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Monday, November 24, 2008


New infants, lots of work and a growing obsession over at Masonic Central (my masonic podcast) = not much time to post.

A few weeks ago we had Stephen Dafoe on the podcast. It was a great interview. Click here to listen

Last night I went back to his website after my show and reserved my Limited Edition copy. Check it out... Only $10 Wow!!!

The Outremer Comic Book looks great! If you have even been curious about the real Templars then it's worth checking out. Of course this is a comic book so it is fiction, but based on some basis of reality.

Just a note: Stephen is not paying me to post this. He actually doesn't even know. I hope he doesn't mind me posting his picture. I just believe in supporting our fellow masonic authors.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arizona Pioneer Francis A. Shaw Masonic Archive

Here is a whole collection available on eBay for an avid masonic collector.

I'm a bit surprised to find such a large collection such as this and they are not putting it in auction format.  It's a fixed price, Buy It Now item.

Check out the listing and take a look at the letters in the various photos.  They will definately remind you of a bygone era in Masonry and society in general.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Masonic Central talks with Brothers Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet

Tonight should be a great show at Masonic Central!

Date: Sun, August 31, 2008
Time: 09:00 PM EDT
Click here to join the call or just listen along

We talk with Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet. Paul is a prolific author and web publisher of the Masonic website as well as of many papers, and books, and Bro. Jerry is a Past Grand Master of Washington D.C, Past International Gran Master of DeMolay, creator of the Grand Master's class and champion of eliminating bigotry in Masonry.

We look forward to talking about some of the specific topics of masonry today, including past (and present) segregation in Freemasonry and their work in integration and broadening recognition of Prince Hall, the success (or failure) of the of modern Grand Master Classes , infamously known as "One Day Classes", and some discussion on how to make Masonry interesting and more enjoyable to modern membership if it is to survive. It's going to be a great program and one not to be missed!

Looking to talk on our program?
You are welcome to dial in. During our taping you can dial in directly at (724) 444-7444 and when asked use Call ID: 19162.

We are often asked about equipment for Voip. I've included a budget headset below. I've not used this headset but it looks fine.

Plantronics .Audio 50 Headset

We also have many of our active panel calling in via Skype. I recommend spending the $3 a month for the US/Canada Plan. It's a long distance bill killer as I call it. And you can call in to the show with it.


I hope to talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Masonic Central with Jennifer Emick of

Join me tonight in my other endeavour over at Masonic Central. Tonight we feature Masonic Central with Jennifer Emick of She is the columnist for alt.religion. She has written about masonry. Listen in or participate as we uncover her thoughts on masonry.

The show starts at 9:00 EST. Log in and you can ask questions live or wait till it's done and download the show to listen at your own time.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prince Hall recognition in Ontario

Great news!

"At the 153rd Annual Communication in Toronto, on Wednesday July 16 and
Thursday July 17, the Grand Lodge in Session voted to recognize the
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons,
Province of Ontario and Jurisdiction."

"...the Grand Master announced that the
Grand Lodge now fully recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in
Ontario, the same as all other recognized Grand Lodges, the members
present rose in a unanimous standing ovation."
Quoted from Peter Renzland, Toronto, Ontario. in the CanadaMasons Yahoo Forum.

This was a long time in the works and took a few years to work out. I would like to extend my congratulations to the brethren who works on this amendment over the years. I'm told it's not as easy as it sounds, once you throw constitutions and perhaps some politics into the mix.

I think that leaves only one Grand Lodge jurisdiction in Canada to recognise Prince Hall lodges, which would be the newest Grand jurisdiction of Newfoundland and Labrador. I'm told they are close to making the same motion however. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Author of "One Mountain, Many Paths" will be on Masonic Central tonight!

Join me as I co-host this Sunday July 13th, 2008 at 9PM EST/6PM PST for an interview with author and Freemason Patrick Swift.
Patrick is the author of "One Mountain, Many Paths" which is billed as "A spiritual companion or gift for family and friends, One Mountain, Many Paths is filled with uplifting quotes from the sacred texts of all of the great religious traditions..." Dr. Patrick Swift is a member of George Washington Lodge 285 in New York, NY & Highland Park Lodge 1150 Dallas, TX. He holds a faculty appointment at NYU Medical Center where he works as a psychologist. Prior to his career in healthcare, Patrick studied to become a Jesuit priest and completed the Ignatian 30-day silent retreat. He has studied Eastern Philosophy and meditation as well as completed a pilgrimage to India on a 75-day trip around the world. A witness to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 who cared for some of the victims, Patrick is a passionate advocate for interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance. It stands to be an interesting Conversation.

You can visit the Masonic Central website for more info on this show and future shows.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anti-virus software

Am I the only guy that always seems to have my anti-virus software running out or getting those annoying reminders to renew. It seems like a constant issue... but something we all need.
I found this landing page with a good price on McAfee software (as usual, for a limited time only)... use it if you want, or ignore it... I'll leave that to you, but it's worth a look.

Just passing on the love.... McAfee Limited Time Coupons!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Burning Taper has "Temporarily" Moved

One of my favorite blogs on freemasonry has been running into some issues with Google, and been listed as a spam blog. I personally like reading this blog and wish I knoew who to write at google to help out my blogging friend.

In the meantime... Check out his blog here Burning Taper

Oh yeah and a little surprise in there for some of my regular readers.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

1878 Masonic Walking Stick

I found a neat item today. A piece of Masonic Folk Art. This one is worth a look. There are lots of pictures supplied. It looks like a piece suitable for a museum. A bit pricey for anyone looking for a working walking stick but if you are looking for a distinguished look for your entry into the lodge room next month, perhaps this is the item you need.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Masonic Central

Come check out the newest masonic podcast to hit the web. Next episode will be featuring Tim Bryce as our guest speaker. If you can't make the live version then just wait and download it so you can listen in during your own time. All episodes are also available on iTunes.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Unbelievable Deal - in my opinion...

This has to be a deal worth blogging about... (and read to the bottom for my special teaser message)
I just renewed my Skype subscription for another year. I pay a year at a time. Why do I pay, you ask? Because Skype is free isn't it? Well yes it's free if you want to just call other people with Skype but if you want to use it to call anyone, on virtually any phone then you need to pay. So I have my long distance now cut down for the next year, unless I get lazy, to a mere $24 roughly. Yup that's ANNUAL, not monthly. And if your in Canada or the US I can call you for free and sit on the line for hours. Don't cost me any more.

I may be a bit of a tech geek but Skype is easy to use. Use this link and get 33% off 3 or 12 month calling subscriptions from Skype until 1st June. That's not far off. And rememebr just to go for the year. It isn't much money anyway. You might want to get a headset to use as well, for better quality calls. Or go all the way and invest in a Skype-enabled phone.

Skype comes in handy for my upcoming masonic podcast program too... And you though I was slow on posting? I have been working on something larger that took my energy elsewhere. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ad Astra Lodge's Last Meeting at Freemason's Hall, Halifax, NS

It's been so long since my last post. I'd like to make a quick post tonight and remind all my brethren that there is an open invitation to my lodge's last meeting in the Grand Lodge building in Halifax, NS (Freemason's Hall). After which the building is sold to a developer and we are moving to a new hall... soon-to-be renovated from a catholic church. I guess that will be done over the summer.... June's meeting has to be held elsewhere, under dispensation.

The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and it will be a Lodge of Education. I'm told the Grand Master of Nova Scotia will be present in a non-official capacity.

As e-mailed to me... here is the nights agenda...

We are pleased to announce that the "Whither Are We Directing Our Steps"
part of our program will be presented by
Brothers Steven Foley, John Fawcett and Dion Randell.
It concludes with the examination of a Stone Mason, in Scotland, (as recorded in the year 1700)
as he requests entrance to a Lodge.


We Invite You
to visit with us at our last meeting
in Freemasons Hall, Barrington Street, Halifax.
21 May 2008

Join us for an evening of Education and Fun!

The Grand Master
Most Worshipful Brother Daniel G. Campbell

is joining us - an unofficial and informal visit.


A presentation by three Fellow Craft members of our Lodge
Brothers Steven Foley, John Fawcett and Dion Randell.
The topic is "Whither Are We Directing Our Steps?"

The Liar's Club hosted by that master performer
our Brother N. Kent Clarke.

A wee session during which there will be available
an opportunity for everyone to state his viewpoint!

We look forward to welcoming you!

I would love to see as many of you show up as possible.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Masonic Toolbar Touch-up

Well I've revisited the masonic toolbar and it's looking better than ever. With the King Solomon's Lodge feed amalgamater built into the toolbar you have all the masonic news on updated blogs at your fingertips. I've also updated the logo. Added a chat feature. Added some gadgets...

As always the weather is in the bar and a convenient search tool.

I still have to update many of the links in the pull-down menus but bare with me. I should have it updated later this week. If you have a link you would like in there, just let me know.

So why not try it. Don't worry it has an uninstaller if it's not right for you.

Download Our Free Toolbar

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Antique Violin from 1878 inlayed with Masonic Symbols

Today I found this item by looking at my own blog. Funny perhaps but on the left hand column up near the top I have the most popular items in eBay with "masonic" in the title kept auto-updated. Even if I'm away it will keep my readers kept in the loop. A good reason to check back.
Back to topic, today I looked and saw an unusual violin in the top three. I thought to myself, "Why a a violin from the late 1800's inlayed with the square and compass and a few other masonic symbols. It is a real piece of art. The wood itself is bird's eye. Pretty spectacular.
It might not be in the best shape but from my point of view, if you collect masonic items and have any interest in violins, it will probably be the best one you will ever see from this time period, if not the only one.

Antique Violin with Masonic Inlay - click here -

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Small Technical Error in Post Email option

I had implemented a new service on my blog last night that allowed readers to e-mail me from the bottom of each post. There appears to be a technical error that I need to investigate before I can re-implement that service. If you tried e-mailing me in the last 24 hours via the link please retry using the "email me" option on the left hand side of this blog. If you are using a feed reader then e-mail me here ebay+mason(at) but take out the plus signs and change (at) to @ prior to e-mailing me. Just my way of avoiding bots.... sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to make your Lodge Happy for $6.95 and Retain Members, An IDEA

I am in the middle of organizing and setting up a domain for my lodge. I never thought such an easy task would be so well received. I'm been playing footsy with this idea for a while. Last night I simply went in and bought the domain for my lodge at my own expense. Not really a big deal at the $6.95 it cost me. That being said, the simple action and ability to take it past that has delighted the few brethren who I have informed already of my actions and plan. Now that I have the domain I will create a lodge e-mail address for each member, with chat and lots of extra features. This will help put a smile on many a lodge members faces and give them something to play with. Now my lodge has a new value proposition for it's members. The reason this solution came up however was that we were looking, and I was tasked, to find an application that would allow the members to collaborate on our educational papers. It is a project our lodge is proud to undertake and we have even received public praise from the Grand Master for our educational efforts.

I could hold the secret to all the steps I will take and keep it for myself but I'd rather share it. As always, if you have trouble just drop me an e-mail.

Step by Step Instructions for You to Bring this value to your lodge Too!

  1. Head over to a reliable Domain seller. (Disclosure: The link provided goes to my domain site LinkStorm but feel free to go anywhere you want. I can assist you better if you run into trouble though if you use mine. I've received negative comments in the past for pushing my own services so I'm listing a few others as well because people seem to have issue with me promoting my own businesses on MY OWN blog at times.) Other reputable domain hosts are: GoDaddy and NetFirms
  2. Once at the Domain Site run a search for your lodge name, then run small changes to it till you get one that is available and you like it. I recommend sticking with a .com if you can because they are pretty inexpensive and easier to remember.
  3. Buy the domain. IMPORTANT!!! Make sure wherever you buy your domain from that they give you "Total DNS Control". Some don't so please watch for this. You don't need any of the extra stuff they try to upsell you with after that.
  4. OK now you have the domain. The fun begins. Head over to Google Apps.
  5. Sign up for Google Apps with the new domain name.
  6. Follow the directions given by Google Apps to set-up your account. Running into trouble? Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I'll always help a brother as long as they are understanding of my time and they listened to me in step 3 about DNS Control.
  7. You now have a full e-mail and collaborative solution set-up for your lodge, company or organization.
  8. Enjoy your efforts and the smiles from the brethren, especially the younger ones who never thought their lodge would enter the 20th century, let alone the 21st.
Some ideas after this is established would be to utilize the new Google Sites option. Give each committee a site where they can discuss and collaborate with each other from home. Great for your finance committee (sharing spreadsheets), social committee (sharing whatever they share), special projects... etc...
The shared calender is great as well for making sure everyone knows when events are on and for scheduling those all important lodges practices (and tee times).

The sky is the limit.

My next and last warning is that this strategy will cause you to dedicate some time to setting things up but I think you will find, for the first time ever perhaps, that people will be willing to step in who have some technical knowledge. They will just be glad someone has implemented this on their own accord.

There are lots of dreamers out there but it takes only ONE do'er sometimes just to get things done! For less than ten bucks and a few minutes of your time today you can become a do'er too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

eBay Quick Search for Masonic Items

Want a nice box like this for your webpage? Just choose the "copy this widget" link at the bottom of the box and paste it into the HTML of your page. Great instructions are provided from that point to assist you. If you get into trouble... Send me an e-mail and mention you are a mason. To keep robots and the like from e-mailing me I keep my e-mail as a link on the left side of my page up near the top. Just click and send... or if that is confusing, leave a comment. They all get to me eventually as an e-mail and if you have something in a comment you don't want published, just let me know. All comments on this page are always personally approved by me to keep the "trash" i.e. spam and hate mail, to a minimum.


It's been a while since my last post. I wanted to start with something a bit more regular just to make it easy to get back into the flow again.

Here is an interesting ring design that I liked. It is a skull ring that looks very clean and perhaps even conservative.

click here for skull ring listing

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Quick Note

Hi all,

I have a few exciting things brewing here. That is why you have not seen many posts for a while. Stay tuned... Also my health wasn't the best for a few weeks. I'm feeling better now though and geared up to get some interesting things on this blog and in a few other places.

Take care and I'll post again shortly...