Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bass-ball in 1829

Yet another mention of that game...

This is a portion of a sketch about young girls growing up from The American Farmer, March 20, 1829 (No. 1, Vol. 11, page 6, column 1), John S. Skinner, editor.
The following, which is from Miss Mitford's Village Sketches, is probably one of the best productions that ever flowed from her gifted pen.
Then comes a sun-burnt gipsey of six, beginning to grow tall and thin, and to find the cares of the world gathering about her, with pitcher in one hand, a mop in the other, and old straw bonnet of ambiguous shape, half hiding her tangled hair, a tattered stuff petticoat, once green, hanging below an equally tattered frock, once purple; her longing eyes fixed on a game of bass-ball at the corner of the green, till she reaches the cottage door, flings down the mop and pitcher, and darts off to her companions, quite regardless of the storm of scolding with which the mother follows her runaway steps.

So the world wags till ten; then the little damsel gets admission to the charity school, and trips mincingly thither every morning, dressed in the old fashioned blue gown, and tippet, and bib and apron of that primitive institution, looking demure as a nun, and as tidy; her thoughts fixed on button holes and spelling books — those ensigns of promotion; despising dirt and bass-ball, and all their joys.

The complete scan can be found here.

Picture bonus from The American Farmer...

Bass-ball in 1827

More searching through the Books at Google...

On page 123 of the bestseller of 1827, The Principles of Physical, Intellectual, Moral, and Religious Education (volume 1) by William Newnham, we find...
With the same intention, the games of cricket, prison bars, foot ball, &c. will be useful, as children grow up, and are strong enough to endure such exercise. With regard to girls, these amusements may be advantageously supplanted by bass-ball, battledore and shuttlecock, and similar active and playful pursuits.

The whole book can be found here. No bookplate. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bass-ball in 1836

I found a reference to "bass-ball" in the Jan. 1838 issue of The British and Foreign Medical Review, quoting a 1836 study (from the Mclean Asylum in Boston) that was originally published in the May 1, 1837 edition of the American Medical Intelligencer.

The article is titled: Moral Management of the Insane in America.

On page 240 and 241 of The British and Foreign Medical Review the report states:
Our amusements are various and numerous. We keep a carriage, two carioles, one chaise and four horses, which are devoted almost exclusively to the use of the patients. Many of them ride every fair day, and have, the last year, ridden ten thousand miles. The males are also engaged at bowls, quoits, bass-ball, fishing, fancy painting, walking, dancing, reading, swinging, and throwing the ring, &c.

The report goes on to talk about other opportunities for the patients: recreational, religious, work and diversion related.

This came from a search for early references to Baseball, in any form. I subscribe to the 19cBB discussion list, mainly for Baseball in the 19th century. I'm not very active on the list, and I even admit to deleting some of the messages that come through if they don't interest me, but I do try to add something every so often. Larry McCray is working on Project Protoball. I sent him this information already.

I found the reference on the Google Books site. Here is the link to this copy of the The British and Foreign Medical Review.

As a bonus, here's the bookplate from the front of the journal...

Saturday, January 26, 2008


A virtual acquaintance of mine has a blog. It is in a language other than English, so I use Babelfish to translate it. I can get an idea of what she is saying, but not the full meaning. I like her writing. I think that it is very good. Inspired. By what, I don't know. But I return to it every few weeks.

Lately she has been writing about silence. One of the definitions that she lists for Silence is: the sonorous version of the darkness

Because I've been listening to music and blogging about it, I started to think of the quiet. Of silence. How it is a rare thing.

About a week ago at work, I was going between buildings. I heard a noise in the sky and looked up. There were about 60 Canadian Geese flying overhead, in about 4 groups. They turned and were so close that I could hear their wings flap. Nature in silence.

Tonight, our family went to have dinner with my supervisor and his family. For a moment we all were quiet. The radio wasn't on. It was just the sound of the wind on the minivan. Machines in silence.

When I awake in the middle of the night. Angie lies next to me, with her CPAP machine, and the baby monitor hisses lightly from Caroline's room. Comfort in silence.

You can hear a lot in the silence.

If you listen.

Technology and Me

A few technology devices I've started to use...

A SanDisk MobileMate SD+ Memory Card Reader. Works great for transferring photos from the Kodak EasyShare Z712IS camera, or rather the SanDisk 2GB SD card. The card and reader combo seems to go faster than the camera and USB cord. And it was the only way I could figure out how to upgrade the firmware for the camera. has replacement batteries for the Z712IS that work. I didn't have much luck with the Kodak brand rechargeable batteries Ni-MH AA batteries. So, I purchased 2 of the KLIC-8000 replacements. And a charger. Delivered in a timely manner for less than $50.

I'm happy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two bukhs and another one already

In the past month or so, I picked up a few books. Like that's unusual?

The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten and Words on Fire by Dovid Katz are both books about the Yiddish language.

The first is one that I had back in high school, then I sold it / lost it / lent it out and it never came back. I found a copy at the Book Eddy in south KnoxVegas over the Holidays.

The second is one that I purchased tonight at the Family Book Outlet in Maryville. It was 50% off the lowest marked price ($3.99). I didn't even open it up, just saw that it was a clean copy (remainder). It is subtitled The Unfinished Story of Yiddish. Who could pass that up?

The other book I purchased tonight is A Splendor of Letters (The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World) by Nicholas A. Basbanes. I've read another of his other books on books. A Gentle Madness. That was about 10 years ago, and I still long for his writing. It, too, was 50% off the lowest marked price ($9.95).

I do have some other things to read. I exchanged some of my frequent flier miles for a subscription to Smithsonian magazine. I've just started reading Equal Rites, one of the DiscWorld novels by Terry Pratchett. And I got Tony Dungy's book, Quiet Strength.

I just finished up the Tolkien story, Farmer Giles of Ham, which was quite an enjoyable re-read. I don't think that I'll actually be starting any of these tonight, but I did want to share them with my faithful readers. Thank you, both.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year, New Tunes

I didn't really make any New Year's resolutions. Well, maybe to leave the chat channels when I actually say good-bye, instead of 10 minutes later. And, in my mind, to read more, exercise more, finish what I've started, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.

Well, I came up with one the other day. New tunes. Not for the whole year, but for a while. I've formatted my mp3 player, clearing out the standbys of Jehtro Tull, Phil Keaggy, Stan Kenton, Robert Randolph, Boston, Bill Watrous and others.

I'm only going to try to listen to new music. I'll try it until St. Patrick's day.

So, what is new music, you might ask yourself. I did. Music that I haven't heard before. I'll keep the songs on there for a while. If they're good, they'll stay on for a few weeks, may a month. Then clear out some space and put on other stuff. If it isn't good, I'll listen to it and dump it at the soonest possible moment.

Where are you going to get this new music? Hmmm... From legit new music places. I feel that artists should be compensated for their art. But some of them give it away. That's what I'm looking for. And I found some free and low cost music. And some that I've paid for. Where do I start?

I could do it chronologically, or perhaps what's been squeaking my sneakers, as my friend Phillip said on Sunday.

I'll go with the squeaking bit.

The Aaron Pelsue Band. I saw them at the TCTC this weekend. Went to their vendor table and bought all four of their CDs. Good stuff.

I guess what started this thought process is a player from BattleMaster. Around Christmas time, there was tournament in the realm of my main character. It was hosted, to celebrate the wedding of my character, Willem, to the character of Ilya, played by my friend, Tali. There was much roleplaying and well wishes, both for the in-game wedding, and for the holidays in RL (Real Life). One of the players from another realm, posted an Out Of Character message, inviting everyone to his music website, and giving everyone a $5 coupon. Well, new music, and 5 bucks off. Can't beat that. Well, yes you can.

Before I get bogged down in the details, let me point you to Joar Berntsen's site.

There. I feel better. is an independent music download site. You pay for what you want. Very reasonable prices. 4 cents a song. 19 cents a song. A dollar an album. The prices are set on some sort of sliding scale based on the amount of downloads or popularity. I haven't really figured that out, yet. And I may never. But, it is classified by genre or artist, or... you know how these things work. Back to Joar. Joar's music is filed under: Ambience, Acoustic, Instrumental, Techno, Industrial Trance. I was a bit skeptical of Industrial Trance. But it works. Modern soundscapes I'd call it. I like it. Don't know that I'd have it on all the time, but I do like it. Another artist that I like from AmieStreet is Showky Sawzawa. Pop rock, but sung in Japanese. It surprised me, at first, but the arrangements are so nice and full that I soon looked past the fact that I couldn't understand the lyrics. has some nice tunes. You can pick up about a dozen free ones there. I haven't yet listened to them on my player, but it looks interesting.

Greenstar builds a solar powered community center that delivers electricity, pure water, health and education information and a wireless Internet connection to villages in the developing world. They have some world music. Solar powered recordings. I haven't yet downloaded those, but I want to.

Wayne Bledsoe is a local columnist for a few papers in KnoxVegas. The News Sentinel and occasionally the MetroPulse. About a year and a half ago, he wrote an article in the News Sentinel about the regional artists' music being recorded at the St. James Hotel. The recordings have been digitized and can be found at the Lynn Point Records site. I've downloaded quite a few, but not all of them.

Last, but not least, is Coverville. Doug told me about this site to download podcasts of cover music. When an artist re-records another artist's song. Good stuff.

Okay, that wasn't really the last one, because I just remembered's Live Music Archive. Trade friendly artists allow their live concerts to be housed here, in good quality recordings. You'll go deaf before you listen to all 45,318 concerts.

So, my mp3 player is full and I've got plenty of time at work to listen.

One last thing. I received a BestBuy gift card for Christmas. I used it to get Paul Simon's Graceland and the Best of Warren Zevon. And a pair of SkullCandy's smokin buds. Very nice. Angie got a pair as well. Comfortable and they sound good. BestBuy honored Target's price. Ask at the register.

Well, one more. Bonerama covering Black Sabbath in New Orleans. I am in debt to Steve O. for letting me know about this band. Thanks, Man.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A day late...

The tenth of January is my paternal grandmother's birthday. She is now 96. I forgot that it was her birthday yesterday. I do miss seeing her, as we live many, many miles apart. Here are some photos of her. Yes, there are a lot of them, but she deserves it.

Happy Birthday, Grammy.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Deer in Cades Cove

Many years ago, my wife and I attended a wedding in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, which is just a few hours past Nashville. The photographer was Lance Krueger. Talking to him at the rehearsal dinner, he showed me his portfolio. Although he was doing a wedding, he preferred to shoot wildlife, specifically white tail deer. He liked to shoot them in Texas, but had traveled all over the US to do it. We invited him to Tennessee to shoot at Cades Cove.

He stayed at our house for about a week, getting up early and spending the whole day to get just the right shot. Here are a few of them.

"La Caverna" Café

On May 26, 1980, the family went to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico for some shopping and a meal. We ended up at The Cavern, a nice little restaurant cut into the hillside. From the left are Gary (mom's brother), George (my dad), Effie (dad's mother) Mary (my mom) and Mark (me).

Grammy came to Arizona for my high school graduation. Gary was living in Sierra Vista at the time.

My, don't we look different.

Here's a postcard of the restaurant from 1937. Or, if you'd like one in color...