Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Travels To Colca Canyon...!

As often as I can, I find some interesting places for us to travel to. Today is no exception!

This is one more place that I've never been to and probably never get a chance to visit. Thank goodness for th3e powers of the internet and pictures!

Colca Canyon Peru

Colca canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States and it still retains inhabitants who maintain their pre-Inca stepped terraces (for cultivation of food). As well as archaeological sites and cultural attractions, there are numerous spas in the area for those who want a healthy dip in subterranean water.

Beautiful place, I must admit! I wouldn't mind spending a week or two camping there. How about you?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's supposed to reach the 80's today, but it's still chilly this morning.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hey D.O.D., So Not Funny...!

Sometimes even the D.O.D. makes mistakes. Well, maybe more often than "sometimes!"

We all know that our government often acts without thinking. Certainly they are not the only ones that screw up, but some of their screw ups can certainly be massive in the negative effects on others. This is just one example of what I mean!

Department of Defense Photo Shoot over Manhattan

On Monday April 27th, 2009, many New Yorkers were shocked to see a low-flying Boeing 747 trailed by an F-16 circling the Statue of Liberty. Thankfully, the spectacle was not another terrorist attack, but a phenomenally stupid photo shoot organized by the Air Force. Many citizens of New York – including Mayor Bloomberg – had not been warned about the planned photo op. The aircraft caused widespread panic in downtown New York. Thousands streamed out of residences and businesses, calling their loved ones and fearing the worst. The jets circled for an hour, got their pictures and soared off. 

Incredibly, another photo shoot was planned to take place in Washington, D.C., soon after the one in New York, however following the disaster in New York a government official was quick to confirm that this had been canceled. Ultimately Louis Caldera, a former Secretary of the Army who ran the White House Military office, took the blame for the terribly thought-out plan and said: “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

I hope that I never make this type of unthinking move! I would hope that I and most of the people I know would be more aware of the possible consequences! I reckon that's why we don't have jobs in the government, right?

Coffee in the kitchen once again. How about some toasted homemade bread with applesauce?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Once Again, It's Western Wednesday...!

Our discussion today isn't about the old west per se, but it does have a western flair!

If you were like me growing up, radio was a big part of family entertainment. Radio sets, records and record players, and sheet music or song books were found in nearly all homes...and were used quite regularly!

My folks were really into shows like the "Grand Ol' Opry" and we sang along with many of the tunes that were played!

Nov 28, 1925:
The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting

The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for western music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. The showcase was originally named the Barn Dance, after a Chicago radio program called the National Barn Dance that had begun broadcasting the previous year.

Impressed by the popularity of the Chicago-based National Barn Dance, producers at WSM radio in Nashville decided to create their own version of the show to cater to southern audiences who could not receive the Chicago signal. Both the Grand Ole Opry and the National Barn Dance aired on Saturday nights and featured folk music, fiddling, and the relatively new genre of country-western music. Both shows created a growing audience for a uniquely American style of music and were launching grounds for many of America's most-loved musicians--the singing cowboy Gene Autry got his first big break on the National Barn Dance. The WSM producers recognized that Americans were growing nostalgic for the rural past, so all live performers at the Grand Ole Opry were required to dress in hillbilly costumes and adopt old-time names.

The four-and-a-half-hour Grand Ole Opry program became one of the most popular broadcasts in the South, and like its Chicago cousin, helped make country-western an enduring part of the popular American musical landscape.

Just thinking about it kinda makes me nostalgic, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Fresh baked bread with some apple-jalapeno jelly on the top makes a good snack!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How About Some Food For Thought...?

I'm going to change things up just a bit today!

I found some facinating things that you might find interesting. I know that I did!

Wisconsin has an army of hunters

If hunters are counted as a military force, the State of Wisconsin has the 8th largest standing army in the world, at about 615,000. That’s almost 100,000 more armed people than there are in the Iranian Army.

South Dakotans can shoot Indians by the carload

There is a South Dakota state law, still current, that goes as follows: “Any group of five or more Indians of any tribe or nation is to be considered a raiding party and may be fired upon.” Many lists could be compiled of truly stupid laws, but this one is genuinely dangerous. A person in South Dakota could deliberately murder 5 Native Americans at once and get off scot free.

Flatworms can learn through ingestion

Certain species of planarians (a type of flatworm) have been gradually taught to run a maze. If you grind them up and feed them to a second batch of planarians, the second batch can run the maze on the first try.

Now if you have all this crazy stuff stuck in your head, I'm gonna make it worse! Let's talk about the brain cells!

Brain cells don’t regenerate

You are born with all the brain cells you’re going to get, anywhere from 50 to 100 billion. They are the smallest cells in the body. Once they die, the number goes down and stays down. A 12-ounce beer will kill precisely zero of them. Drinking 5 beers and waking up with a hangover will kill precisely zero of them. But drinking yourself sick every day for 30 years will kill millions of them, because of the stress through which you’re putting your brain. The next morning’s headache is caused by the alcohol evaporating water all over the body, especially in the head. Drinking water during the night’s festivities will largely prevent the hangover. However, a 10-minute fever at 106 degrees Fahrenheit will kill about 50 million brain cells.

I don't know about you, but I've had enough of this stuff to last me for today! More pleasant things to think about!

Coffee inside this morning. I have hot chocolate if you'd rather!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday's Mystery Is "Why"...

Many questions have yet to be answered about things like this!

This particular mystery is one of the most disturbing that I've come across in a long, long time. The consequences of what could happen if this stockpile was compromised is like something straight out of a Stephen King novel. Trust me on this. I've read nearly all of them!

Weaponized Rabies

 Theorists strongly contend that rabies is the virus whose effects on the central nervous system most closely match the popular concept of the zombie. In fact, 97% of the world’s human rabies infections occur via dog bites. It has been all but eradicated in most countries with modern medicine. But the government has stockpiled every disease that has ever existed in varying amounts. This is defended as studying disease mutations to prepare for the worst.

But if we have rabies vaccine stockpiles, why do we bother keeping the disease? There is only one known strain of rabies virus, and it kills by only one method, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). It is 100% fatal without treatment, and in the lead-up to death, causes the victim to go insane. Violent acts may or may not occur, but the person is no longer himself. He is something else.

If it were possible to keep such a person alive, his brain damage would be irreversible and almost total. Only the cerebellum would remain unscathed. If the cerebellum is inflamed, the person dies. Thus, theorists claim, the very existence of stockpiles of this virus proves the government’s intent to weaponize it, and the result can only be the complete “zombification” of human beings.

I'll be perfectly honest with you. This type of thing scares the Hell out of me! I can't see any reason to store the disease if we already have the treatment, can you?

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning How about some Angel Biscuits?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Smiles...!

First of all, let me say "howdy" to all the new followers that have signed up lately! Welcome to our patio!

By now I'm sure that everyone is ready for some silly stuff. No arguments, politics, or other serious type things allowed! OK?

I love some of these older 'toons! Don't you?

What a good way to start the day and the week! Nothing but some good ol' fashioned fun, right? Right!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some coconut cream pie I'll share! How's that?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Great Gift From The Past...!

I know it probably looks a little silly on the surface, but I'd like to have one of these!

At first glance, this cane doesn't seem that impressive. But given the era in which it was introduced, it must have been quite an addition to any gent's wardrobe!

Multipurpose Cane

Admittedly, though bizarre, I can see the value in this particular invention. What this invention does is quite clear: it serves its standard function as a cane, as well as providing many other uses to its bearer. Some of the noble pursuits which the cane was tailored to were flute playing, horse measuring, and the capturing of butterflies. Should a gentleman ever be caught in the rain, fear not: for the cane contained an umbrella as well, keeping the man nice and dry to light his cane-pipe. I see nothing more bizarre about this invention than a standard Swiss army knife, and can you use a Swiss army knife as a cane? That depends upon how tall you are, but I have my doubts.

You could think of this as a very early multifunction tool! Hard to believe that it was invented when it was. Of course, in today's world the cane would have to include some kind of firearm!

We better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's trying to rain off and on, and it's cooling off.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lewis And Clark On Friday Travels...!

We often think that we know quite a bit about history, but find that we don't have all the details!

Nearly all of us know the story of Lewis and Clark, but their preparations for the expedition were fairly elaborate, to say the least! The same could be said for the astronauts going into space! We hear about the trip, but very little about the prepping for the trip! This little nugget from the folks over at Listverse shows what I'm talking about!

Archaeology by Diarrhea

The Lewis and Clark expedition was sent out by President Jefferson to cross the continent of America. They were to make scientific discoveries and contact the native Americans. Because they were to be gone for so long it was necessary to train them in medicine so that they could treat illness and injury. Benjamin Rush, famous doctor and founding father, was a key advisor. He was a keen advocate of purgatives and laxatives. To clear out the bowels of the expedition he provided them with his own invention, Bilious Pills. These contained a large amount of mercury. They were so effective as laxative that the expedition termed them Thunder Clappers. The problem with mercury is that it remains in the environment for a very long time. When the expedition used the pills they left such large amounts of mercury in the ground that later archaeologists have been able to identify the path of the expedition by the levels of the metal still remaining from the Thunder Clapper purges.

I do hope that no one needs any of these after the big dinners yesterday! I've heard a rumor that mercury isn't really something you want to put in your body! Either way, I really don't want any of these pills! Don't think I could endure the side effects, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning! I have some pumpkin pie left I will share.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Grins...!

Here's a little Thanksgiving humor right from the Hermit! After all, we all need something else to think about other than food, right?

This little guide might be of some help in fixing the turkey! Can't hurt anyway!

17 Stages To Cooking a Turkey

1. Go buy a turkey
2. Take a drink of whisky
3. Put turkey in the oven
4. Take another 2 drinks of whisky
5. Set the degree at 375 ovens
6. Take 3 more whiskys of drink
7. Turk the bastey
8. Whisky another bottle of get
9. Ponder the meat thermometer
10.Glass yourself a pour of whisky
11.Bake the whisky for 4 hours
12.Take the oven out of the turkey
13.Floor the turkey up off of the pick
14.Turk the carvey
15.Get yourself another scottle of botch
16.Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey Bless the dinner and pass out

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, so we can smell the dinner cooking! HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Birthday And Western Wednesday...!

I never knew that I shared a birthday with ol' Tom Horn! Pretty cool!

When you talk about the old west and some of the characters that were around, how could you not know about Tom Horn? They even made a movie about him with Steve McQueen playing the lead! Was he a good guy or a bad man? We'll probably never know for sure, but he was certainly interesting, if nothing else!

Nov 21, 1860:
Tom Horn is born in Missouri

The notorious hired killer Tom Horn is born on this day in 1860, in Memphis, Missouri. "Killing is my specialty," Horn reportedly once said. "I look at it as a business proposition, and I think I have a corner on the market."

Horn was raised on a farm, and like many young farm boys, Horn loved to roam the woods with his dog and rifle, hunting for game and practicing his marksmanship. He was an unusually skilled rifleman, an ability that may have later encouraged him to gravitate towards a career as a professional killer. That his father was a violent man, who severely beat his son, might also explain how Horn came to be such a remorseless killer.

However, the young Horn did not immediately begin his adult life as a professional murderer. Fleeing his home in Memphis after a particularly savage beating from his father, the 14-year-old boy first worked as a teamster in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he demonstrated a quick intelligence and learned Spanish. Horn's packing and language skills later won him a job with the U.S. Army, where he served as an interpreter with the Apache Indians, learned to be a skilled scout and tracker, and tracked the cunning movements of the famous Apache warrior Geronimo.

Ironically, Horn's career as a hired gunman began legitimately when he signed up with the well-known Chicago-based Pinkerton Detective Agency, which supplied agents to serve as armed guards and private police forces. Though Pinkerton detectives generally stopped short of carrying out actual murders, they were sometimes called on to fight gun battles with everyone from striking miners to train robbers.

Horn's four-year stint with the Pinkertons doubtlessly impressed his next employer, the giant Wyoming ranching operation, Swan Land and Cattle Company. Swan and other big ranches funded Horn's reign of terror in Wyoming, where he assassinated many supposed rustlers and other troublemakers. To take only one example, a Wyoming homesteader named William Lewis had stubbornly claimed his right to farm on what had previously been open range for cattle. He openly bragged about stealing and eating the cattle he found there. The big ranchers warned Lewis to leave the territory, but he refused to back down. In August 1895, he was shot to death with three bullets fired from a distance of at least 300 yards. Few doubted that the sharpshooting Horn killed Lewis.

Horn's reign of terror ended in 1903, when he was hanged for killing a 14-year-old boy.

So many characters in the old days that were probably were overshadowed by their reputations. I reckon that, in some cases, that may have been their downfall!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm baking some fresh bread today! Want some?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Scary Fairy Tale...!

This comes from a fairy tale I'm sure that many folks have heard. The scary part is what this story actually is about!

I found this over at Listverse, and I thought you should read about it. I'm sure there are many more fairy tales that have a gruesome origin, but luckily I don't know about them! At least, not yet !

Pied Piper

“The long procession [of children] soon left the town and made its way through the wood and across the forest till it reached the foot of a huge mountain. When the piper came to the dark rock, he played his pipe even louder still and a great door creaked open. Beyond lay a cave. In trooped the children behind the pied piper, and when the last child had gone into the darkness, the door creaked shut.” This is an excerpt from the famous Grimm brothers version of the very famous tale of the Pied Piper in which the small German town of Hamelin loses all of its children to the Piper when the mayor refuses to pay him for ridding the town of rats. You may be very surprised to know that it is a true story! Well – largely true – some bits are exaggerated. Here is a quote from the wall of the “Piper’s House” in Hamelin today: “In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul, the 26th of June, 130 child­ren born in Hamelin were seduced by a piper, dressed in all kinds of colours, and lost at the calvary near the koppen.” Many theories abound as to the factual events of that day but the most logical seems to be that the piper represents death (death was depicted as a skeleton wearing pied clothing in the middle ages) and that the children who died were killed by the plague.

Interesting Fact: “Pied” means “having two or more colors.” The word comes from middle English and is taken from the word “magpie.” Thus, the pied piper was a man wearing clothing of many colors.

If anyone has anymore examples of where some of the fairy tales come from, I sure would like to know about them! After all, you just never know when this stuff might come in handy, ya know?

How about coffee on the patio this morning? It's supposed to go into the upper 70s and that ain't too bad!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Misty Monday Morning Mystery...!

It's not really misty here, although I wish it was! I just thought that using misty made for an interesting title.

Todays mystery is a pretty good one, I think. One of those that doesn't seem to have an answer as of yet! That's the best kind of mystery, right?

William Morgan

William Morgan was a would-be author who disappeared near Batavia, New York in 1826. What makes his disappearance noteworthy was the involvement of local Freemasons in a conspiracy to silence him. A failed business man, Morgan attempted to join the fraternal order of Freemasons in Batavia. Angered by his rejection, Morgan declared his intention to reveal the secrets of the group in an upcoming book. This action angered local Freemasons, who took out newspaper ads denouncing Morgan and even attempted to burn his newspaper office down. Morgan was eventually arrested on charges that he owed money and was jailed in Canandaigua, New York.

Later that same night, an unknown man came to the jail claiming to be a friend. He offered to pay the debt and have Morgan released. Morgan left the jail with the man and was never seen again. Three Masons were eventually convicted of kidnapping Morgan, but his body was never found. The most widely accepted theory is that Morgan was drowned in the Niagara River. Freemasons, of course, deny this is what happened and claim that Morgan was paid $500 to leave the country. In 1827, a badly decomposed body was found on the shores of Lake Ontario. The body was thought to be Morgan’s, but no positive identification could be made.

The disappearance of William Morgan created widespread anti-Masonic sentiment. The Anti-Masonic party even fielded a presidential candidate in 1832.

Now, this mystery has a touch of history and that always makes for a more interesting story, don't you think?

Coffee on the patio this morning. Warm weather is back for a while, and we should take advantage of it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cartoons For Turkey Day...!

Since Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching, I figured this would be a great time to play some 'toons about the holiday!

I normally don't do holidays with much enthusiasm, but I'm hoping this one is a little different. I don't really have any reason to think it will be, though. Thinking like this is probably the main reason that I totally embrace the quiet lifestyle of a hermit!

Still, we should take the time to be thankful for all we have.

One more to help you get the week started off with a grin!

I'm not going to get on my soap box this morning. I just want everyone to have a great week, OK? OK!

Coffee once more in the kitchen. Bread pudding to go along with it, if that's alright.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Remembering When Saturdays Were Fun...!

Back when I was a kid, way back in the stone age, Saturday was my favorite day of the week!

My sisters and I always looked forward to Saturday with unbridled anticipation. We used to turn on the television (10 inch screen) and watch the test pattern until the shows started! Cartoons, the serials, Sky King, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Zorro...the list just goes on and on! By noon we were all outside reliving and acting out the shows we just saw! By 9 PM we were worn smooth out! Tired from riding the range, chasing the bad guys, saving the universe and all the other adventures that our very active imaginations could come up with! Falling asleep was never a problem, ya know? Those were some wonderful days, remember?

I don't think that anyone could argue that back in the 50s, the western was very popular. In fact, the television shows made big stars out of a lot of cowboys and cowgirls!

Do these videos bring back some memories for you? I hope they do, and I hope that those memories are good ones!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's supposed to warm up to the 70s, but that won't happen until the afternoon!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Travels To The Mud Volcanoes...!

Once in a great while, we get to travel to some place very unique! All thanks to the power of the internet!

Some of these places are truly amazing, just like this one! I had no idea that this one existed! In fact, I had never heard of it, but that doesn't mean much. Lots of things in this ol' world I haven't heard of!

Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan

In the Spring of 2001, volcanic activity under the Caspian Sea off the Azeri coast created a whole new island. In October 2001 there was an impressive volcanic eruption in Azerbaijan at Lokbatan, but there were no casualties or evacuation warnings. But Azerbaijan does not have a single active volcano, at least not in the usual sense of the word. What Azerbaijan does have is mud volcanoes – hundreds of them. Mud volcanoes are the little-known relatives of the more common magmatic variety. They do erupt occasionally with spectacular results, but are generally not considered to be dangerous – unless you happen to be there at the wrong time: every twenty years or so, a mud volcano explodes with great force, shooting flames hundreds of meters into the sky, and depositing tonnes of mud on the surrounding area. In one eruption, the flames could easily be seen from 15 kilometers away on the day of the explosion, and were still burning, although at a lower level, three days later.

I can only imagine what a mess this thing would make when it erupts. On second thought, I think I really don't want to go here after all! How about you?

Coffee in the kitchen again today! The Sun is out, but the rain is coming in a bit!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some Little Known Historical Facts...!

There are a lot of little known oddities in history, and the list makes for some interesting reading!

Some of these may come as a surprise to you as they did to me. Just goes to show how many things I didn't know...and still don't!

1. Before the Boston Tea Party, the British actually lowered tea taxes, not raised them.

2. England’s King George I was actually German.

3. Abel Tasman “discovered” Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji, on his first voyage, but managed to completely miss mainland Australia!

4. Ethnic Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins was the first president of the Republic of Chile.

5. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day – the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

6. When the American Civil War started, Confederate Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Union general U.S. Grant did.

7. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II and George V were all grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

8. Karl Marx was once a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

9. Josef Stalin once studied to be a priest.

10. Henry Kissinger and Yassir Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gandhi never did.

11. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America banned the slave trade.

12. The Finnish capital of Helsinki was founded by a Swedish king in 1550.

13. The “D” in D-Day stands for “Day” – “Day-Day”

14. There was a New Australia in Paraguay in the 1890s.

15. A New Orleans man hired a pirate to rescue Napoleon from his prison on St. Helena.

16. Like Dracula (Vlad Tepes), there really was a King Macbeth. He ruled Scotland from 1040 to 1057.

17. In 1839, the U.S. and Canada fought the bloodless “War of Pork and Beans”.

18. Despite the reputation, Mussolini never made the trains run on time.

19. The world powers officially outlawed war under the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact.

20. Ancient Egypt produced at least six types of beer.

You can add this information to your list of almost useless information, if you have one! I have at least one, but it's actually more like a warehouse than a list! Speaking of should check out the folks at Listverse. That's where this list came from!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Pretty chilly outside and the coffee would cool off too fast!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wild Western Wednesday...!

There are just so many stories and legends that stand out from the history of the Old West, it's often hard to pick one out to bring to you.

In this case, the main reason I brought up these guys is that I had never heard of either of them! However, thanks to the folks at, now I do.

If you like information about a certain date in history, you should really take the time to visit there! Very informative site, in my opinion!

Nov 14, 1882:
Franklin Leslie kills Billy "The Kid" Claiborne

On this day, the gunslinger Franklin "Buckskin" Leslie shoots the Billy "The Kid" Claiborne dead in the streets of Tombstone, Arizona.

The town of Tombstone is best known today as the site of the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. In the 1880s, however, Tombstone was home to many gunmen who never achieved the enduring fame of Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday. Franklin "Buckskin" Leslie was one of the most notorious of these largely forgotten outlaws.

There are few surviving details about Leslie's early life. At different times, he claimed to have been born in both Texas and Kentucky, to have studied medicine in Europe, and to have been an army scout in the war against the Apache Indians. No evidence has ever emerged to support or conclusively deny these claims. The first historical evidence of Leslie's life emerges in 1877, when he became a scout in Arizona. A few years later, Leslie was attracted to the moneymaking opportunities of the booming mining town of Tombstone, where he opened the Cosmopolitan Hotel in 1880. That same year he killed a man named Mike Killeen during a quarrel over Killeen's wife, and he married the woman shortly thereafter.

Leslie's reputation as a cold-blooded killer brought him trouble after his drinking companion and fellow gunman John Ringo was found dead in July 1882. Some Tombstone citizens, including a young friend of Ringo's named Billy "The Kid" Claiborne, were convinced that Leslie had murdered Ringo, though they could not prove it. Probably seeking vengeance and the notoriety that would come from shooting a famous gunslinger, Claiborne unwisely decided to publicly challenge Leslie, who shot him dead.

The remainder of Leslie's life was equally violent and senseless. After divorcing Killeen in 1887, he took up with a Tombstone prostitute, whom he murdered several years later during a drunken rage. Even by the loose standards of frontier law in Tombstone, the murder of an unarmed woman was unacceptable, and Leslie served nearly 10 years in prison before he was paroled in 1896. After his release, he married again and worked a variety of odd jobs around the West. He reportedly made a small fortune in the gold fields of the Klondike region before he disappeared forever from the historical record.

Yep, it seems that Tombstone was kinda like a magnet for the "gunfighter" types back in the golden days! I guess it was the early version of Detroit and such, ya think?

Guess we had better have coffee in the kitchen again today! I have some vanilla cake that one of the ladies in Mom's sewing group sent me and I'll be more than happy to share!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Know About Alien Blood...?

You probably already knew this, but I didn't. If I did, I more than likely worked very hard not to think about it!

I am not real crazy about insects as it is, but when I found about certainly didn't help! After all, many insects do look a little alien to me! But then I'm no expert!

Insects Have Alien Blood

Actually it isn’t blood at all, but rather something called hemolymph. It’s been somewhere between 500-600 million years since humans and insects shared a common ancestor, so it is no surprise that there are a few differences. Hemolymph is copper-based, rather than the iron that runs in our veins, giving it a blue or greenish tint when it is oxygenated.

It’s not used to carry oxygen, however, as respiration through the skin is adequate for an insect’s oxygen needs. This means they can have a much more relaxed circulatory system. Their hearts beat much less frequently than our own, and can even even enter a state of rest to conserve energy.

A New Zealand insect called the Weta has been popping up on a lot of list sites lately because of a protein in its hemolymph that prevents ice crystals from forming. This is actually not that uncommon, as many beetles, flies and bees possess the same trait.

Now I know that everything in nature is useful in some way, but I need some help to understand what many of them are good for, ya know?

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's a little chilly outside!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Morning Mystery...!

This one has been around for a while, but still remains a mystery to this day! That's the kind we like, right?

Ural Relief Map

In terms of mysteries, few come along as incredible and irrefutable as The Ural Relief Map. In 1995, Aleksandr Chuvyrov, Professor of Mathematical and Physical Science at Bashkir State University in Russia, was investigating hypotheses of the immigration of Chinese Migrants to Siberia and the Urals. During his research he heard an account from the 18th century telling of a series of strange white slabs scrawled with some unknown language. As they were supposedly situated in an area central to his study, a remote village named Chandar the southern Urals, he thought the stones could be of Chinese Origin. and organized a team and helicopter to try and locate them. After several searches and village hopping in his helicopter he could find no trace of the elusive stones. It was then that a village elder approached him and asked him to take a look at a strange slab he found in his back yard. The slab he was taken to was the Ural Relief Map, also dubbed ‘The Map of the Creator’

Showing a relief scale of the entire southern Urals, the slab accurately shows its three main rivers, the Belya, Ufimka and Sutolka, as well as the Ufa canyon. After the map was studied further it was understood to show a giant irrigation system, consisting of two 500 meter wide channel systems, 12 dams, each 400 meters wide, 10km long and 3km deep. It is calculated that 1 quadrillion cubic meters* of earth were shifted to allow for the dams to be built. After initial tests failed to provide an age for the stone, a breakthrough was made when 2 types of prehistoric shell were found embedded in its surface, Navicopsina munitus and Ecculiomphalus Princeps. The former existed 500 million years ago, while the latter existed 120 million years ago. Scientists place its actual age at 120 million years. A geological test of the slab concluded that it consisted of 3 layers, the base being 14cm thick dolomite, the second being a diopside glass unknown to science, while the third is a protective layer of calcium porcelain. Chuvyrov said ‘It should be noted, that the relief has not been manually made by an ancient stonecutter. It is simply impossible. It is obvious that the stone was machined.’ X rays confirmed it was made by precision tools. Interestingly scientists believe that the map is actually part of a relief map of the entire world, due to the crudeness of the areas around the maps’ perimeter. Soil tests of 400 types of soil in the area, in comparison to the ones found embedded on the stone, have allowed scientists to narrow down the possible location of other pieces to 4 specific areas around the village of Chandar. So what is the Ural Relief Map? God’s discarded blueprint? Ancient Extra Terrestrial resource chart? It remains a Mystery.

Some days we get lucky and find a really great mystery. This may just be one of them, ya think? Certainly something to think about!

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some fresh cinnamon rolls with butter to share!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Sylvester Sunday...!

Time to try something just a little different.

I didn't even know that Sylvester was married! Learn something new nearly every day!

Some of these just really make you grin, don't they?

One more to add to the fun!

I think that these are a good way to start the week! Sure beats having to deal with more political crap, don't you think?

Coffee on the patio this morning. It's supposed to turn cool tomorrow, so we better enjoy the sun today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Let's Talk About Pens...!

I guess I should say "ballpoint pens!" A little thing that so many of us use nearly every day has come a long way since it was first invented.

It's been around a lot longer than you might imagine, certainly longer than I would have thought! Now I may have talked about this invention before, but even if I did, it's worth another look!

Ballpoint Pen

The first patent on a ballpoint pen was issued on 30 October 1888, to John J. Loud, a leather tanner, who was attempting to make a writing implement that would be able to write on the leather he tanned, which the then-common fountain pen couldn’t do. The pen had a rotating small steel ball, held in place by a socket. Then, fifty years later, with the help of his brother George, László Bíró, a chemist, began to work on designing new types of pens. Bíró fitted this pen with a tiny ball in its tip that was free to turn in a socket. As the pen moved along the paper, the ball rotated, picking up ink from the ink cartridge and leaving it on the paper. Bíró filed a British patent on 15 June 1938. Earlier pens leaked or clogged due to improper viscosity of the ink, and depended on gravity to deliver the ink to the ball. Depending on gravity caused difficulties with the flow and required that the pen be held nearly vertically. The Biro pen both pressurized the ink column and used capillary action for ink delivery, solving the flow problems.

I was thinking about just how many small things we use nearly every day that I don't really know anything about, and it dawned on me that I need to do a lot more reading up on them. Things like safety pins, paper clips, razor blades, even pencils! See what I mean? So many that we take for granted that had a start as a single idea in someone's imagination!

Coffee on the patio this morning! You can watch me take down the hummingbird feeder! Exciting, huh?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Travels To Costa Rica...!

The reason I wanted to go to Costa Rica today was to talk about this palm tree.

I don't believe that anyone could ever know all of the unusual trees and plants that make up our world, but it's always fun to find a new (to me) tree to share with you!

Pejibaye Palm

Location: Costa Rica & Nicaragua

This tree is native to Central and South America, although it is primarily found in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Pejibaye palm is armed with stiff, black spikes that arrange themselves in circular rows from the base to the top of the tree. These tend to grow to around 20 meters. The leaves can grow up to 3 meters long. Native Americans usually ate the fruit after fermenting it and was a major part of their diet. Today, the fermented fruit is still very popular.

Ya know...I may have to get a couple of these for my yard! I mean, a tall tree that looks cool, is very decorative, and has fruit that ferments very well! What more could you want?

Coffee on the patio this morning. We can always watch the cat chasing those little geckos around on the fence!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts About Our Future...!

I have to visit the V.A. today to have a follow up eye exam, since my catarac surgery was just over a year ago.

Since I'm not going to be around much this morning, I found a couple of videos that may be very descriptive of our coming future. They could keep you company until I get back!

These come from a long time ago, but I'll bet that some folks besides me are old enough to remember them! I know that most of you don't show your age, but according to my mirror...I do! Anyway, back to the music!

Just something to think about, ya know? Hard to believe that it's been 45 years since that song came out!

Let's have our coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm hopimg for a pleasant day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Western Wednesday And Osage Revenge...!

Sometimes the muses have a sense of humor and issue their own form of payback!

I think that it's ironic that the Indians were literally forced onto land that ended up making them extremely rich! For sure the government didn't see that one coming!

Nov 10, 1808:
Osage Indians cede Missouri and Arkansas lands

In a decision that would eventually make them one of the wealthiest surviving Indian nations, the Osage Indians agree to abandon their lands in Missouri and Arkansas in exchange for a reservation in Oklahoma.

The Osage were the largest tribe of the Southern Sioux Indians occupying what would later become the states of Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. When the first Anglo explorers and settlers moved into this region, they encountered a sophisticated society of Native Americans who lived in more or less permanent villages made of sturdy earthen and log lodges. The Osage-like the related Quapaw, Ponca, Omaha, and Kansa peoples-hunted buffalo and wild game like the Plains Indians, but they also raised crops to supplement their diets.

Although the Southern Sioux warred among themselves almost constantly, Americans found it much easier to understand and negotiate with these more sedentary tribes than with the nomadic Northern Sioux. American negotiators convinced the Osage to abandon their traditional lands and peacefully move to a reservation in southern Kansas in 1810. When American settlers began to covet the Osage reservation in Kansas, the tribe agreed to yet another move, relocating to what is now Osage County, Oklahoma, in 1872.

Such constant pressure from American settlers to push Native Americans off valuable lands and onto marginal reservations was all too common throughout the history of western settlement. Most Indian tribes were devastated by these relocations, including some of the Southern Sioux tribes like the Kansa, whose population of 1,700 was reduced to only 194 following their disastrous relocation to a 250,000-acre reservation in Kansas. The Osage, though, proved unusually successful in adapting to the demands of living in a world dominated by Anglo-Americans, thanks in part to the fortunate presence of large reserves of oil and gas on their Oklahoma reservation. In concert with their effective management of grazing contracts to Anglos, the Osage amassed enormous wealth during the twentieth century from their oil and gas deposits, eventually becoming the wealthiest tribe in North America.

Suddenly that barren and desolate land in Oklahoma didn't look too bad! Appears that the Indians finally hit the government where it hurt the the pocketbook!

Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning, if that's OK! Looks like it's going to be a nice day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

So This Is The Day...!

Are you scared yet? You just at least be worried! I know I am!

All the begging, all the lies, all the B.S. that gets spread around this time of the year is finally coming to an end. Let's hope it's for the best!

I voted early this year and, judging from the lines so far, I'm glad I did! I'm happy to see so many folks braving the weather and hardships of the season just to get out and vote. To me, it seems like more people are out than ever before! That's a good thing!

I think my cat has the right idea about politics. After hearing several speeches by the candidates on the tube, he went outside and found a place to bury some of the stuff he heard. Either that, or he wanted a place to get sick to his stomach!

Small little front moving through last night brought a scattering of rain and slightly cooler weather. It's not as cool as our friends up north are having, but it is a welcome break from the Summer type weather we've been having.

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen again today. OK? Peace on ya, my friends!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pre-Election Monday Mystery...!

Tomorrow is the big election, as you all know!

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tired of politics. Tired of all the speeches and empty promises and postering! For that reason, I've tried to find something just a bit different for today's mystery. If nothing else, it might just help us to focus on something other than politics. Wouldn't that be nice?


Kryptos is a sculpture by American artist James Sanborn located on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, in the United States. Since its dedication on November 3, 1990, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the encrypted messages it bears. It continues to provide a diversion for employees of the CIA and other cryptanalysts attempting to decrypt the messages. The ciphertext on one half of the main sculpture contains 869 characters in total, however Sanborn released information in April of 2006 stating that an intended letter on the main half of Kryptos was missing. This would bring the total number of characters to 870 on the main portion. The other half of the sculpture comprises a Vigenère encryption tableau, comprised of 869 characters, if spaces are counted. The first person to publicly announce solving the first three sections, in 1999, was James Gillogly, a computer scientist from southern California, who deciphered 768 of the characters. The portion that he couldn’t solve, the remaining 97 or 98 characters, is the same part which has stumped the government’s own cryptanalysts.

Ya know, after studying this code, I understand it almost as much as I do the contents of some of the speeches I've heard! At least it's something different!

Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning. Oh...don't pass up the chance to vote if you haven't already! Remember, it's not only your right, but your duty!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Silliness...!

Time to start our week with some more education in how to be creative in our pursuits.

I just can't help but feel a little sad for the coyote. Try as he might he doesn't make much headway in catching his dinner. I'm thinking it might be time to change his diet, ya know?

I have to give it to him, he doesn't give up easily!

I reckon there's always room for just one more, right?

That's all I had for today. I do hope you enjoyed these timeless bits of silliness!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, as it looks like rain!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Forgotten Patriot And Hero...!

Most of the men we consider the fathers of our country are well known and remembered. This man, however, is not!

Many folks have probably never heard of him, and yet his name should be ranked right up there with Washington, Jefferson, and the rest. Let's take the time this morning to take a closer look at Mr. Warren!

Joseph Warren
Father of the Revolution

Joseph Warren (1741-1775 AD) was regarded by many in his time as the true architect of the American Revolution. He was the key figure in one of history’s most famous tea parties. He wrote a set of Resolves that served as the blueprint for the first autonomous American government. He delivered a speech that sparked the first battles of the Revolutionary War. He sent Paul Revere out on one of history’s most famous rides. He was the only Patriot leader, prior to the Declaration of Independence, to risk his life against the British on the Battlefield (Sandler 55). And, remarkably, he has been largely lost to history. He was surrounded by names we are all familiar with, and yet his own name is barely ever heard these days. Interestingly, his brother went on to found Harvard Medical School, and fourteen US States have a Warren County named after him.

This one caught me totally off guard, I have to admit! I feel really ignorant that I didn't know about Mr. Warren before, but I'll bet I won't forget him again!

Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning. Time to start getting recipes for Thanksgiving, I think!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Texas Traveling This Friday...!

First of all, let me say a big "Thank You" to everyone for the good birthday wishes to Mom yesterday! She had a good day and got a lot of company, even into the late evening!

For our Friday travels to day, I wanted to visit an event in Texas' past! Normally I wouldn't consider something like this for our travels, but considering the size of the ranch involved I think it qualifies for a visit!

Nov 2, 1912:
XIT Ranch sells its last head of cattle

On this day, the XIT Ranch of Texas, once among the largest ranches in the world, sells its last head of cattle.

Despite the popular image of the cattle rancher as an independent and self-reliant pioneer, big-city capitalists and stockholders owned many of the most important 19th century ranches. The Chicago capitalists behind the XIT—also known as the Capitol Syndicate Ranch—were trying to get rich by catering to the growing American passion for fresh western beef. They received the land in exchange for financing a state capitol building in Texas.

Given the aridity of the region, the Chicago capitalists determined that ranching would be the only profitable use for their new land. They quickly built up a massive but highly efficient cattle-raising operation that stretched over parts of nine Texas counties. At its peak, the XIT had more than 160,000 head of cattle, employed 150 cowboys, and encompassed nearly 3 million acres of the Texas panhandle—an unusually large tract of land even by western standards.

As land prices increased in Texas and cattle prices fell, the owners of the XIT realized they could make more money by selling their land. By 1912, the XIT abandoned ranching altogether with the sale of its last herd of cattle. The corporate managers gradually sold the remainder of their property to farmers and smaller ranchers throughout the first half of the 20th century. By 1950, the once-mighty XIT had control of only 20,000 acres.

Another day in the neighborhood and everything is back to normal...or what passes for normal around here! Once again, I appreciate everyone wishing Mom a "happy birthday"! I know it made her feel good, getting so many good wishes from folks that she really doesn't know. It made it an even more special day for her!

Coffee on the patio again today! Several choices for snacks this morning, like vanilla cake, key lime pie, and some pretty good banana nut cake!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Taking Today Off For Mom's Birthday...!

Today my Mom is 87 years old (or young, depending on your outlook)!

She has her monthly sewing group coming over to her house, and I will make myself available to run any errands that they need done. Often this includes serving as a taxi, fetching snacks, moving chairs around to be more comfortable, and engaging in conversation when needed!

Anyway, I just wanted to explain why I might not be able to answer any comments until later this evening. I prefer to answer most fairly quickly, but today I may be slower than normal. Sorry about that, but it is a special day for Mom and I need to be available, ya know?

It's hard to believe that it's already the 1st. of November! I'm not sure just where the rest of the year went, but October sure got away from me! Know what I mean?

I hope everyone has a good day, and I ask for your continued prayers and good thoughts for the folks suffering as a result of the storm and it's aftermath. OK?

Coffee on the patio this morning. It's more Summer than Autumn, and we should take advantage of the good weather!