Monday, December 22, 2014

A Jane Doe For Monday Mystery...!

Well, the trip to the V.A. was a good one. At least the results were good compared to what they could have been. Lungs were fine, blood work came back normal, and EKG showed no problems. Blood pressure was good also.

The doctor figured that I had a low level infection of some kind, prescribed some antibiotics and that was that. Why was I coughing up a little blood? I never seem to get a good answer for that one. However, all seems clear right now.

Things didn't turn out as well for our Jane Doe on today's mystery, however. Let's take a look at her case, OK?

The Sycamore Jane Doe

On August 14, 1995, a hiker climbed to the top of a high ridge in the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness area in Arizona. He looked down to see a set of skeletal remains on a knife-edged ridge above the canyon floor. The victim had no identification, but it was eventually determined that she was a white female between the ages of 25 and 40. She had been deceased for between six months and a year, but her cause of death was unknown. A one-piece Catalina-brand swimsuit was found hanging from a nearby tree. Skeletal remains of an infant were found with the victim. This meant that Jane Doe had made it to full-term pregnancy before she died, so the big question was: How could a nine-month-pregnant woman make it to such a rugged area in the first place?

The trail leading into Sycamore Canyon is 16 kilometers (10 mi) away from the town of Clarkdale. Jane Doe was discovered 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the beginning of the trail, and no abandoned vehicles were found in the area. While it wouldn’t have been impossible for a pregnant woman to hike the trail, it seemed very unlikely that she could have handled climbing to the top of the remote ridge where she was found. On the other hand, it would have been equally difficult for someone to move the body of a pregnant woman to that location. One possible theory is that she was accompanied to that location by someone else who subsequently abandoned her. Even after many pleas to the public for information, the Sycamore Jane Doe has never been identified.

Ya know,sometimes life is just a big mystery...seemingly without an answer. I personally think we are just supposed to deal with it as best we can and then move on. I'm glad that baby Sis was able to drive me over to V.A., but she is good about doing things to help others. Maybe she could help solve some of these mysteries, ya reckon?

Thanks for all the kind concerns and prayers about the visit to V.A.! I really appreciate it!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Supposed to go into the 70s again today!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Small Emergency Came Up...!

I'm posting this as a" just in case post", OK?

Yesterday, after the family get-together, I started coughing up a little blood. Nothing major, but certainly out of the ordinary.

Sis is going to run me over to the V.A. to have it checked out, ad if I don't have to stay then I'll be ready with a decent post tomorrow.

Hopefully all will be well and I won't have to stay there. Nice place to visit, but not a place i want to stay for long, ya know?

I hope to see you all for coffee and an update tomorrow morning!

Party's Over So It's 'Toon Time...!

Now that the family get-together is history, it's time to see if we can find some good ol' vintage cartoons, right?

By vintage, I mean that if I can remember it from when I was a's vintage! Know what I mean? Some of ya do, I know. I reckon that some of you are almost as old as I am! Well, maybe not old but well seasoned. Sound better?

It would be nice if we could capture some of our childhood magic back again, don't you think?

You know, it's hard for me to beleve that Christmas Day is right around the corner already. This year sure is disappearing fast!

I'm really glad that some of the older 'toons are being re-worked. Makes them a real treat to watch again.

Well, guess that's about all for our trip down memory lane this morning. Always fun to reminisce with old friends, isn't it?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Buttermilk pie anyone?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

No Post Today...!

Today is the family Christmas get-together at Mom's house, so I'll be busy helping her get everything together. I hope everyone has a great day and that you all are plenty warm enough.

Help yourself to the coffee. You know where it is, right?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mrs. Kent's Cottage For Freaky Friday...!

Somethings seem to be strange at first, then after a while they turn out to be just plain freaky!

This is a tale about a poor woman that went from being just a mystery to being a freaky mystery and remains a pretty freaky mystery to this day. This freaky tale is from the pages of Listverse...which has some pretty freaky stuff in it from time to time, I'm happy to say!

The Skeleton In Ada Constance Kent’s Cottage

Ada Constance Kent was once a prominent English stage actress, but as she grew older, she chose to live as a reclusive spinster at her cottage in the village of Fingringhoe. In 1939, Kent mysteriously vanished and left behind her some strange clues. A supper tray was resting atop the dining table, and a copy of Romeo & Juliet was found open in her chair near the fireplace. Authorities thoroughly searched the cottage and the surrounding area numerous times but could find no trace of Kent. The case remained cold for a decade until police were contacted by a bank. Since Kent still had some money deposited in an account, the bank was inquiring about her whereabouts. The police decided to perform another search of Kent’s abandoned cottage. To their shock, a skeleton was found inside the bedroom.

After Kent’s disappearance, her bedroom had been searched on no less than three separate occasions, the last time in 1942, but there was no corpse. Since then, a bough from an overhanging tree had fallen through the cottage roof, creating a great deal of rubble. In fact, it took police two hours to clear through the rubble to open the bedroom door. Other than that, everything else at the cottage seemed exactly the same as the day Kent disappeared. The skeleton was well-dressed and an empty bottle with a poison label rested beside it. There were no signs of foul play and the victim was tentatively identified as Ada Constance Kent. However, after the remains were sent to Scotland Yard, a forensic investigation concluded that the victim was too large to be Kent. The fate of Ada Constance Kent and the identity of the skeleton found at her cottage remain baffling mysteries.

Some things just seem to become more mysterious over time. I suppose that some mysteries are just never meant to be solved, no matter how old they are!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I don't have a clue what the weather is going to do, ya know?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Anna Was A Habitual Loser...!

I'm sure most of us have known folks that seem to be destined to lose...all the time! Such was the case with the general, I'm afraid!

This story I found over at KnowdgeNuts shows just what I mean. This guy seem to lose many valuable and important things during his lifetime, including his leg! That he lost twice...that's correct, twice! Now that takes a bit of losing, ya know?

The General Who Lost The Same Leg In Two Different Wars
By Steve Wynalda on Friday, December 12, 2014

General Antonio L√≥pez de Santa Anna played a pivotal role in Mexico’s early years. But his role was to lose more than he gained for his country. He lost half of Mexico’s territory during two of his 11 short presidencies. Extolled for winning an important battle early in his career, he lost nearly every battle afterward. Worse, his right leg became one of the few casualties in a ridiculous conflict known as the Pastry War. And when he got a prosthetic replacement, he lost that in yet another war.

Santa Anna was born in 1794 to a middle-class Spanish family living in Jalapa, Vera Cruz in what was then the massive colony of New Spain. As a teen, Santa Anna won a commission in the Spanish army and rose quickly through the ranks, a colonel by the time he was 26.

In 1821, Santa Anna fought against the rebels in their effort to win independence from Spain. But in the middle of the campaign, Santa Anna sensed the Spaniards were about to lose and switched sides to fight beside the rebels. It was a good gamble.

The years following independence were turbulent, and Spain took the opportunity to try retake Mexico in 1829. Santa Anna quickly put together an army and repelled the Spaniards at Tampico, becoming a national hero.

Santa Anna rode his fame into the presidency in 1833 as the first elected (if unopposed) president of Mexico. But he soon declared himself dictator. As Mexico teetered on civil war, disgruntled Americans and Mexicans in Texas, dissatisfied with the chaos, took the opportunity to sever ties from Mexico.

Santa Anna responded in 1836 by leading an army into Texas. While Santa Anna successfully annihilated a rebel force at the Alamo, the rebels delayed Santa Anna for two weeks and inflicted casualties three times those they bore. Then Sam Houston attacked Santa Anna at San Jacinto River, capturing him and destroying much of his army. Santa Anna was forced to recognize the Republic of Texas.

Santa Anna returned to Mexico in disgrace and retired to his hacienda. He would have remained there, a minor historical footnote if it were not for a French chef named Remontel who had his Mexico City pastry shop ransacked by drunken Mexican soldiers in 1828. Remontel demanded 60,000 pesos for reparations and, after he was ignored by the Mexican government, took his case to the French court. The court was already inundated by complaints from French banks who complained that Mexico had defaulted on their loans. The European press used Remontel’s claim as a symbol for the war that followed, dubbing it the Pastry War.

When France demanded that Mexico pay 600,000 pesos for loan reparations, the cash-strapped Mexico City refused. In 1838, France captured Mexico’s entire fleet and blockaded its single major port, Vera Cruz. Mexico’s economy quickly ground to a halt. Desperate, they turned to Santa Anna.

The general gathered about 3,000 soldiers and attacked the 30,000 French troops at Vera Cruz. Predictably, Santa Anna was beaten, but as he was withdrawing, a cannonball hit his leg. It was subsequently amputated. He made much of his sacrifice for the cause, parading his severed leg through the Mexico City streets and burying it with full military honors. Finally, Mexico agreed to repay France, and the blockade was lifted. The French suffered a total of eight casualties in the Pastry War, while the Mexicans suffered 200.

Santa Anna quickly squandered what little fame he garnered from the Pastry War and found himself in exile when war broke out between the US and Mexico in 1846. The general returned home once more to save his country. In the Battle of Cerro Gordo in 1847, Santa Anna was surprised when American forces attacked him. He was forced to escape on the back of a donkey, leaving his prosthetic leg behind. Illinois soldiers found it and took it back to America.

When Mexico surrendered, they were forced to sign a treaty that ceded nearly half its territory to the US in exchange for $15 million.

But Santa Anna wasn’t done with losing Mexican property. Once again dictator in 1854, he sold the US a huge chunk of border territory for $10 million in order to pay off national debts. Mexican citizens were so furious that they deposed him, tried him for treason, and confiscated his property. He would spend the next 20 years in exile until he was given amnesty in 1874. He died two years later.

As for his prosthetic leg, an Illinois veteran sold it to the state; it still resides in a military museum. Mexico has attempted several times to bring Santa Anna’s leg home, but thus far the museum has refused. The curator claims the leg is one of its most popular exhibits.

I guess you could say that if it weren't for bad luck, he would have no luck at all! Certainly would seem to fit!

Better have our coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm tired of being inside, aren't you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mr. Colt On Western Wednesday...!

What would the west have been without a handy six shooter, one that was almost affordable?

Thanks to a young man named Colt, the "pocket Revolver" became a very sought after tool for many in the frontier. It is still much sought after by gun collectors today.

Jan 4, 1847:
Colt sells his first revolvers to the U.S. government

Samuel Colt rescues the future of his faltering gun company by winning a contract to provide the U.S. government with 1,000 of his .44 caliber revolvers.

Before Colt began mass-producing his popular revolvers in 1847, handguns had not played a significant role in the history of either the American West or the nation as a whole. Expensive and inaccurate, short-barreled handguns were impractical for the majority of Americans, though a handful of elite still insisted on using dueling pistols to solve disputes in highly formalized combat. When choosing a practical weapon for self-defense and close-quarter fighting, most Americans preferred knives, and western pioneers especially favored the deadly and versatile Bowie knife.

That began to change when Samuel Colt patented his percussion-repeating revolver in 1836. The heart of Colt's invention was a mechanism that combined a single rifled barrel with a revolving chamber that held five or six shots. When the weapon was cocked for firing, the chamber revolved automatically to bring the next shot into line with the barrel.

Though still far less accurate than a well-made hunting rifle, the Colt revolver could be aimed with reasonable precision at a short distance (30 to 40 yards in the hands of an expert), because the interior bore was "rifled"--cut with a series of grooves spiraling down its length. The spiral grooves caused the slug to spin rapidly as it left the barrel, giving it gyroscopic stability. The five or six-shoot capacity also made accuracy less important, since a missed shot could quickly be followed with others.

Yet most cowboys, gamblers, and gunslingers could never have afforded such a revolver if not for the de facto subsidy the federal government provided to Colt by purchasing his revolvers in such great quantities. After the first batch of revolvers proved popular with soldiers, the federal government became one of Colt's biggest customers, providing him with the much-needed capital to improve his production facilities. With the help of Eli Whitney and other inventors, Colt developed a system of mass production and interchangeable parts for his pistols that greatly lowered their cost.

Though never cheap, by the early 1850s, Colt revolvers were inexpensive enough to be a favorite with Americans headed westward during the California Gold Rush. Between 1850 and 1860, Colt sold 170,000 of his "pocket" revolvers and 98,000 "belt" revolvers, mostly to civilians looking for a powerful and effective means of self-defense in the Wild West.

Guess a lot of cowboys owe a debt of thanks to the government for financing young Mr. Colt in the development of his early handguns. Like I said earlier, this became a very handy tool indeed!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Still a tad cool outside.