Weekend 403.0

“For more than a century the charred walls of Orval were at the mercy of the weather and of stone—and treasure seekers.”
– Spiritual Heights and Depths, 2011

(1) A quote from Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries:

“This time of prosperity and celebration was cut short in 1789 as the French Revolution broke out, and Orval’s position along the French border made it a vulnerable and immediate target. On June 23, 1793, revolutionary troops under the command of French General Louis Henri Loison plundered and burned Orval to ruins. The monks sought refuge in Luxembourg, then at Orval’s daughter priory Conques—around fifteen miles north of the abbey—but the community was officially disbanded on November 7, 1795.

The once great Orval Abbey would have likely faded into the dusty scrolls of history if it were not for the de Harenne family, who eventually came to own the land containing its ruins. In 1926 the family made the generous decision to offer the plot back to the Cistercian Order so a new generation of monks could rebuild, live, and worship on this sacred grounds.”

Weekend 402.0

(1) Quality, variety and surprise. How Walt Disney created a very real fantasy (Blooloop)

(2) Quotes from The Man in the Castle by Philip K. Dick:

“They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.”

“‘All afternoon assorted officials examined the alternatives,’ Mr. Tagomi said, ‘This is the most authentic of dying old U.S. culture, a rare retained artifact carrying flavor of bygone halcyon day.’ Mr. Baynes opened the box. In it lay a Mickey Mouse wristwatch on a pad of black velvet.”

(3) On my desk…
(a) Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries by Caroline Wallace, Sarah Wood, and Jessica Deahl
(b) The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Epcot by Aaron Wallace

(4) Proposed Bermuda City Hall* (Architect’s Plan)

On this site, the Corporation of Hamilton plans to build the new City Hall—as shown in the architect’s plan on this page. This hall, when completed, will provide adequate housing for the activities of the Corporation, more in keeping with progress of the city than the present City Hall, which is located on Front Street, East. It will provide a Council Chamber, Municipal Offices and an Auditorium seating four hundred persons. The funds for the erection of this building were bequeathed to the Corporation of Hamilton by late Miss Catherine Browne Tucker, who died April 14, 1933, and whose father, the Wor. George Somers Tucker, was for many years a member of the Corporation of Hamilton and Speaker of the House of Assembly. The funds now available for this purpose are in excess of £52,000 sterling.

*Scan and quote are from Beautiful Bermuda: The Standard Guide to Bermuda (1947)

(5) One of the most famous airport terminals in the world is about to become a swanky hotel (Business Insider)

Bermuda (Devil’s Isle), Part 1

It seems like 6+ months since our plane dipped from the clouds and glided along the turquoise waters and emerald landscapes of Bermuda on our approach to L.F. Wade International on St. David’s Island. A business trip later, and some massive changes at work, and the restorative effects of that special island have been reduced to a severe longing for a rebook.

It was a grand trip though and I’ve finally scratched out a day-by-day summary using the meta data from my digital photographs and a semi-permeable memory.

Before we begin…

Whenever possible I’ve linked to photos on Flickr from the Limestone Archives. In most cases, those photos have a description with additional details about the object or place.

»This symbol refers to a tip that follows the day-by-day entry.

Day 1
We stayed at The Reefs in Southampton which is marketed as a “beach front boutique hotel.” We’ve been going to The Reefs since the 80s and have watched it evolve into a “boutique” whilst retaining its rich history and tradition. The Reefs opened in 1947 and Beautiful Bermuda: The Standard Guide to Bermuda (1947) describes it thusly:

“The Reefs is Bermuda’s New Cabana Club, a Cottage Type of Hotel Living. The “Motor Age” has made it possible to develop “The Reefs” which is located on Christian Bay, Southampton Parish. This section is know as Fort Royal, and we find it so marked on an old Bermuda Map of 1626, also showing it as the location of one of the original Forts…Perched on a bluff, overlooking a private, secluded coral beach and protected bay. “The Reefs” combines the most modern conveniences with the charm of old Bermuda.”

There isn’t a bad view at The Reefs and my happy spot is from any cliff side balcony.

After exploring the hotel and surveying the beach, we »rented scooters for the week from Oleander Cycles. Our “orientation” ride was to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. The cast-iron lighthouse is very close to The Reefs and some sketches from the beachfront show the lighthouse in the background. We »climbed the 185 steps and were rewarded with incredible views of the island.

The Reefs (1947)

We had dinner in Hamilton at the Hog Penny Pub on Burnaby Street and the bangers & mash was Old Ship quality.

»Rent scooters for the entire length of your stay. The island is very expensive, and the flexibility of being able to shop at local grocery stores is a great way to save money. Also, the transit options in Bermuda are great (ferry, bus, taxi, etc.) but the scooter buys you time and access to parts of the island (e.g. nature reserves) that aren’t always convenient.

»Climb everything and anything you’re allowed to climb. This includes steps in historic buildings (Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity), trails in nature reserves (Spittal Pond Nature Reserve), forts (Gates, Scaur, St. Catherine’s, etc.), and slopes (Botanical Gardens). The vantage is always worth the effort.

Day 2
We drove west to visit Somerset Bridge— the world’s smallest working drawbridge. The bridge links Sandy’s Parish with Somerset Island.

I like to choose a place I would live wherever I travel (here’s an example) and I found my Bermuda home on our first full day. In this case, it was a little fixer-upper near the bridge. We also explored Scaur Hill Fort and Park on our way to the Royal Naval Dockyard.

We didn’t spend too much time in the Royal Naval Dockyard; we had an appointment at the hotel and were clock-watching (on vacation). It can be a little hectic too (this is code for touristy) since this is where the cruise ships dock. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for a »Barritt’s Ginger Beer at RUBiS on Boaz Island.

We went to Hamilton again for dinner (all roads lead to Hamilton) and this time ate at trendy Bulli.Social. After dinner, we continued on to St. George for some day trip scouting. In transit, my brother did a good impression of Tom Cruise in Top Gun on Kindley Field Road with his scooter at max. speed. We were starting to lose sunlight, but did stop at Gates Fort for some photos.

»Drink Barritt’s Ginger Beer whenever you can.

Day 3
We spent our third afternoon in the Town of St. George. We visited Stella Maris Church (RC), the Unfinished Church, Somers Garden, St. Peter’s, and Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary Monument. We also walked around town to take pictures before our dinner reservations at Wahoo’s Waterside Bistro & Patio. The streets in St. George are tightly clustered and should be ambled.

Bermuda Fact: Sir George Somers was at the helm of the Sea Venture in 1609 and deliberately drove the ship onto the reefs to prevent its floundering. All 150 passengers survived. The survivors later built two ships — Patience and Deliverance — using cedar and remains of the Sea Venture to continue their journey to Virginia. You can see a replica of the Deliverance on Ordnance Island in St. George.

In Part 2, I’ll pick up with days 4-6.

“These little islands are thickly covered with cedar groves, through the vistas of which you catch a few pretty white houses, which my poetical shortsightedness always transforms into temples.” – Tom Moore

Watercolors of sub-tropical scenes

(1) A quote from The Seven Storey Mountain from Thomas Merton:

“Bermuda in those days had no big hotels and no golf-courses to speak of. It was not famous for anything. It was simply a curious island, two or three days out of New York, in the Gulf Stream, where the British had a small naval base and where there were no automobiles and not much of anything else either.”

“We took a small boat called the Fort Victoria with a red and black funnel…and although I was very eager for my first site of the island, it came upon us suddenly before I was aware, and stood up before us in the purple waters, green and white. You could already see the small white houses, made of coral, cleaner than sugar, shining in the sun, and all around the waters paled over the shallows and became the color of emeralds, where there was sand, or lavender where there were rocks below the surface. We threaded our way in a zig-zag between the buoys that marked the path through the labyrinthine reefs. The H.M.S. Calcutta lay at anchor off Ireland Island dockyard, and father pointed to Somerset where, among the dark green cedars, was the place where we would live.”

(1a) The Sinking (and Exploding) of the RMS Fort Victoria in New York Harbor

Perennial Pondstraddler

BIG trip report after I dig out, but here are three things I don’t want to forget:

(1) Sea Venture Building
(2) Church Cave
(3) Bermuda Rose Society
(4) Mark V. Arenburg

…a place of refreshment, light, and peace.

Under a big W

Weekend 401.0

(1) How to Play World’s Fair 1893 (Rules School) with the Game Boy Geek (YouTube)

(2) Brothers’ delight at their Playmobil pirate ship sailing to Scandinavia (The Telegraph)

Weekend 400.0

(1) Fall Museum Preview: 30 Outstanding Art Exhibitions to See in New York This Season (Artnet)

(2) Michael Eisner on Former Disney Colleagues, Rivals and Bob Iger’s Successor (The Hollywood Reporter)

(2a) Former Disney Boss Michael Eisner Seals Deal for English Soccer Team (Variety)

Weekend 399.1 (Listening to Ella…all night long)

Richard Florida Is Sorry: For years, Richard Florida preached the gospel of the creative class. His new book is a mea culpa. (JACOBIN)

Weekend 399.0 (Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down)

I think ‘Weekend Post 400.0’ needs to be something spectacular but I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I’ve been busy mining bitcoins¹ and helping my friend grieve after his beloved seagulls were promoted to the top flight (hence the lack of posts).

I get oodles of spam about LIMESTONE but always ‘legitimate’ requests for original content. I don’t even aggregate/archive/curate very well any more given the exigencies of work, etc. I also have a BUSY fall travel schedule (most for work…some for fun) so there’s probably going to be even less posting UNLESS I master the very nifty WordPress app. I could always cave and just post via Twitter and Instagram but I love words². The other option is to ask my intern to ghost post.

I also have a mountain of archived posts from the original blogger site dated 2000 (17 years) that I’d like to reintroduce (where’s Darnell the intern?). It’s really embarrassing to read those posts now, but history happened, and there’s no point in discarding the influence of those more primitive observations.

I always get lyrics stuck in my head and this morning it’s been this lil’ ditty by Boxer Rebellion:

Maybe there’s no use
In things being like they used to
And maybe there’s no use
In the way it was before

And if I found time
We’d go away with your way
And if we found time
I’d want it more and more

I think it fits a recurring theme. Anyway, I like to get up really early on the weekends when the day is fresh. The fall is my favorite and it’s always best when you can open the windows and wrap yourself in that crispy autumn air with a cup of coffee. I’m also finicky about my desk, and after many years of waiting, I finally peck at the keyboard from an Eames desk. In the left corner there’s a cluster of objects, the only accoutrements to adorn the surface. My favorite object is stoneware pottery, wood-fired and handcrafted, by the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey. The books are always clustered by theme– religious (e.g. The World’s Last Night), historical (e.g. Churchill War Rooms), and fiction (e.g. Men Without Women). In regards to the latter, finished it a couple of weeks ago, and since I’m so fond of mysteries I’ll let my half-dozen subscribers guess which short story was my favorite (hint: helps if you know something about António de Oliveira Salazar).

How about the former (clever, clever, clever)? I just completed an online course from Hillsdale College on C.S. Lewis (Writings and Significance). IF you understand the permanent things, check out Hillsdale College. At this point, I fancy myself Guy Montag, and I’m pretty unapologetic about that (there’s a battle ahead)…so go ahead and leave that bust of General John Burgoyne on your desk…I won’t dox you or report you on Twitter.

I was at the bookstore this weekend and I love the ‘trending’ shelf because it quickly gives you a pulse of the national mood (this saxophone from Against All Odds is really distracting). If you’ve perused this site for 5 minutes or 17 years you’ll know I have a penchant for dystopia, and these days Sinclair Lewis and George Orwell are representatives of the genre du jour (blah, blah, blah). The shelf was full of survival guides and freshly printed copies of 1984, Animal Farm and It Can’t Happen Here. Here’s the thing about the permanent things³…

“Monarchy is not oppressive if the king and the people are working for a common goal under a common law and share a common dignity. But if the power elite, whether king, voting majority, or media elite cease to believe in an objective Tao, as is clearly the case in our society, then they become Controllers, Conditioners, and social engineers, and the patients become the controlled. Propaganda replaces propagation. Propagation is “old birds teaching young birds to fly.” Propaganda is programming parrots. Propagation is the transmission of tradition. Propaganda is the invention of innovation. Which of the two is piped into our brains daily by our media?

This new class of Innovators, the Tao-less Conditioners, will themselves be motivated in their social engineering, but not by the Tao, which is supernatural and eternal, a “permanent thing”. Instead, they will be motivated by their natural impulses, which are nonpermanent things: their heredity and environment, especially their environment, especially fashionable opinions. This means they will be motivated by Nature, not by the “permanent things”, which are supernatural.”

I’m ending my post because my diminutive coffee just ran out and the desire to cycle for more caffeine (petrol) is a good motivation, BUT I’m ending with some more lyrics:

Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away

Colin Hay was just at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

¹I’m also trying to create Satoshi Nakamoto’s likeness in Playmobil. It’s a bit of a guess.
²If you like words, you should watch Ozark on NETFLIX
³C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium by Peter Kreeft

(1) Mr. Plinkett’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review (YouTube)
(2) Guinness drought to continue (The Royal Gazette)

Weekend 398.0

(1) The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation | S3 Ep71 | House Industries (YouTube)

Weekend 397.1

“This fantastic film…is like nothing that Mr. Disney has ever done before, although it glitters with reminiscent snatches from several of his previous cartoon films…Rather, it is a brilliant hodgepodge of Mr. Disney’s illustrative art – a literal spinwheel of image, color and music which tumbles at you with explosive surprise.” – Bosley Crowther, “THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; Make Mine Music! Animated Cartoon by Walt Disney, in Which Casey Once More Swings Bat, Arrives at Globe,” New York Times, April 22, 1946

(1) Legendary Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar Dies at 83

Weekend 397.0

“Under modern conditions any effective invitation to Hell will certainly appear in the guise of scientific planning.” – C.S. Lewis, A Reply to Professor Haldane

Weekend 396.0

What the Bird Said Early in the Year by C.S. Lewis

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.
Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.
This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.
This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.
This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.
Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick!—the gates are drawn apart.

Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: “Cuckoo!” by Benjamin Britten

What do you do?
In April, I open my bill.
In May, I sing night and day.
In June, I change my tune.
In July, far, far I fly…
In August, away!
I must…

Back in the World by David Gray

Less than sand on the beach
Staring into the reaches of space and time
I’m singing out words
But the voice that I hear
It seems barely mine
If it’s love put the song in my heart
Is it God by another name
Who’s to say how it goes
All I know is
I’m back in the world again

Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star by Father John Lingard

Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wand’rer here below:
Thrown of life’s surge, we claim thy care- save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

Sojourners in this vale of tears,
To thee, blest advocate, we cry;
Pity our sorrows, calm our fears,
And soothe with hope our misery.
Refuge in grief, star of the sea,
Pray for the mourner, pray for me.

Weekend 395.0 (There’s so many different worlds…so many different suns…)

I watched Level Up! (The Walt Disney Company’s Video Game Showcase) at D23 on Twitch yesterday afternoon. If you missed it, you can see a replay on YouTube. There were two BIG KH3 announcements- the game finally has a ((((((2018)))))) release date and they’ve introduced the world of PIXAR to the franchise via Toy Story.

(a) The world of ‘Toy Story’ is coming to ‘Kingdom Hearts 3’

One other notable non-video game announcement is that a Tron attraction is being ported from Shanghai Disneyland to Walt Disney World. Don’t care what it is just as long as it makes liberal use of the Daft Punk soundtrack.

(b) New Tron Attraction Coming to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort