Links We Like
This is the Archive of our Choice Website of the Month, as well as the the Links we added to our Page before we started making monthly choices.
The most recent links are the ones at the top, that is, the ones you will read first. Thus, as you work your way down and back, you will have a kind of Internet Archeological Experience of where the Head Rhino has been and what has captured his attention. We hope you will follow in his footsteps and have as much fun as he has had.
As Of May 27, 2005, we went through this list and checked for inactive links. Sadly, there were some. Rather than destroy the archeology of the list, we are going down and changing the color of dead links to a grim but readable grey. That way you will be able to know what once was, but which you should not bother clicking.
It is just possible that you may find a dead link interesting enough to do a net search. If you find it in a new incarnation, please e-mail me with the new e-dress, and I will restore the link to life.
Did I just say that?
Ctein is a photographer of the artist kind, a writer on many topics, including photography, and an all around brilliant guy. Click on the link above to see dozens of downloadable (at no charge) photographs of amazing things (like space shuttles taking off and lava flowing in Hawaii) and to read a full chapter from his book, "Post Exposure." --And there's other stuff, too!
Greyhawk is the nom de musique of a wonderful composer who has worked in a lot of different idioms, including orchestral and film scores. The compositions featured on this site are, literally, magickal in nature. If you are a fan of the Bradley/Paxson Avalon novels, there is a good chance you may enjoy, in particular, Blissful Magick: Spiral of the Celtic Mysteries. --But the other work on the site, Shaman Journey, is equally good listening.
Greyhawk uses some of the tools of New Age music to make something a little more satisfying, and at times a lot more exciting, in the precise usage of the word. Give it a try!
Welcome to Westria! This is the website for Diana L. Paxson's series of novels and stories about the Kingdom of Westria, of which the novel featured above is the most recent addition.
Westria is located roughly where Northern California is today; but an ecological disaster has returned the world to a much simpler state; and re-awakened the spirits of the land itself in such a way that Humanity must deal with them.
It doesn't read like Tolkien and it doesn't read like C. S. Lewis, but readers of those two great writers may indeed find resonances in these books in the way that the action is predicated on ethical and moral grounds; the chief difference between science fiction and fantasy.
The website has lots of information about the books, about the author, etc., etc., etc.; but for this reader the most notable feature is the photo gallery of the actual places where the action of the Westria stories take place. Those of you who have never visited California may find these pictures a revelation: no blonds in bikinis or hunks on surfboards. This is the California of immense geographical variety; and even those who know parts of California may be surprized to see what other parts look like. It is a Mediterranean climate, with a Mediterranean ecology, and as in Greek Myth, Summer is the dry, barren time, and Winter is the green season of growth.
Take a look at the website. Those of you who know Westria already will find it fascinating, and those who do not may be tempted to pay the country a visit.
Posted 27 March 2006
The Endangered Species Chocolate Company makes good candy bars: I might even suggest Excellent candy bars. The chocolate is of high quality, though the content varies from bar to bar. The Tiger Bar, for instance, contains 70% cocoa. Each chocolate bar is named after an endangered species, and at least 10% of the profits are donated to protect the endangered species.
A couple of years ago, when I first visited their website, I was enthralled with the story of the founder and his experience on a fishing ship; diving into the nets to save a baby dolphin. --On my visit today I could not find that story, but did find a tale of taking his small daughter to the zoo. Maybe the first story is still there, and I simply could not find it.
My favorite is, (as you would guess) the Black Rhino Bar. It contains dark chocolate with hazelnut toffee. The Tiger Bar I just ate contains dark chocolate with espresso beans; and the yummy Grizzly Bar contains dark chocolate and rasperries. They also make chocolate even darker than these, but they also have milk chocolate and white chocolate. And there are some other tasty candies as well.
It's a good cause, and it's good chocolate: what more can you ask? To visit the website, click on this link:
Posted 27 May 2005
The Choice Website for October, 2002, is simply a link to an automobile dealership: but not just any dealership and not just any automobile. The car is the Head Rhino's Dream Car, and it is likely many of you have never even seen one. It's a Morgan. The American Dealer has on display the Morgan +8, which is really and truly what your Head Rhino would dream to drive. But if you play around and follow links you will also get to see the New Morgan, the Aero 8, which is clearly the most futuristic, advanced car ever to appear on a science fiction magazine cover in 1923: or something like that. It is just way too wonderful to be fitly described in mere words. There are those who talk about Classic Cars and mean Chevys that are barely 50 years old and already look way out of date. The Morgan doesn't change a lot over the years because it doesn't need to. It is a Genuine Classic, and likely to remain that way. One need only note that Morgan is the oldest privately owned autombile company in the world. The reason will be easy to see if you just follow this link to The Morgan Automobile. So, if you're looking for something to send me for Christmas.... .
The Choice Website for March, 2002 is a link to one of our favorite places on the planet these days, Vintage Gardens in Sebastopol, California. Vintage Gardens may fairly be taken as the Official Supplier by Appointment of Roses to the Rhinoceros Lodge. That may not be as classy an endorsement as one from the Dukes of Saxony, but it is sincere. I think it safe to say that most of the more than 100 rose bushes at the Lodge are now from Vintage Gardens, which specializes in Antique, Heritage, and just plain Hard to Find varieties of the ever intriguing species Rosa.
If all you know of roses consists of the hybrid tea roses that one commonly sees for sale in grocery or discount stores in the spring and fall, then you really ought to pay a visit to this website. The recent trend toward English styles roses stems directly from the work of nurseries such as Vintage Gardens which make available not only those hybrid teas you may remember from childhood, but the whole wide range; from the wonderful Eglantines (the leaves of which smell like green apples in the sunlight) to the giant, tree climbing Himalayan roses, to the massive Centifolias. If you have seen roses in old paintings, this is the place to check them out.
I even got from them my St. John's Rose, the oldest rose attested in cultivation. (We have specimen's from Egyptian tombs!)
And, they grow the roses on their own roots, which means that they are hardier than grafted roses and will spring true from the root stock should winter or other difficulties do in the top of the bush.
One final note: we are not the sort of people who approve of companies which charge for their catalogues; but in the case of Vintage Gardens, the catalogue is more of a research tool than a sales promotion; and the author writes so well; and there is so much in it; that we not only approve, but recommend that your purchase it for the sheer pleasure of reading it.
To get to the website, just click here:
The Choice Website for October, 2001, is a little more serious than our usual selections. Our nephew David, who has always been regarded as the family's most serious poet (and the member least likely to go online) has been working on this website for a while now and says that it is meeting with much success. It is a site about metastatic cancer, a very serious topic indeed, and one which, before this site, had apparently not been addressed on the web. The site, Cancerlynx, tries to address as many concerns about metastatic cancer as it can, searching the web constantly and providing information and links to people who have cancer, professionals engaged in the treatment of cancer, and the friends and family of those afflicted with the disease. If you, or someone you know, falls into any of these catagories; of if the topic is one which interests you in any way, then you might want to pay a visit by clicking on Cancerlynx.
Posted 4 October 2001
The Choice Website for July, 2001, is Fiona Firehair's Gallery. Fiona is the niece of the Head Rhino and she has been drawing since she was a small child. Greyhaven has things which the old uncle framed many and many a year ago. Fiona has recently graduated from an Arts College and is now out in the world looking for work. He online gallery is a good way to take a look at some of the things she does and enjoy them, or just possibly, consider commissioning her to do something for you. Some of her stuff is available on coffee mugs and tee shirts, I am told, and you can bet that I will be getting a coffee mug with her gorgeous white rhinoceros.
To get there, and look at the beautiful pictures, click here.
Posted 12 July 2001
The Choice Website for May, 2001, is going to be a sort of replay, because we are still having trouble with Energy in California, and no matter where you are in the world, it will eventually hit you too. Real Goods is a place where you can learn more about ways to solve the problems, and buy things which may help you on a personal level. I have been to their headquarters, seen the big solar array that produces energy for many homes on the grid, and bought screw-in flourescent light bulbs for my ceiling fan chandelier that have cut the cost of operating that appliance by 75%; and they are not ugly! One is heartened to see Home Depot beginning to carry similar goods (often at lower prices), but Real Goods is still the place to go for an extensive line of energy savers and to gain the knowledge that backs up the products. With summer coming I have mine eye on a solar oven, for those days when I have to bake but would avoid it if it meant turning on the range. Click thou and do likewise!
You can visit the Real Goods website, by simply clicking here.
Posted 26 April 2001
The Choice Website for February, 2001, is not difficult to find; but you may not have thought to look for it. The fact is, when most people finish being President of the United States they are at the top of their game and they figure the rest is coasting. Some go into business, finishing out their lives with lecturing or commercial interests. Most seek to leave behind some kind of memorial to their presidential days, most often in the form of a library housing the desiderata of their term of office. Some just drift...
None of these scenarios fit the profile of Jimmy Carter. Her has been described at the most intelligent president we ever had (putting him right next to Thomas Jefferson), and, as the only one ever to sit on the Arms Committe, the only one who came to office with any idea of the danger of the post. He got to the presidency by a much harder route than the famous log cabin president, Lincoln. His childhood was spent sharecropping; he knew only poor Black children until he went to school, (where he had to learn a new kind of English from that spoken by his childhood companions) and his family was considered well off because they actually possessed an out house. From this beginning he rose to the presidency, and from there he continues to move upward.
Carter and his wife write books (my friends in book publicity have nicer things to say about Mrs. Carter than about any other writer: she works at her signings!) but they also have put together the Carter Center, which has the lofty and straightforward goal of bringing peace to the world by alleviating its problems. They are working hard to feed the poor, to build self-reliance amongst those who have nothing at all., to end disease and poverty and homelessness all over the globe. I watched Mr. Carter on television last week and it was noted that he is heavily involved in building housing for those who have none.
And, in addition to all this work, he manages to be funny. His wit is sharp, dry, acerbic, and not the least the sort of thing we have come to expect from presidential speech writers. If you have been thinking of hiring an ex-president to speak at your next banquet, this is the man who will not bore you! Jimmy Carter's accomplishments since leaving office are a far cry from the libraries glorifying the four to eight years of the presidency that most ex-presidents leave behind, and he does not show any signs of quitting. I am not a big fan of politicians in general, but this man goes the mile and beyond, and for that reason I recommend that you visit the website, by clicking right here, of The Carter Center.
Posted on 14 February 2001
The Choice Website for January, 2001, is for the Gamers in the Readership. More than one member of the family falls into that category, including Ian Michael Grey (of Greyhaven), who is now working at the online gaming and dark fantasy magazine Ex Libris Nocturnis. Ian Michael is in the Vampire department, but you will also find Werewolves and many other things to shadow your dreams, with fiction as well as game stuff. Give it a try!
Posted 8 January 2001
We've been under a certain amount of stress since late summer, so things have not been updated as they should have been, including our Website of the Month. Because we are late this month, and because we want full attention given to our choice for this feature, we are going to make it a November-December selection. We only wish it could have been chosen under happier circumstances.
In early November the world of literature lost L. Sprague de Camp. one of our last links to the Golden Age of Science Fiction: a writer whose influence is felt today perhaps more than any other writer from that period. It is to the inspiration of de Camp that we owe the popularity of the humorous fantasy novel, an idea pioneered by Mark Twain but brought to fruition by de Camp writing alone, and in collaboration with Fletcher Pratt.
A man of enormous erudition, de Camp wrote note only science fiction and fantasy but books on archeology, social history, and one of the first texts on the writing of science fiction. I think it might very well have been in his Science Fiction Handbook that the idea of Anachronists as a social movement was first suggested, way back int he 50s. (If I have my reference right, he may even have used the word to denote what was to happen years later. --I haven't seen it since it was new.)
He was nearly 93 years old, and that's not bad for anybody; that he continued to write for such a long time, in a field he loved (despite the fact that he no doubt made more money in other places) is as much a tribute to the attraction of the field as it is to his enormous talent.
He was the first person I ever heard pronounce the word genre correctly, at a time when nobody else knew how.
For a lot more about him than I know, or could include, you can click on the link below. I think you will enjoy exploring his ouevre.
This having been a season of difficulties, we missed our surfing for September, and thus move on to October's Choice Website of the Month. Had we thought ahead, we would have saved the August choice for October. Never mind; August's choice was about Haunted Houses, and you can still visit it by clicking on the Links We Like line above. --But this month, October, we are offering you something a little different.
It is the very modest, very personal website of Gonzo Turtle. Gonzo offers poetry, a journal, stories, and some other things; including a truly remarkable link list.
The link list was important to me. Last week I took a roll of film out of the refrigerator and took it to the store to have it developed. I am always forgetting to do that, so there are a number of rolls of film. This particular roll turned out to be more than twelve years old. It was taken by my late partner, Kelson, and dates from the time when we moved into the Lodge. On the film I found two pictures of a young man who had appeared when we were moving, who helped us, and who then vanished; leaving his flute. He said he was a cousin of Laurie Cabot, but I had no way of contacting her, so...
Well, tonight, on Gonzo Turtle's links page, I found a link to Laurie Cabot. As well as links to almost every other brand of spirituality one could desire. The trouble is, Laurie Cabot does not include an e-mail address on her website. If anybody knows her e-dress I would surely like to know it, so I can ask her about her cousin.
Meanwhile, click on the attractive link below and go visit Gonzo Turtle.
The Choice Website for August is about Haunted Houses. In the heat of High Summer you may find it refreshing to consider the clammy coolness of the sepulchre that occurs when something or someone from the place beyond passes by you or through you. This website features a map of the United States on which you can click to be informed of confirmed Haunted Houses in your State. (I can't remember right now whether it also covers Canada and Mexico). Anecdotes and descriptions of the hauntings are included, and resolutions when there has been an attempt to lay the spirit. This is another one of those sites I found when looking for Sybil Leek. Many of the locations are private homes, but there are also references to places which welcome visitors: the 'Haunted Bed and Breakfast Inn' has now become part of our ever more commerical civilization. --I would advise you to die carefully from now on, lest you discover yourself promoting a product for which you have complete contempt in the Next Life.
The Choice Website for June is actually an excerpt from a book, that book being John Richard Stephens' Weird History. The site at which you will arrive is designed to sell the book, and having read the weird and wonderful facts about United States Presidents which you will find there, it would not be surprising if you found yourself ordering the book. I discovered the site while running a search for Sybil Leek, once Britain's most famous witch. At the moment Greyhaven is playing host to the wonderful actress and singer Julie Meredith, who, in conversation, revealed that she had once lived with Sybil. As my sister had for some time edited Sybil Leek's Astrology Magazine, we started wondering whatever happened to Sybil, and I ran a search for her: which led to the Weird History page about United States Presidents, as well as to a page about the Delta Queen. But of course, that is another story entirely. Just click here to find out how Britain's Most Famous Witch was involved with Which United States President: and that will be the least amazing thing, I think, that you will find there.
The site for May is wonderfully silly and entertaining: It is The Ammonites Home Page, where a charming British couple indulge their personal passions for fossils, television, flying saucers, and other subjects which they manage to make amusing. I found the site when hunting for Rhinoceroi; they have a copy of the same rhino that decorates the wall beside my desk, even as I write this. But for me, the most interesting part was the beautifully rendered illustrations for "The Hunting of the Snark," which, alone, are worth a trip to the site. But beware, the way it is put together you may, indeed, get tripped!
The Choice Website for April is: The Home of the Golden Rhinoceros. You must visit this site if only to view the most beautiful greeting page that I have ever seen! After that you can explore an exciting archeological dig concerned with the K2 and Mapungubwe Iron Age cultures of Africa, where the agricultural community made many of its work implements not of iron but of gold; and did so with a beautifully refined sense of artistry. It's a really neat site, so do pay them a visit, and sign their guest book. While you are at it, how come you haven't signed our guestbook yet?
The Choice Website for March, 2000, is: Two Scents, and thereby lies an anecdote, if not an actual tale.
I have known Christine Wenrich for a good many years now, and spent many hours in her company at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other such family holidays. She is a very quiet, very dignified woman, and one is therefore always surprised when one engages her in conversation and discovers some amazing new depth to her personality and her knowledge. Such an occassion was this year's New Year's Ball at Greyhaven, and we conversed for a very long time indeed.
Somewhere in the conversation I must have mentioned that I had been suffering from a long term bronchial clogging (about three years now) and that the only solution I had found to work was swimming and then drying out my lungs in a sauna; a difficult matter, and one which still left me at the mercy of what Robert Louis Stevenson always called 'the poisonous fog.' --Not to mention the rain. (Really a drag, as my favorite kind of atmosphere has always been that of the jungle.)
The next morning I found a neat little container with some essential oils and directions for their use; and a very modest little brochure. I had known that Christine was interested in aromatherapy and essential oils because she had made me up a wonderful hand lotion: but I had no idea that she actually had a business! I did my best to follow the instructions, and though I am sort of ham-handed at following this sort of instruction, I am happy to report that Christine's recommendations have made a great improvment in my ability to accomplish that all important activity we call breathing.
When you visit the site don't expect a lot of bells and whistles. Christine has made a very simple, very elegant little site that you can navigate in moments; and she has laid out in very clear and intelligible language most of what you need to know. Her words do not gush, for which she deserves great praise. And her prices, unlike many aromatherapy suppliers, are in keeping with what we mere mortals might hope to afford.
At moments like this I get the absurdly giddy thought that I ought to have a Great Seal made up so that I could proclaim Two Scents the "Official Aromatherapy Supplier to the Rhinoceros Lodge." --But I suspect such effulgent extravagence might merely serve to embarrass a woman who really needs no further promotion than your visit to her web site.
The Choice Website for February, 2000, is: The California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., the world's largest amatuer fruit growing organization. Founded in 1968, it has members all over the world and a great many of them. It also has descriptions, on-line, of over 250 rare and unusual edible plants. Thinking of putting in an apple tree? Stop right there! Take a look at this list and think again! I spent hours just pouring over it and wishing I had more land or different conditions or... Well, you get the idea. Who would have ever thought, for instance, that the big old split-leafed relation of the philodendron that you have sitting in the corner of your living room could produce delicious fruit? How could I have know that the little start of a Night-Blooming Cereus that my agent gave me 40 years ago, had I kept it, could have grown to 50 feet and produced edible delicacies? Go check out this page!
Special Bonus: Through circuitious routes concerned with the subject matter of an Ionic Column, we have come across a most wonderful link, a vacation report unlike any other we have encountered in Cyberspace. The author spent three weeks in Russia, and he writes about it most amusingly. More important, he took pictures, and they are not the pictures you normally find in tourist brochures. The subway stations in St. Petersburg and Moscow reflect a granduer we are more accustomed to seeing in the Palaces of Versailles or Neuschwanstein. We recommend a visit to the site for a pleasant, and downright sumptuous, entertainment as you experience Law Dude's Trip to Russia.
Our Choice Website for January of 2000 (we tend to be a little staggered on our postings, but then, we tend to cycle what occupies this line to the Links We Like section later) is The Serpent Website. The Serpent is the most obscure musical instrument you are likely to have heard without knowing about it. It first appeared in the 1500s and it continues to be used today, in all kinds of music, even for film scores in movies like "Alien." This Website will tell you all about The Serpent, let you hear what it sounds like, and provide you with a discography far more extensive than one would ever suspect to exist.
For December of 1999 our choice was The Classic Horror and Fantasy Page. If you thought horror started with Stephen King, or that Fantasy descended from Tolkien, then think again! This is a beautiful page with many names even the Head Rhino found unfamiliar; and artwork appropriate to its theme. There are links to stories and essays, and even information about music. Please do pay it a visit!
Choice Website for Last Month (November): Do Not Fail to Click Here and Pay a Visit to This Surprise! You will have a choice of three languages at this site; and be sure to check out the products department, where the special is ... Well, you just won't believe... Alas, their wonderful page in English is no longer available; but if you can read Dutch....
Cyril Babaev's Linguistic Studies Indo-European Database. You can spend hours surfing from his links, but the page itself is Splendid! The Only GuestBook I've encountered really worth reading through.
If you are looking for graphics for your Website, you can hardly do better than clicking on the little graphic below, in order to go shopping at the IconBazaar.
But be warned: IconBazaar now inundates you with popups for everything under the sun, including a military recruiting ad!
The Beautiful Color-Changing Welcome at the top of the Logo was designed by Joseph M. Cangero, but we have not been able to contact his website yet. We will link him when we can. If you know his e-mail address, please send it to us.
This Beautiful Bordered Background, with sidebar and unicorn, is by Zena. You can find more of her stunning work by clicking in the link below. Oh, do visit her Nightmares selection and read the text. I loved the image of hooking up a keyboard to a microwave and watching the would be user waiting for it to boot up!