Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter...!

Remember when we were kids and Easter was always a little special?

First of all, we all dressed up and off we went to church! Seems like more folks came to church that day than any other day, with the exception of Christmas! Afterwards the family all had dinner together, whether at our house or maybe that of a friend. At some point during the day, there would be the traditional Easter Egg hunt! That was always fun, until I got too old to think it was cool, ya know?

Anyway, thinking about some of those old memories made me want to find some small bits of those days if I could! I've posted two or three examples of a few of those memories here today! See if it brings back any memories for you!

Boy, that was a long time ago! Guess I am showing my age here.

Of course, there were songs by big name stars and great movies like the "Easter Parade", remember?

Wonder why we don't have any good movies like that anymore? However, there were other songs that were more in tune to what Easter Sunday was all about. Reminders that there was more than eggs and chocolate and candy! Songs like this...

Now, my friends, go out and hunt some eggs, share a visit with friends, have a nice dinner! Remember though, family is all important! Spend some time with them if you can, OK?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Have a great Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Lesson In Survival...!

I figured that it was time I posted another survival topic, since I haven't done that in a while.

This lesson is given to us by Mother Nature, who just happens to be one of the best teachers around, in my opinion! It's simple and yet effective!

Moral of the Porcupine

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.

The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

The moral of the story is:

Just learn to live with the Pricks in your life!

I'm going to be changing up the blog list a bit today. Going to remove some of those blogs that haven't posted in a while to make room for others that are more current! I hope this doesn't cause any inconvenience to anyone, but it's time to do it.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It looks like rain and I don't want you all to get wet!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Way To Go, TSA...!

It just another example of some of the blunders by the clowns of the TSA, here is a great story highlighting the "common sense" of their employees!

I would be ashamed to work at a place where things like this are a daily occurrence! I wonder why they can't find folks a little more mature to fill those so-called jobs?

TSA agent 'plays around' with pepper spray, shoots other screeners

An accident-prone agent proved you can't spell "caustic liquid" without "T-S-A" on Tuesday afternoon at JFK Airport in New York. Chris Yves Dabel found a canister of pepper spray on the floor in Terminal 2 and, according to other agents, believed it was a laser pointer. "[Dabel and other agents] were playing around with it," an airport official said. Dabel eventually figured out how to aim the aerosol can and accidentally shot five TSA agents with pepper spray, an idiotic incident that sent all of them to the hospital. The fact that Dabel could've given his co-workers (or outbound passengers) chemical burns is ridiculous, but so is the fact that a working TSA agent doesn't know what a can of pepper spray looks like.

It's scary to think these guys are part of our country's security system. Somehow I just don't feel any more secure after reading this, ya know?

Let's have coffee out on the patio today. I'll make some fried apple pies!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How About A Little Spring Quiz...?

Since most of us are into gardening, or at least reading about it, I thought this would be the perfect time to have a short quiz.

Even though it's not all about garden stuff, there are enough questions about fruits and veggies to make it interesting. Let's see just how much we really know, OK? OK!

Quiz for Bright People

There are only nine questions.

This is a quiz for people who know everything! I found out in a hurry that I didn't. These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters 'dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S'.

Answers To Quiz:

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends: Boxing.

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls .. The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle...

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S': Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

The first time I took this, I just knew I would ace it! WRONG! Guess I wasn't as smart as I thought! Sort of a shock, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning! How about some fresh cantaloupe?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Technology In The Old West...!

Even in the old days, the advance of "modern technology" couldn't be avoided. It had to be embraced!

Those that saw the many advantages of using things like the steamboat to their full advantage could reap great financial rewards, especially with the proper funding from the boys in the backroom, if you know what I mean! Having the right contacts in all the right places made many folks rich, even in the Old West!

Mar 26, 1832:
The steamboat Yellowstone heads for Montana

The mighty American Fur Company adopts the latest in transportation technology to its business, dispatching the company's new steamboat Yellowstone to pick up furs in Montana.

A decade earlier, John Jacob Astor had formed the Western Department of his American Fur Company to begin exploiting the fur trade in the western reaches of the continent. In 1828, Astor established a large trading post called Fort Union at the strategically important point where the Yellowstone River merged with the Missouri. Located near what would later be the Montana-North Dakota state line, Fort Union allowed Astor to dominate the fur trade of the northern plains and Rockies.

With ruthless efficiency, Astor's American Fur Company steadily undercut and eliminated its competitors. The company had the financial resources to invest in competitive advantages that smaller companies like the Rocky Mountain Fur Company could not afford. Far from being a rustic backwoods operation, Astor's company was one of the most modern and progressive corporations of its day. In 1830, Astor saw an opportunity to use a new technology to further consolidate his stranglehold over the western fur trade: the steamboat.

The paddle-wheel steamboat New Orleans had begun regular service on the lower Mississippi only 18 years earlier. During the 1820s, steamboats occasionally ventured as far north on the Missouri as Council Bluffs. Now the American Fur Company boldly proposed to extend regular steam service all the way up to its Fort Union trading post at the mouth of the Yellowstone.

The company hired a Louisville shipyard to build a boat specially designed for the treacherous currents of the Missouri. Christened The Yellowstone, it was a sturdy craft with a large cargo deck to carry furs and trade goods. It had a high wheelhouse from which the pilot could see to avoid the many snags and shoals of the Missouri.

Departing from St. Louis on this day in 1832, The Yellowstone reached Fort Union in June, where the craft attracted the marveling admiration of Anglo traders and Indians alike. Thereafter, The Yellowstone and a fleet of similarly designed steamboats regularly traveled to Fort Union-when the water level was not too low or the rivers frozen.

While the American Fur Company modernized with steamboats, its less affluent competitors continued to rely on small, man-powered keelboats to move their furs and trade goods. By the mid-1830s, boats like the Yellowstone had helped Astor eliminate lesser fur companies and the American Fur Company enjoyed a virtual monopoly over the Far Western fur trade.

Guess it never hurts to have a firm monopoly in any business, especially if you're looking to get rich! Time hasn't changed that very much since the days of the old west, I reckon! The rich and powerful always seem to get more rich and powerful, often with the technology of the day as a valuable tool!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's in the 60s, so that's not too bad!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What A Strange Bird...!

Now here is something I have never heard of, but it doesn't really surprise me.

There are just so many strange birds and other animals out there that you could find out something new each and every day. Maybe that's one reason there are so many bird watchers out there! Seems like we are always on a quest to find something strange or different, and this bird would certainly fit the bill!

Thanks to the fine folks over at Listverse for finding stuff like this to educate us all!

Bird With Hands
It is said a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but of the 10,000 species of birds on earth, there is one species with its own hands. The Hoatzin is a bizarre, primitive relative of the Cuckoo bird native to South American Rain forests, with a strange reptilian relic. When the chicks hatch, it quickly becomes apparent that these birds have retained incredibly primitive traits stemming back to birds hypothesized therapod dinosaur origins. Two hands, armed with sharp claws extend from the bird’s wing joints, and are used to climb the trees to safety. Interestingly, the hoatzin is also the only ruminant bird, and has evolved the same dieting system as cattle, feeding upon fermenting green plant material in a second stomach

This bird looks like something that belongs in a B horror movie, ya know? Wonder what other surprises Mother Nature has in store for us? On second thought, I probably don't want to know!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It got cold again last night, and it's warmer by the stove!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shocking Monday Mystery...!

The human body is a testament to the many mysteries that surround us. Despite all of our knowledge and science, there are many things about our own bodies that we just don't understand!

I guess that it's true that some things just aren't meant to be understood by us at this time. Maybe someday, but just not now!

Jacqueline Priestman
The Electrifying Lady

The Stockport, Manchester (England) mother’s ordeal began in 1980. Following an argument with her first husband, Ron, Jacqueline shouted, “I hope you break your neck!” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. After Ron sped away from the house on his scooter, he was involved in an accident resulting in spine and neck fractures. After a month in the hospital, he died, leaving Jacqueline devastated by guilt.

Not long afterward, a lightbulb in Jacqueline’s bathroom exploded. Her arm was cut by flying glass. She put the cause down to a faulty bulb. When her vacuum cleaner kept burning out—a repairman could find no cause—and another lightbulb exploded, she became convinced her home was haunted by the ghost of her dead husband.

Moving house didn’t help. Electrical appliances continued to go haywire in her presence. The stove and vacuum cleaners she bought kept burning out. The television changed channels on its own or the picture distorted. The radio switched channels without being touched too. She also received and delivered severe electrical shocks. Some grocery stores and appliance shops attempted to ban her. After she married her second husband, an electrician, the strange and frightening phenomena continued to occur.

The depressed woman, who suffered headaches and fainting spells, contemplated suicide. Psychic mediums and investigators failed to find a cause. Once, a visiting reporter accused Jacqueline of fraud, making her so angry, the vacuum cleaner burst into flames.

At last, a visiting professor provided the key to Jacqueline’s dilemma: both he and her second husband, Paul, believed she suffered from an extreme build-up of static electricity—more than 10 times the normal amount—in her body. By sticking to a special diet and daily program which included walking around the house holding onions to discharge the surplus electricity, Jacqueline’s problem gradually diminished. However, in 1985, her fourth child (a daughter) was born and immediately began exhibiting signs of taking after her mother by giving the midwife a static shock.
What was the cause of Jacqueline’s condition, sometimes called High Voltage Syndrome? Why did her symptoms begin after the death of her first husband? The answers to these questions will probably never be known for sure.

I would hate to be in this lady's position, let me tell ya! Just imagine having to carry around an onion all the time...or even being afraid to get angry as you might fry your electronics! That would sure be "SHOCKING" !  Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

How about coffee out on the patio this morning? It's a little cool, but the coffee is nice and hot!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ready For Some 'Toons...?

Well, once again it's Sunday and that means cartoons, right?

I don't know if we ever really outgrow cartoons, but I seriously hope not! I have way too much fun playing these old guys to quit just because of my age, ya know?

See? I told ya this was fun! How about some more?

Sometimes the older ones are the best, don't you think? I wonder why that is?

Well, that's enough fun for now. Let's retire to the patio.

Coffee outside this morning, as it looks like the rain has moved on! Cream cheese coffee cake anyone?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Didn't Know That...!

Every once in a while, I run across something that is totally new to me and when I do, I just have to share it.

I guess that every early soft drink we can think of started out as a medicine, but the fact that many were still using the original recipe for many years is the surprising part! Here's the story about one of them.

Feel Good With 7-Up
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Fascinating Fact: 7-Up – invented in 1920 contained Lithium – the drug commonly prescribed now to sufferers of bi-polar disorder.

The drink was originally marketed as a hangover cure – due to the inclusion of lithium citrate. It was released just a few years before the Wall Street crash of the 1920s and it was marketed under the name “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” – quite a mouthful! The name was changed to 7-Up shortly after its release but lithium remained one of the ingredients until 1950. Some popular myths surround the name of the drink – but the name is most likely due to the original recipe containing 7 ingredients (with the “up” portion relating to the lithium) or the fact that lithium has an atomic mass of 7.

It's always fun to find out about these little tidbits of information from the past, don't you think?

Better have our coffee inside this morning, as the rain is supposed to come back today! We don't want to drink watered down coffee, right?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Heard Of The Frogmouth...?

We've about the beauty of Mother Nature a number of times, but today I have something a little different!

This bird may be a tad on the ugly side, but evidently he manages to get the job done. He has a very unique way to hunt, if you ask me!

Venus Flytrap Bird


Tawny Frogmouths are a bizarre Australian bird that inhabits Eucalyptus woodlands where prey is abundant. Frogmouths resemble owls, but are in fact giant, awesome and rather creepy relatives of the Swifts previously mentioned. Frogmouths do not actively hunt, but rather they stand upright in a tree, perfectly resembling an old branch. When a small bird, frog, lizard or dragonfly approaches, the enormous gaping mouth expands open, quickly drawing in the hapless animal. Within a fraction of a second, the massive bill snaps shut with a loud click that can be heard 100 meters away. The prey is then forced back and swallowed whole. Tawny Frogmouths do not actually do anything except remain invisible and snap shut like a Venus Flytrap, making them among the creepiest birds on Earth.

Looking at this ol' boy's feathers, I can see where his disguise as a branch is pretty good! Even in her homeliest  creatures, nature has a way of making sure that all her creatures have the tools needed for survival. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. How about some cathead biscuits and flour gravy?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Perfect Prepper Item...!

When I first saw this, I laughed so hard I just had to share it with you. Never underestimate the power of a good laugh!

This was actually in an email I got from one of my favorite sellers on Ebay. Gotta love this guy's sense of humor!

Bookmark this page
Dehydrated Canned Water

Dehydrated Canned Water

SKU: FE001
Price: $5.00
Our Future Essentials Dehydrated Water comes in a large #10 Can and is always fresh, never from concentrate and a 100% Organic. Dehydrated water is the perfect addition to all high-fiber, protein, and carbohydrate diets.

It is light weight making it easy to store. It has a unique odorless, tasteless, and colorless appealing to all avid water drinkers. Perfect gift for the person who 'has it all.'

This Dehydrated water gets its exceptional qualities from the organic qualities of its spring. Tastes best chilled but room temperature and heated are other alternatives.

Please note, the above statements have NOT been FDA/USDA approved
"Tastes amazing, way better than any Voss or Fiji bottled water, what an amazing product. You can just taste the organic-ness in every sip"
John Doe from NML


Can you freeze dehydrated water? Yes you can, that is called dry ice.

Where is this dehydrated water sourced from? Sparkling Springs of Useýourïmagination.

Is this product from Future Essentials a joke? Yes and no. If you really feel there is such as thing as dehydrated water, that is on you. If you add this product to your cart you will really receive a can of dehydrated water. APRIL FOOLS!!

It's things like this that keep me coming back to this seller time and time again. After all, we can't be too serious all the time! More and more it is important to NOT lose our sense of humor, don't you think?

Let's have coffee out on the patio this morning. Don't's not dehydrated! Promise!!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One More Western Wednesday...!

It's funny to me that so many of the "legends" of the old west bear very little resemblance to actual history.

Often the real history of a person is far more interesting than the stories that have been made up over the years. Like most things, the legends often grow with every retelling. When that happens, it becomes a treasure hunt to find out the more accurate story. That's where sites like come in so handy!

Nov 30, 1902:
Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan sentenced

Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan, the second-in-command in Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch crew, is sentenced to 20 years hard labor in a Tennessee prison. Though the famous Hollywood movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid portrayed Harry Longabaugh as Cassidy's main partner, Logan was his true sidekick and right-hand man.

Logan was born in Kentucky but spent most of his youth in Missouri. According to legend, he killed a man when he was 19 and was, thereafter, always on the wrong side of the law. On his own or with occasional accomplices, Logan became proficient at robbing banks and killing innocent people, which inevitably attracted the interest of law officers.

He eventually sought refuge in the isolated Hole-in-the-Wall hideouts of Wyoming. The Hole-in-the-Wall was a sparsely populated region of rugged mountains whose remote location attracted outlaws who were trying to lay low and avoid the law. Here, Logan made the acquaintance of a former butcher turned outlaw named Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy. Cassidy and Logan became the informal leaders of a loose collection of outlaws called the Wild Bunch, which included Longabaugh, Ben Kilpatrick (Tall Texan), and a cast of other motley characters.

For several years, the Wild Bunch was one of the more successful criminal operations in the West, robbing banks and trains in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico, and successfully defending their Wyoming hideout from the law. The Wild Bunch even hired its own lawyer to defend its gang members, and their file in the Chicago offices of the Pinkerton Detective Agency became one of the thickest in the agency's cabinets.

Inevitably, though, the law and the Pinkertons began to close in on the gang. In 1901, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fled the country for Bolivia, and no one is certain what became of them. The evidence for Logan's fate is much clearer: most historians believe that after escaping from a Knoxville prison in June of 1903, he fled to Colorado, where it is believed he was wounded by pursuers and shot himself dead.

Seems to me that in this case, the real story is far more entertaining. Trouble is, Hollywood seems to rewrite history to their own liking. It may make for a more marketable movie, but the truth gets distorted in the process.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. The roses are blooming, so it smells pretty good!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Mess With Mother Nature...!

It seems that by now, men would have learned not to screw around with Nature's design for things. Guess not!

Many of our so called "improvements" just turn out to be terrible, to say the least! The reason I bring this up now is that gardening season is right around the corner. Watch out when buying the seeds, ya know? Hey...just saying!

Seed Grain
Methyl Mercury

One of the largest public health crises and mass food poisoning events occurred in 1971 when seed grain, meant to be planted and used as seeds, was instead used as food. The seed grain had been treated with a fungicide, highly toxic methyl mercury.

The seed grain was shipped to Iraq late in the growing season of 1971 from suppliers in Mexico and the USA. The mercury-treated seed was dyed red as a warming not to eat it, but the Iraqi’s did not know this. In addition, the red dye would wash off, but not the mercury. The bags containing the seeds were labeled in Spanish and English the rural inhabitants of Iraq could not read. The Iraqi’s either did not understand or chose to ignore the skull and crossbones warnings on the bags. The confusion led some to believe it was food, and not seed.

Those who ate the seed suffered muscle paralysis, numbness, loss of vision, and other symptoms typical of mercury poisoning. People were exposed to the mercury when they used the seed in making bread, when they ground the seed and breathed in the dust, and when they fed the seed to animals and then ate the animals. People began to fall ill and die in late 1971 and into 1972. All total it is estimated that at least 650 died from eating or being exposed to the mercury-contaminated seed, but some believe the true number could be ten times that. An estimated 10,000 people suffered permanent brain damage from the mercury.

Guess we can be thankful that the grain wasn't released here in the states, right? I mean, this could never happen here, what with all the testing and government controls. I do have to wonder why this report sounds like all the folks handling this grain and ignoring the "skull and crossbones" were so stupid! Had to be all their fault, right?

That is some scary stuff there, folks! Scary stuff!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm thinking homemade rolls for a snack are in order!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mystery Goes To College...!

There are many mysteries involving college campuses around the world, which isn't surprising when you consider how many students are roaming around these grounds of "higher education!"

It might be hard from time to time to separate the typical "ghost stories" told by students from the more serious unexplained stories, especially when there is photographic evidence to support the story!

University of Toronto

Founded in 1827, this university has several ghosts associated with it. Many thanks to the University of Toronto Magazine, which made researching this one very easy. The first involves a stonemason called Ivan Reznikoff, who disappeared during the college’s construction. Fast forward to 1889, when a student encountered a darkly clad figure on campus as he was heading back to his residence.

The figure claimed he had a story to tell, so the student invited him back to his place and they began drinking. The man claimed to be the ghost of Ivan, and told the student that he had died in an argument with the project foreman, Paul Diablos, who he believed was trying to steal his fiancé. Furious, he surprised Diablos outside of his quarters with an axe. The first blow missed, and struck a wooden door. This door still exists today, and can be seen in the image above. The man claimed that he had chased Diablos into the building, but hadn’t been able to find where his boss had hidden. As he was about to leave the room, he felt a knife pierce his back, and the world went black. He told the student that Diablos had hidden his body in an incomplete ventilation shaft.

When the student awoke the next day, his drinking buddy was gone, and he passed it off as a bad dream. Several years later, part of the building burned down in a fire, and the skeleton of a man wearing a mason’s belt was supposedly discovered.

Over at listverse (where I got this story) there are many more stories of hauntings on different universities. It is a pretty interesting read, if you have the time!

Let's have our coffee out on the patio this morning. It looks like Spring, smells like Spring, and feels like Spring! Great!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Paddy's Day Cartoons...!

I couldn't let St. Patric's Day go by without a few 'toons for this Sunday!

True, these are a tad different than those we normally watch, but I think they fit the celebration!

See? I told ya these were different!

I just love the way Droopy talks. Can't help myself!

And what would an Irish day be without some good ol' dancing...Irish style?

Now that you've had your exercise for the day, it's time for some corned beef and cabbage, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Beautiful day on the outside!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How About These Predictions...?

There have been many folks that tried to predict the future successfully, but most had less than perfect results. That is not surprising at all. What is surprising are the few that made rather accurate predictions of events long before they happened.

One person that made some startling visions of what was to come was a man most haven't heard of. Here are a few of the things he envisioned, and I think you might be surprised!

John Elfreth Watkins, Jr.
Predicted: Television and mobile phones in 1900.

Mr. Watkins was a civil engineer, a railroad man who became a curator at the Smithsonian Institute after suffering a disabling accident. In 1900, he contributed an article to Ladies’ Home Journal titled “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years”. Within this article, Mr. Watkins made lots of predictions, large and small, for the next century; some of these proved, despite their counter-intuitiveness, to be amazingly accurate. Among the more astonishing predictions—and keep in mind this was over a hundred years ago:

“Man will see around the world. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span.” —could apply to satellite television, the Internet, or both.

“There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America.” —most were guessing much higher at the time, as the American population was exploding.

“Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishment similar to our bakeries of today.” —Freeze-dried and packaged foods, not to mention electric refrigerators, were still far on the horizon.

“Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later . . . . photographs will reproduce all of nature’s colors.” —digital photography and picture sharing. And perhaps most impressive of all:

“Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn.” —nobody on the planet not named Tesla was thinking along these lines, except apparently Mr. Watkins.

Unfortunately, Watkins died before seeing a single one of his predictions come to fruition, in 1903.

If you think about the year that these predictions were made, they do seem a bit uncanny, don't you think?

Another morning for coffee out on the patio, I reckon. I don't mind one little bit!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Very Useful Leg...!

We have all read about the art of re-purposing something, right? This is taking that very thing to a whole new level!

I think that we forget that on the battlefield, it wasn't uncommon to use the weapons and other equipment of the fallen enemy. Let's face it...many things were hard to come by on the battlefield, so you did what you had to do to get by. Sometimes the items that were re-used went beyond ammo and guns, as this story from listverse shows!

Leg That Served the North and the South
June 1863

When Confederate Captain John Newton Ballard of Mosby’s Rangers lost his leg in battle in 1863, like many of his fellow officers, he didn’t waste time fretting over his amputated limb. Instead, he acquired a second hand artificial leg and got back to war. Unfortunately, he was left literally without a leg to stand on near Halltown, Virginia, when his horse collided with a Union cavalry soldier’s mount and his prosthetic was crushed, making him the only Civil War soldier to lose the same leg twice. However, he was about to have a stroke of luck. In March 1864, Union Colonel Ulric Dahlgren was killed near Richmond, Virginia, during a cavalry raid. He, too, had lost a leg in 1863 (in fact, the severed leg was given a military funeral and is still sealed within the wall of Building 28 in the Washington Navy Yard). Dahlgren’s body was found by Confederates, one of whom took his wooden artificial limb as a souvenir. The Yankee prosthetic made its way to John Ballard, who wore it in active service to the end of the war.

I'm thinking these guys were true men! Men that didn't know the meaning of quit. There are so many more stories like this from the conflict known as the "War Between The States" that we will probably never know them all!

Looks like another good day for coffee out on the patio. I'll share my cinnamon rolls, OK?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

History Of "Old Abe"...!

For all the folks out there that like a little obscure history from time to time, this might be right up your alley!

It's this kind of fact that keeps us searching all around the web for the less known trivia we feed on. Learning something new, especially something no one else seems to be aware of, is a very satisfying past time!

Old Abe

Mascots are a long standing military tradition. Soldiers have adopted dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, monkeys, pigs, birds—but the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment topped them all with the emblem of America itself, a tame bald eagle. The eaglet was taken from the nest and eventually made her way to the 8th Regiment, where she was named Old Abe after President Abraham Lincoln. She became a very popular patriotic symbol of the Union cause. She had a special shield shaped perch, but would walk through the camp stealing food.

Old Abe flew over battlefields—39 in total—and although the Confederates had orders to capture her if possible, the eagle got through the war unscathed. After 1865, she was retired from the Army and given a new home in Madison, Wisconsin, in the State Capital building. Unfortunately, in 1881 after suffering smoke inhalation during a fire, Old Abe died. Some controversy exists regarding the bird’s sex, and whether “Old Abe” was one bird or several. That the eagle existed isn’t in doubt due to ample photographic evidence.

You can read more about Old Abe right here!

This is the kind of story that would have made history class so much more interesting in school! Don't you agree?

Another day pretty enough to have our coffee out on the patio. That's OK, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Here Comes The Judge...!

I don't suppose that many figures in the history of early Texas are as well known as Judge Roy Bean.

Often his larger than life antics merely added fuel to the fire, assuring his name in the history books as one of the more colorful figures in the old west! From the pages of, here is a brief recap of the "Law West of the Pecos!"

Mar 16, 1903:
Judge Roy Bean dies

Roy Bean, the self-proclaimed "law west of the Pecos," dies in Langtry, Texas.

A saloon keeper and adventurer, Bean's claim to fame rested on the often humorous and sometimes-bizarre rulings he meted out as a justice of the peace in western Texas during the late 19th century. By then, Bean was in his 50s and had already lived a life full of rough adventures.

Born in Kentucky some time during the 1820s, Bean began getting into trouble at an early age. He left home in 1847 with his brother Sam and lived a rogue's life in Mexico until he shot a man in a barroom fight and had to flee. He next turned up in San Diego, where he enjoyed playing the dashing caballero. Again he shot a man during a quarrel and was forced to leave town quickly. He fell into the same old habits in Los Angeles, eventually killing a Mexican officer in a duel over a woman. Angry friends of the officer hanged Bean in revenge, but luckily, the rope stretched and Bean managed to stay alive until the woman he had fought for arrived to cut him down. Bearing rope scars on his neck that remained throughout his life, Bean left California to take up a less risky life in New Mexico and Texas.

For about 16 years, Bean lived a prosperous and relatively legitimate life as a San Antonio businessman. In 1882, he moved to southwest Texas, where he built his famous saloon, the Jersey Lilly, and founded the hamlet of Langtry. Saloon and town alike were named for the famous English actress, Lillie Langtry. Bean had never met Langtry, but he had developed an abiding affection for the beautiful actress after seeing a drawing of her in an illustrated magazine. For the rest of his life, he avidly followed Langtry's career in theatre magazines.

Before founding Langtry, Bean had also secured an appointment as a justice of the peace and notary public. He knew little about the law or proper court procedures, but residents appreciated and largely accepted his common sense verdicts in the sparsely populated country of West Texas.

Bean was often deliberately humorous or bizarre in his rulings, once fining a dead man $40 for carrying a concealed weapon. He threatened one lawyer with hanging for using profane language when the hapless man referred to the "habeas corpus" of his client. Less amusing was Bean's decision to free a man accused of killing a Chinese rail worker on the grounds that Bean knew of no law making it a crime "to kill a Chinaman."

By the 1890s, reports of Bean's curmudgeonly rulings had made him nationally famous. Travelers on the train passing through Langtry often made a point of stopping to visit the ramshackle saloon, where a sign proudly proclaimed Bean to be the "Law West of the Pecos."

Bean fell ill during a visit to San Antonio. He returned to Langtry, where he died on March 16, 1903. Lillie Langtry, the object of Bean's devoted adoration, visited the village named in her honor only 10 months after Bean died.

Like many of the names from the early days of the Texas frontier, Judge Roy Bean can be considered one more reason we refer to the "Wild West!" For better or worse, he certainly made his mark!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. How about some apple turn overs?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Beware Of The Old Guys...!

Many times the public in general overlooks the older members of society. However, that could be a big mistake!

The so-called "Old Guys" might just have a trick or two up their sleeve that could make the younger generation look a bit silly!

The Captain of Köpenick

In October 1906, the unemployed German cobbler Wilhelm Voigt made his move. He pulled on his military captain’s uniform—purchased from a thrift store—and walked out onto the street, right into the path of a group of German grenadiers. Ordering them to halt, Voigt took control of the company and marched them to the town hall of Köpenick (a suburb of Berlin), where he arrested the mayor and the treasurer on charges of embezzlement.

He also stole 4,000 marks while he was at it, before disappearing with the loot. Nine days later, Voigt was arrested by the police and sentenced to four years in prison. But he was released after only two years, when Kaiser Wilhelm pardoned him due to swelling public opinion of the impostor; Voigt had become something of a cult figure for humiliating the gullible German army.

Oh, just in case I forgot to mention it, sometimes the "Old Guys" have stones that would put many of the younger guys to shame! I mean, this ol' boy was a COBBLER, for goodness sake! Guess he caused a lot of red faces in the PTB, ya know? Maybe that's a sign that the oldsters still might have a lesson or two that they could teach!

Coffee out on the patio this morning sounds good to about you?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sad Mystery For Monday...!

Often it's the little things in life that become the most wondered about mysteries.

While the death of two people, especially those living in solitude, isn't really a mystery, the manner in which they died is! Here is the story.

Reclusive twins, 73, leave behind mystery in death
March 7, 2012 By Jim H

Patricia and Joan Miller were identical twins who pursued their dreams together. As a team, the Miller sisters met Bing Crosby, appeared on a TV show in the 1950s and purchased a house in California’s picturesque South Lake Tahoe.

Their shared life ended in a mysterious double-death at their home last week. One body was in a downstairs bedroom, and the other was in the hallway just outside. They were 73.

There was no blood, no signs of struggle. Nothing indicated that the women had persistent health troubles. Their longtime home was not unkempt, a likely sign of mental or physical illness. It was as if the two sisters, long each other’s only companion, could not live without each other, said Detective Matt Harwood with the El Dorado County sheriff’s office.

“My perception is one died and the other couldn’t handle it,” said Harwood, who has been unable to find any close friends or family members of the twins. “It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together.”

Police usually do not release the names of the dead without first informing their relatives, but the sisters’ shrouded lives made that impossible, Harwood said.

Never married and without children or pets, the Miller sisters had long withdrawn into the four-bedroom home they purchased in 1976. When people called, the sisters came up with excuses to get off the phone. Without explanation, they stopped sending birthday cards to a childhood friend. And on the rare occasion when they left their home, the two women didn’t chat up the neighbors.

Read the rest of the story here.

Article by: Cristina Silva, Associated Press

Could the feeling of being totally alone after years of constant companionship be enough for a person to just die of a broken heart? That's something to think about, especially if you are a hermit and have no companion, don't you think? I really don't think I would ever feel so lonely that I would just curl up and die. Not my nature. Besides, I like being alone. In fact, I've always kinda liked it!

How about coffee in the kitchen this morning? I have some cream-filled devils food cookies to share!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Classical "Toons For Sunday...!

Time for the Hermit to add a little class to the Sunday program. What's more classy than some Classical music...cartoon style?

I have always liked a little classical music, and to see it adapted to the 'toons is kinda fun! But then again, you can adapt nearly anything to the 'toons and make it a bit more enjoyable, I think!

Want some more? I can do that!

Let's take a step back and chance the pace just a tad. After all, I did say we were adding some class to the program today!

I know the last one isn't classical in the terms we normally think of it, but I like it. It's relaxing to listen to, and I think it's a part of a good start to a Sunday! Don't you?

How about a refill on the coffee? Better have it in the kitchen this morning, as the rain is supposed to come back!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No Real Post Today...!

I'm sorry, but I need to take the day off.

However, i didn't want to leave you without something...ya know? Just in case you did drop by! So, I figured that since we are all ready for Spring, I would put up a few things that I'll bet we can all remember from the days when we were younger! Can you remember these smells?

Sorta brings back memories of other Saturday mornings, doesn't it?

Help yourself to the coffee. You know where it's at, right?

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Very Deadly Rock...!

Some things we might find on or in the ground are best left alone! This is certainly one of them!

I don't think I've ever seen any of this and I'm sure I don't want to! The rock is pretty, no doubt. but because of the possible side effects I think I'll pass!


The only thing worse than arsenic itself could be a rock made from arsenic and sulfur. The lethal and chemically reactive orpiment crystals are found growing below the surface in mineral formations, often near hydrothermal vents. The colors are seductive, but holding the crystals in your hands may release carcinogenic, neurotoxic arsenic powder. Like cinnabar, the Chinese made extensive use of this mineral, but to far more terrifying ends. Arrows would be rubbed on crushed samples of these stones and then launched to poison the enemy in a rather fancy way to throw a rock. Orpiment is known to give off a strong garlic smell due to its arsenic content, and may crumble into dangerous powder when exposed to light. The mineral was used as a primary component of ochre paint, and likely poisoned many of the artists who used it.

I'll bet that ol' Dizzy Dick has seen something like this. I think that he has messed around a lot of minerals and such before.

Let's have some more coffee out on the patio this morning. I have a little peach cake I'll share!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Miracle In A Bottle...!

I know that many of us have heard all the horror stories of the disastrous results from early amputations. A sad page in the history of medical care, without a doubt.

Due to the creation of one product, that death rate was drastically reduced. Strange how just a single product can change the direction of medical procedure.


Listerine was developed by Dr. Joseph Lawrence, based on pioneering work done by Joseph Lister, whom he named it after. It wasn’t intended for oral use however—it was simply an antiseptic, and the first one. Before Lister’s discovery that carbolic acid killed germs, far more people died from infections incurred during surgery than from the injuries themselves (illustrated by a saying from the time: “The operation was a success, but the patient died.”)

Consider: since nobody knew how to stop infections before Lister, amputations (to keep them from spreading) were the most common major surgery of the time, and the death rate from this procedure was around forty percent. By the time Listerine had been in use for about twenty five years, in 1910, the death rate from amputations had dropped to a measly three percent. One shudders to think how many more who were injured in World War I (still the one of the deadliest wars of all time) would have died if not for Listerine.

Because carbolic acid is hard on the skin, surgeons eventually began using boracic acid in its place. But Listerine’s use had been growing as an oral antiseptic, and eventually that use eclipsed any other. The mouthwash market was originated by Listerine, the only product (with the possible exception of the condom) to both save millions of lives and make date night more awesome!

I think we often forget that early medicine was, at best, primitive by today's standards. Often the tireless work of one or two dedicated people can really make a difference in the quality of care! The lives of so many folks have been affected in a positive manner by just such a development!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Looking more like Spring everyday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bleeding Kansas On Western Wednesday...!

The rough road to statehood for many early territories, such as Kansas and Nebraska, was too often paved with blood.

Even before the War between the States, the rights of the voters in the newly established territories came under attack. Deadly conflicts became the norm, unfortunately. The rights of even the earliest citizens were never given, but were always earned!

Violence disrupts first Kansas election

In territorial Kansas' first election, some 5,000 so-called "Border Ruffians" invade the territory from western Missouri and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. Although the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters in the territory, Kansas Governor Andrew Reeder reluctantly approved the election to prevent further bloodshed.

Trouble in territorial Kansas began with the signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. The act stipulated that settlers in the newly created territories of Nebraska and Kansas would decide by popular vote whether their territory would be free or slave. A few months after pro-slavery forces defrauded Kansas' first election, the Kansas Free State forces were formed, armed by supporters in the North and featuring the leadership of militant abolitionist John Brown. In May 1856, Border Ruffians sacked the abolitionist town of Lawrence, and in retaliation a small Free State force under John Brown massacred five pro-slavery Kansans along the Pottawatomie Creek.

During the next four years, raids, skirmishes, and massacres continued in "Bleeding Kansas," as it became popularly known. In 1861, the irrepressible differences in Kansas were swallowed up by the outbreak of full-scale civil war in America.

The history of our whole country, with all our beliefs and freedoms was often bloody and always hard. Like we always say "freedom is never free!"

Let's have our coffee outside this morning. I'll set a plate of chocolate mint cookies out, OK?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Now THIS Is A Frog...!

Like most folks that spent a large part of their childhood in the country, I've seen my share of frogs. However, I have NEVER seen anything the size of this bad boy!

For folks that like frog legs, this would be the one to find. Too bad that they are getting to be hard to find! Not many of them hanging around the ponds in Texas, I think!

Goliath Frog

The Goliath frog—Conraua goliath—is the largest frog on Earth. It can grow up to thirty-three centimeters in length and can weigh up to three kilograms. The giant African Bullfrog is only half the size of the Goliath frog. The creature is native to west Africa. It eats crabs, small snakes and even other frogs. The Goliath frog makes no sound due to the lack of a vocal sac. It has huge, powerful legs that allow it to jump a great distance—up to three meters (10 feet). Unfortunately, like many other frog species, the Goliath frog is vulnerable to human activity such as hunting, deforestation and the pet trade. These factors have now made the frog an endangered species.

If I saw a frog like this in my yard, it might give me nightmares for a week! Still, I'll bet that I could have really got in trouble if I had taken one this size to school in the old days! Know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's just way too pretty outside to stay in!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Space Mystery For Monday...!

Sometimes we get so carried away with all the mysteries here on our home planet, we forget the many more that are hidden in the night sky!

Seems like space holds more than enough mysteries to keep all of us studying for a very long time! That's a pretty cool thought, don't you think?

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.”

We may have to drop by Dizzy Dick's house and borrow his big telescope to check out some of the other mysteries that hang around the endless heavens above us. Think he would mind?

We'll try having our coffee out on the patio this morning. I only hope the wind doesn't pick up again!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This Sunday It's Tom And Jerry...!

I always liked Tom and Jerry. I don't know exactly why, but I like 'em!

Here's a couple that have a little age on them. All for your Sunday morning viewing!

Ya know, someone spent a lot of time drawing these cartoons just so we could enjoy a little entertainment! Cool, huh?

If you don't mind, I'd like just one more!

Well, that's enough silliness for now. I have a good book I need to finish reading! Hard work, ya know?

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. Maybe some cinnamon toast on the side?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Let's Talk Internet Speed...!

I always considered my internet speed pretty fast!

Then I found this article on Listverse that really changed my mind. I would have never guessed that the U.S. was that far down the list!

Internet Speed

Since you are on the Internet right now, you’re likely not among the sizable US population for which getting a high-speed Internet connection is a royal pain. Sure, Internet speeds are pretty good in a lot of areas, and have improved steadily over the last ten years. And sure, we don’t have much trouble streaming movies and downloading songs. But number one in Internet speed? Not even close: America isn’t even in the top ten.

The reason for this is a sort of disharmony between Wall Street and Internet service providers. The nature of Wall Street tends to penalize carriers for making longer-term investments that won’t realize maximum short-term profit: investments such as infrastructure, for instance. Working mostly with existing infrastructure means that speed increases are minimal and incremental, which leads to your ISP having little excuse to jack up the price of your service. While this is great for you, it’s not so great for your ISP, who can’t increase profits enough to improve infrastructure without help from investors—who, again, don’t give a damn about long-term investment, just short-term profits.

For years, the leader in Internet speed has been South Korea, whose willingness to invest in improving technology combined with their population density (a quarter of the population lives in the city of Seoul alone) makes it comparatively easy to provide blazing speeds to a large slice of the populace. Recently, Hong Kong has challenged South Korea for the title, with Japan perennially in the top five. The US currently ranks fourteenth in the world.

Since I really don't want to live in any of these other countries, I'll settle for my present speed and just tell myself that it's faster than I thought! After all, who wants to live in a place where a full quarter of the country's population lives in one city? Certainly not me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm thinking some kolaches would be nice, OK?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Let's Talk Chicken Feet...!

I'll be the first to admit that the feet of the chicken is one of those things I almost never think about. In fact, I never think about them at all!

Because of that, this article I found over at Listverse really surprised me! This is one part of the chicken I figured was not good for anything. Just shows how wrong you can be about something!

Chicken Feet

Twenty years ago, not only were chicken feet almost completely useless, chicken farmers had to pay to get rid of them. Most of the time, they would end up as a filler in dog foods. In the 1990s, globalization became a more feasible reality for smaller companies aspiring for a transnational business model, and chicken farmers started profiting from the sale of chicken feet to China. Now, the U.S. exports about 300,000 metric tons of chicken feet a year. Just one company, Perdue Farms, produces over a billion chicken paws a year and brings in more than $40 million in revenue. The demand for chicken feet is so high, the farmers could breed twice as many chickens as they do now and still easily sell them to China, but they would have no way to sell all the other parts of the chicken in the United States. What was once a complete waste product is now the chief profit center for every chicken farmer in the United States. It is the consensus amongst the industry that without the global demand for chicken paws, most farms would be driven out of business.

I have never heard them called "chicken paws" that I know of. That name sounds a little creepy to me, ya know? Like something right out of a grade B monster movie! I alwas associate the term "paws" with animals like bears and dogs and cats and...well, you get the picture!

Who would have ever thought that these things were that popular? Certainly not me!

Let's have our coffee inside this morning. We can have hot biscuits and apple sauce on the side!