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I recently received an update from my publisher Pen & Sword Books regarding my book’s sales – they’re good, but they could be better. My history book Four Days in September: The Battle of Teutoburg, 2nd Edition (2016) has been called THE book concerning the Battle of Teutoburg, also called the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, fought in the year 9 AD between the Romans and the Germanic barbarians. I spent a lot of time overhauling the manuscript to create the 2nd Edition, correcting mistakes and adding in lots of new facts which weren’t available when the original edition came out back in 2013. If you’re interested in ancient Roman history, German history, military history, or just history in general, or you know somebody who is, then buy a copy today! You can purchase it directly from Pen & Sword Books on their website catalogue, or you can get it from other major book retailers.
My book is currently on-sale, so you can get it at a discounted price!
Hello all. A week ago, I attended the Thunderbird Mid-Summer Pow Wow which takes place at the end of July at the Queens County Farm Museum. I have been coming to this place, and the associated Green Meadows Farm Petting Zoo (which I originally thought was part of the QCFM, but later learned that it’s an entirely separate organization) ever since I was in pre-school. Chances are if you went to pre-school or elementary school here in Queens, New York, that around October you came to this place for some pumpkin picking. I enjoy coming here for the special events that they host, and among them is the yearly gathering of the Indian tribes from across the Americas to represent and honor their heritage – from Canada to Ecuador, and everywhere in between.
As a historian specializing in tribal cultures from ancient times to modern times, I feel that behooves me to come to events like this as often as I can in order to keep up my credibility as a historian and quasi-anthropologist. Also, I just love coming here purely for it’s own sake – I greatly enjoy coming to this place, I enjoy the “rendezvous” like atmosphere, and of course, I love the music and the dances. The food isn’t bad either!
The pow wow was a three-day event, and I arrived on saturday July 30. The weather was forecasted to be pretty bad that weekend, and on Friday, the first day of the festivities, it poured. When I arrived on Saturday, the sky was gray and heavy, and there were warnings that there would be occassional showers throughout the day.
Although it’s called a “museum” the QCFM is working farm where they grow crops and raise livestock. In fact, it is the last fully-operational farm left in all of Queens County. It’s a large place, and the pow wow events were confined to the front portion of the farm where the gate and most of the buildings are. The center and rear of the farm were pretty isolated, aside from a few farm workers and some families looking at the animals in their pens.
I enjoy walking amidst the gardens and crop fields. As I’ve said in previous posts on this blog, although I’ve lived my whole life in the city, I’ve always been more of a country person at heart, and this place allows me a certain amount of escapism.
The first building that you see when you walk in is the Adriance Farmhouse.
Nearby are other associated buildings which are used for a variety of purposes.
In the nearby gardens, they grow many of the herbs and vegetables that they sell at the market stand, which is located outside of the giftshop.
In terms of livestock, they have a refreshing variety, including pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, cows, horses, and even alpacas!
Just beyond the gardens is the cornfield. they grow the corn in the form of a maze which is then enjoyed by the children during autumn. When I was there, the corn stalks were five and a half feet high, up to my chin.
Other gardens stretch all the way to the back of the farm property. This is a rather large expanse of open area. On one side are grape vines, some open grass, and then more vegetable and herb gardens. The QCFM used to make and sell its own wine (the 2006 Merlot was especially good), but they stopped doing this a few years back. The following three photos are my attempt at a wide pan shot, which unfortunately my camera can’t do, so I had to take three separate pictures.
The object that you see in the last picture is a greenhouse. There are several of these small greenhouses, constructed from a frame and covered with thin plastic sheeting, dotted all over the farm. Here is a better picture of it.
You’re probably expecting me to post pictures of the pow wow celebrations, but I deliberately took NO pictures of this. The dancers, musicians, and story-tellers that were present here have strong feelings about having their pictures being taken. Remember, these people are not tourist attractions. They are people deserving of respect, and I felt that it would not be appropriate to be snapping pictures of people when they don’t want to be photographed. Besides, in this age when everyone who attends a concert records it on their smartphone rather than sitting back and enjoying the show, I am adamant in not allowing technology to get in the way of an immersive sensory experience. So, no photos. Don’t like that? Tough.
Sales for my book have expanded to practically every major book retailer. I’m happy to say that hardcover and electronic versions of my book are now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Here are the links:
Two years ago, the first edition of my history book Four Days in September: The Battle of Teutoburg was published by Trafford Publishing. Since then, my book has been taken on by a well-known military history publisher based in Britain called Pen & Sword Books. Now, the book’s second edition, which is much more accurate and full of new information that wasn’t available two years ago, has been released. I just received my complimentary author’s copies of the books in the mail today, and I’m happy.
If you or somebody that you know likes ancient Roman history, German history, or military history in general, then order a copy of Four Days in September: The Battle of Teutoburg, 2nd Edition today! Available on Amazon!
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient village in Britain dated to about 1,300-8,000 BC. The quality of the preservation have led some to equate it with the well-preserved ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD.
Based upon what has been uncovered so far, it seems that the village was a “crannog” – a village that is built upon either an artificial island or one that is elevated above a water body through the use of wooden piles and a platform. This village is in the second category.
The site, known as Must Farm, is located just outside a quarry at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, England. It was discovered in 1999 by a local archaeologist, but excavation didn’t get underway until five years later in 2004. A more thorough examination of the site occured two years afterwards in 2006. Archaeologists determined that the village was built sometime between 1,300-1,000 BC. A wooden palisade fence which surrounded the village was added later, dated fom 1,000-800 BC. At some time, the village suffered from a fire, and the damaged builginds dropped into the river below. gradually, they were covered over with river silt, preserving them. The timeframe of this site places it within Britain’s late Bronze Age. The use of iron had not yet arrived in the British Isles, and it would not until about about 800 BC.
The Cambridge University Archaeological Unit, working in association with Historic England and Forterra, have been conducting an eight-month-long excavation of the site, beginning in September 2015. The houses that have been uncovered here are of a typical northwestern European “round house” design common among the Celtic people. In addition to the remains of the buildings, they have uncovered a wealth of Bronze Age artifacts, ranging from wooden eating utensils to pottery to textiles. Regrettably, half of the settlement has been damaged or destroyed due to the quarrying operations at the site.
For more information, see the following:
In May 2013, my first book Four Days in September: The Battle of Teutoburg was published by Trafford Publishing, based in Indiana, USA. I’m happy to say that my book has been taken up by a British publishing company specializing in military history called Pen & Sword Books. My book will be re-published as a new and improved updated 2nd Edition sometime around late March 2016. I should state that this is a provisional date – the actual date of publishing could be earlier or later depending on how smoothly the publishing process goes.
I’ve heard it said that authors should never read reviews of their work to avoid hurting their feelings in case the reviews are bad, but I avidly read my reviews. I got a lot of feedback from people who read my book, including ordinary history buffs and professional historians, and I listened to what they liked and didn’t like about it. So, I revised my manuscript based upon their suggestions. I corrected mistakes that I made (both in terms of incorrect info as well as the mountain of spelling errors that slipped through the editing process), and I added in new information which I did not have at the time. The new edition will be the most accurate account to date about that fateful battle in the year 9 AD.
Granted, the publishing process is still going on, and there are lots of matters that need to be addressed. The cover design still has not been finalized although the publishing staff has a rough idea about how it will look, we haven’t even started the editing process yet, and the index hasn’t been made. Hopefully, things will be concluded on schedule.
That’s all that I have to say for now on this matter.
Well, it was that time of year again! Every April or so, at around the time of Easter, the Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, located in Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York, holds it annual “Dinosaur Day”. This is one of the days that I really look foward to for a few reasons. First, I get to work at a place that I absolutely love and meet with some good friends. Secondly, I get to be out of NYC for a little while, which is something that I ALWAYS look foward to. Third, I get to talk about a subject that has fascinated me since my earliest days – paleontology.
Veronica, the museum’s de facto head of administration, did a wonderful job along with other members of the museum staff of setting up the classroom where the day’s major activities would be taking place. Recently, the museum’s library was substantially increased. The Sands Point Museum and Preserve had closed down its library a short while ago, and all of the books and papers were sent to the GPM. I should state, though, that almost all of these documents were originally part of the GPM collections anyway, and they just got them back, that’s all. However, Louis (one of the workers at the Garvies Point Museum, but works primarily at the Old Bethpage Village – another place that I really love) has been working hard to re-catalogue all of these books and papers back into the museum’s database.
The name of the event was somewhat misleading, as it concerned all prehistoric life, not just dinosaurs. We had exhibits on primitive mammal-like-reptiles, dinosaurs, and prehistoric mammals.
Here are some pictures of what the room looked like both during and after the hoards of kids showed up.
Most of the really young children gravitated immediately towards the dino toy area and the fossil digsite. The older children and a lot of the adults were interested in the information that I and others were giving. They were especially interested in Dimetrodon, the famous sail-backed pelycosaur from the early Permian Period. I don’t think that I have ever had to say the name”Dimetrodon” so many times within the course of a single day! It seemed to be the only thing that many of them wanted to talk about!
Some of the major topics of interest on this day were: the Permian Mass Extinction, which occured about 251 million years ago, when an estimate 95% of all life was wiped out; of course, T. rex was a favorite; as too was Allosaurus, who competed with its larger relative for attention from the crowds. This was helped in no small part to the fact that we had a lot of Allosaurus “stuff” arrayed for them: a picture of the skull, a hand model, bone casts, a model, and my drawing which you might recognize from an earlier post on this blog.
Finally, here’s a picture of me, “the Dinosaur Man” as several members of the museum staff call me, dressed up as an amateur paleontologist. In addition to my olive drab Garvies Point Museum shirt, I also wore a khaki utility vest, because apparently ALL paleontologists wear khaki utility vests! I thought that wearing it would help to enhance my ethos with the audience, and by my reckoning, it worked.