Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day Off...!

Sorry folks, but I have some issues that I nee to deal with today. Because of this, there will be no post today.

Thanks for coming over anyway! You guys are the best!

You know where the coffee is, right?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chisholm Trail Founder For Western Wednesday...!

Jesse Chisholm is a name that will probably be associated with the old west.

Actually, the cattle drive trail known as the "Chisholm Trail" will be what everyone thinks of when the name Chisholm comes up. It's always nice to find out a bit of history about the folks responsible for creating something of such importance, I believe.


Founder of Chisholm Trail dies

Jesse Chisholm, who blazed one of the West’s most famous trails, dies in Oklahoma of food poisoning.

Although the trail named for him later came to be one of the major cattle-drive routes between Texas and Kansas, Jesse Chisholm was a frontier trader, not a cattleman. Born in Tennessee of a Scottish father and a Cherokee mother, Chisholm was among the early pioneers who moved west into what is now the state of Arkansas. In his 20s, he joined a community of Cherokee Indians in northwestern Arkansas and became a frontier trader. His familiarity with both Anglo and Native American culture and language (he could reportedly speak 14 different Indian dialects) helped him build a thriving trade with the Osage, Wichita, Kiowa, and Commanche.

Chisholm’s knowledge of the Native Americans also made him useful to government officials. The U.S. was eager to negotiate treaties with the tribes in the region, and Chisholm served as a liaison between tribal leaders and federal officials at several important councils. Many Indian leaders trusted and respected Chisholm, and he successfully negotiated for the release of numerous Anglo captives taken by the Kiowa and Commanche.

Chisholm’s vast knowledge of southwestern geography were invaluable in trailblazing. He led several important expeditions into the Southwest during the 1830s and 1840s, and during the Civil War opened a trading post near present-day Wichita, Kansas. Following the war, he blazed one of the first trading routes south down from Wichita to the Red River in central Texas. Eventually extended all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico, the trading route became known as the Chisholm Trail.

A straight wagon road with easy river crossings and few steep grades, Chisholm designed his trail for the lumbering heavy freight wagons used for commerce. In 1867, a year before Chisholm died, his trail also began to be used for a different purpose: cattle drives. The rapidly growing Texas cattle industry needed to move its herds north to the railheads in Kansas, and Chisholm’s gentle trail provided an ideal route. During the next five years, more than a million head traveled up the road, trampling down a path that was in some places 200 to 400 yards wide. Hooves and the erosion of wind and water eventually cut the trail down below the level of the plains it crossed, permanently carving Chisholm’s Trail into the face of the earth and guaranteeing its lasting fame. Traces of the trail may still be seen to this day.

I find it a little ironic that the man responsible for bringing so many steaks to the table of others, died from food poisoning. Probably wasn't all that uncommon back in those days, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Supposed to turn cold again tonight, so we better enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How Strange Was This Guy...?

Sometimes I'm surprised by how incredibly crazy some folks are and how they can actually find others that follow them in their crazy beliefs!

I don't know why this surprises me but it does! Guess there will always be crazies living among us, right?

When ‘Master Metaphysicians’ Tried To Raise An Immortal Baby
By Debra Kelly on Monday, January 5, 2015

According to James Schafer, head of the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians, the key to raising an immortal baby is diet and insulation from bad thoughts. His experimental baby, Baby Jean, only spent a year with him before her parents decided they wanted her back—not surprisingly. It was only a matter of a few more years before he was arrested and found guilty of fraud. Baby Jean returned to her parents and lived a relatively normal life, but Schafer and his wife committed suicide after his stint in Sing Sing.

According to James Schafer, head and founder of the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians, he knew the secret to raising an immortal baby. And he was going to do just that, with Baby Jean.

Baby Jean came to the organization from parents who saw themselves as having little choice in the matter, as they weren’t able to adequately care for her. Their savior—and hers—seemed to come in the form of the charismatic Schafer.

Schafer took Jean home, and by “home” we mean the former Vanderbilt mansion. Located on Long Island, New York and renamed “Peace Haven” by the group, the mansion was to be not only her home, but the place where she would be raised to be the first immortal human.

As cults go, the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians was in the realm of being stranger than they were creepy. Attempts at forming an actual, tax-exempt organization were shot down by the State’s Supreme Court in a decision that was echoed by Time Magazine.

Some of their basic beliefs included the idea that meat was inherently bad for you, and that coffee and tea are equally off the list of approved foods. Smoking and alcohol were also bad for you, and diet was something that should be carefully controlled—so controlled that the members of the fraternity were given new guidelines every week. Everything was vegetarian, and there were no spices, vinegars, or mustards.

In order to join, the faithful needed to pay dues that the society called “love offerings.” The fee was $250 in 1940, which equates to a little bit over $4,000 in today’s economy. That wasn’t the only place that the money was coming from, either—invitations to see Baby Jean were also bringing in the cash. Kids could also get in on the action, becoming a part of his “Cosmic Network” through the donations of stamps.

In return, he issued certificates drawn on the Inexhaustible Bank of the Infinite in the Universal Mind that were payable in Ideas and Everything Desired With No Limitations.

The trick to raising an immortal baby wasn’t nearly as complicated as you might think it would be. Baby Jean had her own nursery and her own nurses, who were with her constantly and made sure she was never exposed to any negative thoughts. She would never know there was anything such as death or disease until she was old enough to understand that it was simply something that just didn’t need to happen to her. She was going to be raised within the philosophy, and when she was an adult, she would take over the organization as its immortal leader.

When she was 15 months old, her parents sued to have her back. In spite of his claims that he planned on adopting her, Schafer never did and she was reunited with her mother. And in spite of being sent detailed instructions, her mother took her off her immortality plan.

The idea of an immortal baby was just a part of Schafer’s plan. He also claimed that he could make things (and people) dematerialize, and that he could train willing participants to avoid the pitfalls of illness by the power of positive thoughts.

Positive thoughts couldn’t keep him out of jail, though, and not long after Baby Jean went back to her parents, Schafer went to Sing Sing. Unhappy former members had filed charges against him for fraud, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. Once he got out, he tried opening a correspondence school and founding a magazine about his beliefs, but nothing ever really took off.

In 1955, he and his wife committed suicide, leaving behind a note and instructions for their daughter to keep up their work. Baby Jean is grown and happily married, although she doesn’t talk about her immortality or her experiences with the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians.

Thanks to the folks over at KnowledgeNuts for having articles like this to teach us just how screwed up some folks can get!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. High in the 70s again expected!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Another Maritime Monday Mystery...!

There are so many stories of strange and baffling mysteries at sea, we could do a different one every day and not run out.

The stories that are the most fascinating to me are the ones where nothing is ever found. No crew, no bodies, and no wreckage. These stay on the unexplained list for years to come.

The SS Poet

First, she was called the General Omar Bundy and hauled troops in World War II. Later, she hauled steel as the Port. In 1979, she was acquired by the Eugenia Corporation of Hawaii, who gave her the last name she would ever hold: the Poet.

There was nothing particularly mysterious about the Poet’s last job. In 1979, her hold was filled with 13,500 tons of corn, which she was scheduled to haul from Philadelphia to Port Said, Egypt—a rather routine and dull job, all things considered.

There was only one problem—the Poet never reached Port Said. In fact, her last communication came only six hours after leaving Philadelphia, when one of her officers spoke to his wife. After that, she failed to report for her 48-hour check-in, she failed to give any kind of distress signal—she failed to communicate ever again. To make matters worse, the Eugenia Corporation didn’t report her missing until six days after she last made contact. Even then, the Coast Guard didn’t bother searching for another five days. No trace of the Poet was ever found.

Ya know, it seems to me that I read somewhere that it was bad luck to change the name of a ship or boat. If that's true, this poor vessel really had no chance. Anyone knowing if this is true or not, please let me know!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Should be a sunny day!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Means Cartoons, Of Course...!

Old timey 'toons! What would we do without them?

The chase never seems to end!

I just love these sounds effects!

Need one more?

How's that for a good mix? Something a little different, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK? OK!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Explaining How Life Works...!

In case you ever wondered how life was supposed to work, here is a good explanation. Baby Sis sent this to me, so now I can understand!

On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"

And God saw it was good.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"

And God, again saw it was good.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

And God agreed it was good.

On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."

But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service. If you are looking for me I will be on the front porch.

When you come out, I'll try and not bark at ya, OK?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's supposed to get warmer.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hand Print For Freaky Friday...!

Many of us search actively for signs that a friend or loved one can send signs to us after they pass. This is such a story.

Pretty compelling article from Listverse, if you ask me. I have no reason to doubt it, considering the origin of the tale and the people involved.

Francis Leavy’s Handprint

Francis Leavy was a dedicated firefighter during the 1920s. He loved his job, and his peers loved him. He was a pleasant man, always ready with a smile and a helping hand. On April 18, 1924, Francis’s colleagues became aware of a change in his demeanor. Suddenly, he was an unsmiling, grunting guy washing a large window at the Chicago Fire Department, not looking at anyone or talking.

After a few minutes, Leavy suddenly announced that he had a strange feeling—a feeling that he might die that very day. At that very moment, the phone rang and broke the heavy atmosphere brought on by the fireman’s words. A fire was raging at a building quite a long way from the fire department, and no time was to be wasted.

In just a few minutes, Francis Leavy and his fellow firefighters were on the scene, assessing the situation and helping those trapped on the top floors. Everything seemed to be on track to rescue everyone from the building. Then, suddenly, the flames engulfed the lower part of the building, and the roof caved in. As soon as this happened, the walls came crashing down, pinning many people under the rubble—including Leavy. Leavy’s grim premonition came true. He lost his life that day trying to save others.

The very next day, trying to come to terms with the loss of Leavy, his colleagues sat at the firehouse thinking about the events of the previous day. Suddenly, they noticed something strange on one of the windows. It looked like a handprint smudged onto the glass. Eerily, it was the very same window that Francis Leavy was busy washing the day before.

The firemen cleaned the window again, but the print stubbornly refused to disappear. For many years, the handprint remained on the window in spite of chemicals used to try and remove it. The strange mystery remained unsolved, but came to an abrupt end when a newspaper boy threw a paper against the window in 1944, causing it to shatter into pieces.

I don't know about you, but I find this story both sad and joyful at the same time. Call me strange, but I do!

Coffee in the kitchen today!