Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not A Pleasant Surprise, I Think...!

Most of the time, folks like surprises. I don't think this was one of those times, however!

Even by today's standards, this was an absolute disaster in more ways than one! At the time, there was no way of knowing anything like this could even happen. In a place where earthquakes were very uncommon, where the building codes were not up to earthquake standards, and the presence of any major fault was totally unknown...this had to be a real nightmare!

Aug 31, 1886:
Earthquake shakes Charleston, South Carolina

An earthquake near Charleston, South Carolina, on this day in 1886 leaves more than 100 people dead and hundreds of buildings destroyed. This was the largest recorded earthquake in the history of the southeastern United States.

The earthquake was preceded by foreshocks felt in Summerville, South Carolina, on August 27 and 28 but, still, no one was prepared for the strength of the August 31 quake. At 9:51 p.m., the rumbling began, and it was felt as far away as Boston, Chicago and Cuba. There was damage to buildings as far away as Ohio and Alabama. It was Charleston, South Carolina, though, that took the biggest hit from the quake, which is thought to have had a magnitude of about 7.6. Almost all of the buildings in town were seriously damaged. It is estimated that 14,000 chimneys fell from the earthquake. It caused multiple fires and water lines and wells were ruptured. The total damage was in excess of $5.5 million (about $112 million in today's money).

While there were no apparent surface cracks as a result of this tremor, railroad tracks were bent in all directions in some locations. Acres of land were liquefied. This quake remained a mystery for many years since there were no known underground faults for 60 miles in any direction. However, better science and detection methods have recently uncovered a concealed fault along the coastal plains of Virginia and the Carolinas. Still, a quake of this magnitude remains highly unlikely in this location.

We can only hope that nothing like this happens again any time soon! Even with all the improvements in building codes and fire prevention, this would be the cause of unspeakable horror.

Ready for coffee on the patio? Maybe we could do a little rain dance! I'll lead...!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finally, Some Laws That Make Sense...!

After decades of having to deal with the stupidity of some of the state laws being passed by the idiots in charge...Texans may be catching a break!

Effective on the 1st of September, many new laws go into effect! Surprisingly many of these laws appear to be friendly to the average citizen! How that happened is beyond me, but after all the BS that has come down the pike over the last few years...I'll take it!

Below is just a small sampling of some of the most common sense laws in the bunch. As you can tell, some of these actually seem to be born of common sense! Wonder how that happened?

Farmers and ranchers

One new law will make it easier for farmers and ranchers to get their products to farmers' markets by eliminating some restrictions on how the food must be transported. For example, foods can be kept cold with ice chests or other devices, and farmers will not have to bring along an expensive refrigeration unit and generator, as some local officials have required.

That means more profit opportunities for farmers and more selection for consumers, said Judith McGeary, executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

"Consumers have made it very clear," McGeary said. "They want farmers' markets and they want more locally produced foods."

The same piece of legislation eases restrictions on "cottage foods," or baked and canned goods produced in people's homes, such as non-refrigerated cakes and canned jellies. McGeary said the law opens up a business avenue for cottage food providers and does not compromise food safety.

Meanwhile, Texans who want to hunt feral hogs from a helicopter are in luck. Lawmakers passed a bill that lets landowners arrange for the hunting of feral hogs and coyotes from choppers above their property.

Another law makes it legal to fish for catfish with your bare hands, known as noodling.

Reporter Nolan Hicks contributed to this report.

You can read a more complete list of some of the new laws right here!

All I can say about this is it's about time that things started looking up for the average guy for a change! Now if we can convince them to keep heading in the right direction...things would only get even better!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Supposed to start raining on Wednesday, but we'll see!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ain't This What We've Been Saying...?

Finally, someone higher up is starting to get it!

For a very long time, the Prepper community has been saying this very thing. Better late than never...some of the mainstream folks are starting to see the wisdom in a few common sense plans. It's nice to know that even though they would never credit the Preppers, the small bits of information we have been trying to pass on for years may finally help to save someone from a lot of grief!

Common sense may finally be making an appearance in some mainstream media! Like I said, better late than never!

It's high hurricane season. Pack a "go bag" to prepare for … nearly anything.

Published 07:05 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer 2011 has become the season of the unexpected. While once-humid Houston gasped for rain, a freak earthquake rolled through the earth from Virginia to Detroit to Vermont. Now New York is battening down before outlandish Irene.

Natural disaster, in other words, has become the nation's new normal. It's a good time to adopt a survival technique that actually is considered normal in Japan, where nature's extremes are never far from anyone's mind.

Pack a "go bag."

Merely a duffel bag or knapsack with three days of essentials, a go bag should include clean, dry clothes, medications, money, light foods, water, a flashlight and hand-cranked radio. The idea is to be able to leave home for safety on a moment's notice. Yet the simple act of preparing that bag, emergency experts say, can dramatically shape an individual's fate in a hurricane, flood, fire or other crisis.

Most of the items in a classic go bag already lurk at home or the drug store. But when an emergency strikes, and families have to leave home in an instant, even a quick search in the closet or a run to the store to purchase something like blood pressure meds can be impossible. Consider Katrina, when houses filled with water in minutes and apparently unscathed pharmacies nevertheless couldn't fill prescriptions because they lacked electricity.

Packing that go bag is potentially lifesaving for other reasons. This exercise reminds us that we are our own first responders in any life-threatening natural disaster. "If you think it's not going to happen to you, you're wrong," said epidemiologist Russell Melmed, a Connecticut public health planner who specializes in preparedness. "If you think the government is going to do it for you, you're wrong."

The federal definition of a disaster, after all, is a widespread emergency that overwhelms local government's ability to cope. And if it seems this is happening more frequently in recent months, that's no illusion.

According to FEMA, Americans have endured an average of 50 major natural disasters a year in the past ten years. Last year alone, however, FEMA declared 81 major disasters. And so far this year, FEMA has issued no fewer than 65 disaster declarations - with more surely to come.

Rather than a dreary chore, however, preparing for the unexpected by packing a go bag should feel empowering. It's a practical way to shed the free-floating anxiety these strange seasons can impose. Go bags, and the mindset that attends them, after all, have been credited with reducing fatalities linked to the tsunami and earthquake catastrophes this spring in Japan. There, go bags and community disaster drills have been an ordinary part of life for nearly a hundred years.

Not that packing a go bag takes much to master. This is not the time to assemble pricey camping gear or save the wide-screen TV.

Nevertheless, experts and specific recommendations abound on the Internet. The most reliable lists come from governments: Try the Red Cross or Experts from different regions, meanwhile, recommend geo-appropriate variations. Bloggers, naturally, argue the fine points. How many socks are enough? Is it a "go bag" or "bug-out bag"? Regardless of the minutiae, however, go bag basics are always the same: water, meds, money, flashlight, ID and clothes. And the mental preparation that accompanies the packing is an invaluable part of the contents.

"Try to remember that this isn't about playing Sekrit Ninja," advises a blogger named Speedbird, a U.S. Army veteran and techno-savant. "It's about being able to take minimal care of yourself under circumstances that however hard to imagine, are never all that far away from any one of us."

I guess that we can all rest just a tad easier now, knowing that a lot of folks who will only believe what they read in the papers or see on television might be just a little better prepared. That means fewer of the "don't have" types knocking on your door, wanting to share some of yours!

Sure took them long enough to catch on, didn't it?

Coffee on the patio for all who want it! I'll share with everyone...for now!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Internet Problems...!

I'm taking a chance and trying to post this before the Internet goes crazy again!

Looks like my Modem is crapping out, so I might not be on the air much longer. I'm hoping to be back on a regular basis come Monday or so.

Sorry, but that means no post today! I'm hoping this gets on the air, but you know how it goes! Equipment failures are the pits!

Later, guys!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What A Catch...!

Every once in a while, we have all had a fish story to pass on to anyone that would listen.

This fisherman will have a story to end all fishing stories, I'm thinking! See what you think about it!

Angler fishes out Minnesota woman's prosthetic leg

Updated 10:20 a.m., Friday, August 26, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) — A woman who lost her prosthetic leg while swimming in a western Minnesota lake three years ago has been reunited with the limb thanks to an angler.

Beth Krohn was fishing last month on Lake Ida in Alexandria. She says her line kept snagging on something, and that she hoped it wasn't a dead body.

A KSAX-TV report ( ) says her catch turned out to be a prosthetic leg belonging to Pam Riley of Morris.

Krohn returned the leg to Riley after tracking her down through a prosthetic limb manufacturer in Alexandria.

Krohn says she's proud of the catch, comparing it to going deer hunting and shooting the biggest buck.

Riley says she always wondered what someone would think if they saw a leg surfacing in a lake.

Yep, I'll just bet that's the strangest thing that lady ever caught! Does my heart good in a way to hear a story like this for a change.

Besides, it's Saturday and talking about fishing on the weekend is always good! Don't you think?

Coffee on the patio this morning! We can swap some fishing tales!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Predicting The Winter Weather...!

I know, I know! Seems a little early to start thinking about Winter weather, but is it really?

You know what they say, forewarned is forearmed! Besides, is it really ever to soon to plan for the future?

This article I picked up from the Old Farmer's Almanac is interesting, if nothing else! You have to wonder how many folks in time gone by actually used some of these methods!

Predicting Weather: The Ol' Goose Bone Method

Back around the turn of the last century, in the days before the National Weather Service, the so-called goose bone method was a famous weather-forecasting technique.

Here's how it worked:

Around Thanksgiving, Grandma would cook a freshly killed goose. She would roast it, carve it, and serve it, always being careful not to cut the breastbone from the carcass.

After the goose had been eaten, she would carefully remove the breastbone and cut away all the meat and fat left clinging to it. Grandpa would take the bone and put it on a shelf to dry, keeping an eye out for the coloration that would follow. If the bone turned blue, black, or purple, a cold winter lay ahead.

White indicated a mild winter.

Purple tips were a sure sign of a cold spring.

A blue color branching out toward the edge of the bone, meant open weather until New Year's Day.

If the bone was a dark color, or blue all over, the prediction was for a real bad winter.

That's it. And there was even an explanation. An overall dark color meant that the bird had absorbed a lot of oil, which acted as a natural protection against the cold. The darker the blue coloring, the tougher the winter ahead would probably be.

Like everything else you find in the almanac, you take it with a grain of salt! Still, you have to admit that it makes a lot of sense in a strange sort of way! Let me know if you decide to try it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Little Help From Jeff...!

I know most of you can remember Jeff Foxworthy's list of "You might be a Redneck", right?

Well, he has another one that I just found. This one may have been around for a while, but I haven't seen it before. Anyway, I thought it was funny enough to share with you all, just in case you have had enough of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and drought!

Well, at least we aren't rednecks

Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 5:00 AM
By The Oregonian

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy's latest: A "Then You Live in Oregon" list. And help us out a bit: Add "you live in Oregon" at the end of each:

If someone in a Home Depot offers you assistance and they don't work there ...

If you've worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time ...

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number ...

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once ...

If you have switched from "heat" to "A/C" and back again in the same day ...

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked ...

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over two layers of clothes or under a raincoat ...

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction ...

If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash ...

If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee ...

If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal ...

If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain ...

If you know the difference between chinook, coho and sockeye salmon ...

If you know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup , Clatskanie, Issaquah, Oregon, Umpqua, Yakima and Willamette ...

If you know that Boring is a city and not just a feeling ...

If you can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food ...

If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho ...

If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain ...

Well, that's all I had. Just wanted to throw something a bit different at you for a change! I know we all get tired of the same old least I do!

Want some fresh coffee? I've got some strawberry cake to go with it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feisty Old Guy, Ain't He...?

I really love these stories about the older folks that stand their ground and tell the bad guys "NO MORE!"

I have a feeling that these guys are going to take a lot of heat when they get to lock-up! Not only was the old man willing to fight back, but he did it while wounded! I love this guy and hope I am just like him when I grow up!

Homeowner held burglary suspect at gunpoint for 8 hours

4:35 PM, Aug. 22, 2011
Written by
Jaclyn O’Malley

An elderly Reno homeowner on Friday shot and wounded two of three burglars in an incident where he held one injured suspect captive during an eight-hour stand-off.

Police said the 72-year-old resident held Robert Marin, 26, — who was armed with a knife — for an additional four hours after he accidentally shot Marin in the wrist.

The homeowner did not have a telephone to report the incident and had to gather his strength to force Marin outside and have a neighbor call police about noon on Friday, detectives said.

The resident told police that Marin hit his gun hand with his walking cane, which caused the gun to go off and strike Marin in the wrist. He then held the man for an additional four hours until he had enough strength to confront him further, according to a police report.

Eight hours earlier, police said the homeowner shot Jonathan Rogers twice in the abdomen, who was found walking near the University of Nevada, Reno. He told police someone randomly shot him as he was walking and police did not learn until later of his alleged involvement in the burglary.

The homeowner had awakened about 3 a.m., Friday after hearing people in his home in the 200 block of Bartlett St., according to a police report. Authorities said the man had possessed a gun as protection from an earlier recent burglary, and confronted the suspects in the hallway with his gun. He fired shots at Rogers, who police said fled the residence with a third suspect, Guy Ruiz, 44.

While detectives said Marin grabbed a knife, the homeowner held him captive with his firearm.

Detectives said the three suspects had planned to burglarize the man and were investigating further.

Police said they found items stolen from the elderly man’s home along the path Rogers walked until a taxi driver found him wounded and bleeding, and called police. Monday, Rogers remained hospitalized. Police said he will be arrested upon his release.

Marin and Ruiz were booked into the Washoe County Jail on suspicion of burglary and robbery with a deadly weapon, which carries a sentencing enhancement because the victim was over 60.

Maybe it's time for some of the younger folks to copy their elders! No more mister nice guy! What say you?

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Be Watchful In The Woods...!

Call me crazy, but if something like this were to happen to me I'd be for finding another place to hike!

Don't get me wrong! I like wild life...all kinds of wild life! However, if I know there are meat eating wild critters in a certain area that are NOT the least bit afraid of me, then I ain't going there! At least, not without a shooting iron!

Trustee runs into coyote in Raceway Woods

By Lenore T. Adkins

Some coyotes have been following people with dogs at Raceway Woods in Carpentersville. The Kane County Forest Preserve has posted two signs on the property alerting visitors how to act and what to do in case they encounter one.

Carpentersville Trustee Brad McFeggan did not expect to run into an aggressive coyote during a morning stroll through Raceway Woods, with his young daughter and dog in tow.

But that’s exactly what happened.

McFeggan was walking on the racetrack’s straightaway on a recent Sunday when a coyote kept barking and howling at the party of three almost 70 feet away, “Almost like it was trying to round up the troops,” he said.

McFeggan started to turn around to walk back to the parking lot, and as he backed up, the coyote began to approach the trio. He picked up his daughter and began walking rapidly, but the coyote shadowed the group and continued to bark and howl until they got to the parking lot. McFeggan’s dog Tess, an 80-pound Rottweiler and Border collie mix who doesn’t get along with other dogs, growled and kept her eye on the coyote to make sure it didn’t ambush the group.

“I’ve hiked there at least once a month for years and ... it’s always been very peaceful and this was the first time I had that kind of encounter,” said McFeggan, who was at Raceway Woods off Huntley Road west of Route 31. “If I had to, I would have let my dog off the leash.”

Over the last two-plus weeks, police from Dundee Township, Carpentersville and the Kane County Forest Preserve District have received about a half-dozen combined reports of similar behavior from coyotes in Raceway Woods.

“There’s been no attacks that we’re aware of,” Forest Preserve Police Chief Mike Gillofo said.

The people were usually on the same stretch of pavement as McFeggan and were always with dogs, whether leashed or unleashed. Most of the accounts describe one coyote approaching a dog or following at a distance, while others reported that one coyote was barking, while two to three other coyotes watched or followed, said Bill Graser a wildlife biologist with the Kane County Forest Preserve.

Coyotes are typically afraid of humans, but are very territorial and view dogs as competition and in other cases, maybe even a threat, Graser said.

“Its not normal for (coyotes) to follow people closely,” Graser said. “The people’s dogs are what’s drawing their curiosity in my opinion.”

Right now, everyone’s in awareness mode.

During the trustee reports section of last week’s televised board meeting, McFeggan warned viewers to watch out for coyotes in Raceway Woods.

As well, the Kane County Forest Preserve has put up signs in its portion of Raceway Woods. Dundee Township has its signs on order, Supervisor Sue Harney said.

Any talk that authorities should instead remove or kill off the coyotes is too drastic.

“When you go onto land like that, there’s an acceptance of risk,” Harney said. “It is simply not realistic to think that we can get rid of coyotes.”

Meanwhile, if you encounter a coyote, it’s best to back away slowly and maintain eye contact, rather than turn your back and run, Glaser said. Keep your dogs on a leash and if a coyote approaches you, shout and wave at it, or throw small stones and sticks.

“Basically, you’re trying to re-instill their fear in human beings, if it’s been reduced or lost,” Glaser said.

Read more:

Hey, it's still a free country and you can go hiking any legal place you want, but I'm telling ya, if that so-called "wild critter" is willing to follow you to the parking lot, then you might want to find another hiking place! Especially if you had a Rottweiler with you at the time!

If nothing else, at least leave the kid at home next time, OK?

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen. Too damned hot to go on the patio!

Monday, August 22, 2011

In Texas, You Just Never Know...!

Parts of this story could almost be from today's headlines!

One thing about the old west in Texas...the Law was willing to do whatever it took to go after the bad guys. At least, what they considered to be the really bad guys!

As this story points out, often the lines were blurry at best!

Aug 22, 1898:

Hired killer Jim Miller joins Texas Rangers

The hired assassin Jim Miller briefly joins the Texas Rangers, demonstrating how thin the line between outlaw and lawmen often was in the West.

Many lawmen in the Old West had never been on the wrong side of the law themselves, but more than a few moved easily between the worlds of lawbreaker and law enforcer. James Brown Miller was one of the latter. During his 47 years, Miller worked as a deputy sheriff, a city marshal, and Texas Ranger. He was also a gambler, a swindler, and one of the deadliest professional killers in Texas.

As a young man, Miller was accused of committing several murders-including the double killing of his own grandparents-but the charges never stuck. By age 27, he was living in Alpine, Texas, where he reportedly offered to kill a local judge for $200. That offer was apparently rejected, but thereafter he became a professional killer, charging between $50 to $2,000, depending on the victim and the client's ability to pay. By his own account, he committed more than 50 murders.

Although Miller was arrested on several occasions, he proved hard to convict. The wealthier clients who hired him often provided expert legal counsel, and he was a careful killer who took pains to cover his tracks. Law enforcement agencies also found men like Miller useful, and they often were willing to overlook his checkered past if they needed help in capturing or killing a dangerous outlaw. The famous Texas Rangers even hired Miller, temporarily appointing him a Special Ranger on this day in 1898.

Miller's luck eventually ran out. In 1909, two Ada, Oklahoma, ranchers paid Miller $2,000 to kill August Bobbitt, with the promise of an additional $3,000 to pay for his defense in the event Miller was arrested. Miller killed Bobbitt with a shotgun, his favored weapon for assassinations. This time, however, Miller's victim was a well-liked man who left a widow with four children. Local citizens were outraged by the cold-blooded murder and demanded action. Miller and his two clients were quickly arrested and jailed, but none of them had a chance to mount a legal defense. A mob of Ada vigilantes stormed the jail, extracted the men, and lynched them in a nearby barn. Miller was 47 years old.

One thing you have to admit about the old west..payback was a bitch and often the payback was almost immediate! Certainly not like today!

How about some coffee on the patio this morning? I would enjoy the company!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Birth Of "Swing"...!

Thank goodness for the likes of Benny Goodman!

Just imagine what we would have missed if the musicians like Goodman, the Dorsey's, Glen Miller and so many others had not bucked the system of the times and started playing their own kind of music!

Aug 21, 1935:

The Swing Era begins with Benny Goodman's triumphant Palomar Ballroom performance

The sound of swing, which utterly dominated the American popular-music scene in the late 1930s and early 1940s, instantly evokes images of tuxedo-clad Big Bands and dance floors crowded with exuberant jitterbugs dancing the Shag and the Lindy Hop. While the roots of swing music clearly lie in earlier forms of jazz—and particularly in African-American jazz performance styles—swing as we know it may just have been born at a specific time and in a specific place, with an electric performance by one particular Big Band for one particularly enthusiastic audience. The time and place was August 21, 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, California, where Benny Goodman and his band emphatically opened the Swing Era with an exuberant performance witnessed by thousands of young fans in the live audience and millions more tuning in to a live radio broadcast.

Benny Goodman had been a successful featured soloist in various prominent bands and the leader of his own trio and big band for several years before making his breakthrough at Palomar. The ninth of 12 children in a large Jewish family in Chicago, Goodman had been sent by his father at the age of 10 in 1919 to the local synagogue for clarinet lessons in the hopes that a music career might provide him a way out of poverty. By his early teens, Goodman had proven his father correct by becoming a working professional, and by 24, he was successful enough to land his band a regular gig on a weekly radio program broadcast out of New York City called Let's Dance. It was there that Goodman began performing "hot" arrangements by African-American bandleader Fletcher Henderson—arrangements that departed from the more romantic style of the day by employing loose, upbeat, syncopated rhythms that had been common in African-American jazz ensembles for years. Goodman's band would often appear well past midnight, New York time, on Let's Dance. And while this limited their exposure on the East Coast, Goodman would soon discover a huge new fan base when he took his group west to California.

Already familiar with Benny Goodman's exciting new style from his Friday night radio appearances, a huge crowd of young people turned out for his Palomar Ballroom debut on this day in 1935. It was a promising start to an engagement Goodman hoped would salvage a summer tour otherwise judged a failure. But Goodman stuck to relatively staid, stock arrangements during the first part of that night's show, and he began to lose the young crowd. Before their return from the first intermission, the band's drummer, Gene Krupa, is said to have urged Goodman, "If we're gonna die, Benny, let's die playing our own thing." It was at that point that Benny Goodman famously pulled out Henderson's arrangements along with all the stops on his talented orchestra, to the crowd's immense delight.

Now, I don't know about you...but I'm glad that "Swing" came about! I still enjoy listening to it, and I have to admit that it still gets my feet to tapping! In fact, it really makes me want to dance!

C'mon, friends, let's get some coffee on the patio! I'll turn up the radio!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You Might Just Find This Interesting...!

I know it's hot, you know it's hot, and finally the National Weather Service tells us just how hot it is, was and will be!

This may just be the first government report that actually says things in a way that even I can understand! Here is a portion of the report, so see what you think!

745 PM CDT THU AUG 18 2011








You can read the rest of the report right here! It contains the rainfall stats and such, just in case you're interested!

Let's get something cool to drink before we go out to the patio!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Old McDonald Had A...Wait, What ?

I don't know why the folks at Time magazine can't get it right!

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what's wrong with this picture, but I would think that the editor might have been a little more familiar with livestock than he/she obviously is!

Makes you wonder if the same process is applied to the reporting of the news stories they run. It might just be that a little more grade school education, complete with pictures of farm animals, should be called for!

See if you don't agree!

Yet again, the East Coasties get Texas way wrong

Local lawyer Andrew M. Williams made an interesting find in the August 22 issue of Time magazine.

He looked at a photo of the Texas drought, and then he read the photo caption.

He noticed the same thing you are about to notice. Or, as he put it, “No matter how late they were sold, they would not have developed into cattle.”

Let's face it, folks! If a lawyer can spot the problem, then Time should have also!

If you click on the picture, you can read the caption of the picture and see the livestock in question!

I'm afraid that not a lot more needs to be said here, ya think? Better a "Redneck" than a "Dumb ass!" That's my thinking anyway!

How about we get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a while! OK by you?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Historical Mystery...!

I love these historical mysteries, especially when they haven't been solved as of yet!

When you read something like this, you can only imagine how puzzled the supply ship crew was when they returned. Friends and relatives were among the missing, so it's the "not knowing" that makes it all the worse!

Aug 18, 1590:

Roanoke Colony deserted

John White, the governor of the Roanoke Island colony in present-day North Carolina, returns from a supply-trip to England to find the settlement deserted. White and his men found no trace of the 100 or so colonists he left behind, and there was no sign of violence. Among the missing were Ellinor Dare, White's daughter; and Virginia Dare, White's granddaughter and the first English child born in America. August 18 was to have been Virginia's third birthday. The only clue to their mysterious disappearance was the word "CROATOAN" carved into the palisade that had been built around the settlement. White took the letters to mean that the colonists had moved to Croatoan Island, some 50 miles away, but a later search of the island found none of the settlers.

The Roanoke Island colony, the first English settlement in the New World, was founded by English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in August 1585. The first Roanoke colonists did not fare well, suffering from dwindling food supplies and Indian attacks, and in 1586 they returned to England aboard a ship captained by Sir Francis Drake. In 1587, Raleigh sent out another group of 100 colonists under John White. White returned to England to procure more supplies, but the war with Spain delayed his return to Roanoke. By the time he finally returned in August 1590, everyone had vanished.

In 1998, archaeologists studying tree-ring data from Virginia found that extreme drought conditions persisted between 1587 and 1589. These conditions undoubtedly contributed to the demise of the so-called Lost Colony, but where the settlers went after they left Roanoke remains a mystery. One theory has them being absorbed into an Indian tribe known as the Croatans.

With no means of communications like we have today, those poor folks had no way to inform anyone of any problems. Scary times, that's for sure! Even with the advances in modern fact finding the mystery remains!

You just have to love it! I know that I do!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? We have to hurry because the patio may disappear into a sinkhole if we don't get some rain pretty soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So Here's The Scoop...!

Ever had this happen to you?

You leave a room, turning off the lights as you go. A few minutes later, you go back in and the lights have turned themselves on again! Not only that, but the television does some strange things also!

The AC unit stopped cooling, but the fans still worked. I went out and checked the meter...but no reading at all. Keep in mind this is a state of the art digital meter. No reading at all means only one thing to me and that is electrical trouble! No power, no reading!

A call to the city power folks at Center Point Energy and they sent a very grouchy ill tempered repairman, who immediately pulled the meter, set it on the ground, and proclaimed the problem was ours! Then...he left!

A family friend helped me change out the meter socket after we relocated it. What had happened is that the house has settled so much, the electrical wires from the transformer had pulled right out of the terminal in the socket!

Since this is a permit area, we didn't cut or replace the wiring, but by relocating the new socket, we were able to use the same wiring!

Another call to the power company and they said "no problem...we'll send a repairman right out! He should be there in between 2 and 4 hours!" At midnight, still no repairman!

I had ran an heavy duty extension cord across the driveway to the neighbor's house (with his permission) so that I could at least put a couple of fans in Mom's house. The next morning, another call was made to the power company to come out and replace the meter. A rep said "no problem...we'll have someone right out. They should be there in 2 to 4 hours!" My Mom demanded to speak to the boss, and got the same story without an explanation as to why they had not shown up the night before! However, this time they added a slight twist! "If we find that there has been any rewiring done, then he won't hook it up!"

Guess who finally showed up! Mr. personality himself! Same attitude! He came out, looked at the repair work and said "This is a sorry ass repair job! I'm going to hook it up because the old lady needs it, but this is a sorry repair job!"

His opinion really was important to me! My feelings were hurt and I nearly cried that he didn't like our repairs! ( you believe that, right?) Finally, the sorry excuse for an example of sunshine men had it hooked up and left! AC was working again, freezer was working, fridge was working...time for a well deserved nap, ya know?

That about brings us up to date! Sorry for not having a post until late yesterday, but my PC doesn't work well without power! Ya know?

Now we can get some fresh coffee and sit outside. Or we can stay inside and enjoy the AC! It's up to you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No, I Didn't Run Away...!

Let's just say that I've spend the better part of the last two days without any power!

Strange that this should happen the day after I post about power outages! I'm way too hot and way too tired to explain it all today, but I promise to bore you with all the grizzly details on a future post, OK?

Now, if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go take a nice long nap! I only slept about 2 hours off and on last night!

Help yourself to the coffee and the ice tea!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It Could Happen Again...!

This wasn't all that long ago, and with the weather being so crazy as of late...anything is possible!

I'm not sure, but my best guess is that not all that many improvements have been made overall since this happened. That means that the cause, whatever it really was, could easily happen again.

Just another reason to continue to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Keep in mind that the only one you can depend on is yourself!

Aug 14, 2003:

Blackout hits Northeast United States

On this day in 2003, a major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Although power companies were able to resume some service in as little as two hours, power remained off in other places for more than a day. The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports. In New York City, it took more than two hours for passengers to be evacuated from stalled subway trains. Small business owners were affected when they lost expensive refrigerated stock. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas. There were even some reports of people being stranded mid-ride on amusement park roller coasters. At the New York Stock Exchange and bond market, though, trading was able to continue thanks to backup generators.

Authorities soon calmed the fears of jittery Americans that terrorists may have been responsible for the blackout, but they were initially unable to determine the cause of the massive outage. American and Canadian representatives pointed figures at each other, while politicians took the opportunity to point out major flaws in the region's outdated power grid. Finally, an investigation by a joint U.S.-Canada task force traced the problem back to an Ohio company, FirstEnergy Corporation. When the company's EastLake plant shut down unexpectedly after overgrown trees came into contact with a power line, it triggered a series of problems that led to a chain reaction of outages. FirstEnergy was criticized for poor line maintenance, and more importantly, for failing to notice and address the problem in a timely manner--before it affected other areas.

Despite concerns, there were very few reports of looting or other blackout-inspired crime. In New York City, the police department, out in full force, actually recorded about 100 fewer arrests than average. In some places, citizens even took it upon themselves to mitigate the effects of the outage, by assisting elderly neighbors or helping to direct traffic in the absence of working traffic lights.

In New York City alone, the estimated cost of the blackout was more than $500 million.

Let's hope that we don't experience anything like this again any time soon. However, if it does happen, I hope that everyone is better prepared than last time!

Remember, if we don't learn from our history...we are bound to repeat it!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A True Prepper...!

This, my friends, is what being prepared is all about!

The story could have turned out so much worse if the basics had not been taught to this young man! One more reason to practice with the family or even by yourself.

Knowledge is power and it also may be the very tool that saves your life...or the life of a loved one!

Talk about being prepared
Boy Scout found after building shelter to survive night in Utah woods

Aug. 13, 2011, 6:53PM

He was scared, but the 12-year-old Boy Scout still knew what to do when he got lost during a Utah wilderness outing: He built a shelter made of tree branches and wood to get through a cold night and he covered himself in dirt to stay warm.

Jared Ropelato's lean-to — a crude structure the Boy Scout manual advises Scouts to build if they become lost — kept him warm enough so he could sleep after the overnight low in northeastern Utah's Ashley National Forest dipped to 31 degrees in the area, said Daggett County sheriff's spokeswoman Karen Peterson.

The boy was wearing only jeans and a shirt, and had no food or water, when he went missing around noon Friday. He had gotten lost while on his way by himself back to camp from a nearby lake, walking a total of eight or nine miles before searchers on ATVs found him Saturday morning some four miles from where he started, Peterson said.

"He did everything right last night," his mother, Dawn, said. "We said he was smart, and he's smart."

Peterson also praised the boy, saying that building the lean-to was "good thinking" and it saved him from the elements. He told the Deseret News of Salt Lake City that he had learned to build the structure last year at Scout camp.

"We're just so glad that this story has a happy ending," Peterson told the Associated Press.

Jared's mother told the Deseret News that her son's biggest scare came when he encountered a bull moose. He got cold during the night, but not too cold. He fell in a river Saturday morning, "but he's still dirty," she said.

Jared resumed walking Saturday morning before he was found at 8:40 a.m. in good health, ending a search effort that included about 200 people.

"There were a lot of tears not only from family members, but from searchers as well," Peterson said. "Up to that point, Jared had been missing for 20 hours and 40 minutes."

Nicole Ropelato, a third cousin of Jared's, said the family was thankful for searchers and that the boy remembered the instruction about lean-tos.

"At such a young age to be calm enough to think like that is something," she said. "That's incredible what he did. We're just elated that he was found in good condition. We were worried for him and very scared."

The boy earlier had been advised by a Scoutmaster to walk with another Scout from the lake back to camp, Peterson said. The Scoutmaster gave him the advice after finding him going in the wrong direction while returning to camp.

"He never got a buddy before heading back to camp," Peterson said.

Asked if he would still go camping after his overnight ordeal, Jared simply said, "yeah."

Read more:

Forget about the end of the world, forget about the apocalypse! Just a camping trip can test your survival skills more than you know!

Let's get some fresh coffee and talk this over, OK? Maybe more training and prepping is in order!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Random Thoughts On Everything...!

Since it's Saturday, I thought I'd throw out a few random thoughts for your consideration!

Nothing too serious, since it is the weekend! Know what I mean? Might be something you can relate to!

Wise thoughts on everything

1. Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

2. Life is sexually transmitted.

3. Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

4. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection make him a sandwich.

5. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

6. Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs...

7. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing...

8. Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

9. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

10. Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?

11. In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

12. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

13. You read about all these Terrorists most of them came here legally, but they hung around on these expired visas, some for as long as 10-15 years. Now, compare that to Blockbuster; you are two days late with a video and those people are all over you. I think we should put Blockbuster in charge of Immigration & Homeland Security.

Like I said, nothing too serious today. Just trying to have a little fun!

I'm going to have some coffee out on the patio. Want to join me?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gotta Love Those "Seniors"...!

Just a little something I received from my Baby Sis that I thought I would share!

Good way to start the day! At least, that's my opinion!

True story from a Kansas State Highway Patrol officer:

I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan , KS .

I asked for her driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.

The lady took out the required information and handed it to me.

In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age)to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and ask if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box.

Something---body language, or the way she said it---made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console.

Now I had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse.

I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked me right in the eye and said, "Not a damn thing!"

Seniors - Don't mess with them. They didn't get old by being stupid.

Just a little something to start off your weekend! Hope you enjoy it!

Want to share some coffee on the patio? Sure would like your company!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What The Heck Is This...?

Nothing gets the juices flowing first thing in the morning like a good mystery!

I would say that this falls into this category, wouldn't you? I'm glad I wasn't the one that found this on the road, but I'd rather find it dead on the road than alive in my camping area! Just might ruin my day, ya know?

‘What is that?' Mysterious roadkill spawns all kinds of theories

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — An alien. An albino pig with long claws. A government experiment gone wrong. A werewolf.

Those are just some of the guesses about what a weird looking dead animal found near Alexandria last week could be.

The mystery began when Lacey Ilse and her husband were driving to Walmart about 1 p.m. last Monday, and they saw “something” lying in the middle of Douglas County Road 86 near Union Lake.

“I thought, ‘What is that? It isn’t a cat or a dog,’” Ilse said.

Intrigued, she pulled the car over to check it out.

“As soon as I saw it, I said, ‘Oh my God’ and yelled to my husband to come over,” she said. “I thought what is this — a science experiment from the government?”

The deformed-looking creature was mostly white with odd tufts of hair on its head and the middle of its back. It resembled a dog but had huge claws and an elongated snout-like mouth.

The animal appeared to have been freshly hit. There were no bugs or flies around it, Ilse said, and she could see fluids still coming out of it.

She checked with a friend who drives the same stretch of road and she didn’t recall seeing it earlier that morning.

Ilse took some photos of the creature and posted them on her Facebook page. They spread like wildfire, with her friends sending them on to other friends and media outlets throughout the country picking up the story.

Ilse has been bombarded with requests for photos and interviews. She’s heard that Jesse Ventura with truTV’s Conspiracy Theory is flying in to investigate.

“It’s just been insane,” Ilse said of the media firestorm.

The Echo Press sent the photos to Kevin Kotts, a wildlife manager with the Department of Natural Resources in Glenwood, Minn.

After showing the images to other DNR colleagues, he said his “best guess” is that the animal is a badger that somehow lost its hair.

“Badgers are found in Minnesota but are not real common in farmland areas,” Kotts noted. “They are predators, in the weasel family, and mainly eat ground squirrels.”

Kotts said the black hair and the slight upward hook on the nose are consistent with the animal being a badger.

“Also, the patch of brown, slightly grizzled hair on the back also seems to be what a badger would have.”

Kotts added the DNR can’t be 100 percent sure of what this animal is because he hadn’t seen it in person and didn’t know how big it is.

“There’s a chance that it could have been a pet of some sort, and not an animal native to Minnesota,” he said.

The animal the Ilses found also has a long tail, which badgers don’t have.

A late-breaking update: The Ilses, who put the animal carcass in a garbage bag, have since given it to DNR officials for further analysis. In the meantime, the Ilses are still wondering what exactly it was they came across.

“We don’t have a for-sure 100 percent answer,” Ilse said. “But there’s been lots of feedback.”

The mystery, for now, lingers.

The article is by The Echo Press of Alexandria, Minn.

Isn't it funny how some of the oddest things can launch the biggest discussions? One group says one thing, while another group say it's something else! If nothing else, it furnishes us with a much needed break from the idiot circus in Washington!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. Just a's hot!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The 24th State...!

I have considered buying some land in Missouri from time to time, but to be honest...I never knew the history of this state!

They actually have a pretty interesting history! Almost as good as Texas! Notice I said "almost!"

Aug 10, 1821:

New state west of the Mississippi

Missouri enters the Union as the 24th state--and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River.

Named for one of the Native American groups that once lived in the territory, Missouri became a U.S. possession as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In 1817, Missouri Territory applied for statehood, but the question of whether it would be slave or free delayed approval by Congress. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise was reached, admitting Missouri as a slave state but excluding slavery from the other Louisiana Purchase lands north of Missouri's southern border. Missouri's August 1821 entrance into the Union as a slave state was met with disapproval by many of its citizens.

In 1861, when other slave states seceded from the Union, Missouri chose to remain; although a provincial government was established in the next year by Confederate sympathizers. During the war, Missourians were split in their allegiances, supplying both Union and Confederate forces with troops. Lawlessness persisted during this period, and Missouri-born Confederate guerrillas such as Jesse James continued this lawlessness after the South's defeat. With the ratification of Missouri's new constitution by the citizens of the state in 1875, the old divisions were finally put to rest.

I think it's always interesting to find out some of the history of states, other than the one we live in. It makes history sort of come alive a little more, don't you agree?

Come on out to the patio and I'll buy the coffee! I have some peach pie to go with it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Remembering Jerry...!

Probably not many people had as much of an impact on the continuing of 60s style rock and roll as Jerry Garcia.

The man had a wonderful way with music. In some ways, his influence is still felt!

Aug 9, 1995:

Jerry Garcia dies

Like his band the Grateful Dead, which was still going strong three decades after its formation, Jerry Garcia defied his life-expectancy not merely by surviving, but by thriving creatively and commercially into the 1990s--far longer than most of his peers. His long, strange trip came to an end, however, on this day in 1995, when he died of a heart attack in a residential drug-treatment facility in Forest Knolls, California. A legendary guitarist and true cultural icon, Jerry Garcia was 53 years old.

Jerome John Garcia was born on August 1, 1942 and raised primarily in San Francisco's Excelsior District, about five miles south of his and his band's famous future residence at 710 Ashbury Street. Trained formally on the piano as a child, Garcia picked up the instrument he'd make his living with at the age of 15, when he convinced his mother to replace the accordion she'd bought him as a birthday gift with a Danelectro electric guitar. Five years later, after brief stints in art school and the Army, and after surviving a deadly automobile accident in 1961, Jerry Garcia began to pursue a musical career in earnest, playing with various groups that were part of San Francisco's bluegrass and folk scene. By 1965, he had joined up with bassist Phil Lesh, rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan and drummer Bill Kreutzman in a group originally called the Warlocks and later renamed "the Grateful Dead."

From their early gig as the house band at Ken Kesey's famous Acid Tests, the Dead was a defining part of San Francisco's burgeoning hippie counterculture scene. They would go on to play at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969, but as big as they were in the 60s and 70s, the Grateful Dead grew even more popular and successful as the decade they helped to define slipped further into the past. Indeed, during the final decade of Jerry Garcia's life, following his recovery from a five-day diabetic coma in 1986, the Dead played an average of 100 to 150 live shows per year, frequently to sold-out audiences that included a significant proportion of tie-dye-wearing college students who were not yet alive when the Grateful Dead first made their name.

Don't know why I thought this was important to remember today, except for the fact that it serves to remind us all of our mortality! Maybe that is just my rambling, but that's the way I feel!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. I'll put on some old tunes from "The Grateful Dead" and we can all remember Jerry together!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Victim Of The Times...!

My dad was a trucker. He was gone quite a bit and not all of it was because of how far he was driving.

Want to learn something about truck driving you may or may not know? Well, sit back and pay attention while I tell you just how things are today. A lot more regulated than back in my dad's day, but it's never been an easy way to make a living! Believe me, I know.

This story from the Star Tribune will fill in the details!

That truck driver you flipped off? Let me tell you his story.

Article by: DAN HANSON
Updated: August 3, 2011 - 9:53 AM

Let me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over.

His truck is governed to 68 miles an hour, because the company he leases it from believes it keeps him and the public and the equipment safer.

The truck he passed was probably running under 65 mph to conserve fuel. You see, the best these trucks do for fuel economy is about 8 miles per gallon. With fuel at almost $4 per gallon -- well, you do the math. And, yes, that driver pays for his own fuel.

He needs to be 1,014 miles from where he loaded in two days. And he can't fudge his federally mandated driver log, because he no longer does it on paper; he is logged electronically.

He can drive 11 hours in a 14-hour period; then he must take a 10-hour break. And considering that the shipper where he loaded held him up for five hours because it is understaffed, he now needs to run without stopping for lunch and dinner breaks.

If he misses his delivery appointment, he will be rescheduled for the next day, because the receiver has booked its docks solid (and has cut staff to a minimum). That means the driver sits, losing 500-plus miles for the week.

Which means his profit will be cut, and he will take less money home to his family. Most of these guys are gone 10 days, and home for a day and a half, and take home an average of $500 a week if everything goes well.

You can't tell by looking at him, but two hours ago he took a call informing him that his only sister was involved in a car accident, and though everything possible was done to save her, she died. They had flown her to a trauma hospital in Detroit, but it was too late.

He hadn't seen her since last Christmas, but they talked on the phone every week. The load he is pulling is going to Atlanta, and he will probably not be able to get to the funeral.

His dispatcher will do everything possible to get him there, but the chances are slim. So he has hardly noticed your displeasure at having to slow down for him. It's not that he doesn't care; he's just numb.

Everything you buy at the store and everything you order online moves by truck. Planes and trains can't get it to your house or grocery store. We are dependent on trucks to move product from the airport and the rail yards to the stores and our homes.

Every day, experienced and qualified drivers give it up because the government, the traffic and the greedy companies involved in trucking have drained their enthusiasm for this life.

They take a job at a factory if they can find it, and are replaced by an inexperienced youngster dreaming of the open road. This inexperience leads to late deliveries, causing shortages and higher prices at the store, and crashes that lead to unnecessary deaths.

It is even possible that is what led to the death of this driver's sister.

This is a true story; it happened last week. The driver's name is Harold, and I am his dispatcher.

Dan Hanson, of Belle Plaine, Minn., is a fleet manager.

Just a little something to think about this morning!

Ready for some coffee on the patio? We can toast to all the truck drivers on the road!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It Takes All Kinds, I Guess...!

Just when you think that you've heard of all the sicko types around, another one pops up!

I hate the fact that there are this kind of person living among us, but I love the fact that there were some real human types available to stop him!

What a great story to start our Sunday!

Passersby hold suspect after blind man's wallet stolen

6:18 p.m. CDT, August 5, 2011

A blind man was robbed of his wallet this afternoon in the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood but passersby came to his rescue, authorities said, grabbing hold of the culprit until Chicago police arrived.

The suspect approached the 61-year-old blind man about 12:30 p.m. in the 800 block of East 63rd Street and went through his pockets, said Chicago Police Officer Dan O’Brien, a police spokesman.

After taking his wallet, the robber pushed the man to the ground, O’Brien said.

Shortly thereafter, the passersby approached the robber and were able to detain him before police arrived.

While he was detained, police said, citing witness accounts, some “unknown males” punched the suspect in the face.

The robber was taken into custody, but also had to go to a local hospital for his injuries, O’Brien said. The blind man was not reported hurt.

No charges had been filed in the incident yet as of early Friday evening.

First of all, I'd like to offer my thanks to the "unknown males" mentioned in the story! Hope they got one in for me!

Coffee on the patio this morning! I have cousins visiting from the Austin area, so they will be joining us, OK?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Don't Worry, The Kids Are Still Breathing...!

I'll be willing to bet there are plenty of red faced city officials right now!

Luckily, the error was discovered before any damage was done to the future generation! Just imagine what could have happened. Pretty damned scary, if you ask me!

I have to admit there is a little humor here. Twisted, I know...but still funny!

UK Officials Apologize After Planting Lethal Flower Next To Children's Playground

Updated: Friday, 05 Aug 2011, 12:01 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 05 Aug 2011, 7:28 AM EDT

By NewsCore

KENDAL, England - Officials in an English town were left red-faced Friday after it emerged one of the world's deadliest flowers -- used by Amazon hunters to make poison arrows -- was unwittingly planted in a public park where children play.

Staff from South Lakeland District Council mistakenly planted a number of poisonous purple-flowering monkshood flowers in a park in Kendal, northwestern England, just yards from a children's playground, local newspaper The Westmorland Gazette reported.

Local botanist Thomas Gudgeon, who first spotted the plant at Abbot Hall Park, said, "Natives of the Amazon jungle dip their arrows in the plant to kill monkeys in the trees. The monkey is dead before it hits the ground -- it's one of the world's deadliest plants."

The consequences can be fatal if the plant -- also known as wolfsbane -- is eaten and it can also cause heart complications, muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting.

The council apologized and said the flowers were planted "in error."

A spokesman said, "All the plants have been removed and disposed of in a safe manner. We would advise the public not to consume any type of natural flora as there are many different species that could be harmful to one's health if consumed."

Read more:

Glad to see that even the folks in charge can own up to such a mistake and apologize! Almost gives you faith in the PTB...almost!

What say we get some fresh coffee and sit outside? We can marvel at the very act of a big wig admitting to a mistake!

Friday, August 5, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...!

Life will give you lemons in large numbers at some point in your life, but that isn't always a bad thing!

But just in case you wind up with an overabundance of lemons, these hints from the Farmers Almanac can possibly be of some use to you! I certainly hope so!

Household Uses for Lemons

For a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice.

Clean discolored utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.

Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.

Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original luster.

A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.

Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.

To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.

To clean the surface of white marble or ivory (such as piano keys), rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.

To renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.

To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.

Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.

Fresh lemon juice in rinse water removes soap film from interiors of ovens and refrigerators.

Create your own air freshener: Slice some lemons, cover with water, and let simmer in a pot for about an hour. (This will also clean your aluminum pots!)

Fish or onion odor on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.

To get odors out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.

Save lemon and orange rinds to deter squirrels and cats from digging in the garden. Store rinds in the freezer during the winter, and then bury them just under the surface of the garden periodically throughout the spring and summer.

After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in an eight-ounce glass of warm water.

Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.

Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.

Get grimy white cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.

Clean copper pots by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the cut side with salt until the salt sticks. Rub the lemon onto the metal, rinse with hot water, and polish dry.

Suck on a lemon to settle an upset stomach.

See? Even if you don't like lemonade, there are many other uses for all those extra lemons. Life can be funny that way, ya know?

I got sweet tea and fresh coffee on the patio this morning. Any takers? Sorry, no lemonade!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Definitely NOT Dog Lovers...!

I'm pretty much a cat lover, but I like dogs as well!

Now I know that many places DON'T like dogs, and in their minds they have good reason. Still, I do believe that sometimes the folks in charge go a little too far in forcing the issue!

However, it's probably easy for me to be judgemental as I don't have to live there! See if you agree with the rules that are now in place!

Chinese City Bans Dogs, Telling Owners To Turn Them In

Officials in Jiangmen, China, are banning residents from keeping dogs, in a move that will take effect at the end of August, according to Chinese media. In one week, owners can begin taking their dogs to drop-off centers, where they will be either adopted by residents of rural areas or euthanized.

The ban targets dogs in densely populated sections of Jiangmen, a city with a population of 3.8 million. Any owners who wish to keep their dogs must apply for a license, reports China Daily.

But it seems that only people who plan to use their dogs to provide security for valuable warehouses or businesses will be granted licenses.

Britain's Daily Mail, citing the Chinese-language newspaper The Jiangmen Daily, reports that "42 residents had died from rabies in the past three years."

The Shanghaiist blog predicts that with the city government's official Notice on Strengthening the Management of Dogs, "we're expecting scores of tearful farewells in the coming weeks."

The story echoes a similar anti-dog incident from 2009, in which fears of rabies led Chinese officials to sanction the killing of dogs in the streets of Hanzhong — apparently going so far as to offer payment for each death.

In Jiangmen, an official explained the new dog ban to China Daily:

"Our aim is not to kill all the dogs in the city's urban areas, but we hope to create a better environment for the city by banning the keeping of dogs," said a police officer, who did not want to be named, on Tuesday.

"And we hope dog owners and residents can understand and cooperate with law enforcement personnel," he added.

That seems like a tough argument to make to dog owners — and at least one resident of the city wasn't swayed:

"That is not fair to the city's dog owners and does not respect life," said Wang Chengzhi, a Jiangmen resident.

"The appropriate departments should introduce detailed regulations to guide residents in keeping dogs and grant them certificates, instead of simply banning dogs," he added.

You know, I'm just thinking that it may not be too far off until something like this takes place here stateside! I hope I'm wrong, but stranger things have happened lately! Some folks are becoming so power hungry that anything is possible! Especially if it furnishes a good smokescreen for something else going on in the background, ya know?

Just thinking out loud here!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Only in the 90's right now, but it's early!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Long Distance "Spin The Bottle"...!

I love it when a story like this comes along, especially in the midst of all the wackiness coming out of Washington!

Never hurts to have a little "feel good" story every once in a while, right? Well, this one from CBS News is just that!

July 28, 2011 9:55 AM

Message in bottle received after decades adrift

In New Hampshire, a message in a bottle traveled thousands of miles over as many as 50 years before finding its way back to the author's daughter - in the mail.

Paula Pierce has lived her life by the ocean. Last week, it delivered a message, as Lauren Leamanczyk of CBS station WBZ in Boston reported for "The Early Show."

"It was like being contacted from the past," Pierce said.

The message was sent in a Coca-Cola bottle and it took decades to find its way back to The Beachcomber Motel -- her family's business in Hampton Beach, N.H.

"It like jumped up off the page at me," she said. "And I was like that's my father's writing. That is my father's writing!"

Sometime between 1960 and 1980, Paula's father put a message in a bottle that reads, "Return to 419 Ocean Boulevard and receive a reward of $150 from Tina, owner of the Beachcomber."

Tina is Paula's mother. She thinks her dad wrote it to tease his business savvy wife. Somehow the bottle made it all the way to the island of Turks and Caicos where Clint Buffington found it. He collects messages in a bottle.

Buffington, who runs the website, told CBS News, "A message from the past like this carries special weight. And I'm just really glad to be part of that I guess."

Traveling direct, it's about 2,000 miles from Hampton Beach to Turks and Caicos, but no one knows how many miles that bottle logged in the 30 to 50 years it spent in the Atlantic Ocean.

Pierce's parents passed away years ago.

"That gave me chills today. I actually started to cry," she said. "I feel like they're sending me a message somehow."

Pierce's father, Leamanczyk remarked, may have meant the message as a practical joke, but instead, he gave his daughter a priceless gift.

I think this is pretty cool! Just imagine how far that bottle has traveled and all the places it's been to! I love it!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! Gonna be really hot later, so we better do it soon!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"I Fought For That Flag...!"

In this day and age, we have some really sick individuals running around free!

Why would anyone want to destroy this man's flag? Why pick on an 85 year old war veteran? Worthless, sick, twisted individuals need no reason! They follow no code of decency! They have no conscience!

As Shakespeare once said, "a pox be upon them!"

WWII Veteran Vows to Keep Flying American Flag After Vandal Torches It

Published August 01, 2011

NEW YORK -- An 85-year-old veteran in New York City who says he still has traumatic dreams about World War II is extremely upset over the torching of his American flag.

Harold Bernstein says his neighbors on Staten Island first noticed the recent vandalism, which apparently occurred in the middle of the night.

Bernstein tells the Staten Island Advance that other flags on his block were untouched. He wonders: "Why did they pick on me?"

He said if he'd encountered the culprit, he would have "strung them up there along with the flag."

He vows to keep displaying it, even though it's scorched.

Says the former Marine: "I fought for that flag."

Thanks to Fox news for this report! Guess that some of the worthless folks have relatives up north!

We need to find a new source of rope, I'm thinking! My supply is going to run out real soon, know what I mean?

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit out on the patio for a bit! We can all practice our noose tying!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Going Out With A Bang...!

At first glance, this seems a little strange.

After closer examination,though, this makes sense in an unusual sort of way! Almost seems like an ideal way to remember a loved one that has passed on. Every birthday of the departed, you could go outside to their favorite hunting spot, load up a special round in their much loved shotgun, and fire off a salute to them that they would be proud of!

If you only kept the "special rounds" around the house as a memorial, they could still be used in case of an emergency! Just think...Grandpa could help fight off the "zombie hordes" in the future years after all! Bet he would like that!

Going out with a bang: The service that will turn your loved one into live ammunition.

A bizarre new service that allows you to lock and load your loved one’s ashes is blowing up on the internet.

Holy Smoke, based in Stockton, Alabama, boasts a 'tribute to your outdoorsman or woman like no other,' according to their website.

The company offers a means to 'continue to protect your home and family even after you are gone,' by turning ashes into fully-functioning bullets.

So how does it work?

Once the deceased’s family decides the calibre and gauge of the ammunition, they send one pound of their dead relative's ashes.
From ashes to gunpowder: Holy Smoke offers the ability to go on one last hunting trip with your dead loved one

From ashes to gunpowder: Holy Smoke offers the ability to go on one last hunting trip with your dead loved one

From there, the staff place a portion of the cremated remains into each shotshell or cartridge, depending on the ammo selected.

In return, Holy Smoke sends the family a case of up to 250 bullets for display in the home or to take on a hunting trip.

The company claims its methods add up to a fraction of the cost of most burial services cost.

Prices begin at $1,250 for the 250 rounds for shot guns and pistols, and 100 rounds for rifles.

The type of service, which is offered through their website, is unconventional, but certainly not unheard of.

In 2005, the ashes of author Hunter S. Thompson were famously shot out of a cannon, six months after the Gonzo journalist killed himself.

The celebration was funded mostly by Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Thompson’s close friend Johnny Depp.

Actually, I don't see too much wrong with this way of "spreading the ashes", as it were! Much stranger things in the news nearly every day!

Want some coffee on the patio? Hot, but at least the chairs are dry!