Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Indians On Western Wednesday...!

Not often do we get a chance to read about the Indians setting the terms for a peace treaty, but today we do.

If you are one of the ones that root for the Indians instead of the cowboys, then you'll like this story! Might be one of the few times that I've heard of the Indians coming out on top in the negotiations!

Jul 30, 1863:
Chief Pocatello signs peace treaty

The Shoshone chief Pocatello signs the Treaty of Box Elder, bringing peace to the emigrant trails of southern Idaho and northern Utah.

Pocatello was a Bannock Shoshone, one of the two major Shoshone tribes that dominated modern-day southern Idaho. Once a large and very powerful people, the Shoshone lost thousands to a smallpox epidemic in 1781. The fierce Blackfoot Indians took further advantage of the badly weakened Shoshone to push them off the plains and into the mountains. The first representatives of a people who would soon prove even more dangerous than the Blackfoot arrived in August 1805: The expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

Anxious to establish good relations with the Americans in hopes of someday obtaining guns to fight the dreaded Blackfoot, the Shoshone welcomed Lewis and Clark and gave them the horses they needed to cross the Rocky Mountains. However, by the time Pocatello had become a chief 50 years later, the Shoshone realized the white people were more of a threat than the Blackfoot.

By 1857, Pocatello was a young chief who controlled an extensive territory around present-day Pocatello, Idaho. Pocatello was greatly alarmed by the growing number of Mormons who were traveling north from Salt Lake City and settling in Shoshone territory. The Indians and Mormons increasingly clashed, with both sides committing brutal and unjustified murders. Pocatello was determined to resist the white settlement. He led several attacks on the Mormons, killing or wounding several of them and stealing their horses.

In 1863, the U.S. government sent Colonel Patrick Connor and a company of soldiers into the region to protect American telegraph lines and, secondarily, the Mormon settlers. That May, Connor set out to track down Pocatello and his followers, but the Shoshone chief managed to evade the soldiers. On his own initiative, Pocatello then proposed a peace agreement. If the Mormons provided the Shoshone with compensation for lost game and land, Pocatello promised to cease his attacks. The Mormons accepted his terms.

On this day in 1863, Pocatello signed his "X" on the Treaty of Box Elder and the overt hostilities ended. As the Anglo settlers in the region grew more numerous and gained the support of the U.S. government, the Shoshone were confined to a reservation within their traditional territory. Pocatello died on the reservation in 1884. The nearby Idaho city of Pocatello was named for him.

From what I've read, the Mormons were just as savage towards the Indians as the Indians were against them. Guess it's true that there are always two sides to every story! We should always learn all the facts before making judgments!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Anyone want some coconut macaroons?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So This Is Obamacare...?

Thanks to Baby Sis, today you get a look at what could be a "close to truth" look at the whole Obamacare" thing!

I don't know where she gets all this stuff, but I think it's great...and certainly good for a grin!


(10) Your annual breast exam is done at Hooters.

(09) Directions to your doctor's office include "Take a left when you enter the trailer park."

(08) The tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicles.

(07) The only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.

(06) The only item listed under Preventative Care Coverage is "an apple a day."

(05) Your primary care physician is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.

(04) "The patient is responsible for 200% of out-of-network charges," is not a typographical error.

(03) The only expense covered 100% is "Embalming."

(02) Your Prozac comes in different colors with little M's on them.


(01) You ask for Viagra, and they give you a Popsicle stick and Super Glue.

Even though this article is meant to be humorous, you can draw your own conclusions to the implications! Sometimes there is a kernel of truth hidden in most fiction!

Coffee out on the patio this morning! How about some apple fruit breakfast bars?

Monday, July 29, 2013

What The Heck Is This...?

For Monday mystery today, let's look to the stars!

Thanks to the Hubble telescope, we can see things that are so far away it boggles the mind! One thing for sure about outer space, looking at the far reaches raises more questions it answers. Know what I mean?

Simulacrum in Eagle Nebula

One of the strangest photos that has ever been taken of space is that of the Eagle Nebula. The photo itself is supposed to show the birth of a star from the gaseous clouds. However, when the photo was shown on CNN, hundreds of calls came in from people reporting they could see a face in the cloud. When the color of the photo was adjusted, a large human form seemed to appear within the cloud. Scientist have not been able to explain this phenomena . 

I guess that we are so needful to find someone else out there, our minds can be guided to seeing the most improbable of things. What do you think?

Coffee outside this morning. How about some strawberry cream cake on the side?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Older "Toons For This Sunday...!

I just like the older 'toons better than the newer ones, but you already knew that!

Can't get much earlier than the 40's and the 50's for the good ones. These two characters have all but disappeared, but thanks to the magic of YouTube we can still enjoy them!

All the messages in the older cartoons were simple. It was good against bad, with not a lot of grey! Kinda easy to understand!

Sounds a lot like some of the weather that we are experiencing now, doesn't it?

Might not want to eat at this place, unless you have good insurance! Know what I mean?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Raining off and on, so why take a chance?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

That's One UGLY Chicken...!

For some unknown reason, man can't stop messing with Mother Nature! I really think she doesn't like it much!

I find myself waiting for the day Nature decides to haul off and kick our butts! I know that it ain't going to be pretty, folks!

Featherless Chicken And Bird-Flu Resistant Chicken

What you are looking at is man’s cruel joke on nature. In the name of economy and KFC-loving humans, scientists in Israel have created a prototype of a breed of featherless chickens that can save time on plucking, are more environmentally friendly, and in general significantly reduce the cost of raising them. The scientists claimed that featherless chickens are extremely safe because they are created by breeding a regular broiler chicken with a Naked Neck.

Despite the number of benefits featherless chickens will provide, there are some serious drawbacks to consider. Mother Nature wouldn’t give chickens feathers if she thought they were useless. The feathers on the chicken are there to protect chickens from parasites, harsh weather conditions, and overzealous cocks that can hurt the hen’s skin when mating.

In case you haven't been over to yet, you should hop on over and check out some other ways we are messing with Mother Nature!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have a box of Raspberry filled Bismarks I'll bring out.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now...?

This actually is something that I use nearly every day, so it's nice to know that it's pretty common!

So many things that we do without thinking about it turn out to be the correct way, even if we don't understand why. That's why it's interesting to find out the reason for some of our almost "automatic" activities.

Use Your Right Ear

If you’re having trouble hearing someone, what do you do? Most people crane their neck toward the speaker. As it turns out, that’s the perfect thing to do—but probably not for the reason you think. Most people are aware that the brain is split into two hemispheres. Each hemisphere is dominant in different areas, such as perceiving sound, and the left hemisphere is typically responsible for spoken language.

As it turns out, our right and left ears are are also dominant when it comes to different functions. The right ear is better at receiving speech than the left ear—which makes sense. Signals from the right side of the body end up in the left side of the brain. So next time you can’t hear someone, make sure you give them your right ear.

Now that I know the reason why I cup my right ear when trying to understand what my Mom is saying, I don't feel so bad. I told her about this article so that she would stop thinking I was just giving her a bad time about the tremor in her voice.

Coffee out on the patio today. You could hear that invite, right?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fiction Close To Fact...!

Sometimes we need to be reminded of just how close to real life some fiction can be! This is why I present this story to you!

My sister sent me this and I thought you might get a kick out of it. I know I did!

Teacher Arrested...

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

'Al-Gebra is a problem for us', the Attorney General said. 'They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.' They use secret code names like "X" and "Y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns" but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed that another Nobel Prize will follow.

Things are not this bad yet in real life, but who knows...? Someday it might be!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Let's share a bag of donut holes, OK?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spy Or Trader For Western Wednesday...?

Many times the history of the Old West gets a little fuzzy. It can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction.

Today we are going to look at one of these stories, and you can decide for yourself which is the correct answer! Either way it makes for an interesting read!

Jul 24, 1832:
Bonneville leads first wagon crossing of South Pass

Benjamin Bonneville, an inept fur trader who some speculate may have actually been a spy, leads the first wagon train to cross the Rocky Mountains at Wyoming's South Pass.

The motivations for Bonneville's western expeditions have always remained somewhat mysterious. A native of France, Bonneville came to the United States in 1803 at the age of seven. He later graduated from West Point, and he served at frontier posts in Arkansas, Texas, and Indian Territory. According to one view, Bonneville simply observed the rapid growth of the western fur trade at these posts and conceived a bold plan to mount his own fur trading expedition. However, others suggest Bonneville's true goal for the expedition may have been to serve as a Far Western spy for the U.S. government.

The circumstances of Bonneville's entry into the fur business were indeed somewhat odd. Despite his complete lack of experience as a mountain man, a group of Manhattan businessmen agreed to back his expedition with ample funds. It was also strange that a career military man should ask for, and quickly receive, a two-year leave of absence from the army to pursue a strictly commercial adventure.

Bonneville began his expedition in May 1832, and that summer he and his men built an imposing trading post along Wyoming's Green River. Bonneville proved to be an incompetent fur trader, yet he seemed unconcerned about making a profit. By contrast, he seemed very interested in exploring the vast territory.

Shortly after arriving in Wyoming, he mounted an expedition to the Columbia River country of Oregon, although he was well aware that the powerful British-owned Hudson's Bay Company dominated the region. On this day in 1832, Bonneville led 110 men and 20 wagons across South Pass, the first-ever wagon crossing of that critical route connecting the existing United States to the northwest region of the continent. During the next two decades, thousands of American settlers would take their wagons across South Pass as they followed the Oregon Trail.

In 1835, Bonneville returned to Washington, where President Andrew Jackson personally oversaw his reinstatement as a captain in the army. Some historians speculate that Bonneville might have actually been a spy for a U.S. government, which was eager to collect information on the British strength in the Northwest. No historical records have ever been found to substantiate this speculation, though, and it is possible that Bonneville was simply an inept fur trader whose dreams exceeded his grasp.

I'll admit, I'm intrigued by this man. I can't help but wonder just what he was really about! Sounds like a real character, for sure!

How about coffee out on the patio this morning. Maybe some sweet potato pie on the side?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Something to Ponder This Tuesday...!

By now, I'm sure that everyone has heard of the Google Glasses. This device, while being pretty cool, opens up a very large array of options that are NOT!

Each and every day, the advances of modern technology sound more like a bad science movie from the 50s and 60s, know what I mean?

Google Glass

Google glasses are indeed available now (probably not to you, but to somebody). The glasses themselves are not nearly so disturbing on their own. It’s the ideas they’ve incited that are in question. Google Glass will enable us to do everything we’ve been doing on our cell phones, but in a sophisticated, hands-free, much more James Bond kind of way. Intriguing as they are, we should have known by now that anything created in the pursuit of science is never the end; it’s only the beginning.

One Google futurist has already predicted we’ll be uploading our brains into computers next, and while the ability to do so remains indefinite because the imaging required to achieve retention of consciousness into a digital space is unheard of, the computer element may not be as far off as we would imagine. And don’t just laugh that off as hopeful science fiction material. We put a man on the moon, didn’t we?

Immortality inside a machine is one thing, and the opportunity to transcend the way humans process thought is another. But don’t you think the brain would be traumatized to realize it was unattached to all the bodily elements it is designed to handle, instead finding itself to be merely suspended data stored electronically? When that human mind discovers it’s in a machine, how long before it succumbs to insanity? Or will it be like some sort of “brain in a vat” situation that philosophy warned us about, in which the brains aren’t aware they are in the computers? Who knows, maybe it’s already happened. Maybe you just think you’re reading this because some mad scientist has programmed your isolated brain to let you think you’re reading this.

And if that doesn’t make you think, then what about the suggestion that our natural human bodies will be replaced by machines in just 90 years? That’s another bold speculation Google engineers have made, and judging by Google Glass and the avid claims of its creators, they’re serious.

Would you want to download your brain and memories into a computer? Kinda scary, when you consider how many times my 'puter goes down. Just think what would happened if someone pulled the plug!

Let's have coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm thinking that some fresh potato rolls and honey would be good!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The "Yeti Hand" Mystery For Monday...!

Today's mystery is a little different than those we normally have on Monday, but I think it will fit right in.

One of the good things about today's mystery is that it has a supporting cast that you might recognize. Always fun to have some well known names involved, don't you think?

Pangboche Hand
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pangboche Hand is an artifact from a Buddhist monastery in Pangboche, Nepal. Supporters contend that the hand is from a Yeti, a scientifically unrecognized animal purported to live in the Himalayan mountains. Critics argue the artifact is a fraud.

Oil businessman and adventurer Tom Slick first heard accounts of the possible existence of a "Yeti hand" held as a ritual artifact in the monastery at Pangboche during one of his first "Abominable Snowman" treks in 1957. The Slick expeditions were the first to bring photographs of the hand back to the West.

During later Tom Slick-sponsored expeditions in and around the Himalayas, his associates gathered more information on the "Pangboche hand," and an effort to further examine it was planned. In 1959 Peter Byrne, a member of Slick's expedition that year, reportedly stole pieces of the artifact after the monks who owned it refused to allow its removal for study. Byrne claimed to have replaced the stolen bone fragments with human bones, rewrapping the hand to disguise his theft.

Byrne smuggled the bones from Nepal into India, after which actor James Stewart allegedly smuggled the hand out of the country in his luggage. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman rediscovered this story while writing Tom Slick's biography in the 1980s. Coleman confirmed details of the incidents with written materials in the Slick archives, interviews with Byrne, and correspondence with Stewart. Byrne later confirmed the Pangboche hand story via a letter from Stewart that Byrne published in a general book on Nepalese wildlife.

During the highly-publicized 1960 World Book expedition, which had many goals including gathering intelligence on Chinese rocket launchings, Sir Edmund Hillary and Marlin Perkins took a sidetrip in Nepal to investigate the hand. Hillary was unaware of the possibility that he was looking at a combination of the original material and the human bones placed there by Byrne. Hillary determined the artifact was a hoax.

Kind of a neat story, isn't it? Imagine how exciting this would be if it became common knowledge as to what it really was! Quite a find!

Coffee inside again. Early rains fooled me yesterday and I don't want a repeat today!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chip And Dale For Sunday...!

These two were always a little like a backup for my favorites when I was a kid! I thought we would revisit them today just for old times sake.

Sometimes it's fun to dredge up the old memories, don't you think?

For some reason, the color always seemed pretty bright in the old Chip and Dale 'toons! My opinion, of course.

Nothing like starting the day with some familiar friends from the past, even when you can't understand much of what they say!

I think one reason I like cartoons is that they are pretty simple. Nothing too complicated, ya know? Right now I need a lot more simple in my life, so maybe that's why I dig the 'toons!

Coffee outside this morning. The rain has a way of showing up in the afternoon, so we should be OK.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tough Ol' Birds...!

Maybe this is where the expression "tough ol' bird" comes from!

I never would have thought that any bird would build a nest using something like this, but then I don't know as much as I thought I did!

Accrington pigeons are as hard as nails

These pictures of pigeons making their nest using nails were taken on a building site in Accrington, Lancashire.

Builders have stopped work until the chicks, which are due to hatch in a few days are old enough to fly.

Alan Wright, at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “Pigeons do nest in urban areas and sometimes use odd things to build those nests, but I have never seen anything like this before.

It is great that the builders are taking care of this bird. they will probably be like a doting family when the chicks are hatched.”

I guess that even in the animal world, the survivors are the ones that make the most of whatever is available. I had no idea that pigeons were this determined to do what was necessary to assure the future of their kind. Cool!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No rain in sight yet!

Friday, July 19, 2013

It Happened Before...!

Looks like the government is trying to improve on something that's been going on for a while!

I have no idea what makes these jerks think that any of this is necessary or acceptable. It wasn't in the past, it isn't now, and hopefully it won't be acceptable in the future! Does that mean the PTB will stop trying things like this? Of course not! For some reason, they think it's their right to do anything they want to!

In June 2013, ex-NSA (National Security Agency) contractor Edward Snowden revealed the existence of PRISM, a spying program that allows the NSA to intercept the internet and telephone conversations of people all over the world.

However, Edward M Stanton—the Secretary of War during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln—was running a similar scheme during the American Civil War. In order to monitor the telegrams of journalists and government officials across the US, in 1862 he successfully petitioned President Lincoln to have the country’s telegraph lines re-directed through his office. Here, Stanton was able to read and censor massive amounts of information, including vital correspondence regarding the war. With the information that Stanton gathered, he was able to justify the imprisonment of dozens of journalists on falsified charges of spying, including one prominent reporter for the New York Times.

Eventually, such activities raised enough concern amongst the higher echelons of government that the House Judiciary Committee called for Stanton to exercise a higher level of restraint when censoring communications. Fortunately, with 1865 and the end of the war, Stanton’s powers were removed and the telegraph lines redirected out of his control, thereby allowing information to flow freely and without control.

Well, until recently anyway.

One would think that the folks that were elected to guard and protect our rights would shy away from this sort of thing, but evidently the need for power over-rides all else for some individuals! Pretty sad, don't you think?

Let's have our coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some freshly baked brownies I'll share!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Remote Control Toys From Long Ago...!

Some things that we take for granted to be new...aren't. Take the remote control toys, for instance.

Come to find out, the first did not show up in the 1960's, and the actual date might just surprise you!

Remote-Control Toys

It’s generally assumed the first remote-control toys were produced in the 1960s, after the Italian toy company Elettronica Giocattoli produced the first remote-control car (a 1:12 scale model of a Ferrari 250LM) in 1966.

However, the first remote-control toy was actually invented in the late 1890s by—and this might not come as a huge shock to some people—famed inventor and Edison punchbag Nikola Tesla. At the 1898 Electrical Exhibition in Madison Square Garden, Tesla unveiled a remote-control boat outfitted with functioning lights, rudders, and a propeller.

Now do you see why Tesla has always been one of my heroes? The man was so far ahead of his time, he almost looks like he's from another world, or at the very least from another era! I love this guy!

Coffee in the kitchen again. I'm thinking it's time for some fresh fruit again!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time Zones On Western Wednesday...!

Believe it or not, the separate time zones did not come from hard work on the part of the government, but rather from private enterprise!

Big business, in the form of railroads, created the first semi official time zones in the U.S. because it was a more effective way of doing business! I, for one, was unaware of this. Here is a case of folks taking matters into their own hands, after waiting for the PTB to come up with a plan. Makes sense to me!

Nov 18, 1883:
Railroads create the first time zones
At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.

The need for continental time zones stemmed directly from the problems of moving passengers and freight over the thousands of miles of rail line that covered North America by the 1880s. Since human beings had first begun keeping track of time, they set their clocks to the local movement of the sun. Even as late as the 1880s, most towns in the U.S. had their own local time, generally based on "high noon," or the time when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. As railroads began to shrink the travel time between cities from days or months to mere hours, however, these local times became a scheduling nightmare. Railroad timetables in major cities listed dozens of different arrival and departure times for the same train, each linked to a different local time zone.

Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

To me, this bit of information just proves that instead of waiting for the government to act on our behalf, we should be making some movement toward being more self reliant and solving our own problems. Working together, we could do much more than if we stand around waiting for Uncle Sugar to lend a hand! Recent disasters have shown just how delayed help from government agencies can be!

Coffee in the kitchen again today. The rain is still in the forecast, so the patio is going to be wet!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now That's Some Critter...!

Sometimes mother nature can come up with a really strange creation! That's the case with this mantis!

It's pretty and scary at the same time. In my opinion, it's one of the prettiest insects that nature has to offer! Good for Tuesday, I think!

Devil’s Flower Mantis
Idolomantis Diabolica

One of the largest types of praying mantis, the Devil’s Flower Mantis is also one of the strangest. And that’s saying a lot when you’re talking about praying mantids. Females of the species can measure up to 5 inches (13 cm) long, and have developed a range of natural coloring that allows them to mimic the Devil’s Flower, a type of orchid.

Mantids are predators, and their hunting style usually involves sitting motionless until their prey comes within reach, and then whipping their forearms out at lightning speed to snag flies, beetles, even, in some cases, birds. The Devil’s Flower Mantis uses color patterns that mimic a flower to actually lure its prey within reach

I never get tired at looking at the beauty nature has to offer. Just a small sample of what God can do! Amazing!

How about coffee in the kitchen this morning? Rain is still hanging around, so we better stay off the patio!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ghost Fires For Monday Mystery...!

Thanks to Listverse, I've found some fires that seem to be caused by ghost. Well, by poltergeist actually! We all know that there is a difference, right?

The Flatrock Poltergeist (1954)

Mike Parsons and his family’s ordeal began when his wife found a dictionary smoldering in the wood-box—while all the wood around it remained unburnt. Next, a sack of sugar in the kitchen burst into flames, but the fire went out as soon as Mike touched the sack. Subsequent incidents included a doll spontaneously consumed by fire while it sat in the middle of the floor, a box catching fire and burning a groove in a chest of drawers, and fires erupting in the corners of a bedroom without electricity or a fireplace.

An RCMP investigation ruled out deliberate arson, but failed to find a cause. After a priest visited the house and performed a blessing, the fires stopped. The phenomena have never been explained.

Whether or not you believe in this sort of thing, you have to admit that it makes for an interesting mystery. That's the kind we like, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. There was some rain overnight, so it's fairly humid.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cartoons For Sunday As Usual...!

Seems like I'm stuck in a rut as far as Sundays go.

At least I usually post something, but it's a lazy way to do it. Guess I'm just getting lazy all around as of late. The main problem with me is that I don't like doing things on other people's schedule, but on mine! Seems like the past few weeks I've been forced to operate on someone else's time. I normally wouldn't mind doing that for a day or two, but it's going on 3 weeks now and I'm ready to get back on "hermit time", ya know?

Now, with all that said...let's get moving with the 'toons!

We haven't had any Popeye in quite a while. At least, not as far as I can remember!

For some reason I love the theme song for Popeye. I don't know why, though. Kinda silly, isn't it?

I guess I'll go and do something productive. Then again, maybe I'll just kick back a little longer and do nothing! After all, it is Sunday!

Coffee out on the patio today. Let's have some peach cobbler!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How About Some Toast...?

You wouldn't think that something as simple as toasters would have such an interesting history, would you?

Like so many other things we take for granted, the bread toaster had some folks with great imaginations behind it. The electric toaster was pretty radical when it first came out, I imagine. Here is a brief history of some of the early models!

The Toaster

Prior to the development of the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame and holding it over a fire or by holding it near to a fire using a long handled fork. Crompton and Company, Leeds, England invented toasters for bread using electricity in 1893. The technology that makes electric toasters possible, a nichrome wire that can endure high heat, has existed for a long time. At least two other brands of toasters had been introduced commercially around the time GE submitted the first patent application for their model D-12 in 1909. In 1913 Lloyd Groff Copeman and his wife Hazel Berger Copeman applied for various toaster patents and in that same year the Copeman Electric Stove Company introduced the toaster with automatic bread turner. The company also produced the “toaster that turns toast.” Before this, electric toasters cooked bread on one side and then it was flipped by hand to toast the other side. Copeman’s toaster turned the bread around without having to touch it. Copeman also invented the first electric stove and the rubber (flexible) ice cube tray.

Can you imagine living in a time when sliced bread was fairly new and toasters were just coming to be everyday appliances? Makes breakfast a little more interesting, wouldn't you say?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Fresh toast and honey to start the day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

One Fun Game...!

I know a lot of you have spent some fun times all twisted up playing this game. At least, I did!

This game was one from a time when folks did more at parties besides drink and get stupid. Well, that is not counting looking a little stupid while tangled up in a pile on the floor! Had a lot of fun with this game, ya know? However, we some times forget to give credit to the people that invented these games, and that's too bad!

Inventor of iconic party game Twister dies

By PATRICK CONDON Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota man whose Twister game launched decades of awkward social interactions at parties has died. He was 82.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died July 1 at a care facility in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. His son, Mark Foley, said Thursday that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Foley and a collaborator, Neil Rabens, were hired in the mid-1960s by a St. Paul manufacturing firm that wanted to expand into games and toys. They came up with a game to be played on a mat on the floor, using a spinner to direct players to place their hands and feet on different colored circles.

"Dad wanted to make a game that could light up a party," Mark Foley said. "They originally called it `Pretzel.' But they sold it to Milton Bradley, which came up with the `Twister' name."

The game became a sensation after Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor played it on "The Tonight Show" in 1966.

Hasbro Inc., which now manufacturers the game, said it continues to be a top seller.

"What makes the Twister game timeless is the fact that it's always been about showing off your free spirit and just having some laugh-out-loud, out of your seat fun," Hasbro Inc. said in a statement noting Foley's death.

Mark Foley said his father made little money from Twister, but that it never seemed to bother him much. The game was not his first invention, and far from his last.

Born in Lafayette, Ind., Foley's first invention came at the age of 8 -- a locking system for the cattle pen at his grandfather's farm. As a young man he worked as a salesman, but his interest in games and toys led him to apply for a job at a toy company in the Minneapolis area. He moved his family to Minnesota in 1962.

Over the years, Foley invented dozens of other toys and games. He also invented a product called un-du, a liquid adhesive remover.

Mark Foley is now president of un-du Products Inc., based in St. Louis Park. Chuck Foley had lived in North Carolina for a number of years, but his son said he returned to Minnesota six years ago when his health began to decline, to be closer to his family. Foley and his wife, Kathleen, had nine children. She died of breast cancer in 1975, and Foley never remarried.

"He never stopped having fun," Mark Foley said. "He tried to think like young people thought. He never wanted to grow up, and he always maintained his enthusiasm for seeing things through the eyes of a child."

In my opinion, this man was brilliant! Imagine, having the ability to think about what make a child happy and make a living while doing it!

Coffee on the patio this morning. I have some home made chocolate chip cookies I'll share!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good News For Cake Lovers...!

I don't know about you, but I do love me some good cake!

I've always believed that eating cake for breakfast was a good idea, just not the best choice as far as being healthy. That's why this article was a good find!

Cake, Bacon, and Eggs

Scientists like a good laugh as much as anyone, so they took people who were already fat and then fed those people cake for breakfast. But instead of gaining weight, the researchers found that eating cake or a similar dessert sweet in the morning could lead to significant weight loss. And there isn’t even any fine print: adding a breakfast sweet was the only “lifestyle change” these people made.

The key here is getting the sugary stuff out of the way early in the day. Your body is most active in the morning, especially in digesting food. You’re also giving it all day to use up the energy. Eating large evening meals often causes your body to just start storing (that’s called ‘fat’) because it doesn’t have anything to do with the energy you’ve given it.

I'm all in favor of eating sweets for breakfast from time to time. You know, donuts and sweet rolls and certainly...a great big piece of cake!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. In honor of the post, how about some lemon pudding cake to go with it?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Annie Oakley For Western Wednesday...!

Way too often here at the Hermit's, we focus on the bad types of the old days. This time we go the opposite direction!

This particular lady's name is probably the best known in the history of the Old West. By all accounts, she was a true lady of the first order! Well dressed and well mannered, she seems to have made a positive impression on all she met. I'd say she deserves a closer look!

Aug 13, 1860:
Annie Oakley is born

Annie Oakley, one of the greatest female sharpshooters in American history, is born in Patterson Township, Ohio.

Born Phoebe Ann Oakley Moses, Oakley demonstrated an uncanny gift for marksmanship at an early age. "I was eight years old when I made my first shot," she later recalled, "and I still consider it one of the best shots I ever made." After spotting a squirrel on the fence in her front yard, the young Oakley took a loaded rifle from the house. She steadied the gun on a porch rail, and shot the squirrel through the head, skillfully preserving the meat for the stew pot.

After that, Oakley's honed her sharpshooting talents. She was never a stereotypical Wild West woman who adopted the dress and ways of men. To the contrary, Oakley prided herself on her feminine appearance and skills. She embroidered nearly as well as she shot, liked to read the Bible in the evenings, and favored gingham dresses and demure sunbonnets.

In 1876, a Cincinnati hotelkeeper that heard of Oakley's marksmanship set up a Thanksgiving Day shooting match between Oakley and a traveling exhibition sharpshooter named Frank Butler. Annie managed to outshoot the professional by one clay pigeon. Oakley's skills and attractive appearance impressed Butler, and he continued to correspond with the young woman while he traveled. By June, the couple had married, and Oakley joined her husband's act as "Annie Oakley" the "peerless wing and rifle shot."

In 1885, the couple joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, and Oakley soon became one of the most popular acts. A typical show consisted of Oakley shooting a cigarette out of her husband's mouth or a dime from his fingers. She also did backward trick shots where she sighted her target only with a mirror. Her ability to shoot holes through playing cards led Americans of the day to refer to any free ticket to an event as an "Annie Oakley," a reference to the holes that were often punched in the ticket for validation. When the great Sioux war chief Sitting Bull briefly traveled with the show, he grew fond of Oakley and gave her the nickname Watanya Cicilia—Little Sure Shot.

Oakley stayed with the traveling show for more than 15 years, giving performances around the world. In 1901, a head-on collision with a freight train injured Oakley's back. She returned to performing after a year of rest and toured with several shows for the next decade. In 1913, Oakley and Butler retired, though they continued to give occasional demonstrations for good causes.

In 1921, a devastating auto accident permanently crippled Oakley. She and Butler moved to Greenville, Ohio, her home county, and she lived the remaining years of her life in the quiet countryside. She died there in 1926 at the age of 66.

Nice to find out that some of the better known folks from the Wild West were not so wild after all! Sounds as though she would certainly be someone you would want as a neighbor and friend!

Better have our coffee inside this morning, as it's just way to hot already to be comfortable.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Talk Grilling...!

I've read several articles lately that insisted grilling is bad for you. I figured that you might be interested in what the biggest argument was and how some folks think grilling is bad for us.

Since so many of us (including me) like grilling so much, I found many of the studies made no sense to me. I'm no scientist but, living in the South, grilling has been second nature to me for a really long time. So far I haven't noticed any ill effects, but in all fairness I've only been doing this for about 50 years. Read this and see if you agree or disagree.

Grill Death

Fallacy: Grilled meat is bad for you

When rats are fed high doses of nicely browned grilled meat they have a statistically higher chance of getting cancer. But that is rats. So far no study of humans has found the same result. Despite that, the US National Toxicology Program says that these chemicals (heterocyclic amines) are “reasonably anticipated” to be carcinogens in humans. Why? No one is really sure. Tripterygium wilfordii is deadly to rats but is consumed by humans as an oral contraceptive with no negative impact. A recent study of humans consuming grilled meat found no association between that and cancer. Let’s face it – for thousands of years humans have cooked meat and evolved (some might say) to be tolerant to it. When was the last time you saw a rat cooking a barbecue? Humans are not rats – what is deadly to a rat is not always deadly to a human.

Did you know: Potato chips, breakfast cereals, crusty bread, etc. are all crunchy because of the same chemicals as those that produce the nice browned effect on grilled meat. Furthermore, these chemicals are known to be antioxidants that suppress the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers.

If everything this article from Listverse says is fact, I'm in big trouble. With all these chemicals being bad for me, I figure I only have about 50 or 60 years left! The reason? All of the things listed in the last paragraph are some of my favorite foods!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some A&W root beer cake that's very tasty!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Texas Monday Mystery...!

I really like to find these mysteries so close to home, ya know?

I've never heard this particular story, but there are so many mysteries in this great state, I could never hear them all!

San Antonio Ghost Tracks Video

These tracks, found in San Antonio, have become known as the ghost tracks because of an odd phenomenon that occurs to cars that park on the tracks. The backstory tells of a school bus full of children that got stuck on the train tracks. You can probably guess where this is going. It’s said that the train struck the bus, killing all the children and if anyone stalls, stops, or parks on the tracks, their car will be pushed off by little phantom ghost hands.

Along with the movement of the car itself, people have reported feeling the car shake or hearing children’s voices and whispers. To make this story even creepier, people have reported sprinkling baby powder on their bumper only to find handprints once they’ve cleared the tracks. Some skeptics feel the spot is an optical illusion and the cars are actually just rolling down hill, but it still doesn’t explain the handprints many have found.

Never did get the rain yesterday that was promised, but that's the way it goes. I don't trust the weather man all that much anyway.

Coffee out on the patio today. We'll take a chance on the rain coming.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Old 'Toons For Sunday...!

How about some really old 'toons? I'm talking about reaching all the way to the 40s and 50s!

Careful though...some of these theme songs can get stuck in your head!

So, which do you like the best? Super Mouse or Mighty Mouse?

I still think I liked him better as Mighty Mouse!

Well, time for me to get ready for the upcoming rain...that is, if we really are going to get some! You know how these weather men are!

Coffee on the patio this morning. I have fresh biscuits and sausage gravy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Let's Talk Vaults...!

Something a little different for everyone to ponder this morning!

I never thought a lot about this until I read this article over at Listverse. Strange! But we love strange here, don't we?
JP Morgan Vault

JP Morgan and Chase has a couple of notable, highly-secure repositories. One of them is found five stories below street level in Manhattan, New York and, at over a football field in length, is regarded as the largest gold vault in the world. While the sheer size is impressive, some people are more interested in its proximity to the United States’ Federal Reserve Vault, as the two stockpiles are positioned right across the street from each other. Some conspiracists believe the two super-bunkers are connected by an underground tunnel and somehow JP Morgan and the government are in cahoots to manipulate the US economy.

The location of the bank’s other vault was a mystery until in March 2013 when Zerohedge discovered it was located in London below the firm’s office complex. It just so happens this subsurface bank is also next to a governmental reserve, the Bank of England, and the subway tunnel connecting the two coincidentally (or not if you’re a skeptic) shuts down every weekend.As with any proper safe, both the JP Morgan vaults are capable of surviving a direct nuclear blast.

Call me crazy, but it sure seems like a strange coincidence that these two vaults would be so close to other huge vaults with lots of goodies stored inside! Does it seem strange to anyone else?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's supposed to start some tropical rains here soon, and we don't want to be caught in that...believe me!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Canadian Gold...!

First of all, let me say that I hope everyone had a great holiday!

The price of precious metals is always an interesting topic for those that care about those things. However, today I wanted to talk about our friends to the north and their mint, including gold coins! There may be some facts about the Canadian mint you didn't know!

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is responsible for the production of all of Canada’s coinage (as well as some for other countries, like New Zealand and Papua New Guinea). Aside from the typical circulation coins, the Mint is known to produce a vast array of collector coins, not limited to glow-in-the-dark dinosaur versions. While all these novelty coins are technically legal tender, it is up to the individual bank or business whether they want to accept them or not. In 2007, they unveiled their most impressive model yet, a 100-kilogram (220-lb) gold bullion coin about the circumference of a large pizza. It boasts a face value of one million dollars, but at more than 99 percent pure gold, it is actually worth well over three million dollars at current trading rates.

I don't know about you, but I don't have big enough pockets to carry around a coin like that. Even if I had one, where would I spend it?

How about we have our coffee out on the patio this morning? It's only supposed to reach 97 today!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Time For Reflection...!

I'm going to take a day off to reflect on a few things, so there will be no post. Sorry about that, friends.

To all my friends, new and old...I hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Most of all, keep in mind that it's just like our friend Sixbears said, it's not the 4th of July, it's Independence Day!

Be safe, OK? Have a cup on me!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Western Wednesday Gunfight...!

I know that we have all heard of the great "Gunfight at the OK Corral", but it's time to let the truth be known!

Hollywood has certainly had a big influence on the way we think of the old west, and this is just another of those cases. Not as glamorous, but shockingly more honest!

The Gunfight at the OK Corral

It’s the most iconic gunfight in history, the sort of thing Sam Peckinpah used to dream about on lonely nights—and it’s mostly crap.

For starters, it didn’t take place at the OK Corral, but in a nearby back alley. The only reason we associate it with the Corral is because that’s a hell of a snappier title. Second, the body count was low—as in three. Third, it lasted 30 seconds, some of which were taken up by two of the participants running away like little girls.

Nor was the aftermath any more heroic. Wyatt and Holliday were arrested for murder, Earp lost his job as sheriff and evidence surfaced that not only was one of the dead men unarmed, but Holliday probably pulled a Han Solo and fired first. While the charges were eventually dropped, many local people were pushing for conviction—at the funeral of the three men killed, 300 mourners turned out, while nearly two thousand citizens lined the route. It wasn’t until 1931 that a book came out portraying Earp as a modern saint, and by then everyone involved was too old or dead to care.

Makes you wonder just how many of the stories of western times were expanded and glorified, doesn't it? If you want to read some other facts about the days of the "Wild West", why not ramble over to Listverse and check it out!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It may rain, but at this point I don't care!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Strange But True...!

Today's talk is about something that's strange, to say the least! Better yet, it(or at least parts of it) are true! At least as far as Wikipedia is concerned!

This whole thing sounds like a really bad movie to me, but I guess that it only goes to show that truth is much stranger than fiction!

Gavdos: The island of immortality

A gang of Chernobyl survivor scientists escaped to a remote island to resurrect ancient Greek theories and live forever. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

The official version of the story is that seven Russian scientists who survived Chernobyl migrated to a small God-forsaken island in the southern most point of Europe. They created an ecological house, helped the local people who loved the scientists from the very first moment. Their home is full of inventions. They built homes with whatever the land provided them. They have an underground shelter for relaxation and scientific research. That’s about all they claim.

On the other hand, there are mainly British and American conspiracy theorists that accuse the specific scientists for a series of things, such as that Gavdos is the source of immortality, according to Pythagoras, and this is the main reason the former Soviets went there. There’s also a theory that the Lost City of Atlantis lies under Gavdos, while the most ridiculous of all these theories is the one that suggests Gavdos is the main source of life and natural resources of all planet Earth and the Russians are attempting to control it.

The theory that sounds the most believable, and the only one Russian scientists never denied, is that four of them were in the last phase of cancer cause of radiation from Chernobyl and somehow they were all cured once they got to the island.

Just for grins, I looked this island up on both Google and Wikipedia and was surprised at the story! Makes for interesting reading, believe me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's supposed to cool off and that would be nice!

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Monday Murder Mystery...!

Today we travel back in time a bit to look at another murder mystery from Texas' past!

Any crime like this is disturbing, but the fact that it took place in Texas just bothers me a lot. Guess that's the case with any unsolved crime in your home state. These crimes seemed to be exceedingly brutal, even for those times!

Servant Girl Annihilator

Since the first “Unsolved Murders” list ended with a vicious serial killer lets keep that format. Mollie Smith is presumed to be the first victim of the “Servant Girl Annihilator”, a serial killer who was active in the Austin, Texas area in 1884 to 1885. Pre-dating Jack the Ripper’s killing spree by almost 4 years, the viciousness of his attacks left the public hysterical, and some even tried to tie the two series of murders together as the work of one killer. At least 7 young women’s deaths are attributed to the Annihilator, who not only raped his victims, but bludgeoned or slashed them to death. Sometimes the murder weapon was an axe, and several victims were stabbed by some sort of spike in the ears or the face. The killers habit was to drag his victim from her bed while she slept, and because of this method on at least two occasions the victim’s male bed mate was attacked as well, resulting in the bludgeoning death of Orange Washington. Numerous arrests were made up to this point, but lack of evidence or airtight alibis lead to the release of all suspects.

By September of 1885 The Servant Girl Annihilator had attacked 8 people, leaving 5 dead. Things were quiet for a few short months, then a change of M.O. On Christmas Eve, 1885, not 1 but 2 well to do white women were dragged from their respective beds, raped and axed to death. The husbands of each of these women were arrested and placed on trial. Through the infantile beginnings of forensic science, each man was proven innocent of the crimes and acquitted. The murders stopped and no one was ever convicted for them.

Back to the Ripper murders, which took place in Whitechapel, London, England in 1888. One suspect, who rarely gets mentioned by Ripperologists, was a Malay cook calling himself Maurice, a man who had threatened to kill Whitechapel prostitutes but who had then disappeared. In 1885 he had been employed at the Pearl House, a small hotel, in Austin, Texas. The information was confirmed, and it was ascertained that the cook had left the premises in January 1886. The Servant Girl murders had ended just weeks earlier and most of the victims resided not far from the Pearl House.

When you consider just how many murders and other crimes went unsolved from the past right up to the present, it's scary! I understand that many can't be solved very quickly, but it seems to me that the numbers are growing larger every day!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. There's a gentle breeze blowing and that helps to cool things down!