Compleat Idler, Education

Scottish-Americans meet reality – Jacobites

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

NOTE:  This is a rant, not a detailed piece of scholarly history.  Much is relayed through different family traditions and I am not a Jacobite.

The season of Scottish-American pride draws to a close. Soon it will be October with the weather getting cooler and snowfall upon us making outdoor festivals less than pleasant—I remember freezing my buns at McPherson in late September after ditching my windbreaker in Estes two weeks earlier. My broken hip has, for the last few seasons, limited my ability to get to these gatherings and tweak the pride—though a good argument is probably the most Scots of that goes on.

My definition of modern Scots is as follows: A people of varied Celto-Norse heritage living north of England who, without English interference, would have annihilated each other centuries ago. The languages spoken are English, Scots (an English dialect originally called Inglis), Cymru, Gaelic (also called Erse or Irish), Norwegian and Glaswe (the dialect of Glasgow which does not appear mutually intelligible with any known language). Cymru, Gaelic and possibly Glaswe are Celtic (Seltic) languages. English, Scots and Norwegian derive from Old Norse.

I will start with the Jacobites because they are the easiest to describe, being a group of English and Scots aristocrats and bishops who preferred the profligacy of James II (VII of Scotland) to the hard money austerity of William of Orange (both of whom were descendants of Henry VII). We are here talking about the throne of England, the throne of Scotland not having much in the way of power or finances. No, kiddies, Bonnie Prince Charlie had no interest whatsoever in an independent Scotland.

Do not worry. Over the next few weeks I can dispatch Duncan the Wicked, his son Malcolm the Fat Head, Malcolm’s English second wife Margaret, Robert the Brus, the Stuarts and anyone else I can skewer.

Charles I had been removed as King by Parliament. The power of Parliament to choose the monarch goes back to the days of Henry VIII and his concern about the Spanish Princess Mary inheriting from him and restoring the bishops to outside control. He had hopes that Edward VI would grow into a powerful monarch destined for greatness, but gave Parliament authority to name Edward’s successor. Instead of naming Henry’s nephew James V of Scotland, They named Henry’s hapless niece Jane Grey, setting her up to last about as long as Macbeth’s successor Lulach. What happened in terms of greatness of Henry’s successors was that the throne eventually devolved on his younger daughter Elizabeth. And while Elizabeth of England eliminated her whiny, manipulative cousin Mary Stuart, when she died the throne went to Mary’s son James VI of Scotland. This was not because his mother was the rightful monarch but because his great-great grandfather was Henry VII—the Stuarts were in the Royal line because they were Tudors.

In 1688, a group of seven nobles persuaded William of Orange, James II’s nephew/son-in-law and his wife Mary to come to England to oust James. Mary believed her new half-brother to be a switch for a stillborn and feared the coming Catholicism. William arrived with his troops, the military switched sides and James, on his second attempt, was able to take a permanent vacation in France. Parliament declared the Throne vacant, disqualified Prince James Edward by disqualifying any Catholic, and made William King. Note: I determining “rightful” monarchs I follow the practical solution of recognizing the prevailing monarch in the fight.

The first Jacobite uprising was led by John Graham of Claverhouse (AKA Bonnie Dundee—see Sir Walter Scott’s notes in Old Mortality). Claverhouse slaughtered a bunch of Presbyterians at Killiecrankie—he enjoyed slaughtering Presbyterians. However, Claverhouse was killed and the movement sputtered.

Jacobites derive that name from Jacobus (Iacobus) Rex—the Latin for King James. The fact is that Parliament prohibited the issue of James II by his second wife from inheriting which left his two daughters, Mary and Anne, and his nephew William of Orange. Following the deaths of William and Mary, Queen Anne assumed the throne. Following the death of Queen Anne’s last son, Parliament passed the 1701 Act of Settlement which provided the English crown, in default of issue from either William or Anne, was settled upon “the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover” and “the heirs of her body, being Protestant.” As it happened, when Queen Anne died without issue in 1714, the crown went to Georg Ludwig, great grandson of James I. So we have the line from the Hanovers to the Stuarts to the Tudors.

Now the throne of England has a history of being transferred by military power. The most famous was in 1066. When Edward the Confessor died there were four claimants. The “rightful monarch,” grandson of Edmund Ironside stayed in Hungary and expected to be called. Harald Hardradi of Denmark invaded from the North, picking up support from Caithness and Orkney. In a fluke he was killed by the troops of Harold Godwinson who then marched his troops south to Hastings where he ran across William of Normandy. William’s Normans had lived in Normandy since his ancestor Ganger Hrolf had made a deal with Charles the Simple for land in exchange for stopping the raiders from the North from viking in Paris. The were basically Norsemen who spoke abominable French. So when George ascended the throne James Francis Edward Stuart, having been recognized as King by Louis XIV in 1702 decided to restore his rights.

The problem is that when you attempt a military solution against a recognized monarch you need a competent army, competent commanders and a coherent plan. Remember that when the Brus went up against Edward II at Bannockburn, he had 300 Norman cavalry stashed in surprise mode and he had more or less popular support. Scotland was not universally Jacobite. The Duke of Argyll had no love for the profligate James II and VII. The Protestant branch of the family had stabilized the economic situation. A note: The Stuarts, like the Brus, were Normans—they tended to crop up in a lot of places as the civilizers of Europe.

Again in 1745-46, there was another major uprising led James Francis Edward’s generally besotted son Charles Edward William Stuart who was half-Polish and raised in Italy. The general reception he got in the west of Scotland was, “Go home.” According to Alex Beaton he replied, “I am-a home.” Alex went for the New York showbiz laugh. Bonnie Prince Charlie had never led an army in combat but that was not a problem because Scots are “natural fighters.” (Note how Robert Brus had heavy French Cavalry and the Scots did not fare that well against the English overall.)

So after getting within striking distance of London, Charlie retreated to Inverness. George called on his own surrogate, his son William, Duke of Cumberland, who had been in military combat for years and was battle hardened. With experienced English and Scots troops he marched north to the climax at Culloden. There was no secret Templar army waiting, only Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites. The aftermath of the battle—the slaughter of survivors—was carried out by Scots troops, the English not really having much taste for slaughter.

We all know the Skye Boat, the escape in drag courtesy of Flora McDonald in exchange for the Dram Buie recipe, and the later life which would indicate he was not as much into discipline as his Hanoverian cousins. But this little tidbit was in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9211247/DNA-reveals-the-truth-about-Bonnie-Prince-Charlie.html

Evidently there is a gene for profligacy in Cornwall as well.  (Addendum: Well he should have Welsh DNA.  He was a direct descendent of Owen Tudor.)

While the rout a Culloden ended the military threat to the Hanoverian line, there were some sphincters tightened in 1784 when Scottish Episcopal Bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury as Bishop for the Church of North America. Fearing the rise of a Jacobite Church the English Bishops swiftly obtained authorization to consecrate Bishops for the American Church without the oath to support the King.

There are still some “Stuart” claimants, but it is more likely that the monarchy will simply disappear altogether. As I have said, no one recognizes a loser—except maybe other losers.

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Compleat Idler, Education, Homeschooling, Technology, Tool user

Complete idler — reading suggestion

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

10.12! That is the October 2012 Popular Mechanics. The question as I wander by the magazine rack is “Should I buy this or hope someone else does?” And I looked at the cover, and it featured stealth aircraft which will turn off most of my friends. The technology of stealth fascinates me because it represents a game of camouflage—sort of like the scout patrol that wore woodland camo pants and called themselves the Camo Gators: “We’re the Gators! You can’t see us.”

But I look at the contents. Jay Leno’s Garage. Okay, it is coming home. I will never afford the car collection he has—the Powerball never gets that big. But I have been fascinated by cars ever since we did the work on my grandparents’ LaSalle. That an engine works that way was a mystery to a five year old that bordered on magic. And since I realized I could read about third grade, what was in the magazines around the house was fair game.

And when I had mumps or other long illness, I would get a stack which included Field and Stream, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and sometimes Popular Photography. I was corrupted from a young age. I also snuck a look at my uncle’s True.

So check out the October issue. Especially with homeschoolers check out the squishy circuits and LED projects. On Lew Rockwell, Karen de Coster is fighting for incandescent bulbs as opposed to CFLs. The bad news is that incandescents are going by government decree (and the Administration also killed the Crown Vic). The good news is that in five to ten years CFLs, which have mercury as well as a tendency to break in my hand, will be history. LEDs are cleaner and require much less power.

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Compleat Idler, Education

Why MBA – A question to ponder

 

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

The dean of the local business school was discussing the MBA program which may expand. Now I knew all the selling points for the program. I had a coworker who complained that the average salary for the MBA was considerably higher than the average for the MPA (master of public administration) which should have surprised no one since at that time the money was in the private sector.

The question I was asking for years is why we had separate degree programs for business administration, public administration, criminal justice administration, educational administration, etc. But I now wonder whether we really need a program in administration or management at all when the skills can be learned on the job. Is it for the CEO’s semi-literate nephew?

I may discuss this further.

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Compleat Idler, Preparedness, Tool user

Idler’s tools – parachute cord

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

My Swiss Army Knife Zermatt pouch arrived Saturday, September 8—it was scheduled fotr Monday, September 10. So far, so good. I had been thinking of getting a Huntsman with pouch after seeing one in the store for less than forty bucks. My Leatherman tool is too heavy for waist carry and I could use something more than a blade. Plus, the corkscrew says I am sophisticated.

When I went back the one with the pouch was gone so I went home and searched through a drawer because I remembered seeing a basketweave Zermatt pouch for the old Explorer that I cracked the spine on. My memory still tricks me and, as I said in a post on cutlery, when I go through my old stuff, surprises await. I did not find the pouch—it probably went in a lapse in the Scout Leader accumulation instinct. No, there was my Victorinox Huntsman, waiting to be picked up and used. The scales were darker than the new ones, probably due to handling and the oils from my hands—lanolin, neetsfoot, gun oil, machine oil etc.

So I went on line to find a pouch. The general run of stuff appears to be either cordura or a black clip-on case. An outfit called Swiss Knives Express had real Zermatt pouches. I ordered one with a sharpening steel for twenty bucks. And it arrived. The knife slid in tightly. It pulls out with effort. A thong on the lanyard ring would help.

My first choice would be leather, but what I had was parachute cord which is the subject of this post. At this house we buy 550 cord occasionally, but when we do we buy spools. A 1000′ spool will provide 10 100′ hanks which is the smallest amount I carry. And if there is 25′ still intact at the end of the weekend I roll it and stick it in a drawer or the bottom of a pack. So there is always some around when I need it. About six inches was all it took to give me a small loop that leverages the knife out of the pouch.

Shelter: Using the 550 is much more convenient than carrying 3/8 inch Manila—and about as strong. Combined with a tarp or sheet of Visqueen, this provides sturdy support between poles or trees. While all nylon has more of a tendency to stretch than hemp, the parachute cord is not as loose as the polypropylene rope used for marine purposes. And it has the advantage of tying almost like natural fiber. In erecting shelter use of the taut-line hitch is critical as this allows you to loosen or tighten the lines. (The aluminum or plastic line adjusters that come with commercial grade tents get lost.

Lashings: I began scouting in January of 1955. I spent that month learning knots, hitches and lashings because that is what the troop leadership was into and I had already learned woods tools from my grandfather, having taken out a three-inch sapling with a ¾ axe at age 10. This is not the way we do things now because there are fewer necessary knots: sheet-bend, bowline, taut-line hitch, clove hitch, timber hitch, square lashing, diagonal lashing, shear lashing and tripod lashing. There are other lashings, knots and hitches but these are the essentials and are learned over a year period. In the Pioneering merit badge program the standard is ¼ or 3/8 inch hemp or sisal rope because that is the way it was done back when. (Note: were the Mountain Men still around they would use the 90 mph tape.) In training we used sisal twine that comes in 100′ bales. But I like the 1/8 inch diameter parachute cord because it lays down nicely and I generally have some.

Securing gear: Because you can tie secure knots and use the taut-line hitch, 550 is preferable to bungee cord which gives and uses hooks that break at the least opportune time. (Is there any gear failure that does not occur at the least opportune time?) My grandmother had me use cotton clothes line for this project which wears quickly and she could cut into the right length with kitchen shears. It is nearly impossible to untie when wet and starts to smell.

Bootlaces: Cut to the right length, these are the laces that say, “I can improvise.” They started as a quick fix on a weeklong outing and ended up on the boots in the closet—when you have them in, it does not pay to buy commercial laces.

Limitations: This is not rescue rope. And, unless you get the military stuff with threads inside you are just getting an outer shell—it might fasten gear but it has little utility in the field. As with all polymers it will melt quickly.

However: I consider parachute cord to be an essential part of any preparedness supply.

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Compleat Idler, Surplus Stores, Tool user

Surplus stores — suspicious behavior

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

So one of the signs of suspicious behavior in a surplus store is discussion of means to convert items to uses for which they were not intended. Now this may go back to when I spotted the jet-fighter canopy and had the brilliant idea that, combined with a cot, it could provide the perfect bed for sleeping under the stars. It certainly was not Pete’s idea to use a three dollar pilot’s helmet for a football helmet.

But a few years later (and about 11 inches taller) I no longer had that fantasy and Pete was elsewhere. Who knows? He may have figured out how to build a communications system into a football helmet so the coach and the QB can talk to each other. But you have to realize that the tools of war may have other uses.

“ And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” [Isaiah 2:4] I read that when I was eight years old and still grappling with the insipid stuff in school—I now understand that early modern English is a different language and that the 1611 Authorized Version is EME. But this has always intrigued me.

The things I remember from surplus stores is looking at the bayonets and comparing the length of the blade to the cattail roots by the pond. I have been told that cattail roots are edible—the problem was how long they needed to cook. But we obtained machetes which can be used to top sugar beets and old first aid supplies. The WW2 canteens were better than Official BSA and you could hang two of them on a pistol belt for balance. The guys who built the slat pack frames used ammo packs for their main bag—a fishing trip was not the intended use for the bag, but it worked.

I would tend to worry more about people talking about using the bayonets to stick people—you say things like that in bars. I stay out of bars—it is intentional as I do not like fights.

Meanwhile, that bicycle generator intrigues me.

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Compleat Idler, Preparedness, Technology, Tool user

Idler’s tools – going cordless

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

The time for a battery operated tool system arose in my son’s life when he decided to built a dwelling on the farm from storage containers. His decision was based on the need for power about 250 feet away from a source. The old bench electrician looked at him and explained that if he were going to live in the place he should probably drop 220 from the main box to an onsite box which would eventually be attached to said dwelling. His response was that this would not need the same level of security and implied that while I could wire a breaker box for him, I probably did not have a current reg book.

Then he showed me the sale catalog he acquired. Okay, once I see a tool catalog I get distracted. And he was down to two outfits—Ryobi and DeWalt. I have experience with both because I ended up with a DeWalt reciprocating saw when they were closing the PayLess which had finally decided that it could not compete with the Lowe’s in Topeka which was 27 miles away. And I am not sure the rumblings about Home Depot wanting to locate in the area did not help the situation. I liked PayLess when I was selling hardware because I could send them customers who wanted a tool, but were questioning my price—they were back in a half hour to 45 minutes. I also picked up a rebuilt half inch Ryobi drill at a Cummins special sale. When Dave asked about the 8” chainsaw that came with the Ryobi, I pointed out that with a 10” pruning blade, the DeWalt could probably do as much if not more than the 18 volt chain saw.

He got the tools and one fine spring morning about two years later I tripped on the cord I was dragging behind me to do the clean up. I wrapped up the cord and put the saw back in the box and headed my Blazer to Home Depot. And the set I got was just a drill and reciprocating saw. But it works. I figured we could share batteries and are once again compatible.

Once I get a solar charger we can take it for trips of more than a couple days.  I have decided to do something other than whine about a solar charger,  A 12-volt array and an inverter can probably do the trick with my current charger.

The advantage to the battery operated tools is that they are really portable and less cranky than gas operated power tools.  I can take out a batch of volunteer saplings in a few minutes with the pruning blade.  Fitted with a Robertson (square head) bit I can drive deck screws all afternoon on a couple batteries.  And it is faster than with hand tools and less likely to aggravate my carpal tunnel.

The disadvantage is the cost of batteries and tool weight.  My 18v drill ways more than the half inch  corded drill in the box.  Motors wear out–but they do that even with corded tools.

There are several brands on the market.  I went with DeWalt because I like the corded DeWalt tools I had and my son went with them.

 

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Compleat Idler, Education, Technology, Writing and diction

Trademarks

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Back when I could still afford MAD magazine there was a parody of product placement in films. And the one that entered my mind and lodged there to exit my mouth at inappropriate times was a battle field where the Cavalry had gotten the short end of the stick (I used to love those) and a scout rides up and says, “Over there is General Custer with a VanHeusen through his chest.”

Certain trademarks have entered the language as generic terms. Who says, “Hand me a soft tissue?” No, the term used is Kleenex, a registered term of Kimberly-Clarke or whoever currently owns the trademark.

I made the mistake of referring to a restored 1943 Ford utility vehicle as a jeep in front of a Chrysler salesman and was informed that the term as registered. “So, my uncle’s Willys is not a Jeep? Jeep was not a generic term back in 1943? There were never Jeeps before 1987?”

Also during the second world war, they began using an adhesive tape with strong cotton duck backing and after the war, Manco trademarked the name Duck Tape. Similarly, 3-M has guarded the Scotch Tape Brand.

In my favorite local Mexican restaurant I will order Mexican Coke with my meal. They provide the product made by Coca-Cola in Mexico with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup (a product of farm subsidies). I have yet to hear the waiter respond the way the order phone responded when my buddy, then a vice-cop, asked for a coke at a drive-in. “Will that be wet or fluffy?” So far the Coca-Cola corporation has not sued any of the major cartels for copyright infringement on “Mexican coke” or the advertising slogan “things go better with coke.”

In the old Soviet Union there were a number of companies making counterfeit Leica cameras. There are a number of finely crafted ones and there are a number of collectors, including (so I am told) some employees of Leitz Optical. Cameras and optics became Leica some time in the nineties leaving the Leitz corporation to some fairly complicated electronic products. Also, at one point all 35mm double frame rangefinder cameras were called Leicas—then other companies began to push their own branding.

The Soviet Union also marketed (to avoid trademark problems—patents are another matter) a camera very similar to a Pentax K1000 with a Nikon bayonet mount. They also had what looked like a Nikon FM with a Pentax K mount. The real temptation was a Kiev 6×6 which was more or less (mostly less) compatible with Hasselblad.

China—what can you say about a country that has looser point of origin labeling than Germany—built an M-14 clone. Looks right, magazines and ammo compatible, good price point. Parts were not interchangeable.

So be aware that branding and trademark are tools of restricting competition.

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Compleat Idler, Preparedness, Surplus Stores, Technology

Preparedness tip — duct tape

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

“Duct tape” is not to be used on ductwork as it is not designed for handling temperature extremes. The term was developed because the term “duck tape” which came from a strong adhesive back on cotton duck was trademarked by one company. Note that this company uses its trademark on several different backed tapes.

What you need for the ductwork is called HVAC tape.

There is also gaffers’ tape, available from dealers in photo and video equipment that holds lights and accessories in place and does not generally take the wallpaper or paint with it when removed.

What I use for general repairs I get at either the US Cavalry Store or Cheaper Than Dirt depending on who has the better price point that month. It is described as 60 mph or something like that and I call it military stuff. It does pull wallpaper, paint, finish or veneer off the wall. It holds—that is the general idea.

A note: In scout leader training we ran a lashing contest and prohibited tape. In a survival situation, use the tape.

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