26 June 2008


Historical Series part 2 | Part 1

Catherine cried.

"I can't believe he's gone, not like that.

He's dead. . . my brother. . . he's dead.

He was doing so well, I mean, it was just months ago that he was conferred as Earl. An Earl!!! Do you know what this could have meant for this family had he not crossed...?"

Her husband Morgan comforted her. "Don't you worry, we'll be fine."

"But the way it all happened, it all happened so fast! It was only eight years ago that we were common folk. Everything was just as it was, we are simple folk. Sure your father enjoyed his closeness with the royals, he married the cousin of the king. We are but simple brewers, pulling pints in our pub. We live a quiet staid life, we could not imagine all this excitement in our lives all over again", Catherine said as she sobbed over her words.

Morgan pulled her in close to reassure her. "We are fine, he finds much favour in our son, we have nothing to be disappointed about." Mistakenly Morgan utters these words in misunderstanding, thinking only of themselves.

"But he's my brother! His head was fucking cut off, can't you see that? He did not deserve such hell!"

Morgan retreated a bit. "All I'm saying is when you're close that to anyone in a position of power - and Henry, if I can be frank here, is the most powerful man I've ever seen in action in my lifetime - you better not get on their bad side and unfortunately that's what he did."

"I don't know", said Catherine sullenly as she settled down. "I suppose he did. But still, 8 years of service to the king and it ends like this? He was a simple clerk, an office boy for Wolsey, and then It began. He just had to have Anne, didn't he?"

"Men have needs, and an insatiable appetite such as a king's cannot be quenched. You know this of men, I need not remind you of this. You know the story, the old bat Aragon was not doing it for him. She was his brother's wife and much older, as you recall. God bless her soul," Morgan reflected.

"But that whore, Anne" -

Morgan interrupted - "Anne helped get us to where we are today, like it or not. His influence has helped this whole family. Our Richard was granted the old nunnery up in Huntingdon two years ago and our nephew Gregory was allowed to marry the one true queen's sister Elizabeth Seymour, things are still looking up," Morgan waxed nostalgic.

"Yes, I suppose," Catherine replied. "But how horrible, put in the tower for treason and heresy. If only had he not pushed for His Majesty to remarry so soon, and to that ugly German, what did He call her, the Flanders Mare? Then to have his head cutoff, boiled and impaled on a spear and placed on London Bridge facing Southwark? That damned Norfolk, he's to blame for this. May he get what's coming to him and his niece Catherine Howard, whom His Majesty just married," she said angrily.


Thomas Cromwell was executed on July 28, 1540.


**Poetic liberties were taken in this post, it is unknown the dates of death of Morgan Williams and Catherine Cromwell Williams. They would have been in their late 60s-early 70s if this were to be true. -SJD

24 June 2008

We Interrupt this Historical Series for these words.

Google reader has changed my life. Never miss another blog post with Google Reader! Use it today! And subscribe to all your favourite blogs, for instance redbeardonredsox.blogspot.com! It's way easy and fun to use!

Ok, now with that shamelessness out of the way... I got an idea from the geniuses at Surviving Grady. Ok, actually it's the same idea, with different results. It's the Random iPod game!

Take your iPod/MP3 Player/computer music library and put it on random. List the next 5 / 10 / 20 how many ever tracks you want, I like seeing what kind of music people listen to.

Here are my random 10 to get us started:

1. The Shins - Pam Berry. Short 1 minute interlude track from an otherwise brilliant band.

2. Death Cab for Cutie - Brothers on a Hotel Bed. Fantastic track from their breakthrough album Plans.

3. Big Audio Dynamite - The Bottom Line. The first reincarnation of the Clash with their classic 80s post-punk anthem.

4. Santogold - Shove It (feat. Spank Rock). I love this newcomer, I never get sick of this album.

5. The Ramones - Beat on the Brat. Classic punk tune.

6. Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench. Foos rock, they have never ceased to amaze me since Dave Grohl and the boys burst on the scene shortly after Kurt Cobain and Nirvana passed away.

7. Los Campesinos! - Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks. Great new twee indie pop band out of Cardiff, give them a listen.

8. Death Cab for Cutie - Death of an Interior Decorator. I swear, they don't always sing about death! Still one of the most fantastic bands of the past few years.

9. Editors - Escape the Nest. Just brilliant.

10. Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Happy. Sort of a one-hit wonder from the 90s, I really had higher hopes for this band after buying their cassette as a teenager after seeing them on MTVs 120 Minutes.

Ok, have at it!

*Ted, I know you're musically challenged so you may obstain.

21 June 2008

William and Morgan Go to London

Historical Series, part 1

William ap Ievan was an excellent Welsh archer. In those days, he was one of the best. So much so that he caught the eye of Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford who was the Lord of Glamorgan, sat in Cardiff Castle. William was from just outside present-day Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan, which to this day remains the more Anglicised part of Wales; partly due to its proximity to London and the heart of England, also due to its role in the Wars of the Roses, fought in part by Jasper.

You see, Jasper was a Tudor, before the name Tudor was made infamous by King Henry VIII. Tudor is an anglicisation of the Welsh Tewdwr, which was a common name in those days, which happened to be Jasper's great-grandfather's name. Jasper's father's name was anglicised from Owain ap Marededd ap Tewdwr to Owen Tudor, setting up what would be the Tudor Dynasty, and the lineage of the monarchs of England to go henceforth. Jasper and his father Owen laid claim to the kings of the old Welsh kingdoms of Powys, Gwynedd, and Deheubarth, having descended from Rhys ap Gruffudd (The Lord Rhys), among others.

Jasper's mother was the former Queen Catherine of Valois (valois meaning French for Fortune), who succeeded her husband King Henry V of England. Also Catherine was the daughter of the succession of French kings; her father being King Charles VI (le Bienaimé or le Fol) of France, being of the line of French kings that began with King Philip VI le Fortuné.

In the days during the Wars of the Roses, Welsh marriages were outlawed and were done in secret. Thus, Jasper's two daughters were considered bastards, although had it not been for the infighting in England between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, and the Welsh struggle to show support for England after Richard III ascended, the marriage and the children would have been legitimate in the eyes of English law.

Anyway, this story isn't about Jasper, after all, it is about William and Morgan. William surely had impressed Jasper so much that he consented to the marriage between William and his daughter Joan Tudor. The Wars of the Roses were over at this point, their marriage legitimised, and they had a son, Morgan ap William.

Now with the ascension of Jasper's nephew Henry VII (whom much time was spent with Jasper in his younger years) to the throne of England, and William with his status of top archer, William made the obvious choice. He brought his family to London to join in King Henry VII's entourage.

As the years went on, Morgan grew up and married a woman named Catherine from Putney, just outside London, daughter of a brewer who ran his own alehouse in that town. Little did Morgan know in the years to come that her younger brother (13 years between them, as Catherine was 22 when she married Morgan) will come to work for the royal family and again alter the course of English history.

19 June 2008

Great Britain Journey, part 4

Now to refresh everyone here's a link to
Great Britain Journey part 1
Great Britain Journey part 2
Great Britain Journey part 3

Day 22

-Depart Manchester
-Take the M56 toward Cheshire into North Wales.
-M56 to A55 through Conwy to Bangor
-Penrhyn Castle
-Snowdonia National Park

Day 23

-head south along the Welsh coast (A470 to A487) out of Gwynedd
-Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
-Pembroke Castle

Day 24

-A477 to A40 to A48 to M4
-All day in Cardiff
-Cardiff Castle

Day 25


Day 26


Day 27


Day 28


18 June 2008

Overheard this morning.

::in car commuting with carpooler KC::

::driving past a man picking something up out of a puddle::

KC: Someone lost their money and this guy's picking it up. Hope it was at least a 10 or something.
RB: Yeah, I don't think I'd stick my hand into a dank puddle for a dime.


RB: DANK. I like that word too, it's just fun.
KC: That's some DANK shit, mayne.

::laughter ensues::


Office speak phrase of the day:

"Let's get all of our arrows pointing in the same direction."

You may now commence with the eye rolling.

17 June 2008

Some of my favourite words.

Underwears. (yes, with the 's' on the end.)

There's my top 8. You got any words that you think are fun to say, just to say them to give you a giggle?

And there's a prize. 50 Redbeard bucks to the person who can write a sentence using all 8 words. Redbeard bucks only valid as legal tender currency in the Republic of Dalbonia.

16 June 2008

My wife the blogger

At Sparkle Plenty's suggestion, Jess has started her own blog. It can be found here.

In other news, I think I got Sierra to say Manny, but it sounds like "Man-mee" or "Man-man".

14 June 2008

Body Parts

Video courtesy of Jess, Mrs. Redbeard.

Also today Sierra graduated to a big girl bed. For the past week she's been screaming whenever we put her in her crib for a nap or down for bed. She would scream for almost an hour in come cases, and she would scream when she woke up, increasingly earlier and earlier each morning. For the past 2 mornings it's been at 4:30-4:45am.

At first we thought it might be the heat. We put the fan in her room, no change.

Then we thought that the light in the room coming through her southeast facing windows were keeping her up in the evenings and getting her up early in the mornings. We nailed blankets over her windows. This temporarily assuaged her crying for one night, then she was back to her old newish habits.

So this morning we took Jess' old single bed out of storage, knowing we were keeping it for Sierra when she is old enough. And now is the time. Taking down the crib was a lot easier than putting it together with no instructions (I had bought it secondhand from a co-worker). We put the bed together in no time although my wrists are quite sore from the ratcheting.

Sierra was absolutely giddy when we got her up in the bed. Now tonight will be the true test - what will happen when we put her down for the night unrestricted.

11 June 2008

Desert Island Disc

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only listen to one CD over and over, what would it be?

Mine without a doubt would be Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Raising Sand, for many reasons which I would love to go into detail, but I'll withhold that for the comments section.

How about you? You've been tagged.

[edited 11:30am 6/12/08] WAIT!!! I CHANGED MY MIND!!!

I want Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid as my Desert Island Disc. Utterly brilliant disc, I'm so glad to have been introduced to them, I need to go check out their back catalogue as well. I just listened to it twice the whole way through, and I could do with another listen to be completely honest.

06 June 2008

Workplace hijinks and nature

Click on the photos to enlarge.

It was extreeeemely cold the other day so CB decided to wear her fleece on her legs.

I was bored so I needed to amuse myself by drawing a watch on my hand. Notice the time. Never mind my pasty whiteness.

No doggie appearances this week, this was the closest we got - DF brought in a gift she was giving a friend of hers with a Dachshund.

You must bring us.... A SHRUBBERY! Yes, one with red on the tips. Ooh yes I quite like that.

The Zen garden, replete with heelstone.

The dandelions are all but gone, but in their place have come these peculiar red flowering weeds that are actually rather pleasant looking, with their shades of purple in their stems.

A patch of the red flowering weeds.

At the crest of the hill stands what looks like a smokehouse or maple sugaring shack. Definitely abandoned, the sign above what used to be the door says "The Treehouse / Welcome".

The view from the crest of the hill looking across scenic VT route 100 to the hills of Waitsfield.

Clouds cling low to the mountaintops opposite from the lush green football/soccer/lacrosse fields on this leaden-skied day.

Oh, and the Red Sox emptied the dugout last night in a huge brawl. But of course you already know that. We won, too. The game that is, not necessarily the fight.

01 June 2008

Random photos from holiday

Sierra sitting in her toys again.

Bleeding hearts from mom-in-law's garden.

Sierra feeding Shelby cubers (ice cubes).

Sierra and her cousin Charlotte in NY. They're growing so fast.

Rebecca (9 days old in the photo) and her uncle Redbeard.

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