Saturday, January 27, 2018


The name «Couture» finds its origin in medieval France. Indeed, in ancient French, a «costure» designated an agricultural land. The writer Chrétien de Troyes uses this word in his famous story entitled «Perceval», which was written in 1170. All the Coutures of North America have a common ancestor, Guillaume Cousture, who arrived in New France around the year 1640. Born in Saint-Godard-de-Rouen, Normandie, young Guillaume had chosen to offer his services to the Jésuites. We can safely assume that he was recruited in Normandie by father René Goupil. This marked the beginning of an adventurous life where he brushed with death on many occasions. Goupil left for New France in the summer of 1640. Cousture was quite probably already here since 1637-38. As soon as 1641, Cousture had learned many native dialects, which made him a precious asset for the young colony. Also, his talents as a carpenter were very appreciated. He apparently built a chapel in a mission called «Sainte-Marie», near the Georgian Bay. On June 26th, Guillaume Cousture decided to give the lands he inherited from his father to his mother and sister who had remained in France. The young man then in his twenties had already decided that his destiny would be in the New World. In 1642, Cousture left Trois-Rivières for an expedition in the Huronie, with fathers Isaac Jogues and René Goupil and 19 Huron native tribemen. In the vicinity of lake Saint-Pierre, the small convoy was attacked by a group of about 80 Iroquois warriors. As the battle raged, Cousture managed to shoot one of the chiefs with his pistol, but the battle was nevertheless lost. Cousture managed to escape but, upon realising his friends had been captured, decided to return on the scene of the attack where he was captured himself. Thirsty for revenge, the Iroquois captured the French and Hurons travellers and tortured them. Father Jogues tells us of these events in his notes. Here is an approximate translation in English. «Cousture, who had killed one of their chiefs in the combat, was exposed to their whole fury. They undressed him and beat him up with wooden sticks. They ripped out his fingernails with their teeth and stabbed a sword through his hand. One of the savages cut off half of his right middle finger. The pain was all the more unbearable since he did not use a knife, but a piece of shell. Since he could not cut the slippery nerve, the savage twisted it and pulled with such violence, that a nerve the lenght of the arm came out. The arm became prodigiously swollen». The two Jésuites went through similar horrible torture and Goupil was finally assassinated with an axe because he had made the sign of a cross on the forehead of an Iroquois child. Jogues will also be killed later, like many other Jésuites such as Father Jean de Brébeuf. These brave men are now known as «les Saints Martyrs Canadiens» (the holy Canadien martyrs). Jogues was lucky and managed to escape in November 1643 with the help of the Dutsch. Couture also had his chance then, but he decided to stay behind so he wouldn't compromise his friend's chances. Cousture, as was required by Iroquois tradition, was sent to another village and given to the widow of the warrior he had killed. She was to decide his fate. He witnessed the torture and execution of the brave Huron warrior, Ahatsistari (he later told the tale to father Jogues who wrote it down). Afterwards, he was adopted by the widow who treated him like a member of the tribe. She saw to his recovery and treated his wounds. He later confided in his friend Jogues and told him that, despite many offers, he had remained true to his vows as a "donné". Cousture shared the life of the Iroquois and learned about their language, culture, beliefs and traditions. He became a valued member of the village and was soon invited to join the tribe council. He thus became the first and one of the only Frenchmen to ever win the confidence and friendship of the Iroquois. When he returned to the colony in 1645, the valiant Normand accompanied chief Kiotseaeton and his followers to Trois-Rivières. They were invited by the governor Huault de Montmagny to negociate a new peace. Upon their arrival, people hesitated to recognize Cousture who was dressed like an Iroquois and who was believed dead, but "as soon as he was recognized, everyone hugged him and he was looked upon as a resurrected man". The summit was a great success and peace was signed between the Mohawk tribe and the French, thanks in great part to Cousture who had convinced his Iroquois friends of his compatriots' noble intentions. It is then that he realized that he was in an excellent position to negociate a permanent truce between the entire Iroquois nation and France. He decided to return with the Indian ambassadors to encourage peace. In 1646, Cousture asked to be relieved of his vows(Church vows), probably so he could marry a Iroquois woman (although no documents can prove this). He continued to negociate the peace he dreamed of with the different Indian nations. He was about to succeed when, on October 18th 1646, fathers Jogues and Lalande who had been sent as emissaries to the Iroquois were ruthlessly massacred. Negociations were abruptly stopped. The Algonquins and Hurons were pleased of this turn of event because they desired the monopoly of the commerce with the French. Refusing to be discouraged, Cousture left for the Huronie in 1647 to renew the truce with the Iroquois. His efforts were met with failure but upon his return to Trois-Rivières, he was welcomed as a hero by the local populations. Father Jacques Buteux gave him the nickname "the valiant Cousture" (le valeureux Cousture). In that same year, Cousture established himself in Pointe-Lévy in the seigneurie of Lauzon. He thus becomes the first settler of Lévis, where his statue stands today on Saint-Joseph street. On November 18th 1649, he married Anne Aymard who was born in the Poitou. The wedding was celebrated in the Cousture house that Guillaume had previously built himself. This union would give no less than 10 children! Although Cousture wanted nothing more than a quiet peaceful existence spent with his new wife on their farm, the authorities asked for his help again. His experience with the Indians was very valuable and unequaled. In 1657, he served as interpreter for the Onondagas nation. In 1661, he joined an expedition whose mission was to find a way to reach the North Sea by land. Sadly, the Frenchmen had to abort the mission when they were abandoned by their Indian guides. Two years later, governor Dubois Davaugour named Guillaume Cousture commander of a new expedition towards the Greath North. On this important voyage, Cousture was joined by two Frenchmen, Pierre Duquet and Jean Langlois, and by a large number of Indians who accompanied them in 44 canoes. They left in May, paddled up the Saguenay and reached lake Mistassini on June 26th. A storm surprised them and they found themselves covered by one foot of snow! The group continued nonetheless and arrived to a river that, according to the Indians, "flows in the North Sea" (Rupert River). The Indians refused to go any further and they all headed back south. Cousture established new contacts with the northern tribes and found them to be much more peace-loving than the Iroquois and Hurons. A lake in Québec's north now bears his name. Cousture was the owner of a lot situated in the lower part of Québec City from 1658 to 1668. Impossible to say if he actually ever lived there, but we know he started building a house on it in 1667 and sold it in 1668. It is situated on 53, Sous-le-Fort street (lot 2285). In 1666, Cousture was sent to New Holland by the governor to protest against the murder of two French officers. He arrived in the Iroquois village and ordered that they surrendered the murderers, otherwise France would organize an expedition against them. On September 6th, he was back in Québec with the two Mohawk assassins. This expedition was to be his last. Around 1666, he was named captain of the côte de Lauzon militia. The 1667 census informs us that he was cultivating 20 acres of land and owned 6 beasts. Cousture was then named to the very prestigious office of "Juge-Sénéchal". It appears that he might also have served as local notary on occasions. Clearly a leader of the Lauzon community, he demanded in 1675 that a priest be assigned permanently to the seigneurie. Despite the prestige of his responsibilities and of his accomplishments, in the census of 1681 he simply declared himself "a carpenter". In 1690, during the British siege of Québec, story goes that the militia captain (then about 73 years old Cousture) and his men managed to keep the British troops from landing in Lauzon. On several occasions, he was invited to sit at the colony's Sovereign Council (Conseil souverain) when one of the regular members (the governor, the intendant or bishop) was unable to attend. The valiant Cousture passed away on April 4th 1701. The final resting place of this great hero of New France remains a mystery.
Cousture's signature Guillaume Cousture is the ancestor of all the Coutures of America, but not all his descendants bear his name. Of his six sons, only one (also named Guillaume) will keep the original family name (from which the "s" has now disapeared). Jean-Baptiste, the older son, becomes the ancestor of the Lamonde family. Charles takes the name of Lafrenaye, Eustache chooses to be called Bellerive and Joseph-Odger will be known as La Cressonnière. The daughters will also marry, and in so doing become the ancestors of the Côté, Couillard, Marsolet and Bourget families. Guillaume's descendants can now be found all over North America, mostly in Quebec but also in Canada and in the United States. I have recently learned that some American descendants now spell their name "Cutcher". Guillaume's statue can be seen in Lévis, on the south shore of the Sainte-Laurent, opposite Québec city.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Early Dubuque, Iowa History

Spain gained control of the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River following the 1763 defeat of the French in the Seven Years' War; the British took over all territory to the east, as well as Canada. The first permanent settler in what is now Dubuque was Quebecois pioneer Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. In 1788, he received permission from the Spanish government and the local Meskwaki American Indians to mine the area's rich lead deposits. Control of Louisiana and Dubuque's mines shifted briefly back to France in 1800, then to the United States in 1803, following the Louisiana Purchase. Dubuque died in 1810. The Meskwaki continued to mine with full support of the U.S. Government until 1830, when the Meskwaki were illegally pushed out of the mine region by American prospectors. Saint Mary's, one of 11 Catholic churches in Dubuque.
The current City of Dubuque was named after Julien Dubuque, settled at the southern end of a large flat plain adjacent to the Mississippi River. The city was officially chartered in 1833, located in unorganized territory of the United States. The region was designated as the Iowa Territory in 1838, and was included in the newly created State of Iowa in 1846. After the lead resources were exhausted, the city became home to numerous industries. Dubuque became a center for the timber industry because of its proximity to forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and was later dominated by various millworking businesses. Also important were boat building, brewing, and later, the railroad industry. In 1874, the Diamond Jo Line moved its company headquarters to Dubuque. Diamond Jo Line established a shipyard at Eagle Point in 1878. Just two years later, the company was the largest employer in Dubuque, putting 78 people to work, 75 of whom worked at the shipyard while earning $800–$1,000 per week in wages. Between 1860 and 1880, Dubuque was one of the 100 largest urban areas in the United States. Iowa's first church was built by Catholics in 1833. Since then, Iowans have followed a variety of religious traditions.

Grandmother Julia

(Photo taken early 1920s at home in Alder, WA) Grandmother Julia Greenwood, changed from Boisvert (Boisvert means greenwood in French). Born 1889 in Dubuque Iowa. Julia's Father was French Canadian with Huron decent and her Mother's Family imagrated from the Isle of Man (island between England and Ireland). After Julia was married she moved to Alder, Washington. Later moving to Oregon until her death in 1970. Julia was a direct decent of the first French Settlers of Nova Scotia and present-day Quebec.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


The following reflects the past 400 years of my genealogy. The two prerequisites required to validate a origin were a historical record backed by a DNA result. Although geological research is never ending, the following results have taken many years of research from my paternal Grandmother and I. My Uncle Jim has done alot of work on my Mother's side and that has helped solidify her family origin. Without further ado my past 400 years of records backed with DNA concludes that I am Norwegian, New World settler (English), Slovak/Hungarian, Algonquin/Huron-Ojibway, New France settler (Quebecois & Acadian), German, Eastern Band/Lumbee, Irish and Isle of Man (English). If you're on my mother's side we share: Norwigian and New World settlers (English). DNA also reflected traces of Western Europe, Iberian Peninsula, Irish/Scottish/Welsh and Eastern Europe DNA. If you're on my Father's side then we share (Most of the world) Scandinavian, New World settler (English), Slovak/Hungarian, Algonquin/Huron-Ojibway, New France settlers (Quebecois & Acadian), German, Eastern Band/Lumbee and Isle of Man (English). Further back, DNA also reflected a connection with Irish, European Jew, and Middle to far East Asia, one in Africa and Italian. All of these are residual DNA traits carried from the other orgins already mentioned. Strangely enough, we carry so many different orgins of DNA that Ancestry DNA doesn't even automatically give our DNA description on our profile view. 23&me did a better job capturing the multitude of diversity. Ancestry DNA did a better job of genealogy tracing and connection. DNA was collected from my Grandmother, Father and Mother. I used Ancestry DNA, 23&me and My Heritage. My samples were also tested in various other research sites to find common ancestors such as Gedmatch, and also some Canadian research labs. Records gathered were mainly sourced from censes, baptismal, marriage and death records. Some additional family photos and records were given by other DNA + family tree match members. Information was also given to me by numerous volunteers from different genealogical societies. French Canadian records were assisted by historians and tribal members in Quebec, Canada. I received assistance in translating French records from volunteers at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA and fellow members of the St Louis Geological Society. I plan to occasionally post historical documents/stories in the future.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Grandpa


I wrote this the day after my grandpa passed away last year.  I wanted to read it at his funeral but to be honest; I don’t think I would have been able to deliver it all the way through.  It’s not a long story but the details impact my life every day. I have been very blessed to have such a great and caring family and I feel my Grandpa helped spearhead this caring quality. 

My Grandpa was born on February 12th, 1927 and died January 7th, 2013 in his house in Oakland Tacoma, Washington. This area of Tacoma has changed a lot since my Grandpa’s adolescent years. Many things look different now. As a child and later as an adult I asked my grandparents a lot of questions about their history. I remember when I was around 8 years old I talked to my Grandpa about what Tacoma looked like when he was a kid. He painted a picture of forests with many trees, deer, and many things that I could no longer see in the city now completely filled with concrete. He talked of stories, in which he and his friends would play in the hills of Oakland and how they turned their world into the Old Wild West when they played Cowboys and Indians. 

He also talked about areas of what is nowadays a city where he and some childhood friends caught frogs, captured bugs and got into little trouble. As I became an adult, he elaborated on his stories and let me hear of more details about the trouble, he managed to get himself into. As he grew older his rowdy behaviour wasn’t only confined to the local Tacoma area. On one occasion, He made his way all the way to the Bald Hills near an unfamiliar town called “Yelm”. He also talked about far off places like San Francisco, California and the faraway lands of the Philippines. I was always surprised to hear some of the stories my grandpa told me. For the first time in my life, I realized my Grandpa was a human in the full sense of the word. I spent the greater part of my youth with this crazy misconception thinking my Grandpa never sinned or even had the ability to sin. After returning home from WWII, my grandpa was invited to church, and it was there in his early twenties that he asked the Lord Jesus Christ to enter his heart. Although his life took its turns after receiving the Lord, he emulated how a Husband/Father/Grandfather/Friend should act. He could have never done this on his own. John 5:30 says: “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will”. My Grandfather was able to accomplish this by being faithful to the Lord and attending church to account for and to grow with the help of the scriptures in order to fulfil God’s will.
Two things I admired most about my Grandpa were how he treated all of his grandchildren. He somehow had the ability to make each of us feel special. The other was his generosity: I can’t recall any of his children or grandchildren that didn’t spend at least a week or even a whole year living in his house for one reason, or another. John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you”.
Well Grandpa, you were a faithful son and are now enjoying our heavenly father’s house in a new body without pain and serving the Lord for eternity. Although we miss you, we know we’ll be together very soon.

The following things remind me of my grandparents and I know many members of our family share the same memories:

Snow white hair              
Norwegian wool sweaters
Black buffed shoes
Cuffed rolled shirts
Old black TV remote with rubber bands
Old spice canister on a war-room shelf
Multiplying nutcrackers rising up a flight of stairs
Corgi dogs with short-man syndrome (Thore + Rosie)
Dog bones in car trunk
Peppermint Altoids
Junior mints
Shrinking Mailbox
Coo Coo Clocks
Peanut bridle “Not quite right”
Fudge “Not quite right”
Fruit cake
Berry butter nuts
Buffalo cow patties aka (Grandpas Salisbury Steak)
Butter milk in a glass, a small glass for me
Christmas music in May
Leif Erikson Day
Leisure time resort
“Chinese made garbage”
Coffee or milk with old fashion donuts
Fred Meyer croissants
Basement workout gym
TBS bench seat cushions
Work days with Grandpa
Ab roller wheel
Black coal for fireplace
Basement cupboards filled with Board Games
Personal Snake Lake tour guide, Superman Tree.
Arm muscle made by blowing into a thumb
Survivalist spirit with a nettle throbbing tong
Green Cowboy boots
Empty egg cartons
Tickle back after big family dinner with egg cracks on our head
Cotton balls filled with fragrant oil.
Little army of trolls
Cinnamon rolls
and so much more...

Thank you, Grandpa and Grandma, for always being there and for all the memories we shared. I am looking forward to passing your traditions down to our children and pray that we can use some of your examples with prayer to keep our family relationships strong.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The good Apple…

There were three salesmen who had finished a busy week of work and were hurrying through an airport to catch their flight home. They looked forward to being back with their respective families for the evening meal. As they hurried along, one of the salesmen inadvertently bumped a table where a young woman was selling apples. His carelessness overturned one of the baskets and spilled the contents all over the floor. The men never stopped, but hurried on hoping to catch their flights, which they did except for one of the salesmen. One of the men was a Christian, and his conscience bothered him greatly about the problems they caused for the apple girl. He told the other men to go on without him and that he would call his wife and tell her he was catching a later flight. Then the man went back to the table where he found the sixteen-year-old, totally blind girl sobbing softly as she fumble along the floor trying to retrieve her apples. The man told her he was sorry for the problems he and his friends had caused. He picked up all the apples and put them back in the basket. In the process, he discovered that some of the apples had been damaged in the disaster so he set them aside in another basket. After he had cleaned up the mess, and put things back in order, the man reached into his wallet and pulled out $20. “Here” he said handing it to the girl, “I hope this will pay for the damage we have done.” Then the man turned to go and arrange for a new flight home. When he turned to go the girl said, “Sir, are you Jesus?” For a long time afterward that question bounced around in the man’s soul.

“Are you Jesus?” Isn’t that our goal in life? Not to be Jesus but to be like Jesus. When it’s all said and done, isn’t our desire to reflect the character of Jesus that people would not be able to tell us apart? I have decided not to let the minor “human” defects of man bring me to dwell on trying to understand why peoples hearts caulis. Life on earth is short, shorter for some then others; I’d rather spend time on earth with friends and family enjoying their company and battling satins opposition. With the Lords aid, our common goal/duty should be to help in the rescue of as many souls as possible.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is amazing History. Early Americans used to put quarters into a machine to receive day old information. The product was made of paper and was known to leave your hands black after handling. Many Rural Americans relied on this daily read as a way to start fires in their wood stove.

Below is a documentary on a business that was referred to as the “Video Rental Store” History is great.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Tale of Gelert – The perfect lesson of judging to quickly.

Prince Llywelyn once received a greyhound from King John, and the hound soon became his favourite. Faithful as any hound had ever been, and gentle as a lamb, the hound was also a lion at the chase. One day, Llywelyn prepared to leave on the hunt, he gave call to his noble hound with his hunting horn. All his other hounds came at the call, but not his faithful Gelert. Llywelyn could wait no longer, and so left on his hunt.

When Llywelyn returned to his castle, who should be waiting to greet him but Gelert! As the hound bounded closer to greet him, Llywelyn was startled to notice that Gelert's lips and fangs were covered with blood. Now Price Llywelyn had a son, barely a year old, and as Llywelyn recalled how Gelert and his young son used to play together, a terrible thought came to his mind. He rushed to his son's nursery, only to find the cradle overturned and the sheets covered in blood. Llywelyn looked frantically for his son, but couldn't find him anywhere, only the evidence of much blood and a struggle within the nursery. Turning to Gelert, whose muzzle was still wet with blood, Llywelyn came into a great rage and cried, "Thou hast killed my only son!", and drew his sword and drove it into the side of the hound. Gelert yelped once and with a sorrowful look into Llywelyn's eyes, died at his master's feet.

At the sound of Gelert's last yelp, there was a small cry from beneath the overturned cradle. When Llywelyn righted it, who should he find beneath it but his small son, safe and unharmed, and as well the torn and bloodied body of a huge wolf. Too late Llywelyn discovered what had really happened while he was away. Gelert had stayed behind to guard the child, and had fought and slain the wolf that had crept into the nursery.

In vain was Llywelyn's grief, for he could not revive his faithful hound. He erected a tomb in the valley in honour of his friend, calling it 'Bedd Gelert' or the 'Grave of Gelert', the namesake of the town Beddgelert, in northern Wales.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Beers of Martin Luther

-Luther's Favorite

Because he traveled, Luther could have had many of favorite beers, but there is only one with claims to the effect that it was his favorite. Frederick Salem, in his Beer, Its History and Its Economic Value as a National Beverage (1880) notes, "Luther's fondness for beer is well known, and on the evening of that eventful day at Worms, April 18, 1521, the Duke Erich von Braunschweig sent him a pot of Eimbecker (Einbecker) beer, to which he was specially fond of."
Also, Michael Jackson, in his New World Guide to Beer (1988), notes that Luther received a gift of Einbeck beer on the occasion of his wedding. Luther scholar Luther Peterson recalls a visit to a restaurant in Einbeck where he found a beer coaster with portraits of Martin and Katie on one side and a tale about their receiving a barrel of Einbeck beer as a wedding present. Although he adds, "How authoritative a beer coaster can be is another question."
Einbeck beer was known as early as 1325 and in One Hundred Years of Brewing (1903) is said to be the most famous beer of the Middle Ages, available everywhere in Germany and shipped as far as Jerusalem. It began with two thirds barley malt, one third wheat malt. Kiln-dried malt was not used as the beer was to be "yellow in color and clear." It was a top fermentation beer. The author noted that it was vastly different from the present (i.e. 1903) top fermentation beers, nor to be compared to either the normal beer (probably lager), or the weiss beer, or the double-brew (probably doppelbock) beer. It was brewed only in winter, from about St. Martin's day at the end of September until the first of May. As the beer kept its quality very long, enabling it to be shipped far away, it stands to reason that it was not only rich in malt, hence in alcohol, but also strongly hopped.
Von Bergzabern's Herbal, the 1613 edition, is also quoted in One Hundred Years of Brewing, and describes Einbeck beer as "thin, subtle, clear, of bitter taste, has a pleasant acidity on the tongue, and many other good qualities."
Einbecker evolved into the Bock style that flourishes to this day -- an extra strong beer, malty with a smooth hop finish. We can be sure, however, that the Einbecker beers enjoyed by Martin Luther tasted nothing like the Einbecker Ur-Bocks of today. In Luther's day, Einbecker was a top-fermented beer made with a large portion of wheat and fermented with multiple yeast strains, each vying to impart its own flavor to the beer. The thin, acidic quality noted in 1613 was probably a product of bacterial infection at the start and the multiple yeast strains, plus wild yeast from the air, all working together to ferment every last bit of sugar.
With today's pure yeast cultures, only 75% or so of the sugars are consumed in fermentation, leaving some sweetness and body. And because today's Bocks are bottom-fermented with a single yeast strain, they are far cleaner and simpler in taste. In spite of the evolution from Einbecker to Bock beer, the Luther identification has remained strong. In the 20th century, an Einbeck brewery even used a portrait of Luther on its label when its beer was first imported into the U.S.
If you do wish to drink beers similar to the beers Luther drank, the closest you will come are probably today's Belgian Abbey Ales. Their top fermentation, complex flavors, full attenuation, and highly individual character are all in keeping with the beers of the monasteries that Luther knew as a young man, and with many more of the beers of Luther's time.

-Luther on Commercial Brewers

As much as Luther loved beer, he did not love commercial brewers. One evening over dinner he noted, "Whoever it was who invented the brewing of beer has been a curse for Germany... Horses devour the greatest part of the grain, for we grow more oats than rye. The good peasants and the townspeople drink up almost as much of the grain in the form of beer." And on another occasion at the table, he said, "No doubt (Adam) was a very sensible man and well practiced in a variety of trials. He lived most temperately and drank neither wine nor beer. I wish brewing had never been invented, for a great deal of grain is consumed to make it, and nothing good is brewed."

-Luther on Homebrew

Luther much preferred homebrew. After Luther married, his wife Katie brewed beer as the lay brothers had brewed it in days gone by. Luther Peterson notes that Martin often began his written invitations to friends with the note that Katie had made him another barrel of beer. Once in 1535, while away from home, he wrote to her about some bad beer he had drunk 'which did not agree with me... I said to myself what good wine and beer I have at home, and also what a pretty lady, or lord.' Here's an endorsement of homebrew, and very diplomatically put as well.
We know that Luther drank at home. One biographer notes, "The German prophet became a patriarch, and the living room was dominated by his presence. He enjoyed his beer and had a great mug with three rings on it, one 'the Ten Commandments', the next 'the Creed' and third 'the Lord's Prayer'. He boasted that he could encompass all three with ease."
Luther also drank the local beer with friends, noting in one sermon delivered at Wittenberg in 1522, "I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it."
Beer had other virtues for Luther. All his life, he was troubled with constipation and insomnia, but in a letter to Katie while he was traveling, he mentioned the excellent local beer with its laxative qualities, "three bowel movements in three hours." On another occasion, he wrote to say how well he was sleeping because of the local beer, but that he was as "sober as in Wittenberg."

-Luther on Moderation

Above all, Luther was a champion of moderation. In his Sermon on Soberness and Moderation, delivered on May 18, 1539, he noted:
"It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish... all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one's pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven [cf. Gal. 5:19-21]... If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling... You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated."

These notes were written for a speech on "The Beers of Luther's Germany," given to the Men's Breakfast at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, New York, in April 1997.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Little Known Facts

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

Amount American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served first class: $40,000.

City with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong.

State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

Average number of days a West German goes without washing his underwear: 7 (I wonder how they discovered THIS?
This wasn't original research on my part.)

Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

Average number of people airborne over the US at any given hour: 61,000

Percentage of Americans who have visited Disneyland/Disney World: 70%

Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The youngest pope was 11 years old.

Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.

First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobileservices (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did notre-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of old when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.

Janet Reno used to be female.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them would burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2nd, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from and old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

An ostrich's eye is bigger that it's brain.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

David Prowse was the guy in the Darth Vader suit in Star Wars. He spoke all of Vader's lines, and didn't know that he was going to be dubbed over by James Earl Jones until he saw the screening of the movie.

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.

The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.

The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

Cat's urine glows under a blacklight.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have 1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.

No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl.

The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League all-stars Game.

The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan."

One pail of water can produce enough fog to cover 100 square miles to a depth of fifty feet.

Thomas Edison was a judge at the first “Miss America” beauty contest in 1880.

At least fifteen million people are having a birthday today.

Which state was the 39th to be admitted into the Union? No one knows. North and South Dakota, the 39th and 40th states, were admitted on the same day. President Benjamin Harrison never revealed which of the two proclamations he signed first.

In 1906, the horse-drawn traffic in New York City moved of 11.5 miles per hour. In 1978, a survey showed automobile traffic in New York City averaged only 7.9 miles per hour.

What kind of animal did the three wise men ride on their journey to Bethlehem? The Bible doesn’t say they rode anything. According to Scriptures, it is entirely possible that they walked.

Felix Wankel, automotive engineer and inventor of the rotary engine, never had a driver’s license.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond adventure novels.

The elephant is the only animal that cannot jump.

A cheetah can jump from a standstill to 45 miles per hour in two seconds — an acceleration rate that cannot be matched by even the fastest dragsters.

The five interlocking Olympic Rings are colored black, blue, red, white, and yellow because at least one of those colors appears in every national flag in the world.

Almost 50% of bank robberies take place on Friday.

By law, citizens of Vermont must take at least one bath a week.

In Oklahoma, dogs need a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate on private property in groups of three or more.

In Roanoke, VA, it’s illegal to advertise on tombstones.

It’s illegal to put coins in your ears in Hawaii.

Little known doesn't mean not useful. There are many things most people don't know that can be extremely useful. A few of these follow.

If an item can't be removed from your credit report, you have the right to add a 100-word explanation to it, permanently. Anyone who receives the report will see your explanation. If, for example, you had an argument with a doctor over a charge, you can explain the details.

It's possible to get free x-rays. Some dental schools will x-ray your mouth for free, if you have the patience to sit there while the instructor coaches the student through the process. You then get your x-rays to take to the dentist.

You can still find towns with nice houses you can buy for less than $30,000.

As of 2009, these include Altoona, Pennsylvania, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Independence, Kansas. Many more are listed on the web site: Houses Under Fifty Thousand .com.

You can buy two separate plane tickets to save hundreds. It cost $1750 to fly round trip from Traverse City, Michigan to Quito, Ecuador. That was the cheapest fare we found on any website. However, it was only $299 round-trip to Miami, and $405 round-trip from Miami to Quito. $704 total! Save over $1000 by buying two separate tickets.

It's impossible to fold a dollar bill in half eight times, doubling it each time. In fact, try it even with a large piece of paper. It can't be done. You can win a bar bet with this fact, so I'll classify this one among the interesting, funny AND useful little known facts.

Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.

Every person has a unique tongue print.

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means, "the king is dead".

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

All porcupines float in water.

The only nation whose name begins with an "A", but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan.

If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.

Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."

The phrase "sleep tight" derives from the fact that early mattresses were filled with straw and held up with rope stretched across the bedframe. A tight sleep was a comfortable sleep.

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. (note: if the rider's head is up the horse's rear, the rider died a politician.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Squirrel Meat – “It’s what’s for diner”

-From the field to the diner table-

I got this off Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Squirrel meat is considered a favored meat in certain regions of the United States where it can be listed as wild game. This is evidenced by extensive recipes for its preparation found in cookbooks, including older copies of The Joy of Cooking. Squirrel meat can be exchanged for rabbit or chicken in recipes, though it can have a gamey taste. Unlike the healthfulness of most game meat, the American Heart Association has found squirrels to be high in cholesterol.

-In the U.S.

In many areas of the U.S., particularly areas of the American South, squirrels are hunted for food. Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee mentioned his experiences eating squirrel during the South Carolina primary, saying that "When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper, because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorm, and we would fry squirrels in a popcorn popper in the dorm room." He later told Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert that squirrel constitutes "a Southern delicacy". The Ramapough Mountain Indian Tribe of New Jesery considered squirrel as an inherent tradition.

-In the U.K.

For most of the history of the United Kingdom, squirrel has been a meat not commonly eaten, and even scorned by many.
But in the early 21st century, wild squirrel has become a more popular meat to cook with, showing up in restaurants and shops more often in Britain as a fashionable alternative meat. Specifically, U.K. citizens are cooking with the invasive gray squirrel, which is being praised for its low fat content and the fact that it comes from free range sources. Additionally, the novelty of a meat considered unusual or special has added to the spread of squirrel consumption. Due to the difficulty of a clean kill and other factors, the majority of squirrel eaten in the U.K. is acquired from professional hunters, trappers, and gamekeepers.
Some British are eating the gray squirrel as a direct attempt to help the native red squirrel, which has been dwindling since the introduction of the gray squirrel in the 19th century. This factor was marketed by a national "Save Our Squirrels campaign that used the slogan, “Save a red, eat a gray!”

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Answer to the September quiz is!


The following are actual laws in different states. Which is one from Washington State?

*A. No person may walk about in public if he or she has the common cold.
RCW 70.54.050
Exposing contagious disease -- Penalty.

B. Persons may not live in a trailer as it is being hauled across the city.
C. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
D. Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bill Dance

Bill Dance Outdoors is a fishing television series hosted by retired professional tournament angler Bill Dance. I’ve been watching his show over the years and man does this guy have the worst luck. Here’s a few bloopers from some of his shows.