Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Mysteries...!

Another group of mysteries from the folks over at Youtube. I hope you can see them OK.



Good or bad, this is an easy way to present more than one mystery to you at the same time. I do hope it is acceptable.

Coffee out on the patio again. Slightly cooler temps are on the way.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Riddles For Sunday...!

Instead of cartoons today, let's do a few riddles. OK?



Just one more for ya...



Well, that was a little different, wasn't it? Kinda fun for a change, I think.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Freshly baked peanut butter cookies to share!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seeing Faces...!

As we get older, we tend to hear or see things others sometimes can't. Imagination...? Maybe not.

Here is a story about a slightly older woman (younger than me) that had this happen to her, and was more than happy to discover the cause.

The Faces



University of Kentucky physicians were similarly perplexed by a 67-year-old patient who was experiencing disquieting symptoms. Although she had no history of dementia or mental problems, she had been seeing things hovering around her all the time. Specifically, faces . . . terrifying, disembodied, elongated faces with huge eyes and teeth.

Understandably afraid that she might be losing her mind, the woman was almost relieved to receive a diagnosis of Charles Bonnet syndrome, which occurs in patients with rapidly deteriorating vision. Accustomed to constant input, the brains of patients with this condition simply make up their own input to replace whatever is missing.

The resulting hallucinations are usually more benign, such as flashes of color or small animals. In this woman’s case, the bloodcurdling visions became less frequent once she was diagnosed.

I'm happy for this woman and glad there was a minor explanation for her visions. Getting older certainly isn't for sissies!

Coffee is gonna be outside again

Friday, October 13, 2017

House Of Horns For Freaky Friday...!

People collect all sorts of things...some strange, some ordinary. However, some are just plain Freaky. Take this collection of horns, for instance.

Jim's Horn House

A collection of 16,000 antlers crammed beautifully into a small shed.




For the last six decades, Jim Phillips’ favorite pastime has been to hike out into the Montana backcountry, braving the elements, for the sole purpose of picking up thousands of pairs of stray antlers. Since starting his collection as a 10-year-old boy, the “Antler Man” has amassed a grand total of 16,000 antlers, all of which are on display in one well-lit shed in Three Forks, Montana.

Most antlers in the collection are brilliantly white and in pristine condition, lining the 16-foot walls from top to bottom at such a high density that it’s nearly impossible to see the wood that lies beneath the horns.

Although Phillips could have easily acquired these antlers through purchase, he has been firmly committed to building his collection organically, and thus has never purchased a single set of horns. To collect the antlers, he drives out into the backcountry and takes long hikes, scavenging for antlers littered on the ground after being shed from moose, deer, and elk.

Some days, the turnout is low; Phillips once hiked for 26 miles and only to return empty-handed. But most of the time, Phillips’ efforts culminate in a truckload of bucks, with a record of 87 in one day (their horns only, of course; Phillips never kills for his collection). This painstaking process, which Phillips has been undertaking since 1958, makes for an incredible collection for the mere cost of gas money. If shed antlers are scarce out in the woods, he has a backup plan: Many hunters discard unused parts of their kill in waste bins, so dumpster diving serves as a great alternative way to expand the collection.

Although Phillips chose to sell 2,100 of the sheds to put his daughters through college, the collection in the Horn House is unfathomably large. And Phillips is still at it; he always has another “bone to pick.” According to Phillips, “now I’m over sixteen thousand and I know seventeen or eighteen thousand will not be enough. ”

See what I mean? Although I suppose that his collection isn't freaky, but it certainly falls into the strange category, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sad Death Of Tom Mix...!

One of the best known names of the "Old West" was actor Tom Mix.

Seemingly bigger than life at times, his death was sad to many of his fans, but his name lives on to this day as one of the first cowboy heroes of silent films.

1940
Silent-film star Tom Mix dies in Arizona car wreck; brained by “Suitcase of Death”

On this day in 1940, cowboy-movie star Tom Mix is killed when he loses control of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolls into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) near Florence, Arizona. He was 60 years old. Today, visitors to the site of the accident can see a 2-foot–tall iron statue of a riderless horse and a somewhat awkwardly written plaque that reads: “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men.”

According to Mix’s press agent, the star was a genuine cowboy and swaggering hero of the Wild West: He was born in Texas; fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War; and served as a sheriff in Kansas, a U.S. marshal in Oklahoma and a Texas Ranger. In fact, Mix was born in Driftwood, Pennsylvania; deserted the Army in 1902; and was a drum major in the Oklahoma Territorial Cavalry band when he went off to Hollywood in 1909.

None of these inconvenient facts prevented Mix from becoming one of the greatest silent-film stars in history, however. Along with his famous horse Tony, Mix made 370 full-length Westerns. At the peak of his fame, he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning as much as $17,500 a week (about $218,000 today). Unfortunately, Mix and Tony had a hard time making the transition to talking pictures. Some people say that the actor’s voice was so high-pitched that it undermined his macho cowboy image, but others argue that sound films simply had too much talking for Mix’s taste: He preferred wild action sequences to heartfelt conversation.

On the day he died, Mix was driving north from Tucson in his beloved bright-yellow Cord Phaeton sports car. He was driving so fast that he didn’t notice–or failed to heed–signs warning that one of the bridges was out on the road ahead. The Phaeton swung into a gully and Mix was smacked in the back of the head by one of the heavy aluminum suitcases he was carrying in the convertible’s backseat. The impact broke the actor’s neck and he died almost instantly. Today, the dented “Suitcase of Death” is the featured attraction at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.

At least Tom went out in a blaze of glory. Some of his films are still around for viewing, if you are interested.

Coffee out on the patio one more time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Strange Death Of Meriwether Lewis...!

Few deaths of prominent individuals have been as strange as the one for Lewis.

To this day, folks can't seem to decide whether it was murder or suicide. Coupled with the fact that no one came to his aide should have raised more than a few eyebrows, I would think.

Meriwether Lewis dies along the Natchez Trace, Tennessee

On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder’s Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

Three years earlier, Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, had completed their brilliant exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and the Pacific Northwest. Justly famous and celebrated throughout the nation as a result, Lewis nonetheless found his return to civilized eastern life difficult. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as governor of Louisiana Territory, but Lewis soon discovered that the complex politics and power struggles of the territory were earning him more enemies than friends. At the same time, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were questioning the legitimacy of some of the purchases Lewis had made for the expedition in 1803, raising the threat of bankruptcy if he were forced to cover these costs personally. Finally, some three years after the end of his journey, Lewis still had failed to complete the work necessary to publish the critically important scientific and geographical information he and Clark had gathered in their journals-much to the disappointment of his close friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson.

For all these reasons, most recent historians have concluded that Lewis’ death was a suicide brought on by deep depression and the heavy weight of worries he bore. According to the account given by Mrs. Grinder, the mistress of the tavern along the Natchez Trace where Lewis died, during his final hours Lewis began to pace in his room and talk aloud to himself “like a lawyer.” She then heard a pistol shot and Lewis exclaiming, “O Lord!” After a second pistol shot, Lewis staggered from his room and called for help, reportedly saying, “O Madam! Give me some water, and heal my wounds.” Strangely, Mrs. Grinder did nothing to help him; she later said that she was too afraid. The next morning servants went to his room where they reportedly found him “busily engaged in cutting himself from head to foot” with a razor. Fatally wounded in the abdomen, Lewis died shortly after sunrise.

Based largely on Mrs. Grinder’s story, most historians have argued that Lewis tried to kill himself with two pistol shots, and when death did not come quickly enough, tried to finish the job with his razor. However, in a 1962 book, Suicide or Murder? The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis, the author Vardes Fisher raised questions about the reliability of Mrs. Grinder’s story and suggested that Lewis might have actually been murdered, either by Mrs. Grinder’s husband or bandits. Since then a minority of historians has continued to raise challenges to the suicide thesis. But ultimately, nearly two centuries after the event, we may never be able to discover exactly what happened that night along the Natchez Trace when one of the nation’s greatest heroes died at the tragically young age of 35.

I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, but in my opinion, the facts seem to point more to murder than suicide. Guess we'll never know for sure, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Lost Story Of Jekyll And Hyde...!

Most writers know that some of their first drafts need to be edited, some more than others.

Here is an article about Jekyll and Hyde that can help to prove my point. It's also a cautionary tale for anyone considering having a piece edited while under the influence.

Jekyll & Hyde
 First Draft

 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde is one of the most famous horror stories ever written. The story examines the nature of the inner battle waged by humans between good and evil as well as their conscious and subconscious desires.

In fact, the book has made such an indelible mark on Western literature and culture that “Jekyll and Hyde” is now a commonly used phrase. But if Fanny Stevenson had not been such a harsh critic, you might never have heard of her husband, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Letters discovered in 2000 between Fanny and family friend W.E. Henley revealed that Fanny believed the book was simply bad, describing it as “utter nonsense.” She felt that the draft was a messy story about a scientist who turned into a monster, but it had no real purpose or message behind it. She suggested that the transformation should be used to symbolize the conflict of human nature, the theme for which the book is now most famous.

The original idea for the story came to Stevenson while he was in the midst of a cocaine-induced nightmare. Indignant that Fanny woke him up from his distressed sleep, Robert set to work writing the 30,000-word draft over the course of just three days.

This is the draft to which Fanny referred in her letter. She signed off by stating, “He said it was his greatest work. I shall burn it after I show it to you.”

And burn it she did, much to the chagrin of her husband. He immediately set to work on it again, this time with the helpful criticism of his wife in mind. The reworked version was completed and became a roaring success, saving the family from their financial woes.

But while you can pick up a copy of the revised book in almost any bookstore, the original, terrible draft is gone forever.

Even though the first draft was considered bad, I would have liked to have read it, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.