Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Monday Mystery For 2012...!

For the end of an old year, I found us an old mystery!

Well, it's really not THAT old, but it will serve for our purpose. At least, this one is almost a mystery within a mystery, as you will see! Best of all, there is an actual photograph! That is pretty cool, don't you think?

Solway Firth Spaceman

Val Camonica, Italy, is one of the largest valleys of the central Alps, in eastern Lombardy. It is the location of a set of ancient paintings that are believed to depict forgotten deities. The pictures resemble modern day astronauts, despite being painted around 10,000 BC. I can see the resemblance to a space suit, but I am more impressed with the modern day photographic evidence that was captured by the Solway Firth Spaceman photograph. On May 23, 1964, Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumberland, took three pictures of his five-year-old daughter while on a day trip to Burgh Marsh, situated near Burgh by Sands and overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England.

The only other people reported on the marshes that day were a couple of old ladies, and although cows and sheep would have normally been plentiful, they were huddled together at the far end of the marsh. In the second image captured by Templeton, a white figure can be seen in what looks like a space suit. Templeton insists that he did not see the figure until after his photographs were developed, and analysts at Kodak confirmed that the photograph was genuine. To this day, the picture remains unexplained and a source of international fascination. When the picture was taken, in 1964, human space suits were in their extreme infancy. It has been suggested by some people that the figure is merely someone with their back to the camera, perhaps wearing a hat or helmet.

Upon the national release of the photograph, Jim Templeton claimed that he was visited by two men who, he says, came from Her Majesty’s Government. The men tried to make Templeton admit that he had photographed a person, but he refused. In the same time frame that the picture was taken, a Blue Streak missile launch at the Woomera Test Range, using Cumbrian-built weaponry, was aborted because of two large men who were witnessed on the firing range. The technicians reported that the figures resembled the Solway Firth Spaceman. Ufologists have used the photograph as evidence that extraterrestrial life has influenced the modern day space program, including space suits.

This post is a little long, but I figured that with the end of the year being here...we should go out in style! Not to sound like a broken record here, but please...PLEASE, avoid those crazy folks out there that insist on driving after drinking! I value all of my friends very highly, and I don't want to lose any of you!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I'm making up some cinnamon toast if you'd like some!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Sunday Cartoons For 2012...!

Doesn't seem like the year's end should be in a couple of days, but time marches on!

Seems like the older I get, the faster time flies...know what I mean? Still, I guess it beats the alternative, right?

Ol' Bugs sure does have a funny accent, don't he?

I know, I know...that last one probably isn't politically correct! Know what? I don't care! One more? You got it!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. How about some fresh baked bread?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Are You Kidding Me...?

It's getting to the point that folks are downright paranoid!

If the day ever comes that I am this jumpy, I hope you just lock me away for my own good! I mean, I can understand a reasonable amount of caution, but there is a limit! I'm beginning to think that people are seeing bad guys behind every tree (or theater seat in this case) and that's a shame!

DECEMBER 27, 2012

Sub machine gun in theater turns out to be just a sub (sandwich)

A gun spotted at a St. Johns County movie theater Thursday afternoon turned out to be only lunch.
The Florida Times-Union reports that deputies with the Sheriff's Office evacuated a movie theater at Epic Theatre of St. Augustine about 2 p.m. after receiving reports that a man entered with a shotgun, according to spokeswoman Catherine Payne. Detectives interviewed the person and determined he was trying to sneak a sub sandwich into the movie. Patrons were allowed back into the theater.

One more reason I don't go to the movies. I have more fun staying at home with no company except the cats! I don't have to worry about them carrying a gun, at least!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some pumpkin pie and Cool Whip ready, OK?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Travels To Portugal...!

Mother Nature host some of the most beautiful sights in the world, some in our country and some in other countries!

When you see a place like this, natural beauty enhanced carefully by the hand of man, it makes you wonder how a people that so lovingly cared for and maintained sites like this...can still be cold enough and uncaring enough and even mean hearted enough to be responsible for the types of carnage we see on the news each and every day!
 Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta Da Regaleira
Sintra - Quinta Da Regaleira - Portal Da Entrada

Another of my favorites, the Initiation Well located at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal contains a descending spiral staircase which leads to a variety of exits. The well gets its name from the belief that it was home to masonic initiation rituals. At the well’s bottom is a compass rose atop a Knight’s Templar cross. The symbolism of the well relates to life and death, a common theme for initiation rituals. 

I've never been to this place, but I feel that it would be awe inspiring to visit! It would be great to know a little more history about this marvel, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's chilly, but there's no snow or rain and that's a good thing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Silly Thursday...!

How about something a little different today?

I figured that after all the hustle and bustle of the last few days, maybe a little silliness is in order...right?

  • Approximately one-sixth of your life is spent on Wednesdays.

  • Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting    

  • A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years

  • Albert Einstein predicted that the World war IV is going to be fought by sticks and stones

  • Nicola Tesla was a far more better scientist than Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison actually stole ideas and hypothesis of Tesla.

  • Piano was invented by a Scientist named Alkundi in the 11th century.

  • In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces

  • There are still places in the world that are inhabited by lost civilisations who are undiscovered

  • Mermaids exist and have the greatest power of sensing danger so that makes a chance of finding them rare.

  • The worlds oldest piece of chewing gum is over 9000 years old

  • The state of Florida is bigger than England 

  • How about we have our coffee in the kitchen this morning? lt's pretty chilly outside!

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

    Newest Western Wednesday...!

    I hope everyone had a very happy and safe Christmas celebration!

    I alsom want to thank you all for the nice comments yesterday, and I'm sorry that I wasn't home to answer each and every one of them. I took mom over to my baby Sis's house for Christmas dinner. It was a good visit, but Sis always sets a mean table!

    Today's western story is about the beginning of the great state of Texas, but it isn't the story you usually hear!

    Dec 26, 1820: 
    Moses Austin asks Spanish for Texas colony


    Hoping to recover from bankruptcy with a bold scheme of colonization, Moses Austin meets with Spanish authorities in San Antonio to ask permission for 300 Anglo-American families to settle in Texas.

    A native of Durham, Connecticut, Austin had been a successful merchant in Philadelphia and Virginia. After hearing reports of rich lead mines in the Spanish-controlled regions to the west, Austin obtained permission in 1798 from the Spanish to mine land in an area that lies in what is now the state of Missouri. Austin quickly built a lead mine, smelter, and town on his property, and his mine turned a steady profit for more than a decade. Unfortunately, the economic collapse following the War of 1812 destroyed the lead market and left him bankrupt.

    Determined to rebuild his fortune, Austin decided to draw on his experience with the Spanish and try to establish an American colony in Texas. In 1820, he traveled to San Antonio to request a land grant from the Spanish governor, who initially turned him down. Austin persisted and was finally granted permission to settle 300 Anglo families on 200,000 acres of Texas land.

    Overjoyed, Austin immediately set out for the United States to begin recruiting colonists, but he became ill and died on the long journey back. The task of completing the arrangements for Austin's Texas colony fell to his son, Stephen Fuller Austin. The younger Austin selected the lower reaches of Colorado River and Brazos River as the site for the colony, and the first colonists began arriving in December 1821. Over the next decade, Stephen Austin and other colonizers brought nearly 25,000 people into Texas, most of them Anglo-Americans. Always more loyal to the United States than to Mexico, the settlers eventually broke from Mexico to form the independent Republic of Texas in 1836. Nine years later, they led the successful movement to make Texas an American state.

    Goes a little further into the early history of Texas than we are used to hearing, doesn't it? Guess that this would qualify as western, right? Sure it does!

    Better have our coffee inside today. Wind is blowing like crazy, and the temps have really dipped down!

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    I wanted to take this morning to say a heartfelt "THANK YOU" to all my blogging friends!

    You are all more than just cyber-friends, you are my second family! I mean that.

    Many of you I've never had the chance to meet, and others I have had the honor to stand next to and even shake hands with! All of you have made this past year a real pleasure for me and I mean that. Having all of you stop by for coffee and a visit makes my day a little nicer, ya know?

    I hope that this holiday season is safe and happy for you all!

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    Coffee is set up on the patio this morning, my friends!

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Monday Mystery On Christmas Eve...!

    Seems a little strange having a mystery on Christmas Eve, but it is Monday!

    I guess that it isn't all that strange as the season is filled with mystery, especially for a child. Today though, the mystery is mostly for adults and is brought to us by Mother Nature!


    Since long before the advent of supersonic flight, immense booms have been heard emerging from clear skies. No explanation has been found for these so-called sky quakes. There is no sign of lightning (which can travel long distances – even in clear skies) and no other human explanation for why the sky suddenly booms at the earth.

    Some believers may consider this evidence for extra-terrestrial activity while sceptics continue to try to find a scientific explanation. Scientists – so far unable to explain the phenomenon – have resorted to explaining it away as one or all of the following: radio waves, solar activity, and even submarine activity (despite the sounds being heard miles inland).

    Sometimes we just have to admit that Mother Nature outdoes us all when it comes to mysteries! Certainly keeps them interesting, doesn't She?

    Coffee on the patio this morning. I'll share some Clementines with everyone, OK?

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

    Back For Sunday 'Toons...!

    I'm happy to report that the family party went well! No fusses, no fights, and the younger folks all ran around making lots of noise! Back in my day, that was considered the extent of how happy everyone was...the more noise, the more joy!

    Plenty of food, even though some of the spread had little bits missing where samples were taken buy a young man trying to find which item he wanted to chow down on! I can live with that! Heck, I may have done the same thing when I was that age!

    Anyway, I promised cartoons for today, so let's see what's playing today!

    Even for old grumpy guys like me, the smiles on the faces of children awaiting Christmas warms the heart! Let's have another!

    However you celebrate this holiday season, never forget what it is really all about! Said more simply, Remember the reason for the season!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. How about we share some left over cookies? Don't worry, they don't go bad overnight!

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Taking The Day Off...!

    Since the family is all supposed to go to Mom's today, and I live right behind her, I am taking the day off.

    I need to help her get things ready or else she will wear herself out doing too much, ya know? Sometimes she forgets her limitations. Not good for a lady who is 80 plus!

    Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with some goodies, providing I can smuggle some out! I appreciate you all dropping by and apologize for not being available.

    Sometimes you just gotta do the family thing. You know how it is, right?

    Coffee is set up on the patio, so help yourself. I'll join you when I can!

    Friday, December 21, 2012

    Is It Over...?

    I don't know if I missed it, or slept through it, or was just in the wrong place!

    I just looked outside and the world is still there...or at least what passes as the world as we know it. I guess I'm good with that, though. I reckon that when the Boss upstairs is ready to put an end to everything, He will let us know!

    Sorry that I didn't do a usual traveling Friday post today, but I'm a little bummed because tomorrow is the "Family Christmas Tree" at Mom's house, and we all know how much I look forward to that event, right?

    Anyway, plenty of fresh cookies available, so let's have our coffee in the kitchen.

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Wanna Buy A Good Truck...?

    Only in Texas will you ever get the chance to bid on a truck like this!

    Actually, this whole thing is pretty cool, with the proceeds going to a worthy cause. I'm sure someone will really overpay on the truck, simply because of it's history.

    Pickup that Bush drove on ranch up for auction

    Associated Press | December 18, 2012 | Updated: December 18, 2012 5:48pm
    George W. Bush drove the truck around his ranch in Crawford.
    Photo: Jerry Larson, For The Chronicle / Freelance
    DALLAS — A pickup former President George W. Bush used on his Central Texas ranch will be auctioned off to benefit a program dedicated to assisting U.S. military families.

    The Barrett-Jackson auction house in Scottsdale, Ariz., says the 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4-by-4 SuperCrew will be offered Jan. 19, with all proceeds going to the Fisher House Foundation.

    The truck's right airbag panel is signed by Bush. The buyer will also get a video showing Bush autographing the truck and driving around the ranch near Crawford, about two hours south of Dallas.

    Bush, who left office in 2009, said in the news release, "I haven't driven on a street in many, many years, but I have been able to drive this truck on my ranch.

    Regardless of your politics, you have to admit this might be something to have. I believe that the first thing should do is to repaint it...just in case! Don't want your new truck being on a poster somewhere with the slogan  "destroy on sight" written on the bottom, ya know?

    Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. A little front blew through last night, and it's chilly outside!

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Sort Of Western Wednesday...!

    Today let's discuss one man that made the western film popular again and raised the standard of such films.

    Once considered mostly grade "B" films,  many folks found the western to be quality  entertainment in large part to film directors like John Ford!
    Dec 19, 1964: 
    John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn released


    Offered in the guise of a Western film, John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn, one of the best post-war critiques of American society, is released by Warner Brothers.

    John Ford was born Sean O'Feeny in 1894. He moved to Hollywood from Maine in 1913 and soon began picking up bit parts in several films, including D.W. Griffith's influential Birth of a Nation. He learned the movie-making trade and directed his first film in 1917--a silent Western starring Harry Carey. He followed that effort by directing at least 30 others during the next four years. By the 1930s, he had earned a reputation as a talented director and began to produce a number of more "serious" films, including the The Grapes of Wrath and The Informer.

    Despite his success with other themes, Ford always returned to Western movies, continually pushing the boundaries of the genre so that it could be a vehicle for studying larger social and political issues. His 1939 film, Stagecoach, set the standard for other western films to follow, raising the genre above its usual B-grade status with first-rate directing and acting (John Wayne played the lead) and Ford's masterful use of the haunting western landscape of Monument Valley, Arizona. The director-actor Orson Welles claimed to have watched Stagecoach more than 40 times before he made Citizen Kane, and when asked to name three directors he considered his superior, Welles replied, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford."

    In the post-World War II period, Ford's Westerns became noticeably darker and more pessimistic. Having spent the first half of his career creating movies that celebrated a mythic West of brave heroes and grand adventure, Ford began undermining this perspective by creating the first "anti-Westerns," films that emphasized the negative side of America's frontier experience. Rejecting the formulaic plots in which the "good guys" always won out over the outlaws and Indians, films like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon(1949) offered a brutal vision of the West in which warfare between settlers and Indians produced much tragedy but no clear victors. In his 1956 film, The Searchers, Ford created one of the first western anti-heroes, a fanatical racist played by John Wayne who believes a white woman kidnapped by Indians deserves to die simply because she would rather stay with the tribe than return to "civilization."

    Deeply moved by the Civil Rights movement and troubled by the racism of his own earlier films, Ford's 1964 Cheyenne Autumn emphasized the tragic fate of the American Indian and tried to rectify the racist stereotypes he had once propagated. The last of Ford's great Westerns, it strongly condemned the U.S. treatment of the Cheyenne that forced them into intolerable living conditions and then violently suppressed any rebellion. Foreshadowing the even more pointed critiques of later films like Little Big Man and Soldier Blue, Cheyenne Autumn featured the Indians as the heroes of the film and the army as the force for evil, completely reversing the roles his earlier films had developed.

    John Ford died on August 31, 1973.

    I think that the modern western offers a much more realistic view of how things more than likely were than ever before. Though often used to make some political statement, today's Westerns are truly in a class by themselves!

    Coffee on the patio this morning! It looks like Spring, and I have fresh sugar cookies to share!

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Humorous Tuesday...!

    I thought we would try something just a bit different today.

    I'm gonna tell you a story that I thought was pretty funny, and thought it might make you smile!

    Dear Sir,
    I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put “poor planning” as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

    I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500lbs.

    Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor.

    Securing the rope at ground I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.

    You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 135lbs.

    Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

    In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explained the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form.

    Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

    Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience pain.

    At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.

    Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body.

    Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

    I am sorry to report, however,as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.

    I hope this answers your inquiry.

    Kevin R,

    Guess we all have days like this, but luckily just not too often! If it weren't for bad luck, this guy wouldn't have any luck at all!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's a little too chilly outside!

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Ready For Another Monday Mystery...?

    You might like this Monday's mystery as it is from the great state of Vermont!

    We don't visit this area very much, but just maybe we should! Seems to have been some strange things going on from time to time in certain areas!

     The Bennington Triangle
    Between 1920 and 1950, Bennington, Vermont was the site of several completely unexplained disappearances:

    On December 1, 1949, Mr. Tetford vanished from a crowded bus. Tetford was on his way home to Bennington from a trip to St. Albans, Vermont. Tetford, an ex-soldier who lived in the Soldier’s Home in Bennington, was sitting on the bus with 14 other passengers. They all testified to seeing him there, sleeping in his seat. When the bus reached its destination, however, Tetford was gone, although his belongings were still on the luggage rack and a bus timetable lay open on his empty seat. Tetford has never returned or been found.
    On December 1, 1946, an 18-year-old student named Paula Welden vanished while taking a walk. Welden was walking along the Long Trail into Glastenbury Mountain. She was seen by a middle-aged couple that was strolling about 100 yards behind her. They lost sight of her when she followed the trail around a rocky outcropping, but when they rounded the outcropping themselves, she was nowhere to be seen. Welden has not been seen nor heard from since.
    In mid-October, 1950, 8-year old Paul Jepson disappeared from a farm. Paul’s mother, who earned a living as an animal caretaker, left her small son happily playing near a pig sty while she tended to the animals. A short time later, she returned to find him missing. An extensive search of the area proved fruitless.
    Maybe some of our friends that live in the Vermont area can tell us a bit more about this. In any case, I don't think I'll be visiting there anytime soon, and even if I did...I wouldn't take the bus. No need in taking chances, ya know?
    Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning.  The rain may be coming again, and I don't want the sugar cookies to get wet!

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    You Know That Sunday Means 'Toons...!

    I do like the cartoons of old!

    From what I can tell, everyone else seems to like the older ones better also! The best thing about cartoons, they are pure escapism! Just a chance to break away from all the really bad news of the day and all the crazy folks doing crazy things! That's why we have them!

    Ya know, I don't think that the roadrunner, Wile Coyote, Bugs Bunny, and all the rest will ever go out of style!

    Let's enjoy just one more, OK?

    I do hope you enjoyed these and that you have a very good day!

    Coffee on the patio this morning. I can smell rain in the air, but I think it's safe for a while.

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Listen To Your Doctor...!

    Saturday is a good day to smile, don't you think?

    This was just way too good not to share!

    Do as the Doctor says . . . . .


    Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical.

    My blood pressure was high. My cholesterol was high. I'd gained some weight, and I didn't feel so hot.

    My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems.

    He said: Just think in colors. Fill your plate with bright colors. Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe something yellow, etc., and eat an entire bowl of bright colors.

    And sure enough, I felt better immediately!! I never knew eating right could be so easy!!

    Now you stay healthy, my your colors, and have a nice day!

    Coffee on the patio this morning! Looks like Spring has come again!

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Going Caving On Friday's Travels...!

    I really like finding some place like this here in the states to go and explore!

    Just recently we took a trip to New Mexico, and today we are going back! Another beautiful place to look at makes a return trip worthwhile! Man, they certainly have some pretty places there, don't ya think?

    Lechuguilla Cave

    One of the more well known of these little-known locations, Lechuguilla cave is yet another location found in New Mexico. The cave is the seventh longest explored cave in the world, with a known length of 134.6 miles. The cave is most famous for the fascinating crystal formations of gypsum and aragonite located within. Prior to its discovery in 1986 the cave sat untouched for hundreds of millions of years, making it one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems.

    That has to be some of the most astonishingly clear water I've ever seen! Bet it's cold, too!

    I think we'll have coffee in the kitchen again this morning. I have some apple newtons and blueberry newtons to go along with it!

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    What a great day when we find a new (to us) specimen in the animal kingdom!

    Sometimes it surprises us to know that some of these animals have been around for quite a while. Sort of puts us in our place, to know that we aren't as up to date about our world as we thought we were, doesn't it?


The lesula is a remarkable new species of African monkey discovered in 2007. It was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is the second new species of African monkey discovered in nearly three decades. The monkey was first seen (by non-locals) in 2007 by John and Terese hart of Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, in the home of a primary school teacher in the town of Opala. The most visible characteristic which makes the lesula so unusual is its startlingly human face. A slightly less obvious characteristic are the bald patches on the monkey’s hindquarters and genital region, both of which are coloured a vibrant blue.

    Ya know, as much as I hate to admit it, this little guy looks a lot like me before I've had my morning coffee. Maybe certain parts of me aren't as colorful, but that's another story!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Peppered bacon and toasted home made bread on the side, OK?

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    A Chilly Western Wednesday...!

    I think we often overlook the fact that many Native Americans played a pivotal role in the Civil War!

    What's most surprising to me is that many sided with the north, while others favored the southern cause! Now that's something you won't find in most of the modern history books!

    Dec 12, 1806:
    Cherokee leader and Confederate General Stand Watie is born

    On this day in 1806, Confederate General Stand Watie is born near Rome, Georgia. Watie, a Cherokee Indian, survived the tribe's Trail of Tears in the 1830s and became the only Native American to achieve the rank of general during the Civil War.

    Watie came from an influential family and played a major role during the Cherokee difficulties in Georgia. The tribe was under increasingly intense pressure by their Anglo neighbors to move to a reservation in the West. Watie was part of a faction that began to believe that voluntary removal might be the only way to preserve their autonomy. He was a signer of the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, which ceded the Cherokee's Georgia lands for a reservation in Indian Territory. After the disastrous Trail of Tears trek to the West, during which one in four Cherokee died, all who signed the treaty were assassinated except for Watie.

    Even though the Cherokee suffered at the hands of Southerners, Watie and others always saw the federal government as the real culprit. When the South began to secede from the Union in 1860, Watie and others supported the new Confederacy. Watie was named colonel and raised a regiment of 300 mixed-blood Cherokee. Watie's first action came against Unionist Creek Indians near the Kansas border in 1861. At the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas in 1862, Watie's regiment captured a Union battery in the midst of a Confederate defeat.

    From the summer of 1862 until the end of the war, Watie served back in his home territory. In 1864, he captured a Union steamboat on the Arkansas River and a large supply train at Cabin Creek in Indian Territory. Mostly, however, Watie fought against his own people. The Cherokee became bitterly divided between the followers of John Ross, who pledged loyalty to the Union, and Watie, who stood by his Confederate allies. For the rest of the war, the Cherokee waged a bitter internecine guerilla war. After a brief foray into the tobacco business after the war, Watie died in 1871 at his home along Honey Creek in Indian Territory.

    I'd say that General Watie was an interesting man indeed! Wouldn't you?

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I'll put out some sliced apples and sharp cheddar cheese!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Data Saving Tuesday...!

    Just how long can your data be saved with your present set-up?

    This new invention might have some long lasting changes in the world of computers...and I do mean long lasting!

    Data That Lasts Forever

In the 2002 movie The Time Machine, Alexander Hartdegen (played by Guy Pierce) creates a time machine and accidentally propels himself to the year 802,701 AD. While there (then?), he discovers the ruins of a building that contain a hologram from 800,000 years ago, and thousands of moviegoers collectively rolled their eyes at the idea that any type of data storage could last that long. 

    Or can it? The Japanese company Hitachi has recently developed a data storage medium that can hold onto data – wait for it – forever. The square quartz glass sliver is a mere .08 inches thick and just .8 inches to a side. The chip stores binary data – up to 40Mb worth – in the form of tiny dots that can be read by a device as simple as a microscope – or any machine that understands binary, which is every machine. 

    Furthermore, quartz glass is waterproof, chemical and radio wave resistant, and is able to last for two hours at 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, it’s like the Terminator of data storage compared to hard drives, compact disks, books – literally every other storage device we currently have. It’s extremely close to indestructible, meaning that it can withstand even the disasters that will eventually destroy the building it was made in.

    Ya know, this might be a real handy thing to have available...for someone! Don't think I'll be around long enough to make use of it!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. How about some fried country ham and homemade bread?

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    A Countess On Mystery Monday...!

    Sometimes history is filled with mysterious people! That's right up our alley, right?

    Of all the people surrounded by a cloud of mystery, this woman might be at the top of the list...or at least, close to it!

    Countess of Desmond

    We have all heard of the mysterious Count of St Germain but not many of us are as familiar with the Countess of Desmond as people were in her time. The countess (Katherine Fitzgerald) died in the early 17th century and was reputed to be over 140 years old at the time. No one knows how this mysterious woman lived to such an age but she was very well known- so much so that she is mentioned by both Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh.

    Bacon has this rather bizarre thing to say about her: “They tell a tale of the old countess of Desmond who lived till she was seven score years old, that she did [grow teeth] twice or [three times]; casting her old teeth, and other coming in their place.” Her death is rumored to have been from a fall when climbing a tree to gather nuts – not due to old age. Who this mysterious woman was and how she lived so long has remained a mystery since.

    Part of what makes history so interesting is the number of mystery people we know so little about! Always another mystery to research, isn't there?

    We better have coffee in the kitchen this morning. A cold front may be coming in, so let's don't take a chance!

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    Some Bugs Bunny On Sunday 'Toons...!

    I think many of the older cartoons just far outshine the 'toons of today, don't you?

    I don't know what it is about the older cartoons, but why would the characters still be recognized after so many years if there wasn't a special quality to them?

    Even the cartoons with a "hidden agenda" are still pretty cute, by today's standards!

    Maybe just one more for good measure!

    Guess that's enough of the silliness for today! Don't want to overdo it, ya know?

    Coffee on the patio again this morning. I have a few more peanut butter cookies left, if ya want one!

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Stupid Is As Stupid Does...!

    The amount of stupid people roaming around free on the city's streets is becoming alarming!

    All I can say after reading this story is, I do hope that phone call was worth the trouble it caused for this lady! Let's just hope she doesn't have access to any firearms!

    Authorities: Woman thought phone call was more important than Staten Island judge's order

    John M. Annese/Staten Island Advance By John M. Annese/Staten Island Advance on December 06, 2012 at 6:10 PM, updated December 07, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- If you're spending the day in criminal court, there are some things you probably shouldn't do:

    Talk loudly on your cell phone.

    Ignore the judge when he tells you to leave the courtroom.

    Argue with the court officer who escorts you out of the room.

    Continue to struggle with court officers outside, then punch one of them in the face.

    Authorities say 21-year-old Jennifer Ortiz of Manhattan did all these things in Stapleton Criminal Court on Wednesday, and that landed her locked up on felony charges.

    Ms. Ortiz was in Judge Alan Meyer's courtroom at about 2:55 p.m. when she engaged in what the criminal complaint against her describes as "disorderly, contemptuous and insolent behavior, committed during the sitting of a court, in its immediate view and presence."

    The complaint states she was "waiting for a case to be called while court was in session," but doesn't elaborate on the nature of that case, or if she was the defendant or an onlooker. Online court records don't show her name on the docket for that day.

    Now she's on the docket, though -- she was arraigned in that same courtroom Thursday afternoon, where she was ordered held on $1,000 bail until her next scheduled appearance on Tuesday.

    Ms. Ortiz is charged with second-degree assault, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and second-degree criminal contempt, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.

    Now I'm guessing this phone call was very, very important, or else that this person is NOT the sharpest crayon in the box! My money is on the latter!

    Coffee on the patio this morning. I'm baking cookies today! Can you smell 'em?

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Friday Travels To The Rock Tents...!

    I thought we would stay close to home on this addition of Friday's travels.

    Since this location is in New Mexico, it's close enough to visit in person should you wish.

    Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

    New Mexico’s Kasha-Katuwe tent rocks were formed around seven million years ago as a result of ash deposited by pyroclastic flow from a volcanic explosion. As is the case with most rock formations, weathering and erosion can be credited with creating the area’s remarkable geography. The markedly pointy phallus-like stones receive their interesting name from the area’s native language and means “white cliffs”. The rocks vary in height from only a few feet to over ninety feet tall.

    You know, if we just take the time to explore a bit, there are some outstanding places to visit! I'm thinking that this would be another place to spend a couple of days!

    We can have our coffee outside this morning. I'm thinking it's warm enough, and the weather isn't too bad!

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    Stardust? What Stardust...?

    There are so many unexplained things here on earth, sometimes we forget that space can hold mysteries that put ours to shame!

    With modern tools like the Hubble telescope, we can see and marvel at a few of the majestic sights that await our explanation.

    The Vanishing Stardust

    TYC 8241 2652 is located 450 light years away in the constellation Centaurs. It is believed to be around the same size as our sun – but a mere child, at 10 million years old, compared to our 4.5 billion-year-old star. From 1983 to 2008, astronomers searched a bright ring of dust around the star for possible planet formation, believing they were getting some insight into how our own solar system formed. But when the star was due for a check up in early 2009, astronomers were astonished: when they looked through their telescopes, they saw nothing but the star itself. The once-visible, glowing disk of dust was gone. It did not leave behind any planets, or any signs as to where it had gone; it had quite simply vanished. Scientists were baffled. When asked about it, astronomer Carl Melis simply stated, “We don’t have a really satisfactory explanation to address what happened around this star.

    Sure does make for a pretty picture, doesn't it? What's more, it makes for a real puzzle for scientist!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Kinda cool and damp outside, ya know?

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Guess What? It's Western Wednesday...!

    I just know your week wouldn't be complete without some Western Wednesday!

    I think we can thank the cowboys for teaching us most of what we know about the rodeo. I'm not sure that I would have wanted to try ol' Bill's technique for bringing down the steers, but it must have been entertaining!

    Dec 5, 1871:
    Rodeo star Bill Pickett born in Texas

    On this day, the great steer wrestling rodeo star Bill Pickett is born near Austin, Texas.

    The son of black and Indian parents, Pickett learned his roping and riding skills working as a cowboy on a Texas ranch. He attracted the attention of the Miller brothers, who ran the 101 Ranch Wild West Show, the successful touring extravaganza that also made stars of Will Rogers and Tom Mix. The 101 Ranch, and other Wild West shows, played a key role in the evolution of rodeos from small local competitions among neighboring ranch hands into stylized Hollywood-influenced entertainment productions. The Wild West rodeos even created new events like wild bull riding that—in contrast to real ranching skills like roping and bronc-riding—were never widely practiced by sensible traditional cowboys.

    Bill Pickett introduced bulldogging, now better known as steer wrestling, to the world of rodeo entertainment. As a special attraction for the audiences of the 101 Ranch, Pickett rode his horse, Spradley, alongside a running longhorn steer. He grabbed the steer's head and bit its upper lip—an unorthodox but effective means of forcing the steer to follow Pickett's commands. Since bulldogs were known to control cattle by biting onto their lower lips and ferociously hanging on, Pickett's steer wrestling method became known as "bulldogging." Of course, it is unlikely that any working cowboy ever attempted to control a steer by "bulldogging" it, but the audience loved Pickett's stunt. Steer wrestling became a standard rodeo competition, although few cowboys were willing to copy Pickett's lip-biting method, which was replaced by other techniques.

    Pickett's bulldogging performance made him a national rodeo star, but the American fascination for Wild West shows and rodeos faded after World War I, and the 101 Ranch closed in 1931. Pickett died a forgotten man not long afterwards, at age 70, from injuries suffered while working horses for the 101 Ranch in Texas. His contributions to the sport were recognized in 1972, when he was posthumously inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame.

    I would imagine that many of the older cowboys passed away from the injuries caused by their choice of work. Hard way to make a living, I reckon!

    Coffee in the kitchen this morning. The rain keeps showing up for short little showers, so we better not take a chance!

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    The Mighty Opossum...!

    Mother Nature takes care of Her creations in some marvelous ways!

    Any animal that can make itself immune to nearly any snakebite has my respect! He may be ugly, but if we all had his immune system, we would be much better off, I'm thinking! Wonder if this ability would work against Zombies?

    Self-immunizing Opossum

    The most well-known defensive trait of the common North American opossum is its overwhelming instinct to simply fake death when confronted with danger. This is called Thanatosis, and while somewhat effective against predators other than cars, it just sometimes isn’t enough. That is why opossums were also created with a protein called LTNF (Lethal Toxin-Neutralizing Factor) that all but makes them immune to the venom of snakes, bees, and scorpions. The way this works is just as it sounds: Once venom is detected within the opossum’s body by the protein, it actively seeks it out and sets to work neutralizing it. Amazingly, the marsupial is not only granted immunity to local snakes, but also to snakes on other continents with which it has never had contact.

    Interesting note: The LTNF protein has been injected into rats, and has apparently been successful in granting the rodents immunity to otherwise lethal venoms.

    Ugly or not, this little guy might have some enduring qualities we could share. Hey...just saying!

    Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning. My cat has gas, and the fresh air is necessary, if you get my drift!

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Monday Mystery In New Zealand...!

    Nothing like a mystery involving aircraft...early aircraft! Throw in a government keeping secrets and you have the makings of something very interesting!

    Sometimes we forget that governments in other countries have been involved in hiding things for a long time, so it's not just ours!

    North Head and Boeing One

    The very first Boeing plane ever built was called Bluebill, and its creator, William Boeing shipped it to New Zealand along with its sister plane (Mallard) in 1918 – making it the very first sale of the Boeing company. Upon their arrival they were put to use in commercial flights delivering mail and carrying passengers. In 1924 when the N.Z. Flying School closed, a compelling body of evidence, including a letter written to the Boeing Company in 1959 by pioneer aviator George Bolt, points to the two Boeings having been taken to a military base at North Head, Devonport and placed in a vacant storage tunnel. When the officer in charge decided that the doped fabric and spruce airframes were a fire risk, he ordered the tunnel walled off, and there, the evidence suggests, they remain till this day. The stories of the sealed off underground military complex have since been supported by hundreds of first hand witnesses. Attempts at locating the planes have been suppressed by the military and government and the whereabouts of these most historic planes is still unknown. Pictured above is Bluebill taking off.

    I'll bet that some collector somewhere would pay a pretty penny to have those planes! Maybe even a museum!

    Coffee on the patio again. We better enjoy this nice warm weather 'cause in Texas, things can change real quick!

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Another Fun Sunday...!

    In keeping with our tradition, here are some Sunday 'toons for you!

    It was my late friend Ben that suggested I do cartoons on Sunday, as he always did the comics Sunday mornings! So here we are and here we go...!

    I have to give ol' Wiley credit. He never gives up! Another? Sure...!

    That should get the day started with a chuckle or two! At least, I hope so!

    Coffee out on the patio today. It's nice and warm and sunny! Gingerbread cookies on the plate!

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    How About A Paradox...!

    Nothing like a paradox to make you work the brain a little!

    I found a list of some paradoxes over at and thought I would share this one. Just because it's Saturday doesn't mean we should shut down entirely, right? Right!

    The unexpected hanging paradox

    A judge tells a condemned prisoner that he will be hanged at noon on one weekday in the following week, but that the execution will be a surprise to the prisoner. He will not know the day of the hanging until the executioner knocks on his cell door at noon that day. Having reflected on his sentence, the prisoner draws the conclusion that he will escape from the hanging. His reasoning is in several parts. He begins by concluding that the “surprise hanging” can’t be on a Friday, as if he hasn’t been hanged by Thursday, there is only one day left – and so it won’t be a surprise if he’s hanged on a Friday. Since the judge’s sentence stipulated that the hanging would be a surprise to him, he concludes it cannot occur on Friday. He then reasons that the surprise hanging cannot be on Thursday either, because Friday has already been eliminated and if he hasn’t been hanged by Wednesday night, the hanging must occur on Thursday, making a Thursday hanging not a surprise either. By similar reasoning he concludes that the hanging can also not occur on Wednesday, Tuesday or Monday. Joyfully he retires to his cell confident that the hanging will not occur at all. The next week, the executioner knocks on the prisoner’s door at noon on Wednesday — which, despite all the above, will still be an utter surprise to him. Everything the judge said has come true.

    If that one doesn't make you think a little, nothing will this morning!

    Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm baking cookies, and we'll share them when they are done!