Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ever Wear Necropants...?

I know you could stand a little weirdness today, and I have just the thing!

I had never heard of these until I read this article at KnowledgeNuts! Seems like something I should have known about before now, though! I mean, I thought I had seen and heard of a lot of strange stuff...until now! This goes far beyond my level of strangeness, that's for sure! Once again I find myself admitting that I don't even know something. In this case, maybe that's a good thing!

The Pants Made Of One Piece Of Flayed Skin
By Debra Kelly on Friday, November 29, 2013

If you think carrying a rabbit’s foot for luck is of questionable taste, necropants are right off the charts. Necropants are pants made of the skin of a friend who’s agreed to have their body flayed from the waist down, thankfully post-mortem. A part of Icelandic witchcraft, the wearing of necropants is supposed to bring the witch increased wealth.

Necropants. (Go on, say it a few times. It’s fun. We’ll wait.) And now for the cringe-worthy story behind it.

Witchcraft and sorcery were all the rage in the 17th century, and one thing these witches had in common with almost every person of today’s world is the need for more money. So they came up with a rather ingenious spell for ensuring a constant supply of wealth.

First, a deal had to be made with a male friend. This friend had to agree to supply the skin for the necropants (or nabrok) after dying a natural death. After the friend passes away, he is allowed to be buried. The witch then needs to exhume the body and flay it from the waist down, very carefully. Every part of the skin had to be intact and the pants in one piece for the spell to work. There needed to be no holes or tears in the skin, which undoubtedly made for a painstakingly difficult process. After removing the skin, the witch would steal a coin from the dead man’s widow and place it inside the scrotum of the pants. (Every part removed intact, remember?) Then, they only had to add a magical symbol called the Nabrokarstafur written on a piece of parchment.

Now put on the pants.

The necropants will bond to the witch’s own skin, and the magical piece of paper will ensure that there’s a few more coins inside the necropants’ scrotum every day—as long as the widow’s coin is never removed. For as long as the witch wears the pants, they will look so much like their own skin as to be indistinguishable. Which is a good thing—no one wants to be caught wearing necropants.

The Icelandic witches were nothing if not practical. If someone was found worthy enough, the necropants could be passed on to another down through generations. In order to keep the magic in them, the witch would have to get rid of the pants before they died.

? A pair of replica necropants are on display at the Strandagaldur, The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. The displays of regional magic is quite different from European witchcraft, and includes some of the spell components needed for spells to make one invisible, and to summon a goat-milk-stealing creature. (You need a corpse’s rib bone wrapped in wool and kept between the breasts of a woman who has spit out her Communion offerings for three weeks in a row, in case you were curious.)

These rituals were by no means the norm for Icelandic cultures, any more than the witches of Salem were thought to be anything but unholy. Witches were viewed as heretics just the same as they were in Europe and the New World. More frequently it was men would be executed for practicing witchcraft rather than women, but the taboo behind the practices were the same. Witchcraft was often seen as the last resort of an oppressed, poor people who had little education and little chance to advance through a strict class system without some outside help.

Each and everyday I realize that this old world is far much stranger than even I thought! That, my friends, is saying a lot!

You know what? It looks like a beautiful day outside, so let's have our coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun For Friday...!

I figured that instead of having a "Black Friday", here at the Hermit's we would do a funny Friday, OK?

Hope you all had a nice day yesterday. Plenty of food, visiting, and a nice nap...of course!

Sex @ 73 and other deep thoughts.......


I just took a leaflet out of my mailbox, informing me that I can have sex at 73!
I'm so happy, because I live at number 71, So it's not too far to walk home afterwards. And it's the same side of the street. I don't even have to cross the road!

~~~~~ Answering machine message,

"I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call.
I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep.
If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."

~~~~~ My wife and I had words, but I didn't get to use mine.

~~~~~ Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.

~~~~~ Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

~~~~~ The irony of life is that by the time you're old enough to know your way around, you're not going anywhere.

~~~~~ God made man before woman so as to give him time to think of an answer for her first question.

~~~~~ I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

~~~~~ Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

~~~~~ The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Aspire to inspire before you expire.

I hope these little gems can help you get through the leftovers and house cleaning today! Maybe we'll get some sunshine!

Coffee in the kitchen to start this morning! Lemon pie, anyone?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Well, It's Turkey Day...!

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about tradition and family! Things like that used to be really important, ya know? Somewhere down the line, we sort of lost a little of that!

I, for one, would like to have some of it back! That's why all of you are my extended family for the holidays, if that's OK by you!

Have a great Thanksgiving, my friends! Hot coffee out on the patio, OK?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cowboys Get Owned...!

Sometimes we can learn from history and sometimes we don't! We should remember that there will always be good and bad on both sides.

All my early life, I was taught that the worse thing to do in any fight was to start trouble in someone else's home turf. I always thought that was good advice. It might have served these cowboys better to have followed that as well!

Dec 1, 1884:
Elfego Baca battles Anglo cowboys

Elfego Baca, legendary defender of southwestern Hispanos, manages to hold off a gang of 80 cowboys who are determined to kill him.

The trouble began the previous day, when Baca arrested Charles McCarthy, a cowboy who fired five shots at him in a Frisco (now Reserve), New Mexico, saloon. For months, a vicious band of Texan cowboys had terrorized the Hispanos of Frisco, brutally castrating one young Mexican man and using another for target practice. Outraged by these abuses, Baca gained a commission as deputy sheriff to try to end the terror. His arrest of McCarthy served notice to other Anglo cowboys that further abuses of the Hispanos would not be tolerated.

The Texans, however, were not easily intimidated. The morning after McCarthy's arrest, a group of about 80 cowboys rode into town to free McCarthy and make an example of Baca for all Mexicans. Baca gathered the women and children of the town in a church for their safety and prepared to make a stand. When he saw how outnumbered he was, Baca retreated to an adobe house, where he killed one attacker and wounded several others. The irate cowboys peppered Baca's tiny hideout with bullets, firing about 400 rounds into the flimsy structure. As night fell, they assumed they had killed the defiant deputy sheriff, but the next morning they awoke to the smell of beef stew and tortillas--Baca was fixing his breakfast.

A short while later, two lawmen and several of Baca's friends came to his aid, and the cowboys retreated. Baca turned himself over to the officers, and he was charged with the murder of one of the cowboys. In his trial in Albuquerque, the jury found Baca not guilty because he had acted in self-defense, and he was released to a hero's welcome among the Hispanos of New Mexico. Baca was adored because he had taken a stand against the abusive and racist Anglo newcomers. Hugely popular, Baca later enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer, private detective, and politician in Albuquerque.

Things are not always what they seems. We tend to forget that sometimes the apparent good guys aren't, and that the under dog can sometimes turn out the winner!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. I'm hoping for some sunshine to warm things up a tad!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Short And Simple For Tuesday...!

Since it is a holiday week, I figured we would go with simple, easy, and fun!

No need to get all fancy and stuff, ya think?


Doesn't need any explanation does it? I didn't think so!

Coffee in the kitchen again. Rainy and cold outside!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Bloody Monday Mystery...!

Here is an interesting story from the folks over at KnowledgeNuts that I figured you might like! You might even recognize on of the characters involved!

Seems like folks are always finding ways to do away with others! Been that way for a long time, I reckon. Just mankind being human, or almost human!

The Mad Butcher Of Kingsbury Run
By Aaron Short on Sunday, November 24, 2013

In Cleveland in the 1930s, a serial killer stalked the shantytown of Kingsbury Run, dismembering his victims with surgical precision. He was called “The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” or just “The Torso Killer.” The detective out to stop him was Elliot Ness, the same Elliot Ness who’d tangled with Al Capone a few years earlier. Even though a suspect was eventually arrested, the “Torso Killer” may have escaped to carry on killing—Elliot Ness received taunting letters for the rest of his life.

In Cleveland, a few years after the Prohibition Era had ended, a serial killer stalked the streets, hunted by no less than Elliot Ness: the legendary detective who’d fought a long, drawn-out battle with Al Capone. This killer, also sometimes known as The Cleveland Torso Murderer, dissected bodies with surgical precision, removing the head while the victim was still alive in most cases, leaving behind chemically treated torsos. Starting in the year 1934, he claimed 13 victims, both male and female.

The victims were nearly all vagrants who came from the Kingsbury Run area—a dilapidated ghetto of shanty houses that had been erected by the poor during the Depression. A cat-and-mouse game erupted between Ness and the Butcher. Ness’s tactics were just as heavy-handed as the ones he’d used against Capone and the bootleggers. He raided Kingsbury Run, arresting all the vagrants. After the town was evacuated and all the vagrants fingerprinted, it was burned down. Ness believed this would deprive the butcher of victims, but it just resulted in public backlash.

Eventually, the police arrested a suspect who ended up confessing—but only after being interrogated continuously for more than 40 hours. Many who have since investigated the case doubt that the arrest suspect was the Butcher due to lack of evidence and the manner of his confession. In any case, the suspect killed himself before his broken testimony could go to court—and to end rampant press coverage and increasing public hysteria, the case was labeled “closed.” Although the killings stopped abruptly after that, Elliot Ness would receive taunting messages and postcards for the rest of his life that claimed to be from the Butcher himself.

I can't imagine what it would be like to go through the rest of your professional life being haunted by the likes of a mad killer! Might make you jump at shadows, ya know?

Coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen this morning. 40 degrees outside is just too cold for this old man!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Woody Woodpecker For Sunday...!

It's time for us to reach back into our checkered past and pull up some oldies, but goodies! Sometimes we might rattle a memory or two!

Are you ready?

We haven't done a Woody Woodpecker in a while, have we? Some of these might reach back a few years, but then so do I!

I figure that one more might round off the day!Ain't this a great way to start off the day?

Maybe these will bring you a smile or two! That's always nice!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Too cold outside on the patio!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Now THAT'S a Great Weapon...!

Often times in the old west, guns just were not handy as protection. In such cases, it was up to the folks in bad situations to use whatever they could to protect themselves. This story is just such a case!

Now, it took some serious backbone to defend yourself in this manner, but evidently it worked out just fine for the good guys! Not so much for the bad guys, though!

The Ice Mallet That Won The West
By Nolan Moore on Friday, November 22, 2013

Ben “The Tall Texan” Kilpatrick was an infamous outlaw who made his living robbing trains. When he held up the Southern Pacific Express, he met his match in David Trousdale, a Well Fargo manager armed with an ice mallet. Trousdale killed Kilpatrick with his hammer and was rewarded for his heroism.

When people think of the Old West, they usually think of weapons like the Colt .45 and the Winchester ’73. But sometimes all you needed to take on a deadly outlaw was something simple like an ice mallet. Ben Kilpatrick found that out the hard way.

Nicknamed “The Tall Texan,” Kilpatrick was not a man to be trifled with. He rode with some of the most notorious gangs in the Old West including the infamous Wild Bunch. The law eventually caught up with Kilpatrick, and he spent 10 years behind bars. When he was finally released, he went back to what he knew best: robbing trains.

Kilpatrick and his new partner, Ole Hobek, planned to rob the Southern Pacific Express in grand style. After leaping from their horses onto the train, Hobek went to deal with the engineer while Kilpatrick went to the baggage and mail car to look at the safe. It was there that he ran into Wells Fargo manager David Trousdale. Trousdale was in charge of all the mail, baggage, and valuables on the train, and he was out of his league against a criminal like Kilpatrick. However, Trousdale had the element of surprise on his side. As the Tall Texan rooted through the safe, Trousdale grabbed an ice mallet and hid it in his coat. When Kilpatrick had finished collecting the goods, Trousdale pointed out he’d missed a package, and it was lying on the ground. Kilpatrick bent down to pick it up, and then Trousdale whipped out the mallet and bashed the outlaw’s head three times, breaking his neck, crushing his skull, and coating the wall of the baggage car with his brains.

But the fight wasn’t over yet. Trousdale ditched the mallet and picked up Kilpatrick’s rifle. When Hobek came back to see what was taking his partner so long, Trousdale shot him dead. Trousdale became a hero and was given a gold watch and over $2,500 in rewards. Even the ice mallet was honored for its role in Kilpatrick’s death. If you stop by the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington, D.C., you can see Trousdale’s deadly weapon on display.

Guess you didn't always need a big gun to be dangerous, just using the best weapon given to us at birth...our brain! Of course, it never hurts to have some major backbone!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Love Sherlock Holmes...!

I swear that I could read all the Sherlock books over and over again, and have done so in many cases!

Part of the reason I like him so much is knowing what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle went through to create his more than famous character. That in and of itself would make a great book or movie! What you may not know is that Doyle used a real person as part of his character development! How cool is that?

Sherlock Holmes

At first glance, Sherlock Holmes and a medical lecturer might not seem to have much in common. After all, Holmes is perhaps the greatest fictional detective of all-time, and certainly the most famous. However, when you really stop to think about it, it makes sense that Holmes would be based on a medical doctor renowned for his keen observational skills and superior intelligence. That man was Dr. Joseph Bell, and he was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in the 19th century.

Bell was an acquaintance of Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and in fact served as the doctor’s clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Bell was famous for being able to observe a man and instantly deduce things he could not possibly have known, which should like a familiar trait to anyone even loosely aware of Sherlock Holmes. Reportedly, Bell even advised the police in several investigations in Scotland, including the Ardlamont Mystery, and testified as an expert witness in the ensuing murder trial.

With inspiration like this, is it any wonder that Sherlock was such a great detective? I think not!

Thanks to everyone that made my day better by all the birthday wishes! I really appreciate it...a bunch!

Coffee out on the patio before the cold weather gets here! Anyone rather have hot chocolate?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Short List Of Facts For Today...!

Today I'm gonna do something easy because it's my Birthday!

Hard to believe that I'm actually 69 years old! Boy, for someone that never thought I would see 25, I went a little past that! Anyway, a lot of things on this list you probably know, but it's still a fun list! Besides, it's easy!

1. A firefly is not a fly – it is a beetle

2. A prairie dog is not a dog – it is a rodent

3. India ink is not from India – it is from China and Egypt

4. A horned toad is not a toad – it is a lizard

5. A lead pencil does not contain lead – it contains graphite

6. A douglas fir is not a fir – it is a pine

7. A silkworm is not a worm – it is a caterpillar

8. A peanut is not a nut – it is a legume

9. A koala bear is not a bear – it is a marsupial

10. An English horn is not English and it isn’t a horn – it is a French alto oboe

11. A guinea pig is not from guinea and it is not a pig – it is a rodent from South America

12. Shortbread is not a bread – it is a thick cookie

13. Dresden China is not from Dresden – it is from Meissen

14. A shooting star is not a star – it is a metorite

15. A funny bone is not a bone – it is the spot where the ulnar nerve touches the humerus

16. Chop suey is not a native Chinese dish – it was invented by Chinese immigrants in California

17. A bald eagle is not bald – it has flat white feathers on its head and neck when mature, and dark feathers when young

18. A banana tree is not a tree – it is a herb

19. A cucumber is not a vegetable – it is a fruit

20. A jackrabbit is not a rabbit – it is a hare

21. A piece of catgut is not from a cat – it is usually made from sheep intestines

22. A Mexican jumping bean is not a bean – it is a seed with a larva inside

23. A Turkish bath is not Turkish – it is Roman

24. A sweetbread is not a bread – it is the pancreas or thymus gland from a calf or lamb

I hope you enjoy this little bit of trivia. Like I said, it's an easy list and I need some easy today! All the sudden I feel old, very old! Wonder why that is?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but we may have to move inside. Anyone have an extra cookie?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

After The Glory Days...!

I've heard it said that we all have our 15 minutes of fame, but what happens to us when tha fame is gone?

Some folks deal with it and move on, while others decide that the fame is important enough to continue to chase it. In this case, I think that it was a chance to have a new beginning. Sometimes that's all it takes...a chance!

The Strange Fate Of Emmett Dalton
By Mike Devlin on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Dalton Gang terrorized the American Old West, pulling off a string of train robberies. In 1892, they attempted one of their most daunting stunts yet, robbing two banks at the same time in the town of Coffeyville, Kansas. The scheme was a disaster, ending with four of the gang members dead and a fifth, Emmett Dalton, riddled with gunfire. Despite 23 bullet wounds, he survived, and after over a decade in prison, moved to Hollywood where he became an author, actor, and real estate agent.

While most recognize that the “Wild West” was far more peaceful than television and movies would lead people to believe, there were some notorious personalities and incidents that sprung from the era. One such group was the Dalton Gang, who made their name with a series of successful train robberies. However audacious these heists might have been, they were hardly lucrative. Most of the jobs left them with just a few hundred dollars to split between the members of the gang.

In 1892, the Daltons plotted something far more bold than they had ever attempted before. They would rob two banks in the town of Coffeyville, Kansas simultaneously. They might have succeeded if not for a shrewd bank employee, who convinced them that the vault was equipped with a time lock and wouldn’t open for another 45 minutes. That gave the townspeople time to rally and engage the Daltons in a fierce gun battle.

Four members of the gang were killed: Dick Broadwell, Bill Power, and brothers Grat and Bob Dalton. A third brother, Emmett, suffered 23 bullet wounds. Surviving such a barrage would be nearly impossible, even with today’s medical technology, but Emmett was wounded before the invention of aspirin or CPR. Despite the odds, he survived. For his misdeeds, he was sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned after 14 years, having discovered the Lord while behind bars.

Many figures would have faded into obscurity at this point, but Emmett capitalized on his dubious legacy. He penned a memoir of his exploits called When the Daltons Rode and appeared in Hollywood films, including a dramatization of the Daltons’ exploits. He played himself. The former gunslinger also sold real estate and championed prison reform. He died in 1937, aged 66, more than four decades after the deadly shoot-out.

One can hope that Emmett made the best from his second chance and had a chance to at least die in peace, happy!

Coffee inside this morning. It's a tad chilly, but the sun is supposed to come on strong later!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some Ill-Placed Trust...!

Once in a while, I run across a story that is really hard to believe. This is one of those stories!

Every time one of these stories surfaces, my faith in the PTB erodes just a little more! I know this happened a long time ago, but the fact that it is just now being acknowledged really disturbs me.

Albert Stevens: Radioactive Man
By Mike Devlin on Saturday, November 16, 2013

During the Manhattan Project, which would lead to the building of the first atomic bombs, researchers became increasingly concerned about the hazards of contact with plutonium. In one of the most horrifying and unethical experiments ever undertaken, 18 people were injected with plutonium without their consent to measure its effects. The most heavily dosed was a man named Albert Stevens, a house painter who received an injection that assaulted his body with 60 times the amount of radiation allowed to current workers every year until his death, over 20 years later.

Today, science has a pretty good handle on the dangers of radiation, but not so long ago, folks were attending atomic bomb parties and painting watch dials with radioluminescent paint. The Manhattan Project brought the fears of radiation’s effects to a head, especially the effects of the newly isolated element, plutonium, which many had become heavily exposed to during experimentation. To that end, they decided to initiate a study to determine exactly how dangerous plutonium was.

The plot was sinister. They would inject varying amounts of plutonium into unwitting patients and gauge its effects. To their credit, they chose people who had been diagnosed with a “terminal” condition who weren’t expected to live regardless of the results. Eighteen people were injected at three different sites, including the University of California Hospital in San Francisco. The first patient to receive the injection in California (dubbed CAL-1) was a house painter in his late fifties named Albert Stevens. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Stevens was injected with two different isotopes of plutonium. He received a monstrous dose, about 0.95 micrograms in all, as he was not expected to live much longer anyway. But when doctors opened him up to perform surgery on his tumor four days later, they found that he was merely suffering from an extremely bad ulcer. Stevens was lied to and led to believe that he’d undergone a miracle recovery and was then studied. His urine and stool samples were carefully monitored. In the course of a year, he would absorb 60 times the amount of radiation that workers are now allowed to take annually. Stevens would go on to live more than 20 years, his blood filled with plutonium. He eventually succumbed to heart disease at the ripe age of 79. Some of the other 18 patients weren’t so lucky, but it is believed all of them died from pre-existing conditions and not the megadoses of radiation they’d been dealt.

Now I would love to think that this sort of thing would not ever happen again, but that would be foolish. Sometimes I think that we are not nearly as civilized as we would like to think!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The morning should be pleasant, with the afternoon turning hot again!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Something Different For Monday Mystery...!

I think that this mystery is a tad different from what we usually have here, so maybe it's a good one!

Normally a mystery like this stays close to the same place, but in this case it seems to bounce all over! That alone makes it a good mystery to me!

Toynbee Tiles

The Toynbee tiles are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and three South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate, but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation on the following inscription:


The majority of tiles contain text similar to that above, although a second set is often found nearby. Several of these allude to a mass conspiracy between the press (including newspaper magnate John S. Knight of Knight-Ridder), the U.S. government, the USSR (even in tiles seemingly made years after the Soviet Union’s dissolution), and Jews. The writing is of a similar style and poor quality. A tile that used to be located in Santiago de Chile mentions a street address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2624 S. 7th Philadelphia, PA. The current occupants of the house know nothing about the tiles and are annoyed by people who ask.

Nothing like a good mystery to get the ol' imagination to flowing freely, right? Makes for an interesting discussion around the coffee circle!

Speaking of coffee, let's have ours out on the patio this morning. Sound OK to you?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some Sunday 'Toons...!

Sorry about taking the day off yesterday, but I really needed it. Anyway, I'm back today with our Sunday 'toons.

Funny how we can get used to things being a certain way. When something happens that messes with our routine, seems like all around us goes to pot! That's kinda what's going on with me right now. Hopefully we can fall back into a regular routine, at least for a while!

One thing you have to admit about the Coyote, he certainly is a persistent cuss! Right?

Ya know, we all know how these chases are going to end, but still we enjoy the thrill of the chase! Just like real life, I reckon!

OK, that's enough fun stuff for now. I'm gonna go and try to read a book! Have a great day!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, Temps are going back to the high 80's again!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

No Post Today...!

No post today. I do thank all that came by , though. Have a good day, my friends!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Crazy Story Of Corn Flakes...!

Many of the foods we take for granted these days had a strange beginning. One of the strangest is Kellogg's Corn Flakes!

Like several of our modern foods, the Corn Flakes were originally passed off as a health food. When you hear the rest of the story, you'll understand the reason I call this story crazy!

John Harvey Kellogg

The rise of the Kellogg empire could easily comprise a list of its own. The short version begins with John Harvey Kellogg, who was trained as a doctor and promoted a vegetarian lifestyle in accordance with his Seventh Day Adventist beliefs. But Kellogg took the restrictive Victorian conventions of the day and threw them out the window.

Among other weird practices, Kellogg espoused the constant administration of enemas. After your enema, you’d be treated to a pint of yogurt. The patient was allowed to eat half of the yogurt, but the other half would go straight up the patient’s rectum, ostensibly to replenish the bacterial levels of the digestive tract.

Of course, J.H. Kellogg’s greatest contribution to society is the corn flakes he distributed with his brother William. Some years after founding the Sanitas Food Company, the two brothers would butt heads on the issue of whether to add sugar to the cereal. Will would go on to found the company that would later become Kellogg. Sugar has since been an integral ingredient of the company’s success in the peddling of such products as Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts. A highly fictionalized account of John Harvey Kellogg’s life can be found in T.C. Boyle’s novel The Road to Wellville.

Considering it's shaky start, the Kellogg's company enjoys it's status of one of the leading producers of breakfast foods to this day.

Speaking of breakfast stuff, I'm ready for some coffee in the kitchen. How about you?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Russian Westerns...!

Somehow I have a hard time picturing Cowboys and Indians done in Russia!

However, believe it or not they made quite a few western films wit a Russian twist on the whole Cowboy and Indian thing! Crazy, right? This article from KnowledgeNuts tells all about it, and it's pretty interesting!

Cowboys And Indians In The Soviet Union
By Nolan Moore on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

“Red Westerns” were Western films produced in the Soviet Union. These movies used the Russian landscape to substitute for American scenery, and many subverted Western cliches in order to criticize American culture. Some of these films such as White Sun of the Desert have gone on to become Russian classics.

During the Cold War, America’s number one enemy was the Soviet Union. Originally inspired by the ideals of Karl Marx, the USSR quickly descended into a totalitarian dictatorship and dedicated itself to spreading communism and defeating capitalism. So what was the Soviet Union doing making Westerns?

When it comes to movies, it doesn’t get any more American than the Western. Films like Stagecoach mythologize America’s past, and actors like John Wayne symbolize American ideals. But despite their origin, Westerns have a universal appeal, and they were wildly popular in Mother Russia; so popular, in fact, that Soviet filmmakers started making their own. These homegrown horse operas were nicknamed “Red Westerns” and often approached their subject matter from a very eastern perspective.

Many Red Westerns took American trappings and gave them a unique spin. Both Little Red Devils and At Home Among Strangers are set during the Russian Civil War. The cowboys have become Red soldiers, and the savage Apaches have transformed into the anti-communist Whites. These films also relied on unique landscapes such as the Ural Mountains and Volga River to provide that rugged ambience.

Other directors used the Western genre to take a few shots at American corruption. Whereas traditional Westerns depicted Native Americans as bloodthirsty savages, Soviet filmmakers portrayed Indians as the heroes and US cavalry men as the villains. During the ’60s, East Germany produced a string of Native American films nicknamed “Indianerfilme” in which the Sioux fought valiantly against the American government which represented Western colonialism.

But not all films had a political agenda. Lemonade Joe had fun playing with Western cliches while White Sun of the Desert was a Russian retelling of The Magnificent Seven and has become one of the most popular Russian films of all time. (Cosmonauts even psych themselves up before launching by listening to the film’s soundtrack.) Even Joseph Stalin was a fan of Westerns and had director Mikhail Romm remake John Ford’s The Lost Patrol. But just like the USSR, Red Westerns began fade away in the 1980s, and by the time the Berlin Wall had fallen, the Red Western had ridden off into the sunset.

I would kinda like to see one of these "Red Westerns" just to see what they came up with. Couldn't be any worse than some of the movies I've seen lately! Know what I mean?

How about coffee in the kitchen again this morning? I don't handle the colder weather very well!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

One More Western Wednesday...!

Many times in the old days, trading post and other small communities grew into much larger towns and cities. This was most obvious in places like St Joseph!

This is really a case of being in the right place at the right time! I'm sure that many, many travelers were glad to have places like this to stock up and rest a bit before the big adventure began!

Nov 20, 1843:
Blacksnake Hills trading post is renamed St. Joseph

Established as the Blacksnake Hills trading post in 1826, the growing community along the banks of the Missouri River adopts the more impressive St. Joseph as its name.

As with many early western towns, St. Joseph began as a fur trading post. The French-Canadian Joseph Robidoux III shrewdly located his Blacksnake Hills post at the entrance to the Indian-controlled Platte country so he could trade cloth, metal pots, and other manufactured goods for Native Americans' furs. As the numbers of Anglo settlers in the region increased and the fur-bearing animals disappeared, though, the Indians were steadily squeezed out. In June 1836, the Platte territory became part of the new state of Missouri.

Although the fur trade declined after the 1830s, the town nonetheless prospered and continued to grow as a popular gateway to the West for overland travelers. No longer a mere trading post, the city leaders decided their little town needed a more impressive title than Blacksnake Hills and renamed it St. Joseph. The number of overland emigrants picking St. Joseph as a rendezvous spot and jumping-off point for their westbound wagon trains continued to grow, and the town prospered by providing these emigrants with the food, wagons, stock animals, and the many other supplies they needed to make the westward journey. In 1849 alone, more than 2,000 wagons crossed the Missouri River there. The emigrant demand for meat led some innovative St. Joseph businessmen to begin large-scale hog raising and meatpacking operations, two businesses that continued to play a major role in the town's economy well into the 1950s.

By 1859, St. Joseph was the second largest city in Missouri, surpassed only by St. Louis. With the arrival of the railroad that same year, St. Joseph became the eastern terminus of the short-lived Pony Express, which picked up mail delivered by train to St. Joseph and brought it by horseback to California from 1860 to 1861.

After the Civil War, Kansas City began to eclipse St. Joseph as the major western travel hub and crossroad for western emigrants. Its proximity to the southern cattle trails and Hannibal Bridge across the Missouri, which eliminated the need for ferries, made it a more attractive stop than St. Joseph.

There are many towns and cities with interesting history behind them. Early history of the places we think we know is a fun way to gain a little knowledge, in my opinion.

Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. You don't mind the smell of the fresh baking bread, do ya?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Now THAT'S A Party...!

In some ways, the era of the 50's was naive to say the least! It was the late 50's and early 60's that America lost its innocents.

The Forgotten Atomic Bomb Parties Of Las Vegas
By Aaron Short on Monday, November 11, 2013

For 10 years, from around 1952–1963, atomic tourism was a big deal. Nuclear testing was taking place about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Las Vegas, and civilian tourists would get as close to the blast as they could to throw all-night parties in sight of the mushroom cloud. What followed sounds an awful lot like the back story to the game Fallout: New Vegas.

Above-ground nuclear testing began just outside Las Vegas in 1951. From the city itself, the large mushroom clouds were visible, reaching into the sky. To allay any fears the citizens of Vegas may have had, the government ran a successful PR campaign, convincing people that atom bombs were not only safe, but fun. Obviously, we now know that nuclear fallout causes all sort of horrible health problems, but back then they were told that if anyone was exposed to radiation, they could just take a shower and they’d be right as rain.

With the test site employing 10,000 people, it was soon seen as a boon to the Vegas economy. And with the bombs being dropped once every three weeks, Las Vegas became known unofficially as “Atomic City,” a tourist destination with its very own nuclear fireworks show. People came from all over America to see the spectacle and Vegas’s population more than doubled. In order to cash in on this, businesses would advertise hotel rooms based on their views of the explosion and people would even venture out into the desert themselves with “atomic lunchboxes.”

Whenever a bomb was dropped, there would be “Dawn Bomb Parties.” These started at midnight, Vegas crooners performing until 4:00 AM, when the party would stop for the partygoers to silently watch the flash and resulting mushroom cloud bloom on the horizon. Elvis even had one of his first gigs here around 1952. Of course he was a relative unknown, and he didn’t go over too well at the time. There was even a new drink created. It was called an “Atomic Cocktail.” It was just one of many cash-ins, including the atomic hairdo and the atomic beauty pageant.

Even though the government was careful to make sure that the wind was blowing in such a way as to blow away any fallout, people as far away as Utah reported that their animals and livestock were getting sick. But no one in Vegas seemed to notice or care as it looked like the party would go on forever. Then, 235 bombs later, with Vegas’ economy $200 million richer, the 1963 Limited Test Ban put a stop to all above-ground nuke tests. Finally, the weirdest party in the world was over.

It seems to me that folks must have been a little crazy to want to get that close to an atomic blast. Ignorance and misinformation by the government had to have a lot to do with it, don't ya think?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Another cold front is one the way tomorrow!

Monday, November 11, 2013

This Monday Mystery Is For The Birds...!

The most disturbing thing about this mystery is that it's happening all over the world!

Even though the subject matter is saddening, it does make for a Monday mystery worth thing about, don't you think?


Birds have been dropping dead worldwide in recent years, and this is a lot worse than finding your pet canary at the bottom of its cage. In Kentucky, hundreds of sterlings and robins were found on one woman’s property. In Chile, thousands of flamingos, 1,200 penguins and 60 pelicans died over the course of 2 months. Mass bird deaths are happening with alarming frequency in recent years, but one place in particular stands our more than any other: Jatinga, India. Every year in this small village, birds will fly themselves into the ground. There are many mysteries surrounding this case: Why do they do this at all? Why does it affect different types of birds? Why do the birds only do this along a small stretch of the road? Why does it only happen in September? And why do the birds do this after sunset, when they are usually only active in daylight? Many people visit this spot every year to see the phenomenon occur for themselves.

Ya know, there is a lot more stories of mass animal deaths right here if you want to jump over and read it, OK? Some of them will surprise you, I think!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.We better enjoy the sunshine while we can!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

More "Toons For Sunday...!

Well, it's Sunday again and that means cartoons.

Back in my early days, Saturday was the day for cartoons. I started putting them on Sunday after the suggestion of my late buddy, ol' Ben! Ben used to put the comics on his blog on Sunday...kinda like the old time Sunday comics in the paper, remember? It's been that way ever since!

Maybe I should start putting the regular comics here on Sunday. Almost seems natural to have Comics instead of cartoons on Sunday, ya think?

This next one is just in case you are in need of some good old fashioned insults for you arsenal. They might come in handy at your next family get together!

That should be enough to get the grey matter relaxed for a while, right? Right!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Let's take a chance on the weather, OK?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Treasure Hunt For Saturday...!

It's been a while since we've had a treasure story on the Blog, so this seemed like as good a time as any!

This is just a great story, if for no other reason than the names. One rule about being a great pirate is that you have to have a memorable pirate name! How are others gonna know how bad you are if your name doesn't strike fear in the minds of little children and old folks? Anyway, this tale from the people over at KnowledgeNuts has all the ingredients needed for a treasure adventure!

The Hunt For Oliver La Vasseur’s Lost Pirate Treasure 
By Aaron Short on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Three hundred years ago, a pirate named Oliver Le Vasseur who was about to be hanged threw a coded parchment into a crowd and dared those assembled to find his buried treasure. Allegedly, the parchment contained the location of a haul of gems, gold, and relics worth $200 million by today’s standard. For the last 100 years, people have been have been trying to decode the map and locate that treasure.

Olivier Le Vasseur was a French pirate nicknamed “The Buzzard.” In 1730, he boarded a Portuguese vessel that was laden with gems, rubies, gold, and expensive religious relics such as a giant, diamond-encrusted crucifix. The vessel was undergoing repairs at the time and, caught unawares, it was quickly ransacked. The Buzzard’s crew spent their share on rum and women or were quickly captured, but The Buzzard himself escaped for a while, giving him just enough time to hide the bulk of the loot. Eventually, he was tricked, captured, and ended up swinging from a rope like the rest of his crew. However, his treasure, estimated at around $200 million by today’s standard, was never recovered. And just before he was hanged, he threw the only existing clue to its location, a coded parchment, into the crowd and shouted “My treasure for he who understands!” The parchment quickly disappeared and, with the Buzzard dead, it looked like his treasure would never be found.

Then, 200 years later, it surfaced in the hands of a Seychelles resident who traveled to France and had it authenticated by the national library in Paris. It was indeed real. But it was a cryptographic code with 17 lines of characters and no cypher, making it very difficult to decipher. In the 1940s, it was procured by an ex-British-military big-game hunter. Reginald Cruise-Wilkins searched for 27 years and, although he didn’t actually find the treasure, did have some luck. The code was complicated but being an ex–World War II code breaker Reginald was able to decipher enough to realize that it contained complex riddles pertaining to the challenges of Hercules. For example, one phrase when decoded read “Let Jason be your guide and the third circle will be open to you.” From this and other tidbits, he learned that the treasure was most likely in an underwater cavern protected by large stone slabs.

He even managed to find pirate skeletons, one with a gold earring, a coin that may have come from La Vasseur’s haul and other trinkets related to La Vasseur. To this day, John Cruise-Wilkins (Reginald’s son), continues to search Seychelles for the treasure. He even has competition in a retired USAF instructor. Both believe that they’re very close to finding the treasure, and neither has any intention of giving up any time soon . . .

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's still chilly outside, but the kitchen is warm and toasty!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wanna Fight Some Spiders...?

Now I'm not talking about you picking a fight with a spider, but being a spectator of a fight between two of the ugly critters.

If you are like me, you have probably never heard of spider least, not as a spectator sport! Guess that I haven't seen as much as I thought I had. I've heard of dog fighting, cock fighting, prize fighting but never of spider fighting! Not something I'll ever be a big fan of!

Spider fighting is an extremely popular blood sport in the Philippines where children capture and force spiders to fight atop a stick, often to the death. The Filipino government frowns on spider fighting as it introduces children to the world of gambling. Filipino farmers also look down on the sport as spiders protect their crops from insects.

Spider fighting is your worst nightmare come true. This ghastly sport takes place in the Philippines and is popular among children although it has attracted a large adult audience as well. The rules are pretty simple. The arachnids are placed on a stick and shoved toward each other until they start fighting. If a spider falls off the stick three times, it loses. If a spider gets wrapped up in its opponent’s webbing, it loses. And of course, a spider match can always result in death. This is one of those situations where winning really is everything.

According to Filipino children, there’s an art to catching the right spider. Kids wake up early in the morning to hunt for future champions, and the best fighters are said to be the ones living on electric power lines. The eight-legged pugilists are kept in matchboxes, and winners can fetch up to 100 pesos ($2.40) on the spider fighting market.

However, not everyone is pleased with spider wrestling. Filipino farmers are worried about the local arachnid population, fearing a decrease in spiders will give rise to an influx of insects. Even the Filipino government is cracking down on the blood sport, not out of concern for the animals’ welfare but because spider wrestling is causing students to skip school. Evidently, kids would rather watch spiders fight than study, and they spend more time catching prizefighters than doing homework. Officials are also concerned that spider fighting will introduce kids to the world of gambling (which is illegal in the Philippines). Spiders fights are quite a draw for gamblers, and bets can get as high as 50,000 pesos (a little over $1,100). That’s a lot of cash when you’re talking about battling arachnids.

I have to thank the folks over at KnowledgeNuts for this information! I'm sure that I'll have some nightmares in the near future, thanks to this story.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. 44 degrees outside, and that's too chilly for me to sit on the patio!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Disneyland Secret...!

Did you know that Disneyland, home to the biggest mouse in the world, is also home to a very large number of feral cats?

I wouldn't kid you about this. Actually, this story is pretty cool! I would have never know this, but even so, it really doesn't surprise me all that much. In a way it only makes sense. Being a place for that many tourist certainly would have a way of producing tons of food for the rodents. Keeping them under control could be a massive job, so keeping cats seems like a workable solution.

When the Mouse is Away...

Introduce a mouse into an area with a few dozen people sitting around, and you'd expect a few shrieks as the people run away or jump on tables. Similarly, if you were to introduce the same mouse to an open area where a dozen or so cats were lying in wait, you'd expect the felines to pounce at the first whiff of the potential prey. But if that mouse were a six-foot tall one named Mickey, and the area were Disneyland in Anaheim, California, all bets are off. In the first scenario, Mickey's presence means that the dozens of park visitors run toward him, hoping to get a hug or a picture with the anthropomorphized critter with red shorts.

And incredibly, Mickey Mouse and Disneyland have the same reversing effect on the second scenario, too. It turns out that Disneyland is home to a few hundred feral cats, who only come out at night, after the park is closed to visitors and all the performers are gone for the evening.

As the Los Angeles Times notes, no one knows when the cats started to "sneak in" -- "years ago," the paper surmises -- but they've become welcome guests. In 2010, the Times put together a fascinating article on how Disneyland prepares for the next day's guests. Each evening, hundreds of workers take to the streets of the theme park, cleaning and repairing it for the thousands of people expected to enter the following morning. Assisting these custodians is this sizable population of feral cats who help keep the rodent population down. (Mickey Mouse was unavailable for comment.) So instead of trying to eradicate these invasive, gate-crashing cats, the powers-that-be at Disneyland keep them happy. There are a total five permanent feeding stations for the cats at Disneyland and neighboring California Adventure Park, to make sure that the cats are healthy and not dangerous.

To keep the cat population from getting out of hand, workers spay and neuter adult cats and find off-park homes for kittens they come across. But for now, the managed cat population are welcome, albeit uninvited, guests to Disneyland.

Sounds to me like this is a win-win solution for all! Certainly better than just putting out poison or the like! Bet the cats don't mind either!

Let's have coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's a cool morning out on the patio!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jesse James On Western Wednesday...!

Depending on who you talk to, ol' Jesse was a good guy or really bad! Regardless of either one, he was a thief!

It does seem that from time to time, he did what he could to help out a few folks, but there was usually a catch. This story shows just one way the catch might have worked!

The Debt Re-Collector

On April 3, 1882, notorious American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford, one of his few trusted (oops!) accomplices. Ford and his brother were seeking the $5,000 bounty on James' capture, dead or alive, an amount (well over $100,000 in today's dollars) which underscores how badly law enforcement wanted the 34 year-old James. (The amount was so high that Thomas G. Crittenden, the governor of Missouri at the time and the man who set the bounty, had to appeal to railway owners and express shippers to fund most of the amount, as it was beyond the limits allowed by state law.) And the extraordinary bounty was well-deserved. Since the age of 18, James had been involved in numerous bank heists, train robberies, and ultimately, murders. While his later legacy became one of a modern-day, real-life Robin Hood, that's mostly undeserved. By almost all accounts, James was a sociopath.

There may be one exception, though.

There are many myths surrounding James' life, but the generally reputable "Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes" (from the same group that bring us "Bartlett's Book of Quotations") tells the story of a time that James, on the run after a successful heist, came to a farmhouse. The lady of the house, a widow, graciously took him in, but wasn't much of a host. It turns out that she was deeply in debt and unable to provide for herself, let alone an unexpected guest. To make matters worse, the debt collector was on his way, expecting to collect $1,400 (approximately $30,000 nowadays). She didn't have that kind of money, but James, contrary to his deserved reputation for not caring about the plight of others, solved her problem. He gave her the cash she needed to pay off the debt collector, who accepted the payment and went on his way.

But that was the extent of his kind-heartedness. As Bartlett's further notes, soon after James left the farmhouse, he circled back with his gang -- and they held up the debt collector, retaking the $1,400.

Stories like this one show how many folks thought of James as some kind of folk hero, but he was still a thief and outlaw. History always seems to embellish the tales of the olden times to make the characters larger than life.

Coffee in the kitchen again. Warm but the chance of rain is still here!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bauman The Mountain Man...!

With the days getting dark a little earlier and being gloomy overall, seems like a perfect time for this story!

This doesn't qualify as a ghost story completely, but it's spooky enough to be entertaining! See what you think!

The Bauman Incident

The uber-spooky tale of Bauman the mountain man was transcribed by none other than Teddy Roosevelt himself. The story comes from Roosevelt’s 1892 book The Wilderness Hunter, and Bauman’s tale is as creepy as they come.

Bauman and his partner were beaver trappers who’d set up camp and built a lean-to near Montana’s Wisdom River. Leaving their bags behind, they went to set traps, returning as night fell. But when they came back, they found something had torn down their shelter and emptied their packs. Bauman assumed it had been a bear, but his partner was uneasy. Using a torch, he carefully inspected the tracks. “Bauman,” his partner said, “that bear has been walking on two legs.”

That night, as the two slept in a newly built lean-to, Bauman awoke to see a giant standing in the opening. He panicked and shot the intruder, which then took off into the forest. For the rest of the night, the two men sat by the fire, cradling their guns, watching the trees.

The creature returned the next day, wrecking their campsite again while they were trapping. And that night, the men heard the beast howling in the woods. When the sun rose, Bauman and his friend decided it was time to pack up and go. But first, they had to collect their traps, and they made the all-time classic mistake. They split up. Bauman went to the river while his partner stayed to pack their gear.

When Bauman returned to camp, he noticed their fire had gone out. All their belongings were packed, but where was his partner? Bauman called for him, but there was no answer. And then he saw the body. His partner was sprawled on the ground, his neck broken, his throat covered with puncture wounds, and there were giant footprints everywhere. Terrified, Bauman took off running through the forest, leaving behind everything except his gun.

So what was the creature? Bauman believed it was a goblin. Modern cryptozoologists think it was Bigfoot. But Roosevelt was undecided. Perhaps it was just an animal . . . but then again, perhaps not. As he put it, “No man can say.”

I can't help but wonder what kind of tales our future culture will associate with us. I can only hope that those stories are as intriguing as this one.

Coffee in the kitchen again. The weather is still acting crazy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Kiddie Murders For Monday...!

The topic isn't pretty, but the fact that it remains unsolved makes this a perfect candidate for Monday Mysteries.

This particular story has all the attributes of a great, but sad tale. So many strange twists and turns here, it makes for a diffident rainy day type study.

The Keddie Murders

The horrifying Keddie murders bring to mind hockey-masked, machete-wielding maniacs roaming the forest. On April 11, 1981, while vacationing in a resort town near the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Glenna Sharp, two of her children, and a family friend met a grisly end in their cabin. On the morning of April 12, Sharp’s 14-year-old daughter, who had been staying in another cabin with friends, returned to find her mother, her brother John, and their teenage friend Dana, dead. Her sister Tina, age 13, was missing. The interior of Cabin 28 had been destroyed: Blood was splattered over every surface, the furniture was smashed, and the walls had been gouged with blades. The bodies were bound with tape and horribly mutilated. Three younger children who had been staying in the cabin were found unharmed. They claimed that two assailants had tortured the family with kitchen knives and a claw hammer over a period of 10 hours, taking Tina with them when they left.

Though there was another cabin just five meters (15 ft) away, and though the primeval carnage must surely have been noisy, neighbors claimed they never heard a thing. A massive investigation was launched with FBI involvement, but no leads or suspects have ever panned out. In 1984, the skull of Tina Sharp was found in another camp some 80 kilometers (50 mi) away. In the years since, there was talk that Cabin 28 was haunted. The resort fell into disrepair and was frequented by squatters and vandals. People claim to have seen figures lurking behind the windows and hearing unearthly moans in the murder cabin. The owner razed the building in 2004.

Sometimes I wonder why it is that we are so fascinated with unsolved mysteries. Reckon that it is just our need to put things in some kind of order? Perhaps we merely love the exercise of turning over new ideas in our mind...who knows? One thing for sure, we will always have a morbid interest in stories like this, don't you think?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, as it's still a little cool outside. Honey butter biscuits are on the table!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Cartoon Time...!

Today we are going to have a shorter version than we usually do.

The reason? I just feel like taking the day off to read a book. You remember books, right? I've been spending way too much time on the 'puter, so I'm going to start reading more!

Well. that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, don't ya think? This was actually a two reel cartoon in the movie house! Of course, that was back in 1937!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's just a tad windy, but no rain for now!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Revenge Of Mother Nature...!

Just like the old commercial used to say, it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature!

For every stupid move we make at nature, you can bet that she will get some payback in a big way! The one thing that man can do better than nature is show his stupidity! That's a contest man will win, hands down!

David Grundman

David Grundman had two things: A shotgun and a massive need to shoot at things. So one day in 1982, David drove into the desert with his friend, in order to go nuts with his weapon. He opened fire at some small saguaro cacti (large, vaguely man shaped cactus plants), obliterating them with his shotgun shells. However, destroying small saguaros was way too easy: He needed a bigger, more powerful target.

So Grundman focused his attention on a huge, 26-foot (7.92 meter) saguaro they found nearby. He opened fire at it, and with just one shot managed to blast off a whole, massive chunk of the plant’s “arm.” Some accounts report he even started shouting “Timber!” as the cactus fell, although he only got as far as “Tim–” before he was interrupted.

In an impressively instant case of revenge on the part of mother nature, the wounded cactus fell directly on Grundman and crushed him to death.

Does it ever seem to you that mankind is bound and determined to destroy everything around him? It's as though we aren't happy unless we are tearing things apart! Guess this story proves that sometimes it's best to try and play nice...or else!

Coffee back in the kitchen this morning. The rain came back late last night!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mom's Birthday Today...!

I'm going to forgo the usual posting today and spend some time with my Mother. Today is her birthday and I'm going to try and make it enjoyable for her!

I realize that none of you have ever met my Mom, so let me introduce you to the birthday girl! Guess I should say "Birthday Lady" instead, right?

Happy Birthday Mom!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The storm has passed...I think!