SPACE 2020! The Universe and (our home planet) EARTH

SPACE 2020! The Universe and (our home planet) EARTH 

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“Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity
Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me
A peaceful place, or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face
But afraid we may lay our home to waste”
– Grateful Dead “Throwing Stones”

NOTE: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

Meteor Showers

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January 3-4, Quadrantid meteor shower peak: A meteor shower January 1-5. The Quadrantids produce up to 40 shooting stars an hour at the peak; but in 2020, there may be up to 100 meteors an hour during the Jan. 3-4 peak. The first-quarter moon sets just after midnight, leaving dark skies for optimum viewing conditions.

April 22-23, Lyrid meteor shower peak: This meteor shower April 16-25. The Lyrids reliably produce 20 meteors an hour, sometimes with bright dust trails for several seconds. A relatively new moon will make for dark skies. Best viewing time is after midnight. The meteors radiate from the constellation Lyra but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

May 6-7, Eta Aquarid meteor shower peak: This meteor shower from April 19-May 28 produces up to 30 meteors an hour at its peak. Unfortunately, a supermoon will wash out all but the brightest meteors, though patience may be rewarded for those who seek out dark skies after midnight. The constellation Aquarius is the radiant point, but meteors are visible anywhere in the sky.

July 28-29, Delta Aquarid meteor shower peak: Produced by debris left behind by the Marsden and Kracht comets, this meteor shower produces about 20 meteors an hour July 12-Aug. 23. A second-quarter moon will wash out some of the faintest meteors. The meteors radiate from the constellation Aquarius but are visible anywhere in the sky.

August 12-13, Perseid meteor shower: If you can catch only one meteor shower in 2020, make it the Perseids, which produce up to 60 shooting stars an hour at the peak. The shower runs July 17-Aug. 24. A second-quarter moon will wash out some of the faintest meteors. The Perseids fly mainly after midnight and can be seen anywhere in the sky, though they radiate from the constellation Perseus.

October 7, Draconid meteor shower peak: The Draconids are a minor meteor shower with only about 10 shooting stars an hour; but occasionally, Draco the Dragon — the radiant point of the Draconids — breathes fire, and an outburst occurs. The shower runs October 6-10. Unlike other meteor showers, the peak viewing time is in the early evening hours. A second-quarter moon means viewing conditions should be good.

October 21-22, Orionid meteor shower peak: The Orionids run Oct 2-Nov. 7, and produce about 20 meteors an hour at the shower’s peak. Viewing is best after midnight, and a crescent moon will set before then. Produced by dust grains left behind by the comet Halley, the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Orion but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

November 4-5, Taurid meteor shower peak: The Taurids are active for longer than any other meteor shower of the year Sept 7-Dec. 10. The Taurids produceonly about five to 10 meteors an hour. What makes this shooting star show unusual is that the meteors come from separate debris streams — dust grains left behind Asteroid 2004 TG10 and debris from Comet 2P Encke. A first-quarter moon at the shower’s peak may block out all but the brightest meteors. After midnight is the best time to look for meteors, which radiate from the constellation Taurus but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

November 17-18, Leonid meteor shower peak: This average shower, produced by dust grains from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, runs Nov. 6-30 and produces about 15 meteors an hour at its peak. It’s unpredictable, though, and produces hundreds of meteors an hour during cyclonic peaks, which occur about every 33 years. That last happened in 2001, so don’t expect a cyclonic flurry this time. The best time to watch for Leonids is after midnight, and the crescent moon will already have set, leaving dark skies. The meteors radiate from the constellation Leo but are visible anywhere in the sky.

December 13-14, Geminid meteor shower peak: The only thing the Perseids have over the Geminids is that they occur in the summer when it’s comfortable to be outside. The Geminids, which run Dec. 7-17 every year, are known to produce up to 120 multicolored meteors at their peak. Produced by debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, this shower is best viewed after midnight. A nearly new moon will make for excellent viewing conditions. The meteors radiate from the constellation Gemini but are visible anywhere in the sky.

December 21-22, Ursid meteor shower: This minor meteor shower runs Dec. 17-25 and produces around five to 10 meteors at the peak. Viewing conditions are best after midnight. The first-quarter moon sets just after midnight, so dark skies will enhance meteor viewing. The meteors come from the constellation Ursa Minor but can be seen anywhere in the sky.

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Full Moons, Supermoons, Lunar Events

January 10, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
Native American tribes called the first full moon of the year the “Wolf Moon”. It is also called the “Old Moon” and the “Moon After Yule”. A penumbral lunar eclipse (when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra) will occur on January 10 but won’t be visible in the United States.

February 9, full moon and Supermoon:
The first of four 2020 Supermoons (moons that appear to be larger and brighter when they get closest to Earth). Heavy snow fell at this time of year, so they called it either the “Snow Moon” or the “Hunger Moon” because hunting was difficult.

March 9, full moon and Supermoon:
The second of the four 2020 Supermoons. It heralds the approach of spring. Native American tribes called it the “Worm Moon” to mark the time of year earthworms began working their way out of the newly thawed ground. It’s also called the “Crow Moon”, the “Crust Moon”, the “Sap Moon, and the “Lenten Moon”.

April 8, full moon and Supermoon:
The third of the four 2020 Supermoons is called the “Pink Moon” because it’s the time of year when wild pink ground phlox reappeared. The first full moon after the spring equinox is also called the “Sprouting Grass Moon”, the “Growing Moon” and the “Egg Moon”. Some coastal Native American tribes called it the “Fish Moon” to mark the time of year when they swim upstream to spawn.

May 7, full moon and Supermoon:
The last of four consecutive Supermoons of 2020. Native American tribes called it the “Flower Moon”. It’s also called the “Corn Planting Moon” and the “Milk Moon”.

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Supermoon!

June 5, full moon:
Native American tribes called this the “Strawberry Moon” to signal the ripening of the sweet fruit. It is also called the “Rose Moon” and the “Honey Moon”.

July 5, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
Native American tribes called it the “Buck Moon” because it’s when male deer begin growing antlers. It’s also called the “Thunder Moon” and the “Hay Moon”. And a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America and South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean and western Atlantic ocean. This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, called a penumbra, and the moon darkens slightly.

August 3, full moon:
Native American tribes called it the “Sturgeon Moon” because the large fish found in the Great Lakes and other major lakes were easier to catch at this time of the year. It is also called the “Green Corn Moon” and the “Grain Moon”.

September 2, full moon:
Native American tribes called it the “Corn Moon” because it signaled the time to begin corn harvests.

October 1, full moon:
This year the October full moon is also a “Harvest Moon”. It always occurs closest to the September Equinox. Native American tribes called it the “Hunter’s Moon”, because it’s the time of year when the game was fat and ready to be hunted. It is also called the “Travel Moon” and the “Blood Moon”.

October 31, full moon and a “Blue Moon”:
There’s a “Blue Moon” (the second full moon in the same month) on Halloween in 2020.

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“Blue Moon you saw me standing alone, 
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own”

November 30, full moon and penumbral lunar eclipse:
It is called the “Beaver Moon” by Native American tribes who trapped and hunted beaver before the swamps and rivers froze. It’s also called the “Frosty Moon” and the “Hunter’s Moon”. November’s full moon occurs as it passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the moon darkens slightly.

December 30, full moon:
Native Americans called it the “Cold Moon”. It’s also called the “Moon Before Yule” and the “Long Night’s Moon”.

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Equinoxes And Solstices

March 20, first day of Spring:
During the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night.

June 22, first day of Summer:
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the North Pole is directly over the Tropic of Cancer.

September 22, first day of Fall:
The Autumnal Equinox occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world.

December 21, first day of Winter:
Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the South Pole is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

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Planetary Events

February 10, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: The planet is 18.2 degrees from the sun, and will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. See the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
March 24, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the eastern horizon just before sunrise.
March 24, Venus at its greatest eastern elongation: Venus will make its closest approach to the sun, and will be at its highest point above the western horizon after sunset.
June 4, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: Mercury will again be close to the sun. Look for it low in the western sky just after sunset.
July 14, Jupiter at opposition: Jupiter is a giant planet, and when it makes its closest approach to the Earth, its face is fully illuminated by the sun. Jupiter is never brighter than at this time of year, making it an ideal time to view and photograph the planet and its moons. You’ll be able to see Jupiter all night, and a medium-size telescope should be powerful enough to reveal some of the details in the planet’s cloud zone. The moons should be visible through a good pair of binoculars.
July 20, Saturn at opposition: See Saturn’s ring and a few of its brightest moons with a medium-size or larger telescope when the planet makes its closest approach to Earth and it will be fully illuminated by the sun.
July 22, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
August 13, Venus at its greatest western elongation: Venus will be at its highest point above the eastern sky horizon just before sunrise.
September 11, Neptune at opposition: Neptune will be fully illuminated by the sun, and will be brighter than at any other time of the year. You’ll need a powerful telescope to see it as more than a tiny blue dot. It will be visible all night.
October 1, Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
October 13, Mars at opposition: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth, and it will be illuminated by the sun and the planet will be brighter than at any other time of the year and will be visible all night.
October 31, Uranus at opposition: Uranus will make its closest approach to Earth on Halloween, and it will be illuminated by the sun. Brighter than at any other night of the year, and will be visible all night. If you want to see it, you’ll need a powerful telescope.
November 10, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury’s last close appearance of the year. Look for it low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
December 21, rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn: These two planets appear within 7 arc minutes of each other, known as a “Great Conjunction” (last happened in 2000). They’ll be so close they will appear as one bright planet. Look to the western sky just after sunset to view it.

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“We have not inherited the earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” ~ Native American saying

NOTE: Ripped from patch.com and re-edited.
From Seaandsky.org, NASA.gov, Space.com and Earthsky.org

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Satellites to stars, NASA information, astronomy, the Sun and the planets!

NOTE: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

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The Galaxy Song by Monty Python
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you’ve had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,
Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
The sun that is the source of all our power.
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In the outer spiral arm, at 40, 000 miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars;
It’s a hundred thousand light-years side to side;
It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick,
But out by us it’s just three thousand light-years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go ’round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

apolo

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We previously shared a Blog Post that was very similar to this one!



 

“I Am The Pumpkin King!”

PUMPKIN TIME! 

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Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds

Q: Is Pumpkin a vegetable or fruit?

A pumpkin is a winter squash plant. Cucurbita pepo is the most common pumpkin.
They are round with a smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and most often they are orange.

A: Pumpkin is a FRUIT because it’s an edible seed-bearing structure of a flowering plant. Many fruits that are not sweet, like tomatoes, beans, green peppers, avocados, etc. are mistakenly called vegetables.

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Hollowed Out Pumpkin (with seeds and pulp removed)

Pumpkin, when sliced and cut, can be roasted, puréed into soup or baked into pies.
The pumpkin seeds are also edible and highly nutritious.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds!
Separate seeds from pulp using a colander and a bowl. The seeds float. Clear the pulp. Rinse seeds and pat dry (as dry as possible). Combine in a bowl with olive oil and salt.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place seeds on foil or on a sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Spice as desired. (We used curry-ginger-cayenne-salt-brown sugar on these)

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Pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. It’s a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that is converted into vitamin A. Pumpkin also contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and many others, which may protect cells against damage by free radicals. These compounds are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost the immune system. It is also a good source for of vitamin E, iron and folate which strengthen immunity as well. Pumpkin also has potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart and other health benefits.

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“I Am The Pumpkin King!”

More Pumpkin Stuff in our Previous Blog Post> HALLOWEEN 2019
And MORE COOL STUFF from our past Halloween Blog Posts,
use the SEARCH BOX on top of page^^^^^ or check the OCTOBER ARCHIVES>>>>

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ScaryWednesday!



 

HALLOWEEN 2019

HALLOWEEN 2019 (Still on October 31st, for now)

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TRICK OR TREAT?

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers
And strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls
Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still
That is the time when ghosts are present
Practicing their terror with ghoulish delight”

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Halloween, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve is still on October 31st for now.

“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers, ’tis near Halloween.”

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Try carving a Pineapple!

Julie Driscoll sings “Must Be the Season of the Witch!” with Brian Auger in 1968>

The Halloween traditions originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. During Samhain the souls of those who had died wold return to visit their homes, and those who died during the year were believed to journey on to the otherworld. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the first century, they added some traditions (like bobbing for apples) from the festivals of Feralia and Pomona, celebrating the passing of the dead and the goddess of the harvest respectively, to the ancient holiday.

“Trick or treat, bag of sweets, ghosts are walking down the street.”

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Chuck Barris! The Gong Show!

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“There is something haunting in the light of the moon.”

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW!
(always a classic, but extra fun for Halloween)
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”

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“Hey Riff, show us your mother!”

It’s astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes it’s toll
But listen closely
Not for very much longer
I’ve got to keep control

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I remember doing the Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me
And a void would be calling
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”

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It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight

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But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane……
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”

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It’s so dreamy
So fantasy free me
So you can’t see me, no not at all
In another dimension
With voyeuristic intension
Well secluded, I’ll see all

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With a bit of a mind flip
You’re into the time slip
And nothing will ever be the same
You’re spaced out on sensation
Like you’re under sedation!
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”

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Well I was walking down the street just-a havin’ a think
When a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink

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He shook me up, he took me by surprise
He had a pick-up truck and the devil’s eyes
He stared at me and I felt a change
Time meant nothing, never would again

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“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”
“Let’s do The TIME WARP Again!”

“In this 1975 cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named Rocky.”

“Be afraid … Be very afraid.”

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” – Bram Stoker

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It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Q: “Why are vampires like false teeth?  A: They all come out at night.”

Do you like scary stuff? Halloween is the perfect time to break out the horror films and spooky stories. Lots of good television too. Halloween holiday classics!

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Monster Chiller Horror Theater with Count Floyd! OOOOOOOOHHHH, Very Scary.

It’s a TOTALLY FUN HOLIDAY!
Costumes and PARTIES and CANDY!

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Musical genius Warren Zevon should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

“Every day is Halloween, isn’t it? For some of us.” – Tim Burton

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“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”

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“Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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“Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”

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Barbara Eden as Jeannie “Bewitched”

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“WANT SOME CANDY?”
What’s your favorite treat?

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“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.”

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“If you need me I’ll be in my coffin.”

Universal Pictures’ Classic Monsters
The horror-fantasy-thriller-science fiction films made by Universal Pictures 1920 – 1950. They were the first shared universe in the history of Hollywood. Beginning with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera (both silent films) starring Lon Chaney. Universal produced the monster franchises Dracula (with Bela Lugosi), Frankenstein (with Boris Karloff), The Mummy, The Invisible Man (with Claude Rains who also starred in the sound remake of The Phantom of the Opera), The Wolf Man (with Lon Chaney Jr.) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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NOTE: We stuffed this Blog Posts with cool stuff from our past Halloween Blog Posts, so if you want more, use the SEARCH BOX^^^^^ or check the OCTOBER ARCHIVES>>>>

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“I am wicked in many ways.”

Use these LINKS to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
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FULL Performance of Disneyland’s “The Cadaver Dans” during Mickey’s Halloween Party. This performance from Oct 8, 2013 on the Rivers of America in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hc_jcAEvsE

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THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW! (1975)

And then “DO THE MONSTER MASH!” (Boris Karloff on Shindig 1965):

“He did the mash. He did the monster mash!
The monster mash. It was a graveyard smash.
He did the mash. It caught on in a flash!
He did the mash. He did the monster mash.”

The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band do “The Monster Mash!”

“Hurry back…Hurry back… Be sure to bring your death certificate if you decide to join us. Make final arrangements now. We’ve been…dying…to have you!”
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“Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts!” Phineas, Ezra & Gus

“There was a lot more to magic, as Harry Potter quick found out,
than waving your wand and saying a few funny words.”

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A Masquerade Costume Party from the 1870s

 



 

The Company-of-Foote!

Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote!

This Blog is UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
Once again, the bug in wordpress’ save function forced us to publish…

at The Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)
at Black Point Forest, Novato in Marin County, California

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Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’83 at Black Point, Novato in Marin County, California

“Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.”
-Pistol (“The Merry Wives of Windsor” Act 2, scene ii by William Shakespeare)

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Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’84

This Blog is about the magical Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point Forest, Novato, in Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco, in the early to late 1980’s, produced by The Living History Centre (LHC) and the College of Renaissance Delights).

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“Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!” at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)

We have written about the Renaissance Faire before. You can read the previous Blogs “Phyllis Patterson RIP She Changed My Life” and “Return to the Paramount Ranch”, (and see pictures of) the old Southern Faire Site in Agoura.

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“Make Ye Way! Make Ye Way!”

In 1582, journeyman monger Eric Bacon left his home in Chipping-under-Oakwood and joined Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote mercenary soldiers. He went to Flanders to fight the Spanish and on his return to the Shire he faithfully served her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth for two more years (1583-84) as a Royal Guard and Chair Bearer during the Queen’s Progress through the annual Harvest Faire. “G-d Save The Queen!”

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Eric Bacon left Worthington’s Company-of-Foote honorably after the 1584 Harvest Faire. He joined The Fool’s Guild, became a follower of St. Stupid, and also “served” as the Lord Mayor’s Fool. For several years he was often seen walking the streets and wandering throughout the Shire after dark looking for trouble. He mysteriously vanished into the Woods of Holly in 1588, never to be seen again.

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In Spring of 1980 we were introduced to the fun of working at the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California by an older high school friend. In late summer of 1981, we began “carpool” commuting each weekend from Los Angeles to Marin County to visit and work at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point, Novato in Summer (and still working at the Southern Faire in Spring) as a street actor.

Costume Crew

In 1982, we were first hired as an hourly CREW employee by the Costume Department for a promotional fashion show at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood. We worked for the CREW Costume Department and continued to perform as a street actor first with the Mongers, and then with the Company-of-Foote, at the Northern Faire until 1985 when we began working for the Security Department as well as Costumes.

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When we moved to Santa Cruz for college we commuted to both the Northern and Southern Faire (and also the Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and Pier 45 in San Francisco) and we continued working for Living History Centre Security and Costume Departments until we graduated. We moved to Novato after college and worked the Northern Faire one more season in 1988, before moving back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. We continued to work Security at the Southern Renaissance Faire until 1994. We worked as a Walking Guard, Night Security, a Walking Lieutenant, Mobile Security (during the week on the Northern Lot in 1987), and then as Night Security and as the Front Gate Lieutenant after the Southern Faire moved from the Paramount Ranch in Agoura to Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore (San Bernadino), California in 1990.

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The Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

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Company-of-Foote Morning Muster and Drill at the “Front of Faire”

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The Elizabethan Cottage (Before) at the “Front of Faire”

Living History! Live Interactive Street Theatre! Hundreds of Costumed Performers!
The centerpiece of the the Northern Renaissance Faire was the daily parade, the “Queen’s Progress Through The Shire” to the Ben Johnson Stage for “The Queen Show” at 3pm each afternoon. Beginning at the Red Barn in the “Front of Faire”, Queen Elizabeth and her retainers would be joined by the Town Criers, the ER Band, the Nobles from the Royal Court, the Scots, the Irish, the Germans and the Guild of St. Cuthbert’s. Queen Elizabeth would be carried in “the Tudor Sedan” and guarded by the Company-of-Foote through the dense crowd to the stage. After the stage show, the Queen would continue with the parade to another destination within the Faire and/or return to the Red Barn staging area. On a few rare occasions we carried the Queen all the way through the Fairesite to “The End of The World” Alestand and back.

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Guardshack – Black Point Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

This was written for the original fb photo album a few years ago:
“RPFN early 80s – I’m not sure how it happened but I blame Pugsly. I’m marching in the parking lot at Blackpoint dressed in blue and carrying a pike wheeling to the left and right. It’s hot. It’s dusty. How did this happen to me at the Faire? So I marched with the company ’82-’84? I was a rear wheel on the Tudor Sedan for the hottest summer in history (actually two years). Rory and I both agreed that there’s no better workout at the Faire than carrying the Queen from the Red Barn to the End of The World and back in 100 degree heat! For my time with the Company-of-Foote, I must admit it was a great time with great people and lots of great fun (from what I can remember). So for those who were there, THANK YOU! For those who came later or missed the party, here are some pics I collected from others. And for those who are no longer with us, you are missed and remembered by your friend and comrades in arms.” – JoshWillTravel

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“Murph and the Magictones” The ER Band

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“Huzzah! Huzzah! The Queen!”

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The Art of Burlap Over “The Serpentine” (from above)

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“Long Live The Queen!”

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“Well met, Good Gentles! Well met!”

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“G-d Save the Queen!”

 

 

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Ben Johnson Stage from Alestand 3

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“The Golden Hind” at the Ben Johnson Stage

THE QUEEN SHOW!
(“Our Shire Welcomes The Queen” on the Ben Johnson Stage at Three O’the Clock!)

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Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth

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“Parade Rest!” Hurry Up, Then Wait.

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Big Shout Out To All The Water Bearers and Support People!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Nicholas Worthington & the Landsknecte (colorful German mercenary soldiers)

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“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Gone Too Soon! Our COF Friends who have gone on to “Sky-Faire” before us:
Auntie, Gleb Perfiloff, Charles Sanders, Thomas Willey, Robin Wadsworth RIP

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Many more of our dear Friends from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire have gone on to “Sky-Faire” too soon! We remember them all and there are too many to list here!

The “Neenster” wouldn’t be happy if we did a Blog about Northern Faire and didn’t include this amazing picture. It was taken at Monday Brunch on the lot while we were waiting for steak & eggs (as Reggie and Michael look on).

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“Neenster” RIP at Monday Brunch

And here’s a group pic of the Security CREW from “way back” (1985):

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Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Black Point is another place that is on the list of “Things That Aren’t There Anymore”, the land was sold and developed, and now there is another fine golf course and private community of multi-million dollar homes on the old Northern Faire Site.

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“Hay-Foote, Hay-Foote!”

NOTE: FULL DISCLOSURE! None of the pictures in this Blog post are mine! (Well, okay there are a couple…) They were ripped from the interweb over the years to remind us of the past and now have been used to illustrate our story. Not all of the pics are from the 1983-84 period, again they are used with “artistic license” to visually tell the tale. They are included for educational purposes only and not for commercial gain. BIG THANKS to all the photographers, if you want credit pm me. Also, as a member of the Costume CREW, these pictures are a part of my professional resumé as well as my personal history.

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Road Trip pt. 4 – Ashland, Oregon! Saturday in Lithia Park!

Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon! This is (the unfinished) PART 4 of the Oregon Road Trip.

Saturday morning, after a great breakfast at The Breadboard, and it was a beautiful day. It was still early, so I drove to Lithia Park and parked the car in one of the upper parking lots.  After driving all night, I found a quiet place, took a little nap and then went for a long walk.

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Lithia Park

Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Autumn in Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Autumn in Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love Lithia Park! It was recently voted one of the Best Parks in the United States.

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Travel Answers: Yosemite!

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOSEMITE!

HOW MANY DAYS IN YOSEMITE VALLEY? 

It depends on how much of the park you want to explore or if you just want to see Yosemite Valley.Allow at least three days! You should add more days if you want to really see everything! It also depends on how active a hiker you are. There are great things to do and many day trips with varying degrees of difficulty you can experience in and around the park.

WHAT ARE “MUST SEE” SIGHTS AND THINGS TO DO? 

In Yosemite Valley, ride the Shuttlebus, walk the valley paths and bridges, raft or inner tube down the river, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, picnic at Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, hike to the top of any of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley or to the top of Half Dome, climb El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Village and see the Visitor Center and the Ansel Adams Gallery, shop at Curry Village and be sure to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel.

REMEMBER YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY!

There are other areas to see within the park or just outside: Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Groveand the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees, Wawona Point (and historic hotel), skiing at Yosemite’s Badger Pass in winter), Bass Lake, Oakhurst, and many others. You should allow 1-3 days or more for each area depending on how active a hiker/camper/skier/snowboarder you are.

If you want to experience the backcountry as a backpacker/camper you should plan 3-14 day trips. there are great areas in and around the park. I’ve been to the Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Loop and down the South Fork Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, both of which were excellent backpacking trips! Be sure to learn the necessary skills and the park rules and regulations before entering the wilderness.

You are also close to Lee Vining, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake State Preserve which are near the east entrance to the park.

See also John Muir Trail and the Yosemite Park website for more info.

MOSQUITOES? 

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park! They primarily feed at dusk and dawn, but you should be prepared and use repellent all day and night if you have reactions. From the http://www.nps.gov website:

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, mainly during the summer. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors during these hours. Ticks cling to plants, waiting for a host (you) to walk by; walk down the middle of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use an effective insect repellent.
    Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents containing DEET or permethrin to repel ticks.

WHERE TO STAY?

Accommodations in the park range from tent and camp sites, RV sites, covered campsites, tent cabins, and hotel rooms. You need to make reservations for any of the concession vendors a long time in advance at nps.gov and there are lots of rules and regulations you need to be aware of before and during your visit.

In Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahnee Hotel is a luxury resort and the Yosemite Lodge at the Fallsis more of a family hotel/motel. Curry Village has tent cabins and some hotel/motel type rooms as well. There are a few campgrounds with covered camp sites, tent sites and rv sites if you want the full experience of “roughing it”.

The historic Wawona Hotel and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (tent cabins and campsites only) are both inside the park concessionaires on the rim of the valley. Near Wawona there is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees and skiing in winter at Yosemite’s Badger Pass and Toulomne Meadows and Tenaya Lake are worth the trip when the roads are open and there is a grove of Giant Sequoias there as well.

There are a number of hotels, condos for rent, cabins and campgrounds just outside the park too.

CAMPING?

Do you have a reservation? Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campground for summer are “sold out” before May! If you don’t have reservations, you can try to get a campsite in the valley on the day you are there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.

From the National Park Service website:

“Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS?

Reservations are required from about March 15 through November for Yosemite Valley’s car campgrounds and summer through fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and half of Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”

Here is the link to the nps.gov site: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

NOTE: Check and see if Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley is still available! If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are campgrounds in the park on the rim (about an hour from the valley) and just outside the park as well. Camp Wawona is on the rim near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc. Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.

COOKING IN YOSEMITE PARK?

INFO FOR WAWONA (AND OTHER) CAMPGROUNDS?

From the NPS.gov website: “Each campsite contains a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker [33″(D)x45″(W)x18″(H)], and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. You are required to store food properly in order to protect Yosemite’s bears.

In out-of-Valley campgrounds, fires are permitted at any time. Fires must always be attended and put out completely with water when not attended (do not let them smolder). Firewood collection (including pine cones and pine needles) is not permitted in Yosemite. We discourage visitors from bringing firewood from more than 50 miles away to prevent spread of forest pests. You can purchase firewood at stores near most campgrounds.

Camp wastewater must be disposed of in designated utility drains.”

The fire rings may have a grill, but you should plan on bringing EVERYTHING you want to have for cooking. There’s lots of information online about camping and camp cooking, so spend a little time researching “camp hacks” etc. so you’ll have some ideas.

Plan your meals, bring your ingredients and spices, if you’re car camping and you have room, bring the comforts you want. Keep it simple! Things you can cook in and with boiling water, things you can grill over a fire, things you can wrap in foil/cook in the fire, and things you don’t have to cook are best.

Remember to bring bottled WATER, cooking and eating utensils, can opener, corkscrew, trash bags and cleaning stuff that isn’t harmful to the environment!

HOW TO GET THERE?

If you’re flying in, you’re going to have to land in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland or Los Angeles. Each has it positives and negatives, so base your decision on the cost of airfare and then determine the best mode of transport from your destination city.

Rent a car (get unlimited mileage plus insurance) or take Amtrak (train and bus combo) from Los Angeles or San Francisco/Oakland. The bus will take you right into Yosemite National Park and drop you atYosemite Lodge at the Falls and it’s both less expensive and cleaner than driving! www.amtrak.com/san-joaquin-train

The drive from Los Angeles is about 6 hours, and you’ll travel the 5 freeway to interstate 99 through Bakersfield, Fresno and the Central Valley to interstate 41 into Yosemite.

The drive from the Bay Area is about 4 and 1/2 hours (could be longer with traffic) on highway 580 through San Leandro and Livermore to highway 205 through Manteca to interstate 120 into Yosemite.

NOTE: If you’re driving in the Sierra Mountains in the Fall, be prepared for rain and snow at higher elevations, some roads may require tire chains (sometimes a problem with a rental vehicle).

There are also tour companies that have chartered buses that will take you into the park, or backpack/bus adventure travel companies like Green Tortoise from San Francisco that include more than just transport: www.greentortoise.com/adventures/yosemite-national-park-tour-3d.php

NOTE: If you’re going to take a chartered bus, make sure the company is CA state licensed and check their safety and consumer record before buying a ticket!

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05-JUN-13: The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean's newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

From the Royal Caribbean blog: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2013/06/04/royal-caribbean-puts-quantum-seas-cruises-sale-general-public

My previous blog post on the Quantum of the Seas: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/introducing-royal-caribbeans-the-quantum-of-the-seas/

 

 

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26-MAY-13: Sometimes the best place to travel is your own backyard!

Sometimes the best place to travel is your own backyard!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

Chilling in the cement pond! - My Backyard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chilling in the cement pond! – My Backyard, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California  (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Another beautiful day in Los Angeles!  Perfect weather for a backyard BBQ!

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