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Shepherding Accident: Should You File A Claim?

Believe it or not, farms can be one of the most dangerous places to work. It is often the place where faulty machineries are used, lack of training among workers is very common, and negligence is rampant. Even the so-called benign animals can cause accidents that may range anything from broken ribs to fractured joints and something much graver than that. It might need months and even years of dedicated treatment and may even have the potential to jeopardise your income.

Statistics say, although only 1.5 percent of the total UK working population work in farms, the place accounts for up to 20 percent of the total workplace fatalities. That is a number that needs serious attention. A shepherding accident, which is also very common, is just a very small part of farming accidents. Here is a classic example.

Suppose you work on a farm and you have to shepherd a flock of sheep to the pen. You might be a pro at doing his. Besides, they are just a bunch of benign animals, what can possibly go wrong? However, any such assumption is as far away from the truth as it can be. Animal behaviour is highly unpredictable. The seemingly harmless sheep can be the source of a major stampede. If things turn ugly, you may not even have enough time to save yourself and may even be dragged along with the animals.

The results of these kinds of accidents may be multi-layered. You may get severe bruises, fractures, and swollen joints. The treatment, apart from medications and therapies, might even need operation. However, not everyone who needs an operation is medically qualified to get one. For instance, if you have such conditions as osteomyelitis and the accident displaces your knee cap, an operation might prove to be too risky and might even have to be avoided.

A potential loss of income is one of the many side-effects of such shepherding accidents. Depending upon the severity of the accident you might not be able to go back to work for years. Under such circumstances, filing a claim becomes a necessary thing to do. It may help you in reclaiming the loss of earnings and you may even be able to make a claim for the future loss of earnings. Cost of treatment is also often covered by such claims.

A common misconception among many is that you are entitled to make such claims only if you are a full-time employee. That is not true. The health and safety laws also protect the rights of the casual and agency workers. In fact, a member from the general public is also entitled to file a farming accident claim if the person is injured by the livestock or by a farming process while visiting a farm.

Sadly, most of the farming accidents go unreported. However, if you have been a victim of a shepherding accident, there is no reason why you should avoid making a claim. To verify if your case qualifies for a claim contact an experienced law firm such as the Priority Legal.

Read more about UK farm accidents from HSE.



Antique Metalware – Copper and Brass from Asia

brassThis is a huge area that I am learning more and more about as time goes on. My friends consigned a large number of brass and some copper items with me and of course, before putting them in Space 23, I wanted to make sure I learned about the items.

For definition purposes – Copper is copper and brass is an alloy of copper, zinc, and other metals. Bronze, on the other hand is made of copper and tin.

First of all – hallmarks. Silver almost always has hallmarks – the stamps which can tell you whether it is sterling, coin silver, when it was made, where it was made, and who made it – which is great because with better provenience you can get better prices.

Brass and copper – not so much. This is especially true when you are looking at brass or copper from Korea, China, or Japan – which if it dates from the late 1800s to the present day is usually just marked with the name of the country it came from – which is done to comply with import laws.  While much of this is very finely made by artisan craftsmen who did all the work by hand – since we know little to nothing of the maker or where and when it was made – the value on these items is often far below what similar hallmarked items from France, Germany, or England would be. This is a great thing for the buyer but for the collector or seller – it is not so good. If you are looking for brass implements, decorative items, or art – eBay should be your first stopping point. I’ll tell you why – dealers charge a premium in their shops because they are paying rent and utilities. On eBay, it is the buyers who set the market and there is plenty to choose from.

Still there is a lot we can tell about metalware from the stamps –

For example – if it says Nippon – then it is probably dated from 1890-1915 and from Japan. The Japanese during this period used the proper anglicized name of their country but after 1915, it was reverted to Japan due to confusion among American consumers.  From 1915 to 1930 it would be marked “Made in Japan” and from 1945 to 1950 “Made in Occupied Japan” and then just Japan. Of course, this only applies to items made for export to the United States – not to items that were made to export to other countries or for Japanese domestic use.  So, when you find a mark it tells you something.

But, here’s the hitch – before 1890 items didn’t have to be marked. So if it isn’t marked it could be from anywhere if it is old or made for domestic use.

Things marked KOREA tend to be made in the 1970s to 1990s – but there is some margin for error there as well since not all brass makers in Korea switched to paper sticker labels in the 1990s and there were some brass Korean items marked Korea in the 1950s and 1960s – though not nearly as many due to the Korean conflict.

If items are marked British Hong Kong they are almost certainly 1950s. In the 1960s onwards they would simply be marked Hong Kong. ROC or Republic of China is 1949-1980 but in the mid 1970s there was a period where the mark was People’s Republic of China – if it’s only marked China – that dates it 1891 to 1949 or more possibly from 1978 onwards.

I should point out that items which are marked (signed) with Japanese, Chinese, or Korean characters can be incredibly valuable – or not. My recommendation is that you don’t sell anything before you know what it is.

Finally, brass and copper items from India are plentiful and very cheap. While many of these are finely made, the market is flooded with statues, figures, and plates from India. In general, these things are not very valuable, but there are always exceptions.




23 – Part Deux

Part Wahead

When a normal human pregnancy occurs – each person contributes 23 chromosomes to the genetic makeup of the new person.  That stopped happening somewhere around 2011. At that point,  each person was contributing 25-40 chromosomes and kids were being born with enhanced DNA that held anywhere from 50 to 80 chromosomes – as oppossed to the rest of us born with a mere 46.

Something, somewhere, somehow had activated a change in the way human reproduction was taking place, making it less re-production and instead new-production. As might be expected, the first scientist to notice the phenonmenon was a geek and named the phenomenonHomo sapiens trekikus. He was awarded a Nobel Prize.

Aside from the abnormal c-count, there were no noticable differences in the clinical studies – conservatives postulated that we all had more chromosomes than anyone had previously documented – liberals said that we should make sure not to discriminate. We didn’t have a chance anyway.

No one, among us 46ers anyway, was able to determine any difference, but while we found nothing, they were talking. From the moment of birth, they were in contact with one another. Learning from each other, sharing experience, and connecting – both telepathcially and more superficially through the web. All of the rest of us marvelled at the intuitive knowledge these kids had of smart phones and touch screens.

It was simple, actually…they were learning together.  Millions of nodes attached to a network….they only needed one failure among millions to learn a lesson – while we were still going one for one.


The Real Problem with Islam – Economics of Interruption

There has been a lot written about Islam and since 911, about the problems with Islam. I’m not her for those, I’m here to bring up another issue. Economics.

Good Muslims who practice the 5 pillars of Islam are either poor or rich – there is no in between. The reason is simple – while it is nice to be reminded of your relationship with God five times every day – it makes it pretty hard to accomplish anything when you need to wake up 30 minutes before dawn, ablute (ritual washing), and then say your prayers. Then, you have to do the same thing four more times through the day. Close your shop, go to the mosque (or not) and wash and say your prayers. It’s not like washing once in the morning does the trick because if you fart or piss or any number of other things – you  must ablute again.

If you have sex, your body is considered dirty and you must do a much more in depth washing before talking to God. If a woman is menstruating, she is not allowed to talk to God – she is considered dirty. This and other rules encourage a negative attitude and perception towards the body and towards women in general.

Try to get a taxi during prayer time in a Muslim country. Good luck unless you get a bad Muslim, who generally are the ones who are willing to cheat and steal from you.  Want to know why there is so much despair and turmoil in Muslim countries? Because people are waiting for God to answer their thirty-five prayers per week, they are wondering why they are being punished, why their children are being punished, why their lives are harder than those of the west…

It’s simple – Islam interrupts innovation. It gets in the way of industry. It breaks your concentration. It makes you tired and grumpy. And then…you are forced to endure a month of no food or drink during daylight hours during which you lose the thread even further.  Ramadan is more than a celebration of God, it is a time of short tempers and fist fights in the street.

Generally, it is not a religion of tolerance or understanding. It is a religion of “Do it my way or die by the sword” and while there are many great souls who come from or have found truth in Islam – there are far more who condemn every non-Muslim to hell and death -either by the hand of God or through the hands of disenchanted youth who can’t understand why God is punishing them and their devout parents.

It is a religion that encourages laziness in the world through giving the ultimate excuse “Inchallah” If God Wills it  or “KanK’raa” It is written.

An Arab friend once told me a joke, the Arabs invented zero and have had nothing ever since. Funny, but more to the point would be that the Arabs invented Islam (which is perfectly suitable to a 7th century nomadic desert lifestyle of trade and warfare but which doesn’t work very well anywhere else) and have been waiting for God to answer their prayers ever since. It must be frustrating. Like wating for Godot.

I’m sure there are examples of extraordinary people who have made it work – just like there are extraordinary people with no legs who become skiers or track athletes – humans are remarkable – but for the most part – it appears to be a huge set of hurdles placed in front of normal people who would probably have a hard enough time getting by if they weren’t forced into a religion created attention deficit disorder situation and unable to do any task  without being interrupted and forced to stop.



The Number Twenty Three – Part 1

It happened on November 23, 2023 at 11:23 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Nobody planned that, it just happened – the same way the September 11the tragedy happened  twenty two years earlier on a day that echoed the phone number American’s call for emergencies. 9-11, 911, and the number twenty-three or like we all started to call it shortly afterward 23.

23 was what the preppers had been getting ready for, it was what the doomsdayers were trying to foresee, it was what Hollywood had been making billions from for decades and what governments and rational people had been doing their best to get a handle on and keep from happening – and yet not a single person was ready for it when it happened. If we’d have still had mass communications, there wasn’t a single talking head that could have gotten up and said “This was exactly what I warned everyone about…”

It wasn’t solar flares, World War IV, aliens, global warming, terrorists, bird flu, the end of petroleum, a meteor, the second coming, armageddon, or anything else that had been streamed over the internet to entertain a population that seemed intent on finding new ways to envision their end times. A zombie plague didn’t spring from a cancer cure, Hitler wasn’t cloned, and nobody seized the American people’s guns. It was far more complex and far simpler than that.


Antiques Art and Beauty

Japanese Statuary – Hakata Urasaki – Beautiful Japanese Life


History of Hakata Urasaki

One of the first items we’ve featured in our brick and mortar art and antique shop is a wonderful collection of Hakata Urasaki figures. These figures vary in size but most of the one’s we have are 8-10 inches tall. The porcelain figures are known for their exquisite details – in particular when it comes to capturing facial details and the minutia of Japanese life.

I should point out right away that there is a distinct difference between a Hakata figure and a Hakata Urasaki. It is helpful to know the history of both.  The original Hakata dolls date back to the late 1500s in Fukuoka Prefecture on Kyoshu. A lord was having a castle built and noticed a worker constructing figures from clay. The sculptor, Sohichi,  was so skilled that he was immediately patronized by the lord and passed his skills and trade secrets on to the next six generations. The secrets died in the mid 1850’s with his final heir.

Hakat Dolls Washable

It wasn’t until 1885 that artisans in Hakata took up the art and displayed their work at a national exhibition. This is where the dolls came to be known as Hakata. The figures became internationally known at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Hakata are earthenware and each is hand painted.  They are delicate and as a result, not many true Hakata have survived.

Hakata Urasaki Dolls

In post WWII Japan, there was a revival of Hakata dolls, mainly as souvenir’s for US troops.  In the 1950s during the Korean conflict, a doll making firm was contracted by the US Exchanges to produce a special line of Hakata dolls, called Hakata Urasaki, after the name of the firm making them, the Urasaki doll store. Hakata Urasaki were painted with a waterproofing coat which allowed them to be washed. These were produced only during the 1950s and only for the exchanges and US Servicemen. The dolls were not as brightly colored as the original Hakata dolls and were not desirable to Japanese consumers and so they were discontinued when the bulk of US troops left.

A special note about these dolls – even thought the labels say they are washable, the washable surface has long worn away with age – these should never be washed with water, only dusted with a dry cloth.


Difficult to Write these Days

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to write

Life is sucking the marrow from my bones

Leaving me energy-less but wanting to do more

Here I am

Not entirely happy with what I’ve written before

Moments in time -captured

No shame for who I was, but wish I’d been better.

There I was

And then there’s the future

Maybe I have one – but maybe not

Will I find time to write?

There will I be?

Antiques Art and Beauty

Our New Venture – A Vagabond Antique and Art Shop – Brick and Mortar!

Coming back to the USA was difficult for me. I want the best opportunities for my daughter in terms of health and education and since I can’t move my family to Canada, France, or the UK – it made sense for us to move back to my home country. Coming to the USA has been difficult for my wife – but she is resilient and adapting well.

Marley Horses
Marley Horses from the Fouria Estate

One of the big problems for both of us was that of finding work – much to my surprise, nearly a year on and I find myself doing the same work that was supporting us in Morocco and Turkey (blogging) but in a much more expensive country. Over the past few years, it seems that Google and the FCC really have it in for independent bloggers and they’ve systematically made it harder and harder to earn a buck web logging – and yet – here we are. Still going.

We wouldn’t have made it without a second income – one that has always been a sort of second nature to me – picking. From the time we arrived in the USA we’ve been cruising estate sales, thrift shops, antique shops, and garage sales and grabbing overlooked treasure – then reselling it on eBay. It’s made the difference in making rent and putting gas in our tanks. Picking is a lifetime skill and I enjoy it.

A series of rather lucky events led to me putting my skills to work when a high school friend lost his parents. He needed to have a series of estate sales and didn’t have any ideas about how to run them or price things, research things, or set it up. This was like graduate school for me – suddenly, I was faced with the valuable horde of three generations of art lovers – depression glass, cast brass sculptures, paintings, French furniture, Italian art glass, Turkish brass, Japanese lacquerware, antique wood working tools, paintings and the list goes on and on.

Vagabond Antiques and Art
Our humble beginnings

Over last summer we turned what probably would have been fairly good garage sales into highly profitable estate sales – and – we cleared out a huge amount of day to day stuff in the process. I discovered my sales skills are good enough to sell three cords of firewood for a profit in 115 degree summer weather and during the countless hours of digging on the internet and in antique books – I learned about everything from Bohemian glass to Hummel figurines to vintage fishing gear and old oil cans.

Our first two sales were focused on the less than extraordinary stuff – which, in point of fact, was really extraordinary when compared with most stuff you see at sales, but not so extraordinary as the stuff we didnt’ sell. There is still all the French furniture, the Japanese wood block prints, the Victorian decorative items and more…and a truck load of smaller brick-a-brack of great beauty and moderate worth. The big success was that we cleared out enough stuff so my friends could deal with it and we didn’t accidentally give away any great treasures. We knew what we were selling and we got fair prices for it.

After the estate sales, my wife and my picking became much better. With the knowledge we’d earned, we could go to estate and garage sales – even those that had already been professionally picked – and find the extraordinary that had been missed. An example – yesterday I paid $10 at a thrift store for a painting that is most certainly worth several thousand — there is more research to do – but the painting was done by a prisoner in the Green Haven Prison facility named E. Conway in 1970. The picture does not do this oil on canvas winter scene justice…but certainly it is worth more than $10 – there is something darkly magical about it.

E. Cnway The Woods in Winter

So, my point is that we’ve accumulated a nice collection of items and a storehouse of knowledge that exceeded our eBay store and my office’s capacity to hold them. So, we decided to open a brick and mortar store. We didn’t have the money to open a full store, nor the inventory – so we opted to open a space in an antique mall. The rent is $200 per month and the owner of the mall takes a hefty 15% commission, but the store is well known and has a wonderful location – so, we don’t have to be there or pay utilities or hire employees.

As we were making the arrangements, I wondered if we had enough inventory – then I thought of my friends and asked if they wanted to consign all those boxes of stuff in our shop – they agreed and we took a quick to trip to California to pick it up.  It turns out we probably could have filled our little space – but their antiques and Japanese stuff really brought life to our space and gave us such an abundance of inventory that we don’t have to worry about it being empty for quite a while.  Kismit and with any luck (and hard work), they will get more through our shop than they would through a garage or estate sale.  The past week, I’ve been researching and inventorying hundreds of items – pricing, buying furniture, and setting up our shop. We opened last Tuesday and so far – well, we don’t really know. The busy tourist season on Highway 101 starts in a few weeks – we have our fingers crossed.

Vagabond Antiques and Art

Eventually, we would like to have our own shop and perhaps even our own little antique mall – but for now – we are starting small. Please come and visit.

Brown Dog Antiques – 595 U.S. 101 -Florence, OR 97439  –

Come in and go to the back and you’ll see us. I will be writing more about my research interesting items and art in general on this blog. I hope that we can build a little community around antiques and art – where you can share your treasures and we can share ours.