Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Symbolic Wages: The Elements of Consecration in Freemasonry. By W:. Bro. Shawn Eyer

Brothers, not long ago W:. Litwin and I gave a lecture about Masonic Tracing Boards and how they were used in the Lodge rooms of old. For those that missed the lecture we will be giving again at Charlotteville Lodge #73 on January the 18th. It was very well received by the Western New York School of Instruction. Even though it was given almost two years ago we still get requests to give it again, which we will be doing in Charlotteville Lodge.
W:. Bro. Eyer work expounds upon the idea we put forth about the central nature of the Tracing Boards in early Masonic workings. He actually demonstrates the Lodge Consecration ritual I discussed in the Tracing Board program. I am not going to spoil this with video a summation. It is well worth your time to watch every second of it. I am so proud to see this level of work being conducted and being made accessible to the whole of the Craft. Take advantage of this opportunity to review world class Masonic research in the leisure of your home, you will not regret it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Car Survival Kit

As we are now in the holiday season and still have yet to be burdened by our normal heavy snows, I wanted to take this time to share with you some things that could save your life, your families, and even your fellow Brethren. Being prepared is a must for anyone wishing to be of service to those in need. Having a good understanding of how to use certain items & being educated will prove more beneficial than most of the gear you can ever obtain; though there are some mandatory items not to be without. Here then is a very good list of 'Gear' you may wish to compile for your trunk. A car or truck should have most of these items. You never know if your car will break down, be stuck in the snow somewhere, or if someone may need your help! I write this because when I was teenager, someone helped me. This is part of how I give back. Do not be fooled by the commercial kits available at stores. If you must, use them as a basic kit to be added to. Let us hope that you never need to use these items, but in case you do this list should prove helpful in most situations. I have taken the liberty to add some links so that you may better understand what some of the more obscure items are.

Winter Car Survival:

Always clean/inspect and tune up your vehicle before heavy snow - Winterize by oil changes, snow tires, snow wiper blades, etc.

Have a Basic First Aid kit.


~ extra winter gloves * frostbite only takes a few minutes to set in

~ extra winter hat *remember about 80% of heat is lost through the head

~extra sweaters, and or jacket

~ heavy duty work gloves

~ A safety reflective vest- http://www.amazon.com/Safety-Fluorescent-Silver-Stripe-Polyester/dp/B002FCJ8SQ

~ Extra scarf

~ Extra socks -wool hiking type

Small basic tool kit: screw drivers, needle nose pliers, channel lock pliers, crescent wrench.

~ Rope (50-100 feet of real 500lb. test 7 strand para cord) do NOT be fooled by 'fake' stuff still called para cord, make sure it has 7 inner strands!

~ Tow Rope (strong enough to tow a truck)

~ Strobe light-   http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___87551

~ Road flares

~ Extra Batteries

~ Glow sticks

~ “Heat” - car rock salt.

~ Emergency gas

~ Gas can & $20 cash in glove box

~ Jumper cables

~ Road reflector triangle

~ Extra windshield de-icer

~ Water bottle. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23236

~ A good Multi-tool- http://www.knivesplus.com/LEATHERMAN-TOOLS.HTML

~A key chain led flashlight- http://www.photonlight.com/

~ Flashlight. There are many good ones on the market, use a good one with good reviews that is reliable and durable.

~ 2 knives:
My suggestions
       Folder: swiss army - used as a back up to your multi tool
       Fixed blade: ka bar heavy duty warthog model (1278)- strong, can even be used in buttoning wood for fires, very affordable.

*** Though any good fixed blade will work, so use your common sense for the situations that might occur.

A Great knife link:  http://www.knivesplus.com/index.html

~ Polar Tec blankets - http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80905

~ Gallon of water

~ Food..... MRE's/snickers/nuts/jerky/can beans/tuna/dried fruit/ anything nonperishable

~ A good book to read

~ A few BIC lighters

~ Snow Shovel http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___60630  OR http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82859?cm_vc=PDPZ1#

~ Sunglasses

~ Emergency blanket-reflective  http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___89035

~ Hand warmers (push button active kind)  http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Factory-Premium-Hand-Warmer/dp/B001OPMFK8

~ Solar cell phone charger-    http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/portable+battery+chargers.html

~ Fix a flat

~ Insta-Fire- http://www.instafire.com/home.htm

~ Extra toys (if you have children)

*** Any extra medication you may need such as inhalers, insulin, epi pen, or other life saving medications.

Some of these items are very helpful but not necessary. Though ask yourself this, wouldn't you rather be comfortable and allow your wife/girlfriend or children to be if there is a situation. You never know how long, or where you could be stranded. What if you saw someone on the side of the road that needed your help, wouldn't you like to be able to offer them a hand? More so, what if that car was one of us, a Brother in need?

Lastly I wanted to share two of my favorite books on survival, they are educational, detailed, scientific, and funny!

98.6 degrees of Keeping your ass alive- http://www.amazon.com/98-6-Degrees-Keeping-Your-Alive/dp/1586852345

When all Hell breaks loose: Stuff you need to Survive when disaster strikes- http://www.amazon.com/When-All-Hell-Breaks-Loose/dp/142360105X/ref=pd_sim_b_1

If you wish to contact me privately about any of these items; my reviews/opinions, and use of them, I would be happy to open a dialogue with you about anything at all. 716-572-2908

Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy your holiday season!

Bro. Krebs

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Best of Masonic Regalia

I thought this holiday season it would be in the theme of things to start a monthly article on one of the things I love best, Masonic regalia. I have spent countless hours searching for the very best in Masonic items and each month I hope to share with you what I have found in my search.

One thing you will find when looking at high quality Masonic regalia is the love and craftsmanship that goes into each item. I have yet to find an item of superior quality that does not have a Brother behind it, not a factory or soulless machines cranking out the same thing. You will find a true craftsman designing each detail. That is it what makes our regalia unique, the soul that is placed in it by the craftsmen.

One of the companies I first discovered was Fraternal Ties by Bro. John Paul Gomez of Doric Lodge No. 316, way out in the cold wastes of Canada (like 2 hours from us in Buffalo!). I recall finding him on eBay selling an amazing red silk tie. It was designed to have a very 1800s look that had square and compasses hidden in the design. An amazing tie that I could wear everyday, not too over the top that people would look at it and be taken aback by the design. It is a simple and wonderful design that got me hooked to his work. I have bought all but two of the ties he has made since. I can tell you that with each new tie -- well they just get better.

Bro. Gomez's ties are often very subtle, so one could wear the tie every day and none would be the wiser that it was a Masonic tie. Bro. Gomez’s attention to the art of design has made his ties unique and modern, no silly square and compasses tie over cheap nylon, just high-end fabrics and innovative designs.

He also runs a blog off his website, www.fraternalties.com, where he has many wonderful works of Masonic art he generously posts free of charge as wallpaper for your computer (I can't recall a time I did not have one as my I-Pad’s wallpaper) and articles on his esoteric Masonic muses.

As a lover of the finer things made for Masons, I can tell you that Fraternal Ties is of the finest I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor, be a Mason in style, and wear your light with the dignity it deserves, wear the “tie that binds.”