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If you check on Amazon to see about buying a copy of my wonderful new book of essays on all sorts of things, ranging from a cheetah on our Landcruiser hood, to a super french fry museum in Bruges, to the story behind Todd Lincoln becoming America’s greatest industrialist, you may find that the prices look high. But, just go to the offerings in small type and you will find lower prices for the softbound and hardback editions.

Cider our curious 18-year-old cat at Applewood Lodge, “confurs” with author Chuck Ebeling, about their new book of essays, “Apple Pressings” which is newly available on Amazon Books. Cider is acknowledged in the introduction for his role as he “trod the keys in attempts to add his random edits.” Author Chuck is more than willing to share the blame for any typos or spacing issues in the newly-published book with his “confuree.”fullsizeoutput_87d3

My new book  — Apple Pressings — of essays presented before the Chicago Literary Club is now available for ordering, in a paperbound edition. Hardcover coming soon. To order, go to Amazon and then Books; the title is Apple Pressings.  For an even better buy, go the Barnes and Noble’s website, http://www.bn.com and search for Apple Pressings.

If you are a curious person like me, you may enjoy what Samuel Johnson called these “loose sallies of the mind.” Come with me to find out about the “Masai Mara Hood Ornament” we met in deepest Kenya, or the two billion candlepower beacon that once guided aircraft to Chicago, or what is going on with the Electoral College that really elects our Presidents, or how Toyota beat out VW and Detroit in the small car competition, or how Abraham Lincoln’s son became the top corporate magnate of his era, or what really went on in Vietnam in 1968, or the ins and outs of spokesmanship in “Smoke Smoke,” or how we went off the deep end with open offices, or an insider’s relationship with Dick McDonald who designed the Golden Arches, or how the ubiquitous french fry became a global cultural symbol, or what it was like to do public relations during the growth explosion of one of the greatest brands of all time.

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In April last year, we visited Belgium and France, Belgium for the fries and France for the champagne!

Our Belgium visit brought us for a couple of days to Namur, the regional capitol of Wallonia, located on a great confluence of the Meuse River, the world’s oldest river, that winds up from France through Belgium fried potato country to the North Sea. We stayed for a few nights at a novel hotel/spa called the Nest, located in a fine residential neighborhood atop the Citadel, the winding protective precipice above the city and river. It has been cleverly reconstructed from some ancient stone farm dwellings, and contains a handful of suites surrounding a beautiful pool and spa.

The White Suite, where we stayed, was set up like a small deluxe modern apartment, with ancient stone inner walls and modern white furniture. The bedroom, which contained a lounge area and fireplace had a hand-made Swedish bed, called a Hastens, which cost three or four times what the most expensive beds we had known, and was put in the year before for the historic visit to Namur of Prince Albert of Monoco, as the news item below outlines.
NAMUR, BELGIUM – JANUARY 31: Prince Albert II of Monaco attends the 1st Interdisciplanary Congress On Sustainable Development at the Palais des Congres on January 31, 2013 in Namur, Belgium. Topics expected to be covered at the two-day conference, on January 31 and February 1, 2013, include food and agriculture, land use, planning and housing.

We found the bed to be firm and very comfortable, by the way,

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