Sunday, July 31, 2011

Care For A Little Snack...?

It seems like Texas isn't the only state that has some far out foods at their state fair.

This little piece of work would certainly serve a hungry person or two, don't you think? My question is...who in their right mind would even attempt to eat this bad boy? Just looking at it makes me full!

Gasp! State fair features 1,500-calorie ‘Donut Burger’
Decadent dish promises a quarter-pound burger in between slices of grilled doughnut

The "Big Kahuna Donut Burger" will appear at this year's New York State Fair.

SYRACUSE, New York — Want fries with that ... doughnut?

A food booth in Syracuse will feature the "Big Kahuna Donut Burger" at this year's New York State Fair.

For between $5 and $6, the adventurous eater will get a quarter-pound burger in between slices of a grilled, glazed doughnut. Toss on some cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion and you've got yourself a 1,500-calorie meal.
Adam Richman on bodily reactions, unexpected guilty pleasures

America's state fairs can be counted on to provide foods featuring offbeat ingredient combinations. Wisconsin has chocolate covered bacon on a stick, you can get fried beer in Texas, Massachusetts provides fried jelly beans and North Carolina has the "Koolickle," pickles soaked in Kool-Aid.

New York's fair opens Aug. 25.

Now the true "question of the day" is what are we going to have for desert after this? Must be something pretty special!

On second thought, I'll just wait and let it be a surprise! In fact, I may not even think of eating again until next week!

Until then, why don't we have some fresh coffee on the patio? Need something to wash down that "burger!"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Like Ike...!

Remember that catch-phrase? Used to be on all the Eisenhower campaign buttons when he first ran for president!

I don't remember too much about the election. After all, I was just a kid and, like most youngsters of my day, my narrow little mind was filled more with girls and such than with politics!

The one thing I do remember though is that my folks were big Ike fans! Really big! I think that during that campaign, my folks talked more about politics than I ever heard before or after! Maybe this was one of the reasons!

Jul 30, 1956:

President Eisenhower signs "In God We Trust" into law

On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase "under God" inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring "In God We Trust" to be the nation's official motto. The law, P.L. 84-140, also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency. The phrase had been placed on U.S. coins since the Civil War when, according to the historical association of the United States Treasury, religious sentiment reached a peak. Eisenhower's treasury secretary, George Humphrey, had suggested adding the phrase to paper currency as well.

Although some historical accounts claim Eisenhower was raised a Jehovah's Witness, most presidential scholars now believe his family was Mennonite. Either way, Eisenhower abandoned his family's religion before entering the Army, and took the unusual step of being baptized relatively late in his adult life as a Presbyterian. The baptism took place in 1953, barely a year into his first term as president.

Although Eisenhower embraced religion, biographers insist he never intended to force his beliefs on anyone. In fact, the chapel-like structure near where he and his wife Mamie are buried on the grounds of his presidential library is called the "Place of Meditation" and is intentionally inter-denominational. At a Flag Day speech in 1954, he elaborated on his feelings about the place of religion in public life when he discussed why he had wanted to include "under God" in the pledge of allegiance: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

The first paper money with the phrase "In God We Trust" was not printed until 1957. Since then, religious and secular groups have argued over the appropriateness and constitutionality of a motto that mentions "God," considering the founding fathers dedication to maintaining the separation of church and s

I never knew that Eisenhower was the one that signed this into law! Thanks to the good folks at have learned something new today! But that's what we all should do, isn't it? Make each and every day a learning experience!

We've had rain here for the past two days off and on! I'm loving it! The plants are loving it! Even the cats are loving it! I think that it's supposed to stay around until Sunday! OK by me!

Let's have our fresh coffee in the kitchen this morning, OK? Still a little damp outside!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What's That Smell...?

No, I'm not talking about the games being played by all the politicians, but your everyday household odors that seem to hang around like a unwanted relative!

Many of the odors may be almost as hard to get rid of as well! I found some information in the pages of the Almanac that may help. This publication can be a very good source for all kinds of information. I love it, but you already know that, right?

A few odor-taming tips:

During nice weather, just open the windows! Let fresh air blow through.

To perfume the air naturally, cut a lemon in half and set the cut halves in an inconspicuous place, or rub a bit of vanilla on a light bulb

Most folks know that keeping an open box of plain baking soda in the refrigerator will neutralize bad odors. Sprinkle some into the bottom of the trash can and into the trash bag itself for similar results.

Half a cup of baking soda in two quarts of water and a soft cloth or brush also work well for cleaning the fridge, as well as scrubbing down and freshening the tub, tiles, sinks, drains, trash cans, and toilet bowls. For stronger disinfecting properties, scrub with a strong vinegar solution.

Fresh or leftover coffee grounds will also absorb unpleasant odors in a fridge, microwave, or cupboard. They’ll also sweeten the air inside your car or its trunk. For use in the car, place the grounds in a covered plastic container with holes punched in the lid.

Boil two parts water with one part vinegar in a microwave-safe container to remove bad smells from your microwave. The vinegar smell itself dissipates quickly.

Add half a cup of vinegar to a quart of water and allow to simmer on the stove for a few minutes. This will remove smell of burnt food and many other odors from your kitchen (and burned-on food from your stainless steel pots.)

Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and set it overnight in a lunchbox or wastebasket to remove built-up food odors.

Grind leftover citrus rinds in your garbage disposal to sweeten it. Or dump half a cup of salt down the drain and turn on the disposal. This loosens caked-on food and helps neutralize odor.

You can get most smells out of carpets, rugs, and upholstery (including vehicle interiors) by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Leave the baking soda in place for several hours, then vacuum or shake it out.

Human/pet urine or vomit on carpets and upholstery can be trickier. If you can get at it immediately, blot first with a towel, then spray the area with a 3-parts cold water/1 part vinegar solution and blot (but don’t rub). Repeat several times if needed, until the smell disappears. The vinegar odor will dissipate in a few hours.

bad smell

Old-timers swear by this method for removing set-in odors and stains from carpets and upholstery. It works especially well on pet urine and skunk smells. You might want to test for color-fastness by soaking a small, inconspicuous area with the solution and leaving it for 24 hours before you treat the area with the stain.

Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves.

Gently mix a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter-cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of liquid soap in a plastic container. Don’t mix far in advance or store in a closed container.

Pour or spray the solution directly onto affected areas and allow to sit for 24 hours before blotting excess liquid. Allow to air dry.

When the house is shut up for long periods of time due to weather or whatever, smells can build up and make it hard to deal with! I'm hoping that maybe these hints will be of some help in getting rid of those lingering odors.

Just trying to do what I can to help, ya know?

Now, let's get some coffee and sit outside. We may have to move inside to the kitchen if the rain comes back.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Very Deadly Fog...!

This was a bad event, but it could have been much worse!

Just think how bad it would have been had it not have been on the weekend! Sort of reminiscent of 9/11, isn't it? You now, with all the skyscraper's in places like New York it's really a wonder that more accidents like this haven't happened. Guess We have been extremely lucky up to this point, right?

Jul 28, 1945:

Plane crashes into Empire State Building

A United States military plane crashes into the Empire State Building on this day in 1945, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog.

The B-25 Mitchell bomber, with two pilots and one passenger aboard, was flying from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. As it came into the metropolitan area on that Saturday morning, the fog was particularly thick. Air-traffic controllers instructed the plane to fly to Newark Airport instead.

This new flight plan took the plane over Manhattan; the crew was specifically warned that the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the city at the time, was not visible. The bomber was flying relatively slowly and quite low, seeking better visibility, when it came upon the Chrysler Building in midtown. It swerved to avoid the building but the move sent it straight into the north side of the Empire State Building, near the 79th floor.

Upon impact, the plane's high-octane fuel exploded, filling the interior of the building with flames all the way down to the 75th floor and sending flames out of the hole the plane had ripped open in the building's side. One engine from the plane went straight through the building and landed in a penthouse apartment across the street. Other plane parts ended up embedded in and on top of nearby buildings. The other engine snapped an elevator cable while at least one woman was riding in the elevator car. The emergency auto brake saved the woman from crashing to the bottom, but the engine fell down the shaft and landed on top of it. Quick-thinking rescuers pulled the woman from the elevator, saving her life.

Since it was a Saturday, fewer workers than normal were in the building. Only 11 people in the building were killed, some suffering burns from the high-octane fuel and others after being thrown out of the building. All 11 victims were workers from War Relief Services department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, into the offices of which the plane had crashed. The three people on the plane were also killed.

An 18 foot by 20 foot hole was left in the side of the Empire State Building. Though its structural integrity was not affected, the crash did cause nearly $1 million in damages, about $10.5 million in today's money.

(In the original story as reported by, the term "jet fuel" was used! I have corrected that to read "high octane" fuel as was the correct fuel carried by the plane at the time)

So many factors were in place that kept this from being a major disaster. I would say that luck played a big part in it, for sure! I can bet that if this bomber had been carrying a couple of bombs, the damage and loss of life would have been off the charts!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! May have to move inside this weekend if the tropical storm comes in to Texas!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Too Hot To Think...!

It's really way too hot to do anything too serious.

I know, I know...everyone is talking about the weather and the lack of rain or the over-abundance of rain, so I am going to start taking my cues from the animal kingdom! Here is a good example of just what I mean!

Why don't I just take off for the day, and I'll get back with you all tomorrow! In the mean time, just help yourself to the coffee and cookies, OK? OK!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Monsters Are Indeed Real...!

We all have, on occasion, had nightmares. Dreams of monsters and ghost and bogeymen are not uncommon.

However, in our waking hours there are enough living, breathing monsters to go 'round! This is a story of just one of them taken from the folks at! Not only was he real, but he inspired some of the most terrifying stories of our time!

Jul 26, 1984:

Real-life Psycho Ed Gein dies

On July 26, 1984, Ed Gein, a serial killer infamous for skinning human corpses, dies of complications from cancer in a Wisconsin prison at age 77. Gein served as the inspiration for writer Robert Bloch’s character Norman Bates in the 1959 novel Psycho, which in 1960 was turned into a film starring Anthony Perkins and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Edward Theodore Gein was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on July 27, 1906, to an alcoholic father and domineering mother, who taught her son that women and sex were evil. Gein was raised, along with an older brother, on an isolated farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin. After Gein’s father died in 1940, the future killer’s brother died under mysterious circumstances during a fire in 1944 and his beloved mother passed away from health problems in 1945. Gein remained on the farm by himself.

In November 1957, police found the headless, gutted body of a missing store clerk, Bernice Worden, at Gein’s farmhouse. Upon further investigation, authorities discovered a collection of human skulls along with furniture and clothing, including a suit, made from human body parts and skin. Gein told police he had dug up the graves of recently buried women who reminded him of his mother. Investigators found the remains of 10 women in Gein’s home, but he was ultimately linked to just two murders: Bernice Worden and another local woman, Mary Hogan.

Gein was declared mentally unfit to stand trial and was sent to a state hospital in Wisconsin. His farm attracted crowds of curiosity seekers before it burned down in 1958, most likely in a blaze set by an arsonist. In 1968, Gein was deemed sane enough to stand trial, but a judge ultimately found him guilty by reason of insanity and he spent the rest of his days in a state facility.

In addition to Psycho, films including Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs were said to be loosely based on Gein’s crimes.

Now if that wasn't enough to scare you and you need even more proof that real monsters exist, then all you need to do is pick up any newspaper, watch any news story on television, or just listen to the radio! They do indeed exist!

We don't need to fear the "Zombies" or the "Werewolves" or the "Vampires" made up from folklore and imagination! We have so many more real life monsters all around us, spreading death and destruction and creating chaos all around! Some are our leaders, some are our friends or family, and some might even be our neighbors! How's THAT for scary?

Now that we all have our juices flowing this morning, how about some fresh coffee on the patio?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Remember Jack London...?

Probably most young men remember reading one or more of Mr. London's stories.

Most memorable for me was "Call of the Wild", and I read it many times! I also have seen most all of the movie versions of this particular story. It's nice to know that so many of the elements of his writings came from his actually being in the settings described.

The man certainly had a colorful past and that's another reason to think of him as more of a historically accurate writer than most in his time.

Jul 25, 1897:

Jack London sails for the Klondike

Jack London leaves for the Klondike to join the gold rush, where he will write his first successful stories.

London was born in San Francisco in 1876. His father, an astrologer named Chaney, abandoned the family, and his mother, a spiritualist and music teacher, remarried. Jack assumed his stepfather's last name, London.

From an early age, London struggled to make a living, working in a cannery and as a sailor, oyster pirate, and fish patroller. During the national economic crisis of 1893, he joined a march of unemployed workers. He was jailed for vagrancy for a month, during which time he decided to go to college. The 17-year-old London completed a high school equivalency course and enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, where he read voraciously for a year. However, he dropped out to join the 1897 gold rush.

While in the Klondike, London began submitting stories to magazines. In 1900, his first collection of stories, The Son of the Wolf, was published. Three years later, his story The Call of the Wild made him famous around the country. London continued to write stories of adventure amid the harsh natural elements. During his 17-year career, he wrote 50 fiction and nonfiction books. He settled in northern California about 1911, having already written most of his best work. London, a heavy drinker, died in 1916.

It's funny how certain writers can make an impression on us. Even as a boy, I remember thinking that this man told a great story! I was more than likely convinced that the story was true!

Just reading about his start, thanks to, has brought back a flood of memories from my younger reading days! How special some of those stories were to my young mind! What a series of adventures they were, helping to feed the games and create the many kingdoms of my friends and I!

What a glorious time it seemed! I hope I always remember it that way!

Now, my friends, lets get some fresh coffee and sit outside for just a bit!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sometimes Fiction Follows Truth...!

Sometimes in life, a person's looks or way of living makes them seem more like a figure in a movie than a person!

In some cases, this can be a good thing. Danny Trejo is a perfect example of this. I know that you have seen him in a movie or two! Probably several!

After reading this article from, you'll know why he portrays all his characters so realistically!

Danny Trejo: From Real Bad Guy to Movie Bad Guy

Danny Trejo is everyone's favorite terrifying Hispanic man.

Early on, Danny made a career out of robbing convenience stores, and eventually got addicted to drugs. The cops showed up at his house so much that his mom eventually said she stopped being surprised when they came. Then again she could have just taken one look at her son and guessed at his future.

Danny eventually earned himself 15 years in prison, including a stint in San Quentin. Determined to learn a valuable skill in jail, but presumably not one for poetry, he practiced boxing. He also embarked on a 12-step program that broke him of his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

After his release, Trejo kept tabs on his former 12-step partners to help them stay on the straight and narrow. And, in one of those twists that makes a person believe in karma, one of those friends happened to be a production assistant for a movie called Runaway Train. Trejo was approached by a member of the movie staff and asked if he could look like a convict, which, of course, he could. In fact we're pretty sure that these days casting just asks if you can "Look like a Trejo."

While working as an extra, he was recognized by another person working on the film who was also a former San Quentin guest, and wound up getting hired to teach Eric Roberts to box for $350 a day.

And that was that. Trejo has been in a few movies since then, and by a few we mean 124. He's usually playing the scary Mexican criminal, officially making him the greatest method actor in the history of the world.

I know you recognize him now! I like the guy! I feel a small kinship with the man, although I couldn't tell you why.

I have a feeling that many of his characters he plays show more of himself than we will ever know!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? I could sure use some this morning!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Elderly But Active...!

Sometimes I find a story about some elderly folks that prove themselves to be extremely active.

I have to admit that even though this old guy was active enough, he probably would have done better in another activity! Still, if nothing else you have to admire the old guy's gumption!

Actually, his poetry isn't all that bad, either!

Jul 23, 1878:

Black Bart strikes again

Black Bart robs a Wells Fargo stagecoach in California. Wearing a flour sack over his head, the armed robber stole the small safe box with less than $400 and a passenger's diamond ring and watch. When the empty box was recovered, a taunting poem signed "Black Bart" was found inside:

Here I lay me down to sleep
to wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat
And everlasting sorrow,

Yet come what will, I'll try it once,
My conditions can't be worse,
And if there's money in that box,
'Tis money in my purse.

This wasn't the first time that Black Bart had robbed a stagecoach and left a poem for the police; however, it was the last time he got away with it. His next stagecoach robbery secured a lot more cash, $4,800. At yet another robbery, on November 3, 1888, though, he left behind a handkerchief at the scene. Through a laundry mark, Pinkerton detectives traced the handkerchief back to Charles Bolton, an elderly man in San Francisco.

Bolton later confessed to being Black Bart but bitterly disputed his reputation as an outlaw. "I am a gentleman," he told detectives with great dignity. How Bolton became Black Bart is unclear. What is known is that Bolton had tried to hit it big in the Gold Rush, but had ended up with a lifestyle beyond his means.

Black Bart ended up serving only a short stretch in prison and spent the rest of his days in Nevada.

The old guy probably did pretty well in Nevada signing autographs! Heck, look at how
many movies used the feller's name! I just wonder if he got any residual payments for that?

Hey, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside before it gets too hot!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dark Day In Our History...!

Many of you may not have ever heard of this even. I know I didn't know anything about this until I ran across this article at

It's important for many reasons for us to stop and remember that domestic violence doesn't happen just in other countries, but has reared it's ugly head in America from time to time! Now days this would be considered terrorism...and rightly so!

Jul 22, 1916:

Preparedness Day bombing in San Francisco

On this day in 1916, a massive parade held in San Francisco, California, to celebrate Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States entrance into World War I, is disrupted by the explosion of a suitcase bomb, which kills 10 bystanders and wounds 40 more.

By the summer of 1916, with the Great War raging in Europe and with U.S. and other neutral ships threatened by German submarine aggression, it had become clear to many in the U.S. that their country could not stand on the sidelines much longer. With this in mind, leading business figures in the city of San Francisco planned a parade in honor of American military preparedness. As the event neared, it was clear that anti-war and isolationist sentiments ran high among a significant population of the city (and the country), not only among such radical organizations as International Workers of the World (the so-called "wobblies") but among mainstream labor leaders. These opponents of the Preparedness Day event undoubtedly shared the view voiced publicly by one critic, former U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, who claimed that the organizers, San Francisco's financiers and factory owners, were acting in pure self-interest, as they clearly stood to benefit from an increased production of munitions.

The Preparedness Day parade went ahead on Saturday, July 22, with a 3.5-hour-long procession of some 51,329 marchers, including 52 bands and 2,134 organizations, comprising military, civic, judicial, state and municipal divisions as well as newspaper, telephone, telegraph and streetcar unions. At 2:06 p.m., about a half-hour after the parade began, a bomb concealed in a suitcase exploded on the west side of Steuart Street, just south of Market Street, near the Ferry Building. Ten bystanders were killed by the explosion; 40 more were wounded.

Two radical labor leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren K. Billings, were subsequently arrested and tried for the attack. In the trial that followed, complete with false witnesses and biased jury foremen, the two men were convicted, despite widespread belief that they had been framed by the prosecution. Mooney was sentenced to death; after evidence surfaced as to the corrupt nature of the prosecution, President Woodrow Wilson called on California Governor William Stephens to look further into the case. Two weeks before Mooney's scheduled execution, Stephens commuted his sentence to life imprisonment, the same punishment Billings had received. Investigation into the case continued over the next two decades; by 1939, evidence of perjury and false testimony at the trial had so mounted that Governor Culbert Olson pardoned both men. The true identity of the Preparedness Day bomber (or bombers) remains unknown.

Sad to think that violence of this nature was probably initiated by people that were, in their own minds, patriots. The sad truth is, when innocent people are injured or put in harm's way by "well meaning" people, then it's a crime. That, of course, is my opinion.

I'm not talking about defending ourselves against attack by others, but by acts of aggression made just to prove a point! That is wrong! Of course, once again that's just my opinion!

Come with me, my friends, and let's have some fresh coffee on the patio!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Time For Everything...!

Many would argue that this was the start of a frightening trend in the history of the old west!

Many tall tales, false reputations, and deaths of innocent bystanders came from altercations like this one. Not the kind of legacy I would want to be remembered for, how about you?

Still, larger than life characters like Wild Bill did not back down from this type of activity! In fact, it almost seems as though his type actively sought them out.

Jul 21, 1865:

Wild Bill Hickok fights first western showdown

In what may be the first true western showdown, Wild Bill Hickok shoots Dave Tutt dead in the market square of Springfield, Missouri.

Hollywood movies and dime novels notwithstanding, the classic western showdown–also called a walkdown–happened only rarely in the American West. Rather than coolly confronting each other on a dusty street in a deadly game of quick draw, most men began shooting at each other in drunken brawls or spontaneous arguments. Ambushes and cowardly attacks were far more common than noble showdowns.

Nonetheless, southern emigrants brought to the West a crude form of the "code duello," a highly formalized means of solving disputes between gentlemen with swords or guns that had its origins in European chivalry. By the second half of the 19th century, few Americans still fought duels to solve their problems. Yet, the concept of the duel surely influenced the informal western code of what constituted a legitimate-and legal-gun battle. Above all, the western code required that a man resort to his six-gun only in defense of his honor or life, and only if his opponent was also armed. Likewise, a western jury was unlikely to convict a man in a shooting provided witnesses testified that his opponent had been the aggressor.

The best-known example of a true western duel occurred on this day in 1865. Wild Bill Hickok, a skilled gunman with a formidable reputation, was eking out a living as a professional gambler in Springfield, Missouri. He quarreled with Dave Tutt, a former Union soldier, but it is unclear what caused the dispute. Some people say it was over a card game while others say they fought over a woman. Whatever the cause, the two men agreed to a duel.

The showdown took place the following day with crowd of onlookers watching as Hickok and Tutt confronted each other from opposite sides of the town square. When Tutt was about 75 yards away, Hickok shouted, "Don't come any closer, Dave." Tutt nervously drew his revolver and fired a shot that went wild. Hickok, by contrast, remained cool. He steadied his own revolver in his left hand and shot Tutt dead with a bullet through the chest.

Having adhered to the code of the West, Hickok was acquitted of manslaughter charges. Eleven years later, however, Hickok died in a fashion far more typical of the violence of the day: a young gunslinger shot him in the back of the head while he played cards. Legend says that the hand Hickok was holding at the time of his death was two pair–black aces and black eights. The hand would forever be known as the "dead man's hand."

Just think how boring some of our modern movies might be if we didn't have this romanticized version of "the duel" to guide our story telling!

Time for some coffee on the patio, my friends. More rain yesterday, so it may be a little humid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fresh Water Bully...?

I know I'm behind the times when I find a fish I haven't heard of before!

Sounds to me like this guy has a head start on all the locals, and if he can do everything they say then I can certainly see how the native fish could be forced out of their natural surroundings.

Funny, but this fish really isn't a bad looking fish, and doesn't look like a threat. I guess it just shows that looks can be deceiving!

Invasive Snakehead Fish Found Near Annapolis

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011, 1:13 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011, 6:48 AM EDT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Scientists have discovered a northern snakehead -- a toothy invasive fish that can live out of water -- in Anne Arundel County.

Biologists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center were taking annual fish samples last week when they found the 23-inch egg-bearing snakehead in the Rhode River. The center reported the catch to the Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The fish, which are native to Asia, first received local attention in 2002 when they were found in a Crofton pond. The snakehead is a top-level predator and can crowd out native fish. It can breathe air, survive on land and adapt and thrive in foreign environments.

Scientists are exploring whether low salinity levels in the Chesapeake Bay allowed the snakehead to travel to Rhode River.

Read more:

Ya know, you could almost call this guy "Frankenfish!" Must be hard to stop, but thew main question I keep asking myself do they taste?

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. Got a good slow rain for a while yesterday and boy, was it nice!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boy, Were We Dumb...!

When you look back at some of the products we used to use in the past, it's a wonder we ever made it this far!

Take a look at this advertizement for some wallpaper that seems like a nightmare now days. It's hard to believe that not only was this stuff legal, but that it was allowed to be advertized in the main stream media!

Click on this picture and make it bigger, just so you can read the crap that was allowed!

Some of the old ads I looked through will scare the hell out of you, believe me! At least the lies they use today are a little less transparent than they were back then!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Still dry, but you already knew that...right?

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Sad Time For The Wildlife...!

Due to the continuing heat and drought, even the wildlife is in trouble, especially the young!

This is part of all natural disasters we almost never think about. Nature has a way of dealing with hard times that may, at first glance, seem very harsh to us. However, Mother Nature has been doing this for a long, long time and is very good at what she does. We will never understand it fully, but maybe we aren't meant to. It may make us sad, it may confuse us, but some things are best left to a higher power, don't you think?

Texas wildlife newborns abandoned due to heat, drought

© 2011 The Associated Press
July 17, 2011, 1:26PM

LUBBOCK, Texas — The extreme heat and persistent drought seen in much of Texas is taking its toll on wildlife, with deer, birds and other animals abandoning or unable to feed their young.

Pregnant does are having problems carrying fawns to term, and most of them born prematurely aren't surviving, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Other does are abandoning their newborns because drought-induced malnutrition has robbed them of their ability to produce milk.

Abandoned fawns found all over the Panhandle and South Plains have been brought to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Ten had been brought to the Lubbock wildlife center by the end of last week.

"With the drought, there is no feed for the mother deer. And if they can't feed, they can't produce milk. They can't feed their babies, so they are leaving them," center volunteer Gail Barnes told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

The newborns that don't starve are easy prey for predators such as bobcats. One fawn that survived an attack was brought to the South Plains center, Barnes said. "It's in isolation, it's torn up so bad," she said.

Other fawns are in bad shape as well, she said.

"They are emaciated and dehydrated, and we are having to hydrate them. They are responding after several days of hydration," Barnes said.

Song birds and birds of prey also are suffering in the drought.

"They are abandoning the nest and abandoning the young because they have to be able to feed themselves to fly and get food to feed the young," Barnes said.

Temperatures have verged on or surpassed 100 degrees consistently across the northern half of the state since Memorial Day.

Texas A&M University researchers have found that this past February to June was by far the driest on record for that five-month period with a statewide average of 4.26 inches of rain. The next driest occurred in 1917 with 6.45 inches.

The drought has been going on even longer, however, with October to June also the driest since official climate record keeping began in 1895 in Texas.

Because of the drought, the fawns will have to stay at the rehab center for three or four months, Barnes said.

"We can't release them in the usual places because there is no water, so we are looking for places that still have a water supply," she said.

Even when rain comes, the problem will not end, she said.

"When the drought ends, the problem won't be solved for about a year," she said. "The grasses have to grow back, the rodents have to come back, all the trees have to grow their limbs back. This is long term."

Read more:

Now we can go and sit on the patio with our coffee. No rain in the forecast, just hot weather!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beating The "Rule Makers"...!

Many of us know just how frustrating it can be following all the "rules" that stand in the way of getting something done!

As this story from shows, folks have been finding brilliant ways around those rules for a very long time! Some even became famous in doing that!

You just have to love folks like this!

Jul 17, 1938:
"Wrong Way" Corrigan crosses the Atlantic

Douglas Corrigan, the last of the early glory-seeking fliers, takes off from Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, on a flight that would finally win him a place in aviation history.

Eleven years earlier, American Charles A. Lindbergh had become an international celebrity with his solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. Corrigan was among the mechanics who had worked on Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, but that mere footnote in the history of flight was not enough for the Texas-born aviator. In 1938, he bought a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft off a trash heap, rebuilt it, and modified it for long-distance flight. In July 1938, Corrigan piloted the single-engine plane nonstop from California to New York. Although the transcontinental flight was far from unprecedented, Corrigan received national attention simply because the press was amazed that his rattletrap aircraft had survived the journey.

Almost immediately after arriving in New York, he filed plans for a transatlantic flight, but aviation authorities deemed it a suicide flight, and he was promptly denied. Instead, they would allow Corrigan to fly back to the West Coast, and on July 17 he took off from Floyd Bennett field, ostentatiously pointed west. However, a few minutes later, he made a 180-degree turn and vanished into a cloudbank to the puzzlement of a few onlookers.

Twenty-eight hours later, Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland, stepped out of his plane, and exclaimed, "Just got in from New York. Where am I?" He claimed that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass had malfunctioned. The authorities didn't buy the story and suspended his license, but Corrigan stuck to it to the amusement of the public on both sides of the Atlantic. By the time "Wrong Way" Corrigan and his crated plane returned to New York by ship, his license suspension had been lifted, he was a national celebrity, and a mob of autograph seekers met him on the gangway

You just know this man was laughing all the way to the bank after skirting the "rules" to prove his point! He wasn't an outlaw, wasn't a trouble maker, just a man that didn't believe in the "rule makers!"

Sounds like my kind of guy, know what I mean?

Coffee on the patio this morning. It's a little muggy after the rain yesterday, but I can live with it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nothing Like A Win-Win Situation...!

I'm glad to see someone taking advantage of Mother Nature's lessons to try and solve some of the problems in the world!

Mankind should try and find more solutions like this more often, I think! Maybe this is a chance to profit from some natural lessons instead of always trying to destroy and muscle our way to a solution!

Saves the bees, deters the elephants, and gives the farmers another source of income from the honey! Looks like a win-win situation to me!

Innovative beehive fences have helped a community in Kenya to successfully protect crops from elephants, according to research.

Scientists found the hives to be a very effective barrier; elephants turned away from them in 97% of their attempted raids.

Conservationists suggest that elephants' natural fear of bees could settle ongoing conflicts.

The hives' honey also produced additional profits for farmers. Welles Elephants and farmers compete for limited resources

Over the past 20 years, elephant numbers in Kenya have grown to around 7,500 and the population boost is widely heralded as a conservation success story.

However, conflict between elephants and humans, especially farmers, is an ongoing problem.

Elephants frequently "raid" farms searching for food such as ripe tomatoes, potatoes and maize.

To protect their livelihoods, some farmers have resorted to extreme measures including poisoning and shooting elephants.

The honey production and consequent income has really incentivised the farmers to maintain the fences”

Previous research into natural deterrents showed that elephants avoided African honey bees.

In 2009, experts from the University of Oxford, UK, and the charity Save the Elephants set up a trial project to test whether beehives could prevent conflict on farmland boundaries.

After two years of observations, the full results of the trial have now been published in the African Journal of Ecology.

"Finding a way to use live beehives was the next logical step in finding a socially and ecologically sensitive way of taking advantage of elephants' natural avoidance behaviour to bees to protect farmers' crops," said Dr Lucy King, the University of Oxford biologist who led the study.

"It was very exciting to see that our theoretical work has been converted into a practical application," she said.

In 32 attempted raids over three crop seasons, only one bull elephant managed to penetrate the novel defences.

The beehives were suspended on wires between posts with a flat thatched roof above to protect from the sun in the traditional Kenyan style.

The team created a boundaries for 17 farms, incorporating 170 beehives into 1,700m of fencing.

"The interlinked beehive fences not only stopped elephants from raiding our study farms but the farmers profited from selling honey to supplement their low incomes," Dr King explained.

"The honey production and consequent income has really incentivised the farmers to maintain the fences."

Conservationists now hope to roll out the scheme to other farming communities.

You have to ask yourself...ain't nature wonderful?

C'mon, my friends. Time for some coffee-time on the patio! BTW, we got a little rain yesterday! For about 5 minutes! Better than nothing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Now This Was A Bad, Bad Man...!

There are lot's of really bad guys in the annuls of history, and this guy was one of them!

I guess that what attracted me to this guy's history was the fact that he was a real life hermit! Interesting fellow to read about! I found this article over at!

Jul 15, 1904:
The Mad Trapper of Rat River heads for U.S.

When he was six years old, the Norwegian Jonsen headed for America with his family on this day in 1904. His Swedish father settled the family on a barren 320-acre homestead in North Dakota. At an early age, Jonsen became a skilled outdoorsman and hunter, and by the time he was in his teens was bored with the backbreaking life of a high plains farmer. He struck up a friendship with a local rustler and gunslinger named Bert Dekler who helped him refine his expertise with a pistol.

In 1915, at the age of 17, Jonsen committed his first robbery, seizing $2,800 from the Farmers' State Bank of Medicine Lake, Montana. He managed a successful escape, but was later apprehended in Wyoming for horse theft and returned to Montana. He served three years in the Montana State Penitentiary before being released and quickly returning to a life in crime.

Because he used a variety of aliases, it is difficult to know exactly how many crimes Jonsen committed, but they were apparently abundant. Yet, as he grew older Jonsen began to retreat into the wilderness, where he increasingly became an antisocial hermit. By 1930, he was living in a cabin along the Rat River in an isolated far northeastern section of the Canadian Yukon. There he tolerated no visitors and survived by trapping beaver. He had not totally abandoned his larcenous ways, though--other trappers complained that he pillaged their trap lines.

In late December 1931, an officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and three other men arrived at Jonsen's cabin with a search warrant to investigate the claims that he was pilfering from other trappers' lines. When the Mountie knocked, Jonsen replied by shooting through the door, wounding the officer in the chest. The four men fled, but a larger force returned soon after and began a 15-hour attack with gunfire and dynamite that failed to force Jonsen's surrender. The following day, a blizzard swept in and Jonsen managed to sneak off obscured by the thick curtains of snow. A massive manhunt began that eventually involved scores of men aided by airplanes, dog teams, and skilled Indian guides. Yet, Jonsen-traveling on foot with almost no food-managed to avoid capture for more than month.

On February 17, 1932, the posse found Jonsen and trapped him on the ice in the middle of a frozen river. Still Jonsen refused to surrender. He shot one of his pursuers before the posse killed him with a massive volley of bullets. Having survived 45 days traveling through some of the roughest country in the world with almost no food, the once robust "Mad Trapper of Rat River" was skin and bones. His corpse weighed less than 100 pounds.

Like I said, this was one bad man! Made some of the outlaws we had in the wild west seem pretty tame in comparison!

What say we get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio! Just might get some sprinkles!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HOA Strikes Again...!

Just when you think that Big Brother has no more disguises, this shows how wrong that kind of thinking is!

From the Chronicle, this story just makes you sick and angry at the same time! I say again, this is getting way out of control!

How dare they grow veggies!
Posted 7/9/2011 10:14 AM CDT

These stories pop up in the news every so often. Some scofflaw homeowner decides that he/she should be able to grow what they want on their own property and the keepers of conformity say, "No, you can't!" It's happened again. This time in Michigan.

In Oak Park, Michigan, the Bass family's front lawn got torn up when some sewer work had to be done. After the necessary repairs were completed, the Basses decided that, rather than replacing the grass, they would put in some raised beds and grow vegetables. They consequently installed five large planter boxes in their small front yard, filled them with garden soil and planted tomatoes, peppers, herbs and other vegetables.

Here's the Bass front yard with its five raised beds.

The city code of Oak Park says that yards should be planted with "suitable live plant" material. The Basses thought that vegetables met the definition of suitable. Apparently, at least one neighbor disagreed and contacted the city. Soon the enforcers came out and wrote the Basses a ticket for using inappropriate plants in their front yard. The ticket is for a misdemeanor offense which carries a punishment of up to 93 days in jail.

In the picture of the Bass property that was posted online, their front yard looks neat and well-kept. It is really hard for me to see how anyone could object to it, but the city's Director of Planning and Technology says that the code's "suitable" plants mean plants that are "common" to the area and that includes "grass, trees, bushes, and flowers." Not vegetables.

Now, I'm certainly not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a code that provides for "suitable" plants is plenty broad enough to include vegetables. What could be more suitable than a family using their own property to grow food for their own consumption? I understand HOAs and cities wanting to uphold standards, but why should standards mean conformity and monotony? Shouldn't there be space allowed for individual taste and freedom of choice as long as things are kept neat and are within public health codes?

The Basses vow to fight the city's citation. More power to them, I say

You would think this family was trying to grow pot or something in the front yard other than food to go on the table! Why is it that the ogres at these HOAs are always trying to run people's lives? Maybe they are all trying out for careers in the federal government!

I say just leave folks alone to grow THEIR veggies on THEIR land for THEIR own table! Get a life! Get a hobby! Get the HELL out of the lives of these poor people!

Whew! Now that I've got that out of my system, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! OK?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now Ain't That Sweet...?

What a mess this must have been!

I know one thing...I don't want to be in that clean-up crew! I think after trying to clean up this many bees, I would lose my taste for honey! I sure hope these guys had some sting proof clothing!

Truck spills 14 million bees on Idaho highway

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

(07-12) 07:21 PDT Island Park, Idaho (AP) --

Cleanup crews in Idaho have finished clearing honey and an estimated 14 million bees that got loose after a delivery truck overturned on a highway.

Fremont County Sheriff deputies say several workers were stung during the first few hours of the cleanup Sunday.

And some observers told The Post-Register about seeing a strange black cloud and roaring noise above the spill area before realizing it was a massive swarm of bees.

Authorities say a truck was hauling the bees from California to North Dakota when the driver veered off the shoulder, tipping more than 400 hive boxes and honey.

Crews worked all day Monday before removing all the honey from the roadway, though deputies say a significant amount of bees were still buzzing.

I guess this is what you might call a "sticky situation!" Sorry, but I just couldn't resist that one!

Would you like some fresh coffee on the patio? We almost had some rain yesterday! Almost!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Badly Do We Need Rain...?

I know some folks probably would like me to stop talking about how badly we need rain around here, but maybe this story in the Houston Chronicle will show just how much we do!

This could make a big difference in the fishing if it keeps up. Not to mention the possibility of some very dangerous fires from campers, storms, and other means!

Texas lakes lose 358 billions of gallons of water
Associated Press
July 11, 2011, 2:08PM

LUBBOCK — Searing temperatures and a drought rivaling Texas’ worst on record are taking a toll on lake levels statewide.

A June water report found levels in 109 lakes dropped by 4 percent, or more than 358 billion gallons. Three lakes — all in West Texas — are effectively empty.

Only one reservoir, Lake Livingston north of Houston, was full, six fewer than in May, according to the Texas Water Development Board.

The 109 lakes are 73 percent full, down 13 percent from a year ago, the report indicates. Of the 109 lakes monitored for the report, just 41 were at 85 percent capacity or fuller.

Statewide, this past June was the hottest on record. The average temperature was 85.2 degrees, besting the 1953 record of 84.9 degrees.

Well, there you have it! I'm sure other places need rain as badly as we do, but this just shows what kind of shape we are in around here! BTW, I know the average shows 85.2, but I can tell you this. It's reached 100 on my patio nearly every day this last week!

Want some coffee on the patio? I've got iced tea as well, if you want!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This City Is Going Nuts...!

I don't know if it is the lack of rain, the over crowding, or just what the cause is...but it seems like the whole town is going bonkers!

I mean, what possible other reason could there be for something like this? As many years as I've been here in this cesspool of a city, I've never known things to be as crazy as they have been here lately! Straight from the pages of the Chronicle, folks!

Authorities seek tips to ID SpongeBob-clad robber

July 9, 2011, 1:21PM

Crime Stoppers and Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators are asking the public to help identify two suspects who last week robbed a store in the 12900 block of Aldine Westfield.

The suspects, one of whom wore yellow cartoon-character SpongeBob SquarePants pajama pants and held a high-powered assault rifle, demanded that two female employees give them cash from the registers and safe around 9:50 a.m. July 3, according to a Crime Stoppers news release.

The suspects, described as black men in their late teens to early 20s, got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

The one holding the assault rifle is also described as about 5-foot-6, weighing 200 to 220 pounds, with short hair and a light complexion. He wore a blue McDonald's work shirt with SpongeBob pants.

The other suspect is described as about 5-foot-4, weighing 140 to 150 pounds, with dreadlocks and dark complexion. He wore a white hooded shirt and black Jordan shorts and shoes.

According to the news release, the women feared they would be sexually assaulted because the suspects made sexual comments and one inappropriately touched one of the women.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspects' identification, charging or arrest. Call 713-222-8477 (TIPS), visit or text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). Tipsters remain anonymous.

I just gotta get my old fat butt out of this city and back out to the safety of the country, or at least to the sanity of a small community!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio. I don't think the crazies can see us out here, but you just never know!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Can Get's The "Can"...!

Looks like an iconic symbol is about to face extinction!

The term "a can of soup" is about to change for good, if Heinz follows it's newest marketing scheme! Quoting the excuse of the rising cost of metals, the cans are being replaced with tubes. Sounds like a pretty good idea, but it is going to play heck with the organization of all our pantries, I think!

Soup in a tube: Heinz launches green alternative as tin can feels the squeeze

By Sean Poulter
Last updated at 12:00 AM on 9th July 2011

You can find a can of soup in almost every kitchen larder.

And they have even found their way into art galleries thanks to Andy Warhol’s iconic paintings.

But the supermarket staple could soon be squeezed out by soup in a tube, which is being launched by Heinz.

With the price of metal rising, the ‘squeeze and stir’ soups, which come in a plastic sachet that resembles a tube of toothpaste, could replace both cans and instant powders.

A similar pattern is being seen with the success of milk bags, which are being introduced by supermarkets as a green alternative to bottles and cartons.

The Heinz product is a puree rather than a powder and makes a mugful of soup when diluted with hot water and stirred.

In recent years, fresh soups have enjoyed huge success based on a perception they are healthier than those sold in cans or as powder.
Squeeze and Stir: The new portable soup range takes in the flavours Cream of Tomato, Mediterranean Vegetable and Cream of Tomato with Basil

Squeeze and Stir: The new portable soup range takes in the flavours Cream of Tomato, Mediterranean Vegetable and Cream of Tomato with Basil

Heinz is keen to play up the natural ingredients in its new product – pointing out that they are equivalent to eating one of the recommended five-a-day portions of vegetables or fruit.

The soups, which will be available from the end of this month, contain no artificial colours or flavours and are low in fat.

Heinz spokesman Matthew Cullum said: ‘The tubes can easily be popped into a handbag, briefcase or pocket to be enjoyed as a convenient lunch or snack’.

The instant soup purees come in four flavours - cream of tomato, minestrone, Mediterranean vegetable, and tomato with basil.

The purees are arguably the biggest revolution for Heinz since 1910, when it first began selling canned soup in Britain.

Mr Cullum added: ‘We’re confident that consumers will not only love the thick, velvety texture and delicious flavours but also the fact that because it’s a puree, not a powder, it gives you one of your five a day.’

Some manufacturers have responded to rising commodity prices in recent years by introducing new pack sizes, often slimming down the contents or using cheaper or greener materials.

Sceptical consumers may see the new shape as a back-door way of raising prices.

The Heinz 70g tube costs 59p, which equates to 0.84p per gram.

A normal 400g can of soup, which is considerably more expensive to produce because of the metal, costs 85p, which works out at 0.21p per gram.

Even taking account of the fact the puree has to be diluted, it would seem the new product is a more expensive option.

I can't help but think this might make carrying soup in our BOB just a little easier, don't you think? If nothing else, carrying a tube or two in the car or truck a tad more handy!

Just like the old song says "The times, they are a-changing!"

Coffee on the patio this morning! Still no rain in sight!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Remember This Time...?

Amazing to think that it's been so long ago that this song first came about!

It introduced me to two big influences in my writer Bob Dylan and the group Peter, Paul, and Mary! I still enjoy the works of this time. How could you not?

Jul 9, 1962:

Bob Dylan records "Blowin' In The Wind"

"This here ain't no protest song or anything like that, 'cause I don't write no protest songs." That was how Bob Dylan introduced one of the most eloquent protest songs ever written when he first performed it publicly. It was the spring of his first full year in New York City, and he was onstage at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village, talking about a song he claims to have written in just 10 minutes: "Blowin' In The Wind." A few weeks later, on this day in 1962, Dylan walked into a studio and recorded the song that would make him a star.

Dylan's recording of "Blowin' In The Wind" would first be released nearly a full year later, on his breakthrough album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. This was not the version of the song that most people would first hear, however. That honor went to the cover version by Peter, Paul and Mary—a version that not only became a smash hit on the pop charts, but also transformed what Dylan would later call "just another song" into the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement.

"Blowin' In The Wind" bore little or no resemblance to the highly topical, highly literal protest songs of the day, but that may have been precisely what made it so effective as a protest song. A lyric like "How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?" lends itself perfectly to those seeking racial justice, just as "How many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand?" does to those seeking peace. The moving, vaguely spiritual, clearly dissatisfied, yet ultimately ambiguous nature of "Blowin' In the Wind" made it the quintessential protest song of the 1960s—"A song that the times seemed to call forth," in the words of critic Greil Marcus.

It also represented a significant breakthrough for Bob Dylan as a songwriter. From "Blowin' In The Wind" onward, Dylan's songs would reflect a far more personal and poetic approach to self-expression—an approach that would lead him away from songs like "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and toward songs like "Like A Rolling Stone." And Dylan's development as a songwriter would, in turn, have a similar effect on The Beatles, whose own move from "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to "A Day In The Life" can be traced directly to their exposure to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in the spring of 196

Sorry, but I was feeling the need to trip down memory lane this morning! Forgive me, OK?

Let's get some coffee on the patio this morning. We can talk over all the old times and how times have changed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Want A Burger This Morning...?

I know many folks don't think that this would be any good for breakfast, but I think we should join forces to help these people out!

I mean, that's a LOT of burger! Seems like the least we could do is to chip in on the chow line! And speaking of chips, I wonder how many bags of chips it would take to go along with this bad boy!

Well Done: World's Biggest Burger Weighs 777 Pounds

One of the classic contests on any county fair's midway is the old height and weight guessing game. But even the most seasoned barker might have trouble guessing the height and weight of this one.

On Saturday, at California's Alameda County Fair, a record-shattering behemoth burger made its debut. With the Guinness World Records officials there to make the official designation, here are the recorded stats:

Largest Burger

Weight: 777 pounds
Thickness: 3 feet
Diameter: 5 feet
Amount of beef used: 600 lbs
Amount of lettuce used: 30 lbs
Amount of pickles used: 12 lbs
Amount of onions used: 20 lbs
Weight of bun: 110 lbs
Cooking Time: 14 hours

And the caloric breakdown? A mind boggling 1,375,000-calories. Luckily, the mammoth meat creation, was divided among hundreds of fair goers into more manageable 99-cent portions.

The record-winning burger, created by Juicy's LLC and called "Juicy's Outlaw Burger," crushed the previous Canadian record, which was a measly 187 pounds.

I have to thank the Houston Chronicle for this story!

What I want to know is...what on earth did they use to cook this monster with? Must have been one heck of a grill!

How about coffee on the patio this morning? Want some burger to go with it? Seems to be plenty!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Slick Suggestion To Save Your Soap...!

Let's see you say that real fast 5 times without getting all tongue-tied!

Seriously, this is a wonderful way to use up those little slivers of bar soap that have a tendency to multiply in the shower! You know, the bits and pieces that clog the drain and hide close to the bathmat?

This article from the Farmer's Almanac is a great way to put all those little orphan bits and pieces to good use! If you have kids, let them help with this project! One way to get them to wash their hands without them being aware they are doing it!

Oatmeal Soap Recipe

If you have leftover soap slivers in the bathtub or sink, you can recycle them into this yummy new soap! Oatmeal has proven moisturizing benefits.

Gather these ingredients: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup small soap pieces, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil, 1 tablespoon water

Put the soap slivers in a plastic bag and pound them into small chunks.

Put chunks in a blender, add the oatmeal and pulse until grainy.

Pour into a bowl and add the oil and water.

Mix with your hands, removing any remaining bigger chunks of soap. Shape the mixture into a ball and let sit until hard, about two hours.

Be sure to wash the blender thoroughly to remove the soap residue.

One thing about the Almanac, you can always find the most interesting stuff in there! I just love this book, but you already knew that...right?

OK, who is ready for some fresh coffee? We can have it on the patio this morning!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tragedy At The Circus...!

Often we have a tendency to forget some of the most tragic events of the past! This has to have been one of the saddest of them all!

What should have been a time of fun and wonderment quickly turned to one of horror and death! Just makes us realize how fast our lives can change!

Jul 6, 1944:

The Hartford Circus Fire

In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. The cause of the fire was unknown, but it spread at incredible speed, racing up the canvas of the circus tent. Scarcely before the 8,000 spectators inside the big top could react, patches of burning canvas began falling on them from above, and a stampede for the exits began. Many were trapped under fallen canvas, but most were able to rip through it and escape. However, after the tent's ropes burned and its poles gave way, the whole burning big top came crashing down, consuming those who remained inside. Within 10 minutes it was over, and some 100 children and 60 of their adult escorts were dead or dying.

An investigation revealed that the tent had undergone a treatment with flammable paraffin thinned with three parts of gasoline to make it waterproof. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually agreed to pay $5 million in compensation, and several of the organizers were convicted on manslaughter charges. In 1950, in a late development in the case, Robert D. Segee of Circleville, Ohio, confessed to starting the Hartford circus fire. Segee claimed that he had been an arsonist since the age of six and that an apparition of an Indian on a flaming horse often visited him and urged him to set fires. In November 1950, Segee was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 22 years in prison, the maximum penalty in Ohio at the time.

How sad that this whole disaster was the result of bad decisions of some and the evil intentions of one! How sad indeed!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! I may have to do a rain dance!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's About Damned Time...!

Sometimes a thing that is long overdue finally gets the attention it deserves!

I guess that the 4th of July brought this to mind. It seems a shame to me that this wasn't done a long time ago! If it was, I certainly hadn't heard about it!

So many things in our history never get talked about, some good and some bad. This is a touch of the good, I think!

Descendants honor Declaration's unsung heroes

July 3, 2011, 7:12PM

CONCORD, N.H. — Some signers of the Declaration of Independence are world-famous. Some need a good agent.

A group made up of their descendants is working to keep all 56 names alive, placing small bronze plaques at gravesites or homes to recognize their place in American history.

The Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence have been around for 104 years. The nonprofit group has more than 1,000 members who are direct descendants of the signers.

Plans are to honor 12 of the Founding Fathers with the plaques this year, including William Whipple of Portsmouth, N.H. He was a merchant and Revolutionary War general.

Whipple had no direct descendants and is buried in a city-owned cemetery. The City Council recently approved the request.

You know, it seems to me that way too often the very people that laid it all on the line for us and our country are forgotten too quickly. In this case it's made even more important because these men were part of what made this country what it is! It seems like a small bronze plaque is the very least we can do, don't you think?

C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio before it gets too hot! Once again we missed out on the rain!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America...!

This day should be a good day for all of us.

Many years ago, in 1776, our founding fathers put their heads together and came up with the very cornerstone of all that we are today.

We can listen to all the songs, play all the patriotic music, celebrate with parades and parties...but the true essence of what we are as a country can be summed up best in words. Beautiful written words, long used and well read, that stand for the ideals of what the United States really is! The following is part of an article written by David Patton of the Houston Chronicle. It says more in just a few words than I could ever say!

"The Declaration of Independence is elegantly simple. The guiding principles of the greatest nation on Earth are engrossed on a single piece of parchment only 24 and one-fourth inches by 29 and three-fourths inches. The original is still on display for all the world to see. It is what we stand for. At a time when men were governed by kings without the consent of the majority of the governed, our forefathers chose to recognize that men are born with certain unalienable rights that no government may deny - and 235 years later we reap the fruits of liberty. We are a free people because they backed their genius with their blood."

You can read the complete article right here! It brings it all pretty much in focus!

My friends, let's have some fresh coffee on the patio. We can toast a Happy Birthday to our wonderful country! Happy 4TH, everyone!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Art From A Pencil...!

Some people are such natural artist, they see beauty in every little thing!

When I say "little thing," I'm talking about as little as the lead end of a pencil! This is not something you want to try if you are the least bit shaky!

So creative, nothing I can say will do justice to his work! Just take a look at these pictures!







We all need to be constantly sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities. Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what's inside of you and then allow yourself to be guided by the hand of God.

Just something to think about this Saturday!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? I'm "drawn" to the outside this morning!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ever Have One Of These...?

Time sure seems to fly by!

I can remember when these things first hit the market, and it just seems to me that it wasn't long before nearly everybody had one. I didn't know that it was that long ago, but the older I get the faster time goes by!

The first Sony Walkman goes on sale

The transistor radio was a technological marvel that put music literally into consumers' hands in the mid-1950s. It was cheap, it was reliable and it was portable, but it could never even approximate the sound quality of a record being played on a home stereo. It was, however, the only technology available to on-the-go music lovers until the Sony Corporation sparked a revolution in personal electronics with the introduction of the first personal stereo cassette player. A device as astonishing on first encounter as the cellular phone or digital camera would later be, the Sony Walkman went on sale for the very first time on July 1, 1979.

The Sony Walkman didn't represent a breakthrough in technology so much as it did a breakthrough in imagination. Every element of the Walkman was already in production or testing as part of some other device when Sony's legendary chairman, Masaru Ibuka, made a special request in early 1979. Ibuka was a music lover who traveled frequently, and he was already in the habit of carrying one of his company's "portable" stereo tape recorders with him on international flights. But the Sony TC-D5 was a heavy device that was in no way portable by modern standards, so Ibuka asked his then-deputy Norio Ohga if he could cobble together something better. Working with the company's existing Pressman product—a portable, monaural tape recorder that was popular with journalists—Ohga had a playback-only stereo device rigged up in time for Ibuka's next trans-Pacific flight.

Even though this proto-Walkman required large, earmuff-like headphones and custom-made batteries (which, of course, ran out on Ibuka midway through his flight), it impressed the Sony chairman tremendously with its sound quality and portability. Many objections were raised internally when Ibuka began his push to create a marketable version of the device, the biggest of which was conceptual: Would anyone actually buy a cassette device that was not for recording but only for playback? Ibuka's simple response—"Don't you think a stereo cassette player that you can listen to while walking around is a good idea?"—proved to be one of the great understatements in business history.

After a breakneck development phase of only four months, Sony engineers had a reliable product ready for market at 30,000 Yen (approximately US$150 in 1979 dollars) and available before the start of summer vacation for Japanese students—both critical targets established at the outset of development. The initial production run of 30,000 units looked to be too ambitious after one month of lackluster sales (only 3,000 were sold in July 1979). But after an innovative consumer-marketing campaign in which Sony representatives simply approached pedestrians on the streets of Tokyo and gave them a chance to listen to the Walkman, the product took off, selling out available stocks before the end of August and signaling the beginning of one of Sony's greatest success stories.

Now it seems like everyday there is a new gadget on the market, and many of them have become such a part of our everyday life, we can't imagine a day without having them with us.

I do wonder sometimes if it might not be a good idea to try and go a day or two without our gadgets, if for no other reason than to break our dependance on them. I just imagine some of us would do better than others in this situation. One thing to remember though, there may come a day when none of our favorite "toys" suddenly don't work!

Poses some interesting questions, doesn't it? I'm thinking a few dry runs, "gadget free", might not be a bad idea!

Why don't we get some fresh coffee and sit outside? We could discuss how quickly time is passing!