click on the picture to enlarge.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Here, let me give you a light.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
an interesting wartime history of LEICA Subject: The incredible story of the "LEICA FREEDOM TRAIN"
Please take a few moments to read the following. I hope you'll find it interesting and meaningful. The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product -precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty.
E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany's most famous photographic product, saved its Jews. And Ernst Leitz II, the steely eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, "the photography industry's Schindler." As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country.
As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany's Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities. To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as "the Leica Freedom Train," a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas. Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were "assigned" to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States. Leitz's activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany. Before long, German "employees" were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry. Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom - a new Leica.
The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers and writers for the photographic press. Keeping the story quiet The "Leica Freedom Train" was at its height in 1938 and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders. By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes' efforts.
How did Ernst Leit z II and his staff get away with it? Leitz Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz's single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.
Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and freed only after the payment of a large bribe. Leitz's daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s. (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officier d'honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)
Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the "Leica Freedom Train" finally come to light. It is now the subject of a book, "The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train," by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born rabbi currently living in England.
The book ($5 plus postage) is available from the American Photographic Historical Society, 1150 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The Jewish man said, "Last week, my wife and I had great sex. I rubbed her body all over with schmaltz (chicken fat), we made passionate love,and she screamed for five full minutes at the end !"
The Frenchman boasted, "Last week when my wife and I had sex, I rubbed her body allover with butter. We then made passionate love and she screamed for fifteen minutes !"
"Well, last week my wife and I also had sex. I rubbed her body all over with olive oil. We made love, and she screamed for over six hours !"
The other two were stunned. The amazed Frenchman asked, "What could youhave possibly done to make your wife scream for six hours ?" The Italianman said, " I wiped my hands on the bedspread."
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Katherine has not had a chance to build a helm either, so she sticks to a hockey helmet. Which will do for awhile anyway.
Lorne loves this whole idea of armoured fighting. He build himself a chain maille shirt, and a rather interesting hood which fits over the eye protection. Looks a little odd, but hey...at least nobody is going to lose an eye.
And there is the birthday girl watching they guys fight. I am trying to keep order with a little white stick. I understand a white cane is the universal symbol of being blind, and since I am the referee, a white stick might well be appropriate as well.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
And just for fun, here is a link to REAL bathroom humour! Let me know if it works! This is the first time I ever did a link like this.http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=45b3eb7bd61ab2a513d4
Monday, September 10, 2007
I have always liked Tromp L'oeil. It serves to change a space which usually needs changing without actually changing it...so there are extra windows on Hampton Court to balance the rooms when in fact, no such window exists. The ancient Romans liked to decorate their rooms with "Tromp L'oeil" because they were often windowless, with only a little light coming in by skylight or oil lamp, but the rooms feel open and spacious with gardens and architectural details that never existed in real life.
Because it was a make belief world, they would have masks, fauns, gods, and all manner of beasts painted on the grotto like walls, giving the name "grotesque" to this art form.
I'll see if I can find some more examples.
Have a good week, and I hope I have made you smile this morning!
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
This is Ashley and her new toy. I was so torn about hiring her because she was so NOT comptetent, but at the same time, was so attractive. And when she bought that leather bustier, I had NO difficulty attracting men onto my deck. I eventually decided that the swords and knives attracted the men just fine, thank you.
But her picture is still pretty clickable!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
From up on the deck, looking into the festival. Thats Donovan's maze in the distance, and the beautifully painted House of Musical Traditions beside us. The mirror is hanging on that beautiful old oak tree. This time of year was a little scary because the acorns would be falling like hail from time to time. That nice space beside the ramp for the deck was good for Dudley, he could sit in the sun or in the shade, whichever suited him.
From the pub, the little house really towers over the festival.
My big old rams heads, and the eye of Osiris I brought back from Malta. This is from the pub deck, looking into the "pit". The pit was there to provide a safe place for customers to swing a sword around. It must have worked, we had zero incidents in the nine years we were open. (Okay, there was "one", but that's a long story.)
From the pub deck, looking under my balcony and across the front of the HMT booth to the concession stands in the distance. I had just put in the decorative wheel brackets, and was "quite" taken with them.
One of the beam ends in front....these guys are just too cute for words. I still have one of them!