Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Italy Blog #89: Pompeii Part 10: Parade of Gladiators!

This is the final blog look at Pompeii, Italy (before we take you to Sorrento). This is something we read about, and sadly didn't see... because it only happened when Pompeii was thriving. It's the "Parade of Gladiators."

WHAT IS THE PARADE OF GLADIATORS? - According to the book "Pompeii Reconstructed" (that we bought when we visited), Gladiators would return to their barracks in a procession from the amphitheaters by walking down two of the long main roads.

Gladiators walked down main streets
THE BATTLES - In Pompeii, 20 pairs of gladiators battled during the events. Those battles can be seen represented in graffiti around the city of Pompeii.

FOUND IN POMPEII - Gladiator helmets and greaves were found in Pompeii during the excavations.  

 GLADIATOR BARRACKS - According to http://www.pompeii.org.uk the four-sided colonnade rising up behind the Theatre was used as the barracks of the organization of gladiators who performed in the town. Along the wings of the colonnade and on the first floor were the rooms which provided accommodation for the gladiators from other towns. Paraments, helmets and arms belonging to the gladiators were found in many of the rooms.

Gladiator Barracks
Another gladiator
NEXT: The Lemon-Scented Town of Sorrento! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Italy Blog #88: Pompeii Part 9: A Major Pompeii Square and Court House Ruins

Tom and Rob at the Palace of Justice ruins
In this final Pompeii blog, we'll just give you some pictures from one of Pompeii's big squares where people gathered for things from politics to leisure and ruins of a court house.

I (Rob) can't seem to recall what the name of this square is, and although we were told it was surrounded by buildings like the city hall and "Palace of Justice" I couldn't find any info about either of those buildings on line. So, here's what we were told.  

Part of the square with building remnants around
The square was surrounded by temples to the gods of Jupiter and Apollo on the north sides. On the south side of the square was the city hall, and on the west side was the Palace of Justice. 
A broken column

Maybe this is Hercules?

WHAT HAPPENED AT "JUSTICE"? - There were judges that sat in this building and as they do today, heard cases deciding guilt or innocence. There was also a place for prisoners. 

Everything about the Palace of Justice was in ruins. There were a couple of statues, that were not identified. 

 We really liked the one large statue standing far from the Palace looking out over the Tyrrenian Sea. Our guess is that it's Hercules.

NEXT: The Parade of the Gladiators

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Great read! Grimm: The Killing Time by Tim Waggoner

The latest novel about the TV series GRIMM was really enjoyable. "The Killing Time" by Tim Waggoner was my favorite of all the Grimm paperbacks I've read (3 of them). The characters are spot on with the TV show, and the story kept you going. It was really a great story!  5 of 5 stars!

ABOUT THE STORY:  A mysterious creature stalks the streets of Portland, looking for a new identity. With one touch it can dissolve its victim, assuming their appearance, personality, and memories. When homicide detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin are called in to investigate a bizarre murder, Nick comes face to face with the changeling, but its powers have an unexpected effect on the Grimm, unleashing a deadly Wesen plague

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Funny Randy Rainbow Video: "Alternative Facts"

Since Kelly Ann Conway introduced "Alternative Facts" (aka: lies) as an excuse for what the new administration's Press Secretary yelled at reporters, people have had a field day with this new phrase about lying. Now, Randy Rainbow, our favorite funnyman has come out with a new musical video about it, and it's hysterical.
WATCH VIDEO: https://youtu.be/OdV_8TGswRA

Friday, January 27, 2017

Italy Blog #87: Pompeii Part 8: The Gymnasium and Bath House

The Stabian Bath house
The ancient people of Pompeii seemed to have everything they needed to make a great living. From outdoor plumbing, to restaurants and bakeries, to sports, art, and gods. The also had gymnasiums and bath houses as part of their fitness and they even had indoor heating! Read on...
Wall of the men's bath

THE STABIAN BATHS OR "TERME STABIANI" - It was a large gymnasium and a bath house. In the gym, romans would wrestle, run and do other exercises. The middle class didn't have baths in their homes so they would go to the gymnasium to bathe.

BATH HOUSE - There were separate bath houses for the men and women. There was also a swimming pool. There was also cold water and warm water baths. It was pretty impressive for something built in 4 B.C.

Ceiling designs
Heated floor
HEAT IN THE FLOOR - In 2 rooms in a semi-ruinous state, had flooring raised on susupensurae or stacks of stone blocks. Their walls provided with air spaces for the passage of hot air. There was a stone furnace behind them (See photo we took!) 

THE ARTISTIC VAULTED CEILINGS - The vaulted ceiling is elaborately decorated with polychrome stuccoes featuring rosettes, cupids, trophies and bacchic figures. A Bacchic figure is one that honors the God Bacchus the god of wine. The definition of "Bacchic" is drunken and carousing; bacchanalian. 

Carving of a god
 NEXT: A Look at a Pompeii Square and Court House Ruins

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Presidential Actions this week that Hurt People

It didn't take long for the new President to hurt people this week: 1) Federal Employees, 2) Women  3) Native Americans 4) Earth Scientists,   5) People in Arts, public broadcasting, humanities 6) Scientists and Environmentalists 7) American Taxpayers

(not to mention creating more tension with China and benefiting Fossil Fuel companies.)
 MONDAY  The president issued 
3) pulled the U.S. out of the TPP trade deal 
4)  falsely claimed millions of "illegals" had cost him the popular vote.

   CBS News and The Huffington Post (yes, Legitimate news sources) 
5) - Keystone/Dakota pipeline projects will resume - on Sacred Native American lands. With an order to use U.S. steel. [Alexander Kaufman, HuffPost]
6) Federal Workers Ordered To Halt External Communication With Congress and the press. [Sam Stein and Kate Sheppard, HuffPost]
7) EPA Told To Cut Climate Change Page From Website And here's the National Parks Twitter account for a park in South Dakota that went rogue talking about climate change yesterday. [Reuters]

8) - Gag orders on all public comments to EPA, USDA employees- Stopped Press releases and social media (BTW,  Government agencies have a MANDATE - to communicate with the public).  - This is an action of a Dictator.
9) - Climate change deniers nominated to head EPA, USDA
10) - Whitehouse.gov website posted Fossil fuel first policy    (in place of former climate change pg)
11) - Dept. of Energy elimination of Renewals Energy office / policies
12) - Any available public lands likely used for fossil fuel development
13) - Russian sanctions lifted to allow ExxonMobile Arctic development
14) - Likely withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement 
15)  - Mexican Border Wall - the GOP in Congress are pushing this through, and the AMERICAN Taxpayers will pay for it. The Mexican President said "We will not pay for your F$&%(^) wall." - That's a quote that I heard him say on CNN.

ACTIONS HE PROMISED ON JAN. 19TH over the next couple of week:
16)  cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
17) cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
18 )cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
19)  cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting....

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Italy Blog #86: Pompeii Part 7: Ancient Restaurants and Bakeries

Large clay pots built into countertops. stored liquids.
In today's blog, we're still walking you through some of the amazing finds of the ancient city of Pompeii and we're walking down a main street where shops were located. It was there that people would go for dinner time if they didn't want to cook at home. They went to the shops.

RESTAURANTS - Take out was popular in Pompeii. It was fascinating to see how well-preserved some of the shops were (the ones who didn't suffer roof collapse). There were usually three or so cisterns in a large countertop, that held liquids from wines to soups to oils.
Because the shops were either below or in front of houses of the owners, other things not found in the shop could be prepared in the houses and sold in the shops. 
MANY STORES - Our tour guide said that on the main street where we walked there were about 400 stores, and people lived over their shops. Larger homes were built behind shops.  Excavators found 82 restaurants!  Stores facing the street were likely owned by the more wealthy people. They were built in a grid.

WHAT KIND OF STORES? - Products like wine, oil, fish, meat, soups, vegetables, eggs, and bread were all sold.

A Pompeiian Oven
BAKERIES - 35 Bakeries were found in the city of Pompeii once excavated. According to pompeiin.com, the ovens were made of bricks

Roman bread encased in ash
(opus latericiumcium), while the floor of the bakery was made of slabs of basalt lava, the same material used to pave roads. The millstones were made of lava stone. Some types of bread were decorated with anise, poppy seeds, sesame and other trees established on the crust with egg white. Later, they began to use the yeast, obtained by mixing millet or bran flour to sour.
  It's fascinating to know that loaves of bread were actually found intact as hardened ash in the bakeries. In one bakery, 85 loaves were found left in an oven at the time of the eruption showing the demand for shop brought bread was high.  For more information about the Pompeii bakeries, visit: http://www.ancienthistoryarchaeology.com/pompeian-bakeries
Watering stations to collect water

In addition to the shops, streets were also full of watering stations.
WATERING STATIONS - Throughout the entire city were rectangular stone basins that provided water for the public.These often had pictures of gods or animals on them.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next