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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Major Lisa A. Jaster: Army Ranger

For many of us, the psyche of the ultra-high achiever, the elevated standard of discipline which frames their lives, is nearly impossible to fathom. We may be impressively credentialed ourselves with successful careers, we stay relatively fit and take care of our health, and at times we rise above difficult challenges. But that’s not what we’re discussing here. This is a whole other level of commitment, something so rare that we more common folk are traversing foreign territory. Why is a person this driven, this willing to push her body and mind well beyond what common willpower and human endurance typically allows? Why would any person voluntarily experience what the majority of us consider severe punishment akin to hell on earth? What motivates such a person’s actions and behaviors?We recently had the opportunity to meet one of these most extraordinary people, to dig in below the surface and find her core. Following is our briefing: The Engineer & The Soldier Some people are competitive, others are hyper-competitive, and then there’s Lisa Jaster. She is an engineer and a soldier. That’s

Taylor Hagood: The Love Of Halloween And The Fun It Brings To Us

Shadows Their silent mystery suggests a way of being that is different from yet thoroughly tied to the way of being we know as humans. They carry a wonder that comes with childhood and youth, when the world’s shadows can frighten and thrill at once, which is the essence of horror and the strange hope and excitement it creates. It takes youthful imagination truly to apprehend and appreciate shadow puppets, hands forming shadow animals and faces, and shadows in a moonlit room that turn familiar things into unrecognizable shapes that might just harbor a secret or a threat. There is a moment in the 1963 film The Haunting when a few shadows cast by an ornately carved panel seem to form a motionless face. As light from an unknown source dims and brightens, the face sharpens and fades against the menacing sound of a rising and falling voice. How often as a child did I myself lay in bed transfixed and chilled by ordinary, inanimate things coming alive through the accidental formation of shadows? Or was it accidental? When I was

ANTIQUE MECHANICAL BANKS

Time to dig through the attic. You may have a piece of rare history more valuable than gold. Can you imagine a bunch of throomers huddled closely together, perhaps cradling a tumbler of scotch, or a glass of wine, or beer in their hands, having an intense conversation about their toy collections and paint chips?  Well, if not, you might be interested to learn a little more about antique mechanical banks and the eclectic ladies and gentlemen who are exceptionally passionate and extremely competitive when it comes to collecting these rare gems. A Delightful Way to Save Toy mechanical banks were first introduced in the mid-to-late 1800s, designed to encourage children to have fun while saving money.  Sculpted by an artist, they had moving parts, springs, and levers to create an action that would encourage children to use them time and time again.  The period between 1869, when the first mechanical cast iron bank, known as Hall’s Excelsior, became available, and 1910 was known as the golden age of mechanical banks, when most were produced. You’ve probably seen them but

Oliver Clark: Behind Closed Doors in NYC

When visiting New York City, according to many travel guides, those interested in our country’s history will not want to miss the iconic American Folk Art Museum. That’s good advice. Less well known is on that same Manhattan island, a private folk art collection may be just as rare and important, just as jaw-dropping, and worthy of a visit. However, unless you’re a friend or client of the proprietor, that’s not possible. Luckily, Throomers.com is just that. Recently, we were invited to visit the duplex of Oliver Clark, the fascinating man whose passion and dedication is responsible for the existence of this extraordinary collection. Here’s what we discovered. Discovering a Passion In his youth, Oliver Clark was busy with a wholly different artistic craft. He appeared regularly as an accomplished character actor on popular television shows such as Barney Miller, Golden Girls, M.A.S.H., Bob Newhart, and St. Elsewhere, in addition to several film credits, including the original ‘A Star is Born’, starring Barbara Streisand. While living in Los Angeles, he experienced his exhilarating”wow” moment and discovered his purpose. Pioneering folk

David Gallo: Sensationally Setting the Scene

A sensational convergence of fantasy and artistry on the big stage makes this visual storyteller one of the best in the business. Let the Show Begin Spectators take to their seats. Whispers slowly cease as the curtain rises and the house lights fade. Lights up, the reveal! Instantly, the art of David Gallo overcomes you and you are swept into another realm. He has set the stage in both mood and expectation at the start of your theatrical journey. His set design provides a canvas, of sorts, for actors and directors to make a story come to life, but the set is a piece of magnificence all on its own. As a scenic designer, Gallo is responsible for the visual appearance and function of the scenic elements used in a production. But he is more inclined to far exceed usual conventions, and instead, creates awe-inspiring works of art and experiential productions. Gallo is one of the most preeminent creators of theatrical environments in the industry. In the quarter century that is his career, his imaginings have breathed life into many

Myka Meier: Dinner Table Etiquette Essentials That You Should Know

You are having dinner at someone’s home, and you’ve been served something you’d rather not eat. What is the best way to handle the situation? First off, if you accept a dinner invitation at someone’s home and you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s up to you to tell your host in plenty of time ahead of the meal that you have dietary restrictions. It is not recommended however to tell your host your likes or dislikes. That being said, if you arrive to someone’s home and are served something you do not like, it can be very hurtful to tell your host you don’t like something they prepared. I would recommend eating everything else that you can, and cut a piece or two of the food you don’t so it looks like you at least tried it.  If your host asks if you didn’t like their meal, I would simply say I had a large meal prior, however that everything they served was so lovely. If you’ve invited a guest to dinner at your house and they bring

Journey Through Ireland by Train

A journey through Ireland by train on the Belmond Grand Hibernian reveals the history and legends of Ireland through her rolling countrysides and port towns. See off-the-beaten-path sites, explore the famous places, and meet local people who will bring this region of northern Europe to life through storytelling and tours. Suggested journey at a glance: 9 days/8 nights including four nights aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, and overnights in Dublin and Belfast This suggested itinerary is just one of many ways to see Ireland on your own customized Ker & Downey journey. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our Ireland by Train journey. Dublin Begin in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city and one of the world’s top cities as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. It’s at the center of Irish culture past and present, and a historical and contemporary center for education, the arts, and industry. Its history is told in the architecture

Expeditions Unpacked: What the Great Explorers Took into the Unknown

By Ed Stafford, illustrated by Christine Barrie | Published September 17, 2019 In this unique and enthralling book, explorer and survivalist Ed Stafford curates 25 great expeditions through the lens of the kit these remarkable explorers took with them. In an environment where lack of preparation could mean certain death, the equipment carried, ridden and sailed into uncharted territories could mean the success or failure of an expedition. Was it simply a case of better provisions and preparation that helped Amundsen beat Scott to the South Pole? And how has the equipment taken to Everest changed since Hillary’s first ascent? Through carefully curated photographs and specially commissioned illustrations we can see at a glance the scale, style and complexity of the items taken into the unknown by the greatest explorers of all time, and the impact each item had on their journey. How it potentially saved a life, or was purely for comfort or entertainment, and how these objects of survival have evolved and adapted as science advances, and we plunge further into the extremes. Expeditions Unpacked offers an intimate view of

Alexander McLean: Compassionate World-Changer

His organization is empowering a community of changemakers within Africa’s prison system. Stooping in a dark, dank prison cell, a young man strokes the hand of a dying prisoner. The prisoner is handcuffed to a soiled cot reeking of vomit and urine. The young man doesn’t even notice. He sees only with his heart; something not many people would accuse barristers of having. But this young legal mind, Alexander McLean has a heart large enough to embrace the suffering prisoners of an entire continent. The Happy Accident McLean should never have been born. He’s a child of accidental birth, at least to his parents; a Jamaican father and English mother. But when God wants to answer the prayers of the forgotten, He creates their solution in His own way. That solution was a little boy called Alex. Born in the southern suburbs of London, England, McLean endured the fitful reactions of 1970s society to mixed race children. Nevertheless, he grew up in a loving home surrounded by loving relatives, including a beloved gran. The Caring Soul The signs of McLean’s

Darnell Cox: The Rebirth of Breakfast

Breakfast, we are told, is the most important meal of the day, yet most of us are getting it completely wrong. And the worst part is, we THINK we are doing the right thing. Ugh! And what leads us to believe such bullsh*t? Advertising. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve seen mass advertising for it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. When was the last time you saw an ad campaign for strawberries, bananas, chia seeds, almonds, green tea, blueberries…. You get what I’m saying, right? For example, we are bombarded with advertisements for cereal. In fact, there is a long, double-sided aisle in most supermarkets devoted to breakfast cereal alone. Beware, folks. Stay away from it. (Both the cereal and the aisle.) The last thing you should be putting into your body after starving yourself for the (hopefully) 8 hours you’ve slept is a big bowl of processed carbohydrates! Let’s just think about this for a second, shall we? Our metabolism has slowed down while we are at rest. We wake up, we grab a box