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Tokyo’s Shibuya holds its first Halloween costume contest aboard a train, we ride along

October 28, 2014

Pamela Morse:

Japanese Halloween costume contest on a train

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

TH 3

Back before Halloween became as popular in Japan as it is today, Tokyo expats looking to celebrate the holiday would stage impromptu costume parties on the last car of the JR Yamanote loop line. At the time, though, most Japanese people weren’t familiar with Halloween, and this tended to freak the indigenous locals out, leading Japan Railways to eventually crack down on the festivities.

Things have changed a lot in the last 15 years, though. Tokyo is starting to seriously get into the Halloween spirit, so much so that another rail company, Tokyu, actually held a Halloween costume contest onboard one of its trains, and we went to check it out.

View original 389 more words

Get Yourself Out to Vote

October 27, 2014 1 Comment

Sonora, Bald Eagle

Sonora, Bald Eagle

My ballot has been mailed.  I have never missed an election since I have had the right to vote.  I am not often thrilled with the outcomes, but I think it is my responsiblity to make sure my voice is heard.  There are many close elections this year.  If you have not registered for early voting or otherwise prepared, please help yourself to this handy dandy tool.  It is not too late to make a difference in this election.  Gentle Reader, if you are an American your country needs to hear from you.

Sir William Periam, 13th Great-grandfather

October 27, 2014 1 Comment

My 13th great-grandfather was an English judge who, in 1593, rose to the top position of Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.  He was one of the judges who tried Mary Queen of Scots in 1586, and was involved in several other big treason trials of the age and was given the office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1593. He was a Governor of Crediton Church and twice church warden. educated in Exeter and then at Exeter College, Oxford where on 25 April 1551 he was elected fellow. He resigned his fellowship some months later and went to London where he eventually studied law at the Middle Temple, being called to the bar in 1565. A slight wobble in his career occurred in 1568 when, after being summoned to Ireland by Sir Peter Carew to help him prosecute an ultimately successful claim to an Irish barony, he received an unexpected appointment as judge under the prospective President of Munster, Sir John Pollard. By writing to Sir William Cecil and earnestly petitioning the Privy Council, mentioning his wife and children and delicate state of health, he seems to have been able to avoid the transfer to Ireland altogether. Thereafter his rise through the legal ranks was steady—in 1575 he became serjeant-at-law for the Michaelmas term, and on 13 February 1581, a Judge of the Common Pleas. The ultimate honor came in January 1593, when he was promoted to Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and knighted.

William Periam (1534 – 1604)
is my 13th great grandfather
John Periam (1510 – 1573)
son of William Periam
Mary Periam (1531 – 1552)
daughter of John Periam
Robert Sweet (1552 – 1578)
son of Mary Periam
John Issac Sweet (1579 – 1637)
son of Robert Sweet
James Sweet (1622 – 1695)
son of John Issac Sweet
Benoni Sweet (1663 – 1751)
son of James Sweet
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Benoni Sweet
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Thomas Sweet (1759 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse – (not you?)

http://www.creditonparishchurch.org.uk/history/sir-william-peryam/

Crediton Parish Church

Sir William Peryam
1534 – 1604Introduction

On the north side of the chancel of the church (on the left-hand side, looking towards the altar), is the big tomb of Sir William Peryam, an important individual both in local and national terms in the last years of the reign of Elizabeth I. Peryam was one of the judges who tried Mary Queen of Scots in 1586, was involved in several other big treason trials of the age and was given the office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1593. He was a Governor of Crediton Church and twice church warden; he bought the estate of Little Fulford, east of Crediton in the 1580′s and built a manor house there, the estate being renamed Shobroke Park in the early eighteen-hundreds.

The Tomb
The tomb shows the judge reclining, his head arms propped up with his right hand, beneath him the seven ladies of his life – his three wives and four daughters (he had no sons); above him are the Peryam arms.

Family
William Peryam was born in Exeter in 1534, second son of John and Elizabeth Peryam. His family was a well-connected one, he was a cousin of Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the famous Bodlean Library in Oxford. His father was a man of means and was twice mayor of Exeter (he died during his second term of office in 1572).William’s brother, John, was also twice mayor of the city and was in office when the Spanish Armada appeared off Devon in 1588.
Education & Career
William Peryam was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was elected fellow in 1551 at the age of 17.
A Lawyer Still Quoted Today
In 1553 he was admitted to the Middle Temple and was one of Plymouth’s MP’s from 1562 until 1567, being called to the bar whilst at Westminster – the duties the average backbencher weren’t particularly arduous in Tudor times! His arms, which can be seen at the top of the tomb, are still to be found in the hall of the Middle Temple. There are records of his involvement in some mid-Devon cases around the time of he became a QC; in one (1566) he became a trustee of the locally important Dowrish estate in Sandford. In 1568 he was appointed as a justice in Ireland, serving Sir John Pollard, President of Munster. Quite a lot of correspondence from his time in Ireland survives in State Papers. An amusing letter tells of his reluctance to return to Ireland without Sir John, who was suffering from gout. Also on record from this time is the successful attempt he made (with the help of John Hooker, the Exeter antiquary) in 1569, to reclaim the Barony of Odrone on behalf of Sir Peter Carew – from whose family he was to buy his land in Crediton ten years later. He was made a serjeant-at-law in Michaelmas term of 1579 and in February 1581 was appointed a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1586 he was one of the judges at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots . When Sir Christopher Hatton retired from office in 1591, Peryam was named as one of the Judges of the Chancery Court and during the last two decades of the sixteenth century and the first years of the seventeenth was involved in a number of “show” trials of State offenders including, among others, those of the Earl of Arundel (originally imprisoned in 1585 for helping Mary, then accused of having a mass said in support of the Armada in the Chapel of the Tower of London in 1588 and tried for, and found guilty of, treason – although the death sentence was never carried out, in 1589), Sir John Perrot (tried and found guilty for what could be described as “mild” treason in 1592, but not executed) and that of the Earl of Essex  (found guilty of treason for organising an attempted coup; he was tried and executed in 1601). The precedents Peryam set and legal decisions made in these and other cases are still quoted in the legal textbooks. In 1593 Peryam was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer, where he presided for twelve years. He received the knighthood which was usual with that office.

Peryam’s Death
He died at Fulford Park on 9th October, 1604. The date of his death is shown on his tomb inscription as 1605. It seems likely that the tomb was erected as many as fifteen years after his death (ie during the lifetime of his widow), by which time her memory may have been fading a little because, although the Parish Registers for 1603 – 7 are missing from the Devon Record Office, papers in the National Archive clearly show that the grant of his office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer was made void on October 9th, 1604, so the earlier date of death should be taken as the valid one.

Wives
Peryam married three times. His first wife was Margery, daughter of John Holcot of Berkshire; there were no children of this marriage.

His second wife was Anne, daughter of John Parker of North Molton by whom he had four daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, Jane and Anne who all married “well”.

His last wife was Elizabeth, a daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon (a fellow government law officer) – who outlived William by twenty years. She was related by marriage to William Cecil, Lord Burghley – in fact, Peryam was related either directly, or by marriage, to many court figures of Elizabeth’s reign.

Shobroke & Holy Cross
Peryam had bought Little Fulford, or Fulford Park (which became Shobroke Park) from Sir Richard Carew in the early 1580′s and had constructed “a fayre dwelling house” there – a predecessor of the Georgian house which was burnt down in the 1940′s. He left the house and the estate to his daughters who sold it to his brother, Sir John Peryam. He in turn sold it to the Tuckfields, whose descendants, the Shelleys, still own the estate. Peryam was a churchwarden of Holy Cross in 1589 and 1600 and was also a Governor. In 1578 he leased a manor in Sidmouth from Sir Walter Raleigh and his two sons, Carew and Walter The document still survives in the Devon Record Office. It is carefully preserved because the signatures of the Raleighs are on it! That house is now the Woodlands Hotel in Sidmouth, which, although it was substantially altered in the early nineteenth century, preserves much of the Elizabethan fabric. His widow, Elizabeth, endowed a fellowship and two scholarships in his name in Balliol College, Oxford in 1620. William Peryam’s only sibling, his brother, John, also had a very distinguished career. He was mayor of Exeter in 1587/8 and in 1598/9. Also knighted, he was a liberal benefactor to the city and to Exeter College, Oxford – and his widow endowed fellowships and scholarships to that college A panel portrait of an enrobed Sir William hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

He can be found buried with his family.  The inscription on his elaborate tomb says:

Heere lyeth the body of Sr. William Peryam, knight, who in AD 1579 was made one of the justices of the Court of Comon Pleas & from thence in AD 1592 was called to bee Lord Cheefe Baron of the Exchequer. He married first Margery daughter & heir of Jo(hn) Holcott of Berk(shire) Esqr. widow of Richadr(sic) Hutchenson of Yorksheire Esqr.; secondly Anne daughter of John Parker of Devon Esqr.; lastly Elizabeth daughter of Sr. Nic(holas) Bacon knig. Lord Keeper of the Great Seale. Hee hadd only yssue by his second wife, 4 daughters & heires, viz, Mary theldest (sic) married to Sr. Will(iam) Pole of Devon knig.; Elizabeth the 2 married to Sr. Ro(bert) Bassett of Devon knig.; Jane the 3 first married to Thomas Poyntz Esqr. son & heir of Sr. Gabriell Poyntz of Ess(ex) knig.; afterward to Tho(mas) Docwra of Hertf(ordshire) Esqr.; Anne the youngest married to Will(iam) Williams Esq. son & heir of Sr. Jo(hn) Williams of Dorsett knig. All wch. his daughters & heirs have yssu now lyvinge by their severall husbands. He dyed 9 octo(ber) Ao.Do. 1605 (sic) in the 70the yeere of his age much & worthely reverenced for his religeous zeale, integrity & profound knowledge in the lawes of the realme. Dormit non est mortuus (he sleeps, he is not dead).

 

Conserving Tucson

October 27, 2014 2 Comments

home tour

home tour

composting toilet

composting toilet

hand washing

hand washing

okra

okra

chicken run

chicken run

We attended the open house and garden tour offered by Watershed Management Group in Tucson this weekend.  We are interested in finding ways to improve our soil and conserve rain water since we live in a time of drought in the desert.  We have come a long way toward awareness that we need to make use of the storm water that causes erosion and lots of damage to our paved streets.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but the interest is growing and the available resources are expanding.  Home owners who contribute labor to projects at the homes of others can earn credit toward completing their own projects though the Green Living coop program at Watershed Management.  Volunteer opportunities abound, and the coop gives homeowners a more thrifty alternative to hiring a contractor.

The homeowners were gracious showing us gardens, chickens and systems they have installed to capture grey water and rain water.  The outdoor bathroom with solar shower and composting toilet was comfortable and had no objectionable smell at all.  The agriculture thrives with the help of extra rain water.  The plants show obvious signs of good health.  Our favorite home display was the aquaponic garden.  This system uses a few fish to provide the food needed to grow plants in water.  The cascading system is very low in water use since it is all recycled and pumped through the fish tank and back to the garden all the time. We would love to have a system like this, and will go back to visit the aquaponic system to investigate getting our own.  The homeowner also had some ingenious use of rainwater for orchard trees and a wood fired hot tub with a charcoal filter system.

aquaponics

aquaponics

IMG_1469

aquaponic kale

aquaponic kale

wood fired hot tub

wood fired hot tub

 

The most developed and well funded display we visited was the Nature Conservancy headquarters.  They have taken out the asphalt, installed giant cisterns under the parking lot and in metal tanks.  The parking structures are solar electric panels that provide most of the electricity for the facility.  The mission of the Conservancy is wonderfully fulfilled by the educational aspects of the campus.  The public can visit and learn about water harvesting and conservation any time, but during the harvest tour we were accompanied by a docent who was very well informed and helpful.  This well respected institution takes the lead in teaching and practicing ecological sanity.  The building itself was built from recycled materials.  The non native plants were removed in favor of native landscaping.  We are lucky to have this shining example of conservation in our city.

cistern Nature Conservancy

cistern Nature Conservancy

solar electric

solar electric

cistern

cistern

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

 

Banishing Bullying on the Internet

October 22, 2014 11 Comments

Bully

Bully

Our cyber world includes unhealthy relationships of all kinds. I am pleased to be free of bullying and the kind of scary stalking that happens on-line. I have many public profiles and none has been hacked or used to attack me. I have, however, been witness to some questionable bullying in public which I remember and avoid forever after. October is Anti Bullying Month, and as people come forward to discuss this subject more openly in public it is obvious we need more than just a month to remedy this crisis.  The relative anonymity, and/or authenticity of on-line relationships is bringing out the very worst in some people’s personalities.  I don’t believe many of these wimpy cyber bullies and stalkers who insult and badger others would have the nerve to be so bold in person.  Still, the offensive transactions often take place in public streams.  What can those of us who are observers of this behavior do to stop it in our on-line relationships?

  • Speak up in support of the victim when appropriate
  • Shun, ban, block and ignore bullies who spread vitriol
  • Check your own on-line statements for possible offensive mistakes in communication
  • Report real harassment and threats to law enforcement

I think it would be so fine if we had an internet Officer White, who would take the bullies to internet detention to school them.  His advise is as good for the trolls and the stalkers of profiles and blogs as it is for elementary students.  Officer White breaks it down so we all see that we have a responsibility:

The fact that education is so widely affected by this horrible trend is a national disgrace.  The tolerance for the acts or threats that terrorize individuals and groups at school must end.  Education has little chance to flourish in such a toxic environment.  Adults need to set good examples in our own behavior and commitments as well as guide young people to treat each other in our institutions of learning with civil respect.  Power should not be handed over to bullies in society.  There can be no happy results to that strategy.  The victim, however, is an archetype all of us will play at some time during our lives.  All of us have the experience of abuse of power on both ends, even if it was only in childhood with siblings.  We take advantage of others, and also allow others to take advantage of us.  It is part of learning how to survive to adulthood.  Those of us who have made it to adulthood owe it to the young people to set a safe and sane example on the internet.  How do you stay safe, Gentle Reader?  Have you experienced bullying as a result of your on-line presence?

Why are some Japanese preschools banning awesome, adorable character bento?

October 22, 2014 5 Comments

Pamela Morse:

Too much pressure on Japanese parents results in banned char-ben lunches

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

CB 3

Considering how much Japan loves food and cute things, it’s no surprise that the country is in the middle of a chara-ben boom. Chara-ben, bento boxed lunches with their contents arranged like popular characters such as Hello Kitty and Doraemon, are a hit with adults and children alike, as parents seem to be having as much fun making them as their kids are eating them.

But not everyone loves this trend of culinary creativity, though, as some preschools and day care centers have started banning chara-ben.

View original 910 more words

Food for Ascension, Tucson

October 21, 2014 4 Comments

On 7th Street near 4th Avenue in Tucson stands a Moorish style building complex that has housed a dance/movement/or yoga studio as long as I can remember. Today the space is serving as a gallery, coffee shop, and farm to table restaurant as well as providing space for movement classes and other events. Today I tried Food for Ascension for the first time and I am very happy I did. This place has several qualities that set it apart from other restaurants in the area. The fact that all the food comes from no more than 150 miles away is notable. The pure plant based recipes sometimes include eggs, but substitutions can be made for vegans and the gluten free people. The menu is short but several daily specials as well as a good selection of small plates provide more than enough variety. I could not choose, so I ordered two entrees knowing I would bring some home with me. Servings were generous. My server suggested the half order of biscuits and gravy because she could tell I was going to have plenty of food.  She was right about that.

biscuits and gravy

biscuits and gravy

She brought a bottle of water, which I always appreciate, and I enjoyed the wonderful view while a waited for my root and seed burger.  At this intersection it is possible to see a least a little of three different mountain ranges that surround out city.  Being upstairs to dine is truly a pleasure, especially when the weather is perfect like it was for lunch today.  The domes and the downtown skyline view, along with 4th Avenue bustle make ascension to the upper deck a super treat.  Perched above the noise of the street with plants and servers who make you feel very well attended is like finding a secret hide away in downtown.  I plan to go often to try everything on the menu.

root and seed burger

root and seed burger

I can report that the innovation and care is obvious in the food preparation.  Both burger and biscuits arrived hot and beautifully presented.  I made my way through about half of each of them, and was super satisfied as well as stuffed.  The root and seed burger had great texture, unlike the mushy veggie burger that can sometimes happen. This flavorful version had a nice char and crust on the outside which is a big plus.  The fresh greens on the plate had a lemon vinaigrette dressing that made it work as a salad, but also was tasty when applied to the sandwich as extra stuffing.  The oyster mushroom gravy on the sage biscuits was delightful. The sage flavor is strong in the biscuit, but it is complimented perfectly by the rich gravy.  It is highly evocative of Thanksgiving, with no turkey involved.  I loved both the dishes, and may have trouble choosing between them the next time I order.   I packed the rest..well, the gravy was kind of gone…to take home for Bob to taste.  I am excited to return with him next time because I know he will like it, and they do have some very rich desserts on the menu that will make him happy.  I was way too full to try any of that today.  I have found a new favorite spot, and am a little surprised it took me so long.  Food for Ascension has been open for about a year.  If you have a chance to try the food, as well as the fabulous ascension, I recommend it.  Take the upgrade, Tucson!

Sarah LaVina Sweet, 2nd Great-Grandmother

October 20, 2014 2 Comments

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

My paternal 2nd great-grandmother was born in upstate New York in 1840.  She married Daniel Rowland Morse, also from New York, in Illinois in November, 1858.  She and her parents had moved to Polo, Illinois, which was a stop on the underground railroad.  It seems that Daniel joined them on the journey.  The couple’s first son was born in Illinois.  The young family returned to New York to live from 1860 until 1875. My great grandfather Jason was born during that time.  By 1879 they had moved to Kansas to homestead near the Oklahoma Territory border outside of Coffeyville.  She remained in her home until after her husband died, then she moved next door to her daughter’s home.  She and Daniel are buried in a private cemetery ( her daughter’s family land) near her Kansas home.  I visited the courthouse and read all the probate papers that applied to her estate.  I have some copies of letters and court findings that indicate what many had implied, that my great-grandfather Jason was not very well liked or trusted.  She brought her son down from New York to settle her affairs after she died.  My ancestor was conspicuously absent from the business proceedings of her estate.   It turned out that court judgements against him amounted to more than his share of the inheritance.  Moving to the wild wild west as a teen was perhaps not the best environment for Jason’s upbringing.  My grandfather Ernest ran away from home as a very young man because he and his brother did not like their stepmother or her daughters.  In 1900 Ernest was living on the Cherokee Nation with his new stepmother.   In 1910 Ernest is found living with Sarah and Daniel at their house, working as a farm worker.  Later Ernest became a milkman with a horse drawn delivery cart.  I am sure Sarah had a big part in raising her grandsons.  It was an amazing time in history.  It was not so easy to survive wild west adventures in those days.  I am very lucky that my pioneer ancestors made it.  I did not see the grave when I was in Kansas, but I know where it is for the next visit.  Someone has taken very good care of them.

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
is my 2nd great grandmother
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Ray Villafane, Pumpkin Professional

October 17, 2014 5 Comments


Professional pumpkin carving has reached a high level of skill and art. I admire food art of all kinds, and am used to seeing intricate melons and fruits carved by Asians into extremely detailed shapes. Now we can boast of our own home grown American food carver who creates extreme masterpiece pumpkin carvings. While others are hoisting and throwing them Ray is turning the autumn symbols into amazing sculptures. Like a sand mandala, a pumpkin sculpture is born to die. The ephemeral nature of the craft makes it all the more special. Ray shares his technique with kids in school in hopes of nurturing the next pumpkin Da Vinci. If you have considered carving a jack o lantern this year, why not attempt a bust of your mail carrier, or of your child’s teacher? Good luck! Happy Halloween, Gentle Readers.

Hedonism Unplugged

October 15, 2014 7 Comments

Cheers!

Cheers!

I am a hedonist. This archetype is a prominent part of my persona. I don’t mind being considered to be a Sybarite.  I think I might inspire some people to experiment with allowing a little bit more pleasure into life when they see it does not seem to do me any harm.  Art, taste, harmony of elements are all of great importance to me.  Often it is much better for me to go to a museum alone because I normally want to stay at least twice as long as most others.  I also adore very long, lingering dining experiences that are memorable because of the good company and good cheer.  My good friend and fellow hedonist Eric Ellenberg and I once went to the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center for lunch (long before 9-11).  The food and the view were grand.  We stayed for hours and I remember it vividly.  I have always been happy we went because now we could not if we tried.  Most full on pleasurable experiences can’t be repeated.  The synchronicity of the moment and all its glory comprise the ecstasy we feel, but that does not mean we should not plan and create pleasurable times.  Authenticity is the main ingredient of truly memorable fun times.  Holiday excess and obligation often conflict with inner peace and joy.  Here are some ways to be festive without breaking the bank or cramming the schedule full of stressful events:

  • Decide to spend less money and more thought on gifting
  • Decorate meaningfully, perhaps by editing more than adding
  • Use synesthesia for parties, combining sensory elements
  • Create individual festivities for those you want to recognize and honor
  • Stay within a comfortable budget for both calories and money
  • Schedule time to meditate and restore peace and quiet
  • Consolidate “shopping” to save time

This season many Americans go into deeper debt.  From now until next year we will be bombarded with advertising designed to drive the economy.  This year you can avoid buyer’s remorse and debt by lighting your own way through the cold winter’s night.  Be particular instead of excessive.  Use discernment to create gifts and experiences that show how much you appreciate individual taste. I wish all the Gentle Readers good health and financial freedom this winter.  Stay solvent, my friends.  It is much more festive in the long run.

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