You, my many and varied readers, might have noticed I've pretty much given up on political/economic commentaries here. Mr. Jon Stewart, among others, does a much better job of jabbing those who seem to need it, so I will back away. I'm glad I did do an investigation of Dubya's "Mystery Ranch" in the scrubland of Texas, way back, but that's enough.
So what else do we do here? Pictures and tales of travel will probably make appearances, but we really don't go anywhere hair-raising. Maybe Nova Scotia in August this year (see what I mean?). The most-read post was on a bike much like those in the movie "Tron." The essays on advanced bicycle technology have all been well-received, which is a little odd to me, since I haven't seen one of them in person and probably never will.
What I won't give up on is finding and relaying stories about the obscure, weird, or odd. Call me naive, but I still think it's pretty neat that what actually exists or has happened is often stranger than anything you can cook up in your imagination.
You know a story is coming. I'll wait while you get a stiff drink.
In 1729, a campaign for independence began on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which had been under many masters, the one at the time being the Republic of Genoa, and suffered from sundry invaders. It was led by one Luigi Giafferi e Giancinto Paoli and later by his son, Pasquale (for whom Paoli, PA, was named in case you've always wondered). But things took a turn more toward comic opera in 1736 when a German soldier/adventurer, Theodor von Neuhoff, conspired with some exiles on the mainland to lead their insurrection if he were named king, i.e., Theodore I of Corsica.
You can guess that, despite some early successes, he was chased out -- but not after taking care of important kingly business like establishing an order of knights. A republic, not kingdom, was declared in 1755 and lasted until 1769, when Genoa handed the politically active island over to France, who put an end to all the disturbance and has held onto it ever since.
Theodore bounced from one country in Europe to another, landing in debtors' prison twice, and even interfered in Corsica a few more times. He died in 1756, but did live on in a way as his exploits were written up by his son. Several other books followed, so the one-year king has found his footnote in history.
Can we get more obscure at Just Sayin'? Don't bet against it.