• Chi, or is it Qi Gong

    Posted on January 27th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    A reader from the City of Brotherly Love sent the below video, which is long but amusing. I hope all my readers have enough Chi to keep them going. Actually I think it is spelled Qi

  • Amelia Earhart- Small World Stories

    Posted on January 22nd, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    I have a friend who is a contractor and whose father Alfred Wood had a cabinetry and fine woodworking business in the early days on Long Island. He did restoration in churches and many old buildings. He made a carved chest for Amelia Earhart which had all the trips that she took carved in the wood. When she went down in the Pacific in 1937 Mr. Wood finished the chest with the last trip she took. It is now in the Smithsonian.

    There is a song written about Amrlia that is sung by a talented bluegrass musician and I have downloaded it below. I saw her first playing in Dayton Ohio in the early 1980s

    When my father was on the island of Saipan during the Second War there were reports that Earhart had come down there when the Japanese occupied the island but no trace was ever found.

  • Old Theaters and the Bardavon 1869 Opera Hopuse

    Posted on January 21st, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    Below is an article about the old movie theaters in NY. some of them have not been restored but Poughkeepsie has a wonderful old theater, the Bardavon which has been restored and is an anchor for downtown Poughkeepsie. If you are not doing anything on March 20th come see the 1964 movie Hard Day’s Night with the Beatles.

    bardavon 1bardavon 2

    The Most Beautiful Old Movie Palace in Brooklyn, Back From the Brink – There were five of them, called the Wonder Theaters. It was 1929. The new exhibition palaces had pipe organs, like cathedrals, and some of the pictures even talked, all by themselves! And when you set foot in a golden auditorium that seated 3,600, you too could feel imperial, at a cost of 25 cents. With candy, 30 cents.
    Brooklyn’s Wonder Theater was even called the Kings — the Loew’s Kings. “It’s huge,” says the architect Gary Martinez, whose firm, Martinez + Johnson Architecture, has been restoring it. “Huge! Even for those of us who have seen hundreds of theaters, the first time you walk down onto the orchestra level, it’s just a massive room.” In 1929, a building like this was already retrograde, gaudy, overwrought. But that was the point: The Kings was built for architectural escapism along with cinematic escapism. Spending a day at “the Lowies,” as it was curiously pronounced, was a pretty far cry from sitting around your parents’ apartment on Avenue P. Being one of the only really big auditoriums in Brooklyn, it also hosted dozens of high-school graduations. Chuck Schumer crossed its stage in cap and gown. So did Carole King. So did my mother.
    What happened next is dank and familiar. The neighborhood grew seedier just as the movie-­exhibition business started to favor multiplexes over giant single screens. The Kings had opened with Dolores Del Rio in Evangeline, a silent film played in sync with shellac records; it closed in 1977 with a cheap Bruce Lee biopic. The building was abandoned, the roof buckled, and the interior got wet. Scavengers stole the copper pipes and the fixtures. But it didn’t burn. The Kings was down, but not out.
    After decades of what-do-we-do-with-this-thing inertia, the Kings has been overhauled by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, to be run under contract by the Ace Theatrical Group. It cost $94 million to dry it out and get it fixed, and just about every over-the-top detail has been meticulously put right. Diana Ross will reopen the hall on February 3.
    All five Wonder Theaters made it out of limbo, although only the Loews Jersey, in Jersey City, regularly shows movies. The economics of film still cut against enormous rooms like these. In fact, the other three — in Washington Heights, on the Grand Concourse, and in Jamaica, Queens — are now churches. Each provides, in its way, uplift. Enter, and you can convince yourself that you are both at the center of the world and transcending it, in the presence of either God or Miss Ross.


  • MLK Jr. Birthday

    Posted on January 21st, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments


    The above picture taken November 4, 1960 in New Orleans Louisiana when Ruby Bridges was the first black student to attend a white grade school. I’m old enough now to remember those days which must seem to anyone younger than 60 like something out of ancient history. Last Monday on MLK’s birthday PBS played 9 hours of his speeches. He was truly a spellbinding speaker. I thought that even if you had no interest in either that time or Dr. King just hearing him speak would give you a sad comparison to public speakers today of any stripe.

    There are alot of recorded speeches of Martin Luther King on the internet but here is one that is magnificent. It is remembered as the Sweet Sweeper’s Speech.

  • The Wrong Millbrook Times

    Posted on January 21st, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    Once in a whle I get an interesting email that doesn’t seem to be related to my blog but I like the below:

    “Good day – We have started the new year on a good note with some valued guests in January. However, our membership drive continues and we are anxious to draw more singers from the surrounding community. Our men’s Barbership singing membership now ranges from a young gentleman in his early twenties to those young at heart. We provide training, CD’s, on-line support via our web site www.acesofharmony.com

    We meet at Northminster Church on Sunset Blvd. (rear parking lot access) in Peterborough every Monday evening at 7pm.

    Just pop by or give Jim a call.

    Thanks very much for your assistance in placing this information in the Millbrook Times.

    Yours in harmony,

    Fred Rapson”

    I think I know why they are looking for new members. I think you will get the idea when you look at this video

  • The Eagles Are Back

    Posted on January 9th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    The migratory bald eagles are back in Clove Valley and early this year. Last week before the cold returned there was still some open water on the pond near the house. Two bald eagles were in a tree watching the water. I didnt see them try to nail any fish but they also might have been watching for field mice. I couldnt get a picture as they were too far off but here is a famous cartoon by Peter Arno about an enthusiastic bird watcher.

    peter arno eagle

  • Maple Syrup

    Posted on January 9th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    I used to make maple syrup, not a lot, as it is very labor intensive, but there was an article in the local paper here saying that this year was going to be a very good year because there weren’t many mast seeds. The mast seed, I had to look it up, were those helicopter like things that fall from the tree, in the Spring. When I was young we used to split them and put them on our noses like little unicorns.
    Well the more seeds, the less syrup or so they now claim so this year should be a banner year.

    Here is a picture of our sugar shack. It was an old milking shed that I converted into a sugar shack. I swapped it for an old car and in return the buyer had to bring it over to the farm from Millbrook and set it up in the woods. It needs some work so I probably will just leave it as is and think about syrup. A friend and neighbor dropped off 4 bottles recently. He still makes syrup.

    Somewhere in the Millbrook Times archives I have a picture from about 25 years ago of my neighbor George and me boiling down sap on a primitive evaporator made with concrete blocks and a large pan. I’ll look for it one of these days.

    sugar shack

  • Appalachian Trail and Winnie the Pooh

    Posted on January 5th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    For years we have talked about hiking the Appalachian Trail which passes about 5 miles from the farm and goes around yes, Nuclear Lake (see link below) and then on to Wingdale, New York and into Connecticut.
    Friday was the day, clear and cool, no snow on the ground and so we set our watches at 10:30 for what was supposed to be about an hour hike. Three hours and 9 miles later we somehow found our way back to route 55 after apparently following the wrong trails which were clearly marked with white painted squares on the trees. Problem, it was the blue squares we were supposed to follow. Compass, matches, hatchet, Swiss army knife, we had none of them. As we kept following the trail the old Winnie the Pooh question came up when we saw two sets of footprints.

    Here is a picture of the lake.nuclear lake

    The story below is worth reading if for no reason other than the simpson’s cartoon of the three eyed fish.


  • Down on the Farm

    Posted on January 5th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    Weather got cold today for the first time in a few weeks and temperatures are finally supposed to get down to the single digits by Thursday. Not much snow here particularly compared to last year. Both cats had a vacation, four days inside the house but they are out now and back in the barn. Nipsy, the white cat was purchased at the ASPCA with the thought that Blackstone needed company. They hate each other and Nipsy intensely dislikes Blackstone, hisses at him and keeps him from the milk ergo two bowls.
    blackstone and nipsy

  • Two Annoying Things, Make That Three

    Posted on January 5th, 2015 The Millbrook Times No comments

    We here at the Millbrook Times like Thomas’ English Muffins. Why do they come in that long holder with the little green closer? It makes no sense. I suggest a nationwide campaign to have them redesign their packagingthomas' english muffins

    And while we are at it, why do Black and Decker toaster ovens cost $39 and burn out after 6 months, planned obsolescence?

    The other thing that is very bothersome are the new light bulbs. I think the old incandescents are going the way of the dodo bird and I/We for one (or is it two) dont like the new ones no matter how efficient they are. Who would buy the ones on the left when you can get old reliable on the right?New-Light-Bulbsincandescent light bulb

    Here’s another one that really is annoying “This call may be recorded for quality assurance.” This after waiting for ten minutes to try to hear a real voice.