Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Series Finale: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween friends! After a week of busy Halloween posts I thought I'd present a few "retro" images of Halloween for you to enjoy. When I think of Halloween, the Munsters tend to come to mind. I used to love that show, Herman and Lilly, Grandpa, Eddie, and of course, poor Marilyn. She wasn't very pretty compared to the rest of the family. Speaking of Marilyn, I wonder, did you prefer Beverly Owen or Pat Priest as Marilyn? Go ahead, leave a comment, I'd love to hear your opinion. In the meantime I hope you have a Happy, Haunted Halloween!
And now, some retro Halloween Art:

-Rick Rockhill

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Series: Meet a Real Witch

As part of my week-long Halloween series, today I present a post about Witches. Not the kind in Harry Potter or the Wizard of Oz, but rather a world-famous real living Witch, Laurie Cabot. Laurie is one of the most well known Witches in the world, who popularized modern Witchcraft here in the US nearly 40 years ago. She has written several books: The Power of the Witch, The Witch in Every Woman, and Celebrate the Earth. She has also founded the Cabot Tradition of the Science of Witchcraft and many years ago co-founded the Witches' League for Public Awareness and Project Witches Protection to defend the civil rights of Witches. Laurie is 75 years old and lives in Salem, Massachusetts where she runs a Witch supply shop called The Cat, the Crow, and the Crown. The following information about Witches is directly from her website:
"Do's and Don'ts of the Craft":
1. Witches do not do evil - They believe that doing evil and harm is against all ethical and moral laws. Further, Witchcraft tells us: "An ye harm none (not even yourself), do what ye will."
2. Witches do not worship Satan - They do not have a Satan/Devil or any all-evil deity in their religious structure. Witchcraft is a religion that underscores polarity and views God and Goddess as equal entities.
3. A male witch is not a Warlock - The word "Warlock" is a Scottish word meaning "oath breaker" and became a term designating a male Witch during the "burning times" (i.e.; the Inquisition). Male as well as female practitioners of the Craft are known as Witches.
4. Witches wear clothing of every color and every style - Many Witches do choose to wear black clothing or ritual robes. The color black is the culmination of all vibrational rates of light on the material plane. Black absorbs light information and helps Witches be more receptive to psychic impressions and energies.
5. Witches come from every socio-economic and ethnic background - Many witches are professional people holding positions of responsibility such as Doctors, Nurses, Police Officers, Teachers, etc. Witchcraft does not discriminate against color or ethnic origin and does view everything as equal in the eyes of the Goddess and God.
6. Witches do use spells - A spell is a thought, a projection, or a prayer. Other religions use prayer, meditation, projection and ritual to produce an intended result. The word "spell" does not imply doing evil or harm.
7. Witches do use magic wands - Often you see the use of magic wands in children's cartoons and movies making the idea seem frivolous. In actuality the magic wands are used in healing for directing energy.
8.Witches do use Witchcraft as a science, an art and a religion - They use their knowledge and magic in harmony with the Universe and Nature around them.
9.The word "Witch" has a deep and rich history - As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary "Witchcraft" is a Celtic word meaning the wise, good people. "Wicce" designates a female Witch where as "Wicca" designates a male Witch.
10. In the religion of Witchcraft the pentacle is viewed as an amulet and a symbol for protection - The five-pointed star represents the human body and the earth. In combination, the star surrounded by the circle represents the human body encompassed by the protection of the Goddess/God force. The pentacle is the symbol for Universal Wisdom.
11. Witches concern themselves with ecology - They have never forgotten this basic fact: the World is not our enemy. Neither is it inert, dumb matter. The Earth and all living things share the same life-force. They are composed of patterns of intelligence, of knowledge, and of divinity. All life is a web. We are woven into it as sisters and brothers of all. Witches need to be grounded in both worlds and awake to their responsibilities for both worlds. It is only being responsible human beings that we can be responsible Witches, and only responsible Witches will survive.**Excerpt from "Power of the Witch" by Laurie Cabot,Delacourt Press. (Dell Publishing) N.Y., N.Y., October 1989
Thanks for stopping by today and meeting a real witch!
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Series: Classic Characters

My Halloween series continues today with a quick look at some of my favorite "Classic Halloween Characters". No matter what age you are, it's always fun to dress up and be something else for a night! For those of you who may not know, Halloween originated from the Pagan Celtic holiday of Samhain. The tradition of dressing up for Halloween first became popular in the US in the early 1900s, but it wasn't until the 1930s when costumes were mass produced and sold in stores. Right around the same time, trick-or-treating gained popularity and kids collected apples, home-made sweets and cookies. Since their inception, Halloween costumes are often based on monsters, supernatural creatures, vampires, ghosts, witches, and devils. Here are some of my favorite characters that are great for Halloween:

above: The Wicked Witch of the West

above: Werewolf

above: Mummy

above: Wizard

above: Frankenstein's Monster
above: The Bride of Frankenstein's Monster
What are your favorite costumes or Characters for Halloween? Go ahead, leave a comment, it's more fun than a barrel of snakes.
-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Series: Pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns

Welcome back! It's Treacherous Tuesday, which is a perfect day to present day two of my Halloween Series: Pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns. For those of you who enjoy Halloween as much as I do, you will appreciate today's post. The first ingredient of course is a fresh pumpkin or two, followed by a pen or pencil to trace a face on the pumpkin skin. Add a sharp knife and a bit of imagination, a little elbow grease and presto: a Jack-O-Lantern is born. The Jack-O-Lantern is one of the most popular Halloween symbols in America, but it originated in Europe, having first been carved from a turnip. The reason a head is carved is because many people believed the head was the most powerful part of a body, containing the spirit. The term Jack-O-Lantern is traced back to the Irish legend called Stingy Jack. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree, trapping him by carving into the tree trunk. Out of revenge, the devil cursed Jack, and condemned him to walk the land at night with a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. Pumpkins are used here in the USA mainly because pumpkins are more readily available. It quickly became legend, and to this day Jack-O-Lanterns are carved and illuminated each year. So when you carve your pumpkin this year, be sure to think of Stingy Jack! Here are some photos to get you in the mood~

Thanks for stopping by!
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Series: Spooky Halloween Candy

Today os the first day in a week-long series on's my favorite time of the year. It goes back to my childhood, of course. I have many fond memories of dressing up and going trick-or-treating. Years later, when I worked in the confectionery industry, Halloween became even more exciting to me. I was always fascinated when my company started making all the chocolate ghosts and witches, candy corn and special chocolate Pixies (turtles). I felt like a kid again as I would drool over the foil-wrapped chocolate novelties. Even the Halloween cookies at the grocery store got me excited. Even to this day, I usually buy myself some Halloween candy. I usually buy the good stuff- I never buy mass produced Halloween snobbery is from years of working in the confectionery industry. We never used any fillers or waxes in our chocolate. Those were good old I miss them. So just to make you drool, here are a few Halloween favorites:

above: Chocolate Covered Pretzels
above: Ceramic Pumpkin Dishes with foil-wrapped chocolate balls in a Mummy dish or bag.
above: A little favor-box is just perfect, or these ceramic pumpkin dishes with gummy pumpkins and pumpkin lollipops...Mmmmm.
Do you have your Halloween Candy yet???
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Art Review: Vases of the Vatican Museum

My visit to Rome and the Mediterranean Cruise a few weeks back provided a great deal of content for the blog. Without question there was a plethora of breathtaking and stunning art wherever we went in Italy, France, Monaco and Montenegro. My brief visit to the Vatican Museum was a veritable gold mine of art. I took hundreds of photos that day, and chose to focus on three main subjects: Statues, Vases and Ceilings. If I had a few days to spend in the Vatican Museum I could have easily come up with several photo series. I'll just have to make another trip back to Rome. Last week I presented the Sunday Art Review: Statues of the Vatican. Next Sunday I hope you can return to see the photos of the ceilings within the Vatican Museum. Today I am pleased to present the Sunday Art Review: Vases of the Vatican Museum. None of these vases had titles so I shall assign names for the sake of any comments. Enjoy~
above: "Rosso"
above: "Nero"
above: "Octagon"
above: "Vase 43"
above: "Wing Marble"
above: " Verde-Nero"
above: "Fiori dell'oro"
above: "Fiori Rosso"

above: "Leoni dell'oro"
Thanks ever so for stopping by the Sunday Art Review. Have a great Sunday!
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Saturday Seven: Facts About The Moon

I returned home to Palm Springs last night after several days of travel for business. It was a productive and enjoyable trip, but its always good to be back home. I sat outside by the pool with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, watching the flames dance around merrily. I leaned back in my chair and stared up at the desert sky. The stars softly dotted the dark expanse. It was punctuated by a waning crescent moon, with only about a 10% sliver showing, yet its glow was like a song in the night. I have always marveled at the moon's beauty. This became the inspiration for another scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Facts About The Moon.

1. The surface area of the moon is 14,658,000 square miles or 9.4 billion acres. which is about 1/4 the size of the Earth.

2. The Moon was formed about 4.5 billion years ago

3. The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite and is the fifth largest natural satellite in the Solar System.

4. An Orange Moon is an effect caused by the atmosphere of the Earth.

5. The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days. However, since the Earth is moving in its orbit about the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show its same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5 days.

6. The Moon is the only body in our Solar System to which humans have travelled and landed.

7. During the lunar day, the surface temperature averages 107°C, and during the lunar night, it averages -153°C. YIKES.
Thanks for stopping by today. If you have a comment or fun fact about the Moon, please leave a comment!
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Great Count Dracula

It's my favorite time of year, when the story of Count Dracula and Vampires re-emerge in time for Halloween. I have long been fascinated Dracula's story, although I don't know why. As far back as my childhood I was always terrified by Vampires. When I was a kid, I would read Bram Stoker's Dracula before going to sleep and was so frightened I would fall asleep with my hand on my neck for protection. Count Dracula of course was a centuries-old charming Transylvanian aristocrat who had amazing strength, supernatural powers, the ability to defy gravity, change into bats or disappear into fog. All this made him pretty cool in my mind. I remember my mom taking me and my brother to see a Dracula play at the Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence when I was a kid. It seemed so real, right there on stage before my eyes. Ever since then I've been a fan, even to this day. So just for the fun of it, a week before Halloween I present this collection of photos of various actors who played the legendary Count Dracula. Enjoy~

above: the great Bella Lugosi, Dracula 1931

above: Gary Oldman as Dracula (young and old) in Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992
above: Frank Langella, Dracula, 1979

above: Louis Jourdan, Count Dracula, 1977

above: John Carradine, Dracula, 1956

above: Christopher Lee, Dracula, 1958

above: Just for fun because its so iconic, the German vampire Nosferatu played by Max Schreck, 1929. Did I miss any?
-Rick Rockhill


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients or business colleagues.