest action of the war, our untrained troops were scattered. After the battle was lost, the same...
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Battles Lost and Won

Posted March 3rd, 2011 at 12:21 PM by chas
BATTLES LOST AND WON

“God, I wish I could be there! The madcap games at your place will be one of the highlights of my wargaming as long as I live. Good luck with it, Charley—and to anyone who lives in New York and isn’t going along—you don’t know what you will be missing, believe me.”
--Mike Blake, well known British game master and hobby magazine reviewer

“L’ audace, toujours l’audace!”
--Frederick the Great

I continued my interest in history after graduate school with my wargaming hobby, which gives me a project by project framework to study about a period and battle, often including learning about the larger concerns of the time. Both strictly historical and hypothetical tabletop battles with 54mm (1/32 scale or 2 ½” high) toy soldiers has been the result. Not only have I played hundreds of games run by fellow gamers, but I have researched, designed, and run over 100 battles listed below from historical periods from the Medieval...
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Two Guys Part II

Posted March 3rd, 2011 at 10:50 AM by chas
TWO GUYS PART II

“And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t go back
We can only look around at where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game”
--Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game (The Blue Album)

“And in the end, the love you make
Is equal to the love you take.”
-- The Beatles, The End (Abbey Road;
Last serious line of their final album)

Gurdjieff taught that unless we take ourselves in hand, which is the Great Work of a lifetime, we are captive to our individual psychology, and that most humans from the great men of history to the silent majority have little control over what happens in their lives or what they feel about it, being captive to unconscious fears and desires. The Buddha taught that we actually are free, but not realizing that, celebrate our chains instead. Or was that Karl...
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Two Guys Part I

Posted March 3rd, 2011 at 10:48 AM by chas
TWO GUYS PART I

“And now; let us spray!”
--Frank Fixit

“Welcome to The Great Cultural Cul-de-Sac.”
--Doctor Scott

The only year I ever had to take a bus to school was during seventh grade in 1964, when I rode to J.H.S. 74, Nathaniel Hawthorne Junior High. There I made my last Queens pal in Jesse Asbestos, who could eat hot or spicy food without blinking, because he had metal plate covering the roof of his mouth, which kept a false tooth in place. He also had a white lab rat for a pet, which was very cool; its long, thick naked pink tale rather disgusting until you got used to it. But it was a friendly creature—more Pinky than Brain. On that first day of eighth grade, my conscientious mother insisted that I go to school, even though we were moving out the next day to Suffolk County, Long Island! M Dad had gotten a new job out there teaching high school, where he would eventually change from teaching Shop, which was a dumping ground
...
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World's Fair

Posted February 26th, 2011 at 09:24 AM by chas
WORLD’S FAIR

“Over whose golden roof shall float, beneath thy banner, Freedom.”
--Walt Whitman, poem on the New York Crystal Palace
1853 Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations

“Welcome to the World of Tomorrow.”
--Matt Groening, Futurama
(Series named after an exhibit in the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs)

The third World’s Fair held here in New York City, in 1964-65, was the most stupendous thing I’d ever seen, as a 13 year old. In 1964, living so close to the Flushing Meadow site in my Old Neighborhood of Bayside, Queens, I went 11 times--with family, with friends, with a school trip, and even with my little sister. I remember that last local trip because some good people held the subway door open and encouraged us when I wasn’t sure if I should get out or not at the right stop. Across the way was the huge new Shea Stadium, where my pal Marty G. was one of the first generation of boy hot dog vendors. (He didn’t so...
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